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Get Organized to Save Money

How "Being Organized" can save you money... Taking a small amount of time up front to get organized can save you time and money.  Here are a few simply steps you can take today to keep more money in your pocket. Set up autopilot for your bills -  Take advantage of your bank's online bill pay service to automatically send payments for your monthly recurring charges.  Set it and forget it!  Taking a few minutes to set up auto bill pay will pay off by preventing late charges and finance charges due to missed payments. Take inventory - You can avoid buying duplicate items when you know what you and have and where it is located.  Take a quick inventory  your pantry, the medicine cabinet, laundry room, and your office before shopping (online or brick-and-mortar). Stock up on consumables - You will always need shampoo, toothpaste, laundry soap, etc. so buy these items that get used up in bulk when on sale.  Of course, don't go overboard.  Buy what you
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Eating Seasonal Foods - Good for your Body, Good for your Wallet!

Eating foods in season is supportive of our well being.  For example, in the summer Mother Nature provides a bounty of high-water-content foods to help us stay hydrated...water melon, cucumber, tomatoes all add refreshment to hot days. In addition to supporting your physical well being seasonal produce treats are wallets with kindness.  Local in-season produce doesn't have to travel as far as out-of-season fruits and veggies which often travel thousands of miles from other countries.  Combine the lower transportation costs with the abundance of the local in-season crops and you get lower prices.  How do you know what's in season?  Two ways: Prices in the store - when the grocery store offers strawberries at 2 baskets for $1.00 or tomatoes at $1.29 per pound you are looking at in-season foods! Visit this website - CUESA which shows you the produce in season and provides recipes for incorporating these physically and fiscally health goods into your diet What's yo

Career Shift Budgeting (Part 1): Finding Your Next Career

Are you dissatisfied with your career and want to make a change?  Did you recently lose your job due to a layoff and want to pursue a new career? The first step to making such a shift is to identify potential careers to pursue. There are many resources available to assist you with this process, including working with a career development professional.  For you do-it-yourself types, here are a few of my favorite resources for finding a fulfilling career: Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type What Color Is Your Parachute? 2011: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers   Occupational Outlook Handbook (online version) I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It   Career Briefs Once you've narrowed in on a few potential careers, you will want to explore the following:  Nature of the work - What does t

Paperwork that Could Clue You into a Scam

Today I read an article about a financial adviser whose husband, also a financial adviser, had been scamming his clients for over 20 years and she never knew! Of course, looking back she realized there were some red flags that should have alerted her to the situation.  These are the three things she observed: Red Flag 1: His clients' portfolios enjoyed consistently good returns even when the market was performing poorly.(This is not impossible but very unlikely to occur). Red Flag 2: He did not provide his clients with detailed trade confirmations for buys or sells. Red Flag 3: He instructed his clients to make checks deposited to their accounts for investments payable to HIS firm rather than the custodian firm that actually held the investments. I will explain more about the roles of advisers, custodians and brokerage firms in future posts. In an article on CBS MoneyWatch, she offers advice on what to do if you spot any of these red flags with your adviser. Click here to re

Saving Money on Your Food Bill

According to an article from PLoS One ,  food waste in the USA has progressively increased from about 30% of the available food supply in 1974 to almost 40% in recent years.  For a family of 2 with 1 income, this translates into a throwing out $3,266 worth of food (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Consumer Expenditure Survey 2008). To minimize the amount of food I throw out, I conduct a quarterly eat-down.  What is an eat-down? It is when you focus on creating meals using only what you have on hand (fridge, freezer and pantry).  Rather than stop at the grocery store once a week, I'll simply go "shopping" in my own kitchen, using up items before they spoil and saving money in the long run.   It’s actually fun trying to come up with creative recipes.  Anyone have a good recipe that calls for cream of celery soup and jar of cocktail onions? If you decide to implement an eat-down at your house, I’d like to hear your strategies and results.  Simply add your comments to

Why should I get my credit report annually?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you want to order your free annual credit report online, there is only one authorized website, The Federal Trade Commission has a link on their website ( click here to access the FTC section on free credit reports ). So why should you get your credit reports annually? To detect identity theft - Your report will show you any new accounts opened in your name as well as who has been checking your credit. If an account appears on the report that you did not open or if a company (especially a retail store where you have not applied for financing) inquires into your creditworthiness, you can take action to prevent potential identity theft from taking place or at least minimize the impact. Uncover errors - The reporting agencies make mistakes, trust me
Making Home Affordable You may have heard about the government's "Making Home Affordable" program. Aundrea Beach-Greco, a Certified Mortgage Planner in the Las Vegas area, provided some much needed clarification regarding this latest development in the housing market on her blog today. To learn more, check out her latest post.