Posts

Image of a credit score with the blog post title: The 5 Components of Your Credit Rating

The 5 Components of Your Credit Rating

Image of a credit score with the blog post title: The 5 Components of Your Credit Rating

BIGG success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is on money, one of the five elements of BIGG success.

Specifically, we want to talk about an asset that is particularly valuable now. Yet it doesn’t show up on your Balance Sheet. It’s your credit rating, or credit score.

Read more

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Should You and Your Spouse Have Separate Accounts?

games Disagreements about how to handle the family finances is often sited as a leading cause of divorce. There seems to be an increasing number who are separating their finances so they don’t separate! This would have been unheard of just a generation or two ago.

___

___

Opposites attract

In many relationships, there is a spender and a saver. Or sometimes you have two spenders who spend differently – one who frequently buys little incidentals that may add up to a lot of money over the course of the year and another one who can’t resist the major purchases.

Is it wrong?

While some people are finding separate accounts the way to go, others think that it’s just wrong. They believe that it’s a bad sign if a couple doesn’t co-mingle their funds.

Does that stem from a time when you had one wage-earner in the home?
Is it a control issue?
Perhaps it has to do with religious beliefs?
Or maybe it’s a trust issue?

We don’t know the answer, but we do know that many couples are making this work.

Why it works

We think keeping separate finances works for a number of reasons. Among them:

  • The saver isn’t frustrated by money being spent on things they think is unwise.

  • The spender doesn’t have to defer gratification so long that they just can’t stand it anymore. 

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

How it works

We’ve seen a number of ways to do this. Here are two examples:

The Allocators. These couples begin by allocating who pays for what. It’s a negotiation process. If you choose this system, determine your respective spending priorities. Then, whenever possible, let each spouse pay for those things they feel are most important. Divvy up the basics however you see fit.

Once you’ve figured out who will pay for what, each spouse then gets to spend, save or invest however they want.

The Allowancers
. Okay, we struggled with a name for this group. That’s the best we could do!

Allowancers may maintain a joint account to pay mutual bills like the mortgage or the utility bills. Then they divvy up the excess as allowances.

But don’t forget to take out the trash or you may lose your allowance!

With their allowance, each spouse can save or spend however they want. One spouse may even save to spend … on that next major purchase.

A final thought

You may have heard us say this before, but our thought on this issue is this:

If it works for you and your family, it works.

It doesn’t matter what other people think or even say. What does matter is that you find a system that helps you keep your finances in order. After all, they are a key component to living out your bigg dreams!

How do you and your partner handle your finances? 

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00326-020909.mp3

Related posts

1231]

272]

(Image in today's post by hisks)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Squirrels, Nuts and Business Cycles

squirrel You might think that our title has something to do with the recent behavior of Wall Street and Washington. It probably could, but in this case, it doesn’t.

___

___

It does refer to seasons. We’re in the Midwestern United States. We’re heading into fall which, of course, means winter is just around the corner. Squirrels are busy hoarding up nuts so they will have the food they need to sustain them through the winter months.

Hot and cold, boom and bust

Like the seasons, our economy moves through times when things are hot and times when they’re cold. We experience booms and busts.

It’s interesting, though, that our friends in the southern hemisphere are just heading into spring. Things are heating up there while they’re cooling down here! It reminds us that most businesses do best during the boom times, but some actually prosper when times are tough.

Almost every business has products or services that will do better when the economy isn’t doing as well. With your offerings, which ones will save your clients money? Those are the items you should promote now as consumers seek to stretch their budget.

Your cash stash

Speaking of stretching our budgets, just like squirrels hoarding nuts for winter, we should all make sure we have an emergency cash reserve. Financial planners recommend keeping between three to six months of living costs stashed safely away for ready access.

In recent times, some have suggested a Home Equity Line-of-Credit could be substituted for this cash reserve. Only you can decide if that’s the right option for you; however, with what’s going on with banks and the credit markets, it may pay not be your best option for your crucial cash stash.

If you own a business, you should also look at your working capital. Is it adequate to take you through a slow season? If not, look for ways to cut your costs so you can shore up your cash hoard.

Purchasing out of season

The seasons also create opportunities for us when we’re purchasing. For example, if you live where we live, you’ll probably get a better deal right now on a lawn mower than a snow blower. Timing your purchase when demand is down on these bigg ticket items can save you money.

