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Category Archives: Personal Finance


A Guide to buying smart and stay out of debt on this Black Friday

A Guide to buying smart and stay out of debt on this Black Friday

Black Friday 2018 is the largest shopping season of the year. And, believe it or not, people used to spend around $900 on an average for buying gifts this time.

People used to spend so much money on this day. If that money is used without any sense and for buying useless objects, it can surely put you into debt.

I know that the start of the holiday spending season can be really exciting, but you should spend in Black Friday 2018 such a way that doesn’t include going into debt!

Here are my tips for staying out of debt in this Black Friday.

  1. Make a shopping budget

You must prepare a budget before you line up for the first store. Take out a notepad or your phone and note down the estimated money you can spend. Based on your income and expenses, you should form a budget and save an amount of money to spend on these holidays.

Items you’ll want to think about and possibly include in your holiday budget are:

  • Gifts and chocolates
  • Transportation
  • Food for parties
  • Stamps
  • Holiday cards
  • Wrapping supplies
  • Decorations, etc.
  1. Research well

Make sure you have the idea about where you can find the best deals in this black friday so that you don’t waste your time standing in line for something that sold out two hours ago. But don’t spend too much time for that, enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner also.

  1. Check the ads

Know more about all the discounts and promotions this Black Friday by checking all the ads. Check out your favorite stores first, but don’t ignore the stores you normally skip. List all places where you can find your desired items for the best price.

  1. Use coupons and save more

The easiest way to save money is to shop using coupons, deals. Check out the websites that gives you a lot of deals and cashback. Those sites may include a variety of popular retailers such as Walmart, Macy’s, Target, Bloomingdale’s and more.

  1. Check out about warranties and exchange policies

Often times, you might have to return or exchange goods you bought. You’ll have to make another trip to the store. So, learning about the exchange policy can save you a lot of hassle, especially if you’re buying electronic goods.

  1. Cut unnecessary costs

Take a good look at your monthly expenses and cut down where you’re overspending.

Don’t use credit card as much as possible. This might seem a bit uncommon. But a lot of people don’t know that it can really save a lot of money. You might buy a thing that you can’t afford through a credit card. This way you might overspend several times without thinking a bit. So, don’t buy stuff you can’t afford using a credit card!

  1. Start early

You can always start your Black friday shopping preparation ahead of time.

There are many savvy shoppers who start shopping even a year in advance. These are some good planning skills!

You may think it is weird, but it surely saves them a lot of stress and money.

The earlier you start shopping, the more money you can save with each deal. This is because you won’t be in a rush and end up buying a thing that you didn’t need.

Thanksgiving dinner - How to make it budget-friendly and save money

Thanksgiving dinner – How to make it budget-friendly and save money

Do you want to save money on Thanksgiving? You may think it’s difficult to celebrate a Thanksgiving dinner within a budget. But trust me, there are many unique tips and tricks to save money on a Thanksgiving dinner.

 

How to save money on Thanksgiving dinner like a pro

Check out some fantastic money saving tips for food for Thanksgiving dinner.

 

1. Buy seasonal fruit and veggies

It is obvious, you’ll pay a much lesser price for fruit and veggies that are available in this season.

Seasonal things are cheaper and remain fresh also than out of season produce, so you have less risk that they’ll go off before using.

 

2. Buy generic items for the dinner preparation

You might need a lot of things for your Thanksgiving dinner party. But before buying such items, make sure you focus on generic items rather than brand names. If you look closely, there is barely any difference between a generic item and the branded item. The more you analyze, you’ll find the main factor is the price. So, why do you spend $10 to $20 more for a similar quality item? The choice is easy now, isn’t it?

 

3. Plan way before the day comes

Start thinking about the Thanksgiving dinner party at least one week earlier. It can help you to save your wallet.

For example, if you buy frozen turkeys in advance, it’ll be cheaper than buying fresh ones just before the big day. Don’t worry about the taste, it’s just as good as a normal one.

If you have enough time, you can search for cheaper stuff for recipes.

You may also check out for the deals on other ingredients, particularly stuff that is available as frozen.

 

4. Try to buy in bulk

Bulk buying can be beneficial if you plan for a big party. Many stores offer lucrative discounts on bulk purchases. It may possible that you can get one or two free turkeys if you buy 5 or more in a bulk. But you must stay alert and avoid overbuying.

 

5. Prepare food what you actually require

We often become so excited about Thanksgiving that we start making 6 types of dessert, 4 types of side dishes, and the biggest turkey you find till Thanksgiving.

We become so much devoted to the ceremony that having a mountain of leftovers doesn’t bother us anymore.

You may stop this habit if you want. To save money, you can use the leftovers as office lunches for the next few weeks, But make sure you preserve them good.

The best thing would be only making what you actually need.

Make 2 or 3 dishes, and make them well. People often taste 1 or 2 desserts at a time, not more.

 

6. Only make what your guests actually like

There’s absolutely no reason why you have to serve certain dishes for it to be a “real” Thanksgiving.

For example, if half of your family hates green beans, why serve them even if it’s “traditional”? On the same point, if your family love pumpkin pie and always eat the whole thing whether or not the filling is made fresh or is from a can, then you should definitely choose the cheaper option.

By simply giving them what they like rather than feeling like you “have” to serve certain foods, your guests will definitely be satisfied with their Thanksgiving dinner.

 

7. Think about the leftovers

You’ll have leftovers, trust me! It happens.

So have a plan ahead of time, how will you manage them.

For example, you can keep your leftover turkey meat in your refrigerator. But what will you do with the carcass? Use it to make stock. Have some leftover veggies? Use them to make a delicious soup for lunch.

Keep all the leftovers and freeze them until you can use them for preparing meals.

 

8. Call for a Thanksgiving potluck dinner

There’s no doubt that one of the main expenses we bear for the Thanksgiving period is food. So another best way to limit your costs can be throwing a potluck dinner.

Just ask your guests to prepare and bring a dish of their choosing. Make sure you discuss the items so that you can avoid any repetition of dishes.

This will help to not only share the costs but also save the time and hard work for preparing the dishes!

 

Conclusion

By doing a little pre-event planning, budgeting, and smart shopping you can enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner with lots of saving.

Enjoy an amazing veterans day with these exclusive offers and discounts

Enjoy an amazing veterans day with these exclusive offers and discounts

Veterans Day is a the perfect occasion to enjoy and celebrate the service of brave soldiers who have sacrificed too much to protect ourselves. Those brave men don’t serve the nation for recognition or money. So, it is great that many people, companies and organizations planned a such special day to honor their services.

Today we will talk about various discounts and offers available in veterans day 2018.

But first you need to know what kind of ID proof you may provide In order to access the generous Veterans Day discounts and freebies.

  1. Veterans ID card
  2. Active military or retired military ID card
  3. VA Healthcare ID card
  4. Drivers License with a veterans designation
  5. DD Form 214,

Some places also accept a membership photo ID card for a Veterans Service Organization like American Legion, VFW, DAV, AMVETS, etc.

 

Now, let’s check out some free meals on the occasion of veterans day:

 

  1. Golden Corral Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 12, 2018)

From 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Golden Corral will be providing Veterans Day free meals and a beverage to the veterans and U.S. military person on current active duty.

No identification is required to become eligible for free beverage and dinner buffet.

 

  1. Applebee’s Veterans Day Free Meal (Sunday, November 11, 2018)

Hang out at Applebee’s on Sunday, November 11, 2018 to get your Veterans day free meal. The offer is valid on this day only, until they are closing.

Applebee’s will be giving out Veterans Day free meals and a beverage to veterans and soldiers on current active duty.

 

  1. Chili’s Veterans Day Free Meal (Sunday, November 11, 2018)

Visit Chili’s on Sunday, November 11, 2018, and get your Veterans Day free meal. It is free for all veterans or an active military personnel.

You’ll must provide proof of military service to get your Veterans Day free meal.

 

  1. Free Veterans Day Pancakes at IHOP (Monday, November 12, 2018)

The free meal is on Monday, not Sunday. IHOP will be providing this service to veterans and active military personnel with a free stack of Red, White, and Blueberry pancakes.

People must show proof of their military service before getting this offer. They may also wear uniform, it’ll be considered as an ID proof, like a military ID card.

 

  1. Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day Free Lunch (Sunday, November 11, 2018)

Texas Roadhouse will be offering Veterans Day free lunch on Sunday, November 11, 2018. It’s solely for active military personnel, or retired military men.

This is for dine-in only, and the timing may vary as per location. So, check the exact hours to a local Texas Roadhouse for specific details.

 

Now let’s check out some free services:

 

  1. Entrance Into National Parks (Sunday, November 11, 2018)

Over 100 national parks will waive off admission fees on November 11, 2018 on the occasion of Veterans Day. No ID required, anybody can enjoy the free admission that day.

 

  1. Veterans Day Haircuts at Sports Clips (Sunday, November 11, 2018)

Veterans and active military personnel can enjoy a free haircut at any participating Sports Clips on Sunday, November 11. Veterans need to show proof of service to become eligible.

Sports Clips is also giving $1 from every haircut as charity to the Help A Hero Scholarship Program.

 

  1. Car Washes for Veterans (Sunday, November 11, 2018)

“Grace for Vets” is a non-profit organization,  who is providing veterans and service personnel a free car wash on November 11, 2018.

 

  1. SeaWorld Admission

Military veterans and active army personnel will be getting free access to SeaWorld theme park.

This offer is valid only for army men having military service IDs. However, they can’t get free admission at the gate. They have get it through the seaworld website by logging in with a special Troop ID.

 

  1. Golf in Fort Wayne, Indiana (Sunday, November 11, 2018)

Veterans and active military men can enjoy playing golf absolutely free on Veterans Day (from 8 AM to 9 PM) at the Foster Park, Shoaff Park, and McMillen Park golf courses in Fort Wayne, IN. They must bring photo ID card with them.

Veterans can’t get free electric carts with this free offer.

 

  1. Admission to Harley-Davidson Museum (Sunday, November 11, 2018)

On this veterans day – November 11, between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Harley-Davidson Museum is offering free admission to all veterans, active army people and their families.

Veterans have to show a valid ID proof which also allows an additional adult and a children under 18.

Regular admission is $20 /adult,  and $10 for kids within 5-17 years old. There is no entry fee for children under five.

 

Things you should check before going out:

Yes, before start enjoying on this veterans day 2018, you should check out these things.

  1. Review the information on official websites and go through the rules before going out. Many websites don’t update previous years promotional listings that are currently invalid.
  2. Make sure you are carrying the proof of military service, or uniform photo, or you can be in uniform.
  3. Mark those dates in the calendar regarding the Veterans Day offers. Some offers are valid for different days than Veterans Day itself. Most of the restaurant offer free meals just for dine in only.
  4. Don’t forget to tip your waiter. The waiters are working hard these days to make you happy. So, you may tip based on the actual cost of the meal.
This thanksgiving make way for charity and better finances

This thanksgiving make way for charity and better finances!

If Squanto never offered the pilgrims, coming from the other side of the world, a place to stay and food to eat, then thanksgiving day would not have taken the form as it is today….

It was a long difficult time of suffering, and a brief history of charity and love, that made the foundation of thanksgiving. If you don’t know who’s Squanto, then let me tell you, ‘he was the dude, back then’.

When the english pilgrims stepped down from the merchant ship Mayflower on Cape Cod, they were welcomed by heavy snow, draught, unfavorable conditions, and other threats from nature.

That’s exactly when Squanto appeared. A tribal man from the jungle, had feathers on his head, and spoke broken English.

He offered the dying and weathered englishmen shelter, and food.

Squanto taught them how to plant crops and how to beat the harsh weather conditions of the Atlantic.

So, now it was time for the englishmen to pay thanks and show gratitude to Squanto and his native american tribe.

It was then, that the first thanksgiving season was observed, where food, fresh harvests, and other household objects were exchanged among the people of the native tribe and the pilgrims.

Then after 2 centuries, our former president Mr. Abraham Lincoln officially declared a special day that is to be considered a holiday and should be marked as thanksgiving day.

Since then we have been celebrating thanksgiving each year, where we invite our family members and friends, and have big feasts and get-togethers.

But are all of us actually celebrating this festivity the way it’s meant to be done? Guess not. Thanksgiving itself means to show gratitude and give thanks, which many of us don’t follow.

In this blog post however, it is a question of finances.
I believe, this thanksgiving it’s time for us to offer gratitude with an act of charity so as to respect our financial independence, and say thanks to the Almighty, who makes it possible for us to earn and live!

What should you do on thanksgiving?

A little charity is what I am asking you to do. Nothing more.

As you receive your paycheck for this month, try to scrap out a little percentage (say 5% or 10% – even 1 dollar will do), and donate it to some charity foundation or association.

There are numerous charity organizations in our country that you can donate to.

Even your local church will pull out the job too. Just go ahead and do the charity. Offer your thanks for the financial happiness you are experiencing in the present time!

Trust me, your thanksgiving will be the most blessed one, and can’t get more better if you do some charity!

But that’s not all. Charity is one part. Do you know how charity influences better finances?

I recently went through a few blogs and articles on psychology and finances. They are defining charity and donations at a different level.

It’s said that when you give away a portion of your money for moral investment, it brings in happiness and influences you to have more wealth, so that you can receive more happiness like this in the future by donating more money.

Charity is an investment. Not something that will give you good returns in terms of money. But it ensures that you are sharing your wealth for worldly reasons.

Obviously you can ignore this belief, but remember that charity will surely force you to have more income, and will give you a strong reason to sustain your existence.

 

Life is short mate. You are born today, and you die tomorrow, before you even know it.

Hence do something, for which you will never leave any regret behind, when you are gone.

Have a wonderful and happy thanksgiving.

Why build wealth when in the end you will be dead

Why build wealth when in the end you will be dead?

It is the age-long truth that we all came empty-handed and we all will go empty-handed. What matters the most is what lies in between!

We are all meant to live in joy and happiness. That what makes us feel good! Makes us content!

Satisfaction, pleasure, happiness, is what we all search and thrive for! Our times are limited. It is now or never. Everything’s ‘happening’, not ‘happened’ neither ‘will happen’. So, live the present in complete harmony.

But there’s something weird in the middle of everything! People believe in possession instead of sharing!

Hence I came up with this topic that will try to explore what makes wealth so important – that we gotta fight hard to build it, while in the end we will possess nothing and say goodbye!

 

Why do we need money?

We can completely survive without money. But what will then value the hard work we do. The work that gives some productive output while utilizing the costliest of everything, ‘Time’!

We all need something in return! This world is a complete give and take! Hence to unify everything, we need money!

And everything’s worth a certain amount of money! Money has the purchasing power!

Hence money can technically buy anything that’s not an emotion and that lies under human jurisdiction!

 

We need a house to live, food to eat, water to drink, electricity to bring lights to nights, and so on!

We are all working for each other. Some plow the field, some sew clothes, someone’s supervising the turbines so that we never run out of electricity, and the list goes on and on.

So monetary wealth is important!

As you can very well see, if you are not a productive member of the society, you can never understand the worth of money.

Only those who have done something productive, have valued money!

Don’t expect to get your pair of jeans for free, the daily bread for free, or rather anything for free.

Do the hard work, walk the tough road, get paid, and buy what you want and desire!

 

So why build wealth when in the end you are dead and can’t have anything?

Because unless you have a pleasurable life, you won’t have a pleasurable death! A wise friend of mine said it’s better to die in a golden bed rather beside a sewage!

Quite true!

We want satisfaction and happiness. If we can’t claim anything on this earth as ours, then our reason to live is nil!

Hence don’t get carried away by this fact that “there’s no need for anything, as, in the end, it doesn’t really matter.”

Well, in the end probably it won’t matter, but as of now, it does matter!!

 

Your tools to build wealth?

Consider ample savings. Claim as much money as you can and make it rightfully yours. But obviously not via evil means.

Savings and investments are what you should do. If needed,  switch to a better job that pays you well and that offers growth!

Have more income to experiment with more money! Your aim should be to build wealth that can compensate your daily needs, even if the market hits high rates of inflation, and you have no source of income!

Take seriously your retirement savings and always pay attention to what inflation can do to your money!

So, build wealth to live for the present and not for the future!

Build wealth even if in the end it doesn’t really matter!

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5 Movies and 3 budgeting tips that will rock this Christmas

Christmas is the best time for movies and the celebrations are not done, till you, your cousins, your friends and nearly every hooligan you know,sit down to watch the coolest of movies in the chilly night!
I will try to give in the names of new releases for this year. So anyone searching for vintage classics won’t find it here. Pardon me for that.

These are the movies to watch this Christmas:
Number 1: Murder on the Orient Express:
Nothing gets better when it comes to a mysterious night on Christmas.
And that’s exactly what Agatha Christie talks through her novels.
Director and actor Kenneth Branagh brings the showdown with his newly released work “The Murder on the Orient Express”.
I won’t talk about how the movie opens up, or how it progresses. All I can say is the movie surely gives a call to its audience, and makes it worth a second watch!
Johnny Depp played the role of Senneth Ratchett, the businessman who gets murdered on board!
Branagh plays Hercule Poirot himself, and Penelope Cruz is the melancholic missionary Pilar Estravados.
It will surely make your Christmas as the movie’s all snow, cold and dark!

Number 2: Jumanji- Welcome to the JunGLe!
We can never forget the Robin Williams starrer Jumanji, that released back in 2004. Hell that was some movie man!
But there’s nothing to worry, we have Dwayne Johnson a.k.a ROCK in this movie.
“ A Game For Those, Who Seek To Find, The Way To Leave Their World Behind!”
Can any caption give you such a good feeling? Like escape from Reality?? (Except Harry Potter I mean)!!!
So gear up fellas, it’s just going to make your day as the film gets released on December 20th!
Grab your tickets and get into action!

Number 3: DUNKIRK.
Guess two names will be enough, Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy!
Even though this released way back in the mid of 2017, on 13th July, you can still watch it this Christmas.
The show will get even better, if you can get someone along with you, who has not watched it yet!
Critics have seriously stated that this is Christopher Nolan’s best film till date and probably the best war movie ever made.
To be practical what else can we expect from the creator of such masterpieces like The Prestige, Inception, Interstellar and the Batman??
So watch it again, and suggest it to your other friends too!

Number 4: HangMan.
Al Pacino is back with the new crime thriller film, that is expected to rock the film garden this year!
Nothing ever gets bad or wrong with this Pacino guy! He is the Man, and he comes with HangMan!
The movie plot is intriguing as the murders are based on the children game Hangman!
Even though the movie seems a bit complex, but the fingers are crossed, and let’s see how Pacino’s going to play it!

Number 5: COCO.
The most highly rated animation movie of this year.
COCO has already received high critical acclaim, and as of december 11, 2017, COCO has grossed $136.8 million in the United states and Canada.
The film has been praised for its graphics and visuals, and is said to be a treat for the eye!
You seriously don’t want your kids to miss it!
The film revolves around a small girl named COCO who wants to take up music as her life, but her family is no music at all!
See what happens as a Gig is about start and dead skeletons are coming for a visit from the Land Of The Dead!

Movies are fun, and Christmas celebration is the biggest priority!
But at the end of the day we must also keep a look at our pockets, so that celebration blasts don’t burn holes in them!
Along with good movies, friends, drinks and foods you must also be able to hold your finances steady!

Here are 3 budgeting tips for Christmas:
Don’t let the moment’s magic take control over you.
People are careless about money when it comes to festivals! But you should know how much you can spend.
Set up a budget now itself.
Make a list of all the possible expenses you are about to make, including the movie tickets and all!
Now add a few more bucks on top of your budget for emergency cash and happy spending!
This is the only decent idea I can come up with!

Sell unwanted items that you haven’t used for this year.
This is a great way to add some extra cash that can definitely buy you a few cocktails at a nightclub.
Old furniture? Sell it.
Old clothes? Sell it.
Old gadgets? Sell it.
Anything old and you don’t use, sell it!
Actually make it a habit to sell unwanted items every year in Christmas, and clean your house to make room for the new!

Make a savings plan for each Christmas:
This is my top notch suggestion for you!
If you really want your Christmas to be a grande party every year, then plan to do savings!
Open up an account and stash away an amount each month, and see it grow.
Voila! After 12 months, you are all set for a killer bumpy ride!
I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New year!
Do watch the movies and comment your views.
Also try to budget out your Christmas the coolest way with the budgeting tips I gave.

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Save money without making any frugal plan

What you’ll think if I told you that you can save dollars without doing anything or without making any frugal plan? I guess you will be shocked or assume that I’m just kidding?

When you fall in debt, it’s hard to get rid of it. So, it’s better if you can save enough money to pay off your debts easily.

It was easy to learn about the conventional ways to save money by reading tutorials, or by following online videos, TV shows, or from Ebooks. But how about saving money without doing nothing, is there any way?

After a lot of research and discussion with my friends, I have found few ways to save dollars doing nothing or without any frugal plan. Let’s check them out guys.

  1. Quit drinking and smoking

Everybody should hate drinking and smoking. Actually it is ridiculous spending $120 on liquor or cigarettes. They actually have zero health benefits. Additionally, the cost of alcohol or cigarettes is high. There’s no meaning of converting your hard earned money into ashes.

Healthwise, both nicotine and alcohol can make you sick. Cigarettes causes lung cancer and alcohol may damage your liver.

The average cost of cigarettes are between $6 and $8. Expensive ones cost around $12.85. Recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York announced that the cost of cigarettes will be increased to $13 from $10, each pack. So, if you are a chain smoker, then your total monthly expense will be sky high. Check out the price of cigarettes state-by-state and compare the prices. It’s better just quit smoking…you know.

  1. Say “No” to drugs

Never trust a person who is into drugs; even in vacations. Drugs have dragged too many people into living hell. Drugs not only affect your health and finances, but also demolished your family life. You’ll become isolated from your family, friends, even from society.

The drug is an addiction. Stay away from people who used to have recreational drugs. Selling and buying drugs is an illegal offence. So, avoid drugs at any cost.

  1. Stop pinning

We, humans are selfish, greedy and unsatisfied in every aspect. They pine for costly things which they don’t even require. People want fast cars, want to watch latest movies, want to wear the trendiest fashion, use the latest sound system, play latest video games, etc. What we fail to understand that these are only waste of money, nothing more.

If you want to save money, then stop pining for the greatest things. You can buy a good conditioned used car, a second hand music system may also give you the same experience. You can play free online video games. You can read free eBooks. You can watch latest movies later online, totally free. It’s that easy.

  1. Avoid junk foods

Don’t forget one thing, the more you eat, the more you pay. Junk foods not only make you fatter, but also drain your savings. It is tough to ignore delicious burgers, pizzas, french fries, ice cream, cookies, and hot dogs. But you must draw a line.

Start avoiding junk foods for a month. You’ll be surprised that your body and wallet, both will become healthy..

Conclusion

Drive safely and obey traffic rules. It will help you to save a good amount on auto insurance premiums. The lower your premium, the lower will be your car maintenance cost. Accidents not only can ruin your life, but it can cause fatal damage to someone else.

The one BIG problem with your 401k

Great guest post from William Cain over at www.adultingmoney.com

With the popularity of the 401k growing across America, more people than ever are jumping on the compounding interest, employer match bandwagon. And who wouldn’t! Your employer is giving you “free money.” If you’re not currently signed up then stop reading this and sign up now! It’s one of the best retirement vehicles on the market today.

Most employers draft it from your paycheck (pay yourself first!), and you can also select a Roth option if available. Most experts recommend contributing at least 15% of your income to ensure you’ll have a comfortable and adequate retirement. But who really wants comfortable and adequate??? Not me, and definitely not my fiance’s shoe closet.

So let’s say you up it to 15% of your $85,000/year household income and your employer matches 5%. Nice, up to 20%! Bring on that McMansion.

We’ll also assume it returns a 7% interest rate per year on average. How are we looking 35 years from now when we have to retire???

$2,450,000.

Boom…

So we’re going to be totally “multi” millionaires and burn $100 bills to light our $200 cigars with our $300 bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.

Not so fast. Here are some things to think about.

First, the money you contributed was pre-tax, which means once you take it out the government will want to collect on it AND the profits. Stupid taxes. The amount depends on which tax bracket it puts you in when you decide to withdraw. While we don’t know the tax climate 35 years from now, let’s say 15%.

$2,450,000 x .15% = $2,085,500. Still ok right?

But wait, there’s more!

Here’s the secret retirement killer, that hits everyone just the same regardless of how smart or dumb you were with your money.

INFLATION

It’s a scary word.

Using an excellent future inflation calculator
we can guestimate how much our remaining retirement monies will be worth in today’s dollars when we retire.

In this example, accounting for a 3%/year inflation rate, in today’s dollars, it leaves us with the same spending power as $741,000…

Ouch.

At age 65 this is the same monthly purchasing power as $5,638 and at 85 it’s $3,122.

Sure, hopefully, we’ve had our house paid off, rarely get new cars, and settle down into watching TV 8 hours a day. However, some people’s expenses actually increase once they retire. They now have the time to travel, play golf or a massage every week. What about medical bills? You know they’re coming, it just depends on how big they’re going to be. The average retired couple spends approximately $250,000 during retirement just on premiums! Are you helping your grandchildren through college? Helping your adult children through, well, adulting. There are so many factors and possibilities being supported on an ever-dwindling income.

So let’s reverse engineer it. Let’s figure out the kind of life we want in retirement, the things that are important to us, that we think may be important to us, and create a buffer the unexpected.

Next, let’s find out how much is it going to take to have the life we want in 2052 using our future inflation calculator.

Lastly, using simple 401k calculator lets see how much we really need to be contributing to hit our goals.

This isn’t meant to scare anyone or show unattainable goals and savings, but rather to shed light on how our retirement could truly shape up to be. The worst thing possible is to get to retirement only to realize it’s not the life you thought you had created, and it’s better to start working on a plan now to prepare then later.

This also highlights the need for additional passive sources of income among other well thought out investment strategies.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article and I’m always open to learning about topics that are of interest to you! Please send me an email, pigeon, or hit me up on the blog in the comments section.

As always, happy adulting out there!

6 Common Financial Mistakes

Here we will take a look at some of the most common financial mistakes that the majority of people make. You might say, this doesn’t apply to me. Are you being truthful with yourself? My gut tells me you are in denial if you believe you don’t have some sort of financial problem.

1) Frivolous and Excessive Spending
Many people assume that their day to day spending is in control. What is the big deal about the $4 coffee or the $9 lunch? These are normal, right? Wrong. Small purchases add up quickly. The frivolous $15 spent per day is huge when measured on an annualized or compounded basis. $15 x 365 = $5,475. If this $15 per day was invested over 40 years at 8% interest, the balance equates to $1,592,772. Frivolous spending is debilitating. Get your act together. This is low hanging fruit. Be disciplined.

2) Never-Ending Payments
How can anyone gain considerable wealth by staying on the payment plan? Whoever invented lifelong payment plans is a genius. People assume it is natural to have 15 reoccurring payments each month. Anything subscription taking away money from me each month does not feel natural. I am sure you could eliminate half of the plans without much pain.

To name a few:

  • Netflix subscription
  • Cable TV
  • Gym membership that you use 2x per month
  • Fancy cell phone plan

3) Living on Credit Cards
For households that carry credit card debt, it costs them about $1,300 a year in interest. Today, the average household with credit card debt has balances totaling $16,748. Only 52% of credit card owners pay their credit card in full each month. Living on borrowed money will only cause heartache. I have seen too many close friends or family give away their freedom to this kind of behavior. Don’t be another statistic. You will never generate wealth by living on borrowed money.

Never fall behind on your credit card payments. Always pay your balance in full. The U.S.News and World Report explains that 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. Another 30% is based on amounts owed. Don’t ruin your life by having an unpaid credit card balance. There’s a reason why credit card companies offer huge promotions for new card holders. They count on you carrying high balances. It just means more revenue for the credit card companies.

4) Buying a New Car
New cars depreciate very quickly. Payment plans are debilitating. Don’t get more than what you need. The economic, older car will still get you to your destination. What is the purpose of a vehicle? To get you to the destination. Nothing more, nothing less. So why get the big, expensive SUV with all of the bells and whistles? You are not impressing anyone. The seat is not that much more comfortable. If you can’t pay for the car with cash, you probably can’t afford it. Being able to afford the payment is not the same thing as being able to afford the car.

I feel bad for people when they buy a new car. They post a picture on Facebook and everyone “Likes” their new purchase and congratulates them. Why congratulate someone for signing up for another payment plan? Please, don’t encourage the wrong behavior. Instead, I wish more people would recognize payment plans as a form of bondage. Payment plans are miserable. Payment plans are not your friend. They take all your money each month and charge you interest. Doesn’t sound very friendly to me.

5) Spending Too Much on Your House
Housing is the number one expense for most households. Owning a big, fancy house just means a big, fancy payment plan. Mrs. H and I have chosen to live in a modest condo that is completely paid off. It feels wonderful to not be on the payment plan. We could sell our four paid off condos and purchase a very nice house. Instead, we choose to live in a condo and generate rental income on the other 3 condos. There is always an opportunity cost. People justify buying a huge house as an investment. Over the long run, owning a house appreciates at the same rate as inflation. Instead, I consider a house a liability. It takes money away from your monthly income. Anything that negatively impacts your income is a liability in my book. Minimize your liabilities.

Never refinance your house. Refinancing and taking cash out is a bad strategy. This will reduce your net worth and increase your monthly payments. Also, it will cost thousands of dollars in interest and fees.

6) Living Paycheck to Paycheck
This is a miserable way to live. Just think about it, constantly living in fear of not being able to pay your bills. Always one paycheck from being evicted from your home is a terrible way to live. If you believe it is impossible to save money, you are in denial. There are ways. Get creative. Make sacrifices. Avoid eating out. Stop buying the $0.99 soda on your way home from work. This all adds up.

Here is irony: when you get a 20% raise, you still somehow find yourself living paycheck to paycheck. Living paycheck to paycheck is less dependent on your income and more dependent on your choices. There are many low-income earners that are never living paycheck to paycheck. In contrast, there are many high-income earners constantly on the brink of financial ruin. Don’t make excuses. Life is expensive. It always has been and always will be. Just change the way you choose to live.

Bottom Line
You might say that your scenario is unique and there is no way to get out of the rut you are in. I would say that it is possible to get out of your imaginary long term out. Imagine you and I could have a personal conversation. Within 5 minutes we could come up with 5 relatively simple strategies that could be implemented immediately. You can change your circumstances but you must first Believe it is possible. The work every day to make your dream a reality. Life isn’t meant to be dictated by uncontrolled finances. Money is a tool to gain freedom, not lose freedom.

Contributed by Mr. Hammocker

B012PS - WK25 - What you should do and what you don't while having a debt-management services part 2

What you should do and what you don’t while having a debt-management services 2

What you should do and what you don’t while having a debt-management services 2

 

Hi folks… Hope you are enjoying my posts, this is the continuation of the last post. If there is any modification required, regarding my information or my writing, please don’t hesitate to post your suggestions.

Now it is the perfect time to show what you must prevent while looking for a debt management.

Don’ts :

  • Avoid selecting a profit based debt-management company - There are several agencies which will guide the consumers about debt management process. They may offer you budgeting guidance and promise you for saving a huge amount from your dues. They will assure you to negotiate with the lenders to get lower interest rates and monthly installments. It is best to search for an agency which is a non-profitable firm and help you instead asking for more money. Consult your credit counselor whether  he is getting any commission for making the deal with the debt management company. If he does, search for a new one.
  • Don’t trust before judging – You can stop your debts easily by stop paying at the charge- off point in your credit-card bills. Creditors may get agree to give you a good discount while settling your debts.. Non-profit debt-management agencies don’t offer this kind of deals. Nevermind, you can  find different debt-settlement companies which will negotiate with you with such deals, absolutely free. They will also ensure the best possible settlement option is available to you, and you’ll be out of your debts as soon as possible.
  • Do not sign any document before reading  – Don’t sign legal documents without verifying it fully. Your lender or creditor may have added an extra point which might not be as beneficial for you. It might affect on your financial life badly. Hidden clauses in it may put you in a deep financial hardships which can not be revert back. So, it is better to keep your eyes open all the time.
  • Don’t disclose financial information during a call – Your creditor may call you, all of a sudden regarding medical bill, credit card dues or a mortgage installments. If you are ready to deal with your creditor, you must not be stressed by the call. The creditor has no rights to know your banking details or request you for automatic payment.
  • Don’t rush for mistakes – Each…and every time make payments on scheduled dates. Don’t hesitate to pay in advances, keep records of your payments. List up the dates for payment and always try to make payments before time.