Where Did All the Money Go?

A few nuggets from the BET.com website:

Stacy Gilliam a BET staff writer has issued a challenge that each of us can learn from. Stacy suggests that for the next week, each of us write down all of the money that we spend any time you make a purchase whether cash, credit card–whatever. Track how much you spend and what you spent it on. At the end of the week, summarize how much money was wasted on little things that could have been saved or better used somewhere else. A lot of us complain about our cash flow but there is plenty of room in our discretionary spending to do better. Saving money need not be a matter of drastic lifestyle changes, but we should do a better job of managing the money that we simply let slip through our fingers. Let’s not even get into scheduled expenses like bills. How much are you spending on cable channels that you don’t watch or late fees because you don’t get payments in on time? Let’s commit to keeping better track of or cash and not giving away our hard-earned money.

On a related note: How’s your retirement fund? Not the retirement account that you have through your employer (assuming your employer offers such a benefit) but the money that you are putting aside for the “good old days.” You can reduce the amount of taxable income you have each year with a $2,000 Individual Retirement Account (IRA) which is money that you save for yourself to use in retirement. Two thousand dollars per year is about $38.46 per week and if you’ve taken a look at the money you waste in a week, this is probably pretty do-able for most of us. Jesse B. Brown has written this article on Why You Should Start Your Next Egg Today. You’ll save money while you make money and it’s never too late to start. Using Mr. Brown’s example, “A person who begins making the $2,000 annual contribution at age 40 could have $500,000 by the time they turn 71.” That’s just from IRA contributions each year. Ain’t bad, ain’t bad at all.

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