A Look at Why I Love CIBC’s New Smart Account

The following is a sponsored post from CIBC. All opinions are mine.

cibc smart

I’ve banked with many banks in my life. From credit unions to online-only banks, I’ve tried them all. It wasn’t until we went to a mortgage broker when we were buying our house a few years ago that I had any connection to CIBC. Long story short they offered us the best rate and over the next few years we went from having a mortgage to switching everything over to them because they were so great to deal with. Features like the new CIBC Smart™ Account are one reason why we continue to bank with them today.

Additional Bank Fees SUCK.

There are a number of reasons why we enjoy banking with a traditional ‘’brick and mortar’’ bank (over online-only bank) but we still enjoy using a lot of online features our traditional bank offers. In particular we seem to send a lot of Interac e-Transfers which, at the end of the month, can really add up in additional fees. We had one month where we sent almost 20 Interac e-Transfers and had to pay quite a bit in additional fees. We’ve accepted we’ll have monthly account fees with a traditional bank, and we’re happy to pay them, but no one likes extra bank fees. With CIBC’s new Smart Account, we no longer have to worry about things like Interac e-Transfer fees. This is one great feature of the new account system.

A Look at CIBC’s New Smart Account

How this new account works is quite simple. A CIBC representative told me that the CIBC Smart Account monthly fee starts at just $4.95 for up to 12 transactions and caps at $14.95 for unlimited everyday banking transactions, which now includes Interac e-Transfers. This account is the first of its kind to offer unlimited Interac e-Transfers. The monthly fees may also be waived if a minimum daily balance of $3,000 is maintained and if you have a recurring direct deposit or two pre-authorized payments each month.

For us this is actually a huge help considering the sheer volume of Interac e-Transfers we send. Last month I was involved in an important local fundraiser which involved sending small $5.00 e-transfers to the host upwards of twice a week. It was so nice to not have to think about the $1.50 every time, especially for such a small amount.

Before CIBC came out with its new Smart Account, there have definitely been times where I have been late paying someone back because I would rather use cash and avoid the fee. This can be super embarrassing sometimes but whenever I had used our ‘’two free e-transfers per month’’ (a feature we had in our old account) I hated sending money knowing we’d have an additional fee associated.

I’m a big fan of this new Smart Account setup. We definitely have months where we use our bank account quite a bit and other months when it seems we do nothing but allow the auto-withdraws to come out with very little additional activity. I’m now assured I’ll only ever pay for the volume of transactions I use that month and not a generic one-size-fits-all fee. For reasons like this we’ll continue to bank with CIBC.

For additional information please check out CIBC.com.

Could You Handle a $1000 Emergency?

Source: Free Digital Photos

Source: Free Digital Photos

I feel like most people who are involved in the personal finance niche, either as a contributor or reading admirer, may not necessarily follow within these statistics but the fact is that 2/3 of Americans making between $50k and $100k wouldn’t be able to handle a $1000 emergency. The statistic is even worse for those making less than $50k, shooting up to a staggering 75% not being able to handle the $1000 emergency. One would assume though if you’re making over $100k per year you’d have absolutely no problem coming up with $1000 but the fact is that 38% of these earners still say they’d struggle to find $1000.

I Couldn’t Handle a $1000 Emergency

Though these statistics are quite alarming to read, the fact is that it wasn’t that long ago I put myself in this group of people and I totally understand how it’s possible. Five years ago coming up with $1000, no questions asked, would mean knocking on the door of the bank of mom and dad. Despite our well-earning incomes we had no savings. Part of it was my mentality. I couldn’t justify having money sitting in a bank account, seemingly doing ‘’nothing’’, when we owed so much money. At the time I was relatively fresh out of my second degree, newly married and a new homeowner. Why, when I owed over $100,000 in various non-mortgage debt would I sock away cash for a rainy day? Well I get it now.

When I went off on maternity leave, losing 60% of my net income and for the first time I felt financial constraint I hope to never experience again, I realized how close we were living to the edge and how stupid and dangerous it was, especially with a child now in the mix. It took us almost a year but soon enough we managed to save that $1000. It was a life changing moment, really. We no longer had to rely on someone if there was an emergency. We were educated adults, parents, who no longer had to rely on anyone to temporarily bail us out if something happened and it was a glorious feeling.

Why Doesn’t Everyone Just Start Saving?

It seems easy. You’d think after people read an article like this that they would smarten up and just start saving but the fact is that finances are complicated. In order for us to save that $1000 we needed to not only ‘just start saving’ but do a complete overhaul of our finances. We needed to learn to budget. We needed to face big scary personal numbers. We needed to get real. And it was hard. Really hard. It took us almost the entire year to get a good thing going where we were comfortable in our budget. We make colossal errors and screwed up more times than not, but we stuck with it because we realized it was the only way to live. Not everyone understands this though. Humans are naturally averse to taking the hard road. It seems much easier to live with your head in the sand and pray an emergency never happens than deal with the hard reality that is your own personal finance.

Aside from just being difficult there are other, real things, working against people saving too. Lack of proper living wages, low to minimal raises, growing expenses are all working against people in terms of both short and long-term savings. It is possible though. Hard, but not impossible. There are a ton of resources out there to help you get started. The Simple Dollar, Money Crashers, and Gail Vaz-Oxlande all have great posts about getting started.

Living a life assuming an emergency will not happen to you is not realistic. We’re all prone to them. While you should eventually build your savings beyond $1000, most experts agree that this is a great starting point. While we’re actively paying our debt off, we will keep a modest emergency fund of $1000-$1500 cash on hand but will increase once we’re debt free, also remembering that emergency funds aren’t a one-size-fits all.

Could you handle a $1000 emergency? Was there ever a point where you couldn’t?

An Announcement: Big Changes are Coming

wpid-20140713_232643.jpgLast week, I mentioned to stay tuned as some changes were coming and I’m here to explain one of them. As most of you know, or, at the very least, can appreciate, blogging is a lot of work. Writing is fun but all the ‘’behind the scenes stuff’’ can be exhausting. The emails, the hosting issues, the deadlines can be very time consuming. There’s always something to do, which is why there are so many bloggers who burn out and eventually stop.

I have been blogging on and off around the web for the past eight years. I’ve always enjoyed the release of thought process and interaction (especially in the PF niche) but hate the feeling of managing everything else. It’s all necessary as a site owner though. You need to post or you readership dies, you need to fix things or the site can crash or whatever, you get my point…basically I enjoy the writing but hate everything else- so I’m not doing it anymore.

I have a lot going on in my life right now with the whole being a mom, wife, full-time employee thing. Especially as Maria gets more and more involved in her own activities my personal time is less and less and I was starting to resent the blog. I could no longer give it the attention it needed, or deserved.

At the end of last year I brought Kayla on to help with some things, and she’s been terrific but it wasn’t enough. She was doing everything I could as of her but I still wasn’t satisfied with the amount I still needed to do. I thought about it for a long time, chatted with Mike and eventually decided to give the blog up. I still wanted to write but didn’t want to deal with everything else so I found someone who did.

I asked around, and consulted with a few people before finally approaching J (from Budgets are Sexy) about using his massive list of contacts and resources to find someone who may be interested in taking the blog over, with the contingency of keeping me on as a writer. My inbox immediately blew up. J said it was his most popular inquiry to date and I talked to a lot of people before finally deciding to work out a deal with James.

James is a popular guy in the personal finance niche owning and managing many popular blogs such as Dinks Finance and Clever Dude. Given his reputation and already established relationship with Kayla, it just clicked. We chatted and worked out a deal. So, it’s bittersweet, this little blog, which I started on my maternity leave back in 2012, is now owned and managed by James.

Having said all this, not too much will change around here. James in on board, Kayla is still around, I’ll still be here writing every Monday along with welcoming Amanda another day through the week.

My story will still be told but now I have more time for me, my family and everything else I want to do in life. When you literally only have a few hours a week to yourself, using it all to manage a hobby isn’t balance. I have found a way to scratch that writing itch but leave the blogging stuff to someone much more experienced than I, so I’m happy.

I’m excited to see what James and Kayla have in store while allowing me so sit back and relax (as much as one can with a rambunctious toddler around). So thanks James. Welcome Amanda. I’m sure you’ll both help breathe a little life into this little blog.

 

How is everyone else doing? Any other big changes in your lives? Did anyone notice how I said changes are coming but only outlined one? You’ll have to wait for me to disclose even more surprises!

