Archive for the ‘Personal Finance’ Category

Stocks are a Great Investment

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Know your facts.

Most people recognize that stocks are an excellent investment, but purchasing stocks can be a confusing process. This is especially true if you have little experience in investing, or no experience at all. You can turn the stock buying process into a good investment even as a beginner, and all that it takes to make this happen is to take your time and find the perfect combination of stocks to improve your portfolio and greatly improve your profits in the process.

* Read the History!

Choosing the right stocks means sitting down and exploring your options long before you make an actual investment. Read the history of each company and their stock, and also get to know the bare basics of the stock market before you make an investment. Most people mistakenly are led to believe that the stock market is purely a short term investment market offering high yields. This is not the reality however, as stocks actually perform better on a longer term basis than on a shorter one. When you are planning on making an investment in the stock market, you should plan to leave that investment alone for at least a year, or as many as five years if not longer.

* Know how much to invest!

The amount that you decide to invest into a particular stock is a decision that needs to be made carefully. Stocks are not a completely safe investment, so the amount that you choose to invest should be disposable income, or income that you do not depend on for important purchases like bill paying or groceries. Making stocks into a good investment is done by choosing a healthy amount of money to invest, that will not impact your ability to pay bills but that also will be large enough to earn you a good profit. An excellent initial investment amount for the stock market is generally around a thousand dollars.

* Know who to work with!

It is important that you understand the pros and the cons associated with hiring a stock broker when investing in the stock market. You are going to want to do some basic research before you commit to a particular broker, because there are fraudulent brokers out there that need to be avoided. Conduct a search online or in your local area to find a broker that you trust and feel comfortable working with. It is usually preferable to choose someone on a local level so that you can visit them for face to face advice, speak over the phone and speak online as well when necessary.

* Know how to make your investment work!

Making stocks into a good investment means that you need to avoid panicking if they should happen to fall below a certain amount of money per share. The stock market naturally fluctuates, but you need to retain your stock for as long as you possibly can before you decide to sell it. More often than not the market will go back up, so if you cash out too early you may end up losing money.

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Originally posted 2020-12-17 05:22:51. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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4 Tips for College Students Budgets

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Study and Save Money

If you are a college student, then your primary focus is probably set on your studies and trying to maintain your education so that you will be benefited in the future. Unfortunately, one of the things that you may not be putting enough consideration into is how you are handling your money. Even more unfortunately is the fact that failing to manage your finances now can put you in a pretty deep financial hole by the time you are graduating from college. For this reason above all else it is absolutely vital that you take control of your finances now so that you can have a bright financial future when you are through with your education. Here are some tips for college student budgets and how you can avoid college financial disasters.

1 – Only use credit cards in absolute emergencies.

Once you obtain a credit card, it can seem all too easy to begin racking up some debt, but this is a terrible way to start out, and may completely destroy your credit long before you graduate. Remember that the money that you spend on credit cards will eventually need to be repaid, and if you are not financially stable enough for this, you can put yourself into some serious debt with little effort. It is better to have a credit card that is intended only for emergencies rather than using it to purchase a new pair of shoes or to buy groceries if you can help it.

2 – Pay your credit card balance off every single month.

If you have a credit card, it has an interest rate, and if you want to avoid this interest, you absolutely have to pay your credit card balance off before each month is through. If you pay your balance off every single month, then you will avoid credit card debt and save a substantial amount of money that would normally have to go to interest rates and finance charges.

3 – Pay your bills off on time, every time.

Now is the most ideal time for you to begin building your credit history, and one of the best ways to do this is to always pay your bills off on time. If you are not able to pay your bills off on time, it can become quite expensive to deal with late fees and cut off charges. Many companies are more than willing to overwhelm you with late fees, shut off charges, renewal charges and deposits if you do not pay on time, and interest rates may also rise if you are late, costing you even more money in the long run.

4 – Start putting money away now.

Many college students never really grasp how important it is to save money. If you start saving money now, while you are still in school, you can reap a large number of benefits when you are older. Get into the habit of saving now, and you will begin to earn money from the money that you put away. When emergencies come up in the future, you will be better prepared which will save you time, money and hassle in the process.

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Originally posted 2020-12-15 05:36:10. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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4 Things You May Not Know About Budgeting

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Budget your finances.

