Lifestyle

Saving: It’s a State of Mind

You probably hear a lot about saving. There’s saving for a first home, for college, for retirement and, of course, “saving for a rainy day.” All of that socking away of funds we’re being urged to do can seem daunting, especially when statistics show Americans are only putting aside about $3 out of every $100. As with so many things in life, getting your spending and saving in order has a lot to do with attitude, with your mindset about money. One way to help take some of the worry out of it all is to take immediate action about the spending in your life you can control. You’ve heard, of course, about the price difference between stopping for coffee on the way to work and making it at home. And you certainly don’t need us to tell you how much you’d save without a cable bill; if you have…

Can You Afford to Live Alone? Things to Consider Before Moving Into Your Own Space

Living with a roommate may bring on daydreams about what it would be like to live all by yourself. To wake up and go to sleep when you want, bring friends or dates over without consideration for your roommates’ schedules, to take long showers, watch whatever you want on TV and maybe wait to wash those dishes in the morning. However, like most daydreams, living alone isn’t always you imagined it would be. It’s important to consider what you’re really getting into before you commit to being the only name on a new lease. Here are some things to do before you make the decision to live alone: Take Your Time No matter how badly you want to get into your own space, signing the first lease you come across is a bad idea. In the few months before you make the leap to living alone, in addition to considering…

The Buzz on Marijuana and Life Insurance

It’s no surprise that lifestyle matters when it comes to life insurance. Diet, mental and physical health, family medical history, age, gender, and occupation—these are all common factors that impact life insurance rates. What happens when you add marijuana use to the mix? The purpose, the frequency and several other factors related to marijuana use matter more than marijuana itself when it comes to the cost of getting life insurance coverage. To Tell the Truth As far as life insurance applications go, honesty is truly the best policy. Life insurance policies are legal contracts between insurers and the insured. As a result, when you complete a life insurance application, it is necessary for it to be not only accurate, but full and complete. Non-disclosure of medical conditions and aspects of your lifestyle can result in rejected claims during the contestable period, which essentially means that someone could pay their policy…

5 Ways to Save the Environment and Save Money

In these uneasy environmental and economic times, what better moment is there than Earth Day 2018 to renew a commitment to saving the planet while also saving money? Research suggests it takes time to establish new habits. One study by University College London found it takes anywhere from 18 days to eight months, depending on the person and the nature of the habit. Here are several ideas collected that will help to conserve resources, including monetary ones. Stop Using Disposable Water Bottles “Disposable” is something of a misnomer. While the plastic bottles used for drinking water are highly recyclable, not enough people take advantage of the opportunity to recycle, and too much plastic, some of which can be poisonous, ends up in our landfills and waterways. Before it degrades in 400-500 years, the plastic overload will poison and kill animal and plant life (possibly including humans). Investing in water filters…

Explaining the FIRE Movement

What if someone told you that you could retire in your 40s, 30s or even maybe late 20s if you put your mind to it? This sounds like some sort of fantasy to many people, but to a small group of dedicated budgeters it is anything but. They are members of the FIRE Movement, which stands for Financial Independence / Retire Early. If a very early retirement sounds like something you might enjoy, follow along to learn about the FIRE Movement and how you can get on track to your own early retirement. How FIRE Works for Early Retirement Early retirement has been a long-time dream for many American workers, but the FIRE movement emerged over the last decade as a viable method for many workers to escape their daily 9-5. One of the first noteworthy FIRE movement members is Mr. Money Moustache, an early retirement blogger who left his…

6 Steps to Spring Clean Your Financial House

After many of us have experienced months of a cold, dreary winter, the tide turns to warmer weather, bringing with it new life and a fresh start. As you sweep out the dust and brush away the cobwebs, consider not only spring cleaning your home but also your finances. Take these six steps to put your financial house in order. Plant Seeds for Future Financial Success When it comes to planting vegetables and flowers, March and April stand as key months for starting seeds indoors. Spring is an ideal time to sow financial seeds as well. If you don’t have a budget in place, create one now. Next, take time to review the following financial accounts and make adjustments to maximize financial gains. Investments 401(k), Roth IRA and other retirement contributions Tax withholdings College savings Tidy up Your Financial Paperwork Financial paperwork, such as bank statements, check stubs, tax documents…

10 Keys to Saving Money on Vehicle Maintenance

The average age of a vehicle on America’s roadways today is approaching 12 years. Twenty years ago that number was 8.4; 40 years ago it was only 5.5 years. Whether it is a testament to improved manufacturing, higher car prices, or maybe Americans have figured out that life is pretty good without a monthly car payment, one thing is clear: Vehicles are lasting longer and proper maintenance can push life expectancy to unprecedented levels. But we can’t forget all that care and feeding can still present some sticker shock. Here are 10 tips for keeping your ride and your wallet in good shape. Change Your Own Oil Even if you ignore every other scheduled maintenance item, don’t forget to change the oil. Nothing will ruin an engine more quickly than expired motor oil. But a typical oil change can run between $40 and $100, an average of three times per…

What’s the Price Tag on Tournament Time?

Tournament time. It’s all about college basketball. Waving your team’s colors, watching a few games with friends—that sort of thing. That’s all true, but it is also about a mad amount of money. About half of Americans’ overall sports spending goes to the costs of attending actual games—that’s half of $100 billion, by the way. The rest goes to various other aspects of our love for sports, some of which may make you want to consider some insurance (others may make you want to REALLY want consider some insurance). Part of that sporting events spending this year will be the money people shell out for a seat at one of the 67 March Madness basketball games. The average price for a tournament game seat is in the hundreds of dollars, and that’s just at retail, where all-session passes to the 2017 Final Four went as high as $9,600 for prime…

Tips for Moving Forward in Your Career

“Moving your career forward” is an interesting term. For a long time, people only thought about “moving up”—getting in the door at a good company and rising through the ranks. But working for a living has changed. Where “job” and “career” used to be more or less synonymous, today’s careers can span multiple jobs at multiple companies. A career is becoming more and more a journey through a series of working experiences than a measure of tenure within a company or profession. If you’re in a position where you’re feeling the need to move forward—to a higher salary, a more fulfilling occupation, a job that makes better use of your overall skill set—there are some things to keep in mind about making that kind of change. Know What’s Out There As with so many other things, wishing doesn’t make it so when it comes to changing jobs. Think carefully about…

Simple Tips to Avoid Credit Card Debt

With credit card offers making up a huge chunk of junk mail, it’s all too easy to say yes to yet another deal that may trigger a downward cycle of debt. It’s a fact – the best way to secure your financial future is to avoid credit card debt. Used properly, credit cards offer many advantages including convenience, a record of your purchases, protection against fraud, building a positive credit history, and perks including free travel, discounted merchandise and more.   Used to excess, a credit card is nothing more than a high interest loan rather than a substitute for cash. This is how many consumers get into credit card trouble: As debt builds, they take out yet another card that offers a balance transfer, low monthly payments, no interest for a defined period and other attractive perks. Yet caving into such offers practically ensures debt for years to come as…

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