Tag: Life Hacks

 

The Best Halloween Costumes That Cost $20 Or Less

Halloween isn’t just for kids. In fact, many adults love the spooky, candy-filled holiday.

Besides getting your fill of your favorite candy, you may have your sights set on hosting or attending a Halloween party this year. If this is the case, you’ll need to scare up a costume. But, of course, you probably want to come up with a costume that won’t break the bank and blow through your hard-earned savings.

Take a look at 10 costume ideas that will give you the best boo for your buck:

Pumpkin Pie

For this costume, you’ll start with a simple orange shirt. From there, you can draw a pie on felt, cut it out and glue it onto your orange shirt. To top it off, create a whipped cream topping by adding cotton balls or fluff to a regular black headband. Voila, pumpkin pie has arrived!

50 Shades of Grey

This idea is also easy peasy – and cheap to make. You’ll need a black or grey shirt, and a bunch of grey paint samples swatches from your local hardware store. To attach the paint samples to your shirt, use glue or double-sided tape. Aim to glue on 50 shades of grey. Get it?

A Target Employee

Here’s yet another costume that starts off with a simple shirt. You’ll need a red-collared shirt, a pair of khakis, a black belt and black boots. Create a name tag and write your name on it. Clip on either a fake or real walkie-talkie, and your outfit is good to go.

An Emoji

There are many variations of this costume. A few of the cheaper options would be the dancer emoji (just wear a red dress and a flower in your hair) or the person with bunny ears (you’ll need a blue or purple T-shirt and bunny ears). You can even create the dancing duo (black shorts and a T-shirt with black bunny ears) if you’re coordinating costumes with someone else.

A Nerd

You most likely have the makings for this costume in your home somewhere – meaning you may not have to spend any money at all. For a few ideas: Wear a plaid or collared shirt with pants and suspenders (or a bowtie), throw on a pair of glasses, and carry around a calculator.

If you don’t have a pair of glasses or if you don’t want to ruin your good pair, wear some cheapo glasses that you can purchase at your local dollar store. To take things up a notch, break the glasses in half and tape them together with white masking tape.

Aerobics Trainer

This is yet another outfit idea that you may have sitting around your house. To transform into an 80s aerobics trainer, you’ll need some crazy print leggings, a bodysuit to layer over them, and leg warmers. You’ll also need either a big ponytail holder or an extra wide pink headband. Finish the look off with some wild and crazy blue eyeshadow, bright pink or orange blush, and a bubblegum pink lip color.

If you don’t have these items, they can easily be found at a thrift store, keeping your cost under $20. And, if you don’t like makeup or don’t want to buy it, you don’t have to wear it. It just adds a little more pizzazz to the costume.

An Extreme Couponer

If you get the weekly newspaper, or if you can get your hands on some expired coupons, an extreme couponer is a great (and almost free) halloween costume. Some ideas include carrying around the coupons in your hand or taping them to your clothes. You can also carry grocery bags of empty food boxes for good measure. Why not show off the deals you scored?

A Shopaholic

If you want to be the opposite of an extreme couponer, become a shopaholic. All you need for this costume is a lot of random shopping bags. You can either use old ones that you have lying around in the house, or start collecting them while out shopping.

Or, if you’re willing to get a little more creative, you can always go to a mall and ask the local store employees for extra bags. Some won’t care and will gladly help you out, but others may require you to buy something. If this is the case, move onto the next store.

Rosie the Riveter

An oldie but goodie, Rosie the Riveter is a DIY woman’s dream costume. All you need is a chambray top, a red bandana, red lipstick, and red heels or flats. If you can fit them in your budget, you can also throw in some temporary tattoos for your “flashin’ the guns” arm.

If you don’t own a chambray top, the best and cheapest option would be to grab one at the thrift store or borrow one. If you don’t have red shoes, it’s also fine to wear your regular shoes. People will be staring at the lipstick and bandana so they may not even notice your footwear.

A Jellyfish

This is a unique and inexpensive crowd-pleaser. To create a jellyfish costume, start with a white umbrella. Then, glue white ribbon or string to the bottom of the umbrella, making sure that it’s long enough to float all the way to the ground when you’re standing under the umbrella. From there, you can wear all white, gold or silver. Neon colors also work well if you’ll be partying throughout the night.

Go as Whatever You Want

At the end of the day, Halloween is supposed to be fun. If these costumes don’t interest you, there are hundreds of DIY and cheap costumes that you can make or buy. The most important thing to remember is that Halloween doesn’t have to break your bank.

 

The Rise of the Holiday Side Hustle

It’s autumn and you know what that means? Time to increase your budget as the holidays get closer. Before you know it Thanksgiving will be here and then, of course, there’s Christmas.

Holidays are not cheap and you may have to start stashing more money into your savings account – starting right now.

While creating a budget for holiday spending will help you build up a cash reserve, there’s yet another key way to generate extra money: Get a side hustle. Indeed, holiday season side hustling is the new “in” thing.

Want to learn more about how a side hustle can help you pay for your holiday expenses and achieve your money goals? Read on to learn more.

How Popular is the Holiday Side Hustle?

Holiday temporary jobs are nothing new. Many families need to increase their income as this time of year approaches. Taking on a part-time weekend or evening job to help out is a common solution. During the fall season, side hustles tend to pick up, especially when it comes to flexible gigs like driving for a ride service, walking dogs or mystery shopping.

In 2017, about 44 million Americans reported that they had a side hustle or second job during the holidays, and that number is increasing every year. In fact, by 2020, about 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers.

So, how can a side hustle during the holidays help you? Take a look:

  • You’ll Have More Cash Flow

Eighty-one percent of people who side hustle do so to earn more money and the average monthly income from a side hustle is about $686. While there are many side hustles that can be done around the holidays, including working retail or selling items online, the best side hustle for you is a gig you enjoy that helps you earn extra cash.

  • You’ll Have Financial Security

With nearly four in 10 Americans side hustling, it’s safe to say that secondary sources of income are going to continue growing. In fact, Gen Xers and Millennials are leading the pack with more than seven out of 10 of them side hustling. The reason? A side gig offers financial security, especially around the holidays when expenses start rising.

In recent years, some companies have even resorted to layoffs during the holiday season, sometimes just a few weeks before or after Thanksgiving and Christmas. With the fear and anticipation of not being fully secure in 9-to-5 jobs, Americans are now ramping up their side hustles.

