President Bush said Thursday he doesn’t think the country is heading into a recession, but “there’s no question the economy has slowed down.” “There’s a lot of uncertainty and I’m concerned about the uncertainty,” he said. “Hopefully this pro-growth package will help.”
Recently, I did a brief interview with personal finance blogger, Flexo from Consumerism Commentary. It’s my intention to get to know some of the other personal finance bloggers out there, and I wanted you to get to know them better as well. I don’t see the other bloggers out there as competition, but rather I see them as a community of people that share the same goals and values as me when it comes to helping others manage their finances better. We can all learn from each other, and that’s my goal with interviewing other bloggers in the personal finance community.
It’s about that time of year when we start daydreaming at work about basking in the sun on the beach while drinking a pina colada. Then, we wake up and realize that we need to start saving some money to make that summer vacation happen! Vacations can be a financial drain, and I think that you should splurge when it comes to your vacation, as long as you can save up for it and pay cash. After all, you do deserve some rest and relaxation from the grueling grind of work. So, here are five tips that I’ve found to help me save money when planning a vacation.
The other day, I had the TV on in the background, and a lesser known morning talk show caught my attention when they were going to have a segment on helping a single mom get their financial life back on the right track. Of course, they disappointed me with focusing more on fooling with different types of bank accounts and setting up automatic overdraft protection with a credit card on her bank account. Yeah, that’s great. Just keep assuming that she’s going to keep bouncing her checking account. That’s why she asked you for help! Anyway, they did little to correct WHY she was in the predicament that she was in, but they did ask her this one question: “What was it that got you into the situation that you are in now?” She responded by saying, it was poor decision making and the lack of financial knowledge. It made me happy to hear that she wasn’t trying to blame someone else for her situation. She took responsibility for the decisions that she made and knew that she made some decisions due to ignorance. I think she hit the nail on the head for most people that find themselves in a financial mess. I know that I can trace many of my financial mistakes back to a poor decision and a simple lack of financial knowledge.
There are quite a few single moms and dads out there receiving child support from their ex-spouse. Unfortunately, there are also some single moms and dads out there that should be receiving child support, but they aren’t getting it. I know that one of the excuses that deadbeat parents don’t pay the child support is because they don’t trust the parent with custody to use the money on the child. So, here’s the question, and it’s more of a moral question, than a financial question:
Now that many of my friends and family know that I write for a personal finance blog, they tend to ask me more questions about personal finance. I always tell them that I’m not an expert at this point. I don’t have enough experience to call myself an expert. But, writing this blog and my passion for helping people learn what I have learned is what distinguishes me from the average individual. I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge from doing research for this blog, reading books, and thinking beyond the box about personal finance. My philosophy about personal finance is that there is an emotional element and a mathematical element to it. Some personal finance bloggers focus more on the mathematical side and others focus on the emotional side. I think that a healthy balance of these two elements is essential to winning with your money.
I meant to do this post yesterday during the designated President’s Day, but I didn’t get to it, so I thought I would share it with you a day late. I think one of the biggest tragedies of our modern culture is that we do not follow the guidance and wisdom laid out by the people that shaped this country into the greatest nation the world has ever seen. We are the hallmark for freedom and liberty. People flock here every year to have the opportunity to change their financial lives. We learn that George Washington and Abraham were great Presidents, but we seldom go beyond that. We seldom analyze their philosophy for the direction of the country. Here are some quotes from Washington and Lincoln that we can learn from about personal and financial development.
Finally, stay tuned for the first ever Money Crasher’s podcast! It will be launched within the next 2 weeks. Comment on what topics you would like me to cover. The podcast will probably last somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes and it will cover recent financial news, a personal finance topic, and a fun top ten list. I’d love to hear what you want to hear about most, though!
Ahh, love is in the air, isn’t it? I can just hear cash registers around the country being overworked on this day that is loved by retailers more than it is loved by consumers. Call me Scrooge, but do we really need an unofficial holiday of love? If the government would recognize it and declare it a national holiday, then I’d start to like it more, because at least I would get the day off. Anyway, I’ll stop the Valentine’s negativity, and get on with my dark “love” post for Valentine’s day.
Today, President Bush signed the economic stimulus plan into law today. So, it’s a done deal. He praised Congress for coming together in a bipartisan way to get the bill passed quickly so the American people will get the money as fast as possible. I still have my reservations about whether this is the solution for actually stimulating our economy, but at least they are trying to do something, and putting more of our earned income back into our pockets is always a good thing.
Here’s the question for today. It’s a two part question:
Men, listen up for a minute. I know we’re lazy, and when it comes to making our girls happy, we’ll go with convenience over anything else, even if it’s at a premium price. But, if you want to win with money in your lifetime, you need to start learning how to save money when it’s staring you in the face. So, here’s my number one way to save money on valentine’s day for your woman:
One big mistake that personal financial gurus tend to make is assuming that we all live on a steady monthly income. When in fact, very many of us are salespeople that earn an income based 100% on commissions. One month you might make $10,000, but the next two months you might not make a dime. This can pose a problem for those people who want to stick to a written budget, but they don’t know how to budget their monthly expenses and savings when they cannot predict their income for that month. This is a tutorial to help all of the salespeople out there stick to a written budget without pulling your hair out.
I don’t agree with that approach on any level. The economy isn’t floundering because we aren’t spending enough; it’s floundering because we’re spending too much, largely on credit. So do the opposite of what the government is hoping for — it’s far more important for people to boost their savings, not their spending.
According to the AP, via CNN Money, there’s already scammers out there trying to trick you into giving out personal information, claiming to be the IRS. They are telling people that they need to verify their personal information in order for them to receive the economic stimulus plan rebate. These people are the scum of the earth, aren’t they? And you can bet that they are targeting the elderly and college students. College students are usually naive, and they feel that the elderly are more vulnerable and gullible to give out personal information. Someone could be stealing your grandmother’s identity and wiping out her life savings as we speak.
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