6 More Things It’s Never, Ever OK to Do with Your Money

One of the things we all do at one time or another in life is to make a really dumb money decision. I’m not just saying that you have done it. I’m saying we all have done things you should never do, including “moi”.

There are just some things you should never do with your money. Take my advice so you don't have to learn the hard way like I have.

A while back I wrote about 14 things you should never, ever do with your money and I meant every word of it.

Most of the things on that list would put a serious dent in your wallet. But every day, I can’t help but notice that people continue to fall victim to pitfalls and traps with their money even though in many cases it’s because they just wanted to help someone or they were badly informed about something. Good motives can sometimes just backfire on you. Continue reading

Money Advice for Millennials From a Baby Boomer

Today’s post is aimed primarily for the millennials out there, but if you’re older, one important way to help millennials deal with their finances in this complicated 21st century world is to give some sage advice and share some life experienced wisdom to them directly from your own life. If they even get one or two important points from you, consider it a success. Being a baby boomer myself, I know most of my own generation was not very tuned into parental advice given by the older generation back in the day. I think things are a little different today. That’s why this post is for you too, if you want to help a younger person. So here are some great financial strategies that I often preach and hope you will share with the millennials in your world!

Millennials face significant financial challenges as they build their future. That's why my experience and advice as a baby boomer may help. Here's my money advice for millennials to work with.

Some Things Just Never Change

The younger generation sometimes gets some knocks from us older folks and much of it is really undeserved. When I was a kid, everything from the way I dressed to the music I listened to was critiqued by anyone over 30 and that is more or less the way it has always been throughout the generations, hasn’t it? But even though my Mom and Dad may have had a problem with my “radical” interests, long hair, strange language, and anti-establishment mentality, it is the badge of youth to try and forge new ways in the world and seek a unique path to a successful future, at least that is always the plan. Continue reading

How Financial Planning Changes When There’s an Age Difference

Planning your finances is never really simple. But when one spouse is many years younger than the other, there is often even more to consider. For example, instead of planning a typical retirement income stream of 30 years, it’s going to be more like 40, maybe even 50 years. Financial planning when there’s an age difference can be a bit more complicated.

If there's an age difference between you and your sweetheart...10 years, 15 years, 20 years or more...it can affect your finances. Financial planning when there's an age difference has some important distinctions of which you should be aware.

For me and my wife Suzanne, this is that situation. I am currently 68 and she is just 47. To be honest, it didn’t really dawn on me as to what might make it very different when we are 20+ years apart in planning retirement life until just a few years ago. Having met her when I was working and just in my mid 50’s, I thought retirement was far off in the distance and never dreamed that I would “have” to retire early because of my health and that she would become disabled for health reasons too. That’s made me ask the question: “What do we do differently to deal with our finances when one spouse is so much younger than the other?” Continue reading

Your Opinions for Money – Are Paid Online Surveys Worth It?

If you are looking for ways to make extra money (and aren’t we all?) then here’s an idea to give a try: paid online surveys. If you are anything like me, you have strong opinions and you spout them off at just about any opportunity that comes along. That might explain why I am not invited to a lot of parties? Hmm, that makes me think. But I just can’t help but throwing my two cents in whenever the situation arises. Having said that, you can throw your two cents in and it can actually result in you getting some cash thrown right back at you!

If you like to give your opinions, you can get money by completing paid online surveys. But before you get started, there are some important things to know. Here's what beginners should realize before they dive in.

 

Online opinion and survey sites have become a really popular way for some folks to cash in doing some pretty easy, mindless things in their spare time. The number of websites willing to pay you is growing every month. So, as Smash Mouth’s 1999 hit song says, “you’re an all star….get paid”. Continue reading

Risk Tolerance and How It Leads You to Rewards

Most people are hesitant to take risks in their lives. It’s kind of human nature for people to fear risk. With the possible exception of Evel Knievel, Neil Armstrong, and a couple of others, it’s tough for us to step out onto that ledge and take a chance. You probably won’t be considering riding a motorcycle and jumping over a dozen cars or rocketing to the moon and back for fun or profit like Evel and Neil did back in the day, but what about other risky things that you deal with in your real life all the time? It all has to do with your risk tolerance.

It's important to know your risk tolerance, not only when you are investing, but in life as well. If we're afraid to take big risks, we may never know big rewards. Here's the smart way to deal with risk.

What Are Some Risks You May Have to Face?

