Tag Archives: Budgeting

Personal Finance Tips to Consider

Bruce HeenThere’s numerous ideas and thoughts on how to save money but the favorite seem to be to buy less lattes, pay less for data and switch your wireless mobile provider. However how valid are these assertions?

According to data on monthly Starbucks expenditure, people actually do not spend as much money on coffee as they assume, so cutting back won’t really rack in your savings. The average Starbucks customer goes less than 3 times a month and spends a total of $24 dollars. The dollars being spent are not very substantial, and although you could make a much cheaper coffee at home, there are better ways to cut back.

For Cable, analyzing data on how much people spend on major providers, such as Comcast, gives a good indication of potential savings. Most people pay between $50-$150 a month for Comcast so the ability to save is significant. It should not be hard to cut $50 from your cable bill a month which can save you $600 a year. A combination of other services such as Netflix and Hulu might work as well.

With so many cellphone providers, there is certainly an opportunity for savings. T-Mobile seems to be the cheapest based on what an average customer spends a month. The real savings comes from switching to one of the smaller carriers which will have you spending an average of $87 a month lower.

Coffee does not seem to be the money pit it used to be and wireless and cable seem to be where the real savings lie. Cutting $600 a year off your cable bill may be possible for many spending over $150/month and the savings on phone plans over a year could even hit 4 digits for those with some flexibility. So take some action and save some money.

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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Bruce Heen


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Managing Personal Finances

Bruce HeenManaging personal finances is something many individuals and families struggle with. From lines of credit to loans to filing for taxes, it seems like the stream of information surrounding financial matters is never-ending and often difficult to understand. When it comes to tackling personal finances, it is easy to feel over whelmed. One way to combat this is to think of your overall financial situation in small increments and assess each part individually. Focus in on three financial issues that need to be addressed, for example, student loans, IRAs, and car payments, and figure out a plan of action for each. Breaking down financial planning will help you think more clearly, make better decisions, and benefit you in the long run.

One creeping threat to many young adults is the impending doom of student loans. With college tuition at an all time high, paying for education is definitely a financial issue that should be addressed. While a private, academically superior university may be appealing or even thought of as necessary to get a job, many employers say that where an applicant gets a degree matters very little. Consider looking into less expensive, quality colleges as a first step to avoid debt later in life.

Another thing to think about during financial planning is IRAs. Although paying up front may seem like that best solution because it can protect you from higher rate in the future, it is important to weigh all of your IRA options. Different IRAs will benefit different types of people and choosing the right payment method could saving you a good deal of money in the long run.

A third area of personal finance that should be addressed is the question of buying or leasing when you are shopping for a new car. Recently, leasing cars has become very popular and many auto manufacturers are trying to make leasing more appealing through lower pricing on standard three-year leases. However, there are other long-term factors that should be considered when leasing a car to make sure that you are getting the best deal, including the value of the car you are considering buying or leasing and how long you plan to keep the car.For more tips on managing personal finances, please visit

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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Bruce Heen


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Keeping Travel Cheap

Ever wondered how you can save money so you can budget funds for travel?

I came across a great article on CBS that explains some helpful tips. The first tip is to simply create a budget for your trip. Where is it that you’d like to go? What activities are you planning on doing while away? For instance, you would like to go skiing. You’ve figured out the amount of money it will cost to get to the mountain via car or airplane. Where will you be staying? How much does a lift ticket cost for how many days? Are you going out to eat most nights or cooking dinner? There are a lot of questions to ask and if you can answer most of them before going, you will have a great sense of how much you will need to set aside for the trip.

The next tip is to save. If you don’t have a timeline of when you need to go away then you can take your time raising the necessary funds. Some simple ways to save your pennies is to sacrifice a few luxuries in the short-term. Stop impulse buying, keep yourself from eating out, pack a lunch, and carpool. These are just a few things that you can do to save a little bit of cash incrementally. It doesn’t have to be all at one time. If you take the time to change the way you spend money over a period of time you will see a vacation fund increase.

The third tip is to plan far ahead. If you know when you’d like to go away, try and plan it for the future instead of last minute. Airlines and hotels raise prices around the holidays. The earlier the better.

Another tip that people don’t consider is their payment cards. If you are traveling outside of the country, you could receive a surcharge or transaction fee. Be sure to check with your bank beforehand. You could also seek out credit cards that don’t have processing fees like a Capital One credit card.

These are just a few tips to help you save a bit of money when traveling.

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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Bruce Heen


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Saving Money When Grocery Shopping

Bruce HeenAn article on talks about budgeting your money wisely when shopping at the grocery store. Shopping for food definitely can add up, especially if you aren’t a conscience shopper and you buy things you don’t actually need. According to the article, “Americans spend approximately $150 per week on food—that’s 18 percent of the average American salary—most of which is dropped at the grocery store.”

In this article, there are five simple tips that you can do in order to help improve the amount of money spent while shopping at the supermarket.

The first step is to use coupons. Local sunday papers have exorbitant amounts of coupons that you can simply cut out and use. The hardest part of the process is taking the time to read each one to see what will best apply for your needs. There is a day that grocery stores normally double the value of their coupons as well. On this day it would be the most wise to shop because you will then receive twice the savings. There are also loyalty programs or shopper cards that most grocery stores offer as well. This will also help you save on your purchases.

The second tip is to create a shopping list before you go to the grocery store. A list creates order and gives you a visual guide for things that you actually need. It will help you from spending more than you allotted.

The third tip is to go to farmers markets for produce. Grocery stores charge more and the quality isn’t as good and fresh than if you were to by it from a local farm or vendor.

The fourth tip is to buy generic foods. Generic foods are priced more accordingly and more often than not are same in quality but are just package differently.

The fifth option is to shop at non traditional food stores. For instance, a Walmart or Target is technically a food store, but they do offer some products, which can be better priced than your average grocery store.

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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Bruce Heen


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Budgeting Your Money Without A Regular Income

Bruce HeenA recent article in Lifehacker talks about the best ways to optimize your money if you don’t have a steady stream coming in on a month to month basis. When budgeting money, people normally consider two very important things, how much money is coming in and how much can be allocated for certain things. What if you don’t have a regular paycheck coming in? In the Lifehacker article they explain, “those with unpredictable incomes must work “backward”—starting with the amount of money you’ll spend to figure out how much you need. If your income is unstable, then it is your expenditures that must be stable, predictable, and repeatable.”

Looking at your baseline, you will first need to consider your food costs. Groceries should be your number one priority. You should try and only include groceries in your budget and limit or stay away completely from restaurants and fast food establishments. Being frugal with your money is essential so cutting out any unnecessary costs will help you out. Included in your baseline will be your rent or mortgage expense along with any homeownwers insurance as well as property taxes. The area in which you live could also impact your utilities. If you need heating or cooling, you will have to consider these utilities as well, along with phone and internet if needed. Nowadays, most people can get by without signing up for a phone service because cell phones are becoming the go to way to contact people. So cutting out a phone service could be another consideration that will help you cut down on your expenses. Another major expense is health insurance. This should of course be included in your expense category and should be considered greatly. For some people, health insurance could be a major contributing factor as to why they go bankrupt.

These are just a few expenses that one should be mindful of when considering budgeting with an irregular income. Having these all layed out will put things into perspective and will help you make better choices with your money.

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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Bruce Heen


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