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How Hard-Working Families Manage Their Monthly Mortgage Payment in College

Posted on Apr 12, 2018 with No comments
Once you have taken that important step and finalized the purchase of your new home along with your new mortgage loan, you must keep a close eye on your finances to keep yourself financially secure. Many families struggle every month to make their mortgage payments on time, but you do not have to be one of them.

Keep a Close Budget

As a hard-working family, you are willing to make the sacrifices necessary now to help you live in the home of your dreams, grow roots in your new community and keep your family financially secure. 

Consider these four tips for managing your monthly mortgage payments well. While creating a new budget for each month may not be your idea of a fun time, it can make much of your financial planning easier.

Budget for Emergencies

Be sure to keep track of all of your receipts or go cash-only for some of your purchases to ensure that you do not overspend in one area, thus reducing the amount of money available to you for making your mortgage payment. Within your budget, you should be actively saving for emergencies, particularly those related to your house.

Find a Loan Officer

While your mortgage will cover the cost of purchasing your home from the bank over a certain term limit, it does not cover the cost for regular maintenance and emergency repairs on your home, which can be surprisingly expensive. 

If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, find a loan officer who may be able to help you. For example, you may be eligible to refinance your home or to get a loan modification. You may also want to discuss a longer loan term, which will decrease your monthly mortgage payment.

Make On-Time Payments

It is vital to make each of your mortgage payments on time. While some loan companies offer forgiveness for your first late payment, many tack on huge fees and penalties, which can make you fall even further behind on payments. 

Consider automating your mortgage payment, or request a due date change to make your payment time match up with your paycheck schedule. To feel financially secure even with your new mortgage payments, you must ensure that you have a savings plan in place, have a properly prepared budget and have a monthly mortgage payment that you can actually afford.

If your payment is higher than you would like, you should work with your loan officer to find a way to work around this, such as with a longer loan term or refinancing, or you must find more money in your monthly budget to meet your needs. With a bit of ingenuity and plenty of hard work, you can feel perfectly comfortable with making your mortgage payments completely and on time.


Off to College? 4 Thrifty Financial Tips to Get You Started

Posted on Apr 10, 2018 with No comments
Beginning college is one of the best times of your life, but it can become expensive without the proper planning. While some students don’t need to worry about finances while receiving an education, other individuals must think carefully before spending any money.

Here are four thrifty ways to save money before you enroll in your college classes.

Apply for Scholarships and Grants

Before paying your college tuition, apply for as many grants and scholarships as possible. Remember that a small grant or scholarship may not seem like a lot of money, but it can pay for your textbooks. 

If you receive scholarship or grant money, then you won’t need to apply for as many student loans, helping to save you money for the rest of your life. Look for grant and scholarship applications online, or look for books at your public library that are about free money for college.

Shop for Textbooks as Soon as Possible

If you wait until you are on your college’s campus to buy textbooks at the college’s bookstore, then you may spend too much money. After enrolling in your college classes, request the textbook list from your professors so that you can order your textbooks at online stores

Not only can you often buy textbooks for less money at an online bookstore, but also, you will frequently receive free shipping to any address you choose. This means that you can have your college textbooks mailed directly to your new address.

Communicate with Your College Roommate

When you are going to have a roommate in college, it is possible to share the cost of many of the items that you need for your dormitory room. One of you can buy the miniature refrigerator while the other person buys the microwave.

If you have a shared space such as a living or dining room, then you can shop together to buy items at a reduced price so that both of you can use the items.

Moving to a College in another Area

If you are moving to attend college in another state, then you should consider the cost of shipping items or using a moving truck. Rather than spending money on moving or shipping necessities, it is often less expensive to buy what you need in the new location. 

When you can’t keep items in a dormitory over the summer break, you can rent a storage facility to store your furniture, appliances and electronics. If you must move your items to a college that is located hundreds of miles away, then you should consult with a moving company to see what your best options are.

Have a Written Budget

To avoid overspending before attending college, have a written budget that will help you to maintain control. Avoid random shopping after beginning college because it can lead to applying for credit cards, leading to huge debts that can follow you after you graduate.


How to Plan and Prepare for Tough Financial Times in College

Posted on Apr 4, 2018 with No comments
Life is full of unexpected situations. Some are pleasant. Others are a lot more difficult. People should always do everything they can to prepare for taxing and overwhelming life circumstances. If you want to safeguard yourself in the event of a major financial emergency, these options can do you a lot of good. Ample financial planning is always smart.

Set up a Budget

Maintaining a budget can keep your finances on track no matter what. It can also keep you in good condition in the event of serious financial woes. Try to restrict any expenses that may be classified as frivolous.

