Archive for the ‘Smart Money Ideas’ Category

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.

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Originally posted 2020-12-05 05:02:33. 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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Teach Teens to Save Money

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Teach your teen about money.

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 savvier 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.

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 budgeting, 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 2020-11-25 05:01:04. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Finding a Legitimate High Yield Investment

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Most people hear the words High Yield Investment Program, or the acronym HYIP, and many of them quiver. This is not completely unnatural, because high yield investments only come with high risks, and most HYIP opportunities are not even legitimate to begin with. There are simply too many people out there who want to take advantage of green investors, bilking them out of their hard earned money by misleading them into high yield investment programs that are far from legitimate.

Look for High Yielding Investments.

Because of these factors, along with numerous others, High Yield Investment programs have gained a notoriety that other types of investments can really only be envious of. This reputation has unfortunately dissuaded many serious investors from considering them, instead encouraging shadier elements of the financial marketplace to set up shop using them for profit. This is quite a pity, however, because High Yield Investments, when legitimate, can actually prove to be an extremely valuable tool when it comes to the generation of personal wealth. If you are an investor who is smart and discerning, you will actually find plenty of wonderful opportunities to increase your investment by a sizable amount of money.

Not all HYIP opportunities are scams, and there are plenty of opportunities for high yield investment that are plenty legitimate. Many of them have been utilized for years, and in this time have been able to create success stories out of ordinary, regular people. Everyday people have been able to take on these high risk, high reward investments, turning their investment portfolios into true success stories. There are two different types of High Yield Investment Programs, those that are legitimate and those that are not. The non-legitimate ones tend to have to do with investing in offshore trading companies with technicalities and rules that are shady at best. Avoid these at all costs. The other option is the transparent kind that involves investing in local, understandable and verifiable trades in shares, futures and gold for example.

Finding a successful, profitable High Yield Investment Program that is going to lead to your success, you should always look for the programs that put serious emphasis on transparency. You are going to want to know how the program is developing, and what you can expect to receive in returns. You are also going to want a tangible contact that you can connect with as needed, meaning that you will have a person that you can talk to whenever you need one, either over the phone or through e-mail.

If you find an HYIP that is promising too much, you absolutely must be wary. HYIPs do give higher returns than the normal rate, but if the ROI that you are being offered makes your eyes fall out of your skull, you’re probably looking at something bogus. There’s a big difference, after all, in providing good rates, or to good to be true rates.

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Originally posted 2020-11-24 05:01:03. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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How Do I Plan For Retirement

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Every working man and woman is entitled to a retirement that is secure and comfortable. Saving and planning for retirement is not necessarily an easy process however because we are living longer and healthier lives in general, which means we need more money to survive retirement than ever before. If you want to learn how to plan for a healthy, comfortable and secure retirement then you need to begin planning wisely using a blueprint similar to the one outlined below:

What do you plan to do in your retirement?

– Save early and often. –

The sooner that you begin to save money, the longer the amount of time you will have for those funds to grow. By putting compounding to use, you can make gains every year that will add on to the gains of the prior year, and so on and so forth. This can really add up, fueling the growth of your retirement fund.

– Set realistic and attainable goals. –

Do not use rules of thumb to project your retirement expenses, because they are based upon your needs and not the needs of others before you. What type of lifestyle do you want to live when you retire? Figure out the expenses accordingly and use these expenses to formulate how much money is needed to supplement social security and other income sources during retirement.

– Save using a 401(k). –

This is one of the best and one of the easiest ways that you can save money. Making contributions towards a 401(k) plan can provide you with immediate tax deductions, matched contributions from your employer, and even a tax deferment on the growth that your retirement savings accrues. This is absolutely excellent advice for anyone who ever wondered how to plan for retirement.

– Utilize IRAs for retirement savings with tax advantages. –

IRAs provide you with large tax breaks much in the same way that 401(k)s can. They offer two different types of tax breaks, one which provides growth that is tax deferred, and one that provides tax free growth but doesn’t allow for deductible contributions the way that traditional IRAs can. Roth IRAs do not allow deductible contributions, which mean withdrawals do not require you to owe any taxes in the way that traditional IRAs do.

– Make wise asset allocation moves. –

This means that your portfolio should be divided between stocks and bonds in a wise manner so that you can make a strong and powerful impact on any of the long term investment returns that you have. Stocks are the best option for stable and long term methods of growth, while bonds work well both in the short term and long term. Still, you should not rely too heavily on bonds when planning for retirement. If you want to stretch your nest egg’s life out to the best of its capabilities, you absolutely must make tax efficient withdrawals.

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Originally posted 2020-11-14 05:57:29. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Personal Budget Planning is Crucial!

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Create a budget.

Personal budget planning is absolutely crucial if you want to build personal wealth and overcome things like the credit crunch and the current problems that the economy is experiencing. The word “Budget” is one that worries a lot of people because it often seems more like a hassle and a chore than anything else, but there are a lot of easy things that you can do in order to create a personal budget planning process that is beneficial to you and your entire family and household. Here are a set of basic steps that will help you build a personal budget that is going to work well for you and your household as a whole

– Begin the personal budget planning process by collecting at least three months worth of bills, expense statements and receipts.

Look at your bank statements, cash transactions and any receipts that you have saved. Look through your credit card statements as well. What did you purchase? What bills did you pay? Were there any fees that you paid? Are there any habits in your monthly bank statements that are worth noting? Are you spending basically the same amount of money every month? Are there expenses that are the same or similar every month? Answering these questions will give you a good foundation for your personal budget planning.

