If you worry about money after the streetlights come on, these actions may help you rest easier.
This post comes from Richard Barrington at partner site MoneyRates.com.
Like car alarms that go off at 3 a.m. or those echoing drips in the bathroom sink, financial worries are costing many Americans sleep, according to a recent poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).
Nearly four out of five poll respondents said that money worries kept them awake at night. Those results might be a little skewed, because the poll was taken via the NFCC website, and presumably many of its visitors are people with credit problems.
Still, the point is valid -- when someone has money problems, those problems tend to creep around in the middle of the night, making misery.
Keeping money worries at bay
Here is the key thing to remember: The middle of the night is not the time to confront your financial fears. You need to work on them in the light of day, when you can do something constructive about them.
Here are some positive steps you can take to put your financial worries to sleep:
If you're nervous about going to court over a debt, don't be. Show up, say this simple phrase, and you're on your way.
Studies show the majority of consumers being sued over a debt fail to show up to court, often resulting in a default judgment. The judgment means you're required to repay the debt -- which, given the circumstances, will likely be a significant financial obstacle -- and your credit standing will suffer as a result.
Avoiding your debt collection lawsuit practically guarantees you'll have a judgment placed against you, but you don't have to sit back and let that happen. Showing up is the first step toward winning the case or settling your debt, and the next step is even easier: You need only say two words.
It's no wonder that people, even those who make an upper-middle-class income, aren't saving for retirement and are spending all that they earn.
This post comes from Bob Sullivan at partner site Money Talks News.
Editor's note: This is part of a series by Bob Sullivan called The Restless Project.
It seems like a simple enough question: How much money does a normal American family need to afford to be … normal? You already know what I'm about to say next: Coming up with a realistic average family budget is fraught with peril.
There are obvious geographic problems: What's normal in New York City is not normal in Omaha. There are honest questions about what "need" is: Some parents feel their kids need private school, others don't. Is normal a three-bedroom house in a leafy neighborhood, or an apartment? So it goes.
A brilliant professor friend of mine named David Cloutier, who is working on a book for Georgetown University Press about luxury, kicked this question around on Sunday. His research addresses the issue that people often confuse need and want, and this leads to all sorts of trouble, including financial trouble. (Here's one of his essays).
Of course he's right: We all know folks who spend too much on granite countertops, Wolf ovens, Cadillac Escalades, and a fourth bathroom. On the other hand, I am often in the position of defending middle-class Americans who are slowly slipping further and further behind, even while it seems like they make a lot of money.
A recent study shows your health and wealth are closely linked.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
Eat your fruits and veggies, exercise and donate to your 401k. It turns out that you may be able to predict an individual's physical health by examining their behavior when it comes to saving for their financial future.
A recent study in Psychological Science found that people who contribute to their retirement plans are more likely to take the necessary steps to improve their physical health.
"Employees who saved for the future by contributing to a 401k showed improvements in their abnormal blood test results and health behaviors approximately 27 percent more often than noncontributors did," the study said.
The study offers an insight into people who are willing to sacrifice now in an effort to provide themselves a healthy financial future.
Moving to a foreign land for your golden years may sound expensive, but it isn't always.
People dream of different things when considering retirement: relaxation, affordability, traveling or trying new things. For those who want to combine as many of those ideals as possible, retiring abroad can be an appealing option.
If moving to a different country sounds exciting but expensive, that's understandable, because picking a new place to live is going to require more savings and planning than merely staying put after you stop working. Still, affordable retirement abroad is within reach, and while everyone's lifestyle preferences differ, there are some basic guidelines you can follow when looking into your best options for retiring outside the U.S.
In its latest edition, the Overseas Retirement Letter released its 2014 Retire Overseas Index, scoring foreign locales on 12 criteria crucial to retirees' relocation decisions: climate, cost of living, crime, English speaking, entertainment, environmental conditions, the existing expat community, healthcare, infrastructure, real estate, residency requirements and taxes.
Of all the areas researched, cost of living seemed to be the most challenging to assess, according to the report written by the newsletter publisher. Your monthly budget depends heavily on how you want to live -- that goes for any lifestyle, not just retirement. Living like a tourist, no matter where you are, is more expensive than living like a local, the publisher pointed out. To try and provide some sense of cost-of-living rankings, the researchers created budgets for various cities based on the following typical expenses:
You could easily save several hundred dollars or more before the end of the year by implementing several of these tips. Nothing sweeter than a debt-free holiday.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News.
If you woke up after the holidays last year with an overspending hangover, or you're wondering where you'll get money for gifts this year, this article's for you.
To give the gifts you want without money stress, start saving now. A fat holiday shopping fund lets you enjoy a season that's both affordable and inner-peaceful.
Long gone are the days of coupon clipping: coupon apps are the wave of the future. Find the best mobile coupon apps that can help you save money on your grocery bill.
Patio furniture is priced to move, but TVs will be better come Black Friday; these insights and more in our September buying guide.
This post comes from Lindsay Sakraida and Louis Ramirez at partner site DealNews.com.
September is an odd month for shopping, since summer has officially come to a close, and we're inching ever closer to Black Friday. But September has its own deal virtues, including Labor Day sales!
So, we've mined the extensive DealNews archives of sales, coupons, and individual products from the past few summers to find out what are the best and worst things to buy in September.
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