“It’s a frightening statistic that 47% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 to cover an unplanned expense. Yet nearly half of today’s workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with no financial cushion whatsoever, and a big part of the reason boils down to living beyond our means.”
“Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, and you’ll likely need to do a lot of planning and research before you take the leap. But don’t get snagged by misconceptions. Mortgage expert Tim Manni busts these six common real estate myths to help you find — and afford — your first home.”
If you haven’t been successful at sticking to your budget yet, perhaps you just need a refresher on how to best make your budget work.
photo from 401kcalculator.org
Set and stick to your budget — number one on making the budget work!
If you’re constantly overspending, try sticking to an all-cash budget. Handing over crisp bills instead of your credit card hurts far more!
Make your financial priorities top…priority! After each paycheck, set aside how much you know you’ll need for that month, on: rent or mortgage payment, utility bills, grocery budget, and any other monthly expenses.
Check in financially every day or week. It’s difficult to keep spending in check if you don’t keep on how you’re doing — which may make you uncomfortably and unnecessarily stretch those dollars too much at the end of the month.
Living below your means is crucial if you’re to get ahead financially.
Being financially frugal is not just an old-fashioned trend that you can disregard in this life. MSN has a basic list of how and why to be frugal, with the article “6 Rules for Living Frugally”. Their rules?
Really know your money
Live below (not just within) your income
Realize there’s a distinction between spending and investing
It’s often cheaper to buy from bulk stores, but not always!
It may seem cost-effective to buy everything you can from a warehouse club like Costco or Sam’s Club. But according to MSN.com, there are still a few things to avoid buying from such places.
One thing, not surprisingly, is perishables. While meats and other freeze-able items are definitely a good buy, the things you can’t freeze should probably be avoided. These include that big case of lettuce, the multi-case of ketchup, or even the super-sized packs of sunscreen.
Another not-so-good buy includes the media and book section, whose prices are marked up compared to places like Amazon.com.
But there’s plenty of good buys from these warehouse clubs; stock up on freezeable perishables, medications and drugs, liquor and more — read some of the experts’ tips on what to buy in MSN’s article as well: “5 things NOT to buy at Costco and Sam’s Club”.
Shrinking focus on personal finance, economics in K-12
photo from 401kcalculator.org
The Council for Economic Education completed a new survey, and found that out of the 50 American states, only 17 require that high school students take classes on personal finance. However, it also reported that economics is being incorporated into all subject matter for K-12 grades.
This is important, because
Personal finance education and economics classes can have a substantial impact on students’ lives after graduation, with those from states requiring such learning showing higher credit scores than those from states without such mandates.