Tag Archives: personal finance

17 ways to improve your finances in 2017

17 ways to improve your finances in 2017

The new year usually sparks many of you to want to improve your finances. Now, I’m not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions. But I’m all for focusing on your financial health. If the New Year sparks that fire within you to get your finances together – then I’m all for it!

Here are 17 ways to improve your finances in 2017. Choose a few of these to focus on in the New Year if you’re new to personal finance. I don’t want you to be overwhelmed. But I do want you to make some real change in your life.

improve your finances

Overall financial health

1. Dream a little

This may seem like fluff advice, but I really believe that dreaming/envisioning the ultimate financial state can really get you revved up to actually improve your finances! So take a moment to really imagine what it would be like to live with no more debt. To finally turn in that last payment for your mortgage, car loan, student loan, etc. Imagining this huge weight coming off of your shoulders can help you get started on actually tackling your debt!

2. Know your numbers

To improve your finances, you need to know where you are currently. Make it a point to know and be more mindful of your monthly income and expenses. Your entire personal finance journey is built with these building blocks! Here’s a video I put together on how to get this information if you don’t already have it.

3. Track your net worth

This tip goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip of knowing your numbers. Knowing your numbers is one thing, but actually tracking your numbers each and every month is what helps you be more mindful of your situation. The key here is checking in on your finances every single month, whether it’s your net worth or your income/expenses. (I hope to do a post/video on what your net worth is soon).

4. Educate yourself about personal finance

I get it – the world of personal finance can be overwhelming. But running away from it is a surefire way to not get anywhere financially. Make it a point to read a book (I recommend The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey or I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi) or listen to a podcast (I recommend The Dave Ramsay Show or Stacking Benjamins) about personal finance once a month or so. Believe me – avoiding personal finance will not solve your personal finance problems!

5. Focus on one or two financial goals

When you focus on way too many goals at once, you tend to lose track, get overwhelmed, and fail at most of them. Choose one or two goals to focus on this year. Will you work on increasing your income or decreasing your expenses? Is this the year you get serious about your debt or start saving for emergencies? Pick a goal that will improve your finances and get started! I personally suggest following Dave Ramsey‘s step by step goals if you don’t know where to start.

6. Get in sync with your significant other

This is something Juan and I are still working through. Actually, I think this is something that will just become a constant conversation. As your goals change, your spouse’s may change as well. As you improve your finances, make sure your partner is still on the same page as you. Make an effort to check in with each other each month to make sure you’re working towards both of your goals.

Increase your income

7. Start a side hustle

Your main income is great, but having a side income can really help with your financial goals! Don’t know where to start? Think of things you already love to do – crocheting, working on cars, spending time with pets… chances are someone has already come up with a way to monetize it! Think of how you can monetize one of your hobbies so your side hustle can also be something you enjoy doing!

8. Work towards a promotion

Nine times out of ten, a promotion leads to an increase in income. Make sure you are an absolute stellar employee – make it into work on time, finish your tasks in a timely manner, and make sure all the work you do is done with integrity. Then, when a spot above you has opened up, make it known to your manager that you are interested. Work hard and your work will speak for itself!

9. Work towards and negotiate a raise

Sometimes a promotion just isn’t in the cards. That doesn’t mean you can skip asking for a raise. Make your case as to why you deserve a raise, do your research on the average salaries for job titles closest to yours, and have an honest conversation with your manager. Warning – this only works for great employees, not just any employee. Just because you want to improve your finances doesn’t mean you deserve a raise.

10. Sell some stuff

Got a ton of unused clothing, appliances, toys, etc. lying around? Donate the stuff that is already in poor condition and sell the stuff that is still in great quality! eBay is a great place to start, but there’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ fashioned garage sale. The extra cash will come in handy as you improve your finances.

Expense control

11. Give up just one thing

I’m not asking you to give up cable, coffee, soda, AND gift giving all at once (although – more power to you if you want to)! Start small – what’s one expense, big or small, you can go without for all of 2017? For me – I’m going to cut back hard on eating out. Speaking of eating out…

12. Eat out less

It’s no secret that eating out often can do a lot of damage to your waistline. But it also does a ton of damage to your wallet! I’m not saying you should eliminate eating out completely – just cut back! Juan and I are going to stick to eating out only twice a week (this is a huge step back from our normal 5-7 days a week)!

13. Find another commute option

For us 9-5ers, a commute can really make or break the budget. Take a look at what you spend now on your commute (gas, toll, train fare, etc.) and look up other options available to you. Keep in mind the cheapest option may not be the best in terms of time spent, so make sure you take into account all things – not just the price tag.

14. Cut out cable

*gasp* I know, how dare I say these words??? But let’s face it, y’all – cable is expensive! With Netflix and Hulu being at extremely affordable rates, the case for still having cable is starting to dwindle. For us, the hardest part will be finding ways to watch our Golden State Warriors and other sports broadcasting. But other than that, Netflix and Hulu usually does the trick for our TV fix.

Beef up your savings

15. Seriously, get an emergency fund

I don’t care if you’re in deep debt – get yourself a freaking emergency fund! If you don’t have on yet, building one this year will greatly improve your finances. You are not invincible and Murphy loves visiting those who aren’t prepared. Even if it’s just $1,000, it’s a great start and better than nothing.

16. Set up a personal escrow account

You know those annoying expenses that don’t happen every single month and surprise you whenever they do pop up? Setting up a personal escrow account will prepare you for all of those expenses. Pair it with automatic savings and you don’t even have to think about it!

