Ways to Stop Overspending on Impulse Buys

Ways to Stop Overspending on Impulse Buys


Let’s be honest here: making an impulse buy is kind of fun—at least in the moment. You walk into a store not anticipating an extra purchase, yet the perfect sale appears right in front of you! It’s meant to be, right?

A recent survey by Slickdeals found that Americans impulsively spend an average of $450 every month. That adds up to and extra $5,400 spent every year!

So for some of you, grabbing that coveted item means you’ll be overspending—or worse—using a credit card to pay for it. Whether you’re on Baby Step 1 or Baby Step 7, we’ve come up with 10 tips to help you dodge the temptation to overspend.

1. Make a budget and stick to it.

Okay, first things first: You need a budget. If you don’t already have one, create yours in less than 10 minutes with our free budgeting app EveryDollar. But you have to actually stick to it! A budget isn’t a magic wand that will suddenly make all of your money behave. It’s on you to tell your money where to go each month and then follow that plan.

2. Give yourself permission to spend.

Yes, we just told you to stick to your budget—and you always should. But it’s also important to throw a little fun money in there too! Give yourself (and your spouse if you’re married) a line item in the budget with your name on it. This is money you can spend how you want on and what you want. Depending on your budget, this might be $10 a month or $100 a month. Just make sure the amount is reasonable and affordable for your budget!


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

So the next time you’re walking through the mall and something catches your eye, simply check your “fun money” fund.

3. Wait overnight before you make a purchase.

Ramsey Personality Rachel Cruze said it best: “When you sleep on the decision, you put some time between your emotions and the transaction.” Give yourself a day to calm down when an impulse buy gets you jazzed. Once you’re cool and have a fresh perspective, ask yourself if you’ll actually use the item or service and if you can pay cash for it. That’s a great way to put the purchase into perspective.

And watch out for deals that are only good for 24 hours—don’t let a countdown rush you into buying anything! Remember the offer, save some money, and be ready for it next time if you can’t afford it right now. Because a sale will come back around. Trust us.

4. Shop with a plan.

Determine what you want to buy and how much you’ll spend before you ever start shopping. With a plan in place, you’ll be less likely to give into overspending. Your shopping list can range from grocery items to the Christmas gifts you plan to purchase for your extended family—just know before you go.

5. Beware of joining too many email lists.

Signing up for a store’s email list can be a great way to snag 15–20% off coupons or even (gasp) free shipping! If you have a purchase you know you’ll be making soon, go ahead and sign up for the company’s email list to score that extra discount.

But keep in mind that an email blast can also be your worst enemy.

Picture it: You’re doing great sticking to your budget. Everything is accounted for and every purchase is planned. Things are going great! That is, until you check your inbox and find 15 different emails announcing one sale after another. Danger, danger!

You weren’t even thinking about shopping! But now they’ve caught your attention and you just have to see what’s on sale. Step away from the wave of emails and unsubscribe as fast as you can!

6. Don’t shop when you’re emotional.

You may be having a great day and make an impulse buy in the height of the moment. But it could also be the opposite—you’re having a rough time, you see something you want, and you tell yourself you deserve it.

Either of these scenarios can easily happen. Don’t let your emotions dictate your spending.

7. Bring someone with you when you shop.

Do you have a sibling or friend who is willing to get in your face and tell you not to buy something? Bring them on your shopping trip! Tell them what you plan to buy and ask them to talk some sense into you if you start straying from the strategy. Sweeten the deal by offering to buy them a coffee afterward.

8. Take only the amount of cash you’ll need.

Figure out how much money you need for the items you want and only take that amount. You could even go a step further and leave your debit card at home so you don’t tempt yourself to buy more with plastic. According to a study on spending behavior, people who shop with a card tend to spend more than they would with cash.

If you stick to your shopping plan and don’t bring any extra money along on the trip, you can’t make an impulse buy. Now that’s the power of cash!

9. Stop the comparisons.

If you always compare what you have (or don’t have) to others, you’ll never be satisfied. It’s just like Rachel Cruze said in her book Love Your Life, Not Theirs, “When we start comparing ourselves to other people, we’re playing a game we’ll never win.”

Instead of looking at what someone else has and thinking, Oh! I need that too!, take a step back and be thankful. Learn to be grateful for what you do have. If you change your perspective, you might find you already have more than you thought.

10. Keep your goals in mind.

Giving into an impulse buy won’t help you achieve your goals—whether that’s getting out of debt, paying off your mortgage or investing for your future. Overspending will eat up any extra money you were saving to put toward those goals.

Remember This Before You Impulse Buy

Dave always says, “Children do what feels good, adults devise a plan and follow it.” The excitement of impulse spending never lasts. Control the urge to fork over money when you discover a jacket on sale or a sweet offer from an online deal. That discipline will get you something priceless—peace of mind. And that’s one purchase you’ll never regret!

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

Stop Spending Money

Stop Spending Money

How to Stop Spending Money


No matter where or how we shop, the temptation to overspend on random stuff follows us everywhere we go. Yup, we’re talking about the aisles right next to the store’s checkout lane. Mini hand sanitizers, gum and that magazine with the latest news on the royal family?! It seems they’ve thought of everything—or that’s what they want you to think.

With so many ways to shop (online, on our phones and in-store), how can we avoid making mistakes that bust the budget? Don’t worry, we’ve got the scoop on how to stop spending money so you can start actually winning with money.

Reasons Why You’re Overspending

People spend money for so many reasons, and if we’re just a little honest with ourselves, most of those reasons can be chalked up to emotions. Many times, we can blame our overspending on five things:

1. Social Media

Need we say more? Picture it: It’s Saturday morning, and before you realize it, you’re scrolling through your social media feed to catch up on what your friends are up to. And before your feet even hit the floor, you’ve spent $30 on that new, life-changing thing you thought you needed.

If you’re honest, you didn’t have to work too hard to picture it (because you lived it last weekend). Let’s face it: We all want what we don’t have. And we want it because we think it will make life that much better.


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

But social media makes the comparison game even stronger these days. With Pinterest, your friend’s post about their brand-new couch with those perfect pillows and that popular blogger’s sponsored posts about that incredible, all-inclusive resort . . . where does it end?

Newsflash: It won’t. All of these things just drain your budget, steal from those future financial goals you have . . . and steal your joy.

2. Not Tracking Your Spending

It doesn’t matter how large (or small) your income is—if you’re not tracking your spending, you’ll never be in control of your money. In fact, you’ll always feel like your money owns you.

Listen: Living paycheck to paycheck is the pits. If you’re wondering where all your hard-earned money went each month, it’s time to start tracking it! Stick with us, and we’ll show you how.

3. Shopping to Feel Better

Some people like to joke about being a shopaholic, but compulsive spending, otherwise known as retail therapy, is a thing. For most of us, spending on impulse just because we want it now is the problem. We see something and buy it before we think about what’s in the checking account (or about our financial goals, for that matter).

4. Paying With Plastic

If you haven’t noticed, you spend more when paying with plastic. Whether that’s a credit card (everyone loves shopping with someone else’s money) or a debit card, the research is the same.1 When you spend with cash, you feel it. You feel those crisp (or wadded up) green bills leave your hand, and it hurts. Something inside of you cringes. Just moments before, you had money, and now, you don’t.

Think about it, when you’re shopping with plastic, it’s easy to spend more, because you don’t physically see the money right in front of you. So, the next time you make a purchase, pay in cash, and you’ll see exactly what we mean. Plus, there’s no overspending—you can only spend what you have with you.

Here’s the good news: You can overcome these overspending habits with a little planning, self-discipline and long-term thinking. Here’s how we suggest you stop spending money.

8 Ways to Stop Spending Money

1. Know What You’re Spending Money On

Making and sticking to a budget every single month is what is going to help you get out of debt and stay out of debt.

If this is your first time budgeting, you might be surprised by how much money you’re spending each week or even each month on little things, like coffee, lunches or that snack shop at work that your spouse doesn’t know about.

When you make your first budget, you need to make sure your basic needs (or your Four Walls) are covered. These are:

  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Shelter
  • Transportation

While these are the necessities, they can also offer an opportunity to cut back on the extras. You really don’t need to go out to dinner every night or buy new clothes every week. And if you are, it’s time to invite Marie Kondo into your life.

