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October 20, 2017, 12:01 pm

Taking the Reins of Your Financial Future: 5 Basic Finance Tips for Young Adults

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

Maybe you just landed a summer job, or you have already started saving up for college. As a responsible young adult you are on the cusp of transitioning into the real world — with real financial implications. Unfortunately, personal finances have not become a required subject in most schools and students are left to figure out finances on their own, which can be quite difficult. You may not be prepared to deal with finances as yet. But this probably is the best time to start learning about them, as it will cultivate a sound basis for a lifetime of smart financial planning and can go a long way towards creating the future of your dreams.

1) Put a price tag on money

So you have come into some money now. Before you go spending or thinking about saving/investing it, you have to quantify it in a way that shows you the actual value of money. One of the best ways to do this is to express it in terms of man-hours. How much do you make per hour? If you have been making $8 an hour and you have been thinking about getting a new laptop, stop to think about the cost in terms of your employed hours. If you are planning on getting a $1000 laptop, for example, that would cost you 125 hours, or 15 days working an 8-hour shift. And that is not taking into account other competing expenditures like food, gas, etc. Think about the objective value of the money and the trade-offs required in a particular purchase and then make your decision.

2) Have an emergency fund in place

An emergency fund is a separate savings fund that you stash up to access in case of emergencies. Emergency situations can creep up on you when you are least expecting it and could put you in a really sticky situation. Be it a flat tire or a health issue, it’s prudent to have an accessible fund to dip into when you are in a fix to help you be prepared for the unexpected. A good estimate of the account size is having three to six months’ salary saved up. It is important that you really keep this account separate and out-of-reach from your basic savings account, and be disciplined about it.  And don’t forget to replenish it once you have used it for an emergency.

3) Credit card management

Keep in mind that you are going to be paying from your future earnings for the purchases you make with your credit card today. Be vigilant about what you purchase with the credit card and try to pay in cash whenever possible. It could be easy to lose track of things if you use your credit card at every retail outlet. If you do use credit, make sure you pay your bill in full at the end of each month. If you want to earn the reward points on your credit card and build a good credit history, use it wisely. Purchase a few basic subscriptions that you would be buying anyway with your credit card, and set it up for automatic renewal. Use other means for your routine purchases. This will help keep up a good credit score, while keeping your expenditures on a tight leash.

4) Budgeting the smart way

You can find use your smartphone for your budgeting needs. There are scores of apps that will allow you to categorize your savings and expenditures and will project to you visually where your money should go, as well as how that’s working out for you. If you want to go old-school, you can employ the tried-and-true “Envelope Method” — you simply allot the planned weekly amounts for the various expenses like food, rent, gas, etc and put them separate sealed envelopes. Open the envelopes at the start of the week and only use the money for its designated purpose. Be disciplined about it. This will get you in the hands-on habit of allocating money and sticking to it.

5) Invest wisely

This is one area where spending is encouraged, because what you spend on investment may come back to you with rich dividends if you take the time to research and invest wisely. Ask around and decide on a low-cost mutual fund to invest in. You can hire professional help here, but keep in mind the costs can be on the higher end. This could be a great time to start following finance-related news and get into the groove for investing. You may just find out that you have a knack for selecting good options. Even making a safe bet could double as a money-saving opportunity, as well have a good payout at the end.

Being wise enough to sacrifice impulse spending and indulgences in the present moment to save for a rainy day could truly spell your success at a future date. These money habits are both qualitative and quantitative in that you are not only saving and investing, but you are also cultivating the mindset of an analytical, successful person from the get-go. Your ability to plan, articulate and make intelligent choices with your money could go a long way in forming a bright future where you are living your dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 25, 2017, 9:36 am

The Four Worst Financial Millennial Mistakes

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

Millennials differ in many ways from any other generation in recorded history. One critical way that they operate differently is in how they make financial decisions. As the first generation not to have classes like handling personal finances built into their education, and having all but doing away with paper money, Millennials are changing the way that Americans spend, save, and invest their money.

There are things that you can do to secure your financial future and others that can drive a nail through it. The problem for the Millennial crowd is that not all of them really understand the difference, and according to a credit union in Winnipeg, they are making critical financial mistakes that could potentially affect their resources for the future. The good news is that Millennials are just starting out in the financial world, and even if they make these four major financial mistakes, there is plenty of time to correct and turn them around.

They don’t take full advantage of what’s offered

It is a hard reality, but Millennials might not have the assurance of  social security in their later years. In fact, many might lose their safety net if things don’t turn around. That means that for a Millennial, things like 401(k)s and retirement funds are more critical than ever before. Once considered an option just to have some extra money, it is important for the Millennial generation to understand that they will likely be paying for their retirement themselves, no matter how much they are paying into the system now.

