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10 Things You Should Be Saving For Just In Case

10 Things You Should Be Saving For Just In Case

You know you should be saving your money, but do you know why? Here are ten things you should be saving for, just in case. Don’t be caught off guard! Knowing what you need money for will make it easier for you to save.

1. Paying off debt.

No one wants to be in debt their entire life! Sure, that credit card was supposed to just be for emergencies, but you started using it here and there, and then you realized you couldn’t pay the monthly bill. That’s ok — after all, that’s what credit cards are for. But don’t let your debt accumulate. Interest rates will make your fees skyrocket, and before you know it, the amount you owe will seem impossible to pay off. Instead, pay off a little per month. Try to meet more than the minimum due, if you can fit it into your budget.

2. Medical emergencies.

You’re healthy as a horse, right? Still, you never know when the flu is going to knock you out, or when you’ll get in a car wreck and have hospital bills to pay. You don’t want an unexpected illness or hospital stay to wipe out your savings, and you don’t want to be in debt or struggle to make ends meet just because of a medical problem.

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3. Periods of unemployment.

Financial advisors recommend having enough money saved to live for three to six months without any additional income. Go ahead and figure up your monthly expenses, multiply them times six, and see how much of a cushion you need to have. Are you close? If not, go ahead and add a bit into your current monthly savings that will allow you to save up this money. If you can, save even more — the more money you have in savings, the longer you’ll be able to live without a job. This means you won’t have extra financial stress when you’re unemployed, and can take your time to find the job that fits you best. It’ll be worth it so you won’t find yourself struggling if you unexpectedly lose your job!

4. Retirement.

When you’re in your twenties and even early thirties, retirement seems far away. In reality, it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Think about it – this is money you’re putting aside so you can live more comfortably later! You won’t have to depend on Social Security income because you’ll have your own money put aside.

5. Buying a car.

It’s not too expensive to buy a car because you don’t have to pay for it all at once (but wouldn’t it be cool to buy a car in cash?), but the down payment and monthly bills can add up. If you don’t have it figured into your budget, then buying a car might set you off course. You should have money in savings that could be used for a downpayment and monthly payments on a car, just in case something happens to your current ride.

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6. Purchasing a home.

Or an apartment, or a condo, or a farm! Sooner or later, you’ll probably find yourself ready to settle down and have a stable living situation, instead of renting and moving every few years. You don’t have to pay for a home flat out, of course, but you’ll need a considerable amount for a downpayment. Also think about how you’ll need to have good credit and savings in order to get a loan.

7. Home and car insurance and repairs.

Once you’ve saved up for that car and that home, you’ll have a lot of additional expenses! You’ll need car insurance, home insurance, you’ll have to pay property taxes depending on where you live. Your car will need tune-ups and your house will need repairs and maintenance. You’ll need money in your savings account so your water heater busting or your muffler falling off won’t leave you frantically searching for a cheap, easy solution.

8. Education.

There may come a time in your life when you’ll want to go back to school and get a master’s degree or a special certificate. As a working adult, it’s possible to get tuition assistance, but not guaranteed. Instead of having to decide between going back to school or staying in the same dead-end job, wouldn’t it be great to know you have the ability to pay for your education? And if you never go back to school, this money can go to your children’s college funds!

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9. Investment properties.

Whether you already have your own house or not, having an investment property is never a bad idea. It could be a rental house for students near the university, or a beach house you rent out in Florida – these properties will provide income with minimal effort. Sure, you’ll be responsible for repairs and will have to screen your tenants to ensure they won’t damage the property and leave, but if you charge a bit more than what you have to pay each month for the mortgage and upkeep, you’ll make a nice profit!

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    10. Caring for elderly family members.

    You don’t want to think about it, but there may come a time in your life where you’ll have to take care of elderly family members. Grandparents, aging parents, aunts, uncles — who knows who will need help as they get older? You don’t want to be in the helpless position of turning down those who need you, so make sure you have savings to help them out. This could include groceries, living expenses, medical bills, in-home nurses or even helping move them to an assisted living home. These transitions are going to be difficult enough emotionally; you might as well try to lighten the load financially.

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    Featured photo credit: 401 (K) 2013 via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on March 4, 2019

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

    I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

    Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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    Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

    Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

    Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

    I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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    I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

    If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

    Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

    The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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    Using Credit Cards with Rewards

    Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

    You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

    I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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    So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

    What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

    Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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