After dedicating a good chunk of time to mapping out my goals for the year, fully covering both my professional and personal life, I noticed a trend. Everything I hoped to accomplish for the year – from meal planning to implementing a better filing system — revolved around creating a more streamlined, simple life.
The biggest pain points I identified in order to craft my goals – like spending hours looking for lost paperwork and scrambling for forgotten passwords – can all be tied together with one theme: organization. And as I decided the steps I needed to take in the first quarter of the year, I noticed something else – accomplishing these tasks will have a major impact on my finances.
We often think of people living paycheck-to-paycheck as those who earn a lower income or struggle with debt. It makes sense as living paycheck-to-paycheck results in little to no money left in the bank at the end of each month. Surprisingly, the former issue isn’t always the case. A recent survey conducted by CNBC reports that 25 percent of those making over $100,000 a year are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
I know income is somewhat relative, but $100,000 is a good salary. Remembering back to my days of this lifestyle, I wasn’t making anywhere near that amount. Ultimately, it doesn’t come down to income. It’s the mindset that matters. If you’re currently living from paycheck-to-paycheck, here are some ways to break that cycle.
I discovered the wonders of frugality when I was paying off debt. In my previous life, I spent money on any whim that surfaced. Whether it was large or small, I made the purchase with little thought to how I could pay for it. After a few years, my spend crazy ways forced frugality into my life.
All of a sudden I had to live by a budget. I had to find ways to save money on virtually everything. While a shock at first, I learned to embrace frugal living and all the benefits it brings. What I’ve learned over the years is that frugality can often be a fool’s errand. Here’s why.
Last month my wife and I finally got rid of our final budget killer – our DirecTV subscription. At $105 per month, I’m glad to see that bill go by the wayside and am dreaming of the ways we can better use that savings each month.
We can all be guilty of budget leaks on occasion though this was a budget killer. Although the number of cord cutters is on the rise, a recent study reveals that 83 percent of American homes still have some form of pay television. As has been our experience over the past month, you don’t need to spend much to enjoy quality content. The benefit of cutting the cord on cable TV for us is that it brings our family one step closer to a major goal we want to reach.
As a parent of three young children, I want to do all I can to provide for them. That’s as simple as providing food and shelter to more long-lasting needs. In every case, we want to do all we can for our kids, which includes sacrificing our own needs or wants as parents. There comes a point, however, when you need to let your children fly solo.
A recent study from a professor at North Carolina State University reveals 40 percent of adult children (those aged 25-32) still receive some kind of financial assistance from parents. While not really surprising, given the recent economic climate, it begs the question of when to cut the cord on your adult children. This is an issue far larger than a single blog post, but consider some of the following as you think about when your adult children need to be on their own.
New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad wrap over the years, but for good reason – according to studies, the success rates for some of the most commonly made resolutions are dismal.
One such study conducted by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, found that, out of 700 participants, only 22% managed to see their resolutions through to the finish line.
“Of the 78% who failed, many focused on the downside of not achieving the goals; they had suppressed their cravings, fantasized about being successful, and adopted a role model or relied on willpower alone.”
Are you considering a fee-based credit monitoring service?
Makes perfect sense, considering the prevalence of identity theft in the U.S. alone. In 2014, 17.6 million U.S. residents experienced one or more incidents of identity theft, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. That’s 7 percent of the population age 16 and over! We’ve even witnessed several big-box retailers fall victim to security breaches.
But before moving forward, you have to consider if the monthly cost outweighs the benefits, and if there are better cost-efficient alternatives.
Scraping by between paydays is a common way of life for a huge portion of the population – even among segments you wouldn’t suspect.
A recent survey found one third of households earning at least $75,000 per year are living on the edge financially. One fourth of those earning at least $100,000 per year find themselves without much left over at the end of the month.
The reasons for the discrepancy in income vs. expenses are varied. Some cite overspending as the culprit, others point to student loan debt or astronomical medical bills. Many found their savings depleted during the Great Recession and they haven’t managed to regain their financial footing.
When it comes to making a purchase, does the method of payment really impact how much you’re willing to spend? It might sound far-fetched at first, but studies show a strong correlation between how you pay and the total amount you’re willing to shell out.
According to a 2000 study titled, “Always Leave Home Without It: A Further Investigation of the Credit-Card Effect on Willingness to Pay,” the number of cases in which credit cards appear to have some impact spending habits are many.
“…it is known that people who own more credit cards make larger purchases per department store visit (Hirschman 1979), and that restaurant tips are larger when payment is by card (Feinberg 1986). There is also evidence that credit card users are more likely to underestimate or forget the amount spent on recent purchases (Soman 1999).”
The study’s authors go on to explain an even more troubling trend – people report being willing to spend 50-200% more on a purchase made with credit vs. with cash.
When it comes to credit cards, I’ve heard it all. There are so many myths floating around about the magic plastic that you may be tempted to avoid them altogether. Even worse, a lack of knowledge could lead to irresponsible use that could haunt you for years. Unfortunately, I was a part of the latter group and it ended up costing me a ton of cash to get out of the hole.
But you don’t have to fall into the same trap that I did. Here are some credit card myths you should be aware of: