Tonight, I participated in a personal finance chat on Twitter with the hashtag #bp, which stands for Budget Pulse, which is the company that hosts the chat at 7pm on Wednesday nights. This was only its second week, and there were dozens of participants, so you should definitely join next week!
The end of the year is here, and if you can find time in between last-minute shopping and spiked eggnog, then take an hour or so to reflect back on how you spent your money this past year. Creating yearly financial goals is a great habit to form when building a healthy financial future. Even if you don’t reach all of your goals, if you set them too high, or set them too low, they serve as a motivational tool throughout the year to strive toward something. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to making financial goals, start with what you spend and how much you spend on it.
Today I was in a conference for green lodging and hospitality, and it was hosted at the Rosen Centre Hotel, a prestigious and luxurious hotel and convention center in Orlando, Florida. Harris Rosen, the founder and owner of the Rosen hotel chain, gave an introduction to the conference and instead of boasting about how green his hotels are or spitting out numbers about his hotel, he told his story about how and why he became an entrepreneur. He is the type of older man that speaks softly but captures you the moment he starts speaking. You just know that everything that comes out of his mouth is words of wisdom. Here are a few things he said that really stuck out to me.
Millions of people are dreading the time it takes to decorate their houses for the holidays. But if you don’t do it now, you’ll never do it, and you know how much the kids love it. You know the feeling of when you take a step back like Clark Griswald and look at your decorating masterpiece. So that’s why we do it. We decorate our houses for a lot of reasons, and we spend a lot of money to do it. As a Money Crasher, you shouldn’t be taking our a second mortgage to fund your Christmas decoration addiction, so we will share with you the best ways to save money on Christmas decorations.
Personal finance applications and budgeting tools have become extremely popular over the past two years, with Mint.com being one of the largest players out of the group, but there are other alternative applications out there that offer a variety of different features that you may be interested. BudgetPulse.com is one of those budgeting applications that separates itself from its competition by offering features such as very high security for your personal information and a way to organize accounts for accepting donations. As many of you know, I have dedicated a few posts to Mint.com, and it’s the budgeting application that I currently use, but I have been tinkering with Budget Pulse lately, and it may cause me to switch allegiances.
I know what you’re all thinking, “It’s the holidays, we’re going to spend a lot of money and there’s nothing we can do about it”. It’s simply not true. You don’t need to break the bank to have a fun Thanksgiving. I love holidays, but they are so over-commercialized. We are programmed to think that we must spend a ton of money on the holidays, because the retail industry has brainwashed us into it. I’m not a bah, hum-bug, I promise. I just like to be practical, and I know man you do, too. Here’s my list of ways to save some cash for Christmas this Thanksgiving holiday.
Black Friday is just a week away, and Cyber Monday is 10 days away. I am a big fan of these iconic shopping days, not because people get whipped up in a frenzy and not because I love waiting in ridiculous long lines, but I truly believe that you can get some great deals if you are smart about it.
Have an iPhone? Here are some applications to help you get great deals!
Deal News App: This app is an iPhone friendly way to search the popular deal aggregator, DealNews.com, which is great at updating you on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
Help a reader with this question:
I currently have a 403b with about $20k in it. I am planning on leaving my job late April and was previously planning on moving the money somewhere else. However, I owe a family member $15k for a car they bought me almost 5 years ago. I did not pay them back yet because we have been working on paying off all of our other debts (which we have paid them all off!), and the family member was not charging me interest or asking for the money back. So this $15k (and our mortgage) is the only thing holding us back from being debt free. Would it be wise to consider pulling the money out of the 403b when I leave my job, paying the taxes, and then giving my family member the money to pay off the debt? Then I was thinking about opening a Roth IRA with any remaining money since I think we can get down to owing the family member $10k by the time I leave my job.
Black Friday isn’t for everyone, but for some of us, it’s the first fun event of the Christmas season. If you treat it like a family event or something fun to do with friends, you’ll have a much better time than treating it like a chore. The one thing I can’t stand about Black Friday is when I hear stories about people getting hurt trying to reach for the Nintendo Wii or whatever. This is absurd, people! It’s just stuff! Have some fun shopping, and if you score a great deal or a door buster, be happy, but don’t turn into a pack of wolves trying to get a door buster.
The past 14 months have been one of the hardest time period for Americans looking to find work. The recession will not be over until the unemployment rate stops rising and starts receding again. Our economy cannot flourish without people contributing to the workforce and making enough money to put it back into the economy. I came across this article on Career Builder the other day revealing 10 companies hiring for the holidays
Number of openings: 1000+
Seasonal positions available: Retail sales associates; store managers; and sales support