Monday Night Finance- Volume 38

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Where Is Your Financial Journey Taking You?

Have you thought about what your retirement looks like? Do you want to move into a retirement community with chair yoga and water aerobics? Or do you envision yourself forging an independent existence on a homestead far from civilization. Maybe you haven’t thought about it at all? If you want your retirement to turn out like your daydreams, you need to develop a plan for how to get there. Without a plan, it’s too easy to let inertia take you down your current path. You may find out that if you don’t adjust your savings, your only retirement option is moving in with your children.

Think about your life as a 65 or 70 year old. Think about what kind of house or rental you’ll want to live in, the type of community you’ll want to be a part of, and maybe do some research. ~Beyond Pennies

In this article, Shelley from Beyond Pennies explains how to create a financial plan for a successful retirement. The first step is to calculate how much money you will need in retirement. Tracking expenses, with an app, like CountAbout, is a great way to get a handle on how much you spend in a month. While some of your expenses (i.e. food) won’t change in retirement, you may need to make estimates of how your other expenses will change. Will you want to travel more? What will you do for health insurance. Get as granular as you can during this step. After you know how much money you need on a monthly or yearly basis, then you’ll need to calculate how much money you’ll need to have saved to be able to sustain this spending. Shelley walks you through these calculations. Finally, you’ll need a plan on how to amass that wealth and the best ways to save and invest that money.

How Do Credit Cards Work? Credit Cards 101

If you’ve been to a store lately, you’ve probably noticed that hardly anyone pays in cash anymore. People typically pull a little piece of plastic out of their wallet, put it in a machine and walk away. (I guess now you can even hold your phone or watch up to the payment terminals to check out). While you’ve probably seen people using credit cards all of the time, do you really understand how they work? Credit cards are designed to make money for banks. So to minimize the money they make from their cards and maximize your savings, you need to understand exactly how credit cards work.

So how do credit cards work? We will begin first with what a credit card is. We will explore how this piece of plastic work. Then, we will address the difference between credit cards and debit cards. Lastly, we will delve into several types of credit cards and how they work differently. ~Growth Rapidly

In this article by Growth Rapidly, you can learn everything you wanted to know and more about credit cards. The article first breaks down the difference between credit and debit cards. They are both little pieces of plastic that you can use to pay for things but they work completely differently. If you’re not sure which one you should be using, check out the article. The article then breaks down the difference between different types of credit cards. For instance, a “secured credit card” can help you build your credit if you have little credit or bad credit. Finally, the article breaks down various types of fees that the credit cards charge and how to avoid paying them.

Your Guide to a Frugal, Socially-Distanced Vacation that Actually Feels like Vacation

In the US, the coronavirus has impacted our daily lives since March. That’s about 6 months by my calculations, although some days I can’t remember a time before coronavirus (new BC?). Vacations are incredibly important for mental health. It’s good to leave work and home obligations behind and place yourself in new surroundings. However, jumping on an airplane in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. Furthermore, even if you could go some place cool, most of the attractions would probably be closed anyway. What if you need a getaway? How can you vacation without potentially harming yourself or others?

In June my friend and I quarantined for two weeks before taking a long weekend trip up to New Hampshire. We rented a car and we ran around Concord, hiked, and hung out with horses for $115/day total. ~We Want Guac

In this post, Darcy of We Want Guac shares her tips for vacationing during the pandemic. Darcy went on two trips this summer, both of them to rural New Hampshire. Choosing a rural location is beneficial as there will be less people and thus less potential to contract the virus. Even if you just plan on hanging out in your AirBnB or hotel for large chunks of a time, the change in scenery will help you feel refreshed. While heading to museums or crowded restaurants might not be on your agenda, you can still find plenty of things to do. Darcy went hiking and did some agrotourism at a horse farm. And you might just find that this slower paced, rural vacation is good for your budget too. Darcy spent just over $100 per day on her trips.