Money Talk With Slater

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The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund 

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Your emergency fund can cover your expenses if you lose your job unexpectedly.

Your future self will thank you for creating an emergency fund now. It’s vital to set aside emergency savings can help you get in case your home requires an emergency repair or something more serious such as losing your job.

Having an emergency fund is one of the most critical things you can do. It’s part of adulting. Your savings must be able to cover your big expenses for three to five months.

Having a solid emergency fund gives you peace of mind. No one wants to live from paycheck to paycheck and not being able to pay the rent or a car repair away from not being able to get to the j-o-b.

It also offers you freedom. If you decide to leave a relationship or your boss gets so unbearable that you have to leave before finding another job or you want to go back to school or begin your own business, having an emergency fund gives you the freedom to do these things.

Keeping that money apart from the money you use to pay bills can help curb frivolous spending.

Sometimes when you see a huge number in your checking account you get a little big-headed a little more irresponsible Keeping the money separate can help you evade temptation.

What is an Emergency?

You must only dip into your emergency funds for a true emergency, such as to keep yourself afloat between jobs, for an auto repair, a medical expense, or a home repair. You can’t use your emergency fund for things such as a shopping spree, to buy a new cell phone or laptop, or to go on vacation.

How Much Should You Save?

Your emergency fund has to be 3-5 months of expenses. That sounds like a lot and it is but remembers, that number can be your bare-bones cost. If you were to lose your job your spending would be different than it is when you have money constantly coming in.


Reasons to Have a Piggy Bank

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In an effort to encourage all to save, we want to showcase one of the simplest, convenient ways to save: the piggy bank.

Piggy banks are a great way to save money from childhood all the way to adulthood.

Each person gets a piggy bank at some point in his or her childhood. It’s one of the most efficient ways for parents to teach their kids the value of saving money instead of spending it. More importantly, the piggy bank is also a great reminder for parents and young adults who might have failed to recall the significance of saving.

Here are the reasons why everyone, young or old, must have a piggy bank:

It helps keep loose change. Rather than losing all those nickels, dimes, and especially pennies under the couch cushion, in the bottom of your purse, hold onto them and put them inside a piggy bank. Not only will this aid in cleaning up the car and house, but it will also further strengthen good money savings habits.

Sets a great example 

Piggy banks are an effective and easy way to teach children about the importance of saving. They may not be saving up for a huge purchase, but they might want to save up for something, whether it’s a new toy, a new bike, or new clothing. Teaching them the advantages of using a piggy bank will go a big way in the future.

Reinforces “Always Be Saving” 

Saving should constantly be top of the mind when it comes to money. As the saying goes, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” It doesn’t matter if you’re putting some of your pay into a savings account or putting change into a piggy bank, every little bit helps. With a piggy bank, you’re able to see your money increase every time you save. This is a good habit to keep even throughout your adult life.


The Cons of a 529 Plan

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While there are advantages to using 529 plans as an investment for college funds, there are some huge cons to consider:

While 529 plans are a great idea to help save up for your child’s college, they have some disadvantages too.

You have to use the money for college
If you don’t use the money you invest in a 529 savings plan for college tuition, you will be penalized when you take out the money to use it for something else. Also, both your state and the federal government will tax the earnings on your account in your present tax bracket.

It could affect your financial aid eligibility
Currently, financial aid eligibility isn’t disturbed much by 529 plans, college savings plans or pre-paid tuition plans since these plans are thought to be part of the parents’ assets in the calculation of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward college costs.

Your investment options are limited
Even though your 529 savings plan is tax-deferred, you might give up the chance to change your mind about where to invest your money. Meaning, if you discover a mutual fund that is growing more in interest than your 529 plan and desire to move your money, then you will be subject to a penalty.

Your investing window may be tight

Many plans have an all-in-one fund that’s just like a target-date fund. It’s created to own more stocks when your child is young and more bonds and cash equivalents, such as money market mutual funds when he or she nears college.

If you have a late start, you could find yourself stuck in a close investing time frame.

Put off saving until your child leaves daycare, for instance, and you’ll have just around 13 years to grow a college fund.

Since you’ll need to get into asset-preservation mode six to seven years before the child starts college, you’ll honestly have only around five years on the front end to put in your portfolio higher-yielding stocks or CDs.


The Pros of a 529 Plan 

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Before you invest in any sort of college savings plan, you might want to consider the pros and cons that it provides. The information here could help you as you consider using a 529 plan to have college funds for your child.