Indeed, by taking on a second gig over the holiday season, this gives you an opportunity to save more money, readily pay for holiday gifts, and not worry about whether you’ll have enough cash to pay your bills on time.

  • You Can Avoid Accumulating Debt

Did you know that the average American will rack up about $1,000 or more during the holidays? In the age of instant gratification and expensive technology, more people are turning to credit cards and personal loans  just to have enough money to buy Christmas presents.

However, if you have a side hustle, you can avoid this debt trap. Budgeting and saving can only do so much, especially when the average household has over $5,000 in credit card debt. So, maybe this is the year you should try out that side hustle you’ve been considering. It sure beats staring at an exorbitant credit card bill come January.

  • You Can Put Your Skills to Use

Regardless of what type of side hustle you choose, try to find something you’re good at.

For example, are you a skilled handyman? Maybe you can pick up some side gigs fixing things for your neighbors or assembling furniture. Or, are you a talented graphic artist? Maybe you can take on some clients on the side and help them redesign their logos or brochures.

By doing something you love, your side hustle will help you in more ways than one: You’ll have renewed job satisfaction and you’ll earn enough dough to buy your holiday gifts without stressing about how you’ll pay for them.

Should you join the hype?

With side hustles offering the freedom and the ability to earn extra cash, it comes as no surprise that they are becoming increasingly common.

Starting a side hustle to earn extra dough is a great idea any time of the year, but especially leading up to the holiday season. Are you ready to do the holiday side hustle and start saving more money today?

 

Are There Any Totally Free Checking Accounts?

When you begin a new career, a major concern is making your salary last until the next one comes along. A lot of people have a hard time managing their finances because they do not have a proper way of managing and saving their money. Some are not aware that they are already spending more of their pay than they should. Overspending can lead to other problems like inability to pay the bills, for example. Not a good way to be financially stable, right?

So how do you avoid those kinds of problems? That’s where banks come into the picture. Some people may doubt their money’s safety, but keeping money in the bank is a lot safer than just hiding it in your house. It is less likely to get stolen or lost and more importantly, banks help you manage your finances wisely with the use of their banking accounts.

Banking fees, unfortunately, can pose a big problem for consumers. It’s just not ideal for some. There are fees which can be avoided temporarily but not permanently. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a solution to avoiding banking fees completely, like a totally free checking account?

Do You Really Need A Checking Account?

A bank account lets you have the freedom to budget your money according to your spending habits. Bank statements allow you to keep track of your transactions and see how you use your money. You might be scared of putting your money in a bank, but it’s a lot safer than keeping it in your own home where there’s a higher chance of losing it or get stolen. Also, without a bank account and card, carrying your cash everywhere is probably not a good idea.

A checking account may be the best bet for fresh graduates or first-time employees. It is a basic financial management tool that helps young adults to keep their money in order to pay the bills, groceries, and other things. Even without cash in hand, you could still use your checking account as a form of payment. Why give yourself the trouble when you can just carry a debit card instead?

The Right Account For You

Checking is the type of bank account that is perfect for those who value convenience when it comes to their money. A checking account comes with a debit card which is probably the most convenient and easiest way to pay. Most businesses and services now accept it as payment for their goods. It automatically debits the payment straight from your account and deducts it from your available balance. Debit cards are more suitable for day-to-day expenses.

A checking account also creates a safe place for your pay be directly deposited. Nowadays, most banks offer this option to their consumers. It is especially useful when managing your finances since the direct deposit feature allows you to receive your pay earlier than usual. You won’t even have to wait for your employer to give you your paycheck and then line up at the bank to deposit it.

Some advantages of owning a checking account:

  1. It is safe and secure. Keeping your money in your checking account at a bank guarantees better safekeeping and accountability..
  2. It is very convenient. A checking account offers checks or a debit card as forms of payment. Both methods are widely accepted by stores and merchants. You also get a record for each transaction so it makes things easier to manage.
  3. It is very accessible. Banks are now using the internet and smartphones for banking purposes. Almost every bank has their own mobile applications and websites where you can easily access your account through your smartphone or your computer.

While these are great advantages of having a checking account, there are also disadvantages.

Maybe the most common reason why people steer clear of a checking account is the banking fees that come with it. The fees that are included are overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, minimum opening deposit, ATM fees, foreign transaction fees, and card replacement fees.

Choosing a Bank

Another important consideration before opening a bank account is which among the many banks are you willing to put your money in. It is essential to pick a bank where you feel safe and what they offer is aligned with your interests. Not all banks are the same so it would be great if you compare each bank and list their pros and cons.

Let’s look at some of the major traditional banks which offer checking accounts for their consumers. Namely Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, PNC, and BBVA Compass.

Chase Bank is a subsidiary of JPMorgan & Chase Co. and currently the largest bank in the U.S. in terms of total assets with $2.53 trillion. The second largest bank in the U.S. with $2.28 trillion total assets is Bank of America with its headquarters found in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wells Fargo is the third largest bank in the U.S. in terms of total assets with $1.95 trillion and its headquarters is found in San Francisco, California. Citibank is a subsidiary and the consumer division of the multinational company, Citigroup, and is currently the fourth largest bank with $1.84 trillion total assets. PNC is the 9th largest bank in the U.S. with $380.77 billion total assets and its headquarters is found in Pittsburgh. BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of the Spanish multinational company, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, and it is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

These banks all have their own checking accounts that they offer to the public. They also have mostly the same features and the only difference among them are the fees included. Some banks may offer lower fees and some may have higher ones. Either way, the bottom line is that every major bank imposes charges for their checking accounts. They have the same banking fees and they only differ on the amount. The question is, how do these fees affect you and your money?

What In The World Are These Checking Fees?

Banking fees sound like a nightmare for people who want a healthy financial life. Who would want to lose money on unnecessary fees? Most of the time, consumers don’t even realize they are paying them until they see their bank records.

But what exactly are these banking fees? Let’s go over the common checking account fees one by one.

Checking Account Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees are one of the problematic fees which consumers encounter in checking accounts. These fees are charged when you withdraw money greater than the available amount in your account. BBVA Compass charges the highest overdraft fee with $38. Next is PNC which charges a $36 overdraft fee per item. Bank of America and Wells Fargo both charge $35 overdraft fee per item, while Chase and Citibank have a $34 overdraft fee per item.

