Archive for the 'Finance' Category

Houseplans.com Claims To Have The Most Home Building Plans Online

I would love to build my own custom home one day. In fact, my wife and I have talked about it often. However, we’ve also talked about how much it would cost to hire an architect to put a house plan together. Whenever we bring that up, we usually drop the subject.

Interestingly enough, I just found out about a website called Houseplans.com. They provide over 21,000 house plans from over 150 leading designers in North America. They offer the plans in many forms, including CAD, reproducible masters, construction sets, and more. Each form has its own price. I looked at a nice European style home, and the forms ranged anywhere from $400-$1,500 — which is pretty reasonable considering you don’t have to hire an architect.

The site has a bunch of other resources too. They have a place to answer frequent questions about building your own house, an estimator for how much it will cost to build your home, and a resource to find builders in your area. I’ll definitely be re-visiting this website if my wife and I are ever lucky enough to build a new home from scratch.

Posted in Finance, Home and Mortgage | No Comments »

Smoking + Pregnancy = Anti-Social Child

A new study suggests that mothers who smoke while pregnant increase the risk of anti-social behavior in their children.

In a study of 1,896 twins it was found that the average symptom scores for both increased with the number of cigarettes the mother had smoked while pregnant.

The researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry say the findings do not mean unruly behaviour and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were linked, although ADHD is known to increase the risk of anti-social behaviour.

Full Story

Posted in Pregnancy, Finance, Baby Development | No Comments »

Consumer Alert: Citibank Charging 29% APR For Late Payments

Apparently, Citibank has turned into a no mercy credit card company. Even if you’ve been with Citibank for over a decade, watch out. If you have just one late payment, they may raise your APR to 29% or higher! I’m not talking about a missed payment, I’m talking about a late payment!

Not only is this discouraging to all Citibank cardholders, it’s also discouraging for financially disadvantaged cardholders. Charging almost 1/3 of a balance per year would make it almost impossible for low-income individuals to ever pay off high credit card debt.

I plan on paying off my balance as quickly as possible with my Citibank card, and canceling my card immediately thereafter. Treating long-time customers like short-time customers, and trapping low-income individuals into an endless cycle of debt is despicable, and quite possibly evil.

If you’ve had your APR jump up to astronomical numbers, because of just one late payment, I encourage you to call the customer service number on the back of your card. In most cases, they will lower your percentage rate by 1/3 to 1/2 if you just ask them.

Posted in Credit and Debt | No Comments »

How Much Is The Position Of "Stay-At-Home Mom" Worth?

Salary.com has an interesting article on what it would cost to provide the same kind of care that a stay-at-home mom provides.

Stay-at-home mothers wear many hats. They’re the family CEO, the day care provider, accountant, chauffeur, counselor, chef, nurse, laundress, entertainer, personal stylist, and educator. Based on a 100-hour work week, Salary.com has estimated that a fair wage for the typical stay-at-home mom would be $131,471 for executing all of her daily tasks.

In my opinion, being a stay-at-home mom is a priceless job. And with the right perspective, is beneficial to the entire family, and is worth much more than the salary calculated by Salary.com.

Full Story

Posted in Parenting, Finance | No Comments »

Credit counselor: ‘Stop using credit cards’

Suan Erler in Northwest Indiana News reports:

Those carrying credit card debt at variable interest rates, like those with adjustable rate mortgages and other loans, are likely to see corresponding hikes in their monthly bills.

“When a homeowner is already experiencing difficulty, they could end up out of their house by trying to pay a credit card and not paying their mortgage,” said Stalling, whose agency counsels those in budget crisis.

Credit card debt carried by the average American was $8,562, according to American Consumer Credit Counseling, amounting to a total U.S. credit card debt of $60 billion.

Full Story

Posted in Finance, Credit and Debt | No Comments »

College tuition to rise 10 percent

Stateline.org reports:

State colleges and universities will raise tuition by an average 10 percent for the coming school year, according to new projections by a higher education organization.

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Posted in Finance | No Comments »

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