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    Discretionary Dollar Saving

    Saving is essential to every aspect of personal finance. We all know what to do, we just have a hard time doing it. Here you will find a collection of ideas, some hard and some easy on helping you attain your savings goal.

    Smart steps to start off with your financial plan

    Monday, June 17th, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Smart steps to start off with your financial plan – Follow the plan till you reach your goal

    In good times or bad, through thick or through thin, all those people who are successful at setting goals and attaining them are the ones who’ve created a financial plan and followed it. Indeed, if you want to gain financial security, having a well-built plan is the only way in which you can achieve it. Financial plans are well-written, organized strategies for accomplishing all your financial goals and maintaining your financial health. Irrespective of whether you hire a financial planner, it is solely your responsibility to develop and contemplate your financial plan that will be centered on your desires and objectives. Not following a financial plan is the biggest reason for the large number of debtors in the nation who are rushing to the debt consolidation programs and the debt counseling agencies for help. If you’re confused about the steps that you need to take to prepare your financial plan, here are some steps that you may consider.

    • Discover where your pennies are going: The most important step to take is to develop a budget after detailing where your money goes. Get yourself a notebook and carry it wherever you go so that you can maintain the smallest details of where your pennies are going. At the end of the week, spend an hour perusing your notes and categorizing them. How much did you spend on transportation, how much on food, clothing, entertainment, healthcare, mortgage, rent and utilities? It’s important for you to carry on this for at least 3-4 months so that you exactly know where your pennies go every month.

    • Set realistic financial goals: Once you’re done with this, you should then ask yourself where you would want to be 20 years from now. Answer it more specifically like you want to pay off your mortgage and have an investment portfolio of $50,000. Be extremely realistic while setting goals and be specific about them. As you want to succeed, you should start off with attainable goals.

    • Keep a constant watch on your credit rating: It is impossible to get anywhere these days without a good credit score. As you’re entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from the 3 credit reporting agencies, you should check your score once a year with each of the agencies. You may also get a copy of the reports once a year in annualcreditreport.com. Ensure that there are no discrepancies between the credit reports and the records and even if there are errors, take immediate action to dispute them and boost your credit score.

    Beat the unexpected odds by getting insured: Do you have a family of your own? If answered no, get yourself coverage on disability insurance to protect your power of earning. And if you have a family and you’re blessed with lots of loved ones, you might want life insurance policy, health insurance policy and homeowner’s insurance policy. Irrespective of your present financial situation, insure yourself against the unexpected odds and avoid blowing a hole in your wallet.


    Written by Guest Author: Michelle Blackmore

    Not worth your time? Are you sure?

    Friday, July 15th, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    As an aspiring do it yourself-er I tend to hear a few common responses when sharing new projects or ideas with friends and family. One such phrase comes in many forms but usually sounds like:

    • That’s not worth my time
    • You are losing money if you factor in your time
    • Time is money

    So let’s explore this notion of your time and its value. Think of time in two categories, working and non-working time.

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    Racking Up the Rewards

    Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Rewards points are certainly not new. Nearly every major credit card, bank or airline has their own form of currency called miles, rewards, points or something else. Companies “reward” you to build customer loyalty and return business for simply using their company’s credit card or purchasing their company’s product.  However, with some forethought and a few minor changes in your habits, you can convert your rewards points into cash.

    Spend a Dollar to Save a Penny
    Let’s be clear here. Spending a dollar to make a fraction of a dollar isn’t usually a good strategy. However, if you already must purchase a product why not benefit a little from it.

    We do our best to maximize our rewards and usually end up with about $1000 a year in cash.  We put this bonus in our replacement fund which we use each year for trips and vacations.  Not a bad starting point.

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    The Case For Paperless

    Saturday, June 26th, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    Paper litters nearly every aspect of our life. Not only is paper a nuisance, but for every piece of paper you decide to keep, you have to organize, store and manage it. What a waste of time and resources.

