Month: October 2016

Financial Tips For Young Adult and Single

My parents taught me to earn and save money from an early age. I had a checkbook before I was 10, I was in stock market club in 5th grade and had a job as soon as was legally possible. I always balanced my checkbook, had a credit card before 18, paid it off monthly and even learned to file my own taxes. You could say I was quite financially responsible for any age. I took a risk moving across the country when I was 22 and lost my savings trying to “make it”. So when I became pregnant, I was practically starting completely over. Thankfully I already had the skills and resourcefulness to make it work. Now, with my little 3 person family, I am taking seriously all the things I could have done earlier to ensure our financial stability. Benefit from my mistake, and see if you can implement any of these now before you wish you had.

Budget Your Money

To budget your money, you first have to know what you are currently making and spending your money on. First include your bills, most important first, all the way down to expenses that vary month to month like utilities, gas, food, etc and finally fill in a month’s worth of categories such as gifts, donations, dining/entertainment, and personal care to learn what you are spending in these unrecorded categories. After you’ve made a budget of one month’s expenses, you can evaluate where you are spending unnecessarily. Perhaps there was a category out of control prior to this experiment, or your car insurance, cell phone or cable bill can be negotiated. Now you know what you need to make per month to live and where you’d like to cut your spending.

Satisfy Your Need To Succeed or Spend

Everyone should have an experience they made a financial goal and smashed it. I think it’s pertinent to future financial success. It sucks if you have children before you’re able to make and meet a goal and are now living paycheck to paycheck or have little room in your budget to save or invest. Consider making a goal before you have children so you can benefit from the experience of seeing your vision through. This can also be fun for someone who has cut a lot of the budget fat and left little room for shopping, something they may have really loved before. You can start by having a goal of a 500.00-1,000.00 emergency fund (adjust as necessary) and then saving for something you really want, a trip to visit your aunt in California, a 52-inch flat screen.

Plan Your Meals

The third highest expense in most family’s budgets are groceries, so I’m meal planning a lot now. Learning to cook and eat healthy is an important part of a single person or family’s life, saving money on that food is dire to a family’s monthly budget. You can electronically view the grocery’s stores ads online or like ours, in their app. I begin making my grocery list based on what’s on sale. If coupons are available to you, I include those in my list and try to make meals of what’s already on sale. It takes time to nail down the rhythm, but my family has shaved off at least 200.00/month doing only these things.

Make A Pantry

I would never have considered doing this as a single person, but it’s brilliant. The space you dedicate as the pantry does not have to be very large. This is where you will put canned/boxed foods and personal care items that you find greatly discounted or just to have extra on hand. Good food items to keep there are boxes of cereal, Jell-O and pudding, cake/muffin mix, Jiffy cornbread mix, peanut butter, beans and tomatoes for chili and tomato soup. I also like to keep things like extra deodorant, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, and toothpaste.

Switch To The Dollar Store

Not everything should be purchased at the dollar store, but many items can without you batting an eye about its quality. Getting used to shopping at the dollar store as regularly as the grocery store will keep you in enough of a frugal mindset to keep your financial goals at the center of your spending. There are so many items that can be bought there alternatively that I will save my favorites for another article. Just find the dollar store nearest your house and roam the aisles, noting things you’d consider purchasing instead of where you currently are for much higher cost.

Save or Invest

I owned my own business from age 22 to 24 and I didn’t want to miss out on the benefits of 401Ks being offered to employees of companies, so I went to my credit union to learn about IRAs, a retirement account for people who work for themselves. There my adviser congratulated me for seeing him so young because I “only have time on my side!”. He was exactly right. With any investment, it’s best to have the most time on your side. 401Ks are only offered to employees, so that was not an option for me. My IRA did not make any money in the 4 years I kept it, but things could change. It was still as if I had saved it! If you have the option to start a 401K with your employer, do it! Your employer often matches your contributions, which you would not be able to take advantage of working for yourself. If neither of these options are available to you, due to your employment position or lack of funds, just begin a savings account, be realistic about what you can contribute monthly and commit to it.

In one year I turned my financial situation around with my resourcefulness and inability to give up with a child on the way. When I got pregnant I was 3,000 in credit card debt and had no money. By his birth, I had prepared for him completely, paid off the credit card debt, saved for 2 months maternity leave and had a couple thousand dollars cushion in my bank account. 10 months later I’m a stay at home mom with an at home business and I’m contributing to our savings regularly, including my son’s separate account. I don’t think we’ll ever fall on hard times like that again, but in case we do, I’ll have all systems in place!

