4 Important Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying a House

house questionWithout a doubt, spring and summer is the busiest home buying season of the year. And with housing prices still falling in most parts of the country, buyers are blessed with plenty of affordable options yet again.

The problem is that many first-time home buyers jump into home ownership too soon. Yes, there are some incredible bargains out there, and it’s been decades since home prices were this low. But, are you truly ready to buy a house? Can you afford it?

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9 Creative Ways to Reuse Old Bureaus (Chest of Drawers)

antique dresser bureauScan the furniture section of Craigslist, check out a yard or garage sale, or walk through the local flea market – you’ll see a plethora of gently (or not so gently) used bureaus (i.e. chest of drawers) to choose from. Instead of paying outrageous prices for high-end, specialty furniture, why not take advantage of these vintage finds?

As long as the basic style works with your space, there are a number of great ways to re-purpose an old bureau. Refinish and add new hardware to your second-hand find for a more modern spin, or leave it as is for a shabby sheik look. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating your own, custom piece.

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How to Screen Potential Tenants – Questions, Credit & Background Check

apartment tenant screeningWith a good tenant, you can sleep easy at night as a landlord knowing the rent will get paid and the property will stay relatively undamaged. With a bad tenant, on the other hand, you’re left to wonder about the state of your investment while fielding calls from angry neighbors.

The problem is that any prospective tenant can act like the best tenant in the world during the initial walk-through. But if you want to make sure you’re getting the best renter, it’s important to screen every prospective tenant thoroughly before allowing them to sign a lease.

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Certified Financial Planner Certification – How to Become a CFP

cfp logoSince 1985, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has issued the Certified Financial Planner designation to those who have met the educational and experiential requirements and passed the rigorous board exam. This credential is now known all over the world as the definitive professional designation for financial planners and advisors.

Different types of financial professionals earn this credential including stockbrokers, registered investment advisors, insurance agents, estate planners, bankers, and tax professionals. Many in the financial industry can benefit from carrying the CFP mark on their business card.

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Quitting a New Job for a Better Offer – Is It a Good Idea?

job applicant handshakePicture this: You spend months looking for a new job with no luck at all. Then, almost miraculously, you finally get a decent offer, accept it, and start the new job. A month or two later, one of the other employers you interviewed with contacts you. They want to make you an offer.

It turns out to be a good offer for a job you really want. Now you have a problem – a problem plenty of us would love to have – but a problem nonetheless. Do you stay with the employer who took you in out of the cold, or pitch it for the better offer?

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Credit Card Chargebacks 101 – Process & Rules for Shoppers

credit card chargeback manWhen credit cards are used wisely, they offer an incredibly convenient way to pay for goods and services. They fit neatly in your wallet, you don’t have to carry loads of cash, and you can easily shop from the privacy of your own home via the Internet – all thanks to a little piece of plastic.

The other bonus? When you pay for things with a credit card, you are guaranteed by law to receive them as promised. If you don’t, federal regulations require that credit card issuing banks reverse transactions in these types of cases in the form of a chargeback.

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Things to Do in Oahu, Hawaii – Activities & Accommodations on a Budget

oahu byodo in templeOne of the best things about Oahu is enjoying the natural beauty of the island. But most people don’t think of “Hawaii” and “budget-friendly” at the same time. While getting to Hawaii can be expensive, enjoying your time on an island as amazing as Oahu doesn’t have to drain your family’s travel budget.

You can afford and enjoy a beautiful vacation, rich with culture and incredible sites. From the best beaches to the highest mountains, and from hidden hikes and temples to popular restaurants, the island is a smart and frugal traveler’s destination. Planning ahead and taking a look at these top ten picks will keep your budget on target.

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15 Cheap Wedding Ceremony Decoration Ideas on a Budget

wedding ceremony decorationsI absolutely love to go to weddings that have beautifully decorated ceremonies. Whether it’s in a big, elegant church, or a rustic, old garden, or at a white, sandy beach, the backdrop and decorations of a wedding ceremony can really make a lasting impression. And luckily, a pretty ceremony doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

When it comes to ceremony decorating, less tends to be more. Additionally, you can save some money by being creative and keeping it simple. Here are 15 ideas for decorating your ceremony while sticking to your budget.

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What Is Chase Blueprint – Review of Credit Card Payment Program

chase blueprint logoUnder the Credit CARD Act of 2009, credit card companies must allow their users at least 21 days to pay off their credit card bills in any given month free of interest. However, with most credit cards, when you fail to pay your entire balance before the due date, you give up this “grace period” and are retroactively forced to pay interest on the entire month’s worth of purchases, including any portion that you were able to pay off. Under this system, falling short of paying off your entire balance, even by just $25, can result in significant amounts of additional interest on your entire balance.

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8 DIY Car Maintenance Tips You Can Handle – Checklist

car mechanic projectsIn trying to live a more frugal life, I’m getting better at handling projects that I used to pay professionals to do. In addition to home improvement projects, I’ve learned that I can save plenty by taking on some auto repairs and maintenance jobs myself.

Trust me, I’m not an auto expert. I’m not even very mechanically inclined. But I’ve found the kinds of repairs that just about anyone can handle quickly and easily, with minimal expenses.

I’ve decided to hold on to my car rather than sell it, so by taking care of these repairs, I’ve saved quite a bit of dough over the past several years.

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