Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger - RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 12/6/2017

If your household budget seems a little tight, lately, there may be several ways to ease it.

It's amazing how many people do not keep track of where their money goes, which is often the reason it disappears so quickly!

Another piece of the puzzle is the fact that we're all creatures of habit. With few exceptions, most of us go through the motions of our lives on auto-pilot. In some ways, that works to our advantage, but in other ways, it can hinder our progress.

Saving Money Begins With Awareness

One approach to reducing stress and improving the quality of life is to save money and curb expenses, whenever possible. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to deprive yourself or your family of anything you need or want. What it does mean is eliminating spending that is wasteful, unnecessary, or redundant.

The first step involves sitting down and creating a household budget on your computer. There's no need to purchase and learn any fancy software. Many people are comfortable with creating budgets and other documents on Excel spreadsheets or Quicken, while others prefer setting up simple tables on a word processing program like MS Word. The interesting thing about creating a document with your monthly expenses and income on it is that it provides a visual depiction of your cash flow. In other words, it shows where, when, and how your money is coming and going!

Analyze and Take Action

After you've identified areas in which you can cut back without causing any hardship, the next step is to actually implement those changes. If you weren't able to identify any sources of wasteful, unnecessary, or excessive spending from creating a budget, then take a look at your monthly invoices for items like credit cards, cable TV, cell phones, and other services.

By examining the services you're paying for, you may realize you're paying for more than you need or even use. Sometimes by switching your service plan to a more basic option, you can save hundreds of dollars a year. In the case of credit cards, if you've been paying your bills on time and not making a habit of maxing out your account, you may be able to request and receive a lower interest rate. This is yet another way to reduce your expenses and keep more of what your earn. Comparing insurance plans and switching to a more economical plan or provider is another strategy for reducing costs and easing budgetary strains.

There are also free worksheets, budget calculators, and other resources online that can help you take charge of your spending and saving habits. Setting financial goals, establishing priorities, controlling impulse buying, saving a portion of your income (especially bonuses, tax refunds, and raises) and keeping track of your spending on a daily basis are also key parts of an effective money management plan. As a side note: If you need to consult with a reliable credit counselor for help, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission provides helpful information.





Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 3/11/2015

Who doesn't need more money? If you are looking to save for a house, put more money in the bank or tighten your budget, there are several money saving moves you can make. Here are just a few ways to put more money in your pocket: Save money without feeling the pinch by setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a high-yield savings account.  Some accounts to look at are INGDirect.com or Smarty Pig.com. Build a savings by transferring at least 5 percent of your paycheck and then gradually increase to 10 percent. Get the best yield on your checking account by using Bankrate.com to find the bank offering the highest yields and fewest fees. Switch your credit card to a card with more favorable terms like lower interest rates or better rewards. Use the tools on sites like: Credit.com. Find money by checking to see if you're entitled to any of the $32.8 billion in unclaimed funds being held by state governments. Go to MissingMoney.org and Unclaimed.org to see if you are owed any money.  





Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 8/7/2013

Everyone wants a deal especially when purchasing a big ticket item like a house. In order to get a good deal you have to be a great negotiator. If you are on the hunt for a housing bargain you need to be prepared and sharpen your negotiation skills. Here are some tips to get you on your way to buying success: Do Your Homework: Gather information about the property. Find out about recent repairs and improvements or renovations. Review the seller disclosure statement look for details, such as the age of the roof and systems in the home. Know the Market: Find out what other homes are selling for in your price range. Ask your real estate agent to do a comparative market analysis on the home you are interested in. The comparative market analysis will compare the home to homes that have recently sold and homes that are currently on the market. Be Prepared: Before you start shopping for a home get your credit in order.The higher your credit score, the better the chance you'll get a good deal on a home loan. Once you have your credit in order start the mortgage process and get pre-approved. If you are pre-approved the seller will see you are a well-qualified buyer. Be Reasonable: It is easy to let emotions get in the way. View the purchase as a business transaction. Approach the situation objectively, and don't take the negotiations personally. Negotiate: Start off your negotiation on the right foot,  don't low-ball the seller with an insulting figure. This can immediately kill the transaction. Negotiation is a two way street. In most negotiations both parties compromise. Be Smart: Stick within your budget and don't let emotion take over when you are negotiating. Know what price you're comfortable with and stick to it. This way you will be sure to buy a home that you can afford.