Tips To Planning Your Budget

Many people have the disadvantage of not having the knowledge of what budgets are and how to set them up. Thinking about it, you wouldn’t be able to do much without setting up financial plans and to have your life organised is the most important thing to do.

It’s important to make sure that you record what you are spending your money on. By doing this you are eliminating the items and services you spend on a monthly basis. It’s surprising how many things you find in your records that are not necessities.

Always plan what you need to spend in the future. If you are looking at what your expenses will be in the upcoming month it will be easier to do so if you create one list of the items you need. Often you will notice that right before ordering something online, for instance, you forget what you have purchased and spend that money again on something totally unnecessary. This may not be a reoccurring action but there are possibilities that you forget about purchases that you’ve previously made.

Look for products and services that don’t cost a lot of money. There are often specials on various products that you can use to your advantage. Buying products on special could cut down on expenses quite a lot. Sometimes you could also save on bulk purchases.

When setting up a budget sheet, whether it’s in digital format or a hard copy, make sure that you split your income, spending and savings:

• Daily or weekly expenses could include petrol for your car and groceries.

• Savings could include savings accounts or investments.

• Occasional or monthly expenses could include clothing, car maintenance, paying off house debt, personal loans, leisure items or, possibly, the vet. These are the items you find yourself only paying for once a month or a few times in the year.

• Income is any money that you are earning.

Make sure that you are recording your spending on a daily or weekly basis. This makes your life so much easier if you are the type of person who always looks at the budget first before making a purchase.

A savings plan is another important category to have in a monthly budget. By having a savings plan you will be able to control how much you spend and it’s great to have for emergencies.

In this day and age where there is so much to buy wherever you go you need to make sure that your spending habits don’t damage where you stand financially. Your credit rating will have an impact when you apply for a personal loan. Always be sure that you know what you need and don’t need, that way you don’t put yourself through as much stress.

Financial Guide Before Leaving College

Students should aim to improve their financial knowledge before graduating from college. Otherwise, they will succumb to temptations and live in bondage to debt. Further, debt will prevent them from pursuing projects and activities later in life. Not only does debt create a financial burden, it generates emotional stress that can stymie an entire family. It is debilitating!

Handling finances well means learning to choose wisely. And learning to discern and choose wisely should be an important lesson students acquire at college. This ability applies not only to finances but every area of life. Indeed, I think learning to choose wisely should be a continuing process as students journey through life. To be sure, folks must deal effectively, at each life stage, with important lifestyle decisions.

Students might not be able to take formal credit courses in finances; however, on their own, they should set out to learn to handle finances well. Certainly they should do this before taking on student l Meanwhile, I believe, before leaving college, each student should follow the six steps below to learn and develop his or her financial knowledge.

Six steps to improve financial knowledge

1. Start developing a personal mission statement

2. Start working with a budget today

3. If in debt with students loans, start planning for repayment

4. Identify spending drivers and start working on needed lifestyle changes

5. Start an emergency fund

6. Get a trusted accountability partner

Start developing a personal mission statement

Your mission is your purpose in life–what you are all about. It needs to be clear, complete, concise. It will help direct your path. If you follow Jesus, let Him guide you. A clear mission statement will help you choose wisely. Most of all, it will help you avoid rabbit trails and other traps along the way. My personal mission statement is to teach biblical stewardship and preach God’s word faithfully.

What if you can’t find your purpose? That’s fine. Keep praying about it. Meanwhile, be alert to your circumstances and opportunities that come your way.

Start working with a budget today

A budget is nothing more than your best estimate of time, talents, and resources needed to carry out your mission. It is a stress reliever. It will help you see opportunities and challenges in advance so you might plan to seize them, or avoid them.

If in debt with students loans, start planning for repayment

Luke 14: 28 reminds us to count the cost before acting. It applies specifically to becoming a disciple of Jesus, but I think we should heed it for all decisions. If you have student loans today, you should prepare a debt repayment schedule to learn what debt obligations might be at graduation. Too many students complain to me about students loans after graduation! Before taking on debt, take time to understand the amount of loans you are likely to hold at graduation, and the likely effect it might have on you then.

Identify spending drivers and start working on needed lifestyle changes

You don’t control money, you control your decisions to spend. So, you need to understand what “drives” you to spend. Your spending drivers must be your control focus. Identify these areas and decide changes needed to control them. Often, it’s tradition, and assumptions we make about needs that cause us to spend. The best example I have seen is people’s perceived need for a telephone land line. For many folks, it’s redundant.

Start an emergency fund (Capital Fund)

Which of your stuff might break, need replacement, or otherwise create unexpected spending while at college? You don’t know for sure, but you should look at your possessions and answer that question. How old is your computer? Do you have a car? The idea is to realize that things break and when that happens, to repair them will affect your budget. Try the Capital Fund tool to help you prepare for the unexpected.

Get a trusted accountability partner

Do you have a buddy whom you can trust? Someone who does not judge you or lecture you. However, someone who will be honest with you and help you understand when you are moving away from truth and into rationalizations? I believe someone like this can help you work through and stay with these six steps. Ideally, there could be mutual accountability as that person works through his or her plan, too.

Summary

God alone knows the future. Still, I think we should be alert to what’s happening, and under His direction, plan to be good stewards. That’s the essence of these six steps–learning and applying good stewardship of resources entrusted to us.

Avoid Financial Debt By Doing These Things

Budgeting and avoiding financial debt is a huge thing we could all improve upon. We all know that their needs to be some kind of improvement, but do we genuinely know exactly where to start? Luckily, to suit your needs, we did all the hard labor for you. Now all you have to do is remember these excellent solutions that will help you manage your regular finances and save money in more ways than one.

Automated Bill Payment

Utilizing an auto-payment service can save you time, strain, and most importantly tons of dollars over time. You need a service that’s unique since not only does it assist you to stay clear of expensive late charges or handle your payments in a single location, but also functions with every one of your loan providers to develop an accelerated personal debt reduction payment plan.

This service should help to get you away from personal debt a lot quicker and can likely aid in building you important equity and/or lower overall interest payments.

Never stress again about when your costs are due or the possibility of “snowballing” into personal debt. Get your loans paid out off faster and tailor your spending plan in the direction of a lifestyle, which is debt-free.

Financial Loan Consolidation

A personal loan consolidation may be desirable to persons, which might be up to their neck in financial debt.

Although the attractiveness of paying a single month-to-month payment with a low-interest rate looks like a promising deal, all probability it is likely to set you back far more in the long haul. Chances are that you shouldn’t choose to get yourself caught up carrying out a consolidation unless of course you’re truly and hopelessly drowning with immense rates of interest and high monthly payments.

But when that’s the case, be sure to understand what your every month payment is going to be. If it is just as much, or slightly higher but into your price range, you might want to think about paying off your debt on your own with increased payment amounts each month. You will likely finish up your loan and pay out a lot more in interest, considering that your loan will likely be present for a large span of time.

Debt Management Plan

Deciding on a Debt Management Plan may help you with being structured and on time with all your charges via practical budgeting. Many financial authorities recommend utilizing a debt management plan as the ideal strategy for financial stability. Through this technique, you send a single payment for the agency managing the direct management plan and afterwards the quantity is going to be broken up among your lenders. This may possibly have an adverse affect on your credit history rating, but once you have paid off the debt in 3-5 years, your score should undoubtedly grow positively.

Through a direct management plan and help from a certified credit counselor, you can be on your way to meeting your economic goals, increasing your credit score, and taking control of your funds.

Financial Debt Avoidance

One of the simplest ways to deal with your financial debt and your budget would be to steer clear of debt to begin with. Needless to say, it’s simpler said then done. Although the earlier and faster you come to terms with the idea of intelligent budgeting, the earlier you might be living a life with less strain.

Initially, realize why many individuals get into debt:

• Reduced Earnings
• Poor Money Administration
• Underemployment
• Gambling
• Medical Expenses
• Minimal Savings

What you might take away from these financial debt causes is the fact that you should prepare yourself with a scrupulous and sensible spending budget, which allows you to stabilize your income and minimize your expenses. When you have extra cash, put it into a personal savings account for all those unpredictable expenditures. Keep away from overspending on things that aren’t needed and be certain to plan correctly and accurately. If you’re presently in debt, attempt an option from the list of other three strategies and if you are successful, do not at any time go down that road yet again.