Go Green: 5 Tips for Saving Electricity

After a few weeks of talking about ways to go green, I thought an episode on how to save electricity would be a great way to finish out this green series. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed learning ways to save water, to cut down on the amount of trash you create in your kitchen as well as some environmentally-friendly laundry tips.

If you’ve ever Googled “How to save electricity,” you’ve found out the hard way that there are hundreds of tips out there. Some of these tips are easy to implement, but some of the ways to save electricity that are suggested online are tips like, “Use candles instead of turning on lights.” While this will certainly save electricity, it’s not incredibly practical. That’s why I decided to put together a list of some of my favorite, easy-to-do tips to help you save electricity.

Tip #1: Save electricity by turning off lights

If your parents were like mine, you probably still have a voice rattling around your head saying, “Turn off the lights!” whenever you exit a room. Our parents had it right, because there’s absolutely no reason to keep a light on in a room you are not in. If you can commit to simply turning off the lights in every room when you leave it, you can save electricity immediately.

Whether you are going to return to the room in 10 minutes or 10 seconds, there’s no reason to have the light on while you’re not in the room.

Tip #2: Save electricity by turning off (and disconnecting!) electronics

Just like there’s no use in keeping lights on while you’re not in a room, there’s no use in keeping electronics on while you’re not using them. When you leave for the day, make sure all your electronics are off. This includes your TV, sound system, computer, and any other electronic gadgets you may have around your home.

Did you know that electronics that are plugged in, and not even turned on, can account for 5-10% of electricity used in a home?

Taking it one step further, did you know that electronics that are plugged in, and not even turned on, can account for 5-10% of electricity used in a home? Computers, printers, coffee makers, and even phone cords that are plugged in can be energy vampires, sucking electricity (and your hard-earned money) when they aren’t in use. So you may want to invest in a power cord that you can plug most electronic devices into. That way, you can simply unplug off just one switch when you leave for the day (instead of walking around unplugging things throughout your home). Yes, it might take 2 more seconds of your time to turn the power cord on than simply turn the electronic device on, but it can make a big impact in your electricity bill.

Tip #3: Save electricity by taking care of your air conditioner

If you live in an area of the world where you use your air conditioner a lot, this can play a major part in your energy consumption. If you want to save electricity, there are a few things that you can do to make sure your air conditioner is running as efficiently as possible.

First, have your air conditioning unit serviced annually. Most companies charge a nominal fee to have this service completed. It involves cleaning out the coils and checking for any small repairs that are making your unit work overtime. Next, make sure you change your air filters monthly. These filters catch a lot of dust and dirt, which starts to clog them. The more clogged the filters, the harder your air conditioning unit has to work to get the air to pass through the filter. If your filters are any color other than white, making a slight whistling sound, or worse yet, are bent because they are being sucked into the vent, change them immediately. This change alone will save a ton of wasted electricity from being used to cool your home.

Tip #4: Save electricity by making easy swaps

A couple of quick swaps in your house can help you save electricity. The first you may want to consider is using ceiling or box fans instead of running your air conditioner as much. Oftentimes, just circulating the air in a room will help the room feel cooler. Instead of running the massive cooling unit outside your home, a fan uses about the same amount of electricity as a light bulb. For every degree you can raise your air conditioner, you save about 5% of the energy being used. I live in the desert of Arizona and my fellow dessert-dwellers are very familiar with this technique. It costs an arm and a leg to cool a house in Arizona to 70 degrees, so most people set their thermostats between 77 and 81 degrees and run the fans to do the rest. It keeps us comfortable, both with the feeling inside our house as well as when we see our electric bills!

Another easy change is to switch incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent, otherwise known as CFL, light bulbs. CFL bulbs use just 25% of the energy of regular light bulbs, so when you combine that with always shutting them off, you can dramatically save on your electricity consumption. Just remember that CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, so they need to be disposed of properly. Check with your local government agency to see how they require these bulbs to be disposed of.

Tip #5: Save electricity by keeping nature outside

The final tip on how to save electricity is to make sure you don’t have any drafts coming into your home. If you hold a feather around the edges of your windows and doors, the feather should be perfectly still. If it wavers, that means outside air is getting into your home. The more outside air that gets into your house, the more your air conditioner or heater has to run. Seal up your windows and doors with weather stripping, which is available at your local hardware store and is relatively easy to apply.

Also, during the summertime, keep the sunshine out of your house using room darkening blinds and curtains. By keeping the sun out, especially from south and west facing windows, you will keep your house from heating up, which will do a big part in helping to save electricity.

These are just a few tips to save electricity to get you started. 

Source: quickanddirtytips.com

How to Find My Citibank Routing Number

Are you looking for your Citibank routing number? It’s quite easy and simple. Below is how to find it.

If you’re sending or receiving money to friends and family members using your Citibank account, you need to make sure you’re having the right routing number.

CIT Bank Savings Rates: How Much Can You Earn

What is my Citibank routing number?

In brief, the Citibank routing number is a nine-digit number that the bank uses to identify themselves. Citibank routing number is sometimes known as ABA numbers, check routing numbers or routing transit numbers.

You need your routing numbers for several reasons. For instance, you need it for:

  • To set up direct deposit
  • For ACH payments;
  • To transfer funds between accounts at different banks;
  • For bill payments;
  • To receive government benefits;
  • To receive tax refunds;
  • For wire transfers;
  • To have payments like paycheck deposited into your account.
*TOP CIT BANK PROMOTIONS*
PROMOTIONAL LINK OFFER REVIEW
CIT Bank Money Market 1.00% APY Review
CIT Bank Savings Builder 0.95% APY Review
CIT Bank CDs 0.75% APY 1 Year CD Term Review
CIT Bank No Penalty CD 0.75% APY Review

Citibank Routing Number For Each State

Citibank routing number is different for each state.  So, it’s important to know it. But your Citibank routing number is associated in the state you opened your bank account.

So, if you have moved to Illinois for example, but you had opened Citibank account in New York, your routing number is associated in New York.

It is as simple as that.

