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Daily Financial Advice Mallard 2-21-2014

Daily Finance Advice

Daily Financial Advice Mallard 2-21-2014

If you are unsure if you can afford something you can not afford it.

Simply put if you have ever questioned whether or not you can afford something it is best to not buy it. Instead you should wait one week and see if you still want it. If you still can’t afford it then do not buy it. You do not want to take on debt especially credit card debt if you do not need it.

Best Finance and Investing Apps

Now we can stay in touch with our day-to-day financial investment activities anywhere and anytime because of our powerful feature oriented smartphones. It is seen that investors use smartphones to take care of their investments time-to-time due to availability of information on mobile devices, especially the valuable information found in finance and investment applications. These investment apps are very handy to use for both novice and experienced investors.

investingapps

By working on these apps, you can draw stock charts, maintain virtual portfolio and get necessary live stock prices on your smartphones or tablets at a click. Many of these finance and investment apps can be downloaded for free but for some you may have to shed a little money. Some of the apps are listed here that may help you to manage your finances efficiently and effectively.

  • ChartIQ Practice Trading Simulator:This app is available on iPad and costs around $1.99. By using this app you can choose a market scenario like a trending market and can analysis several charts which can make you accustom in the different trading environments.
  • FRED Economic Data: – This app which is downloaded from app stores for free is available on iPhone, iPad and Android. It is very useful for those customers who are unaware of Federal Reserve Economic Data.
  • Chaikin Power Tools: – This app is available on iPhone for trading and market watching. Marc Chaikin, a stock market expert, developed this app which aims at providing all the necessary financial information needed by an investor for buying and selling of stocks. Both stock as well as options trading is supported on this app with relevant real time alerts of various news stories.
  • ABUKAI Expenses: – ABUKAI is a great app which helps you to track and manage all your expenses for a financial venture. This app can be downloaded from Android market, Apple’s app store and Blackberry’s AppWorld.
  • PageOnce Money & Bills: – PageOnce, another famous app, provides finance services to the investors on mobile. According to market trends the demand for this app has increased by 300% in the last one year. It helps you to manage your finance account on your phone in one location by delivering a complete overview of cash, investment, due payment and credit card transactions.
  • WikInvest Portfolio Manager: – This app is available on a number of platforms like iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 and can be downloaded for free from various app stores. By using this app you can pull your account related information from anywhere and can manage your portfolio’s performance with time.
  • CNBC Real-Time: – This app can be downloaded for iPhone, iPad and Android for free. This app make you visualize the real-time data and provide you with live quotes for future market.
  • uValue: – Aswath Damodaran, stern valuation guru, designed this app for valuation modeling on iPad.

This represents a very short list of apps. There are many more available in the market which you can consider to enhance your investment options.

Saving Money on Groceries Without Using Coupons

Everyone in this world knows that you can take advantage of big discounts when you use a coupon while you are in a grocery store. But what if you do not have a coupon? How will you save your money? Here are some ways that you can make the most out of your money without using coupons for groceries. So enjoy the tips below on saving money on groceries without using coupons.

saving money on groceries without using coupons

DECIDE ON WHERE TO GO SHOPPING
Choosing the right grocery shop will help you see a big difference when it comes to the cost of your food. It is helpful to know a grocery store that gives you the cheapest prices for the items that you regularly need. Spend some time in looking for a grocery store that has inexpensive necessities that you regularly purchase. You may think that this tip requires you to do a lot of work, but the ongoing benefits can save you hundreds if not thousands each year. Hard work pays off!

PREPARE AHEAD
You will save a lot of money if you plan ahead of time. Also, planning lets you avoid the impulse shopping attitude. Bring along a list of the things that you need to buy before going to the grocery store so that you will stick to necessities as you shop.

FIND SUBSTITUTES FOR EXPENSIVE ITEMS
If you are going to shop and you notice that you are buying expensive items, you may want to consider looking for alternatives for them so you can save. Sirloin steaks cost a lot of money, so why not buy some ground and/or lean beef? That is much cheaper compared to the sirloin and shares most of the same nutritious value.

BUY IN BULK
Purchasing non-perishable items in a warehouse store can make you save a lot of money. You can buy bulk of paper towels, laundry detergent, canned goods, pasta, etc. just make sure that you are buying products that will not expire soon, or else you will end up wasting your money on the things that you will just throw away in the future because they cannot be used anymore.

