Month : September 2010

Money Management

How to Stick with Your Financial Goals While Travelling

As you progress toward financial security, you will often find that you quickly fall into a routine.  You will learn to be great at managing your money, sticking to your budget and saving.  While it is easy to fall into a routine with your finances, you will find that it can be difficult to keep on top of financial goals when you aren’t in your usual situation.  Going on vacation is an excellent example of a time when your personal finance routine may become a bit disrupted.  Luckily, with a few easy tips, you can learn to master your finances whether at home or touring the country. I’m going on a vacation soon so I’ll be testing out these tips.

Look at Your Budget

Vacations are important.  More important however is staying on top of your financial goals.  Before planning a trip, first look at your budget.  How much can you afford to spend?  It is better to set the budget first and the destination second.  This will ensure that you can afford the trip you are planning to take.  It is better to know where you stand first, so you don’t get your heart set on something you can’t afford.

Plan, Plan, Plan

A great way to save money on a trip is to really take your time during the planning stages.  Make sure you calculate all of your expected expenses, set aside money for unplanned expenses and consider food, gas and other necessities.  You will also want to be really careful with your packing.  It is easy to spend hundreds of dollars more on a vacation just because you forget important items at home.  Having a plan will help you stick to your financial goals while travelling.

Carry Cash

Most people lack self control.  Don’t get carried away on your vacation.  Carry cash and use it to pay all trip related expenses.  This means gas, food and other expenses.  Carrying credit cards while traveling makes it so much easier to splurge on a souvenir you can’t afford or to let loose and spend more than you were planning.  Carrying cash also helps you to avoid expensive withdrawal fees if you can’t find an ATM from your bank nearby.

As you learn to manage your money, you will need to learn how to handle every situation.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that vacations are a time to forget about personal financial goals.  A week of fun can ruin your financial progress if you don’t plan carefully and remember your budget.

What tips do you have to not go bankrupt on vacation?

Friday Night Likes

Friday Night Likes

Well this week went by very fast. I’m getting a lot of great feedback from my eCourse and I really appreciate it. Be sure to sign up for it and let me know how you like it.

Not much news as far as my Alexa rank goes, It’s been kinda hovering. I do expect it to start going down soon though thanks to all of you. Thanks for coming back again and again. If you haven’t yet be sure to sign up for my RSS feed or my weekly newsletter.

Now on to the Likes:

@BudgetsAreSexy Kiva – The Rock Stars of Microfinancing!

I love entrepreneurship and I’m a fan of what Kiva does. Check it out.

@DoughRoller New Health Care Benefits That Take Effect TODAY!

Great summary of the new benefits of that go went into effect yesterday.

@EnemyOfDebt Saying “I Can’t” Is Just Like Saying “I Don’t Want To”

All I have to say is, true.

@CheckAdvantage How to Attack Debt – Advice From Five Expert Personal Finance Bloggers

Title says it all. Go see what I had to say.

@Yakezie

@GrlRedBalloon Hitting Friends Up for Money

Who doesn’t want to cure cancer? Help out.

@PFFirewall Creating a Screenshot Factory for BrowserShots.org

I started up my own. How can you pass up free money?

@ The Saved Quarter Free Museum Day September 25 – check to see what’s free near you!

Educational and Free. What more could you ask for?

@ Frugal Confessions Saving Money on Prescription Drugs: Pharmacy Programs

Great list of programs that help save money at the pharmacy

@CanadianFinance 10 Ways To Save Money On A Birthday Party

This can be an expensive event so anything to help on cutting expenses is helpful

@NealFrankle Setting Up A Small Business Made Simple

Great sum up of what you’ll need to start a business

Cool Links @BitRebels

Metal Neckties: Are You A Silver Or A Gold Person?

Tread-Walk: Brilliant or Stupid Invention?

Chinese Culture: 8 Photographs That Will Blow Your Mind!

Have Fun: Draw And Doodle On This Coffee Mug With Chalk

Now There Is A Better Way To Carry Your Beer!

I’ll leave you this Friday with the funniest clip I’ve ever seen or probably ever will. Why did he take his shirt off? Have a great weekend!!

Friday Night Likes

Friday Night Likes

Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.  ~Bill Watterson

Well said. Anyways, if you haven’t noticed I’m getting into doing video blogging. I’m thinking about doing actual long posts instead of just quick ones but we’ll see how that comes along.

Thanks to everyone that has been watching a reading here. Without you there wouldn’t be anyone reading so I’m glad you’re here. I think my rankings are going to start kicking into gear and finally lowering. I’m currently around 114,000 but that’s good considering I was hovering around 117,000 this past week. So thanks for helping me with that. If you want to let other people know what you think about Financially Poor feel free to leave a review.

Be sure to join the thousands of people on my Facebook page and my Twitter @FinanciallyPoor.

Now on to the Likes:

@DoughRoller The Bottled Water Industry is Out of Control

I completely agree. I have a water with pitcher I use. I never buy bottle water because…..well…because we already pay for it every month from the city so why would I spend more money on it? Exactly. It’s a waste of money and it is horrible for the environment that our kids are going to have to live in.

