Don’t drop the ball in 2016
Or a homeowners guide to selecting the perfect New Years resolution.
I shalom swear!… after this glass of champagne I finish, I’m done. Drinking! I swear.
We’ve allll heard this one before, maybe we’ve even said this one before? Regardless, bubbly brings up a lot of things, and good New Year’s resolutions are not one of them. We believe it’s best to put some thought into your resolution before the cork, pop, opa! Take a gander.
For the fiscal-minded folk:
Pay off your mortgage early! Okay, we can hear the scoffing from here. You don’t have to win the lottery to work towards an early pay off. Paying a little more than the monthly minimum can significantly shorten the time until your mortgage is paid off in full. Check out this breakdown from Bankrate.
Consider: The monthly principal and interest on a $150,000 mortgage with a 30-year term and an interest rate of 5.5 percent totals $852. Paying an extra one-twelfth of that amount, or $71, each month would increase the payment to $923, but also shorten the term by five years and one month and cut the interest expense by $30,789.
Putting aside a few extra dollars a week is doable. Maybe that is packing your lunch a few times or limiting yourself to one drink when going out. In the long run, you’ll be paying off your mortgage faster and saving A LOT of money in interest. And hey when you get that letter that you own your home out right, you’ll definitely have something to drink to.
For those looking to trim the fat:
Have a lot of junk in the trunk? And by trunk, we mean your house. And by junk, we mean junk. Clean. It. Out. There is a little process of “should I eliminate this” game we like to play, it goes like this:
If I were shopping today, would I buy this same item?
If the answer is anything other than, HELL YES! You probably could part with it. And not only will you feel good and refreshed from decreasing your amount of thinginess, you can also bop down to your local donation center and pass along your things for those in need. Grab a receipt and write it off in your taxes. You’re de-cluttered, you donated, you saved on your taxes, you look amazing in a tiny bathing suit. New Year, new you, baby!
If you are feeling pumped from de-cluttering and still want more, check out this amazing home chore “workout” routine provided by House Logic.
- Building a fence: 340 calories per hour
- Caulking windows and doors: 280 calories per hour
- Cleaning rain gutters: 272 calories per hour
- Installing ceramic tile: 238 calories per hour
- Interior painting: 136 calories per hour
- Chopping firewood: 340 calories per hour
- Mowing the lawn: 306 calories per hour
- Planting shrubs: 238 calories per hour
- General gardening: 204 calories per hour
For those seeking self-improvement:
We are just going to assume this is everyone, because if you aren’t seeking self-improvement you’re seeking self-destruction? Or you consider yourself at capacity for greatness so you’ve just retired now?… Anyway, you all get the benefit of the doubt regarding self-improvement. That said, we aren’t really talking about you, we’re talking about your home. We would have just titled this section home improvement and saved on our word count, but turns out that title was taken in the 90’s and as soon as the words “home improvement” are uttered one feels compelled to instantly chant back “it’s tool time!” like some sort of nostalgic battle cry. Or maybe that’s just us. The point here folks is, it IS tool time!! There are always improvements to be done to your home, we aren’t going to list them all out because that would be excessive and this year we are shedding the excessive.
Figure this, if you invest some time and money into your home for repairs and maintenance, you can take that back to your home insurance provider who will sometimes give discounts for being proactive about taking measures to insure your house is safe and more resistant to damage. That is home AND fiscal improvement!
You can also work towards making your home greener and decreasing your carbon footprint by sealing ducts and windows, upgrading your lightbulbs, and being more responsible about running electricity when you aren’t home. Bonus, this will also save you money on your electric bill!