Archive for Spending

Do You Have A Nanny, Chef, And Or Cleaner?

I don’t have either and am really considering hiring all 3. Lately I feel like I don’t have time to do anything. We’ve been eating out a bit more lately which I hate, simply because we don’t always have the time to cook.

The funny thing is, we’re still DINKS. I mean imagine after kids! For now we’re thinking of getting someone to do the cleaning and the laundry. We usually do a major clean up once a week, and do laundry weekly as well. On average it takes about 3-4 hours to complete both per week. That’s about 16 hours a month that we could be doing something else.

We could likely get a cleaning lady for about $75-$100 a week which would free up a whole lot of time for us to do other things. I know this would cost us up to $400 a month, but it would be so worth it not to have to worry about doing the laundry or cleaning. I hate to see the laundry basket overflowing and I don’t like a dirty house, so I find myself sometimes putting in a load before our weekly laundry schedule, or if I see that something needs to be cleaned, I don’t always wait until it’s time to clean, I just do it.

My mom has offered to clean for us, but in all honestly I would feel guilty watching my mom clean and I am just sitting there doing work, since I work from home. We would start chatting and I would likely start to help her clean. So since I know how that would turn out, we would have to hire a non family member.

I am not sure exactly where to look for a cleaner. I guess I could try Kijiji or Craigslist, or just ask around. I have heard of Molly Maid, but I am not sure how good they are or how much they cost. Have any of you ever used Molly Maid? I am assuming that it would be cheaper to hire an individual versus someone from a company. There are just less people that would have to be paid.

Have you ever hired any help to assist around the house?

Photo by 2mnedolz

Some Differences Between Egypt & The U.S.

Today we have a guest post

Have you ever wondered whether the spending habits of Egyptians differ from those of Americans? Both Egypt and the US are two of the most populous countries in the world. Egypt, which is situated in North Africa and part of the Middle East, is well-known for its pyramids and ancient civilization. However, it is also modernizing at a fast rate and becoming increasingly attractive to overseas investors.

If you’re considering relocating to Egypt or travelling there on business, here’s how the lifestyle and particularly spending patterns, differ from those in the US.

The rapid modernization and urbanization of countries across the world has resulted in many citizens migrating from the rural areas to urban cities. In Egypt, urban metropolises and tourist hubs like Cairo, Port Said, Sharm el Sheikh and Luxor offer far more employment opportunities, better wages and a higher standard of living – much like how cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington continue to attract workers from towns and smaller cities in the US.

Multinational companies in Egypt and the US now play an important role in bringing in more jobs and better pay to enhance the standard of living in the large cities. The influx of international banks to Egypt has introduced a wide range of competitive banking products and services as well as opening up many financing options. Consumers are now offered a wide range of bank accounts and modern facilities such as telephone and online banking and easy access to cash via the ATMs. It’s possible to open up an account with a global bank before going to Egypt to make banking there much simpler.

So how does spending vary in terms of the main areas of expenditure people face?

Housing

Most people spend most of their income on housing, especially in large cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles where property prices are more expensive than smaller cities and towns. Similarly, the cost of housing varies by location in Egypt. Overall, housing costs in Egypt are relatively cheaper than the US.  

Transport

Egyptians spend less on public transportation than Americans. While metro and micro buses are considered more economical in Egypt, taxis are also cheaper than in the US. While you may require a vehicle to commute to  a lot of cities within the U.S, gas prices are more expensive in the US than in Egypt.

Household utilities

Egyptians pay less for household utilities than Americans. Households in the U.S use heating and air-conditioning, this can be very expensive. Hiring help to clean your home is also very cheap in Egypt versus the U.S.

Food at home and eating out

It is not surprising that an average American household spends less on food at home compared to an Egyptian household because Americans prefer to eat out at restaurants and fast food chains. Eating out is becoming common in major cities in Egypt such as Luxor, Aswan, Cairo and the oases in Egypt and this can be costly.

Have you ever been to Egypt on business or for personal reasons?

Is Your Bank Making Too Much Money Off Of You?

Do you ever wonder if you are giving your bank too much money? Having a mortgage is one thing, but what about all of the unnecessary fees that some people pay without even paying attention.

