4 Smart Money Moves You Need to Implement Now

Lockdowns. Job Loss. Disease. We are living in some of the most difficult times in recent memory. Whether you have children who can’t attend school in-person or you’re struggling with finances due to a job loss or reduced salary, things are stressful everywhere. That stress can be physical, mental, emotional, or even financial.  Saving money is a critical need for everyone right now. Uncertainty is the standard, for now, and we all need to prepare ourselves as best we can to get through this thing safely.   Your priority should always be your health because you won’t be able to do anything if you’re sick (and you don’t want to worry about paying large medical bills on top of everything else going on). Once you feel good about how to protect your health, next you need to focus on managing your money. We don’t know how long this will last, but we do know we need to be smarter about every financial decision we make. Here are 4  smart money moves to implement now to set yourself up for a better financial future.   Budget by Questioning Everything Before you start spending less money, you first need to know what you’re spending your money on now. Create a list of everything you spend your money on, starting with the two essentials – bills (like energy and rent) and food. You need a roof over your head and food to eat, but everything else should be up for debate. Whether it’s a streaming TV service or your daily run for expensive coffee, there may be things in your life that, at one time, you couldn’t imagine yourself living without. Now’s the time to re-evaluate how you live and how you can set yourself up for a better life in the future. Look at everything you either spend money on or want to spend money on (like toys, electronics, or anything else that may seem like a luxury to others). These things should be the first things to go – either don’t buy them, sell what you have, or both. The goal here is not to prevent yourself from buying anything fun ever again. You just need to be smarter about how you spend your money now to set yourself up for a better financial situation in the future.   Start or Add to Your Emergency Fund If you haven’t already – start an emergency fund. You can even take the money you were spending on unessential stuff (from the budgeting activity in #1) and start putting that into savings. You were spending it anyway, so you’re not going to miss it. But now, you’ll get to keep it. If you’re still working, in addition to manually saving money, start saving automatically by setting up an automatic deposit from your paycheck into a savings account. Put aside as much as you can, but even 5 – 10%, saved every time you get paid, can add up significantly. [...]

2020-12-17T17:47:21-08:00By |

The 4 Smartest Ways to Borrow Money When You Need Help

Have you ever had to ask someone to borrow money? Borrowing money is one of those topics that most people avoid talking about – we don’t know how to handle the situation and we don’t feel comfortable either asking for money or being asked for money. However, borrowing money is something that happens thousands of times today. Asking to borrow money makes us feel like a failure, where we cannot pay something for ourselves and we need to ask someone else for help. Asking to borrow money may make some people feel like they are a burden to others. It does not have to be this way. Even if you are in a situation where you cannot pay back money that you are owed, borrowing money can be simple when handled correctly. Here are 4 solid ways to borrow money to help you regain your financial health.   0% Purchase Credit Cards With the economy struggling in these challenging times, more options are available to people to help with finances. One of these options is the 0% purchase credit card. These are cards that offer a period anywhere from three months to two years, where any purchases made will not have any interest tied to them. Interest on purchases can make the amount owed increase substantially, so being able to purchase large items (furniture, holiday shopping, etc.) without interest is great. However, it is important to remember that the 0% interest period is not forever – if the amount you owe is not paid back in the timeframe, then interest will be applied to whatever is still owed. Credit cards are the most common way to borrow money, but this also makes them the most likely to be misused. It is easy to apply for a credit card, and it is also easy to forget about it and have your debt increase rapidly.   Bank Loans Another way to borrow money is through your bank. People feel comfortable dealing with their bank because there is already a relationship there – they have your financial history and have many options available to you based on your situation. Banks are a great resource to borrow money because they handle everything legally – they will not try and scam you or use illegal tactics. The only con with banks is the fees for their products – borrowing from a bank can result in high fees for applications and services. However, sometimes borrowing from a bank legitimately is better than borrowing from an illegitimate lender that could be handling things illegally.   Home Equity Loans A home equity loan is also known as a “second mortgage”, where you can get a lower interest rate and spread out the borrowed time over a longer period. Think of a home equity loan as a credit card – you get approved a certain amount (in this case – on your home’s value), and you can borrow up to that amount. Home Equity [...]

