Tag Archives: zero dollars

How To Create A Household Budget!

How To Create A Household Budget!

Step 1: Write down your total take-home monthly income.
This is the easy part! Jot down what you earn. Because many expenses are billed monthly, figuring out how much you have to spend each month is easiest for your plan.

Step 2: Write down your essential expenses. Start with fixed bills like rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card debt and insurance, then factor in other monthly costs that are always the same. These are your essential fixed expenses.

Step 3: List your essential variable expenses.
You know you’ll have these bills, but the amounts vary. Examples are your phones, utilities, food, household expenses, gasoline, medication, public transportation, shoes and clothing. You can assign an estimated amount to each based on past experience, rounding to the closest $10.

Step 4: List reasonable amounts for nonessential expenses.
This includes entertainment, eating out, hobbies and other ways you spend money on a regular basis.

Step 5: Find the extras.
Go to your current method of tracking your spending (your checkbook register, credit card statements, Quicken reports) to see what expenses you’ve left out. You’ll likely see items for car maintenance and repair, gifts, vacations, Christmas and holidays. For items that do not recur monthly, determine the annual cost, then divide by 12 to see how much you should set aside each month to anticipate that irregular expense.

Step 6: Figure out your totals.
Add up your expenses, then subtract that amount from your income. With luck you’ll come out in the black, with at least a little money left over. But if your expenses exceed your income, you’ll see a negative sum. Don’t panic—this is just the start of an ongoing process.

Step 7: See where you can cut .
If you came up short, go back to your projected monthly expenses and see what you can get rid of. Look first to your nonessential expenses. Which items can you remove altogether for a while (eating out seems like a fine target; perhaps hobby expenses too, for a season)? Keep going through the list, making adjustments until your total expenses are less than your income.

Step 8: Follow your spending plan as closely as possible.
Track your spending every day by posting it on a sheet of paper. Take notes and research ways you’ll be able to do even better next month. At month’s end, add up your actual spending and compare it with what you planned. Use this information to create the next month’s spending plan.

Congratulations—you’ve just elevated yourself from being clueless to financially savvy. You should feel very good about this! As difficult as it might be to see in black and white that your income and expenses are not quite in sync, just knowing where you are is going to make all the difference.

Even if you find yourself in a particularly tight financial position right now, take heart. As you pay off debts and find more ways to cut expenses, you’ll begin to sense a significant loosening of financial pressure. Soon you’ll be ready to add new categories to your spending plan for things like saving for a new car, home improvements or going back to college.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be on your way to reaching financial freedom.

Source: Woman’s Day Magazineimages

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Take A Virtual Tour Of This Amazing Allen, Texas Home For Sale!


Gorgeous Allen, Texas Home For Sale!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$594,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 2,611 sqft
Location
932 Charles River Court
Allen, TX 75013
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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Great Starter or Investment Home For Sale in Fort Worth, Texas!


Great Starter Or Investment Property For Sale in Fort Worth, Texas!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood

$189,900
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
1 Unit
Interior: 2,055 sqft
Lot: 5,489 sqft
Location
4608 Golden Yarrow Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76244
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

Our recent listings

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Nearby properties for sale

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Tax Protest Time Coming To An End…

Don’t miss this chance to reduce your tax bill. Many local counties are offering on-line protests which will save you so much time. Make sure you take a moment to look into this before heading down to your local tax office.

Did the appraised value of your property go up? Do you think that value is unfair? If you answered yes to those questions, it’s time to file a protest with your central appraisal district. And don’t delay—protests in many Texas counties are due May 31.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please shoot us a message here and we will be glad to assist you.

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has posted a “Property Taxpayer Remedies” PDF that covers the basics.

The process includes:

Filing a protest with your appraisal district within the designated time period.

Attending an informal hearing to see if your differences can be quickly resolved.

Appearing before an appraisal review board, if your protest is not resolved at the informal hearing.

You’ll need to provide evidence to support your challenge of the appraised value, so give us a call if we can help you out.

For more information about protesting your appraised value, visit the website of the Texas Comptroller of Public Acccounts.

http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/protests.htmlUnknown

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Bring On Spring

Your home has weathered a vicious winter this year with winter lasting so long and being so harsh. As the cold retreats and the snow melts, your home deserves some well-earned TLC.

Even though you still might want to hibernate, there’s no better time to prepare your home to Bring On Spring! If you plan and prepare now, you can avoid costly repairs later.

Roof: Inspect the roof for thehe harsh winter weather has been beating on your roof all season. Make sure you inspect your roof for weather-damaged shingles.

Clean the Gutters: Clogged gutters can lead to water damage.

Clean/Replace HVAC Filters: Clean filters keep your system running efficiently and energy costs in check.

Clean Refrigerator Coils: Dirty fridge coils can also increase the electric bill.

Clean and Repair Driveways, Fences, Decks, and Patios: Remove salt, sand, and deicers. Repair cracks, holes, and gaps.

Check Window and Door Seals: Extreme cold can cause weather sealants to crack leaving these areas vulnerable to water damage.

Plan to Paint: Inspect indoor and outdoor areas for paint repair. Choose eco-friendly paints. Try a new color in a room or two for a fresh new look.

Check AC System: Hire a qualified heating and cooling professional to clean and service your AC system.

Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors: Don’t neglect this lifesaving tip!

