10 Essential Qualities You Need to Land a Great Job

As of right now, employment numbers are showing that the U.S. is approaching what is referred to as “full employment”. In fact, at around 4.0% unemployment we are approaching a 17-year low in the number of unemployed Americans. Of course there are some who challenge that assessment saying that there are large numbers of “under-employed” or those who have simply stopped looking for work ever since the recession of 2008 wreaked havoc on our economy. Some of that is true, no doubt.

The job market is expanding and now is the time to accelerate your career. Here are 10 job skills and traits that will help you land the position you want.

But, there is also a trend that is showing that salaries are starting to rise. Minimum wages are being raised and hiring for expansion in many industries is underway by the thousands. That means opportunities for workers are expanding. Continue reading

Why You Need to Build a Strong Financial Foundation

Life is truly an ongoing learning experience. It begins when you take your very first breath at birth and the learning process doesn’t stop until you take your last. That’s the way it’s supposed to be and hopefully you do learn and if you stumble a bit, you just don’t get hurt and you try never make those missteps again.

Building a strong financial foundation is critical to your success in life. By following these steps, you can take control of your finances and go where you want in life.

It’s a lot like when you learned to ride a bike when you were a kid. You probably were a little scared and maybe fell off a few times, but eventually you were able to do it pretty well. You probably had some help to get that done too. After all, learning from someone who has mastered a skill is a great way to hone your very own. Whether it’s riding a bike or building a strong financial foundation, the same principles apply. Continue reading

These 19 Finance Questions Explain Why You Have Money Trouble

Sarcasm warning: proceed at your own risk!

If there’s one subject area where today’s American adult population is sorely lacking in knowledge, it’s astrophysics. But if there were two subject areas, the other would definitely be personal finance. Don’t worry; it’s probably not your fault. After all, they don’t teach things like budgeting, using credit cards, or starting retirement plans in most schools.

We all have "dumb" finance questions from time to time, and it's important to seek out the answers. If you find yourself asking too many of these questions however, it may explain why your finances are in trouble.

As a result, I often hear the same really basic questions about personal finance repeated endlessly—basic questions to which we should all know the answers or at least know where we can get simple answers to complex questions. Continue reading

Damn Those Skeptics: Owning a Home DOES Build Wealth

Being back from my very brief holiday respite and having had the chance to recharge my battery, I have to tell you I was really infuriated by all of the cable news stations while trying to relax at home. Their ways of reporting on everything from politics to finances, especially when we get a rare “slow” news day, sometimes is all about the unusual, weird, and often just plain hard-to-believe stories that defy logic. One such story aired on CNBC when it reported on: “Owning a home may help you save some money, but it won’t help you make money and build wealth”.

Contrary to a recent study that says renting is better than buying a home in order to build wealth, I firmly believe that the best way to build wealth is to diversify, and this includes home ownership. Here's more on how home ownership can help you build wealth.

According to CNBC’s reporting, young people are better off taking control of their finances and renting than buying their home and relying on fluctuating home values based on the research findings of a recent study conducted by Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and the University of Wyoming.

To my way of thinking that’s a bunch of BS, study or not. While it is certainly very true that young people just out of college and beginning their careers are probably not in a position to buy a home, their goal can and perhaps should be to do so once they are in a better financial place. Continue reading

21 Really Weird and Wacky Ways to Earn Extra Money

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Have you ever had your hands clinging to a pair of inside-out turned pockets, and exclaimed, “There’s got to be something I can do to make some extra bucks?” We recently talked about “weird and wacky” ways to save money. But today it’s all about “weird and wacky” ways to earn extra money!

Almost all of us could use some extra money, but taking on a second job isn't very appealing. Here are 21 really weird and wacky ways to earn extra money that will help spark your imagination and get your cash flow moving.

