Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to pay off your mortgage faster

Most people these days get 30 year mortgages,  and it is  crazy thing  to see the total amount of the loan being double what you are borrowing when you actually pay off your house.  
Therefore, paying off your mortgage faster essentially saves the borrower from having to pay such a monstrous amount of interest. 

Anything can reduce the outstanding principle at any given point, either by making bigger payments from time to time or more frequent payments in addition to regularly scheduled.  The goal is to accrue less  interest in between payments, as well as reduce the total time during which interests are accrued.

You should really have your house in finanical order per the Dave Ramsey  Total Money Makover baby steps including no other debt, retirement planning in place and an emergency fund. before you aggressively start paying off the mortgage.  

Increase Monthly Payments

Increasing the amount you pay at originally scheduled payment points whenever you can is something very easy to implement with your lender.
Your extra mortgage payment amount would be applied towards further reducing your outstanding principleand thus a less amount of money would be accruing interest.

When we first had our mortgage I  rounded  up my mortgage payment to the number $100.  So if my mortgage payment was $1235 I would pay $1300. 

Another option is simply divide what extra you want to pay per year and ad that to your monthly mortgage payment.

Make sure you lender knows that the extra payment will go towards reducing the principle or otherwise they will put it towards your next payment.  That doesn’t help you pay off the mortgage faster.

What can happen in some cases, is the extra amount you pay will go towards your next payment due rather than the principle.  This doesn’t help you pay down your principle faster.

Change Your Mortgage  to a Shorter Term Loan 

If you can really commit to making increased payments on a regular basis, shortening a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year loan would also save you about half of the interest and probably is the fastest way you could pay off your mortgage.  You should realy only do this is you have a large emergency fund or you can pay the mortgage  only one income if you are a two income family. Personally, I have never felt comfortable enough to make this switch. 

You could also pay extra in such a way that the payments you make would be what you would pay if you had a 15 year loan.
Use an online mortgage calculator to figure what your monthly mortgage would be if it were a 15 year rather than a 30 year and use that amount to pay monthly.  You’ve basically just created a 15 year loan that gives you some cushion if some months you can’t make the higher payment, as you have the 30 year payment to fall back on.

Refinance to a Lower Interest Rate Mortgage 

Interest Rates are a lot lower these days-think 2-3%  We lowered our rate several years back and kept it to a 30 year mortgage our monthy payment was a lot lower but I still paid the old payment.     You need to continue to pay the higher payment to pay off your loan faster.  One important thing, do not add any credit card or car debt into the mortgage. 

Our mortgage is expected to be paid off in 20 years from when originally purchased our house. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

my cheap backyard movie theater diy style

Here is a post from one of the biggest of the boys my dear hubby 

Five years ago , we planned the biggest best vacation for our kids: Disney. All the sites, The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Star Wars weekend  and all. What do you think they remembered most? Our hotel played movies by the pool during the evening hours. Splashing around with their new vacation friends while watching Disney movies is their fondest recollection of the trip. 

So I got to thinking, in my twisted way, how can I bring the magic of Disney home without spending $10K? Hmmm. How about a backyard theatre overlooking our above ground pool.   I am one of the guys that likes to do projects myself. Drives the wife crazy sometimes but she is often thankful since I do save money. 

Amazon has Outdoor Cinema kits ranging from $500  to over $1,000 There are custom manufacturers that’ll build a pro grade one for $100K+. Make sure any kit you select has all the little doo-dads that you need  for your own outdoor theatre.  You’ll need good sound system and speakers, a tuner, an interface for whatever format you choose (DVD, Svideo, TV, etc) , a large screen and stand, and the projector and it’s stand and lastly a DVD player or laptop, maybe some cabling to connect the TV.

