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Good morning Dinks.  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the weekend.  Sleeping in and waffles is what’s on my agenda over the next two days.  If the weather continues to cooperate maybe I’ll get outside and go for a walk…maybe.

I probably shouldn’t admit this but there are some weekends that I never leave my apartment.  I’m OK with it, but it seems to shock other people.  I like to get all my errands done during the week so I can truly have the weekends to myself.  Is that weird?

Have a great weekend and enjoy these good reads from our friends:

Blonde & Balanced – 5 Places To Go in NYC

CESI – 4 Ways to Avoid Overwhelming Debt

Money Talks News – Who is the biggest employer in your state?

Budgets Are Sexy – The 15 Minute Trick to Getting Stuff Done

Financial Samurai – How Low Interest Rates Increase The Value Of Income Producing Assets

My Bank Tracker – Why I’ll Never Open a Joint Checking Account Again

 

Photo from I’d Pin That

home renovations, saving money on home renovations, cost-cutting, renovations on a tight budgetGood morning Dinks.  It’s officially spring, well it is on the calendar anyways, and that means it’s prime time for the real estate market.  Home owners around the country are getting their homes ready to be put on the market and hopeful home buyers everywhere are looking for their dream home.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home this spring?

I have a friend who put her condo on the market back in January and she didn’t even have a visit until mid March.  I’m not sure if she just listed it at a bad time, if it’s overpriced or exactly why it’s not selling but as of today it’s still on the market.  Nevertheless she has already found her new home and wants to move ASAP.

After months of her home being on the market she finally enlisted the help of a real estate agent who advised her to make some eco friendly upgrades to her home.  Of course my friend was completely against this.  She doesn’t want to spend extra money on a home she’s hoping to leave, but if it helps get her condo off the market she might have no choice.

Homebuyers are always looking to save money, not only on the purchase price of their home, but also on the cost of their monthly bills.  Eco-friendly upgrades may seem expensive up front but they will save you (or your new buyers) money over the long term.

Three eco-friendly renovations that are attractive to potential buyers:

Energy efficient appliances

The real estate agent said this is one of the first things homebuyers look for when deciding to make an offer on a new home.  Families are constantly doing laundry and running the washing machine so energy efficient appliances will help them save money – and it’s good for the environment.  That’s always a big selling point.

Dual flush toilets

I didn’t know this but water consumption is a concern for many home owners. Until Nick and I moved into our own eco-friendly apartment last October I thought dual flush toilets only existed in hotels.  I have to admit having the option to use a lot or a little bit of water is a great feature.  The flush is quieter and if it helps conserve resources all the better.  I’m not sure if it would be a deal breaker for us when buying a new home, but it’s a great feature.

Eco friendly light bulbs

The real estate agent advised my friend to go out and buy eco friendly light bulbs for all the fixtures in her home.  Energy efficient light bulbs cost about $6 per bulb and last for 10 years or so.  They are LED and low consumption but they aren’t any less bright.  The function a.k.a. the brightness is not compromised, they last several years and they’re good for the environment.  It’s all a win-win in the eyes of potential homebuyers.

This is the one suggestion that my friend actually took from the real estate agent.  She went out and spent almost $100 on light bulbs at Home Depot, but now she can tell buyers the lights are energy efficient and low consumption.

 

financial decision, spending money, money well spent, frugal living, frugal lifestyleGood morning Dinks.  As always I’m being a little bit dramatic, I didn’t actually almost break up with my boyfriend of fifteen years, but we did have a discussion about his recent financial decision.  Last week my boyfriend Nick bought the new Samsung Edge smart phone for $650.  Actually he pre-ordered the phone and it should be delivered by mid April.

How do you handle financial decisions in your house?

When you and your spouse have different views on how to spend money how do you decide what to do?  I have to say Nick’s purchase wasn’t without warning, he did talk with me about it before he made the decision.  Although I think he was only asking out of politeness, he doesn’t actually take my opinion into consideration and that should count for something, right?

My opinion, of course, was that $650 is a lot of money to spend on a new cell phone and the truth is it could probably better spent.  However that’s just me.  I think it’s a lot of money to spend in one place and it could have probably been better spent, but techies around the world and Apple as a corporation probably disagree.

How often do you change your cell phone?

I know Apple has a lot of loyal fans who wait in line for hours every time a new iPhone or Apple product is released.  I couldn’t imagine changing my cell phone every year or so just because a new model is released.

I don’t believe in upgrading technology, or anything for that matter, just because there’s a new one available.   I believe in changing your items only when they’re broken.  Everything from a cell phone to a TV should only be upgraded if it’s cracked, broken or malfunctioning and can’t be fixed.   Is that just me?

If your cell phone is broken I would take the opportunity to get a better model, but I personally wouldn’t buy a new one just because there is a new option available.  And what do you do with your old cell phone that is still in perfect, or close to perfect, condition?  Well you could sell it.

Everyone can spend their money as they wish

That’s what I’ve learned from this whole situation.  I’m not a fan of having the latest technology, but that doesn’t mean everyone else isn’t.  If my boyfriend wants to spend his money on a new cell phone then he should do that.

Of course I think couples should discuss  spending money when it comes to the household finances, but each person is free to spend their individual money however they wish.  I have to realize it’s not how I would chose to spend my money, but it’s how Nick wants to spend his money and that’s his decision.  That being said I love him but I don’t have to love how he spends his money.

Do you and your spouse have individual “fun money” in your relationship?

What I learned from my taxes

March 23, 2015

Good morning Dinks.  I just finished my taxes.  Yes that’s right I spent Friday night doing our taxes and it gave me a huge headache.  I finished our taxes, took two Tylenol, watched Shark Tank and went to bed at 10 pm.  Yes I know you’re jealous of my extremely exciting life. You probably want […]

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‘Robo-advisor’ growth hits Wall Street

March 22, 2015

Hi All, You may not have seen this but AFP has a great story on how automatic investing is changing the wealth management landscape.  More and more dollars, especially wealth owned by millennials, is going towards so called “Robo-advising” companies.  These firms use automated algorithms to make asset allocation decisions based on their client’s preferences. […]

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Weekly roundup: The IRS & Being Cheap

March 20, 2015

Good morning Dinks.  Can I ask you a question, do you spend more or less money on the weekends? I’ve noticed that I spend way less money on the weekends because Nick and I usually just stay in.  I don’t have the costs of travelling to and from work or the costs of eating out […]

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3 types of insurance you may not know about

March 19, 2015

Good morning Dinks.  Have you ever been up late and night watching infomercials and saw a ridiculous product and thought to yourself, I can’t believe people spend money on that?  Well I had that realization last week about insurance. Remember I went to New York City at the beginning of March? While I was there […]

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Canada vs. USA: Banking

March 18, 2015

Good morning Dinks..  I just got back from another great trip in New York City.  As you know I had a very hectic February and my extra long getaway to Toronto turned out to be more business than pleasure.  To say that I was relaxed when I came home would be an understatement because I […]

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How do you feel about risk?

March 16, 2015

Maybe you said I’m afraid of it.  Maybe you said I need more context before answering.  Or maybe you said I love it.  So which one are you?  Think about your day yesterday, did you take a risk on anything?  I personally don’t like to take risks, or at least I don’t think I do. […]

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