Getting ready to Grill? Here are some Tips to help you Save Money

Another Fourth of July has passed us by, heralding the start of the summer season and the “grilling season” as well. This and every weekend millions of Americans will be grilling hamburgers, veggies, steak, fish and even veggie burgers in what, unsurprisingly, is the most popular day for grilling in the country. In fact, according to a recent study by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (yes, that’s an actual association) nearly 8 out of 10 homes in the United States have a grill or smoker and 6 out of 10 use that grill or smoker all year ‘round.

For tips on the kind of grill or smoker to purchase, as well as grilling accessories, keep reading below before you head out to your local home and garden center to make your purchase.

First, although they are very much on the “pricey side”, the line of Argentinian inspired grills from Grillworks is one of the absolute best in the industry. Many people use the term “amazing” when describing them, which is quite a word to use for a barbecue grill you have to admit.

Grillworks has a signature cranking wheel that is made of cast aluminum and can double as a rotisserie for chicken and other meats. Fat and juices that drip off of anything being cooked fall into the V-shaped grooves of their signature barbecues, collecting in a small trough underneath so that they can be utilized to make sauces and also for extra basting.

Now, quite frankly, if you think that the line of barbecues from Grillworks is expensive, than the K1000HS Hybrid Fire Grill from Kalamazoo, priced at just under $21,200, is going to probably make you faint. Once you regain your composure, you’ll be glad to know that this revolutionary barbecue will let you cook with either gas, charcoal or wood, it’s easy to clean, it can reach 1000°F and, in the words of many barbecue aficionados, “it’s built like a tank”.

Of course the average homeowner simply doesn’t have $22,000 sitting around to spend on a barbecue and, even if they did, it’s probably not the best financial choice. Frankly, eating barbecued meat to often isn’t exactly recommended by health experts anyway.

With that in mind there are a number of excellent grills made by the classic, Weber. They’re simple, durable and allow you to cook with either direct or indirect heat. Priced between $100 and $400, they are much more affordable for the average homeowner and yet can still be utilized to  grill perfect hamburgers, smoke sausages or roast vegetables.

As for the tools needed, the average grill master must certainly have a good pair of tongs, an instant-read thermometer and a heavy duty set of gloves to protect themselves from the heat. Also, since cooking out at night is definitely a favorite thing to do on barbecue owners, a headlamp to let you see the char on that steak is probably a good idea too.

Once you’ve gotten those tools, and you’ve purchased your barbecue, it’s time to get out there and grill up something fantastic!

Skip the flashy gadgets and Save Instead

Without going deeply into the mathematics of it, suffice to say that the difference between starting a savings program when you’re in your 20s versus doing the same when you’re in your 30s or even 40s represents a huge difference in what you will have in your retirement and savings accounts when it’s time to retire.

In other words, the longer a person waits to get started saving and putting money into retirement, 401(k) and other savings accounts, the bigger the hurdle will be to overcome in order for them to retire “comfortably”.

At the root of this problem (which, by the way, is widespread) is the complete lack of financial education that Americans receive either in high school or college. While the skills we need to get a job and earn money are being taught to us (more or less), saving and investing skills as well as prioritizing how our money is spent and saved are almost never dealt with.

Even worse is the fact that, at almost every turn, there seems to be something more “important” than saving money or saving for retirement. There’s always a nicer automobile, a better smartphone or tablet and a bigger television. Indeed, the examples are virtually endless. Another problem is that the further person is from retirement, the more important these luxuries seem to be.

The biggest problem is that, no matter how “awesome” they are, even the biggest pile of obsolete electronic products won’t pay the grocery, mortgage, doctor, heating and other bills once your retirement nest egg begins to run out.

Giving at least a little bit of thought to the long-term effects of your spending habits is thus vitally important. Even though having more choices is usually a good thing, many people make poor choices if they have too many options. Sadly, this can leave many of us with few or no choices later in life when we need them the most.

