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Learning About Money – Must-Read Financial Advice For Students

Whether you’re already a college student or preparing to begin your freshman year later in 2018 doesn’t matter. Taking responsibility in all aspects of your life is essential, not least when it comes to your finances.

Ignoring the need for stability will lead to repercussions that could harm your studies, happiness, and future. Use these five simple tips to stay in control, and you should be just fine.

Earn While You Learn

Regardless of which type of job you want, college is the ideal gateway. However, education alone only ticks some of the boxes. To truly prepare yourself for life in your desired industry, work experience is vital. Paid internships are the perfect way to develop new skills, gain insight that could aid your studies, and meet new contacts. The fact that you’ll be removing some of the financial pressures in the process is simply a bonus. Above all else, this background in the industry will serve you well when seeking future graduate roles.

Build Extra Income Streams

In addition to an internship or paid role elsewhere, you should aim to increase your earnings through alternative methods. Every dollar helps, especially when the efforts won’t impact your studies. Becoming an investor or trader can be a particularly useful solution, although you must accept the potential risks too. Meanwhile, completing surveys or playing esports can help you earn money in a more recreational manner. The options are plentiful, which is why there is no excuse for missing out.

Borrow Wisely

Unless you are lucky enough to secure a scholarship, college tuition fees will hit you hard. For most, borrowing money via a loan is the only viable solution. If you are going to take this route, however, it’s vital that you use a lender that understands the student situation. This Lendkey review shows the importance of choosing a suitable lender while pinpointing the key factors that you’ll need to get right. Aside from the financial rewards of making the right selection, the emotional reassurance can make a world of difference. If nothing else, you’ll be ready to concentrate on your studies.

Spend Money Efficiently 

Accessing funds is great, but it’s important to remember that your finances are far from unlimited. Aside from tuition fees, there are various living costs to consider. Saving money on daily overheads will make a world of difference to your situation. From using coupons with Couponmom to buying used books from past graduates, those savings are key. Meanwhile, it’s always worth asking stores whether they offer staff discounts. When combined with improved lifestyle habits, like trading takeout foods for pre-packed lunches, you will see an impact.

Build Your Credit Score

Budgeting is a vital element for all students, especially with regards to social events and luxury items. Nonetheless, you will find yourself using credit options for some purchases and services. Therefore, finding ways to build your credit score as a student can be the key to seeking better deals. This will follow you into grad life too, which could be crucial in the first year or two of being a fully independent worker. Just remember to avoid bad credit, and dangerous items like store cards, and you should be fine.

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The Freedom to Use Your Money How You See Fit

Everyone’s heard of the term “financial freedom” but we seldom think about what it actually implies. In most cases, financial freedom is simply just the ability to use your money how you see fit, but it actually carries far more meaning and weight than just being able to use your money at will.

The truth is, financial freedom is personal to everyone. It has a different meaning depending on who you ask and it’s something that you need to define yourself. To help you define it, we’re going to talk about a scale of financial freedom so you know what to aim for and how.

  1. Not having any freedom at all 

The very first stage we’ll be talking about is the zero freedom stage. This is where you’ll be receiving a monthly or weekly salary and most of your money will be going into things like your mortgage, bills and groceries. Although your job is reliable, you seldom have any spare money to spend on things that you consider luxurious. This could be a night out, a holiday or even just some nice food at the end of the week. The one thing that defines this stage is your reliance on your job. Should you lose your job, you’re going to be in a financial crisis and your savings are going to be gone within a month or two. This is the stage that everyone will likely have been in at some stage of their life and it’s the stage they want to escape the most.

  1. Temporary freedom offered by sources of income 

At this stage, you’ll have more than a single source of income and this often means you have a lot of disposable money that you can use how you want. However, if you were to lose one of these sources of income, then you’ll revert back to not having any financial freedom at all. This is the stage that you want to start using your income in order to clear up as much of your debt as possible. With the help of services like debtconsolidation.loans, this is more than possible. Your goal here should be to continue working for as long as possible so you can pay off things like your mortgage and other money you might owe. You should also be using this extra income for things like purchasing necessities like a car. Your alternate source of income will usually be obtained from a side business, a second job or even a trading career.

  1. Full financial freedom 

Once you reach a stage where you have multiple income streams and you’ve paid off all of your existing debts and have plenty of future investments lined up, you can consider yourself as having financial freedom. Articles such as this one from thebalance.com offer some brilliant examples of how you can approach having multiple streams of income in order to achieve this level of financial freedom. It’s good to note that if you lose too many streams of income, you’ll still have relatively safe levels of financial freedom because your debts and mortgage will have already been paid off, and you should have a considerable amount of savings stored away in investments or a savings account.

