Archive for the ‘Money & Finance’ Category

Freebie Friday June 13, 2014

Friday, June 13th, 2014

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! We would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice we have some great tips for creating special one-on-one time with your kids from our parenting contributor, Mary and thoughtful advice from our money contributor, Kelly, about renting vs. buying a home. I’m sharing the best in summer reading from Scribd – plus a FREE 3-month membership for MomAdvice readers!! On this week’s edition of  It’s the 3 Little Things I’m sharing what’s making me happy and hope you’ll share yours, too!

Of course you’ll also find our weekly notebook, filled with inspiring DIY food, decorating and craft ideas, and you’ll want to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Health & Beauty
 
 
Food & Drink
 
 
Entertainment
 

 

This Week’s Freebie Events: June 14 - 20

14th - Barnes & Noble: Attend the Father’s Day Storytime, 11 am

14th - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Father’s Day Pencil Holder, 11 am - 3

14th - Lowe’s: Build Toothless the Dragon, 10 am

14th - Michael’s: Make a Tie-Dye T-Shirt for Dad, 1 – 4 pm

14th - Toys R Us: Attend the Lego Movie Building Event, 12 – 2 pm

 

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Evaluating the Cost of Home: Renting vs Buying

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

From our money & finance contributor, Kelly Whalen.

One of the largest expenses we have is our homes. Whether you’re renting or buying your home it can add up fast. While most financial experts recommend you spend 25% or less of your earnings on your home costs, location plays a huge factor in whether you can meet that guideline or not. This month we’ll be evaluating how to make the decision to rent or buy, and I’ll share some money saving tips that will help whether you rent or own your home.

Evaluating the Cost of Home Renting vs. Buying

When deciding if you should rent or buy it’s important to consider a number of factors:

1. Evaluate your Needs and Where you Are
Knowing what you need in a home or rental is the first step to your evaluation between renting vs buying. In addition to knowing what you need in a home, location plays a big factor. Look at the community you want to live in, but don’t be afraid to look outside your ideal area because the savings may be worth it.

Renting: If you’re renting it’s easier to look for something that fits you right now, but that may be a mistake. Consider what plans you have in the next several years because it is easier to stay put than it is to move you want to ensure you don’t go through the upheaval of moving multiple times especially if you have a family.

Money saving tip: Before you sign a lease find out if your rent is negotiable. For instance you may be able to make repairs or improvements for savings.

Buying: If you’re buying or own a home you will want to consider a little more long-term. For instance, if you’re planning to add children to your family or possibly care for an elderly relative you’ll want to be sure your home has enough room to grow into.

Money saving tip: Homeowners should evaluate their mortgage to see if refinancing will save them money.

2. Cost is King
Cost is a major factor in your decision to rent or buy. The costs of home ownership and rentals in your area will play a big role in your decision. In some communities and urban areas it never makes sense to buy because rent is low and home prices are high. In most areas though it can save you money in the long run to own your own home. As rental prices increase your mortgage payment will stay the same.

Renting: One of the major costs of renting a home is the deposit you have to put down. Generally this will be 2-3 times the monthly rent. In some urban areas they will require a larger deposit especially if you have poor credit. This could end up costing you several thousand dollars to tens of thousands in higher priced areas. In addition, you will have to factor in what other costs are covered (or not) by renting. Your rent could include utilities, WiFi, and water bills or might even include a building gym or services especially if you live in a metropolitan area.

Money saving tip: Consider all the costs you will have to pay when comparing rentals. If you find a rental that’s going for $1,000/month but you have to pay $300/month in costs for electric, water, and association dues that is more expensive than the $1,250/month rental that includes everything.

Buying: The major cost for buying is the down payment on your home. With the collapse of the housing market options have become more limited for people who don’t have a large down payment. However there are options to consider, so be sure to check with your local bank and mortgage broker. In addition you will have moving costs and repairs to consider if your home needs anything immediately.

Money saving tip: Shop around for pre-approval for a mortgage if you decide to buy. You can save tens of thousands of dollars by doing your homework on mortgage rates.

