Life Hacks

0:00 – Money Saving Hacks

0:20 – How To Save Like a Minimalist

1:50 – How to Budget & Save Money (Tips & Hacks)

5:57 – Business Budget

7:46 – Best Rewards Credit Cards for Business

10:55 – Grocery Shopping Hacks

18:08 – Smart Spending & Discount Offer Hacks

21:42 – Real Estate Hacks

22:26 – Hacks to Save a Lot of Money with Your Mortgage

30:19 – How to Put an Offer on a Home

32:29 – Researching Your Neighborhood When Making a Home Purchasing Decision

39:32 – Money Saving Life Hacks to Try at Home

43:27 – Insurance Hacks – Save hundreds of dollars a year!

46:06 – Homeowner Hacks

46:37 – Frugal Living Hacks to Save Money

Rory Carruthers 0:04
All right, money saving hacks,

Dominica Lumazar 0:06
money saving hacks. Oh, for me, one of the best decisions I made 15 years ago, I’m going to be 32 I’ll be 32 next year, the best decisions I made was to put my savings kind of on autopilot. I automated how much money, it comes out of my earnings and goes directly into my savings account. So I don’t even have to think about it. It’s not money I’m going to touch. It’s just part of my savings. And that’s separate from my retirement. totally separate. And for me, that’s been really, really good. And it’s fun to like, log into online banking and look at it and be like, Yes, I saved it. And even if, if you’re thinking, Well, I’m not really in a position I can save. Everyone’s got five bucks. Everyone’s got five bucks, like maybe you skip the coffee one day, you know, like, everyone’s got five bucks you can put aside to save for yourself. And over time, you know, five bucks a month adds up, you know, so you’d be surprised. And then maybe you can do a little more, you know, the next month. So automating that, for me has been really, really good.

Rory Carruthers 1:17
Well, yeah. And you don’t have to give up your daily Starbucks habit in order to save money. Right. Right. But you have to save find ways to save it somewhere. Mm hmm. Right. And maybe that’s maybe that’s super important to you, but maybe some other area isn’t? You have to look at it. As Where can you save money? And I you know, I’ve talked about this strategy in in other episodes, but one of the best things you can do is your mindset, get set on your mindset around how spending your money as a business owner works.

Dominica Lumazar 1:50
Mm hmm.

Rory Carruthers 1:51
And when you start thinking that for every dollar you spend, you have to earn $2, it stops you from spending as much Yep,

Dominica Lumazar 1:58
100%. Something else that has been really awesome for me, my business is heavily run on subscriptions, meaning I pay for a lot of subscriptions, for all different types of services to keep other things moving in my business. And sometimes I’ll like sign up for a free trial, and I’ll use it and like maybe for the first 30 days, and then maybe I don’t need it anymore, but I forget to cancel the subscription. And so there’s an app that I use called True bill, which is fan freaking tastic. It sends me reminders every single month, do you really need this subscription? Do you realize that you’re actually paying double for HBO? Are you really watching Netflix still. So it’ll ask you what you’re using, if you want to continue using it, and how much it’s costing. The other thing too, which can get a little sneaky is certain types of subscriptions, you’ll sign up for it. And like they’ll say, for the first six months, it’s, let’s say $5. And then after that, you’ll forget and they don’t send you a notice where then it goes to like $200 or something crazy like that. Well, true bill will send an email a week in advance that says do you do you know that your subscription for this company is actually increasing by like 900%, or whatever it is. So that’s very, very helpful. And it has saved me 1000s of dollars, just this year alone by paying closer attention to those things.

Rory Carruthers 3:24
That’s awesome. And I’ve never I’ve actually never heard of that. So I actually I taught

Dominica Lumazar 3:28
you something.

Rory Carruthers 3:30
Yeah. A lot.

Dominica Lumazar 3:34
Yeah, it’s a great app, check it out super high.

Rory Carruthers 3:37
But the other thing you can do, because this is this is what I do. So if you’re if you are just getting started in business, usually do your taxes once a year. But once you’ve been in business for a while, and you’re earning a certain amount of income, usually, again, your taxes every quarter. Okay? So every quarter when you sit down and go through your taxes, also look at all of your subscriptions. Yeah. Yeah. Like, that’s been really big. And I also look at things like domain names. Now that I’ve purchased do Am I am I ever going to use this domain name that I purchased four years ago, that’s just still sitting there? That, you know, it’s like, costumey, I don’t know, 10 $15 a month or a year, but, you know, it all adds up. Right. So like, you can you can put it into your workflow is what I’m saying?

Dominica Lumazar 4:25
Yeah, make it make it a habit

Rory Carruthers 4:26
to look at it. Absolutely. You know, because, like, I remember there was something like and Jason capital was saying that they did an audit on on all the subscriptions and stuff that he was paying for. And he was like, I’m paying $100,000 a year in subscriptions I’m not using Yeah, right. Yeah. And he’s like, I could have taken that $100,000 and bought, you know, put a down payment on a rental property. It would have been earning me money instead of paying these subscriptions I wasn’t using Yeah. This Is this how you have to think about things right? Because it’s Not only about the money you’re saving, but the money that you could be investing to better your life. Yes.