Stay Tuned…

I haven’t been around much but there’s good reason, all of which you’ll find out about very soon so stay tuned!

Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on my new Twitter account too @cmacleanrdh

Why We’re Paying Cash For Our Next Vehicle

Source: Free Digital Photos

Source: Free Digital Photos

The biggest things going on in our financial lives right now involve vehicles.

We’re hustling hard to have our current vehicle paid off by Christmas (a year early) and working hard to meet our savings goal of buying a second used car, in cash, by July. I’m happy to report both are going well.

Someone suggested to me recently that rather than buy a cheap, used, second vehicle we should use our cash as sizeable downpayment on a brand new car instead. As tempting as this is (who doesn’t love new, warranty covered, vehicles?), it’s not something we’re even entertaining.

For one, we want to buy this second car ASAP. June ideally, before we’re running to soccer games after work twice a week and I struggle to even get there due to lack of vehicle. If we were to do as suggested, putting a downpayment and finance the rest, it would mean we are taking on a second car payment before our other vehicle is paid off. I don’t want one car payment, let alone two, and even if we could pay it off relatively fast, I do not want to even fathom what might happen if something happened to one or both vehicles if they were both carrying loans.

Taking on a second car payment would definitely delay paying off our current vehicle and other financial goals. Not worth it.

The goal is to pay off debt, not take more on.

We’re at a point in our lives where we can’t live with one vehicle anymore. Even if we lived smack downtown with walking amenities almost at our fingertips, the fact would still remain both Mike and I need our own vehicles. He travels all over hell and creation for work and will leave town on a days notice. With a kid who’s involved in stuff and us traveling to family and friends all over the city, I can’t be left without a vehicle anymore.  That doesn’t mean I need brand new though.

We’re looking for a used vehicle but just because it will be well loved, likely have a decent amount of mileage on it, and in the range of 7-10 years old, doesn’t mean it’s write-off though. My first vehicle was a 14 year old car when I bought it for $750.00. In three years I put a total of $300 into the vehicle and sold it for $800.00. When it comes to cars, this is a pretty good deal.

While we’re looking to spend more than $750 this time around, I am confident our budget will find us what we’re looking for. Something safe, reliable and will serve our family the next few years.

Any tips for when we do go shopping in next few months?

Life and Money Updates

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My favorite summer sunsets are at the cottage.

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these since I stopped doing the monthly debt repayment updates.

Not much as changed (no change is good sometimes!). We ended up experiencing a little lapse in insurance coverage these last few months as Mike’s employer switched providers at the end of the year and forgot few people- us included. It was stressful but so glad we had the emergency fund if (and when) we needed it. Thankfully it’s all figured out now and we’re now in the process or seeing if we’re going to be reimbursed for what we did buy upfront.

We’re still in the process of saving to buy a second car, aiming for end of July. It will be so nice to not have to scramble to get picked up somewhere and rush off to the soccer field like a maniac twice a week. Mike will soon be able to just take Maria to the field and I’ll get there when I can after work.

Buying the second car has me really thinking about where we want to move, something we plan on doing in next two years. I totally understand the whole higher living expenses to be in a downtown urban core/ no need for second car (or even one car in some cases) but quite honestly I have no desire to live in the city. I would happily live in the middle of the country with cows in my yard if it didn’t mean driving an hour to dance class every week. We’ve settled on the suburbs…just not sure which one. I think next year we’ll spend time starting to check open houses out to clarify our wants and needs when we go to put our house on the market.

The other thing we have been saving for was a shed. Our house has no real external storage so my one small storage room is so full I can’t even walk around with a laundry basket in hand. Our summer tires are stored at my sister-in-laws garage, our lawn mower too…our snowblower is under a huge camping tarp and we have three bikes in my house. The house came with a shed but it was dilapidated so we ripped it down and have missed it every day since. This was a good expense though since I know it will help when we go to sell. We also got a smokin’ deal (of course). It was regular $1100 for a sided gable 8’x10′ shed and we got it for $698 everything down to the roofing nails were included. For the cost of a lunch out we had Mikes coworker pick everything up and deliver it across town to our house too! Now we just need to recruit a little man (and woman) power to help assemble it in next week or two.