Monthly Maintenance Fees for Checking Accounts

Monthly maintenance fees are charged when your balance falls under the required monthly balance at the end of the statement cycle. Chase, Citibank, and Bank of America checking accounts have a monthly maintenance fee of $12, while Wells Fargo has a $10 monthly fee. PNC only has a $7 monthly service charge and BBVA Compass does not charge. However, monthly maintenance fees can be avoided. Some banks require a minimum balance at the end of a statement cycle or a certain amount of direct deposits.

Minimum Opening Deposits

Minimum opening deposit fees are what you pay when you first open an account. Chase Total Checking Account, Bank of America Core Checking Account, Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account, PNC Standard Checking Account, and BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking Account all require a $25 minimum opening deposit fee. Only Citibank Simple Checking Account does not require any deposit for opening an account.

ATM Fees

ATM fees are imposed when you withdraw money from a different bank other than yours. Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America all have a $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee, while both PNC and BBVA Compass have a $3 out-of-network fee.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Foreign transaction fees occur when money is withdrawn from ATMs outside the country. Citibank has the lowest foreign transaction fee with $2.50 plus 3% of the amount per withdrawal. Next is BBVA Compass with a $3 plus 1% of the amount per withdrawal. Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and PNC all charge $5 plus 3% of the transaction amount per withdrawal.

Replacement Cards

In case your debit card is lost or has been stolen, banks require you to pay a fee for it to be replaced. Those who have debit cards from Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo get to replace their lost or stolen cards for free. On the other hand, BBVA Compass charges its consumers with $5 card replacement fee while PNC charges the highest with $7.50.

No Escape

To summarize, these major banks we mentioned all have banking fees. They don’t offer a completely free checking account. They may waive some of the fees but it’s not entirely free. Sadly, consumers might not escape them and may be forced to pay them just to have their money in a safe place. Remember that some banking fees are hidden and you may not have any knowledge of them being deducted from your account until you review your bank statement.

An Alternative to Traditional Checking Accounts

With the steady rise of technology, another method of banking has risen: mobile banking. One example of a mobile banking account is the Chime Account. Chime is an online banking account which lets you have your own checking account with only the use of your smartphone or laptop. Best of all, it is completely free. It doesn’t even require you to deposit a minimum fee when you open it. Its checking account is the same as what most national banks offer without the intimidating fees.

If you have your own Chime Spending Account, you will get to enjoy the following:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum opening deposit fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No card replacement fees

The only thing you will be charged is for withdrawals from out-of-network ATMs which is really not a problem since you could just withdraw money from any ATMs that support Visa. In short, there are no hidden charges when it comes to Chime. It’s a truly free checking account.

Also, since Chime is an online banking account, it doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar locations meaning it has no physical bank. It is just you and your phone or computer.

Why Chime is A Good Alternative

The totally free checking account offered from Chime is the real deal. It doesn’t have the same fees that most major banks impose, letting you have more freedom with your money. There are no more fees that will burden you and you get to be more wise in your spending habits with the help of its mobile banking app. Unlike traditional banks, Chime’s service is strictly online which means it’s very accessible and easier especially for young professionals.

Checking Accounts in the Modern Age

recent survey concluded that 4 out 10 Americans use mobile banking and 26% of banking consumers use their mobile phones for this kind of purpose. In the same survey, it also showed that almost half of young Americans gravitate towards the use of mobile banking and even people over 65 years old have chosen online banking as their preferred method. The rise of technology has really made a great impact on how we live and that includes our banking preferences. Which is why Chime is perfect for Americans who rely on mobile banking. With only a few clicks, you could already manage your finances no matter when and where you are.

Chime Checking Accounts Operate Entirely Online

Because of its strictly online platform, Chime lets you take care of your banking from anywhere and at any time. You can monitor your account 24/7. Also, Chime Account offers an early direct deposit feature in which you can receive your salary money two days earlier than the actual pay date. You don’t have to worry about waiting for your paycheck to come in the mail. It also saves you time and effort from enduring long lines at the bank.

Chime is a great alternative for consumers who are not very keen on spending more money on ridiculous banking fees. With Chime, you can enjoy the same benefits as checking accounts from major banks without drowning yourself in checking account fees.

How to Get Started with Totally Free Checking

A totally free checking account sounds amazing. So, are you ready for your own free checking account? Here’s how:

  1. Apply for a Chime Spending Account.

You can do this by simply going to their website and be ready to fill out your personal information.

  1. Download the Chime mobile app.

It’s available for download in the App Store and Play Store for free. Just download the app and register your account. Now you can view your account details and view your transactions.

  1. Deposit money to your account.

The easiest way to put money is through enrolling in direct deposit. When your pay comes, it will automatically be put into your account. There is also the option for mobile check deposits and electronic transfers from other institutions.

  1. And you’re good to go.

Now you can use your account to pay bills or send money to your family or friends. It’s that simple and easy.

Free Checking Account For Real?

In a GoBankingRates survey early this year, it was stated that young millennials from ages 18-24 are more influenced by bank account fees, which led them to open multiple accounts in different banks where there are lower fees. But why would you open multiple accounts when you can just own one completely free checking account? Having more than one account sounds very stressful and might lead you to even more financial problems. Chime offers you a way out of them with its Spending Account.

While some checking account fees of banks can be waived under some conditions, they do not offer completely free checking accounts. Traditional banks use these fees to earn profit to pay overhead and operational costs like rent, utilities, employee salaries, and more.

Opening a checking account with one of the major banks might not be a good idea for young professionals especially with hidden charges that could endanger their hard-earned money. Why burden yourself more with unnecessary fees when you could completely prevent that from happening by applying for a free checking account?

Yes, a free checking accounts exist and one of them is the Chime Spending Account. No hidden fees equal no worries! With Chime, you don’t have to shell out money just to open an account. More importantly, you will be able to manage your finances wisely and not lose sleep on how much money is going to be deducted from your account after every month.

Free checking is real and Chime has it. So don’t think about how banking fees would prevent you from having a good life and a healthy pocket. Instead, apply for your own free checking account as soon as possible.

To know more about Chime and its free checking account features, just visit their website for more information: https://www.chimebank.com

 

 

How to Make Your Life Work with Two Jobs

We talk a lot about saving money, but there’s another big way to improve your personal finances: Make more money. Working a second job can be a good way to do that, and a new study finds workers with two jobs perform just as well as colleagues with one job.

