Helpful Advice to Avoid Future Debts

Helpful Advice to Avoid Future Debts

Being in debt is not a good thing but neither is it the end of the world. Like any other problem, it has a solution and needs discipline and determination to be resolved. There is no quick solution to handling and managing debt the right way. It involves counseling a bank, negotiation and several steps of debt elimination. A few suggestions are offered to help those who wish to see themselves out of debt in the near future.

The first thing to do is to commit to a budget. This is essential because a budget provides you with direction in your personal finance and takes away impulsive spending. In budgeting, lay out the essential expenses where money must be spent and find options for the non-essential ones which enable you to spend less. It must be noted that paying existing debts should be one of the essential items on the budget.

Another helpful advice is to avoid future debts. This means saying no to new purchases which you can do away with. If you are easily enticed to purchase something on impulse, it would be to your benefit to skip going to stores and shopping malls, including online stores and catalogs. Don’t fall into traps that allow you to buy now and pay later.

Apply a system for paying off debts and make debt payments part of your budget plan. To have a good perception of how much you owe, list all debts from the smallest to the largest amount. Make a commitment to pay the minimum amount for each debt on time and double the payment for the largest debt’s minimum amount due. When this is paid off, pay of the next largest debt in the same way and so on, until all of the debts are paid.

Avoidings Credit Cards

Credit cards should be disposed of so you will not use them any more. If you wish to keep them for very important purchases only, leave the cards at home when going shopping. Credit cards, when used without discipline, have caused many people to be in deep debt because of the high interest rates that have to be paid. Look for cards that have lower rates so you can save money in the long-term.

Spending that is need-based, instead of desire-based, can save you a lot of money. Getting a raise is no excuse to increase spending. Make sure that an item is really needed before making a purchase. If this means waiting for days before buying it, then do so. This could also mean simplifying your life, which entails eating out less frequently, looking for good deals in thrift shops and garage sales and commuting or walking instead of driving the car.

 

The State of Business Finance Today

The State of Business Finance Today

I thought now would be a good time to revisit the subject and let you know where things stand today. Firstly, the good news: finance is available at very competitive rates. Lenders have money they need to invest and their staff have monthly sales targets, so they’re keen to find viable businesses they can lend to. And, with fewer and fewer businesses meeting their criteria, those that do are treated like royalty.

So, if you meet their (strict) criteria, things are looking good… especially if you know how to play the system. Now, the bad news: as you’ve probably realised, “strict criteria” means the lenders want as little risk as possible. And that means, if they think you are risky, they’ll want you to reduce that risk by offering them security and directors guarantees. And, if you can provide those, they’re usually happy to talk with you.

What they don’t want is risky ventures where the business owners aren’t sharing the risk. Those sorts of deals are simply off the table, so you have to be realistic. So, assuming you fit one of the categories they’re still interested in, how can you do to improve your chances of getting the best deal?

Here are three tips:

(1) Apply for credit in the second half of the month. The people reviewing your applications will usually be working to monthly targets and, if they short of their quotas, they’ll be more motivated to say yes to you.

(2) Run your figures past an accountant or finance broker before submitting them to a lender.

There are two reasons for this: firstly, it’s important to make a good financial first impression. Secondly, missing data from your books means delays and delays with finance can lead to cashflow problems or missed opportunities for your business.

(3) If you’re in a hurry, use a finance broker. He or she knows the market and knows the lenders… and, assuming the borrowing is possible, they should be able to get you a better deal than you could get yourself. (and in less time and with less effort)

Following these tips won’t guarantee positive results and you should always research further and consult your financial advisor when possible.

Underwater Homeowners Have Longer to Refinance

Homeowners who want to refinance but have little or no equity, might want to check out a federal government initiative called the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP. Recently extended to the middle of 2012, HARP gives homeowners an opportunity to capture a lower interest rate or trade in an adjustable-rate mortgage for a fixed-rate loan, even if they are underwater on their mortgage — that is, they owe more than the house is worth.

HARP isn’t a free ride, however. Borrowers must complete a loan application, submit full documentation, meet other guidelines and pay closing costs, according to Vickee Adams, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo in Des Moines, Iowa.

HARP is open only to borrowers whose existing mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. That leaves out anyone whose loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Agriculture. Exotic payment-option adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, stated-income, stated-asset loans and larger jumbo loans are typically excluded.

