What Is A Jumbo Loan

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Someone recently asked me what is a “jumbo loan” and what makes it different than getting a regular mortgage to buy a home, so here is my recap for American readers.  A jumbo loan is not simply a big mortgage, but specifically a loan that exceeds what can be guaranteed by the federal agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  For most areas, this has long been $417,000, but increased in 2017 to $424,000.  Loans can be substantially more in expensive urban areas.

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Saving Money Strategies – Comparison Shopping

Long-time readers will know that one of our key financial principles for saving money is to “avoid paying full price”.  See my posts that outline the basis strategies.  Now let’s explore some details and apps to save money more thoroughly.  Looking for sales is a great start, but you can do even better with a strategy.

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New Years Resolutions for 2017

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New Year’s resolutions are popular because this is a great time to reflect on what parts of your life could use improvement.  “Losing weight” is always popular as is some aspect of improving our finances.  Improving your financial future is one of the most useful aspects of your life to improve because it affects so many other things.  So I’m pointing you to my series on great New Year’s resolutions that can actually change your financial future during 2017.  The Financial Guide to Life deals with managing, saving, investing, and spending your money, so I have recommended four personal finance new years resolutions that are achievable and can bring you financial security and peace of mind.

New Years Resolutions for 2017

  1. Live within your means.
  2. Save by paying yourself first using auto-pay.
  3. Make investing easy.
  4. Avoid paying full price.

Identify which financial areas are most important to you, set priorities, and make a plan for your new years resolutions for money management.

Start here to put these in perspective.

Airline Travel Tips

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The holiday season is not just for shopping, but also travelling, so I want to pass on some recent news about airlines and airline travel tips.  First the good:  Delta Airlines has a new feature that allows you to track your bags so you know where they are even if they get lost.  Delta now includes a tracking chip in the luggage tags they put on your bags, and you can follow your bags progress thru GPS tracking with the Delta app.  Other airlines are expected to follow suit in the years to come.

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Get Ready for Black Friday

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For many of us, the end of the year holiday season is the prime shopping season, so let’s spend a few blog posts on “spending our money” wisely.  Let’s start with some tips to get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving Thursday.  This is a great time to save whether on holiday gifts, goodies for yourself, or household needs.

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New Protection Rules for Debit Cards

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I previously covered the differences between credit and debit cards.  Now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has finalized new rules for debit cards that are effective October 1, 2017.  Some business groups and pro-business politicians are trying to hamper the newly created agency that aims to protect consumers, but these new rules should provide many protections for debit cards, mobile wallets, and person-to-person payment systems that are similar to credit card protections.

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Websites for Buying a Car

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I have posted an extensive series of articles about buying a car, yet I’m still amazed when something new turns up to make buying a car easier or cheaper.  I have provided plenty of tips for dealing with sales people at traditional auto dealerships and how to avoid them altogether.  Tesla lets you buy its cars without even going to a dealer, which rivals and dealers in many states are trying to fight by lobbing for legislation against it.  You can even buy cars without haggling at places like COSTCO and Navy Federal Credit Union; in fact COSTCO is one of the largest auto sellers.  So it is probably inevitable that a new set of companies sells its cars over the internet.

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Tips for Managing Your Email

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Today’s post is about managing your email.  Managing your email may not directly relate to managing your money, but it certainly affects your productivity, peace of mind, friendships, work, and money management issues such as notifications of sales, bills coming due, account statements, low balance notifications, and many more.    I’ve read about people who get swamped with email and want to give it up.  My boys check their email much less often than their texts accounts.  But I think that email is one of the greatest inventions of all time allowing you to keep in touch with family and friends more easily than letters and stamps, send notifications to large groups, deal with issues without playing phone tag, forward interesting articles, get notification of sales, subscribe to newsletters, and stay in touch with the big wide world in myriad ways.  But best of all is being able to deal with all of this at your own time and place including desktop, phone, tablet, and web.  Of course everything has both positives and negatives, and the flipside of email is not just spam and phishing, but being swamped with unwanted or just too many emails.  It’s so easy to get overrun if you don’t keep up regularly.  So here are some tips to ensure your email is more of a benefit than a chore.

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