Tag Archives: Financial Tips & How-Tos

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin’ down the money trail

Source: Dreamstime.com

Children typically think of Easter as nothing more than a day when a kind bunny leaves delicious treats for them out of the kindness of his heart.

Nonetheless, what children may not realize is that the Easter bunny relies quite a bit on the wallets of adults. Let’s take a few moments and create a list of a few of our typical Easter expenditures…

  1. Eggs and Dye
  2. Chocolate goodies and Peeps™
  3. Easter baskets
  4. The Easter meal
  5. etc.

Of course, many of the expenditures listed are small, relatively inexpensive items — but, the cost of those those small, inexpensive items tend to rack up after awhile.

Nikhil Hutheesing and Bloomberg Rankings dive into the holiday and tell you just how much Easter really costs.

To charge, or not to charge; that is the question

Source: cdn.citywirecontent.co.uk

Play along with me here:

You’re a family physician, and a pretty well-to-do one at that.

A friend of yours has four children and constantly calls you whenever his or her child has a sniffle. What do you do?

A.) Politely answer their questions, time after time, day after day, phone call after phone call.

or

B.) Recommend they pay a visit to your office and actually consult with you professionally.

Sometimes, friends may seek professional advice from other friends — and that’s perfectly O.K. But, how do you know when they cross the line of a friendly question, to a full-fledged client?

“It’s great to be an expert in your field, and it’s flattering to be asked for your opinion or advice, but sometimes people cross the limits of personal and work-life boundaries. Just because Jonas Salk gave away the polio vaccine for free and Craig Newmark refuses to charge for Craigslist, you don’t have to be a philanthropist too,” writes Jodi Glickman, CNN Money columnist.

As altruistic as you may be, you don’t have to provide unlimited counsel to friends and family around the clock. You should be helpful when you can, but you are entitled to put meaningful limits on the pro bono advice you dish out regularly.”

An individual may feel obliged to help his or her friend just because, well, it’s a friend. Nonetheless, even though the line between professional and friendly advice may be blurry from time-to-time, there is still a line and it’s probably best to know when it has been crossed.

Read on at CNN Money.

Diagnosing your financial health

Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com

Usually, we can tell when we’re in financial dire straights.

We’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. We’re in over our heads on our mortgage. Bill budgeting has become a hassle but a necessity. Etc. etc. etc.

But, what there may be those out there who are on the complete opposite end of that spectrum. There may be those who have a magnificently clean bill of financial health. But how do you know if you’re one of those individuals?

There are certain signs, seven of them to be exact, that Yahoo! Finance’s The Exchange have compiled to figure out whether or not your finances could be given a squeaky clean bill of health.

“We spoke with a few certified financial planners to get their thoughts on what kinds of benchmarks people can use to gauge their financial health. One caveat: It’s important to note that everyone’s situation is unique and it’s not very useful to apply a blanket rule across all age groups,” writes Lisa Scherzer, The Exchange columnist.

So, what are these benchmarks?

What kind of signs should you look for?

Well, head over to Yahoo! Finance and find out.

Know your number

Source: fairfundfoundation.org

Let’s say you’re thinking about applying for an auto loan to purchase that new car you saw in a thrilling Super Bowl commercial. Well, if this is the case, you should probably be well-aware of what your credit score is.

“Why?” you might ask.

When determining your loan rate, the organization you are going through may take a good, hard look at your credit score.

This isn’t the only number that you should be aware of, though.

Yahoo! Finance has compiled a list of five financial figures that you should probably know by heart (or at least take a peek at from time to time).

Head over and take a look at what other financial numbers you should make yourself aware of.

Find out why your bills are skyrocketing

Source: johnpetruse.net

Sometimes we accidentally forget to flick the light switch when we leave a room, or we keep our cell phone charger in the wall after we’ve charged our phones. We may just shrug it off, not thinking that this is adding too much to the electric bill — but you may be surprised.

Believe it or not, there may be quite a few little things you can do that will cause your overall expenses to drop significantly. Things like the aforementioned, who you live with, and even the brands you buy can either add or decrease how much money you shell out.

“To err is human; to make budgeting mistakes, totally human as well. Most people are not aware of the little budget traps we get caught in, because life is so busy that it’s hard to keep track of the smaller money details. But being careless can rack up higher bills,” writes Emily Co of Popsugar.

