admin / May 31, 2018

Summer Money Makeover

 

It’s not yet ‘officially’ summer but Memorial Day’s been and gone so I thought we’d kick off a summer financial makeover.

What gave me the idea?

Over at my writing site, I’m setting up a summer writer’s retreat where we’ll get books started or half-finished ones will get completed. It’s running from June 1st through September 1st. Three months to get something done that maybe you’ve been talking about or even just dreaming about doing. So I thought how about something similar here at BSG.

What would your financial makeover look like?

Maybe you want to finally set up a budget?

Perhaps you want to get started on saving for that emergency fund you’ve always hoped for?

Maybe you want to save ready for holiday purchases or next year’s vacation.

It could be you want to organize your pantry or stop throwing away so much food?

Maybe you want to educate yourself on money matters?

My goal for this three month makeover is to track my spending and get an in depth view of where my money’s going.

How about you, and are you up to the challenge of doing something for your financial good? Can we count you in? If so, leave a comment.

Throughout the next three months I’ll be posting tips and hints to keep us motivated. Which reminds me…what would you most like to see here at BSG? I’m planning content and I’d love your input.

Would you like to see book and product reviews, interviews with experts and everyday people who have saved and worked toward financial independence? Recipes and food centric posts? How about details about side gigs you can do to make more money?

Let me know because this is your community and if you haven’t already done so, check the subscribe area above and don’t miss a post.

Oh and before I go, if anyone’s an aspiring writer and wants to join in on the summer writing challenge, here’s the link to my writing site www.thiswriterslife.com

admin / May 24, 2018

The Added Cost of Fear and Uncertainty

 

 

What if it breaks, what if the car breaks down, or I lose my cell phone…

We all have one of those days, sometimes one of those weeks. Put it down to bad luck or the universe not being on our side. We’re human so that makes us worry and companies know that. Sometimes it’s the fear and uncertainty of everyday living that costs us more money than it should.

What got me thinking about this? I’ve been reading a couple of financial books (I’ll be reviewing them here on BSG at a later date), and both of them mentioned that oftentimes we pay more because a company has played into our fear.

For example, the extended warranty on the TV you just purchased. The security system in your house because you’d never forgive yourself if someone broke in and took all your stuff.

Now don’t get me wrong, some of these things are a great idea but some of them can be a waste of your money. So how do you separate the real fear from the fear factor companies would like you to feel as you make a decision about handing your money over to them?

Do Your Research

I remember my late father would check and check on prices, deals; you name it, before he purchased something. Back in those days, they Internet wasn’t around so he had to either physically go to a store or make lots of phone calls. It’s a lot easier now because you can surf the web. Things I look for are-What’s the general feedback about the product? Are people reporting the same issue? Has the same part broken for just about everyone? This not only helps you decide if you want to buy something in the first place but buy its extended warranty too?

Get a Second Opinion

You wouldn’t take one doctor’s word about an illness, treatment or surgery and the same goes for buying things or fixing things. Get a second opinion before you buy an extended warranty or have work done to fix an issue in your home or car.

How Valuable Is This To Me?

Another thing both these books have in common is they talk about the relationship between money and value. How much do you value something? Are you willing to pay more for it? I always think if I use something for my work and I’d lose money if it broke and I had to replace it then I’m more inclined to take an extended warranty or buy a better brand or model.

Bottom line is don’t get talked into something before you’ve done your homework, don’t let a salesperson play on your fears, but judge each situation on a case by case basis. It’s what I’ve learned to do, what the authors of these books have learned to do, and in the long run it can save you money.

 

What’s your criteria for buying extended warranties or added services? Share it with the BSG community and if you’re not already a subscriber, think about joining us so you don’t miss one single post.

 

admin / May 16, 2018

For Subscribers in The European Union

 

I’m not sure if this applies to BSG (or not sure if I fully understand the whole thing), but next week the European Union has a new law coming into effect about subscribers to lists etc. I’ve been told even those of us who live in the US have to address this issue. So if you’re a subscriber based in one of the European Union countries and you don’t wish to be on the subscriber list any longer you need to unsubscribe before May 25th.

Thank you-BSG.

admin / May 10, 2018

Compound Interest-Friend or Foe?

Compound interest…

Two words that make me think about my maternal grandmother.

I know what you’re probably thinking why would something connected to money make her think about grandma?

Let me explain…

My grandmother was widowed when she was just 51 years old. She was a very independent lady, didn’t rely on her family, didn’t want to burden my parents so she’d adopted a mindset that made sure she was financially secure to the day she died (at 87). She had two ways of looking at money and debt.

First one was, make money work for you and save up for something you want and then buy it. Never buy it and pay for it later.

I hope you’re seeing where the compound interest factor plays into this.

When I was seven, my grandmother opened my very first savings account for me. She added, if I can remember correctly, ten pounds and taught me my first money lesson of life. That money left in the account would continue to grow and grow due to compound interest. Ten would become eleven, twelve etc. without me having to add any more of my own money. That was money working for me and not me working for money.

 

One other thing she always did when she knew she needed something like a new winter coat was think ahead. Throughout the summer she’d put part of her pay check aside ready to buy the coat when the temperature dipped. She knew that if she had to pay for a coat on credit, she’d not only pay its actual cost but she pay more because of the added interest just for the privilege of borrowing money (yes, compound interest again!) That’s money working against you and not for you.

 

There have been lots of articles lately on how much credit card debt people are carrying and just as many written about the possibility of interest rate increases. It’s actually what got me thinking about compound interest and my grandmother.

Compound interest can be your friend as in the case of having a savings account, adding to it and not touching the money. Or it can be your foe when you have credit card balance and the compound interest causes you to get deeper and deeper into debt until one day you realize you’ll be paying it off until even after you retire.

So think about if you want compound interest to be your friend or foe. Is now a good time to start paying more toward your credit card debt and once that’s done be like my grandma and make money finally work for you and not against you.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and my trip down compound interest memory lane, if so consider subscribing to Budget Smart Girl so you don’t miss more money and budget related goodies.

Happy saving.

 

 

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