Showing posts with label Saving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saving. Show all posts

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Tips for Growing Your Wealth

Most people aren't very proactive with their finances. They worry about what could go wrong and don't take action to fix what they can control. Growing wealth does not need to be complicated.

Wealthy people don't have a unique formula. They are just willing to make the sacrifices that others don't. 

Here are some tips for growing your wealth.

Stick to a Budget

Financial success depends on the ability to make and stick to a budget. Cash flow will impact your economic life. If you don't control it but let it control you, you will never increase your net wealth.

Track what you earn versus what you spend. It probably feels like a no-brainer that living beyond your means not only gets you nowhere fast, it can get you into serious trouble in no time at all. 

Instead, budgeting what you need and want every month with money leftover should help you to put some serious savings away. The wider the gap between what you make and what you pay, the more money you have to invest in your future. 

You shouldn’t deny yourself everything, but you also shouldn’t buy everything the moment you get your paycheck. Living a little below your means ensures that you have money to save.

Invest Your Income

If you want to retire when you're 70 with the expectation of enjoying your golden years in comfort, you can do that if you put away between 10 and 15% of your income. 

However, if you want more, including financial independence, you need to save between 20 and 30% of your monthly income to hit primary wealth goals. 

This means being careful about what you buy now and not spending extravagantly. Wealth management professionals can help to advise you on how to save your income and make the most of what you have.

Increase Your Income

The only that you can save money and invest money is if you have money. There are only so many expenses that you can reduce. YOu must look for ways to earn more money. 

Many people don't look at this side of things because they feel their earning potential is out of control. You have the power to be an active player in how much money you earn. 

Look for a new job, negotiate a higher salary, work more hours, get a side hustle, find things you can sell, and rent out a portion of your home. These are just a few options that can help you increase your income, thereby increasing the money you have to invest.

It can be hard to step outside of your comfort zone and try to grow your wealth. Successful people don't get where they are because they made that one special business deal or hit the lottery. 

It takes a lot of hard work, some good fortune, and persistence. Hiring someone who knows how to work with money can be a great benefit in getting on or keeping on the right track, and just generally being smart about your money can ensure that you have enough to spend at all times.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

4 Things to Budget for When It Comes to Your Car

All cars have one thing in common: they all end up needing some sort of maintenance and repairs at some point in their lives. Not all repairs are equally expensive or intensive. 

Sometimes it’s a simple oil change or refill of windshield wiper fluid, while other times you need whole parts or systems replaced as they wear out or fall into disrepair. 

Therefore, it is important that you budget for the different sorts of car repair costs, setting aside money for big and little repairs so you’re prepared when the time comes. Below are four things to include in your car budget.

Oil Change

Most manufacturers recommend that you change your oil every 3,000 miles or three months. On average, you will spend $50 on your oil change.

An oil change is standard automobile maintenance. Clean oil is key to keeping your car running as it should. If you neglect your oil changes, your car will experience preventable and expensive issues that could lead to you seeking an emergency car repair from services like J&T Automotive.

Tire Replacement

Tires are what protect your car from the road. In fact, they are the only part of your car that comes in contact with the road. When you stop, turn, or accelerate, your tires bear the brunt of this movement.

Tires have uniquely designed tread patterns to improve traction and make it possible for you to maneuver safely. With time, the tread wears down and is no longer safe or reliable. 

Tire prices vary based on the vehicle you have and the quality of tire you want. However, you should expect to replace your tires every 50,000 miles for an average cost of around $650 for the four tires.

Brake Maintenance

It is recommended that you replace your brake pads every 25,000 to 50,000 miles. You should expect to pay around $200. Every two years, you should flush your brake fluid. This will set you back around $100.

Your braking system is the hardest working system in your vehicle. Just think about the friction required to cause a 3,000-pound car to brake. Routine maintenance can help prevent a major car repair involving the calipers and rotors.

Tire Rotation

Tire rotation is recommended every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. On average, it will cost about $30. Your front tires support a larger weight because of your motor being in the front of the vehicle. 

They wear at a different rate than the rear tires. If your tires become unevenly worn, you can have issues with your suspension.

In addition to the repairs mentioned above, you will have to factor in money for things like wheel alignment, wiper blades, and any unexpected issues you might have never realized could be something to worry about or didn’t realize needed replacing so soon. 

