Here are some articles that caught my eye this week…
Cars lose much of their value in the first 2-4 years of their life and yet a 4 year old car often has years of quality life left in it. Let someone else take that initial hit. It is very difficult to get ahead with a $400 a month car payment on an vehicle that is going down in value every month.
If you have your insurance through and employer sponsored plan or from Medicare or Medicaid then the coming changes from ObamaCare may not impact you. If however you are self-employed or work for a smaller company that does not provide healthcare benefits or if you are currently uninsured you will have some new options available to you. Starting October 1 each state will be rolling out new insurance marketplaces where you can shop and compare health insurance. The idea is to simplify the selection process by categorizing the available plans in broad categories. A bronze plan will be much cheaper, but will also provide less coverage where as the platinum plans will provide much more coverage but will be much more expensive on a monthly basis. Some subsidies will also be available depending on your income level. The new law mandates that everyone have at least some level of health care coverage so if you don’t have a company or government sponsored plan you need to be aware of these new programs.
Do you struggle with any of these conflicts? Open honest communication is a key for many of them. Communication may not avoid the conflict altogether, but it will go a long way toward limiting the damage.
It is easy to advise people that you need to save more and spend less. Sometimes though in low income situations this is easier said than done. There just isn’t much extra that is non-essential. In these situations progress may be much slower, but you can still work to make some progress. The biggest thing if you are struggling is to have a long-term plan. Perhaps your income today makes it very difficult, but that doesn’t have to be your future. What would you like to be 5 years from now or 10 years from now? Start taking steps today to move toward a better future. Those 5 or 10 years will pass regardless. What can you do now so that when that day comes you aren’t in the same spot you are now.
While singles may not feel like they have the responsibilities of someone that is married with children, and that’s true to some extent, there are still areas of financial planning they need to consider. Retirement planning is still critical. Things like disability insurance may be even more important since they don’t have a spouse to care for them if something were to happen. And it’s very important for a single person to have a financial accountability partner that can help them consider financial decisions before they are made.
Unless you work for an oil company, no one likes paying high prices at the pump or the trickle down affect that has on higher prices in the grocery store and elsewhere due to increased transportation costs. This article points out some key reasons though why we will continue to see higher costs at the pump.