Simple Cutbacks Save a Fortune [Infographic]

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Shorten the length of your loan! Save on interest!

Cut small, unnecessary costs from your daily routine and apply the savings towards your mortgage payments. This will not only shorten the time you’re stuck paying off your loan, but it will save you thousands of dollars in interest! Pay your mortgage faster to save time and money!

Pay Your Mortgage Faster Save Time Money

First, it’s important to clarify the mortgage assumptions for this infographic. We’ve selected an average priced home with pretty standard interest rate (although for the next few months you can easily find a lower interest rate). We went with a 30-year fixed rate loan, since that’s the standard for homeowners.

$200,000 Mortgage
30 Year Fixed Rate Loan
4.5% Interest Rate

Standard Monthly Payment = $1,013.17

All calculations below are based on these figures. 

If you cut one monthly movie date, you save $30 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment each month, you will trim 1 year 9 months off the length of the loan. You save $11,138 worth of interest.

If you cut out your daily coffee, you save $40 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment, you will trim 2 years 3 months off the length of the loan. You save $14,496 worth of interest.

If you cut out your gym membership and just work out outside instead, you save $55 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment, you will trim 3 years off the length of the loan. You save $19,247 worth of interest.

If you cut dinner out at a restaurant with the family just once a month, you save $80 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment, you will trim 4 years 2 months off the length of the loan. You save $26,486 worth of interest.

If you cut out that daily latte, you save $100 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment each month, you will trim 5 years off the length of the loan. You save $31,746 worth of interest.

If you cut out those fast food lunches, you save $150 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment each month, you will trim 5 years 11 months off the length of the loan. You save $43,204 worth of interest. Pack those leftovers!

Calculations via Bankrate’s Additional Payment Calculator.

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Empty Room Ideas

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Your kids are living on their own now. Since they’ve taken all of their belongings with them, there’s an empty room in your home. So what can you do to fill it? We’ve come up with some awesome ideas on how you can turn that empty room into something useful with these empty room ideas!

Empty Room Ideas

Home Office

Turn that empty room into a home office! If you are a real estate agent, teacher, businessperson, or you’ve always wanted to start your own business, now is the perfect time. An empty room frees up tons of space for paperwork, a desk, file cabinets, and room for meeting with clients or employees. So if you’re a busy entrepreneur, or just working from home, an empty room makes a great space for you to turn into your very own home office.

Empty Room Idea

Home Gym

Tired of having that treadmill tucked away in your garage as you continue to gain pounds every year? Why not turn your empty room into a home gym? You can put any exercise equipment you already have in your empty room and use it as a home gym. If this empty room idea prompts you to buy more equipment and get in shape, we hope you do. Just don’t forget to eat some healthy foods along the way!

Empty Room Idea

Private Den or Man/Woman Cave

Have you always dreamed of a private den or man cave/woman cave? With this empty room idea, you can create a space where you can come home to unwind and enjoy yourself. Whether you want a room with a couch and your big television, a pool hall that you can put up all your pool table and novelty paintings, or a cozy place where you can relax, your empty room can become your very own den or man/woman cave if you want it to be with this empty room idea.

Empty Room Idea

Guest Bedroom

This may seem obvious, but you can turn the empty bedroom into a guest bedroom. Create a beautiful guest bedroom for any relatives that you have come by to visit. You can add more than one bed or a bunk bed in the guestroom to have your relatives stay the night more often.

Empty Room Idea

Add a New Bathroom

Convert that empty room into a new bathroom. If you do not have enough bathrooms in your home for everyone who still lives there, make a new one. Adding a new bathroom can take some time, but new bathrooms typically add around 20 percent to a home’s value! Talk to a construction team and look at some beautiful, designs to craft a one you want to add in your home.

Empty Room Idea

Storage Room

This can be counterintuitive to creating an interesting room that you can use for work or pleasure, but if you have a monthly storage payment at a facility, you should bring all of the items in storage and put them in your empty room. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll have all of your belongings back in your home again.

Empty Room Idea

Personal Library

You can literally create a home library with this empty room idea. You can add a few book shelves, add your collection of books to them, and go out and buy some more if you want to read even more. We recommend that you go to used bookstores to save on costs. For your new library, be sure to add a reading nook consisting of a comfy chair, a nightstand, and a lamp for reading late at night.

Empty Room Idea

Personal Art Studio

Ever wanted to express yourself by painting, but you were too afraid to learn? Why not start in your own personal art studio in your empty room. Even if you think you aren’t very good, no one has to know! Buy a few paintbrushes, some paint, an easel, and canvas, and you’re ready to start painting your masterpieces, Picasso!