The benefits of a 529 plan

Here are some good reasons to invest in a 529 college plan for our child’s college fund:

529 College Saving plans are a great way to ensure that your child can get a good education.

529 plans are tax-deferred investments
When you invest in a 529 college savings plan, your withdrawals will probably be tax-free. It’s always smart to check IRS Publication to be sure. Until now, this tax-free provision was made to expire in 2010, but, thanks to current changes to the law, it seems to be an advantage that will be around for years.

Your account grows interest
529 plans work like mutual funds. Some states’ plans might work differently, but most invest your money in stocks and bonds in the chance that it will grow faster than a regular bank savings account. Most plans do a very solid job of managing your money.

An automatic investment option
Many plans provide an automatic investment choice which lets the 529 college plan take out a certain amount of money every month from your checking or savings account. You decide the amount and better yet, you get to enjoy hands-free investing that aids in preventing you from spending your money on something else. You will have money in the bank!

You can contribute as much as you want
College savings 529 plans let you put in as much money as you want. Pre-paid tuition plans, sadly, do not. They limit the amount of money you can put in annually the same as an IRA. While unlimited savings sounds wonderful, be cautious not to put yourself into a corner by saving too much.



Is Bitcoin Over? 

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The worth of internet cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin rose in recent years, with bitcoin chalking up a rise of over 1,500 per-cent from around $1,000 per coin to more than $18,000 between January and December. Since climbing to this fever pitch, though, the cryptocurrency market has lost almost three-quarters of its value, losing over $500b (£393bn) in a steep sell-off that puts the recent decline of the Turkish lira in the dark.

Bitcoin is in a downward spiral.

The price of a Bitcoin is now about $6,245, a 68 per-cent drop in recent months. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, has suffered a similar slide. It is down over 80 per-cent from around $1,400 to $173 a coin over the same period. Lastly, Ripple, the third-largest, is down 92 per-cent, from around $3.20 a coin to $0.26.

Downward spiral

Experts say numerous factors drove the decline. One of the most critical is the refusal of the US regulators to approve a number of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) based on Bitcoin because of concerns over the security of exchanges.

Mark Ward, head of execution at Sanlam UK, said: “A lot was waiting on that ETF approval and it hasn’t come as the SEC just doesn’t think cryptocurrencies are secure enough for the mainstream currency.” This unwillingness was reinforced by the largest cryptocurrency hack on record: in January $534m was taken from Japanese exchange Coincheck, dwarfing the notorious hack on MountGox in 2014. Other raids recently are those on South Korean exchanges Coinrail and Bithumb, which lost £37m and $30m respectively.

Other noted factors for the crypto crash are the increasing price of mining the bigger currencies, many warnings from central banks, and a surge of selling among crypto entrepreneurs. Though, for some money specialists, really what we are seeing is the end of a trend.

Taking a Vacation on a Budget

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Taking a family vacation doesn’t have to make the family broke. If you are willing to be flexible about opportunities and timing, you can get a good deal. From money-saving strategies to bargain destinations, here’s the 411 to creating the perfect budget-friendly family vacation with kids.

The secret to arranging an affordable family vacation is developing a game plan that’s surefire and simple. Here’s how to craft a no-fail plan that will guarantee you are forever able to have a great getaway at an affordable cost.

If it’s May, it’s that time for getaways from the professional travel groups. The spring is the time for travel sales have savings of up to 60% off regular prices. Every year, over 25% of the US top travel brands have teamed up with the U.S.T.A. to provide travel deals not available anywhere else.

Dying to get away but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Get the kids and get to packing. Memorial Day weekend is one of the year’s best secret seasons. Impulsive travelers can get some of the largest savings.

The simplest way to keep family vacation costs low? Choose a place in driving distance of where you reside.

These travel deal websites will hook you up with incredible getaway deals close to where you live. Sign up for alerts and newsletters using a new e-mail account just for vacation info.

For vacations where it makes more sense to fly, sign up for alerts from sites that follow airfares. If you pick just one, make it AirfareWatchdog, which allows you to get alerts based on your home airport. This way, you’re always in the know about which destination is having a great sale and you can be the first to book tickets. This year, make that family vacation dream come true!

Manage Your Finances When You’re Laid Off

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No one is exempt from layoffs. Whether you’re 20 or 50, odds are that sooner or later you will find yourself, usual through no fault of your own, out of a job. So it’s only logic to plan ahead. Many money advisers recommend saving equal to six months’ salary to help you if you find yourself unemployed. You will possibly need more, particularly if you have a family and are the main bread winner.

Some things you can’t plan for

However, most of us don’t think about this scenario until we are really laid off. So what do you do if you haven’t organized your finances?