We’re starting to plan our summer and very much looking forward to it. It will be a low-key summer since we went away in March. We’re taking a few long weekends to go to the family cottage and one weekend camping at a national park in a neighboring province. We splurged with this camping trip though, instead of bringing our tent we rented an oTentik which is essentially a permanent canvas tent with beds a full propane BBq is also included which is an added bonus. We’re also planning on taking in an airshow which is always fun.

How is everyone else doing? Also, can someone please explain to me why we must pay tax on a used car when the tax was paid when the car was purchased new?! Isn’t that double dipping by the government?! So annoying.

4 Signs You’re Not Ready to Buy a House

Source: Free Digital Photos

Source: Free Digital Photos

The world will have you believe that homeownership is something everyone should strive for. Advertisements make it seem deceivingly easy too- like anyone and everyone can, and should, do it. Some even go as far as to question your personal choices if you’re not doing it, ”all the cool kids are doing it”- kind of tactics. The thing is though, homeownership is not for everyone. The reasons will differ for everyone but there are a few universal rules that everyone can follow and help them decide if they’re ready.

You Don’t Have a Budget

If you’re not currently budgeting, and don’t have any sweet clue the kind of money that flows in and out of your bank account on a monthly basis, you need to figure this out before you look into taking on a mortgage. A terrifying thing happens when you let the bank tell you what you can ”afford”- you’ll likely end up way over your head. If we listed to the bank when we went a few years ago about what we can afford according to them we’d be in one hell of a situation! We’d never be able to pay our debt off that’s for sure. We knew our budget well enough to know what kind of mortgage we would be comfortable carrying. Get used to managing your money before taking on such a huge commitment!

You Need to Borrow Money for a Downpayment

If you can’t come up with your own downpayment you likely can’t afford to take care of your finances and home. Saving for a downpayment is a good demonstration of financial maturity. Make sure you consider all extra closing costs too and don’t leave yourself short.

If you’re gifted the money, but have good financial know-how that’s different from being unable to have the control to save the money required to buy a home.

You’re Income is Unstable

If you have an income that’s unstable you should not be considering buying a home. Wait until you’re in a stable financial situation before embarking on homeownership. If your income varies greatly wait until it either stables out or until you can afford a major down payment to offset the mortgage payment.

You Have Consumer Debt

Do not buy a house until you get your debt under control, especially consumer debt. If you have credit card debt work on that first before saving for a downpayment. If you have a budget you should be able to work out a payment plan and have an idea about when you’ll be debt free and how long it ill take you to save for a downpayment.

Owning a home can be a great investment when the timing is right and you have your finances under control. Don’t let advertising rush you into doing something too soon though or you may come to regret it!

Do you have any regrets with your first home purchase?

Things That Made Me Shake My Head While Working as a Cashier

When I was in highschool I got a job working as a cashier at the same drugstore my mom worked at. She was the local pharmacist and the front store manager was frustrated with immature and flaky employees so they finally broke the ”no family members” rule and hired me knowing my reliability and maturity (or maybe it was the fact that they could track my mom down pretty easily if I started slacking?).

I actually loved this job. It had sweet hours (never worked later than 7pm on weekends) and I was making almost $2.00 more per hour than the current minimum wage. Something I grew to love from this job was working with the public. I know it’s not for everyone but I really enjoyed getting to know the regulars and even the drama queens that would come in. In the almost five years I was there I experienced a few insane recurring moments that made me shake my head though like…

Coming in with a well-overdue utilities bill and buying lotto instead.

Our store used to take a few utilities payments for the bank and I will never forget the time a lady came in with a hugely overdue power bill. It was something like $2,000. She had a handful of cash with her looking to pay the bill down, probably at least $1,000 in bills. Thinking I was about to take a sizeable payment from her I called my supervisor to take the cash to the safe….

Instead she makes a $200 payment on her bill and gives me another $400 to buy LOTTO TICKETS. I certainly couldn’t say anything, I was a 16 year old kid working the cash but needless to say my mind was blown. I totally get that people can fall behind on their bills but how in good conscience could she drop double the amount on lotto instead?

The pop consumption, and money spent on it.

Pop (or soda as you Americans like to call it ;)) isn’t cheap. At least not where we live. If it’s not on sale, you’re looking at $2.00+ per large (name brand) bottle. When it does go one sale you’re looking at $1.25/bottle- still isn’t cheap considering we live in an area with good, safe and free water. Don’t get me wrong, I get that people have their vices and enjoy different things, what got me were the people who would come in, always complaining about not having enough money and spending at least $10-$15 every time pop was on sale to stock up. Even if you bought spring water it’s still ringing in at 1/3 the price, not on sale.

