Make Smart Decisions About What You Buy

I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life regarding debt. I only wish I could go back in time and redo some of my spending decisions I made when I was younger. Obviously that is impossible, but maybe this post will help younger individuals who are about to go out and do something they might regret later in life.

I remember when I was 26, living in a nice area of San Francisco with three roommates. It was a good fun time in my life and I have several great memories from this period. I was very good with my money overall, but every once in a while something would come over me and I would do something that I would later regret.

When I was younger, I saw this new television at Circuit City (remember them?); I still remember the exact TV model. It was the Hitachi 61SWX10B and the price was $3,500. It was a rear projection television and was quite large; a 61″ unit that had a built in stand.

Of course, I was not going to go out and drop that much money on a television at that point in my life, but when I heard I could go out and get a new credit card with 6 months no interest financing I thought okay I can make this happen. My plan was to just put $500 down and then pay off $500 a month and I would get that TV without paying any interest.

I executed my plan flawlessly and I was the big man in the house; all my roommates loving that TV for all it was worth. Guest would come over and tell me it was the best TV they had ever seen and I ate it up. We watched movies, played video games, sporting events, we all enjoyed it.

About a year later, all of our lives changed and we went separate ways. Then it hit me, I was now stuck moving this massive television and the burden of moving it to my new place was quite a hassle. All my former roommates got to enjoy my big awesome television for free and they simply moved on. I was stuck with a $3,500 bill and now moving into a place that I could barely accommodate a television that size.

As it turned out, over the next couple of year’s plasma televisions started coming out and my once super mac-daddy televisions seemed ancient. Within 4 years of my purchase rear projection TVs were no longer desired at all. I couldn’t even sell it due to its large size, so when I moved I simply posted a free ad on Craigslist. Obviously, I gave it to the first interested party instead of trying deal with something that big and heavy with little to no value.

It would have been totally reasonable for me to just buy a $500 television, which also would have been a nice television, or to look into Craigslist and buy something there for an even better deal. But unfortunately, like most people can probably relate to, I had to get the biggest and best product on the market. Looking back I realize it was a very poor decision on my part.

It was clearly not the end of the world, but being 41 now, if I would have not have bought that $500 television and invested the other $3,000, today the money I spent would be worth more than $20,000 and in another 20 years, it would be close to $200,000.

These are the typical decisions that everyone makes, especially the younger society, not necessarily bad decisions, but definitely irresponsible ones. We all make them, as we don’t actually think about the long term effects of what we buy.

The key is to cut back, save and invest. It might look like you’re not building much over a few months or even a year, but continued savings over a decade or 2 can have dramatic jaw dropping effects. Do you want to give your 20 something self the latest electronics or do you want to give your 40 something self a better, easier life?

Tips On How To Save Money On Costumes

Costumes give you a new look which makes you feel like an entirely new person. While this is the case, if you have bought the outfits before you know that they don’t come cheap. The cool thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on them. To help you out, here are tips on how to save money on them:

Make your own

This is probably the most obvious way to cut on your expenses. Some people give excuses that they aren’t crafty or can’t sew. Remember that your outfit doesn’t have to be perfect. All you need to do is make something that is fun and looks interesting.

There are plenty of places you can get costume ideas. You can find ideas from magazines or even online. One of the best places being, Pinterest. If you aren’t crafty, find the easiest designs that you can comfortably make and create your costume.

Visit thrift stores

These are stores that sell their products at incredibly low prices. Sometimes the outfits are new, and other times they are worn only once. To save money, visit these places and see what you can find. When making the purchase, avoid outfits that are in atrocious shape as they will give you a bad look.

Borrow

Do you have friends or family members that are fond of wearing costumes? Why buy when you can borrow from them? You should approach these people and ask them if they can lend you an outfit to wear during your big day. If they aren’t using the gear, most of them will lend it to you, and you will have saved some money. Remember to take good care of it to avoid problems in the future.

Swap costumes

This is almost similar to borrowing, but now you will be exchanging your costume with another person. This idea is ideal when you have one costume, and don’t want to invest your money buying another. You can exchange the outfit with friends or family members. You can also find someone to trade with online.