The inescapable truth is that as a person gets older, no matter who they are, their ability to earn money from working diminishes greatly. This can be due to many things including physical illnesses, mental weaknesses or even the simple fact that, after a person reaches a certain age, it gets much more difficult to find any job at all.

If a person hasn’t put away a sufficient amount of money into retirement plans like 401(k)s, IRAs and other investments, they won’t be choosing which new smartphone or flatscreen TV to buy, they’ll be choosing between whether or not to buy food or medicine.

The good news is that most people can remedy this harsh sounding situation by simply starting a savings plan as early as possible and then sticking to that plan vigilantly throughout the years.

If you’re not sure whether you’re saving enough, would like to know more about retirement savings plans or simply have questions about your best options, please let us know and we’ll get back to you with solid advice ASAP.

 

Every Day Tips for Saving Money

Have you ever heard the old adage “penny wise and dollar foolish”? If you have then you know what we mean when we say that many people who seem to take great care of their “big” bills have a hard time with their budget because their “little” bills end up wasting a whole lot of their money. Many people go out every day and unknowingly waste all sorts of money on smaller purchases, not realizing that a dollar here or two dollars there adds up to a whole lot of dollars at the end of each month.

Today’s blog will give you some everyday tips for saving money that, when added up, can really add up. Enjoy.

Commuting: Your daily commute not only cost quite a bit of money but it can also be quite stressful. You’ve probably heard about carpooling for years but the fact is that, if you can do it, it will save you money and anxiety as well as parking costs. You should also get an app for your smart phone to tell you where the lowest gas prices in town are and use the station closest to you with the best prices. If you can take public transportation or, even better walk or ride your bike to work, you’ll also save all sorts cash.

Fees: Even though having a savings or checking account with your local bank is pretty much a necessity these days, paying every fee that the bank wants to charge you certainly isn’t so make sure you do your due diligence and, if your bank is charging too much, consider changing banks. Also, paying your bills on time is extremely important so that you don’t get hit with late fees and your credit report doesn’t take it as well.

Food: Food is one area where many people waste all sorts of money. 8 dollar Starbucks coffees, eating out every day for lunch or ordering in at night because you’re exhausted are all certainly convenient but also costing you a lot of extra money at the same time. Planning your meals ahead of time is relatively simple, allows you to use your local newspaper flyer to get the best deal on any ingredients that you need and, if you have the time, you can also spend a few hours on the weekend preparing your food for the week. That way, when you get home exhausted from work, you can resist the temptation to order out and eat something healthy, nutritious and reasonably priced that’s already in your fridge.

Laundry: Unless you need to “dress to impress” every day, you should definitely avoid buying clothes that need to be dry cleaned. Wrinkle free shirts still look great and, in most cases, if you take them out of the dryer right after it stops and hang them up right away
they will look just fine. Also, look for specials on detergent and fabric softener whenever you can because both are quite expensive.

Movies: This is an area where people really tend to overspend. The fact is, going to the movies these days is extremely expensive and, unfortunately, most of the movies coming out these days definitely aren’t worth the cost. You would be much better off getting yourself a moderately priced flatscreen TV and watching movies at home or getting a service like Netflix. Unless you really want to see something on the “big screen”, staying home is going to save you a lot of money.

Utility Bills: There are a myriad of ways to save on your utility bills including shutting things off completely when you’re not using them, turning off lights when you leave a room and turning the temperature down in the winter and wearing heavier clothing. Using fans and summer rather than the AC is also an excellent way to save money and taking shorter showers as well. Running the dishwasher or washing machine only when full is another way to save.

Hopefully these tips have given you a few ideas on how to save on a daily basis. Just remember one thing, life isn’t always about saving, some times you need to expand your horizons and have a little fun as well. Going out to the movies, bar, or a restaurant isn’t always toxic to your finances if it’s done right.

