Though Christmas is a time of generosity and thinking of others, that doesn’t mean you have to set your budget aside this month. It will take some creativity, extra effort, and maybe even some sacrifices, but you can give generously this holiday season while staying on track to reach your financial goals.
To help, here are some holiday savings tips from other personal finance blogs that I’ve found particularly encouraging and useful. Continue reading
With 2014 just around the corner, now is a good time to reflect on the progress you have made so far and look into ways to finish the year strong.
Are you on track to meet your savings goals? If not, don’t worry. Your efforts have likely produced healthy financial habits that you can carry through 2014 and beyond.
Of course, there’s still time to save more money for 2013. Have you considered setting up automatic savings? You can have your bank automatically transfer money from a checking account to a savings account every month. If you have direct deposit, your employer might be able to deposit a portion of your check directly into savings; if the money isn’t in your checking account, you’re less likely to spend it!
Financial freedom during your retirement years won’t happen overnight; it’s a goal to work towards every year. How are you doing so far in 2013? If your expenses have kept you from investing as much as you had originally planned, that’s okay; it’s important to take care of your present needs. But if you do have some extra income, try refocusing your retirement efforts this month. If your employer matches 401(k) contributions, contribute as much as possible – it’s free money so take advantage of it! Do you have an IRA? Try maxing out your contributions.
If you don’t have a retirement fund yet, there’s no time like the present to start one!
2013 in review
Before the end of the year, take a close look at your finances during 2013. Did you meet your financial goals? Did your net worth increase? Why or why not?
The point of the review is to learn from your experience and apply what you learn to your finances in the new year. With 2014 just a few weeks away, you should be thinking about your financial goals for next year and preparing to budget for those goals. As you do that, keep in mind all the things that worked that didn’t work, as well as all the financial surprises (both good and bad) in 2013. Use this information to help you decide what your goals will be next year and how best to reach those goals.
Click on the image above to view the entire infographic from LAAF.org.
Today is Giving Tuesday, a day to be mindful of the many needs around the world, and support the charities and organizations working to fulfill those needs. Today’s infographic from LAAF.org offers four tips to maximize your contributions. As it says, “Giving Tuesday is not just about making a single charitable gift — it’s about creating great impact.”
If you have been following us for a while, you know we are a proponent of budgets. Charitable giving is no exception: make a plan for your donations and include that plan in your overall budget.
Before you give, be sure to research the charity and organization first. Make sure that the charity is legitimate and that they are making the most of your contributions.
Lastly, you don’t need to give money in order to support the causes you are most passionate about. Give your time: volunteer and spread the word!
Click on the image to view the entire interactive slideshow from Ceros.
Black Friday is just two days away and Cyber Monday is right around the corner! Ceros has provided a neat, interactive slideshow on the two of the biggest shopping days of the year. See how these “economic and cultural phenomenons” have grown and expanded over the last few years, how much the average shopper spends on these days, and much more.
Are you planning on shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? While there may be plenty of good deals around on these days, don’t bust your budget to save a few bucks. Here are a few shopping tips from iGrad to help you make wise financial decisions over the next few days.
A sincere “thank you” to all of our clients, friends, and readers.
From all of us at Covenant Trust Company, we hope all of you have a blessed, safe, and joyful holiday!