Finance

Grasping the Reality of your finances

100 dollar bill editHaving a realistic scope of your finances is a healthy way to take a step toward a debt free life. Many years a ago, Donald Trump (before he was as successful as he is today) made the comparison between himself and a debt free homeless man. He said if he were to give the homeless man one dollar that the homeless man is technically richer than he was at the moment.  You may think that doesn’t make sense. Essentially a lot of us live a life that is in the negative when it comes to our finances. We buy our cars, homes, clothes, furniture, appliances and sometimes even our vacations on credit. And we are simply surviving by making minimum monthly payments laced with interest charges. Real money is the money that we actually have in our bank accounts that we earned. Imaginary money is our line of credit and our overdraft accounts. I have seen it time and time again in which the bank gives larger and larger overdraft limits and credit card companies increase card limits. When these increases occur, it does not mean that we now have more money. Remember that money is imaginary, again what we actually have is what is in our bank accounts (or in some old school cases, hidden in the mattress.) I am not saying that credit is a bad thing, however if we assess what we actually have, we can better access what we can afford to actually buy. We have often heard experienced financial analyst and economic geniuses like Suze Orman, tell us to live within our means. Today let’s take the time to determine what our means actually are rather than the imaginary money we believe them to be. Happy savings!!!

Finance · Fitness & Wellness · Food and drink

Say Goodbye to Smoothie King and Hello to Money Saved

Spinach SmoothieRight now we are in the part of the year where a lot of us begin to start working out in an attempt to achieve the oft sought after beach body. The reality of the matter is that good health is something we should prioritize all year long instead of right before the warmer seasons. It can be challenging to get started. A great way to start is to add some healthy options into your diet. Our energy levels are directly affected by the foods we eat. Dr. Don Colbert pointed out the necessity of eating living foods versus dead food to promote good health. Living foods would be things like fruits and vegetables while dead foods would be heavily processed items like potatoes chips and candy.

We all know that it is important to eat a variety of healthy foods in order to get the full spectrum of nutrition our beautiful bodies need. Sometimes with our busy schedules it can be very challenging to ensure we are eating a wide variety of healthy foods.

Ultimately, I would love to see each of you adopt a determined attitude to place your personal health at the top of your list. With great health it is easier to enjoy life, family friends, and having great health is a great money saver. One of the easiest way to get a wide variety of healthy foods into your diet is to blend them together into a smoothie. Smoothies can be very expensive when you purchase them from places like Jamba Juice and Smoothie King. However you guys know I am all for saving some money and streamlining our finances; so Jamba Juice and Smoothie King are out of the question!! The cost per week for smoothies from the aforementioned can quickly begin to add up. I’d rather see you better allocate your funds elsewhere. There are some great alternatives to purchasing smoothies. There are a lot of great blenders, food processors, and smoothie makers out there now that will allow you to make your smoothie at home for significantly less cost than going to Smoothie king. Continue reading “Say Goodbye to Smoothie King and Hello to Money Saved”

Finance

Paying it forward and Profiting

money finalYou may be wondering how paying it forward can save you money. You likely think I am about to go the direction of others that tell you by making a charitable donation you will be able to save some money come tax time. Although that holds true, paying it forward results in great karma. In case you are wondering who or what karma is, think of it as what goes around comes around. Paying it forward can make the difference in your outlook, a difference in outlook can make a change in your finances. Think about the last time you did a good deed, you likely felt great about doing so and hence radiated a great energy. Follow me for moment, when you have a positive energy, it is amazing the amount of awesome deals and opportunities that will come your way. I am not saying to pay it forward and do a good deed solely to profit, but its an added bonus. Pay it forward and profit.

Finance

Money Saving Monday: Selling Yourself

You may be wondering why this Money Saving Monday post is titled “Selling Yourself.” The skill of selling yourself can be a major money maker and saver. Speaking from first hand experience, colleges typically do no teach you how to sell yourself or how to market yourself. In school, we learn the skills needed in order to carry out our profession. However at no point does anyone tell you how to better market yourself and sell yourself (your persona) to someone else. Part of selling yourself is to make a great first impression. Regardless to what you may have on your resume, your resume is a piece of paper that everyone is not going to see. Besides, your resume is not needed when you are trying to make a deal, people are cutting you a deal based on the person that they are looking at right now.

