Category: Personal Finance

How to Save Money While Searching for a New Job

searching for a new job

As of February 2018, the American unemployment rate sat at approximately 4.1%.

Being unemployed and searching for a new job can feel undoubtedly overwhelming and stressful.

If you’ve been recently laid off, you may be scrambling around, trying to set your finances order, apply for new positions, and doing what you can to keep sane in the process.

You may also be stressed about all the upfront costs, such as interview clothes or gas mileage, that come with searching for a new job.

We’ve got you covered on the best tips for saving money during this stressful process. Let’s dive in!

Cut Back on Living Expenses

This should go without saying, but when you’re searching for a new job, money will probably feel a bit tight. This is especially true if you are supporting your family or experiencing a major wage loss.

Fortunately, there are several areas that you can cut back on. For example, can you reevaluate your grocery budget and eliminate or cut back on eating out? What about finally committing to cutting the cable cord?

When you’re jobless, every cent counts. You don’t need to be buying any luxuries or indulgences right now.

The only expenses to continue focusing on? Ones that are related directly to a job. This can include headshots, resume-building services, gas, your cell phone bill, and the Internet.

Anything else? Wait until that first paycheck comes in.

Upgrade Carefully

So, you’ve landed a few interviews, but you have nothing to wear? You were diligent and followed the guideline to cutting back on living expenses, but what if you desperately need a haircut and some clean shoes?

As we know, interviews are your first (and sometimes only) impression to show off what you got to your potential employer. If you look shabby, this may reflect very poorly on your potential performance.

With that in mind, you don’t need to blow hundreds of dollars on an expensive interview outfit or makeover.

Check out the local Goodwill or consignment stores near you. Many people outgrow their work clothes (weight change, pregnancy, change in styles), and so many of these stores have plenty of business casual clothing in stock.

No luck? Check out online retailer or apps like eBay or Poshmark where you can score some serious discounts. Or, just ask your friends and family if you can borrow one of their outfits!

As for your hair? Check out a local cosmetology school. You’ll get a polished new look at a fraction of a salon price.

You don’t have to worry about major hair disasters either. All students receive supervision and monitoring from trained, licensed professionals.

File for Unemployment

Before searching for a new job, take care of the financial matters from your last job.

You’ll need to file a claim with your state’s unemployment program to receive benefits. This means you should contact the program immediately after you become unemployed.

When you file your claim, you will need to provide information about your job, such as the dates you worked and the facility address.

It may take between 2-4 weeks after you file your unemployment claim to receive your first check. Some states work faster than this, but it’s important to realize that it won’t happen instantaneously.

And, remember unemployment benefits aren’t just for employees who get laid off. Many states offer benefits for fired employees, as long as the firing wasn’t due to intentional misconduct.

Get Your Healthcare Appointments

Were you procrastinating on that dental exam or a yearly check-up with your primary care physician due to a busy schedule? Well, now is the time to make those much-needed appointments.

If you are on an employer-sponsored insurance plan, you’ll likely receive your health benefits until the end of the month. Take advantage of the coverage and make it a point to schedule any needed appointments.

If you need to extend your coverage, you’ll want to apply through the COBRA federal program.

Hang Onto Your Receipts

Did you know that the IRS will let you deduct certain job-hunting expenses? Even if it’s not a ton of money, every little cent helps, right?

A few helpful deductions to keep in mind:

  • employment and outplacement agency fees
  • preparing and mailing resume or application copies
  • travel expenses related to looking for the job

You cannot deduct any job search expenses if there is a significant break between the end of your last job and the time you begin searching for a new job. You also cannot write off anything if you’re looking for a job for the very first time.

Furthermore, you need to itemize your expenses to receive a deduction. Currently, your miscellaneous expenses related to searching for a new job must exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to hang onto any receipts related to your job-searching expenses. Consult with your CPA to determine if you will qualify for any tax breaks.

Commit to a Disciplined Schedule

The best way to stay sane while searching for a new job? It’s all about the discipline and motivation that you hold onto.

Listen, it’s easy to feel burnt or discouraged in a tough job market. It’s easy to feel depressed or anxious and give up hope.

But, these are all traps! They only keep your spirits down, and guess what? They don’t put any more money in your pockets. Instead, commit to landing yourself a job by putting in a dedicated hustle.

Reach out to your network. Got outdated documents or cover letters? Follow the complete guide to creating your resume.

Set daily and weekly goals for yourself for applying to X amount of positions. Stay active and stay on track.

No, this doesn’t mean you have to grind it out all day. In fact, you should take routine breaks. But, if you treat your unemployment like a job- with disciplined hours and goals- you’ll be well on your way to landing a job in no time.

Prioritize (Cheap) Self-Care

It may seem counterintuitive to allow yourself to relax while searching for a new job, but stress reduction is critical for maintaining a positive mindset and attitude.

When you do land that dream interview, you want to go in feeling assured and confident, right?

Make sure that you’re still taking care of yourself in the meantime. This means eating a healthy diet, working out regularly, engaging in pleasant activities (like art, movies, outdoor activities), and spending time with people that you love.

You want to stay sane during this process. It will help you in both the short run and the long run, and you’ll be thankful that you took care of yourself once you land that dream gig.

Get Your Side Hustle On

Did you know that more than 44 million Americans have an active side hustle? As you’re searching for a new job, it’s important to think outside the box.

You may want to focus on a creative pursuit or other job opportunities that you’ve “pushed aside” because you haven’t had the time.

In today’s increasingly digital age, you can essentially start a side hustle with very little to no money.

In fact, many people find their passion and niche in working from home, and this may be just the time to plunge in and start your own business!

Whether it’s blogging or crafting, photography or cooking, you may want to consider investing some time and energy into your own side hustle. Who knows? It may end up becoming your next successful career move.

Take What You Can Get

If money is especially dire, you may need to jump on the first opportunity you can land, even if it’s not the ideal career.

Yes, this may mean working in a position that you’re overqualified for, but it’s important to say open and avoid being picky- especially when the bills need to be paid.

Look for businesses that are hiring for seasonal help, such as restaurants or amusement parks during tourist seasons and retail stores and malls around the holidays.

If you can only secure part-time work, take whatever you can. It’s always better to make some money than none at all.

With that said, it’s important to stay active and on top of your job search during your downtime. Your “what you can get” job is a temporary gig, and it should be treated as such.

Final Thoughts on Saving Money While Searching for a New Job

Nobody likes the frantic feelings that come with unemployment, but most of us will face the distress at some point in our working lives.

Stay focused, and stay the course. If you do just that, you’ll be back in the working world in no time at all.

Interested in learning more ways to live frugally no matter what your circumstance is? Be sure to check out our blog today!

Buying a House: How to Prepare Financially

buying a house

Are you looking at buying a house? Before you start looking at homes, you need to make sure all of your finances are together. 88% of all homebuyers in 2016 financed their homes.

The need to understand the finances surrounding a home purchase is crucial.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at what you need in order to get your finances together for a home purchase.

Preparing Your Credit For Buying A House

Having a great credit score is an important thing when you’re buying a house. If your credit is not where it should be, there are ways you can prepare it before submitting a mortgage application.

One of the best places you can start is by getting a free credit score to see what’s on your credit report. There are a ton of valid and secure websites that do this for free. You may also be able to get a credit report from your bank.

Analyze Your Credit Report

Once you have your credit report in your hands, it’s important to look it over thoroughly. Getting your initial credit report six to nine months before you start home shopping is the best way to start to turn your score around if it’s not so great.

If you have late payments on accounts or other things that reflect in a negative light, having this time is key. If you know that you pay your bills and accounts on time, getting your credit report a couple of months in advance is appropriate. This way you can make sure there are no mistakes.

Find Inaccuracies

Does your credit report have any invalid or inaccurate information on it? Finding these mistakes is important so you can dispute them. The dispute goes directly to the credit report company. Having mistakes or errors on your credit report can significantly affect or lower your credit score.

It’s imperative that these mistakes be addressed so your report is accurate and up to date.

Keep Old Lines of Credit Open

Having older lines of credit open help to give your credit score a boost when you’re buying a house. You may have a line of credit open that you haven’t used in several years. Even if you haven’t used it, it’s still good to keep it open.

If they aren’t in good standing, closing them may help. For those that are older and are in good standing, they consistently add good points to your overall credit.

Don’t Open New Ones

Opening new lines of credit can put a temporary dent in your credit score. It’s recommended that you hold off taking out any new loans or opening any credit lines for up to six months before applying for buying a house.

Opening up a new line of credit is viewed as a risk because the credit report company doesn’t know how well you’re doing to treat that credit. If you have to open up a new line, wait until after your mortgage application has been approved.

