Archive for Budgeting

Closing the Deal: Can You Back out of a Home Purchase and What Are the Penalties for Doing So?

home buyer

So you decided to purchase a new family home, but on second thought, you want to abandon the deal? Well, this is not the first time someone has decided to take such an action. We have all have at a point in time cancelled a deal for one reason or the other.  Therefore, you can back out of your home purchase deal, as you desire. However, taking such a unilateral decision may come with some consequences.

home buyer

If you are yet to take such a decision, read on as I explore the conditions you need to meet before cancelling your home purchase deal.

Can You Back Out of a Home Purchase?

As already mentioned you can back out of your home purchase deal, but that depends on the;

  • Contract you signed

Most real estate purchase contracts come with an out clause but with conditions. Some agreements provide a specific period within which a buyer can end a deal. We call this period ?a contingency period.? Within the contingency period, the buyer has the opportunity to inspect the property. Since we buy houses with cash, this inspection is needed to ensure value for money.

After the inspection, the buyer can then decide whether to continue with the purchase or not. It is during this period that you can opt out without paying penalties.

But, if you decide to continue with the purchase and the contingency period ends, the real estate contract takes full effect. Any form of contract abrogation after the contingency period may come with penalties.

Why people back out of a home purchase

People back out of home deals for reasons including

  • Not meeting mortgage requirement
  • Found a new property cheaper than what they intend to buy
  • Lost of interest 

Penalties for cancelling a home purchase contract

Penalties for opting out of a purchase agreement vary and mostly depend on the deal. There are times that the real estate agent and buyer reach a compromise position. Here are some penalties for not fulfilling your purchase:

  • Forfeiting all your deposit – In most deals, you are required to make a non-refundable deposit to show your commitment. This is a strategy adopted by real estate dealers to scare people from opting out. With this, you will lose all your deposit if you revoke the contract after the contingency period.
  • Losing a percentage of the deposit ? sometimes, you lose a certain percentage of the deposit you made. Once again, it depends on what the contract says. So let?s say depending on the agreement, you can lose about 20 percent of deposits made.
  • Lawsuit: some homeowners may decide to sue you for damages. You were relying on a mortgage facility, so you made no deposit. Unfortunately, the mortgage was not approved and consequently, you couldn?t finalize the deal. In such a situation, the homeowner can sue you for wasting his time and financial loss.

Bottom line

Purchasing a home is a lifetime investment. Therefore, you must think through before making a move. Do you need that property? Is it worth the value? And does it meet your future desired home? Consider all these before signing on a paper to prevent losing hard-earned cash. You should also try as much as possible to negotiate deals in your favour.

Penny-Pinching Poker: How To Play Poker On A Budget



Poker“?(CC BY-SA 2.0)?by?susmit_s

As much as we?d like to, not all of us can turn up to poker games like high rollers ready to spend thousands of dollars on a whim. Sure, that?d be a lot of fun but as the average UK household earns?around ?68 per week?to spend on recreational activities, that?s simply not a possibility for many of us. On the other hand, you may have the extra money to invest but simply don?t enjoy the higher levels of risk and anxiety that can accompany high-stake games. Regardless of your reasons, nothing should stop you from playing poker if it?s one of your favourite pastimes. Instead, you?ll simply have to?play on a budget?and fortunately for you, we?ve come up with a guide on how you can do precisely that.

1. What Are Low-Stakes Poker Games?

Play poker

Poker“?(CC BY 2.0)?by?sidewalk flying

Whether you?re playing online or live poker, most games and tournaments require each individual player to buy a seat at the table. The amount charged is known as the buy-in and can differ in price significantly. For example, big, prestigious tournament events such as the World Series of Poker Main Event charge $10,000 while smaller affairs will cost a lot less.

In the world of poker, the terms low, small, micro and minor stakes refer to cash games that require a small buy-in. These low-stakes games will also require players to place far smaller wagers than what would be expected during medium or high-stakes tournaments, often ranging from pennies up to ?100 at the most. In live games, this can often mean that the prizes are far smaller than they would be in high-stakes games. Though, online there are still quite a few outlets willing to reward low-stakes players.

This is even true of free poker games and tournaments, which can be found all across the web. These games are perfect for anyone who has just entered the world of poker or those who don?t have the extra cash to invest in online games. Unfortunately, while these games are great value, more experienced players may find them a little testing as there will be a lot of newbies in there honing their skills. Still, if you think you can put up with this, they?re a great alternative to even the lowest of low-stakes games.

2. How Do Low-Stakes Poker Games Work?

If you?re ready to enter straight into the world of low-stakes poker, then there are tons of open seats just waiting for you to join. Upon entering, whether it be online or off, you will be asked to deposit your buy-in in exchange for a specific amount of chips. From there, the low-stakes game will proceed much like any other poker game, just expect the wagers to be a lot smaller than those in the tournaments you may have watched on TV or online.