Dominica Lumazar 5:09
Absolutely. It’s amazing how much money gets spent when we don’t think about it. Because we’re just grinding away. So

Rory Carruthers 5:17
yeah, yeah, we all get caught in these traps all of us. Yeah. And they’re designed like that, like they are designed to take money from you. So you have to be vigilant, diligent, diligent. I don’t know what’s what’s the right word there? diligence?

Dominica Lumazar 5:36
Yes, you have to be diligent.

Rory Carruthers 5:38
Yes, you have to be diligent in in how you are going about handling your, your finances and your and running your business and knowing your numbers, because we always go back to know your numbers. I don’t know

Dominica Lumazar 5:51
the numbers. Absolutely. So yes, download true bill. You’ll love it. It’s also fun. Moving right along super important, especially being if you are a business owner, which you likely are if you’re listening to this podcast, you need, you have to have a budget, have to have a budget. And it could it should be a personal budget, your monthly budget. It should be your business budget. It’s so easy. At the time when we all could go out to dinner and do fun things. It was so easy for me when I first started my business to be like, Oh, just put it on the business card. It’s an expense. We talked about business for 10 seconds, I was totally blind didn’t realize that that was like not a thing you could do. Right off. That’s not how that works. So yeah, so make sure that you have a rainy day fund an emergency fund, budget, budget budget. And if you do decide to go out and have lunch and dinner, wherever and you’re spending lots of cash, make sure you actually have the money to pay that off. At the end of every single cycle, I start the beginning of every single month at zero. What I mean by that is I haven’t zero credit card debt. I paid off all of it. Because not only is that building credit, but it also it’s like a nice fresh start, like great. I don’t have to carry this giant debt. It didn’t start that way, though. With my first business. I put myself 50 grand in debt. And I paid it off as fast as I could. But I had something insane. It was like all on an American Express card at like 18% it was crazy. So learn from my mistake, and don’t just rack up a car and be like, I’ll pay it one day. No, no, no, you got to pay it off, start fresh, move forward, or at least pay, you know, as pay off as much as you can pay the minimum Don’t miss it.

Rory Carruthers 7:37
Yeah, and there’s there’s some some tips and tricks, which I’ll share with with getting rid of credit card debt in a second. But I also want to point out that you can use credit cards as a valuable aspect of your business. Heck, yeah.

Dominica Lumazar 7:51
Oh, yeah.

Rory Carruthers 7:52
Like, you get a good credit card that has the right point systems and, and you you know, you utilize cash backs and, and things like that. I mean, we have a lot, I mean, a crap ton of expenses for our businesses. And, you know, why not get free flights for your next vacation out of it, just by using the credit card, just you have to be, you know, again, on top of it, you have to pay that stuff off.

Dominica Lumazar 8:24
Got to pay it off. My favorite favorite credit card right now is the Amazon Prime card. I love it because I spend a lot of money at Whole Foods, and on Amazon. And a lot of my business expenses come from like different office supplies and things that I need from Amazon. And so it’s great, I’m just getting those points back. And you can select if you want that cash back, like to pay off the card, or you can get points towards Amazon purchases. So that’s really fun. A lot of the Christmas shopping I’ll do this year is like, basically free because their points, which is great. Yeah, I’m just putting it back to Amazon. What’s your favorite card that you have right now?

Rory Carruthers 9:02
The Chase business preferred?

Dominica Lumazar 9:04
Oh, that’s a good one, too. Yeah, that’s a great one.

Rory Carruthers 9:07
That one a lot that that’s my the one I may use for business purchases, because it gives you so many like, good things, good points that you can use. And yeah, very good card as well. They change. So you have to you have to kind of go look, you know, so like, if you’re listening to this at a later point, you just need to go and there’s websites out there that will actually go through every single credit major credit card and system out there and break it down for you and say these are the best ones at this point in time because they they change their offers. They change their policies. So consistently that we can’t say that this is going to continue. But for the last year to the chase one has been really good. And Amazon is fairly consistent in in their stuff.

Dominica Lumazar 9:54
One last one I want to mention it used to be called so it’s it’s an Amex. It’s an American Express and it used to be called Starwood preferred card. I’ve had that card for 10 years maybe longer than that. But now Marriott bonvoy envy it’s called something different. Where I’ve for the last decade I’ve racked up so many points. Like Barry said, I can stay at hotels, I can take flights. So that’s a great one. So the the most important thing to look at for yourself is what is your lifestyle? Like? Does it make sense for you to have the travel point card or the grocery point card or the gas cut whatever it is, right? So yeah, do do your research. But the the Starwood preferred card is a really good one, the Marriott bonvoy

Rory Carruthers 10:36
is something I want to talk about with gas cards. Like it’s not an excuse to just rack up your your car just because you’re gonna get a discount. No. Oh, heck no to pay it off every month, I paid off. Yeah, really important. Now, grocery shopping, oh, grocery shopping. What are some of your favorite hacks for grocery shopping?

Dominica Lumazar 10:57
Well, first of all, I love grocery shopping. I’m like a grocery junkie, I spend the majority of my money on food. I’m a huge foodie, and fixing my cars, but food, food as well. But something that I’ve learned over the years of doing all the shopping for the household is like I got to eat, I got to eat before I get in that store. Because then if I don’t, I’m just gonna start grabbing all the really good snacks I see. And then I’m just lost in a sea of snacks and I get home where’s all the food I needed. The other thing is make a list. Make a list before you actually go. And that’ll help now if you’re not in a position to go to the grocery store. Or if you have to stick to a budget, we now have these services like instacart wholefoods does delivery sprouts, Safeway, there’s so many different places that do food delivery right to your home now. So all you have to do is create an account you log on, you buy exactly what you need. And that way you’re not coerced or swayed toward the end caps where the delicious treats are, though. Especially if you’re trying to stick to a diet. That’s a really good way to do it to like, just buy what you really need. Don’t go down the chip aisle or things like that. What about you? What would you say is a good grocery shopping hack?

