Top 10 Effective Personal Finance Habits

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Do you know the 10 most highly effective personal finance habits? Read on to find out!

A big income and fancy degree do not guarantee financial abundance. Effective money habits are an important part of achieving financial independence. Over time, your habits will ultimately determine your outcomes. Choose your habits wisely and watch your bank account grow. A few new, simple habits can create positive change.

Add these money habits to your financial life:

  1. Automatically transfer money to your savings or brokerage account. If left to our own devices, few of us would consistently put money into our savings account each month. Remove the temptation and responsibility. Save a portion of each paycheck without having to think about it.

     

  2. Review your financial goals each day. One of the most effective ways to save and invest effectively is to review your financial goals and keep them fresh in your mind. Don’t have any goals? Make a few.

     

  3. Only use a credit card in an emergency. Sure, there are cards that allow you to earn points toward good and services. But is the risk of running up your debt worth it? Pull out the debit card and save the credit card for emergencies.

     

  4. Pay your bills weekly. Set up a day and time each week to pay your bills. Try to pay all bills at least 10 days before they’re due. Holidays and weekends can prolong the amount of time it takes for online payments to post or for the mail to reach its final destination. Avoid waiting until the last minute, and late fees will be a thing of the past.

     

  5. Learn a little more each week. You might have had a single class on personal finance in high school. Any additional education on the topic will be your responsibility. Spend 30 minutes each week on a topic that will enhance your understanding of personal finance. A few ideas:
  • Managing debt
  • Investing
  • Retirement planning
  • Taxes
  • Diversification
  1. Check your bank accounts each day. Take a minute and review your account balances. Everyone has unexpectedly run out of money at one time or another. Never be surprised again.

     

  2. Live below your means. This single habit makes it easier to pay bills, save money, and avoid debt. Adopt a lifestyle that will allow you to save at least 15% of your paycheck and still avoid going into debt.

This where a budget really comes into play. With a household budget, you’ll be able to see how well you’re doing each month.

  1. Max out employer retirement accounts. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, be sure to contribute enough to receive the maximum match amount.

     

  2. Eat at home. Every meal out costs a significant amount more than the same meal would cost at home. Plan your meals in advance and save money.

     

  3. Comparison shop. Comparison-shopping can save money and prevent wasteful purchases in the first place. By taking your time, you’ll have a better chance of finding the best price. You might also find that the urge to splurge has passed by the time you find the best deal. Shopping around can be half the fun.

How many of these habits do you currently have? Consider the idea that every money habit you have is either taking you closer to or further from your financial goals. Are your current habits enhancing your finances or harming them? Evaluate your habits and rate their effectiveness with a long-term perspective. Decide to adopt one new habit today.

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

Common Limiting Money Beliefs That Aren’t True

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There are limiting money beliefs that we all believe to be true. Turns out, they’re myths.

It’s not the things you don’t know, but rather the incorrect things you believe, that cause many of the real challenges in life. A few errors in your thinking can be a detriment to your finances. Enhancing your understanding of money and personal finances is an effective way to get on the path to prosperity. 

Avoid these money myths:

  1. Income equals wealth. People that make more have a tendency to spend more. Lottery winners are notorious for losing everything. Many of the families that earn over $1 million per year manage to outspend their income. You can earn a very high income and still live paycheck to paycheck.

Wealth is what’s left over after you’re done spending. The more money you’re able to invest in appreciating and income-producing assets, the more you can expect your wealth to grow. A high income provides opportunity. It doesn’t provide a guarantee.

  1. More money equals more happiness / Money has nothing to do with happiness. Studies have consistently shown that more income results in greater levels of happiness to a point. The break-even mark appears to be $75,000 per year.
  • If you’re earning less than $75,000, you can expect your feelings of happiness to increase with a greater income.

  • If you’re already earning that much or more, more money isn’t going to make you feel any better.
  1. Wills are for rich people. Everyone with children or assets needs a will. Unless you want the courts to decide who will raise your children and receive your assets, you need a will. A simple will is only a few hundred dollars. You might even be able to do it yourself for less.

