Cheryl Fleming - RE/MAX Executive Realty


Whether you call it a "rainy day fund" or a "financial cushion", having some money set aside for emergencies or unexpected expenses can help keep life on an even keel.

Although health insurance and a homeowners' policy can provide a measure of protection, insurance deductibles can take a large bite out of your bank account.

In addition to all the predictable expenses that accompany home ownership, mechanical systems like furnaces, hot water heaters, and air conditioning units have a way of breaking down at the most inopportune times. Another crisis that many people aren't prepared for is the potential loss of a job. When families don't have money set aside to weather the storm of an unplanned income loss, then there's no "safety net" to cushion the fall.

Strategies For Saving Money

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to build up financial reserves, but it often requires self discipline, a new set of habits, and the intention to make it happen. One of the first steps to putting some money aside for a rainy day is to open up a separate bank account. If you put extra money in your regular account -- or (even worse) keep it around the house -- chances are it will get spent pretty quickly. However, if it's deposited into a separate account that's designated for emergencies, unexpected household expenses, or even a college fund, then it'll stand a greater chance of being left alone until it's needed. Putting money aside does take some doing, but it can contribute to your family's financial security and ability to do things that are important to you.

If you have a tight budget, you're probably wondering where this extra money is going to come from! Sometimes, the very act of developing a written budget can provide you with clues and ideas for reducing your expenses. You'd also be amazed at how much the savings can add up when you comparison shop, buy in bulk, use coupons, negotiate lower interest charges on your credit cards, quit smoking, car pool to work, cut back on restaurant food, and make up your mind to live just a little more frugally.

Depending on how committed you are to creating a financial cushion, you could also make the fund grow faster by depositing a percentage of Christmas bonuses, tax refunds, manufacturer rebates, salary increases (raises), and other sources of extra income. Additional ways to beef up your financial safety net could include getting a part-time job, doing freelance work, holding a garage sale, or selling unwanted items through ads or flyers. When you pay off credit cards, car loans, or other debts, you could also redirect some or all of those monthly payments into your "future needs fund."

Whatever you decide to call it, it's nice to know that there's some extra money on hand for unexpected expenses, emergencies, potential job losses, college tuition, weddings, family vacations, home renovations, nursing home costs, or even retirement.



This Single-Family in Worcester, MA recently sold for $340,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR - RE/MAX Executive Realty.


47 Ernest Ave., Worcester, MA 01604

Single-Family

$349,900
Price
$340,000
Sale Price

9
Rooms
4
Beds
3
Baths
This two story col with in-law suite over the garage has been meticulously maintained inside & out! Located above the two car attached garage the in law suite has a fully applianced kit with family rm & full bath A lovely open foyer with turned staircase & ceramic tile floor greets you w/welcoming warmth in the main house. The eat-in kitchen has granite counters with ceramic tile floor & sunny alcove which overlooks the beautiful yard backed to woods. Additionally this home boasts 3 bdrms, 2 updated baths, family rm w/fp, dining room & slider leading to a two tiered maintenance free trex deck with vinyl railings. Hardwood floors throughout the main house. Numerous updates include: windows, 2008, slider & french door, 2016, furnace, 2015, baths, 2014. Generator will stay. Walk out basement w/slider could be finished for add'l living space. This home is in mint condition & located on a quiet tree lined street minutes to the MA Pike, UMass & Lake Park. Shows like new!

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Although a home seller might commit significant time and resources to stage the interior of his or her home, it also is important to remember that homebuyers will want to check out your residence's exterior. As a result, you may want to consider staging your home's exterior in addition to your residence's interior. Staging your home's exterior can be simple – here are three tips for home sellers to stage a house's exterior effectively: 1. Spruce Up Your Front Lawn. A front lawn that is loaded with crabgrass and weeds is unlikely to help your house garner attention from homebuyers. Fortunately, there are many fast, efficient ways to spruce up your front lawn's appearance. For instance, mowing and watering your front lawn regularly is sure to help improve its appearance. Don't forget to use fertilizer and weed control products to further enhance your front lawn's appearance, either. When in doubt, hire professional landscapers to help you spruce up your front lawn. These landscaping experts will be able to bolster your front lawn's appearance instantly, and ultimately, boost your chances of generating substantial interest in your residence. 2. Improve Your Exterior Lighting. Ideally, you'll want to make your front entrance warm and inviting. And with the right lighting, you'll be able to impress homebuyers any time they check out your house. Pendant lighting, for example, can be hung with ease and will help you boost your home's curb appeal. This lighting will allow you to illuminate the front of your residence at night, ensuring homebuyers who drive by will be able to get a good look at your home. Furthermore, wall lighting can be placed near exterior doorways and will look and perform great day after day. Like pendant lighting, wall lighting often is easy to install and can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. 3. Clean Up Your Driveway. A driveway that is filled with chips and cracks may do more harm than good, particularly for a home seller who wants to generate plenty of interest in his or her residence. However, a home seller who spends some time improving the appearance of his or her house's driveway is sure to transform the driveway from a home selling liability into an asset. Repaving your driveway always represents a valuable option, as this will enable you to enhance your driveway's appearance immediately. Also, installing interlocking stones or stamped concrete may prove to be a viable option, especially if you want your driveway to stand out to homebuyers. Staging your house's exterior is worthwhile, and a home seller who devotes the time and resources to improve his or her home's exterior may be able to reap the benefits of a quick sale. Do what it takes to transform your home's ordinary exterior into one that will sparkle consistently. By doing so, you can boost your house's curb appeal and differentiate your residence in a highly competitive real estate market.