17. Start saving for retirement

I don’t care how young you are – it’s never, ever too early to start saving for retirement! No one ever said, “Man, I really wished I waited longer until I started saving for retirement”. For starters, look and see if your employer offers a free match to your contributions into your company sponsored retirement plan. Basically – your employer will put money into your retirement plan for free as long as you’re also putting in money! Take advantage of that free money!

So there you have it – 17 things you can work on to improve your finances this year! You don’t have to do all of them – in fact, I suggest choosing just one or two of these things. Focus on a few goals at a time and you’ll be well on your way to financial peace.

What are your financial goals for 2017?

AMDG,
Lisa

I’m Going to #FinCon14!!!

By the time this post goes live, I will be sitting in an airplane on my way to New Orleans!

Not only will this be my first trip to The Big Easy, but this is also my very first solo trip ever.

Needless to say, I’m a bit anxious.

For those who don’t know, #FinCon14 is happening this weekend in NOLA! FinCon is a huge conference for the personal finance nerd in all of us. A lot of my favorite personal finance bloggers are going to be there, and there will also be a ton of sessions I can’t wait to attend! I can’t wait to learn more about growing my blog and creating awesome content for y’all!!!

I’ll be documenting my trip along the way, so make sure you’re following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Also, if you’re going to be in New Orleans this weekend, too, please hit me up! I’d love to meet everyone face-to-face finally!

I know, short post for today – I’ve got to get packing!

Oh, and if you haven’t already, make sure you enter the Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway right here on LvL!

Until next time…

AMDG,
Lisa

Links Lisa Likes – Financial Carnival for Young Adults

Happy Sunday everyone! For this week’s LLL, I will be hosting the Financial Carnival for Young Adults! There are a ton of great personal finance articles and bloggers featured below.

Want to get involved with the Financial Carnival of Young Adults? Check out their site if you want to host or get your posts featured!

Now, on to this week’s links!

This Week’s LLL – Editor’s Choice

Adam @ Stop Worrying About Money writes Day 6 – Do 1% Better Today (And Every Day) – Today’s topic is a special one, because today’s topic is really the heart of this entire month-long project. Today’s task: Do 1% Better.

Alexa @ Defeat Our Debt writes How to Get Rid of Debt on Your Own – There is no easy way to get rid of debt. You have several options, each come with their own set of pros and cons. Here is how to get rid of debt on your own.

Alexa @ Single Moms Income writes 6 Financial Tips for the Job Search – When you are looking for a job, you get into a financial vicious circle, as you look for a job to have a better financial situation, but you have to be on a budget until you find a perfect working place for you.

Charles @ Getting A Rich Life writes Why Try If The American Dream Is Dead? – For many the American Dream is dead, however it does not have to be that way. Working hard and determination is not enough to get ahead.

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Renewing Our AAA Membership – Read my views on AAA membership and why I renew ours each year!

Jen Perkins @ Master the Art of Saving writes 10 Ways to Save More Money (Even If You Don’t Want To Be A Couponer) – Couponing for the last 5 or 6 years has taught me many things. Things I never really paid attention to before I started using coupons. Since not everyone is interested in learning about coupons or even extreme couponing, I thought I would share some of my enlightenment with you all.

Mark Ross @ Money Saving Dude writes 11 Ways You Can Do To Save Money While Traveling – Want to know how you can save money while traveling? Check this article right here, and know the different things you can do to save money while you enjoy your vacation.

Monica @ Monica On Money writes 7 Better Ways To Spend Your Tax Refund – If you are getting a tax refund this year, it is time to make a plan on what to do with the extra money. Otherwise, without a plan, who knows where all that money will end up.

Mr. 4HWD @ The Four Hour Work Day writes Work is More Fun When You Don’t Have to Work – For a while there, the thing I wanted more than anything else in this world was to retire early. Sippin’ pina coladas on the beach sounded pretty good compared to working 8 hours a day in a tiny cubical. But during the past few months, I’ve had a slight revelation. What fun is early retirement if you have no one to enjoy it with? If all your friends are still working then what the hell are you going to do every day for the 8-10 hours you’re alone? There are only so many activities you

Richard Adams @ Frugality Magazine writes 14 Proven Ways To Pay Less Rent – Did you know that the average American spends 27.8% of their monthly income on housing? In the UK the figure is even worse – with Brits spending on average 43% of their income on rent. In other words, renting a property is expensive. Fortunately, though, there are solutions.

This Week’s Financial Carnival for Young Adults

Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes IRS Issues: How to Deal With Being Audited – Each year, more find themselves facing an IRS audit for back tax returns. Just about everyone is subject to being audited at one point or another.

Crystal @ Married (with Debt) writes Credit Score Curiousity – I monitor my credit score 3 times a year. You can access your free credit report from 3 bureaus once per year, so simply check one every 4 months.

Dominique Brown @ YourFinancesSimplified writes Oops, They Did it Again, Mortgage Servicing Companies Gone Wild! – Should we have seen this one coming all along? Perhaps, but even so the size of this growing problem is starting to look like scenes from the movie Wolf on Wall Street. What the…? Here is what’s going on.

Lindy @ Minting Nickels writes Can LinkedIn Be Harming Your Job Search? Key Mistakes That LinkedIn Users Make – When you want to network in your field, where do you go? LinkedIn boasts over 200 million users with an impressive 35 percent of all users logging into the service. Read these mistakes that many make when using the LinkedIn service.

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Net Worth Update: March 2014 – A guide to my personal finance at the start of March 2014, listing my investments, savings, and debts, as well as notes on my personal situation.

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes What’s My Credit Score Calculator – If you want to know your credit score, but you don’t want to pay for it, you can use a credit score calculator or estimator.

JP @ My Family Finances writes Saving Money in the Kitchen – Here are a few homemade tips for saving money in the kitchen.

Mike @ Personal Finance Journey writes Landlords Insurance and why it is the Smart Financial Move – How taking out the right insurance can be important as an investor in tenanted properties.

SavingMentor @ How To Save Money writes Babies Are Free??!! – When I asked a friend how much I should save for a baby’s first year, her answer took me by surprise. She said her baby was essentially free. Free??!! The Globe And Mail estimates that we need approximately $8,000 for the first year alone, which is a much higher amount than “free”. Free in terms of the cost of a new baby is just impossible.

Brent @ PersonalFinance-Tips writes How to Avoid Continuous Scrutiny from the IRS – One thing that can certainly spell hard times for any business is an audit from the IRS. Thankfully, with some hard work and due diligence, your business can comply with the law without any problems. Below are some ways you can allow your business to avoid continuous scrutiny from the IRS.

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes 4 Basics to Consider When Investing in a Rental Property – Are you interested in investing in rental property? If you are just getting started with rental properties, then you need to know what to look for when

CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes Planning Ahead: My Financial Bucket List – If you don’t have a financial plan, now’s the time! There are important financial tasks to get done, and you won’t be getting younger. Read here for help.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes Is It Worth Going To Conferences? – When you work for a large corporation, you don’t have much of a choice about whether or not you go to the company conference.

Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes 4 Financial Mistakes that Weren’t….. – We all make mistakes. We also all make financial mistakes. Trust me, I read a lot of personal finance blogs and have met some of the titans in the industry, and no one is perfect. With my birthday (March 10th!) just around the corner, I have been in a very reflective mood of late.

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Making Money for My Life: Ideas will Become Plans – Most personal finance is about spending less money; the fact is that sometimes people earn so little that the only way up is to start making money.

Jacob @ AllPersonalFinance writes Tips for Keeping Track of Your Investment Earnings – There are a wide-range of investment opportunities out there. You can invest in cattle farms in Kansas, tech companies in China, a retail outlet in Germany, and a gold mine in Peru. Even with so many different investments, every investor is looking for a return on their investment.

Don @ Money Reasons writes Why You Should Not Own Bitcoins And I Never Will – As a computer guy, there are the reasons why you should not own bitcoins and I never will.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Class Trips: Fundraising Ideas for Your Child’s International Adventure – Class trips these days are to places like London and Costa Rica instead of the local beach. Here are a few fundraising suggestions to raise money for these one-in-a-lifetime adventures.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes I Do…the Budget: How to Save for a Wedding – Weddings can be very expensive. Here’s how you and your future spouse can budget the funds for a memorable wedding.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes How You Can Budget With A Credit Card – My wife and I budget a little differently than most families. We budget with a credit card. We use a credit card for most of our purchases instead of cash and monitor our family’s monthly spending.

Mrs. Accountability @ Out of Debt Again writes Do This One Thing First Before You Get Into Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) – This is a True Confessions post, one wherein I bare my soul and most embarrassing financial moments.

IMB @ Investing Money writes Investing in Agriculture Stocks – Thinking of investing in agriculture? There are several basic reasons why investing in agriculture stocks is sound investment. Read here for information.

Mario @ Adventures in Frugal writes An open letter to every university Alumni Affairs fundraiser from a recent graduate, regarding strategy – A tongue-in-cheek letter to alumni affairs fundraisers questioning the strategy of asking poor, recent alumni to contribute

JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit writes Valuation of PepsiCo Inc. – The Long Case Looks Strong – PepsiCo recently released their 4Q and full year 2013 earnings so what better time to update our valuation and come up with a price target?

Emily @ Evolving Personal Finance writes What’s So Great About High Cost-of-Living Areas? – Contrary to trends in the personal finance blogosphere, I aspire to move to a high cost-of-living area. Because they’re awesome!

Cat @ Budget Blonde writes Awesome Solopreneurs: Women’s Power Wednesdays – In commemoration of Women’s History Month, my friend Shannon from Financially Blonde was kind enough to suggest that we celebrate fellow female bloggers.

Sustainable PF @ Sustainable Personal Finance writes Do You Put Your Ideals Ahead of Your Pocketbook? – There are times when adhering to your ideals is cost-efficient. Not everything is like that, however. There are times when your ideals can cost you money.

Jason @ The Money Makers writes Selena Gomez: Can Child Stars Make It As Adults? – Selena Gomez is no longer the innocent yet rebellious Alex from Disney’s hit show Wizards of Waverly Place.

Natalie @ Debt and the Girl writes My Student Loan Debt Story – It is often discussed how much student loan debt a person has or carries. There are many tales of unfortunate circumstances where a hard working student is left with more debt than some people carry on their mortgage.

Larry @ KrantCents writes Do You Live to Work or Work to Live? – Do you live to work or work to live? This is an important question, but rarely taken seriously!

Aaron @ Aaron Hung writes Is it better to live Debt Free and pay the Mortgage with your 401(k)? – In the quest to become debt free people can sometimes make decisions that might negatively affect their future financial growth.

Justin @ Edward Antrobus writes Considering ETFs? Here’s How to Get a Good Deal – ETFs can be purchased practically anywhere you can buy a stock, either through a broker, or a brokerage account.

Marissa @ Thirty Six Months writes 8 Gift Ideas for Different Types of Him – Is it just me, or are boys harder to shop for than girls? Whatever the occasion, most people can use a little help with gift ideas.

Marissa @ Finance Triggers writes Quirky tips for conserving cash – Here are a few quirky tips for saving some cash. Read on to find out how you do not have to turn your life inside out to gain control of your finances.

