Saving

Why Women Need to Save More…A Lot More

Women get the short end of the stick when it comes to saving for retirement. Simply put, women need to save more…a lot more than men and the trend is that women actually end up saving less instead. According to a recent NerdWallet data analysis, the average American woman must save $1.25 for ever $1 a man invests in retirement savings to build an equivalent nest egg.

That’s not good news! (But we can fix it)

Women earn less than men in most careers and that can have a serious impact on our lifestyle in retirement. Here are some tips to boost your savings now to catch up.

Let’s be real here…on average our total retirement savings rate is just not that great, regardless of sex. According to the National Retirement Risk Index, just over half of U.S. families aren’t saving enough to maintain their standard of living once they’ve retired.

I see this time and time again working with clients and couples. There are so many reasons why this is happening, but at the end of the day it just means we all have to be super saving at knowing our numbers and finding ways to save, invest, and grow our money regardless of sex and the ridiculous pay gap.

On This Podcast Episode:

  • We’re dishing about the recent NerdWallet survey and their findings
  • Which states NerdWallet says women are gaining the most ground when it comes to closing the pay gap and equalizing savings
  • Strategies and tips women can use to in light of the savings shortage
  • Discuss why you should be retirement “double dipping”
  • Find the best IRA Providers & the best online brokers

Million Dollar Roadmap – Max Out Your 401(k)

Your 401(k) was never designed to provide all of your income in retirement but unfortunately, it’s become the predominant choice to do so. This year Congress has decided to leave the 401(k) contribution at $18,000 citing only small changes in CPI (Consumer Price Index) as the cause. If you want to reach that million dollar mark (or more) in your retirement savings you’ve got to have a few tricks up your sleeve.

Your 401(k) was never set up to take care of you fully in retirement. Here are some tips to score a million dollars or more in your retirement savings account.

Maximize Your Allocation

There’s a number that most people don’t talk about – $54,000. That is 2017’s maximum allocation that you can contribute to ALL retirement plans combined – 401(k), IRA, ROTH, SEP, SIMPLE IRA, etc. This number (and a good strategy) can help you save millions of dollars in your retirement plan.

The more money you save = the more lifestyle options you have down the road.

In this podcast episode, I’ll be dishing about what you need to know to head down the million dollar road with your retirement savings and why the maximum allocation number is so important to remember.

If you’re looking for a great tool to help you figure out your retirement savings, I suggest you head over to my friends at Nerdwallet and check out their retirement savings calculator.

 

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Best Of: Saving Money Secrets

The Saving Money Secret

For the end of the year, we decided to play some throwback episodes from earlier this year. It seems every time I do a podcast episode on saving money you seem to really resonate with the message.

There are so many ways to save money but one of my favorite tips is simply to know your numbers. Find out all my saving money secrets in this best of episode.

The truth is, the easiest way to save money, which really isn’t a secret at all but it just seems like everyone overlooks this, is to know your numbers.

Know how much your spending each month on everything – eating out, groceries, shopping, ATM, Uber fees, etc.

The Power of Numbers

When you truly know your numbers you can find easy ways to create savings that are hiding right in your bank account just waiting for you to find them.

Trust me…there is money right now in your bank account just waiting to be found.

Enjoy this best of podcast episode and let it inspire you to find some creative ways to start saving money.

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3 Reasons to Care About the Interest Rate Hike

All the Fuss With Interest Rate Hikes

You’ve probably gotten through life thus far not really caring about what the Federal Reserve does when it meets a few times each year and couldn’t care less about the Fed Funds Rate. You might’ve heard rumblings on the news about interest rates going up and thought, “Well, I don’t really care about that.” I’m here to tell you that you should care or at least know what the heck it means when the Fed raises the rates.

The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates again and as millennials you should pay attention. There are three key areas that could hit your wallet hard - credit card interest rates, car and home loans, and student loan refinancing rates.

On This Podcast

We’re going to dish about three reasons why you should care about the interest rate hike. This is a not so subtle hint that raising the interest rates actually does matter to you and your wallet. The Fed raises the rates to stabilize the economy but what ends up happening is any of your loans tied to variable interest rates will go up.

  • Find out what the Fed is and why interest rates go up
  • How the raising interest rates affect your bank account
  • What you can do to counteract the higher interest rates
  • Why higher interest rates are good news for savers who want to take advantage of higher interest rates on high-yield savings accounts

Make Money and Do Good While You’re Holiday Shopping

Meet Goodshop

On today’s podcast, we’re chatting with Goodshop co-founder, JJ Ramberg. JJ in her own right is kind of a big deal. She’s host of MSNBC’s show, “Your Business,” and the longest running female host at MSNBC. That’s right, she’s pretty awesome.

