Showing posts with label Money Management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money Management. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Home Economics 2.0: Modern Money Management for Homeowners

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko:
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko:  

You are a new homeowner. Congratulations! One of the first things to do now is come up with a plan to manage your money. Previously, managing your finances might have been a piece of cake. 

But, with the new home and responsibilities, you need to set priorities. So, how can you achieve that? How can you level up from Home Economics 1.0 to Home Economics 2.0 while making sure you can keep your finances in order and still secure your future with all your needs satisfied?

Let’s take a look at some very successful techniques that will help you achieve this goal.

Forget Old-school Budgeting Methods

Really, forget all about what worked in the past. We live in a very different world, especially after the pandemic, so all the methods that worked before 2020 won’t give you the desired results today. 

Don’t follow one-size-fits-all types of templates as well; instead, focus on what works best for you. Keep in mind that everyone’s financial situation is unique, so you must also act according to yours. 

What you need to take into account is your income, expenses, and most importantly, goals to create a plan that will suit your needs.

Technology Is Your Best Friend

Try imagining your everyday life without technology. You can’t, can you? Technology is your friend when it comes to modern money management. 

You can leverage some of the many apps and online tools available out there to help you track your spending, set alerts, and get personalized advice. 

And the best thing is that these tools will sync up with your accounts and navigate you through your financial habits. However, make sure you don’t let it take control. 

Remember, you are the one that controls your finances, and technology is just a helper in this case - to automate your tasks so you don’t spend too much manual time.

Know Your Numbers

You mustn’t allow yourself not to know your numbers. You need to know your income, expenses, debts, and savings to the T. 

If you keep track of where your money is going, you will know where to invest and when to save. It is all about taking precautionary steps and making wise decisions. 

If it is necessary, think twice before you decide whether you should spend your money or not. And the decision should be data-driven from knowing your numbers.

Be Flexible

Okay, you have a plan. But there is no perfect plan, so you need to be flexible when it comes to budgeting. Don’t stick to rigid plans and allow for some flexibility. 

There is a good rule of thumb that applies in these kinds of situations: the 50/30/20 rule. It means that you allocate 50% of your income to needs, 30% of the money to your needs, and 20% to savings and to pay off debts. 

It could be a good starting point, but of course, you can adjust that based on your own priorities.

Automate, Automate, Automate

Automation is the golden key in this crazy-turning world. By setting up automatic transfers for savings, investments in real estate, and debt repayments you make sure you won’t forget about these repetitive acts month over month. 

Also, you won’t need to spend time manually moving money around. For example, you can arrange to have a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited into your savings account each month. 

In this way, you will be saving money for your retirement without even thinking about it. Or, you can do the say for paying off your debts. Once you establish the amount and timing, the ban will handle these payments for you, leaving you care-free of any missed due dates. 

So, by automating these kinds of processes you will save time and effort and at the same time, you will stay on track with your financial goals.

Never Stop Learning

Continuous learning is important. That being said, you need to continue learning new things, read, and stay informed about new financial trends and strategies. 

You can find numerous resources available online. You can read, listen to podcasts, or even attend workshops and talk to financial experts. The more you know, the better equipped you'll be to make smart financial decisions.

Celebrate Every Milestone

Finally, make sure you celebrate every success along the way. Did you reach a savings goal? Celebrate with a toast with your friends. Did you pay off a debt? Have a celebratory dinner with your loved one. 

Take time to acknowledge your achievements because that is how the motivation goes on and on. And, don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t always go according to plan. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward.

Some Final Thoughts

In summary, mastering your finances as a new homeowner means taking a modern approach. You can use technology to your advantage, stay flexible with your budgeting, and never ever stop learning. 

Using the right tools and having the right mindset, you can take control of your financial future and build the life you and your family want.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Not Good With Money? Ways You Can Help Yourself

Money management is one of the most important skills you can develop in life. Yet, many people struggle with managing their finances, leading to problems like debts and financial insecurity.

If you fall into this category, don't worry—there are things you can do to improve with money. In this blog post, we'll provide you with some simple tricks that can help you improve your financial situation.

Create a Budget and Cling to It

One of the best things you can do to improve your finances is to create a budget. A budget is simply a plan outlining how to spend your money. Start by listing your income and expenses, and then identify areas where you can cut back. 

This may mean reducing your spending on non-essential items, such as dining out or buying new clothes. Make sure you allocate enough money for bills and savings and stick to your budget as much as possible.

Sticking to a budget can be challenging, especially if you're used to spending freely. To help yourself stay on track, try setting specific goals for your money. This could include saving up for a vacation or paying off a credit card debt. 

When you have a clear goal in mind, it can motivate you to stick to your budget and make smarter financial decisions. Another helpful tip is to use cash instead of credit or debit cards for non-essential purchases. Seeing physical money leave your wallet can make you more aware of your spending and help prevent overspending.

