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6 Simple Tips for Budgeting (Even if You Suck at It)

Daphne Veras on Feb 20, 2014

Guest post by Anna Cadwallader 

Overspending happens easily. We’ve all had that moment where we’ve looked at our most recent purchases and been a bit surprised by our overzealous credit card swiping. That’s why it’s important to create a budget to maximize saving and to take control of your finances.

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Surviving a Job Loss. How Prepared Are You?

Daphne Veras on Jan 29, 2014

Guest post by Kate Furlong

When a job loss hits, it can be terrifying for everyone involved. Not having a steady paycheck is a very difficult thing to adjust to and it can be much worse if you are already living paycheck to paycheck or have a family to support. However, there are some things you can do both before and after you lose your income to help you through the ordeal.

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3 Smart Ways to Keep Your Finances in Check

Daphne Veras on Jan 03, 2014

 

OK, show of hands.

Who starts developing a new financial plan as part of their New Year resolution in December, starts executing it in January, and totally forgets it come February?

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Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season

Sarah Kaufman on Dec 18, 2013

Being festive this holiday season doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, gift giving, baking, cooking, drinking, and just simply being merry can be quite inexpensive — if you know where to look. Follow these tips to avoid overspending this holiday season.

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The Basics of Personal Finance

Sarah Kaufman on Nov 13, 2013

Responsibly managing your finances doesn’t necessarily come easy — it can be stressful and even daunting to think about the tools you may need to create a concrete financial plan. In reality, though, basic financial management is really quite simple. Here are a few key areas where you can easily start when dealing with your own finances.

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Fun Fall Activities for Less

Sarah Kaufman on Oct 14, 2013

Looking for fun fall activities but don’t want to spend a fortune? Try one of these budget-friendly activities that will keep you active and enjoying the weather without a hefty price tag.

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How Technology Can Save You Money

Sarah Kaufman on Sep 13, 2013

Think technology is just for adding friends, finding followers and taking pictures? Think again. Today’s advancements in technology can actually save you big bucks on the stuff you buy every day. Here’s how:

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Top Financial Tips for College Students

Sarah Kaufman on Aug 21, 2013

Back-to-School Budgeting

It’s about that time — time to say goodbye to summer fun and hello to textbooks, school supplies and dorm room living. And while going back to school is an exciting time to reconnect with old friends you haven’t seen all summer and buckle down on schoolwork, it’s also the perfect time to revamp your budget and learn solid financial life lessons that you can take with you into the “real world.” Follow these easy tips to ensure you’ll not only save money in the short term, but also have a successful financial future.

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To splurge or not to splurge? What to do with your tax refund

Ross Wolfe on Mar 01, 2013

 

It’s that time of year again.

“April is not the cruelest month,” observes Catherine New for Daily Finance, waxing poetic.  “At least, not when it comes to getting a little extra cash in your pocket.”  But if we’re talking tax refunds, as New sets out to do, then she may have been paraphrasing the wrong dead British poet.  Remember the old line that opens T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”? “April is the cruelest month…” and all that jazz? — Ok, maybe not.  Just us failed writers.

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Saving for a Rainy Day: A Guide to Save for the Unexpected

Daphne Veras on Feb 26, 2013

When an unforeseen event that you weren’t prepared for takes place, it’s easy in hindsight to say something along the lines of, ‘I should’ve seen this coming.’ While it is next to impossible to predict a specific unexpected occurrence, you’ll be better off taking for granted that something, some setback, is going to happen, as unlikely as it may seem, because if it does, you will be ready for it. In any case, never say ‘that’s never going to happen to me;’ as they say, prevention is the best medicine.

How To Get Started

Saving for a rainy day is a practice better known as keeping an emergency fund. The amount that you want to save in your emergency fund varies depending of your particular characteristics. As may be quite obvious, it’s not the same to save only for yourself than it is to do so for an entire family. Some experts advise to have between 3 and 6 months worth of living expenses saved up in an emergency fund. However, that is not going to happen overnight, so don’t feel pressured to come up with a lump sum all of a sudden; you can perfectly start small and go from there. Leave a space in your budget exclusively for this fund.

Even though the title for this article uses the words ‘rainy day;’ you have to internalize the fact that you’re actually saving for the perfect storm. That is to say, you need to have a very clear definition of what an emergency is. The money you’re saving up is not to be touched unless it is absolutely necessary. In other words, a busted water heater is not an emergency, as there is no reason you can’t shower with cold water for a while. Losing your job, especially in the state of today’s labor market, does indeed qualify as an emergency, and create a new savings account for it, separate from any others you may have.

What Type Of Situations You’re Saving For

The word unexpected itself implies that we don’t know what it is that can happen, we just know that it could. However, you can narrow down a few possibilities in order to be better prepared. For instance, the aforementioned job loss scenario. You may think that you have all the security and stability in the world, but let’s hypothesize for a moment. If the proposed March 1 massive federal budget cuts come to be, thousands of employees will be furloughed as soon as April, that is, they will be sent home without pay for even days at a time.

You can save for a temporary or long term job loss, by switching from credit cards to cash, which will make you more aware of your (over) expenses; you can also cut back on your 401(k) for a small period of time; moreover, if you come by any money aside from your income, don’t go with a ‘easy come, easy gone’ philosophy. These suggestions can help you save for other emergencies too, like accidents, sickness, natural disasters, and others.

This article is provided courtesy Pocket Savvy, a personal finance website, with the best money saving tips and financial resources to help you improve your money management skills. Follow Pocket Savvy on Twitter and connect on Google+ and Facebook.

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