Between the congressional budget drama, debt ceiling deadlines, S&P credit rating downgrades and the fed funds rate announcement, it’s almost dizzying to try to understand what all of this economic activity means for your wallet. The best thing you can do is get back to basics and make sure your finances are ready to weather any financial storm. We cover five personal finance basics that you should always make sure are in order.
Tag: budget planning
I know a lot of people dread looking at their finances, but honestly, I’ve never understood why. Dare I say it, I actually enjoy analyzing my finances. In fact, it’s something I often do when I’m feeling bored. Trust me, I’m no math guru, and I’m certainly no expert in stocks or bonds. I just get a level of satisfaction in tracking my progress, and you can too. It’s easy, I promise!
Budgeting can seem like math minus the fun – and we all know how fun math is. What’s exciting about adding up all your expenses and seeing that you spend way too much each month and need to cut back? Or maybe you put everything on your check card so you won’t overspend. Genius, right? Except you’re not building credit then, and unless you’ve also set up an automated transfer into a savings account, you’re probably not retaining any money either. But many people don’t want to hear that. Let’s examine five common myths that keep people from budgeting.
If you want to save money for specific goals, you might want to consider managing your money more like the government. One of the principles of government money management is the idea of “dedicated funds.” Certain government money has to be spent only on certain activities – health care, education, etc. – and these government programs are funded by specific types of taxes. How might this apply to you? You can take a cue from the government – and start taking better control of your finances – by setting up multiple savings accounts, each with a specific purpose. Find out more.
When you take that first leap toward financial independence, it can be rather overwhelming. People start throwing abbreviations at you like FICO and IRA, and you may often be left scratching your head. Don’t worry! With these five easy steps, you’ll be well on your way to financial success.
Have you ever looked at your bank account a few days after your paycheck was deposited and wondered, where the heck did all my money go? The key to finding out where your money is going is to track your spending. To get started, here are three top tips to keep track of your expenses, so you can evaluate ways to save money and keep your hard-earned cash in your bank account a little bit longer.
Remember the American dream? That good ole philosophy that we could have whatever we want. Well, apparently we took that notion a little too seriously and now, over half of people over age 65 receive income of less than $18,337 a year, according to Retirement USA. Perhaps we should’ve spread out our wants a bit more. Immediate gratification can be great, but what happens when you’re left with nothing in the end? Start by following these five simple steps and you’ll be on your way to a much more secure financial future.
You’ve worked hard for a lot of years and the day has finally arrived. Your office mates threw you a party. You packed up your belongings. And you drove away from work for the last time. You did it. You retired. For many people, retirement means freedom. And while retirement does bring some freedoms, some restrictions come with it, too. In order to manage your money well after retirement, you will need to find a good balance between the freedoms and restrictions.
For most college students, this is the first time you are managing a budget and incurring debt. Developing cost-saving habits will allow you to live more comfortably as you pursue your degree and help you continue to live well after you graduate. So whether you’re saving up to throw a killer tailgate party for Homecoming or just paying tuition for next semester, here are a few tips for keeping your budget under control.
Saving money requires discipline and a positive mindset. You can’t save much if you see everything as a “need.” There are things that you really need, like food, and there are things you want, like bags and shoes, that can be bought at a future time when the economic situation is better and you have excess cash. Right now is a great time to start being more frugal and save cash for unexpected emergency situations. Here’s how to slash some costs fast.
The holiday season has become synonymous with shopping. “Black Friday” has become an unofficial national holiday to rival Thanksgiving, “Cyber Monday” is attracting more attention as people look for great deals online, and the month of December is full of holiday parties and all the gift-giving that goes with it. While it’s great to celebrate the holidays and share generosity with your loved ones, every year too many families get overextended financially due to too much shopping. What are some ways to keep this holiday season “merry” for your finances?