Believe it or not, there are so many ways you can boost your income that it is almost unlimited. The problem is that many ideas simply sound just too weird or wacky to ever be taken seriously. Having done just a little exploring, I’ve found 21 ideas that might just be crazy enough to work. Yes, 21 weird and wacky ways out of literally dozens and dozens you can try to earn some extra money right now! Continue reading

These 14 Things Will Cost More in 2018

Your budget won’t like this, but there are a number of goods and services you can expect to be more expensive in 2018. Giving you a heads up can make your planning a little easier and certainly keep you sharp when looking to buy. This list is meant to do just that. Here’s what you can expect in 2018.

It seems like prices are always going up, but for these 14 items, you're sure to see a price increase in 2018. Adjust your budget and plan ahead for success.

14 Things Where You’ll See a Price Increase in 2018

1. New Phones

Smartphone prices have already started to rise. The latest iPhone model jumped to a whopping $999 and the Google Pixel 2 XL launched at $849. That means that some of us are now spending almost a solid grand on a phone (granted, they take some pretty amazing photos). It’s a trend that seems to run opposite from other tech products that usually get better and cheaper as they become more common. While there are always some good deals around, they are getting harder to find as phones are getting better but more expensive, and you can expect this trend to continue. Continue reading

My Holiday Wishes for a “Super” Year Ahead!

The holidays have once again sneaked up on us and this year I’ve decided to diverge from the usual financial topics to write about something closer to the heart, revisiting what I wrote last year. For me, that is taking some time out to appreciate what I have in my life and to think about something really important: gratitude and kindness.

As we approach Christmas, I am sharing my message of holiday wishes. May you and yours have a happy holiday season, and I'll be back after the new year.

The holiday season tends to fly by in a rush each year, and then suddenly, before you can say “hot cocoa”, the holidays are here and then so quickly gone! It is true that your holiday traditions and holiday moments can slow things down a little bit, and so can moments of gratitude and kindness to friends and strangers. But overall, the holiday season moves way too quickly and in a flash, the winter doldrums takes its place. Continue reading

What to Do in 2018: Your Monthly Guide to Personal Finance

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With every new year comes a fresh start and 2018 is just a few weeks away. While you’re thinking about making resolutions to improve your health, like losing weight or getting more exercise, don’t forget about your financial well-being.

If you're looking to reach financial health in 2018, here's the monthly guide to personal finance that will help remind you of what needs to be done.

Wondering how you might do that? It’s not as hard as you think. Here’s my month-by-month guide of the little things you can do that could pay off big:

Your Monthly Guide to Personal Finance

December: Create your goals and adjust your budget

The best way to create financial success in 2018 is to start now. First, figure out what your financial goals are for the year as that will be your “why” and will guide you on the right path. Next, it’s time to adjust your budget to reflect these priorities and to make any changes you know are coming, such as an increase or decrease in one of your expenses or income sources. This will set you up for a year of success. Continue reading

Double Trouble: The Stock Market Bubble and Carbon Bubble

Financially speaking, 2017 has been a very profitable year for many, especially those individuals who have a stake in the stock market and those businesses that have made huge gains as well. Just ask our leaders about that and you’ll probably hear over and over how great our economy is performing, “record levels like no one has ever seen before” to coin a phrase.

Facing 2018, we are headed for danger if the stock market bubble and carbon bubble burst together. Here's what may lie ahead for investors.

But, 2017 has been a year also marked and marred by unexpected events, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks and all kinds of political and social upheaval. It seems 2018 will likely prove to be no different, but the least we can do is examine our own expectations for the year to come, so we know where we may be in for some really unpleasant surprises. One such surprise might just be a burst in the stock market bubble and the carbon bubble that might spell double trouble. Continue reading

17 Year End Tax Moves & 1 More Thing to Save Money

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It’s that time again to examine the moves you need to make to increase your net income and save on your tax bill. For 2017, it’s even more important to look at this now because of the proposed major changes which are currently being debated in congress for 2018.

If you want to maximize your income tax returns for 2017, the time to act is now with these year end tax moves, before any possible changes from a tax bill.

It’s more confusing to try to make any year-end adjustments to income and deductions this year because of the potential changes that the reform bill being debated in congress right now has created. Although it’s tempting to take action based on any expected changes to the law, use some caution. Until the tax laws actually change, it may be difficult to plan exactly what can benefit you the most right now. Continue reading