Set Financial Goals

Setting financial goals can help you stay motivated and focused on improving your finances. Be specific with your goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house or paying off a credit card debt. 

Create a timeline to achieve your goals and then break them into smaller, achievable steps. For example, if you want to save $10,000 in a year, break it down into how much you need to save each month.

In addition to saving for big purchases or paying off debts, there are other financial goals you can set for yourself. These may include building an emergency fund, investing in your retirement, or starting a side hustle to increase your income. 

The key is to prioritize your goals and create a plan for how you will achieve them.

Track Your Spending

Tracking your spending is a valuable tool that can help you identify areas where you can cut back. Consider using a finance app or a budget tracker to monitor your spending. 

By having a clear picture of your spending habits, you can better understand where your money is going and make changes as necessary.

To be faithful at tracking your spending, make it a habit to record every single expense. This means keeping track of both big and small purchases. 

It may also be helpful to review your expenses regularly, such as on a weekly or monthly basis, to see if there are any patterns or areas where you can improve.

Additionally, try to categorize your expenses so that you can see where you are spending the most money. This will give you a better understanding of your spending habits and help you make necessary adjustments to stay on track with your budget. 

Remember, being consistent and diligent with tracking your spending is key to improving your financial situation.

Learn About Money Management

There are many resources available to help you improve your financial literacy. Books, podcasts, and online courses are all great options for learning more about money management. 

Take advantage of these resources to gain a better understanding of personal finance and how to make your money work for you.

While there are many great resources available for improving your money management skills, it's important to be cautious about where you seek advice. Be wary of "get rich quick" schemes and scams promising easy solutions to financial problems. 

It's also a good idea to avoid seeking advice from friends or family members who may not have a solid understanding of personal finance themselves.

Instead, stick to reputable sources and seek guidance from financial advisors or certified professionals. Remember, proper financial education is crucial for making sound financial decisions and achieving long-term financial stability, so don't take advice from just anyone.

Seek Professional Help

If you're really struggling with money management, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A financial planning advisor or credit counselor can help you develop a plan to pay off debt, save money, and improve your financial situation. They can also provide valuable advice on investing and long-term financial planning.

Finding the best professional help for your financial situation can be overwhelming, but it's important to take the time to do research and find someone who is qualified and trustworthy. 

Start by looking for recommendations from friends or family members who have had successful experiences with financial advisors or credit counselors. You can also search for accredited professionals through organizations to lead you to the best candidates. 

No matter what you choose, try to find someone with experience, a good reputation, and a willingness to help.

Managing your finances can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. By creating a budget, setting financial goals, tracking your spending, learning about money management, and seeking professional help when necessary, you can take control of your finances and improve your financial situation. 

Remember, small changes can add up to big results over time, so don't give up if you don't see immediate progress. Keep working towards your goals, and soon you'll be on the path to financial security.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Cultivating Financial Harvest: Navigating Autumn's Insights for Smart Money Management

Image by Freepik

As the leaves turn vibrant shades of red and gold and the air takes on a crisp chill, autumn arrives with a reminder that change is inevitable. 

The fall season transforms the landscape and offers valuable insights that can be applied to our financial landscapes. Just as nature prepares for winter, it's an opportune time to reflect on our financial goals and cultivate a strategy that ensures a fruitful financial future. 

This fall, let's explore how the wisdom of the season can guide us toward smart money management, including considerations for rental properties and the role of property managers.

1. The Cycle of Abundance

Autumn is a time of harvest when the fruits of labor are collected and celebrated. This cycle of abundance teaches us the value of patience, consistency, and the rewards of disciplined efforts. 

Similarly, cultivating good financial habits requires consistent planning, saving, and making wise investment decisions. By setting clear financial goals and consistently working towards them, we lay the foundation for a secure and prosperous future.

2. Review and Reflection

Just as trees shed their leaves, it's essential for us to shed light on our financial situations by reviewing our budgets, expenses, and investments. 

Use this season as an opportunity to reflect on your financial goals and assess whether your current strategies align with those objectives. 

Are there areas where you can cut back on expenses? Are there investment opportunities that align with your risk tolerance and long-term goals?

An honest evaluation can reveal potential areas for improvement.

3. Managing Debts

Autumn's process of shedding old leaves can remind us to shed unnecessary financial burdens. High-interest debts can be a drain on our financial resources, making it difficult to achieve our goals. 

Consider creating a debt repayment plan focusing on paying off high-interest debts first while contributing to savings and investments. 

This strategic approach can help free up resources and create a more stable financial foundation.

4. Rental Property Investment

For those considering or already invested in rental properties, autumn's lessons hold particular significance. Rental properties can serve as a fruitful source of income, much like the harvest from a well-tended field. 