2. Make Your Budget Work for You

Now, you’re ready to create a monthly spending plan for everything from gas to going out to eat. This is also called a zero-based budget. This means your income minus your expenses needs to equal zero and you’ve told every single hard-earned dollar where to go. Just remember, it’s a working budget. You have to keep coming back to it in order to stay on track.

If this is your first budget, you’ll want to give yourself grace. It takes a few months to make your budget work for you. But if you’re an expert, take another look through your monthly expenses for other ways to trim your spending.

Do you really need to spend money on clothes every single week? Probably not. What about that gym membership you haven’t used in eight months? It’s time to get really honest with yourself and start trimming the fat out of your budget. Answering these questions can help put you on the path to spending your money with intentionality.

Use a free budgeting app, like EveryDollar, to create your first budget in 10 minutes. You’ll be able to plan your budget, track your spending, and monitor your debt and savings progress each month.

3. Shop With a Goal in Mind

We’ve all been there. You’re out of shampoo and toothpaste. So, with those two items in mind, you make a quick run to Target. But as soon as you walk through the door, you feel the gravitational pull toward the dollar spot and fill your basket with a bunch of those colorful cell phone chargers and water toys for the kids that you swear will get used all the time.

After a few impulse buys, a quick trip to the store for a few essentials just got . . . expensive, thanks to a few seemingly harmless purchases.

But does anyone really plan on getting sidetracked while they’re out shopping for essentials? Probably not. But if you often get caught in this scenario, you might want to make a point to avoid the stores that trigger overspending.

4. Stop Spending Money at Restaurants

Changing how you spend money on food is one of the easiest ways to save money. And we all know that going out to eat gets expensive fast. If you’re spending $15 on lunch four times a week, that’s $60 a week—and $240 a month! Imagine how quickly you could pay off debt with that kind of money!

Consider this: Instead of heading into the grocery store and wandering up and down the aisles, create your meal plan for the week, make a list before you go, and then stick to it. If you need to leave the kids (or your spouse) at home to save even more, don’t think twice about it. Planning your meals in advance means lowering your overall food costs.

Speaking of lunch, bring your lunch to work every day. We promise—it doesn’t have to be complicated! Set aside some time on Sunday afternoons to meal prep, or take 15 minutes each night to make a sandwich or pack up some leftovers for the next day.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t ever treat yourself to a nice dinner on a special occasion or Sunday morning brunch—just make sure it’s in the budget.

5. Resist Sales

Who doesn’t love a good deal? Retailers know their customers, and they also know the irresistible pull of a flashy (and perfectly placed) sales rack. But how much is all this saving really costing you?

If you buy a sweater you never intended to buy just because it’s 25% off, you’re paying 75% more than you would have. Sorry, shoppers, that’s still called spending, not saving.

Avoid these shopping traps by making a list before you go! Then, practice some self-discipline once you’re there. If you see an item on sale that isn’t on your list, it wasn’t meant to be.

6. Swear Off Debt

If you’re serious about getting your overspending under control, you have to swear off debt—for good. After all, debt steals from your income. Not only that, you’re stuck paying on the loan or credit card (plus interest) until it’s gone for good. It’s true: Your debt owns you until you pay it off once and for all.

We live in a world where just about anything can be financed or borrowed, which can give you a sense of financial security. But that financial security isn’t real. It makes you think if you can afford the payment, you can afford the new car, house, or big purchase. But in reality, if you don’t have the cash to pay for something right now, you can’t really afford it.

So, go ahead. Make the decision to cancel your credit cards, and commit to living debt-free from this moment forward. And just as a refresher: Credit is an enabler. It enables you to overspend. But without it, overspending isn’t an option.

7. Delay Gratification

If you’re having trouble sticking to your new budget and shopping list, imagine how you’ll be using that must-have item a month from now.

Will that sweater still look good after a few washes? Will your kids still be playing with that overpriced toy set? Will those cheap shoes last through the season?

The majority of the time, the answer is: Put it back. But what if you still want it? Then, you wait. Work it into next month’s budget and revisit your feelings in 30 days. If you still love it, you’ll be able to buy it without the guilt, because it’s already in the budget.

8. Challenge Yourself to Reach Your New Goals

Put your willpower to the test by buying just the bare necessities for one month. You’ll be amazed by how little you actually need.

You’ll also be able to identify the things you don’t necessarily need, but simply like to have. Do you like using your gym membership because it helps you stay active? Keep it. Does your weekly visit to the chiropractor keep your back in tip-top shape? Keep going. If it fits into your budget (and doesn’t cause you to go into debt), you can spend money on it.

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

5 Small Budget Cuts That Equal Big Savings

5 Small Budget Cuts That Equal Big Savings


Don’t think little budget cuts matter? Just ask UPS. The company figured out that making left-hand turns cost them time and money, so they asked drivers to make right turns whenever possible. That took a whopping 20.4 million miles off of their routes in 2010 with that little adjustment. Small change, big difference.

Making minor changes in your spending habits can help you save money faster than you think. Check out these examples of the dollars you could save by small budget cuts and tweaks in your spending habits.

1. Dining out options

Restaurants fall under categories: fast (think McDonald’s), fast-casual (think Chipotle), casual sit-down (think Chili’s) and fine dining (think dress code!). The higher up the food chain, the more you’ll pay. A dinner for four at Chipotle will cost you about $45. Take your family to Chili’s and you’ll spend more than $50, not including tip. If you grabbed two pizzas from Little Caesar’s instead, you’re only out $10 plus tax. That extra money could really get your debt snowball rolling.

Related: Get Out of Debt With the Debt Snowball Plan

2. Movie night-mares

Nothing says night out like watching that latest blockbuster with a friend. It can also be a wallet buster. The cost of two tickets ($8.50 to $9 each), a bucket of popcorn ($8) and drinks (another $6 each) can make you feel like you’re in a horror flick. If you’re set on seeing the movie on the big screen—some are just better that way—then opt for the matinee and eat beforehand. Or, better yet, sacrifice the big screen and save even more by staying home with Netflix. Spend a few dollars at the grocery store for snacks, and you’re set for a great movie for less than half the cost!


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

Related: What’s Your Box Office Budget?

3. Coffee craziness

Let’s be honest. A coffee drinker’s day doesn’t begin until that first sip of a ginormous Frappuccino with a shot of something. That morning ritual can easily run $5 a pop. Skipping the coffee shop and brewing your own cup of joe even twice a week can save you 40 bucks a month. That can put a smile on your face—no caffeine necessary.

4. Road trip traps

Everybody loves a road trip . . . especially cashiers at gas stations. Loading up on munchies at every bathroom break can add up to big bucks, and that doesn’t include the cost of lunch. If you purchase sodas, salty snacks and some sweets, you can easily top $10 per pit stop. Save money by stocking up at the grocery store before you hit the road and make memories by enjoying a picnic lunch. You’ll save even more coin!

5. Skipping a month

Try to go an extra month on purchases that usually hit your checkbook like clockwork. Do your own nails ($20). Let your hair grow eight weeks instead of four ($20). Wear that outfit another time or two before dry cleaning it ($10). That’s an extra $50 you saved without any effort. If you keep going with your bi-monthly plan, you could save $300 a year. Skipping a month could have you skipping all the way to the bank!

Related: How to Save $1,000 in One Month

Small Budget Cuts Lead to Big Savings

Making and keeping a budget can help you find other small changes that could put big bucks in your pocket instead of the cash register. And every little bit you save puts you that much closer to winning with money. That’s a big difference you’ll enjoy for a long time.

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

Save Money With a Purpose

Every unplanned expense does not have to be a crisis. Imagine if you had $1,000 cash in your hand, ready to pay for that unexpected event. Most people are able to save $1,000 in just a month. You can do it. Turn crisis into peace and start building your emergency fund today!

  1. Hands clasped together

    1) Save for emergencies.

    Saving for emergencies is critical. Save $1,000 first, and then pay off your debt. After your debt is paid, save for three to six months’ worth of expenses. Saving for life’s little and larger emergencies means you’ll be ready for the unexpected.

  2. Exchanging US currency

    2) Save enough money to pay in cash.

    Save for the things you want and pay for them with cash. The only way you can break the habit of going into debt is to get ahead.