When you first introduce yourself to anyone, you are making an impression whether good or bad.  We all will come across times where we will do interviews, need to bargain, become business owners, or seek out ambitious opportunities. All of the aforementioned  require some form of human interaction. Be aware that your impression is not limited to those aforementioned arenas, you may meet another parent, a salesperson, a repair person, etc.  The impression you make can make the difference between getting hired, making a deal, getting your child added to the car pool or the repair person cutting you deal because you are so personable. You selling yourself to make a great impression will determine whether you are remembered, immediately forgotten and/or deemed unappealing. Continue reading “Money Saving Monday: Selling Yourself”

Finance

Fix the Funds February

Fix the Funds February

The latter part of January and the beginning of February are considered very stressful financially for many. Between the months of November and December we tend to make quite a few holiday purchases; whether it was buying gifts, paying for travel, or entertaining winter guests. Some of us have charged those expenses and are just now getting the credit card bills for them.

The current financial stress that tails us from last year can be remedied. I am declaring February as Fix the Funds February.

This month is a great opportunity to create an action plan to  begin a financial recovery process. We will explore some practical ways to cut down spending. The money that is saved can be applied to credit card debit, other debts, or savings. Many other debt counselors would have advised you to put away your credit cards and to not use them for a while. However some of us did not accumulate credit card debt but instead spent tons a cash just the same. Part of any recovery is to first let the wounded area heal. You remember when you were a child and would get wounded, you kept picking at your scab? Your parents would tell you to stop picking the wound otherwise you were delaying the healing process. Each of the Fix the Funds February task will only last for one week. Yes, I could make each task a one month long challenge, but lets be honest lots of us have issues committing and this a great way to get started .

The first Fix the Funds February task is to not make any purchases. I am a huge fan of online shopping. I will admit that there are many nights I am shopping online while in bed from my smartphone. I have gotten really good of at putting lots of items in the cart or my wish-list and determining if any of them are an actually needed. I challenge you to not purchase anything that is not absolutely necessary this week. Continue reading “Fix the Funds February”

Finance

5 Quick Way to Save Money

Coins with saving message

With shopping season upon us each of us are looking for ways in which we can pinch pennies before we scour the mall. There’s lots of things you can do right now that can save you lots of dough. You guys know that I always wanna talk about streamlining things in order to make life as comfortable, fun, and easy as possible. I know there are lots of readers that don’t start saving in January for late November and December shopping. I wanted to give a few last minute tips that can save you some dough so shopping season won’t be having you reaching for your credit card. Cash over credit eliminates January credit card bill stress, right? Ask yourself what services did you pay for that you could be doing yourself. This of course does not just apply for shopping season it applies all year long.
Continue reading “5 Quick Way to Save Money”

Finance

3 Ways to Save on New Tires

TireEvery year I plan for things to be different. I think I am never going back to that place, only to go to another place to have the same over-priced experience. If you are like me, when it comes to buying car tires you want quality at a great price. My expectation is to purchase the tires and not to be hit with 3 more additional fees.  I have a few tips that can save you a pretty penny.

  1. Research which tires are best for your car– The factory tires are not necessarily the only option for your car. Each of us live in various conditions and use our vehicles for various things. Snow tires are not needed where I live because it only snows once every few years for 10 minutes.  If you are doing routine things like driving to and from events and never loading or hauling anything, then you would not need tires that were made for heavy load capacities.  Lastly, unless you drive for Nascar you likely will not need tires for higher speed ratings. There is no sense paying extra for a tire that is made to exceed 140 miles per hour when the fastest you drive is only 70 miles per hour.
  2. Comparison Shop- If you have membership to wholesale retailers such as Sam’s Warehouse and Costco, then you definitely want to start there. For well-known tire retailer like NTB and Discount tire search online for coupons and promotions. They likely even have a promotion in your local Sunday paper. Lastly Shop online, since you know your tire size and needs try online retailers like Amazon. It has been my personal experience that you can get a very competitive price from Amazon. In addition to a great price depending on the area Amazon also has and installation service that you can pay for that will come to your home to do the install. The installation service in not necessarily a money saver but it is a great time saver for sure! There are lots of lesser known online retailers like onlinetires.com, tirerack.com & tire easy.com that are also have very competitive pricing.
  3. Purchase and Installation can be separate– Much like my post about how to save on eye glasses, your new tires can be purchased at one place and installed at another. There are lots of little mom and pop tire shops that will install and balance the tires at a nominal fee. Smaller tires shops tend to be able to give a better rate for tire installation because they control what they want to charge for labor. On the other-hand a smaller shop will not likely be able to give you a great deal on four new tires.  Please read my post called The Money Saving Secrets Businesses are Not Going to Tell you, to see how to get the best deal.

Continue reading “3 Ways to Save on New Tires”