Watch Your Wallet: 7 Hidden Costs of Self-Isolating at Home During Coronavirus

Those who are fortunate enough to still be collecting a paycheck while quarantined or sheltering in place might expect to build up some serious savings. While you work from home, you’re avoiding your usual commuting expenses, and you’re probably saving money by not going to bars, restaurants, and movies, or skipping that vacation to Fiji.

But as spending decreases in some areas during self-isolation, it can creep up in others. To brace yourself and your budget, keep an eye on these expenses while you’re self-isolating at home.

1. Utilities

If you’ve gone from office life to Zoom life, you’re spending more time at home than usual, which could ramp up your household expenses.

“Your utility spending might be considerably higher if you’re spending more time at home cooking, charging devices, using lights and appliances,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

To keep your utility bills down, turn off lights when you leave the room, open windows during the day to let in cool air, unplug devices that you’re not using, and consider turning down your water heater by a few degrees.

2. Groceries

Grocery delivery
Grocery delivery

m-gucci/Getty Images

Even if you’re not hoarding (and you shouldn’t be), you might find yourself spending more on groceries while you shelter in place.

For some people, an uptick in grocery spending will be offset by the money saved from not dining at restaurants. But if your local store is picked over—or if you pay fees for grocery delivery—you could spend more on groceries than usual.

“I’ve been to a local grocery store, and the only thing that was available was organic, so I couldn’t buy the generic. I actually had to spend more money,” says Steve Repak, author of the “6 Week Money Challenge for Your Personal Finances.”

If your grocery spending feels out of hand, be flexible and creative with your menu. Cook the food you already have at home before you head back to the store. Sites such as Eater have compiled resources for home cooks, including Pantry Cooking 101 and How to Stock a Pantry.

If you’re using a delivery service, place infrequent, larger orders instead of several small orders. Or consider curbside service; many stores are allowing free pickups where they bring your groceries right to your car, so you can save on delivery fees and tips.

3. Meal delivery and takeout

You may not be able to enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant, but you can order takeout and delivery—and those indulgences can add up quickly. After all, it’s not just the meal you’re paying for.

“There’s probably still a service fee, and on top of that you have to leave a gratuity,” Repak says. (It’s also a good idea to generously tip the workers who are delivering your food in these times.)

If you’re on a budget, reserve takeout and delivery for special occasions or those days when you just can’t muster the motivation to cook.

4. Alcohol and other sources of comfort

Curl up with a good bottle...
Curl up with a good bottle…

Moyo Studio/Getty Images

If you find yourself decompressing with a glass or two (or three) of wine every night, your drinking habit could do a number on your budget. And you wouldn’t be alone—alcohol consumption has shot up nationwide, and in states where recreational marijuana is legal, dispensaries are reporting booming business.

“Social isolation is really strongly linked to physical and mental health problems, and the way we cope with a lot of them is by drinking more,” Repak says. “People are going to smoke more and drink more … and we need to find other healthier coping mechanisms to offset that additional spending.”

You may not want to totally forfeit your evening glass of pinot, but you can make your supply last longer by sipping a mug of (far more affordable) chamomile tea on occasion, or opting for a calming yoga video or breathing exercise.

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5. Subscriptions

You’ve rewatched all your favorite shows on Netflix and Hulu—so, now’s the time to add a Disney+ subscription, right?

Not so fast, Repak says.

“Save a little bit of money by just picking one of the streaming services,” he suggests, or at least don’t pile on new subscriptions to the ones you already have.

To free up your budget, take inventory of your other monthly subscriptions, services, and other recurring expenses, and see if there’s anything that can be eliminated.

“Ten dollars a month may not sound like a lot, but if you have five of those, that’s $600 annually,” Rossman adds.

6. Online shopping

Online shopping knows no quarantine
Online shopping knows no quarantine

Poike/Getty Images

If you turn to retail therapy to soothe your soul, your budget could take a hit. True, many retailers are offering deep discounts in order to move merchandise, but even discount purchases add up.

“Impulse buying is a potential trap,” Rossman says. “Some people fall victim to it more than others.”

Instead of clicking “add to cart” as a coping mechanism, Repak suggests cleaning out your closet instead.

“This is a great time that we can offset our budget by decluttering our house or apartment,” he says.

Use sites like Poshmark to sell your clothes, or Mercari for your household items. Many donation centers such as Goodwill are still accepting donations, too—just call ahead to make sure your local store or donation drop-off location will take your items.

7. New hobbies you’re trying in quarantine

Our spending habits are highly personal, and you might find yourself throwing money at a new habit or hobby to fight cabin fever.

“It’s a worthwhile exercise to track your spending, especially now that so much is different,” Rossman says. “Look through your credit card and bank statements from the past month. Do you see anything surprising? Are there areas where you spent extra but didn’t feel it was worth it? These could be good ways to cut back.”

And remember: Even if quarantine has eliminated some of your old day-to-day expenses, it’s easy to overestimate how much you’re saving.

“Most people don’t have a great handle on their budget and spending habits anyway, and so much has changed of late,” Rossman says. “It’s easy to overlook things.”

For more smart financial news and advice, head over to MarketWatch.

Source: realtor.com

Prepare for Holiday Shopping with These Timely Credit Tips

October 29, 2020 &• 5 min read by Constance Brinkley-Badgett Comments 0 Comments

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According to a YouGov Parent Survey in 2019, a quarter of parents entered the 2019 holiday shopping seasonstill paying down debt related to 2018 holiday spending. Deloitte numbers put holidayretail salesgrowth in 2019 at 4.1% year-over-year. In 2020, Deloitte predicts growth of between 1% and 1.5% year-over-year for the holiday season.

It might be that some people no longer want to pay for holiday gifts, decorations and food a year down the road. But it’s also true that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit consumerwallets and some people might be cutting back this year.

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That doesn’t mean that people aren’t shopping. Google and other thought leaders note that changes to shopping habits and the need for social distancing and other measures will likely spread the holiday shopping season out longer. Shoppers are also likely to turn to online shopping.

With a ton of shopping opportunities, a longer holiday shopping season and pent-up pandemic energy, it might be easy to overspend and create debt you’ll deal with into the future. Follow these tips to prepare for holiday shopping so you can protect your financial standing, save money and make the most of the resources you have this season.

1. Check your credit scores

Begin by checking your credit scores and reports. They tell you where you stand if you want to apply for credit. They also give you a baseline of where you are so you know if your score goes up or down later with no explanation.

An unexplained drop in your credit score can be a sign your financial information is compromised. Unfortunately, the holidays are prime time for many scammers. Using a service, such as ExtraCredit’s Track It feature to keep tabs on 28 of your FICO scores, helps you know when you need to act to protect your credit.

2. Ask for a credit limit increase

If you have existing credit cards and you’re a cardholder in good standing, the months prior to the holidays can be a good time to ask for a credit limit increase. You’re not asking so you can spend more-it’s typically advisable to keep spending in line with your budget no matter how much credit you have.

You’re asking for a higher limit so you can spend what you already planned to without hurting your credit utilization. Credit utilization is the second-most important factor in determining your credit score-second only to payment history. It’s the ratio between your credit limit and how much of that credit you have used.

If you have a card with a limit of $1,000 and you spend $300, that’s a utilization rate of 30%. But if you get approved for a credit limit of $2,000 and you spend $300, that’s a utilization rate of only 15%, which is better for your score.

3. Apply for a credit cardwith a 0% APR introductory offer

Those with good or excellent credit might want to consider applying for a card with a 0% APR introductory offer. If you qualify for such a card, you typically have one or two years to pay off purchases made during the introductory period without accruing any interest.

This can be a way to finance your entire holiday without paying anything more for the privilege of doing so. However, it’s still important to maintain your budget and not overspend just because you won’t be paying the balance off until later. Otherwise, you make this season’s holiday festivities next season’s problem.

4. Pay down debt before-and after-the holidays

Speaking of last season’s debt: If you can pay it down before you start spending this season, that’s a great accomplishment. It also frees up your credit and your budget so you can better enjoy the current holiday season. If you’re paying $100 a month on your debt, that’s $100 a month that might go toward gifts or celebrations that you don’t have to put on a card this year.

If you do use credit to pay for the 2020 holidays, have a plan for paying it down as soon as possible. That’s especially true with 0% interest cards. The longer you wait, the greater the chance you’ll miss the introductory period and potentially be on the hook for a lot of interest expense.

5. Create a holiday spending budget

Whether you’re using cash or credit-or a mix of both-enter the 2020 holiday shopping season with a plan. Take an honest look at your personal budget. If you don’t have a budget, create one before you move forward. Then decide how much you can realistically spend during the holidays.

Consider which gifts you want to buy and which events you want to host or attend. You might not be able to do everything, and that’s OK. Be honest with yourself, your family and your friends about what you can afford to do with your time and money this year.

Then make a list and assign each item a monetary budget. That can include:

  • Gifts as a total
  • Gift extras, such as wrapping and tags
  • Shipping, both for receiving items you buy and for shipping gifts to others
  • Food and drinks
  • Travel
  • Decor
  • General festivities, such as tickets to holiday events

Once you assign a dollar amount to a category, stick to it. That’s a good idea even if you’re spending with credit.

6. Align budgeted spendingwith credit cardrewards

Once you know how much you want to spend, decide how best to spend it. If you’re using credit cards for the holidays, check your accounts to see if any offer cash back or rewards points. If they do, double-check which categories or stores you can shop in to earn the most points with each card.

For example, some travel rewards cards offer 6x points when you shop at supermarkets. You could use such a card to cover the food-and-drink portion of your holiday budget and reap the biggest rewards possible from that spending. You might also be able to maximize rewards when purchasing gift cards.

7. Guard your financial information and identity

As you enjoy holiday shopping, be on guard. Don’t use debit card PIN numbers unless you have to, and shield the keypad when you enter your information. Keep a close eye on your wallet or purse, and check your credit card statements regularly to ensure all charges are yours. You can also use ExtraCredit’s Guard It feature to help keep your identity and account information safe during and beyond the season.

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Getting Your Finances Back on Track Post-COVID

January 19, 2021 &• 5 min read by Credit.com Comments 0 Comments

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It’s safe to say 2020 was a pretty hard year for everyone financially.

Even if your wallet hasn’t taken a hit in the last few months it’s likely either your employer or someone in your family has found themselves stretched financially by the effects of COVID.

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No point dwelling on the past, though. We may not be able to go back in time and stop COVID happening and ruining our 2020, but we can ensure we’re at least in a better position financially in 2021, avoiding bad credit scores and getting our savings back on track.

There’s no better time than now to start planning for post-COVID life, so here are our essential financial tips.

Tips for Getting Your Finances Back on Track

Draw Up a Budget That Fits Your Lifestyle

Throughout the pandemic, your monthly budget probably changed quite dramatically.

You probably saved on fuel, travel, and evenings out with so many offices and restaurants closed—but no doubt spent a whole lot more on your utility bills.

As the economy reopens and some sense of normality resumes, you need to restructure your budget to a post-COVID world.

Now, this doesn’t mean penny-pinching. COVID may have been kind to you, and reassessing your budget is simply a matter of moving funds that you would have spent on your home into your socializing budget. However, if you’re one of the many people no longer getting some kind of financial support on top of your diminished wage, you need to figure out how you’re going to pay rent, buy food, and cover all the other essentials.

The end of remote working, catching up on vacations, covering childcare—these are all real-world requirements your budget will need to be able to answer for.

Secure All the Incomings You Can

A huge part of getting your finances back on track properly is about making sure you’re making the most of every incoming payment available to you.

With so many people across the world struggling with a lack of work caused by the pandemic, it’s important to be aware of any possible financial aid available to you.

Most importantly, you should check if there are systems unique to your personal circumstances or line of work. There are businesses and charities with systems in place to provide or acquire support for everyone from professional actors unable to perform throughout the pandemic (such as Actors Fund) to retired veterans who have returned from tours with physical or invisible injuries and conditions (such as Vet Comp & Pen). Whatever line of work you are or were in, there will likely be some level of support available for you.

Likewise, you should start to consider how your talents could be put to good use to make that budget stretch a little further.

Side hustles such as running an Etsy store or becoming an online tutor become massively popular alternative revenue streams for out of work professionals during the height of lockdown. This is still a highly viable way of rebuilding your finances post-COVID. If you have a little bit of cash to invest, it can go a long way.

Have a Plan for Deferred Payments

Pandemic solutions have seen governments, banks, and landlords offering mortgage, loan, and rent deferrals to people who cannot pay them.

As things return to normal, people are going to need a plan to pay off these debts.

First, start by referring to the deferment terms so you know exactly what payment will be expected and if it can be broken up into installments. This will massively affect the overall structure of your budget.

These are perhaps the most important payments you’ll be making, as they concern your home, so make sure they’re priority number one post-COVID.

Start Saving Now

After all, any savings are good savings.

No one can be sure where we’ll be in six months or even a year. If we see another major spike across the world it could mean your finances take another hit and you need to dip into those rainy day funds to stay ahead.

Start working out a savings plan that works for you now. Don’t plan to give up everything you love for a year to get some extra cash, but, much like a budget, notice where you can cut back.

 Online banks and apps like Monzo and Chime are a great way to save within even realizing it. These apps allow you to set a monthly budget on different types of purchases, sending you alerts when you’re about to break them. So much of budgeting is about self-control and being across your financial situation, so why not take responsibility out of your hands?

Tips for Businessowners

Before we go, here are a few tips for small businessowners who may be worried about how they can secure their enterprise’s financial security as well as their personal one.

  • Find alternative revenue streams for your business. Is there a second service your business could offer to bring in some extra cash, such as gift wrapping for a small online store during the holiday period?
  • Make sure you’re not overspending on digital tools. They may have stepped up and helped us host meetings, manage teams, and schedule inspirational social content remotely, but are you paying a subscription fee for an app that doesn’t actually boost your business all that much?
  • Use freelancers rather than employing new staff. The freelance sector could really use a hand up right now, and freelancers present a cheaper, less permanent way for you to pick up lucrative contracts and projects without investing in hiring and training staff on permanent contracts.

It’s important to be realistic when financially planning for the end of COVID. We don’t know when that will be, and you can’t expect yourself to come out of this in better financial shape than you’ve ever been. That’s an unrealistic pressure.

