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Tag Archives: emergency fund

What Would You Do With $500?

using an extra $500

I love to find articles about the best ways to use an amount of cash. No matter what your financial beliefs, there are basically four ways to use money: spend it, save it, invest it, give it away. The good folks at Mt Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, AK are giving me $600 for meals next week while I’m working at their clinic. Unless I make lots of friends and go out every night, I’ll probably get most of my food from the grocery or as take out since I hate eating in restaurants by myself. I’m guessing that will probably take about $100. That leaves me five Benjamins to use however I want. What would you do with $500? Spend It If I had consumer debt, I’d probably use my extra $500 toward paying it off. $500 is not chump change, and gaining a windfall to put toward debt can be a great shot in the arm to sustain motivation toward debt payoff goals. Since I don’t have that type debt anymore, I could use this money to spend on holiday gifts or for our trip to Mexico that’s coming up next month. We also need a new couch in ...

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4 Smart Money Moves That Never Worked For Me

finding your own way to manage money

For those seeking great money management skills, there are several tried and true methods that seem to work. Whether struggling to pay off debt, saving for a big expense, or building wealth, following the successful ways of thousands of people has to equal success, right? Maybe, but here are four smart money moves that never worked for me. Cash Envelope System The cash envelope system is pretty simple. Take the amount of money you have to spend in a month and divvy it up into envelopes marked for specific purposes: $400 for groceries, $100 for gas, $25 for household supplies, etc. Once the envelope is empty, you’re done spending for the month. This method is great for people who tend to overspend. I would certainly be mindful of what goes in my shopping cart if there was a chance I wouldn’t have enough to cover the final tally. I certainly used to overspend, but using cash probably wouldn’t have helped. One, if I do have cash, it’s been known to go missing. Whether it gets dropped from my hot mess of a wallet or whether I spend it on something I can’t remember, giving me cash is almost as bad ...

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How To Pay For Emergencies Without Going Into Debt

having an emergency fund

    It certainly feels like the economy is looking up for many Americans. While there are still workers in certain industries that struggle to find good paying jobs, investments are up, self employment opportunities are plentiful, and the world looks a bit rosier than it did a few years ago. At least that’s what I thought until I saw this study from the federal reserve showing that half of Americans would struggle if faced with a $400 emergency expense! If you fall into this category, it’s important to figure out how to pay for emergencies without going into debt. So Many People Can’t Afford Emergencies I’m certainly not one to throw stones. Back in the day, we whipped out a credit card for most expenses, emergency or not, expecting that we’d make our payment at the end of the month just like everyone else. I had hoped that  the recession taught most of us that jobs can disappear at any time and an emergency fund can be the difference between inconvenience and financial ruin, but I think maybe I was wrong. While this survey did have some positives, with the majority of respondents saying they are doing OK or ...

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Don’t Blow Your Tax Refund

wise things to buy with tax refunds

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 75% of tax payers will get a refund this year. Since the average refund is almost $2800, it’s time to start thinking about how to put that money to good use. A tax refund is not a windfall or a gift from the government. It’s your money, earned from work, that Uncle Sam has been holding all year long. Don’t blow your tax refund by treating it like found money. Pay Off Debt One of the best uses of a tax refund has to be paying off debt. While government won’t be paying any interest for holding your money, you’ve likely been paying interest to your creditors. Having a couple of thousand dollars to throw at credit card bills or high interest loans can be a huge morale boost for those struggling to get out from under their debt. Start Or Top Off An Emergency Fund We all know that not having anything in savings for emergencies is often the reason people go into debt. Most experts suggest saving at least three months of necessary expenses, but that number often seems too overwhelming for people who live paycheck to paycheck. Even having $500 or ...

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What To Do If You Hate Your Job

Things you can do if you hate your job

Is Friday at 5PM your absolute best moment of the week? Do you find yourself not enjoying Sunday afternoons because you’re already thinking about having to work the next day? Do you spend a good portion of your time and energy complaining about your job? Are you completely stressed out because you feel trapped in a job or career that isn’t what you thought it would be? What do you do if you hate your job? Do You Really Hate Your Job? Before you write off your job completely, figure out why you hate it. Is it because you aren’t being challenged? Are you being challenged too much? Are you missing time with your family? Do you have to work with difficult people all day? Make a list of all the reasons why it seems that you hate your job. When I did this, I found out that I don’t actually hate my job. I just hated the amount of time it took me away from doing other things. Make Changes That Will Make Your Job Better If you hate your job because of a horrible co-worker, can you move to another department or change schedules? If you hate your ...

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