  2. Owning is better than renting. From a financial viewpoint, it depends. Mortgage interest is deductible, but it’s still a significant expense. Home ownership also includes property taxes and maintenance. The upside is the potential for appreciation and a place to call your own. Crunch the numbers and decide for yourself. Renting is generally advantageous in the short-term.
  1. Quality and price go hand-in-hand. There are many examples of this statement being false. Generic drugs are identical to the brand name version and cost much less. Companies price goods and services in order to maximize profit. That means the perceived value affects pricing, not the actual value.

Many items are priced to accommodate expensive marketing campaigns. The Beats headphones so popular with teenagers are considered by experts to be only worth half the common retail price. In this case, you’re not paying extra for higher quality.

  1. An index fund never wins. Over time, index funds outperform the majority of managed funds. More often than not, the lower expenses and turnover rate of an index fund are more important than a professional stock-picker. Take advantage of the ability to match market returns for very little expense.
     
  2. You should never have a credit card. Credit cards are a wonderful invention if used properly. However, credit cards also provide a means to spend money you don’t have. This can be a challenge or a godsend, depending on the circumstances. Credit cards can also help (or damage) your credit.

Are your erroneous beliefs limiting your financial growth? Consider all of your money beliefs and question if they might be incorrect, too. Having accurate beliefs enhances decision-making and results. Avoid buying into the myths.

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

Top 10 Financial Skills For Adults To Master During Economic Uncertainty

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When faced with challenging periods in your life, it’s a good idea to master these financial skills for adults to help you through.

The ability to survive on a modest income is a skill. However, it’s a skill that could be useful for anyone, especially in these uncertain economic times. Even if you’re great with money in general, you might not have the expertise to live on a low income, and such expertise could come in handy.

Master these financial skills for adults and you’ll be prepared for any financial challenge:

  1. Be able to differentiate between wants and needs. What you consider to be a need will change when financial resources are scarcer. Before spending any money, ask yourself if the item or service is a true need or a want.
  2. Save anyway. Saving is often a challenge during good times. It’s even more challenging when money is limited. It’s still important to save a portion of any income.
  3. Know how to budget and have discipline. Just about anyone can create a budget, but it’s sticking with the budget that’s hard. It takes practice and discipline. It’s no fun to barely scrape by each month, but a budget makes it possible. It also highlights the little ways to get ahead each month.
  4. Use your car as little as possible. It costs money to use an automobile. Combine shopping trips. Create a carpool to minimize driving to work. If possible, use a bike or walk.
  5. Find an additional source of income. A part-time job can be a big help. There are many things you can do on your own instead of seeking additional employment. You can rent out your car, rent a room in your home, buy and sell items on Craig’s List, or any number of other activities.
  6. Learn to eat inexpensively. A bag of rice costs less than a dollar. Chicken leg quarters are less than $0.70/lb. Choose the least expensive type of fruit. Food is a considerable expense for most families. It’s also an expense that’s easy to minimize if you know how to eat healthy on a budget.

Hit the local food bank. Most cities, towns, and counties have one or more food banks. You typically can’t get enough to satisfy all of your food needs, but you can take care of 50%.

  1. Purchase used clothing. Use clothing stores are everywhere. For example, Goodwill sells most of its clothes for slightly over $4. The first Saturday of each month is half-price.
  2. Be aware of all the public assistance programs. Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, heating subsidies, and the Affordable Care Act are just a few programs that are available in most areas. If you’re used to living a middle-class lifestyle, you might not have the slightest idea of how to take advantage of these programs. Become familiar with what all is available in your area.
  • Most areas have employment assistance or job training programs to help you find work.
  • You can also receive a big tax break if your income falls below certain levels.
  1. Find inexpensive healthcare. Often pharmacies or bigger stores, like Walmart, have an inexpensive clinic. You might be able to find a free clinic if you do some research.

     

  2. Find less expensive housing. The citizens of the United States enjoy some of the most spacious living quarters in the world. In many countries, it’s not uncommon for ten or more people to share a small apartment. You can probably find a less expensive place to live that will work.

Surviving during challenging financial times requires a new way of viewing money and the world. The less money you have, the more scrutiny each dollar requires before it’s spent. If you find yourself with less income than you’re accustomed to, it’s important to aggressively conserve at every opportunity. Challenging times require a new set of skills.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Share with us what financial strategies have helped you through trying times.
2. Which one of my tips do you think would be particularly helpful?

