RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Money Tree: 3 Tips to Grow Healthy Financial Roots

May 2, 2016 2:45 am

Many of us are so out of shape financially, we pull a muscle just thinking about saving money, former Wall Street insider Eric McWhinnie observes. In fact, according to a recent study, just 37 percent of us have enough money saved to cover one of life’s unexpected expenses—no money trees here!

If McWhinnie’s observation seems too close for comfort, shore up your financial roots with these tips.

1. Pay Yourself First – After paying bills first for most of your life, it can be tough to break the habit. Instead of paying yourself last—assuming there is anything left over at the end of a pay period—start paying yourself first. Use an automatic deposit plan to draw 10 percent out of every paycheck and deposit it into savings before you pay the bills. Chances are, you won’t even miss it.

2. Track Your Spending – We tend to ignore our financial health in favor of convenience. Tracking every dollar you spend for at least one month will show you exactly where you could—and should—cut expenses. In turn, look at your fixed expenses, and start negotiating with service providers (think auto insurance or cable) for better rates.

3. Make Your Own Rules – Personal finance is aptly named. You get to decide what’s best. Recognize the insight that sound financial advice can give you, but bend it to make it work for you. Pundits advise, for example, spending around 30 percent of your income on housing, but you may be able to spend less than that and save the difference. The “rules” are to avoid credit cards, but if you use them responsibly, you can benefit from the cash-back, air miles or other perks they offer.

Above all, the key, says McWhinnie, is to set your goals and then find the best ways to meet them. With that philosophy in mind, you’ll have a money tree ripe for financial health—on your terms.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Fight the Mold: Must-Know Prevention Tips

May 2, 2016 2:45 am

Mold is both hazardous to health and damaging to property. Identifying and removing it can be challenging for homeowners without experience in remediation and restoration.

“Mold isn't something most people think about until they experience it in their own home,” says Peter Duncanson of ServiceMaster Restore and The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). “It's important to beat mold at its own game. This means taking steps to prevent mold from growing, or calling in an expert right away to stop mold in its tracks once it begins to grow in your home.” 

Many homeowners wrongly believe they can eliminate mold with bleach.

“Many retail products will change how mold looks, and you might think it's gone because you don't see it,” Duncanson explains. “The only way to get rid of mold completely and safely—and to be sure you're protecting your property and health from additional risk—is to have trained professionals physically remove it from the affected area.”

Duncanson says there are many steps homeowners can take before the need arises for a professional. These are:

• Eliminate food sources. Vacuum frequently to keep dust—a primary mold food source—to a minimum. Bear in mind that plants and terrariums may also be sources.

• Ensure adequate airflow and reduce moisture. To control ventilation and lessen moisture in the bathroom, open the door and windows or run an exhaust fan while showering. Invest in a dehumidifier for the remaining rooms in the home, if possible. You may need more than one if you live in a large home.

• Clean vents. Each month, clean HVAC baseboards and/or floorboards and bathroom vents with a HEPA-filtration vacuum. If you spot a section of mold, do not use the vacuum to remove it—this can exacerbate the issue.

If you come across larger swaths of mold, refrain from using a fan to dry it out—this can release spores into other areas of your home. To prevent costlier damage, call a professional as soon as possible.

Source: ServiceMaster Restore

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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