Spending Smart – Matt About Money https://mattaboutmoney.com Simple. Meaningful. Success. Fri, 15 Nov 2019 13:15:40 -0500 en-US hourly 1 9092505 Profitable Ideas: Secrets of Super Savers, What Science Says About How to Spend, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/11/15/profitable-ideas-secrets-of-super-savers-what-science-says-about-how-to-spend-and-more/ https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/11/15/profitable-ideas-secrets-of-super-savers-what-science-says-about-how-to-spend-and-more/#respond Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:30:00 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7851

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

The number one thing people with fat savings accounts scrimp on that you likely don’t (MarketWatch). Cancelling the daily latte will only get you so far. Here’s how to really free up some money to save.

So, your adult child moved back home. Here’s how to set limits — fast (Money). Got a boomerang kid? It’s good to establish some rules.

Why we bought a brand new car (JL Collins). Running this well-written post is proof that I can be (somewhat) reasonable when it comes to car-buying!

How to spend your money, according to science (Big Think). Eight ideas for spending smart.

You’ll be able to put more money into your 401(k) in 2020, but not your IRA (MarketWatch). New rules for the new year.

Using the “Eisenhower Box” to set spending priorities (The Simple Dollar). A simple quadrant system for making better decisions.

A graceful exit (Humble Dollar). Helpful guidance for thinking about what you’ll leave behind, and how.

Is it lifestyle inflation or do I need to adjust my budget? (She Picks Up Pennies). What happens when a well designed budget meets the real world. 

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Profitable Ideas: When Enough is Enough, Products That Last a Lifetime, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/11/08/profitable-ideas-when-enough-is-enough-products-that-last-a-lifetime-and-more/ https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/11/08/profitable-ideas-when-enough-is-enough-products-that-last-a-lifetime-and-more/#respond Fri, 08 Nov 2019 14:30:47 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7824

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

The enough curve: Consider the ongoing costs of your purchases (My Money Blog). When buying more only brings more problems. 

It’s okay to be happy with a quiet life (Becoming Minimalist). Tagging off the last article… And when buying less brings you more of what you really want.

This is the most essential trait you need to land any job (Fast Company). It’s a trait you probably haven’t thought of.

Overcoming 7 hard things about hard money things (Advance Capital Management). How to win the battle between logic and emotion.

The spectrum of wealth (Collaborative Fund). A very insightful scale — where would you place yourself?

Don’t make things more complicated than necessary (The Simple Dollar). Financial decisions run the gamut — from super clear to super complex. For starters, make sure you get the clear ones right.

Your shoes are made of plastic. Here’s why (National Geographic). The problem? Plastic shoes are really hard to recycle. People who really love shoes may not like the solution.

10 brands with a free lifetime warranty (Clark Howard). Spending more for a product that lasts is often the most cost-effective decision.

Thinking about giving money to adult children? Think again (NY Times). It’s what the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door” called “economic outpatient care,” and it can do more harm than good.

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It Isn’t Just the Purchase Price, It’s the Ongoing Costs https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/11/05/it-isnt-just-the-purchase-price-its-the-ongoing-costs/ https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/11/05/it-isnt-just-the-purchase-price-its-the-ongoing-costs/#respond Tue, 05 Nov 2019 14:30:31 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7785

If you had $18,000 to spend on a used car, your options would include a 2017 Honda EX and a 2014 BMW 535i. Tell me honestly, which would you prefer?

Ah, but you know it’s a trick question. Sure, the BMW seems like it would be a lot more fun to drive. However, over time, it would end up costing a lot more as well. According to the Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator, after five years of ownership, the Honda would end up costing you $32,678 vs. $52,935 for the BMW. The main differences are in the cost of maintenance ($5,538 for the Honda vs. $11,185 for the BMW), repairs ($1,470 for the Honda vs. $8,757 for the BMW), and insurance ($4,789 for the Honda vs. $7,030 for the BMW).

Clearly, it isn’t just the purchase price that matters. It’s the ongoing costs as well. And that’s true for a lot of things we all buy, both big and small.

When buying a house, a larger house will be more expensive to heat, cool, insure, furnish, and maintain than a smaller house. And, less obviously, there’s The Pull of the Neighborhood to consider because our surroundings impact us more than we may realize. The types of cars our neighbors drive, the types of vacations they take, and so much more, influence our own decisions. Just because we can afford to live in a certain neighborhood does’t mean it would be wise to do so. 

When buying clothing, if we buy something that’s “dry-clean only,” that’ll be more expensive to own than something that can be machine washed. If one of our kids wants to go to college far from home, not only is the out-of-state tuition likely to be higher, but the ongoing costs of transportation will be higher as well. 

