Who manages your personal finances? Seems like a silly question, but if you ask many people they will tell you, “no one, my money doesn’t need managing”. “I just pay my bills and spend what I can”. I hear this quite often with those who make a lot of money and those who make a little money.
They are clueless about the fine tuning of their budget and creating finances that will create money that lasts. It is imperative that you
understand budgeting tips and investing tips that create financial
When I give meeting attendees just a few of my suggestions they are surprised at the information that will change their lives. They were surprised to find how hard it is to get the right information.
The following are three things you can do to improve your personal finances. This is part 2 in a four-part series I am writing this month on personal finance.
MANAGE YOUR OWN FINANCES
Managing your own personal finances is crucial. Why does that sound strange – most would say, of course, I manage my own finances? But, for many, that is not true. Wives let husbands manage all the family finances, and there are husbands that let wives handle all the family finances.
Then, there are elderly people who allow adult children to manage their finances. There are even people who allow complete and total strangers to manage their finances since they are convinced they are not capable.
You can and you should manage your own finances – get personal with your finances and stay that way. Married couples should manage their finances together, and everyone else I mention should stay close and manage their own finances – this is the core of personal finance.
If you don’t feel competent enough to manage your own finances, you should think seriously about finding the time or finding help learning how.
YOU CAN GET YOURSELF OUT OF DEBT
I have heard of folks turning their money over to a small business that manages their money to get them out of debt. You can get yourself out of debt if you got yourself into debt. With budgeting tips from MsFinancialSavvy and understanding investing tips, you can monitor your own finances. You know far more about your finances than strangers will ever know.
It is ok to use someone to help you get out of debt but work with that person hands on. Don’t turn your money over to someone else to do it for you.
Not only should you not turn it over, but it is important that you stay close to the process so you can understand how to get out of debt and how to stay out of debt.
Once you have an awareness that you are at a level of debt you should not be in, start to think of what got you there and create ways to stay clear of returning to debt.
UNDERSTAND YOUR FINANCIAL HABITS
Managing your finances and getting out of debt begins with an understanding of your personal finance habits. Some habits are so automatic, it is as if some are spending money with their eyes closed.
They fail to understand the seriousness of their blind spending and the future implications.
You know you are engaged in blind spending when you ask yourself at the end of the month, where did my money go? Create your own budgeting tips, investing tips and create your own ability to save money. You will never be blind to your own finances.
Make sure you watch my latest video here.
The earlier you start great financial habits, the easier your life will become over time. It is hard to make money and stay out of debt. But, when you realize that as a debt snowball happens quickly, a change of financial habits can create a money snowball.
This happens when you understand the power of a budget pared with saving money and investing in dividend stocks and mutual funds.
There are many types of investments, but here I speak of simple investments that are low risk, low cost and low stress. Once you become more experienced with investing you can study investments that are a bit more complicated.
The major concern at this point is to start great financial habits that concentrate on budgeting and simple investments. At the core of budgeting is to also to learn and practice emergency money skills.
A Change in Financial Habits Can Go From A Debt Snowball to a Money Snowball -Lois
1.How to Get Out of Debt, Save Money with Simple Investments and Budget
Ask your parents or grandparents and they will tell you life happens fast, really fast. Two years becomes ten years, in to twenty years and then thirty. it seems like it all happens in the blink of an eye.
So, if you concentrate, you can get out of debt now, save money, budget and invest. In ten years, twenty years and thirty you will be set financially.
Instead of compounded debt, no savings, a sideways budget and nothing invested, you will have a peaceful financial life.
Because, now you have compounded interest on savings and investing through your dividend stocks and mutual fund investments. Your budget keeps you in top notch financial shape.
These are simple investments, so they are easy to learn, easy to maintain and monitor on your own.
2. It is hard to make money and harder to keep it–stay cautious. That is why budgeting is essential
No matter what you do, it is hard to make money. You have to know the right field to go into, how to get into it with low cost, and how to stay in it.
This takes help and mentoring, so don’t be shy; get involved by asking experienced people in the field for help. Start with those you already know.
You have to understand how to write the right resume and research companies best for you and your career. Then you must know who to trust to show you the right way to navigate your field.
There are good people to look up to and emulate in a business, and those you should avoid. This is one quality that makes successful people successful. Approach people carefully.
3. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so stop acting like it does. It will with Simple Investments
The saddest statement I hear unsuccessful people say is, “if only I believed mentors when they told me it may not last”. In this case, my example wage-earner (a female), made a lot of money.
Because there was so much, and sometimes so fast, she thought she was set for life. She felt there would never be a worry about time or money, because it’s happening now, and it will always happen.
