Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Residential Real Estate Investing - Part 2

My top keys for successful real estate investment in 2011.

  1. Learn all you can.  The library is the best source for this information.  Yes, the Internet has good information but much of that is geared toward making money for the one providing the information and they often just tell you the good parts.  The time and money involved in real estate investment is enough to warrant extensive investigation and research.  In one year the value increase can be as much as any job so corresponding time should be allocated.
  2. Pick houses you would be comfortable living in.  If you don't like the neighborhood, the schools in the area, or think the house is too dumpy than pass on it.  You want to attract quality tenants and in the future a good sale price so if you would not be willing to live in the place yourself many other people also would not.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Living on One Income: How to Make it Work

Living on One Income: How to Make it Work billeater.com

Living on One Income can be by design or circumstance. Jessica Bosari from billeater.com has encouraged us to look at the big ticket items to find ways to stretch your budget. Attached is the link to hear her suggestions.

Billeater.com has a neatly organized site to help you save money in all spending categories and shows where you can get coupons and freebies.

Living on one income can be tough but there are often opportunities.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Success Stories Round up

Most of us like success stories told by those who have overcome obstacles that may confront us all.  They encourage, challenge, and give us hope.  We say to ourselves "If they can do it, so can I".  The stories below have appeared on other blogs and are rich with ideas for Here's a few you might enjoy reading over the weekend:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Residential Real Estate Investing - Part 1

If you have thought about real estate investing now may be the time to do your home work and be ready.  Prices have continued to drop and interest rates are low.  We are just about to the bottom (hopefully) as the second dip hits (yes, it was coming).  There is an old axiom "Buy Low, Sell High".  If that is your goal then this is your time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nearly 50 percent leave Obama mortgage-aid program - Yahoo! Finance

Nearly 50 percent leave Obama mortgage-aid program - Yahoo! Finance

The biggest question that comes to mind when reading an article like this is, "why"?  The loan modification program was to be one of the corner stones of the recovery package and benefit millions of Americans.  After the inflated prices of homes and the predatory loans offered to customers the loan modification plan was supposed to bring things back into balance and allow the foreclosures to stop.  Citizens were to have the value of their homes reviewed and payment plans adjusted accordingly with fixed rates.  What happened?  The news story would lead one to believe that it was the plan itself or the government bureaucracy.  The article even suggests that it was the homeowners themselves who failed to follow through with the proper paperwork.
I don't buy it.  Not for a minute.  And, here's why:

At the end of 2009 there were 3,356,844 estimated eligible 60+ day delinquency.  As of the end of the year only a measly 66,465 loan modifications had been approved by the major banks.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Garage Sale Experience

I got this email from a friend about her garage sale experience.  She had prepared for the sale for weeks.  I got such a kick out of it I asked if I could share it with In The Trenches readers.  Here you go:

Ugh, I'm so exhausted. The sale was a raging success. My profit was zero dollars. Yup, zero. I'll explain.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Spike in layoffs feeds fear of faltering recovery - Yahoo! Finance

Spike in layoffs feeds fear of faltering recovery - Yahoo! Finance

The double dip. Are you surprised? Not if you have been reading this blog.

Unfortunately many have not expected or prepared and the next few months may get pretty ugly. Politicians and even the media will continue to bicker and blame instead of providing constructive information to the people about how to get through these times.

What can we do?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

20 Ways To Improve Your Life

Did you think I was going to give you the list?  You might know by now that is not my style.  What I will do is assist you to find your own 20 ways to improve your life and it's simple and easy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Free Is Good - Earth Day 2008 | Yahoo! Green

Readers please note:  There are 3 new posts today.  Hope you will check them all out.
Click here for the link:  Free Is Good - Earth Day 2008 Yahoo! Green

What do Green, Frugal Living, and In The Trenches have in common? More than they have that's different. All are concerned with the best utilization of resources. One may be a vegetarian and another a cattle rancher. Both are concerned that the earth is left in better condition because of it's human inhabitants. For all it means Waste Not, Want Not.

And, we ALL like free stuff!

Turn ugly dresses into nice ones for $1 | Yahoo! Green

Turn ugly dresses into nice ones for $1 Yahoo! Green

Imagination, not money is the key to living happily while In The Trenches. In this article Marisa Lynch set herself a goal of recreating one dress a day for 365 days for $1 a day. She called her project New Dress A Day.  Click the link to read her story and see the photos.


New Laws Rock the Debt Settlement World

New Laws Rock the Debt Settlement World

Are you currently or considering working with a debt settlement company? Here is some important information about upcoming legislation you need to be aware of written by Garrett Driscoll of Debt Eagle and published courtesy of Personal Finance By The Book.

Monday, August 16, 2010

An American Opportunity

John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country".

