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Ways to Save Money with Low Waste Living

low waste living

Not only are there major health and environmental benefits to living a more low-waste lifestyle, but there are monetary benefits to take advantage of as well.

Taking care of our planet is important for many reasons. For example, air pollution has been linked to increases in cases of asthma. Even prenatal exposure to air pollution can increase the child’s risk of developing childhood wheezing and asthma.

Likewise, the benefits of recycling and lowering our wastes are great. It can help our environment, our health, conserve our natural resources, and provide more economic security.

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But one major benefit to recycling and living a more low waste lifestyle is that it’s also a way to save money in the long run. Instead of buying single-use items once or twice a month, replace these costs with higher quality products that can last you a number of years. And if you need help paying for these higher qualify single-purchase items, you can always take out a Check City Personal Loan to get you started on your low waste journey.

There are everyday expenses that you can reduce or eliminate entirely just by using a few low-waste living tips.

What is Recycling?

In 2017, the US generated over 260 million tons of waste. We recycled about 67 million tons and composted about 27 million tons.

In waste management, there are 2 types of waste disposal—the conventional method, recycling, and composting.

Recycling is a method of waste disposal that takes waste and makes it into other things. Instead of throwing things away, they are used to create new products. Recycling allows materials to continue to have use rather than piling up in landfills.

What is Composting?

Composting is the process used to turn organic waste, like food scraps, into usable compost, which can then be used as fertilizer. Composting gathers organic waste together and lets it decompose until it creates a soil conditioner (fertilizer) that is very rich in nutrients. You can then use this for soil as fertilizer to help plants grow better.

Composting is a great thing to do at home for your garden, flower bed, or herb garden. It is just another way you can help your household become more self-sufficient and help your plants and flowers grow more abundantly.

What is Greenwashing?

If you want to do your part to help the environment and your local community thrive then you’ll want to be aware of greenwashing.

Greenwashing is an advertising method meant to make products look organic or ecofriendly when in reality they aren’t. If a product or company’s ecofriendly claims are really true then they’ll usually tell you all about it—providing evidence, certificates, and details.

If their claims are vague or unspecific, then most likely they are greenwashing their product in the hopes it will help it sell better. When making purchases do your research and don’t be duped by false or shady advertising.

What is Low Waste Living?

Being environmentally minded comes in all kinds of ranges. You can strive to live the zero waste lifestyle or you can simply try and live a more low waste lifestyle. Either way can save you hundreds of dollars every year.

Low Waste Living is when you attempt to make less waste, be more self-sufficient, and buy products that are quality and long lasting rather than single use products you’ll have to buy over and over again.

All the Ways to Save Money Living Low Waste

You might think of low waste living as something crazy and intense people do or something you need to be really committed to in order to pull off. But there are actually plenty of really simple ways to make less waste and save yourself a ton of money along the way.

There are lots of frequent, recurring costs you could replace for a single purchase to you’re your monthly spending and use that money elsewhere. You just have to know what can be replaced.

1. Plastic Water Bottles

Save $100.00

Filtered water is just better, and many of us don’t live in areas with great tap water. But we need to drink lots of water every day and the cost of water bottles can really get out of hand. Instead you can buy a water filter pitcher, a really nice water filtration dispenser, or a really nice stainless steel faucet water filter so you don’t have to spend so much money on water bottles ever again.

2. Shop in Bulk

Save up to 83%

You can save a lot of money when you buy in bulk. Find the local stores near you that sell in bulk like Sam’s Club, Costco, and whole food stores where you can get basic foods from barrels.

The key with buying in bulk is that you save big on the price per unit and you buy amounts that can stock up your home and last a lot longer, which saves you gas money and time spent at the store. Some experts estimate that you can save up to 83% on your grocery bill by buying in bulk.

3. Make Homemade Cleaning Products

Save $600

We want to keep our homes clean and sanitized but the products we need to do so can get really expensive. Instead, you can just make your own homemade cleaning products with these simple homemade cleaning product recipes. You can also buy your favorite squirt bottles to reuse over and over again as well.

4. Reusable Grocery Bags

Save 10 cents per bag

Plastic bags are still free at most grocery stores but this might not always be the case. Many states have already begun banning single-use plastic bags at grocery and retail stores or created minimum 10 cent charges if you want to use plastic bags.