Then time started to creep up on the her and she realized there are no guarantees, but it was too late. Just because she once worked for a great company with a great boss, she didn’t understand things can change quickly.
Now, her next company demands more time, more energy and pays less money per hour. All she can think about is the good ole days her only thought was “money grows on trees”.
Fast forward to now, she got a rude awakening seeing that money doesn’t not grow on trees”. Her mentor told her, don’t give up, keep thinking forward, things will get better.
4. No matter how much money you make you can lose it all overnight
You see the stories of the once wealthy entertainers with mansions and several Mercedes. Then, there are the athletes with beautiful houses on the beach. Entertainers and athletes are not the only ones. But also big business owners or the businessman CEO who lived lavish lifestyles, also once wealthy.
Fast forward a few years, the contracts have dried up, the business went under, and the CEO fell out of favor with the board. All of these previously successful people went from seemingly wealthy to poverty overnight.
Losing their income, their lifestyle and the home and cars that came with it. It happened to them, and it can happen to you.
Therefore, when you make good money, it is important to understand you can lose it overnight too. Live a frugal life, put money away, buy homes and cars the smart way.
Save money, and remember that a debt snowball can happen quickly, but also a low debt money snowball can happen quickly, when you save money and budget the right way.
5. Money grows in simple investments such as mutual funds and dividend stocks over time.
Understand how money works in investments to get the best results. Mutual funds pay compounded interest and high asset stocks can pay dividends as they grow. If you add money to a mutual fund on a regular basis, called dollar cost averaging, you will make even more money.
Passbook savings accounts pay simple interest, but they have a purpose too. Some folks won’t use passbook savings account, but one good use is, they can keep money for other purposes to be used later.
Even your coin and dollar jar has a function for immediate small emergencies.
Understand How Money Works In Investments for Best Results -Lois
6. Your emergency money can be kept safely in a passbook savings account.
It’s important to be able to borrow from yourself if you have an emergency so you won’t have to go to the bank and take out a loan. Taking out a loan for an emergency creates another emergency.
It’s even worse when you have to ask others to borrow money. Borrowed money makes for broken relationships in many cases. Borrowed money should be limited to those who are close to you and vice versa.
When the debt snowball of money borrowing starts, you can get backed into a wall with your finances. This does not have to happen if you just take a small portion of your monthly earnings and put them away for a rainy day.
Get savings auto deducted and pretend the money does not belong to you – that will make it easy.
7. Your emergency money is for your emergency, not your friends and not your family.
A big problem some people have is they don’t keep their personal business to themselves. When you don’t, you have a tendency to brag about things no one else should know about.
Be proud of yourself for your financial accomplishments, like building an emergency fund, creating a great budget and learning simple investments. But, keep it to yourself, people will not ask to borrow money they don’t know you have.
This way, you do not run the risk of not having needed emergency funds because you loaned them to someone who did not repay you.
8. Constantly Improve your knowledge, your skills, and your Income.
Grab every chance you can to increase knowledge in your field. Read books, talk to mentors, take classes offered by your employer, and attend conferences.
The more you know the more of a valuable employee or business owner, you become. As you become more valuable, you can rightfully ask for more money or create more income.
Things are constantly getting more expensive, so if you have the right employer or small business practices, your income should keep rising from year to year.
9. There are very few people you can trust, especially with your money and finance.
There is no law saying you have to trust anyone with anything you own, anything you do, or what you invest in.
Educate yourself, do lots of research and know your options, when it comes to everything. Do not put your life on autopilot and do things because they seem good or someone else does it.
Understand money and finance, as though your life depends on it, because it does.
There are very few people you can trust with your money, even professionals. You need to know what investments are available and right for you. If your company has a 401k plan, it’s a good idea to invest in it, understand it, and know your options.
If you want to start a supplemental retirement plan, understand the best investments that are right for you also. So, if you choose an investment advisor you will know what they are doing with your money.
And understand when they are on the right path for you, they don’t always work for your benefit.
Great Financial Habits In Summary
Budgeting, saving money and simple investing seems easy. But, believe me if it were more people would do it, so I am here to help you. It is hard to make money and hard to keep money, some wealthy people lose all of their money overnight.
Starting with this knowledge will help you to be careful and stay safe. Instead of building a debt snowball, understand that when you do things right it is just as easy to build a money snowball.
This happens when you use budgeting, and then onto investing in dividend stocks and mutual funds skills as a way to build wealth.
Your investments should be low cost and low risk as you are learning and growing in knowledge. It is all a matter of habit, starting great financial habits early, will make creating great finances easy.
