Oct 18 2017

The Workers Who Will Retire with More Money Than Everybody Else

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This blog uses affiliate links and maintains financial relationships with various partners. This is a guest post.

 

According to a survey conducted by NerdWallet, millennial parents are out-saving parents from all other generations when it comes to retirement.

In most cases, there’s a wide margin: the NerdWallet survey found that amon

g all those who are saving for retirement, the millennial parents are contributing an average of 10% of what they earn on a daily basis to their retirement money. As for the Generation X parents, they are contributing an average of 8%. Baby boomer parents, on the other hand, were contributing an average of 5% of their income to retirement. The respondents of the survey question were all employed, which means that the retired baby boomers didn’t skew the contribution rate of the generation.

The survey, conducted by Harris Poll of NerdWallet, inquired more than 2,000 adults living in the United States. Among the people who participated, 1,112 of them were parents and about 870 non-parents. All of them were asked regarding their habits on retirement savings. The habits that stood out the most were from millennial parents. Despite being too early in their careers as well as having lower incomes, they are saving a large portion for future use.

The Financial Secrets of Millennial Parents

 

 

There are specific ways millennial parents use to get their financial houses in order. Let’s take a look at some of them below:

 

Getting a Grip

Millennial parents know that it’s impossible to map the path to retirement if you have no idea on how close you already are. Money-savvy people track their expenses, assess the value of their current investments such as vehicles and home equity, and calculate their net worth. Lots of millennial parents are making use of retirement calculators that model their cash flows. They allow you to see the amount that’s coming in and out. They’ll also reveal the likelihood of money to run out.

 

Eliminating Expenses

This is a fairly simple investment strategy of millennial parents: careful tracking of finances. If possible, you have to ruthlessly eliminate unnecessary expenses for you to be able to save as much money for retirement.

Anything that you commit to that is a regular expense, and you’ll need 300 times the amount saved in order for you to fund the same amount of money in retirement. The number one expense that you must focus on ditching is your mortgage. If it’s a $250,000 mortgage and you clear an extra $300 monthly, then you will be able to shave off a full decade of payments.

 

Income Diversification

Diversifying retirement investments is essential and that includes having multiple streams of revenue. If you have the time to learn how to trade and you have always been curious on the subject, you can open an account at CMC Markets. If you master the skill, you’ll be able to have a predictable and consistent cash flow. We also advocate “income investing” as it provides retirees with cash flow that’s generated from interest on bonds, stock dividends, and REITs.

 


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Jul 01 2017

Using a jewelery rental/discovery service to expand your wardrobe

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This blog uses affiliate links and maintains financial relationships with various partners.

This year, I’m trying new things when it comes to style. I use and enjoy Stitch Fix, I’ve tried Trunk Club once and had a fantastic experience chatting with my stylist back and forth about what I’m seeking and sharing photos with her (I kept 3 pieces from my first trunk), and I’m using Rocksbox as a jewelry discovery and rental service.

Let me tell you more about Rocksbox.

How it works

Rocksbox has a monthly membership of $21 (get your first month free here with my affiliate link! Go to rocksbox.com and use code kaciebff36 ). Add items to your wishlist, fill out your profile, and leave a note for your stylist for what you’re seeking. You’ll get a box with 3 jewelry items to wear for as long as you’d like. Send it back when you’re ready, and you’ll get another box.

You can use the $21 monthly membership fee as a credit toward purchasing an item in your box. I was pleasantly surprised to see that in my first month, I still received that $21 credit (even though I hadn’t paid for anything yet!). I used it to keep a pair of Kate Spade stud earrings for a great price, I think $18 after applying my free credit. As such, starting your account mid-month will give you more credit to work with, as the $21 credit is posted to your account on the first of the month; not when your membership renews. The $21 credit expires if not used by the end of the month. Referral and birthday credit can carry over.

If you purchase all 3 items in a set, there’s an additional $10 off.

The quality has been nice for the most part. Some pieces I suspect I’m the first wearer. One necklace had a chain that had been repaired, and it had a piece that stuck out and that was disappointing. Another bracelet I received was nice, but looked a little tarnished. It happens. It’s jewelry. This is a rental service. However, the rest have been in fantastic condition.

