One of the lessons Iâve learned as I continue to work my way out of debt is that you need to treat yourself and celebrate your little successes along the way so you can avoid debt fatigue down the road. Celebrating small milestones, like getting another $1,000 knocked off your debt total, starting to put money aside for retirement or paying off a credit card balance, is important for both your sanity and your familyâs sanity.
Find out now: How much money do I need to save for retirement?
I donât have kids, but several of my personal finance blogger friends do, and they have talked about how kids donât always understand how they can contribute to the family financial goals since they donât earn any money. Plus, sometimes kids donât understand why there is a sudden need to cut back on expenses they have come to know as normal- things like going out to eat or having a night out at the movies with friends. Allowing yourself and your family to celebrate your financial wins as you work your way out of debt will help them understand that while your family is now living on a different budget, itâs still okay to enjoy the present.
With that in mind, here are five frugal ways you can celebrate your financial successes, so you donât erase all your progress!
1. Go out for Dessert
As a kid, whenever weâd go out for dessert after a home-cooked meal, it felt like a real fancy treat. Now I know that this was mom and dadâs way of having a celebration without spending a lot of money on paying for a whole meal.
2. Rent a Movie
This may not seem like a treat if you rent movies all the time, but if you are living on a very strict budget and donât often rent movies, this could be a treat for you and your family. Make it the full experience â popcorn, candy, etc. Renting a movie and making popcorn at home is a fun way to celebrate, and itâs still a lot cheaper than going to the theater.
12 Affordable Ways to Have Fun on a Tight Budget
3. Hit a Matinee
Wait, didnât I just say to avoid the theater to save money? Yes, but sometimes movie theaters offer cheaper matinee movies earlier in the day. Often showings before noon can be as little as half price. This is a more budget-friendly way to enjoy a new movie.
4. Buy a Book or Magazine
One of the first things that got cut from my budget when I started focusing on financial goals was my magazine subscription. Most of the time I donât miss it as I have plenty of things to keep me busy, but sometimes itâs nice to somewhat mindlessly flip through a magazine in the evenings. Buying yourself a new book â maybe one of these investing books â or magazine is a fairly cheap way to entertain yourself and if itâs a rare occasion, it can serve as a reward too.
Frugal Summer Fun for Adults
5. Go on a Day Trip
If you arenât traveling too far, the most expensive part of the trip is usually the overnight accommodations. By taking a day trip instead to the beach or somewhere else, you can get out of town and away from the norm without having to shell out for an expensive hotel room.
What other frugal ways can you think of to celebrate your debt successes?
Buying a house is a big decision, but it can feel especially overwhelming to place an offer on a home less than 24 hours after seeing it for the first time. Plus youâre under pressure to outbid several other buyers â or risk losing the house.
While these circumstances might sound extraordinary, theyâre not. With housing inventory nationwide at an all time-low â down 22% from last year according to the National Association of Realtors â itâs no wonder buyers are competing for the same few houses.
I was in this exact position last fall. Here are seven key takeaways from my experience buying in a sellerâs market.
Get a Pre-Approval Letter
In order to be competitive in a hot sellerâs market, you will need to line up your financing in advance.
Besides all the usual suspects, like saving up for a down payment and improving your credit score, youâll also want to get a pre-approval letter from your bank. It states that a bank would approve you for a mortgage of a certain amount, and acts as a guarantee to the seller that you can actually afford to buy their house.
This is where it helps to know your budget up front.
âItâs important to understand that the strength of financing is a key consideration a seller takes into account when selecting an offer,â said real estate developer Bill Samuel.
No seller wants to risk accepting an offer that might fall through. Aand since pre-approval letters can take some time to get, have one ready before you find your dream house.
Be Friendly With Neighbors
This might sound crazy, but making a good impression on your new neighbors can actually make a difference when it comes time for a seller to review offers.
Since youâll likely be visiting the home at least once before making an offer, be prepared to talk to any neighbors you might run into. In close-knit neighborhoods, or ones where people share resources (like an HOA), sellers might care a bit more about the type of person they sell the house to.
If you happen to meet a neighbor when visiting the home, introduce yourself and make a good impression. You never know how much their opinion of you might factor into any final decisions.
Submit an Offer Quickly
After youâve seen a house, and decided you love it, be prepared to submit an offer quicklyâÂ as in, ASAP.
Work with your real estate agent to determine how many other offers the seller already has (or expects to get) and then be prepared to draft something up that day. In our case, we toured our home for the very first time at 11 a.m. on a Monday â it came on the market the evening before â and made an offer by 4 p.m. that same day.
If that sounds fast, it is. But by the time we submitted our offer, the seller already had three others. This is where it helps to have a great real estate agent on your side.
âHaving a realtor who can get your offer submitted quickly is crucial,â said Erik Wright, owner of New Horizon Home Buyers. âYou want to get your offer in front of the seller first, and make it strong. Purchase price is the obvious factor and in a competitive market, houses often go for over asking price. However, a strong offer has several factors and it depends on whatâs most important to the seller.â
Work with your real estate agent to find out what matters most to the seller â is it money, closing quickly, something else entirely? Then make sure your offer addresses their needs.
Minimize Your Contingencies (Within Reason)
Another way to win over your seller (and prevail in any bidding wars) is by keeping your contingencies to a minimum.
Contingencies are the contractual stipulations buyers and sellers must meet before the deal can close. Unsurprisingly, sellers donât like to have too many of them to deal with. Contingencies can include such things as requesting a seller to make certain repairs, getting a home inspection, or even the fact that youâll need to sell your old house before being able to buy the new one.
âIn a really aggressive sellerâs market, a home buyer who has to sell a current property should do so before placing an offer on another home,â said Jason Gelios of Community Choice Realty. âDonât always assume that the seller will take the highest price. Other conveniences can play a factor in gaining the sellerâs attention, especially things like faster closing times and less restrictions.â
While my partner and I didnât make the highest offer on our house, we did have the fewest contingencies âÂ mainly, we didnât ask too much of our seller in the way of repairs, or have another house to sell in order to afford the new one.
All that said, there are certain contingencies you should never forgo, and a home inspection is one of them. Getting your home inspected is hugely important, since inspectors will often find things even the sellers werenât aware of. No matter how much you love a house, donât be afraid of exercising your right to an inspection.
According to buyer protection laws in most states, sellers are required to report any findings in home inspections to subsequent buyers. In other words, if an inspector finds something wrong with the house, the seller will have to deal with it one way or anotherâÂ either with you, or the next buyer should you choose to drop out of the deal.
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Make a Generous Earnest Money Deposit
When trying to woo your seller in a competitive market, it helps to make a generous earnest money deposit. An earnest money deposit is a good-faith deposit requested by the seller when you enter into a contract to buy the house and typically run anywhere from 1% to 3% of the sale price of the home.
When deciding how much of an earnest money deposit to include in your offer, keep in mind that whatever amount you give comes off the price of the home (and is returned to you if the deal falls through). In other words,Â thereâs no reason to be cheap. If you can, go slightly above the sellerâs requested deposit amount. Even if itâs just a little more than what theyâre asking, that gesture of good faith might just be what gets you the house.
Offer Above Asking Price
Wait. Why would anyone make an offer thatâs above asking price? Because the competition did it first, and in a hot sellerâs market, offering above asking price is often what it takes to even be considered.
Upping your offer may not break the bank as much as youâre fearing. âWith interest rates so low these days, offering more than what the seller is asking may not make a drastic difference in your overall monthly payments,â real estate agent Pavel Khaykin of Pavel Buys Houses said.
Letâs say the listing price on your dream home is $320,000 and youâre able to put down a 6% down payment. That leaves you with a mortgage of roughly $301,000. For a 30-year fixed mortgage at an interest rate of 3%, that translates into $1,269 monthly payments. Now letâs say you decide to bid a little higher on the home and offer $10,000 over asking price. This would only bump up your monthly payment (assuming you qualify for that low interest rate) by $42.
Lace Up Your Running Shoes
In a hot sellerâs market, youâve got to be ready to move fast. Often this is more of a change in mindset than anything else. When my partner and I first started looking at homes, we considered ourselves casual buyers â that is, until our dream home came on the market late one Sunday night. From there, things moved quickly. We saw the home, made an offer, were under contract by morning, and spent the next month and a half going through the process of closing on the house.
If youâre serious about finding your dream home in the next few months, the best thing you can do is know what you want from the outset, and get your ducks in a row to make a compelling offer when you find it. Maybe this means making a list of your must-haves in a house, and working to improve your credit score. It might also mean reaching out to a real estate agent before you need one, and getting that pre-approval letter in place.
Although inventory is low, new houses come on the market all the time.
Larissa Runkle is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
If youâre looking to repair your credit, you may have come across websites that advertise a credit privacy number, credit protection number or CPN. These numbers are nine digits like a Social Security number (SSN), and sellers claim that you can use them instead of your SSN. However, these CPNs are often actual SSNs lifted from real people, reportedly children, prison inmates and the deceased â and you can never legally buy a new SSN. In other words, a CPN is no solution to your credit rating problem. Under no circumstances should you try to buy a CPN.
Why a CPN is No Credit Fix
Websites have sprung up all over the internet, offering CPNs to people with bad credit or low credit scores. They advertise that this number can serve as a âget out of jail freeâ card for your bad credit. In theory, you can use a CPN instead of your SSN on credit applications to hide the poor credit associated with your personal SSN. If you have bad credit but still need a credit card or loan, this can seem like the solution, assuming you can pay anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
That price might seem worth it for a chance to wipe the slate clean. However, these offers are essentially a big scam. The CPNs you can buy online are not legally assigned credit protection numbers. Instead, they are usually stolen Social Security numbers, taken from children, the deceased or inmates.