Avoid eating out frequently. Take public transportation any time you can. Write your budget out and follow it cautiously. If you make a mistake and purchase something unnecessary, get back on the right path the next day.

Use Coupons

You can plan for financial problems by being a smart and detail-oriented shopper. Cut out coupons that are available in your weekly newspaper. Look for coupons that may be available to print out on the Internet, too.

It’s not only important to focus on coupons. It’s just as vital to focus on actual sales at stores. If you keep your eyes open, you should be able to save big for possible financial crises.

Sell Old Belongings You No Longer Need

If you have any possessions that have value, you may want to consider selling them for a rainy day. Look for a reputable pawn shop that’s located nearby. You can take any gold jewelry pieces you have to it for assessment and sale.

Once you have pawned your gold jewelry, you can the money aside for financial catastrophes in the future. You can also think about selling belongings in general on the Internet. Think about throwing a garage sale on the weekend too.

Work with a Financial Advisor

Professional service can often be helpful to people who need assistance with planning in case of financial problems. Search for a qualified and experienced financial advisor who can aid you with budgeting, saving money and more.

t’s critical to opt for a professional who has certification. Licensed professionals can provide you with financial preparation guidance that’s updated and accurate.

Financial dilemmas are never welcome. That doesn’t mean that you should ever pretend that they can’t happen, though. Planning for trying financial circumstances can help you relax better. It can keep major financial mistakes out of your life, too.


Pocket Change: 5 Thrifty Tricks to Save You Some Cash in College

Posted on Mar 20, 2018 with No comments
The cost of living is going up in most places today. Many of us are having a harder time making ends meet because of rising expenses. Fortunately, there are things that you can do in order to lower the cost.

Register Your Vehicle Online

The cost of registering your vehicle can vary from state to state. However, you can save money by registering your vehicle online with a service like eTags or someone similar. You can also avoid long waits at the Department of Motor Vehicles by registering your vehicle online.

Hour Rule

Many of us have financial problems because we make purchases on an impulse. If the item is unnecessary, then you should wait at least 24 hours before buying it. This is even easier to do if you shop online. Most websites allow you to put items in your cart and save them for later. You may decide that you do not want or need the item after 24 hours.

Take Advantage of Your Library

Entertainment is something that takes a large portion of many people’s budget. There are ways that you can entertain yourself without breaking the bank. You can visit the public library. Not only can you check out books, but you can also check out free movies. Many public libraries also have events that go on during various times of the year.

Sign up for Rewards Programs

You will likely be able to find many retailers who will reward you for repeatedly shopping at their store. You should sign up for every rewards program that you can. It is free to sign up for most of these programs. The more you shop at a particular store, the more money you can save.

Write down a Grocery List

You can save money at the grocery store by only purchasing what you need. You will need to make a list of things that you need before you go to the store. Not only will this help you save money, but it can also help you avoid contributing to food waste.

The cost of living may be going up, but you can still save money. You can register your vehicle online. You can also write down a grocery list and sign up for rewards. It is a good idea to wait 24 hours before making any non-essential purchase. Furthermore, you can take advantage of the free entertaiment at libraries.


Parallel Planning: 3 College Expenses to Save for Alongside Your 529

Posted on Mar 16, 2018 with No comments
If you have regularly been contributing to a 529 plan to save for your children’s college education, you may reasonably assume that you have covered all of your bases and are financially prepared to send your children to college. Funds in your 529 plan can be used for tuition, books and even dorm expenses. However, there are some other expenses that you may not have thought about yet. These are a few of the more common and relatively expensive costs that you may need to factor into your college budget.

Transportation and Relocation Costs

The cost to help your child relocate into a dorm or an off-campus apartment can be tremendous. You will need to pay for professional moving services or rent a moving truck to do the work on your own. You will also need to pay for regular travel expenses for your child to travel back and forth to see you, such as air fare. If your child needs to drive while in college, vehicle expenses should also be taken into account.

Insurance Premiums

Your child may need several types of insurance while in college. This may include health insurance and auto insurance at minimum. If your child is leasing an apartment, the property may require the purchase of a renter’s policy. These expenses can easily add up to several hundred dollars per month, so they should not be overlooked.

Special Services

Special services are not essential, but you may prefer that your child use them as needed. For example, a cell phone is not a true necessity, but it may be the primary way for your child to reach you, to call authorities for help if something happens and more. Another type of service that your child may need or want is a gym membership. Staying healthy while in school is important, and a gym membership is an excellent way to encourage physical fitness.