Here is a table of the Citibank routing number by each state:

State Citibank Routing Number
Citibank Northern California (CA) 321171184
Citibank Delaware 31100209
Citibank Illinois (IL) 271070801
Citibank Nevada 322271724/ 322271779/ 321070007
Citibank New York (NY) 21000089
Citibank Texas (TX) 113193532
Citibank Washington DC 254070116
Citibank Connecticut 221172610
Citibank Florida 266086554
Citibank Maryland 52002166
Citibank New Jersey (NJ) 21272655
Citibank South Dakota 21000089
Citibank Virginia 254070116
Citibank California, Southern 322271724
If your state is not included in here, call Citibank at 800-374-9700 for assistance.

Citibank routing number to make ACH Transfers

To make an ACH transfer, you’re going to have to choose the Citibank routing number for your particular state.

For example, if you live in Florida, then you will use the Citibank routing number for Florida which is 266086554. If you live in another state, look at the ACH routing number for your particular state in the table above.

Citibank routing numbers for Wire Transfers

Wire transfers are a quicker way to send money than an ACH transfer. However, there is going to be a fee.

If you’re making a domestic wire transfer, however, you will need to use the routing number in your state, see the table above.

To make domestic wire transfers, and in addition to the routing number, you will also need the following:

  • The name of of the person whom you’re making the transfer to;
  • The name and address of the person’s bank;
  • The person’s account number as well as the routing number.

For international wire transfers, you will need both the Citibank routing number in your state and a SWIFT Code: CITIUS33. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

In addition, you will need the following to make an international wire transfer:

  • The name of of the person whom you’re making the transfer to;
  • The name and address of the person’s bank;
  • The person’s account number
  • Purpose of the payment; and 
  • The currency being sent

Where to find your routing number?

So, you want to know where to get your routing number from Citibank? Here’s where to get it:

Your Citibank personal check

You can find your Citibank routing number on the bottom left-corner of a check. However, note the routing number on your check might be different than the routing number for a wire transfer. So, before you’re making a transaction, make sure you check with your bank to get the accurate routing number.

Learn How to Write A Check.

Citibank routing number on this page

We have listed the routing numbers for each state on the table above for ACH transfers. We have also listed the routing number for domestic and international wire transfers.

Your Bank statements

You can find your routing number as well on your monthly bank statements.

Citibank online

Your can find your routing number online by simply going into online banking. 

On the Federal Reserve website

You can look up your routing number on the Federal Reserve website. 

Customer service

Lastly, you can always call customer service at 800-374-9700: to get your routing number. It’s available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. However, note that you will have to provide some details to identify yourself.

Which routing number to use?

Depending on your financial transactions, you will need to use different routing numbers.

Domestic ACH Transfer

For domestic transfers, use the ABA routing number from your state (see the table above).

For Domestic Wire Transfer

Use the Citibank domestic wire transfer number in your state in the table above.

For international wire transfers

Use your state routing number: and the SWIFT code: CITIUS33

Citibank routing number: bottom lime

In conclusion, if you have a Citibank account, you’ll likely need to your routing number. You will need to set up direct deposit, to set up automatic payments, or to wire transfer. So, it’s important to know it and keep it handy. Also, make sure you verify the number before you make a transaction. If you miss one digit or get one digit wrong, your money can go somewhere else.

Related:

  • Wells Fargo Routing Number
  • How to Find Your Well Fargo Routing Number for Texas

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

  • If you have questions about your finances, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).
  • Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
*TOP CIT BANK PROMOTIONS*
PROMOTIONAL LINK OFFER REVIEW
CIT Bank Money Market 1.00% APY Review
CIT Bank Savings Builder 0.95% APY Review
CIT Bank CDs 0.75% APY 1 Year CD Term Review
CIT Bank No Penalty CD 0.75% APY Review

The post How to Find My Citibank Routing Number appeared first on GrowthRapidly.

Source: growthrapidly.com

How Long Does It Take To Buy A House?

How long does it take to buy a house? The answer is: it depends. You can buy a house in a matter of weeks or it can take you anywhere from 4 to 6 months. The question is how ready are you? It can take a long time, and that’s just learning about various mortgage options or improving your credit score.

So understanding the various factors involved in buying a house can give you an estimate of how long it will take you to buy the house

Check out now: 5 Signs You Are Not Ready To Buy A House

How long does it take to buy a house? A step-by-step guide.

It can take a homebuyer a few weeks to several months to complete the home buying process. But when determining how long it will take you to buy a house, you first have to find out if you will be pre-approved for a mortgage. There is no sense of shopping for a house to then realize you can’t afford it.

If you are interested in comparing the best mortgage rates through LendingTree click here. It’s completely free.

I. How long does it take to get a pre-approved mortgage letter in order to buy a house?

If you’re serious about buying a house, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. So when it’s time to make an offer, the seller will know you’re serious. If you don’t have one handy, the seller will likely move to the next buyer.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage in order to buy a house can take longer. That is because you have to make sure your financial situation is in shape. For example, your income-to-debt ratio, your down payment, and your credit score must be good. That’s exactly what a mortgage lender will look at.

Even when these things are in order, shopping and comparing mortgage rates and fees can take several weeks.

Let’s take a look on how long it will take you to get these things in shape before buying a house.

Click here to compare mortgage rates through LendingTree. It’s completely FREE.

A. How good is your credit score?

A low credit score can make buying a house take longer, because it can take months to a year to improve a bad credit score.

A conventional loan will usually require a 640+ credit score.

In fact, your credit score is the number 1 item mortgage lenders look at to decide whether to offer you a mortgage. And if it is not where it’s supposed to be, you might get rejected.

Luckily for you there are other ways to get a loan with much lower credit score: FHA loans.

FHA loans only require a credit score of 580 with 3.5% down payment. You may get qualified with a 500 credit score, but you’ll have to come with a 10% down payment.

So before you get into the fun part of shopping for a mortgage or visiting homes, it’s best to know what your credit score is and take steps to improve it.

You can get a free credit score at Credit Sesame.

B. Fix errors on your credit report.

Fixing errors on your credit report in order to get pre-approved for a loan in order to buy a house can take 30 days.

According to Transunion, “most investigations are completed within 2 weeks, but some may take up 30 days.”

Again, we recommend you get a free credit report at Credit Sesame. A credit report will give you a detail analysis of your credit history, how much debt you owe, and how creditworthy you are, etc. If there are any errors or inaccuracies, fix them immediately so there’s no surprise when you’re actually applying for a mortgage.

The best way to do that is by filing a Transunion dispute or Equifax dispute.

C. Do you have a down payment for the house?

How long it will take you to buy a house will also depend on whether or not you already have money saved up for a down payment.

Unless you’re going to buy the house with outright cash, you’ll need a down payment. And saving for a down payment can take a long time. Depending on your income and expenses, saving for a down payment on a house can take years.

Assuming, for example, you want to buy a house that will cost you $450,000, and you’re using a conventional loan to finance the house. With a 20% down payment, you will need to come up with $90,000.

Let’s say again, because of other monthly expenses, you can only save $1500 a month for the down payment.

You see how long it will take you to save for a down payment to buy the house? 5 years. And that doesn’t even take into account other upfront costs of buying a house, such as closing cost.

While it’s possible to get a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5% of the home purchase price, it’s advisable to put at least 20% down. The reason is because you will avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), which protects the lenders in case you default on your mortgage.

Home buyers with a down payment below 20% are usually charged with PMI.

Another reason for a larger down payment is that it reduces the cost of the mortgage, grows equity much faster, and saves you on interest over the life of the loan.

As you can see, it can take you as much as 5 years from the time you’re thinking about buying the house to the time you’re actually ready to start the process.

But once you have taken care the things above, buying a house can go a lot faster.

II. How long does it take to find a real estate agent?

Average time: 1 day to a month

Once you have been pre-approved for a mortgage, the next step is to find an experienced real estate agent. Finding a good real estate agent can take a day to a month. Websites such as Zillow and Redfin list real estate agents you can use.

III. Shopping for a home.

Average time: a few weeks to a few months

With the help of a real estate agent and your own due diligence, finding a home can can go faster or take longer depending on available homes, the season and your desired location.

But experts say on average it can take a minimum of three weeks to a few months.

IV. Making an offer, negotiation, and inspection.

Average time: 1 to 10 days

Once you have found the home of your dream, the next step is to make an offer. You and the seller can go back and forth negotiating the price.

Once your offer has been accepted, you and the seller sign something called a purchase agreement. Then, the next step is to hire a professional to inspect the home for defects. Depending on your state, a home inspection must be completed within 10 days. And if the inspection finds some defects in the house, that could delay the process.

V. How long does it take to close on a house?

Average time: 30 to 45 days.

Once the inspection is done, your lender will need to officially approve you for the loan. And depending on the lender, it can also affect how long it takes to buy a house. You may need to provide additional documents. But the lender will need to assess the home for its value. And depending on the program (whether it’s conventional loan or FHA loan) it can take anywhere from 30 to 45 days to close on a home.

Bottom line

When asking yourself this question: “how long does it take to buy a house?” The answer is : it depends. If you have your credit score, your down payment, your other finances under control, you can buy your house in two months or less. But if you have to save for a down payment, fix errors on your credit report, raise your credit score, the whole home buying process can take years.

Click here to compare mortgage rates through LendingTree. It’s completely FREE

Still wondering how long it takes to buy a house? Read the following articles:

  • 5 Signs You’re Not Ready To Buy A House
  • 10 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes To Avoid
  • 3 Signs You’re Not Ready to Refinance Your Mortgage
  • The Biggest Mistakes Millennials Make When Buying a House
  • 7 Signs You’re Ready To Buy A House

Work with the Right Financial Advisor

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). So, find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

The post How Long Does It Take To Buy A House? appeared first on GrowthRapidly.

Source: growthrapidly.com

How to Make Better Financial Decisions

Woman learning how to make better financial decisions

A key financial decision people struggle to make is how to allocate savings for multiple financial goals. Do you save for several goals at the same time or fund them one-by-one in a series of steps? Basically, there are two ways to approach financial goal-setting:

Concurrently: Saving for two or more financial goals at the same time.

Sequentially: Saving for one financial goal at a time in a series of steps.

Each method has its pros and cons. Here’s how to decide which method is best for you.

Sequential goal-setting

Pros

You can focus intensely on one goal at a time and feel a sense of completion when each goal is achieved. It’s also simpler to set up and manage single-goal savings than plans for multiple goals. You only need to set up and manage one account.

Cons

Compound interest is not retroactive. If it takes up to a decade to get around to long-term savings goals (e.g., funding a retirement savings plan), that’s time that interest is not earned.

Concurrent goal-setting

Pros

Compound interest is not delayed on savings for goals that come later in life. The earlier money is set aside, the longer it can grow. Based on the Rule of 72, you can double a sum of money in nine years with an 8 percent average return. The earliest years of savings toward long-term goals are the most powerful ones.

Cons

Funding multiple financial goals is more complex than single-tasking. Income needs to be earmarked separately for each goal and often placed in different accounts. In addition, it will probably take longer to complete any one goal because savings is being placed in multiple locations.

Research findings

Working with Wise Bread to recruit respondents, I conducted a study of financial goal-setting decisions with four colleagues that was recently published in the Journal of Personal Finance. The target audience was young adults with 69 percent of the sample under age 45. Four key financial decisions were explored: financial goals, homeownership, retirement planning, and student loans.

Results indicated that many respondents were sequencing financial priorities, instead of funding them simultaneously, and delaying homeownership and retirement savings. Three-word phrases like “once I have…,", “after I [action],” and “as soon as…,” were noted frequently, indicating a hesitancy to fund certain financial goals until achieving others.

The top three financial goals reported by 1,538 respondents were saving for something, buying something, and reducing debt. About a third (32 percent) of the sample had outstanding student loan balances at the time of data collection and student loan debt had a major impact on respondents’ financial decisions. About three-quarters of the sample said loan debt affected both housing choices and retirement savings.

Actionable steps

Based on the findings from the study mentioned above, here are five ways to make better financial decisions.

1. Consider concurrent financial planning

Rethink the practice of completing financial goals one at a time. Concurrent goal-setting will maximize the awesome power of compound interest and prevent the frequently-reported survey result of having the completion date for one goal determine the start date to save for others.

2. Increase positive financial actions

Do more of anything positive that you’re already doing to better your personal finances. For example, if you’re saving 3 percent of your income in a SEP-IRA (if self-employed) or 401(k) or 403(b) employer retirement savings plan, decide to increase savings to 4 percent or 5 percent.

3. Decrease negative financial habits

Decide to stop (or at least reduce) costly actions that are counterproductive to building financial security. Everyone has their own culprits. Key criteria for consideration are potential cost savings, health impacts, and personal enjoyment.

4. Save something for retirement

Almost 40 percent of the respondents were saving nothing for retirement, which is sobering. The actions that people take (or do not take) today affect their future selves. Any savings is better than no savings and even modest amounts like $100 a month add up over time.

5. Run some financial calculations

Use an online calculator to set financial goals and make plans to achieve them. Planning increases people’s sense of control over their finances and motivation to save. Useful tools are available from FINRA and Practical Money Skills.

What’s the best way to save money for financial goals? It depends. In the end, the most important thing is that you’re taking positive action. Weigh the pros and cons of concurrent and sequential goal-setting strategies and personal preferences, and follow a regular savings strategy that works for you. Every small step matters!

Like this article? Pin it!

Want to know how to allocate savings for your financial goals? We’ve got the tips on how to make financial decisions so you can be confident in your personal finance! | #moneymatters #personalfinance #moneytips


Source: feeds.killeraces.com

How Much Your Monthly Food Budget Should Be + Grocery Calculator

.food-budget-calculatormargin:30px auto;border:2px solid #ebebeb;border-radius:8px;border-top:0;border-top-left-radius:8px;border-top-right-radius:8px;padding:30px 30px 0;padding-top:0;position:relative@media(max-width:610px).food-budget-calculatorpadding:0 20px 0.calc-headerfont-family:Avenir,sans-serif;font-size:35px;color:#fff;font-weight:700;width:calc(100% + 62px);border-top-left-radius:8px;border-top-right-radius:8px;background-color:#33a6a5;padding:40px 0 40px 0;text-align:center;-webkit-box-sizing:border-box;box-sizing:border-box;margin:0 -31px.calc-subheaderdisplay:block;text-align:center;font-size:18px;margin:20px -31px 0;border-bottom:1px solid #75767b;padding:10px 10px 25px;position:relative.calc-subheader.arrow:after,.calc-subheader.arrow:beforetop:100%;left:40%;content:”;display:block;position:absolute;width:0;height:0;border-left:30px solid transparent;border-right:30px solid transparent;border-top:20px solid #bcbcbc;margin-top:1px;z-index:10.calc-subheader.arrow:afterz-index:20;border-top:20px solid #fff;margin-top:0@media(max-width:609px).calc-headerwidth:calc(100% + 42px);margin:0 -21px.calc-subheadermargin:10px -21px 25px.calc-household-wrapdisplay:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;margin:0 -31px;-webkit-box-shadow:0 1px 0 0 #75767b6b;box-shadow:0 1px 0 0 #75767b6b;overflow-x:auto;-ms-scroll-snap-type:x mandatory;scroll-snap-type:x mandatory;scroll-padding:60px;scroll-behavior:smooth;-webkit-overflow-scrolling:touch;position:relative;scrollbar-width:thin;scrollbar-color:#33a6a5 #beecf1@media(max-width:608px).calc-household-wrapmargin:-25px -20px 0.household-wrap-arrow,.household-wrap-arrow-prevdisplay:none;position:absolute;top:318px;bottom:auto;width:28px;right:0;height:405px;background:linear-gradient(to right,transparent 0,rgba(255,255,255,.99) 100%);z-index:12.household-wrap-arrow-prevleft:0;background:linear-gradient(to left,transparent 0,rgba(255,255,255,.99) 100%).household-wrap-arrow span,.household-wrap-arrow-prev spanposition:absolute;top:40%;left:48%;font-size:60px;line-height:1;cursor:pointer;color:#2c77bf;opacity:.5;transition:opacity .25s ease-in-out.household-wrap-arrow-prev spanleft:auto.household-wrap-arrow span:hover,.household-wrap-arrow-prev span:hover,.household-wrap-arrow-prev:focus-within span,.household-wrap-arrow:focus-within spanopacity:1.calc-household-wrap::-webkit-scrollbarwidth:12px;height:12px.calc-household-wrap::-webkit-scrollbar-thumbbackground:#33a6a5;border-radius:10px.calc-household-wrap::-webkit-scrollbar-trackbackground:0 0.calc-persondisplay:none;padding:30px;scroll-snap-align:start;-webkit-transform-origin:center center;-ms-transform-origin:center center;transform-origin:center center;-webkit-transform:scale(1);-ms-transform:scale(1);transform:scale(1);-webkit-transition:-webkit-transform .5s;transition:-webkit-transform .5s;-o-transition:transform .5s;transition:transform .5s;transition:transform .5s,-webkit-transform .5s;position:relative@media(max-width:480px).calc-personmin-width:330px.calc-person.activedisplay:block.calc-person:nth-child(even)background-color:#f8f8f8.calc-groupmargin-bottom:15px.calc-group:last-of-typemargin-bottom:0.calc-group labelfont-weight:400;color:#2e2f30;font-size:18px.calc-group:not(.dietary)display:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center@media(max-width:480px).calc-group:not(.dietary)flex-wrap:wrap.calc-group:not(.dietary) labelwidth:260px.calc-person input[type=checkbox]border-radius:0;height:18px;width:18px;-moz-appearance:none;-webkit-appearance:none;-o-appearance:none;border:1px solid #75767b;outline-offset:-1px;-webkit-transition:all .2s;-o-transition:all .2s;transition:all .2s.calc-person input[type=checkbox]+labelmargin-left:12.5px;margin-right:20px;position:relative;top:-2.5px.calc-person input[type=checkbox]:checked+label:after,.calc-person input[type=checkbox]:not(:checked)+label:aftercontent:”;background-image:url(https://blog.mint.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/check@2x.png);position:absolute;top:6.5px;left:-29.5px;font-size:1em;line-height:.8;color:#09ad7e;-webkit-transition:all .2s;-o-transition:all .2s;width:16px;transition:all .2s;background-repeat:no-repeat;height:17px;background-size:100% auto.calc-person input[type=checkbox]:not(:checked)+label:afteropacity:0;-webkit-transform:scale(0);-ms-transform:scale(0);transform:scale(0).calc-person input[type=checkbox]:checked+label:afteropacity:1;-webkit-transform:scale(1);-ms-transform:scale(1);transform:scale(1).calc-person input[type=checkbox]:checkedbackground-color:#2c77bf.calc-person input[type=checkbox]:checked+label:aftercolor:#fff.calc-person h3margin-top:0;margin-bottom:20px;color:#00a6a4;font-weight:700;font-size:18px.dietary-labeldisplay:block;margin-bottom:8px.food-budget-calculator selectfont-size:16px;padding:9px 8px;margin-left:20px;width:87px;-ms-flex-item-align:center;-ms-grid-row-align:center;align-self:center@media(max-width:480px).food-budget-calculator selectmargin-left:0;margin:10px 0.food-budget-calculator select#householdwidth:57px.placeholdermargin-left:auto;margin-right:auto.calc-containerwidth:100%;font-family:Avenir,sans-serif;border:2px solid #ebebeb;border-radius:8px;border-top:0;border-top-left-radius:0;border-top-right-radius:0;padding:30px;-webkit-box-sizing:border-box;box-sizing:border-box.calculation-sectiondisplay:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-orient:horizontal;-webkit-box-direction:normal;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center.calculation-section pfont-size:18px;color:#333;font-weight:700.user-input-ms-flex-item-align:start;align-self:flex-start;padding-top:0;padding-left:0;padding-right:10px.user-input pmargin-top:0.user-input labelfont-size:14px;color:#75767b;font-weight:500;position:relative.user-input inputborder:1px solid #bababd;padding:10px;-webkit-box-sizing:border-box;box-sizing:border-box;margin-top:10px.result-display pfont-weight:700;color:#33a6a5;font-size:14px;text-transform:uppercase;text-align:center;margin:0.result-displaybackground-color:#f8f8f8;padding:25px 15px 25px 15px;-webkit-box-sizing:border-box;box-sizing:border-box.rent-textcolor:#333!important;font-weight:700;font-size:48px!important;padding:20px 0 20px 0;-webkit-box-sizing:border-box;box-sizing:border-box.calc-gen-pfont-size:18px;color:#333;margin-top:30px;margin-bottom:30px;text-align:center.bold-pfont-weight:700.slider-sectionborder:1px solid #75767b;padding:30px;padding-left:26px;padding-right:26px.slider-directionsfont-weight:700;text-align:center;width:73%;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;margin-top:0;margin-bottom:30px.slider-divwidth:100%;-webkit-box-sizing:border-box;box-sizing:border-box.slider-webkit-appearance:none;-moz-appearance:none;appearance:none;height:12px;width:calc(100% + 35px);border-radius:8px;background:-webkit-gradient(linear,left top,right top,from(#5da3a3),color-stop(25%,#5da3a3),color-stop(25%,#6ebf7d),color-stop(50%,#6ebf7d),color-stop(50%,#edbd46),color-stop(75%,#edbd46),color-stop(75%,#e7984c),to(#e7984c));background:-o-linear-gradient(left,#5da3a3 0,#5da3a3 25%,#6ebf7d 25%,#6ebf7d 50%,#edbd46 50%,#edbd46 75%,#e7984c 75%,#e7984c 100%);background:linear-gradient(to right,#5da3a3 0,#5da3a3 25%,#6ebf7d 25%,#6ebf7d 50%,#edbd46 50%,#edbd46 75%,#e7984c 75%,#e7984c 100%);margin-bottom:30px.slider:focusoutline:0!important.slider-spender>div.active::before,.slider::-webkit-slider-thumb-webkit-appearance:none;appearance:none;width:35px;height:35px;border-radius:50%;background:#f8f8f8;-webkit-box-shadow:0 2px 4px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.2),0 3px 6px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.19);box-shadow:0 2px 4px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.2),0 3px 6px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.19);cursor:pointer.slider-spender>div.active::before,.slider:focus::-webkit-slider-thumbborder:1.5px solid #33a6a5.slider-spender>div.active::before,input[type=range]::-moz-range-thumb-webkit-appearance:none;-moz-appearance:none;appearance:none;width:35px;height:35px;border-radius:50%;background:#f8f8f8;box-shadow:0 2px 4px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.2),0 3px 6px 0 rgba(0,0,0,.19);cursor:pointer;margin-left:-17.5px.slider-spenderdisplay:block;margin-bottom:30px;height:12px;width:100%;border-radius:10px.slider-spender-wrapmargin-bottom:50px.slider-spender>divdisplay:inline-block;width:25%;height:100%;position:relative;cursor:pointer;transition:all .25s ease-in-out;z-index:1;margin:0 -2.5px;.slider-spender>div.activetransform:scale3d(1.125,1.55,1);z-index:2.slider-spender .thriftybackground-color:#00a6a4;border-radius:10px 0 0 10px.slider-spender .cost-consciousbackground-color:#21c374.slider-spender .moderatebackground-color:#ffdc00.slider-spender .generousbackground-color:#ff9331;border-radius:0 10px 10px 0.spender-wrappadding:30px 0;margin-top:45px.moderate-budgetfont-size:18px;text-align:center;margin-bottom:30px.slider-resultsdisplay:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-orient:horizontal;-webkit-box-direction:normal;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-wrap:wrap;flex-wrap:wrap;-webkit-box-pack:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;justify-content:center.slider-textdisplay:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-ms-flex-pack:distribute;justify-content:space-around.slider-text pfont-size:18px;font-weight:800;width:25%;text-align:center;white-space:nowrap;position:relative@media(max-width:644px).slider-text pdisplay:none.slider-text p.activedisplay:block;width:auto@media(min-width:768px).slider-text pfont-size:13px;font-weight:600@media(min-width:900px).slider-text pfont-size:15px;font-weight:800@media(min-width:1100px).slider-text pfont-size:18px.kind-spendermargin:70px 0 0;text-align:center;font-size:24px.result-boxwidth:258px;margin:4px;padding:10px;height:100px;-webkit-box-sizing:border-box;box-sizing:border-box;background-color:#f8f8f8;position:relative.result-2-headerfont-size:14px;text-transform:uppercase;text-align:center;font-weight:700;margin:0;margin-bottom:10px;width:-webkit-max-content;width:-moz-max-content;width:max-content;display:block;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;position:relative;-webkit-box-sizing:border-box;box-sizing:border-box.tooltip-iconposition:absolute;right:-25px;bottom:17%;width:13px;height:13px.tooltip-textbackground-color:#75767b;color:#fff;font-family:Avenir,sans-serif;font-size:14px;padding:8px;position:absolute;border-radius:12px;width:150px;display:none;position:absolute;left:85px;top:52px;z-index:1;text-transform:none;font-weight:400;text-align:left;white-space:normal.tooltip-icon:focus+.tooltip-text,.tooltip-icon:hover+.tooltip-textdisplay:block.slider-text p .tooltip-iconleft:0;right:0;top:50px;margin:auto.slider-text p .tooltip-textleft:0.result-box p .tooltip-textleft:110px;top:30px@media(max-width:600px).result-box p .tooltip-text,.slider-text p .tooltip-textleft:auto;right:0.tooltip-wrapperposition:relative;width:-webkit-max-content;width:-moz-max-content;width:max-content.rent-tipleft:55px.rent-headercolor:#33a6a5.other-headercolor:#2683e6.discretionary-headercolor:#ff9331.savings-headercolor:#00cadc.silder-result-numberfont-size:36px;color:#333;text-align:center;font-weight:700;margin:0.printables-button,.signup-2width:60%!important;margin-right:auto.printables-button,.signup-calcfont-family:Avenir,sans-serif;font-size:16px;color:#fff;background-color:#ff9331;text-align:center;height:48px;width:158px;border:none;border-radius:5px;cursor:pointer;width:100%!important;display:block;margin-right:auto.printables-buttonbackground-color:#1a7de5;height:60px;width:300px!important;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px.printables-button:focus,.printables-button:hovercolor:#1a7de5;background-color:#fff;border:2px solid #1a7de5.cta-pdisplay:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;margin-top:80px.signup-calc:focus,.signup-calc:hovercolor:#ff9331;background-color:#fff;border:2px solid #ff9331.signup-2height:60px;width:300px!important;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px@media screen and (max-width:645px).calc-gen-p amargin-left:10px@media screen and (max-width:500px).printables-button,.signup-2margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto.calc-containerdisplay:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;-webkit-box-direction:normal;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;width:90%;border:2px solid #babbbe;border-top:none;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;border-radius:0.calculation-section,.slider-resultsdisplay:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;-webkit-box-direction:normal;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;width:90%;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto.user-inputmargin-left:auto;margin-right:auto.user-input pfont-size:25px;padding-bottom:20px;margin-bottom:20px;border-bottom:1px solid #75767b#incomewidth:100%.slider-sectionborder:none;border-top:1px solid #75767b;padding-left:0;padding-right:0;padding-bottom:0.result-displaymargin-top:30px;width:100%;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto.result-boxwidth:100%.calc-gen-pwidth:80%;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;font-size:15px.calc-gen-p amargin:auto.cta-ptext-align:center;margin-top:0;margin-left:auto;line-height:1.2222;margin-right:auto;width:100%;font-size:20px;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;-webkit-box-direction:normal;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column.signup-calcmargin-top:30px;margin-left:0;width:80%.signup-2height:60px;width:300px;margin-left:30px.sliderheight:22px.slider::-webkit-slider-thumbheight:45px;width:45pxinput[type=range]::-moz-range-thumbheight:45px;width:45px.user-input labelfont-size:18px.user-input inputfont-size:14px.slider-directionsfont-size:18px.silder-result-numberfont-size:27px.result-2-headerfont-size:12px.rent-textfont-size:40px!important

