Money Talk With Slater

Making Money Across the Board

Slater Bakh

Published: 40 articles

How to Make Your Personal Budget

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Creating your first budget can be very overwhelming. So overwhelming since less than 50% of folks have a monthly budget. Truthfully, having a budget is worth the effort. Crafting a budget that you can sustain over the long term has been ultimately linked to building wealth, while at the same time helping you cut expenses and get out of debt.

When getting a budget together, you should take how much money you make a year and divide it into categories to figure out how much you can afford on a recurring basis, as well as how much you can regularly invest.

This stops you from spending money on things you need and want without seeing if you can truly afford them. This also stops you from overdrawing your account and using credit cards unnecessarily.

If you’re a first-time budgeter, here are some steps to make the procedure as painless and as smooth as possible.

Know How Much You Have
If you have accounts (checking, savings, investment), you need to know how much money is in each account and the interest rates and expenses of every one of them.

Determine Your Average Recurring Monthly Expenses
This can be the hard part for many folks. The best way to decide your monthly expenses is to create a list of household expenses for a month. Keep your receipts, your utility bills, and any other expense that occur during a 30-day period and divide these bills into categories.

Track, Monitor, and Be Disciplined
Keeping track of your budget takes an hour or so per week. But this will save you a lot of time over time. Once you have created a budget, you need to keep it in check. The understanding that you’re making good long and short term financial choices will give you with a great deal of comfort. It will take you from living from paycheck to paycheck to being able to see the long-term results of your budget.

Buying a Home: What You Should Know

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Life is full of exhilarating firsts. Your baby’s first steps. Your child’s first day of school. Your first love. Your first job. Your first place.

It doesn’t matter if you want to move out of your parents’ home for the first time or have your own home after renting for years, buying your 1st home is a huge step. It takes plenty of preparation when you’re at this place in your life and a little luck never hurts.

When you have no home to sell, you can take your time looking around and then jump. You could look at more than 50 condos and home to find the right one.

Renting instead of buying a house may seem like the most affordable or convenient way to go. It pays to do some easy research to know the advantages and disadvantages of renting vs. buying. You may find that purchasing a residence is really your best option.

Once you determine it’s the right time to purchase your first house, here are a few things you must do:

Accurately track your expenses

To really know the financial effect of owning a house, begin by tracking precisely how much you spend every month on all things, whether it’s entertainment or food. Write the figures down.

Set and stick to a strict budget

Once you have a precise picture of what you’re spending, craft a real budget. Remember to factor in your monthly debts and leave some room for savings. Anticipate shelling out at least 10% of the purchase price for a deposit and another 5% for closing. This budget will work as your roadmap to finding a house that is affordable. Once you have decided what your budget is, contact several agents and pick one that you feel a connection with. Get started on the exciting process of owning your own home!

The Top Budgeting Apps

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We all realize that keeping your budget balanced can not only aid you staying on track financially, but can also lessen your stress when it comes to your lifelong financial health. But if your system is a untidy folder of receipts or wads of cash in numerous wallets/purses, it may be time to rethink your strategy.

If your attention is more on saving your money and counting each penny, there a plan for that as well. There are many ways to save and it’s not just about clipping coupons or keeping tabs on your bank account with your bank app. There are savings apps for anything from investing to personal budgets to customize savings plans.

Here are some of the top money management apps, spending trackers, budgeting apps, and other financial tools for managing money. You can have a better handle on your daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly spending practices. Read on a gain back control of your finances.

If you’re still figuring out how to make a workable financial budget for your income you’re your lifestyle, these tools could change your mindset. A few may even increase your net worth.

Top Picks

  • BillGuard
  • The Rest of The List
  • The Birdy
  • You Need a Budget
  • Adaptu
  • HelloWallet
  • GoodBudget
  • Mvelopes
  • Pocket Expense
  • HomeBudget
  • Expensify
  • Level
  • Unsplurge
  • Toshl Finance
  • FamZoo is a fan favorite when it you talk about money managing apps. It assists in managing your saving, budgeting, spending, and earnings. It can even combine all your accounts, including you IRA and 401K.

BillGuard is another great money management tool and a fan favorite. This well-known budgeting app has two key purposes: to aid you in totally recognizing your spending habits and to protect your credit cards from falsified charges, two very crucial goals when it comes to trailing your spending.

Choosing the Right Financial Advisor

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Planning is key!

You finally want to hire a financial advisor. You know this is a vital decision, but you have no idea where to begin. The amount of financial information available is endless and getting started can be frightening. But the process can be easy if you divide it into steps.

Selecting an advisor type:

Almost anybody can refer to themselves as a financial advisor. Let’s begin by reducing the field. There are three basic types of advisors according to how they are paid: commission, fee-only, and fee-based.