Rory Carruthers 12:10
Um, well, I’ve had a few. So you know, I mean, using Costco to your advantage.

Dominica Lumazar 12:15
Oh, Costco. Yes.

Rory Carruthers 12:17
But it does not mean go to Costco and just buy a bunch of bulk stuff. Because it’s cheaper.

Dominica Lumazar 12:23
Yeah, yeah. No,

Rory Carruthers 12:25
you have to be strategic about what you buy, like, you know, when I, when I was going to Costco more consistently than I am now, I would go in, and it would like, you know, I’d be in and out in like, 20 minutes, because I would go, I would get the exact things that I knew that we were going to use, and didn’t focus on all of these other distractions and things I like, I wasn’t going and buying like, like, in a lot of times, they’ll go in, like, I don’t know, example by a case of soda, right? I don’t drink soda. But it’s like one of those things that it stands out. And it’d be like, Oh, you know, like, I pay $1 50 every time I go and buy a soda at the store. But here if I buy it in bulk, it’s going to cost me 30 cents. But if you buy a soda that you don’t like, and you only have one of them, you’re like, Ah, right. That’s not what I wanted, then it’s not worth it. Right? You just wasted money. Well, you have to be thoughtful about your purchases that you’re buying in bulk. And are you going to get through all of it? You know, it makes no sense to buy, like, a bag of apples if you’re only going to eat two apples in the next month.

Dominica Lumazar 13:39
Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah, no, absolutely. But the cool thing about Costco is you can return just that anything. So there’s that. But yes, I hear what you’re saying. Just because the value is there doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Exactly. Yeah,

Rory Carruthers 13:54
no, yeah. Just because something’s on sale does not mean you have to buy it, right. That’s a big thing. I know, that gets a lot of people. My grandmother was like that, who it’s on sale, I better get it type of thing, even though she didn’t care for it.

Dominica Lumazar 14:07
But you got to think like look at the different generations like depression era, right versus where we are now. In a pandemic. I mean, definitely go stock up on that teepee. Again, that’s the thing. Yeah. You know, I mean, like, it’s, it’s I, I can’t fault certain generations for thinking in those ways, you know?

Rory Carruthers 14:26
No, but I’m just saying like, you’ll also be aware, that may not be the best choice, right? Right, how to go about things, because then it can create a lot of waste. Now, if you’re a person who is going to actually utilize that, Oh, I see this with couponers Hmm. Right. The like, the people who are crazy couponers and are just buying stuff because they can get 40 of it for $2

Dominica Lumazar 14:51
Oh, that’s a show, isn’t it? I think it’s right. Oh, man. Yeah, no,

Rory Carruthers 14:56
but I’ve like I’ve stood in line behind some of them because No. And I’ve seen like, all that they go through and price matching other stores and all these things and like, oh, that that’s not actually on discount, oh, you can take that back type of thing. Hmm. You know, and it’s it’s like, buy buy the stuff you’re actually going to use and, and make it a lot happier now it’s not saying don’t use coupons absolutely use coupons if you can find them in there available and, and use these hacks, but don’t let it consume your life. Your stuff. Yeah, and, and second, don’t buy stuff on necessarily just because you have a coupon. And the other thing is I when I’m making my lists I have memorized where everything is in our grocery store, or local one. So I visually in my mind, walk up and down the aisles, as I’m making the list. Hmm. To remind myself, do I need this? Do I need this? Do I need this? I then also look through the shelves. Do we have this? How much of this Do we have looked through the fridge? Look through the freezer? Like make it a process? You know, don’t just see this, you know, my wife will do this where she’ll go into a grocery store, and she won’t know what to buy. And then you’ll come out with like a can of tuna and dog food be like, Oh, I don’t know, I didn’t buy anything to make a meal. You know, like you have to like, think it through.

Dominica Lumazar 16:20
Those are very oddly specific things. You’re like, there’s more to this story.

Rory Carruthers 16:27
No, but it’s random stuff like that, where it’s nothing that goes together to make a meal. And she’ll just like have a bunch of stuff that’s like, a bag of chips and some bread like, Okay, well want me to do with this? Delicious.

So that’s why, yeah. So just

Dominica Lumazar 16:45
make a list. That’s all we’re saying. Make a list be prepared. And I like I like the visual aspect of looking if you are familiar with your local grocery store. Yeah.

Rory Carruthers 16:55
Yeah. Like when we hope this is bringing you value. Like, of course. Yeah. I mean, because just like learn from from things that we’ve learned and implemented and tested and utilize in our own lives, you know, save money, save some time, you know, and I realized that in in some aspects, we’re saying spend money, but that’s important to that you’re spending money on the right things. If that is a hack, yeah. There you go. That’s the ultimate hack, right?

Dominica Lumazar 17:24
There are a couple more things. If you really like certain brands, go to go to their website, sign up, get their discount offers, or you can wait for the holidays wait for Black Friday for Cyber Monday, like look for these deals with with business as well. So think about this.