But moonlighting comes at the expense of personal and family time, the study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology finds. The study, led by Brian Webster, an assistant professor of management at Ball State University, looked at the job performance and engagement of a sample of bartenders and teachers who moonlighted in a range of jobs.

Webster believes successful moonlighters understand their employers expect them to be focused at work.

“There seems to be that recognition that if I’m at work and I’m doing this, I’m going to perform adequately,” he said.

If people can’t perform, they leave. Webster noted the study didn’t look at people who used to moonlight, but stopped.

This is good news for employers, who can count on their workers being focused, but that extra time and energy has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere tends to be family, the study finds. Only about 4.9% of workers have multiple jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but over the course of a lifetime, many people could find themselves moonlighting, Webster said.

So how can moonlighters find a healthy balance?

How moonlighting affects you

People moonlight for two reasons, Webster said: To make more money or to do something they enjoy, like an accountant teaching a class on weekends. Warren Robbins, senior sales associate for Policygenius, found himself needing to do the former in 2015, when he took a job as a bartender while working full-time at a health insurance company.

Robbins had just learned his partner, now his wife, was pregnant. The pregnancy wasn’t planned, and the two decided they needed more money.

His solution was to take a second job. Robbins worked 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at his day job and took on two overnight shifts at a bar, from Saturday night into Sunday and Sunday night into Monday at 4 a.m.

“My sleep schedule was all messed up,” he said.

The beginning of the week was tough, Robbins said. He would sleep all day Sunday after getting off work early that morning, work a night shift at the bar and then get to the office on maybe four hours of sleep.

His focus and drive at work suffered. So did his personal life.

“It was tough,” Robbins said. “I never saw my wife, and if I did, it was after work on a weekday. We never got to spend quality time.”

The only moments he could take for himself were during closing time, when he would pour himself a Guinness, lock the door and count the money as the sun rose.

How to find balance

Moonlighting can be stressful, but there are ways to make it better, said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America. The first is to get enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation can take a toll on your mental and physical health, he said.

Also, take time each day to rest and recharge to relieve any stress from work.

“It’s free to sit back for 15 minutes and just rest,” Gionfriddo said. “It’s free to spend 20 minutes and take a walk.”

Find even a short amount of time for something you want to do, whether it’s family or a hobby, as a break from people telling you what to do, he said. If work becomes life and life becomes work, you can lose sight of who you are and who you want to be.

It’s important to be able to say why you’re working so hard, whether it’s to save for a trip, or support your family or retire early, he said.

“If you lose purpose in what you’re doing, then you’re in a real downward spiral that can lead to some real serious mental health problems,” Gionfriddo said.

You may not notice the signs of a problem, he said. You don’t necessarily have to feel suicidal to be clinically depressed.

If you feel excessively tired, or your eating habits suffer, those could be signs your mental health is suffering, Gionfriddo said.

“A lot of these things happen on a continuum,” he said. “It’s not that one day I have depression and the day before I didn’t.”

The Mental Health America website has free and anonymous screening toolsthat can tell you whether it’s likely you have a mental health condition like depression or anxiety. The tools also offer more information on mental health conditions, referrals to services, self-help tools and engagement with other people who may have the same condition.

If you do have a diagnosable condition, the law offers protections against being fired or disciplined for that condition, Gionfriddo said.

“There’s no shame in having a mental health condition or concern, even a diagnosed one,” he said. “In fact, the sooner you seek help for it if you think you need help, the quicker your recovery and the more likely your recovery is going to be.”

Before moonlighting, you may want to talk to your boss to see if your current schedule can bend enough to take on a second job, Webster said, or try to find a second job flexible enough that it won’t strain your existing schedule too much. You may also want to look for a second job that complements your existing job.

“If you enjoy what you do, the two jobs might benefit or contribute to each other in some way,” he said.

Robbins only moonlighted for three months. The birth of his son made his second job impossible. He wouldn’t moonlight again, given the choice.

“It was this period where you would get revived just to get depleted again,” he said. “I would never do that again.”

A second job isn’t the only way to boost your savings. Try making these small changes.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or contact them online.


This article originally appeared on Policygenius.com.

 

14 Part-Time Jobs That Provide Health Insurance

Being self-employed, I’m sensitive to the health insurance dilemma millions of people have to deal with.

My family is getting our coverage through MediShare, a Christian health sharing ministry. It’s working well for us, and I strongly recommend it. But there are other ways to get health insurance coverage, if you aren’t participating in an employer plan, or you can’t afford coverage on the health insurance exchanges.

This strategy might be a solution if you’re:

  • In between jobs
  • Self-employed
  • Or in early retirement (no employer plan, but too young for Medicare)

It’s well worth investigating if you’re in one of those three career categories. It may seem like a less-than-perfect solution for health insurance, but there actually are people getting coverage this way.

14 Part-time Jobs that Provide Health Insurance

I recently came across a great article (from Personal Finance expert Kevin Mercadante): 20 Part-time Jobs with Health Insurance that served as the inspiration for this piece.

This list is current as of June 2018. But please be sure to double check each benefit offer before applying for a job. Employers are particularly fluid when it comes to offering health insurance to their part-time employees.

Some drop coverage or change the terms, while others add it, and it all happens on a pretty regular basis.

1. Starbucks

I’m starting with this one because it’s the most frequently mentioned among any time the topic involves health insurance for part-timers. Starbucks runs largely with part-time workers, and they’ve been providing them with health insurance for years. They do it through their program called Your Special Blend. It’s a benefits package that not only provides health insurance, but also other benefits, including dental and vision.

To qualify, you must work at least 240 hours in a three consecutive month period. That works out to be at least 20 hours per week. Their website confirms they pay 70% of the premiums for their employees, and also cover 100% of preventative medicine.

One of the advantages of Starbucks as a source of group health insurance is that they’re located in virtually every nook and cranny in the United States. That means there may be a job available close to where you live.

2. UPS

This is another company that frequently appears on lists of part-time jobs that provide health insurance. And since it’s a package delivery company, they have locations across the country. UPS is a company well known for providing full-time benefits for their part-time employees.

For union jobs, which likely takes in the vast majority of delivery personnel, you must work at least 400 hours over three months. That works out to be something like 25 hours per week. That will give you full-time benefits.

