Archive for November, 2017

Retire early – Mid course corrections – Save money now

We were actually thinking of writing this post for a retirement blog that we also run,(you can find it here), but then we thought that the idea of saving money fits well with this blog. The idea is to reduce expenses by doing a lot of your own maintenance and renovations around your home. If you can save even more money, you can retire early, take a trip or buy a new car. The main message is that you have far more flexibility about the decisions you can make. Retire early – mid course corrections is all about what changes you can make in your lifestyle to spend less and save for the future, whatever it is.

If you do retire early, life is going to throw curve balls at you which will or should cause you to re-evaluate what you need to do to keep your retirement as pleasant as possible. You may need to have money for unexpected expenses later in life which will cause these mid course corrections.

Retire early – Mid course corrections

This is a lost of mid course corrections that many people can consider. If you have others that make sense to add, let us know by leaving a comment. Pick and choose those that make sense for your family and your personal situation. Here is the list that we have so far along with the percentage of people who indicated they were interested in this area:

  • Make healthier food and exercise choices to save money later: 91%
  • Cut back on daily expenses: 90%
  • Reduce everyday leisure: 82%
  • Limit or cut back on donations to charities: 77%
  • Volunteer more and give monetary donations less: 75%
  • Work part-time in retirement: 75%
  • Downsize to a smaller home: 75%
  • Reduce or eliminate financial support to children: 70%
  • Purchase long-term care insurance: 68%
  • Move to a less expensive area: 67%
  • Postpone taking Social Security: 64% (though 60% said they’d “take Social Security as early as they can” — puzzling)
  • Develop a hobby into an income source: 62%
  • Reduce financial support to parents or in-laws: 59%
  • Take a housemate or become a housemate: 28%
  • Rent a room or part of my home on a short-term basis: 27%
  • Turn my car into a source of income: 24%

Whether it is renting out part of your home through AirBNB, VRBO or using your car to run an Urber business, there are many ways to earn a little extra income. Some people will start hobbies that they can turn into a small business.

Many will work online from home on various blogs like this one to earn extra income. It can be very emotional and difficult, but cutting support to your kids or to your parents, might be a big change or mid course direction to make.

Cutting back on daily expenses covers all sorts of areas. This could mean doing your own repairs and renovations as well as limiting or decreasing your entertainment expenses.

Notice that throughout this post that we do not say stop these areas. Instead we use words like reduce, cutting back and doing things that will help you spend less money and live more carefully.

Make a personal list that can help you achieve your own objectives for saving money and perhaps retire early as well. It will be worth it in the long run.

 


Duct Cleaning Scam or Not

How many calls do you get every month for duct cleaning services? We receive at least one per week and we just hang up on these guys. However there may be situations where you should consider having your ducts cleaned. But should you have one of these companies clean your ducts? Lets first talk about whether you need to have your ducts cleaned in the first place, then how to deal with these callers. Most ducts do not look like the one in the picture. If yours does, then definitely have have your ducts cleaned. We suggest that you check your ducts first and then make a decision.

Do You need Duct Cleaning

If you keep your home spotless, do not have pets and have not had any major renovation work completed around your home, you may not need duct cleaning. Any time you do renovations, dust is generated. If the AC or the heating system is running, this dust will be drawn into the duct system, onto the heating system elements and the cooling coils. Some will be captured by your filter but not all.

Another situation where duct cleaning is needed is when you move into a brand new home. We had ours cleaned and they found dust of course, but also cigarette butts, coke cans and cigarette packs.

Consumers who have pets may also need to have their ducts cleaned from time to time. Hair and dander is drawn into the system and adheres to metal surfaces.

Dealing with Duct Cleaning Calls

While many of these companies may be legitimate, some are not. Many will offer a great deal over the phone, however when they arrive at your home, they will try to up sell you on additional services or based on the size of your heating system.

Ask for references, review web sites, read reviews as part of your decision process. Avoid agreeing to duct cleaning services over the phone without doing some investigation first.

In addition verify what they will actually clean. All ducts both cold air return and heating ducts, vents, grilles, heating and AC components should be on the list. If they are going to open the furnace compartment, they should know what they are doing. Verify credentials before you allow them into your home.

While duct cleaning may be needed, consumers can save themselves a lot of money by keeping their homes spotless and avoiding dust and pollen from entering the home. for more information on keeping your furnace running efficiently, click here.


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