Category: saving money

How to Save Money On Groceries And Still Eat Well

save money on groceries

A friend once told me: “You get what you pay for.”

I took this to mean cheap products aren’t good, and good products aren’t cheap. If you want high quality you have to pay a high price.

But when it comes to the products you put in your body, you don’t have to break the bank to eat well.

There are many ways to save money on groceries while also eating a balanced diet of quality foods.

Skip the McDonald’s Dollar Menu. Keep reading to learn how to cut costs but improve your eating:

Save Food to Save Money on Groceries

One of the fastest ways to lose money is buying food you don’t need and throwing away food you never used.

Always make sure to take stock of what you have in your fridge already before grocery shopping.

Check how much longer all the food in your fridge is good for so you don’t buy too much of the same thing. Buying too much of the same perishable food is a recipe for waste. If you can still use leftovers from the last time you went shopping, do it!

Make sure to only buy what you know you’re going to eat. Some items look great on the shelf in the store, but if you don’t have a plan for that food, don’t buy it!

It may help to create an organized meal plan at the beginning of the week. Try to choose meals made with mostly the same ingredients cut costs. Choose meals you know you’ll love and will also have time to cook.

If you plan a dinner for yourself and don’t finish it, save the rest in the fridge. Use it for a snack or lunch the next day. That’s one less meal for you to buy and prepare!

Done with that chicken? Use the bones for soup or meat broth! Use as much of the foods you buy as you can.

Throwing away good food is throwing away money. When you save as much food as possible for later, you’re getting the most out of every dollar spent.

Make Your Own Products

The concept is simple: if you don’t really need it or you can make it at home, don’t buy it!

Did you know there are simple ways to make your own beauty products at home?
There are hundreds of online tutorials for DIY deodorant, toothpaste, body butter, face and body scrub, etc.

For most people, the $5-$20 spent on one bottle of shampoo or soap every few months doesn’t seem like much. But by the end of the year, what you save by no longer buying these products in store will add up to hundreds of dollars!

To figure out if something is worth trying to make at home, add up the cost of all the necessary ingredients. Divide this cost by how much use you’ll get out of all those ingredients.

For products you can’t or don’t want to make at home, figure out the best deals when buying them. This might include buying in bulk or accruing loyalty points with your favorite store.

Cleaning products can also be easy to make at home to save money on groceries. Many families make their own laundry detergent. And many moms have discovered they don’t need a different cleaner for every surface in their home. One high quality, all-purpose cleaner should do the trick.

Are there spices you consistently use that you can grow in your backyard? Not only is food grown at home certified fresh, it costs nothing for you to pick it yourself.

The best way to save on groceries is to shorten your shopping list! If you can make it or grow it at home, you don’t need to buy it– and you’ll have an easy way to refill it right there at home.

Buy in Bulk

Food in plastic packaging will always cost more than bulk bin items, or large containers of the same item.

Companies take the cost of their packaging and pass it on to you, the buyer. Skip the packaging altogether. You pay less per ounce of a product by buying from bulk bins at your grocery store.

Always be looking for more tips to save money. When bulk bins aren’t possible or aren’t available, you can still buy many staple items in bulk to save money on groceries. Costco and Sam’s Club are excellent examples of stores that help you do this.

Here are some items that are easy to buy in bulk:

  • Herbs and spices
  • Beans
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Dry pasta
  • Rice
  • Flour
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Cooking oils
  • Honey and sweeteners
  • Lentils
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Canned goods

Buying in bulk will appear to cost more up front in the moment, but when you divide by use over time it’s way cheaper!

Preparing in bulk can save money on groceries and time in your week as well. Cook foods that perish quickly in large amounts at the beginning of the week. This makes their shelf life much longer and cuts meal prep time. Freeze any extra cooked food when necessary.

By planning meals that all roughly use the same few staple items, you can keep several containers of the same foods in the fridge cooked in one day and use them throughout the week for a variety of meals.

Stay Consistent

It’s not as hard as people think to eat well and eat on a budget.

The best way to save money on groceries is to plan the use of your food carefully, eliminate items you don’t need from your list, and buy/prepare in bulk as possible.

Skip unwanted costs by skipping packaging and pre-cooked items.

There’s no downside to more money and better quality food. It just takes careful planning and avoiding impulsive buys.

And of course, it never hurts to keep hunting for more ways to save. Save money in other categories of your budget to give your grocery budget an extra boost.

10 Tips for Interior Design on a Budget

It may come as a shock, but some people pay up to $150 an hour for an interior designer. For families on a budget, that figure is out of the question.

Fortunately, the DIY approach to home improvement has caught on in recent years. People are now deciding to tackle jobs on their own instead of paying inflated prices for professional services.

The great thing about taking on design projects yourself is that you maintain total control. You’re able to express your creative side and transform your space exactly the way you like.

However, trying to pull off interior design on a budget can get out of control if you don’t have some techniques in mind. You may need to do a little homework first.

To help you out, we’re going over 10 tips for giving your home a makeover on the cheap.

1. Have a Game Plan

Lack of preparation is an easy and fast way to go over your budget. Before making any purchases, you need to figure out exactly what you’re going for.

You probably have an idea of what aesthetic you want, but it helps to pinpoint it. Look at interior design websites and magazines to fine-tune your vision. You can then start pricing items and materials you’ll need for the job.

It may help to break down your projects one at a time instead of trying to do everything at once. Working in phases helps keep your finances manageable and allows you to save up a little between each project.

2. Second-Hand Stores

Doing interior design on a budget means you’ll need to avoid high-end brands. The best way to do this and also get unique, stylish furniture and accessories is to visit second-hand stores.

Look at local thrift stores, antique shops and even estate sales for low-cost, used items. Just because it’s used doesn’t mean it’s low quality.

Keep an eye out for furniture with sturdy construction. Remember, you can reupholster an old chair or couch and turn it into a great looking piece.

A good tactic is to find a second-hand store you like and ask when they usually get new items in.

3. Paint is Your Friend

Painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to give a room a completely new feel. After you decide what furniture or accessories you’re adding to a room, choose a complementary color for the walls.

Take your time and go over some color palettes. Narrow your options down two or three of your favorite colors and get samples from your local home improvement store. Then, paint a small area with each color.

Paint color changes as it dries, so give it few days before choosing a winner.

4. Go Minimal

The minimalist aesthetic has been in style for some time, and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up. This is perfect when performing interior design on a budget.

Going minimal means cutting back on accessories and creating an open, clean environment. It also means focusing on neutral colors and natural fabrics and materials.

Instead of many pieces of furniture in a room, choose only a few items to decorate a space and accentuate them with good lighting.

5. Get Creative with Your Decor

Decor refers to items used to add style instead of serving a specific function. This is an area where you can really express your creative side.

If you like taking pictures, try framing your own photography. Or, a custom painting by you or a local artist is a great addition to a room.

Look for used rugs at second-hand stores to add a classic feel to your living area or study. You can also find interesting items like globes or vintage bottles to adorn shelves and end tables.

6. Keep Your Eyes Open for Sales

You can’t pull off interior design on a budget if you’re not constantly looking out for sales. After you find your favorites showrooms, ask when their next sale is. You may have to wait a little longer, but you’ll save money in the long-run.

You should also look for discontinued models of specific furniture. These can sometimes go for as much as half off.

Antique reproductions look authentic and go for much less. English Georgian American has a great selection, so check it out!

7. Buy Naked Furniture

A great way to save on furniture is buying pieces that haven’t been stained or varnished. Then, finish them yourself and get the exact look you’re going for.

When doing this, you’ll want to make sure and know what type of wood you’re dealing with. Certain woods take stains better than others, so ask the seller before buying.

You’ll also want to educate yourself on the finishing process. This means sanding and applying a stain or paint evenly. Do a little research and become an expert yourself.

8. Treat Your Windows

Another great design element that totally changes the look and feel of a room is window treatments. And there are actually inexpensive yet high-quality options.

Try to avoid buying curtains from an interior design store. Instead, look at fabric stores and choose quality materials, then have them cut. This saves you money and doesn’t look like you skimped on something cheap.

9. Transform What You Already Have

The best approach to interior design on a budget is making good use of what’s already there. This is where you really have to think outside the box.

An old chair that looks like it’s heading for the trash may just need a new finish. Slipcovers give new life to a worn out couch. Apply your cross-stitch talents to your drab throw pillows.

10. Mix it Up

Buying complete matching furniture sets is expensive. Instead, mix up your approach and create a compelling aesthetic using different styles. This gives your space an eclectic look and doesn’t break the bank.

