Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Handy tips to pay off your mortgage quickly

To enjoy the freedom and power of having your own space – your home –you might need to pay off your mortgage faster. Let’s admit, owing money causes stress, and paying off a mortgage early can bring peace of mind. A paid-off mortgage means more free cash flow from the fixed income, especially if nearing retirement and would want to stop working. It also saves you money on interest, potentially not just hundreds but thousands of dollars.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Paying off your mortgage early has a lot of benefits. Apart from saving extra money for repayment, here are more tips to help you achieve your goal.

Cut back on expenditure.

If you want to pay off your mortgage early, you might need to reduce or totally eliminate vices such as gambling, smoking, and drinking alcohol, if you have one. Also reduce expenditure on subscriptions and other habits that are not helping you with your financial goals. Redirect the money into your home loan instead. Eat out less often, think of ways how to save on energy at home and how to cut back on your transportation expenses, walk or ride the bike whenever possible. If you would log every saving in a journal, you would see that you could save enough amount of money to repay your monthly mortgage in advance.

Make use of Internet banking.

Internet banking offers you the most convenient and fastest way to arrange your finances. Most lenders nowadays accepts payment via online. This is a very efficient way of transaction with less hassle of having to line up to wait for your turn. Online payments also charge lower fees than other modes of payments and you can always make scheduled payments to make sure you pay on time and avoid penalties.

Pay off high-interest debt first.

Before paying off your mortgage early, settle first those high-interest debts like credit card, personal loans, and car loans which usually have have much higher interest rates than your mortgage. It would be wiser to get rid of debts other than mortgage first so you don’t end up behind.

Make extra repayments.

Every time you would earn more than the usual, make extra repayments earlier than the due date. It would mean more time and money saved. If you have started making extra repayments, make it more often to reduce the principal faster. Align your repayments with your income cycle for convenience. Think twice first before lowering your repayments when interest rates fall.

Use an online Mortgage Payoff Goal Calculator.

This online calculator will tell you how much extra you need to add to each monthly payment to pay off your loan in the number of years you specified. Here’s how the calculator works.

First, you have to know your current loan details. Fill in the calculator with the current remaining balance owed, then the annual interest rate and the current monthly payment amount. By providing these details, the calculator will automatically compute your original amortization schedule which includes the current monthly payments remaining and the years remaining to pay for your mortgage.

Then you have to provide your loan payoff goal which must be lower than the remaining number of years to pay your mortgage. For example, you have 12 years more remaining to pay off for your mortgage, so your payoff goal must be 10 years or less. The faster the payoff goal, the better.

When you click calculate, you will get the results showing the total interest savings, additional monthly payment required, and new monthly payment, which is the combination of your current monthly amortization plus the additional monthly payment required based on your goal. What’s so nice about this calculator is that it also shows how much interest you will save from paying off your mortgage early, and that savings is not just a few hundred dollars but thousands of dollars which you can enjoy or put into other investment for your other financial goals such as retirement.

Don’t wait for months or years to pay off your loan because being prompt will potentially save you a lot of money and will make your life a little more stress-free.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

'Love Alarm' Season 2 is (FINALLY!!!) Coming Soon

Finally!!! After more than a year of waiting, 'Love Alarm' Season 2 is coming to Netflix!

In 2019, 'Love Alarm' was the first Korean drama that I had watched that ended with a cliffhanger... and I completely hated that it did. Lol. I found myself extremely annoyed because I didn't know it would end with a cliffhanger but now that I've seen the first look stills, I am excited all over again, especially after watching Song Kang in 'Sweet Home'.

In case you haven't watched it yet (and you really should if you haven't yet - you have time before Season 2!!!), 'Love Alarm' is based on the popular webtoon of the same name. In the show, there is a mobile app that alerts people when someone within a 10-meter radius likes them... can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if that existed in real life? :p

Starring Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, and Song Kang, there’s no better time than now to watch (or re-watch) the first season as you wait for Season 2.

The new stills show Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun) meeting Lee Hye-yeong (Jung Ga-ram) and Hwang Sun-oh (Song Kang) individually. While they have graduated from high school and have become adults, they still have unresolved worries and conflicts.

The second season takes place 4 years after the creation of the app which has recently released Love Alarm 2.0. The update comes with a new feature that shows users a list of people who are likely to like them in the future.

Kim Jo-jo, who still hides her feelings, will come across a variety of small and large changes in society influenced by the app. Most importantly, we'll get to see more tension between the main characters. Who are you rooting for?

You can watch the first season of 'Love Alarm' here. The second season will be released on March 12, 2021 - only on Netflix.

'Run On' Got Me to Start Running Again

I hate cardio. I say that in practically every fitness-related post that I publish. And I mean it. I hate cardio with a passion. While I did take part in several runs and even joined running events in the past few years, I really cannot say that I truly enjoyed any of them... because I really didn't. I always found myself on the way home thinking, "Why the eff do I keep going to these things?" I love running shoes. They're comfy as hell. But actually running in them? Nuh-uh. No, thank you.

