Thursday, December 18, 2014

Home Renovations: How to Save Money on Remodeling Your House

Decorating a home doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. Many people take to expensive renovations. However, renovations can prove costly without knowing where to get good deals. By knowing where to look and knowing how to budget you can save tons of money on your remodeling needs.

Stick to a Budget

The first thing you want to do is determine what you want to accomplish for your home remodel. After you have determined what you want to do and where you want to start is to research the costs of each project that you have in mind. Some projects will be more expensive than others. 

Have a budget in mind and stick to it. This will not only help you save money, but it will also help you not to take on too many remodeling projects at the same time. You might even consider taking on one project at a time to make sure that you stay within the boundaries of the budget that you set.

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores present a wonderful way to secure nice items for amazingly reduced prices. Some items can be a few decades old; however, in well-to-do areas, some items may only be a few months old. Those who live in affluent areas are more prone to change the décor in their homes more often. Some items are discarded because they can’t be returned and they are not needed in the home. 

In addition, there are certain nostalgic items that can be found. In the instance a homeowner wishes to do their kitchen in an Americana theme, finding hard-to-get items like Norman Rockwell plates for a lesser price make it possible. Other items may include Coca-Cola décor. In addition, people find authentic pieces as opposed to something that is mass produced, which lends to a customized approach of renovations. 


Repurposing items costs a fraction of the price it would cost to buy a brand new piece. Repurposing items involves taking old items and making modifications to create new uses for these items. People can get lost in trying to make new uses out of things. “Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention” so it’s not surprising that when people think of a need that they discover how to meet this need. 

For instance, let’s say a baby has become a toddler, and a changing table is no longer needed. However, the parent needs an entertainment center. By making a few modifications, the changing table can be made into an entertainment center. 

Where to Shop

There are various companies that seek out to build homes for the less fortunate. At times, there is a surplus of items from what wasn’t used. When this occurs, they are available to the public for a drastically reduced price. Some stores carry chainsaws, putty, paint, door, blinds and many other household items, such as pottery or paintings, for a reduced price. 

Another route to explore is through Alair Homes as they provide a customized approach at creating a budget according to customer needs. For example, those seeking major renovations in Victoria can set up an appointment with Alair Homes for a seven-step process that involves everything between consultation and construction.

There are endless ways to get things accomplished in the home. Beyond what’s mentioned above, secure coupons. For people who are moving or who have recently moved, there are moving packets available at the post office and other places that have hardware store coupons. 

People can expect to save as much as 15 percent off their total purchase. Simply explore what’s available by going an unconventional route.

Monday, December 15, 2014

What's Your Net Worth: How to Calculate Your Assets

You likely often hear the term "net worth" associated with high profile celebrities, and others who are well known all across the world. However, essentially everybody has a net worth, and sometimes, the finalized number can be quite a surprise. Calculating your net worth can help you get a realistic idea about your financial standing so you can make more sound decisions concerning your finances.
If you have access to your insurance policies, financial accounts, and other related information, you can easily calculate your assets. Use this guide as a starting point for getting a quick snapshot of your financial standing.

Add Up Your Cash

Adding your cash is as easy as it sounds. Cash refers to all physical currency that is currently in your possession. For example, the money in your wallet, the change in your coin jar, and the even the pennies in your couch are all physical currency that you own. If you have foreign currency, be sure to factor that in as well. You might need to use a conversion tool to find out its value in US dollars.

Examine Your Accounts

The accounts you analyze won't be merely limited to checking or savings accounts. You'll want to look into your money market accounts, CDs (certificates of deposit), IRAs, 401k earnings, mutual funds, bonds, and stocks. Any account you have that has a current monetary worth should be counted when looking into your accounts. You can check online to get a good idea of your accounts interest.

Factor in Real Estate

Regardless of whether you have a mortgage on your property or not, you should calculate the estate's current market value. Practically any properties you own, including land, should be added in. 

Add Your Insurance Policy

Life insurance has a cash value on it, and this particular value is determined when the policy is initially taken out. An insurance broker can help you calculate the value of your insurance policy if you're not immediately sure about it. Don't guess at how much you have; find out the exact value by either looking into your account or contacting your insurance company.

Determine the Worth of Your Possessions

This is where calculating your assets can get slightly tricky. You likely own lots of valuable possessions, but you aren't sure what their true worth really is. Find out the money market value of possessions such as collectibles, jewelry, antiques, and furniture. Motor vehicles should also be factored in by their blue book value; be sure to include motorcycles, RVs, boats, etc. If you're having trouble determining the worth of a certain possession, consider having it appraised by a professional.

Calculate Money Owed

If you are owed a debt that can be expected to be paid back, you can count the money owed towards your assets. For example, if you loaned a friend $200 to pay their electric bill, and they promised to return the full amount to you within two weeks, you could count this as an asset. However, money you've given to others that hasn't been paid back within a reasonable amount of time shouldn't be counted.

