5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Car

Posted by reagan.nickl on May 5, 2015 11:22:15 AM

Apart from Mother’s Day, the month of May also marks many college graduations. It is a time that college graduates trade in their dorm rooms for apartments or mortgages, and ditch their skateboards and vespas to upgrade to a real ride. But for many, buying their first car can be daunting and if you’re unfamiliar with how the process works, you may end up paying the price - literally.

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Topics: Family Finances, Applied Principles

Financial Lessons Only Mom's Can Teach

Posted by reagan.nickl on May 4, 2015 10:02:10 AM

There seems to be special powers bestowed upon mothers. When it comes to homemade grilled-cheese sandwiches, mom’s do it best. When it comes to supporting you in your goals and aspirations, mom’s do it best. But what about when it comes to teaching children about finances? For Sharon Suchoval, a mother and social-media marketer in St. Louis, the greatest lessons about finances and money were not taught in her Econ 101 class or a fancy webinar provided by the local credit union. No, when it came to teaching her children about finances, Sharon’s mom did it best.

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Topics: Applied Principles

7 Ways To Skip the Gym and Still Lose Weight

Posted by reagan.nickl on Apr 29, 2015 9:43:38 AM

When you’re piecing together your budget and deciding which categories are draining your cash pool, take a closer look at your expensive gym membership. Gym memberships can range from $10-$100 (for specialty gyms like Crossfit) per month! If you’re serious about staying in shape but don’t want to deal with contracts, automatic payment withdrawals, or annual fees, check out what the Mvelopes Fitness experts have put together.

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Topics: Envelope Budgeting, Family Finances, Applied Principles

How to Create a DIY Vegetable Garden

Posted by reagan.nickl on Apr 27, 2015 5:34:04 AM

As the childhood obesity rates rise, many families find themselves stuck in the excuse that healthy eating is expensive. Many families skip the produce aisles of the supermarket because they feel they simply cannot afford fresh fruits and vegetables. Although money doesn't grow on trees, fresh produce does! Mvelopes’ gardening expert, Elizabeth Armstrong, suggests a DIY garden to help beat those produce prices. Here's how:

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Topics: Finances for Couples, Family Finances, Applied Principles

What Millennials Don't Know About Money

Posted by reagan.nickl on Apr 15, 2015 5:09:36 AM

The Millennial generation have grown up with a vastly different lifestyle than their parents, and the gap between them and their grandparents makes their lifestyle seem unfathomable. After all, Millennials grew up in a world with internet, cell phones, and iPods.

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Topics: Envelope Budgeting, Credit Cards, Applied Principles, Students and College Graduates, Bill Pay

Creative Ways to Teach Children About Money Management

Posted by reagan.nickl on Apr 10, 2015 3:32:28 AM

If you’re a parent, you can probably remember the day your child was born. Remember your baby swaddled and passed around to grandparents and family members as they each gushed over what a miracle your baby is? Perhaps some even said, “Oh, he has your nose,” or “She is going to look beautiful like her Mom!” The truth is, your children will take a lot from you, and not just your good looks. But if you’re anything like 60% of Americans without an emergency savings fund, you may not want your financial wisdom to be one of those things they take after you!

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Topics: Finances for Couples, Family Finances, Tips and Tricks, Applied Principles

7 Items You Should Never Buy At The Dollar Store

Posted by reagan.nickl on Mar 31, 2015 7:29:48 AM

Dollar-store shopping can be a great way to cut costs on your weekly and day-to-day budget, but for certain items, you may be better off shopping somewhere else. Check our list of items that are sure to cut your spending, and the other items that may cost you more than you think.

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Topics: Family Finances, Applied Principles

How to Avoid the Effects of Unemployment

Posted by reagan.nickl on Mar 27, 2015 8:39:30 AM

The Good
Although unemployment may be falling (currently 5.5%) and over 295,000 new jobs were added in the month of February, the effects of unemployment are lingering and long-term - but you may have more control over those effects than you think.

According the Pew Research, on average it only takes a currently unemployed person about 13 weeks to find work again which is a monumental improvement from the 25 weeks (half a year) it would have taken for an unemployed person to find work again, back in 2010.

The Bad
Let’s be honest though, living without an income for 13 weeks is still no walk in the park. What is even more startling is that 1-20 years after a period of unemployment, workers earn about 15 percent lower than those who never experienced unemployment, according to research. Meaning, the effects of unemployment can go far beyond the three months it may take to find a new income.

There are many reasons for this decline in pay, but the biggest reason workers experience a decline in earnings is because, "reservation wages (the lowest wage at which a job would be accepted)...decline over time, as workers' expectations degrade and their needs increase," the Urban Institute study found. Essentially, desperation for income increases and leads to lower-paying jobs - and that is just the financial effect of unemployment. The National Journal cites a study by Gallup that found unemployed workers experience significant mental-health issues including moderate to severe depression as well.

The Bottom Line
Studies like these validate the need for an emergency savings account. At times of plenty it can be ironically hard to set aside money for a rainy day. However, the studies suggest that an emergency account will help you not only meet your temporary needs in times of scarcity, but will ease the desperation of unemployment ensuring a quality and deserved re-entry to the workforce as well. A savings fund will have a long lasting effect on the quality of life and work after unemployment.

At Mvelopes, the personal-finance experts recommend working towards an emergency savings account to pay for the cost of living for 90 days. That amount may seem daunting with your current financial situation, but rest assured it is possible. If a 90 day emergency fund seems to far off, begin by building a $1,000 savings fund and progress from there.

Setting a goal, like a 90-day emergency fund, will give your family an identifiable target that is far more likely to be hit. These days, unemployment is a game of Russian-roulette and pretending that, “It will never happen to me,” can be a dangerous gamble.

Instead, bet on yourself and begin contributing, or rededicate yourself to contributing, even small amounts, to your emergency savings fund - your future self will thank you.



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Topics: Envelope Budgeting, Applied Principles

Millionaire Celebrities Who Are Financially Worse Off Than You

Posted by reagan.nickl on Mar 13, 2015 10:17:59 AM

There is an anxious fantasy that roams through people’s minds from time to time where they imagine their lives as millionaires and they bask in the freedom that a large sum of money would grant them. This fantasy usually happens when they’re between paychecks, late on payments or deep in debt. The solution seems easy. With more money our problems would go away, right?

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Topics: Credit Cards, Applied Principles

Saving Money, There's 6 Apps for That

Posted by david.smith on Oct 24, 2014 11:05:36 AM

Guest post by JT Ripton

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Topics: Family Finances, Life in General, Smartphone apps, Applied Principles