How Selling Your Unwanted Vehicle Can Save Money and Time

Selling your junk vehicle can help save you money and time. Additionally, you can earn quick money that can help you procure a new vehicle. Selling an unwanted vehicle is never too late, regardless of the condition that the automobile is in. However, selling an unwanted car sooner will help you to start taking the advantages of the associated savings and benefits.  Here are ways you can save cash and time by selling your car.

Save time

Selling an unwanted vehicle to private buyers can be a realistic option if the car is in perfect condition. However, you may have challenges getting a buyer if the car has any problems. As a result, you may end up frustrated, especially if the buyers you get do not want to purchase your vehicle. For this reason, you may end up wasting money and time seeking a willing buyer. By selling your unwanted vehicle to a vehicle buying company, you can save time and money. All you need to do is make a call and the vehicle will be towed away, usually within 24 hours.

Cut on monthly costs

Many people still pay insurance on their unwanted vehicles. Even though it can be minimal, basic insurance, you will be wasting money on insurance costs and monthly maintenance for your old vehicle. Furthermore, the cost of maintaining and repairing an old vehicle will typically be higher than the cost of maintaining a newer vehicle model. Therefore, stop wasting money on an old vehicle and invest in buying a new car instead.

Stress-free process

Having a company tow away your vehicle is the easiest and fasted way of getting rid of your unwanted vehicle. All you need to do is call the company or visit their website and fill out an online form. Within a few hours, you will be saying goodbye to your vehicle and you will have extra cash to spend on whatever you want. Most businesses will make the junkmycar process easy for everyone and they will also allow you to get online quotes so that you can know how much your unwanted vehicle is worth.

Free towing services

In the past, vehicle owners had to look for suitable places for disposing of their vehicles. Additionally, they had to look for ways of getting their cars there. This can be quite a challenge, especially if your vehicle is not moving. Today, you can take advantage of the free towing services offered when you sell your unwanted vehicle. A bonded, insured, and licensed truck driver will come to your location at the agreed-upon time and with the cash in hand.

Make quick cash

With the stress-free and easy process, you can get rid of your old guzzler and get quick money on the spot. This means that you will not have to wait for payment arrangements or check when you sell your unwanted vehicle. You can always walk away with instant money or have the cash deposited into your bank account the same day your vehicle is towed away.

At some point, you will have to get rid of your old, worn out vehicle. Today, getting cash for junk vehicles is quite easy. Some companies will tow these vehicles away, sell off some of their parts or crush them and then melt the metal down. There are a lot of benefits of selling off your junk vehicle instead of letting it rot away on your driveway. So shop around and find a company that will purchase your vehicle in the condition that it is in.

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5 Tricks to Help You Sell Your House Faster

Making a sell needs more than just commitment for any homeowner who has made up their mind regarding disposing of this important asset. It needs connections, passion, dedication, and communicating the right words when a potential buyer shows up. If these tricks are used perfectly as explained, you will never hassle again when it comes to selling your house or helping a friend do so. Save yourself the stress that comes with selling a house. Here are tricks on how to sell your home faster.

Set the right price

Price will determine whether you will be able to sell your house or not. You need to be keen when setting the price. This may drive away or invite potential buyers. All you need to do is price your house correctly and make sure it is worth the money you have quoted. Be flexible and put yourself in the shoes of the buyer as well by weighing all the available options so that you set the right price. If possible, get a qualified property valuation expert to help you to come up with a competitive price.

Consider the season

Every product has a booming season where the demand is higher than usual. Similar factors must be taken into account when selling your house. As a seller, check the dates and season when demand for houses for sale is high. You can ask for guidance from a professional who has been in the industry longer than you. Most will advise you to do it over the winter season when families are going for vacations. Demand for houses is always higher than normal.

Organize minor upgrading

From experience, you can increase your chances of selling your house by upgrading or remodeling some areas that are in poor condition. This is an investment that you will not regret. Put your focus on the key areas like the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. You can mow your lawns, install new drawers in the kitchen, and clean up your driveway. You can also add cabinets in the bedroom and paint them nicely. Such small upgrades may impress potential buyers such as Miami home buyers who may decide to buy it straight away.

Online marketing

Thanks to technology, buyers and sellers can now locate each other online. As a homeowner, you need to take advantage of such platforms to sell your home faster. The trick is to make sure you present yourself well by taking beautiful pictures of your house and posting them on various online platforms. Potential buyers will get in touch with you when they see your posts. Remember to leave your contacts and location for easier and quick tracing. Be straight to the point with the words that accompany pictures of the house. To be on the safe side, you can hire a professional photographer to take the pictures if possible since they know the key points and places that people look at most.

