Technology is a great and fascinating tool that is just waiting for you to take full advantage of its potential . You obviously have access to the internet if you’re reading this, so step #1 get access to the internet…mission accomplished! Beyond some of the basics you use the internet for, like reading the news, checking up on the latest sports scores, looking at the weather forecast and soaking up the latest gossip, there are so many ways to improve your circumstances, through information and education. But have you ever thought about the ways the internet can specifically help your finances? Perhaps we’ve just taken them for granted. Here’s a short list of ways that will have you smiling every time you hear the cha-ching of your wealth increasing thanks to the internet, whether it helps you make, save, or manage money.
Haven’t we all dreamed that one day we’ll hit the big one? Buy a lottery ticket and get that million dollar jackpot? If only it was our lucky day (sigh), that’s all we need to turn the ship around and sail into that beautiful harbor of the rich and famous. Is it really luck that makes people rich? I don’t think so and if you think about it seriously, you’ll know that isn’t the way millionaires make it.
Rich people are a minority and there are good reasons for that. They do things and act differently than the average person. The habits of the rich breed success and wealth. Your chances of becoming rich aren’t guaranteed, but your chances are better if you emulate the rich in their success-breeding habits, even just a little. Continue reading
Recently, I saw this advertisement (from last year) about finding a financial advisor you can trust:
I think it’s quite clever and delivers home the point that a reliable and trustworthy financial advisor needs to do more than just “look the part”. If you’re going to follow someone’s advice on your finances, you need to be sure that advice will be worth it and keep your best interest in mind. But how do you determine if you’ve found the right advisor for you? Continue reading
I often wonder if every family realizes the importance of teaching the kids about handling money. Money certainly is a topic that comes up every day, and when your kids reach a certain age, they should be included in the process that can teach them how it’s earned, spent, saved, and donated to help others and worthy causes.
Children are most likely to be receptive to this kind of education at an earlier age rather than later. Teenagers, for example, think they already know everything there is to know, have a competitive mindset when it comes to status with their peers, and certainly mom and dad can’t really teach them about much, can they? Young children are constantly absorbing and asking questions and being curious about everything. Money is no exception. Continue reading
In the world of financial responsibility and saving money, our rewards come from achieving our goals. It can be a long journey, and not always a “fun” one, as we adapt our lifestyles to fit our budgets. But a number of financial organizations and other companies are seeking to inject some play into that process through the gamification of savings. Games are great motivators, after all, who doesn’t like to win? So if saving money is your game, you may be wondering where the prizes are.
There may come a time when you face a situation when you need money that is above and beyond your emergency funds. We may all face them at some point, whether it’s a medical emergency, car or house situation, or perhaps something with the kids like a huge tuition bill or family issue you need to help solve. What can you do? There are several solutions, but today I’d like to address a common but often misunderstood one, the home equity line of credit, or HELOC.
First, let’s talk about home equity. The equity is the difference between what you owe on your home to pay off any mortgage and the current market value of your home. For example: Continue reading
Unless you live in an urban area with ample public transportation, having a car or truck is practically a necessity. And if you own a car or truck, having some car insurance is a necessity by law here in the United States. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in 2012 the average cost of auto insurance was $815. My home state of New Jersey was the most expensive with a whopping average of $1,220. While you can’t avoid paying for it, there are ways to save on car insurance premiums and shrink your bill.
So many of us live our lives in debt. We see most people around us living in debt. We have mortgages, car payments, student loans, credit card debt, and we keep on charging more. As we make minimum payments (maybe a bit more, or even a bit less), we expect to have debt…forever. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For many of us, what it takes is a change in mindset and a willingness to start paying off debt now.
That change in mindset isn’t always a small thing, but it can be a revelation. Most of us can live off less than we can earn, and some of that difference can pay down our debt. #DebtIsNotForever. When you begin to think about getting out of debt, can you imagine what your life would be like without seeing interest on your credit cards each month? Without getting a mortgage or car payment bill? What could you be doing with all that money…Living out your dreams? Retiring early? Funding your children’s education? Remodeling your home? Travelling? Starting your own business? Donating to charity?
It’s that time again, when the year is drawing to a close and we begin to think about the better versions of our lives that we want for the future. And so we make new year’s resolutions as people have done since ancient times. These days we resolve to lose weight, to eat better and exercise more, to save money, to get out of debt, to drink less or to quit smoking, and just maybe to actually be a more loving person. But how resolved are we if these resolutions are infamous for being broken?
In a recent article, Money suggests that people making financial resolutions fared better than with other types of resolutions and that’s a start. But instead of just making resolutions, what if we made goals backed up by a plan? Continue reading
All of us think from time to time that we’ll just never get out from under our money issues. We look at our 30 year mortgages and see that we still owe thousands and thousands, our car payments never seem to end, and every month we may struggle to stay “in the black” because of habits we developed years ago of buying with credit or impulse buying. But there are a huge number of simple ways to save money in the short and long term.