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Author Archives: Kayla Sloan

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

Why a Budget is Not the Same as a Financial Plan

A Budget is Not the Same as a Financial Plan

The terms “budget” and “financial plan” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, in my mind, there are differences between the two. I have a budget for each month, along with an over-arching financial plan. To me, a budget is more of a short-term spending plan and a financial plan is long-term with multiple goals and steps along the way. Here are some of the differences between a budget and a financial plan. Budget First, let’s talk about what makes up a budget. A budget is a listing of your expenses and financial obligations and is a guideline for your spending. It may contain categories, like housing, utilities, groceries, etc. In addition it is usually for a specific time period, such as a monthly budget or a weekly budget. Generally your expenses are broken down into a budget and then totaled so they can be compared to your income for the same period of time. In this way, income and expenses can be compared so adjustments can be made to help you achieve balance in your personal finances. Financial Plan Now let’s examine what a financial plan is. A financial plan helps you to evaluate your financial state using your budget as ...

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How Job Hopping is Harmful to Your Retirement Savings

Job Hopping

While some people choose to stay at the same job for their entire career, others have a habit of changing jobs every year or two. This habit is known as job hopping. Job hopping may not be a bad thing if you are young and the positions you hop to are higher paying or with better benefits. However, there are times when job hopping can be harmful to your retirement savings. Cashing Out Should you choose to leave your job after only a year or two, you may think you should simply cash out your 401(k) when you leave. Think again. Cashing out your retirement plan early means you may only be able to receive a portion of it. The reason for this is because early withdrawal usually causes you to incur penalties and fees. A couple of better options would be to move it with you to your new employer, if they allow it, or to roll it into an IRA. Not Being Fully Vested When you are investing in a 401(k) plan, it usually takes three to five years before you are fully vested. If you choose to leave your current employer and go to work for a different company ...

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6 Ways to Use Social Media to Save Money

6 Ways to Use Social Media to Save Money

Take a look around on any given day and you will probably see more than one person clicking away on their cell phone. The odds are high at least one of them is using social media. The truth is, most of us like and use social media on a daily basis through any number of different sites. But did you know you can also use social media to save yourself some money? If you are trying to keep within a strict budget, you may be able to use these social media tips to save money. Turn on Pinterest Notifications If you’ve pinned an item on Pinterest that is for sale in a retail store, you may be able to find out when the price has been lowered by turning on notifications for that pin in your Pinterest settings. Then, when the item you pinned goes on sale, you can buy it at a discount. Just hurry before there are none left. Popular items on Pinterest tend to sell out quickly! Use Facebook Coupon Codes and Groups Some of the companies you “Like” on Facebook will offer coupon codes and discounts as a reward to followers. But thanks to Facebook algorithm changes, you ...

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8 Ways to Avoid the High Costs of Data Theft

It is with good reason the words “data breach” and “data theft” can place fear and panic in the hearts and minds of people when they find out they have become the target of this type of crime. The financial costs of data theft can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. In addition, victims may feel violated and suffer from both financial and emotional stress as a result. But the good news is that there are ways to avoid data theft. Here are some of them. Don’t Give Out Information The act of stealing confidential, computer-based information is considered to be data theft, and it is occurring at an increasing rate for consumers and businesses alike. However, one of the simplest things you can do to help prevent personal data theft is to protect your information. Be careful when giving out your information online by making sure the person or company making the request really needs to know what they are asking for. In other words, legitimate businesses you already do business with will not send emails asking for information they should already have. Update Your Passwords I used the wording “update your passwords” instead ...

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5 Best Uses for Your Next Pay Raise

pay raise

A pay raise doesn’t come to most of us very often, or at least not as often as we’d like. Some people don’t ever get a raise from their employers at all while others may receive a raise just large enough to cover the rising inflation rate if they’re lucky. As a result, when that rare occasion does happen, you may wonder, what is the best use for your next pay raise. Before we get to the end of the year, when some lucky employees may receive a pay raise, here are some ideas for how you can use that money to get ahead financially. Give Yourself a Small Splurge The first thing that comes to mind when you receive a pay raise might be rewarding yourself with something extravagant, and wildly expensive, that you want but would otherwise not necessarily purchase for yourself. This isn’t the best use of your money. Instead, splurge in a small way, such as an evening out with your spouse or significant other. By allowing yourself a small reward you still get the satisfaction of a little something extra without spending it all in one place. The leftover money can then be used more ...

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