  3. Couple on vacation looking at a map

    3) Saving for retirement is important no matter your age.

    Retirement isn’t an age. It’s a financial number. After your debt is paid off, put 15% of your gross income into tax-favored plans such as your company’s 401(k) and Roth IRAs.

    Every unplanned expense does not have to be a crisis. Imagine if you had $1,000 cash in your hand, ready to pay for that unexpected event. Most people are able to save $1,000 in just a month. You can do it. Turn crisis into peace and start building your emergency fund today!

    1. Hands clasped together

      1) Save for emergencies.

      Saving for emergencies is critical. Save $1,000 first, and then pay off your debt. After your debt is paid, save for three to six months’ worth of expenses. Saving for life’s little and larger emergencies means you’ll be ready for the unexpected.

    2. Exchanging US currency

      2) Save enough money to pay in cash.

      Save for the things you want and pay for them with cash. The only way you can break the habit of going into debt is to get ahead.

    3. Couple on vacation looking at a map

      3) Saving for retirement is important no matter your age.

      Retirement isn’t an age. It’s a financial number. After your debt is paid off, put 15% of your gross income into tax-favored plans such as your company’s 401(k) and Roth IRAs.

      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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

How to Keep Your Side Hustle From Messing Up Your Taxes

How to Keep Your Side Hustle From Messing Up Your Taxes

Polaroid picture of cookies baked by a small business.


We see you, side hustler. We see you out there delivering pizzas five nights a week. We see you driving folks to and from the airport on the weekends. We see you editing photos from your cousin’s friend’s wedding at 3 a.m.

Maybe you’re taking on a side hustle (or two) to speed up your debt snowball or maybe you just love spending your free time baking cookies or designing websites. Either way, who doesn’t like the idea of bringing in some extra cash?

But listen up: If you’re not careful, all that side hustle money could cause some serious trouble once tax season rolls around. All it takes is one big job or a few new clients to jack up your tax bill in a major way. Here are three ways your side gig could mess up your taxes:

  • Depending on how hard you’ve hustled in the last year, you could see your tax bill increase by hundreds (or maybe thousands) of dollars.
  • If your side hustle is successful enough, you might have to pay estimated taxes throughout the year—and the IRS will whack you with a penalty if you don’t pay those on time.
  • And what if the IRS decides they want proof that you actually spent $1,000 in cooking supplies as a business expense? Do you have the receipts or bank statements to prove that’s what you actually spent?

This is a lot to think about, but you have to be prepared for all of it! Here are some ways you can keep your side hustle from messing up your taxes:


Business taxes can be confusing. Get the help you need.

1. Set aside 20–35% of your side hustle income for taxes.

Take a look at the last paycheck from your “day job.” You’ll see that your employer holds back some of your salary to pay for income taxes before the money ever hits your bank account—that’s called federal income tax withholding.

But that money you earned from pet sitting your neighbor’s dog? Your neighbor and Fluffy over there don’t withhold taxes from what they paid you. That means it’s on you to report the income you make from your side hustle and make sure you pay the taxes you owe.

No matter how much or how little you make, open up a separate savings account and stash 20–35% of all your side hustle money for taxes. That way, you’ll have enough money to pay for the income taxes and the self-employment taxes you owe on that income. Do that, and you won’t get caught off guard by a massive tax bill once tax season rolls around!

2. Find out if you need to pay estimated taxes.

Our tax system is a “pay-as-you-go” system. That means the IRS wants folks to pay their taxes throughout the year, not just in one lump sum. That’s why you might have to pay estimated taxes (or quarterly taxes), which are paid on a quarterly basis throughout the year, on the money you make from your side hustle.

If your side gig only brings in a few hundred bucks each year, you can relax. You probably don’t need to worry about estimated taxes. Just keep track of what you’re earning and file your tax return in the spring like you normally would and then pay whatever you owe in taxes on that extra money.

Generally, you’ll pay estimated taxes if you expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes when you file your tax return.1 That’s after subtracting your federal income tax withholding from the total tax you expect to owe this year.

If you find out you need to pay estimated taxes, you have two options:

  • Option 1: Divide the total tax you expect to owe when you file your tax return into four equal payments and pay the estimated taxes when they’re due.
  • Option 2: Adjust your tax withholding at your normal job by filling out a new W-4 form to account for the taxes you’ll owe on your side hustle income. The IRS has a new tax withholding estimator that makes it easy to figure out how much you need to adjust your withholding.

Your side gig could make your tax situation pretty tricky, so it might be a good idea to get in touch with a tax advisor who can help you figure out whether or not you need to pay estimated taxes.

3. Open a separate checking account for side hustle expenses.

It’s time to start treating your side gig like a business, because it is a business! And just like any other small business, you can write off some of your side hustle expenses from your taxable income. That’s a big deal because those write-offs can help you lower your tax bill!

But trying to sort through what’s personal and what’s business on your bank statements can be more frustrating than trying to pick off all the unwanted toppings on your favorite pizza (get out of here, pineapple).

That’s why you should open a checking account dedicated solely to expenses related to your side hustle (in addition to that savings account for taxes we just talked about). It’ll make it so much easier for you to find business expenses and add up how much you spent on your side gig throughout the year. It’s a really good idea!

4. Create a simple record-keeping system.

Unless you want to spend hours each tax season sifting through a year’s worth of receipts trying to separate personal expenses from business ones, this is one step you don’t want to skip.

You can go old school and use labeled manila folders or go with a digital record-keeping system that keeps all your files in the “cloud.” Choose whatever works best for you!

What does this have to do with taxes? For one thing, having all your receipts from side hustle-related expenses in one easily accessible place will help you figure out how much you can claim in business-related deductions (instead of coming up with a number out of thin air). And second, if the Tax Man ever comes knocking and asks you to verify those expenses, you have the paper trail to prove it.

Here are a few important documents and information you might want to keep in your new record-keeping system:

  • Receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Business records
  • Tax forms
  • Car mileage and car expenses

5. Get help from a tax professional.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, having a side hustle will make your taxes a bit more complicated than you’re probably used to. And trying to get a handle on all the tax stuff that comes with it can be a little overwhelming.

That’s why we recommend working with a reliable tax advisor you can turn to for advice and tax guidance. Our tax Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) can sit down with you, answer all your tax questions, and help you understand how your side hustle will impact your tax situation so you can get your taxes done right. That way you can focus more on doing what you love. That’s a win-win for everyone!

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

30 Easy Ways to Save Up to $1,000

30 Easy Ways to Save Up to $1,000

A sport water bottle covered in stickers.


Let’s be totally honest: Saving money can be hard. And if you feel like you can’t get ahead enough to start saving, you’re not alone. Sixty-nine percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings.1 That’s not okay! It looks like a lot of us could use some help when it comes to finding ways to save money.

But what if saving money was easy? What if there were tons of small ways you could make a huge impact on your savings goals? We want you to see just how effortless saving money can be. Seriously! It’s all about those small (but intentional) daily, weekly and monthly changes. Adjust the way you think, spend and save, and watch your savings go way up!

Daily Money-Saving Tips

1. Use cash-back apps.

Will it make you rich? Nope. But using cash-back apps can add up to some serious savings. Ibotta, Rakuten, Shopkick, Receipt Hog, Checkout 51 and Dosh are a few of the many apps that will give you points (which add up to moolah) just for scanning your receipt or buying specific products. But be sure you’re not getting caught up in the temptation to spend money at stores just to get the cash-back points.


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

2. Turn off the TV.

Is Frozen still playing after the kids have left the room? It’s amazing how many times the TV is on when no one is even around to watch the tube. Shut that sucker off! And make sure everyone knows to turn it off if they’re not going to watch it anymore.

3. Turn off the lights.

It’s like your mama always told you: Turn the lights off when you leave the room! It might seem minor, but those small expenses really add up. So when you walk out of the room, just switch off the lights. Really—it’s that simple.

4. Install energy-efficient lights wherever you can.

Whether it’s LED (light-emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs, just making the switch to more energy-efficient lighting can really impact your electric bill at the end of the month. The U.S. Department of Energy says using these types of lights in your five most-used light fixtures can save you around $75 a year.2

5. Brew your own coffee.

Your daily drive-thru coffee is probably costing you somewhere in the neighborhood of $65–120 each month. Grab some high-quality beans and a nice travel mug. Then, turn on the coffee maker and stick it to Starbucks!