Empty Room Idea

Whether you want to create a home office, a den, a home gym, or add a new bathroom in your home, the empty room ideas out there are endless. Just be sure to find out who you need to contact before making any construction to your home. Once you’ve completed your empty room idea, be sure to invite your friends and family over to check out how you’ve turned your empty room into an amazing space!

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25 Infographics That Show the Truth about Being a Homeowner

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Being a homeowner is a wonderful thing. However, it is more than just having a beautiful home to live in for you and your family. Homeownership consists of responsibilities, costs, maintenance, and updating to keep track of. Owning a home is a wonderful accomplishment, however, there is more to it than most homeowners will have time to share with you. So let’s take a look at 25 homeowner infographics.

Homeowner Infographic

 

 

 

 

1. Home Maintenance for Homeowners: Home maintenance is crucial for homeowners to maintain as they live in their home.

2. The True Cost of Homeownership: If you’ve ever wondered how much it actually costs to own a home, this homeowner infographic goes over the actual costs.

3. 7 Tips Every Homeowner Needs to Know about Homeowner’s Insurance: This homeowner infographic goes over homeowner’s insurance. If you’re going to buy a home, you’re going to learn lots about the benefits of having homeowner’s insurance as well as the costs.

4. The Most Common Regrets of the First-Time Homebuyer: This is specifically a first-time homebuyer infographic about the regrets that can come with buying a home without preparing oneself for what may happen after the move in.

5. The Hidden Costs of Homeownership: Most people do not know the hidden costs of taxes and expenses that come with buying a home. This homeowner infographic goes over the hidden costs.

6. First-Time Homebuyer Pitfalls: There are many things that first-time homebuyers need to look out for. This homebuyer infographic goes over the many pitfalls that can arise.

7. How Much Homeowner’s Insurance Do I Really Need to Save: Being a homeowner means having to shop around for homeowner’s insurance. But how much homeowner’s insurance they actually need to purchase is another question.

8. The Benefits of Home Ownership: This homeowner infographic is about the benefits that come with being a homeowner, which helps you understand why people want to become homeowners in the first place.

9. High-Risk Mortgage Options: Taking out a second mortgage or reverse mortgage options arise when homeowners begin to fall behind on paying their mortgage. This is one complication that homeowners do not want to deal with but often think about.

10. Household Pests: Homeowners never want to deal with household pests, but they may have to deal with such pesky critters if they come into their home unwarranted.

11. Lock the Door on Theft: Homeowners have to think about theft that may arise from owning a beautiful home that attracts thieves, which is a definite negative of being a homeowner.

12. 20 Ways to Add Curb Appeal: Homeowners buy a home expecting it to be perfect, but they forget that they have to manage curb appeal to keep up the value of their home.

13. Types of Mortgages: Homeowners have to consider the pros and cons of different kinds of mortgages that they need if they want to make payments on their home over time.

14. The Benefits of a Well Insulated Home: Homeowners need to add insulation to their home if they want to manage the costs of heating and cooling their home.

15. Home Insurance Do’s and Don’ts: Home insurance is a major topic when becoming a homeowner, and homeowners need to understand what to do and what not to do when buying the right home insurance so they don’t end up overpaying or being underprepared if disaster strikes.

16. Secrets of a Happy House: Homeowners do, however, get to enjoy the secrets to having a happy house, so homeownership isn’t all just chores and payments to make every month.

17. A Homeowner Needs to Know About Termites: Termites love wood. Homes are made of wood. Homeowners have to be aware that their homes may end up getting termites at one time or another.

18. How to Clean Your Oven: Homeowners have to understand how to clean their home appliances, especially for safety reasons, which can be annoying and even dangerous in some regards.

19. The Proper Garbage Disposal Care: Homeowners also have to know what they can and cannot put in their garbage disposals, which can lead to unexpected costs in repairs if they aren’t careful.

20. How to Repair a Leaky Roof: A leaky roof is an annoyance that homeowners have to deal with often during rainy seasons.

21. The Importance of Cleaning Your Chimney: Homeowners even have to worry about cleaning their chimneys!

22. Homeowners Biggest Fears: Homeowners have fears that may arise in their homes: like fires, drain damage, and even a zombie apocalypse.

23. The Value of a Home Maintenance Schedule: Homeowners need to be aware of the value that a home maintenance schedule brings to their home.

24. Buyer’s Remorse: Many homeowners have buyer’s remorse for one reason or another over time.

25. The Total Cost of Home Repairs: Homeowners have to worry about the total cost of home repairs in their homes.

So if you’re planning to become a homeowner, take a look through these homeowner infographics to decide if it is the right path for you!

