Avoid a Summer Meltdown with These Ways to Keep Cool

Yesterday the temperature was in the 90’s here in New Jersey, and I was looking for some ways to keep cool without spending a fortune on air conditioning. It seems like this summer is off to quite a warm start all around the USA and it’s not even a month old yet. It’s been 100+ degrees in lots of places out west and in the 90’s here in the northeast, ugh! With another 10+ weeks ahead of us of warm and muggy days, what are you going to do to cool off?

When the temperature spikes, you'll need some ways to keep cool without spending a fortune. Try these simple tips to "chill out".

You could jet away to a fabulous resort vacation someplace in South America where the temps stay in the 60’s and 70’s in what is considered winter there. You can even take off and cruise in Alaska or Nova Scotia or camp out in the great state of Maine. Those trips would definitely do the trick except for one tiny problem. They can cost you a small fortune and if you are traveling with your family, kiss your financial peace of mind good-bye and say hello to Mr. Credit Card Debt! So what can you do to stay cool this summer without burning big bucks? Here’s my list of cool low- or no-cost ways to stay fresh, save you money, and not go into a costly “hot money mess”! Continue reading

How to Invest in Real Estate When You Don’t Have a Lot of Time

Today’s guest post on maximizing your time when investing in real estate is from fellow blogger Kayla Sloan. 

I don’t know about you, but time is something I never seem to have enough of.

There’s always at least one more thing on my “To Do” list at the end of each day than I have the time to accomplish. Maybe it’s because my goals and optimism of how much I can accomplish each day are too lofty.

If you don't have much time, there are still ways you can invest in real estate. Here are 3 different ways to maximize your time with real estate investing.

If this sounds all too similar to what you experience in your own daily life you should know that one thing not to put off until tomorrow is investing.

Perhaps you’ve considered investing in the past and ruled out putting money into real estate investments due to a lack time in your busy schedule to flip houses or manage rentals. But the good news is, those are not the only ways to invest in real estate and it is possible to do even when you don’t have a lot of time. Continue reading

My New Cable TV Savings Thanks to a Little Complaining

Watching TV, having a telephone, and using the internet have become so dammed expensive these days, which is one reason people are “cutting the cord” left and right. My cable TV bill is now the same price as my monthly gas and electric bill is and that’s really ridiculous! But if you’re not ready to leave cable, for whatever reason, what can you do?

Lots of people are cutting the cord to cable TV, but you can still get savings with your cable package. Here's how I got my latest deal and saved a bundle.

This year, somehow they snuck in charging us to watch good old regular TV shows on demand if they are older than a few weeks. This is something I didn’t even know about until I went to view one episode of something I have missed on my DVR. This isn’t a movie or a special pay per view event, it’s a TV show! They all used to be free until this year. Continue reading

Yard Sale 2017 or How I Cleaned Out the Closets…Again!

You’ve probably heard the old law that your possessions will increase to fill the space available for their storage. Even if you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably experienced it in your own home. I currently live here in central NJ with my wife in a condo: 2 bedrooms and 2 baths with living room, dining room and eat-in kitchen. It’s about 1,200 square feet in total.  It’s very nice, just too small for all our stuff. Or more correctly, our stuff is too big for our home.  Here’s a solution…a yard sale!

We all have too much stuff, but there's a solution...have a yard sale! Here's some tips on having a successful sale and how my yard sale went.

Frankly, all my life I have been used to a lot more living space than we have now and that had resulted in some serious space problems. I’m not sure if you will believe me, but we both still have things in the original boxes from the time we both moved into this home. Those original boxes are still taped shut and enclose some things that might be older than your kids or even you who may be reading this post! Literally, almost every square inch of our closet space is totally packed with “stuff”. I complain about it almost every day but I’ve been so lazy about it that that’s all I have done. I’m really good about complaining. Continue reading

Resource: The Definitive Guide to Mortgages

A few weeks ago, I wrote about tips for mortgage shopping, but since then, InvestmentZen has published a monster guide to mortgages that’s worth a read if home shopping is in your future. Here’s a few words from Tiffany of InvestmentZen:

Purchasing a home is a major financial decision. For a lot of us, it may be the biggest single financial decision we make during our lifetime. Given its importance – it’s surprising how many of us actually have a very poor understanding of the finances behind a real estate transaction, especially when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Securing a mortgage can be a complicated, as there are many different parties involved in the process along with industry jargon, but it is essential to understand because it can mean saving thousands of dollars over time. Failure to understand your mortgage and its potential effect on your finances could not only result in lost money that could be saved for retirement or other financial goals, but as many discovered during the great recession – it could mean losing your house.