STOCK UP ON SALE ITEMS
When you see an item that you regularly buy and it is on sale, make sure that you jump into this opportunity and buy as many as you feel you can use. Just make sure that this item can be used in the near future and make sure that it will not be expired soon. Some stores put items on sale because the expiration of that product is coming up soon. Always check the dates when you stock up on sale items.

LOOK AROUND. LEFT AND RIGHT. UP AND DOWN
When you are searching for something in an aisle, take time to move your head up and around to look for some items that are cheaper than the product that you regularly use. You see, premium types of products pay more to the grocery owners so that they will be displayed in the level where people notice them first. If you look up a little bit, you might see some items that are the same as premium items but a different brand. These items usually taste very similar or perform similarly, however bargain brands make it possible to save dollars at a time on each item you purchase.

What are the Best Ways to Save for College?

Saving money for college is sometimes easier said than done, especially in today’s economy! The first thing a new parent thinks about when a child is born is diapers and bottles. Don’t forget daycare! However, as the child grows so does the cost of living. The parent has education expenses and clothing and food expenses. Not counting every day regular expenses such as the electric and water. It is very important to save for college if you don’t start early it can creep up on you before you know it.

saving for college

Some parents open a savings account when they find out they are having a baby. By opening this account at this early stage you are hoping you can get ahead of the game and have the funds saved for your child to attend the school of his or her dreams. You may even hope that this savings will be large enough to write a check and be done. This can be a great option, if you do not have to use any of the funds for anything else. However, there are other ways for saving money for college.

There is a state sponsored plan by the name of 529 College Savings Plan. This plan offers a tax-deferred flexible way to save money for your child to attend college. This type of plan is for those who believe factors such as tax-free qualified withdrawals, tax-deferred growth, and contribution flexibility as being an important part of a savings plan. The 529 College Savings Plan is beneficial for you and your child.

Another avenue that a person can begin saving money for college is with uniform gifts or transfers to minors. This type of saving for college will allow the transfer of ownership of assets to your child without the added expense of creating a trust fund. Remember to check this type of saving money for college plan before you initiate it because withdrawing money can come with a penalization because of surrender charges.

There are flexible options such as common stocks, CDs, bonds, and mutual funds. Keep in mind these options are taxable. Be sure and do your research before you choose any of the options above. Such as a CD, this option can be a good investment but the rates may be low. This option is FDIC insured because it is considered an asset. You will not have to worry about losing the principle when you need the funds. An important point to remember is that if a CD is not held until maturity there may be penalties incurred.

Saving for college can be nerve racking. However, if you are employed at this time and your company offers Roth IRA and Traditional IRA, this is an option as well. Most people have this type of account so he or she can save for his or her retirement. Before you decide to use this option to fund your child’s college career make sure you have exhausted every avenue. It is important to remember when using this type of savings for education purposes the 10% penalty is waived on the withdrawal if it is before the age of 59 ½ for you (the account holder), spouses, and children or grandchildren. Before you make any decision about saving money for college, ask advice from a financial adviser.

2013 Roth IRA Income Limits

2013 Roth IRA income limits are issued by the US government and are of particular interested to anyone who is looking to contribute a part of this year’s earnings to their retirement fund. This article describes the dynamic of changes in these limits over the years and the current situation, which is slightly different from the previous year.

2013 Roth IRA Income Limits

What is a Roth IRA?

Roth IRA is a retirement plan that allows you to redistribute a part of your income into a non-taxable retirement fund. Unlike most other tax advantaged retirement plans, it grants tax breaks when withdrawing from the fund, not upon your contribution.

This allows non-taxable growth and relieves all worries about future tax rates. Due to these extremely attractive terms, the US Congress has also placed various Roth IRA income limits in place to prevent high-income taxpayers from sheltering their income from taxes this way.

What Are Roth IRA Limits?

That’s why you can only contribute money to Roth IRA if your gross income for the year is under a certain government-issued threshold. In addition, the size of the contribution cannot exceed a certain amount.

The particular terms change from one year to another, so you need to be aware of the latest Roth IRA income limits in 2013 to see if you are still eligible and know how to go about your contributions.

