Thursday, December 15, 2011

Topics in this blog!

Stuff you might want to read about:


Friday, December 2, 2011

Mistakes Wives Make With Their Husbands

Check out these common mistakes wives make that injure their husband's sensitive pride (adapted from Secrets of Fascinating Womanhood) and tell me what you think. Agree or not? Do you think taht working on these things could improve your marriage? Do you have experience with any of these things?

1) Criticizing his weaknesses.
2) Speaking angrily when he fails in a masculine area of responsibility.
3) Disagreeing with him on masculine matters.
4) Pouring cold water on his ideas.
5) Giving him advice when he has not asked for it.
6) Discussing his career or occupation as if you know as much about it as he does.
7) Reminding him how you struggle on his income.
8) Telling others how much your parents have done for you since you got married.
9) Admiring a masculine quality in another man.
10) Suggesting he call a repair man when he is trying to repair something.
11) Not paying attention when he is telling you about something of which he is proud.
12) Not praising him when he does something outstandingly well.
13) Telling him he is losing his figure or his hair.
14) Holding yourself up as an example for him to follow.
15) Reminding him of your superior education.
16) Excelling him in a male-dominated sport such as athletics, golf, swimming, etc.
17) Going out to work when he would prefer that you stayed at home.
18) Telling others that you have to go out to work to make ends meet.

All these mistakes BELITTLE your husband. They sap his self-confidence.

He feels less manly. He may feel unworthy of you. No matter how much he knows that he should, or would like to. Nor can he bring himself to confide in you, although he may long to. His fear of further hurt and his resentment prevent him. More often, the hurt causes him to feel angry and resentful towards you. He then shows his bad side, his ugly side.

He just can’t feel loving and tender towards you.

There is also another reason why a man may not confide in his wife, even when she is not hurting his pride. That is when she is a blabber mouth. When he cannot trust her to keep it to herself. We must learn to be discreet when our husband confides in us.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Save Money with a Free Energy Audit!

Leave no rock unturned when looking for ways to save money in everyday life!

A home energy audit is often the first step in making your home more efficient. An audit can help you assess how much energy your home uses and evaluate what measures you can take to improve efficiency.

Did you know that many energy providers offer free energy audits of their customers' homes? A power- and water-saving home will conserve your money now, and is more valuable in the long run. Call your utility companies today!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Home Maintenance Checklist

Basic Home Maintenance Checklist

Here is an overview of home maintenance every home owner should do.  (See Home Maintenance Toolkit)

1. Roof: Check the roof and around vents, skylights, and chimneys for leaks. Repair as necessary.

2. Attic: If there is no ridge vent, keep gable vents open year-round to ensure proper ventilation.

3. Gutters: Clean the gutters and drain pipes so leaves won't clog them and be sure they drain away from the house. Drain outside faucets in cold climates every fall.

4. Siding and Paint: Look for cracks and holes in house siding or paint. Replace caulk if necessary. A carpet knife can work well for cutting away old caulking from house siding. Slice down alongside it from both directions with the hook-like blade, then use the knife to lift out the old caulk bead intact.

5. Basement: Check the basement walls and floor for dampness. Be sure to clean the dehumidifier regularly, if you have one.

6. Safety Equipment: Ensure that all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are in good working order. Replace batteries in appropriate devices as needed, or at least twice each year.

7. Air Conditioner: (Fall: In cold-climate areas) Remove window air-conditioners, or put weatherproof covers on them.

8. Heating System: (Fall) Have the heating system serviced. Change filters.

9. Storm Windows and Screens: (Fall) Take down screens (if removable type) and replace with storm windows. (Spring) Remove, clean, and store storm windows (if removable). Check and patch all door and window screens. Put screens up (if removable type).

10. Windows and Doors: Seal drafty doors and windows. If you added up all of the small cracks where heating and cooling escapes from a home, it would be the same as having a window open. Replace seals as needed.

11. Filters: Remember to clean or replace filters once a month, or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood, and room fans. Keep heating and cooling vents clean and free from furniture and draperies.

