BUDGETING 15 Practical Budgeting Tips

BUDGETING

15 Practical Budgeting Tips

8 MINUTE READ

It’s the dreaded “B” word—budgeting.

Unfortunately, the word budget has gotten a bad rap. When it all boils down, a budget is basically just a plan for your money. Budgeting means you’re spending with purpose before the month begins. But many people view a budget as a straitjacket that will keep them from doing what they want.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth! A budget doesn’t limit your freedom, it gives you freedom! It’s really all about being intentional with where your money goes.

A budget doesn’t limit your freedom, it gives you freedom!

How can budgeting help me?

A budget is going to give you an action plan and clear picture of where your money is ending up each month. Budgeting will help you achieve the goals you’re working toward—whether that’s getting out of debt, saving for retirement, or just trying to keep your grocery bill from getting out of hand.

When you see planning a budget as simply spending your money intentionally, you can actually find more freedom to spend! Once something has been budgeted for, you’ll be able to spend that money without feeling guilty. Many people even say they find “extra” money after they create a realistic budget and stick with it. How amazing is that?

 

Start budgeting like a boss with our FREE budgeting tool!

 

15 Budgeting Tips for Your Daily Life

Ready to get started? Here are the top 15 budgeting tips!

1. Budget to zero before the month begins.

This means before the month even starts, you’re making a plan and giving every dollar a name. It’s called a zero-based budget. Now that doesn’t mean you have zero dollars in your bank account. It just means your income minus all your expenses (outgo) equals zero.

2. Do the budget together.

If you’re married, sit down once a month and have a family budgeting night. Make it fun! Grab some of your favorite snacks and put on a good playlist to help you focus.

You need to get on the same page with money, so set goals together and dream about what the future will look like. Remember: If the two of you are one, your bank accounts should be one too! It’s no longer your money or my money—it’s our money.

And if you’re single, find someone who can act as your accountability partner and help you stick to your goals!

3. Every month is different.

Some months you’ll have to budget for things like back-to-school supplies or routine car maintenance. Other months you’ll be saving for things like vacations, birthdays and holidays. Regardless of the occasion, make sure you prepare for those expenses in the budget. Don’t let these special occasions sneak up on you. (Hint: Christmas is in December again this year, guys!)

Be sure to adjust your budget each month as things change. Make a savings fund you can stash cash in throughout the year. When you don’t have a plan, you’re going to be stressed. And that takes all the fun out of giving and celebrating. No one wants that!

4. Start with the most important categories first.

Giving and saving are at the top of the list, and then comes the Four Walls—food, shelter and utilities, basic clothing and transportation. Once your true necessities are taken care of, you can fill in the rest of the categories in your budget.

5. Pay off your debt.

If you have debt, paying it off needs to be a top priority. Use the debt snowball method and the Baby Steps to get rid of debt as fast as you can. Attack it! Get mad at it! Stop letting debt rob you of the very thing that helps you win with money—your income.

6. Don’t be afraid to trim the budget.

Brace yourself! It might be time for some budget cuts in your life. If things are tight right now, you can save money quickly by canceling your cable, dining out less, and shopping at discount clothing and grocery stores. Remember, your budget cuts are only temporary. You can always make adjustments later down the road.

7. Make a schedule (and stick to it).

While you’re making a budget part of your monthly routine, why not pick specific dates for other expenses? Set up auto drafts out of your checking account to pay bills, and buy your groceries on a set day every week or twice a month. When you know what to expect and when to expect it, you take a lot of stress and potential pitfalls out of the picture.

8. Track your progress.

It’s important to check your progress from time to time. If you’re married, track your spending and purchases together so you both keep your goals in sight. Look back at your earlier budgets to see how far you’ve come. And don’t forget to celebrate the small wins. (Pro tip: One key category to keep a close eye on is your grocery budget. I bet you are spending significantly less on groceries on a budget.)

9. Create a buffer in your budget.

Put a small amount of money aside for unexpected expenses throughout the month. Label this as your miscellaneous category in your budget. That way when something comes up, you can cover it without taking away money you’ve already put somewhere else. Keep track of expenses that frequently end up in this category. Eventually, you might even want to promote them to a permanent spot on the budget roster.

10. Cut up your credit cards.

If you’re really committed to sticking to a budget and getting out of debt, you need to ditch those credit cards for good. Stop using them! Cut them up, shred them, or even make a craft project out of them! Whatever you do—get them out of your life.

Having no credit card debt will mean no more minimum payments to add to the budget, zero hassle with fees or high interest rates, and much less stress and worry! Stick to using your debit card (and even cash!), and dump those credit cards like your ninth-grade fling. You know what the great thing about a debit card is? The money comes straight out of your bank account! There’s no middleman charging you 15% interest.

11. Use cash for certain budget categories that trip you up.

If you’re constantly overspending on your grocery budget or fun money, cash out those categories and use the envelope system to hold you accountable. Just go to the bank and pull out the cash amount you’ve budgeted for that category. Once the cash runs out, stop spending! It’s the ultimate accountability partner.

12. Try an online budget tool.

If pen and paper (or spreadsheets) aren’t your thing, it’s time to join the 21st century and use a budgeting tool like EveryDollar. You can focus on planning a budget and tracking your spending from the comfort of your smartphone! Plus, you can sync up your budget with your spouse, which is great for keeping that communication open.

13. Be content and quit the comparisons.

You have much more than you realize. Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. Comparison will not only rob you of your joy but also your paycheck. Keep moving forward and doing what’s right for your family.

14. Have goals.

Whether you’re paying off student loans, building up your emergency fund, or paying off your mortgage, you need to focus on your why. What’s the reason you’re making these sacrifices?

15. Give yourself lots of grace.

It usually takes three to four months to get a handle on this whole budgeting thing. It won’t be perfect the first time, or the second. But you’ll get there!

Budgeting Tip for Inconsistent Income

Good news, guys. You can budget with an inconsistent or irregular income. A good rule of thumb is to budget based on what a low earning month would look like for you. This will be your budgeting income.

All you need to do is make a list of all the things you would put in a normal budget (giving, saving, four walls, etc). Then ask yourself, If we had a horrible month and we only had enough money to do one thing on this list—what would that be? Put a “1” next to that item. Then list your second priority and go on through your budget that way, marking items by importance. Be sure to take care of the necessities first. That way when you do get paid, you know exactly where your money is going.

