Public Display of Affection Insurance

The following post is a guest post from XO, Bettie, a finance advice blog from Tumblr. Bettie shares her story of how she learned the importance of renter’s insurance.

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My man thought it would be romantic to throw rocks at my window (à la The Rolling Stones) to announce his arrival.

Click! Click! THUD! My computer monitor was scarred from this public display of affection.

Now I don’t think my renter’s insurance payments were a waste of money…because even though I don’t own my apartment, I own my things in it!

My landlord has insurance for the building (and my broken window). My renter’s insurance insures my possessions within my apartment. Plus, if anyone injures herself within my apartment and she sues me, the insurance company will handle the claim (and pay up to the limit of my policy, less any deductible)! Handy with my monthly wii tennis tournaments. Ace!

Renter’s insurance gives me financial assurance, regardless of what happens to my expensive-to-replace set up in my apartment.

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Bettie’s Bio:

My friends and I jabber about the ins & outs of all sorts of taboo things…but never money. Society assumes that every working girl knows how to properly allocate her paycheck or has Daddy-Dearest subsidize it.

But not anymore! Join my fabulous & frugal journey to become financially literate.

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The High Cost of Being a Millennial

Twenties

This is a guest post from David Carlson, writer at Young Adult Money. If you are interested in writing a guest post please see the guest post policy.

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A majority of millennials – those who fall in the 18 to early 30s age range – will go through some major life events within a relatively short period of time. Not only are these life events usually incredibly expensive, but they also come at a time when salaries and pay are relatively low compared to later in life. Usually the first decade or so out of college is filled with “paying your dues” and trying to figure out what you want to do career-wise for the rest of your life.

Today I want to look at some of these major life events and how they impact the finances of those in their 20s and 30s.

College Education

Most young adults choose to go to college after high school. Problem is, the cost of attending college is rising at a meteoric rate. Not only is tuition higher than ever, the costs of housing, text books, food, transportation, entertainment, etc. all have to be factored into the equation. Most finance their college education through student loans. While there is plenty of debate about whether young adults are taking out too many student loans, the reality is that many graduate college with a sizable debt load.

Even if you are able to land a good job after graduation, student loan payments have to be factored into the budgets of many college grads for years after graduation. Let’s not forget the fact that many career tracks also require graduate school, advanced degrees, and expensive professional certifications.

Marriage

Most people see themselves getting married one day. While people are getting married later in life than they have in the past, many still get married before the age of thirty. Unless you have parents bankrolling your wedding, you likely will need to come up with $10,000+ in financing (not counting the engagement ring, fellas!). While your wedding day certainly will be one of the most memorable of your life, it’s important to factor in all the costs and consider different ideas for keeping costs down.

Kids

Most people have children when they are in their 20s and 30s. Not only do children cost a ton of money over the course of their lives, but they also require a lot of time. There are some bloggers out there who work full-time, blog on the side, and have children, I have to believe that my blog work would have to be scaled back if I had children. What would I do without my beloved side hustles? I also am amazed at people who are able to work full-time, pursue an advanced degree, and raise children all at the same time.

I know I’m not hitting on the specific costs involved with having children but I think it’s pretty undeniable that they are an additional expense that need to be factored into your budget.

Buying a House

Buying your first home, whether it’s a single family home, condo, or townhouse, will be one of the biggest purchases you will have made in your life. As you can imagine – or maybe even have experienced yourself – there are a lot of advantages to owning a home. You build equity instead of paying rent, usually get a lot more space than you would renting, and have a place to call your own.

The costs involved in purchasing a home can add up quick, and they don’t stop once you close on your house. Consider the following expenses:

  • Down Payment
  • Closing Costs
  • Unexpected Expenses
  • Decorating/Furnishing
  • Upkeep
  • Insurance
  • Renovations

The costs add up quick. Combine these expenses with all the other expenses that young adults face and you can see why so many have trouble keeping their personal finances straight.

The Good News

Despite the high costs of being a millennial, there is plenty of good news:

  • Time – While it may be hard to come up with money for a retirement fund with so many expenses, millennials have a long investment horizon where compound interest can work in their favor.
  • Income will Increase – In your 20s and 30s you are likely making the least you will make in your career; your income will increase over time. While this is not always true, it is for most people. This means if you can balance your budget today, it will only become easier over time.
  • Major Expenses are usually Worth It – Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your life. Your education will open up doors for you and likely increase your income.

If you are a college grad, gotten married, have kids, and/or bought a house, how did you plan and deal with the costs involved? How are you planning ahead for these costs?

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David Carlson writes at Young Adult Money where topics include saving money, making money, real estate, health care, careers and more. You can find him on Twitter @DavidCarlson1 and also follow Young Adult Money on Facebook and Twitter.

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Photo by stopnlook

Dating on a Budget

David Carlson, from Young Adult Money, and I have teamed up for a guest post swap! This week I wrote a guest post for Young Adult Money about Dating on a Budget. Next week, on Wednesday August 28th, I will feature a guest post from David on Ask the Young Professional! It was a great pleasure to work with David on this collaborative post swap. I hope readers from both sites enjoy a new perspective being features on the sites.

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Do you have a special someone in your life who is draining your funds? Or are single because you are afraid you can’t afford a relationship? Here are a few tips to save your love triangle between you, the special someone and your money.

Deals for Date Nights

There’s this great new thing where you can ask it anything and it will answer all your questions!  …It’s called the internet… The internet, especially Google, should be your wing man when looking for a deal on your next date night. I guarantee that you can find at least one coupon to a restaurant or event.

