Welcome back for the final part of our 5 Part blog series, our unplanned Part 6. (Oopsie.) We’ve already given you 45 excellent Tips to help you Improve your Financial Health this year and with this final Blog we’ve got 5 more that we just couldn’t leave out (especially since we promised you 50 Tips, not 45.) So if you’re ready, off we go! Enjoy.
Tip 46: Crunch those numbers. The average person makes one big mistake when it comes to retirement planning; they don’t look at the actual numbers. That’s inexcusable today with the wide assortment of retirement calculators available online (and from numerous financial institutions). Bank rate.com has one that’s excellent, for example. These can help you to take a look at a wide variety of factors that will make a big difference in what your “nest egg” looks like when retirement finally comes. Do yourself a favor and use one to crunch your retirement numbers this year.
Tip 47: If you’re buying a home, invest in 2 home inspections. A new home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make as an adult and knowing exactly what you’re buying is not a small thing, it’s the only thing. We’ve seen people get home inspections that gave their new home a big “thumbs up” and then, once they’ve moved in, they discover all sorts of expensive problems that need to be fixed. The way we look at it, the cost of a home inspection isn’t so high that getting a second one should be out of the question, especially if you really want to be sure that you’re buying a house that’s structurally sound, up-to-date with all codes and won’t crush you financially after you’ve moved in.
Tip 48: Start saving for your child’s college tuition this year. Frankly, it doesn’t matter how old your child is, it’s never a bad time to start saving for what will likely be one of the most expensive things that you purchase for them; their education. Two ways to do it are a 529 college savings account as well as a prepaid college tuition plan which can lock in college tuition costs at today’s prices.
Tip 49: Pass on money-saving lessons to your children. Did you know that the average parent in a recent survey reported that they feel more comfortable talking about sex and/or drugs with their children than they did about money? It’s true but, whether you talk to them or not, your children will learn lessons from seeing what you do with your money. If you handle money well, you can bet that for the most part your children will do the same when they become adults. If you’re keen on making sure that happens, talking to them about how money works (at their level of understanding, of course) is a great way to do it. (And let’s be honest, it’s just got to be easier than talking to them about sex!)
Tip 50: Give your kids and allowance. In Tip 49 we talked about teaching your kids smart lessons about money and one of the best ways to do that is actually to give them a little bit of the green stuff. Don’t just give it but make up something that they can do to earn it, including things like chores or tasks that relate to specific careers. What this does is help your child to make the connection between “effort” and “reward”. This can be an incredibly important lesson to learn and trust us, it’s not lost on even younger children.
And there you have it dear readers, 50 excellent Tips that we hope will help you to improve your finances, save more, spend less, fund your retirement nest egg, put away money for college, invest wisely and any other financial task or goal that you might wish to achieve in 2014. We hope it that you’ve enjoyed these blogs, tips and advice and, more importantly, that they’ve actually been helpful. If you have any questions or would like to leave any comments, please do and will get back to with answers and even more advice ASAP.