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What Is A Bank CD (Certificate Of Deposit) Everything You Need To Know

You may have heard the term bank CD and wondered what is a bank CD? A Bank CD (Certificate of Deposit) is a type of savings vehicle offered by banks and credit unions that provide a fixed interest rate at a higher percentage than a regular savings account.

This type of deposit requires the owner to leave a lump-sum untouched for a predetermined period, generally between three months and five years.

Bank CDs are available in almost all financial institutions, with each institution customizing its offer. Overall, the basic features of each deposit are a fixed rate of withdrawal or, as it is commonly known, the maturity date. 

What Is A Bank CD And How Do CDs Work? 

Bank CDs are somewhat similar to a regular savings account. As long as you have an account at a bank or any financial institution, one you decide to put your money into a CD, you decide on the duration from the options offered by your bank and that’s it.

Your funds will be locked for a set period when you agree to the terms. If you try to withdraw before the predetermined date, you’ll incur a withdrawal penalty, usually in the form of forfeiting the interest earned to date. 

There are four main components that make a CD:

Interest rate – The high interest rates are one of the main features of a CD as the rates are generally higher than most other savings accounts and products. The interest rate is also locked in, which provides a clear and predictable return on the deposit over the duration of the CD. The financial institution cannot later change their rates after a CD has been locked in.

The principal – This refers to the amount that you agree to deposit when you open the CD. Depending on the type of CD you encounter, some have higher principal requirements than others. Most CDs can be obtained with as little as $500, depending on the financial institution.

The term – This is the term you agree to leave your funds in the CD. The term ends on a maturity date when your CD has fully matured, and you can then make a withdrawal penalty-free. 

The institution –  Every financial institution has its rules regarding opening a bank CD. There are rules about Early Withdrawal Penalties (EWP) and whether your funds will be automatically reinvested if you don’t provide any instructions at the time of maturity. 

Once you open an account, the financial institution will provide you with electronic or paper statements, either monthly and quarterly. Depending on how the CD is structured, the accumulated interest may be shown monthly or quarterly or it may only be reflected in the balance of the CD once it matures.

CDs are usually federally insured. But CDs from a credit union are insured by the National Credit Union Administration. 

Types of CDs 

There are a number of different types of CDs, which are not offered by all financial institutions: 

  • High-yield CD – This CD has an above-average rate. You can find them usually in online-only banks and credit unions. 
  • Jumbo CD – This CD stands out because it has a high minimum balance requirement. Typically an upward of $100,000. 
  • No penalty CD – Also known as a liquid CD. This is different from traditional CD as it allows you to withdraw early without a penalty. 
  • IRA CD – This is an ordinary CD that’s held in tax-advantaged individual retirement accounts. 
  • Step-up CD – This CD is different from the traditional CD because APYs automatically increase at regular intervals. For example, rates on a 28-month CD may increase every seven months. 
  • Bump-up CD – This CDs typically have a lower rate compared to fixed-rate CDs, and some of them have a steeper minimum deposit requirement. One of the perks of this CD is that you can get a higher rate if your bank increases its APY. 
  • Brokered CD – This is a CD that a third party or broker offers. 

CDs are also categorized by term and type, for example, 1-year CD rates, 3-year CD rates. 

Are CDs Worth It? 

Certificate of deposits are a fixed interest rate, safe and federally insured savings vehicle that can provide a higher return than other accounts, such as a regular savings or money market account. They are an excellent option to hold funds for the short term, usually less than a year. Your funds generate a return without taking on the volatility of the stock market. 

But before choosing a CD, you need to understand its pros and cons. 

Pros And Cons of A Bank CD 

One of the main benefits of a CD is that it is a safe investment. There’s no risk that you’ll lose your principal. CDs also have a fixed rate and therefore a predictable return. This is beneficial as you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll earn over the term of the CD, whether it’s months or years. In contrast, financial institutions change rates on regular savings accounts as they wish. 

CDs can be an excellent tool for saving up for a future purchase. As a rule of thumb, the longer the term, the higher the interest rate. On the other hand, the shorter the term, the more opportunities you have to withdraw and utilize the funds. 

Cons Of A CDs

One of the downsides with a CD is that you lose the flexibility of being able to use your money while it’s in a CD, because it’s locked up for the duration of the CD. Once you put a lump sum of funds, you can’t add or withdraw anything until the term ends, unless you want to forfeit the interest earned to date or incur Early Withdrawal Penalties, depending on the terms of the CD.

The fixed rate can be a blessing or curse, depending on how future rates change. If you have a long duration CD, say 2 or 3yrs and interest rates rise after the first year. You will miss out on the increased interest rate until the CD matures.

What Is A Bank CD

CD Vs Opening A Savings Or Money Market Account 

CDs are a unique type of savings instrument. Like a savings or money market account, they provide a way of putting aside your money for a specific savings goal, e.g., buying a new vehicle or making a downpayment for a house. The only difference is that savings and money markets allow you to make additional deposits.

Furthermore, you can make several withdrawals per month. As explained with CDs, once the initial deposit is made, you have to leave the amount in the account until it reaches its maturity date, whether it’s months or years. In return for making this sacrifice, your money grows at a higher interest rate, unlike money markets and savings accounts. 

How CD Rates Are Set

Generally, the Federal Reserve Board’s rate-setting rules govern how much interest one can earn from deposits. Every six to eight weeks, the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decides whether to raise, lower, or leave the rates as they are. This rate represents the interest that banks pay to borrow money through the Federal.

When the Fed fund rates are low, banks have less incentive to hold on to deposits from consumers. But when the Federal fund rate is moderate to high, banks offer competitive rates to encourage consumers to make more deposits. 

The government lowered their rates to between 0% and 0.25% in March 2020 to cushion the economy from the impact of COVID. This low rate makes CDs less attractive for cash investors. Aside from the Fed’s decision, the situation of each financial institution determines how much interest they are willing to pay for specific CDs.

For example, if a bank’s lending business is thriving and an increasing amount of deposits is needed to fund those loans, the bank may be more determined to attract more deposits through CDs. Conversely, a large bank with large deposit reserves may be less interested in offering CDs with attractive rates. 

When Is A CD The Right Choice?

Although CDs have a history of offering better returns than savings accounts, they may not be the best approach as an investment. But CDs are useful in a number of situations. Maybe you have cash that you don’t want to use right now but will need it in the next year or so to make a down payment for a house or use towards a large purchase. Or, you may want a portion of your funds accessible but don’t want to touch your other stock and bond investments. 

Although CDs don’t have the growth potential of equity or debt investments, they are free from the risk of market downturns and losses. If you want your money to grow in value, but don’t want to take any risk, then CDs are a great choice. 

CDs can also be a good fit if you’re worried that you won’t have the discipline to avoid tapping into your savings. The fixed-term CD comes with a penalty for early withdrawal. So you can use CDs to build short-term wealth before investing. For instance, you can fix the funds for a 6 months or a year as you plan on how to invest your money. 

One way that you can use a CD is to set aside your emergency fund in one. This allows you to ensure that you have the right funds for emergencies because the amount remains untouched. Also, your funds will earn a better return than if you had deposited in a money market or savings account. Just be sure to understand any Early Withdrawal Penalties before choosing this strategy.

Shopping For A CD – Where To Start 

You can get a CD from any bank or credit union. So you can start shopping for a CD by checking at your local bank and any other bank or credit union in your community. Alternatively, you can open a CD through your brokerage account. Online-only banks tend to provide higher interest rates on CDs as they have lower overheads due to not having physical branches.

What Happens Once Your CD Matures 

Once a CD matures or expires, you are free to withdraw your funds without paying the penalty. At that time, you have three options:

  1. You can withdraw the proceeds. You can do this either by transferring the funds to an external account or have the institution mail the funds via check. 
  2. Transfer the funds to another account in that bank. For instance, you can transfer the funds to savings, money market, or checking accounts. 
  3. Rollover the CD to another CD in the same bank. You have the choice whether to extend or shorten the term of the new CD, also the interest rate will be whatever the current interest rates are, whether they’ve increased or decreased. 

Once your CD matures, your financial institution should reach out to you so that you can alert them to what you would like to do next. But in most instances, the default move is to roll over your proceeds into a new CD. So, should you let the proceeds rollover? Generally, you shouldn’t let your money roll over to another term, unless you don’t have specific plans for the money. Remember that CDs are not a means of building wealth but rather focus on saving. If you want to maximize your returns, you are better off investing. 

It also helps to take the time to shop for the best CD rates in the market. Once you’ve done your homework, you could go for the CD that best meets your needs and gives you the best rates. Switching banks or credit unions should always be considered.

CD Strategies That You Should Leverage 

You must harness strategies that will boost your CD’s performance. One of the strategies is a CD ladder. It entails dividing up your investment into several CDs with varying term lengths. When each CD matures, you can put that money into a long-term CD, so that you can reap good proceeds from potentially higher rates over time. 

The second strategy is called a CD bullet strategy. This consists of one or multiple CDs with similar maturity dates. This approach aims to build savings for a big purchase in the not-too-distant future, e.g., A down payment for a home. 

The third strategy is known as a CD barbell. It entails splitting your investment into long-term and short-term CDs as you wait for higher rates before putting your funds in a long-term account. 

These strategies help you lower your risk of missing out should better rates appear at a later date. 

What If You Want To Withdraw Your Funds Early? 

Life is uncertain, and even when you set your funds for a fixed date, something can happen, and you need the funds. Putting your funds in a CD doesn’t mean that you can’t withdraw these funds. All financial institutions have stipulations on how you can withdraw the funds early.

Of course, such a withdrawal comes at a penalty. In most instances, financial institutions permit premature termination by assessing the early withdrawal penalty (EWP) on the proceeds before giving you the funds. This means that you need to know what the terms are before you open the account. Typically, the EWP is charged on the number of month’s interest. For instance, a bank’s policy may be to deduct three months’ worth of interest from a CD with a 12-month term as a penalty for early withdrawal. 

You need to learn about the institution’s withdrawal policy before opening the account to avoid incurring penalties that would eat into your deposit. 

The Bottom Line

Most savers prefer certificates of deposits because they are safe and offer a higher rate than traditional savings. But, you should not use a CD as an investment strategy. This is because CDs provide a modest return that’s not enough to build wealth. If you want to reap a good yield, then you’re better off investing the funds in the stock market. Lastly, remember to shop around for CDs with the best rates and understand the institution’s guidelines before depositing your funds. 

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How to Negotiate Used Car Price: 6 Best Negotiation Strategies

Understanding how to negotiate used car prices can be difficult. Whether you are negotiating with a private seller or a salesperson in a dealership, it is an art that requires patience, knowledge of the market and understanding what you’re ready to walk away from.

In this article we will go over some tips on how to negotiate for a used car price, as well as provide you with negotiating strategies that will set you up for success.

What to Consider When negotiating a Used Car Price

  • What is your bottom line?
  • How much time do you have to consider buying a used car?
  • When was the last time this vehicle underwent an inspection and how many miles does it currently have on it? (Used cars can undergo “emissions testing” every two years)
  • Are there any issues with the vehicle’s title or history report that should be addressed before making a decision about purchasing, such as previous accidents or flood damage. These records are available through Carfax which will cost $25-$30. The dealer may offer to provide these reports free of charge but they often just want people to purchase their vehicles so beware

How to Negotiate Used Car Price in 5 Steps:

1. Understand the numbers

The first thing you want to do when negotiating is understand the numbers. You should know how much your trade-in value will be, what’s a fair asking price for the used car on which you’re interested, and whether it has any desirable features like bluetooth or navigation. Check out the current market value as well as what other buys would be willing to pay for that specific used car.

Doing this will help you have a realistic idea of what the used car is worth and where to begin negotiating. You don’t want to get started with asking for too much. You can find price guides online from sites such as, Edmunds.

A fair deal and what other buyers might pay can also be found by using an online resources like Kelley Blue Book website. The Kelley Blue Book website has pricing information based off of recent trades with real time market values, as well as estimated new retail prices. It also includes historical data.

Remember to always negotiate as if you are a cash buyer. This is because if you tell the seller what your monthly payments could be, they will increase the asking price as much as they can. So, it’s best to negotiate “as if” you are a cash buyer.

2. Begin the negotiation

Once you have a good idea of what the used car is worth and how much it should cost, you can ask the salesperson what price they are willing to offer the vehicle to you at. It is important to let the salesperson take the lead on the negotiations by stating an opening offer, so that you can understand where they are sitting price wise.

