Home › Category Archives › Harrisburg finance

Making Sense of Savings

When it comes to saving I’ve never been all that great.  But I have always known and understood the importance of the basics:  and that is, sticking to the 50/30/20 rule:  (50 percent for essentials – which does not mean my wine club!; 30 percent for discretionary spending – which really should be connected to my kids’ needs; and 20 percent for savings).

So I started thinking about reading what some of the experts have been saying for the regular man in the street to get their finances in order.  I came across something very interesting from James Sullivan of Essex Financial Services and I actually really related to what he said.  He believes that everyone really has to establish their very own “savings hierarchy,” which means that even though we all know about the 50/30/20 rule, there is a lot of wiggle room within that.  We should still stick to the principle, but depending on our specific circumstances (some people work for places with a company match) before we put all our eggs in one basket for example.

The other idea I gleaned was that apart from looking at our current tax brackets, we should investigate our potential future ones and based on that information look toward our savings plan.  And keeping all contributions in one account just makes things a lot easier and less stressful to manage.

So I will really try to make sure 20 percent is put toward savings and, when I do, go back to people like Sullivan for more specific tips on how to engineer this.



Bringing in Extra Income

cashI’ve recently begun seeking out opportunities to make extra income. I have a lot of expenses coming up with the kids and I need to stop feeling panic every time my mortgage is due. I’ve seen a few online opportunities but I’m not sure I can find something that is in complete sync with my skill set.

I did some research and it seemed like the most methodical way of doing this is figuring out my skills and then seeing what work is out there. I like the idea of working from home but I’m not the best writer or editor. However, maybe I can do some telesales job? There was something interesting at Carnival Cruise Lines so I may apply that.

Later on in my research, I found something interesting with Primerica. When I did a web search I found their mission statement to be most appropriate for my needs: “to help families earn more income become properly protected, debt free and financially independent.” Debt free alone sounded good to me!

There’s also a job I’m qualified for going at Panera Bread nearby. Problem is it’s nights. I can do it – it’s a baking opportunity – but I’m not sure I want to commit to nights. I used to work nights and it was tough, especially with a day job. But I guess I’ll think about it.

Hopefully something will come up with Primerica – it seems that there are a lot of like-minded individuals working for that company who have the same requirements as me. We’ll see. I’ll start applying and then hope for the best.

Hooray!!! No More Taxes!!

Finally some good financial news.  My job is a little bit unstable right now as there are rumors that around 20 percent of employees are going to be fired due to major company cutbacks.  I’m praying it’s not true and I’m busy looking for other work, but in the meantime, any good fiscal news is going to be very welcome by me.

So when I heard that in recent news, Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $27.7 billion no-new-taxes budget, I actually found myself cheering out loud!  No one was in the house; the kids are still with their mom and I was just enjoying a quiet evening in watching the TV.  It actually felt really good.

There is still going to be a slight escalation on spending for the 2012-13 fiscal year, but only 1 ½ percent and that apparently is going to be put towards debt (mainly), pensions and healthcare for the poor, as well as aiding in fiscal issues from this year.  In addition, there is an approved proposal of $50 million tax credit that is set out to assist students on low incomes get out of the state’s worst schools (which thankfully isn’t my kids as they are not in school in Harrisburg).  But still, it’s nice to know that Corbett is looking to help children in the region improve their chances through better education.