There is a laundry list of things and events that we face regularly that may involve risk. That means everything from meeting your future in-laws for the first time to making financial investments for your future and retirement. Continue reading

Protect Your Parents From Frauds and Scams

Being an older person (I’m 68), I know what the real world situation is when it comes to frauds and scams. Scammers tend to prey upon the elderly. Protecting yourself from fraud and scams would be a big enough job by itself, but you also need to protect your older parents from becoming victims of con artists.

While we all can be duped, your elderly parents are at greater risk of becoming victim to frauds and scams. Here's how you can help protect them from these financial dangers.
These days, many of us no longer live near our parents, making this effort even more difficult. You may not be aware of what phone calls, emails, and letters they receive which may be luring them into financial ruin. It’s a growing problem for a number of reasons and the biggest one is that the older generation is a soft target, many with assets that are fairly accessible for everyday use from a checking or savings account. Continue reading

Free Money Update – How I “Earned” $5,000 in 36 months!

Awhile back I wrote about how the bank was begging me to take their “free” money! It was a real eye-opener then and frankly it is even more so these days. In fact, not a week has gone by without me getting an email, snail mail, or phone call about some kind of offer to get cash rewards and bonuses from banks for opening up a new account or credit card somewhere.

There's no such thing as free money...except sometimes there is. Here's how I "earned" my free money bonuses and rewards using credit card and bank account offers.

Getting these offers is mostly due to the fact that my wife and I have really excellent credit. It’s not that I am bragging here. Having great credit is so important for lots of reasons, not just for getting offers like I am talking about right here, but for much more important reasons like getting the best interest rates, qualifying for a good job, and lots more.

But, getting free money under certain conditions that don’t require any significant effort in my life sounds like I win bigtime! In fact, would you believe me if I told you that in just over 3 years, I have “earned” over $5,000 from the bank without spending any money that I wouldn’t have spent anyway? It’s true. Continue reading

Tipping Guidelines – Are There Really Any Rules?

There’s a tricky subject out there that many people fear to talk about with their friends and family. No, I’m not talking about the usual controversial stuff like sex, politics, or religion here. I’m talking about the subject of tips and tipping! Believe me when I tell you it’s a subject that you deal with pretty often and it involves so many different angles for you, your family, and of course to the people with whom you are interacting, the “tippees”. So today I’m going to cover my tipping guidelines.

Tipping can be a very confusing and even controversial subject, so here, along with some tipping history, are my tipping guidelines for all sorts of situations.

I can honestly say that this is a subject that can cause friction and even arguments for some and lots of second guessing and confusion for others. I have to be honest; it has been on more than one occasion for me. If you think about it, tipping adds a chunk of expense to your experience and you want to get the most for your money when you tip. That’s why today, I’m asking out loud this question: “Are there really any rules for tipping?” Continue reading

How New Metal Import Tariffs Might Cost You in the Long Run

I don’t often write about government policies that can impact your personal finances just because I am not here to write about what’s political in nature. Ok, tax reform and tax law being a major exception to that idea, but that is an essential part of our finances so I can justify it. But having said that, the news this week of the establishment of import tariffs in the U.S. has everyone in the finance world buzzing. Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water…pardon my “Jaws” reference but it does feel like there is a great white shark looming out there and it might be a bit dangerous right about now. Is a trade war looming?

The current administration has moved forward with it's promise of import tariffs on steel and aluminum, but what affect could this have on your finances? Here's a look at what could happen as a result of this new policy.

I have literally re-written this post three times this week as new information and speculation has been surfacing every day about these proposals. Finally, the executive orders have now been signed.

Where Are We Right Now?

The economy and jobs picture seems to be humming along right now, but changes are happening. The new tariffs on foreign material steel and aluminum imports are going to affect industries that employ millions of Americans. Cars, beverage and robotics manufacturing are just three of the sectors that will be affected. Continue reading

Concentrate on the Big Three Expenses of Your Budget

Have you ever gotten through the month and breathed a sigh of relief because there was still a little bit of money left in your bank account? It’s a great feeling but sometimes it almost feels like a mystery. How did I do that? Why was this month such a good one compared to most others? Most of us are used to feeling stressed out because most of the time our money is tight.

When you're trying to get free from debt, little things matter, but concentrating on the big three expenses of your budget is the way to go. Here are the steps to take to eliminate debt from your life.

As ridiculous as this might sound, when I look at my monthly scorecard of what I spend and what my income was compared to my budget, I think about it like it is my NFL season record. You know, when I come in under my expense budget I feel like that’s a win and when I don’t it’s like a loss. I’d really love to have a 12-0 season, but frankly that hasn’t happened…yet. Continue reading