Most of your companies will be holding their open enrollment period this fall and the beginning of 2011 for your health and retirement benefits. With the recent health care reform changes, health insurance premiums will rise even higher each year. Recent financial reform legislation may also increase the fees that stock brokers charge within your retirement plans. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of changes to your current health care options and 401(k) options. Expect more out-of-pocket expenses with your health plans and your boss to be throwing incentives at you to get and stay healthy. Here are some quick facts from CNN Money Magazine about what you can expect at your next open enrollment
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, even more exciting than Christmas for big college and pro football fans. I’m a huge college football fan. I bleed orange and blue. Yes, I’m a Florida Gator fan, Go Gators!
Now that I’ve made a ton of enemies by revealing that, I’ll try to win you back by helping you come up with alternative ways to fund your tailgate parties.
When I was convicted to change the way I handled money at the young age of 22, it wasn’t an educational revelation. It was an emotional and behavioral revelation, because I realized that the problem was ME. A lack of education was definitely one of the factors why I didn’t handle money well, but ultimately, it was my bad behavior and irrational thought process about money that led me to a ton of debt at a young age. If you’re sailing along in life with debt and you think that you’ll be okay once you start making more money, you might already be exhibiting bad financial behaviors and ways of thinking that could lead to a financial disaster. I completely agree with Dave Ramsey that personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge/education. Here’s 7 warning signs that the problem is YOU.
This past weekend, for the first time in my adult life, I was the victim of identity theft. We were walking into the movie theater about to sit down for a movie, and I got a phone call from a weird phone number. I listened to the message as we sat down in our seats and it was Bank of America saying there was suspicious activity in my bank account. My first reaction was that it was a scam, some kind of phishing attempt to get me to call them back and give them personal information acting like they were Bank of America. I have an iPhone, so I logged into my online banking from the BOA iPhone app, and sure enough, there were two $1,000 purchases and about a dozen smaller charges. My heart sank to my stomach. I couldn’t freakin’ believe it. Someone hijacked my account or one of our debit card numbers and was buying crap online. I couldn’t sit through that movie knowing what I now knew, so we left the theater, got rain check passes to see the movie another time, and I quickly called Bank of America.
It’s really hard to believe that Summer is almost over, and many of you will be sending your kids back to school! Sending your kids back to school can be a really expensive time of year, because your kids are growing out of clothes and need new school supplies. Fortunately, a lot of states have implemented sales tax free holidays around this time of year to help parents out a little bit. You could easily spend about $250 to $400 dollars per kid for some new clothes, shoes and school supplies, so that extra 6% to 9% sales tax could add up to some nice savings.
When money is tight, an extra $1,000 a month could be life-changing. Although an additional $12,000 a year might not sound like a ton of money, for a single-income home, or for a family with a hefty car payment or medical bills, it could make all the difference.
Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 a Month
If additional income could help you reach your financial goals or prevent you from falling deeper into debt, then it’s time you looked into a side-hustle. Thankfully, you don’t have to get stuck in a part-time job you hate to make it happen – even stay-at-home parents can find it an attainable goal. You just need to be a little creative. Here are 10 ways you can start making an extra $1,000 a month immediately.
I’m really baffled that people are so tempted to just walk away from their house simply because it’s “worth” less than they owe on it. I put the worth in quotation marks, because what a house is worth is all relative. A house is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Sure, you can base it on comparable sales in the neighborhood, but that gets very skewed when you are dealing with one of the biggest real estate corrections in the history of the United States. Just because a real estate agent or Zillow.com tells you that your house is worth $100,000 and you owe $150,000 doesn’t mean it’s going to be like that forever. It would only take a solid year of real estate recovery and lessening foreclosures/short sales in order for your property to start recovering in market value. Here’s a question we recently received from a concerned friend:
Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I started out loving it, because I was a pyromaniac as a kid, and any excuse to play with fireworks sounded GREAT to me. I still love playing with fireworks and watching them, but the 4th of July has brought so much more meaning in my life when I think about all of the men and women who’ve sacrificed their lives so that we could have the freedom to pursue a life of happiness. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and so many other Founding Fathers started this country with the dream that we would live free from tyrannical dictators, monarchies, and the constraints of oppressive government. Unfortunately, with every day that passes, every politician that we elect into government, every big government program that Congress comes up with, and every dollar we spend that we don’t have, we start slowly losing the freedoms we’ve experienced and taken for granted over the past 200 plus years.
We ALWAYS notice when something gets more expensive, but do we notice it when prices fall? We should, because the prices probably won’t be falling forever, so you need to take advantage of falling prices when you can. Sometimes recessions aren’t such a bad thing, because we often tighten up our finances which lowers demand and causes prices to fall in a lot of industries. Also, our wonderful friend called technology is also causing a lot of industries to make things more efficiently and drop prices. Remember when it was minimum $1,500 to buy a flat panel TV? Now you can get a 32″ for about $400! This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here’s some major things that are getting cheaper and helping many of you out according to the bureau of labor statistics data on consumer price index.
If you’re in your 20’s or early 30’s, then you’ve probably either seen an episode of “Saved By The Bell” or you’re one of those freaks that’s seen every episode and still watches the re-runs on TBS in the morning. It was an iconic TV show for our generation. I’m not sure why it gained so much popularity. It was just one of those addicting shows that any pre-teen would get hooked on whether it was 1990 or 2010. Surprisingly, the show did tackle a lot of deep issues that teens face every day, and it even dealt with some financial issues. Some of these lessons learned might seem like a little bit of a stretch, but I know you get bored reading about private mortgage insurance and mutual fund load fees, so take a trip down pop culture memory lane with me for a little bit.
I worked from home today, not because the World Cup was on, but because we were hiring new landscapers and I wanted to talk to them before they started working on our yard. BUT, since a huge World Cup match for the U.S. was playing at 10am this morning, I got my laptop, and started working in the living room while casually paying attention to the game. I saw ANOTHER goal that was taken away by a referee who probably has a chip on his shoulder towards the United States, and I saw a lot of missed opportunities by the U.S. to take control of the game. Then, it happened — one of the most dramatic moments in U.S. soccer history. Just when it looked like the U.S. team would be flying home tomorrow, Landon Donovan cleaned up a miss from Jozy Altidore in the 91st minute of the game to win it and advance to the next round. Your finances are just like that goal from Landon Donovan. Your finances ALWAYS have a chance, as long as you are patient and persistent. Here are five lessons you can learn from watching the World Cup this year: