I am not a haggler. I have always paid the ticket price and asked no questions. It is just not in me to haggle or negotiate. If that's the ticket price, then that's the price and you can take it or leave it. Not so with my husband. He isn't happy if he doesn't pay less than the sticker price. He loves haggling and he has become quite an expert.
As the New Year begins I challenge you to become a Master in the area of budgeting. If you are anything like me you tend to start the New Year with a bang committing to track every expense, save every receipt and only buy what you need. Typically, the momentum last for a few weeks and if I'm lucky it lasts for a few months.
I will set up a spreadsheet for it and even add a column in my Christmas spreadsheet for it. But then I never fill it in. And then-now here's a shocker-I wonder where all my money goes.
I'm a planner so we had a plan for emergencies. We have all the important paperwork the experts said to have. We have a living wills and a health care power of attorney. We have all our bills in one place and an emergency fund. My husband's job had even let him transfer some of his vacation time into a fund for short term care. I thought we were ready for anything.
Lying about your spending habits either to your partner or worse, yourself only allows things to spiral out of control. So start off 2013 right by tracking your expenses and finding out where your money is going. Chances are there is a lot of room for improvement and new habits you can foster this year.
One of the most important things you can do for your finances is understand how your money moves through your personal financial system.
The recession has done many things but maybe one of the largest impacts occurred when baby boomers had years of savings devalued by the 2008 recession. Some have not recovered.
We added stockings for our two kids as they entered our lives, but I always followed Vonnie's lead when it came to filling them.
Why do we get so frustrated? At least in part, it's because we haven't built the structures to support our goals -- including mechanisms to track our progress toward them.
Now that the rush of the holidays is over, what purchase do you regret the most, and what did you learn from the experience?
First and foremost, if you don't have a written budget, make one now. If you do have a budget, resolve to stick to it. Budgeting lies at the foundation of every financial plan. It doesn't matter if you're living paycheck to paycheck or earning six figures a year, you need to know where your money is going if you want to have a handle on your finances
Since I began my journey on the DMP, I have made a commitment to myself that I would establish savings. I didn't expect that I could contribute huge amounts to savings accounts, but I knew I could do something better than I had previously done, which was NOTHING.
What if my car breaks down? What if there is another pay cut in my future? What if I have to have another surgery? There are so many 'what ifs' in life that I haven't figured out how to just let life happen.
In the past, if we had any money left we would go and get some wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and lights if we felt we needed them. One of the bargains that would go fast was the "to and from" tags for presents. If you want to get new decorations, now would be a good time to plan for next year.
One of the major obstacles to co-habitation without matrimony is the legal implications of assets and liabilities acquired during your time together as a couple, should the relationship come to a screeching halt.
Vonnie wanted to host a holiday family gathering for her side of the family, as there hasn't been one for a number of years. Even with asking those attending to contribute supplies, we knew we would have to conserve our discretionary funds for the preceding weeks to pull off a gathering of that magnitude.
What does time have to do with your finances? Well, time is far more precious than money, because it really is what your LIFE is made of. And if you learn to steward your time well, it's much easier to steward your money.
Sometimes planning isn't all it's cut out to be. Then again, floating directionless through life in the name of being flexible seems a little pointless. Where is the sweet spot?
With a few swipes and clicks of the mouse the balance of our savings account decreased, and the checking account balance increased.
There's something special about writing down your goals and then seeing them, day after day, in your own handwriting. It galvanizes you. Better, it reinforces the kind of accountability you need if you're really going to change the way you do things.
CareOne is a Three-Star Sponsor of the 2012 Military Bowl and also donated 150 tickets to today's game to active-duty servicemembers as part of that sponsorship.
CareOne is placing the spotlight on some of our customers who faced unique financial challenges as a result of their military service.
I'm one week into my new debt-free life and it's so much better than I ever thought it would be.
In addition to the blogs, be sure to check out the new CareOne Groups:
Are you finally out on your own and figuring out how to balance your finances? If so, this is the group for you. In Starting Out, you can talk about the challenges you are dealing with in a group of like-minded people.
Do you feel like you are finally understanding what being a "grown-up" is all about and are settling into your adult life? If so, this is the group for you. In Settling In you can connect with others who are just like you.
Struggling to balance all that an established lifestyle has to offer? The balancing it all group is for you. Discuss the challenges you face when your responsibilities at work, at home and with family and friends all compete for your attention.
Are you currently retired or planning on retiring very soon? If so, this is the group for you. Times have changed and so has retirement. Learn how others are redefining retirement.