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

A Foolproof Plan for Financial Fitness in the New Year

December 17, 2015 2:00 am

Financial fitness is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions—and it’s one you can’t afford to give up on. But rather than set yourself up for failure with an unrealistic resolution, look to create a solid plan that will carry you through the year and beyond, suggests Katherine Forrester Schneewind, financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual.

"It's time to think differently about how to achieve long-term financial fitness," says Schneewind. "Like binge diets, taking a short-term view of your finances often leads to inconsistent results. You can resolve to spend less and save more, but the best way to achieve lasting results is by working with a financial advisor to create a plan that's tailored to your whole financial picture and unique goals."

To develop your plan, Schneewind says, simply remember the acronym PLAN:

Prepare – Start getting your financial house in order today so you can be better prepared to build (and stick to) a plan that will work for you. Consider scaling back your holiday spending by 20 percent to start your financial plan with a bang in the New Year.

Learn – The less we know about money, the more we stress about it. Learn the 50/20/30 approach to your income: 50 percent of your take-home pay should go toward essentials like your mortgage and utilities, 20 percent for investing in your future, and 30 percent for discretionary spending, like vacations, shopping and fun.

Act – It takes, on average, 30 days for a new habit to stick. Establish a daily routine of reviewing your checking account to see how you're performing against your budget. Each day, reflect on one thing you did to help build your financial confidence, like reading a money blog or talking to a friend for advice.

Network – We all know it's easier to stick to an exercise program with a buddy, and the same holds true for your finances. Use the brain trust around you and network your finances with friends. The more you talk about money, the more it can help you increase your overall financial confidence.

Source: Northwestern Mutual

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tips to Improve Your Landscape, Boost Home Value

December 17, 2015 2:00 am

A home’s landscape can have a significant impact on its salability—in fact, over 60 percent of homeowners recently surveyed by Briggs & Stratton Corporation say the landscape, and the lawn in particular, influenced their decision to buy their home. Homeowners included in the survey also believe the condition of their lawn can add or detract from their home’s overall value, though many are unsure which improvements will boost that value.

"In our experience, the discrepancy is a combination of being intimidated by where to begin and the assumption it will be time-consuming," says Carissa Gingras of Briggs & Stratton. "But it doesn't have to be either."

According to Gingras, there are a number of small changes homeowners can make throughout all seasons that can have a big impact.

"Pops of colors from potted plants or evergreens and outdoor lighting are affordable ways to brighten up a yard or monotone exterior in any season," says Gringas. "Maintaining a tidy outdoor space with a clean-cut lawn and clearing away leaves, branches and snow can also vastly improve curb appeal."

Source: Briggs & Stratton

Published with permission from RISMedia.