Daily Archives: Friday, February 3, 2023

  • Cheapest Cities in Michigan to Live

    Michigan is a popular state for residents and visitors alike because of its high-paying jobs, low living costs, and quality of life. However, the infamous water crises and auto industry collapse have raised the price of housing in many cities.

    Luckily, there are still plenty of affordable options in Michigan to live in. In fact, there are even some cities in the state that have lower rent prices than the national average.

    1. Traverse City

    Traverse City is home to miles of sugar sand beaches, exhilarating outdoor activities, and award-winning wineries. It’s no wonder the town is one of Michigan’s favorite travel destinations!

    It’s also a great place to work remotely. It has a wide range of co-working spaces, and plenty of networking opportunities for newcomers and remote workers.

    With a diverse population, Traverse City is a vibrant and welcoming community. Its thriving economy, beautiful scenery and friendly locals make it an ideal place to live.

    There are a variety of options for lodging, from hotels and motels to bed & breakfasts and vacation rentals. You’ll also find many excellent restaurants offering fresh, local cuisine.

    2. Okemos

    Okemos is a great place to live if you’re looking for a high quality of life at a low cost. The city is known for being a densely populated suburban community, offering residents access to great restaurants, coffee shops and parks.

    It also has a moderate political outlook and public schools that are highly rated. It has a large amount of young professionals and families living in the area.

    If you’re looking to move to a new area, it’s important to look at crime rates and other factors that can impact your safety. While it’s true that some areas are more dangerous than others, Okemos is overall a safe place to live.

    3. Lansing

    Lansing is a great place to live if you’re looking for a low-cost city with good schools, a fun nightlife, and plenty of revitalization efforts. It’s also a great choice for families and entrepreneurs.

    The cost of living in Lansing is significantly lower than most cities in Michigan, as well as the national average. Compared to the national average, residents of Lansing pay 18% less on housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, health care and miscellaneous goods and services.

    A flat income tax rate and state-level taxes ranging from Social Security contributions to Medicare payroll taxes help keep taxes in line with the national average. However, taxes vary widely from city to city and town to town.

    4. Grosse Pointe

    Grosse Pointe is a quaint little town with a rich history and a lot of character. Its small-town charm is matched by its proximity to the metro Detroit area and the greater Great Lakes region.

    It’s also home to several upscale shopping centers and a world-class golf course. The city boasts one of the best public school systems in Michigan, with a top-notch staff and facilities.

    There are many things to see and do in Grosse Pointe, including the new Michigan Science Center and a story-filled day at the local library. The city is also home to a number of excellent museums, a symphony concert hall and major-league sports arenas.

    5. Howell

    If you’re looking for a small town with a great quality of life, Howell is one of the best places to live in Michigan. Its close proximity to the big cities of Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit make it an attractive option for business professionals, growing families and retirees alike.

    The average cost of living in Howell is lower than the national average. This is mainly due to the high level of affordable housing in the area.

    Another contributing factor to Howell’s lower cost of living is its low foreign-born population. The percentage of people born outside of the United States is 4.41%, which is lower than the national average of 13.5%.

  • How to Combat High Costs of Living


    High costs of living are a major concern for many people. These costs are caused by the rising prices of goods and services.

    One of the ways to combat high costs of living is by making some lifestyle changes. These changes can help you to save money and make the best use of your resources.

    1. Eat at home

    In addition to helping you save time, cooking at home is an effective way to combat high costs of living. By spending a few minutes to plan a menu, you can avoid impulse purchases that add up.

    A quick check of your grocery store’s sales flyer can also help you cut down on costs. Fruits and vegetables are often cheaper than meat, so try to incorporate them into your diet.

    Cooking your own meals is also a good way to cut calories, so you can lower your food budget while maintaining a healthy diet. It’s also a great way to spend time with your family.

    2. Get a part-time job

    Part-time jobs can be a great way to reduce your costs of living. They can also help you build new skills that you can use later in your career.

