I believe in the rule that just about anything and everything can be negotiated. When you think about it, you’ll find that it’s really true. The trouble is that so many of us never take all the opportunities we have to negotiate and that happens for a myriad of reasons. You may think of negotiating in some areas as common and welcomed but you also may think of other areas as places where it is just not appropriate. You may be nervous about it or feel you don’t have the skills to do it. And that’s the problem. If you don’t try to negotiate for what you really want and need, you won’t ever feel assured that you’ve done the very best you can do for yourself.
I didn’t know anything about how to negotiate when I was young, but as fate would have it, when I was just age 23, I got a job as an assistant buyer for R.H. Macy Corporation. I was thrown right into the position of negotiating purchase prices, terms, advertising, and all the rest for my department, all of which affected the bottom line profit. I can tell you this, you either learn to become a good negotiator or you are out of a job pretty quickly in a situation like that one. So, I started learning from some of the very best negotiators around the company and what I learned all those years ago became part of my skills forever. Those skills carried over from the buying office to my everyday life and they have served me well for almost 50 years. Continue reading
We are closing in on the time of year when Medicare and Social Security will be making changes to the benefit amounts and the costs to the over 50 million recipients of the programs, which include both retirees and the disabled. Right now, there’s potential for a real financial heartache and what will scare you is what is currently being considered for 2017. The official announcements for the Social Security Board of Trustees (SSBOT) and the Medicare Board of Trustees (MBOT) will come in just a few weeks in October 2016. In fact, the MBOT just met this month to gauge the need to increase Medicare costs to its covered users.
Any adjustment in the COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) or Medicare premiums will be announced in October by the SSBOT. I’m sure it will be debated and discussed as it has been done over the years, since two of the past three years have seen no increase to benefits as they made the decision that inflation was at zero. These decisions have been highly controversial because many recipients feel that there is significant inflation in many basics like food, healthcare, and prescription medicines while SSBOT uses a “basket of items” to make their decision. The significant fall of the price of gasoline has had a big impact on cost of living, despite the fact that it isn’t the big influence on seniors and disabled people that it is on younger, healthier active ones who work, commute, and even travel more often that SS recipients. Continue reading
If you are age 62 or older, I’m sure you’ve seen the countless commercials every day on TV about reverse mortgages. Whether it’s Henry Winkler (yes, the Fonz!) or Tom Selleck (yes, Magnum P.I.!) telling you about the wonderful advantages and the free information that you can get about them, you were probably a little curious if you own your own home and are looking for ways to help limit your mortgage costs and retirement expenses. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Truth be told, reverse mortgages are very complicated and are not the “be all end all” for everyone. There is danger in this process for some and as we all know when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is just that. So let’s cover some reverse mortgage pros and cons. Continue reading
When you see a warning sign to “Beware of Dog” at a neighbor’s house, you know to avoid it because approaching it is potentially dangerous. So why is it then that a pile of cash doesn’t have a warning sign to scare us? In fact, that pile actually attracts us and even rules our lives. Barring those of us that spend our lives contemplating religion and/or the mysteries of the universe, I’m pretty certain that rest of us spend a great deal of time chasing, thinking about, talking about, and even worshipping the almighty dollar. Which is what made the phrase “cash is king” legendary. You may see a dog named “King”, but you don’t usually worship it.
Not too long ago I wrote about the likelihood of a cashless society, and how the worldwide trend is tracking that way including right here in the United States. But there is also a segment of our population that uses only cash for their own reasons. It has become a big part of millennial behavior these days, in part because the younger generation seriously wants to avoid debt. So many of them are saddled with huge student loans and credit card debts from abuse at an earlier time in their lives that they’re now defending their finances by resorting to the use of cash only when paying their day-to-day expenses. But is that really a good idea? Or should you avoid using cash? Continue reading
Well it’s that happy time again. Back to school means that vacation time is over and the kids will be getting back to a routine of “early to bed, early to rise” once again. But besides the shopping and stocking up on those classroom needs, it’s also the time to begin the very important (and sometimes very expensive) task of prepping for their daily school lunches and snacks that they’re going to need all year long.
Now I know that the easy way out might be to just buy the school lunches everyday, but those choices may not be the ones your kids really want despite their “value”. Bought lunches probably won’t include most of their favorites and someplace in the back of my mind I remember when president Jimmy Carter decided that ketchup counted as a vegetable (or was it a fruit?) on the nutrition chart. That kind of scares me. If you want to be in more control of what your kids are eating, and make them just a bit more likely to eat a good lunch yet still save money, consider some of these good ideas for the coming school year! Continue reading
When you follow a savings blog like this one, you are going to get information about some of the best bargains, stores and shopping experiences around the USA. Or at least you are hoping for it. After all, saving your hard earned money when you shop is a cornerstone for people like us and the more we have that opportunity the better it is. While many people compare prices, they don’t always compare customer service policies and that can make a big difference.
Today, I’m going to tell you about a store you have probably shopped at, heard about, but not even realized all the amazing ways it can save you money. The very best part is that it’s probably a store nearby and it’s a store you want and need to shop in several times a year. Oh and I don’t work for them, never have, and I’m not getting any special deal or gifts or money or discounts from them for saying anything nice about them. I’m doing it because I believe what I am saying and I am doing it for you! Continue reading
With the cost of home ownership so high, more and more people are choosing to rent these days. Apartment living has its advantages, including having things like maintenance and repairs handled by the landlord. It’s also a good option if you don’t know how long you’ll want to live in a particular area. I’ve lived in a number of apartments over the years, some nicer than others, but all were affordable. When you’re ready to move, whether you’re changing locations or just changing buildings, there are a number of ways to save on an apartment.
First, you want to make sure that you can find a rent within your budget. It’s recommended that you spend no more than 30% of your post-tax income on housing, but the numbers can vary depending on your situation. Get an idea of what you can spend, and then you can begin looking around for homes that meet your criteria. Continue reading
Sometimes when I’m just not centered in the right mindset about my personal finance, I start to wander off on tangents about money issues I am facing and how to handle them. I know that I worry about them even though I now have a solid base in my financial plans. I am always completely honest in my approach to what has to be done and when to do it. And then it hits me. I am not alone in my worries about money nor am I alone in the many ways that are out there to deal with the money issues that I, and in fact all of us, face every day of the year. These are common problems we all have and we need the required common sense and money “cents” to solve them.
So let’s break it down. Here’s a few of the issues that I think we all worry about and what we can do to help us get through them. Continue reading
You only live once! That’s a phrase that’s being used more and more often these days, particularly by the younger generation. I’ve been finding it in books, articles, and the vernacular I hear from millennials almost every day these days. It has led me to try and get a handle on exactly the behavior and the mentality of the YOLO lifestyle. What is it? How is it different from what I think and do? What exactly can happen when you practice it seriously? Does it work? So many questions and I’m guessing a lot of different answers as well.
As a senior citizen, I have the ability to look back on my own life and think about my own approach to the YOLO mentality. I admit it’s not very scientific, but I don’t think that many of us grow up thinking to ourselves about our own mortality and the limits that we may have put on our lives. We don’t think of the how, where, when, and if we will be forced to compromise our dreams and hopes. A least, as a young person, we all seem to think that the world is our oyster and we are invincible, don’t we? Continue reading
If you have ever wondered why so many people aren’t successful at becoming financially healthy, wealthy and wise in the real world, you may have discovered that a lot of people are adept at the practice and behavior of being unproductive. After so many years of working in business, I think I’ve seen and heard just about every kind of excuse making for lack of productivity there is to be had. Those attitudes are pretty easy to spot in people and it matters not if you are a co-worker or the supervisor; it adds nothing to your day and hinders everyone around. In fact, it’s scary in the ways it can affect a business and even affect you, a productive dedicated employee.
In past posts, we’ve talked about how you can be more successful, earn more, and get ahead in your career and thus your advancement on the road to financial health and wealth. Actions like going the extra mile, not being a clock watcher, and contributing your ideas to help solve problems will put you on that track every time. If you’re not careful, the unproductive people you see every day, or your own unproductive attitudes, can pull you into their karma and have you spinning your wheels just as they do. Continue reading