Written by Benjamin Roussey
Americans have a sense of financial security today that they didn’t have five years ago (it is amazing what happens when America has someone in office who actually cares about this country). Despite this, saving money continues to be a difficulty for many.
In Japan, they save too much. In America, we spend too much.
The Federal Reserve released its Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households in 2017 on Tuesday.
A pitiful state
According to it, approximately two out of five American adults admitted that if they had to meet any sudden expense for $400 then, they would most likely be unable to afford it, or would have to sell something or borrow the money to meet the expense.
So many Americans remain clueless. These types of people are mainly in California and New York, most likely considering the situation their states are in.
In addition and moreover, less than 40% of the working adults believed that their current saving methodology was adequate to secure them for their retirement years. One quarter of them, have zero savings for retirement.
Get a plan together
Referring to the findings of the report, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, pointed out that millions of Americans needed to urgently develop a saving habit before things got out of hand.
The survey on financial safety, carried out in November and December had a sample size of 12,000 persons from across the country.
The first such survey was conducted in 2013 and the rapid economic growth that America has witnessed since then is a key reason for its general optimistic outlook. This was well after the Patriots started to cheat and after the Frank/Greenspan recession tore into the economy.
Nearly 74% of the persons who participated in the survey confirmed that in 2017 they were financially OK or comfortable. In 2016, the same response was given by 70% and in 2013, the number was 63%.
Still not getting it?
Despite comfortable earnings, savings can be difficult. This is especially true of households operating on a tight budget. Loans—including credit cards, educational costs, etc.—can bear down upon a person’s leverage to save money.
For others, lack of a saving habit is the problem. Taking out savings and retirement fund allocations through direct debit before your paycheck reaches your checking account can solve this problem.
Written by Benjamin Roussey
The Nature Human Behavior journal recently published a study based on a Gallup World Poll that surveyed above 1.7 million person form 164 countries. They researched the purchasing power in the US.
Dollars and answers about life and wellbeing to carry out the survey. They discovered that the definition of happiness was different for different income levels.
The ideal income point—where you are happy with your achievements with respect to your goals and the achievements of others—was $95,000. $60,000 to $75,000 was the world average income at which you would be emotionally satisfied. And with Americans having to pay less taxes and those regulations going away, more Americans are reaching their income goals.
The “happiness point” varied from country to country. For the US it was $105,000. Income earned beyond the wellbeing threshold led to reduction in satisfaction and well-being.
Relationship between money and happiness
Andrew T. Jebb, the lead author of the study, explained that the correlation between happiness and money are more in the poor than among wealthy. When income grows from $10,000 to $30,000, the perceived happiness is greater than when income jumps from $100,000 vs. $130,000.
The reason why income beyond a limit does not translate into happiness is unclear. Jebb points out that it could be because income is more important for basic needs. Beyond that, social factors take over.
He also suggests that beyond a level the cost of making money—travel, number of hours of work, stress etc.—weigh in reducing the gains.
Components of the happiness equation
Money is not the only thing causing happiness (less people watched Han Solo in 2018 – perhaps that is why so many people are happy). A 2004 study published in the Psychological Bulletin inferred that marital happiness outweighed job and health satisfaction when it came to being satisfied in life.
A higher income will also make you happier but in the long term other factors may also play a role in the equation. Well, anyone could easily be happier if they don’t live in a violent liberal ghetto city like most of Chicago, most of Detroit, Oakland, Baltimore, and most of LA, for instance. That is just common sense. Just watch the show The Wire!
Written by Dominique Bancey
Set a major financial goal. Making goals for your finances is one of the best things you could do. Whether it be an amount you wish to reach at the end of a week, month, or year, it will allow you to save without even thinking about it.
➢ Budget. Budget. Budget. Growing up you probably always heard your parents talking about budgets, and even though you may have overlooked it, you need to pay attention to budgets. Making a budget at the beginning of each month will ensure that you do not spend more than you need to.
➢ Keep track of your net worth. Hearing ‘net worth’ is usually associated with businesses or even celebrities. However, it is not that difficult to calculate your own net worth. You can do so by summing up all your assets then subtracting your liabilities. By doing so on a schedule (every 3-6 months), you will ensure that you are sticking to the budgets you make each month.
➢ Make a payment to your credit card every week. Usually, most persons tend to make payments to their credit card at the end of every month. However, it would be better to pay it at the end of each week. This will make sure that you do not spend money that should be contributed towards it, on something else.
➢ Keep a journal of what you spend for the month. It is good to build up a good money habit. Impulse spending each month leads to a bad money habit. Having a journal will ensure that you make regular payments each month.
