Archive | Guest Post RSS feed for this section

Save Today For Big Payoffs In The Future

7 Jan

A Guest Post by Robert Sommers:

Robert Sommers is a freelance mortgage and real estate writer based out Baltimore. He has worked for over 25 years as a licensed real estate agent in all areas of commercial and residential real estate.

A down payment is a huge financial commitment and very often one of the biggest obstacles in buying a home. Not to mention the fact that due to the recent mortgage meltdown, many lenders are now requiring higher down payments on a mortgage loan, making saving up even more of a challenge. If you want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance, you’ll need to make a down payment of at least 20%. For those unfamiliar, PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance which is an extra cost required lenders that is built into your monthly payments for a home mortgage loan greater than 80% of the home’s value.

One of the best ways to save for a down payment is through setting up a savings plan. The first step in doing this is assessing your current financial position. This means taking a look at all of your assets and creating a budget based upon how much you need to save monthly for your down payment. Carefully add up all financial instruments you currently possess- CDs, stocks, bonds, T-Bills, etc. In addition to any mutual funds and even savings/retirement funds- 401K’s, IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, etc., as the proceeds from borrowing against a retirement fund can be used towards making your down payment.

Once you calculate all of your assets, you can get an idea of how much money you’ll need to save by subtracting the total from the amount needed for your down payment. The outcome will aid you in formulating a budget that will help you determine exactly how much you need to save each month towards your down payment.

Once you know how much you need to save every month, you might want to consider holding the funds in a high-yield savings or MMDA- money market account. These offer a great deal of security and liquidity and the interest rates the offer are also very attractive. This will allow you to earn interest on the money you save, thus helping you to reach your down payment goal faster while still giving you easy access to your money.

While the task of saving up for a large down payment may seem daunting, it is definitely doable if you create a budgeting plan and stick with it. While some financial sacrifices may be needed in order to reach your down payment goal, it will all pay off when you purchase your dream home.

————

Note from Carrie: I think it’s great how Robert emphasizes saving, saving, and more saving for your first house.  I’ve stressed before how important it is to wait to buy a house until you’re ready – which includes waiting until you have that 20% saved.  So many of my friends have bought houses before they are truly ready and are now paying the consequences in terms of being strapped for cash and maxed out credit cards for expenses like maintenance and decor.  The message is clear – save, save, save!  Happy saving!

Advertisements

Guest Post: Fight Breast Cancer With Pink Prepaid Debit Card From ACE Cash Express

22 Dec

*Guest Post*

Some people have difficulty controlling their spending. Paychecks are spent down to the penny, often on the same day as they are received. And the countless opportunities to spend, spend, spend brings out the worst in those who can’t control themselves. 

Paying for items in cash is wonderful, but cash is easily lost, mishandled, or forgotten. Likewise, it is so easy to use one’s debit card or pull cash out of an ATM, using more money than should be used in the first place. Overdraft fees and ATM fees seem to pop up out of nowhere, causing unnecessary financial burdens. Paying with a credit card is worse, thanks to skyrocketing interest rates. 

If paying for items with cash, debit, or credit cards come with unwanted consequences, is there another logical solution? Instead of using these items, consumers should consider carrying a prepaid debit card. These cards help consumers to take control of their spending. It is impossible to spend more money than you have, while interest charges and overdraft fees are a fear of the past. It provides a sense of security, since deposits are insured by the FDIC. Likewise, government checks, wages from work, or any other financial transaction can be direct deposited to the card. In short, a prepaid debit card is essentially a miniature bank, without traditional banking headaches. 

Prepaid debit cards seem to grace the aisles of every retail establishment from coast to coast. Anyone could read the fine print of every single debt card and hosting financial institution, take careful notes, then spend hours comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of each. But who actually has that much time or patience?

Pink Prepaid Debit Card 

Individuals who would like to take advantage of prepaid debit cards should consider the Pink Prepaid Debit Card, which is offered through ACE Cash Express. This card is designed to give consumers all of the traditional debit card benefits while also helping a worthy cause. Over the last four years, a portion of all transaction and sales fees have been donated to cancer research, and specifically, for breast cancer research. Last year alone, the Pink Prepaid Debit Card donated more than $350,000 to the worthy cause. 

Customers who use the card love the fact that there are no commitments or incurred debt. They know that every time they use their cards, breast cancer research facilities receive financial support. The well-respected Visa logo is easily recognized and accepted worldwide. Each deposit is FDIC insured, protected from unauthorized activity, and available 24/7. Finally, Pink Prepaid customers can have their checks directly deposited to the card, without ever stepping foot into a bank or other financial institution. Add to these benefits the freedom from unexpected charges, overdrafts, or credit card debt, and the result is an amazing debit card which provides all of the financial services one could ever need, not to mention allowing the consumer to do their part in the fight against cancer!

*Guest Post*