Programs To Help You Fund Your American DreamWritten by James Dimmitt
The American Dream of home ownership is on rise across United States. According to latest figures available, US homeownership rate reached a record 69.2 percent in second quarter of 2004, up from 68.3 percent in 2003. And for first time, majority of minority Americans own their own homes.
Owning a home provides tremendous benefits for families and for communities in which they reside. Homeownership provides a sense of security and allows families to build wealth. A home is largest financial investment most American families will ever make. Homeownership translates into a greater concern for neighborhoods and their communities as owners work to maintain value of their greatest investment.
However, most significant stumbling block for many low- to moderate-income families is being able to afford down payment and closing costs. Fortunately, there is help - through down payment assistance programs or DAPís.
How To Save At The GaspumpWritten by James Dimmitt
With some analysts predicting gas prices to peak at as much as $2.50 per gallon or more, those of us on a budget will have to find ways to meet higher cost of fuel or cut back on our gas consumption.
Five weeks ago I was able to pay $1.77 per gallon at a local station; price has now jumped to $2.19 per gallon and climbing. So now when I fill up my 13-gallon gas tank Iím paying $5.46 more. Filling up twice a week, or about 10 times a month on average, will cost me $54.60 more each month.
Fortunately, I have some wiggle room in my personal budget to meet this increase. For those who donít have that flexibility, here are some tips to help you survive pumped up prices awaiting you at your neighborhood gas station:
Maintain Your Vehicle
Keeping your tires properly inflated,your engine tuned, and checking your oil regularly are a few small ways that will help you save on fuel consumption and costs. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can cause poor handling. Youíll also have to replace your tires more frequently. A well-tuned engine, along with regularly scheduled oil changes, will help your vehicle work properly and more efficiently, using less fuel.