All Articles Tagged "money"
Did you know that in some cultures, brides actually expect to break even on their wedding day?
A wedding ceremony is one of the most expensive purchases a newly married couple can make. Still, it doesn’t have to permanently break the bank. There are ways to actually get back some of the money that you spend on your big day.
Since the average wedding cost is over $30,000 in 2016, breaking even might be wishful thinking. However, with some careful accounting and thinking ahead, you could have a lot more money for life after “I do.”
Become a Lifestyle Ambassador
You’re trying on dresses, visiting venues, and trying products for months (or even years) before your wedding. Why not photograph it all and put it on Instagram? Attract enough followers and companies will send you wedding-related products to advertise that you can save your own money on.
There’s an episode of “Everybody Hates Chris” that reminds me about the time the No. 1 Son requested an allowance. Chris, played by Tyler James, casually asks his hardworking dad for an allowance at the dinner table, so he can save up for a new leather jacket.
The request sounds innocent enough, but it’s a loaded question for the extremely frugal and overworked Julius (Terry Crews). His response ranks as must-see TV.
Julius’ long-winded speech goes like this: “I allow you to sleep here at night. I allow you to use my lights. I allow you to look at my TV… I allow you to ask me these ridiculous a*s questions. Why should I give you an allowance when I already pay for everything you do?”
I knew a similar situation would go down when the No. 1 Son dropped his bomb a few months ago. However, I was prepared to ride-or-die with him–as I often am–until he says something that makes me go, Say what now?
I believe that kids should have their own money and learn how to spend and save for long (uh, hello college tuition!) and short-term purchases, understand bill paying and hear the melodious tones of these five words: No, that’s not in the budget.
While he’d like to snag a gold medal in spending my money, I have to give the No. 1 Son credit too. When he was 11, he stashed a few hundred away to buy a Samsung tablet, because using the family iPad wasn’t going cut it. He had to have his own. I couldn’t knock his hustle, so I sprung for the case.
His dad isn’t a cheapskate like Julius, but as a kid he had multiple jobs, including delivering newspapers before the sun came up. So the idea of forking over cash to someone with access to the latest technology, but still claims that he’s bored, wasn’t part of the master plan. His dad’s mantra of choice was this: You don’t get something for nothing in this world.
So we whipped up a six-point contract, an agreement that’d teach the young one about responsibility and stacking his dead presidents. He had a week to agree to the terms, which included taking out the trash on a nightly basis, cleaning the bathroom and keeping his boy cave tidy. Oh, and he wasn’t allowed to eat or drink in his room, but we’d make exceptions when company came to visit.
He has other chores that are part of his overall contributions to the house. This mama right here is not a Merry Maid. Wash your own funky drawers, sir.
We decided $15 was fair. But if he failed to meet his end of the agreement, a $2 deduction was issued for each infraction.
I expected the No. 1 Son to jump at the offer and sign on the dotted line, but then I remembered that some of my blood swirled in his veins. He took the entire week to consider the offer—as if he had a better one from Blue Ivy’s parents or something—and attempted to negotiate an additional $5.
I cringed and cursed my genes.
His dad let out one of those you-gotta-be-kidding-me laughs and turned him down in a single breath. He could’ve ripped a page from Julius’ book and said, “Boy, I allow you not to have an allowance.”
To date, the No. 1 Son has earned his full $15 allowance a record breaking three times. Three. The pay dock situation is very real, but he continues to leave stray cups, spoons and granola bar wrappers scattered around his messy room.
…to be continued.
Do your teens earn and allowance? Are they required to do anything to earn their funds?
As a result of men being the breadwinners and typically managing the household finances, even with more women dominating the workforce and making their own money over the last 30 years, recent studies show that men are still two out of three times more confident in their ability to manage money than women.
This lack of confidence will literally cost women millions of dollars over their lifetime, argues money maven to “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” Patrice C. Washington, and author of “Real Money Answers For Every Woman: How to Win the Money Game With or Without A Man,” (HarperCollins; Jan. 16, 2016). “Real Money Answers for Every Woman” teaches you how to take responsibility for your financial future, whether you’re just starting out or need a fresh start. In a handy Q & A format, it offers relatable and easy to understand and implement advice on everything from managing credit cards, home ownership, and student loans to affordable childcare and even negotiating for a higher salary. Following Patrice’s practical advice, you’ll learn to form “wealthy” habits, establish an “opportunity fund,” stop collecting stuff that causes debt and discover the freedom that comes from feeling financially secure.