Goodshop is offering you the perfect solution to shopping - save money and do good at the same time.

She started Goodshop 11 years ago with her brother as a company known for its “coupons for good” shopping model and just launched the world’s first “shopfunding” site called Goodshop Give.

Goodshop allows you to make all your holiday purchases online (while saving a ton of money using Goodshop’s coupons) while raising money for a cause that you care about. With their new Goodshop deals button that you can install on your browser, you can be shopping, giving back and saving money all at the same time.

With their new Goodshop deals button that you can install on your browser, you can be shopping, giving back and saving money all at the same time.

Whether you have a heart for the American Red Cross of a local school or organization, you can choose who you want to support. The best, it doesn’t cost you anything extra to both save money with Goodshop’s coupons and to give back!

On this podcast episode

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Earn More Rewards From Your Credit Cards

Credit Card Rewards, Reward You

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know how valuable credit card points and rewards are. I understand not wanting to have a bunch of credit cards that tempt you to spend money but using debit cards versus credit cards means you are missing out on a lot of amazing perks.

These perks are worth real money to you and can translate into free hotel stays, free flights, free car rental, gift certificates, and even just plain good ole’ cash back.Are you maximizing your rewards from credit cards? You should be...rewards are worth real money in your pocket!

Meet Birch

I’m always on the hunt to discover new products and mobile apps that I think will radically help you financially. Birch was a fantastic find, and I had a chance to talk to their CEO, Alex Cohen, for this podcast episode.

Birch is your answer to finding the best strategy for your credit cards so you can maximize all of those awesome perks. It’s like putting money right back in your pocket – and the best part – it’s FREE to set up an account and start maximizing your rewards.

Use a Credit Card Wisely

I just can’t say this enough. If you use a credit card wisely, like a debit card and pay the balance off each month, you’re in the money so to speak. Credit card companies are competing feverously to offer better and better perks and rewards.

I simply won’t accept that you can’t use a credit card responsibly. Self-discipline is one of the core principals to smart financial planning and it will take you a long way towards achieving your goals. There are simply way too many perks with credit cards to pass them by.

 

Are You Part of Generation Stress? How to Avoid Money Stress Once and For All

Millennials are called "generation stress" because of high student loans, unemployment, credit cards debt and low savings rates. Here are some tips to avoid money stress once and for all. Millennials are Generation Stress

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 18 to 35-year-olds are the most stressed out generation ever—earning ourselves the nickname “Generation Stress.”

I got this question recently from a listener who is definitely feeling the stress. “We have two degrees in marketing, with over $75,000 combined student loan debt making it paycheck to paycheck in what should be an exciting life filled with going out, buying new cars and saving for a home. How can we possibly save money when we’re living in a small apartment just getting by? It wasn’t supposed to be like this for sure!

My friends are all in the same situation – good jobs – not great, but good. Loads of student loan debt, some credit card debt in there, daydreaming through social media and living vicariously through everyone else that has either figured out a secret we don’t know or are going even more in debt each month. Is there a solution to this madness?”

On this Podcast Episode

  • I’m sharing my tips to battle money stress once and for all
  • Understand how you can get to the bottom of your money stress
  • Work through an exercise to help you deal with your stress
  • I’ll share my own money stress stories too and how I use the app Headspace to counteract my stress

Millennials and Stress

I know stress isn’t easy. It can pop up at any moment in time and leave you breathless. One of the best things I’ve learned over the years is to not freak out whenever something happens money-wise. You can’t think straight when you’re stress and it’s much easier to make a small money mistake turn into a large one when you’re busy stressing out.

 

 

 

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Put Your Credit Cards On An Island

There are lots of strategies when it comes to credit cards, but WalletHub's new island approach might be the best thing since sliced bread.

Credit Card Debt All Around

It’s no secret that around the world we’ve been able to amass a huge amount of credit card debt. We all want everything, and we want it right away. This kind of thinking doesn’t always bode well for our budget and bank account.

The U.S. consumer debt could hit $80 billion this year – and just in case you’re wondering, that’s a heck of a lot of debt.

We’ve talked about all the normal credit card strategies over and over again but I always feel like you can’t hear them enough. Things like:

  • Have a solid emergency fund of at least 3 month’s worth of fixed expenses
  • Get your credit card balances on low-interest cards
  • For goodness sake, please use a points or cashback credit card
  • Always use your credit card like a debit card

Time to Put Your Credit Cards On An Island

When I was glancing over WalletHub’s great credit card tips I came across their method of putting your credit cards on an island and just had to share. On this podcast I’m sharing just what that means and why you should start using this strategy (combined with all the stellar tips above).

Credit cards are a game, but one where you can win!

