Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 3/9/2015

Money experts recommend having an emergency fund, however, that is easier said than done. You will want to have at least three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. Here are some tips on how to get there: Determine how much you need                                                                                               Calculate how much you spend each month. Add up your rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, food and utilities. This will give you an idea of how much you will need to save. Start small If you find it hard to save, start by saving small amounts. Even if you only saved $20 per week for one year, you would increase your savings account by $1040.00 Have achievable goals                                                                                                                     Start with a small goal and gradually work towards a larger one. Set your initial goal of one month's savings and build upon that. If you start small and make savings a habit it will be easier to save. Make it automatic                                                                                                                           Set up automatic contributions to your savings account. Move a specified amount of money to your savings account through direct deposit. If you do this you may not even miss the money. Watch where your money goes                                                                                                 Keep track of how much money you spend. Calculate your spending average and try to spend less. Another great way to save is to find areas where you can cut back. What are some of your best tips for saving money?  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 2/2/2015

Who doesn't need more money? If you are looking to save for a house, put more money in the bank or tighten your budget, there are several money saving moves you can make. Here are just a few ways to put more money in your pocket: Save money without feeling the pinch by setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a high-yield savings account.  Some accounts to look at are INGDirect.com or Smarty Pig.com. Build a savings by transferring at least 5 percent of your paycheck and then gradually increase to 10 percent. Get the best yield on your checking account by using Bankrate.com to find the bank offering the highest yields and fewest fees. Switch your credit card to a card with more favorable terms like lower interest rates or better rewards. Use the tools on sites like: Credit.com. Find money by checking to see if you're entitled to any of the $32.8 billion in unclaimed funds being held by state governments. Go to MissingMoney.org and Unclaimed.org to see if you are owed any money.  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/18/2014

Furniture can be very expensive so of course you want yours to last for as long as possible. If your furniture is starting to show distress there are some quick and natural fixes to get it looking as good as new. Scratches in wood are one of the most common furniture problems. Repairing scratches can be easy. Here are a few ways to fix your furniture flaws without using chemicals: Tea Brew a cup of tea (use black tea). Make sure to let the tea bag steep for 2 to 3 minutes. If your wood is dark you will want to let the bag steep longer because the longer it steeps, the darker it will be. Dab the tea onto the scratches with a cotton swab. Be careful to wipe away the excess as the tea can also color the wood around the scratches. Depending on the color of the wood you may need to do more than one application. Iodine Use a cotton swab to apply iodine to the scratch. Use the same method as the tea remembering to wipe away the excess iodine so it doesn't stain the wood around the scratch. Instant Coffee                                                                                                                                       Instant coffee can be use to cover a scratch. Make a thick paste with the coffee granules and water, and rub the paste into the scratch. Walnut Meat Crack open a walnut and rub the walnut meat into the scratch. The oil from a walnut will conceal a surface scratch in wooden furniture. Polish the scratched area with a soft cloth.  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/11/2014

Having a baby can be a very expensive venture. A 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says raising a child from birth through age 17 will cost a typical middle-income family a whopping $235,000. That is a lot of money so it is important to plan for your financial future, prepare for your new baby and protect your growing family. Here are some tips to get you and your family on the right track: 1. Purchase life insurance. You will need life insurance to protect your family. It is not as expensive as you think and you will get better rates when you're young. Talk to your life insurance company about what amount of insurance you will need to protect your family. 2. Start planning for college. It may seems years away but you need to start college planning right away. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2011-12 school year was $8,244 for a public college and $28,500 for a private one, 3. Update your will. If you have a will you will need to update it and appoint a guardian for your child. If you do not gave a will now is the time to get one. 4. Prepare your baby budget. Babies are expensive, from diapers to child care you will need to look at how your baby will affect everyday expenses. Go to the store and price out diapers and other baby items, consider if you will be living on one income or paying for child care, this will help you figure out if you need to cut spending to afford your new baby. 5. Use a flexible spending account. If your employer offers a flexible spending account, you may be able to use it to pay up to $5,000 in child-care expenses a year. You can also use flexible spending account for health care costs. Money in a flexible spending account is exempt from income taxes. While having a baby is expensive it is also exciting. It may also be a time when you are considering a housing change.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/4/2014

Credit cards can be a great source of safety and  convenience but they can also be trouble. Buy now and pay later can have serious consequences and lead to financial trouble. So in order to stay financially fit it is important to use your credit cards wisely. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your credit cards: • This seems simple but pay off your balance every month in full.  Interest charges on your credit card purchases can add up fast. • If you do carry a balance, pay back as much as you can as quickly as possible. You don't have to wait until the payment due date. • Avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash or transfer money. Interest is charged on these transactions immediately. • If you are considering a card with an annual fee, be sure that whatever reward or benefit you're getting is worth the cost. Bottom line stay within your budget. Only use credit cards for things you can afford. If you can't afford it don't buy it. You will be much happier without the new sweater when you have enough money to buy a new home.