5 frugal ways to expand your living space

Review the free resources offered in this weeks’ updates PLUS learn how to protect yourself from scams when someone close to you passes away – FEEL FREE TO SHARE THESE TIPS!
5 frugal ways to expand your living space
   During the Obama years more young people were forced to move back home with mom and dad as fewer decent wage jobs were created during the painfully long recession [even now the job market has improved dramatically under the new President however, wages have not]. 
And while the housing market has improved in many areas, it has dipped in some but some homeowners [like me] are seeking ways to expand their existing home without spending a fortune.  One of the biggest obstacles we have encountered in MI compared to other states we’ve owned property are the bureaucratic hurdles one must overcome.  There are many and they make it expensive to proceed with any kind of undertaking on your own property and apparently, they’ve never heard of the smaller home trend overtaking the nation!
Still…I’ve always said, owning your own is a better investment than the stock market under most circumstances.
The sudden drop in housing values over the last few years has left millions of homeowners surrounded on all sides by a massive flood of negative equity.
Analytic and business intelligence corporation CoreLogic’s negative equity report for 2011’s first quarter found 10.9 million, or 22.7 percent, of homes underwater, compared to 11.1 million, or 23.1 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2010. If that drop in underwater mortgages seems odd with home prices still falling, that’s where the really bad news comes in. The number of underwater homes has diminished mainly because so many homes have gone into foreclosure.
That negative equity maroons homeowners who are unable to pay off their previous mortgage through a sale. Despite having outgrown their living space due to a growing family or changing lifestyle, they’ve lost the freedom to hunt for a new home.
More here:
 
Thanks to Perfectus Elder for sharing this bit of humor…
 
“Old age is when you resent the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated because there are fewer articles to read. >George Burns
 
 
 
Resource Roundup – Share with your friends!
 
How To Stow Away Money from Side Job to Power Retirement
If you make more than you need from a second job, stash it away and save on taxes.
 
 
Even when money is tight, there are inexpensive hobbies that you can enjoy without denting the budget. Here are just a few. Read more.
Why Early Retirement Isn’t as Awesome as It Sounds (LIFEHACKER): “Most people have a hard enough time envisioning retirement at all, much less early retirement. Despite that, many workers have managed to quit their jobs and achieve financial independence by age 40 or even younger. Sipping drinks on the beach all day at the ripe old age of 30 sounds incredible, but there’s a downside to it, too.”
 
When A Loved One Dies, How To Protect Yourself From Scams, Identity Theft And Creeps (Forbes): “After a loved one dies, those left behind are consumed with grief and shock. Sadly this can make you a target for scammers who prey on the vulnerable, especially the widow/widower.  This is the last thing you should have to deal with during a tragedy, so best to be safe, be aware and protect yourself should the worst happen.”
31 Best Travel Sites to Save You Money (Kiplinger): “Feeling too pinched by the ever-troubled economy to travel? You can still find good deals to get away — if you know where to go online first. Here are the best travel sites we’ve found to help you bag the best bargains on airfares, lodging, car rentals and all your other travel needs.”
 
6 Common Expenses That Used to Be Insanely Cheap
   When I graduated high school I bought a brand new VW bug for $1750 out the door…now you can’t even buy a lawn tractor for that.  My out-of-state college tuition was cheaper than the tuition I paid for my two children at a private Montessori school in Hudson, OH in the 1980s.  Since 2005 our dollar has lost roughly 40% of its spending power!
Read on and weep to see what other items that used to be cheap…
 
 
Additional Resources that will come in handy
 
10 Commandments of Retirement Planning
Follow these guidelines to arrive in the retirement promised land flush with cash.
 
17 discounts for those 50 and older
 
5 Valuable Reasons to Hire a Retirement Planning Adviser
Consumers are adept at flubbing up their finances. Here’s how an adviser can help.
 
 
Every boomer needs to consider having a power of attorney. We asked a CFP why they were so important. Read more.
 
 
We explain what a living will is, what it does, why you should have one, and where to get it. Read more.
 
For many of us just having a will isn’t enough. We ask an estate attorney to help us understand how trusts work. Read more.
 
It may not be as simple as you think. Choose carefully or you could do your family more harm than good. Read more.