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Her Story
By Dwight Harshaw, BBA, Personal Finance Counselor

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Recently, a story came to light in my hometown about a 27 year old woman who was cited for a misdemeanor sex charge. She was caught by an undercover detective in a sting operation targeting escort services. It was her first night on the job. How did she get there? She said she lost a second job, she was going through a bankruptcy, and her wages were being garnished. Her financial problems overwhelmed her and drove her to making an unfortunate decision, which destroyed her young career. I don’t know her and this is not a condemnation. I have great empathy for her. I am captivated by her story because-before she resigned-she was a high school algebra teacher, with a master’s degree, in her fifth year of service. What happened?

I don’t know any more than what has been publicized but in looking and speculating about her situation through a personal finance lens, I think she may have found herself in the circumstance that a lot of young people and people in general are in; they are besieged with debt. The average college graduate is nearly $20,000 in debt. (Source: Demos.org, “The Economic State of Young America,” May 2008) Many have fallen prey to the constant stream of messages (advertising) that are designed to persuade people to value things (depreciating assets, junk) more than money (financial security). Once young graduates get their credentials and jobs, they want the material accoutrements that they believe they should have. On top of school loans and credit card debt, they pile on more debt. And then, there are the ordinary living expenses of life to contend with. Before they know it, they find themselves in unsustainable financial predicaments. More attention needs to be given to the importance of wealth building, especially at the start of a career.

 

Stylish Woman Dancing with Martini in Hand

 

Wealth Building

Wealth building is simply being knowledgeable about money and making it work for you more than it works for others. To become a wealth builder, there are 4 things you should do. You should steer clear of new debt, establish an emergency fund, pay off your student loan debt early-if you have any, and save for your long term future.

 

Avoid Debt

The young lady is bankrupt and suffering wage garnishment. When credit is so easy to obtain, it is hard to be responsible. We use it to buy non-financial things that give us temporary pleasure. We buy expensive wardrobes of which the styles come and go; we buy new cars which lose value as soon as the deal is done; and we purchase things that we simply don’t need, but the debt on those things goes on, long after the usefulness and excitement is over. Credit should be used responsibly-never! Okay rarely. Debt avoidance is a virtue.

 

Emergency Fund

If she had an emergency fund, she might not have been faced with a decision that put her career in jeopardy. An emergency fund is a fund dedicated specifically for extraordinary immediate crisis needs; it smoothes out a rough financial time. Car repairs, job lost, medical bills, household maintenance problems or things that cannot be paid for with out-of-pocket cash qualify as emergencies. It should be a priority to fund it with at least 1 to 2 thousand dollars initially and with 3 to 6 months of your take home pay ultimately.

 

Pay off student loan debt

Some are fortunate to not have student loan debt when college life is over. If that is not your fate, I have this advice; pay your loans off as soon as possible. Double your payments or add an extra amount to reduce the total interest and time that you will pay on your loan(s). Be sure to follow the protocol of the lender for early payoff. The sooner you pay off your student loan debt, the sooner you can get on with building wealth.

 

Retirement

The money you save early on in your career will be the most valuable when you retire. The elements of time, dollar cost averaging, and compounding are a wealth builder’s best friend. Save to the maximum level in tax advantaged retirement plans offered by your employer. If nothing is offered or you can afford to save more, establish a traditional or Roth IRA and fund it to the max or with as much as you can. Ultimately you want to save at least 15% of your annual income for the future because the burden of providing for your retirement is on your shoulders. The money you save early will be worth more and be more useful in the years to come than the value of any consumer item you may buy today.

Her story is all of our stories. All of us have made unwise financial decisions. On a positive note she is young, smart, and hopefully ambitious. She will recover over time and this will all be a distant memory. Time heals. When you find yourself off track financially, get back on. To be a wealth builder, remember this; it is wise to pay with cash rather than with credit, have money set aside for a crisis, pay your debt off early, and save for your long term future.

 

About Dwight Harshaw: Dwight Harshaw is a personal finance counselor, realtor and writer. He has a BBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Finance with an emphasis on financial planning.

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Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Saving Is Not Optional!

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.  To book Mr. Edwards to speak at your next event, contact:

Donell Edwards Enterprises
13111 W. Markham St.
Suite 116
Little Rock, AR 72211
DLEdwards@DonellEdwardsEnterprises.com

Thought for Today:  The habit of saving is itself an education. It fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. – Thornton T. Munger, American Scientist (1883 – 1975)

Know Your Money
Tuesday – December 6, 2016

Saving Is Not Optional!
By Donell Edwards  

 

There are many attitudes and philosophies about saving, but there is one factor that cannot be ignored in achieving financial security, and that factor is that saving is not optional.

Emphasis On Saving

Over the years in this blog we have discussed saving numerous times because of its importance.  In fact we featured a special series on saving in May of 2014.  The series included:  Getting Started – Do You Have What It Takes? published on May 12, 2014.  The second post in the series was Debt Management, Creating Income Streams, Savings, which was published on May 13, 2014.  The last post in the series was Making The Most Of your Savings published on May 16, 2014.

In addition to the special savings series we also published Knowing Your Personal Finances: Are You Ready to Save?, Starting An Emergency Fund, and Time To Change Your Thinking About Saving.

 

Saving Is Not Optional!

                                   Saving Is Not Optional!

 

Why Saving Is Not Optional

We are revisiting this topic today in view of a survey conducted by GoBankingRates in January 2016 which found that 1 in 3 Americans has $O (none, zilch, nada)  saved for retirement, 42 percent of Millennials indicated they have no retirement savings, and about 75% of Americans over 40 are behind on saving for retirement.

This follows a pattern that has existed now for over a decade, and continues to be a major issue in achieving financial health.  If any of those statistics apply to you individually you should be gravely concerned.  However, as we have also pointed out in this blog many times, a person must first have the circumstances to be able to save.  I speak from personal experience and know for a fact that some people really know they should save and want to, but just can’t because of their current circumstances.

What If You Just Can’t Save?

So, if you are reading this and are thinking “I know I need to save, but I just can’t right now because it takes everything I have to just get by, and most of the time there is not enough to take care of my living expenses.”  You have some challenges, and your goal should be to continue to work to change your circumstances so that you can save by taking on additional work if you are not already doing that, or by working overtime if it is available.  Also, by carefully examining your budget and eliminating everything except essentials, real essentials, such as shelter, food, utilities, and healthcare. Implement a spending moratorium, and don’t make any new purchases until you work yourself out of the situation that you are in.  The point is, don’t accept your current situation as permanent, make whatever changes and sacrifices you need to make to get your financial house in order, and once it is in order, continue to maintain a strong financial foundation.  The blessing of being in a less than favorable financial situation is that it forces you to make positive adjustments that will benefit you the rest of your life, if you are willing to work to overcome all of the problems holding you back financially.

Your Attitude Matters

On the other hand, if you have the means to save but just don’t see the advantage, consider what will happen to you and if you have a family, what will happen to your family if you do not have funds set aside for emergencies.  These could come in the form of the loss of employment, which is very possible in today’s economy.  Or it may be the result of you or a family member being the victim of a long-term health problem or disease.  Or perhaps it may be the result of an environmental catastrophe such as a flood, tornado, or hurricane.  If you do not have funds set aside for these things, how will they impact your finances?

Even if you have insurance to help with some of these issues, in most instances you are still exposing yourself to substantial financial loss.  That is why setting aside emergency funds is so very important to financial stability.

What You Can Do Now:  Pay Off Your Debt

The first thing we suggest is that you pay off all outstanding debt, with the understanding that this probably will be a long-term goal.  As you pay off a debt,  take the money you were using to pay that debt and apply it to another debt, and continue this process until all of your debt is eliminated.  The trick is not to incur any additional debt while you are doing this.

What You Can Do Now:  Control Your Spending

Learn how to identify and eliminate wasteful spending.  Also, improve your shopping skills and learn how to plan your shopping and look for bargains and save on grocery, clothing, and other items or services you purchase.  Become a coupon clipper and use coupons to help with your savings on your purchases.  Consider using SmartPhone apps that can help you save if you own a SmartPhone like Ibotta,  SnipSnapSavingStar and Coupon Sherpa.  Always look for ways to save on purchase and control your spending so that you can save for the unexpected, and eventually to build wealth.  Make sacrifices willingly and do not give in to impulse buying.  Make credit card payments early or on time and pay more than the minimum required to improve your credit rating, which results in a higher credit score and lower interest rates, and which will help you avoid late charges.

As we have mentioned previously in this post in order to save there must be funds to save.  Those funds should come from effectively managing the income that you have, implementing and closely following your budget, and paying down your debt.  A key factor in your success will be how well you learn to control your spending.  Without being redundant but to emphasize, be aware that controlling spending takes sacrifice, willpower, determination, and a willingness to change.  Make the commitment to yourself to do these things.  If you happen to receive income occasionally from other sources, don’t go on a spending spree and waste it all, but use some of that money for your savings.  You should develop a savings conscious mentality with any money that you receive.

What You Can Do Now: Earn More On Your Current Job Or In Your Career 

Here’s how:

  • Prepare yourself for success, a job promotion or raise by becoming an avid reader.  Read, read, read.  Read trade magazines and learn about what is going on in your industry.  Be a resource for your supervisor and management team.  Be the person that becomes known as the guru in your office.  Study the company’s internal reports, newsletters, and any other information that will educate you about the company’s goals, objectives, competition, projections, etc.
  • Attend seminars related to your current position and further educate yourself or learn new skills that can be utilized in your current position or to help you to advance your career.
  • Become close friends with your human resources manager.  Find out what options you have for career advancement and what you need to do to position yourself for success in pursuing those positions.
  • Be open to the idea of returning to college to get additional education.
  • If overtime is available, be willing to work overtime to increase your income.

What You Can Do Now:  Create New Income Streams

You can create a new income stream by starting a home based business.  The power of a home based business is revealed in this comment from the U.S. Small Business Administration website:  “What do Apple Computer, Hershey’s, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Ford Motor Company have in common? These well-known corporations all started out as home-based businesses. In fact, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home.”

In addition to having an additional income stream from starting a home based business, there are some very good tax advantages as well.  Obviously, everyone does not have the desire or the drive to have a home based business.  But if you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you are well organized and are good at time management, and you are willing to learn, having a home based business can provide you with many rewards.

How To Save

If you are currently in a position financially to start saving but it is something you just have not done and would like to start but need some ideas on how to get started, here is a great idea.

I was listening to the radio a few months ago and heard about a fantastic way for people who have very little money to use a portion of their income to save $,378 within a year.  Then this process may be repeated over and over again, or modified to increase the amounts and save more.  The idea is to get into the habit of saving, to convince yourself that you can save.

I did some research after hearing about this saving method and discovered an outstanding blogger, Lisa Bedford, and her blog, The Survival Mom – http://thesurvivalmom.com/.  Lisa shared information on her blog about this interesting saving method known as the 52 Week Challenge.  If you are looking for a place to start, this may be just what you need.

Where To Save

One of your concerns, justifiably so,  may be where to save your money, since the interest rates at most banks is so very low it is almost not worth even putting money into them.  The question then is where is the best place for savers to save their money?

In researching this question and discussing it with some of the people in the finance industry, I discovered that credit unions generally pay more interest than banks.  In May 2014 GoBankingRates.com published an article, Highest Savings Account Rate Is 40X the National Average, which included a comparison chart that shows the average savings account rates over the previous year for banks and credit unions and the national average, and the change from 2013 to 2014.  The article also lists the 10 best savings accounts based on data from the GoBankingRates database.  So, credit unions are a good choice.

For those in the military, United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a good option.  This company provides banking, investing, and insurance services to people who serve or have served in the military and their families.

Another option is to purchase Certificates of Deposit (CDs) if you are prepared to leave the money in the account for at least 6 to 12 months.  Since you should be saving for the purpose of creating an emergency fund or to accumulate enough money to invest, leaving the money in the account for up to a year should not be a problem.  In some cases the interest on CDs may be higher than the interest in banks.

So, do your own research, and look for the best deal.  Also, make sure to read the fine print because there may be penalties for making more withdrawals than allowed, for failing to meet the minimum balance requirement, and there could be other hidden penalties or fees.

A Word For Millennials and Gen-X

A word especially for our young readers, the Millennials and gen-Xers.  The statistics referenced earlier in this post indicate that Millennials and Gen-Xers are among the highest percentage of Americans who have little or no savings.  This may be interpreted as either a lack of appreciation for the importance of saving, or a lack of information and understanding about the importance of saving.  I can remember when I was in my twenties I did not really appreciate the importance of saving.  I knew that it was a good thing if I did, but even with my parents encouraging me and repeatedly trying to help me appreciate how important it was to save, I still viewed it as something optional that I could do later.  At that age, I felt that I was “bulletproof,” “untouchable,” that I could conquer the world on my own terms and ignore all of the wisdom that had been made available to me.  I learned later in life how very wrong I was.  Thankfully, I learned before it was too late, but it was still very, very, very costly to me.

If you are a young person and you are reading this, 18-35 years of age, please take some time to think about how you manage your money.  Think about your future.  Think about all of the things in life that you have not prepared for financially in the event you lose your current income.  Will you be able to have a place to live, or will you be forced to move back home with your parents?  Will you be able to keep your vehicle, or will you  be forced to lose it?  Will you be able to continue to take care of your family if you have one?  What will happen to your spouse and children?  These are some very important potentially life changing scenarios that should be given every consideration.

If you are a mature reader and you know a young person that needs this information, perhaps your own child, or a relative or colleague or business associate, recommend this blog post to them or send it to them.

We also encourage every reader who feels the need for assistance with their own money management skills, to help get out of debt, control spending, and begin saving, to sign-up for our 13 week KYM Money Success Strategies Institute, which starts on Monday – January 9, 2017.  This program will provide step-by-step instructions on how to improve money management skills, use credit wisely, get out of debt, and build wealth, featuring daily video support during the first four weeks.

We will also be available to help with any questions enrollees may have.  So, make this your New Year’s Resolution, to enroll in our KYM Money Success Strategies Institute.  To enroll, just click here.  And remember we start Monday – January 9, 2017.  SIGN UP NOW!

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?  If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more information about personal money management.

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Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial planner. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

WELCOME!

Donell Edwards Publisher, Writer, Speaker

Donell Edwards
Publisher, Writer, Speaker

 

 

Welcome to Know Your Money

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Know Your Money Blog. It is our mission to promote financial literacy by providing valuable information about personal money management, personal finance, credit, debt management, tax savings , and wealth building for our readers.

Our Know Your Money Blog is for anyone who may feel hopelessly trapped in an economy with inflated prices, a constantly rising cost of living, out of control consumer debt, high unemployment and underemployment, and insufficient income, regardless of their status in life.  If you are reading this and thinking this does not describe me, that is great.  I am sure that many of you are very capable of managing your money without any assistance, however, I invite you to become a regular reader of the KYM Blog anyway and I assure you that you will greatly appreciate much of the information and resources that we provide, as well as the different perspectives about money management provided from our guest contributors and selected videos.

My name is Donell Edwards and I am the publisher of this  blog.  Just a little about myself and my qualifications. First of all, I am not and I do not profess to be a financial authority or financial guru, but I do have a degree in business, and more importantly I have an MBA from the University of HK, that’s not Hong Kong, that is the University of Hard Knocks. And believe me, life can teach you powerful lessons that you may never learn in a classroom and that you never forget.

I also enjoyed a long career with IBM Corporation, with several years in management, I have successfully operated several of my own businesses, and I have personally experienced the severe effects of financial adversity after being downsized from IBM. My downsizing occurred at a very difficult time in my life and as a result we suffered greatly from a financial standpoint, and I learned many valuable lessons during the years it took us to recover that I will share in this blog, both about how to overcome financial adversity, as well as how to prepare for and in many instances prevent it.

 

Will Smith on Spending

 

I have always been interested in helping as many people as possible to break the generational chain of poverty and to learn how to overcome being a part of the working poor. As the publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR), our magazine regularly featured a column written by two outstanding gentlemen with great experience in personal finance, one of whom was a CPA with an MBA degree who will be a contributor to this blog. We will also feature a number of people in our blog on a regular basis with expertise and experience in a variety of areas including personal money management, credit management, debt management, budget planning, saving, investing, and much more. It is our goal to be the premier source of information on the Internet for personal financial information and resources.

It is the intent of this blog to walk our readers through a step-by-step, systematic approach to rethinking spending habits and personal money management, with the goal of helping readers create their own dynamic personal cash economy, rather than the credit-driven economy most of us are accustomed to.

Welcome to your new home for everything you need to know about personal finance and debt management. Prepare to change! Know your money! Thank you for your support and we always welcome and encourage your questions and comments.

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?  If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our ongoing series, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management
https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial planner. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

 

Special Savings Series: Making the Most Of Your Savings

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.

 

 

Know Your Money
Friday – May 16, 2014

Knowing Your Personal Finances
Special Savings Series:  Making the Most of Your Savings
By Donell Edwards

 

During this special series we have discussed what it takes to get a savings plan started, the importance of debt management, the benefits of creating additional income streams, and savings strategies to motivate you to save and to help you start and continue to save regardless of how much or how little you may have to save.  Our intent has been to provide you with information to help you change your thought process about saving and to help you have the confidence that you can become a saver.

 

In his classic, War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy writes, “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”  No words could better describe what it takes to become successful at personal money management.  Because it takes time and patience to learn to change one’s thought process, to be willing to change, to understand the importance of self-sacrifice, and to overcome bad habits.  It takes time and patience to monitor and evaluate spending and to take action on what the results of those activities reveal.  It takes time and patience to establish a realistic budget and to learn to live rigidly within that budget.  It takes time and patience once spending is monitored and a realistic budget is implemented in order to learn to resist the temptation to splurge and waste money.  It takes time and patience to develop the willpower to make sacrifices in order to pay down debt instead of continuing to incur additional debt.  It takes time and patience to get to a point where one can replace credit spending with cash spending, or to learn to do without.  It takes time, patience, and courage to get to a point where one can save.

 

If you are somewhere in the process working toward positioning yourself to save, you are to be commended.  You are making progress on the long road to success.  If you have already arrived at the point where you can save, congratulations, you are ready to make the next step.  Whether you are working toward being able to save and the rest of this post is motivation for you to continue your efforts, or you are ready to take the next step and can use this information now, take note of how you can make the most of your saving.

 

 

Woman In Red Roses - MP900440313

 

 

 

One of my great concerns when I decided to write this series about saving, and in other posts that I have written about saving, was where to recommend readers to save. Since the interest rates at most banks is so very low it is almost not worth even putting money into them, the question was where is the best place for savers to save their money?  

 

In doing research I discovered that credit unions generally pay more interest than banks.  In one of our Must Reads for today, Highest Savings Account Rate Is 40X the National Average, there is a comparison chart that shows the average savings account rates over the past year for banks and credit unions and the national average, and the change from last year.  The article also lists the 10 best savings accounts based on data from the GoBankingRates database.  So, credit unions are a good choice.

 

For those in the military, United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a good option.  This company provides banking, investing, and insurance services to people who serve or have served in the military and their families.  

 

Another option is to purchase Certificates of Deposit (CDs) if you are prepared to leave the money in the account for at least 6 to 12 months.  Since you should be saving for the purpose of creating an emergency fund or to accumulate enough money to invest, leaving the money in the account for up to a year should not be a problem.  In some cases the interest on CDs may be higher than the interest in banks.

 

So, do your own research, and look for the best deal.  Also, make sure to read the fine print because there may be penalties for making more withdrawals than allowed, there may be penalties for failing to meet the minimum balance requirement, and there could be other hidden penalties or fees.

 

Be sure to read all of our Must Reads for today in addition to the highest savings rates article.  The other two articles, 10 Best Ways To Earn More Interest On Your Savings and How Lottery Savings Accounts Fool You Into Saving More will provide you with additional information on how to earn more on  your savings as well as how to stay motivated to save.

 

Have a great and money wise weekend. 

 

Must Reads:

10 Best Ways To Earn More Interest On Your Savings

How Lottery Savings Accounts Fool You Into Saving More

Highest Savings Account Rate Is 40X the National Average

 

 

 

If you have questions or need help we are just an email away.  Send your questions to Info@KnowYourMoneyGlobal.com

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management
https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

 

Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2014 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

 

 

Special Savings Series: Debt Management, Creating Income Streams, Savings

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.

