Ways to Save and Keep Debts at Bay

Hi all!

Today’s post is by one of my friends Michelle, an accomplished writer. Several of her write-ups are being published on prominent websites.

You can find her work at sites like DebtFreeMartini.com and ThinkingWealthy.com.

Today she’s talking ways to save and keep debts at bay:


 

Debts are any how bad. It can destabilize you financially as well as can create problems in your personal life. In a nutshell, the best way to lead a happy life is to save money on a regular basis. This line is applicable for everyone, no matter how poor or rich you are. Saving money will help you to stay on top of your finances and avoid getting rigorous debt problems. If you’ve already too many high interest debts that are enough to spoil your confidence, you need not fret as there are always some smart ways in which you can save money to handle the problem.

8 ways to save the most to settle debt troubles

How to keep the debts at bay? Well, the answer is not always that simple. By focusing on some proper and thorough ways, you can beat with the problems and can stay out of it. The first and foremost tips is to save maximum part of your earning so as to become successful in your goal. The other ways are as follows:

1. Try to save at least 10% of your income

According to all financial advisors, a person should save at least 10% of his/her monthly income. You should follow this suggestion to build up a fat savings. If you don’t have this fund to support yourself, you may have to take out loans for which you’ll again become liable to repay with hefty interest rates. So, cut off your unnecessary expenses and save the money to resolve the debt problems.

2. Create your own bank

Staying financial prepared is always a wise decision. Emergencies are unpredictable . So, you should save some money on a regular basis to build up a cash cushion. Thus, you can stop blowing your fixed deposit or other savings on an emergency.

3. Don’t spend beyond your limit

It is quite often seen that many of you spend more than what you are actually capable of. This creates a big hole in your pocket. It always pays to live within your means. This helps you a lot to save more.

Read more: 5 Secrets to save money by practicing good habits

4. Pay with cash to curb expenses

Anything from refinancing your present mortgage loan or skipping that daily coffee on your way to office can be a wise way of saving money every month. Make a list of the daily expenses that you make such as transportation costs, grocery costs, entertainment and others. Or carry some cash instead of your credit cards to hold your over shopping urge. Don’t miss any single area so that you may be able to curb expenses wherever you may feel it’s possible.

5. Get educated about finance

People should know some basic financial knowledge to keep safe distance from debt troubles. Reading good financial books, journals or taking classes of financial gurus will help you to avoid some common financial mistakes. The more you make yourself aware the better you’ll be able to avoid those and build a good financial future as well.

6. Use your plastics carefully

One of the main reasons behind personal debt problems, is careless usage of credit cards. It becomes quite normal to take out multiple credit cards and to use those cards extravagantly. And this leads many of you into acute debt problem. Remember, You need to pay off the bills of your each and every purchase with credit cards. Ignoring the payment dates or late payments are nothing but welcome more debts. So, it is advised that you should use your credit cards tactfully.

7. Take advantage of coupons, discounts and sales

When you’re looking to save money to minimize your financial obligations you should find out some ways to save some money. Try to shop thrifty while getting the groceries, clothes, school supplies so on. You can get deals, discounts and most importantly coupons on your shopping. Using coupons, shopping on a big sale can help you to save lots of money. But, to get such advantage you need to be organized in a proper way. Try to organize all useful coupons and use them accordingly, keep updated about sales, deals and discounts on your favorite store so that you can get items at your favorable price.

8. Review your insurance coverage

If you have enough insurance coverage on your auto insurance or health insurance policy and you’re going through a tight budget, you need to make sure that you’re just paying the exact amount of dollars for the necessary coverage that you may need. Negotiate with the insurer once you find your premiums are getting high. Ask the insurer to cancel the extra coverage for which the premiums are getting high. Thus you can save some money.

Final words

Remember, sometimes small things can also save us thousands of dollars each day. So, you should be financially diligent to catch each and every chance to save every penny in order to create a big savings. Getting organized with your money matters will help you to fight with financial obligations that you have in your life. Having a well planned budget is as necessary as a tooth paste in your toiletry. You need to follow the budget and other good financial practice consistently in order to avoid debt thousand miles away in your life.

 

Thank you, Michelle for this post!

Strengthening your financial game plan one post at a time…

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You Deserve Cash Reserves

Hey, you.

You know what you deserve?

