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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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    January 2, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: How To Actually Accomplish Your Resolution
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2artrq

    If you’re resolving to get out of debt, watch this video first!


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    January 1, 2015
    Happy New Year!

    Photo from Joss and Main


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    December 31, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Gorgeous Den

    Photo from Aspen Leaf Interiors


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    December 30, 2014
    Tips To Keep Your Financial Resolutions

    Keeping any sort of New Years resolution is hard- because it requires you to change a major part of who you are, and forces you to change your habits. Whether you’re trying to get in shape, give up a vice, or change your financial situation, it’s going to make you work harder. You’re going to need to keep yourself motivated- not just through January, but for the whole year. For tips on staying focused on your goals, check out this post by Kristin Wong at Get Rich Slowly:

    -Write it down, keep it visible

    -Add action to the goal- figure out exactly how much you need to save or pay off each month to reach your goal by the end of the year

    -Avoid vagueness, make results concrete things that you can achieve.

    Photo Credit: Caroline 


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    December 29, 2014
    Good Riddance, 2014! Finances To Get In Order Before The New Year

    2014 was like a rollercoaster for me- and I don’t mean that it was fun. The ups were very, very high, and the lows were some of the lowest I’ve ever experienced. I’m not going to bore everyone with my entire life story, but let’s just say I’m looking forward to everything balancing out again, and I’m ready to say goodbye to this crazy year. But, there are some things I need to take care of before the year ends, both personal and financial. If you are also eager to put 2014 behind you, and get some financial housekeeping done for the new year, check out this post by Vera Gibbons at Zillow for tips on how to wrap things up:

    -Tackle your outstanding credit card debt

    -Reduce your tax liability

    -Reassess your housing situation- are you truly happy where you are? 

    Photo Credit: Sarah Ackerman 


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    December 26, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Renting Vs. Buying
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxzzfqq

    A great video that breaks down the pros and cons of buying and renting!


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    December 22, 2014
    Money Goals For 2015

    A few days ago, I sat down and planned out my whole financial year. I made a new budget: wrote out how much will go to bills, paying off debt, spending, and saving for each month. Every year when I make New Years resolutions, I try to make concrete goals that will improve all aspects of my life. My ultimate financial goal for 2015 is to pay off half of my student debt and start saving for a down payment on a home! I suggest that everyone who is serious about using their money wisely does the same. Here are the steps I use to come up with my yearly financial plan:

    -What do you want out of life? Do you want to buy your dream home? Travel the world? Graduate college? Have a huge, gorgeous wedding? Have a child? Buy an awesome car? All of these require money, but don’t be afraid to dream big!

    -Make a budget- write down your income, then deduct the money that you need for life’s basics (rent, gas, food, bills). Save at least 10-20% of your paycheck to put towards your dreams.

    -Have a plan, and stick to it. It may take a while to save, but if you are diligent, even someone working for minimum wage can accomplish a huge financial goal.

    Have a great 2015, everyone!

    Photo Credit: Celestine Chua 


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    December 18, 2014
    Saving Money On the Holidays

    These days, it seems like getting through the holidays without declaring bankruptcy is next to impossible. That’s an exaggeration, obviously, but some people do manage to rack up hundreds or even thousands of dollars in credit card debt over the holidays, and it’s not hard to see why. However, there are tons of creative alternatives to overspending, while still having a magical Christmas. Check out this post by Gretchen at Retired By 40 for some great holiday money tips:

    -Shop Strategically:

    There is no reason to buy groceries or pharmacy items without a rebate anymore!  

    -Let the off season work for you- shop yard sales, shop right after Christmas, and save the whole year.

    -Use credit card rewards, money saving apps, and survey sites to gain some extra cash.

    Photo Credit: Steve Wilson 


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    December 16, 2014
    Teaching Kids About Money

    For some reason, many parents don’t talk about finances with their children. They don’t want their kids to stress out if money is tight, and some may say that talking about money is impolite or even taboo. (Sure, you shouldn’t ever just go up to someone and ask how much money they make. It is a personal matter, after all.) But keeping kids in the dark about money matters does not do them any favors! Kids need to learn how to manage their own money one day, just like they need to learn how to cook, clean, and dress themselves. It’s a necessary survival skill. For some great money tips for kids, check out this post by Susan Merrill at Imom:

    -Allowance- teach them that work = money, and no work = no money.

    -Say no to retail therapy- You are saying…that anytime they feel sad…buying stuff will make it all better. Your example is everything when teaching your children about money.

    -Sleep on it- if you want to make a purchase, wait one night. If you still want it in the morning, get it. But you’ll be surprised how often you DON’T want it after the impulse has passed.

    Photo Credit: Miki Yoshihito 


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    December 15, 2014
    Emergency Document Storage

    The first step to being successful financially is staying organized. Applying for a mortgage, but don’t know where your check stubs, tax information, and personal documents are? Good luck. When you’re just starting out, it can be hard to know what to keep and where to keep it, but this post at I Will Prepare has an awesome list of important documents to save, as well as how to compile it all in case of emergency. In case of a fire or other emergency in your home, you can grab it quickly and save all of your financial and personal records. Here’s some of the things they suggest keeping in it:

    -Birth certificates, marriage certificates, and social security cards

    -Copies of all credit and debit cards

    -Immunization records, dental records, and other medical information such as prescriptions

    -CD/Flash Drive with family photos

    -Passports, copies of drivers licenses, any other forms of ID

    Check out the post here for an extensive checklist

    Photo Credit: C x 2 


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