Cove Real Estate



Posted by Cove Real Estate on 7/21/2017

Whether you call it a "rainy day fund" or a "financial cushion", having some money set aside for emergencies or unexpected expenses can help keep life on an even keel.

Although health insurance and a homeowners' policy can provide a measure of protection, insurance deductibles can take a large bite out of your bank account.

In addition to all the predictable expenses that accompany home ownership, mechanical systems like furnaces, hot water heaters, and air conditioning units have a way of breaking down at the most inopportune times. Another crisis that many people aren't prepared for is the potential loss of a job. When families don't have money set aside to weather the storm of an unplanned income loss, then there's no "safety net" to cushion the fall.

Strategies For Saving Money

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to build up financial reserves, but it often requires self discipline, a new set of habits, and the intention to make it happen. One of the first steps to putting some money aside for a rainy day is to open up a separate bank account. If you put extra money in your regular account -- or (even worse) keep it around the house -- chances are it will get spent pretty quickly. However, if it's deposited into a separate account that's designated for emergencies, unexpected household expenses, or even a college fund, then it'll stand a greater chance of being left alone until it's needed. Putting money aside does take some doing, but it can contribute to your family's financial security and ability to do things that are important to you.

If you have a tight budget, you're probably wondering where this extra money is going to come from! Sometimes, the very act of developing a written budget can provide you with clues and ideas for reducing your expenses. You'd also be amazed at how much the savings can add up when you comparison shop, buy in bulk, use coupons, negotiate lower interest charges on your credit cards, quit smoking, car pool to work, cut back on restaurant food, and make up your mind to live just a little more frugally.

Depending on how committed you are to creating a financial cushion, you could also make the fund grow faster by depositing a percentage of Christmas bonuses, tax refunds, manufacturer rebates, salary increases (raises), and other sources of extra income. Additional ways to beef up your financial safety net could include getting a part-time job, doing freelance work, holding a garage sale, or selling unwanted items through ads or flyers. When you pay off credit cards, car loans, or other debts, you could also redirect some or all of those monthly payments into your "future needs fund."

Whatever you decide to call it, it's nice to know that there's some extra money on hand for unexpected expenses, emergencies, potential job losses, college tuition, weddings, family vacations, home renovations, nursing home costs, or even retirement.






Posted by Cove Real Estate on 6/2/2017

Everyone knows it's a bad idea to go grocery shopping when you're hungry, but we all do it occasionally!

Going to the supermarket on an empty stomach not only causes you to spend more, but it weakens your resolve to avoid foods with empty calories and unhealthy ingredients. When hunger pangs undermine your self discipline, you may also be more likely to buy a jumbo bag of potato chips, pick up a block of cheese and some crackers along the way, and maybe order a pound of Genoa salami while at the deli counter.

Then, of course, there are all those chocolatey temptations at the checkout counter -- peanut butter cups, for example! Maybe you're stronger willed than that, but I know plenty of people who are not!

Although I haven't read any scientific studies on the topic, I'd make an educated guess that when you go grocery shopping hungry, there's a tendency to buy more food than you ordinarily would -- probably to compensate for your hunger. So perhaps having a healthy snack first or going grocery shopping after breakfast or lunch would be a good strategy for avoiding the pitfalls of food shopping on an empty stomach.

Here are a few more ideas for saving money and limiting junk food purchases:

  • Create a grocery list and stick to it! That's often easier said than done, but it can make a big difference in the quantity and quality of food you buy. Impulse purchases may provide immediate gratification, but they can wreak havoc on your waistline and your budget.
  • Avoid bringing your children grocery shopping, whenever possible. When childcare is not available, there's no way around it. However, with kids in tow, expect to be buying "a few" additional items that you hadn't planned on. Try as we might to resist the requests, suggestions, and demands our kids make at the grocery store, it's not unusual for a parent's resolve to weaken -- especially if they happen to be tired or stressed out. A lot depends on the age of your children, how persistent they are, and whether they're hungry when you're out food shopping. Many factors come into play!
  • Using coupons and taking advantage of discounts, special promotions, and two-for-one sales can noticeably reduce your grocery bill and, consequently, leave more money in your wallet. It may require that you pore over weekly newspaper inserts, clip coupons, and keep them organized, but getting in that habit can help reduce the strain on your household budget. It also pays to shop at supermarkets that offer double coupons. They're often the ones that are the most competitive and willing to help you stretch your dollar.

So if you've been noticing more junk food appearing in your kitchen cabinets, and your grocery bill seems to be taking on a life of its own, consider some of these economical ideas to help reign things in.





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 6/28/2013

Times are tough for everyone and saving everytime you go to the store can really add up. Most people don't realize the true value of a coupon, or how to use them to their full advantage. With a little bit of time, on average you could save 20-30% during each grocery shopping trip and 50-100% each time you go to the drug store. The trick with getting more bang for your buck is matching coupons with the weekly sales at the supermarkets and drug stores. For example, shampoo is on sale for buy one get one free, and you have a coupon for $1.00 off 1 item. If the shampoo retails for $5.00 you will get 2 shampoos for $3.00 (2 @ $5.00 - $2 off in coupons). That's a savings of $7.00! This applies to any item you would buy at the supermarket or drug store. And by stocking up on an item when it's sale price plus coupons make it a great deal, help you to avoid running out and having to pay full price. In addition, some stores have additional savings such as doubling the value of a coupon, or in store coupons that you can use with a manufacters coupon. For example: Walgreens has Bonus Rewards were you earn points on products you buy that add up to money off future items. CVS has Extra Bucks which are like cash off your total. Both drug stores have their own in store coupons (CVS prints theirs on the bottom the receipt or from the kiosk in stores, Walgreens has a monthly coupon book) which can be used with a manufacter's coupon. Find a good week, there is potential to use a manfacuter's coupon, an instore coupon and Extra Bucks on a sale item to get it pennies (at CVS for example)!!! There are a variety of websites that can help you get started as well as give you guidance on what coupons you may have to match with the sales. To name a few: www.couponmom.com, www.hip2save.com, and www.coupondivas.com are great places to start. The savings are endless, you just have to reach out and grab them!




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Cove Real Estate on 12/14/2012

The cost of heating can really take a toll on us over the colder fall and winter months. Having a programmable thermostat can help in cutting heating costs and still staying warm. But just having one isn't enough - you need to know how to use it to its full potential! Programmable thermostats have the ability to be programmed so that you can have multiple temperature settings through out the day. The benefit of this, is not having to think about turning down the heat before you leave for work, or cranking it up when you get home. Instead, you get heating at the exact temperature you want, when you want. So what temperatures should you set it to exactly? While you are home and awake, setting it to 68 degrees is a pretty standard temperature. While you are away from home, or sleeping, reducing it to 58 degrees should be tolerable. Of course, reducing the temperature even more than that while you are out of the house is possible, just don't make it too low and freeze your water pipes. Reducing your thermometer by 10-15 degrees for 8 hours (like while you are at work) you can save 5-15% off your heating bill. So the benefits can really pay off for reducing your heat while you are at work. For example: if you pay $200 a month in heating, reducing the heat by 15 degrees during the day will save $10-$30 a month which can add up to $60-$180 for the year if you use the heat for 6 months. Finding ways to cut costs is important to everyone during tough economic times. Every penny counts. So add this money saving tip to your list and you could start racking up the savings.