While most of us understand the basic concept of having a budget and sticking to it, there are many misconceptions about budgeting that keep people from implementing one. Let’s address the most common things that you may not know about budgeting.

1. It’s not that difficult.

The prospect of frugality frightens many people and we instantly think that we’re going to be deprived and that it will be difficult to keep to our budget. Often, this leads to abandoning the idea all together. However, your budget doesn’t have to be terribly strict, or hard to follow. You can even budget in certain items to ensure that you don’t feel deprived. Here’s a quick tip: Allow yourself a little wiggle room at the end of the month to treat yourself to something special. This is a great incentive that can help you stick to your budget each month.

2. You can’t spend more than you earn.

This is a major problem for thousands of people and many may not even realize that they are doing it. The bottom line is – if you spend more than you earn you’re going to find yourself in deep financial trouble. A budget can help bring you in line and assist you in realizing just how much you make and how much is going out the door every month. Once you get a better idea of how much you really spend, your budget can be very beneficial in keeping you financially solvent.

3. Budgets are not hard to work up.

Although many are under the impression that working up a budget requires special software or templates, in actuality, you can do it with a pen and a piece of paper. The first step towards setting a budget is writing down how much you make every month. Then, catalog how much you want to spend. You may find it helpful to keep a log of all of your expenses for one month to get a better idea of what areas need to be addressed in your budget. Don’t let the prospect of setting up a budget intimidate you. Anyone can do it, and you don’t need special tools.

4. Your budget doesn’t have to be the same every month.

As you get your finances in order, chances are you’re going to be able to free up some extra cash each month. Our bills aren’t always the same and your budget shouldn’t be either. Taking the time to customize your budget every month will help you get a better idea of what you’re looking at and you’ll be able to plan ahead.

Budgeting is not difficult, and really only takes a few minutes of your time every month. For many, it’s the part about sticking to a budget that is the hardest to accomplish. However, you can train yourself and once you do get into the habit of using a budget, chances are you’ll find it easier each month.

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Originally posted 2020-12-12 05:03:51. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Tips for College Student Budgets

Monday, August 10th, 2009

College students going for financial success.

Trying to make ends meet when you are in college is not an easy task. Your income is usually pretty limited and expenses can be high, even if you have a scholarship. If you’re trying to save money or just get by, there are some great tips for college student budgets that you can put into use right away. These tips will help make it easier to get through the month and will help you get on the right track for building a strong foundation for your financial future.

Easiest Tips for College Student Budgets –

The best tip is to reduce the amount of money that you spend on non-essentials and fast food. Cafeteria food may not be the best, but if it’s free, then it’s worth it. You may also want to consider purchasing your own food to prepare at your dorm or apartment. This can easily save you more than $50 a month, depending on how often you eat out. Part of the college experience is figuring out how to budget, and preparing your own food is the best answer. You can still eat healthily and you’ll be learning great skills for the future.

Smartest Tips for College Student Budgets –

Getting a part time job may be a little time consuming, but it can free up quite a lot of money every week. Try to find a job on campus, like at the library, where you can combine your study time with work time. This will allow you to make a little extra money without having your school work suffer. Working a lousy job is yet another important part of the college experience and will provide you with the skills and experience you need for the future. You may also want to try to find a paid intern position where you can work on contacts for after graduation.

Entertaining Tips for College Student Budgets –

Entertainment can take a huge chunk of your money, whether it’s movies, the bar, or just spending money wildly. Learn to find free things to do with your friends and try staying in at least one extra night a week. Your school work will benefit from that extra day and you’ll be saving money at the same time. If you don’t want to cut back on entertainment, find other areas where you can scrimp, or work a little extra so that you have the money to spend.

Wealthy Tips for College Student Budgets –

Every year, college students take their ideas and put them into action. Facebook.com is a great example of a simple idea that turned into a billion dollar company.  Use Loanio to obtain a loan for seed money. If you have a great idea, don’t be afraid to try to implement it. You never know if you don’t start– you may just be the next big success story.

Money is usually tight for college students, but if you utilize these tips for college student budgets, you should be able to notice a big difference in how much money you have left at the end of the month.

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Originally posted 2020-12-11 05:03:47. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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How Do Savings Bonds Work?

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

What are Savings Bonds?

