Life as I know it

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Interest rates

So I have said how having a good credit score can help you with interest rates and saving you more money. I feel that maybe I should go more in depth for those of you whom may think it's no big deal to pay a little more. The better score you have the lower interest rate you will qualify for. I figure if your credit isn't all that great however you do qualify for a mortgage loan (lets say you have a credit score in the high 600's-low 700's) you will probably get about a 7% interest rate. Let's say in this scenario you are looking for a home that will cost $250,000. Over a 30 year mortgage with a fixed rate of 7% interest your monthly mortgage payment will be $1,670 per month. Not too bad if you have the money, however your average monthly interest is about $970.00 a month. That's quite a bit of interest every month. That's about on average what a person will pay in rent. At the end of your 30 year loan if you choose not to refinance, you will have paid $348,772.25 in interest alone.
In searching interest rates I have found many interest rates around 4% (this of course would be given to someone with excellent credit. High 700's and 800's). If this person with a higher credit score got the same mortgage of $250,000 at an interest rate of 4% their monthly mortgage would be $1,200, with an average monthly interest payment of $500. This is far lower than the other person with a lower credit score would pay. At the end of their 30 year mortgage if they didn't choose to refinance, they would pay a total of $179,673.77 in interest.

So in the end a $250,000 home can cost you around $600,000 with poor credit
or it can cost you around $430,000 with excellent credit. It is up to you to choose how you spend your money however I would much rather have the latter.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Secret Santa's

It's very hard for most people to buy their children toys for Christmas, I just can't believe there are this many people nation wide whom are paying off peoples layaway accounts. It is very heart warming to hear that people are this giving this season. I wonder do why there are so many secret santa's this year though. I know there are people who give every year but never such a phenomenon that you hear from anyone who works in retail. At my local Walmart a lady came in yesterday to pay off any layaway accounts that she could, only to find they had already been paid off. From their she went and looked at the Santa cops toys which were for donations. She noticed that most of the toys were around 10 dollars or less and decided she should buy more expensive toys to donate. She bought $1,500 worth of toys around 20-25 dollars each and left them in the donation buckets. It is a really nice story to hear, and I'm sure a lot of families will be very excited to have a stress free Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cake Pops

I figured out what me and my boys will be making for Christmas gifts, cake pops. Cake pops can be made by preparing any cake mix of your choosing. Prepare according to the directions, then let the cake cool. You can then take pieces of the cake and roll them into shapes. There are two different kinds we will make which will be presents and snow men. For the presents you would take the cake and make about 1 inch squares with them, when your shape is ready place a sucker stick in the center and freeze for about 30 minutes so the square is firm. After the cake is firm you decorate it with colored frosting. We will use fruit roll ups cut into thin strips to tie around the present and create bows. For the snow men we need to roll out two balls for the body a 1 inch ball for the head and a 2 inch ball for the body. When all shapes are made center both balls, and place the sucker stick in the center, freeze, and decorate. Once again we will decorate with frosting however we will use cream cheese frosting for these ones. You can make faces with cookie decorations, or candy. Once again we will use fruit roll-ups cut into thin strips so we can tie scarfs around the snow men. When they are all finished we will wrap a few in cellophane and bows. I have a very big family so I am always looking ways to show everyone I care, without going broke. Hopefully this will turn out well.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hot therapy sacks

Supplies needed:
Sewing thread
Fabric - at least a quarter yard
Essential oil – any scent you choose

Step 1: Pick the fabric you like and cut it to be about 14 x10 inches.

Step 2: Fold your fabric, right sides together so you piece will now measure about 7x10. Sew down 2 sides together leaving one of the short ends open.

Step 3: Turn your fabric inside out so the right side of the fabric is showing. Give it a quick press with a hot iron to press out your seams and make the fabric looks crisp.

Step 4: Pour your wheat into a large bowl (usually in the bulk section of your grocery store). Add a few drops of essential oil. It’s not necessary to have essential oil but it will create a pleasant aroma when the wheat is heated. You can use lavender, vanilla, lilac, etc. Stir the wheat to distribute the oil.

Step 5: Fill your sack with wheat. Anywhere between 3 -4 cups is a good amount.

Step 6: Fold the top open edge under so it is folded inside the bag about half an inch.

Step 7: Pin the edge you have just folded under and sew

You now have your finished hot therapy sack. Let whoever you are giving them to they can microwave them on high for 1-2 minutes and they now have a warm compress. You can often get remnants of fabric for very cheap at your craft store or even Wal-Mart, just make sure it’s a big enough piece of fabric.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Childrens hand prints

A great mom or grandma gift for Christmas would be to buy a white or off- white fabric of a size you choose for the kind of gift you would like to give, (tablecloth, table runner, or a wall hanging). You could also buy something premade like a shirt, or an apron. Buy fabric paint of a color of your choosing (you can find at craft stores or even Walmart). Then have each of your kids put their hand print from the fabric paint and write their own name on the fabric if they are able to do so. This is a great gift from the heart that will be irreplaceable, and cherished for years.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cheesecake bars

This recipe will give you 32 squares to share with friends and family
• 10 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 (16 ounce) packet cream cheese, softened
• 2 egg
• 4 tablespoons milk
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Heat oven to 350.
2. In a medium bowl blend thoroughly butter, brown sugar and flour with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Put 1 cup of the mixture aside for topping.
4. Press remaining mixture into two 8x8x2 inch baking dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray; bake for 15 minutes.
5. In another bowl combine sugar and cream cheese, mixing until smooth.
6. Thoroughly beat in egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla.
7. Spread over the baked crust and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture.
8. Bake for 25 minutes.
9. Let cool, then chill for at least 1 hour.
10. Cut into 16 squares out of each baking dish

Credit cards

For all you holiday shoppers out there that are thinking about getting credit cards to pay for holiday gifts, you should probably think about it thoroughly. If you can't afford the gifts now, then you probably can't afford them latter. I know this time of year more than any stores are offering credit cards with a percentage off your purchase, cash back on your first bill, and no interest for X amount of months. This sounds fabulous at the time, you could buy more gifts, not pay for them right away, or even buy yourself something. Most likely after you proceed with all these credit cards, you will end up in a rut that will eventually kill your credit score. Please beware of all these fancy offers that sound too good to be true. The credit companies will get your money while stressing you out come the new year. As for the credit cards with no interest financing remember if you fail to pay your card off at the end of the period you will be charged for interest from the point of purchase not solely on your remaining balance. At the average interest rate of 20% your $1,000 purchase if not paid in say a 6 month period will end up costing you at least an extra $100 dollars. And keep in mind that you would need at least to pay at least $167 every month to pay the credit card off before your 6 month period is over. Can you really afford that or should you stick with what you can afford now?