How Investing in a High Quality Pre-School Saves Money Later On

pre-schoolMost mothers would spend every dime they have to ensure that their child has a happy, successful life. That’s just what you do as a parent – you hope for the best for your children and you work as hard as you can to provide that.

But, what if you could be more confident about your child’s future and spend less to create a good life for them? What if something as simple as investing in a quality pre-school program could create many long-term benefits for your little one?

It can.

Top-notch pre-schools are pretty expensive at first. They end up paying for themselves, though. These learning environments offer so much for young children and their parents; they’re an investment you make at the onset of a child’s life that does wonders for them throughout their growth.

Here are 3 benefits of a good pre-school.

1. Sets Children Up for Success

Children who are in a welcoming, education-focused environment as toddlers do better when they enter kindergarten, 6th grade, and yes, even college. They’re given the tools they need to succeed as adults early on.

They learn basic book smarts in pre-school like the names of colors and the alphabet, but more importantly, they’re learning about how to interact with the world around them. Pre-school-age children thrive when they have a healthy amount of support and attention from adults.

It’s hard for parents to offer that when balancing work and family life. A pre-school full of teachers and caretakers who love children, though, is ready to give each child the love they need.

Such attention makes them better students and better people overall as they continue to grow. It’s worth finding out more about the specific activities that each pre-school offers to ensure these benefits.

2. Gives At-Risk Children a Better Chance to Excel

The benefits of a quality pre-school are even more clear to see in at-risk children who have learning disabilities. It’s much harder for these children to get ahead in the world when they become adults. But, being part of a progressive, caring pre-school classroom helps them learn how to succeed in their own way.

These children are given the support they need to do simple tasks and to understand concepts that are more complex to them. Their pre-school teachers use positive words of encouragement and healthy correction habits to include at-risk children with the classroom, but also to give them the individualized attention they need.

3. Reduces Crime and Increases Access to Medical Care

Another way that pre-school saves you money and boosts your child’s chances of success is that it keeps them on the right path. Children who attend a good pre-school are less likely to end up with a criminal record. They’re also more likely to receive the medical attention they need as a child, which is a big part of their overall development.

Not all families have the time or the money to take children to every single check-up. Enrolling children in a pre-school with medical attention available gives them the resources they need access to. It provides peace of mind to the parents and necessary medical attention to the children.

This leads to better development in the mind, body, and character of a child. Conversely, that means their risk of crime lowers and their chance of success – getting into a good college, being financially stable, etc – increases.

How to Find the Ideal Pre-School for Your Little One

It’s one thing to realize all the benefits that a pre-school can offer your family, but it’s another to find the right one for your child. Take your time making your decision.

Research all the top pre-schools in your local area. Consider how long they’re able to take care of your child each day and all the attention they give them throughout each day. Talk to other parents and visit a few schools, too.

For more motherly tips and tricks to help you set your child up for success, click here.

How to Get Free Plastic Surgery, No Strings Attached

how to get free plastic surgeryHave you always wanted to get a cosmetic procedure? You’re not alone. In 2016, Americans spent a record-breaking $16 billion dollars on cosmetic procedures.

The most popular procedures in the U.S. are currently breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks, and butt augmentations. With plastic surgery, the options are relatively limitless.

Americans everywhere are getting cosmetic procedures to up their body confidence and achieve their desired look. The only downside to cosmetic surgery is often the price.

Many moms say that they would feel guilty setting aside part of their monthly budget to save for a cosmetic procedure. If cosmetic surgery is in your dreams but not in your budget, read on to learn more about how to get free plastic surgery.

How to Get Free Plastic Surgery

Are you looking for a relatively noninvasive procedure or something more drastic like a mommy makeover? Whatever the case, there are many options you can explore.

If you’re lucky, your insurance may cover your procedure. For procedures like rhinoplasty (often referred to as a ‘nose job’) insurance may cover your surgery if you have a medical requirement such as a deviated septum. While the surgery itself may be required for your own health and wellbeing, it’s common to ask for the surgeon to make aesthetic tweaks to enhance your appearance for no additional cost.

Occasionally, training programs will offer discounted services provided by recent graduates. Deep discounts can be great, however, we urge you to never compromise your own safety by opting for a procedure provided by anyone who is not board licensed.

Social Media Trades

If you’re a blogger, you might just be in luck. If you’ve built a healthy following, you may consider reaching out to local doctors with a pitch.

Let doctors know what you would be willing to offer them in exchange for a free procedure. This could include a multi-post blog about your procedure, free advertisements for their practice on your homepage, or vlogging your surgery day and recovery process.

Reality Shows

America’s fascination with plastic surgery has given way to a myriad of reality shows about the topic. If you’re willing to brave the cameras, speak candidly, and ‘bare all’, you might just score some free plastic surgery.

In the past shows like The Swan, Bridalplasty, and Extreme Makeover offered free cosmetic surgery to willing patients. Currently, shows like ‘Botched’ feature would-be plastic surgery candidates who need revisions done on poorly executed plastic surgery they’ve had in the past.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to submit your story and you might just be the next person to get a free procedure from a high-priced Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.

Getting Your Best Body

While plastic surgery can be a topic most people would prefer to keep hush, getting an expensive procedure for free will usually require making some compromises. This can mean you’ll need to share your experience for the cameras or your followers.

Have a great idea or want to share your free plastic surgery story? We’d love to hear from you. Send us a tweet or drop us a line.

Want to learn more about how to get free plastic surgery and how you can live your best life on the cheap? Visit our blog to learn more. We feature lots of great lifehacks and tips designed to help you keep your life and your budget balanced.

Building on a Budget: How Much Does a Website Cost (And How to Save!)

how much does a website costLaunching a website?

Before you take one more step forward, first consider how much you need for a good web design, hosting, and other services.

A great website design is not only about the looks but also about the function and efficiency. With that said, building a website isn’t as simple as choosing the right images, graphics, font, and colors.

That’s why many rely on a professional instead to build a website. They’ll only have to say what they want, and a web designer will be able to bring their ideas to life – at a cost.

If you’re thinking of launching a website, you might be wondering how much does a website cost. Well, you’ll have to prepare for it to eat your budget. Read on to find out how much you’ll need to prepare.

How Much Does a Website Cost?

The average website cost is about $5,000 to $10,000 for a custom design, and you’ll even have to prepare more if you want something of higher quality by a more talented web designer.

What makes it so expensive, anyway? Take a look at the basic factors that add up to the total cost of a website.

Registering and Hosting Your Website

The first step in building a website is to register your domain and find a host, but thanks to web hosting companies, you can do both in one easy step. They can do both for you and the only thing you have to do is pay a certain fee.

The prices vary among companies and packages, and which one you should get depends on your needs. For example, a shared hosting plan is always the cheapest option, but it has its drawbacks. A dedicated server would cost a lot more, but you won’t have to share resources with other websites.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to over $1,000 in this step alone, depending on your plan.

Designing Your Website

What drives up the website design cost is the creation of the design itself. In this step, you’ll have to learn how to do it yourself or have a professional do it for you. The latter option is always the best choice if you can afford it, which allows you to focus on your business.

A professional will have a great eye for design, colors, typography, and such. Moreover, he/she will also be able to keep the backend design neat and efficient. However, hiring a professional web designer alone will cost you thousands of dollars.

You’ll have to think more than twice if you want to hire a web designer to build a custom website for you. Assess your needs and decide according to them.

Maintaining Your Website

Once you’ve set up and built your website, you’ll need to maintain it. It can set you back hundreds of dollars, and it’s an ongoing cost. This includes your domain name fees, the hosting service, and the webmaster fees.

The webmaster is usually the one who designed it, which is the perfect set-up since he/she will have the knowledge on how it operates. His/her tasks include making sure the website is functioning as normal and make changes or updates if necessary.

How to Save on Web Design

Want to know how much does it cost to build a website? Why not figure out how to save on web design, instead? Follow the tips below if you’re on a shoestring budget.

Know What You Want

Having a clear understanding of your website needs will allow you to control the cost better. You’ll be able to communicate the priorities to the web designer, eliminating inessential web elements that will only drive up the cost.

Giving the web designer an idea of your budget helps, too. They can communicate which will fit your budget and which ones won’t.

Research some ideas and looks that you want to achieve with your website. Then, ask the designer if they’re visible.