Savings bonds are a major offering in credit unions and at banks. It is important to know what savings bonds are all about so that you can understand whether or not they will benefit you in any way. This page is going to take you through some of the basics of what savings bonds are and how they are used.

What are Savings Bonds?

Savings bonds are securities that are issued by the United States Treasury Department. They are designed to provide funding dollars for the United States Government. In return for making use of your money, the government can then pay you interest. This discussion is going to specifically focus on covering EE Savings Bonds and I Savings Bonds.

How much interest is earned in Savings Bonds?

The interest rates generally depend upon the economic conditions. As interest rates in general begin to rise, so will the interest rates that are paid on these savings bonds. If you are looking for exact numbers based on the current conditions, the best resource is the website for the Bureau of Public Debt. In general, you will find that the interest rates are fairly competitive as far as safe, government backed investments go, and you may even benefit from additional tax incentives to enhance the returns that you receive.

What Tax Benefits are offered by Savings Bonds?

This is really going to depend on your individual situation. Depending on your situation, you may be able to earn some really nice benefits simply by using savings bonds. For starters, for example, savings bonds do not pay periodic interest that is subject to an income tax. Instead, they increase in value over the span of years. What this means is that you can delay claiming the interest until your bonds are redeemed, or until they mature, which is around 30 years following their issuance. If you do not want to claim the income now, but you want to claim the income later instead, then savings bonds can make this possible.

Another tax benefit that is associated with savings bonds is the Educational Tax Exclusion, or the Educational Savings Bond Program. If you cash your bonds in for use for qualified higher education related expenses, you may be able to exclude that income all together from your taxes. It is important that you are sure to follow the rule regarding the expenses, income limits and other regulations that exist if you want to take full advantage of this. For more information about this exclusion program, visit the website for the Savings Bond for Education Program.

Finally, savings bond interest is exempt both from state income taxes and local income taxes. What this means is that you can spend more of what you earn without worrying about the taxes. Depending on your state that you live in, this may be a big deal, but it may be insignificant instead so find out about your state’s regulations before you invest.

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Originally posted 2020-12-10 05:03:46. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Teach Your Teen About Saving Money

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

One of the biggest reasons why having a teenage child can be difficult is because teenagers tend to spend money easily and freely without any real regard for what goes into earning that money in the first place. Teenagers tend to spend a great deal of money on clothes, shoes, toys, video games, computer stuff, without ever really buying anything that they need. One of your biggest jobs as a parent is to teach them how to save their money.

First of all, you should teach your teenager how to save money by opening them up a bank account. When they have their own bank account, they will have a paper transcription of how and where they spend their money. Deposit their allowance directly into the bank account, and explain to them that once the money is gone for the month, it’s gone. This will teach your teens to be more savvy when saving money because they will have a better idea of how much goes in and how much comes out, and will learn to better track their expenditures accordingly if they know that the money will eventually run out if they are not careful.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.

Another consideration that you need to make when it comes to teens saving money is a really valuable quote that applies to many situations including this one: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” What this quote means is that giving your teenager an allowance, or money for the movies, or for any other reason, they will use that money and then it will be gone. If on the other hand you teach your teens how to handle their money and save their money, it will prepare them for a lifetime of financial fitness, which is the most ideal situation. By teaching your teen how to earn and save money, how to invest, and so on, you are preparing them for a lifetime of intelligent financial decisions. This may not prevent them from making poor decisions in the future, but it will better prepare them for what life throws at them as they get older.

You absolutely must be able to teach your teenage children how to handle their money. Once they understand what goes into making or earning the money, saving the money and investing the money, they will spend their money more wisely in the future. Teach your children how to invest, and how to get the most out of their money, and you will find them being excited about saving their money rather than spending it frivolously. If you want your teens to be savvy when it comes to saving and investing their hard earned money, you have to teach them the value of that money and what can be done with it besides buying designer jeans, ring tones and other toys. Not only will you benefit, but they will benefit significantly as well.

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Originally posted 2020-12-09 05:03:43. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Great Budgeting Examples

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Need some budgeting examples?