There was a good article on a related topic the other day on My Money Blog, in which the author showed a powerful “Enough Curve” graphic from the book, Your Money or Your Life. It points to the importance of knowing when enough is enough, because once you cross a line, the ongoing costs in time, money, and hassle, can mark a transition from owning stuff to your stuff owning you.

What are you planning to buy right now? Have you considered the ongoing costs?

Read more: The Ripple Effect of Our Financial Choices

Take it to heart: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” – Luke 16:10 

Know someone who has gotten engaged or married recently? The book, Money & Marriage, will help them get their relationship off to a great financial start. 

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Profitable Ideas: When Buying a New Car Makes Sense, How 3 Simple Changes Added Up to $5,000 of Savings, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/11/01/profitable-ideas-when-buying-a-new-car-makes-sense-how-3-simple-changes-added-up-to-5000-of-savings-and-more/ https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/11/01/profitable-ideas-when-buying-a-new-car-makes-sense-how-3-simple-changes-added-up-to-5000-of-savings-and-more/#respond Fri, 01 Nov 2019 13:30:46 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7772

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

Should I buy a used or new car? (The Simple Dollar). The math doesn’t point toward buying a used car as much as before.

The obscure charges that utility companies add to your bill (ProPublica). Have you ever taken a close look at your utility bill? You may be surprised by what you’re paying for.

I stopped buying 3 things and saved $5,000 (Reader’s Digest). How some relatively simple changes really added up.

As investors try to be more ethical, some find no escape from businesses they detest (NPR). “Socially responsible” investing has become all the rage, but what’s really behind that label?

Where ESG fails (Institutional Investor). A good follow-up to the previous article.

Who actually feels satisfied about money? (The Atlantic). Living by comparison is dangerous to our happiness.

How cognitive traps make it harder to let go of our stuff (Psychology Today). Why we hold on to what we don’t need.

How much time does the average American spend on personal finance? (The Ascent). Are you doing enough to keep your finances in order? 

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Profitable Ideas: Reaching Maximum Frugality, Five Things to Never Buy New, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/10/18/profitable-ideas-reaching-maximum-frugality-five-things-to-never-buy-new-and-more/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:30:12 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7734

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

When frugality bottoms out (The Simple Dollar). What to do when you’ve maximized savings in all areas.

How to teach your kids about money and help them be financially responsible adults (Money). Solid advice, especially for younger kids—and especially “Let them learn by doing.”

Buying less is better than buying green — for the planet and your happiness (phys.org). After all, if you’re buying environmentally friendly stuff, you’re still buying.

The asymptote of joy and woe (The Aleph Blog). A fancy way of saying, “You need some money in reserve!”

If personal finance feels like punishment, you’re doing it wrong (She Picks Up Pennies). There’s a difference between spending wisely and living a life of deprivation.

Five things you never need to buy new (CNBC). What types of things do you refuse to buy new?

Is customer loyalty costing you money? (The Evidence-Based Investor). If it’s been a while since you’ve shopped your insurance, you might be spending too much.

Dragging out a college degree is a drag on finances (Real $martica). If you have college-bound kids, the more you can prep them for what they really want to study (and what they really want to do for a living), the better. I know, easier said than done, but still..

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Profitable Ideas: Whether Your College Kid Needs a Credit Card, The Market Will Crash, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/09/20/profitable-ideas-whether-your-college-kid-needs-a-credit-card-the-market-will-crash-and-more/ Fri, 20 Sep 2019 13:30:05 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7639

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

Can your college kid handle a credit card? (Independent Advisors). Be sure to teach them the rules of the road for wise credit card use.

My biggest FI demon — status anxiety (Monevator). Great article that expresses what so many of us experience as we try to manage money wisely and counter-culturally.

The only benchmark that matters (Reirement Field Guide). Why comparing your investment returns to “the market” can be a mistake.

Why did my car insurance go up? (Clark Howard). Did you know that using roadside assistance can count against you?

Yes, the stock market is going to crash (A Wealth of Common Sense). It’s just what the market does every now and then.

Financially supporting your adult children? Don’t let it jeopardize your retirement (Kiplinger). For parents of young kids, this is why to give them increasing levels of financial responsibility. 

Here’s when buying in bulk is really worth it (US News). I’m not sold on the “benefits” of warehouse clubs? How about you?

Can you get cancer from tap water? New study says even ‘safe’ drinking water poses risk (USA TODAY). Oh, man. There goes one frugal solution down the drain.

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Profitable Ideas: Lessons Learned on the Journey Out of Debt, You’re Not Doing Enough to Prevent ID Theft, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/09/13/profitable-ideas-lessons-learned-on-the-journey-out-of-debt-youre-not-doing-enough-to-prevent-id-theft-and-more/ https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/09/13/profitable-ideas-lessons-learned-on-the-journey-out-of-debt-youre-not-doing-enough-to-prevent-id-theft-and-more/#comments Fri, 13 Sep 2019 13:30:33 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7600

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

Smashing 6 figures of debt & learning what doesn’t apply to me (She Picks Up Pennies). Getting out of debt has much to do with how you frame the conversation.