The borrower must be current on the existing loan and have a good payment history. Fannie Mae allows one 30-day late payment in the prior 12 months. Freddie Mac requires no late payments in the prior 12 months.

Tips to beat the real estate crunch

When the program was launched, an existing Fannie Mae loan had to be funded prior to March 1, 2009, and an existing Freddie Mac loan had to be funded prior to June 1, 2009. However, a recent program change has matched (aka “conformed”) Fannie Mae’s date to Freddie Mac’s, adding an additional three months of eligibility for those borrowers.

The window is still a stopper for some homeowners, according to Kirk Chivas, chief operating officer of First Commerce Financial in Wixom, Mich., which closed 60 HARP refinances last year.

“I wish they didn’t have it (only) through May 2009,” he says. “I wish it was a forever thing, or at least up through 2010 May, because home values were still declining.”

A second program change is that Freddie Mac has elected to exempt new HARP loans from certain recently announced “price adjustments,” or added fees, which lenders usually pass along to the borrower in the form of higher closing costs or a higher interest rate.
New PMI Not Required

The chief advantage of HARP is that it allows borrowers to refinance with a loan-to-value, or LTV, ratio as high as 125%.

Borrowers naturally may wonder whether such loans will require private mortgage insurance, or PMI. The answer isn’t simple. In most cases, existing loans that have borrower-paid PMI are eligible, the PMI contract can be transferred to the new loan, and new PMI won’t be required. There are some technical exceptions, however, so borrowers should discuss their situation with a loan officer who is familiar with the guidelines. The main exception is that it is difficult or impossible to do a HARP refinance of a loan with lender-paid PMI. Most PMI policies are borrower-paid.

Another significant advantage is that borrowers who have a second loan can exclude that amount from the LTV ratio.

“The neatest thing about the program is that I have people who are 125% loan-to-value, but have a second mortgage. They may be 125-over or 175 or 150, and you can still do the loan,” Chivas says.

Borrowers whose LTV ratio is higher than 105%, though still within the 125% limit, likely will be subject to higher costs to refinance.

Not a Failure

HARP hasn’t lived up to its advance billing, nor has it been a flop. In 2010, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased or guaranteed about 621,800 HARP refinance loans, up from about 190,180 such loans in the prior year when the program was launched, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA. Wells Fargo alone has closed more than 215,000 refinance loans with LTV ratios greater than 80% since HARP was started, Adams says.

“The claims of this particular program being a disaster are, I believe, completely inaccurate,” Chivas says.

That said, the number of homeowners who can benefit may be shrinking due to higher mortgage interest rates, he says. Upward adjustments in rates make refinancing less attractive, even for homeowners who could reduce their total interest expense over the term of the loan.

Homeowners who could benefit but haven’t yet acted may be angry or numb or despondent over the drop in the home’s value, Chivas says. Some are reluctant to spend $2,000 upfront, even to save $30,000 or more over the loan term, because they don’t feel secure about their job or financial situation.

Borrowers should note that the name “HARP” originated at the U.S. Treasury, but isn’t used by most lenders. Instead, Fannie Mae’s programs are part of its Refi Plus and DU, or Desktop Underwriter, Refi Plus while Freddie Mac’s program is called Relief Refinance Mortgage.

Borrowers seeking assistance are advised to shop around, regardless of whether their loan is in Fannie Mae land or Freddie Mac world. Asking for “the Treasury program that allows a higher LTV” might help.

Basement Bar Ideas

Have you increasingly considered setting up a bar in your basement? There are lots of basement bar ideas on the internet, but making your own helps you to custom fit your new bar to your area, your taste and your requirements. If you even have the most basic carpentry skills you can do this. Here are some important things you will need to accomplish for your basement bar and have it ready for some entertaining.

Planning Your Project

As with any do-it-yourself project, it is notable to set a budget and some deadlines. A budget is important because it helps you determine what kind of bar and accessories you can afford. Deadlines are equally important because you do not want your basement bar to become a never-ending task. Put it in writing what your dream bar looks like, and keep that idea in your head as you continue with your project.

Dry Bar or Wet Bar

Of course one of the main things you will need when completing your basement bar ideas is an actual bar. There are two main types of bars: wet or dry. A wet bar has hookups to water and a drain. A wet bar can include one or more sinks, and even a dishwasher. Various wet bars even have ice bins, which, unlike coolers, allow the melting ice to drain away, leaving the remaining ice out of the water.