12. Fireplace: Clean the fireplace of ashes. (Fall) Check the chimney for loose or missing mortar. Have the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper closes tightly. (Spring) Leave the damper open for improved ventilation if the home is not air-conditioned.

13. Faucets: Check for leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathroom(s). Replace washers as necessary.

14. Refrigerator: Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, the latch may need to be adjusted or the seal may need to be replaced. In addition, if you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum the coils at least twice each year. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently with clean coils. Also, stock up! A full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one.

15. Hot Water Heater: (Fall) Drain the hot water heater. Remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.

If you are not "maintenance savvy", having a home inspection, whether you are buying selling or have just lived in your home for over 10 years will help you evaluate which of these items need attention.

Read More:
Home OrganizingHome Cleaning | Spruce Up Your Home | Home Selling Info

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fresh Tomato Saute (to serve over Pasta)

Fresh Tomato Saute (to serve over Pasta)

  • 1lb angel hair or thin spaghetti pasta (whole grain) - prepared as directed
  • 4 cups chopped tomatoes *For best flavor, fire-roast tomatoes over gas burner or on grill before chopping until slifhtly chared on all sides
  • 1 small - medium green pepper chopped
  • 4-6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon or lime
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • (optional: 1/2 cup fresh halved cherry tomatoes)
  • (optional: frozen shrimp)

  • In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over med-high heat.
  • Add tomatoes and green peppers (Careful! Oil is hot and may splatter.)
  • Stir in lemon/lime juice, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer just until tomoatoes soften and start to reduce.
  • (Add thawed shrimp 1-2 minutes before removing from heat)
  • Spoon over plated pasta or combine with pasta in a large serving bowl.
  • (top with halved cherry tomatoes)
  • Top with parmesan and serve

If you are dieting or want to avoid the 225 calories in 1 cup of spaghetti, substitute spaghetti squash (only 40 calories/cup) for a really healthy dish.
Tomatoes have the highest content of Lycopene of any fruit or vegetable. Lycopene acts as an anti-oxidant in the body and helps fight cancer and heart disease
Tomatoes should not be refrigerated as they loose their consistency and flavor. Keep them in a cool place and eat as soon as you can after picking

Friday, July 22, 2011

Random tips...

Random tips I received in an email... I take no credit but the ones I have tried worked so figured I would share them all...

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar/calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper Weeds-Away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic, they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken pieces of glass – the fibers catch ones you can’t see!

Extend Battery Life
To give unused batteries a longer life, store them in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.

Easier Thank You’s
When you throw a bridal/baby shower, buy a pack of thank you cards for the guest of honor. During the party, pass out the envelopes and have everyone put their address on one. When the bride/new mother sends the thank you’s, they’re all addressed!

After Purchasing New Bike
If you purchase a new bike for your child, place their picture inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen and later recovered, remove the grip and there is your proof who owns the bike.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and — voila — static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily.
(Of course, you could steam the envelope open, too, with your kettle)

Hair Conditioner
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair…

Good-bye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2″ with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it
“home,” & can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or
so, esp. if it rains, but it works & you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Take baby powder to the beach
Keep a small bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. When you’re
ready to leave the beach sprinkle yourself and kids with the powder
and the sand will slide right off your skin.

Bed Sheets
After drying my sheets, fold neatly in a square. Put both folded sheets and one pillowcase in the other pillow case .Next time you change sheets, you just take the one pillow case and all the sheets and pillow case are inside. No need to look for matches.

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



4 large Russet potatoes, cubed
3 cup red potatoes, cubed
3-4 cups chicken broth (enough to cover potatoes completely)
1 cup pearl onions, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 package diced turkey bacon, chopped
1/2 cup butter substitute (like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
2 cups frozen corn
1 can cream corn
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup fat free half and half cream
1 tablespoon herb de Provence (A combination of herbs typically including basil, fennel, lavender, marjoram or mint, rosemary, savory, sage, and thyme.)
1-2 tsp course ground pepper
1/2-1 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. parsley
Chives and Grated Sharp Cheddar as Garnish (optional)
Salt to Taste

Cube potatoes, onions, and bacon in even pieces. Simmer potatoes, bacon, onions and garlic in the chicken broth and butter until tender and the bacon is fully cooked.
When potatoes are tender, add sour cream, half and half, corn and seasonings; continue to simmer on medium low for 15-20 minutes or until it is reduced to desired thickness.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tips for reducing your energy consumption

Conserving the electricity you use often boils down to what's plugged in. You can generally assume something plugged in is ALWAYS sucking electricity even if it's not in use.  Here are some tips to help you reduce your energy consumption.

