Build Wealth And Reduce Debt Today

We live in a world that differs from the ideal one we could imagine. While it’s simple enough to picture a utopia, most people would agree that this isn’t the world we live in. The same goes for our individual lives. It’s easy enough to imagine a set of goals (getting fit, learning a new language, getting your financial life in order), but it’s much harder to put those plans into motion, much less attain them. Today is the day to start turning those dreams into reality.  The best way to do this is to concentrate on two ideas: Build wealth and reduce debt.

Build Wealth

Building wealth isn’t easy, but there are a bunch of ways to do it. For one, you could simply save money. This is a great wealth building tool. Start with an emergency fund, one which is big enough to cover your expenses for six months or more, just in case you were to lose your job or get injured or sick. Making a habit of saving is an important financial discipline. It’s how you’ll build a better future for yourself.

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Be Frugal With These 4 Common New Years Resolutions

We’re just a few days a way from ringing in 2016.  I’m always excited for a New Year as I think it brings new beginnings.  One thing I do participate in is taking on some New Years resolutions, because, why not?  It’s fun.  One thing I don’t do is make them these big grandiose things.  Thehe bigger the resolutions are, and the more likely you’ll be to abandon them.  If you keep your New Years resolutions simple, you’ll actually be more likely to come out ahead.

One thing to realize is that New Years resolutions don’t have to break the bank….though the certainly could.  Here are some common resolutions and some ways to consider taking them on with a frugal mindset.  And for many, that right there could take care of one resolution!

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Smart Shopping: Top Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying a home for the first time can be incredibly nerve wracking. With a few tips in mind, however, you can navigate this tricky experience to land a home that’s ideal for you and your needs. When shopping for your first home, be sure to reflect on the following advice.

Sweat Equity

Sweat equity is the amount of labour you are willing to put into a home to make it your ideal. Making improvements to you new home, especially if it’s an older home, is a great way to increase the home’s value as you improve your enjoyment of it. To find a new house, you can tell your property agent you are interested in a home you can fix up. Only, be sure that the required fixes are ones you have the know-how to tackle.

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Making the Downsizing Decision: Reasons It May Not Be for Everyone

The bulk of money and real estate experts laud downsizing as a fabulous way to get ahead, not just financially, but also socially, physically and mentally. The common advice to declutter and move to a smaller space is not as one size fits all as you might believe, however. In fact, some pretty compelling facts support the concept of staying right where you are with what you have.

Saving Money Might Be a Pipe Dream

Most homeowners who downsize do so in hopes that the move will cut their expenses. For example, they rationalize that they’ll come out ahead with a lower mortgage, reduced heating and cooling expenses and a trimmed-down insurance package. Unfortunately, other costs can negate what you might save. Taxes might be higher in your new neighborhood, for instance, or you could have new homeowners’ association fees to cover. You also need to consider the expenses related to the move, such as truck rental, closing fees, buying new furnishings, making necessary modifications or repairs, closing and opening utility accounts and travelling back to see friends and family members after you’re settled.

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Real Estate Investing: Avoiding the Most Common and Lethal Mistakes

Many investors get into the real estate game because they believe they can get rich quickly.  They buy property, collect great amounts of rent for a couple of years, and then sell when prices appreciate. This is not how real estate investing works, however.

It takes time, even decades, to see significant returns. It also takes care, learning, and a willingness to put in years of effort to make the most of such an investment. When one is willing to invest all this in a real estate venture, returns can be far better than can be realized in the stock market. However, investors who believe they only need to throw money at a property and do little else usually do not do well. This is only one of several cardinal rules of successful real estate investment.

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Our Disney World Experience: Animal Kingdom Lodge

This is part 3 of what I think will be around a 6 part series on our Disney World trip.  We took our trip in November 2015.  The first two posts talked about the park experiences, and since this was the centerpiece of the trip, that was split into two posts.

This is a review of our hotel, and we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Disney’s Options

Disney breaks their on site lodging options into three different options: Budget, Moderate, and Deluxe.

  • Budget – With these rooms, you get the basics.  When my wife and I did a quick trip to Disney World in 2008, we stayed at a budget resort.  That lived up to its name.  It was no frills, small, and really is a place to sleep.  It was not somewhere where you’d plan on spending a lot of time otherwise.
  • Moderate – Never having stayed at a moderate resort, I can only go by the description that they are for the value minded who want more amenities and some additional room, and would have to be the most ideal choice when you have more than two people to a room if you don’t want to be too cramped.
  • Deluxe – These are the higher end properties where Disney tries to go beyond giving you a place to stay, and making it a true ‘experience’.  Bigger rooms, more perks, and great attention to detail are the themes throughout.

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6 Low Cost Ways We Have Family Holiday Fun

Holidays can be a stressful time.  They’re certainly busy and full of many activities.  So,it’s good to have some ideas for family holiday fun. After all, family is really the most important part of the holidays.

For our family, there are a few different things we’ve established that we really enjoy or plan on adopting as traditions:

Decorating

Now that the kids are old enough, we make them part of the decorating process.  We put up multiple trees, and they help with the decorations as much as they can, and they also look forward to certain elements that they know are coming, like mini trees in their room or the little Snoopy piano that they can press to make music from the TV special play.

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Our Disney World Experience: Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom

Here’s my second post about our recent Disney World trip.  Our first post talked about two of the four parks, Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and since there was so much to talk about there, I decided to write another post about the other two parks, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom

I’ve got a few more posts coming about many of the other elements of the trip, with thoughts on our hotel, dining, transportation, and a few more.

Hollywood Studios

This was the third park to open at Disney World, I think in the late 1980’s.  It doesn’t seem very big in comparison to the other parks, so it was pretty easy for us to complete most everything in under a day.  We spent a morning and afternoon here, and got back to the hotel for some pool time, and didn’t feel like we missed anything.  My wife and I did go back just by ourselves for one ride.

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How to Compare Auto Insurance Quotes to Get the Best Price

You would never consider buying a car without doing some cost comparison to see how much money you would save. So why would you sign up for an auto insurance plan without doing the same? If you have little to no clue on how to compare auto insurance quotes, here are a few tips that are likely to save you some money.

Gather Up-To-Date Information

If there have been significant changes in your life since the last time you went shopping for auto insurance, make sure all information is updated in your new quotes.  There are many important factors that determine auto insurance pricing.  For example, buying a home or getting auto insurance after marriage usually means cheaper rates for you since homeowners and married people have a tendency to file fewer claims. If you add a teen driver to your household, or looking to move to a new ZIP code, then what you pay may drastically change.

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Hopefully There Is Coal For The Person That Stole My Credit Card Info

Talk about funny timing.  On Monday night, I was talking to my dad and he was telling me about someone he knew that had their credit card info taken, and how it had happened multiple times. He wondered how credit card fraud had happened to them.

I Forgot To Knock On Wood

Wednesday morning, not more than 36 hours later, I am going through my emails when I spotted one from Citi that instantly got my attention as the subject line was “Fraud Alert – Suspicious Activity Detected”

Yikes.  Let’s say that I skipped right over to that one.

I’ve had a couple of instances where I got an e-mail or a call about activity, but never was there a problem and I was able to confirm the transactions.

As soon as I opened the e-mail and looked at the lists, I could tell that these were definitely not charges I made.

The first thing I did was log into my account to make sure that this was real, and wasn’t a phishing attempt of some sort, but it turns out these were right.

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