Set up a time where you review your finances regularly. This can
be every day or weekly. Put it on your calendar as a reoccurring event.
This way, you’ll know that’s the time where you review your budget,
income, spending, etc. It’s the time where you make sure you’re being
intentional with your money and in control of your financial foundation.
Mistakes you may be making: Ignoring your Employee Benefits Like
ignoring other financial essentials, not paying attention to the details
of your employee benefit package can come back to haunt you, usually at
the worst possible time. Really read employee benefit handbooks and know
what you’re entitled to. Yes, we know that can be tough, but once
again…it pays off when you need it the most. When you file a claim, have
all your forms and documents in order, so you don’t need to chase
information under a tight deadline or risk getting denied on something
that’s rightfully yours.
It's Vacation Time! Research and Price Out Your Destinations – Now that
you have a list of destinations you will want to start your research.
This part takes time but is so worth it if you want to save money. Take
each destination and research hotel prices, flights, gas to drive there,
food and excursions. Also, look into at least two different dates. It's
best to pick a summer month and a late fall month. Keep track of all of
your research in a notebook, excel spreadsheet or Evernote. Keep your
research organized as it will come in handy when you go to make your
Turn it off! Keeping lights and ceiling fans turned off when not in use
is one of the best habits you can develop. According to Florida Power &
Light, just one ceiling fan running constantly will add an extra $7 a
month to your electric bill! Develop a “turn it off” rule for all
overhead lights, lamps, and appliances. Be sure too to fully turn off
electronics that go into “standby” mode such as computers and printers,
as they are still drawing electricity in standby mode. Unplugging
appliances when not in use can help a lot too.
utilities and Air Dry! While it might take just a
little longer, air-drying your clothes, dishes, and
even your hair as often as possible can cut a big
chunk out of your power bill each month. Start by
changing your dishwasher settings to air dry rather
than heat dry, then, whenever possible, line or flat
dry your clothes. When you do need to use the dryer,
use the auto sensor function to avoid drying longer
than possible. (And don’t just keep tumbling the
clothes because you don’t have time to fold them!)
Renew & Save – When renewing your insurance plans, check to see if they
offer discounts if you pay the entire yearly amount up front. Many
companies offer steep discounts if you pay upfront. If you choose this
method, you can save a little extra by making monthly “payments” into
your savings account that are equivalent to the amount you would have
been paying in insurance every month. Since you already have your budget
set up to cover insurance costs, this can be an easy way to save a few
hundred dollars each year!
Resist & Deposit – Each time you are shopping and decide not to purchase
a special new top, or those cute shoes from the clearance rack, keep the
resisted item’s price in mind, and transfer that amount to savings as
soon as you get home. If you would have been able to find a way to make
your budget work when making the extra purchase, you can just as easily
make the budget happen by transferring the same amount to into your
savings account. This is also a great thing to keep in mind while
shopping, “would I rather have these shoes, or an extra twenty dollars
in my savings account?”
Load coupons onto your store card. Many stores like Whole Foods let you
load their coupons right onto your card; nothing to clip! Plus, you can
usually stack a store coupon with a manufacturers coupons which means a
great deal for you. Pre-loading the store coupons means you have one
less thing to keep track of when you’re shopping. Check out your
favorite grocery store’s website to see if they allow this.
Have a Positive Financial Mindset: Love the Law of Attraction. The best
way to do this is to see the positive in your financial situation.
Again, this may be difficult if you are on hard times, but it’s
necessary for your success. Instead of focusing on how large your
mortgage or rent is, be thankful that you not only have a great place to
live, but that you can pay that bill. If you have a hard time letting go
of school tuition for your kids, imagine them prospering at the end of
their scholastic career.
Retirement – are you saving enough for yourself? If you follow Dave
Ramsey's recommendation (which I do) you should have a fully funded
emergency fund prior to saving for Retirement. Assuming that you have
3-6 months in your emergency fund you should strive to save 15% of your
income into a Roth or pre-tax retirement plan. Don’t wait on saving for
retirement because the sooner you start, the more time will work in your
favor (time value of money). A couple of questions to consider are: Am I
saving enough? Are my investments diversified? Am I taking advantage of
free money from my employer?
Young Adults: Begin Saving Now! "Don't wait for the perfect time to put
money away — there never is one. Even $20 a week adds up."
Say NO sometimes: Everyone wants their kids to be happy, but realize
that saying NO can be a really good thing. Not only are you teaching
them a valuable lesson, but that money can be used for something
bigger…like a family vacation!
Who manages my credit reports? Although there are several U.S. credit
bureaus, the big three are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. While the
bureaus are responsible for collecting and maintaining credit scores for
nearly every American, they are not government agencies. Rather, they
are for-profit companies that make money by selling your personal
information to political lenders, employers and other interested
parties. Each of the bureaus maintains its own set of credit
information. This means you have a grand total of three credit reports
and three corresponding credit scores.
Set up a budget: This is easiest if you first track all your expenses of
an entire month. Once you know exactly what you spend your money on,
it’s easier to set up a budget. The hardest part sometimes is
remembering to enter expenses into the budget as they happen. Keeping
track is essential!
Forgetting Inflation! Inflation means that your money is gradually worth
less over time. In other words, prices rise. Over the last 20 years,
average annual inflation has been approximately 2.55%. The safest
investments like a savings account or government bonds will often
deliver returns at a rate lower than inflation. Sometimes modest risk is
necessary to make sure your savings aren’t depleted by inflation.
Buy store brands. Sometimes they are even better than name brands at
grocery stores. Safeway’s store brand Refreshe has some divine seltzer
water. For cheap!
Make Money by Hunting/Fishing! Even if your family doesn’t hunt or fish
much, usually friends do and it’s a wise skill to have in case you need
to provide for yourself one day. Also, store-bought meat is expensive
and being able to kill your own is a huge money saver! What would our
ancestors have done without deer, wild turkey or fish to keep them
Retain Receipts! In an effort to de-clutter our cars, purses and file
cabinets, receipts are often tossed immediately after a purchase.
However, it's a good idea to hang onto receipts for up to 30 days should
the item you bought receive a price reduction. Keeping tabs on an item
you've already purchased can score you unexpected savings.
Befriend Sales Associates Though your knee-jerk reaction to eager
salespeople may be "I'm just looking," consider taking them up on their
offer to serve you. Better yet, seek them out every time you shop the
store. Building a rapport with a sales associate leads to the
inside-track on upcoming sales and yields better customer service.
ATM Tip: If you use the ATM at night, consider taking a friend along.
December 11 Tip of the Week
When negotiating a salary, get the company to name figures first. If you
give away your current pay from the get-go, you have no way to know if
you’re low-balling or highballing. Getting a potential employer to name
the figure first means you can then push them higher
December 4 Tip of the Week
Make salary discussions at your current job about your company’s needs.
Your employer doesn’t care whether you want more money for a bigger
house—they care about keeping a good employee. So when negotiating pay
or asking for a raise, emphasize the incredible value you bring to the
November 20 Tip of the Week
Get rid of your landline – If you are
rarely home and the only calls you receive on your landline are from
telemarketers. Decide to use your cell phone only and cut the
landline. If you’re not ready to get rid of your landline altogether,
get a portable jack and you’ll pay just $29.95 for a full year of
November 13 Tip of the Week
Pay your credit
card balance in full. Some companies charge up to 22.3% for purchases
now and it reflects on your bank/credit union account if you cannot pay
the bill off. Use your credit cards sparingly and search for
the cheapest credit card deals available.
Consider searching for better credit card deals with lower APR rates,
and no annual fees.
November 6 Tip of the Week
Make bite-size money goals. One study showed that the farther away a
goal seems, and the less sure we are about when it will happen, the more
likely we are to give up. So in addition to focusing on big goals (say,
buying a home), aim to also set smaller, short-term goals along the way
that will reap quicker results—like saving some money each week in order
to take a trip in six months.
October 23 Tip of the Week
Budget about 30% of your income for lifestyle spending. This includes
movies, restaurants and happy hours—basically, anything that doesn’t
cover basic necessities. By abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and
splurge at the same time.
October 16 Tip of the Week
Track your net worth. Your net worth—the difference between what you own
and what you owe—is the big-picture number that
can tell you where you stand financially. Keep an eye on it, and it can
help keep you apprised of the progress you’re making toward your
financial goals—or warn you if you’re backsliding.
October 9 Tip of the Week
Weatherproof your home. Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape
in the winder and cold air in the summer. Your local hardware store has
materials, and quite possibly useful advice, about inexpensively
stopping unwanted heat or cooling costs.
October 2 Tip of the Week
Ask your local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home
energy audit. The audit may reveal inexpensive ways to reduce home
heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year. Keep in mind
that a payback period of less than three years, or even five years,
usually will save you lost of
money in the long-term.
September 25 Tip of the Week
Attend high school rather than college or pro sports events. High school
sportsevents rarely cost more than $5 and are often free, with hot dogs
and sodas typically costing $1-2. College and pro football and
basketball games rarely cost less than $20, and their concessions are
usually several times more expensive.
September 18 Tip of the Week
Be aware of your cell phone costs and how to reduce them. Cell phone use
has dramatically increased communications expenditures in many
households. Understand peak calling periods, area coverage, roaming, and
termination charges. Make sure your calling plan matches the pattern of
calls you typically make.
September 11 Tip of the Week
Assess your communications costs. As Internet and wireless use grows,
many consumers are overpaying for unneeded communications capacity. For
example, you have a cell phone and two phone lines – one for your
computer – consider receiving personal calls on your cell phone so you
can give up one of the phone lines.
September 4 Tip of the Week
Keep your car engine tuned and tires inflated to
their proper pressure. Doing both can save you up to $100 a year in gas.
August 28 Tip of the Week
To avoid over-extending yourself, think before
you act. Before you sign on the dotted line for a large ticket item,
such as a house or car, you should examine your budget and rent or
borrow the item to ensure that your purchase will be a true fit.
August 21 Tip of the Week
Until the money is in your account, don't spend
it. Many moneymaking ventures are not quaranteed and it's not wise to
gamble with what "may be".