You can also perform DIY updates like reupholstering chairs and applying paint to create a more uniform style with preexisting furniture.

Interior Design on a Budget: Wrapping Up

When making interior design renovations yourself, your biggest asset is your imagination. Don’t think of a strict budget as a limitation. Think of it as a way to get innovative.

Remember, always start with a plan. Then, pick and choose which of these interior design tips work best for your home.

If you’re renovating your home and are looking for more great DIY ideas, check out our blog today.

7 Tips To Build Your Mortgage Savings Account

mortgage savings accountThe number of homeowners vs renters is on the path of a cataclysmic shift in the next few years, with the number of owners dropping and renters rising. This could mean major changes for home prices as will happen when any supply increases. The best thing you could do to be prepared is to start building your mortgage savings account now.

For most Americans, their biggest asset is their home. Owning a home lends you a lot of freedom, keeps you from being blindsided by rent increases, and helps build wealth for the future.

While not everyone might think homeownership is within reach, there are clever ways to start building for the future while living on a budget. Even if you live paycheck to paycheck, maybe it’s time to think about ways you could start saving for a home. Here are 7 tips that could help build a mortgage savings account.

1. Keep Your Budget And Your Promises

While you might still be struggling with New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to make promises to yourself and keep them. And just like fitness or health-related goals, it’s important to make your goals achievable.

Don’t make your goal “Save $10,000 by May”. As you fall short, you’ll only increase your lack of faith in the possibility of saving. Make small, weekly goals. Know when you’ve got something coming up, like a vacation or anniversary, where that goal will get the way of your fun.

Once you have the goals set, make a pact with yourself. Give yourself room to make mistakes and forgive yourself for slipping up. You can and you will.

Make sure you can keep your promise and you’ll be happy watching your savings grow.

2. Change Your Withholding Amount

Talk to the HR person at your job. If you’re regularly receiving a tax return at the end of every year, you could adjust your deductions to have that money put into your account.

At jobs with direct deposit, you may have the option to split your paycheck. You can automatically deduct a certain amount from your paychecks to have placed in a mortgage savings account. This way, you’ll build up your account without even trying.

3. Put Aside Extra Pay

Whether you get paid weekly or bi-weekly, you’ll be receiving 5 or 3 paychecks, respectively, a few months this year. Take that whole paycheck and dump it into your savings.

Don’t factor this into your weekly budget. Let it be a big bonus that you can use to infuse your account with some extra energy.

If you have any side gigs or second jobs you do during the holidays, try to put some of that extra money into your mortgage savings. You’ll find that the more your savings account grows, the more inspired you’ll be to put every little bit into it.

4. Look At Your Cell Phone Bill

While you might not like looking at your cell phone bill because of astronomical fees you’re paying, think about whether or not you can cut back on services. If you’re in the market for a new cell phone, post online to see if any friends have one sitting in a drawer they’d be willing to part with.

See if you’re paying for extra services you don’t need. If you’re paying for adult children on your plan, ask them to start kicking in a portion of the bill.

Shop around for your next contract. If you can get out of it, try to find something cheaper. If it’s hard to get out of, try using Cellswapper to see if they’ll buy your contract from you.

5. Scrutinize Your Utilities

Are you often blindsided by rising gas and home heating prices? If you don’t watch your heating carefully, you could end up paying hundreds extra a month. Make it a habit to turn your thermostat down when you’re away from the house.

Are you using high-efficiency lighting? If not, it could be time to invest in better bulbs for your home. High-efficiency LEDs and CFLs are slightly more expensive than traditional bulbs but they’ll last for years and you’ll be using far less electricity.

Are you paying for a huge cable and internet package that you never use? See if you can scale back to a more basic, barebones plan. Use that as an excuse to spend more time with friends, while saving $50-$100 more a month.

If you run a tight enough budget, you could be saving hundreds a month just by making these small adjustments. While they may not seem like much now, over a year or two, they could help build your savings account in a big way.

6. Get Healthy, Save Money

If you’re a smoker, you could be spending hundreds every week just on cigarettes. Not only are they dragging down your wallet, but they’re also dragging your health into the gutter. You could add years to your life and thousands of dollars a year to your bank account by working to break this addiction.

Even social drinkers could be spending hundreds a week at bars and liquor stores. This spending adds up quickly, just as quickly as the savings could. You don’t need those extra calories as much as you need that extra money.