 

 

Know Your Money
Tuesday – May 13, 2014

Knowing Your Personal Finances
Special Savings Series:  Debt Management, Creating Income Streams, Savings
By Donell Edwards

 

In order to be able to save there must first be money available to save.  For some this is a major challenge.  If you are among those who live from paycheck-to-paycheck, or you constantly find yourself confronted with one series of unscheduled expenses after another that stresses the budget, finding money to save may be a problem.

 

That is why it is important to work to put yourself into a position where you can save, and where once you begin saving there will not be any interruptions in your saving on a regular basis.

 

To accomplish this you must first learn how to identify and eliminate wasteful spending.  Also, improve your shopping skills and learn how to plan your shopping and look for bargains and save on grocery, clothing, and other items or services you purchase.  Make sacrifices and do not give in to impulse buying.  Make credit card payments early or on time and pay more than the minimum required.  Pay down your debt.  Create an emergency fund.

 

These are ways to work to put yourself in a position to be able to save.   This is nothing new for regular readers of this blog.  We repeat these very important points over and over again because they are germane to understanding how to lay a solid foundation for personal financial success.

 

Whether you are looking for ways to accelerate your efforts to pay down your debt, or to find money to save, another very important consideration is how to increase your income.  We will discuss two ways in today’s post.

 

The first way is to earn more on your current job or in your career.  How?  One of our Must Reads for today, The Only Way to Build A Career That Generates Both Financial and Emotional Rewards, discusses how to earn more on your current job or in your career.   Writer Kathy Caprino shares her  career experience working in corporate America for 18 years, and how her views changed after starting and successfully running her own business.  This is a very powerful and enlightening article.

 

Here are some things you can do to increase your income temporarily or permanently on your current job or in your career:

 

  • Read, read, read.  Read trade magazines and learn about what is going on in your industry.  Be a resource for your supervisor and management team.  Be the person that becomes known as the guru in your office.  Study the company’s internal reports, newsletters, and any other information that will educate you about the company’s goals, objectives, competition, projections, etc.
  • Attend seminars related to your current position and further educate yourself or learn new skills that can be utilized in your current position or to help you to advance your career.
  • Become close friends with your human resources manager.  Find out what options you have for career advancement and what you need to do to position yourself for success in pursuing those positions.
  • Be open to the idea of returning to college to get additional education.
  • If overtime is available, be willing to work overtime to increase your income.

 

These are just a few ideas on how you may find ways to increase your income on your current job or in your career.

 

Another option that we highly recommend is starting a home based business.  Before you go into shock, consider this comment from the U.S. Small Business Administration website:  “What do Apple Computer, Hershey’s, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Ford Motor Company have in common? These well-known corporations all started out as home-based businesses. In fact, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home.”

 

 

 

In addition to having an additional income stream from starting a home based business, there some very good tax advantages as well.  Obviously, everyone does not have the desire or the drive to have a home based business.  But if you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you are well organized and are good at time management, and you are willing to learn, having a home based business can provide you with many rewards.

 

We have two Must Reads for today that provide information about home based business opportunities.  The first is, 5 Steps to Starting A Home Based Business, which helps you to do some self assessment to determine if you are a good candidate for a home based business.   The second is 50+ Legitimate Work From Home Job Opportunities, which provides a list that includes a wide variety of home based business opportunities.

 

The point is to use your time and experience to find ways to bring in more money to help pay down your debt, and to begin saving.

 

 

Must Reads:

The Only Way To Build A Career That Generates Both Financial and Emotional Reward
http://tinyurl.com/kymbuildrewardingcareer

 

5 Steps to Starting A Home-Based Business
http://moneyning.com/business-idea/5-steps-to-starting-a-home-based-business/

 

50+ Legitimate Work From Home Job Opportunities
http://singlemomsincome.com/50-legitimate-work-home-job-opportunities/

 

 

If you have questions or need help we are just an email away.  Send your questions to Info@KnowYourMoneyGlobal.com

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management
https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

 

Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2014 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

 

 

Special Savings Series: Getting Started – Do You Have What It Takes?

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.

 

 

Know Your Money
Monday – May 12, 2014

Knowing Your Personal Finances
Special Savings Series:  Getting Started – Do You Have What It Takes?
By Donell Edwards

 

Good morning everyone!  This week we zero in on saving, following up on our special series last week on managing debt.  Hopefully, you are at a point in the process where you have begun to carefully monitor your spending on a regular basis, you are evaluating your spending and eliminating wasteful spending and overcoming bad habits, you have prepared and are rigidly following a realistic budget, and you have gotten your debt under control, or you are in the process of doing so.  These are all steps that must be in place and should be accomplished before seriously working to have a successful savings plan.  One other important step in the process is implementing an emergency fund, which we have discussed briefly in previous posts.

 

Our special series this week will discuss saving directly, as well as other aspects related to your success in establishing and maintaining a successful savings plan.

 

So, are you really ready to start saving?  Over the past two months we have talked about the importance of controlling spending, and the fact that in addition to having a realistic budget and doing the proper planning, it takes sacrifice, willpower, determination, and a willingness to change in order to successfully control spending.  Obviously, in order to save there must be funds to save.  Those funds should come from effectively managing the income that you have, implementing and closely following your budget, and paying down your debt.  As you pay down your debt or receive income occasionally from other sources, use that money for your savings.

 

The first savings project you should have is your emergency fund.  One of today’s Must Reads, Before You Start to Pay Off Debt…Do This,  discusses the importance of an emergency fund.  It is important that you have planned so that once you start saving there will not be anything to interrupt your regular contributions to your savings.  That is where your emergency fund comes in.  There will be unscheduled expenses like vehicle repairs, appliance repairs, home repairs, paying for insurance co-pays or deductibles, and a variety of other things.  An emergency fund allows you to continue to follow your budget and continue to save and care for those expenses.

 

 

Smiling African American businessman

 

 

Most experts recommend having an amount equal to six months living expenses in your emergency fund.  It is a good idea to do this in stages.  First set a goal to accumulate at least $1,000 in your emergency fund.  Do not spend this money for vacations or anything other than real emergencies.  Then as your next goal build that amount to 3 months living expenses.  Once you achieve that goal, then continue until you have 6 months living expenses.  After you reach 6 months living expenses continue to add to the fund until you feel comfortable that you have enough breathing room in case of a severe emergency.  And again, do not spend this money for anything other than emergencies.

 

As mentioned earlier, it will take sacrifice, willpower, and determination to stay with your savings plan.  But, if you are not a person who understands the importance of making sacrifices, if you do not already have willpower, and if you are not determined, how do you acquire these qualities.   In our other Must Read for today, 9 Ways to Harness Your Willpower to Save Money, writer Marilyn Lewis cites a comment from a book review in Mother Nature News from The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg showing how habits begin with conscious choices, “Then we stopped making a choice, and the behavior became automatic. It’s a natural consequence of our neurology. And by understanding how it happens, you can rebuild those patterns in whichever way you choose.”  So, by repeatedly exercising self-restraint, resisting temptation, and making sacrifice, these choices become habits.  These qualities can be learned with time and effort.

 

So, do you have what it takes to become a saver?  If you don’t, now you know how to get it. 

 

Must Reads:

Before You Start to Pay Off Debt… Do This
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/2014/01/before-you-start-to-pay-off-debt-do-this/

 

9 Ways to Harness Your Willpower to Save Money
http://blog.credit.com/2014/02/9-ways-to-harness-your-willpower-to-save-money-75365/

 

 

If you have questions or need help we are just an email away.  Send your questions to Info@KnowYourMoneyGlobal.com

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management
https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

 

Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2014 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

 

 

Knowing Your Personal Finances: Are You Ready To Save?

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.

   

 

We’re Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

People Dancing at a Discotheque

 

Know Your Money
Wednesday – April 23, 2014

Knowing Your Personal Finances: Are You Ready To Save?
By Donell Edwards

 

For weeks now we have discussed knowing your personal finances by making a thorough evaluation of debts and expenses to determine just what condition your finances are in.  We have also strongly recommended that you use some method to monitor spending on a regular basis each day and identify any wasteful spending habits and eliminate them.  We have discussed the importance of acknowledging the need for help if your assessment indicates your finances are out of control, and it is apparent that you lack the knowledge or the will to correct matters by yourself.  

 

We have also emphasized the need to have the willingness to make behavioral changes in one’s thinking, methods, and approach to money management. It has been less than two months since this blog was launched, and in that short span of time many are no doubt still working on all of the things mentioned above.  