Follow these tips and make sure you’re making the most of this period of reflection to ensure a healthy financial future for you and your loved ones.

Rodney Laws is an ecommerce consultant with EcommercePlatform.io. He has more than a decade of experience providing marketing advice to online entrepreneurs and businesses. He’s set up and marketed his own businesses and consulted on crafting campaigns for established companies.

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50+ of the Best Debt Free Quotes to Motivate You to Finally Dump Your Debt

50+ debt free quotes to inspire you to finally dump your debt

Sometimes the best motivator is a hug, and sometimes it’s a swift kick in the butt from some cold hard truth! Here are the best debt free quotes to do just that!

I love a good underdog story! Seriously, I love it when a person is down on their luck, and they spend all their time crying. Then they decide to kick a little butt and then swing out in front at the very end of the story. Everyone cheers, moms cry, and good game butt slaps for everyone!

Is this the point where Queen sings We Are the Champions?  I hope not.

The point is that it is so dang motivating to see people overcome their past, their fears, their own ideas about who they are, and decide to kick all that to the curb and put their game face on! I love the determination, the promise that hard work pays off, and the achievement they will be proud of for the rest of their lives.

The true magic isn’t in the movies; it’s in real life. Let me tell you, I am moved to tears (almost) every time I listened to the Dave Ramsey podcast and heard people yell out their debt-free scream. True story. I’d be driving to work at 7 am with tears in my eyes, as I could just feel their excitement and their pride in taking control of their lives and getting out of debt.

Now we can’t all be on the DR podcast, spilling the deets of our debt payoff story. So I’ve rounded up some of the best debt quotes and debt free quotes to help motivate you to take charge! So you can either start on your debt-free journey or help crush the last little bit of debt that you’ve been working so hard to dump!

50+ debt quotes to inspire you to finally dump your debt

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info

America the great (debtor)

It’s common knowledge that Americans are deep in debt, yet it’s staggering when we see the actual amount. As of Sept 2020, Nerdwallet found that the average US household held debt of $145,085, to the turn of $14.35 trillion nationwide.

That figure includes all debt, but when people talk about debt, they are mostly talking about credit card debt. According to the same study the average household carries $7,027 on their cards, and they’ll pay an average of $1,155 in interest this year (2020).

Can you imagine, taking $1,155 and flushing it down the toilet? Ugh!

Now, I do want to say that some credit card purchases are a must spend, things like car repair when it’s your only mode of transportation to get to work. A new HVAC system, when yours died in the middle of winter. Those things are necessary, and I understand and support those that need to do it.

But debt that is frivolous makes my heart hurt – new iPhones, excess clothes, eating out 5 nights a week, those things are what is dragging Americans down.

So what do we do? We change! It’s the only option, yet people don’t change when they’re comfortable, they change because they are either inspired or they’re forced to. No one wats to be forced to do anything, so instead let’s inspire! I found some of the best debt quotes to do just that!

Debt quotes

“Rich people plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.”
– Gloria Steinem

“Overspending while trying to raise one’s status is a condition of economic materialism which hurts people financially, because it usually results in unnecessary debt. One does not raise social strata by buying things but instead by acquiring enough wealth to qualify for the next category of wealth.”
– Zachariah Renfro

“When you buy a bigger house, another luxury car, or a fancy boat, you are showing people that you used to have money.”
– Christopher Manske

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”
– Zig Ziglar

“[Credit is a system whereby] a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay.”
– Charles Dickens

debt quote from bejamin jowett

“Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self.”
– Nathan W. Morris

“A Debt Problem Is, At Its Core, a Budgeting Problem.”
– Natalie Pace

“The basic thing with frugality is: IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT, DON’T BUY IT.”
– Harken Headers

“Know what you own, and know why you own it.”
– Peter Lynch

“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”
– Ogden Nash

“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think.”
– Noam Chomsky

“A good name is still to be preferred over great riches. Especially it is to be preferred to the appearance of riches, acquired with nothing down and nothing to pay for 2 months.”
– Ezra Taft Benson

debt quote from richard armour

“To grasp why people bury themselves in debt, you don’t need to study interest rate: you need to study the history of greed, insecurity, and optimism.”
– Morgan Housel

“Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.”
– American Proverb

“No man’s credit is as good as his money.”
– E.W. Howe

“Speak not of my debts unless you mean to pay them.”
– George Herbert

“Creditors have better memories than debtors.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.”
– Rutherford B. Hayes

debt quotes from robert kiyosaki

“Debt can turn a free, happy person into a bitter human being.”
– Michael Mihalik

“Debt on anything that depreciates is disastrous.”
– Orrin Woodward

“The man who never has money enough to pay his debts has too much of something else.”
– James Lendall Basford

“Some people use one half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid paying it.”
– George D Prentice

“Debt is one person’s liability, but another person’s asset.”
– Paul Krugman

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”
– George Lorimer

“In God we trust; all others must pay cash.”
– unknown

debt quote from ralph waldo emerson

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
– Proverbs 22:7

“Ten million dollars after I’d become a star, I was deeply in debt.”
– Sammy Davis Jr

“Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.”
– Samuel Johnson

“A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity and can command it.”
– Victor Hugo

“One of the greatest disservices you can do a man is to lend him money that he can’t pay back.”
– Jesse H Jones

“Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.”
– Josh Billings

debt quotes from unknown author

“Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.”
– Ezra Pound

“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your ass can’t cash, son.”
– Charles Portis

“There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting out of debt.”
– Dave Ramsey

You can’t talk about debt without have Dave Ramsey be a part of it! He is the debt payoff king, and for good reason! He has helped tens of thousands of people payoff debt and build wealth with his baby step process.

“Debt is a prolific mother of folly and of crime.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

“Debt basically enables people to live a lie.”
– Rachel Cruze

“Words pay no debts.”
– William Shakespeare

debt quote from thomas tussar

“Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift… The hangover comes the day after.”
– Joyce Brothers 

“Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.”
– unknown

“Rich people believe ‘I create my life.” Poor people believe ‘Life happens to me’”
– T. Harv Eker

“Home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt.”
– Henrik Ibsen

“The decision to go into debt alters the course condition of your life. You no longer own it. You are owned.”
– Dave Ramsey

Being “debt free” quotes

Some of these quotes talk about the peace that freedom from debt can bring, while others are more “motivational quotes” to inspire those on their debt free journey!

“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”
– Adam Smith

“Out of debt, out of danger.”
– Jerry Voorhis

“I make myself rich by making my wants few.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“His brow is wet with honest sweat; he earns whate’er he can, And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man.” 
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“It always seems impossibble until it’s done.”
– Nelson Mandela

debt quotes - unknown author

“Pay off your debt first. Freedom from debt is worth more than any amount you can earn.”
– Mark Cuban

“A healthy and debt free living person is the richest and the happiest.”
– Sushmitha Maddula

“Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.”
– unknown

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”
– unknown

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”
– Roy T Bennett

“Perseverance is teh hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
– Newt Gingrich

“Learning is never done without errors and defeat.”
– Vladimir Lenin

At the end of the day

Yes, clichés are so cliché. But that doesn’t stop them from being right/true! People for centuries have been talking about the negative effects of debt; not one talks about how great it is. Yet, in today’s age, so many of us find ourselves in debt, looking for a way out.

