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Budgeting: It Affects Your Lifestyle

Though most people do not realize it, budgeting is part of their everyday life. Whether it is grocery shopping, buying an expensive pair of shoes, or paying for the mortgage, everyone tries to allocate their money properly to pay for their needs and wants. However, in there instances when the amount of available money does not tie up with the expenses. That’s when debt occurs.

For this reason, it is critical for everyone to know how to budget their money in order to avoid debt. Budgeting is not as hard as it sounds. Below is a list of blogs that can help you in this endeavor:

Bem @ Digirati Life wrote a helpful post “Personal Budgeting Made Easy with the 60% Solution”. The goal of this article is to make budgeting simpler and easier. It was inspired by the article “A Simpler Way to Save: The 60% Solution by Richard Jenkins from MSN. Basically, all you need to do is keep track of all your basic expenses including food, clothing, household expenses, insurance premiums, bills, and taxes. By having a strict budget on those areas, the battle is already more than half won.

The You Need a Budget Blog has an interesting article for this week titled “Controlling Your Financial Destiny: Seeing Things as They Really Are.” It cannot be denied that a significant number of people base their financial decisions on “fiction”. Basically, because of the availability of the credit card and other forms of credit, people have come to believe that they have more money than they actually do. The importance of budget is emphasized in this blog post.

Mary Ann @ Families provided practical tips in preparing for the holiday meal in the post “Budgeting for the Holiday Meal.” Although the article might seem a bit trivial to some, it actually shows how a budget affects the lifestyle of families at home. It provides a look into what families can prepare when money is tight.

Should You Stay in a Job You Hate For Money?

As you probably know, this blog is mostly focused on credit, debts, and personal finance. Rarely do we tackle the subject about your job and self-worth. This week, we decided to tackle the subject about your work and careers in general. Your personal finances and even your lifestyle are inevitably tied to your work. More importantly, it is tied to the amount you’re earning each month. For this reason, countless people stay on a job they hate just so they can pay the bills.

The phenomenon is nothing new. However, the problem may be more prevalent than before due to the pressure of today’s lifestyle. Basically, you don’t make the same amount you did when the mortgage or auto loan was taken out, you can lose everything. So here, we will look at the reasons why you should or shouldn’t keep your job and the factors that should be taken into consideration.

Career Diva posted a funny and insightful blog post titled “Maybe We Need a Workplace Moses”. She talked about people working for free just to gain experience. Most young professionals go this route in the hope that it will pay off over the long term. Basically, she called this slavery and cited several reasons why people accept it. With the unemployment rate as high as it is, some have no choice.

The blog Money Smart Life recently had an article titled “Job Hunting Tips” to help out struggling job-seekers? Finding a job, let alone the right job, is not an easy task. Among the tactics you can consider include research, networking, the pay rate, retirement benefits, the take-home pay after taxes, and the health insurance provided. Even timing should be given importance because your worth in the marketplace can depend on demand.

Another helpful blog post on the topic can be found at Brazen Careerist. The blog post titled “Misery Loves Company Especially When You Are Dumbemployed” sums the topic up.

Should I Invest While Still in Debt?

It is usually not recommended for individuals to invest while they are still in debt. Most likely, the interest they need to pay on the debt is higher than the interest earned on investments. However, this is not always true because in some cases, investing can yield a lot of dividends and prove to be a wise long-term strategy.

Taking your situation into consideration, how wise is it for you to invest your money if you still have some financial obligations left. Well, some factors you need to take particular note of include the amount of consumer debt you have, your 401(k), and the potential in the market. The following blogs below can help you get a better grasp of the relevance of investing while in debt:

Nickel @ FiveCentNickel uploaded a blog post titled “Pay off Debt or Invest?” In essence, the blog talked about investing only if you can reasonably expect your investments to outperform the interest rates you need to pay on your debt. It also pointed out other practical factors you need to consider including the amount of emergency fund you need and your contribution limit.

Matt @ DebtFreeAdventure pointed out that there are certain situations when investing might be a good idea in his post “Should I Invest While Still in Debt?” For example, if you only have low-interest debt such as student loans and mortgage, then it might be a wise strategy to invest some of your money provided you set aside a certain amount for emergency. Secondly, if your employer matches your 401(k) contribution, then adding money to your account will help you get “free money”.

Lazy Man provided commonsense financial advice in his blog post “How to be a Smart Investor in Any Investment Environment”. Taking careful stock of your debt, reevaluating your investment portfolio, and reassessing your financial strategy are all important steps that will keep your finances healthy.

Helpful List about Retirement Planning

In the past year, large amounts of wealth were lost and a significant portion of this money came from the retirement funds of baby boomers. It is estimated that trillions of dollars vanished into thin air as a result of the financial meltdown. This is undeniably the worst economic catastrophe to hit the United States since the Great Depression. Aside from the people who lost their homes, no one feels this more than the individuals on the verge of retirement.

If your retirement fund has been affected by the economic crisis, then the blogs below can definitely help you. We have compiled a list of tips, advice, and a few nuggets of thought that will help you rise up from the crisis.

Selena@ Motley Fool wrote a thoughtful post entitled “Wildly Different Retirements”. She compared deaths of two noteworthy individuals and took notice of their age. One died at the age of 73 while another died at age 104. The point is, no one can predict how long they’ll live. She provided tips that will help you get debt relief and save more effectively to build your nest egg.

JD @ Get Rich Slowly posted another great article, “How Much Should You Save for Retirement?” It answers most of the questions we want to ask. JD discussed the percentage of your monthly income you should set aside. There might be conflicting advice on this one but he urges everyone to save as much money as possible.

The True Tips and Facts blog has an interesting blog post for this week, “Retirement Investing – Tips and Advises”. The fact is, investing for your retirement years is very important. The earlier you start the better. In some cases, people might be tempted to dip into their retirement investments to solve their short-term problems today. However, this may not be a good idea because your later years may not be as comfortable as you want it to be.