Charging to Your Existing Credit Lines

Buying a house can be an exciting time! The worst thing you could do though is to go out and buy things. Resisting the urge to purchase new appliances and decorations before the process of buying a house has come to a close will benefit you.

Even if your loan has been approved, if you don’t meet the conditions or violate the terms of debt, they have the right to cancel and disqualify you for your loan.

Hiring Financial Advisors

Having financial advisors to help you in the process of buying a house can make the process easier. The financial terms and conditions are complex and overwhelming.

Knowing the terms, what they stand for, and how to deal with them comes with years of experience. From making an initial offer on a home to the closing process, financial advice is necessary unless you’re already a financial guru.

Unless you’re an expert, you don’t know what is coming, what it means, or the best way to deal with it. Here are a few financial advisors you can hire to help you in this process.

Real Estate Agent

Are you using a real estate agent for your home buying process? They have great advice about finances because they have to be savvy on how to place an offer. They know the ins and outs of offers, negotiations, and closing.

They can analyze the home listing and verify the worth of a home. They can inform you on whether the asking price is too high or too low and what negotiations you can bring into play.

While they aren’t financial advisors, if you already have a real estate agent, getting their advice is going to help you out.

Mortgage Lender

It’s important to be especially choosy when selecting a mortgage vendor. You want someone that is going to look out for your best interests and be able to help you out when you have questions.

If you just go with a mortgage lender that has the best rates and don’t take personality into account, it may come back to haunt you. Find someone that will go out of their way to give you one-on-one support and establish a valuable relationship with you.

Attorney or Lawyer

A lawyer is often provided by your real estate agent at your home closing. In the case that it isn’t, you’ll want to hire one to help you go through all the paperwork. It’s important that you know exactly what is being said in the contracts and make sure there isn’t something you don’t agree with.

Having all of these financial advisors on your team, or just one assists you in buying a house and ensures you get the best experience possible.

Are Your Finances Prepared?

Now you have some actionable steps you can take to determine if your finances are ready enough to purchase a home.

If they aren’t, you can start with getting your credit report score and combing through it to see what you can change. Hire a financial advisor to help you through this process or take a look at Jeeves Realty champions gate resort.

Having your finances in order before looking at homes will make this process and easier one! If you’re interested in learning about where you can get affordable furniture after you buy a home, read this blog now.

The Working Women’s Guide To Penny Stocks

penny stocks

Are you looking for ways to supplement your income? Perhaps you want to start a work from home business? Read on for the working women’s guide to penny stocks!

Penny Stocks 101

But what is a penny stock?

Simply put, penny stocks are shares of small public companies that you can buy at a very low price per share. How low? The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines every security that trades below $5-per-share as a penny stock.

These stocks are accessible to everyone, and they can yield extraordinary results. So, with a bit of planning, you might be earning a bit of extra money each month!

However, these stocks are volatile and somewhat risky. While it is entirely possible to turn a small investment into a sizable sum of money in a matter of weeks, there are tons of scams to be aware of!

How to Get Started Trading

First of all, check out resources like Investopedia, to educate yourself and learn how to avoid the risks. The cardinal rule when trading with volatile securities is to ONLY invest money you can afford to lose.

Now, the best method to get started is by imaginary paper trading. That is simply you trading real stocks with imaginary money for practice. It might sound silly, but it is the absolute best way to make sure you know how it works before putting real money into it.

For example, check out Match Group, Inc., MTCH stock price. Would you buy or sell? There are several metrics to keep track of there, including:

  • Overall score: If this is above the historic median, it means you can buy with lower risk than average.
  • Trade price: This is relative to historical stock score levels.
  • Overall trend: Does the stock go up? Does it go down? If you can learn to predict the “flow”, you can consistently get out more money than you put in.

An important consideration here is industry, or “trade what you know”. Many traders rush to each new “hot” trend, but this is risky. It is better to focus on one or two industries and study the stocks there for months to get a feel for them.

By focusing on a few industries, you will get to understand how the market shifts and place your investments with more efficiency.

Important Considerations

Keep in mind that trading these stocks is not risk-free. In fact, penny stocks are volatile and risky as far as securities go. As we said earlier, only trade money you can afford to lose.

You should also make sure you set aside at least four hours each week to check financial resources and make informed decisions. If you can’t find that time in your busy working woman schedule, it is best to wait for another time.