Sure, there have been moments throughout my life where I thought, "I should really take running seriously", like when I binge-watched every single season of 'Alias' and found myself fascinated by the way that Jennifer Garner ran. More recently, however, I found myself interested in running because of the Korean drama 'Run On'.

In a nutshell, 'Run-On' is a love story between a completely naive runner (who plays his role so well, he really looks like he has no idea what is going on in the world) and a Korean-English translator (whose job is hella cool but who I hated with a passion).

To be honest, 'Run On' is the kind of Korean drama I love to hate because it mostly revolves around a love story... and I'm not really into that. If I'm being completely honest, however, I also hated it because I could completely relate to the lead who believes he is single because... he's boring. Lol. Story of my life. The font of the title is nice, though...?

Anyway, as with a lot of other KDramas that focuses on love stories, I was also more interested in the second leads' love story (the painter and the agency chick). Yeah, I didn't learn any of their names. That's how not-interested in the show I was.

It's a light watch, though, and entertaining in a way. However, I found myself especially interested in the running aspect. Weird, I know.

There's this scene in the series that doesn't really last more than 3 minutes. In fact, the runner's speech doesn't even last longer than 30 seconds; but within those 30 seconds, he tried "teaching" the translator how to run.

And you know what? I REALIZED THAT NOBODY EVER "TAUGHT" ME HOW TO RUN. All. My. Life. I just ran when people told me to run. At school. At fun runs. At actual runs. However, no one actually ever sat me down to teach me how to run properly. How your arms should move. How your shoulders should be relaxed. How you should breathe. Etcetera, etcetera.

And in those 30 seconds, I realized... maybe that's why I hate running. Maybe that's why I hate cardio: because I have been doing it wrong all this freaking time!

And so, the Monday before last, at 5AM - yes, 5AM in the morning, kids! - night owl-me went for a run the way that the runner dude in 'Run On' told translator chick to. And get this: I ENJOYED IT. OH. MY. GOD. I. ENJOYED. RUNNING. WHO. AM. I. I enjoyed it so much that I have been running three times a week now. Let that sink in.

So, really, what I'm saying is: you can learn a lot from KDramas. You should really give them a try. :p (I bet you thought I was gonna promote running here, but nopes.)

I don't necessarily recommend starting your KDrama marathon (see what I did there?) with 'Run On', though coz honestly, I wanted to bash that translator chick's head in every time she said she wasn't angry but actually was - LIKE, GIRL, COMMUNICATE! And the lead guy reminded me sooooo much of my worst ex even though they look nothing alike.. but do get into KDramas... please? :D

Sunday, February 7, 2021

'Space Sweepers' is Like... 'Monsters Inc.' Meets 'Star Wars'

If you're at a loss as to what to watch on Netflix right now, 'Space Sweepers' is it.

I'll start by saying that I am not a fan of Song Joong-ki so this is a completely unbiased opinion. I didn't really like 'Descendants of the Sun' (don't hate me!) and I didn't even want to watch this to begin with. But when Joong-ki compared the experience of filming 'Space Sweepers' to 'The Goonies', it piqued my interest and I simply had to watch it. Add to that the fact that one of my friends compared it to 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and I put it on top of my must-watch list this weekend. It was not like 'GotG' or 'The Goonies' at all, though. But it was still good.

I'd even go so far as to say that I liked it better than 'GotG'. Ooooo big words! However, as I have mentioned in a previous post, I like things that make me cry. So yes, expect a few tears when watching 'Space Sweepers'.

I'll try not to give too much away; but in a nutshell, 'Space Sweepers' revolves around a group of Korean misfits who have to find ways to survive in the new world in space that people are living in.

Set in the future, 'Space Sweepers' is more sci-fi than fantasy (as I had originally expected it to be). Don't expect any weird aliens in this or even weird languages. No, in the future in 'Space Sweepers', everybody is speaking in the language that they are comfortable in - a beautiful world that my multi-lingual self had only once imagined in her dreams - and everyone has a translator earbud thing to translate whatever is being said by others. I loved that concept of the movie. LOVED. IT.

Anyway, the misfits come across a child who is allegedly an android, and mildly comedic things ensure reminiscent of Sulley and Mike in 'Monsters, Inc.' The vibes were almost exactly the same with a mix of a bit of 'E.T.' and the same awesome action as 'Star Wars'. There is a sidekick robot in it, too, but without the annoyingness of C3PO. In fact, Bubs' face is kinda like Baymax's face, so it's hard not to like him/her. The misfits also have an old hardly-keeping-it-together spaceship ala Millennium Falcon. The Star Wars feels were real!

I'm going to admit that the movie wasn't perfect. I was a little annoyed by the ending because (SPOILERS AHEAD!!! highlight to read) I thought the misfits had sacrificed themselves to save Earth and I LOVED THAT PART (this is why 'Rogue One' is my favorite 'Star Wars' movie) and I WAS ALREADY BAWLING MY EYES OUT and then surprise, they were saved. I got a bit annoyed by that.

