I’ve always been out of the loop on townhouses because, until now, I haven’t lived in an area where they were common. Now that I’ve moved to the greater Seattle area, I see them everywhere. To me, townhouses have always seemed like the ‘glorified apartments’ of urban areas. Along with condos, they represent limited home ownership within the realm of community living. So what exactly are the differences between apartments, condos, townhouses, and homes? Are townhouses worth your consideration?
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Every year, the USDA updates the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18. The latest figure is in line with recent years that you are likely to spend close to a quarter million dollars raising a child.

Breaking down the latest average and the figure is actually $23,000 per year. Luckily, I don’t spend $23,000 a year on my 14-year old son. How do I do it?

Can You Get Away with Spending Less?

In most cases, it’s probably possible to get away with spending less on your children than the government estimates.

Some of the ways you can spend less focus on food and clothing costs. You can also save money on housing, depending on your situation and where you live.
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My friend started a conversation on her high monthly grocery bill and told me to guess how much she spends. I quickly said, “$1,800” – mind you she is raising three growing preteen boys, and lives with her husband, mother, and stepfather, so basically seven adults. She seemed a little surprised that I was so close. As we continued talking about it, I told her there is no reason to even feel guilty about spending around $1,800 a month on food. Here’s why.

My friend basically spends $8.50 a day to feed each person if you work out the math. Isn’t that incredibly good? I don’t know the exact dimension of her budget, but I do know that even if they eat out 2-3 times a week, they are still eating most of their meals at home or from home. While many of us are not spending $1,800 a month, I know there are many of us who feel guilty about how much money we spend at the grocery store. If you cook 85% or more of your meals from home, have very little food waste, and are giving yourself and your family the nutrients needed, then there really should be no guilt.
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Your credit card getting in the wrong hands can spell big trouble. When your card is stolen, a complete stranger essentially has the power to put you in financial ruin with a few swipes of the card. It’s a very scary situation to be in but one that is all too common.

I was the victim of a stolen credit card once. I had picked up food at a small restaurant in my neighborhood and left my card there without noticing. I didn’t realize my card was missing until a couple days later while I was at a store trying to buy something else. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I would just report it lost and request a new card. To my dismay, I was already too late. Someone had stolen my card and gone on a shopping spree. They even filled up at a gas station.

I was angry and upset, as anyone would be when something personal is stolen from them. If you find yourself in a similar situation, what you do next is critical to your financial health going forward. You might not be able to get your card back but you can help protect your credit and finances. Here are five steps you should take if your credit card is stolen:
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buying a homeFor most Americans, the dream is to ultimately own a home. Purchasing property is a right of passage of sorts. It’s a big step into adulthood and probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. That’s all the more reason why you should thoroughly do your research and ask plenty of questions before you take this big step.

Before making a formal offer, it’s crucial to ask all the possible questions you can. Purchasing a home is a big investment and you don’t want to see your investment tank after you’ve already put your life savings into it. If you’re planning on buying a house, take a look at these questions you need to ask:

How Long Has This Property Been on the Market?

You’ve found the perfect home and you want to put in a offer as soon as possible. But not so fast. How long has this property been on the market? This is a question you should always ask the sales agent. You can also easily find out online just to double check that the agent is telling the truth. While this can be dependent on the housing market in your location in general, a home that has been on a market for months can indicate that something is undesirable about the property.
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clothesNot all of us need a budget for cars. Not all of us need a budget for pets. Not all of us need a budget for haircuts even. But without a doubt, we all need a budget for clothing.

We all know how to shrink our clothes, but what many of us don’t know how to do is shrink our clothing budget. That’s what this post will help you do. Let’s turn the water to hot and begin shrinking our clothing budget.

Return Items

This is hard for me because I can be shy. But it’s really important. When you buy something and then dislike it when you get home – return the item. It’s okay.

I used to never do this. I’d just let the article of clothing sit forgotten in a drawer and then donate it years later. Mistake.

What helped me get over the fear of returning things was to realize that the store wants me to be happy. Because a happy customer is a repeat customer. It’s why stores like Zappos, Kohl’s, and others have such amazing return policies. They want you to be satisfied. Let them have their wish.

To keep from buying things you’ll later realize you dislike, there’s a rule you can follow. If you wouldn’t wear it out of the store that day – don’t buy it. I don’t remember who told me this but I’ve been using it for a few years. And I haven’t had to return anything out of dislike for the item since.
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