Mortgage Shopping Tips for the Biggest Purchase of Your Life

Springtime is here and that means house hunting season has begun, which means mortgage shopping has begun! Just like night follows day, when spring arrives, it’s real estate time in the good old US of A. If you’re in the market for a home, whether you’re looking to become a first time homeowner or if you’re planning to move from one place to another, you have to be on top of the mortgage market and the challenges that are involved.

It's house hunting season and if you're looking to buy, you could probably use some mortgage shopping tips. Save money on the biggest purchase of your life!

Interest rates on home mortgages have been at record low levels for several years now and that may be about to change. Knowing how to get the best deals when entering into what might well be the biggest single purchase you will ever make becomes a must! You simply don’t want any regrets when you buy and there are some real basics you must know before you commit. Continue reading

What is the Best-Kept Secret to Big Success?

If you had the ability to sit down and ask a self-made millionaire, “What is the secret to your success?”…what do you think they would answer? I bet you’d be very surprised. It more than likely would be a simple and straightforward answer. My guess is this: “Dream BIG!”

Whatever your goals in life are, the secret to success is a special kind of positive thinking. Can you really think your way to success? I believe you can!

When do we dream big?

The concept of dreaming big isn’t a new one by any means. In fact, I bet that back in the Stone Age there were people who dreamed big about things like having one of the biggest caves or having the best furs to keep warm in the cold. The point is that the “dream” itself is the very first step that you must take in life, if you ever hope to make your life the best it can be. Continue reading

What Will a Fed Interest Rate Hike Mean to You?

Update 03/15/2017: The Fed has announced a quarter point increase as expected.

For almost 10 years, while our economy has been struggling to recover from the recession, one thing that has been a big plus and important to people has been the historic lows in interest rates, but that may be about to change. While the job market was down, the stock market was down, and the emotions of the American people were down, interest rates were adjusted so that many people were still able to afford to buy a home and use their credit cards. But, the Federal Reserve Board (a.k.a. the Fed) raised interest rates last December for just the second time in the last 10 years. That may be the beginning of a huge change over the next couple of years, and that begs a lot of questions.

On Wednesday, it's pretty likely that we'll see a Fed interest rate hike. Here's what that means for the different areas of your financial future.

What a Fed Interest Rate Hike Could Mean

1. How certain is a rise in interest rates?

There is little doubt that interest rates will go up again, beginning this coming week. On Wednesday, March 15th the Fed is expected to announce just that. It’s a move that was almost guaranteed by the good news about the job reports released last week, increases of 235,000 jobs and the drop of the unemployment rate to a low 4.7%. There was also good news about wage growth that further indicates the recovery is moving along at a much better rate than before. Continue reading

Financially Savvy Saturdays #185

Welcome to Financially Savvy Saturdays, the savviest personal finance blog hop on the planet, created specifically for personal finance writers! We welcome all things money here. Whether you’ve written anything from money based future predictions to the best way to maximize your earnings on Etsy, you’re invited to link-up.

If it ties into personal finance, we want to read it!

Financially Savvy SaturdaysFinancially Savvy Saturdays

 

This weekend I’m excited to welcome Gary from Super Savings Tips, where he writes greats tips anyone can use to save money and stretch their budget. Continue reading

9 Things to Know When You Buy Tires

When you go to buy tires, it helps to know a few things. Some of us know all about cars and their proper care that not only can save money but makes the whole experience of owning a car or truck safer, more pleasant, and actually fun! Not so much for me. Now I’m not a cultural anthropologist, but for some strange reason I believe that proper car knowledge is something that comes along when you’re growing up. Mom or Dad is usually the one that teaches those lessons and if you don’t learn about that stuff when you’re a kid, you may wind up a lot like me. I was basically clueless.  When it came to cars, I pretty much just ”went along for the ride” and never really showed any interest in them until I was 16 and eligible for my driver’s license.

We don't have to buy tires that frequently, especially if we upgrade our cars, but there are a few things that are good to know before you go shopping.

How Do You Learn About Cars?

