Savings Crafts For Pinterest

How to Get Savings Crafty With Your BFFF

Your BFFF of 401k savings here (go figure that the company with three OOOs would throw an extra F in the BFF).

Okay. Full disclosure: I’m probably doing this in the reverse order of what I should … but you really should stick around for the fun.

So … a fear fact, a friend to help and then like good friends do … we’re going to go out for some fun.

Fear Fact: We’re Not Saving Enough. Period.

First, the savings fear fact. According to The Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 66% of Americans would struggle to pull together $1,000 to cover an emergency.

If you’re a homeowner, it’s not hard to imagine $1,000 bill of any kind. And, apparently, this statistic is not isolated to people making less than $50,000 year. Even America’s wealthiest households would be challenged to collect the money without selling something or borrowing it. Of the households earning more than $100,000 a year, 38% say they would have some difficulty coming up with $1,000. 1. 

And this saving struggle affects people’s ability to save for retirement. Our wheelhouse, for sure. When the same Associated Press poll asked people if they will have enough money to retire on time, 54% called the likelihood … dubious.

Why We Care? We’re Your 401ks Best Friend

We know every dollar counts. That’s why we provide education on all manner of savings approaches, not just getting mooola into your 401k.

If you’re a saddled with debt, we outline the common question of whether it’s better to pay off the debt (the student loan variety in this example) or investing in your 401k .

Or, if you have no debt and are eager for a saving strategy, we implore you to try the 10% Savings Trick for retirement and an emergency fund.

But friends should not only be about lending advice but also ready to have some fun.

Some Saving Crafts Fun: The New Piggy Bank

A couple months back, I go into get a haircut and Lauren (she, Michelle or Parker generally cut my hair – I like to diversify) and I get to talking. At first, it’s the typical stylist/client small talk.

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don't settle default investment option

Soar Strong Like Queen B: To The Left Default Investment!

Welcome to another episode of Retirement Jargon Sampler. Wicka wicka whaaaaah!?

Allow me to drop a beat while we break down the complicated world of 401k management.

(If you missed the blooom team’s first track, the beautiful echoes of a 401k, check it out .)

Track #2 DROPS NOW! It’s Titled “Default Investment Option”

Watch me translate the jargon as I break it down flip it and reverse it….

“You must not know ‘bout me

You must not know ‘bout me

I could have another you in a minute

Matter fact he’ll be here in a minute, baby

You must not know ‘bout me

You must not know ‘bout me

I can have another you by tomorrow

So don’t ever for a second get

To thinking you’re irreplaceable …”

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Better Choice than Lottery Ticket

Is That Lottery Ticket Fleecing Your Retirement Savings?

It’s the year 2035. “Choice Chips,” a blooom proprietary form of artificial, individual consciousness to help you make better personal financial decisions – particularly around 401k management – has yet to be invented….

Sadly, We Still Have Fossil Fuels and Paper Lottery Tickets

Joe stopped by the same gas station nearly every day over the last 30 years. It was 7:00 a.m. He was late for work and the attendant was just setting out the coffee for the morning rush. Joe filled his coffee and proceeded to the counter to pay for it.

“That’ll be $9, sweetie.”

Joe pawed through his wallet and yanked out a $20 bill. “Here you go.”

She looked at him, “You want to add the usual Powerball ticket.”

Joe, “You know I do. Today is my lucky day. Here are my numbers, 5, 2, 23, 45, 33 and 12.”

Behind him the door chimes rang and in stepped Linda.

Joe, “Hi Linda, how are you doing?”

“Good Joe! It’s freezing out. Playing the lottery again?”

Linda and Joe had worked for the same company for 30 years. Joe had seniority since he was hired 10 days earlier. They’d both gone to the same high school, but then headed to separate colleges. Four years later they found themselves working at the same company.

Joe, “Sure am. I’ve got to run. I’ve got a meeting in 30 minutes. Maybe I’ll see you later.”

Whose Lottery Numbers Are Better – Joe’s or Linda’s?

Later that night, as Joe sat in front of the TV watching the evening news the Powerball numbers were announced. “And tonight’s winning numbers are 5, 18, 23, 25, 4 and 50.” Somberly Joe thought to himself, “Two out of 6. ‘Well, one of these days I’ll hit the lottery.’”

At that very same moment, in a modest house across town Linda was opening the mail. There were the usual bills and junk mail. But the first thing she opened was her 401k statement.

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Tired Financial Advisor

C’mon! Who Wouldn’t Want $10,000 and Free Breakfast?

Early in my career as a financial advisor I was sitting at a local restaurant waiting on a friend to have breakfast.

It was one of those little places where the tables are just a tad too close to each other. I was early and while I was sitting at the table I overheard the conversation occurring at the table behind me.

Seated were three people. Two of them had on three piece suits and were decked out in fancy jewelry (Rolexes, cuff links…etc.). These two young men looked to be in their late 20s…and I could smell “stock broker” rolling off their $3,000 suits. The third gentleman was clearly a prospect for these two guys – we’ll call him Jim. I could tell they were pressing him hard to move his accounts to their firm. And then came the most egregious thing I’d heard an advisor say in my nearly 20 years as an advisor:

Financial Advisor #1 leaned across the table lifts his head and looks squarely at Jim, “Do you like to make money.”

Jim confidently said, “Well, of course.”

Financial Advisor #2 tapping the table, “How about $10,000?”

Jim meekly replied, “Yea, sounds like a…good amount. That’s a lot of dough.”

Advisor #1 in a dead serious tone says, “Well, we do that for our clients in a single day.”

I almost fell out of my chair.

What a Load of Complete and Total B.S.

You see, Chris and I started our careers in the big brokerage firms. We learned a lot of things, including how many of the financial advisors only cared about hitting sales quotas — at almost any cost. (We never fit in there and subsequently left to start our own independent firm.).

So when I heard the two brokers next to me spouting this garbage, it infuriated me.

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Easy Keys to Building Wealth

The 4 Easy Keys to Building Wealth

It seems that there is a short list for everything these days. Top 10 things to never say on a first date. The 5 best foods for your toddler. Top 20 places to travel to in your lifetime. And my personal favorite – any list that has the top 10 fails!

I would like to offer yet another list. But unlike providing just the entertainment value of my favorite “Fails” list, this list will serve you in a much more life-altering way. If followed, I am confident it will change your financial future.

This list did not come out of the pages of academia but rather from my last 2 decades working in Financial Services. I have spent 20+ years sitting kneecap to kneecap with real human beings helping them shape and plan for their financial futures. I have seen the whites of my clients’ eyes amidst the dotcom bubble burst in the late 1990s and again, with many of those same clients, in the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

It often seems that the financial industry in general wants to make investing and building wealth seem more complicated than it needs to be, so I hope to simplify what you really need to know. There are many things with investing that are out of our control – the economy and the stock market to be specific.

The great thing about this list is that all 4 things are areas of your life that YOU CAN CONTROL.

I hope that by boiling the millions and millions of google search results down to just these 4 key points that maybe, just maybe, a number of people reading this article will see their lives changed for the better.

So … drumroll please for the 4 Easy Keys to Building Wealth …

#1: Spend Less Than You Make (i.e. Save Money)

This is the one I am most passionate about. I have seen first-hand countless numbers of my clients retire with more than $1 million in their portfolios – and they never made even close to six figures in their careers. They didn’t inherit it. They didn’t sell a business for millions of dollars.

The one constant was that whatever they made, they spent less than that. Simply, if their monthly take-home pay was $4,000, they only spent $3,000. They most certainly didn’t maintain balances on a credit card. And when they had to borrow money (for a home or car), they worked to pay it off as soon as possible.

I put the “spend less” attribute #1 on the list because it is the most difficult for many people.

The next 3 are much easier to follow, but the act of spending less than you make is probably the single trait that will have the most impact on your financial life – both now and in the future. Very few people have the discipline to spend less than they make. It is main reason why few people in this country are financially secure.

#2: Get Your Allocation in the Ballpark of Being Right (Stocks vs. Bonds)

Too many investors spend an inordinate amount of time stressing over the selection of individual mutual funds while simultaneously neglecting what may be the single most important decision in investment selection an investor can make in their lifetime – the balance of stock funds vs. bond funds.

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