After all, the chance of something getting damaged before its time is never zero. Budgeting auto maintenance in your overall budget is not difficult. Set aside a little bit of money every single month in a car fund.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Finances and Funds: How Smart Families Insure a Secure Future

Being financially responsible can sometimes feel as though it means that you can’t have any fun. Curbing your spending habits doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on the important things in life. Here are some techniques to ensure a secure financial future for your family.

Live within Your Means

Creating a budget will help you to live within your means. You know how much income is coming into your home, but you may not be aware of how much is going out. Taking a hard look at your monthly bills is the first place to start. 

There may be places that you can work to save some money. Evaluate the services that you’re receiving and determine if you can qualify for any discount programs. Many companies will offer you incentives in order to stay with your service provider.

Obtain Adequate Insurance

Insurance may seem like a waste of money until you really need. This includes health insurance, home owners insurance, and car insurance. Something terrible could occur and you would be on the hook for all of the bills that were associated with it. 

Start by getting several quotes so that you can find an insurance plan that will fit within your budgetary restraints. For example, getting an auto insurance quote from several different companies may vary widely in the price range that’s available to you.

Watch Your Expenditures

You have your set monthly expenses which include things like your bills, but there are also other expenditures that can start to add up. For example, dining out and entertainment costs can blow your budget if you don’t keep an eye on them. 

Set a limit on how much you can spend in these areas. There are always free forms of entertainment available for families that could help you to get out of the house without having to break the bank.

Save Each Month

Setting monthly saving goals will help to secure your financial future. This can be more difficult when you’re first starting out because you’re used to spending more each month on other items. 

Slowly scale back so that you don’t feel as though you’re having to make large sacrifices. For example, setting a goal of twenty dollars a week is more doable than trying to save it all at the end of each month. This money could come from giving up going out to coffee each day.

Being smarter about your money starts by examining your spending habits. Use these guidelines so that you can secure your family’s finances.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet For Investing

For many years, I've found that sensible investors display a prevalent characteristic: discipline. No matter how the current market moves or what all-new investing trend hits the headlines, those who remain centered on their objectives and tune out the noise are
set up for long-term success. 


The initial groundwork to investing is saving, and you do not usually become a saver without a strong dose of discipline. Savers decide to sock away part of their income, which means spending less and postponing gratification, despite how difficult that might be. 

Self Control

Of course, self-disciplined investing extends beyond diligent saving. The financial markets, basically, are uncertain. I have yet to meet the investor who can time them perfectly. It takes self-control to withstand the desire to go all-in when markets are frothy or to retreat when things look grim. Staying put with your investments is one strategy for handling volatility. 


Another is  rebalancing, it needs even more discipline since it means maneuvering your money away from stable performers and towards poorer performers. Additionally, persistence, a form of discipline is the friend of long-term investors. Much higher returns are the possible reward for weathering the market's turbulence and unpredictability.

We have been savoring one of the longest bull markets in history, but it will not continue eternally, as we have been seeing lately. So get yourself ready now for how you will respond when volatility returns. Do not panic. Don't go after returns or look for solutions outside the asset classes you trust. And be sure to rebalance routinely, even when there's turmoil. Even if you're a master of self-discipline, get a boost from technology, or collaborate with a professional adviser, know that discipline is necessary to get the most out of your investment portfolio. 

So make 2019 your best year yet with your investing. Stick with what works. Avoid the fads and stick with tried and true investing techniques. Good Luck.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Finding a Balance Between Spending, Investing and Saving

It can be difficult to decide what would be considered a ‘sensible’ use of money. Naturally, most people try to save whatever money they have left over after paying for all of the essentials each month. 

However, though saving money is important, it is not the only good use of each months paycheck. You need to find a balance between saving, spending and investing, so that you can get the best use out of your money. 

If you have never considered what benefits investing could have for you, or if you are wondering what the best way to save some of your money is, then here are a few tips for you.


Investing money is a great way to profit from your assets, with minimal work involved. To invest in the stock market, all you need is a small amount of start-up capital. 

From that starting point, you can then find a broker, and most of these are available online or even through apps nowadays. Of course, the stock market is not the only way that you can invest your money. 

You could instead invest in the real estate market, or in a local business or new startup company: where ever you feel your money is most likely to profit, with as minimal a level of risk as possible.


Of course, when you get your paycheck, you immediately factor in expenditure on the essentials: food, bills, items that the kids desperately need, etc. 

That is universally considered to be a sensible use of a person’s wages. 

However, sometimes it’s okay to put a little money aside to do something fun. After all, you work hard, and that deserves some reward! 

As long as you budget carefully, you might find that you can put fifty dollars or so aside each month to go to the cinema, treat the family to a fun trip out, such as to an Escape Room, or take everyone to a family dinner. 

Even if you don’t have enough to do that every month, you could always save some money over a longer period of time specifically for this purpose.


As well as saving up for family days out, it’s also important to keep saving for a number of other reasons. 

While saving won’t give you the same returns on interest as investing would, invested funds are a lot less accessible than saved funds, and you may need a store of money to turn to at one point or another. 

Perhaps the car breaks down, or the heating stops working: in these instances, you will need cash to hand in order to get the problem fixed quickly and easily. Therefore, make sure to keep some money aside which you know you will only spend in emergency situations, and that you are not going to invest. 

It is a good idea to keep this allocated money in a separate account, as that way you are less likely to spend it, either accidentally or on purpose.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Learn How Smartphones Can Help You Grow Your Retirement Nest Egg

Your retirement may be close, but you've got plenty of time to grow that nest egg. Your smartphone is a potentially untapped resource for growing your retirement money, so make sure you take advantage of the opportunities it presents.

Use Investment Apps

Personal finance apps like E*Trade let average people invest in the market without a broker. Before you jump on personal finance apps, do some research about the types of investments you want to make. 

Many people later in life prefer safer investments, though there is definitely an advantage to short-term investments that could bring higher returns. As long as you understand what investment strategy you're comfortable with, you're ready to try out an investment app.

Start slowly until you get the hang of how it works. Investing is difficult even for the pros, but one piece of advice endures: invest in businesses and people, not in market trends. 

If you know about or can learn about a business, entrepreneur, or an industry, center your investments there. Industry information will be more helpful than trying to analyze what the market is doing.

Save Spare Change

Getting the money to invest can be a struggle. If you have kids in college, have medical bills to pay, or are on a fixed income, you may not have much saved for investing. 

A spare change app rounds up every debit card transaction you make and puts the spare change into a separate account. Then, most of those apps, like Acorns, invest or save that spare change for you.

You don't have to put in a lot of effort in the investments, because the app companies have financial advisers creating portfolios for the app users to invest in. Spare change apps have another advantage: the minimums for investing are very low. 

You don't need $1,000 to open an account; the amount is more like $5 or $10, an easy amount to accumulate in spare change over a month.

Create a Budget

You're no stranger to making a budget, and you've probably had money pulled from your paycheck for your 401k for years. When you reach your 50s, it's time to make a more aggressive investment budget. 

Take a look at your finances, especially your expenses and how much you're saving. If you're not saving much each month, try to trim some of those expenses so you can put away more money. 

Switching from digital cable to a streaming service like Hulu can save you almost $100 each month, for example.

Use a budgeting app like PocketGuard to keep track of exactly where your money is going. A visual will help you discover places you could be spending too much. When you set aside savings each month, remember to invest some. 

However you decide to invest, whether on your own or through a financial adviser, make sure some of that money is going into a higher-yield account than your savings.

Video Chat With Financial Advisers

We don't all have time to visit a financial adviser's office in person, especially with kids in high school, doctor's appointments to go to, and homes to care for. 

But fitting in an appointment with a financial adviser becomes easier when you do that appointment via video chat. Let your adviser explain your financial information face to face instead of over an impersonal phone call.

For a successful video chat experience, use the right equipment and the right network. Let's face it, using new technology isn't always the easiest, and focusing on a small screen while trying to talk to another person can be frustrating. 

Focus on finances, not on a bad video connection, by connecting with a quality smartphone on a good network. The Galaxy S8, paired with T-Mobile's 4G LTE network, for example, is a great combination. 

The Galaxy has a 5.8-inch infinity screen with a sharp display, and 4G LTE will give you a high-quality video connection.

It's never too late to start saving for and investing in retirement. Personalize your investment strategy with your smartphone, whether you use it to connect with a financial adviser or choose to manage your own investment apps.

Monday, March 23, 2015

5 Ways Veterans Can Optimize Their Personal Finances

Becoming a veteran proves that you've served your country. It puts you in a class of your own, but it does bring a few unique challenges with it as many of our veterans today become very poor and homeless due to a variety of circumstances.

Of those challenges, one of the most problematic tends to be personal finance. Obtaining loans, keeping your credit straight, and finding the right job to build a financially secure future are just a few of the challenges you might face.