Choose Affordable Hosting Sites

There are tons of cheap hosting websites out there, but you’ll have to be careful. You need one with reliable performance as you don’t want your website to be going down at every slight inconvenience.

You may choose to start at one of the cheapest plans, even if you have to share resources. If you find that it’s enough for you, then that’s great. If not, you can always upgrade your plan.

However, if you’ll run an e-commerce website, you might want to have a dedicated server at the get-go.

Use a Template

You don’t always have to build a website from the ground up. You can do that by using a template, which can be free or with a price tag.

Of course, there’s a chance that you’ll be sharing the same template as another website. If the thought scares you, you can have a web designer customize it.

This is still cheaper than ordering for a custom web design, which can cost thousands of dollars. You can expect to pay about $300 to $1,000 for a template customization.

Use Free Photos

Professional photos are a must in every website, but they’re rather expensive to obtain. Even a subscription to a stock photo service will put a huge dent on your budget.

Before doing so, why not try looking for free stock photos on websites like Flickr? There are a lot of photos there that are free to use for your website or content.

Do note, however, that you need to pay attention to the copyright restrictions. There are images that are free to use in any medium, while there are some images that the contributor prohibits you from using it in an editorial content, for example. Some photos also require an attribution to the source.

Make sure you follow these requirements to avoid any legal issues.

Take Advantage of Free Web Builders

Are you okay with doing everything yourself? Try some free website builders, which usually have simple instructions. In most of them, you only have to drag and drop elements to customize the look of your website.

You’ll have to learn more about these things, though, so that you can be more confident about creating your own website. It’s not always the best route, but it sure is cheap.

Want to Know More?

How much does a website cost? Following this guide, it can cost as little as $100 to over $1,000 depending on your needs.

It’s time to decide on a way to approach it without breaking the bank. We hope the tips above help you build an affordable yet functional website.

If you want to learn more about how to save, visit our blog today. Learn some tips on how to save on other things, such as throwing a wedding.

4 Benefits of Genetic Testing You Should Note

benefits of genetic testingHave you ever been curious about where you come from? Do you want to know more about your unique genetic makeup?

Whether you want to find out where in the world your ancestors are from or want to gain insight into specific health conditions, genetic testing can help.

If you’re on the fence about this kind of testing, keep reading. Listed below are four great benefits of genetic testing that you ought to consider.

What is Genetic Testing?

You’ve probably seen that there are lots of businesses out there that offer genetic and DNA testing. But, what actually are these tests?

Genetic testing is a type of voluntary testing that identifies changes in the body’s chromosomes, proteins, and genes.

There are several methods used for gene testing. You can visit a lab to get your tests done, but many people are also turning to at-home tests provided by companies like Legacy Tree. These tests typically only require a simple saliva sample.

Top Four Benefits of Genetic Testing

There are lots of reasons to consider genetic testing, including the following:

1. Gain Insights into Your Health

Genetic testing allows you to gain important insights into your health. For example, the results of a genetic test can help you learn more about your predisposition to specific diseases like cancer or dementia.

Genetic testing also lets you know if you have any genetic mutations — such as the MTHFR mutation — that could stop your genes from making normal proteins and functioning properly.

2. Ease Anxiety

If you have a family history of a specific illness and are worried about the chances that you or your child could develop it, genetic testing can provide a source of relief.

Why spend years worrying about whether or not you’ll be stricken with an illness when you can rule it out with a simple test?

3. Make Informed Family Planning Decisions

If you’re planning for future children, genetic testing can help you determine whether or not your child will be at risk of inheriting a genetic condition that you or your partner possess.

When you have this knowledge, you can make informed family planning decisions and be better prepared for future obstacles.

4. Take Action Early

Just because you test positive for a certain gene, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to develop the disease associated with it.

That positive result, though, can help encourage you to take action and change your lifestyle to reduce your risk of getting sick later in life.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are lots of benefits of genetic testing. One of the most important, though, is the information it can provide you about your health.

Armed with knowledge about specific health risks you may be facing, you can use the results of your tests to motivate you to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Worried about the costs associated with healthy living? Don’t be.

There are lots of ways that you can save money while also making your health a top priority. Check out the health and fitness section of the site today to learn how you can get healthy without breaking the bank.

