Our 5 Big Personal Finance Goals for 2017

I have to admit, there are a lot of times when I write about personal finance that I tend to leave out the “personal” parts. I talk about things that others should be doing and I just skip over what my wife and I should be doing about our own finances. Well, the fact is that I’d like to tell you that I’m just so darn good at this that I don’t need to improve, but I can’t lie! We have a lot of areas we can and want to change. There, I said it. Improvement only begins when you are being real and honest about your situation. Remember that please.

It's important to review your financial progress for the year, and make new goals for the coming year. Here are 5 of our personal finance goals for 2017.

Every year at this time, Suzanne and I sit down and talk about the upcoming year, and the financial goals we want to set for ourselves. It’s something we have been doing since we first married 10 years ago and it’s one of the big reasons that we’ve been pretty good with our money issues. I have always believed that planning ahead is the first step in achieving your goals and with finances, it is essential. Continue reading

Credit: How to Improve Your Credit Score and Rating

Here’s a simple fact. Your credit score is one of the most valuable assets that you possess. If you are the one in 10 million that rolls around in cash and that doesn’t ever or won’t ever need to have credit, congratulations! But while the 1% bathes in their pile of cash, the rest of us need to watch our credit. You see, to be real, you can never take for granted your credit score. It is always a big part of your life even when you don’t think it is. I’ll explain.

Credit can affect your interest rates, insurance costs, rental prospects, and even your job. Learn how to improve your credit score and maintain it.

To begin, your credit score is like your transcripts from school. It is a history, a report of your responsibility and track record of how you handle your finances just like your transcripts indicate your skills at academic endeavors. If you don’t have one, it is like applying for work and having no high school or college diploma. And if you do have one, it will follow you around either like a weight around your neck or like a life preserver to help make things safer and easier. A potential employer or landlord might check yours and it all has to do with what you have done, do, and will do! Continue reading

Dangerous Financial Assumptions That Can Wreck Your Future

Have you ever seen the old TV show “The Odd Couple”? You know the original that starred Jack Klugman as “Oscar” and the brilliant Tony Randall as “Felix”. You can learn a lot of things on TV you know, especially when it come from the genius of someone like Neil Simon and his iconic comedy. Back in the day, my favorite and most memorable episode of the show featured Felix explaining in a courtroom scene how you should never “assume” anything and on a chalkboard he draws the memorable line that: “when you assume, you make an ass of u and me!”

Some financial assumptions are necessary to plan your future, but others can be dangerous and even wreck all your preparations and work.

As funny as that line is, making assumptions about things doesn’t always cause a chuckle. When you make assumptions about your finances, for example, you often find that what you assumed would happen just doesn’t happen at all. Assumptions about your retirement plan may be shot to pieces because you assumed your plan made years ago would be just fine! When it comes to finances, rather than assume anything you should be planning for the worst and hoping for the best. You want to be able to react and adjust to what you don’t really know, don’t you? Continue reading

It’s Time for Your Year End Financial Review

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While we may all have holidays on our minds, the end of the year is rapidly approaching. That means you should probably make some plans for New Year’s, but we’re not quite done with 2016 yet! After all, you probably had some financial goals set in the beginning of the year, and it’s time to perform a year end review.  Not only is it important to track where you’ve been, but it will help set you up to start 2017 off right.

We're reaching the end of 2016, so it's time for the year end review of your finances. Not only does this hold you accountable, but it sets you up for 2017.

Your Year End Financial Review

Your year end review should cover all your money issues for the year. Here are some categories to help you get started. Continue reading

How I Bought Affordable Glasses Online at Zenni Optical

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I have needed my eyeglasses replaced for a long time now. I got my first pair way back when I turned age 40 in 1989. It seems a lot of people start having vision problem as they age and 40, despite being “the new 20”, is a time that it seems to hit us in big numbers. Now I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV), but I was having some trouble with distances like watching a movie or seeing the scoreboard clearly at the baseball games. The latter reason being a significant enough crisis for me to go to my optometrist and check it out!

If you're in the habit of buying your glasses in a store, check out my experience of buying affordable glasses online at Zenni Optical.The Old Fashioned Way

I have to admit it was not an easy thing to do. I went through the whole examination and not too surprisingly I was diagnosed with being near-sighted, making glasses a necessity. It wasn’t that much of a surprise but more of an adjustment for me both physically and of course, mentally. I just didn’t think I would look too good in a pair, having all my life been free of dealing with them. And God only knows how many pairs of sunglasses I have lost or broken (can you say “sat on them”?) in my life up until that point. So what was I to do? I did what everyone did before the internet was in widespread use.  I went looking for a retailer near my home. Continue reading

Do You Suffer From Acute Financial Stress?

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.

The holidays are prime time to be worried about money, but if you suffer from Acute Financial Stress, you may need some help in dealing with your troubles.

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

Follow Your Passion and Make Some Money Too

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.

The advice to "follow your passion" isn't always possible, or when it is, it doesn't always provide the income needed. Here's my story of mixing the two.

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

Start a Blog Now! SiteGround Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale

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Update: The sale is over, but you can still get great initial pricing from SiteGround.

If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog, now is the time…and if you already have a blog, you may want to consider changing hosts!

SiteGround is having a massive 70% off annual hosting sale for Black Friday! And don’t worry if you missed it on Friday, the sale is extended through Cyber Monday (until November 29, 3 am EST).

Whether you've wanted to start a blog or already have one, now's the time to take advantage of SiteGround's Black Friday sale on premium quality hosting. Continue reading

President-Elect Trump and Your Financial Future

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.

With a new incoming administration, the US faces quite a bit of uncertainty. Here are some of the considerations that will affect your financial future.

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

How to Take Advantage of Digital Wallets

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.

Digital wallets provide many benefits when you're out shopping. Here are some of the important reasons you should consider them for your payment method.

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