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Attitude Adjustment PDF Print E-mail
Your attitude about managing your finances will directly impact your willingness to do it.  Get excited that you're taking control of your finances and keep in mind all the different ways it will positively impact your life.
 
 
 
One Percent at a Time PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

One of the goals of Savvy Living is to: Save 20% and spend the rest with abandon.

Keeping in mind that the average savings rate in the U.S. shifts from 3.7% - 4.9% getting to that 20% goal may feel like an overwhelming task... but it can be achieved! The trick is to get there 1% at a time.

First of all, if you're only saving 1% - 3% of your salary, congratulate yourself for saving anything at all. At least you're in the habit of saving. Now, it's time to take it to the next level.

Start, by taking a look at your last paycheck and calculating how much 1% equates to. For example, if your paycheck is $2,000, 1% of that paycheck is just $20.

Now ask yourself, if you set up an automatic transfer of $20 from your checking account to your savings account each payday, will you really miss that money? If you can still put gas in your car and food on the table, set up the transaction right now.

The next step is to put a note in your calendar for two months from now to see if you can bump up your savings amount by another 1%. In fact, make it a habit to check in every other month to see if you can increase your savings amount.

Initially, your contributions will feel small, but you will have the opportunity to build on success and your savings will grow.

Don't wait for the magical day that you can start saving 20% all at once. That day is not going to come. There will always be something to distract you from your goal... especially when that goal is to start saving $400 all at once.

Even if it takes you 2 -4 years to get to that 20% goal, you will get there... and have had 2-4 year’s worth of savings built up along the way.
 

 

 
Making Sure Your Money Stays Saved PDF Print E-mail
By Kevin Gibbons
 
In our book Living the Savvy Life, our number one Savvy Habit is “Pay Yourself First.” This means to be sure to actively set aside money to save every pay period. If you are doing this, congratulations! You are on your way to financial independence and living well on the money you are making right now.
 
Sometimes, however, it isn’t always enough to just set up an automatic transfer to a savings account. You need to make sure that you really are saving the money you are setting aside as savings. What does that mean? It means that you have to take a little time to understand how your savings account works.
 
Ann Carrns wrote in a blog in the New York Times about how she received a warning that she was making too many withdrawals from her savings account and that this bad behavior could result in her account being closed.
 
Did you know that federal regulations say you cannot make more than six withdrawals in a month, and that transfers between accounts count towards that maximum number? Ann didn’t. Read her blog to see how she addressed her problem.
 
Between federal regulations and bank policies, there are many rules to understand when managing your money.  It can be challenging to negotiate the many rules and policies, but failing to understand them can cost you money.
 
In many cases, making a few simple changes, or avoiding a few specific practices can make the difference between seeing your savings grow and seeing it eaten up by fees and penalties.
 
If sorting through the rules is overwhelming for you, don’t despair. Find a knowledgeable advisor or friend you trust to help explain things to you. As we approach the tax deadline, now is a perfect time to ask for advice from your tax preparer or other financial advisor.  In many cases, you can go to the accounts manager at your bank and get the answers you need.
 
Ann’s experience is just one case of how good intentions can be compromised by an honest misunderstanding. The lesson here is twofold: First, just as you need to actively set aside the money to save, you also need to actively understand how your accounts work, what charges are incurred and why, and what alternatives exist; and second, when you get those e-mails and paper mail notifications from your bank, be sure to read them!
 
 
10 Characteristics of Debt Free People PDF Print E-mail
What's the difference between those who struggle with debt and those who remain debt free? 
 
In the article 10 Characteristics of Debt Free People, AJ Smith details how those who are free of debt remain so.  It's a post worth reading!
 
 
Tell Your Money Where To Go PDF Print E-mail

 
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