Tag Archives: Money Monday

Money Monday: Americans are paying more than they can afford for housing

Rising housing costs are putting a major squeeze on Americans.

“Nearly 39 million households can’t afford their housing, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Experts generally advise budgeting about 30% of monthly income for rent or mortgage costs.

“But millions of Americans are far exceeding that guideline.

“One-third of households in 2015 were “cost burdened,” meaning they spend 30% or more of their incomes to cover housing costs.”

Read more of Money.CNN.com’s article here: “39 million households are paying more for housing than they can afford.”

 

Money Monday: How to retire debt-free

Retiring already can put a strain on your budget; don’t exacerbate it by being deep in debt on top of it!

Picture from www.ccPixs.com

Here are a few ways to get and stay debt-free:

  1. Start and keep building up your savings — having at least an emergency savings stash is especially crucial.
  2. Spend less than you bring in — live below your means.
  3. Work on paying off your student loans early.
  4. Don’t overpay when buying your home — you need to get an affordable mortgage.
  5. Keep that credit card debt very low.

Read more on all five of these ideas on Money.CNN.com’s article: “5 steps to retire debt-free.”

Money Monday: Millennials saving for financial freedom

Millennials are saving for financial freedom—not retirement

Source: Yahoo Finance

Photo from Pictures of Money

Millennials often get a bad rap when it comes to financial responsibility. But it turns out those stereotypes may be off base. Millennials are saving more money than any other generation, according to a new study by Bank of America and Merrill Edge. But it’s what they’re saving for that really sets them apart from older generations.

Saving for financial freedom is the No. 1 priority for millennials — 63 percent of millennials said they’re saving a set amount of money to enjoy their desired lifestyle. This is a stark contrast to older generations: the majority of the Gen X and baby boomer generations prioritize their savings specifically to leave the workforce and retire.

This shift speaks to the bigger differences in the ways millennials and older generations view money, and what they prioritize in their lives. While it may not sound surprising that younger workers aren’t thinking about nest eggs as much as older generations, what’s a little different here is that they’re not thinking about retirement as a phase of life, let alone working to afford it. Millennials listed personal milestones as their top priorities: getting their dream job and traveling the world trumped more traditional goals like getting married and having children.

Read the full story from Yahoo Finance here

Money Monday: 5 Quick Ways to Save Money

Do you want to have more money?

“Silly question, right? Who doesn’t want some extra cash? The good news is, there are simple things you can do in just 20 minutes to avoid wasting your hard-earned dollars. Jump right in and get started to take advantage of the savings.”

save money

Photo by 401kcalculator.org

1. Ask your credit card company for a reduced interest rate or an annual-fee waiver

2. Cancel a service that isn’t providing value

3. Raise your insurance deductible (if you can cover it)

4. Optimize your home’s energy efficiency

5. Optimize your car

Read all about these ways to save money on Money.CNN.com’s article here: “5 ways to save money in 20 minutes or less.”

Money Monday: Financial realities of owning a home

Let’s consider some of the financial realities about owning a home.

homeIn an opinion piece in the Fresno Bee newspaper, the writer made the case for why Congress should keep a tax incentive to encourage Americans to be homeowners. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the author’s points on the financial positives of homeownership were beneficial and worth a read.

  • “Owning a home is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth, providing both equity accumulation and tax benefits over time. In 2013, the median net worth of homeowner families was $195,400, while the median net worth of renters was $5,400, according to the Federal Reserve.”
  • “Homeownership strengthens communities, encourages higher civic participation, boosts children’s educational performance, lowers crime rates, and improves health-care outcomes. Moreover, homeowners bring more stability to neighborhoods because they tend to move less often.”
  • “Homeownership helps provide predictability. Individuals can enjoy steady and consistent housing costs thanks to the tax incentive that allows them to own a home. That’s because a fixed-rate mortgage payment might not change for 15 to 39 years, while rents typically increase 2 to 3 percent a year.”
  • Read more of this article here: “Want to create wealth? This is one way to do it.”

Money Monday: Credit card mistakes to avoid

“Credit cards can be a dangerous thing when abused, but when used correctly, they actually offer a number advantages that cash simply can’t match. To make the most of your credit card, be sure to steer clear of these major blunders.”

(Money.CNN.com. “10 huge credit card mistakes.” Maurie Backman. 12 May 2017. http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/12/pf/credit-card-mistakes/index.html?iid=SF_LN)

  1. Paying your bills late
  2. Only making your minimum payments
  3. Making out your credit card limits
  4. Read about 7 other credit card mistakes to avoid here

Money Monday: Increase your credit score

Quick ways to up your credit score.

“Most people don’t put much thought into their credit scores until the time comes to apply for a loan. If you expect to need financing in the next few months and aren’t convinced your credit score is high enough to get you approved, you’ll need to act quickly to improve your chances. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to boost your credit score in record time.” (“4 tips to increase your credit score fast.” Maurie Backman. 8 May 2017. http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/08/pf/credit-score-tips/index.html?iid=Lead)

One way to increase your credit score? Ask for an increase in your credit limit. But read CNN’s article for more tips! 

Read all of CNN’s article on increasing your credit score here: “4 tips to increase your credit score fast.”

Money Monday: Cut Down on Your Retirement Costs

Unless you plan on working part-time instead of fully retiring, you may need to cut down on your cost of living in order to live within your means.

retirement

Photo credit: 401kcalculator.org

Here are a few suggestions on how you can cut some costs:

1. Downsize your living space

Not only will downsizing your home most likely help with mortgage and utility costs, but it may also cut down on the required time spent maintaining the house and yard.

If downsizing sounds ideal, please give me a call to see how I can help sell and/or buy your next home! John A Silva – (619) 890-3648

2. Sell unnecessary vehicles

If both of you are retiring, then you may be able to get away with one vehicle for the both of you, cutting significant upkeep, registration and insurance costs.

3. Enroll in Medicare on time

Sign up within the initial seven-month time-frame allotted (three months before your 65th birthday until three months after). Otherwise, you’ll be paying more for those doctor visits.

Read all of Money.CNN.com’s suggestions here: “Slash your retirement costs with these 5 tips”.