How Can I Make a Budget Quickly?

One of the quickest ways you can do a budget is by using our free budgeting tool, EveryDollar and map out next month’s budget in as little as 10 minutes! Streamline the process even more using our premium version, EveryDollar Plus, which connects to your bank account so you’ll never miss another transaction.

When you realize the purpose of budgeting isn’t to limit your freedom but to give you freedom, you’ll be on the road to loving your life and your bank account! That’s what we call winning with money.

About Rachel Cruze

Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and #1 New York Times best-selling author, helping people learn the proper way to handle money and stay out of debt. You can follow Rachel on YouTubeFacebook, or rachelcruze.com.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

Dave’s Envelope System Explained

BUDGETING

Dave’s Envelope System Explained

The Envelope System Explained

7 MINUTE READ

Dave Ramsey’s envelope system is nothing new—it’s been around for decades. But some people still don’t know exactly how it works. Let’s clear up some myths and walk through why you should give the envelope system a try.

What Is the Envelope System?

The envelope system is a way to track exactly how much money you have in each budget category for the month by keeping your cash tucked away in envelopes. At the end of the month, you can see how much cash is left by taking a quick peek in your envelope. How easy is that?

If you’re constantly going overboard in a certain category (hello, food!), then “cash out” the amount you’ve budgeted for and stick to it! The envelope system is a great tool to help you stop overspending!

How the Envelope System Works

One of the reasons we overspend is because there’s nothing telling us when to stop. That’s where the envelope system comes in. It’s one more tool in your arsenal to help you stick to your budget. Here’s how it works:

1. Think of the budget categories that need a cash envelope.

It’s a good idea to use the envelope system for items that tend to bust your budget. Think of things like groceries, restaurants, entertainment, gas and clothing.

 

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You get to decide which budget categories get an envelope, but here are a few to think about:

  • Groceries
  • Restaurants
  • Gas
  • Health
  • Haircare/makeup
  • Car maintenance
  • Personal
  • Entertainment
  • Gifts

2. Figure out your budget amount.

If you know you tend to overspend on things like baby showers, birthdays and “just because” gifts, then look at limiting that to a certain amount for the month. If groceries are always zapping your cash, figure out how much you want to spend on them and then stick to it!

Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page with the budget amounts, or if you’re single, run the amounts by your accountability partner to get their input.

3. Create and fill cash envelopes for the budget categories.

Let’s say you’ve budgeted $500 a month for groceries. When you get your first paycheck of the month, take out $250 from your bank account and put the cash in an envelope. On that envelope, write out “Groceries.” When you get your second paycheck, do the same thing again, and put that $250 in the envelope. That’s your $500 food budget for the month. Simple, right?

Make sure you take enough money with you to cover your groceries for that trip. If you take $150 cash and your total comes to $160, take some things out of the cart and put them back.

I know, I know—it’s hard! But it’s better than going over on your grocery category and busting your whole budget for the month! And make sure you put any change you get back in the envelope.

No money—and I mean zero money—comes out of that Groceries envelope except to pay for food at the grocery store. If you go food shopping and leave the envelope at home by mistake, turn your car back around!

4. Spend only what you’ve put in each cash envelope.

Don’t forget: When your money is gone, it’s gone! If you want to go to the store but don’t have enough money, raid the fridge for leftovers. Do a pantry challenge! Dig through your pantry to see what you can find to make dinner without having to hit the grocery store. This is a great way to really get intentional about your spending!

Advantages to Using the Envelope System

  • It keeps you on track.
  • It forces discipline.
  • It holds you accountable.
  • It makes it pretty hard to overspend.

What If I Pay Some of My Expenses Online?

Here’s the thing with the envelope system: It works better when you’re actually physically walking into a store to make a purchase. Shopping at the grocery store, going out to eat, getting a haircut or oil change are all times when using the envelope system works really well!

You can still use the envelope system for online purchases, but it does get a little trickier. Write the amount you’ve budgeted for on the outside of the envelope and don’t spend more online than the amount you’ve jotted down. Keep track of how much you’ve spent and write it on the back of the envelope, just like you were balancing a checkbook.

What If I Run Out of Money in My Cash Envelope?

Here’s one of the main things you have to remember: Be careful not to borrow from the other cash envelopes. When it comes to the envelope system, it can be really tempting to shuffle cash from one category to fund another.

Let’s say you used up all the money in your Restaurants envelope—don’t be surprised if some inner voice tells you to grab that other envelope in your wallet marked “Clothing.”

Remember, the whole purpose of the envelope system is to control your spending and help you stick to your budget.

If you run out of restaurant money, eat leftovers instead of going out. If you see your gas money slipping away faster than you planned, limit your trips out and about or carpool into work. Find creative ways to make your money stretch when the envelopes are getting low!

What About Emergencies?

If you have a crisis come up in the middle of the month or something happens and you have absolutely no choice but to shift your envelope funds, call an emergency budget meeting to talk it through.

If you’re married, talk with your spouse and figure out the best course of action, adjust the budget, and agree on it together. Both of you must be involved—it’s a joint decision.

And if you’re single, recruit an accountability partner who is committed to holding you to your budget. This could be a friend, family member or coworker who you trust and know is on board with the money principles you’re putting into practice.

What If I Have Money Left at the End of the Month?

If you have money left in an envelope at the end of the month, congratulations! You came in under budget! That’s the best feeling in the world. And it’s okay to celebrate too . . . within reason.

Reward yourself by going out to dinner or grabbing a fancy latte. Or roll the money over to next month so you have an extra-large food budget. Rewarding yourself is important because it helps keep you motivated. You have to celebrate those little wins along the way!

And if you’re in Baby Step 2, take that extra cash and put it toward your debt snowball. Every little bit helps!

Remember, envelopes are powerful weapons in the fight against overspending. They can help you manage your money better than you ever have. Put the envelope system to work for you and get intentional about how you’re spending your money! Check out our collection of envelope systems to find the perfect one just for you!

Looking for more great tips that can you save money every week?  You need our weekly newsletter!  Get actionable money advice you can easily apply to your daily routine.  Plus, it’s FREE!  Sign-up now! 