➢ Keep receipts. Always ask for a receipt whenever you make a purchase.
You do not necessarily have to keep them for a long period of time, but you could copy them into your journal so that you can keep track of exact spending habits.
Forming a good money habit is not easy, but following these tips (and more), could make it easier. Try these tips and build up your habits.
Until next time.
Written by Dominique Bancey
Finance and business is known to be a male-dominated field so even if there were women who could do better jobs than some of the men in the top positions, more than likely the men would still be promoted more than the women (unfortunate, right?). However, there are some women who have been able to make a name for themselves in the finance world. These women are known to be outstanding investors. Maybe we, not just women but men too, could all learn a lesson or two from them.
1. Muriel Siebert, Brokerage Founder.
A surprise to many, but Muriel never graduated from college (so how did she succeed?).She received entry-level research positions in finance, until eventually she made partner and went on to build the brokerage firm Muriel Siebert & Co. in 1967. When trying to get her firm registered with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), she hit a speedbump. Many of the men denied her and would not sponsor her applicated. But even through going through all this, she held on and her firm became the first woman-owned member of the NYSE. Even now, it is still the only national, woman-owned brokerage on the exchange. She passed away on August 24, 2013, but one important lesson to learn from her, is perseverance.
2. Geraldine Weiss, Investment Advisor.
Believe it or not, she was one of the first women to make it in this industry. She taught herself investing by reading books, eavesdropping on her parents’ conversation and studying Business and Finance in college. However, even with her qualifications, no investment firm would even look at her because this was a man’s world. At the age of 40, she began her own investment newsletter. She began signing her letters as ‘G. Weiss’ to avoid gender discrimination. In the mid-1970s (about 10 years later), she finally revealed who she was. She sent out her newsletter, Investment Quality Trends, for 37 years until she retired in 2003. The newsletter is still in operation and adheres to Weiss’ strategy.
No matter your gender, when in the finance industry, perseverance is an important key to remember. If you’re currently struggling, remind yourself of these women and never give up.
Until next time.
Written By Aysha Chaudhry
Now most of us know that it’s important to have good credit. But do we know why it is so important? Your credit score is a representation of your financial health (how timely you are with your payments, how much debt you have) and essentially shows a lender how risky you are as a borrower.
That means with a lower credit score, lenders see you as higher risk. They then charge you higher interest because they see you as more likely to default and not be able to pay them back. Having a low credit score can be costing you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in interest on loans, mortgages and credit cards.
So what can you do to improve your credit score? Check out some of the surprisingly simple methods below:
1. The first step is to know your credit score, and make sure it’s accurate. You have 3 different credit reports, one through Equifax, one through Experian and one with TransUnion. Especially with the recent breach in Equifax’s system, it’s good to stay on top of your score and make sure there is no inaccurate or suspicious activity. You can check your score once a year with the above bureaus, so a good piece of advice is to check with one every four months, so you can stay on top of your report.
2. Spend less than 30% of your credit card limit. If you’re using more than that, creditors see this as you stretching your means. If your limit is relatively low and you feel your spending is under control but you’re still hitting the 30% ceiling, call into your bank and see if they’ll raise your credit card limit. Easy fix.
3. Don’t open new credit cards or credit lines if you don’t have to. Opening a lot of new lines of credit within a short period of time is a signal you might be strapped for cash, and that can raise a red flag for creditors.
4. And last but not least, pay your bills on time! Being responsible with your payments and making your payments on time is always a good thing. Consistently paying your bills in a timely manner over the years is the solid foundation for good credit.
Written by Salina Jivani
If you’re in your twenties or thirties, probably one of the last thoughts in your mind is retirement. But what if someone told you that if you do make it a thought right this very moment, retirement can mean at least a million dollars in your nest egg? If that sounds unreal, read on…because it’s not. Do these three simple things and that million dollars will be a reality when it comes time for you to chuck those chains to your 9 to 5 and retire.
Try automatic deposits
When you don’t see it, you won’t miss it. The best way to save is to have money direct deposited into a separate savings account every pay period. This way, you don’t have to worry about saving after the fact—it’s already made a normal part of your financial routine.
Make more, save more
The amount you put toward savings should increase as your pay increases. The more you make, the more you should put toward your savings account. The easiest way to manage this is by calculating what percentage of your income you’re currently saving, and maintain that percentage with each pay increase you receive.
Take advantage of your company’s 401K match program
Many companies offer a 401K match program, matching up to a certain percentage of whatever you invest every period in your own 401K. Take advantage of this “free money,” and if you can afford it, capitalize on this benefit by contributing the maximum amount your company matches.
