Author Archives: Aaron

About Aaron

Aaron is the owner of Add-Vodka.com and other personal finance websites. He is a freelance journalist who specializes in personal finance writing and editing. Find out more about his work at AaronCrowe.net or follow him on Twitter.

We all have quirks in our personalities, particularly when it comes to spending. Whether you’re in good financial standing or not, sometimes these qualities can keep you from achieving your financial goals. Fortunately, whatever your personality, there are ways to ensure you are not holding yourself back. Here are six personality types that can keep you from financial success and how to spot them:

1. The Spender

The spender may have the “you can’t take it with you when you go” attitude. They may spend well beyond their means and swipe credit cards to their max. Unfortunately, this can be a quick way to incur massive amounts of debt and hurt your chances for financial success. If you’re not saving, you’re not helping your future. (You can see how your habits are affecting your finances by viewing two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)

To avoid overspending, it’s important to not only create a budget to track your habits but to try and find the triggers that cause you to spend in the first place. Whether it’s your emotional state or the shopper’s high you get from a purchase, addressing these triggers can help you curb your spending.

2. The Risk Taker

Perhaps you like to take risks with your money. High risk can lead to higher rewards, right? At times, yes, but they can also leave you with less. For example, just because you are approved for a mortgage doesn’t mean you can afford that amount. If you take a risk on this purchase, you may stretch your budget beyond its limits. Finding the right balance can help you limit risk and keep you on track for long-term financial success.

3. The Procrastinator

You’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” So if you’re ignoring or putting off your fiscal responsibilities, you could be spelling doom for your financial wellness. Making late payments, waiting to save for retirement, letting bills pile up, or putting off goals are all common examples of financial procrastination. Putting your finances aside will only make things worse.

Consider taking a bit of time each day or week to work on your finances. Also, you may want to sign up for automatic payments, which can make it easier to keep up with due dates. ...continue reading

Mother's Day giftsIf you could, you would take mom on a world cruise to thank her for everything she’s done for you. Taking her globetrotting might be out of the budget, but it doesn’t mean you can’t give her something she’ll love, use and cherish.

These 20 gifts are guaranteed to delight, and they’re all $100 or less. Some are even less than $20.

Kamik Jennifer Rain Boots
$64.99 at Kamik.com
If she’s not one for jumping in puddles, that’ll change once she steps into these cute boots. She’ll love the comfort and the classic style, and they’re available in five colors.

Terrace Jewelry Organizer by Umbra
$29.99 at ContainerStore.com

Mom has collected lots of baubles and bangles over the years and they’re all in a tangle. This three-tier lined wooden box offers a smart storage solution for her earrings, rings, necklaces and even her reading glasses. Drawers can slide out for display or remain neatly stacked.

Grow Oya
$24.95 and up at growoya.com

This clever clay receptacle waters thirsty plants with minimal effort. The Oya is buried in the garden for spring and summer and periodically filled with water. The plants in the vicinity draw the water they need. Because there is less surface watering, weeds are less likely to germinate. Available in three sizes. Wondering what to plant? You can grow these five groceries in your garden. ...continue reading

student loansIt may not be your first priority, but preparing to repay your student loans should be on your pre-graduation to-do list. How you manage your student loan payments will shape your finances for decades to come, so know what you’re dealing with before you get swept up in the day-to-day demands of post-graduate life.

Before you leave school, also make sure you know the answers to the following questions. Good news: We’re giving you them (or at least telling how to find them on your own).

1. What Kind of Loans Do I Have?

You either have private student loans or federal loans. You can look up your federal loans using the National Student Loan Data System (NLDS). You should have the paperwork from your lender or student loan servicer (private and federal) from when you took out the loan. Private loans generally come from traditional banking institutions, while federal loans are issued by the government. Common federal loans include Direct subsidized loans, Direct unsubsidized loans and Perkins loans.

2. Whom Do I Owe?

You can find this information in the resources referenced above. Your financial aid office should have information on file as well, since they receive the money. If you haven’t gone through student loan exit counseling at school, you need to before you graduate. They’ll explain whom to pay, and it’s the perfect time to ask any questions. Once you know who’s managing your loans, set up an online account to access all your information.

3. What Are My Repayment Options?

This depends on the type of loans you have. Private student loan repayment tends to follow a typical installment loan repayment structure, in which you make monthly payments for a fixed loan term. Federal student loans offer more options. The default play is called standard repayment: fixed monthly payments for 10 years. If you want a lower monthly payment when you start out, you can change your repayment plan at any time for free, though the change may not take effect immediately. If you want to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan, graduated repayment or extended repayment, be sure to request a new plan through your student loan servicer as soon as you can. You can learn more about student loan repayment options here. ...continue reading