Monday, March 18

Financial Well-being


Want to improve your credit score? Want to cut your tax bills?  Like to tear up hundred dollar bills? (You're probably doing that). How about this:  want to wake up retired and without money?  Your Financial Well-being rules your life.  We put you in charge of the rules.

 

Improving Your Home's Energy Efficiency Can Save Money

energy-efficiency

Even though the economy has improved, many consumers are still looking for ways to save money. Making improvements to save energy around your home may cost some money now but produce savings now and in the long-term. This report looks at various ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, ranging from simple, low-cost strategies to more extensive improvements. Some improvements may qualify for tax credits and help you save even more.

Where Is Your Home Losing or Using Energy?

Where is air likely leaking out of (or into) your home? Is there adequate insulation in your attic or crawl space? Can you feel drafts around your doors or windows or see cracks of daylight? How old or efficient is your furnace or air-conditioning system? Making a home energy audit to answer these questions and more is the first step in planning the most effective improvements for your home. You can do a simple energy audit yourself using the energy audit instructions from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Some utility companies also offer home energy audits for free or at low cost.

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Tips to Enhance Your Plans to Save More

save-more

Overall, we Americans are saving more money. That’s one positive thing, at least, that the recent recession has prompted us to do. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the savings rate is over 4% (as a percentage of disposable income). About a decade ago, our relative savings rate was essentially zero. So this is a great trend—a positive for personal finances that we hope everyone will continue to do even as the economy continues to recover.

Getting in the habit of saving regularly, however, is not easy for most people. There are so many temptations to spend. It’s a little like resolving to eat in more healthful ways—you do great for a couple of days until a co-worker brings in delicious sweet treats for the break room. Nevertheless, you are determined to start saving and build up at least the recommended emergency fund equivalent to six months’ living expenses. A worthy goal.

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Saving Money on Entertainment and Shopping

movie-at-home

Depending on the time of the year, vacations, holiday shopping, and unexpected expenses can empty wallets. At times like this, you need some entertainment. But can you afford it? And you still have year-round shopping needs. What’s the best way to save money? This report offers tips to help you enjoy good times and good shopping at reasonable and reduced costs.

Saving on Entertainment

When the budget is tight, many people cut back on entertainment. But let the good times roll with these tips to save on books, DVDs, movie tickets, dining, and more.

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Job Hunting? Tips to Avoid Job Search Scams

job-search

Whether jobs are plentiful or scarce, scams and fraudsters seek to take advantage of people anxious to land a job. Because so many job search activities have moved online, many of the scams also come to you online. This report describes some of the most popular frauds and offers tips to help you avoid these traps.

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Go Green at Home – and Save

go-green

Saving money is a top priority for most people these days. Yet, most of us also want to do our best for the environment. Taking steps that help you go greener at home and also save money is a win – win goal. So in this report, my team and I have pulled together a variety of easy, practical tips. Add at least one new green, money-saving practice each week, and over time your wallet and the planet will say thank you!

Lighting. Incandescent light bulbs lose about 90% of the electricity they use as heat. Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) and LED bulbs, can reduce your electricity bill. Even though CFL and LED bulbs are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they are more efficient and last longer. To avoid problems, however, you must choose the correct bulb for an application because CFLs and LED lights can burn out quickly when used in the wrong place. For example, a regular CFL “coil” light placed in a can light or an enclosed fixture typically will burn out rather quickly—a waste of your money. Excessive heat can also cause LED lights to burn out. Learn more about CFL and LED lighting at the energystar.gov site.

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