People who leave their change behind.

I understand people who tip but I would never tip the cashier who rang in my stuff, yet people did it all the time. A penny or two, I get walking away from, but some people would come in, usually in a rush, spend $3.00, throw a $5 bill at me and run out the door. I’d always try to get them their money but 90% of the time they’d say ”keep it”. It didn’t just happen once it happened all the time. Maybe it was the small store, I don’t know, but I couldn’t believe the money people would just walk away from. There was one very notorious man who we started a ”change envelope” for. He was in all the time telling us to keep the change but when it went from $0.05 to like $2.00 quite frequently, we’d throw it in the envelope and give it to him. He’d always take the cash (usually $10+) and buy us treats but we felt a little less guilty. How do people walk away from their change so frequently?

Working in customer service will certainly open your eyes to many things, little did I know many years ago I was actually picking up a few early personal finance lessons…

What have you learned working in customer service?

We Took a Vacation and Stayed on Budget!

wp-1459390559166.jpgEarlier this week we arrived home from our first vacation in many years. Not only was this our first time away in a while, it was the first time we’ve been away without kiddo. We had a great time and managed to stay on budget too!

The trip planning process started over a year ago. Nashville wasn’t the original destination but for a few different reasons that was where we ended up and we had a blast. I had been before but was many years ago and experiencing Nashville as a child, versus adult was much different, we all loved it.

A big reason for our trip was going to a hockey game, all other details were planned around our timeline and the game. For a five day trip we managed to squeeze a lot out of what Nashville had to offer. We all left feeling satisfied, like we had really ”done” the city.

There were a total of six of us traveling. Traveling as a group helped. We overall had more saving by splitting the cost 3 ways (couples) than we would have if it had just been the two of us even when you consider smaller accommodations and transport.

As nice as it would have been to unwind in one of Nashville’s beautiful downtown hotels, it was not happening. It would have cost us a small fortune to stay there. Instead we opted to use AirBNB (my first, but definitely not my last experience). We rented an entire house for the 5 days and cost each couple the equivalent of one night at one of these fancy hotels. We all loved having a home to come back to every day. We had our own (big) rooms, bathroom, full kitchen and laundry. It was great and very much our ‘traveling style’ in terms of comfort. I loved it. The location was only a 5 minute ride from downtown too.

Another area we saved in was transportation. We briefly toyed with the idea of renting a car but in the end decided we’d all rather just rely on Uber which was well established in the city. I freaking love Uber. It is, arguably one of the best apps and services I have ever used. It’s not well established really anywhere here in Canada but I can pretty much guarantee we’ll continue using it while traveling. We went everywhere in Uber from the airport to the Grand ‘ol Opry (which was a decent distance away from us). In 5 days we only spent a total of $150 (Canadian) in Uber rides, for $25 per person it was well worth getting picked up and dropped off basically wherever we wanted. I should add that we were strategic in using our ”1st free ride” with Uber among four of us for the longest hauls (two poor souls are on Blackberry and can’t access Uber app). I also can’t really put a price on the experience with the Uber drivers we met. Everyone was so nice and helpful.

We had some savings on food an alcohol as we did buy groceries and cook breakfast/have snacks at home every day. We’d have a larger breakfast at the house and a late lunch/early dinner out every day instead of three square meals which saved on overall meal expenses.

Lack of shopping also helped. This was never a ”shopping trip” especially with the poor Canadian dollar but the few things we did buy were good deals. I ended up buying a watch (something I’ve been looking at for a while) at a 50% off sale (which ended up being more than 50% off!). Retails at the stores here for $125.00 CND, after the discounts, I paid $35 USD, even with dollar conversion it’s still a good deal for a quality watch with a warranty. One of the best purchases I’ve made in a while.

There were a few splurges (like a stretch limo airport pickup and tour of the city as a surprise birthday gift to hubby) but we were very conscious in where our money went and enjoyed everything. Nashville was a great city and we can’t wait to go back some day!

How do you decide where to save/splurge while on vacation?

Don’t Buy a Home Unless It Is Your Most Important Financial Goal

Source: Free Digital Photos

Source: Free Digital Photos

Here’s something no real estate agent is going to tell you. Owning a home is hard work. It really sucks not being able to call your landlord/mom/dad/whoever when something happens to your home that you need help with. Homeownership is wrapped up in this perfect little, tantalizing package. You know those surprise bags you can get at the dollar store? The ones you pay for, in full, without really knowing what’s inside? It’s kind of crazy when you think about it, but that’s exactly what homeownership is like. You sort through the pile, find a bag that you think is exactly what you want and only after you pay for it do you know what you’re really in for.

There is some disclosure with the purchase of a home but even things that aren’t necessarily a deal-breaking problem, might be an issue for you and your family. For instance the entry way of my home is fine. There is nothing wrong with it but I hate it. Loath might be a better word. There is no room, and even our small family of three has a hard time managing (forget it if guests come over). The entry way hasn’t changed since we bought the house but it wasn’t until we lived in the house a while did we realize it was an issue.

There are so many things to consider before jumping into homeownership, and I really think if you want it to be a successful endeavor, you should wait until you can make homeownership your main financial goal.

Do your homework. When you’re done, do more.

I’m the first to admit we jumped the gun when we purchased our current home. We didn’t do enough homework and didn’t have enough resources to draw from. None of our friends owned homes yet, Hubby grew up in military housing and my childhood home was an old, old, cottage property which my parents (attempted) to renovate into a family home (it had charming qualities like no proper closets and I didn’t have any light fixture in my bedroom).

We really didn’t have much to base our search on. There were a few things like access to public transit, general neighborhood and that every room must have a proper light (only half kidding), but overall we didn’t spend enough time looking at homes, walking through them and really figuring out what we liked and didn’t like. Especially because we didn’t have enough confidants to help us, we should have done more ourselves. I feel like we were in such a rush to just get into a home we overlooked many, now non-negotiable, things.

When your finances are in order you re-evaluate everything, including the house you choose to live in, what’s important, and what you can really afford. We let money dictate way too much of the purchase of our house and in doing so we gave up on some major non-negotiable items which we regret and now have to wait for in our next home.

Enlist good people to help you

The experts we did rely on, in hindsight, were totally useless.

We felt nothing but pressure to just buy from our mortgage broker. He was scaring us with statistics about increasing mortgage rates and why we needed to decide ASAP (for the record, rates continues to decline, almost 1% within the year following). He was a family member of someone we knew, so I don’t know if he is normally that casual/useless with all clients but he didn’t offer near enough direction when it came to the financial side of things.

Our real estate agent was a super nice guy but again, did not do half of what I now would have expected from him and his expertise. This was partly our ”fault” too since we had very little direction to give him. Because we didn’t really know what we wanted, or needed, I’m sure it was challenging to him too, but I also think because we were so lost in the process he should have stepped up and offered more insight… that was his job wasn’t it?

Be choosy in who you add to your professional team of experts they can make the world of difference.

Homeownership is not all its made up to be.

There is nothing wrong with renting. In fact there are many perks and sometimes I wish we were still renters. Where we’re at now, with a kid who is also soon to start school, owning a home is easier, but before she was born it was a total waste of money in my opinion. In our case, there are very few rentals in the areas we would live with a kid and I’ve done the math- our current living situation (with a relatively cheap mortgage and low associated costs) is cheaper than renting something (that would suit our needs) by about $200* per month. Living in a cheap neighborhood (ie ghetto) for a family sized apartment is NOT happening, even if it meant we were saving like $500 per month.

Like I said, homeownership is hard. It downright sucks sometimes. Especially when the other goals in your life are more important to you. When you have financial goals that are more important than owning a home it’s hard to care for the home the way you should. Right now for us, paying off debt, and then getting a good start on retirement savings, are more important than owning a home and that reflects in the home sometimes. We really need new front door but if I’m being honest, it’s probably not going to happen until it near falls off because it’s not our main priority.

Unfortunately for us, we didn’t get our finances in order until after we embarked on the homeownership journey so we now have to deal. Hindsight is 20/20, and we should have waited.

How was your initial homeownership experience?

*$200 month-to-month cheaper. In the end probably about the same as renting a nice family sized apartment when you consider crap like buying doors, gas for lawn mowers and all the other ”things” that come with owning your own property.