Sending your child to college can be expensive, and you may feel financially stressed after realizing that you have overlooked some of these expenses. Remember that there are multiple ways to pay for all college-related costs. For example, your child can get a part-time job to partially pay his or her way. You could also trim back on your own lifestyle. While paying for college can seem burdensome and stressful, remember that this will only last for a few years. More than that, the effort to make financial adjustments is well worth the end result.


How to Afford Insurance as a Student

Posted on Mar 13, 2018 with No comments
As a young adult, you’re likely aware of the importance of having auto insurance. Not only do you expose yourself to extreme liability without insurance, it’s also against the law to drive without auto insurance.

Of course, understanding the importance of auto insurance and actually being able to afford it are two very different things. Understanding the best ways to afford auto insurance will guarantee that you’re legal and that you won’t go bankrupt if you’re at fault in an accident.

Shop Around

While most things that you buy will basically be the same price at every store unless there’s a major sale, auto insurance rates can vary widely between companies, even for the same coverage. Different companies rank risks at different levels, meaning what might cause your rates to skyrocket at one company might not cause much of an issue at another.

You can shop around as often as you want, meaning every time your policy comes up for renewal, you can do a quick check to see if you can find a better rate.

Pay Fewer Times

Though a monthly auto insurance payment might seem like the easiest route to go, the fact is that you may be able to save hundreds of dollars by paying for six months at a time.

Of course, you’ll need to be able to collect enough money at one time to be able to pay six months’ premium, but if you can, you’ll be able to enjoy big savings. Just be sure you’ve really done your homework to ensure the company you choose is the one offering the best deal.

Drive Safely

Though it might go without saying, another great way to have affordable insurance is to have a safe driving record. Though you can’t change what you’ve done in the past, you can have at least a level of control of what your future driving record will look like.

Insurance companies have to charge those who’ve been in accidents more, or they’d go out of business. After all, hospital bills, accident lawyers, and car repairs aren’t cheap. Therefore, drive safe, at posted speed limits, and you’ll be able to enjoy more affordable rates over time.

Take a Class

A great way to see quick savings on your insurance as a student is to take a driver education course. These courses are offered through insurance companies and third parties and typically include both classroom and on-the-road instruction.

Though it may seem like a waste of time to spend hours learning about something you already know how to do, the tips and tricks you learn during a class like this could prove invaluable in an emergency situation. Insurance companies agree and will reward you with lower rates.

Set a Budget

Though you can do many things to lower your insurance rates, you’ve still got to have the money to pay those premiums when they come due. Since you can’t drive without insurance, it’s important to carefully budget money, putting this in the “necessity” category.

After all, the only thing worse than having high insurance rates is having no car because you got caught driving without insurance.


Financial Tricks to Affording Your First Home After College

Posted on Mar 9, 2018 with No comments
The decision to buy your first home after college can be both exciting and confusing. The special jargon of real estate, the flood of documents and the many legal requirements can be overwhelming. One of the primary considerations is price and your ability to manage mortgage payments and other expenses. You can make the experience of purchasing your first home easier and more affordable if you follow these five tips.

Clean up Your Credit Record

A squeaky clean credit record will help you to get the best interest rate on your mortgage, so take care of any problems you may have left over from an earlier period of your life. If you don’t have a credit record, establish one with a credit card or department store card and make your payments on time.

Put as Much Money down as Possible

Remember that the greater the amount of your down payment, the less money you will have to borrow, and the better interest rate you will receive from your financial institution.

Special mortgage programs are available that require as little as 10 percent down, but you should try to put at least 20 percent down on your purchase to acquire as much equity in your home as possible.

Get Pre-Qualified for a Loan

Seek out a number of financial institutions to try to get the best interest rate, and go through the pre-qualification process. This action will give you an advantage when looking for desirable properties that could get snapped up quickly.

Put off Big Purchases

Your new mortgage payment may be bigger than your previous rent, so you should try to arrange your finances to accommodate this larger expense. Sit down and see where you can cut your expenses to make paying a mortgage payment easier. Put off large purchases, such as a car or furniture until a later date, after you have gotten settled in your new home.

Choose a Home That’s Affordable

A number of mortgage calculators are online that can help you determine how much you can afford to pay for a home. Stay within a narrow range of this amount, and avoid the temptation of buying more house than you can reasonably afford. A good real estate agent, like Re/Max Alliance - The Diane Stow Team, can help you find the right house for your needs.

Purchasing your first home is one of the biggest financial steps you will make in your life. You can help it to be a success, and the perfect launchpad for other financial decisions, if you learn as much as possible about owning a home, in advance of your search. These five tips will help you to position yourself for this important life event.

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