Reuse your old clothes

If the worse gets to worst, consider reusing your clothes. For example, wear an overall, flannel shirt, and place some dirt on your face and you will look like a farmer.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to save money on your costumes. Regardless of the method you use, wear an outfit that is pleasing to the eyes and gives you an interesting look.

A New Year, a New Financial Plan

The holidays are over and the celebrations are complete. Now it’s time to look forward to the new year and all the opportunities it brings. When it comes to resolutions, the focus always seems to center around appearances and hitting the gym. Perhaps this year it’s worth thinking about hitting the financial plans.

There are a few simple steps you can take on your own to improve your financial situation. The obvious one, of course, is to get control of your spending. While that seems simple enough, it’s surprising how overwhelming this can seem. So start with the basics. Make a list of all your required monthly expenses; not your wants, but your must have’s. Include things such as:

– Rent or mortgage payment

– Home or renter insurance

– Property taxes

– Utilities including hydro, phone, internet, tv

– Auto insurance

– Fuel and/or bus pass

– Food

Once you’ve calculated all your required expenses, subtract that from your net income for the month. Now you know what you have to put aside every month just to get manage your obligations and how much you have left to make decisions on. From here, set an entertainment budget. In the days of digital currency, it’s easy to tap your bank card into debt. One tip is to withdraw your entertainment money in cash on every pay date and then store your bank card. Once the cash is gone, you know you need to find free entertainment options.

Now that you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to think bigger picture. What do you want your money to do for you? The options to achieve your goals are quite vast and you want to make sure you’re making the responsible choice to attain them. If you’re looking at larger purchases or long-term financial planning, this might be the right time to talk to a professional. Financial Planners are able to look at the entire picture and present the best options for your dollars. Not only is it okay to ask for help, it’s the first step in the progression of the new you.

4 Quick Tips to Stop Overspending

You may have been in a situation where you’ve planned to save some money instead of overspending it. You may have planned to buy only what’s necessary, stop eating out and control the urge to online shopping. Unfortunately, at the end of the month, you’ve ended up spending more than what you’ve thought you’d. Stopping overspending isn’t as easy as it seems to be and if you really want to save money, read on to know four quick and easy tips and tricks.

Why shouldn’t you overspend?

In spite of the fact that overspending is a ‘subjective’ term, most of us tend to spend more than what we should. Though it may not be easy to believe that you’re overspending, the earlier you realize the fact, the easier it gets in controlling your urge to spend more. If you’re one of those who purchase items because they’re passionate about those, ask yourself whether the product is essential for you in the long term. Also, ask yourself what happens if you stop overspending and start saving some money at the end of each month. The more you save, the more you can plan for your retirement, your child’s future and even a home for yourself.

#1 Keep a track of your expenses:

When you’re determined to save money, the smallest amount of expense should be tracked as it can make a huge difference in your monthly saving target. Besides, you may not notice the small amount that you keep spending each day on your roadside tea or bus ride till you realize that you haven’t reached the saving target of the month. Therefore, make sure to follow a daily expense sheet where you input the details of the smallest amount that you’ve spent. If you can cut down on your morning tea that costs 5 Rupees a cup daily, you can save at least 100 Rupees a month.

#2 Keeping a credit isn’t a credit:

You may feel that if you use the credit card to make a purchase in the heat of the moment, you’re doing the biggest mistake that must be stopped to stop overspending. Research says that it’s easy to follow a strict saving regime if you make your purchases using cash. While you’re handing over the cash, you can actually see how much you’re spending and what remains in your monthly fund. On the contrary, handing over the credit card doesn’t make you realize that the money you’re spending is going to add up in the monthly expense.

#3 Gauge your priorities:

Suppose you’re planning to buy a car that costs around 15 lakhs with your monthly saving of 25,000. You’ll pay 5 lakhs from your pocket and for the rest 10 lakhs, you’ll take a car loan. Now, your car loan EMI is around 27,000 a month. With minor modifications in your daily expenses and monthly savings, you can purchase your dream car. However, if you’ve been wise enough to calculate the future investments that include your retirement plan, child’s future, and other expenses, you wouldn’t have made the purchase.

#4 Financial goals:

If you set easy to attain financial goals, you can easily save as much as you’ve aimed at the end of the month. However, the goals should be specific and you must stick to the plan of stopping overspending to achieve the goal. You can stop overspending with time and dedication and change your spending habits to save more for your obligatory future plans.