– When buying a home, you want a payment on a 15-year fixed-rate loan where the payment is no more than a quarter of your take-home pay.  People who buy more than this struggle to do anything else with their money.  People who buy way more than this are what we call “house poor” – they’ve got the house, but nothing else!

– When renting, you can push that 25% housing number to about 30-35% if you have to, but it’s best to stick close to that 25% number.  The reason you can push it a little bit is that when renting you don’t have some of the additional costs associated with owning when you rent – property taxes, insurance, HOA dues, maintenance and repairs, landscaping, etc.

– Remember, your budget reflects your priorities.  You show me your checkbook and I’ll show you what matters most to you.  What is this month’s checking account register saying about your priorities?  Is it something to be proud of, or something to rethink?