When you hit the grocery store to buy some healthy snacks, make you’re continuing to save money every step of the way. Save your money and then throw a party in your new house to celebrate later.

7. Cut Travel Expenses

If you drive to work every day, you could be spending hundreds a month on a car note, insurance, gas, and repairs. If you’ve got options to bike or take public transportation to work, think about changing your transportation methods.

Even working from home one or two days a week could be a nice extra bit of savings in your mortgage savings account. Check out this real estate text to get an idea of what your realtors will be expecting from you as a buyer.

Be Clever And Your Mortgage Savings Account Will Grow

While you should be entitled to a relaxing treat at the end of your work week, make sure that you’re budgeting for everything. It’ll make those treats taste all the sweeter when you get them.

If you’re ready to start tightening the belt to build your savings into a home, contact us today to get started.

What to Consider When Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

choosing kitchen cabinetsKitchen cabinets are the true face of your kitchen. Sure, they serve a practical function to store our pots, pans, and plates. The truth is very few people will ever see the chaos on the inside.

The overall style, color, and hardware have a direct effect on how your kitchen’s style is perceived. Beautiful cabinets can even increase the value of your home.

As always there is a cost for style. It’s said that 30% of your kitchen budget should be allocated to cabinets.

There are some fabulous ways of saving money and making an impact at the same time. Choosing kitchen cabinets should be a fun experience.

Follow our tips and you’ll see what an impact new cabinets will have on your kitchen space.

The Value of Your Home

Perception is such a large part of determining a home’s value. That’s why home staging has become so critical to selling a home for it’s highest price.

Buyers want to see themselves living their best life in the new home. That often includes saying goodbye to the outdated ways of their previous home.

Hardware

Replacing hardware will increase the value of your home. It gives the impression of custom cabinetry, without the full replacement cost.

Choosing hardware doesn’t have to be boring. Take it as a design opportunity and feel free to add antique handles or interesting pulls. Buyers love the idea of having something unique. Making this simple change can affect their perception of your home’s value.

Looking for some cool ideas? Check our these hardware styles.

Choosing cabinets wisely will guarantee your investment comes back in property value.

Paint and Finishes

Don’t forget that a fresh coat of paint goes a long way. New buyers are often making a large purchase and therefore want a home as close to new as possible.

Take the time to put on a new coat, fix cracks, or any damaged panels. Simple flaws can make a bad impression on the buyer.

Semi-gloss paint will add an attractive sheen to your cabinets without allowing small stains and fingerprints to show.

Cabinets with an antique finish adds charm to your kitchen. But that finish can add significant cost to your project. Sometimes going with something clean, and timeless is the best decision.

Wondering what your options are for finishes and materials? Check out . Exotic woods, unique finishes, and colors are all available to explore.

Don’t Be Afraid of Color

When choosing kitchen cabinets color is an important choice. The decisions you make can have an effect on the overall look of your kitchen, as well as the budget.

Did you know that buying pre-painted white cabinets is often cheaper than hiring someone to paint them later on?

Determining the overall color scheme of the kitchen in advance can save you time and money. A mood board with images of your ideal kitchen will help to narrow your choices.

Natural wood stain and white are definitely the most popular cabinet look. However, cabinets that have a bold color can spice up your kitchen.

When choosing kitchen cabinets two-tone cabinetry color is a great look. If you’re having a lack of inspiration, check out these popular cabinet color combos.

There are some basic color rules to consider when choosing kitchen cabinets.

  • White: This color will open up the space
  • Black: Very sleek and modern, but can make the space close in
  • Red/Yellow: Research shows these colors are the most appetizing
  • Blue/Green: These colors have a calming effect on the space

Another clever idea is DIY chalkboard painted cabinets. How many times have you arrived at the grocery store only to find out you’ve forgotten what to buy?

Keeping a running list on one chalkboard painted cabinet is a fun way to stay organized. Write down the item you need to buy as soon as you realize it. Simply snap a photo every time you leave for the grocery store and never miss an item.

As well, every parent knows that small children need constant entertaining. Allowing them to scribble and draw on a lower cabinet in chalk keeps them occupied and keeps them close by while you’re cooking.

Choosing kitchen cabinets can be fun for the whole family.

Here are some other great ideas to inspire your kitchen design.

Budget

When choosing kitchen cabinets you should aware of your budget at all times, costs can quickly add up. It’s important to note that cabinets, appliances, tiles, and countertops are often left out of a contractor’s quote. This can lead to a deceptively low price for the kitchen remodel.

