10 Reason Why You Should Start Saving

When asked, people will mostly comment that having credit is better than saving money. That is why people prefer using their credit cards when purchasing things though they will still have their credits and interests in the feature. However, it is about time that people save money, and there are a number of reasons to do this.

  1. IT IS ONE STEP AWAY FROM BECOMING FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT

People have differing notions on what being rich is. However, for some people, it is becoming financially independent and having their own savings. in this case, financially independent people knows how to use their money and can make financial decisions without necessarily worrying about what will be left from their pay checks.

Financially independent individuals can indulge in certain luxuries, such as vacations, and are capable of making investments on businesses that appeal to them. Moreover, they need to look for high-paying jobs. In fact, they may choose a career that is of great interest to them. In addition, financially independent people do not worry about retiring in the future.

Being financially independent does necessarily indicate that a person should be rich but just having enough to be not financially worried.

  1. SAVE 24% ON GROCERIES AND 50% ON OTHER PURCHASES

When people use their credit cards to pay for things and fail to pay in full, interest rates and additional charges may lead to 50% extra fee. Thus, people should monitor how they use their credit card to avoid incurring additional financial burden.

However, when people have savings, they can buy things and make appropriate spending decisions. And during sales, people can buy extra supply of groceries. Some experts note that such buying more groceries save people one trip to the grocery and 24% on total grocery bill.

  1. PURCHASE A HOUSE

When buying a house, people normally borrow money for the bank. However, banks will not approve their loans if they do not have the necessary down payment. This problem can be remedied if people have savings that they can tap for their down payment.

  1. PURCHASE A CAR

Same as when purchasing houses, buying a care also necessitates down payment before people can ask banks for car loans. Though people may use their credit cards for their down payment, it will lead to an additional 20% on their interest rates. Thus, individuals should just save as much as they can for their down payment before considering going to banks for car loans.

  1. ELIMINATE DEBTS

Saving money is effective method of decreasing debts and eventually eliminating them completely. Meanwhile, people will never finish paying off their credit card fees if they constantly use these plastics for emergency purposes.

However, before people should start paying their credit card debts, they should first allot some money for savings. This money should serve as reserve funds so that they won’t have to use their credit cards in case of emergencies.

  1. SAVINGS CAN BE USED FOR ANNUAL EXPENSES

People will feel more financially-stress-free when they have enough money to cover their annual expenses, including expenses for gifts, vacations, car maintenance, home and appliance repairs, and taxes. In some cases, people resort to refinancing their mortgages to pay their debts or using another credit line to pay high-interest cards. However, they are financially endangering themselves as they do not really finish paying any of their debts. Thus, people can save in advance so they won’t have to worry about their future expenses.

  1. UNEXPECTED EXPENSES

Savings can be tapped during undesirable circumstances, for example, when home or car repairs are extremely needed. When people have emergency money to be used, they won’t have to go the banks for emergency loans.

  1. EMERGENCIES

It is inevitable that families may face certain emergencies, such as unforeseen health issues, car accident, or weather disasters. As expenses for emergencies cannot be accurately estimated, it will be of great help for people to save for such unforeseen circumstance and to avoid burying themselves deeper into their debts.

  1. IN CASE OF LAY OFF OR ACCIDENTS NECESSETATING BREAK FROM WORK

Most people who are comfortable with their jobs feel like there’s nothing to worry about regarding their safety. However, accidents or other events that require people to take some time off can still happen. In such cases, people cannot use their employment insurance not until six weeks after they have taken leave from their jobs. Living on credit while they are out of job can only make things worse as people are incurring debts but they have no means of earning money to pay for them.

  1. LIVING A GOOD LIFE

Truthfully, money affects emotional, psychological, and physical well-being off people so it’s not too wrong to aspire for financial-stress free life. The first thing that people must do is to save money for their future. If they still use their credit cards without thinking, they should start monitoring where their money goes and prepare budget plans to pay off their debts and at the same time increase the amount of their savings. You will be able to afford things like Botox and Body Contouring.

Credit Cards Threat To Financial Health

People probably heard of recent cyberattacks against JPMorgan Chase and several financial services companies. Though no one knows who was behind those attacks, people were alarmed and most possibly thought of adding security to their finances. For example, people may acquire security freeze on their credit files to prevent identity thieves from using their names to open new credit accounts.

On the other hand, two-factor authentication systems can be utilized during instances when strangers possibly got ahold one’s personal username and password. Moreover, people should avoid clicking links in emails that purport to be from well-known financial services companies. This is one of the current M.O. of online thieves who are phishing for people’s personal information.

The recent cyberattacks serve as reminder to people of the things that they must worry about. However, there are other more important things that they should also consider. People should really not be too worried about thieves; the greater is risk to their finances is no one but themselves. Unknowingly, with continued use of credit cards, people are continually diminishing their net worth.

Research have already shown that people who used credit cards are more apt to spend more money than those who prefer to use cash.

In 2001, a study showed that people are more willing to spend money when they use credit cards for their purchase instead of cash. This phenomenon is termed as “credit card premium.”

Another study in 2008 let people used gift cards that were denominated in dollars. Results showed that people were more prone to spending when using gift cards instead of when they have money on hand. On the other hand, one research in 2011 indicated that people who use credit cards paid more attention to product features, whereas those who used cash were more concerned with costs of products.

The observed behaviors proved to be only logical. When using credit cards, people feel less worried about paying since deadline for their balance is still a month away. Meanwhile, gift cards are used similarly with debit cards. Given the limits of their credit cards, people are more apt to buy things based on their features than their price. Studies have also shown that people tend to see more when they see card credit card logos.

Interestingly, people who conducted credit-card-related studies are also prone to favoring the use of credit cards though they already know its potential dangers. Credit card companies entice people by making them think that they are getting more miles with increased usage of their credit cards. In the people who succumb to the offers of such finance companies end up paying high interest rates.

Mr. Srivastava of Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland conducted a study and discovered that he was also a victim dangerous credit card use. Using knowledge gained from his research, the started using debit card to better manage his expenses. Thus, the developed the habit of monitoring his finances and being careful not to exceed the limits of his credit card.

The same thing happened to Srivastava’s colleague, Priya Raghubir. She realized that she was greatly buried in debt though she was fully aware of the protocols employed when using credit cards. However, she changed her habits, and now she places greater control on her spending. Raghubir tried using cash, but she felt poor when not using credit cards. At present, she uses a new credit card with more rewards, and her son is also using information obtained through her research in managing his expenses.

Drazen Prelec notes that people should address their problem in rewards lust. However, he adds that he had his own struggles before. Previously, Prelec does not bite the frequent-flier miles that go with his cards. However, when he tried using his accumulated points, he could not leave his home anymore without his American Express card. Prelec uses his points for free travel. He also inhibits using debit cards for the same reason.

However, Prelec also regularly uses his debit card for various reasons. He Amex card is used for travels and for buying gifts. He monitors his expenses using results of his own research.

Zac Bissonnette believes that using credit cards for points is just indicator of people’s false perception regarding their own self-control. As analogy, he compared credit card uses who think that they can control themselves in spending to climate-change deniers.

Research should have helped people realize their need for controlled spending. However, recent data showed that growth in credit card spending is significantly higher than that of debit card. This results is possibly an outcome of loose credit standards.

Nowadays, people can now also pay with their phones. However, it would probably better if an app is developed to specifically remind people that they are on the verge of overspending.

Reasons People Overspend

Credit cards provide people with ease in purchasing things. People only need to bring out these plastics, and they can buy a number of things that they want in no time. However, credit cards are not without their downsides.

If not used responsibly, credit cards can be utilized by people to acquire things that they cannot buy with their salary alone. Using credit cards comes with the responsibility of paying interest rates. However, there are cases when people cannot help but to purchase things incessantly, and as a result, their debts start to increase.

Studies have shown that people with credit cards tend to spend more. Customers are more willing to buy things when using plastics instead of cash. Other research also showed that people who prefer credit cards have different traits from those who are more willing to pay in cash.

Most studies focus on credit card premium and related psychological factors. It turns out that people feel less guilty when using credit cards compared with paying cash. Moreover, when tightwads and spendthrifts were considered, further studies showed that their differences are not that great when participants were asked to use credit cards for their purchase. In summary, credit cards make it less painful for people to pay for things regardless of whether they are tightwads or spendthrifts.

Aside from making payments less painful, credit cards also stimulate desire in people. In 1980s, experiments showed that willingness of people to make purchases was higher when they saw credit card logos. After almost 20 years, the same result was obtained by other experiments. Based on these studies, consumers associate credit card logos with consumption. Thus, when people see credit card logos, they are stimulated to make purchases.

In addition, credit card users are able to compare prices using benchmarks for their credit limits. Studies showed that high credit limits serve as indicators of potential future earnings. Thus, credit card users are apt to consider prices as low when they learn about such expected earnings. As result, they will more likely spend using their credit cards. Moreover, credit limits make people think that they are spending less compared when using the cash they have in hand.

In addition, people find it easier to remember their credit limits than their exact balance. For people with high outstanding balance, they are more afraid of maxing out their card than paying their debts. Still, it is inevitable that people are tempted to overspend. Those who ensure that they pay their balance worry very little, but those who alternately use cash and credit card or have credit card debt have bigger problems. Nevertheless, results of such studies should remind people how much they love buying things and the dangers of overspending when using credit cards.

How to Become Debt Free

 

The consequences of their undesirable money habits and make for a bleak financial future. No one is sure about what can happen in the future, but it’s about time that people start thinking about properly managing their finances. The first key is to become debt free.

Financial problems start at home, where families normally neglect checking on their expenses and sometimes even spending more than they can afford. In fact, in the last 15 years, income for middle American household only incurred an 11% growth, whereas debt jumped to staggering value of 80%.

The same thing goes for consumers and businesses. People have bought things that were really out of their budget, and as result, they have no choice but live from paycheck to paycheck. However, financial problems, especially debt, can be resolved, but people need to be fiscally smart first.

The first thing to do avoid being buried in debt for a long time is to start being practical. People need to realize and be responsible regarding financial matters. They can follow some noteworthy tips, which can help in improving their money management skills and in preparing for their future financially.

  1. TRACKING AND ANALYZING EXPENDITURE

People normally do not care about where their money goes to. However, before their debts start piling up, they should start analyzing where every penny that they have is spent on. People should start keeping receipts for all their financial transactions. Then, they should keep track and determine any pattern on how they spend their money every month.

  1. DEVELOP SPENDING PLAN

To save more money, it is important that people spend only according to their needs. They should also recognize and buy only the things that they truly need. Moreover, people should think twice before spending money on anything. Likewise, they should develop additional management habits that can help them in making wise financial decisions along the way.

  1. GO OUT WITHOUT YOUR CREDIT CARDS

Research has shown that people are more apt to spend if they have their credit cards with them. Thus, people should try going out without those plastics to avoid being tempted to buy unnecessary things.

  1. PAY OFF DEBTS WITH HIGHER INTEREST RATES

People should face their debts and focus on those with higher interest rates. They should prioritize on paying such debts first and finishing all payments as early as possible. This way, they will not only minimize their debts but also prevent incurring additional fees that can be attributed to higher interest rates.

  1. SAVE MONEY FOR THE FUTURE

Americans are not popular for saving money. However, it is about time to change that undesirable habit. People should begin saving for their future and do not just depend on what they can get with Social Security. Statistics has shown that around 78 million baby boomers have increasing debt problems. According to experts, the numbers will possibly still rise given the increasing cost of living and lack of retirement funds.

  1. THINK TWICE BEFORE SPENDING

Outright spending is what normally causes people to have debts. Spenders are known for indulging themselves in entertainment, recreation, vacations, branded clothes, and other habits that require money. However, people can save more money if they stop or minimize their engagement in such activities.

  1. AVOID INCURRING ADDITIONAL DEBTS

People should just focus on paying their current debts and not incurring new ones.

  1. AVOID USING CREDIT CARDS

If they cannot pay off the debt at the end of the month, people should just forego buying and using their credit card. This way, they won’t have to pay any interest that comes with credit card purchases.