Your grocery bill can add up fast. From dinner entrées to snacks, the amount you spend directly affects your other financial goals. Luckily, there are some guidelines to ensure you’re not overspending. 

Use the grocery calculator below to estimate your monthly and weekly food budget based on guidelines from the USDA’s monthly food plan. Input your family size and details below to calculate how much a nutritious grocery budget should cost you. Of course, every family is different. Some love coupons and leftovers, while others prefer fresh fish and aged cheese. Once you’ve established your budget, use the slider to adjust your estimate to your spending habits. 

Getting your food budget on point takes practice. With this grocery calculator and the right spending habits, you’ll have enough for your living expenses and exciting financial goals like paying off loans or buying a house.

Grocery Budget Calculator

012345678910

Person 1

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 2

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 3

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 4

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 5

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 6

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 7

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 8

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 9

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

Person 10

0-34-812-1819-5051-7071+
0123456789101112131415161718192021

A moderate grocery budget will run you:

Weekly Grocery Cost Food costs per individual are based on USDA research regarding Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and follow MyPyramid nutrition guidelines.

$0.00

Monthly Grocery Cost Food costs per individual are based on USDA research regarding Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and follow MyPyramid nutrition guidelines.

$0.00

What kind of spender are you?

Does your estimate look right? If your spending habits don’t add up, explore these other budget options and choose what’s best for your lifestyle.

Thrifty This is the USDA’s estimated food budget for families that receive food assistance like WIC or SNAP.

Cost-Conscious This is an ideal budget for nutritious meals if you’re looking to save a little extra cash with leftovers and coupons.

Moderate This is the standard for affordable, nutritious, and balanced portions for most families.

Generous This budget gives you some spending wiggle room for finer foods or extra portions.

See where the rest of your budget is going Sign up for Mint

Monthly Grocery Budget

Ever wonder how much you should spend on groceries? The average cost of food per month for one person ranges from $150 to $300, depending on age. However, these national averages vary based on where you live and the quality of your food purchases.

Here’s a monthly grocery budget for the average family. This is based on the national average and likely varies by location and shop. For instance, New York City grocers are going to be far more expensive than Kansas City shops. Additionally, organic grocery stores like Whole Foods are pricier than places like Walmart or Aldi.

You’ll also want to consider dietary choices, like gluten-free or vegan diets. These can significantly affect your budget, so consider planning your grocery list online to compare prices and find your preferred alternatives.

FAMILY SIZE SUGGESTED
MONTHLY BUDGET
1 person $251
2 people $553
3 people $722
4 people $892
5 people $1,060
6 people $1,230

Finding a reasonable monthly grocery budget ensures you and your family have what you need, while not overspending. Look back at previous months using a budgeting app or credit card statements to see what you’ve spent at the grocery store. Decide if you want to maintain your current budget or cut back.