Commission: Commission-based advisors (insurance agents, registered representatives, brokers) sell financial products like mutual funds, annuities, insurance and mutual funds, getting commissions on those products. They are often working for big financial institutions and have their Series 6 or Series 7. Because what they are paid is based on what they sell, there is a huge conflict of interest. It’s critical to be aware that the temptation of commission is there and it can play a part in their recommendations for you.

Fee-based: These advisors are somewhat new to the financial industry. Fee-based advisors are usually associated with a broker/agent and like the commission-based advisors, usually hold a license to sell insurance or investments for a commission. Fee-based advising is complex because like the fee-only advisor, the fee-based advisor offers financial planning for a fee. However, the vital difference is they also sell products and get paid commissions. So, there is still that big conflict of interest, because their fee-based recommendations could, and typically do, include buying products they get commissions on.

Fee-only: This is the only type of advisor recommended for complete financial planning and/or asset management. Fee-only advisors possess a fiduciary duty to work in the best interest of their clients. They only make money through hourly rates, flat fees, or a % of the assets they manage.

Getting Real About Allowances

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Roughly 7 out of 10 parents give their children an allowance, according to a recent survey. On average, children in America receive around $68.00 per month ($814 per year), increased from about $65 per month in ’12. About 1 in 4 children gets $100 or more every month.

More than 50% of parents do this to teach their children that money must be earned. Some parents pay their kids per chore.

Nonetheless, since parents give out the allowance, they should be aware of some of these typical mistakes.

You’re obsessed with how much you’re giving the kids

Parents usually get caught up on how much they pay their kids. However, the amount matters less than the fact that you’re using an allowance as an opportunity to talk about money and how to manage it.

The most basic tool for teaching your kids about money is by giving them an allowance. Use it to get them started on understanding the concept of handling and talking about money, particularly about spending and saving it.

You offer an allowance to your son but not your daughter

While around 2 in 3 men say they received an allowance when they were a kid, only about half of women says the same. Experts say they still see this trend today. All experts agreed that this is highly unfair. Sons and daughters should be treated the same when it comes to getting an allowance.

You give the money with no strings attached

When you give your children an allowance, you should make them save some of it. This teaches them to save over time for items that they want and postpone instant gratification. It will also aid them to develop saving as a practice. It is recommended that children save around 1/3 of their weekly allowance.


Benefits of Letting Your Child Have That Lemonade Stand

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We love inspiring children to be creative and passionate. When it’s warm outside, it’s the ideal time of the year for your child to open a lemonade stand! Lemonade stands are loads of fun and they teach children some important lessons.

Lemonade stands can be as simple or extravagant as you’d like. A common folding table and sign will work, or you can craft a custom shop. All you need do is set up in an area with a good amount of foot traffic and offer your goods to thirsty customers.

Here are the advantages children get out of having their own little business.

It exposes them to success

For many folks, the largest motivator is success. Once they have had a taste of achievement, they’ll want more. It doesn’t matter if they enjoy bringing in sales or creating an awesome product, they’ll increase their desire to succeed.

It puts their imagination to work

Designing and constructing a lemonade stand is a lot of work. Children will need to shop for ingredients, choose their recipe, make signs, and make the stand with plenty of appeal and flair. Then they get to use their ingenuity to come up with imaginative ways to draw in customers.

It helps them understand finance

Regardlss what we end up doing in our life, we have to have basic knowledge of finance. With a lemonade stand, they will learn about economics, such as how to calculate costs, how to figure out their losses or gains, and how to set a price. Moreover, they’ll get a true appreciation of the value of a dollar once they learn how hard it is to get one.

It builds independence and self-confidence

Help you can, let the children do all the work and only help by offering advice. You want them to feel a real sense of ownership with this project. They’ll learn how able they are and how hard work can get them where they want to be in life.

Is Opening a Franchise Worth the Money Invested?

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Hundreds of entrepreneurs take a leap of faith and invest in franchises as a way to get a part of the American dream. The temptation is possessing a proven brand concept and training and marketing support to increase the odds of start-up triumph. But for most, the main question each potential franchisee asks is: “How much money can I make?”

As part of a recent study, 50 franchisees reported on across the US offered annual gross sales figures, many going into the millions. But as part of the study, profit figures were reviewed for a big majority of star franchises. It was discovered that these franchises as a group average over 3 times the net income of the average U.S. franchisee.

For some, the benefit was beginning with a low-cost franchise and knocking the ball out of the park. Others were capable of generating a high return on investment, even at a bigger initial franchise investment. Remember, the franchisees on the list are stars, not just the average ones.

