Oh, Money…

Hey guys,

What a thing, money is. To say that money makes the world go around is an understatement. In this day and age I would venture to say that that would be the understatement of the century. I can’t claim to know anything about money and finances on a professional level, heck, my husband is actually the main “bill guy” in our house. I just like being organized and spreading knowledge that I’ve either gathered in my interest or have learned from petty innocent mistakes. So here’s some info that I have  enjoyed reading, and that I use (and enjoy using) personally:

1. Lists

– I love lists! Especially when grocery shopping. I believe that besides the ol’ saying of never going to the store when hungry, the same is true of never going to the store without at least having an outline of what you are going in there for. You never go to the grocery store without having some set plan, albeit if you’re going for a quick sugar rush or to do the whole weekly meal plan (which is another idea I support) it’s always a good idea to have at least a rough idea. Why do I use the phrases rough idea or outline? This is because of the fact that lists never have a start or end date in my book. I always keep in my purse a little notebook, and whenever I’m thinking about what I want to try or something that I would think is cool in the future to use, I write a list. I have so many it’s ridiculous. They range from cool recipe ingredients I need or in reality would like to try in the future for fun (like seaweed for some sweet sushi making parties) to what kind of nail polish I am dying to buy and try (aka pretty much all of the China Glaze Hunger Games series–which I dished about in my last post). The moral of this story is this: you will end up being a lot more organized and prepared to spend money on stuff that you are thinking about and therefore are more likely going to need or at least not regret purchasing later on if you give lists a try.

2. Budget

-YAWN! Who hasn’t heard of a budget? But seriously, there’s a reason why people talk about them so much! They are the best tools, I consider lists actually to be an extension off of a budget in a sense, because you can essentially kind of form your list around what you have regarding how much money you are bringing in. The cool thing about budgeting, especially in this day and age is that it is so simple. You don’t even really have to know basic math, you just have to really be able to apply to a system and keep a realistic thought on what you can spend money on each week. Here are some cool tools and apps that would be cool for a budget (note that I have reviewed these slightly but have not used them all myself:

–iWallet [free on the iTunes store] seems fairly easy to use, definitely easy to navigate.

–mint.com app [free on the iTunes store] can’t say that I gave this tool a lot of thought considering that the app was just a quick link to the website that I didn’t want to sign up for. I hear it’s a good link and it’s pretty popular. Sorry I don’t have more info.

http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/budget/ [an online tool for budgeting] I feel like this option is for more of a temporary fix, since it doesn’t look like there’s a way to really save your work.

http://www.daveramsey.com/tools/budget-forms/ [an online tool for budgeting] this site kind of gives you more of guidelines, but it offers good advice.

–I know that there are a bunch of actual physical paper tools that you can look into, at either your local Kmart or Target, and office supply stores. I feel like those could have the advantage of not having to worry about hackers from your internet/iPod/computer,but at the same time, it’s also a lot harder to keep copies safe. I also hear Microsoft Excel is a great program, and it’s also easy to really modify your spreadsheets to your will that way.

-Retirement

I know this veers off a little bit from the here and now, considering that I myself haven’t even hit a quarter century in my life, but I think it’s something crucial to start as soon as possible. When I was 18 I actually had already started my own IRA through my local bank, and had started contributing (albeit at the SUPER conservative rate of 5% of my paycheck) to the 401K  option that my employer offered. My thinking is this in regards to retirement: it’s important. Even though in life right now for those twenty-somethings like myself you really just are at the tip of the iceberg in life, you inch closer and closer every single day towards those golden years. Life goes by faster than you realize and I don’t know about everyone but I want to live comfortably after my milestones have gone by and my children are grown. If you have a good amount of pocket change saved up, I believe that it’s good to look into starting a mutual fund. I actually can’t say that I personally know a lot about it because I am in the beginning stages of starting one myself. Really do the research, though. You are more likely depending on your situation and how you plan on investing to make 4-6% more on your investment in a years worth of time. I’m not saying that this is for everyone my age. You really have to assess how much money you are putting away and what you have in store for your life. I do believe, at least, that if your employer offers some kind of 401K plan, it’s only hurting you if you don’t put any money into it; ESPECIALLY if your employer matches your input.

Alright, guys, I hope this helps in some way. If you want me to touch on anything specifically or gather any more information just let me know. 🙂

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