There’s a great resource for the Do it yourselfers  out there: www.BackYardTheater.com .This is a huge depot of ideas, tips and sourcing for materials. You can shop around and cobble together an awesome custom system, piece by piece too. The downside here is: if you don’t know what you’re doing, a host of issues can crop up. The chief among them in my experience is compatibility of the equipment. A weak screen will make the images seem like ghosts in a cloud.  It took several tries and time and error to get this actually right over the years.  Too strong a speaker can vibrate the screen if it’s too close. A cheap sound system might not play certain files. That list can go on and on and on. 

One of the easiest things to build is the screen. Traditionally, a sheet strapped to 2x4’s has made up the most cost effective screen.   I was able to create on with PVC  pipes.
Here is what I did
  • get a 10 x 15 foot white tarp from lowes or home depot (about $40 dollars)  
  • create a frame out of pvc pipes that is slightly larger than the tarp with pvc going down the middle for added support.   leane it against the fence 
  • Add some tent stakes 
  • connect the tarp to the frame with bungee balls at each of the tarp's grommets
  • attach the screen to the deck with eye bolts    

I also lucked out on his sound system, projector and  interface. A local business was selling   old equipment and buying new.  ! Cheap  electronics. Compatibility of these components is the trickiest part of the whole DIY Home Theatre idea. 

We do take it down  each year and I have to buy a new tarp every couple of years . I bring over the cub scouts atleast once a year to have a movie and pool night. The kids love it! 

Please join us...

Frugal dinner planning week of July 29th

I want to invite all frugal bloggers to join me on the Thrifty Thursday rewind linkup!

I can't believe that this summer is going back so fast and it  will be August this week! 

Sun  Pizza  (we went to the zoo with cub scouts in the morning and I didn’t want to go out to eat afterwards so I wanted something really simple and easy). We threw it on the grill-that makes frozen pizza taste so good!  

Mon Roasted Chicken (whole chickens were on sale for 89 cents a lb) green beans,  potatos

 Tuesday  Perfect for you your chicken leftovers    Bruschetta Chicken Bake  click for recipe!

( I was looking at some of my old meal planning when my boys were really really little-Bruschetta chicken bake lasted us several nights-not anymore with a teen and 2  tweens that eat me out of house and home)

Wednesday  Freebie night –we are heading to a local free concert and they have free hot dog and hamburgers. We have  been hitting our local freebie concerts with my mom. 

Thursday Ground turkey with broccoli slaw 

Friday  Sandwiches we are heading into the city for a free movie on the boat so we will do sandwiches on the boat.   The boys (and Dad) will try to get to me to go out but we are heading on vacation  in a few weeks so I want to save money for that.  who wants to cook on vacation!! 

Saturday  Homemade pizza 

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check  out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky

PS grab this great free grilling  cookbook

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thrifty Thursday rewind- July 26th edition

Welcome to the First Thrifty Thursday rewind! 

It has been over 10 years since I have been a stay at home mom.  Yes, I do have a work at home job answering phones that has really helped me stay home and  I do some blogging but I consider myself primarily a stay at home mom.  

I shared some tips over 4 years ago that can be shared again on me being  a sahm, 

So you want to be a stay at home mom 

How do YOU save money?

Please remember to follow the Thrifty  Thursday Rewind  linkup  
  1. Link up a money saving idea and explain how it is helpful in your post.
  2. No giveaways or deals posts.
  3. Recipes are allowed, but share how it is thrifty! 
  4.  A link back is nice but not required 

 Tweet this out

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Introducing the Thrifty Thursday rewind

Drum roll please… Introducing the first Thrifty Thursday rewind! Let's share some of our old post to get some new love!   I have been blogging about being living on a budget since 2004 and living that lifestyle since I became a mom!  Some weeks we will have theme and some will not! 

If you’ve got a thrifty blog post that you’d like to share with like-minded individuals (or even with differently-minded individuals), then come and share it here.  It’s a great opportunity to spread the frugal gospel far and wide and to find fellow thrifty bloggers! 

share your thirty thursday  frugal blog post
How do YOU save money?