Save Money the Smart Way

Finally, keep in mind that trading penny stocks are only one clever way to supplement your income. Check out Thrifty Momma Ramblings for more tips and tricks that will help you save money, snag bargains and discover free promotions for the smart working woman!

3 Reasons to Create a Retirement Savings Plan ASAP

Retirement Savings

If you’re like most young people, you haven’t put much thought into retirement savings. In fact, about 12.5% of millennials figure they’ll work until they die.

The problem with that is the unexpected. Old age often comes with physical or mental health problems. Often these problems make it impossible for the individual to work.

When you’re young and healthy, you assume you’ll be that way forever. The sad reality for most people is that they’re not.

Saving for retirement is easier and more effective over the long term. We’ll show you why with these 3 reasons to create your retirement savings plan ASAP.

Compounding Interest

It doesn’t matter whether you plan to put your money into a 401K or one of the many types of IRAs. They all have the same critical component. You put money into them on a regular basis to help them grow.

Let’s say you put $100 a month in an account starting at age 40. Your friend puts $100 a month into an account starting at age 30.

With interest at a steady 8% which one of you will have more at age 60? You will have $59,000. Your friend will have $147,000! He ends up with more than double the money for starting earlier.

Because of compounding interest, time is an important factor in retirement savings. The earlier you start, the less financial burden you’ll feel.

To learn more about compounding interest, play around with this compounding interest calculator. The powerful effects will surprise you.

It’s Easier to Save Money Over Time

Even without compounding interest, saving over a longer period of time is easier. Let’s look at some numbers without factoring in the interest.

If you put $100 a month into an account for 20 years, you’ll end up with $24,000. To end up with the same sum in 30 years you only have to put $66.67 each month.

You end up using less of your cash flow per month and still save the same amount. Then compounding interest comes along and sweetens the deal even more.

Save More With Long-Term Habits

Interest isn’t the only thing that compounds. Expenses do too, more than you may realize.

If you think about your long-term goals now, you can develop long-term habits to reach those goals. Making a budget and sticking to it now can save you loads of money over time.

For example, living in a home that costs a mere $200 less a month will save you $48,000 over 20 years. Cutting out that $100 cable bill saves you another $24,000. You never watch TV anyway so what does it matter?

Take that $300 and put it into an account with 8% interest and you end up with $178,000! You’ll have to cut out a lot more and make more sacrifices to get to $178,000 in less time.

Go to a retirement income planning event such as those hosted by Hal Hammond. That can help you get some perspective on how you should handle retirement savings. The earlier you start, the easier it will be in the long run.

Start a Retirement Savings Plan

To learn more about how to get started check out our ultimate guide to the best investment plan. Do your future self a favor and get started today!

10 Tips for Interior Design on a Budget

It may come as a shock, but some people pay up to $150 an hour for an interior designer. For families on a budget, that figure is out of the question.

Fortunately, the DIY approach to home improvement has caught on in recent years. People are now deciding to tackle jobs on their own instead of paying inflated prices for professional services.

The great thing about taking on design projects yourself is that you maintain total control. You’re able to express your creative side and transform your space exactly the way you like.

However, trying to pull off interior design on a budget can get out of control if you don’t have some techniques in mind. You may need to do a little homework first.

To help you out, we’re going over 10 tips for giving your home a makeover on the cheap.

1. Have a Game Plan

Lack of preparation is an easy and fast way to go over your budget. Before making any purchases, you need to figure out exactly what you’re going for.

You probably have an idea of what aesthetic you want, but it helps to pinpoint it. Look at interior design websites and magazines to fine-tune your vision. You can then start pricing items and materials you’ll need for the job.

It may help to break down your projects one at a time instead of trying to do everything at once. Working in phases helps keep your finances manageable and allows you to save up a little between each project.

2. Second-Hand Stores

Doing interior design on a budget means you’ll need to avoid high-end brands. The best way to do this and also get unique, stylish furniture and accessories is to visit second-hand stores.

Look at local thrift stores, antique shops and even estate sales for low-cost, used items. Just because it’s used doesn’t mean it’s low quality.

Keep an eye out for furniture with sturdy construction. Remember, you can reupholster an old chair or couch and turn it into a great looking piece.

A good tactic is to find a second-hand store you like and ask when they usually get new items in.