Save yourself the hassle by getting your own awesome reusable grocery shopping bags now that you can keep in your car and use at the grocery store instead of plastic bags.

You can also buy some tote bags to use when you make retail purchases at other stores, so that you can avoid the hassle of plastic bags there as well.

Getting your own shopping bags is also helpful because they won’t rip at the bottom and spill your items everywhere, they won’t squish your items together in small plastic bags, and they can even keep your food cold on the trip home. You can even get specific produce bags with some online shopping.

5. Reusable Straws

Using reusable straws instead of single-use plastic straws can be one of the easiest, and funnest ways to go green. Reusable straws come in all kinds of shapes and colors, and can even come in compact containers that fit on your keychain.

6. Bring Your Own Water Bottle

Water bottles also come in all kinds of creative shapes, sizes, and colors. They can also come with unique functionalities. Instead of using the flimsy paper and plastic cups at restaurants you can use your own bottle instead! This will also keep your drink cold or hot longer and be more comfortable to hold in your hand or travel with you when you leave.

7. Install a Bidet

Save up to $120

The average American spends up to $120 each year on toilet paper alone. While you can’t really get rid of this cost, you can reduce the need by installing a bidet in your bathroom. You’ll save on toilet paper and actually be a cleaner and more hygienic person as well.

8. Start a Compost Bin

A compost bin can be a great way to put all your organic waste to better use. Your compost bin just needs 3 ingredients to function:

  1. Browns: like dead leaves, branches, twigs
  2. Greens: like grass, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, coffee grounds
  3. Water

When you make your own compost you won’t need to spend money on chemical fertilizers and your garden will grow fuller and healthier. So a compost bin can save you money on gardening supplies and on groceries depending on what you decide to grow!

9. Plant a Garden

Save up to $600

Planting your own garden can both save and make you money. By planting your own herbs, vegetables, legumes, and even fruits you can save up to $600 on food costs each year. You could also make extra money each year by selling the produce from your garden at your local farmers market, or to your friends and neighbors.

10. Raise Chickens

Save up to $400

You can take your little farm one step further by getting a few farm animals of your own. Chickens are a good example for beginners and they can save you on the cost of eggs each year. You could even make money selling chicks to other households that would like to start raising their own chickens as well.

11. Make Your Own Clothes

Save up to $1,800

New clothes can be so expensive and with the rise of fast fashion many clothing brands don’t even provide quality clothes anymore. But you can take your wardrobe into your own hands by learning how to sew your own clothes!

12. Replace Paper Towels with Dish Rags

Save over $200

Paper towels can be nice and convenient but they might also be taking up more of your budget than you realize. Instead of spending extra money each month on the convenience of paper towels, buy a couple of kitchen towels for cleaning and wiping your hands.

13. Replace Paper Napkins with Cloth Napkins

Save over $200

You can also replace the paper napkins in your house with cloth napkins instead! Now your set table will look nicer and your family and guests will feel pampered and fancy when they come over for dinner.

14. Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues

Save up to $100

For instance, a pack of 4 flat box Kleenex costs about $6 while a pack of 6 basic handkerchiefs can cost $5.00 and last you for years to come. Meanwhile, tissue boxes only last a little while before you need to purchase them all over again.

So instead of buying box after box of tissues every year, just get yourself some nice handkerchiefs instead!

Replacing frequent costs with a single purchase is always the better choice. And handkerchiefs are going to be nicer on your nose, not chaff and dry out your nose the way paper tissues do. They’re also more useful because you can use them as a cloth too! If you need to wipe away some perspiration or wipe your hands throughout the day or anything.

15. Make Foods from Scratch

Save up to $4,109

Learn to make homemade things from scratch instead of instant and boxed foods. For example, two homemade pizza can cost as little as $3.25, while 2 pizzas from a pizza place can easily cost you over $20.

You can also learn to do your own canning and make preservatives. There are many things you can make yourself for less than half the cost it takes to buy it from the store. Here’s a short list of some other things you could learn to make from scratch instead of buying it in stores:

  • chicken or vegetable stock
  • peanut butter
  • macaroni and cheese
  • granola
  • baby food
  • spaghetti sauce
  • lunch meat
  • pizza
  • bread
16. Eat More Like a Vegetarian/Vegan

Save up to $700

You don’t have to commit to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle to take advantage of vegetarian and vegan meals. These meals can be tasty, full of nutrients, and cheaper than recipes that use lots of meats and dairy products.