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

 

8 Things You MUST Do if You Need Extra Money to Pay Bills Every Month

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It’s important to stay on top of your bills each month, but if you find yourself short one month, follow these tips to get you back on track.

It can be difficult to stay on top of your bills. If you find yourself coming up short every month, here are a few tips to implement if you need extra money to pay bills every month! Get back on top of those bills and master your finances:

  1. Stop using credit cards. It’s easy to rack up credit card debt, as it’s easy to disassociate the little plastic card from the very real money that you will eventually have to pay for those items. If you’re having trouble meeting your financial obligations, it’s time to stop using credit cards.
  1. Sharpen your money management skills. Not yet following a budget? Make one. Not saving for a rainy day? Open a savings account. Get on top of how much you make each month and how much you spend each month. Click here to learn how to sharpen your money management skills.
  1. Call your creditors. There are many situations in which a creditor will take a lump sum much lower than your principal, in order to close out your account. Call your creditors and offer to pay an immediate lump sum.
  1. Look for more ways to cut expenses. Chances are, there are some expenditures that you don’t need to be making. For example, if you are eating out five nights a week, it can be much more economical to buy and make your meals. Learn about the financial habits of the wealthy that can help you beat money stress.
  1. Look for ways to increase income. There are a lot of options for making a little bit extra cash. These range from taking on a second job, picking up a side job, asking for more hours, and more.
  1. Sell things you don’t need or use. If you’ve got extra stuff lying around your house, taking up space, that you never use, list them on eBay or Etsy. Chances are, someone will want them and buy them—that’s money back in your pocket.
  1. Do some menial work. Lots of people avoid menial tasks like the plague, despite the fact that they can pay extremely well. If you’re hurting for money, be willing to clean someone else’s house, weed their garden, or vacuum their carpets. It’s not glamorous, but it does pay.
  1. Ask for help. Never be too proud to ask for help when you need it. If you are falling behind, ask a friend or family member to help you get back on top of your finances.

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

4 Financial Habits Of The Wealthy That Can Help You Beat Money Stress

Are you struggling with money? These financial habits of the wealthy can help you get on track.

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If you want to really change your life, you are going to need to learn to prioritize.

We all have limited resources, whether those resources are time, money, or energy.  We are all limited by time and energy in a 24 hour day, and that’s why it makes sense to focus our limited resources on creating those financial habits that will have the biggest impact on our financial health and wellbeing.

Here is what we recommend to focus on when building new financial habits:

  1. Identify where are you experiencing the most stress with your finances. What causes you sleepless nights? Is it the lack of savings? A non-existent emergency fund? Living paycheck to paycheck with too little income to pay your bills each month? A bleak retirement future? A tsunami of medical bills?  For me it was figuring out how to become less dependent on a job that was becoming less and less stable and more and more toxic.  I worried about getting downsized and all the consequences that would follow while at the same time drowning in work-related stress, over-achiever stress, relationship stress and burn-out. When I finally lost my job, I worried about depleting all the funds in my emergency savings account. That’s when I decided that finding other sources of income is important and came up with solutions for my most stressing problems. You can do it too! Focusing on the most stressful financial challenge in your life can be an effective place to start.
  1. Evaluate which new financial habit would have the biggest impact on your money. Take a moment to think about the impact each potential new financial habit would bring to your life in helping you tread the path to financial freedom.
  • Write down as many potential financial habits of the wealthy as you can that are related to your target financial challenge.
  • Prioritize your list based on the likely outcome from incorporating that habit into your life. Eliminate the bottom 80%.
  • Reexamine the 20% that remain. Visualize the impact each of the remaining possibilities will have down the road 1 month, 6 months, 12 months, and 5 years down the road. How will the habit impact your life 25 years from now?
  • Select the habit that makes the most sense after carefully considering the future. If you’re torn between 2 or more habits, consider which would be the easiest to implement. Never underestimate the power of momentum. You can swing back around and pick up the other habits in the near future. In fact, when you start seeing success and positive results from your initial efforts, you will be highly motivated to continue working on other financial habits to continually improve your financial health and wellbeing. Before you know it a positive domino effect will start as you build momentum towards financial freedom.
  1. Focus on being average at first.  Rome was not built in one day, so don’t try to master everything at once. Try to bring all the parts of your personal finances up to an average level FIRST and then strive to become a high achiever. Identify the areas which are the worst aspects of your financial life because that is where the greatest source of your financial discomfort is coming from. For me, I started with paying of all credit card bills and NOT purchasing items on credit that I could not pay off in full by the end of the month.  I focused on that for about 2 years.
  • What does this mean for you?  It means that you have to work on eliminating consumer debt, building an emergency fund, trying to save at least 10% of your income every month, get adequate insurance, and be consistently saving for retirement.  Make a budget and figure out which “hidden” expenses must be included in your budget for proper planning.  You need to be doing all those things BEFORE worrying thinking about “luxury items” such as buying  a vacation home or getting  a swimming pool.
  • Monitor your progress on a 1 to 10 scale,  and try bringing each part of your finances up to a “5” before attempting anything on a grander scale.
  1. Consider whether you have what you need to put the new financial habit into place. If you don’t have what you need to get started, ask yourself : can I get what I need or start small enough that the habit is viable? If you’re 75lbs overweight and spend every evening on the couch, you’d have to start small if your desired habit was to run 10 miles each day. You’d need running shoes, too. The same principle applies when forming hew financial habits. Perhaps you need practical and simple money management advice and helpful tools and resources to help you build new financial habits.

