retirement planning

I’m sure most of us do not regularly sit around and think about how we will finance our retirement.  It’s actually quite a challenge to predict how much money you’ll need to fund your golden years.  If you knew how long you are going to live or how healthy you will be, retirement planning would be a lot easier. Regardless of how young you are, it is important to plan ahead in order to not outlive the money you have saved during your working years. One thing is for certain, as Americans we are living a lot longer.  According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration, men who are age 65 today can expect to live, on average, to age 84.3.  Women who are age 65 today can expect to live, on average, to age 86.6.

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Dollar Diaries takes a look at how people of all ages representing all salary ranges spend their money in the course of seven days.  This exercise is completed on a voluntary basis and protects the identity of all participants.  This may look familiar to you.  This isn’t my original idea.  It is modeled after the Cash Confessional installments at www.charlotteagenda.com. The editor Ted Williams has given his blessing to incorporate this practice into my blog. I believe sharing our experiences and best practices can help us improve our spending habits. If you’re interested in tracking your spending and having it featured, please e-mail me ashley@fridayfinances.com. This week, I spoke with a couple who make a combined $101,000 per year.  Here’s how they spend their money:

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data breach protection

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These are products/services that I have used and highly recommend.

I am going to switch the protocol up for just a moment. Thus far, my posts have been more education-focused.  Given the recent turn of events, this post will be used to fill you in on something major that could affect you for years to come.  You may have heard something about the Equifax data breach, but I want to ensure that you know the facts and the next best steps to take.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These are products/services that I have used and highly recommend.

My favorite part about connecting with others is being able to share and grow from each other’s life experiences.  Every one of our experiences serves as an opportunity to enlighten, inspire, or teach. Today’s experience is brought to you by the cement column I recently side swiped in a parking deck.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These are products/services that I have used and highly recommend.

Credit is not the most appealing topic, but one that has the power to change your life for the better if managed correctly. I suggest printing this post off and using it as a reference as you work to improve your credit.  Your credit is the most important driver in obtaining financial freedom. With good credit, you have more opportunities such as obtaining lower interest rates. Lower interest rates can save you a significant amount of money.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These are products/services that I have used and highly recommend.

Start here! Create a budget today! Seriously, today! A budget is the blueprint and the guidepost to your financial journey. A budget is simply a list of your income sources and your expenses. It’s a powerful tool because it helps you understand where your money is coming from and where it is going. Hopefully, after your budget analysis, you will find some cash that can be better spent elsewhere like on savings, investing, or paying down debt faster. You will reference your budget often and make adjustments as things change like income sources or debt elimination. Naturally, you will spend more or less than what you budget, but adopting this practice will hopefully make you stop and think before spending money. You’ll question whether or not that expense is in the best interest of your overall financial goals.

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