@ChristianPF Getting Ready For Christmas: 7 Things To Do Today

Never too early to start because it comes up fast. Next thing you know you’re broke because you use all of your money at one time for presents.

@Bargainr Five Worst Car Maintenance Scams

I’m not a mechanic and I’m always weary of mechanics. I really need to find one I can trust and not one that’s just trying to get my last dime.

@JeffRoseCFP Co-Signing a Loan: Nice Gesture or Financial Suicide?

My brother did this for a past girlfriend and needless to say it did not turn out well. Don’t do it.

@GRSBlog Capitalist Kids: Encouraging Young Entrepreneurs

I wish I was entrepreneurial like when I was a kid. I would have learned a lot before it actually had a chance to hurt me. This is something I’m for sure going to encourage my kids to do (When I get some).

@GE_Miller 10 Library Freebies you Might Not have Known (or Forgot) About

You already pay for the library so you might as well use it. Check out these great ways to use it that can even save you money.

@AFMBlog Billionaires Who Have Taken the Giving Pledge

This is a great thing and I think it’s a trend that’s gaining momentum. Billionaires already give a lot but to give half of your fortune is a great commitment that will help a lot of people in this world.

@EnemyOfDebt How Your Financial Decisions Can Impact The Family You Love

This is really something more people need to think about. And it can go many ways, perhaps you want to give your family everything so you charge up. But that’s not really what your family needs. They need food ,clothing, shelter, and your love. Just remember that and you’ll be better off.

@Yakezie

Yakezie Member Post – Wandering Earl

Yakezie Member Post- Young and Thrifty

Yakezie Member Post – Len Penzo dot Com

Yakezie Member Post – Eventual Millionaire

Yakezie Member Post – Beating Broke

@Arohan Announcing New Wealth Forums

I know I had this on last week but I wanted to mention it again because I think it’s a great place to visit. It’s really starting to pick up steam and any question you have will get answered there. All you have to do is ask. So go visit the Wealth Forums and learn a lot. I am.

@MoneyFunk Health Care Reform: Dependent coverage to Age 26

I think the new health care bill is great. And I’m looking forward to all of the great things it’s going to do for people. Yea it costs a lot of money but so does war and no one had a problem with that. So lets make people healthy not kill them :)

@ConsumerBoomer 15 Best Online Resources For Baby Boomers

This is a great one stop post with a lot of great links for information.

@MJTM Please Don’t Use an Automated System to Draft Your Last Will and Testament

Some things aren’t always meant to be DIY

@JonDeGroff Failure

We really do get better through our failures but only if you don’t look at them as a reflection of ourselves.

@Money_Reasons Is Recycling Aluminum Cans Worth Doing Anymore?

I used to help my babysitter crush cans at her house for recycling. It was a lot of fun and I could tell she was making some change from it. So here’s a tip: set up a day care and have kids crush cans all day :)

@NealFrankle “I Got Fired” Survival Guide

It’s touch to get canned so learn how to not let it hurt you so bad

@LenPenzo What a $168 Cheese Sandwich Can Teach Us About Hype & Value

All I can say is…WOW. Learn a lesson from those that are succeeding I guess.

@CanadianFinance What Is A Price To Earnings Ratio (P/E Ratio)?

I’m not the most knowledgeable when it comes to investing so I really need to work on that. The basics are the least you need to know when it comes to investing.

Check out these great giveaways

Over $800 Dollars In Prizes and Cash to Giveaway at my 3 Year Blogoversary Celebration at Out of Debt Again!

Couple Money 1st Anniversary Giveaway

Invest It Wisely: Enter the Six Month Giveaway Contest!

Thursday Giveaway News

Friday Cool Links @BitRebels

Fart Silencer: As Weird As You Imagine It To Be!

Equinox Clock: The Brightest Time Teller For Any Geek!

The Inkless Metal Pen That Writes On Metal!

*Edit*

Found this video a little late but thought I’d add it because it brightened up my Saturday so hopefully it does the same for yours

I found this video @NaomiDunford Things That Blew My Damn Mind This Week

Friday Night Likes

Friday Night Likes

Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.  ~Zenna Scha

Gotta love the short week. Thank you for reading and I love reading and responding to all of your comments. If you have an opinion about one of my posts, let it out. I love to hear other people’s opinions.

Currently in Alexa I’m hovering around 117,000 for my 3 month average but that should start going down more soon since my 1 month average is in the high 80,000. So I’m looking forward to that :) Thank you all for making my blog so popular.

If you haven’t yet be sure to sign up for my eCourse to learn how to stop being broke. So if you want an email sent to you every week to challenge you to stop being broke then sign up.

Now on to the Likes:

@GE_Miller 10 Free Birthday Coupons for Meals & Drinks

Is it your birthday? Hungry? Well you’re in luck because this post will help you get free food on your birthday.

@Doughroller It’s All About the New Benjamins

When ever I see a new bill out and about I always wonder how many people get it and say…”This is so fake”

@PTMoney 9 Largest Collections (of Junk?) in the World

That takes a lot of dedication. I wonder how that translates to the other parts of their life.

@MoneyNing Don’t Get Spooked by the High Cost of Halloween

It’s about that time again. Use these tips to save a few bucks.

Motivation

@MoneyMatters Get Motivated To Reach Your Financial Goals – And Motivate Others!

@MattChevy The Thing About Starting Over

@Yakezie

Yakezie Member Post – Couple Money

Yakezie Member Post – Bucksome Boomer

Yakezie Member Post – Squirrelers

Yakezie Member Post – Little House in the Valley

Yakezie Member Post – Saving Money Today

@Arohan A Brief History of Labor Day

Interesting read. I was not aware of how it started. You learn something new everyday.

@FrugalZeitgeist Buying Beer in Bulk

Great idea to save some money. I’m more of a Miller Lite man so this won’t help me that much but if you like locally brewed beer this article is good for you.

@ The Saved Quarter 5 Ways to Save on Diapers

Those things get expensive. These are some great tips. I’m not sure if I could use the cloth diapers but I’m sure it would save a lot of money.

@FunnyAboutMoney Ant Wars: The Battle of the Front Stoop

I hate ants ever since I accidentally rolled around on an anthill when I was younger. So this battle made me happy :)

@InvestItWisely Three Reasons Why You Should Learn a New Language

I’m currently (for the past 5 years) trying to learn Spanish. I think it’s about time to actually learn something.

@PFFirewall The Wrong Way To Change Banks: My Latest Mistake

It’s always good to learn from other people’s mistakes, especially if you could see yourself doing it like I could.

Giveaways

The Instant Millionaire: A Tale of Wisdom & Wealth

Buy Back My Clothes Experiment & Giveaway

Friday Cool Links @BitRebels

Infinite Candle: This Flame Burns Forever

Flexible Waste Basket: One Less Trip To The Garbage Can

10 Flavors Of Doritos You’ve Never Seen Before

I’ll leave you with a little LOL from @BitRebels #LOL Can Animals Laugh Out Loud Like We Do?

 
Debt Management Guest Post

Should You Avoid Cash Back Credit Cards?

lollipops

Most people think of reward cards as a good thing, but in today’s guest post Michael from CreditCardForum will be discussing why they’re not right for everyone. Besides writing credit card reviews on his forum and blog, Michael also has a lot of personal experiences to share about his use of cash back credit cards and why they can lead to problems.

Twenty to thirty years ago, cash back credit cards were for the most part non-existent. But nowadays, it seems that just about every card out there is offering cash rebates, miles, points, or some other gimmick. Many assume this to be a “good thing” but that’s not always the case…

Why reward credit cards might lead to problems

Have you ever been at a store and saw something you kind of like (and don’t really need) but since it was on sale, you bought it anyways? Of course you have! Almost everyone falls for this marketing trick at least once in a while. Studies show that when something is on sale or discounted, the consumer is more likely to buy.

To a lesser degree, without a doubt there are some people that take up this “on sale” mentality when using cash back credit cards. If their card is giving a 5% rebate on gas, groceries, drugstores, or whatever category it may be, they may be inclined to spend more. I consider myself extremely disciplined when it comes to finances, but even I am guilty of doing this once in a while.

For example, I was at Staples a few weeks ago and I knew I could have gotten the paper cheaper at Target, but I said to myself “Well my AT&T Universal credit card gives 3% at office supply stores, so I’ll get it here.” Thinking like that is actually quite ridiculous – the computer paper would have been about 15% cheaper at Target, which definitely trumps the pitiful 3% rebate from my credit card!

The lesson?

The bottom line is reward cards encourage many people to spend more than they normally would. Or, as in my case, they can lead to people shopping at more expensive stores (i.e. buying supplies at a drugstore because of the higher rewards there, when in reality a place like Target, Wal-Mart, etc. would be significantly cheaper for those items).

If you reward credit cards cause you to do these same things, it may be best to avoid using those cards altogether. Remember, saving 5% does not make sense if it’s causing you to spend 20% more!

When are they okay to use?

If you’re extremely disciplined with reward cards, they can be a useful financial tool. For example back a few years ago when I was dirt poor, I had no choice but to be disciplined with every penny spent. I definitely fell under the income bracket that would be classified as poverty, so for me it was all about coupons and discounts when buying necessities. I would use my credit card for the 5% rebates on groceries and gas, but that would never encourage me to buy or spend anything extra, because my money was so tight I simply didn’t have that luxury even if I wanted to do so. In that situation it totally made sense, but not everyone would have handled it the same. If the rewards would have encouraged me to spend more, the outcome could have been disastrous.

Have reward cards ever influenced your spending?

photo credit: peapodsquadmom

Banks around the world are beginning to get the message. HSBC Australia can set up a low credit limit and an automatic notification if you hit the limit. Get the limit low enough and it becomes an early warning signal.