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Friday Financial Five – December 27th, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

 

Smartphones are not just for updating Facebook and playing the latest version of Angry Birds. There are some worthwhile applications available that can help save money or facilitate the organization of one’s financial life.

Mint

When you traditionally think of mint, you think of pleasingly refreshing gum or the delicious Girl Scout cookies you bought recently. Conversely, Mint, the application, forces you to face possibly horrifying details of your monthly spending habits. This is healthy though, especially after a heavy spending holiday season. Categorizing and confronting expenses is an important part of identifying the road to financial wellness. Estimate current expenditures and make cuts where possible, while providing an outline to future retirement spending.

Grocery iQ

Staying with the budgeting theme, Grocery IQ is an application that helps control food costs, a major monthly expenditure for many of us. This app allows you to enter items by keyword or barcode, and also allows you to store grocery lists by store. It expedites the shopping process, helps you stay within a weekly or monthly food budget, and makes it easy to use coupons to save money.

Invisible Hand

Adam Smith would be proud of an application that allows buyers to search for the lowest price. Just type in a specific item for purchase and let the application do the rest. It also allows shoppers to scan a barcode while in a store to quickly compare prices online or send notification when the price of a saved item drops.

Morningstar

Morningstar allows investors to keep an eye on portfolio holdings by providing constant market updates and news releases. The research giant also includes its rating service, along with historical performance and expense information on mutual funds, exchange traded funds and individual stocks. Enter portfolio holdings and keep track of them on a daily basis.

Mobile Banking Applications

Many major banks have a mobile application presence, and several (Bank of America et al.) allow users to make a deposit by taking a picture of a check with a phone. Review the capabilities of each individual company to evaluate which have friendly features to perform all other banking needs.

Dan Forbes is a regular contributor on financial issues. He is a CFP Board Ambassador. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning, Inc in Providence, RI and can be reached at dforbes@forbesplanning.com .

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Great Homes in Central MA Under $250K

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Marlborough

122 Broadmeadow Street

2 beds, 2 baths

Pride of ownership and terrific style abound in this stunning, well maintained condo at The Willows. Great commuter location and close to shopping, restaurants and parks. Beautiful hardwood floors and porcelain tile throughout first floor. Bright, spacious rooms, fireplaced living room with slider to deck and backyard. King sized master bedroom offers two walk-in closets and full bath. Second bedroom with skylight, vaulted ceiling and quaint nook offers privacy and room to spare. Huge loft with skylights and vaulted ceiling is great for a media, family or game room. Kitchen boasts all stainless steel, upgraded appliances and plenty of cabinets and counter space. Freshly painted interior, newer carpet in bedrooms and stairways. Tastefully updated baths. Newer furnace, water heater and A/C unit. Nothing to do but move in to this beautifully updated home.

$247,000

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

Wareham

1 Central Avenue

3 beds, 1 bath

Located within walking distance of two beaches, this sparkling renovated ranch home touts 3 bedrooms, 1 full, and one half baths. It features a living room with fireplace and a loft with storage room. Great for year round or summer home. Looks like a new home.

$247,900

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

North Brookfield

24 High Street

3 beds, 3 baths

Located on a quiet residental street, this brand new bright and sunny home comes with cathedral ceilings, an open floor plan, 3 bedrooms, and 3 full baths  Many up grades in this new construction home include hardwood flooring, maple cabinets, granite countertops, and oversized 2 car garage. There's also a finished family room in lower level.

$249,000

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

Barre

48 Vernon Avenue

3 beds, 2 baths

Privately set home on over 23 acres with frontage and access to the Ware River. This 3 bedroom, 2 Bath Cape features a farmer's porch and wrap around deck with river views. Home features hardwoods, fireplace, beadboard wainscoting in living room and dining room, cathedral ceiling with skylight and first floor bedroom/den with new carpeting. Walk-out basement with wood stove chimney flue, attached 2 car garage, separate barn/animal shelter plus storage shed. Areas of level, open yard with fruit trees and spaces that were at one time fenced for animals.

$249,000

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

Palmer

11 Country Lane

4 beds, 1 bath

Situated on a .96 acre lot, this spacious and gracious Colonial features a  farmer's front porchand a private deck. Kitchen offers center island opening to dining room with hardwood floors. Living room features pellet stove and opens with french doors to family room. Second floor features four bedrooms, one could be used as a home office and full bath. Updates included roof (2009), back up generator, septic system (d-box & leachfield), water softener (2008) (APO). Fabulous flat backyard with shed and somewhat wooded.

$249,000

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

Wilbraham

19 Sawmill Drive

3 beds, 1 bath

Raised ranch offers fabulous acre lot situated as the last home on a dead end street. Sun drenched living room with cathedral ceiling, updated, eat-in kitchen opening to formal dining area, two bedrooms, oversized full bath, spacious master bedroom with remodeled half bath with granite. Lower level offers a large family room with brick hearth fireplace and a half bath & laundry area- walk out just a plus. Great for entertaining, this home features a wonderful screened in porch off the kitchen that overlooks the beautiful, private, fenced in backyard abutting woodlands. Updates include replacement windows and garage doors.

$249,000

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

Stoughton

24 Leach Street

3 beds, 1 bath

Lovely Colonial in a wonderful neighborhood of higher valued homes. A little TLC would make this home shine. Spacious foyer leading to a large living area for entertainment. Good size bedrooms on second level with a walk up attic. Just steps away from the serenity of Halloran Park. Washer, dryer and refridgerator included in sale.

$249,500

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

Bellingham

144 Mendon Street

3 beds, 2 baths

Large custom ranch offering 3 large bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Loads of features include updated eat in kitchen, large living room with fireplace and bow window, fireplaced family room, sunroom with pine paneling and separate entrance to back yard, 3 bedrooms with hardwood floors and ceiling fans. Finished lower level offers a large play room, office, 1/2 bath and full laundry room. There is lots of storage space in the unfinished portion of the basement. The screen porch and deck overlook the private backyard.

$249,900

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

Uxbridge

25 Cotton Mill Way

2 beds, 2 baths

Freshly painted and brand new carpeting and tile. Contemporary town house featuring, two-story glass foyer with curved staircase, fabulous master suite with fireplace in sun room/sitting room. Large master bathroom with whirlpool tub, double sinks, central air and central vacuum system. Large kitchen opening to dining area and expansive basement.

$249,900

To see more of this property, go here.

Prev Next

Marlborough

283 Bolton Street

3 beds, 1 bath

Cozy ranch conveniently located just north of downtown Marlborough. Perfect location for commuters who need access to Rt. 20 or I-495. This young ranch is in overall good condition; paint and carpet will go a long way towards updating it. Large lot. Walking distance to middle school and high school. This is the only house in Marlborough built after 1965 for under $250,000

$249,900

To see more of this property, go here.

 
 

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