Is AAA Membership Worth the Cost? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Is AAA Membership Worth the Cost?

There are millions of American Automobile Association (AAA) members across the U.S. Still, over the past several years, new competitors have arisen to challenge AAA’s dominance over the marketplace of car-owning consumers. AAA membership might be a great option if you’re trying to save money on car maintenance and repairs. But, what does the AAA membership cost? Affordable Alternatives to AAA Membership To offer a quick overview, the cost to join AAA varies depending on your region. Still, you can expect to pay approximately $20 for a “one-time admission fee” in addition to the cost of your annual membership, which may range from $40-70 for the basic option. Once you’re a member, you can later upgrade to the AAA Plus … Read more

Top 4 Money Saving Tips for Home Essentials

Steps to Keep Energy Bills in Check

There isn’t a single person in the world that would oppose cutting a few dollars from their monthly expenses. These are the best money saving tips for your home.

Monthly Expenses – Money Saving Tips for Essential Bills

Electricity

Steps to Keep Energy Bills in CheckThose of you that live in an ever-changing climate know the struggle of expensive electric bills during the summer and winter months when you are blasting the A/C and cranking up the heat. During these months, your bill will increase significantly as these comforts require electricity to operate.

One of the best ways to cut these expenses is to use electric mattress pads in the winter and cooling mattress pads in the summer. These will keep your bed at a comfortable temperature and the costs will be negligible on your electric bill.   

Monthly Groceries

When it’s time to reduce your monthly expenses one of the first things to go is eating at restaurants. These days even a cocktail will run you $10+ at a dive bar in populous areas. Eliminating this lavish spending will save you hundreds of dollars during the year. You will need to cook more at home, but you will find that no matter how much you cook there is always something that goes old.

Many people avoid buying fruit because it always goes old before you eat it. Investing in a food dehydrator will cut your food bill because you will be able to utilize all the food. There are dehydrated recipes for nearly all foods to get the most out of your groceries.

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How to Deal with Financial Envy and Jealousy in Your Life

How to Deal with Financial Envy and Jealousy

How to Deal with Financial Envy and JealousyAlmost everyone experiences jealousy at some point in their lives, and for some of us, feelings of envy are regular aspects of our lives. We might not consciously realize it, but comparing ourselves, our families, our stuff, and our experiences to others’ is a strong sign of envy because it suggests we want something we can’t have and/or we resent other people for having bigger/better stuff than we do.

How to Deal with Financial Envy

Financial envy is particularly commonplace, and if you find yourself on the verge of making impulse purchases because someone else bought it first or your current social relationships are faltering because of the income inequality gap between you and your family/friends, then here are some strategies for dealing with financial envy:

Stop Making Unfair Comparisons

The problem with comparing your financial situation to others’ is that there are so many other factors involved beyond the money itself. While your friend’s annual salary might be enviable, their grueling work schedule, unpredictable work demands, and high-strung clients might be less enjoyable to deal with. Alternatively, your relatives with that luxury vacation home or boat might only use it once or twice per year because they’re so busy working to pay for their pricey lifestyle.

In short, no matter what your job entails, there are downsides to every job (even if people don’t openly discuss them), and the trade-offs might not be worth the financial rewards, so don’t be too quick to compare yourself to others because doing so will only lead to more resentment, self-loathing (or pity), and conflict in your interpersonal relationships.

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Millennials and Home Ownership – Do Millennials Need to Buy Homes?

Millennials and Home Ownership - Do Millennials Need to Buy Homes?

Millennials and Home Ownership - Do Millennials Need to Buy Homes?If you follow housing market news and know anything about the Millennial Generation, then you probably have heard from many different sources how Millennials aren’t buying homes. In many cases, this is more due to their inability to afford the expenses of homeownership, rather than an unwillingness to pursue the American Dream of owning a place of their own.

However, in this day and age, is home ownership really the best option for young adults who are either still in college or only joined the workforce in the last decade or so? A lot has been written on the value of homeownership, but this shouldn’t be automatically viewed as the optimal choice, especially for this generation.

Millennials and Home Ownership – Do Millennials Need to Buy Homes?

Here are some considerations for Millennials trying to decide whether or not to save for their own home:

Economic Barriers to Homeownership

As the Washington Post recently reported, economic barriers to homeownership are on the rise. These barriers include rising mortgage interest rates, soaring home values, and diminishing supply of available homes as developers cannot keep up with demand for affordable housing.

These barriers, compounded with the relatively stagnant wage growth that recent college grads and thirty-something Millennials face more frequently compared to previous generations, have made it even more difficult for Millennials to save up enough money for a home of their own. If the idea of saving 20% of your desired home’s value sounds daunting (especially if you’re still paying off other debts and pursuing multiple savings goals), then renting isn’t a bad alternative.

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The Student Debt Relief Program Designed to Help Young Entrepreneurs

Should You Take Out Private Student Loans for College?

Should You Take Out Private Student Loans for College?Young Americans go to college to improve their odds of being successful and prosperous in an increasingly competitive society. Student loan debt, unfortunately, can inhibit the freedom that degrees are supposed to provide. Recent data shows that Americans bogged down with student debt are financially handicapped by it well beyond the years after immediately graduating.

Student Debt Relief Program to Help Young Entrepreneurs

Many now believe that borrowing money to pay tuition can create such financial hardship that it minimizes the advantages that should come from pursuing further education after high school. Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire’s new bill leads a new effort to support recent college grads interested in starting their own businesses.

What is the Hassan bill?

The Hassan bill allows young entrepreneurs to defer college loan payments for up to three years, so they have more time and funds to launch companies. If these budding businesses are based in economically challenged communities, the recent grads launching them may have the option to cancel as much as $20,000 of their student loan debt after paying only a part of it.

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Top 5 Early Retirement Killers That You Need to Know

Top 5 Early Retirement Killers That You Need to Know

The following post is by ESI from ESI Money, a blog about achieving financial independence through earning, saving, and investing (ESI). Itís written by an early 50ís retiree who achieved financial independence, shares whatís worked for him, and details how others can implement those successes in their lives. He is also the author of a free ebook titled Three Steps to Financial Independence.

Top 5 Early Retirement Killers That You Need to KnowEarly retirement is all the rage these days in personal finance circles.

And when I say “early”, I mean really early.

I retired at 52 and today’s crowd makes me feel like a slacker. People are retiring in their 30’s and 40’s these days with a handful even in their 20’s.

Of course the definition of “retire” is rather broad. Many still bring in income through side hustles or part-time work. But the common thread is that they are retired from full-time work.

If you would ever like to retire — and especially if you’d like to retire early — there are some landmines you need to avoid along the way.

Here’s my list of the top five killers of early retirement (and maybe retirement overall). I’ll also include some tips on what to do if you’re facing any of these challenges.

1. Having too much debt.

Debt is a killer in many ways.

First of all, interest costs add up, thus keeping you from saving enough to retire. Even with today’s low rates homeowners with 30-year mortgages are going to pay tens of thousands of dollars in interest.

And that’s if they actually pay off the house in 30 years. Many Americans have revolving mortgages due to moving, taking cash out of their home, and so forth that leaves them with one mortgage or another for well beyond three decades.

Second, debt’s mere presence will make it harder to reach a retirement number. For instance, if you have no or limited debt, the amount of income you’ll need to retire is going to be much lower (and thus easier to reach) than if you’re saddled with a ton of debt.

We got serious about our debt early in our marriage and paid off everything, including our house, within ten years. We then had 20+ years of hyper-savings to build up assets which allowed us to reach financial independence in our 40’s and eventually retire in our early 50’s.

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