Get Rich Slowly has featured a five star post by a guest contributor.  The author tells of his experience of two years serving in the Peace Corps.  He makes many excellent points regarding the benefits of the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In The Trenches - Back to School Cooking - Crock Pots.

Summer is quickly coming to a close and the kids will be back in school.  What a perfect time to try something different with your cooking.  Crock pot meals are easy and can SAVE YOU MONEY.  Best of all, crock pot cooking enables you to have a sit down family meal after a busy day of work and activities. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Drew Barrymore's $25 Red Carpet Hit on Shine

Drew Barrymore's $25 Red Carpet Hit on Shine
click on the headline for the great photos.

Okay ladies. Frugal is officially in!

How to Retire Comfortably for Under $1,500 a Month - Yahoo! Finance

How to Retire Comfortably for Under $1,500 a Month - Yahoo! Finance

I found this to be a very interesting article about one couple who explored their options and chose to retire in a foreign country. The comments at the bottom list many pros, cons, and alternate ideas.

There are many 1st generation immigrants who come to America, work until retirement and then go "home" and live on their social security income and other investments. I know some that have been quite prosperous doing this. Sorry I don't have the numbers to share but I have heard many conversations along these lines and know people who have done it.

We don't usually consider ALL our retirement options. What's your opinion? Is living overseas something you would consider if it meant living a more comfortable lifestyle?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maybe it's time to fire your Money Manager

Every month I have been setting goals and every month all I hear is reasons and excuses why they are not being met. I have decided that it is just about time for me to walk into my Money Managers office, look her straight in the face and let her know that I'm going to have to fire her and find someone who can do the job. The organization can no longer afford nor should it tolerate the slipshod way she allows everything that comes along to deter her from the goals that have been set. What really was the straw that broke the camel's back was when she whined "I can't do it". Why would I entrust someone with my money who openly admits her incompetence at doing the job?  I've tried patience, retraining, and looking the other way. But the fact remains that we are not prospering as we should.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome Billeater fans

Glad you were able to stop by.  If it's your first time you might want to start with clicking the coins on the side for free full size copies of the work sheets from In The Trenches.  Also, the recommended posts on the side.  Very happy to have you and welcome to In The Trenches.  Hope you will sign up for a subscription and come back often.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Build your team.

I read lots of financial books, enjoy discussing various strategies, and can spend hours fiddling with spread sheets but there are certain aspects of finances I tend to steer away from.  Why?

They're boring!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What can you change?

Most of us have heard the serenity prayer at some time in our lives.  The wisdom contained in the brief words spans many of the problems and challenges in life, including finances.  For those who are not familiar here are the words:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And, the wisdom to know the difference.

If you are In The Trenches there are some things that you simply cannot change.  Some of these would include the fact that you were laid off, how long it will take the national economy to recover, or the fact that electricity prices are going up.  No matter how angry, frustrated, or hurt you are by these things and more, you cannot change them.  For these things we need serenity.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Small Business Round-up

Maybe you have thought about starting your own business or need some extra pocket money but just don't know where to start.  Over the coming months I will be doing research and posting about Small Business Opportunities and information.  I have often suggested that you check out other blogs and this time is no exception.  A number of prominent bloggers have participated in an effort to put together information to get you started.  The links will take you directly to their sites and you will find additional areas of interest and assistance.  The link also shows the title of the article.  I want to thank each of those who have submitted articles and hope that our readers will find new ideas to assist in building their financial future. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The New Credit Card Tricks

the-new-credit-card-tricks: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

Let me put it another way...what if you went into McDonalds and ordered a burger.  While you were getting your money the cashier reached over the counter and grabbed an extra $5 from your wallet.  What would your reaction be?  I would hate to think of it.  Then when you demanded to know why they took the $5 the cashier told you it was because you were too slow at taking the money out of your wallet.  Then the cashier turns around and gives your $5 to his manager who slips it into his pocket.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In The Trenches - Snacks

Everyday my brother and I would come bounding into the house after Mom got home from work and ask the same question, "What can I have for a snack?"  Everyday for probably 10 years, which would make it about 2,500 times, my Mom would answer the same thing, "We have cheese in the frig, there's apples, and there are celery and carrot sticks in the bottom drawer".  You would think we would have learned long before that but we were kids and always hoped for a different answer. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wealthy Reduce Buying in a Blow to the Recovery - Yahoo! Finance

Wealthy Reduce Buying in a Blow to the Recovery - Yahoo! Finance

What if we started viewing the word consumer as an insult?

For years we have been encouraged to consume and told that it would improve the American Economy. When the money ran out we were given the ability to continue consuming by using Credit cards which actually create debt. Did that really help our economy? Obviously not. Individuals, businesses, and government have been on the verge of collapse due to over consuming. It is only by the recent concentrated effort to pay off debt and start savings that many people have started to move away from the edge of the cliff of financial bankruptcy.