Mid-year financial check up, Christmas in July, summer splurges and frugal parenting.
Money Talks News — Half the year is already over. If you made a financial New Year’s resolution — and even if you didn’t — it’s time to check on your fiscal health. Angela’s eight steps will do just that. Her first step, “Review your goals” is always a good idea. If you didn’t set a goal, set one now. She says, “Your money should always be working toward something.”
It’s true. Whether it’s building an emergency fund, saving for a car, or increasing your retirement savings, your money should be actively growing. Her fifth step is checking your credit history. You may find errors that are ruining your credit score.
Let us know how fit your finances are.
The Penny Hoarder — Maria gives us six things we can save big on now. The items range from school clothing to laptops. She says Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and other retailers start running sales now through the end of summer, as a test for the large holiday sales.
She follows up with other shopping advice, such as taking advantage of tax-free shopping in the summer, using price-matching and stacking discounts. Here at Debt.com, we’re all about saving money. But don’t forget that you must budget for this spending.
Get Rich Slowly — Speaking of budgeting and not overspending, Holly provides 6 things people often splurge on during the summer. Two that caught my attention are “unplanned new car purchases” and “family vacation budget fails.” For some reason the summer brings out the car-mania in people. If a shiny new car catches your eye, keep driving.
Vacations also bring out our wild side. People leave the working-world reality and suddenly start spending. It’s natural. You’re in a great mood so why not go out to eat three times a day. Stepping away from reality is fine, but it will be waiting for you when you get back home — so will the bills.
Club Thrifty — Greg is not a guy interested in “Keeping up with the Joneses.” He is interested in giving his kids “experiences and not things.” There’s nothing wrong with that philosophy. Too many people get caught up in the marketing hype and society’s notion that says you must give your kids more. Having kids is expensive enough.
Overspending on non-necessities also sends a bad message. You should be teaching your kids smart money management techniques. And spending wildly is not one of them. Greg admits he sometimes feels that they’re “not good parents” because they don’t give their kids everything. But mostly, he doesn’t give a damn what others think. Bravo.
Debt Free Guys — Since we touched on the subject of Christmas in July, let’s start saving for the real Christmas now. John says people have “the insatiable need to spend money you can’t really afford” during this holiday season. He’s right. His first tip is create a Christmas shopping budget. It makes sense, then you know your spending limits.
Another tip is “Don’t be late.” Start shopping soon. He says retailers raise prices late in the fall then slash them for the holidays. That makes it seem like your saving a bundle, but you’re not. He says saving money on shopping is all about “good preparation and strategy.”