The New Roth IRA Income Limits in 2013

So, what are the Roth IRA income limits in 2013, compared to the previous year? The eligibility threshold has increased from its 2012 value both for married couples and singles, allowing more people to take advantage of the unique tax advantages offered by Roth IRA.

The cut-off point is now $178,000 to $188,000 for married couples and $112,000 to $127,000 for individuals. This means that if you file individually and your gross income in that year exceeds $127,000, you won’t be given access to the terms of a Roth IRA plan.

Roth IRA Income Limits for Contributions

When it comes to your contributions, the Roth IRA plan specifies different limits for people aged 49 or less and those who are 50 years or older.

If your age is 50 years or more, the 2013 Roth IRA income limit in your case is $6,500. People who are younger than that will only be able to contribute $5,500 this year.

Both values have also moved up $500 since last year, making the contributions slightly more appealing in 2013.

You should be aware that the terms for 401K and other retirement plans have also gone through some changes. If you are interested in any of them and would like to see how they relate to the 2013 Roth IRA income limits, you should look up their updated values as well.

Other Terms

Please note that the deadline for making your contribution to Roth IRA for the year 2013 is in April 15th of 2014. You can only put money into your retirement fund until that date.

Now that you know the 2013 Roth IRA income limits, you can evaluate whether this retirement plan is going to work in your situation or you should look into other options, such as 401K.

Savings Bonds for Kids

Given that fact that savings bonds take 20 years to mature, they are a great way to invest in the future of children. Series EE bonds were originally offered in July of 1980 to replace Series E savings bonds. Series EE bonds form reliable, low risk government backed savings products that can be used as the cash investment to finance children’s education.

savings bonds for kids

Series EE bonds are now issued in electronic form, from the 1st of January, 2012, a departure from the previous paper based savings bonds. They reach maturity after 20 years and double in value. For instance, EE based bonds issued with a face value of $100, are sold for $50, and are usually worth $100 at maturity.

Series EE savings bonds can be purchased in amounts of $25 or more with some common denominations including $50, $75, $200, $1000 or $5000. Electronic EE savings bonds are usually purchased at face value so that a face value $200 electronic EE bond is purchased for $200. The minimum purchase of an electronic EE is $25 while the maximum purchase of electronic EE savings bonds annually is capped at $10,000.

Savings bond are great as gifts or as secure investments that can be redeemed in the future. Though they are redeemable after 20 years from issuance, Series EE bonds can continue to earn interest for a total of 30 years. The interest earned monthly is paid when the holder cashes their bond. For bonds that were issued before May 2005, the rate of interest is usually recomputed every 6 months at 90% of the 5 year average treasury yield calculated based on the preceding 6 months. For bond issued in or after May 2005, the fixed interest rate based on the life of the bond is 0.20%.

Other U.S. savings bonds are the Series I bonds. These are variable yield based bonds whose interest rate is calculated based on the inflation rate. The interest rate of these bonds is calculated based on two components, a variable rate reset every six months on the 1st of May and the 1st of November each year, and a fixed rate which remains constant over the life of the bond.

Savings bonds are a flexible investment tools that offers a fixed or guaranteed rate of return for the person bearing the bond. For children, this is a great way to secure the future by providing a safe financial position that is adequate to meet the future needs of the child.

Saving Money with Coupons

You can cut down the price of your grocery bills by means of clipping some coupons and saving them over time with persistence and control. Control how you spend and reward yourself with different things once in a while and search out coupons that will allow you to purchase some luxury items once and a while.

saving money with coupons

Here are steps on how you can start saving money with coupons:

Organize your coupons by means of making a comprehensible system, a binder can help out with filing coupons. Keep it near you and always remember it as you go shopping. Keeping it in your car will make sure it is close by.

Search for coupons in magazines, food packages, newspapers, coupon mailers, grocery store receipts and of course on the internet
By cutting out coupons for the products that you may purchase or try you can always be prepared. Do not be lured by the ‘irresistible’ savings that coupons show you. Buy only the things you need, not the things you want.

Know the prices of the products that you want to buy. Usually, products with brand names cost higher than generic products.
Hidden costs matter.

Find out if your favorite grocery store matches the coupon of the manufacturer so that your savings can be doubled.

COUPONS FOR ONLINE SHOPPERS

Almost everyone in the world uses the internet for shopping. Shopping online  is easier because of the power of comparison shopping. But how are these coupons helpful for online shoppers? Do they really help? What are the perks of using these coupons?