    Is your desk covered with neat (or messy) stacks of paper? Do you find it frustrating to find documents in a file cabinet? Tired of having stacks of mail and paper clutter your life? Are you interested in simplifying your life and spending more time doing the things you love?

    Here are just a few reasons to work towards eliminating the endless stream of paper.

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    Borrow or Buy?

    Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    Why do we buy? Do we buy because we need to use or do we buy because we want to have?

    This simple question not always has a simple answer.

    Are you spending extra time and money purchasing things you could be borrowing instead? Here are a few things to consider before you hit the store next time.

    Benefits of Borrowing:

    Test Drive Products for Free
    Would you dream of buying a car without a test drive? I know I wouldn’t. A major benefit of borrowing is that you get to try before you buy. And if you do end up needing to purchase this item (perhaps rarer than you may think), you will be informed with hands on experiences on what features you like or don’t like.

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    Cash for Clutter

    Friday, January 1st, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    So you have now identified a few items to sell for your replacement fund. But how do you turn those items into cash and grow your replacement fund? Here are some ideas.

    Pick The Best First
    Set yourself up for success and sell your best items first. This means items with the highest profit and that are the easiest to ship or transport. These are usually books, electronics and other consumer goods.

    Price to Sell Fast
    You have already decided you wouldn’t mind shedding these items, so don’t let price get in the way. It’s easy to get hung up on what a “deal” the buyer is getting. After all, you paid -insert your price here- and it has the -insert some feature here-. The past is the past, so don’t get hung up on the other guy. (Yes, he is probably getting a good deal). Good deals are what drive sales. The fact is, if it wasn’t such a good deal the buyer wouldn’t be knocking at your door. Make your item a great deal and don’t look back.

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    Tracking Expenses The Easy Way

    Friday, December 18th, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    Do you wonder where your hard earned dollars get spent? Here are some ways to track your expenses in just a few minutes per week.

    1. Use Online banking

    Some smaller banks are still catching up but the larger banks have done a great job of giving you all the tools you need online. If you aren’t using online banking then tracking your expenses will be much more difficult and may require far too much time and effort.

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    Use Your Credit Card Without Transaction Fees or Minimums

    Monday, December 14th, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    The biggest drawback to going cashless is the problem of uninformed merchants charging minimums or transaction fees. So are you tired of getting nickel and dimed as you go to use your credit or check cards?

    If you are still unclear on the different types of debit/check cards, be sure to read Credit or Debit? Plastic Explained first.

    The Problem
    Merchants see credit transactions as an additional cost. In general store owners pay between 1-3% per transaction to process your card. They also have a fixed transaction cost ranging from .15 cents to .45 cents. Different accounts have their own prices, but that’s generally the structure.

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    Do You Trash Your Cash?

    Saturday, December 12th, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    money trashWe all need garbage service. But the real question is, How Much Do We Need?

    The Irony of Trash Service
    Every family has different waste needs and your local prices may vary, but the bottom line is the less trash you produce the less you will spend on garbage service. The irony is that we are paying someone to get rid of things that are of no value to us. Most household expenses are for things that bring us something of value such as water, power, insurance, telephone etc. They all provide us with a service that we have determined is important to us.

    The irony with trash service, is that we aren’t getting anything, except the ability to get rid of things!

    A while back we downsized our trash bin. Initially, we were concerned with the amount of trash we had, and that it would be too much for this small can.  After all, our new can is only a 35 gallon trashcan! Also free with many trash services are recycle bins. In our area, these are free and are huge! They are the largest residential roller size.

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    Credit or Debit? Plastic Explained

    Sunday, December 6th, 2009 at 1:35 PM


    because there is some confusion on what types of plastic are out there. You bank
    sends you a card but what does it really do? Here is my definition of a few commmon types of plastic.

    You might have a good idea about how your cards work, but it seems there is still a whole lot of confusion on what types of plastics are out there. Your bank sends you a card, but what does it really do?

    Credit Card – Most Widely Understood.
    This is not your money. You simply sign and present this card when you purchase something. You can use it interest free for about 30 days, then you must pay it off, or make minimum payments plus interest.

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