A Frugal Mom’s Guide to 15 Awesome and Affordable Gifts for Kids

‘Tis the season to spend all of your cash on gifts for your kids, right? But what if you want to economize while still indulging in the holiday spirit with little ones? Then, look no further than these creative and inexpensive gifts for kids.

Whether you’re looking for fun gifts for little boys or inexpensive gifts for girls, we’ve got you covered. Read on for fifteen frugal surprises that your children will love and so will your wallet.

1. Let’s Make Hot Dogs and Hamburgers!

Kids love pretending to cook. So, why not let them make their own hotdogs and hamburgers with all of the fixings? When it comes to gift ideas for children, they’ll love a wooden sandwich-making set for under $25.

Wooden toys represent the best choice for your little ones for many different reasons. When it comes to a fun sandwich making kit, look for a wide variety of ingredients including:

  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Hamburgers
  • Hotdogs
  • Hamburger buns
  • Hotdog buns

Because of their durable construction, wooden kits mark a great gift for kids three and up. So, let your kids practice their budding chef skills while learning how to use their hands to organize and manipulate objects–a perfect toy for your preschooler.

2. Ready to Bake Pizza?

Another great toy is the wooden pizza playset by Juguear, which comes in under $25. It lets your little ones bake their own pizzas with a variety of toppings. In fact, it comes with:

  • A pizza baking “stone”
  • Crust
  • Sauce
  • Bell pepper slices
  • Red onion slices
  • Mushroom slices
  • Pepperoni
  • A pizza cutter
  • A spatula to serve slices

Your children will spend hours crafting their own unique pizza combinations and pretending to bake them. Like the hamburger and hotdog set, the wooden construction makes for a durable toy suitable for kids ages three and up.

3. Handyman Time!

Kids will love Liberty Import’s realistic-looking mini toy drill set with three interchangeable drill bits. It comes in under $12 and will keep your kids entertained with its realistic drilling sounds and motion.

It requires 2 “AA” batteries, so keep this in mind when you purchase this gift. And because of small pieces, keep it away from children under three years of age.

4. Night Vision

What kid doesn’t want to strap a headlamp to their forehead and explore the world at night? A headlamp’s also a super handy gift for kids who camp, like to read in bed, feel afraid of the dark, or find themselves in a power outage.

When it comes to purchasing the perfect headlamp for your little one, look for an adjustable strap like TOTOBAY Direct’s Waterproof LED Headlamp. It requires three “AAA” batteries and comes in under $10.

5. Magnetic Letters

For under $20, you can purchase a gorgeous magnetic alphabet set that your little ones will love playing with on the refrigerator. Opt for a set with the letters in a brilliant rainbow of jewel colors as a lovely accent to your kitchen decor.

Look for a 57-piece set including both upper and lower cases so that your kids can master their alphabet and work on basic spelling. An ABC set offers a fun way for kids to work on their hand-eye coordination and ability to manipulate objects.

6. Magnify It

For less than $12, you can give the gift of scientific inquiry to your little ones with Backyard Safari’s Magnifying Glass. The magnifying glass lens measures three inches across and offers four times the magnification of the naked eye.

It comes with a no-slip grip and a hanging carabiner for ease of carrying, especially during hikes. Recommended for children six years and up, it provides an exciting introduction to the miniature world we often overlook.

7. Get Knotty

Knot-making represents an ancient art that has helped human beings survive for millennia. Now you can easily introduce your kids to this craft with Backyard Safari’s Survival Knots kit.

Coming in at under $20, it teaches kids how to make and use 12 different knots. These include:

  • Alpine Butterfly Loops
  • Dropper Loop Knots
  • Square Lashing

But the best part remains the fact it teaches kids how to use these knots in real-world survival situations. Recommended for kids six and up, it comes with paracords, plastic clips, reference cards, and more.

8. Launch Time

Toys+ makes some really fun variations on the parachute man toy. Our favorite? A four-pack of glow-in-the-dark parachuters in fluorescent colors.

The bright colors help you keep these parachuters in sight all day long. But it’s also fun and beautiful to give them a toss at night and watch them glow down to the ground.

They glow in different hues and prove 100 percent reusable. Their design avoids tangled strings, and they come in at under $15.

9. Slingshot Winexpensive kid gift ideasonder

Remember how much fun you and your friends had playing with slingshots as kids? But remember how many things you broke? Luckily, with Monkey Business’s Foam Strike Sling Shot, you get all of the fun of a slingshot without the destruction.

It blasts foam balls upwards of 60 feet and proves easy to reload. Because of the foam ball design, you no longer have to worry about broken windows or injured kids. But you still get all of the fun of slinging objects through the air for under $12.

10. Spirograph Fun

Kahootz Travel’s Spirograph Playset lets your kids enjoy the classic toy on the go. It offers endless design options and includes six spirograph precision wheels and two pens. What’s more, it comes with a 24-page sticky notepad.

Recommended for ages five and up, it’ll keep your little ones busy for hours, and its travel-worthy. So, get ready for quiet kids even on long road trips. Better still, it comes in at under $10.

11. Go Bead Crazy

What kid doesn’t like crafting with beads? Fortunately, Perler beads let your kids (ages six and up) create designs with large plastic beads and pegboards that can then be fused together using a hot iron in 10 seconds.

From cartoon characters to animals and more, your kids will love this easy-to-make craft that lets them get creative. A bucket of 6,000 beads comes in at under $10 making this a thrifty option, too.

12. We Can’t Forget the Play-Doh

Just think about how many hours of entertainment you got out of Play-Doh when you were little. For under $10, your kids can enjoy the same fun.

For example, the Play-Doh Basic Fun Factory Shape Making Machine comes with two colors of non-toxic Play-Doh, and a Play-Doh squeeze machine that lets you press the clay into a variety of fun shapes.

13. I Spy Books

I Spy books never get old. They also offer kids a fun way to learn how to read while practicing their observational skills.

Known for their rhythm, rhyme, and fun picture clues, I Spy books will captivate your kids. And at under $12 each, your wallet will thank you.

14. Find Your Story

Rory’s Story Cubes teach kids to let their imaginations run free for under $10. Each game represents a pocket-sized creative story generator, which reinforces children’s natural artistic abilities.

The game comes with nine one-inch cubes containing one of six different images on each side for a total of 54 images. When rolled, the images on the cubes combine in over 10 million different ways creating the basis for one-of-a-kind stories.

15. Puppet Theater Time

Aurora’s line of hand puppets prove well-made and beautifully detailed, and they come in at under $10 apiece. These hand puppets range from dinosaurs to wolves and horses and feature realistic styling and plush fabric.

They’re a great way to let kids explore their imaginations and get creative. They also feel cuddly and soft, offering a more expressive alternative to run-of-the-mill stuffed animals.

The Best Inexpensive Gifts for Kids

While the holiday season symbolizes family, togetherness, and tradition, consumerism definitely gets in the way. In fact, this time of year may make you want to curl up in a ball and stay home, far from the mad rush to the store.

Fortunately, inexpensive gifts for kids abound. Some of our favorites come in at under $25 or less. Yet, they offer kids the opportunity to build tactile skills while exploring their imaginations.

At Mommy Ramblings, we understand how important staying on budget can be. Yet, you still want to bring the magic of childhood to life for your little ones. Follow our blog for more nifty ways to economize while still enjoying your best life.

7 Simple Tips for Starting a Successful Photo Booth Business

photo booth businessEveryone loves a good photo booth. They’re a huge hit at weddings, birthdays, company parties, and holiday events. They can fit pretty much any party theme and they’re a wonderful way to make sure everyone has something to remember the memories made.

But, have you ever thought about everything that goes into setting up a photo booth? Most people would rather hire a photo booth business than go the DIY route.

This means someone has to offer photo booth services, though! That person can be you. Owning a photo booth business may be one of the best decisions you ever make.

Here’s how to actually make it happen!

1. Identify a Target Market

Although a photo booth is easy to work into any celebration, it’s better for your business if you identify a target market. You can’t just assume that you’ll open for business and all of a sudden be setting up a photo booth all over town. You need to figure out whether you’d prefer to do corporate events, weddings, birthdays, or some mixture of these things.

Then, really get to know your target market. Figure out how much a corporate event usually costs. Understand how to get attention from soon-to-be brides and their wedding planners.

Whatever kind of event you’d like to focus on, get a deep understanding of the people who plan them. This is your first step in generating leads and making sales!

2. Research Your Competition

Keep in mind that you’re probably not the only person who’s decided to start a photo booth business. Do some research to figure out who your competition is in the local area.

Figure out how long they’ve been in business and what events they specialize in. Learn more about what sets them apart, then start thinking about how to differentiate yourself.

3. Figure Out a Funding Strategy

Here’s the thing: you can have the most amazing photo booth business ideas ever, but you won’t succeed if you don’t have enough funding to start your business.

Luckily, you can avoid a lot of the overhead traditionally associated with small businesses. You don’t necessarily have to pay for things like a photography studio space or a whole lot of high-end photography equipment, either. You do still need to set some money aside for things like marketing campaigns and branding tools, basic photo booth equipment, and employee salaries if you plan to grow a team.

4. Buy All the Essential Materials

The basic materials of a photo booth include the backdrop, the camera, and the props. A photo booth business, though, should have multiple of these.

Invest in at least 10-20 photo booth backdrops so you’re able to provide your clients with options. Figure out what kind of camera and printing system you’d like to set up with as well, and always have one or two back-ups ready to go. Get storage and transportation devices for your equipment, too.

As far as props go, the more you have, the better.

5. Invest in Marketing and Advertising

Once you’ve done all your market research, budgeting, and bought all your supplies, you’re almost ready to open for business. The next step is to start branding your photo booth company and marketing your services!

This is huge. You need to have a marketing campaign going before you’re actually ready to launch. Such planning helps you hit the ground running and make sales as soon as you do open for business.

A few great marketing tools to do this with are:

  • SEO and content marketing
  • PPC
  • Radio advertising
  • Print marketing
  • Event marketing

Digital marketing is non-negotiable. It’s up to you whether you want to go the SEO or PPC route – or create a mix of both – but you need to do something to create a strong digital footprint.

Radio ads will help you reach your local audience, and you can gear them to the stations/time slots that make the most sense for your target market.

Print marketing means buying business cards, flyers, and maybe a billboard ad or two. Event marketing, on the other hand, means showing up to networking events to talk about your business and attending conferences like wedding expos or entertainment events.

6. Ask for Help

There’s no shame in reaching out to friends and family members when you’re getting your small business off the ground. Think about it: how great would it be to see if your cousin wants your photo booth at her wedding or if your sister can talk her boss into having a photo booth at the Christmas party this year?

Using your personal connections to generate business is genius. It boosts the amount of work you’re able to do in a short amount of time. It helps you get customer reviews and a bit of experience under your belt, which are both necessary when appealing to the photo booth clients you don’t personally know.

7. Celebrate Your Wins

Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight. Creating a thriving small business takes lots of time and sacrifice.

But, soon enough, the fruits of your labor will start to show! Celebrate them.

Congratulate yourself when you book your first client that isn’t a friend or family member. Set specific milestones to reach as a business owner and do small celebrations every time you hit another one. Each new success story is a big deal. It’s a sign that you’re going in the right direction and that all your hard work is paying off.

Plus, these moments are what keep you going during the times that business does slow down or things don’t go as planned.

Start Your Photo Booth Business Right Now!

What are you waiting for? If you’ve already thought of the perfect name for your photo booth business or you can’t help but daydream about the kind of clients you’ll have, you clearly want to do this.

So, just go for it!

Start making all the plans today to launch your new business in the near future. For more tips to help you go from the career you have now to being your own boss, click here.

The Cheapest Way to Buy a House: 6 Creative Methods

cheapest way to buy a houseThere are a lot of benefits to renting a home. For example, repairs and upkeep are the responsibility of the landlord. There’s no commitment to staying in one place for too long. There are also no property taxes or homeowner’s insurance to pay unless you get renter’s insurance, which is pretty inexpensive.

But, the cost of renting a home has been on the rise, while the cost of buying a home has leveled off. In fact, it’s a buyer’s market, and purchasing a home is easier than ever.

The thought of investing in a house may seem overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a ton of money saved up for a down payment or if your credit isn’t stellar.

