Author Archives: Aaron

About Aaron

Aaron is the owner of Add-Vodka.com and other personal finance websites. He is a freelance journalist who specializes in personal finance writing and editing. Find out more about his work at AaronCrowe.net or follow him on Twitter.

Money never stays put. A simple glance at the world’s financial markets shows money always in motion. This is true of large economies, but it’s also true of individual bank accounts.

If you have any money at all, it doesn’t stand still. There are several ways this happens. If you want to get in control of your money, and your future wealth, it’s important to appreciate the way money moves and evolves. Without this knowledge, it’s hard to understand how your wealth will change over time.

Money Gets Stolen

Fraud is becoming ever more common in the personal finance space. Even if you haven’t had your own money stolen through fraud, you almost certainly know someone who has.

Between credit card schemes, data breaches, and the ongoing PPI scandal, it’s easy to lose money simply because someone else found a clever way to steal it. To keep this from happening to you, it’s important to: use credit cards (much easier to recover money stolen through fraud than with debit cards), contact Canary Claims - PPI claims company (if you have been victim of the PPI scandal), and never to put delicate personal information in places where it could easily be stolen (like in your primary email). ...continue reading

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budgeting

This guest post on budgeting is by Ryan Bonaparte, who last wrote for Add-Vodka in 2012 about common financial mistakes that young adults make. Ryan is a long-time writer and author, delving into topics including personal finance, technology, and career pursuits. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and fiercely independent cat.

Budgeting can be an amazing tool.

From the moment you begin to track where you’re spending your hard-earned money, budgeting can help you begin to understand what your habits are, where your priorities lie, and what goals you want to set in place. That’s a powerful place to be in life, as you can move past surviving paycheck to paycheck, and on to building a security net and further wealth.

I often talk to my friends about the power of moving my money away from the things I don’t care about (a bigger house) to the things I do care about (a nicer car). While you can’t have everything because of a budget, you can put budgeting into an action a plan to have anything with a bit of planning and hard work.

But efficiently earning and spending money is not the meaning of life. There are other factors to consider when deciding how to spend your money, and more importantly what to do with your life outside of budgeting. ...continue reading

Who doesn’t get stressed when they’re looking for a new home? Unfortunately, the stress and emotions that build-up when you’re buying a new home can also lead to some unalterable mistakes.

Here’s a review of some of the most common pitfalls and advice on how you can avoid them all.

Wasting your Time

If you’ve drawn up an interest list of 89 houses in the area you wish to move to, don’t even think about going to view every one of them. This will just be a huge waste of your time. The Internet is a great time saver when you’re house hunting as all realtors have websites these days. There you will find up to date listings with prices and full details of the property.

You will also be able to look at a photo gallery of the interior and exterior of each house. Some properties will even allow a virtual video tour.

This is a great place to begin the search for your dream home because you can eliminate your least favorite properties without ever having to visit them. You can avoid this mistake and save time by visiting www.STLRealEstatellc.com and starting your house hunting online.

Going Beyond your Budget

Calculate your budget and stick to it, no matter how much more appealing those slightly more expensive homes look. If you end up buying a house that’s beyond your budget, you could end up wrecking your finances down the road and losing your home in the process.

Don’t let the real estate agent talk you into moving up to the next level. You have to have some leeway so you can be prepared for future changes in your finances and the demands on them. 

Not Planning Adequately for a Showing

Many house hunters make the mistake of scheduling too many views within a short period of time. Allow yourself plenty of time to tour each house and traveling time between viewings. Eat before you go, so you don’t get distracted by hunger pains. Wear comfortable shoes because you’re going be on your feet for a long time.

Don’t take the children. If you can’t leave them with a family member, hire a babysitter. You don’t want to have to deal with a cranky toddler when you’re house hunting.

Not Looking at Everything

Don’t be afraid to examine every nook and cranny. Some people walk through without paying full attention. This is a big mistake. Open every cabinet, closet and drawer. Look behind doors, open every nook and cranny. Don’t risk missing a thing. Look for damp spots, mold, leaks in ceilings and on tile floors. Check attic ventilation.

Have an inspector check plumbing and electric systems in case the previous homeowners have made amateur repairs that are not up to code. Take a walk around the outside of the house and check that there is no water pooling in the yard around the house, garage and any other buildings. If there is, this is a sign of inadequate drainage.

Overlooking Certain Faults

So you’ve found a house that you’re starting to fall in love with, but it has a few issues. Depending on what these are, they could be costly or even impossible to fix. Don’t ignore them. If you’re really not sure about the condition of the house, have it inspected.

If it fails to make the grade, walk away. Be patient. There are large amounts of property listings available in your area and more being added every day. Don’t make the mistake of going for the first house you like if it’s not up to par.

Dragging your Feet

When you’ve finally made a decision on a house you truly want to live in, don’t take too long to seal the deal, or you might just lose it. If this happens you’ll be back to square one and you’ll have to spend even more time searching for another house.

Buying a new home is a big and important decision and one that should be well thought out and carefully executed, but if you’re committed, you have to be prepared for the moment to take the plunge.

Just by following these simple tips you can avoid some of the worst mistakes that many home buyers make. This will save you time and money and significantly reduce the stress factor of hunting for a new home.

Archie Coles works as a real estate agent and shares his home-buying, and selling, tips around the net.