Co has compiled a list of 13 things that are causing your bills to skyrocket. Read on and find out how to lower your monthly expenses.

Source: popsugar.com

Start ’em young: Financial tips for young adults

Source: Provantagelegal.com

Finances.

When you were in high school, did your teachers focus heavily on this topic? No? Well, how about when you got to college? The answer is probably still an unenthusiastic, “No.”

When we are in high school, our curriculum tends to focus on getting us the basics to prepare for life. We learn history, some economics, English, maybe a secondary language, and then of course we have a plethora of electives to choose from. But among that list, we find very little financial background.

Fast forward to college.

We are in our freshman year. We may have chosen our major already, but that ultimately does not matter as we are forced to take a variety of courses to give us a well-rounded introduction to the college life. What isn’t necessarily among that information provided? Finance.

It seems that finance is only a topic worth considering if you are either A.) Considering becoming an accountant or some other professional that deals with daily financial tasks, or B.) You are old enough to live on your own, work to pave your own way, and pay your own bills. Both of these outcomes, however, may be too late.

The best-case scenario is that parents spend the time to educate their children on the topic of financial understanding and readiness, and children take the time to listen and learn about these concepts. What is important to consider is that financial matters are often misconstrued as difficult topics.

Fear not, my friends — finances are not a concept that is above our heads.

Investopedia discusses this topic about financial education of our youngsters, and provides eight financial tips for young adults. Read on to find out how to educate your children, or, if you are in fact a young adult, how to get the most out of a do-it-yourself financial education.

SOURCE: Investopedia

Women vs. Men: Who are the better investors?

Source: rplan.co.uk

Source: rplan.co.uk

As the old adage goes, “Anything you can do, I can do better.”

Does that same famous phrase hold true for investments?

Lucky for us, rplan has provided us with an infographic to help tackle this very topic. So, who comes out the winner? Click and find out.

Sorry, no spoilers here…

Source: Infographiclist.com

Money can’t buy everything so easily

Source: Paybymoble.net

It seems like every holiday is a reason for some type of wide-scale sale to lure consumers in.

Looking for a new home theater system? 5o percent off.

A night out on the town? Up to 70 percent off (thank you, Groupon).

A new puppy? Well, that may be a little more difficult to buy.

Even on massive sale days, there are still a few things that you might not be able to get too easily.

It’s a tumultuous time in America right now as a complete overhaul of U.S. gun laws are being called for; however, there are still a few things harder to buy than a gun — including those fluffy little pups.

Quentin Fottrell of MarketWatch has put together a list of five things that are more difficult to buy than a gun at present. So, what are they?

Read on to find out.

Source: Yahoo! Finance 

Live within your means

Source: savingadvice.com

We’ve all done it.

Sure, it’s nice to spring for that new 62-inch flat-screen plasma television set, or spend a day out at the shopping mall, but before you do you should be asking yourself one key question — can you afford it?

Sometimes it’s difficult to stop and think about your financial situation when you have that dream buy standing right in front of you. Luckily, Lisa Scherzer of Yahoo! Finance has put together a list of a few signs that may indicate you are living beyond your means. Follow the link below to read on.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Don’t break their heart or the bank this Valentine’s Day

Source: spaboomblog.com

Valentine’s Day.

The one day of the year when love is in the air,  couples embrace on a park bench to watch a sunset, and your wallet gets 10 pounds lighter.

Yes, this day is mostly about showing your loved ones that they are always on your mind, but an argument could be made that the underlying message of the day is to prepare your finances for the Valentine’s Day Financial Massacre.

You may be considering springing for that pricey set of earrings, or a luxury evening; however, if your finances aren’t prepared for this costly day, you could take more of a hit than you had originally planned.

That is why Russ Wiles of AZCentral.com has put together a list of tips for your financial preparations. For example…

“Hold money discussions.

It’s important for both parties to participate in financial conversations, especially if you’re married. There’s a good chance you will have different views on spending, budgeting and determining how much debt is appropriate. Disagreements can lead to stress, so it’s important to talk things out,” writes Wiles.

Take a look at Wiles article for more tips for dodging Cupid’s arrow without using your wallet as a shield.

SOURCE: AZCentral.com