Top 5 Financial Books

The American Dream is all about working hard and retiring early with a vacation home. There’s no shortage of books touting their own secret recipe for financial success. We’ve got our top 5 picks as the best jumping off point to get your financial house in order!

Why Didn’t They Teach Me This In School? by Cary Siegel

This book has all the basics of financial literacy. 99 financial principles encapsulated in 8 broad and easy to read chapters, it’s a great place to start if you have no idea where to start. Whether you’re in high school or hitting your high 50s, it’s never too late to start.

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

An oldie, but a goodie. Financial guru Dave Ramsey boasts 5 New York Times bestsellers and has his own radio show. Ramsey has been dishing out debt busters for decades. His advice isn’t the get-rich-quick variety. Rather, he provides solid foundations of knowledge for debt management and long-term financial wealth.

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie J. Zelinski

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free isn’t your typical financial advice book. It’s got tons of practical advice, sure, but it also delves into the practicalities of retired life without the focus on making millions. Topics like finding purpose after retirement, leisure, and making retirement the best years of your life. This book is personal, creative and a must read for anyone who dreams of early retirement.

All The Money In The World by Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam’s book isn’t like other finance books. Instead of espousing frugality, Laura explores spending to get the most out of your dollar in a way that makes your life richer.

The Little Book of Common Sense by John C. Bogle

John C. Bogle is the founder of The Vanguard Group, one of the leading investment advisors in the world. His book of wisdom, backed by decades of experience, is a must read for anyone serious about investing.

As you continue your quest for financial literacy, keep in mind that not all books are created equally. Be discerning about the advice you follow and seek reputable financial role models in your journey.

Start Small, Invest Small

If you’re like most Americans, saving for the long term can be a struggle when you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. But with uncertainty over social security for younger generations, you’ve got to take your financial security into your own hands! But where do you start? The same place everyone starts something new. Start small. Here’s our baby-steps guide to setting yourself up for success.

Side Hustle

Start a small side-hustle. Whether it’s dog-walking, babysitting or writing copy for sites like Fivvr, start using your skills to stash extra cash. Any money from your hustle should go directly into your investments. Spend as little as 6 hours a week and you’ll still be sure to watch your funds expand.

Diversify

When choosing investments, don’t go just for mutual funds (but definitely invest in mutual funds). Pick individual stocks, explore peer-to-peer lending, or invest in a small business, or start your own business.

Educate

Educate yourself on the fundamentals of investment. Take a seminar or webinar. Buy and read a few books on investments, then buy a few more. Find a YouTuber who is knowledgeable and subscribe. Use what they offer and expand your financial knowledge. Talk to your uncle who has a boat and the lake house to go with it and pick his brain.

Invest In Yourself

If you’ve been living on a shoestring budget but coming up on your 10th or 20th reunion, invest in yourself and go back to school. Doesn’t matter if it’s a trade school, certificate program or going back for that master’s degree. Something’s gotta give and you have got to give yourself every opportunity to succeed. Apply for as many grants and scholarships as you can and scrape up as much of that free money as possible to bankroll your new endeavor. Once you’re through it, all that extra money you’ll be making will give you even more of a financial security net.

Starting small doesn’t have to mean scrimping pennies. Give yourself as much of an edge as you can, keep moving forward and keep taking steps. Set and stay committed to your financial goals and you’ll never regret investing in your future.

Top 6 Money Saving Apps

Finding ways to save money can be challenging in this day and age! With 40% of the American population being only one missed paycheck away from poverty, financial stress is at an all-time high.  But the technological revolution, big savings are at your fingertips with these 6 great money-saving and money managing apps, many with minimal fuss and passive action. It’ll be a breeze to rack up the savings and set your mind at ease.

Clarity Money

Clarity Money cancels subscriptions you’re not using or just plain don’t need. It also helps negotiate bills to lower rates and tracks your spending to keep you on budget.

Mint

Mint is a great budgeting app that helps you track your bills and saves you from late fees or penalty fees by setting reminders for upcoming bills. You can also manage your accounts and allocate money to your retirement fund, emergency fund and your nest egg.

You Need A Budget

You Need A Budget is fantastic for those just learning how to manage their money. It’s user-friendly and available on Mac and PC, as well as iOS and Android.

Ibotta

This cashback app lets you earn points and covers a huge variety of stores including grocery stores, clothing and more. Scan your receipts for extra cashback and get discount codes for in-store purchases.

RetailMeNot

RetailMeNot is your one-stop coupon shop. You’ll find discounts, coupons and promo codes for clothes, restaurants, groceries, and even prescription savings!

Earnin

Earnin is a great app to help you manage your money, with really cool benefits. Earnin has a Tip Yourself tool that lets you tip yourself for completing tasks like going to the gym or eating healthy. The Health Aid allows you to submit your unpaid medical bills to their team for review and they’ll help you negotiate for lower total or lower payments! Plus, you can earn 1-10% cashback on purchases.

Explore your app store and find the apps that suit your needs best and start saving today!

Learning To Budget

Budgeting isn’t really a skill taught in school these days, and many young adults, and even not-so-young adults were never given the opportunity to learn to budget properly. Without this skill, many find themselves living paycheck to paycheck and money tends to just flow out of their hands. Budgeting can help lead to financial stability, living within one’s means, and reducing end-of-month financial panic. Here are our key steps to learning to budget.

  1. Identify Income and Expenses

You can use just plain old paper and pencil for this, or if you’re tech savvy, open a spread sheet. In one column write down all the money coming into your household, in the other, all the expenses going out. This includes any and all monthly recurring expenses like the water bill, electricity, groceries, phone, insurance, rent, babysitter or daycare fees, online subscriptions, Netflix, etc. Tally it all up. Your Expense column should not exceed your income column. In fact, your income column should have at least 1/3 remaining. If you’re cutting it close, it’s time to cut some fat from your budget. Spend a month tracking every single purchase, from a pack of gum to your weekly coffee habit, groceries, gas. Track everything so that you know where your money is going.

  • Wants vs Needs

It’s fine to feed your wants, as long as your needs are taken care of first. You may want Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Disney + and high-speed internet, but if you can’t afford groceries for the whole month, you’re going to have to cut back on that cable internet package. If you need that cable internet package for work, then it becomes a need, but you’ll have to cut back on some of your subscriptions, or that gym membership you haven’t used in months to make it work.

  • Identify Money Pits

If you do have that gym membership but haven’t broken a sweat in more than 2 months, it’s time to quit. Look at what other monthly expenses you’ve got coming out of your bank account, especially reoccurring ones that you may not even realize are still charging you. It may feel like a hassle to unsubscribe or spend half an hour on the phone cancelling something, but it’ll save you a ton of money in the long run. By eliminating needless money pits, you can potentially save thousands a year.

  • 20% Savings

Set aside 20% of each paycheck for savings. If you’ve got direct deposit, automatically send that 20% to your savings account and think of it like paying yourself. That money doesn’t exist to you once it’s in that account. Your budget is now what’s left over. Work with it, and in a few months check your savings account to see how much it’s grown! This is your nest egg. You can set up another savings account to be your emergency fund and send 10% of your earnings to that, if you’re feeling extra ambitious about getting ahold of your finances.

  • Small Treats

Set aside a few bucks from each paycheck (think small!) and set a reward for yourself. At the end of the pay period or the end of the month, get yourself that manicure or new bag! Don’t overdo it, don’t buy if it’s going to mess up the budget. Be mindful of your overall budget and financial health. Small rewards are great motivation when overhauling your finances.

Come back soon to learn new tips and tricks to help yourself find financial balance.

Top 6 Tips To Save Money Online

Top 6 Tips To Save Money Online

In the Age of Covid, many people are searching for alternatives to hitting up the local big box stores and save some money in the process. Here are our top 6 tips to save money while shopping online!

  1. Comparison Shopping

By comparing prices from multiple retailers, you can find the lowest price available with the fastest shipping rates. Google Shopping allows you to see the same product or similar products in a wide price range and allows you to customize your search parameters.

  • Coupons!

There are some fantastic coupon sites that offer online coupon codes to your favorite online shopping destinations, like www.coupons.com , www.rakuten.com , and www.thekrazycouponlady.com are excellent sites for promo codes, online coupons and printable coupons.

3.     Clear your cookies and go incognito to avoid markups on sites you shop.

Dynamic Pricing is a way that retailers sneakily mark up prices the more often you visit a site. Save your wallet by shopping savvy.

  • Set Google Alerts

Use Google Alerts to let you know when a price drops on something you want, but don’t want to pay full price for. Be sure to check “As-it-happens” so you don’t miss out on flash sales.

  • Loyalty Programs

Join loyalty programs for your favorite shops and rack up the savings on your frequent purchases. Loyalty Programs can also offer coupons and discounts for members, adding to your savings.

  • Extra Email Addresses

Set up extra email addresses and sign them all up for loyalty and rewards programs to get extra savings when big discounts are emailed out. You’ll get multiple online shopping trips out of the deal! A few times a year, big name retailers will send out large discounts and you’ll really get the bang for your buck when you end up with 3 or 4 of those codes!

Come back soon to find more tricks and tips to save money!