Just as farmers care for their crops, property investors and landlords need to care for their rental properties to ensure they continue to yield returns.

5. The Role of Property Managers

Property managers play a crucial role in rental property investment, helping landlords navigate the complexities of property ownership. 

Like the changing leaves, property managers adapt to various seasons of property management, from finding reliable tenants to ensuring that properties are well-maintained. 

They handle the day-to-day operations, freeing up landlords to focus on their financial goals and other pursuits.

6. Maximizing Rental Property Returns

Property managers understand the importance of maximizing rental property returns. They help landlords set competitive rental prices based on market trends, ensuring that properties remain attractive to potential tenants while also generating optimal income. 

This strategic pricing approach mirrors the wisdom of autumn's yield, where careful cultivation leads to abundant rewards.

7. Maintenance and Preservation

Just as trees require maintenance to remain healthy, rental properties demand regular upkeep to preserve their value. 

Property managers coordinate maintenance and repairs, preventing minor issues from escalating into costly problems. 

This proactive approach protects the landlord's investment and ensures tenants have a comfortable and well-maintained living environment.

8. Tenant Relationships

Property managers also facilitate positive tenant relationships, fostering a sense of community and ensuring tenant satisfaction. A harmonious landlord-tenant relationship encourages longer tenancies and reduces turnover costs. 

Much like autumn's growth and shedding cycle, these relationships contribute to the health and stability of the rental property investment.

9. Diversification and Risk Management

Autumn's changing landscape reminds us of the importance of diversification in managing risk. 

Diversification involves spreading investments across various asset classes to mitigate risk in the financial realm. 

Rental properties can serve as a valuable addition to an investment portfolio, providing a steady stream of income that is less susceptible to market fluctuations compared to traditional investments.

10. Nurturing Long-Term Growth

Just as autumn prepares the ground for the growth that will come in the next season, financial planning and investment strategies are designed for long-term growth. 

Rental properties, managed effectively, can provide a consistent income stream that supports financial goals well into the future. 

Property managers play an integral role in this process by ensuring that the property remains attractive to tenants and well-maintained over time.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, autumn's wisdom teaches us valuable lessons in financial management, from cultivating disciplined habits to embracing change and adapting to new seasons. 

For rental property investors, these insights hold particular significance, emphasizing the role of property managers in nurturing and maximizing returns. 

By applying the wisdom of autumn to our financial strategies, we can navigate the complexities of money management with confidence, harvesting the fruits of our labor for a prosperous future. 

Just as trees shed their leaves to prepare for winter, we shed outdated financial habits and embrace new strategies that will lead us toward our goals.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Tips for Growing Your Bank Account

When it comes to personal finance, one of the most important things you can do is grow your savings. After all, having a healthy bank account is key to weathering life's unexpected financial storms. But how exactly do you go about growing your savings? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Create a Budget and Stick to It

One of the best ways to grow your bank account is to create a budget and stick to it. This may seem like an obvious tip, but it's one that far too many people ignore. 

Before you can start putting money away into savings, you must ensure that all of your other financial obligations are taken care of first. Sit down and figure out how much money you need to cover your basic expenses such as rent, food, utilities, etc. 

Once you have that figure, you can start allocating money towards savings. And, if you find extra money left over at the end of the month, don't be afraid to put it into savings as well!

Pay Yourself First

Another great way to grow your bank account is to pay yourself first. This means that before you spend money on anything else, you should transfer a fixed percentage of your income into savings. 

This will help ensure that you always have money for a rainy day. And, over time, you may even find that you're able to increase the percentage of your income that you save each month.

Create Specific Savings Goals

When it comes to saving money, it can be helpful to set specific goals. This will give you something to work towards and help keep you motivated. 

For example, maybe you want to save up enough money for a down payment on a house or a new car. Or perhaps you're aiming to build up your emergency fund so that you have at least six months' worth of living expenses. 

Whatever your goal may be, make sure it's specific and realistic. Then, once you reach it, celebrate your accomplishment! And then, set a new goal and get started on saving for that. Speaking with a wealth management professional may also help you set specific financial goals for your future.

Saving money can seem daunting, but it's definitely doable with careful planning and discipline. By following the tips above, you'll be well on your way toward growing your bank account in no time!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Family Finances: 4 Ways to Make Money Management Easier

Running a household can be a wonderful thing for people who are organized. It can be especially wonderful for those who know how to handle their finances properly. Lack of financial management savvy can make you feel lost and overwhelmed. It can negatively affect the people in your family, too.

Sign up for a Free Checking Account

If you want to keep updated on all of your finances, getting a checking account can do a lot for you. You don’t have to spend any money on getting a checking account, either. 

That’s because you can always open a free checking account with certain banks and credit unions. Monitoring your checking account closely can stop you from feeling frustrated and disoriented about your financial status.

