Archive for October, 2007
I decided today to go to my psychology class. It has been a week since I have gone – I really haven’t had any interest to go. Unfortunately, we need some elective courses to get a degree, and this one is one of my choices this year. So, I try to show up a little over half the time so that I can keep track of where we are.
Well, after attending class, I see that we are on the section on learning abilities. Today’s lecture was covering people who are dyslexics. It is definitely an interesting topic as my best friend since grade seven is dyslexic.
The professor covered what dyslexia is, dyslexic symptoms and other methods of detection. We learned to that there are different dyslexia tests available to help determine the severity of a patients condition.
Next class they are supposed to be covering the steps needed to train someone to overcome this disability. Since there is a quiz at the end of the week, I will be attending that class too…. can’t wait…
Well, I just got home from the bank. You see, I went there to talk to a banker about my mortgage.
It has been nearly four years now since I bought my house and there are some things I want to do to it. The bathroom needs some improvement as well as we were thinking of adding a garage to our home. The housing market here has been increasing as well, so we wanted to take out some of the money out of our home.
We sat down and discussed my options. In my case, to get the money out of my home for improvements as well as the increased value, we applied for a home equity loan. It took a little while to fill out the papers but we got it done.
He also let me know that I had to come in next year to renew my mortgage – and I should consider doing a home refinance as the interest rates are lower now.
I thanked him for his time and he let me know he would call me when he found out about the loan. My wife and I will be going out tonight to go look at bathroom stuff. I can’t wait!
Well, I want to challenge you all with a task. Sure, you read the blog but how many ever ask you for a call to action? Well, here it is – a call to action. Now you might ask me what this is about, why you would want to, and what benefit will you receive for accepting the challenge.
Basically the challenge here will save you some money. It may be a little, it might be a lot, but it will depend on you and your situation. It also won’t take a lot of time and you can do it when you have a free minute.
Alright. I challenge you to three things. The first is I challenge you to make your money work harder for you.
Well, that is easy. It would be as simple as looking online for the best savings accounts – you are looking for one with high interest and little or no fees (yes there are ones out there that have no fees – I have one of them). This way, when you do have money sitting around, it will earn you the most interest possible. Sure, it won’t make you rich, but it will help your money hold its’ ground against inflation.
The second challenge would be that I challenge you to compare credit cards to the ones you have. Now, the idea here is to save yourself some money on interest or fees, as well as get the best bang for your buck. Some suggestions for those of you who carry a balance on your credit card month after month would be to get a 0% interest or low interest card. For those of you who don’t carry a balance a cash back or rewards based card would be a good choice for you. Just find something that fits your spending and repayment habits.
Lastly, I urge you to compare car insurance. I know that you probably have heard enough about this one if you watch television, but it is important. With the heavy competition in this industry, you can usually pay less than what you paid last year – every year. Quite a few of the major companies also allow you to view their quotes and the quotes from their competition in one convenient place.
Are you up to this challenge? Like I said, for the little time you spend doing it, you will see more money stay in your pocket – you just have to decide if it is worth your time.
I always figured a loan was a loan. If you needed money, you could borrow it under some sort of terms and that would be called a loan. At least, that was the definition that I had in my head.
My friends didn’t seem to know any better. Some of my buddies who had loans in the past didn’t give them special names, rather they used loans as a blanket term to describe the financing.
Well, my whole world was turned upside down when I went to college. I thought I was really smart in my finance class when I told everyone that whether you were borrowing to buy a house, a car, or renovating your home, the product you needed was called a loan. After a quick chuckle, the professor proceeded to tell us:
"There are many types of loans."
We touched on many of them in class: mortgages, secured homeowner loans (that is usually used for renovations), and unsecured loans (like a car loan). I walked out of that class with a bit of a headache – I never realized that it was so complicated. I am going to have to review my notes to get a grasp on the subject. At least now, when I go get a car loan at some point, I won’t sound so stupid
I have a friend that has made some good money over the past five years since he left college. He was almost out of debt and things were going good. He especially loved his career and him and his wife were thinking of starting a family.
That is until he got in an accident.
I can still remember the night of September 5, 2003. My buddy was driving home after a long day of work an was hit on the drivers side by a drunk driver. The drunk driver was killed instantly but my friend was not so lucky. It ended up most of his bones were broken and he was in a coma.
They took him to the hospital and for the next year he underwent surgery after surgery to try and repair the damage. In the meantime his employer let him go. Financially they were in trouble with all their credit cards and lines of credit at the max. They sold pretty much everything they had, but the bills still came. It came to the point where they had to declare bankruptcy and lose everything except for their house.