If you work between 225 and 400 hours over three months, you’ll be eligible for part-time benefits, which includes health insurance. They don’t give details, but it’s likely to be a stripped-down program. Still, you can qualify by working fewer than 15 hours per week.

UPS may not be your first choice if you’re looking for group health insurance coverage. The work is physically challenging, and you have to be there for a minimum of one year to be eligible.

3. Delta Airlines

This one really surprised me, but in a good way. As one of the largest airlines, they operate out of most commercial airports across the country. If you live close to an airport, this could be a serious option. Not only that, working for an airline brings outstanding travel benefits. Delta is also one of those companies where a job that starts out as part time could go full-time, if that’s a consideration.

Delta provides health insurance coverage to part-time employees and their eligible dependents. They offer three different health insurance plans, depending on where you live. They don’t disclose the specifics of the coverage, so you’ll have to do some serious investigating before accepting a part-time job.

4. Southwest Airlines

Delta isn’t the only airline that offers health insurance for its part-time staff. Southwest does too, so it may be a norm in the airline industry.

Like Delta, Southwest is one of the major airlines, and operates at airports across the country. Their website gives no indication of how many hours you need to work to qualify for health insurance, but they do confirm it’s available. Again, make sure you look into the details before applying for a part-time job if health insurance is the main reason for doing so.

And once again, as an airline employee, you’ll enjoy generous travel benefits.

5. Lowe’s

Lowe’s is another company that has locations all across the country. In addition to the fact that they offer health insurance, this could be a real part-time job opportunity for someone with a background or interest in construction, home remodeling, or any of the trades.

Lowe’s health insurance includes prescription drug, dental and vision coverage. Benefits take effect within 31 days of starting, so this can be a real option if you’re looking for coverage fast. Like other companies on this list, they don’t indicate how many hours you need to work to qualify, so you’ll have to do some digging on that front.

Health insurance for part-timers looks like this:

6. Whole Foods

Whole Foods is another company that frequently makes lists of part-time jobs that provide health insurance. The company has nearly 500 stores across 44 states, so there’s an excellent chance there’s a location near you.

According to their website, you’re eligible for benefits if you work at least 20 hours per week, and have completed an undisclosed probationary period. They don’t indicate the specific type of coverage, but it seems to be dependent on location. You’ll have to do some investigating in the store where you apply.

7. Safeway

Safeway is one of the largest grocery store chains in the country. They operate more than 2,200 stores in 33 states. Their website indicates they offer coverage for part employees, but there’s also some indication that it varies by store location. They may offer the benefit in some states, but not in others. Or it may vary from one store to another. They’re a bit sketchy on the details, so once again you’ll have to do some investigating.

8. Costco

Costco is another company that frequently makes these lists. It’s generally nationwide as well, with more than 500 locations in 44 states. Coverage begins the first day of the second month after you’ve completed 450 eligible hours. You’re then required to average at least 23 hours per week to qualify for health insurance. The coverage includes your spouse, children, parents and even grandparents.

9. Citi Bank

It turns out your friendly neighborhood bank may be a prime source of part-time with health insurance. That includes some of the most prominent banks in the country.

Citi offers coverage for part-timers. You have to work a minimum of 20 hours per week, and you become eligible after 90 days of employment.

The downside is that Citi branches are concentrated in the largest metropolitan areas, so they may not be available in smaller cities. If so, try other banks in your area. It seems to be a common practice.

10. JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase has a health insurance arrangement for part-timers comparable to Citi. You’re required to work at least 20 hours per week, and there’s also a 90 day waiting period.

Plans are provided by CIGNA and United Healthcare, include dental and vision coverage, and are available for family members.

11. SunTrust Bank

SunTrust is a large regional bank, operating more than 1,400 branches in 11 southeastern states. They don’t indicate how many hours are required to get health insurance, but they do offer it to part-timers. They have different plans, and include prescription drug coverage. And as a bank, they also offer a health savings accounts (HSAs) to cover out-of-pocket expenses.

12. REI

If you’re not familiar with REI, there a company that sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment and clothing. They have 154 retail stores in 36 states across the country. And they do offer part-time jobs that provide health insurance.

Their REI Flex Plan provides health insurance for workers averaging 20 or more hours per week. You can choose between several plans, and coverage extends to your dependents. The website indicates they pay most of the premium cost for the plan.

13. Aetna

Large insurance companies may be well worth a look for part-time jobs that provide health insurance. Aetna is an example. They provide health insurance for part-timers who work at least 20 hours per week. That also includes vision and dental coverage, as well as HSAs.

14. Navy Federal Credit Union

The OutOfYourRut list reports that credit unions are common sources of part-time jobs that provide health insurance. I did some light research to see if that’s true, and it absolutely is. In fact, I hit pay dirt on the first search.

Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in the country, and yes, they provide health insurance for part-timers. They list comprehensive medical coverage, catastrophic coverage and prescription drug benefits, with a choice of either a PPO or HMO, depending on location.

The website doesn’t give details as to how many hours you need to work, but 20 seems to be the standard among credit unions.

Apart from Navy Federal Credit Union, check with any credit union in your area to see if they have part-time jobs that provide health insurance. There’s an excellent chance they will.

Final Thoughts

If none of these tickle your fancy, you should also look into hospitals, county governments and colleges and universities. They commonly offer part-time jobs that provide health insurance.

In fact, it seems there are more part-time jobs with health insurance than we usually think. Check with any competitors of the companies on this list – banks, credit unions, retailers, airlines and insurance companies.

If one major employer in a field offers coverage for part-timers, there’s probably others.

 

The Joys of Early Direct Deposit

Nowadays, employers are utilizing direct deposits rather than mailing paychecks for their employees’ salaries. Not only is it cost-efficient for the company, it also greatly benefits the employees. Direct deposit means the money is transferred automatically to the employees’ bank accounts as soon as their employers put their salaries in.

In a survey done by NACHA in 2016, polling showed that 82% of employees are paid through direct deposit, with 87% of them satisfied with the service because of its safety and better money management. With direct deposits, people save time by avoiding the chore of visiting the bank or ATM  just to deposit their pay. They don’t have to endure long lines and waiting times. This is definitely a plus for employees who do not have the luxury of free time.

What are the advantages of direct deposit?