About Rachel Cruze

As a #1 New York Times best-selling author, host of The Rachel Cruze Show and The Rachel Cruze Show podcast, Rachel helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at rachelcruze.comyoutube.com/rachelcruze or facebook.com/rachelramseycruze.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

How to Make a Monthly Budget That Works

You don’t have to reach the end of the month wondering where your money went. Doing a budget is simply telling your money where to go. And if you’re not good at budgeting yet, that’s okay! It takes a little time. By your third budget, you’ll be a pro.

  1. 1) Write down your total income for the month.

    This is your total take-home (after tax) pay for both you and, if you’re married, your spouse. Don’t forget to include everything—full-time jobs, second jobs, freelance pay, Social Security checks, and any other ongoing sources of income.

  2. 2) List all your expenses.

    Think about your regular bills (mortgage, electricity, etc.) and your irregular bills (quarterly payments like insurance or HOA) that are due for the upcoming month. After that, total your other costs, like food, gas, and entertainment. Every dollar you spend should be accounted for.

  3. 3) Subtract expenses from income to equal zero.

    This is called a zero-based budget, meaning your income minus your expenses should equal zero. If you’re over or under, check your math or simply return to the previous step and try again.

  4. 4) Track your expenses throughout the month.

    Once you start the budget, you’ll still need to stay on top of your expenses. The good news is that EveryDollar makes tracking your expenses (and budgeting for them) extremely easy. Visit EveryDollar.com to learn more!

    “Falling down is how we grow. Staying down is how we die.” -Brian Vaszily Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

SAVING The Ultimate Travel Checklist

The Ultimate Travel Checklist

7 MINUTE READ

Taking a vacation is a great way to unwind and relax. But getting prepped and ready for vacation can be a real pain in the neck! It’s easy to forget something along the way or miss a step in the planning process. And the last thing you want to take with you on your trip is stress!

Check out these travel checklists so you can be prepared before you hit the road.

Ultimate Travel Checklist

Travel Checklist #1: Getting Your House Ready

Here comes the “fun” part of walking through your home and doing the check. You know how it goes: it’s when you double- and triple-check everything before you can walk out the door in peace. Cross these things off your travel checklist when preparing your home for vacation.

  • Cut the lawn. Or ask a friendly neighbor to do it while you’re gone.
  • Take out the trash. Or roll it to the curb if you’ll be gone during trash pickup.
  • Finish the laundry. Don’t leave clothes in the washer or dryer. You don’t want to come home to mildewed clothes!
  • Change your bedsheets. You can’t beat the feeling of jumping into a freshly made bed, especially when it’s your own.
  • Set your thermostat to a lower level. Or turn it off completely. This will help you save on energy costs while you’re gone.
  • Get a timer for your outdoor lights. You don’t have to go Home Alone-style to make it look like you’re still there. A couple of well-timed lights will get the job done.
  • Leave a key with a neighbor (if you’re comfortable with it). This way, they’ll be able to keep an eye on the place for you and get in if there’s an emergency.
  • Check your water main and consider turning off the water supply. This will help you avoid a leak or—even worse—a burst pipe.
  • Unplug your electronics. We’re talking your computer, toaster and anything else you don’t need to run on a consistent basis. Your electric bill will thank you.
  • Clean out the refrigerator. Because really, no one wants to come home to molded food.
  • Clean up the kitchen. To avoid coming home to stink, don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. And make sure to run the dishwasher before you leave!
  • Stock your shelves with nonperishables. That extra cereal and coffee will come in handy if you get back home and don’t want to go to the store.
  • Check your windows and doors. Make sure everything is shut tight and locked up.

Travel Checklist #2: Setting Your Itinerary

Now that you’ve gotten the pesky tasks of preparing your home for vacation out of the way, it’s time to make your trip itinerary.

 

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  • Figure out what days you want to be gone. Decide how long you want to take off and get to planning! The earlier you decide, the better everyone can stay in the loop with your travel plans.
  • Decide where you want to stay. Are you thinking a beach trip or just a quick getaway? Start checking those prices and pick what budget-friendly vacation you want to go on.
  • Send out your itinerary to emergency contacts. Share details like what days you’ll be in certain places, and don’t forget to include your flight and hotel information too!
  • Make copies or take pictures of important documents. This could include things like your reservations, itinerary, confirmation numbers, and driver’s license (just in case you lose the hard copies).

Travel Checklist #3: Getting Packed

Knowing you’re about to go on vacation is a great feeling. That is, until the realization hits that you need to pack! Ugh. Since we don’t live in the Jetsons’ world (yet!), that bag isn’t going to pack itself. Don’t stress! Think through the things you use on a daily basis and the things that’ll be needed on the trip—like your favorite pair of shades.

  • Clothing (don’t forget to check the weather report!)
  • Phone and tablet chargers
  • Umbrella(s)
  • Raincoat(s)
  • First-aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Prescription medication

Travel Checklist #4: When Traveling by Airplane

Did you know air travel was once considered glamorous? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? People used to get dressed to the nines and relax as they flew the friendly skies. But just because air travel is a bit more frazzled these days doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.

  • Check your flight status online 24 hours prior to departure.
  • Check-in for your flight via their app.
  • Put toiletries and liquid items that are going through security in clear, zip-close bags. Remember, keep it under 3.4 ounces!
  • Are you leaving your car at the airport? Take a picture of where you parked so you can find it easily when you get back.
  • Gather email addresses or phone numbers in case you need to contact your airline.

Travel Checklist #5: When Traveling by Car

If your summer excursion has you taking a long trip in the car, here are a few things to think about before you hit the road.

  • Get an oil change.
  • Fill the car with gas.
  • Check your jumper cables and emergency kit.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date insurance. Connect with an Endorsed Local Provider in your area to get the best rates!
  • Pack snacks and drinks. Loading up on snacks before you leave home will help you avoid paying high prices at gas stations along the way.
  • Decide if you’ll need extra pillows and blankets.
  • Grab some activities for the kids, like games, coloring books, tablets, and DVDs.
  • Gather some reading material or audiobooks. You can pass the time by learning more about how to jump-start your goals with our best-selling audiobooks.
  • And of course, make sure the car is stocked with all the music you could possibly need!