As a young woman, Patrice rationalized her excessive spending. “I work hard, I deserve this.” “I bought it on sale.” But at 22, she was a college grad with $18,000 in debt and sinking fast. It was time to take control. By educating herself about finance, adopting a new attitude toward money and changing her spending habits, she was debt-free by 25 and used the wisdom she gained to start her own successful real estate and mortgage brokerage. At 29, she started her own financial counseling business.
Patrice’s former bad spending habits aren’t unique, and women find themselves in financial hot water for a host of reasons. Besides the fact that women earn less than men and have to stretch those hard-earned dollars further, they contribute more to caregiving and aging parents, live longer, and many—including most African American women—are choosing to stay single.
Are you ready to get your finances in order and successfully manage your money? Patrice gave us these three tips:
Lesson 1: Affirm you are the CEO of your life. Every woman should know that a man is NOT her financial plan. Married or not, EVERY woman has to take personal responsibility for her personal finances. Why? First, because a man won’t always be around; over 56 percent of women will enter into retirement alone due to divorce or being widowed. Not to mention, your man may not be good with money either. A woman’s involvement usually helps mitigate the risk of loss due to the overconfidence of her partner.
Lesson 2: Never take your gifts for granted. Although over 50 percent of privately held companies are owned by women, that doesn’t mean that every woman wants to be an entrepreneur. Every woman should, however, know how to earn extra income using her unique gifts or talents. Whether there’s a divorce looming or speculation of company layoffs, women should always be equipped to turn creativity into cash at the drop of a dime.
Lesson 3: Negotiate everything ALWAYS. Whether it’s a raise in the boardroom or an upgrade on a new vehicle, never settle for the first price offered. Women who don’t negotiate their job salary at the beginning of their career leave anywhere between $1 million and $1.5 million on the table in lost earnings over their lifetime!
Patrice C. Washington is the author of the financial series “Real Money Answers” and is a featured columnist and leading authority on personal finance. She hosts a weekly segment on the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.” She has been featured in Women of Wealth Magazine, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post, and on Bloomberg TV and CNN Money. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these things. How are you? How about the kids? Thoughts on this weather we’re having? Child, where did the summer go?!
As for myself, I’ve actually been doing pretty good. Wedding planning hasn’t been as taxing as it used to be thanks to the hard work of my wedding planner and friend. Aside from having to get my finances in order, and all these people trying to get an invite at the last minute (and looking to bring a plus-one), I’ve dealt with much less stress ever since the invitations went out. But as the RSVPs come in, I’ve received quite a few questions and inquiries into what the deal is with my wedding registry.
I don’t have one.
There’s even a clear message on our website that shows that me and the future hubby have a preference for dollar, dollar bills, ya’ll:
“While personal gifts of household items or sentimental pieces are greatly appreciated, we are currently saving for our new life together and would greatly welcome monetary gifts; it will hopefully save you time and hassle in shopping, as well as help us reach our goals.
Thank you in advance for any and all contributions; they’re much appreciated.”
Still, I’ve been asked by people for registry information so they can “send a gift to the house” or told that I should have one for the sake of giving people options. But if I’m being honest, we need the money, not household appliances. I’m not alone in this way of thinking, as recent studies found that Millennials as a whole want cash, not gifts.
Why? Well, speaking for my fiancé and I, we already live together. We aren’t coming from mommy and daddy’s house with nothing to fill our future home. In fact, to help avoid the stress of finding our first place together too close to the wedding (in October) or after, we moved in together at the end of last month. And when I tell you we have too much stuff? I kid you not. From glassware to books (we even have two blenders), we have more than enough home gadgets and wares that we brought from our bachelor and bachelorette pads and college days. But there are certain expenses and experiences we could use help with. That includes money towards a new bed, paying off a few wedding bills (a.k.a., debts) here and there, some help with our honeymoon, and just getting started as a married couple.
