8 Books to Help You Save and Manage Your Money

canstockphoto398680Managing your money to save will be one the best choices you ever make. Whether you are saving for a new car, new house, may be even a second house or retirement, get started today with advice and insight from these inspiring reads.

  1. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Author Sethi’s unique style keeps you interested through his entire six-week personal finance program. You are sure to master your money using the least amount effort with Sethi’s approach.

  1. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

Don’t let the fact that Stanley and Danko first published this book 20 years go keep you from unveiling its secrets to monetary success. The authors apply more than 20 years of research to identify the seven characteristics of America’s richest folks.

  1. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke by Suze Orman

Although this book is geared toward those under age 25, Orman offers insight into growing your net worth. In reality, most everyone starts out with very little. She also breaks down the path to financial success.

  1. Financially Fearless: The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of your Money by Alexa Von Tobel

CEO Von Tobel uses this book as her opportunity to distill all of the financial planning her company, LearnVest, gives to its clients. Since its inception in 2007, LearnVest has raised more than $69 million.

  1. Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals by Thomas Corley

Corley managed to identify both “rich habits” and “poverty habits” by spending five years studying both the lives of the rich and the poor. He outlines these habits and the rest of his findings in his book.

  1. The Investment Answer by Daniel Goldie and Gordon Murray

Goldie and Murray outline a general guide to investing. They focus on the five decisions that every investor must make. Among these decisions are making the choice to go it alone or invest with a professional along with allocating stocks, bonds and cash.

  1. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Kahneman, a Nobel-winning behavioral economist, will take you on a tour of the mind in this book. He explains the two systems that drive the way we think. You guessed it, one is fast and emotional while the other is slow and logical. He offers practical advice into how we make both our business and personal decisions.

  1. The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach

This is Bach’s practical and straight-forward guide to financial security. He lives by the maxim, “Pay yourself first.” Before worrying about anything else like taxes, investing or budgeting, focus on paying yourself for the work you do every day and put it aside to be dealt with later.

5 Tips for Back to School Success

canstockphoto38744860The distant sound of school bells ring as August comes to a close. The time to start planning for a smooth transition is now. Use the following tips for stress-free back to school prep.

1. Organize
Use the down time in summer to get and stay organized. Fill out any and all of the information packets the school sent out. Update emergency contact and health information records with the school. Mark important dates such as holidays and parent teacher conferences on your calendar. Last but not least, establish a night-before routine where clothes are picked out for the next day and supplied backpacks are ready to go.

2. Shop Around
Start shopping early in order to take advantage of sales and find the best deals. Determine what you need by going through your children’s wardrobes and discarding anything they’ve outgrown or worn out. Schools release their supply lists at different times, but you can still prepare by purchasing back-to-school staples. Basics include glue, notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, Kleenex and more.

3. Develop Healthy Meal Plans
Planning and preparing the meals for the first week of school frees up your time and energy to deal with other stressors. Making a list and purchasing everything you need on the weekend not only saves time and money but also ensures more nutritious meals. For more ideas on back-to-school meal prep, visit Real Simple.

4. Adjust Schedules
Start thinking about and scheduling the family’s priorities for the first weeks of school. Before the new school year starts, discuss how much time will be needed for extra-curricular activities, homework and family time. Then you can create a family calendar where each family member marks down his or her own activities. Make sure the calendar is located in a common area so that everyone can reference it easily.

5. Plan for Homework
Establishing a set routine for studying and homework will help everyone be successful in school. Setting up a place for your child or children to study also eases homework frustrations. You will want to make sure the space is quite, well-lit, has plenty of working space and stocked with everything they need. For tips on creating a homework headquarters visit Parents.

Keep Cool with Weber County Splash Pads

waterslide-398249_640One of summer’s greatest challenges is beating the heat. Don’t let those high temperatures and blaring sun get you down. Keep as cool as a cucumber this summer with these fun and fairly reasonable options all within or very close to Weber County.

Riverdale Splash Pad
Bring the whole family to enjoy a variety of water activities and features at the Riverdale Splash Pad. The park and splash pad are located at 4300 South Parker Drive just east of the Riverdale Fire Department. This splash pad season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The splash pad is open Monday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the exception of Wednesday mornings when the splash pad opens at noon. The delayed opening is due to routine maintenance.

South Ogden Nature Park & Splash Pad
Cool off with the family at the South Ogden Nature Park with two playgrounds and a splash pad. This tucked away gem is located at 5874 S. Park Vista Drive right behind the Ogden Athletic Club. This park is open year round, however, the splash pad is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day. There also is a pavilion that community member can rent. Residents get a discount!

Harrisville Park & Splash Pad
Community members say that the Harrisville Park is a “Great place to take the kids to play ball or on the playground, lots of room and a frisbee golf course and splash park.” The park is located just off of Highway 89 at 1350 N. Hwy 89. This splash pad is also open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and operates Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Spring Gardening Tips

Spring is a time when the sun is shining and flowers are blossoming. Who doesn’t love a good set of flowers in the spring time. It helps ease tension and soothes the mind.

Many people are interested in gardening during the spring time but have less than adequate knowledge on how to go about things. This article explains some top spring gardening tips for fans of this great hobby. dog-1310545_640

  • Get Tools and Plants: Tune up devices so everything is prepared when things begin gathering pace. Make note of what is missing, and arrange instruments for the new developing season. Pick new plants for the garden. Arrange perennials, trees, and bushes for spring planting.
  • Mow: Send the trimmer and leaf blower for maintenance, or in the event that you have the correct instruments, hone the cutter edges yourself. Refill your trimmer with oil, introduce crisp start plugs, and grease up moving parts if necessary. Clear the grass of winter extras and search for ranges that need reseeding before cutting.
  • Prepare New Beds: Clear the planting territory when soil can be worked, expelling weeds and garbage. Spread a 4-inch layer of fertilizer or all around spoiled compost and any changes over soil, and develop it to a profundity of 10 to 12 inches with a spading fork.
  • Plant: Plant exposed root trees, bushes, and perennials, for example, hostas and daylilies by early spring. Pick a cool, shady day if conceivable. Transplant compartment developed plants at whatever time amid the developing season with the exception of midsummer; make sure to water them altogether. Sow seeds of cool-season blossoms like sweet peas, poppies, and calendula, and vegetables, for example, lettuce, parsley, and spinach.
  • Fertilize: Apply adjusted manure, angle emulsion, or other soil corrections suggested by soil-test comes about around trees and bushes when new development shows up. Spread high-corrosive compost and pine-needle mulch around corrosive cherishing bushes like azaleas and camellias. Start treating perennials when dynamic development resumes.
  • Survey Yard: Make note of tree limbs that ought to be evacuated or cabled, particularly those that shade structures. Enlist an arborist to keep up vast trees. Rake mulch from beds planted with globules before foliage shows up, and invigorate mulch in other planting ranges after soil warms. Check wall, steps, and pathways for deterioration brought on by solidifying and defrosting.
  • Time: Patience is key since everything that’s good takes time to get around. The same can be said for plants and gardens. Many people get frustrated by the lack of growth when they start a gardening project. All they need to do is keep at it and have a little patience. It will indeed pay off in the long run.

In conclusion, these gardening tips are not very complicated and easy to follow. What’s more interesting is that they are effective and efficient.

Spring is a time when the mood is joyous and what better way than to get your gardening game on point. After all, it’s not just good for people but also the environment we live in.

Salt Lake County Activities for All

Are you looking for some entertaining fun for the kids, the whole family or even just yourself? There really is something for everyone in Salt Lake County.

For the kiddos:Salt Lake City overview in the night

  • The wAIRhouse Indoor Trampoline Park
    Fun for all ages this trampoline park was rated the number 1 place to take children in and around Salt Lake by Kids Out and About. The fun center also boasts 2 huge open jump courts, two dodgeball courts, four slam-dunk basketball lanes and a foam pit. Younger children enjoy playing in the Kid’s AIRena. In addition, everyone getting hungry isn’t a problem with their Vertical Café.
  • Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
    Rated number 2, this children’s museum offers 60,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on fun. Children explore engaging workshops, programs and exhibits when visiting Discovery Gateway. Invite the whole family to create, learn and play together in the heart of the Gateway shopping center in downtown Salt Lake City.

For the whole family:

  • Hogle Zoo
    Visit the animals of the African Savanna, the bears and pinnipeds at Rocky Shores or the big cats of the Asian Highlands and so much more at Utah’s Hogle Zoo. This family friendly venue provides fun and entertainment through its exhibits, events, classes and daily programs. Summer is the best time of year to bring the whole family. Please visit their website for more information.
  • Clark Planetarium
    Explore 10,000 square feet of exhibits while experiencing incredible visuals in the Orbital ATK 3D IMAX theatre or Hansen Dome Theatre with this great family space. Don’t miss out on your chance to see a star or light show and a 3D documentary. Clark Planetarium also provides the perfect party venue with the ability to host groups of 20 to even 800 people.

For adults:

  • Keys on Main
    Need some adult time? Whether it’s a birthday celebration, bachelorette party, girl’s night, date night or really any night out, Keys on Main is the perfect spot. Enjoy the Dueling Piano Show that takes requests from the crowd. From country to pop, rock to hip-hop, you never know what to expect. Great drinks, great music, great friends and one heck of a good time.
  • Catch a game
    Salt Lake County houses three professional sports teams. Catch a fly ball with the Salt Lake Bees April through September. Run the futbol March through October with Real Salt Lake. Don’t miss Gordon Hayward and Joel Bolomboy with the Utah Jazz. Their games are always a slam dunk.

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

canstockphoto1159557With the New Year, are you looking to make a move and sell your home? Perhaps you’re relocating or are ready to move into a bigger space, but regardless your reasons for wanting to sell your home, we are here to help you through the process.

As you move towards selling your home, here are 4 important projects to help put your home’s best foot forward and attract potential homebuyers.

1. Paint the front door. Your front door is one of the first things potential buyers are going to see. Make your home stand up by giving your door a fresh coat of paint. In addition, to help make your home stand out more, replace any broken or rusty knobs which may turn buyers away.

2. Maintain a healthy lawn. Keep your lawn healthy and green to give your home the extra pop it needs to attract homebuyers. If you’re lawn is unkempt and brown, homebuyers are most likely not going to stop in and make an offer. During the winter months, keep your driveway and paths to your doorways shoveled and salted to protect people from slipping and let potential homebuyers know your home is well cared for.

3. Power wash your walkways. Take time to keep your walkways clean of dirt, debris, and other clutter which can make pathways cluttered and dirty. Not only will this keep your home looking great, but will minimize accidents on your property.

4. Architectural lights. Give your home added ambiance by including floodlights or landscape lighting to highlight focal points around your yard. Also, extra lighting around your home can add additional safety and security around your home.

The more you can improve the curb appeal around your home, the better you’ll be able to sell your home faster. If you’re ready to making the move towards upgrading to a new home, give us a call today! We are here to help you sell your home faster and find your next dream home.

Tips to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

The weather outside may be frightful (or at least bitter cold), but that doesn’t mean this time of year doesn’t have its own beauty. As we settle into the winter months and the enjoyable winter activities which makes the Utah mountains a popular destination for both locals and out-of-towners, there are some things homeowners can do to ensure their homes are protected in the cold weather.

As the temperatures continue you to get colder, it’s important to take some time to protect your pipes from freezing. Here are 3 tips to follow:Frozen Pipes

1. Set your thermostat. When heading out of town or for a long period of time, leave your heat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help protect your pipes from getting too cold and cracking which can lead to some serious problems.

2. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets. To allow for warmer air to circulate around pipes and keep them from freezing, open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

3. Close garage doors. If your water supply lines are kept in the garage, it’s important to keep your garage doors closed to better protect them from the harsh elements.

In case your pipes freeze, remember to never use a torch or open flame to thaw them. Also, remove any electrical appliances standing in water or is prone to having water build up around them. Instead, turn off your water at the main shutoff valve and call a qualified plumber.

Have something to add? Tell your comments and tips with us below.

Salt Lake County’s Best Holiday Activities

Looking for something new to do with this family this year? Wanting to start a new holiday tradition? Look no further. Here is a complete list of the best Christmas activities in Salt Lake County.