2020-12-17T17:24:47-08:00By |

4 Smart Ways to Manage Money After a Job Loss

Have you ever planned to lose your job? We’re not talking about where you resign or give a 2-weeks’ notice – we’re talking about being unexpectedly laid off or terminated. Losing your job suddenly and without warning can feel like a punch in the gut – you are caught completely off-guard and you don’t know what your next move is. This pain has never been more relevant than in today’s pandemic environment. One month, everything is doing fine, and businesses are running as usual. The next month, thousands of businesses are shut down, the workforce has been reduced dramatically, and for those who still have a job, their salary has been cut. When you lose your job unexpectedly, you feel pain in different ways – your pride, your confidence, and your self-image all take a hit. However, the most powerful pain you can feel is the anxiety related to your finances. You used to have a consistent income that you could rely on to pay your bills and buy groceries, and now that income has been taken away. You’re feeling lost, confused, and stressed about the future. Fortunately, even in these uncertain times, there are ways you can manage your money to keep yourself going. We want to share 4 ways to manage money after a job loss.   Apply for Unemployment Applying for unemployment has been looked at negatively with some people saying they’d never file for unemployment. In your situation, you must change your mindset. Unemployment was created specifically to help people who are not currently working so they can receive some sort of income until they get another job. Apply as soon as you can so you can feel secure that, regardless of how long it takes, you will receive some income in the meantime.   Budget Like Your Life Depends on It The next step in managing your money is understanding your budget for your essential expenses – anything that will help you survive (food and shelter). You must eliminate any unnecessary spending, and the first step is to start at zero and figure out how much your expenses are for your main bills – rent, bills (electricity, water, etc.), and groceries. “Groceries” here means food to eat – not unessential items like expensive coffee or sweet treats. You don’t know how long you’re going to be unemployed, so you need to make every penny count. This also includes using any savings (”emergency funds”) you have available. Note – there is a difference in savings and a 401k or retirement plan. Using a 401k or Retirement Plan before retirement age (59 ½) means you will pay penalties and therefore not get your full amount (which you earned). Stay away from the temptation to use anything from your 401k/retirement fund unless it is an absolute emergency.   Your Job Now is to Find a New Job Once you find yourself unemployed, you have a new job – getting yourself back into being [...]

2020-12-17T14:47:54-08:00By |

5 Tools to Help You Overcome Any Financial Setback

Finances are one of the most difficult topics to talk about in any situation. Whether it is discussing salaries at work or budgeting at home, discussing money can make for a tense conversation. Unless you work with money professionally (financial analyst, accountant, etc.), money is something we get the concept of, but could have trouble managing it effectively. And that’s when nothing is going wrong. Unfortunately, sometimes life happens and throws us for a loop. No situation creates feelings of stress and anxiety as much as dealing with money problems… Maybe your job was furloughed, or your salary was reduced drastically because of the COVID-19 pandemic Maybe your entire business livelihood was affected by the pandemic (lower sales, closing down your business, etc.) Or maybe you received an unexpected bill for a major expense like a medical issue or house repair Regardless, if you’ve never dealt with a financial setback before, the first time can be nerve-wrecking. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the situation. It creates a lot of uncertainty and negative emotions, but those negative feelings don’t have to shape or define you. We want to share some tools you can use to overcome any financial setback.   Think Positively When you have a financial setback, negativity will start running your thoughts. The only way to overcome the situation is to believe you can overcome the situation. You can choose to sit around and feel sorry for yourself, or you can commit to working towards fixing the situation. You won’t be able to use any of the following tools if you are approaching the situation with a negative/defeated attitude. Believe in your ability to get yourself back on track.   Analyze Your Current Financial Situation Once you have mentally committed to approaching the situation positively, the next step is to figure out where you are financially. You need to know all the money you currently have, when new money will come in (like your job salary), and any big expenses you originally planned for. Knowing where your money *could* go (bills, travel, etc.) leads you to the next step.   Budget Like a Boss The CEO of a company may not know where every penny of the company’s money goes, but they will always make sure they are spending that money strategically based on what makes financial sense. You must be the same with your personal finances. In a way, financial setbacks are a blessing because they force you to think about your money differently. When things are “going well”, you may feel it is ok to get an $8 coffee every morning or buy a couple of different streaming services for movies and TV shows. When you have a financial setback, you should be merciless when looking at what expenses to cut. You cannot afford, figuratively and literally, to spend money on things that are not essential. This may also mean not spending money on the things that typically make [...]