Purchasing Groceries vs. Dining Out

Mockup of grocery list and food inventory printables with fresh produce

 

Download grocery list and inventory printables button.

Don’t forget what you spend at restaurants when you consider your food budget. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans spend 11 percent of their take-home income on food. It doesn’t all go towards groceries, though. Approximately six percent is spent on groceries, while five percent is spent dining out — including dates, lunches with coworkers, and Sunday brunch.

With this framework in mind, you can calculate your total food budget based on your take-home income. For example, Rita makes $3,500 per month after taxes. She would budget six percent for groceries ($210) and five percent for restaurants ($175). So she’ll need a total of $385 for food each month. With a little practice, she’ll better learn her habits and be able to accurately adjust her budget.

Tips for Reducing Your Budget

Illustration of grocery coupons and meal planner.

There are several ways to cut back on what you spend without sacrificing the quality and taste of your food. Trimming your food budget can help you stow away more for your financial goals, such as building an emergency fund or saving for a dream vacation.

Cut Coupons

Coupons are easy to find in the mail, in store, in your inbox, and even in a Google search. Many popular grocery stores are rolling out apps that track your coupons and savings. Be sure to download and register your email for new updates and sales. These usually work in person or online, so you can shop when and how you like. 

While a single coupon might not give you a large discount, you can save a lot with multiple coupons. It’s also important you make sure you actually need the item you’re purchasing instead of buying it for the sale. This can quickly get out of hand and push you over budget. 

Freeze Your Food

Freezing your fresh food before it goes bad helps your wallet and the environment. You can plan ahead and freeze prepared produce to save time on weekday cooking, or chop and freeze last week’s produce before shopping for more. Frozen vegetables are great in soups and stews, and you can use frozen fruits for healthy breakfast smoothies. 

Plan a Weekly Menu Ahead of Time

Plan your meals ahead of time to determine the food items and quantities you need before you head to the grocery store. This way you’re more likely to buy the exact items you need and can plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try to plan for recipes that use the same ingredients so there’s less to purchase. You can also make larger meals and plan leftovers for lunch so you have less to plan and purchase.

Download meal planning printable button.

Bring Lunches to Work 

A $13 lunch out might not seem like much, but it can blow your food budget fast if it becomes a habit. Push your monthly food budget further with delicious lunches from home. Salads, sandwiches, and leftovers are all easy, inexpensive, and nutritious. 

Buy Store Brands 

Many packaged products have a huge price disparity between brand name and generic items, and store brand items tend to be cheaper without sacrificing much quality. You can easily save 10 cents to a dollar per item, which adds up quickly over many trips. 

Shop at a More Affordable Store

Your local farmers market, chain grocery, and organic store will all offer different specialties and sales. Check out the different shops in your area to find the best combination of quality and price. Some stores might even offer bulk items — great for your favorite products and those with a long shelf-life. Choosing cheaper staple items like milk and yogurt can also make a huge difference over time. 

An accurate food budget that works for you helps you feel more confident and in control of your finances. Build a budget, learn your spending habits, and keep a grocery list to keep you on track and responsible so you can reach bigger goals, like a new vehicle or a down payment on a house. 

Sources: USA Today | EurekAlert | Persistent Economic Burden of the Gluten-Free Diet

The post How Much Your Monthly Food Budget Should Be + Grocery Calculator appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

The ABCs of Financial Empowerment

A quick Google search of ‘financial literacy’ will yield thousands of results, listing an infinite amount of do’s and don’ts that should (and shouldn’t) be followed to guide you along on your financial journey.

However, when you think of financial empowerment – what comes to mind? As defined by Merriam-Webster, empowerment is “the act or action of empowering someone or something: the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties.” No matter what your current sentiments are related to your finances, we will explore three key areas to not only embrace; but to help you prepare for a strong financial future.

Awareness

Now more than ever, we all have a laser-sharp focus on our money and where it’s being spent. The pandemic has generated a hypersensitivity to how we treat our finances while also determining what essential expenses look like and where they fit into our budget.

Before life as we knew it to be shifted, many of us don’t have to look too far back to remember a time where we didn’t check our accounts as often, our savings plan would fluctuate month-over-month or our emergency fund was used to bail us out of some impulsive spending.

To make sure those days are forever of the past, make it a habit to take inventory and audit all of your accounts. Take at least 15 – 30 minutes to review over any transactions and deposits across all active accounts. Not only does this help improve your self-accountability, but you are also able to make any disputes if anything appears incorrect and resolve quickly.

Another small but impactful tip is to acknowledge your financial health. What top three areas will be your main point of focus? If this is something you don’t know offhand, review your transactions from the last three months and categorize them. How much of your money went to impulsive buys or things that could have been purchased at a later date? Are you seeing an influx in overhead expenses or credit card payments? Are there any spending patterns you can explicitly see? Allow this exercise to serve as an eye-opening experience.

In order to determine where you want to be, you must first truthfully acknowledge where you are. This sets the blueprint and overall expectations with your personal finance journey. Knowing where you are may not feel pleasant but avoidance will lead to bigger consequences.

Betterment

Even though we don’t like to admit it, there’s always room for improvement and our finances are no exception. The first thing that guarantees mastery is actually following the budget that’s created. This serves as a guardrail – it’s used to keep us on track so we can greet our financial destination with open and inviting arms.

Once that’s in motion, explore ways to enhance your financial experience. Begin by automating recurring expenses, such as cellphone service or utility bills. That’s why it’s so important to be as honest and accurate as possible when setting a budget. Nothing should come to you as a surprise outside of any emergencies. When you trust yourself and the financial work you’ve put in, your finances have no choice but to follow suit.

If you haven’t already (or need to get back on track), work to beef up your emergency fund and savings account. Emergency expenses have a tendency to appear out of nowhere, so you want to dedicate a set dollar amount or a percentage every pay period. Setting up an automatic transfer to these accounts establish a routine while putting your mind at ease in the process.

Is there a hobby or skill you’d like to put to use and monetize? No matter how grandiose or small, this can definitely expedite achieving your financial goals. The money earned from a passion project can go toward savings, paying off debt or simply getting back to a place of comfort financially. Vacation funds or prepping for large purchases such as a car or home can also fall within this category. If you want to seek the assistance of a professional, search for financial advisors or coaches that could help you with reaching your goals. Preparation is key and your future depends on it!