Sam @ The New Business Blog writes Basics about the new Home Office Deduction for 2014 – There is a new, simpler home office deduction this year that could very well save you a lot of time but, in most cases, it will not save you as much as money as the long form that everyone despises.

Katie @ IRA Basics writes The Secret of Saving for Your First Deposit – Are you ready to become a homeowner and do not fancy a no-deposit home loan? Then the biggest obstacle standing in your way is the first deposit or down payment.

Bob @ Dwindling Debt writes Protect your Tax Refund from Identity Thieves – What could be worse than having to file your taxes this year? How about having an identity thief steal your tax return check?

Lily @ Paying Debt Down writes A Few Reasons that Investors like ETFs – In recent years, ETFs have become much more popular and are actually gaining against some other, more mature mutual funds. The reasons for that gain in popularity are explained below.

Andrea @ So Over This writes Getting the Most Out of Your Children at Tax Time! – When it comes to school, grades and sports, all parents hope that their children will be a credit to their name. At tax time however, this can literally be the case.

Hadley @ Epic Finances writes Why Dunkin’ Donuts is an investor’s breakfast of champions – With Wall Street expecting $.40 in earnings, Dunkin Brands, the purveyor of some of the most delicious doughnuts (and relatively good coffee) in the US surprised the market with fourth-quarter earnings of $.43.

Lenny @ Best Money Saving Blog writes How to Cope With Overspending – There are many reasons for overspending. Some people do it because they are insecure and use possessions as comfort objects. Others use acquiring new things as a quick pick-me-up if they are feeling a bit low.

Amy @ Money Mishaps writes Have a childhood savings bond? Here’s what you can do it – Although it was not always a welcome gift, many children got savings bonds for birthdays and other holidays. The goal behind them, in most cases, was to have something ready when it was time to pay for college.

Jack @ Money Saving Ethics writes Moving? Make sure you protect yourself, not just your furniture – Did you know that moving is consistently ranked as one of the top 5 biggest stressful events in a person’s adult life? It is true, but while moving is definitely bad enough, being scammed by your moving company is probably a bit worse.

Matt @ Budget Snob writes Should you consider refinancing a student loan? – One of the biggest debts that the average American has is their student loans from college. Recently there has been a lot of talk about refinancing a student loan. We look at a number of different factors that you should know about before making a decision on whether to do this.

Danielle @ Saving Without a Budget writes Most in US Have No Savings to Speak Of, Unfortunately – The average American continues to struggle when it comes to saving money due to problems like prolonged unemployment, underemployment and stagnant wages.

Jay @ Daily Fuel Economy Tip writes With Winter Comes Poor Gas Mileage – Have you been thinking that your car’s fuel economy has been lower over the last few weeks? If you have, it is not your imagination. It is just the fact that, in winter, your fuel economy usually does go down, at least a little bit and in some cases quite a lot.

Oscar @ Money is the Root writes What Do Americans Really do with Their Tax Refunds? – Surprisingly the IRS has already issued over 31 million refunds in 2014 and the average refund so far is $3200. Despite their best intentions however, the average American finds it quite difficult to save that money.

Daniel @ Make Money Make Cents writes Where exactly IS the Best Place to Retire? – If retirement is approaching for you and you are planning on making a move to spend your golden years in an area of the world where you can stretch your budget, a new report says that you should be taking a good look at Europe.

Thomas @ i need money ASAP! writes Sell Old Electronics – Most of us have a bunch of old electronics around the house. Usually these electronics are still in great working order but have been replaced with newer devices. These old electronics have little value to us but can still fetch a good price if sold.

PFC @ PF Carny writes Does Couponing Really Save Money? – Depending on how you do it and how into it you get, it can be either bad or good. Does couponing really save you money? It can, but it can also cost you money at the same time.

Jen @ Prepping is Sexy writes Food Insurance: Keeping Your Family Fed – I can’t be the only one noticing the skyrocketing prices everywhere. Products, both food and non-food items just keep getting more expensive. So what can you do? How can you ensure that your family will be able to eat if this continues?

Jerry @ Mo Finance writes Which Are The Most Reliable Used Cars? – If you’re a young adult in the market for a car, you’re probably buying a pre-owned one. But which models are the most reliable, once they’ve racked up a few years’ worth of miles?

R.J. Weiss @ The Insurance Protection Blog writes 4 Home Insurance Trends in 2014 that Impact Homeowners – A few insurance companies are beginning to make these changes to their home insurance policies.

Steve @ 2009 Tax to 2014 Tax writes An Important Guide On Filing Taxes Online – An agreement between a group of private companies that produce tax filing software,the Free File Alliance, and the IRS has made it very easy to file your taxes.

Glen @ MCI123 writes Top Car Insurance Companies – Which car insurance company you choose can be just as important as finding cheap rates. Here is a guide ranking the best car insurance companies by pricing, policy offerings, customer service, and financial strength. It is a comprehensive look on how to find the top carriers in the industry.

Jon Haver @ Pay My Student Loans writes Easiest Eight grants to get to help pay off student loans – A grant differs from a loan in one basic way: it’s free money given to you because you fall into a certain category, have earned it through work, or someone wants to support you in your work.

Christopher @ This That and The MBA writes How do I know if I need litigation funding – If you are reading this, the chances are that you are already involved in litigation, and are looking for ways to fund that litigation. You are probably in no doubt that you need help to fund the litigation. Litigation is a notoriously risky and lengthy process.

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes 3 Creative Ways to Save at the Store – Save at the Store by taking advantage of price match guarantees, using coupons the right way and by Scheduling your shopping.

