Archive for SEGment

How can you use a job loss as a stepping stone for growth?

Losing a job is never easy. Choosing to view this time as an opportunity instead of a crisis is commendable. Let’s take a look at some practical steps you can take while embarking on a new direction in your life.

Take a step back

Take a moment to look at where you stand career-wise. Where do you want to go next? Would a complete career pivot be in your best interest, or would you do better with a small shift, such as a change in position within the same field?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you gain clarity on your future career path:

  • What did I love about my old job?
  • What did I really not like about my old job?
  • Which valuable skills and experience I gained at my old job can help me move forward?
  • What are my unique strengths?
  • Which parts of my old job played to those strengths?
  • What were my long-term career goals 10, 20 or even 30 years ago?
  • Have I achieved those goals? If not, what has stopped me from reaching them?

Narrow down your choices

Once you have some idea of what you’d like to do now, jot down your job options for review. Narrow down your list until you have less than five choices.

Consider these factors as you work through the list:

  • The career should play to your natural strengths. It’s easier honing an existing skill than building one from scratch.
  • The expected salary should meet your needs. You can look up salary averages on Payscale.com.
  • The field or career you choose to pursue should align with your personality. Some people do better in administrative positions; some only feel fulfilled in a “helping job” and others thrive in creative work.

Build a killer resume

You can download a basic resume template from Resume Gig or Resume Now. Include your complete educational background, career history, and a select few references who can vouch for your skills and reliability. Triple-check the spelling and grammar before submitting your resume to a potential employer. Hiring a resume pro is another option.

Network and job-hunt

Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job. Be sure to use social media, too! Tell them about the kind of job you’re looking for, and ask if they know of any open positions that might suit you. They can also help out by providing contacts that can lead you in the right direction. Follow up every few weeks to remind people that you’re still job-hunting.

If friends and family can’t help out, you can also look up available positions in your chosen field and pursue them directly. Online job boards like Indeed.com and can be a great place to start your search.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A MILLIONAIRE?

How long does it take to save a million dollars? How much must you sock away each month to reach it? Is achieving millionaire status even a possibility for most Americans? 

If you’ve ever considered these questions seeking to implement the answers in your own life, or you’re just curious, we’ve got the inside scoop. Read on to learn exactly how long it takes to become a millionaire. 

Who wants to be a millionaire? 

A million dollars is approximately four times the median net worth of retirement-aged people in the U.S. However, a net worth of a million dollars is well within the reach of most Americans, as long as they have enough time and a sound investment strategy. 

How long does it take? 

The amount of time it will take you to become a millionaire depends on the following factors: 

1.    The amount of money you invest

2.    The rate of return on your investment 

The table provided here gives you an idea of how much you’d need to save, and how many years it would take you to reach $1 million, at various rates of return. 

Monthly Savings

Years to $1 million with 10% annual returns

Years to $1 million with 8% annual returns

Years to $1 million with 6% annual returns

Years to $1 million with 4% annual returns

$100

44.5

52.9

65.7

88.6

$500

28.8

33.4

40.1

51

$1,000

22.4

25.5

29.9

36.7

$1,583

18.4

20.7

23.8

28.4

$2,083

16.2

18

20.4

23.9

$3,166

13

14.2

15.8

18

$4,166

11

12

13.2

16.8

Getting started 

If you’ve made this your goal, don’t waste any time getting started. The sooner you begin investing, the less money you’ll have to put away each month and the sooner you’ll reach $1 million. 

The easiest starting point for your million-dollar prize is to maximize your contributions to your employer’s 401(k) and your own IRAs.

Two neglected factors 

One crucial factor most people forget about when trying to invest their way toward a million dollars is the rule of inflation. Simply put, a million dollars today does not have the same value as a million dollars in 30 years. When you adjust for inflation at 3 percent a year, $1 million in 2020 would need to grow to $2,427,262 to have the same purchasing power in 2050. 

Another point that is often overlooked is that no one can accurately predict the future. There’s no way to know what life events you’ll have over the next three decades, some of which can significantly affect your finances in either direction. 

If you’re ready to start investing your way toward $1 million, speak to a representative at CSE to ask about our investment and savings products or view our rates! You can be a millionaire!