Rory Carruthers 17:41
I wait until the Black Friday, Cyber Monday deals where companies are like, you know, you’re gonna get an extra two months free of this software, this hosting service or whatever, if you buy it on Black Friday. Yeah, I’m like, great. That’s gonna save me a couple $100 this year. Yeah, we get it set up to renew right near Black Friday again,

Dominica Lumazar 18:06
huh? It’s perfect.

Rory Carruthers 18:08
So you keep going in that cycle? And you can you can actually make out pretty well.

Dominica Lumazar 18:11
Yeah. Another spending hack that I found out when we moved out to Colorado was we didn’t know where to get cable. And then we started like researching it and realized, do we even watch cable? Like because we have the subscriptions? We’ve got the Netflix and the shows we actually want to watch. We never watched cable like ever. So we just stopped paying for it. Imagine that you just stopped

Rory Carruthers 18:37
you know, I haven’t had cable. And but you’re away in

Dominica Lumazar 18:45
2020. How could you forget this year? Or just you know what? Yeah, forget it. Just forget this

Rory Carruthers 18:51
year. Yeah, exactly. Already forgetting it. But yeah, probably 14 1515 years now havn’t had cable?

Dominica Lumazar 19:01
You don’t need it. Yeah. I mean, everything’s on the internet. Anyway, if you need something that’s important, you

Rory Carruthers 19:06
can just look at I Know and but even before, you know, like Netflix was a streaming service and all that I just had subscription to Netflix and we’ll get the DVDs. Right? Right. No, like whiz ways around it. You know, and you don’t need to be spending all your time sitting watching TV. The thing that bugs me the most is ads. Like, like, every time I start seeing ads now, I’m like, I can’t handle it. I’m just like, I’ve gone so long without them that I don’t want them in my life. It

Dominica Lumazar 19:36
sounds horrible. Here we are the online marketers who enter millions of ads. Don’t we hate ads. Except for some freakin hilarious ones that have come up really recently which we’ll talk about

Rory Carruthers 19:49
so many good ads. I mean, you shared some with me recently and their great

Dominica Lumazar 19:53
is Yeah, there’s there’s been ones that are so good that I actually reached out to the people who made them just to be like Can we get you on the show? Because they’re that good. So hopefully, we’ll have these creators on the show, because it’s fantastic.

Rory Carruthers 20:07
Yeah, well, and this, you know, you know, we’re not talking necessarily about like online marketer ads type of stuff. I’m talking about the stuff the big brands put out where you look at it, you’re going, what were you thinking, making this commercial? You spent how much on this right?

Dominica Lumazar 20:22
Well, but still, those types of commercials, it all comes down to Will someone remember it. And it could be like a piece of toast with butter on it. And it’s just a steel frame, and it’s got words across it yet. I’m gonna remember that because it’s not the norm, right? You got to do something to make yourself stand out. So wait back to cable, you cancel that cable you do today? You just you just stick to your internet, because right off the bat, we saved $780 boom, right away. saved it. We never watched it anyway. So yeah, cancel it. Okay, next, we’re gonna talk about real estate hacks. Rudy got for us,

Rory Carruthers 20:59
by less than you can afford,

Dominica Lumazar 21:01
yes, we got approved, and we bought this house, we got approved for something insane, is insane. We’re like, why would we ever, ever take out a loan like that? But people see that they’re like, that’s, I could have all that money. I could have all this. So yes, yeah, by way less than you actually, you know, could

Rory Carruthers 21:24
Yeah, and this goes back to the, you know, one of my mentors, you know, a Millionaire Next Door type of thought processes, you know, you don’t have to have the biggest house and all these, you know, crazy things and continuing to level up, you know, actually the people who that tend to earn, have, you know, the best situations in life is, you know, they buy a house, and they live in it. And they, if, you know, if they’re paying a mortgage to pay their, their mortgage, and that’s it, they pay off their house, and then they’ve got the house, they don’t have any more bills for their, you know, they still pay taxes and stuff. But you don’t have that mortgage hanging over your head, which tends to be one of the biggest bills that most people pay. Mm hmm.

Dominica Lumazar 22:05
But I will say this is that once you actually get to a specific level of wealth, it’s not a bad plan to actually have a mortgage, it can actually be Yeah, use

Rory Carruthers 22:13
use mortgages to your advantage, especially if you’re buying properties, and renting them out and things like that. Definitely, you have to do that. Because you don’t want to be tying up all of your cash in and things like that. Yeah. You know, and there’s, there’s very specific ways to go about that’s way more in depth. And we can go into it

Dominica Lumazar 22:31
now. Yeah, but that’s just a quick, it’s a quick hack. Quick Tip.

Rory Carruthers 22:34
Yeah, quick, quick hack is just to think about that. But I’ll give you one of the best things that you can do if you want to save a lot of money with your mortgage, okay. Most people don’t realize that, you know, you have your mortgage, or we’re just gonna blanket say $2,000 as a mortgage, okay. Most people think that if you want to pay off your mortgage, and half the amount of time that you have to pay $4,000. And that’s not true, that is not true at all, because the majority of what you pay on a mortgage is actually your taxes. And your interest with that. The hack is when you when you get your mortgage, okay, they’re going to give you an amortization breakdown of how much you have to pay, how much is is your principal, and it’s going to be very low to a lot more over the course of the 30 years. So you what you do is to make it simple. You just look at what are you paying on day one, toward your principal? And what are you paying on the very last month? of your thirty year? Whatever?