My sets

I started my membership toward the end of May. I received box #1:

rocksbox 1

Since I wanted a statement necklace ahead of the wedding, I decided on keeping those earrings the same day and drove over to the post office to get my package back in the mail so my next one would arrive quickly. I’m finding the turn-around is fast. Once they see the tracking in the system, it is usually the same or next day that the stylist chooses the next pieces.

For the wedding, I shared a URL of the dress I was planning to wear and I described how I was planning to accessorize it. I had a few necklaces on my wishlist, and she sent two (I was glad to have options) and a coordinating cuff which she selected:

rocksbox 2

I wore the Monica necklace and that cuff, along with the studs I kept from the first box. The purchase price of the necklace was $63 and the cuff $94, and while pretty, there was no way I would get enough value out of keeping them. After the wedding, I packed it up and sent it all back for someone else to wear.

Set #3 was a great one and included some lovely Kendra Scott earrings, a simple silver chain necklace, and a Nakamol wrap bracelet. I used my June credit, a $5 birthday credit they added to my account, and a $25 referral credit to buy the necklace for I think $6 out of pocket. I loved the bracelet, but not the $62 price. So, I took a look at other bracelets they have in the sale section.

rocksbox 3

Sale shop

The sale items are gently used and there’s a disclaimer that items are worn and may have visible signs of wear. All sales are final. So…a bit of risk there. Still, I found a Nakamol bracelet in the sale shop that I liked even better, so I bought that (free shipping) and was happy to see it was in great condition.

The sale shop is only available to members, and I’ve seen some pretty steep mark-downs within.

In my free trial month, I received 5 sets. I typically put them in the mail on Monday (free shipping both ways, do it from your mail box), and I have received my next set by Thursday or Friday the same week. Now to be fair, I think if I wanted to cancel, I would have only been able to do 4 sets with enough time to cancel.

I’ve now received 6 sets. I don’t think I’ll always do a quick turn-around; some people wear their pieces more and spread it out. For me, I think it will depend on the set and if I am in search of something specific.rocksbox 6

I have 64 items on my wish list and they give you an option to prioritize 10 as your top picks. All but 2 pieces from all 6 sets have come from my wish list. The two that didn’t were thoughtful choices by my stylist. For my 2nd – 6th boxes, I’ve had the option to peek at the box and swap one item from a limited selection if I wanted. Check your email in case you have this option. I always peek, but I haven’t swapped an item yet.

Each box comes carefully wrapped and tied with a pretty bow, and all pieces are in individual jewelry bags. Some have a bubble wrap pouch for extra protection. All are inspected and sanitized between users. Included is a note from the stylist (mine have been different each time) sharing ideas for how to wear your pieces and sometimes remarking on past feedback I’ve shared. This is definitely a person curating these sets.

rocksbox 6 note

Returns are so easy. The box has a pre-printed USPS label inside. As soon as I open my package, I attach the label to the mailer, which you reuse to return.

Prices are shown on the item as you add it to your wish list, and my wish list contains pieces in the $30-100 per item range. Most of my sets all-in are in the $150ish or so price point. Less if I have account credit to use.

Note that you have to call a phone number to cancel (why, oh why?!). There’s an option to place your account on hold online (but, you won’t have jewelry on loan during that time period). There’s also a gift option and I’m wondering if I can buy myself a 3-month subscription to save $14.  Hmm.

Is this the cheapest way to wear jewelry? Nah. For that, thrift stores, garage sales, and the clearance rack at Target or TJMaxx would probably be cheaper. Would I find the same quality there? Not so sure. As such, I’m finding Rocksbox to be a good value.

Bottom line

I have been happy with the service and I plan to continue. I’m enjoying trying out various jewelry, and the rental/keep what you love option is great.

If you’ve been wanting to dabble in jewelry, or if you have some dressier events coming up, do your free month and take it from there! (The kaciebff36 code is my referral code; you get a free month and I get $25 in credit. Thanks!)

 

How about you? Have you tried Rocksbox or something similar?

 


Posted under Personal Finance | Comments Off on Using a jewelery rental/discovery service to expand your wardrobe

Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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