The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

October 21, 2013

The Color of Money: Getting ready for the next time

(Continued)

     By the way, don’t fret about having to dip into your savings. That’s what an emergency fund is for -- to address a financial shutdown in your life.

     I am fully aware that many people have overwhelming financial demands. I know some are barely making it because they have large families or medical bills or are taking care of others who have fallen on financial hardship. I’m not fussing at you. You are doing the best you can. But if you’re just getting by, that’s all the more reason to cut expenses and put the savings in the bank.

     I’m talking to workers who can do better and should do better with what they earn. They have run up a bunch of bills and can’t figure out how to save. Still, I understand.

     In many parts of the country, including the Washington metropolitan area, you have to contend with the high cost of housing, food, gas and transportation. If you have children, it’s the high cost of day care or private school tuition or the seemingly endless fees for the kids to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. I’m a parent. I get that.

     But it all comes down to choices. You can’t do it all. Not even folks making millions can live paycheck to paycheck. How do you go broke on $200 million? By spending $201 million.

     During various shutdowns in sports -- National Football League or the National Basketball Association -- we heard about players complaining about not having money to keep up with their expenses. In those cases, we shook our heads and sneered about their overspending. But how similar are you to those players?

     Your expenses are different and not as large but you still overspent. You spent too much on your college education and now have student loan debt that is burdensome and preventing you from saving. You’ve bought a home that you really can’t afford because the monthly mortgage payment doesn’t give you the leeway to save. For a long time, long before sequester-demanded furlough days and the current shutdown, you’ve blurred the line between your needs and wants, not really distinguishing the two.

Text Only
Business
  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

  • Ask the Mompreneur: It’s best to farm out your payroll

    When my husband and I hired our first employee at our Web development company, we had it easy when it came to doing payroll.

    July 17, 2014

  • Protecting against unnecessary losses

    QUESTION: I run a small bar and grill which is open 7 days a week and have to rely on others for some of the shifts. How can I ensure employees have not become my partners?

    July 17, 2014

  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.
    Workplace distractions are everywhere, especially in an age of social media and open-plan offices. In the face of so much temptation, accomplishing what you’re paid to do can be tough.

    July 16, 2014

  • It could be time for a career coach

    Need a little help figuring out your next career move?
    If you’re putting in the hours and still not seeing the rewards, feeling undervalued or simply striving to be more successful, it may be time to hire a career coach.

    July 16, 2014

  • Your Office Coach: Turn to boss for help with disgruntled underling

    QUESTION: When I joined this company a few weeks ago, I discovered that the person who previously held my position is now working for me. “Sarah” obviously resents my presence and frequently says I don’t have the authority to manage her, even though I clearly do. Her negativity has made my job much more difficult.

    July 15, 2014

Business Video
Stocks