Dry bars are exactly what they sound like: dry. There are no water hookups or drains in a dry bar. However, if your dream bar is a wet bar, but you cannot pay for to put one in right away, plan your dry bar so that it can be easily converted into a wet bar at a later point in time.

As with any do-it-yourself work, it is really important to check with your local building code authority to find out if any permits are needed for constructing the bar, adding plumbing, or installing electric fixtures.

Custom Built or Store Bought

There are two main options for do-it-yourself basement bars, custom built or store bought. Custom built bars can be as easy as building a wood form to support a counter, and layer it with decorative plywood or wainscoting, or as intricate as your abilities can conceive. Store bought bars can be as simple as a long tall table, or as complete as a portable wet bar with built-in refrigerator. Your perfect bar depends on your finances and the time you have to build it. Whichever you choose, make sure that it looks real and offers ample amount of room for drinks as well. Having a great looking bar is definitely one of the most important basement bar ideas to keep in mind.

Sound, Lighting and Television

No home bar is complete without your own personal touches. You may want to include light fixtures over your bar, or even a pool table with a hanging light. Be sure you are comfortable with electrical work, and always consult an electrician if you need help. Also, be sure to adhere to your local building code requirements for electrical work. A simple call to your town or city hall will get you in touch with the right inspectors. Most bars have stereo systems or televisions. You may want to add either or both to your bar. Plan ahead so you position the television so it can be best viewed from the bar. You may actually want to have it mounted from the ceiling like many bars do. Also, try to place your stereo receiver somewhere within reach, so you can easily change the music while you are working behind your bar. In fact, you may even want to leave a little room down there for some dancing as well.

Plenty of Seating and Accessories

The most important accessory in your bar is comfortable seating. If you are planning on having quite a few people over to see what has become of your basement bar ideas, then you better make sure that you have plenty of seating in the basement. Bar stools come in all shapes and sizes and can be expensive. Make sure you choose stools that fit your bar and are comfortable. Be creative with your basement bar; consider recliners and sofas for those who want to get comfy.

Bar Essentials

Your basement bar will also need some drinks. In order to have drinks, you will probably need a nice refrigerator, an ice machine, blender, and of course a variety of glasses and mugs for different drinks.

Once you have all of these things in position, then you can start having your friends come over so they can see how wonderfully your basement bar ideas turned out. No doubt they will be as thrilled as you are with the new basement bar.

3 Ways to add Character to your Home

3 Ways to add Character to your Home

If you want to inject more character into your home then take a look at these three tips that will add instant appeal.

Improve your Frontage

Your frontage creates the first impression of your home so if yours looks scruffy and neglected then give it a facelift. You can take simple steps like cleaning and tidying your driveway, repointing or repainting your exterior walls or adding interest with plants. If you’ve got more money to spend then you could consider making bigger changes such as having a new driveway installed, replacing UPVC with timber windows or reroofing. Simply cleaning and tidying will make a huge difference but bigger and more expensive changes will be more lasting and could even add value to your home.

Inject Personality

Homes don’t necessarily have to be older in order for them to have character. Although period features like fireplaces and cornicing do help, you can give your rooms a warmer and more inviting feel by creating an accent wall. Choose one wall and decorate in bold, bright paper. This will give your room a focal point, which is especially useful if you don’t have features such as fireplaces.

The rise in the popularity of property shows has led many homeowners to believe that they must decorate their homes neutrally. That’s all very well if you’re planning to sell but if you’re going to be living in your home for a few years then choose the colours and styles you love, not what will appeal to other people. Don’ be afraid to display your collections, add quirky ornaments or bold soft furnishings to your rooms as you’ll feel much happier if you’re surrounded by the things you love.

Replace Flooring

In older homes stripped wooden floorboards can create a rustic or formal feel and are much easier to keep clean than carpets. If you’re lucky enough to have original tiles in your hallway then uncover them and make them the focus of your front entrance. To warm up wooden floors add some luxurious rugs in soft materials and warm colours.

Replace old carpets with smart new floor coverings that will make your rooms look instantly neater, lighter and brighter. In the kitchen add an unusual edge with a vinyl or even polished concrete floor that will make your kitchen completely unique.

5 Essential Tips for Living Room Decoration

5 Essential Tips for Living Room Decoration

1. Start by listing your needs

Determine the volume you want to give the room to suit your lifestyle. Always count the number of seats (sofas, chairs…) That will be needed and list everything you need or want: furniture carpet, Curtains … Consider the movement in the room and pay attention to windows and doors because they can cause problems during the development of your living room.

2.Determine your own style

To help you define your style decor, you can type in the catalog document Home of the world, Offering a range of environments (contemporary, charm, cozy). Analyze the image and determine why it pleases you.

Living room decoration

3. Colours: choose soft colors

No, the truth is no decor! Indeed, our choices are primarily personal. To the color in the house. It’s the same thing. We do not see the same tone the same way as our neighbor. But anyway, not to deceive you, use soft colors on your walls (warm gray, taupe, linen) and dare one colored wall stronger.
beautiful living room

4. Materials: dare for fun!

Regarding the furniture, the big trend right now is lacquer. Eu matter not easy to maintain but so beautiful! When you love can really make some concessions.

For your floors, do not be afraid of PVC tiles. Their appearance has become bluffing and they are super easy to install and downright cheap. The raw wood, oiled or waxed create a beautiful rendering, but do not polish the floors that give one side plastic, shiny bad.

5. Before Completing your decor

Do not be afraid of heights: Instead, the empty space highlights. Like a good recipe, seasoning slowly and carefully to get a final result we want. Ditto for the decor, go to As and you will get a room that suits you.

Remember to revamp your furniture and objects: You throw less and creativity will be at the meeting. Replace your old tray coffee table, sofa with a new fabric, make yourself your cushions. In short put your own personality in the room where you like to receive.

Always match your decor with good lighting: By simply multiplying the soft diffuse light sources for a warm and welcoming effect. Another tip, never do things by halves. Free yourself of stereotypes, traditional patterns specific to the show. For example, nothing requires you to make curtains or paintings on the wall if you do not want! Even if your family or friends encourage you…

Decorative Birdhouses for your Home

Are you looking to introduce a new home decorating theme to one of the rooms in your house? Perhaps you need one more thing to complete a display in your curio cabinet. Maybe you are looking for a way to start a new family collection. In each of these instances, consider decorative birdhouses, and you won’t be disappointed.

A Decorating Theme

If there is a certain room in your home that seems to be begging for a change in design, maybe it is time to introduce a new theme to your home decor repertoire. Why not design a room around the theme of decorative birdhouses? Doing so is a great way to change the appeal of a room without spending hundreds of dollars in remodeling costs while at the same time infusing a room with character and quaint charm.

With so many varieties in birdhouses, there are styles available to complement any color scheme. When you decide to decorate a room in a bird house theme, you can change the whole look of the room with the simple addition of cleverly placed decorative birdhouses Fill a comer of the room with a plant stand of nice green plants and mix a birdhouse or two amongst the spaces. Hang a few bird houses on the wall in an eye catching grouping. Place one on a coffee table as a centerpiece. The room will soon take on a whole new wonderful look.

The Curio Display

If you’ve been searching for something to complete the look of your curio cabinet, a decorative birdhouse might be just the thing. The addition of just one decorative birdhouse to an arrangement in a curio cabinet can be a great way to make a decorating statement. Choose an especially elaborately designed birdhouse to add to the cabinet and it will become the perfect focal point.

A Wonderful New Collection

Starting a collection of something can be a great hobby to introduce a new tradition in your family. With so many beautiful and diverse designs available, a collection of decorative birdhouses might be just the thing to get started in your family.

Maybe you will make it a tradition to welcome springtime each year with a pretty new birdhouse. Each year as the flowers begin to poke their heads through the snowy ground cover, your collection can grow. Family members can take turns each year enjoying the honor of choosing which birdhouse to add to the collection.

Revolutionary Stainless Steel Cookware

Revolutionary Stainless Steel Cookware

“Revolutionary” is a play on words, as I wanted to cover a little ground today on Revere copper bottom cookware. Adding style to a modern kitchen does not have to break the bank and you don’t need to hire an interior decorator every time. It can come easily in the form of a new set of Stainless Steel Cookware from your local mall or any online store of your choice.

HISTORY OF REVERE COPPER BOTTOM COOKWARE

If it reminds you of Paul Revere, it should…he started the Revere Copper Company in 1801. While he didn’t make the cookware back then, or even in his lifetime, as the company grew they created their copper bottom stainless steel cookware in 1939. Back then, this cookware was highly advanced and became popular because it was lighter than the standard cookware of the time.