Create a Family Budget

Family budgeting is essential for money management success. If you don’t have a budget, you can’t be shocked if you live beyond your means. Budgeting can keep your spending habits in check. 

They can keep your family members’ spending patterns in check as well. You need to be aware of the exact amount of money you have to work with each month. This awareness can stop you from making major mistakes of all kinds.

Hire a Financial Advisor

You don’t have to take care of managing your money all by yourself. If you want to simplify your life, then your best bet is to recruit a knowledgeable and seasoned professional. 

The guidance of a credible financial advisor can do a lot for your bank account. If you want to make intelligent spending decisions, then nothing can top soaking up the wisdom of a talented financial advisor, period.

Use a Money Management App

There are apps that can accommodate all sorts of things nowadays. If you want to take control of your family’s money situation, then it can be smart to download a money management app. 

Financial management apps can help you stay on top of your money situation. They can help you make intelligent decisions that involve your spending practices as well. If you want to steer clear of financial dilemmas, then the assistance of a rock-solid app can work well.

Handling your money no longer has to be something that has to take a huge toll on you. It doesn’t matter if you download a widely known money management app. It doesn’t matter if you recruit an adept financial advisor, either. Financial smooth sailing is in your near future.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Money Management: 5 Reasons to Get a Financial Planner Now

Understanding how to effectively manage money should be a top priority for any adult. The good news is that you don’t have to create a financial plan by yourself. A financial adviser can teach you how to save for retirement, build an emergency fund or otherwise meet your financial goals.

Professional Insight Can Save You Money Immediately

The simple act of creating a budget can help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. A budget can help you control your discretionary spending or help you pay your bills on time to cut down on late fees. Other simple acts like consolidating credit card balances can reduce interest paid to lenders.

Saving Money is a Learned Skill

While saving money is essential to create financial security, it is a habit that is learned over time. However, when a professional tells you more about the magic of compound interest, you may feel more motivated to start saving. 

Furthermore, a financial adviser can tell you what types of accounts to put your money in. This can be in addition to you traditional savings account or another type of investment that will earn you more interest over time.

Learn How Taxes Impact Your Plan

Whenever you earn money, the government is going to take some of that cash for itself. By talking with a financial adviser, you can devise strategies to keep the tax collector at bay for several years into the future. 

If you have current tax debts, an adviser can help you create a plan to pay down that debt in a timely manner. It is also a useful to know when tax season comes around to know what you can and can’t deduct on your taxes. 

The more you can deduct the less money you have to pay and the higher return you will get back on your taxes after they have been filed.

Develop Strategies to Accomplish Short and Long-Term Goals

While your long-term goal may be to retire at age 55, there are many more pressing goals that may need to be met in the short-term. For instance, it is good to know how you will pay for your first house or for the wedding that you want to have next year. 

A financial adviser can make sure that you get the house or wedding you want without jeopardizing your retirement. It is also a good idea to use those small goals to get what you want when you want it.

If you do this right, this can make your bigger goals for retirement more meaningful as you have accumulated some of the things you want while working towards retirement.

Find Ways to Grow Wealth Beyond Inflation

Financial planners know that inflation erodes the value of a savings account or investment portfolio over time. However, they can suggest investments such as real estate or emerging market funds that have the potential to grow faster than inflation or outperform the market as a whole. 

The bottom line is, a financial advisor can help you find the right market and the right investment to make at any given time. They will explain to you the risks versus the rewards of those investments and will make recommendations to you based on your current financial portfolio and stability. They will advise you which investments risks make sense and which ones are too risky.

Meeting with a financial planner doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. All you need to do is be ready to have an honest and open conversation with someone who has your financial best interest in mind.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

5 Money Management Tips Around the Holidays

An increase in expenses and the abundance of temptation during the holiday season can cause you to go incur more debt than you can manage. If you’re barely making it from payday to payday, any additional expenses can result in stress and worry regarding how to handle your monthly bills. There are some tips you can follow to help with money management around the holidays and throughout the upcoming year.

Prepare a Budget

If you don’t currently have a budget that you’re using consistently to manage your money, now is the time to create one. A prepared budget will show you clearly how much income you have coming in and where most of that income is going. 

Installment loans from a company like Las Vegas Finance require a fixed amount be paid each month. This type of payment will remain a consistent part of the budget until the loan is paid off.

Variable Expenses

Utility bills and credit card payments vary. To assure that you can cover these bills, figure in what is typically a high amount so that you’ll be sure to have money in the bank to cover them. 

Utility bills often vary according to seasons. When you have a decrease in your utility bill, you can apply the extra money to a credit card bill to expedite the payoff.

Budgeting for Holiday Gifts

Even if you don’t shop for holiday gifts until after Thanksgiving, you can still factor the expense into your monthly budget. Setting aside a little money each month can lessen the shock to the budget when the holiday shopping time arrives. 

