Have you ever gotten through the month and breathed a sigh of relief because there was still a little bit of money left in your bank account? It’s a great feeling but sometimes it almost feels like a mystery. How did I do that? Why was this month such a good one compared to most others? Most of us are used to feeling stressed out because most of the time our money is tight.
As ridiculous as this might sound, when I look at my monthly scorecard of what I spend and what my income was compared to my budget, I think about it like it is my NFL season record. You know, when I come in under my expense budget I feel like that’s a win and when I don’t it’s like a loss. I’d really love to have a 12-0 season, but frankly that hasn’t happened…yet. Continue reading
Being back from my very brief holiday respite and having had the chance to recharge my battery, I have to tell you I was really infuriated by all of the cable news stations while trying to relax at home. Their ways of reporting on everything from politics to finances, especially when we get a rare “slow” news day, sometimes is all about the unusual, weird, and often just plain hard-to-believe stories that defy logic. One such story aired on CNBC when it reported on: “Owning a home may help you save some money, but it won’t help you make money and build wealth”.
According to CNBC’s reporting, young people are better off taking control of their finances and renting than buying their home and relying on fluctuating home values based on the research findings of a recent study conducted by Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and the University of Wyoming.
To my way of thinking that’s a bunch of BS, study or not. While it is certainly very true that young people just out of college and beginning their careers are probably not in a position to buy a home, their goal can and perhaps should be to do so once they are in a better financial place. Continue reading
Sunday evening around 9:30 pm, my wife and I were sitting in our living room watching a movie when we heard the sounds of a fire engine racing nearby and saw the flashing lights outside of our window. At first we didn’t pay too much attention to it, but a minute later a second, third, and more engines started to turn in across the street in our condo complex along with several police cars and ambulances. Before you could say holy sh*t, we realized that someone’s condo was in the middle of a serious blaze. It was a complete shocker and very scary.
Fires can happen, we all know that!
Living in a condo where over 400 units are so close together makes the thought of a fire even more dramatic. A fire in one home easily spreads quickly and can engulf an entire block of homes in a short period of time. Even if you live in a single family home on a plain somewhere in Montana, a fire can happen and kill someone or ruin your home and life. Continue reading
I’m fortunate enough to live in a nice neighborhood, but last year when I learned there had been some break-ins nearby, I started thinking about the security of my home. According to the FBI, in 2015 more than 1.5 million burglaries occurred in the U.S. for an estimated $3.6 billion in property losses. It’s something you may not think about until something happens near you, or to you, but it’s important to be prepared. Of course an easy solution is to get an alarm system, or a DIY security system, but they can be pricey. Today I’m going to look at some ways to achieve affordable home security so you can protect your family and your possessions.
Affordable Home Security Tips
While you probably can’t stop a determined burglar, there’s a lot you can do to make your home more secure, and less appealing to criminals. Continue reading
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?
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
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 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
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?
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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