The Money-Management Mistakes You May be Making

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We all want to be want to be financially stable. None of us want to have to worry about paying the bills every month, or whether we’ll have saved enough to send our kids to college by the time they reach 18. Unfortunately, that is a daily reality for many of us, which is really sad when you consider that things really don’t have to be that way!

The fact is, many of us aren’t as financially stable as we could be, no matter what our income levels and commitments are because we don’t manage the money we do have effectively. Check out these common money-management mistakes to see if this could be your problem too:

Paying too Much Tax

If you tend to get a large tax refund at the end of the year, which comes as somewhat of a blessing because you’ve been struggling for most of the year, it’s a pretty big indicator that you’re having too much tax withheld from your pay each month. By simply adjusting your figures, you could keep more money in your pocket throughout the year, so that you don’t have to worry about paying the bills any longer!

Having Too Many Debts

If you have six credit cards and two loans, it can get tricky managing the repayments. Not only are they likely to suck up a sizeable chunk of your paycheck every month, but there’s a good chance you’ll forget to pay at least one of them, thus accruing charges. The good news is that a quick visit to debtconsolidation.co and a quick conversation with a professional is all it takes to make things more manageable. When You consolidate your debts, you really do simplify them.

Not  Tracking Your Money Effectively

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If you try to keep track of your spending in your head, you will miss out lots of expenses, big and small and your budget won’t stretch quite as far as it otherwise might. That’s why you should be using a spreadsheet, or even better, one of the spending tracker apps at forbes.comfree-apps to track everything you spend and help you to cut down on unnecessary purchases. It’ll Make a huge difference.

Not Automating Savings

No matter what your circumstances, unless you are quite literally living hand to mouth, you should be making efforts to save and that. If you’re reluctant to do this, or you always find an excuse not to, automating it so that a lump sum comes out of your bank account and into your savings account every pay day is a great way to make it as painless a habit as possible.

Spending More than Necessary

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Of course, the biggest barrier to financial stability is undoubtedly spending more than you really need toon anything at any time. Before you buy anything, you should really ask yourself if the purchase is necessary and if you can do anything to lessen the cost. Onlyif after doing this, it seems like a good idea, should you buy.

Stop making these mistakes, draw up a tight budget and review your finances regularly to ensure that you have more money in the bank and you’re better able to meet your future financial goals, whatever they might be.

Yes The Bride And Groom Should Shop Together – Here’s Why

Planning and shopping for your wedding is a bride’s dream. In fact, many brides have thought about their weddings for years before they’re ready to tie the knot. It’s something that takes months of careful consideration. And every moment is amazing! So why would you want to share that with the groom? Isn’t it considered bad luck?

Many people strongly feel that the groom should not see the bride’s dress until the ceremony. Dress shopping is just one part of the preparations required for a wedding, though. More and more grooms want a say in the look and feel of the venue, the choice of colors, and even the menu options. Gone are the days when the guy just turns up. A wedding is to join the two of you together. What better way to get some practice than by making purchase choices as a team?

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Rings

Choosing rings together means you can choose a matching set. And if you shop for the rings together, at least you can agree on any engraving you might want. Start online at the best designers with the biggest ranges. You can find Tacori wedding rings here that offer you a range of gold colors as well as lots of design options. No matter how different your style choices might be, shop together and see what you can find that works for each of you.

Venue

Both of you should attend the venue appointments. It gives you both a chance to work out what you really want from the reception. Most importantly, it will help you each to clarify your expectations of such a big event. Perhaps the groom was expecting a small, intimate setting with a string quartet. You, on the other hand, might have aspirations for a choreographed group dance like a flash mob. One of you might be keen for an informal buffet while the other wants to sit for five courses.

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Flowers

Both the bride and groom wear their flowers on the big day. You might be holding your bouquet, but chances are you have a flower in your tiara too. Make sure you’re both happy with the blooms and colors chosen. If you shop together at the florist store, you can make sure you’re on the same page about the centerpieces. Even if guys aren’t that into flowers, chances are they want to have a say in what goes into their buttonhole.

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Celebrant

In some places, a celebrant or registrar is allocated to you. But if you don’t really get the warm and fuzzy feelings about this person, you need to have a chat with your partner about alternatives. Lots of choices need to be made. You should agree and order of events. And you might want a poetry reading or an opportunity to say longer vows. Then, of course, is the music. It’s important you both have your input. After all, you’re both getting married that day!

Shopping together for a wedding might make you feel like you’re letting go of the reins a lot. But it’s important you agree on the details, so you’re both happy with the arrangements. You can still keep the dress a secret to the big day, though!

Which House For Me?

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There are many decisions that you have to make when moving house, from location to budget. The finances surrounding moving, whether you are buying or renting, can seem overwhelming and financial stress is not something to ignore. But the biggest decision you have to make, before you can even start looking, is what sort of house are you looking for?

