Tuesday Tips – Introduction

We are always on the go and connected with work, family and friends, so finding the time to pause and reflect and review the important things, such as our finances, is often challenging.

Well, we’re here to help. Our Tuesday Tips is designed to help you with money matters by providing you quick and valuable tips to assist you in realizing your financial goals. Whether your goals include paying off student loan debt, building credit, purchasing a new home, or meeting your retirement income needs, the tips are intended to help you achieve those.

Tips are posted every Tuesday, so like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get your weekly financial tip and join the conversation.

What are your financial goals? Start a conversation on Facebook and share your goals with other members.

Have a comment or want to suggest a tip, email us at marketing@njfcu.org.

Tuesday Tip # 1: Be Realistic

Time spent developing a budget is time well spent.

A common error people make when they’re planning their household budget is to list unrealistic dollar amounts. If you spend $500 at the grocery store each month, then it isn’t reasonable to list $300 in your budget.

Keep a spending journal for at least two weeks prior to creating a budget for your family and yourself. This will help you establish realistic numbers. A comprehensive budget will not only tell you where the money is going, it can give you a map to tightening expenses. Also, it will allow you to put more money away for your short-term and long-term goals.

Learn more about Tuesday Tips.

Friday Fun Fact

Sometimes the shortest weeks can seem the longest! I’m so glad it’s Friday, and I’m sure you are too. So, how about a fun, random fact! Starting today, we will post a “Fun Fact” every Friday on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and they will be on here too! If you have an interesting fun fact to share, email us at marketing@njfcu.org.

Friday Fun Fact #1: The word “tax” is derived from the Latin word “taxo,” which itself evolved into another word: “taxa,” meaning “charge.” Taxa, meanwhile, is also the root of the word “taxicab,” which derived from “taximeter cabs,” fare-charging vehicles that were introduced in London in 1907.

Tuesday Tip #2: Master the Thirty Day Rule

Whenever you’re considering making an unnecessary purchase, wait thirty days and then ask yourself if you still want that item. Quite often, you’ll find that the urge to buyhas passed and you’ll have saved yourself some money by simply waiting.

If you want, you can even keep a “thirty day list” where you write down the item and the day you’ll reconsider it, but I prefer just to keep this one in my head – that way, I often just forget about the unimportant things.

For example, I had been wanting to purchase a new LED TV, and I waited more than 30 days to see if I can come across a good deal. I must say, it was the best thing I did. My cousin called me with an awesome deal and I was able to purchase the TV I wanted for $400 less than what I expected! Has waiting 30 days or more ever benefited you in a similar way?

Friday Fun Fact: Why is Memorial Day Observed On The Last Monday in May?

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. This date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country, no matter in which state you lived. (Remember, Alaska wasn’t a state at the time.)

Friday Fun Fact: Why is US Currency green?

According to the Treasury Department, there are three reasons why US currency is green (the “greenback”): 1) That color ink was readily available in large quantities back when they were first being printed; 2) It is highly resistant to chemical and physical changes, and; 3) it’s a color that the public identifies with strong and stable credit.

Tuesday Tip #3: Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can

Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can. Even if you rarely shop at that place, having a rewards card for that place will eventually net you some coupons and discounts. Here’s the basic game plan for maximizing these programs: create a Gmail address just for these mailings, collect every card you can, and then check that account for extra coupons whenever you’re ready to shop. Many rewards programs mail out great coupons via email that can really save some cash.

If you’re cautious about giving out other personal information, make it up. This might violate the rules of the program, but in most cases, the program’s benefits are “virtual,” meaning they don’t require direct contact with your identity.

Tuesday Tip #5: Master the 10 second rule

Master the ten second rule. Whenever you pick up an item in order to add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This keeps me from making impulse buys on a regular basis.

Tuesday Tip #6: Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts.

Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts. It’s easy to spend online when you have your card information stored in an account – just click and buy. The best way to break this habit is to simply delete your card from the account. That way, when you’re tempted to spend, you’ll be forced to spend the time to dig out your card – and really think about why you’re spending this money.