Last week I bought my first house! I am so excited to move in and decorate. It was a long process having to get pre-approved and finding the right place in the right location. Although I was pre-approved for a pretty substantial mortgage, I didn’t want to be house poor so I wisely set up a mock budget for myself. When budgeting, you have to think about your monthly bills other than the mortgage payment. You have to consider how much things like utilities, cable, home security and insurance will cost to determine how much you can really afford. I made a list of everything I thought I would need on a monthly basis including groceries. Then I visited many different websites including http://www.totalalarmsystems.com/ to estimate how much each of the amenities I had on my list was going to cost. I was surprised how much it was really going to cost but it didn’t deter me, only made me more realistic about how expensive a house I could afford. Now I feel like I can afford to spend some money on making this new house my new home!