Many people in our society are not able to save. They are barely able to cover their monthly expenses. However, there are some actions that can help you get on a path to saving.
In the first month, open an online bank account and deposit a minimum amount, such as $5. This is a very important first step. In month two, save $15 (or more) in your online savings account. One way to do this is with Paribus, an online tool that searches various retailers to determine if you are owed money for past purchases as a result of a price drop.
Your goal for month three is to work toward savings $100. This could be accomplished by signing up with market research companies to participate in providing opinions. Or, you could try selling old items online. By consistently using various ideas for earning extra money, you should be able to save $100 a month.
For additional information on starting a savings program, click here.
Have students to talk various people to determine actions they take to reduce spending or earn extra money.
Have students create a summary presentation describing actions that might be taken to increase a person’s savings.
Describe attitudes and behaviors that might result in people not being able to save for the future.
What are actions you have taken to reduce spending and to earn extra money for savings?
“Falling gas prices have put consumers in a good mood.”
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), more than 4 in 5 Americans indicate falling gas prices impact their feelings about the nation’s economy and as a result they will spend more during the upcoming holiday season. In fact, more than one in four consumers (26 percent) expect to increase their spending during the 2015 holiday season–a 7-point jump over the past month and the highest percentage this year. Also the survey finds that women are more optimistic than men. For retailers, this statistic is even more encouraging because women do more holiday shopping when compared to men.
Dave Ramsey has taught and encouraged millions to get out of debt and to achieve an improved financial situation through his “seven baby steps,” which are: (1) establish a $1,000 emergency fund; (2) pay off debt; (3) save three to six months of expenses; (4) invest 15 percent of income in pre-tax retirement funds; (5) plan for the funding of the college education of children; (6) pay off mortgage as soon as possible; (7) build wealth and give.
An alternative perspective to this approach might be:
Create a larger initial emergency fund.
Instead of paying off the smallest debts first, pay off the ones with the highest interest.
A minimum of six months for expenses is needed, with twelve months more realistic.
Take advantage of any 401k matching offered by employers.
College may not be the right educational choice for everyone. Also, those who go to college should be responsible for a portion of education costs.
Home ownership may not be appropriate for everyone. When buying a home, paying off a mortgage may be a higher priority than saving for college to reduce the amount of interest paid.
Making money, saving money, and donating to charity should be the main focus.
For additional information on personal financial planning actions, click here.
Have students survey others regarding their use of these personal financial planning suggestions.
Have students obtain additional financial planning suggestions using online research.
What do you believe are the most important actions that should be taken regarding wise personal financial planning?
How would you communicate these financial planning actions to others?
My Wife and I Never Discussed Money Before Getting Married–and Ended Up with $52,000 of Debt
Prior to tallying up our debt, we’d talked about traveling internationally, starting a family, and, some day retiring comfortably. There was so much we wanted out of life, but . . .”
This is an excellent article that describes what can happen when a soon-to-be-married couple doesn’t talk about finances. Fortunately, the two people in this article–Deacon and Kim Hayes–realized they had a problem and then took steps to get their finances back on track.
Specific steps this couple took can make a big difference over time. Among the suggestions included in this article are:
Writing down all your assets, debts, income, and expenses.
Prepare a budget and review each item for opportunities to save money.
Replacing a newer, expensive car with an older car.
Selling unwanted or unneeded items online.
Using any extra money to repay debt.
Establishing an emergency fund.
Saving and investing a specific amount each month.
Consider This: Deacon Hayes–the author of this article–became a financial planner and now shares his story with his clients.
“Rather than making resolutions . . . try answering the following five questions today, with a plan to answer them again when 2015 comes to a close.”
In this MarketWatch article, Chuck Jaffe poses the following 5 questions to help people gauge their financial health.
What’s your net worth?
How many times your current (or last) salary do you have in retirement savings?
What’s your debt-payment burden?
If you don’t see the next New Year, what would happen to your family financially?
When reviewing your finances, what is the single thing that makes you feel the best? The worst?
In addition to the questions, Mr. Jaffe also provides information that can be used to improve a person’s answers to each question with the goal of helping people manage their personal finances and improve their financial life.
“A decision by OPEC this week to maintain current levels of oil production is hammering major energy companies in the U.S. and abroad.”
This article explores the winners and losers of lower energy prices. For consumers, lower energy and gas prices means increased discretionary funds for purchasing consumer goods including food, clothes, electronics, and presents for friends and relatives during the holiday season. Also, both large and small retailers benefit because consumers have more money to spend. And airlines, package delivery services, cruise lines, and other companies are spending less on fuel.
The disadvantages of lower energy and gasoline prices are already causing the stock prices of big oil companies including Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil, and British Petroleum to decline.
Saving money or earning extra income can be as easy as using an app to rent a car or lend someone your backyard tools. With about 5,000 sharing companies, organizations and programs in operation, consumers could save hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year.
The main focus of the sharing economy is car and bicycle rentals, home sharing, and shared nanny services. But consumers can also borrow drills, saws, ladders, lawn mowers through a community tool shed.
To avoid obvious dangers, be sure to use a sharing service that screens potential customers with background checks and identity verification. Technology can increase trust with online profiles and reviews from users.
There is also money to be made in the sharing economy by providing rides to others or renting out an extra bedroom. Before getting involved in the sharing economy, be sure to have proper insurance coverage and an understanding of tax implications. Participants in the sharing economy also note the social benefits of connecting with others from around the world.
For additional information on the sharing economy, go to: