Showing posts with label frugal 15. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frugal 15. Show all posts

Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 Steps to Get the Best Mortgage

5 Ways to Get the Best Mortgage

1) Do Your Research - Before you even step into a house you should have an idea what current interest rates are. Do a little internet research and ask friends and family what types of interest rates they got. You can use this to inform yourself as to what to expect when walking into an appointment with a mortgage broker. It will help you to know if a rate you are offered is good, bad or average from what you have seen with your research. Be mindful that these rates are always changing as well.

2) Get lower rates by having a larger down payment. This also may influence the price of house you are seeking.

3) Get pre approved for a loan at a place that is close, easy and accessible. You do not need to end up using that pre approved loan for your mortgage; it just gets you in the door to view houses. (We chose Chase Bank because it was easy and you can even do it over the phone!)

4) Shop around!!! When we secured our mortgage I went to at least five different places to get quotes. I paired this with research I had done and knew what offers were good and which weren't. Also, by accident I found that bringing all of the folders from potential lenders with me as I went place to place really caught the attention of the lenders. They knew I was shopping around and I felt as though they knew they needed to be more competitive to get my business. I ended up having a couple of places get into a little bit of a bidding war to get my business and I came out on the better end of that!

5) Refinance for a lower rate. Depending on the time left on your loan it is a great idea to refinance. A lot of people I talk to hate all of the "work" they have to do in order to do so. There are fees so you really need to look at whether or not you end up saving money. When refinancing we ended up saving $3,000 over the life of a loan. It doesn't sound like a lot when you look at the monthly change, however, it was the easiest $3,000 I have ever made/saved.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Grocery Savings

One of the largest portions of our budget as a family is groceries. The price of groceries can add up very quickly especially due to the fact that we are fairly conscientious about trying to purchase organic products whenever possible. This in itself is a financial investment because paying a little more for our fruits and veggies should cost less than potential health problems later due to health hazards related to pesticides and potentially harmful GMOs.

My wife does a majority of the shopping during the school year and I hit the store some more during the summer due to my profession as a teacher. One thing that she has done is she has made a spreadsheet with prices of common items we purchase and where they are cheapest. The main businesses that we shop at which are included on the list are Costco, Meijer, Aldi, and a co-op of Country Life Natural foods. Please note that these shopping options are in the Grand Rapids, MI area. A great idea for a family trying to save money is to make their own spreadsheet with the stores they commonly shop. Then you can easily update prices at each place as you shop using a smart phone.

Here is the spreadsheet that she uses! Feel free to print it off and use it too!

Here is a screen shot example of the spreadsheet but the link is the only way to get a great view.

Of course nothing beats a sale price so double check the sale price against your spreadsheet! You may notice that there is not a lot of animal product options on this list. This is due to the fact that we try to have a whole food/plant based diet for personal health reasons. We also will spend more if an organic option is available. This spreadsheet may be a great starting point for a family to save some money on common everyday items.

Before going shopping she also checks for coupons on  Meijer's M Perks and looks for deals on Saving Addiction

For more information about Country Life Natural foods check out this link:

Another resource that I have heard folks have success with but have not tried myself is the Retail me Not app:

Look forward to reading more about how to save even more money when grocery shopping!

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