On my 20th birthday, I opened my first mutual fund. As a part-time night teller earning $8.25 per hour, I was so proud of myself. Things didn’t go quite as I’d planned them, however. Throughout the next decade, I learned many investment lessons from my own choices and actions – as well as others’.
I wish I could say all of the lessons were positive. But, mistakes are excellent teachers, too. Doggone it.
So, here are some things I learned. You may agree or disagree with this list. It’s likely your own list would look different. That’s alright. Once you’ve read through my list, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
3 Major Investment Lessons I Learned In My 20’s
First of all, should investing even be on your radar when you’re in your 20’s?
ABSOLUTELY. I may not have handled it perfectly, but I plan . . . → Read More: 3 Major Investment Lessons I Learned In My 20’s
Americans sure like to fly. Every year, we take to the skies again and again, with nearly a billion passengers traveling from one place to the next on airplanes. All that flying isn’t cheap either. The average domestic round trip flight is nearly $370 these days. When you add in all of the other costs associated with travel, it can be prohibitively expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Here are some great tips to save money when you are booking your next flight.
This article was written by our skilled staff writer, Will Lipovsky
1. Timing is Everything
When it comes to booking your flight, when you book is the most critical factor. For instance, if you buy tickets just two weeks prior to travel, you are going to pay an average of $111 extra for your trip. Likewise, if you try to buy your ticket . . . → Read More: 5 Money Saving Skills From Frequent Flyers
Whether you’re preparing for Christmas, a wedding, a baby shower or your spouse’s next birthday, gift-giving happens all year long. I believe the three most practical ways to live a frugal, yet generous life are to budget, save up, and find discounts. We’ve discussed the power of budgeting before. Now let’s talk about real ways to save money on quality gifts.
7 Ways to Save Money on Quality Gifts This Year
At the time of this writing, the pumpkins are on the scene. The air is turning cool. And the infinity scarves have yet to don each and every millennial’s neck. But, if you’re like me, you have that person in your life who always makes sure you’re aware that Christmas is, in fact, still coming. He or she posts memes that say things like “100 Days Til Christmas” or “12 Sundays Left.”
I consider this passive aggressive torture. And . . . → Read More: How to Save Money on Quality Gifts This Year
If there is anything that had a powerful effect on how I handled money, it was becoming a parent. When are the stakes ever higher than when your decisions and actions directly influence the most precious people in your life? The irony is, I learn just as much from my kids as they do from me. That is why I’ve put together a list of ways parenthood will teach you about money.
4 Ways Parenthood Will Teach You About Money
If you already have kids, then you know the truth: We appear to the world as teachers, but when it comes to life with kids, we’re students.
Parenthood offers free, daily lessons (whether you want them some days or not) in things like:
Patience Problem solving Intentional living The ABC’s according to Dr. Seuss Mending ailments How to communicate feelings How to talk your child out of watching anymore Caillou . . . → Read More: 4 Ways Parenthood Will Teach You About Money
Do you think it’s possible to truly feel financially empowered while you’re living on a small income? Does more money equal more power over your own life? I would argue that it’s never that cut and dry. The breakthrough in my financial story wasn’t the day I doubled my income. It was the first big shift in my mindset.
Broke Vs. Poor
“Being broke is a temporary situation. Being poor is a state of mind.” – Mike Todd
When my husband and I agreed to transition from a dual-income to a single-income family shortly before our second child was born, we lived on $36,000 for the next year. Sure we were glowing with adoration for our newest bundle, we were out of debt, we had an emergency fund, and we were glad to have one parent at home full-time with the children, but living each month on $1,600 . . . → Read More: How to Feel Financially Empowered on a Small Income
Many of our grandparents were born between 1910 and 1925. This is what Tom Brokaw dubbed “The Greatest Generation” when America was developed and defended on the backbones of its hard-working citizens. Anyone with silver hair, no matter their birth date, has spent an entire lifetime making choices and reaping consequences. It is our choice whether or not we will learn from our grandparents’ experiences and advice. That is why I’ve comprised a list of frugal habits I’ve learned from watching my own grandparents as a child.
It only just dawned on me that I’ve been learning from their example all of my life even though they’ve all passed on.
Even my grandpa “Big John,” who passed away from a heart attack when I was four, left a legacy in his community as a reliable and trustworthy man others looked to for business advice. Things like that, 25 years later, . . . → Read More: Grandma’s Top 10 Frugal Habits That Were Right on the Money
Supposedly, 62% of Americans are savers (according to Gallup Polls), but I don’t buy that. Not when I see what goes on at the local Target and Best Buy, not to mention the conversations I hear at work. People are spending money – in record numbers in fact. They’re just doing it differently these days.
5 Types of Spenders
From my vantage point, there are 5 types of spenders in this world. Almost all of them think they’re savers because they occasionally find a deal on their retail purchase. Let me clue you in on something…this doesn’t make you a saver.
The video below details the five types of spenders. Personally, I often land in the camp of Spender #4 and #5. I want to know what type of spender you are! Let me know in the comments below!
Whether you are on salary or work freelance, you work hard for every paycheck. But you are probably throwing away hundreds each month that could otherwise be saved. Crazy, right? If you are trying to figure out how to save money, take a look at what you’re spending at the workplace.
I’ve always found it odd to pay to go to work. You pay for work clothing, you pay for your commute and you even chip in for birthday cakes for people you didn’t even know working on your floor. Even if you freelance, there are still many ways to cut back your expenses. So that’s what this post is about – how to save money during each workday.
Brown Bag It
The simplest way to save $30-40 each week is to pack a lunch each day, and forego the run out to a restaurant. A sandwich and a soft . . . → Read More: How to Save Money Between the Hours of 9-5
I first learned about using “debt as a tool” in my job at a bank, but there were some major pot holes in my new “road to success.” I used things like credit cards and car loans to “get ahead” and establish my credit. Sounds pretty normal, right? The problem was, I didn’t do anything else. Using debt trumped the importance of saving for emergencies, budgeting my monthly expenses, investing while I was young, and spending less than I made each month. Becoming debt-free was not on my radar. How did things go for me? Well, I spent the first half of my twenties working hard with very little to show for it. I had no budget, no long-term plan, no debt-free plan, almost no savings, and a glowing credit report. I was missing some MAJOR pieces to a healthy financial foundation (basically all of them) and headed for disaster. . . . → Read More: How Becoming Debt-Free at 25 Changed My Life
Liz and I officially bought our first mini-van last weekend. It’s an odd feeling. We’re excited and not excited all at the same time… It’s been fantastic to own a vehicle that we can all fit in and that meets our needs. But…it’s still a “we’re officially old and lame” mini-van….
With a growing family (our daughter, two dogs, and likely more children in the near future), it just made sense to start looking for a larger vehicle. Then, between SUV’s and mini-vans, we found that mini-vans were consistently about half the cost of SUV’s. So, we set out to find a severely discounted vehicle (the fabulous mini-van) about two weeks ago.
Approximately 2 days after the search began, we found our deal – a 2008 Toyota Sienna. These would typically sell at the dealership for $8,500 to $9,000, and we got ours for just $6,500!
Our new van! . . . → Read More: 6 Ways to Find a Severely Discounted Vehicle