Once you know how much you have to spend, it’s essential that you exercise restraint and stick with that amount. You can implement some frugal shopping techniques to stretch your money as far as possible.

Holiday Entertaining

The holidays can be a time for family and friends to get together for meals or parties. You shouldn’t over-extend yourself or your budget for holiday entertaining. Arranging potluck dinners can ease some of the financial strain when you’re hosting a meal. 

Keeping snack foods to a minimum and serving homemade treats can also ease the strain on the budget. If finances are tight, you can politely decline invitations that you feel you must reciprocate.

Holiday Traditions

Family traditions make the holidays special. To avoid additional financial stress during the holidays, create some inexpensive traditions such as taking a drive to view local lighting displays, watch Christmas movies at home or attend free local holiday events. 

It’s the memories that are made, not the expense of the adventure, that matter the most.

It may take some self-discipline to stick to your monthly budget during the holidays but doing so will eliminate the post-holiday stress that comes from over-spending. Make the holidays more about experiences than about material things.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Avoid Overspending: Six Services And Items You Can Save On With Little Effort

Although many people consistently overpay due to self negligence and laziness, there are many individuals who are simply unaware of the numerous money-saving opportunities that require little physical or mental expenditure. 

Personal Money Management Websites

Want to create a personalized budget on the fly or create a savings goal to meet by the end of the quarter? It's important to know where your money is being spent and exactly how much you have left in your account. Money management sites like and Yodlee Money Center offer software to users for free. Take the time to set it up and see exactly the state of your financial affairs. 

Add Insulation to Your Home and Attic

This age-old advice is not put into practice nearly enough. Heat is measured in the form of BTUs, or "therms", and each BTU costs about a dollar. When not insulated correctly, BTUs will be lost through a process known as thermal transmittance. Evaluate the amount of heat you lose and fix the deficiencies to ensure your money isn't being wasted. 

Library Registration

Instead of shelling out hard-earned cash each week for the latest Grisham novel or the most recent Blu-Ray release, register for a card at your local library. Most have extensive collections of Movies and TV shows, both current and classics. Because the registration for a library card is inexpensive, it pays off to go there for your next read or new movie.

Cash In With Rewards Cards

Game the system with rewards credit cards. Most people, unfortunately, associate credit cards with needless debt, but there are many cards that offer significant perks for their users. Search the web and peruse the plethora of options available. Use a credit card that offers rewards for services you use a lot or are interested in, like gas, travel and food.

House Swap

Planning a trip to a far-off or expensive place? You might want to look into swapping residencies with someone from your intended area of visit. Instead of paying extravagant hotel fees, the two parties simply switch places, free of charge to both. Be sure to thoroughly research website that offer these services to make sure it is reputable. 

Home Maintenance

This is an oft-overlooked area of saving for homeowners. Most people see home maintenance as an avoidable expense, but as any homeowner knows, this is not the case. Sometimes, homeowners can fix repairs and minor problems around the home, but many don't know that calling in a professional can actually save future costs and jobs done incorrectly. This is especially true with plumbing problems. Calling an expert can save you a lot of money and time on repairs you can't do yourself, says the professionals at Amyotte's Plumbing & Heating Ltd.

Too often, people choose what is expedient over what is proactive. Start saving today by following these simple tips to avoid unnecessary overspending.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What Should You Do If You Don’t Have Enough Money to Pay the Bills?

Many of us get into this predicament from time to time. The month drags on, we spend a little money to have some fun, and then that bill comes in that we totally forgot about. This can be a terrible feeling, but there are a few ways that you could earn some quick money in order to pay this bill.

1) Sell Stuff

Every single one of us has items that other people would pay money for. Maybe you own an ATV or an extra vehicle. Or, maybe you have some old baseball cards in the basement that could fetch a little money. If you are really desperate and have no choice but to pay this bill, then start looking at your furniture or appliances to sell. You can honestly do without them for a while and it could earn you a few hundred bucks quite quickly.

2) Collect Debts from Others

When you have a bill due, this can be the perfect time for you to pay a visit to your friend that owes you some money from a few weeks ago. Hopefully, they have some cash and can pay you back so that you can take care of your bill. If not, then you may be able to borrow some money from another friend and agree to pay them back at a later date.

3) Gamble

Since you don’t have enough money to pay the bill in its entirety (and will therefore be late in paying anyway), then why not head to the local casino (some say the best online gambling in nj) and spend what you have left at the tables? You might get lucky and earn enough to pay that bill after all.

Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Finance 101: How To Stay Debt Free In Today's Economy

Having some level of debt is common in today's society. However, you don't have to let debt consume you. What are some things that you can do to stay out of debt and put your money to good use? Let's take a look at how you can live without a large credit card balance or expensive monthly payments:

Rent Instead of Buy

When you acquire something, you need to consider the total cost of ownership. While renting a house may appear to be more expensive than buying a house, you have to consider the additional utility costs as well as taxes and mortgage interest. Whether you are looking at homes, cars, home tools or more, renting could save a lot more money than buying.