Confidence

The foundation has been laid and you’ve been committed to crushing your financial goals. The budget and savings goals are in motion; so what’s next? It’s time to celebrate! Walk into your financial future with your best foot forward. When times seem bleak, remind yourself of your goals early and often.

Reinforcement such as daily reminders on your phone, having goals posted somewhere in your home you can see daily or reciting positive financial affirmations will serve as a second wind when you want to throw in the towel. Be sure to celebrate wins along the way such as debt payoff, reduction or hitting a new savings goal. Never been able to invest before and now you have the additional income to get in the game? Celebrate that!

The best way to generate excitement is to rally your family and get them involved. Create family challenges to get your children excited about saving funds and reallocating money. Come up with creative ways you all can commemorate knocking out a goal by ordering from your favorite restaurant or saving for a family staycation.

In order to walk in confidence, you have to build up the courage to begin no matter where you are or how many times you’ve had to start over. Each step counts – each successful budget, savings goal and consistent reduction of overall expenses. Be sure to keep in mind, financial freedom looks different for everyone and has the ability to pivot over time. While some may want to vacation throughout the year, save for their children’s college fund or wipe debt out completely, all are significant and take sacrifice. What is the key to achieving such a pinnacle level of confidence? Time.

 

Be kind to yourself and understand mistakes should never be equated to failures. Your commitment to this financial journey will always be rewarded.

The post The ABCs of Financial Empowerment appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

Steps to Getting A Financial Advisor in your 20s

Getting a financial advisor in your 20s is a responsible thing to do. At the every least, it means that you are serious about your finances. Finding one in your local area is not hard, especially with SmartAsset free matching tool, which can match you up to 3 financial advisors in under 5 minutes. However, you must also remember that a quality financial advisor does not come free. So, before deciding whether getting a financial advisor in your 20s makes financial sense, you first have to decide the cost to see a financial advisor.

What can a financial advisor do for you?

A financial advisor can help you set financial goals, such as saving for a house, getting married, buying a car, or retirement. They can help you avoid making costly mistakes, protect your assets, grow your savings, make more money, and help you feel more in control of your finances. So to help you get started, here are some of the steps you need to take before hiring one.

Need help with your money? Find a financial advisor near you with SmartAsset’s free matching tool.

1. Financial advice cost

What is the cost to see a financial advisor? For a lot of us, when we hear “financial advisors,” we automatically think that they only work with wealthy people or people with substantial assets. But financial advisors work with people with different financial positions. Granted they are not cheap, but a fee-only advisor will only charge you by the hour at a reasonable price – as little as $75 an hour.

Indeed, a normal rate for a fee-only advisor can be anywhere from $75 an hour $150 per hour. So, if you’re seriously thinking about getting a financial advisor in your 20s, a fee-only advisor is strongly recommended.

Good financial advisors can help you with your finance and maximize your savings. Take some time to shop around and choose a financial advisor that meets your specific needs.

2. Where to get financial advice?

Choosing a financial advisor is much like choosing a lawyer or a tax accountant. The most important thing is to shop around. So where to find the best financial advisors?

Finding a financial advisor you can trust, however, can be difficult. Given that there is a lot of information out there, it can be hard to determine which one will work in your best interest. Luckily, SmartAsset’s free matching tool has done the heavy lifting for you. Each of the financial advisor there, you with up to 3 financial advisors in your local area in just under 5 minutes.

3. Check them out

Once you are matched with a financial advisor, the next step is to do your own background on them. Again, SmartAsset’s free matching tool has already done that for you. But it doesn’t hurt to do your own digging. After all, it’s your money that’s on the line. You can check to see if their license are current. Check where they have worked, their qualifications, and training. Do they belong in any professional organizations? Have they published any articles recently?

Related: 5 Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Financial Advisor

4. Questions to ask your financial advisor

After you’re matched up with 3 financial advisors through SmartAsset’s free matching tool, the next step is to contact all three of them to interview them:

  • Experience: getting a financial advisor in your 20s means that you’re serious about your finances. So, you have to make sure you’re dealing with an experienced advisor — someone with experience on the kind of advice you’re seeking. For example, if you’re looking for advice on buying a house, they need to have experience on advising others on how to buy a house. So some good questions to ask are: Do you have the right experience to help me with my specific needs? Do you regularly advise people with the same situations? If not, you will need to find someone else.

5 Reasons You Need to Hire A Financial Consultant

  • Fees – as mentioned earlier, if you don’t have a lot of money and just started out, it’s best to work with a fee-only advisor. However, not all fee-only advisors are created equal; some charges more than others hourly. So a good question to ask is: how much will you charge me hourly?
  • Qualifications – asking whether they are qualified to advise is just important when considering getting a financial advisor in your 20s. So ask find about their educational background. Find out where they went to school, and what was their major. Are they also certified? Did they complete additional education? if so, in what field? Do they belong to any professional association? How often do they attend seminars, conferences in their field.
  • Their availability – Are they available when you need to consult with them? Do they respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner? Do they explain financial topics to you in an easy-to-understand language?

If you’re satisfied with the answers to all of your questions, then you will feel more confident working with a financial advisor.

In sum, the key to getting a financial advisor in your 20s is to do your research so you don’t end up paying money for the wrong advice. You can find financial advisors in your area through SmartAsset’s Free matching tool.

  • Find a financial advisor – Use SmartAsset’s free matching tool to find a financial advisor in your area in less than 5 minutes. With free tool, you will get matched up to 3 financial advisors. All you have to do is to answer a few questions. Get started now.
  • You can also ask your friends and family for recommendations.
  • Follow our tips to find the best financial advisor for your needs.

Articles related to “getting a financial advisor in your 20s:”

  • How to Choose A Financial Advisor
  • 5 Signs You Need A Financial Advisor
  • 5 Mistakes People Make When Hiring A Financial Advisor

Thinking of getting financial advice in your 20s? Talk to the Right Financial Advisor.

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your saving goals and get your debt under control. Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

The post Steps to Getting A Financial Advisor in your 20s appeared first on GrowthRapidly.

Source: growthrapidly.com