First of all, employees have the upper hand in direct deposit because it makes it possible for them to get their pay early. It is faster than having paychecks delivered to their home. It is hassle-free and worry-free since it provides a safer way for people to get paid. There is no  issue with the cost of depositing checks, since direct deposits are basically free. Second, it’s not just the employees that benefit from direct deposit. Companies save a lot of money by going paperless and don’t have the concern of potential lost paychecks. With direct deposits, check frauds can also be avoided.  Lastly, having direct deposit can help with money management, as the money goes straight to the account.  This can help with controlling spending and keeping finances under control.

Overall, this payroll system is win-win situation for both the employers and employees.

How to get paid early with direct deposit?

Direct deposit can only be utilized by employees who have bank accounts. If a person is newly-hired and doesn’t have one, he or she should open an account in order to receive their pay early through direct deposit. When everything has been set up successfully, employees can get their paychecks sent directly to their bank accounts, provided that the company supports this payroll system. If it does, an employee can arrange with the employer’s HR department by giving his bank account details. Then all an employee has to do is wait for their employers to distribute their pay and the money will automatically be transferred to their account.

Start getting that paycheck sent directly to bank account

Employees who are signed up for direct deposit have the advantage of getting their pay 2 days before the usual payday. One of the online banking systems that offers this option is Chime. Chime Account users can get their money 2 days earlier making it easier for them to handle their money effectively. When employers deposit the money, it will be automatically transferred to the employee’s bank account and Chime will send a notification, alerting the employee that his or her money is already received.

Don’t wait for that paycheck to get lost or stolen- sign up for direct deposit and get paid early.

 

20 Awesome Ways to ‘Treat Yourself’: A Chime Guide

You work hard. You want to do the right thing and save money. But you also want to treat yourself and enjoy life a little. All work and no play sucks. Right?

The good news is that when you use Chime, you can save money and treat yourself at the same time. How does this magic happen? Using Chime’s
Save When I Spend feature, your purchases can be rounded up to the nearest dollar and your spare change is then automatically deposited into an optional (and free!) Chime Savings Account.

To celebrate you and encourage you to YOLO-on-the-cheap, we’ve come up with this guide on how to treat yourself. Take a look.

1. Get your Pumpkin Spice Latte

I hereby give you permission to get yourself a Pumpkin Spice Latte this fall #nojudgement. In the personal finance world, conversations about lattes run about ad nauseum. We’d like to just stop that conversation in its tracks and say go ahead. Get your latte and brighten your day.

2. Take a local dance class

One way to treat yourself is to get moving and take a dance class. Try something new. You can check out Groupon for sweet deals. I bought a Groupon for belly dancing classes and it comes out to about $5 per class. Now this is what we call an inexpensive and fun way to get your groove on.

3. Go gourmet

Learning how to save money means sacrificing some things, like eating at home more and going out to dinner less. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge at a lower price point. One way to have a fancy gourmet dinner for two is to get a baguette, some brie (or other fancy cheese), some meats, and a bottle of wine. I used to do this and it costs about $20 for two people. At $10 per person, including alcohol, it can’t be beat. Also, it requires little effort and feels fancy.

4. Write a thank you note

Writing a thank you note is a dying art. While it’s always good to write a thank you note to someone you appreciate, I’m going to switch it up a bit and encourage you to write a thank you note to your future self. What will you be thankful about in 10 or perhaps 20 years from now? This can put you in a positive mindset and get you thinking about where you want to go in life.

5. Get some new skivvies

Want to feel like a bold and brave new person? Do you want to treat yourself with something fun and not break the bank so you can still save for a rainy day? Get some new underwear. Seriously. You can get something lacy and fun. Or perhaps it’s time for rock some new comfy granny panties. Do whatever floats your boat and makes you feel like a secret superhero under your clothes.

6. Buy some herbs

Want to spice up your life? Buy some herbs…ahem, not that kind. You know, the kind you can cook with or add to drinks. You can go to Trader Joe’s and buy some fresh mint or basil. Add that to a jar of water and boom — infused water.

7. Ditch technology (for now)

If you are honest with yourself, you know that the majority of your day is likely spent in front of a screen. A computer screen, a TV screen, your phone. Sure, these devices can give you some enjoyment and entertainment, but it can be a lot. Give your brain a break from being a constant consumer of information and let it just be. Ditch technology for at least two hours each day (and this doesn’t include your sleeping hours or when you’re in the shower!) If you can do the whole day, do that.

8. Read for pleasure

After ditching the technology, commit to reading for pleasure. Not for work. Not for self-improvement. Read something for FUN! Something that can take you away for a bit. Better yet: read a real book where you have to turn actual pages.

9. Get a new phone case

If you want to save money and treat yourself, look for a new fun phone case. Let’s be real. You spend a lot of time on your phone and have probably dropped it a few times. Protect it and enjoy what you’re looking at with a new phone case. Need inspiration? Check out this Faux Mink case in the delicious color of Golden Apricot.

10. Get a massage (at a discount)

Wondering how to save money on self-care and relaxation? Go to a school! You can get a massage at a huge discount by going to a local massage school. The same goes for haircuts, facials, and more. Go to a local beauty school and rack up the savings.

11. A mug just for you

Mornings can be rough. But having a special mug that is just for you can help you start the day off right with a little dose of inspiration. Consider this “Not Today Satan” coffee mug on Etsy.

12.  Buy a mug warmer

Now that you have your favorite mug, invest in a mug warmer. We’ve all been there: you get carried away with work and go back to your tea or coffee…and it’s luke warm, or worse, cold. Keep it hot and fresh with a mug warmer.

13. Get a reel viewer

If you’re a nostalgic toy lover, getting your own reel viewer can be the perfect way to treat yourself and a fun way to preserve your memories. You can add your own favorite photos too. Not only is this fun for you but a great conversation starter and an awesome and unique way to share your favorite memories with others.

14. Act it out

When you want to learn how to save money fast, you may have to cut back on entertainment and going out with your friends. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Invite your friends over and ask them to bring their favorite piece of text — a poem, an article, a play — and have everyone read aloud to each other. At the core, many of us are storytellers and hearing your friends read their favorite text aloud can be a special thing.

15. Make it hot

If you like things hot and love a robust flavor, indulge in a special hot sauce. It can take your meal from boring and bland to straight fire. We’re pretty sure that hot sauce sales went up when Beyoncé crooned “got hot sauce in my bag, swag”. If it’s good enough for Queen Bey, it’s good enough for you.

16. Do whatever you want

As adults we get stuck in to-do lists and “shoulds”. It’s hard to hear your own voice sometimes and know what you really want. So, let go of responsibilities for one night. The dishes will be there tomorrow, I promise. If you want to nap, do that. Want to watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before a 3rd time? Do that. Want to work on the next great American novel? Do that, no self-judgement. Do whatever makes you feel good.

17. Go down memory lane

A great way to save money and spend nothing is to take a trip down memory lane and look at old photos. Look at your old vacation pics. Pictures of you and your SO when you first started dating. Look at that crazy photo from childhood and remember who you used to be. Looking at old photos can bring a feeling of joy and take you back to a fun time.

18. Try a new recipe

Cooking is a process of trial and error and following directions on a recipe can lead to a great new meal. You don’t have to be a master chef to make something that tastes good. Consider trying a new recipe. The process of cooking can help you slow down, stay in the moment, and experiment.

19. Party for one

Get your favorite food, a favorite glass of wine or cocktail and put on your favorite music. Dance in your living room and enjoy everything just how you like it. Throw yourself a party for you and only you.

20. Play hooky

Some days you just don’t want to go to work. And maybe sometimes you shouldn’t. Now, we don’t recommend this strategy often, but once in a blue moon you should play hooky. Do something fun during the week or stay in your PJs all day.

It’s All About You

There you have it: 20 fabulous ways to treat yourself. Better yet, all of the ideas here are affordable and some of them cost no money at all. We invite you to slow down, enjoy life and give yourself a break once in a while. You deserve it.

 

5 Frugal Celebrities—and What We Can Learn From Them

Sure, you may know that rap songs and the baller lifestyle can send the wrong message about money. On the other hand, what about beloved celebs who live frugal-fabulous existences?

We’ve rounded up our top 5 sweet money-minded celebrities. Take a look at some financial tips we can glean from their penny-pinching ways:

1. Dave Grohl

Ah, yes, the Frugal Gods look quite fondly at my hubby in a future life (swoon.) The drummer of Nirvana and frontman of The Foo Fighters is known to deposit his paychecks straight into his bank account. He also drives a family car. (Note: he also splurged on a $140,000 Tesla.)

Grohl’s money mindset was formed at an early age when his mom suffered a stroke while working on her taxes. Grohl has been reported to say, “And it left this indelible mark on me that was ‘Money will kill you’, that people spend their lives dying inside because of money.”

What we can learn: Your early experiences with money will shape your relationship with it. The memories and emotions you felt in your younger years may help you understand why you behave the way you do.

Are you a big ole miser, like Scrooge McDuck? Are you prone to overspending when you’re feeling bored or anxious? Or, if you’re like Grohl, did the association between “money” and “death” become deeply ingrained in you from an early age? To get to the root of your money story, look toward your past.

And of course, pay yourself first. While you may not be uber wealthy, commit to stashing away a percentage of your income with every pay cycle. If you can auto-save a portion of each paycheck, that’s even better.

2. Lady Gaga

The pop singer may be worth a cool $275 million. But, even though she bought an estate in Malibu for $23 million, she still loves a good deal. She cuts coupons while out shopping, goes bargain hunting for clothes, and has even tweeted about her frugal finds.

What we can learn: Spending money is all about what you value. If it makes you happy, drop a ton of money on luxurious digs—but only if you can afford it.

Plus, it never hurts to save where and when you can. But only do it if it’s something you naturally enjoy. If you like couponing and scouring swap meets, more power to you. If bargaining for lower rates on your cable subscriptions is more your speed, then let that be your mode for slashing expenses.

3. Sarah Jessica Parker

The actress and Sex and the City star dresses her son in only hand-me downs from relatives. The reason? She refuses to spoil her kids, and believes that they shouldn’t be entitled to the fruits of her labor and immense success.

What we can learn: A dollar earned is a dollar cherished. There’s value in working hard for your money. And, maintaining consistent cash flow can be challenging. That’s why you should start saving money right away. It also doesn’t hurt to get access to your cash as soon as you can. Pro tip: if you’re a Chime member, when you sign up for direct deposit, you can get paid up to two days early.

4. Zooey Deschanel

Besides recently getting rid of her bangs (which caused a stir on the interwebs), Zooey Deschanel got divorced in 2012 and her financials were revealed. While she was worth three million at the time, she spends $2,000 a month on clothing, $1,500 to charity, $800 in utilities, and $300 on her phone bill.

What we can learn: Okay, so having a money spend of 2,000 buckaroos on clothes isn’t exactly the norm. But relatively speaking, this girl lives within her means. Only buy things you can afford, and don’t go over budget. On top of that, spend in accordance with your values. If you are big on reducing your carbon footprint, then shop second-hand or buy from eco-friendly companies.

5. Jay Leno

 Apparently the classic car collector and former talk show host only spends money from his comedy routines. In other words, he saves all the money he raked in from The Tonight Show. He started doing this back when he worked two jobs: one at a Ford Dealership and at McDonald’s. He spent the money he earned from one job and stashed the rest.

What we can learn: There is a great lesson on money management tip for artists, freelancers, and other members of the gig economy. If you’re juggling different gigs or clients, use the paychecks from several clients on your living expenses. The rest can go toward discretionary spending or savings.

Having trouble figuring out which paychecks should go toward your expenses? Choose the gigs that are more consistent where you’re raking in more dough. That way you’ll be sure you can pay your bills on time.

Final Word

Just because you’re rich and famous doesn’t mean you need to spend your dough like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, the more money you have, the more financial decisions you’ll be tasked with making. The key is to make the most of what you have, and to manage it well.

 

10 Quotes to Remember if You Want to Achieve Financial Freedom

Do you ever dream of spending your days doing what you want? Do you visualize spending your money how you please, without stress or worry?

Indeed, achieving financial freedom is a dream for many of us, but getting there can seem out of reach. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

If your goal is to achieve financial independence, you’ve got to start taking steps to achieve your goal – right now. Here are 10 quotes to inspire you. Take a look:

1. “Rich people believe ‘I create my life.’ Poor people believe ‘Life happens to me.’” — T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth

Financial freedom starts with having the right mindset to pursue wealth and all of your audacious goals. This quote reminds us that people who are rich have an active role in designing their dream life. They’re not passive players in the game of life or building wealth.