We only have 24 hours in each day so make sure that you are using your time wisely and effectively to build new financial habits that will benefit you in the long run.  It’s a fact that the most important habits are usually the ones that are the least appealing. if you want to change your life and reduce stress when it comes to money, start by working on developing some financial habits of the wealthy to enhance your finances.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. What habits have you adopted to help manage and improve your finances?
2. Which one of the financial habits mentioned above will you try and why?

 

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

5 Bad Financial Habits That Will Send You To The Poor House

Letting go of these 5 bad financial habits will get you on the path to financial freedom, less stress, and more peace of mind.

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Are you in debt, struggling from paycheck to paycheck, and in the back seat of your own financial car?

The bad news is that you might inadvertently be keeping yourself poor with bad financial habits.  Perhaps you don’t realize that your bad financial management habits may be  contributing to your continuing financial stress.

It’s time to examine and drop the habits that are keeping you poor.  This is the first step toward getting on the path to financial freedom. 

Make the decision to drop these 5 bad financial habits from your life:

  1. Failure to create an adequate emergency fund.  The best way to prevent financial ruin is to have an emergency fund.  Your emergency fund should covers at least 3 months of living expenses. A short period of unemployment or a single, unexpected, major bill can be financially devastating. Start by setting aside whatever small amount you can afford each month and begin creating your emergency fund today!  You can start with as little as a few dollars each week.
  1.  Stop paying bills late.  Until recently, I thought that credit card companies make most of their money from the high interest rates they charge.  I was surprised to learn that this isn’t true at all. I recently learned that it’s actually the late fees they collect that makes up their biggest source of income. Nearly every bill you pay each month becomes more expensive if you’re late, even by a single day.  So its essential that you get into the habit of sitting down once a week and paying the bills that are coming due. Don’t wait until the last minute. Pay them at least 7 days in advance and avoid late fees.
  1. Inappropriate use of credit cards.  Whenever you use a credit card to make unnecessary purchases that you really cannot afford, you are sending yourself to the poor house and exacerbating your financial stress.  The quickest way to financial disaster is to consistently make charges on your cards, often up to their limits, and then only pay the minimum due will each month.  That is a bad financial habit that puts you in a precarious financial position, lowers your credit score, and keeps you in debt for a long, long time.  If you are doing this, you are keeping yourself poor!  
  1. Making impulse purchases. How many times have you made a big unplanned purchase and then run out of money at the end of the month? Impulse purchases are rarely satisfying after the initial glow has worn off. On the contrary, you probably end up feeling frustrated and resentful of the purchase when you realize that you’ve dug yourself in a deeper financial hole. Instead, before making impulse purchases, always take a few days to think about the purchase before making a final decision. The urge to buy on impulse often subsides within 48-72 hours.

  2. Buying items you don’t need. After shelter, clothing, food, and medical care, most spending is optional to varying degrees. You probably don’t want to feel like you’re living in a cave and eating sticks, but you certainly spend money each month that could either be saved or spent more wisely.
     