Please remember to follow the Thrifty  Thursday Rewind  linkup  
  1. Link up a money saving idea and explain how it is helpful in your post.
  2. No giveaways or deals posts.
  3. Recipes are allowed, but share how it is thrifty! 
  4.  A link back is nice but not required 

Here are some of our Thrifty Thursday link ups!  Please check back on Thursday for a new linkup 

Back to school shopping is almost here

As a frugal momma to 3 growing boys, clothes shopping can be expensive as I turn around they are growing . Luckily, my boys are not into labels so I don't drop $100 on a pair of jeans. It is still the middle of summer here, we don't go back to almost labor day but the "Back to School" sales are starting. It is harder these days to "shop in the closet" as in years past and use consignment stores because most of them have younger kids clothes. I do try to shop the sales. 

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Credit Sesame. Contest ends July 31, 2012. A random winner will be selected by August 01, 2012. Official Rules can be found at www.CreditSesame.com/OfficialRules 

A trip to the hair salon

I got to go to the hair salon today for the first time in six months!  Being primarily a stay at home mom, I usually don’t always take the time to pamper myself and sometimes feel guilty when I spend alot of money on myself. 

 I have a wedding to go next weekend,so I wanted my hair to look good.   I  set aside money and paid in cash and am so excited!  You’d think I’d gone to the Disney World  with my anticipation about this visit  I even treated myself to a salon hair color instead of the from the box. I  could have and should have resisted but I didn’t.  I got a lot  of hair cut off about 5 inches  …and I’m really loving the shorter summer ‘hair

I will go back to my clariol  hair color soon enough but for now…I’m basking in the simple pleasure of a visit to the hairdresser. .   The cost was $150 including cut and color  plus eyebrow waxing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Frugal Meal Planning week of July 22nd

I am glad that last week is OVER. It was crazy with cub scout camp plus the super hot weather. I did eat out twice last week due to it being way way HOT and I wanted to sit in A/C.  Our central Air has been on the fritz and  I am being way to cheap for fixing it.

We did attempt to go a free movie outside on the one of the nights it was cooler and the boys wanted Burger king, so I said yes.  Let's say my stomach was on the fritz. I would rather get the nice pub burgers from Stop and Stop and make homemade french fries. 

Make that 3 times for outside food . I forgot we had my in laws over for my mother in law birthday. She doesn't like my cooking. Haha  so we got pizza her favorite food. Luckily I had a coupon and we got 4 pizzas for a pretty good price.   

This week should be a little less hectic! 

Sunday   Burgers and oven roasted potato 

Monday  Bubble up pizza  click for recipe 

Tuesday the meatballs that didn't get used last week over pasta 

Wednesday drumstick chicken and veggies 

Thursday  chili 

Friday Clean out the fridge night 

Saturday Homemade pizza 

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky

PS grab this great free grilling  cookbook

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Earn PayPal Cash and Gift Cards from Quick Rewards!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Giveaway alert Win a Wireless Baby Video Monitor

For parents, the safety and security of the baby is paramount. On the other hand, you can’t stay with baby at all times and there will be times when your baby is left alone. This is where baby monitors come in and the best kind of baby monitor you can get is the video monitor. It allows you to see baby from a distance and keep track of what he or she is doing at all times.

 On our recent July 4th long weekend, my sister brought up her baby video monitor for her two kids. She was able to go out to the back porch and see if her toddler daughter was simply playing in the playpen or running around the bedroom during quiet time. They didn't have video monitors when I had young babies.

 You can win your very own wireless video monitor from LullabyLane until September 4th 2012

Of course, you can pick up your own  video baby montior depending on features run from $75 to $250!  if your pregnant good idea to put on your registry

Monday, July 16, 2012

Frugal dinner planning week of July 15th

This is a crazy week! I  volunteer 3 full days at Cub scout camp (and as a result get 1/2 price for 2 of my boys camping yeah me)   I made a big batch of pasta salad for sides.
Meatballs Cooking

Sunday Burgers, sweet potato fries

Monday Frozen pizza (told you  I am trying to keep it easy)

Tuesday  Meatballs in the crockpot will throw over some pasta The meatballs are from a batch I made last month to bring to my 4th of  July weekend! Love when I can use the freezer to pay if forward.