Fast forward to last week. Bruce had to go renew his mortgage on his home – but to his dismay he found it wasn’t as easy as it had been before he went bankrupt. Mortgages issued to people post bankruptcy are different than what you and I would get – there are a few more hoops to jump through. His banker explained to him that his case was a bad credit remortgage and that banks were a little more cautious dealing with these loans.
He left his appointment a little disheartened. They had a baby on the way and they didn’t know what they would do if the bank didn’t approve them. Luckily a few days later, they got a phone call and found out everything is ok. I am so happy for them.
I have an appointment on Friday to go talk to a banker at my bank about credit cards. You see, my mailbox has been full of credit card offers lately, and I have finally decided to give it a little more thought. With so many options out there, sometimes it is hard to decide which one to get.
I realized that my banker would only be a specialist in their products – but I wanted to make an informed choice. I thought I could go online and compare credit cards from my bank to those offered by the other banks in town. This way I would have some idea as to what to expect as well as know what the competition was offering and maybe get a better deal.
I found many websites online that talked about credit cards. What I was really looking for was a website that dealt with my locale and also was about the type of credit card I was looking for: a cashback credit card.
I found a few sites that would work specifically for me and printed off some information. I am going to take it with me when I go talk to my banker on Friday – both to see if I am getting a good deal with my bank, and also to see if I can get a better rate on the card they offer me. At least now, after doing this research, I will know what I am talking about.
My wife and I wanted to redo our bathroom. The tub was chipped and rusty, the linoleum was peeling and the mirror was broken. Not to mention the ugly floral print wallpaper on the wall too. We have been in this house for about seven years now and it is time for a change.
Thing is we don’t have a lot of money. Not enough for a project of this scope. From what we have seen checking out prices in stores and such, that we will need about $10,000 to get our project done.
So we decided to get a loan. Unsure of what type of loan to get, we have been online for the last few nights using the Internet to compare loans. Originally we thought we would just get a personal loan – but after some research we found that it wasn’t the right type for us.
Instead we found secured personal loans to be what we were looking for. We could use the equity in our home to get financing and take a long time (as long as our current mortgage) to repay it. This way, we wouldn’t be paying too much for monthly payments that would crimp our lifestyle.
We filled out an application online and are waiting to hear back from the lender. I am hoping we find out before the weekend so that we can get this project started.
I recently received an email from a close friend of mine. Inside his email I found a large number of strange news headlines. They covered most of the popular topics such as music gossip, politics, and world news. Reading this email warmed me to the idea that weird is good (not that I am not a little weird myself ).
After coming home from work I still had a "weird" feeling in my head (horrible attempt at humor). So, after supper, I decided to sit down at my computer and look for some strange news blogs. Why blogs? Well, I figured that I was most likely to find a centralized place with all the weird news in one spot.
I sure did find a lot of weird news blogs. Seems other people found the headlines to be interesting and created some blogs about it.
Fast forward two hours.
Well… I am still working on this blog post, and still reading weird articles. Man! I am hooked. So much for getting anything done tonight…
You may have heard some buzz about the newest text link ads marketplace on the Internet: TNX.net.
What they offer is quite simple: it is a place either to buy or sell links on your website. What makes them unique is that they take care of finding you places to buy advertising or people to sell your advertising spots with their software. No longer are you forced to browse site by site, and spend a large amount of time trying to find a good place to advertise your website.
Have a new site? Well, you will benefit from the simplicity even more. Go from zero to promoted in about five minutes of your time, helping you to rank well for the keywords that you are focusing your marketing efforts on.
You can also get some free marketing by participating in their affiliate program. You can earn advertising credit when people you refer to their service either buy links or sell links on their websites. This can be an easy was for you to promote your site without spending any money out of your pocket.
I would suggest checking TNX.net out. There is currently a great offer where you can test drive their service for free. Check out this forum post with a great text link ad offer.
There are quite a few successful real estate firms in our city. They are all the traditional franchise names that we have come to know. Today though, I wanted to think outside of the box and find some successful property firms that we don’t have here in North America – this would be my little experiment for today.
I decided the easiest way to do my quest would be to use a computer. The advantage going this route would be I would get results quickly – no reading through books required.
After performing a few searches I ran into a roadblock: quite a few of the sites I came across were not in English. I changed my criteria to be sites that are only in English and tried my search again. After trying a couple more searches I came up with a country: South Africa.
I chose them partly because they are so far away from us and because their sites were in English. Searching again, I found two major successful real estate firms in South Africa: Pam Golding International and Seeff Properties.
Both of them started out as small businesses and grew to what they are today. Both employ hundreds of staff and have over a hundred branches in the country.
Alright, I am going to go read about them. If you have been intrigued here, don’t feel free to make a search and check them out for yourself.