I hope you found a little bit of inspiration on this page of debt quotes, maybe a new mantra to help you when times are hard. Either way, know that other people have struggled with debt, and many have overcome it. You will too! Soon enough you could be sharing your own story, writing your own debt free quotes to inspire others!

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Which of the debt free quotes are your favorite?

Source: moneyforthemamas.com

5 Things That Could Be Holding You Back From Your Financial Goals

We all have financial goals that are very important to us. Whether you want to have a huge house in a big city or live out your dreams of owning a homestead, we all have financial goals that we would love to one day reach.

However, reaching these goals is often easier said than done. There can be a lot of things holding us back. Most notably for many people, it’s the debt that they carry. However, there are a variety of other things that could be holding you back from your goals, and this article will go over a few of them.

1. Your Spending

There is no doubting it, most of America has a massive spending problem. In fact, around half of Americans are spending more than they make. Of course, if you are spending a large portion of what you make, you will be unable to pay off debts or save enough to reach your goals in a timely manner.

This large spending problem likely comes from the reliance that many Americans have on credit cards. Many people use these cards for just about everything that they buy, and this causes overspending because many people seem to think that a credit card equates to free money

2. Where You Live

Yes, the city you live in could have a big impact on how quickly you are able to reach your goals. For example, making $65k per year in a low cost of living area such as Kansas will go a long way. But that sort of income in San Francisco will barely be enough to get by with how expensive things like rent and homes can be.

While big city living is costly, there are some things you can do to help make it a little easier on your wallet. Budgeting can also be very helpful as it will be able to always keep you in the know about how much you are spending, and on what.

RELATED:  5 Ways City Living is Costing You (And How to Beat Them!)

3. Not Prioritizing Your Finances

In order to become more financially secure and meet your money goals, you need to have your priorities in order. When you prioritize saving more, earning more, and paying off debt, this will be reflected in your financial decisions. Maybe prioritizing a financial goal means you won’t dine out as often or that you’ll pay yourself first to ensure you meet your savings target.

If you’re serious about developing a financial goal, it should reflect how well you budget and manage your money. This year I have a ton of great financial goals and I’m going to be budgeting very intentionally to ensure most of them happen. Whatever your main goals are, they should come first. Poor prioritization bites us in the butt when we spend on dinners out, vacations, or things when we should be spending on beefing up a savings account, investing intelligently, or putting money towards a down payment on a home.

5 things holding you back from reaching your financial goals. Click To Tweet

4. Too Low of an Income

No matter how good you are at saving money and prioritizing, only so much is possible when you have a low income. If you only make $25k per year and have expenses that hit over $20k a year, getting ahead will be very difficult and you will consistently find yourself coming up short when it comes to your goals. I’ve been there. I had a low income when I started my personal finance journey and realized I could only get so far by cutting expenses and being frugal. 

Instead of depriving myself and penny-pinching, I decided to start side hustling and working from home. This did wonders to my financial situation as I was able to earn an extra $1,000 to $1,500 per month

If this is the case, you need to look at ways to increase your income, or dramatically reduce how much you are spending. Increasing your income can come in many forms including getting a new job, getting more hours or a raise at your current job or finding ways to make side income such as selling a product or service.

5. Comparison Syndrome

This is one of the most under-rated obstacles that could prevent you from reaching your financial goals. You may set a great money goal and get all excited about your plan. Then, life happens and you get off track or worse, you start comparing yourself to other people.

They just bought a house so maybe I should too?

That vacation my friend took looks so nice. I would love to travel like that as well.

My friends are going to happy hour twice a week so maybe I should join as well?

Many of us do this. We compare ourselves to others and either start to feel inadequate with where we’re currently at or we try to keep up with them by changing our goals or financial habits. Realize that you set your particular financial goals for a reason. Don’t get distracted or focus so much on what other people are doing. This will only make you confused and slow your progress. Stay the course, it will be so worth it in the end.

Summary

We all have financial goals but reaching them may be challenging if you encounter any of these obstacles or setbacks. The key is to identify these situations early on and determine how you will overcome them.

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com

50+ Debt Quotes to Motivate You to Dump Your Debt for Good!

50+ debt quotes to inspire you to finally dump your debt

Sometimes the best motivator is a hug, and sometimes it’s a swift kick in the butt from some cold hard truth! Here are the best debt quotes to do just that!

I love a good underdog story! Seriously, I love it when a person is down on their luck, and they spend all their time crying. Then they decide to kick a little butt and then swing out in front at the very end of the story. Everyone cheers, moms cry, and good game butt slaps for everyone!

Is this the point where Queen sings We Are the Champions?  I hope not.

The point is that it is so dang motivating to see people overcome their past, their fears, their own ideas about who they are, and decide to kick all that to the curb and put their game face on! I love the determination, the promise that hard work pays off, and the achievement they will be proud of for the rest of their lives.

The true magic isn’t in the movies; it’s in real life. Let me tell you, I am moved to tears (almost) every time I listened to the Dave Ramsey podcast and heard people yell out their debt-free scream. True story. I’d be driving to work at 7 am with tears in my eyes, as I could just feel their excitement and their pride in taking control of their lives and getting out of debt.

Now we can’t all be on the DR podcast, spilling the deets of our debt payoff story, so I’ve rounded up some of the best debt quotes to help motivate you to take charge so you can either start on your debt-free journey or help crush the last little bit of debt that you’ve been working so hard to dump!

50+ debt quotes to inspire you to finally dump your debt

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info

America the great (debtor)

It’s common knowledge that Americans are deep in debt, yet it’s staggering when we see the actual amount. As of Sept 2020, Nerdwallet found that the average US household held debt of $145,085, to the turn of $14.35 trillion nationwide.

That figure includes all debt, but when people talk about debt, they are mostly talking about credit card debt. According to the same study the average household carries $7,027 on their cards, and they’ll pay an average of $1,155 in interest this year (2020).

Can you imagine, taking $1,155 and flushing it down the toilet? Ugh!

Now, I do want to say that some credit card purchases are a must spend, things like car repair when it’s your only mode of transportation to get to work. A new HVAC system, when yours died in the middle of winter. Those things are necessary, and I understand and support those that need to do it.

But debt that is frivolous makes my heart hurt – new iPhones, excess clothes, eating out 5 nights a week, those things are what is dragging Americans down.

So what do we do? We change! It’s the only option, yet people don’t change when they’re comfortable, they change because they are either inspired or they’re forced to. No one wats to be forced to do anything, so instead let’s inspire! I found some of the best debt quotes to do just that!