You deserve cash reserves. 


 

How’s that for an introduction? I know, I’ve probably captivated you right away. I could just tell from how engaged you are at this very moment. Back straight, eyes locked on the page, posture on point…or if you’re reading this from your phone you’re thumb just prepared to scroll through the post with intent…

Wait, before we go any further…tell me about cash reserves?

According to Investopedia, here is the definition of cash reserves in terms of personal finance:

“…cash reserves primarily refers to two things. One is a type of short-term, highly liquid investment that earns a low rate of return…This is where some individuals keep money that they want to have quick access to. The other type of cash reserves refers to the money [an]…individual keeps on hand to meet its short-term and emergency funding needs” (Investopedia.com).

That’s great. But wait, what does liquid mean & what does that have to do with cash reserves?

When you hear the term liquid in finance, this relates to how feasible something you own can turn into straight cash money $$$. What’s one of the most liquid assets you can own? No…you’re absolutely right, don’t doubt yourself young grasshopper…it’s CASH! Cash on hand to save as you choose, spend as you may, and save as you so desire. Other highly liquid investments could be places you may park your money (to invest, save, and/or grow) that gain a small amount of interest that you have easy access to. Examples would include (but are not limited to): savings accounts, checking accounts, CD’s (Certificate of Deposit), stocks, etc. (for more on this visit here). These are places where you put your hard earned money to work that creates a nice cash reserve that you can have speedy access to. Essentially, anything that you can turn into cash rather quickly is highly liquid (not the hot magma kind). On the contrary for something that is not liquid, this is anything that does NOT turn into cash quickly (i.e. houses, goods/commodities that take more time consumption to sell, etc.).

Let’s go back to what the other type of cash reserves can be…

EMERGENCY FUND. That two word gig that you probably hear about quite often. That stock pile of cash you sock away for that rainy day. We all know that sometimes when it rains, it absolutely pours (and not always cute cats & dogs – though that would be pretty incredible). I’m talking an absolute storm. I would highly recommend that you have at the very least 3 months of expenses saved up in an emergency fund (what’s a month worth of expenses? think about every bill & financial obligation you have to pay in a month such as rent/mortgage, utilities, food costs, debt repayments, etc.). Beyond that is even better, but I don’t want to go too extraneous if nailing down setting aside for a month worth of expenses is what you can do right now (any type of saving is GREAT)!

So why do I deserve this again?

Because you deserve to be free from worry. Free from relying on plastic and credit to remove yourself from a situation that’s already causing enough anxiety. You deserve to have the peace of mind that money in CASH is readily available to pull you from the trenches of a not-so-pleasing situation.

I hate to break it to you, but spending all your money to exhaustion and depletion allows no wiggle room for life to happen. Take these certain situations: you blow a tire on the freeway only to discover more than just the one needs to be replaced, you have an emergency visit to the doctor that requires more than what your insurance covered, your pet suddenly needs last minute surgery, you must buy a last minute flight to visit family members…

What if you had the cash reserves to take care of these spur of the moment life events without feeling completely thrown off track financially? What if you had the liquid assets and cash available to not have to spend months digging yourself out of debt? You deserve cash reserves.


Letting you know you’re deserving of keeping your financial game plan strong…

Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogging Award

Goodness, where do I even begin?! I am incredibly thankful to be chosen by Emily & Chris over at A Couple Talks for this award! Starting Generation YRA was a rambunctious idea I had while reading a book in my sweats on the couch one October evening when I recognized not just my generation, but many others are struggling with personal finance (I was decked out in my infamous ‘grey on grey sweatsuit:’ grey crew-neck sweatshirt, and grey over-sized sweatpants, hair up in a bun, glasses on…you know, the usual after work attire). The past 7 months have been insanely rewarding & fulfilling. I have been introduced to a wide sphere of bloggers (personal finance, and beyond) that have ignited inspiration in a multitude of ways. I have been able to create connections in the social media realm, along with having the opportunities to meet face to face with many entrepreneurial spirits (like Alan Steinborn, CEO & Founder of RealMoneyLife.com – who I look up to). In June, I will be attending one of the stops for #TheRoad hosted by Phroogal to participate in an event that promotes financial wellness for all. An event that may have never crossed my mind, or radar to attend a year ago. Not only has this blog pushed me to new heights, but I have found that I am excelling in multiple avenues of life personally & professionally. This blog in it’s fruition had a captive audience of just a few (my lovely fiance, family, and a few friends). Now, the viewership is substantially growing day after day. I could not be more grateful for all that visit Generation YRA! Thank you, thank you!