  1. Festival of Trees
    This annual holiday event is held every year at the South Towne Expo Center located in Sandy. Visitors can enjoy and even purchase through auction themed Christmas trees that are decorated by individuals, families and local businesses. All proceeds go to Primary Children’s Hospital. Be sure to check out the Angel trees that offer stories of current patients. You also can visit the Aisle of Wreaths for a smaller purchase.canstockphoto7885348
  2. Temple Square Lights
    This spectacular sight resides at the center of Salt Lake City on 10 beautiful acres. This home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints decorates its rounds with more than one million lights, nativity scenes and other decorations. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, visitors can enjoy the scene free of charge through Dec. 31. They also provide a Christmas on Temple Square concert series beginning Nov. 29.
  3. Christmas at City Creek
    Enjoy the dazzle of the holidays while completing all of your shopping at City Creek. Santa arrived on November 21 and won’t be leaving until Christmas Eve. Visit him in his lantern cottage for a fun photo and a chance to share your wishes. You and the family can see storybook window displays, beautiful decorations, gorgeous lights and a fountain show at the top of each hour choreographed to Christmas music.
  4. Torchlight parade
    The Torchlight Parade at Snowbird Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon provides a special holiday feature for those out-of-towners spending the holidays here. At dusk on Christmas Eve, skiers head down the mountain carrying lights creating a magical sight. You also can enjoy bonfires, hot chocolate and Santa’s dramatic entrance rappelling down from the Tram car.
  5. Cathedral of the Madeleine
    Celebrate the holidays with this cathedral’s annual Christmas Carol Service. A beautiful service that features music of the Advent and Christmas seasons including traditional carols and other choral works. Reserved seating is required for the Dec. 17 and 18 services. However, no pass is required for the Dec. 24 service. All services begin at 8 p.m.


Winterize Your Home in 7 Steps

As fall comes to a close, winter is rapidly approaching. Use what’s left of the sunny warm afternoons to prepare and winterize your home for the bitter cold season.canstockphoto33106780

  1. Clean your gutters
    Clean gutters look nice and prevent the build-up of ice on your roof. Making sure they are clear of debris ensures that water drains easily preventing icicles and ice dams from forming. Keeping your gutters clean also prevents infestation and mold.
  2. Flush water heater
    Over time, particles and sediment collect and sink to the bottom of your water heater. These particles slow the unit’s efficiency. You will want to flush the water through to clear out any and all material. This flushing keeps your heater running at its best.
  3. Replace Filters
    Before you kick on your furnace for the season, you will want to inspect the filter. If the furnace filter looks dirty, replace it. A clean filter aids efficiency and longevity. Both save you time and money. Throughout the winter season, we recommend changing the filter every four to six weeks.
  4. Insulate Pipes
    Insulating your water pipes can raise the temperature two to four degrees. Keeping your water heater at a lower setting, but still getting steamy hot water saves you energy and money. You also can trim an extra four to nine percent of your water heating costs by insulating your water heater.
  5. Utilize Draft Guards
    Keep heat from escaping under your doors by using draft guards. They typically cost $10 to $15 per guard. However, if you want a cheaper option you can roll up a towels and use those instead.
  6. Add Insulation
    According to the Department of Energy (DOE), adding insulation to your attack saves energy and money year-round. During winter, the added insulation helps your home feel warmer. You can use the DOE’s insulation fact sheet to see if your home is properly insulated. Recommendations are based off your zip code, but most homes need 12 to 15 inches of insulation in their attic.
  7. Hunt for Leaks
    Locating drafts in your home will be easy now that cooler weather here. Start by walking around your home on a chillier night. Use your bare hands and feet to feel for cold air around doors, windows, lights and switch plates. Once you detect a leak or draft, you can add insulation or seal them up with caulk, weather-stripping or spray foam.



Buying a Second Home

Are you thinking about buying a second home? A vacation home? Perhaps something you can flip or rent out? Whatever your reason for wanting to purchase a second home, here are some important factors to consider while making your decision.

1. Don’t make an impulse purchase. Take some time and do your due diligence before making an offer on a home. This is a big decision so you don’t want to purchase on a whim, which may leave you with home you can’t afford or one that really doesn’t fit your lifestyle.canstockphoto10057386

2. Know your long term goals. When looking for your second home, be realistic about what you want in your home. Does this match your long term goals in what you want from a home? The better idea you have going in, the more you can purchase a home that fits your needs.

3. Research the area. Regardless if the location you’re considering buying in is one you’ve been visiting for years, it’s still a good idea to take some time to research the area and get to know the area very well before purchasing a home. Visit on the off-season, talk with the locals, and get to know the area outside of being a tourist.

4. Hire a real estate agent who knows the area. Buying a second home, especially in an area you’re not overly familiar with, can be a daunting experience. Make sure you have someone on your side, looking out for your best interests, who knows the area and market well. When making an important purchase, it’s good to have someone who understands the housing market, area, and neighborhood.

Have some questions about buying a second home? Give us a call today and let us answer your questions and help you find your dream home.