New Home Owner? How much should you budget for home repairs?

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In all the excitement of purchasing a new home, many first-time buyers often overlook the maintenance and repair costs that come along with owning a home. If you’ve been renting for years, your rent included any costs associated with repairing a leaking pipe or replacing a refrigerator that stopped working. But when you own your own home, all those costs fall on you. Continue reading “New Home Owner? How much should you budget for home repairs?”

Why your high school student should have a summer or part time job

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Warning: Depending on your child’s hobbies and interests, suggesting they seek employment for the Summer Break and beyond may result in glares, the silent treatment, and resistance.

Some high schoolers love the idea of working to make some extra money, while others think it’s a fate worse than death. However, summer break is a great time to enter the job market and earn money to put towards buying a car, college tuition, paying a cell phone bill, or even simply building a savings account. A job or internship can also be added to those college apps to show work experience and new skills – not to mention they may discover a passion or future career.    Continue reading “Why your high school student should have a summer or part time job”

Card limits and why you can’t spend all your money whenever you want to

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Everyone knows that credit cards come with a credit limit, the maximum amount of money you can charge on the card. However, what’s not as widely known, is that credit card issuers don’t intend for you to max out your credit card by charging up to the credit limit. As you come closer to your credit limit, it can start to have negative effects on your credit score.  Love it or not, much depends on the almighty credit score – from buying a home to getting a good rate on insurance and even employment for some professions. Continue reading “Card limits and why you can’t spend all your money whenever you want to”

Buying vs Leasing Your Next Vehicle

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Owning a vehicle is no longer a luxury but a necessity for most people. Many of us work in places where vehicles are required to get around, especially in Litchfield County were public transportation really doesn’t exist. You will most likely need to purchase a vehicle that costs more money than you have on hand in your savings account. So, the question is, “Should I buy or lease a vehicle?” Continue reading “Buying vs Leasing Your Next Vehicle”

How to save money when moving

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The process of moving is stressful enough without factoring in the added costs of packing supplies, truck rentals, mover fees, etc. even if you are just moving across town. Knowing what you’ll need to spend, where you can save and being able to budget appropriately can help keep the stress down and keep some dollars in your pocket. Continue reading “How to save money when moving”

How to tell when refinancing your home makes sense

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Refinancing your home is a major financial move that could result in some significant savings for you OR it could make your situation worse. There are typically 2 types of refinancing options:

  1. A rate and term refinance with a goal to save money. You refinance your remaining balance for a lower interest rate and a term (number of years it takes to repay the loan) that you can afford.
  2. Cash-out refinancing, where you take out a new mortgage for more than you owe and take the difference in cash, for example, to pay off existing debt.

Continue reading “How to tell when refinancing your home makes sense”

Why your bank wants to see an updated business plan before giving you a business loan

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You’ve been in business for years, you’ve got a solid Profit and Loss Statement, so why is your bank asking for an updated business plan before providing you with a loan? Well, to simplify it, even though you’ve known your cousin Sharon for 30+ years, you probably wouldn’t loan her thousands of dollars without asking her what she plans to use it for, how risky a venture it is, and how she plans to pay it back. It’s kind of the same theory. Even though your company isn’t a start-up, you’ve been known in the community for years, there is still a risk for the bank in lending your business the money. Continue reading “Why your bank wants to see an updated business plan before giving you a business loan”

Limiting your credit card balances – How to pay off your credit cards when paying in full isn’t an option

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Everyone knows that you shouldn’t rack up credit card debit and you should only charge items/services that you can afford to pay in full when your monthly statement comes in. But for most people, it’s just not feasible. Emergencies happen, unexpected car repairs are needed, the list goes on and one. But maxing out your credit cards can have a sever impact on your credit score. Continue reading “Limiting your credit card balances – How to pay off your credit cards when paying in full isn’t an option”