Kristen Dailey's Blog
You've assessed your budget, changed your habits, and made spending cuts but you still need to reach your down payment faster. Consider these significant steps to help you get there.
- Take on a second part-time job. If your work schedule allows you to add a second job find a part-time option that will enable you to earn one or two thousand dollars more each month. If you are part of a couple, each partner can get a light part-time job without feeling overloaded. Bonus—occupying your time more does help lead to less spending and more saving! Tutor students, pet sit, or take a steady part-time gig!
- Move back home, move in with extended family, or get a roommate. If your family is on board with the changes you need to make to meet your financial goals, consider moving in with someone in your family to pay lower rent and save tens of thousands over one year. If family help isn't an option, consider getting a roommate or moving into a two-bedroom apartment and adding a roommate to lower your monthly rent.
- Review your belongings for big-ticket items you can sell. Do you live in an area with excellent public transportation? Consider selling your expensive, gas-guzzling car or getting out of your costly lease. Do either you or your spouse work at home, but you both own a car? See if you can help fund your savings by downsizing to one vehicle for the next year to save more.
- Sell unworn jewelry and have broken pieces melted down for cash.
- Skip vacations for a year, or even two! And during your vacation time, take on an extra job so when you head back to work you’ve earned a bit chunk to add to your savings kitty.
- If your owning a home in the near future is a top priority, take a break from your retirement fund at work and redirect those funds into your savings account. (Only take this step if you are completely committed to reaching your down payment goal within a year or two at most since you lose the value of compounding those funds toward your retirement for the life of the account.
- Direct all your tax refund and any annual bonuses into your savings!
Remember, this isn’t a forever deal. You’re not signing on for an austere life ongoing. It’s just temporary to reach a goal. Your real estate professional can help you get started by determining how much you need to set aside for your down payment.
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So many of us rush through the drive through each morning and grab a cup of coffee or get to work and pour the black liquid into your special mug. But do we really think about the process of brewing that beverage as part of the enjoyment? In today's busy hustle and bustle taking the time for yourself and making an excellent cup of coffee can be a relaxing and satisfying process. New machines and fancy appliances promise amazing coffee, but you can get a fantastic result using some of the older technology from the last century.
Percolator of the Past
You may remember your grandparents’ or even your great-grandparents’ funny sounding coffee maker called a percolator. This coffee maker can have an internal electric heat source that heats the water to boiling. You can also buy them where you place them on an external heat source; like when you are camping. The heat source causes the water to circulate through the grounded coffee repeatedly while brewing. The length of time brewed determines the strength of your coffee. While operating, the percolator gives off a pleasant coffee aroma, the end result may be less enjoyable, thus the decline of this process since the 1970s.
Moka Making Coffee
Often lumped in with the percolator, the Moka, is actually a separate brewing method easy for the home brewer to perfect. Using a drip grind instead of the espresso grind will give you a smooth tasting cup of coffee. The Moka is a stove top method of brewing coffee most of the time but can also be purchased in an electric version. The small 8-sided pot invented in 1933 by an Italian engineer is now a well know design found in many museums around the world. It is designed to use the vapor pressure from the heated water placed in the bottom chamber to push the heated water vapor up through the coffee grounds into the top chamber, producing an excellent cup of joe. Base and top chambers are separated by a gasket that over time may need to be replaced to ensure the safety of operation. The key to this method is to be patient and use a low-level heat. Remove the pot from the heat source when you heard a gurgling sound. Pour your creation into a mug and enjoy with or without additional flavors, sweeteners or creamers.
Try out one of these throwback methods of brewing for yourself today.