Category Archives: Uncategorized

Market Update: The Fed Hikes Rates and How a New Credit Reporting Rule Could Boost Your Score

Fed Rate Hike

As we anticipated, the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates a quarter of a percent on Wednesday, March 15th. This is the second hike  since December and a sign that the central bank plans to raise rates faster this year.

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The Doug Haldeman Show Welcomes Ryan Raphael: The Medicare Man

Ryan Raphael: The Medicare Man

We are pleased to introduce Ryan Raphael, The Medicare Man, from Senior Insurance Benefits as a new expert on our show. Ryan is the owner/broker of Senior Insurance Benefits and has been dedicated to helping seniors with their insurance needs since 2003.

Navigating the maze that is Medicare can be a very confusing process. That’s why we asked Ryan to join us so he can educate you on the ins and outs of Medicare coverage and insurance.

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Top 10 Mortgage Delays When Purchasing a Home

Top 10 Mortgage Delays when Purchasing a Home

Having a delay in your home purchase closing can be extremely frustrating. However, most mortgage delays are preventable and avoidable. By studying the top 10 causes of mortgage delays, you’ll be sure you will have the smoothest closing possible.

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Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2016

Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2016

We just received the report from the National Association of Realtors for the real estate profile for 2016. Check it out below! There are some really interesting statistics that I think you may find useful.

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Dave Ramsey’s Bad Advice

Dave Ramsey’s Bad Advice

Many of you are familiar with the financial guru Dave Ramsey. His most popular book, “The Total Money Makeover”, has sold over 5 million copies. While I agree with most of what Dave has to say there are a few key areas where I entirely disagree with him.

Dave’s approach of one-size-fits-all  financial advice just doesn’t work.  Each person has their own unique situation and the path to their financial goals will vary. There are two main areas where I differ from Dave’s advice. Let’s take a look.

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Home Scouting: Get the Unfair Advantage

Home Scouting: Get the Unfair Advantage

Are you on the house hunt? If so you’ll want to hear about the Home Scouting app. Home Scouting has 100% of the MLS listings, while in many cases Zillow or Trulia only has 40%. Read below to find out how we can get you the unfair advantage by signing up with this free app.

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The Economics of Recycling

The Economics of Recycling

We have Jennifer Wendt, the Project Manager for University City, with us to discuss the benefits of recycling programs not only for the environment, but for the economy as well. Jennifer specializes in solid waste/recycling, energy efficiency, and other public works projects for the city.

Jennifer believes  that recycling is not a partisan issue, but an American one. As Ronald Reagan once said,” …perhaps the most important is that preservation of our environment is not a partisan challenge; it’s common sense…”.

Let’s explore the different ways recycling has an economic benefit and also some common fallacies people have about the process.

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Emergency Funds

Emergency Funds

An emergency fund is a stash of money set aside to cover the financial surprises life throws your way. These unexpected events can be stressful and costly. Some common emergencies include unexpected medical expenses, car repairs, and home repairs.

While most experts agree you should have an emergency fund, how much is in that fund and where it is stored is wildly debated.

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Buy the Perfect Home With No Regrets

Buy the Perfect Home With No Regrets

 

I can still remember that feeling of excitement when I met with a realtor to look at my first home. It was a very triumphant feeling. This feeling can fade into agony after looking at house after house and not finding the right one. Planning ahead and sticking to the plan when searching for a home can save you time and major headaches along the way.

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Summer Vacation Savings

Summer Vacation Savings

If you’re ready to get away this summer but don’t quite have the funds, it’s smart to start coming up with a realistic savings strategy now. And remember, your vacation doesn’t have to be anything fancy – even a relaxing camping trip or a trip to visit friends could provide the type of break you need to feel your best.

Regardless of the type of trip you hope to afford, the best thing you can do for a potential summer trip is start figuring out the financial side of the equation today. Here are some steps that can help you start saving right away:

Step up weekly bank transfers.

With only a few months until summer break, monthly deposits into a savings account may not cut it. If you want to afford that summer trip you’ve always wanted it is a better idea to look at how much you can save on a weekly basis.

If you hope to have $1,000 set aside for a trip in July, for example, you’ll need to save around $56 every week from the beginning of March through the end of June.

One of the best ways to make sure this works is to set up a separate vacation savings account and set up direct deposit transfers. With a separate savings account, you may not be as tempted to spend your vacation fund on regular bills. Meanwhile, setting up direct deposit or automatic transfer will make sure your savings account is funded whether you remember or not. The main thing you’ll need to remember is to deduct the amount from your checking account each month so you don’t overspend.

Start a change jar.

If you use cash at all, starting a change jar might be more profitable than you think. By adding your spare change – and extra bills – to a change jar each time you enter the house, you could pad your vacation fund with an extra $5, $10, $20 or more each week.

I’ve even had a friend go so far as to put any $1 bills he receives as change into his vacation fund. This is a great way to rack up a significant amount quickly.

Make a few temporary lifestyle changes.

If you want to afford a summer trip this year, cutting back on splurges for a few months can help. This could mean cutting out your daily stops at a local coffee shop, cooking at home an extra few times a month, or not drinking alcohol quite as much. It’s up to you to decide what splurges are worth cutting back on in exchange for a vacation.

Since dining out and entertainment are luxuries that are fairly easy to spot and cut, start there. Still, the key to making this work is actually putting that money aside. Whether you cut out dining, going out to the movies, playing golf, or another hobby, you need to put the money you save into a savings account for it to help.

Start earning cash on the side.

If your current income leaves you struggling to save each month, earning a bit of extra money might be your best bet. And if you don’t want to get a traditional part-time job, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways to earn money on the side without picking up retail or restaurant work.

The opportunities to earn more money are endless, but don’t forget to think outside of the box. If you have a clean car and driving record, you could consider driving part-time (and on your own schedule) for Uber, for example. If you love animals, you could set up a profile on Rover.com and watch dogs in your spare time. You could also scour Craigslist for weekend gigs, but just be sure this money goes into the vacation fund.

 

Spring clean your home and sell your stuff.

When you’re short on vacation cash, a yard sale can help. The good news for you is that it’s almost spring cleaning season as well. As warm weather approaches, it’s an ideal time to clean out your closets, spare rooms, and garage. As you clean each room or area, look for stuff you no longer use that you could sell.

Gather all your unwanted clothing, tools, supplies, housewares and exercise equipment, then find the best way to get top dollar. Depending on where you live, this could mean having a traditional yard sale or selling your items online. Either way works fine as long as you’re getting cash for stuff you no longer want or use.

The key here (as always) is making sure those profits go directly into your vacation fund – not toward more stuff that’ll just end up in the same junk pile two years down the road.

Start Saving Now for the Vacation You Deserve

 

If you’re ready to relax this summer, the best thing you can do is start taking actionable steps now. By saving weekly sums of cash or earning a little more in the short term, you could have a burgeoning vacation fund by the time spring is in full swing.

While the right strategy for you will depend on your lifestyle, it’s worth giving each one a try. Over time, you might even build habits that improve your finances for the long run – and well past your summer travels.

Either way, like it or not, summer will be here before you know it. If your idea of summer includes a getaway with your family, you need to start saving now.

 

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