It can take time to adjust to life in a big city even if close family members live in the city. People tend to walk and drive faster in a big city. Corporate executives and business managers stretch you, pushing you for more sales or support work. It's easy to get caught up in the pace of big city living.

Before you know it, months have passed and you haven't kept in touch with friend where  you formerly lived as you promised that you would. You also might have started to worry that you won't be able to keep up with the speed that events occur in the town you moved to.

Tips to become more comfortable with your big city home

Be patient with yourself. A lot of people who buy a house in a large town feel out of sorts until they get adjusted to the change. You can adjust to your move and enjoy a deeper appreciation for your new home. Following are a few actions that can help you to make the adjustment.

  • Research the city, not just housing, months before you make the move. Learn about restaurants, hospitals, shopping centers and entertainment venues. Find out how far your house is from these and other facilities.
  • Join online discussion forums that are led by people who have lived in the city for years. Ask questions and pay attention to key topics that forum members raise.
  • Consider becoming a member of book clubs,professional networking groups and arts organizations in the big city that you recently bought a house in.
  • Tune into online radio and television stations that are headquartered in the town your new home is located in.
  • Visit the city several weeks before your scheduled move. Spend a weekend or longer exploring the city. Take public transportation to tourists venues and other major locations. It's a good way to learn about a city.
  • Schedule events that you'll attend after you move. The sooner you get involved in local events, the sooner you can start getting adjusted to a big city.
  • Look at the move as a positive choice instead of as a loss.
  • Enroll your children in schools early. This could help your children to adjust to the move.
  • Introduce yourself to neighbors after you move.If you're moving to a rental property, get out and attend community events.It's a great way to meet more people who share the same community that you do.
  • Sign up to mentor youth.
  • Volunteer with community and local charitable organizations. It feels good to give back. It's also a good way to feel a part of a town. You could even get involved with charitable events through your employer.

Moving to anew home can get you closer to fulfilling your personal goals. If your new home is located in a big city, the move can create uncertainty. Knowing what to expect before you move, can remove some uncertainties and strengthen your confidence that you will spot and take advantage of rewarding  opportunities as you continue to explore and settle into your new community.


Most homes have some sort of an office space set up. Whether you work from home 100% of the time, use your office space from time to time, or just need a space to pay your bills and do a bit of paperwork, your home office space should be comfortable. You’ll need a bit more than a table and chair that is shoved into a corner somewhere in your home. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect home office:


Find The Perfect Space


You’ll need to find a good space for your home office. You should choose a space that doesn’t have too many distractions and is fairly quiet so that you can work. If the nature of your work requires you to have clients stop by, you’ll want to set up the office much differently than if you’re a writer who just enjoys a bit of activity around them. 


Everything That You need Should Be In The Space


While home office furniture should complement furniture in other rooms of the home, you need to be sure that it’s functional. Don’t forget comfortable chairs, a good sized desk and a comfortable desk chair for the office. You can even add some of your favorite decorative pieces in the apace that make you happy and feel peaceful while working. 


Keep The Color Theme One That You Love


Forget bland colors. Paint the walls of your home office a color that you love. If the walls feel vibrant, so too won’t your work feel that way. The color of a room really sets the tone and the mood for a room. You can match your decor around the color that you choose. While you don’t want your office to be sleepy, you also want to choose a color that will keep you calm and focused while working.


Organize The Room Both Ways


If you use your space in the home office both across and upward, you’ll have much more space to store whatever you need in the room. Everything that’s important will also be within an arm’s reach of you. 


Decorate How You Like


Don’t forget that while this is an office, it’s yours right in your home. Just as if you were going to work and would put a picture of your family on your desk, you’ll want to add personal decorative touches to your home office space. These items could include kids’ artwork, vacation pictures, or pictures of places that make you feel happy and peaceful.  

 

Your home office space should be a place of productivity and inspiration. Create it as a separate space, yet an equally stylish part of your own home.




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