You just learned of the passing of a loved one. During this stressful and emotionally taxing time, you also find out that you’re receiving an inheritance. While you’re grateful for the unexpected windfall, knowing what to do with an inheritance can bring its own share of stress.
While the amounts vary greatly, the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances reports that an average of roughly 1.7 million households receive an inheritance each year. First words of wisdomâresist the urge to spend it all at once. According to a study funded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-third of people who receive an inheritance spend all of itâand even dip into other savingsâin the first two years.
Not me, you say? Still, you might be asking, “What should I do with my inheritance money?” Follow these four steps to help you make smart decisions with your newfound wealth:
1. Take time to grieve your loss
Deciding what to do with an inheritance can bring with it mixed emotions: a sense of reprieve for this unexpected financial gain and sadness for the loss of a loved one, says Robert Pagliarini, certified financial planner and president of Pacifica Wealth Advisors.
During this time, you might feel confused, upset and overwhelmed. âA large inheritance that pushes you out of your financial comfort zone can create anxiety about how to best manage the money,” Pagliarini says. As an inheritor, Pagliarini adds that you may feel the need to be extra careful with the funds; even though you know it is your money, it could feel borrowed.
The last thing you want to do when deciding what to do with an inheritance is make financial decisions under an emotional haze. Avoid making any drastic moves right away, such as quitting your job or selling your home. Some experts suggest giving yourself a six-month buffer before using any of your inheritance, using the time instead to develop a financial plan. While you are thinking about things to do with an inheritance, you can park any funds in a high-yield savings account or certificate of deposit.
âA large inheritance that pushes you out of your financial comfort zone can create anxiety about how to best manage the money.â
2. Know what you’re inheriting
Before you determine the things to do with an inheritance, you need to know what you’re getting. Certified financial planner and wealth manager Alex Caswell says how you use your inheritance will largely depend on its source. Typically, Caswell says an inheritance will come in the form of assets from one of three places:
Real estate, such as a house or property. As Caswell explains, if you receive assets from real estate, you will transfer them into your name. As the inheritor, you can choose what to do with the assetsâtypically sell, rent or live in them.
A trust account, a legal arrangement through which funds are held by a third party (the trustee) for the benefit of another party (the beneficiary), which may be an individual or a group. The creator of the trust is known as a grantor. âIf someone inherits assets through a trust, the trust documents will stipulate how these assets will be distributed and who ultimately decides how they are to be invested,” Caswell says. In some cases, the assets get distributed outright to you; in other instances, the trust stays intact and you get paid in installments.
A retirement account, such as an IRA, Roth IRA or 401(k). These accounts can be distributed in one lump sum, however, there may be requirements related to the amount of a distribution and the cadence of distributions.
When considering things to do with an inheritance, know that inherited assets can be designated as Transfer on Death (TOD) or beneficiary deeds (in the case of real estate), which means the assets can be transferred to beneficiaries without the often lengthy probate process. An individual may also bequeath cash or valuables, like jewelry or family heirlooms, as well as life insurance or stock certificates.
Caswell says if your inheritance comes in the form of investment assets, such as stocks or mutual funds, you’ll want to think of them as part of your own financial picture. âAll too often, we see individuals end up treating inherited assets as a living extension of their passed relative,” Caswell says. Consider how the investments can be used to support your financial goals when thinking about things to do when you get an inheritance.
An average of roughly 1.7 million households receive an inheritance each year.
3. Plan what to do with your financial gain
Just like doing your household budgeting, it’s important to “assign” your inheritance to specific purposes or goals, says Pacifica Wealth Advisors’ Pagliarini. Depending on your financial situation, the simple concepts of save, spend and give may be a good place to start when deciding on things to do when you get an inheritance:
Bolster your emergency fund: You should have at least three to six months of living expenses saved up to avoid unexpected financial shocks, such as job loss, car repairs or medical expenses. If you don’t and you’re deciding what things to do with an inheritance, consider parking some cash in this bucket.
Save for big goals: Now could be a good time to boost your long-term savings goals and pay it forward. Things to do when you get an inheritance could include putting money toward a child’s college fund or getting your retirement savings on track.
Tackle debt: If you’re evaluating what to do with an inheritance, high-interest debt is something you could consider paying off. Spending on debt repayment can help you save on hefty interest charges.
Reduce or pay off your mortgage: Getting closer to paying off your homeâor paying it off entirelyâcan also save you in interest and significantly lower your monthly expenses. Allocating cash here is a win-win.
Enjoy a little bit of it: It’s okay to use a portion of your inheritance on something you enjoy or find rewarding. Planning a vacation, investing in more education or paying for a big purchase could be good moves.
Donate funds to charity: Thinking about your loved one’s causes or your own can continue legacy goals and provide tax benefits.
When deciding what to do with an inheritance, taxes will need to be considered. “It is extremely important to be aware of all tax ramifications of any decision around inherited assets,” Caswell says. You could be required to pay a capital gains tax if you sell the gift (like property) that was passed down to you, for example. Also, depending on where you live, your inherited money could be taxed. In addition to federal estate taxes, several U.S. states impose an inheritance tax and/or an estate tax.
Since every situation is unique and tax laws can change, when considering things to do with an inheritance, consult a financial advisor or tax professional for guidance.
Make your windfall count
Receiving an inheritance has the potential to change your financial picture for good. When thinking about the things to do when you get an inheritance, be sure to give yourself ample time to grieve and to understand all of your options. Don’t be afraid to lean on the experts to get up to speed on any tax and legal implications you need to consider.
Planning can go a long way toward making the right decisions concerning your newfound wealth. Being responsible with your inheritance not only helps ensure your financial future, but will also honor your loved one’s legacy.
The post 4 Smart Things to Do When You Get an Inheritance appeared first on Discover Bank – Banking Topics Blog.
To help you understand what makes a top-rated car insurance company, itâs important to first find out how much coverage you need. This guide will help you understand what makes a top-rated car insurance company, how much coverage you need and ways to save money when getting a car insurance quote. Donât worry; our top […]
The post The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2021 appeared first on The Simple Dollar.
When you think âcredit score,â you probably think âFICO.â The Fair Isaac Corporation introduced its FICO scoring system in 1989, and it has since become one of the best-known and most-used credit scoring models in the United States. But it isn’t the only model on the market.
Another popular option is called VantageScore, the product of a collaboration between the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It uses similar scoring methods to FICO but yields slightly different results.