17. Recycle

Make some spare change!

Get recycling bins for your home and start recycling! You can actually make money recycling certain items at your local recycling facility.

18. Don’t Waste Freezer Foods

You can create a lot of waste and waste a lot of food by not utilizing your freezer enough. Make foods last longer by storing them correctly in the freezer. You can even create a food expiration calendar for your fridge to help you keep track when you need to eat certain foods.

food storage expiration date calendars

There are also a surprising number of things you can make with overripe foods, like banana bread. So always check before you toss things whether you can give it a second life somehow.

19. Buy Used Instead of New

Not only does buying used items help recycle things and maintain the environment, but buying used can also save you a lot of money as well! If you need new furniture, you can find great deals on beautiful pieces at antique shops and on the Facebook Marketplace.

20. Support Local Farmers

By shopping at the local farmer’s market for food items instead of big chain grocery stores, you can support your local farmers, reduce consumption, and save money on cheaper and fresher produce.

21. Don’t Waste on Basic Bills

Save up to $2,060

Overdoing it on utilities can put a strain on the environment and your wallet. So take measures to reduce the use of your utilities like heating, cooling, electricity, and water.

For example, you could save your AC by opening windows to keep things cool instead. You could also make some homemade dry shampoo so you don’t have to wash your hair so frequently and conserve water that way. This will also help your shampoo last longer for when you do wash your hair. You could also put less use on your drier by hanging things up to dry instead.

22. Find a Local Tailor

Sometimes we get rid of clothes when they could be fixed! Find a local tailor and have them fix up your old clothes, pants, shoes, or even hats so you don’t have to replace them as often. You’ll also be supporting local businesses which is always a good thing.

23. Replace Plastic Loofahs

Save up to $120

Instead of rebuying plastic loofas over and over again throughout the course of your life find a more permanent solution. You can find bath brushes in all kinds of shapes and brush types and they’ll actually help exfoliate and clean you better than a loofah anyway.

24. Rechargeable Batteries

Save up to $20

Not many things still use batteries but our need for batteries is far from over. But instead of rebuying batteries every time they die, just buy a pack of rechargeable batteries that you can use for life! That way you won’t be throwing away harmful batteries all the time, and you won’t have to buy them all the time either.

25. Make Reusable Gift Bags

Save up to $240

We spend so much on wrapping paper each year for birthdays and holidays. It’s fun to give gifts and being able to open the gift is one of the best parts! But you can keep the surprise while getting rid of wrapping paper costs by crafting together some reusable gift bags or clothes of your own.

26. Ditch Sponges for Brushes

Save up to $40

Sponges are important for helping you wash dishes, but they can get gross and need replacing really fast. Ditch the cost of sponges all together by buying dish brushes instead.

27. Use Public Transit, Walk, or Bike

Save up to $2,000

The average American spends over $2,000 a year on gas. That’s a lot of money that could be going to other parts of your budget. By taking the bus, using a bike, or walking you can greatly reduce this cost and reduce your emissions.

How To Live a Low Waste Lifestyle

The above list doesn’t list all the things you can do to cut down on waste and costs, but just with the tips above you can potentially save up to $13,000 a year by becoming more self-sufficient and replacing single-use purchases with single-purchase items you only have to buy once.

What will you do with all this extra money? You could put it all into a savings account, a checking account, use it to help reach your savings goals, or pay off credit cards, or start an emergency fund. Start saving money today and make your future brighter and more waste free.

These are a lot of really helpful ideas, but most of them boil down to a few key tactics to living a more low waste lifestyle.

  1. Make things from scratch
  2. Be self-sufficient
  3. Support local businesses
  4. Choose quality over anything else

Now all you have to do is create your own master plan of attack for living the low-waste way and watch how much your budget grows with all those savings!

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make?

how much do computer programmers make

Computer programmers make about $5,221 a month while the average full-time worker makes around $3,744 a month.

In America right now, computer programmers tend to make about $1,477 more than the national average and that’s only considering the median salary figures for computer programmers. GlassDoor says that computer programmers can make up to $9,166 a month!

