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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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    October 27, 2015
    Raise Your Credit Score In A Year

    This guide by Joshua M. Adams at Hubpages claims that no matter what your credit score is, you can raise it by 200 points within a year. I thought it was extremely optimistic at first. I’ve been working for about 2 years on getting rid of debt and paying bills on time, and my score has only gone up about 20 points. However, his method is actually pretty brilliant, and involves…just asking your lenders to take items off your credit report, of all things. Read more here:

    -Pay the creditor, and request that they remove the negative information. Basically, they withdraw their submission of unpaid debt.

    -Method Two: Obviously, we’re not going to be able to pay everything on our credit report in most cases, so we have a different method for dealing with these debts. You are going to dispute them.  A law exists that credit bureaus must remove negative information if the customer disputes it, and the company that listed the debt doesn’t prove that the debt is owed and is correct within thirty days

    Photo Credit: nikcname 

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    October 26, 2015
    What Is Making You Overspend?

    Overspending is a problem that many of us face. When you get a little bit of extra money, it truly does burn a hole in your pocket. Sure, you budgeted $75 for going clothes shopping this month, but you found a really cute outfit that you absolutely can’t live without! It’s okay to go over by $20 or so, right? Well, that’s fine every once in a while, but it can become a dangerous habit, and eventually will wreck your entire budget. Suddenly, the extra $10 or $20 every couple of weeks has added up to thousands a year. Check out this post by Jesenia at The Latina Homemaker for reasons you may be overspending, and how to stop it:

    -You don’t have a budget: “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

    -You use the ATM- they almost always charge extra fees, and are enabling to impulse buying. Take the time to go to your bank and withdraw cash, and you’ll find that your impulse to spend is gone.

    -You drive unnecessarily- Make a list of all the places you need to go at once instead of going on multiple trips to save on gas.

    -You pay for convenience- paying for fast food or going through a car wash instead of doing it yourself will really cost you in the long run.

    Photo Credit: Chris Potter @

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    October 20, 2015
    Debt Free Myths

    When we talk about living debt free, we need to address the unicorn in the room: your life will not magically be perfect, and you will not have infinite money. So many people treat paying off debt like it is the ultimate goal: and many people don’t look past that and plan for the future. Check out this post by Tshanina at Thrifty T’s Treasures for the biggest myths out there about debt free living:

    - “You can say yes to everything”- Now that your debt is gone, your next step is to save and plan for the future. In order to plan for the future you can’t start saying “yes” all the time.

    - “You can splurge all the time!” – It’s okay to have a “wish list,” but just know that you won’t be able to have everything you want right when you want it. Prioritize the items on your list and start knocking them off one by one.

    - “Your money stress is gone!” – The stress level is totally different, but it’s still there nonetheless. It’s as if you’ve been given a huge responsibility and have to decide what to do with it.

    Photo Credit: frankieleon 

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    October 19, 2015
    Why Was Your Mortgage Denied?

    …Even after you got pre-approval? Getting pre-approved should be the first thing you do when looking for a house. Once you get your ducks in a row and get that letter from your lender, you’re basically golden. However, there can be some instances of being rejected for the mortgage…even after you’ve been pre-approved. How can that happen? Read this article by Kyle Hiscock at the Rochester Real Estate blog for more:

    -Change of employment- even if you are making the same income.

    -Negative item suddenly on credit report- continue being diligent about paying bills on time.

    -Additional debts are incurred- don’t go buy a car while shopping for a home.

    -Loan Requirements or Lender Guidelines Change

    -Issues with appraisal

    Photo Credit: The Italian Voice 

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    October 15, 2015
    Freezing Food To Save Big

    Freezers are a modern miracle. They let our food keep from spoiling for weeks, sometimes even months. Your freezer can also be a wonderful money saving tool. Most of us know to freeze meat, and some veggies- but that’s about as much as we use it. However, there are all kinds of foods you can freeze that will save you in the long run- both money and time. Check out this list by Ruthie at Found and Featured for ideas:

    -Cheese- this stuff can go bad fast in the fridge- freezing it will help it keep for months. Stop wasting money!