Wednesday  meatball subs with the leftovers

Thursday  Pulled pork in the crockpot  over baked potatoes

Friday  hopefully a clean out the fridge night or will throw some chicken on the grill.

Saturday Homemade pizza

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky

PS grab this great free grilling  cookbook

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Giveaway alert Win Diapers for your baby!

My boys are way way too old for diapers but I know that they are pricey.  I would often buy store brand unless I had a diaper coupon.  I found this great giveaway with Lullaby Lane to win some free diapers.

 Register today to join other resourceful moms and get tons of free stuff for you and your baby! You will also gain access to helpful articles, parenting tips, and safety advice. By signing up today, you will be entering to WIN diapers for as long as baby needs them! That's a savings that can't be beat – a value of up to $500! Don't wait – enter now for your chance to win! The contest ends on October 1st ! The entry form is easy to fill out 

Need Diaper coupons  in the meantime check out  coupons.com for free printable coupons

Monday, July 09, 2012

Frugal Dinner planning week of July 8th

We had a great time at the beach at my parent's cottage. Lots of fun eating.   it has been called "food camp" when we had visitors!

Here is our menu for the week

Sunday  Burgers and fries on the grill  way too hot to cook inside

Monday   Lazy man's cabbage roll   I threw this in the crockpot the last time I made it and it was so good in there as well.  Leftovers will be lunch for a couple of days!

Tuesday Chicken  Kabobs on the grill 
Chicken, Broccoli and Pepper stirfry.

Wednesday Chili over baked potatoes

Thursday  Turkey sandwiches for a picnic dinner for a local outdoor concert 

Friday  Quiche or leftover

Saturday we have an "adults only party"    The kids will get a frozen pizza plus some snacks to enjoy plus a new movie from Redbox.

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky

PS grab this great free grilling  cookbook

Friday, July 06, 2012

Printable Grocery Store coupons for July 2012

Here are some grocery store and supermarket coupons available 

Food & Beverage Coupons 

Household  &  cleaning printable  coupons 

Babies & Kids coupon  

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

40 FREE Photo Prints + $1 Custom Grocery Tote Bag with Your Favorite Pet Photos!

Now you CAN take your  kids (ie pictures)  to the grocery store, Walmart, the beach or anywhere…ON a custom tote bag!

York Photo has this super cute $1 Grocery Tote ($3.99 shipping) that you can customize and order with your favorite s photos! Plus, if you are new to York Photo you get 40 FREE prints, too!!! Be sure to use York Photo Promo Code: YORKTOTEAD when you order!

There are several CUTE designs to choose from or create your own!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Cheap and Frugal Backyard games Stay-cation fun

I asked my husband for some advise on keeping the kids busy this summer without spending a lot of money.   here are some his suggestions 

I love listening to friends tell me about those awesome, expensive trips they go on with their families. I really do like fantasy stories. I have a squad of kids. If you do too you know where I'm heading. Get 'em together in an enclosed space and it's instant carping and complaining that doesn't stop until arrival, when it switches to: "Can we go home now?" They could be staring at the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls, but what they see is a giant delay in getting back in front of the TV or geting home to their friends. Don't forget the expense and time invested in getting them there. The Answer: Stay-Cation! Here's some ways to have a blast in the place where you've already made sure you have all the comforts of home.