Don’t know where to start? Start by signing up for Groupon and Living Social. You will find deals to restaurants, wine tastings, movies; you can even find a romantic weekend get away!

For more Dating on a Budget tips read the full article at Young Adult Money here. I share more tips on Deals for Date Nights, Romancing for Free and Penny Pincher Presents.

Personal Finance Advice for Young Professionals, from a Young Professional

Chris Bibey from Finance.Info recently asked if I could share some financial advice for young professionals. I loved the questions Chris asked me and would be really interested to see how other young professionals would answer them as well.

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Source: Katie Robinson is the mastermind behind the website, Ask the Young Professional. As a young professional herself, she shares top of the line information and advice on everything from budgeting to choosing a career.

The way you approach your personal finances as a young professional is not going to be the same as when you are in your 30’s, 40’s and beyond.

At this stage in the game, you are dealing with everything from student loan payments to getting your career off the ground and running. Later in life, things change. At that point, you may be more concerned about paying for your child’s college and how much money you need for retirement.

Financial Challenges: You are not Alone

It is easy to believe you are the only one facing a particular finance related challenge. However, this is not typically the case.

You are not the only person in your age group dealing with student loans. You are not the only person struggling to find a career you can sink your teeth into.

I have fallen in love with Robinson’s website, thanks to her targeted advice and easy to read writing style. I think you will find the following advice quite helpful:

To read “the following advice” you’re going to have to visit Fiance.Info for the full post. Click the full post and leave me your comments there!

Is My Budget Doing The Most It Can For Me?

Have you checked on your budget or monthly spending lately? Take a peek at how much you spent last month. If you’re thinking, “Hey! I have more money leftover than I thought! Than you’re going to want to find the best way to use that money. The following questions can help you decide on the best way to use that money and point out areas where your budget could use some strengthening.

Am I putting enough into savings?

The best advice I’ve gotten is to save 30% of a paycheck. Depending on your situation this might seem like a lot to you, but do the math first before you write it off. Also, when you are deciding if you can afford to put more into your savings, or not, remember this…

“If you never save 10 cents from a dollar, you’ll never save $100 from $1,000.”

Can I put more towards paying off my loans?

If you’re already saving 30% of your paycheck, can you move some money around to put more towards your loans? If you can put limits on how much you spend on groceries, travel, shopping, etc. at the end of the month you can put any leftover money towards your loans. Even if its as little as $50, $50 over time adds up fast.

Am I spending too much?

Are you spending more than 70% of your paycheck? Can you be tighter in some areas? If you are overspending find out why you keep going over budget. Find the route of the problem so you can fix it by either decreasing a different area or regulate your spending more.

Am I spending too little?

There is a risk to spend too little, just like there is to spend too much. It’s all about balance. It’s your money, you’re allowed to spend it, just spend it wisely. I think for the first time budget makers there can be a tendency to over save. I think this comes from fear of spending too much. While saving as much as you can is probably the best thing you can do, it does not mean you need to be living in poverty. Be realistic on what you need to spend, then spend it. Buy that couch instead of using lawn chairs in your living room.

Is there anything else I can do?

We’ve pretty much covered all the bases, at least that I can think of, but I think its always a good idea to ask yourself, “What else can I do?”

Use these questions to make your money work for you. Your worked hard for your money, make sure you’re getting every penny’s worth. 

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How To Get Your Budget Back On Track With 3 Easy Steps

Are you off track with your budget? Or have you been completely ignoring your budget and now you have no idea what to do? From time to time we all go over budget. It happens to the best of us and at any age. There’s really only 3 steps you can follow to get back to a disciplined budget, but it can only be done if you 100% commit.

 

1. Stop Spending Money

There’s a popular challenge that many people part take in and that can be very helpful as your first step to getting back on track. The No Spending Challenge. This challenge is exactly what it sounds like. For a month, or any given amount of time you decide on, you spend no extra money. This means outside of bills, weekly necessities (like groceries and gas/train money to get to work), and emergencies you do not spend any money. The best part of this challenge is the the fact that you create your own rules. Start with your time limit, then list the items that you are allowed to spend on. Create a list of rules and post it in your room or kitchen for a daily reminder!

Here are some No Spending Challenge examples:

2. Make a Plan

After you pledge to not spend any extra money, it is time to make a plan. Sure you had a plan before, but that didn’t work out too well, did it? That’s okay! Its good to frequently review budgets and make updates to suit your present situation. Look at the budget you were following. Where did you make mistakes? Where did you go over? My best advice for creating a budget is to be honest. Be honest with yourself about where you spend your money. You can adjust for it in your budget and set up restrictions to limit spending.

Another helpful tip is to separate your money. Have bills and paychecks connected to one account, savings in another and leftover spending money in an account that is attached to a debit card. To help me from spending money I can’t afford I only put $100 – $200 on my debit card. Then I transfer money or write a check when I need to pay for bills or groceries. For more on how I created my budget and keep my money separate go to these posts:

3. Follow Through

Budgeting is kind of like a diet, you can’t commit to it for just a week and expect results. Make sure you follow through with your new plan and goals for your challenge. Check your budget daily or at the very least, weekly. Update your progress on an excel sheet, with Mint.com or another budgeting site/app. It is okay to make adjustments as you go along.  If you add money to one budget line, take money away from another. This is where it all comes down to you. No one is going to remind of your budget every time you open your wallet. The success and failure that comes along with your money lies with you, it’s as simple as that.

 

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