So what is the cheapest way to buy a house? Read on to learn about 6 creative methods and you’ll be on your way to becoming a homeowner.

1. Find a Foreclosure

A foreclosed home is one that has been taken back by the bank because the homeowner stopped paying the mortgage.

More often than not, the previous owner lived in the property until they were kicked out. Also, if they couldn’t afford the mortgage payments, they couldn’t afford repairs either. This means that the home may be neglected.

In addition, many foreclosed homes are sold “as-is”. That means that in addition to needing repairs, they’re left in a terrible state. That’s not always true, but it can be. They are often stripped of all appliances, light fixtures, window coverings, and anything else that’s removable.

That said, foreclosed homes can be one of the cheapest ways to buy a house. The bank just wants their money back, and soon. They’re often willing to sell the home way below market value.

One thing to keep in mind is that if a foreclosed home is in a desirable neighborhood, it might get a lot of bids. If you’re up for the competition, a foreclosed home can be a good choice.

2. Settle on a Short Sale

A lot of people get confused about the difference between a short sale and a foreclosure. They both are homes owned by the bank due to the homeowner’s inability to pay the mortgage.

The difference is that with a short sale, the homeowner was responsible by letting the bank know of their financial circumstances.

The term “short” can be deceiving. Homes that are sold with a short sale often take a long time. The way it works is that you, the buyer, make an offer on the house, which is not always what is still owed. This is why it’s one of the cheapest ways to buy a house.

However, it’s up to the bank to accept this offer. Sure, they’re better off getting some of their money back than none. But banks often take a long time making this decision.

If you’re willing to wait, a short sale can be a great option.

3. Location, Location, Location

Prices of homes vary from location to location within a city. But many neighborhoods that seem less desirable might be the next up and coming locale.

One way to find out is to take a look at businesses that are starting up. If an area of town has a handful of new restaurants, shops, and bars, chances are, it’s a great place to buy. Jump in on a low-priced home before a neighborhood is gentrified.

Another option is to buy further out of town. As you go farther out of the hustle and bustle, home prices tend to drop. You can even get a bigger home for your money. Either way, taking a look at less than prime locations can be one of the cheapest ways to buy a house.

If you’re looking for a home in Florida, view here for some of the best home offers around.

4. Pay with Cash

If you have the money, buying a house with cash can often mean paying less. Some sellers are willing to drop the price if the buyer can pay outright, rather than getting a loan through the bank. You just have a lot more leverage and buying power if you can pay with cash in some situations.

Of course, that depends on the home and the seller, but anything that will give you a leg up when negotiating home prices is the way to go.

5. Consider a Duplex

You may pay more outright for a multi-family home, but buying a rental income property can help pay the mortgage.

In some cases, renting out half the house can pay all of your mortgage, taxes, and insurance, leaving you with a house you live in for free.

Now free isn’t really free. There’s a lot that goes into a rental property, including maintenance and upkeep of two homes and dealing with tenants. In addition, there’s the risk that the other half won’t always be rented. But if you’re up for the challenge of being a landlord, this can be one of the cheapest ways to buy a house.

6. Fixer-Upper Grants

There are a lot of options out there for people willing to buy a house in a developing neighborhood. Look around your city and you’re sure to see areas with historic homes that are falling to ruins with boarded-up windows. These dilapidated buildings are dollar signs for some people.

However, you have to be willing to fix the house up, live in it for a while, and keep it well maintained. If you’re not handy with a hammer, this option might not be for you. But if you are, buying a fixer-upper historic home in a “blighted area” is a great way to buy a cheap house.

Programs like the HUD Good Neighbor Program will allow eligible people to buy a house at a deep discount, as long as you live in the home for three years. They don’t want people who are just going to flip it. They’re creating neighborhoods.

The Cheapest Way to Buy a House

There’s no right answer when it comes to finding the cheapest way to buy a house. All of the above suggestions are options that can help you save some cash.

Many people believe that buying a home is out of their reach, but most of us can find a creative way to be homeowner rather than giving all your hard-earned cash to a landlord.

Owning a home is a big responsibility, but it’s also a great investment. If you take one or more of these options, you’ll be a having a housewarming party in no time.

Buying a new home doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. It can be a reality. Check out more great tips on personal finance.