HOWEVER, when I got to the real ending, I realized that I liked their ending better. I didn't know that I needed that closure for Joong-ki nor did I know that I wanted to see what happened to Bubs until I actually got there.

I also have to say that I am very impressed with Joong-ki after watching this movie. It was nice to see him in a semi-gusgusin role that didn't involve any love interests. He really showed me how versatile he is as an actor and I might actually try watching 'Arthdal Chronicles' soon. I will also definitely watching 'Vincenzo' when it comes out (where he plays an Italian mafia dude!).

Overall, I'd highly recommend watching this movie. The action scenes and space battles in themselves are well worth it. I am always immensely impressed by Koreans and their ability to put together such amazing series and movies. I honestly thought I wouldn't like this one and yet here I am, actually writing about it.

If you love space flicks or are simply looking for something entertaining to pass the time, put 'Space Sweepers' on your list. And then message me to let me know what you thought of it. :) I'm always happy to geek out with fellow movie buffs!

Saturday, February 6, 2021

'18 Again' Review: I cried in every single episode.

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a crybaby. In fact, I habitually and purposefully search for movies, series, songs, and books that make me cry because it's one of the only ways that I can confirm that I still have a heart. Lelz.

What I didn't expect, however, was that I was going to cry in every. single. episode of '18 Again'. Now, I'm not gonna lie: the only reason why I watched it in the first place was because I saw that Lee Do-hyun was the lead in it. See, I had developed an unhealthy obsession with him after watching 'Sweet Home' and although I hated the Zac Efron movie '17 Again', I decided to give this a try for him. AND I HAVE NO REGRETS.

In case you aren't familiar with the premise, '18 Again' is about a man who, seemingly unhappy with the life he has led thus far, gets his "wish" of becoming young again.

Basically, he ends up looking like his 18-year-old self but with all of the knowledge of his 36-year-old self and in the world that his 36-year-old self was living in: complete with his two kids and his ex-wife. It sounds fun and fantastical; but for single mom-me, it was a nostalgic trip into all of the heartaches and pain of my past.

And I found myself crying in every. single. episode. That is not an exaggeration. I literally did. I couldn't shut up about it as I was watching it, either. It had actually been a while since I last binge-watched a Korean drama in just one day (at least one that didn't involve zombies or monsters).

It has been more than a decade now since I embarked on my life as a single mom and I am so proud to say that I overcame all of the struggles that came with it: living alone, having very little to eat, and raising a baby with zero knowledge on how to raise one in the first place. I had no one to guide me and no one to turn to, and I locked myself in the bathroom more times than I'd like to admit to cry my heart out. All of these feelings came back when I watched '18 Again' and it was just as painful as actually living it.

Major props to how the actors in this cry, by the way. One of my pet peeves in KDramas is when they're ugly cryers (Lee Min-ho) or OA cryers (Nam Joo-hyuk). These guys actually made me cry when they cried instead of rolling my eyes or looking at invisible people next to me to roll my eyes with.

Will you enjoy the series if you can't relate to being a young single parent? Honestly, I think you might actually enjoy it more than I did because you won't have your heart wrenched out of your body in every single episode. Lol. Beyond the young single parent stuff, there is a lot to be taken away from this show.

'18 Again' reminds us to take a step back and breathe and look at all of the good things in our lives instead of constantly complaining about things or looking back in regret. One question I've been getting a lot recently is whether I regret becoming a mom and whether I ever wonder what life would have been like if I had chosen a different path.

I did when I was much younger, but I was lucky enough to eventually move past that mentality. (Pretty proud to say that I moved past it all on my own, too!) I chose not to dwell on my mistakes and my hardships, instead looking back fondly at how I overcame all of the shit in my life. But I'll get to my shitty life of a decade ago in another post.

'18 Again' also touches on bullying (at school and for being a geek), prejudice at work (for those who didn't graduate, mothers, divorced women, older women, and women in general), and bribery.

'18 Again' reminds us not to take anything or anyone for granted and not to assume that we know what is going on in people's lives (even those we are close to). It reminds us to be kind at all times, to be understanding, and above all, to communicate better.

It reminds us how important it is not just to listen, but also to speak up about things that are bothering us. How can you fix anything if you never tell people how you feel? How can you move forward if you keep pretending everything is fine and dandy? How can you expect things to be better if you never say what's on your mind? How can you be happy if you never speak up?

'18 Again' is a gem of a KDrama that I am surprised nobody on my feed is talking about. It is a beautiful series, whether you have kids or not, and I highly recommend watching it. And did I mention that Lee Do-hyun is in this?!?? (Or am I the only one absolutely obsessed with him?) Hwang In-yeop is in it, too, in case you want to see more of him after watching 'True Beauty'.

If you've seen it, let me know your thoughts!