It’s been awhile since I visited my old friend, WordPress.
I’m waiting on a hot dinner date with my parents. Until then, I figured I’d throw a few words out here. Surprisingly, I still remember the password. Nice.
Since I haven’t posted in a few months, why not? Some things on my mind:
- I’m old – Survived the big 2-4. It’s weird being 24. It sounds so much older than 23. I’ll probably have a heart attack at 25.
- I moved to a new apartment – It’s pretty cool. There’s a security code at the door and they even take our trash out every night, provided I remember to put the can outside my door. I’m permanently spoiled. Given it took 2 months for a vacancy to come up, I think I have neighbors. But I’ve seen/met few of them. I think I’m the youngest person here. Mmm, cougars.
- Want to boost cars? - Hit my parking lot. Don’t steal mine, though. You’ll know which one it is. It’s the junker missing a side mirror.
- That darn stock picking contest? – I’m disappointed.
- I’ve been shopping for a house – But, yanno, I have no idea where I’ll be living next year, let alone a decade from now.
- I feel like an adult now – You guys are just winging it, too, right?
- Time Warner cable is awful – Live somewhere you have a choice. #1 regret.
- It’s cold – That deep freeze a couple weeks ago? Yeah, I didn’t leave the house for 3 days.
- School? – Yeah, that’s a thing.
- SEC Edgar and I are getting married – We used to be friends, now it’s getting pretty serious. I’ve read more in the past 5 months than I ever have. I think I’m up to more than 10,000 pages a month.
- The new place has a community printer – I single-handedly empty that thing. Oh, and the community Keurig machine.
- Politics – I’ve officially gone apolitical. I can’t be bothered to turn on regular news.
- The Patriots are going to beat the Broncos tomorrow – I can’t say that here in Indiana, so I’m just getting that out here now.
- Maybe 2 posts a year - That’s about all I’ll post, and each post will likely look a lot like this. Feel free to unsubscribe, though you likely won’t notice the difference.
- I haven’t read many PF blogs in awhile – Anyone sell out for $10 million lately?
- I spent a week in NYC for New Years – It was pretty cool, but there are way too many people.
That’s my last 6ish months in 500 words or less. What’s new in your neck of the woods?
The last few months of the year are full of big expenses. Thanksgiving turkeys and travel to holiday gifts make keeping a budget harder than ever.
That makes this time of year the best time to rethink your finances. I like to start each New Year by reviewing how much I spent in January, and seeing how I can make changes in the future.
Here are four great sources of savings for 2014:
- Turn off the automation – Automating your bills is a great step to making sure you never make a late payment, but it can lead to unnecessary expenses. For instance, if you’ve automated your cable bill, you might find that the rate is higher now than when you first subscribed. You wouldn’t realize the difference, however, without careful study of your credit card or bank account statements. Comb through and see where you might find some savings.
- Drop your interest expenses – Paying interest on consumer debts is a big expense. The Federal Reserve reports that consumer revolving debts – credit cards – tally up to $856 billion in the United States alone. Assuming an average credit card rate of 24% per year, Americans are paying as much as $17 billion in interest on their credit cards. If you can’t immediately afford to pay off a credit card, try another option, like transferring the balance to another credit card with an introductory, 0% interest offer. If you have a balance of $5,000 at 24%, a balance transfer could save you as much as $1,200 in interest in just one year! Totally Money lists several credit cards with 0% balance transfer offers.
- Rethink subscriptions – I subscribe to Bloomberg Businessweek, one of my favorite publications. It isn’t cheap at a cost of $30 per year. Recently, I’ve discovered that the website has all the articles available for free. It just doesn’t make sense for me to continue to pay when I find reading Businessweek on my computer easier anyway. Check your own magazine and news subscriptions. You’ll be surprised with how many publications offer a free way to read the same content online, at no cost at all. On one subscription alone I’ll save $360 per year.
- Review your insurance policies – Insurance is costly, and many people are over-, not under-, insured. Take, for example, someone who carries comprehensive car insurance on a car worth $3,000. While they have the peace of mind that their car will be replaced if they are at fault in an accident, the premiums paid for the policy will easily exceed the value of the car in just a few years. Likewise, someone who has a big emergency fund can afford higher deductibles. The difference between a $500 deductible and $1,000 deductible was more than $110 per year the last time I modified my policy.
Saving money isn’t hard
Saving more money in the New Year isn’t hard. In fact, many will find it easy. You simply have to take the time to look through what you’re paying for, and make serious and informed decisions about how you can cut back. Small wins add up quickly, whether it’s paying off a credit card or ending a magazine subscription.
What’s your favorite way to save?
I announced that I had a new job last week that would prevent me from writing about finance here at Money Mamba.
Some of you expressed interest in following my new articles at The Motley Fool, and I sincerely hope many of you do.
Here are two ways to do just that:
- RSS feed – If you’d like to subscribe by RSS, click here. The RSS only includes new articles, not CAPS predictions, etc.
- Twitter – I’ll Tweet any new articles and the occasional interesting article I find under the handle @jwthn.
My posting schedule will vary from 40-50 articles per month at full speed. You can see my list of stocks I think will beat the S&P 500 on my profile page.
Hope to see you guys around. Yell at me, Tweet me, or email me any time. As I said, I may continue to update my blog here on non-financial matters, but as for now that’s on the backburner.
As the President and CEO of Mansartis, Guillaume Jalenques de Labeau has led this company to a new model for asset management services. In general, asset management and investment firms are most concerned with making profitable investments by pooling together funds from different sources into appropriately structured securities. Every asset management firm is different, though. One thing that sets Mansartis apart is the type of investments it tends to make, as well as the approach it takes with clients and its unique services. This is where a firm like Mansartis can set itself apart in a positive way. In this case, it is a capacity for progressive investing that sets this firm apart. [click to continue…]