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Showing items Tagged with: spending
Show items per page Now showing items 1-10 of 41 Prev | Next
  • The seven simple rules of regifting
    Submitted by: Jesse Campbell on December 10, 2013

    Seven simple rules of regifting

    Regifting is a great way to show someone you’re thinking of them without spending any money. But that’s only if you do it right. And how do you regift the right way? By following the rules...

  • Don't let Black Friday cast a black cloud over your financial forecast
    Submitted by: Jesse Campbell on November 11, 2013

    Girl is stressed that she overspent on Black Friday

    The deals on Black Friday are definitely great.  But what are the consequences of getting caught up in a gift-giving fervor?

  • Poll: Consumers look to control spending this holiday season
    Submitted by: Jesse Campbell on November 04, 2013

    consumers spending less this holiday

    If you're planning on spending less this holiday season you've got a lot of company.

  • What does a government shutdown mean to me?
    Submitted by: Jesse Campbell on September 30, 2013

    what happens when the government shuts down

    Even if you aren’t an employee of the federal government a shutdown could be more than a minor inconvenience. Here’s a quick rundown of all the ways a government shutdown could impact you.

  • The secret to saving money during the holidays
    Submitted by: Jessica Horton on November 29, 2012

    Discover how to have your best holiday season yet — without overspending.

  • Holiday budgeting in three easy steps
    Submitted by: Jessica Horton on November 15, 2012
    Casey from FatWallet.com offers three simple tips for budgeting this holiday season.
  • How to protect your personal economy
    Submitted by: Tanisha Warner on September 04, 2012
    Regardless of the state of the national economy, it's important to maintain focus on what you can control — your budgeting and spending.
  • Your guide to charitable giving
    Submitted by: Jessica Horton on December 14, 2011

    Charity guideThe holiday season – and the end of the tax year – motivates many consumers to donate money to their favorite charities. In fact, the average person makes 24 percent of their annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, according to Charity Navigator. And after a two-year drop in charitable contributions –  which has been the hardest hit those organizations have taken in more than forty years – the trend is finally beginning to turn around, according to the Giving USA Foundation.

    So with more than half a million federally recognized charities soliciting contributions, chances are high that you will be asked to make a donation this year. The following are some tips to ensure that you are giving wisely:

    • Ask questions. Request identification from the solicitor and read written information provided. Be certain that the organization has a clear mission and identifiable goals.
    • Be wary of high-pressure appeals. For example, be skeptical if someone thanks you for a pledge that you do not remember making. Legitimate charities should not intimidate you into making an on-the-spot donation.
    • Do your homework. Before making a donation, call the charity to find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. The Better Business Bureau offers a great guide for donors to help ensure you’re giving to a legitimate organization.
    • Do not give cash. For security and tax record purposes, pay by check. Write the official name of the charity on your check and always ask for a receipt in return.

    For additional help selecting a charitable organization, visit CharityNavigator.org. A little research up front will make sure that your dollars are put to good use.

  • Temporary income may buy the gift of financial stability
    Submitted by: Jessica Horton on December 12, 2011

    It is estimated that close to 500,000 people may find temporary employment this holiday season, putting some much-needed money into the wallets of consumers who haven’t had a paycheck in months.

    There will be many legitimate uses for this money, but it will only stretch so far. Therefore, MMI and the NFCC suggest prioritizing the use of this money in the following order:

    1. Bring all living expenses current – Housing, utilities, and insurance payments are at the top of the living expense list, as these must-haves need to be seen as priorities. The basics of keeping a roof over your head, food on the table, gas in the car, and the lights on will go a long way toward restoring stability to your home life.
    2. Catch up on all secured debts – For most people, their largest secured loan is a vehicle. Don’t risk losing it to repossession. Down payment money was used at purchase, followed by monthly payments. This money will be lost if repossession occurs. Further, fees associated with the repossession will be added on. If you can’t totally catch up on past-due payments, call the lender to inquire about an extension, providing a specific payment plan that will bring you current.
    3. Pay past-due debt obligations – If you have credit card debt, you need to honor the commitment you made to repay per the conditions of the contract. Not doing so will result in negative marks on your credit report, a lower credit score, late fees, and the potential of a judgment or wage garnishment being filed against you. Your access to existing and future credit will be minimized, putting you in the position of having to pay cash for all goods and services. It can be difficult to obtain new credit in this economic environment, thus making it critical to treat existing credit responsibly.
    4. Make any needed home or auto repairs – With a reduced income, it is likely that home and auto repairs have been neglected. Now is the time to address those, as delaying may only worsen the problem. While you’re at it, consider weatherizing your home for the winter months which could result in a nice savings on your utility bills.
    5. Sock away 10 percent into savings – A well-funded savings account is insurance against financial disaster. Today is the time to protect tomorrow by opening and contributing to a savings account.

    Even though saving is important, in this situation it is critical to bring past due accounts current before addressing saving. That will prevent eviction, foreclosure, repossession, and protect your existing credit, while making a significant step toward financial stability. Even though it will be tempting to spend this money on holiday gifts, it is more important to think long-term. Without a steady income in sight, bringing past-due obligations current will allow you to start the New Year on more solid financial ground.

    This guest post was provided by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Money Management International is a member of the NFCC. The NFCC is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. NFCC Members annually help over three million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide.

  • Not spending? Try regifting this holiday season
    Submitted by: Jessica Horton on December 07, 2011

    Holiday spending has undoubtedly been a popular topic this season, but according to a November poll hosted by the NFCC, 40 percent of respondents revealed indicated that they do not intend to spend any money on holiday purchases. Regift it

    If you’re someone who looking to make cuts in your spending this holiday season, but you're not sure how, try regifting! Regifting can be a great way to ensure you have a frugal, yet festive, holiday season, but first, you should brush up on your knowledge and take a course in Regifting 101.

    The path to becoming a regifting master begins by asking yourself the following questions:

    • Is the gift regiftable? Never regift handmade or one-of-a-kind items. Signed books and monogrammed items are off-limits. Do you have to be told not to regift free promotional items? Some gifts that are good candidates for regifting include good (unopened!) bottles of wine, new household items and inexpensive jewelry.
    • How is the condition? Only new, unopened gifts in good condition should be considered for regifting. Never give partially used gift cards. Don’t give items that you have owned for a long time. A general rule of thumb: if you have to dust it off, it is not regiftable.
    • Is this going to work? Successful regifters use common sense. If you are going to regift, be sure you know who gave you the item, so you don’t return something to the original giver. Only regift items to people who are not likely to see the original giver.
    • Do you have good intentions? Don’t just give a gift to give a gift. Be sure that the recipient will appreciate the item. Remember, if you feel that an item is undesirable, the recipient probably will too. If you are regifting simply because you ran out of time, gift cards are simple to obtain and always well received.
    • How does it look? When it comes to gift-giving, go for show! While gift bags in good condition can be reused, wrapping paper is a one-time thing. And be sure to always spring for a new card or gift tag.
    • Can you handle it? If you don’t plan to announce the gift as a regift, ask yourself if you can keep the secret. Never feel guilty about regifting once you’ve done it.
    • Have you considered your options? An unwanted gift could be a welcome donation to a charitable organization. It is also an option to suck it up and keep an unwanted gift — after all, it was a gift.

    If you’re looking for more ways to save during the holidays, check out our new Holiday Headquarters section for tips and resources for cutting back without taking the cheer out of the season. And if you have regifting tips of your own, we’d love for you to share them! Leave a comment on this post or head over to our Regifting forum to share your experiences and ideas with the community.

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