I’m really baffled that people are so tempted to just walk away from their house simply because it’s “worth” less than they owe on it. I put the worth in quotation marks, because what a house is worth is all relative. A house is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Sure, you can base it on comparable sales in the neighborhood, but that gets very skewed when you are dealing with one of the biggest real estate corrections in the history of the United States. Just because a real estate agent or Zillow.com tells you that your house is worth $100,000 and you owe $150,000 doesn’t mean it’s going to be like that forever. It would only take a solid year of real estate recovery and lessening foreclosures/short sales in order for your property to start recovering in market value. Here’s a question we recently received from a concerned friend:
Are you currently working in a job that you hate? Maybe some of you have realized that you don’t want to be in your current profession long term so you’ve taken the first steps of starting a side business that could turn into full-time work, but you’re scared to take the leap by getting rid of your day job. At Money Crashers, we believe (and statistics prove it) that you’ll make a lot more money in your lifetime if you’re doing something that you love. The folks over at Get Rich Slowly think the same thing and they’ll help you answer the all important question of when the right time is to quit your day job. Here are a few more great articles from around the personal finance blogosphere:
Happy Independence Day! It’s the summer and it’s the 4th of July, so that means many of you will be buying huge watermelons and serving it up to your guests today and throughout the summer. Wise Bread has a fun article today on 6 Unique Ways To Eat Watermelon. What does it have to do with money? Well, sometimes we buy watermelons way too big to eat, so instead of losing money and letting it go bad, try those 6 ways to eat it quicker! Here’s a few more great articles to peruse on your Sunday holiday:
Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I started out loving it, because I was a pyromaniac as a kid, and any excuse to play with fireworks sounded GREAT to me. I still love playing with fireworks and watching them, but the 4th of July has brought so much more meaning in my life when I think about all of the men and women who’ve sacrificed their lives so that we could have the freedom to pursue a life of happiness. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and so many other Founding Fathers started this country with the dream that we would live free from tyrannical dictators, monarchies, and the constraints of oppressive government. Unfortunately, with every day that passes, every politician that we elect into government, every big government program that Congress comes up with, and every dollar we spend that we don’t have, we start slowly losing the freedoms we’ve experienced and taken for granted over the past 200 plus years.
We ALWAYS notice when something gets more expensive, but do we notice it when prices fall? We should, because the prices probably won’t be falling forever, so you need to take advantage of falling prices when you can. Sometimes recessions aren’t such a bad thing, because we often tighten up our finances which lowers demand and causes prices to fall in a lot of industries. Also, our wonderful friend called technology is also causing a lot of industries to make things more efficiently and drop prices. Remember when it was minimum $1,500 to buy a flat panel TV? Now you can get a 32″ for about $400! This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here’s some major things that are getting cheaper and helping many of you out according to the bureau of labor statistics data on consumer price index.
If you’re in your 20’s or early 30’s, then you’ve probably either seen an episode of “Saved By The Bell” or you’re one of those freaks that’s seen every episode and still watches the re-runs on TBS in the morning. It was an iconic TV show for our generation. I’m not sure why it gained so much popularity. It was just one of those addicting shows that any pre-teen would get hooked on whether it was 1990 or 2010. Surprisingly, the show did tackle a lot of deep issues that teens face every day, and it even dealt with some financial issues. Some of these lessons learned might seem like a little bit of a stretch, but I know you get bored reading about private mortgage insurance and mutual fund load fees, so take a trip down pop culture memory lane with me for a little bit.
I worked from home today, not because the World Cup was on, but because we were hiring new landscapers and I wanted to talk to them before they started working on our yard. BUT, since a huge World Cup match for the U.S. was playing at 10am this morning, I got my laptop, and started working in the living room while casually paying attention to the game. I saw ANOTHER goal that was taken away by a referee who probably has a chip on his shoulder towards the United States, and I saw a lot of missed opportunities by the U.S. to take control of the game. Then, it happened — one of the most dramatic moments in U.S. soccer history. Just when it looked like the U.S. team would be flying home tomorrow, Landon Donovan cleaned up a miss from Jozy Altidore in the 91st minute of the game to win it and advance to the next round. Your finances are just like that goal from Landon Donovan. Your finances ALWAYS have a chance, as long as you are patient and persistent. Here are five lessons you can learn from watching the World Cup this year:
At Money Crashers, we are big advocates of working with a financial coach or counselor rather than a financial advisor if your financial goals are geared more towards preparing a budget, a plan to get out of debt, and seeking ways to save money in your daily life. Trusted financial advisors and planners are good sources for some of the more technical questions about investing, insurance, and estate planning, but they often neglect the part about being in the right situation to start investing or estate planning. Ansley Sebring, owner of her own financial coaching company called, The Budget Author, is based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She left the corporate world to be a self-employed financial coach because she saw the huge need for personal financial education during a time when jobs were being lost, real estate values were down, and people were waking up to the fact that they had WAY too much credit card and other consumer debt. I interviewed her recently about making the switch to being an entrepreneur while maintaining the role of mother of two children, wife, and owner of a company.
We’re often enticed by retailers when they have a sale. Many savvy shoppers know the best time to buy all kinds of different products right before their seasonal shelf life, because they know that the prices will be marked down to clear inventory. As responsible consumers, we’re programmed to look and wait for sales before we buy something. We love knowing that we “got a deal”. However, it’s not the same for us when we think about investing, the stock market, and other investments like real estate. We’re often paralyzed with fear when we see the stock market drop and our immediate reaction is to pull out and not put our money in it. Warren Buffett famously said that he’s greedy when other investors are cautious and he’s cautious when investors are greedy. Free From Broke has a great article about buying low or even LOWER in the stock market. It’s a great habit to fall into to invest in the stock market when it’s on sale.
The spring and summer are usually the busiest times for real estate agents. The weather is warm, people are getting new jobs, and people are looking for homes to buy. Of course this also means people are putting their homes up for sale.