Prepare to Save

No matter if you’re buying or renting here are some steps you can take to get a better deal:

1. Improve your credit-
Use your free credit reports (1 per agency each year) to ensure everything on your report actually belongs to you and there are no false reports on your credit. I

Money saving tip: A credit dispute can take up several weeks to be fixed and can affect your mortgage interest rate and your ability to rent.

2. Research, research, research-
Knowing what typical rent and home prices are is the key to finding a good deal and simply not overspending on your home. You can use sites like Zillow, RedFin and local realtor sites to get an idea of pricing.

Money saving tip: Set up email alerts or app alerts so you don’t miss when new properties become available.

3. Set Expectations-
Know that there will never be the ‘perfect’ home. In most cases we have to choose the best options out of what is available and what we can afford. In some cases this means trading square footage for location or choosing an older home because the neighborhood schools are worth sacrificing granite countertops.

Choose the things that are the most important to you now and think ahead for the next several years. Will this house or rental suit your needs as your kids get older? Or are your kids older and you’ll be able to live with less space in a few years?

4. Real Estate is not an Investment (for Most of Us)-
While there are exceptions (like people who make it their business to buy and sell real estate) for most of us our homes are simply a place to live. While it’s important to pay attention to the costs it’s unlikely the housing market will climb the way it did pre-housing boom in most areas.

Since most families don’t stay in their homes and locations the way they did in past generations it’s not as common to pay off your home mortgage. Even if your mortgage is paid off and you own your home outright you will still have the costs of repairs and upkeep. When/if you do eventually sell a paid-off home you’re going to use that money to buy again.

5. Repairs are Costly-
If you’re renting, having a landlord means you will have someone to lean on when things need to be repaired and won’t have to cover the cost yourself. While you may not incur the cost directly it will be passed on in the form of your rent.

If you buy a home all the cost and work of repairs will be on you. While you can DIY some things larger repairs can be get expensive. An inspection before you buy will help identify some needed fixes when buying a home, but you may encounter things you didn’t expect.

No matter what you choose or how you save money on your home it can be challenging but worth it both financially and for your happiness. Examining costs and weighing your options may not seem especially exciting but by saving on the place you call home you can slash your budget significantly.

Of course there is one thing you can’t put a price on and that’s the feeling you get when you’re truly home.

For more in our series of money savvy tips read:

 

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Apron Full of Giveaways 06.10.14

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Blue polka dot apron via etsy

Source: 4 Retro Sisters,  $37.95

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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Freebie Friday June 6, 2014

Friday, June 6th, 2014

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! We would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice I’m sharing two ideas that would be great for Father’s Day: an easy gift of DIY Grilling Seasoning Mixes (with free printable!) and a delicious meal any dad would love, Restaurant Style Steaks. I also have a Sundays with Writers interview with Patry Francis, the author of one of my favorite books this year, The Orphans of Race Point, that you won’t want to miss! And our food contributor, Diana, has an article all about 5 FREE things you can get at U-Pick Farms that has me anxious to plan a family outing to a farm. On this week’s edition of  It’s the 3 Little Things I’m sharing what’s making me happy and hope you’ll share yours, too.

Of course you’ll also find our weekly notebook, filled with inspiring DIY food, decorating and craft ideas, and you’ll want to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Health & Beauty
Food & Drink
Entertainment

This Week’s Freebie Events: June 7 - 13

7th - Home Depot: Build a Riding Lawn Mower, 9 am – 12 pm

7th - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Learn To Count Ladybug, 11 am - 3 pm

7th - Michael’s: Make a Father’s Day Card, 12- 3 pm

7th & 8th - National Museums: Free Entrance to Museums for Bank of America Card Holders

 

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Apron Full of Giveaways 06.03.14

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

princess tiana apron

Source: Dark Balloons,  $80.00

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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Freebie Friday May 30, 2014

Friday, May 30th, 2014

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! We would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice I got to feature an interview with our summer book club author, Torre DeRoche for Sundays With Writers – it’s awesome and I hope you’ll check it out as a great way to get into the book, Love with a Chance of Drowning! And I hope you’re as ready as I am for summer’s easy recipes! We have two perfect examples this week – a self-crusting leafy green quiche and an appetizer of grilled tomato bread with prosciuttoyum, right?. On this week’s edition of  It’s the 3 Little Things I’m sharing what’s making me happy and hope you’ll share yours, too!