3. Paint is Your Friend

Painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to give a room a completely new feel. After you decide what furniture or accessories you’re adding to a room, choose a complementary color for the walls.

Take your time and go over some color palettes. Narrow your options down two or three of your favorite colors and get samples from your local home improvement store. Then, paint a small area with each color.

Paint color changes as it dries, so give it few days before choosing a winner.

4. Go Minimal

The minimalist aesthetic has been in style for some time, and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up. This is perfect when performing interior design on a budget.

Going minimal means cutting back on accessories and creating an open, clean environment. It also means focusing on neutral colors and natural fabrics and materials.

Instead of many pieces of furniture in a room, choose only a few items to decorate a space and accentuate them with good lighting.

5. Get Creative with Your Decor

Decor refers to items used to add style instead of serving a specific function. This is an area where you can really express your creative side.

If you like taking pictures, try framing your own photography. Or, a custom painting by you or a local artist is a great addition to a room.

Look for used rugs at second-hand stores to add a classic feel to your living area or study. You can also find interesting items like globes or vintage bottles to adorn shelves and end tables.

6. Keep Your Eyes Open for Sales

You can’t pull off interior design on a budget if you’re not constantly looking out for sales. After you find your favorites showrooms, ask when their next sale is. You may have to wait a little longer, but you’ll save money in the long-run.

You should also look for discontinued models of specific furniture. These can sometimes go for as much as half off.

Antique reproductions look authentic and go for much less. English Georgian American has a great selection, so check it out!

7. Buy Naked Furniture

A great way to save on furniture is buying pieces that haven’t been stained or varnished. Then, finish them yourself and get the exact look you’re going for.

When doing this, you’ll want to make sure and know what type of wood you’re dealing with. Certain woods take stains better than others, so ask the seller before buying.

You’ll also want to educate yourself on the finishing process. This means sanding and applying a stain or paint evenly. Do a little research and become an expert yourself.

8. Treat Your Windows

Another great design element that totally changes the look and feel of a room is window treatments. And there are actually inexpensive yet high-quality options.

Try to avoid buying curtains from an interior design store. Instead, look at fabric stores and choose quality materials, then have them cut. This saves you money and doesn’t look like you skimped on something cheap.

9. Transform What You Already Have

The best approach to interior design on a budget is making good use of what’s already there. This is where you really have to think outside the box.

An old chair that looks like it’s heading for the trash may just need a new finish. Slipcovers give new life to a worn out couch. Apply your cross-stitch talents to your drab throw pillows.

10. Mix it Up

Buying complete matching furniture sets is expensive. Instead, mix up your approach and create a compelling aesthetic using different styles. This gives your space an eclectic look and doesn’t break the bank.

You can also perform DIY updates like reupholstering chairs and applying paint to create a more uniform style with preexisting furniture.

Interior Design on a Budget: Wrapping Up

When making interior design renovations yourself, your biggest asset is your imagination. Don’t think of a strict budget as a limitation. Think of it as a way to get innovative.

Remember, always start with a plan. Then, pick and choose which of these interior design tips work best for your home.

If you’re renovating your home and are looking for more great DIY ideas, check out our blog today.

How Short Term Loans Can Boost Your Personal Finances

short term loansSometimes, things happen that are beyond your control. It may be an illness, the loss of a job or loss of a loved one. If you’re self-employed, it may be a slump in the economy or an equipment breakdown.

Whatever the reason, you may find your personal finances need a boost to regroup and reset.

A loan may not be the first on your list of solutions, but there are many reasons why you should consider getting one.

Short term loans are usually below $10,000, although some may be up to $50,000 depending on your credit rating and income. Most loans are paid back within one year.

Read on to learn about the benefits of short term loans, and to see how they may be the solution to your financial needs.

Why Get Short Term Loans?

Even if you’re a good planner, no one can predict an unexpected or unanticipated need. Having access to quick money can avoid a burden on your personal finances. Here are some reasons why you may need to consider getting a loan.

When You Need Emergency Funds

There’s always the possibility of something unexpected going wrong. Ever have a pipe burst causing extensive water damage in your home? What about lightning frying your computer and home office equipment?

And it always seems to happen when you’re short on cash.

Your ability to get a quick loan to fix the problem can make all the difference in stabilizing your personal and business life.

If You’re Selling Your Home

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may need to invest a little money to get the best price by doing renovations. But you may have already exhausted your savings for a down payment on your new home.