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Which habit do you think will be the easiest to eliminate?
2. Do you have any financial habits that work well for you?

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

 

Pass These Good Financial Management Habits on to Your Children!

Teach your children to adopt good financial management habits and to avoid these negative ones.

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Many parents complain that their children never listen to them.

While that may be true, there is good news.

The good news (and at the same time the bad news) is that your children are always watching.

If you ever tell your kids “Do as I say and not as I do” you know what I may.  Kids are less likely to do what you say, and MUCH more likely to do what they see you do!

The same principle applies when it comes to good financial management habits.

Your children may not listen to you, but they will quickly assimilate your habits and attitudes ( good or bad) regarding money. What habits are you demonstrating that could potentially harm their financial future?

When faced with uncertainty, it’s common to rely on experience. Before you know it, your kids  will be all grown up and may be off to college.  When they are confronted with financial situations, they’re going to imitate and mimic what they know. It’s up to you to set an example that will enhance their financial future.

Most likely, you have not given much thought to what you may be inadvertently teaching your kids about money. Today is a wonderful day to start.

4 Bad Financial habits you may be displaying that could make life more challenging for your kids:

  1.  You use your credit cards unwisely. In my opinion, this is the most devastating financial habit you may be inadvertently teaching your kids. True, credit cards can serve a purpose when you are in a financial jam, but the use of credit to purchase unnecessary items is one of the leading causes of financial stress and bankruptcy.  Don’t pass that negative financial habit on to your kids.
  2. You give in to impulse purchases. Children are already inherently spontaneous and impulsive.  That comes with being a kid.  Don’t let them witness a lack a financial control in you when it comes to money management. Your lack of control in spending money makes self-control even more elusive for your child in the future. Show your children that purchases should be decided ahead of a shopping trip….starting as early as when you sit down to plan your expenses to include in your budget. 
  3. You never stick to your budget.  Having a budget is a good start, but if you never stick to it, you are teaching your children bad financial habits. Sticking to your budget is another important way that you teach your kids financial self-control.  Involve your children in the budgeting process, and then remind them that a budget exists and that certain purchases can’t be made because of the budget. 
  4. You never make a clear distinction between wants and needs.  Teach your kids that needs are to be taken care of first. Wants are only considered after the critical items have been addressed.  Learning and understanding the difference between wants and needs is a valuable lesson your children need to grasp early on in their development.

Ask yourself if you are inadvertently displaying those 4 bad financial habits to your children. Remember: they may not listen to you, but they are always watching you!

While you make an effort to minimize or avoid showing your kids bad habits, make a point to develop and display good financial management habits.  These are the kinds of positive financial habits that can benefit you now while at the same time help your help your children to develop good habits from watching and imitating your good example.

Start displaying and sharing these 4 good financial management habits:

  1. Start saving consistently. Make this a main teaching point by saving money from each paycheck. Encourage your child to do the same with a portion of any money they earn or receive as a gift.  I give my 12-year old adopted niece chores and assignments to do and she can earn income when she completes them.  We then go to the bank together and she gets the “honor” of depositing the earnings to her savings account.  She gets excited each time she makes a deposit and sees her savings grow.  She is learning how to work and save money toward her financial goals. I also show her my savings and how I too am saving toward my financial goals. You can do the same thing with you kids. A robust savings account is an effective solution to many of life’s financial challenges.  It’s one of the valuable lessons you need to teach your kids from a young age.
  2. Start Paying bills on time. Your children know that you have to pay bills every month and they see those bills with the words “Past Due.” They also notice when you avoid the bill collectors that call day and night. And rest assured that they pay attention to the comments you make about the bill collectors and the financial bind you may be facing. What are your actions and comments teaching them?  Start doing your best to pay your bills on time and avoid the late fees. You’ll be setting a great example for your child and giving him a wonderful financial management heritage.
  3. Start teaching them that making great financial strides requires sacrifice. Let your children know that you’re not buying a new car because it’s more important to save for their college or retirement. Give them the option of making a small purchase at the sacrifice of something else. All financial decisions have positive and negative consequences.
  4. Start showing them the rewards of financial responsibility. No one wants to sacrifice all the time. The whole point of sacrificing is to enjoy the end result. Show your children that regularly saving money results in a vacation or a new television. Let your kids see and experience the positive outcome of good financial habits. My niece is saving towards her own vacation shopping funds.  She wants to buy a new cell phone and new clothes.  She’s already made her shopping list, and is eagerly looking forward to enjoying the rewards of her own financial responsibility. …getting everything on her list that she worked so hard and saved up for. 