Justin @ Root of Good writes Smart Travel Through Geographic Arbitrage – Want to find out how to visit countries where everything is on sale? Check out foreign exchange rates for your top choices and visit the country with the weakest currency right now. Chile, for example, is 17% cheaper than one year ago. Everything is 17% cheaper!

Harry Campbell @ Your PF Pro writes A Review of the Big Short by Michael Lewis – Before I read The Big Short by Michael Lewis, I had no idea what credit default swaps and collateralalized debt obligations(CDO’s) were. But Lewis does a great job explaining what went on during the years leading up to the subprime mortgage crisis and where it all went wrong. I always knew that the economy got royally f’d by the housing market in 2007-2008 but I never really knew why until reading this book. I was in college during 2004-2009 and the economy was really the least of my worrie

Thomas @ Finance Inspired writes WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR PARTNER’S CREDIT WOES – Entering a new relationship can be wonderful and exciting. But it is one that comes with a huge responsibility as well, especially for two consenting adults. While it is easy to get blinded by love, it is oftentimes wise to first know more about your partner’s financial standing, especially if talks of marriage start floating in the air.

Gretchen @ Retired by 40! writes Aldi vs. Sam’s – Is the Warehouse Club Worth It? – Warehouse clubs are hawked as a money-saver. But are they?

John @ Wild About Finance writes How much are you paying to cover your credit card’s interest rate? – How much are you paying to cover your credit card’s interest rate? Credit cards are almost a necessity for every British household. According to a recent survey, the average loan for a British home is £6,020, and that doesn’t include mortgages just yet. This amount mere pertain to the credit card debts or the personal debts of most adults living in the United Kingdom. Credit cards prove to be very essential when buying high ticket items or for emergency purchases. However, not many people

John @ firststepfinance writes Guidelines For Being A Smart Credit Card Holder – Part 1 – Having a bad credit rating can seriously delay your goals in life. Your financial options will diminish, fewer options will be open to you and you will not be able to take advantage of new credit line offers. There are a few things you can do to improve and protect your credit. If your credit is such that you cannot get a new card to help repair it, apply for a secured one. Most likely, you will not have a problem obtaining this type of card, but you must add funds to the account before you ma

John @ firststepfinance writes Guidelines For Being A Smart Credit Card Holder – Part 2 – You should keep a low balance on your credit cards to improve your credit rating. Paying off your balances will have a perceptible positive impact on your credit score. The FICO system will make a note when the balances are at 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 percent of the total credit available. It is difficult to just forget about negative reports, but writing a statement is useless. It may even draw more attention to the blemish. A terrible credit situation would be having many different debts you

Simon @ strengthenyourshot writes Keep It Simple! Repair Your Credit With These Tips – Part 1 – There are a lot of ways to damage your credit score, from falling for a credit card scam to just being unlucky with the recent economy. Thankfully, there are methods in the below article that can help you mend this problem. If your credit is such that you cannot get a new card to help repair it, apply for a secured one. Most likely, a secured credit card will be easy for you to get, but you have to fund the credit account before you purchase so the bank knows that you won’t miss any payments.

Thomas @ i need money ASAP! writes How To Be A Movie Extra – Being an extra in a movie can be a fun way to earn money. Typically you’ll get free food. You’ll have the chance to meet celebrities. You might even get your name into the credits. If you’re flexible on time then being a movie extra could be the perfect way to earn money.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Do You Need a College Education to Make a Decent Salary? – Considering the high cost of college these days, I’m not a die-hard proponent of “all kids need to go to college.”

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes How Money Can Raise Your Stress Level – Here are some of the ways that money can raise your stress level — and what you can do about it.

Mr.CBB @ Canadian Budget Binder writes Finances are more like moon phases: Net Worth update Feb 2014 – Like moon phases, our finances including Net Worth is constantly changing and this month is no different. There will always be ebb and flow in everyone’s finances, sometimes purely by the choices we’ve made.

Jacob @ Cash Cow Couple writes Amazon Payments – Amazon Payments allows you to get more free travel rewards without any fees!

eemusings @ NZ Muse writes How to deal with a layoff: 7 tips for couples

I hope y’all are having a great weekend!

AMDG,
Lisa

Links Lisa Likes: Carnival of Financial Camaraderie

Hey y’all! Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Financial Camaraderie!!! This is actually the very first Carnival here on LvtL and I’m incredibly excited to host today!

For those who don’t know, a blog carnival is a platform where bloggers can submit their latest articles to be included in a weekly roundup.

This carnival is hosted every second week by My University Money and you can submit articles at Blogger Carnivals or Blog Carnival HQ.

 

This Week’s LLL – Editor’s Choice

Harry Campbell @ The Four Hour Work Day writes Is it OK to Want to be Rich? – A lot of the articles I read around the personal finance sphere have to do with spending less than you earn, investing wisely and not buying lavish things. If you’ve read more than a handful of blogs you probably know that the formula to financial success is not all that difficult. Bloggers like Mr. Money Moustache actually make it seem pretty easy: want less, save more, downsize your home, etc.

Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes Getting Your Life in Order For the New Year – Set goals to improve each aspect of your life in the new year!

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Who said New Year’s resolutions don’t work? – New Year’s resolutions do work; you just have to chose ones that really excite you.

Mario @ Debt BLAG writes Don’t make New Year’s resolutions; set smart intermediate goals instead – Don’t waste your time by making another vague set of resolutions this year; make smart, intermediate goals instead to take action and keep yourself motivated.