Emergency accounts seem simple so it is easy to put it off until you have an emergency and you realize you could have been prepared. Do not wait; do it now. The peace of mind you will get with an emergency fund is phenomenal. Keep learning, keep building and keep moving up the pay scale, no matter what you do.
Powerful positive money affirmations are necessary to remove lifelong negative affirmations that dominate your thinking. Because negative financial affirmations start as a child, they become deeply embeded. If you have positive, thoughtful money affirmations placed by your parents and others, you will be positive about money.
Unfortunately, many of you have negative financial affirmations, placed by your family. The good news is negative affirmations can be replaced by positive money affirmations if you are willing to work at it.
What type of work does it take to replace the negative with the positive? It takes a lot of work to change old financial tapes in your head. But you can do it if you make it a concentrated task over time.
Examples of Negative Money Affirmations Growing Up:
1. You will always be poor
2. We will never get out of debt
3. You’ll never work hard enough to get ahead
4. You will always be a factory worker
5. We will never get ahead in life we were born that way
6. The money is not there, and it will never be
7. Success is not for people like us
8. It does not do any good to get an education
9. If you save and budget, the money will get away from you anyway 10. The more you try, the worse off you will be
Your First Positive Affirmation Task
The first task it to become familiar with positive money affirmations. Some of you have been programmed with negative thoughts for so long that you must search for the positive ones deep in your head. Here I have compiled a list of positive money affirmations I created, so you can move forward.
If you consistently repeat these positive money affirmations, you can rid yourself of the constant negative affirmations and thoughts about money, personal finance, and financial behaviors.
You may feel that this is basic information that most of you know. I have bad news for you, it is not. Because many of my clients I have spoken to do not understand where their bad financial behaviors come from I recommended you do a backwards analysis.
Financial Habits Backwards Analysis
This is where a backwards analysis comes in. You look back at everything people close to you have said about money, so you can change those tapes.
We do the analysis to pinpoint the exact times and places the negative thoughts were programmed in your head. Let us move forward and change your financial behaviors for the better by understanding that your money affirmations can be changed by you, and only you.
Examples of Positive Money Affirmations From Parents, Teachers, Grandparents, or others:
1. You are smart enough to be a businessperson
2. The hard work you do will be rewarded
3. If you continue to build on your abilities, you will never be poor
4. When you work hard, as you do, the rewards will follow
5. Honesty pays off, stay honest and work hard
6. A formula of a smart girl, common sense and hard work is what you have, and it will take you far and wide.
7. You will be extraordinarily successful one day and will have all the money you need.
8. You have the brain to create powerful finances, just keep doing your research
9. If you understand how to save and budget money, you will have great finances
10. Be consistent, the harder you work at it the better your chances
Here is Your Positive Money Affirmation Challenge Exercise
Choose one of the affirmations a day for two weeks, write about it and repeat it three times a day. You will slowly change the way you think. Do each of the following positive affirmations until you are done with the list. This positive affirmation challenge will take the better of 9 months to totally change financial behaviors, but sooner with many of your financial behaviors.
Of course, if you double up on your affirmation duties you can do it in half the time. The key to success with affirmations are 1. Be consistent 2. Complete the task 3. Continue to study the most powerful ones for the rest of your life 4. Document how you will use them to change your financial life forever.
22 Powerful Positive Money Affirmations by MsFinancialSavvy
Money Affirmations to Get Started, “I Will”…
Not create emergencies with irresponsible behavior
Create at least 3 savings accounts
and account for all the money I spend
Use my income for my needs first,
I realize I work to pay my bills
Only rent an apartment I can easily afford
Not let a salesperson determine my needs,
Purchase what is best for me, not him or her
Budget my budget
Marry a financially responsible person
Money Affirmations Half Way There, “I Will…”
Always understand quality items lasts long, and low quality must be replaced fast
Not go into business until I understand basic business accounting principles, customer acquisition, and business rents and leases
Spend money according to me income, not my credit card
Be prepared for most financial emergencies.
Not spoil my kids, unless I want to create a monster
Always understand that predatory loans can ruin my life for a long time, sometimes forever
Budget my time, energy, and money
Keep a budget for all phases of my life
Positive Money Affirmations That Change Your Life, “I Will”…
Create a savings account for emergencies only
Save first, invest second, keep debt low and start to build wealth
Dream it, then do it, after a lot of research preparation and thought
Understand that I alone am responsible for my finances,
Another person in the picture ads flavor to the mix
Learn basic investing skills, to protect my money and my retirement
Not believe anything I hear, and only half of what I see, I will do my research
Be the captain of my ship and the driver of my bus, I will take care of my finances
The More You Know, The More You Grow – Your FinancesMsFinancialSavvy, Lois Center-Shabazz
Lois Center-Shabazz| Money Strategist | Course Delta Agency
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You can save on utility bills and then use the money for your budget. I have a lot of experience with utility bills. The many homes I have owned give me experience in utility choices, use, and maintenance. After living in areas with high utility bills and areas with lower utility bills, I can safely say I have utility experience.
