Tag Archives: saving

Money Monday: Should you rent or buy real estate?

Trying to figure out if renting or buying is best for your family? Thinking about a few questions can help you answer this question.

real estate buying or renting

“Homeownership was once the cornerstone of the American Dream, but times are changing. More U.S. households are renting today than at any point in the last 50 years, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.”

  1. How long are you planning on living there?
  2. Consider all of the hidden costs associated with both renting and owning.
  3. Are you saving and investing? Or throwing your money away?

Read more on CNN’s article here: “Should you rent or buy a home?”

Money Monday: Financial priorities of the generations

Each generation has a different priority when it comes to their finances.

Our nation’s different generations (centennials, millennials, xers, boomers, matures) place five categories in different order of importance. While some focus on building a nest egg, others concentrate on paying down debt, keeping a budget and controlling spending, saving money for emergencies or what-ifs, or saving for something specific.

Financial priorities of the generations

This inforgraphic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: 5 Quick Ways to Save Money

Do you want to have more money?

“Silly question, right? Who doesn’t want some extra cash? The good news is, there are simple things you can do in just 20 minutes to avoid wasting your hard-earned dollars. Jump right in and get started to take advantage of the savings.”

save money

Photo by 401kcalculator.org

1. Ask your credit card company for a reduced interest rate or an annual-fee waiver

2. Cancel a service that isn’t providing value

3. Raise your insurance deductible (if you can cover it)

4. Optimize your home’s energy efficiency

5. Optimize your car

Read all about these ways to save money on Money.CNN.com’s article here: “5 ways to save money in 20 minutes or less.”

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.”

personal finance

Money Monday: Frugal living rules

Living below your means is crucial if you’re to get ahead financially.

Being financially frugal is not just an old-fashioned trend that you can disregard in this life. MSN has a basic list of how and why to be frugal, with the article “6 Rules for Living Frugally”. Their rules?

  1. Really know your money

  2. Live below (not just within) your income

  3. Realize there’s a distinction between spending and investing

  4. Buy quality, not always cheapest

  5. Avoid debt

  6. Take time to distinguish between wants and needs

There’s so much more to their list than just this, though — read MSN’s article for more information: “6 Rules for Living Frugally”, by the Daily Bread, published April 9, 2016 at http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/everydaymoney/6-rules-for-living-frugally/ar-BBrwO5l#page=1.

 

Money Monday: New Year’s resolution: Start investing

Are you in the 1%? Congratulations! This article isn’t for you. For everyone else, make a New Year’s resolution to get into the 50% club.CheapFullCoverageAutoInsurance.com

“About half of Americans own stocks. They understand the secret to getting wealthy and financially healthy.

“The U.S. stock market has been on steroids. It’s gained about 200% since 2009. The rich (and many people in the middle class) have figured out that you can make money without getting off the couch.

“You can do it too.

“As many CNNMoney articles show, people can become millionaires by saving and investing. Here’s how to get started in 2016.”

1. Enroll in your 401k plan at work

2. Invest your ‘extra’ cash

3. Download an app (or two)

4. Talk about money with friends

This article and information is from Money.CNN.com; read the full article here: “New Year’s resolution: Start investing”.

 

 

 

Money Monday: Americans are saving more than spending

Americans are saving faster than they are spending.

money“It’s a key shift in spending habits that started during the Great Recession. And the trend continues as we head into the holiday shopping season this weekend.

“The savings rate in the United States rose to 5.6% in October — its highest mark in nearly three years. In September, the savings rate was 5.3%. Put another way, Americans put aside an extra $40 billion in October rather than spend it.

“The personal consumption expenditure, a measure of spending, only rose 0.1% between September and October…”

This article is from CNN Money. Read more of this article at CNN Money here.

Four steps to buying a house in 2012

Q: I am on a mission to buy a home. I’ve wanted to own a home my entire life, and thought I would miss the opportunity to buy while the market was down, because I had no real savings when the market crashed. I think I’m ready, though, and prices still seem low. What should I be doing now to make this happen in 2012?

A: The recession has done lots of favors for buyers-to-be, including dropping prices and interest rates to bargain levels. But it has also created a lending and housing market climate in which loans are tough to get, tensions about buying into a down market run high, and transactions are harder and longer to close than they have ever been.

Here are the things to do now, to buy a home this year:

1. Fix credit problems. More deals than ever are dying on the vine, and credit problems are a top reason home-sale transactions fall out of escrow. Detect and correct errors on your credit report now by reviewing the federally mandated free reports you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com.

2. Study up. Do some research, both online and offline, into things like:

Areas: Start your online research into decision points like tax rates, school districts, neighborhood character and even prices in various areas. Check out NabeWise.com for some local insight into neighborhood flavor and personality.

When you start connecting with local agents, ask them to brief you on neighborhood market dynamics. They can give you a deeper view into need-to-knows like how long homes typically stay on the market and whether they generally go for more or less than the asking price, so you can be smart about how you search vis-à-vis what you have to spend.

Agents: This is the perfect time to ask your family and friends for a referral to an agent they know, have used and love. Then, follow up by doing an online search for the agent’s name and seeing what sort of online reviews and activities you find. When you’ve narrowed the field down to a few, call them up and set up a meeting to find out if you’re a good fit.

Distressed properties: In some areas, more than 40 percent of the homes on the market are short sales and foreclosures, and they involve a very different timeline and set of facts than traditional home sales. Read up and talk with the agent candidates you interview about what you should expect from these types of listings, to minimize surprise and manage your expectations way in advance.

3. Save even more. Sounds like you’ve worked hard for a number of years to save enough cash that you think you’re in the clear when it comes to funding your down payment and closing costs. Studies show that after months of saving, people often let up and relax into a spending season. Even at your early stage in the process, it’s easy to start noticing and buying the furnishings and touches you want to install in your new home.

Although you shouldn’t feel deprived or forgo amazing and affordable deals on things you know you’re going to need, rest assured that no matter what amount of cash you have on hand, when you start house hunting, making offers, closing your transaction or moving in, the time will definitely come when you’ll wish you had more.

You might want to ratchet up your offer a bit to best another buyer, or you might just end up with a place that needs a little sprucing up. It might be months before you know exactly what you’ll need extra cash for, but now is not the time to press the gas pedal when it comes to your monthly spending.

4. Purge. Now’s the time to sell, donate or give away as much of your personal possessions as you can. Use the proceeds to pad your cash cushion, or tuck the donation receipts away for your tax records next year.

Start here, and chances are good that your house hunt — and purchase — will be in full swing by spring, if not sooner.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is an author and the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com.