Are you demonstrating good financial management habits to your children? Are you demonstrating poor habits?

You have a tremendous amount of influence over your child’s financial future. They’re likely to behave in a fashion similar to what they see in you.

Consider what you’re teaching your child each day with your money management habits.

If it’s not good, now is the time to change it and improve your money management skills.  If it’s good.  Congratulations.  You are raising future adults who will have good financial management habits!

Please Share Your Thoughts 

 In the comments below, share with us:

1. What steps are you taking to teach your children financial responsibility?
2. Do you have any tips to share that have worked well in your family?

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

Natural Stress Relief Tip: Tread The Path To Financial Freedom!

Be smart about debt! It is the key to financial freedom.


WiseSpenderI don’t know about you, but one of my main goals in life is achieving financial freedom and natural stress relief from money problems. I don’t need to be a millionaire, but I do need to be debt free! I am excitedly looking forward to the day when I have all my finances under full control and I am working hard toward that goal.

Each day brings a new opportunity to make responsible decisions about money.  What that means for me is that I treat financial wellness with the same importance as I do my physical, mental and emotional wellness.  I make it a priority each day, just as I would make healthy eating and sufficient rest a daily priority.  When it comes to financial wellness, I structure cues to remind me that I am committed to being a wise spender and saver.

My main cue is to weigh whether something is a want or need. Before spending a cent, I ask myself questions about the purpose of the purchase. It’s amazing how often something turns out to be a WANT instead of a Need.  I realize that there is actually very little that we need each day, other than the basic necessities of life. I’ve discovered the basic expenses that every woman should include in her budget  to stay in track financially.

When I determine that something is a want, I avoid making the purchase. I know that it is important to make myself happy. But I also know that something for my happiness still has the same effect when I purchase it later on, rather than give in to impulse spending which may send me spiraling into debt!

I am also committed to only acquiring what I am able to buy with cash ( or what I can pay off on my credit card in full at the end of the month). The credit monster is my greatest foe. I racked up high levels of credit card debt and spent the last 5 years paying it off, so I avoid using credit cards when I am unable to repay them.

Today, I acknowledge that the path to financial freedom is sometimes challenging. It takes time, patience and discipline to go from being a carefree spender, to becoming a wise spender and a diligent saver. But I am dedicated to keeping it as smooth as possible. My strategies for staying on the right side of debt are effective enough to guide me. Learning and implementing effective money management strategies is the first step in the right direction.  Applying those money management tips consistently is a guarantee for success!  I am determined to continue treading the path to financial freedom and to build a happy, balanced stress-resilient life!

What About You? Share with us in the comment box below!

  1. What do you do to convince yourself to avoid making emotional purchases?
  2. What do you to get back on track when you lose your financial wellness bearings?
  3. What are some strategies you use for clearing old debt?

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

6 Expenses Every Woman Should Include in Her Budget (but most miss)

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If you thought that you included all your expenses in your budget, check again! You may have missed these six.

Do you have a household budget? Congratulations, you’re already way ahead of the crowd when it comes to money management tips! But you need to ask yourself how thorough your budget actually is.  Even when you think you’ve got everything covered, it often turns out that you missed a few items. It’s the little surprises that can ruin well-laid plans. This is especially true with personal financial matters.

