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Posted by New Age Real Estate on 3/16/2018

If budgeting isnít your thing, youíll be glad to discover that itís quite simple. Thereís a way to categorize your spending and save money easily. If you learn the rule, it will become so automatic that you wonít even think about it. If youíre saving money for a home, this practice will be essential. Break your budget down into three categories: 


  • Living expenses
  • Financial goals
  • Personal spending


Half of your budget should go towards living expenses. This number includes all of the essentials like rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, commute costs, and insurances. 


20 percent of your income should go towards other financial goals like savings, investments, or paying down debt. Credit card bills, student loans, and other bills would fall under this category. This category is also where youíd save for your down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. This percentage can be adjustable depending on how much debt you have or how much you need to save for retirement. 


The remaining 30 percent of your income can go towards personal spending. This category includes everything that you use your money for but isnít a necessity. This percentage is also flexible. If your lifestyle doesnít require you to use all 30 percent each month, you can indeed save more money.


A Clear Plan 


These categories simplify your budget. Even if you make some adjustments to the numbers, the outline truly makes budgeting easy even for the most scatterbrained among us. It allows you to see where your money goes clearly. It also works no matter what kind of living situation you have.


The great thing about this budgeting plan is that you have some future needs built into it. Many times, when we budget, we think of our immediate needs and our shorter term goals. Saving for any occasion can never happen too early. You are able to not only focus on your current goals and the future.   



Steps


First, determine your monthly income. This number is how much money you take home after taxes. From here, youíll be able to split your money into categories by percentages. If your income fluctuates frequently, youíll need to take an average of your monthly income to determine your numbers. 


Next, you should take a look at your spending habits. These include everything from your morning latte to your monthly rent payment. From here you can make adjustments. Perhaps you need to look for a less expensive apartment. Maybe you need to cut down your weekly pizza to a bi-monthly purchase. Whatever you see in your finances, a simple percentage rule gives you the tools you need to become a saver and be well on your way to the purchase of your first home.     





Tags: saving money   budgeting  
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Posted by New Age Real Estate on 11/17/2017

It's amazing how one piece of carefully chosen, strategically placed furniture can drastically improve the look and feel of your kitchen, living room, or any other space in your home.

While it is very satisfying to pick out furniture that delights you every time you look at it, furnishing and decorating your home can take a big bite out of your budget. What many homeowners don't stop to consider, however, is that it is possible to get good deals on nice furniture without depleting your bank account.

Here are a few strategies for accomplishing that.

  • Take advantage of sales, discount coupons, and closeouts. When a furniture outlet advertises that they "will not be undersold," it's often worth your while to stop over and take them up on that offer. First, however, it's necessary to know what the competition is charging for the same or very similar furniture. Once you're armed with that information, you're in a good position to pay the lowest possible price. Like any type of shopping, comparing prices will save you money.
  • Dispense with your aversion to negotiating. Have you every heard people say "I hate negotiating" or "Negotiating makes me feel uncomfortable?" Are you one of those people? For whatever reason, it's a mind set many people have. The disadvantage of thinking this way, however, is that you may be missing out on chances to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. When you add up the savings and realize all the worthwhile ways you can use that saved money, you may reconsider your position on practicing the art of negotiating!
  • Estate sales can potentially be a great source of good quality, reasonably priced furniture, and sometimes you can stumble upon incredible bargains. For obvious reasons, your ability to negotiate the best possible deal increases as the end of the sale approaches. When you play the "waiting game" or tell them you'll come back later or tomorrow, you do run the risk of someone else snatching up that great dresser, coffee table, or antique lamp you had your eye on. Waiting can be a gamble which sometimes (but not always) pays off. There's also an art and science to getting the best deals at antique shows, but effective bargaining requires the right mindset, a little knowledge, and plenty of practice.
  • Attending garage sales can also yield great bargains and unique finds. Homeowners holding garage sales are often motivated to liquidate their old furniture --especially if it's a moving sale. If you've ever held a yard sale, yourself, you know that the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is to haul unsold furniture back to the house when the sale is over.
With a little research, friendly negotiating, and patience, finding great furniture for the right price is an attainable goal.
 





