How to save up money for your first downpayment

Hi everyone, sorry I haven’t been blogging. My husband and I took a little trip to Hawaii in August. It was magical. And in September kids were going back to school. It was hectic. But now I’m back.

This is a subject that a lot of people think about. How to save up enough money for a down payment for their first home.  In today’s world it’s not easy. The expenses of living and entertainment are highest in the history.

Back when I was younger the homes were a lot cheaper. I could easily afford a small condo in a city with my salary. Now, everything has changed. There is no job stability. Young people are going crazy trying to save up enough money to buy their first real estate investment.

I call it an investment because that’s what it is. If you do it right. In 10-20 years your home will be paid off. You will make (hopefully) huge capitol gains via real estate appreciation and will be laughing straight to the bank. As Albert Einstein said “The compounding interest is the sixth wonder of the world”.

Nowadays you need 10% of a total value as down payment for a property if are going to live there. And 20% down payment of a total value for a property if it is an investment property. If you have more than 4 mortgages that number increases to 25-30%. But these are champagne problems. Let’s start with the first one.

The best thing to do is ask your parents or family to lend you some money for a down payment. Real estate is one of the safest investments. Depending on the kind of relationship you have with your parents they might be very open to the possibility of lending you money for your first home. I know that you could feel a little awkward asking your parents or family for money. But it’s a normal thing. In fact most young people buy their first place with a help from their parents.

Try taking out a line of credit from the bank. If you qualify for a line of credit you should take it. Some banks will allow you to use that money as a down payment on your first condo or a house. It’s a great way to borrow money without large interest rate and without it effecting your credit.

You can also take your time trying to save the entire amount by yourself. I would advice to live below your means. This applies to eating out and entertainment. Set up and automatic monthly or bi-weekly withdraw of money from your bank account into an a savings account. This way you would never notice the missing money and makes saving money much easier. Be patient and disciplined. It’s your future we’re talking about. Here is a website advising you on the amount of the down payment you need:

Take buying your first home very seriously. It can be a foundation and path to a secure and a financially stable future.

4 ways to earn extra money in 2015

In today’s economy seems like a lot of people are looking for ways to earn extra money. Money has been a subject a lot of American’s struggle with. Things got a lot worse for many people after the economic crisis of 2008. I know that a lot of people say that economy has improved but for me and my family things are still difficult. There were months where we didn’t know where the next meal will come from.

Here are some creative ways that will hopefully help you earn some extra money on the side. Some of these are one-offs (could only be once or maybe twice) and some are strategies that you can use in a long term. So let’s get started:

  1. Sell your old stuff. If your family is anything like my family, you probably have ridiculous amounts of old things that you never use or wear laying around the house. Why not sell it? The are a few ways of going about selling your old things. You could host a garage sale. Having a garage sale could be fun for the whole family. I recommend getting your kids involved as much as possible. Or you could trying to sell your old and unwanted things online. Websites like and are perfect places to do it. Be cautious when selling stuff on craigslist and don’t let strangers into your home. I think I’ll write a blog post dedicated to this topic.
  2. Rent out the spare room in your house. Renting out a spare room in your house, apartment, condo or a townhouse is a great way to earn extra money every month. You could find a roommate. Ask your friends if they know anyone looking to rent a room.  Be careful of whom you let into your home. You could also rent a room to an international student. In the city where I live this is a very common practice. There are so many benefits in renting to a international student. They are in school or out most of the time. It’s a short term commitment, so if anything changes in your life you are not stuck with a tenant in a lease. To find out more information about rental rates in your city search for real estate professional in your area.
  3. Start a blog. Although it’s more of a long term and a slow grow strategy, once successful your blog can bring some solid extra income to you and your family. I would suggest picking a niche that you know a lot about and focusing on producing quality content. Learning about Search Engine Optimization and Google Adwords are also good ideas. As I said building a blog that generates income takes months sometimes years of consistent work. However, once successful it will be a great source of steady income. I know many people that do blogging full time.
  4. Tutor or give lessons. Do you have a skill that you can teach someone else? Can you play a music instrument? Are you A+ driver? Are you a math wiz? What ever your talent or skill is you can teach it to others and make good extra income doing it. Put an ad in your local paper. Post your services on and

I hope you found my tips easy and simple to follow. Good luck with your money earning strategies. Feel free to share your favorite in the comments section.

9 Tips and Tricks to Study Less and Remember More

An important test or exam is coming up and you’re looking for better ways to study? We’ve all been there. Collage students, high school kids and even working professionals can benefit from these tips and tricks to study more effectively. So here we go:

  1. Plan ahead and space out your studying. There is nothing worse than trying to study all of the information on the last day or two. By planning ahead and spacing out your study sessions you will give your brain more time to go over the information and retain a lot more of it. Not to mention this strategy will reduce your stress levels.
  2. Move around. Stationary sitting for a long time is bad for you. It also makes your brain bored and retain less information. By taking short 5 minute breaks every 30-40 minutes you will see better results.
  3. Study before going to bed. Reading your notes or a text book are great for helping you fall asleep. But did you know what you can actually remember more information if you study before sleep? It’s true. By studying before you go off to dream land you allow your brain to dwell on the new information while you’re sleeping.
  4. Write it out. Writing down the information you’re trying to remember get you to remember it much better. Your brain learns in many different ways and writing it out is just another tool for your brain to use. It’s almost like practicing the actual exam itself.
  5. Make yourself relaxed before you study. Relaxed brain will learn a lot easier then excited one. Simple breathing exercises or listening to calm music will put you in relaxed and learning friendly state of mind.
  6. Set up a reward program for yourself. Treating yourself every time you pass a milestone could be a great way to stay motivated throughout the learning process. Finishing a chapter or a page of notes could make great milestones. Remember: don’t make your milestones too small.
  7. Drink water. Dehydrated brain does not learn as easily as hydrated one. Don’t drink pop or energy drinks as they make your body’s sugar or caffeine levels unbalanced. Water is your friend.
  8. Remove all distractions. Social media or your cellphone could become your worst enemies when trying to concentrate on studying. Use your cellphone to respond to texts or phone calls ONLY on your break.
  9. Imagine that you are expalining the material to someone else. Practicing retelling or reteaching the newly learned material is one of the best ways to memorize it. If you don’t want to talk to your stuffed teddy bear teach the new material to your younger sister or your boyfriend.

I hope these tips and tricks will help you with studying and Acing your next test or exam! Happy studying:)

27 ways to save money

If you are like me you are always short of money at the end of the month. I get my paychecks and after paying my bills wanted where did all the money go? I have been searching internet for ways to save money. There is a lot of great information posted online. I will also do a post about making extra money. So here are a few ways I found that work to save extra money:

  1. Pay off credit card debt. Credit card companies charge believable interest rates. I know it’s easier said than done but paying off your credit card debt will put you on the track of success.
  2. Turn off your television. This will save you money on electricity, and maybe cable bill if you are willing to downgrade or get rid of your cable. Not to mention all the extra time you will have to work on your side business.
  3. Stop buying unnecessary things. You can also try selling some of the things around the house that you no longer use. Think about having a garage sale or selling the items on
  4. Hand make your gifts instead of buying them at the store. It will save you money and it will be much more meaningful for the person you’re giving the gift to.
  5. Write a list before you go shopping and stick to the list. Without a grocery list you will often find yourself buying unnecessary groceries and wasting your money. Most of it ends up in the garbage bin anyways.
  6. Cook at home instead of going out. Paying someone to prepare your meals and tipping a waiter to bring them to you is expensive.  It’s a much better idea to cook at home it is also A LOT cheaper.
  7. Don’t waste money on entertainment. Walk in the park, a picnic and a board game with friends are great entertainment. They are also FREE.
  8. Drink more water. Drinking water is good for you. It will also stop you from drinking and craving pop and expensive energy drinks.
  9. QUIT SMOKING!!! I mean this one is self explanatory. It’s very expensive and it VERY bad for you.
  10. Turn off lights. Turning lights off in the rooms when you are not there will cut your electric bill.
  11. Compare prices at grocery stores. Grocery stores always have sales and promotions. By comparing prices you can make sure that you’re getting cheapest possible prices.
  12. Cancel unused club memberships. Gyms are one of the biggest money wasters out there. If you are not using your gym membership to it’s full potential consider working out by running, walking, home exercises..etc..
  13. Wash your hand. By regularly washing your hands you prevent a lot of infections and bacterial sicknesses which can cause you to get sick. Getting sick is expensive not to mention all the time you will miss off work.
  14. Do holiday shopping right after holidays. After the holidays the prices are the lowest and it the best time to shop for present for next year. It will also save you a lot of stress before holidays.
  15. Don’t buy Brand names. Generic brands for the most part are just as good but cost half of brand name. Clothing or food buying generic brands will safe you money.
  16. Change the deductible amount on your insurance. By having a higher deductible you will safe on the monthly payments.
  17. Cancel magazine subscriptions. You can read most of news and cover stories online for free. Why waste money on expensive subscriptions.
  18. Rent out a room in your home. Being a land lord is a great way to make extra money from your house or a condo. Contact your local realtor to find the rent rates.
  19. Left overs are good. Don’t throw away your left overs. Refrigerate the food and heat it up the next day. This will cut down your grocery bill.
  20. Take public transportation. If possible taking public transportation will save you a lot of money on gasoline as well as insurance. Go buses!
  21. Buy only used cars. Buying a brand new car is one of the worst investments. The minute you drive it off the lot the value drops 10%-20%. Buying used is smart.
  22. Use electric razor to shave. Shaving with disposable razors is expensive. Using electric razor will save you a lot of money.
  23. Suggest cheap activities when hanging out with family or friends. Playing board games, shooting hoops or just relaxing together is much cheaper then let’s say golfing.
  24. Thinks smaller home. When buying a home think about all of the wasted space. Buying a smaller home is a great way to save some big bucks.
  25. Don’t go to Starbucks. I have nothing against Starbucks or any other coffee shop but their coffee is way to expensive. To save money make your own coffee at home.
  26. Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol is not good for you and it’s expensive. By cutting on alcohol consumption you are saving money. Not to mention all of the money you save on healthcare later.
  27. Go on cheaper vacations. Maybe postpone your trip to Europe. Trips are expensive. Instead think about spending a vacation at home or visiting relatives in a nearby cities.

