February 22 – 27 is America Saves Week, when more than 1,000 non-profit, government and corporate groups promote good savings behavior. In the spirit of this educational campaign, here are some tips to share with children or grandchildren, who are on their own or have disposable income, to help them establish good financial habits.
Plan ahead. Create some quantifiable, time-sensitive financial goals. If you don’t have a monthly budget, create one. Resolve to save extra income gained with future raises or tax refunds. Use grocery ads to create a weekly menu and a list of ingredients you’ll need. Stick to the list while shopping and to the menu when you’re tempted to eat out frequently. Compare prices from one grocery store to another.
Delay gratification. Before putting an item in your shopping cart (in person or online), pause for 10 seconds and ask yourself if you really need it. For larger purchases, wait several weeks to evaluate your decision. From time to time, go on a month-long financial fast, only buying items that are absolutely necessary.
Time purchases. Trying to time the stock market rarely works, but many purchases are another story. You’ll usually save by buying food in season and clothing out of season and by making travel arrangements in September or October, when demand is low. Shop for mattresses in May, computers in April, televisions in November and home appliances in December. Look for last year’s car models between September and December, when most new models come out. Or take advantage of annual quota deadlines during the last two weeks in December – when dealers may knock up to $3,000 off to achieve their year’s sales bonuses. On a smaller scale, monthly and quarterly quotas make the end of the month another good time to shop.
Negotiate well. You wouldn’t dream of paying sticker price for your next car. There are countless other items you can also try to negotiate, including furniture and appliances; mortgage or credit card rates and fees; college scholarships; auto insurance; rent; attorney and Realtor fees; medical bills; home service bids; and cable, Internet and cell phone bills.
America Saves Week is a great time to assess financial wellness, and we’re happy to help your loved ones look at their situation. Just call our office to arrange a conversation with your family members on the importance of saving and investing. Contact Jordan Dechtman, your Denver wealth manager at 303-741-9772, email him at Jordan@JordanDechtman.com or visit our website at www.JordanDechtman.com to schedule an appointment.