Check your house hold budget again to make sure you have included these six items:

  1.  Expenses for your four-legged friends. If you have a pet, you’ll need to budget all pet-related expenses, such as food, boarding, health care, toys, grooming fees, bedding, and any other supplies you feel your pet needs to be happy and comfortable. Don’t overlook pet-related expenses.  They really add up quickly.
  2. Major purchases.  If you have plans to purchase any big ticket items, you need to make plan for that in your budget.  Are you planning to buy a new car, or new washing machine, in the near future.  Do you have vacation plans? If you’re like me, these big ticket items may slip your mind when you are making your financial plans. It’s essential that you  include these major expenses in your money management strategies and budget projections so that you don’t come up short, or totally ruin your budget.
  1. Non-monthly bills. Since most bills are paid monthly, budgets are set up on the same schedule. However, some bills aren’t paid twelve times a year. Depending on where you live, the water and trash bills might be quarterly. My insurance bills ( car insurance, house insurance, death insurance) are all paid annually.  So I break it down into monthly “savings” in my budget, so that when the time rolls around I can cover that annual expense.  Oh yeah…where I live, we need to plan for hurricane insurance too!  Which is also a HUGE annual expense.
  • Car registration and road taxes are also annual bills where I live.  It may be a small small amount in many states, but it can be a very large bill in others. The best thing to do is to set aside a little each month if the annual amount is high. 
  • Another annual bill where I live is property taxes.  In some places property taxes can be built into your monthly mortgage payment, but this isn’t always the case ( it’s not the case where I live). If you’re no longer carrying a mortgage, it certainly isn’t the case. So plan ahead and make allowances in your budget for this important annual expense.  Don’t be caught off guard.
  • As I mentioned before , many insurance premiums are often paid annually or quarterly. Remember to budget for these.  The last thing you need is for your insurance to expire and not have the finds immediately available to renew your policies.
  • Don’t overlook subscriptions and memberships.  These can also fall under the category of non-monthly bills.  These can include gym memberships, magazine or newspaper subscriptions, and warehouse club membership fees.
  • Home and car maintenance and repair costs can vary from year to year.  This is a BIG one for me, cause maintenance and repair costs can be so different from year to year.  But the key is to do regular maintenance on your home and car to avoid having to do MAJOR maintenance which is more costly.  In my case, I plan and budget for car oil changes every four months.  I don’t wait until the car starts running poorly to do that.  I do maintenance on my house roof every year too, rather than wait for the roof to spring a leak or be ripped off in a hurricane because of loose screws.  Perhaps in your case, it’s easy enough to change furnace filters. But how is your roof looking? What about the tires on your car? These possible expenses can ( and should ) also be budgeted for, so do not overlook them.
  • Eye examinations, dental checkups, and annual trips to the doctor are other expenses that many of us forget when creating a budget. Fortunately, we have a very good national health insurance plan where I live, so trips to the doctor are usually covered.  But eye examinations and dental checkups are not.  If you need a new pair of orthotics each year, include them, too. Consider your regular medical expenses and accommodate for them within your budget, especially for things that are not covered by a health insurance plan.
  1. Think about your clothing costs over the course of a year and include a line item in your budget. Do you have any special occasions this year? Perhaps a wedding or other formal event will require special financial consideration. Everyone needs to buy clothes on occasion.  I am not a huge clothes shopper, but I do tend to make room in my budget for a few nice outfits every year, since there are a few annual gala events that I enjoy attending.  It’s better to plan for these expenses than to ruin my budget with last minute items that were overlooked.
  2. Holidays and special occasions have a way of sneaking up on us. It might be a good idea to start saving, and maybe even shopping, in January. The end of year holidays can be a major expense for many women, depending on your traditions and the size of your family.
  1. School-related expenses. School supplies, field trip fees, school lunches, physicals for sports, and numerous other expenses can add up over the school year.

It’s important to account for everything in your budget and avoid the number one cause of stress among women! A household budget isn’t very effective if many of your expenses are excluded. There are many financial expenditures that are routinely forgotten when a budget is constructed. Go over your bills from last year and ensure you’re including everything relevant.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Did you overlook any of these expenses in your budget?
2. If so, which ones?

 

How To Confidently Survive Divorce With Your Finances Intact

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Going through a divorce is an overwhelming time, but it does not have to be this way!  It can be a lot easier to come out financially stable after a divorce if you follow these 7 tips  for protecting finances before divorce.

I’ve lived through a divorce and lived to tell the story.  And I can tell you that divorce stress can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. It’s a delicate time that can easily result in making poor decisions.   For me, it felt like my whole world was being turned upside down, and in a way, I guess it was. 