Get a good real estate agent

You can also get a serious and professional real estate agent. Most of them have connections that will help you get a potential buyer. You can locate the best real estate brokers through friends, workmates or from the internet. Have a one-on-one meeting with your broker since most of their services come at a fee.

If you have decided to sell off your residential property, you need to make the transition swift and smooth by using the above tricks. They will help you make a sell before the sun comes up again.

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Things to Consider Before Buying and Installing Carports

Many may have to think of an additional carport to their home to house their extra car, boat, or caravan. You can also consider it if you want to add more space to your living area at home. To avoid hassles while installing a carport, it is essential to know a few things. Let’s discuss those.

Whether the local building codes allow installing an extra carport

Before purchasing a carport and installing it, it is essential to check the local ordinances to see if there is any restriction for carports. Some of the local administration have put forth some size restrictions as to how much space should be there between a carport and the home etc. Regulations may change from place to place as if you are living in a city or a rural area.

Are there any underground objects or utility lines?

You have to check it out with the local utility administrators to ensure that there is no gas lines, power lines, or other pipes underneath the area where you are planning to install the carport. Digging at such regions can be dangerous as the installation of carport requires digging in for fixing several posts and anchoring them properly. The septic system also needed to be checked as the weight of cars parked here may damage such systems.

Size of the carport to be installed

If you are planning for installing a carport for vehicles, then it is essential to know the right size for optimum protection. Pay close attention to space between multiple vehicles if you are planning to park more cars. As a rule of thumb, the mid-sized conventional vehicles may fit under the standard 18′ carports, and full-sized vehicles will require 20′- 22′ carports. Measure your vehicles for a carport from side to side, front to back, and top to bottom to plan the size before your order to choose the right sized carport for your purpose.

Is your surface level?

Make sure that you do a thorough check of the area where you are planning to install a new carport. At the first point, make sure that the area is level. Normal Carports Adelaide installations will make your ground 3 to 4 inches out of level. If the surface is found to be more than 4″ out of level, then the legs of the carport may be needed to be resized to level the unit.

Are there any unique features needed based on your local climate?

Different areas of Australia have different weather conditions, and you should plan your carport accordingly. If you are in a location with frequent high winds are prevalent, the carpet needs to withstand it. At places of heavy snowfall, you have to choose carports which may withstand heavy snow loads. Ensure that you discuss all these with the sale executive and ask questions to see what they recommend the best for your climate.

Remember, it is so easy to get carried away while you are eager to get any job done at the earliest. However, there are several things to be considered before you install a carport, so take your time and do a thorough baseline evaluation before making any decision.

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Building Inspection Tips – Working with a New Home Hand-Over Inspection

When the builders complete their construction works, they contact the city administration and have the inspectors run their routine inspections. Once the city approves it, the builder may typical give a chance for you to walk through or do a building inspection on your own. It is the time when you get an opportunity to inspect your future.

Just because the construction passed the initial city inspection, it doesn’t mean everything is perfect. They usually verify that the building is constructed by meeting the code. Typically, the city inspectors may not care for the cosmetic flaws, and they also may not inspect the issues like a leaky faucet or scratch on the floor.

Tips for a successful building inspection

A reliable provider can be approached for a home-owner building inspection to identify the flaws and get it done by the builder to your satisfaction. Here are some essential elements to know while working with a building inspector.

Prepare your list

The builder’s representative or inspector is not sufficiently reliable when you have to make the home inspection checklist. It is always better to prepare your list for inspection. Also, make sure that you get the proof of delivery of the listing to the builder. You can get the assistance of a building inspections Melbourne expert to prepare this checklist to avoid any dispute later.

Ensure that the following items are there is on your list for sure:

Electrical

  • Inspection of each fixture to ensure proper installation and that there are no broken parts.
  • Turn each light on and off to ensure proper working.
  • Plug in an apparatus to every electrical outlet to make sure it functions.
  • Test the doorbell, two-way switches, and power switches for proper functionality.

Plumbing fixtures

  • Turn on and off all faucets to ensure all works efficiently.
  • Run all plumbing fixture for five to ten minutes, check for any leak at the base, drips through the faucet, or leak through the walls.

Heating and cooling

  • Turn the heater on and listen to its working.
  • Check the air coming out of vents.
  • Check if the convectors or radiators are getting warm during working.
  • Set the thermostat five degrees over room temperature to check its function.
  • Turn the air conditioner on and listen to how it’s working.
  • Check the air quality coming out of the vents.
  • Set the thermostat five degrees below room temperature.

Other significant considerations to make are

Kitchen – Countertops, cabinets, drawers, and other appliances.

Bath – Inspect the bathtub, sink, shower, and toilet.

Windows – Check the glasses for cracks, fast closing and easy opening, hinges, and hardware.

