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How to Stop Procrastinating

Procrastinating is a learned behavior. The good news is that it can be combated, as long as you're focused on how to prevent it. Here are 6 steps to help you stop procrastinating and get in gear. Get Rid of Distractions - Turn off the phone, shut the door, put on headphones, whatever it takes to drown out tempting diversions. Break Tasks Into Chunks - Things like "wash dishes, do laundry, and vacuum" are more specific, and chances are you'll be more apt to tackle those tasks than the gargantuan-sounding "clean the house." Do Your Hardest Task First - The sense of accomplishment when read more...

Can I use a financial gift from a friend or relative when buying a home?

financial gift when buying a homeQ. Can I use a financial gift from a friend or relative as a down payment on buying a home? A. Yes. In fact, one out of four first-time homebuyers uses a gift to make the down payment.Tax law allows gifts of up to $14,000 a year without tax consequences to the giver or recipient. (The amount may be adjusted annually so check IRS publication 950 for the current figure.) You could get a gift from two parents or two friends (for $28,000) without paying a gift tax.Using a gift for a down payment allows you to buy the home read more...

Two Skills to Master this Holiday Season

Master this Holiday Season by Mastering these two skills If there are two things that we'll be doing this holiday season, it's cooking and cleaning.  We can master two simple skills to make both go easier this season. Cooking: Poaching a Perfect Egg. . . Simmer a small pot of water. Crack egg into a bowl and add 1/2 tsp vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add egg to the water and stir gently to keep egg from sticking. Leave alone to poach, 3-5 minutes for an extra large egg. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve hot. Here are some read more...

5 Ways to Reduce Stress Quickly

The holidays can be a time we need to reduce stress quickly... When we're stressed, we're less able to focus and we're doing damage to our overall health. Here are some science-based methods for de-stressing quickly. Breathe - Stress makes us take short breaths. Concentrate on deep breaths through the nose, exhaling through the mouth, for several minutes to increase oxygen flow and reduce tension. Pattern Reset - Forcing your brain to focus on something else, such as the repetitive task of doing dishes or knitting, can help get your mind off whatever's bothering you. Go for a Walk - Not only will read more...

College Savings Errors to Avoid

college savings errors to avoidCollege Savings can be a confusing situation.  Here's 3 Common mistakes and how to fix them Saving for your kids' college education can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be a daunting task. Learning the best ways to save can help you avoid costly mistakes - and increase your yield. Mistake #1 - Choosing a plain old savings account When you're concerned about losing money on an investment, a standard savings account might feel safer. The interest on that account, however, won't even keep up with inflation, let alone the rapidly rising cost of college. • The Fix - If an read more...

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Are you moving to Colorado Springs?

moving to colorado springs feature imageby Abigail Golder, abigail@zogmedia.com Moving to Colorado Springs? Here's What You Should Know Colorado Springs is a place for people looking to take in a breath of crisp, cool air and get in touch with nature. The city is the largest by area in Colorado (not population), and it’s about an hour from the state capitol in Denver. Despite its size, Colorado Springs very much has a small town feel. Here are few things people should know before calling the city home: Locals call it “The Springs” First, locals just refer to the area as “The Springs.” The area was read more...

How To Overcome Retirement Financial Fears

Don't Let Retirement Financial Fears Ruin your Golden Years You've worked tirelessly your entire life, and retirement is your time to finally and fully enjoy that hard-earned rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, not being able to afford retirement is a fear many people have. Get ahead of the game so you can rest easy. Start saving now, at your current age. Establish a monthly budget that includes tucking money away for retirement. Diversify your retirements savings in several areas.  Don't put all your monetary eggs in a single basket like the stock market.  By diversifying, you're reducing your exposure and risk. read more...

Secrets to Finding the Right Home at the Right Price with the Right Financing

Are there any secrets to finding the right home at the right price with the right financing? Lots of homebuyers waste time and money by not doing their homework before going home shopping. Here’s A Helpful Guide For Buying The Right Home, At The Right Price, And  Getting The Right Financing… It’s no surprise that borrowing $100,000…$200,000 or more is a lot of money.  And how to FIND the right home…how much to PAY for the home…how much to BORROW…and on what FINANCIAL TERMS can literally mean tens of thousands of dollars MORE or LESS in your pocket! Analyze your read more...

Help Your Pet Live A Long And Healthy Life

Furry Family Members Deserve a long and Healthy Life, too! Most pet owners would say that pets are important members of the family. We welcome them into our lives knowing we'll most likely outlive them- but we can help them have the best possible life.   Here are some tips for giving your critter a long and happy life: Maintain a healthy weight. Feed pets the proper type and amount of food. Avoid feeding fatty human foods to your furry friends. Exercise regularly. Dogs need regular walks every day, and time to run around. Indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats, but they read more...