Here are the rules for this nomination:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and add their link.
  • List the award rules so your nominees will know what to do.
  • Tell 7 hidden facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5-10-15 other bloggers.
  • Contact your nominees and provide a link to your post.
  • Display the award logo (button) on your blog, whether on your sidebar or about page, or special award page.

 Here’s my 7 hidden facts:

1. I will break out in dance at any minute of the day…music, or no music.

2. I can shake my eyes ridiculously fast back and forth. I have only met a few people in life who can do the same. Apparently, we can do this because we’re missing a particular muscle in our eyes that most people have.

3. I worked for RadioDisney for several years and have visited the parks many times. I have a weird knowledge database on Disney facts, tips & trivia. No – I’m not creepy like Jim Gaffigan has stated in his stand-up before (but I bet you thought that for a second)!

4. I’m a craft beer & whiskey kind of girl, and I’m not ashamed.

5. At random times I can do impressions of Frank Underwood from House of Cards.

6. I get completely overjoyed by typing on a keyboard. I accredit this to making my Dad write out long strings of random numbers & letters on sheets of paper to practice my typing. Also, to my elementary school teachers that would allow me to play games in the computer lab because I completed my typing practice lessons/tests too fast.

7. More than anything, I would rather bury myself in a book and learn something new.


 

I’d like to nominate the following 5 fantastic blogs for this award:

1. Millennial Money Man – This guy, he knows personal finance inside & out. He’s also incredibly inspirational because he’s paid off $40,000 worth of student loan debt on a teacher’s salary in only two years. Not to mention, he’s been one of those supportive figures since I started my blog which I’m very thankful for!

2. Blonde on a Budget – Cait is one of those lovely writers out there where I just feel calm and at ease when I visit her blog. She seems so down to earth and one of those people that I would love to meet one day. Cait writes about her experiences with engaging in a minimalism lifestyle, savings and her year long shopping ban.

3. Chasity Cooper – I am constantly inspired by Chasity’s drive, and her way of allowing all those in our generation to combine their purpose and passions together. Chasity also features several people designated as a “Millennial on a Mission,” which creates an empowering source of recognition and motivation.

4. Gen Y Girl –  Kayla’s blog is witty, edgy and encompasses what people of my generation experience in the work force. Her overarching theme of providing Millennial’s a place to become leaders of tomorrow is incredibly enlivening.

5. The Motivated Millennial – If you didn’t catch on yet, I am a huge advocate for my generation and all the ambitious people that lead entrepreneurial lives. Hannah spotlights different Millennials which projects the power and motivation our generation really does have, despite what the media may portray.


Thanks to everyone for following me here at Generation YRA! I sincerely and wholeheartedly appreciate all of your support. 

All my best,

Alyssa. 

 

 

Ditching the “Things I Wish I Knew…” Phrase

Alright, listen up all you ambitious & glorious readers. The fact that you take a couple minutes in your day to read the thoughts of someone else provides an edge to you already. That’s right, I’m lookin’ at you hot shot. Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Whether that means financing a degree, self-teaching, or expanding your knowledge beyond the institution level…I am an avid believer in this key phrase. Today, I’m creating the reverse of the “Things I Wish I Knew In My 20’s” (or 30’s, 40’s, etc.) regarding money that you may see from time to time. So for all of you determined readers & knowledge seekers out there…here we go!


10 Things I Know In My 20’S About Money:

1. An ambitious go-getter can create a lot of wealth. But so can a calculated, patient individual. 

There are two sides of the coin to building wealth (did I just make a pun?). All styles are welcome and can be good, even great when it comes to sorting through personal finance matters. Your attitude and traits do not clearly dictate whether you will do well with money, or not. A wide array of individuals are successful with money.

2. Take emotion out of the investing equation and diversify. 

When people get too emotional with what they have invested, mistakes can be made. You may make decisions to pull money out, when the market will correct itself. Instead of expending effort to try to time the market accurately: diversify. Give yourself a weighted balance and average of returns rather than gambling all of your investments in one asset class.