A short term loan won’t require any home equity as collateral. It can help you get a better price for your home. You can quickly pay back the loan and won’t be leaving any money on the table.

To Improve Your Credit Rating

Ever think how nice it would be to consolidate your credit card debt and make just one payment? Consolidating your debt can have many benefits.

A loan can pay off your credit card debt at lower interest rates. And it can help you improve your credit rating.

This type of loan helps you to improve credit scores. Here are some ways you can raise your credit scores by getting a loan:

  • Make regular payments
  • Pay more than required every month
  • Bring balance down quickly
  • Stay below 30% of the original loan

If you do pay off credit cards, make sure you don’t max them out again. Take time to consider why you ran up credit cards. Were you overspending or buying on impulse?

Maybe you need to find ways in bring in additional income or create a budget to save money. Find the issue and make a plan to avoid getting into debt again.

Short term loans also help those who have not yet established credit.

To Start a Business

There are a lot of great home-based businesses that can be started with a low investment and offer a great ROI. When an opportunity presents itself but you’re low on disposable income, a loan could be the solution.

A loan can help with start-up costs to carry you until the business becomes profitable.

Even after your business is stable, credit is a way of life for many small businesses. And your business survives on good cash flow. Extra cash from a loan can help you seize unforeseen business opportunities or solve immediate shortfalls for operating expenses.

A loan can free up business revenue that would be used for emergencies, and it can be paid back quickly. It can be used to meet business expenditures and increase working capital.

If your business needs to carry accounts on credit, a loan can sustain you until your accounts receivable come in. One example would be a small motor carrier that would need to carry fuel costs and other operating expenses until he receives payment for his deliveries.

Where to Get a Short Term Loan

Lenders extend short term loans for various purposes. Here are some of the financial institutions that offer these loans.

  • Banks and credit unions
  • Private and short term lender
  • Lenders requiring low documentation
  • Lenders approving high-risk loans

If you already have an account with a bank or credit union, they would be your first source for a loan. Most banks and credit unions will require proof of income.

There are lenders who offer loans requiring less documentation for self-employed people or others without documents like income tax returns or business financials required for most loans.

You can use a statement from your accountant about your business activity as proof of income for these loans.

Private lenders are also a possible source of funding. Some private lenders are open to making high-risk loans for applicants with credit issues or low income in exchange for a higher interest rate.

While these loans can bring a quick response, you will need to carefully consider if this would be a wise choice for your needs.

Low Hassel Loans

There are many benefits to applying for a short term loan. Express Capital Funding outlines several advantages of these loans here.

Lenders have a more hands-off approach for loans with a shorter payoff period. So, there aren’t as many requirements as with long-term loans.

There is no minimum loan amount. They can be paid back quickly, sometimes within a month or two, but usually no more than 12 to 18 months. This short payback period has several benefits:

  • Easier to pay back
  • Easier to be approved
  • Lower principle limits
  • May have lower interest usually
  • Don’t need high-value collateral
  • The rate of interest is lower than long-term

One other obvious advantage of these loans is that having a shorter payoff period doesn’t tie up future available income.

Short term loans are often unsecured, but first-time borrowers may be required to put up collateral.

Paying Back the Loan

If your credit is good, interest will be lower than long-term loans over the course of the loan payout. But even if you have credit issues, some institutions will be willing to extend a small loan.

Your ability to pay back the loan will impact loan approval. That’s because lenders don’t give credit scores the same weight for these loans as they do for long-term loans.

If getting a loan will put you at high risk financially, you should reconsider. Don’t take out a loan because you are having difficulty making ends meet. You may be setting yourself up for failure unless your situation is temporary, or you anticipate an increase in cash flow.

These loans should not be used for long-term needs like buying cars or high-dollar equipment.

Loans Provide a Financial Safety Net

Short term loans provide the extra security you need to fill the gap when the need arises. Loans allow you to take the next step toward your personal and business goals. And they can help you improve financial health.

At Thrifty Momma Ramblings, we’re all about helping you save money. For other thrifty ideas on how to use your resources for optimum benefit, contact us at here.

Top Wealth Planning Tips for Millennials

adobestock 61403961Millennials are stuck in a weird financial situation.

Currently, Millennials are between their mid-thirties and late teens. This is the age group that commits reckless behavior or is in the beginning stages of buying a house and excelling in their career.

