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Rudy Perkins Realty Newsletter!
"Insider Tips For Healthy, Wealthy & Happy Living..."
Budgeting seems like a great idea in theory, but the reality of putting it into practice can be stressful.
Here’s how to tackle budgeting in a stress-free way that also helps you achieve your financial goals.
1. Commit to a date. The first thing to do is set a “money date” with yourself (and your partner if you budget together). Pick an hour on the weekend — or a time when you know you’ll be relaxed — and commit to sitting down to review your budget.
2. Expenses. Make a list of categories of regular expenses, like rent or mortgage, utilities, phone, car payments, insurance, food, and gas. Next, list one-off or irregular expenses, like clothing, travel, haircare, and gifts.
3. Habits. Now that you have a list of expenses, it’s time to look at spending habits. Rather than treating this as a punitive exercise, think of it as a learning experience instead. Use your money date to review your bank account each week, and log how much you actually spend and on what category of item. Look for any trends: how much are you spending at Starbucks that you hadn’t listed on your initial expenses? Are you getting takeout more regularly than you thought?
4. Consider your financial goals. Do you want to save money, or pay down a credit card? Visualize how you’ll feel when you’ve paid off that high interest card or imagine sitting on the beach during the vacation you saved for. That goal can help make it easier to save.
5. Cut back. Once you have real-life goals in mind, you’re more likely to be motivated to save. Consider if you really need a latte every day, or would you rather have one a week and save the rest of the money?
6. Stay on track. There are a number of great apps available (Mint.com, or YouNeedABudget.com) that can take the hassle out of updating a spending log. They can help keep track of your goals easily and automatically.
You see ads everywhere about miracle cures — like a cure for cancer and weight loss— that seem too good to be true. Here’s how to identify a scam and where you can check the legitimacy of misleading claims.
The Food and Drug Administration has a page dedicated to Health Fraud Scams (https://www.fda.gov/consumers/protecting-yourself/health-fraud-scams). Here you’ll find the latest health fraud news, information, and resources to help you determine if a product that claims to prevent, treat, or cure health conditions really does what it says. An example scam might be a marketing company that claims their unapproved cannabidiol product will treat cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, among other misleading promises.
The FDA warns to be wary of products marketed as a “one product does it all,” quick fixes, and personal testimonials. They caution to look out for words and phrases like natural, satisfaction guaranteed, time-tested, and new-found treatment. When something feels too good to be true, it usually is. Conserve your precious time and money and put it toward those money goals instead!
Even if you have been driving for years, it is still possible that you may have forgotten some traffic rules (maybe that makes it MORE likely!). Here’s a quick recap of some common rules we often forget:
There are many jobs around the home that people normally hire experts for, but some of them you can actually do yourself. Here are our top 3 DIY home fixes that will look like a pro did the job.
1. How to paint like a painter. The key to painting well is in the preparation: remove fixtures and fittings, clean walls with a damp sponge, fill any holes or gouges with spackle (don’t forget to sand filled holes once dried), and add tape to any areas that can’t be removed, like permanent fixtures and trim. Then lay down drop cloths to ensure you don’t get paint on the floor. Next, apply a primer (unless your paint contains primer). Once dry, start painting. Use long strokes and try not to go over the same spot more than twice. Wait until it is dry to add a second coat. Tip: do not paint when the weather is very warm, otherwise the paint will bubble or dry unevenly.
2. Fix a shut-off valve without a plumber. Turn off the main water valve, remove the packing nut, and unscrew the stem (if you need images, you can search online for images of what those are). Take the stem to the hardware store to replace the washer. Clean out the valve removing any grit, replace the washer, and screw back in. Don’t forget to turn the water back on!
3. How to caulk around the bath like a pro. Step 1: remove the old caulking with either a plastic putty knife/scraper or a caulk removal solution. Remember, old caulk will not stick to new caulk, so you need to remove it all. Next, clean the surface with a damp cloth and rubbing alcohol, and wait until completely dry. Once dry, prepare a damp cloth/paper towel to clean up any messes. Before caulking, apply painters’ tape a few millimeters from the tile so that you avoid having to remove caulking once dried — this is particularly difficult with silicone caulking. Caulk around the tub and wait until it is dry. Then remove the tape and you should have a neat line of caulking.