Dominica Lumazar 23:40

Rory Carruthers 23:41
every year? Yeah. So say that, you know, $200 is going toward, and $1,000 is going toward that? Well, what do you do you add those together, divide it by two, that gives you 600. Mm hmm. That’s how much extra you pay on top of your normal mortgage payment. And you’ll pay your mortgage off in half the amount and save hundreds of 1000s of dollars in interest in that 15 years.

Dominica Lumazar 24:09
But if you just also double your mortgage, you’d still pay it off pretty quick. You don’t have to have to

Rory Carruthers 24:16
know but that’s what I’m saying is you don’t have to Yeah, you paying off your mortgage, like in half the amount of time only usually requires adding about a quarter more to what you’re paying.

Dominica Lumazar 24:28
Right. Right. No, your numbers.

Rory Carruthers 24:31
Know your numbers. Yeah. Not double. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Yeah. Here’s the thing is when you get a 30 year mortgage, what ends up happening is you end up essentially paying double the cost of your houses.

Dominica Lumazar 24:45
Yeah. It’s crazy to look at that paperwork.

Rory Carruthers 24:48
Yeah, yeah. And that’s what good interest rates. We’re talking like, double.

Dominica Lumazar 24:53
Yeah, I know,

Rory Carruthers 24:54
I’m saying. So, when you think about it, let’s say you buy I’ll just say 500 $1,000 house. Okay, so you that that house ended up costing you a million dollars of after tax earned income to pay?

Dominica Lumazar 25:09
Yeah, right. Mm hmm.

Rory Carruthers 25:11
So this is where we talk about hacks about thinking about like, Okay, well, you spend $1. But if you think about is $2, like all of that stuff? It’s partly because you have to think about like, what are you not able to take that money and put it toward and mortgage is a very big one with that, because it, it makes such a big dent. So if you cut how much you’re paying in half, so instead of paying a million dollars, you might pay 750,000. That means you save $250,000 after

Dominica Lumazar 25:47
tax. Yeah, that’s huge.

Rory Carruthers 25:50
Yeah, very huge wrap saved

Dominica Lumazar 25:52
y’all a crap ton of money.

Rory Carruthers 25:55
When you think about it like that, you start going, Okay, well, what if I, you know, that 250,000, and I was saving that over the course of the next 15 years, and I was putting that and investing and taking that money and then getting a return on that.

Dominica Lumazar 26:09
Mm hmm.

Rory Carruthers 26:10
I mean, that money could easily double

Dominica Lumazar 26:14
make your money work for you. Yeah,

Rory Carruthers 26:17
put your money to work. The these are the the like things you have to think about as you’re going, you know, through life. And running businesses and living life is that, like, there are ways to really understand and work around these systems that are set up to take money, they’re really set up to take money from you totally. And if you find the ways around, utilize them. And it’s not always going to be easy, you know, adding an extra five or $600, or whatever it is for your mortgage may not be an easy thing for you to do, especially right now, with a pandemic going on. But it’s the thing that makes your life so much better in the bigger picture.

Dominica Lumazar 26:57
Yeah. Agreed. The other thing too, is if you’ve already planned in advance that you’re going to be overpaying. Right? your mortgage essentially, then maybe one month you can’t Okay, great, then don’t, then at least your mortgage is covered. And you know, and you plan for that.

Rory Carruthers 27:11
Right? Well, yeah. And this is that goes back to buying less than you can afford, right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And the other thing is that as business owners, you know, you have to plan two years in advance with your taxes, what they’re gonna do, yeah, if you don’t know, if you’ve never had an a mortgage, when you’ve owned a business, what they do is they average your income from the previous two years. When you when you have a job, you can get a mortgage in like six weeks of having that job. They’ll go, Oh, yeah, you’re good for him. They don’t do that with business owners. So you have to map out your taxes and make sure you have enough show like income showing. That means after your all your expenses, your net income, that you pay, you know, you pay yourself from your business has to be enough that you can get the mortgage in the first place. Yeah, because I knew I talked with you about that, right? Yep. You did. Like these are the things that they don’t tell you. And you have, like, I know, I’m like, I’m so passionate about it. Because if I had known some of these things, I would have saved a lot of money and a lot of hassle and a lot of time by planning properly when I was buying my first home, but these

Dominica Lumazar 28:22
are these are great tips. And yeah, Rory really helped me quite a bit when we were buying this place. basically telling me like, do this, do that and the other thing and make sure you’ve got all these papers ready to go because they’re gonna ask you and they did. And so I felt like, empowered and equipped with the right information to go in and make educated purchasing decisions. So thanks.

Rory Carruthers 28:41
Yeah. Okay, one more, one more down that road cuz you just reminded me of it. What you want to do is you don’t want to just get pre approved for a loan, you want to get a loan underwritten. When you go put an offer on a home, yes, make sure it is completely underwritten. Now, if you’re buying all cash as a whole, that’s an even better situation to be in. But you know, with with a mortgage, pre approved does not mean you’re actually getting the loan. It just means they’ve generally looked at your your stuff, but they haven’t run all the numbers. If it’s underwritten, that means you’ve already gotten the loan. Now you can go out and put an offer on a home, and it looks so much better. To the person who is selling the house, they’re much more likely to take your offer all things given the same. And the reason I mentioned this is because one of the homes that we purchased, what ended up happening is we put in an offer that was lower than what the what other people had had put in, but we got the home because our loan was underwritten, and there was just a pre approval. There you go because they knew that the deal was going to go through and not fall apart because so many deals fall apart. Because loans are just pre approved and not underwritten right. So this is really important.

