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Turn Up The Heat, Turn Down The Meter

Turn Up The Heat, Turn Down The Meter

The cold months of the year are normally when keeping the house comfortable can cut into your spending plan BIG time. So I will try to come in and save the day, and go over some things that can be done to aid in lowering heating cost. Hopefully I’m not too late. Some of these things are common sense, but not often thought about, and some are a little tricky so to speak. First up…

PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!

For crying out loud. On average you save 3% on your heating bill for every degree you turn your thermostat back, but that is easier said than done, and no one wants to sit in the house shivering. Hot months can change to cold without us realizing it. It’s time to switch to long pants and long sleeve shirts. Your head and your feet are two primary thermal indicators for your body, so one thing you can do to really stay warm, is to wear a knit cap and some thicker socks. With your head and feet warm you will be able to turn that thermostat down considerably.

Hold Your Breath!

Windows

Leaky windows can be a major culprit in high heating costs, so if this is a problem, you will want to take care of it right away. One way to know if you have a problem is to light a candle and hold it near the edge of your window. If it flickers then you know you have a draft problem.

You can use caulking to cover cracks in windows. You can also use plastic sheeting kits. You can use the plastic on the inside or outside of your windows to reduce costs.

Doors

One of the things you can use to seal your unused doors is clear tape. It keeps a lot of air from blowing in, and it is easy to apply and remove.

You can also use weather-stripping on your doors and windows that lead to a garage or a basement. You can weather-strip most doors for $15 or $20 but you will save much more than that over the winter.

You can also use something like a draft guard to keep cold air out.

Ventilation Fans

Whenever you use a bathroom or a kitchen fan, you are sucking the heat out of your house. While breathing is a beautiful thing, I’m sorry that I’m going to have to advise you to choke your house. Ventilation fans can greatly increase your heating costs.

You can get an anti-fog mirror in your bathroom if you don’t like your bathroom mirror steamed up after a shower. You can also turn on a hair dryer and dry your mirror streak free when it fogs up, and that will avoid heat loss.

Basements and Attics

Make sure that your basement and/or attic is insulated well. This can save you hundreds of dollars every single year in heating costs.

You can use a can of expanding insulation foam and go through you attic and basement sealing all of the small areas around your pipes. Covering your hot water pipes with cheap foam can also help cut down on heat loss.

Fireplaces

Do you have a fireplace? A glass screen or front can reduce fireplace heat loss. You can also purchase a draft stopper (an inflatable pillow that you insert into the flue) and seal off your fireplace from heat loss very effectively.

Dryers

Put a vent seal in your clothes dryer opening to keep heated air from leaving your home, and make sure that it stays closed when the dryer is not in use. This works better than metal flappers.

Ducts

Check the ducts in your home to make sure that all of the crevices and cracks are properly sealed off, so that the heat from your house is not spilling into your walls or into your attic (if you have one).

Drains

Cover all drains. Yes ladies and gentlemen. Your drains will also suck heat out of your home. So whatever drains that you have, you should cover them when you aren’t using them. You can purchase rubber drain covers really cheap at your local hardware store.

Outlets

Another avenue for hot air to escape your home is electrical outlets. You can cover your unused outlets by putting in child safety plugs.

Home Base

If your house is on a slab foundation, insulating around the base of your home can save a lot of money. You can do this a number of ways; foam boards, foam spray, etc. If this is expensive you can always improvise and shovel some snow against the base of your home (if it is available).

Be Strategic

Windows

Open up the curtains and blinds on the sunny …

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It Costs to Say Yes But it Costs Immeasurably More to Say No and Leaders Must Teach This Clearly

It Costs to Say Yes But it Costs Immeasurably More to Say No and Leaders Must Teach This Clearly

Despite the catchy but misleading lyrics, money is not the root of all evil.

However, the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. One powerful leader taught that to young potential leaders some two thousands years ago and it still stands true today. You will find the textual advice in Paul’s letter to Timothy, who welcomed and received and embraced the teaching.

If only the business world could see and understand this foundational truth, how much pain, suffering, embarrassment and heartache might have been avoided.

Knowing these truths is important, especially when we have had a procession of Parliamentarians trying to tell us that the Westminster system is wrong. It is not the system which is wrong, but the people.

An attractive able young leader, who had possessions, property, and substantial wealth, came to Jesus Christ.

Something was bothering him. He had a lot, but remained dissatisfied. He did not have what really matters.

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” was his question to Jesus. He came to the right person with a vital question.

Jesus presented him with various commandments. Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honour your father and mother.

He quickly looked back over his life, and considered himself to be a good boy.

Jesus did not challenge his reply, but pointed out that there was one thing still to be done. Being that good, surely one more act was straightforward!

He listened to what Jesus had in mind. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

His face fell. He became very sad, and off he went. Our faces reveal a lot.

It was not his reluctance to sell everything he had that was the issue, but his unwillingness to obey Jesus.

For this wealthy young man who had such potential, had he surrendered to Jesus Christ, he would have become one of the richest men in the entire world, and also a member of that select band of disciples of the Son of God.

Sandy Shaw…

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Get the Best Home Equity Loans For Trouble Free Refinancing

Get the Best Home Equity Loans For Trouble Free Refinancing

Buying a house has become an increasingly difficult proposition over the years. One of the main reasons of this has been the rising costs of residential properties and plots. The only way you can buy a house today, is by taking a home loan. The only problem with home loans is that the repaying sometimes takes its toll. Many homeowners struggle under the weight of their mortgages and loan repayments. If not handled properly, it can lead to events of foreclosure which might make the entire purpose of taking the loan redundant. This is where home equity loans can be used. Home equity loans are similar to taking a fresh loan off the same property to pay the debts.

In terms of real estate, equity means the difference between the market price and the liabilities that are attached to the property. This means that in case of a sale, whatever remains after paying off the mortgage is the equity. This can be obtained as a loan from the lender without selling the house. This is called a home equity loan. These are similar to a second mortgage, making it easier for you to help refinance your loans without having to deal with another lender.

There is a mistaken opinion amongst homeowners that the only way to refinance a preexisting mortgage is by selling off the house. This is baseless. It must be said that homeowners can avail themselves of home equity loans without having to put their houses on sale. This goes a long way in dispelling any mistaken notion that seems to permeate the home equity loans industry.…

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The Causes and Effects of the Current Mortgage Crisis

The Causes and Effects of the Current Mortgage Crisis

The mortgage crisis is an ongoing economic and financial crisis which has been triggered due to an increase in delinquencies and foreclosures. It is more likely to have a strong affect on people who have bought a home during the early years of this century. Many home loans were given to people because of an occurrence of a housing bubble along the two coats of the United States from the years 2000-2005, as a result of which loans were granted at sub-prime rates to many people.

The prices of houses increased at an unbelievable rate and as such every person wanted to own a house and hence began borrowing at really low rates of interest to build a home with the belief that because the price of their house will only continue to increase in the future, they can easily refinance for lower payments. However, this bubble burst during the end of 2005 and has lead to several foreclosures with people having to move out of their homes because of their inability to make payments.

People landed up with owning low value homes and loans that were greater than the market price of their homes leading to a very unstable financial situation. Thus, it has created a financial crisis in all these areas and has also caused an adverse affect on the country’s economy by affecting the rental market all along these places. This issue still is a major problem with many people being rendered homeless and as such measures are still being taken to ensure that this issue can be completely resolved.…

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Information on the FHA Mortgage Program

Information on the FHA Mortgage Program

Is the federal government doing anything about the U.S. economic situation? How will those with bad credit get a new mortgage loan? What is the FHA Mortgage Program?

We all know that the economy is in tatters. Even as it starts to recover quietly from the loan mortgage burst that destroyed everything along with Wall Street, people still have a lot of problems especially regarding their homes. Millions of foreclosures have already happened and Millions more are poised to happen. But the government is trying to stop this by creating a stimulus program for loan modification. Also, for those who need to get a home mortgage but are in dire straights in terms of their financial situation there is the FHA Mortgage Program.

The FHA or Federal Housing Administration is a federal funded entity that aims to help Americans who need to get housing. It provides loans to such financial challenged people. The guidelines of the loan give borrowers great benefits because of the lenient qualifications. Also, one of the best things about approved mortgages is that it is fully assumable; such security is valuable to any family especially during these times when interest rates are reaching for the sky.

The US Federal Housing Authority gives loans not only to those who need to buy homes but also to those who need refinancing for their old home mortgage. It also helps homeowners to change their ARM into a lowered rate refinance that makes sure there is a fixed set for every monthly payment up to the point when the all mortgage payments are completed. If one refinances this way, they can rest assured that the rates they can cash out of will be between ninety-five to eighty-five percent of the loan value. Another great thing is that lenders will require a smaller down payment, just two to five percent of the total loan value is required.

Each kind of approved mortgage by the authority is specialized and should be applied for independently. The ability to handle the payments in light of one’s monthly expenses is what is focused when determining qualification. Unlike traditional loans, credit scores are just secondary considerations that do not have as much impact. The important thing on how to qualify is to compute one’s DTIR or debt to income ratio. These two conditions are vital for a borrower to get into the program: first of all, one’s expenses in his or her monthly mortgage payments should not be more than twenty-nine percent of one’s income (gross); secondly the total debts of the applying borrower should not be more than forty-one percent of his or her monthly income.

The FHA mortgage program can be gotten by those living in both urban as well as in rural locations. They are not actually the ones that give out the money for the loans. Banks and lending institutions still provide the financing. The Federal Housing Federation just pays for the insurance that covers the loan and this is why lenders are able to provide such lenient requirements. This might just be the solution to your financing dilemma.…

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Staying in Good Standing With Your Payday Loan Or Check Advance Company

Staying in Good Standing With Your Payday Loan Or Check Advance Company

Over the last several years the payday loan and check advance business has grown astoundingly. This is mainly due to the declining state of the economy and the huge numbers of people who have developed bad credit lately instead of good credit. Credit can be a fragile things these days and it does not take many late payments on anything to cause your credit score to decline rapidly. This can make it almost impossible to get a loan from a bank or other lending institution like a finance company or credit union. Getting a decent credit card is usually out of the question o more and more people that are desperate for quick cash are turning to the only option they have left.

Payday loans and check advances are not nearly as bad as some people try to make them out to be. These loans can be obtained fairly easily for most people because the requirements to get one are no that many. A good job or a dependable recurring source of income and a checking or savings account is usually the only necessities, beside proper identification of course. There are loan business like these around every corner these days and most of them work basically in the same or similar ways.

What is very important to do when you take out a payday loan or check advance is how you pay the loan back. If you are late without contacting the company ahead of time, you might find that your line of credit even here will be cut off. It is easy enough to renew a loan if you have to. It is not recommended to renew these types of loans unless it is necessary because this is what can cause borrowers to tie up a substantial amount of money in a small loan before they know it. Paying these kinds of loans on time and only getting them when you have to have one is the easiest way to stay in good standing with the company.

Landing in hard times is what usually prompts people to get these loans in the first place. Sometimes one bad situation will follow another and you could find yourself needing to renew a loan or unable to pay it at all when it falls due. Most companies will help you out the first time or two and hold the check a little longer if needed before they try to run it through your checking account, but do not neglect to contact them and make further arrangements or you could find yourself in hot water for writing a bad check. After all, this is the security you leave them against the money you are borrowing. Normally a company will work with you as long as they can, but you have to prove to them that you have every intention of repaying your loan as quickly as possible. Only this kind of responsibility will help you to be able to borrow from them again in the future.…

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Smart Personal Finance Leads To Smart Business Finances

Smart Personal Finance Leads To Smart Business Finances

The financial world may be a mystery to us when we are children but we get a crash course in it as adults. When we venture out on our own, there is no one to help us create and maintain a budget or pay our bills. If we eventually tire of working for someone else and decide to start our own business, business-related finances supplement our personal finance dealings. Without some knowledge or guidance, the world can become very confusing.

One of the best ways to get a strong foundation regarding finances is to read. There are plenty of paper and eBooks dealing with business and personal finance. Entrepreneurs can also find prepackaged systems for starting an online business that includes tutorials regarding the financial aspect of a company. With this subject, it is much wiser to look before you leap, so read, read, read.

Whether they are offered online or at a local college, finance classes will also be helpful. Many cover the ins and outs of the global financial sector, while others have a personal or business focus. Learning how to manage personal finances will only help with managing those for the business. Many of the concepts are applicable to both areas of life so do not hesitate to take every class that can be found. When the courses are required for a new career, they are often deductable on income taxes, an added bonus.

Retaining a finance advisor is a smart move for anyone managing a substantial financial portfolio. The world of investing and money management is complex, so it helps to have professional assistance. This person may also be able to offer insight into business matters, providing twice the return on the investment. Some of the most well-known entrepreneurs credit their success to great advice regarding finances. Never hesitate to ask the advisor questions because that is the only way to learn.

A finance calculator is a tool used for financial matters in addition to basic mathematics. People use this device so they do not need to remember and perform complex calculations by hand. It saves them time and money when calculating present value, future value, payments, cash flows, and other terms for loans, mortgages, investments, and business endeavors. Business owners should keep one of these handy because it will be needed throughout the years.

Just as a financial advisor is a go-to resource regarding investments and other money matters, an entrepreneurial mentor can be invaluable for business matters. It helps to learn from the best, so business owners should seek out a successful entrepreneur with time to spare and learn everything there is to know about running a company.

Finance is as crucial an aspect in the business world as it is in our personal lives. By taking the time to educate ourselves, obtaining the proper tools, and consulting with the most knowledgeable people, we can successfully manage both work and personal finances. This will make our lives much easier, allowing us to focus on enhancing our quality of living.…