Debt quotes

“Rich people plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.”
– Gloria Steinem

“Overspending while trying to raise one’s status is a condition of economic materialism which hurts people financially, because it usually results in unnecessary debt. One does not raise social strata by buying things but instead by acquiring enough wealth to qualify for the next category of wealth.”
– Zachariah Renfro

“When you buy a bigger house, another luxury car, or a fancy boat, you are showing people that you used to have money.”
– Christopher Manske

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”
– Zig Ziglar

“Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.”
– Samuel Johnson

“[Credit is a system whereby] a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay.”
– Charles Dickens

debt quote from bejamin jowett

“Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self.”
– Nathan W. Morris

“A Debt Problem Is, At Its Core, a Budgeting Problem.”
– Natalie Pace

“The basic thing with frugality is: IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT, DON’T BUY IT.”
– Harken Headers

“Know what you own, and know why you own it.”
– Peter Lynch

“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”
– Ogden Nash

“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think.”
– Noam Chomsky

debt quote from richard armour

“A good name is still to be preferred over great riches. Especially it is to be preferred to the appearance of riches, acquired with nothing down and nothing to pay for 2 months.”
– Ezra Taft Benson

“To grasp why people bury themselves in debt, you don’t need to study interest rate: you need to study the history of greed, insecurity, and optimism.”
– Morgan Housel

“Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.”
– American Proverb

“No man’s credit is as good as his money.”
– E.W. Howe

“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”
– Adam Smith

debt quotes from robert kiyosaki

“Speak not of my debts unless you mean to pay them.”
– George Herbert

“Creditors have better memories than debtors.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.”
– Rutherford B. Hayes

“Debt can turn a free, happy person into a bitter human being.”
– Michael Mihalik

“Debt on anything that depreciates is disastrous.”
– Orrin Woodward

debt quotes - unknown author

“The man who never has money enough to pay his debts has too much of something else.”
– James Lendall Basford

“Some people use one half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid paying it.”
– George D Prentice

“Debt is one person’s liability, but another person’s asset.”
– Paul Krugman

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”
– George Lorimer

“In God we trust; all others must pay cash.”
– unknown

debt quote from ralph waldo emerson

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
– Proverbs 22:7

“Ten million dollars after I’d become a star, I was deeply in debt.”
– Sammy Davis Jr

“Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.”
– Samuel Johnson

“A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity and can command it.”
– Victor Hugo

“One of the greatest disservices you can do a man is to lend him money that he can’t pay back.”
– Jesse H Jones

“Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.”
– Josh Billings

debt quotes from unknown author

“Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.”
– Ezra Pound

“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your ass can’t cash, son.”
– Charles Portis

“There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting out of debt.”
– Dave Ramsey

You can’t talk about debt without have Dave Ramsey be a part of it! He is the debt payoff king, and for good reason! He has helped tens of thousands of people payoff debt and build wealth with his baby step process.

“Debt is a prolific mother of folly and of crime.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

“Debt basically enables people to live a lie.”
– Rachel Cruze

“Words pay no debts.”
– William Shakespeare

debt quote from thomas tussar

“Out of debt, out of danger.”
– Jerry Voorhis

“Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift… The hangover comes the day after.”
– Joyce Brothers 

“Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.”
– unknown

“I make myself rich by making my wants few.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“The decision to go into debt alters the course condition of your life. You no longer own it. You are owned.”
– Dave Ramsey

“His brow is wet with honest sweat; he earns whate’er he can, And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man.” 
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

At the end of the day

Yes, cliches are so cliche. But that doesn’t stop them from being right/true! People for centuries have been talking about the negative effects of debt; not one talks about how great it is. Yet, in today’s age, so many of us find ourselves in debt & depressed.

I hope you found a little bit of inspiration on this page, maybe a new mantra to help you when times are hard. Either way, know that other people have struggled with debt, and many have overcome it. You will too!

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Which of the quotes on debt is your favorite?

Source: moneyforthemamas.com

How to Prepare Your Finances for the New Year

Preparing for the New Year can always be a challenge. After all, most of us are trying to figure out how to make sure we do it better than we did this year. And with the pandemic going on this year, next year is certainly no exception! Because of COVID-19, a lot of us took some pretty big financial hits this year. I don’t know about you, but we want to make sure that we do everything in our power to secure our financial success next year so it won’t be as painful. Therefore, we wanted to give you a good guide to help you prepare your finances for the New Year and help ensure your future financial success.

Go Over Your Budget

The first step to really determining your future financial success is to go over what happened this year. And, the best way to do that is to go over your budget. If you had one, that is! If you didn’t, this step might be a bit more time consuming. But it can be done!

I prefer good, old fashioned Excel spreadsheets, personally. But, my spouse is more of a visual, hands on kind of guy. So, something more physical, like this budget planner, is a great idea for anyone like him. No matter how you choose to create your budget, just make sure it is something that will work well with your personality.

I plan to take a good, hard look at everything we have spent in the following categories:

  • Auto
  • Food
  • Beverages (including alcohol)
  • Household
  • Clothing
  • Gifts
  • Luxury

Since our regular household bills remain the same, those are already accounted for into our regular monthly budget. Therefore, this list is a good place for you to start a dissection of where this year’s money went. And if too much of it has flowed out of your hands and into the wrong category this year, now is the time to recognize it. This way you can get a better grasp on your cash flow for next year well ahead of time.

This is also the time to revisit exactly how much money you have allotted into each category. If a category amount needs to be shifted, or reduced, this is the time to do it. I know that we are changing our overall monthly budget to reduce our spending by 25%. That means we will have to change how much money we have budgeted into some of the “want” categories.

But, if we know this ahead of time, it will be easier for us to handle making less income next year. So prepare your finances now by starting with your budget, in case this pandemic continues through the whole of 2021.

Emergency Fund Needs

Another huge category to reflect on, and potentially change, is your emergency fund. There are still so many people I know personally that don’t have an emergency fund that it makes my head spin. Especially in this day and age when so many people are losing their jobs left and right. It seems completely inconceivable to me to not have an emergency fund of some sort.

So, if you are one of the many people who fall into this category, prepare your finances by getting your emergency fund started. No matter how much money you have at your disposal, you should start putting something into it. And if you aren’t sure where to start, I would suggest opening a high yield savings account so that you have the chance to earn a little bit more interest on your money.

Even though the rates aren’t nearly as high on any of these high yield savings accounts as they were a year ago, it’s still better than nothing. For us, the goal is to keep at least 6 months of monthly expenses in our emergency fund. But, ultimately, we would like to bump it up to a full year in reserves, just to feel more comfortable.

If you need something that makes it even easier to put money into an emergency fund, then something like Digit may be right up your alley. You can connect your checking account and credit cards to your Digit savings account. Any time you spend money from your connected accounts, Digit will round-up the difference and put it into your savings account. Or you can choose to manually move money over into your savings account at any time also. Either way, the money will come out of your checking account. So just make sure that you have the available funds needed in order to make move to your savings account ahead of time. This is a tool that I used years ago which made it much less painful for me to slowly save money.

Investment Strategy

Next, but certainly just as important, is to revisit your investments when you prepare your finances for the New Year. If you have any investments to begin with, that is. Of course, you want to make sure you have a fully stocked emergency fund first. But, investing now is also a great idea since the market has been down for the majority of the year. And investing now in your future, can only help boost your overall financial success. Plus, it can help you reach retirement earlier too. Which is a huge bonus!

If you don’t have a lot of discretionary income to work with, then there are still plenty of ways you can invest with little money. We have a few different accounts that we use that has helped us diversify our investing.

Acorns is one of my favorite investing tools because it doesn’t cost anything to get started. And you can invest how much or little you want to a month. There is a $1 monthly fee for the type of account we use. They have a round-up’s feature that also adds in a multiplier, so we’ve been able to invest a lot more than we ever thought we could.

Another one of my favorite robo-advisors is Betterment. They ask for a bit more information about you and your projected retirement date in order to put you in a better targeted fund. Which I happen to be a fan of. And their fees are exceptionally low, which was the main reason I began investing with them in the first place.

