Thursday bits: 15 Ways to Save $1 Million Before You’re 50, Cash or Credit

The best time to buy airline tickets in 2017
You don’t really need to make it an official resolution, do you? That in 2017 you will travel — a lot? But maybe you will resolve to be smarter about booking airfare and snagging those low prices. Here are some developments that could help make that promise stick.

When It’s Time to Stop Saving for Retirement
You’ve done all the right things – financially speaking, at least – to get ready for retirement. You started saving early to take advantage of the power of compounding, maxed out your 401(k) and individual retirement account (IRA) contributions every year, made smart investments, squirreled away money into additional savings, paid down debt and figured out how to maximize your Social Security benefits. Now what? When do you stop saving – and start enjoying the fruits of your labor?

This Calculator Will Tell You Whether to Pay Down Debt or Save for Retirement
It’s a frequently asked personal finance question: should I pay off my student loans or save for retirement? It’s possible to do both, but this calculator from Morningstar will shed some light on your decision.

15 Ways to Save $1 Million Before You’re 50
Who wouldn’t want to become a millionaire? Deep down inside we all have that aspiration. But, most of us give up on that dream because we don’t think that it’s attainable. But, what if I told you that it’s not only possible, but you can actually save your way to become a millionaire by the time you’re 50? Here’s how.

Cash or Credit?

I use my credit card for almost everything, even small $5.00 purchases of a book of stamps at the post office. (yes, I still find reasons to use stamps… think Christmas cards.) Buying goods and services on your credit cards can potentially be dangerous. If you don’t have enough ready-cash to pay the bill when it arrives, you will incur interest charges. My wife and I seem to have an innate sense about monthly expenses. We always seem to know when we are reaching our limits and slow our spending. We always have enough cash on hand to be able to pay the bills when they arrive. Using credit cards is easy; there’s no need to carry around a wad of bills. We also get cash-back for using our credit cards; it’s usually only a percent or four, but it all adds up.

While I might use my credit cards for everything, apparently others still use the green stuff when paying for goods and services; much more than we do. Today, around 85% of all retail payment transactions worldwide are done with cash, which equates to 60% of retail transaction value. Even though much of the world’s population has access to many different options for making payments other than cash, cash still persists.

Even here in the U.S., cash is still used much more than credit or debit cards.

I live in California. As you can see from the map, nearly 4 in 5 transactions in the Golden State are made with some form of plastic. Interestingly, it’s very different in NY. I spent the holidays back east and noticed many more cash transactions. It turns out that cash is still king in the Big Apple. Roughly half of all transactions use cash there.

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