 

SOURCES:

https://www.fool.com/amp/retirement/2019/07/14/how-long-does-it-take-to-become-a-millionaire.aspx

https://www.moneyhelpcenter.com/how-close-are-you-to-being-a-millionaire/

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/how-to-become-a-millionaire

https://www.financialsamurai.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-become-a-millionaire/

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2017/05/19/how-long-it-will-take-you-to-become-a-millionaire.html

7 Steps to a Mid-Year Financial Checkup

It’s hard to believe, but 2019 is half over. Take a timeout from barbecues and beaches to give yourself a mid-year financial checkup. Use the seven steps below to guide you. 

Step 1: Revisit Your Budget 

Take some time to review your monthly budget. Is it working for you or are you falling behind each month? After reviewing, adjust your budget as necessary. 

Step 2: Anticipate Large Expenses 

List any large expenses you anticipate in the coming six months. This can include household appliances that may need replacing or an anticipated medical expense that is not fully covered by insurance. 

Next, determine the spending category you will take the money from to cover these expenses. Deciding on a source for these funds now will help you avoid making the wrong choices when you’re under pressure in the future. 

If you do not have enough money set aside for these expenses, build a savings plan into your monthly budget so you have the funds available when you need them. 

Step 3: Review Your Tax Withholdings 

Review your tax withholdings to see if they need any adjusting. Your goal here is to pay the perfect amount so you’re not hit with a huge tax bill at the end of the year, but you’re also not lending the government your money all year long. 

Step 4: Check Your Credit Score 

Visit CSE Online or CSE Mobile for your free credit report. If your score has gone up in the last six months, you’re doing great! 

Conversely, if your score has dropped, review your report in detail. Take the necessary steps to fix your score today, whether that means contesting an erroneous charge with the Federal Trade Commission, setting up an automatic payment on some of your bills or lowering your credit utilization rate by paying with plastic less often. 

Step 5: Review Your Investments 

Review and adjust all of your investments. This includes your retirement funds, any stock investments, bonds, trust funds or share certificates at CSE. Make sure you are maximizing your contributions when possible and that your other investments are performing according to plan. Adjust as necessary.   

Step 6: Tackle Your Debt 

List every outstanding debt you carry, including credit card debt and all kinds of loans. Designate one debt to tackle first and work on a plan to pay it down. Once you’ve paid off this debt, move to the next one on your list. 

Step 7: Review Your Financial Resolutions and Long-term Goals 

Review the financial resolutions and goals you dreamed up at the end of 2018 and then determine whether you are taking the steps necessary for making them happen. If you’ve been neglecting them, create a plan for working toward them for the rest of the year. 

Now you can kick back and enjoy the season, guilt-free. Happy summer! 

 

SOURCES:

https://money.cnn.com/2016/07/28/investing/financial-checklist/index.html

https://onebiteblog.com/its-time-for-your-mid-year-financial-checkup/

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Cell Phones for Soldiers

CONNECTING THOSE WHO PROTECT US

Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national nonprofit dedicated to serving troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 300 million “Minutes That Matter” to deployed troops. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergency funds for more than 3,100 returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.

Provide a lifeline to America’s bravest. Your simple, powerful gift provides connections that truly make a difference. Make your tax-deductible* donation today by:

Cell Phones for Soldiers accepts ALL makes, models and conditions of cell phones.

New and Used, Broken or Cracked. Both Smartphones and Cell Phones.

Cell Phones for Soldiers allows active-duty military members the ability to communicate to their families and emergency assistance to veterans.  We are accepting donations the entire month of July at each branch location. July 31st is the deadline for donations.

For more information email the CSE marketing department or call 337-562-3160. 

 Your simple, powerful gift provides connections that truly make a difference.

*Consult a tax advisor

DOLLAR STORES: ARE THEY WORTH THE PRICE?

Q: I love browsing my local dollar store, but I often end up spending more than I planned or regretting my purchases. Are dollar stores worth the price?

A: Dollar stores can be tremendous spending traps, but they can also be a great way to snag a bargain. It’s all in how you plan your visit.