    If you’re looking for a part-time job, you should speak with your friends and family to see if they know of any employers who are hiring in your area. You can also check local newspaper ads and online job boards.

    A part-time job can help you keep up with the latest trends in your industry, stay connected to your field and make some extra money while you’re studying. But it’s important to be careful about how much you work and whether or not the company you’re working for will offer you a pay raise.

    3. Get a second job

    If the cost of living is making it difficult for you to meet your financial obligations, consider getting a second job. This could help you boost your earnings and save money for the future.

    Taking on a second job can also provide you with new skills and training that may help you improve your career. It can also act as a safety net in case you lose your main income.

    But be sure to choose a second job that doesn’t interfere with your first job. This could cause problems if you need to take on extra tasks or perform a different skill set at the same time as your primary employer, so be careful.

    4. Go on a vacation

    If you are looking for a way to combat high costs of living, taking a vacation can be an excellent option. Not only can it help you relax and unwind, but it also can improve your overall health and wellbeing.

    The American Psychological Association reports that vacations improve productivity, lower stress and promote better mental health. They have even been linked to higher creativity — for example, Lin-Manuel Miranda conceived of Hamilton while on vacation.

    But there are a few things you need to keep in mind before planning your next trip. First, be sure to create a budget for your vacation.

    5. Save money

    One of the best ways to combat high costs of living is to save money. This can be done in a number of ways, such as finding coupons, shopping at discounted stores or buying in bulk.

    If you want to save money, the first thing to do is take a look at your spending habits. Make a list of all your bills and expenses and see where you can cut back on them.

    For example, if you have cable subscriptions or other services, consider unsubscribing. It may seem like a small change, but it can add up over time.

  • How to Make the Most of Your Savings

    When it comes to saving, making a few small adjustments can make a big difference. Start by adjusting your daily habits, cutting monthly bills and using tools that automate savings.

    Having a good savings plan in place can help you save more money faster. It can also prepare you for emergencies and retirement.

    Pay yourself first.

    Many people struggle to save money and are often juggling multiple financial obligations such as bills, health insurance, credit card debt, retirement savings and more. This makes it difficult to find time to put aside extra money for savings and investing.

    The Pay Yourself First (PYF) strategy is an effective way to set aside a portion of your income for savings or other financial goals, such as an emergency fund or paying off debt. By making savings a priority, you can make sure that you don’t neglect it and are prepared for anything that comes your way.

    One of the perks of this strategy is that it can be easy to implement, even if you’re on a tight budget. To get started, you’ll need to decide how much you can afford to save and then set a savings goal.

    Once you’ve determined how much you can afford to save, you can start setting aside money every time you receive a paycheck. You can do this by setting up a recurring transfer from your general checking account to your pay-yourself-first savings account each month or pay period.

    This strategy is best for people who are able to set aside money in a separate savings account and are committed to using the money for specific purposes. If you’re trying to save for a large purchase, you might want to set up a high-yield savings account instead.

    It’s also a good idea to consider whether paying yourself first is the right option for you. If you have toxic debt, for example, you might not want to prioritize your savings over paying down that debt.

    As with any financial goal, it’s important to consider the time frame in which you want to achieve your goals. Savings can take a long time to pay off, so you might want to pay off a debt first before diverting funds to other goals such as a vacation or a new car.

    It’s also a good idea to set aside a specific amount of money that you’re willing to commit to saving each week or month. This may not seem like a lot, but it’s enough to get you started and will give you a sense of progress over time.

    Set a savings goal.

    A savings goal is a great way to make the most of your savings. It can help you build up an emergency fund, pay for a college education, or save toward retirement. The key to success is making sure that your goals are attainable and specific.

    The first step in setting a goal is to identify what you want to achieve, says Shannon McLay, former Merrill Lynch financial advisor and founder of The Financial Gym. It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve so that it will motivate you to save, she says.