Also, using a purchased CPN puts you in some hot water, too. Credit agencies can easily spot discrepancies if you try to use a CPN on an application instead of your SSN. Not only will this fail to help your credit, but itâs also committing fraud which is punishable by jail time.
How to Avoid CPN Scams
If youâre dealing with some bad credit, donât turn to a CPN. Only scammers sell CPNs, and they in turn may cheat you out of your personal information as well as hundreds or thousands of dollars. Using a purchased CPN can also put you in jail, even if you didnât know the number was fraudulent. This is why itâs important to be aware of this popular scam.
If you really need a CPN or new SSN, it will be free. The process will go through the Social Security Administration Office, since a new number would be tied to your old SSN. That said, it is very hard to qualify to receive a new number. Having bad credit is never a qualifying reason.
How to Get a Legal CPN
With so many fraudulent websites and companies trying to sell you a way to reset your credit, itâs hard to know how to get a legal CPN. Unfortunately, thereâs a lot of misinformation out there. Some experts say that you can speak with an attorney to obtain a legal CPN. The attorney can then contact the Social Security Administration Office on your behalf. However, others maintain that all CPNs are illegal.
Generally, it seems that you cannot get a legal CPN unless you actually need one. These situations include celebrities, government officials and people under witness protection. You can also apply in other specific instances, like if youâre a victim of abuse, stalking or identity theft. A real CPN would be attached to your SSN, so itâs still not an escape from the credit tied to your SSN.
You may also stumble upon offers to obtain an EIN, or Employer Identification Number. The IRS does issue EINs, but only businesses can use them for business costs. This means that you cannot legally obtain an EIN as an individual looking to improve your credit. You also cannot make up a home business, apply for an EIN and use that new number for a credit reset. It is a federal crime to obtain an EIN under false pretenses. In any case, the credit profile for your EIN is still tied to your SSN.
You shouldnât ever, under any circumstances, try to purchase a CPN. These offers are fraudulent and donât provide any credit repair or relief. At the very least, buying a CPN wastes money you should put towards repaying your loans in the first place. At worst, you could go to jail for fraud. There are better, more constructive ways to repair your credit. If youâre truly in a situation that calls for a CPN, contact your lawyer for assistance.
Tips on Rebuilding Your Credit
Of course, the best way to legally clean up your credit is to pay back your debts and improve your credit practices. A good place to start is to pay off your credit card debt with the highest interest.
Sometimes youâll just have to wait for your bad history to fall off your record. Generally, negative info stays on your credit report for seven years. If you canât get a debt collection removed from your credit report, for example, itâll stay there for seven years. However, as time goes on, the toll it takes on your report lessens.
Donât go it alone. If you have a good income, but youâre just bad at managing your money, a financial advisor can help. With guidance, you can make smarter choices â and even start growing your wealth. To find an advisor, use our free, no-obligation matching tool. It will connect you with up to three advisors in your area.
Your credit score is incredibly important. In fact, this number is so influential on various financial aspects of life that it can determine your eligibility to be approved for credit cards, car loans, home mortgages, apartment rentals, and even certain jobs. Knowing what your credit score is, and what range it falls under, is important so you can decide what loans you can to apply for, and if necessary, if steps need to be taken to improve your score.
So what constitutes a good credit score?
The Credit Score Range Scale
The most common credit score used by lenders and other business entities is the FICO score, which ranges from 300 to 850. The bigger the number, the better. To create credit scores, FICO uses information from one of the three major credit bureau agencies – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. Knowing this range is important because it will help you understand where your specific number fits in.
Know what factors influence a good credit score to help improve your own credit health.
As far as lenders are concerned, the lower a consumer’s number on this scale, the higher the risk. Lenders will often deny a loan application for those with a lower credit score because of this risk. If they do approve a loan application, they’ll make consumers pay for such risk by means of a much higher interest rate.
Understand Your Credit Score
Within the credit score range are different categories, ranging from bad to excellent. Here is how credit score ranges are broken down:
Bad credit: 630 or Lower
Lenders generally consider a credit score of 630 or lower as bad credit. A number of past activities could have landed you in this category, including a string of late or missed credit card payments, maxed out credit cards, or even bankruptcy. Younger people who have no credit history will probably find themselves in this category until they have had time to develop their credit. If you’re in this bracket, you’ll be faced with higher interest rates and fees, and your selection of credit cards will be restricted.
Fair Credit: 630-689
This is considered an average score. Lingering within this range is most likely the result of having too much “bad” debt, such as high credit card debt that’s grazing the limit. Within this bracket, lenders will have a harder time trusting you with their loan.
Good Credit: 690-719
Having a credit score within this range will afford you more choices when it comes to credit cards, an easier time getting approved for various loans, and being charged much lower interest rates on such loans.
Excellent Credit: 720-850
Consider your credit score excellent if your number falls within this bracket. You’ll be able to take advantage of all the fringe benefits that come with credit cards, and will almost certainly be approved for loans at the lowest interest rates possible.
Understand the factors that make up a good credit score.
What’s Your Credit Score?
Federal law allows consumers to check their credit score for free once every 12 months. But if you want to check more often than this, a fee is typically charged. Luckily, there are other avenues to take to check your credit score.
Mint has recently launched an online tool that allows you toÂ check your credit scoreÂ for free without the need for a credit card. Here you’ll be able to learn the different components that affect your score, and how you can improve it.
You’ll be able to see your score with your other accounts to give you a complete picture of your finances. Knowing what your credit score is can help determine if you need to improve it to help you get the things you need or want. Visit Mint.com to find out more about how you can access your credit score – for free.
Lisa Simonelli RennieÂ is a freelance web content creator who enjoys writing on all sorts of topics, including personal finance, investing in stocks, mortgages, real estate investments, and anything else to do with the world of economics.
The post What’s a Good Credit Score? appeared first on MintLife Blog.
Though the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in widespread fitness center closures, many Americans still want to stay as healthy as possible. Depending on the level of services and equipment required, staying active can affect peopleâs budgets in a variety of ways. For now, virtual exercise classes and home gyms are the route most people are taking. Eventually, though, gyms will reopen at full capacity, and everyone will be able to reestablish his or her normal workout routine. When that happens, some places will be more conducive to jumping into a full-on fitness frenzy, and SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find where they are.
To locate the most fitness-friendly places for 2021, we compared 301 metropolitan areas across the following metrics: percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, fitness professionals per 10,000 workers, fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments, the percentage of restaurants that are fast-food establishments and the average wage of personal trainers. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAssetâs seventh annual study on the most fitness-friendly places in the U.S. Read the previous version here.
Western and Midwestern metro areas populate the top. For the second straight year, cities in the Midwest and West dominate the top 10 of this list. Six metro areas are in the West and three are in the Midwest. Western metro areas do well in terms of fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments â all rank within the top 8% of study for this metric â and they also rank within the top 14% of the study for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work. Only one metro area in the top 10 is not in either of these regions â Ithaca, New York.
Fitness-friendly cities are light on the drive-thrus. On average, across the 301 metro areas in our study, fast-food establishments represent 45% of all restaurants. Though fast food is popular, convenient and inexpensive, it tends to be relatively high in calories and low in nutritional value â making it tougher to be healthy if you eat a lot of it, regardless of your exercise levels. In the top 10 of this study, all but three metro areas have fewer than 40% of their restaurants serving fast food, so there is less temptation to go for an easy-but-unhealthy meal that can ruin all your hard work. The metro area with the lowest percentage of restaurants that are fast food is Wenatchee, Washington, where it is just 27%.
1. Missoula, MT
The Missoula, Montana metro area is the most fitness-friendly place in the U.S. for 2021. There are 131 fitness establishments â including places like gyms and sporting goods stores â per 10,000 total establishments in Missoula, the third-highest rate for this metric in the study. There are also plenty of fitness professionals living in Missoula, 59 per 10,000 workers, placing it sixth-best for this metric. Residents in Missoula also get plenty of exercise simply by walking or biking to work: 7.1% of residents choose to do so, the 17th-highest rate for this metric across the 301 areas we studied.
2. La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN
The La Crosse, Wisconsin metro area, which also includes parts of Minnesota, has 130 fitness establishments for every 10,000 total establishments, the fourth-highest rate for this metric. The metro area finishes in the top quartile for three other metrics as well, ranking 28th for fitness professionals per 10,000 workers (with 42), 33rd for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work (at 5.2%) and 64th for the percentage of restaurants that are fast-food establishments (around 39%).
3. Bend, OR
The Bend, Oregon metro area cracks the top 10 for two of our metrics. It places fourth in terms of fitness professionals per 10,000 workers with 61, and seventh for fitness establishments per 10,0000 total establishments, at 116. Bend can be a bit pricey of a place to stay in shape, though. The average hourly wage of personal trainers is $18.72, placing Bend at 176th out of 301 for this metric.
4. Ann Arbor, MI
There are 67 fitness professionals per 10,000 workers in the Ann Arbor, Michigan metro area, the second-highest rate for this metric of the 301 metro areas we analyzed. For their commutes, 7.4% of residents walk or bike to work, the 15th-highest percentage in this study. There are also plenty of fitness establishments in the metro area if you prefer to work out in a dedicated space: At 112 per 10,000 residents, this is the 10th-highest rate of the 301 places we analyzed.
5. Bloomington, IN
Folks in the Bloomington, Indiana metro area might have more of an opportunity to get a workout in during their commute, with 8.0% of residents walking or biking to work, the eighth-highest rate in the study for this metric. Bloomington has two other metrics for which it finishes in the top fifth of the 301 metro areas of the study â fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments (ranking 48th-highest, with 93) and average wage of personal trainers (ranking 49th-lowest, which makes it cheaper for the consumer, at $14.53).
6. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
The metro area around Santa Cruz, California finishes ninth overall for its relatively low percentage of restaurants that specialize in fast food, at 33%. Santa Cruz also comes in 12th for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, at 7.5%. If youâre looking for help getting in shape, though, itâll cost you. The average wage of a personal trainer in the area is a steep $20.59, ranking in the bottom third of this study.
7. Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, Arizona has the third highest percentage of residents who walk or bike to work we saw in this study, at 11.5%. There are also 109 fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments, the 14th-highest rate we observed. Flagstaff is hurt, though, by its price: The average wage of a personal trainer in this metro area is $22.27, in the bottom sixth of this study.
8. Fort Collins, CO
Fort Collins is the first of two metro areas in Colorado to rank in the top 10 of this study, and it gets there on the strength of having 113 fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments, ranking ninth of 301 metro areas for this metric. It also scores in the top 15% of the study for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work (5.2%) and fitness professionals per 10,000 workers (46).
9. Boulder, CO
Boulder is the second Colorado metro area in the top 10, and it has two metrics for which it finishes in the top 15 out of 301 in the study overall. It comes in 11th for fitness professionals per 10,000 workers, at 53, and 12th for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, at 7.5%. Its final ranking is dragged down a bit due to its bottom-10 finish for the average hourly wage for personal trainers, at a pricey $27.25. However, it still ranks in the top 20 of the study for fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments, at 105.
10. Ithaca, NY
A whopping 14.5% of residents of Ithaca, New York walk or bike to work, the second-highest percentage in this study for this metric. Ithaca finishes eighth in terms of fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments with 114. It is very expensive to get help with fitness in Ithaca, though. The average hourly wage for a personal trainer is $29.30, finishing third-worst out of 301 metro areas in this study for its high cost.
Data and Methodology
To find the most fitness-friendly places in the country for 2021, we examined data for 301 metro areas across the following five metrics:
Percentage of residents who walk or bike to work. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
Concentration of fitness professionals. This is the number of fitness professionals per 10,000 workers. Our list of fitness professionals includes dietitians and nutritionists, recreational therapists, athletic trainers as well as fitness trainers and aerobics instructors. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics and is for May 2019.
Concentration of fitness establishments. This is the number of fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments. Our list of fitness establishments includes sporting goods stores and fitness and recreational sports centers. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2018 Metro Area Business Patterns Survey.
Concentration of fast-food restaurants. This is the percentage of restaurants that are limited-service establishments. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2018 Metro Area Business Patterns Survey.
Average hourly wage of personal trainers. Given the limited availability of direct data about the cost to consumers for personal training services, this metric acts as a proxy to indicate the relative affordability of hiring a personal trainer in a given metro area. Data comes from the BLS and is for May 2019.
First, we ranked each metro area in each metric. Then we found each placeâs average ranking, giving all metrics a full weight except for concentration of fast-food restaurants and average hourly wage of personal trainers, each of which received a half weight. Using this average ranking, we created our final score. The metro area with the highest average ranking received a score of 100, and the metro area with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.
Tips for a Fit and Financially Secure Life
Find the right financial fit. No matter what your fitness goals are, financially you want to make sure you are secure, and a financial advisor can help. Finding the right financial advisor doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Consider the health of your budget. If you live somewhere where fitness is expensive, make a budget so that you can work the price into your monthly spending.
Making bigger money moves? If youâre considering moving to one of the places we listed above, use SmartAssetâs tool to find out how much house you can afford before you make the big move.
Questions about our study? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
After five seasons in the front office for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, the former NBA center Vlade Divac was shown the door in August 2020.
Now Divac is divesting his real estate holdings in the capital city. He’s put his downtown Sacramento home on the market for $1.65 million.
Located just blocks away from the Kings’ downtown arena, it’s an awesome option for a buyer looking for a classic home in the middle of an urban setting.
The charming three-bedroom residence offers 3,371 square feet and was built way back in 1900. Since then, the single family abode has been renovated and now features a classic facade with an all-modern interior.
According to the listing, âThe owners have paid attention to period details, while bringing modern functionality and style.â
High ceilings throughout the home offer an airy and spacious feel. The modern kitchen features an island with double ovens, and high-end finishes and appliances.