The terms of a mortgage are very important for a home-buyer to understand. The difference in terms could mean thousands of dollars paid over the lifetime of the loan, which usually run for 30 years. There are many different types of loans, each of which have varying rates. These different types are also essential to understand in order to ensure that a homebuyer receives the best rate possible.

While it can be confusing, here is an easy-to-understand guide that walks through the steps of getting a mortgage in four chapters. The chapters cover a basic understanding of mortgages, the types of loans available, what factors affect a mortgage rate, and the application process. Though reading about mortgages isn’t exactly exciting, if you’re thinking of buying a house, this guide does a great job of breaking down everything you need to think about when applying for a mortgage.

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

How Will You Pay Off Your Biggest Debt? Your Home Mortgage

If you are a homeowner, you probably know the feeling that you are under a tremendous weight and that you will probably be in debt for the next 20-30 years, or possibly even the rest of your life! It can be hugely depressing when you look at that and the likelihood that a mortgage will become a very close “friend” of yours—forever. It’s a huge decision to buy a home and more likely than not, it will be the biggest financial decision that you will ever make. Scary?

Most homeowners have a mortgage, but don't think about how to pay off the mortgage. Here's how to pay it off in your high-earning years before retirement.

In 2015, about 62% of all Americans owned their own homes, a number that’s been pretty consistent over the past 20 years (although there has been a decline since 2000). Here’s the scary part. Less than one third of all those homeowners actually own their homes free and clear, and that means that the majority of them have, wait for it…a mortgage! Continue reading

Home Renovations That (Almost) Pay for Themselves

Please welcome Sarah Landrum from Punched Clocks for today’s guest post on home renovations.

Pop quiz: Is your home perfect, or is there room for improvement? Answer: Room for improvement, right? Whether you want to repaint the dining room or swap out the drapes, there’s always something that could use some sprucing up. The real issue becomes whether your renovations are going to merely look good or add actual value to your home.

Before you make any plans for home renovations, check out this list of upgrades that practically pay for themselves in adding value to your home.

Hopefully, they can do both. Here are some home renovations that almost pay for themselves. Continue reading

Living Large and Saving Money in a Tiny House

It was just a couple of years ago when I first heard of a new trend growing in and around my area. In NYC, they were building tiny apartments in some of the most expensive and sought after locations in Manhattan. There were places where the rents were just astronomical and only the rich and famous could dwell. Tiny apartments? It was something that certainly peaked my curiosity quite a bit. After all, haven’t most of us always thought the concept of bigger is better as the way we should go?

Could you ever see yourself living in a tiny house? It can be a great way to save on expenses, but more than that, it's a lifestyle.

I became even more curious and puzzled when I found out some of the details. I thought, what is tiny anyway? Most of the people I knew where always looking for a nice big place to live. You know the kind I mean with multiple bedrooms, an office, and an eat-in kitchen, and yes a couple of bathrooms too. That is an apartment! Continue reading

Moving to Another City: Are You Ready?

Today’s guest post on moving to another city is sponsored by CO-OP Financial Services.

On average more than 40 million people move each year in the U.S. and it is estimated that 80% of those moves occur between April and September. If you’re considering moving to a major city, to pursue career opportunities, be closer to family, or just a change of scenery, you’ll want to be well prepared to make the big transition. Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure it’s the right decision for you:

Moving to another city can be a big undertaking. There's lots to consider when making this decision so here are some tips to get you on the right track. Continue reading