Doors – Easy opening and closing, paint, top and bottom edges lock and unlock.

Walls – Check for the finish and smoothness, drywall, nail heads, and color correction.

Floors – Check for floor moldings, smooth finish, broken or chipped floor tiles.

Decks and porch – Check for the sturdiness, any exposed screws or nails.

Garage – Door opening and closing and the electric light bulb etc.

Along with the interiors, the exterior also needs to be thoroughly inspected well. An ideal checklist is a way to tell the builder what you need to make your home completed before purchase. The help of a skilled and licensed inspector will be handy if you want to do a thorough home inspection check.

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The cost-effective way of protecting one’s vehicle from harsh weather

An individual always wants to design the best possible house as his/her residence. In life, a person acquires several – some of these are for luxury while others are necessary. A car or personal vehicle is a kind of object that is both viewed as an essential item and as a luxurious one. Depending on the situation its definition as an artifact in one’s life changes but one thing can be said with absolute certainty that it requires a lump sum as an investment. Hence the car that you buy is a valuable item. Thus it should be kept in a place that is secure and suitable. Protecting your car from harsh weather conditions and keeping it in a safe space is crucial for a car owner.

Defining a carport

While many people can opt for building a garage that offers maximum safety when it comes to keeping a car, but it is not always possible to make it due to budget issues. A garage has four walls and the covered ceiling, but in the case of a carport, there is the maximum of two walls. Hence a carport can be defined as a financially suitable structure that is constructed to keep the car protected from rain and snowfall. But as the absence of four walls characterizes it, it is a lighter structure. Also as the car is not inside four walls, it deters the formation of frost especially on the windshield and allows better ventilation. You can even compare it to a shade that offers protection from the elements of nature.

Design of a carport

Being situated in an open space designing the carport properly is important. The location of the carport depends on the central plan of the building. Some carports are constructed as a grand structure at the entrance while others are on the side of the house. The location is therefore wholly dependent on the suitability of the owner of the house. The carports are variously designed and can range from a pure overhead covering to an ornately and elaborately designed structure that project out from the wall of the main building. The choice of design entirely depends on the taste and budget of the person who wishes to build a carport. Carports Adelaide has a variety of designs which can be browsed by interested clients.

The change observed in the usage of carports

The ensuing development has also modified the usage of carports. Initially, people used carports only for keeping cars in a ventilated zone. But with the passage of time temporary carports have been developed that are movable. Even the concept of carports is utilized for creating shades using lightweight metals like tin or aluminum. For awning purposes, the carport structure keeps out direct sunlight or torrential downpour.

Carports are still widely used to keep cars safe from harsh weather. It is quite functional and easy to build because the metals used are not massive but sturdy thus offering considerable protection to vehicles in all types of weather conditions.

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Invest in The Best Electric Mini Bike and Enjoy a pollution free commute

A minibike or mini moto or a pocket bike as the name states is a miniature motorcycle. Some fundamental differences between standard motorbikes and mini versions are apparent. The latter is small, is more portable, cheaper and of course lighter. Do not underestimate a minibike for its miniature size because despite being small it is fast, reliable, efficient and is available in assorted designs and types. An electric mini bike will offer you plenty of freedom with regards to commuting around the city. These bikes are small and easy to maneuver compared to a standard bike. The good news is it will occupy less space in the office or backyard. Although it is small you need to take some precautions while driving it- wear a helmet, avoid driving too fast especially in crowded areas and most importantly do not take eyes off the street.  

Who Should Purchase an Electric Mini Bike?

An electric bike will be an ideal choice for those who are trying their hands at riding for the first time, those who desire in practicing tricks, children who wish to go for a spin or any person who wants a more recreational and slightly smaller vehicle than a motorcycle. An electric mini bike will have a speed limit ranging from 20-65 mph which means you can have a natural control on it and this will help you to avoid falling prey to significant accidents.

Where to Ride an Electric Mini Bike?

It is essential to know as to where you can ride an electric mini bike. You should be aware of the fact that you cannot ride these bikes on the streets regardless of the type of tires they come with. So, consider your needs before investing in one.  

Features that Lure

When you invest in the best Electric Minibike, you can take pleasure of the following benefits namely,

  • Easy Pedaling– Electric or e-mini bikes are nothing but regular bicycles which come with a battery-powered pedal assist. Just hop on the pedal and push it and you will experience that the motor will provide a boost which will help you to zip up the hills. Also known as pedelecs, you can control its speed with the help of your feet just like a regular bike, and you will feel powerful as well as can accelerate quickly.
  • Faster Ride- The more you pedal an electric minibike, the faster you can ride it. Unlike a standard motorbike, you cannot ride it at 45 mph but can hit 20-28 mph depending on the model of the mini bike. This way you can save time by traveling to the office yet take pleasure of the scenery. The best part is you will also have the flexibility of controlling the pedal assist you desire. The majority of the electric mini bikes come with a mounted handlebar or with a power switch. It will enable you to adjust the power, boost from low to high or even turbo to reach your destination as soon as possible.
  • Increase Riding Time– When you get your hands at an excellent electric mini bike you can increase your riding time dramatically; some studies have also indicated this. Before investing in a mini e-bike about 50% of people rode daily or at times weekly, but after purchasing an e-bike, this number jumped to 90% riding it daily or weekly. It makes complete sense. People who are super fit also at times get tired due to training, riding or racing and driving a bike after all this acts as a chore. But in the case of an e-bike, you can enjoy the ride equally while giving a break to your tired legs. You can even ride faster making your longer trips enjoyable. If you are not a frequent rider, this mini bike will help in opening up a new world. They can accomplish long distances easily which will work wonders in building confidence and endurance.
  • An E-bike for Everything– No matter the type of riding you like you will find an electric mini bike that will cater to your needs. These days e-bikes come in various categories- performance road bike, full-suspension mountain bike, hardtail bike, recreational, commuter, cargo bike and fat bike.
  • Better for Daily Errands- By buying an electric mini bike you can reduce your car trips. Why more and more people are investing in an e-bike is for carrying kids and cargo, avoiding traffic and parking and most importantly for environmental concerns.
  • Get Some Exercise- An electric mini bike will do some work for you yet will be counted as an exercise for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Most people who are not fit cannot ride long thus cannot enjoy health and fitness advantages from biking. But when they ride an e-bike, they can ride it for an hour to enjoy some exercise. It will put them on a quicker track to get fit. For people who are very healthy and in excellent shape can still enjoy some form of exercise through electric biking. When you compare commuting from home to office on an e-bike and a cross bike you will discover that in case of the former your efforts will be lower, and you will also burn half of the calories. Overall it will make you more active.
  • Batteries Getting Better- You may think that charging the battery of an electric mini bike can be a challenge. But the good news is the batteries on these bikes are getting better. Now you can expect traveling somewhere between 35-100 miles from a single charge. The range will depend on the battery size and the amount of power the motor draws.

These bikes will help in taking the sting out when it comes to bike riding. It is nothing less than a fountain of youth. Riding such bikes is fun and at the same time will keep you in the pink of health. The icing on the cake is it is safe for the environment.

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Crucial Requirements for Getting a Debt Consolidation Loan

When you are in debt, things could become pretty stressful and dicey. If you are burdened with massive debts, you would be making just the minimum monthly payments but by doing so, you are not gaining financially in any way. The best part is that you still have certain options that may include debt consolidation that could assist you in regaining your financial freedom.

How Would a Debt Consolidation Loan Help for Paying off Debt?

A debt consolidation loan would be helpful in paying off your debts because a lender would be loaning you the money for paying off all your existing debt. For instance, if you are having 3 credit cards and suppose you owe a total of say $20,000; if you request your lender for a debt consolidation loan provided you are eligible for it, they would be lending you the required $20,000. Your existing credit card outstanding balances would be paid off by them and you could close all those accounts. You would now be required to make just a single monthly payment as per schedule to your lender as a repayment for the $20,000 borrowed by you.

Debt consolidation is supposed to be a great option as you could merge all your outstanding debts under one relatively more manageable loan. Careful comparison and meticulous background check of lenders would help you identify the best loan for consolidating your debts.

You must have a realistic budget for your household so that you could stick to it. If you fail to follow a realistic budget, you would be heading towards trouble again. After making a few loan repayments, you would be having issues with making the scheduled monthly payments. Once again you would start defaulting. You would be applying again for brand new credit cards. In such a situation, it is likely that you would soon accumulate more debts, instead of paying off the current debts effectively with a debt consolidation loan.

Are you thinking about ways to qualify for debt consolidation? Loan companies actually concentrate on four crucial factors while evaluating your loan application that would be determining whether you would be eligible for debt consolidation or not. Once you have successfully submitted your loan application, the loan officer would be reviewing your application and thoroughly examine your information and check slightest details related to your credit history.

In this context, you may know that certain loan companies would be using an automated scoring system for ranking your credit while there are still other debt consolidation companies that would be using the services of credit analysts for determining if you are eligible for the debt consolidation loan.

How Could You Be Eligible for a Debt Consolidation Loan?

Getting a debt consolidation loan is actually a qualification process. Different debt consolidation companies have different requirements and rules to follow. However, there are certain things that are commonly required to qualify for a debt consolidation loan.

  • A good credit score that would be meeting the minimum requirement of the lender implying your credit report must not have big negative notes and there should not be too many late or delayed repayments.
  • You are earning a decent income that meets the minimum requirement of the lender.
  • You do not have very high total monthly debt payments.
  • You are capable of offering some solid security for your debt consolidation loan.

Now let us discuss the basic four requirements for getting a debt consolidation loan in detail.

Earnings or Income: The first thing that the creditor would like to know about you is do you have the capability of paying back your loan? They would certainly ask for a relevant paystub as a sufficient proof of your earnings, just to make sure that your job is quite steady and definitely a stable one.  Also, you are earning enough to repay the debts.

Payment Record: They would like to know more about your history when you are paying back all the creditors. You need to make all the payments on time as a delayed payment would mean that your interest rates would go up.

Overall Consistency:  It is important to demonstrate that you are financially quite stable and there is overall steadiness of income. The loan officer would be asking you if you were living in this vicinity for over a couple of years and might even want to know how long you are working with your current employer.

Collateral: Home equity loan firms are quite hesitant to give huge amounts of money to individuals without collateral. Most of the creditors would be looking for a decent home equity before approving a debt consolidation loan.

You could still be eligible for debt consolidation even if you do not own a house. However, with no collateral, you could grab relatively a much smaller loan amount. Just for your idea, you could consolidate debt worth $50,000 provided you have home equity worth $60,000.

Having your own home is certainly of crucial importance, as far as, debt consolidation eligibility is concerned. Many creditors would be slackening their standards if you seem to be a homeowner. They would certainly feel secure at the thought that if you fail to make the payment, the loan firm would always be having the right to foreclose on your home, find a buyer, and sell it. They could then use all the proceeds for paying off your loan.

Conclusion

Some people do not understand what exactly a debt consolidation loan is all about and they fail to understand the implications of debt consolidation. Before applying for a debt consolidation loan, you must determine the best way of consolidating credit card debt that is most appropriate for your specific situation. You could get in touch with a reputed debt consolidation company and seek their professional advice or you could speak to a qualified and expert credit counselor. No matter what situation you are in, you need to do ample research and identify a reliable and renowned debt consolidation company even before submitting your debt consolidation application. Every lending agency would be having their criterion for approval. So, it is best to understand what you would be requiring to qualify for debt consolidation. Follow the aforementioned suggestions to get rid of the debt issue forever.

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How to Build Your Home Library for Cheap

Your personal library of literature won’t only help your family to gain knowledge; it can help reading to become a favorite pastime. Sure, there are e-readers and tablets, but there’s nothing like feeling the weight of a book in your hands and being able to flip through the pages. You want your family’s library to be expansive to encourage your children to read and grow, your relatives to read when they visit, and your significant other to become more knowledgeable. Additionally, having a large library of various types of literature will make it easier for each individual in your family to find something he or she actually enjoys reading. Take that library science degree and utilize it to arrange your collection of books so that they stay neat and well organized. Here’s how you can locate more inexpensive books to include in your personal library.

Go to Garage Sales

Lots of gently used books can nearly always be found at neighborhood yard and garage sales. Let’s face it, books are fun to read but they also take up space. When someone is moving, they will usually leave previously read books behind so that they can make an easier transition. As kids grow older, they often decide to get rid of their collections of Goosebumps books and opt for young adult fiction. Visit a yard sale every weekend and you’ll soon have a personal library with hundreds of cheap books that are in very good condition.

Visit Public Library Book Sales

Whether you want to add encyclopedias and biographies to your personal library or are looking for a few specific, popular paperbacks, public libraries have many extraordinary finds. Book sales at public libraries are also a joy because they’re organized by master of library science online graduates who can tell you where precisely each category of books is located. Anything purchased at a public library helps the branch to acquire new books, computers, and even pay for special events.

Check the Book Section of Thrift Stores

Did you know that thrift stores offer much more than clothes and gently used furniture? Take a trip to a well-established thrift store and you’ll find housewares, appliances, and lots and lots of used books. Some of the books that you find might be old and rare, but don’t fall out of your seat if you find some more contemporary reads as well. For a fraction of what you’d pay for new books online or at a bookstore, you can fill up your library at home with finds from a thrift store.

Your library at home will grow and grow until you need to buy additional bookshelves if you look for discounted books. Don’t think that you only need to fill your personal collection with brand new copies of books, as they all read the same. Imagine having so many books that it would take you years to read everything that you have at home. By shopping smart and acquiring used books, you can keep your family entertained by using their brains.

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Tips To Prepare Your Credit For Purchasing A Home

When the family begins to grow, it is time to find the right home.  Purchasing a home is a somewhat complicated endeavor, but it does not have to be an entirely foreign process.  With a little time and enough research, a person can assure that their credit is ready to stand the scrutiny of lenders.