    -Fruit- frozen grapes and berries are delicious!

    -Cooked rice- this is a HUGE time saver

    -Cooked pasta


    -Tomatoes (cooked)

    -Soups, chili, broth, and stock

    Photo Credit: Lablascovegmenu 

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    October 12, 2015
    Using A Binder To Organize Your Finances

    I love making lists. I make so many lists it’s not even funny- I literally have an entire binder full of lists. Some of them are fun (bucket list, places to go, books to read, movies to see, goals for the end of the year, etc.), and some of them are helpful in daily life. I have a whole tab for daily to-do lists, and one for finances. In the finances tab, I keep my: budgets, shopping lists, monthly goals, savings goals, and debt pay off plan. Since I put it together, I’ve been a lot better about meeting financial goals and staying organized. This article by Laura at I Heart Planners has even more things for you to keep in your financial binder:

    -Bill trackers and due date trackers

    -Annual income summary (month by month) -if you like less detailed budgets. Also great for tax info.

    -Monthly budgets

    -Debt trackers

    -Savings trackers

    Photo Credit: Horia Varlan 

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    October 8, 2015
    Path To Approval

    Getting approved for a mortgage is one of the scariest, but most important parts, of the home buying process. So, how do you become approved? Basically, you have to prove to your lender that you are a financially reliable person. You need to provide them with documentation that shows that you can hold a job, are being paid regularly, have enough income to make payments, and that you have a good track record of paying your bills and other debts on time. Still don’t know where to start? Check out this post by Robyn Porter at the Robyn Porter blog for a helpful infographic:

    -Improve your credit score before you apply

    -Decide on a budget

    -Get pre-approval

    -Organize all papers and documents- an underwriter will go through your pay stubs, tax records, and bank statements.

    -Decide on a loan type- Fixed? Adjustable? 15 or 30 year? All have pros and cons.

    -Shop for a home and make an offer! Then, close the sale!

    Photo Credit: Got Credit 

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    October 5, 2015
    Mortgage Mistakes That Can Cost You

    When applying for a mortgage, it’s important that you be on your best behavior financially. You (and potentially your partner) are going to scrutinized under your lender’s magnifying glass, and anything out of the ordinary could cost you. You may be charged a higher interest rate, or be declined completely. So, what do you nee to look out for? Read this post by Miranda Marquit at Bible Money Matters for the worst mistakes that first time home buyers can make when applying for a mortgage:

    -Neglecting your credit- the first thing you should do before house hunting is check your credit score.

    -Failure to season your assets- they will look carefully at all of your income and assets. They want to know where your money is coming from, and that you will be able to make regular payments.

    -Forgetting to consider the entire cost of the home- don’t forget to include homeowners insurance and property taxes.

    -Quitting your job or applying for more credit.

    Photo Credit: Morgan 

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    October 1, 2015
    Side Job Ideas

    Right now, I’m working three jobs. Two for my main income, and a side job on the weekend for a little extra spending money. I work at a movie theater and make a couple hundred extra bucks a week (the fact that I get to watch all the movies for free has absolutely nothing to do with it :) ). I use that money to pay off my student loans faster, bulk up my savings for a down payment on a home, and to occasionally splurge on a shopping spree or a mini vacation. Yes, I have to give up my weekends, but to me the extra financial freedom is worth it. Plus, it’s a pretty easy gig. If you are looking for a side job to help pay off debt, check out this post by Adeline at Frugal Fanatic for ideas: 

    -Start a blog {no experience needed}

    -Mystery shopping

    -Dog walker, pet sitter, house sitter, baby sitter

    -Make homemade items to sell on Etsy
    -Seasonal retail jobs
    (Theaters are always looking for people during summer and winter, especially if you don’t mind working holidays. Clothing and department stores are usually desperate for workers for Black Friday and December).

    -Cab driver, or drive for Lyft or Uber.

    Photo Credit: Michelle Tribe 

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    September 30, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Extraordinary Staircase

    Photo from Stylish Eve

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