(Don’t forget to enter our Seattle Getaway Giveaway by December 13th)

End of the Year Money Decisions to Boost Your Bank Account

With just four more weeks of 2016, there is still some time left to make a few end of the year money decisions to help you save money and/or grow your money. I know that your mind may firmly be on holiday decorations, office holiday parties, and who you will kiss when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. However, if we’re going to do this money thing right, we should at least think about making a few of these last-minute money decisions.

With 2016 almost over, it's a great time to take advantage of some end of the year money decisions to boost your bank account.

Retirement for the Win

You may be sitting pretty with your contribution to your 401(k) at work, but the end of the year is a great time to boost your savings and enjoy a larger deduction for 2016. Ask your HR department if you can up your contribution even just a few percentage points before the end of the year. You can always drop your contribution back down in 2017. You can contribute up to $18,000 if you’re under 55 in 2016.

Don’t have a 401(k) – no problem! You actually have until you file your taxes next year to open an IRA and save up to $5,500 if you’re under 55. Why would you do this? Well, it helps you supercharge your retirement savings and potentially enjoy a write-off at the same time.

Is it deductible: (graph from IRS website)

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-2-40-35-pm

Remember, there are no deductions for a ROTH.

Go Ahead & Pay Now

One of the best end of the year secrets (well, it’s not really a secret, but many people don’t talk about it), is the advice to pre-pay your property taxes and/or your mortgage payment in 2016. Let’s say you have a mortgage, you can go ahead and make your January payment in December, and take a deduction this year for that payment. Same goes for your property taxes. Make sure you look up your own rules in the county where you live.

Why would you do this? Well, let’s say you’ve made extra money this year or a large bonus. Rather than paying more in taxes you can look for ways to balance out your extra earnings.

If you run your own biz, the same magic works for you. You can pre-pay a deductible car payment, or buy new software or get new business cards or a website. There are so many ways you can pay now, and save later.

You’ll Take the Loss

There’s a concept in the investment world called tax-loss harvesting. It may sound exotic like you’re going out to some field to find tax losses, but it’s actually a simple concept that can save you money. Let’s say you have two stocks. One lost you $2,000 this year and one had a gain of $3,000. With tax-loss harvesting, you can smooth out your gain by taking up to a $3,000 tax loss on your tax return. In this case, with a $2,000 loss and $3,000 gain, you would only pay tax on $1,000 of the gain. See how that works?

Now, even if you have a loss, you might not want to sell a stock or a mutual fund. Maybe you believe t he stock will rebound. In that case, tax-loss harvesting means nothing to you now, but it’s important to understand the concept.

Get Charitable

The end of the year is a great time to make extra donations to your favorite charity that is doing amazing things in your city, or even abroad. Here are a few rules to keep in mind:

  • Must be a 501(c)3 charity to get the deduction ( you can check your charity here)
  • You must get a receipt, even if you give them cash. You can claim a deduction of $250 or more only if you have that little magical receipt
  • You can donate stock that has appreciated if you don’t want to pay tax on it
  • You can’t deduct your time for volunteering, but your gas, parking fees, toll fees, equipment, etc.
  • Contributions can be deducted only in the year they were made – so watch the clock
  • Even if you don’t get a deduction…shouldn’t we all be more charitable

Pay Off Game Plan

If you’ve got debt that is remaining it’s a great time to get a move on a debt game plan. You can save tons on interest fees over the length of the loan by constructing a solid payoff plan. There’s a right way to do this – and it doesn’t include throwing a ton of money on your credit cards at random. Use a credit card payoff calculator to find out your ideal payoff strategy.

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The Secret to Saving That You’ve Totally Overlooked

Everyone is always trying to figure out the secret to saving, but actually it's really quite simple.

What’s the Secret to Saving

I recently collaborated on an article with my very favorite budgeting app company, YNAB. It’s true, there are tons and tons of articles about saving money. It seems like everyone has a tip or a secret or a saving money hack. There are hundreds and hundreds of articles and books written about the subject.

So with this many articles, why do we still find it so hard to save money?

Why is saving money a goal that you always have and never seem to be able to achieve?

I Think I Know the Secret to Saving

It’s taken me many years to develop this secret, and quite honestly, it was hiding under my nose the whole entire time. I think the secret to saving money is a little concept called contentment. I know, you were expecting fireworks and some super top secret code that us financial planners have. No…I think it’s really just as simple as being content with where you are.

On this Podcast Episode:

  • I’ll talk about what being content really means
  • Tell you about my journey to contentment
  • Pose some questions that might help you finally win the battle with saving money
  • Talk about how easy saving money really can be

I’ve got a ton of podcasts on saving money, so go back and listen to some of those again. However, I kind of think this one is my new favorite.

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