Typically, mortgage lenders prefer a credit rating of 720 or higher to qualify for a home loan.  Here are a few helpful hints to prepare a stellar credit report before purchasing a new home for the family.

Obtain a full credit report.

Everyone is entitled to one free and complete credit report from each of the reporting bureaus every year.  It is a relatively simple process to complete online.  An array of websites provides the ability to request a free credit report.

Make sure to only inquire about credit history when absolutely necessary.  When a person’s credit reflects several inquiries, it can negatively affect their score.  It is assumed that if several agencies have to look into a person’s reliability, then they may not be very reliable.

Dispute any discrepancies.

A thorough examination of one’s credit report will often uncover one or many mistakes.  If the report shows information that is not even close to accurate, then it is that person’s responsibility to dispute the markings.

Though many individuals do not challenge (or even know about) errors on their credit, it can be very beneficial to follow through with an objection.  The bureaus have a 30-day time limit to respond to complaints, and most people are relatively pleased with the outcome.  It is worth the time to complete this step.

Maintain several tradelines.

A person needs at least three active tradelines to qualify for a home loan.  Tradelines are lines of credit, such as student loans, car loans, or credit cards.  They need to be active for a time in one to two years before they will reflect positively to mortgage lenders.

Leave unused lines of credit opened.

Older tradelines look better on credit history, and they are also capable of boosting a person’s overall rating.  Do not close those unused credit card accounts.  Leaving them opened, even if they are not being utilized, builds credit.  Try circulating through several cards, and never charge more than 30 percent of the total limit.

Understand debt-to-income ratio.

Debt-to-income ratio is not only important to prospective lenders; it will help the real estate agent determine exactly what can be feasibly afforded.  It is assumed that a buyer with a high debt-to-income ratio will have more trouble paying monthly payments, and lenders tend to shy away from those people.

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Ways To Save Money For A Family Vacation

Being able to take a multi-child family on vacation can feel like an impossible task.  Life always seems to add up with new expenses arising.

However, with the right consistent efforts, saving for a vacation is completely possible.  All it takes is a goal, a strategy, and follow through.

Follow these money saving tips for your family, and you will start packing your bags in no time.

Stop Eating Out

Eating out is one of those luxuries that families don’t like to skip out on.  After all, it is wonderful not having to cook, eating delicious food, and being able to take part in a group activity as a family.

However, eating out regularly is one of the fastest ways to blow money. Even if you aren’t eating out with the entire family and are just buying a sandwich on your lunch break.  If you buy a $10 lunch each day, that alone is $50 a week.  Add that up for the month and you’ve spent $200, just on sandwiches!!

The same goes for going out to bars regularly. Heavy alcohol consumption leads to frivolously spending money, and can add up quickly.

Instead, opt for buying a bottle of wine and enjoying it at home, and pack your lunches in a paper bag while you sip.

Buy in Bulk

By shopping places like Costco, or going to the bulk section of the grocery store, you can save a considerable amount of money.  However, it’s essential to know how to buy in bulk wisely.

Check the price per unit of an item.  Go for the option that is the lowest cost per unit.  By purchasing items in large quantities, you often get the lowest price per unit available, which can save you hundreds per month.

Put away Money Each Week

Small consistent efforts can have enormous effects.  By making a commitment to yourself to put away a certain percentage of your salary each month, you will be shocked at the amount of money you can save.

Another effective and low impact way of saving is putting away all of your coins and one dollar bills into a shoebox.  Make an agreement with yourself to always save this kind of small change, and when you open up the box at the end of the year, you’ll have hundreds that you didn’t even notice was gone from your budget.

Give Up One Luxury per Family Member

If each of your family members sacrificed one luxury per week, this combined sacrifice you could be putting away a huge amount towards your vacation.

Perhaps your toddler gets an ice cream cone after school every Friday.  Or maybe your daughter likes to get her nails done. Perhaps your husband likes to go to the driving range once a week.  If everyone makes a collective decision to sacrifice one or two pleasures for the greater good of saving for a vacation, you could save plenty in no time and make your vacation a reality!

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3 Important Reasons to Open A Family Emergency Savings Account Today

In spite of the well-known importance of an emergency savings account, two-thirds of American households still fail to save even $1,000. What does this mean for families? For most people, falling on hard economic times is not a matter of if but a discussion of when. Life is uncertain, and having a backup plan to keep food on the table for your family is critically important.

While some experts argue that the crisis of savings is mitigated by the fact that many Americans can utilize credit, the reality is that some problems cannot be solved by swiping a credit card. Additionally, the very people who are the most likely to fall on difficult financial times are likely to lack the credit score necessary for emergencies. Having an easily accessible savings account is by far the best option for weathering financial storms. Included here are a few reasons your family needs an emergency savings account.

