Our Home Insurance Shot Up 69% In One Year (Never Filed a Claim)

Our Home Insurance Shot Up 69 In One YearThe other day I received our newest home insurance bill, and I was very shocked when I opened it.

Our home insurance rate jumped from just $650 last year to $1,100 this year, which is a 69% jump.

Yes, nearly SEVENTY PERCENT from the previous bill we received. There was no note or reasoning attached to the bill (I know they don’t do that, but it would be nice), all it stated was the new rate.

I know others pay rates much higher than what we’re paying, and I guess we’ve been lucky.

However, considering the fact that we’ve never filed a claim since we bought our home 5 years ago and that we live in a cheap home, such a big jump in our annual home insurance bill definitely stood out to me.

So, I did some research.

According to ValuePenguin, the average annual home insurance bill in Missouri is $1,022.

This means our new home insurance bill isn’t too off, but considering our home is significantly below the average home value in Missouri (our home is 40% cheaper than the average value of a Missouri home stated by Realtor.com), it is still a little odd to me that we are paying so much more than others in the same area.

Also, when we first bought our home, the average home insurance bill in our zip code was only $450.

 

What causes home insurance bills to jump or be higher than average?

Around 1.5 years ago, we had two tornadoes in our subdivision.

One was at the beginning of our subdivision, and the other was at the end of it.

It was a freak occurrence and very scary. I’m assuming this is what caused our home insurance to go up. A few houses have been completely rebuilt and they are still working on one or two other homes.

There are other reasons why home insurance bills may be higher as well:

  • Do you have dogs? We have two dogs, but neither of them are on the list of “bad dogs” that home insurance companies don’t like. It is sad, but certain breeds will lead to higher home insurance.
  • Home “additions.” If you have any additions to your home such as a pool or a trampoline, they will most likely add to your home insurance bill.
  • Weather. Weather can be a big reason for why your home insurance is higher than usual. If there is the possibility of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or other disasters, then your home insurance may be higher than the average.
  • How old is everything? When was the last time your plumbing, electrical system, roof, and so on were replaced? If nothing has been replaced in a long time, then you may be looking at higher home insurance rates.

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Retirement, Financial Independence, and Living Life

Retirement, Financial Independence, and Living Life

This is what a happy life is to me.

After two very long posts this week, DIY Wedding Ideas – Worth It Or A Waste Of Money and How Much Money Should I Save Up For A House, today’s post is a somewhat shorter (and a rambling) one.

Lately, we’ve been home “shopping” online a lot.

It’s almost become an addiction.

Okay, who am I kidding? It is an addiction. Luckily, shopping for homes online is a free hobby of mine.

My favorite websites right now are Zillow and Realtor and I look at each a few times each week. We don’t plan on moving for around two years from now, but it’s still something we plan on putting a lot of thought into.

Before you think both me and Wes are crazy planners, I do want to say that it’s mainly just me who is crazy. If Wes had his way, we would have moved yesterday.

We want to move to a new state (Colorado is winning right now), and the next home we buy will probably be our “forever” home. We plan on living in it for a long time and possibly retiring in it.

The whole thing sounds a little crazy, even to me, especially since we are only 25.

 

What is a happy life?

Colorado is exactly how I imagine a great life (and retirement) would be. Whenever we visit the state, we are always amazed by how beautiful it is and we even love the air (it’s not humid like in St. Louis where you are constantly walking in a sea of mist).

With our future move to wherever we end up deciding on moving to, we have been thinking a lot about what a happy life is.

Every time we talk about possibly moving to Colorado, it always leads to us saying something similar to “this is how I imagine retirement would be. This is a happy life.”

Some think we are crazy, but why do so many people think you can’t enjoy your life until you reach retirement? Why do we have to wait to like where we live until we reach retirement age?

There are plenty of ways to save for retirement, while also enjoying the life you live right now.

My dad passed away in his 50s, before he was even able to retire. Well, technically, he “retired” when the doctors told him he only had a few months left to live. So, he spent his “retirement” in a horrible way. He worked extremely hard his whole life and saved for retirement religiously, and it’s something I’ve always admired. However, I don’t want my whole life to be all about working.

I want to be able to enjoy life now, instead of waiting decades down the line to possibly (sorry if that sounds morbid) enjoy myself.

 

Anyway, what does retirement mean to me?

Since we plan on moving somewhere enjoyable soon, does retirement mean anything to me? That is a question someone asked me recently. They said I would have nothing to look forward to in the future.

Retirement to me means financial independence. I want to have freedom when it comes to my career and also when it comes to how I enjoy my life.

I don’t see myself ever not working, unless I was prevented in some way (such as medical reasons). I like the motivation that work brings, and I like what I do. However, I understand that my feelings about everything may change in the future, and that is why financial independence is something I want to strive for.

 

How do I plan on reaching retirement?

I’m definitely not one of those people who plans on cutting everything in their lives in order to reach retirement. I still want to enjoy life, take vacations, spend time with friends and family, and more. However, I think doing all of that, reaching retirement, and living a fun life is all possible at the same time.

I plan on reaching retirement through a mixture of cutting expenses, growing my income, and hopefully adding some passive income to the mix. Thanks to several different personal finance bloggers (mainly Paula at Afford Anything), I have been more and more interested in getting into real estate and renting out places both long-term and short-term (such as through AirBnb or VRBO). That is a passive income area I would like to get into.

Even though I am no where near retirement, I do want to live an enjoyable life right now though.

 

How do you see yourself in retirement? Living in another country? Working still?

What does a happy and successful life look like to you?

 

$14,156 in August Business Income

$14,937 in July - My Highest Income Month

Hello everyone! Welcome to August’s business income (and a little bit of extra income) report. It’s time to look at my monthly income report and track my progress over the past month.

Background information:

This all started out as my “extra income” report because before October of 2013, I still had my day job. In those extra income reports, I included all the income I made except for my day job.

In September of 2013, I turned in my notice at my day job as a financial analyst, and my last official day at that job was in October of 2013. Now, my income reports consist of the main way I make an income each month, which is through my freelancing business.

Some think I’m crazy for publishing my income report each month and being so public about the whole thing. I even received some flack recently from someone who sent me an email telling me I’m crazy! However, I don’t think I’m crazy (well, I hope I’m not). I publish my income reports each month for many reasons.

The main reason why I started side hustling is because I was reading other bloggers’ monthly income reports and they had me interested and motivated in making extra money. Now, it seems like there are several bloggers out there who publish their income reports, and I love reading all of them. I read income reports from Smart Passive Income, Retire By 40, Matthew Woodward, and more.

Before I started blogging, I knew nothing about side hustling and making money online. I didn’t think side hustles were worth the time, and I thought the main way to increase your income was through your day job. I believed the only way I could make money money was through raises and promotions.

Oh, was I wrong!

If it weren’t for others publishing their monthly online income reports each month, I don’t know if I would have even ever attempted side hustling.

Also, I like to publish my income reports each month because it’s a way for me to look back, learn from my mistakes and see what I need to change or improve the following month. Just sitting here and typing up this month’s income report is a great way to keep track of my business goals. It also gives me motivation because if I can see that nothing has changed in a few months I know what I need to start working on.

I know I say this every month, but it is the truth. Life is just so great now that I am doing what I want to do. I look forward to each and every day and it is a wonderful thing.

 

How was August?

August was another great income month, and it was my second best month after expenses. I did think August would be slightly better, only because I feel like I’ve been working a lot of 16 hour days lately. It was still a great month, and I hope it pays off in future months.

I have a lot of plans and I feel like I’ve been all over the place lately.

One area I need to work on is better time management and finding more time to enjoy myself. Instead, I usually feel like whenever I spend time doing something else, that I actually should have been working.

UGH! But that’s the life of someone who works from home. It’s hard to stop working.

That’s really the only downside of working form home though. Everything else is very positive and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

 

In August of 2014, I made $15,051 in business income, before expenses.

 

August Business Report

This is for the month of August and before fees and expenses (fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $895, which includes VAs/staff writers for my other websites, technical assistance on my websites, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out.

After expenses and fees, I made approximately $14,156. In the amount above, I do not include the amount I bring in to the websites I provide services to. I only include the amounts that are my actual earnings from my services. So, if a website I manage makes an income of $3,000, I only include my payment for my services- not the full $3,000.

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