1. Annual Credit Card Fees

I am surprised how many people have this and don`t realize their bank charges them to have their credit cards. Some of the fees include getting more air miles per purchase, and other beneficial things, but it`s important to check what your fee includes to ensure you`re getting your money`s worth. If you don`t need what they are offering for your annual fee, cancel the annual fee. It just takes a phone call to cancel it.

2. Keeping Credit Card Balances

Banks make a killing off of interest rates. Why pay them more than you have to. Paying off your credit card by the end of the month will ensure you don`t pay a dime in interest. If you often keep balances, or if you are paying down your credit card, call your bank and ask them for a lower rate. You may be surprised to see how easy it is to get a lower rate.

3. Going into Overdraft

There is really no need to go into overdraft if you are paying attention to what`s going on in your bank account. If you know you may be over one month, ask your bank if you can link another account to your checking account. If you have funds in your linked account, rather than going into overdraft, the money would automatically come out of your linked account free of charge.

4. Paying a Monthly Account Fee

Most banks charge a monthly fee just to have an account with them, or they ask that you keep a minimum balance. This requires a lot of monitoring to ensure that you stay within the limited number of transactions that are allowed in your monthly plan, or keeping a minimum balance in your account at all times. Review your plan to ensure you need it. You may also want to consider banking with either PC Financial or ING Direct which both offer unlimited free transactions on their checking accounts.

5. Statement Fees

Some banks charge up to $2 per month every time they send you a hard copy of your statement. Avoid this fee and check your statement online where it`s free. Besides how many times do you actually open your statement when you get it in the mail, especially if you normally check it online or at the ATM?

6. Insufficient Funds

This can cost you over $40 for an NSF charge. This can easily be avoided by monitoring your account. Most often checks are returned for NSF not only because the funds may not be in the account, but the funds may just be on hold. Often times when a deposit is made at a bank machine, a hold is placed on the funds to ensure it clears. If a check is being cashed while the funds are on hold and there is not overdraft on the account, the bank will return the check and charge you an NSF fee.

What are some unnecessary fees that you have paid or are currently paying to your bank?

Photo by Jim Corwin

Are You A Netflix Fan?

If you’re anything like me, you absolutely love movies! I have loved movies since I was a little girl. My favorite movie is Coming To America, starring Eddie Murphy. I think I’ve seen that movie about 100 times. I can pretty much recite the whole movie.

When Netflix first came out, I was super excited. My cousin has Netflix and gave me her user-name and password, so I started watching movies on my IPad. I then bought a connector so friends and family could watch movies with me on our TV.

I never even thought about how much money Netflix is loosing as a result of people like myself. Netflix currently has 29.17 million paid subscribers in the U.S. The number is really higher than that worldwide because I know many people who have Netflix here in Canada, including myself. I am now a paid subscriber, because my cousin gave several people her user-name and password, and there would be times when too many people would try to watch movies at the same time. Netflix only allows 2 people to be logged into a Netflix account at the same time, which meant, I couldn’t watch movies whenever I wanted to.

Up to 10 million streamers are not paying to watch movies. They are using someone else ‘s account. Since Netflix has realized they are loosinf a ton of money, they came up with a new plan where subscribers will pay $11.99, which will allow up to 4 other streamers to watch movies at the same time. It’s a good move for Netflix in my opinion, because I don’t know how many people are going to actually pay more money for their friends to watch movies from their account, which means everyone will have to pay $7.99 which is more money for Netflix in the long run.

Would you pay $11.99 for your friends to use your account?

Photo by Cut Them Coupons

150 Words on: What Do You Spend Money On?

“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” – James W. Frick

“Ah, yeah I should have an emergency fund, but I need those designer shoes, and since I don’t have the money I’ll just charge it”. I have several friends that think that way, but are constantly complaining about not having any money. It’s really not rocket science. If you save you will have money, if you don’t, you won’t. It’s really that simple. Another one is, if you spend less than you make, you will have a little something at the end of the month, if you spend more than you make, you will be broke. I know we learned adding and subtracting in  grade 1, or maybe even kindergarten, so we all know this, it’s just putting it into practice! It may take some work, but it’s so worth it!

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