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Don’t Die Poor

Money Saved Since January 1, 2009:

TOTAL SAVED $4957.25


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Updated July 6, 2009:

Minor League Savings

Many people I speak to regarding the blog have commented that you can’t save money and still go out and have a good time. I don’t totally disagree with them. Every time I take my wife and son out for the day, we end up spending money on something. We go to amusement parks or for a day in the city. Even if we just go to the beach, I can end up spending more than I want to. Dinner and drinks can add up quickly if you don’t order carefully or if you go to an expensive restaurant.

Well, my brother introduced me to cost effective way to go out and have a great time. Every city across America has some type of minor league baseball team. Not only a team but a stadium too! Here on the Jersey Shore, we have the Lakewood Blue Claws, Philadelphia Phillies AAA Team. The most expensive tickets to the stadium are just $8.00 for adults. Even more, the concessions are cheaper too!! The best part of the whole experience is that you can get tickets last minute if you just want to run over to the stadium and the games are great. These kids really love the game and play each game for the love of the game and for the fans.

I must admit, I am a pretty serious sports fan and I love to go to live games but the cost of tickets, beer, parking and every thing else that goes into attending a live game have made the experience unenjoyable. Now, I can watch great baseball for a fraction of the cost.

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Are You Ready for Retirement??

Being prepared for retirement is one of the last things we think about when we start our careers and as we move through life. We are busy paying mortgages, buying houses, paying for tuitions, and hopefully taking great vacations. The sad truth is that too many people just aren’t prepared for retirement. In a new segment of Don’t Die Poor I am going to discuss what you need to know to retire with enough money to survive and even play in your wonder years.

To effectively prepare for your retirement, you should have a good idea of what you are going to need to survive. Yes – right now let’s just survive. Your kids should be through school and on their own and your mortgages and loans should be winding down or paid off by that point. Essentially, you are looking at cost of living. Some experts recommend that you take 65% of your current expenses to quantify what you would need in retirement. If you intend on retiring in the lap of luxury, this quick evaluation obviously doesn’t work.

Here are some keys to retiring successfully:\

  • Contribute to your 401(k)
  • Max out your Roth IRA
  • Pay down debt at a rate so your paid off at retirement
  • Understand your Social Security benefits
  • Be Prepared to Downsize
  • Save, Save, Save!!

I will be writing a series of posts dedicated to these steps which you can find by clicking here. In the meantime, spend some time figuring out what you need to retire and how you’re going to get there.

The last thing any body wants to do is work hard, retire without planning properly and eventually, Die Poor!!

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Check ID

One of the easiest ways for a criminal to steal your identity is by gaining access to your credit cards. I found that one of the easiest ways for you to prevent this type of theft is to write a little message on the signature line of your credit cards – “Check ID”.

A responsible retailer will always check the back of your credit card when you try to use it at a point of purchase. By writing “Check ID” on the back of your card you are requesting that the clerk compare the name on your identification to the name on your credit card. Theoretically if they don’t match, the criminal cannot use the credit card.

By putting simple steps into play, you are taking great strides at protecting yourself and your hard earned money.

Thanks for the tip Dave C.

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Clean Up Your Credit

Every time you apply for credit, you are inviting creditors to review you and your financial status based on your credit report Assuming you are serious about your financial position, you have already received your free credit report from Annual Credit Report.

Continuing to build your financial empire includes cleaning up your credit report. Even the little things can and will effect your credit score so why not make sure everything is accurate. First you have to get your hands on your credit report (See: Check Your Own Credit). Once you’ve reviewed your report, if you find something suspect or something that is totally false - dispute it!!
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Check Your Own Credit

Your credit report has such a great bearing on your financial standing. Every time you apply for any form of credit, a company takes a look at your credit report. Sounds basic but its pretty serious. Creditors like your credit cards, utilities, and even cell phone provider (essentially any company that you pay on a monthly basis) report your account standing to the credit reporting agencies. With all these companies looking at your personal information, don’t you think you should have at least an elementary understanding of what kind of data is stored in your credit report??
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