3. Getting rid of student loan debt like a bad habit allows for more financial freedom.

Find a way to quickly & feasibly get out of student loan debt as much as you can. Map out a game plan to make more than your minimum payments. Throw a bonus at your monthly payments while you’re at it (think about it, your diploma was an investment to get you to where you are – you will continue to earn more through raises & bonuses through your hard work). Do not accept that the debt is a ball & chain that you will hold for many years of your life. Attempt to find ways to free yourself from it earlier than anticipated.

4. It is true. Saving early now will reap benefits in the future. 

Ever seen those graphs & calculators that depict how much money you could have in the future if you start saving NOW? Like this one. Or this one here. The theme may be tried & true, but seriously…for all you visual learners. These graphs & calculators certainly get the picture across if words don’t quite cut it for you.

5. Automating and worrying less about your finances gives you more time.

Wonder what day to day life would be like if you weren’t consistently stressed about money? Getting in tune with your finances now at an earlier age generates more free time to take on new hobbies, passions and ventures. Blocks of time where you normally would have spent thinking about money are now freed up to do whatever you please. Also, building a solid financial base now will only allow for more time to be spent with my future family (or future endeavors of your choice). Get a solid personal finance foundation down that will provide fortitude for the next chapters of your life.

 6. Financial heroes are real.

I’m not talking about Superman here, but you can bet there are several aspirational people to learn from that have taken their personal finance matters into their own hands. Sure, you may read about those “get rich quick” methods (or, even untrue stories about kids trading stocks and earning a ridiculous amount of money). No, I’m talking about the people who paid off thousands of dollars of debt, took frugality to the next level, or found ways to make themselves financially savvy before hitting their 30’s. These people are inspirational and create a collective amount of reasoning why I continue to write this blog geared towards the Millennial generation.

7. Retirement may be far, but great things come with time.

It may seem difficult to sock away money for something that you have to literally visualize. As cliche as it might be, all great things come with time. Think about how many practices you had to endure and work-outs you took on to become a collegiate athlete. Think about the countless hours of study sessions and papers written it took to receive your high school diploma, undergraduate degree, or Masters degree. How fantastic does that glass of wine, whiskey or craft beer taste now that it’s been barrel aged? On a foodie side, how delectable is that peach, pear, or apple now that it has ripened? Better yet, how does your fashion sense look now in comparison to looking at pictures of your awkward fashion phases in your younger years? Yes…great things sure do come with time.

8. Keeping up with the Jones’ used to be a thing.

But we’re getting educated and that phrase is becoming worn out. Instead of trying to keep up with one another, we’re reaching out to help each other out. Realizing that wealth isn’t about depreciating assets and the collection of things allows us to recognize what spots in life are really rich. Dig in deep and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Instant gratification isn’t just what my generation is all about.

9. As much as you save, allow yourself to give. 

Whether it’s donations to a cause you are behind, surprising a stranger with a random act of kindness, or rewarding yourself here and there – allow yourself to give. Yes, it is important to save for the future. Living in the present is vital as well. Don’t deprive yourself too much of spending money on the things you value. There is a beautiful balance of saving and spending. Find that equilibrium and practice it delicately throughout your life.

10. There is no limitation to financial knowledge. 

From age 6 selling lemonade in the neighborhood, to 13 receiving your first weekly lunch allowance, to 16 starting your first high school summer job, 18 taking on the financial woes of real life and/or college, 23 setting up your first 401(k) or retirement plan through work, 32 shopping for your first life insurance policy, 45 earning additional income by creating a small internet store, 53 gearing up for your retirement, 68 heading on a flight to clear a vacation spot off your bucket list…there is an ever-expansive growth that places no cap to financial knowledge. There is no discrimination of age when it comes to learning about financial knowledge and practices. Take the no limitation aspect to your advantage.


The 10 listed items above are just a summation of the knowledge that I know in my 20’s about money (I have a long list of people, authors, mentors, and family to thank for that). The exciting part? Every year that goes by, my knowledge will exponentially grow. When I reflect back to my 20’s later in life, I will recognize that I was preparing a financial foundation for the rest of years to come. I encourage you to do the same, that way you don’t have to look back and say “the things I wish I knew in my 20’s about money…”

Giving you doses of financial knowledge with no limitations…

All my best,

Alyssa