Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR's Blog
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 MoneyThe 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.
47 Ernest Ave., Worcester, MA 01604
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.