Can Your Holiday Wishes Come True?

In the spirit of the holidays, I am going to be recharging my batteries and taking some time off to celebrate and reflect. I will return with my next post on Friday, January 3, 2020, so I hope to see you all then and thanks for being a loyal reader! Happy holidays and a healthy new year!

When the year end is just about here, I always want to take the time to reflect on how it all went. Was it a good year? Did I do anything to improve myself and my family’s lot in life? Did I take the time to help anyone with their problems? Did I take the time to appreciate all the things that I have and not dwell on those things that I want too much?

Especially at this time of the year, it's not unusual to have holiday wishes, but can you make them come true? Here are some ways to focus on those wishes.

So now, in this time of year when we get a small break (at least for a few days), we have this chance to get together with our families and friends and enjoy the holidays. That’s a good time to do the reflection about how your year went, isn’t it?

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6 Money & Lifestyle Predictions for 2020 and Beyond

I know that no one has a crystal ball that predicts the future. It is at best a guess and at worst voodoo when you try to make predictions on the future of things like the stock market, economic forecasts, and other money-related areas, but it’s all just so damned tempting to try to project on some of the “what-if” scenarios and give it a try. At least in my world it is.

No one knows what the future holds, but still I can't help but make some predictions on what will happen in the 2020s when it comes to money and lifestyle.

With that in mind, here are six 2020 and beyond predictions that I think are trending and very possible and could really happen in the coming decade.

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Dealing with the Hell of Living Paycheck to Paycheck

The subject of living paycheck to paycheck is as old as working for a living is. Despite the fact that we all strive to be financially well off or even financially independent, we have to face reality. Many of us aren’t well off and many of us struggle just to get by week to week. That’s true even in a country where the economy is strong and the stock market is breaking records almost every minute these days. Here are a few startling statistics from a survey taken in 2017 by CareerBuilder.

It's time to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Here are the steps you need to start taking control of your finances and building your future.
  • 78% of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck
  • About 10% of workers making $100,000+ live paycheck to paycheck
  • More than 25% of workers do not set aside any savings each month
  • Nearly 75% of workers say they are in debt today and more than half think that they always will be
  • More than half of minimum wage workers say they have to work more than one job to make ends meet
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A 2020 Look Ahead at Inflation and Interest Rates

As the dust settles here on 2019, it’s a really good time to take a look at where we are in the world of money, particularly inflation and interest rates. The end of any year gives you a chance to look back at it and then project ahead. Money smart people always do that.

Inflation and interest rates are related, and both are changing! Here's the outlook for 2020 and what it means for you and your finances.

Perhaps it’s just me, but anytime I see and hear someone talk about the inflation numbers, I immediately think about everything that I purchase that costs me more today than yesterday. One of the detriments of getting older is that you can actually remember the prices of things from 10, 20, 30, and 50+ years ago. So yeah, I may have a distorted view of rising prices (at least just a little bit). But reality tells me that prices keep going up. It reminds me of that great song, “The Beat Goes On”, cause it certainly does.

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Money Lies We Tell Ourselves That Make Us Poor

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.

If you're not honest with yourself about your finances, your money lies will keep you poor. Here are 7 money lies we tell ourselves and how to face them.

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“Money Lies We Tell Ourselves That Make Us Poor”

A Smile Is NOT the Best Insurance Umbrella

Just let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day
And if your sweetie cries, just tell her,
That a smile will always pay
Whenever skies are gray,
Don’t you worry or fret,
A smile will bring the sunshine,
And you’ll never get wet!
So, let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day!

When it comes to insuring your family's finances, you may need an umbrella policy. I explain what an umbrella policy does and why you might need one.

Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella” was a popular song written by famed Sammy Fain and lyrics by Irving Kahal and Francis Wheeler. The song was published in 1927 and successful early recordings reached the charts of the day in 1928. Wouldn’t it be really great if just a “smile” would really protect you?

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2019 Year End Tax Tips That Help Your Bottom Line

Amazing at it may seem, 2019 is quickly fading and it’s actually time to start making those year end tax moves to get ready for April…now!

As we're reaching the end of 2019, it's important to follow these year end tax tips now to make sure you're in good shape to file your taxes next year.

As you’re putting the finishing touches on your financial and tax planning for this year, there’s a lot to review. The second tax year under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 has brought to light some additional considerations that were either unclear or overlooked in 2018. Sometimes, when laws like this one come along you learn from them slowly. So here are some year end tax planning strategies for individual taxpayers, Schedule C taxpayers and business owners to carefully consider.

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Elite Supermarkets Can Be Money Savers, Too

Grocery shopping should be a very simple task, but it isn’t. First of all, it’s pretty much a requirement for you or someone in your family to do it—every week. They should be making a list, heading out to the store, buying what you really need, then coming back home to unload and put it all away. It’s very similar to washing your hair, according to the instructions, repeat the process, and do it all again next week…forever.

Even if you shop at one of the elite supermarkets, there are still ways to save money. Check out my advice and scoop up the deals at your local stores.

You may think you’ll be making a quick trip to the grocery store, but two hours later, you come home with tons of grocery bags and hundreds of dollars gone from your bank account. So then, how can anyone suggest that big name elite supermarkets (like Whole Foods or Wegmans) can ever be a way to save money?

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