Simple Ways to Start Saving Money

Retirement.  Your child’s education.  A vacation.  The down payment on your next Jersey Shore Home.  What do these all have in common?  Money.  Most of the time, we need to save up for these.  But how do you get started?  I’ve got a few simple ways to start saving money that won’t leave you subsisting on a peanut butter and jelly every day (unless you like that sort of thing).

Saving money for your Jersey Shore home, retirement, vacation or anything else is easier than you think when you use my simple money-saving tips.

Simple Ways to Start Saving Money

Stash the “Extra”

What do I mean by “extra”?  When you receive a raise or bonus, put that extra money into a separate savings account.  Did you get a refund on your taxes?  Don’t spend it.  Save it.  Live within your means and all this becomes “extra”.  That’s just the first way you can start saving money.

Pay Yourself First

Search homes for sale at the Jersey ShoreAnother simple way to start saving money is to pay yourself first.  Does your paycheck automatically get deposited into your bank account?  Talk to your employer about splitting it up into two different deposits.  Whether it’s just $25 a week or a percentage of your paycheck, have it deposited into a completely separate account from your regular checking.

Spare Change

Listen, we all end up with spare change at some point throughout our week.  Instead of letting it settle to the bottom of your purse or throwing it on the dresser, set it aside in a jar.  When the jar fills up, roll the change and deposit it into your savings account.  Helpful tip: roll the change yourself.  If you take it to an automatic coin machine (like Coin Star), they charge a fee.  Ask the teller for some coin wrappers next time you’re inside.  They’ll give them to you for free.

Set Up a Budget

No, this doesn’t sound like fun.  Yes, it can take some time at first.  But you’d be surprised exactly how much money you waste each month on unnecessary purchases.  Saving money gets easier when you know what’s coming in, what’s going out and where it’s going to.  Simply sit down and write out all your monthly expenses (mortgage, insurance, cell phone, utilities, etc).  Set a spending limit on things like entertainment, clothes, food.  Then, stick with it.  All the “extra” can then go into your savings account (see above).  Helpful tip: make a grocery list before you do your weekly shopping.  It cuts down on “impulse buys” and you’re less likely to forget something you actually needed.

Compounded Savings

Finally, here’s my last tip for saving money.  And it will only cost you $1 to start.  That’s right.  Set aside just $1 this week into a savings account, shoe box, pickle jar, whatever.  Then, next week, add $2.  For week three, you’ll add $3 to that.  On week four, you’ll add $4.  And so on and so on.  At the end of the year, when you’ve add the final $52 on week 52, you’ll have saved $1378!

Saving money doesn’t have to be scary.  In fact, once you see your savings account grow, it can become quite addictive.  You’ll start looking for as many ways as possible to add to that bottom line.  In no time at all, you’ll have that Jersey Shore down payment together.  Just be patient and consistent.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Quick Reminder…

Don’t forget that the 2017 Project Prom Fundraiser takes place on July 20th.  Tickets are still available.  Contact Rene Kane (609) 703-8592 or via send her an email today.  Help make next year’s Project Prom even better than ever for our Jersey Shore girls.  Thanks!

FEATURED JERSEY SHORE HOME OF THE WEEK

15 Essex Ct Margate NJ

For more information on this and other homes for sale on the Jersey Shore, please visit my Featured Listings page.

Sherri Lilienfeld, Helping You Live Your Jersey Shore Dream

Solar Tax Credit Has Been Extended To 2020

The Solar Tax Credit was initially supposed to end this year. However, it has been been extended for five more years until 2020. Take advantage now.There is good news for anyone that has wanted to start utilizing clean energy in their Jersey Shore home.  The solar tax credit has been extended to 2020.  That means that you have five more years to install solar panels and receive a credit for doing so on your taxes.

Solar Tax Credit

This is fantastic news for anyone living at the Jersey Shore.  That is because the tax credit was initially supposed to expire at the end of this year.  As you know, that is just three days away.  This extension also applies to wind power.  As you may remember, President Obama discussed drastically reducing our country’s dependence on fossil fuels.  The climate talks in Paris just a few weeks ago showed the negative effect our daily living has had on the global climate.  We need to be proactive in trying to slow down global warming as much as possible.  Solar and wind energy are somewhere near the top of that list.

Search homes for sale at the Jersey ShoreThe solar tax credit will allow any homeowner who installs solar panels or home use wind turbines on their property can write off 30% of the cost of these devices on their taxes.  That amount doesn’t bring down your taxable income.  Instead, it is a direct discount on whatever taxes you may owe for that year.  Solar panels typically cost around $650 to $900 each.  The amount of panels you would use to take care of your home’s needs depends upon how much power your home typically consumes, how much sunlight you get on average in your area and what your goals are (ie, do you want to save as much money on energy costs as possible, do you want to just reduce your carbon footprint or would you like to maximize the return on your investment).

Changing over to renewable energy does so much more than give you a solar tax credit.  It will also increase the allure of your Jersey Shore home when it comes time to sell it in the future.  Steve Pope with TheSimpleDollar.com has stated that you may see as much as a 13% increase in added value to your home when you “go green”.  There is also the fact that your energy costs plummet after you install solar panels on your home.

The solar tax credit makes it more affordable to install solar panels on your Jersey Shore home.  The added benefits of increasing your home’s value as well as substantially decreasing your energy costs are icing on the cake.  If you can’t handle the outright expense of installing solar panels, many solar companies have other options that make it a little easier on your pocketbook.  Contact them today to find out more.

Do you have solar panels on your Jersey Shore home?  Have you installed a wind turbine on your property?  How has this affected your energy costs?  Was it worth the expense?  Please share your experiences in the comments below.

Sherri Lilienfeld, Helping You Live Your Jersey Shore Dream

Jersey Shore Lenders Are Relaxing Their Standards

Jersey Shore lenders are relaxing their standards. This does not mean they are giving away mortgages like candy. You still need to have good credit.Jersey Shore lenders are relaxing their standards.  That does not mean they will be handing out mortgage loans like candy.  However, they are planning to lower their threshold for minimum credit scores and allow a higher debt-to-income ratio among other things.  This should help more Jersey Shore Buyers qualify for loans.

Jersey Shore home search

Jersey Shore Home Buyers have probably noticed that it has been harder to get qualified for a home loan purchase in the last few years.  This is due to stricter rules put in place by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase mortgage loans from banks and sell them as mortgage-backed securities to other investors.  They required banks to buy back any loans from them if mistakes were found on the mortgages that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased.  This caused mortgage companies to tighten their standards even more to avoid the possibility of a mistake.

As of December 1st, mortgage lenders will lower the minimum credit score required to apply for a loan.  Even a 20 point decrease could help usher in thousands of new applicants.  The minimum requirement varies from lender to lender.  Additionally, the FHA is also allowing lenders to use a higher debt-to-income ratio than before to help Jersey Shore Buyers qualify for loans.  Finally, the cap on financing properties has been moved from four to ten at a time.  This will allow lenders to consider two and a half times the applicants than before.

Good people go through hard times.  This is especially true in the economical climate of the last few years.  Unfortunately, credit scores take a lot longer to go back up than they do to fall.  Jersey Shore Home Buyers are beginning to climb out of their debt load.  Lenders are taking notice.

Jersey Shore lenders are relaxing their standards.  You will still need to have decent credit to qualify in most cases.  However, that one instance when you forgot to make your car payment on time is not going to be as much of a hindrance as it was before.  Contact your Jersey Shore REALTOR® today to get started on your homeownership dreams as soon as possible.

Sherri Lilienfeld, Helping You Live Your Jersey Shore Dream