Banks are a sneaky bunch and for those not paying attention they could be the next victims. Now, for a long time banks have been taking money out of the hands of their customers for careless mistakes. Whether you thought this was fair or unfair the truth of the matter is that it cost you and others just like you a pretty penny. However, just last year the government stepped in to prevent banks from doing things like charging overdraft fees and the banks were none too happy, so they decided to fight back.
You may have heard of something called overdraft protection. You have certainly seen your bank ask you about it in the past few months. Whether it has been online or in the bank branch they have been trying to get you to enroll. The idea that they are pitching to you is that it’s the best way for you to keep from having the embarrassment of getting your card denied. However, there is more to the story than just that. This is not as nice an opportunity as it seems.
The idea is that if you do this you’ll go back to the way things were. This means that you will be able to have the bank cover you for your losses but you’ll end up paying the same type of high overdraft fees that the banks just were forced to get rid of by the government. This is a very serious situation and it’s one that you are likely better off declining. If you are having trouble staying in the black then you certainly don’t need the threat of overdraft fees staring you in the face. Be smart and say no to overdraft protection. It won’t protect you.
Saving money on your monthly expenses is a simple game of how much you are willing to part with for the betterment of your financial situation. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend the rest of your life living like a pauper. What this really means is you have to spend the rest of your life living the right way by taking the right steps to insure that you are keeping your cost down and you are keeping your income high. So, here are some money saving measures that you can institute today that will keep your savings sky high.
First thing is first, you must get rid of your grocery bill. Yes, this really does matter. At the end of the day you have to eat but there is a good chance you are shopping at the higher end chain when there is a much less expensive chain just right down the street. You have to be smart enough to shop for groceries the right way.
The cell phone bill that you pay is likely higher than it needs to be. While you might be getting the best deal for your needs you need to redefine what a need is and you better do some checking just in case. You could be saving well over 50 dollars a month. That might not seem like a lot on the day to day level but over the course of a month it can add up into a tremendous value for you and your family.
These are two simple ways to begin saving immediately. Please do not be fooled by how hard it may seem, it’s a lot easier than you think.
Budgeting is not as easy as it seems. The contrast to that is that it’s not as hard as it seems either. The idea for a good budget comes more from an overarching philosophical belief than it does from an understated approach to day to day living. What does that mean in the long run? Well it means that seeing the bigger picture for the budget is much more important than seeing the small picture, even if that picture is relatively clear.
The basic ideal when it comes to a budget is making sure that you setting goals that extend well beyond the small day to day stuff. The reality is that unless you are working towards achieving something you will likely find a way to spend the money. It’s hard to want to save money that you have very little interest in using down the road for something helpful.
Some of these goals can be moderate in nature. For instance you can figure that instead of worrying about such things as retirement you might be looking at something more immediate in a relative sense but something that might require a healthy diet of discipline and self reliance like buying a car. Once you have the big picture stuff in focus it makes going to the smaller things much easier because it’s all geared toward that big thing.
The idea of budgeting is something that should be adopted by all people. It’s something that needs to be addressed especially when coming into an increase in income because that’s the time when most money mishaps occur. If you can keep the big picture in front of you you’ll be ready for the day to day.
There are simple steps for people who are looking to keep themselves on a budget. Most americans are finding that keeping on a budget is much easier said than done. Of course it’s not as hard as it seems. Not nearly as hard as it seems.
The first key is to give yourself enough room for error. Nothing is ever as little as it seems. The prices you set for yourself are going to have to be honored and while you don’t want to blow your coverages out you want to make sure they are at a level that you can keep up with.
Something else that you will have to consider is where you can eliminate costs. Many people spend time trying to shave dollars off monthly expenses but the truth of the matter is that they should be spending time doing the things to eliminate monthly expenses altogether. This is the part of the lesson where it takes a real discipline to say no to the things that you think you like but you really don’t need.
Your tanning is one of those expenses that while you might like it you don’t need it unless it is serving some sort of function of your job. Keeping things like this is choosing vanity over stability. That’s something that you cannot continue to do.
In the end the decision to budget is up to you. If you want it, you will continue to make good and sound decisions. If you don’t then you won’t. There is no gray area here. You have to be smart or you will suffer the consequences of not budgeting well.
The government cracked down on the banks this past year but you may not have heard a thing about the changes. Partly the reason for this was the banks themselves weren’t too happy about the changes because it impacted them financially. The last thing a bank wants is any rule that takes away their ability to make more money, but in the end it has helped you the customer in a variety of ways.
First there was the issue of the overdraft fee. You’d buy a simple purchase that you didn’t have the money for, the card would go through, you’d be in the red and the fees would amount. Now the bank cannot do that. If you don’t have them money in the account you get denied but you don’t have to pay the big cash. This is a welcome change for those who were getting hit with big bills.
There was also the issue of how the bank was assessing what they could give you an overdraft fee for. It used to be anything that put you in the red. Now they have limited it to anything that puts you in the red that has been considered an automatic deduction. Another thing is they are not allowed to take the biggest purchase first out of your account. They have to take out the smaller purchases first so they can’t hit you with multiple fees after over drafting. In the end the government has really come to the aid of the people to help them from themselves. It’s a welcome change even if the banks don’t like it. Let’s hope it gets more people into the black and gets them out of the red.