The cost of demolition, walls, floors, and windows is often included in this initial quote but only account for one-third of the budget.

A detailed quote is a must. Does their price for cabinets cover installation only? Or does it also cover the cost of the cabinets themselves?

You can even ask to see a sample of the cabinets they will be installing. It’s important to be specific when choosing kitchen cabinets. If not, you might run into a conflict with your contractor.

Don’t be afraid to ask for specifics when choosing kitchen cabinets. So often contractors just say things are included but give no indication of the quality.

In cabinetry, good quality means:

  • Dovetail joinery
  • Solid wood sides
  • Plywood bottoms
  • Over-travel slides (allows the back of the drawer to open beyond the face of the cabinet)
  • Typically higher-end products have longer warranties

Check out some additional tips on how to get a chic kitchen for less.

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing the perfect kitchen cabinets is like giving your kitchen a facelift. You will notice the home looks more modern, clean, and valuable. There are options to simply refinish what you have or go all out and get brand new ones.

Either way, if you follow these expert tips you’ll be sure to make the best decisions. Choosing kitchen cabinets should be fun and painless.

If you have questions about more ways to save on everyday goods, contact us.

10 Real Ways to Save Money on Roof Replacement Costs

roof replacement costsA new roof can cost anywhere from around $1,000 to $30,000, according to Home Advisor.

This massive variation depends on factors like where you live and what materials you use. Yet regardless of the variables, there are some clear ways to save on roof replacement costs.

Let’s explore 10 of them.

1. Get Multiple Offers

When completing a large project like roofing replacement, it’s worth your while to take your time, do some research and get a few estimates.

Each company you have out to do an estimate should meet your minimal quality standards.

Getting your friend’s uncle to give you a quote when you have no intention of having it done by him no matter how low the price, is just a waste of your time and his.

Instead, do the research first, narrow down your list and then start scheduling appointments.

2. Time Your Purchase

Roofing is a very weather-dependent task. Roofing adhesive doesn’t work if it’s cold or wet.

Because of that, roofers do a lot of work in summer and fall when it tends to be drier and warmer in most parts of the country. Many of them do something else during the off-months like spending time with family or getting ready for summer months.

If you’re very flexible, you can arrange for a roofer to just show up on a good weather day during non-peak season. And because they’re happy to have extra work during the off-season, you can negotiate a discount that is mutually beneficial.

3. Do Some of It Yourself

We’re not recommending that you try to reroof yourself. But you can cut down on roof replacement costs if you’re willing and able to do some of the demolition yourself.

Pulling shingles off is much easier than replacing them, which takes significant skill. And it could be up to 1/3 of the job.

Assess your balance and skill working up high. Take precautions and never put anyone in danger just to save on roof replacement costs. But many people can and do the demo themselves to save.

Strap on your tool belt and add this one your DIY Diva skill-set.

4. Check into Home Insurance Coverage

Before you pay out a penny to get your roof replaced, find out if your insurance covers it. You may be surprised.

If a roofing inspector can show damage, you may have a claim. Hail, wind or other inclement weather can significantly reduce the life of your roof. Most homeowner’s policies cover inclement weather damage.

5. Skip Removal This Time

Be careful with the one. The demolition of your existing roof may be optional. You can often lay a new roof over an existing one.

You’ll want to make sure that it doesn’t void the roof warranty or put too much weight on your roof, or it could collapse.

Typically, you should only have two layers of shingles on a roof at a time.

6. Select Roofing Materials Wisely

You want a tin roof or tiles. You think your house will look amazing and be worth more when you sell it.

But does it really make sense in your neighborhood? If not, it may have the opposite impact. You may not get your money back when you sell the home.

You’ll end up paying more than you should.

You also don’t want discount roofing materials. This opposite approach can slash the life of your roof, meaning that you have to repair and replace it sooner.

7. Negotiate

Do you have a couple rental properties that need a roof soon? Do you and your friend both need new roofs? You may be able to negotiate a better price by making it a package deal.

Even if you have nothing additional to offer, remember that estimates aren’t set in stone. Ask the roofer if there are any ways to reduce costs. Share your comparable offers from other roofers.

See if you can negotiate the roof replacement costs down a little.

8. Be on the Hunt for Specials

Sometimes, roofing companies run specials, especially in the off-season, when weather permits. If you know that you need a new roof soon, keep your feelers out for specials.

Tell your friends to do so too.

Be skeptical of gimmicks that are too good to be true. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is true.

Someone offering not to charge anything for demolition or giving you 50% off will have to make up for it by doing your job as fast as possible. You don’t win in that situation.

A poorly installed roof can cost you more in flooding damage and repair costs down the line. But even a Top Ranked Roofer will run specials sometimes. Be on the lookout for them.

9. Consider the Long-Term Financial Benefits

Do you need a 20-year warranty or a 30-year one? What will it cost in time and money if you have to go through this again in 10-15 years?

Will you get most of your money back when you sell the house in a few years?

Saving money on roof replacement costs now is important. But if it costs you more in the long run, is it worth it?

You’ll need to evaluate your unique financial decision to be sure of what’s right for you.

10. Trade Services

Yes, people still do this in 2018. What services might you have to offer in exchange for a discount? Roofers have kids and houses too. They need services just like you do.

You could offer to do something that you know how to do well like:

  • Babysitting
  • Doing some yard work
  • Building something
  • Sharing your garden yield
  • Chauffeuring their kids around
  • Housesitting

If you run a business, you could offer to exchange business services as well like:

  • Tax prep
  • Marketing
  • Dental care

Roof Replacement Costs Don’t Have to Be Expensive

Roof replacement costs can be astronomical. But they don’t have to be if you get a few estimates, time your purchase and negotiate a little.

For more tips, tricks and savings for thrifty moms, follow our blog or contact us today!

What You Need to Know About Bad Credit Home Loans

Did you know research shows the average credit card interest rate is 13.66% in the U.S.? And the average debt held by balance-holding households is over $16,000.

With these staggering statistics, it’s no wonder many people don’t have the most stellar of credit history.

Let’s take a look at 7 things you need to know about bad credit home loans.

1. Obstacles That Make it Difficult to Buy a House With Bad Credit

We’d all like to be debt-free. That’s just not always the reality of our situations.

When you have a bad credit score, it can be easy to feel like you’ll never be able to purchase a home. But that’s not true.

There are challenges to be aware of that come along with bad credit. Here are a few you need to have on your radar.

Denial of a Mortgage Loan

We’ve all made mistakes with our money. And your credit score is a constant reminder of these mistakes.

A good credit score is considered 750 or above. And a score that looks like this will get a buyer approved for a mortgage easily.

However, a credit score below 670 is grounds for denial of a mortgage for most mortgage lenders.

Denial of the Best Interest Rates

A high credit score will also get a home buyer the most competitive interest rates around. While lower credit scores leave a lot to be desired in this area.

Whether you’re wanting to do home buying or condo buying, a credit score under 670 will make it incredibly hard to complete the process. This is where bad credit home loans can help you out.

2. Ways You Can Compensate For a Low Credit Score

You can repair your credit. But it sometimes seems to take forever. While it’s good to routinely work on this, there are also other ways to make up for a low score. A few situations that can compensate for a low credit score are:

  • A substantial amount in your savings
  • High current income
  • Potential for promotion with present employer
  • Paying comparable amount as rent
  • High down payment plan
  • Consistent and solid employment history

Of course, these factors are not always possible to salvage your bad credit score. But meeting even one of them will help your odds.

3. Finding Lenders That Work With Buyers With Bad Credit

There are lenders who work with first-time home buyers and those with bad credit by offering bad credit home loans.

Federal Housing Administration

The Federal Housing Administration offers an FHA loan for those with a poor credit history. These loans provide low down payment and low credit options.

The FHA loan can be available to those with a credit score of 580. This loan provides a low down payment of 3.5%.

If your credit score is between 500 and 579, you may still qualify for an FHA loan. But you’ll typically be offered a 10% down payment to compensate for the low credit score.

Requirements for FHA Mortgage Loans

To qualify for an FHA loan, you’ll need to have:

  • A 580 FICO score or above
  • Confirmable income
  • Steady employment with a minimum of 2 years in the same type of work or with the same company
  • 3.5% down payment
  • Zero late or defaulted payments within the past one year

FHA Loans With No Credit History

If you’ve never had a line of credit in your name, a lender may be willing to use alternative credit valuations. These may include areas such as rent payments, phone bills or utility bills to support a solid payment history.