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Stop Living Hand To Mouth Once And For All

Living hand to mouth is something many of us do, yet none of us really like to admit it. Living hand to mouth is using your money as it comes in. You always seem to be waiting for that next pay day. You might even regularly find yourself in your overdraft or in debt because of it. Although earning more money can be beneficial, it isn’t always necessary. Here’s some advice that could help you to stop living hand to mouth once and for all:

Understand Your Income And Outgoings

The first step to stop living hand to mouth is to truly understand your incomings and outgoings. If you only pay attention to your income, then it’s no wonder you don’t have any money leftover at the end of the week/month. If you have more going out than you have coming in, you need to do something. Find ways to cut back and economise. Some people have gone as far as downsizing their cars, or even their home. This might sound extreme to you, but just because you could just about afford something doesn’t mean you should.

Act Like You Earn Less Than You Do

A good rule to stop living hand to mouth is to act like you earn less than you do. You don’t necessarily need to scrimp, save and watch every penny, but there are a few simple changes you could make to help you have more money left over. For instance, buying lunch every day can cost a lot of money, so why not buy the supplies to make your own for the week? Treating yourself to a coffee every day or even a couple of times a week all adds up too. If you were to buy 3 starbucks coffees a week, that would come to $6 or more. Over the course of a month, that’s around $24. Over time, this can really add up! Start acting like you earn less than you do when you go out to eat, catch up with friends, or go shopping. Take advantage of deals and don’t buy something if you don’t need it.

Create A Spreadsheet Or Use An App

To help you keep track of your incoming and spending, make a spreadsheet or use an app. There are so many apps out there that can do all of the work for you, and some of them will connect to your bank accounts so you can see what’s going on in real time. By using a spreadsheet, you can really personalize it to you. It’s a very organized way of keeping track of what’s going on, and the more you see yourself save, the more you’ll want to carry on!

Pay Off Your Debts As Fast As You Can

If you’re in debt, as many people who are living hand to mouth are, aim to pay them off as fast as you can. You should do this before you start saving. Having money saved is a must, but doing this before you’ve paid off your debts doesn’t make sense. Your debts will accumulate lots of interest, which means you’re actually losing money while you’re trying to save money. It’s worth knowing payday loan regulations so you know what you’re letting yourself in for. Some people find it useful to pay off their largest debts first so they aren’t accumulating as much interest, but others find it useful to pay off the smaller debts so that they ‘snowball’ and give them more momentum. It’s up to you which way you do it, as long as you get them paid off as soon as you can.

Save Left Over Money

When you’ve paid off your debts and you’re taking the tips in this guide, you should have some left over money each week/month. Don’t spend this money when you don’t need to. Put it in a savings account, so that you begin building wealth. Having a cash cushion behind you will help you to feel more at peace and give you a sense of security. Bear in mind that if you’re putting your money in an account that doesn’t accumulate interest, you’re not really saving. You should put your money in an account that offers interest, so you’re accumulating even more wealth.

These tips should help you to get your finances back on track, and stop living hand to mouth. Living hand to mouth can feel unstable and not very pleasant, so the sooner you stop, the better. It might take time to accumulate wealth and pay off debts, but you can do it with this advice and good focus!

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Protect Your Financial Future By Following These Tips

So many people these days don’t put plans in place to protect their financial future. It’s vital that you do this, and that you have some kind of organisation. Putting measures in place to help you prepare for a secure future is so important. Make sure you do what you can to cop me up with as many as you can.

Invest

Investing is a great way of giving yourself some sure financial footing for the future. But, before you do this, you need to know a little about investing and how to make the most of it. This means you’re going to need to know common investing mistakes and how to avoid them. You’ll also have to decide exactly what you want to invest in. This is the best way of ensuring you make the right choice and have maximum chance of a positive return.

Save Money

Saving money is something all of us try to do, and we all wish we could save more! There is no secret formula to saving yourself money. You just need to be sensible about what you spend and what your expenditure is. Some things, like mortgage and bills, you won’t be able to avoid paying. But, you can certainly cut the cost of other areas of your life. For instance, when you go shopping you need to try to make sure you only spend what you need to spend. Avoid buying stuff that isn’t essential, and try to make use of as many special offers as you can.

Debt Consolidation

You need to focus on dealing with any debts you might have. That’s why you’re going want to come up with some debt consolidation ideas. Debt consolidation is a vital cog in the wheel of battling debt. So, you need to find out as much as you can about it so you can get started. The best way to do this is to check out debt consolidation educational resources. These can help develop your knowledge and understanding of debt consolidation. Then you’ll be well placed to get yourself debt free and protect your financial future.

Make More Money

It might sound like an obvious point to make, but earning more money will help you a lot. The trouble is that this isn’t quite as simple as you may have thought. In order to make more money you either need to upgrade your job or switch careers. The only other alternative is to get an extra job to make some more income. And, the way to do that is to look for ways of earning extra money as simply as possible. You can earn money from the comfort of your home through a variety of methods including e-commerce, blogging, and surveys.

Looking after your financial future is so important for the sake of your family. You need to be in a strong and comfortable position in the future. And this means you have to make long-term preparations as well as short-term ones. The way to do this is to make sure you think about the different ways of protecting your financial future. Then you need to try to facilitate them as best you can.