The areas with low utility bills have a way of sneaking high cost in if you do not pay attention. Understanding utility use and care is a large part of maintaining a home.
11 Great Ways to Save Money on Utility Bills And Find Money for Your Budget:
1. Lights –use energy efficient light bulbs and automatic on/off switches to conserve energy
When you use overuse lights it makes a big difference in your bill. In some places electric bills are awfully expensive where there is a utility monopoly. Too many families or even singles do not keep what I call, “light awareness”. If you leave a room, turn out the lights, it is that simple.
If you want to use lights for security purposes, use automatic on/off switches. You can pick up one from your local hardware store, there are many examples. These are useful when you go out of town and do not want others to know that no one is home. Just make sure you keep the light use to a minimum.
Energy efficient light bulbs shave considerable money off your bill. Some energy efficient bulbs you will use, will seem to last forever. If you use the combination of low light use and energy efficient lights, you can see low utility bills here by far.
Children are another reason lights are kept on too long. It is OK to explain to your kids, no matter what their age without putting pressure on their little minds. Some kids even feel important when they are asked to help and why.
2. Gas–Keep gas for cooking and fireplaces to minimum to knock a dent in your bill.
Many of you love cooking with gas, so there is a lot of gas being used. There are also gas fireplaces. There are two types of gas. Natural gas usually used in the cities and LP Gas (liquid propane) usually used in rural areas.
Because I have experience with both, I can say that electricity is far cheaper than LP gas in rural areas and natural gas is less expensive than electricity in urban areas.
Because LP gas is so expensive, I never run my pilot in my country home fireplace. Of course, natural gas is cleaner to burn for the environment. To save money, it is best to build a wood burning fireplace, especially where wood is plentiful. Keep all gas appliances during off during non-use to save money on burning. Keeping gas use low, will enable a low utility bills in this area.
3. Water – Is one of the least expensive utilities, but you can save money by controlling use
If there is a leak, you water bill will explode. One way you can find if there is a leak is if your water bill is exceptionally high over past few months. Use only what you need and turn your water off when not in use. Get leaks fixed immediately.
4. Low flow water fixtures are recommended – these save on water and heat
Low flow water fixtures keep the flow to a minimum, so you do not use as much water as if you have a high flow valve. So, they save on water and if it is hot, save on hot water.
The problem is that many people do not understand how important this is and instead they remove the part that restricts the water flow in show heads and faucets. It works best with toilets.
Understanding the difference, it can make in your water and heat bill, will help to understand its importance.
5. Septic/sewer – Avoid busted pipes and improper maintenance
In rural areas or urban areas that have not been fully transformed you will have a septic system instead of city sewer system. It must be maintained with a septic enhancer or you could have an expensive backup. You also must have it cleaned out every few years or you could get into expensive trouble.
6. Landline phone vs cell service – You can now get one monthly fee for local and long distance.
With landline phones you get enhanced 911 calling, which is important for the extremely sick or elderly. This means if you live in a major area the call is traced to your location immediately. The ambulance will know where to go even if you hang up.
With cell service this is usually not the case, they can only tell the general location.
Small Savings Become Big Money Over Time, -Lois
Landlines are usually is less expensive than cell service. The issue is you will not have cell service when you are away from home if you do not own one. There are very inexpensive cell service contracts, you must talk to your chosen carrier and get an inexpensive fit for you. Cell phone contracts are competitive and constantly changing, so stay informed.
7. Heat/air — This is where the cost can be quite high.
The thermostat is king; keeping the thermostat down with heat, and up with air, can save a few thousand dollars a year. Investing in a programmable thermostat will save when you are away. The largest costs come when you must replace your system. Know what the costs are before you ask a professional to replace your system.
Also, updating to an efficient system will save money over time and pay for itself. We upgraded to a complete heat, air, and programmable thermostat modern system and it paid for itself in 3 years. Out bill was almost cut in half. Here is where you can find money for your budget in a huge way.
8. Fireplace – A wood burning fireplace is a great alternative for heat.
You can keep the thermostat down exceptionally low and make up the heat with the fireplace. It will basically take the chill out of the air. But, you will be comfortable.