Sadly, numerous new franchise owners begin with improbable financial expectations and never accomplish the level of financial success they had dreamed of. It’s vital to know that depending on one financial figure gives a unrealistic picture of a franchise opportunity.

Keep the following tips in mind if you are a potential franchise business owner looking at opportunities.

Don’t be fooled by big, top-line numbers

As a business owner, your take home income will eventually come out of your business’s net profit or bottom line. While the gross sales/gross revenue of any company (“top line revenue”) may seem remarkable, it is crucial to know the profit margin of the business, the amount of money left over after all business expenses are paid out.

The result is your business bottom line most likely isn’t your bottom line.

What Happened to US Savings Bonds?

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There was a moment when billions of dollars in U.S. savings bonds were given for weddings, graduations, birthdays, or just because. Those days are over. After selling billions of dollars of saving bonds every year, the Treasury is selling less than $50 million right now.

An older style EE Bond

What happened to U.S. Savings bonds? The government messed with the interest rate formula, making them unattractive as an investment by fixing rates for the lifetime of the savings bond. Then in ‘12, the government no longer offered paper savings bonds, eliminating their attractiveness as gifts. Furthermore, the Treasury no longer marketed savings bonds, probably due to the fact that the government was getting a big debt by overspending. They didn’t want to bring attention to the fact that it needed to borrow money.

U.S. Savings bonds have had a long and detailed history, beginning with Series A-D bonds, provided in the depression to offer folks an enticement to save correctly. The Series E bond was started in April of 1941 by as a way of financing World War II. These bonds, offered as an American investment, had an initial 10-year maturity and were offered at a reduction of face value. They had an interest rate of 2.9%. During the war, over $35 billion worth of saving bonds were sold to the public, in amounts as small as $25.

When Series EE bonds were a Great Deal

Saving bonds were introduced in the early ‘80s. This was a period of rising interest rates, making buying them more striking. These saving bonds had a lifetime, fixed base rate that was put in place every six months for all bonds sold during that time.   The bonds had a “floating rate” portion of the interest, which altered every six months to stay with the established rate on Treasury notes.

How to Open a Savings Account for an Infant

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As a grandparent, you can help reduce some of your infant grandchild’s expenses by opening a savings account for her/him. Health care and college are just 2 examples of expenses that you can provide assistance with by consistently adding to the savings account. In addition, when your grandchild is older, you can aid in teaching them the value of saving by letting them help manage the account. Many banks provide savings accounts that are purposely tailored for kids.

Contact your bank to find out if it has savings accounts especially for children. Make a note of all incentives and benefits that are available and the requirements and minimal balance necessary to open the account.

Call other banks and inquire about their incentives and benefits to open a child’s savings account. Compare your bank’s incentives with the other banks and pick the one that best fits your needs.

Gather the necessary information to open the account. For instance, you need your grandchild’s social security number. If your grandchild doesn’t have a social security number, ask their parents to apply for one as quickly as possible. There are a few financial institutions that let you open an account for your grandchild without it as long as you give it sometime down the line.

Fill out the application and include yourself and/or the parents/guardians if you want them to be on the account. Even though you can visit a bank branch to open the account, many banks let customers fill out the paperwork online. Moreover, you can pick the date that you want your grandchild to gain access to the account on the application. This is very important because if you set it up for college, you want to make sure he or she doesn’t bother the money until then.

The Best Investment Gift for a Grandchild

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Regardless if you have $1 to provide or $10,000, the finest investment gift for a grandchild is to start or give to a 529 savings plan.

“For grandparents who want to help their grandchildren pay for college, these make the most sense. You have a wide range of choices of where and how much you invest, and you can keep control if you want.

More relevantly, your investment increases without tax and qualified withdrawals, for expenses like fees, room/board and tuition aren’t subject to federal or state tax. Some states give a tax deduction if you go with your home-state plan.

In the meantime, saving money in a 529 plan will put little impact on the financial aid. By contrast, if you were to put money into a customary investment account in your grandchild’s name, those amounts would be factored into the expected contribution of the family.

If your grandchild gets a full college scholarship, don’t fret. You can just name another person as the beneficiary. The individual can be of any age and doesn’t have to be a relative.

If you have to cash out, you must pay a penalty, plus state and federal tax on any earnings. This shouldn’t be a deal breaker. The benefits of putting away money in a 529 plan overshadows the possibility that you won’t use the money for college.

There are a few ways to go about giving a contribution to a 529 account. The first is to start a 529 account in your name. You will be the custodian and you can designate your grandchild as the beneficiary. The benefit of doing it this way is control. You can regulate how the money is invested and you can modify the name of the beneficiary at any time.