– Now that you have a firm handle on your expenses, the next step is to gather documents relating to your income.

If you are on salary, put together your paychecks and make sure that you are getting the same amount every month. Otherwise you should gather between three and six months of income statements to get an average amount that you earn in a single month.

– Now that you have a good idea of both your expenses and your incomes, the next thing to do is to compare them to see how much money is left.

This may seem like a frightening step, but it is important if you want to know how much discretionary income you have every single month.

– Now that you know how much money exists at the end of the month on average, you can start looking at what expenses can be eliminated or reduced.

Review your expenses carefully to find out how you can leverage additional income on a monthly basis, because this extra money can be used to reduce debts and begin to save money for the future.

Now that your basic budget is outlined, you can begin to work on prioritizing your debts by reviewing interest rates and listing your debts beginning with the highest interest rate and working down. Once your budget and discretionary income have been outlined you can begin to plan for your financial future by outlining both short term and long term goals in your personal financial life. The last step is simply to exercise patience and to stay the course for as long as you can. Personal budget planning is not going to become a habit as quickly as over night, but it will eventually become a habit if you practice it regularly.

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Originally posted 2020-11-13 05:58:04. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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When Disaster Strikes

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Stockpiling can adversely affect prices.

As Hurricane Ike took aim for the Gulf Coast, the financial markets reacted much in the way that they were expected to. Gas prices jumped to $5 a gallon along the gulf coast, and many expected the price jump to go nationwide, particularly if the hurricane caused damage to any offshore oil rigs. Since the industry in the area was still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, it comes as no shock that the worst case scenario was trotted out with the approach of Ike.

But, what does this mean for the average consumer? How badly will prices be affected by another adverse event? We’ve seen the economic damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, so we have some form of basis to go on as to what to expect, but that does not mean that panic is necessary. There are a few things the average household can do to shore up their own defenses against natural disasters, whether they hit right at home, or thousands of miles away.

Panic is an ugly thing, and as people raced to the pumps to fill up their tanks, it is apparent that fears over even higher gas prices are running rampant. It is important to stock up on necessities such as fuel, but going into a panic mode over it is certainly counterproductive. Preparation is very important but the key is remaining calm. Panic serves only to weaken economic situations, and by looking at the issues rationally, you can rise above this problem and come out on top.

If you have extra gas containers, there is nothing wrong with stocking up, but hording is not recommended. This serves only to impact the overall balance of supply versus demand and can actually make prices worse. Stocking up on other necessities is also a good idea, but again, within reason. There is no need to run and clean out the grocery store and give into that panic mentality.

Preparing for natural disasters should be done well before they strike, no matter where you live. By waiting until the last minute, consumers can end up overspending, only to find that there was no real reason for all of their upset. If you are in the path of a natural disaster, or your area is at risk, keeping a special disaster kit is the perfect response to this problem. Preparing ahead of time, while prices are low and panic is not present, will help consumers beat the common problems of panic-fueled prices.

In today’s society, there is definitely a raised awareness of how disasters, both manmade and natural can affect us all. Preparing is essential, there is no doubt about that. However, the key to getting ready is taking the time to stock up before disaster strikes, so that when it does, you have everything you need on hand. This will help you save money, reduce overall stress and keep you prepared for any eventuality, and without putting you through the paces of panic.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-11-07 05:10:16. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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8 Tips for College Student Budgets

Monday, July 6th, 2009

#4 Pace Yourself

Below are eight tips for college students about money and finances.

1. Track your Expenses

If you track your spending for a few weeks, you will be better able to figure out where your money is going. Are you spending an exorbitant amount of money on Starbucks? You may want to cut back. Most college students do not realize where their money is going until they really take the time to pay attention to their receipts at the end of the week.

2. Formulate a Plan

The best way to manage your finances over the course of a semester is simply to sit down and really take the time to map out a budget. List all of your sources of income, tracking potential income and actual income earned. Then list all of your expenses, including tuition, books, groceries, and so on. When you have a plan formulated, you can better track money coming in and going out.

3. Make Room for Good Time Money

You need to make plans to have a little bit of personal spending money for entertainment purposes, eating out or other special purchases, otherwise you can easily throw your entire budget plan out of whack. Make some room for entertainment money and just vow to stay within your budget from month to month.

4. Pace Yourself

If you spend too much money at the beginning of the semester you will run out of money before the end. Give yourself a weekly spending limit based on how much income you have, and stick to it so you don’t end up tapped out by the end of the semester.

5. Go Easy on Credit

Credit cards are nice, and useful, but only for some purchases and not all. One quick way to spend way beyond your means is to use credit in the wrong ways. Use your credit cards sparingly if you have them, otherwise you may end up hooked on charging things, which is a great way to rack up unavoidable, unnecessary debt.

6. Set a Personal Credit Line

Just because your credit card has a limit of $2,000, that does not mean you have to spend that much. Only spend what you can actually pay back. If you only have $500 to attribute to paying back a credit card, only spend that much on the card and you will be fine.

7. Be Realistic

You can do what you want to do, but you cannot necessarily do everything that you want to do. Make some choices and be prepared to make some sacrifices because doing things and buying things is going to make a dent in your wallet, but some expenses can be easier on the wallet than others and provide just as much return on investment.

8. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

If you bust your entire budget this week on something you want to do, make sure to make up for it next week. If you constantly spend your entire budget frivolously, you can end up unprepared for emergencies like auto maintenance costs, course materials, health costs and so on.

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Originally posted 2020-11-06 05:11:31. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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