Travel Checklist #6: Staying Safe

Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of your vacation that you forget to focus some attention on your security. Here are some important steps you can take to keep your home and money safe while you’re traveling.

  • Put your mail on hold or have a family member or friend gather it for you. Letting mail linger in your mailbox for days puts you at greater risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
  • Put your newspapers on hold or have them delivered to charity. One of the biggest giveaways that you’re out of town is a pile of newspapers in your driveway. You might as well just tape a sign to your front door that says, “Hey, world! We’re not home!”
  • Pay your bills. The last thing you want is to be greeted by late notices when you get back. Don’t let late fees for missed payments sneak up on you.
  • Call your bank to let them know the dates of your vacation. They can monitor your accounts for irregular activity and unauthorized transactions.
  • Confirm that your health insurance is up-to-date.
  • Secure your life insurance and personal documents in a safe or fireproof lockbox. Don’t have life insurance? Get a free life insurance quote from Zander Insurance!
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date will. This information should always be updated, but especially when you’re about to travel.
  • Use one debit card to minimize risk. And pay with cash at gas stations to avoid card-skimming devices at the pump.
  • Update and password-protect your smartphone in case it gets lost or stolen.
  • Keep your receipts so you can match them up with your statements later to confirm your expenses.
  • Secure valuables when you’re out of your room if you’re staying in a hotel.

Now comes the final step on our travel checklist—and it’s a big one: get out there and enjoy yourself!

Don’t go on vacation without peace of mind! With identity theft protection from Zander Insurance, you can focus on your vacation without having to worry about all the what-ifs.

“Falling down is how we grow. Staying down is how we die.” -Brian Vaszily Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

10 Tips to Plan a Disney Vacation on a Budget

Budget

a family at Walt Disney World Resort

9 MINUTE READ

Do you want to go to Disney World?

Me too! I just love Disney World. And planning Disney vacations is one of my spiritual gifts.

For a family of four, a week at Disney could cost anywhere from $4,000–10,000 or more, which is a lot of money! But you can do it for less. There are plenty of ways you can save money on your Disney vacation—up to thousands of dollars, actually. You just have to do some planning up front.

When Is the Right Time to Plan a Disney Vacation?

Are you out of debt?

When you’re in Baby Steps 1, 2, or 3, Mickey will have to wait . . . for now. There’s no room in the budget for Disney because any extra money is either building up your starter emergency fund or paying down debt.

But don’t give up on your Disney dream just because you’re not debt-free! Actually, I encourage you use that dream as even more motivation to pay off your debt quickly. Just put on some Disney music as you do your budget each month and think about how good that Mickey Mouse ice cream will taste when you’re debt-free!

How old are your kids?

 

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There’s no right or wrong answer to this. In fact, I’m all for going to Disney without the kids! But if you want to take the whole family, there are some pros and cons to consider, depending on their ages.

A big pro of taking anyone under 3 years old is that their park admission is free. That’s a savings of $169 per day for the Park Hopper ticket! And I can tell you from experience: When I took my daughter to Disney around this age, there was nothing like seeing her meet Cinderella for the first time. That moment was priceless. The downside is she may not remember it when she’s older. But we’ll always have the pictures!

Rachel Cruze with her daughter Amelia at Walt Disney World Resort

I hear the sweet spot is between the ages of 6 and 10. At that point, they’re old enough to enjoy the anticipation of planning a Disney vacation. Plus, they’re taller, so they can go on more of the rides.

10 Ways to Save Money (and Time!) on Your Disney Vacation

If you’re in a good position financially and it’s the right time for your family to go, I have good news for you! Here are 10 tips for you to do Disney on a budget and kick your experience up a notch at no extra cost.

1. Spend some days at the park and some days at the pool.

This is my favorite tip for your Disney vacation. You don’t have to spend every day of your vacation in the Disney parks! Trust me, your feet will thank you for breaking up the week with one day at the park and the next at your hotel pool. If you stay on property at a Disney hotel, the pools make you feel like you’re still at the park! They’re themed, they’re huge, and they’re just incredible.

There are plenty of other places you can go on your “off-park” days and still be immersed in Disney magic. Head over to Disney Springs for shopping, restaurants and free entertainment. Go to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for dinner and stay to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks on the beach—for free!

This one tip will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in Disney park tickets, depending on how many people you’re going with and how many days you’re staying.

2. Skip the Park Hopper and visit one park per day.

It seems like a good deal to buy the $169 Park Hopper ticket and get access to all four Disney World parks in one day. However, if you’re staying for multiple days, you can make your budget go further if you forego park-hopping for a day or two and just visit one park per day. A single-park ticket is $109, saving you $60 per person, per day.*

It’s important to be realistic about how much you can and want to get done each day. Moving from park to park is time-consuming and can be exhausting, especially with little ones. But if you’re only going for a couple of days, maybe you do the Park Hopper ticket one of your days and spend another whole day at Magic Kingdom—which, believe me, is entirely possible and amazing and worth it!

 

 

3. Buy Disney gift cards at a discount.

If you’re a member of Costco or Sam’s Club, you have access to purchasing Disney gift cards at 5% off. You can use these gift cards to pay for your park tickets, Disney hotels, food on property and more. While it’s not a ton of money, it will save you $50 for every $1,000 you spend—and that’s, like, 10 Mickey Mouse ice cream bars!

4. Don’t buy the Dining Plan.

I love the food at Disney. Just give me all the food! But I don’t love the Dining Plan. It’s a way to prepay for your meals on Disney property, but it’s not a money saver. In fact, in order to make sure you don’t lose money, you’ll have to do some math on-site. For example, if you get too many ice cream sandwiches during the day, you’ll probably have to forfeit your fries at dinner.

Just pay for your food as you go with cash. Studies show that people spend more money when using a card instead of cash.(1) Plus, you won’t waste time trying to figure out if you’ve met your quota for the day.

Walt Disney World Resort on a Budget

5. Bring your own food.

Did you know that Disney allows you to bring food into the park? This is potentially huge savings in your budget! You can pack a nice picnic lunch with sandwiches, fruit, water bottles, cookies—whatever your family likes—and store it in lockers inside Disney for $7 per day. There are no coolers allowed, so limit what you bring to things that don’t need to be kept ice cold.

