Do you consider yourself on-top of your finances? Do you only shop sales, limit dinners-out and mostly bring your lunch to work? If yes, sounds like you’re on the road to getting your financial ducks in a row. But are you making these four money mistakes? Continue Reading…
According to the financial gurus at LearnVest a rainy day emergency fund should have at least six months of net income in it. If we haven’t scared you yet, keep reading.
Don’t worry, setting a rainy day fund up is easier thank you think and just takes some time and a little self control.
1. Follow the 50-30-20 rule.
2. About 50 percent of your income is for living expenses (think rent, groceries, gas, insurance).
3. About 30 percent of your income is for having fun (think shopping, dinners out with friends, more shopping).
4. About 20 percent of your income is for savings – retirement, rainy day and paying off any debts.
With this formula, if you make $50,000 per year you’ll be saving about $10,000 in your retirement/rainy day/debt bucket — $833 before taxes.
With your $833 this is how you’ll split it up.
1. If your work offers a 401k matching be sure to put the minimum amount to have your employer match in your 401k. In this $50,000 per year scenario let’s assume that the person is putting away $100 per month in a 401k or Roth IRA. With $733 left in the bucket split it equally between paying off your credit card debt and putting money into a savings account for a rainy day fund until you have about six months saved. No credit card debt (you are amazing) just contribute that whole amount to the emergency fund.
When are you allowed to take from the rainy day fund (hint, it’s not at Nordstrom’s semi-annual sale).
1. You lost your job *yes obvious, we know.
2. Medical or dental emergency.
3. Emergency car or home expenses.
4. Family funeral expenses.
We all know you can hit up the fast food drive-thru to score a meal under $2 – but can a healthy lunch be made for that price? We took the challenge and created this super-healthy, paleo-friendly, wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free lunch for about $2 a serving.
Looking to earn travel points? Of course, we advocate paying off your credit card every month – our economy isn’t on life support because credit card companies are giving away money -but if you have a purchase to make – why not earn some travel points. Creditcard.com does an excellent job in rating all of the different types of reward programs tied to credit cards – but these were our favorite
Chase Sapphire Preferred℠ Card –Because of the high points per dollar, flexibility of carriers and hotels you can use your points on– this card tops most of the travel blog/websites. Other features include 24-hour (real person) customer service and a seven percent bonus on your reward points. The annual fee is pretty steep ($95) but it’s free for the first year. To justify the cost, you can take advantage of the initial bonus of 40,000 points (worth $400 or a flight valued at $500) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Like we said – if you have a big purchase to make – you might as well get a little back for your travel budget.
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card also tops many “best” lists as well. Not only do you get hotel points (Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin) but points can transfer to the airline miles programs as well. They also offer the usual promtions – 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase and another 15,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first 6 months. While the first year is free, the annual fee is $65 a year.
A personal favorite -and not really on any best of lists is the Hawaiian Air Visa Card. It’s not on a best list because you would make more reward points with a card like the Chase Sapphire or even the Starwood card, which you could then use toward Hawaiian Air. However, considering the huge smile factor involved in putting down your Hawaiian Air Credit Card, we wanted to include it. For mainlanders the card is issued through Bank of America and has a $75 annual fee for the platinum, and $50 for the standard. If you’re interested check for sign on promotions and start dreaming of your next trip to paradise.