Archive for June, 2016

Save Big With a Savings Jar

canstockphoto26074840Can a savings jar easily get you in the path of saving a lot of money? Those coins that you find under your sofa can grow significantly over time. The purpose of having a savings jar is for you to stay motivated and stick with your savings plan.

Keeping a savings jar will can help you to set short-term and long-term goals. This is an easy way to put money aside for a family vacation, home renovation projects, or to build your savings.

Here are some methods you can use to reach your financial goals:

 

1. The $5 bill savings plan. This strategy involves saving a $5 bill by placing the money in the jar each time you receive it as change from your purchases. This savings plan can easily be modified to a $10 or $20 bill.

Instead of spending your $5 bill, you should save it and allow it to slowly build up the contents of the savings jar.

If you’re unable to save even a dollar right now, you can always start out by saving your loose change.

 

2. The 52-Week Money Challenge. This method is quite popular among people that are looking for ways to reach their financial goals. This will gradually increase your savings each week of the year. Here’s how to do it:

Get started by putting $1 in your jar the first week of the month. Then add $2 the second week, $3 the third week and so on. Once you add $52 the last week of the year you’ll save $1,378 by using this simple strategy.

Keeping a print or an online calender can help you stay on track of your savings plan. Each week can be labeled at the beginning with the amount of money that you need to add in your savings jar.

 

It may be easy for you to save $1 or $2 at the beginning of the plan, but can be a challenge to save $52 at the end of the year. This savings method will encourage you to think ahead and find ways to save money.

 

3. The traditional change method. Saving your pocket change by automatically placing it in the jar is the most popular strategy among savers. This may seem like it won’t make much of a difference, but this can actually create big results!

Simply add all of your loose change in the savings jar every time you make a purchase.

 

4. The Payday Savings Plan. Consider adding a specific amount of money to your savings jar after cashing your paycheck.

The payday savings plan will also work for couples. You can add a certain amount of money along with your partner each pay period and add it to the savings jar. This always works best if you have a financial goal set in place.

Whether you are trying to save up for a family vacation or a new electronic gadget, figure out how much money you will need to save each month from your paycheck and remember to always pay cash instead of accumulating credit card debt.

 

5. The Inspirational Savings Plan. It works best if you keep a photograph of the item or a specific goal that want to achieve. It can be placed somewhere near the savings jar on the lid so you’ll see it every day. Place the savings jar in the living room or the kitchen counter so it is visible. Including the entire family will produce the best results.

You can add the inspiration photo of a new Smart TV or a romantic cruise to a frame. Simply writing the goal down on a sheet of paper can also be helpful.

 

The photo will serve as a constant reminder of why it’s important for you to stick with your savings plan.

 

6. Start a $20 Weekly Savings Plan. The $20 weekly plan is an excellent alternative to the 52 Week money plan. You can place a $20 bill in the savings jar instead of slowly building your savings throughout the year.

 

Alike the 52 Week Money Challenge, you can track your savings on a calender or chart. This will allow you to save $1,040 at the end of the year.

 

A savings jar is a great way to help you to help you reach your financial goals. Make a commitment today and watch your money grow!

canstockphoto8732083How important is it to save for your retirement? It is essential to save up for your retirement savings as early as  possble. After all, the days of employer funded pensions are long gone and the retirement age is often delayed since Social Security is running out of funds.

Some financial advisors strongly recommend that people save enough money to cover at least 75% of their pre-retirement income to fund their retirement savings.

Many people find it challenging to save money to pay their bills since the cost of food, housing and healthcare is constantly on the rise. No matter your age or how much money you’re currently making, there are easy ways you can boost your retirement savings.

Use these tips to increase your retirement savings and ensure that your financial future is secure:

1. Start saving money right now. If you haven’t already started contributing to your 401(k) or any other retirement plan, start now. If you’re unable to contribute 10% of your income, start small. You should try to save 1 or 2 percent of your gross income. Increase the amount that you contribute, especially if you get a raise or receive bonuses from your employer.

When your employer matches a percentage of your 401(k) contribution, you have a 100 percent instant return on your investment. Contribute at least the minimum to qualify for any match offered by your employer when you enroll in the company’s plan.

Open an IRA or Roth IRA if your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan. IRAs can help you to lower your annual tax bill that can give you hundreds of dollars you can use to increase your nest egg. Don’t make the mistake of spending your savings!

2. Delay your retirement. Working longer and retiring at a later age will boost the amount of money that you will receive for your Social Security benefits. This will also shorten the length of time you’ll need to draw from your retirement savings.

As you’re approaching retirement age, look for ways to make additional income streams that are separate from your salary. You can use your skills to freelance your expertise or start a small business or a home-based business. Increasing your income will allow you to add more to retirement savings.

3. Get out of debt. Before you retire, make sure all of your debts are paid off. Most budgets are comprised of debt payments. Therefore, it will make it nearly impossible to add to your retirement savings. The best solution is to create workable budget that will eliminate outstanding debt over a certain time period.

Plan to get out of debt before you retire so that you’ll need to save less for your retirement. As you’re decreasing your debt, you should remain disciplined rather than falling into the trap of experiencing more financial woes or wasting money that can be saved for your retirement fund on unnecessary purchases.

4. Downsize your lifestyle. When you create your budget, take a good look at how much you are paying on your rent or mortgage. Determine if you should move into a smaller house with lower costs. If it have a negative affect on your budget, consider getting a smaller place with lower costs for the upkeep. In addition to downsizing your home, you can sell items that you won’t use any longer and add the proceeds from the sale to add to your retirement savings.