Tougher times also create opportunities for us as consumers. Businesses still have bills to pay. They want to keep the doors open. So they may cut deals now that they would never consider in good times.

Purchasing in season

With other items, you’re better off buying in season. Retailers will often lure you to their stores by drastically discounting these items. For example, isn’t turkey cheaper right before Thanksgiving than any other time?

Time Money has a great article about the best time to buy everything. Planning when to buy is just as important as what you buy. Buying on impulse less often will save you BIGG money more often!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

Next time, we ask, “Are you a victim of your own success?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

(Image by tome213)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

I Need Money! Should I Cash Out My Retirement Plan?

frustrationThe financial news seems to be all gloom and doom these days. The reports are that we’re not in a recession, but times are tough for a lot of people.

No matter how tight things get, we still have bills to pay. People are responding to this very intelligently. They’re turning to public transportation, eating out less, seeking cheaper forms of entertainment, and cutting back on unneeded items.

But what do you do if that isn’t enough?

Tapping your retirement plan …

It’s tempting to pull money out of your retirement plan, like a 401(k), especially if you change jobs. In fact, about 40 percent of job changers in their twenties and thirties have done just that, according to a recent report by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

… could cost you $130,000 …

If you’re under 59½, it’s usually not a good idea to cash out your retirement plan. Let’s look at the example that FINRA used:

You’re 30-years old with $20,000 in your 401(k). If you earn just 6% on that money until you retire at 62, you’ll have nearly $130,000 in your account, without making any additional contributions.

… and then some!

Of course, you can start over. But you lose the power of money compounding on top of money on top of more money, all accumulating tax free until you take it out. So it’s like taking at least two steps backward.

But that’s not all. Here are 4 other steps back:

  • You’ll have to pay income taxes out of this money, since it was invested pre-tax.
  • There’s also a 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal (unless you’re over 59½)
  • Your employer is required to withhold 20 percent toward income taxes.
  • If you owe money, your creditors can’t touch your 401(k) unless you cash it out.

By the time you get a check, that $20,000 will probably be more like $14,000 net of everything. So cashing out of your retirement plan is a short-term solution with long-term consequences. 

 

Related posts

860]

214] 

(Image by nighthawk7)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

You Can Be Debt Free with These 5 Steps

By Bigg Success Staff
07-03-08

Bigg Success with Money

money

It’s funny how many people loathe the thought of renting because “it’s just throwing money away”. Yet those same people think nothing of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest on debt (i.e. “rent” money). Debt costs you money that could be spent elsewhere for something more important or more fun.

Too much debt can also cost you time – juggling bills, answering collection calls, and the like. But there’s still a higher price for excessive debt. It creates stress and worry. Your health may suffer as well.

So getting out of debt is a worthy goal. Here are five steps to do it:

Step 1: Stop adding to it

As long as you’re adding to your debt, you’ll never be financially free. So make a point to pay for everything you buy. If you can’t pay for it when you buy it, don’t buy it.

Step 2: Find a reserve

Now, you just have to go one step further and things can really start going your way. Spend a little bit less than you make every month. We have a great thought-starter on how to do it called 860 63 Moves to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck].

This little bit of money is like a tiny snowball at the top of the hill. It will start rolling down the hill and get bigger and bigger. That is, this little bit of money you’re saving each month is going to set you free from the burdens of living with a lot of debt. 

Step 3: Pick either your highest cost or your lowest balance liability

Next, look at what you owe. Pick either the debt that’s costing you the most money (i.e. the debt with the highest interest rate) or the outstanding account you have with the smallest balance.

The first one (the highest interest rate) is the best move for you financially, as long as you follow through on your plan to pay off your debt. But the second one may work better for you because it delivers the quickest psychological rewards, so you’re more likely to stick with your plan. The key thing is to pick a strategy and go for it.

Step 4: Use your reserve

Now you’re going to take that reserve from Step 2 and apply it to the account you picked in Step 3, along with your regular payment. Keep going until that account is paid off. The snowball is starting to get bigger now!

Step 5: Double down and repeat

You’ve paid off one account. Now take all the money you were paying on that account, including the reserve from Step 2, and apply it to the regular payment on another account. Keep doing this until you’ve got all your debt paid off!

 



Related posts

38]

How To Get Rich

154]

199]

214]

310] 

(Image by nursin)