Buy Used Instead of New

Buying items that are used can allow you to buy something nice without paying full retail for it. For example, buying a 2012 car in 2014 may be the better deal because it won't depreciate as much. When you buy clothes or shoes at a thrift shop, you can pay pennies on the dollar for the latest fashions. Most items won't give you any problems if they are gently used, but it will save your wallet a lot of extra money. 

Save Money Ahead of Time

Instead of financing 100 percent of the purchase price, try to save up as much as possible. Having equity in your asset makes it easier to sell it if you can no longer afford to make payments on it. 

Keep Your Credit In Good Standing

Those who have good credit will pay less in interest charges than those who have bad credit. Borrowing $100 at 10 percent interest means that you pay $110, while you would pay $130 at 30 percent interest. Over a larger scale, that savings adds up. 

Create a Budget That You Can Stick With

Make sure that you create a budget for your monthly and yearly spending. It will keep you within your means and ensure that you don't deplete your savings and rely on credit cards to pay bills. While you may want to be strict with your budget, it's important to still be realistic so you can meet your financial goals.

Resist the Urge to Upgrade

Driving your car for as long as possible after it is paid off enables you to avoid a car payment. Keeping your current TV allows you to save $500 or more that you can put in the bank or use for an emergency situation. If your items are still working, wait until you save more money to upgrade.

If you want to stay debt-free, you have to be willing to make some sacrifices to stay within your budget. If you feel overwhelmed with debt, it's important to talk to professionals who can help. Staying debt free is very possible, and following these tips will help get you started on having better control of your finances.

Informational credit to A C Waring & Associates Inc.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Examples of When to and Not to Get a Loan

A loan can be a good tool to help people make a purchase when they do not have the necessary funds available. While a loan is great for some reasons, no loan, including credit cards, should be obtained hastily. It is important to remember that when you take out a loan, you are still responsible for repaying the loan, plus any additional amount for interest. It is vital that you carefully consider any loan that you may want to take out to determine if it is the right solution for you or not.

Below is a look at three great reasons for taking out a loan, as well as, three reasons not to take out a loan. Lying in between these two choices are non-loan options which can include alternative money help. Below are some examples of when and when not to take out a loan. 

Reasons to Take Out a Loan

1. Home. The majority of homeowners cannot afford to purchase their home with cash. Instead, they take out a mortgage to cover the cost and then repay the mortgage over the course of ten, twenty or thirty years. This is a good reason to take out a loan because purchasing a home is a sound investment. Just be sure to shop around to find the best mortgage options for you.

2. Education. You may also need to take out a loan to complete your education. Unfortunately, you may not make enough money right now to cover the costs of higher education, but without a proper education, you cannot get a higher paying job. Before taking out a loan for your education be sure to apply for all the governmental benefits available to you because this may reduce the loan amount you have to take out. Also, look for low-interest loans that are specifically designed for students.

3. Car. Whenever possible, it is best to pay for a car with cash instead of taking out an auto loan. However, there are times when you may not have an option and you must take out a car loan in order to purchase a vehicle. This is true if you live in a rural area where public transportation is not available, or you need a vehicle to get back and forth to work. Be sure to keep your car loan payments within your budget limits.

Reasons Not to Take Out a Loan

1. Holiday. A holiday is not a good reason to take out a loan because it is not something you need, but rather something you want. If you want to take a special holiday, create a short-term financial goal for yourself and readjust your budget to help you put some money aside each week or month to go towards you holiday. Before you know it, you will have enough money saved and you will not have to pay any additional money for interest.

2. Gifts. A lot of people make the mistake of pulling out their credit cards or taking out a loan to cover the costs of purchasing gifts especially at Christmas time. Many times they do not even realize how much they spent until the bills start coming in. You should set a budget for purchasing gifts and make a commitment to not go over budget. Try making homemade gifts or only shop when things are on sale.

3. New Furniture. Many furniture dealers offer their customers loans in order to buy the furniture they want. This is not a good enough reason to take out a loan, even if they claim to offer an interest-free loan for a set period of time. Instead, save up your money and only purchase new furniture when you have enough saved.

This list of good and bad reasons to take out a loan, may help you determine when it is a good time to take out a loan of your own or not. Remember that taking out a loan requires a long-term commitment and you will have to make the payments on a regular basis until the loan is paid off. Make sure that you take everything into consideration before making this vital decision.

