Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 3/18/2018

Money is the root of many people’s stress and anxiety and it’s also the cause of many fights. But it doesn’t have to be for you. You may own a home now, but it doesn’t mean you should stop saving or that saving has to be a difficult undertaking.

Ideally you already have a robust emergency fund—this type of account is suggested by financial experts to have even before paying down ‘good’ debt such as student loans. This account is extremely important as you never know when or if that “rainy day” will come. The suggested amount to have in an emergency fund is six to nine months’ worth of income—and to be on the higher end if you own a home and have children. For instance, if you take home $3,000 a month, you should have $18,000 to $27,000 in your emergency fund. You should also consider whether it’s best to keep these funds in a regular savings account or a money market account.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of an emergency fund,let’s discuss how to keep saving—whether you are saving just to save or saving for a vacation, new car, or that fancy grill you’ve been eyeing.

Automatic deposit from primary income: If you aren’t doing this already then you should be. Automatic deposit is the easiest way to save money. Many places of employment offer this option, and if not your financial institution will. Automatically depositing money into a savings account (separate of the rest of your income) will force you to save. And if your place of employment offers this option then that money will never enter your checking account—out of sight, out of mind. If you must use your financial institution then have the automatic transfer occur on the day you are paid so the money is almost like it was never there for spending. Of course, this will be an adjustment if you are used to living off that money, especially if you just purchased a home. However, you can start small and work your way to a larger amount such as when you receive a raise or have other forms of incoming income.

Automatic transfer from checking to savings: Many financial institutions offer the ability to automatically transfer funds between your checking account and savings account each time you use your debit card. If your bank does not offer this opportunity there are apps for your phone that can easily connect to your online bank accounts and do the work for you. It’s a great way to save a small amount of money each time you swipe your card. And depending on how often you use your debit card, those savings could add up quickly. For example, you spend $25.33 at the grocery store and use your debit card to pay. Your bank (or app) will round that number up to $26.00 and transfer .67 into your account of choice. It’s too easy not to participate!

There are many other ways to be a better saver, but it’s best to start simple and small. Overwhelming yourself with how much you need/want to save and with many ways of saving, might cause the opposite to happen. Remember, you have a house to pay for and all the other expenses that come with it. Be conscious of your financial situation and be diligent with your savings strategy and you’ll be on the road to being a savings master.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 1/18/2015

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 Kathy Foran on 10/12/2014

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 Kathy Foran on 8/25/2013

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 valueable resourses 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 lastest sale, but you will get exclusive coupon savings. Even some places, like Target, have weekly texts with coupions 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 giftcard instead? They usually start out at 2,000 points and cane 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