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Create A Budget In Four Simple Steps


Budgeting is a very important part of effective financial management. Budgeting requires you to track your spending and hold down your costs. This ensures that you’ll have enough money to cover your needs and still have money to put towards your goals. Many people view budgeting as difficult and time consuming, but you can create a successful budget by following four simple steps.

Allocate 60 Percent Of Income To Fixed Expenses

Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, recommends in a Lifehacker article that budgeted fixed expenses consume no more than 60 percent of your total income. For budgeting purposes, these fixed expenses include your mortgage or rent payment, your utilities, transportation costs, and debt payments. These expenses are the most important in your budget because they must be paid on a consistent basis to maintain your current quality of life.

Allocate 10 Percent Of Income To Savings

A portion of your income should go towards saving for the future. Unexpected expenses can arise at any time. Having savings available to pay those expenses will help you handle those expenses without having to resort to credit cards or payday loans.

Allocate 10 Percent Of Income To Investments

Saving and investing for retirement should also be high on the list of budgeting priorities. One of the best ways to do this is through an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan. The percentage you choose to invest is taken out of your paycheck on a pre-tax basis and the money grows tax-deferred in the account until it is withdrawn for expenses in retirement.

Remaining 20 Percent Used For Spending Money

After the important needs have been taken care of, the remaining 20 percent of your income can be spent on things that you enjoy. Cable television, movie tickets, dining out, and new clothing are good examples of the things that would fit into this category. Medical insurance and groceries would not, as they are considered fixed expenses.

The beauty of using this formula is that it can be applied to any income level. If your expenses in any one category is less than the recommended percentage of income, the difference can be added to your investments or your savings to boost those accounts. Any additional money you receive in the form of winnings, rebates, bonuses, or raises can be allocated in the same way, with the money for the fixed expenses going into an emergency fund you can tap when necessary.


7 Top Personal Finance Books For Recent College Grads


Every year, millions of college students graduate with limited financial knowledge. According to the Council for Economic Education, students In the United States are required to take a high school course in personal finance as a graduation requirement in only 17 states. Out of the nearly 3.7 million college graduates of the 2013-2014 school year, few beyond the ones in finance and business specific majors were required to take additional financial management courses before they received their diploma.

To make sure that they’re financially savvy, they’ll need some extra help. Here are seven of the hottest, newest and best-selling personal finance books for recent college grads on the market today, as rated by GoBankingRates and Forbes.

The Truth About Money

If you are looking for a comprehensive look at a wide variety of personal finance topics, this book by Rick Edelman may be just what you need. You start with a personal finance quiz to determine what you already know. Then, you create a roadmap of your money and finances with an end goal of successfully reaching your financial goals.

Personal Finance for Dummies

Eric Tyson wrote this book as a resource for anyone to learn how to successfully manage their money. It covers many of the basics of personal finance, including budgeting, debt, taxes, and investing. Forbes contributor Barry Glassman says that this is one of his favorite personal finance books to recommend.

Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together … Finally

This GoBankingRates top 25 list maker is from money expert and financial journalist Nicole Lapin. The book includes a simple 12-step plan for getting your finances in order and breaking bad financial habits. It also teaches you how to invest in yourself and prepare for the future.

You’re So Money: Live Rich Even When You’re Not

Farnoosh Torabi, a financial reporter in her twenties, covers life on an entry-level salary and focuses on teaching others to live within their means. The sensible advice is geared towards those just entering their first real job after college and those moving out of the family home for the first time.

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life

Another GoBankingRates top 25 pick is this treasure from Ruth Soukup. Soukup provides personal accounts to show what it’s like to take control of your budget and your life. She introduces practical action plans to improve your finances and organize your life to be more efficient and less wasteful.

The Compound Effect

Darren Hardy, publisher of Success magazine, shares a step-by-step guide to good decision-making, tracking progress and achieving goals. Using his personal and business achievements as examples, he outlines the guiding principles that should govern your financial life and shows how the decisions you make determine your level of success.

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

This GoBankingRates top 25 pick is Tony Robbins’ first released book in nearly twenty years. He offers a seven-step plan to achieving financial freedom through effective money management. Following his advice will help you create a personal financial blueprint that is both easy to understand and easy to follow.


How to Save Money on Back to School with Groupon Coupons


saving on back to schoolAs the summer season comes to an end,it’s the start of going back to school for students. Some kids look forward to it, others dread it. Surprisingly, the same goes for parents.

On the parents side however, it is the expenses that come along with it. In all the hassle and scheduling and sending the kids back to school, most parents feel that this is like Christmas and birthdays put together.

It doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune on these expenses because as with any other season, retailers would take advantage of this and turn it into a shopping season too.

Saving Money on Back to School

Before you go out shopping, it’s best to make an inventory of what you could still use and what new items needs to be purchased. Everyone loves a good sale and using coupons during a sale can get you the most out of your money.

If you are on a tight budget and looking for ways on how to save money on school supplies and things that come along with back to school expenses, there is an option for you with deal websites like Groupon and a recently launched service option such as Groupon Coupons.

What makes this different from the regular model of the Groupon site? This is a great way to check if there are items that suit your needs since you don’t have to register or purchase anything up front.

It’s a collection of 55,000 coupons and promo codes to choose from! There is bound to be something you can definitely save on such as checking out items from Vitacost for your vitamins and supplemental needs, to give you and your kids energy for a 100% performance in school; Macy’s and JCPenney for your school supplies such as shoes, apparel and school bags; and much much more!

You can even use it on for those last minute bonding time with your kids before they go back to school and get wrapped up in their homework. Spend some fun time with the kids with the awesome opportunities that can only be found here.

A lot of Groupon Coupons are exclusive, which means that you can’t find them anywhere else since Groupon has created a partnership with the top national retailers out there.

If you think that this sounds too good to be true, don’t even worry about anything as Groupon has a team that works around the clock to ensure that the best coupons are updated and accounted for. Only the best coupon experience for you.

Take advantage of these great deals and get that Groupon Coupon to save you money on your back to school purchases that can help you stick to your budget. By saving on these back to school items, other expenses such as unavoidable school costs makes it a bit more affordable.


Car Title Loan Info Every Borrower Should Know


car title loansCar title loans are advertised as a way for those with marginal credit to get a large sum of money quickly. Because the underwriting on these loans is minimal, nearly anyone that has a car can get qualified for a car title loan. According to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation survey, roughly 1.1 million households in the United States took out a car title loan in 2013. If you are considering applying for a car title loan, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

Car title loans can be a valuable financial option for those with a poor credit score or a spotty credit history. The loan is secured with the title of the car as collateral. In most cases, there is no credit check to get a car title loan. Residents of Michigan with bad credit can receive a car title loan to help their debt problems. College students that have just started establishing their credit can apply for a car title loan to pay their expenses.

The amount of money that you will be able to receive as a loan will vary depending on the type of car you drive. When a car title loan company is considering your application for a loan, they will want to view the underlying collateral – your car. The company representative will inspect your car to determine its approximate resale value. After the inspection, they will provide you with a loan amount that is a percentage of that value. This ensures that they will be able to recoup their losses if you were to default on the loan and the company assumes ownership of the vehicle.

The amount of time you have to repay the loan will also vary. Car title loans typically have repayment terms of between one month and two years depending on the size of the loan and the state where the loan was originated. Larger loans naturally have longer repayment terms in most areas, however some states have mandated that short term loans have repayment terms that are no longer than three to six months.

You can get a car title loan either online or from a local lender. Once the loan application has been completed and the required documentation supplied, the loan will be issued to you as a check or as a direct deposit into your bank account. Be sure to read all of the terms and conditions of the car title loan before signing so you know exactly what you are agreeing to.