I’ve had one particular Revere copper bottom sauce pan for a while, but I can’t seem to track down its stainless steel grade. You may have noticed or even purchased utensils or flatware that say something like “flatware 18 10” or “flatware 18 0.” Those numbers stand for the grade of the stainless steel…the higher the second number, the better. The simple way to explain it is that the “18″ stands for the percentage of chromium in the stainless steel, and the second number (usually “0,” “8,” or “10″) stands for the percentage of nickel in the overall stainless steel formula

STAINLESS STEEL QUALITY

I know that the Revere cookware brand was purchased by World Kitchen, and that there have been some complaints from people who’ve used pre-World Kitchen Revere cookware that the World Kitchen version is thinner and cheaper than what they’re used too.

My sauce pan seems thin, but it is still great for any of the cooking I do. The nice thing about copper bottom cookware is that the copper spreads heat fast, thus keeping an even heat during cooking. No hot spots!

It is true that the copper can’t be cleaned with just soap and water like stainless steel, but since it is on the bottom, and not covering the entire piece of cookware, I don’t have as much surface area to worry about polishing.

Add to that the durability and easy cleaning of stainless steel and I’ve got a nice piece of cookware. Good enough to carry on the FOOD REVOLUTION!

Why Buy The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets?

Why Buy The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets?

Having a good cookware set is very valuable in every kitchen. If you have gotten your hands on a bad set of cookware, you might be spending a lot of time in the kitchen which is very frustrating. A bad set of cookware that cannot cook food properly is just a waste of money. Investing in a set of stainless steel cookware will save you the headache of having to find a replacement for worn out pots and pans. That is why it is very important to have the best set of cookware to make your life easier.

Stainless steel cookware sets are getting more and more popular in the market today. They can add style and decor to any modern kitchen. They are highly in demand because of their many advantages and versatility. Here are some reasons why stainless steel cookware sets are considered as one of the best cookware today.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel cookware sets are corrosion resistant and they are also resilient to scratches. Making them last for many years and generations  to come. Compared to other cookware sets in the market, these stainless steel vessels are very easy and quick to clean. There are stainless steel cookware sets that have sturdy and dishwasher safe handles which is very important.

Cooking and serving nutritious and delicious foods is also much easier with this cookware set because it of the copper or aluminum core that distributes even heat for proper cooking.

The best thing about stainless steel cookware sets is that the cookware is non-porous which means it does not add foreign materials to the food during cooking. It will not affect the odor or taste of the food that you are cooking. This is one of the factors that many health conscious individuals look for. So not only will they help make your kitchen look and feel more modern, you also get the benefit of a healthier lifestyle cooking.

These are just few of the reasons why stainless steel cookware sets are preferred by housewives and professional chefs. If you are looking for the best stainless steel cookware sets in the market, make sure that you spend some time doing a little research or look up on the best reviews of stainless steel cookware sets.

Why you should consider electric curtain rails?

One option that is constantly overlooked when it comes to upgrading window treatments is that of electric curtain rails. With the use of a motorised track, these inventions mean that curtains can be opened by a homeowner with a remote control without them having to even leave their seat. An innovative creation, these window treatments can be customised to suit any room and give the user total convenience no matter where they are.

Why you should consider electric curtain rails?

Like everything else in the world today, electric curtain rails are developing with the times and are becoming more and more innovative. They can be set to timers which allows them to open and shut at predetermined times. This means that you can wake up to the morning sunrise without leaving your bed on those particularly lazy weekends.

Perhaps more importantly, they can be set to open and close when you aren’t there either. This can used as a deterrent to potential burglars when you are away on holiday, as they will see regular movement and changes in the home and assume the house is still occupied. Combined with an alarm system and other security measures, electric curtain rails can help secure your home as well as provide convenience.

Curtain rails can also be activated and prompted by light sensors, meaning that you are able to open and shut the curtains when the light outside starts to lighten up or dim down. Additionally, the rails can also be operated with heat sensors and wall switches.

Installation Tips

Installing your curtain rails is also a very simple process which requires very little in the way of hardware. They should already come pre-wired, meaning that you don’t have to read the “A-Z of electronics” to fit them on your windows. The first step is to mount the motorised rail above the desired window, then loop the curtains on to it before plugging it into an electricity outlet. The belt-drive system on which a good motorised curtain rail should be run is likely to require very little maintenance (if any at all) and should work without any problems whatsoever at least 15,000 times.

The input required with these is minimal, and curtain rails can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Add to this the fact that they can also wind up being a potential security measure, and you have a whole list of reasons to explore the possibility of installing them in your home.