Tag Archives: personal finance

Money Monday: How to know if you’re living beyond your means

“It’s a frightening statistic that 47% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 to cover an unplanned expense. Yet nearly half of today’s workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with no financial cushion whatsoever, and a big part of the reason boils down to living beyond our means.”

(“3 signs you’re living beyond your means.” CNN Money. 19 Sept 2017.  http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/19/pf/living-beyond-your-means/index.html?iid=SF_LN)

Some indicators that you’re not spending within your budget:

  1. You have a low credit score
  2. Your rent or mortgage payment is more than 30% of your income
  3. You’re not saving at all

Read why these are signs that you’re living too high on the hog here.

Money Monday: the Equifax hack

Worried about the Equifax hack?

Equifax

“The names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers for 143 million people may have been accessed. That kind of information could be used by someone else to open bank accounts, credit cards and loans in your name.

“The credit card numbers of an additional 209,000 people were also accessed. Those people will be notified directly. Everyone else must go to a website created by Equifax and submit their last name and last six digits of their Social Security number to find out if they were affected.” (“5 things to do right now if you’re worried about the Equifax hack.” 10 Sept. 2017. CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/09/pf/what-to-do-equifax-hack/index.html?iid=SF_LN

If you’re worried, here are some things you can do right now:

  1. Check your free credit reports to see if anything shows up
  2. Put a fraud alert on your credit reports and credit cards
  3. Pay attention to your bank accounts and credit cards for any suspicious purchases or withdrawals

Read more of CNN’s suggestions here: “5 things to do right now if you’re worried about the Equifax hack.”

Money Monday: Homebuying myths you need to avoid

Don’t fall for these 6 homebuying myths

home buying

“Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, and you’ll likely need to do a lot of planning and research before you take the leap. But don’t get snagged by misconceptions. Mortgage expert Tim Manni busts these six common real estate myths to help you find — and afford — your first home.”

  1. Your credit score is “good enough” to buy a home
  2. Loan pre-approval determines your price range
  3. Your home purchase is non-negotiable

Read the three other homebuying myths here, on Yahoo’s personal finance page: “Don’t fall for these 6 homebuying myths.”

 

Money Monday: Common Home Buying Expenses

When home buyers purchase real estate, they often don’t factor in other expenses that they may incur.

Your new home is certainly a large expense, but have you considered the other purchases that may go hand-in-hand with that home’s cost?

Common home buying expenses for real estate buyers

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, available here.

Money Monday: Mortgage Lenders are Trying to Make it Easier to Buy

As prices rise, mortgage lenders are making it easier to buy a house.

mortgage rates and property taxes

Source: Los Angeles Times

Some prices are rising across the country and mortgage rates, though still historically low, are up since the presidential election.

Simply put, buying a home isn’t easy, especially in high-cost metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles County, where the median price of a home hit $569,000 in June.

But changes in the mortgage industry are afoot, with the goal of loosening some of the strict standards established after the subprime crisis — rules some blame for impeding sales.

“The reality has sunk in that there are buyers out there who will be able to buy homes and make the mortgage payments,” said William E. Brown, the president of the National Assn. of Realtors. The industry is “trying to give them more options to buy a house.”

Government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are paving the way by rolling out new programs to encourage home ownership.

The companies, with their congressional mandate to promote home ownership, don’t originate loans, but purchase mortgages from lenders to keep the market moving. And any changes they make in the underwriting standards for the loans they buy can have a big effect.

Read the full story

Money Monday: 4 Things to do before retiring

Make sure you prepare for retirement by doing these four things before you actually retire from the workforce:

save money

Photo by 401kcalculator.org

  1. Save up enough to cover at least three months’ worth of living expenses
  2. Pay off your house mortgage
  3. Get rid of all credit card debt first
  4. Amass a large enough nest egg to replace 80% of your yearly income”

Read more about these four financial tips at Money.CNN.com.

Money Monday: Easy ways to save money

“While accumulating a large chunk of cash isn’t likely to happen overnight, if you start small, you can gradually build your savings so that you have a financial safety net in place. With that goal in mind, here are 10 ways you can save $300 a month — without having to make yourself utterly miserable in the process.”

save money

Photo by 401kcalculator.org

  1. Refinance your mortgage
  2. Lower your housing costs
  3. Do it yourself
  4. Entertain yourself for free (often there’s some great free events happening in San Diego County!)
  5. Get a side job

This tips and quote is from CNN — find out five other ways you can easily save money here, on CNN’s article: “10 ridiculously easy ways to save $300 a month.”