In the interest of keeping yourself in the best possible financial shape you have to be able to do the harder things in life. That sometimes means have to do a little extra work to save a dollar. This is never more true when it comes to your cable provider. The truth about cable is that it’s needed. It’s now the norm and not having it is simply not an option, but overpaying for it doesn’t have to be the norm. Here are some things you have to be willing to do to get the most out of your cable bill.
First you have to be able to walk away from your company. When you get cable the intro rate is always very good but that will quickly change. In our society they will jack up the price once the offer period is over and it is then up to you to make sure that you are looking around for better deals.
Now, the cable company knows that most people aren’t willing to discontinue service with them. They are smarter than to tell them how expensive. They often call the bluff of you, the customer, who may be mad but will still continue to receive service.
You must make the choice on whether or not the price of your cable matters to you. If it does then you are going to have to pull the trigger and leave your cable company. It’s the only way to really save money. The cable companies will continue to drive up the cost until you take a stand against them, are you really willing to do that?
Many Americans are starting to think about getting back into the housing game. After all, their jobs are getting better the prices in the real estate market have dropped meaning the asking price to them is something they can view as an investment, but those same people who are looking to get back in had trouble getting out and it didn’t end well.
If you are one of the people who got stuck in the housing market then here are some tips for you to make sure that this time around goes exactly as planned.
The first thing you are going to need to do is get yourself together and figure out just what you ceiling is on the monthly payments. You have to factor in property taxes into the mortgage. It’s an important cost and one that can really hurt you if you weren’t ready for it. In most cases you don’t want the cost of your living space to exceed 30 percent of your total monthly income. The reason for this is because the closer you cut it the less room for error you have. That’s a big thing and something that you need. Wiggle room is super important in the overall health of your house situation.
Another thing to keep in mind is the mortgage rate you get. The adjustable arm bit buyers a few years ago and you want to keep yourself away from that type of aggravation. Make sure you get a fixed rate and one that will keep your payment the same way for years. Remember your history so you aren’t doomed to repeat it. It will save you a lot of stress in the long run.
So you are finding these days that you are in the middle of battle within yourself to cut back costs. The debt you are feeling is getting overwhelming and without the ability to cut costs you are going to drown in a sea of your own bad mistakes. But saving, while simple in theory, is very difficult to do. There are a number of tricks of the trade that can really make your savings effective. You must be willing to commit to saving before you do anything. Without a commitment there is no plan that will work.
The first thing to do is to make things automatic. That’s the number one goal because out of sight out of mind. Now, you might be thinking that you should put your money in an automatic transfer to your banks savings account, but in truth there are better things you can do than that. Start by going to a bank through your work. If they have a savings program this could do wonders for you. You’ll never see it on your check and the money through your work will be harder to get. This is just a way of keeping yourself honest. It can’t always be easy.
Once you have started that savings then is the time to start saving on smaller stuff. You need to do the smaller savings things to make that total really add up. The more you save on small things, the more you can switch to that automatic transfer. Saving your money is hard work. It takes discipline and dedication, but it’s something that can really help you huge in the long run.
It’s amazing that just one resignation can send the world into a panic. The better thing here is to just understand what that panic was about. When Steve Jobs told the world that he would no longer be running Apple there was a panic and it sent the stock on a little bit of a ride. How can one guy affect the stock so much? It’s a simple idea and one that is really based on reaction.
Stock isn’t a reflection of how well a company is doing, at least it’s meant to me that. What the stock price really is has to do with the faith and trust of the public in that product. How much is a share of Apple Stock worth if Steve Jobs is running things? With all the latest innovations it’s probably worth a lot. How much faith do you have in Apple knowing that they are not going to be running the show with the genius that is Steve Jobs? Probably not nearly as much. So when the shares were at 318 dollars it was a reflection of great trust by the American people. When the stock dipped it showed a panic on the part of the people.
Take a look at Bank of America. The company was thought to be in real trouble and the stock was on it’s way out the door when financial mogul Warren Buffet decided it was a good idea to buy stock in the company. From there the stock rose as buyers figure that if Warren Buffet liked the company, so should they. This, in essence, is how the stock market works these days.
Everyone wants to save money. Whether they do it or not that is always a goal. So the question is: what are they saving for? A lot of people get restless with their savings because no matter how big or little it is it just sits in one place. The need is to have a plan of attack and here is how.
First thing is to make sure you have three to six months of monthly expenses saved. You cannot do anything without that emergency fund. If you don’t do that then you are going to wish you had if there is an ailment or there is a loss of job. Make sure you are smart and honest about the money you are spending. Don’t cut yourself short in that fund. That would defeat the whole purpose of having it in the first place.
Once you have got six months of an emergency fund than you have to start planning for something. You have to have a goal with your savings. Maybe you are looking to put a down payment down on a house or you are looking to get a car. Whatever the case may be you have to make sure that you have everything in order. You have a goal and it will make sure you stay on track and you don’t get restless with the money you are saving.
Once you have purchased that house or that car it’s now time to save for something else. It wouldn’t hurt to save to invest so that you can watch your money grow. Whatever it is that you are going to do you should be saving. If it helps to have these tips than it’s for the better. Saving is important.