Summer Financing

summer money

By: Ms. J

It is almost that time of year (besides Black Friday and the Christmas season) where money starts to flow. Summer time is the time when trips are taken with family and friends and everyone is out after a winter of being cooped up in the house. Technically, gearing up for summer requires advance planning and saving; however if you are like me and didn’t think about it until the last minute or procrastinated then you have about a month and a half to get ready.

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Accessorize: “Always Wear Your Crown”

wearing your crown

By: Ms. J

As women with ambition to succeed in life, we tend to let ourselves go in order to reach our goals. Most of us such as myself are goal oriented with a timeline to achieve these goals. The meticulous way in which we orchestrate our lives whether personally, professionally or both has allowed us to reach places we have only dreamed of. During this time, some of us forget to wear our crown in the process.

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National Financial Capability Month

personal-finace-month

 By: Ms. J

April is National Financial Capability Month. Proclaimed in 2012 by President Obama, he wanted to address the issue of American financial capability and debt. “During National Financial Capability Month, we recommit to ensuring everyone has access to the information and tools that empower them to operate safely and smartly in the marketplace.” (Obama, 2012). In order for the economy to strengthen, the people must be financially stable and secure. Take time to review your financial status and take ownership of it by becoming responsible for your past and present financial behavior.

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Tax Returns

tax money

By: Ms. J

If you haven’t processed your tax returns then you have 7 more days to go. Tuesday April 15, 2014 is the IRS tax filing deadline. I hope you have had a moment to reflect on my previous post (Tax Season), which gave important information about the tax process. Some of you may or may not have received your refund check, if you have I hoped you used it wisely and if not here are some thoughts about it.

 

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Can you AFFORD it?

afford

By: Ms. J

Every so often, if not every day, many have to wonder about whether they can afford to make some purchases in their life that they need or want. This can range from buying essentials such as food or splurges such as diamond earrings. I know I have fallen in both spectrums at certain points in my life whether it is because I put myself there with bad spending habits or I simply at that point was not making enough money to pay for it all.

 

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Tax Season 2014: In a Nutshell

tax 2

By: Ms. J

Have you filed your 2013 taxes yet? The IRS Tax filing deadline is April 15, 2014 for individual tax returns.

For some, tax season is the best season of the year in which they get “free” money from the government, while others feel as if they are scammed because they didn’t receive much money or they owe the government instead.

 

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Will You Be My Valentine’s Bank

Will You Be My Valentine’s Bank

Piggy Bank and Red Heart

By: Ms. J

We are 13 days into the month and I hope you guys have been able to stick to your budget and cut excessive spending. One thing to think about while you are doing so is evaluating your bank. Like a relationship between two people that requires time, communication and love so does your relationship with your bank. This Valentine’s Day evaluate your relationship with your banking institution. Questions that you would ask a potential significant other, can be re-worded to apply to your banking relationship.

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Certificate of Deposit (CD)

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

Image

By:Ms.J

I hope everyone has been working on their budget analysis. In meantime, I wanted to highlight kicking off one of my finance goals, which is investing. Most if not all of these activities that I ask you partake in to accomplishing your financial goals, I have or am doing as well. For instance, in December I actually created my own budget worksheet and realized I spend excessively on things I do not need, so in January I made my cuts. I was then able to save some money (which I ended up having to use); $500 of that amount went into my savings account. Now this is not a regular savings account, it is actually a CD. A Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a promissory note issued by a bank stating that you are to receive interest on a sum of money once it reaches maturity, however you cannot withdraw that money at any time without incurring a penalty.

I’m sure you’re wondering why do all of that especially when you cannot withdraw the money whenever you want. First, I do not want easy access to my money. Some banks including mines require there is a minimum amount of money in the account or else you will owe them money. This allows me to keep the minimum for the duration of the CD. Secondly, the interest rate is higher in a CD versus a savings account. Finally with this CD, I am able to put additional money throughout the 18 month duration to increase my payout upon maturity.

Calculating the potential payout

Certificate of Deposit

Initial Deposit: 500

Months: 18

Interest Rate: 0.5%

Interest compounded monthly

Using the Certificate of Deposit Calculator, the estimated payout would be $503.75

http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/bank-cd-calculator.aspx

Now I know what you’re thinking, all of that for $3.75. However, first off I have a fluctuating interest rate which means that my interest can go up or down (hopefully up). Also, the more money I put in the higher my payout will be. This along with rolling this payout for another 18 months would eventually create a higher rate of return.

Please note that the more money you invest and higher interest rate you obtain = a higher payout. Research and review before investing

Progress is a slow process but better than nothing.

Finance 101

Finance 101

Ms.J

 

So last week, I asked that you write down your financial goals for the future. This will be your fuel to obtaining what you want. Go ahead, and post them up somewhere you will always see it; whether that is on your mirror, your door etc. It will serve as a constant reminder of what you need to do to succeed.

 

What are the things or people holding you back from obtaining your goals?

Is it because:

1. You are not making enough money to pay bills and save

2. Do you try to save but then something always come up that you have to spend money on ?

3. Do you have a shopping addiction (you may or may not realize it) ?

4. Does money fly out your hand and you cannot account for it?

5. Do you have a “moocher” who you cannot say no too?

 

First off, make a budget worksheet to see what your expenses are. Be honest because you need to know where your money is going. There are many free budget excel worksheets that you can download from the internet. Pick one that fits your needs and populate. The truth might hurt, however it will provide you with a realistic view of your life. To ensure you did it correctly, use last month’s data and reconcile to your bank statements. Open another tab on the excel workbook and delete and/or reduce the items that you know are not necessary for your overall living. Compare numbers and imagine it going to one of your financial goals. Some may be able to have drastic savings and some not as much but no matter what it’s a start.

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