However, sometimes the salesperson won’t give you a straight answer. If this is the case, then instead of wasting time, it may be worth stating what you feel would be a fair price based on your research. Remember to keep your negotiating goal in mind while doing this and do not start too high or low.

If you start too high you will be disadvantaging yourself, whereas if you start too low the seller may not think you aren’t serious and therefore won’t give you the time of day. Take for example, the used car usually sells for $22,000. You could make an offer of $20,000 to begin with, which would be an appropriate amount, as it is in the ball park of what the car would usually sell for.

It is important in a negotiation to watch the body language and tone of voice when it comes to the seller. This will give you a good idea of how you are tracking.

How to negotiate used car price

3. Make a counter offer

If the salesperson makes a counter offer that is in the ball park of what you are willing to pay, this is great news. However, the negotiation isn’t over yet. You will want to either accept the counter offer or make another one.

If you are not comfortable with the salesperson’s offer, then you need to think about how much more money you could get knocked off the price and what else might be negotiable on that vehicle. Take your time when it comes to negotiating, especially when you are getting closer to the price you are happy with, ensure that you are making counter offers in small increments.

The key takeaway here is that negotiation can take time and patience, so it’s important not to feel intimidated when haggling with a car dealer who may push you to buy the used car. Remember that you need them just as much as they need you. Alternatively, if they are drawing out the negotiation to wear you down, let the salesperson know that you have somewhere to be and can’t spend much longer negotiating. Stand your ground and ensure that you are getting the best deal for yourself.

4. Ensure you are satisfied with the price

More often than not, when you settle on a price a salesperson will try and to complicate the deal by offering you additional extras, which is usually just an up-sell. Such as additional insurance, a maintenance plan etc. Try to keep the deal simplified by reinforcing that you will purchase the vehicle for the price that was agreed upon by both parties.

Always ensure that you receive a complete breakdown of the numbers, so that you are clear with what you are paying for. This includes the total cost of the vehicle, taxes, documentation fees and registration fees. Make sure that there are no hidden extras included in the deal such as a monthly payment plan or additional insurance which you don’t need. It’s important to read through all documentation thoroughly before committing yourself to any contract. Make sure everything is clear and comprehensible before putting pen-to-paper.

5. Test Drive the Used Vehicle

It is important to test drive the car before buying a used car and finalizing the deal. Having driven the vehicle you are negotiating for, you will be much more knowledgeable about how it handles and whether it drives well. The test drive, will help you understand where specific shortcomings in performance can be found and see if those shortfalls meet your needs. This might also help to bring down the price of that used car.

Test driving the vehicle also helps you to make a decision based on how the used car functions and the price, rather than simply seeing the car, falling in love and making an emotional decision. It also gives you an opportunity to ask any additional questions that you may have before finalizing the deal.

How to negotiate used car price

6. Sign the deal

Once you feel like you have gotten a good deal, it is time to put ink to paper. There will be a sales contract for you to sign. Once again, you may be offered additional products or services but keep in mind that these options are items that are usually priced higher than necessary to make more profit.

If you are purchasing from a private seller, it is important to ensure that all documentation is in order. Make sure that you have a valid title and registration for the vehicle, a bill of sale as well as the car’s maintenance records to show all previous work done on it by professionals.

Additional Tips on How to Negotiate Used Car price

  • Be ready to walk away from the deal. Know the value of your time and don’t spend it on a car or at a dealership that is not worth your time.
  • Dealers know how desperate people can be so if they see someone isn’t going anywhere, they may give in which means this person has more power during negotiations
  • Always negotiate in cash or trade value rather than monthly payments because dealerships like installment options as it’s easier for them to make money off of these things and have your car paid off sooner
  • Know what you are looking for before going to look at cars, so that you have realistic expectations, which will help prevent disappointment when bargaining with sellers.
  • Don’t be afraid or intimidated by pushy salespeople. They want to make the sale just as much as you do. Understand your numbers and stand your ground.
  • If you’re paying cash or getting a loan from the dealership, they’ll usually give you better interest rates than if financing through an outside bank. Be aware of fees both on buying and during repayment
  • Don’t forget to negotiate all the details before you sign. Make sure there are no hidden rebates or any possible financing offers, as well as asking for warranty limits, loan terms, or extras that may be a part of the price.

The Bottom Line

Negotiating used cars can seem like a daunting task but when done properly, negotiating a lower price often saves people thousands of dollars. The first step of negotiating the price is to do some research before you go in and speak with a salesperson because it’s important that you know what your budget is and how much money you are willing to spend on a used car.

When it comes to negotiating, don’t start until you feel completely ready. If you’re not prepared, it will be difficult to negotiate and the salesperson will more than likely be able to detect that. Negotiation is a skill and like any other skill, it takes time and practice to perfect.

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How To Buy A Used Car: The 7 Best Tips For Buying A Secondhand Car

It is common for people to wonder how to buy a used car. This is because brand new cars have become a luxury that’s well beyond the reach of the average American. Currently, the average price of a new car is more than $40,000, and the prices continue to rise. With the average price increasing, down payments on a new car have reached an all-time high. Therefore, it is no surprise that nearly 70% of Americans are looking to buy a used car. 

A used car can be a smart investment, as they are cheaper and tend not to depreciate as much. Yet if you’re not careful, you may end up making costly mistakes when buying a second-hand car. Let’s take a close look at what you need to do before buying a used car.

Some Of The Perks Of Buying A Used Car 

There are several reasons to buy a used car and for many people it is a much better option than purchasing a new car: 

  • You can get a reliable used car that doesn’t depreciate as quickly over time. 
  • Most used cars are cheaper and still dependable when compared to new cars. 
  • A used car can save you money on car insurance. 
  • In most instances, used vehicles have cheaper registration fees. 
  • A used car saves you from the frustration of having manufacturer recalls or potential new model problems. 
  • Used cars won’t bog you down with hidden costs that come with buying new cars. 

No doubt, buying used vehicle comes with its fair share of risks. That’s why you need to do a bit of research before hitting the market to look for one. 

Seven Steps To Buying A Used Car: 

Step 1: Figure Out Your Budget And Stick With It

Before shopping for a car and falling in love with a certain make and model, you need to figure out how much you can afford on a used car. If you plan to pay for the car with cash, you need to determine how much you can afford to spend. We don’t recommend spending all of your savings on buying a car, as you are likely to incur other expenses like registration, insurance, and possible repairs. 

Some buyers prefer to get a car loan. That way, they can avoid using their savings. If you plan to take out a loan, it would be preferable to opt for a pre approved car loan. This loan simplifies the buying process and gives you more leverage when buying a car from a dealer. 

You can also use an auto loan calculator to calculate the ideal loan for you. It would be best if you are able to put 10% down and finance the car for about 3 years. As a rule of thumb, your total monthly payments towards any auto expenses should not exceed 20% of your take-home monthly pay. 

If you want to take the debt free approach, you can save up for a pre owned car. The great news is that you can find reliable cars within any price range. Create a savings goal for yourself to decide how much you want to spend and focus on creating a budget, so that within a few months you will be able to afford a car without going into debt for it. 

How to buy a used car

Step 2: Shop For Your Ideal Secondhand Car 

Shopping for the right set of wheels is where the fun really begins. It is important to bear in mind that you’re shopping for your ideal car, that is, a vehicle that best suits your lifestyle and your needs. 

Take time to think about why you need a car. 

  • Do you want a car that can fit more people? 
  • Do you want a car that saves on fuel? 
  • Do you want a car with plenty of cargo space? 
  • Do you want an environmentally friendly car? 
  • Do you want a car that can go off-road or off-terrain? 
  • Do you want a car that’s light and compact for city parking? 
  • Do you want a car with towing capacities? 

If you have a family, you may want a car with enough room for everyone plus enough cargo space. If safety is your top priority, you can check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for their top safety picks. 

You can narrow your options down by searching for models using tools such as, Car Finder on Edmunds.com, KelleyBluebook.com or AutoTrader.com

It is always beneficial for you to come up with a list of must-have features. For instance, if it’s a family car, you may want a car that comes integrated with sunshades for times when your children take a nap or a backup camera to ensure that you don’t hit anything in the driveway when reversing out. 

Also, you could consider foregoing features that may result in accruing additional costs, for example, the number of cylinders in your engine. A six, eight, or twelve cylinder engine may make your car fast but will cost you more. A six-cylinder engine may cost around $8,500 to $11,000, whereas a four-cylinder engine will cost less. Lastly, you need to consider whether you want an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) or a Front-or-Rear wheel drive. 

Remember to compare insurance costs when comparing different vehicles. You can do this by working with an independent insurance agent who can help you save without losing coverage. 

Step 3: Find Reliable Used Cars 

We’ve already mentioned some of the websites that provide great listings for used cars e.g. Edmunds.com. These sites give you valuable information about the car, for instance, the mileage, year, make and model. Armed with this information and the price, you can negotiate a deal. 

Some people also shop for used vehicles on Craigslist. Craigslist is best known for low-end cars. But you should keep an eye out for scammers. If you prefer to shop for the car physically, there are countless showroom lawns in the country that you can visit. 

When looking for a new car, it may be best to be cautious when it comes to new car dealerships. These dealers also have used vehicles but they tend to be more expensive. You should also avoid the “buy-here-pay-here” lots. These dealers sell cars (buy here) and offer car loans (pay here). These dealers make their profit from hidden fees and you don’t want to get caught out paying more than you should. 

Step 4: Contact The Seller 

Once you’ve found the ideal car, your next step is to reach out to the seller. If a dealer is selling it, you need to inquire if they still have the vehicle. The same applies if it’s an individual seller. 

Reach out to the seller to find out if they have a title (and not a salvage title) for the vehicle and whether or not the car is in good condition. You’ll also need to inquire if they have maintenance records for the vehicle and whether they own it or they still owe money on the vehicle, or if there’s a lien on it. You can avoid all of these issues if you buy the vehicle from a dealer. 

Step 5: Check The Vehicle History Report 

It is important to run a car history report also known as a vehicle history report (VHR) before buying it. A good VHR costs about $50 and includes ownership history, maintenance records etc. This information helps you determine whether the vehicle has a clean title. In some cases, shady car sellers may spin the odometer back to increase its selling price. In that case, the vehicle history report will alert you if there are any inconsistencies or concerns. Vehicle history reports are incredibly important when looking to purchase a car, however not many people get them done.

How can you get a VHR for a pre owned car? You can get a comprehensive report from CARFAX, AutoCheck or AutoDNA.com. Just key in the vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN), which is usually located underneath the windshield on the driver’s side. The truth is that several competitive sites are offering free VHR checks, including the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB.org). Most of the free reports are basic but you can pay for a more comprehensive report from CARFAX. 

Most used vehicles are sold as they are, whether you are buying a car from a private seller or licensed dealer, unless they come with a warranty. Whatsmore, the law does not require a seller to be honest about the state of the vehicle. 

For that reason, it would be beneficial if you got the car inspected by a certified diagnostic mechanic before you buy it. If you make a downpayment for a vehicle, make sure you have it in writing that the private seller will return your cash if any issues are found with the vehicle once it has been inspected.

You can simply eliminate a lot of used car issues by having a certified independent mechanic check it out. 

Step 6: Determine What The Ownership Cost Will Be

Ownership costs refer to factors such as the price of maintaining the car and the expected long-term repairs. You need to know how much you’ll spend to maintain the vehicle on things such as; oil changes, fluid flushes or new tires. You should also do a bit of digging on the long-term repairs you can expect depending on the make or the model, as well as the availability of the spare parts. Edmunds “True Cost To Own” is a great place to start. 

The good news is that almost every model has an online forum. You can check out what owners have to say about the model to determine whether you will be happy with it. Some cars are cheap to buy but will cost more in the long run. That’s why it is important to check consumer reports, online forums and leverage tools such as Edmunds. 

Step 7: Personally Inspect The Car 

Even if you got a certified mechanic to inspect the vehicle, nothing beats a personal inspection of the used car. You can use the Department of Motor Vehicles list to check for signs of damage or abuse. It’s common to find a used vehicle with several issues, e.g. cracked belts, or scratches on the car’s reflection. But a vehicle with numerous issues can be a deal-breaker. Make sure that you are 100% happy with what you are purchasing before putting money down. 

How to buy a used car from a private seller or private party

Step 8: Always Test Drive The Car 

About 20% of used car buyers don’t take the car for a test drive before making the purchase. This isn’t a great idea because you may experience buyer’s remorse. You may purchase the used car and then discover when you are driving it later that something sounds off.

It is a good idea to test drive the car in a location with a bit of everything; windy roads, rough pavement, hills and if possible even a bit of highway. Drive the car with the radio off to get a good feel of how the vehicle performs on the road. This is because you want to make sure that the car is functioning properly. If you have passengers with you, you can ask them to be silent and help you out by paying attention to factors such as:

  • Mechanical condition: Are there any unusual sounds or vibrations that could indicate worn out suspension parts or tires? 
  • Brake performance: Are the brakes responsive and predictable? 
  • Visibility: Do you see any blind spots? Can you clearly see out of the car, or do you strain your neck to check blind spots? Are there issues with the mirrors or moving the driver’s seat or you can position them appropriately?
  • Steering feel: How does the steering feel when you accelerate or take a corner? 
  • Ergonomics: Are you fairly comfortable? Can you easily access all the gauges and controls? 

You can also turn on the air conditioning while driving. Check whether or not it smells like oil is burning. 

The test drive can be an exciting experience. However, make sure to not let your emotions get the best of you. Keep your focus on the performance of the vehicle and listen to your gut feeling, if you think something is off with the vehicle. 

Step 9: Negotiate For The Best Price Possible

Many people dread the negotiation part when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. But keep in mind that this step doesn’t have to be stressful, if you’ve done your research and understand the worth of the used car. When the private seller quotes a price for you, you should compare it to the average market price you determined as you shopped around. There’s a likelihood that the private seller is asking for more than the vehicle’s market price.

One of the ways that you can avoid paying a hefty price for the car is to choose your words carefully. Don’t talk about how much you like the used car and that it has everything you wanted. Rather, you can say that it’s a good car, but you can point out some of the issues you noted. For instance, you can say, “I like the way the car moves, but it needs a new set of tires. Furthermore, the book value is $11,500, so I am not willing to pay anymore than $11,000 for it.”

The seller can either accept the offer or present a counteroffer. If the private seller still insists on a higher price, you can stick to your guns and insist on meeting them halfway. Be patient and only settle for a reasonable price. If you negotiate, more often than not you will be able to get them to bring down the price. This is because most car dealers work on commission and would rather have the car sold rather than sitting in the lot. 

Below are some tips that you should use when it comes to negotiating: 

Don’t allow the buyer to increase the price based on what a monthly payment – Sellers often ask buyers to quote the largest monthly payment that they are willing to make. With that figure in mind, they calculate the most that you can spend and drag the loan as long as possible to profit from you. Whether you have a pre-approved loan or not, you should approach buying the car as if you are a cash buyer and avoid making any comment about monthly payments. 

Quote a lower price but still keep the seller interested –  If you quote a price that’s too low, the seller won’t take you seriously. Instead, quote a figure that entices them to continue with the negotiation. You can also increase your offer in small increments. 

Don’t linger at the sales office – A salesman can leave you in their office for quite a while, as they talk to their boss about what they are willing to sell the car at. Instead of staying there, you can go out and grab a coffee or look at some of the other vehicles. Uncontrollable buyers keep salespeople on edge, and this can help you with your negotiations. 

Ask about fees before agreeing to a deal – Some dealers include bogus fees to compensate for the losses they make in the negotiations. It would help if you ask for a breakdown of any additional fees before agreeing to a deal. 

Pay attention to the numbers that you hear when negotiating – It’s easy to get confused during a negotiation. Especially when the salesman completes negotiations on a daily basis. You can avoid getting confused by repeating the numbers and even writing them down if you need to. Make sure that you understand the price by asking whether it includes taxes and fees. 

Be ready to walk away – If you don’t like the deal, you don’t like how you’re being treated or you feel like you are being taken advantage of, remember that you can always walk away. 

Don’t succumb to pressure – Salespeople love to pressure buyers to make a quick sale. This is a common tactic that prevents you from asking more questions or having second thoughts. The only exception to this rule is around the end month when dealers provide discounts for a certain time frame. Still, don’t allow yourself to be pressured when it comes to making large purchases. 

Make sure you’ve done all Your research at home before going to the dealer – There is no doubt that the dealer is better at negotiating than you are. When it comes to the price, it will be difficult for them to convince you to pay more, if you are informed about the type of car you want. If you are buying directly from a private seller, you can gain the upper hand if you’ve done your research and get a good deal. 

Step 10: Close The Deal And Get The Paperwork

So you’ve reached the final stage. You’ve agreed on the price with the buyer, feel like you got a good deal and already have the cash to close the deal. What’s next? You want to make sure that all of the relevant paperwork is signed and provided to you. This includes the car’s title, registration, and bill of sale for starters. If you are paying with a cashier’s check, you have to present it to the dealer before signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement. 

If you pay for the car using a pre approved loan from a bank or credit union, you can request the seller to meet you at the bank to sign the relevant sales contract documentation. It is common for dealers to try and pitch to you a better loan term plus other additional products and services; for instance, the dealer can propose a loan with a slightly higher interest rate but for a shorter term. 

Be careful and avoid opting for another loan term to pay for the car. Some of the products pitched by dealers are not bad, for instance, an extended warranty at the right price. Just make sure you check the current warranty to see how much time remains on the car and whether or not it would be beneficial to get an extended warranty. 

If you’re buying the car from an individual as a private seller transaction, you’ll require a bill of sale. You can get this contract from the Department of Motor Vehicles. You’ll also have to confirm that the seller properly signs the registration and title. Lastly, you should add the car to your insurance policy. 

Once you finish up with the paperwork and get your keys, you can enjoy your ride. 

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How To Save Money On Groceries: 24 Opportunities To Save

Many people wonder how to save money on groceries. There is no question that it can often be difficult saving money on groceries. It’s no secret that groceries are expensive. Whether you’re buying for yourself, your children or your whole family it can be difficult to keep food on the table without breaking the bank.

You may go into the store feeling like you’ve got it covered, only to end up buying much more than you’d planned for. However with a little planning and some basic knowledge of what’s in season, how to prepare meals ahead of time and when to buy certain foods at their lowest price, you can save money while still eating well.

The truth is that if you want to achieve your financial goals, you need to master the art of saving money on groceries. So, in this post we’ll take a look at 24 ways you can save money on groceries.

The State of Grocery Shopping In The U.S. 

Let’s look at the stats to see why you need to control your expenditure on groceries. The average American household spends $7,203 a year on food, of which $4,049 is spent on home food and $3,154 is spent on food away from home. If you break these figures in a month, you have $600 spent on food, of which $337 is spent on home food, and $263 is spent on food away from home. Break it down further into weeks, and it means that each week, the average American spends $139 on food. 

Budgeting experts recommend spending 10 to 15% of your take-home pay on grocery shopping. However, if you can find ways to save when grocery shopping than you can put the money towards your other financial goals.

If you follow the steps we give you today, you will have plenty of ways to save and cut down on the food budget. 

How To Save Money on Groceries:

1. Always Have A Grocery Shopping List And A Calculator On Hand 

Impulse buying robs you of your hard-earned money. All those extra splurge items that we grab as we check out end up blowing our budget leading to financial consequences. One of the easiest ways to save money and prevent impulse buying when grocery shopping is to come up with a shopping list and stick to it. This will help you save on food at the grocery store.

You can come up with a shopping list the traditional way by listing the items on paper. Alternatively, you can download apps such as Out Of Milk, AnyList to make a list or make a list in your phone. When you go shopping, take out your calculator and add up the amounts so that you know how you are tracking financially.

A cool trick that you can use is to round up the numbers. For example, if the product is $2.59, round it up to $3. The $9.87 product becomes $10. Rounding the numbers up will help you make a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay at the check-out. Of Course, you’ll pay less since you’ve rounded up the numbers. However, this will keep you motivated, especially if it helps you stay below your budget. 

2. Use Grocery Store Apps To Compare Prices 

Smartphones have made it easy for us to create a grocery budget for food. You can find out what’s on sale within stores using their websites or apps. Apps such as Basket and Flipp also help you search various stores to look for the best deals.

Other apps will allow you to key in coupons digitally and get cash rebates after scanning your receipt. With these apps, you will be certain that you’re shopping on a budget and getting the best deals for what you shop for. 

3. Plan Your Meals 

There are two main strategies that you can leverage when it comes to meal planning. To begin with, check what is in your pantry (or fridge) and see what kind of meals you can make from those ingredients. Plan your meals ahead of time, so that you aren’t struggling to come up with meal ideas when you are at the grocery store. Preplanning meals will also help you save money because you are only buying what you need.

You may also have items in your freezer that you can use to create meals for the week. Take for example, that you have some frozen chicken thighs at the back of the freezer. You can plan to use those within a meal or two and therefore save money because you won’t need to buy more chicken.

The second strategy is to plan your meals based on what’s on sale. If you find that cheese, mince meat, mushrooms, and crushed tomatoes or on sale that week, you can plan various meals you can make for that week using those specific ingredients. There are sites such as SuperCook.com that help you match ingredients and create meal ideas based on what you have at home and what items you have on sale for that week. 

4. Know the Sales Cycle & Buy In Bulk 

When you go to the grocery store, note down the sales cycle for the most common items that you buy at the store. If you do this regularly, you’ll be able to spot deals and plan for when to stock up.  

Buying in bulk is great, as it helps you save money. But you necessarily shouldn’t do it automatically. Rather, take time to compare prices per unit when you are shopping. Whatsmore, be careful not to buy when you don’t need to, especially when it comes to perishable items. However, it is a good idea to purchase non-perishable household goods such as laundry detergent, dishwasher tablets etc when they are on sale because you will use them at some stage, so purchasing them on sale will save you money in the long run.

5. Include Simple Meals in your Dinner 

Dinner doesn’t have to be a large, time consuming homemade meal every night. Sometimes, you can incorporate simple meals such as salads or omelets. You can include Black Beans with rice or rice with a simple protein and vegetables.

You can also encourage your family to join in on the fun and help you research some great, simple meals that you can have as a family. Swapping Dinner with some simple meals can lower your food expenses and save you time.  

6. Buy Generic Store Brands

Many people avoid generic store brands because they feel that generic brands will ruin their favorite meal. However, Consumer reports note that generic brands are just as good as name brands and significantly cheaper. You can save thousands of dollars by purchasing generic products. This is a great way to save on groceries.

Whatsmore, these products will not affect the flavor of your favorite meal. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that chefs go for generic products when buying staples such as salt, baking soda and sugar. The study showed that if more consumers buy store brands, they would end up saving between 20%-25%.

Save Money On Groceries

7. Pay with cash 

Another great way to save money at the grocery store is by going to the store with a fixed amount of cash. When you go to the store with a specified amount of cash, you’ll know exactly how much you spend and will help you avoid overspending. The cash envelope system is one way that you can control your spending on groceries. This system allows you to budget for every dollar and not a cent more. 

Click here to learn everything you need to know about the cash envelope system.

8. Try Different Grocery Stores 

Where do you shop mostly? For most of us, we shop at our local grocery store which tends to be places that are convenient to us or places that we are used to visiting. But you can save 30 to 50% by simply changing your routine. This is because the grocery stores that are the closest to us in proximity aren’t always the cheapest option.

For grocery stores, you can check out Aldi, Lidl, or Walmart. Trader’s Joe has great deals on organic foods, whereas Dollar Tree and Dollar General have discounts every week. 

If you want to save money on groceries, you’ll have to get comfortable with changing your routine. You can check out weekly ads in your local area or ask around for some places where you can get the best deals. 

9. Learn to Use Coupons 

Although most stores accept coupons, there are limits as to how many you can use on the same food items. There are times you can “stack coupons” or use them at a later time. If you plan on using coupons, be sure to understand the store’s policies so that you don’t miss out on stacking coupons when the store allows it. Some stores mail coupons to their buyers. Make sure to check your mail for coupons before you head to the store. 

10. When You Shop For Meat, Vacuum Seal it & Freeze It 

A majority of high-traffic stores tend to discount their meat on Mondays and Tuesdays. This does not mean that the meat is of lesser quality. Rather, it happens because the meat has a shorter shelf-life, and they want to sell it ASAP. You can take advantage of the discounts and buy your meat at that time.

 Suppose the store sells a pound of chicken for $0.99 per pound, but when you buy a standard package, you get it at $5.99. You can opt to buy in bulk at $0.99 per pound and use a vacuum sealer to store them properly in your freezer. Taking all the air out of the freezer package preserves the meat for a longer period of time. 

11. Use CashBack Apps 

Apps such as Ibotta are great for helping people save money on grocery shopping. Such apps help you to redeem coupons, search for deals and get cash back when you shop. Of Course, Ibotta is not the only app out there, as others offer similar services, for example, FetchRewards, RetailMeNot. 

12. Know How To Shop For Organic Products 

There are products that you may buy organic, and there are those that you don’t have to purchase organically. You can learn more about this from the Environmental Working Group’s annual research (EWG). The organization releases annual research that informs shoppers about the pesticide level on every grown produce. Fruits and veggies such as Avocados, onions, papaya, Kiwi, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, etc, have been listed as products with very low pesticide levels. You can read more about their findings here

13. Avoid eye-level Items 

Groceries stores tend to put the most expensive items at eye level. Therefore, next time you go to the grocery store, you should ignore the products at your eye level and go for affordable items that are likely to be higher or lower on the shelf. 

Go for the items at the bottom shelves or outer aisles as well. You may find that the $3 pickles are right below the $10 pickles. 

14. Counter Check your receipt 

It is always a good idea to form the habit of checking your receipt at the grocery store in case you’ve been overcharged. If you notice an error, report it to customer service and let them know. They will refund your money. Some shops even go a step further. If they notice that you’ve been overcharged for an item, they may give you that item for free. One example of a store that does this is the Publix chain store. 

How To Save Money On Groceries

15. Carry Your Own Bag When Shopping 

You can save some cash when you bring your own bag (BYOB) to the grocery store. Some grocery stores give you a discount when you carry your own bag. You could ask the cashier if they give discounts when you BYOB. Typically, you get about 5 cents per bag. If you tend to shop each week and use five bags, then you’ll have saved about $13 per year. 

16. Opt for Dried Beans Instead of Cans 

Cooking with dried beans is time-consuming, as you have to soak the beans first before cooking them. Yet, dried beans are typically cheaper than canned beans. The canned type is convenient, but if you tend to cook beans a lot, we recommend opting for the dried beans because they can be significantly cheaper.

Not only do dried beans taste better, but they can also save you money. So, instead of going for $1 per 15 oz (which is about half liquid and half-cooked beans so $2 per pound), you could go for four pounds of dried beans for $5 (that’s $1.25 per pound, and they double in size after you cook them). You can use an instant pot for cooking the beans faster. 

17. Check out Drug Stores for Deals on Certain Goods

Drugstores offer great sales. They also offer discounts on grocery and non-grocery items, which makes them cheaper than grocery stores. However, the trick is to wait for a sale. Most stores send you an email newsletter to alert you about their sales week and other promotions. So the next time you open your mail and find a newsletter from your drugstore, read through it to find other ways to save. 

18. Go shopping early

It is commonly known that when you shop early you can snag the bargains before they sell out. You also have the benefit of purchasing the freshest produce before everything gets picked over. Since there are fewer people first thing in the morning, that’s when store employees do their discounting, go through inventory and identify the products about to expire. If you happen to be free in the morning, then you can get some good deals, get the shopping over with while you are also saving money. 

19. Avoid shopping on an empty stomach 

Psychologists say that when you shop when you’re hungry, you are likely to buy things that you don’t need. This is because your mind is thinking about satisfying that hunger; you will likely end up stuffing your cart with expensive groceries that you wouldn’t have purchased if you weren’t hungry. The same is true when you go shopping and haven’t slept well because your hunger levels increase when you haven’t slept well. You may end up picking energy-rich foods off the shelf. 

We recommend to always go shopping on a full stomach. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to walk past the cookies, ice cream and frozen waffles. 

20. Buy things in season

Vegetables and fruits that are in season tend to be cheaper and bountiful, even at the farmer’s market. In most instances, when you buy a product during its off-season, they tend to be overpriced and don’t even taste as good. But, in-season produce is fresher, tastes better, and is cheaper. 

21. Purchase Frozen Vegetables

You can buy everything else in season, but vegetables are perfectly okay for you to buy frozen. Frozen vegetables may include; broccoli, peas, carrots, spinach etc. If you have planned meals that will need these ingredients, then the frozen types are typically cheaper and easier to use/store. Vegetables such as spinach shrink down when you cook them. But with frozen spinach, you get more in a bag than with fresh spinach. 

22. Go for a small cart 

When you use a smaller cart, you are forced to buy only what you need depending on your shopping list. A large cart tends to trigger that desire to fill it up. As such, you end up with impulse purchases, as you push your cart along the attractive eye-level items. But if you’re only shopping for one night’s dinner items, a small cart will help you control the impulse to spend. 

23. Don’t succumb to deals

It happens to everyone. You walk into a store committed to be faithful to your shopping list, only to find some great deals going on. But the best way to save money on groceries is to avoid the allure of such deals, especially when you don’t need the items on sale. Avoid purchasing something just because it’s on sale. If that product wasn’t part of your grocery list, then you’ll end up spending more than you had planned to spend. 

24. Try growing fruit and vegetables

You can save on groceries by growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs. some of the items that you frequently use or cook with. For example; tomatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers, herbs or apples. That way you won’t have to buy them, as you can pluck them directly from your garden. This also means you are eating incredibly fresh produce.

The Bottom Line

When you save money on groceries, you are able to free up money for saving and investing. The grocery habits shared here will help achieve the financial goals that you’ve set. Habits such as using cash, buying in bulk, using a budget, buying frozen vegetables, buying generic store bran, creating and sticking to a list etc. will help you to not only save money but you will also be able to put that additional money towards reaching your financial goals You can use an automatic saving app or investment apps that will help you allocate the money you’ve saved up from grocery shopping towards your investments. 

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How To Stop Spending Money: 18 Key Strategies To Regain Control

Have you ever felt like your money was just disappearing and wondered how to stop spending money? This is a common feeling for many people and the reason can be traced to impulsive spending. Impulsive spending occurs when somebody spends money without thinking about what they are buying, or if they have enough funds in their bank account to cover the cost. Below we will discuss exactly how to stop spending money impulsively.

1. Set Savings Goals For the Short and Long Term

It’s important to set financial goals to ensure you know what you’re saving for. When setting personal saving goals, decide on the total amount you want to save and break down the cost and how much per month this cost could be. When saving money, breaking down the total amount into an attainable timeframe, makes the goal more manageable and less overwhelming.

For example, if you want to save up $10,000 for a car within a six month period, then you will need to set aside approximately $1,670 per month, so that within six months your desired goal is met. This means you can purchase the vehicle without using credit cards or other debt.

The best part about creating savings goals is that you’ll know exactly where your money is going!

2. Create A Budget That Works For You

Another way how to stop spending money is by creating controls on your finances that make sense with your life. For some people this means budgeting every penny while others may just need a little reminder about their spending habits. A budget is beneficial because it helps you to see exactly how much you’re spending and where your money is going. When creating a budget, it is always important to set realistic financial goals for yourself. Focus on tracking what you have coming in and going out. It is also important to consider your spending habits.

If you are struggling to track all of the transactions in your bank account, there are a variety of apps to assist you. These include; Personal Capital or Mint. These apps will help with tracking those pesky smaller purchases like coffee from Starbucks but also larger items such as airplane tickets, which can easily accumulate over time. Creating and tracking a budget may seem tedious at first, but it becomes easier once everything has been tracked and categorized into expense lines including home upkeep costs, car payments, insurance premiums etc.

To Learn everything you need to know when it comes to budgeting, click here. We also cover budgeting categories extensively, here.

3. Create an Emergency Fund

When it comes to creating an emergency fund, we recommend keeping a minimum of at least three months worth of living expenses saved up in case something happens that causes your income stream to dry up. For larger families, it is best to have six months worth of expenses saved up. Emergency funds are incredibly beneficial because they provide protection against overspending in the case of unexpected expenses popping up.

In the event that you do run into any unplanned expenses, like a car breaking down or needing to have some expensive medical procedure done, this emergency fund will help tide you over until things improve. This means you don’t need to rely on credit card debt to get you through periods of time when you are short on cash. It is also important to make sure that you have your savings and emergency fund in high interest earning accounts, so that you are making additional money, while it sits there.

Click here to learn more about how to create an emergency fund.

4. Pack Your Lunch For Work Each Day

It’s the little expenses like eating out lunch everyday that add up quickly over time. Packing your lunch each day can be one way to stop spending money and increase your savings. To make it even more cost effective, pack your lunch the night before so you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything or running out of time in the morning. It’s also a great way to avoid eating just for convenience and be mindful of what you are eating during the day.

Cheap recipes can also help those on a tight budget with little money left over after paying all of your expenses such as groceries, rent, utilities etc. Cooking at home might actually save a lot more than you originally think it will. It may take some planning but eventually packing lunches and making your own coffee in the morning will become second nature and one less expense added each day, which means extra cash saved.

How to Stop Spending Money

5. Eat at Home More Often

Eating out is one of those expenses that can very easily add up over time without you even realizing how much money has been spent. One way to stop spending money on eating out so frequently is by planning ahead, creating a meal plan, going to the grocery store and stocking up on enough healthy food from home. Eating at home more often allows you to not only save a decent amount of money but it also provides you with healthier options.

When you choose to eat at home you will have more control over what ingredients and foods are being used. This way you know exactly how much money is being spent on your food, which means less chance of wasting it. Even though there may be an initial cost to buy the groceries, in the long run this will save a lot of money because now everything is accounted for and not wasted on impulse purchases or eating out at restaurants all the time.

6. Wait Three Days Before Making Purchases

Delayed gratification is a great way to build up self-discipline and how to stop spending money. For an impulse buy to be worthwhile you should wait at least three days before you spend your hard earned money. When you pause and take some time before purchasing something that you want, you are better equipped to make an informed decision.

Instead of buying it now, try these tips:

  • Put the desired item on hold for three days before purchasing it, if you still want it in a few days and have the money to buy it then you can purchase it.
  • If you can buy the item without sacrificing anything else important in life than this is a great way to stop spending. If not then put off purchasing the item and buy something less expensive or more practical first (or forget about buying it all together).

7. Cancel Unused Subscriptions

Reviewing your bank statements or credit card bills from the past couple months can help you determine if there are some unused subscriptions that you can cancel. Most subscriptions are charged on a monthly basis and can be cancelled by simply logging into the account and pressing “cancel.” Make sure that you do this before the next billing cycle occurs.

If there are some monthly charges that were not used this month then cancel them now or set yourself a reminder to cancel them before the next billing cycle.

8. Cut Up Your Credit Card

Late night online shopping or impulse buying when window shopping is easy when credit cards are so easily accessible. By switching to paying with cash instead of using credit cards, it reduces the temptation and ability to impulse buy. Especially when you can purchase something with the click of a button. It is important to spend money that you have available and allocated to spend. If you do choose to use credit cards, make sure that you can afford to pay them off in full without going into debt.

If you want to start spending money on things again, then make sure the credit card is not easily accessible, so it does not provide temptation for impulse buying. We recommend using the cash envelope method when it comes to paying with cash.

The cash envelope method is commonly used by people trying to save money. It works by having all of your money in cash and dividing it into envelopes with specific purposes for how the money is to be spent.

Click here for the complete guide to how the cash envelope system works.

9. Borrow Don’t Buy Items

Borrowing instead of buying pricer items is a great way to stop spending money. If you need something but likely won’t use it more than once or a few times a year, it’s cheaper to borrow it rather than buy it. This is a great way to save money. This gives your budget room for other purchases and reduces clutter in the home at the same time.

Borrowing things may not be as convenient as buying them outright but if someone else has an item that would work well for what you’re doing and they are willing to lend it out, this can be a simple way to reduce spending on items we don’t really need often enough to justify owning ourselves. In addition, borrowing items means less clutter around the house since those loaned items will eventually return their rightful place with its owner when you no longer need them.

How to Stop Spending Money

10. Collect Spare Change Whenever You Can

You may be surprised at how quickly spare change can add up. If you have a jar or other container that can hold spare change, this may be the best option. The idea is to collect spare change by putting all of your coins in one place such as a jar. Work on gathering coins and change every day so that it doesn’t take too long to save up for something particular or give yourself an indulgence from time-to-time with some spending money each week.

If you are saving regularly, but not often, there’s no need to leave the change on display in order to remind yourself because as soon as there’s enough saved up, just transfer it into a savings account and begin again when necessary. However, the idea is simple, put as many coins into the jar as possible every day so that eventually enough money builds up to represent something significant. Many people find that they end up saving more than $100 per month by doing this alone – which adds up over time and helps reduce your monthly expenses enormously.

Learn more about savings challenges, here.

11. Resist the Temptation of Sales

It may be easier said than done but a great way to stop spending money is to only shop when you need something, not when there are sales on. Sales are tempting and they cause people to spend more, not less.

The key to reducing the amount of money that is spent impulsively, which creates a negative financial impact on many people’s lives, is being more mindful and understanding what causes these purchases. By recognizing our triggers, we can take appropriate steps in order to avoid them and keep ourselves from overspending. More often than not, shopping therapy can be an emotional response. People often use retail therapy when they are stressed or emotionally struggling.

It may seem like it would be difficult resisting but with some restraint, planning ahead for potential shopping trips by using lists instead of relying on mental notes about when items are needed again in the future. Make sure to avoid stores known as “sales traps” such as department stores during peak hours where deals are advertised most prominently and as previously mentioned, identify your triggers and work towards resisting those sales.

12. Pay Off Debt and Avoid Accumulating More Debt

Paying off debt and not allowing yourself to go further into debt will help you stop spending money you don’t have. A lot of people like to live the millionaire lifestyle but don’t be fooled, this lifestyle for many people is driven by debt. Learn how to stop spending money that you don’t have, by budgeting and planning for upcoming expenses.

Focus on using debit cards when you are making purchases. This will also help with overspending because using a debit card makes you more conscious of the amount you are spending.

13. Stay Away From Social Media

Social media can make you feel like you’re missing out on life and that everyone is living a better life than you. This can result in you spending more money. So, another tip to stop overspending is to stay off those platforms.

Social media only show the best of what people are doing with their friends, which makes it seem like they have more fun or hangout with cooler people, when really this isn’t true at all. Many times those pictures don’t even represent reality. Social media is usually everyone’s highlight reel rather than the reality of what is actually going on in their life.

It may seem harmless but if your goal is to save more money then stay away from it. Remember, quite often things are not as good as they appear online anyway, so why put yourself through the temptation of being influenced into buying something that you may not even want or even need.

How to Stop Spending Money

14. Create a Shopping List

It is incredibly easy to overspend when we go to the grocery store, this is because we become distracted by sales and comfort food. So, before you head out to do your grocery store make a list and stick to what you have written on your list.

You should also take note of the staple items you need, so that you know what to buy next time. It’s a good idea to give yourself a generous grocery budget for when there are emergencies such as not having enough food in the house or running out. Then you won’t end up spending all of your hard earned cash on impulse buys because now you can just take care of these necessary purchases with ease and convenience.

15. Find a Hobby Besides Shopping

If you find yourself frequently at the mall, try taking up a hobby or another activity where you won’t be tempted to spend money. One of the best ways to do this is by volunteering. This gives you a sense of community and it will give you something that’s not shopping-related to occupy your time with. Volunteering for charity events is one way to get involved as well. There are all sorts of opportunities out there, whether it be through your school or local organizations in town.

You can also find an activity or hobby you love like painting, photography, cooking classes etc., so that when you feel stressed at work or need some “me” time on weekends, then instead of going shopping where it feels impossible to resist impulse purchases simply go home and pick up your hobby or engage in whatever else interests you.

The great news is that you can even monetize your hobby, click here to learn more.

16. Choose To Go Digital

Frequent trips to the local bookstore or coffee shop are another example of how easy it can be to spend money without realizing how quickly you are going through your funds. One solution? Going digital and downloading books from sites like Amazon Prime, rather than paying full price at book stores. Over time this can save a lot of money.

Going digital also saves you money by cutting down on paper. If you want to read magazines, for example, it’s not necessary to buy them in print form. You can purchase a digital subscription and find the same information without wasting money or adding clutter inside your home.

17. Challenge Yourself to Achieve New Goals

When you focus on specific goals, you allow yourself to become more driven and focused in your savings. You can achieve new savings goals through a process called “switching”. This involves replacing your old spending habits with new ones.

Most people know how to save money in the long term, but unfortunately don’t focus on it or make any real behavioral changes. However, by setting attainable goals and changing your behavior for a few weeks, you can create new habits and see some serious savings results quickly without feeling like you’re sacrificing too much of what’s important to you.

And once you accomplish these goals? You’ll feel so motivated that it won’t be hard at all to start saving even more.

18. Complete a No-Spending Challenge

Another way to stop curb your spending is to complete a no-spending challenge. A no-spending challenge is a great way to change yourself and improve your spending habits in one month. A challenge like this is completed by setting specific savings goals and boundaries.

You can set the goal of saving $500 or less each week for an entire month. A more difficult (yet still attainable) goal would be trying to save 20% of each paycheck over the course of four weeks. No matter what you choose, there are some steps that will help make it successful:

  • Find out the amount of money you have saved so far this year and see if you’re on track with your plan for retirement/other future financial goals
  • Decide which category(s) should get priority during your no-spend month–eating out? clothing? alcohol? coffee shop visits?

There are a variety of saving challenges that you can complete, click here to see them all. You may find one that works perfectly for you.

Can Spending Money Be an Addiction?

A commonly asked question is whether or not spending money can be an addiction? It is possible to become addicted to any activity that provides a sense of escape or stimulation. Spending can provide these things, so it’s not surprising if some people get hooked on the instant gratification they receive from buying something new and exciting which makes them feel good about themselves in the moment.

How to Stop Spending Money When it Feels Out Of Control?

This may be the hardest part. There are many different ways to stop spending money, and they all work for some people but not others. It’s worth trying a few of these options listed below to find out what works best for you:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan with your bank or credit union so that $25 is saved each week without any effort on your end; this will add up quickly over time as you save instead of spend. You can also do it in increments which make more sense given your current financial situation (e.g., saving $100 per month).
  • Adopting a “just say no” mentality by seeing every impulse purchase as just another opportunity squandered, while walking away from temptation
  • Keeping a list of what you’ve already bought, so that when the time for shopping comes up again, you can look at your list and know that you have already bough everything you need so you don’t need to buy anything else. This is also an excellent way to keep track of the amount of money you’re spending on average each month.
  • Learning about your triggers and identifying the things in life which lead to impulse buying (e.g., clothes, shoes) and then make sure they aren’t readily available or accessible while trying not to worry too much about them. It’s hard but it’ll help cut down on unnecessary purchases.

It can be difficult to control spending especially when it feels out of control. However, work on applying the above techniques because they will allow you to set yourself up for a win.

The Bottom Line

To conclude, if you want to stop spending money, make sure to use your credit card responsibly and set up reminders on your phone to pay your bills on time, set boundaries for yourself, create lists so that you will never forget the things you really need to buy before leaving the house, work towards constantly being aware of what you are spending, take time away from malls and bookstores or coffee shops (or other stores where you may sometimes spend without thinking) and focus on avoiding your personal spending triggers by finding new hobbies such as reading or going for a walk. These strategies will help you stop spending.

It is also important to focus on staying out of debt and committing to a budget, understanding how you spend money and sticking with a savings plan. If you stay committed, the truth is that in no time you will discover that saving money will become second nature, you will be able to stop spending money, stop overspending, begin achieving your financial goals and live your life to the full.

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What Is A Sinking Fund? 5 Essential Reasons You Need One

What is a sinking fund? This has become a common question. People understand why they need to open a savings account and emergency savings fund. However, they don’t understand what a sinking fund is. The truth is that sinking funds are incredibly important, as they allow you to meet your financial goals or cover any upcoming expense. 

Let’s take a look at sinking funds in greater detail.

What Is A Sinking Fund?

A sinking fund is simply a strategic way of putting money aside each month. They work like this: you save as much as you want for a given period of time and for a specific purpose before you spend that money on a one time or irregular predetermined expense. So, essentially you are saving money each month towards a one-time expense. For example, vet bills, plane tickets, Christmas parties, home remodelling, vacations, etc. 

Why Is It Called A Sinking Fund? 

Even though the word “sinking” makes this strategy sound negative, it is the best strategy that you can use. Traditionally, the word “sinking fund” referred to money set aside to cover the long-term debt. The more the outstanding balance declined, the more a person’s debt “sunk” (hence the term sinking fund). 

Used correctly, this strategy can help you pay off your arrears and set aside money for meaningful experiences. 

What Differentiates Sinking Funds from Saving Accounts? 

You may be wondering why you need a sinking fund if you already have a savings account. Well, the difference is mainly your financial goals. Sinking funds are target-specific because the money is intended to cover a certain cost. A savings goal, on the other hand, is geared more towards accomplishing specific financial goals. When you have sinking funds, you avoid depleting your savings or using credit to meet a certain expense or financial goal. 

It is not advisable to use the two accounts interchangeably, such as using the same account for your saving and sinking funds. This is because you’ll need more discipline to keep your savings separate from the funds you want to use in your sinking fund. Keeping the two accounts separate is the best way to manage your finances wisely. 

Differences Between A Sinking Fund & Emergency Fund

An emergency fund differs from a sinking fund in terms of when you use the money. Emergency funds are specifically set aside for unexpected emergencies. The truth is that we have no idea when an emergency will arise and you will need money quickly. Alternatively, with sinking funds, you anticipate an upcoming expense and plan towards covering the cost of them.

Learn everything you need to know about how to build out an emergency fund here. 

What Is A Sinking Fund?

5 Reasons You Need A Sinking Fund

It can be challenging to save up for larger expenses but planning ahead helps you thrive financially. Even if you have an expensive bill that you are anticipating, failure to plan for it can lead to a dent in your savings. Some people end up depleting their emergency fund or borrowing from family and friends to make ends meet. However, none of these solutions help achieve financial success. Some of the top reasons why you need a sinking fund or a couple of sinking funds include: 

1. To avoid interest charges

A sinking fund helps you avoid having to take out a loan with high interest to pay off an expense. There is no doubt that you can get a loan with a smaller interest rate. However, that money isn’t going towards your emergency savings. The best savings accounts have an APY (Annual Percentage Yield) of 0.70%. Conversely, a personal loan can attract interest as high as 6% if you have a good credit rating. The issue is that if you opt to use your credit card, you may end up with high credit charges. Sinking funds allows you to completely avoid potential interest charges all together. 

2. To avoid using your emergency savings

Not having a sinking fund may compel you to draw money from your emergency savings account. However, this is not wise as you may end up taking a loan or borrowing money from family or friends in the case of an emergency. If you earn a lower income, it may take you forever to rebuild your emergency savings. A sinking fund helps you plan for known upcoming expenses without depleting your emergency savings fund. 

3. To commit to paying off debt

It is possible to have a sinking fund and still pay off any outstanding debt. All you need to do is adjust your monthly budget and find out how much you can comfortably allocate towards your sinking fund. You can free up additional money by canceling subscriptions and saving on groceries. Controlling your spending can be challenging at times, but when you find yourself saving for upcoming expenses and bringing down your debt, you’ll feel fulfilled and motivated to continue doing more. 

4. To avoid impulse purchases 

Having a sinking fund helps keep you from making impulse purchases. For instance, when shopping for a car, you may feel the need to buy the first vehicle that appeals to you after a test drive. However, after you purchase the car, remorse sinks in. But when you set up a sinking fund to save for the car, you can avoid that feeling of remorse because you will have researched and planned for which car you would like to purchase that best meets your needs. Being intentional about saving for specific expenses means that you only focus on paying your monthly expenses, as you strategically save up for the major expenses

5. To plan for experience or extravagant fun

A sinking fund is a great way to plan for those experiences in life that we all dream of having. Maybe you want to have your dream vacation, or you want to remodel your kitchen. A sinking fund helps you plan for all these things without depleting your other savings account. 

Related: 28 Money Saving Tips: How to Save More Money

What Is A Sinking Fund?

Sinking Fund Categories

There are different types of sinking funds depending on what you want to save for, be it a long-term or short-term goal. Some of the sinking fund categories include: 

House Sinking Funds 

This is a great strategy for homeowners. As a homeowner, you will likely need to make repairs to your property over the years that you live there. These repairs may include, works around the house, repairs to the roof, electrical or plumbing repairs etc. Opening a sinking fund allows you to prepare for these expenses, rather than being caught out last minute.  

Car Sinking Funds

The truth is that vehicles are expensive to maintain. However, with a car sinking fund, you’ll always be ahead when it comes to controlling costs. Take for example you require car repairs to be completed, if you are aware in advance of these car repairs, you can set aside the money to go directly towards covering this expense.

Furniture Sinking Funds

A furniture sinking fund is a great way to save up for any large furniture expenses such as a new tv or couch. This fund may be one that you continue contributing towards over the years, as you plan different furniture items you would like to purchase for your home. It also removes the stress of feeling like you need to purchase everything all at one. 

Wedding Sinking Funds

A wedding fund is ideal for those planning a wedding and are also great if you are planning to attend a wedding. This account can help you save for every element of your wedding or for a wedding gift, outfit etc, if you are simply attending. 

Christmas Gift Sinking funds 

Christmas gifts for most people are a time-held tradition and cost that can not be avoided. You can prepare for them in advance by opening a christmas sinking fund. Take time to think about the gifts that you want to buy and how much they will cost you. Next, you can open a sinking fund. This strategy will help you avoid the enticing adverts from marketers during the holidays, as they usually encourage you to end up overspending. 

You can open a fund for almost everything you plan to spend money on, for example; a property tax, vacation, insurance premiums, medical costs, and so much more.

What Is A Sinking Fund?

How To Open A Sinking Fund

Now that you know the value of sinking funds, your next step is to learn how to open one. Below we have outlined the steps that you will need to take.  

Step 1: Decide what you are saving for

Your first step is to decide what you are saving up for. For example, are you saving up for Christmas,  a friend’s birthday, wedding or holiday? Consider how long you have to save up for that event or expense? 

Step 2: Decide where you’re going to save your money 

When opening an account for the purpose of a sinking fund, avoid going for one with a minimum (like money markets). You don’t want monthly fees to deplete your funds. It is important to go for liquid accounts or a temporary savings account, depending on how long you want to save. If you plan to save for several months or years, you can opt for a high-yield savings account. 

You should avoid putting your sinking funds into the stock market, as you may end up losing it all. Instead, put the money in a savings account that offers a high-interest rate, such as a CIT savings account. 

Step 3: Set up a budget 

Once you determine how much you need to save, you should develop a budget that works for you. Many people add an additional budget category into their budget to account for their sinking funds. You can choose to budget in Excel or use an app. Alternatively, you can budget the traditional way and simply use a pen and paper.

Let’s say you want to spend $1,000 on Christmas gifts, and you’ve started saving in May. That means you have at least seven months to come up with $1,000. Therefore, you’ll have to put away $125 per month in your sinking fund. You can also use budgeting apps to remind you to stash away the $125 every month automatically. 

Learn more about setting up a budget, here.

How Many Sinking Funds Should You Have? 

You can set up sinking funds for any need or expense that you want to cover. But you shouldn’t let your sinking funds distract you from bringing down debt, building up your emergency fund, and focusing on your other financial goals. Having multiple sinking funds is great for those who have already paid off their outstanding accounts and have an emergency fund.

The problem with having too many sinking funds is that you may fail to see your progress in any of them. We recommend beginning with one or two and allowing yourself to reach those savings goals before opening another sinking fund. 

The Bottom Line

Sinking funds keep you on track financially whenever you make large purchases or cover a large expense. This is because with a sinking fund, you get to prepare for those expected expenses. However, if you want to utilize this strategy successfully, you’ll need to be patient. Don’t allow yourself to become a slave to the “must-have” keeping up with the Jones’ culture. When you start saving up for your purchases, you will live a financially stress-free life.

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How Much Should I Have Saved by 30, 40, 50 and 60?

How much should I have saved? For many of us, saving money and planning for the future can feel like a daunting task. It is difficult to know how much we should be saving, what our end goal should be or when we should start. The reality is that it depends on a number of factors such as your financial situation, when you plan to retire and your desired lifestyle after retirement. Take for example, if you are retiring at age 70 then you may not need as much saved up as someone who plans to retire at 60 years old since they will have less time in their life to enjoy their savings.

Everyone has an opinion in regards to the amount that you should have saved. However, if you want some expert advice, then keep reading. 

Expert Advice On How Much Should I Have Saved 

Retirement plan provider, Fidelity Investment, recommends that you save ten times your income if you plan to retire before the age of 67. You should aim to save up more if you plan to retire earlier than that. If you plan to retire when you get your social security (at 62 years of age), you will need more savings to cater for the years without income. 

Fidelity recommends a saving goal for every age. For instance:

  • You should aim to save one times your salary by 30
  • You should aim to save three times your salary by 40
  • You should aim to save six times your salary by 50 
  • You should aim to save eight times your salary by 60 

In order to achieve each of these goals, you’ll have to start saving and investing early and aim to surpass these targets. Don’t forget that you also have to work on your emergency savings fund. As a rule of thumb, your emergency savings should have enough funds to cover three to six months worth of expenses. 

Take for example that you earn $52,700 per year. Then by the age of 30 you should have saved a minimum of $50,000. Your emergency savings funds should be at least $10,500, depending on your monthly expenses. The recommended guidelines include everything you have in your retirement account like a 401(k), Roth IRA, as well as other investment types for example, index funds and robo advisors. 

How To Start Saving

The secret to successfully saving is to begin with a budget. We’ve covered budget categories extensively in an earlier article to help get you started. Essentially, a budget helps you map out where every cent goes. This financial stewardship enables you to meet your savings goal, while at the same time looking for ways that you can free up some money for investing. 

Some of the budgeting strategies that you can use include the 50/30/20 rule and the zero-based budget. The 50/20/30 rule was introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren in her book All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. The rule is focused on; 50% of your income going towards your essentials, for example, utility bills, 30% going towards discretionary spending, whereas 20% is allocated towards other financial goals, for example, funding your 401(k). Alternatively, the zero-based budget means that your budget starts at zero. This does not mean that you withdraw every cent from your bank account. Instead, it means that you deduct all your expenses from your income and justify every expense before you include it in your official budget. 

Each budgeting approach will require you to assign a use for every single dollar that you make. There are great budgeting apps that can help you with this, for instance, YNAB, Mint, and Pocketguard. Fidelity recommends that you aim to save 15% of your income each year (starting from as early as 25 years). It’s advisable to put this money in a high-yield savings account, such as CIT Bank or Popular Direct. In addition to this, you should aim to have 50% of your savings in stocks and other investments. This will allow your wealth to build over time. 

Building An Emergency Fund 

According to financial expert Dave Ramsey, 10% of your income should go to an emergency fund. Whether you’re deducting that sum from the 20% in the 50/30/20 budgeting method or you include it in your zero based budget. How much should you have in your emergency savings? Well, the answer to that question varies depending on your lifestyle, monthly costs, income and number of dependants. As indicated earlier, it is advisable to aim for three to six months worth of emergency fund savings. Therefore, if you need $4,000 to cover expenses every month, work towards saving $24,000 (6 months x $4,000). 

We recommend keeping your savings in a high interest savings account. There’s nothing wrong with putting the funds in a bank account as banks are FDIC insured. However, a high-yield savings account is preferable as your money will grow faster than a regular bank account. It is important to make sure that your emergency fund money is easily accessible, so that you can quickly access it in the event of an emergency. 

If you don’t have an emergency savings account, then we recommend you start building one before channeling most of your money towards retirement or other financial goals. Once you have built out your emergency fund, you can split your funds with half going towards savings and the other half going towards investments. 

Learn more about building your emergency fund, here.

How Much Should I Have Saved

How Much Should You Keep In Your Savings Account? 

How much you should have in your savings account depends on your budget, financial goals, and lifestyle needs. Yet, savings is a hurdle that most people struggle with. However, if you start small and put away as little as $100 per month in a high-yield savings account, you’ll have more than $1,200 by the end of the year. This boils down to saving just over $3 per day, and goes to show that you don’t need to start with a huge sum of money. 

When aiming for an ideal savings account, you need to consider factors such as:

  • Emergencies 
  • Retirement 
  • Financial goals 
  • Your dreams 

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size that fits all when it comes to savings. Furthermore, how much you save is determined by your lifestyle, for example, how you shop, where you live, whether or not you have children, if you own a car etc. Since so many factors come into play, you shouldn’t feel discouraged if your savings don’t meet the recommended thresholds right away. It is important to note that the figures presented in the table below on how much you should save depending on age are based on the national average, median income and spending data. 

However, everyone is different. So, if you’re curious to know how much you should have saved by age, the table below has all of the answers. 

By AgeAverage Ideal Savings Balance  Average Retirement Savings Goal 
30 $9,574 to $19,147$47,268
40$11,094 to $22,188$168,168
50$11,370 to $22,739$346,944
60$11,345 to $22,691$461,344

Note: The figures above are based on the median income calculated from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics

Using the table above, suppose you’re single and between 35 to 44 years old, with the median income of $56,056, you should aim for $168,816 in retirement and between $11,000 (3 months) to $22,000 (6 months) in emergency savings. 

A married couple aged 25 to 34 and earns a combined median income of $84,536 a year before taxes will have after tax income of approx. $6,380 each month. This household should have at least $19,147 saved in emergency savings ($6,380 x 3 months) and should aim for a retirement savings goal of at least $922,688. 

If you’re in your 50s and haven’t started saving yet, then you need to save as much as you can. At this age, you may want to retire later so that you’ll have sufficient time to build up your retirement savings. You should aim for a retirement savings goal of $461,344 (for a single person) and an emergency savings fund of at least $22,700. As you get closer to retirement you will want to build up your emergency fund to at least 6 months of living expenses, as there may be additional medical expenses or if your investments have a down period then you don’t have to draw down on them and eat into your principal. 

The Bottom Line

The discipline of saving is a great way to ensure that you’re prepared for unexpected events and life after retirement. However, the key to succeeding is to start with a budget. You can also automate your savings to ensure that every extra dollar you make goes to the right account. Of course, there’s more to life than just saving for retirement or building your emergency savings fund. It is also important to focus on reducing debt and working on building your investments. 

Therefore, it is beneficial to come up with a financial plan that will include your saving, retirement, and investment. Click here to understand everything that you need to know when it comes to building out a financial plan. If you are past your 50’s and haven’t started saving for retirement, then you can read through these last-minute retirement planning strategies to get you started. Irrespective of your age, you should aim to save a good amount. 

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Top 20 Easy Jobs That Pay Well

Statistics show that the percentage of Americans who are dissatisfied with their careers, is a huge 85%. The truth is that many of us are bogged down with high-stress careers that don’t offer much in terms of wages. The situation appears even bleaker when you realize that more than 52% of Americans feel stuck professionally. In addition to this, many people no longer believe that education gives them the ability to change their current career. 

Yet, the good news is that the future is not that bleek. The reality is that there are options out there and you can land a high-paying career with little education. Here is our list of the top 20 easy jobs that pay well. 

Top 20 Easy Jobs That Pay Well

1. Online Instructor 

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports a growing demand for postsecondary teachers or online instructors. This growth has resulted from a high number of students opting to learn online. You can take advantage of this opportunity by looking for a job depending on the subject you prefer to teach. You can utilize websites such as, Ziprecruiter, Udemy or build your own online teaching platform. 

Online instructors can make an average annual salary of $79,730+. This job comes with many benefits, as you get to choose your working hours and teach on a topic that you love. 

2. Computer & Technology Careers 

When considering easy jobs that pay well, there are numerous opportunities in the field of technology. Upcoming startups want help with their web development. Some companies want assistance in managing their social media presence and online reputation. Although there’s a growth in the use of DIY-web creation tools, most enterprises are looking for a professional who can manage their online platforms. Some of the high-paying jobs that you can pursue in this field include:

Web development – BLS predicts that the hiring of web developers will increase by 8% from 2019 to 2029. A career as a web developer is a good profession that doesn’t require extensive education. You can earn an average of $73,760 annually. 

Graphic Design – The key to becoming a successful graphic designer is creativity. This job requires you to work with clients to visualize and create designs such as logos, magazines, brochures, illustrations, and so much more. The median wage of a graphic designer is $50,370 per year, $24.21 per hour. 

However, the BLS predicts a 4% decline in the demand for graphic designers from 2019-29. This is partly due to the growth of user-friendly graphic design software and the decline in print media. Yet, there are still great opportunities for you if you can sharpen your skills and give your customers a competitive advantage. 

Computer Programming – Employment in the software development niche is lucrative, and you can definitely make a good salary as a software programmer. This job is forecasted to continue growing by 22% from 2019 to 2029. The role of a computer programmer involves writing code that enables software to run effectively. This is an exciting niche that is still in its infancy, and you could earn a median salary of $84,280 per year, which is $40.52 per hour. 

Data Scientist – A career as a data scientist is also in high demand, as we live in a data-flooded world. A data scientist’s work involves building algorithms and developing systems that help them extract, manage and interrogate data. Data Scientists earn a median income of $94,280 per year. However, it is important to note that this well-paying job requires you to learn some hard and soft skills. Whatsmore, you can make even more with a degree in science, engineering, technology, or mathematics. 

Network Systems Administrator – This job involves managing the company’s infrastructure, so that it remains in good working condition. This is a good career if you enjoy working with technology. However, it can be stressful since at times as you’ll be responsible for troubleshooting a company’s network problems. There are some certifications that you will need before pursuing this job. The average salary for a network systems administrator is $70,387

3. Librarian 

If you enjoy reading and love silence, then a career as a librarian could be ideal for you. Working as a librarian involves helping people find information in the library for personal or professional use. The BLS states that employment for librarians will grow by 5% from 2019 to 2029. One of the good things about this job is that it is not stressful. Librarians spend their time cataloging books and helping people find them.

In addition, you don’t have to work in a high-traffic school or public library. Instead, you can work at a museum, government office, health care facility, or even museum. Check out this site for more information. 

4. Personal Trainer 

Personal trainers are constantly in demand. According to the BLS, this job is projected to grow by 15% from 2019 to 2029. Personal training is great if you love spending time working out. You will  help clients create customized workout plans and motivate them towards realizing their fitness goals. 

A career as a personal trainer requires you to develop skill sets such as emotional intelligence and technical knowledge, amongst others. You must get formal training or become licensed to increase your opportunity to earn more within this career. The median salary of a personal trainer is $40,390. 

5. Electrician 

Now-a-days traditional jobs have been put aside in favor of white-collar professions. Yet, some of these professions pay well, and a career as an electrician is one of them. The BLS projects that electrician jobs will increase by over 20% in 2022. If you’re looking to take advantage of this growth, you can enroll in an online program and search for a local apprenticeship. Electricians have an annual median wage of $55,190 or $26.53 per hour. 

6. Technical Writer 

Becoming a technical writer is another one of the easy jobs that pays well. This career is projected to increase in employment by 11% from 2016 to 2026. This job might be perfect for you if you enjoy reading, writing, and researching. However, it is important to note that most employers prefer a candidate with a degree in journalism, communications, or English. Not only that, but it would be beneficial if you were knowledgeable in the industry that you would be writing for, such as engineering, medicine, computer science etc. It would also help if you got some short term on-the-job training to prepare for this career. 

7. Construction 

There are a variety of jobs available within the construction industry. For instance, you can have a career as a construction manager. This involves overseeing and managing a project, so that all the tasks run smoothly. A career as a construction manager doesn’t require you to have a degree. Instead, you can enrol in an associate program and start your career in two years or less. The median wage for a construction manager is $93,370 per year or $44.89 per hour. The BLS projects an employment increase of 11% by 2026. 

Other jobs in the construction field that you can pursue include:

  • Civil Engineering Technician – This job involves helping engineers plan, design, and complete their projects. Civil engineering technicians mostly spend their time in the office, assisting engineers in planning and designing projects. Their median salary is $53,410 per year. 
  • Architectural Drafter – This job entails taking the designs drawn up by an engineer or architect and converting them into electronic software using AutoCAD. Drafters can be employed in various offices aside from architecture. For instance, they can get employment in civil planning and engineering offices. This field is projected to grow by 7% by 2026. The median wage is $55,550 per year, which is $26.71 per hour. 
  • Equipment Operator – Equipment operators earn an average of $19.90 per hour. The job involves controlling machines such as bulldozers, hydraulic cranes, forklifts, etc. All you need to get this job is a high school diploma or equivalent. 

Are you interested in the construction niche? Then you can look for more inspiration here

8. Massage Therapist

A career in massage therapy has many benefits, such as high job satisfaction, excellent earning potential, and the ability to impact others’ lives positively. This career is projected to grow by 21% from 2019 to 2029. There is also a likelihood that demand will continue to increase, as healthcare providers understand the importance of massage therapy and make it part of treatment options. Massage therapy is a great career option, paying a median annual wage rate of $47,180. In states such as Washington and Oregon, a massage therapist is paid as much as $62,000. 

9. Private Tutor

This is an ideal career that you can pursue if you excel in a certain subject and love teaching. Every student is different with unique educational needs. As such, there’s a diverse range of opportunities to choose from. This job comes with benefits because the hours are flexible. Also, you get to choose the clients you want to work with (educational institution, private family etc). On average, private tutors earn about $39,350. However, some make as much as $87,290. 

Easy Jobs That Pay Well

10. Actuary 

This job is ideal for you if you are a mathematics genius. An actuary job involves using mathematics and statistics to analyze financial risk. Actuaries are mostly found in insurance companies where they help develop models that predict financial risk and economic cost of various incidences, for example, accidents, illness, and natural disasters. This employment is projected to grow by 18% from 2019 to 2029

11. Art Director 

Some people have an incredible taste for great art. If you’re one of them, you should consider taking up a job as an art director. This job involves overseeing the promotion of art and managing other design or artistic staff. Art directors oversee the visual aspects of advertising on paper, magazine, or catalogs. They can also collaborate with movie producers to determine what is needed in a film. You can get this job if you have excellent aesthetic judgment. You also need a bachelor’s degree as a minimum within art or a related field. You can get paid really well if you have experience in this field. Overall, the median average salary for an art director is $101,990. 

12. Plumber 

A career as a plumber is ideal for you if you love using your hands to work. All it takes to get started is going to trade school or jumping straight into an apprenticeship. The job outlook for plumbers is incredibly positive with the BLS projecting that there will be a 16% increase in employment opportunities by 2029. 

When most people think of a job as a plumber, they think of unclogging toilets and clogged drains. However, there is so much more to it than just that. For example, you get to install, repair, and maintain pipes in commercial and residential structures. The median average wage is $53,910, which is $25.92 per hour. 

13. House Sitter 

Working as a house sitter is another easy job that pays well. Some people don’t like leaving their house unoccupied when they are away. Therefore, a house sitter takes care of the house to give the owner the opportunity to go on holidays or a work trip with peace of mind. There are situations where the homeowner may require you to care for their pet, perform some cleaning, check the mail etc. Anyone can do this job regardless of their educational qualification. However, the amount of money you make varies depending on the job. On average, house sitters earn about $25,944 per year. 

14. Pharmacy Technician 

The role of a pharmacy technician involves working with the pharmacist to issue prescriptions. This job requires a high attention to detail because it is essential to be accurate when giving out prescriptions. However, it is a rewarding job and pays well. The median wage is $33,950 per year. You need a high school diploma and on-the-job training to get this job. 

15. Voice Actor 

If you have a good voice and can adjust your voice to a variety of situations, then you can consider becoming a voice actor. This profession involves lending your voice to characters in commercials, video games, movies, animations, or tv shows. Most of the work involves reading scripts in recording studios for commercials, voiceovers in animations, or video games. People that work in this field say that it’s fun and pays well. The great news is that you don’t need formal training to get started, all you need is talent.

The amount of money that you can make in this profession varies depending on how many voice over jobs you choose to take on. However, you can make an average of $76,297 per year. 

16. Commercial Driver 

Becoming a commercial driver is one of those easy jobs that pay well. Some positions may require you to work long days and nights on the road, and you may not have as much time for your family as you would like.

However, most people don’t realize that the earning potential is high for this role and if you enjoy driving, this job may be perfect for you. The great news is that there are plenty of companies looking for able drivers. All it takes to get started is a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in your state. Some people enrol in training programs on the same to increase their competitiveness. The median wage for a commercial driver varies by state

17. Dental Hygienist 

Most people who have gone to a dentist are familiar with a dental hygienist. They usually clean your teeth and do the first round of examinations to check for any oral disease. The BLS projects a 6% growth in job opportunities from 2019 to 2029. Therefore, if you are looking for a job that pays well and fulfills you emotionally, you can consider pursuing this career. 

You need an associate degree to get started as a dental hygienist. Whatsmore, research reveals that dental hygienists have an excellent work-life balance. The average wage that you could make from this profession varies by state. However, some of the states that pay really well for this profession are Alaska, Washington, and California. 

18. Medical Records Technician 

If you love administrative tasks and enjoy staying organized, you can pursue a medical records technician career. This job involves reviewing medical records and alerting healthcare providers of any possible issues. According to BLS, employment in this field will grow by 8% from 2019 to 2029. Presently, most employers require you to have an associate degree or formal training when it comes to handling medical records. A medical records technician makes a median salary of $42,630. 

19. Geologist 

Do you love rocks? Are you one of those kids who used to collect rocks? A profession in the field of geology is massively underrated. Yet this job pays well and doesn’t require a lot to start. In a nutshell, this job involves studying the physical attributes of the earth, for example, its rocks, minerals and composition. A geologist then uses their knowledge in the exploration of water, oil, minerals, or gas. A career as a geologist is fun. A study shows that most geologists rate their careers as highly satisfying. Whatsmore, this career pays really well (a median salary of $106,900), and job opportunities are projected to increase by 5% by 2029. 

20. Food Technologist 

If you are a fan of food or enjoy experiencing a variety of different tastes, then you can consider pursuing a career as a food technologist. This job has to do with researching and coming up with ways to improve a product. They are also responsible for ensuring that food is safe and meets the government’s sanitation requirements. 

In order to pursue a career as a food technologist you will need a bachelor’s degree in food science/technology or any related field to get started. The median annual salary for this profession is $75,750.

Related: Bored with Life? Here are 15 Things You can Do to Make Life Exciting

The Bottom Line

The truth is that there are many easy jobs that pay well. The job that you decide to pursue will depend on your needs and whether or not you’re willing to put in the time. In most of the jobs mentioned, you can get the education required to pursue the role in 2 years or less. In others, you can get on-the-job training and get started right away. 

There are other jobs that pay well outside of the 20 mentioned. If there’s one you know of and we haven’t mentioned, then feel free to mention it in the comments section below. 

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10 Best Ways To Make Money On Reddit in 2021

Reddit is commonly known as the front page of the internet. There are a variety of ways to make money on Reddit. It is a platform that consists of a network of communities with site members known as “redditors”. Within the communities are subcommunities known as subreddits. Each subreddit covers a topic, for example; technology, music, and politics. Popular content or trending topics always appear on the front page of Reddit. 

Currently, Reddit has 52 million daily active users. The site’s active users grew by 44% over the last year, from approximately 36 million in 2019. In the U.S., the site has approximately 221.98 million users as of 2021. But why is Reddit so popular? The site is popular because it keeps you actively engaged with endless amounts of content. Users constantly submit interesting links so the front page is continuously filled with subreddits such as pics, funny videos, news, and gaming. 

However,  Reddit is not only a platform for endless entertainment, it is also a money-making platform. Below are some of the ways that you can make money on Reddit. 

How To Make Money On Reddit:

Focus on Specific Tasks To Make Money 

There are tasks that you can do and make good money from them or alternatively begin a side hustle using Reddit. Some of the most popular money making subreddits include:

1. /r/Beermoney 

/r/Beermoney is the most popular community on Reddit, with over 768,000 subscribers. This subreddit keeps growing in popularity because it helps people find money making opportunities online. When you subscribe to this subcategory for free, you will receive alerts of money making opportunities such as online surveys, completing short-tasks, writing product reviews, cashback opportunities when you go shopping etc. 

Generally, the tasks offered on this subreddit forum give you the chance to make some extra money or essentially beer money.  BeerMoney is one of the best subreddits also offering reliable tips and advice on how to make money. 

2. /r/forHire

/r/forHire is another valuable subreddit forum, as it allows you to showcase your skills and advertise them to increase your chances of getting hired. The platform has over 224,000 users within this subcategory and provides opportunities such as copywriting jobs, social media marketing, web design, graphic design, gaming, tutoring jobs etc. 

Similar to /r/beermoney, most of the tasks are online or tech-related. If you are skilled in any of these online tasks, there will always be plenty of opportunity for you. 

3. /r/Slavelabour 

As the name suggests, /r/Slavelabour is for tasks below market rate. This subcategory has over 227,000 users and gives employers a chance to hire workers instantly. You can earn a few dollars from casual jobs such as resume writing, data entry, photography, translation jobs, writing projects, etc. 

Although you won’t necessarily earn as much on this subreddit, you can make some extra money as a side hustle. 

Make Money On Reddit

4. /r/WorkOnline

/r/work online is another popular subreddit with over 351,000 subscribers. This platform offers you the latest online jobs such as online tutoring jobs, affiliate marketing, freelance writing jobs, transcription, online design jobs, etc. Generally, this forum includes job postings, and other online sites that will pay you for online jobs. 

5. /r/signupsforpay

/r/SignupsforPay is a subreddit with over 53,300 members. The platform has some good opportunities from cryptocurrency trade opportunities to investment opportunities, and other trades. As the name suggests, this subcategory gives you links to places that you can sign up for and make extra money. 

These five subreddits are ideal for people looking for side hustles or ways to make some additional money to make ends meet. All you have to do is browse through the dashboard and select the tasks that you like to complete. Most of the posts are from subreddit subscribers who are taking part in the reviews or tasks. The post provides you with an invite link where you can follow the registration process to ensure that you get your bonus once the task is completed. 

