Are you hoping to make a trip home this summer, but suffering from sticker shock looking at international plane fares for August? Thinking about biting the bullet and putting the purchase on your credit card? If you think it's expensive now, wait 'til you see how much it really ads up to when you add it to the debt already on a credit card. Austin crunches the numbers for us, and gives us some handy tips to save money so you can afford that plane ticket home this summer - and pay for it up front.
Personal finance is too often about what you can't do with your money. Stop buying concert tickets, stop traveling, spend less — which really means live less. The reason a lot of people avoid learning about the money in their lives is that they don't want to come to grips with that reality — the reality that they'll have to sacrifice some of the things they love. But the reality is, you don't have to sacrifice all the fun things. If your spending is out of control, a fun budget is the perfect way to put a damper on your spending problems, without disrupting your whole lifestyle.
Last weekend I came out of my hibernation igloo in Fukui and ventured south to visit a friend and go to a concert in Nagoya. While I was preparing to leave, I was trying to figure out how much money I would need to bring since I didn't have a credit card. It's always difficult to accurately guess how much money you'll need for a trip. I tried to figure in food, travel, and entertainment and then add a buffer, but I still felt uneasy about the amount I was bringing. What if I fell in love with a new computer, iPod, or camera, but it was over the amount I brought? After a while, I realized that I could stop worrying because I had a savings account with the Japan Post Office. This account allows me access to my money across Japan, as long as I can locate a post office location with a working ATM.
We all love the convenience of the konbini. But you pay for convenience, and those higher prices may be hitting your wallet harder than you realized. See a breakdown on just how much more expensive many everyday items are in the konbini compared to the supermarket.
Studies show that 97 percent of New Year's resolutions don't last. Don't let this discourage you from goal setting. I'm not a fan of perfectionism so I think starting and exploring a new year's resolution is better than sitting on the sideline and hoping your problems magically fix themselves. Money resolutions are popular every year, so what can you do to make sure your money is working for you in 2010?
Personal finance is full of questions. How do I keep my money safe? What is the best stock to pick? How much money should I save every month? In the end, we suffer from paralysis by analysis and often end up doing nothing with our money because we're so sick of thinking about it. Large sums of money are left in no-interest checking accounts or wallets, left to be spent on another unexpected Lawson's run. It happens to everyone. I'm a sucker for the American dog. Not doing anything with your money is the worst financial decision you will ever make. Being in Japan makes it even more difficult because we don't really want to think about the money sitting in our checking accounts back home.
We all want to save a little of our paycheck every month. No one wants to move back in with Mom and Dad when this Japanese journey is over. Learning to properly save can be easy once the right pieces are in place. But until a system is created, you may continue to be disappointed in how much money you have left over at the end of each month.