Want to keep more of the money you earn? Stop wasting money on goods and services that you don’t really care about. Start paying attention where your money goes and you just might see the equivalent of working a second job in your wallet—not leaking out of your life undetected.
1. Stop buying from TV ads. Infomercial products are overpriced and hardly ever turn out to be as wonderful as depicted. And those risk-free trial periods? Don’t believe it. You’ll have to pay the return shipping costs plus a restocking fee, if you ever get around to it. Whenever tempted by an infomercial product, take a second to look up the item on eBay. You’ll be shocked to find dozens at a fraction of the price because that’s where they unload all the “as seen on TV” products that get returned. Ask yourself, why so many returns? By then the infomercial should be over and you can get on with your day. Continue reading
Discovering that you’ll be getting a tax refund is certainly not the worst news you’ve had in your life. In fact, it’s easy to see a tax refund as some kind of gift from the universe. But here’s the truth: It’s part of your paycheck that you should have been getting all along. Plan now for how you’ll manage it or your refund could evaporate into thin air. You have options. Choose well.
1. Treat it like a paycheck. Give away 10 percent, save 10 percent and put 80 percent into your household account.
2. Stash the whole thing. Your Contingency Fund or Freedom Account—or both—are the likeliest candidates. Continue reading
Worried about layoffs? You’re not alone. About six-in-ten Americans worry that they will lose their jobs due to the current state of the economy, according a recent Pew Research poll.
Losing a job can be a terrible blow especially if you were already living paycheck to paycheck. But if that loss comes without warning, the emotional toll on top of the financial loss can be devastating.
No matter your situation—whether you have suffered a recent layoff, are worried that you might, or believe there isn’t the slightest possibility that you could find yourself unemployed—don’t set yourself up to become a passive victim by default.
Become the CEO. Promote yourself to Chief Executive Officer of your life. Develop strength and confidence in your ability to take control of your life. That means have contingency plans in place. What will you do if you are laid off next Friday? Continue reading
You can own 85 pairs of shoes 100 DVDs and not suffer from shopaholism. The test, experts say, is if you spend so much time and money shopping that it negatively affects your finances and your relationships.
How can you tell? Here are four signs you might need help, according to April Benson, a psychologist who specializes in treating shopaholics and author of “To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop”:
You feel overwhelmed by your need to buy things. Compulsive buyers often buy things they don’t need or can’t afford. They buy things just because they’re on sale or feel an overwhelming urge to buy something—anything—and don’t care what they bring home. If you’ve ever gone shopping for a white blouse and came home with a purple blouse, shoes, pants and new throw pillows, too, you know what I’m talking about. Continue reading
Clothing is not optional, but spending a lot of money on it is, says author Gregory Karp in his book, Living Rich by Spending Smart: How to Get More of What You Really Want.
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So, just off the top of your head, how much would you say that your family spends on clothing in a year? According to the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, a family of four spends on average $2,850 a year on apparel and services like dry cleaning, to keep that apparel looking good. Wow. That’s $240 a month—a major expense in any family’s budget.
Karp offers seven easy ways to cut that expense without having to take fashion risks for yourself or sending the kids off to school looking odd and frumpy. Continue reading