Let's examine five ways you can optimize your personal finances as a veteran to ensure that you and your family both have bright futures.

1. Seek the Right Job

Hopping from active duty to civilian life can be a drastic change, though the largest difference that most veterans struggle with is acquiring the right job.

To acquire it, there are a few things you can do. Always present your leadership abilities and any technical skills you might have learned while on active duty. Join one of the many networks maintained by veterans to help other veterans acquire jobs and education.

Never settle for a job that's less than what you think you can handle. You're valuable, so never sell yourself or your skills short.

2. Reduce Your Debt

You may have some debt from before you entered the military. Other debts may have accrued while you were on active duty. You may even have taken out a few personal loans to help you get on your feet after returning to civilian life.

The point is that you should begin reducing your debt as soon as possible. Work with your creditors and they'll work with you. This will help you become financially viable in the long run. You might need consider working with a financial consultant to help resolve some of your outstanding debts.

3. Utilize VA Loans

Veterans have access to special VA loans. These typically have lower interest rates than traditional loans, which is why you should always seek to utilize them.

If you're new to VA loans or have questions about them, then utilizing an expert website like Low VA Rates is something you should try. They have 10 years of experience working with veterans seeking to make quality financial investments in real estate.

4. Start Saving for Tomorrow

Bonds, stocks and other methods of financial investment require you to spend some money today for significantly larger returns tomorrow. That's why investing a little at a time now will eventually pay off.

You may not be an expert in finances, but you can make use of stock brokers and mutual funds to help make your future secure when it comes to finances.

5. Save Every Penny

Frugality is the one thing that separates a person whom worries not about money from one whom barely has enough to pay the bills. That's why every penny maters when it comes to making a financially secure future.

The extra pennies you save by choosing to dine at home, opting for store brands over name brands, and buying in bulk can be used to invest in other things. These financial vehicles will pay off in the future, which greatly optimizes your personal finances at a future date.

Making the Most of Your Personal Finances as a Veteran

You may have limited funds now, but stretching them as far as you can while investing in the future will ultimately pay off.

Given the number of options available to you as a veteran, such as low-interest loans for a home and for college education, you need only take advantage of them to optimize your personal finances.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Early Bird: How to Start Saving for an Early Retirement

Setting retirement goals and planning for retirement is essential for any individual, but is particularly important when you need to retire at a younger age. By starting early and planning in advance, it is easier to reach retirement goals and plan for a realistic future. 

Although the best plan of action depends on several factors, there are some simple ways to start the process of saving for an early retirement, and keep your finances safe throughout.

Set a Monetary Goal

Retirement planning often requires a specific figure that is appropriate for personal expenses for the rest of your life. Generally, an individual or couple should expect to withdrawal around 4 percent or more per year for their entire life, so the income from investments and savings must meet or exceed living expenses when around 4 percent is taking out throughout the year.

Set a final figure, and then identify appropriate savings for each year. Keep in mind that investments provide income that compounds over a period of several years. As a result, it is easier to reach the final goal when the extra funds are invested early.

Set a Savings Goal

A savings goal is not the same as the retirement goal. It focuses on the amount of money that is available each month and how much you are willing to save. If over-spending is a concern, then have the money removed before it is available for the bills and other expenses. For example, if an employer offers a 401K plan, then take advantage of the plan and put aside the company match or a higher amount.

For an early retirement plan, focus on saving as much as possible for investing. In some cases, it is necessary to set aside luxuries. For example, opt for a used car instead of a new one to reduce the costs and put aside more money in savings. Small luxuries, like a cup of coffee at a coffee shop, or impulsive purchases, are appropriate if they are only occasional treats. 

Put Aside as Much as Possible

Putting aside a small amount of funds each year will add up if you start at a young age; however, putting aside a large amount of income will make it easier to reach a personal goal at a faster rate.

Early retirement requires a large amount of funds to last for a longer period of time. Even if it is only possible to set aside $5,000 in the first year, put the entire amount aside for retirement. If personal income increases due to a raise or bonuses, then take advantage of the savings opportunity. Maintain the same standard of living or only add small increases in overall monthly costs. Put aside the extra income for retirement.

Invest the Savings

Investing is essential for the growth of a retirement account. Avoid the idea that investing in a house is the primary goal; instead, put the savings into a diversified portfolio.
Never put the entire savings amount into one stock, fund or investment. Wait on a house until the retirement account is established.

Pay Off Debts

Although saving is a key part of retirement planning, debts add up due to the interest. It is particularly important to pay of high-interest debts like credit cards because the cost of the debt can drain any returns from personal investments. Do not carry debts forward into retirement; instead, work on a plan to pay off the full cost of mortgages, credit cards, student loans or other debts as early as possible.

Saving for retirement is not difficult, but it does require careful planning. Start saving at a young age by creating a realistic savings plan based on personal income and expenses. Setting aside money early will provide the chance to retire at a young age.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Retiring on Time: Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success

For an individual in their 20's, retirement can seem like something light years away. There are still decades of life and work between where they are now, and where they will be when they reach retirement age. This makes now the best time to plan for a successful retirement. By starting to plan for retirement early in life, a young individual is setting a solid foundation that is going to make it a lot easier and comfortable for them when they reach retirement age.

Believe it or not, for a person who starts early enough, retiring as a millionaire is a realistic option. You do not need a lot of money to start off with. What you need is a consistent amount of money that is invested over a long period of time. A person doesn't even need to be an investment guru like Warren Buffett. All they need to have is patience, self-discipline, and the mental fortitude to keep to their investment plan.

Take Advantage of the Time You Have

A person who is in their 20's and is able to stay relatively healthy, is probably going to work for the next 40 years. An individual who invests $100 every single month and receives 10 percent annual returns on their investment will have saved over $630,000 by time they retire. Increase that monthly investment to $250 a month, and now we are talking about retiring with $1.5 million saved away. Now if you really want to take this scenario to the extreme, a person in their 20's who starts investing $2,000 monthly in something that will give them a 10 percent annual return will retire in 40 years having saved $12.6 million. As you can see, it’s not necessary to invest a lot of money to retire well. It is necessary to take advantage of the time that you have.

Take Advantage of Your Raises

A young person who first enters into the work field is unlikely to be earning a higher end salary. However, they are likely to be in the middle of the highest growth potential in salary that they will have throughout their entire life. Basically, as their skills improve, their pay will improve. Why not leverage raises to increase investments? The money that you get as a raise, is money that you are living just fine without prior to the raise. So instead of spending it on gadgets and other things that you just don’t need, invest it in your long-term future.

How Much Money Will I Need to Retire?

The answer to this question is going to depend on how much you plan on spending. An individual planning to retire at 60 is encouraged to have saved at least 15 times what they want their annual salary to be. So, for a person who is looking at living on $60,000 a year, they will need to save approximately $900,000.

According to Gittens & Associates his number increases for those who are looking at leaving a legacy behind for their children. The amount of money that they want to leave behind in a will or trust needs to be taken into consideration. It would be a good idea to sit and talk to an attorney and discuss the specifics of making a living will and any fees that are associated with this. Discussing retirement plans, trusts, living wills and things of this sort with the power of attorney in Newfoundland or other parts of the world, is all part of successfully preparing for retirement and beyond.

When a person is in their 20's, life seems like it is in front of them. And that is true. However, the decisions that a person makes in their 20's will affect them financially in the future, and will decide whether retirement is something they look forward to with pleasure or something that they look towards with dread.

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.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Money Management Tips for Seniors

When it comes to senor money management, there are a few important aspects to keep in mind, since older individuals often have to have a different approach to spending and managing money. While some people start saving for their retirement immediately after they start their first job, others wait until they only have a few years left before they start saving for their retirement.

In order to have enough for your retirement you need to calculate your current lifestyle requirements; you need to maintain at least 70% to 80% of your current working income. However, you might outlive your income or you might not have time to save enough to maintain your lifestyle. Retirement experts believe that you should not use more than 5% of your savings every year, should you need it, so that you don’t run into trouble when it comes to retirement time.

Consider Health Care Expenses

Healthcare expenses can make out a huge part of your retirement savings, especially if you have a chronic illness or an unforeseen accident. Ensuring that you have a proper medical aid plan can make this much easier to manage, which is why you need to consider medical coverage early on in your career.

Consider things like Medicare Savings Programs where you can reduce your co-payments and save money in the process. There are four different programs to read about, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Each of these programs has different income limits so you can compare them to see which one will suit you. 

Daily Money Management

Senior citizens can benefit from daily money management (DMM) services as this will allow them to have someone take care of their bookkeeping requirements. This can include writing checks for bills to be paid, keeping records of all payments made and received. This will give the individual, as well as their families, peace of mind, knowing that bills are paid and that money is not wasted on unnecessary purchases.