2. “Your assets are your employees. Invest more on those performing well. Let the non performers go.” ― Manoj Arora, From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom

Let your money work as hard as you do. Your assets include your hard-earned dough and you’ll want to invest that money in a place with high returns, like index funds. Don’t store all your cash in a savings account or in other assets that ultimately don’t serve your goal of financial freedom. Imagine you are the CEO of your money — your assets are your employees. Who should be fired? And who should be promoted?

3. “Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for.” ― Vicki Robin, Your Money or Your Life

Have you ever been at work and just wished you were at home with your kids or on the beach somewhere? The process of working and making money is something we trade for our life energy — energy that we want to use elsewhere. When we save money and pursue financial freedom, we can have some of our life energy back and choose to live life as we want, not as we have to.

4. “The secret to wealth is simple: Find a way to do more for others than anyone else does. Become more valuable. Do more. Give more. Be more. Serve more.” ― Tony Robbins, Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Pursuing financial freedom means breaking the status quo. You can no longer live in the ‘average’ but you have to go beyond. This quote reminds us that to build wealth and be successful we must give, serve, and be a cut above everyone else.

5. “Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.” — Margaret Bonnano

Money is an important part of financial freedom. But it’s simply a vehicle to pursue living your best life. You can always make more money but you can’t make more time. Knowing this distinction can help you build wealth in a way that frees up your time so you can be truly wealthy.

6. “To get rich, you have to be making money while you’re asleep.”  — David Bailey

I hate to break it to you but if you limit your money-earning abilities to eight hours a day, you’re not going to find financial freedom. In order to build wealth, you must make money when you’re sleeping. This means earning interest on your savings in a high-yield savings account. This means investing in retirement vehicles and the stock market. This means finding new passive income streams. The bottom line: figure out how to earn money ‘round the clock.

7. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” — Warren Buffett

There’s some level of risk with almost everything we do, especially when it comes to the stock market and your money. You might be afraid to invest because it’s risky. But, if you understand how the stock market works, you will have more confidence to pursue financial freedom.

8. “A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.” — Suze Orman

The ‘what ifs’ of life can plague your mind. What if I get sick? What if I lose my job? It can be paralyzing. Financial freedom offers the ultimate antidote to life’s worries: peace of mind.

9. “Financial freedom is freedom from fear.” — Robert Kiyosaki

Have you ever felt stifled or stuck because you were fearful? You were scared to quit your job because of money. You were afraid to move because you weren’t sure about the opportunities you’d have in a new place. Fear can consume us and keep us stagnant. Financial freedom helps alleviate those fears so we can pursue action.

10. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” —Seneca

When we think of people that are wealthy, we may think of people with nice houses and fancy cars. But that’s not necessarily what truly wealthy people look like. In fact, if we keep wanting more and more, we will be stuck in a limitless cycle that keeps us poor. But if we take an inventory of what we already have — and stay grateful — we can enjoy what we have and build a wealthy life around what is truly important.

 

Biggest Financial Regrets Across America

For three years in a row, American adults have the same top financial regret. A May 2018 survey from Bankrate looks at the top financial regrets among Americans and how they deal with those financial regrets. By looking at the most common regrets, we know where we can best focus our future efforts on our investments, bank accounts, and beyond.

The top financial regrets of Americans

The number one financial regret among Americans is not saving for retirement early enough. This financial regret claims the top spot for the third year in a row in Bankrate’s annual Financial Security Index survey. This answer was number one for 18% of respondents.

Number two on the list is not saving enough for emergency expenses, with 14% of respondents most regretful about this. For workers in any profession, an emergency fund is an important part of maintaining financial stability. For freelancers and entrepreneurs, it is best to save at least six to 12 months of expenses in emergency savings.

The third most common regret is taking on too much credit card debt, with 10% of responses marking this as number one. This is no surprise, as Americans have over $1 trillion in credit card debt. The average household holds $8,600 in credit card debt.

Number four on the list is taking on too much student loan debt, a top regret for 8% of respondents. Americans have nearly $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. 44.2 million Americans have student loans, according to Student Loan Hero data.

The fifth most common financial regret is not saving enough for a child’s education, coming in with 7%. Both number four and five on this list share a commonality: they relate to a high cost of college. Number one and number five also have a big common trait: they both involve savings. These two topics are an important part of Americans’ biggest financial struggles.

Last on the top financial regrets list is buying more house than you can afford, with two percent of respondents choosing this answer. Like college, housing costs generally go up, up, up over time. In some areas, buying even a modest home takes up a huge portion of take-home pay.

Here is the full results care of Bankrate:

Biggest financial regrets
via Bankrate

How Americans respond to financial regrets

The list of common financial regrets does not yield many surprises to those who follow economic news, but how people respond to their biggest regrets is a bit more interesting. A full 25% have no plans to deal with their biggest financial regret and continue to go on living with it.

Dealing with financial regrets
via Bankrate

A nice relief, however, comes from the 49% who are already working on addressing their biggest financial regret. Whether it is debt, savings, or something else, a good budget and focus on finances can help overcome most money challenges.

While better than the quarter of Americans with no plans to address financial regrets, 19% plan to start work on their money problems within a year while six percent plan to do so later on in the future.

Only with a long-term focus on your finances can you rise above the statistics and go forward with no money regrets. While most of us would want to be wealthy someday, it takes a real effort to turn that dream into a reality.

Avoiding the biggest financial regrets

The best way to avoid many common financial regrets is simple: avoid going into debt. While it may not seem like a big deal swiping a credit card for a TV or choosing the expensive out-of-state school, credit card debt and student loan debt payments are a very real.

The next major focus to avoid a big regret is to save. Start with even $1 per week. No amount is too small. You can always increase it later. But if you don’t start saving, you will never build up savings to pay for a home, education, or retirement.

Thanks to the time value of money, the sooner you save, the better. Compound interest and compound investment values help your money grow over time. If your money has more time to grow, the impact of that growth is exponentially helpful.

Live a life free of financial regrets

Recovering from financial regrets is very difficult. Rather than turn around a difficult situation, avoid it from the start. That is one of the best paths to lifestyle satisfaction and a life free of financial strain and worry.


This article originally appeared on Due.com.

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