When you are looking at ways to implement a family or individual budget into your household, one of the most proactive steps that you can take is to look at great budgeting examples from other sources. Because everyone has unique financial and budgetary needs, there is no real one size fits all, cookie cutter solution to budgeting. However, by exploring what great budgeting examples are out there, you can source information, techniques, tactics and resources from what other people are doing, and bring them together to create a fully customized, completely unique solution to your own budget planning system.

There are numerous different great budgeting examples out there for different purposes. Who you are and what you hope to achieve in budgeting are both vital considerations to make when creating your own budget based on great budgeting examples that you find elsewhere. The Excel method of budgeting comes highly recommended by a variety of different people, including college students that have a primary staple food of Ramen noodles filling up their cupboards and busy moms that have to track a lot of different variables as seamlessly as possible.

The first consideration that you need to make when looking at great budgeting examples and drawing from them to create your own fluid, seamless budget, is what your main intention is. Are you trying to save up some extra money for a new car, or are you just trying to have enough money to get all of the bills paid at the end of every month? If your intention is simply to “save money” with no real goal in sight, then obviously your budget is going to be a lot more lax than someone who needs to pinch every penny for a new apartment, a better car or a big cross country move. College students, new moms and other certain individuals get hit harder, because every penny really matters and this requires for them to create much stricter budgets, which you can draw resources from if you are looking for something tight.

When exploring great budget examples, keep in mind a basic idea of how strict or how lax you want your budget to be. Some budgets account for every dollar you take in and every dollar that you spend, while others only place basic requirements on you to develop spending habits for better spending. Both of these great budget examples have merit, so it is really up to you to decide which is going to best meet your individual needs, whatever they may be. If you are serious about implementing your own budget system into your life in order to save money, looking at great budgeting examples and drawing from them to create your own custom plan is a really smart idea. This way, you will have a budget that is going to work for you based on your needs, rather than forcing you to struggle with a budgeting plan that doesn’t suit your lifestyle or your individual goals.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-12-08 05:03:40. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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How Do I Plan For Retirement?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

One of the most common questions people have is how do I plan for retirement? Whether you’re looking at retiring in five years or thirty five, it is important to come up with a plan that will provide you with more than enough to live comfortably. It is no longer sufficient to rely on social security to make ends meet once you are no longer working and it’s time to get proactive about securing your future. Here are some answers to the question, how do I plan for retirement?

Plan for your nest egg.

1. How do I plan for retirement in five years?

If you have nothing saved away at this point, planning for retirement is not going to be an easy task but it can be done. Depending on your financial situation and the amount of your paycheck, this is the time to start thinking about putting a significant portion of your earnings into savings. Although many are tempted to get into a high risk situation in order to make more money quickly, this is usually a bad scenario.

When you need to plan for retirement quickly, the best option is to speak with a financial adviser that can assist you in developing a portfolio of investments that will begin returning right away, as well as in the future. This is the safest means of getting your finances in order in a short period of time.

2. How do I plan for retirement in fifteen years?

This gives you a little more leeway, but it doesn’t mean that you should put off saving money and setting up alternative income streams right now. With fifteen years before retirement, you’ll need to take a hard look at how much you can save each year and whether or not it is possible to increase that amount, either through getting paid more money at your current job, or finding news ways to make more income.

At this stage, investment properties and stocks that have a solid history of returns are an excellent idea for many people. However, you should consult with a financial adviser to get a better idea of where you stand and how much time you have to start putting money aside. They can help you develop goals and stick to a plan to make sure your retirement will be worry free.

3. How do I plan for retirement in twenty five years?

At this point in many people’s lives, retirement is far enough away that it isn’t a real worry. However, this is the ideal time, or even before this point, to start saving money seriously and developing a long term plan to secure your financial future. Keep in mind that the cost of living will go up each year, and that your money today may not be worth the same amount in twenty five years.

This period of time should be spent developing a solid portfolio, multiple streams of income and a reliable savings plan that will help you get prepared for any eventuality.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-12-05 05:02:33. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Online Finance Magazines

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Finance Magazines

There are numerous different reasons to take the time to read online finance magazines. By buying and reading online finance magazines, you can learn a great deal about financing in a small amount of time. By buying and reading online finance magazines you will be infinitely better able to stay in touch with whatever new developments are going on in the finance industry, and you never have to leave the house to buy the finance magazines in print to do so.