 

Everything is just a buck, you say. How can you possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, with that mindset, you might find yourself going way overboard with your spending. Before you set out for the dollar store, create a physical or mental list of what you need to purchase.

Love to throw just-for-fun products into your cart? The dollar store is a great place to do that, so exercise caution. You don’t want to blow tens of dollars on stuff you don’t really need and might never use. Establish a limit of how many of those items you can pick up on your trip before you set out. If you always find yourself pushing your self-imposed limit, only shop with cash so you’re forced to stick to your budget.

What’s hot at the dollar store … 😛 

Here are some products that are great bargains at the dollar store:

• Cleaning supplies: Get clean for less by stocking up on Ajax, bleach, glass cleaner, scouring pads, spray bottles, off-brand Swiffer refills, sponges, dryer sheets and ammonia.
• Seasonal: Visit the dollar store before hitting chain stores for your holiday decorations. Halloween décor, cheap gift boxes and wrapping paper can all be had at the dollar store.
• Toys: Load up on bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, card games and kites.
• Groceries: Get your frozen fruit and veggies, string cheese, spices, name-brand condiments, rice, oatmeal and snack foods at the dollar store.
• Kitchenware: Stock up on bargain-priced storage bins and containers, whimsical kitchen décor and glasses. Paper plates, cups and napkins can also be bought at super low prices.
• Party gear: Greeting cards, wrapping paper, balloons, ribbons, streamers, birthday candles, party decorations and gift bags can all be bought for, you guessed it, a dollar each.
• School/office supplies: You won’t be able to find every item on your school supply list that’s actually worth the price, but you can load up on project display boards, tab dividers, binder clips and poster boards at the dollar store.
• Kids’ activities: The dollar store is a great place to stock up on rainy-day supplies for the kids. You’ll find some great books, puzzles, craft supplies, colored papers, stickers, activity books, coloring books and more.

… And what’s not  😥 

Not everything you’ll find in the dollar store is worth as much as a dollar. Plus, there are lots of things you can get elsewhere for a better price.
• Cleaning supplies: The following cleaning supplies at the dollar store are either made too cheaply to be worth the price or can be bought for less in other stores: dishwashing soap, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, laundry detergent.
• Toys: Small toys for young children that aren’t made well can quickly become choking hazards. Also, dollar-store dolls and toy cars are likely to break the day you bring them home.
• Groceries: These foods can be bought for cheaper in a grocery store: pasta, soda, gum, canned goods, chocolate.
• Kitchenware: Plastic cutlery from the dollar store is too cheaply made to be worth the few cents you’ll save. Ditto for disposable baking dishes. You’ll also want to stay away from can openers, knives and oven mitts, as these items need to be well made to do their jobs.
• School/office supplies: The following supplies can be bought for less money and of better quality in stores like Walmart and Target: lined paper, composition notebooks, glue, crayons, markers, Post-its, pens, pencils and highlighters.
• Self-care: Cheaply made soap, shampoo and cosmetics can be harmful to your skin. Don’t buy name-brand travel-size toiletries either; you can usually get tiny shampoo and soap bottles for less than a buck at big-box stores.

When it’s not a bargain 😕 

When making a purchase at the dollar store, hold it up to this checklist. If your item fits any of these criteria, you’re better off without it:

1. It’s sold in tiny quantities. Often, what looks like a bargain is just a product in a really small package. Check the size on food items and cleaning products; you can often get more for less money when you buy a product in a bigger size at a larger store.
2. It’s made with harmful toxins. Check all health and beauty products for toxic and carcinogenic ingredients.
3. You don’t need it. A dollar spent on something you don’t need is a dollar wasted.
4. It’s made super-cheaply. If it’s going to break during the first day of use, or even the first hours, leave it in the store.
5. It isn’t food-safe. Check all products that will come into contact with food, like serving platters or dishes, for a label that proclaims them food-safe.
6. It’s expired. Be careful to check the “Sell by” date on candy and other foodstuffs so you’re not paying for expired products.

 💡 Learn how to shop smart at the dollar store and you’ll go home with true bargains! 💡 

SOURCES:

What to Buy at the Dollar Store, and What to Skip


https://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/things-you-always-should-buy-at-the-dollar-store