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How Your State Is Affected By Property Taxes [Infographic]

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Here’s a look at how state property taxes vary across the nation. Just because a state has the highest rates doesn’t necessarily mean those homeowners pay the most. To fully understand property taxes, we also take a look at how rates are different for home ownership factors besides geography.

State-Property-Taxes

Highest State Property Taxes

The states with the highest effective property tax rates were New York (3.01 percent), Texas (2.18 percent), Illinois (2.15 percent), Connecticut (2.11 percent) and New Jersey (2.01 percent).

The states with the highest average property taxes in dollars were New York ($15,625), New Jersey ($8,108), New Hampshire ($5,795), Connecticut ($5,646), and Hawaii ($5,024).

Lowest State Property Taxes

The states with the lowest effective property tax rates were Alabama (0.40 percent), Wyoming (0.55 percent), Colorado (0.55 percent), West Virginia (0.60 percent) and Tennessee (0.64 percent).

The states with the lowest average property taxes in dollars were Alabama ($618), West Virginia ($931), New Mexico ($1,096), Tennessee ($1,116) and Indiana ($1,418).

Across the Country

The average property tax rate is 1.29%. The only home values with significantly higher rates are homes valued less than $50,000 and homes valued over $2 million.

The rate also ties loosely with one’s time as a homeowner. Homeowners who have owned for 10-15 years pay the highest in property taxes. This is based on where rates were at before the recession.

Properties valued over $300,000 make up only 25% of single family homes, but generate 54% of property taxes collected nationwide.

All data collected from RealtyTrac.

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Father’s Day Party and Gift ideas

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Father’s Day is steadily approaching. Are you planning to throw a special Father’s Day party for the dad in your household? Whether it’s your father or your husband, here are some amazing Father’s Day ideas to personalize a party and even some gift ideas for dad!

Father's Day Ideas

Gift Ideas from You

For this Father’s Day idea, get your dad or husband the best possible gift you can think of for him. There are some amazing Father’s Day gifts you can buy him, but the most special gifts are made from you. Try out some DIY Father’s Day gifts, and make it personalized to your dad or husband. You can always do something unconventional too. Try writing him a letter or poem explaining to him why you love him or make him his favorite lunch or dinner to celebrate. Whatever you do, just make sure to give him his gift during the Father’s Day party when everyone is around to see the surprise on his face!

Father's Day Ideas

Gift Ideas from the Kids

If you want to get the kids to make or give something special to dad, help them out by working on some Father’s Day ideas of their own. You can help them create a handcrafted card out of paper, some folding skills, and markers/colored pencils. Have them make a card shaped like a tie and write a special note telling their dad how much they love him on the inside. If they want to create more for their dad, help them act out a scene of a time when dad taught them a valuable lesson or showed them how to do something—like tie their shoes or brush their teeth. It will be incredibly adorable and funny for the entire family to watch, especially dad. Remember, he’ll love it more if he knows that the kids made the gifts rather than just buying them.

Father's Day Ideas

Theme Your Father’s Day Party

Theme your Father’s Day party by decorating your home with your dad’s or husband’s favorite hobby or pastime. If he is into cars, center your party on his favorite cars. Buy some plates, napkins, hangers, and party favors consistent with cars. Whatever his favorite topic to talk about with his friends is, make sure to theme your Father’s Day party on that. He’ll surely love it!

Father's Day Ideas

Take Dad on a Trip

If you don’t want to stay home for a party, then why not take your dad or husband on a trip? Bring him with your family to a place he has always wanted to go or a place he loves going frequently. If you have the money to take him on an expensive trip or cruise, then do that. If you’re interested in just staying locally, then go to a restaurant, a movie theater, a bowling alley, a beach, lake, park, or even theme park that he enjoys going to! He’ll love that you remembered his favorite place. Don’t forget to keep it all a surprise until you get there!

Father's Day Ideas

Give Dad a Special Picture

Have a special picture of you, the family, and the dad or husband in your life framed so he always remembers how special he is. It can be a past outing that you all loved sharing together or even what you do on Father’s Day—you’d have to give him the gift at a later date if this is the case. Make sure to make the frame with the kids or buy a Father’s Day frame from the store to make it extra special for dad.

Father's Day Ideas

Since Father’s Day is just around the corner, we hope that you’re getting prepared to spend the entire day with your dad or the father of your children. Be sure to be creative and use any ideas you find to help you make this Father’s Day the most special for that dad in your life!

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