Money management and retirement savings don’t have to be difficult to manage. You can get help from a licensed financial advisor to guide you throughout this process, which is a great help for many individuals. Always make sure that you verify these individuals, though, to ensure that they have the skills and experience necessary to handle your finances and give you professional, practical advice. 

There are a few other aspects to consider:

  • Senior discounts. Many retailers are happy to offer senior discounts on specific days of the week or month.
  • Community service. Some senior programs provide payment for services, so you can get paid for giving back.
  • Stay at home. If you own a home, it’s a huge asset. Stay there and save money on old age homes where possible. 

Saving for your retirement is just as important as properly managing your finances when you are retired. With a few tips and clever choices you can make sure that you live a comfortable life after retirement. It’s a good idea to work with a financial planner if you are still in the early stages of saving for retirement, making it easier to make the right decisions and know how much money to save.

License Direct provides a centralized license search for more than 20 million registered professionals across the United States.

Friday, January 3, 2014

How to be Ready for the Unexpected When it Comes to Saving Money?

When it comes to saving money, most of us have some sort of budget that we will use in order to guide our spending and help ensure we put away as much as we need on a regular basis to fund our future plans. Often these budgets will consist of complex and in-depth spread sheets with detailed break-downs of precisely what we're going to spend money on and exactly how much we're going to save over a set period of time.

The problem though is that budgets are consistent and inflexible and they don't tend to have much room for error. When unexpected expenses crop up then that you didn't anticipate – and they will – your saving can end up going on hold and you can end up running out of cash.

Sometimes it will be because the boiler broke, sometimes it will be because your energy bill is obscenely high for unknown reasons, sometimes it will be because you get invited on some amazing night out/trip abroad that you just can't say no to. Whatever the reason though, you will find that budgeting and saving rarely goes unhindered and that there's almost always something that will surprisingly cost you money.

If you have the right attitude however, these costs can be managed and dealt with. Read on and we'll take a look at some of the best ways you can prepare for those unexpected expenses.

Save When Times Are Good – Don't Rely on the Future

You know when you buy yourself an extravagant gift one month because your finances are going strong and because you promise yourself that you're going to pay it back later? Well unfortunately that just doesn't work. You promise yourself to save more money next month, but then something unexpected comes up and you end up losing more cash – thus the panic starts. You can justify things all you like, but ultimately buying on a whim will always be a mistake as far as your savings are concerned. Don't rely on having more money later – save now. 

Of course you should be able to treat yourself to things from time to time, but when you do this it should be as a reward for having already saved a certain amount. Set yourself targets and buy yourself rewards when you reach them – that's a much healthier and safer way to occasionally get what you want.

Expect the Worst

It goes hand in hand with the above point, but more generally you should just make sure that you plan for the unexpected. Not specifically, but overall – by putting aside a little extra in savings so that you can dip into those when you need to, by making conservative estimates of how much you can save. It's better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised with extra cash than it is to hope for the best then be shocked because you have much less.

Have Contingency Plans

But it's not enough to just acknowledge that you'll sometimes be spending extra money – you also need to plan for that eventuality and know what you're going to do about it. That means having a contingency plan for those emergencies – perhaps that involves dipping into a savings fund, maybe it means asking your parents for a loan, or maybe it means doing a little extra work on the side to get by. Whatever you do though, make sure that you don't end up getting desperate and taking out expensive pay day loans.

What's also useful is to take out insurance which can help to prevent some of those dire situations. Insurance won't protect you against every outcome, but it can help to prevent situations where you're working out for a new phone or paying for new furnishings in your home and lots of repair work.

Live Cheaply

Life will generally be easier financially if you find ways to live within your means. Don't spend as much as you can while still saving – rather find ways to make do with less and treat yourself occasionally when you can. By requiring less money day-to-day you'll be less caught out by those one off expenses and better able to save under any conditions.

Author Bio:

Miley Brooke, the author of this post, works for Donnelly's, providers of life insurance in Australia. She likes to write and is keen to learn new languages. You can connect to her team on Google+ and have a look at their profile on LinkedIn.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Save Yourself the Headache: Five Tips for Financial Security

Everyone dreams of the day when they can finally retire from work and have the freedom to travel, pursue hobbies, and spend time with loved ones. These dreams can become reality if you are willing to follow some simple steps to attain the goal of financial security.

1. Save When You are Young

The single most important thing a young person can do is start saving right away. It may be tough to have the discipline, but saving now guarantees that your investments have decades of compound interest to help them grow. For example, if you put away $5,000 at the age of 20, that money will grow to $160,000 over 45 years at a steady eight percent interest rate. But put away the same amount of money at 39, and your money only grows to $40,000. That is the magic of compound interest.

2. Don't Get Divorced

Splitting a household of assets diminishes wealth like few other major events. Granted, there are times when staying married is unthinkable, but faced with the prospect of spending tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees, dividing the family's assets, paying child support, and possibly dipping into retirement funds, couples therapy can be a much wiser investment for your financial future. This may not be a very popular point but nontheless you can save money by actually staying togther.

3. Refinance to a Shorter Term Mortgage

A traditional 30 year mortgage costs a homeowner, on average, hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest. Refinancing to a 10 or 15 year mortgage through a reputable company like Legacy Lending Group saves you money in two ways: The interest rate is lower, and principal payments on the loan are larger. This combination of factors allows you build equity faster, helping you to achieve financial security.

4. Make a Budget

It is hard to deny the real cost of your daily muffin and espresso if the figures are entered in a spreadsheet. If you chart every single expense for one month, you will have a much better idea of how to trim back your expenses. It is extremely surprising to me how many people don't do this because the money that you save, in turn, can be invested in an IRA or used to pay down your home mortgage faster.

5. Avoid Spending Habits

At an average of six dollars a pack, cigarettes are an expensive habit, hampering an individual's ability to save while they are young. For an older person, the loss of income due to smoking-related health problems and the higher cost of health care itself pose even more serious challenges to financial security. Other expensive habits include drinking alcohol or even frequent trips to the gas station for their daily coffee. Simply put, you can't afford not to quit these habits.

Attaining financial security is a goal within everyone's reach. You just have to plan carefully and make judicious short-term sacrifices to achieve those long-term rewards.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Money Management Tips

Budget (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
Buying a home comes with a whole list of new expenses, including a mortgage, insurance, and home maintenance. It’s best to have a working budget firmly in place before purchasing a home in order to avoid financial trouble further down the road.

A solid budget is one that meets both your short term and long term needs and goals. The key to any successful budget is managing money. Every budget looks good on paper, but remember, it’ll only work if you stick to it.

Making a Budget

When making a monthly budget for your household, you need to be sure to include all your expenses, including possible surprises or emergencies. Rent, utilities, car payments and groceries are the basics, but there are other expenses that can really add up. These extra expenses are the things that can really derail a budget if you don’t plan for them. Other expenses include savings, gas, entertainment, medical expenses, clothing, and shoes. Keep track of each expense, add them up at the end of each month, compare them to your income, and make adjustments where necessary.

Building Savings

The key to weathering any financial storm is a savings account. Unexpected expenses are going to come up in life, and there’s no way to stop them. Kids break arms, employees are laid off, roofs need to be replaced, and cars break down at the most inconvenient times. A savings account is the solution to all of these problems. It’s best to have at least 3 months worth of income set aside in savings before buying a home, so you won't have to worry about losing your home every time things get rough. If you can swing it, 6 months is even better.

Covering Your Assets

Insurance premiums seem like a waste of money when you send out the payment each month and receive nothing in return, but they are a real life saver when you need them. Suffering an uninsured loss can lead you to lose your vehicle, all your savings, and even your home. Protect all of your hard work by staying properly insured.

Managing Debt

Debt is a normal part of American life, and it can be healthy for your finances if you manage it properly. Your mortgage, and a couple of well-managed credit cards are great for your credit, but be careful not to get in over your head. If you ever find yourself using credit to make payments on other debts, you know you’ve got a problem. You’re debt should always be kept at a level where your monthly income is enough to cover all of your payments, with plenty leftover for other expenses.

Planning for the Future

All of the budgeting tips listed above will keep your head above water for now, but what about in the future? At some point you’re going to want to retire, and the time to plan for that is now. Meet with an experienced financial advisor to find out what kinds of investments and accounts you should be participating in so you can meet your long-term financial goals.

