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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 5, 2016
    How To Make An Extra Mortgage Payment In 2016

    Let’s say you have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. That’s 12 payments a year over 30 years. However, what happens if you make just one extra payment a year? By making one extra a year, after 12 years, that will be one whole other year paid off. Do this twice and it’ll take off two years of mortgage payments! I know everyone wants to get their home paid off as fast as possible, and this is one method that can make it happen. Check out this post by Trulia at the Yahoo Real Estate blog for tips:

    -Review your current budget, put any extra money towards another payment

    -Set a reasonable goal- start small and build up, even if you are only saving $10 extra a month

    -Automate extra savings in your account to a mortgage payment

    Photo Credit: bayasaa 

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    January 4, 2016
    Things You Should Always Buy Used

    I’m a thrift store junkie- I love buying used books, vintage clothes, older furniture pieces- anything I can get my hands on. I save a ton of money and get the same products. Plus, browsing thrift and secondhand stores is a lot of fun! If you need to get some shopping done soon, but want to save money, check out this post by theteacherswife at for things you should always buy used:

    -Books and textbooks- this will save college students HUNDREDS of dollars


    -Toys, toys, toys! – Just give them a good wipedown first

    -Clothing and specialty dresses


    However, you should never buy used:

    -Electronic devices (laptops, tvs)

    -Car seats, bike helmets, and other safety equipment

    -Or anything plush- stuffed animals, used pillows, couches, etc.

    Photo Credit: Melisa TG 

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    December 30, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Tree House Cabin

    Photo from ekstrax

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    December 28, 2015
    Debt Free For 2016?

    Is one of your New Years Resolutions to pay off debt? If so, congratulations! With planning and dedication, I’m sure you can stick to it and achieve your goal. However, resolutions are nothing if they are not backed up with plans and actions. So, now is the time to get organized and figure out your next step. Check out these tips by Shaunna Privratsky at the Dollar Stretcher Blog if you want to cut down on debt in 2016:

    -Stop charging on credit cards and create a workable budget.

    -Pay off one loan/bill at a time

    -Stop turning to debt when faced with a car/medical emergency, instead, build up an emergency fund

    -Seek debt consolidation and credit counseling services if you need additional help

    Photo Credit: Images of Money 

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    December 24, 2015
    Merry Christmas Eve!

    Photo from Crescent City Ramblings

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    December 23, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Enclosed Courtyard

    Photo from One Kind Design

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    December 22, 2015
    Saving Money On Christmas Presents

    There are only three days left until Christmas, which means it’s time for the procrastinators of the world to start shopping. If you’re a procrastinator, and you like to save money, like me, then this post is for you! Christmas doesn’t have to bankrupt you every year, and you can still be frugal if you are looking last minute. Check out these tips by Deanna Michaels at From This Kitchen Table for getting Christmas presents on a budget:

    -Make a list of everyone you need to buy for, so there are no last minute surprises

    -Have a set gift budget for each person, and take the money out in cash so you don’t overspend

    -Use homemade gifts: sew, crochet, bake, cook, and craft your way through the holidays

    -Buy used- don’t get junky items, but you can find some great books, toys, clothes, and board games at thrift stores

    Photo Credit: Janet Ramsden 

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    December 21, 2015
    Stretch That Paycheck!

    If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you probably already have a million tips and tricks up your sleeve to make your money last as long as possible. Obviously, you pay your rent and other bills first- then get groceries with whatever you have left over. Then it’s basically gone. But, if you need to make it stretch just a bit further, check out this post by Andrea at Savings Lifestyle for some great tips on making it last longer:

    -Make a DAILY budget: pay the bills, buy groceries, save a little, then determine how much of the money left over you can spend per day.

    -Skip Starbucks and other fast food places- you save WAY more by cooking your own!

    -Learn to DIY- Youtube can show you how to fix or make anything!

    Photo Credit: photosteve101 

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    December 15, 2015
    Wondering About Refinancing?

    Refinancing is when you, well, refinance your home- your negotiate the terms of your mortgage again, or get a completely new one. You can get a lower interest rate, switch from a 30 year to a 15 year, or whatever else you want to change. If your financial situation has changed, but you’re still making the same payments, it may be time to refinance. Check out this post by Radwa Madkour at the House Hunt blog for why refinancing may be a smart decision for you:

    -You can reduce your monthly mortgage payment

    -Consolidate credit cards or other loans to lower interest rate

    -Use it to finance home renovation projects with equity you have built up

    Photo Credit: GotCredit 

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    December 14, 2015
    Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster With The “Snowball Method”

    The “Snowball” Method is Dave Ramsey’s system for getting out of debt quickly. It basically boils down to paying off the smallest loan you have first. So, if you have $2,000 in credit card debt, a $10,000 student loan, a $15,000 car loan, and a $150,000 mortgage, then you aggressively go after the credit card debt first, then move up. Most people think that you should pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, but by eliminating an entire payment first, you are saving more money. For more info, check out the entire article by Dave Ramsey here, and this post by Stacy at Stacy-Work In Progress, for how she actually used the method:

    It not only gives you a feeling of success when you knock out that first debt, it also gives you a small, manageable goal that doesn’t seem impossible to reach. Every time we crossed a creditor off our list, we had reached a goal.  I’ve had to stop focusing on the big picture and get down to the details.  Those details are what are going to get us to our final goal!

    Photo Credit: Kamyar Adi 

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