Money Monday$: Guest Blog–A Drop of Jewel

Happy Monday ladies and gents! I hope y’all had a fantastic weekend. I know I did. I headed up to Maine for Julia and Eric’s wedding and it was so lovely to see them and take part in their special day. It was a wedding straight out of Pinterest but still so reflective of who they are as individuals and as a couple.

In a tiny and fun little Fiat 500!

And here’s a car rental tip if you live in NYC or another large city:

When you’re researching a rental try using a pickup location just outside of the city. Instead of picking up our car in Manhattan, we got it at the Westchester airport instead which is a quick train ride ($7 each way) and bus ride ($2.25) away. It took us about the same amount of time to get to the Westchester airport that it would have taken to get the car out of the city and the rental was at least 30% less. Just because we changed locations! Try it out the next time you rent a car and let me know how it goes!

In other moola related news…

It’s an exciting day because Jewel from A Drop of Jewel will be guest blogging about some money saving tips and tricks for the recent grad…and pretty much anybody! She spent the entire month of June blogging about finances and budgeting so head on over and take a look for more tips!

“So college is over and you’re out on your own. You’ve traded in juggling books for juggling bills. I can bet that managing your personal finances was not part of the curriculum either. Student loans are knocking at your door waiting to be paid back along with the rest of your debts. If you’ve managed to land a good job, congratulations you’re ahead of the masses. My suggestion to you would be: Be confident in your position at work but never get too comfortable. Layoffs, downsizing, and unemployment for degree-holding graduates are at an all time high
just like everyone else.

That is why it is so important to save some of your earnings. No one ever wants to think they will be laid off from their job, but it certainly does happen. The question is how prepared will you be if that should occur? Sure, you may qualify for unemployment should you get let go but unemployment is barely enough to survive off of. If you’re not prepared, unexpected unemployment can easily cause a chain reaction in your life. When you lose your income, you can’t pay all your bills. When you can’t pay all your bills, you get late charges tacked on until it gets to the point where your bill is sent to collections. Once it gets to collections and you still can’t pay, it goes on your credit report. Your credit becomes all messed up making it harder for you to buy anything else on credit, harder for you to rent or buy a home, and ultimately harder to land another job (as most good jobs do credit checks these days).

Credit lenders don’t care whether you have a job or not. They want their money either way. So to avoid this chain reaction, start saving NOW! The ideal amount to have saved up is about six months worth of your salary. This may sound like a lot and almost impossible to do, but it’s not. The following are just a few tips to help:

  • Pay Yourself First: I’m sure you’ve heard this expression before, but it’s such good advice I had to repeat. I hear friends say all the time that they can’t save because they have too many other financial obligations. Well…there are always going to be other financial obligations. Once you decide on a reasonable, comfortable amount for you to set aside each month for savings, just do it off the top. Before you pay anyone else, take the money out your check and put it in your savings. A lot of jobs these days allow you to link your direct deposit into two different accounts so you can have it transferred to your savings automatically. This is the best way because you don’t  even miss it. Really.
  • Take Baby Steps: Six months worth of salary is a lot. Whatever your salary may be; it may seem like it will take forever for you to save that amount of money. So start small. When I first started building my savings, I only saved $25 from each paycheck. Once I started paying off other debts and loans, I was able to increase the amount little by little. Whenever I got a pay raise, I would increase the amount again. You can do it too !
  • Get a High Yield Savings Account: This is something I’ve been looking into lately since American Express keeps sending me the advertisements for it (lol). This is a safe secure way to have your savings make money for you while you are still adding to it. American Express and ING Direct are two that I know of that are offering high interest on savings accounts. These rates are higher than your regular, traditional savings accounts and some of these high yield accounts have compounded interest. This is a small way to help get to your goal a little faster.
  • Don’t Touch!: Some of us are good at saving, yes. However, we sometimes find ourselves dipping into the stash. The best advice I can offer is to pretend the account doesn’t even exist. Of course there are some types of accounts where you can get penalized for withdrawing from the savings, but I don’t really care for those. I like having access to my money without any threats of penalty. However, if you know you don’t have the self-discipline not to touch, then this type of account might be good for you. Whatever you have to do to get control, do it and stop dipping into the savings.

So what is the overall takeaway from this? Start saving your money. By putting some money to the side, you will be able to save yourself in the event you should ever face difficult financial times.”

Thanks Jewel for the great post!

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