The BBBB Zone: The Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. It’s a journey into a land of overspending. Your next stop: the BBBB Zone!

– (With apologies to Rod Serling)

Even the most frugal people have some area(s) where they tend to overspend. They just can’t help it and neither can you or me. It is unfortunately just a part of our human nature that we have some sort of weak spot and that means we can’t easily control the acts of excessive spending on some damn thing or another. For most of us, it’s limited and only slightly out of control, but for some people, it’s not. It’s money they spend that they either don’t have or will never have and yet they simply can’t prevent themselves from entering into the BBBB ZONE: The Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone!

We all have areas of overspending that lead us to the Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone. But it is possible to escape!

What Are You Telling Me Here?

Just about every well-intentioned personal finance writer will tell you that in order to be successful with your money and your spending, the very first thing you need to do (once you have an income) is to make a budget. Of course that makes absolute sense. When you have a budget you understand where your money comes from and where it’s going and you are allocating that money to real needs and requirements. The problem with that is that what you “require” may not be a good thing. If you’re spending money on illegal drugs because you “need” them due to an addiction issue, you can budget for them all day long and you aren’t exactly making any kind of good decision there. And that is besides the health and legal issues.

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Who Else Wants to Make Money Without Spending Money?

There is an old adage that “you need to spend money to make money”. The idea itself is certainly legitimate in many circumstances, as most business approaches require some capital investment to get rolling, whether it be buying product, creating a contract, hiring employees, or renting a space.

In an ideal world, you could make money without spending money. Here are a few ways to get started with little to no funds at risk.

However, having to spend money to start a business is risky! In fact, if you aren’t risking anything at all, you’re likely getting involved in a scam. I can attest to that because I was the victim of a big one of those back when I was in my late 20’s. Even though it was that long ago, I still remember every detail! Doing anything related to business is either going to risk time or money, no matter what.

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Will You Ever Escape From Your Financial Stress?

“Financial Freedom” is a term that’s often kicked around and discussed here in personal finance blogs, on TV and in books, etc., and it seems like it is a never-ending part of the chatter that only adds stress in your financial life.

There's a lot of financial stress out there, but is it possible to escape to financial freedom? And if it's possible, is it likely that you'll get there?

Financial freedom means that you get to make life decisions without being overly stressed by those decisions and their financial impact on your life. When you start to control your finances instead of being controlled by them, you begin the path to financial freedom and that is not any kind of get-rich-quick strategy.

– Dave Ramsey

But can you ever be financially free? Will you ever be financially free?

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Save Your Money and Never Buy These 13 Things!

I am constantly reviewing my monthly expenses and always looking at ways to save my money and still have some of the things in life that my wife and I need or want. It’s actually a fun activity for me. Yes, it’s a challenge, and since I stopped working full-time a few years ago, I really need a challenge sometimes just to keep alert! I know it’s not exactly like finding the long sought after cure for cancer or providing aid and comfort for those who are in a desperate place in life, but for me it has to do with finding ways for us to do better with our money and then ultimately passing that information on to you so you can save your money! Hey, lucky you!!!

When you're looking to save your money, here are 13 things not to buy and what to do instead. Not your same old suggestions!

If you’re out there struggling along, trying to deal with your money problems, but don’t really know what to do, then you’re like millions of others that are in that same boat. That’s why I came up with a list of things that for some reason we spend money on all the time, but really don’t need. We just don’t really think about how easy it is to waste our money on these things, partly because of the masterful way we are conditioned to shop. The advertising mavens have us convinced that we “need” every new, improved, special, and yes, expensive item that someone locked in a lab somewhere was able to come up with!

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Can You Be a Millionaire By Retirement?

One out of every six people in America today gets to retire a millionaire! That sounds fairly optimistic since most of us at some point in our lives dream of becoming one of them. One out of every six retired Americans is now retiring as one and that is from a documented report by online investing company United Income which analyzed data from multiple sources including the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The purpose of the study was to find out how retirees are faring now compared to previous generations and compare the results.

Not only is it possible to retire a millionaire, but it's fast becoming a necessity. Here's what you need to do to make that retirement goal.

One way I suppose to become a millionaire is to buy lots of scratch off tickets in your state lottery or to try to get on a quiz show like “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” but let’s be somewhat realistic here. There are other ways, aren’t there?

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How to Save Money on Your Dental Costs

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The cost of dental care may surprise you. If you are young and are fortunate enough to have good dental health, you may not be fully aware yet of what can happen to you and the dental costs it brings. When you have taken the time to care for your teeth, you may not have to bear the surprise or shock of the cost of professional dental care. Though many dental procedures are expensive, basic dental cleaning may be surprisingly simple and it can actually save you from some of the high rates that dentists charge.

Dental costs can be steep, even out of range of your finances. Learn the different ways you can reduce your dental costs while taking care of your teeth.

Irrational fear causes most people to shy from professional dental care. More than 70% of the U.S. population skips the dentist in any given year in most states. People know they should go; they just avoid it. So the question is: “How do you save on your dental costs?” Not going to the dentist is not a very good answer. The best answer is simple: use some sort of a dental discount plan or insurance. That can save you hundreds of dollars on teeth cleaning and all other dental procedures, too.

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Low Inflation in 2019 – Is It Just a Big Lie?

Perhaps it’s just me. I know that it may be, but every time I see and hear someone talk about low inflation, I immediately think about everything that I purchase that costs more today than yesterday. One of the detriments of getting older is that you can actually remember the prices of things from even 20, 30, and 50+ years ago so yeah, I may have a distorted view of rising prices (at least just a little bit).

The stats show we have low inflation in 2019, but my own observations have me wondering if that's really true. Here's how inflation affects your finances.

But the real story is this, no matter what the government stats try to tell you, the everyday prices of things you buy are going up. Just last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that “inflation is running about what the Fed target calls for: 2.0%” and that’s why he has slowed down the call for interest rate increases so far in 2019. Interest rate increases are implemented to prevent the inflation rate from moving upwards and out of control and so his comments sound like a good read of the current conditions. But are they? Is inflation under control so far in 2019 or is it just a big lie?

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What Is A Revocable Living Trust and Why You Need to Know

There are some subjects that we just don’t like to talk about and can make us feel really uncomfortable. One of these subjects is our own death and how our assets and property will be distributed when that event ultimately occurs. Having said that, it is imperative that everyone think about their estate plan and what they need or want to do with their assets when they’re gone. You have the final say as long as you do something about it while you are alive and well. While many people choose a Last Will and Testament, another option is a Revocable Living Trust (RLT). So you may be wondering, what is a Revocable Living Trust?

If you're wondering what is a Revocable Living Trust and if you need one, this introduction will help you determine if it can benefit you and your family.

The RLT Option

Most of us, when we do think about what will happen to our families when we are gone, think about a Will. But an RLT is becoming increasingly more popular as an estate planning tool since changes have been made to make them friendlier to establish and use. An RLT lets you determine who receives your property and assets, and divides them while you are still alive and helps you avoid probate court. Continue reading“What Is A Revocable Living Trust and Why You Need to Know”