Posted by New Age Real Estate on 8/11/2017

These days keeping track of your money can be a hassle. Between all the different ways you can spend your money itís easy to lose track of your spending. Luckily there are some great apps for money management. Below are a few favoritesó all rated with 3.5 stars and up. LearnVest: LearnVest is a money management platform, but itís also much more. You can link up your various accounts to keep track of your spending, savings and goals (that you set). But the best part about this app are the articles you receive via email from them. The articles that they send are full of helpful information related to early retirement, saving for your wedding, how to pay down debt, rebuilding bad credit, smart saving, and so much more. Every article is worth the read. This app is available on iOS. Mint: Mint is a well-known money management platform. You can hook up your bank accounts, credit cards, 401k and loans and set up budgets. The app utilizes graphs to show you how you spend your money and provides you with bill reminders. It will even give you your net worth. The only downfall to the app is that it has a difficult time connecting to small banksí online banking systems. This app is available on iOS and Google Play. Daily Budget: This is a do-it-yourself app. If you are one that is weary about putting your personal banking information onto your phone then this is the money management app for you. You plug in your income, reoccurring expenses and it gives you a daily budget. You can add in additional income and expenses as they occur. But, you will have to pay for the full version if you want to utilize all income and expense categories. This app is available on iOS. Comparable apps are available on Google Play. Prosper Daily: This appís main emphasis is on protecting your accounts. You can link up your bank accounts and credit cards and approve or deny charges as they occur. But, it is also good for a high level review of your accounts. You are able to view your balances on your credit cards and checking account all in one place. Another pro of this app is that you are able to categorize your charges making it easy to keep track of what you are spending your money on. One of the great new features now available is the ability to view your credit score. And beyond that it provides insight into why your score is the way it is and how to improve it. This app is available on iOS and Google Play. These apps will aid you in getting in front of your spending and back in control of where your money is going. Be sure to take full advantage of the offerings that each app has, as it will only benefit you in the long run.





Posted by New Age Real Estate on 10/14/2016

Housing prices are low, rates are low but how can you buy a house when your funds are also low? †How can you save money for a house while prices and rates are still good? Saving for a home can be different than just saving because you have save such a large amount of money and you don't know exactly how much you'll need. †Here are some strategies on how to save up: 1. Start with small goals. Try saving for closing costs or another smaller amount and then add another goal. Break the†down payment into 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% levels, to help make the savings goal more achievable. 2. Try saving a specific amount of money every month. Instead of saying I want to save†$6,000 a year it is easier to say I will save $500 a month. Smaller, more achievable milestones are always good motivators to savings. 3. Ask for help. If people ask what to give you a gift for your wedding, birthday etc. ask them to contribute to your home savings plan. Online sites like SmartyPig make it easy to get other people involved in your savings goals. 4. Create a visual goal graphic. Create a vision board or some kind of graphic that represents what you are saving for. It always helps to see what you are saving for and have a constant reminder. Hopefully, you'll be on your way to a new home in no time.





Posted by New Age Real Estate on 9/30/2016

Saving money is on everyoneís mind, and rightfully so. One of the easiest ways to save money when shopping is by using your phone. There are many apps offered in the App Store and Google Play Store that are amazing at saving you money through discounts, coupons and even money back. All you have to do is download the app and create an account and your on your ways to savings. Check out the apps below: Cartwheel: This is Targetís app. It features deals that are based on items youíve purchased before or are likely to purchase in the future (based on shopping patterns it learns from using the app). But the best part about this app is the scan feature. While shopping scan all of your items that you put in your shopping cart to find additional offers, saving you even more money. Savings Catcher: This is Wal-Martís app. With the Savings Catcher app you scan your Wal-Mart receipts and it then scans for competitorís prices on items that you purchased. You will receive money back for any item that was priced lower at a competitorís store. You can turn this money into a gift card at any time and redeem it at your local Wal-Mart. Shopular: Shopular is a very popular shopping app. It has coupons, deals, and sales for almost every store imaginable. They include Express, Famous Footwear, Michaels, Old Navy, Target, Kohlís, factory stores, and so many more. The best part about this app is that stores actually accept the coupons. Groupon: Groupon is very popular. It offers deals on restaurants, goods, hotels, vacation packages, activities, and much more. Beyond the offers that are offered, Groupon also runs specials where you can receive an additional amount off the already discounted amount. These are perfect times to purchase the Groupon youíve been holding out on. Now get to downloading and happy saving!




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