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The Money Minute - January 2012 

In this Issue

 

Pay Off Debt!

That was how sixty-six percent of people responded to last month’s poll question “What are your financial resolutions for 2012”? That is a strong indicator that consumers are focused on reducing their debt and veering away from incurring more accounts that would continue to jeopardize them financially. 

Read the entire article.

 

The Best Time to Buy

Many people know that the best time to buy wrapping paper is after the holiday season.  Did you know that many of the items that you buy regularly are available at lower prices, if only you knew the right time to buy them?

 Read the entire article.

 

What is Your Money Personality?

Everybody has a money personality and it determines how you manage your money. Knowing yours can give you the insight you need to better control your personal finances.

To find out more about money personalities and to answer the money personality poll, visit the Money Personality Quick Tip

 

20 Financial Resolutions for the New Year

2012 is here and now is a perfect time for consumers to review their financial behaviors that could be prohibiting them from reaching their financial goals.  Apprisen Financial Advocates suggests reviewing the following financial tips and make a commitment to incorporate a minimum of 5 into your routine.

Read the entire article.

 

Pay Off Debt!!

That was how sixty-six percent of people responded to last month’s poll question “What are your financial resolutions for 2012”? That is a strong indicator that consumers are focused on reducing their debt and veering away from incurring more accounts that would continue to jeopardize them financially.  However positive it is to decrease debt, consumers should not dismiss the importance of savings .  Sixteen percent of those weighing in stated that they wanted to build an emergency fund and ten percent wanted to start a savings program.  Without the security of having money in the bank when life’s events happen, a challenging financial situation could become catastrophic.
 
Paying off debt and increasing savings are very attainable goals.  But you must have a plan in place to achieve these goals.  That plan is “the budget” and only 8 percent of respondents replied that that they will create a budget in the upcoming year.  The word “budget” is a lot like the word “diet”; you are either on it or off it. It doesn’t have to be that way.  Setting up a budget, like going on a diet, is a lifestyle change.  Some days you are better at it than others, but you have to do it.  To begin this process of setting up a budget: 

  • Write down your goals.  A few examples might be to pay off $5,000 of debt or put $200 a month in a savings account.
  • Make your goal specific.  A goal to “start saving” is too vague and doesn’t give you a target to aim for. Place this written goal in a place where you can see it. Create a chart that you can fill in as you make progress.  This visual reminder and charting of your successes will keep you motivated.
  • Track your expenses to see where your money is going.
  • Create your budget.  Use our budget worksheet (link to website) to begin identifying your expenses and allocating every dollar that comes into your household into a category.

Let 2012 be the year that you achieve your financial goals.  Every journey begins with one step and Apprisen is here to help.  Visit the resource page on our website to get further information and tools to help you get and stay on track with your finances. 

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The Best Time to Buy

Many people know that the best time to buy wrapping paper is after the holiday season.  But did you know that best time to buy gas is either in the early morning or late afternoon depending on if the prices are rising or falling?  Gas stations usually change their prices between 10 am and noon, so hit the pump early morning if gas prices are on the rise.  Go later in the day if prices are falling.  Bargain lovers know that there’s a smart time to buy just about anything.  Apprisen has compiled a list of commonly purchased items to help the bargain shopper in all of us.

Airplane Tickets
When to buy: On a Wednesday, 21 days (or a couple of days earlier) before your flight.
Why: Airlines make major pricing changes (and run fare sales) every week, typically on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. About 21 days out from your flight, you'll begin to see plenty of deals out there as airlines scramble to fill seats.

Cars
When to buy: Weekday mornings  in September.
Why: By September, all the next year's models have arrived at the lot and dealers are desperate to get rid of the current year's leftovers. It's the prime time of year for incentives and sales, not to mention bargaining. Early week day mornings tend to see little traffic on car lots and your salesman may be willing to deal if he can close the first sale of the day.

Groceries
When to buy: Sunday evenings.
Why: Store sales tend to run Wednesday through Tuesday. On Sunday, you'll also have the latest round of manufacturer's coupons from your morning paper.  Heading to the store close to closing time means you'll have access to sales on fresh items that must be sold by the end of the day, such as meats and baked goods.

Wedding Dresses
When to buy: Between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Why: Boutiques are stocked up on dresses for the post-Christmas rush (many people get engaged over the holidays), yet traffic is low you'll have room to bargain.

Electronics
When to buy: Just after a new model is launched.
Why: When the latest and greatest of a product is released, you'll often see prices drop on what had previously been the best thing out there. You can also time your purchases after big annual technology shows, which usually occur in January.

Clothing
When to buy: Thursday evenings, six to eight weeks after an item arrives in stores.
Why: After an item lingers in stores a month or more, retailers start dropping its price to get it out the door. Hitting the mall on a weekday ensures you'll get a good selection. By Thursday, most of the weekend sales have begun, but everything available is on the floor.

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20 Financial Resolutions for the New Year

2012 is here and now is a perfect time for consumers to review their financial behaviors that could be prohibiting them from reaching their financial goals.  Jana Root, Spokesman for Apprisen Financial Advocates, suggests reviewing the following financial tips and make a commitment to incorporate a minimum of 5 into your routine.  Once you are experiencing success with those, add a few more!!  It is taking this process one step at a time that will lead to a brighter, more financially fit future!!

  1. Evaluate the cost of your current lifestyle
  2. Track every penny of your spending for two weeks
  3. Save your change
  4. Change one spending behavior a week and put that money you would have spent in your savings account
  5. Write down your short term, mid term and long term financial goals and put them in a place where you can see them everyday
  6. Take care of your own financial responsibilities before taking on those of others
  7. Give yourself a weekly cash allowance for food and entertainment
  8. Teach your children the difference between wants and needs
  9. Plan your weekly food menu and shop with a list accordingly
  10. Don’t go out shopping without a specific purchase in mind
  11. Know the terms and conditions of every credit agreement before you sign them
  12. Be a savvy shopper, do your homework to find coupons and sales before you leave the house
  13. Refuse to pay bank fees!!  Go only to network ATMs and use a check register to record your account balance
  14. Know what is on your credit report. You are entitled to one free copy from each credit bureau once a year from www.annualcreditreport.com
  15. Participate in your company’s 401k plan
  16. If you subscribe to multiple coupon sites and can’t turn down a good deal, unsubscribe
  17. Don’t cosign on a loan if you are not prepared to pay for it
  18. Recycle clothing through consignment shops
  19. Create a plan to pay down debt
  20. Start Today!!  If you need help seek out Apprisen Financial Advocates to assist you in reaching all of your financial goals

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