Why Are You So Awful at Saving Money?

So you haven’t yet saved a dime towards your retirement…and you have been working now for years and years. You don’t know how you’re going to pay your taxes because you haven’t been keeping up with—what are those things called—quarterly payments? You certainly don’t have a rainy day emergency fund; why should you? And college, well, the kids will just have to open a lemonade stand, and charge $100 a glass to get their tuition and books paid for. What should I do about it? It’s their education, right?! If you are awful at saving money, please step right this way because you are going straight to financial hell and the elevator is waiting for you.

If you're awful at saving money, it pays to figure out why. Here are some of the reasons why people can't save, and what to do about it.

Disciplining Yourself to Save Is Hard

If it seems hard to save money it seems that way for one huge reason: it is! That’s especially when it feels like you’re just barely scraping by yourself, so what the F? Do you expect to save on top of that little piece of reality? Well, yeah, come to think of it I do and it’s not just an idea here I am touting. It’s kind of, sort of, really, really a necessity. So,

Why are you so awful at saving money?

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How to Better Your Financial Decision Making

Life isn’t easy. We all make little and big decisions every day and sometimes it feels like there isn’t a minute that goes by that we can just veg and not have to do any decision making at all. Oh, and by the way, if you actually try to do just that, someone will probably call you out and tell you that you’re shirking your responsibilities or not facing up to reality or must be plain lazy or stupid. Is that why you never avoid making a decision or you agonize over one and never ever take a few minutes to take a deep breath before you do?

Financial decision making can be difficult and overwhelming, but here are some ways to make it easier and more successful.

When it comes to your money decision making, the pressure is even more ridiculous. Why? Because not only are those decisions important to you, but they show up and stand out. I mean they are pretty visible to the naked eye and often are the main ways that others can see how you function and judge how good your decision making actually is. Even though it sometimes doesn’t show up immediately to the naked eye, your money decisions will eventually be very visible and will affect you, your family, friendships, and even your job. Perhaps you can hide a few bad decisions, at least for a while. But when that day of reckoning arrives, everyone will know what really happened. When that happens, it’s not just bad for you, but for everyone around you and that just sucks!

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The Super Saving Tips Money Savings Challenge

Today I’d like to throw down some great money saving ideas to put on your agenda and “challenge” you to save! Some of these are old tested and true standards and some are a little bit off the beaten path, but sometimes we need to be reminded about the simple ways to save our money. I am going to take my own savings challenge and report back to you after the month of May. I want you to do the same and follow these tips!

This month, it's time for a savings challenge, and I'm proposing 7 different kinds. Choose what works for you and let me know how it goes!

Money Savings Challenges for You to Try

1. A no spending to and from work week

You may be thinking, “Gary, that’s just totally impossible!” Nope. Well you ask, “how is it done?” It is quite easy actually. First, go ahead and fill your gas tank up the day before you start this particular challenge. You’re going to need gas for sure, but by doing it in advance you can easily avoid the temptations of stopping by the gas station on your way to work to get a little pick-me-up coffee and bagel. Make a cup and a snack at home before you head out the door. Can you manage to put the spending on hold for just those five work days? You can most definitely do this challenge. I believe in you. When the work week is over, you just might want to start applying this saving tactic to your life every week. Do it and you can easily save $25 every week!

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Can You Be a Millionaire By Retirement?

One out of every six people in America today gets to retire a millionaire! That sounds fairly optimistic since most of us at some point in our lives dream of becoming one of them. One out of every six retired Americans is now retiring as one and that is from a documented report by online investing company United Income which analyzed data from multiple sources including the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The purpose of the study was to find out how retirees are faring now compared to previous generations and compare the results.

Not only is it possible to retire a millionaire, but it's fast becoming a necessity. Here's what you need to do to make that retirement goal.

One way I suppose to become a millionaire is to buy lots of scratch off tickets in your state lottery or to try to get on a quiz show like “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” but let’s be somewhat realistic here. There are other ways, aren’t there?

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Why What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Do you remember that old phrase of years gone by, “ignorance is bliss”? Even if you never have heard that one (although I doubt that), it is something that seems to be true. After all, you aren’t going to worry about that big pothole on the road just a few hundred feet ahead of you when you’re driving to work on this sunny morning—if you are totally unaware of it, right? How can you? You don’t know it’s there. You haven’t heard any problems about it and your mind is drifting along with the latest tunes on the radio as you sip your coffee from your freshly brewed homemade K-cup coffee machine that you made just 10 minutes earlier. Life is good. And then…kaboom! What you don’t know can hurt you.

When it comes to your finances, what you don't know can hurt you. Here are some basics to get you started on your way to learning what you need to know.

Funny thing about that “ignorance is bliss” thing, it has a tendency to sneak up on you and hit you squarely in the eye or even worse, your rear end and lower back like driving over a huge pothole does! That simply proves the premise doesn’t it? What you don’t know can and will hurt you!

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ESPP Exit: What’s Your Financial Advice for Us?

I can’t help but realize that writing this blog each week almost always involves me giving some advice about some money issue. Sometimes it has been very specific on things like saving money at the grocery store or preparing yourself for retirement and at other times it’s been more spiritual like when I refer to things that can motivate you and good money habits to develop that help protect your financial well-being.

My wife and I need to make a decision about what to do with her old ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan) shares. What's your financial advice for us?

Sometimes when I look back on what I’ve written, I realize I definitely have had a tendency to pontificate and yes, even ramble. I’m being kind to myself more than a little here. I really think writing a 2,000+ word post can lose even the most diehard readers. Who has the time for that much stuff to read on a regular basis?

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Why is Planning for Retirement So Damned Confusing?

Retirement planning is no easy task. Oh, you may think it is, but it never really is, at least it isn’t for most people. Maybe if you are lucky enough to hit the Powerball jackpot and win a few hundred mil, you may be able to just coast into a retirement and never have to worry, but seriously? I hope you aren’t actually trying to do that. If you are, your retirement plan sucks!

Planning for retirement isn't always easy, but it can be much smoother if you start early and avoid these mistakes. Here's what to do and what not to do.

There are a lot of things that go into your retirement planning. Obviously, factors like salary, debt, and expenses all will affect your ability to save, but also know this: there is no one-size-fits-all solution to planning and realizing the vision of your successful golden years!

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Your IRA RMD – What You Need to Know About Required Minimum Distributions

Update: See The SECURE Act: The New 2020 Retirement Plan Rules for updates to the timing of RMD requirements.

You may not have given it that much thought while you were socking away your retirement contributions over the years, but in every life, some rain must fall! The rain in your IRA may be that “special” time when you must start withdrawing funds from it. Many retirees taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their traditional IRAs may not know all of the ins and outs of exactly the right way to do it and avoid any penalties along the way if they don’t!

You need to make sure you know all the facts about your IRA RMD (required minimum distribution) so that you avoid penalties. Check out all the details here.

Making IRA RMDs: the What, When, and How

When you reach age 70½—and that’s about 3.5 million Americans right now—you need to know the ins and outs of required minimum distributions (RMDs). If your parents or grandparents are the ones moving into RMD-land, do them a favor and give them some really good advice and information about this subject ASAP.

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