Nothing seemed to make sense at a time when you have to make some really important decisions. The decisions you make before, during, and after divorce  can have an impact on your post-divorce finances for a long period of time. To survive divorce financially, you have to making wise decisions.  Making wise decisions can shorten the time it takes to recover financially.

Thankfully, there are quite a few things you can do to survive divorce financially which don’t require a lot of thought, time, energy or money. Some choices are easy to make and easy to implement. 

Speed Up Your POST-Divorce Financial stability with these strategies :

  1. Close joint account and open your own bank account a.s.a.p. If you’ve taken the final decision to get divorced,  you don’t want to be stuck with any financial liabilities your soon-to-be ex creates.  This doesn’t just include bank accounts. Any credit cards are also potential nightmares. Contact your bank and credit card companies and explain the situation.  Act NOW, to get your finances in order so that you experience minimal financial woes after the divorce.

         Open new accounts in just your name. This might be easier to do before closing the joint accounts.

          Ensure that you’ll have access to money throughout the divorce process.

  1. Think about your housing situation.  if you have children, get ready for a complicated situation. Your kids need a place to live, so selling the house, or moving out may not be an option.  When children are part of the picture, it’s often best to consult with an attorney to examine your options. If you do not have kids, it’s often easier to sell the home and move on.  You may also decide to buy out your soon-to-be-ex, and assume full responsibility for the house post divorce.  That’s what I did, and when my divorce was final I rented out the house and moved into a more affordable apartment.  The rental income covers the mortgage payments, and at least I now have an asset that will continue to appreciate in value.
  2. Take stock of all your assets. Do you know the full extent of your financial holdings during your marriage? In many cases, one spouse handles the financial matters, and the other is happy to stay out of it. Now is the time to dig in and develop an accurate picture of what you have. You might be surprised by what you discover.

         Now you have to collectively decide how to handle the assets. Do you split them?

         Sell them and split the   proceeds? Or hire a lawyer and battle it out?   

  1. Take a look at all your insurance needs. You might need to get on your own medical insurance plan. What items do you still own that need to be insured? Your insurance costs might be much less now. There’s no reason to carry more insurance than you need.  Streamlining your financial obligations and implying there possible should be the order of the day.  Keeping things simple will allow you to heal financially and emotionally and end up standing even stronger on your own two feet.
  2. Design a new budget.  After divorce, your  income and expenses will change, so it only makes sense that your budget should  change too. If you’ve gone from a two-income household to a single income, there’s likely less margin for error. Develop a budget that makes sense for your new post-divorce circumstances and be determined to stick to it.  In my case, I got rid of some monthly payments, buy selling a truck I would no longer need, and I made room in my budget  to invest in essential personal development courses,  and aromatherapy, both of which I needed to get through this emotional devastating time.
  3. Swap beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement accounts.  It’s quite possible that your beneficiary was your spouse. With a divorce around the corner, you’ll probably want to list new beneficiaries. For most accounts, this is easily accomplished by filling out a simple form. This step is often overlooked, but it’s REALLY important.  You need to make sure that in the event of your death, your assets go to those whom you want to have them.
  4. Secure a copy of your credit report.  You’re about to embark on a new life and a new reality, so it’s important to know where you stand financially. It’s just as important to be aware of all of your accounts. Your spouse may have opened a joint account or credit card without your knowledge. The better your credit, the easier it is to move through the world.  Conversely, the worse your credit, the greater the financial obstacles and challenges that lie ahead.

I can tell you from personal experience that divorce is a difficult time for all. But a divorce can be ten times more  difficult if financial matters are not handled intelligently. Focusing your attention on housing, debt, income, and good money management strategies, will make the transition easier. Doing this NOW is important to survive divorce financially.  It could mean all the difference between financial peace of mind after the divorce or extreme financial stress post divorce.

These tips  are intended to just highlight the basics. In many instances, an attorney and/or an accountant will be required. But understanding the basic issues will make it easier to make wise decisions. Apply these strategies to your circumstances and get the professional guidance you require.  These tips are in no way meant to replace professional advice so make sure to consult with a lawyer and any other relevant professional.  Your future financial health depends on it!  Act NOW, to ensure financial peace of mind long after the divorce is final.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Have you implemented any of these pre-divorce strategies?
2. If not, do you feel ready to take these steps for your post-divorce financial stability?