It’s occurred to me on several occasions that not everyone reads money magazines or CNN Money as much as I do. For some people knowing where to start is practically half the battle when it comes to getting a grip on your finances. What they need or would love to see is a financial plan sample that just gives them the hard numbers! They need something that could act as an example for how you should be saving and spending your money.
That’s exactly what I wanted to do in this post. For one second, let’s put aside the whole, touchy-feely, fluffy notion that every plan is unique. It is (don’t get me wrong)! But there are some figures that you could go by that may not be so bad. If anything, consider them a good starting point.
If you think that having $1,000 or so in your emergency fund is going to cut it, think again! I’m normally not a huge promoter of this topic, but over the last 2 weeks, I’ve had to dip into my stash more than I’d like. And if I didn’t have access to emergency money, I’d be up a creek either paralyzing one of my investments or taking on unnecessary debt.
Here’s my story of what happened:
Why do we struggle when it comes to handling our money? Some of us live check to check and barely save nothing. Others of us do okay. But then we never take full advantage of what’s out there to make the best financial choices. What is it about our methods that make us so deficient at knowing how to manage money better?
Ironically, the answer you’re looking for might just be behind those large retail giants where we spend the most amount of money each month. While some people may scuff at the likes of Walmart or Apple with their anti-consumerism attitudes, I ask you to take a second look. Beyond the products they sell to us, what is about them that would cause us to stop and focus on them?
Do you believe that getting rich is something exclusive? That only certain people are entitled to it, but for some reason you’re not? If you do think this way, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. With the information age and all the resources that come with it, there are more wealth creation strategies and opportunities available to us than ever. Common people like us can take advantage of these tools and build a fortune that will last a lifetime. But the trick is first being able recognize what’s in your face, and then jumping all over them without hesitation.
The Internet has undeniable changed many things about our lives. We can find people we havn’t seen in years. Information is available right at our fingertips. Even the post office is going to eliminate one day of delivery because so many people just use email or automatic bill pay.
But arguably one of the coolest things about the Internet that has changed my life and yours is the way we shop. Not only are the things I’m looking to buy generally cheaper, you can also find all kinds of online discount promotional codes and deals that help sweeten the deal.
The following post was provided by fellow blogger Jennifer Willard. If you are interested in being a guest contributor for My Money Design, please feel free to contact me.
Saving money for retirement, or even a rainy day, has become much harder over the last couple of years. Prices for necessities have risen, while income levels have grown stagnant. However, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to save for the future and learn how to stop spending money. You just have to be a savvier shopper.
Of course, there are always ways to save money when shopping. Using coupons, taking advantage of sales, and even buying in bulk is great ways to save money. But the real trick to savvy shopping and saving money is to understand how retailers trick you into spending more.
The following post was provided by a guest contributor. If you are interested in being a guest contributor for My Money Design, please feel free to contact me.
It’s no secret that everyone wants to save on gas as much as possible. Who doesn’t want to put a few bucks back in their own pocket every now and then?
But, the truth is that most people are more interested in complaining about it than actually being proactive and seeking out solutions that will save them money on gas. Waiting for gas prices to go down is not going to get you far. However, if you put in a little time and effort, you will be surprised how many opportunities there are to reduce the amount you pay for gas.
The following post was provided by guest contributor Swinton. If you are interested in being a guest contributor for My Money Design, please feel free to contact me.
For students who are back to University after the Christmas break, money might be a little tight! The first term can be a very expensive one as students who are out on their own for the first time likely come across a variety of expenses they never saw coming. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get things back on track and learn how to save money effectively. Here’s a few tips that University students can follow to save a little cash:
Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone is safe and having a smooth transition into this new start.
It seems this event is always marked with a great deal of optimism because people feel like they have a symbolic marker from which they can wipe the slate clean and start out fresh. It might be eating habits; it might be quitting your bad vices. For me, it always marks a time to re-evaluate our long term financial goals and see if our actions will get us to where we want to be.
Why do budgets fail? You read through your receipts. You set your goals and limits. And you track your purchases. Yet, even after accounting for every dollar and laying out the best laid money design possible, there is still one thing that could sabotage the whole thing: The motivation to participate.
One of the hardest things about keeping your household budget on track is staying motivated. No matter how great your plan is on paper or what kind of budgeting advice you follow, it will all be meaningless and accomplish nothing if the people involved can’t agree to stick to it. People often under-estimate how quickly a low morale can derail your best efforts.
But fear not! A few small rewards or signs of success can be just enough to keep everyone viewing this as a positive thing. So with that, here is my budget advice for keeping everyone motivated and making your household plan work!