Two years after huge Equifax breach was revealed, consumers are still too vulnerable to identity theft (CNBC). We hear about huge hacks seemingly all the time, and yet we do far too little about it.

How buying and selling a home could soon be as simple as trading stocks (MarketWatch). How technology is changing the game.

This financial planner’s no-fail secret will have you effortlessly spending less (MarketWatch). It’s so simple you’ll think it won’t work, but it does.

Why college became so expensive (The Atlantic). Parents feel tremendous pressure to help their kids pay for college, and it’s taking a toll.

How my shopping habits changed after simplifying my home and life (Becoming Minimalist). The positive ripple effects of minimalism.

Why you need a healthcare proxy (The Balance). It’s just one part of an estate plan, but it’s an important part.

Avalanche vs. snowball: Which debt payoff method is best? (Clark Howard). Should you go after your highest interest rate debts first or your lowest balance debts?

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Profitable Ideas: The Benefits of Being a Late Adopter, Life-Changing Money Habits, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/09/06/profitable-ideas-the-benefits-of-being-a-late-adopter-life-changing-money-habits-and-more/ Fri, 06 Sep 2019 13:30:18 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7582

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

The joys of being a late tech adopter (NY Times). There’s a lot of wisdom—and money to be saved—by being a late adopter.

I got a promotion and I regretted it (Fast Company). When taking the next step up the ladder might be a mistake.

What to do when you keep failing at making financial changes (The Simple Dollar). Change can be hard. Here are some ideas that may help.

Life support (Humble Dollar). When and how to stop giving your adult children financial help.

You need a password manager — right now (Engadget). Passwords are a pain—and it’s never been more important to manage them well.

7 estate planning essentials (Retirement Field Guide). A helpful guide to the paperwork you need.

You better love this (Collaborative Fund). A fresh and helpful look at the advice, “Do what you love.”

Six simple money habits that changed my life (Get Rich Slowly). Practical steps to make the whole money thing work better.

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Profitable Ideas: The Company You Keep, Insuring Against a Disaster, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/08/30/profitable-ideas-the-company-you-keep-insuring-against-a-disaster-and-more/ Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:30:28 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7555

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

Frugal friends: 4 ways your inner circle influences your finances (Money Ning). How much you spend has much to do with the company you keep.

Easy home improvements for under $100 (Real Simple). Not sure about “easy,” but if you’re handy here’s how to change the look of certain rooms inexpensively.

The spy in your wallet: Credit cards have a privacy problem (Washington Post). “Where does it end? Nobody really knows.”

Having “the money talk” with your parents as they get older (Marriage Kids and Money). Good ideas for broaching a tough topic.

Banana Republic joins the clothing rental craze (CNN). “Craze”? Personally, I think this is kind of crazy. How about you?

How to win at money (Becoming Minimalist). Six good suggestions — steps to take, ways to think.

How a decision matrix can help you make big choices with confidence (Gen Y Planning). Faced with a big decision? Break it down into smaller decisions.

Hurricane Dorian: What does insurance cover after a disaster? (USA Today). Also check to see if you have drain backup insurance, which is different than flood insurance. 

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Profitable Ideas: Whether to Give Your Teen a Credit Card, Pricing Strategies That Make You Overspend, and More https://mattaboutmoney.com/2019/08/23/profitable-ideas-whether-to-give-your-teen-a-credit-card-pricing-strategies-that-make-you-overspend-and-more/ Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:30:20 +0000 https://mattaboutmoney.com/?p=7541

Weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

Give your teenager a credit card? Some financial experts say yes (NY Times). Better for them to learn while they’re still under your roof than to figure it out when they’re on their own.

Don’t wait for a life-changing event to change jobs (Fast Company). Changing jobs can be difficult and disruptive, which is why many people put off even thinking about it—often to their detriment.  

5 simple steps to stop overspending today (Money Ning). Simple, effective ideas for taking more control of your spending.

Four way to cut college textbook costs (Reuters). It isn’t just college textbooks that have gotten super expensive. One of the required books for our high schooler was $50!

To successfully pass down your wealth, first share your intent (Kiplinger). Estate planning is about more than just having the proper paperwork in place.

The trick that makes you overspend (BBC). The pricing behind many companies’ products or services is highly scientific, highly psychological. 

Four essential documents that could save your financial life (CNBC). Do you have these documents in place?

Does your job title really matter? 6 career experts weigh in (Go Banking Rates). In short, yes. Here’s why.

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