Clean and Repair Windows: Now is the time to hire a professional to get the inside and outside of your windows clean and check for any damaged seals.

Chimney Care: Check the exterior of the chimney for damage. Hire a certified chimney sweep to clean and inspect the flue.

Check Lawn Equipment: Make sure lawn mowers are ready for the first spring cut.

My favorite part of spring is the birds chirping and flowers blooming. How about you…What’s your favorite part of spring?

Are you ready for spring?

Are you ready for spring?

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THE TOP 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR HOME’S VALUE

#HomeValue #JimStriegel #realestate #grapevinerealtor www.JimStriegel.com

 

If you’re like most people, your home is the biggest financial investment you’ll ever make. Even small improvements to your home can equal big returns later when you are ready to sell.

Here are a few easy and (mostly) inexpensive ways to increase your home’s value and improve its marketability, whether you are looking to sell next week, next month or next year:

1. BathroomRemodeling is a great way to increase your home’s value, but chances are you do not have the time or money to remodel every room of your home. If you are going to remodel only one room in your house, the outdated bathroom is a good choice. And if you can’t completely remodel your bathroom, there are still small changes you can make on a small budget. Minor updates like getting new light fixtures, stripping old wallpaper and replacing your shower curtain can dramatically improve your bathroom’s overall appeal.

2. Go for Green. Energy efficiency is one thing that will never go out of style. Younger buyers are increasingly attracted to homes that are environmentally friendly and all buyers are intrigued by the prospect of low home energy bills. There are many ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency, including programmable thermostats and water-saving faucets.

If you aren’t planning to move for a while, you may want to plant a few tall trees in your yard. The shade provided by trees can actually decrease your home’s cooling costs by as much as 40% and can also help improve your home’s overall curb appeal. If you are in more of a hurry to sell, you can instantly improve your home’s energy efficiency by swapping your old windows for heat-trapping windows.

3. Kitchen. Right after your bathroom, your kitchen is the next most important room you can update. It is particularly important to make sure your cabinets look clean and polished, since they can strongly impact a buyer’s perception of the entire room. If you have a larger budget, consider replacing old cabinets with new ones. And if you are working on a smaller budget, a fresh coat of paint on your cabinets can make a world of difference.

4. Landscape. You’ve probably heard it before, but the curb appeal of your home is hugely important. If new buyers notice that your yard has been ignored, they may assume there are other aspects of your home that have been neglected. This might cause them to lose confidence in the value of your home.

5. Lighten Up. Good lighting in your home can make a big difference. It is especially important to invest in bright lights for smaller rooms in your home; bright lighting can make small rooms look more spacious. If you want to avoid a higher energy bill, a sun tube (a hole in your ceiling that funnels in natural light) can be a great way to brighten up a room without adding to your home energy costs.

Source:   Written by Stacey Waxman

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Preparing to Sell Your Home: 6 Tips To Help Your Home Look its Best With These 6 Tips!

Real Estate Connection ~ Jim Striegel Team

Real Estate Connection ~ Jim Striegel Team

Selling your home can be a stressful process and preparing your house for sale can be just as stressful. Critical buyers, less than optimal photographs and competing homes can sink a sale before the offer is even brought to the table. If you want to make your home stand out from the crowd, try these six tips to help your home look its best when you’re preparing it for sale.

1. Put away the clutter

Your Aunt Agnes’s collection of Hummel figurines may be precious family heirlooms, but they also can turn off potential buyers. Prospective buyers need to be able to picture their furniture and mementos in the home. Consider putting your personal belongings, things like family photos, heirlooms and potentially controversial books, into storage. While having furnishings help your home feel comfortable, an overly personalized home can be difficult to sell since prospective buyers will not be able to envision themselves there, according to Extra Space Storage.

2. Put extra furniture in storage

Your comfortable reclining sectional may be great for watching football, but it won’t help you sell your home. Large pieces of furniture make rooms seem much smaller than they are. Remove large dressers, sofas and other oversized items. Replacing a sofa with a loveseat can make your living room look larger.

3. Remove evidence of pets

You may love Fido and Fluffy, but your buyers may not. Before open houses and showings, pack away the pet beds and bowls. Use a baking-soda-based carpet freshener to remove pet smells, but avoid going overboard. Bombarding the buyer with a myriad of scents can signal that you have something to hide.

4. Repaint bright walls and remove wallpaper

If you love lime green, then it may be time to break out the paint brush. Colors that fit your taste may not suit your buyer. Patterned wallpaper and brightly painted walls can drive away buyers who are looking for a move-in ready house.

5. Add incentives

You may not have the time or money to correct your home’s design flaws, so be prepared to offer incentives. If your living room has bright red carpet, then you may want to offer a carpet allowance, so that a potential buyer can replace it with something neutral. This is something you might want to talk to your real estate agent about as they can provide you with some of their insights and suggestions on what might be helpful.

6. Fix landscaping flaws

If you are a little lax with landscaping, now is the time to fix up your yard. Trim bushes, lay down fresh mulch, and plant new flowers. Hanging baskets add a pop of color to your front porch and add curb appeal. Remove weeds and cut back nuisance plants. If you are listing your home in the winter, add plants that thrive in winter, such as holly, burning bush or juniper.

Selling your home isn’t easy.  But, if you are willing to roll up your sleeves, these six tips for preparing your house for sale can really help make your home more appealing to prospective buyers.

Article and insights provided by Kandace Heller.

 

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