Every summer, the temperature goes up and so too does your power bill. The energy your AC requires to keep the house cool and your family comfortable is impressive, especially when the hot summer sun is heating up your house from the outside. Every year, you may enjoy the bright sunshine and the laughter of children out of school, but you don't look forward to that rising power bill.
You've found the perfect home. It's a beach-front property sitting on two acres of land with the best views. But, if you're like most buyers, you didn't ask the right questions during the purchase process. For example, why's that huge blot of paint thicker on the siding of one wall than it is on others? Or, why is the home sloping so much at the back, while it's level at the front? These, and other things buyers forget to look for when buying, end up costing more than they bargained for.
Concealing Paint Coverage
You'll obviously look at the floor and ceiling for watermarks to spot signs of water damage. But, if you notice fresh paint right before an open house, on several walls or areas of the home, sellers might be trying to hide something. This includes mold damage, which is an even bigger issue you don't want to deal with. Check pipes, exposed areas, and look for fresh paint. If it's staring you in the face, don't hesitate to ask about it.
Throwing a good yard sale is a lot like throwing a party--you want lots of people to come, have a good time, and not leave empty-handed. So when you're planning a yard sale, think of it as a party you're having--and follow these five tips to have the best yard sale on your block. Enlist the grown-ups to run the sales, and let the kids set up lemonade stands for thirsty shoppers.
Invite the Neighbors
The first thing you do when you have a party is to invite the neighbors, and a yard sale is no exception. Get as many families as you can to join you in the yard sale; the bigger the sale, the more traffic you'll get. Also, when you expand your sale you get the benefit of your neighbor's expertise--if you're not good with social media, chances are good you have a neighbor who's a Facebook whiz. And social media is a must for a successful yard sale.
A digital wallet is defined by Investopedia as a system that stores personal payment information and passwords for multiple payment methods. Just like your physical wallet, a digital wallet stores your credit, debit, and other card information. However, all of the information is conveniently located on your smartphone. With 77% of American adults owning a smartphone, extending the convenience of these devices to consumer banking and purchasing habits is a natural next step.
As children grow, parents and teachers seek ways to educate them in every subject to help them reach success in adulthood. Unfortunately, the subject of finances is often overlooked. While it's important to gather knowledge and seek a good career, most of this planning is in vain when careful saving and spending habits are never acquired.
Topics: My Finances
Have you ever noticed that your big life decisions leave you to figure it out for yourself, while the little stuff--toasters and power tools, for example--come with pages and pages of instruction? If you're thinking it's time to buy your first home, but you feel like you need a "Homebuyer's Guide for Dummies" to figure out how, you're not alone. There are so many facets to home buying that it's easy to get overwhelmed, but once you break down the process into the basic components it's a lot easier to digest--like any journey, you take it one step at the time.
Topics: My House & Home
In a perfect world, sensitive data would remain private. You wouldn't have to worry that your private data would end up spread across the internet or stolen by hackers. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world--and it's critical that you know how to protect yourself as much as possible. The 2017 Equifax credit breach, for example, impacted more than 145 million individuals. Target's 2013 data breach impacted more than 41 million consumers, ultimately costing target more than $18 million. Do you know how to keep yourself safe in this fast-paced society? There are several things you need to know about data and credit breaches--and how you can keep yourself safe.
1. Handle Your Shopping Correctly
Credit cards often get a bad reputation in today's society. People avoid credit cards because of the potential to go into debt--but they forget about the potential advantages offered by those cards. If you're trying to protect your credit and your finances, consider shopping with a credit card instead of using cash or your debit card. Credit cards send clear, easy to track statements that you can check every month to ensure that there are no unfamiliar purchases. Credit cards also offer higher levels of protection against unauthorized purchases than your debit card company, which means that if someone does manage to access your private information, you can get your money back as soon as possible.
Topics: Safety & Security
Ahh spring.... This long, cold, wet winter is finally over--at least according to the calendar--and it's time to act on some of those Houzz and Pinterest-inspired home improvement projects you've been mulling over on those cold winter nights. Spring is springing, so now is the time to finalize your home improvement plans--decide what you're going to do, figure out the budget, and line up the contractors. Once the ground thaws out and it's warm enough to actually get outside, getting on a good contractor's schedule is a challenge--start interviewing as soon as you finish this article.
Topics: My House & Home
Creating a budget can be daunting to some, especially if finances are tight. And while it might seem initially scary to set limits on yourself and impose new rules, it does not have to be. If set up correctly, budgets can be freeing, believe it or not. They give you a better perspective on your spending habits, what to improve, and which areas of life you can allocate more money. And once you get into the habit of sticking to a budget, it gets easier and easier. Here are some ways to start:
The methods used to scam the general public out of their money are becoming more elaborate than ever. Advanced technology makes these methods look legitimate and familiar to the unsuspecting eye. As a result, credit card and debit fraud continues to be on the rise. The use of technology in our daily lives won't be going anywhere anytime soon, so it's important to know what steps to take to keep your money safe. Read these five essential steps of how to recognize credit and debit card fraud and the essential steps to avoid becoming a victim!