BIG, BIG DISCOUNTS

Consumers, presently, love to shop online. A person can now enjoy shopping more because a coupon offers more that 40% discount on a purchase of an item. That means, if you are a shopper and you have a discount coupon, you only need to pay less than 50% from the price of a product. Finding these coupons is also easy online and you can sign up for online alerts that can deliver these right to your inbox.

COUPONS WILL NOT PUT YOU IN DEBT

Even if you are shopping online and paying via credit card, you will not be buried with huge amounts of debts. Coupons actually help people lessen the debts they will incur when they use credit cards for shopping because the product that is going to be bought has a much lower price, therefore less interest is charged.

WHY ARE COUPONS THE BEST FOR ONLINE SHOPPING?

GAS SAVER

When you shop online, you do not need to get out of your house and drive yourself to an online store just to buy one thing. Meaning, your gas is saved and your energy is saved, too.

SHOP ANYTIME AND ANYWHERE

Another perk of shopping using coupons is you can shop regardless of where you are. You can shop while you are at the spa, you can shop while you are at home, from smartphones you can simply shop anywhere.

So there is no need for you to hurry from work to reach a store as it is closing, or planning your evening around shopping.

If in case you want to go shopping but you are too lazy to go out, you can always go online and shop using your coupon codes, just the same as you would use printed coupons in a store. This is ideal for people who are very busy that they do not have time to get out to do their shopping, or search through a few retailers to comparison shop.

Tips on Saving Money

Saving money can be much simpler than you think. If you are planning to save more money this year, here are some guides and tips for you to follow. You do not have to follow each one of these tips to the letter, instead treat them just as guides to help you to save extra money on your day to day purchases. You will be surprised at the amount of money you can save just by making a few small changes. Here are some of the best tips on saving money.

tips on saving money

MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE

Everyone is regularly buying coffee at restaurants nowadays. It would actually save you more money if you skip your latte or macchiato from your favorite restaurant and make it instead. This tip does not mean that you have to entirely stop drinking coffee or totally remove coffee in your life. Instead, just go to your kitchen and make your own coffee. Many of your favorite coffee houses also sell their unique blends and machines to make coffee in your own home so that you can duplicate their results in your kitchen. This can be more cost effective over a year than purchasing an expensive cup of coffee every day.

HAVE YOUR CHECKLIST WHILE SHOPPING

Keep a mantra as you are shopping. Stop the impulsive buying. Some people are experiencing the hardest time when they are in a mall or a supermarket and they are being tempted to buy something that they really want but do not need. If you shop without a checklist, there are tendencies that you are going to buy some things that you do not actually need. What’s worse is, you might forget the things that you have to buy and become lured in with the things that look more exciting to purchase than necessities. This is how you can start losing money quickly.

Additionally, with a checklist, you will only buy all the things that you need to buy in just one trip to the department store or grocery store, instead of having to go back for forgotten items.

DON’T BUY BOOKS. BORROW.

If you like reading, skip buying the books that you like reading and instead go to the nearest library and locate a book that might be of interest to you. It is always free to go to the library and borrow some books. Why would you buy a book when you can have it for free? If you know someone with a collection of books you can also offer trades or swaps for your own collection so that you can both enjoy reading new books without having to buy them.

BRING YOUR OWN WATER

Drinking water is good for our body, but you do not have to buy bottled water every now and then just to quench your thirst. Instead, bring your own bottled water in your office or whenever you go out. When you bring your own water, you will not only save your money, you will also be saved from thirst when you are working or out shopping.

CONTROL YOUR USE OF ELECTRICITY

When you are not using appliances like your televisions, radios, microwaves, etc. it is best that you completely unplug them, rather than simply just turn them off. An appliance still uses your electricity for some small processes as long as it is plugged in.

AVOID BEING WITH FRIENDS WHO IMPULSE SHOP

If you have friends who regularly impulse shop and invite you to come with them to lavish restaurants and more it is important to remember, you are saving your money for necessities. Hanging with people who have lavish lifestyles may make you spend more than your means.
Remember; these are just mere guides for you to save your money. Just pick one of these tips that suits you best. If you can use these tips to save money, you can help to plan for a healthier retirement as well as have savings in case emergencies may arise.