Posts Tagged ‘loveland’

5 Tips to Start Saving for the Holidays Now

A blog about making the most of the holiday season by being financially prepared.

While the holiday season should be a time of excitement and fun, for many it can turn into a source of contention. Anxiety surrounding holiday spending can put a real damper on your holiday festivities. So if you want to help your family be financially prepared this holiday season then start small and start early. These five easy tips will help you to start saving for the holidays right now, so you don’t puke when you open your credit card bill in January!

  1. Start thinking about a realistic budget WITHOUT using credit so it doesn’t follow you into the next year: Once you have some ideas of the gifts and activities you want to do this holiday season, start putting a simple budget around each item. It’s easy to get carried away, so do it before the emotions of the holiday season kick in, and you can make better financial decisions.
  2. Get your lists early:  Asking your family for their Christmas lists early can help you to get a head start. Find out what people want now, so you have time to shop around for the best price. You can even buy these items early when you find them on sale, or you can at least more easily space out your spending. Knowing what you’re buying in advance will help you to budget, and get a better snapshot of what you need to prepare for. Also, don’t get swept up in thinking you have to get everything someone else wants or puts on their list (especially children). Share those ideas with grandparents or others who want to get them a gift as well. 
  3. Shop during the pre-holiday sales: Stores are always having great sales around this time of year. Don’t wait until the madness of Black Friday or Cyber Monday hits to get a good deal. Shop the early sales now and get a great deal instead! 
  4. Buy a gift or two each paycheck: To take the burden off of your December paychecks, start buying a gift or two each week or every paycheck, starting now. This way you can spread out your spending, and you won’t have to charge it and pay it off later. 
  5. Start making holiday gift idea lists now: A little planning goes a long way. Instead of running around like a mad person in December buying anything you can get your hands on, start making your list now so you can plan and prepare. When we wait until the eleventh hour to shop for gifts,  our budget can go entirely out the window because we have no idea what to shop for. 
  6. Start thinking about a realistic budget: Once you have some ideas of the gifts and activities you want to do this holiday season, start putting a simple budget around each item. It’s easy to get carried away, so do it before the emotions of the holiday season kick in, and you can make better financial decisions.

Holiday shopping and spending doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little preparation, you can enjoy what the holiday season is really all about. 

Still feeling overwhelmed about your holiday budget? Check out my Planning For Peace This Holiday Season e-book. 

7 Simple Things You Can Do To Reset Your Finances This Fall

As we step into Fall, it feels like a reset of our lives and goals, personally and financially. It is almost a mini New Year’s!

A lot of us feel excited about the seasons ahead, and look to set new goals to make the rest of the year the best it can be. 

Making smart financial goals this Fall can help you to truly be successful in the months and years ahead. Check out my list below of seven simple things you can do to reset your finances this Fall.

7 Simple Things You Can Do To Reset Your Finances This Fall: 

  1. Start outlining your Fall and holiday spending now: Being proactive versus reactive is vitally important in terms of resetting your financial forecast. Whether through a spreadsheet, a whiteboard, or whatever other method feels right for you, having a clear financial picture will help to set you up for success moving forward. Planning ahead financially for Fall and holiday spending can provide you more wiggle room, so you’re not pinching pennies or struggling to catch up later.  
  2. Start saving for the holidays now: According to Investopedia, the average American spent $998 on gifts, holiday items, and other expenses last holiday season. Holiday spending seems to steadily increase every year, and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in prices going way up due to shortages and shipping delays. If you haven’t started putting away money for holiday expenditures, you should start now. 
  3. Start working on your 2022 budget: My favorite b-word is budget! Setting a budget helps you to limit your spending, allowing you to reach your financial goals. If you’re struggling to figure out a budget on your own, meet with me to prepare your next year’s spending plan.
  4. Reassess your current spending plan: The end of the year tends to really drain us financially, so ask yourself if there is anything you can cut back on now so that you have a little extra cushion.
  5. Curb any bad habits: Things like daily coffees and eating out tend to creep in during the summer months, so take the time now to reset any bad habits you may have picked up. 
  6. Reconnect with your money: Your prosperity is what gives you the freedom to live the lifestyle you want to. Financial stress can lead us to disconnect from the energy that is currency. Working on your relationship with your money can allow you to usher in more of it.
  7. Be thankful: Showing gratitude for the money you do have and for all that you get to do because of it, is such an important practice. Oftentimes we fall into a place of lack or poverty mentality due to current or past money issues, and it can push us into an ugly cycle that can be difficult to break. Some of this comes from the way we were raised, and our parents’ relationships and attitudes toward money. Try to adjust any negative feelings you may have toward your finances this Fall, and you will see money begin to flow more freely. 



Now is the perfect time to reset your financial story and adjust so you are prepared for the rest of the year and into the next! 

If you are seeking financial freedom and would benefit from financial coaching services, let’s schedule some time together by phone or video conference. This will allow us to get to know each other a bit, and to see if we are a good fit to work together. I’ll learn about your struggles and goals, and you’ll learn about my financial coaching program. You can schedule your 45 Minute Initial Discovery Session right now at https://pennywisecoaching.com/contact-pennywise-coaching/.

Cyber Fraud In The Digital Age: How To Keep Your Money Where You Want It

June is Internet Safety Month, so I figured now was the right time to talk about fraud. Digital & cyber fraud is more rampant now than it ever has been. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people have become victims to these types of crimes. As a financial coach, I’ve seen first-hand clients falling victim to buying gift cards and bank hacking. According to AARP, cyber criminals deploy “everything but the kitchen sink”, from fake grandchildren to online romances with one thing in mind: your money. Check out my list below of some of the most common cyber scams, based on FBI data, and how to avoid them.

 

10 Common Cyber Scams and Crimes:

 (see https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes for the full list)

 

  • Advance Fee Schemes: An advance fee scheme occurs when the victim pays money to someone to receive something of greater value, such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift, then receiving little or nothing in return.
  • Business Email Compromise/Business Fraud: Business email compromise (BEC) is one of the most financially damaging online crimes. It exploits the fact that so many of us rely on email to conduct business, personally and professionally. On the other hand, business fraud consists of activities undertaken by an individual or company in a dishonest or illegal manner for their own benefit.
  • Charity and Disaster Fraud: Charity and disaster fraud schemes seek donations for organizations that do little or no work. While these scams can happen at any time, they are especially prevalent after high-profile disasters.
  • Credit Card Fraud: Credit card fraud is the unauthorized use of a credit or debit card, or card number, to obtain money or property.
  • Elder Fraud: Each year, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or emotional scheme, including romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams, to name a few. In recent years young adults have become the biggest growing population to fall victim to scams.
  • Counterfeit/Fraudulent Products: From counterfeit prescription drugs, to fraudulent cosmetics and anti-aging products, the internet has given consumers widespread access to health and beauty products they don’t know are fake.
  • Health Care Fraud: Health care fraud causes tens of billions of dollars of losses every year, and is one of the top scams investigated by the FBI. 
  • Identity Theft: Identity theft or “catfishing” happens far too often every year, and these criminals often use your identity to perform fraud and other crimes. This can affect things like your credit, social security number, bank account and the list goes on. 
  • Internet Fraud: Most types of fraud in this day and age are considered internet fraud, involving the use of internet services or software to take advantage of people in a variety of ways. 
  •  Investment Fraud: Investment fraud is an offer using false or fraudulent claims to solicit investments or loans, or providing for the purchase, use, or trade of forged or counterfeit securities.

 

10 Ways To Protect Yourself: 

 

  • Set strong passwords: Get creative with your passwords, and be sure to change them right away anytime you suspect suspicious activity. I love password keepers like the one I use and recommend called LastPass. They have free or paid versions, go check it out. Don’t keep a list at home or online with all your passwords and make them hard to hack! https://lastpass.wo8g.net/Pennywise
  • Beware of phishing: Fake emails and websites will “fish” for information, so don’t get tricked into disclosing private details. Click on the email “from” line to see the actual email it’s coming from. If it says a business but shows a generic email such as yahoo or gmail it is not likely from that business but it’s hard to tell. According to the FTC, “Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.”
    1. Keep your personal information to yourself: Beware of sharing too much personal information on outlets like social media, and be aware of your privacy settings.
  • Trust your gut: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of anything involving prizes, money, etc.
  • Beware of urgency: Scammers use scare tactics to get people to act fast off of emotion. If there’s a problem, or you’re being pressured to act immediately, it’s probably a scam. 
    1. Never give money: Scammers will always ask you to pay in a specific way, or threaten jail time or legal action if you don’t act fast. Never give your money away if you don’t know where it’s going.
  • Secure your internet connection: Be cautious of connecting to wi-fi networks that aren’t secure. It’s not worth getting your identity stolen to save a few bucks on data.
  • Shop safely: Ask yourself where you’re shopping from. Is this a well-known company, or someone you know personally? Are they backed by the Better Business Bureau? If not, think twice before you offer up your payment info.
  •  Actually read the privacy policy: The average person doesn’t, but it can get you into hot water. If the company you’re shopping with is selling or sharing your information, don’t give them your business.

 

If you are a business owner, you have even more cybercrimes to watch out for. Check out this article on some top small business scams you should be aware of.

Digital & cyber fraud is something to take seriously. It happens to so many people. You need to always be vigilant when it comes to our money and its security. Not having a clear understanding of your financial picture can lead to fraud going undetected for months at a time. If you are ready to better understand your financial security – contact me today!

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