Of course you’ll also find our weekly notebook, filled with inspiring DIY food, decorating and craft ideas, and you’ll want to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Health & Beauty

Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths Sample
Matrix Biolage Sample
Listerine Mouthwash Sample
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Sample
U By Kotex Sample

Food & Drink

Doughnut at Krispy Kreme on June 6th
Lipton Natural Energy Tea Sample

Entertainment

Printable Slow Cooker Menu Plan for June
Christian Music Downloads
Printable Vintage Recipe Cards
Doll Swimsuit Pattern
Doll Tank Top Pattern
80 Disney Apps for Apple Devices
Spring Veggie Fever eCookbook
$1.29 Amazon MP3 Credit with Shazam Android App Download
Summer Math Program
June 2014 Monthly Menu Planner
Minecraft Pre-K and Elementary Educational Printables
Printable Father’s Day Fill-In Printable Booklet
Frozen Q-Tip Painting Printables
ABC Phonics Ladders
Martha Stewart Living Magazine Subscription
Ice Cream Preschool Unit
Dora’s Shape Adventure eBook
Vacation Bible School Curriculum

This Week’s Freebie Events: May 31 - June 6

31st - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Mermaid Mobile, 11 am - 3 pm

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Apron Full of Giveaways 05.27.14

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

denim apron via etsy

Source: Attitude & Apron,  $42.00

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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Freebie Friday May 23, 2014

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! We would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice we have another fantastic craft from our DIY contributor, Sarah – the gift of a meal idea with a free printable to make it all the more special! I’m completely excited about this week’s Sundays with Writers featuring John Green sharing about his book, The Fault In Our Stars, being made into a movie. You’ll also find an easy summertime recipe for 5 Ingredient Caprese Pork Chops and some sweet diy ideas to makeover your bicycle this summer. On this week’s edition of  It’s the 3 Little Things I’m sharing what’s making me happy and hope you’ll share yours, too!

Of course you’ll also find our weekly notebook, filled with lots of inspiring DIY food, decorating and craft ideas, and you’ll want to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Health & Beauty

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Sample

U By Kotex Sample

Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths Sample

Zarbee’s Seasonal Allergy Relief Sample

Food & Drink

Yogi Tea Sample

Entertainment

Frozen Free Fall App for Kindle Devices

5 Android Apps + 1000 in Amazon Coins ($10 Value)

Minecraft Themed Printable Pre-K Pack

Tangled Pre-K Printable Pack

Small Space Organizing eBook

Wildflower Reference Guide

Personalized Disney Family Car Decal

Scripture Coloring Pages

A Life Worth Reading: Thomas Jefferson eBook

This Week’s Freebie Events: May 24-30

24th - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Superhero Puppet, 11 am - 3 pm

 

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DIY Bike Makeover Ideas

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

DIY Bike Makeover Ideas

With warmer temperatures on the horizon, I am looking forward to spending lots of time biking with my kids this summer. Is there anything that makes you feel like a kid again like riding on a bike? I think not! Today’s post offers 7 ideas for a DIY Bike Makeover that you can do on a bike you already own or on a bike that you might like to purchase from your local Goodwill Store.

Did you know that Goodwill has bikes? I often see them lined up outside of our store and I had been dreaming of buying one and updating it with a few embellishments and spray paint of my own. As I had been dreaming and bookmarking my plans, my husband secretly surprised me with a bike to celebrate selling my first book.

Read more about my love for bikes and get 7 Ideas for a DIY Bike Makeover on the Goodwill Tips Blog today!

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Apron Full of Giveaways 05.20.14

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

zip half apron

Source: Laurie’s Gifts,  $30.00

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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