How Much Should You Spend on Rent?

One of the most exciting parts of becoming an adult is moving out of your old place and starting your own life. However, as is the case with most major life events, moving out comes with a lot of added responsibility. Part of this duty is knowing and understanding your budget when shopping for the perfect apartment, condo, duplex, or rental house. So how much should you really spend on rent?

The 30 Percent Threshold

The first step in deciding how much you should spend on rent is calculating how much rent you can afford. This is done by finding your fixed income-to-rent ratio. Simply put, this is the percentage of your income that is budgeted towards rent.

As a general rule of thumb, allocating 30 percent of your net income towards rent is a good place to start. Government studies consider people who spend more than 30 percent on … Read the rest

Navigating the Current Job Market and Empowering Workers

We’re four months into our new pandemic-altered reality, and while businesses straddle the line between reopening and shuttering (again), many Americans are finding their jobs no longer exist. Last week, 1.3 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance for the first time. Self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers — a vital and burgeoning contingent of today’s workforce — remain especially hard hit. 

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? It depends on who you ask and how you approach it.

Nearly 13 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits via the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which aims to help gig economy workers and those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits. PUA recipients make up 41% of the 31.5 million total unemployment benefit recipients nationwide as of June 13, according to recent Labor Department statistics

Even with these guardrails in place, not everyone is benefitting.

The racial

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How to Get Rid of Sentimental Clutter and Spend More Intentionally (+ Free Printables)

It’s easy to get rid of old magazines and clothes that no longer fit, but throwing out vacation souvenirs or old photographs can be difficult. Sentimental clutter refers to items with special meaning or memories you have an emotional attachment to, but take up space in your home. This could be a birthday card that your Grandpa sent you or a stuffed bear your kids won at the state fair. Even though these items hold a special place in your heart, they may not be serving you anymore. Instead, they’re cluttering your home, life, and budget.

Sixty-six percent of Americans think an unorganized home makes them stressed or anxious. However, 61 percent of us have a hard time parting with sentimental items. Letting go of material items you don’t use can help you reduce stress and financial burdens. From canceling subscriptions you never use to repurposing items, you could … Read the rest

How the Home Buying and Selling Process Has Changed During COVID-19

Summer is usually a busy season for home buying and selling, but in this season of the coronavirus, it’s anything but typical.

As states are in various staging of opening up, sellers are dealing with new procedures with putting their homes up for sale and buyers are working hard to thoroughly search while still practicing social distancing.

I’ve found myself in the middle of this as I’m helping my mom this summer. She’s looking to retire in a few years and wants to be closer to the grandkids.

She’s already found work here in Raleigh and now during summer break, she’s selling her house and hunting for a place.

Being a Smart Home Buyer or Seller During This Pandemic

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home during the pandemic, you need to be extra prepared and willing to adjust as needed.

I had the pleasure of speaking with … Read the rest

How Long Does It Take to Afford a Down Payment in Each State?

The traditional American dream typically begins with great jobs, two kids, and a family home to grow in. If you’ve been dreaming of buying a house, then you’ve likely considered the financial factors, including saving and budgeting for the home. Just as America is huge and diverse, so is its housing market. 

The average home price in America is $270,726, which may be startling to homeowners in West Virginia, where the average home value is just $107,840. On the other end of the spectrum, families in Washington, D.C. can expect to pay over $700,000 for a home. There are huge differences in both income and housing costs across the country, which is why we set out to see just how long it would take to afford a home in each state. 

If you’re looking to buy your first home, then you already know you have to save for Read the rest