2020-11-25T15:25:02-08:00By |

The 6 Best Apps for Making Lots of Money by Selling Your Stuff

Have you noticed how much stuff you have? When you spend all day in your house, you notice the little things that seemingly weren’t there before – imperfections in the walls, closets packed to the brim, and just so much stuff everywhere. With the pandemic forcing thousands of people to work from home, everyone is starting to wonder where all this stuff came from and how they can get rid of it. You could throw it away and be done with it, by why not try and make some money off your used stuff? You may not want it anymore, but there are tons of people that would want it and would gladly pay for it. Here are 6 apps that are a great way to sell your used stuff.   Facebook Marketplace This is one of the more popular options since it is part of an app that over 2 billion people use every day. You can post anything from used DVDs to entire cars. To increase your chance of selling your items, you can join groups in your area that specialize in buying/trading goods. Just set your price, describe your product, post, and wait for offers. Odds are you are using Facebook anyway, so why not make some money and get rid of your stuff at the same time?   Decluttr Decluttr specializes in letting you sell used technology like DVDs, games, and CDs. The app is easy to use – once you post your product, you get an instant value for it. If you accept it, Decluttr will send you a free shipping label to put on a box with your items and drop off at the nearest UPS location. Another huge benefit – this app has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau, so you know they are safe and trustworthy.   Letgo Letgo has gained popularity recently due to its easy navigation. Letgo does a lot of the work for you so you can focus on getting rid of your stuff. Just post a picture of your item and Letgo will automatically sort it into the proper category for you. There’s also an option to automate certain messages, so you can spend less time typing and more time selling.   thredUP Let’s face it – the first items that will usually go when decluttering are your clothes. A great way to simplify your life is by getting rid of any clothes that either don’t fit, you don’t like, or you never wore in the first place. thredUP’s specialty is selling used clothing, and they’ve gotten good at it. Once you sign up for an account, thredUP will ship you a bag to put all your clothes in, and you’ll get paid once your order is processed. If you’re not sure how much you could get, they have a calculator where you enter your clothing and they’ll give you an estimate on how much you will get paid based on [...]

