Today is the last day in May and although you’re still positive for the month you look like you’re limping home. School is wrapping up for the year so perhaps you have a bad case of “senioritis” or “summer fever”. Are you getting tired Mr. Market? It sure looks like it. Speaking of being a student, today also is May 29th, and it marks the sixth annual national 529 Day. With that being said, let’s review why a student needs you (the market and a good platform) to ultimately get to their “finish line”.
Whether you are a parent or grandparent it’s likely been a long time since you’ve been in college. Even if you stay close to the numbers of what it costs to send a child to college, you’re likely to be blown away when it actually comes time to write that first tuition check. For the 2014-2015 academic year the College Board surveys reported that in-state college budgets averaged $23,410/year and private college averaged $46,272. Before we go into how you’re going to help pay for these types of college costs let us share with you the two reasons you should NOT use a 529 College Savings Plan. Continue reading →
(1) Write it down! – You’ve probably heard this before but the act of simply writing down a goal considerably increases the chances of you actually accomplishing it. One of our favorite quotes is: “A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de-Saint Exupery
One major thing to remember when writing down goals is to make them concrete and specific. “Saving money” is not good enough. “Saving $10,000 for an exotic family vacation” is better…
(2) Set up your “buckets”– Regardless of the stage of life you are in it’s smart to have different accounts (or buckets as we call them) assigned for specific goals and needs. Initially everyone needs to at least start with their “emergency bucket” where at least three months living expenses is tucked away. Get a few other goal buckets lined up as well. If you’re working you’re likely to have a retirement bucket (401k, 403b etc). If you’re self-employed or own a business set up a SEP IRA or a Simple IRA. (there are plenty of choices here but you get the idea) Do you have a “vacation bucket” or an “automobile bucket” ? Get them established and then start filling them up!
(3) Tackle dumb debt– Credit cards are NOT dumb or evil; not paying them off in full each and every month is. We won’t get preachy here and to state the obvious the past few years have truly tested many Americans who had to do their best to make ends meet. What we’re pointing out here is that it makes absolutely no sense to hold a balance on a card when you have cash or other “non-performing” assets elsewhere. For example: If you have $5,000 on a card that charges you anywhere from 13% to 22% and your friendly neighborhood bank is ‘generously’ giving you 0.01% to hold your money….there is a serious disconnect. Continue reading →