Addiction

With nearly 24 million Americans addicted to some kind of substance, many homes have already been touched by the economic downturn that can occur with an addiction. Unfortunately, there are still thousands of Americans who believe addiction is an external problem, or something that happens to other people. Addictions can permeate even the most secure of homes, leaving economic destruction in its wake.

The cost of maintaining an addiction can be enormous, even in the most financially secure of homes. Because humans begin to develop tolerance for substances, they require greater quantities, resulting in a cost that exceeds their means. Within a few months, your family could go from financially secure to bankrupt. By implementing a savings account early on, you will have the means available to send your loved one to rehab before their situation worsens.

Medical Emergencies

As populations begin to live longer, their bodies are exposed to far more chemicals and toxins that increase their risk of cancer and other health problems. The rate of cancer diagnoses has continued to increase as populations age. A disease like cancer can be devastating on your finances and leave your family reeling for years.

For other common medical costs, take a look at the typical uninsured pregnancy. The average American birth costs upwards of $20,000, less if you choose to do a homebirth with midwives or go unmedicated. Having your appendix removed could cost you $33,000 and a simple broken bone can cost as much as $2,500. All of these common life events could be devastating for an unprepared family.

Job Loss

Economic stability in America continues to proceed in constant flux. Many industries see expected downturn while others are unexpected and forced to lay off workers. Losing your primary earner for your home can be devastating for the family. Having a savings account that covers at least six months expenses can help ease the stress of job instability.

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Menu Planning

 

menuplanning

I have really been getting into meal planning, so I don’t go crazy at 5pm trying to figure out what to make or just staring at my pantry trying to put ingredients together to make dinner. Meal Planning also saves you money because you don’t have a tendency to go out to eat because you already have your menu planned out. Plus it helps you create an easy grocery list.

When I create my grocery list I usually write it out by aisle, most of the stores are setup similarly. You can get your grocery shopping done faster and won’t forget items and have to go back later.

I do my meal planning on Sunday night because I go grocery shopping on Monday mornings. The first thing I do is look through my cupboards and pantry and figure out what we already have and what meals I could make out of those items. Then I look through my Pinterest boards for ideas. I just recently alphabetized my boards so I can find them easier.

There are tons of articles out there that you can find on meal planning with printables that will help meal planning even easier.

You can also look at the sales flyers for the week and see what is on sale and do your menu according to what is on sale. So if chicken is on sale this week, you can stock up on chicken and make a couple of meals with chicken this week.

My friend Angie over at Angie’s Angle has several meal planning posts that will help you out.

Ease of Grocery Shopping List with Meal Planning

How to Meal Plan Part 1

How to Meal Plan Part 2

Here are some great Menu Planning Printables and posts that I think are great resources

Free Menu Planning printable

Easy Way to Meal Plan for a year with free printables

Meal Planning Made Easy

I have a Meal Planning Pinterest Board you can look at for more ideas or inspiration.

Do you meal plan if so what tips do you have to make meal planning easier?

 

 

 

 

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Getting Away Together: 3 Tips for Budget-Friendly Family Travel

family-travel

Vacations can be expensive and, as every parent knows, they are even more important after you have children. One of the greatest ways to develop and strengthen bonds with your kids is by “getting away from it all” and just enjoying family time together; no household chores, schoolwork or work responsibilities to get in the way.

Unfortunately, traveling can become expensive. Putting your entire family on a plane, renting cars, and paying for recreational activities can really add up. So if the tropical island vacation is off the agenda, what other options do you have available? Included here are a few tips for budget-friendly travel with your family.

Timeshares

While some people consider timeshares to be a terrible investment, in many cases they can be a good option for families. A timeshare is basically a property that you own a “share” of and gain use to it for a set amount of time each year. You help pay maintenance and basic rental fees on the place so that you can stay there for your vacations.

Timeshares exist all over the globe. You can get a timeshare in sunny California, one near the skiing slopes of Colorado, or even a timeshare on the Florida beach. Take stock of your family’s needs as well as traveling abilities (flying vs. driving), before investing. Keep in mind, most families with timeshares will always take their yearly vacation to their share, so make sure it is a place you love before you invest.

Road Trip

One of the easiest ways to reduce travel costs is to cut out flying. Saving on airfare can be astronomical when you load up the kids in a car to drive to your destination. Driving can be prohibitive if you have antsy toddlers, but most kids should be able to acclimate to the journey with plenty of stops.

Road trips offer plenty of time for family bonding, talking and interaction. There are plenty of road trip friendly games you can play as well as fun snacks to pack in the car. Bring a frisbee for a little leg stretching at rest areas and remember to be flexible. Sometimes everyone needs a break from the car, even if it means falling behind on your itinerary.

