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

5 Do-It-Now Steps for Healthy Finances in 2016

January 6, 2016 2:36 am

(BPT)—The New Year is an ideal time to evaluate your financial situation. To start the year off strong, take these simple, do-it-now steps:

1. Reassess Your Budget – If you don't have a budget, make one. A budget is an essential tool for planning how you will spend, save, invest and enjoy your money. It should be a guideline to how your money will work for you, and not written in stone. Life changes, and outside influences mean you need to periodically examine and update your budget. Start by jotting down your financial goals for the year, then review your budget to see if it's going to help you achieve those goals, or if you need to make adjustments.

2. Pay Off Holiday Bills ASAP – Every month you carry a balance on a credit card, interest rates increase the actual out-of-pocket cost of those holiday gifts you purchased. If possible, pay balances in full right away during the month of January. If that's not possible, create a payment plan for yourself with the goal of paying off the total balance in as high an increment as you can afford, so you minimize the time you're carrying a balance.

3. Maximize "Found" Money – Did you know more than a third of gift card recipients in the last year have not used their cards? If you have a gift cards you don’t plan on using, bring them to a Coinstar Exchange kiosk at your local grocery store and exchange them for instant cash. Put the extra money toward paying off holiday bills or boosting your emergency fund.

4. Review All Your Credit Accounts – Even the most careful shopper can fall prey to crooks, who are particularly active and crafty during the holidays. Look over your credit card statements to ensure you authorized all the charges that appear on them. For an extra layer of safety, check your credit report; it can help you detect signs of identity theft or other fraud.

5. Increase Your Savings – By now, you've reviewed your budget and cashed in your unused gift cards, so you've got some extra money in your pocket. Instead of spending it, use that money to increase your savings. It's especially important to have an emergency fund equivalent to a few months of living expenses. Those savings can help protect your financial health against unforeseen circumstances like a big auto expense or home repair bill, or even a job loss.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The Best Mini-Remodel for Winter

January 6, 2016 2:36 am

Home improvements often kick into high gear during summer. But did you know winter can be a good time to make upgrades, too?

"January is actually the best time to buy carpeting and flooring," says Brendan Phillips, president of SMART Carpet and Flooring. "The busy remodeling times are typically during tax refund season and again in the warm summer months, which makes the winter a slower season for most flooring manufacturers. That means better pricing during January, which is traditionally a slower season for remodeling in general."

According to Phillips, the bedroom is a good choice for a winter mini-remodeling project. A brand new carpet, wood, vinyl plank or vinyl tile floor will not only freshen the look of the space, but improve air quality at a time when homes typically have less fresh air flow.

Not sure which type of flooring is right for your home? Phillips recommends carpeting for bedrooms, because they dampen sound and lend warmth.

Source: SMART Carpet and Flooring

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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