Matt Becker @ Mom and Dad Money writes Traditional vs. Roth IRA: Some Unconventional Wisdom on Which is Better for Young Investors – The Traditional vs. Roth IRA decision is a big one for young investors. While conventional wisdom almost unanimously pushes young investors towards a Roth, we show you the math that suggests that a Traditional IRA may often be the better choice.

 

BUDGETING

Jason @ The Money Makers writes Monica Wright Gets Engaged: How Much Ring is Too Much? – If you are a true basketball fan, then you have already heard of the recent engagement of NBA star Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the WNBA star Monica Wright of the Minnesota Lynx.

Oscar @ Money is the Root writes Need to binge shop? Your local dollar store has bargains, but maybe not all of them – Many people love their local dollar store because it is usually filled with great deals and, like the name, you can get most of them for 1 dollar. Surprisingly however it is not exactly the cheapest place on all items and there are better places for bargains out there.

Jay @ Daily Fuel Economy Tip writes Hypermiling – 5 Tactics to Reduce Gas Consumption – With gas prices averaging $4 around the country, the average person is always looking for a new way to save money on gas and get the most mileage out of every tank. Many today are trying something new called hypermiling, a driving technique that many believe squeezes every last mile out of every gallon of gas.

Alexa @ Defeat Our Debt writes 7 Ideas for Saving Money on Food – If you want to speed up the debt payment process you need to make budget cuts. Here are seven ideas to save money on food.

Danielle @ Saving Without a Budget writes Boost your Productivity with these 8 Excellent Tips – Why is it that some people seem to be able to get an amazing amount of tasks done in the same time that other people get practically nothing accomplished?

Holly @ Club Thrifty writes Bracing for the Spend – Ugh, we are getting ready to move….and I am already bracing for the spend. Read about the huge purchases we are going to make in the next month.

Jack @ Money Saving Ethics writes Holiday Travel Tips 2013 – If you are planning to travel this holiday season? If so, you definitely should start making plans as early as possible because, as most of us know, traveling during the holidays can be expensive, tiring and stressful.

Katie @ IRA Basics writes Benefits of a Budget – Budget. It is a dreaded word, not one that instills ideas of grandeur and immense fun. It is also a word that’s often neglected, an idea that most of us would rather not think about.

Lily @ Paying Debt Down writes Have Financial New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s how to keep them – If you are like us you can’t believe that another year is already over but the fact is that 2013 has about a week to go! While you are busy looking back over the last 12 months we believe that one of the best things to do is also look forward to 2014 and start setting some financial goals for yourself right now.

Christopher @ This That and The MBA writes Tips for Organizing an Effective but Frugal Home Budget – Making a frugal home budget is an art and to accomplish this art, one needs to have an insight to the capability of handling the finances. Organizing a frugal budget will not only be helpful to maintain a stable financial situation, but it will also indicate your financial prudence for the near future.

Mr.CBB @ canadian budget binder writes LIfe event: Preparing your baby budget – First time parents are not going to be shocked to learn that bringing their baby into this world is going to cost them some money. Think of everything that you use to care for yourself in a day, then keep adding to that list diapers, formula and so on.

 

BUSINESS

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Book Review – Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies – A review of the book Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies, a guide to creating an online business and making it profitable and functional.

CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes How To Expand Thinking Outside the Space of a Small Business – Want to know how to expand outside the small business? Small businesses are important but clever thinking can grow it into something substantial.

Aaron @ Aaron Hung writes Top 8 concerns for Small Business in the Coming Year – Anyone who has been in business for any length of time will tell you that the only constant in business is simply this: change.

Lenny @ Best Money Saving Blog writes Prepare yourself for Small Business Success in 2014 – as a small business owner, preparing yourself for success is something that should never stop. The thing is, there’s really not much of a difference between the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

Gabe @ Accountant 101 writes Taxation Issues – If you’re looking to find ways to save money on taxes before the upcoming IRS filing, come read and learn.

 

CAREER & EDUCATION

Cindy @ MidLife Finance writes Can You Afford It? – A once-in-a-while decision like this isn’t bad when you do it, well, once in a while. If it’s really important, go ahead.

Justin @ Edward Antrobus writes The final 2013 $3k Challenge Update – The year is now over and with it comes the close of the 2013 $3K Challenge. And I have some great news. For the first time ever, I have completed the challenge! As of today, I have earned $3067.32 for 2013. Actually, I passed the $3000 mark on November 6 when I received final payment for the sale of this blog.

Marissa @ Thirty Six Months writes The Joys of Freelancing – One of the things that I really enjoy doing is mentoring freelancers. I work in the start-up world, and freelancers are a big part of that. I get to see the ups and downs of that world every day. It is fascinating to see how people price their time, and creative abilities.

Glen @ Glennalicious.org writes How To Do Well In College – College is expensive, not just in terms of finances, but also with your time and energy. So how do you get the most out of your college education and do well? Check out our guide to exceling in college.

Dollar @ Easy Extra Dollar writes Finding a Real Writing Job – Being a freelance writer, I am always looking for writing opportunities wherever I can find them, and one thing I have discovered over the years is that they present themselves in many ways if you keep your eyes open.

 

FINANCIAL ADVICE

Jerry @ Motive Finance writes Myth-Busting Late Payments and Their Impacts – Even a single late payment can do significant damage to your credit score–everybody knows that–but beyond that there are tons of myths on the topic…myths we’re out to bust!

Daniel @ Make Money Make Cents writes It’s time to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses – More than likely you have heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” more than a few times in your life. What it refers to is the phenomenon of using your neighbors as a standard for which to compare your own life and material goods.

Chuck @ Tortoise Banker writes How Do I Get Rich? – What if I told you getting rich was SIMPLE. Well, it is… but its not easy. Take a look at this post to make sure you’re taking the right steps to achieve your goals, and review my 16 principles for building wealth.

