Did you know that credit card debt can be harmful to your health? While it’s difficult to imagine anyone creating harm for themselves when using their credit cards, this should give you pause if that next purchase adds to a severely overweight credit card balance. In that respect, knowing how to pay off Credit Card Debt is no different than going on a life-extending diet.
Do you have an interstate mentality regarding your finances? On an actual freeway or interstate, you can see hundreds of cars ahead of you on the road. Your path is blocked, and your vehicle is moving slowly, if at all. Beware, the roadblocks you have set up in your mind tend to be less noticeable. Nobody is setting out an orange cone with blinking lights telling you to merge your credit card debt.
An interstate mentality takes place when you try to juggle payments on seven credit cards, transfer money from one bank account to another, free up expenses on one credit card so you can charge more on it while you make a payment for another card, and wait for a paycheck to cover checks you just wrote.
If you have a lot of different things going on financially, you have to stop to take a breath. Decide what is most important about paying down your debt. Credit card debt can be harmful to your health. Just like losing excess weight, you want to make your financial life sleek and slim.
Control Your Spending Habits
Slow down and make conscious choices. “I won’t charge my credit card, I’ll skip going out to dinner this week.” “Maybe I don’t need
three new outfits, and I should balance my checkbook.” OR… “Take a breath and focus.” (It’s good to remind yourself to slow down.) Learn effective tactics for dropping debt effectively, controlling spending. Don’t let credit card debt be harmful to your health! In fact, when you pay off your debt early, you reap the reward of less financial stress while enjoying more financial freedom!
Part of planning a sound investment plan is diversifying your money from simple stocks and bonds. Let’s look at how to diversify your money with my three favorite investments.
It’s nearly a decade from the last big crash in stocks and people are beginning to wonder if the stock market will just keep going up forever. It’s a nice thought but that always seems to be about the time that the market makes fools of us all.
That long-term focus on investing will help you look beyond stock prices whether they’re rising or falling and reach your retirement goals. A slow and steady approach to personal finance and investing often leads to financial freedom.
There’s another important idea in investing though, one that will protect your money when stocks do tumble. It will also help you reach your long-term goals, but this idea will make it easier to put up with the short-term hiccups in the market.
It’s the idea of diversification and it’s one of the most critical pieces in any investing plan.
What is Diversification?
Diversification is the idea that investing in different assets will help smooth the ups-and-downs in your overall wealth, especially when stocks tumble. If stocks are 100% of your investments, then a stock crash can wipe out much of your hard-earned money.
Many investors try to balance out their stocks with some investments in bonds, which are loans to companies, but there’s a real problem here for most investors.
Bonds don’t make much money!
Most bonds earn less than 5% a year and that’s before inflation takes a 2% chunk out of the return. That’s not bad and I’m not saying to avoid bond investing but many investors don’t have the patience to stick some of their money in bonds and wait for them to protect their portfolio.
They end up getting tired of that lower return on a piece of their portfolio, especially while stocks are producing double-digit returns each year. They sell their bonds and stick it all back in stocks…then get hit with a market crash.
How Do I Diversify My Investments?
Even if you had the patience to keep some of your money in bonds, there is a better way to diversify your money(ie. your investment portfolio).
Looking for other assets, other broad types of investments, will do several things for your portfolio:
• Help you earn a higher return than bonds but not have all your money in volatile stocks
• Reduce the amount of money you need in bonds to protect your portfolio from a crash.
• Produce a higher level of cash flow to pay expenses when you start spending down your investments
Now that you have an idea of how diversification can help create wealth and keep you from freaking out over the next stock market crash, here are my three favorite investments to diversify your portfolio.
Real Estate is the Great Wealth Creator to Diversify your Money
Few assets have created as much wealth as real estate. Like the man said, “It’s the only thing they’re not making anymore.”
If you’ve only got few thousand dollars to invest, buying property is out of the question but there are other alternatives.
• Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are real estate funds that trade like stocks. These are special companies created to hold commercial real estate. They get a special tax break for paying out most of their income to investors which means these investments pay out massive dividends.
• Real Estate Crowdfunding is a newer way to invest in real estate. Developers offer their projects on crowdfunding websites for investors. You can invest as little as $1,000 in a debt or equity investment in each property.
Peer to Peer Lending isn’t Just for Borrowers
I learned about peer-to-peer loan investing from my cousin several years ago. Platforms like Lending Club allow borrowers to apply for personal loans for up to $35,000 and investors can invest as little as $25 in loans that meet their criteria.
Actually, the idea of investing in loans is nothing new. Banks traditionally package and sell their loans to investment firms which then sell the packages to anyone that needs consistent cash flow. That means pension funds, insurance companies and college endowment funds are some of the biggest investors…and that you probably already have money invested in loans and may not know it.
Returns on Lending Club generally range from 5% to 14% depending on the types of loans in which you invest. I invest relatively conservatively in borrowers with a lower risk of defaulting and have earned a return close to 10% for several years.
The best part about Lending Club is that you can automate your investments to tell the website to invest your money in any loans that meet certain criteria. Since you receive money monthly from your loans, in principal and interest, it’s important to reinvest this money quickly to keep earning a return.
It’s true that the largest U.S. companies sell products overseas and that can help immunize your portfolio from trouble here at home but that doesn’t quite cut it. Investing directly in foreign stocks can help you diversify even further by investing in companies with most of their business outside the United States.
Many foreign stocks trade on the U.S. exchanges as American Depository Receipts (ADRs) so you can buy them just as you do shares of a U.S. company. You can also buy funds that hold shares in hundreds of foreign companies like the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (NYSE: VEA).
These aren’t the only alternative investments that will help you diversify your money but they’re three of my favorite. All three pay consistent cash flow that is regularly well above that of stocks. Putting it all together in a portfolio with stocks and bonds will smooth out any stock market troubles while still providing a return you can count on.
Joseph Hogue worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs five websites in the personal finance and crowdfunding niche, makes more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job and loves building his work from home business. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and has appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg. To learn more, visit: https://mystockmarketbasics.com
Have you ever analyzed that famous quote to see how it affects your life? Many people use “time is money” when talking about making more money. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin’s words ring true today. If you don’t maximize your time or money, you have essentially thrown both away and taken a loss.
Finding a Balance in Life
Think about a seesaw balancing your time and money. How do you approach “time and money” to create optimal benefits for you and your loved ones? Applying this integrated view may spark new ideas. Let’s take another look at this simple phrase and unpack some new options.
Grab a notepad and jot down your schedule for the next few days or the upcoming week. Take a moment to think about the time you have each day, the finances you have available, and determine if these two entities are moving you forward efficiently.
Articulate the dreams you hold and prioritize these goals so that you can start using your time and money to create a new life pattern. Setting key goals to achieve benefits your life as you acquire a fresh attitude, develop new habits and initiate change in your daily life.
Make Intentional Choices with Money and Time
Where do you want to be in one year? Five years? Do you dream of being free of credit card debt? Have you been hoarding travel brochures because you are longing to travel the world? Now is an excellent time to determine retirement goals too! Having goals generates more deliberate choices and boosts your potential for success.
Being intentional. You can find the time to get a second job or to invest in professional development/education. Honing your skills and remaining valuable is essential in today’s ever-changing environment. Determine where to adjust your work schedule to make time for family activities or the obligations of parenthood. Proactively set aside money today for a better life tomorrow. This process is all about finding the balance and value that makes YOUR life meaningful. And the most empowering part of this exercise is that You choose and You implement your life plan – it is your choice!
Goals to Change Your Life
Write down your dreams, project a time frame and you have set a new goal. Consciously choose what you value most in your life. Quiet all the negative voices or thoughts in your head. Use this outline to move forward and make a change because the only obstacle between you and your goal is time. Life is imperfect; you will make changes or readjust your forecast. That’s okay – life happens!
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other is called tomorrow, so TODAY is the right time to love, believe and mostly live.” ~ Dalai Lama
Being intentional and being in the moment are beneficial tools for creating value and living an abundant life. Be present this week, strive to maximize the time is money attitude, and live fully!
2018 has already arrived. Now is the time for you to set some serious financial goals and chalk out the strategies for achieving your success.
Didn’t get any time to make a list of new financial goals for the year 2018?
Don’t worry. We have compiled a list of six best financial goals to be financially smart – that will help you to improve your wallet and your life in 2018!
1. Pay off your debts
Decide how much debt you wish to get rid of in 2018. The best option is to get out of debt completely. But it may not be possible depending on your income and debt amount. So set an amount you can pay off in 2018 with strategic planning. Figure out how much extra you want to put towards your debt every month and then try to reach it. You can follow a debt repayment plan to speed up your repayments. Smart investments help to accelerate your savings. Likewise, unpaid debts eat up your savings. Late fees, compounding interests, fines, finance charges, penalties, etc. increase your outstanding balance, and you end up paying more in the long run. So, make it your goal to get rid of debt in 2018.
Here are a few tips to review your investment plans:
(i) Calculate your actual return to know if you’re on the right financial track. Once you get the number, compare it to your expected return. Find out if you have made any financial progress in the last few years.
(ii) Compare each individual holding to a benchmark. This comparison would help you discover portions of your portfolio that need adjustment. Monitor those parts of your portfolio every month.
(iii) Analyze your overall asset allocation to identify the areas where you need to make changes. For instance, sell those investments that are not meeting your expectations. If you don’t have proper information or tools to review your investment mix, then it’s best to consult a qualified and experienced CPA financial adviser. He can make an in-depth analysis of your portfolio and help you make the required changes.
3. Stick to your budget every month
Budgeting is vital for proper allocation of funds and resources. It helps you know the amount designated for each expenditure line. A budget also assists you to determine the maximum amount to be spent on a particular item. If your goal is to invest in the stock market in 2018, then budgeting can help you a lot. Your budget gives you a better idea of how much you can invest or save in a particular month. Remember, if you can stick to your budget, then you’re financial goals will be reached more effectively.
4. Invest more in your retirement plans
Do you have a 401(k) plan? If not, open an account today. How much are you contributing to your 401(k) plan every month? Is it enough? Are you getting the maximum employer match? If not, then find out if there is a “catch up” opportunity this year. Increase your IRA contribution if you haven’t reached the maximum limit for the current financial year. Take full advantage of the new year’s opportunity for building your nest-egg.
5. Choose the right 529 plan
The right 529 plan can help to accelerate college savings. Research and choose the right 529 plan in 2018 by the following factors:
(i) State tax benefits
(ii) Investment choice
(iii) Fees and costs
(iv) How much you have to invest initially
A good way to kick-start your college savings is to invest a set amount each year. Consider the daily expenses you need to take care of and select a plan that has a minimum investment.
6. Create a long-term financial plan
Where do you see yourself after five years? Do you see yourself
living with your children in a nice house? Do you see yourself leading a peaceful life? The answers to these questions help you create a long-term financial plan.
Outline your timetable:
● When you’re planning to buy a new apartment
● When you’re planning to switch job
● When you’re planning for retirement
● How you’re planning to build wealth
● What type of investments you’re interested in
● How you’re planning to invest your money
● When your kids will go to college
A long-term financial plan can help you make the right financial decision not only in 2018 but also in the next few years. Try implementing these six best financial goals into your life. Note: Don’t compare your long-term financial plan with others since it won’t be beneficial for you. Your long-term financial plan will be different from your best friend’s, especially if he is married and you’re single. I hope you understand my point.
Summing It Up
Remember, you have to work hard and make plans to achieve your financial goals. Believe in yourself, set a strategic course of action, and start making positive changes using these six best financial goals to get your money matters organized. Best of luck! Patricia
About our Guest Blogger: Patricia Sanders is a financial writer and a blogger as well. She has been associated with DebtConsolidationCare for a long time. She writes regularly for wiki.debtcc.com on a variety of topics and also contributes valuable posts to different financial communities, blogs, and websites. Connect with Patricia on Facebook and Twitter.
Priorities are not just limited to material things. A priority could be that you want to spend more time with your kids. You may wish to volunteer for those less fortunate than you. Or you may want to take classes to boost your skills. Now is the time to identify your priorities. It does not always have to be something that involves money—it’s about finding the right value for you.
Making Conscious Choices
When I first started working, money was tight. As a result, I had to be creative with my budget. I decided I needed some help and hired a maid. While that circumstance sounds like a contradiction, it was more important to me to have fresh sheets every week and a clean house than to spend my money on expensive groceries. Consequently, I made a conscious choice to eat lots of rice and soup, and honestly, I felt like a pampered king coming home to my spotless house and pressed linens!
Setting a Clear Picture
At my office, I once knew someone who worked for UPS. He was a smart guy, and I often wondered whether his job was fulfilling enough for him. One day, this deliveryman announced he was retiring! I was quite surprised as he looked too young; only about thirty-five years old. Why would he want to retire?
He started to work at UPS when he was eighteen, then worked for twenty years to earn a good pension. He had a couple of kids at a young age and set a priority to spend his time with his kids each afternoon. This UPS deliveryman chose to leave for work at four o’clock a.m. so he could return home around three p.m. – when the children got home from school. Being there for his family was a direct result of having a clear picture of his priorities.
Direct Your Choices Intentionally
My wants and needs are different than yours. Some of us have a strong desire to save for the future. Others want to live in the moment. Everyone has varying degrees of emotional tolerance toward our current financial situation. If your money nerve is pinched, one of the best vehicles for change is defining what is most important to you. Set three top priorities in your life to point YOU toward your strategic goals. By knowing your direction, it is easier to create a daily action plan to achieve your goals.
It’s a new year again! And, that’s a good thing. You have the opportunity to make a fresh start and make adjustments to create a better life.
This January, the media will be overflowing with a barrage of top ten lists, resolutions and blogs to show you how to be wealthier, healthier and “be perfect” … and it’s only $19.99, (with a set of knives!) Resist the temptation to overthink your goals.
You can’t do everything – all at the same time. You may not check off all the boxes this year, but you can make a difference!
Decide What is Most Important to You
Whoa! Slow down and decide what is most important to you. Not what the TV pundits, the radio talk-show hosts or the Internet marketing pros tell you, but what YOU genuinely want to see in your life. Make it the best new year ever! You alone can take steps to change. New actions that will bring about new and fresh results. Once you determine personal goals, don’t be swayed by others. Don’t compare yourself or get dragged down because it appears that everyone is doing better than you. President Theodore Roosevelt stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Choose Your Reality
Commit to choose your reality with thoughtful intentions and proactive activities. Begin by creating a space of goodwill and generosity toward yourself. No blame – Just realize that shifting some of your priorities will take a different energy. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a positive cash flow? Start looking for the destination you’d like to reach via your mental map.
It’s a New Year, Know Where You Are
The first step before beginning a journey is to know where you are. Take a notebook and jot down your schedule for the day or the whole week. Find time to set aside 15-30 minutes each day for personal time. Use this time to think, plan, and dream of where you want to be in 1 year, five years and even a decade from now. Once you know where you want to be as well as where you are beginning from, you can explore and build an action plan to get you there.
Support Your Intentions with Action
With an action plan, you can set intentions to hit your goal. As we all know, life has many bumps in the road, and things beyond our control can often cause detours or bring us to a complete stop. By having a plan for the new year, you can reroute and make changes to continue toward what’s meaningful with your life. Therefore your life doesn’t fall apart, and you create flexibility to expand your options. You are on the road to Proactive Abundance! Congrats.
If you would like for me to come speak and inspire others at your club, church or community outreach center, click HERE
Wish you were living on Easy Street, USA, with an incredible amount of money just earning interest? Here are some simple steps for you to build a road to financial freedom. Many of us long for enough money to pay the bills and then some! Unfortunately, a majority of us have more month than money and feel helpless when trying to manage our bills.
Embrace Your Story
To arrive at a new destination, you need to determine where you are today. No guilt, no accusations or remorse – just figure out where you are financially and use that as the basis for a new direction. Decide to make adjustments, making new or different choices that will empower you.
Set Simple Goals
Explore what things are most important to you. Use that information to begin building your road to financial success. Taking time to set priorities gives you the power to make smarter decisions with your money. If laziness, bad habits or emotional reactions currently drive your budget, you will be amazed how quickly proactive choices can boost your bank account!
Write down your financial goals and give yourself a deadline. There are many paths to achieve your desires, and by mapping out a plan, you give yourself a higher percentage of hitting your target. When you know what bad habits or destructive emotions have sabotaged your efforts before – you can choose to try an alternate course of action. One of the benefits of having written goals is that they help you stay the course over time. This accountability is a key component for creating financial freedom.
Change Your Mindset
Using positive and powerful words to impact your actions. Stop telling yourself that you just can’t do it or that it’s too hard. Create new mental pathways with positive intentions such as, “I want to save money with each paycheck to purchase a home (car, vacation, etc.) and apply one action to that wish. You can set up an automatic deduction that routes $25 to your savings account.
Small Steps = Big Change
Making one little decision each day that leads you closer to one of your primary goals will reap enormous benefits over the course of one year! Saving $25 a week will earn you more than $1,000 within the year. And that will grow to $6,500 in just five years. One tiny step practiced consistently, can create lasting effects in your life. Check out the first chapter of The Money Nerve book ~ Make time to make a change TODAY!
We often speak about putting your dollars to work or controlling your money to avoid bad fiscal habits controlling your actions or pinching your Money Nerve, but today I would like to discuss training your financial garden to bloom. When you plant a garden, you want to nourish the seeds, water the plants, pull out the weeds and give it some of your attention every day. Let’s apply that same concept to your garden of dollars to enrich what you have by growing your finances with a definite plan, proactive actions, and being mindful about money every day.
Bull Market Jitters
With the stock market at an all-time high, during this nine-year run of the Bull Market, many people are now wondering and worrying about the best time to harvest their returns. Do you cash out of the stock market now and funnel the cash into tangible assets like real estate or gold (up 2% in the last two weeks)? Or do you ride the Wall Street Wave for as long as you can and hope your losses will be offset by the past five years of high returns. Don’t let emotions rule your decisions. We all know that day of reckoning is coming, but we just don’t know when it will happen. Continue to grow and train your financial garden, keeping up with the positive trends and weeding out the bad investments.
Rebalancing is essential any time you invest but even more so when the market is peaking. You should be reviewing your assets on a regular basis and tweaking as the need to reduce risk or increase it changes over time. The habit of rebalancing also helps to keep any emotional, knee-jerk reactions to the market’s volatility under control. Be sure to ask yourself what comparative advantages/products/services made you buy a stock in the first place, and decide if that same mindset holds true today. Additionally, having 30-40% of your assets in cash can help insulate your portfolio from stock price declines. Although you won’t generate the higher returns, you have given yourself liquidity and a degree of safety.
1. Reassess your investment thesis for each holding
Dividend stocks come with some key advantages. The main reason many people like dividend stocks is that dividends paid are a beacon for income-seeking investors looking for time-tested business models. In other words, a company isn’t going to pay a regular dividend if its management team doesn’t expect profits to continue.
2. Add dividend stocks to hedge against inevitable stock market corrections
In an environment where the Fed is walking on eggshells and only incrementally increasing rates, growth stocks should continue to have access to relatively cheap capital that they can use to expand and hire.
3. Consider focusing on growth stocks in a low-interest environment
Buying into high-quality stocks on a regular basis helps to remove emotions from the equation, and it eliminates trying to “time the market.”
4. Regularly buy into stocks to lower your cost basis
Another great idea, now that the stock market at an all-time high, is to buy into new and existing stocks on a regular basis. Whether that’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, buy into companies that you believe in regardless of where the three major U.S. indexes are valued.
5. Trust the process (and the data)
Last, but not least, trust the process and the long-term data. As noted, the stock market has returned an average of 7% annually, inclusive of dividend reinvestment. This percentage would work out to a doubling an average of once a decade.
Spending time thinking and planning to train your financial garden to grow in a bull market will reap benefits when market corrects itself.
Radical Abundance Workshops are happening this September in Montreal and Toronto!
Join us in Montreal September 15-17, and in Toronto September 22-24!
Do you have limiting money beliefs? Are you ready for a path to create financial freedom? Want to heal your relationship with money in a creative, collaborative and supportive way?
FINANCIALLY TAPPED, EMOTIONALLY TRAPPED?
You CAN create a new path for financial freedom. If you feel the heat rising when you pay those monthly bills, that could be your money nerve alerting you that it’s time to make a change. The Money Nerve concept will inspire you to make a real change in your perspective about money. I love working with groups and leading workshops – to help each of you navigate your emotional response to money, create a healthy budget and chart a new course!
Our Radical Abundance Workshops have been engineered to create a transformation of your limiting financial mindset and help you to uncover new pathways for creative solution and a richer life experience.
Join me and colleague CORE Energetics professional Josee Martel, for an incredible mind-opening experience that will change your life! You will be given tools and techniques for personal and professional success, while learning to live a life of proactive abundance!
Be a part of this weekend workshop in either Montreal or Toronto
Take advantage of this opportunity to evolve your capacity to play big in life and relationships. We’d LOVE to have you at our Radical Abundance Workshops!
Today is the best day for starting a new habit. Try these easy hacks for a new financial habit. You may have decided that it is time to do “things” differently, but the thought of making lots of significant changes at the same time can be overwhelming. Let’s break it down to make it easier to stick with a new mindset.
Keep It Simple
Let’s say you have decided to start an emergency fund and your long-term goal is to save three months of salary. When thinking about such a big hairy goal, it would be so easy to admit defeat before you ever started. So, take $50 and open that savings account. Tell all your friends that you are working on saving more money. When you talk about your goals, you plant the idea more firmly in your head.
Now automate a small amount of money, how about $25, to be directed into this new account with every paycheck. You will be surprised at how quickly your account will grow, and how little you miss that small amount you may have been spending on “junk.”
We all know a friend or colleague that seems to be “practically perfect!” They work out every day, eat healthy, volunteer at the local shelter and blog about their good deeds. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and begin to tear apart all the good work YOU are doing.
Keep your positive attitude; you are making one small step toward a more positive outcome.
Only you can make a personal change. When seeds of doubt begin to grow, you need to squash those negative voices that pop into your head; demanding you to quit, taunting you with past failures or demoralizing you with doubt and fear. Shove those thoughts into a box and mentally throw the box out! Embrace your new habit and nurture your small wins.
Keep It Real
Every week or two, hold yourself accountable and move forward a few steps. If you didn’t do as well as you wanted, jot that down and try again with a slightly different approach. Did you spend your “emergency fund” money on a movie and popcorn? Next week, add fifty percent more, you will still be ahead.
Did a great job of saving each paycheck for the past month? Tell yourself what an awesome job you are doing. Acknowledge your good work, reward yourself, and enjoy the success. Share your success with others, it may motivate them to start a new habit too. It often takes less time to create one simple habit than it does to make excuses for your inability to change.
For insight and motivational tips to create a healthy relationship with your money, AND for easy hacks to develop a new financial habit – sign up for the monthly Money Nerve newsletter.
You can do anything for one month!