Posts Tagged ‘increase savings and reduce debt’

Calculate Your Monthly Living Expenses

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

cut expensesAt the time of this writing, it’s a frosty 1 degree outside.

If you were suddenly to lose your job and/or other sources of income, how long could you keep a roof over your head?

In order to define clear savings goals, it’s important to know how much money you need for absolute essentials (most notably rent and food):

  • 1 month living expenses
  • 3 months living expenses
  • 6 months living expenses
  • 12 months living expenses

Here’s an easy-to-use online calculator to quickly calculate how much money you are spending each month and how much you have left over to save for a rainy day (or a very cold one):

Frugal Living Budget Calculator

You can see how much more you could save if you eliminate non-essential items such as a monthly cable TV bill and home internet.

NOTE: In addition to a large collection of DVDs, the library offers free wi-fi and public PCs.

12 Signs of Compulsive Debting

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

curtis moneyIf one of your personal goals is to be debt free by the end of ’13, you’re not alone.

If you see yourself in any of these tell-tale signs, please visit the Curtis Money Management section on the second floor of the library.

If you’re “financially shy” and would like an excellent primer on personal finance, I recommend Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey.

For magnificent examples on how to achieve financial independence through frugality, I recommend “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley.

NOTE: Need help? Please ask a reference librarian for assistance.

Cited from “Debtors Anonymous:”

1. Being unclear about your financial situation. Not knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees, fines, or contractual obligations.

2. Frequently “borrowing” items such as books, pens, or small amounts of money from friends and others, and failing to return them.

3. Poor saving habits. Not planning for taxes, retirement or other not-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling surprised when they come due; a “live for today, don’t worry about tomorrow” attitude.

4. Compulsive shopping: Being unable to pass up a “good deal”; making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they can be returned; not using items you’ve purchased.

5. Difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met.

6. A different feeling when buying things on credit than when paying cash, a feeling of being in the club, of being accepted, of being grown up.

7. Living in chaos and drama around money: Using one credit card to pay another; bouncing checks; always having a financial crisis to contend with.

8. A tendency to live on the edge: Living paycheck to paycheck; taking risks with health and car insurance coverage; writing checks hoping money will appear to cover them.

9. Unwarranted inhibition and embarrassment in what should be a normal discussion of money.

10. Overworking or underearning: Working extra hours to earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level.

11. An unwillingness to care for and value yourself: Living in self-imposed deprivation; denying your basic needs in order to pay your creditors.

12. A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if necessary, so that you won’t really get into serious financial trouble, that there will always be someone you can turn to.