Many who are just entering the workforce are not taking advantage of retirement options. In fact, statistics show that only about 30% of young workers sign up for retirement savings options. The participation is so low that many companies are automatically signing their employees up, with 84% of twenty-somethings being enrolled automatically.  If you have the option, it is always a good idea to maximize pension or retirement savings accounts to secure your future.

Making earning the goal

Millennials have a new mindset when it comes to their occupation. Many have their eyes on the prize, but the prize isn’t to find something you love and do it for a lifetime. Many employees are going into industries purely because they will make a lot of money. What an older perspective knows is that industries come and go. If you want to be financially secure for a lifetime, you have to find something you love to do and stick with it.

When you choose something because of money, you have a tendency to jump around a lot, trying to find fulfillment. That means that you don’t ever really achieve success, either through your career path or your need for emotional fulfillment. If you want to ensure that you are set for your financial future, find what you love and create a life around it, instead of thinking you will work super hard for a couple of years for a big paycheck and then retire.

Not investing or saving early or enough

Those entering the workforce are having a hard enough time paying off their huge student loan debts, so the thought of putting money away seems almost laughable. That is leaving them without a safety net, spending outside their means, and landing them in a slew of trouble when they need money.

If you aren’t putting any money away for even a rainy day, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Just $20 a month is enough at least to start your savings. Incremental savings is what it is all about. It is never too early or too little to put some money away in your piggy bank for when you need it most.

When you do have a little amount, it is also a good idea to invest it. Not only will that make your money grow, but if you lock it up tight in an investment, then you’ve removed the temptation to spend it. Small investments are an excellent way to grow wealth.

Thinking about the quick buck

Millennials are always looking for the big payoff instead of earning a dollar’s wage. The internet and social media have taken the reality away from many young workers entering the workforce. Instead of working hard to achieve their goals and building a career, many bounce around looking for the new fad or get-rich-quick scheme. Again, it is much smarter to remember that slow and steady wins the race, instead of being the hare who falls asleep.

If you are a Millennial, the good news is that you have plenty of time to make the right financial decisions to grow wealth and to protect yourself for the future. If you correct these four mistakes, your outlook will be looking up.

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July 17, 2017, 8:21 am

5 Things You Can Do to Cut Your Monthly Expenses

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

Cutting your monthly expenses is never an easy task but if you’re on a tight budget already, it’s something that needs to be strongly considered. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as a career or how many children you have, by following the below tips, you’ll be able to save hundreds every year on expenses.

1.      Only Buy Food from a Farmers’ Market

A farmers’ market is usually open throughout the week regardless of where you live. Consider going there a couple of times a week at least just so you can take advantage of the great deals on vegetables. Getting deals on food will save you a lot of money and it also means you’re not going to have to spend a fortune on takeaways every month because you don’t have any food in the cupboard!

2.      Cut Your Cell Phone & Internet Bills

Call your cell phone and internet provider to see if you can come to some arrangement when it comes to using fewer resources. The fewer resources you use generally means a much cheaper bill. Many people have cell phones but rarely use all the resources they have, so be sure you check with your provider to see if you can save money on your bills.

3.      Cycle to Work or University

Cycling to work or university can save you hundreds every month in fuel and insurance costs. You’ll also find saving money on public transport will also save you plenty. It’s not viable for everyone, but even if you need to cycle for a couple of miles every day, surely that’s worth saving thousands every year on expensive vehicle costs. You could also sell your vehicle if you own one and found that cycling was viable for you.

4.      Reduce Consumable Habits

This step is easier said than done, but it’s one worth considering if you’re really struggling to make ends meet. If you have a regular smoking or drinking habit, try to cut down by half or even try to quit if you have the willpower to do so. People spend thousands every year on smoking and drinking and that’s thousands you could save every year, giving you much more breathing space when it comes to monthly bills.

5.      Cook Your Owns Meals

If you’re a student studying at Maryville University for an online masters in health administration or Online MHA degree, it’s very easy to come home after a long hard day and order a takeaway. This is a very expensive option and students often spend thousands every year on takeaways alone. Consider cooking your own meals every day, or if that isn’t an option, set aside a few hours every week where you can cook numerous meals to be frozen.

The above are just a few tips to help you save money whether you’re in full-time employment or you’re a full-time student. The above tips will give you much more breathing space every month so you can still enjoy life even on a tighter budget.

