Each year AARP offers great tip on savings. This year’s list is out and it’s the 10th anniversary addition. How much can you save with these tips?
It’s going to be a busy July for me. Do you or your teen want to learn about money and finances? If so, I will be offering classes / workshops both in Norwlak and New Haven, CT:
July 15 – July 19, 2019 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm (Norwalk, CT)
Norwalk Community College – Welcome To The Real World: Teens and Money
July 22 – July 26, 2019 or August 12 – August 16, 2019 from 9:00 to 4:00 pm with one hour lunch break (New Haven, CT)
Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions – Life Skills Boot Camp – I will be teach the financial portion on both Mondays, July 15 and August 12.
July 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm (New Haven, CT)
Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions – Welcome To The Real World: Teens and Money
July 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm (Norwalk, CT)
Norwalk Community College – Budgeting To Create A Spending Plan
August 12 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm (New Haven, CT)
Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions – Budgeting To Create A Spending Plan
For Norwalk Community College classes registration at call 203-857-7080 or please visit Norwalk Community College.
For Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions class registration call 203-800-4100 or please visit Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions
Last, we spoke about bank accounts – now I’ll talk about credit cards.
Do your homework and determine what credit cards your have, what interest rate and fees your paying.
First, you must be honest with yourself and decide which of these two categories you fall into:
- Credit card balances are paid in full each and every month
- You pay your credit card monthly, but carry a balance month to month
Which one are you?
If you are number #1, you are not concerned about the interest rate associated with your credit card. You pay the balance in full each and every month, so there isn’t interest charged to you. You need to look at the fees that you might incur.
If you are a number #2, you care about the interest rate and the lower the interest rate is, the less you pay each and every month while you are carrying a balance.
Are you using the right credit card for the spender you are? If not, look around to determine if there is a better option for you.
Do you have the best bank / credit union accounts? How can you tell which is best for you?
For your bank / credit union account, you want to earn the highest interest rate (paid to you) with no (or the lowest) fees. Start by looking at what you currently have – how much are you earning and paying? Once you know this information, you have a starting point. Now compare that with what other’s offer. Can you do better? Don’t forget while looking compare both local, out of state and virtual banks / credit unions. What would you have to do to eliminate all fees?
Keep in mind, that the bank and/or credit union you are looking at must (non negotiable) be FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) for a bank or savings and loan. Credit Unions are insurance through NCUA (National Credit Union Administration). This protects your money up to $250,000. Once you confirm this, then look at how you earn interest and what fees are involved before making your choice.
Personally, we bank both locally and virtually. We earn interest on both our checking and savings accounts with no fees and do NOT have to carry a large balance in the account to do this. So if we can do this, you can too.
Other quick tips, that may help you:
- Don’t link your savings account to your ATM / Debit card
- Set up automatic savings deposits with each and every paycheck (pay yourself first).
Remember, that every penny your earn or save is more money in your pocket. Those pennies add up.
If you want to teach your teens about personal finances, I am teaching a class at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, CT specifically for teens.
It’s a five day class the week of July 15, 2019 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
For more information or to register your teen, call 203-857-7080 or please visit Norwalk Community College.
Last year this class filled quickly and we turned teens away, so don’t wait to register!
Personally, I have dealt with relatives dying and having to clean up the mess. For me, each time got better with less to clean up.
- What requests to you have – do you want to be buried or cremated, do you want a funeral or a memorial.
- What do you want to happen to your stuff – do you want specific things to do to s specific person. I have witnessed more fighting about little items (two people want the same thing) Take some time to think about what you have and who each item should go to. Maybe you want to start to give the items away now. Maybe you want to donate or sell the items. Remember to leave detailed instructions to prevent fighting.
- Have you updated the beneficiaries on your insurance and financial account? Make sure to specify one or more for each account. It makes things a lot easier.
- What are your health wishes – do the necessary forms to have your intentions carried out, like you want.
Here’s a great article to get you thinking about what you need to have on place.
Here’s a great article from AARP for getting out of debt. It’s discusses older American’s, but the step apply to all ages.
We recently purchased a replacement car. We bought my 1995 Jeep in September 1994 and we felt it was time to get another car.
Here are the steps we took before making the purchase:
- Started to look at cars to determine what manufacturer and model we were interested in (looking a pricing)
- Reviewed our finances – how much can we put down as a down payment, how much can we afford as a monthly payment, etc?
- Reviewed our credit to make sure all is well
- Looked at car loan interest rates from several sources to determine rates and terms
- Unfroze it to make it accessible to the lender for a car loan
All this took place over about a four month time frame. Once we determined what car – brand and model, we did our online research for deals (the model and miles). We wanted to be ready to move as soon as we found the car we wanted. It had been a long time since we purchased a car, so we weren’t sure what we wanted in an SUV and we were open to most car manufacturers. This made the search process long, but I knew when we found what we wanted we would be ready.
And it happened a couple of weeks ago, we found the perfect SUV for me. A couple of years old (2016) with hardly any miles (less than 4,000), certified pre-owned and an extended warranty. That was the car for me. Saw it on a Thursday and make the decision on Friday – all our preparation made us ready to go. We picked up the car the following week.
As you know I am cleaning out stuff n in our home. My goal is to clean out the basement, garage etc. and reduce the family items that have accumulated over the years. We have made tremendous progress and are now down to items that may have value.
I have to admit that this is challenging. I don’t want to toss something of value. On the other hand, I don’t have the time to do all the research involved. So what am I supposed to do?
I found a company that buys gold, silver, coins, stamps etc. They seemed reputable. I have sold items to them in the past. I brought more items to them last month. One item in particular, a Movado watch, I knew was worth something, but I had no ideas how much. They offered me $40. My gut told me that was too low, so I declined. Before I left, he upped the offer to $50 – again I declined.
I took it to the local watch place that replaces my watch battery and asked them. The owner wasn’t in, so I left the watch. Imagine my surprise, when the owner called and we spoke. He offered me $123 for the watch. $73 more that the other place.
In this case, seller beware. Take the time to do the research necessary before you think about selling items. You might get more that you expected (a pleasant surprise), but you don’t want to sell and item to find out that you practically gave it away. I guess I have my work cut out for me over the summer.
I am on a mission to remove hazardous chemicals from our lives. There are so many that appear in our lives without even thinking about it. There are additives in our foods. There are chemicals in our cleaners in our personal care items and food. This is too much for me and we are changing how we buy things. Reading the labels for ingredients. Yes, it takes time, but my health is more important.
I buy organic foods and do a lot of cooking myself versus buying prepared foods. I grew up with a family that lived farm to table lifestyle with a garden in the back yard for some awesome vegetables. I still garden to this day. in fact, we just planted this years garden. There is nothing better to me than picking lettuce and making a salad or picking a vegetable for a meal based on what’s ready to pick. You can’t beat the freshness or the taste without any additives or chemicals.
In addition, we have been eliminating chemicals in our home too. All those chemicals in the cleaners we used to use. Not to mention the chemicals in our personal care products. Ugh! We use products such as vinegar, baking soda and essential oils to clean and sanitize our home. Young Living’s Thieves is what we use for laundry, dishes / dish washer / household cleaner and more.
When is the last time that you read the label on a product you regularly use in your household? Take one out now and see what’s in it. It might shock you.
We are putting our money towards better options. For more information check out these websites:
- Environmental Working Group for a list of the dirty dozen and clean 15 fruits and vegetables. Also, they have a list of skin care products with ratings to help you choose.
- Food Babe – great information about what is in the food that we eat – it’s shocking.
- Young Living – for non toxic cleaning and personal care products included the Thieves products in the photo*
- Center for Food Safety – working to keep our food / environment safer
Once you read the labels, you will be shocked at what is in these products. For me, it means making my own healthy versions for our home. For example, condiments – we make our own from scratch. I couldn’t find mayonnaise or salad dressing without partially hydrogenated oils and added sugar. Yes, it takes time, but my health is more important.
We are not perfect, but we are eliminating and replacing one product at a time. It’s a journey and it will take time, but it’s one step at a time to a healthier lifestyle.
* We may receive a percentage of the purchase price if you chose to buy the linked products. There is no difference in price to you.