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

Setting a Household Budget and Sticking to It

January 23, 2015 12:48 am

Despite a growing economy, many Americans still struggle with money management at home. If you’re experiencing challenges financially, there’s hope. According to financial publisher Bankrate.com, establishing a foolproof budget is key to eliminating debt, saving both short- and long-term, and building wealth. Here’s how to do it.

1. Record all expenditures. Track all transactions for at least one month to gauge your spending habits. Record everything, including pocket change amounts like ATM fees.

2. Set financial priorities. After learning exactly how your money is being allocated, take time to evaluate what really matters. Expenses related to housing and utilities should always come first, followed by food, clothing, gasoline, recreational activities and vacations. Decide what you’re not willing to compromise on and actively look for areas where you can cut back.

3. Plan to pay down debt. In 2014, the average credit card debt landed just above $5,200 per borrower (TransUnion). The trick is to pay the maximum amount your budget will allow every month. Some people feel better if they tackle smaller debts first, which often take a shorter amount of time to eliminate, and others, like those with multiple credit card balances, focus on debts with the highest interest rate first.

4. Start saving today. Most experts agree that saving just 10 percent of your earnings annually can lead to significant wealth in the future. If you’re used to saving sporadically, set up an automated system with your online banking provider. For short-term savings goals, it’s best to place those funds in an interest-bearing account, money market fund or CD. For long-term savings goals, focus on gaining tax benefits by contributing to a 401(k) or IRA. Be sure to contribute the maximum amount allowed to your 401(k).

Source: Bankrate

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Stock Your Kitchen with Healthy Essentials

January 23, 2015 12:48 am

If you're aiming to eat healthy this year, make your goal a reality by stocking your kitchen with the right basics. Registered dietician and author of “Schedule Me Skinny” Sarah-Jane Bedwell recommends getting into the habit of keeping healthy foods on hand at all times.

Here, the most nutritious essentials to stock up on:

Vinegar – The acid in vinegar, including white wine, red wine and balsamic, brightens and balances favors. It’s key to a salad vinaigrette, of course, but a splash can also add depth and sweetness to soups and vegetable sautés.

Peanut Butter – An inexpensive source of protein, peanut butter can be a healthy addition to baked goods or Asian-style sauces on meats and noodles. It also pairs well in the classic sliced apple and dip combo.

Canola Oil – This kitchen workhorse is one of the healthiest cooking oils available and ideal for almost any kind of recipe. It contains the least saturated fat and most plant-based omega-3 fat of all common cooking oils.

Honey or Brown Sugar – Sweetener isn’t just for baked goods. Use a touch to help caramelize foods or bring out the natural sweetness in vegetables.

Low-Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth – Store-bought broth tends to contain higher amounts of salt, so look for low-sodium varieties. Boost flavor by using broth for homemade soup, whole grains or a braised dish.

Whole Wheat Flour – Flour is useful for thickening sauces or binding griddle cakes. Look for the white whole wheat kind, which has a lighter texture and still maintains the benefits of whole grain.

Canned Tomatoes – An essential building block for sauces, soups and stews, canned tomatoes are faster (and most times of the year tastier) to use than peeling, seeding and chopping your own. Again, select ones that are lower in sodium.

Source: CanolaInfo.org

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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