America Saves Week – Day Seven – Money Management Tips
- A financial check-up is as important as an annual physical with your doctor. Like a medical exam, a review of your finances can screen for potential problems, such as lack of an emergency fund or a high debt-to-income ratio. The Financial Fitness Quiz at www.rce.rutgers.edu/money/ffquiz.asp includes 20 questions about financial practices. Low scores indicate areas for improvement. Need to save for emergencies and future goals? Become an American Saver at http://bit.ly/gliVkL.
- When it comes to saving money, time is as precious a resource as money is. Even small amounts of money, with compound interest over time, will grow to significant sums over time. When there’s a will, there’s a way. You don’t need a last name like “Gates” or “Buffet” to become a successful investor. Join America Saves and learn how others are reaching their personal savings goals: http://bit.ly/fHbGQy. You can too! What we think about, we bring about.
- Millionaires get a lot of attention with a popular television game show and best-selling books like “The Millionaire Next Door” You cannot necessarily tell a millionaire by looking at one, however. Many people with expensive possessions have a lot of debt and many wealthy people do not own expensive items. Living below their means is a common characteristic of millionaires. They also follow a “pay yourself first” strategy of regular saving and are goal-oriented. Want to be wealthy? Become an American Saver. Join America Saves and start saving today: http://bit.ly/fHbGQy.
- Research on millionaires indicates that most grew their portfolios over time through regular savings. The process of saving a fixed amount of money at a fixed time interval (e.g., $50 per month) is called dollar-cost averaging. Many experts recommend saving 10% of what you earn. If saving 10% of earnings is impossible, start with less (e.g., 4%) and give your savings a raise when your income increases or when household expenses, like child care or a car loan, end. For more savings tips from America Saves e-wealth coaches, see: http://bit.ly/hSJnXY.
- Want to save money? Get out of debt. PowerPay creates a schedule to apply payments from paid off creditors to remaining debts, thereby saving repayment time and interest. For example, let’s assume someone owes money to seven creditors, had been making a $50 monthly payment to Sears, and that debt is repaid. That $50 is applied to debt owed to the remaining six creditors, usually starting with the highest interest debt first. For further information about PowerPay, visit www.powerpay.org. To learn more about saving, visit America Saves: http://bit.ly/fHbGQy.
- Need to “find” money to save? Plug your spending leaks. Add up what you’re spending on “little things” such as snacks, soda, fast food, cigarettes, lottery tickets, magazines, and more. Let’s say you can “find” $5 per day from reduced spending. That adds up to $1,825 in savings per year and even more with interest. For more savings tips, visit America Saves: http://bit.ly/fLuD29.
- Saving a portion of your tax refund is a good way to prepare for life’s unexpected events. When you get your tax refund this year, save at least half of it for irregular household expenses (holidays, tuition, water bills, home maintenance), emergencies, and/or future financial goals. The IRS makes saving your tax refund very easy. Simply file Form 8888 with your tax return. This form allows you to direct deposit your tax refund into up to three different accounts. For more savings tips, visit America Saves: http://bit.ly/fLuD29 and become an American Saver: http://bit.ly/gliVkL
- Many people have a can or jar of coins stashed away. This is a great way to save money and it’s painless. Simply empty your pockets or purse at the end of the day and save your loose change. If you want to go a step further, save a dollar a day plus pocket change. At the end of a month, you’ll have about $50 in savings. When it comes time to cash in your coins, avoid machines that charge an 8% to 10% processing fee (a dime for every dollar you save!). Instead, ask your bank or credit union if they’ll count your change. Many will do this for free if you have an account with them. For more savings tips, visit the America Saves Web site: http://bit.ly/fLuD29.
- It’s never too late to save money so stop beating yourself up if you haven’t saved much so far. Choose to save today! The payoff will be worth it! Here’s an example. If you save $1 a day ($30 per month), you’ll have a little over $25,000 in 30 years assuming a 5% return. Bump the daily savings up to $5 ($150 monthly) and you’ll have over $125,000. For more information, visit the Choose to Save ( www.choosetosave.org) and America Saves (http://bit.ly/fHbGQy) web sites.
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