Use a power strip for your computer, printers, and other computer equipment. This can protect the devices during electrical surge, and provides an easy way to unplug all those energy sucking electronic devices in one pull.
Electrical appliances, such as toasters and coffee makers, as well as cell phone and other device chargers continue to draw small amount of electricity even when off or not charging. Hence, it is best to unplug them after use.

Do you have a second refrigerator or freezer in the garage?  It may be costing you hundreds year in electricity just to store excess beverages and bulk groceries.

Laptops use less energy than desktops. If your desktop is ready for replacement, consider the versatile laptop.

Other draws on your electric bill are related to heating and cooling your house. Keeping your heating and cooling units clean and maintained will save money on energy.  If your furnace or AC unit are older, getting them replaced with an Energy Star until maybe a good return on your investment.

This is not a comprehensive list, just a few points to get you thinking about your energy usage.  There are books you can buy that dig deep into this topic. If you want a full professional evaluation, get an energy audit.  Some utility companies will offer them for free and some states will reimburse you the cost if you have to pay.

Happy conserving!
Check out more ways to GO GREEN!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Single buyers: Know this!

Single Homeownership is Awesome ... If You Consider This...

When I bought my first home, I was a single female.  I was living in an apartment with a friend. I had a car and had a career.  I had no pets.  I could do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. One day, someone said to me, "what's next; marriage or a house?" and they chuckled.  But that got me thinking.

I'm not anywhere near getting married so I guess I should look into buying a house.  But where do I start?

So I talked to an agent, who referred me to a lender and I'll leave the rest of the story for another time but what I want to go back to for this story were things I kinda figured out along the way instead of in advance.

Show me the money!

The first thing you should ask yourself is how much have you saved up for a downpayment and closing costs to purchase a home. 5%? 10%? 20%? This affects your purchasing power so it's the first consideration.

Credit? Debit?

These things affect your ability to get a loan.  In many cases, you can improve your credit score in just 3-6 months with help... all while saving up more down payment for buying your home. :)

Financially feasible.

Work backwards from your existing monthly budget, not the amount of the loan you are approved for with the lender.
Once you know your comfortable mortgage payments plus monthly expense budget ask yourself these questions:
1) If I lose a job, have a health issue, or anything else happens that could affect your ability to cover your monthly mortgage and other costs, do I have savings or a back up plan to make the payments?
2) Am I willing to have a roommate?

I am a grown up.

Once you have thought out the financials, now you can think about the responsibilities of owning a home.
Who's gonna mow the grass? Plow the snow? Who's responsible for maintenance? Do you even own a shovel or a screwdriver? If you cringe when you hear these things, you may want to consider a home in an association like a townhouse or condo.  Don't buy a home you can't manage yourself.

Location, location, location.

Look out for your safety and security. Consider proximity to work, friends and family. What neighborhoods can you afford? How is the lighting at night? Is the parking attached? Is the bedroom on ground floor?  What concerns you?


OK, so how single are you?  Is this a property you would keep long term or need to sell if your relationship status changed?  Are you in your job for the long haul or could you be relocated in a year?
Purchasing a home is generally a great long-term investment but if there is a chance it's not long term, make sure to only consider homes that have great general appeal and will be easy to resell (or rent) if need be.

You got all that? EXCELLENT!
Still need more guidance? NO PROBLEM!

I can help you either way. :-) 

If your friends are like mine were, they are going to envy your financial responsibility.  Your savvy investment in a home and paying your own mortgage instead of someone else's is going to have your family impressed!  Aren't you excited about saying "want to come to my house?" and knowing it's YOURS! 

