Juggling multiple financial goals can be stressful and confusing. It's especially challenging to make progress on other financial goals when you're drowning in debt. The message is clear when it comes to saving for retirement - start early! However, some financial gurus are adamant that you should pay off all of your revolving debt before investing for retirement. So, should you pay off your debt first or start saving for retirement? How do you decide?
When making your budget, you have to consider everything. Evaluate how much you make, your expenses such as insurance (health and vehicle), utilities, groceries, etc. your debts, and your saving plans. When figuring out each month what you can afford, we have to make sure we have every aspect covered in our life. Going through the budgeting process will help you determine the money you have available for debt repayment as well as for retirement savings.
For each debt, be sure to identify...
When it comes to new and even seasoned relationships there needs to be open and honest communication. This is especially true when it comes to money and yet it’s not always easy. Consider the following tips to get (and stay) on the same page with your significant other.
Start out by creating a budget. By doing so, you'll have the opportunity to talk with your significant other about how much you make, monthly and annual bills, and how much debt you've accrued. When you create a budget you'll know exactly how much money you do (or don't have) and will be able to make decisions together about what to prioritize.
Creating a budget doesn't have to be complicated. With a notepad in hand, break it down by expense: electric, water, gas, credit cards, student loans, auto loans, personal spending, rent, insurance, pets (if you have them), an average for groceries, and an average for dining out. Total it up and you'll both...
Buying a home is an important decision and a major life-changing event. As such, it needs to be carefully thought about. The process can be long and requires a substantial amount of your savings. It will be worth it in the end.
To be able to buy the house of your dreams, there are a few prerequisites: a good credit score, a steady job, and a savvy strategy to save money for a down payment.
It’s always nice to know exactly how much you need to save. To do so, you’ll need to figure out the total mortgage you qualify for, based on your income and credit score. As a rule of thumb, the price you pay for the house should be no more than 25% of your total income.
Once you know that number, it’s time to estimate the percentage of down payment you will need. Generally, a 20% down payment is considered a good practice as it allows you to get the lowest interest rate and monthly payment. Having a 20% down payment...
You have one of the best money-saving devices known to man sitting in your kitchen right now: your freezer. If it is yet to be chock-full of homemade, already prepared, frozen meals, you can begin now to save your time, energy, and especially your money by putting your freezer to good use.
How much food do you waste by throwing away leftovers after they’ve sat in the fridge for a few days? From now on, you can freeze what’s leftover and make another tasty meal from it.
Related post: How an Organized Pantry Can Help You Save on Groceries
Here are some tips to get you started:
There are so many options for affordable gift ideas for Valentine's Day ideas while still making your celebration special. Valentine's Day is a time to show others that you care by giving thoughtful gifts from the heart.
Many commercially-available gift ideas can be expensive, putting people off from being able to buy the gifts they want for this special occasion. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to save money on meaningful Valentine’s Day gifts.
Most things that you and your loved one can do on Valentine's Day can be relatively inexpensive. Rather than going out for a night on the town, consider a quiet homemade dinner at home and a movie. Sometimes low-key Valentine's Day celebrations are the most romantic and memorable. Listen to music, talk to one another about your dreams, and just enjoy each other’s company. Good conversation and company are...
Most people only dabble in coupon usage. They might check out the circulars in their Sunday paper, clip one or two items that look good, and probably forget to use them when they’re at the checkout stand.
Couponing is a well-planned method of shopping and saving, so you’re going to get a guide on how to achieve significant financial results from your efforts! It can be enjoyable once you get the hang of it, each trip to the grocery store becoming somewhat of a challenge you engage in.
Not everything you see on the Extreme Couponing show is real, so before you think that from now on, all of your groceries will be 100% free, think again. For instance, Frys caught heat from the public when they allowed for special coupon doubling that the public didn’t get – it was for promotional purposes just for the show’s taping.
But still, that doesn’t mean that with some smart planning, you can’t get some incredibly good deals that will save you plenty of...
Have you participated in a pantry challenge? A pantry challenge is an attempt to spend as little money as possible on groceries and to eat what you already have in your home. I've seen a lot of people sharing their experiences on social media with some going as much as a month without purchasing groceries. Are you regularly using the food stored in your pantry? If not, why not? Is it a lack of organization? Getting organized can actually help you save on groceries.
One of the areas that families have a lot of control over their budget is food costs. Your mortgage is set in stone, there are few opportunities to reduce your utility bills, but your food bill is well under your control. One of the best ways to minimize your food bill is by keeping an organized pantry. Being able to easily see what’s in your pantry and keep it well-stocked makes meal prep easier and reduces or eliminates the need for spur of the moment take-out....
When you’re trying to reach a goal, it’s so important to make sure that you have someone available to help cheer you on. Accomplishing goals is so much easier when you have friends and family who can support you and provide direction to your life. The best accountability partners are the ones who will be there to not only support you during the hard times but also celebrate with you when everything is going great.
The people who are closest to you can make the best accountability partners. If you want to accomplish a goal that is very close to your personal finances, sometimes working with someone in your own home will help you reach your goals more easily. Look to your spouse as someone who can be a great accountability partner. Before doing this, make sure that you both are in it to accomplish this goal!
When you’re finding an accountability partner, it will be hard for you to get someone who is...
Most Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck so if you are, you’re in good company. Some studies report as many as 75% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. The majority of people cannot deal with a $400 emergency expense without borrowing money. What’s worse is that according to CNBC.com, less than 30% of Americans has at least six months of living expenses saved. All these facts are to let you know that you’re not alone.
While most people live paycheck-to-paycheck, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can break the cycle once you identify the problem, set a budget, and learn how to spend less. It’s all about living within your means, while also identifying the things that will make your life a little bit easier and happier without a significant financial impact.
Related post: Financial Resolutions for the New Year
The very first thing to do to fix the problem is to identify...
I'll be honest. As you begin to establish new financial habits, staying on track financially will feel hard at first. However, if your goals are important enough and you believe that you can stick to a budget, saving money, and living the way you want and need to live, you’ll be able to do it, and it’ll feel great — even fun.
The most important thing to remember about staying on track is to start with realistic financial resolutions. After all, you cannot live in a mansion if you don’t make that kind of money. Even if your goals are modest due to a modest income, if you set your financial resolutions realistically then you can still reach them.
Late payment fees can add up very quickly and throw you off course. When you pay even one bill late, the interest rate on your other debt...