The Smart Way to Buy a House

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

I’m excited and nervous to say that we’re in escrow on a new home. Not only is this an exciting moment in our lives, it’s a scary moment as well. And definitely a new eye-opening experience that we’ve learned a lot from.

My husband purchased our current home from family so we didn’t have to deal with loans, escrow, sellers, agents, etc. He secured a loan for the agreed purchase price, below market value, and took care of the process through a title company.

Purchasing a house on our own has been completely different and has really opened our eyes on the smart way to buy a house. And we cannot wait to move on to the next stage of our journey. [Read more…]

Make Managing Your Home Easy with HomeZada

This post is brought to you by HomeZada. All opinions are 100% my own.

HomeZada managing your home

One thing I’ve found about home management is that you can never be too organized. And utilizing technology to help with that organization is key. So when I was asked to check out HomeZada, a home organization solution that helps homeowners manage everything about their home in one place, I knew I needed to see what it was all about.

And after playing around with it for a few weeks I have to say that my home is running much more smoothly. I have reminders set for pest control, house cleaners, our twice a year carpet cleaning, and other important appointments to make for the home. But I’ve also been able to do much more! [Read more…]

Shop With Ease with the Verizon ISIS Mobile Wallet

This post is sponsored by The Online Mom.

Isis Mobile Wallet App from Verizon

Ever get to a store, go to pay, and realize you left your rewards card in another spot or in another purse? Or you’ve had your rewards card so long that it literally fell off your key ring?

Or do you hate how bulky your wallet is getting with all of the different cards you have to carry. Debit card, credit cards, business cards, etc. It can all be a burden to carry all of that with you when there’s a better alternative.

Now there’s a new way to pay with just a tap on your phone! ISIS mobile Wallet holds virtual version of many things your existing wallet does including credit cards from participating providers; offers deals and promotions – organized and ready to use. As well as your loyalty cards from participating merchants. You know, the ones crowding your keychain right now! [Read more…]

Do I Need Mortgage Insurance?

Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network.

Mortgage Insurance

For the past few weeks my husband and I have been touring model homes in the area. We’re weighing the pros and cons of purchasing a new house to give us the room we desperately need for our family or building up on our current home.

Now when my husband purchased the house we live in now he didn’t know much about the home buying process and kind of went with the flow. And I knew less than him. So when I found out there’s something called mortgage insurance I knew I should research more about the financing involved in purchasing a home. Especially if we were going to purchase a new home together.

After reading 3 Insurance Policies Everyone Should Have I figured I’d research other insurance options out there. [Read more…]

Why Long Term Care Isn’t Just For The Elderly

Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network.

long term care

Long-term care covers a broad spectrum of products and services, including home health care, hospice care, medical equipment, and home-delivered meals.

And for the most part long term care isn’t even thought of until someone is older. But long term care shouldn’t just be something the elderly consider! Anything can happen and being prepared for the unexpected is smart.

Most believe that the government will help us out when the time comes and we need this care but sadly that just isn’t how it goes. Medicare does not cover long-term care for most medical situations.

Medicaid – another option some people think of – is a welfare program for the very poor. Medicaid requires that you spend or give away all of your assets before you qualify for benefits. And it’s pretty hard to qualify for.

So what does one do to prepare for long term care?  [Read more…]

Women and Finances: The Truth About How We Manage Money

Growing up my mother was always in charge of the money. When it came to paying bills, doling out allowances, and shopping, we always saw our mom take care of it. So when I got married I just assumed that women and finances went hand in hand.

In the beginning of our marriage my husband took care of the bills. Since he was already paying the mortgage, gas & electric, cable etc before we were married it was just easier for him to continue to handle the payments. But just because he was paying the bills doesn’t mean that I wasn’t involved in the decision making behind our finances.

After we had our second child and I started to work from home we decided to adjust how we viewed finances and paying bills.  I took over paying everything and created a financial plan for where our money was going. And after discussions together we came up with our game plan.

[Read more…]

Planning for the Future: Retirement Planning

While I am far from retirement I have started planning for it from an early age. The one thing my dad always talked about as soon as I was old enough to get a job was to start saving early so I would have enough put away when I was ready to retire. Yes, at age 16 I was already well aware of retirement planning.

And I did what I’m sure other teens did not do. I listened to my dad. And at the age of 17, when I was eligible per my company’s regulations, I opened up a 401K. At first I simply put in a certain percentage, not quite sure what matching was and how it would benefit me.

Then my dad taught me the benefit of being aware of how company matching could do for my savings and I increased the percentage I was putting away each week. Lucky for me my husband also felt the same way about early retirement planning and had already started his 401K as well.

But I’m sure many aren’t lucky enough to have a dad like mine who pushed me to save at such an early age. So I’ve come across some great tips while researching ways to continue my retirement planning now that I’m a work-at-home mom.

Retirement Planning at an Early Age

1. Set up an automatic retirement savings plan –

Whether you contribute to a 401K through your work or set up a savings account on your own, start putting away a percentage of each paycheck starting now. The sooner you start saving – and investing – the sooner you’ll be able to retire.

2. Take advantage of employer contributions –

As I mentioned before, the company I worked with would match our 401K contributions up to a certain percentage. If your company offers this then you should definitely be taking advantage of this. Who can say no to free money? Usually there is a cap on what they’ll match to so make sure you know all of your company’s guidelines and regulations.

3. Leave your money where it is –

While it may be tempting to cash out on your 401K for that new car or a down payment on a house, you aren’t doing yourself any favors! Consider sitting down with a financial planner to plan out how to save for large purchases or investments without touching your savings. You’ll be thankful in the long run.

4. Sit down with a professional –

Still lost with all of this talk of savings? Consider sitting down with a professional and going over your finances. From there you can determine just how much you can be putting aside for retirement and how long you’ll continue to do so. There are so many great resources and apps out there for us to use. Take advantage of the knowledge at your fingertips!

Have you started planning for retirement?

With our financial planning laid out and a plan for retirement always in the works I feel a lot better about our future. I definitely don’t want to be working past 65 if I don’t have to. And if my husband and I are still lucky to have our health by then we want to be able to use that time to enjoy ourselves.

Planning to retire a little sooner than I am? Consider reading this article on 7 Tips for People Planning to Retire in 2013 to find out if you’re ready to retire sooner!

Disclaimer: Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions are my own.



© A Crafty Spoonful - All Rights Reserved
It is OK to use one of my photos provided a link back and/or proper credit is given. It is NOT ok to copy and paste a whole post including instructions. Please do not remove watermarks or alter images in any way. Please contact me with any questions at danielle@acraftyspoonful.com

.