6. Arrive just before the park opens.

This is a huge time-saver, because if you’re right there and ready to go when they open the park, you can book it straight to your favorite ride. Lines get long later in the day, but if you get there early, you won’t have much of a wait—and you won’t have to waste a FastPass (more on those later)!

7. Use PhotoPass photographers but don’t buy the package.

For $199, Disney’s PhotoPass photographers will take professional photos of you all over the park. You get access to the photos online after your trip, but that’s a pretty big hit to your budget. The cool thing is, you can actually walk up to these photographers and ask them to take your picture with your phone. They’ll still take your photo with their camera too, but you don’t have to buy it. This way, you’ll have the picture instantly and save $200.

8. Buy your Mickey ears ahead of time.

You can find some really cute Mickey ears online. I found some on Etsy for $10.99, compared to the $27.99 you’ll pay in the park. And while we’re on the topic of souvenirs, you can save a bunch of money by ordering all of them online ahead of time! A friend of mine did this and left one toy on their kids’ hotel bed every night, like it was a gift from “Mickey.” How cute is that?

9. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

You guys, it’s Florida—the land of heat and sun. And the only thing I want you to bring home from your Disney vacation are amazing memories and maybe a cute souvenir, not a sunburn! But you’ll pay up to 40% more for sunscreen in the park, so be sure to pick some up at the grocery store before you go.

10. And the often debated topic of where to stay . . .

Disney Hotels: Are they the best value for your vacation budget?

When you’re making your Disney vacation budget, you might wonder whether or not it’s worth it to stay at one of Disney’s beautiful on-property resorts. There’s no denying it’s more expensive, but staying on property will save you money on transportation and gives you perks you won’t get anywhere else.

So, let’s break it down: The Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort is right next to Disney World in Orlando, and I found a rate for $121 per night. Disney’s own Pop Century Resort is $164 per night. At first glance, staying at the Wyndham looks like a savings of $43 per night.

However, Disney offers free shuttle transportation to and from all of the parks. Wyndham charges $7 per person for this service, which would be $28 per day for a family of four. If you’re flying, Disney also offers free transportation to and from the Orlando airport. This saves about $70 in Uber costs.

The other major benefit to staying at a Disney hotel is the ability to book your dining reservations and FastPasses early. And you guys, FastPasses are everything. They’re free, and you’re guaranteed three per day with any park ticket. FastPasses are a huge time-saver because they let you go right to the front of the line at whatever attraction you want!

When you stay with Disney, you’re able to reserve your FastPasses for the rides you want 60 days ahead of your trip. If you stay off-site, you can reserve them 30 days in advance. By the time your trip is 30 days out, there’s a good chance the most popular rides will be booked up for FastPasses. You might have to wait in line an hour or more for two minutes on Slinky Dog Dash!

As you can tell, I’m pretty passionate about saving money without sacrificing experience on a Disney vacation. The best way to plan for your Disney vacation is to budget for it! Check out our free app, EveryDollar, to start working on your budget today—and you’ll live happily ever after.

Neither Rachel Cruze nor the producers of this content are in any way affiliated with or sponsored by The Walt Disney Company or its subsidiaries. All marks and goodwill of Walt Disney World or related brands are that of The Walt Disney Company and/or its affiliates. Nothing in this article is a paid advertisement or endorsement of Walt Disney World or any affiliated brand.

*Prices in this article pulled from Disneyworld.disney.go.com on 4/1/19 and subject to change.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

SAVING 15 Cheap Vacation Ideas for Your Whole Family

Family

family building a sandcastle on the beach

9 MINUTE READ

Every season has its share of money temptations, but summer just might be the worst. The kids are out of school, the beach is calling your name, and every free hour seems like a good opportunity to drop everything and go on vacation. Blame it on the sun!

But how can you go on a fun trip when you’re on a budget?

15 Cheap Vacation Ideas

Here are 15 cheap vacation ideas that will let you get away without breaking the bank! So, put on The Beach Boys, bust out the shades, and start making your vacation list now.

1. Tour your own city

And this doesn’t mean you “tour” your house projects and work on your yard. We’re talking about getting out there and being a tourist in your own town.

Explore local art galleries, historical sites, that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out, or even half-price museum days. You can truly be as thrifty as you want with this one.

2. Go camping

family camping

Okay, so you can go the traditional “let’s sleep outside” route, or you can rent a cabin. Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!

If you want the whole RV/camper experience but don’t actually want to drive the thing, Airbnb has you covered for as little as $39 a night.(1) Their hosts offer decked-out campers that stay put while you’re cozy and indoors. The youths call this “glamping”—you know, experiencing the great outdoors without dealing with that whole outdoors part.

 

Ready to start saving? Download our free budgeting tool today!

3. Go to the less popular beach

family on a beach

Certain beaches are going to be more popular and pricier than others (looking at you, Key West and Laguna Beach). But if you know where to look, you can save a pretty penny and still watch the tide roll in.

Coastline beaches are going to be more expensive than beaches along the Gulf. Sure, the water might look a little different, but when you’re coming from a landlocked area, a beach is a beach. Staying in a two-bedroom beach condo in Miami could cost you upwards of $100 more per night in comparison to the same type of lodging in Galveston, Texas. Plus, the Gulf beaches will have less expensive hotels, food and activities too.

4. Book travel packages using warehouse stores

We promise this isn’t as weird as it sounds. Club stores, like Costco, actually offer pretty good deals on vacation packages. If you’re planning a more elaborate vacation, you might want to consider what they have to offer.

For example, one Costco deal we found includes five days of accommodations for two adults at the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Walt Disney World tickets, and car rental for about $1,900.(2) But if you paid for your hotel stay, Disney passes, and car rental separately, it would set you back about $2,200. That’s a savings of over $300 just by being smart about who you book with.

We know travel packages like this change pretty quickly, so you might not find this exact deal. The point is: If you’re on the lookout for a bargain, you should be able to find one if you know where to look!

5. Stay with friends or family

It’s not glamorous—and some people might not even consider it a true vacation—but staying with friends or family is an easy cheap vacation idea. Plus, you’ll get to spend time with the people you love!