Try looking at borrowing through an advantage and disadvantage point of view. Reasons for borrowing that are positive include purchasing assets or items that will benefit you in a positive way – education, vehicle to get to and from work or as part of a business, etc.. Examples of a disadvantage is purchasing items/services which will lose value and do not provide any real benefit outside of short-term gain.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Oversaving for Retirement

Saving is generally a good thing, especially if you’re someone who’s gunning for a comfortable retirement. With the way the economy is going, it seems more and more necessary to put aside a set amount as a huge nest egg is going to be something you’ll be needing come retirement time. So, you’ve been stopping yourself from using your credit card, denying yourself certain luxuries, and generally been living a frugal life with a set focus on the future.

However, there is such a thing as oversaving. It means exactly what it seems to mean; living an excessively thrifty life. Many people believe that the amount of money a person saves is just the right amount, so what exactly warrants the term “overspending”? What specific amount of money exceeds the typical amount of conventional or normal saving?

Oversaving is basically when you scrimp so much that your basic lifestyle becomes affected. It depends on how much money you actually make. If the majority of the money you take home (minus the daily expenses and payment of bills and credit card debts, if any) goes into your savings and none go into any leisurely purpose—that may be oversaving. Anything that’s done in excess is bad, even a good thing like saving, and oversaving has certain pros and cons.

Pro: You will have a sizeable retirement fund.

Whether you invest your money in retirement plans or just hide it under your mattress, oversaving makes sure that when you get old, you’ll be well-taken care of, at least financially. You can conceivably live a more comfortable life in your twilight years if you oversave.

Con: You deny yourself today.

By choosing not to spend the majority of the money you make, you basically deny yourself of certain emotional benefits that come with enjoying the fruits of your labor. Oversaving usually means you opt not to take vacations, or buy yourself nice clothes or keep yourself from spending on material things that you want simply because they are things you think you don’t need. However, these things are crucial to your emotional and mental health. Indulging a bit from time to time relieves people of stress, and in today’s world, that’s definitely a need.

Pro: Learning to live with less.

By if you’re used to the idea of not spending, you get to discipline yourself in terms of knowing which things are essential and which aren’t. This means you’re less susceptible to marketing ploys, less dependent on status symbols, and more content with what you have. Your self-definition may rest on more substantial things, which is good.

Con: Scrimping may lead to higher medical costs.

The basic act of denying yourself certain higher-end items could lead to your retirement fund being blown away on medical expenses anyways, preventing you from enjoying the savings you worked so hard to accumulate.

For example, if you choose to low quality mattress to sleep in every night, instead of upgrading to something that has more effective back support, then all those years of sleeping uncomfortably may lead to complications of the back. Or purchasing a cheaper automobile that has less safety features than a newer model might be something you’d end up regretting, for obvious reasons.

Oversaving has, like other things, pros—and it, too, has cons. Both sides of the argument seem equally compelling, but at the end of the day, it’s about you enjoying something you worked hard for. Either it’s going to town on your credit card or resting comfortably knowing your future is financially secure, it’s always better to do what makes you the happiest.

This article is contributed by Money Hero, Hong Kong’s leading financial comparison website. Users can compare financial products, like credit cards side by side. This lets them compare financial products which enables them to make better financial decisions.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top 10 Money Management Tips For Newly Weds

All newlyweds look forward to a life of love and bliss. While we certainly hope for the best for all newly married couples, it is foolish to think that married life will always be a bed of roses. One problem a lot of married couples face is their finances. Sadly, this is one important issue that they don’t take the time to plan well. To avoid this, we’re featuring 10 money management tips for all you honeymooners out there.

1. Do an honest financial self-assessment with your spouse

It’s important for couples to do an assessment of themselves and each other before tying the proverbial knot. Not only should they be secure in each other’s love, but they should also be secure in each other’s ability to provide.

Therefore, couples should know each other’s net worth. They should be up front about their income, assets, and investments. Couples who are honest about their personal financial information tend to make better financial decisions in the future. 

2. Set SMARTER goals

SMARTER is an acronym for S-simple; M-measurable; A-attainable; R-realistic; T-time-bound; E-enriching; R-rewarding. Newlyweds, and even those who are getting married, should keep this in mind when setting goals. It’s crucial that they set up realistic and attainable financial goals they know they can achieve. But they should also make it a point not to become a prisoner of their goals.

3. Plan ahead

Financial planning is all about creating a workable budget. A family’s budget is hard to do without doing an honest self-assessment and setting goals. Couples, especially newlyweds, will benefit by creating sub-accounts. These are the monthly payables that take care of their “overhead” expense. Examples of these sub-accounts are rent, utilities, transportation and communication expense, groceries, insurance, etc.

Part of planning is creating a strategy to meet the target budget (meaning: not go over it). But it’s also incumbent among the couple to come up with a contingency plan whenever certain situations dictate that they need to go over their budget for the month.