Do you need a family home? Is this a second house? Have you got restrictions surrounding having a garden, a garage or a certain number of rooms? These are all things that you need to consider for the immediate future, but you should also consider years down the line – if you are looking to buy a house for the long term, is it going to meet you needs years down the line?

You also need to consider the implications of buying a different property than you are used to; the change between a house and a bungalow might not be that great, but between a bungalow and a farmhouse can be huge. Not only do you have the added space within the house – but have the grounds around it too that will need maintaining.

If you opt to buy a farmhouse or a ranch with the land included, you don’t have to farm the land yourself. You can always rent the fields to farmers, or to split the land up and sell it off – although renting or farming it yourself is a better investment in the long run.

Are you going to be looking for a new property or an older one? Both have their benefits; a new build has the most up-to-date materials and appliances and shouldn’t need any work for many years to come. However, new builds tend to be a lot more expensive than an older building. A property that has been around for some years might need some more looking after, but they are full of character and history. Some of the oldest buildings have rich pasts.

Buying a second home also comes with some extra considerations; like who will look after the property when you are not there? You can rent out the property to holiday-goers, or you can look into a house-share, where you buy the property with a second party and split the use. A second home can be a good investment, but if it just sits there, you can lose a lot of money through taxes, insurance and other bills.

If you are considering moving abroad than be aware that the standard size for homes vary in different countries. A town house in America is typically bigger than one for the same price in the UK, this comes down to the materials used, the age of the building and the economy of the country. You will also need to be aware of the different types of buildings common in different countries, like a ksar found in the oasis towns in northern Africa.

Here are some of the more common types of housing within the US with a short overview of what they generally are like.

House

Your basic house is usually two-story with an attic. They can be detached, semi-detached or terraced, and can date as far back as the colonial years. Typically they come with a rear and/or front garden, a driveway and a garage, or some combination of the four. Houses are incredibly common and make great homes for couples, families or single people. You’ll find larger properties out in the suburbs rather than in a city.

Bungalow

A bungalow is classed as a single-story building, although they mostly include an attic. Like a house, they usually come with gardens, drives and garages. Bungalows again are great options for many people but have the added bonus of no stairs for the elderly. A bungalow might be a good option for downsizing your home when retiring. But you can get some sprawling bungalows that are larger than a typical house. Bungalows are quite common in areas that suffer from earthquakes.

Townhouse

A townhouse, or a terraced house, is a row of attached houses. The common difference between referring to the property as a ‘town’ or ‘terraced’ house is due to the size. A townhouse is typically a three-story building. The term came into use during the Victorian era, when both town and terraced were being built on mass with speed. A townhouse is a great family home, and usually has a garden. You have neighbours either side, which will be annoying if they’re loud, but great if you make friends with them as they will be extra eyes on your property while you’re not there.

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Cottage

A cottage is, traditionally, a more European structure although they have been copied over the years throughout Northern America. It is an older building made of stone and, originally, had a thatched roof. Most cottages have been renovated for modern conveniences, including a modern roof. If you find a cottage with a thatched roof, be mindful of the cost of repairs and rethatching in the coming years. But they are great character-filled homes, the beams crossing the ceilings and the picturesque windows are very much like a fairy-tale cottage. Most cottages found in small towns have been joined with their neighbours, meaning that the original two-roomed structure can be a lot larger.

Apartment

Apartments are common throughout towns and cities, but if you are shopping in the heart of a city like New York, don’t expect to find a house nestled amongst the skyscrapers. That said, apartments make great homes, for families and couples. They vary in size, and you can get some two-storey apartments. You do have neighbours above, below and either side, so choose wisely. You won’t get a garden or garage with an apartment, but you may get a balcony that you can fill with flower boxes, and the views you can get within the city can be spectacular. As well as your usual apartment, you can also go for the penthouse suite, which is usually the top floor, and can take up the entire floor. These are obviously more pricey, but the view from the top must be the best.

Condos

In structure a condo is the same as an apartment, it’s just the ownership that changes. An apartment block is often owned by a single entity and rented individually, where a condo has a landlord for that one unit, not the entire block. However, seeing as the landlord is presumably making a living out of renting, an executive condo does have the reputation of being more modern with more investments made into the property.

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Farmhouse

A farmhouse can come with or without a farm, but they tend to be situated in the country, surrounded by fields. If you are looking for a working farm for crops, poultry and smaller livestock, then this is the type of house you’re looking for. And if you just want a nice big building, in the country with a bit of land – this is perfect for you too. There is plenty of space for children and pets to run around.

Ranch

A ranch is like a farm on steroids. These slices of land are huge and are more geared towards large livestock like cattle, bison or horses. The houses are similar to farmhouses, but successful ranches will have been added to extensively over the years. It’s easier to find a not-working farm than a ranch.

No matter what house you choose – make sure it is right for you and your family. Don’t judge a house on first glance, and always check out the neighbours before committing to a property. If you can, visit the property a couple of times, at different points in the day – you’ll want to know if it is in the middle of rush hour traffic, whether it’s easy to access in the dark or if the neighbours are nocturnal.