Dominica Lumazar 30:01
super important. That’s that wasn’t their deciding factor. When we got this house there, it was between us and another couple. And that was one of the deciding factors for them to we were ready to go.

Rory Carruthers 30:11
No, it’s I know, it’s so important. Like, you don’t even realize until you’re, you’ve been through it multiple times, you know, like, yeah, yeah.

Dominica Lumazar 30:20
Didn’t that happen to you guys once like you, you didn’t get the house

Rory Carruthers 30:23
is amazing. In Santa Cruz, there was this one house, that was such a good deal. And, and we were trying to get it and it was the first time we were buying. And we didn’t know no one told us the mortgage. People didn’t tell us the realtor’s didn’t tell us nothing. We figured it out on our own. And that’s why every time now when we purchase a home, it’s fully underwritten.

Dominica Lumazar 30:47
Yeah. Smart. Going prepared. Yeah. Super good advice. What else you got?

Rory Carruthers 30:54
Well, you have you wanted to talk about researching your neighborhood, right?

Dominica Lumazar 30:57
Yeah. So we, we just got lucky, where we landed out here in Lyons, Colorado, because we did a little research or like, yeah, it’s got a school down the street. Like, let’s just put an offer in and see what happens. And when we got the house, we were like, Oh, we probably should have researched a lot more. We ended up getting really lucky with where we’re at. Because we like being very rural, like we’re in the mountains. But very important. If you have kids research, where are the near schools? Are they good schools? You know, Lord willing, kids can go back to school eventually. But yeah, do the research. Like Where? How far is the hospital from you? Where’s you know, where’s the nearest fire station? Where’s the nearest grocery store? All those types of things, you know, when we will

Rory Carruthers 31:44
help? Or is it from your work? You know, if you if you still have to go into work? Yeah. Which is getting less and less these days? But if you have to, how far is it from there? Because the amount of money that you’re going to spend on gas in your car, the wear and tear on your car maintenance and all of that stuff, the time that it takes you, you know, if it takes you an hour each way, that’s two hours of your day that that you’re wasting,

Dominica Lumazar 32:06
unless you really like drive poppin, you know, podcast or something? Yeah.

Rory Carruthers 32:11
I mean, like, I’d rather have the two hours a day to hang out with my kids.

Dominica Lumazar 32:16
Well, that’s true. But shout shout out to all of you right now who are driving and listening to this. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, just, again, research, research research, just make sure that everything is comfortable. If there is any, what’s the gang activity, like, you know, what’s the homicide rate? Look, look at things like that.

Rory Carruthers 32:36
Look up the crime statistics. There’s a lot of places will have maps of where crimes have happened recently. Megan’s Law. Yeah. There’s Yeah, for child predators and things like that. Sexual offenders. Are there any near you? Like, you’ve got to look these things up, especially if you have kids? Like, especially? Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, some Okay, so some other some other types of hacks. If you’re, you know, looking to buy a new home, you can do something like buy a duplex, a triplex or four Plex and rent out the other sides to pay your mortgage, and then live without having to pay your actual mortgage yourself, or a very low, a lot lower amount. And it may seem like I don’t want to live next to people or whatever. But it’s a really great way to build up because what you do is you can do that for a while while you’re saving to buy another place, and then you rent out both of the sides of the duplex, and then that pays the mortgage on that and potentially the other home you buy. Mm hmm. Yep. You know, that’s one way to build up to doing it. Now. They’re harder to find, you know, did sometimes cost a little more, you’re going to also be going against investors and things like that. So that’s where being prepared and going in with things like an underwritten offer, really going to help NEC both had issues with our mortgage brokers. Right, good

Dominica Lumazar 33:55


This individual was so challenging for us. It almost felt like sabotage from the get go. The people who were selling the home to us, they picked her, which, technically speaking is illegal. They’re not actually allowed to do that. And we learned about that after the fact. But I think it was like, you know, an old family friend, and they wanted to work with her. And we had already actually found someone that we liked going into the offer. And they said, No, we don’t want to work with her that company. So use our person. Instead, they’re like, okay, you want the house like we’ll we’ll play ball essentially. And this woman, every single thing she did, she made it so so challenging for us. And we’re you had a similar experience, right?

Rory Carruthers 34:42
Yeah. Well, I had a guy who, like started yelling at me, and was flat out lying to me and then blaming me when when I came back to him and would say, like you said, exactly this to me. And you said, you said we were underwritten. Like this was, you know, what, how I found out about the underwriting, I was like you said, we were underwritten, but we’re not. And they never sent in the paperwork to get it underwritten. And we went out and we’re putting in offers saying we were under it, like this was years and years ago at. Yeah. So like, you’ve got to be really careful to it is a bit of a shady business, you’ve got to find someone that you’re comfortable with that is actually giving you good advice. And, you know, and they’re gonna say things like, Oh, you don’t need to have it underwritten and things like that. We ran into that, you know, recently, a few years back where we were purchasing a home. And you know, we’re trying to get the, the mortgage broker to underwrite it, and they’re like, not until the deal goes through. And I’m like, No, we want to underwritten before we put in our offer. We just don’t do things that way. I’m like, Yes, you do. Don’t give me that BS.

Dominica Lumazar 35:53
You know, don’t be lazy. If you want the business,

Rory Carruthers 35:56
you’ll want my business. Here it is. If not, then we’ll go somewhere else.

Dominica Lumazar 36:00
Yeah, you

Rory Carruthers 36:01
know, but you do have the option to to go somewhere else. Yep. Like, yeah, shop around. But be careful of some of the online stuff. We mentioned this in the scams episode, I believe, where when you enter your information to some of these websites, they’re going to send your information out to hundreds and potentially 1000s of different people, you’re going to get tons of phone calls and stuff from different companies. So you have to be really careful with that. And there’s a lot of scam mortgage brokers out there. So looking looking to wrap up like a bank is not always the best case because that that guy who is giving me misinformation and yelling at me was with a major bank. Okay, the one you bank with? And so it’s it’s one of those things where you have to realize that the banks are in it to make money. And they somewhat prey on the fact that most people don’t know what they’re talking about. Oh,

Dominica Lumazar 37:05
absolutely. So get get educated, shopped around, it is 100% illegal for someone to say to you, no, you have to use our person, if you want the deal to go through, I was super ignorant, super green to this whole experience. And so I just I assumed that’s what we had to do and didn’t realize what happened after the fact.

Rory Carruthers 37:24
Something else is like when you move into your house like this is changing topic a little bit is go through your house, like one of the best money saving things you can do is change all of the showerheads and things to low flow if they’re not already. Toilet toilets. You know, you don’t have to necessarily go out and like spend a bunch of money on this stuff. Like I change the showerhead in our home. Because it like literally I used the whole when we moved into this house that we’re in now. I’d use a whole hot water tank full of water just for one shower. Wow. And I was like this is ridiculous that so much water it’s not only wasteful, but it’s costing us tons of money. Right? And so what I did is I just changed it out and it was like, I don’t know 30 bucks. Yeah, and it was a low flow. It’s super nice. And it’s low flow not in a way where like oh, I’m not getting any water coming out it’s it works perfect just how I want it. But it’s not wasting any additional water. Yeah, so they’ve really improved stuff like that. I know like a while back. You know 1020 years ago they kind of really crappy but you can get you can go home depot these days and get really quality ones you know look up reviews and things like that. You know make you know I’ll go into like Home Depot and I’ll just be standing there for 20 minutes going through looking up reviews and what people are saying about all the different options I have and then I pick the one that I think is the best option and and go with it and you just you know try that it’s literally you just take a wrench and undo it and then twist it back on and you got a new one you know and use a little bit like super simple things you can do it

Dominica Lumazar 39:07
the last thing you want to have is like listeners going out and buying a new shower head not knowing how to put the darn thing on you can also read the back of the thing that comes in I’m sure it’ll tell you

Rory Carruthers 39:17
the back of this thing watching YouTube video like lots of people have videos about how to do these things because there’s so calm like common and things that we need to do as part of our lives that you know part of homeownership and things like that, that the information is out there.

Dominica Lumazar 39:32
Oh and light bulbs you can install energy efficient light bulbs.

Rory Carruthers 39:36
That’s a big guy. Exactly. And you know my thought process on this is don’t replace them until they’re broken but as soon as they they they break then put a new one energy efficient in Yeah, exactly go and like spend hundreds of dollars changing every light bulb in your home when you move in. Like that is not a good use of time or money either. But as as they go out which light balls do get the get the the energy efficient ones, the ones that last for like 10 years now, you know, and they don’t they really don’t cost that much anymore. They used to cost a lot of money. But now they’re almost the same prices.

Dominica Lumazar 40:12
Yeah. What’s the way that we’re moving, everything should be efficient, energy efficient, right? Another thing which might seem obvious, but you might not think about, especially when you’re buying a home, is make sure you’re actually looking at the insulation and your windows, like our windows in this house. They’re very, very old windows have to be updated. And so we’re not as heat efficient as we would like to be just because of that fact. And we know that so much more heat would stay in the house if we had better windows. So that’s an upgrade for future. But so think about those things as well.

Rory Carruthers 40:45
Yeah, so yeah, just knowing the difference, like what is a single, double, triple pane window, not only heating and that but sound as well. And making sure that, you know, when you’re buying a home, you go in knowing like, if you have a single pane windows, you’re probably going to need to replace them.

Dominica Lumazar 41:03
Yeah. Oh, 100%. Yeah.

Rory Carruthers 41:05
I’ve lived in in homes with single pane windows, and they’re cold, they cost more money to heat. And they’re noisier.

Dominica Lumazar 41:13
You wanted to talk a little about insurance right? in bundles? Yeah. So savings you can get for that.

Rory Carruthers 41:18
Yeah, one of the things you can you can do with your insurance is is bundle it with your car insurance and your home insurance and any other types of insurance that you’re you’re looking for, you know, instead of going to like having a company that’s all about your current insurance and all about your home insurance. Look at some of the companies that that cover both of them are multiple different types of insurances, because they’ll usually give you quite a large discount. Yeah, having multiple insurance on on with them, it ends up saving you quite a bit of money.

