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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Effective Money Management

Create a spending plan

A spending plan specifies exactly how you will spend and save your money. I prefer not to call it budgeting as this implies constraint and scarcity of choices. A spending plan on the other hand suggests mastery and control of your finances. It is vital to track every cent that you spend. The idea is to create a list of spending priorities that is aligned to what is most important to you. There is one thing that is non-negotiable. You may not spend more than your earnings and at least 10% of your income must be saved so that you can build capital for investment. You should have a short-term plan that covers the period of a month and a long-term plan that is for a year. This is because certain expenses like home improvements may need longer planning periods. Long term home improvements can also be managed by taking out a loan and paying a fixed monthly amount that fits in with your plan.

Simplify your lifestyle

You can save and live a life with lesser stress if you just simplify. An expensive car and dining out at popular restaurants is not a necessity. Don’t drink coffee at Starbucks or spend money on fancy branded clothing. Once you are earning your desired working income then you can treat yourself to luxuries but if you are struggling to save then really think hard about your lifestyle and spending habits.

Pay off your bad debt

Credit card debt is bad if you pay just the minimum amount every month. If you have a large credit card bill then do your best to pay if off quickly.This is because the high interest will keep you in debt for many years to come and will result in you paying more than the original amount. Sometimes it is necessary to take out a loan to take care of an emergency or a home improvement project. This is not avoidable but get the best interest rate possible and pay more than the required monthly amount so that the loan is disposed off quickly.

Create a balance sheet and income statement

This might sound like a scary proposition and you may think that these financial reports are just for businesses. This is not true, every person needs these drawn up so that they know what their net worth is. A person may be earning a really good income but can still have a very low net worth. Net worth is the total of all your assets such as cash, investments, properties and cars minus your liabilities such as loans. A person can have many assets but may still be in big trouble if they can’t pay back their liabilities. The ideal situation is to have assets that you own completely and liabilities that are not more than 40% of the value of your assets.

Financial Goals

If you have no financial goals then you have nothing to aim for. There is no point in saying you want to get rich. You have to specify the exact amount and the exact date you want it. What is the ideal working income that you want? Write down the exact amount then double it to take into account taxes. What is the exact amount of money that you wish to have in your bank account in five years time? What would you like your net worth to be in five years time? Write down all these figures and look at them everyday before you go to sleep and again when you awaken in the morning. This gives your subconscious mind something to aim for and manifest into your life.

Learn to invest

The interest your money earns in banks or financial institutions will never make you rich. It is important to earn more than 20% interest every year on your money. Financial institutions will never be able to do this for an individual. It is up to each person to learn the skills to invest in the stock market and residential property market. This is a long-term commitment which requires diligent study and application. You must read the books, attend the seminars and listen to a good mentor so that you can acquire the required knowledge. Once you have the knowledge then massive action and discipline is needed to execute the investment strategies. The work is hard but it will be worth it if you can retire early and not have to worry about whether you can afford the lifestyle you want.

Tricks Improve Your Finance

Pay Yourself First

After you start saving, you will have money starting to pile up. The most appropriate thing is to pay you first by bumping up one’s retirement contributions or to transfer some certain amount of money to a savings account. You can as well do both.

Completely Dump Debt

List all the debts you owe others and prioritize them according to highest interest rate or size of the balance. After you have had a budget and started realizing much savings, start paying your debts from the highest prioritized moving downwards till you clear all the debts. In short, crate an actionable plan and get out of debt.

Get Right with Retirement

In case you have been borrowing money from your work sponsored retirement plan account, you are headed for trouble at retirement. At your savings rate, will you achieve your retirement goal? Discuss this with a financial planner and make appropriate steps to track your investments.

Contribution Beyond the Company Match is Paramount

If you fail to contribute the required amount in to your retirement plan account as per the company’s full match, experts will tell you that you have lost tens of thousands of money over your lifetime. Don’t waste this free money. Take full advantage of it.

Open some Health Savings Account

If you have a HDHP (High-deductible health insurance) plan, it is prudent that you save money for future health service expenses in the tax advantaged HSA (health savings account).

Shop for Health Insurance Coverage

If you have health insurance coverage, you will save a great deal of money when you fall sick. This is because the insurance company will take either partial of full responsibility depending with the terms of your insurance cover.

Begin Planning for College

Don’t wait until a year or some months to college time before you can save for your kid’s college. Do research to know about some of the college fee accounts such as the tuition prepayment plans as well as 529 plans.

Begin an Emergency Fund

There may be times of trouble when you need to take care of emergencies. Experts do advice that savings for such emergencies need to be enough to cater for six month expenses. You may lose your job, have economic issues in your business, fall sick, experience a car breakdown etc. with this fund; you won’t be in a crisis. You will also not have to go into your major savings accounts to solve the problem.

About Online Bill Payment

What is the best reason to choose online bill payments? First of all, you can save time and money when paying late fees and postage. It is also actually safer than paying through mail. Personal information is at risk of falling into the wrong hands when it is printed on paper and goes through the whole postal system. Besides, you can manage your finances more easily when paying bills using your credit card. Furthermore, you can even save cash rewards and airline travel miles whenever you use it.

When you pay your bills online, you will save on the use of paper, doing your share in preserving Mother Earth.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of using online bill payments is getting rid of all the paper sent to your billing address. There will be less mail and envelopes to open and discard. Now, you can receive all your billing statements and reminders in your email inbox. Your service providers and banks will ask if you would like them to email your bills and reminders. They will gladly send your bill through electronic mail. This means less trash in your home and less paper in the landfills. With fewer paper bills, less fuel and energy will be spent on processing, printing, mailing and transporting. When it comes to environmental benefits, online bill payment is a sure winner because of the practical solutions it presents.

Another reason to go for online bill payment is to save money. Since you will no longer mail your checks, you will not spend on stamps. On the other hand, companies also save a lot on online transactions since less money will be spent on processing, printing, mailing, then transporting. This system works more to their advantage and they get more savings, which they would gladly share to their clients, in terms of lower fees.

Paying your bills online allows you to manage your finances and counter in one take. Online bill payment may be a daunting task to some individuals who are not organized or fond of high-tech gadgets. They would rather pay in check or get their paper bills inside the mailbox. However, there is nothing simpler than paying bills on the Internet. Certainly, it may take some time to set up, but afterwards, they are done. Once they get the hang of it, they will no longer go back to the old habit and get worried about late fees or losing their mail in their large pile of trash.

Personal Economic Independence

Opting the Right Profession

There are boundless economic works available in the modern world. Needless to say, the invention of internet and technology has further introduced oodles of online works as well. Selection of the right profession is duty of the economic agent. How may he/she opt for the right profession? Jeff Goins, author of the bestseller, The Art of Work, gives answer to the question. He offers a stunning approach to discover the purpose of life. Once the purpose is realized, one can consequently comprehend the right profession. Jeff writes: “when you pay attention to your life and the lessons it can teach you, you won’t feel so lost. Your story will seem less like a series of disjoined events and more like a beautifully complex narrative unfolding before you. You will understand each setback, inconvenience and frustration as something more than what it appears to be. And perhaps, as you listen to it, your life will speak.”

Jeff, in his case, listed out a few memories from his life and during the exercise, he was able to grasp his purpose; to become a writer. An economic agent, at the outset, can also implement the example of Jeff. He/she may note down some memorable events from the past and after thoroughly judging the worksheet, the agent will perhaps identify his/her purpose as well.

Execution of Economic Work

An economic work requires three steps for its execution; acquirement of marketable financial skill(s), setting up financial targets, short run and long run, and implementation of financial skill(s). Firstly, it is binding on the economic agent to gain knowledge and establish skills relating to the profession he/she chose. Peter F. Drucker, an American management consultant, in his book, The Practice of Management, inscribes the situation of lacking financial intelligence: “if he (the worker) lacks information, he will lack both incentive and means to improve his performance.”

Secondly, realize what you want in future and set up financial targets accordingly. A rational economic agent must have purpose(s) to earn monetary benefits; aimless chase of wealth without any specification of income stream is wrong. Lastly, put the acquired financial skills, proactively, in application to realize financial targets.

Hurdles during Economic Struggle

Human beings are weak. They make mistakes time and time again. Despite this weakness, God has gifted powers, latent and patent, to move forward. Economic agents can wisely use these powers to offset their financial mistakes.

In an economic struggle, the agent may face inner fragility, now and then. The vulnerability of the individual can be due to two reasons; inner faults or outer conspiracies. The major interior hindrances that can penalize the agent, repetitively, include indiscipline, fear of failure, get-rich-quick mentality and procrastination. First, getting over indiscipline requires an efficient work timetable, loyalty towards the earning platform and professional approach towards economic works. Second, fear of failure is a common obsession, which can demoralize an economic agent anytime. To drive away the apprehensive feeling, it is incumbent on an individual to solidify self-belief. Third, get-rich-quick mentality is rampant nowadays, especially on the internet. The sole technique to shield oneself from the irrationality is patience. Fourth, procrastination in an economic struggle can be withstood by implementing the maxim, be focused and be proactive.