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How to Live Frugal in College

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College life is full of huge fees, like the tuition – that it’s easy to not remember that saving a couple of dollars each

Budgeting during college is critical

day can truly add up and reduce the cost of going to college. Here are some easy habits and the money you can save.

  1. Use free transportation options for students like shuttle buses. This includes free buses on your campus or free buses that run between campuses in your area.  If you use them, you won’t need To have to take cabs, pay for public transportation, or have a car. Results? You could save hundreds of dollars or more each month.
  2. Make your own darn coffee. Do the math. If you spend $4.00 or more a day on coffee house coffee , that can add up to over $120 a month and almost $1,000 each academic year.
  3. Cook your own meals for savings even greater than those in #2. Moreover, pick a dorm that is within walking distance of a low-cost grocery store. There is no better source of good food that fits a student budget.
  4. Share textbooks with other students in your class. With the cost of textbooks climbing over $200, you can save over $1,000 a year with this easy strategy.
  5. Get a work/study job on campus. Many job, like working the check-in desk at the gym or the student health center lets you study while you earn an income. Over the course of a school year, those dollars truly add up.
  6. Find affordable off-campus housing, after matching the costs to college dormitories. Also, consider signing up for reduced meal plans that provide a limited number of meals a week in college dining halls. Remember that the bagel that you put in your pocket at breakfast could become your lunch, giving you two meals for the price of one.

Affordable Places to Retire

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You’ve most likely have been dreaming about retirement since the day you began working. But will your budget let you make those dreams a reality? It has a better opportunity if you choose an affordable retirement destination.

To detect some of the cheapest places in the U.S. where you will really want to retire, we tried to pick a good place to retire in each state. We based our choices on factors crucial to retirees like safety, taxes, health care, cost of living, and lifestyle. Here are the appealing places left that really cheap for retirement. Decide for yourself if any of these destinations could be where you live out your American dreams.

Montgomery, AL

Annual expenditures: $37,000

Akron, OH

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Cleveland, OH

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Augusta, GA

Annual expenditures: $36,000

Brownsville, TX

Annual expenditures: $35,000

Toledo, OH

Annual expenditures: $35,000

Memphis, TN

Annual expenditures: $34,000

Jackson, MS

Annual expenditures: $34,000

Other Cities for Retirement

  • Winchester, VA
  • Portland, ME
  • Gainesville, GA
  • Wenatchee, WA
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Cheyenne, WY
  • Columbus, IN
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Midland, TX

 

If money doesn’t matter, there’d be lots of incredible places to spend your retirement. An all-glass contemporary on the Malibu beach, a small winery in Napa Valley. A house in Paris.

But money really does matter. Even as the financial markets gets out of its recession, many of us are redefining what our “dream” retirement is going to look like.

Absolutely, Honolulu has well-priced pineapples and beaches. But not many of us can afford its average home price of over a half million dollars. Chicago has lake views and first-class dining, though its way over the top, extremely high percent sales tax can put those niceties out of reach. Then again, not many retirees want to relocate, even if it is cheap, to a one-stoplight town either.

Living On One Income

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It has been very hard lately for many people to make ends meet, and this is really true for families with one income. Many families are dealing with a family member suddenly losing a job and dealing with unemployment. Nonetheless, others become a one-income family intentionally because it is the best decision for them regardless of financial challenges. Some women decide to quit their job and become a stay at home mom. Regardless the reason, making ends meet on one income isn’t without problems.

Regardless if you’re a part of one of these families, or have relatives or friends who are, check out these tips to help keep single-earner households on good money terms.

Make a Budget
The first step for any family wanting to manage of their finances is to make a budget. A budget will let you know where your money is going and let you regulate your spending by assigning how much you can afford. Making a budget is a good idea for everyone, but particularly for families with a limited amount of income. Make yourself a budget with specific spending categories and stick to it.

Live Within your Means
Be real with yourself about what you can afford. Don’t go into debt to get a brand new Lexus when you can only afford a used Ford. Don’t go on a shopping spree and increase the amount due on your credit card. If you so happen to lose the only source of income that you do have, how will you pay off your debt?

Cut Down on Expenses
Look over your expenses to see what you can do with and what you can do without. A most clear expense is cable. Some cable bills are more than $100 a month and all it does is have you and yours wasting a lot of time watching worthless television.

How to Choose A Stock

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So you finally decided to start stock investing. You realize that a low P/E ratio is usually better than a high P/E ratio. Your portfolio should be diversified across numerous sectors, a company with plenty of cash on its balance sheet is better than one greatly burdened with debt. Analysts’ suggestions must always be taken with a grain of salt. Now that you have all the basics of investing mastered, and perhaps even researched the more complex concepts of technical analysis, you are ready to choose your stocks.

But hold up! With thousands of stocks to pick from, how do you go about really picking an equity investment? Pouring over each income statement and balance sheet to see which companies have a favorable net debt position and are enhancing their net margins is an unreasonable feat. Moreover, picking an investment based just on the criteria inputs of a stock screener is prone to error and does not make a full representation of the company. Finally, simply coat tailing investors will typically not assist you in finding any ten baggers as fund managers tend to focus mainly on safe blue chip stocks.

The first step to actively picking out a stock from the sea of available alternatives is to decide what the purpose of your portfolio is. Investors concentrate on capital preservation, capital appreciation requirements, and income. Income-oriented investors will usually concentrate on low-growth businesses in sectors like the utilities.

Though other options like master limited partnerships are also available. Those who have a low risk tolerance and are primarily concerned with capital preservation tend to invest in solid blue chip corporations. Investors who are seeking capital appreciation should look at businesses of life cycle stages and ranging market caps. Whatever your goal is with

How Much You Need to Retire at 55

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If you would like to retire at age 55, there are a couple of things you will need to think about that a person who retires later will not have to consider. Below are a few things to consider if you are serious about planning for an early retirement.

Longevity

If you retire at 55, supposing you will have an average life expectancy, your assets need to produce income for a longer period than a person who retires at 65.

It means you need to create an exact projection of what you think you will spend yearly. Then you can compare that to your income sources for retirement you feel you’ll have ready for you.

Social Security doesn’t begin until age 62. Also, there are restrictions and penalties for getting to your retirement money before 59 1/2 .

What this means is that if you want to retire at 55, you must have money or have a way to get it. One source of money won’t cut it. One choice you might think about is using 72 payments to take out from your IRA.

Medicare coverage won’t begin until 65. If you are thinking about retiring at 55, make sure you will have a solid health insurance coverage that you can depend on until you can get Medicare.

Filling Up Your Time

An long vacation sounds nice, but some find it isn’t as satisfying as they thought it would be. When considering early retirement, give real thought as to what you’ll do with your money and your time. Getting serious about a hobby or consulting are ideas.

You could volunteer or help raise the grandchildren. If you decide retiring at 55 might not work for you, move the age up to 62. For many, this is doable. Just make sure that you are emotionally and financially ready when you decide to do so.

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

  • Mint.com
  • 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

Mint.com 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.