Home > Author Archives: Kim Parr (page 2)

Author Archives: Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

Are the Best Things in Life Really Free?

best things in life really free

As a kid, I often heard my parents say things like the love of money was the root of all evil and that you can’t buy happiness. To an extent, I still believe this, but that belief comes with some conditions. I don’t mean to say that rich people are always happy and poor people are sad, but my question today is how much does money influence happiness and are the best things in life really free? What Are the Best Things in Life? The answer to that question depends on what stage of life you’re in. To my daughter, sleeping late, eating donuts for breakfast, ice skating, and watching cat videos on YouTube would be the best day ever. For some of my 80-year-old plus patients,  being able to get through the day without pain or asking someone for help with basic life skills makes a wonderful life. To me, the best things in life are love and having positive personal relationships, security, and good health. Can those be bought with money or are they really free? Love and Personal Relationships One of the most attractive things about my husband was the fact that we shared many of the ...

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The Pros of Pay-As-You-Go Auto Insurance

pay as you go insurance

Do you drive less than 10,000 miles a year? If so, that puts you in with the majority of American drivers; about two thirds of them. According to the United States Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the national average is between 10,000-12,000 miles a year. Standard auto insurance is based on the national average. Essentially, this means that most drivers subsidize auto insurance for the smaller number of drivers who drive more. New auto technology allows insurance companies to base rates on the way drivers actually use their cars. New kind of policy goes by a number of names, including user-based insurance and pay-as-you-go insurance. Let’s learn more about the pros of pay-as-you-go auto insurance below. How it Works Many auto insurance companies, both large and small, offer pay-as-you-go-insurance. You have a choice of policies available to you in every state, each with a plan based on demographics and geographical location. When you buy a pay-as-you-go insurance, the insurance company installs a device on your car that keeps track of your mileage. Depending on which state you live in, the device may also track your speed, brakeage, and mileage. Your driving habits greatly influence the price of your ...

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How to Fully Fund an IRA When You Have No Extra Money

saving for retirement

Everyone knows how important it is to save for the future but sadly, about half of families in the U.S. have nothing set aside for retirement. Whether it’s lack of access to an employer sponsored retirement plan, stagnant wages, or the lure of instant gratification that makes paychecks disappear, it’s clear that Americans are not saving enough. No one can make companies offer 401(k) plans, and it isn’t always possible to control what a job pays, but there are other ways to fund retirement, even when you seem to have no extra money. Set up an IRA If you’re job does not offer a retirement plan, it’s very easy to set up an IRA. I personally like Betterment for beginners because you won’t have to choose funds or rebalance, but there are many low cost brokerages that will allow you to open an account with no minimum. For 2016, IRA contribution limits are $5,500 with an extra $1,000 catch up contribution allowed if you are over age 50. A Roth IRA offers no tax benefits upfront, but any money deposited can grow and be withdrawn tax free after age 59 and a half. Singles earning less than $117,000 and married ...

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Win a Trip to Hawaii From Personal Capital

win a free trip

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Personal Capital is giving away a trip to Hawaii for new users! It’s really simple to enter. Sign up for a free Personal Capital Account Link your financial accounts. That’s all. The contest runs until February 14th, and the odds of winning obviously depend on how many people sign up. You can read the official rules here, but basically the winner gets two $1,000 gift cards for airfare on Hawaiian Airlines and a $1,000 gift card to Airbnb. This could fully fund a trip or not, depending on where you live, when you want to travel, and how picky you are about accommodations. Regardless, the odds for winning are much better than buying a lottery ticket. If you’ve been on the fence about signing up, now is the time. Why Sign up for Personal Capital? Tracking your finances is perfectly doable without using an automated program, but it’s much more time consuming. I like Personal Capital for a number of reasons. Their dashboard is easy to read and understand. It gives you an honest picture of spending, earning, and net worth. They have an awesome retirement calculator. You get weekly emails that let you know if ...

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Are You Wasting Money on Fitness?

wasting money on fitness

Good health is one commodity that can’t be priced. I would always value health over any amount of wealth, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to waste money on fitness. Sadly, only 44 percent of people who pay to use a gym actually go more than 100 days a year, and about half of new health club members quit going within the first six months of signing up. Unused gym memberships are not the only way to waste money. Billions of dollars are spent on the fitness industry each year. From vitamins, weight loss products, wearable activity trackers, to gym apparel, it’s easy to spend a fortune on being fit before you’ve even broken a sweat. How do you know what fitness costs are worthwhile? Define Fitness Goals Before spending one dime on fitness products or services, define what you hope to achieve. How many people do you know who decide to “get fit” then run out to buy new treadmill or elliptical machine only to use them as very expensive clothes hangers? Set a goal first. Whether it’s being able to run a mile nonstop, play on the playground with your kids, or losing 20 pounds, define what fitness ...

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