More than likely, you won’t have to pay for lodging or some meals. That means you’ll only have to foot the bill to get to your destination. This should drastically cut back on your travel costs.

But make sure you’re a great guest while you’re staying there. Don’t be a mooch! Pay for groceries or cook some meals to show your gratitude. Maybe even treat your loved ones to dinner or dessert while you’re in town! You want to score an invite back, don’t you?

6. Travel during the off-season

mother and child traveling on empty train

Everyone loves taking a vacation in the summer, but pushing it out just a few more months could save you a bundle. Traveling during fall break (or any time after Labor Day weekend) can be a great cheap vacation idea.

Remember, though: Peak-season and off-season will change depending on where you’re planning to go. A good rule of thumb is to avoid traveling during the summer months, winter break, and holidays. Do your research before you book!

7. Go away on a weekend trip

If you need to get away, leaving town for the weekend can be just what the doctor ordered. Is it as restful as a 10-day trip? Well, no. But it’s not nearly as expensive. Budget for a quick weekend getaway, and you might be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it can be.

8. Take a vacation on a weekday

All right, this is the exact opposite of the last idea, but hear us out. Most of the time, booking a hotel or Airbnb for the weekend is pricier than staying there during the week. So, if you can afford to use some vacation time at work, try booking a quick, midweek vacation.

9. Visit a national park

father with toddler on shoulders walking through a park

The greatest thing about nature is that it’s usually pretty much free to enjoy. Oh, and it’s beautiful—added bonus! Don’t sweat it if you don’t live anywhere near Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. Did you know there are actually 61 national parks across the United States? Find one near you and go explore! Just know the parks might have a small entrance fee to pay per vehicle or person.

10. Stay at a bed-and-breakfast nearby

Sure, some B&Bs are known for being over the top and out of a budgeter’s price range. But many bed-and-breakfasts can actually be budget friendly if they roll meals and activities into the price of a nightly stay.

A bed-and-breakfast in Nashville generally runs around $100 to $275 per night.(3) But considering you’ll get homemade breakfast at the very least (hence the name) and other meals throughout your stay, it’s really not a bad deal.

A lot of B&Bs even throw in extras, like coffee and cookies or wine and cheese, in the lobby area. Depending on your location, some bed-and-breakfasts offer kayaks, bikes or canoes for you to take for a spin for free.

11. Get insider tips

Okay, let’s say you already know you’re going to go big and plan a vacation to Disney World, but you still want to be smart and do Disney on a budget. You need to make collecting all the insider tips your part-time job. Scour the internet, ask friends and family, and do your research across the board to learn all the things you need to know before booking the trip.

Just because it’s “the most magical place on Earth” doesn’t mean you can’t do it on the cheap!

12. Explore your own region

dad taking picture of daughters holding fish by a lake and smiling

On the flip side, taking a vacation doesn’t mean you have to go to Disneyland . . . or Paris . . . or take a Caribbean cruise. If you want cheap vacation ideas, look no further than your own region.

Decide to go somewhere that’s maybe just one or two hours away from home. You’ll be out of town while (hopefully) avoiding the sticker shock of busy vacation areas. And you’ll save money by not dealing with flights or long drives!

13. Book in advance

One of the best cheap vacation ideas is booking your trip far in advance. We’re not saying you have to plan it years out, but your chances of getting good prices are a lot higher when you don’t wait until the month before you want to go.

Online travel hubs, like Groupon and Expedia, pride themselves in offering great, last-minute vacation deals. And if you’re just trying to find a last-minute hotel in a pinch, look into Hotel Tonight.

14. Book a rental car with your debit card

Trying to book a rental car with your debit card used to be a huge pain. Sure, some places would let you do it, but they basically wanted you to submit to a background check, leave your first-born child as collateral, and pat your head while rubbing your belly. In other words, there were a lot of hoops to jump through.

Now, Dollar Car Rental makes renting a car with a debit card super easy. No hoops, no making you feel like a second-class citizen—just pick up your car and hit the road. And how does it save you money? Simple. It’s not being charged to a credit card and collecting interest months after your vacation ended—that’s how.

15. Take a staycation

family laughing in a swimming pool

Take those vacation days and get ready to stay at home! There are plenty of ways to be creative (and thrifty) without losing the fun factor. Plan out which nights of the week you want to take your family out to eat or explore downtown. And don’t forget to meal plan for the nights you’ll eat at home too. Try sprucing up your backyard and tossing some burgers on the grill!

How to Save for Your Cheap Vacation

We hate to break it to you, but the money for your cheap vacation isn’t just going to magically appear in your bank account. This is why having a budget is such a big deal!

Once you figure out when you want to go on vacation, budget out what looks like a reasonable amount of money to save for your family. The amount you’re able to put aside will impact where you go and how long you can stay. You may need to sell things and make temporary lifestyle sacrifices. But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways you can save up cash quickly.

We’re all for you having a dream vacation, but don’t go into debt for it! When you save up, pay in cash, and try these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation without having to worry about bills following you home.

So, don’t go on a vacation without a budget—you’ll feel the burn long after summer ends if you do. Instead, create your budget with our free budgeting app, EveryDollar! Then, get out there and enjoy your paid for vacation!

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How to Plan a Staycation

How to Plan a Staycation

4 MINUTE READ

Who doesn’t love taking a vacation? Sleeping in, eating delicious food, and the freedom to do absolutely nothing or absolutely anything with your day. Ah, living the dream! But sometimes a traditional vacation isn’t what you need or just isn’t in the budget. A staycation is a great alternative that can give you the rest you deserve, without breaking the bank.

What is a staycation anyway?

An increasingly popular way to get away from it all is to go nowhere. Believe it or not, you can have plenty of fun by staying in your own neck of the woods. It’s called a “staycation,” where you pack zero bags, never fight traffic and don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to fill up the gas tank. For those who just want time with their families or a break from the office, the staycation is a great way to relax without busting the budget.

How do you take a staycation?

Just like when taking a real vacation—you need a plan. When you go on a week-long vacation out of state, you don’t take work with you, and you enjoy time spent relaxing and making memories with family. When you take a staycation, do the same thing!

 

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Don’t check in with work or worry about what you’re missing at the office. Turn off all your devices and limit the TV binge watching—this is your chance to focus on quality time with no interruptions and enjoy not having anything looming on the to-do list. You’re on staycation, after all!

Don’t forget to budget!

A staycation is budget friendly, but be sure you do make a budget for what you want to spend beforehand. Devise a meal plan and budget for how often you’ll be eating out. Unexpected costs add up quickly, and you don’t want to deal with that kind of stress on your staycation! There are plenty of ways to be creative (and thrifty) without losing the fun factor.

So, what do you do on a staycation?

Take a nap

Start your staycation off right with a little rest and relaxation. How many times do you get the chance to close your eyes and catch some ZZZ’s in the middle of the day? Set up a hammock and take a snooze outside!

Read a good book

How many books do you have collecting dust on the shelf? Sure, you’re always wanting to read one, but there never seems to be enough time in the day. Now is your chance to dive into a good read—or several!

Get outside

Take a hike in the great outdoors or enjoy a peaceful walk in a nearby park. Pack a lunch for the trip and enjoy a picnic with your family, or even grab your running shoes to work in some exercise!

Explore your city

Visit free museums, bookstores and that coffee shop you’re always meaning to check out. Are there any historic sites or tourist spots you’ve never been to? Use this opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of your city!

Have fun in the backyard

If the weather is nice, why not enjoy the beauty of your own backyard? Create some fun family memories! Put up a tent in the backyard, light the fire pit and make s’mores, or even spend an afternoon having a water balloon fight. If you supply the water and a sprinkler, the kids can even turn it into their own water park!

Have a movie night

You don’t have to leave your house to catch a good flick. Rent a movie—or even better—check one out from the library for free. Buy some popcorn, chips and candy from the dollar store and you have all the makings for a great (and cheap) movie night.

Plan a game night

Monopoly, Battleship, Clue—these games never go out of style! Dust off the board games and invite your family and friends over to enjoy the simplicity of a game night. Need to add a new game to the rotation? Check out Act You Wage—the first player to become debt-free wins the game!

Take up a DIY project

Family bonding and bowling go hand in hand! Who can resist a little friendly competition? Going to a bowling alley during the middle of the week can be surprisingly affordable. Did you know many bowling alleys even let kids bowl for free? Check out the deals during less popular hours.

Of course, these are just a few ideas to get your gears turning. Sit down with your family and come up with your own list of things you can enjoy together while on staycation!

Whatever you plan to do during your staycation, make sure it fits within your budget! Download our budgeting app EveryDollar, so you don’t overspend while on your staycation!

Contact me Howard Martell Homeprofitcoach

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How to Budget Without Sacrificing What You Enjoy

What You Enjoy

No two budgets are exactly alike because no two people are exactly alike. Thank goodness!That’s the beauty of a budgetYou get to decide who or what gets your money each month. If you love cooking for your family, budget more for groceries. If you love working out, budget more for a great gym. You’re the boss of your own budget.

But what if you start to notice that you’re overspending on those gourmet groceries or kickboxing classes? All of a sudden, you’re paying more for those than your monthly rent or mortgage!

So how do you strike the right balance between doing what you love and budgeting for your money goals? Here are a few ways to save on some of the fun categories without cutting them out completely.

1. Groceries

You’re addicted to cooking shows. And you’re always impressing your crew with an exotic dish from a country you can barely pronounce. It’s a challenge you love.

Budget Trick: That truffle oil and those imported sauces aren’t cheap. Instead of wowing your family with five-star meals every single night, make that your Saturday night specialty. That way, you don’t have to fully give up your love for preparing exotic dishes and your family can look forward to that special meal once a week. The rest of the time, just keep it simple with budget-friendly meals like a nice salad, grilled chicken or pizza.

 

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And if you can’t get enough cooking shows, why not watch one that specializes in cooking for your family on a budget—they’re out there!

2. Gyms

You’re training for your next marathon. Way to go! You’re in the best shape of your life thanks to your lovably tough personal trainer at the gym.

Budget Trick: Instead of paying the price tag for an elite workout, why not replace a few of those expensive gym sessions with workouts you can stream at home. You can find plenty of workouts on YouTube (for free!) that will get your heart rate up. You’ll still get a great workout, and you definitely won’t get bored. And if you start to feel like you miss the community that you had at the gym, start a running club or an exercise group in your neighborhood. Bonus: You’ll be exercising with friends and have built-in accountability partners! Win-win.

3. Travel

New experiences are more important to you than new things. That’s why you can’t wait for that cruise to Alaska or your next trip to NYC.

Budget Trick: Traveling during the off-season is a great way to get the experience you want on a budget that you can handle. Look online for travel deals that entice people to travel during off-peak times of the year. Of course, you’ll want to do more than sit in your cabin or hotel room during your trip. So before you take off, research great local restaurants that are off the beaten path and don’t inflate their prices for tourists. This is a great way to experience the culture of the area and “eat where the locals eat.”

Don’t forget the beauty of a staycation in your own hometown. You can “do the touristy thing” in your own city, experience the free museums, or take in a wine and food tour! Dig deeper to see what your town has to offer—it might be full of a history you never even knew existed!

4. Entertainment

From the latest superhero flick to live concerts in an amphitheater, you love entertainment. It’s how you and your spouse relax and take a mini-escape from work, kids and life.

Budget Trick: A night at the movies can hit your wallet pretty hard, especially if you’re paying for an $8 bucket of popcorn, a $10 soda and a babysitter. Pick one or two movies per month that you’re dying to see opening week, and wait for the rest to hit Redbox or your favorite streaming service. Then put the kids to bed, pop in some fridge-to-oven cookies, microwave some popcorn, and enjoy!

As for concerts, check to see if there are any free shows happening in your local parks or at nearby festivals. You may even be able to see live local bands at restaurants in your area. You’ll get dinner and live music for the price of two cheeseburgers—can’t beat that!

5. Restaurants

Winston and I love going out to eat, so this is totally us! It’s convenient, and there are no dishes! Plus, food always tastes better when somebody else cooks it, right?

Budget Trick: Got small kids? Consider splitting a meal between two kids, or if you only have one child, you and your spouse could share your own plate with them. Restaurant portion sizes are huge, anyway! And keep an eye open for those restaurants that still let kids eat for free.

Figure out a reasonable amount of restaurant spending for your family—maybe that’s twice a week, maybe that’s twice a month. Then, prepare everything else at home. Use a Sunday afternoon to chop and freeze some slow cooker meals for the week.

6. Clothes

You can’t get enough new clothes, shoes and accessories to satisfy your passion. Great-looking clothes make you feel great. And everywhere you turn, the latest trends are always catching your eye.

Budget Trick: Good news—there are plenty of ways to shop for clothes that won’t ruin your budget. Go consignment shopping, especially for kids’ clothes! They grow so fast, and it’s tough to justify paying full price for an outfit they will only wear once or twice. Plus, when those clothes don’t fit anymore, you can sell them right back to the consignment shop—which gives you more money to spend on clothes. That’s music to my ears! Don’t forget about shopping outlet stores and the end-of-season sales, too. That way, you’ll stretch your budget instead of a credit card limit.

7. Cable

Every year, there are countless new shows added to the prime-time television lineup. That’s a lot of good (and bad) new TV, not to mention the new seasons of your go-to favorite shows that you can’t wait to watch!

Budget Trick: If you have to have your TV show fix (which I completely get), look for affordable alternatives to cable that still provide the shows you already watch, like Sling TV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or HBO Now. There are plenty of alternatives to cable.

Or maybe even turn off the TV one night a week, pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, and cozy up on your couch. Quality entertainment doesn’t have to come from that big screen hanging on the wall.

8. Electronics

Apple Announcement Day is a holiday as far as you’re concerned. That’s when you get to drool over all the awesome new technology coming out. In a few short weeks, you’ll be the coolest kid on the block.

Budget Trick: If you need the “next new thing,” prepare for the cost by selling your old device. Don’t just toss it to the kids or throw it in the drawer with all your old flip phones. And when you are financially ready to buy that next new gadget, don’t waste money getting the warranty the cashier will probably try to sell you. It’s just not worth it.

9. Decorating

Every now and then, you get an itch to spruce up your surroundings. So you buy a new rug. Then you decide to paint the room… and get new throw pillows… and find new chairs. Same room, new bling.

Budget Trick: It’s great to freshen things up, but don’t get too carried away. For inexpensive decorating ideas, watch your favorite HGTV show or grab some magazines and decorating books from the library. You can also find great DIY décor inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest. It’s crazy how many resources are available to help you decorate on a budget. And it will give you a chance to stretch your creative muscle!

You don’t have to choose between loving your life or your bank account. Get started with an EveryDollar budget today!

Contact me Howard Martell Homeprofitcoach

757-647-2886 Team Gold Leader Independent Associate Genusity about Webinar and further information

How much of my income should be budgeted for rent

So if your annual salary is $60,000, you should pay no more than $1,500 a month in rent. In New York City, landlords also follow this guideline, insisting that applicants earn 40 times the monthly rent. As an alternative, your landlord may allow someone (usually a well-off relative) to co-sign the lease as a guarantor. “You cannot be living hand-to-mouth,” said Carlos Castro, the director of lease administration for Halstead Management, adding that renters should be aware of brokers’ fees, security deposits and other housing-related expenses. And when calculating how much you can afford to spend each month, don’t forget to factor in student loan or car payments.

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You may not be able to find an apartment that would be affordable on an entry-level salary. Between 2006 and 2014, seven of the 11 largest metro areas became less affordable, as rents grew at a faster rate than salaries and more renters entered the market, according to a report by the Furman Center and Capital One. The most expensive market was Washington, D.C., where the median rent in 2014 was $1,530 a month.

SmartAsset, a financial technology company, mapped out how much income a renter would need to afford an average two-bedroom apartment in various American cities in 2016. The findings are sobering. In San Francisco, a renter must earn a stunning $216,129 a year to avoid being rent-burdened; in New York City, $158,229.

Still, you have to live somewhere. To offset costs, consider a roommate. If you pool your incomes, you might be able to find a nicer apartment than you could afford on your own. You might also be able to save a little for the future.

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7 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Financial Advisor

1. Hiring an Advisor Who Is Not a Fiduciary

By definition, a fiduciary is an individual who is ethically bound to act in another person’s best interest. This obligation eliminates conflict of interest concerns and makes an advisor’s advice more trustworthy.

If your advisor is not a fiduciary and constantly pushes investment products on you, it’s time to find an advisor who has your best interest in mind.

2. Hiring the First Advisor You Meet

While it’s tempting to hire the advisor closest to home or the first advisor in the yellow pages, this decision requires more time. Take the time to interview at least a few advisors before picking the best match for you.

3. Choosing an Advisor with the Wrong Specialty

Some financial advisors specialize in retirement planning, while others are best for business owners or those with a high net worth. Some might be best for young professionals starting a family. Be sure to understand an advisor’s strengths and weaknesses – before signing the dotted line.

4. Picking an Advisor with an Incompatible Strategy

Each advisor has a unique strategy. Some advisors may suggest aggressive investments, while others are more conservative. If you prefer to go all in on stocks, an advisor that prefers bonds and index funds is not a great match for your style.

5. Not Asking about Credentials

To give investment advice, financial advisors are required to pass a test. Ask your advisor about their licenses, tests, and credentials. Financial advisors tests include the Series 7, and Series 66 or Series 65. Some advisors go a step further and become a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP.

6. Making Assumptions When They are Affiliated with a Reputable Brand

An advisor might appear qualified and professional due to an association with a major firm like J.P. Morgan or Morgan Stanley. Working with an advisor from a reputable firm can lead to stability and better tools and information. However, choose an advisor because they are the best fit, not because of their branding.

7. Not Understanding How They are Paid

Some advisors are “fee only” and charge you a flat rate no matter what. Others charge a percentage of your assets under management. Some advisors are paid commissions by mutual funds, a serious conflict of interest. If the advisor earns more by ignoring your best interests, do not hire them.

Follow These Steps to Get Matched With the Right Advisor for You

1. Simply enter your ZIP code below.

2. After you enter your ZIP code and answer questions about your financial goals, you can compare up to three top advisors local to you and decide which to work with.

3. Enjoy a better financial future!

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