Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
Leading Edge Real Estate | 781-944-6060 | [email protected]


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 3/29/2018

Money is the root of many people’s stress and anxiety and it’s also the cause of many fights. But it doesn’t have to be for you. You may own a home now, but it doesn’t mean you should stop saving or that saving has to be a difficult undertaking.

Ideally you already have a robust emergency fund—this type of account is suggested by financial experts to have even before paying down ‘good’ debt such as student loans. This account is extremely important as you never know when or if that “rainy day” will come. The suggested amount to have in an emergency fund is six to nine months’ worth of income—and to be on the higher end if you own a home and have children. For instance, if you take home $3,000 a month, you should have $18,000 to $27,000 in your emergency fund. You should also consider whether it’s best to keep these funds in a regular savings account or a money market account.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of an emergency fund,let’s discuss how to keep saving—whether you are saving just to save or saving for a vacation, new car, or that fancy grill you’ve been eyeing.

Automatic deposit from primary income: If you aren’t doing this already then you should be. Automatic deposit is the easiest way to save money. Many places of employment offer this option, and if not your financial institution will. Automatically depositing money into a savings account (separate of the rest of your income) will force you to save. And if your place of employment offers this option then that money will never enter your checking account—out of sight, out of mind. If you must use your financial institution then have the automatic transfer occur on the day you are paid so the money is almost like it was never there for spending. Of course, this will be an adjustment if you are used to living off that money, especially if you just purchased a home. However, you can start small and work your way to a larger amount such as when you receive a raise or have other forms of incoming income.

Automatic transfer from checking to savings: Many financial institutions offer the ability to automatically transfer funds between your checking account and savings account each time you use your debit card. If your bank does not offer this opportunity there are apps for your phone that can easily connect to your online bank accounts and do the work for you. It’s a great way to save a small amount of money each time you swipe your card. And depending on how often you use your debit card, those savings could add up quickly. For example, you spend $25.33 at the grocery store and use your debit card to pay. Your bank (or app) will round that number up to $26.00 and transfer .67 into your account of choice. It’s too easy not to participate!

There are many other ways to be a better saver, but it’s best to start simple and small. Overwhelming yourself with how much you need/want to save and with many ways of saving, might cause the opposite to happen. Remember, you have a house to pay for and all the other expenses that come with it. Be conscious of your financial situation and be diligent with your savings strategy and you’ll be on the road to being a savings master.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 6/15/2017

Saving money is on everyone’s mind, and rightfully so. One of the easiest ways to save money when shopping is by using your phone. There are many apps offered in the App Store and Google Play Store that are amazing at saving you money through discounts, coupons and even money back. All you have to do is download the app and create an account and your on your ways to savings. Check out the apps below: Cartwheel: This is Target’s app. It features deals that are based on items you’ve purchased before or are likely to purchase in the future (based on shopping patterns it learns from using the app). But the best part about this app is the scan feature. While shopping scan all of your items that you put in your shopping cart to find additional offers, saving you even more money. Savings Catcher: This is Wal-Mart’s app. With the Savings Catcher app you scan your Wal-Mart receipts and it then scans for competitor’s prices on items that you purchased. You will receive money back for any item that was priced lower at a competitor’s store. You can turn this money into a gift card at any time and redeem it at your local Wal-Mart. Shopular: Shopular is a very popular shopping app. It has coupons, deals, and sales for almost every store imaginable. They include Express, Famous Footwear, Michaels, Old Navy, Target, Kohl’s, factory stores, and so many more. The best part about this app is that stores actually accept the coupons. Groupon: Groupon is very popular. It offers deals on restaurants, goods, hotels, vacation packages, activities, and much more. Beyond the offers that are offered, Groupon also runs specials where you can receive an additional amount off the already discounted amount. These are perfect times to purchase the Groupon you’ve been holding out on. Now get to downloading and happy saving!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/19/2014

When you think of cooling your home you probably think of expensive central air conditioning or even a window air conditioning unit. There are alternatives to air conditioning that help keep your house cool. One alternative is a whole-house fan. A whole-house fan can keep your home cool at a fraction of the cost. A whole-house fan may sound complicated but the design is simple. A fan mounted in the attic pushes hot air out through attic vents while drawing in the cooler, outside air through open doors and windows. Believe it or not a whole-house fan can purge a house of hot air in two to three minutes. Whole-house fans are becoming increasingly more popular. They consume only one tenth of the power as your AC. Even if you have AC, the whole-house fan can work as a pre-chiller before the AC is turned on. Use the fan to bring in cooler night and/or morning air, this often lowers the temperature inside the house by 5 degrees (or more). If you are thinking about a whole-house fan contact your local HVAC installer. They can help you determine the appropriate fan for your home and climate. The average cost for a whole-house fan ranges between $200 and $800.  





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 1/15/2014

Housing prices are low, rates are low but how can you buy a house when your funds are also low?  How can you save money for a house while prices and rates are still good? Saving for a home can be different than just saving because you have save such a large amount of money and you don't know exactly how much you'll need.  Here are some strategies on how to save up: 1. Start with small goals. Try saving for closing costs or another smaller amount and then add another goal. Break the down payment into 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% levels, to help make the savings goal more achievable. 2. Try saving a specific amount of money every month. Instead of saying I want to save $6,000 a year it is easier to say I will save $500 a month. Smaller, more achievable milestones are always good motivators to savings. 3. Ask for help. If people ask what to give you a gift for your wedding, birthday etc. ask them to contribute to your home savings plan. Online sites like SmartyPig make it easy to get other people involved in your savings goals. 4. Create a visual goal graphic. Create a vision board or some kind of graphic that represents what you are saving for. It always helps to see what you are saving for and have a constant reminder. Hopefully, you'll be on your way to a new home in no time.







Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA