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3
Dec

Break These Bad Money Habits Draining Your Wealth

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Nearly everyone has a few bad money habits that are causing them to lose out on money or spend more than they should. Breaking these bad money habits allow you to accumulate wealth more quickly, giving you greater financial security. Here are some of the most common bad money habits and how you can change them into good money habits.

Paying ATM Fees

There are so many ways to avoid paying out of network ATM fees, which now top $4 per occurrence on average, that it is amazing that banks are still making money on them. It is easy for most people to avoid ATM fees by preplanning where to get money before leaving the house. If there are no ATMs branded with your bank along your route, you can obtain cash from many grocery stores and convenience stores for free by asking for cash back when making a purchase.

Frequently Buying Snacks And Drinks

Frequently buying snacks and drinks at retailers other than grocery stores is another bad money habit that you should break. Buying items at these locations often cost much more than buying similar items at a grocery store, but the increments are so small that most people do not realize just how much they are spending. To save money, buy the snack items that you like in larger quantities from grocery stores, then package them into individual portions that you can take on the go.

Failing To Track Your Spending

Failing to track your spending is a bad money habit that is very simple to break. Tracking your spending is important for knowing where your money is going and identifying areas of overspending. This might be the easiest bad money habit to correct as there are many apps now available that will automatically track your expenses for you. I like Mint myself, but there are also tracking apps available through Learnvest, at You Need A Budget, and through banking apps.

Carrying High Interest Debt

High interest debt quickly drains your wealth by charging you money every month for money you spent in the past. Eliminate these interest payments by getting rid of your high interest debt as quickly as you can. Look to cut spending in your budget to apply more money to debt reduction and focus on the debt with the highest interest first to get the biggest savings. Once that debt is eliminated, start again with the next debt on the list.

Paying The Minimum On Credit Cards

Many people do not realize that paying the minimum amount required for their credit card payments can keep them in debt for decades. That is because the minimum amount only includes the interest charges owed and about 2 percent of the balance. Instead of paying interest for your previous purchases month after month after month, pay as much as you can each month to bring down the balance quickly. Once you have eliminated the current balance, limit your spending on the card to an amount that you can afford to pay off each month.

1
Dec

How To Negotiate For More Money

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Negotiation is becoming a lost art. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com, 56 percent of people report having never asked for a raise and 49 percent of people offered a new job accept the first offer they’re given without negotiating. Since some companies lowball their initial offer in anticipation of negotiations occurring, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table by failing to negotiate. Here are some tips that can help you learn how to negotiate for more money.

Don’t Be Scared

There are no reports of anyone having ever been fired for asking for a raise. At worst case, the employer will say no and you will go back to your regular job at your regular pay. If you have a good relationship with your employer and can demonstrate that you have been an asset to the company, there is no harm in asking for more compensation. If you have a contentious relationship with your boss, you may be better off looking for a new job than trying to learn how to negotiate with them.

Know Your Value

Before attempting to negotiate for more money, it would be helpful to know what other employees in your current position are making. Sites like Glassdoor.com can help you figure out what employers are paying people who have similar credentials to yours. Then you can see where you fall on the salary scale and use that as a jumping off point for your negotiations.

Be Willing To Accept More Responsibility

With more money may come more responsibility. A lot of employers are not willing to give out more money for nothing in return. Be willing to accept that increase in responsibility as part of your salary negotiations and you will often get a better response from your employer. Accepting more responsibility could also put you in line for bigger raises in the future.

Time Your Request Carefully

The timing of your request will have a large effect on how the request is received. The best time to start negotiations is when your company is doing its regular employee evaluations. During these times, your employer may be more receptive to how you negotiate for more money and will actually consider your request. Times where stress is high and deadlines are looming are not the best times to make your request.

Following these simple tips on how to negotiate for more money will give you more confidence in your negotiations and give you a greater chance of succeeding. These tips can be used in a wide variety of negotiations, from getting a better price on a car to hiring someone to perform services for you. The keys to success are to know what something is worth and being willing to go for what you want. You’ll never get it if you never ask.

28
Nov

Cyber Monday Shopping Tips For Scoring Big Deals

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In its tenth year of existence, Cyber Monday has become the biggest shopping day of the year for many online retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, roughly half of Millennials and about 30 percent of those in the 45-to-54 age group say they will shop online on Cyber Monday. According to a survey released by Javelin Strategy & Research, consumers expect to spend 45 percent of their holiday budgets through online retailers this year.

Increasing numbers of people are shopping on Cyber Monday to take advantage of steep discounts on the items they want. However, not all of these deals are as great as they appear to be. Here are some Cyber Monday shopping tips that will help you get the best bang for your bucks.

Compare Prices

Comparing prices from different retailers is one of the best ways to score the biggest deals on Cyber Monday. You are already online, so it won’t take much effort to open another window to do a search for the product. More than 900 retailers are offering deals on CyberMonday.com, so that site can help you see lots of Cyber Monday deals all at once. Bradsdeals.com and Slickdeals.com can also help you fine-tune your shopping list for Monday.

Sign Up For Alerts

Many stores are sending special deals for Cyber Monday to their email and text message subscribers to ensure they know what deals are available. There is still time to sign up for email alerts and text messages from your favorite stores before the shopping holiday hits. You can get more great deals throughout the year by remaining on these lists. You can also get deal alerts through social media platforms if you follow your favorite brands.

Avoid Deals That Are Too Good To Be True

Criminals and counterfeiters know that millions of people will be shopping online on Cyber Monday and will take fully advantage of the holiday to steal your money or your information. Internet websites can easily mimic what looks like a legitimate shopping site, but you can typically tell the difference by looking at the URL of the site. Prices that are far below what you would expect to pay for the item can also be a red flag that you are on a fraudulent website. Limit your shopping to sites that are well-known and secured with encryption technology.

If you do not score the deals that you want on Cyber Monday, all is not lost. Many retailers say that they will continue to offer deals after Monday and some are planning on carrying their discounting throughout the holiday season. If you have been unable to find the item you want at a price you are willing to pay, continue checking periodically and you may be able to score a big deal.

24
Nov

Boost Retirement Savings With These Simple Tips

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A majority of Americans are afraid that they won’t have enough money saved for retirement to live comfortably. According to a recent report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, nearly half of current retirees say they waited too long to begin saving for retirement and 61 percent of respondents expect Social Security to be their primary source of retirement income. Fortunately, it is never too late to boost retirement savings. Here are some tips that can help you reach your retirement savings goals.

Start Saving More Now

The sooner you start saving more for retirement, the bigger the benefits will be. If you have not yet started saving for retirement, start with $100 and go from there. Every dollar that you are able to sock away will grow through interest until the money is withdrawn in retirement. Thanks to the power of compound interest, small contributions can grow to big balances over the years. Start saving whatever you can today.

Take Advantage Of 401(k) Benefits

A traditional employer-based 401(k) plan allows you to contribute pre-tax money to boost retirement savings, which can be a significant advantage. These plans let you can invest more of your income without feeling it as much in your monthly budget since that money comes out of your paycheck before taxes are assessed. Many employers also offer matching contributions for the accounts, essentially giving you free money to save for retirement. Make sure you contribute enough to get the full employer match.

Boost Retirement Savings Further With An IRA

Saving money in an individual retirement account (IRA) is another good way to build your nest egg. Contributions to traditional IRAs may be tax-deductible and the investment earnings have the opportunity to grow tax-deferred until you make withdrawals during retirement. There are several different types of IRA available, so do some research to determine which one is right for you before you open an account.

Automate Your Retirement Savings

Automating your retirement savings lets you save for retirement without having to think about it. Workplace based retirement plans makes this easy for you by deducting your retirement plan contributions from your paycheck each pay period. Banks and brokerages that hold retirement accounts often have ways for you to automate your contributions and investment selections through their websites. A set-it-and-forget-it plan is one of the best ways to ensure that you continue saving for retirement.