9 Open windows – In places where you get a cool breeze from windows.
Use natural breeze instead of air conditioning. Air conditioners are an extremely expensive way to cool when you have free cool air. Keeping air conditioning use to a minimum will allow you to find a maximum
10. Energy efficient window coverings help to control the atmosphere.
There are many types of window coverings that control the heat or cold at the surface of the window. Energy efficient window coverings run the gamut from shades to curtains. Check with your local window covering retailer and they will review the best options for your windows.
11. Unplug – plugged up electrical appliances use electricity and generate costs.
Many homeowners and apartment dwellers do not know this. You will see a difference in your electrical bill when you unplug all unnecessary outlets. It is also wise to unplug during major electrical outages to prevent short circuits.
Consistency is the Key to Saving Money, -Lois
If you do not need the lights, gas, air, or heat – keep it off, and you will lower your bill. You will save money on utilities that you can use for your budget, only when you have “utility use awareness”.
Leave home and turn off – do not keep your electricity or heat on if you leave home. There are a few exceptions. An exception would be if you live in an area that gets cold winters and your pipes would freeze if the heat is not kept on low. Remember to wrap pipes, wherever you can to prevent frozen pipes bursting during cold winters.
Use an automatic timer to turn on and off lights when you are away, or they need to be on for an extended time.
Fireplaces are great for heat if you can get the wood at low or no cost.
A septic/ sewer system requires maintenance, find out from your local septic person.
Water is not free, so use it sparingly, in some areas it is downright limited.
You can get an inexpensive landline or cell phone contract, do your research.
These are surefire ways to save money on utility bills. As you use these suggestions, you will see a deep cut in the money you spend on utilities.
You will be surprised that you will find money for your budget, you hadn’t dreamed of. Save money when maintaining a home, by understand how to efficiently use your utilities.
Lois Center-Shabazz| Money Strategist | Course Delta Agency
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What are smart money moves?
A smart money move is a tried and true method for creating financial growth and prosperity after education, research, deep thought, mentorship, and experience has guaranteed they will work. Here are some smart money moves for you to begin with, I will discuss:
- Short term smart money moves you can start now.
- Long term smart money moves that will permanently change you
- Understanding the types of smart money moves that will save your financial life
What are the three types of smart money moves that will benefit you?
1A. Short term smart money moves you can start now
It starts with a guerrilla budget. Judging from the way many of you spend money, I can see that you are not close to any budget, much less a guerrilla budget. A guerrilla budget, as defined by me is “your budget on steroids”. You become the master of your money, not advertising, not spoiled kids, not friends who have financial emergencies, not things you don’t need.
It is you, your tracking your spending and getting rid of everything that is not necessary. Sure, after you get your debt and bills under control you can budget in a few things you enjoy, but first you will start with paying your necessary bills with ease, getting your debts low, and creating a system to have emergency money for your emergencies only.
Learn to say the word no. If you can’t afford it, it should not be a part of your spending process. Your short-term financial goals for the new year should include the following.
- Create a budget planner
You know how much money you take home; you know where you are spending on things you can’t afford, so this is where you start.
- Track everything you spend
Sometimes you spend money that we are not aware of because we don’t pay attention to what we are spending on. Create a budget for everything you spend money on.
Maybe you can’t afford a necessary item this month, but if you pay off another item, or save enough money for a new item you need, you can get it in 3 months. Whatever you do, don’t keep charging for things you don’t have money or income for.
- Plan what you need
Write a plan for daily needs, weekly needs, monthly and for the year. Do you plan to return to school in three years? You need a plan for that. The plan should include an affordable public school where student loans are kept to a minimum and the education is an absolute must for your field.
Many people gain access to good paying jobs, without college, by working their way up in a company getting experience as they go. Many jobs will pay for you to take courses to gain knowledge and some will pay for a college degree.
- Plan what you want
Do you really know what you want? Don’t just take a stab in the dark, know what you want based on experience, knowledge, and research. Many folks get useless education or degrees because they did not research the field and understand “exactly” what is involved.
Occupations change over time, what was in demand 20 years ago, may have no demand now. But some people are still getting into fields with student loans and years of study, only to find out they made a huge mistake and there is no demand in that field.
5. Delete what you can do without, and may not want
Make a list of the things you have or are doing. Then make a second list of the things you can do without. From cable tv to going back to school. What is necessary right now? What can I do to make my life more affordable? What can I eliminate to help get out of debt? These are the questions you need to put at the top of your list.
What are long term smart money moves?
2A. Long term smart money moves
If you will ever have enough money, you must learn sane savings techniques, these techniques have been created by me for you. Your long-term financial goals should start with money all over the place. Sounds crazy, but it is possible, no matter what your income. There are many ways with these smart money moves.
- Start with the dollar and coin jar, save regularly here
Get two simple jars, at least a foot high. Every week empty a handful of coins in your coin jar, place at least a few dollars in your dollar jar, between $2 and $10 dollars. This money will accumulate until the jars are full. Don’t use any of the money until the jars are full.
When they are full, you can use them for inexpensive, minor emergencies. But they need to always be half full. When it gets full, take out the coins, redeem them at the store where there is a coin exchange, take the money from the coins and take half the dollars to the bank.
They will be placed in your passbook savings accounts. The remaining dollars will be used for your small emergencies or expenses.
- Don’t be afraid of a basic passbook savings account for emergencies. Yes, I said passbook savings account. This is your first great savings account. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking, “I am not getting much in the way of interest”.
The interest is not the important issue at this point. The issue is accumulation of funds for short term emergencies’ and long-term smart money moves. This is where we accumulate.
Your short-term smart money moves will be born in your passbook savings account. Everything sprouts from here. Try to put at least $50 to $200 a month in your passbook savings account.
- Use your overage in your basic account every six months to fund a higher interest account as you accumulate money in your passbook savings account, it will be added to pay off bills, purchase short term more expensive emergencies or add to a higher interest savings account.
- Use your passbook account to fund your needs
Write down your immediate short-term money moves as they relate to your needs. An example would be to pay off a $400 credit card balance when I accumulate $600 in my passbook savings account.
- Use your dollar and coin jar to fund your immediate wants
The dollar and coin jar are for super short-term smart money moves as well as to fund your passbook savings account. A super short-term money move would be to fix the cracked screen on my cell phone or hire a gardener to weed and trim your over-grown yard.
3A. Understanding the types of smart money moves that will save your financial life
If you don’t understand the smart money moves of big thing buying you can ruin your finances for a long time, buying cars, homes, and an education.
I talk to people all the time who tell me they wish they would have put more thought into purchasing a car, going back to school or even buying a home. There is never a rush.
Making the wrong decisions when it comes to major items can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars you could have saved. Remember, you have many choices, and there is never a need to rush. Do your research, do your homework – identify all your options.
- Make “paying off” a car or credit card a goal
I talked to a young girl just a few months ago. She wanted to get her finances in order. I told her you have first start with critical thinking, not allowing advertisers to tell you how to purchase. They recommend high-profit items that benefit their pockets, not yours.
I told her the example of refinancing a car. She, said “STOP”, I already made that mistake. She said she saw an ad to refinance her car for a lower interest rate, she did and then her sister pointed out to her, “do you realize that you just added two years to your car note?”.
She told her, after looking at her paperwork that the two years she had left on her car loan was now four years with her new loan, adding an additional two years. She would have been better off paying a slightly higher interest rate she had and paying off the car in the two years she had remaining.
That was not a smart money move and shows how it happens when you allow propaganda advertising to influence you.
- Use the monthly budget you have from a payoff to save money
When you pay off a bill, you now have extra money, use at least half of that money to place in passbook savings. The other half will be used to put on other bills.
- Do research on a new car if you need it
New cars are expensive especially when you add the first-year warranty service and the cost of general maintenance and vehicle registration. So, look hard for an affordable new car or consider a CPO, or certified pre-owned car. These are cars that you purchase on the used side of a new car lot, they are less than 5 years old, have about a 150-point check and you get a warranty.
- Buying a home is still possible in some states with a middle income, start your research
Homes are getting extremely expensive in the larger more populace states such as California, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. as well as others. But there are many states especially in the south and mid-west where you can buy affordable homes if you are middle income. But I caution you to do your research, do your homework first.
- Set a budget for the home you can afford
The most important thing you can do before you think about purchasing a first home or even a second or third, is to set a budget. That budget is based on what you can afford after your down payment, after you have paid off bills, and after you have sold things you don’t need, an example would be a car with a large car payment, may be something you could get rid of.
16. Start a savings account for a home you can afford
After you establish your affordability index, you can now start to save for your new home. I have discussed the many ways to save money above, so you have many ideas. You will need to save for the down payment, the escrow costs, and any repairs that may be needed.
17. Choosing a college; there are no guarantees, research is paramount
Going to college in the United States is tricky these days. The number one goal should be to keep you and your parents out of debt. There are affordable public colleges, consider those first. Private colleges have a lot of hidden cost. For-profit colleges, (that is those that advertise on television constantly and are located online only, or in a strip mall or office building – usually no real college campus, they have quick classes), the cost is high, and the jobs are few. Some employers will not hire from for-profit colleges.
18. Focus on finding an affordable not-for profit college, preferably brick and mortar There are many affordable non-profit public colleges. Do your research be through, keep student loans at no or low, very low.