We’re at the point where Millennials should start investing. Our consumerism society makes it easy to spend money. Trends such as crazy food, fashion, technology, and travel can eat away at your bank account.

Living the luxury life isn’t wrong — you have to share something on your Instagram, right? But there are ways to develop good savings habits so you can do more fun things during these crucial moments in life.

Here are some wealth planning tips, specifically for Millennials.

Stop Going Out So Much

Millennials are at the party age. This is a common age group where you want to drink and have a good time. Even though our parents give us the judgmental glare, they can’t deny they went through the same phase, too.

But party days are no longer rummaging through your parents’ liquor cabinets or buying some alcohol at the nearby liquor store.

Millennials want to go out. They want to drink fancy cocktails. They want craft beer. They want wine and specialty food.

All of this adds up, and you’re left with an empty bank account and bad wealth planning.

If you want to save money, you can agree to hardest part about saving is saying ‘no’ when a friend asks you to join them at a brewery or an expensive cocktail lounge.

This doesn’t mean you can never go out. But limit the number of times you go out.

Instead of going out every weekend, make a day once a month to go out with friends. Or save going out for special occasions, such as a birthday or other life event.

Don’t Buy the Latest Technology

Once Apple and other major tech companies announce the new iPhone and other gadgets, Millennials flock to the store to be the first ones with the gadget.

And phones aren’t the only gadgets. Video game consoles, games, tablets, and smart TVs are perfect examples of expensive tech that Millennials completely eat up.

But this habit can ruin your bank account. However, there’s a difference between an investment and a novelty purchase.

Say you have an older smartphone that’s starting to decrease in quality. It loads slow, the battery dies quickly, and you’re unable to properly use your apps. Therefore, it’s time to buy a new phone.

But rather than splurge on the latest phone, you’re wealth planning. You take about six months and save for it.

Or, you lease the phone through your cell phone carrier. This way, a small charge is added to your cell phone bill and you don’t have to put down a lot of money.

But you don’t have to buy the latest gadgets when they’re immediately released. You’re putting down a lot of money at one time, resulting in a low balance bank account or risk of being in debt.

Get in the Habit of Actually Saving

While cutting down on expenses is great advice, Millennials need to be taught wealth planning. And once you do, this habit will come naturally.

Start by saving $20 a week. By the end of the month, you’ll at least have $80. After a year, you’ll have about a grand saved.

Don’t have $20 each week to save? Start saving some loose change. Even putting away 50 cents a day equals almost $100 in your savings.

Building a savings account doesn’t require several thousand in the bank. Even an extra $500 will prepare you for a dire situation and an unexpected expense.

Depending on your bank, you can set up automatic savings that transfer a certain percentage of the money in your checking to your savings.

But if you want to start saving for your future and for retirement, you need to really be responsible.

Open up a separate retirement account. Invest in stocks or bonds so your savings can accumulate faster. If your employer offers retirement savings or a 401k, take advantage of those benefits.

And whatever you do — don’t touch that money unless you retire. Consider opening a special account that charges you a large fee if you take any money out.

Saving money can mean having a small savings account or a retirement account that will last you a lifetime. The most important thing to do is save money, regardless how you do it.

Make Smart Purchase Decisions

It’s inevitable — you’ll have to splurge occasionally.

Even when trying to save, the burden of Christmas presents and birthday gifts is still upon you. Even small purchases make an impact; how often did you forget to go to the grocery store and opt to just eat out?

But when you do splurge, make the most of it. Meaning, be smart about your purchases. Making impulse and last-minute spending decisions could leave you in debt. Instead, think of purchases that matter.

For major purchases, such as buying a car, make sure you research the car and test it out. Don’t settle for the hot sports car — buy a car that will last you years.

Be sure to understand the lease, your interest rates, and if the new car will affect your insurance.

For smaller purchases, make sure you’re spending well. Meaning, don’t buy clothes unless you need to. A perfect example: say your new job requires a certain dress code and you don’t have many clothes in that category.

When going out to eat, avoid appetizers and upgraded side options. Only eat out at nice restaurants during special occasions.

Time to Get Better at Wealth Planning

With the way Millennials are spending, it’s easy to be broke or fall into debt. Make smart purchasing decisions and start saving.

There are many money saving options that create a rainy day fund and helps prepare you for retirement. The longer you procrastinate to save, the harder it will be. Start saving today and be prepared for anything life throws at you.

For more money-saving tips, visit our blog.