What to do With Your Extra Cash!

The stock market is quite volatile right and many investors are a little bit panicky. One of the reasons is that the VIX,  the system used to measure volatility in the S&P 500, double in the last month.

The fact is, when financial markets are in any kind of turmoil, it’s usually a good idea to do nothing.  If you’re sitting on a lot of cash however, money that hasn’t been earmarked for any type of expense or that wouldn’t be better spent paying off any high interest debt that you might have, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most out of it.

Of course, as the holidays approach, many consumers think the best choice is to take that cash and spend it on gifts and other holiday festivities. While that’s not a completely bad idea, a better one would be to take at least a portion of that cash and put it towards an emergency fund.

There are literally dozens of surveys that have been taken over the last few years showing that the average American consumer is ill-equipped to handle a financial emergency. In fact, most aren’t even prepared to cover an expense of $1000.00 from their checking account, which could easily be spent om major car repairs or a new HVACX system for the typical home.

One survey showed that 64% of consumers would have to either sell an asset, borrow money or take money earmarked for other bills to pay that $1000.00. Bankrate.com reported just this past June that over 25% of American consumers have no emergency funds whatsoever, and that 75% don’t have enough to cover 6 months’ worth of expenses as experts say they should.

Taking some of that ‘spare cash’ and using it to purchase stocks that are on sale is also an excellent idea, especially considering the recent market sell-off. Indeed, some companies are trading cheaper right now than before they announced their quarterly earnings, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup.

These companies, and many more like them, are down in price because of the stock market’s overall performance, not due to the actual business itself.

You could also use some of that extra cash to contribute to a retirement account that gives you tax advantages, like a 401(k) or Roth IRA. Not only will you then have more money when you go to retire, but saving now will force you to think about the fact that you won’t be working forever and get you into the ‘mind set’ of putting money into savings for later in life.

The plan that you choose depends on a lot of factors but, if you’re young, a Roth IRA is probably the best bet because it allows capital gains to grow tax-free (as long as you don’t make any withdrawals that don’t qualify).  If you’re employed by a company that has a matching 401(k) plan you’d do well to put money there and take advantage of every last dollar that they’re willing to give you.

So before you go out and spend all of that ‘found cash’ on holiday gifts and frivolity,  make sure to consider the three alternatives above and at least put some of that money aside for later.  Go ahead and spend some, but don’t go overboard, and you’ll thank yourself later.

The Best Ways to Stretch your Retirement Savings

It’s really not all that difficult to start saving for retirement, even though many American consumers don’t. Simply take part of your weekly paycheck and put it into either a retirement plan like a 410(k) sponsored by your employer or, conversely, set up your own IRA.

As consumers get older however, they start looking at their retirement savings and wondering what measures they can take to increase their “nest egg” as much as possible so that will last as long as possible during retirement.

Below are a number of ways to do just that, and stretch those retirement …

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Downsizing for Retirement? What’s best, Renting or Buying?

So, all of your children have (hopefully) left the nest and your 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom home just isn’t necessary anymore. Besides that, it’s a huge drain on your retirement accounts, so downsizing is definitely and excellent idea.

Now the only question is whether to buy another home or rent either a home or an apartment.

It’s not easy or quick decision, by any means. You have to estimate the cash flows needs you’re going to have in retirement, compare the relative cost of home ownership to renting and keep in mind that home maintenance and property taxes, as well as …

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Top 5 Tips to Easily Cut Down on Daily Expenses

Most consumers today are consumed with cutting down on expenses (probably due to their also being consumed by enormous debt).  The fact is however that most of us are wasting money every single day on things that we absolutely don’t need and, because we don’t think about them, we keep wasting more.

Today’s blog will give you 5 excellent tips to quickly cut daily expenses starting today. Enjoy.

Tip 1: Bring lunch from home. If there was a way that you could save $50,000 over the typical 40 year career, would you do it? By bringing your own lunch from …

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Top Job Tips for College Grads

It’s an annual rite of Spring; College graduation. These days however, with an increasingly tough job market, college graduates need to do as much as possible to make themselves employable.

Today’s blog will help them to do just that, with some top job tips for recent college grads. Congratulations, and enjoy.

Tip 1: Take a few weeks to volunteer and make contacts. Any type of volunteer experience is a great way to network, especially if you can volunteer with an organization that has some sort of relationship to your respective career plans.

Tip 2: Attend as many hiring events …

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Everything a College Grad needs to Know that they Weren’t Taught in College

As graduation day gets closer many college grads will be looking for their first ‘real’ job and setting out on their own financial path.  But here’s the thing; many of the basic concepts about finances, credit scores, IRAs and much more were never taught to them in school.  For many, that will lead to trouble ahead, financially-speaking.

This blog aims to correct this large college oversight.  Enjoy!

First and foremost, start saving for retirement NOW.  Yes, retirement seems like a million years away.  It’s not.  In fact, if you work for 40 years, it’s only 14,600 days away.  That’s not …

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5 Tips for Moving Day

Moving day can be a very stressful day. However, with a bit of planning it can be a little less stressful. This article will provide you with five tips for moving day to make it as pleasant as possible.

Move Yourself

When moving local it is okay to rent a moving truck and move yourself. It may seem easier to have movers come in and do the move for you yet the prices they charge will make you want to cry. Instead, enlist the help of friends and family and you can save loads of money on your move. Additionally, …

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7 Excellent Tips to Save Money

Looking for some easy to implement saving techniques? If you are, you’re in luck, because today’s blog is all about how to save every day and stick to your budget. Enjoy!

Tip1) Clip coupons at the Library. If you buy the newspaper every week just to get the coupons, you’re wasting money. You can usually get them at the library for free (and they usually don’t mind).

Tip 2) Find the lowest priced grocery store in town and make it yours. Think Walmart has the lowest prices on food and sundry items? Think again. Dollar stores have excellent prices on …

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Make Your Home Purchase More Affordable

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The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) launched a fabulous new program last year that will provide 3% of the purchase price of a new home plus an additional $6,500 in down payment assistance through its CalPLUS Conventional program. The program is part of ongoing efforts to make home purchasing more accessible for first-time home buyers. California is an expensive market, especially for mid-west transplants and millennials who don’t have the benefits of years of saving behind them.

The CalPLUS Conventional Loan with Zip Extra program essentially provides a 3% interest-free loan with a fixed interest rate on the mortgage. …

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When to Buy Used VS New

When you are looking to purchase a vehicle, you will first be presented with the decision on whether or not to buy a new vehicle. There are many reasons why you should buy a used car, but there are also just as many reasons to purchase a vehicle that is new. When it comes to deciding on when you should purchase new, versus when you should purchase a used vehicle, your decision should be based on more than the price of the car payment. Instead of looking at the price and use the following questions to guide you in your …

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