Dominica Lumazar 41:51
We ended up saving 30% with with with our insurance carrier, and then I heard something around that for us. Wow. That’s a no brainer. Yeah.

Rory Carruthers 42:03
Yeah. Yeah. And get fire insurance for your house. If If it’s not you, it’s not required. Get it?

Dominica Lumazar 42:08
Get get it anyway. Get it anyway, I think. I think fire insurance is like a minimum is required in certain locations. But you never know. It’s always better to be so so so prepared. Your toaster could catch on fire like minded hope that never happens. Anyone else? But you just you never know with with home insurance.

Rory Carruthers 42:27
You have you think about like you see all these guitar, if you’re watching the video, you see all these guitars on the back wall behind me. Every single one of them has to be photographed serial number, like, you have to actually go through all of your stuff, video records and document tation have it or you will not get it an insurance claim. Yep. You can’t just say oh, I had, you know, 12 guitars that burned up, you know, in that house fire or whatever, or someone stole them. You can’t You can’t do that. Like, you have to have full documentation that that these exist. And if it’s like really valuable stuff, like say, let’s say you know, someone gave you a $50,000 watch. That’s been a family heirloom or something, right? So then what you have to do is go that get that appraised and have that appraisal there as part of your your files for if your home burns down and you need it in the cloud. Mm hmm. In case your home burns down, right. Get that paperwork. Keep all your make some backups of it,

Dominica Lumazar 43:36
you know, backups for your backups to

Rory Carruthers 43:38
Yeah, well, we talked about, you know, have your main hard drive your backup hard drive in your cloud? Like, that’s like the minimum as a business owner you should have? Absolutely, yeah. Oh, man, so many hacks. And there’s still so much more that we could do. But I think we’re gonna leave you guys with this because this has been probably our longest episode we’ve ever done.

Dominica Lumazar 43:58
Well, I have Can I just do like a little bonus? Just like just two more? Two more. Okay.

Rory Carruthers 44:03
Okay. Okay.

Dominica Lumazar 44:04
All right. Number one, this is these are bonus hacks. You ready for this? Number one. Internet purchases. This is so so so important. Clear your cash people. And here’s why. When you’re looking to purchase something online, it could be a domain name that maybe you’re interested in for a business. It could be airfare, maybe you’re flying somewhere. These websites put cookies, these how to explain a cookie, right?

Rory Carruthers 44:29
It’s like a little it’s a little tracker, essentially.

Dominica Lumazar 44:32
Okay. So they they’re tracking what you’re looking for what you’re looking at what you’re looking for, they’re tracking that data. And they will not always but sometimes they will start to bump up the price on things, or someone will swoop in and buy a domain name. And then when you go back and look at it a few hours later, they’re trying to sell it back to you. So I’ve had that happen.

Rory Carruthers 44:53
Yeah. If you’re researching domain names by then and there if you want it.

Dominica Lumazar 44:58
Yep. Don’t even think twice. It’ll cost you maybe 15 bucks at most you buy it, you have it for the year. And then you can decide if you want to renew it or not. But airfare is another big one like that will that will go up so significantly, so clear your cache when you’re done with your research projects, and then you can go back.

Rory Carruthers 45:14
Well, it’s crazy, because like, I’ve seen that when, like, trying to book flights for vacations and things, and then we like, go back, like an hour later. And you’re like, wait a minute. You know, this is $500 more. Yeah. Yeah. Like, oh, it’s because they really? No, it’s not. It’s just how they set up their systems.

Dominica Lumazar 45:38
Yeah, it’s crazy. It’s like yeah, broad. Okay, so that’s important. So clear cache. The last thing, we love Amazon, I love Amazon. It’s massive, and it’s taken over the world. But guess what, you can even get better deals. Thanks to Amazon, they have a whole separate department, which is called warehouse So imagine 100% of all these items that get returned to Amazon, they have to live somewhere, right? Maybe someone never even opened the package. Maybe someone looked at it, sent it back, wrong color, wrong size, whatever it might be. It all has to go live somewhere. And guess what it’s like 50% off sometimes. So you can go to warehouse deals calm or Woot is another one w o team. And you can see all these fantastic deals through Amazon, you can buy your Amazon account. And so that’s another money saving hack right there. And I think we’ve done it, we could go on for like hours. But here we are. Thank you guys so much for taking the time with us. Let us know if you have any hacks. I’m so curious if there’s like some other time, money saving. What do you got for us? We would love to feature it, let us know. And as always, we’re continuing to learn all these things together.

Rory Carruthers 46:52
Yeah, and you know, we covered a lot but you know, just pick a few and and implement it. And you’ll see some difference in your life.

Dominica Lumazar 47:01
Yeah, definitely. Already. Yeah. Yeah. That’s it for now. We’ll see you guys next time. Bye.

Rory Carruthers 47:09
Bye. Hey, thanks so much for listening to the big picture business podcast this week. On the next episode, we’re doing some color therapy. That’s right, we show you how to build your personal brand, which includes choosing brand colors, matching your personality to your brand, social media branding, brand logo, design brand phrases. Basically, if it’s got brand in the name, we are covering it. New episodes are released every Tuesday. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find us online at And we have the full video episodes up on the bpb podcast YouTube channel. So check them out. All right. See you next time.

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