I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful. Good luck and happy saving:)

Top 10 cities in the world to live in 2015

I was on Global Finance website recently where they did an article about top 50 cities to live in the world. Here is the link to the original article: Original Article.

It got me thinking and I have decided to re-create the list of top 10 best cities to live in the world in 2015 with images and small descriptions.

The list of best cities is created and judged by the “quality of life”.  To judge the quality of life for the individuals they focus on things like: economic success, income per capita, employment, environment, education, heath, infrastructure and safety, leisure time, human rights, social happiness, freedom and physical health.

Here is the list of top 10 best cities in the world to live in 2015:

10. Auckland, New Zealand

Population: 1.377 million (2011)

The city is based around 2 large harbors. It is one of the biggest cuties in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. The iconic Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbor. Popular tourist attractions include: Auckland Domain – the city’s oldest park, is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. Mission Bay Beach is minutes from Downtown.


9. Perth, Australia

Population: 1.834 million (2012)

Perth is a capital of Western Australia and it sits on where the Swan River meets the southwest coast. Popular tourist attractions include: the Perth Cultural Centre houses the state ballet and opera companies, and occupies its own central precinct, including a theatre, art galleries and the Western Australian Museum.


8. Helsinki, Finland

Population: 599,676 (2012)

Helsinki is Finland’s southern capital. The city sits on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland. Helsinki’s most popular tourist attractions include: he National Museum, tracing Finish history from the Stone Age to the present, imposing Parliament House and Kiasma contemporary art museum.


7. Sydney, Australia

Population: 4.293 million (2012)

Sydney is one of the largest cities in Australia. It is also a capital of New South Wales. The city is best known for its Opera House (see picture below) with it’s sail-like design. It was heavily featured in “Finding Nemo” pixar animated movie. Sydney Tower is a 268m glass viewing platform and is one of cities most popular tourist attractions.


6. Calgary, Canada

Population: 1.097 million (2011)

Calgary is the largest city is Canadian province – Alberta. Calgary has many skyscrapers, it’s rapid growth is largely due to it’s oil industry and production.  The city still has a feel of a western town and is nicknamed “Cowtown”.  Stampede is a massive rodeo and is one of the most well known events in the whole Canada.


5. Adelaide, Australia

Population: 1.251 million (2012)

Located in South Part of Australia it is regions cosmopolitan capital. Popular tourist attractions include: the Art Gallery of South Australia, displaying expansive collections including noted Indigenous art, and the South Australian Museum, devoted to natural history. The city hosts many arts and cultural festivals.


4. Toronto, Canada

Population: 2.615 million (2011)

Toronto is a capital of Ontario Province and it’s also the biggest city in Canada.  The city is very ethnically diverse located in Easter part of Canada along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. Downtown Toronto is dynamic with skysrapers and the iconic CN Tower. Oval Queen’s Park is among some of the popular tourist attraction.

Scenic view at Toronto city waterfront skyline at night

3. Vancouver, Canada

Population: 603,500 (2011)

This city is consistently featured on the list of best cities in the world. Located in the Western portion of Canada. It has a very diverse population with a lot of people coming to Vancouver because of it’s beauty and lifestyle. That makes the real estate prices go up, see houses for sale in Vancouver. The city is surrounded by mountains and invites outdoor lifestyle.


2. Vienna, Austria

Population: 1.741 million (2013)

Vienna is a capital of Austria. It lies in the eastern portion of Austria. It’s artistic legacy has been inspired by Mozart and Beethoven. Vienna is known for imperial palaces such as the Habsburgs summer residence and Schonbrunn. A lot of architecture in this beautiful city have been designed by world famous architects.


1. Melbourne, Australia

Population: 4,087 million (2012)

Melbourne is a city full of nineteenth century buildings and tree-line boulivevards. However the downtown center of the city is modern with new developments, plazas, bars, restaurants, cultural events and more.