Remember, the early bird catches the worm. And if you want to see yourself off to a healthy, timely retirement, starting now is the wisest choice you can make.
Written by Ariel Wallace
Here’s a helpful article that so many could only dream about ! Let’s face the facts there aren’t so many “Rags from Riches” stories, but there is hope alongside helpful hints to produce millionaire qualities. Focus more on the aspects of money rather than spending it. Learn how to make revenue and keep producing it. You don’t have to always land a dead end job that can sometimes lead to you to nowhere. Instead change the way you think. Train yourself to adapt to more informative ideas on wealth. Study the Forbes List and get intuned with Wall street. The world is playground if you take a chance and go outside.
1. Follow The Money:
Get engaged in seminars. A well known seminar is” Rich Dad, Poor Dad founded by Robert Kiyosaki. Another engaging way to learn how to establish your empire and stay afloat.
2 .Don’t Showoff, Show up!
You don’t have always look like money to have money! Even though it wouldn’t hurt your image there’s more important things to worry about. Do not let having less in your current situation discourage you, show up with the Will Power within you.
3. Save to Invest
If you are a Business minded person, you may want to think about putting money to the side to invest in your own business. A simple business account could make the difference.
4. Avoid Debt that doesn’t pay you
If you’re the type of person that loves to help everyone you may want to reconsider helping everyone you know. It’s like having a full pitcher of lemonade, the more you pour out the less you have.
5.Treat Money like A Jealous Wife
We all love money! So let’s treat our money like a very special insecure person. Learn not to be so wasteful, become more conservative. your money is your lifestyle what you eat, where you sleep, and what you wear.
6.Money doesn’t sleep… neither should you
You should always have a grand scheme of plans how to earn more income. Money doesn’t have a curfew and neither should you.
7.Poor makes no sense
We all heard the saying “You have not because you ask not” you are the only one that can change the situation. Being a Hard worker can quickly change the situation.
8.Get a millionaire mentor
What can be better than shadowing a millionaire? They have already lived out everything. Soak up as much knowledge as you can. The best experience yet.
Written by Salina Jivani
If there’s one thing most people dread, it’s checking the mail. Not only do you find an onslaught of senseless solicitations, inviting you to purchase timeshares, plots on a deserted mountain or stamps at the lowest prices ever, but you’re also inundated with cringe-worthy piles of bills. And while bills are an expected, routine part of life we unfortunately can’t escape, they can be particularly daunting to those of us whose paychecks are already stretched precariously thin. If you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck, here are a few tips that could help you save some cents, and perhaps start a nest egg for emergency funds in case you ever need them.
Sell what you don’t need
Everyone’s got junk. Just look around and you’re likely to see items like electronics, goods, even used clothes that you can sell someplace for some extra cash. Of course, electronic gadgets pay a pretty penny if you list them through channels like eBay or Craigslist. Don’t underestimate the value or salability of anything; as they say, one person’s junk is another’s treasure.
Do a side gig
Sometimes a full time job just doesn’t cut it. Luckily, you’ve got tons of other options out there that can help you earn some extra cash and stretch your budget wider. Consider jobs as a driver for Uber or Lyft, a pet sitter, a baby sitter, a tutor or other alternatives that speak to your interests and can help shoulder the burden of a few extra bills.
One of the pricey parts of most people’s days is the money spent on food. A good meal could be anywhere from $5 – $10, which could total up to over $100 a week if you’re eating out at least twice a day. Hit the grocery store or a farmers market (where produce is less costly) and make your meals at home. Packing a brown bag lunch will not only save you costs, but will also prove more nutritional in the long run.
Consider a roommate
Probably the largest bill most people pay every month is their mortgage or rent. If you’ve got some extra space, it’s not a bad idea to consider renting out or subleasing (check your contract first!). Doing so can help you slash your payments in half, affording you more leeway with other financial obligations. Be sure to have your renter sign a lease agreement and collect the right forms of ID so that everything is official and on paper.
Uncover great deals and save money by couponing! The Sunday paper is filled with coupons often totaling over $35, easily, and the paper itself costs only $2! Use even a few coupons and you’ll recoup that money in no time, while filling your cart with name brand goods that can often be purchased even cheaper than generic brands. Plus, if done right, couponing can yield great returns for your money, affording you pricey goods, such as toiletries and household items, for much cheaper than if you were to buy them on a whim.
With a firm strategy and a monthly budget firmly in place, you can conquer even the smallest paycheck and stretch it far. Make sure you take your budgeting seriously and then stick to it—and you’ll be sure to make the most of every dollar and cent.