Each scoring model has multiple versions and multiple applicationsâyou donât have just one FICO score or one VantageScore. Depending on which bureau creates the score and what type of agency is asking for the score, your credit score will vary, sometimes siginifcantly. One credit score isnât more âaccurateâ than another, they just have different applications. Learn more about the different types of credit scores below.
When you sign up for ExtraCredit, you can see 28 of your FICO scores from all three credit bureaus. Your free Credit Report Card, on the other hand, will show you your Experian VantageScore 3.0.
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What Is a VantageScore?
VantageScore was created by the three major credit reporting agenciesâExperian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It uses similar scoring methods to FICO but yields slightly different results.
One of the primary goals of VantageScore is to provide a model that is used the same way by all three credit bureaus. That would limit some of the disparity between your three major credit scores. In contrast, FICO models provide a slightly different calculation for each credit bureau, which can create more differences in your scores.
FICO vs. VantageScore
So, what are the differences between an Experian credit score calculated using VantageScore and one calculated via the FICO model? More importantly, does the score used matter to you, the consumer? The answer is usually no. But you might want to look at different scores for different needs or goals.
Is Experian Accurate?
Credit scores from the credit bureaus are only as accurate as the information provided to the bureau. Check your credit report to ensure all the information is correct. If it is, your Experian credit scores are accurate. If your credit report is not accurate, youâll want to look into your credit repair options.
Our free Credit Report Card offers the Experian VantageScore 3.0 so you can check it regularly. If you want to dig in deeper, you can sign up for ExtraCredit. For $24.99 per month, you can see 28 of your FICO scores from all three credit bureaus. ExtraCredit also offers rent and utility reporting, identity monitoring and theft insurance, and more.
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Understanding the Scoring Models
FICO and VantageScore aren’t the only scoring models on the market. Lenders use a multitude of scoring methods to determine your creditworthiness and make decisions about whether or not to give you credit. Despite the numerous options, FICO scores and VantageScores are likely the only scores you’ll ever see yourself.
Hereâs what FICO uses to determine your credit score:
Payment history. Whether or not you pay your bills in a timely manner is critical, as this factor makes up around 35% of your score.
Credit usage. How much of your open credit you have usedâwhich is called credit utilizationâaccounts for 30% of your score. Keeping your utilization below 30% can help you keep your credits core healthy.
Length of credit. The average age of your creditâand how long you’ve had your oldest accountâis a factor. Credit age accounts for around 15% of your score.
Types of credit. Your credit mix, which refers to having multiple types of accounts, makes up around 10% of your score.
Recent inquiries. How many entities have hit your credit history with a hard inquiry for the purpose of evaluating you for credit is a factor for your score. It accounts for about 10% of your credit score.
VantageScore uses the same factors, but weighs them a little differently. Your VantageScore 4.0 will be most influenced by your credit usage, followed by your credit mix. Payment history is only âmoderately influential,â while credit age and recent inquiries are less influential.
Each company also gathers its data differently. FICO bases its scoring model on credit data from millions of consumers analyzed at the same time. It gathers credit reports from the three major credit bureaus and analyzes anonymous consumer data to generate a scoring model specific to each bureau. VantageScore, on the other hand, uses a combined set of consumer credit files, also obtained from the three major credit bureaus, to come up with a single formula.
Both FICO and VantageScore issue scores ranging from 300 to 850. In the past, VantageScore used a score range of 501 to 990, but the score range was adjusted with VantageScore 3.0. Having numerical ranges that are somewhat consistent helps make the credit score process less confusing for consumers and lenders.
Your score may also differ across the credit bureaus because your creditors arenât required to report to all three. They may report to only one or two of them, meaning each bureau likely has slightly different information about you.
Variations in Scoring Requirements
If you don’t have a long credit history, VantageScore is the score you want to monitor. To establish your credit score, FICO requires at least six months of credit history and at least one account reported to a credit bureau within the last six months. VantageScore only requires one month of history and one account reported within the past two years.
Because VantageScore uses a shorter credit history and a longer period for reported accounts, it’s able to issue credit ratings to millions of consumers who wouldn’t yet have a FICO Score. So, if you’re new to credit or haven’t been using it recently, VantageScore can help prove your trustworthiness before FICO has enough data to issue you a score.
The Significance of Late Payments
A history of late payments impacts both your FICO score and your VantageScore. Both models consider the following.
How recently the last late payment occurred
How many of your accounts have had late payments
How many payments you’ve missed on an account
FICO treats all late payments the same. VantageScore judges them differently. VantageScore applies a larger penalty for late mortgage payments than for other types of credit payments.
Because FICO has indicated that it factors late payments more heavily than VantageScore, late payments on any of your accounts might cause you to have lower FICO scores than your VantageScores.
Impact of Credit Inquiries
VantageScore and FICO both penalize consumers who have multiple hard inquiries in a short period of time. They both also conduct a process called deduplication.
Deduplication is the practice of allowing multiple pulls on your credit for the same loan type in a given time frame without penalizing your credit. Deduplication is important for situations such as seeking auto loans, where you may submit applications to multiple lenders as you seek the best deal. FICO and VantageScore don’t count each of these inquiries separatelyâthey deduplicate them or consider them as one inquiry.
FICO uses a 45-day deduplication time period. That means credit inquiries of a certain typeâsuch as auto loans or mortgagesâthat hit within that period are counted as one hard inquiry for the purpose of impact to your credit.
In contrast, VantageScore only has a 14-day range for deduplication. However, it deduplicates multiple hard inquiries for all types of credit, including credit cards. FICO only deduplicates inquiries related to mortgages, auto loans, and student loans.
Influence of Low-Balance Collections
VantageScore and FICO both penalize credit scores for accounts sent to collection agencies. However, FICO sometimes offers more leniency for collection accounts with low balances or limits.
FICO 8.0 also ignores all collections where the original balance was less than $100 and FICO 9.0 weighs medical collections less. It also doesn’t count collection accounts that have been paid off. VantageScore 4.0, on the other hand, ignores collection accounts that are paid off, regardless of the original balance.
What Are FAKO Scores?
FAKO is a derogatory term for scores that aren’t FICO Scores or VantageScores. Companies that provide FAKO scores don’t call them this. Instead, they refer to their scores as âeducational scoresâ or just âcredit scores.â FAKO scores can vary significantly from FICO scores and VantageScores.
