30. May 2016 · Comments Off on 3.5 Ways to Develop a Habit of Saving Money · Categories: Finance

Are You Saving Money?

Developing a habit of saving money requires self-control and self-discipline. If you don’t think it is important just try to get a mortgage or car loan and see how well you do. According to the Huffington Post 50% of Americans have less than $500 in their savings account. How can this be when we are one of the richest countries on earth?

If you don’t have a savings account and/or an emergency fund it’s your fault. According to some financial experts you should be saving 10% of all your income. If you have been working for 10 years at an average income of $46,000 per year according to statistics. You should have $46,000 liquid cash in your savings account.

I am not speaking about 401k’s, pension, or other retirement plans. I am talking about cash money. You are red lining your finances if you don’t have an emergency fund of at least $1000. You risk going into debt when unexpected emergencies happen. Ideally you should have 6-9 months of emergency funds stashed away. Invest the rest of your cash in income producing assets.

In 2006 I hit rock bottom. I was broke and looking for a job. I couldn’t sell a house. I lost my investments, and was living off borrowed money. I knew about paying yourself first. I read all the books but I did not practice what I learned. I cashed in my 410k and lived off that until those funds ran out. If I would have established a habit of saving money, I could have survived the real estate downturn.

I found a job with benefits and vowed never to go broke again. Five years later I still carry around the first $10 I saved from my first paycheck. Developing a habit of saving money has help me grow my real estate and online marketing business. I love saving money now. When opportunities arrive I can take advantage of them.

You as a home based business owner need to develop a habit of saving money. There are opportunities abound when you have access to cash. Lenders are more friendly. Investors come knocking when you show a habit of saving money. Saving is a discipline. You must delay gratification. You have to cut back, eliminate expenses, and not be tempted to spend.

We see entertainers, athletes, and lotto winners go broke because they spent all they earned. It doesn’t matter how much you money you have if you spend it all.

Here are 3.5 ways to develop a habit of saving money:

1. Decide To Save – Make a decision to start saving money. The basic rule is 10% of your income. Get a bookkeeper or personal financial software and start tracking your expenses. Find out where your money is going. Your home based business has tax advantages that can help you save more.

I started saving money with only $5 per week and I increased it gradually. I don’t care how much you save or what percentages you use. Just as long as you start and stay consistent with it.

2. Make your savings an expense – Pay yourself first. Treat your savings like your car note, credit card bill, or mortgage payment. Most people cringe when bill collectors call. Use that same fear to save. Have automatic deductions from your checking account, paycheck, or merchant account go right into your savings. Just like taxes are taking out of a paycheck and most people don’t notice it. You won’t notice the automatic deductions.

3. Read for 15-30 minutes per day – Your home based business depends on you. Leaders are readers. Read books on personal finance, money management, investing, and personal development. Start with the Richest Man in Babylon, by George Clauson, followed by Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.

3.5 Pay off your debts – Some experts say that you should pay off your debts first. From my experience I say do both. I remember paying off all my debts and still did not have money saved. Then I went back into debt when unexpected expenses arrived. Put a portion of your income to savings and a portion to debt.

Develop a habit of saving money now. Your home based business depends on it. A habit of saving money is the best way to take care of emergencies, unexpected expenses, and it gives you the ability to act when business opportunities arrive.

24. May 2016 · Comments Off on Myths About Money For College Attendance · Categories: Finance

There are many myths about college and the college experience. The information below is to assist you in dispelling the some of the myths about attending College.

Myth: Your school college advisor can provide you with all of the information you need to know about attending college.

Fact: College advisors can only give you limited information about college acceptance, attendance and financing. With the increased level of competition to enter college, it is imperative that you seek out resources on your own.

Myth: Most parents (and students) have a savings plan for their child to attend college.

Fact: Very few families save in advance. If you have not started saving by now, the best way may be to obtain funding through scholarships and grants or through implementing the tools to attend college for FREE. Financial aid is another possible resource and can be an effective way in helping you with the cost of college.

Myth: You have to be really smart to attend college.

Fact: There is a college for everyone who wants to attend and everyone who is willing to study and put forth the effort to graduate.

The Numbers

14.5 million students are enrolled in the 3,638 US based Colleges; 12.5 million are enrolled at the undergraduate level.

79% of students attend public colleges; 21% attend private colleges.

56% are full time students.

23% are minorities.

70% are enrolled in the college of their first choice.

81% attend colleges in their home state.

50% of all college freshmen come from families with incomes of $30,000 to $75,000.

45.2% of American adults have some college education.

U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Department of Education.

With economics being the way they are, and the cost of living continuing to increase, we wonder why more people don’t attend college. Many are of the belief that college is still an unreachable goal. This may be because their parents never attended college. It may be because those around them have told them that college is difficult or that they will never make it through the college process. And, this cannot be further from the truth! Anyone who wants to attend college can go to college and a college education is the best way for you to guarantee professional success.

A college education shows that you have the tenacity to take the next step in academic achievement. A college education shows that you made the decision to become a well rounded individual and that you’ve taken the time to study a few subjects that may be out of your comfort zone. Yes, you will have to study English, math and science. You may even have to study chemistry, physics and biology, but when you finish, you will have knowledge on numerous topics that you could not acquire any other way. That is the true purpose of college at the undergraduate level. To make you a generalist, with the intent of you becoming a specialist in a specific vocational area.

A recent study indicated that 78% of high school students want to attend college. This study further detailed the three top reasons why most students don’t attend college. The third most frequently cited reason why students don’t attend college is because their parents didn’t attend. But there are many things that you do that your parents didn’t do. Your parents didn’t have 3D video games, your parents did not have MP3 players nor did they grow up with the concept of going green. Throughout your lifetime you will do numerous things that your parents have not done. So saying that your parents didn’t do it is a weak excuse.

The second most cited reason why some students don’t attend college is because they don’t know what to study. Many people are not sure about what they want to do with their lives. Just because you’re not sure of your future does not mean that you need to become stagnant. College will expose you to many professions and opportunities that you may not be aware of. College will make you aware of vocations within vocations and professional opportunities that may be perfect for your personality. So this is definitely not a good reason not to attend.

The number one reason cited as why students do not attend college is finance. Money! And once again this is ridiculous. Financial resources should not serve as a hindrance to your attending college. Funding is available through various sources, through various organizations, through various means for anyone who wants to attend college. And anyone who takes the time and a little effort can quickly and easily find and make use of these resources.

Last year over $300 billion dollars was available in college scholarship and college resource funding, and a high percentage of this funding was never accessed due to students not searching, not applying and not making use of the resources available.

18. May 2016 · Comments Off on Women & Money – The Case For Financial Literacy · Categories: Finance

The facts are frightening: Women earn approximately 80 percent of what men earn. They live an average of five years longer than men, so they need more for their retirement. And yet, because they earn less and often work less because they take time off to care for children and elderly parents, they save less for retirement and receive lower Social Security benefits.

There are women who have conquered the historic wage gap, most struggle with unique challenges generated by the multitude of roles they play, including wage earner, wife, mother, homemaker, and caregiver. And in that struggle, the principles of sound money management often get left behind.

In an article for Forbes.com, author Warren Farrell notes, “Men make decisions that result in their making more money. On the other hand, women make decisions that earn them better lives (e.g., more family and friend time).”

This statement raises two questions: One, is it possible to strike an effective balance between financial security and quality of life issues? The answer is yes-but it takes education and action. And two, while family and friend time are indeed important, what is the value of peace of mind in being able to provide for yourself and your family?

Women have a complicated and often dysfunctional relationship with personal finance. The issue is not capability-women have the ability to manage money, save, invest, and build wealth as well as men. But all too often, they simply don’t do it. Even women with successful business track records, who outwardly appear confident, competent, and accomplished, have been to known to have disastrous private financial lives.

Even one woman in poverty is too many

Let’s take a look at poverty statistics. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2004 poverty level for a family unit of one person under 65 is an annual income of $9,827. In 2004, the official poverty rate was 12.7 percent, with 37 million people in the U.S. living in poverty. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that the poverty rate for all women 18 years and older in 2003 was 12.4 percent (13.8 million women). Poverty rates vary by age group among women, with the youngest women aged 18-24 years reporting a poverty rate of 19.7 percent. The lowest poverty rate (8.9 percent) was found among women aged 45-64. The poverty rate increases to 10.6 percent for women aged 65-74 and to 14.3 percent for women aged 75 years and older. Women in female-headed households with no spouse experienced higher rates of poverty (24.4 percent) than women in married-couple families (5.2 percent) and men in male-headed households (8.8 percent).

It doesn’t have to be that way. Women of all ages and income levels can take control of their lives and enjoy the exhilaration of financial self-determination.

Putting it in perspective

The most powerful thing to know about money is that it is a tool that can help make your dreams come true. Money is what pays for homes, furnishings, cars, food, healthcare, clothes, entertainment-all of the material things we enjoy. It also pays for non-material things, such as allowing us to support churches, charities, and other causes. Yet money can only work for you if you understand how to manage it. And knowledge isn’t enough, because there is so much emotional baggage attached to how we deal with money. According to a Fannie Mae study on personal finance: “Money usage is value laden. Budgeting decisions, daily money choices, savings behavior, and attitudes toward money are at least partly informed by values that stem from one’s ethnic group, educational level, class background, income status, and gender.” In addition to learning sound financial strategies, you may need a major financial attitude adjustment.

It’s also important to recognize that financial education is a lifelong process. A single book, seminar, or class is not enough. Needs change over time-a young woman just finishing college, a Gen-Xer climbing the corporate ladder, a Baby Boomer preparing for retirement, or a retired senior all have distinctly different financial needs. And certainly circumstances and motivations change as one’s life evolves. Along with changes in personal situations, women must also cope with a changing economy and totally unpredictable events that can impact their financial security.

When it comes to financial information, technology is a double-edged sword. Affordable computers and the internet have given us access to a tremendous amount of data that wasn’t widely available before, but not all of it is sound. It takes a fundamental education in financial basics to discern what advice is good and what isn’t.

Ideally, financial education should begin before children start school. But it’s never too late. Regardless of your age or stage in life, now is the time to take control of your financial future by learning what to do then making the commitment to do it.

15. March 2016 · Comments Off on Simple Finance – Money Saving Tips · Categories: Finance

Here are some things we can do to to stay current with the best deals and best prices.

1. Buy good products without the brand name.

You will know it’s a good product once you have tried it out. You can save up to 8 times the price for the same product.

2. Steer Away From Nutrition Supplements

The medical profession has proven that nutritional supplements are often an inferior source for our nutritional needs. Therefore stick with nutrition from it’s natural source. Food.

3. Buying New Cars

Again, buy a car for your needs and desires not for the neighbours. Buy a used car as cars devalue so quickly.

4. The Best Things In Life Are Free

It has been repeated enough times but it is still true. Give up the money sucking habits that people tend to do when they are in a mindless state. Smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling. They take without giving anything of value back.

5. Look After Yourself

Avoid medical bills by looking after yourself the very best you can.

6. Negotiate. Then Negotiate Again
Big ticket items always have a generous mark up. The sellers are often making as much as 100% profit. So be brave and go in and negotiate. When you do you’ll see the sellers eyes giving away the calculations he is doing in his head as you demand a lower price. He will know that he will still make a profit and it really is about how much you can squeeze out of them.

7. Keep Your Receipts

Keep your grocery receipts so that you can keep an inventory of how much items are costing and how they are varying over time. You may find that it is better overall to take your money elsewhere if there are too many pricing shenanigans from your regular supermarket.

10. February 2016 · Comments Off on Finance Calculator – Sit Down and Count! · Categories: Finance

When borrowing money becomes a big necessity, finding a lender that would give you the amount you need is not enough. Although a lender is necessary, it doesn’t disregard the fact that you should be well informed on how the figures, rates, and numbers become as they are.

Most borrowers are like you. They rely on the computations given by their lenders- for obvious reason: they really don’t know how the numbers came into being. When the lender says: 1% increase on the interest rate is equivalent to $200 annually, they really do not bother to ask since it will complicate things and they really would not understand it anyway. (Well, what most borrowers are after is the loan not and the figures right?)

What should you do then?

There are a number of options you can go to if you decide to let yourself be informed with what is happening on the figures inside your loan. One, you can always utilize online finance calculators, which are readily available online. Most can be found of lending company websites. They are free and easy to use. All you have to do is to enter the amount of loan, the interest rate, and the number of month you are planning pay the loan back.

Another is the financial calculator. Unlike ordinary portable calculator, the financial calculator lets you know the number of payments in an ordinary annuity or in a loan. It also answers the amount of payments on investment plans and loans, determines the rates of (ROI) return of investments and interest rates on loan, and determines the current and future values of ordinary annuities or cash payments. Although using financial calculator can be complicated at first, especially if you are not properly oriented with the functions of the calculator itself, it can be a good tool to make sure that you get the right information about the money you have to pay back.

Finally, you can rely to the good old ask-your-broker method. While there maybe a risk involve here especially if you are borrowing for the first time, it can make your task easier. Let your broker explain to you how much you should pay if… say to lower your interest rate by a certain percentage or shorten the term of the loan. Speaking of the risks, broker may give you wrong information about the loan and can shoot the rate up without you knowing it. To avoid this from happening, go to a reputable lender- a lender with a long and standing reputation in the industry. Also, you can confirm the rates by checking it through the finance calculator available online.

The bottom line is, your money and property is at stake here and if you are not careful enough, you will be paying more that what you should. Using finance calculator will determine if you have the ability to pay the loan, the amount you should be paying for the term, and the interest rate and how it affects the loan.

Other benefits of finance calculator:

Compare rates easily. Using finance calculator makes your lender selection easier. This is because you can ask for different quotes from different loan companies and easily compare the rates using finance calculator. Tip: Make sure that you include the points, interest rate, processing fee, monthly amortization, down payment (if necessary), when comparing different quotes.

Plan monthly payments fast. Financial calculator will give you the detailed monthly payments against the amount of loan, the interest rate, and the length of terms. The good thing about this is that you will immediately know if you can afford the monthly financial obligation imposed by the loan. Once you know your monthly payments, you can plan your finances and allocate money from your future budget.

Smart shoppers have the attention to details whatever they are buying or in this case, borrowing. You need not pretend to be one but I tell you this: whether you are smart or not, it is a very good thing that you are able to identify if you are paying the right amount. So sit down and count; after all being neglectful with the details is not worth the risk.

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