Tag Archives: personal finance

Money Monday: Reasons Not to Purchase a Home with All-Cash

Even if you have the financial means to put in an all-cash offer, you may not want to do so.

All-cash offers can be more appealing to home-sellers, but you also need to take into consideration the other aspects of paying so much cash upfront.

All-cash offers in today's real estate market

  1. Will you have enough liquidity left? At least a few thousand dollars left in your pocket is ideal. You may have repairs, upgrades you desire to make, and increased utility and maintenance costs for your new house — not to mention your typical costs and unexpected financial needs (such as medical bills or suddenly losing employment).
  2. What if you easily qualify for a mortgage? Interest rates are still on the low-side, and by obtaining a mortgage to purchase a house, you would be able to keep a large chunk of your finances.
  3. Paying all-cash means you miss out on a tax break. When you have a mortgage, you are able to receive a tax break on the interest paid to the mortgage lender.
  4. & 5. reasons are available to read at Finance.Yahoo.com: “5 Reasons Not to Purchase Your Home With Cash.”

Money Monday: Last-Minute Tax Advice

With just a day before the April 18 deadline to file your taxes, here’s a few last minute tips.

  1. File! Even if you don’t have all the money to pay, it’s much better to file a return than to not file at all. “The penalties for not filing a tax return are 10 times greater than those for filing but not being able to pay taxes due.” (Money.CNN.com. “5 last-minute tax tips you need to know now.” http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/13/pf/taxes/tax-tips/index.html?iid=SF_LN)
  2. You can file for an extension. It’s simple and quick to do on the IRS website, and it will buy you some time. Just be aware that late-payment penalties will be tacked on, beginning after the April 18 deadline.
  3. You can still get professional help. One place to go for help is the VITA program; the “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides specially trained IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers that can help taxpayers with basic income-tax preparation needs.” (Money.CNN.com. “5 last-minute tax tips you need to know now.” http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/13/pf/taxes/tax-tips/index.html?iid=SF_LN)
  4. Two more key tips available here on Money.CNN.com: “5 last-minute tax tips you need to know now.”

Money Monday: Preparing to Buy a Home

Buying a home — it’s a big decision; one that you should prepare for in advance.

buyers and sellers real estate disclosures“One of the most important things a first-time homebuyer can do is prepare their budget for this big financial event.” (“How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/prepare-budget-buying-first-home-123000854.html)

And there’s a few key ways that you can get your budget in order:

  1. Work on getting your credit score up
  2. Save for a down payment on a house
  3. Prepare for extra costs when buying

Read more on Yahoo’s financial advice on prepping your budget before buying here: “How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”.

Money Monday: Ask Yourself These Questions Before Renting or Buying

Whether to buy or rent doesn’t necessarily have a clear-cut answer. But hopefully these questions will provide some guidance:

  1. What’s your top financial priority?
  2. What do you have savings for: down payment or first and last months’ rent?
  3. How long do you plan on living in the area?

There’s five more questions to ask yourself before you rent or buy; find them here on Yahoo: “8 Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding to Rent or Buy a House.”

Money Monday: Investing wisdom from Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is renowned for his financial and investing wisdom.

Here’s just a few gems from him:

  1. “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years”
  2. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing”
  3. Most people should avoid individual stocks.
  4. Remember to give back.

Read about all seven over on the Motley Fool’s article, “7 Personal Finance Tips From Warren Buffett”, by Matthew Frankel.

Money Monday: Top Budgeting Tips

If you haven’t been successful at sticking to your budget yet, perhaps you just need a refresher on how to best make your budget work.

piggy bank saving

photo from 401kcalculator.org

  1. Set and stick to your budget — number one on making the budget work!
  2. If you’re constantly overspending, try sticking to an all-cash budget. Handing over crisp bills instead of your credit card hurts far more!
  3. Make your financial priorities top…priority! After each paycheck, set aside how much you know you’ll need for that month, on: rent or mortgage payment, utility bills, grocery budget, and any other monthly expenses.
  4. Check in financially every day or week. It’s difficult to keep spending in check if you don’t keep on how you’re doing — which may make you uncomfortably and unnecessarily stretch those dollars too much at the end of the month.

These ideas (and many more!) are from The Muse’s article here: “50 Personal Finance Tips That Will Change the Way You Think About Money.”

Money Monday: Financial Fitness of the Generations

Members of the different generations view their financial situations in various ways.

The different generations — Millenials, Gen Xers, Boomers and Matures — view their financial situations in different ways: financially comfortable, have just enough to get by, or financially struggling.

Financial Fitness of the generations

This infograhic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: Questions to Ask Before You Retire

Sometimes it’s difficult to plan financially for the future when you also need to worry about here and now.

However, if you don’t think ahead, you most likely will be in for a rude awakening come retirement age. Now is not too early to be thinking and planning for retirement; and to help you, here are three questions from Time.com to think about:

  1. Will you be able to replace enough money to retire while maintaining your standard of living?
  2. What are you investing in? There are general investment recommendations here.
  3. What will retirement look like?

Read all of Time.com’s article on Yahoo here: “Ready to Retire? Better Ask Yourself These 3 Questions First.”