1. Backyard Campout or Camp-In Grab your sleeping bag, lantern and some marshmallows and head out to the backyard.For a low cost outdoorsy experience, You can't beat the old backyard. If your tent is a nice store-bought one or just cobbled together with blankets and sticks, a backyard camp out is just the ticket for the desire to be outdoors, but with all the conveniences of home. Even better...In case of rain, you can adapt with a basement or living room camp out. I know it's not traditional, but I like s'mores from the micro just as much as a campfire

2. Driveway or Hallway Raceway- Set up lanes with sidewalk chalk and whip out your big wheels or matchbox cars. All your need is the checkered flag.

3. Olympic Games - The backyard Olympics might host such games as distance Frisbee, Wiffleball, sponge ball or nurf target shooting.

4. How about a tossing some soft &  not sharp obects - These games are cheap and so much fun. You can use hula hoops and nurf balls or sidewalk chalk and those pool sponge balls.

5. Frisbee Golf(sort of) - Gather your Frisbees (clubs) together and make a course of targets(holes). FORE!!!

6. Harmless Hunting: How about hunting? Put down the guns. Pick up your smartphone or camera. The one who has the most wildlife, such as birds, squirrels, rabbits, etc. in the center of the photo in their collection of pictures wins. This is way harder than it sounds, so be an easy referee.

 7. An Independence Day Movie Marathon - A box of microwave popcorn(I highly recommend Super-Butter), some soda from the store and a few dvd's and you're good to go. How about Independence Day with Will Smith, Patriot with Mel Gibson, or for the Realists out there, The History Channel's Series "The Revolution" is perfect. Time it so the evening can be capped off by fireworks on some of your local channels. 

8. Scavenger Hunt - Hide "treasure" around your property or have them collect natural treasures in the yard, like a brown stick, a grasshopper or a round rock. I'd recommend staying away from the buzzing bugs and the three leafs per stick plants. 

9. Water Balloon/Squirt Gun Battle - For a couple of bucks you can get a bag of dozens of water balloons and a few cheesy squirt guns. The cheesier the better. hat way no one gets bowled over by those pressurized water cannons. 

For a little added expense, you can try:

9. Triumph Sports Trio Toss, Bag Toss / Ladder Toss / Washer Toss from Amazon. Like the name says you have a variety of games to choose from in the set for hours of fun.  

10. The Franklin Sports 5 Game Sports Combo Set from Target has Badminton Racquet, Instructions, Pump, Rope, Paddles, Discs, Shuttlecocks, Volleyball and those hand held curvey ball whipping things. 

11. Toys R Us and Walmart  have a wide variety of croquet sets you can pick up. They come with everything you need to get started. Change courses when you get the hang of it for even more fun.

12.  Remember Lawn Darts, the razor sharp tips attached to a vaguely missile-like projectile. They've evolved some. Nowadays, the game to get is Jarts, similar shape with a soft rounded plastic tip. Not as dramatic looking, Not as deadly, but just as much fun as you remember. 

13. Everybody loves Badminton. Just saying "Shuttlecock" is fun...admit it. Most major retailers, like Walmart, Target and Toys are us carry the sets. They usually start around $15 or so.

14. If you thought badminton was an obvious choice for this list, How about Volleyball. Portable kits range from $25 to a few hundred dollars and most major retailers carry complete sets.

15 Who here was a cub scout if you were you KNOW Tetherball. Smack the ball back-and-forth has spread beyond your average playground. Simply jab the pole deep into the ground and you're to commence smacking around. A basic stab-it-in-the-ground pole and ball usually starts at about $30. A set with a weighted base can run into the hundreds.

Who needs Disneyland? You can have a blast and stay active with kids and adults right in your own back yard. Just a little ingenuity and maybe a minor expense and you and your family will be running around like you all were ten years old again. Have Fun!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Free Grilling cookout cookbook

With cookout season in full gear and the 4th of the July here, I am always on the lookout for a some great new grilling recipes including marinades for meats and veggies  .  Here is a great new free cookbook and email newsletter that will give you some great ideas for hamburgers and steaks.  Grab your   American Family Grilling cookbook