These scores aren’t completely valueless, though. They can help you understand where your credit score stands or whether it’s going up or down. You probably don’t want to shell out money for such scores, though, and you do want to ensure the credit score provider is drawing on accurate information from the credit bureaus.
The post Experian Credit Score vs. FICO Score appeared first on Credit.com.
Jobs requiring a bachelorâs degree or higher level of education for entry are often more insulated from unemployment than others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, total unemployment for individuals 25 years and older spiked to 13.1% in April 2020. However, the highest unemployment rate over the past year for bachelorâs degree holders 25 and older was 8.4% in April 2020. As of November 2020, the national unemployment rate was 6.7% â 2.5 percentage points higher than the unemployment rate for bachelorâs degree holders.
Some jobs for bachelorâs degree holders may be even more insulated from economic changes as demand is high. In this study, we investigated the most in-demand jobs for bachelorâs degree holders. We compared a total of 131 occupations across four metrics: percentage change in average earnings from 2018 to 2019, percentage change in employment from 2018 to 2019, projected employment change from 2019 to 2029 and projected percentage change in employment from 2019 to 2029. For details on our data sources or how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAssetâs third annual study on the most in-demand jobs for bachelorâs degree holders. Check out the 2020 rankings here.
A list similar to last year. Almost half of the 10 most in-demand jobs for bachelorâs degree holders in 2021 were in our top 10 last year. They are computer and information systems managers, information security analysts, interpreters & translators and medical & health service managers. Of those four occupations, interpreters & translators saw the biggest jump between the two years, moving down five spots from first to sixth.
More than 30% growth expected in two occupations. On average across the 131 occupations in our study, employment is expected to grow by 5.0% between 2019 and 2029. But the expected growth is more than six times higher for two occupations â information security analysts and medical & health service managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment increases of 31.2% and 31.5% for those two occupations, respectively, between 2019 and 2029.
1. Producers and Directors
The producer and director occupation ranks in the top quartile of our study for all four metrics we considered. Between 2018 and 2019, employment of producers and directors grew by almost 9%, while average earnings rose by about 5%. Moreover, the BLS projects the occupation will continue to grow. According to their estimates, the number of producers and directors will increase by 16,000, or 10.0%, from 2019 to 2029.
2. Computer and Information Systems Managers (tie)
The computer and information systems manager occupation ranks in the top 15% of occupations for three of the four metrics in our study. The occupation saw the ninth-largest percentage increase in employment from 2018 to 2019, growing by 10.87%. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS expects it will grow by another 10.4%, adding 48,100 workers. Across all 131 occupations, that is the 19th-highest percentage increase and ninth-largest gross increase in workers.
2. Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers and Athletes (tie)
The occupation of agent and business manager for artists, performers and athletes ties with computer and information systems manager as the No. 2 in-demand job for bachelorâs degree holders. Between 2018 and 2019, average pay for agents and business managers for artists, performers and athletes grew by almost 7%, the seventh-highest rate across all 131 occupations. Over the same time period, employment grew by 15%, second-highest in our study for this metric.
4. Information Security Analysts
Information security analyst is the fourth most in-demand job for bachelorâs degree holders, moving up from fifth place last year. Though average earnings grew at a comparable pace year-over-year, employment increased sharply in this profession. BLS estimates show that information security analyst employment increased by 16.20%. There were about 108,100 information security analysts in 2018 and almost 125,600 in 2019.
Most actuaries work for insurance companies, assessing the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. Between 2018 and 2019, average earnings for actuaries grew by 4.06% â the 15th-highest one-year earnings increase in our study. Additionally, between 2019 and 2029, employment for this occupation is expected to grow by another 17.6%, the seventh-largest percentage change in employment in the study.
6. Interpreters and Translators
According to BLS employment projections, the number of interpreters and translators in the U.S. is expected to increase by 20.0% between 2019 and 2029, a top-five rate in our study. With that projected percentage change, employment will grow by roughly 15,500 workers, a top-30 rate. Most recently, from 2018 to 2019, average earnings for interpreters and translators grew by 3.20%, the 25th-highest rate for this metric in the study.
The occupation of fundraiser ranks in the top third of all 131 occupations for three of the four metrics we considered. Between 2018 and 2019, employment grew by 7.87%, the 19th-highest rate. Looking forward, total employment of fundraisers is expected to grow by 14,400, or 14.3%, over the next 10 years â the 30th-largest gross increase and 11th-highest percentage increase.
8. Medical and Health Service Managers
Medical and health service managers plan and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers. Average earnings for medical and health service managers are high and growing. In 2018 and 2019, average earnings for workers in the occupation stood at $113,730 and $115,160, respectively. Additionally, across the 131 occupations in our study, BLS expects the profession to have the third-largest gross employment increase (133,200 workers) and highest percentage employment increase (31.5%) over approximately the next decade.
9. Athletic Trainers
Between 2019 and 2029, the occupation of athletic trainer is expected to grow by 16.2%, the ninth-highest rate for this metric in our study. Athletic trainers may also see their earnings continue to grow over time. Between 2018 and 2019, average earnings for athletic trainers increased by 2.56% from about $49,300 to more than $50,500.
10. Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists
Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialist rounds out our list of the top 10 most in-demand jobs for bachelorâs degree holders. Average earnings for compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists grew by 2.84% between 2018 and 2019, 33rd-highest in our study. The occupation ranks within the top third of the study for the other three metrics as well. It had the 26th-highest percentage change in employment from 2018 to 2019 (6.88%), the 43rd-greatest projected gross employment change from 2019 to 2029 (7,500) and the 28th-highest projected percentage employment change from 2019 to 2029 (7.9%).
Data and Methodology
To find the most in-demand jobs for bachelorâs degree holders, we looked at data for 131 occupations that the BLS classifies as typically requiring a bachelorâs degree for entry. We compared the 131 occupations across four metrics:
Percentage change in average earnings from 2018 to 2019. Data comes from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics and is for May 2018 and May 2019.
Percentage change in employment from 2018 to 2019. Data comes from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics and is for May 2018 and May 2019.
Projected employment change from 2019 to 2029 (gross figure). This is the projected change in the total number of people employed in an occupation from 2019 to 2029. Data comes from the BLS 2019 Employment Projections.
Projected employment change from 2019 to 2029 (percentage change). This is the projected percentage change in the number of people employed in an occupation from 2019 to 2029. Data comes from the BLS 2019 Employment Projections.
We ranked each occupation in every metric, giving a full weighting to all metrics. We then found each occupationâs average ranking and used that to determine a final score. The occupation with the best average ranking received a score of 100 while the occupation with the worst average ranking received a score of 0.
Tips for Making Educated Choices With Your Earnings
Invest early. With relatively high income and earnings, many bachelorâs degree workers may be able to have an early retirement. To do this, it is important to take advantage of compound interest by investing early. Take a look at our investment calculator to see how your investment in a savings account can grow over time.
Contribute to a 401(k). A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored defined contribution plan in which you divert pre-tax portions of your monthly paycheck into a retirement account. Some employers will also match your 401(k) contributions up to a certain percentage of your salary, meaning that if you chose not to contribute, you are essentially leaving money on the table. Our 401(k) calculator can help you determine what you saved for retirement so far and how much more you may need.
Consider professional help. A financial advisor can help you make smarter financial decisions to be in better control of your money. Finding the right financial advisor that doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Questions about our study? Contact us at email@example.com.
My wife and I are looking to retire in three years from New Jersey to Florida or a Florida-type atmosphere â warm weather, no snow!
We will be getting around $5,000 from Social Security monthly and will have a little over $1 million spread among savings/401(k)/house equity. We want to buy a condo for about $250,000 that has all the extras like pools, restaurants, social activities and near the beach.
Can you make any suggestions?
With 1,350 miles of coastline in Florida alone, never mind the rest of the South, you have many possibilities for your retirement. But as you can imagine, properties closest to the beach are more expensive, so ânear the beachâ may involve some compromise.
I started my search with Realtor.com (which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.) and its picks of affordable beach communities, but didnât stick to it exclusively.
My three suggestions are just a starting point. No place is perfect, not every development will have all the amenities you want, and every town has its own personality, so you may want to think about what else is important to you. You also may want to consider gated communities and townhomes, not just multistory condominium buildings.
As you narrow down your list, I recommend you visit at least twice â once in the winter to experience the crowds in high season and once in the summer to understandÂ what southern humidity is like. Itâs worse than in New Jersey.
Think about how you will build your new social network, even with all the social amenities in your condo building. Donât rule out the local senior center or the townâs recreation department.
Consider renting for the first year to test it out to make sure youâve picked the right area.
Then there are the money questions. The last thing you need is a surprise.
Youâll have condo fees; they can be quite high, particularly in a high-rise building along the beach. What do they cover and what donât they cover? How much have fees been rising over, say, the past 10 years? How does the board budget for bigger repairs? More broadly, are you OK with the condo associationâs rules?
Ask about the cost of both flood and wind insurance given that the southern coastline is regularly threatened with hurricanes. Thatâs on top of homeownerâs insurance. Or are you far enough inland that you can get away without them?
Walk into the tax assessorâs office to try for a more accurate tax assessment than your real-estate agent may give you. And since this would be your primary residence, ask about the homestead exemption.
And donât forget that youâre trading your New Jersey heating bill for more months of air conditioning; what will that cost?
Finally, three years isnât that far away.Â Start decluttering now. Thatâs hard work, too.
Here are three coastal towns to get you started on your search:
This town of nearly 25,000 on the Gulf Coast is part of the Sarasota metro area, deemed by U.S. News & World Report to beÂ the best area in the U.S. to retire. Venice is 25 miles south of Sarasota and its big-city amenities; itâs 60 miles north of Fort Myers, the runner-up in the U.S. News listing.
It also made Realtor.comâs list ofÂ affordable beach towns for 2020.
This is a retiree haven â 62% of residents are 65 and over, according to Census Bureau data.
While you can always travel to the nearby big cities, when you want to stay local, see whatâs on at theÂ Venice Performing Arts CenterÂ and theÂ Venice Theatre. Walk or bicycle along the 10.7-mileÂ Legacy TrailÂ toward Sarasota and the connecting 8.6-mileÂ Venetian Waterway Park TrailÂ to the south. The latter will lead you toÂ highly ratedCaspersen Beach.
Temperature-wise, youâll have an average high of 72 in January (with overnight lows averaging 51) and an average high of 92 in August (with an overnight low of 74).
HereâsÂ what is on the market right now, using Realtor.com listings.
Boynton Beach, Florida
On the opposite side of the state, smack between Palm Beach and Boca Raton, is this city of about 80,000 people,Â plenty of whom are from the tri-state area. More than one in five are 65 or older.
Weather is similar to that in Venice: an average high of 73 in January and 85 in August.
Boynton Beach is in the middle of developing theÂ 16-acre Town Square projectÂ that will include a cultural center and residential options, among other things. Still, this is an area where one town bleeds into the next, so whatever you donât find in Boynton Beach, youâll probably find next door.
At the western edge of town is theÂ Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, 145,000 acres of northern Everglades and cypress swamp. TheÂ Green Cay Nature CenterÂ is another natural attraction.
You can also hopÂ Tri-Rail, a commuter train line that runs from West Palm Beach to the Miami airport with a stop in Boynton Beach, when you want to go elsewhere. The fancier Brightline train isÂ adding a stop in Boca RatonÂ to its existing trio of West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami; the current plan is for a mid-2022 opening.
This city has many amenity-laden retirement communities, and the median listing price for condos and townhouses fit your budget, according to Realtor.com data. HereâsÂ whatâs on the market now.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
If youâre ready to look beyond Florida, Myrtle Beach, S.C., with nearly 35,000 people, made Realtor.comâsÂ 2018Â andÂ 2019Â lists of affordable beach towns, and Murrells Inlet, just to the south and home to just under 10,000 people, made the 2020 list. The broader Myrtle Beach area, known as the Grand Strand, extends for 60 miles along the coast.
Summer temperatures in Myrtle Beach are a touch cooler than Florida; an average high of 88 in July, with lows averaging 74.
A word of warning: In the winter, average overnight lows get down to around 40, and average daytime highs reach the upper 50s. Is that acceptable, or too cold?
Myrtle Beach boasts of its low property taxes, especially when combined with the stateâs homestead exemption. While you may think of the city as a vacation destination, 20% of residents are 65 or older. (Nearly 32% of Murrells Inlet residents are seniors.)
Hereâs whatâs for sale now inÂ Myrtle BeachÂ and inÂ Murrells Inlet.
The post We Want to Retire to Florida or a Florida-Type Atmosphere and Buy a Condo With Lots of Amenities for $250,000âWhere Should We Go? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
The post A Parent’s Guide to Setting a Successful Budget for a College Student appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.
