Carnival of Financial Camaraderie

Welcome back to Financial Nerd! I’ve been doing a ton of traveling lately. First to San Diego (the zoo is amazing!), then to LA, and finally back home to Vegas (which kind of feels like a permanent vacation).Enjoy the carnival!

BUDGETING

Todd @ American Debt Project writes 9 Things Productive People Do Each Night – Productive people, like Ehsan Bayat, have daily routines that help them succeed. Success begins and ends with both mental and physical well-being.

Josh @ Money Spruce writes How to Get a Loan When You Have Bad Credit – Unfortunately, for many having bad credit is a part of everyday life. Mistakes and unfavorable circumstances happen, such as hospitalizations, job loss, and repairs needed around the home.

Max @ My Family Finances writes Couponing the Right Way – While couponing has definitely been quite trendy in the last few years, it’s certainly not new. Coupons have been around nearly as long as newspapers, and that’s a long time.

Julie @ Low Income Financial Help writes The Ultimate Guide of Real Discounts – Save Money Today! – Learn how you can literally save a significant amount of cash each month by simply asking for a discount.

Justin @ iPlugin writes Apple iWatch Will Be a Slam Dunk – The impetus on Apple to have a smash hit with their (ridiculously) highly anticipated Apple Watch is still very much on, for a number of reasons.

Danielle @ TeacHer Finance writes The Financial Impact on Teachers Obtaining Their Master’s Degree – You have received your teaching certification, and now you are ready to move on to either a Master of Arts in Teaching or a Master’s in Education.

Aaron @ Aaron Hung writes 7 Reasons You Need Health Insurance – Over the last few years health insurance has been a major topic of conversation in just about every social circle, especially with Obamacare and all of the changes that it’s created.

Justin @ Edward Antrobus writes Learn How to Double Your Money! – OK, let’s cut to the chase; everyone knows that the best way to make money on your money is to invest it, but we also all know that the stock market can yield a lot of different amounts of returns and that, whether professional or amateur, those future returns are never guaranteed.

Marissa @ Thirty Six Months writes 7 Awesome Reasons You SHould Become a Digital Nomad – I fell in love with travelling at really young age- my father’s job involved moving to a different country every few years, and he took his young family with him every time.

Sam @ The New Business Blog writes The dental game: how to make yours shine – You’ve studied molars, dug out dentures, perfected fillings and cut out cavities –now it’s time to start up a dental business of your very own.

Katie @ IRA Basics writes Retirement Fun Needs Planning – The chances of old age being fun are much more dependent upon living a financially responsible life than ever before.

Lily @ Paying Debt Down writes Signs that you are nearing Financial Disaster – Let’s face it, in a perfect world you would never be broke, your bills would always be paid on time and you would have money left over from your budget every month.

Bob @ Dwindling Debt writes Thinking of Purchasing a Home? – One of President Obama’s priorities in 2015 was to kickstart the housing boom once again and, as the Federal Housing Administration lowered mortgage insurance premiums today, first-time home buyers got an excellent reason to buy a home this year.

Andrea @ So Over This writes Smart Ways to Save on Health Care – The cost of living in America seems to rise daily. Although health insurance is now mandatory for all and ensures quality of care, it doesn’t mean Americans can afford the extra expense.

Hadley @ Epic Finances writes 5 Excellent Tips for Beginner Investors – If you’re brand-new to investing and possibly just starting to do your online research, good for you! One of the best things that you can do if you’re just getting into investing is teach yourself first, before you start risking any of your hard-earned money.

Lenny @ Best Money Saving Blog writes Online Short Term Loans – The financial world, along with the rest of the world, is moving more and more online. In fact, you can now obtain and repay a short term loan entirely online.

Amy @ Money Mishaps writes You Might Be Paying More for Your Health Insurance – According to a recent CNN Money comparison, under the most popular Obamacare plan, which is the “silver level”, consumers will pay more for their deductibles, copayments and prescription drugs then they will with the typical employer policy.

Jack @ Money Saving Ethics writes Putting Away Enough For Retirement? – Okay, let’s be honest, the vast majority of Americans haven’t or aren’t saving nearly enough for retirement.

Matt @ Budget Snob writes New Book Looks at New Ways Americans are Achieving Financial Freedom – Depending on which analyst or talking head you listen to, the “American Dream” is doomed, or at least highly endangered.

Danielle @ Saving Without a Budget writes If you’re not shopping around for your home mortgage, you’re wasting money – It’s no surprise that buying a house in America these days is expensive, and not just because home prices have risen back to the level they were at in early 2008.

Jay @ Daily Fuel Economy Tip writes Getting a Loan – If you have ever had any trouble getting a loan from a traditional banking system, then you owe it to yourself to find out about the other options that you have for money.

Oscar @ Money is the Root writes 3 Common Financial Mistakes Many Couples Make – Single consumers have plenty of challenges when it comes to personal finances, no doubt. For couples however, whether pre-or post-marriage, the consequences of making bad financial decisions can be a lot more expensive and damaging in the long run.

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes WixStores: The eCommerce Website Builder – What most people really want is an easy way to design their own web and mobile eCommerce site, get it up and running, and have the power to adjust it on the go. And although you could pay someone a lot of money to design an amazing ecommerce site for you, this is outside the budget for many merchants.

 

FINANCIAL ADVICE

Kristy Feldmen @ Outstanding Colleges writes Can You Get a Student Loan Without a Cosigner with Bad Credit? – A student loan is an essential financial tool for many students that will otherwise be incapable of affording college tuition.

 

FRUGALITY

FinanceValley @ Happy Valley Finance writes Should I Buy a New Car?

 

INVESTING

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes WixStores: The eCommerce Website Builder – What most people really want is an easy way to design their own web and mobile eCommerce site, get it up and running, and have the power to adjust it on the go. And although you could pay someone a lot of money to design an amazing ecommerce site for you, this is outside the budget for many merchants.

Can Your House Help You Build Wealth?

Can your house help you build wealth?

Can your house help you build wealth? The most obvious answer is ‘yes’; you can sell the property at a much higher price and use the money for investment and/or to buy another property. However, there are several other ways your house can help you build wealth.

4 Improvements which can increase your home equity

Here are 4 ways you can increase the value of your property.

  1. Attic bedroom – If possible, transform your attic into a bedroom; it will increase the count of bedrooms in your house.
  2. Additional bathroom – An additional bathroom, even if a half bathroom, can make it lucrative to the potential buyers.
  3. Update kitchen – If required, update your kitchen and make it look clean.
  4. Increase closet space – Make functional closets in your home in order to increase storage space.

However, think twice before making a luxury upgrade, since every improvement might not be lucrative to all potential buyers. Therefore, it is better to make those home improvements, which will have mass appeal so that there are more chances to get better return on investment.

3 Ways your house can help you build wealth

You can use your house to build wealth in the following 4 ways:

  1. Develop the habit of saving money – Developing the habit of saving money, is a bit difficult. You will be able to realize this better if every month you struggle to save a specific amount as per your budget plan. However, you need to build this habit if you want to build a secure financial future and deciding to buy a home will give you the required motivation. To buy a home, you’ll have to save a certain amount as down payment. So, start saving this amount from this month, even better, from today itself. Then, after making the down payment, you’ll have to save a certain amount to repay the loan on time in order to stay current on the mortgage loan. By developing this habit, you’ll notice yourself that saving money will become relatively easier for you. With time, you can increase the amount you save per month and walk towards building a secure financial future.
  1. Take out a home equity loan if required – No one can predict when you’ll be in urgent need of money. For example, you may be in need of sudden cash due to a financial emergency. In such a situation, you can tap your home equity to take out a home equity loan. This is a type of secured loan, which you can take out from a lender by pledging your home equity. Your home equity is actually the difference between the present worth of your home and how much you owe on the property. Home equity loans are relatively of low interest rate in comparison to credit card loans since the former is a secured loan. However, it is not advisable to tap your home equity to make your credit card payments. Regardless of whatever purpose you opt for a home equity loan, make sure you repay the loan on time so that you don’t lose your home.
  1. Give your house on rent – If you already have a house and decide to buy another one in a different locality, then you can give your present house on rent. It might also happen that you need to move to a different place for your job. In such a situation, and especially if you need to relocate fast and don’t have time to sell your property, you can give your present house on rent. It might also happen that you don’t want to sell your property right now. In such circumstances, you can use the money you get from rent to buy another property at your new location; or simply you can take a property on rent, at the new location, and use the amount to pay your rent.

Apart from above, you can use your house as your party venue if you wish. Just calculate how much you need to pay when you need to reserve a place for your children’s birthday or celebrating other special occasions. So, the basic idea is to maintain your house for financial gain in future years.

This article has been contributed by Miranda Owen. She is a contemporary financial writer and social media aficionado. She is an active participant in a number of personal finance communities. Her forte lies in sharing her thoughts in a pleasing and disarming style. As a result, she has successfully grown a large number of readers in a very small amount of time.  She has written articles for several websites such as StackStreet, GeezerGuff and so on.

V-Day: Is it necessary to have a big pocket pinch on this day?

Do you think that it would have been better if 14th never existed in the month of February? At the same time, do you wait to celebrate this special day with your special someone? You don’t have to feel sorry if you think so. There are many people, like you, who have this mixed feeling. However, this year, you can subtract your worries from your enjoyment and only think about the special moments which you’ll spend together, which will stay with you as cherishing memories. How? Have a look at this article to know how to celebrate this V-Day without leaving a hole in your pocket.
Change your mindset – First of all, you need to change your mindset. You don’t have to buy an expensive gift for your valentine or take him/her to a fancy place in order to show how much you love and care. Remember that your valentine will value the attention and time you give him/her, which cannot be purchased with dollars.
Spend the whole day with your valentine – It is said that the greatest gift you can give someone is your ‘time’. So, if you’re usually stretched for time on a daily basis, then on this special day, take out time (if required, take a day’s vacation) and spend the entire day with your special person. Do something which both of you like and enjoy doing and don’t forget to utter the word “I Love You” at least once.
Gift a healthy fruit basket – Instead of buying expensive flowers, this year, try something new. Buy a nice basket and fill it up with colorful fruits which he/she likes. Instead of buying an already assembled basket, pick and choose on your own. A small tip – Buy some unusual fruits such as, lychees, star fruit, cherimoya, dragon fruit, etc. and enjoy savoring the taste together.
Arrange a romantic candle-lit dinner – If you live in a place where you can enjoy outside at this season, then you can arrange a candle-lit dinner at your backyard and give him/her a surprise. You don’t have to order expensive food. You can prepare what you’re good at; just have a nice wine to complement the food. And don’t worry if you can’t cook; this is the opportunity to prepare a home-cooked meal for the first time. The special person in your life will surely love and appreciate your effort to make the day so special. It is one of the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a frugal way.

Gift common item unusually – It is very common to gift flowers; but, how will you feel if you get a call from the reception at your office that there’s a flower bouquet waiting for you? You’ll be elated – right? So, make your valentine experience this feeling. Moreover, his/her co-workers will appreciate this nice gesture and will increase the significance of your gift, much more. You can watch his/her joy when you meet each other in the evening. It is an excellent gift idea if you have to go to work and cannot spend the entire day with each other.
Make your valentine revisit the past – If your valentine has shared with you where he/she loved to visit as a child, you can secretly take him/her to that place. Just take a walk and ask how he/she is feeling. Do not forget to click pictures so that he/she can keep it as a special memory of this V-Day.
Spend time reminiscing – Make a list of the things both of you have accomplished together as a couple. Now, take out time, sit together and discuss the strengths of each other, the challenges both of you have faced and how you overcame them. It will help you celebrate the depth of your relationship and how both of you enjoy each other’s company.
And, the final idea – Why not make your own Valentine’s Day? That is, if you somehow cannot enjoy on February 14th, why not plan the celebration a day before or after? It will help you celebrate your own V-Day, as you want, at a relatively low cost. And, what matters is not the day, but the time you spend together which will create memories to cherish lifelong.​