    You’ll also want to decide how soon you’d like to see the goal come to fruition. For example, a short-term goal might be saving six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund. A long-term goal might be buying a home, investing in your retirement or planning for an overseas trip.

    Next, consider how much you’d need to put away each month in order to reach your goal. It’s best to aim for a percentage that you feel comfortable with, and that will keep you from feeling too discouraged.

    For instance, you might set a goal to save 20 percent of your income. This might sound like a lot, but it’s actually quite achievable.

    Once you’ve decided on how much to save, it’s time to set up a timeline for when you’ll reach your goal. Knowing the time horizon for your savings will help you choose the right investment products to use.

    Another important factor to take into account is the size of your budget. For example, if you’re earning an income of $100,000 a year, it may be more appropriate to save at least 20% of that amount.

    To save that much, you’ll need to cut your spending significantly. For example, if you buy lunch at work every day, try to switch to bringing your own from home instead.

    You can also set up a separate account for each of your goals, and deposit your money there, to help you avoid the temptation to dip into one part of your budget to pay for something else.

    Automate your savings.

    Saving money can be tough, but automating your savings can make it easier. It takes the decision-making out of saving, freeing up time to focus on other priorities.

    Whether you’re looking to fund an emergency fund, save for a splurge or build a retirement nest egg, automated savings is a great way to get started. It can be as simple as setting up regular transfers from your checking account into a savings account.

    Automating your savings can also help you stick with a financial plan and avoid financial stress. Putting money away each month for a long-term goal can give you peace of mind and financial clarity, says Kate Harzog, financial planner at SmartMoney in San Francisco.

    To maximize your savings and ensure it grows faster, consider reassessing your savings goals every so often. As your cash flow changes, you may have new opportunities to reallocate money to savings, which can help you reach your goals more quickly, says Mike Ouyang, a spokesperson for LendingTree, an online loan marketplace.

    Another way to boost your savings is to use an automatic deposit service, which can transfer a set amount of money from your checking account into a savings account. Depending on your bank, you can set up a recurring transfer that occurs on a daily, weekly, biweekly or quarterly basis.

    If you’re self-employed, setting up an automatic transfer can be especially helpful since it can help you avoid late fees. It’s important to check the terms and conditions of any transfer services, which can vary by bank.

    It’s also a good idea to check for any fees associated with the accounts you choose, which can be added on top of your monthly contributions. Some accounts have minimum balance requirements or may charge monthly maintenance fees.

    You can also use a savings app that automatically transfers spare change from your everyday purchases into a separate account. This can be a great way to stash away even more cash, says Mason.

    The best way to keep an eye on your savings is to review it regularly, according to Harzog. Reassess how much you’re able to contribute each month, and increase the amounts as needed to meet your goals. This can be as small as 1% or more each paycheck, which can significantly impact your financial well-being.

    Keep the change.

    One of the best ways to make the most of your savings is to save the change. You can do this by putting coins and bills in a change jar or bucket. This can help you accumulate the most amount of spare cash for your next big purchase, such as a new car.

    Another way to save your money is by signing up for a rewards credit card. These cards typically offer 1% to 5% cash back on every purchase you make, which can be a great way to save.

    To get the most out of this strategy, set up an automatic savings transfer from your checking account to your savings account. You can schedule the transfers to occur on a recurring basis, such as once per month or once every other week. This way, the money is automatically saved in addition to your other bills, without you having to think about it.

    You might also want to consider using an app to help you manage your money. These apps can help you track your spending, monitor your savings, and even give you some nifty tips to help you reach your financial goals.

    For example, some of these apps will alert you when your balance is low so you can take action to sock away some extra cash. Others will allow you to set a monthly budget and track your progress toward meeting it.

    Whether you are trying to save for a down payment on a home or pay off your debt, the best way to save your hard-earned money is to put it somewhere safe where you can access it easily. There are plenty of apps to choose from, so find the best fit for your needs and start saving today!