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Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCESS NewsletterFinancial Education Newsletter
 
To buy or not to buy: Kitchen Gadgets

By Anna Kronzer, Marketing Coordinator

When it comes to new kitchen gadgets, I understand how it may be hard to say no. The pretty designs and novelty are quite alluring. It seems, though, that the most interestingly designed tools are only made for a single purpose, and for what they cost, buying all of them can be really expensive.

As much as I love the idea of having a kitchen full of cutesy gadgets, I’ve come to accept that I don’t need EVERY one. So how do you know when to say no? Refer to my table below.

Kitchen gadgets

I’ve found that everyday utensils (spoon, knife, & fork) can serve the same purpose as many of these specialized tools. So, if it’s not easier or more efficient, I’ll often say no. More often than not, single-purpose tools are only made for a single purpose, so you’ll be better off spending your money on other nicely designed items that won’t just sit in your kitchen drawer. Have you found other uses for these single-purpose tools? Please share in the comments section.

For more frugal food ideas, check out our free Cheap Eats eBook

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MMI helps consumers
prepare for the hidden costs of homeownership

 

June is National Homeownership Month. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognizes this month as a time to celebrate the American dream of owning a home. While record-low interest rates and recent tax credits for first-time homebuyers have enticed many families to turn their dream of homeownership into a reality, the hidden costs of homeownership can sometimes catch families off guard. Preparing for the hidden costs of homeownership, especially for first-time homebuyers, is a wise financial move.

Knowledge is the key when investing in a home. A home is more than a place to live; it’s a financial asset, a place to raise a family, and an investment in the community. Below are tips for buying, maintaining, and protecting your largest asset.

Home insurance - Homeowner’s insurance often costs quite a bit more than renter’s insurance, because it covers the home, in addition to your personal property. Depending upon where you live, you may also need to purchase supplemental insurance for hurricanes, floors, tornados, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that are not covered under your standard policy.

Maintenance and repairs - Owning a home means that you are responsible for the upkeep. These costs can add up quickly, especially in an older home with older systems and appliances. Expect to spend some money on routine maintenance every year. Keeping an emergency fund for unanticipated repairs is also a smart idea. Keeping up with routine maintenance will help your home maintain its value.

Utilities - Prepare to spend some additional money on utilities, including water, garbage collection, heat, and electricity. With more space, it’s likely that even the bills you paid when you rented will be higher in your new home.

Homeowners' association fees - Find out if you will have to pay homeowners’ association fees. Many communities have a homeowners’ association, commonly called an HOA. An HOA is typically tasked with maintaining common areas and enforcing deed restrictions. Membership in a community HOA is often mandatory, and members are charged a monthly or annual fee.

Home furnishings - You’ll probably need, or at least want, to purchase furniture and décor items for your new home. Most people, when purchasing a new home, decide to paint, upgrade the décor, purchase new furniture, and buy new linens.

When purchasing a new home, factor in these items to your total budget to make sure that you are completely financially prepared for homeownership. By doing this, you’ll rest assured knowing that you are purchasing a home that you can comfortably afford.


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Tips for Success

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Update your account balances online. When you receive your monthly statement from your creditors, login to your MMI account and update your balances. It is important that we have the most accurate balance information possible on file. 

If you would like more information about signing up for a Debt Management Plan through Money Management International, visit MoneyManagement.org.


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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit MoneyManagement.org.


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