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  • From 2001 to 2005, the average homeowner saw the value of his or her house jump by more than 50 percent.
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    July 23, 2015
    Beyond Debt Free

    Most personal finance tips focus on either saving money, budgeting, or getting out of debt. To the beginner, getting out of debt can seem like the ultimate key to financial happiness. However, there are other ways to measure financial success. Independent business owners often have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, but also generate much more income. It’s all about perspective, and something called “net worth.” Read this article by Elizabeth at Reluctant Landlord for more info:

    We are not worried about our debt number, but  more about our net worth. Our net worth is the number that illustrates our value after all our debt is paid off and we are finally debt-free. 

    The key for us is not about paying off our debt (which is an eventual goal), but setting up a platform to retire and grow off of.

    Photo Credit: Anssi Koskinen 


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    July 22, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Tiny Kitchen In A Tiny House

    Photo from Tiny House Swoon


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    July 21, 2015
    Couponing 101

    Last week, I went with a friend to a couponing class at our local library. I’m fascinated by those crazy couponing shows- being able to get $500 worth of stuff for $20 (LEGALLY) just seems like witchcraft to me. Now, the real world is not TV. You will most likely not be getting hundreds of dollars in free groceries every month. However, knowing what to do can save you BIG. I went on my first adventure and got $13 worth of items for $6. The couponing teacher said to start small, but I think more than 50% off is a pretty good start! If you are interested in starting to coupon to save money, check out this post Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less for tips:

    -Establish your coupon sources- you will need weekly newspaper inserts and printable coupons

    -Set up a newspaper subscription

    -Pick a couponing website to help you with your journey (I’ve been using IheartPublix and IheartKroger, but there are plenty of good ones out there)

    -Find this week’s post for your stores, match up sales with coupons.

    Remember, extreme Couponing is a cumulative process, not an instant magic formula.

    Photo Credit: Chris Potter 


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    July 20, 2015
    Start Saving For Next Summer

    Summer is quickly coming to an end. For me, that means that it’s time to start saving for next year’s vacation! Traveling is something that is important to me, and it is always something I prioritize when planning to save. Next year, I’ll be going on my biggest trip yet. My uncle just moved to Japan, and we’re planning on going to visit him. Naturally, international travel can get quite costly. That’s why I love this post by Kimberly at Stuffed Suitcase. Here are her tips for saving for vacation:

    -Driving typically costs less than flying, just be sure to factor in stops and hotel stays.

    -Pack your own snacks and find hotels that offer complimentary breakfast

    -Sell things you no longer use, put away the difference

    -Shop smarter, always look for ways to save money! Cut out non-essentials.

    Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley 


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    July 17, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Getting The Most Out Of Social Security
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2z54lv

    Here are the top mistakes that people make when claiming social security benefits!


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    July 16, 2015
    What NOT To Buy At A Yard Sale

    It’s summertime, and that means it’s officially yard sale season. I probably pass two or three a day on my way to work, and it’s extremely tempting to stop and shop. While yard sales are a great way to get deals on household items, they can also lead to impulsive buys and uncontrolled spending. Sure, finding a bunch of Friends episodes on VHS is cool, but do you really NEED it? Not to mention that there are some items you should straight up avoid at yard sales. For what to always buy new, read this post by Coupon Closet:

    -Bedding- sheets, blankets, and mattresses could be infested with bed bugs.

    -Stuffed animals- same as bedding

    -Car seats- you never know if its safety features are up to date, or if it has been recalled

    -Computers- may have all kinds of nasty viruses

    Photo Credit: Mike Mozart 


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    July 14, 2015
    Facing Foreclosure? How To Fix It

    Facing foreclosure can be one of the scariest things you do in life. Whether you lost your job, or had a divorce, or otherwise are unable to make your payments, the prospect of losing your home is the ultimate low. However, foreclosure should be the absolute last thing that happens to you. There are plenty of ways to avoid it. Check out this post by the Bankrate blog for what should be your lines of defense before foreclosure happens to you:

    -Communicate with your lender- The key is to contact the lender before your debt gets the better of you. The sooner your lender knows of your problem, the more help it can provide.

    -Set up a repayment plan with your lender if you are suffering a short term financial set back

    -Refinance

    -Short sale

    -Loan modification

    Photo Credit: Joe Penna 


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    July 13, 2015
    What Are The Parties Involved With A Mortgage?

    Getting a mortgage is a complicated process. There are two parties involved in making them happen, and it can be a little confusing when reading the legal documents and determining who is who. Basically, it boils down to you (the mortgagee) and your lender, which is probably a bank or a broker (the mortgagor). Check out this post by Rowlett Real Estate School at Active Rain for more info:

    The mortgagor owns the property, and the mortgagee owns the mortgage. A mortgage is regarded as an investment or chattel (personal property) by the mortgagee and, like other such investments, may be sold to another investor if desired

    The post also has a helpful chart!

    Photo Credit: Got Credit 


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    July 10, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Luxury Appliances
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2wugt4

    I guess if you’re super rich, dropping 3k on a coffee machine is no big deal. I think the fan is seriously cool though!


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    July 9, 2015
    How To Save Money On Flights This Summer

    In a few days, I will be going up to Michigan for the first time with my boyfriend (his home state) to meet some of his family and friends. I couldn’t be more excited to finally meet the people that are closest to him, as well as see a part of the world I’ve never been to before. Since it’s about an 11 hour drive, we will most definitely be flying. However, flying can be expensive. It’s taken a pretty big chunk out of my summer budget. It’s worth it, but planning when flying is absolutely necessary. Check out this post by Briana Carter at Totally Travel Tips for ways to save money on airfare:

    -Be flexible about travel dates- moving the date by a day or two could have you tons.

    -Check other nearby airports, especially smaller ones.

    -Book directly through the airline’s website, instead of with a travel agent or travel site.

    -Book tickets as far in advance as possible

    Photo Credit: bytekut 


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