Golden Nest egg

Reach Your Financial Peak: How to Grow Your Savings Faster

Finding Lost Money "When I sit down with many of my clients to review their income and expenses, they're amazed at where their money actually goes," says Prior Lake, Minnesota, CPA Steven Mangan. “Once you know what you have, you’ll be amazed how much you can save.” Many people spend whatever money is available, without a firm plan to save any; others, despite their intentions to save,... Continue reading

4 Steps to Take to Avoid Stealth Fees

Stealth fees are the costs that aren't included in the sticker price. Chances are, you have plenty of experience with them, even if you didn't know their name. Take a standard $34.99 monthly cell phone plan, for example. That price conveniently omits about $10 worth of monthly surcharges, taxes and fees. (Also not included: the extra charges for each text message, the whopping per-minute cost if... Continue reading

Save Money on Credit, Debt and Banking

Make sure you aren't paying more than you should—and that you're getting all the benefits you deserve—with these 11 tips: 1. Unload your burden Carrying a $1,000 balance at 18 percent blows $180 every year on interest. That's money you could put to better use elsewhere. Get in the habit of paying off your balance in full each month. If you've already racked up a large balance, do what you can to... Continue reading

Savvy Consumer Tips: When to Blow Your Budget and When to Save

"Instead of blowing your budget, think of when you want to splurge on a purchase," says Herigstad. She recommends that your splurges be on items of higher quality that will give you a greater pleasure of ownership. "I don't mind buying a cheap shirt," she says, "but I insist on spending more money on my shoes!" Her point is that quality shoes are important to her, so that part of her wardrobe is... Continue reading

5 Secrets to Smart Spending

1. First, find out where your money goes. Write down everything you spend money on for two months: what you bought, the amount, and the date. Don’t forget to include items you bought with a credit or a debit card, or paid for by check. Software like Quicken will automatically track and categorize your spending for you, though you’ll need to manually enter cash purchases. 2. Identify your core... Continue reading

Money Management: How to Save on Almost Everything

Cut these costly cords In many households, the cable-Internet-phone connection has become a major cash drain. With cable TV, for example, you often are encouraged to buy a costly package to receive popular channels, such as ESPN. As a result, the average viewer pays for 93 channels but watches only 15 of them. Get serious about the services you really use. Check out the competition. If you can... Continue reading

How to Set Goals to Overcome Household Budget Issues

Review Your Current Finances You can set better goals if you have a clear idea of your current personal finances. The University of Nebraska recommends that you sit down with your partner and go over everything: how much debt you carry, how much you save each month and how much you have saved already. It's also important to track your current spending so you know where you can make cuts. "A... Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Traditional Savings Accounts

In their heyday, traditional savings accounts were as American as apple pie. Typically, savers would wait until they had enough in their accounts to make major purchases. This type of savings account remains among the safest out there, and it still has a place — albeit a less central one — in a modern financial plan.   Pros: Your Money Is Safe Traditional savings accounts were once beloved... Continue reading

Seasonal Savings Plans

Date: June 10, 2016 When you hear the term "seasonal savings plan," you probably think of a special account used to put away funds for the December holiday season. That’s true, but seasonal savings plans can also help fund vacations, home renovations and even a down payment on a car. Some banks offer specific accounts geared for summer or winter savings, but it can also be just as easy to open a... Continue reading
What percent of your paycheck should you spend each week?

What Percentage of Your Paycheck Should You Spend Each Week?

Managing finances looked so easy in grade school with those cute pie charts sliced into brightly colored wedges. But, out in the real world, dividing up your paycheck into spending and saving requires some additional calculating and a bit of shuffling. While you won't find a magic formula that sets out hard-and-fast rules for divvying up income, financial planners offer several possible ways to... Continue reading

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