Keeping kids entertained during summer can be a challenge. But what if you could not only keep your kids entertained, but also educate them? Here are some great ideas from Buzzfeed about how to keep your kids busy while learning cool stuff at the same time!
Tis the season for shopping! I went into Costco yesterday and was immediately greeted by this beautiful work of art:
What a bargain! $200 off! This 80″ TV is on sale, this week only, for $3,699.99. I jokingly said, “I need that! If we had that, we’d be so much more happy. We could just sit around all day and watch TV, even more than we already do.” As I looked at the TVs, I was amazed: there were 2 80″ TV’s on carts, loaded to go out the member’s only door. I guess there will be some happy husbands out there this holiday season!
Financial Analysis: Could have saved $13,002.
I had lunch yesterday with some clients who just closed on a brand new home. We were talking about Homes in Order, mortgages, and about how much they could save by paying off their mortgage early, even a little each month. They were blown away when I showed them the savings.
That’s insane how much money you can save by just paying a little extra!
So, just a few hours later, I saw this at Costco. I thought about my new homeowning clients who were just moving into their brand new home, and I decided to see how much this TV would cost them if they were to go buy it.
TV’s are great. But when you have a mortgage, TV’s can be pretty expensive. Especially when you have a brand new mortgage. Would you rather have an 80″ TV, or would you rather have $13,002.52? Would you rather have an 80″ TV, or would you rather have 6 months of life without a mortgage?
My client is a very smart guy, and he is definitely not in line to buy this TV. They just drained some savings by putting a nice down payment on their home (and will pay no PMI). His wife says before they start spending, they need to replenish some savings.
So, no new 80″ TV for my client this year. He will just have to be happy with a brand new home. But then again, there will be at least a couple of husbands out there somewhere with new 80″ TVs!
Budget. Many cringe at the sound of the word. But most recognize that a budget is crucial in achieving financial independence. Most budgets look at necessary expenditures versus optional expenditures. Mortgage? Necessary. Utilities? Necessary. Fast food meals? Optional, if you can plan a more financially efficient alternative. While most recognize the mortgage as an essential part of the budget, few realize the power that the mortgage holds. The mortgage is typically the 1st consideration in the budget. If you manage the budget first, everything else will fall into line.
Default monthly mortgage payment budget
For the typical homeowner, the mortgage is probably the single biggest element of your monthly budget. Typical homeowners factor the mortgage into their monthly budget, then add all other monthly expenses: utilities, car payments, credit card payments, etc. What is left over is then typically consumed by optional spending and saving. In that order.
Typcial monthly budget:
Mortgage payment → Utilities → Insurance → Car payments → Credit Cards → Food → Clothing → Entertainment → Saving → Investing.
That is all good! You’re taking care of the most important things first. However, look at what gets left to the very end: Saving & Investing.
The automatic mortgage budget
Let’s look at the psychology of the previous model. After all necessary expenses are met, you can spend or save or invest what is left over. Now apply what you know about paying off your mortgage early into your monthly budget. If you were to add $100 to your monthly mortgage payment, then everything else falls into line. You might have less for some of the options at the end of the spending chain, but you are also taking care of first things first.
Action: Set up automatic payments including a prepayment for an extra $100/month.
Result: You will have $100/month less to spend, but that $100/month is automatically investing itself into paying off your mortgage. This family would save over $33,000 in interest, and they would save over 4 years of mortgage payments. Your total savings (P&I) would be over $64,000. Wow.
Conclusion: $100/month will affect your spending ability this month, by it will save you a ton.
Existing Home Sales rise 6.5% in July from June to 5.39M units annualized and above the 5.10M expected.
Reuters reports that 75% of the nearly 1 million people hired this year are only part time workers. Additionally, many of the jobs are low-paid. Staffing and payroll firms say concerns on the new health care laws could drive up business costs possibly stalling the economy further.
The Jackson Hole Symposium kicks off today. The meeting focuses on important economic issues here in the states and abroad and is a gathering of influential central bankers and finance ministers as well as academic luminaries and leading market players from around the globe. Somehow, I did not get invited. I don’t feel too bad though because Mr. Bernanke will not be attending this year either, confirming in most minds that he is retiring in January. I should be so lucky.
MBS trending sideways, keeping 30 year rates in the 4.125-4.625% range. (8.21.13)
Everybody know that Kitchens and Bathrooms make the biggest impact on a home’s value, right? Well, I agree with that, to an extent. But here is a list of 6 other things to consider before overhauling kitchens and bathrooms. I’m an investor, and I buy foreclosures. My brother and I have looked at thousands of homes, and we’ve bid on hundreds of homes. I know the properties that other investors pick up, and I’ve seen what they do to make money. In our business, selling quickly is the key. Here are some of the keys we’ve seen most all investment properties have in common.
- New Paint. When you walk into a home, clean, fresh paint makes a huge first impression. If you paint yourself, it’s not all that expensive. However, if you’re an amateur, like most of us are, it is really easy to completely ruin a home with a bad paint job. Hire a professional to do it for you. It will make a difference.
- New Carpet. Just like paint, the smell of newly laid carpet is priceless. Also, you are assured that there are no pet messes, no bacteria, etc. Carpet is an excellent investment.
- Landscaping. Curb appeal is vital in a home. Buyers will subconsciously start making decisions about a home before the front door is even open. Mow the lawn, green up the grass, clear the flowerbeds of weeds and rubbish. For very little money, curb appeal can raise the value.
- Cleanliness. This goes naturally with new paint and carpet. But if paint and carpet are OK, then cleanliness goes a long way!
- Appliances. Rather than putting a whole new kitchen in, you’ll be surprised at what a nice new range, microwave, dishwasher, and fridge can do. Again, they’re worth the bang for the buck.
- Countertops. If you’ve got old, chipped formica, get a bid for what new granite tops might cost. New countertops can make a kitchen look new!