Tag Archives: money

Don’t Get Caught Without It

31 Jan

Working at a credit union taught me a lot about money. I’ve always been pretty good with money, but there I saw many people’s mistakes and learned how to avoid them. One of the things I saw a bunch of times was people who had $0 in their saving accounts. Even a minor emergency could set them back for months, because they failed to prepare. Life can take you for an unexpected at any time. Illness, injuries, job loss, and relationship problems are all reasons to have an emergency fund.

You may say, “that’ll never happen to me.” And hopefully, nothing bad ever does happen to you. But the reality is emergencies are never planned. Life might be amazing for you right now, but that won’t stop an unexpected expense from popping up.

Bottom line – we all need emergency funds. Money expert Michelle Singletary recommends having a bare minimum of 3 months of your salary set aside. Having a year of your salary saved is even better. That takes A LOT of time to build, but it’s worth it.

So, how can you save that much? Here are 5 things I did to start my emergency saving account:

  1. Set small goals. Saying you need a year’s worth of your salary saved is too large of a goal to start with. It’s actually pretty overwhelming to think of saving that much. I began by identifying how much my average pay check was. Then, I made that goal #1. Once I hit that goal, I kept going. I’m nowhere close to a year of pay set aside, but slowly but surely, I’m getting there. Even Suze Orman knows it may take years to save this much. But you’ll never get there if you don’t start.
  2. Treat savings like a bill. Make it so saving money isn’t even an option. Figure out what you can cut out of your current spending, and put that money into your savings account.
  3. Out of sight, out of mind.  Your emergency fund should be somewhere you can get to it in a real emergency, but not in a fashion emergency. So, take it out of the bank where you do your regular spending & bill pay. If you can, have your job deduct it out of your paycheck and direct deposited somewhere else. Eventually, you may forget about the money, until you need it. Use an online tool to find a savings account that has high interest (this way your savings will make you money, too).
  4. Unexpected money isn’t yours. It belongs to your savings account. If you aren’t using your tax return to pay a bill, then it needs to go to your savings. And, as tempting as it may be to spend your work bonus on yourself, the majority of the money needs to go to savings. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
  5. Don’t Quit. If you must take a break from savings, hop back on the horse quickly. Using your emergency funds for an emergency, is fine. But work quickly to replace the money you took out.
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2016!

1 Jan

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 7.09.56 PMI won’t exactly call the following “resolutions.” Some of these things I’ve already been doing, and I just want to continue and improve in the coming year. And while some of these are new, I’m taking a new approach to how I go about reaching my goals. Therefore, I’ll call these “Areas of Focus.” Here goes:

  1. Focus on going back to school – For me this is important in developing myself as a career focused woman. I’ve decided to get my MBA (possibly with a focus in marketing.) The reason for an MBA, is that business is important in any career path I may choose, and I think having the knowledge that comes with an MBA will be super important as I grow in my career.
    • Study for and take the GRE
    • Find suitable programs
    • Develop a personal statement
    • Apply for schools
  2. Focus on helping your community – This is important for obvious reasons. I want to make an impact on others, especially others who may not have the resources to help themselves. For me, it’ll be important to use my skill set and interests to help out. So, maybe manual labor won’t be my thing, but fundraising, and organizing are definitely up my alley.
  3. Focus on becoming more interesting – I often feel like I should be doing more, but what is that exactly. In 2016, I plan to find out, by:
    • Getting into wedding planning. This is something I’ve always been interested in, and now I just need focus on doing it.
    • Writing more. (Hence this post and the ones to come.) I’ll be using my website a lot more in 2016!
    • Travel more. My goal to see all 50 states isn’t complete, so maybe I can scratch off another state this year.
  4. Focus on creating a healthy lifestyle – I won’t make this a typical resolution by saying “lose X amount of pounds,” but it’s critical that I become more healthy.
    • Cook more. When it comes to being healthy, cooking and eating in your house beats eating out like 99% of the time. (Made up fact. lol)
    • Create a food routine. It’s not a cheat day if I do it all the time. Packing my breakfasts and lunches and only eating out once a week is the goal for me.
    • Be active. Obviously this is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. I have a gym membership that could get used a whole lot more. Walking and getting fresh air is also good for your body.
  5. Focus of being more fiscally responsible – I’ve got #HouseGoals (March 2017). So, I’m saving for a down payment. But, I know that buying a house is more than just having a down payment. I need to have emergency funds saved, as well as money for furniture, and bills. Ideally, I’d like to have my auto loan and credit card bills all down to $0 before buying a house, so that’s also a big 2016 focus for me. Learning to tell myself no is also a part of my focus on finances. Being fiscally responsible and constant impulse buys just don’t work together.

My Problem With Web Series

15 Aug

There’s a reason television shows come on weekly. When an audience falls in love with (or loves to hate) a character, that audience wants to know what’s going to happen next. In general, people are impatient and have short attention spans. And, even when you do love a character, most people don’t want to wait a month (or more) for another 7 minute episode to come out. 

Now, I understand the simple problem that many internet sensations have. Money! Producing a quality series costs money. If you don’t have a big production company, or a network behind you, the money is going to come slowly.  Thus, crowd funding is used. Some producers of the web series depend on audiences to donate money to aid in the continuation of the product.

 

While KickStarter, and the like, are great resources, they have to be used constructively. From a potential “investor,” these are my suggestions: 

  1. You can’t expect people to donate their hard earned money after seeing just one episode of a show. You need to first start with your own money, and the support of your family and friends. If you can’t gather enough support from the people who already know you, how do you think you’ll get it from strangers?
  2. Consistency is key!  If you can only afford to produce one episode a month, be honest with yourself. Maybe, you should produce your entire first season, taking your time, and then release the episodes one by one. But please don’t release the first 3 episodes in a weeks time, and then make your audience wait forever for the next one. Also, I don’t want to play guessing games about when the next episode is arriving. If you claim Thursdays at 6 as your release time, then stick with it. 
  3. Be original. This seems obvious enough. But, I’ve seen one or two series that immediately remind me of The Office. Why would I watch your show when I can see the real Pam, Jim, and Dwight on my television?
  4. Interact with your audience. A great benefit of a web series, as opposed to a television series, is that you have direct access to your fans. If I have a feeling of friendship, a connection to the people behind the show, I’ll be more likely to part with my money. 

My opinions aren’t to help create a web series, I’ve never done that and don’t know how. But I do know when I’m compelled to tune-in and more importantly, support financially.