2020-11-18T13:46:56-08:00By |

How to Help Protect Against a Financial Emergency

Without even realizing it, most people are familiar with protection-first thinking. If you remember travelling on an airplane in a not too distant past, you would recall this important point in the safety demonstrations “In the event of sudden decompression, secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.”   EMERGENCIES ARE SUDDEN For money emergencies, developing a protection-first plan with a financial professional can help secure your own financial safety before other priorities. In life and in finances, emergencies are sudden. Everyone thinks, “It won’t happen to me.”   EMERGENCIES HAPPEN But consider this short list of potential emergencies: job loss, accidents, long-term illness leading to loss of income, home or car damage or natural disaster. It doesn’t take long to think of someone in our circle of family or friends who has faced one of these crises in the last year. An emergency can happen to anyone.   THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE NOT PROTECTED 41% Americans have savings of $1,000 for an emergency. 37% say they would have to turn to credit cards, friends or family, or personal loans to pay for it, putting them in the black hole of debt.1   MEDICAL DEDUCTIBLES ARE ON THE RISE In the United States, the number one cause of personal bankruptcy is medical costs.2 Furthermore, before the final straw of bankruptcy, many more people struggle to keep up with their medical bills. This is true whether or not a patient has an employer-sponsored healthcare plan.   HEATH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS CAN HELP In fact, from 2005-2015, the amount employees paid towards their deductibles increased by 229 percent – vastly exceeding wage growth.3 More people could safeguard themselves against high medical costs through a health savings account (HSA), but too few people understand the benefits of these accounts even if it is available to them.4   A BETTER PLAN By putting your own financial protection first, you create a plan to cover unplanned life events. This can include putting layers of protection in place, life insurance, disability insurance and emergency savings, even before paying down debt.   WHY PROTECTION FIRST? Even though it’s common to think that your most urgent need is to pay off debt, what happens if you’re paying off debt, but not generating any emergency savings? If you lose your job or are unable to work, you may have to take on new debt to keep paying even just your basic expenses. Then you’re back to square one. A better plan is to help protect yourself from sudden changes through protection layers, including emergency and long-term savings. -- About the Author Jerry specializes in retirement, insurance and tax off-set strategies for professionals and small business owners. His focus is to help clients identify their definitions of legacy and financial security while simultaneously implementing innovative strategies to help make those financial goals a reality. For more information on his services, he can be reached at:   JGM Consulting LLC  [email protected] (714)644-9066 Lic#0H33733 www.jgmconsultingllc.com   Brought to you by The Guardian Network © [...]

2020-11-17T19:49:57-08:00By |

6 Steps to Rewire the Mind-Money Connection

Every  new year brings promise, but sometimes this annual ritual can feel more like Groundhog Day. You start the year determined to keep your resolutions, but before too long, you default back to bad habits. For many people, this is especially true regarding old behavior patterns with money. People develop their relationship to money from a young age, and it’s reinforced by family dynamics. By the time they become adults, it can feel permanent. Yet, it is anything but. Increasingly, psychologists are looking to the brain’s neuroplasticity as the pathway to change patterned behavior.1 Neuroplasticity is “the ability of the brain to modify its connections or rewire itself.”2 In other words, anyone can reshape mental (and physical) habits towards money.   IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS Let’s say you’ve developed a shopping vice. You’re spending too much money on things that you don’t need. One approach to curb this is to examine the triggers that lead to a shopping binge. Do you shop before a big date or a job interview to calm your nerves? Is there a favorite store on the way to work?   STOP THE PHYSICAL REPETITION Habits are reinforced by repetition. To break a habit, you have to stop doing it over and over. When you feel prompted to shop by a familiar trigger, it’s time to change your next action in the chain of events. If the store on the way to work pulls like a magnet, find a new route. If the problem is compulsive online shopping, add website blockers to your browser to bar the sites that eat up time and money.   CONSIDER A SPENDING FAST Another way to stop bad financial habits is to go cold turkey with a spending fast. For instance, perhaps you always treat your friends to dinner, whether you can afford it or not. For a set period of time, resist the temptation to grab the check when it lands on the table (especially if it’s going on a credit card). Bear in mind that studies show it takes at least sixty-six days for a new habit to become automatic.3 So if you fall off that horse, keep getting back on it!   PRACTICE MINDFULNESS Acting on old behavior is usually preceded by old, negative thinking. Often people are hardly conscious of negative thoughts; they simply act on them without examination. By practicing mindfulness, however, we can avoid the effect of mental autopilot. Mindfulness involves bringing your attention to your immediate experiences and helps us examine anxious thoughts more rationally.4 If you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming date, for example, perhaps you’re at risk of splurging on new clothes. But if you look at this thought mindfully, perhaps you’ll see you have plenty to wear already. Or better yet, you may imagine yourself enjoying the date, regardless of what you’re wearing.   ENVISION THE BIGGER GOAL Lastly, take the time to write out what you want. Make a plan and add in the financial numbers that will make [...]