Expect the Unexpected: Reasons Everyone Should Have a Savings Account

Savings accounts are a thing of magic. There are very few places on Earth where someone can get money on top of money for doing absolutely nothing besides letting it sit there. Like a bottle of wine, savings only get better with age.

While savings can often be used to put aside money for a brand new car or house down the line, they also serve as something far more valuable: an emergency fund.

While there are other services out there to help someone out of a rough patch, many people don’t plan for the unexpected until it’s smacked them in the face and they’re left with few options.

Maybe you’re an optimist and you don’t like to think about rainy days. But the truth of the matter is that you never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball. These issues pop up for people all the time and without a nest egg, there’s little you can do to recover without finding yourself over your head in debt.

  • Job Loss – Let’s face it. Unemployment is at record highs in many places in the world and too many people find themselves in dire straits if their company decides they can’t afford their staff. If you have several months worth of living expenses tucked away, you’re much less likely to find yourself racking up credit card debt that will stay with you long after you find your next gig.
  • Big Ticket Items – The alternator in your SUV went out. The furnace in your home is on the fritz. Maybe a relative’s health causes you to book a plane ticket to be by their side. These are the type of things you can’t plan for – except by putting away a little bit of money each month. Even if you don’t have the money to cover your sudden expenses in full, the extra bit of money you’ve been setting aside will surely help with the bulk and a little crafty budgeting can get you back to where you need to be in no time.
  • Medical Expenses – No one ever expects to get sick or hurt, but the last thing you want to be worrying about while you’re lying in the hospital with a broken arm from your company’s softball game is how you can possibly pay for your ambulance trip (cross your fingers for workman’s comp). Depending on the emergency you may not be able to pay back your medical bills in full, but with a solid down payment most companies are willing to work out payment plans that you can afford. The last thing you want is a high-priced hospital bill being sent to a collection agency and held against you.

With a little bit of planning and a whole lot of luck, you’ll be able to handle anything that life throws your way.

Energy saving Tips around your home

As summer approaches many people are looking for ways to save money on their home energy bills. On average, Americans spend $2200.00 a year to pay for their heating, cooling and electricity, about 25% of the total living costs. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce those costs if you know what to look for and the fact is that most people waste quite a bit of energy without knowing it. For that reason we put together a blog about energy-saving tips around your home ( and because we love our readers, of course). It’s bad enough to have to spend big bucks every time you go to the gas station with your car so we figured that we help you save a little bit more at home to lighten the damage on your wallet. Enjoy.

One of the first things that you should do is go online and surf to the Energy Star website. Created in 1992 to help reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions and also help consumers lower their energy costs, Energy Star boasts that they have enough tips on their website that you will save about a third on your annual electric bill, or approximately $700 a year. Using their tips they say that Americans were able to save about $17 billion on their energy bills in 2012 and also reduce their greenhouse gases by the equivalent of approximately 30,000,000 automobiles, figures that are nothing to sneeze at if they’re correct.

One of the biggest systems in any home is going to be the HVAC system that controls your heating in the winter and cooling in summer. These two energy using activities alone account for almost 50% of your home’s overall electric bill and so, if you’re looking for ways to cut back on your energy use at home, the first thing you need to do is take a look at your HVAC system and make sure that functioning correctly. There are a number of other things that you can do if you want to make sure that your HVAC isn’t wasting precious energy (and money) such as;

  • Purchase a programmable thermostat for your home. A programmable thermostat will allow you to specifically set times during the day when your heating and/or cooling should be turned on and turned off. Research has shown that these devices can shave approximately $200 off of your yearly heating and cooling bill.
  • Make sure your HVA C has clean air filters. Simply put, the harder that your system has to work sucking in air the more energy it will use. A good suggestion is to change filters on a monthly basis, at least during the hottest months of summer and coldest months of winter, when the HVAC is under its heaviest workload.
  • Any heating and cooling ducts that are exposed should be sealed and insulated, especially those that run through your attic, and unheated basement or garage, crawlspaces and so forth. Doing this alone can improve your HVAC’s efficiency by almost 20%
  • Check your windows.  Many times older homes have leaky windows and that can cost you a lot of money in the summer and winter months.  If you any air escaping from the house is costing you more and more money every day.  You should get new energy efficient windows installed by Nashua roofers if you have old drafty windows.

Another system in your home that uses up quite a bit of energy is your water heating system. On average Americans spend approximately $500 per year to heat their water or approximately 15% of their total home energy bill. There are a number of simple ways to reduce this cost including;

  • Making sure that your water heater is completely insulated.
  • Insulating waterlines that run from your heater to all faucets.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F or, if you can, even lower.
  • Take shorter showers or turn off the water while you lather up and wash your hair.
  • If your water heater is older and your planning on replacing it sometime soon consider purchasing a newer, hot water on demand system. There are several on the market so make sure to check with your local home improvement store and do your research before making a purchase.

About 12% of the average home’s energy bill is used up by lighting. There are a number of ways to lower the cost right away including;

  • Making sure that lights are always turned off when not in use.
  • Putting timers on outdoor lights so that they don’t stay on all day.
  • Purchasing new compact fluorescent light bulbs to replace the old, standard incandescent light bulbs that you no doubt have in your home. (While they are quite a bit more expensive they will use less energy and last much longer.)

 

Electric appliances account for about another 13% of the average homes energy bill and there are certainly ways to reduce this cost.

  • Washing all clothing with cold water is a great way to start.
  • Replacing major appliances like refrigerators if they’ve gone past the 15 year mark is going to set you back a few bucks but, in the long run, will save you quite a bit of money.
  • Make sure you not only turn off electronics like computers, flatscreen TVs and so forth but, if you are not going to be using them again soon unplug them completely. A great way to save money is to buy a power strip that has a switch and, after putting everything into it, you can then turn everything off with one switch.

Home energy bills eat up quite a bit of the average American family’s budget that’s for sure. Using these tips should help you to lower those costs and leave you with a little extra money to stuff into your savings or retirement account at the end of the month. We hope you enjoyed this blog and we urge you to come back sometime soon as we always posting information, advice and tips like these for all of our readers to use and enjoy. See you then.

Retirement Tips for People in their 20’s

Okay, we’ll readily admit that most people in their 20s aren’t exactly focusing on retirement. Most are busy finishing up college or settling into their new career. Heck, there are quite a few that haven’t even chosen a career yet and are still kind of bouncing around, trying to figure out what they’re going to do and who they’re going to be.

That being said, we still believe that it’s never too early to start planning for retirement. Frankly, if you have any hopes of retiring by 55 or 60 years old that means you have approximately 40 years to fund a retirement nest egg that will have to keep you going for another 20 years or longer. The earlier you get started the earlier you can retire and in a higher style. With that in mind we hope you enjoy our blog on retirement tips for people in their 20s.(Some of us even wish we could go back and start over, right where you are right now, and fix some of the mistakes that we made.) Enjoy.

According to MFS Investment Management, almost 40% of young adults in their 20s confess that they don’t feel confident investing in stocks. Our take on this is simple; don’t be too cocky but definitely don’t avoid the stock market. The reason is because, since 1926, there is never been a 20 year period where a stock-heavy portfolio has lost money and on average the gain has been nearly 11% per year as compared to 4% for bonds.

We also recommend a Roth 401(k) because of the after-tax dollar savings advantage that they give over a regular 401(k). If you’re going to be in a higher tax bracket come retirement, which most young investors will be, not paying income tax on your withdrawals is going to be a great deal. We also recommend that if you’d like to hedge your bets on any future tax rates you should split your retirement contributions between your Roth IRA and a pretax 401(k).

This one is very key; avoid the urge to cash out your 401(k) when you leave a job. Frankly, after penalties and taxes you’re going to get practically 30% less than what you put in which is bad enough. You’ll also, on a $10,000 balance, lose approximately $100,000 by the time you retire. That’s a fine example of what compound interest can do and what you can lose if you don’t take advantage of it.Our strong suggestion; roll that over into a new IRA with your new employer.

While this might not have anything to do with your retirement savings per se, the best time to open a business on your own (if you’re the entrepreneurial type of course) is during your 20s. The reason, in most cases, is simple; you have many less factors that can weigh you down financially including a mortgage, several cars and 2.5 (or more) kids.

If you’re not investing in your company’s IRA or 401(k) because you still don’t actually work for a company that has one we would suggest that you keep searching until you find one that does and then make the switch. As far as doing so, these days there is so much opportunity online to let people know who you are and what you can do that you’d be crazy not to take advantage of it. LinkedIn is the king of course but there’s also Facebook and many other social media websites that can help you reach out to basically the world and let them know you’re available and what you have to offer.

One last bit of advice today and we’re done. According to recent research any professional who is not involved in negotiating their first salary and leaves it up to their new employer stands to lose nearly $500,000 between their 20s and age 60. What that means is that you need to swallow hard and put money on the table when you’re negotiating for your first big position. Going in armed with information that you’ve culled from your peers and also, if possible, people who work at the company you wish to work for, is an excellent idea and will give you an idea of where to start, dollar-wise.

As we said at the outset of this blog we realize that 20-omethings aren’t exactly focused on their retirement in any way, shape or form. What will say once again also is that they should be. The better prepared you are in the better plan should make for retirement the better your ‘golden years’ will be, at least financially. We hope this blog had some interesting and educational information that you can use and we invite you to come back and join us again soon for more of the same. Take care until then.

Money Saving Tips that you can Use Every Day – Part 3

We’re  glad that you decided to stop by for Part 3 of our money saving tips that you can use every day blog series. The first 2 Parts really contain some excellent tips, advice and info on how to squeeze the most out of your budget and get the most for your hard-earned dollar. Part three is going to do the same and so, without further interruption, let’s get started Enjoy.

  • If you own a home you should ask your electric or gas utility company for a home energy audit. In many cases this is free or quite an expensive but may reveal several areas where you are wasting money and thus allow you to take care of those problem areas and start saving money.
  • If you live in an area of the country that is subjected to extreme variations in weather you should definitely weatherize your home at least once a year, caulking holes and filling in cracks that let either heated or cooled air out of your home and waste your money.
  • Depending on the time of year you should use curtains to either block the sunshine coming into your home or let it in. Simply put, in the winter the sun is your friend and you should let it in as much as you can. Conversely, in the summer you should do your best to keep the sun out of the house and keep your cooling costs down.
  • Consider shopping for clothes at your local discount outlet like Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx. Usually they have price reductions in the area of 30 to 70%.
  • If you have a well-run goodwill store in your town you should make a habit of going there on a regular basis to see what types of deals you can find on used clothing, toys, sports equipment and so forth. Many times the deals that you can find on lightly used goods are absolutely phenomenal.
  • Unless you absolutely must have perfectly ironed and starched clothing washing them yourself at home will definitely save you a lot of money over bringing them to the dry cleaners.
  • Periodically assess your mobile phone plan and determine if you are paying for more data or minutes then you need. If you are, ask your provider to give you details on a lower-priced plan.
  • When possible, communicate using email rather than your mobile phone. If you are already online the cost to use email is virtually free.
  • If you’re keen on enjoying some entertainment outside of your home do some research to find entertainment venues that are either free or low-cost. Many cities and towns have a website dedicated to  entertainment and will list everything available no matter what the cost.
  • Unless there is a specific premium channel that you just have to have you should definitely consider getting rid of your premium cable plan especially if you don’t use it.
  • Borrowing books from the library is an incredibly economical way to get your book fix. In fact, it’s completely free and your local library also has music CDs, movie DVDs, local newspapers and other assets that you might not even know about.
  • If you really like watching sports live consider going to your local High School to see their football, baseball, soccer and other sports teams compete. The cost to do this is generally very cheap or even free and the food that they serve is usually the same. The fact is, professional sports games are very expensive and the concession stands at a professional sports arena so food at ridiculous prices.
  • If you plan on giving a gift to a family member or friend planned well in advance so that you don’t overspend at the last minute in a frenzied rush.  Those in a cash crunch always have the option of looking into online payday loans if they are running short on cash.
  • During the holidays to discuss with your family limits on spending for gifts. Not only will this save you money but, in many cases, it will also make your family members happy because they were going to do the same thing (or at least were thinking it).

We certainly hope that you have enjoyed this three-part series. Many of the tips that we’ve shared with you can be used starting today and,  while they may not save you thousands of dollars, they can certainly save you hundreds over the next few months and, over the next few years, thousands. Good luck with your saving  plans and please do come back to visit us often as we will be presenting more valuable financial information in the future. Cheers.

Money Saving Tips that you can Use Every Day – Part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of our money-saving tips 3-part blog series. A lot of the tips that we offered in Part 1 were quite general but the tips that we will be giving you today will help you save money on more specific things such as prescription drugs, your banking services, insurance of all kinds and even the costs you pay for transportation. So, without further ado, let’s get started.  Enjoy.

  • If you have just seen your medical doctor and you’re going to need a prescription ask your MD to write you a prescription for generic drugs if possible. This can literally save you hundreds of dollars over name brand medications that do exactly the same thing.
  • If you are going to be taking prescription drugs on a regular, ongoing basis shop around to find the store, supermarket or pharmacy that offers your specific drug at the lowest cost.
  • Just as you can  save money by buying the generic or store brand you can do the same with your over-the-counter medications, vitamins and other health product needs.
  • Make as much effort as possible to never bounce a check. The $20 to  $30 expense just isn’t worth it and the savings easily add up to a $500 emergency savings fund.
  • Maximum effort should also be used to reduce your credit card debt as early as you possibly can.
  • Unless your bank has an excellent ATM service policy don’t use ATMs to get cash because the ATM fees can be quite high.
  • Once a year you should reevaluate your automobile and homeowners insurance, as well as check rates from competing companies to see if you’re paying the best price.
  • Speaking of insurance, raising your deductible will lower your premiums by several hundred dollars a year. Of course if you do have a claim you will lose a bit more but statistically speaking the savings will outweigh the loss.
  • If your children are grown and on their own or if your spouse works you might want to consider dropping your life insurance coverage. Use whatever money you save to fund your retirement account or an emergency fund.
  • Get into the habit of shopping around for gasoline. An easy way to do this is to get an app on your mobile phone that will tell you where the cheapest gas is, such as the GasBuddy app.
  • If you live in a city or town that has public transportation such as subways and or buses you should use those much more often than you use a taxicab.
  • When searching for airline tickets make the extra effort to really search diligently. Also, start your search well in advance and check every day to see if you find a special deal that will sometimes pop up on a carrier’s website.
  • If you and your spouse are living alone and don’t receive a lot of visitors you should definitely consider moving into a smaller home or possibly even a condominium or apartment. Put the money that you make on the house sale into your retirement fund and do the same with the money that you will save on maintenance costs.
  • Whenever possible live as close to your work as you can. If you work from home at least two or three days a week you can save a tremendous amount of money. For example, if you drive 5000 miles less this year than last year you will save approximately $1000.
  • When it comes to home repair you should definitely compare contractors and, if possible, use one who successfully did a job for a family member, friend or neighbor. Also, insist on a written quote that is guaranteed not to change and don’t pay in full until you are satisfied with the work that was performed.

Wow! Even we were surprised by the amount of excellent information that we came up with for part two. We hope that you can take away from this blog a little bit of advice that will help you and possibly a lot of advice. We also would like to invite you to come back soon for Part 3. See you then!

Money Saving Tips that you can Use Every Day – Part 1

In today’s economy everyone is looking for ways to save money. The fact is, there are so many ways and so many places that are ripe for money-saving opportunities that it’s not even funny. On your home energy bills, your weekly grocery bill, during your commute to work and even at the pharmacy if you know the tapes that were about to give you you’ll be able to save here, there and everywhere. With that in mind and without further ado let’s get started. Enjoy.

  • As silly as it might sound saving your loose change can really add up. A 5 gallon water bottle that is filled with nothing but quarters, nickels and dimes can add up to nearly $1000 and that’s not chump change.
  • Review all of your bank accounts, credit card accounts and any other financial account that you have at least once a month to make sure that everything is kosher.
  • If you’re planning on making a large purchase, say a flat screen TV or a new microwave, don’t make the decision to quickly. In fact take about a week to think it over, discuss it with your significant other and then, once you’re done, if you still want it and can afford it go and purchase it.
  • Make a concerted effort to put as little debt onto your credit cards as possible.
  • If you do use your credit card make certain that you can pay it off at the end of every month and avoid interest charges.
  • If you are keen on finding out where your money is going diligently keep all of your receipts for at least four weeks to eight weeks and, when you have them all collected, make a spreadsheet to determine where you spent every penny. This can be the foundation of your new budget.
  • Make sure that you go to the dentist on a regular basis and maintain your oral health. It’s seems silly to have to say this but some people still don’t take care of their teeth as well as which can lead to expensive oral surgery in the future.
  • If you work for a large company find out what all of the perks that they have available for employees.  In many cases you can find discounted offers for computers, gym memberships, movie tickets and many other items.
  • If your company offers a 401(k) retirement savings plan take advantage of this excellent program.
  • An excellent way to put money aside is to match any funds that you spend on nonessential things like beer and cigarettes. For example, is used in $20 on beer over the weekend match that $20 in your savings. The fact is, if you can’t do that then you probably can’t afford the $20 per beer to begin with.
  • To determine whether or not you should make a purchase takes the cost of the item you want to buy and divide it into your hourly wage. If, you wish to purchase a pair of jeans and you make $10 an hour you must then ask yourself if it is worth working six hours for that pair of jeans.
  • Use short-term goals to start building your savings until you have reached the point where it is substantial. For example, instead of trying to save $2500 this year making your goal to save $50 a week. At the end of the year you will have your $2500.

That’s the end of part one. We hope that you can take advantage of many of these money-saving tips and we invite you to come back very soon for part two.

Choosing the right Bank and Account for You

If you look around you may just notice that banks are a lot like coffee shops, there’s one on every corner. So how to you know which bank is the right bank for you? There are a few questions you can ask yourself when selecting a bank that will help you pick the right bank with the right account. The right bank should allow you to conduct business with a minimum of fees with a product that fits your life style.

The first thing you may want to consider is your location. Is there a bank branch not just where you live but what about where you work? Many times banking hours may require you to make a run to the bank during lunch and you want to make sure that anytime you need to bank the location will be convenient. You may also want to consider your travel habits in this as well. If you only travel out of state or out of country once or twice a year then this may not be an issue, however, if you travel frequently for business or pleasure knowing that your bank can be accessed multiple ways from multiple places is a must.

The next thing you want to consider is what you will use your account for. Are you mainly a cash person for everyday small purchases and only use your debit card or account number to pay bills? Do you hate to carry cash and want to use your debit card for everything? Do you want pay checks direct deposited or do you deposit cash or checks frequently? There are banks that charge for debit card use and some that give you perks if you never come in to see a teller and do everything online or with a card.

Once you’ve answered these simple questions you will be much better equipped to begin shopping for the perfect bank and account for you.