Category: Budgeting & Savings

U.S. consumer spending gauge rises, but confidence weakens

A gauge of U.S. consumer spending rose in September as Americans likely snapped up Apple’s new iPhone and bought leisure goods, but falling car sales pointed to sluggish economic growth.

And even the signs of strength could be short-lived as other data on Tuesday showed consumer confidence tumbled in October as a partial government shutdown rattled households.

With lawmakers still to agree on a budget, economists fear another damaging fight might be in the cards early next year.


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7 Reasons Why We Need to Start Budget Tracking Now

budget tracking

Sandy knows she is growing her savings by having a surplus each month and putting it in high yielding online banks. When she was puzzled about budgeting, she wrote in and said:

I have $100,000 saved up in bank accounts by following good frugal practices that you and others outline. I however don’t budget and never keep track of my expenses. I know I’m saving money because my account grows every month. Why should I budget …

There are many reasons to make a budget and keep track of all expenses apart from growing a surplus. 

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Wants vs. Needs: How to Turn Grey Into Black & White

wants vs. needs

At their simplest, expenses really fall into two different categories: wants vs. needs

1. What you need: the things that you need to survive and function effectively in society: food, heat/electricity, a means of transportation, clothing, and water. I’ll even throw in basic telecom and insurance.

2. What you want: everything else.

The problem, of course, is that even in the category of things we “need”, there is a ton of grey area.


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11 Tips For Retiring When You’re Nervous About The Economy

Affording retirement can be a challenge even in the best economic times. But in our post-recovery world with its steady stream of fiscal uncertainty, retiring can seem the stuff of legend.

Surely, retirement is a more complicated proposition these days: A good 401(k) balance combined with Social Security just won’t cut it. Today, retirement planning needs to be more aggressive and focused, funds need to be more broadly sourced, and retirement itself needs to be more flexibly defined.


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6 Reasons You’re Not a Millionaire


Want to be a millionaire? In 2012, Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart was officially declared the richest woman in the world, boasting assets of more than $26 billion. Not long after, Rinehart took heat for an article she wrote for the Australian Resources and Investment Magazine, where she suggested that those who wanted what she had should “spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing and more time working.”

“If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself…”

Obviously, she didn’t run that article through a PR consultant before she submitted it.


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5 Painless Ways to Pay Yourself First

save for yourself

We all know that we ought to be paying ourselves first (or save for yourself) — by building a healthy emergency fund, investing in our retirement accounts, and saving for important future purchases.

But for many of us, it can feel like paying ourselves first will end up shortchanging our other financial obligations. How can you pay yourself first when you barely have enough money to make it to the end of each month?

But saving is just like Lao Tzu’s journey of a thousand miles. They both start with a single (and, in this case, easy) step.


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5 Things You Can Do This Week to Start Growing Your Wealth

Three years ago, I broke free from being broke. I was 26 at the time and was worth as much then as the day I was born back in 1984. I decided that 26 years was enough time to learn that I didn’t want to be broke anymore. I knew what I needed to know. I knew growing your wealth meant:

  • Our culture wants me to be broke.
  • No one else will look after my money but me.
  • Friends and family will encourage me to spend my money and buy nice things.
  • Life is packed full of unexpected, expensive things that I’ll have to pay for.
  • If I have kids, their college will be expensive.
  • My income is my biggest wealth building tool.
  • I never want to borrow money again.
  • Being broke brings me stress and anxiety.
  • I won’t be at my job forever.


Not Every Baby Is Born Into Royalty But Yours Can Still Save & Prosper

Prince George, or Georgie, as he will be called, was born in July to much fanfare and anticipation.

What does it mean to be born into the House of Windsor?   Even though he likely won’t exert his political power when he becomes king, he will still be influential.

And he will be worth a pretty penny.

According to International Business Times, he will inherit 700 million pounds.  There’s no doubt little Prince George is already one of the wealthiest babies in the world.

Of course, not every baby is born into royalty, with the proverbial silver spoon.  Chances are, you probably wouldn’t want that life for your child anyway.

While you may be from modest means, you CAN help your child get a financial advantage over many of his peers by taking important steps when he or she is young by saving.


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Squeeze Extra Savings Out of Your Current Paycheck

extra savings

Saving money—actually depositing money into a bank account that won’t be touched in the short-term—happens when both the physical and mental elements are right. What do I mean by this? A healthy savings account does not just manifest by itself. If a person makes a decent income but sees no benefit in saving any of it, then extra savings will not automatically accumulate. Conversely, if a person is a natural-born saver but is struggling to make ends meet, then it will be difficult to accumulate money as well.

You need both an income as well as an extra savings mentality in order to build up your money.


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The 4 Types of Retirement

types of retirement

A few days ago, I read this great post on Len Penzo’s blog about two types of retirement: a hardworking, straight-shooting early retirement vs. a slow, leisurely traditional retirement.

Len compared the two models to climbing a mountain: you can either shoot straight up the face, gaining altitude quickly (but sacrificing some scenery during the climb), or you can take switchbacks, acclimate, enjoy a picnic, and eventually reach the summit.

It’s a beautiful analogy, but I think a few routes are missing. I’ve embraced a different style entirely.


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