Some articles that caught my eye this week…
Scrambling for a last minute idea?
Obviously, some of the techniques described here are impractical, but there are some of the concepts you can use to save on gas. Maybe you won’t save 70 percent, but what if you could get even 10 to 20 percent better mileage?
Are you a spender or a saver? Most of us naturally tend toward one or the other. If you continually spend all you make though you will never get ahead. The good news is you really can learn to be a better saver.
PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance is insurance you pay to cover the lender if you should default on your loan. Generally speaking PMI is only added to your mortgage if you are borrowing more than 80% of you home’s value, and traditionally once you have paid the loan down to under 78% of the value you could request to have PMI dropped. For FHA insured mortgages the government is changing the rules for any new mortgages. They will no longer allow you to drop PMI regardless of the remaining value of your loan. It is an important factor to be aware of if you are looking at signing up for an FHA loan. Note this only applies to FHA loans, not conventional mortgages. Additionally, you can always refinance to get the PMI eliminated, though if interest rates rise over the next few years as is expected, refinancing might not be a good deal. Bottom line is this is one major reason why it is highly advisable to save up so you can put at least 20% down on your new home.
I think there is great encouragement in stories like this. When we were trying to get out of debt, one of the things that really helped me stay on track were the debt free calls on Dave Ramsey’s radio show. People call in and tell their story of how much debt they have paid off and how they did it then get the chance to yell “I’m Debt Free!”! Listening to those stories gave me the courage to keep on when the payments started to become discouraging. Too many people in our society have accepted debt as a normal part of life. They have no hope of ever living in a different way. I hope stories like this are an encouragement that there is a different way to live.
Another great story just like the last one. Joanna is a friend of mine, and I love her story. So typical of the average American. For so many though “typical” means worry, stress, and sleepless nights wondering what happened to the American Dream. If you want to be average do what everyone else is doing. If you want to do something great though you need to do what others aren’t willing to do. Way to go Joanna!