Get the chance to win prizes by saving your money! This is MUCH better than the lottery because you keep your savings even if you don’t get the prize.
Think about what you’ll have to show for it if you start saving for retirement now and … Read the rest of this entry »
Does your employer have a 401K or 403(b) retirement savings plan with a company match? If so, read on to find about the FREE money you may be missing. Read the rest of this entry »
WalMart is the latest major retailer to bring back lay-away plans. This is a good way to Read the rest of this entry »
The planning process gives you a chance to think about things you could do to reach your goal. Continuing with the emergency fund example, if your weekly grocery bill is $100, you could plan to cut that bill by 10% or $10 a week using tips like those described in the following post: http://wp.me/p1gAhb-4m. If you normally buy your lunch, you could probably save at least $10 a week by making your lunch at home and taking it with you to work one day a week. (Dinner leftovers make great lunches a day or two later.) At this point, you have a plan that will get you halfway to your savings goal of $42 per week . You can close the gap by another $10 per week by planning to switch your cellphone or smartphone to a lower cost plan. Most people are paying $12 a week more than should be because they are paying for more minutes than they are using. Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20055380-94.html. Now, you’re just $10 a week away from your savings goal of $42 per week. You can close this last little distance by planning to switch to a lower cost cable TV package — e.g., by cutting one or more of the premium channel you don’t use very much. Here are some more tips for reducing your cable TV bill: http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/family-money/how-to-cut-your-cable-bill-now/.
At the beginning of the planning process, you should set a goal for yourself and start thinking about the steps you can take to reach your goal. If the goal is too big (e.g., become a millionaire) or too hazy (e.g., get rich quick), you will figure it out very quickly because it will be hard for you to come up with actions you can take to get there or the necessary actions will be very difficult and very scary. This will force you to select a very specific goal (e.g., create a $2,000 emergency fund in 12 months) which can be achieved with a series of small changes in your life (e.g., saving $42 per week for next 12 months). This simple exercise will dramatically increase your chances of success by giving you a clear and reasonable goal that can be reached in a series of small steps.
When you’re in the mood to work on your personal finances, it is tempting to just dive in and start swimming. Doing something … anything … gives us a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment even if we aren’t getting anywhere or we’re going somewhere that doesn’t matter. This is an example of mistaking “motion” for “movement.” If you want to make real progress with your finances, you need to plan before you act and make planning a regular part of your routine. You also need to give yourself a pat on the back for making a plan because having one is a very important steps on the road to financial security. Stay tuned for future posts describing the great things a plan will do for you.