If you want to learn about the latest developments in the finance industry, then one of the most advantageous things that you can do is to locate online finance magazines that you can read to get the information that you need. This will give you access to excellent financial information and know-how without requiring you to read mind numbing financial books and eBooks, which usually contain outdated and irrelevant information rather than hard hitting data and information about today’s financial industry.

Here are some of the excellent benefits that are associated with buying and reading online finance magazines:

– You will be able to learn what the top executives and sales people in the world have to say about a myriad of different topics, including topics relating to finance, leadership, management and a whole lot more. By reading what the experts in the industry have to say, you can learn a great deal about the finance industry as a whole, and current events going on in the finance industry today.

– You will be able to keep up to date on new developments relating to both financing in general and making money.

– Expanding your own knowledge about topics relating to finance and money, including both current events and up to date topics, and general knowledge as well.

– Getting a brand new take on how to finance a car, a new home, your children’s college education and so on. You may have some ideas already, but by reading other people’s ideas, you may find information you never thought of before.

– By reading online finance magazines rather than print finance magazines, you are getting access to the content that you need more quickly and more easily than ever. Forget leaving home when you can simply log in to the internet and read the online finance magazines that have the information you need.

One of the best things about online finance magazines is that they can allow you to get a great edge over your competitors before they even knew what hit them. By keeping yourself updated on all of the newest developments within the finance industry, you will always remain one step ahead of your competitors, because they are not gaining new intelligence on finance but are sticking to their old, outdated beliefs instead. If you want an edge over competitors in the finance industry, reading online finance magazines is absolutely the way for you to go.

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Originally posted 2020-12-04 05:02:30. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Breaking Down Budgeting

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

A personal budget is simply a spending plan. Before you work on personal budget planning you need to have a good idea of where and how your money is being spent. It can be a tedious process, but it can also be a true eye opener if you are not already well aware of how and where you are spending your income. Many people tend to spend their money with no real idea of where it is going. The first step to making a budget that you can live with is to come up with an accurate and easy to follow system for accounting for your expenses.

Track your spending! One simple and inexpensive method for tracking your spending is to purchase a small notebook from a grocery store. Keep this notebook with you at all times, and every time you spend money, write it down. You need to be able to keep track of ATM withdrawals, debit transactions and credit card expenses. You may also consider using a simple spreadsheet software program or a paper system in order to record and track your expenses from day to day.

Budgeting doesn't mean hoarding your pennies.

Create a budget! Having a budget does not mean that you have to squirrel away every penny, doing without important things that you need in your life. What it does mean however is that you are making sure that your most basic needs are being taken care of first and foremost, and that you are keeping yourself aware of how much money you have for splurging purposes. After you track your expenses, the next step is personal budget planning. Here are some things that will better simplify the personal budget planning process.

Income –

Make sure to include all sources of income and revenue, including gross income paychecks, child support, alimony, bonus checks, government checks, investments, retirement and personal business income as well.

Recurring Expenses –

Here are some of the usual monthly recurring expenses that you may find yourself dealing with. Along with your record of spending, this list will help to make sure that you are remembering everything that you need to account for: Food, home insurance, childcare, health insurance, gas, automobile insurance, electric, cell phone, home phone, internet access, cable, satellite television, water and sewer, prescriptions, dining out, garbage service, school lunches, entertainment, work lunches and charitable giving as well. You are also going to want to include monthly savings account goals, dining out, movies and other activities that you will spend money on regularly.

Variable Expenses –

This is a list of expenses that come regularly but not on a monthly basis. Some examples are spending for holidays like Christmas, Thanks giving, birthdays, personal care, income and property taxes, household repairs, prescriptions, doctor visits, clothing, shoes, school tuition, book costs, school supplies, school expenses, home equity, mortgage expenses and automobile expenses.

Unsecured Debts –

Here you should make sure to track any credit card debt, loans, school loans and other types of unsecured debt that needs to be paid off.

In order to put together all of these personal budget planning elements, you need to track your income and expenses on a month by month basis. Take the net amount you earn from each income source and figure out how much is earned in a year following this plan, then divide by twelve for a monthly average. Do the same with your expenses to come up with an average monthly amount. This is the best way to budget. It may not be exact, but it does allow you to more effectively and efficiently plan both for incomes and expenditures.

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Originally posted 2020-12-03 05:02:26. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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