July 21st, 2014
Each month, Bankrate’s Financial Security Index attempts to capture the American financial climate. By asking survey respondents about their savings, their job security and their economic comfort levels, Bankrate tries to zero in on economic trends. While the results of their June survey show some improvement from prior findings, there is still a bit to be concerned about.
The biggest, and most concerning, takeaway from the June survey is that half of Americans have no more than a few months’ expenses saved away. 26 percent of respondents replied that they had no emergency savings at all, and 24 percent had some but less than three months. Only 23 percent of respondents had more than six months’ worth saved away.
Having savings is, of course, critical to economic health, and the groups that lack it break down in predictable ways. Retirees were much more likely to have larger emergency savings pools than younger Americans, for instance. A concerning 36 percent of those with high school educations or less reported having no savings, compared with just 10 percent of respondents with college degrees, further driving home the importance of education to a healthy salary.
What makes the savings picture even bleaker is the apparent lack of improvement from prior findings. Three years ago, a combined 46 percent had less than three months in savings, meaning the total has actually risen a bit. 34 percent of June’s respondents said they feel less comfortable about their savings now than they did a year ago. Just 18 percent feel better.
September 13th, 2013
Several Good Reasons to Not Contribute to Your 401(k) "A very common piece of advice that’s given about retirement is that of maxing out a 401K plan at work. More than a few people, including professional financial advisors, will tell you that this is a way to make sure that your retirement is truly golden. While we’re not saying that, for most people, this is an sage advice, it’s not for everyone. The fact is, there is no single universal rule for retirement planning and indeed, everyone has a set of unique circumstances, goals or needs determining what their correct course of action should be. In some cases, putting all of your money into your 401(k) might not be the best idea. In fact, we’ve put together several reasons to not contribute. Enjoy." So Over This
June 27th, 2013
Lower Your Expenses By Living Like Those In Other Countries "The first time you visit another country, especially if it is a country with a lower standard of living than the United States, you may be shocked... If you’d like to save money or just be more environmentally and financially responsible, why not pretend that you live like those in other countries? Here are some ways you can start:"Bible Money Matters
April 8th, 2013
Even if your child hasn’t yet learned to walk, it’s never too early to start saving and budgeting for his or her college education. In these tough economic times, when it comes to creating and adhering to a successful savings plan for college, you may need to work over the long term to save enough money. In order to get a substantial head start on the rising cost of tuition, it’s a good idea to have several eggs in your basket when you're budgeting for college.
March 27th, 2012
Guess what? I’ve got a fever. And the only prescription... is more Roth IRA education! When Good Financial Cents blogger Jeff Rose asked a class of graduating college seniors if they had ever heard of a Roth IRA, out of the 50 class participants, no one raised their hand. (To be frank, I wouldn’t have been raising my hand in my day, either.)
December 16th, 2011
6 Ways to Waste Money During the Holidays "What’s a few extra dollars here or there when holiday sales offer such a banquet of deals? It can’t hurt to blow the budget once a year. After all, you won’t have to pay down those credit cards until January, right? Wrong! No matter how caught up you get in the holiday-spending spirit, you should never compromise your budget and financial health. Here are six common ways holiday shoppers waste money, along with practical solutions to avoid such overspending." Financial Highway
December 14th, 2011
3 Ways to Recover from a Holiday Spending Hangover "There is still time before the holidays, but if you’re already feeling anxious about how much you have/will spend, don’t despair because you can recover – just don’t use breaking the budget a little bit as a justification for breaking it a ton! Here are a few tips that will help you get back on track and pay off the credit cards and/or get your bank balance back up." MoneyNing
December 7th, 2011
November was another busy month filled with saving, consulting, budgeting, and in the final week of the month, a new job! I start another part time job this week with a local urban environmental organization, and I couldn’t be more excited. I took Justine’s advice and started shaving money off my daily budget bit by bit and decided to challenge myself by seeing how long I could go without spending. I made it four days, a new personal record.
December 5th, 2011
Why It Matters That the Savings Rate Fell. "After the economy took a nosedive in late 2008, Americans realized that it might not be a good idea to always rely on credit during emergencies and many people started stashing money away for a rainy day." Cash Money Life
December 2nd, 2011
Finding Things to Do That Don’t Involve Continually Spending Money "Whenever an experience requires you to spend money, requires you to spend additional money beyond what you would normally spend, or heavily involves spending money, you should rethink whether or not you want to engage in that activity. Instead, it’s really worth your time to find things you enjoy doing that don’t involve spending money." The Simple Dollar