One more great option, that you can give or get as a gift also, is Stockpile. With Stockpile, you get to use gift cards to purchase individual stocks for as low as $1.99. Which is pretty darn awesome!

Review Life Insurance

A big financial decision that a lot of us don’t think about it revisiting our life insurance. I know that it isn’t something I have done in quite a few years. But, just earlier this year we decided to take another look at our life insurance policies to see if any changes needed to be made. And it was a good thing we did because the rates are a lot lower right now for life insurance policies than they were even 2 years ago.

If you don’t have a policy yet, a good place to start is with Bestow. Their rates are exceptionally low and you can get an instant quote just by filling out some information online. They offer 10 – 20 year policies up to $1 million, which gives you a lot of flexibility with your choices.

And by getting life insurance now, you will only be helping to secure the financial health of your family should something happen to you. Seeing as we are in the middle of a pandemic, you just never know these days. And it is certainly much better to be safe than sorry!

These are some great tips to prepare your finances for the New Year! Click To Tweet

Prepare Your Finances For The New Year Summary

Ultimately, there are quite a few things you can do to help secure your financial stability for the New Year. And preparing your finances by revisiting and tweaking your budget is a good first step. After that, revisit your emergency fund or start one if you don’t have one yet. Do your best to come up with a reasonable plan to get it fully funded as soon as possible. The next step is to take a look at your investments, or start investing if you haven’t yet. There are a lot of great tools to help you get started. And lastly, take a look at your life insurance policy, or take one out if you don’t currently have one.

By following all of these steps, you and your family will be well on your way to much more financial security next year. Even if we are still in the middle of a pandemic.

What are the steps you have taken to prepare your finances for the New Year and create financial stability for your family?

Source: everythingfinanceblog.com

How to Budget Groceries: 11 Easy Tips

Have you ever sat down to go over your budget only to find out that you’ve outrageously overspent on food? Local, organic, artisan goods and trendy new restaurant outings with friends make it easy to do. With food being the second highest household expense behind mortgage or rent, our food choices have a huge impact on our budget. Using this monthly budget calculator can also help guide how to budget for food. 

You may be surprised to find out that the most nutrient-dense foods are often the most budget-friendly. It’s not only possible, but fun and easy to eat nourishing, delicious food while still sticking to your budget. Here are 11 ways to help you learn how to budget groceries.

1. Track Current Spending

Before you figure out what you should be spending on food, it’s important to figure out what you are spending on food. Keep grocery store receipts to get a realistic picture of your current spending habits. If you feel inclined, create a spreadsheet to break down your spending by category, including beverages, produce, etc. Once you’ve done this, you can get an idea of where to trim down spending.

2. Allocate a Percentage of Your Income

How much each household spends on food varies based on income level and how many people need to be fed. Consider using a grocery calculator if you’re not sure where to start. While people spent about 30 percent of their income on food in 1950, this percentage has dropped to 9–12 today. Consider allocating 10 percent of your income to food as a starting point, and increase from there if necessary.

3. Avoid Eating Out

This is the least fun tip, we promise. Eating out is a quick and easy way to ruin your food budget. If you’re actively dating or enjoy going out to eat with friends, be sure to factor restaurants into your food budget — and strictly adhere to your limit. Coffee drinkers, consider making your favorite concoctions at home.

4. Plan Your Meals

It’s much easier to stick to a budget when you have a plan. Plus, having a purpose for each grocery item you buy will ensure nothing goes to waste or just sits in your pantry unused. Don’t be afraid of simple salads or meatless Mondays. Not every meal has to be a gourmet, grandiose experience.

5. Keep a Fridge Grocery List

Keep a magnetized grocery list on your fridge so that you can replace items as needed. This ensures you’re buying food you know you’ll eat because you’re already used to buying it. Sticking to a list in the grocery store is an effective way to keep yourself accountable and not spend money on processed or pricey items — there’s no need to take a stroll down the candy aisle if it’s not on the list.

6. Eat Before You Go to the Store

If your mother gave you this advice growing up, she was onto something: according to a survey, shoppers spend an average of 64 percent more when hungry. Sticking to a budget is all about eliminating temptations, so plan to eat beforehand to eliminate tantalizing foods that will cause you to go over-budget.

7. Be Careful with Coupons

50 percent off ketchup is a great deal — unless you don’t need ketchup. Beware of coupons that claim you’ll “save” money. If the item isn’t on your list, you’re not saving at all, but rather spending on something you don’t truly need. This discretion is key to saving money at the grocery store.

8. Embrace the Bulk Section

Not only is the bulk section of your grocery store great for cheap, filling staples, but it’s also the perfect way to discover new foods and bring variety into your diet. Take the time to compare the price of buying pre-packaged goods versus bulk — it’s almost always cheaper to buy in bulk, plus eliminating unnecessary packaging is good for the planet.

Bonus: a diet rich in unprocessed, whole plant foods provides virtually every nutrient, ensuring optimal health and keeping you from spending an excess amount on healthcare costs.

9. Bring Lunch to Work

Picture this: you’re trying to stick to a strict food budget, and one day at work you realize it’s lunchtime and you’re hungry. But alas, you forgot to pack a lunch. All the meal planning and smart shopping in the world won’t solve the work-lunch-dilemma. Brown-bagging your lunch is key to ensuring your food budget is successful. Plus, it can be fun! Think mason jar salads and Thai curry bowls.

10. Love Your Leftovers

Would you ever consider throwing $640 cash into the trash? This is what the average American household does every year — only instead of cash, it’s $640 worth of food that’s wasted. With millions of undernourished people around the globe, throwing away food not only hurts our budget but is a waste of the world’s resources. Tossing food is no joke. Eat your leftovers.

11. Freeze Foods That Are Going Bad

To avoid wasting food, freeze things that look like they’re about to go bad. Fruit that’s past its prime can be frozen and used in smoothies. Make double batches of soups, sauces, and baked goods so you’ll always have an alternative to ordering takeout when you don’t feel like cooking.

Sticking to a food budget takes planning and discipline. While it may not seem fun at first, you’ll likely find that you enjoy cooking and trying a variety of new foods you wouldn’t have thought to use before. Being resourceful and cooking healthfully is a skill that will benefit your wallet and waistline for years to come.

Sources: Turbo | Fool | Forbes | Medical Daily | GO Banking Rates | Value Penguin

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Source: mint.intuit.com

A Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare Your Budget for a Layoff

Preparing financially for a job loss can help keep your budget secure through any hardship.

What would you do if you were laid off from your job today? This question isn’t meant to make you want to hide under your desk, but to encourage you to evaluate your circumstances. What would happen to your financial situation if you suddenly didn’t have an income to rely on?

While it’s not exactly fun to plan ahead for life’s hardships—say, your car breaking down or losing a job—doing so can help you stay afloat financially and avoid taking on debt to remedy an already tense situation.

What can you do to prepare your budget for a layoff? These four steps will help you prepare your budget for a layoff and survive a layoff financially:

1. Put some of your paycheck into savings

In order to prepare your budget for a layoff, one of the best things you can do is learn to live on less when you have your typical paychecks coming in. Living paycheck to paycheck is a reality for many, and a habit many promise to break once they earn more. If you can afford it, consider trying to live off only a portion of your paycheck. That way, you can always depend on having extra money to fall back on in the event of a hardship, like a layoff.