What Do Computer Programmers Do?

Computer programmers can work in a wide variety of fields. But mainly, computer programmers create and troubleshoot code, computer software, and computer programs.

Computer programming itself is all about writing instructions for computers so that programs and software work the way they are supposed to. Computer programmers often use their skills to help programs be more user-friendly for customers or other company employees.

Computer programmers complete their jobs by learning and using computer languages like Java, C++, C#, and Python, just to name a few out of many. Aside from computer languages, computer programmers also want to stay up to date in the world of technology throughout their careers.

The Best Coding Languages to Learn

coding languages

If you want to become a computer programmer you’ll want to start getting familiar with computer languages. There are many many computer programming languages, but some are more popular than others.

The 5 Most Popular Computer Languages:

  1. Java
  2. C
  3. C++
  4. Python
  5. C#

The languages you learn as a computer programmer can also be important to your future salary.

Java

Java is a useful language to know because it can be used on any platform, regardless of whether it’s Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, mobile, or desktop. It’s a very commonly used language that can be used for web development and creating apps. Java is considered to be an intermediate level coding language since you will need to learn some specific vocabulary.

Computer programmers who know Java make an average of $94,000 a year.

C

C is a very old computer language. It is actually the root language behind other coding languages like C#, C++, and Java. Because of this, many people recommend learning C first in order to get a good foundation in computer languages. C language is a high-performance language at the intermediate to advance level. You need to have some knowledge of computers before you start working in this language.

Computer programmers who know C make an average of $91,000 a year.

C++

C++ is a language branched off from C language. But while C language is intermediate to advance, C++ is only beginner to intermediate, making it a bit easier of a language to learn if you’re just starting out. Many have also been migrating from C to C++ because it is more intuitive in how it’s used.

Computer programmers who know C++ make an average of $91,000 a year.

Python

Python is a very common language and it is growing in popularity. Of all the languages mentioned here, Python is probably the easiest to learn. It is a beginner level of difficulty so if you’ve never learned a language before, Python might be the best language to start with.

Computer programmers who know Python make an average of $92,000 a year.

C#

C# was created by Microsoft and is similar to the C++ language. It’s a language that is most compatible with Windows, Android, and iOS and uses the concept of object-oriented programming.

Computer programmers who know C# make an average of $91,000 a year.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Coding

About 3 months

How long it takes you to learn a coding language will largely depend on the route you take to learn the language. Many programs and courses can teach a coding language in 3 months.

But you can also take college courses as a computer science major, and learn several important coding languages in 4 years. Either way, learning a single coding language is going to take you a matter of months to fully learn.

How Do You Become a Computer Programmer?

Another perk of computer programming is that the process to become one is rather uncomplicated.

First, get a bachelor’s degree

The most common bachelor’s degrees for computer programmers are computer science, information technology (IT), or mathematics.

Next, specialize in one or 2 computer languages

Becoming certified in these computer languages will be especially helpful in your career as a computer programmer. Besides your school, there are many places you can go to take courses, training, and testing for certifications. And if you need help paying for the courses you need, you could take out a Check City Personal Loan.

You may need to learn many coding languages throughout your career as a computer programmer, but starting by specializing in one or two is a great way to get your foot in the door. Specialized knowledge in one or two of them might also help make learning other languages easier later on.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make?

computer programmer salary

Knowing your earning potential can help you know what offers to expect and accept when searching for a job. It can also help you make decisions about which career path to choose.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make a Year?

According to PayScale computer programmers make around $40,000 to $98,000 per year. Their average yearly salary is around $62,663.

But other places have some things to say about the earnings of computer programmers too. Like the GlassDoor, that says computer programmers’ salaries range between $58,000 to $110,000 a year, with a base average pay of $76,526 a year.

Meanwhile, the salary range for computer programmers according to PayScale is $40,000 to $98,000 a year, with an average yearly salary of $62,663.

With $44,928‬ a year as the average salary for full-time workers in America, computer programmers do rather well for themselves.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make in a Month?

Computer programmers can make an average of $5,221 per month, according to the average annual salaries mentioned above. But they also have the potential to make up to $9,166 a month.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make in a Week?

As a computer programmer, if you are being paid hourly instead of a yearly salary, you can expect to make around $21.99 an hour and $879 a week. But according to ZipRecruiter computer programmers can make up to $47 an hour!

Pay by Location

pay by location

Sometimes where you work can impact what kind of pay you can expect. For example, New York makes 25% above the average pay, Los Angeles California makes 2% below, and Houston Texas makes 7% below.

Some of the best paying cities are Seattle Washington ($129,290), Charlottesville Virginia ($112,240), Vallejo California ($112,000), Olympia Washington ($107,890), and Hartford Connecticut ($106,250).

Some of the best paying states are Washington ($126,920), District of Columbia ($105,200), California ($97,470), Arizona ($95,900), and Massachusetts ($95,380).

Pay by Experience Level

pay by experience

Your experience level can also determine how much you get paid each year. Most jobs will pay you more, the more experience you have. Programmers who have only been working for a year or less can make an average of $51,344 a year, with 1 to 4 years of experience they can make $56,731, 5 to 9 years of experience can make around $69,571 a year, 10 to 19 years of experience can make around $77,466, and finally, with 20 or more years of experience, you can make around $84,664 a year.

Related Jobs

related jobs

If computer programming isn’t quite what you were looking for, there are other jobs related to computer programming that might better pique your interest. Some jobs related to computer programming are software developers, database administrators, computer systems administrators, computer and information systems managers, or computer and information research scientists.

Software developers make an average $105,590 a year, make $90,070, make $82,050, computer and information systems managers make $142,530, and computer and information research scientists make $118,370 a year.

There are many jobs to choose from out there and it can be hard to make a decision. But with the right help, you can figure out what you want to do in life with ease.


Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Computer and Information Technology/Software Developers,” “Computer and Information Technology/Network and Computer Systems Administrators,” “Computer and Information Technology/Database Administrators,” “Computer and Information Technology/Computer and Information Research Scientists.”

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

How Much Do Dentists Make?

dentist salary

When picking a profession many people wonder about annual salary, because earning potential might impact which career path you choose.

By knowing how much you can earn in each field, you can better know what jobs best fit your desired lifestyle and have the ability to support yourself and your loved ones. Meanwhile, if you’re in between jobs and need some financial help, feel free to check out Check City’s Payday Loans to help get you through the job hunt.

The Different Kinds of Dental Professions

Dentistry is a great profession to go into if you want great hours along with great pay. There are also many different kinds of dentists so you have many choices within the field of dentistry as well.

All dentists need to have a professional degree, which usually involves going to dental school, though some dental professions require even more schooling. As we go down this list of dentist professions, their amount of required education increases.

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants are like the RNs of the dentistry world. They help out the dentist, perform routine cleanings, take x-rays, keep records, and schedule appointments.

General Dentist

A general dentist is the person you see for your regular annual dental checkup. They primarily focus on preventative care by teaching you how to take good care of your teeth so problems don’t occur in the first place. They’ll perform cleanings, X-rays, fillings, and other basic dental care.

Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist is just like a general dentist except they specialize in treating children. Children come with their own kind of teeth and their own struggles when it comes to doctors, so pediatric dentists are helpful in that they focus on managing children, teaching them in ways they’ll understand, making the experience at the dentist less scary, and caring for their young mouths as they grow from baby teeth to adult teeth.

Orthodontist

If you have braces then you know that orthodontists are the ones you go to for this kind of care. But they don’t just handle braces. They also handle a lot of other issues connected to a misaligned mouth or jaw.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the surgeons of the mouth. They focus less on teeth and more on the tissues around the mouth—like gums, cheeks, lips, palates, tongue, and other facial tissues. These are obviously going to be more invasive treatments, so oral and maxillofacial surgeons continue school for a while after completing dental school. Though they focus more on the tissues related to the mouth they do also deal with tooth extractions.

Periodontist

Periodontists are all about your gums. They specialize in taking care of gum-specific problems and treatments. Some examples of the issues that can occur with gums are inflammation, pain, and gum diseases. If you have an issue with your gums specifically, then you might need to see a periodontist.

Prosthodontist

Prosthodontists are the people you go to when you need a tooth replacement. They take care of what’s called oral prosthetics, like false teeth. They are also the doctors you see in advertisements about getting extreme smile makeovers.