You might be interested in:
Search for Your First Home

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Magic of Hydrogen Peroxide

DISCLAIMER: I copied this from a Facebook post that someone made.  I do not stand behind these claims and of course I am not responsible for anything that happens if you try any of this... blah, blah, blah...

Ever since I started using Hydrogen Peroxide to get rid of armpit stains, to clean cookie sheets, as a miracle cleaner in my kitchen and bathroom, and to make my own “oxi clean”…I ALWAYS have at least one bottle of the stuff under my kitchen sink, under my bathroom sink, AND in the laundry room. This stuff is amazingly versatile! But it wasn’t until recently, after doing some IN DEPTH research on the subject, that I came to realize what a “miracle substance” hydrogen peroxide really is! It’s safe, it’s readily available, it’s cheap, and best of all, it WORKS! It works for a LOT of stuff!
Hydrogen peroxide should really be called oxygen water, since it is basically the same chemical make up as water but with an extra oxygen atom (H2O2). Because of this it breaks down quickly and harmlessly into oxygen and water.

Some other interesting facts about hydrogen peroxide:
It is found in all living material.
Your white blood cells naturally produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to fight bacteria and infections.
Fruit and vegetables naturally produce hydrogen peroxide. This is one of the reasons why it is so healthy to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
It is found in massive dosages in the mother’s first milk, called colostrum, and is transferred to the baby to boost their immune system.
It is found in rain water because some of the H20 in the atmosphere receives an additional oxygen atom from the ozone (O3) and this H2O2 makes plants grow faster.
Next to Apple Cider Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide ranks up there as one of the best household remedies.

Besides the obvious (cleansing wounds), did you know that it is probably the best remedy to dissolve ear wax? Brighten dingy floors? Add natural highlights to your hair? Improve your plants root systems? The list goes on and on!

There are SO many uses for this stuff that I’ve started replacing the cap on the hydrogen peroxide bottle with a sprayer because it’s easier and faster to use that way.
I have compiled a rather impressive list of uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide that I hope will have you as thrilled and bewildered as I was!
  1. Wash vegetables and fruits with hydrogen peroxide to remove dirt and pesticides. Add 1/4 cup of H2O2 to a sink of cold water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.
  2. In the dishwasher, add 2 oz. to your regular detergent for a sanitizing boost. Also, beef up your regular dish soap by adding roughly 2 ounces of 3% H2O2 to the bottle.
  3. Use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash to freshen breath. It kills the bacteria that causes halitosis. Use a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.
  4. Use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste for brushing teeth. Helps with early stages of gingivitis as it kills bacteria. Mixed with salt and baking soda, hydrogen peroxide works as a whitening toothpaste.
  5. Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide between uses to keep it clean and prevent the transfer of germs. This is particularly helpful when you or someone in your family has a cold or the flu.
  6. Clean your cutting board and countertop. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean. (I’ve been using it for this a LOT lately!)
  7. Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, it’s great for cleaning places that store food and dishes.
  8. Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.
  9. Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.
  10. Whiten bathtub grout. First dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit — it may bubble slightly — for a little while, then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times.
  11. Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then scrub clean.
  12. Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.
  13. Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.
  14. Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis.
  15. Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants.
  16. Add natural highlights to your hair. Dilute the hydrogen peroxide so the solution is 50% peroxide and 50% water. Spray the solution on wet hair to create subtle, natural highlights.
  17. According to alternative therapy practitioners, adding half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to a warm bath can help detoxify the body. Some are skeptical of this claim, but a bath is always a nice way to relax and the addition of hydrogen peroxide will leave you – and the tub – squeaky clean!
  18. Spray a solution of 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide on leftover salad, drain, cover and refrigerate. This will prevent wilting and better preserve your salad.
  19. Sanitize your kids’ lunch boxes/bags.
  20. Dab hydrogen peroxide on pimples or acne to help clear skin.
  21. Hydrogen peroxide helps to sprout seeds for new plantings. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution once a day and spritz the seed every time you re-moisten. You can also use a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 32 parts water to improve your plants’ root system.
  22. Remove yellowing from lace curtains or tablecloths. Fill a sink with cold water and a 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Soak for at least an hour, rinse in cold water and air dry.
  23. Use it to remove ear wax. Use a solution of 3% with olive or almond oil. Add a couple drops of oil first then H2O2. After a few minutes, tilt head to remove solution and wax.
  24. Helps with foot fungus. Spray a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry. Or try soaking your feet in a peroxide solution to help soften calluses and corns, and disinfect minor cuts.
  25. Spray down the shower with hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and viruses.
  26. Use 1 pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water to clean humidifiers and steamers.
  27. Wash shower curtains with hydrogen peroxide to remove mildew and soap scum. Place curtains in machine with a bath towel and your regular detergent. Add 1 cup full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.
  28. Use for towels that have become musty smelling. 1/2 cup Peroxide and 1/2 cup vinegar let stand for 15 minutes wash as normal. Gets rid of the smell.
  29. Use hydrogen peroxide to control fungi present in aquariums. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your fish. Use sparingly for this purpose.
  30. De-skunking solution. Combine 1 quart 3% H2O2, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent, 2 quarts warm water.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Your Basic Home Maintenance Toolkit