2020-09-16T18:53:42-07:00By |

Ask a Financial Professional: Couples & Money

If it were easy to talk about money, everyone would do it. But in reality, conversations about finances are tough for a lot people. Money is an intimate topic that can make people feel vulnerable. This is true even for (or especially for) people in long-term romantic relationships. Some couples hardly discuss money at all. In fact, one survey found that six percent of married people commit “financial infidelity,” by keeping a bank account hidden from their spouse. Further, 20 percent of the respondents have made a $500 (or higher) purchase, and not disclosed it to their partner.1 Meanwhile, financial problems are a leading cause for break-ups and divorce. To avoid this path to heartbreak, here are some strategies for helping couples establish a financial plan to achieve both of their goals.   MONEY: THE HOT-BUTTON TOPIC Money conversations can often make or break a long-term relationship. Early on, as couples start to become serious, they’re often hesitant to share about their finances. Can you relate? How about making a game out of it? Imagine you each have $1,000,000 to do whatever you wanted with it, what would that be? Write down five answers without showing the other person. Then when it’s time for the grand reveal, you can learn to appreciate your differences, look for commonalities and assess your real-world finances to see what’s possible.   THE BIG DAY AND FINANCIAL BEYOND Once a couple decides to take the plunge and get married, hopefully they have discussed their finances apart from and inclusive of each other. That’s the best case scenario, not always a viable one. Ideally before saying their wedding vows, couples can make a vow to one another to always be an open book when it comes to money and finances. A vow to not judge or criticize one another, but to be considerate of each other’s point of view and be willing to come to a mutual agreement. Also, consider seeking the advice of professionals who can help “quarterback” your financial decisions for you.   INVESTING IN EACH OTHER Most Americans are conditioned to immediately start saving big into their 401(k)s, and they neglect their responsibility to establish liquidity. So the need for cash may come from unnecessary debt or loans. It’s important for couples to invest in their future by asking themselves the following questions: If we need cash, how risky is it to borrow against our 401(k)? How much of our monthly income should be going toward rent or mortgage? What percentage of our paycheck should be going toward retirement, investments, savings? Based on their answers, a financial professional can help them develop a custom-fit plan.   IT’S NEVER TOO LATE  It’s never too late to change your investment strategy. Life sometimes throws us curveballs. It is important to always communicate financial emotions and feelings. It’s also vital to understand you don’t know what you don’t know when it comes to money matters, which is where a financial professional adds value. For instance, [...]

2020-07-06T17:52:39-07:00By |

6 Steps to Rewire the Mind-Money Connection

Every  new year brings promise, but sometimes this annual ritual can feel more like Groundhog Day. You start the year determined to keep your resolutions, but before too long, you default back to bad habits. For many people, this is especially true regarding old behavior patterns with money. People develop their relationship to money from a young age, and it’s reinforced by family dynamics. By the time they become adults, it can feel permanent. Yet, it is anything but. Increasingly, psychologists are looking to the brain’s neuroplasticity as the pathway to change patterned behavior.1 Neuroplasticity is “the ability of the brain to modify its connections or rewire itself.”2 In other words, anyone can reshape mental (and physical) habits towards money.   IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS Let’s say you’ve developed a shopping vice. You’re spending too much money on things that you don’t need. One approach to curb this is to examine the triggers that lead to a shopping binge. Do you shop before a big date or a job interview to calm your nerves? Is there a favorite store on the way to work?   STOP THE PHYSICAL REPETITION Habits are reinforced by repetition. To break a habit, you have to stop doing it over and over. When you feel prompted to shop by a familiar trigger, it’s time to change your next action in the chain of events. If the store on the way to work pulls like a magnet, find a new route. If the problem is compulsive online shopping, add website blockers to your browser to bar the sites that eat up time and money.   CONSIDER A SPENDING FAST Another way to stop bad financial habits is to go cold turkey with a spending fast. For instance, perhaps you always treat your friends to dinner, whether you can afford it or not. For a set period of time, resist the temptation to grab the check when it lands on the table (especially if it’s going on a credit card). Bear in mind that studies show it takes at least sixty-six days for a new habit to become automatic.3 So if you fall off that horse, keep getting back on it!   PRACTICE MINDFULNESS Acting on old behavior is usually preceded by old, negative thinking. Often people are hardly conscious of negative thoughts; they simply act on them without examination. By practicing mindfulness, however, we can avoid the effect of mental autopilot. Mindfulness involves bringing your attention to your immediate experiences and helps us examine anxious thoughts more rationally.4 If you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming date, for example, perhaps you’re at risk of splurging on new clothes. But if you look at this thought mindfully, perhaps you’ll see you have plenty to wear already. Or better yet, you may imagine yourself enjoying the date, regardless of what you’re wearing.   ENVISION THE BIGGER GOAL Lastly, take the time to write out what you want. Make a plan and add in the financial numbers that will make [...]

