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How to Save Money on the Biggest Expenses in Your Budget

Article by Anna Bahney | Found on CNN

Want to find some real savings in your budget? Cutting out lattes and avocado toast probably isn’t the way to go.

Housing, transportation and food: that’s what Americans spend almost 70% of their money on, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sure, you can always cut back on extras, but it’s the biggest expenses where we bake a lot of fluff into our budget and call it “essential spending.” Take big swings at these big categories, financial experts say, and you’ll shake lose big chunks of money. Read more

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New Tax Law Cracks Down on Home Mortgage Interest

Article Highlights:

  • Acquisition Debt Interest
  • Equity Debt Interest
  • Consumer Interest
  • New Tax Law Changes

Note: The is one of a series of articles explaining how the various tax changes made by the GOP’s Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (referred to as the “Act” in the article), passed late in December 2017, might affect you and your family in 2018 and future years, and offering strategies you might employ to reduce your tax liability under the new tax laws.  Read more

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How do I create a long-term financial plan?

Article by Julia Carpenter | Found on CNN

Q: How do I create a lifelong finance plan and how much money will I need for all of those things? Emergency fund, wedding, buying a house, retirement, college savings for my future kids (how much do kids cost?), elder care for my parents (god forbid, but just in case)? –Delilah

Life is full of big-ticket purchases: moving expenses, school tuition, weddings, honeymoons, buying a house, kids, retirement … the list goes on and on.

You can’t plan for all these things, but you can decide what savings goals matter to you. Add them as line items to your weekly budget, and make a point of sitting down once a year to craft a financial plan for next year’s goals and expenses.

Your first goal should always be saving for retirement — even beyond the short-term expenses (vacations or other big purchases) that may feel more pressing year to year, according to Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president at Charles Schwab.

Retirement may not sound as exciting as buying a home or funding a honeymoon, but it’s important enough to warrant the No.1 spot on your priorities list every year.

As Schwab-Pomerantz points out, retirement is always going to be expensive — and it’s always going to be up to you to prepare for it. People often prioritize short-term expenses instead, or they decide to save for their children’s future before they save for their own.

“There’re no scholarships for retirement,” Schwab-Pomerantz says.

Her point: many of your circumstances could change. You could decide you want a small wedding. Your child could get a scholarship to college. But you’ll still need money when you retire.

Schwab-Pomerantz then recommends reevaluating your budget and financial plan every year, to decide what your next priorities should be.

Take the time out of your holiday schedule to make sure you’re adjusting the amounts you’re saving and spending. Have a bit more wiggle room this year? Up your contributions to your savings. Need to tuck away some money for a new car? Cut back on money spent on other things.

And remember: There’s no “one amount” to save for any of these goals. Instead, Schwab-Pomerantz recommends setting aside 10% of your income as savings. Adhere to that even as you earn more money with a bonus or a new job — you never know when you’ll need it.

“You know that your life is going to get more complicated,” Schwab-Pomerantz says.


Isler Northwest LLC is a firm of certified public accountants and business advisors based in Portland, Oregon. Our local, regional, and global resources, our expertise, and our emphasis on innovative solutions and continuity create value for our clients. Our service goals at Isler NW is to earn our clients’ trust as their primary business and financial advisors.

Isler Northwest

(503) 224-5321

1300 SW 5th Avenue
Suite 2900
Portland, Oregon 97201

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3 Things Colleges Don’t Tell You About Financial Aid

Article by Bill Carmody | Found on INC.COM

If you’ve been reading my Inc column for the past 3 years or follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m on a mission to help a million people become millionaires. Your wealth is very important to me, especially since half of Americans can’t come up with $400 in an emergency!

After your home, your next biggest expense is college debt. In some cases, your college debt may actually be larger than your mortgage. Tuition is big business and I’m sorry to have to break this to you, but very few people are looking out for your best interest when it comes to financial aid. Read more

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3 Tips for Serial Entrepreneurs to Safeguard Their Own and Their Employees’ Retirement Security

Article by Nathan Fisher | Found on Entrepreneur

Working professionals can take a lot for granted about a job: the hours, the steady paycheck, the retirement plan. But serial entrepreneurs don’t enjoy such guarantees: They’re busy trading stability for the chance to build something new and valuable.

In my work running an investments/401(K) company, I’ve met many entrepreneurs who know this fact all too well. They wonder not only how to prepare for retirement, themselves, but how to make sure their employees are saving for the future, too. If you’re in the business of building a business and thinking about your financial future, here are some ways to assure retirement readiness for you and your employees. Read more

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5 Financial Rules to Live By

Article by Christy Bieber | Found on CNN

Are you among the 65% of Americans being kept up at night by money worries? Managing your money can definitely be overwhelming, especially with so much conflicting advice out there.

The good news is, you don’t actually have to do much to get your finances under control. You just have to follow a few simple rules to streamline your spending and tackle all of your biggest money issues.

Here are five basic financial rules to live by that will change your life and put you on the path toward a more prosperous future. Read more

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5 money moves you need to make by 30

Article by Maurie Backman | Found on CNN

Turning 30 is a pretty significant milestone.

If you’re coming up on 30, now’s a good time to take stock of your finances and get yourself on a responsible path. Here’s how. Read more

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8 money mistakes new parents should avoid

Article by Kathryn Vassel | Found on CNN

It’s a thought many new and soon-to-be parents have: How can something so tiny require so much stuff?

While you might not need all the gear you’ve stocked up on, there’s no getting around the fact that having a baby will bring changes to your budget. Read more

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Half of Americans are Saving Next to Nothing

Article by Kathryn Vasel | Found on CNN

When it comes to saving, we aren’t doing enough of it.

Roughly half of Americans are saving 5% or less of their incomes, including 18% that are not saving anything, according to a survey from Bankrate. Only about a quarter of people are saving more than 10% of their earnings. Read more

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9 Things All Millennials Need to Know About Money

Article Found on INC.COM

 

What should all young people know about managing personal finance? This is a very important question, because as it stands, there is expected to be a $30 trillion wealth transfer from Boomers to Millennials over the coming decades – and only 22% of Millennials demonstrate “basic” financial knowledge. Read more