Home Maintenance Tool Kit
Owning a home requires maintenance.  Many people will hire a handyman but for those who like to do it themselves, some basic equipment and supplies will be necessary.  Everyone has their own preferances but here is a list to get you started:
Basic Home Maintenance Equipment
  • Flashlight
  • Bucket, 5-gallon
  • Ladder, 6-foot fiberglass
  • Claw hammer
  • Screwdrivers, several sizes of both flathead and Phillips
  • Tape measure, 25-foot+
  • Utility knife and extra blades
  • Wrenches, basic set of open-ended crescent wrenches, set of ratcheting socket wrenches, and set Allen wrenches
  • Pliers, standard (slip-joint), long-nose, Channellock, and wire-cutter (diagonal)
  • Hand saw, small, multipurpose
  • Gloves, rubber gloves and leather
  • Safety goggles
  • Glue, wood and all-materials (not Super Glue)
  • Sandpaper and sanding block
  • Caulking gun
  • Clamps
  • Combination square or speed square
  • Drill, cordless, 3/8-inch variable-speed reversible
  • Drill bit set
  • Flat scraper or putty knife
  • Circular saw
  • Level, 36- or 48-inch aluminum
  • Sawhorse(s)

As a do-it-yourself person, what would you add to this list?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Will a mortgage break my bank?

How much can you spend on a house?

As of 2010, lenders, do not want your mortgage payment to exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income. The lender takes into account the actual mortgage payment, interest on the payment, property taxes and your homeowner's insurance. The total of these factors should never exceed 28% of your pretax (gross) income each month.
To calculate what your maximum monthly mortgage payment allowed by the lender will likely be, multiply your yearly salary by 0.28, then divide that number by 12.

But how much is that really?

For most people, they need the bottom line. Do you have credit cards? Car payments? Medical expenses? When it comes down to shelling out the cash, all these items do not come out of your GROSS income, they come out of your NET income. That being said, you should know your net income. Let's say you and your spouse make a combined income of $75,000 (after deductions). You are likely in the 25% bracket for federal taxes if filing jointly. So you owe about $11,000 in federal tax. (Your income is now $64,000.) And in MN, you will owe approximately another $11,000 in state taxes. (Your income is not $53,000.) So using the mortgage calculation above, ($75000x.28=$21,000/12=$1750 per month), your "maximum mortgage payment" would be about 40% of your income after tax.

Do you have other expenses each month?  Of course!  So how do you know what will be a comfortable mortgage payment for you? Break out the Excel spreadsheet. It's time to figure out your budget!  Some people just cringed and thought "Forget that" but don't move on just yet.  What are you currently paying in rent?  Is it comfortable? Then just use that as the base in your head and contact a lender to help you work the numbers to find a mortgage what you can afford for that payment. :)

(Disclaimer: Not everyone qualifies for a mortgage.)
Need answers to your mortgage questions?  Click here: