Money-Saving Tips for the Holidays


What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd!

In today's video we are going to be covering some money-saving tips during the holidays, because the holidays are just always expensive, frankly. Whether it's a Christmas party you have to buy stuff for, just a get-together with your friends, or all of the gifts that you're expected to shell out if you celebrate a gift-giving holiday this time of year - there's a ton of stuff to do. So, I wanted to make sure to cover some tips for how you can save some money. Let's get started!

My first of three tips for saving money during the holiday season begins with gift-giving. Gift-giving is usually something that is viewed as a huge chore - you have to go out and shop for everything and usually, the malls are very crowded. But, there are some very easy ways to reduce that. I would start out by making a list ahead of time of all the people that you know that you want to be shopping for. Start it during the month of November. Just keep a list of names jotted down. Wait for the big sales to come around, Black Friday is usually the big one, but there's also some tradition called Cyber Monday which is really just Black Friday but the following Monday. Anyway, you can shop online for all of the gifts that you want for the most part. There aren't a whole lot of artisan goods that you'll be giving away this holiday season, because people generally want things that they've seen advertised. Finally, go ahead and purchase those items and have them shipped to your house in one big order. Then you're done, all you need to do is wrap them if that's what you want to do or throw them in gift bags. That makes gift-giving a whole lot easier and also a lot less expensive because you're purchasing all these gifts ahead of time - you know what you're spending and you're doing it all during the sales, so win-win.

My second tip for saving money during the holiday season is frankly, just save money on sweets. You see, I like dessert as much as the next guy. I really enjoy sugary foods, but as it turns out my wife and I receive tons of cookies, candy canes, and other forms of candy and other sweets during the holiday season. So it almost feels like a waste to go out and buy some fresh cookies to make.

My last tip for saving money during the holidays...well, set up gift exchanges. Within our friend group, what we realized is that we're all at different points in our career and have different amounts of money to spend, but we could all afford to spend $20 on one person within the friend group. So, we decided that we would just do a random gift exchange instead of everyone going out and buying individual presents for one another. I find that this makes it a lot more fun because nobody's budget is stretched in order to provide the fun gifts to one another. But, it allows us to still get that good, intrinsic value of giving a gift and having it well received. So, I enjoy setting those up and I recommend that you guys do that too. It's a good time.

Thanks so much for watching this video. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did please make sure to like, comment, subscribe, and interact with the video in any way that you want. Then make sure to find your way over to our website at openworldfp.com there you can find the blog, which much like this YouTube channel features all the videos that I produce, but then it also has a transcript of all those videos if you're just looking to find some key highlights. Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

How Do I Handle Holiday Hosting?


What's up Internet? Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd!

In today's video, well...winter is coming and so are the holidays. This month we are going to be kicking off a series of videos that's going to be focused on getting you through the holidays alive and financially safe. The first part to this is talking a little bit about what happens if you have to host a holiday party, so let's get started.

As a host, remember this is your kingdom. You are the king or the queen of this castle. If somebody says something that really doesn't sit well with you, don't worry about it, they can't hurt you here. This is your place. That being said, as a host, there are some certain expectations of you. Let's go through the three big things that you'll want to take care of.

First, you'll want to make sure the place looks nice. A good kingdom is clean and well taken care of. It doesn't take a lot, but just go around and tidy up. Vacuum, dust, or whatever before you receive your guests. While you may not notice it during your day-to-day life, the little bit of lack of cleanliness that you may have in your house is frankly more noticeable to other people when they enter your home. It's just the way it is.

The second thing you want to make sure to do is procure some entertainment. For other nerds it may be sufficient just to hook up Super Smash Bros to the TV or in some cases just put out a board game that's nice and complex and hand them the rulebook while you go off to cook. That's easy. However, with family members it can get a little more complex. I suggest finding a pretty neutral game that family members can play or some puzzles that they can do, as well as throwing a sports game on the TV if that's the kind of person that they are. Neutral games that are a good fit are Scrabble and Bananagrams or some other similar puzzle-solving games such as Sorry or Trivial Pursuit. These are very very simple games that everybody can play and all ages can participate in. It'll keep them entertained for you.

Finally, some refreshments are a must. Refreshments are a very very big deal when it comes to entertaining. Frankly, if you don't have something to sip on or something to snack on you notice. In general, just make sure to have some stuff on hand. Whether you make it a BYOB situation, so that people can make sure to bring stuff that they prefer or whether you have stuff on hand, just make sure that it's there. Keep in mind of course that you are the host and you're providing the space, so guests can contribute or you can choose a budget limit that you're willing to spend on your guests ahead of time. Do some careful planning.

So wrapping up, careful planning or a little bit of forethought around all of these three subjects - the cleanliness, the entertainment, and finally, the refreshments that you have on hand - will make hosting a breeze. Trust me, it's a lot of fun to do but if you don't take some time to plan for this event it can get a little bit stressful. Thanks so much for watching this video, I hope you enjoyed it. If you did please make sure to like, comment, subscribe, interact with the video in any way that you want and then make sure to find your way over to our website at openworldfp.com. There you can find the blog, which much like this youtube channel features all the videos that I've produced. But, it also has a transcript of all those videos if you're just looking to find some key highlights. Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

3 Things About Employer-Sponsored Life Insurance

What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd! In today's episode, I am going to be talking with you about life insurance. Which is not thrilling so if you are trying to understand the three core types of life insurance please go-ahead and watch another video that I put on this channel that compares the type of life insurance to different starter Pokemon. I think that's a pretty interesting take and foundational knowledge of life insurance would be helpful if you're going to watch this video.

Let's start talking about employer-sponsored life insurance. Most employers include some amount of life insurance benefit regardless of whether you pay for it. So, you may have one or two times your salary in life insurance benefits. Hypothetically, let's say your salary is $50,000, well you may have a $50,000 or $100,000 life insurance benefit that the employer pays for. It's important to know what this is, but it's also important to recognize that 50 or $100,000 isn't going to go very far if the household is used to your income. If you're married, and especially if you're married with children, this maybe time to consider some more.

For instance, if my wife were to pass away I would want way more than $50,000 to continue my Magic: The Gathering habits. All jokes aside, when somebody passes away, the last thing you want to be worried about is finances. Just recognize that employer-sponsored life insurance is usually not all that you need.

The second thing to know about employer-sponsored life insurance is that it doesn't come with you. It's more like an obelisk than it is portable. So, that means that when you leave your employer, if you have additional life insurance especially beyond the base that they give you, it is not necessarily going to come with you. You may want to consider if you're going to purchase additional life insurance to purchase it outside your employer, because having it at your employer may seem inexpensive at first, but if you're in pretty decent health and you apply outside you can usually get some policies that are cheaper - with more flexible benefits - and that have a guaranteed period of time that they will be active for. Whereas your employer sponsored policies are good simply for as long as you work at that employer.

Finally, and wrapping this all up, almost all though not all of employer-sponsored life insurance benefits are term insurance benefits. This means that they are temporary in nature. So, if you're out there looking for a permanent life insurance policy (though I don't usually implement those with my clients) permanent life insurance policies can usually be found out in the private market, but not within your employer-sponsored plans.

If you have questions about how much life insurance you should have, or if all this stuff just seems like a lot to you, don't hesitate to reach out. I'd be happy to have a conversation around your life insurance benefits. In any case, I hope that this video wasn't too terribly boring for you and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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