Â You are getting ready to send your child off to college. Before you start helping them pack their belongings, there is one thing you need to do.
You need to help them create a budget. You need to teach them how to manage their money so they can learn the tools theyâll use long after they graduate.
WHY DO COLLEGE STUDENTS NEED A BUDGET?
The truth is everyone needs a budget. It does not matter your age. If you are dealing with money, a budget is necessary.
Allows you to control your money. Rather than your money telling you what it wants to do, you get to tell your money where it needs to go. You are always in control when you have a budget.
It teaches financial skills. A budget helps ensure that expenses such as rent, tuition, food, insurance, transportation, and housing are paid â before spending money on the fun stuff. (It also helps to make sure you donât spend more than you make.)
Makes you aware of where your money goes. When you use a budget, you see how you spend. It is very simple to see if too much is going toward dining out when you should be building your savings.
Helps you track your goals. You need to cover expenses but you should also work on building savings at the same time. Your budget allows you to not only see those goals but track them in real time.
DOESNâT A BUDGET MEAN YOU CANâT HAVE FUN?
Not at all! If anything, your budget will allow you to have guilt-free fun.
For example, the budget may allow you to spend $50 a week dining out. That means you can go to dinner with friends once (possibly twice) a week and enjoy yourself. You wonât be left wondering how you are now going to make rent.
WHAT TYPE OF BUDGET SHOULD YOUR STUDENT USE?
There are various methods of budgeting such as the 50/30/20 and the zero-based budget. For most college students, the zero-based is the simplest and easiest to follow.
The reason is that you track everything. You give every penny a job. That means if you earn $1,500 for the month that you âspendâ the entire $1,500.
You will first cover the needs (food, shelter, transportation) and then your wants. If there is money âleftoverâ after this is done, it can be added to your savings.
You can use other types but if you have never budgeted before, using this method is the simplest.
WHAT SHOULD A COLLEGE STUDENT INCLUDE IN A BUDGET?
The budget will vary for each person, as the income and expense will be different. However, these are the most common categories that need to be included in a budget:
Car insurance (also saving for annual renewal fees)
Utilities (phone, electricity, gas, water, etc.)
Entertainment (movies, games, concerts)
Emergency fund savings
Again, you may have items that are not included above or see some that you do not need.
However, the most important thing of all is that every penny is given a job. Account for everything you will spend each month so you never have too much month and not enough money.
HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF YOUR BUDGET?
For most college students, apps or digital trackers are the best options.Â But, before you rush and sign up, keep the following in mind.
Cost. Many apps are free and they will work perfectly fine. Other apps have a monthly fee attached to them. If you plan to use one of them, make sure you include that as one of your regular expenses. However, do not let the cost alone be a single factor when it comes to clicking the sign-up button.
Security. Your security trumps all else. You need to make sure the app uses encryption as well as two-factor authorization.
Some of the best apps include:
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
However, your student may also like the traditional paper and pencil method â and that is OK as well.
Find the right one that works best for your student. That is all that matters.
TEACHING THEM TO BUDGET
Knowing you need a budget and where to track it is just the beginning. You need to teach your child how to budget.
Start by looking at each category that they need on their budget. You may already know the cost for each category but if not, you may need to make phone calls or do research to know.
For example, you know the rent for the apartment is $850 a month but how much are the average utilities? Ask the manager for these costs so you can include them in the budget.
Next, decide how much they want to allow themselves to spend on food. Show them how much a meal costs for a single person at each restaurant you eat at so they can create an average.
You will then have them decide how much âfun moneyâ they want to include as well. You can base this on them wanting to go to the movies two times a month, one concert a month, or attending three events.
Now you can see the expenses for your student. Add their income to the budget and deduct the expenses. They will see if they are operating in the black (money left over) or in the red (spending more than they make).
Show them how to adjust the numbers by increasing their savings or lowering the amount they can spend on clothes â until the budget equals zero. Zero meaning they are spending every penny they earn.
And making them keep track now will help ensure they stay on track well into the future.
The post A Parent’s Guide to Setting a Successful Budget for a College Student appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.
People invest with one goal in mind: To earn a good return on their investment. Returns can be determined by the type of investment, the timing and the risks associated with it. That means returns can vary wildly, often making it hard for investors to plan for their financial future. So just what exactly is a good return on investment?
Buying stocks has traditionally been considered a risky but high probability way to earn a good return. Looking at the performance of a market index like the S&P 500 can help lend a sense what kind of return an investor can expect during an average year.
Dating back to the late 1920s, the S&P 500 index has returned, on average, around 10% per year. Adjusted for inflation thatâs roughly 7% per year.
Hereâs how much a 7% return on investment can earn an individual after 10 years. If an individual starts out by putting in $1,000 into an investment with a 7% average annual return, they would see their money grow to $1,967 after a decade. So almost double the original amount invested.
For financial planning purposes however, investors should keep in mind that that doesnât mean the stock market will consistently earn them 7% each year. In fact, S&P 500 share prices have swung violently throughout the years. For instance, the benchmark gauge tumbled 38% in 2008, then completely reversed course the following March to end 2009 up 23%. Factors such as economic growth, corporate performance and share valuations can affect stock returns.
Why Your Money Loses Value if You Donât Invest it
Itâs helpful to consider what happens to the value of your money if you simply hang on to cash.
Keeping cash can feel like a safer alternative to investing, so it may seem like a good idea to deposit your money into a savings account–the modern day equivalent of stuffing cash under your mattress. But cash slowly loses value over time due to inflation; that is, the cost of goods and services increases with time, meaning that cash has less purchasing power.
Interest rates are important, too. Putting money in a savings account that earns interest at a rate that is less than the inflation rate, that money loses value every single day as well. This is why, despite the risks, investing money is often considered a better alternative to simply saving it, as it can grow at a faster rate.
Pay a little, invest in a lot.
Distributor, Foreside Fund Services, LLC
What Is a Good Rate of Return for Various Investments?
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are considered a very safe investment because thereâs a fixed rate of return. That means thereâs relatively little riskâbut investors also agree to tie their money up for a predetermined period of time. CDs are illiquid, in other words.
But generally, the longer money is invested in a CD, the higher the return. Many CDs require a minimum deposit amount, and larger deposits tend to be associated with higher interest rates.
Itâs the low-risk nature of CDs that also means that they earn a lower rate of return than other investments, usually only a few percentage points per year. But they can be a good choice for investors with short-term goals who need a relatively safer investment vehicle.
Here are the weekly national rates compiled by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as of Jan. 4, 2021:
National Avg. Annual Percentage Yield
Jumbo Deposits (â¥$100,000)
National Avg. Annual Percentage Yield
Bonds are considered to be safe investments. Purchasing a bond is basically the same as loaning your money to the bond-issuer, like a government or business.
Hereâs how it works: A bond is purchased for a fixed period of time, investors receive interest payments over that time, and when the bond matures, the investor receives their initial investment back.
Generally, investors earn higher interest payments when bond issuers are riskier. An example may be a company thatâs struggling to stay in business. But interest payments are lower when the borrower is trustworthy, like the U.S. government. Government bonds, on average, return around 5% annually.
Stocks can be purchased in a number of ways. But the important thing to know is that a stockâs potential return will depend on the specific stock, when itâs purchased, and the risk associated with it. Again, the general idea with stocks is that the riskier the stock, the higher the potential return.
This doesnât necessarily mean you can put money into the market today and assume youâll earn a large return on it in the next year. But based on historical precedent, your investment may bear fruit over the long-term. Because the market on average has gone up over time, bringing stock values up with it. As mentioned, the stock market averages a return of roughly 7% per year, adjusted for inflation.
Returns on real estate investing vary widely. It mostly depends on the type of real estateâif youâre purchasing a single house versus a real estate investment trust (REIT), for instanceâand where the real estate is located.
As with other investments, it all comes down to risk. The riskier the investment, the higher the chance of greater returns and greater losses. Historically, the rate of return on average properties has been similar to that of the stock market, according to one study. That study found that the return on homes have been between 8.6% and 10% per year .
High or Best Return on Investment Assets
For investors who have a high risk tolerance (theyâre willing to take big risks to potentially earn high returns), some investments are better than others. For example, investing in a CD isnât going to reap a high return on investment. So for those who are looking for higher returns, riskier investments are the way to go.
Remember the Principles of Good Investing
Learn more â
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SoFi InvestÂ® The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individualâs specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi canât guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . The umbrella term âSoFi Investâ refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below. 1) Automated InvestingâThe Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (âSofi Wealthâ). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (âSofi Securities). 2) Active InvestingâThe Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation. 3) Digital AssetsâThe Digital Assets platform is owned by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business. For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, http://www.sofi.com/legal. Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances. Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market. External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
The post What Is Considered a Good Return on Investment? appeared first on SoFi.
In a recent episode, I shared that I would be doing a 4-part series on divorce. I’ve been divorced for 5 years now and wanted to share what has worked for me, my ex-husband, and our 8 kids during this time. While divorce is not easy, time does help heal, and when your focus is putting your kids first, it is absolutely possible to maintain a healthy, happy family relationship.
My first episode in this series was 5 Expert-Approved Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Divorce. My second episode in this series was 5 Ways to Co-Parent with Your Ex-Spouse.
There really isn’t anything easy about divorce. Thankfully, as I discussed in the first two episodes, there are strategies and thoughtful ways to navigate through some of divorces issues, especially if the two parents are willing to put their personal differences aside and focus on their kids. In addition to the emotional turmoil that encompasses divorce, there is also another difficult component that couples must deal with and that is the financial aspect.
After 25 years of marriage and 8 kids, Mighty Mommy had to get her financial house in order and make some significant adjustments going from a two-income household to a single income.
Here are four financial considerations, as backed by the experts, to keep in mind if you are thinking of or getting a divorce.
1. Get Your Financial Documents in Order
The entire divorce process is completely overwhelming, and when you begin to delve into the financial ramifications, the stress is taken to a whole new level. Once we began having our small tribe of kids, we decided I would leave my career to be home with our family. During the last 10 years of our marriage I went back to work part-time as a freelance writer but by no means was I contributing significantly to our income. My ex-husband managed the majority of our financial affairs so when the reality of our divorce settled in, I knew the first thing I had to do was get a handle on every aspect of our financial status. I honestly wasn’t sure where to begin, but my divorce attorney recommended I start by gathering all my financial documents.
Maryalene LaPonsie, contributor to USNews.com writes in 7 Financial Steps to Take When Getting a Divorce that “as soon as you know you’re getting a divorce, collect all the financial documents you can.” She continues, by stating that these include:
“Credit card statements”
“Retirement account balances”
“Appraisals for valuable items, if available”
In addition, other documents to consider are:
Mortgage Statement, including any Home Equity Loans and purchase information
Checkbook Registry for the last year
Any other long-term debt account statements you may have, including car loans
2. Know Your Income and Expenses
When we began our divorce proceedings, I admit I was far more focused on my emotional state than my finances.
When we began our divorce proceedings, I admit I was far more focused on my emotional state than my finances. Because my ex was the one who paid all the bills and the sole provider for most of our marriage, I never worried much about the details of our 401(K) plan, life insurance policies or what our overall assets and debt totaled.
One piece of advice I received many times over was that I needed to know what our budget was so I could begin to realistically know what my living expenses would be.
Jason Silverberg, CFP at Financial Advantage Associates, Inc. and author of The Financial Planning Puzzle, told me via email: “If there was one singular, most important piece of financial advice that I could offer someone going through a divorce, that would be to understand where everything is and what everything’s worth. Without knowledge of what you own and who you owe money to, you really are going to have a hard time moving forward. You’ll also want to understand all of your sources for income and all of your monthly expenses as well. This will help you have a good handle on your budget to provide you critical understanding, so you can make smart financial decisions.”
He went on to say, “This exercise should be done both prior to as well as after the divorce. This way you can get a sense for how your household budget will operate on one income.” To help divorcing couples realize these figures, Silverberg has created the Personal Financial Inventory (1 page worksheet) inside the Picking up the Pieces eBook.
This exercise was extremely enlightening as I realized exactly where every penny (and then some) was going on a monthly basis. I was also able to gauge how much income I would need to start making in order to support these bills in addition to the child support and alimony payments I was receiving. One important factor to consider with child support is that it will decrease as your children get older, so I had to continually modify my budget based on this decrease. At first, it was overwhelming to see how much money I would need to keep our household running, but when you are armed with the figures and you pay attention to your monthly cash flow, it becomes easier to make adjustments. The fact of the matter is that some of the extra splurges such as frequent trips to the hair salon or buying my kids their usual top-of-the line items like sneakers or sports equipment had to be adjusted to what I could now afford. My kids have had some disappointments in this department, but they appreciated how we were trying to work together as a family-unit so that their lifestyle wasn't affected as drastically as it could've been which balanced everything out.
3. Consider What Professionals Will Represent You
There are important considerations to keep in mind when choosing which divorce professionals will represent you. Adrienne Rothstein Grace writes on the Huffington Post, 3 Steps to Prepare for Your Divorce, that you must align yourself with the right professionals. She explains “First, think about the divorce process you and your spouse will want to undertake and ask yourself the following questions:
“Is this going to be an acrimonious divorce? Or will my spouse and I cooperate?”
“Do I already know about all of our household and personal finances? Or do I suspect that I may be out of the loop on some assets, debts or income sources?”
“Do I trust my spouse to be cooperative and forthright?”
“Do I have any reason to believe that I will feel intimidated by my spouse during these proceedings?”
“Are we both focused on the wellbeing of our children?”
Grace says that “If you believe that you and your spouse will cooperate and will have joint best interests in mind while negotiating, then you might want to choose a divorce mediator or embrace a collaborative divorce. Those options are less costly, more private, and usually result in a more peaceful settlement process. However, if you’re not certain about finances, or cannot trust your spouse to be completely above-board and cooperative, then you might hire a traditional divorce attorney, who will only have your interests in focus while they help negotiate the complexities of your divorce.”
My ex-spouse and I decided to retain individual divorce attorneys. In addition, we also hired a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, (CDFA) at the recommendation of each of our lawyers, who met with us jointly to give us a complete overview of what our financial future was going to look like. It's a huge wake-up call when you see all the numbers in front of you on paper. At our first meeting with the CDFA I learned quickly that I was going to have to go back to work, full-time to sustain the home we lived in as well as the upkeep, taxes, insurance, and basics like groceries for our large family.
It's a huge wake-up call when you see all the numbers in front of you on paper.
If you surround yourself with competent, caring professionals who will guide you through this very delicate journey, you will have made an important investment in your family’s future, financial well-being.
4. Stay in the Financial Know Throughout Your Divorce
Throughout your divorce, you’re bound to get all kinds of advice from friends, family, co-workers and other concerned individuals that will be looking out for you and have your best interest at heart. This can be both helpful and draining depending on your relationship with these people. When I began divorce proceedings, I too received lots of comments and suggestions from well-meaning folks, but I also decided I wanted to be armed with my own facts so I began reading lots of articles and books as well as listened to informative podcasts about divorce, particularly financially-related pieces.
My QDT colleague, Laura Adams, Money Girl, recently did an wrote about divorce in Getting Divorced? Here's How to Protect Your Money. She interviewed Stan Corey, a divorce expert and author of a new book, The Divorce Dance. This podcast had some terrific insight and some of the topics she and Corey cover in this interview include:
Different types of divorce proceedings that you can choose
The biggest mistakes that can cost you financially in a divorce
Why relying on a single family law attorney can be a bad idea
Tips for dividing up financial assets the right way—especially when you’re not so financially savvy
How to get divorced when you don’t have much money to pay for it
As you continue down the path of your divorce, surround yourself with as much information as you can, so that you will be able to make the best decisions possible for you and your children.
Five years later, I am still watching my financial picture very carefully. I work full-time and do freelance work on the side in order to maintain my home and other living expenses. I am extremely grateful that my ex-husband is very supportive of many of our 8 children’s extracurricular expenses, but the reality is I’m responsible for my own financial future so I have learned to be extremely careful with purchases and expenses.
The final topic in this divorce series will revolve around putting your kids first after the divorce.
How have you managed your finances during a separation or divorce? Please share your thoughts in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.
Be sure to sign up for the upcoming Mighty Mommy newsletter chock full of practical advice to make your parenting life easier and more enjoyable.
A pay cut, whether big or small, can catch you off guardâand throw your finances into disarray. While a salary cut is different than a layoff, it can leave you feeling just as uncertain.
How do you deal with a pay cut and deal with this uncertainty?
There are strategies to help you navigate both the emotional and financial challenges of this situation. One key element? A budget. Whether you need to create a budget from scratch or adjust the budget you already have, doing so can help you get back on your feet and set yourself up for success.
Hereâs a rundown of budgeting tips to survive a pay cut to keep your finances intact:
Ask your employer for the parameters of the income reduction or salary cut
First, keep in mind that a pay cut typically isnât personal. According to Scott Bishop, an executive vice president of financial planning at a wealth management firm, businesses often cut salaries to preserve their cash reserves while they stabilize their cash flow or weather some larger economic impact, like the coronavirus pandemic.
Secondly, make sure you understand the full scope of the salary cut. Bishop suggests you ask your employer questions like:
What is the amount of pay being cut?
Why is pay being cut?
When will the reduction begin, and how long will it last?
Will any of the following be affected?
Healthcare or insurance costs
Employer-sponsored training or continuing education opportunities
Hours or job responsibilities
What are the long-term plans to improve the companyâs financial situation?
Once youâve painted the full scope of what and why, you can determine how to handle the pay cut.
âFor some people who are big savers, it might not be a big deal,â Bishop says. âBut for some people who live paycheck to paycheck, itâs going to be significant.â
Settle any anxieties that might come with a salary cut
If you are dealing with financial stress, try settling your mind and emotions so you can make decisions with a clear head.
âThe emotional and mental toll can be one of the hardest parts,â says Lindsay Dell Cook, president and founder of Budget Babble LLC, which provides personal finance and small business financial counseling. âIt gets even harder if there are others depending on your income who are also financially stressed.â
When sharing the news with family members who may also be impacted, Cook suggests the following:
Find the right time. Pick a time of day during which everyone will have the highest mental capacity for the conversation. âFor instance, I am a morning person, so if my husband told me at bedtime about a pay cut, I would have a much harder time processing that information,â Cook says.
Frame it as a brainstorming session. Bring ideas of what you can do to handle the pay cut, such as a list of expenses you can cut or a plan for how you can make extra income.
Empathize with the other person. âReduced income is not easy for anyone. Everyone responds to financial anxiety differently,â Cook says.
“If youâre unable to maintain your previous level of saving after a pay cut, try to save at a smaller scale for goals like retirement and your emergency fund.”
Create or adjust your budget to handle a pay cut
Once you understand the salary cut and have informed your family or roommates, itâs time to crunch the numbers. Thatâs the first step to figuring out how to save money after a pay cut.
If you donât have a budget, find a budgeting system that fits your needs. Learning how to effectively budget takes time and practice, so be patient with yourself if youâre new to this. Cook suggests reading up on how to create a budget.
One system to consider is the 50-20-30 budget rule, which has you break your spending into three simple categories. If you prefer the aid of technology when determining how to handle a pay cut, there are many budgeting and spending apps that can help you manage your money.
Whether youâre handling a pay cut by creating a new plan or modifying an existing budget, Bishop suggests taking the following steps:
Add up your income. Combine your new salary with your partnerâs pay, and factor in any additional income streams like from dividends or savings account interest. Tally up the total.
List your expenses. Be sure to include essential expenses (e.g., housing, food, clothing, transportation) and nonessential expenses (e.g., entertainment, takeout, hobbies).
Look through your bank statement online and your past receipts so all expenses are included.
Account for infrequent expenses such as gifts, car maintenance or home repairs.
Track the amount you save. Note any regular savings contributions you make, such as to an emergency fund or retirement account.
Get your partnerâs buy-in. What needs do they have, and what is nonnegotiable in the budget for each of you?
Cut expenses with budgeting tips to survive a pay cut
If youâve crunched the numbers and found that your expenses add up to more than your new income, youâll need to find ways to cut back. Here are some tips on trimming your spending to survive a salary cut:
Cut back on takeout meals and stick to a strict grocery list or food budget, Cook suggests.
Avoid large discretionary purchases like a car during the duration of your pay cut, Bishop says.
Negotiate with your utility companies or ask if theyâre providing forbearance options, Bankrate suggests. You can also ask your car insurance provider if it has additional savings for customers who are driving less, according to Bankrate.
If you think you might fall behind on rent or mortgage payments as youâre handling a pay cut, both Cook and Bishop agree that early, proactive communication is key. Be honest with your landlord or mortgage company. âDonât wait until youâre past due,â Bishop says.
The same applies for other financial obligations, such as your credit card bill. Youâll likely find those companies are willing to work with you through the rough patch.
Cook also suggests you look into municipal assistance programs as a budgeting tip to survive a pay cut. âMany cities have established rental assistance funds to help taxpayers meet their obligations during the pandemic,â she says.
Continue to save money after a pay cut
As you consider how to cut costs, take time to think about your long-term savings goals and how to save money after a pay cut. By cutting discretionary spending through your new budgetâwhat Bishop calls âcutting the fatââyou may have freed up income to maintain your good saving habits during this time. He says itâs important to do that before slowing down on savings.
If youâre unable to maintain your previous level of saving after a pay cut, Bishop suggests you try to save at a smaller scale for goals like retirement and your emergency fund.
As you work to save money after a pay cut, Cook recommends setting up automatic transfers to your savings account every payday based on the amount youâre able to put towards savings in your new budget.
âIf your savings account is at the same bank as your checking account, you can transfer those funds fairly easily,â she says. âSo the worst-case scenario is that you put too much money in savings and have to bring some back to checking. The hope, however, is that some or all of those funds transferred to savings remain there since that money is no longer in your checking account just waiting to be spent.â
Seek extra income sources after a salary cut
You should explore additional sources of income if you need more cash to cover essential expenses or if youâre looking for ways to save money after a pay cut.
Determine if youâre eligible for benefits based on the reason for your pay cut. Cook recommends applying for unemployment if you think you may qualify. For example, some workers who experienced pay cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic were eligible for unemployment benefits. The details vary by state, so visit your stateâs unemployment insurance program website to learn what benefits may apply to you.
If you or your partner have some extra time on your hands, you can consider bringing in income through a side hustle to help you handle your pay cut. Bishop suggests using free or low-cost online video tutorials to boost your existing skills to make your side hustle more effective.
Cook also recommends getting creative. âAre there things you could sell to make some extra cash?â she says.
If you are unable to find additional sources of income, but you have an emergency fund, consider whether you should dip into that. “Your savings are there for a reason, and sometimes you need to use it,” Cook says. “That is okay.”
Stick to your updated budget to navigate how to handle a pay cut
Making your budget part of your daily routine is a budgeting tip to survive a pay cut, and it will help you save money after a pay cut.
âBuild rewards into your budget, such as ordering out every other week if you successfully saved money after your pay cut.â
âIf youâre checking it daily, there are no surprises,â Cook says. You can do this by logging into your bank account and making sure your spending and expenses align with your digital or written budget document.
âIf you see that your spending is high, your mind will typically start thinking through [future] transactions more thoroughly to vet if those expenses are really necessary,â Cook says.
Donât forget the fun side of accountability: rewards for meeting your goals. Build rewards into your budget, Bishop says, such as ordering out every other week if you successfully saved money after your pay cut.
Lastly, donât try to go it alone. Enlist others in your budgeting journey, Cook suggests. Make up a monthly challenge to cut spending from a specific category in your new budget and ask your partner or a friend to do it with you. For example, see if you and the other participants can go a full month without buying clothes or ordering takeout. Compare notes at the end of the month and see how much youâve saved.
Another idea? Try connecting with a budget-minded community on social media to get inspired.
Take these steps after the salary cut is over
Once youâve handled the pay cut and your regular pay is restored, donât give up on your newfound budgeting discipline. Instead, focus on building up emergency savings before you go back to your normal spending.
Bishop recommends starting with enough savings to cover three to six months of expenses. âIf you spend $3,000 a month, that means you need to have $9,000 to $18,000 saved.â
This might also be the time to revisit your budget and build a more extensive financial plan with a CPA or financial advisor to account for all of your future goals. Bishop says that these can include a target retirement date and lifestyle; your estate planning, such as a will, trust and power of attorney; saving for a childâs college; and purchasing a home.
Bishop says reminding yourself why youâre budgeting and focusing on your financial goals can be similar to motivating yourself to stay physically fit. Goal-based motivation can keep you accountable.
Remember: You can survive a salary cut
Handling a pay cut is never easy, but you can get through this time. While youâre in the thick of it, focus on budgeting tips to survive a pay cut and staying positive. Seek help from others and follow up with your employer to make sure you are aware of any changing details regarding the pay cut.
Most of all, try to keep a long-term outlook. âRemember that it will not always be this way,â Cook says.
If youâre considering whether or not to tap into your savings to handle a pay cut, read on to determine when to use your emergency fund.
The post How to Handle a Pay Cut: Budgeting in Uncertain Times appeared first on Discover Bank – Banking Topics Blog.