Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 6/4/2017

Everyone knows it's a bad idea to go grocery shopping when you're hungry, but we all do it occasionally!

Going to the supermarket on an empty stomach not only causes you to spend more, but it weakens your resolve to avoid foods with empty calories and unhealthy ingredients. When hunger pangs undermine your self discipline, you may also be more likely to buy a jumbo bag of potato chips, pick up a block of cheese and some crackers along the way, and maybe order a pound of Genoa salami while at the deli counter.

Then, of course, there are all those chocolatey temptations at the checkout counter -- peanut butter cups, for example! Maybe you're stronger willed than that, but I know plenty of people who are not!

Although I haven't read any scientific studies on the topic, I'd make an educated guess that when you go grocery shopping hungry, there's a tendency to buy more food than you ordinarily would -- probably to compensate for your hunger. So perhaps having a healthy snack first or going grocery shopping after breakfast or lunch would be a good strategy for avoiding the pitfalls of food shopping on an empty stomach.

Here are a few more ideas for saving money and limiting junk food purchases:

  • Create a grocery list and stick to it! That's often easier said than done, but it can make a big difference in the quantity and quality of food you buy. Impulse purchases may provide immediate gratification, but they can wreak havoc on your waistline and your budget.
  • Avoid bringing your children grocery shopping, whenever possible. When childcare is not available, there's no way around it. However, with kids in tow, expect to be buying "a few" additional items that you hadn't planned on. Try as we might to resist the requests, suggestions, and demands our kids make at the grocery store, it's not unusual for a parent's resolve to weaken -- especially if they happen to be tired or stressed out. A lot depends on the age of your children, how persistent they are, and whether they're hungry when you're out food shopping. Many factors come into play!
  • Using coupons and taking advantage of discounts, special promotions, and two-for-one sales can noticeably reduce your grocery bill and, consequently, leave more money in your wallet. It may require that you pore over weekly newspaper inserts, clip coupons, and keep them organized, but getting in that habit can help reduce the strain on your household budget. It also pays to shop at supermarkets that offer double coupons. They're often the ones that are the most competitive and willing to help you stretch your dollar.

So if you've been noticing more junk food appearing in your kitchen cabinets, and your grocery bill seems to be taking on a life of its own, consider some of these economical ideas to help reign things in.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/23/2015

Everyone knows about coupons for everyday products we buy but did you know there are ways to save at places like the home improvement store, clothing stores and restaurants? Beyond the sales and promotions that these places have from time to time, there are websites that have extra savings waiting for you! Many of the couponing websites have daily or weekly emails you can subscribe to that have links of the best deals on the web. From coupons to restaurants, to online offers at places like Shutterfly, there is always something waiting for you to save on. Two great emails with valuable resources are the ones from www.couponmom.com and www.coupondivas.com. Check them out! There are variety of websites out there that can help you save on the web. www.slickdeals.net has any item you can imagine for some great prices; www.nomorerack.com has everything from clothing to jewelry to home furnishings, all at insane prices; and www.shopathome.com has coupon codes you can use for online shopping to save just like you had a coupon in store. One of the best ways to get emails full of savings is to sign up with your favorite store's website. You will not only be notified with the latest sale, but you will get exclusive coupon savings. Even some places, like Target, have weekly texts with coupons you can use on a variety of items, as well as coupons you can print from their website. Finally, using your reward points from those credits cards can help cut down on costs as well. Since most awards you get get with your points take tens of thousands of points, why not redeem your points for a gift card instead? They usually start out at 2,000 points and can help you cut the cost of that new sweater or Saturday night date night. Paying full price on purchases is not a necessity. No matter that your favorite store is, or how you like to shop, with all the options out there to save, what are you waiting for?!




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 6/8/2015

Housing prices are low, rates are low but how can you buy a house when your funds are also low?  How can you save money for a house while prices and rates are still good? Saving for a home can be different than just saving because you have save such a large amount of money and you don't know exactly how much you'll need.  Here are some strategies on how to save up: 1. Start with small goals. Try saving for closing costs or another smaller amount and then add another goal. Break the down payment into 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% levels, to help make the savings goal more achievable. 2. Try saving a specific amount of money every month. Instead of saying I want to save $6,000 a year it is easier to say I will save $500 a month. Smaller, more achievable milestones are always good motivators to savings. 3. Ask for help. If people ask what to give you a gift for your wedding, birthday etc. ask them to contribute to your home savings plan. Online sites like SmartyPig make it easy to get other people involved in your savings goals. 4. Create a visual goal graphic. Create a vision board or some kind of graphic that represents what you are saving for. It always helps to see what you are saving for and have a constant reminder. Hopefully, you'll be on your way to a new home in no time.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/26/2015

It is the desire of most people to become rich in life and live comfortably in retirement. The problem is that most people are not ready to pay the price required to achieve this long term goal. No one living their dream life today arrived there by chance. They all made a concerted effort to ensure their plans became a reality. The first step is saving, some people have problems saving money hence only having enough to meet their present needs. Never bothering to set some money aside for the future can leave an individual in a real financial bind.

This article will provide you with some practical steps on how to save money. The first step is determining how much you will save, how long you will save it, and how to keep you from spending it.

Take Care of Your Debts

Before you start saving, you need to clear your debts so you can start with a clean slate. Calculate how much you earn in a year and how much you are in debt. Calculate how much you want to use towards repaying the depth on a monthly basis and stick to it. The larger the portion, the faster you get out of debt. It may be a bit of a strain on your budget, but the sooner your debt is eliminated the better off you will be.

Set Your Goals

You need to set goals that provide a clear picture of what you are working towards. Maybe you want to have $5000.00 in savings by the end of the year, have this written on a piece of paper and placed where it is visible to you at all times.  This message will act as a continuous reminder of the goal you are aiming to achieve.

Establish A Time Frame

What good is a goal without a time frame? There has to be a precise and definite time frame, this makes your goals realistic. For example, “In 6 months, I want to have $30,000 in my account by saving $5,000 every month”. That is a long term goal that has been broken into short term goals with a precise payment amount and time frame.

Keeping A Record

It is very important to keep a record of every expense you make and every bit of income you receive. Keep a small note book in check always to determine precisely how much you spend.  Include your utilities, rent, insurance, car payments, fuel, food and other living expenses.  You will be surprised how much you spend when you start writing it down.

Cut Down On Your Expenses

This is where you need to take decisive actions. Cut down on your expenditure so you have more money for your savings account. For example: instead of paying for the internet, a land line and mobile phone, why not make most calls on Skype as calls on that platform are free. Do away with the land line, your mobile phone and Skype should take care of all your calling needs. Can you do away with cable television? If so, why not, that could prove to be a substantial savings at the end of the year.

Assess Your Self

You will need  to assess your position from time to time and determine if you are on course with respect to meeting your goal. Take a look at your progressive income and expenditure. The expenditure should reduce subsequently allowing an increase in savings.

When it comes to money, savings should be your first priority. This is a form of paying yourself first. Even small deposits will add up at the end of the year.  Discipline and consistency are key when building that proverbial nest egg.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 3/17/2013

RefinancingReason #1: Interest Rates are Forecasted to Rise.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), which is the national organization representing the real estate finance industry is forecasting a rise in interest rates for 2013 and 2014.

Reason#2: Your Adjustable Rate Mortgage Could Adjust Up.

If you find yourself with an ARM, it may be the perfect time to explore your options regarding fixed-rate mortgages. Interest rates fluctuated every month for 2011 and 2012, according to data provided by Informa Research Services, a leading information provider to the financial industry. With interest rates plunging to historic lows over the past few years, there's nowhere left to go but up. Which leads us to...

Reason#3: The Government's Financial Involvement is Expected to End Soon.

Ever since the recession in 2008, the government has been buying up mortgage debt from banks in an effort to stimulate the housing market. This is expected to end in the next two years, and it is anyone's guess when exactly this will take place. Refinancing now is much better than waiting until you start to see the signs of non-involvement, by which time it could be too late.

Reason#4: Cutting Down on Interest.

If you find yourself in a 30-year mortgage, it may be the best time to explore your options regarding a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage. While your monthly payments would be higher, the amount of money you pay for your home would be significantly less. Interest payments on a 30-year mortgage can jack up the price of a home astronomically. While the monthly payments may have looked appealing initially, paying off the principal sooner will leave you much better off financially in the long run.




Categories: Financing