Just because your buy-in and wagering limits are small doesn?t mean you can?t win big though. In fact, many of the world?s top poker players began by playing low-stakes games, including Cliff Josey (Johnny Bax), Shaun Deeb and Chris Moorman. These players are known as ?grinders? due to their low-risk, tight poker playing style and each of them has managed to make quite a lot of money despite rarely dropping ridiculous amounts of cash on games.

As to whether you can do the same, according to 888poker, this depends on two things: your bankroll (the total you?re willing to invest in poker games) and your skill level. For example, say you?re looking to play?Texas hold?em,?then you will first need to find a game that your bankroll can cover and that your skill level is up to par for. When it comes to skill levels, this is entirely up to you and relies solely on self-assessment. The bankroll issue, on the other hand, can be calculated pretty easily: you should have at the very least enough money to pay the buy-in 25 times over. So, if you have paid ?50 to enter a game, then you should have at least ?1250 to spend in total. If your total bankroll is ?50, though, then you should be looking for ?2 buy-ins, which you?re far more likely to come across online than in the real world.

3. How To Find Online & Live Low-Stakes Poker Games

Speaking of where you?re likely to come across low-stakes poker games, if you?re looking to play live games, then your local neighbourhood may already have a games night set up that you can get involved in. Alternatively, you yourself may want to consider organising a poker night where anyone can join in with low-stakes, ensuring that you can have fun without having to break the bank.

As with most things these days, finding low-stakes poker games is significantly easier on the internet. In fact, there are few games that the iGaming industry hasn?t produced, whether you?re looking for low-stakes table games or high-stakes bingo. For penny-pinching poker players, there are so many low-stakes poker games that some even offer nano-limits, which are wagers smaller even than a penny sometimes. As we mentioned earlier, there are also a number of free poker games you can get involved in, though?be wary of our warnings if you?re an experienced player.

To find these games, the easiest thing to do is to Google, as we?re sure a seemingly infinite amount of games will pop up. As for which site you should choose to use, we recommend you practise caution. Don?t just go for the sites with the lowest stakes or the most games, always do your research to ensure that the site is licensed, that they keep up to date with the most recent gambling laws and have other features such as 24/7 customer support. You?re already playing poker on a budget and no one wants to see you lose out on an unlucky site.

After all, whether you?re playing low-stakes online or live with friends, the ultimate aim is to have fun. With this guide, we?re sure that you can do this even though you can?t live that baller, high-roller lifestyle of our dreams.

6 Steps to Help You Simplify Your Budget

6 Steps to Help You Simplify Your Budget

6 Steps to Help You Simplify Your BudgetNobody wants to keep track of a complicated budget. Even if you know that budgeting is important, you still don?t want to dedicate a large portion of your free time to this task. When you are away from work, you?d rather be spending time with your family and friends as opposed to staring at a spreadsheet on your computer.

So, is it possible to keep a simple budget for your household? Of course! Here are six helpful tips.

Have a Miscellaneous Category

The task of creating a category for every single penny you spend throughout a month is an unnecessary complication for the budgeting process.

Instead, create a miscellaneous category which can catch various small purchases that don?t fit anywhere else. Of course, this category should have a budget limit just like the rest of your categories, to make sure you don?t waste money on random items during the month.

Use Averages

You aren?t going to know what some of your expenses will be in advance, but you can use average values to even things out.

For instance, your utility bills will likely vary throughout the year, based on weather and other factors. Look at past bills and come up with an average number you can use for budgeting purposes.

Schedule an Annual Review

Trying to update your budget on a monthly basis is probably not necessary. Instead, consider looking at your budget once per year to make changes.

For the rest of the year, you will be using your budget to guide your spending habits ? but you won?t be actively looking to change it. Only when your annual review comes around will you invest the time needed to tweak the budget to match changes in your life.

Keep It in One Place

A spreadsheet is an excellent tool for keeping a budget, so create one and save it somewhere it will be easy to find. You can opt for actual personal finance budgeting tools if you would like, but a spreadsheet will get the job done for most people.

The nice thing about a spreadsheet is that it can be perfectly customized to meet your needs.

Streamline Your Spending

if you spend money using a combination of cash and several different debit/credit cards, it might become difficult to keep track of everything going in and out throughout each month. If possible, try to use a couple of cards as your main method of making purchases.

Buy Less Stuff!

Your budget is naturally going to become less complicated if you simply purchase less stuff throughout the course of a month. Not only will buying fewer things mean you don?t have to do as much work on your budget, but it will also let you save money ? which is the whole point in the first place!

Most people today buy way more than they need, and life gets pretty expensive as a result. Think about your spending habits carefully and there are sure to be places you can find to cut back.


Is your budget simple or complicated? What can you do to make it easier to keep track of?


Photo courtesy of: StockSnap

5 Easy Ways to Trim the Fat from Your Budget

5 Easy Ways to Trim the Fat from Your Budget

5 Easy Ways to Trim the Fat from Your BudgetWhen you attempt to trim the fat off your body, the steps are relatively obvious. You will probably go on a diet of some kind, and you may get started on a fitness regimen as well. It won?t be easy, but your persistence should pay off in weight loss over the long run.

You can think about your budget in the same way. If you would like to save more money each month, you might need to put yourself on a financial diet. By trimming away some of the unnecessary things from your spending habits, you can put yourself in a better position going forward.

The exact steps you should take to clean up your budget will depend on your situation, but the five tips below may be of assistance.

Cut Out Things You Don?t Use

This is the most obvious place to start. You simply shouldn?t be spending money on things you don?t need, or don?t use regularly.

This might include subscription services that aren?t providing you with good value, or maybe a cable package that you don?t watch enjoy to justify its cost. Take a review of your monthly spending and determine if any of your recurring costs could be cut out.

Dine at Home

You have probably heard this tip before when thinking about budgeting, but it bears repeating over and over again. If you can swap some meals out for meals that you make at home, the savings will add up quickly.

In general terms, you will usually double the cost of a meal when you go out to a restaurant, as compared to making it yourself.

Pay Minimal Interest

When at all possible, you want to avoid paying interest. Again, another relatively obvious point, but one which needs to be made.

Some of the common areas where you may be paying interest include on your home loan, your car loan, and any credit card balances you are carrying. Of those three, the credit card balances should be the easiest to eliminate ? and they also will carry the highest rates ? so target those first.

Shop Around

Sometimes, you can clean up your budget by purchasing fewer items in a given month. But what if you already do a good job of only buying what you need? In that case, you can turn your attention to shopping around for better prices.

Thanks to the power of the internet, it takes only a moment to find the best available price on just about any item.

Get on the Same page

Everyone in the household needs to be on the same page when it comes to budgeting. Make sure adults and children (if they are old enough to spend money) understand the importance of financial goals. This way everyone can work together to keep the budget on track.

If there is a teamwork mentality in place with regard to the money that is spent by your family, some of the wasted ?fat? should quickly be eliminated.


How have you trimmed the fat from your budget? What other ideas can you think of to easily save money?


Photo courtesy of: stevepb

How to Help Your Adult Children Create Their First Budget

How to Help Your Adult Children Create Their First Budget

How to Help Your Adult Children Create Their First BudgetIt?s hard to believe, but your kids are on their way to becoming their own adults. Time goes fast, and it probably seems like they were tiny little ones just a few years ago.

As a parent, you have done a lot to get them ready for their own life. If you would like to add another helpful preparation to the list of things you have taught them along the way, consider helping them create their first budget.

When kids move out, most of them don?t have a clue as to how the ?real world? works. You have been paying the bills for years, mostly behind the scenes. The kids usually don?t see the utility bills when they roll in, and they don?t see the mortgage payment get taken from your bank account each month.

Now that they are getting ready to head out on their own, you can use your experience to help them avoid some silly ? and costly ? mistakes.

Start Early

This process can start before your kids are even thinking about moving out of the house. In fact, as soon as your child gets his or her first job, have them set up a budget that they can use to track where that money is going.

They probably won?t have many bills at this point, but it is still a good idea to use a budget. Set aside some for savings, maybe some for a car payment, and outline how the rest will be used. This is going to be a rather basic budget, of course. But, it will lay the groundwork for responsibilities later in life.

Explain Taxes

It is one of the hard realities of life that making $15 per hour doesn?t mean you actually take home $15 for every hour you are on the clock. The concept of taxes is something that is vaguely familiar to most teenagers. But, they certainly don?t have an intimate understanding of how taxes work.

Take some time to explain what kind of taxes they will pay as an employee, and how they can plan for filing their federal return each year.

Outline Adult Expenses

The expenses that you have to deal with as an adult tend to pick up over time. So, your child probably won?t have too many to deal with when first setting out. There are a few big ones, however, such as rent, car payment, student loan, and insurance.

Lay out how all of these things are going to work on a monthly basis. Tell them what they should cost, and how they can be minimized (like getting a roommate to share rent, for example).

Sadly, these kinds of things are not typically taught in school. So, it is your job as a parent to give your child the advice they need at this critical time. By sending them out with the right knowledge, you will increase their chances of making wise financial decisions.


Have you started teaching your kids how to budget? When did you first start teaching them about money and budgeting?


Photo courtesy of: jcall