6 Items On Our Money Checklist

Things are pretty stable these days with our money.  This means that we don’t have anything really pressing.  However, just as in life, there’s always stuff to do.  Here are a few items that I want to mark off our money checklist.

Combine High Yield Accounts

I have two accounts that pay better than a normal savings account.  Both had reasons of their own at one point, but now some of those reasons have gone away.  Both pay about the same amount of interest. It’d be one less account to keep track of if we combined the two.  Plus, these days, that’s just one less risk of account fraud!

Switch Insurance

I’ve been with Allstate for twenty years.  Sadly, I think that time is coming to a close.  They have kept raising my rates, this past year over 10%.  All this and I haven’t filed a claim in probably ten years!  They claim they can do nothing for me.

I have a quote from another company that’s about 15% less.  I want to do some research on the company, as well as do some additional shopping around.  But, yeah, it’s time to save some money.

Update My Tracking Spreadsheet

Our finances are tracked in a homegrown Excel sheet that’s evolved over the last 15+ years.  It works well but needs some updates.  I’d like to trim out some old data, streamline some formulas, and simplify some areas.

I know what it looks like in my mind.  I just need to take the time and make the revisions.

Revise Emergency Info

I handle most of our finances.  One of the elements in the tracking spreadsheet are detailed instructions in the event that something happened to me.  It contains account information, locations, payment methods, etc.  95% of it is up to date, but I need to just run through and clean it up.

Review And Update Beneficiaries

Most accounts have beneficiaries noted.  At least I think they do.  I want to run through every account and make sure we’ve set these up and that they’re correct.

Plan A Will Or Trust

I’m embarrassed to admit, with two kids, that we don’t have wills.  We need to take care of this.  Ideally, I’d like to set up a trust, but even a basic will would be a good first step.

Readers, what are items on your money checklist?  How pressing are your needs?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

How To Be A Successful Flipper

Flipping isn’t just for houses anymore.  House flipping sure got all the attention, but flipping opportunities are endless.  Fifteen years ago, I went to California to visit an old college buddy.  His apartment was full of hockey jerseys and boxes.  He found them at local discount stores and sold them on eBay at a big markup.  His ability to be a successful flipper helped him pay for medical school!

So what are the things to know before you get started?

Be An Expert

Whatever it is your flipping, you want to make sure you know the ins and outs. Whether it’s houses or hockey jerseys or even shoes, know your product.  Know what sells and what doesn’t.  Know what’s in demand.  Not only that, but know whether there’s opportunity for high demand product.

Have Passion

If you’re in it just for the money, you might do OK.  But if you really have a passion for what you’re doing, you’ll have a better shot to hit it big.  Many of the biggest real estate flippers found success because they already loved real estate.  Love what you do is a common workplace phrase.  It stands to reason that it applies in flipping.

Know Where The Deals Are

The deals aren’t going to come to you.  You’ll have to know where to look for them.  Also, you’ll want to know where the best chances are to find deals.  If you’re flipping shoes, for example, you won’t find deals at the high end mall.  The prices will already be too high and your margins won’t work.  Knowing where the deals are will help reduce the time spent building inventory.

Know What Sells

My buddy that sold hockey jerseys could spot deals not just on price, but on product.  He’d pay higher for some team jerseys because he knew they were more popular.  Some team jerseys he would avoid altogether because he knew they wouldn’t sell.

Build A Good Reputation

Once you start selling, word will get out about you as a seller. Whether you’re flipping houses or selling something online, build a good reputation.  Follow up with customers.  Be prompt on delivery.  Verify your orders to make sure they’re correct.  These will encourage high ratings and even potential repeat business.

Look For Opportunities

If you develop a niche, you might find other opportunities fall into your lap.  If customers buying Product A keep asking if you sell Product B, take notice.  There might be an untapped opportunity to expand your business or develop a referral partnership.

Flipping items for profit can be a lucrative way to make extra money.  Some people even make a living full time.  In order to become successful, make sure you do it right.

Readers, have you ever tried to flip something for a profit?  How did it go?  Any experiences or  tips would be appreciated in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Why Writing Checks Is Inevitable

I remember back when I first went out on my own.  You wrote a check for every bill.  Gas.  Rent.  Car payments.  Cell phone bills.  Credit card payments.  It was the only way to do business.

Now we use electronic payments for just about everything.  Our utilities are deducted each month.  The same goes with the mortgage and cell phone payments.  Just about everything is done electronically.

Even so, we still use the dreaded checkbook.  It’s inevitable!

20 Checks In 6 Months

I was surprised to see that we’ve written twenty checks over the past six months.  That’s almost a full book of checks.

I took a look and found the following breakdown:

  • Grooming Places – 4 – My son and I go to a barber, and they don’t accept credit cards.  So, we write a check.  In addition, when my wife goes to get her nails or hair done, tips can’t go on a credit card.
  • Kids Activities – 3 – Certain parts of things that our kids do seem to be easiest handled by check.  Paying for equipment or such seems to end up being done by check.
  • School – 3 – Buying a t-shirt through the PTO.  Paying for a lost library book.  Again, the school doesn’t accept credit cards so business is handled by check.
  • Passport – 3 – My wife and I both got new passports, so there were fees to the government and the clerk’s office to get things handled.
  • Painting – 2 – We recently had our house painted, and paid some up front and the rest upon completion.  Both were done via check.
  • Family – 2 – We owed money for split costs on items to family members, and it was easiest to write a check.
  • Gift – 1 – A gift for a family member’s Confirmation was done via check.
  • License Tab Renewal – 1 – There’s no charge to use a credit card at the office, but they tack on a couple of bucks if you renew via mail with a credit card. So this just saved us time and money.
  • City – 1 – We get an annual pass to our local beach, and it’s either cash or check.

Cash Would Work But We Really Don’t Do That Either

In a good many cases above, it seems like cash would work.  But, in addition to writing less checks, we rarely buy things in cash.  So, it seems the fallback is to use a check.

Maybe a better option would be to keep some cash on hand and use those for things like the barber, family, gift, and city.  This would have reduced our check count by roughly another 50%.   But we really don’t like keeping a bunch of cash on hand around the house.  I guess a check just feels like it’s a somewhat safer and easier alternative.

Readers, how many checks do you write on average?  For what do you still write checks?  How has your usage changed over the years?  Let me know your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Friday Favorites – September 22, 2017

Today is the first day of fall but you would never know it.  We are getting the summer that some say we never had.  It is HOT!  Temperatures are at or near 90 degrees!  And it will be like this through the first part of next week.

We are taking advantage of the time and going for a quick camping weekend.  And, we’re going to the beach!  Tomorrow

will be the hottest beach day we’ve had all season in all of our trips.

Crazy!

Here are some recent posts around the personal finance blog world that I love.

I hope you have a great weekend!  Happy reading.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.