I remember my first driving lesson with my Dad and me in a big parking lot in NE Philadelphia where I grew up. Dad let me sit in the driver’s seat and promptly handed me the key and said, “Okay Gary, start the engine”. I turned to Dad and I said somewhat confused, “How do I do that?” He answered with, “Just put the key in and turn it like you have seen me do a million times”. Right there was the beginning of the problem. I had never paid one bit of attention to Dad and his starting the car routine and believe it or not I didn’t even know how to put the key in and turn it. I was pretty much sitting in the back seat listening to the music on the radio whenever we were in the car. Needless to say, the driving lesson that day went downhill from there. Continue reading

Do You Save Collectibles for Fun…or Profit?

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a collector, and I’ve been gathering collectibles since I was a kid. I’ve also been looking around for ways to make some extra money and wondered: could my collections make me a profit?

Gathering collectibles like stamps or coins can be a fun hobby, but some people collect with the hopes of making a profit. Can it really be profitable?

As the saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and that’s certainly true when you collect items. It is an activity that almost everyone has participated in at some time or another in their lives. I have done it and I’m betting that you have as well. It says something about you and your personality when you are a “collector” as your collection usually involves something that’s close to your heart and that you really enjoy. Continue reading

Avoid Financial Disaster by Paying Off Your High-Interest Debt

It’s practically a given that you’re in debt. According to a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, 80% of Americans have some form of debt and 39% of Americans have credit card debt, which is typically high interest debt. And 69% said debt is a necessity in their lives! It doesn’t have to be…paying off debt helps to bring financial security to your life. As part of America Saves Week 2017 (#ASW17), today I’m going to talk about how to pay off high-interest debt.

As part of America Saves Week 2017, here are some tips on paying off debt, especially high-interest debts like credit card balances.

While a low-interest mortgage to secure housing or education may make sense, carrying high-interest credit card debt is a financial disaster waiting to happen. Some of us can’t stay away from racking up huge debt no matter how much money we earn. It has little to do with age, gender, background, or even where you live. It is, however, a common thread that results in spending money we just don’t have. Habits like that are not only hard to break but can result in financial suicide. It happens every day to someone. Continue reading

Financial News of the Future: The News 20 Years from Now!

Back in the late 1960’s, the classic TV show Laugh-In featured a segment that was called “News of the Future”. It was supposed to be just humor but amazingly their predictions of what would happen hit the mark quite a few times and when you look back on it you might even say “yeah, I could have seen that coming!”

Today I'm bringing you the financial news of the future, 20 years in advance! Imagine what you could do if you knew what was yet to come.

It would be so cool to actually be able to predict things in the future. First of all, you could make a living at it because just about everyone would be interested in it if you actually could deliver. But further, you could make yourself a small fortune placing your bets on things like stocks and bonds, gambling events, and sporting events, parlaying your abilities into big profits! Continue reading

Financially Savvy Saturdays #183

Welcome to Financially Savvy Saturdays, the savviest personal finance blog hop on the planet, created specifically for personal finance writers! We welcome all things money here. Whether you’ve written anything from surviving on your emergency fund to the best ways to use your money to help others, you’re invited to link-up.

If it ties into personal finance, we want to read it!

Financially Savvy SaturdaysFinancially Savvy SaturdaysThis weekend I’m excited to welcome Gary from Super Savings Tips, where he writes greats tips anyone can use to save money and stretch their budget. Continue reading

Frugal or Cheapskate… Am I Just Too Damned Cheap?

So I’m out having dinner with my daughter and the bill comes to the table. It’s my treat (of course, since she rarely has the money to pick up any tab) and I pull out my rewards card for the loyalty points and of course the coupon: “Save $10.00 off any 2 dinners with the purchase of 2 drinks”. And then it happens.

“Dad, do you always have to use a coupon? It’s so embarrassing, like can’t you just enjoy this without having that? Are you that cheap?”

There's a difference between being frugal and being a cheapskate. It takes some self-reflection to determine which you are, and how you got that way.

It never fails to amaze me when that conversation begins, and it often does. I have tried most of my life to teach both my children about being thrifty, or frugal if you prefer! For some unexplainable reason they just don’t seem to get it. Is it being cheap to want to conserve my money? Is it being cheap to take my daughter out to dinner? A free dinner for her? Exactly what is it that embarrasses her? Continue reading