19. Find great careers that don’t require college
There are many careers that don’t require college and some online course that are very cheap, but have great careers connected to them.
20. Research community college degrees that pay well, computer science, registered nursing, dental hygiene, at a community college you can get a certificate or an associate degree. From that degree you can get a great starting job, depending on the course matter or you can transfer to a 4-year college if your state permits.
The following demonstration shows you that smart money moves can and will put you on tract to great financial growth when you pay attention to the details.
Shop with Cash for the Holiday Season
Save money for the holiday season by shopping with cash, sounds simple but the number or people who shop with credit cards, feeling that their budget is unlimited is huge. You don’t have to fail at holiday shopping just because your neighbor is, or you THINK everyone else is.
Your misery afterwards will only be shared by you, not others. So, when you keep that in mind that will make it easier to shop with cash and save money for the holiday season.
Also considered cash, as a standalone debit card, where you can go to your bank and ask to purchase a debit card with the maximum amount you want to spend. You can also purchase debit cards everywhere these days, grocery stores, drug stores and other places.
Save Money When You Set Aside a Limited Amount for the Holiday Season
If you have saved in a holiday savings account, take the money now to shop for the holidays. If you have not, start a savings account now, you still have time to save for the holidays.
No matter what you plan to buy, there absolutely must be a limit to avoid going into debt. Set your limit and stick with it no matter what. You can find out how much everything cost and do comparison shopping by going online, online price comparisons are quick and easy.
Make Sure You Shop with a List
Take your list with you when you shop. Save time, money and gas by mapping out your route before you shop. Some folks will go from store to store wasting precious gas money, sometimes as far away as 20 or 30 miles.
Know before you go holiday shopping by 1. Knowing exactly what you plan to buy, 2. Know where you plan to buy it, 3. choose several stores in the same location so you don’t waste money on gas.
Don’t Shop During the Holiday Season When You are Tired or Hungry
If you holiday shop when you are tired or hungry, you will tend to over-shop, so you leave the store quickly. Your thought process becomes “muddled” and you buy stuff you would not have bought if you were relaxed and on a full stomach.
And, when you’re tired you will tend to make mistakes due to a cloud in your thought patterns. When you are hungry, your stomach starts to growl, you will think more about getting something to eat than what you are picking up off the shelves.
So, sounds like common sense, but a lot of people just don’t take the time to note whether they are hungry or tired before they go holiday shopping, so a warning to you, “take note” of your condition before you leave the house.
Your Kids May Not be the Best People to Help You Buy Holiday Gifts
Don’t ask your kids for advice on buying gifts for others. Most kids just don’t have the ability to understand the limits you should put on every single gift.
So, you be the “captain of the gift buying ship” and decide what you will buy, and only you decide. Of course, you can ask your kids to give you choices for themselves and let them know you will choose a few holiday gifts from their choices.
Don’t let your kids think “money grows on trees” during the holidays, let them know there is a limit.
Can You Really Afford That Holiday Party?
Holiday parties are all over the place during the holidays. But, before you go all out for your holiday party, ask yourself if it makes sense to spend the money.
To make it an affordable holiday party, you can do a “potluck”, where everyone brings a dish. And to make it less work for you, ask a few friends or family to be on the cleanup crew.
Ask everyone to bring a unisex gift under $10, and pick names from a hat to give a gift at the party. Here I have created at least 3 ways to save money during the holiday season.
Why Holiday Gifts Don’t Always Cost Money
You can teach your kids or grandkids that holiday gifts don’t always cost money. For example, you know that pantry you wanted to clean and organize – let you child know that would be a great Christmas gift to Mom.
Your elderly neighbor’s yard may need to be cut and trimmed – let your child know that would be a great gift to the neighbor who watches your house when you are on vacation or who brings in your newspaper when you come home late.
Maybe your attic is cluttered and disorganized, let your children know that would be a great gift to Mom and Dad to have them declutter and organize the attic. These are a few suggestions for “holiday gifts” that don’t always cost money, you can think of more.
Your Holiday Budget Does Not Have to be Complicated
Plan for your holiday budget. When it comes to your holiday budget, please don’t throw “caution to the wind”. In other words, take your holiday shopping serious and you can save serious money during the holidays.
It is easy to get distracted with all the beautiful holiday decorations and Christmas music in the stores. Even if you shop online, which many of us love to do, most of us want that holiday experience in the stores also.
But, be careful, that experience is alluring. But you can keep your head on straight as long as you realize that the atmosphere is designed to make you spend all the money in your pocket and on your credit card.
Save Money with Re-arrangement For Your Holiday Budget
You can re-arrange your monthly spending to include enough gift money for the holidays. Cut back on something you don’t need to buy or do for the next few months, that you have done on a regular basis.
That may be going out to eat once a week or saving money on gas by skipping your weekly card game. You can think of at least a few things you regularly do that you can cut back on for the holidays, then use that money for holiday spending.
Write Down Your Holiday Budget and Your Holiday Gifts
The more you write, the more you save. Writing down your savings just keeps you, your mind and heart, informed about the money you are spending moment by moment.
If you know how much you must spend, in most cases you won’t go over your spending amount. It also lets you know when it is time to leave the store or online shopping site.
The more you write, the more you will become aware of your limits. All you need is a small diary, some cell phones come with a writing pad, you can use that. Also, you can use a word document if your cell phone permits.
Write a Diary of Holiday Gifts and Why Everyone Deserves it
Know who deserves which holiday gift. Make a note of why they deserve the gift. For example,
1. If your son brought his grades up and learned to keep his room clean, 2. If your daughter does household chores without being told.
3. The times your neighbor took you grocery shopping and to run errands when your car was in the shop.
4. When your sister helped you get your car fixed after you lost your job. These are just a few examples, but you get the idea.
The holiday gifts should be in line with the deeds. The holidays are a great opportunity to let folks know that you appreciate them and what they have done for you during the holidays. It is also a great opportunity to teach your kids or grandkids why we give gifts with a purpose.
Set a Holiday Budget Spending Limit According to Importance
You know what your holiday spending limit is. Unfortunately, too many shoppers go over that limit before they realize they put themselves in holiday debt.
Keep the credit card in your pocket. You can use cash or get a debit card with a limit, at your bank. So, if your Holiday spending limit is $500 dollars, you would get a debit card for $500 and keep track of all your receipts and balances left.
Remember That You Don’t Ever Have to Spoil Your Kids During the Holidays
I haven’t figured this out yet, but some parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, feel it is important to spoil their kids for the holidays. My suspicion is they feel their kids won’t feel loved if they don’t get all the material things they want. Not true.
Love is not gifting it is positive time and attention. So, when you feel you have to buy that over-priced gift or another gift they may not use after a short time, try sitting and have a long thought-out conversation with your child about their life, and what they do when they leave the house, their friends, their favorite interest.
Kids feel important when adults, especially their parents show them they care enough to have a deep and long conservations with them about their interest. So, the gifts should not only be in line with what they deserve, but also, what you can afford.
Who is The Most Important Person on Your Holiday List?
Make a list of your holiday persons. I know this sounds like favoritism and it is, so start at the top and move to the bottom with a list of the most important to the least important people to give a holiday gift to.
The most important may be a spouse, parent or child who has been special to you during the year, the least important may be the holiday secret gift at work. No matter who gets a gift, make sure you keep it in perspective and give accordingly.
I have listed 14 ways to save money for the holiday season, now that I have you started, you can think of more.
It Starts With a Guerrilla Budget
I have had several people online contact me and say, “I never thought I needed a budget, much less a guerrilla budget” Most of them feel that budgets are for those who have a lot of money.
But, I am here to say, it does not matter how much you have, it’s how much you budget what you have. Rich people go broke all the time for the same reasons poor people go broke.
In my opinion, they both spend to much money for their income. Budgeting is a skill, the more you practice it the better you will get at it. So, start now, and perfect your budgeting skills.
How Much You ‘Budget What You Have’ Will Make a Difference by:
Budgets save you money in many ways. First, it encourages you to put savings in your budget I encourage those who don’t have much money to start with “the jar”. Place loose change in a jar once a week. Then go on to the second jar which is the dollar jar. You will place a few dollars in the dollar jar a week or every two weeks.
This will give you more of a cushion than the coins if something goes awry in your budget, like running out of food or needed extra gas. This will help to keep your budget in tack.
After your jars are full, open a savings account, then later, start automatic deduction from your payroll or checking account to your savings.
A budget controls your behavior by preventing you from randomly pulling out a credit card or spending on things you don’t need. When you pass the dress or shoe store your budget sense will tell you to keep going because those things are not in your budget.
When you get an email from a clothing store you purchased from in the past, your budget will tell you to delete the email, there is no reason to open it.
This may seem like common sense, but many people spend excessively and don’t realize it until there is so much clutter they can’t find a place to put their buys, or a place to use it.
It is only then, that many realize they are developing a hoarding personality. Creating a budget. and sticking to it will help tremendously to prevent over-buying, the fear of hoarding and busting your budget, will encourage you to budget what you have.
Budgeting is not taught in most schools, many of your parents do not have a budgeting sense, so it is important to get it from other resources.Start with
my Car Buying Course for Women.
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