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

11 Ways to Boost Your Emergency Fund

April 15, 2015 1:24 am

Personal finance experts tell us everyone needs an emergency fund; a little stash of cash you can tap for unexpected car repairs, a lost or stolen smartphone, or any other little emergency life throws in your path.

But stowing away that stash can be easier said than done. From Lars Peterson, editor of consumer finance blog Wise Bread, here are 11 tips to help you begin:
  • Keep a spending book – track every dollar you spend for a month. Take a close look at the numbers. Where can you eliminate spending and put the savings away?
  • Eliminate budget busters – Can you step down to a cheaper cable package? Drink fewer Starbucks lattes? Use coupons when you shop for groceries and put the dollars you saved away.
  • Renegotiate what you can – Call your service providers and credit card issuers and ask for a cheaper rate. If you don’t get it, shop around.
  • Bank the savings – That’s the key. Once you’ve nipped away at your costs, you need to bank the savings.
  • Sell your old stuff – eBay, Craigslist, even garage sales. Sell the stuff you no longer need and stow the proceeds in your emergency fund.
  • Sell other people’s old stuff – Thrift stores and garage sales offer lots of good, used stuff at prices so low you may be able to resell it on Craigslist or eBay. Be alert to great buys on used household goods, jewelry and more.
  • Get a side job – Can you wait tables? Work retail? Take freelance gigs from Fiverr or TaskRabbit? Working an extra few hours a week can build your fund up fast.
  • Check your withholding – While it's nice to get a check from the IRS every spring, it's nicer to have the money now, going into your emergency fund every month. Use the IRS withholding calculator and adjust accordingly.
  • Offer to walk dogs or babysit for friends or neighbors – Stash the fees into your emergency fund.
  • Rent out your extra room – Make your place available on Airbnb for short-term housemates, or rent a room to a boarder, who may also help out with utilities.
  • Sign up for focus groups – Marketers and pollsters are so interested in what you think that they'll pay for your opinion. Visit a site like, and earn $50 to $150 for speaking your mind.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


For Some, Eco-Friendly Investments Too Much Green

April 15, 2015 1:24 am

As Earth Day approaches, those seeking to go green may be asking themselves, “At what cost?”

The majority of consumers (81 percent) believe environmentally friendly items are more expensive than non-green products, according to recent research from Yet 89 percent are willing to purchase at least one kind of product that has a positive impact on the environment, including energy-efficient light bulbs, energy-efficient appliances or electronics.

Big ticket items, however, like solar panels or hybrid and electric vehicles are far less popular eco-friendly investments.

Cost savings are the most effective factor when deciding to purchase green products, with close to one in three consumers likely to buy a green product if it were guaranteed to save them money over time. This opportunity to save far outweighed other factors, like high-quality or being linked to a good cause.

And just what would people do with the extra money they gained from purchasing an energy-efficient or eco-friendly product? Half of consumers would put that money into savings and nearly as many (40 percent) would put it toward bills or pay off debt.

Beyond supporting the green movement with their wallets, a majority of consumers are willing to make small changes in behavior to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, such as turning off lights when leaving a room, turning off water when not in use, recycling plastic, paper or metal, reusing towels before washing, and reusing plastic bottles or containers.


Published with permission from RISMedia.