5 Easy Tips for Simplifying a Home Budget

tax breaks for 2016Preparing a home budget can be an uphill task especially if you haven’t done it before. In fact, this is one of the main reasons that most people avoid developing a budget. But it could also be because they do not really know what budgeting means and therefore they cannot develop one efficiently. The truth is, making a budget is not about using complex formulas or tedious calculations. Like other things in life, budgeting becomes easy to do when you keep it simple. Here are some easy tips that you can use to simplify the budget making process in your home:

  1. Create a schedule

Making a schedule and sticking to it can really simplify your work when it comes to creating a budget for your home. For instance, you can opt to make a monthly schedule that includes specific dates when you make certain payments. Create drafts from the checking accounts so that the bills get paid automatically. Decide how often you want to buy groceries in that month as well, one day each week or once every two weeks works best. Pick a day when your children are not around to demand for things that you have not included in the budget. Knowing to you expect and at what point you expect it can rid you of much stress.

  1. Allocate some cash for miscellaneous expenses

Include a small amount to cater for unexpected expenses in your budget. This helps ensure that in case of eventualities like a birthday invitation or an invitation to give a baby-shower gift, you will not be forced to use cash allocated for grocery or other items required in the home. Be sure to track your miscellaneous public storage Portland expenses on a frequent basis so you know when you have exhausted or are almost exhausting them. With time, you may want to consider making this budget item permanent on you budget.

  1. Involve family members

If you have other people living with you like a spouse, involve them when you making the budget. Things can get problematic if one person is doing the planning and all the other person is doing is spending. It helps to have a sitting each month to discuss the budget. Find a way to make this interesting. For instance, you could have some favorite snacks and drinks to keep the discussion focused. Most important is that you all read from the same page, this will certainly make your money and life easier to manage.

  1. Track your expenses

Find an easy way to track your expenses and be intentional in allocating some time each day to do so. Rather than stacking your receipts, world news tools like EveryDollar Plus to help you stream your transactions from the bank instead of keeping a bunch of receipts.

  1. Avoid using credit cards

Opt for debit cards rather than credit cards. Since debit cards come direct from your account, you will not incur a 15% interest. When you do away with credit cards, you will not attract additional bills that add to your budget. Most importantly, you will not live worried about high interest rates and fees.

How to Earn Extra Cash with Online Trading

earn extra cash with online tradingWhether you want to work from home or start a new career, online trading can be an interesting and profitable way to do it. An online trader places buy and sell orders for day trading stocks, Forex, futures trading and stock options, you guessed it, over the Internet. Since the trading is done online, many brokerage houses are able to cut costs for clients because there is no need for paper-based documents that need to be copied, filed and digitally recorded. Transactions can be executed faster, which means more transactions can be done in a day. Before jumping in, you may want to look at online trading schools such as Online Trading Academy reviews to get an idea of what you need to learn.

Financial Education

The best way to learn how to trade financial products is from a professional trader. With coaching sessions from the pros, you can learn how to trade consistently and profitably. Whether you are starting from the beginning or are already trading, you can learn about different trading styles such as short-term trading, position trading, exchange-traded funds, options, futures, currencies and commodities. After you learn the mechanics of trading, you may want to specialize in your chosen style of trading. In some cases, online training schools offer CDs that help you study at home. When you are ready, you may get an instructor who will help you make live trades.


Stocks include certificates of ownership of a company. The certificate is called a share, and if you own shares in a company, you are a shareholder. There are two types of stocks, common and preferred. Common stock shareholders have voting rights connected with the policies of the company. Preferred stock shareholders do not have voting rights, but they get dividends before they are given to other shareholders. You will learn skills and strategies for buying and selling stocks to make money from buying low and selling high or reaping high dividends.


Forex stands for foreign exchange. If you trade forex, you are swimming with the big fish. If you study forex trading, you will see that there are many advantages to trading forex online, one being that the market is open 24-hour per day. Forex is the biggest market in the world with $4 trillion in daily transactions.


Futures allow you to speculate into the future. When you are well trained in buying and selling futures you can speculate what a specific asset will be worth at a specific time in the future. There are futures in all the principal categories such as equity index futures, energy and metal futures, treasury futures, forex futures, commodity futures.

Options Trading

It is worth your time learning about options trading. You can earn big rewards with little capital if you learn options trading strategies. Options allow you to control a stock for a very small percentage of its share price without actually owning it. It is a powerful tool for making profits without worrying about what is happing in the overall market.

Before you start your journey towards extra cash, take some time to find the best education plan. For example, you can check out Online Trading Academy Reviews and other testimonials to see what people are saying about online trading education.

Home Improvement Loan Application Checklist

painter-2247395_640Are you on the verge of making major home improvements? If so, it’s possible you’re looking at many different financing options. In this scenario, you would greatly benefit from a home renovation loan since you obviously want better interest rates, greater flexibility, and better options when compared to paying for home renovations with a credit card.

You’ll gain a wide range of benefits by choosing a home improvement loan paid back in installments as opposed to using a credit card. Additionally, you’ll get the benefits of receiving higher loan amounts, longer and better terms, and interest rates that are much more competitive than the credit card interest! Even if you wanted to pay for your renovations with a credit card, many home improvement contractors do not accept them. They need to get paid by check or cash to perform your much-needed restorations.

With that said, we want our readers to be prepared when they begin applying for home renovation loans. So, we’ll provide a checklist that everyone should use to get ready for the loan application process.

While we’re at it, don’t forget to use the internet to your advantage. Use an online comparison tool that will compare numerous home renovation loans based on your specifications.

Getting Ready to Apply for Home Improvement Loans

Before beginning the home loan comparison process, you have to be prepared for the inevitable. You must have all your ducks in a row before you prepare any documentation for potential lenders. Some of the main things lenders look for are as follows:

Income Proof

You’re never going to qualify for a home renovation loan, or any other loan for that matter, if you cannot prove your income. This makes sense because financial institutions are only going to loan money to people they know can pay it back over time based on the terms of the loan. Even though lenders loosened their qualifications prior to the housing market crash in the mid-2000s, they’ve since tightened their criteria and now thoroughly scrutinize every potential borrower and look at their financial history, employment history, and more under a microscope.

It’s relatively easy to prove your income. Just provide potential lenders with copies of your pay stubs, any investment income you may have, or other paperwork regarding income you generate throughout the year. By having this information gathered and prepared ahead of time, you’ll be able to immediately provide documentation proving how much money you make.

Lower Your Debt to Income Ratio

If your debt to income ratio is high, you’ll have a difficult time getting financial institutions to lend you money. If you have $2000 worth of expenses every month and currently owe $20,000 worth of credit cards and you only make $25,000 a year, lenders will not provide you with a renovation loan.

In this scenario, you’d have to significantly pay down your credit card debt before any lender considers giving you a home improvement loan. So keep your debt to income ratio in mind, lower it when necessary, and you’ll have a much better chance of qualifying for a low interest loan.

How’s Your Credit Score?

Finally, lenders are going to look long and hard at your current credit score. If it’s low because you’ve been late with payments or stopped paying certain bills altogether, you will not appear to be a safe bet to lending institutions. So do everything you can to clean up your credit report and raise your credit score. Otherwise you’ll have a tough time getting a home improvement loan.


Please pay close attention to these guidelines when applying for home improvement loans. Work on fixing your credit and debt to income ratio to have a better chance at qualifying for financing. You’ll have your dream kitchen in no time.