For this alternate option to be valid, you must have 12 months straight with zero delayed payments.

These FHA loans are ideal for first-time buyers with a poor credit history. But remember, the ultimate decision to qualify you for a loan remains with the individual lender.

VA Loans For Veterans with Poor Credit

The VA loans provide veterans with the option of receiving financial support in purchasing a new home.

The VA loans provide 100% financing and zero monthly mortgage insurance premiums. These loans also offer flexible credit score requirements.

4. Gather Quotes

Before making a decision on which loan to agree to, shop around for the best deal for your situation.

A good rule of thumb is to obtain at minimum 3 quotes from various lenders. Compare the interest rates, required down payments and loan fees.

Fear of Lowering Your Credit Score

Oftentimes, prospective home buyers are worried that shopping around for the best mortgage loan deal will negatively affect their credit score. But not to worry.

FICO provides a one month window for you to rate-shop. During this time, all inquiries from mortgage companies will register as only one inquiry.

So, you can let go of the hesitation for fear of impacting your credit score.

5. Down Payment Assistance and Grants

As a first-time home buyer, you may qualify for assistance with the down payment or a grant.

If you receive low or moderate income, you’re in the running for this type of assistance. It often aids in covering the cost of the down payment and some of the closing costs.

6. Local City and County Home Buying Assistance

There are home buying assistant programs in nearly every city and county. You can check the city or county’s official website for any available options.

As with any of the other loan options, you’ll be required to meet specific criteria. Most financial assistant programs through your city will require you to complete a home buyer’s educational course, as well.

7. Bring Your Credit Score Out of the Red Before Closing

There are a few ways you can rapidly enhance your credit score. You can:

  • Bring your credit card balances down to below 10%
  • Ensure all current payments are made promptly
  • Don’t apply for credit
  • Contest any false content on your credit report

Before you apply for bad credit home loans, bring your credit score out of the red as quickly as possible.

Bad Credit Home Loans

Having bad credit doesn’t mean you’re stuck. We all have times when it feels like we just can’t crawl out of an overwhelming situation.

But you can at least arm yourself with the facts to stay informed.

These are our top tips for buying a house with a bad credit home loan. What would you add? Comment below!

Couponing Tips for the Thrifty Mom

couponingLooking for ways to save money on your next shopping trip?

Tired of paying full price for items when you know there’s a better way?

Fear not, this guide will break down couponing basics for you so you can have more money in your pocket at the end of the month.

We know that as a mom you have a lot of expenses. Learning to coupon properly will save you money and make your life better. It may even become a new hobby!

Read on for 3 tips for the thrifty mom.

1) Know Where to Look

In order to be a pro, you must know the best sources to get coupons.

There are several websites that compile coupons.

Our site has tons of articles on how to find coupons for your needs. Whether you’re looking for discounts on dating sites or discounts on eyeglasses, we have you covered.

It’s important you get your coupons off of reliable sites only. Otherwise, the coupons may be void and not work when you try to use them.

Never trust a coupon site that wants to take your credit card information in exchange for a coupon.

2) Coupon With Your Kids

When you present couponing in the right way, it transforms from a mundane chore to a fun crafting project.

Coupons aren’t only found online, they’re also found in newspapers and magazines.

Spend time with your kids cutting out coupons to your favorite places and compiling them neatly in a box or coupon book.

This activity is also a great time to teach your children about money. When your kids see the effort you go through to save money on everyday items, they’ll understand that money is precious and that it doesn’t grow on trees.

The next time they want a new toy they may even suggest you check a coupon book for a discount and your heart will swell with pride.

3) Keep your Coupons Organized

Organization will be the difference between couponing being rewarding and couponing being your worst nightmare.

You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you remember saving a coupon for your new family tv but you can’t find it to save your life.

Prevent this by having an effective coupon organization system. Whether that’s sorting them in a filing cabinet alphabetically, putting them in a coupon book, or sorting them in a file card holder is up to you.

When your coupons are organized it will be easy to pull them out to save money on particular items.

No matter what you’re interested in, there is a coupon out there for it. Interested in bowling? Look for bowling coupons.

Run a salon and need scheduling software? Learn more about affordable salon software here.

Celebrate Your Couponing

Using coupons can be a very rewarding and fun activity for you and your family.

You can feel satisfied that you’re saving money with most of your purchases.

If you have any questions about this article or want to contact us for any reason, feel free to do so here!