Finding ways to save up for your golden years can be a difficult and time consuming task if you don’t know what to do. However, if you implement these tips, it will make it easier to boost your savings to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

canstockphoto21350556Credit counseling services are often receiving mixed reviews. There are many reputable services out there. You should take precaution since there are also credit counseling companies with a bad reputation. Credit counseling is now required before filing for bankruptcy If you’re looking for help dealing with your outstanding debt, be aware of the advantages and pitfalls of using a credit counseling company.

Pros of Credit Counseling

1. Credit counseling services make it easier to negotiate with creditors. Some creditors are willing to discuss payment plans with credit counselors. You may get a better deal and more breathing room by using a credit counseling service.

2. Make it possible to consolidate your payments. Many firms will allow you to consolidate your debt into a single payment each month. You will be making a payment to the credit counseling company. Remember, the credit counseling firm must make all of the individual payments on your behalf.

3. It can make it easier to get a new line of credit. One of the benefits to getting credit counseling is new credit will be secured for you. They will actually work to have your credit card applications approved.

4. Put a stop to harassing calls. The bill collectors will leave you alone once you’re on a repayment plan. You can easily do this yourself by making a request in writing.

Finding a reputable and honest credit counseling service can be helpful for getting out of debt. There are many advantages to using a well-qualified credit counselor. But there are also some disadvantages to watch out for.

Cons of Credit Counseling

1. The creditors may not receive your payments. There are numerous complaints filed each year of credit counseling companies failing to send the payments to the creditors.

2. They may not deliver on their promises. Some companies will use tactics to get their hands on your money by false advertisements that’s too good to be true. After the credit counseling company get their portion, your situation may remain the same.

3. It can possibly affect on your credit rating. There is one method that can make your credit worse. The credit counselor may suggest for you to stop making payments on your debt and put the payments into an account instead.

Your counselor would approach by suggesting to pay off the debt at a reduce amount once a large lump sum is accumulated. Your credit will suffer due to nonpayment during this process. Make sure that you choose a reputable credit counseling firm since the money in the account is under their control.

As you can see, the potential drawbacks are serious. It’s very important to do your own research to find a reputable credit counseling service. Many consumers are led to believe that a service with a non-profit status is reputable. You should remember that a non-profit is a company isn’t about earning a profit.

You’ll be able to find a counseling service in your area that you can visit in person. Checking with the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau is an effective way to see if there are any complaints or legal action taken against the company. Doing an online search can also help you find complaints and negative reviews from consumers.

Ask about the fees and the services that they offer. Also find out how many of their employees are paid a salary. Are they compensated for signing their customers up for certain services? Make sure you receive it in writing since verbal promises can be conveniently forgotten and hard to prove.

Credit counseling can be beneficial or challenging to your goal of eliminating debt. Find a reputable credit counseling firm by doing your own research thoroughly. Following these tips will move you in the right direction.

7 Characteristics of Successful Savers

canstockphoto15497150Do you consider yourself to be a good saver? Very few people often save enough money to maintain a reasonable level of financial security .Many seniors are forced to work well into their retirement years. Adopting great saving habits can make building your savings considerably easier. Making a few small changes may be all you need to have a bright financially abundant future.
Saving money will be a slow process at first and may require many years for you to see impressive results. Nevertheless, your habits dramatically influence your results over time.

You will become a successful saver by adopting these habits:
1. Successful savers pay themselves first. It is natural for our instincts to steer us in unproductive directions. Many people feel compelled to pay all of their bills first before saving their money. It would be nice to avoid the mental burden of bills and other financial obligations. However, there’s hardly anything left at the end of the month to put toward your savings. Make a habit of saving a certain percentage of every dollar that you earn or receive each pay period.

Start out with 2% of your income if that’s all you can afford right now. Make an effort to increase the amount over time. Avoid spending this money at all costs!

2. Automatically save their money. It’s much easier and more convenient to simply have the money from your paycheck direct deposited into your bank account before you have the opportunity to spend it. There are many employers that are willing to split your paycheck and send a portion to a separate account on your behalf. This is one of the easiest ways for you to save money.
3. Learn to control their spending habits. The less money that you spend, the easier it will be for you to save. Review your spending pattern over the last month and determine if all of your money was well spent. Don’t be down on yourself if it wasn’t. Start monitoring your spending each month. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be amazed about how much money you have accumulated.
It is reasonable for you to expect an annual return of 10% on your long-term investments. For every $100 that you spend today would be worth nearly $750 in 20 years only if it had been invested. Spending $100 when you’re at the age of 20 can cost you nearly $8,850 once you reach 65 years of age.
You should always shop with a grocery list. We’ve all gone to the store for a couple of items and came home with far more than expected. Before you leave home write out a list of what you need and stick to it.

4. Avoid getting into debt. Trying to save while in debt is similar to climbing a mountain and never reaching the top. Consumer debt is an obstacle that will make it difficult to achieve any financial goal. Anytime you’re unable to pay cash for any purchase, you simply can’t afford it.

Avoid accumulating any unnecessary debt unless it’s for an emergency or something that’s very important that needs to be paid for immediately.

5 .Set goals. Saving money is a lot easier if you have a clear picture of the reason. In other words “What is your why?” For example, saving enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement or sending your child to college can help maintain your focus.

6. Stay on top of their finances. Most savers are aware of how much money is in their accounts and the amount of money they’ve saved and spent each month. They also keep a close watch on all of their income and expenses.

7.Take responsibility for their finances. They always pay their bills on time, stay out of debt and have an emergency fund for the future. They also take responsibility for all aspects of their financial life instead of blaming others.

As you can see, it’s possible to save enough money to secure your future. Creating good saving habits will enhance your results. By making a few minor adjustments, you can watch your savings grow a lot sooner than you’ve imagined. Start creating a budget and savings plan today!