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:
Every New Year, there’s an overabundance of hope that the turning of the calendar will create a significant divide between the old and the new. We like to believe this year will be markedly better than the last, but often times the how of this belief is vague, to say the least.
Come the first of January, we’ll suddenly feel the pressure of all these vague goals: eating healthier, spending less, earning more – the list goes on and on.
That’s a lot of pressure, right?
During my teenage years, I was fortunate enough to receive my first car as a gift from my mother. Once it was time for a new set of wheels, I quickly drove to the nearest auto dealership and started my search. Little did I know, getting a good deal on a new car requires a ton of research. And the financing process took much longer than I had anticipated.
Luckily, I took the time out to call a relative that was much more seasoned than I was in this area. Not only did I save thousands of dollars, but I learned a ton about auto loans.
Here are some tips you want to consider prior to securing a loan for your new ride:
What are you thankful for – family? Friends? Health? What about freedom or a great job? I too am thankful for all of those things. However, I also have something else I’m thankful for that might seem a little odd – credit card debt. Specifically, my credit card debt.
Why would I be thankful for something that brought me to the brink of bankruptcy? The answer is quite simple – it was being in credit card debt that brought me to where I am today financially. Before having debt, I knew little to nothing about managing money. I was financially illiterate to the core and was paying for that illiteracy.
We often think it’s only the “good” things we can be thankful for. In paying off debt, I learned even trials can lead to gratitude. Here are some glimmers of hope to pull out of the trial of debt.
There are many reasons why we make purchases, especially those that could be classified as impulsive.
We could be feeling particularly emotional over external circumstances and hope for the burst of satisfaction that comes from spending money. We could be swayed by advertising that convinces us we need what retailers are selling. We could see a friend or neighbor with something and suddenly we want the exact same thing.
These subtle, or not so subtle, messages that influence spending are everywhere. In fact, they are so prevalent, we often don’t notice how often we must make a decision whether we will fight them or give in to them.
Regardless of why I’m feeling tempted to make an unnecessary purchase, I have one specific way of cutting off the urge and moving on.
It can be difficult to make the decision to set money aside, especially if you don’t feel as though you have enough to be saving. However, no matter how much (or how little) you make, it’s a good idea to start saving money NOW.