How We Used The Back Door To Get Ahead Financially : September Net Worth Update (+0.60%)

WE WANTED CHANGE AND WE HAD A CHOICE SO WE DECIDED TO TAKE A CHANCE.   The best use of the letter “C” that I’ve ever made to get ahead in life but it was far from easy. Wouldn’t it be nice to be debt free, financially independent and successful? You’re right it would be like removing a rock from over an ant only to see it still smiling with relief that someone figured out how to save it without crushing him to death. Just because you have a heavy weight sitting on your shoulders that keeps your mind over-thinking day and night doesn’t mean you are defeated and your life is over. It simply means you need to start thinking about taking risks while considering change in your life to get ahead of the money game. It sure would be nice walking through the front door after a lottery win, inheriting big money or graduating from school with a full-scholarship and career offer on the table. Oh, how that would be glorious and for some it is a reality but don’t get your hopes up on dreams unless you follow through to bring them to reality. Since I’ve moved […]

15 Frugal City-Living Tips To Save Your Budget

LIVING IT UP ON A BUDGET   Living in the city isn’t for everyone—it’s hectic, expensive and not the most natural outlet for frugality. Or is it? I’ve found that city-living actually lends itself very well to the frugal life. There are plenty of ways to extract value and reduce your expenses while living in traditionally high-cost locales. Mr. Frugalwoods and I have done the city thing. Since graduating from college, we’ve lived in New York City, Washington, DC, and Cambridge, MA (twice). Why would we, as notorious frugal weirdos, live in some of the most expensive cities in the world? Well, to be honest, because we wanted to. We were both raised primarily in the mid-western United States and had romanticized visions of the chic, cutting-edge, cultured cities of the fabled east coast. We wanted to prove we could make it, that we could succeed in these notoriously competitive job markets, and that we could maintain our frugal wits in these havens of lifestyle inflation. And we have. The past 8 years have been an incredible experience for us. It has also been instrumental in teaching us what we really want out of life, which, as it turns out, is the exact opposite of […]

How we became mortgage free in five years

THE SECRET IS…THERE IS NO SECRET!   Becoming mortgage free is not an easy task so I won’t make it out to be something that it’s not. In fact many things have led to us becoming mortgage free in 5 years which I want to discuss with you today since many of you have emailed me. Ever since I blogged about wanting to pay off the mortgage early I’ve had fans email me wanting to know if there were any secrets. I thought I’d wait until we actually became mortgage free to fill you in just how we did it. No, we didn’t win the lottery or get money from family or friends we earned every last bit of it. If you read our net worth update for April last week you already know that we were excited to tell everyone that we were finally saying good-bye to the mortgage payment. I promised you I’d let you know what we did and what problems we met along the way. I thought the best way would be to get my good friend Michael Anthony Lloyd a mortgage expert who blogs at www.homehappy.ca and has blogged here before to share a bit […]

Paying rent: Am I really wasting my money?

Throwing Money Out The Window I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer when it comes to renting and wasting money or purchasing a home but there certainly are pros and cons to both. Why do I choose to pay rent? While the freedom of owning my own home sounds great getting there on my own may not be a reality but I am certainly going to try. I am saving my money right now and enjoying it, though what I am saving for exactly is not set in stone. For the next 10 years I am choosing to continue to pay rent. As a single mother I want to make sure I am fully prepared for all the costs and fees that come with being a homeowner if I do decide to make that choice down the road. I have my mindset that in 10 years, if I am still single, I could be close to or have enough money saved for a reasonable down payment on a  house if desired. While budgeting and saving money regularly and wherever I can I figure I could have a decent down payment saved through investments and other means in […]

Becoming A Single Homeowner – Part 3 “Mortgage Options”

In our previous post Part 2 of this 3 part series- our potential Single Homeowner had their budget, credit, downpayment, and type of property all mapped out. But what about the mortgage itself? Understanding your mortgage options is the final and a critical step in order to increase your shot at owning your own home and not one to consider lightly. Related: Becoming A Single Homeowner – Part 1 “The Plan” Mortgage Options  With over 400 different mortgage products available to the Canadian consumer – it can be overwhelming to navigate this marketplace. I will cover off some of the major differences in the mortgage products here. Fixed vs. variable rate mortgage – when considering the potential savings of a variable rate mortgage we need to consider that this is tied to the Bank of Canada’s prime rate and the fact that this can change from time to time. Outside of this – on both fixed and variable rate mortgages – it is very important to ensure that we get the deepest discount to the interest rates available for the mortgage term on closing. One way to accomplish this is to wait until 30 days before the closing date of […]

Becoming a Single Homeowner – Part 2 “Property/Down Payment”

In the last post, part 1 Becoming a Single Homeowner-The Plan I talked about how Single people are looking to become homeowners and the preliminary step in making a plan and the aspects to consider with your credit. Once these are in place – it is time to look at how to come up with your down payment and the type of property you are eligible to purchase. Down Payment Considerations This is an area where my Single clients are usually deficient. The demands of a Single person’s budget can be unrelenting and there are always important areas that your dollars are required. This is another reason why planning and budgeting are going to be the cornerstone of your Home Purchase plan. There are essentially four ways to achieve the down payment and they are to get it gifted, save it, borrow it, or qualify for a forgiveable loan. Get a gift – well we would all like to have a well endowed benefactor in our corner however the reality is that unless our parents or grandparents are looking to help us make the jump to becoming Homeowners – this one is a pipe dream. Save it – the minimum down payment […]

Our Canadian Home-Tips to Save for a mortgage Down Payment

A HOME IS A BIG INVESTMENT   Saving for a down payment on a home is probably one of the biggest goals many people set out to achieve when they want in on the real estate market. Are you thinking of making the move into home ownership? Deciding whether you should continue to rent or buy a home is a decision only you can make. People often ask me why I chose to buy a home so young when I was living in the UK. I decided to buy so young because my parents taught me the value of money early. I saved my money because I knew that I should be able to make more money over time if I invested it wisely. I also realized that I didn’t want to rent but that I’d rather own my piece of land in this world. I’m not going to lie and say it was easy as that’s simply not the truth. I worked hard and long hours to get me into the home ownership scene. I had no debt and paid cash for everything I needed. My wife was the same way growing up so we both had an understanding […]

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