Rough It

The most budget friendly method of traveling and vacation is in going camping. Most campsites will be less than $10 per night and there is plenty of activity to enjoy in the woods. By packing all of your own food, you are guaranteed to avoid overspending on the trip and your kids can gain real world outdoor adventures.

Take time to catch frogs in a local creek, explore hiking trails, skip rocks across the lake, or go fishing. Sunbathing, reading, napping and sandcastle building are great low-key options as well. Evenings spent around a campfire are the perfect time to bond as a family and, if you confiscate all electronics before the trip, you should have your kids uninterrupted attention.

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Budgeting For Home Improvements: 5 Steps To Savings

CHOEMS-WINDOW-TIP-EAR 1016 2CHave you been dying to renovate your kitchen or retile the bathroom? If like many homeowners you have an endless list of home improvements you’re planning to do, it may seem like the money is never there. But there are ways to get a little cash in hand to make meaningful improvements – it just takes some discipline.

Get on the road to home improvement savings with these 5 steps. Renovations are within your reach.

Get Goal Oriented

Before you can make a budget, you need to know what you’re saving for. Often homeowners have such a wide swath of projects they’d like to get done, it can be harder to focus on a specific task and the funds needed to accomplish it. Approach home improvements, then, like you would a business proposal. Write it all out and itemize the budget. When you see it all written down you may decide that some of these things aren’t worth the financial investment. Other improvements, though, may stand out as first on the list.

Can You DIY It? Or Just BIY It

DIY projects are a tricky financial undertaking. Many of the projects you see online are actually a money pit – they’ll cost you more to gather the materials than it would to just buy the thing you’d be making. Instead, constrain DIY projects to simple tasks like installing a new door. New doors – or even doors with a fresh coat of paint – can improve the appeal of your home, and they don’t take much effort.

For things you can’t do yourself, consider whether you have enough knowledge to purchase the materials – buy it yourself, as it were. When you hire help for a renovation, you also pay a markup on the materials. You’ll save on the renovation if you purchase what your contractor needs. Take this savings into account.

Stop Spending On Stopgaps

One reason that you may struggle to create a home improvement budget is because you’re constantly spending money on little things while you wait for the big ones. You don’t like how your kitchen looks so you try buying add-ons to cover it up, like inexpensive light fixtures or piles of new dish towels. Stop buying these things and save that money for your big goals instead.

Accept Alternatives

Sometimes when the budget still seems too big, it’s time to consider alternatives to the projects you’ve set your heart on. Wish you could put in new windows? What about a light tube? These tubes funnel in light to a small space for a third of the cost of a single new window. It may not be what you wanted, but it might accomplish the overall goal.

Home improvements will always be a budget concern, but you can take small steps towards meeting your goals. By starting with a clear vision of what renovations matter, you’ll find that happy medium – and a manageable budget – sooner rather than later.

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How to get free gifts when shopping online

Who doesn’t love a good deal? If you can save big-time with a great online deal, chances are you’re going to take it. But what about in the all-important area of education? If you’re desperate to save on the latest release from the Criterion Collection or the latest blazers and/or blouses made available by respected outlets everywhere, chances are you’re going to want to find a way to get some perks out of the deal as well. Frequent flyers on airlines get deals, and the same goes for frequent shoppers and members at many brick and mortal outlets today.
And hey, as stated previously—who doesn’t love a good deal?
So, what are some of the best ways to get free gifts when shopping online?
Well, we just stumbled one of the more popular options. As those brick and mortar stores so many of us grew up with either go extinct or find their way to inline prosperity, the chances of their offering online deals and free gifts is sure to go up. This is especially true in the latter case, as these companies are either trying to make up ground, and thus offer free gifts to try and entice new customers and keep their current base loyal, or else flourishing and able to offer free gifts as a way to grow their brand even more.
Then there are online sites such as totallyfreestuf.com. (And if the existence of such a site in 2015 shocks you in any way, we invite you to try and get a bit more acquainted with the Internet as it is.) In any case, sites like these function much the same way as online coupon sites, wherein different listings for various opportunities are posted. Free gifts being offered by Company X? This, and places like it, are very likely to know about it. Think of it as a Craigslist of online free “stuff.”
And then of course there are online deals and coupons themselves. After all, offering free gifts has long been a favorite tactic of coupons—“buy one, get one free” a regular part of our lexicon—so it only makes sense that it’d extend to the fast-growing world of online coupons. Whether you go with Groupon, Coupon Ninja, Passion for Savings, or one of the other great online coupon sites, your ability to find out about and access free gift offers could be just a click away.

 

Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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