One way to save for an unexpected job loss is to put some of every paycheck into your savings account.

Jill Caponera, a consumer savings expert at coupon platform Promocodes.com, suggests paying yourself first—putting some of each paycheck into savings before you spend any of it—in order to save for an unexpected job loss.

“Put money directly into your savings account the moment you get paid so that you’re never in a position where you’re strapped during a true financial emergency,” Caponera says. Try scheduling an automatic recurring transfer from checking to savings that hits after each payday, or create a direct deposit to savings from each paycheck through your employer.

If living on less isn’t feasible for you right now, start small and focus on taking baby steps to prepare your budget for a layoff. You could start with a money savings challenge and a more attainable goal, like living off of 97 percent of your paycheck and saving the remaining 3 percent. This means that if your take-home pay is $4,000 a month, your goal is to put 3 percent, or $120, into savings monthly and then limit your bills and spending to $3,880. As you get accustomed to that amount, gradually increase the percentage of your paycheck you save each period. Some budgeting experts suggest saving at least 20 percent of your income and living off of the other 80 percent.

If you devote even a small percentage of your paycheck to savings before the bills and discretionary expenses roll in, saving will eventually become habit. You’ll get used to budgeting only with your post-savings take-home pay, and you won’t miss the savings portion of your paycheck.

“Put money directly into your savings account the moment you get paid so that you’re never in a position where you’re strapped during a true financial emergency.”

– Jill Caponera, consumer savings expert at Promocodes.com

2. Save 3 to 6 months of expenses in an emergency fund

Once you’ve gotten used to regularly saving a portion of your income, you can save for an unexpected job loss by building up a solid emergency fund over time—especially if you are using an online savings account with a high interest rate. An emergency fund is a dedicated savings account that you only touch in the event of financial hardship, such as a medical emergency or job loss.

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Christian Stewart, founder of financial coaching site Do Better Financial, recommends having an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses to help you survive a layoff financially.

“The goal is to make sure all your bases are covered, meaning you can pay the bills and proceed with a relatively normal life until you find another job,” Stewart says. She notes the actual amount of money you need to save for an unexpected job loss will vary based on your lifestyle, employment industry and willingness to relocate, since this can dictate how long it could take to find another job.

To build an emergency fund and save for an unexpected job loss, Stewart recommends starting a zero-based budget. This form of budgeting gives every dollar you earn a job, such as paying a bill, funding your emergency account or financing fun and discretionary expenses. In addition to making your emergency fund a priority, this budgeting strategy helps you identify exactly how much you spend within each budget category each month. You can then find areas of careless spending—perhaps an unused subscription service—where you could stand to cut back. You could redistribute those dollars to your emergency fund.

Having an emergency fund in place can help you survive a layoff financially.

“In the event of a layoff, you will have a clear line of sight to regular areas of your spending that can be cut if it takes longer to find a new job,” Stewart says.

After you’re comfortable with the size of your emergency fund and feel like you can survive a layoff financially, you can use any extra savings for a different financial goal, such as saving for retirement or a down payment on a car or home.

3. Find income from a side hustle

Another way to survive a layoff financially is to have a side gig in place. Contrary to what some believe, side hustles do not have to take up an onerous amount of your time. There are actually many side hustles you can do while working full time, such as freelancing in your current field, driving for a rideshare app or tutoring.

Not only do side jobs create extra cash flow to devote toward savings or debt repayment when you have a full-time job, they also give you an added layer of security to help you save for an unexpected job loss. You might not be able to replace your full-time earnings with your music lesson business, but it can provide you with some predictable cash flow while you interview for a new position.

You could even turn your side hustle into a full-time job if you have a passion project you’ve been wanting to turn into a career. Alternatively, your side hustle turned full-time gig could help maintain your income stream if you plan to take additional time off after a layoff—if you decide to go back to school or make a move to a new industry, for example.

4. Know where to turn for assistance

Being laid off can be a traumatic experience, and if it does happen, it is important to know where to turn and how to make decisions that aren’t rooted in fear or emotion.

“Sit down with a level-headed friend, spouse and/or counselor to process your new financial reality,” Stewart of Do Better Financial says. “If you’re receiving a compensation package, do yourself a favor and work out beforehand where the money will be spent and how long you need it to last.”

Speaking of work benefits, make sure you utilize all of the benefits possible before your layoff goes into full effect, such as getting an annual physical through your health insurance plan.

“Sit down with a level-headed friend, spouse and/or counselor to process your new financial reality. If you’re receiving a compensation package, do yourself a favor and work out beforehand where the money will be spent and how long you need it to last.”

– Christian Stewart, founder of Do Better Financial

“If you’ve been laid off, or are expecting an upcoming layoff, you should immediately contact your state’s unemployment office to set up your account and start receiving your compensation,” consumer savings expert Caponera says. “While these benefits won’t pay as much as your full-time salary, these funds will certainly help to cover your monthly bills and living expenses while you continue to look for work.”

Each state has different benefits and paperwork requirements, so make sure you’re using your state’s government website to learn more and to survive a layoff financially.

Prepare your budget for a layoff

Facing a layoff can be emotionally and financially draining, especially if you don’t see it coming. The most important thing is to start planning ahead, and prepare your budget for a layoff before it happens.

Discover Bank, Member FDIC

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Source: discover.com

How Can You Support Small Business During the 2020 Holidays?

November 20, 2020 &• 5 min read by Credit.com Comments 0 Comments

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Small businesses are a huge part of the American economy. They make up 99% of all businesses in the nation. But even in good times, small businesses have around a 50% long-term survival rate, making economic uncertainty and a global pandemic extremely worrisome for many small-business owners. Find out how you can support small businesses in your community this holiday season to help make your local economy a bit merrier and brighter.

How Are Small Businesses Struggling in 2020 and Beyond?

COVID-19 has hit the bottom line hard for businesses and consumers alike. Businesses of all sizes were overwhelmed by the increased consumer demands for shipping, delivery, and curbside service, and many were forced to close for weeks or even months in 2020. Many are looking to the holidays to make up for lost revenue earlier in the year.

Bluehost conducted a State of Small Business Marketing in August 2020 to find out small-business owners’ outlook for the future. While more than 70% of business owners said they were optimistic about the future, they do have concerns:

  • 44% are worried about finding new customers through 2021
  • 30% are worried about long-term economic impacts from the pandemic
  • 21% are worried about lower-than-normal sales or consumer demand

At the same time, many consumers have experienced negative impacts to their personal budgets during COVID due to lost jobs and reduced salaries. As a result, some might be planning to scale back on total holiday spending, and others might be turning to different shopping habits to help keep themselves and their families safe.

How Can I Help a Small Business?

Whether you want to shop online to stay safe during potential outbreaks or you’re reducing how much you spend in 2020 to make up for financial shortfalls, you can still support small businesses. Here are a few tips on how to do that.

  1. If you’re going to spend, choose to shop local instead of buying with big-box retailers or huge e-commerce platforms. Not sure if there’s a small business offering what you need? In the next section, you can get tips for finding local companies. Skip ahead >>
  2. Check local small business websites to see if there are options for shopping online. Many offer free shipping opportunities or curbside pickup, so you can get what you need without entering stores.
  3. Call ahead to ask about the best times to shop. Going out during slow times can limit your contact with people and can help you get the best possible service from local businesses.
  4. Spread your shopping out. Starting as early as possible and buying a little at a time can take the sting out of holiday costs while letting you enjoy the festivities and support small businesses. According to the National Retail Foundation, around 74% of businesses expect shoppers to spread out their spending in 2020.
  5. Plan ahead to take advantage of Small Business Saturday deals. Though stores might spread out the deals this year, Small Business Saturday is still occurring. This is the day after Black Friday, and many small businesses offer specific deals on that day.

Other ways to support local small businesses include dining out, using local bakeries and caterers if you need help with holiday feasts, and buying tickets for nearby festivities and events if it is safe to do so. While many are still worried about COVID-19 risks, businesses have had time to prepare new ways of serving customers and holding events in a safe manner.

How Do I Find Local Businesses?

Word of mouth—simply asking your friends and family—can be a great way to find small businesses to support. But if you have a limited social circle, you just moved to an area, or you’re trying to expand your options, here are other ways you can find stores and businesses to support during the holidays.

  1. Use the Small Business Saturday site. There’s an entire site dedicated to Small Business Saturday, which includes a map for locating small businesses near you. They’ve also created a map of 100 Black-owned businesses to support around the country.
  2. Search Yelp. You can search Yelp for specific types of businesses in your area and easily see whether people are having good experiences with each company.
  3. Check social media. Many small businesses have pages on Facebook or Instagram. You may be able to browse some products right on social or connect with a business to understand what services it offers. Social is also often a good way to find out the most current details on COVID-19 hours, restrictions, or safety protocols each business is observing.
  4. Begin with the search engines. Google especially can be helpful because it offers map results and access to consumer reviews a click or tap away from the immediate results page.
  5. Visit your local chamber of commerce, digitally or in person. Your chamber of commerce may provide a list of reputable local businesses, and you can also call or speak to someone in person about businesses specific to your needs.
  6. Search Etsy, Redbubble, and Society6. Many small businesses and independent artists sell their goods on sites like Etsy and Redbubble.
  7. Support small businesses via Amazon. The company’s Support Small initiative highlights small companies you can shop with and provides local directories. You can also buy hundreds of products from small businesses on Amazon and take advantage of Prime and free shipping offers.

If you want to support small businesses with your holiday shopping while also benefiting yourself or your family, consider getting a rewards credit card. You can earn points or cash back on spending and use those benefits to fund more holiday fun or future travel or spending.

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  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
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  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
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#animation-wrapper max-width: 450px; margin: 0 auto; width: auto; height: 600px; font-family: ProximaNova-Regular, Arial, sans-serif; #animation-wrapper .box background: linear-gradient(#0095D8, #1D4BB6); color: #fff; text-align: center; font-family: ProximaNova-Regular, Arial, sans-serif; height: 130px; padding-top: 10px; .content .box p margin: 0 0; .box .btn-primary color: #fff; background-color: #ff7f00; margin: 10px 0; .chat ul margin: 0; padding: 0; list-style: none; .message-left .message-time display: block; font-size: 12px; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px; padding-top: 4px; color: #ccc; font-family: Courier; .message-right .message-time display: block; font-size: 12px; text-align: right; padding-right: 20px; padding-top: 4px; color: #ccc; font-family: Courier; .message-left text-align: left; margin-bottom: 7px; .message-left .message-text max-width: 80%; display: inline-block; background: #0095D8; padding: 13px; font-size: 14px; color: #fff; border-radius: 30px; font-weight: 100; line-height: 1.5em; .message-right text-align: right; margin-bottom: 7px; .message-right .message-text line-height: 1.5em; display: inline-block; background: #1D4BB6; padding: 13px; font-size: 14px; color: #fff; border-radius: 30px; line-height: 1.5em; font-weight: 100; text-align: left; .chat background: #fff; margin: 0; border-radius: 0; .chat-container height: 450px; padding: 5px 15px; overflow: hidden; .spinme-right display: inline-block; padding: 15px 20px; font-size: 14px; border-radius: 30px; line-height: 1.25em; font-weight: 100; opacity: .2; .spinme-left display: inline-block; padding: 15px 20px; font-size: 14px; color: #ccc; border-radius: 30px; line-height: 1.25em; font-weight: 100; opacity: .2; .spinner margin: 0; width: 30px; text-align: center; .spinner>div width: 10px; height: 10px; border-radius: 100%; display: inline-block; -webkit-animation: sk-bouncedelay 1.4s infinite ease-in-out both; animation: sk-bouncedelay 1.4s infinite ease-in-out both; background: #000; .spinner .bounce1 -webkit-animation-delay: -.32s; animation-delay: -.32s; .spinner .bounce2 -webkit-animation-delay: -.16s; animation-delay: -.16s; @-webkit-keyframes sk-bouncedelay 0%, 100%, 80% -webkit-transform: scale(0); 40% -webkit-transform: scale(1); @keyframes sk-bouncedelay 0%, 100%, 80% -webkit-transform: scale(0); transform: scale(0); 40% -webkit-transform: scale(1); transform: scale(1); .ad-container padding: 15px 30px; background-color: #fff; max-width: 690px; box-shadow: 1px 1px 4px #888; margin: 20px auto; .ad padding: 10px 6px; max-width: 630px; .ad-title font-size: 20px; color: #07b; line-height: 22px; margin-bottom: 6px; letter-spacing: -.32px; .ad-link line-height: 18px; padding-left: 26px; position: relative; .ad-link::before content: ‘Ad’; color: #006621; font-size: 10px; width: 21px; line-height: 12px; padding: 2px 0; text-align: center; border: 1px solid #006621; border-radius: 4px; box-sizing: border-box; display: inline-block; position: absolute; left: 0; .ad-link a color: #006621; text-decoration: none; font-size: 14px; line-height: 14px; .ad-copy color: #000; font-size: 14px; line-height: 18px; letter-spacing: -.34px; margin-top: 6px; display: inline-block; .ad .breaker font-size: 0; .box .box-desc font-family: ProximaNova-Bold, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 17px; font-weight: 600; width: 225px; margin: 0 auto; .btn display: inline-block; margin-bottom: 0; font-weight: 400; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle; touch-action: manipulation; cursor: pointer; background-image: none; border: 1px solid transparent; white-space: nowrap; padding: 6px 12px; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.428571429; border-radius: 4px; -webkit-user-select: none; -moz-user-select: none; -ms-user-select: none; user-select: none; font-family: ProximaNova-Semibold, Arial, sans-serif; text-decoration: none; .btn-group-lg>.btn, .btn-lg padding: 10px 16px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1.3333333; border-radius: 6px; #ad-4 font-family: Arial, sans-serif; background-color: #fff; #ad-4 .ad-title color: #2130ab; #animation-wrapper .cta-ec background: #79af3e; color: #fff; width: 155px; height: 41px; font-family: ProximaNova-Semibold, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin: 10px auto 4px auto; #animation-wrapper .ec-logo display: block; margin: 0 auto; width: 140px; @media (max-width:500px) .ad padding: 20px 18px; max-width: 630px;

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Source: credit.com