Archive for February 2018

4 Legit Reasons to Downsize Your Home

4 Legit Reasons to Downsize Your Home

4 Legit Reasons to Downsize Your HomeThe idea of downsizing your home may not be something you have thought of previously. Most people think about moving into bigger and bigger homes as they get older and hopefully make more money.

While there are some advantages to living in a large home, there are plenty of drawbacks, as well. By the end of this article, you may realize that downsizing your home is a viable ? and maybe even attractive ? option.

So, what reasons are there that you might want to downsize your home? Check out the points below.

1. The Kids Have Moved Out

Without a doubt, this is the most popular reasons you may downsize your home. When your kids head off to college, or buy a place of their own, you might not need all the space your current home offers.

This is especially true for people who have three or more kids, as they were probably living in a rather large home to accommodate all the children. You might not want to downsize right away, especially while they are still in school, but this is a topic to keep in mind for the near future.

2. Save on Utilities

You may not think about it, but paying to heat and cool your home is quite expensive when you have more room than you need. Each time the furnace or air conditioner kicks on, it is going to be blowing air into vacant parts of the house. If you downsize your home, you can cut down on your utility costs month after month.

3. Free Up Resources

Everything about living in a larger home is more expensive than living in a smaller home. Your mortgage will almost certainly be bigger, your taxes will be higher, utilities, maintenance, and on and on.

If you would like to free up some of your financial resources to travel or have other experiences, downsizing your home is a smart choice.

Think about it ? how much of your home do you use currently? Everyone has a little bit of space which is rarely used, but it half your home is that way, it might be time for a change.

4. Simplify Your Life

It is easy to let your life get rather complicated when you live in a big home. There is a lot of housework to do, you have to make a lot of money to pay the bills, and you might feel that you need to buy things to fill those rooms.

If you are in search of a simpler life, one of the things you can do is to move into a smaller place. There will be fewer things to keep track of, and everything should be just a bit simpler.

Most likely, those things that are filling all of your extra rooms aren?t really bringing you any additional happiness, anyway. Streamline your day to day life and you might find some added contentment as a result.

Deciding to downsize your home doesn’t have to be something that is forced on you. These days, many people are trying to downsize and simplify their homes.


Are you thinking about downsizing? Why would you downsize your home?


Photo courtesy of: Scott Webb

4 Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home While Still Living There

stage your home

stage your homePreparing to sell your home can often be a stressful time. More often than not, you’re either moving to a new city or neighborhood and will no doubt be transitioning homes. So, you’d probably like to sell your home as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the market has a tendency to be fickle, and you could end up being in your home longer than anticipated. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, trying to live in your home and sell it all at the same time is not only difficult, but taxing on all who live there.

So, how do you keep your home pristine and in selling condition while residing there yourself? Try these four ways to stage your home without spending much money.

1. Reduce Your Personal Items

When potential buyers peruse your home, they’re usually trying to picture themselves living in it. While personal items are obviously homey to you, they can ruin the picture in a buyer’s mind and make them feel more like a guest.

To truly entice prospects do your best to limit or put away your personal photos and items before showing your home.

2. Declutter

It’s easy to throw items on the bed or accumulate knick knacks throughout the house. Unfortunately, those items have a tendency to collect and, before you know it, your house simply looks cluttered.

Even though you likely have no problem living with a little clutter, clutter draws the eye and distracts a potential buyer for seeing your home for what it really is. Keep everything in its place and get rid of anything you absolutely don’t need.

3. Keep It Clean & Odor-free

This might seem obvious, but no one wants a dirty or stinky home. Before showing your home, give every room a good clean from top to bottom.

It’s difficult to maintain when you’re still living there, but a clean home will sell much faster than a dirty one.

We also tend to become accustomed to certain smells and odors, but what might be pleasant to you, might bother someone else. Thoroughly cleaning your home will help eliminate those odors as well.

4. Make It Pop

One of the best things you can do when showing your home is to add small touches here and there that make it pop. Whether you leave fresh-baked cookies, light great smelling candles, adding fresh-cut flowers, or adding pops of color, you can help give your home the perfect balance of lived-in and cozy without all the personal memorabilia.

It doesn’t cost or take a lot of effort to give your home a special touch that’s sure to entice buyers.

Selling your home isn’t always an easy process, and if you still live in said home, keeping it show-ready can feel like a long and exhausting task. That being said, you don’t have to go crazy and move all of your things out or spend a ton to stage it well.

By following a few inexpensive and easy home-staging tips, you can have your house sold before you know it.


How have you dealt with showing your home while still living in it? What are some habits you’ve formed to keep it clean during the day to day?


Photo courtesy of: LUM3N

What to do With a Car You No Longer Use

What to do With a Car You No Longer Use

What to do With a Car You No Longer UseHave you come to the point where you’ve realized that you no longer really use your car? Is it just sitting out in your driveway, or taking up space in the street? If you’ve found that you don’t really use your car, and you can’t justify either taking up the space or the costs each month, perhaps it’s time you found something to do with it.

Sell it Privately

Your first option is to sell it. Post some ads up around your town, and hang a sign from the car. You never know who might pass by and have an interest in your car. Look up what your car is worth online, and adjust your asking price accordingly. There are a few steps involved that you’ll need to follow in order to sell your car, but once you’re done, you’ll have a nice influx of cash for something you no longer use.

Sell it to a Dealer

If you don’t want to go through all of the steps required to sell your car privately, consider selling it to a dealer. Dealers are always looking to take in new cars that they can flip, and if yours is still in good shape, you might be able to get a decent amount of money for it. Keep in mind that dealers are going to try to get it for as little as possible, so you have to be willing to haggle, or even say no if you don’t like the price.

Trade It In

Perhaps you no longer use the car because you’re looking to upgrade to something nicer. If this is the case, when you’re shopping for a new car, you may be able to trade your old car in, and use its value as a part of your payment. Car trade-ins are common, and are often used when someone is looking to upgrade their car. This option is very similar to selling it to a dealer, with the difference being you get to drive home in a new car.

Donate It

For many people, they don’t think they will get a lot of money ? or anything ? for their old car. The car is in bad shape, and the amount of money you’d get from selling it privately or to a dealer just isn’t worth it.

In this instance, many people choose to donate their cars to charity. Doing so often provides you with some type of reward, and maybe even a tax credit. Look into local charities in your area that accept car donations, and the benefits they provide in return.

Sell it to a Scrap Yard

If all of the above options don’t work, and your car is in pretty bad shape, consider selling it to a scrap yard. Junk yards are always looking to get their hands on another scrap car, and you can turn your piece of junk into some quick cash.

Find a scrap yard in your area, and see what you can get for your old car. Don’t forget to factor in the costs to tow it there if needed.

Find a Reason to Use It

Maybe you don’t want to get rid of your car at all, but would rather find a way to use it. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can use a car to bring in some extra income.

Think about signing up for a ride share service like Uber or Lyft, and giving people rides in your spare time. Or, talk to a local restaurant about making deliveries in your spare time. You could also do the same for local charities, and use your car to give back to your community.

Give It Away

Finally, you could just give your car away. If you’re not concerned about bringing in money, or you don’t want to put the car to use, just get rid of it. Chances are you could find someone who would like a free car.

Maybe you have a young neighbor, or someone in your family, who is about to earn their license and is in need of a good car. Or maybe you know of a charity nearby that needs a reliable vehicle to make deliveries. You don’t need your car any longer, so why not make someone’s day and simply give it to them?

There Are Plenty of Options For Your Old Car

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do if you have an old car lying around. It really depends on what you’re hoping to get out of it, and how badly you want the car gone. If you’re lucky, you could turn your old car into a quick influx of cash, or a steady income, but at the very least, it’s easy to simply get the car out of your hair.


Have you ever sold a car? What would you do with a car you no longer use?


Photo courtesy of: Pexels

6 Reasons You Might Need to Overhaul Your Budget

6 Reasons You Might Need to Overhaul Your Budget

6 Reasons You Might Need to Overhaul Your BudgetIf you track a household monthly budget, you are already off to a good financial start. Many people don?t bother with a budget, and they may wind up making poor financial decisions as a result. Simply by taking the time to establish a budget, you are already ahead of the game.

But your job is not finished when you set up your budget for the first time. Once the budget is in place, you need to adjust it on an ongoing basis to make sure it remains relevant.

Things are sure to change over time, so your budget will have to adapt accordingly. The following six points highlight reasons why you might be due to overhaul your budget.

1. You Aren?t Saving

The ability to save each month is an important feature of a budget. Your personal budget should be set up in such a way that it allows for monthly saving ? if that isn?t happening, you should try to make some changes.

Even if you can?t save a large sum of money on a monthly basis, being able to put something away will help position you for a better financial future.

2. You are Struggling with a Category

This point is easiest to explain with an example. Let?s say you have included $500 in your monthly budget for food. If you start to notice that this is a tough mark to hit. Maybe your kids are getting older and eating more food. Then, it would make sense to overhaul your budget.

This isn?t a problem of you just not sticking to your budget. Rather, it is a problem of the budget no longer being relevant. Make the chance and then adjust other parts of the budget as needed.

3. Your Priorities Change

Let?s say that you set up your budget a couple years ago, when you were actively involved in a certain hobby that took up some of your funds. These days, you no longer participate in that hobby, and that money goes unaccounted for each month. This is a good problem to have, but you really should find a spot for that money in the monthly budget.

4. Your Income Changes

This is an obvious point, but you will need to overhaul your budget if you have a change in income. Hopefully, this means your income has gone up, but the same idea would apply if your income goes down. Take the time to evaluate your expenses in light of the new budget and make changes accordingly.

5. You Are Nearing Retirement

Making the decision to walk away from your career and retire is a big step in your life, and one you cannot afford to take lightly. Of course, you will want to do plenty of preparation in advance of making such a choice. One of the things you can do is overhaul your budget to ?trim the fat? and make sure your expenses are going to be workable in retirement.

6. Changes to Fixed Bills

At one point, you may have allotted a certain amount of money each month for utilities. Of course, those things are bound to go up in cost over time, to the point where you will need to update your budget. To a review of your entire budget and find places where you need to revise how much money was attributed to some of your bills.


When was the last time you decided to overhaul your budget? Did it help?


Photo courtesy of: JESHOOTS.COM

4 Hidden Travel Costs to Watch Out For

4 Hidden Travel Costs to Watch Out For

4 Hidden Travel Costs to Watch Out ForThere’s nothing quite as fun as planning and getting ready for vacation. After all your hard work on a daily basis, it’s a true treat to jet off to somewhere exciting.

If you’re like many smart vacationers, you likely have your trip all planned out. You’ve saved up and budgeted for everything you can think of.

However, have you ever come home from vacation (or gotten halfway through) only to realize that you’ve spent more than you originally planned? If you’ve found yourself going over your travel budget, be sure to look out for these four hidden travel costs.

1. Transportation

Getting to and from the airport is a large expense that many travelers forget. For starters, driving yourself to the airport might seem like the most convenient or cost-effective solution. However, if you plan on parking your car there for several days, the prices tend to be astronomical.

Plus, once you’ve reached your destination, be sure you have a plan for how you’ll get to the hotel. The airport is full of different options, but some can cost you a small fortune, while others, are much more budget friendly.

2. Baggage Fees

Different airlines have different policies and prices regarding your baggage. Some give you one checked bag for free and then charge you after, while others charge for each bag you check.

Plus, should your bag be overweight, you should expect to get hit with an additional fee. Be sure to examine your airlines policies and do your best to avoid too much extra baggage.

Furthermore, it might be a good idea to invest in a [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NW62PCA” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”n” popups=”y”]baggage scale[/easyazon_link]. That way you can ensure that your bag is within the weight limit.

3. Currency & ATM Fees

Whether you’re traveling to a destination that will require you to exchange currency, or will need to use the ATM on a regular basis, both actions will add to your bill. Depending on the exchange rate and where exactly you transfer currency, you’ll find that you’ll acquire some sort of charge or lose money in the exchange.

In addition, the cost to use ATMs not associated with your bank or to use your credit cards abroad could mean you pay a fee of $3-$10 each time you do so. While that might not seem hefty at first, the cost can add up quickly.

4. Forgotten Extras

In most cases, you probably have all your meals and a few snacks considered within your budget. However, once you arrive, the desire to try out local cuisine and drink or the temptation to opt for convenience foods, can have you spending more than you planned out.

Consider your destination and be aware of any miscellaneous extras you might be tempted to splurge on. And when it comes to snacks, be prepared and pack some pre-made ones from home.

Vacation is supposed to be your time to relax and get away from the chaos of the day to day. That being said, it’ll only stand to cause you stress if you get home and find that you’ve far exceeded your budget. Be aware of these extra hidden costs, so that you can plan ahead for the future and better stick to your travel plan.


Can you think of any other hidden travel costs? What are some ways you’ve been able to combat these hidden travel costs?


Photo courtesy of: Olichel