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July 6, 2017, 9:53 am

Patch The Holes In Your Budget With A Small Dollar Loan

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

A budget works well up until a point, but even the best financial plan has its limits. Unexpected purchases, bills, and repairs test these boundaries. Depending on how much savings you have set aside, they can be enough to bust your budget wide-open. In a perfect world, you’d have the same net worth as Chris Pratt after Guardians of the Galaxy 2, or at the very least, you could put life on hold until you can build up enough savings to cover your modest responsibilities. Unfortunately, you live in a reality where neither is true. Nevertheless, you have to make your payments on time if you expect to avoid late penalties and added interest.

While you can speak with your mechanic or call your utility provider to talk about a possible deferred payment plan, eventually you’ll have to pay off these debts — with or without savings. When your budget is still reeling from these unexpected repairs, talk to a small dollar lender for help. The country’s top direct lenders can provide essential financial assistance during your darkest times.

But why choose a direct lender over conventional lenders like the bank? There’s a time and place for every financial solution, so there are circumstances when you should contact a bank over any other lender. It’s perfectly normal to speak with a financial advisor when you hope to refinance debt or get a mortgage. The help a direct lender can offer is better suited for when you only need a little help to cover your newfound responsibilities and when you need that help incredibly quickly.

Traditional lenders have long and involved processes that limit who they approve, and these methods to review your application can take more time than you have available. Direct lenders such as MoneyKey understand that time is of the essence when you’re facing multiple bills with approaching due dates. That’s why financiers like MoneyKey have streamlined their practices and processes in order to deliver the fastest acting loans as possible.

Though they have internal ways to review applications, they don’t rely on in-person interviews or a lengthy analysis of your entire financial history. With just a simple online application form, which can be found at Moneykey.com, and a quick phone call to verify your info, a short term lender can review your status and deem you worthy of their assistance. Once approved, you can receive up to $1,000 in your bank account in as little as one business day.

When your budget fails and you have no way of paying for unexpected bills, repairs, or medical emergencies on your own, a payday loan is a great way to cover these expenses. From their size to their speedy application process, these products were designed specifically for these kinds of small, non-recurring purchases.

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June 5, 2017, 1:48 pm

Finding Lending Options Even With Bad Credit

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance,Social Lending

How Bad Do You Need Money?

Have you ever gone to a casino and wasted twenty dollars in five minutes at a slot machine? Better yet, have you ever thrown a hundred-dollar bill down on blackjack and watched that Benjamin disappear into the casino’s coffer? Well, then you know what it’s like to lose money on a long-shot. But it’s worse if you win.

Here is why: when you throw down a large sum of money on something that shouldn’t end up resulting in profit, but does, in the back of your mind is planted a subconscious psychological seed which says these possibilities can be had again. While there is a statistical probability of multiple, high-yield winnings, this probability is low.

What’s more likely is that you’ll win several thousand, go to the tables, and lose more than you won in the very same evening. But all that being said, you know—or have likely heard—that professional gamblers exist. These are individuals who have learned how the system works, and are able to use it to their advantage.

Granted, professional gamblers represent a minority of a minority. Statistically, they’re as rare as a win at a slot machine. But they do exist, and they exist in greater quantities than you might expect.

Is A Loan A Gamble? Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No

When it comes to loans, securing one with bad credit can be somewhat of a gamble. You’re going to face high interest rates. If you’re lucky, those interest rates will be fixed, but this is not always the case. As a matter of fact, you face the prospects of increasing interest rates which compound what you owe even when that’s already been compounded.

This is a downward spiral, and is something which is only really worth pursuing if you truly have a top-tier opportunity on your hands. It is possible to take out a high interest loan that isn’t fixed, and end up coming out ahead on the deal. But it will require that you pay that loan back as soon as humanly possible, and well-within the time limits.

An ideal situation for a bad credit high interest loan without fixed interest is when you’ve got revenue that is just going to be a few days late, but a bill that has to be paid right now. You take out the loan, pay the bill, then pay off the loan when the revenue rolls in a few days later. This way you’re only “on the hook” for a short time.

Still, being able to pay such bills immediately can be the difference between your business remaining successful, and your business going under. It all depends on your personal situation. What makes sense is to secure a sound financial advisor, and have them paint a picture of your monetary situation that you can get your head around.

The Peer-To-Peer Factor

You want to understand your financial situation, not have your financial situation explained to you. If you can get to that point, then you’ll be able to make an informed choice as regards taking a loan or not. To that end, sometimes your best solution is a peer to peer loan.

When you’re looking for peer to peer bank loan reviews, you might try Banking.Loans, where you will find such information and references resources like Peerform which, according to the site, is a: “…peer-to-peer lending site that targets borrowers who don’t have the best credit scores.” Solutions like this can make finances available to you where otherwise they were unobtainable. If obtaining a loan is something financially feasible for your or your business, going the peer-to-peer route can for many individuals be the wisest option.

 

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