And while I’ve been in a position as a wedding guest where I felt like I didn’t have enough money to offer someone something substantial in the form of a monetary gift, I still offered the couple in question an American Express gift card they could use anywhere with what I could afford to give. They had lived together for years and the bride was still in school obtaining her Ph.D., so only one income was really supplying their needs. They needed money, not stuff.
And there is where I think the issue arises. As I’ve looked around, I’ve found that it’s recommended (in terms of so-called “etiquette”) that people give quite a bit. According to The Knot, a distant relative or co-worker should give $75-$100. A good friend? They say $100-$125. A close relative? About $150 or more. With those types of numbers being thrown around, it makes sense that people would be going out of their way to find a registry with some margarita glasses and bedding options. That’s a lot. But I’m of the belief that whatever you can give is good enough for me. And to be honest, it would be a lot more welcomed than trying to find room for another appliance. Seriously, we ain’t got not a one more cabinet with available space.
At the end of the day, I appreciate any gesture. I am well aware of the fact that by having a wedding out of state in my hometown, I’m asking some people to incur debt they’re already not crazy about. To further inconvenience folks is not my style. But, if you ask me about my registry, I’m going to go ahead and say it’s at the bank and hope you get the memo…
A dollar isn’t always a dollar. In fact, it can equal a lot less depending on where you’re spending it, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The Bureau recently revealed what $100 can buy, state by state because prices–even for a cup of coffee — can fluctuate vastly between and within state borders. For example, buying a gallon of regular gas will cost you $2.74 in Hawaii, versus $1.82 in South Carolina. And if you’re living in Connecticut, you are probably paying twice more for electricity than a person living in Tennessee. According to the report, “a dollar can swing by more than 30 percent in terms of what it can buy,” reported The New York Times. Looking at rent, the “real value” of $100 for housing ranges from about $63 in Hawaii to $160 in Arkansas.
So what’s your money worth? When you break it down, $100 in Hawaii is actually just only $85.60, compared to the national average. But in Mississippi that same $100 will buy you $115.30 worth of goods and services based on the national average. Here are more $100 values per state: Arkansas ($114.30), Alabama ($113.90), South Dakota ($113.60), and Kentucky ($112.70).
So where does your dollar equal the least? Well $100 in DC buys you just $84.70 worth of stuff, followed by Hawaii, New York ($86.40), New Jersey ($87.30), California ($89), and Maryland ($90.70).
In general, experts say incomes correlate to prices, but of course, that’s not always true. “Some states are home to high incomes and low prices, a valuable combination for working residents,” reported the Times, and vice versa. The Bureau also released a list of places where incomes are most valuable. At the top of the list is North Dakota where, per capita, incomes have the most purchasing power–roughly $56,000. That state is followed by D.C., at $54,000; Wyoming, $52,000; Massachusetts, $50,000; and Nebraska at $48,000. According to the Times, “The states where incomes fall shortest are Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, and Hawaii, all of them home to real per capita personal incomes of $36,000, give or take a few hundred dollars.”
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that 40 percent of employees feel that they’re not getting paid enough. Most of us feel like we could use a little more money for the hours we put in at our jobs. But how do you know when you’re actually being underpaid and when it just feels like “I don’t get paid enough for this”?
Before you go to your boss with a request for more money, it pays to know just where your salary falls. Is your boss paying you what you deserve? Are they getting away with paying you pennies for premium work? You might be surprised at what you find after doing a little research.
So what do you do if your paycheck is a lot lighter than it should be? If asking for a raise doesn’t work, it might be time to move on. Now that the job market is looking better, putting your resume in somewhere else might be the way to finally get paid the money you deserve.
A little plastic can be a great way to extend your money when you need it, build your credit, and even allow you to splurge in the spur of the moment when you really deserve it. But it’s easy to rely too much on a credit card.
Say “charge it” when it comes to these items and you could be paying way more than what the items and experiences are worth for a lot longer than you’d like. Even if you have to put them off or change your mind completely and shut down your plans, paying with cash will save you quite the headache.
So if you’re looking to spend smarter or save better for what you really want, keep your credit card in your wallet in the following situations.
Every woman knows that having the money to pay for the things you want is one of the best feelings in the world. It may even rank higher than finding those designer shoes you want for 70 percent off.
If you’re looking for ways to get your finances on track or simply save more cash now, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche has got you covered. As author of The One Week Budget, The Live Richer Challenge and visionary behind the Live Richer Challenge Movement, Aliche has helped thousands of women take control of financial futures. Here are her top tips for helping women–especially moms–to start saving cash now.
Tip 1: Don’t feel Ashamed
When I ask women what was the number one lesson that you learned (from my book and course); nobody says anything about money. The answers they share are “don’t give up,” “you’re not alone,” and “you can do it.” The problems I really help people solve are really learning how to ask for help and getting over any shame.
Lesson: Don’t let your fear keep you from getting started on your financial goals. Everyone has to start from the beginning.
Tip 2: Visualize Your Goals
If you write down your goals or create some kind of physical representation you increase the chance of attaining those goals by about seventy percent. I have the women in my program do a vision board of what exactly do they want out of life and then how can we use money as a tool to get there. If I gave you a plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, and you’re like “I don’t know where I want to go,” then the plane ticket doesn’t matter. Creating a vision for yourself and being clear about your goals is essential for success.
Lesson: Physically writing down your goals or creating a vision board drastically increases your chances of achieving them.
Tip 3: Create Money Buckets
A money bucket is just an online only savings account that allows you to easily save and measure your money, like rain in a bucket. The beauty of having an online only savings account is you can create as many categories or buckets as you want or need. I have one for my travel, one for my house and one for a car. You could have one for birthdays, vacations and if you are a mommy, you might have one labeled sports for your kids’ activities. You can open as many savings accounts as you would like and then name them so that you would know exactly what the money is earmarked for.
Lesson: Being specific about what you’re saving money for makes it easier to track your savings.
Tip 4: Remove Temptation
Another great thing about having an online only bank is that it helps if you get tempted to spend the money. Let’s just say, if you are at Target and you see something cute that might make you want to dip into your money bucket. Unless you are willing to sleep at Target for two to five business days, you can’t make an impulse purchase. Because it takes two to five business days to transfer money from your online only savings account back to your regular checking you don’t impulse buy. Since there are no physical banks it forces use your money only for the goals you were saving for.
Lesson: Eliminating the chance for making impulse purchases will allow you to ensure you only dip into your savings went absolutely necessary.
There is a great website, Magnifymoney.com that actually rates banks for savings and other financial products. What I love about them is, they do not take money (from banks to be rated). So Magnify Money will rate a bank A, B, C, D, and F, based upon what they really believe about the bank. So you can search for a bank that will give you the highest interest rate on your savings with no surprises.
Lesson: You’re bank shouldn’t be the only ones profiting from your money. Choose a bank with the best interest rate, so your savings grows even faster.
Tip 6: Be A Savings Ambassador
When it comes to the Live Richer Challenge, I encourage women to share (what they learn). My goal is to help the women who work with me know that they are an ambassador. You’re not just learning for yourself; you are learning for your sisters, your nieces, your nephews and your children. That it is your job to teach them what I have taught you.
Lesson: You should help prepare those around you for financial success by sharing what you’ve learned about saving and budgeting.
Tip 7: Seek Out Help
One of my goals is to always be a resource for women to get free help should they need it. To get started, I would encourage women to go to livericherchallenge.com, and sign up. Then the next thirty-six days, you’ll get one free easy financial task in your inbox. And at the end of thirty-six days, you’ll have a new money mindset, a new budget, a new savings plan, a credit plan, a debt plan, beginning insurance plan and an investment plan all for free. And even better, you will be invited to join my private forum, where there are 12,000 women, just like you who are helping each other towards their financial goals. With all of that available there is no excuse not to get on financial track right now.
Lesson: The best day to start saving was yesterday. The next best day to start saving is today. Don’t wait any longer.
Being a mother is one of the greatest jobs and blessings you’ll ever have. Some households make the decision to have a parent stay-at-home so they can dedicate more personal time to both their child and home. As a result, there is a greater reliability on a single income and retirement account that might put a strain on things financially speaking.
Some folks think the concept of being a stay-at-home mom is archaic or obsolete. I know a few who made the choice with their husbands because it was cheaper for them to have mommy at home than to pay for daycare. When you have multiple children, those expenses can and will add up to a small fortune.