6. Change your office hours.

Traffic jams cost Americans a pretty penny each year in gas and car wear and tear—not to mention that spending hours in a car majorly zaps your productivity level (even if you’re listening to a really good podcast). Plus, traffic jams are just downright annoying anyway.

Save hundreds a year by changing your daily work schedule. If possible, drive to work either earlier or later to stay off the road at peak times. That way, you’re not burning precious fuel or wasting valuable time sitting in traffic. Bonus: Your overall mood will probably get a boost too!

7. Use a programmable thermostat.

We’ve all heard this one, but how many of us are actually doing it? There’s no need to run the air conditioning or heat if you’re not at home all day. A programmable thermostat can control the temperature of your home year-round and help keep your bill under control.

Or if you don’t want to take the plunge to buy a programmable one, just manually turn down the heat or the air conditioning while you’re away from the house. When you’re too warm, open up the windows or use a fan instead of blasting the air conditioning. And when you’re chilly, just throw on some extra blankets or use a space heater. You’d be surprised at how much you can save by taking these shortcuts.

8. Pack your lunch.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Americans spend an average of $3,459 per year on food away from home . . . aka eating out.3 Think about it: If you spend $10 on lunch every day, that’s $50 a week—which adds up to $200 a month. Ouch! 

Believe it or not, packing a lunch takes way less effort than calling in your order, driving there, waiting, paying, picking it up, and driving back. And you could save $10 a day just by packing leftovers or turkey sandwiches. Now that’s our idea of super saving!

9. Ban bottled water.

News flash: Water is basically free. You don’t have to buy expensive bottled water just because you see other people with it in their shopping carts. Try drinking from the tap for a while and see if you survive. If your tap water is downright disgusting, then invest in a water filter to help you out.

10. Embrace the 24-hour rule.

Oh, delayed gratification—how we love (and sometimes hate) you. It’s amazing how much clearer our thinking can be if we take 24 hours and step back from what we want to buy. Make a habit of giving yourself a full 24 hours before you make an impulsive gotta-have-it-now purchase.

Weekly Money-Saving Tips

1. Split your paycheck and deposit a percentage into your savings.

It’s easy to make saving a priority when you never have an option not to. What in the world do we mean by that? Set up your paycheck to automatically deposit a little bit into your savings account every payday. That way, you don’t have to remember to do it and you can’t talk yourself out of it either (you know you would).

2. Use less laundry detergent and cut dryer sheets in half.

It might sound super cheap, but things like this really do add up. Cut back on the detergent and tear those dryer sheets in half (and be proud of it). You probably won’t even notice any difference in the clean quality of your clothes, but your budget will thank you for buying less!

3. Temporarily freeze your spending.

We spend a lot of extra money here and there on random extra things we don’t really need. Instead of spending $100 on impulse buys, try a spending freeze. How? Simple. Don’t buy any nonessential items for a whole week, month, or until you hit a specific savings goal—you decide how long.

It might sound like wearing a straitjacket, but knowing the spending freeze has a time stamp on it actually makes it a fun challenge. Just raid your pantry or fridge for meal ideas, avoid Target and Costco like the plague, and wait on any hot new items you just “have” to buy.

Not spending money is the best way to save it (mic drop).

4. Start couponing.

Using coupons is a breeze, especially with all the digital coupons out there now. Still, a lot of people end up leaving those savings on the table just because they don’t go the extra mile. Take the time to look up a discount code, cut out a coupon, or download it on your phone. Believe us, this tiny bit of effort is worth it!

5. Only eat out once a week.

For some people, eating out once a week is a major splurge. But for others, eating out that little is a major sacrifice. No matter where you fall, try to limit your restaurant eating to once a week and see what a huge change it makes in your budget!

6. Order water at restaurants.

Did we mention water is free? That includes when you’re at a restaurant too. Skip the soda, the sweet tea or your adult beverage of choice and opt for the free H2O. This is a simple—but stellar—way to eat healthy on a budget.

Monthly Money-Saving Tips

1. Cut the cable cord.

Let’s be real. Cable television is expensive. And with so many alternatives to traditional cable, there’s really no reason to keep clinging to your precious cable cord—especially when it could free up an extra $200 a month. Cut it!

2. Switch grocery stores.

Instead of shopping at big-name grocery stores, try a discount chain like Aldi. As long as you don’t mind bagging your own groceries and renting a cart for a (refundable) quarter, you can save a lot of money. Even if you only save $25 a week, you’ll still have $100 extra in your wallet when the month is over! So take a good look at your grocery-shopping habits and see where you can save.

P.S. Don’t forget to actually stick to your grocery list. That’s kind of a big deal.

3. Buy generic.

If you’d rather stick to your favorite stores, at least go generic—especially when it comes to milk and juice, pantry staples (spices, flour, sugar), and even certain medicines.

Think your food won’t taste as good? Think again. A group of Consumer Reports taste testers found most store brands measure up to the name brands in overall taste and quality—and they’re usually 15–30% lower in price!4 Worth it.

4. Cancel your subscriptions and memberships.

Are you paying for multiple monthly or yearly subscriptions? Think about it: $12.99 for Netflix, $20 for Stitch Fix or $119 for Amazon Prime. Which of these have you not used in a few months? Cancel them. If you really end up missing one, order it again down the road. If not, you made the right choice and probably saved yourself a hundred bucks in the process! And here’s the thing: You can pick your subscription back up whenever you want to, so it’s not like anything is set in stone here.

5. Replace two restaurant outings a month with your slow cooker.

Heading out to eat with your entire gang can cost close to three digits in a hurry. That’s ridiculous! Replace two restaurant trips a month with your slow cooker. It’s convenient, requires little effort, and makes tons of food for way less.

6. Save on insurance with an Endorsed Local Provider (ELP).

Are you paying too much for insurance? Are you sure? A lot of people don’t actually realize how much money they can save by taking a deeper look at their insurance expenses. Trying to make sense of it all on your own can be overwhelming, so give an ELP a call to see if they can help sort it out for you.

7. Borrow appliances.

We’ve all heard about lending a cup of sugar to your neighbor, but how about lending them your kitchen appliance? Now that’s really something! Need a pasta machine to make some homemade ravioli? That sounds delicious! But borrow that rarely used appliance from a friend or neighbor instead of running to the store to buy it. Just be sure to send some of those leftovers back as a thank-you.

8. Weatherproof your home.

If you feel like you’re always heating or cooling your house only to have all that precious temperature-controlled air leak out, you might just be right. Seal up your doors and windows to reduce strain on your air conditioner and heating system—it could help you save up to 20% on your energy costs!5

9. Use low-flow fixtures.

If your water bill is always sky-high, look into low-flow faucets, toilets and shower heads. The U.S. Department of Energy says that installing low-flow fixtures can give you a water-use savings of 25–60%.6

10. Pay with cash.

An amazing thing happens when you pay with actual cash and not just your debit card: You feel it in your gut in a different way. It might even slightly pain you to watch those green bills slip out of your hands. And when you’re rocking a couple twenties in your wallet, you’re probably going to hoard them for as long as possible instead of mindlessly spending them.

If you’re constantly overspending on certain categories in your budget, then give the envelope system a try. Just carry your budgeted amount in cash (let’s say $150 for groceries), and when the cash in the envelope is gone, that’s it! You can’t spend anymore.

11. Save loose change.

Now that you’re using cold, hard cash, you’re going to have some leftover coins. Remember that stuff? Dump all your loose change into a jar and see how much you’ve saved up at the end of the month. And if you really want to get crazy with it, go and search your couch for some change too. You never know!

12. Wear your glasses.

Contact lenses can cost anywhere from $220–700 a year, according to the consumer site All About Vision.7 If you’re trying to meet a financial goal, wear your not-so-pretty-but-perfectly-fine specs for a few months instead. Hey, at least you’ll look smarter (and maybe even a little hip too).

13. Lower your cell phone bill.

You may be shocked every time you get a glance at your cell phone bill—and for good reason. J.D. Power reports the average monthly bill will set you back $157, so it probably clocks in right under your cable bill.8 Sheesh!

Call up your cellular provider and cancel the phone insurance, switch to a different plan, or jump to a different carrier. You’d be surprised by how quickly you could free up 30 to 50 bucks with just a few changes to your cell phone bill.

14. Make a budget.

This one’s super easy. If you really want to save money each month and curb your spending, then you need to do a monthly zero-based budget—before the month even begins.

Already have a budget? Great! Now trim it up. Next month when you make your budget, shave five bucks from every budget category. That means your restaurant cash will be $45 instead of $50, and your clothing fund will be $25 instead of $30. It’s barely noticeable to you, but altogether, it adds up!

Our ultra-simple and free budgeting app, EveryDollar, makes it easy to see where your money is going and helps you stay motivated as you work toward your budgeting goals!

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

INVESTING & RETIREMENT 2020 Investment Outlook

2020 Investment Outlook

An investor is using her smartphone to access Chris Hogan's investment calculator.


Presidential elections. Trade wars (or deals). Brexit. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and some of it might send ripples through Wall Street in 2020. And if you have a 401(k), IRA or some other type of investment, this stuff affects you too.

As we kick off a new decade, remember that no one—including yours truly—can predict exactly what the economy will do this year. If you’re looking for some magic crystal ball, you won’t find one. It just doesn’t exist.

That doesn’t mean we can’t make some educated guesses, though. There are economic indicators that can give us hints about what might happen with the economy in the near future.

So, what might be in store for 2020? Let’s take a look at what’s happening with the economy and what that means for you.

You’ll Be Able to Save More for Retirement in 2020

Now, you know me. Before we start looking at 2020, there’s something I need you to know: You control your future. Not the White House. Not Wall Street. Not your employer. You. It’s your job to save and invest for retirement. No one’s going to do it for you.

Let’s start off with some good news! You might be able to save a little more for retirement in 2020:


Be confident about your retirement. Find an investing pro in your area today.

  • The IRS is raising the annual contribution limits for employer-sponsored retirement plans to $19,500 (up from $19,000 in 2019). This includes folks who contribute to a 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan.
  • For those who are nearing retirement and need to catch up, you can also put in an extra $6,500 into your plan if you’re age 50 and older!1

Now, the annual limit for IRAs stays the same at $6,000. If you’re age 50 or older, the catch-up contribution limit will also remain at $1,000, so you can put up to $7,000 into a traditional or Roth IRA in 2020 if you’ve fallen behind on your retirement savings.2

The SECURE Act: More Changes to Retirement Saving

OK, toward the end of 2019, Congress passed the biggest retirement bill in more than a decade. It’s called the “SECURE Act.”3 Like most of the stuff that comes out of Washington, the bill is a mixed bag and it’s important to be aware of what’s changed. Here are five main things you need to know:

1. Inherited IRAs will be taxed sooner.

If you have plans to leave your IRA to your kids or grandkids so that they can enjoy tax-deferred or tax-free growth long after you’re gone, I’ve got bad news. The SECURE Act pretty much gets rid of that popular estate-planning strategy—also known as a “stretch IRA.” Under the new law, your non-spouse beneficiaries will have to take out all the money in an inherited IRA and pay taxes on it within 10 years of your death. But if you’ve inherited an IRA before Jan. 1, 2020, the new law won’t apply—you can keep the money in the account as long as you’d like.

2. You can put money into your traditional IRA after age 70 ½.

Whether you want to bulk up or catch up on your retirement savings, there are a lot of folks nowadays who are working past the “traditional retirement age.” But previously, if you had a traditional IRA, you couldn’t put any more money into your account once you turned 70 ½ (Roth IRAs, on the other hand, don’t have an age cap on contributions).

The good news for folks with a traditional IRA is that the new law gets rid of those pesky age restrictions. Now you can put money into your traditional IRA no matter how old you are, as long as you’re making an earned income. More money equals more opportunity for growth. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

3. Required minimum distributions will start at age 72, not 70 ½.

Basically, Uncle Sam requires you to start making withdrawals—called required minimum distributions, or RMDs—from certain retirement accounts like a traditional IRA or 401(k) once you hit a certain age. That’s because you haven’t paid your taxes on that money yet, and Uncle Sam wants his cut!

The SECURE Act pushes the age you’re required to take money out of your account to 72, which gives your money a little more time to grow before it’s taxed by the IRS.

4. You may see a new annuity option in your 401(k).

Annuities are basically insurance products that turn a lump sum of money into a guaranteed income for life. And thanks to some more protections offered to employers by the SECURE Act, an annuity option might be coming to a 401(k) plan near you.

If you see an annuity option in your 401(k), I want you to lace up your shoes and run in the opposite direction!  – Chris Hogan

Here’s the deal: While the idea of having a steady stream of income for the rest of your life might sound great, annuities are very complex and bogged down by lots of fees. Almost 100% of the time, they’re just not worth it. So, if you see an annuity option in your 401(k), I want you to lace up your shoes and run in the opposite direction! You’re better off investing in good growth stock mutual funds in your 401(k) plan.

5. More access to 401(k) plans for part-time and small-business workers.

For some businesses, offering a 401(k) plan to employees is expensive—and it’s often a cost that small businesses just can’t handle. It’s no wonder that workers at companies with less than 100 employees are less likely to have access to a 401(k).4 

The SECURE Act tries to solve that by making it easier for small businesses to work together to offer retirement plans for their employees. The law also requires employers who offer a 401(k) plan to expand access to part-time workers who work at least 500 hours a year for three straight years or 1,000 hours for one year.

If you have questions about the SECURE Act and how it might impact your retirement strategy, talk to a financial advisor who can walk you through these changes.

OK, now on to the bigger economic picture.

What Are Economic Indicators?

Economic indicators are just some statistics and trends that give us insight into how the economy is doing and where it might be headed. That’s the short and sweet of it. Think of these economic indicators as thermometers that help us keep an eye on the temperature of the overall economy.

Here are five of the major economic indicators to keep an eye on in 2020:

  1. Stock Market
  2. Housing Market
  3. Interest Rates
  4. Unemployment Rate
  5. Consumer Confidence

Let’s take a look at these indicators and find out what they could mean for you and your money.

1. Stock Market

The stock market is kind of like your local supermarket—the biggest difference is instead of buying bread and milk you’re buying and selling stocks, which are basically small pieces of ownership in a company.

The S&P 500 Index measures the performance of the 500 largest, most stable companies in the New York Stock Exchange. The S&P 500 is considered the most accurate measure of the stock market as a whole. When this index increases, the economy is usually doing well. Still with me?

After a bumpy finish for the stock market in 2018, the S&P 500 bounced back in a huge way in 2019. Toward the end of 2019, the index hit record highs and was up more than 25% for the year.5 That means a lot of people were probably smiling when they checked their 401(k)’s performance at the end of the year!

Will that continue in 2020? Well, it depends on who you ask. With the chance of the economy slowing down, ongoing trade talks with China, and everything that comes with a presidential election, most strategists are predicting modest gains for the year compared to 2019—somewhere around an average of 5%. Still, a few others think we’ll see stocks take a slight dip in 2020.6,7

Stock market investing is like riding a roller coaster. Once the ride gets going, you don’t want to jump off. – Chris Hogan

Here’s an important word of caution: When your investments are doing well, you may be tempted to sell them for some quick cash. Or, if the stock market tanks, you might panic and want to cash out everything to keep from “losing money.” But stock market investing, even through mutual funds, is like riding a roller coaster. Once the ride gets going, you don’t want to jump off.

Listen to me: Don’t touch your investments until retirement! If you want to reallocate them to different types of investments, talk to your financial advisor. Otherwise, leave them alone, people!

2. Housing Market

So, now that we’ve taken a look at what’s happening with the stock market, what’s in store for the housing market? Well, home prices rose at a slower pace in 2019 (3.3%) and mortgage rates went down—so that made for a pretty good year for home sales.8 Still, there are several signs that 2020 could be a little bumpier.

First, the median price of a home went all the way up to $316,000—a record high—and with the supply of homes struggling to keep up with demand from Millennials, affordability could force would-be buyers to sit this year out.

Second, while mortgage rates are expected to stay where they are in 2020 (around 3.7% for a 30-year and 3.2% for a 15-year), tariffs and trade wars could force the Federal Reserve to raise those rates.9 Bottom line: If mortgage rates stay low, that could motivate buyers to get out there and buy a house. But if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, that could cause even more folks who were on the fence to wait a bit longer.

So, if you’re selling a home in 2020, high demand coupled with low interest rates (for now) could land you a good deal. But be prepared for your house to be on the market a little longer since you might get fewer offers. What if you’re planning to buy a home? My advice is simple: Be patient.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in 2020, get in touch with one of our real estate professionals. They know your housing market like the back of their hand and know better than anyone what’s happening in your backyard!

3. Interest Rates

OK, hang with me here. The Federal Reserve, which is the U.S. central bank in charge of the nation’s policies on money, has two main goals: to continue growing the economy at a sustainable rate and keep inflation (the price of everything from gas to milk) under control.

How do they do that? The Fed gets together four times a year to decide what to do with the nation’s interest rates. Lower interest rates can help give the economy a jolt, but they can also lead to higher inflation. Higher interest rates can slow inflation down, but if they’re too high they can also choke economic growth. So, they try to find a balance that’s just right.

To try to keep the economy going strong, the Fed cut interest rates three times in 2019, and today the rate is at 1.75%. That’s pretty low. The Fed has also sent signals that it’ll keep rates where they are in 2020 and take a “wait and see” approach with the world economy before making any changes.10

Debt is not your friend. It takes your time and money and it gives you headache and heartache in return. – Chris Hogan

But listen folks, I don’t care how high or how low interest rates are—borrowing money for things like a car loan or a home equity loan is always a bad idea. I want interest to work for you, not against you. Debt is not your friend. It takes your time and money and it gives you headache and heartache in return.

Are we clear?

4. Unemployment Rate

This next one is easy. Each month, the unemployment rate tells us how many people got (or lost) a job. It’s one of the clearest ways to see which way the economy is moving. Rising unemployment is scary—that means fewer jobs and an economy that’s in serious trouble. Lower unemployment means more people are finding work and the economy is getting stronger . . . which is what we all want.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5% in 2019—we haven’t seen numbers that low in 50 years!11 Those numbers put a big ol’ smile on my face! That’s because these numbers tell me that more and more people are able to find work, put food on the table, and save for the future. And the good news is it’s expected to stay right around 3.5% for 2020.12 In addition, the U.S. economy is still expected to add an average of 150,000 jobs per month.13

So, what does all that mean for your investments? Well, if companies are hiring, that usually means they’re growing. As their fortunes improve, yours can too—especially if you’re investing in those companies.

5. Consumer Confidence

You can usually tell when someone feels confident. They walk with their head held high, they puff out their chest, and they have a swagger in their step. They also tend to spend more and save less! Well, that last part is what the Consumer Confidence Index says, at least.

The Consumer Confidence Index measures how everyday Americans feel about the economy. When people are confident, they typically spend more money. When their confidence is low, they do the opposite.

While the Conference Board’s Survey of Consumer Confidence from November 2019 showed that consumer confidence dropped for the fourth straight month, confidence levels are still pretty high.

While the Conference Board’s Survey of Consumer Confidence from November 2019 showed that consumer confidence dropped for the fourth straight month, confidence levels are still pretty high.14 Although many experts predict the growth of the economy to slow down somewhat this year, consumer confidence should remain pretty high as wages continue to rise and unemployment remains low.15

Here’s the Bottom Line

When my team and I talked to thousands of millionaires for my latest book, Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—and How You Can Too, virtually all of them said the same thing: The key to building wealth is consistency. That’s the thread that ties all of these millionaires together.

No matter what was going on in Wall Street or the White House, they kept working hard and they kept putting money away. They didn’t get distracted. They didn’t put their hard-earned money in a flashy investing trend they didn’t fully understand. They didn’t panic every time the stock market had a bad day.

And one day, they looked up and saw their nest egg hit the seven-figure mark. Now that’s what winning looks like. And there’s no reason that can’t be you someday.

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

WHAT IS A WILL Your Top 10 Will Questions Answered

Your Top 10 Will Questions Answered


We know—nobody wants to talk about making a will. It makes us uncomfortable, slightly superstitious and maybe even a little queasy. So we dodge the topic left and right and put off making a will yet again.

But here you are, reading about wills (even though it gives you an eerie feeling in the pit of your stomach). You’ve already made it this far and we’re proud of you. So take a deep breath—we’re about to answer everything you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about wills.

1. What is a will?

Simply put, a will is a legally binding document that explains exactly how you want your property and other belongings to be handled after your death. We know—it’s not comfortable talking about this kind of thing. But as creepy as you might feel, making a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family.

2. What’s the difference between a living trust and will?

living trust and a will might seem similar in the way they work, but they’re different. A will tells everyone how you want the stuff you own to be handled after you die. A living trust holds your assets while you’re still living.


Get expert money advice to reach your money goals faster!

A living trust never becomes a public document like a will does after you die. So if you want to keep everything private, a living trust protects that information, even after you’re gone. It can also help you skip out on probate costs (that’s the legal court process that handles giving out everything in the will). Any property given through a will has to go through probate, but not if it’s given through a trust! Keep in mind, though, a living trust can’t name a guardian for your children (in other words, someone who will look after them if you die)—only a will can do that.

3. Why do I need a will?                

You might think you don’t need a will because you’re not a millionaire, you’re not sitting on a massive piece of land, or you don’t have family members who are vultures and want to claw their way into your estate. But guess what? You need a will, no matter who you are.

If you have children who are under 18, then you really need a will. Your will is where you’ll have all the information about who their guardians will be. If you don’t make a will—who will take care of your kids if something happens to you and your spouse? Don’t leave a decision like that in that hands of anyone else but you (especially not the state!).

And what about that one-of-a-kind watch your great-grandpa gave you? You want to make sure something like that stays in the family. Having a will in place lets you say exactly who gets what. If you don’t take care of it now, someone else will get to decide where your kids, pets and family heirlooms end up.

4. What if I haven’t had kids yet?

So you think that since you don’t have kids yet, it’s not important to make a will? False. We just said it, but it’s worth repeating: Everybody needs a will! Even if it’s just you and your dog living in a one-bedroom apartment. Who would take Rover if something happened to you? And if you do have kids later on down the road or a niece you adore, you can update your will to include them.

5. Do I have to make a new will if I move between states?

Nope. Most states across America will honor a will that was signed in a different state. But if you do plan on moving, it’s smart to double-check the laws in your new state and update your will if necessary.

6. Do I have to get a will notarized?

You always need two witnesses to make a will valid, but you don’t always need it notarized (check the laws of your state). Getting a document notarized just means that a public officer (called a notary public) will make sure the person signing the document is who they say they are.

Some states want a document (called a self-proving affidavit) from the witnesses stating they saw you sign the will or saw someone sign it for you at your request. This document also proves you were in your right mind and signed everything willingly. Having this in place saves a lot of time in probate (remember, this is just the legal court process that takes care of giving out everything in the will).

A little note about your witnesses, though—make sure you’re aren’t leaving anything to them in your will (because they won’t get whatever it is!). A witness can’t receive anything from the will they are witnessing. So skip asking your daughter (who’s getting your house in the will) to be your witness and instead ask a trusted coworker or family friend.

7. Can I change or cancel my will?

Absolutely! This thing isn’t set in stone. Nothing is permanent until you’ve passed away. You can add or remove things at any time. Once you do, you’ll sign a new will that says the old one is no longer valid. After you sign the new will, be sure to securely get rid of your old will (shred the sucker). And if you gave copies to anyone else, be sure you’re the one who shreds those too. This way, there won’t be any confusion over which one is the right will.

And if you want to “cancel” your will, you can. All that means is you’re destroying your old will (you know, shredding it) and making a new one.

8. When should I update my will?

You need to update your will anytime your wishes change or after some kind of life event (like getting married, bringing home a brand-new baby, etc.). And you may need to update your will after any kind of unpleasant life-change too (like in the case of the death of a family member or a divorce). When life changes, your will needs to change too.

9. After I make a will, who should I give copies to?

After you sign a will, keep a copy for yourself (duh) and give a copy of it to the person you named as your personal representative (that’s someone you trust who will make sure your wishes are carried out after you die). If you decide not to give them a physical copy of tor will, at least let them know where you keep your will so they can get to it if they need to.

If you ever update your will, be sure to get rid of the copies others have—and do this yourself! If you trust them with your will, then you probably trust them a lot. Still, it’s a good idea to go ahead and shred the old document yourself.

10. What happens to my stuff if I don’t have a will?

Whether you know it or not, you already have a will in place . . . kind of. Even if you’ve never signed a will, there are laws in your state that handle how to sort through your property if you don’t have a will.

This type of thing is called an “intestacy law.” And that’s basically a fancy way of saying the state will sort things out for you if you don’t have a will. But then your family is in for a mess. They’ll head to probate court for a while—and that’s a real headache! When you die without a will, probate court will decide things like which one of your family members will get your property, belongings and even your children who are under 18 (yikes!). Don’t let that happen.

Creating a will is one of the most important and most loving things you can do for your family. Believe it or not, it’s easy to make your own will online in less than 20 minutes! All you have to do is plug in your important information, and the rest is done for you. And best of all, this process won’t bog you down with a lot of nonsense legal jargon. Take this step today!

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

What You May Be Missing by Getting a Large Refund

What You May Be Missing by Getting a Large Refund

Dave Ramsey speaking on a stage.


It’s a story as old as time itself. You go to the mall, you buy a nice pair of jeans, but when you put them on at home they don’t quite fit as great as you imagined. It happens to all of us.

So, what do you do? You go back to the store, return the jeans, and they give you a refund. Then you get on with the rest of your day without giving it a second thought.

Did you bust out a victory dance after getting that refund? Did you throw a party with all your friends to celebrate? No, of course not. That would be silly. The store was just giving you your money back. That’s what a refund is, after all.

So, why do we act like kids on Christmas morning when the IRS gives us a refund? Think about it: When the IRS sends you that refund check, they’re just giving you your money back. That’s why it’s called a tax refund. We hate to break it to you, but Santa Claus doesn’t live in Washington, D.C.!

And the reality is that big fat refund you’ve been getting from Uncle Sam every spring could be costing you a lot more than the price of a nice pair of jeans.


Don’t let taxes stress you out. A tax pro is the way to go!

What Your Tax Refund Is Costing You

Here’s the bottom line: When you get a tax refund, that just means you’ve been loaning the government money interest-free throughout the year—and they’re just returning money to you that was already yours. So, from now on, whenever you get a tax refund, I want you to imagine Uncle Sam saying, “Whoops, sorry about that! Here’s your money back.”

During the 2019 tax season, more than 111 million taxpayers received a tax refund and the average refund was $2,860.1 That means the average taxpayer had almost $3,000 sitting there doing nothing in the IRS’s coffers all year! They could have put that money toward hitting their financial goals throughout the year.

Let’s say you’ve been receiving $3,000 tax refunds every year. That means you could have had an additional $250 in your paychecks every month. What exactly could you do with that extra cash? We can think of a few things!

  • Pay off debt faster. Whether it’s credit cards, car payments or student loans, adding almost $3,000 to your debt snowball throughout the year can make a huge difference and save you from accumulating all that interest.
  • Quickly build up an emergency fund. Every little bit counts! And the sooner you can get your 3–6 months’ worth of expenses socked away, the sooner you can start investing for retirement. Speaking of which . . .
  • Save more for retirement. Need to give your retirement savings a boost? An extra $250 invested each month for 20 years could add more than $200,000 to your nest egg! That way, your money is actually earning interest instead of sitting there doing nothing with the government until April.
  • Make extra payments on your mortgage. Life without a mortgage payment is a really sweet place to be and adding an extra $250 to each monthly mortgage payment can help you get there faster! Not only that, but you could also potentially save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan.
  • Save for major purchases faster. Maybe you’re ready to replace that mattress you’ve had since college. Why wait until April to splurge? In just six months, you could have an extra $1,500 saved up for a new mattress. No more tossing and turning in the middle of the night!

By adjusting your tax withholdings, it’ll feel like you gave yourself a raise! But the key to making the most of it is to have a plan for the extra money you’ll see each paycheck. If not, that money will feel like it vanished into thin air and you’ll have no idea where it went.

You have to give each dollar an assignment with a budget, and there’s no easier way to do that than with EveryDollar, our free online budgeting tool.

Why You’re Getting a Tax Refund Every Year

When you get a chance, pull out your most recent paycheck. You’ll find a section labeled “Taxes,” which shows you how much your employer takes out of your paycheck and sends to the IRS to pay your fair share of federal income taxes. Those are your tax withholdings, because that’s how much your employer withheld from your paycheck for taxes. Makes sense, right?

The problem is, your employer might be withholding too much, meaning you’re overpaying the IRS throughout the year. So, when you fill out your tax return, the IRS will see that you paid them too much and send you a check for the difference in the form of a refund.

What you really want is to set your tax withholdings so that you owe nothing and get nothing from the IRS every year. That way, the government gets exactly what you owe in taxes from every paycheck—no more, no less. That’s the goal!

How to Stop Getting Big Tax Refunds

By now you should realize that a tax refund isn’t free money. It’s your money—money you should be receiving with your paychecks throughout the year. So, how do you stop getting a tax refund every year? Adjust your tax withholdings! Here’s how.

1. Add Up Your Withholdings

Get out your last paystub again and see how much your employer withheld for your federal income tax. Let’s say your employer takes out $350 each paycheck and you get paid twice a month. That means your employer is sending $8,400 to the IRS in taxes each year. Now you have to figure out if that’s too much or not enough.

2. Calculate Your Tax Liability

Your tax liability is how much you’ll owe in taxes throughout the year. If you’re single and your taxable income for 2019 is $50,000, that puts you in the 22% tax bracket and on the hook for about $6,860 in income tax.

3. Subtract the Difference

Now it’s time for some simple subtraction! Just take your annual tax withholdings and subtract your estimated tax liability. Using the example above, you’re potentially sending $1,540 more to the IRS than you need to. It’s time to fix that!

4. Adjust Your Withholdings

So, you’ve crunched the numbers and found you’ve been sending too much money to the IRS. Now what? Simply divide your estimated tax overpayment by the number of pay periods you have left before the end of the year to get your number.

So, for example, if you have 16 paychecks left and you have that $1,540 difference, your employer needs to withhold $96 less from each paycheck to get your tax withholdings just right.

To adjust your withholdings, you’ll need to fill out a new W-4 tax form, which tells employers how much tax to withhold from each paycheck. Before 2020, you could claim “allowances” on your W-4 that helped your employer figure out how much money to take out of your paycheck for taxes. The more allowances you claimed, the less money your employer withheld.

To make a long story short, there’s a redesigned W-4 form for 2020 and you’ll notice there are no more allowances thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs ActInstead, this new W-4 walks you through five steps that aim to account for all your income so that your employer can accurately calculate how much to take out of your paycheck for taxes. The IRS’s new tax withholding estimator can help you figure what changes you need to make on your new W-4.

There’s no two ways about it: All this tax withholding stuff is exhausting. Your best bet is to get in touch with your tax pro to figure out how much you need to adjust your tax withholdings and what you’ll need to put on your new W-4 to get it right.

After that, set up a meeting with someone in your employer’s HR department. Explain to them how much you want to adjust your withholdings and find out what you need to do to turn in a new W-4. They should be able to work with you to get that done!

Work With a Pro to Get Your Withholdings Right

Tax forms, tax withholdings, adding and subtracting . . . it’s a lot to process! And chances are you still have some questions about your tax situation and whether or not you really need to adjust your withholdings.

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

A personal planner showing a calendar with PAYDAY circled on the fifteenth of the month.


Ahh! Don’t spend any more money until we get paid on Friday!

Sound familiar? If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it probably does.

A lot of people think living like that is pretty normal. And you know what? They’re right. These days, 78% of workers live paycheck to paycheck.1 And 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.2 But you don’t have to be normal and live like that for the rest of your life. You can stop the cycle once and for all. Let’s do this!

10 Ways to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

1. Get on a budget.

Don’t know where your entire paycheck goes? Start doing a budget. That’ll tell you exactly where your hard-earned money is going—no ifs, ands or buts about it.

Without a budget, it’s pretty easy to live this way. Why? Because you don’t have a plan. And you really can’t make your dollars stretch because you might not even know how much money you have to work with! That’s where your budget will show you places where you can cut back and actually start to save money (more on that later).

Don’t worry, though, we’re not going to leave you hanging without telling you exactly how to do a budget (we aren’t that mean). Here’s the deal with a budget: Your monthly income minus your monthly expenses needs to equal zero. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have any money left in your bank account. Instead, you’re just making sure every dollar in your paycheck is given a job to do. And by job, we mean you’ve decided exactly where that money will go for the month (including savings).


Start budgeting like a boss with our FREE budgeting tool!

First, jot down your income for the month (your regular paycheck and any other money you bring in). You can do this the old-fashioned way on a notepad or a spreadsheet, or you can get with the times and use a free budgeting app like EveryDollar. Next, start listing all your expenses for the month. Things like rent, food, internet, phones, and everything in between should be added to the list. And because expenses change from month to month, you need to be sure to make a new budget before each month begins.

Now you want to subtract all your planned expenses from your monthly income. The goal here is that you end up with zero (remember, that’s zero left to budget, not left in your bank account—having a buffer can help with that). This means you’ve given every dollar of your income a place to go for that month.

Okay, let’s address this whole buffer thing we just mentioned. You should keep some money in your checking account. Nothing crazy, just $50–100 will do. You’ll want this buffer to stay there to help you avoid any overdraft fees or any kind of “oops!” Now here’s the next, super important step—forget the buffer exists. Put it out of your mind completely so you aren’t tempted to overspend!

2. Take care of the Four Walls first.

If you live waiting for your next payday and struggle to cover all of your bills, you need to focus on the things you really need to survive. We call these essentials the Four Walls. The Four Walls are your priority, so pay for these things in this order before anything else:

  1. Food
  2. Utilities
  3. Shelter
  4. Transportation

If there’s any money left over after you take care of the Four Walls, make a list of what else you need to pay and tackle it in order of importance. When you run out of money—that’s it. If things are really tough, yeah, your credit card bill might not get paid that month. But one thing is for sure: Your family will be fed and have a roof over their head no matter what.

Keep telling yourself that all of this is temporary. The sun will come out tomorrow. You’re about to make more money (yep, it’s true!), so this whole “living paycheck to paycheck” business is a thing of the past.

3. Stop living with debt.

Living like this and playing around with debt is a recipe for disaster. You can’t get ahead that way! Believe us, not having enough money to pay for something and then reaching for a credit card to fund it is no way to live.

But debt isn’t just credit cards. Debt is sneaky. It comes packaged as student loans, car payments, store credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, business loans, payday loans, and even “buy now, pay later” deals like Afterpay. Anytime you owe somebody else money for anything—it’s debt.

Anytime you owe somebody else money for anything—it’s debt.

Ready to give debt the boot for good? Here’s how: First, stop taking on any kind of new debt! That means stop paying for things with a credit card to make ends meet, stop robbing Peter to pay Paul, and stop living beyond your means. And step away from the almighty FICO score, people.

You can’t get out of a mud puddle if you keep adding dirt and water to it. Instead, start focusing on paying off your debts smallest to largest using the debt snowball.

4. Sell stuff.

It’s time to bring in more money! One of the easiest ways to get your hands on some extra cash is by selling whatever you can. Maybe that’s your jewelry, clothes, baby items, or even the extra car sitting in your garage (gasp!). Look, if you know you can part with something and get cash—do it! Well, within reason. Don’t go selling a kidney on the black market or anything like that. But do get so intense about selling things that your pets and kids start wondering if they might be next.

5. Get a temporary job or start a side hustle.

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you probably need to bring in more income consistently—not just when you sell some stuff. While you can (and should) go after promotions and salary increases at your full-time job, you might need to do something to increase your income sooner. Hello, side hustle!

Some great options for making extra money are waiting tables, driving for Uber or Lyft, being a barista, working at a call center, or signing up to be a substitute teacher. There are even plenty of work-from-home jobs you can do after hours or on the weekend too.

And even if those don’t work out, you can still take up odd jobs around your neighborhood (think cutting the grass, picking up leaves, babysitting or dog walking).

If you want to start up a side hustle, focus on using your talents (you know, things you’re good at) to make extra money. You can use your design, sewing or baking skills to help bring in some money. Be on the lookout for opportunities that will add any extra cash in your pocket.

6. Live below your means.

Is the antidote to living paycheck to paycheck more money? Maybe. Sometimes. But like they say, “More money . . . more problems.” It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you’re busy spending it all.

If you can’t live within your means now, you’re not going to be able to do it when you’re making more money either. If you aren’t careful, a bump in pay can make you spend even more money. This kind of thing is known as “lifestyle creep” or “lifestyle inflation.” All of a sudden, you can afford things you couldn’t before, and you might start becoming pretty loose with those purse strings.

Sure, it’s tempting to spend more money when you’re making more of it, but don’t do that! Stay intentional, pay attention, and stick to your budget no matter how huge that raise was.

7. Look for things to cut.

This isn’t the time to buy T-bone steaks for dinner, go see the latest movie, or visit your favorite restaurant. This is the time to cut back on any unnecessary expenses that you can. You’re living paycheck to paycheck here, so tighten it up. Look for any area in your budget (you’ve created one now, remember?) where you can spend less.

But there’s nowhere to cut back, you say? Look again. And again. And again.

Suspend or pause the subscriptions you have (think Netflix, Hulu, meal delivery kits, specialty makeup boxes . . . anything). Don’t forget to call your cable, internet and cellular providers to go ahead and downgrade or stop your service for now. None of these things fall within the Four Walls.

We know making sacrifices doesn’t feel good. It hurts! But keep reminding yourself: This is not forever.

We know making sacrifices like this doesn’t feel good. It hurts! But keep reminding yourself: This is not forever. You’re making temporary sacrifices. It’s time to put in the work now so you can be in a better position in the future. You know, “live like no one else so that later you can live and give like no one else.”

8. Save up for big purchases.

Nothing makes you count down to payday like knowing you blew your last paycheck on some big impulse buy. Don’t get so caught up in the moment that you let a purchase like that get the best of you. You’re better than that!

The next time you see something you want to buy that isn’t in your budget and you can’t afford right now, save up for it. Let’s say you want to buy a $100 pair of fancy headphones to listen to your jams at work. All you need to do is budget for it and save $25 each month for four months. Simple as that.

9. Start an emergency fund.

All you need is $1,000 to have a safety net under your feet. If coming up with $1,000 sounds like an impossible mission right now, keep looking for things to cut and ways to free up more cash flow. If things are tight, it’s going to take some time to save this emergency fund. It’s not going to happen overnight. And that’s okay! Just keep working at it. Once you’ve got this taken care of, you’ll be amazed at how much peace having an emergency fund gives you.

You might wonder why the heck you need to save right now if you’re just busy trying to make ends meet. But guess what? That starter emergency fund is going to be your best friend as you keep trying to get ahead. Knowing you have this buffer between you and life will make you way less reliant on that next paycheck coming in. If you get into a jam, that emergency fund is there to keep you from slapping down a credit card. You know it’s going to rain eventually, so you came prepared with an umbrella. Genius!

10. Start thinking about the future.

You’ve been so focused on making ends meet each month that you probably haven’t come up for air to even think about the future. And when you’re worried about just surviving until the next payday, that’s easy to do. But it’s time to start thinking and dreaming about the future—what could you do with your money later on down the road? You know, once you stop living paycheck to paycheck and all?

Give yourself permission to dream a little. What are your long-term goals? Maybe you want to retire early and spend your golden years traveling from coast to coast. Maybe you want to send your kids to college debt-free. Or maybe you just want the peace of knowing your account isn’t going to be overdrawn again. Whatever it is you want to accomplish in the future, it isn’t going to happen unless you start paying attention and being intentional today.

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck and Start Living Again

Sick of living life staring at a clock, counting down until your next paycheck arrives? Good. You should be. It’s time for things to change. And you have the power to do it! Get on a proven plan for your money that will walk you through it all—no matter where you’re starting. Sound good? It’s not some pipe dream. This plan actually works!

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/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach