February 2018 Newsletter


Happy February!
I thought that I would start this month’s message with a positive message:

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” 

-Hal Borland
It’s been a rough winter for many of us! With all of the really cold weather, there have been many claims around frozen pipes, check out our blog below on what to do to prevent pipe freeze-ups and Ice Dams.
Check out the story behind Saint Valentines Day, Click here to read more.
February marks the beginning of Black History Month. Each year Americans set aside this month to focus their historical hindsight on the contributions that people of African descent have made to this country.  Wmust celebrate ourselves and do it loudly.  No matter the shape, size, hue or ability, all of our stories matter and they deserve to be told through our lens. I recently read this article on the Queens of Black History Month, that I found very interesting, Click here to read it.
Life Insurance is LOVE Insurance, which makes February and Valentines Day a perfect time to remind you of the need for Life Insurance.  The majority of Americans would have trouble paying for living expenses immediately or shortly after the primary wage earner in the house dies.  Please click here to read more on how much life insurance you should carry. Have questions? Please click here and we will contact you to review your questions and your current life insurance.
I recently had the pleasure of cooking with guest chef Adelina Armas of International Food Gourmet in Brockton. Adelina shows Sharon and me how to make chicken breasts stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella and spinach., Click here check out the latest “Get Fresh” cooking show below.

Click here to watch the video.

There are lots of great things to do in and around the Boston area this month, please find some fun family things to do below.

Carlos

PPS, What I learned today, “Which zodiac signs are a love match “ Click here 

 

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Don’t Make These Mistakes When Setting a Budget

Spending less than you earn is a key part of any person’s financial health. In order to do this successfully, many people set a budget – an itemized list of categories, and how much can be spent on them in a month. Unfortunately, not all budgets work out – and there are four main reasons why.Here is a quick breakdown of the four major reasons why budgets fail, along with advice that you can use when making your own budget to avoid these mistakes:

Overestimating Your Income

When creating your budget, the first thing that you need to do is estimate your monthly income. Include anything that you know you will bring home, but make sure that you don’t ‘pad’ your earnings. It’s not typically advised to include bonuses or overtime ear

ning because it’s not guaranteed – this income should just be a pleasant surprise when it happens. Otherwise your budget will suffer if you don’t receive the income.

Rounding Down Your Spending

Once you figure out your income, the next step of creating a budget is allocating your money into categories like ‘living expenses,’ ‘food,’ ‘entertainment,’ etc. Make sure that you don’t shortchange any of these categories. If your grocery expenses average $80 to $100 a week, for example, start by budgeting $400 to $500 for a month. Remember, this can always be adjusted later when you know what you spend.

Also make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of saying that you’ll lower your spending. If you don’t know how much per month to budget for a category, estimate high and adjust later. Also make sure that you stay within your budget instead of ‘borrowing’ money from other categories. For example, don’t borrow from your grocery money for overflow entertainment expenses… that’s a slippery slope!

Forgetting to Account for Occasional Splurges

The occasional splurge is a part of human nature. Once in a while, we need to buy something special for ourselves or our loved ones. Unfortunately, the typical person’s budget isn’t so understanding of the urge to buy something that’s not planned for ahead of time – that’s where your ‘splurge’ category should come in. If you are proactive and set aside a little bit of money each month for a rare ‘splurge’ purchase, it won’t hurt your bank account when it happens once in a while.

Never Tweaking Your Budget

Creating a budget is easy, but making a budget that works can be difficult. What’s even harder is sticking to that budget in order to reap the benefits of solid financial planning. In a perfect world, you should reevaluate your budget every few months to readjust your allocations. If you want the help of a professional financial planner in Boston, the folks at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency have got you covered!

If you need help creating or refining your household’s budget, call the Financial Planning professionals here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency. With one quick call to 617-298-0655, you can set up a meeting with a professional to get you and your money on track to success in no time.

“Change is hard, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”

“Change is hard, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”
-Robin Sharma

Change is hard. I know this for a fact, as I’m experiencing it right now!

Picture this…I’m sitting in my house right now instead of sitting in traffic like I’ve done for 37 years.

As you probably know from my online posts, Kathy and I moved from our Stoughton home of 33 years to Dorchester Lower Mills, just around the corner from the Vargas and Vargas office. Believe me, this change has not been easy all the time, but change never is – even when we know it is the right thing to do.

One of the upsides of our move has been that we now spend less time in traffic, and have more time together, more time to get regular exercise, and more time in the wonderful community of Dorchester.

Recently, Vargas and Vargas has also made some changes. We have updated our client management system and our website (you can now send us a TEXT to our agency 617-213-2820 and much more to come, stay tuned) to help customers and friends like you contact our trusted referral partners!

We’ve always had a partners page on our site, but we hope that this will be a resource for you and anyone you know that is looking for any of the following professionals:

  • Accountant
  • Attorney
  • Contractor
  • Electrician
  • Estate Planner
  • Financial Advisor
  • Home Inspector
  • Loan Officer
  • Plumber
  • Realtor®
  • And More!

(Send me a message and I can let you know how you be on our partner’s list)

And while you are visiting our new website, don’t forget to check out our blog. It is always being updated with insurance tips, helpful advice, and much more.

How to Start Recycling – We Can Help!
Auto Insurance Q&A: Borrowing the Car
Best and Worst Places to Store Your Wedding Rings
Building Permits for Residential Renovations

So what does our change of address have to do with making you more money?

Many professionals start their businesses filled with excitement and passion for their new venture, but quickly realize that building a brand is hard work! Once that realization sets in and business problems begin to surface, it is very easy to get disgruntled and lose your motivation for what you originally set out to accomplish.

In the beginning, your passion creates energy that keeps you moving forward, builds excitement for the next project, and helps overcome fears and obstacles. However, maintaining that passion can be difficult as time goes on, and you might find yourself in a “rut,” or longing to reconnect with the spark that once drove your business. Whether this longing resonates with you currently or you’re teetering back and forth on the fence of business growth, it’s imperative to implement 6 practices into your business to regain focus and reignite your flame! We’ll cover the first 3 this week, so stay tuned for next week’s insider to tie all 6 together!

1. Stay focused on your core business – There are a million money making ideas out there that can distract you from what your core business is all about. If you can’t draw a direct connection from a new loan or listing to your new venture, scrap it! It will only distract you from making money and growing your business.

2. Take inspiration from SUCCESSFUL professionals – Surround yourself with positive individuals who have achieved success and are passionate about what they do. They’ll motivate, excite and remind you of why you’re in business. The right individuals will build you up with a “can do” attitude, and offer you proven methods of achieving your goals.

3. Manage your time effectively – Unfortunately, if you don’t set aside time to do important tasks like following up with new clients and building referral relationships (making FROG calls), phone calls and emails can keep you busy all day long! Make sure that you schedule time in your day that’s committed to taking care of the fundamentals of business development which make you money and keep you excited! If you need assistance with time blocking, I can help!

And know that you are LOVED!

Carlos