Determine How You Are Spending Your Money

When times are good, most people don’t consider how they spend money. We know how much the rent, car note, or mortgage is, but we don’t give much attention to daily spending. How much do we spend eat out at restaurants? What is your grocery bill every week? What about insurance and energy costs? Being more conscious of how you spend your money will make you think about spending it more wisely. Especially when you don’t have a check coming in every two weeks.

See Where You Can Cut Back

If you’re going to be laid off, you need to create a plan for reducing expenses. Create a budget that removes most unnecessary expenses, but don’t entirely remove entertainment. You need to keep up your spirits and stay in touch with your contacts. Though, you can reduce these expenses significantly. Find cheap places to go out to drink and eat. Go to budget movies instead of plays, always getting the reduced admissions. Don’t give up the gym but think about joining a less costlier one, unless you use the gym to network. Crank your thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter.

Save on Your Monthly Grocery Bill

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After transportation and housing costs, food takes up a lot of the average household’s budget than anything else. You’ve always seeking ways to cut your transportation and housing. Now let’s look at a couple of ways to trim your food budget. You can do it without having to starve to death.

Set a Budget, and Stick to It

These are the first and last words in trimming your grocery bill. It’s all about setting goals. You will never be successful unless you are clear on what you are attempting to do.

The simplest way to begin with a grocery budget is to save a couple of receipts, figure out how much you typically spend on average, then deduct 10% from that amount. If you easily accomplish this, you can go ahead and reduce your budget even more.

Don’t Shop the Same Store Each Week

Shopping multiple stores is important to paying less for food, but it’s a strategy that many folks balk at because it might be time consuming. Here’s the way it works. You don’t have to shop at three stores every week, wasting time and gas running from store to store. Instead, be smart. When your store sales paper arrives, find the best deals in the stores around you, then pick which store will help you save the most this week.


From everyone who does it, you can believe that coupons are worth the time they take to load on a store card, print, or clip. Digital coupon for stores bring around 45% in savings.

You can save more than 50% every week using them. Some stores offer freebies every week too. It pays tremendously to get a store card. Consider this, if you use just five $1 coupons every week on items you frequently buy, you save over $200 every year.

Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance

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A good way to keep your auto insurance costs low is to have a good driving record. Bet you didn’t know that having one not only saves lives but saves money as well.

Below are some things you can do to reduce your auto insurance costs.

Shop around

Prices differ from company to company. Ergo, it pays to shop around. Have at least three price quotes. You can contact companies directly or get information on the web. Your state insurance department may also offer comparisons of prices by big name auto insurers.

You get insurance to safeguard you financially and give peace of mind. It’s vital to choose a company that is financially stable. Look at the financial health of insurance companies with rating companies like Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best.

Get quotes from different sorts of insurance companies. A few sell through their own agents. These places have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell via independent agents who provide policies from many insurance companies. Some don’t use agents. They sell right to customers via the web or over the phone.

Don’t shop by price alone. Ask relatives and friends for their suggestions. Call the insurance department of your state to see if they give out info on company’s consumer complaints. Choose a company or agent who takes the time to answer your questions. Make a checklist to help you compare quotes from insurers.

Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs

Before you buy a used or new car, look at insurance costs. Car insurance premiums are based some on the car’s price, repair costs, the safety record and the probability of theft. Many insurers provide discounts for features that lessens the risk of theft or injury. To help you choose which car to buy, you can obtain information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Cut Costs and Save Some Money Every Month

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Want to take control of your money? By making a few little changes, you can begin now with a plan to get your spending and savings back on track.

From cable bills to everyday spending habits, these tips will aid you to save more, reduce spending, and get on the right track to financial success!

Have Goals

You might feel that first on our list should be the well-known New Year’s resolutions we’ve become so used to every year. But since New Year’s resolutions tend to flop by January 2nd  every year, goal setting is a much better choice.

Establishing goals is a habit for folks who win with money, and it should become a habit for you as well. Research has shown that just by having a goal for something it gets you closer to that goal instead of not having any goals at all.

A critical part of this equation is ensuring your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time oriented. Yes, SMART! Once you have a goal in mind that has all these attributes, slice your goal into little pieces or milestones that you can hit more simpler. Once you get to each milestone, rejoice. This will aid in encouraging you as you go forward toward your financial goals.

Also, jot down your financial goals and place them in an noticeable place so you see them often, like on your mantle, refrigerator, or front door.

Negotiate prices

Did you know that you can negotiate a price in nearly any kind of buying situation? Make your money work for you the right way!

Though you might have formerly thought negotiation was only for big purchases like cars and homes, you can also negotiate online and at retail stores. You can even negotiate to get your bills reduced.