Upstairs, you’ll find three bedroomsâall bathed in natural light. The home’s basement has a separate entrance and offers a âstudio-type layout and a spacious bathroom.â
Around the rear of the home is a garage, currently configured as a home gym, with a bonus space for meditation or yoga.
A gorgeous, private backyard has an extensive tiled patio area and offers a hot tub ideal for an evening soak.
This luxury home is located about 2 miles from the arena and would be a brisk 35-minute walk to work.
Divac purchased the downtown digs in April 2018 for $910,000 in the middle of his tenure as the general manager of the Kings.
He’s also lived in the neighboring Sacramento County town of Carmichael. In 2016, Carmichael’s Chamber of Commerce named him “Person of the Year.”
His former residence in Pacific Palisades recently sold again in November, for $3,436,000. He had purchased the property in 2004 for $2.5 million and sold it in 2015 for $2,711,500.
Divac, 52, made his NBA debut with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1989, and was a part of the first wave of players to come to the league from the former Yugoslavia. The Serbian 7-footer played for 16 seasons in the NBA and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019.
Nev KordicÂ withÂ Coldwell Banker Realty is representing Divac with the sale.
The post Fired by the Kings, Vlade Divac Selling $1.65M Home in Downtown Sacramento appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Credit cards for foodies are the latest trend, with more and more rewards programs and additional card benefits catering to both dining in and eating out. Restaurant and grocery bonus categories are becoming commonplace â letting cardholders rack up a few extra points or cash back on those purchases.
But what about those who prefer to order delivery? If you like to take advantage of popular food delivery services like DoorDash or Uber Eats or simplify cooking with a meal kit subscription, there are plenty of credit card rewards and benefits you can leverage to save a little money.
Finding the best card for your favorite services
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Finding the best card for your favorite food delivery or meal kit service depends on a variety of factors, including the cardâs yearly credits, special perks or rewards rate. For example, many dining cards offer bonuses that are tailored to a specific delivery service, as a monthly Uber credit.
See related: Food delivery perks on luxury travel cards
For meal kit services, matching rewards is a little more complicated. You could opt for a rewarding grocery card, as many meal kit brands are now partnered with major supermarkets â so you can buy them in the store.
Alternatively, a card that earns rewards on dining or online shopping can help you get rewards on both food delivery and meal kits. Earning dining rewards can be complicated, as not all delivery services have a merchant category code that qualifies for a point or cash back bonus. You can test it by making a small charge to your card and seeing what rewards you earn.
Online shopping rewards, on the other hand, are much more flexible. They apply to both web and app purchases, so whether your order from your phone or computer, you can rack up bonus points or cash back.
Best cards by delivery service or meal kit subscription
With all this in mind, here are some of our favorite cards for some of the most popular food delivery and meal kit subscription services.
Why we like it
Chase Sapphire Reserve
10 points per dollar on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
3 points per dollar on travel and restaurants (excluding purchases covered by $300 travel credit)
1 point per dollar on general purchases
Generous rate on dining purchases
Receive a yearly statement credit for DoorDash purchases ($60 in 2020 and $60 in 2021)
Get at least one free year of DashPass when you enroll with your card (activate by Dec. 31, 2021)
The Platinum CardÂ® from American Express
10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months of card membership
5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
5 points per dollar on eligible hotels booked with amextravel.com (starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
1 point per dollar on general purchases
Get up to $200 in Uber credits per year ($15 per month, plus an extra $20 in December), which can be applied to Uber Eats
Up to 12 months of complimentary Uber Eats Pass when you enroll before Dec. 31, 2021
Automatic Uber VIP membership (where available) without ride requirements
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
8% cash back on Vivid Seats tickets (through January 2022)
4% cash back on dining and entertainment
2% cash back at grocery stores
1% cash back on all other purchases
Top-tier cash back on restaurant delivery, including most delivery services
Grocery bonus category includes eligible grocery delivery services, including Instacart
As a Mastercard, offers complimentary a 2-month Instacart Express membership if enrolled before March 31, 2021
American ExpressÂ® Gold Card
4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, including Uber Eats orders
4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1 point)
3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
1 point per dollar on other purchases
Enroll to receive up to $10 in statement credits per month (up to $120 per year) to use at participating restaurants, including Grubhub, Seamless and Boxed
Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year ($10 per month), which can be applied to U.S. Uber Eats orders (Gold card must be added to the Uber app)
Up to 12 months of complimentary Uber Eats Pass when you enroll before Dec. 31, 2021 (Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at then-current monthly rate)
Excellent rewards on grocery delivery services, such as Instacart
Blue Cash PreferredÂ® Card from American Express
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%)
6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit purchases
1% cash back on general purchases
Generous rate on U.S. supermarket purchases (HelloFresh meal kits are sold in supermarkets such as H-E-B and Giant Food) and eligible grocery delivery services, such as Instacart
Unlimited 3% cash back on delivery purchases from ride-share services, like Uber and Lyft
Blue Cash EverydayÂ® Card from American Express
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
1% cash back general purchases
Generous rate on U.S. supermarket purchases (Home Chef meal kits are sold in select Kroger locations)
Other delivery services
Bank of AmericaÂ® Cash Rewards credit card
3% cash back on a category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvements and furnishings)
2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
$2,500 combined limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter
1% cash back on other purchases
Generous rate on online shopping purchases (if you select it as your 3% category) and good rate at grocery stores
Can swap choice 3% category monthly to account for different delivery services. For instance, the dining category rewards Grubhub purchases and the travel category rewards ride share purchases from services like Uber
If you donât have a delivery service you prefer â or if you like to switch back and forth based on restaurant availability â a card with rewards on online shopping is your best bet.
Ordering food can be expensive, but using the right rewards card can help you alleviate some of that cost by racking up points or cash back. With some cards, you might even get a few extras that cover your next couple of meals.
The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t a catalyst to shift businesses toward digital transformation, it merely sped up the process. Businesses needed to scramble to move much of their operations online so workers could efficiently collaborate with each other and maintain business continuity during a difficult time.
Fortunately, departments not traditionally associated with the digital universe, like Bookkeeping, had an easier time adapting thanks to online services like Bookstime.com, a provider of digital bookkeeping tools with unique experience in difficult areas like sales tax automation, health benefits administration, and more.
Advantages of digital bookkeeping
Keeping track of every business transaction is among the most important and perhaps underappreciated tasks. Failure to keep track of transactions in a professional manner can result in a business owner making wrong decisions because they have inaccurate information.
Even worse, they might think they end the year with a profit but in reality, a bunch of small bookkeeping mistakes over several months means the business owner really lost money.
A shift to a digital platform eliminates these concerns. Online digital platforms make use of the most up-to-date accounting automation software that erases nearly every careless mistake. This is especially useful for a business owner who does the tedious but necessary job of bookkeeping themselves to save money. The more time a business owner spends on ancillary tasks, the less time they have to generate revenue and keep clients happy.
Some of the other advantages associated with going online include:
Eliminating clutter: keeping a clean home office is challenging enough but a digital platform means more space for higher priority files.
Save time: A digital bookkeeping platform is always available online with a few short clicks of the mouse. It can be accessed as needed and when needed in a few short seconds.
Environmental benefits: It isn’t unusual for a company to use at least 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Shifting resources online may seem like a small benefit but everyone has a responsibility to do a little bit more to protect our environment.
Case in point: Fill in a W-4
Every business owner is happy to hire new workers because it means they are expected to provide value to the company above and beyond their salary. But that doesn’t mean that the formal process is enjoyable.
One of the more undesirable parts of the hiring process is the pesky W-4 form that every employer has to ensure is properly filled in before a worker’s first day. Simply put, the W-4 form confirms how much income tax a worker wants to have withheld from their recurring paychecks. Under-withholding taxes means a worker will likely experience a shock come tax season as they owe money to the government. Over-withholding taxes means a worker is paying the government too much money and has to wait for a refund.
Digital bookkeeping can help simplify this process so you're less prone to errors. When other people’s finances are at stake, small careless mistakes could impact a worker’s desire to give the business owner 100% of their focus.
Businesses that shifted their bookkeeping process online to better navigate through the pandemic quickly realized this was a move that should have been done years ago. The advantages of having access to a clean and organized online tool far outweigh the costs.
Months (and months) of grading papers, bringing work home on the weekends, staying on-point for all those young minds you’ve been charged with educating and finally… summer is here! It’s time to put your feet up and relax for a well-earned break from your awesome, and often intense, teaching career. But wait. How do teachers budget with no paycheck during the summer?
The summer paycheck gap doesn’t need to be a cause of stress for educators. You just need to put a plan in place to cover your finances for the months that school is out of session. You can follow these guidelines to create a summer budgeting plan that works for you:
Spread your income over 12 months
Bobby Hoyt, a former teacher and personal finance blogger at Millennial Money Man, says the beginning of the school year is always a “crazy time” for teachers. Your best bet to cover the summer paycheck gap is to have a budget in place well in advance of the bell on the first day of school.
To start, check to see if your school offers a year-round payment option. This would allow you to opt-in prior to the beginning of the school year to have your paychecks spread out over 12 months instead of the 10 or so months that you are working. “That way you’ll have a consistent paycheck no matter what time of the year it is,” says Kristin Larsen, personal finance blogger at Believe in a Budget. Even though your monthly pay will be lower with year-round paychecks, it could be easier to create a financial plan and manage the summer paycheck gap with the predictable cash flow.
If your school doesn’t offer this type of program or if you prefer to collect your standard paychecks and spread them out to accommodate summer, you can create your own 12-month paycheck plan to manage the summer paycheck gap. First, divide your annual income by the amount of months you receive paychecks. If you earn $57,000 a year and work for 10 months, for example, you’ll arrive at $5,700. Next, divide your annual income by 12 months, which in this example, would be $4,750. Finally, calculate the difference between those numbers. In this case, it’s $950. This is how much you would need to set aside from your monthly income to provide for two months of the same pay during the summer. You’re essentially putting money aside so you can give yourself a paycheck during your time off.
“Then, you’ll want to sit down and create a budget and find where you need to cut back and where you can still do the things you enjoy,” Hoyt says.
See if your school offers a year-round payment option. This would allow you to opt-in prior to the beginning of the school year to have your paychecks spread out over 12 months instead of the 10 or so months that you are working.
Calculate your standard expenses and summer extras
If you’re a teacher living with no paycheck during the summer, Hoyt suggests figuring out how much money you’ll need in the summer months to cover your standard living expenses. Think housing, utilities, groceries and transportation. The stuff you can’t live without. If you don’t have a baseline for your essential expenses, keep track of what you spend for at least three months, or sort through old credit card transactions and bank account activity by month. This should help you get a clearer idea of the minimum amount needed to cover your bills and and basic living costs. A summer budget tip for teachers is to use your highest expense month to forecast your summer costs so you don’t have to stress about coming up short, Larsen says.
Another summer budget tip for teachers is to anticipate discretionary seasonal expenses. Let’s face itâthere’s a lot of fun to be had over the summer, and the cost of extra activities and travel can really add up. Quickly. Luxury vacation or the summer festival circuit, anyone? Estimate how much you’ll need for your summer extras, and add those to the living expenses mentioned above. If any of your summer expenses recur annuallyâlike a standing trip with family or friendsâuse what you’ve spent in past years to arrive at how much you’ll need this time.
Whether you receive summer income from a year-round payment program or set aside money monthly to combat the summer paycheck gap, there’s a chance that your total summer expenses may exceed your summer paychecks. Read on for more summer budget tips for teachers that can help you plan for this difference.
Stash summer expenses in a separate account
If you’re stashing money away monthly to avoid the summer paycheck gap, creating a separate summer fund to contribute to throughout the year can be an effective summer budget tip for teachers. You could hold the portion of your paycheck you have set aside for summer in this fund, and look for other creative ways to add savings to the account. Bonus: If you put your summer paychecks and additional summer savings in a separate account, it may be easier to avoid the temptation to withdrawal for other expenses during the school year.
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Consider parking your summer funds in a high-yield online savings account so you can earn interest while you work your way through the school year. If you plan ahead and won’t need to withdraw your funds for a specific amount of time (say 12 months), you could earn even more interest with a certificate of deposit.
Create a financial cushion
In addition to the money accumulating in your fund for the summer paycheck gap, it’s important to also have an emergency fund, Hoyt says. An emergency fund is just thatâa fund that is set aside strictly for emergencies, like car repairs or medical bills you didn’t anticipate. “It’s always wise to have an emergency fund, but especially if you have gaps in income,” adds Larsen, from Believe in a Budget.
While experts typically recommend saving at least three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund, you can start small and add as your budget allows. Any cash set aside in an emergency fund will be helpful if an unexpected bill or expense comes your way, especially if it’s during the summer paycheck gap.
Consider a side hustle
If you think your summer paychecks and extra savings are going to fall a little short of your summer expenses, “consider a summer side hustle to pay for the extras that can come with warmer weather,” Larsen says. With no paycheck during the summer, a side hustle can be a good way to funnel more cash into your summer fund account.
According to Hoytâwho actually started his website as a side hustle when he was a band directorâmany teachers can use their skill set for side hustles related to their profession. For example, teachers can offer private lessons or tutoring within their areas of expertise. Teachers can also pursue unrelated side hustles, like flipping items in online marketplaces to bring in more money in anticipation of no paycheck during the summer.
A side hustle may also be a perfect opportunity to explore a new venture, especially when there’s no paycheck during the summer. Hoyt says a side hustle can even provide a route to a new career path. “The skills that teachers pick up throughout their careerâdealing with people, managing a high workload, having high standards for excellenceâtend to translate extremely well into entrepreneurialism,” Hoyt says.
Make it a summer to enjoy
Teaching has its challenges, but it also comes with the major perk of having some of the best months of the year off. Planning ahead and implementing these summer budget tips for teachers will help make sure that these hard-earned months of vacation are truly an enriching time.
The post Teachers: How to Survive the Summer Paycheck Gap appeared first on Discover Bank – Banking Topics Blog.