2020-05-20T15:50:39-07:00By |

Financial Hacks for Millennials: From Side Hustle to Savings

As of mid-2019, 45% of Americans have a side hustle1, and that figure is only continuing to grow. In any economy, side gigs can be a great way to earn extra cash or explore new interests. And especially in these uncertain times, it may also be essential. How can you take those side-hustle dollars one step further—from using them to make ends meet to turning to them as a key savings resource? The first step to making the most out of your side hustle starts with taking a look at your specific skills and interests.   CAPITALIZE ON YOUR SKILLSET While side hustles that makes today’s top lists can be great for earning extra money—think driving for Uber and Postmates or selling on eBay—the best side hustles are actually those that don’t feel like a hustle at all. The key is to leverage the skillset and passions you already have so you’ll be more likely to not only stick with it, but to also make more money at it. And for millennials, this can also align perfectly with our current virtual landscape. The first generation in history to be truly digital natives, millennials have a broad base of versatile skills that can be easily translated to today’s digitally driven marketplace2. Side hustles like creating virtual chatbots, offering online courses or instructional YouTube videos based on your specific skills—from teaching kids how to perfect their baseball swing to yoga routines to fashion and beauty how-to’s—and even reselling curated closets on niche fashion apps can all allow you to dive into your distinct skills and interests. This allows you make it your own, which may mean more chances to earn, faster.   TREAT YOUR DAY JOB LIKE AN ACCELERATOR Side gigs can be ideal for more than money. They can also be an easy way to explore your passions—and a recent study showed that more than half of people would like to transition their side hustle to be their main income-generator3. But if you’re hoping to turn your side hustle into a real hustle, the key, according to former Google exec and business coach Brook Taylor, is to view your day job as an accelerator—not a venture fund4. Look at your 9-to-5 as a lab where you can maximize all the opportunities a corporate or full-time setting offer: for career learning, for networking, for gaining a competitive edge. This will help you get in a better position to make the leap to shifting your side gig to a full-time one.   MAXIMIZE YOUR EARNINGS In order to make your side hustle fully work for you, you’ll want to tap into the experience of financial professionals. There are tips and tricks they can share to make sure you leverage your side hustle, from managing cash flow and expenses to retirement planning. A financial professional can also help you take your side hustle to the next level by helping you implement a growth strategy and plan for maximizing your earnings—and turning your [...]

2020-05-01T17:29:45-07:00By |

What Do Fine Wine and Financial Planning Have in Common?