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Personal Finance: Save Today to Invest in Your Future

Young people just getting started out often fail to recognize the huge earning potential they have by saving today in order to invest in their futures. There are so many things you can do to cut down on what you are spending so that you have extra money to invest with the intent of growing that money into a tidy nest egg. Looking for some innovative ways to save today to invest in your future? Here are a few ideas.

Do You Really Need that New Car?

Actually, a new car is just an example of all the things we buy when they aren’t really needed. Yes, it would be nice to have the latest sports car on the lot and it sure would be cool to own the latest upgrade to that gaming system. However, do you really need it? One of the easiest ways to spend more money than you have to spend is in getting the next, best thing on the market.

Try asking yourself if what you have is serving you well. Is there any advantage to buying a newer model? Obviously if your tranny just dropped out of your vehicle you probably need a new one, but just to keep up with trends is another matter altogether. Think before you buy.

Comparison Shop for Deals Wherever Possible

Another bad habit many people get into is in failing to do comparison shopping to find better deals or better rates. One of the most neglected comparison shopping techniques is to go online to shop for better utility rates. Many people still aren’t aware of the fact that government deregulated utilities a long, long time ago which means that you may not be locked into the rates you are currently paying. Texas is one state that offers cheaper energy because there are a number of suppliers that have agreements in your area of the state. You can get info online in regards to the suppliers available in your area and the rates and services each offers with their current promotions.

What to Do with the Money You’ve Saved

At the end of each year, after you’ve filed your tax return, take any money left to invest according to the amount you have available. If it’s a significant number, you can buy stocks and/or bonds, but if you only have a small amount, you might be better off buying something called a penny stock. It all depends on the amount you have available and the amount of risk you are willing to carry, but in any event, do invest in your future now.

One final piece of advice about investing in your future is probably called for here. Just as you are advised to take it easy on spending, it is also wise to take it easy on investing. Start slowly with small amounts and do your research. Never rely on the word of a broker, no matter how reputable, unless you fully understand what you are investing in. This has proven to be a huge mistake for a great number of investors in the past and a mistake you can learn from. Invest just as frugally as you spend until you know what you are doing. In the end, the loss is yours just as the gain would be, so take it one step at a time.

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How to Have a Dream Wedding on a Shoestring Budget

Getting married is expensive, but with the average wedding costing more than $30,000, it is hard to have a fairy-tale day on a shoestring budget. But the good news is you can make your day special without having to take out a second mortgage to fund the affair. So if you would like to get married and you don’t have rich parents to pick up the bill, here are a few tips to help you make your day super special – and cheap!

A Second-Hand Dress

Every bride wants the perfect dress, but designer dresses don’t come cheap. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian can afford couture creations, but the rest of us have to make do with an off-the-peg number. However, even new high street wedding dresses are expensive, so why not look for a second-hand dress on eBay instead? Since a wedding dress is usually only worn once, it should be in good condition and you can always make alterations if the fit isn’t quite right.

Bridesmaid dresses can also be expensive, especially if you want them all to look the same. However, it can be just as nice to have each bridesmaid in a different dress as long as the colors match. Again, look for second-hand dresses or ask each bridesmaid to buy something she likes that fits the theme; at least she will be happy with her chosen dress.

Cut the Cost of a Wedding Reception

Wedding receptions are usually the most expensive part of a couple’s big day. Booking a lavish reception at an up-market venue will cost you a fortune, but if you downsize the guest list and have a garden party at home, it will work out a lot cheaper. Hire a marquee and erect it in the garden in case the weather lets you down. Alternatively, go for a low-key party at the beach: just you, family and a few close friends.

Budget Food and Drink

Instead of paying for a sit-down banquet, fine wines and champagne, opt for a buffet and let guests pay for their own drinks at the bar. Buffets are not usually too expensive if the guest list is low, and as long as you provide a few bottles of sparkling wine for the toasts, nobody will complain too much. And if this is still more than you can afford, either do a big shop at a discount supermarket and stock up on prawns and chicken drumsticks, or ask guests to bring a dish each.

Cheap Honeymoon

Wait until the last possible minute and book a cheap deal on a website such as lastminute.com. It can be a lovely surprise to your husband or wife-to-be. If this doesn’t work for you, go camping and enjoy each other’s company in the Great Outdoors for a few days.

Even if you are planning your nuptials on a really tight budget, it is sensible to think about taking out wedding insurance. Things can and do go wrong, with disastrous results for everyone, so get a wedding policy at Best Event to ensure your big day is perfect.

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Six Tips for 401k Investing in Today’s Volatile Market

With the recent volatile financial markets, many 401k plan participants are asking for guidance on how to manage their 401k plan assets. To help answer provide some guidance, Charles Schwab & Co.* has released these six tips from Senior Vice President Mark W. Riepe, CFA. Participants should keep these tips in mind as they manage their 401k in today’s unpredictable market.

Here are Mr. Riepe’s six tips.

Keep Doing the Right Thing

Continue to make contributions to your retirement accounts. Our economy isn’t the greatest right now, but the fact remains that practically all of us will retire from the work force at some point in our lives. Even those of us who love work and can’t imagine doing anything else will come to a point where we can’t work any longer. Read more