Tag Archives: Money

How-To Save Money Over the Holidays

DIY your own Christmas Wrap - Photo Credit

DIY your own Christmas Wrap – Photo Credit

By: Tiffany Mealia

Trying to save money over the holidays?

The festive season is a time to slow down, take some well-deserved time off work, and spend quality time with loved ones. This sounds great in theory but we all know how busy life actually gets around the holidays.

We are so wired in that it’s hard to find time to even see people during the holidays let alone prepare. As the pace picks up, we tend to leave our shopping until the last minute. We then find ourselves spending without thinking, thus we’re left with a rising credit card bill. To prevent the debts from reaching scary heights, we’ve prepared a few savvy tips for you to save money over the holidays without letting your sanity slide:

1. Budget: Decide who you’re going to buy for and make a list of how much you will spend on their gift. Shopping with your list in hand makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for. Keep your eyes peeled and pre-scout if possible, because a pricey gift might be on sale somewhere else! (more…)

7 Ways To Save Money This Fall

pumpkin-spice-latte-recipe

via Inspired Taste

Welp, we bought a house last month and we’re going into lockdown for the next few months because of all the fees involved. We have closing costs, A LOT of furniture and appliances to buy, plus we need to cover the rent on our place in Portland AND our mortgage on our beach house until we can start renting it out in the spring.

If you’re trying to buckle down on your costs and spending, here are a few ideas on how-to save money this fall:

1) Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

That expensive $5 latte is also really easy to make at home and a great way to get your fall pumpkin fix. The DIY version lets you control the amount of sugar and natural ingredients that are in your drink – so you know exactly what’s in it. Here’s a great pumpkin spice latte recipe to try out! (more…)

Your Personal Finance Checklist



Oh money.
 

It comes, it goes. It’s something I often avoid thinking about, but it’s a new year and I thought it was time to take a look at my personal finances and get everything in order.

 

The biggest reason I avoid an in-depth look at my personal finances, is that it can all be so overwhelming. So I decided to break everything down into little steps to get a grip on what I need to take care of my financial goals this year. I created a checklist for myself and hope you might be able to find this helpful too:

 

1) Emergency Fund

How much do you have in your emergency fund? Ask yourself how much you want to put away this year toward that fund. I used to be intimidated by having to sock away a big dollar amount, but even $50-100 a month is helpful and better than saving nothing for that rainy day.

 

2) Retirement Fund

Better to start earlier rather than later. If your employer offers to match the contributions that you make to your 401(k) plan – take advantage of that free money ASAP and max out the full amount. You don’t want to leave that money sitting on the table.

If there’s a way to have the money for your retirement auto-deducted from your savings account every month to go into your retirement account, that’s even better because, that way,  you won’t even miss the money. Set a goal for how much you’d like to save per year, then divide that by 12 to figure out how much you’ll need to put away each month. (For example: To save $5,000 per year, you’d divide that by 12 months, for a total of $416 per month or $208 per paycheck.) Breaking it down into smaller, more digestible amounts can help you achieve your goal.

 

3) Debt

Do you have any outstanding debt? People have different approaches when it comes to debts. Chase recommends that you pay of the highest interest rate debts first.

Whatever your strategy, lay all your debt out on a spreadsheet so you can see with one glance who you owe money to and how much.

 

4) House Fund / Travel Fund / Dream Fund

I like to call this the ‘big ticket’ fund. If there’s a major financial goal you want to achieve like buying a house, going on a big trip, paying for a wedding, etc., this is the savings account you’ll want to open.

Paul and I are thinking of buying a condo again soon and we are budgeting for the down payment and closing costs. Figure out what that number is and see how much more you need to save to make your dream a reality.

 

5) Check Your Credit Score

Do you know what your current credit score is? Paul and I recently checked our credit scores because we were looking to pre-qualify for mortgage. Luckily, we are in good shape. If your credit score needs some work, talk to someone at your bank about what you can do to improve your score.

 

6) Taxes

Not so much fun are your taxes. Are your taxes up-to-date? Do you need to find and hire an accountant? Do you owe any money? Make sure you’re caught up on all your taxes and everything is filed properly to avoid paying any major penalties.

I have to say, taking care of these things in my personal finances checklist put my mind at ease. I know where my money is going and which goals I’m trying to achieve this year. It helps to write it all down or put it into a spreadsheet.

 

If you’re looking for more information or a few helpful posts to help you with your personal finances, visit Chase online for strategies on improving your Financial Fitness.

What are your financial goals for 2016 and how are you planning to achieve them?

 

How I Finally Got Out of Debt

getting out of debt

Being in debt is no fun.

My parents didn’t make a lot of money, so I didn’t have a college fund and I definitely didn’t want to ask them for money. I put myself through university by working lots of part-time retail jobs and with various acting gigs.

I went to school part-time for four years, partially because I didn’t know what I wanted to do (I was still trying to be an actress) – but also because I could pay tuition off slowly as I went. I eventually moved back in with my parents and went to school full-time for two years to finally finish off my degree.

I’m now the proud owner of an Honours BA in Political Science. I have no regrets about going to university and getting my degree. It taught me how-to be a better writer, time management skills, work ethic and a respect for deadlines.

The money I made from working part-time was enough to cover my tuition and textbooks, however I still had to come up with rent and other expenses. Needless to say, I graduated with a maxed out credit line in my mid-20s and it took me until my very late 20s to get out of it.

Being in debt was a daily stress and after paying everything off – I swore I would never get back in again. I collaborated recently with Chase Bank and wrote a little post over at sheknows on the 6 Steps That Finally Got Me Out of Debt. You can read the full post here.

 

 

10 Ways To Make Extra Money

make-extra-money

It’s the new year, which means all those holiday bills finally catch-up to us. So how do you make extra money in a legit way? I’ve been doing a bit of research and these are the options I would definitely consider.

It’s all about the side hustle, getting rid of things you don’t need and finding people who will pay for your skills and services. Here are 10 great ways to make extra money, because that side hustle can add up or even launch into a business: (more…)