Do you love wine? Next question: Are you financially confident? This one is a little harder to answer, right? To be financially confident means that you feel good about your current financial situation and future outlook. If this sounds like you, you’re a confident planner. Research shows that 21 percent of Americans are Confident Planners when it comes to their financial lives.1 (The remaining 80 percent of Americans are stressed-out, largely due to financial worry.) In exploring answers to the questions above, you may be surprised to learn that the worlds of wine and financial planning have a lot in common.   HIGH-QUALITY INGREDIENTS The best wines in the world begin with top-quality ingredients. Starting with the land, vintners plant premium grapes in rich, verdant soil. And not all land is of equal value. For example, the celebrated wines of the Burgundy region in France come from land priced at around $5 million per acre.2 The land is the first factor in the quality of wine. For confident planners, the same principle holds true for a strong financial plan. One of the best ways to begin is with a plan that includes products like life insurance, disability income insurance and a retirement strategy.   IMPROVE THE HARVEST OVER TIME Wine lovers know that their favorite vintage doesn’t happen overnight. On the contrary, it’s a long, steady process of planting, growing, harvesting, storing and bottling. Through continually refining their process, vintners can improve their final product. For example, a maker may use machine harvesting in the field, and produce a wine that earns an 85 rating — “very good.” Yet if this maker transitions to harvesting by hand, he’s more likely to earn a coveted 95 rating for “classic” wine excellence.3 Like those high-performing vintners, confident planners, have model behaviors that can help them optimize outcomes. And like vintners, anyone — Day-to-Day Decision Makers, Ambitious Spenders, or Retirement Realists — can adopt these practices. One of these behaviors is to work with a financial professional to develop a financial plan. Next, Confident Planners understand that it takes time for a financial plan to come to fruition, just like wine needs to age. During the process, they live within their means and stick to the long-term plan. They understand that their efforts will pay off in the end, as it will with the vintage.   THE MASTER VINTNER Think back to a recent occasion when you enjoyed a bottle of wine among friends. Even if the wine was unforgettable, it’s likely no one craved the years-long experience of producing it. Thankfully, there are vintners around the world who begin each season with a harvest plan based on years of experience in the field. Over the course of the year, they gauge the ever-changing factors that may affect the harvest — like the levels of sun and rain, for example. No growing plan is identical from one harvest to another. Likewise, there is no one-size-fits-all financial plan for everyone. (You can find [...]

2020-03-30T12:34:29-07:00By |

5 Simple Budgeting Tips

No matter how big your income is, budgeting is the key to a stable financial situation. Why income doesn't matter you may ask? Well, if you cannot budget when you have $1,000 how will you budget when you have $10,000? Budgeting is a habit, or rather a lifestyle that you have to get used to and keep applying. Below are five simple budgeting tips to get you started!   Make a full review of your income and costs Take a while to consider all the bills and monthly outflows that you have to cover. Put them in a clear list, so you see the total outflow. Do the same with your income. If you have one job, that is quite easy. If you are working several part times jobs - put the number together. Particularly, in the case of costs this a crucial point. You have to get things under control, and the only way to get them under control is to have a clear view on what your costs really are.   Needs and wants You have to strictly differentiate between what you really need and what you just want. Needs are the things that you really need in life. You need to pay bills, you need to buy groceries and so on. Wants are not necessities. Those are the things that you can go without, but in this moment you feel like you need them. In most cases, you do not. If there is a bigger “want” that you are going for, give it a few days. In most cases, your desire to get the item will pass.   Push your costs down Seems obvious right. You would be surprised. How long has it been since you revised your mobile plan? What about cable TV? Maybe you could switch to Netflix, it’s cheaper. If you will go into details, there are many areas of your spending where you can push the costs down. Do it and keep it that way. Pushing down the costs is much easier than making more money. Do it every quarter. You have to constantly keep revising it, or else it will grow over you again.   Be consistent It is not enough just to sit down one evening, make some financial planning and then forget about it. You have to stick to it. Consistency is the key here. Check your budget every week, see if your spending is in compliance with the budget. The fact that there is a number written down and you have a plan will help you immensely when taking control over your spending.   Make projections and save historical results Save your spending history. Monitor your monthly balance and write it down in a spreadsheet. Time flies by very quickly and just by looking back you will know if you did well this quarter or not. You cannot improve what you do not measure. If you will monitor your balance and spending month to [...]

2020-03-30T12:03:13-07:00By |