Archives For Saving

I hope you never have to break your Emergency Savings pig.

I’ve read a few articles about emergency funds recently that make me worry a bit. Seems Americans aren’t saving as much as they should and if they are it’s in all the wrong places.

In a recent Smart Money article (April 2012- Fatten Your Reserves) they cite a bankrate.com study that shows only 24% of Americans hold a 6 month emergency fund and 25% have no savings at all.

This article went on to state that Americans are using alternative methods instead of a traditional savings account like borrowing from 401K, home equity, and insurance. I disagree and believe going down this path will bring more financial disater in the end as these alternatives come with very high risks.

Emergency Funds: The Basics

An emergency fund’s purpose is to shield you from unexpected events and emergencies. There are some basics we must remember about Emergency Funds.

1. Keep it Liquid- No, not in water, but keep it easily accessible. Don’t tie up your emergency fund in hard assets like your home, CD’s, investments. If an emergency happens, you need that money now, not in a several days or weeks that include paperwork and red tape.

It is wise to keep your emergency fund in a high interest saving account or Money Market account with check writing privileges. (Find one now)

Continue Reading…

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A blown tire doesn’t have to blow your budget

We all need an emergency fund just in case something unexpected happens. Trust me, the unexpected will happen.

If you don’t have the funds saved up for a rainy day, you’ll be getting wet.

I’ll be starting a list of reasons why you need an emergency fund.

If you have ideas please send them to my Twitter @ontargetcoach

Why You Need an Emergency Fund Reason #1: Blown Tire

As I was driving to work recently on my morning commute, I felt my tire blow.

I kinda expected to have some sort of car trouble on our 97 Civic with 179K miles on it, especially since I’ve been putting 120 miles on a day.

Now, I’m an urban kinda guy, so I’ve never changed a tire by myself–Never.

I could have called AAA, but it would have taken them 30 minutes to get there and then I would have to be embarrassed to ask some other dude to change my tire and put on the spare.

This is Oklahoma after all where people still grow their own food and raise cows. You won’t hear an Okie saying they can’t do something.

Don’t say ‘can’t’ in the earshot of an Oklahoman–they’ll just angry at you for not figuring out how to MacGyver a way to do it.

I digress.

How to make a tire iron

My Blow Tire

I had a full sized spare [TIP: When you buy a new set of tires, keep the best of the old set and use it for your spare tire], so I didn’t have to worry.

After locating the cheap little jack and tools, I finally figured out a way to make the jack go up. It was difficult and I didn’t have room to turn the jack’s mechanism in a circle.

When I was done I figured out the two pieces went together to form a T in which I could jack the car up.

You knew how to do that already huh? Yeah, my first time-dumb.

After an hour the job was complete and spare tire on. I felt like a stud.

I changed a tire without help looking up how to do it on YouTube. I was a man. I was all grown up.

A State trooper slid up behind me.

“Shows over”, I said.

He saw my black covered hands and brought me an industrial wipe to clean my hands.

Emergency Funds and Car Repairs

Cars break. Especially if you drive them like a chuck wagon on a long journey across hard terrain.

My car crisis, could have turned into a budget crisis and caused much stress in our lives and marriage.

But I can buy a new tire, since I have an emergency fund. In fact, we even have a fund saved up for car repairs for when they happen.

Keep saving and drive safe.

Wagons Ho!

Do you save for car repairs or have a plan for when your car breaks? 

I was reading the 2011 Warren Buffett/Berkshire Hathaway letter.  Warren Buffett is like a wise old grandpa, who just happens to be one of the richest people in the world.

He gave lot of insight into the economy and financial situation today.  What struck me most of all was this letter from Ernest Buffett (Warren’s grandfather) which was on page 23.

Warren found it in a safe in 1970 while executing a will of a family member…along with $1000.  Impressive…especially since it was written in 1939 (10 years after the Great Depression started).

Lessons Learned From Ernest Buffett

  1. Warren Buffett is not a freak of investing and saving nature…he is part of a legacy of savers, businessmen, and wise investors.
  2. Emergency Funds are a must.
  3. Leaving a legacy of character , hard work, and wisdom with money can change the world.  (I wonder what my grandchildren will accomplish?)
  4. You can change your family tree.
  5. Saving money is possible during hard times. (he started this 10 years after the Great Depression before the economy began its recovery)

This is a great infograpic for your your weekend reading. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy saving!


IMPULSESAVE THE DAY

ImpulseSave – Get Your Greenback!

Piggy BankWe all impulse spend. My weakness is Snickers at the checkout stand. What if instead of buying that Snickers, I rewarded myself by saving the amount of my candybar towards a goal?

Now, there is an easy way to impulse save. I was given exclusive access + 20 invites to an invite only website ImpulseSave. No, I’m not getting money for this-it’s just a good creative financial tool that promotes saving.

I’ve played around with ImpulseSave this week and am pleased with it so far. If you want an invite, scroll to the bottom.

Video: What is ImpulseSave?

Stats and Facts:

Is ImpulseSave Safe?

  • ImpulseSave employs the same high-grade encryption used by financial institutions and government agencies.  All your financial information is encrypted in transit, and in storage.
  • They meet or exceed all industry standards to safeguard your data.
  • Your money is held in your new FDIC-insured savings account at Leader Bank.
  • The short answer: Yes. The long answer: They are built like Fort Knox.

ImpulseSave Features:

Specific Goals: instead of a nebulous “emergency fund”- now you can save towards your vacation, a wedding or your kids education separately in one savings account.

Save Anywhere: You can impulseSave via SMS text, via Instagram, on the ImpulseSave site and soon via their new I-Phone App 2.0.

Autosave: Weekly autosaves ensure that you’re ALWAYS making progress towards your goals, even if it’s only $5 a week. (To have a goal, you must invest $5 a week).

Success Driven: They send weekly updates on your goal progress and encourage you every time you make a save!

Social: Comment on a funny save from your friend, encourage those who are making good decisions – be inspired to save yourself!

How it Works

I loved the part where I got to hold my ID and Debit Card up to my webcam to confirm my identity. Genius I say!

What I Like About ImpulseSave

  • I love the creativity in this product and that it promotes a habit of saving.
  • Very user friendly. It is easy to setup, the options are easy to manipulate and find,
  • The graphics and layout of the site are really classy and well done.
  • They’ve got a cool blog with helpful advice.

Room For Improvement From ImpulseSave

I’d like the ability to have a goal, without being forced to auto save every week. I’m all for autosaving, but the name of the product is ImpulseSave, not AutoSave.

I hope they’ll improve on their low savings rate of .40% APY. Currently ING offers .80%, with several other banks offering higher savings rates. If you have a small goal–it won’t matter much, but if your goal will take 1+ year to achieve then the lower savings rate will become a factor.

Give ImpulseSave a Try

I believe ImpulseSave is a worthwhile product to inspire and motivate your savings. If you need accountability and want to save–Give ImpulseSave a Try. I am. Visit ImpulseSave for an invitation.

If you want to register for an invite to ImpulseSave visit here http://ontargetcoach.impulsesave.com/. This link will work for only 24 hours and only 20 people will receive an invite, so join if you’re even 1/2 way interested.

Thanks for reading–let’s get saving!