  1. AVOID MAKING ANY FINANCIAL PROMISES

The number of defaulting cardholders is continually increasing. And the increase is also observed in home foreclosures and auto repossessions. Meanwhile, about $7 billion of student loans are delinquent debt. However, the government seems to be intent on implementing iron hands on late student loan. It can incur penalty through seizing Social Security benefits in order to collect delinquent payments. In the same way, lenders assume that borrowers and co-signers will keep their word and pay off their debts as they promised.

  1. CONSULT LICENSED CREDIT COUNSELING AGENCY

Some people may have hard time resolving their financial problems. In such cases, they may seek the help of legitimate credit counseling agency that is part of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

Characteristics Of Debt Free People

 

There are cases when people who earn significant amount of money still find themselves buried in debts. On the other hand, some families do not earn much but are able to live debt-free. These cases are proof that debts really depend on how much a person earns but how he manages it. Certainly, people who are debt-free have different habits from those who are plagued by the payments that must make. Thus, for those who are struggling with debts, it is important to know some of the traits associated with people who are debt free. The following are examples of such characteristics:

  1. WISDOM

Debt-free people realize that they do not really need credit cards in order to live their life everyday. When payments have to be made, they ensure that these are paid right-away. Wise people know the dangers of incurring debts.

  1. PATIENCE

Debt-free people are patient. For those who do not earn that much, they know that they can’t afford right away expensive designer shoes or flat-screen TV. Debt-free people does not linger on shoe and appliances section because they know that they have to work and save money first before they can buy such things.

  1. CONFIDENCE

Debt-free people are confident and do not really care about opinions of other people. They are okay with driving old cars, and they do not doubt that they can all their fees.

  1. GOLD-DRIVEN

Debt-free people know what their goals are, and they are very intent on achieving those goals. People without debts make plans and formulate strategies regarding the goals that they aim to achieve.

  1. RESPONSIBLE

Debt-free people are responsible. This means that instead of going on vacation trips, they ensure that they got everything that they need in their homes first.

  1. UNMATERIALISTIC

Debt-free people are not materialistic and do not care about having too much stuff. They give little importance to extravagant trips, expensive cars, or large houses. Debt-free people realize that they cannot be truly happy if their debts are nagging them at the back of their minds.

  1. THEY SACRIFICE

Debt-free people recognize the fact they there are things that may need to give up. They know that they cannot eat out, go to the movies, or subscribe to premium cable just because they want to. Debt-free people realize that sacrifices have to be made in order to pay off their debts more quickly. However, once they finished paying their dues, they allow themselves to have the fun and excitement that they deserve.

 

Tips To Become Debt Free

Everyone has debt, only it comes in the form of student loans, credit card debt, car loans, and other things that cost people money. Debts are one of the burdens that people just can’t seem to get rid of. However, though sometimes there’s no way to resolve such problems, there are actually ways by which people can ease their debts and pay them at a faster rate.

1. CREATE A LIST OF DEBTS BASED ON INTEREST RATES

One notable problem of people who have debts is just they just stow away all the bills that arrive at their doors. Little do they know that having information regarding is great factor that can aid them in paying off their debts. Thus, the first step that they must do is to arrange their debts based on interest rates, starting from the largest to smallest.
Then, they should further organize the lists into debts with higher interest rates to those with smallest ones. Basically, higher interest rates mean that people will have to pay more money. Thus, they should aim at paying those with higher interest rates first.
As soon as they accomplish the list, debtors will have an idea which of their debts should be paid first to save more money.

2. ACCOMPLISH EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUNDS

Emergencies are unavoidable and they can happen anytime, especially during those moments when almost everyone is not expecting them. Thus, people should be always prepared in case of emergencies, and this preparedness entails having emergency funds.
Emergency funds are useful for unexpected expenses or bills. People should only utilize these funds when something really unwanted occurs. On the other hand, when people cannot help but utilize their emergency funds, they should aim to put in some money again before paying some more debts.

3. ENSURE THAT MINIMUM MONTHLY FEES ARE PAID

People are advised to pay minimum monthly fees to avoid incurring higher interest rates and late fees. Thus, if they are aiming to pay first those debts with higher interest rates, more money should be paid toward those debts every month in addition to minimum fees allotted for other debts.

4. BUDGET YOUR MONEY AND AVOID BUYING ANYTHING UNNECESSARY

Though people may think that budgeting is a sign of depravity, it is actually an effective method of correctly appropriating money. This way, people will have an idea where every cent goes to.
To start budgeting, people should look first at their previous month’s expenses. They can use their bank or credit care statements. Budgeting can be done on Excel or through apps, such as Mint. Then, people may start with creating categories for their expenses. Categories are very useful in setting limits to expenses. When budgeting, people should never forget to factor in their income to ensure that they will not spend more than they can afford.
On the other hand, some people may prefer the old-fashioned way of budgeting. They can use the envelope method, which is an effective way of managing money and minimizing expenses.

5. LADDER YOUR DEBTS

As mentioned, people should focus on paying debts with higher interest rates first. Then after the debt with highest rate is paid off, people can use the fee for that debt on other fees that must be paid. In this manner, they can finish paying all their debts at a faster rate. Moreover, people will become more motivated to pay their loans once they tick off those debts with higher interest rates.

6. TRY DOWNSIZING

Downsizing for a while can also help in paying debts faster. For instance, people can assess their. expenses and identify the things which they can live without for a while. Such expendable things may include monthly subscription services or eating out in fancy restaurants.

7. SELL OLD ITEMS

Having a garage sale is an easy way to earn more money. People may have things in their house that only take up space and that they do not really need anymore. Selling old and unused furniture and other household items can bring in money, which can be allotted for paying off debts.

8. TRANSFER BALANCES

People should consider transferring balances while they are still paying their debts. However, minimum fees must still be paid and balances should be paid as well before expiration of introductory interest rate.
In case that they need help, people may consult Consumer Credit Counseling Service for free credit counseling and debt management service. The fee is around 3% to 5% monthly and is nothing more than $50.

9. LOOK FOR ANOTHER SOURCE OF INCOME

If they can, people should try looking for another job to increase their income. However, people should not get multiple jobs if they do not want to, they can just do it in order to pay off their debts at shorter period.

10. GIVE YOURSELF SOME REWARD FOR YOUR HARD WORK

Instead of thinking of debt payment as burden, people can still have some fun while eliminating their debts. For example, if they accomplish paying certain debts, especially those with higher interest rates, then it will not hurt if they treat themselves a little. They can do something fun that will not require them to spend that much money. Rewards serve as good motivation so people will be more inspired to pay off their debts as soon as possible.

Emergency Funds

A number of households experience financial shock when certain monetary struggles just pop up in people’s lives. Even though they may have stable jobs, some people still find it hard to save money for their future, their bills, or cases of emergency situations.

To cover unwanted expenses, it is always necessary for people to use their checking or savings accounts. Instead of borrowing money from a number of people, maximizing the use of credit cards or cashing out retirement funds, people may try opening a home equity line of credit.

However, for those who want to make plans on how to use their money and allocate some of it for emergency funds, there are certain things that they can do.

  1. CASH EMERGENCY FUNDS

As there are a lot of emergency situations that may pop up from time to time, it is always good to have cash on hand. Having a certain amount of money can also come in handy when stock markets start to decline.

  1. MAKE ANOTHER SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNT

This involves opening another bank account other than the checking and savings account a person usually use. It also advisable not to apply for an ATM or debit card for such account.

  1. AUTOMATIZATION MONEY TRANSFER

A person may choose automatic paycheck deposit for their salaries and they allocate certain amount to be transferred to various accounts or to the emergency fund account every month.

  1. PERSONALIZED STRATEGIES

For those who are not in favor of automatic money transfer, may try saving money on their own at increasing increments every week.

  1. ROTH IRA AS AN EMERGENCY FUND

Younger people are advised to invest in Roth IRA. Investing the maximum amount entitle them to use the money for their retirement but also use it in case of emergencies without any penalty.

Allocation Strategies

The right asset mix has a very crucial role in a portfolio’s overall risk and return. Because of this, it is only necessary that the asset mix is able to reflect the goals of a person’s portfolio at all time. To achieve this, there are several asset allocating strategies that a person can employ.

STRATEGIC ASSET LOCATION

This involves a “base policy mix” where assets are combined in proportions based on expected rates of return for each asset class.

CONSTANT-WEIGHING ASSET ALLOCATION

This method allows for the continuous rebalancing of a person’s portfolio. Though there are no definite steps to follow when employing such strategy, it is a commonly followed norm to rebalance a portfolio to its original mix as soon as any of the asset class increases by more than 5% from its original value.

TACTICAL ASSET ALLOCATION

This method allows for returning the overall strategic asset mix to its original form as soon as the short-term profits have already been achieved. In this strategy, a person must closely monitor his portfolio and determine when it is already time to rebalance his portfolio back.

DYNAMIC ASSET ALLOCATION

This involves adjusting the asset mix based on the current market trends and status of the economy. It also seems to contrast what constant weighing allocation does because assets are bought when they are rising in value and sold when declining.

INSURED ASSET ALLOCATION

In this method, a person sets a base portfolio which must be the lowest his current portfolio should reach. Any return that is above the portfolio ensures active management of a person’s portfolio. However, when the portfolio becomes lower than the base value, a person does risk-free asset investments, fixing the base value.

INTEGRATED ASSET ALLOCATION

Integrated asset allocation takes into account the person’s expectations, the changes in the capital markets, and even the risk tolerance involved in investments.

With the said strategies above, a person must exercise utmost care when choosing the perfect strategy for managing his portfolio.

Be Sure Retirement Savings Last

For retired people, one of the financial problems that they may encounter is how to make their retirement funds last for a long time. To solve such problems, retired people are advised to estimate how much money they can spend from their retirement funds until the time that they are no longer in this world.

CALCULATING THE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO BE SPENT

The safest way for people to avoid depleting their retirement money quickly is to assume that they will live for quite a while. After that they can compute how much of their money they can spend in the succeeding years. They can do this by using their monetary information and use the T. Rowe Price retirement income calculator to estimate the probability of maintaining the level of spending that they are assuming. Depending on the increase or decrease of withdrawal made every year and the necessary adjustments due to inflation, a person is assured of that his retirement savings can last for a very long time.

Based on the number of years a person intends to make his retirement fund last, the chances of maintaining or losing the money may increase or decrease. However, this is also affected if the person retires early and still wants to make the most of his retirement money. People can also use the T. Rowe calculator in checking different scenarios by using different withdrawal rates and years of retirement. With this, they can clearly imagine and see how they should spend their money more wisely after retirement.

However, estimating how much one can spend his money over the years still does not guarantee that his funds will last. Other factors like market trends and inflation play very crucial roles in managing money. The best thing to do is to do a yearly reassessment of one’s accounts and manage it based on what is currently happening in the economy and the trade markets.

MAKING INVESTMENTS

Another way that people may opt to try out is investing in an immediate annuity of longevity annuity. Though such type of investments may bring profits to the investor, the advantages and disadvantages of such investment must be carefully considered as to avoid losing much larger amount of money in the process.

Spend Less

Nowadays, people are on the constant look out for ways on saving more money. To achieve such goal, there simple strategies that they can try each day of the week.

  1. People can start their week by merging their various accounts (savings, checking, etc.) into one. This allows people to monitor the flow of their money in just one page and it has also been shown that people better monitor their money when they are stored in just one place. At present, there are already existing applications that let people achieve such task.

  2. The next day, people should start unsubscribing from online shops and avoiding promotional discounts sent to them via emails. Even though these offers propose paying much less money, people are still required to spend. People should also keep in mind to buy only things that are needed and not wanted.

  3. Another way to spend less is get rid of old bills and replace them with newer ones. Studies show that people are more apt to use old bills than new ones.

  4. Saving for the future is one sound strategy to spend less money. It also ensures that a person can live with no financial worries if he makes the right decision of saving money for his retirement.

  5. When eating out, people are advised not to make the mistake of over ordering meals. One neat trick that they can try is to have some snack before going out or splitting a starter with their company.

  6. When shopping, people should check out the perimeters of the shopping area because it is there where they can find the cheaper items.

  7. People can also try the Rule of 5. Here, all the bills and necessary allotment for savings are subtracted first from a person’s monthly income. Next, a fifth of what is left is placed in a separate account made for annual spending. The rest of the money is then divided into weekly allowances that will be used for a whole month until the next salary comes in.