Talking about money feels funny
Ok, so my moms idea of saving is having $20 to last until her next pay day, and I am not sure what my dads idea is. Although I do not remember either one of them writing NSF checks, and we never went without, they never set us down and said "this is how to save" and "this is what to do with money". Does anyone out there have parents who did that? The thing is that neither of my folks have any sort of retirement fund or money put aside in case something were to happen. I think that is why I am so paranoid about how I handle my money, and am always seeking ways to save and invest. I have made this list of things about money I have learned, maybe everything on it is stuff that everybody else knows, but the things listed are tidbits that I have found out. First though, keep in mind that I am in absolutely no position nor remotely qualified to offer any financial advice to anyone, even myself.
1. I find that personal finance blogs can be helpful, but only when taken with a big grain of salt. Do a google search for personal financial blogs and you will uncover a feast of offerings. The best part is that most are free to read and knowledge is power, but always check with a professional and verify.
2. If your employer offers a 401k, take full advantage of it. Most companies will even match your contributions up to a certain percentage.
3. Pay off credit cards ( it hurts, I know). We have tried to keep are collective credit card debt down to a small amount. Tried is the operative word in that last sentence. If we have to use a credit card, we do our best to pay it all every month. If it is a bill that we know we will not be able to pay in full, we use the card with the lowest interest rate. I keep a list of what card has what rate attached to it. Its the only way I can keep up with which one to use.
4. If you have any extra money put it in some sort of savings account. A lot of financial institutions offer a variety of interest bearing accounts. Many of which are free as long as you have your check direct deposit to the account. Bank of America is even offering a keep the change program, where all your purchases are rounded up and the difference is deposited into a savings account (at Bank