Sustainable PF @ Sustainable Personal Finance writes Would You Use an Alternative Currency? – One of the first rules of investing is that you need to have a degree of diversity in your assets. That way, if something goes wrong with one asset class, you will have another asset available to pick up the slack. But how does that work if most of your assets are denominated in a specific currency?

Graham @ Moneystepper writes 2014 Goals – December update of my 2014 goals – December is a tough month with Christmas and the related costs. Here is my progress for December related to my 2014 goals.

Alexa @ Single Moms Income writes Beginner Investing: 12 Investing Books to Read This Year – Since the start of the New Year I have decided I need to kick my personal finance skills up a notch. I have been just coasting by the last few months but I am ready to hustle, learn, and make 2014 a good year financially.

Marissa @ Finance Triggers writes The Perks of Living in the Suburbs – More and more people are moving are looking to move out of the city core, find out The Perks of Living in the Suburbs.

Sam @ The New Business Blog writes How to Build a Brand People will Adore – Many people outside of marketing think of a brand as sort of this false cover that is given to a product or service in order to con them into buying something that they do not actually want or, even worse, do not need.

Bob @ Dwindling Debt writes The Secret to becoming a 401(k) Millionaire – We recently came across an article from Fidelity Investments where they had analyzed the savings habits of approximately 1100 investors with 401(k)s. All of them were people who earned less than $150,000 a year but still had managed to accumulate more than $1 million in their 401(k) savings plan.

Jerry @ Wolverine Finance writes How Does it Work When Trading in Your Old Car? – If you’re planning to trade in your existing vehicle at the dealership, you could easily be taken advantage of. We give you the knowledge you need to get the most out of your old workhorse.

Adam @ Money Rebound writes Don’t Let Money Take Over Your Life – How can you tell when your focus on money is starting to be detrimental for you?

Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence writes Financial goals for 2014 – Today I will share my Financial goals for 2014. That was a fail for last year, but I am always the optimist and will put that goal back again for 2014.

Pauline @ Make Money Your Way writes Make money with New Year resolutions – It is almost the New Year! With a new year come new resolutions. Today I lists down some tips on how to make money with New Year resolutions.

Pauline @ Savvy Scot writes New year financial boot camp: refinance your mortgage – Today, let’s see how you can reduce one of your biggest expense: your mortgage. You can save a LOT of money just by lowering your mortgage by 0.5%.

Harry Campbell @ Your PF Pro writes Get $400 and 2.2% Cash Back with the Barclaycard Arrival – Now that my credit card total has reached a quarter century, I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest deals. Since I’ve already applied for a lot of the major cards, it takes a little more creativity these days to get the big spending bonuses but they’re definitely still out there. I recently did a small credit card churn for my fiancee and the Barclay Arrival was one of the first cards I did for her.

 

FRUGALITY

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Savvy Shopping Throughout the Year – There are certain times throughout the year when items go on sale, whether it’s seasonal or holiday-sales related. Like most people, I’d prefer buying them on sale! Here’s a clever infographic that breaks down the best time to purchase items by month.

 

INVESTING

Dominique Brown @ YourFinancesSimplified writes What is a SEP IRA? – The SEP IRA, or the simplified employment pension IRA, allows business owners to provide retirement funds for their employees as well as themselves…

Tushar @ Start Investing Money writes 3 MORE Ways to Free Up More Cash to Invest in 2014 – In the last article we looked at three easy ways to find more cash to sink into your best investments next year. Now we have three more ways for you to get you into the saving and investing mood in time for 2014.

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes First Time Home Buyers? Watch Out for These Scams – Buying a home for the first time is exciting and terrifying at the same time but fret not, low deposit mortgages are helping first time buyers to get on the market.

Moneycone @ Money Cone writes Laziness is my vice and I put it to good use! – If I were to meet my 20-something year old self, I would probably punch him in the face! Among other questionable activities, for not signing up for a 401k,

Tushar @ Finance TUBE writes 3 ways to get your financial house in order – Hi and welcome to another episode of everything finance blog. I’m am Susan and today we are talking about three ways to get your financial house on order for 2014.

Ryan @ Cash Money Life writes Is Medical Tourism a Viable Option? A Look at the Pros and Cons – Medical tourism has grown recently as the cost of medical procedures and health insurance has increased. Here are some pros and cons of medical tourism.

Matt @ Budget Snob writes It’s time to Review your 401(k) – A 401(k) plan is, for many people in the United States, the very keystone of their retirement plan. Now more than ever, especially due to the fact that defined benefit plans are disappearing, many Americans have the responsibility of making their own decisions about their finances and, in most cases, doing so with very little professional assistance.

Amy @ Money Mishaps writes What are the Contribution Limits for your IRA in 2014? – Preparing for retirement means exploiting tax advantage investments like IRAs but, in order to get the maximum advantage, knowing exactly how much you can put into them is vitally important. To that end, this blog has all of the info on 2014’s IRA contribution limits including traditional and Roth IRAs.

Hadley @ Epic Finances writes Investing in ETFs? Don’t forget to Consider The Total Cost – While many investors are quick to praise the cost efficiency of ET’s as well as seeking out the cheapest options, what many focus on is simply the expense ratio. The problem with this is that the expense ratio is only 1 of number of vital elements that should be taken into account when investing in ETFs.

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes Cycles in the Night: Processing of a Mutual Fund Transaction – Although I’ve been retired for several years now, and can’t give out details or client names, I can share with you at a high level, what happens to your mutual fund transaction.