4. Stick to the planned budget

When the couple receives their individual monthly earnings, they need to deposit money into these sub-accounts first before they spend for their indulgences. This is the best way for them to stick to their planned budget. This method instills discipline in the couple, and at the same time ensures that they are not living beyond their means. Whatever is left after paying the sub-accounts can be used by the newlyweds however they wish.

5. Have a weekly “business” meeting

Couples need open communication in their marriage. And this holds true not only for love, but for finances as well. A lot of times, couples fight or argue because one of them brought out a touchy topic about finances at the wrong time.

This can be avoided by scheduling a weekly “business” meeting. Newlyweds can set aside an hour a week to discuss everything about their finances—from credit card debt, bank accounts, investments, and insurance. In the business meeting, the couple has a chance to confer and iron out financial details with each other. The goal should be to settle financial concerns during the meeting to avoid discussing finances until the next scheduled business meeting.

6. Control or manage debt

This should be easy to do if the couple started off on the right foot by planning and managing their budget early on. But if they were already deep in debt even before they got married, they should make it a priority to get out of debt as fast as they can.

They can start with the debt with the higher interest rate. Between a credit card debt that has an APR of 22% and a student loan with a 17% rate, they’re better off funneling more funds into the student loan. It might take a heavy toll on the couple’s finances on the get-go, but at least they’re not accumulating more penalties and interest on their unpaid debt.

7. Build an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund should be one of the allotted sub-accounts. It is advisable that the couple set aside 10% to 15% of their monthly income to go into the emergency sub-account. At least when the rainy days come, they know they have readily accessible funds they can reach into.

8. Plan for retirement early

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. Couples will gain a lot if they talk to or ask their employers about retirement options (even on the first day of work). Some companies offer competitive retirement plans where they match employee contributions. Another approach is to invest in a retirement plan with a financial institution.

9. Invest

Another financial aspect that doesn’t get much attention is investments. Newlyweds need to decide early on where their surplus income will go. They need to research on investments that can give them a good yield without tying-up their money for a long time. Or they can talk to an investment or fund manager. These professionals can help them come up with investment packages to suit their current needs.

10. Remember: “For richer or poorer”

All couples should remember the vows they made, especially when dealing with financial issues. Things can get testy when discussing the household budget or when dealing with credit card debt. Therefore, it’s best that couples take a step back before they get eaten up by their financial problems, and remember their promise to love each other for better or worse and for richer or poorer.

Get your married life started on right foot. Take these money management tips to heart and you and your spouse will be on your way to financial freedom.

Do you like this article? You can find more tips and guides and everything about your wedding at

Monday, January 13, 2014

Easy Tips For Simple Money Management

The process of managing money, including investments, budgeting, banking, and taxes. Also called investment management. So let's turn to the 21st century's primary source of information: Google. And that's when it gets a bit hairy. This is how a prominent website defines 'money management': Money doesn't buy happiness. 

It's not more important than your family, your friends or your health. But let's not kid ourselves - financial security gives you the freedom to make the choices that are right for you, and freedom can be the key to happiness. We'd all like to improve our money management skills, and the first step toward getting better at something is understanding it. 

Money management is a broad topic with a lot of different facets, so it's not surprising that Google pulls up some confusing results. But definitions of money management that get bogged down in the details miss an important point: the secret to good money management is simple. Price action just need commitment and organisation. But it isn't anywhere near as scary as it can sound. 

Analaura & Wilson Luna are Authors, Licensed Financial Planners and Founders of Your Family Your Money - a financial literacy resource hub designed to help families with Money Management. By being conscious of what you do with your money, you can use the principles of money management to build wealth and take control of your future. And hey - Google isn't always scary. After all, if you ask it to, it will bring you here. 

You're probably not feeling very inspired right now. In fact, if you're like most people, reading that has probably got you thinking that 'money management' is something best left to the professionals - people who know something about money. But what you may not have realized is that, when it comes to your money, the person who knows the most about it is you. 

Let's be clear: money management is a big topic, and there are lots of books, articles and advice that will help you deal with the specific issues you'll face as you work toward financial freedom. If you find out what they are and learn how to use them to make money management a part of your daily routine, you'll be able to make the best use of your resources and create a lifestyle for yourself that's a lot less stressful, with a lot more options for Money Management. 

This terminology can be a bit intimidating but the thing to remember is that these are just names for the tools that will help you sort out how much money you have, where it's going and how you can generate more of it. You know how much money you make and how much you spend - after all, you're the one spending it! Whether you're investing in the stock market or buying a sandwich, you make money management decisions every day of your life, and if you don't like the results you're getting all you need to do is change your habits. 

Like any subject, financial advice comes with its own language, so you've probably heard words like 'budget' and 'statement of net worth'. So what exactly do you do? Well, as we said, money management is a big topic and the learning process is going to be a lot easier if you take it one bit at a time. You can browse our list of articles for specific topics and you can check out our online store for comprehensive guides on how to create strong financial foundations for your family.

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