 

But as we have previously mentioned, everyone is at a different level financially, and will fall into one of three categories: (1.)  Those in dire need for help and who are living from paycheck-to-paycheck.  (2.)  Those who are managing and have a little money left after paying bills each month but who could do better.  (3.)  And those who are in great shape and just need to continue to monitor things and build on their success.

 

So, are you ready to save?  Your current level will determine if you are ready to move on now to saving, or if you still have work to do to bring your spending under control, stay within your budget, and continue to work to eliminate your debt.  What we suggest is that as you pay off a debt, take the money you were using to pay that debt and apply it to another debt, and continue this process until all of your debt is eliminated.  The trick is not to incur any additional debt while you are doing this.

 

That is where saving and having an emergency fund becomes so important.  There will be unexpected things that happen in your life that require money.  If you are not prepared those things may take money away from bills that you are paying, or may require you to have to take on additional debt.  This is a vicious cycle that seems to repeat itself and keep many people from making any progress.  That is where better planning and exercising self-control is important.  But having an emergency fund helps eliminate this problem or at least reduce the impact.

 

If you are at a level where you have already begun saving, we applaud you and your efforts.  We encourage you to continue to do so.  

 

Most experts recommend having at least 3 to 6 months living expenses in your emergency fund.  This should be a separate savings account from any other savings that you have.  Although some reading this may be in a financial position where you think this is impossible for you to do, it is an achievable goal.  

 

I was listening to the radio a few months ago and heard about a fantastic way for people who have very little money to set aside to save can save $1,378 in a year.  Then, this process may be repeated over and over again, or modified to increase the amounts and save more.  The idea is to get in the habit of saving.  To convince yourself that you can save.

 

I did some research after hearing about this saving method and discovered an outstanding blogger, Lisa Bedford, and her blog, The Survival Mom – http://thesurvivalmom.com/. Monica shared information on her blog about an interesting saving method known as the 52 Week Challenge.  

 

The way it works is that you start with $1 on week one.  Then you add a dollar and save $2 on week two, and continue adding a dollar each week until you reach week 52 and save $52, which is the most you will save in any week.  This makes saving affordable, and allows you to progressively increase your savings with reasonable amounts that even those who are struggling can afford.  You can and will find a way to eliminate spending on some things in order to find the few dollars required to use this plan, and at the end of the year you will have $1,378.

 

Although this is far less than 3 to 6 months of living expenses for most, it is a start and that is what this is all about, developing the habit of saving.  Developing the belief in yourself that you can save.  Making saving a part of your life just like breathing.

 

I recommend setting a goal to save at least $1,000, or in this case, $1,378.  Then set a goal to reach $2,000 next, and continue adding a thousand at a time, unless you can do more, until you have saved 3 to 6 months of living expenses.  This has to be money that you will not touch unless there is a major life issue that can only be taken care of by using some of the money in your emergency fund.  

 

In a perfect world this money would be totally off limits for any use until the goal is reached, and that should be your goal.  But we do not live in a perfect world and things will occur and you may have to use some of the money.  The key is to be committed to avoiding the use of the money in the emergency fund you are building unless it is absolutely necessary, and then working to replace what was removed in addition to what you are currently saving as quickly as possible.

 

There are three very good articles about saving in our “Must Read” section at the end of this post.  We strongly recommend that you read those for more detailed information about saving and building an emergency fund.

 

Also, if you have not reviewed the Thirty Steps to Financial Wellness program at the Money Management International website and have included this in your routine to improve your personal money management, make sure that you do.  There is no better time than now, since this is Financial Literacy Month. Have a wonderful day.   

 

If you have questions or need help we are just an email away.  Send your questions to Info@KnowYourMoneyGlobal.com  

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share? If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.  

 

 

Must Reads For Savers:

Establish an Emergency Savings Account

http://tinyurl.com/kymemergencysavings  

 

Weekly Savings Plan:  How to Save Money Even If You’re Broke

http://www.monicaonmoney.com/how-to-save-money-even-if-youre-broke/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MonicaOnMoney+%28Monica+on+Money%29

 

10 Ways to Save Money When You Make the Minimum Wage

http://blog.credit.com/2014/03/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-make-minimum-wage-79066/  

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

 

Copyright © 2014 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved