Money Talk With Slater

Making Money Across the Board

Slater Bakh

Published: 49 articles

Manage Your Finances When You’re Laid Off

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No one is exempt from layoffs. Whether you’re 20 or 50, odds are that sooner or later you will find yourself, usual through no fault of your own, out of a job. So it’s only logic to plan ahead. Many money advisers recommend saving equal to six months’ salary to help you if you find yourself unemployed. You will possibly need more, particularly if you have a family and are the main bread winner.

Some things you can’t plan for

However, most of us don’t think about this scenario until we are really laid off. So what do you do if you haven’t organized your finances?

Determine How You Are Spending Your Money

When times are good, most people don’t consider how they spend money. We know how much the rent, car note, or mortgage is, but we don’t give much attention to daily spending. How much do we spend eat out at restaurants? What is your grocery bill every week? What about insurance and energy costs? Being more conscious of how you spend your money will make you think about spending it more wisely. Especially when you don’t have a check coming in every two weeks.

See Where You Can Cut Back

If you’re going to be laid off, you need to create a plan for reducing expenses. Create a budget that removes most unnecessary expenses, but don’t entirely remove entertainment. You need to keep up your spirits and stay in touch with your contacts. Though, you can reduce these expenses significantly. Find cheap places to go out to drink and eat. Go to budget movies instead of plays, always getting the reduced admissions. Don’t give up the gym but think about joining a less costlier one, unless you use the gym to network. Crank your thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter.

Save on Your Monthly Grocery Bill

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After transportation and housing costs, food takes up a lot of the average household’s budget than anything else. You’ve always seeking ways to cut your transportation and housing. Now let’s look at a couple of ways to trim your food budget. You can do it without having to starve to death.

Set a Budget, and Stick to It

These are the first and last words in trimming your grocery bill. It’s all about setting goals. You will never be successful unless you are clear on what you are attempting to do.

The simplest way to begin with a grocery budget is to save a couple of receipts, figure out how much you typically spend on average, then deduct 10% from that amount. If you easily accomplish this, you can go ahead and reduce your budget even more.

Don’t Shop the Same Store Each Week

Shopping multiple stores is important to paying less for food, but it’s a strategy that many folks balk at because it might be time consuming. Here’s the way it works. You don’t have to shop at three stores every week, wasting time and gas running from store to store. Instead, be smart. When your store sales paper arrives, find the best deals in the stores around you, then pick which store will help you save the most this week.

Coupons

From everyone who does it, you can believe that coupons are worth the time they take to load on a store card, print, or clip. Digital coupon for stores bring around 45% in savings.

You can save more than 50% every week using them. Some stores offer freebies every week too. It pays tremendously to get a store card. Consider this, if you use just five $1 coupons every week on items you frequently buy, you save over $200 every year.

Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance

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A good way to keep your auto insurance costs low is to have a good driving record. Bet you didn’t know that having one not only saves lives but saves money as well.

Below are some things you can do to reduce your auto insurance costs.

Shop around

Prices differ from company to company. Ergo, it pays to shop around. Have at least three price quotes. You can contact companies directly or get information on the web. Your state insurance department may also offer comparisons of prices by big name auto insurers.

You get insurance to safeguard you financially and give peace of mind. It’s vital to choose a company that is financially stable. Look at the financial health of insurance companies with rating companies like Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best.

Get quotes from different sorts of insurance companies. A few sell through their own agents. These places have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell via independent agents who provide policies from many insurance companies. Some don’t use agents. They sell right to customers via the web or over the phone.

Don’t shop by price alone. Ask relatives and friends for their suggestions. Call the insurance department of your state to see if they give out info on company’s consumer complaints. Choose a company or agent who takes the time to answer your questions. Make a checklist to help you compare quotes from insurers.

Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs

Before you buy a used or new car, look at insurance costs. Car insurance premiums are based some on the car’s price, repair costs, the safety record and the probability of theft. Many insurers provide discounts for features that lessens the risk of theft or injury. To help you choose which car to buy, you can obtain information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Cut Costs and Save Some Money Every Month

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Want to take control of your money? By making a few little changes, you can begin now with a plan to get your spending and savings back on track.

From cable bills to everyday spending habits, these tips will aid you to save more, reduce spending, and get on the right track to financial success!

Have Goals

You might feel that first on our list should be the well-known New Year’s resolutions we’ve become so used to every year. But since New Year’s resolutions tend to flop by January 2nd  every year, goal setting is a much better choice.

Establishing goals is a habit for folks who win with money, and it should become a habit for you as well. Research has shown that just by having a goal for something it gets you closer to that goal instead of not having any goals at all.

A critical part of this equation is ensuring your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time oriented. Yes, SMART! Once you have a goal in mind that has all these attributes, slice your goal into little pieces or milestones that you can hit more simpler. Once you get to each milestone, rejoice. This will aid in encouraging you as you go forward toward your financial goals.

Also, jot down your financial goals and place them in an noticeable place so you see them often, like on your mantle, refrigerator, or front door.

Negotiate prices

Did you know that you can negotiate a price in nearly any kind of buying situation? Make your money work for you the right way!

Though you might have formerly thought negotiation was only for big purchases like cars and homes, you can also negotiate online and at retail stores. You can even negotiate to get your bills reduced.

How to Live Frugal in College

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College life is full of huge fees, like the tuition – that it’s easy to not remember that saving a couple of dollars each

Budgeting during college is critical

day can truly add up and reduce the cost of going to college. Here are some easy habits and the money you can save.

  1. Use free transportation options for students like shuttle buses. This includes free buses on your campus or free buses that run between campuses in your area.  If you use them, you won’t need To have to take cabs, pay for public transportation, or have a car. Results? You could save hundreds of dollars or more each month.
  2. Make your own darn coffee. Do the math. If you spend $4.00 or more a day on coffee house coffee , that can add up to over $120 a month and almost $1,000 each academic year.
  3. Cook your own meals for savings even greater than those in #2. Moreover, pick a dorm that is within walking distance of a low-cost grocery store. There is no better source of good food that fits a student budget.
  4. Share textbooks with other students in your class. With the cost of textbooks climbing over $200, you can save over $1,000 a year with this easy strategy.
  5. Get a work/study job on campus. Many job, like working the check-in desk at the gym or the student health center lets you study while you earn an income. Over the course of a school year, those dollars truly add up.
  6. Find affordable off-campus housing, after matching the costs to college dormitories. Also, consider signing up for reduced meal plans that provide a limited number of meals a week in college dining halls. Remember that the bagel that you put in your pocket at breakfast could become your lunch, giving you two meals for the price of one.

Affordable Places to Retire

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You’ve most likely have been dreaming about retirement since the day you began working. But will your budget let you make those dreams a reality? It has a better opportunity if you choose an affordable retirement destination.

To detect some of the cheapest places in the U.S. where you will really want to retire, we tried to pick a good place to retire in each state. We based our choices on factors crucial to retirees like safety, taxes, health care, cost of living, and lifestyle. Here are the appealing places left that really cheap for retirement. Decide for yourself if any of these destinations could be where you live out your American dreams.

Montgomery, AL

Annual expenditures: $37,000

Akron, OH

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Cleveland, OH

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Augusta, GA

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Brownsville, TX

Annual expenditures: $35,000

Toledo, OH

Annual expenditures: $35,000

Memphis, TN

Annual expenditures: $34,000

Jackson, MS

Annual expenditures: $34,000

Other Cities for Retirement

  • Winchester, VA
  • Portland, ME
  • Gainesville, GA
  • Wenatchee, WA
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Cheyenne, WY
  • Columbus, IN
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Midland, TX

 

If money doesn’t matter, there’d be lots of incredible places to spend your retirement. An all-glass contemporary on the Malibu beach, a small winery in Napa Valley. A house in Paris.

But money really does matter. Even as the financial markets gets out of its recession, many of us are redefining what our “dream” retirement is going to look like.

Absolutely, Honolulu has well-priced pineapples and beaches. But not many of us can afford its average home price of over a half million dollars. Chicago has lake views and first-class dining, though its way over the top, extremely high percent sales tax can put those niceties out of reach. Then again, not many retirees want to relocate, even if it is cheap, to a one-stoplight town either.

Living On One Income

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It has been very hard lately for many people to make ends meet, and this is really true for families with one income. Many families are dealing with a family member suddenly losing a job and dealing with unemployment. Nonetheless, others become a one-income family intentionally because it is the best decision for them regardless of financial challenges. Some women decide to quit their job and become a stay at home mom. Regardless the reason, making ends meet on one income isn’t without problems.

Regardless if you’re a part of one of these families, or have relatives or friends who are, check out these tips to help keep single-earner households on good money terms.

Make a Budget
The first step for any family wanting to manage of their finances is to make a budget. A budget will let you know where your money is going and let you regulate your spending by assigning how much you can afford. Making a budget is a good idea for everyone, but particularly for families with a limited amount of income. Make yourself a budget with specific spending categories and stick to it.

Live Within your Means
Be real with yourself about what you can afford. Don’t go into debt to get a brand new Lexus when you can only afford a used Ford. Don’t go on a shopping spree and increase the amount due on your credit card. If you so happen to lose the only source of income that you do have, how will you pay off your debt?

Cut Down on Expenses
Look over your expenses to see what you can do with and what you can do without. A most clear expense is cable. Some cable bills are more than $100 a month and all it does is have you and yours wasting a lot of time watching worthless television.

How to Choose A Stock

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So you finally decided to start stock investing. You realize that a low P/E ratio is usually better than a high P/E ratio. Your portfolio should be diversified across numerous sectors, a company with plenty of cash on its balance sheet is better than one greatly burdened with debt. Analysts’ suggestions must always be taken with a grain of salt. Now that you have all the basics of investing mastered, and perhaps even researched the more complex concepts of technical analysis, you are ready to choose your stocks.

But hold up! With thousands of stocks to pick from, how do you go about really picking an equity investment? Pouring over each income statement and balance sheet to see which companies have a favorable net debt position and are enhancing their net margins is an unreasonable feat. Moreover, picking an investment based just on the criteria inputs of a stock screener is prone to error and does not make a full representation of the company. Finally, simply coat tailing investors will typically not assist you in finding any ten baggers as fund managers tend to focus mainly on safe blue chip stocks.

The first step to actively picking out a stock from the sea of available alternatives is to decide what the purpose of your portfolio is. Investors concentrate on capital preservation, capital appreciation requirements, and income. Income-oriented investors will usually concentrate on low-growth businesses in sectors like the utilities.

Though other options like master limited partnerships are also available. Those who have a low risk tolerance and are primarily concerned with capital preservation tend to invest in solid blue chip corporations. Investors who are seeking capital appreciation should look at businesses of life cycle stages and ranging market caps. Whatever your goal is with

How Much You Need to Retire at 55

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If you would like to retire at age 55, there are a couple of things you will need to think about that a person who retires later will not have to consider. Below are a few things to consider if you are serious about planning for an early retirement.

Longevity

If you retire at 55, supposing you will have an average life expectancy, your assets need to produce income for a longer period than a person who retires at 65.

It means you need to create an exact projection of what you think you will spend yearly. Then you can compare that to your income sources for retirement you feel you’ll have ready for you.

Social Security doesn’t begin until age 62. Also, there are restrictions and penalties for getting to your retirement money before 59 1/2 .

What this means is that if you want to retire at 55, you must have money or have a way to get it. One source of money won’t cut it. One choice you might think about is using 72 payments to take out from your IRA.

Medicare coverage won’t begin until 65. If you are thinking about retiring at 55, make sure you will have a solid health insurance coverage that you can depend on until you can get Medicare.

Filling Up Your Time

An long vacation sounds nice, but some find it isn’t as satisfying as they thought it would be. When considering early retirement, give real thought as to what you’ll do with your money and your time. Getting serious about a hobby or consulting are ideas.

You could volunteer or help raise the grandchildren. If you decide retiring at 55 might not work for you, move the age up to 62. For many, this is doable. Just make sure that you are emotionally and financially ready when you decide to do so.

How to Make Your Personal Budget

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Creating your first budget can be very overwhelming. So overwhelming since less than 50% of folks have a monthly budget. Truthfully, having a budget is worth the effort. Crafting a budget that you can sustain over the long term has been ultimately linked to building wealth, while at the same time helping you cut expenses and get out of debt.

When getting a budget together, you should take how much money you make a year and divide it into categories to figure out how much you can afford on a recurring basis, as well as how much you can regularly invest.

This stops you from spending money on things you need and want without seeing if you can truly afford them. This also stops you from overdrawing your account and using credit cards unnecessarily.

If you’re a first-time budgeter, here are some steps to make the procedure as painless and as smooth as possible.

Know How Much You Have
If you have accounts (checking, savings, investment), you need to know how much money is in each account and the interest rates and expenses of every one of them.

Determine Your Average Recurring Monthly Expenses
This can be the hard part for many folks. The best way to decide your monthly expenses is to create a list of household expenses for a month. Keep your receipts, your utility bills, and any other expense that occur during a 30-day period and divide these bills into categories.

Track, Monitor, and Be Disciplined
Keeping track of your budget takes an hour or so per week. But this will save you a lot of time over time. Once you have created a budget, you need to keep it in check. The understanding that you’re making good long and short term financial choices will give you with a great deal of comfort. It will take you from living from paycheck to paycheck to being able to see the long-term results of your budget.