Mistake 1: Only saving what’s left over
Do you continue to worry that you’re not saving enough? Do you routinely rely on credit rather than cash to pay for the things you want or need? Rather than blame your financial inertia on your income, look a bit deeper, because the real culprit may be the lack of financial priorities. If you don’t know exactly how you’re spending your money and you haven’t set financial goals, it’s unlikely that you’ll see much financial progress.
Go back to basics by preparing (or reviewing) your budget. If you tend to save only what you have left over every month, you can put yourself on a more disciplined course by having a fixed amount taken out of your paycheck automatically for retirement. Or, you can set up automatic transfers from your checking account to a savings or investment account.
Mistake 2: Not having an emergency fund
One lesson that you may have learned over the past few years is that the job market isn’t stable. That’s a major reason why one of your savings priorities should be an emergency fund. While it isn’t glamorous, this underappreciated workhorse really pulls its weight during hard times. Having cash on hand that you can use for an unexpected expense, or to pay bills if you lose your job, is vital because it can help you avoid having to rely on credit or tap your retirement savings. If you don’t have emergency savings to fall back on, a minor money shortfall can quickly turn into a major cash crisis.
Mistake 3: Not asking for help
Even if your finances are in good shape right now, you may be overdue for a checkup. Reviewing your finances is especially important during periods of volatility because it can help reveal potential strengths and weaknesses, and identify changes you might need to make to adjust to the current economic climate. And if you’re already in financial trouble, don’t let fear or shame prevent you from asking for help. Facing financial problems early may help you make a full recovery. Many creditors are willing to work with you, but this may be much easier while your credit is still good, and while you still have time to turn things around.
via Four Money Mistakes You Might Be Making – 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy.
I’m glad to hear economists are feeling better about the economy. I’m not sure sure, myself, and I’m not alone. According to USA Today, people are very cautious with their money in this economy. Almost 70 percent have every intention of stocking away their tax refunds this year into “rainy day” funds. We are all living in “just in case” mode as much as our grandparents did during the Depression.
So what can a person do in this economy to give themselves the sense of security that has been severely lacking for about ten years now?
First off, find ways to save. Yes, put that tax refund in savings. Buy with cash, not credit. Develop and stick to a budget. Track every expense and watch for opportunities to cut expenses–cheaper cell phone service with the same benefits? Jump on it. Paying for trash pick up when the dump is two miles away? Make that a weekly trip. Forget something at the grocery store at least twice a week and end up paying double for it at a convenience store? Make a grocery list and stick to it.
There are ways to save, even in this economy. Find those that are no brainers, and do them today.
Economists more confident about the economy – Business – Stocks & economy – msnbc.com.
THE BUSINESS OF WRITING is now available for purchase at Amazon. This electronic book is geared specifically to the needs of writers and their business.
Most writers are imaginative people living vicariously in the wonderful worlds they create. Words are their tools and their joy. Numbers are another story. The idea of balancing a checkbook, filing taxes or anything financial besides cashing royalty checks is something they either love (not often), HATE, or just don’t really get or care about.
THE BUSINESS OF WRITING will make managing the financial side of your career as straight-forward as writing “The End” on your latest creation.
You need to know what’s happening with your money. If you find you are perfectly capable of doing the work yourself, but you just don’t want to, THE BUSINESS OF WRITING will show you what you’ll absolutely have to know when trusting someone else with your money. There are too many horror stories about people entrusting their finances to an “expert” only to find themselves mismanaged, robbed or flat broke. You don’t want to be that writer, and I don’t want you to be that writer.
You’ll learn all these things:
1. What expenses are specific to writers–when they are deductible and when they aren’t.
2. What receipts you need and how long to hold onto them.
3. What financial rules pertain specifically to writers.
4. What the Hobby Loss Rule is and why you need to know about it.
5. How you can get all of your financial paperwork organized once and for all.
6. How you should be organized—-Sole Proprietor, General Partnership, C corporation, LLC, Subchapter S Corporation–and why.
7. And much, much more!
BONUS! Along with the purchase of THE BUSINESS OF WRITING, you’ll receive links and references for important financial and tax information essential for running your business as well as FREE DOWNLOADABLE FORMS to use in preparing your own Money Journal, the key to your financial success.