Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Making Savings Fun

What you see above is my new money bank and also one of my favorite gifts that I got for Christmas. Yes, it's technically for kids, but it is absolutely adorable and makes me smile. It is designed like an ATM machine equipped with an ATM card and secret pin. It automatically counts the money I "deposit" and keeps track of my "balance." My boyfriend and I are using it to build our "weekend getaway" fund...granted we are only depositing coins so we're not expecting this to pay for the entire trip, but every little bit helps (and it's much better than having change weighing down my purse or filling up the upholder in my car).

Now the main reason I love this litte bank is because it makes saving money FUN. I get the rush and instant gratification that I don't feel when my money is automatically transferred each month. I hear the "ca-ching!" when the coins drop inside.  Plus it's something me and the boyfriend can do together, which is always nice!

So, how do you have fun with your savings?  Any tools (or toys)?  Tell me :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Monthly Payment Calculator

So you've decided that you are ready to pay down your debt.  You gather your bills, find out how much you owe, and what your minimum monthly payment is for each bill.  Now comes the hard part...answering the tough questions like "How much should I pay each month?" or "How long is it going to take me to get out of debt?"

At this point, many of us will pause for a minute and wait for a nice round number to pop into our heads (hmm...$100 a month? sounds good! lol).  Well I'm offering a better solution.  I created an easy Monthly Payment Calculator to help you figure out how much you should contribute each month to reach your financial goals.  Just enter the amount you owe, your  interest rate, and the number of payments you plan to make and find out how much your monthly payment should be to pay off your debt in that time frame.  The calculator also shows you the total amount you pay back over the life of your debt, so hopefully it's an incentive to pay it down faster!

Download by clicking HERE or selecting the link under my "Helpful Tools & Downloads" page.

Let me know what you think!