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Are you one of the millions who likes to dream about what you’d do if you won the lottery? I’ll confess, I have imagined how I’d divvy up my winnings, and I rarely ever even play. One reason is that your odds of winning a top prize aren’t good. In fact you’re more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than to win. And yet some people spend $10, $20, even $50 a week on lottery tickets. All that money could be put to better use saving for retirement, but some people can’t let go of the chance to “win big”. My recommendation? Online sweepstakes.
The Problem with the Lottery Habit
You might think there’s not much harm in playing the lottery, but you should think again. In 2014, Americans spent $70 billion on lottery games and the poorest third of households bought half of all lottery tickets sold. And while those lottery profits are helping states fund programs, they’re taking wealth away from all those players. If you invested $10 a week tax deferred over the 45 years you’re likely to be saving for retirement, with a 7% return you’d have over $150,000. While that may not provide a comfortable retirement, it definitely adds up to a good start. Continue reading
Insurance and insurance companies in the United States today are a major topic of conversation. In healthcare, for example, you literally cannot escape the debate on whether the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should remain as is, be fixed, or be repealed and replaced. Millions of Americans could lose their coverage or simply won’t be able to afford it unless something is done about our healthcare system. That whole topic of insurance problems is very, very painful. But that isn’t exactly what this post is about.
Today’s post is about how your insurance policies and the coverages you pay for are managed that can be even more painful than any illness, injury, or accident. That goes for health, auto, homeowners, and even your life insurance. Here’s why. Continue reading
I know it seems hard to believe but summer has passed the mid-way point (that was August 5th) and it’s time to start looking towards fall. That means getting ready by shopping the two big events that occur at this time every shopping year: Back to School Sales and Summer Clearances.
Despite my spending over 30 years in the retail business (most of those in malls when they were the kings of retail), I still feel like you do and shake my head when I realize that in August we are already talking about the fall. I remember those “fun days” shopping for my kids at the back to school and summer clearances and although it wasn’t the highlight of my summers back then, it was worth the time and prep to save some real money. Continue reading
Ok, level with me…when it comes to finances, have you ever told yourself a “little white lie” to justify spending or debt? If I were to ask you why you owe money to your credit cards, auto loans, or your friends, you would probably have an answer ready for me. It’s probably the same answer you tell yourself whenever you think about your debts. Whatever those answers might be, are you being totally honest? If you are lying to yourself, you are hurting your chances for financial success. Today we’re going to face some of those money lies and break out of the financial traps they create.
I feel pretty certain that most of us go through a stage in our lives when we try to justify our spending habits that then spiral out of control into mounting debt. I know that I have done it myself and the way I justified my actions was to try to fool myself, lie to myself if you will. When I did that, I temporarily would feel a little better about the debt. But, deep down inside, I knew what I was really doing. It sometimes takes a serious wake-up call to make your behavior change for the good. Continue reading
If you love dogs and are looking for a way to earn extra money, read all about it here in today’s guest post, sponsored by Rover.com. Enjoy!
Love dogs? Get paid playing with them—there’s nothing else like it. The benefits of becoming a dog walker or sitter make it hard to say no, and it’s so simple to get started. Join Rover.com to be matched with hundreds of pet owners in your community looking for dog care. Whether you want to earn extra cash or are ready for a career change, here’s the essential questions to consider:
What kind of playtime are you ready for?
Choose the type of dog care you want to offer. Perhaps you’ve got evenings and weekends free for dog walking or maybe you’re available day time only for doggie day care. You have the option to provide drop-in visits, dog walking, doggie day care, house sitting at the pet owner’s home, or boarding dogs in your own home. Depending on your comfort level and interest, you decide what you’re available to provide. Continue reading
I’m fortunate enough to live in a nice neighborhood, but last year when I learned there had been some break-ins nearby, I started thinking about the security of my home. According to the FBI, in 2015 more than 1.5 million burglaries occurred in the U.S. for an estimated $3.6 billion in property losses. It’s something you may not think about until something happens near you, or to you, but it’s important to be prepared. Of course an easy solution is to get an alarm system, or a DIY security system, but they can be pricey. Today I’m going to look at some ways to achieve affordable home security so you can protect your family and your possessions.
Affordable Home Security Tips
While you probably can’t stop a determined burglar, there’s a lot you can do to make your home more secure, and less appealing to criminals. Continue reading
Imagine just for a minute what it would have been like if you were born at the turn of the 20th century and were told about all of the new and exciting ways you would be entertained and communicate during the next hundred years. It would have blown your mind and you probably would have thought it was science fiction. After all, the early 1900’s were barely the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and horses were more common than cars on the streets in those days. The telephone was still in its infancy and motion pictures were pretty much an experiment in a lab someplace here in NJ. The truth is that only a very few of the most inventive minds could have ever imagined what was to come over the next hundred years. But what about the price tag that comes with all of this progress? Are you happy with the tech impact in your life, your time, and your budget?
(With apologies to Led Zeppelin) Budgeting for things that entertain and communicate used to be pretty reasonable but not so much today. If you aren’t prepared for the costs of all of this technology that we now take for granted, be prepared to be shocked. It simply costs a small fortune to be living in an age of electronics unlike anything life has ever seen before because we are “plugged in” 24/7. Continue reading
Yesterday the temperature was in the 90’s here in New Jersey, and I was looking for some ways to keep cool without spending a fortune on air conditioning. It seems like this summer is off to quite a warm start all around the USA and it’s not even a month old yet. It’s been 100+ degrees in lots of places out west and in the 90’s here in the northeast, ugh! With another 10+ weeks ahead of us of warm and muggy days, what are you going to do to cool off?
You could jet away to a fabulous resort vacation someplace in South America where the temps stay in the 60’s and 70’s in what is considered winter there. You can even take off and cruise in Alaska or Nova Scotia or camp out in the great state of Maine. Those trips would definitely do the trick except for one tiny problem. They can cost you a small fortune and if you are traveling with your family, kiss your financial peace of mind good-bye and say hello to Mr. Credit Card Debt! So what can you do to stay cool this summer without burning big bucks? Here’s my list of cool low- or no-cost ways to stay fresh, save you money, and not go into a costly “hot money mess”! Continue reading
Super Saving Tips aren’t only about saving money by clipping coupons or knowing when the best times of the year are to shop. They’re also tips or “words to the wise” about what you can do in advance about issues that can affect your life, which of course can affect your money. That’s why I am writing today about disability insurance.
What is Disability Insurance?
You may think disability is unlikely to happen to you, but 56 million Americans, about 1 in 5, live with disabilities. And for today’s 20-year-olds, more than 1 in 4 of them will become disabled at some point before reaching retirement age. If your disability leaves you unable to work, how will you provide for yourself (and your family)? Continue reading
In part one of 21st Century Retirement Strategies, I talked about the need to start your retirement plans at the very beginning of your working career. I wasn’t kidding. I have a hard time believing that people don’t think about it 100% of the time. It should be done as soon as you are employed and eligible to participate in your employer’s retirement plan, or if self-employed able to contribute to a plan you create yourself. Not only that, it should also be a consideration when you are interviewing for a job, even when changing jobs. Finding out what the benefits are when it comes to retirement plan options may not seem that important, but it is.
Retirement planning is as much of a skill as just about anything you that you do in life. The main problem is that for most of us there isn’t much education or preparation for it and we have to learn as much as we can on our own. Fortunately, you might say, we have a fairly long period between day one of work and retirement day to figure it all out. Today, I’ll cover some of those retirement strategies that can help you secure your golden years. Continue reading