6. /r/Wallstreetbets 

The /r/wallstreetbets has grown in popularity since January 2021, when most of its members partnered to raise the stock price of GameStop AMC and other companies. It currently has 9.5 million members. This subreddit forum is a place where educated investors advise each other about stock trading. However, this subcategory is ideal for seasoned investors and you need to be cautious if you’re going to use the advice provided on the platform to trade. Still, you can make money by using the tips and advice provided by educated investors. 

7. /r/QMEE

The /r/QMEE forum allows you to make money by searching online and completing surveys. The platform has over 2,400 members and is growing in popularity, as it contains links to simple tasks. You can earn money by clicking on sponsored links in Google and other search engine result pages. You also make money saving coupons and by completing paid surveys on your mobile or laptop. 

There are so many other offers that you can get on the forum. There’s also the QMEE browser app that you can use to earn rewards simply by browsing the internet. 

8. /r/Freelance

/r/Freelance helps freelancers get paid freelance jobs. You make money on this subreddit by promoting yourself as a freelancer. For instance, if you are a website developer, you can post that you’re looking for a job to develop websites on this forum. One of the many perks of Reddit is that you can engage in a community. This also gives you great tips from other members. 

If you’re searching for short tasks or freelance jobs, this is an excellent subcategory for you, as you can get paid well for your work. 

9. /r/startups 

This is a popular subreddit that’s specifically designed for people who are pursuing online entrepreneurship. The forum has over 698,000 members who share advice on how to build and grow a business. /r/startups is a community for businesses that are designed to grow and scale rapidly. This forum is also an excellent place for you to promote your startup, provided that you follow the rules. For example, you cannot promote your content if you’re not engaging with other members in the forum. 

10. /r/swagbucks

There are hundreds of other Reddit forums where you can make money. But most of them are specialized, for example, /r/swagbucks. This forum has over 80,200 members and mainly focuses on free rewards. Joining this group gives you free access to posts for free rewards. You can watch videos, complete surveys, search the web, shop to earn or redeem for rewards. This forum is for Swagbucks-related submissions only. 

Make Money on Reddit Through Promoting Your Own Business 

Reddit is a platform where you can promote your own business. However, there’s a catch on how you can do this. For starters, you cannot simply promote your business in your posts, as you may end up getting banned. Instead, you need to set up your profile and start engaging with other members on Reddit. Get involved with the conversations on various subreddits that are related to your product. You can put links to your website to improve your site traffic. Alternatively, you can create posts to keep content as relevant as possible and educate users about a topic and how your product helps them. 

Let’s say, for example you’re interested in the /r/healthyfood/ subreddit. You can subscribe to the group and begin engaging in conversations. You can also share some great resources or viral content with the members. Once people have gotten to know you, you can start posting links or some articles that are from your website. If you have a healthy food ebook, you can give away a chapter of your book or inform people you have a book related to the topic. This approach is one way you can skillfully promote your business without violating the forum’s rules. 

The Bottom Line

When looking to make money on Reddit, it is important to understand that Reddit doesn’t allow members to earn from their platform directly. Therefore, making money on Reddit is something that you will need to do skilfully without violating the rules. Members of the forums are also quite involved in their subjects and don’t respond well to spam or advertising. Therefore, if you want to advertise your product, you have to keep the conversation genuine and build a fan base. The more exposure you get on Reddit, the likely you are to build traffic to your website. Alternatively, if you are looking for a side hustle, you can check out the subreddits mentioned in this article. 

Have you tried making money on Reddit? You can share your experiences with us in the comments section below. 

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The Best Guide To Minimalism As A Lifestyle in 2021

Minimalism is a philosophy that has spread like wildfire thanks to documentaries, podcasts, youtube channels, blogs/websites. This philosophy started in the art-world but has quickly become a term that refers to a way of life. Advocates of minimalism argue that it helps you take control of your finances, develop a healthy lifestyle, and focus on achieving your dreams. 

With minimalism there is strong emphasis on lowering debt, increasing savings, and living within your means. Let’s take a comprehensive look at what minimalism as a lifestyle is all about. 

What Is Minimalism As A Lifestyle? 

Minimalism is a lifestyle that is based on the concept that ‘less is more.’ Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist defines it as “The intentional promotion of things we value most and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” 

So essentially, minimalism is all about intentionally living with less. For example, selling items that you don’t need in your house, moving to a smaller apartment, and spending less. For many minimalists, this lifestyle requires you to identify what is essential in your life and get rid of the rest (because less is more). 

The truth is that life is more complicated than it used to be. We live in a consumer driven society and have distractions that keep us from enjoying the simple things in life. For example, we have more streaming services than ever before (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube etc) and more people are on social media than ever before. With so many distractions, it’s no wonder that we’re struggling with things like saving for retirement, investing, funding higher education, paying debt, and leading healthy lifestyles. 

A recent report states that 77% of Americans are in debt and the personal debt of all U.S households totals $14.56 trillion. When it comes to retirement savings, the statistics are alarming, as 64% of Americans aren’t prepared for retirement. There is no doubt that we collectively have a money problem. One of the things that a minimalist lifestyle helps you overcome is the perpetual spending habits that constantly land us further into debt, with savings for retirement. 

Laying The Ground Rules For Minimalism 

If you’re contemplating minimalism, then it’s important to note that it is not a one-time project. Rather, minimalism is a continual practice in which you adopt behaviors that help you focus on experiences rather than the endless pursuit of earning more, so that you can spend more. Minimalism for many people becomes a lifestyle. 

When it comes to minimalism, the aim is simplicity, clarity, and purpose. Minimalists intentionally live with fewer possessions, so that they can focus on what truly matters. What do you value? The latest car in the market or more time with your family? Minimalism brings clarity and helps you recognize what is most important to you and minimize those things that are simply distractions. 

Minimalism calls you to freedom from the “more is better” mentality. Modern culture has ingrained in our minds that we should possess as many things as possible (#endlessconsumerism). We are constantly convinced that we would be happier if we bought a certain new commodity. Yet, minimalism calls you to step off the treadmill of consumerism and seek happiness within experiences. This lifestyle values soul-care, relationships, and experiences. 

What Minimalism is Not 

Most people think that there are rules or standards to a minimalist lifestyle. This is far from the truth, as minimalism looks different to everyone. You don’t have to own a certain number of items or get rid of all of your favorite collections (whether that be; books, shoes, or music etc). This lifestyle doesn’t mean that you deprive yourself of all the things you love. Rather, minimalism is a personal and unique journey that means different things to different people. 

One of the reasons that people find minimalism hard is because they feel that minimalism is incredibly restrictive. After all, you have to live on less. But think about it, wouldn’t it be easier to clean and organize your house if you got rid of all the stuff you don’t even use? Minimalism doesn’t restrict your lifestyle. Instead, it’s purpose is to free you up mentally, as you get rid of things that currently clutter your home and life. This essentially leaves you with things that are important to you or that you need/use. 

Minimalism is not the same as frugal living. Frugality means that you’re spending carefully so that you can save more. But with minimalism, you’re intentional with your spending for many reasons other than saving. For example, you may save to have more time and space for what matters most in your life. A minimalist, for instance, may choose to buy fewer items so that they can save up for higher quality items. 

Most people think that you can’t have hobbies and collections if you are a minimalist. This is inaccurate because a minimalist lifestyle focuses on you being intentional with what you keep. The secret to minimalism is moderation. Rather than keeping 25 pairs of shoes that you rarely wear, you can keep 5 pairs that you like and wear regularly and sell the rest. 

Getting Started With Minimalism 

Declutter 

The best way to get started with minimalism is to declutter. Find items in your house that you don’t need anymore and sell them. Complete an audit of your wardrobe, find the clothes you love and get rid of the rest, especially the clothes that you no longer wear. It is also a good habit to get into to review your wardrobe several times a year to ensure that you’re wearing the clothes you have. 

Downsize

The second step towards a minimalist lifestyle requires you to begin downsizing your life. This could be in terms of possessions, the amount that you spend or even where you live. If you don’t have as much stuff, you could even consider moving to a smaller apartment, for example, a studio apartment or downsizing from a house to a 2 bedroom apartment. If you don’t like renting, another option you can look at is the tiny house market

Living in a smaller place helps you keep an audit of your household goods and what you actually need. It is very common that when people get bigger homes, they always tend to fill the space. Oftentimes, they are filling the additional rooms with items that they don’t even need or really want. 

When it comes to cars, you could opt for one vehicle instead of keeping two. This approach will save you on car insurance, maintenance, and petrol. If you still haven’t bought a vehicle, you can consider going electric. Electric cars are costly at first, but they are more affordable to run over the long term than gas-powered vehicles. 

Minimalism As A Lifestyle

Reduce Spending 

Next, you need to look at your spending habits. Minimalism means adopting financially sound habits like budgeting. One of the reasons why budgeting is such a challenge today is because we have so many extra bills, for example, tv subscriptions, the internet, credit card debt etc. Remember that minimalism doesn’t mean that you live a restrictive lifestyle where you feel guilty about spending your money. Instead, you should focus on intentionally spending money on things you care about. With a minimalist budget, you declutter your expenditure and channel the money to be spent on what’s truly important to you. You do this by:

  1. Identifying your financial values and priorities – For example, how much money do you spend on non-essentials versus the essentials? Do your spending habits make it hard for you to save on more valuable things, such as a family trip or buying a home? 
  2. Make a list of all your expenses – Take time to figure out how much you spend each month. You can even look at your bank and credit card statements to track your expenditure. 
  3. Get rid of unnecessary expenses – Now that you know how much you spend, you should work towards getting rid of all unnecessary expenses. You can check out our article on budgeting categories to identify a budget that works for you. 

Lastly, you can also look at how much you spend on sports and hobbies. Focus on committing only to the ones you value. 

Pros & Cons of Minimalism 

Some point out that minimalism comes with problems and can sometimes be difficult, such as when you have dependents, family, and other obligations. Overall, people who aren’t well off argue that minimalist is hard because:

Cons of Minimalism 

People’s perception of you may change – People that choose to live a minimalist lifestyle may sometimes come off as looking cheap or poor to friends or family. This can be difficult if those around you don’t understand your lifestyle decisions or why you are decluttering your life.  It is important to remember that minimalism isn’t necessarily living frugally, it is choosing to live intentionally. 

Low-income people cannot always afford experiences – Minimalism argues that people should value experiences over things. But a low-income earner may argue that experiences cost more than things. 

Fear of missing out – One reason some people are hesitant to adopt a minimalist lifestyle is the fear of missing out. Things like that latest iPhone or Friday nights out are part of many people’s culture, and most people feel that by adopting a minimalist lifestyle, they may lose out on these things. 

Indeed, minimalism is counter-cultural. Our world idolizes celebrities, and the truth is that most of them are champions of consumerism and not minimalism. Although minimalism is foreign to many people, the truth is that its benefits outweigh the cons. 

Pros of minimalism

You get to explore a new lifestyle – At first, it may be hard, but you may find that you enjoy the actionable steps you took towards minimalism once you get used to it. 

Minimalism is sustainable – Minimalism is more sustainable than the consumerism/materialistic lifestyle

There are no set rules – Since there are no set rules when it comes to minimalism, you get to explore it in whatever way you want; for instance, you can choose to lower your expenses, avoid impulse buying, and sell some stuff. 

You get to focus on your inner values and what truly matters – Most people talk about issues like work-life balance and the lack of compassion or empathy in the family or community. Advocates of minimalism argue that this lifestyle allows you to build on the values that we no longer see in the world. 

Minimalism values quality over quantity which can be appealing if you think about it. Whatsmore, you get to develop discipline as you avoid impulse buying.

The Bottom Line  

Minimalism holds great values that can help develop a healthy lifestyle and improve your financial situation. Some of its actionable steps, for example, decluttering your home or living on a budget, are physically and mentally rewarding. Since minimalism is all about finding the right stuff to have in your life, it frees up space and allows you to keep what you value most. 

As indicated earlier, minimalism is an intentional way to live. This lifestyle requires you to be specific and clear about your vision. You get to focus on what’s essential in your life, while you get rid of the rest. 

Our current modern lifestyle is far from a minimalist lifestyle, as demonstrated by the below statistics.  

  • The average American throws away 68 pounds of clothing each year.
  • The average American household has over 300,000 items
  • The average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually. 
  • Most Americans aren’t saving for retirement, and even the ones saving are doing so with no more than 10% of their income

So, we do have a consumerism problem within our society and with minimalism, we have the opportunity to go back to what truly matters in life. Whether or not you decide to go all in with minimalism as a lifestyle is completely up to you. You could simply begin implementing some small changes that over time will make a huge difference in your life.

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