John @ Frugal Rules writes Motif Investing Review: A Unique Approach to Investing – Investing in the stock market is vital to building wealth and with the variety of options available of where to invest it can be confusing. Choosing a good brokerage that has good offering and low fees can be a great way to help grow your retirement portfolio and get your investing on the right foot.

Jacob @ Cash Cow Couple writes Investment Choices – If you’re looking at possible stocks or ETFs in a portfolio, read this first

 

SAVING

Irfan @ Being Investor writes Effective Money Saving Tips for 2014 – Starting a new year is exhilarating and challenging at the same time. If you are one of the many people who consider 2014 as an important year, then you will surely exert extra effort to meet your goals for the year. To help you kick off your plans, here are some great money saving tips for 2014.

Monica @ Monica On Money writes How I Saved $6718 On Home Renovations – As my readers know, I have been searching for a better flooring option. But the problem is that home renovations are expensive!

KK @ Student Debt Survivor writes You Need an Emergency Fund When Your Furnace Dies – Big emergencies happen when you least expect them. $5k spent, but we’re very thankful in the long run.

 

OTHER

Lindy @ Minting Nickels writes Use Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Small Business in 2014 – A shaky economy and job insecurity has increased the interest in entrepreneurship.

Tushar Mathur @ Everything Finance writes What to Do with Gifts You Don’t Want – Unless you very explicitly told people what you’d like for Christmas gifts AND those you told listened to you and bought what’s on your list, chances are y

Cat Alford @ Budget Blonde writes For Everyone Who Wants to Buy a House in 2014 – I’ve been seeing a few New Year’s Resolutions from people who want to buy a house this year or people who really want to whip their finances into shape.

IMB @ Investing Money writes Trading Like a Pro – Many persons go trading the markets and make a comfortable living. yet many more fall. What makes the difference? Here are a few ideas that may help you.

Luke @ Learn Bonds writes Bonds and Younger Investors (Are Bonds for Kids?) – There is some debate within the investment community about whether bonds are a wise investment for children and young adults. Here are my thoughts.

Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes The Timeshare Trap: 5 Facts and 5 Fibs on Timeshares – Timeshares might sound like a great idea. You pay a little bit to “own” part of a getaway. However, timeshares are often not what they appear.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Satellite Radio: Is it Worth the Cost? – Looking to subscribe to Sirius/XM or other satellite radio stations? We give you some of the pros and cons.

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes How To Get Ahead At Work And Become Filthy Rich – Do you want to know how to get ahead at work? How to become invaluable to your company and start earning more money? Here are 4 tips to accomplish just that.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes The 5 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in 2014 – Welcome to 2014!! Like every year, the holidays did quite the number on both my bank account and waistline. Bah. I definitely can’t help you with the waistline (and it’s -4 today in Maine, so there’s no chance I’m going to start working on mine today).

Bargain Babe @ BargainBabe.com writes How I Saved Money This Christmas – How I saved money this christmas, spending only $300 so I can save for my trip to Europe this summer.

Minimalist @ Minimalist Finance writes Cash or Card? – Cash or Card? has been published on Minimalist FinanceBelieve it or not, but the way you pay for something can have a fairly large affect on how much money you spend, where you spend your money, and your overall financial health. This sounds far fetched, but it’s actually more impactful than you may think.

Eva Baker @ TeensGotCents writes Obligatory New Year’s Resolution Post – I can’t help myself. I must jump on the New Year’s bandwagon. Even if I have never made any resolutions myself so far. For those who do – good luck!

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes The Dangers of Credit Cards – It’s easy to get into credit card debt. I am testing out the envelope budget system to see how effective it really is in controlling my spending.

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes A Completely New Life 4 Years Later – How many of you have been reading BFS from the very beginning – way back in early 2010? Read how my experience has been in the past 4 years.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes Preparing Your Budget for the New Year – 2014 is coming up fast! Don’t forget your budgeting! Here are some of the budget items you need to look at before the new year arrives.

Suba @ Broke Professionals writes Position Yourself for Career Advancement – Position Yourself for Career Advancement is a post from: Broke Professionals if you enjoy it, please visit us and subscribe to the Feed.

Tushar @ Earn More and Save writes 3 Options for Using Unwanted Gift Cards – I’m sure that many of you received your fair share of gift cards as presents. As an adult gift cards seem to be the most frequently given gifts. The only problem is that you often receive gift cards for places you never shop.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes 5 Types Of Emergency Loans To Help You Get You Back On Your Feet – Knowing your options when you need emergency cash is important. Depending on how long you have to find money, some options for emergency loans work and others don’t.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes How To Maximize Your Holiday Gift Cards – Ho! Ho! Ho! It appears that you’ll need Santa’s sleigh to get around town to return the clothes you didn’t like and the mountain of gift cards you received…

Dee @ Color Me Frugal writes Mortgage debt: good, bad, or ugly? – Mortgages are often touted as “good” debt- but they are still DEBT. Can there really be such a thing as good debt? We dive into this question here.

Natalie @ Debt and the Girl writes Ahhhh, 2014. Its Good to Meet You – I have been the equivalent of a lazy sloth lately and have been putting everything off except for my staff writing commitments as I refuse to be unprofessional on those.

Larry @ KrantCents writes My 2013 New Year’s Resolutions – Review – I decided to take a different approach when I formed my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions. As I reflect on my results, I am disappointed with some of the results! The results were mixed at best!

Andrea @ So Over This writes Movers Destroyed My Belongings – Saga Continues – You may remember that I wrote a post a few months back about my recent move to a new home, and some issues I experienced with the destructive moving company I hired.

Hope y’all are having a wonderful weekend!

AMDG,
Lisa