Financially Fit for RTX!

    • Financial Advice: Week 1

      5 years ago

      Financially Fit for RTX!

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      We will be adding personal budgeting tips as well as money-saving resources for you from here until the end of April, so if you have ideas to share, please feel free to post them!

      I combine the Dave Ramsey envelope plan (forum and resources to come in two weeks) with some other budgeting tricks, the basic plan is in the resources forum and I'll elaborate on it in full later.

    • Budgeting!

      5 years ago

      Financially Fit for RTX!

      The biggest reason that most people aren't financially happy is that they either don't budget at all or don't stick to their budget. The first half of this week is about you making your budget (and giving you resources to do so), the second half is about being successful with your budget (and things to avoid).

      So what do you do?
      1. Do you know how much income you have on a weekly basis? Yes!
      2. Do you know how much you spend per week? Yes!
      3. Do you have an end-goal in mind for your budget? Yes!
      4. Write it down and stick to it!

      Here are some good resources for a budget:
      smiley13.gifpracticalmoneyskills.com budget worksheet
      smiley13.gifabout.com basic budget worksheet
      smiley13.gifcnnmoney.com Ideal Budget
      smiley13.gif I use a modified Dave Ramsey Plan and will link to my budget worksheet later this week.

      What form do you track your money habits in?

    • Alright, let's make a plan!

      5 years ago

      Financially Fit for RTX!

      Have your priorities set? Great! Now what?

      Well, let's set some goals and work towards meeting them! Looking at your priorities, I'm guessing some of them are short-term (get that new game, buy a shirt for Community Day, etc.), middle-term (go to RTX, pay off a smaller loan or credit debt, etc.) and long-term (pay off a mortgage, save for retirement, etc.). About.com has a great Goals Worksheet to get you started looking at saving for your goals, which will end up completing your priorities. It allows you to calculate how much you need to save every week for the goal that you'd like to accomplish.

      Don't forget! All of this is AFTER you've payed for your necessities (e.g. utilities, minimum payments on loans/credit cards, rent, etc.). This is where you're going to rein in spending on things you want but don't need (e.g. fast food, a game you didn't save for, any incidentals) and save for the things that you want. Next week we'll talk about setting a budget, so you may want to dig up all of the bills that you have from January and make sure you know where February's bills are.

      So for now, write down all of last week's priorities, break them up into smaller manageable chunks (the goals) and start looking at what you spend on utilities, rent, everyday purchases, etc.

    • Happy Weekend!

      5 years ago

      Financially Fit for RTX!

      Here are some great ways to start saving!

      1. Check out @Jared's journal about paying yourself first!
      2. Read @DCook's tips to get extra pocket change in our forum
      3. Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can (but NOT every credit card). I even set up a different account email account for only rewards cards)
      4. Write a list before you go shopping (for anything) and stick to it (no extra games that you didn't save for!)
      5. Invite friends over instead of going out. There are these things called board games that are like video games but you don't need to get an extra controller for a friend. I'm serious, look it up
      6. Call your credit card company and ask for a reduction. If they refuse, cancel the card. (Hint - if you request to cancel the card, rarely do they continue to refuse)
      7. Drink water. Not just because it's cheaper than soda, but if you drink a big glass of water before a meal, you digest it better and eat less.
      8. Use your leftovers! Websites like Supercook.com and recipematcher.com can turn ingredients that you have (like lemon chicken or alfredo pasta) into new, tasty recipes
      9. Buy textbooks online from websites like ebay, amazon, or, if you don't plan on keeping the book after the class, rent it from sites like chegg.com
      10. Tip for saving cash: Get a piggy bank. Every time you have a $5.00 bill (or similar in your currency - not the lowest bill, but the second-lowest bill), put it in the piggy bank and DON'T TOUCH IT! This will test your will power, but if you deposit it each month, you'll be surprised how quickly it adds up.

      Stay Happy and Healthy!
      ~Kiwi

    • Lesson 1: Priorities

      5 years ago

      Financially Fit for RTX!

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      Although this is geared towards getting you to RTX, is that really one of your priorities right now? Are there things or needs that you would rather focus your attention on? Either way, Lesson 1 is all about setting a baseline idea of where you're at financially and determining where you need to be.

      Take a look at the Lesson 1 forum and figure out how to calculate your net worth. The calculations require very basic math, so don't get scared, but organizing everything that you need to calculate would be easiest using something like Excel, Numbers, or GoogleSheets. Don't worry if you come out with a negative number; according to CNN Money from data compiled from creditcards.com, "The average American household with at least one credit card has nearly $15,950 in credit-card debt" (2012). If you're of the younger generation and living with your parents, keep in mind that this also applies to your parents. If you don't have any debt at all, fantastic, skip to setting priorities at the end of the news post, because this will also apply to you. If you're not American, the other admins Ailsa and Jessica are here to help, but most of this applies to you, regardless of nationality.

      Generally, it's recommended that you eliminate debt before setting a priority to purchase something that you don't need. This is where your personal priorities come in to play and how you view your current situation against your ideal situation. The best way to pay off debt (credit card, student loan, car loan, whatever it may be) is to list your debts in order of percentage rate. At the top of the list should be the debts with the highest interest rate, and at the bottom should be the lowest. Your priorities should be in paying off the debts at the top of the list first, so that in the end you don't have to pay as much interest. Also think of future bills as anticipated debt; things like phone payment, how much currency you need to have available for gas (petrol) next month, or how much you want to spend on your friend's birthday gift.

      Your priorities may differ from others, so here's a handy tool also put out by CNN Money. It's called The Prioritizer, although I did mine a couple years ago and when I went back today, it wasn't working. Read the instructions on the page, but basically it allows you to randomly enter all of the things (or at least 15 of the things) that you value most and would like to set as top priorities, without having to put actual numbers to them. Instead of you making the list of priorities, it will ask you a series of "this or that"questions and generate your list for you. Once you have your list, think about how much currency you will have to save (I try to steer clear of the word "money" for personal reasons) to check off each priority.

      Think of priorities as objectives, rather than goals. Objectives have a concrete, measurable standard (e.g. pay off the remaining $4,600 car loan) whereas goals are more broad and may lack focus (e.g. get out of debt). We'll talk next week about how to turn your daunting objectives into a series of goals that will help you on the road to getting where you want to be. For now, think about your overall objectives and let me know if The Prioritizer works for you. We'll talk about debt management and the best ways to pay it off and avoid penalties later.

      ~Kiwi

    • Welcome to the group!

      5 years ago

      Financially Fit for RTX!

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      You've made your first step towards saving towards your personal goal, and we would all like to know what your goal is! Are you saving for RTX? Wanting to get out of debt? Getting ready to buy your first car? We don't need details, but in our first thread, we'll be talking about setting your priorities straight!

  • Forums

    Financially Fit for RTX!

    New Topic

    Think you can't afford to go to RTX? Think again! You just need the right tools to get your finances to work for you!


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