Subtract Debts

The value of your net worth quite simply comes down to the numerical amount left over when debts have been subtracted from assets. Debts you should consider subtracting from your assets include amounts left owed on any mortgages, student loans, credit card debts, home equity loans, and automobile loans. To calculate the magical number, subtract the amount totaled from your debts from your total value of assets.

After the age of 18, virtually everyone should have an idea of their net worth. According to Edmonton insurance brokers at Drayden Insurance Ltd, calculating your net worth is not only about knowing where you stand with your finances, but also developing a plan for your future.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How to Save Money When Buying a New Car

Nothing beats being prepared and doing your homework no matter what the situation. When purchasing a new car it is extremely important to head into the transaction fully prepared. Car dealerships are in business to sell cars and make a profit. Otherwise there is no point to being in business. And most companies exact a reasonable profit from every sale and customers get a fair deal. But in those instances were a dealership is trying to get a little too much profit or take advantage during a deal, consumers should be privy to a few common loopholes in the car buying game.

Price and compare

If you don’t care about the price, why should a dealer? Perusing the inventories of several similar brands offering similar features keeps options open when discussing price. After doing an online investigation to determine which makes are most appealing, it is time to visit the dealers and see what local offers are being made. Dealerships like Tischer Auto offer price comparisons that can be made under one roof. Some dealerships may only sell one new brand at a location, but can check with partner dealerships to help compare prices.

Stick to the basics

Anymore, car makers are in competition with their factory warranties that outlast the life of most vehicles. So why pay for an additional dealer warranty? The dealer package, including warranties and undercoating and extra protections are a classic scheme to get more money rolled into the monthly payment, costing the buyer more in interest throughout the life of the loan. If a dealer add-on package is attractive, it should be paid for separately in cash.

Trade in tactics

Offering up your old car as a trade in is a standard practice. But negotiate the new car purchase price before mention of the trade in. This creates two separate transactions and you know what price you are being paid for your vehicle. In some instances, more money can be had from the old car selling it privately.

Secure your cash

Dealership and brand financing plans are not always the best route for your money. Outside financing sources such as banks and credit unions offer competitive terms and repayment plans. Have your financing in place before making an offer on any new car. With that said, you want to save money. The place you buy your car from wants to make as much money off of you as possible. 

When you go to buy your car, have a price range in mind and stick with that price range. Don’t go too far above it as it will defeat the purpose of you saving any money on your new ride. You will also want to negotiate the prices down as much as possible. You will also want to negotiate a number lower than what you are willing to settle for. It will help you keep your cash secure and it will give you the best chance to save some money.

For most, buying a new car is the second largest investment of your life. However, it is not the second largest investment you will make because you will do it only once, but you will likely have to buy a new car multiple times throughout your life. Learn from your first experience in buying a new car for the future ones that you buy. Make sure you especially learn from your mistakes in dealing with the salesman. Learn how to negotiate. These skills will help you be able to buy a new car for the years to come and you will get the best deal that will allow you to save money. More importantly though make sure it is a deal you can live with and enjoy for years to come.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

How To Find The Money to Pay For Unexpected Expenses

Unexpected expenses are a fact of life. From medical bills to home repairs, the one thing you can anticipate is that bills will pop up. When that happens, creative ways to find money to pay for them can mean the difference between barely skating by and moving on with life.

Yard Sales

Yard sales may not seem like a sound way to make extra money, but if you have a large quantity of unused items, selling them will add up. Some people report earnings of several hundred dollars, simply by selling the clothes and small items they no longer use.

Selling Household Items Online

There is a brisk market for unwanted household items online. Sites like Craigslist exist primarily to help you do just that and recently, localized Facebook groups have seen surges in membership as people buy, sell and trade their items among others in their communities. 

Emergency Funds

If you have an emergency fund, consider the wisdom of using it for your current unexpected expenses. Emergency funds are an excellent way to hedge against the uncertainties of life, so if you have not done so already, consider this an opportunity to start by saving even five or ten dollars per month.

Find Out if You Really Owe

You may be able to negotiate your expense. Contact the company you owe and find out if they are willing to lower the price for a cash deal or haggle on some of the costs. This can be particularly true of service and medical bills.

Refocus Priorities

When funds are short, cutting the budget in areas with some leeway, such as entertainment, dining out or clothing expenses, can give you the money now to tackle that extra expense. Cutting those areas rarely causes long term issues but can give you immediate relief with bills.

Home Equity Loans

If the expense you need to cover is higher than the other methods can help with, consider a home equity loan. This allows you to capitalize on the equity you have in your home to create a cash flow, often at very affordable interest rates.

When you look around at your assets, you will find that there is almost always a way to find money to pay for unexpected expenses. With a little creativity, you can handle a bill you did not anticipate and enjoy the satisfaction of paying off a debt.

Informational credit to The Mortgage Centre.

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