We all know that budgeting is the key to managing our money. But have you ever considered how an annual budget might work better than a monthly budget? Tell me if this is how budgeting usually goes for you … You take your annual income, divide it by 12, and then make a goal to not spend over that amount each month. Things might go well for a little while. But then you find that you’ve over-spent by $500 because of a bill you weren’t expecting. Then the next month its $1,000 more than you anticipated. Perhaps you’d like to buy a new car, but you’re unsure of how … [Read more...] about Monthly Budget Not Working? Why An Annual Budget Is Better
Savings & Budgeting
It's pretty safe to say that if you want to do a better job managing your money, one of the first changes you're going to need to embrace is how to live frugally. I know, I know ... The word frugal makes most people want to cringe! Why? Because they associate it with another word that brings about unpleasant thoughts: Cheap! I think we can all agree - no one wants to be thought of as "cheap". And for good reason. The idea of people being cheap implies that they are being stingy with their money. It means you hold yourself back from buying the things you want or even need, and for no … [Read more...] about How To Live Frugally Without Being Cheap
The foundation of any solid financial freedom plan is in knowing the best ways to budget your money and save effectively. It’s absolutely fundamental to preserving your wealth. Have you ever wondered why so many lottery winners end up going broke a short while after winning? Fortune reports that nearly a third declares bankruptcy within 5 years. You’d think that all those millions of dollars would solve their financial problems. But as it turns out: If you don’t know how to budget your money normally, than more money isn’t going to make a difference. But “budgeting” … [Read more...] about The 10 Best Practical Ways to Budget Your Money and Save More
If your pool water is cloudy or a sick dark color, and you're looking for tips on how to turn it from green to blue, then this is the post for you! For years, I've had a love / hate relationship with my pool. I love it in the middle of the summer when it's 100 degrees outside and I want a nice, cool place to float around all afternoon. But I hate it when I pull the cover off every spring only to find a puke-colored, army-green swamp where my crystal blue water used to be. Believe me - I know how desperate you feel when your pool looks like this and you fear it will never be suitable … [Read more...] about How to Turn Cloudy Pool Water From Green to Blue
Do you know about flexible spending accounts (FSA’s)? You may have heard of them from your HR department and wondered: “How would this benefit me?” or “How does an FSA work exactly?” Believe me - These were the same types of questions my wife and I had when we were first getting started in our jobs years ago and looking for every angle we could to save a little bit of cash. At first glance, an FSA seems like just another thing taking money out of your paycheck. For most of us, that’s a deal-breaker. Between taxes, social security, and our retirement contributions, … [Read more...] about What Is a Flexible Spending Account? How Does an FSA Work?
What to do with $1,000? What a great problem to have! According to a survey reported by Fox Business, the majority of people receiving their tax refunds (one of the most common ways we find ourselves with $1,000 or more) plan to use it to pay down their debt (27%). While paying off your debt is certainly a smart use your windfall, it’s by no means the only way or (in some circumstances) always the best way to invest $1,000. There are lots of other choices to consider that could have just as important financial benefits. Whether you’ve managed to come in … [Read more...] about What Are the Smartest Things You Can Do With $1,000 Right Now?
Question: If I've got a little extra money that I'd like to use responsibly to pay off one of my debts, which is the better one to put it towards: Should I pay off my car loan early or my mortgage? Ahhh … the old “which of my debts do I pay down first” debate … We tend to carry a lot of them in our society. According to a 2017 report from GoBankingRates, the top three forms of debt for most people are their mortgage (65%), credit cards (50%), and auto loans (32%). Usually questions like this are a no-brainer. Simply look to your loans with the highest interest rate and pay those off … [Read more...] about Should I Pay Off My Car Loan Early or My Mortgage?
Have you been looking for ways to cut your TV cable cord, but can’t quite find a service that will be comparable? If so, then I have good news for you: There are now plenty of good ways to watch TV without cable. And they’re reasonably cheap! Believe me. Finding good alternatives to cable TV was something we’ve been struggling with for years. As part of my quest to save more money and do more with less, we’ve been looking for a way to drop this $180 anchor. We like our screen-time just like anyone else. (Apparently, most of us do. According to the NY Times, the average … [Read more...] about How We Watch TV Without Cable and Save $1,140 Per Year
How is it that the “Rich” become rich? Were they all born into money and given trust funds as early adults? Or is there something more systematic about how they got there? Believe it or not, it has been said that 80-86% of all millionaires in the U.S. are self-made. The same figures apply to decamillionaires (those with a net worth of $10 million or more) as well. So then, what is it? What are the secrets to money that they seem to know and the rest of us don’t? In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the strategies that the Rich and Wealthy use every day to advance their … [Read more...] about 5 Secrets About Money That the Rich Know and You Don’t
If you’re struggling to save for both retirement as well as be prepared for whatever life throws your way, then here’s something useful for you to know: You may be able to use your Roth IRA as an emergency fund. Yes, because of the unique withdrawal rules for Roth IRA’s, they have the potential to serve double-duty and accomplish both goals. You can be well-prepared for the unexpected as well as work on building up your future nest egg. Since these two types of accounts are generally best kept separate, there would be some potential pitfalls to watch out for if you choose to use this … [Read more...] about Yes, You Can Use Your Roth IRA as an Emergency Fund – Here’s the Proper Way How