Author Bio: Tiecen Anderson
In her former life, Tiecen worked in sales and marketing for a large insurance company. Before starting a family, she decided to switch gears and pursue a career that would give her a little more time at home. She finished up her degree from California Sate University in 2008 and started picking up work as a corporate web content writer. She enjoys learning new things every day as she works with a wide variety of clients, like Axiom Financial.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Retire After Getting a Late Start on Saving

retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
Ideally, you would have started saving for retirement in your early 20s. In this case, by the time you were 50-years-old you would have had a decent amount put away with roughly 15 years left to add to this amount. Unfortunately, this is not reality for many people globally, but it is not the end of the world. The typical American household in the 55 to 64 age group has only accumulated enough in retirement assets to provide an additional $400 per month on top of social security, according to an article found in the USA Today, so you are definitely not alone.

Getting a late start does not have to mean the end of your retirement goals, as long as you make use of the time that you have left before the big day arrives. Despite what people may have told you, there is no right way to retire. It is a very individual thing, so come up with your own plan and stick to it.

Spend Less

Perhaps the greatest mistake that couples make once their children have finished university and their house is paid off is they start spending more money. This can include lavish vacations, new vehicles and remodeling the house. In fact, the USA Today reports that the average couple increases spending by 51% once the kids move out, which makes it very difficult to save.

Even spending $500 less per month until retirement and putting it into a 401K can give you an extra $600 per month after retirement, depending on your investments. That makes a huge difference when attempting to continue your current lifestyle when you are no longer working. 

Consider Your House an Asset

If you have purchased a house, this is probably your greatest asset. A large family house will bring you in a great deal of value and you can invest this money in your retirement savings. This will also reduce your monthly expenses since you will not have to pay for a large house.

Once the children move out, you do not have much use for a large house anyway, so it makes sense to get out and use the money for your eventual retirement goals. Unless you have made money saving renovations like adding solar panels or digging a well, your monthly bills will cost more than they are worth once you have an empty nest.

Plan to Keep Working

Those who do not have much money put into their retirement savings might want to consider working for a few additional years. Not only does this give you more money to put into your retirement savings, it also means a few less years of draining your retirement fund.

Many people choose to retire when they are feeling burnt out by their job. At this point, it might be a good idea to start a second career. This gives you the chance to work a new job for a few years, which will increase your retirement savings, while giving you the chance to experience something completely different.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

6 Ways To Save For Your Retirement

Anyone already in the 60s will know exactly how important it can be to save for your retirement whilst you're still young. Those who’ve made adequate arrangements will be looking forward to finishing work and living the life of luxury, whilst people who’ve made bad choices will start to feel rather stressed about what their future may hold. 

Thanks to the new workplace pension schemes being rolled out across the UK at the moment, most young people should have a more substantial cushion when they reach their twilight years, but that doesn’t mean that keeping some cash aside for a rainy day isn’t a good idea. 

Here are the top 7 ways you could save for your retirement before it’s too late:

1. Get An ISA - The first thing you should all do right away is take a trip to see your banking provider and open an ISA account. These provide high rates of interest and depending on whom you use, could allow you to save anywhere between £3000 and £5000. With no tax to be paid on any of the money accumulated, this makes for a perfect rainy day fund.

2. Clear Your Debts - There’s hardly any point in saving if you’re just going to be forced to hand the money over to cover your debts, so you should work hard to clear these as soon as possible. Just paying a little more than the minimum amount off your credit card can make a significant difference.

3. Join A Private Pension Scheme - Although you should be automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme soon, there are no laws surrounding how many of these policies you can take out, so doing some research online and locating a reputable private solution could also be very beneficial.

4. Cut Down On Luxuries - We all want to have a good time whilst we’re of working age and earning the cash, but it’s even more important that you raise the quality of life you’ll experience during the twilight years, and this is why cutting back on luxuries you don’t really need like designer clothes and flash cars would make sense.

5. Make Sound Investments - If you have a lot of money lying around not doing very much, it could be wise to seek out fruitful investment opportunities to increase your pot. I realise that most people have no experience with this kind of this, which is why I’d like to point you in the direction of a blog called MoneyStreetSmart because they have some fantastic advice articles that deal with all elements of personal finance.

6. Stop Moving House - You know; thanks to my family and their lack of foresight, I’d moved house over 11 times by the age of 16, meaning neither my mother or my father have a great deal of money within their properties. Picking one home and sticking to it will provide you with the best opportunity to accumulate equity that can be released when you retire by simple selling your home.

Well, I hope now you understand the importance of making early preparations for your retirement and ensuring you don’t have to rely on the ever dwindling state pension of only £110 per week.

Good luck with everything!

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