Thursday April 24, 2014
The challenge this weekend is to prepare for emergencies An emergency fund can help you prepare for financial emergencies, but you should also be prepared for other types of emergencies like a natural disaster or a serious illness. Everyone should have an emergency plan that includes who to contact, an emergency kit and enough insurance to be able to survive most emergencies. The challenge this weekend focuses on putting those things together.
The first thing you can do is to assemble an emergency kit. You should have a bag that you can quickly grab that has supplies for about 72 hours. This includes your clothing, snacks and other necessities. You may also want to put in a charger for your devices. Some cash can also be helpful. Then you need to make sure you have an emergency fund, and the right amount of insurance to cover any situation that may come up.
Monday April 21, 2014
Every time my kids get paid their allowance or they receive a gift of money, they immediately want to spend it. They start by badgering me to take them to the store, and it takes them a long time to let up. We have talked about saving, and charitable giving. We have worked on setting goals to save up for larger purchases, and yet they still have this need to spend the money as soon as they get it. I think it's a totally normal reaction, and one that doesn't necessarily go away as we grow older.
It helps to have a definite reason to save, whether it's for security (emergency funds), your future (retirement), or for items you want to get someday. Every dollar that you save should have some sort of goal attached to it. It helps to set timelines for your goals too. This will make it easier for you to reach them.
Another thing that can help is to make savings automatic. Schedule an automatic transfer to your savings account when you get paid, and you will start saving without even thinking about it. You can even have your direct deposit split, if you want to make it super easy to save.
Friday April 18, 2014
It's mid month, which means your budget should be zipping right along. This is the time of month when it can be more difficult to make your budget stick. As you get closer to the end of the month, you may be running out of money. One of the solutions that you can use is to switch to cash for your problem categories and then divide that up into weekly spending. This options makes it easier to have grocery obey at the end of the month so that you are not looking in your pantry for random food to eat. It ccan also help you cut back on the amount of ramen you eat during the month.
If you are on track so far this month, you can keep going and have a great month. There is still time to correct spending issues this month by cutting back and sticking to a strict plan. Take the time now to budget out the rest of the month and make adjustments by transferring money between categories. This can help you to keep working toward your financial goals.
Thursday April 17, 2014
It can be difficult to change your habits, and change the way you handle money. If you have established bad habits, or if you really just do not know where to start making changes, it can be tough to figure out how to change. it can be even tougher if you do not have a support system in place cheering you on and giving you advice on how to change. You may need to get advice from others, read financial books, and make drastic lifestyle changes in order to make the changes stick, but you can do it. This week's challenge is about finding that support system.
You can start by taking a class on budgeting or reading a book about it. Talk to your friends and coworkers, especially the thrifty ones to learn the tricks they use to stay on budget. There are community classes on budgeting, coupling and other money saving strategies that you can take advantage. These are great places to meet people who have similar financial goals. You can build a support system that will cheer you on instead of hold you back as you work towards your goals.