Tips on Investing & Saving
Steps to better savings
Today's economic uncertainties are nothing new. As long as I can remember there have always been times of economic uncertainties and upheaval. Today is no different. The best investment analyst and most economic advisers share some things in common when advising their clients.
Always save some money. You don't have to save a large chunk every time you get paid but you should always put a little portion of your paycheck into a safe and trustworthy savings or mutual fund account. If banks charge you a maintenance fee to administer your accounts, why can you not "pay" yourself a maintenance fee too?
You balance your checking account, write the checks, mail them, keep the receipts right? Then you are administering an account, regardless of whether it's yours or not. If you "pay" yourself about $60.00, which is extremely modest, per pay period it comes to about $120.00 per month which rounds up to $1,440.00 per year.
Look for discounts. Try buying things that go on sale or are at a discount, but think before you buy. I have seen people drive 10 miles to save 10 cents per gallon at a gas station that has gas cheaper than the local stations, only to waste that savings and more driving there and back.
Buy things when you need them, not when you want them. Impulse buying can be expensive and will often be for items for which you have no real need. Next time you want to buy something, ask yourself do I need it or want it?. If you only want it, put the money in your savings account instead.
Save on the little things. Walking to a nearby store, is not only good for your health, but will save you gas. Bring your own lunch to work. You will end up saving around $6.00 per day, that's $30.00 per week and that's $1,560.00 per year.
Fast food. A hot topic in my house. A typical combo burger meal is about $6.76, and it only feeds one. Multiply that by lets say you, a significant other, one child and you've spent $20.28. You could have bought a family meal for about the same price, albeit at another locale, but it would have fed all of you.
Invest wisely. Mutual funds are good, but most have administration fees. Example: for every $10,000 invested approximately $1,800.00 is for administration fees. Buy Index Funds when possible, they require very little administrative work so the fees are quite low (approximately $145.00 for every $10,000.00) as compared to Mutual Funds which are managed by a fund manager, and he/she has to get paid!
Continue contributing to your mutual funds/Index funds even if they are under-performing. Markets go up and down, these are normal cycles,but in the long run, your money will add up (does inflation ring a bell?)
Buy stock only when it's at a discount, eventually it's bound to grow (think of the long run). Research the industry into which you are investing, Learn what other factors may increase or decrease the value of your stock. Petroleum stocks are doing well due to the crisis in the middle east. Sugar stock might do well if a major sugar producing country suddenly has a natural disaster and so on.
For your kids, (I'm not sure teenagers will buy into this). Increase their allowance one to half a percent for every dollar that they have saved from their previous allowance. This can be adjusted on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
Another topic which is also relevant to savings. By law in the United States, the only responsibility that the employer has towards their employees is to pay them for the total amount of hours worked plus allow one hour for lunch/dinner per every nine hours spent at the job. If you get benefits, are paid for time off, also called PTO, sick or medical leave, vacations etc., consider these bonuses.
Take this into account when changing jobs. In most states if you leave or quit your job you will be ineligible for unemployment insurance. If you are dismissed and it was for something that you did, you may also be ineligible. Exceptions are usually when an undue or unforeseen strain forces you to leave your job, but better documented it.
Although the burden of proof usually falls on the employer, documentation never hurts. If working a full time, which is 30 hours plus one minute, then your are also entitled to be paid your hourly wage plus half for every hour of overtime and does not apply if you are paid a salary.
For further topics or information look for financial advice articles to find more steps to investing & savings.
- 20 Stock-Investing Tips
When you buy a share of stock, you are taking a share of ownership in a company. Collectively, the company is owned by all the shareholders, and each share represents a claim on assets and earnings.
© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez
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