Moneymentals | Our Blog


Money’s Only Good for Spending

We’ve got a bad track record for saving in the United States. Most people haven’t learned the habit of saving money, which keeps them from doing what’s meaningful to them and achieving financial freedom. According to a Federal Reserve Board survey, typical American households save a mere 5.3% of their income.1

You’re probably expecting a big, ominous warning right now, like, “If you want to save more, then you have to figure out how to spend less!” Guess what? I’m not going to cover budgets or talk about curtailing your spending. I’m about to tell you how to spend better.

 

It’s All Spending

What can you do with money? Only three things: You can spend it, you can save it, or you can give it. But if you boil it down even more, the only thing you can really do with money is spend it. 

Obviously, you can spend money right now on yourself. We all call that spending. You can save money—but wait. Saving is really just a delayed form of spending. You’re spending it later instead of spending it now. That goes for investing, too. 

 

Read more...

How Do I Check My Credit Score and What Does It Mean?

credithistoryToday’s economy of convenience often involves two-for-one offers, package deals and add-ons. You can almost always get French fries with your order! Along these lines, you might assume you’ll receive your credit score with your credit report—but not so.

This blog is the follow-up to How Do I Check My Credit Report? Your credit report is different from your credit score. Your report lists your payment history with individual creditors. Your score reflects how creditworthy you are based on that track record and other factors.

How to Get Your Credit Score

Your credit report is free, but there’s a small fee for your credit score. When you receive your credit report, you’ll see an offer on the report to purchase your credit score for approximately $10 or less. Simply respond to that offer to get your score.

 

Read more...

That’s So Money: Cheap Travel Edition

bringitYou know the only thing that makes me sad when I read these inspiring posts of people getting out of debt, or paying off their mortgage by the time they’re 35, or other amazing accomplishments?

The part where they say they didn’t go on any vacations.

Beans and rice, not buying any clothes, making my own coffee. None of these things phase me but tell me I am stuck in a location for an indefinite period of time and I start pacing around like one of those tigers in a zoo. It’s not pretty.

Part of our two year plan (I say ‘our’ because I am technically half of a couple which involves some discussions and compromise) involves saving for a vacation, even though it means paying down the home equity loan slower than we thought. It’s not a decision many personal finance folks would agree with but it’s going to work for us. We only need to finalize the destination and target date so we can start saving, even if it means $100/month to go. (I did that for five years and went to London and Bosnia for three weeks last year).

Am I going to wait another five years? Heck no, even if it means a less ambitious vacation. Hence saving to go somewhere within two years.

 

Read more...