This is a great time of the year for most of us: getting together with our family and friends and enjoying the holidays that we have looked forward to all year long. Who doesn’t love the holiday season with the food, parties and spiritual joy we all can share? And look to the beginning of a new year when we can plan for improvements just up ahead! But I say most of us enjoy it because there are some who don’t quite see it that way.
Acute Financial Stress
According to a study done by Payoff, about 23% of all Americans and an even higher percentage of millennials suffer from what is known as AFS, Acute Financial Stress. This “disease” is caused by one’s reaction to financial stress which of course the holidays’ emphasis on spending and shopping can trigger. This and so many other financial issues can turn someone’s life completely upside down and even lead to a physical and/or mental debilitation resulting in things like heart disease and mental health problems. It has been compared with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as to its reach and severity among Americans today. Continue reading
You hear it said frequently, “Follow your passion and the money will follow”. After all, if you work, wouldn’t it be really great to do something you love? I’ve always envied and been a bit jealous of the people who do that. You know, either they have some sort of talent or an ability that lets them not only make a living but even become wealthy. They wind up doing something in life that they would actually “pay” someone else to let them do. I’m talking about artists, entertainers, athletes, and others who have some sort of a gift and that gift fires their soul to be what and who they are.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who were born with a gift that would have enabled me to be the rare and special person that I was just talking about. Yes, I know we are all special in our own way, but in so many ways I’m just an ordinary guy, one who worked hard and if anything was rewarded based on the merits of that work. I’m proud of that, but if I have to confess, I never felt 100% fulfilled in my career. I always felt that I missed out on something. The feeling that these others must feel, that passion about what they love to do as they follow their dreams. Continue reading
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This week is Thanksgiving in the USA and we have a lot of things to thankful for, both for living here in this country and in our own family life. But do we take the time to think about those things? There is at least one day of the year we try to do it and that day is Thanksgiving. It’s a great time to take stock of you fortunes and your blessings and share with your family. Sure, we all have problems, but we also had so many things to be grateful for don’t we? That makes it a very important day.
But having said that, the dust hasn’t yet settled on the 2016 presidential election and it’s clear to see that there is a lot of uncertainty in our social, political and economic future. The election of Donald Trump to the presidency, an idea that a year ago seemed more like only a comedy bit on SNL than a possibility, is now a comedy bit on SNL about our next president! That has put a cloud of uncertainty over us. That cloud has a lot of people, about half of all Americans, worried about what path the country will be taking over the next 4 years. For many, those concerns are social and political in nature. But financially speaking, there are big concerns that can affect everyone no matter what your situation is or on which side of the political spectrum you stand upon. What will you financial future look like? Continue reading
Today’s guest post on digital wallets is sponsored by CO-OP Financial Services.
Here are the basics on a digital wallet and how you can take advantage of its awesome features to help you stay on top of your finances.
What is it?
A digital or virtual wallet is essentially an app that enables you to make electronic commerce payments from your smartphone. With a digital wallet, you can store the info from all your credit cards into one convenient place. Types of digital wallets include Apple Pay, PayPal and Sprig. With a couple swipes on your phone, you can make purchases and payments easily and quickly, no matter your location. Here are some of the benefits of using this type of payment: Continue reading
It’s November and you know that the big holiday shopping season is upon us. And when I say upon us, I mean right now! We tend to think of Thanksgiving and the Black Friday weekend as the big kickoff and there’s no doubt that it is prime time for shopping all over the country this and every year. But have you noticed that the holiday shopping period has been stretching out further and further each year and that you can already see some “super bargains” out there beginning November 1st? That’s the truth, as many retailers have already begun to stock, advertise, and highlight a few of the better deals they will have this season. It’s not silly or foolish to think you will see better prices on some items before Thanksgiving sales or even on Thanksgiving Day!
Each year I write about Black Friday deals and ever since the stores began to open on Thanksgiving Day itself, that day has had the reputation of being a bargainer’s delight. That hasn’t changed this year as reported by DealNews.com which claims that the best priced items at the major retailers around the country will be found Thanksgiving Day by a margin of 38 top best deals to 31 of them being offered on Friday, November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving. Continue reading
Please welcome Sarah Landrum from Punched Clocks for today’s guest post on home renovations.
Pop quiz: Is your home perfect, or is there room for improvement? Answer: Room for improvement, right? Whether you want to repaint the dining room or swap out the drapes, there’s always something that could use some sprucing up. The real issue becomes whether your renovations are going to merely look good or add actual value to your home.
Hopefully, they can do both. Here are some home renovations that almost pay for themselves. Continue reading
You may have heard of annuities before, and wondered what are annuities and whether should you invest in them. Annuities have a reputation, and to a lot of finance people it isn’t a very good one. It’s a fact that an awful lot of financial advisors (not to be confused with annuity salesmen) don’t recommend them or even like to talk about them very much. They are more likely want to talk to you about investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds for growing your wealth. They’ll also talk about participating in a 401k plan to combine with your Social Security benefits, pension, and brokerage accounts for your retirement program.
That may be a good plan for many people. But it is wise to consider an annuity or at least feel that you have examined them and understood what they are and why you’d use them before you rule them out. For some people, it can be a real complement to their financial security and retirement plans. And that raises the question, “Do they make any sense for you?” Continue reading
Putting the personal into personal finance means that everyone does things a bit differently when it comes to money. But there are some similarities among groups of people who share what I call a financial personality. They may each do things their own way, but the same philosophy is behind it. Just like periwinkle and royal are very different, but they’re both shades of blue. All of us can probably be defined in a colorful way when it comes to our money mindset and philosophy so let’s take a look at what I have come up with:
Every so often I just sit around the house and listen to music, usually from my favorite band the Beatles. This morning I was listening to Tomorrow Never Knows, John Lennon’s psychedelic ode to meditation and letting go. It got me thinking about freedom and how we can live free (not to be confused with living for free).
Living free is about having choices, which coincidentally is what we have when we minimize our consumption and maximize our finances. Sometimes our choices are limited, or we make poor choices, and that often takes us away from freedom. But if we are privileged enough to have a liberal number of choices, and we are smart and disciplined enough to make good decisions, living free becomes remarkably easy. Continue reading