Here are eight behaviors that are all but taken for granted in American culture — all of which are potentially expensive. Before you blindly follow the presumed cultural custom, it’s worth at least giving each some thought and deciding whether it’s truly a priority of yours – or just something everyone else seems to be doing.
Some or all of these might be really important to you, things you feel are well worth the money — and that’s fine! At least you’ll have come to that decision mindfully.
How to Cut Costs with Tiny Living
Tiny homes aren’t just a fad anymore — what started as a way to lower mortgage payments and utility costs following the Great Recession has developed into a worldwide movement. And Google searches for “Tiny House for Sale” have grown a whopping 900%. If you’re looking to purchase or build a tiny house of your own, there are a few decisions you’ll need to make: Where do you want to put your tiny house, and do you want to rent the land or purchase it outright? Are you looking to build your house on a foundation, or do you want to put it on wheels and travel from coast to coast with your home in tow? When compared to a traditional or big house, tiny houses could save homeowners a lot of money. But exactly how much you’ll save comes down to the type of living situation you want. We’ve taken a critical look at the choices that aspiring tiny homeowners often have to make, and how much each option costs when compared to living in a traditional home on a one-month to five-year scale.
5 tips to help you save your first $1,000 Millennials now the largest living generationIf you’ve yet to save your first $1,000, take comfort in the fact that you’re in good company. An estimated 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account, and 34% have absolutely no savings at all.
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How to Kick Your Bad Money Habits
Have you ever had to say I’m Broke? Well if you have this is for you. You’ve got money problems and you can’t figure how to crawl out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself. The bills keep stacking up and try as you might to pay things off, your bank account is going further and further in the red with each passing day. You just cannot seem to find a way to pay your bills. What can you do to kick your bad money habits once and for all? Hire a company to consolidate your debt into one easy payment? Go on a spending detox? Although each solution provides positive outcomes, you need to build a better relationship with your finances not just bandage the crack in your piggy bank. Here are some tips that will help you kick your bad money habits once and for all:
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It’s a pretty typical story.
Person reaches a financial breaking point. Person begins to use frugality to cut back strongly on their expenses. Person pays down their debts and begins saving for the future. Person begins to feel a whole lot better about their financial state.
At that point, many people reach a crossroads. They begin to ask whether or not it makes sense to keep being so frugal. Once you have a healthy amount of savings or investments, is there really a reason to continue being so frugal?
Whenever I hear that question, it serves as a recognition to me that there are two ways to look at frugality.
Some people look at frugality as a tool. Frugality is something you choose to do to extract more money by doing things differently than you would normally do them. If you begin to feel like things are in a financially good place, it’s tempting to put that tool down and not “work” as much.
A new study finds that young Americans could use some help when it comes to managing their money.
Just in time for financial literacy month, a new San Diego State University study of young Americans has found that they are lacking when it comes to financial knowledge and behavior.
Out of these three questions measuring basic financial knowledge, the average respondent could answer only 1.8 correctly—and only a quarter got all three right. (Answers are at the bottom of this story.)
(1) Do you think that the following statement is true or false? Buying a single company stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.
Sarah and I have a large emergency fund by almost any standards. If everything collapsed, we could live for more than a year simply on our cash reserves without touching any of our other investments. That’s a huge emergency fund.
So, why do we have such a big fund? Why not invest some of that money and have a smaller cash reserve?
The simple reason is that it leaves us feeling more secure. Knowing that if everything fell apart we have enough cash on hand to survive for more than a year makes us feel very little stress regarding our finances and our day to day life. If the stock market takes a dive or if something else like that happens, we’re still good to go.
This sounds appealing, of course, but it has a real cost.
As I’ve noted before, the average American family budgets for about $50,000 per year. We actually budget for quite a bit less than that, even with three children. For ease of calculation’s sake, let’s say our annual budget is $30,000 (it’s a nice, even number that’s pretty close to our actual number, which is an odd figure).
When it comes to saving, we aren’t doing enough of it.
Roughly half of Americans are saving 5% or less of their incomes, including 18% that are not saving anything, according to a survey from Bankrate. Only about a quarter of people are saving more than 10% of their earnings.
So how much should you be saving? Bankrate recommends 15%.
“Between emergency savings and the ever-increasing burden of retirement savings that is on the individual, the goal should be 15% of your income,” said Greg McBride, the personal finance website’s chief financial analyst.
Currently, one in seven people are saving more than 15%, the report showed.
Bouncing back after a bankruptcy may not be easy but it can be done. The most prosperous of the rebounders analyze their past shortcomings, chart a better route, then march full force into the future.
In 2013, more than 750,000 households legally escaped their financial obligations by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The sense of relief that comes with unloading debt obligations is often tempered by feelings of failure. It doesn’t have to be the end of the line, though. For some, discharging debt was not the final destination, but a launching pad to a greater and more secure economic future.
Like Henry Ford and Donald Trump, the typical profile of those who bounce high after a trip to bankruptcy court is a resilient risk-taker who learns from the past. Here are just a few people who transitioned from the depths of economic despair to a soaring net worth. Everyone can learn a thing or two from their pre- and post-Chapter 7 experiences, they say — as do the experts who help the insolvent rise and shine.
I am a huge advocate for preparing and eating meals at home. It’s almost always drastically cheaper than eating out. You have fine control over the quality and quantity of the ingredients. You can make whatever you want and you’re not restricted by a menu. You don’t have to wait to get seated. Eating at home just has a ton of benefits.
Still, there are times when eating out at a restaurant just makes more sense. For example, if we choose to spend a day in the Des Moines area, we often wind up more than an hour from home in the evening and, with hungry children, it just makes more sense to eat out. We also usually plan a meal at a restaurant roughly once a month in addition to those relatively unexpected events.