At the end of the day, you need to do what’s right for your family. There’s great value in being a mother — regardless if you remain in the home or work. No matter your choice, it’s important to do what you can to plan for your financial future, even if you aren’t the main breadwinner. Here are some money tips stay-at-home moms should consider as it’s always good to be a little financially independent.
Don’t rely on your spouse. No one is telling you to have an “I don’t need a man” attitude. It’s counterproductive. This however doesn’t mean you should rely on one person for all of your money needs. What happens if they two of you don’t work out, or your significant others experiences a long-term job loss? You need to have a plan of your own.
Learn about investing. You don’t have to subscribe to Forbes to know a thing or two about investing. In fact, there are tons of resources online — like this site — that can help direct you down the right path. Spend some time getting acquainted with different types of investments. It’s always good to be in the know and figure out what works best for your situation.
Research retirement accounts. Did you know there’s such a thing as an individual 401(K)? Oh yes, you don’t always have to work for a company to invest in a retirement outlet. In addition to learning about investing, you should also research different retirement accounts (e.g. traditional or ROTH IRA). Consider speaking to a financial adviser about how you can make saving for the future a reality.
No matter what you do always save what you can. I try not to get in other folks’ business but have heard some stay-at-home moms are getting an “expense account” (an allowance sounds a bit childish) for household and personal needs. Your goal should always be to save some of this money. Do everything in your power to put away whatever you can.
And let’s not forget about those part-time gigs and virtual hustles. There are quite a few options out there that offer nice pay and a flexible work schedule. Those mommies who might not be able to leave their homes can take advantage of modern technology to work for hire and collect a check.
Who knows, now might be the time to start the business you always wanted. Sometimes there’s no better starting point quite like the present. Being your own boss does take a certain amount of hard work and determination, but the end result could very well be a legacy you create for future generations.
I’ve found working with your spouse to set financial goals is also a good idea. After all, you two have an important role to play when it comes to building a stable future for your family. Take a look at your current financial picture and search for areas that need improvement.
As most of us already know, having a baby can put a serious dent in your wallet! Between healthcare costs, medical expenses and essentials for your baby, there can be little to no disposable income left over at the end of the month. So how do you manage to give your baby everything he or she needs without breaking the bank? Here are some tips we hope you find extremely helpful.
1. Accept and Ask For Hand-Me-Downs
As one of the last of my friends to have children, my mommy girlfriends were all too happy to part with baby clothes and gear they no longer needed. This mutually-beneficial arrangement allowed them to clear up some much-needed storage space while helping me avoid paying for a number of items, most of which the baby would only need for one to three months anyway (since a baby’s needs vary so much by their ever-changing stages and are most items are quickly outdated).
In addition to providing optimal nutrition for your baby, breastfeeding is also extremely cost-effective since it eliminates the need to constantly restock formula, bottles, disinfecting and warming devices, etc. Granted, not everyone might be lucky enough to produce enough milk, or for other reasons, the baby may not be able to breastfeed, but if you can, nursing is a great way to cut back on baby rearing expenses.
3. Invest in Fewer Baby Clothes
Most new moms especially are easily enticed into buying “adorable” outfits for their little ones. But before you break the bank setting out to doll up your baby from head to toe, consider how quickly they will outgrow those designer newborn onesies – most of which might only be worn a few times at most. When you start retiring outfits faster than it took to purchase them, you quickly realize the time and money wasted.
4. Skip the Designer Stroller
As a new mom, I had no idea how pricey some strollers could be until a friend offered to sell me her $900 stroller for half the price. Can you say “sticker shock!” The fact that she only used it for barely a year and already needed to update to another style to accommodate her second baby on the way, made me realize that an expensive stroller might not be the best investment. Instead I opted for a budget-friendly ‘travel system.’ Considering I’ll already need to update the car seat portion in a few months, I’m glad I didn’t overspend on this purchase.
5. Don’t’ Be Afraid to Go Generic
Wanting the very best for your baby is only natural. However, as an aunt to three teenagers, I’m fully aware that there will eventually come a time when they will ask for and appreciate brand name items. Until then, your baby won’t mind if you’re not buying the premium diapers, wipes or other products, so enjoy that freedom to consciously budget while you still can.