Endodontist

Endodontists specialize on the inside of teeth. The inside of your tooth is actually full of soft, sensitive tissue and can suffer its own kinds of damages and ailments that need to be treated by a professional. These are also the dentists that perform root canals.

How Much Do Dentists Make a Year?

infographic dentist salary

In 2018, dentists made an overall median salary of $156,240 per year and $75.12 per hour.

The lowest earning 10% of dentists earned less than $72,840 a year and the highest 10% earned more than $208,000 a year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) general dentists make an average of $151,850 a year. According to PayScale, pediatric dentists make an average $178,141 a year, orthodontists make $181,705, oral and maxillofacial surgeons make $243,806, periodontists make $173,939,
prosthodontists make $169,853, endodontists make $201,080, and dental assistants make $34,095.

How Much Do Dentists Make a Month?

monthly income

In 2018, dentists made an average of $13,020 per month

Sometimes it helps to break down yearly salaries into monthly income, especially if you’re currently living month to month. According to the same figures above, general dentists make an average of $12,654 every month, pediatric dentists make $14,845, orthodontist make $15,142, oral and maxillofacial surgeons make $20,317, periodontists make $14,494, prosthodontists make $14,154, endodontists make $16,756, and dental assistants make $2,841 a month.

The BLS found in their most recent population survey that the average full-time worker makes about $3,744 per month or $936 per week. Meanwhile, the average dentist is making around $13,020 per month, putting dentists’ salaries far above the national average.

Dentist Earnings by Location

how much dentists make by location

Some of the highest employment rates for dentists come from California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois.

The pay that dentists can expect can also vary depending on state. Some of the top paying states for dentists are Delaware, Alaska, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.

Dentists do best in less dense areas because they are more likely to have less competition and therefore more pay and flexibility.

How much do dentists make in California?

California is actually the state with the highest employment level in the U.S. California also ranks in the top 5 for states with the highest number of jobs and locations for dentists. The mean annual wage for dentists working in California is $151,490 per year and $72.83 per hour. Overall, California is a great place to be for a dentist.

How much do dentists make in Texas?

Texas is also a high ranking state in terms of employment level and availability. They offer a mean wage of $185,680 per year and $89.27 per hour, so New York actually beats California when it comes to salary.

How much do dentists make in New York?

New York is also a top contender for the state with the highest dentist employment levels. They feature an annual mean wage of $164,520 and $79.10 per hour. Overall, Texas might beat both California and New York where annual salary is concerned, but you have to consider where you’d like to settle down as well.

How to Become a Dentist

Now that you’ve seen the many benefits of becoming a dentist, you might wonder where to start on your journey to becoming one!

Step 1: Get a bachelor’s degree

It’s most helpful for you to major in a pre-dentistry major if your school provides something like that, or in a science major in order to have the upper hand later in dental school.

Step 2: Take the Dental Admission Test

In a way, dentists have to take their own version of the MCAT, just like aspiring doctors do. It’s called the Dental Acceptance Test and it is administered by the American Dental Association. The test takes 5 hours, and the current average score is 19 out of 30 points.

Step 3: Get a doctorate

Make sure that whatever doctorate you go for will be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. This way you won’t have any problems getting your license to practice dentistry afterward.

Step 4: Get licensed

To get your dental license you have to take another test. The National Board Dental Examinations are administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examination

 

The perks to being a dentist are endless. Along with a great salary and job outlook, you can transform the lives of your patience and alleviate their fears along with their pains.

 

Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Dentists.”

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

Resolving to Save More in 2014

We’re seventeen days into the New Year and while some people have already broken their New Year’s resolution, some people are still trying to figure out how they want to improve themselves in 2014. Whether you want to be smarter, more active, of more compassionate, you can set goals at this time to improve yourself, and come to appreciate your capacities even more than you otherwise do. One of the best resolutions you can make this winter is a resolution to save more money.

Having a buffer of savings is extremely helpful for everyone. This can come in handy when emergency strikes, you find something you just have to have, or to build interest and increase your funds for the future. By saving money regularly, you will be able to count on having something to fall back on if you ever find yourself out of work.

Saving More in 2014

As you begin saving this year, you may feel like there isn’t much you can do about it. But, in reality, there are many ways to save money each year, and by taking advantage of opportunities to save, you will find yourself much more financially secure, and more able to care for yourself, and anyone who is depending on you.

One of the best things you can do to help yourself save more effectively is to set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account. This will allow you to make deposits into your savings account without having to lift a finger. And, by doing this, you will be able to maximize your savings, while minimizing the possibility to forget to save.

Loose Change Adds Up

Another important saving option is as simple as merely saving the change from purchases you make. By saving these small amounts, you will find yourself adding money to your savings account quickly without noticing a lack in your other account. Change will start small, but as you consistently save, you will see it adding up to what can be significant amount.

Invest For the Future

Another great saving tool is investment. Whether you take out a CD, which has low risk but low rewards, or invest in a more substantial and risky endeavor, by investing, you will be able to make your savings work for you. Especially in riskier investments, you should make sure to only put out an amount you feel relatively comfortable losing.

Also, as you look to invest, it is a good idea to consult with a financial professional so you can put your money to the best possible use. By consulting carefully, you will be able to make informed financial decisions that will affect your financial health positively and help you to become even more successful, by expanding your portfolio and increasing your buffer.

So, this New Year, think about making your financial security your resolution. Through this simple step, you will be able to increase your security and provide yourself with a buffer of protection for both emergencies and any time you want to splurge. Take this step this year, and you will find your financial state much more secure.

Learning How to Avoid Bankruptcy

The world is an unpredictable place. The economy can go from booming to crashing in a matter of months. In an economy crash, it can be extremely difficult for many people. People can possibly suffer from a form of personal bankruptcy because they weren’t prepared or the economy completely blindsided them. It is always important to be prepared for an economy downturn. Here are five things that you can do to be prepared for an economic downturn along with how to avoid bankruptcy in the first place:

1. Save Money

This is the easiest preparation item to skip out on, and is always the most important. Every family needs a savings account for emergencies. Prepare it to have the capacity to pay all of your bills for a significant period of time. That way, should you lose your job, you can still pay for your phone, your car, your food, your home and anything else your family needs. Don’t wait, create a budget today and get started. It’s never too late to start saving!

2. Needs vs. Wants

This is a great time to start distinguishing the difference between needs vs wants. Needs are essential things that you need to live. When you are building a savings, you need to cut out unnecessary wants in your life. If you have too many wants, you will go into debt.

3. Understand Your Tax Breaks

There are many opportunities for tax breaks as a family man. If you know the system well, or get help from a professional, then you can benefit from the tax breaks. The tax system is confusing, but it is set up so you can get ahead at the same time. Consider hiring a professional to go through your taxes so you get as much back as possible and make sure you are making the most of your tax breaks.

4. Sell Items

You probably don’t know it, but everyone has tons of unwanted and unused items in their homes they can sell. You know that old bike you haven’t used in 5 years? Sell it and add it to your savings! You will be surprised with how much extra money you’re sitting on.

5. Ask for Help

Another tip when you are learning how to avoid bankruptcy is to ask for help. Yes, this can be very difficult to ask for help from family and friends. But you will be surprised how many people would love to help you out!

Thank you for reading! We hope you have enjoyed these tips on how to avoid bankruptcy.

Start Planning for Retirement Today

Boost Your Retirement Savings

Struggling with your retirement planning? With the economy booming, it is a great time to start thinking about your future and your retirement. Aside from the retirement plan you pay into at your job, what else can you be doing to have a financially comfortable retirement? We are here to give you some different options and 4001k alternatives to help you start planning for retirement.

Save, Save, and Save

There are many different ways to plan for retirement, but first we would like to introduce you with good old saving! You can do a lot for your financial future by putting aside a set amount of money every pay check. Put it in a savings account that you will not withdraw any money from. This is more than just your “save for a rainy day account.” This is a “save for the rest of your life account” and you will need to treat it as such. Consider a separate account that will help pay for those rainy days so your retirement savings can continue to grow.

Start saving today so you can start planning for retirement.

Consider an IRA

It is yet another way to save your money in another account. If you go for a “Roth IRA” you can have the added benefit of not being taxed on this money when you get it out of your account. Adding a Roth to your retirement plan can add diversity and another level of stability to your assets.

It is always important to contact and talk to professionals before opening a Roth IRA. Make sure it is right for you!

Maintain Asset Allocations

Just because your initial asset allocations were working does not mean they will continue to do so. If you don’t keep track of your asset allocations, you could be investing your money in poor returning investments. By doing this, it will really help you start planning for retirement.

Invest in Stocks

Stocks are one of the most common and best ways to start planning for retirement. Stocks are a great way to increase your savings over a long period of time. They can mature faster than savings accounts will, allowing you to make money at a quicker pace.

Stocks can be a great investment. However, it’s important to be aware of volatility in the market and act accordingly. Know the level of risk, and plan accordingly. If you cannot afford the risk, do not invest in risky stocks! Talk and meet with professionals before investing your money into stocks.

Invest in Bonds

Bonds are a dependable investment for your portfolio. Bonds are can be less volatile than stocks and can grow your money in a steady way. If you are looking to increase your investment in a less risky manner, bonds are a good consideration.

Talk to a professional before investing your money into bonds to see if it best fits your needs and interest.

Insurance

Insurance is a great way to ensure a nest-egg for your survivors. You can purchase a permanent insurance policy; if you’re married you can also purchase survivors insurance. Insurance ensures that your survivors will be taken care of. As said before, speak with a professional to see what insurance best fits your needs.

There are a multitude of ways to begin planning on your retirement. If you start now and invest smart, you can start feeling secure about your financial future. Start planning for retirement today! Thanks for reading.

6 Great Retirement Investments

Creating the Best Retirement Portfolio

If you are getting close to the age of retirement, you may be starting to feel a little nervous about investing your hard earned money. Seeing financial markets crash and hearing horror stories about people losing all of their retirement funds in recent economic downturn can be terrifying when you are looking for ways to invest, settle down, and retire.

It is often hard to support yourself for 25 to 30 years after you have finished working, even if you keep your money in a safe place. When there isn’t a consistent income, your money leaves a lot faster than planned. One of the best things to do is look over your investment options. You will need an investment option that can help you grow your capital for your retirement. Here are some great tips to help you keep growing your retirement income and start saving for retirement.

Diversify Your Assets

Diversifying your assets in the right combination whether it be stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. Finding that perfect combination will be a personal decision and you have to make sure that you are willing to work with your finances to find that perfect balance. There are many factors that may contribute to your idea for the perfect combination and you should assess these factors before you decide how you are going to invest. Investing also has risk, but doing research and finding a great financial advisor will really help and make you feel comfortable in your investments.

Retirement Income Funds

This type of fund automatically allocates your money across a diversified portfolio of stock and bond funds. You retain control of your principal and you can access your money at any time but they will distribute a monthly income for you. This can be a great retirement investment.

Bonds

The interest income you get from a bond can also be a pretty good source of income that can come in handy for retirement. The way a bond works is like this; you buy a bond and that means you are loaning money to a corporation or the government. You are then paid interest for the amount of time it takes for your bond to mature and then your principal is returned to you. Bonds are one of the great retirement investments and will help you save for retirement.

Immediate Annuities

An immediate annuity is when you agree to give an insurance company a lump sum of money and that insurance company agrees to pay you a monthly income as long as you live. This type of retirement investment is one that provides a guaranteed income.

Investment Property

One retirement investment you could look into would be investing in real estate. This can provide retirement income but you have to be aware of the risks. When you own real estate there are unexpected expenses and you are usually responsible for all the up-keep when it comes to general maintenance.

Closed End Funds

Closed end funds can provide you with a monthly or even a quarterly income. These come from all different kinds of things including: stocks, interest, dividends, bonds, covered calls, etc. This type of investment can be confusing so it is important to do your research before actually buying anything.

Multiple Investments

You always want to keep your investments spread out. Don’t throw all your eggs into one basket because the risk of losing everything if one investment goes bad.

Do the Research, Don’t Rush

While you are investing, you should be sure that you are comfortable with your portfolio. Do not invest in something that you do not feel good about. Do your research, and study out every option in order to make sure that you understand how you are going to find the investments that you feel safe with and will provide you with the income that you need to live comfortably through retirement. Don’t rush into any one decision; make sure you think it out, do your research and decide on what is best for you and the rest of your family. If you have any questions, meeting with a financial advisor is a good idea.

Thank you for reading! We hope you can make great retirement investments when the time comes.

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