5 Money Habits to Start in your 20’s

Your 20’s are an exciting time of your life, so much opportunity for development and growth. For a lot of us we hit some major milestones… starting our first “adulting” job or career, getting married, buying our first home or car, maybe even paying off those good ol’ student loans.

The time you have in your 20’s has the potential to set the tone of your financial health of the rest of your life, so it’s important to develop some essential habits…

1. Create a Budget

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You hear this one from everyone, make a budget!

Write down and understand where your money is coming and going. When you start to track your income and expenses it opens your eyes to all the potential money you could be saving and investing but were actually eating away by going out three or four times a week.

You can track your budget using a number of different tools and methods, you can do the home brewed approach by developing a simple spreadsheet or you can use a number of financial and budgeting applications for your smart phone. Whatever method you end up choosing the most important attribute is your dedication and consistence in tracking your in’s and out’s. Check out our guide at making a budget and slashing our expenses.

2. Automate Your Savings

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This one is easy, money you never see in your paycheck is harder to spend on impulse. Set up automatic deductions from your paycheck to deposit into an online high yield savings account or online brokerage account for investing.

There are plenty of options today that not only are easy to setup and use but help you in the long run of setting you up for financial success. It may be developing an emergency fund for a rainy day, or starting that passive income dividend stream you always wanted.

Start small, it can be a little as $5 to $10 a paycheck but your goal should be to gradually ramp up your deductions until it starts to feel uncomfortable. You will be amazed in as little as a year how much you have saved with this approach.

3. Have an Emergency Fund

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In your 20’s change can be rapid and sudden, your 15 year old car breaks down.. your furnace goes out, or you just received a pink slip. You can never be too careful by creating a emergency fund to cover those rainy days.

Strive to save up 6 to 12 months’ worth of living expenses to get you through the tough times. Since the majority of Americans don’t have the cash on hand to cover a $1000 expense, it should be a wake up call to have a stash of cash to help you when you need it. By maintaining an emergency fund it allows you to avoid the major pitfalls of using credit and loans to cover those unexpected expenses and racking up unnecessary interest payments.

An emergency fund is not a “I need the newest iPhone” fund, or the “shopping spree” fund, and it should not be considered an investment fund. Leave it alone and keep it in a liquid high yield savings or money market account, it may not sound as sexy as putting it all in the latest penny stock but you’ll be happy when you need it to cover that blown out tire.

4. Invest early and often – Retirement (401k, IRA, etc.) and Taxable Accounts

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In your 20’s you have one of the greatest assets that money can’t buy, and that is time.

Use that time and the magic of compounding by investing early. If you are fortunate enough to have an employer that provides access to a 401k, try to contribute 15% of your pretax income or if you can’t achieve that do your best to contribute the percentage needed to receive an employer match if available. Your starting salary and contributes may start out small initially but as time goes by you’ll see massive growth and the sooner you start the less effort will be required in your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s to prepare for retirement.

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it.”

-Albert Einstein

With every raise you receive try increasing your retirement contribute by 1-2%. If you were living on your previous salary just fine, you won’t miss that 1 or 2% all that much.

For 2019, you are able to contribute up to $19,000 of your pre-tax income. I know, your thinking to yourself…$19,000?! Are you crazy? You all have the potential to achieve that and more… you just have to start!

Other retirement vehicles such as IRA’s offer other tax benefits depending on your income, and I recommend looking into them if you do not have access to or are maxing out your 401k.

Taxable investment accounts also can be considered when you have reached your goals for your emergency funds and retirement contributions. Remember not to chase the latest penny stock or virtual currency, start off small and steady by researching low-cost index and mutual funds that provide you diversity to hundreds or thousands of companies.

“It’s a mirage… the idea it has some huge intrinsic value is just a joke”

-Warren Buffet (on Bitcoin)

5. Live Like a College Student

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You were living like one not too long ago so why change it? Just because your making big bucks now doesn’t mean you should go out and blow it all on a new depreciating car or some fancy apartment. Get a roommate, nurse that old car for a few more years, buy a a refurbished smartphone with cash. If you really want to jump start yourself on your way to extraordinary financial wealth, live below your means!

Conclusion

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Remember, your 20’s can be the best years of your life or… they could be the years that set you up for success for the rest of your life, it is your choice. By making simple and steady habits with your finances now you’ll thanking yourself later.

So what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email via our Contact Page.

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5 Steps to understand your budget & 15 Ways to Cut the Fat! Ultimate Guide

You know that excitement you get when its payday? Woohoo! All that hard work punching the time-clock almost feels worth it for a split second! Now fast forward, it’s the end of the month, the bills are due and that excitement has now turned to a feeling of dread or despair as you pay that last bill. You’re left scratching your head as you realize you may have nothing to show for all that hard work or even worse… still owe someone. Where did all the money go?!

STEP 1 – Write it down!

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Get out a pen and paper or open up a spreadsheet and start putting all your monthly bills in front of you.

If you have no idea where your money is going you won’t know where to focus your efforts.

For this post let’s doing some Googling and find what the average American has for monthly expenses.

Monthly Bills 1

My goodness, I am sweating already! Over $4000 per month just to live. If you are one of the fortunate enough souls to live in some of the east/west coast states your numbers are probably significantly higher!

STEP 2 – In vs Out

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Alright so the next step is to subtract your monthly bills and debts from your monthly income. For this example, we will use the average salary in the United States, around $62,000 per year. If we don’t include retirement and medical contributions, and just assume Federal and State taxes as well as Entitlement Programs such as Social Security and Medicare the average bi-weekly pay comes out to around $1800 or about $3600 per month.

STEP 3 – What’s left?

in vs out

Oh boy, this isn’t good. We are in the hole by $450 in this example. How do we make up the difference?

If you are like the average American there is a good chance you may leave a balance on your credit card to squeak by. But, if the next month is the same as this one, you’ll continue to add to the balance…with interest! It’s easy to see how the average credit card balance in the US is over $6000! So, what do we do about it?

STEP 4 – Cut the fluff!

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So, what can we do to get us back in the green? Any low hanging fruit? Let’s take a deeper look at our expenses…

1. Mortgage, Property Taxes, PMI

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There isn’t a lot of quick and easy ways on this one as a home owner, outside of drastic moves such as down sizing or relocating to a cheaper area, which do come with their own costs (such as realtor fees).

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) removal might be a possibility but you’ll have to add MORE money to your monthly mortgage payments in order to increase you total equity to over 20%. Note, your mileage may vary depending on the type of loan you have, such as an FHA loan will not allow you to cancel your PMI when you reach 20% and may require refinancing to a conventional loan.

If you plan on staying in the same place for more than 5 years and you’re unhappy with your current interest rate, look into your refinancing options which may lower your monthly payment. Understand there may be additional fees when it comes to refinancing so make sure the amount of interest you save over X amount of years is greater by a significant amount greater than those fees.

If you want to reduce your overall loan cost and total interest paid toward your mortgage while also turbocharging the amount of equity in your home, you could look into paying “extra” toward your principle every month. You may save 10’s to 100’s of thousands of dollars over a normal mortgage period. Check out this Mortgage Payoff Calculator and see how much you could save.

If you think your property taxes are a little high or you just don’t quite understand why your taxes went up 10% this year see this guide for tips and tricks!

If you are renting, you could ask your landlord for a rate reduction if you have a great rent history (stable income for the landlord may be more enticing than an empty unit), or negotiate a new rate at the time of your lease renewal. If none of those options work and you have a chance to down size to a more manageable rental go for it!

2. Home Owners Insurance – (Save 20%)

When is the last time you reviewed your home owner’s insurance policy? Shop around and see if your current insurance company is still competitive. Make sure you are not over paying for coverage, or over insured. Always make sure you have the right amount of insurance to protect you and your family from loss. There are dozens of home owner insurance providers to look into! You could save substantially!

We discovered we were grossly over paying for insurance on our first home when we started shopping around. We were fortunate it enough to lower our premium by almost 40% and increase our coverage. It pays to do research here!

If you are renter, renter’s insurance is a must. It is only a faction of the cost of home owner’s insurance, but still shop around for the best price

3. Car Payment 

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This is a big one. The average car payment is now over $500 per month with a typical loan term approaching 70 months! Cars are costly and do the opposite of appreciating in value, your typical new car loses 50% of its value in the first 3 to 5 years! Other than putting the “For Sale” sign on the window see our example of paying an auto loan off fast.

4. Car Insurance – (Save +15%)

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You’ve seen the never-ending commercials with the goofy antics. Car insurance is a highly competitive market and that is good for you! Shop around annually to see if you can save on your auto insurance. Loyalty to one brand only goes so far. Always make sure you are properly insured and never go without it. The consequences of no insurance far out way the few bucks you’d save by not being covered.

If you have multiple cars or recently married see if you can combine your policies for a significant discount! We cut our combined premiums by 30% by doing research and shopping around here.

5. Student Loans

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The sooner you pay these off the better, as they are a drain on your ability to build wealth. With the average APR on undergraduate student loans at over 5.4% or higher you need to attack these with a vengeance, see how much you could save on interest by paying more toward your loans.

Be wary of refinancing or consolidating your federal student loans, you may lose a number of benefits such as “income based repayment plans” or “interest only payments” when you roll your loans over to a private loan.

6. Credit Cards – (Save $600)

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Now here is where you can slice and dice substantially. A credit card gives you a painless method of paying for things you need as well as… the things you want. Just slide or insert your card! After you pay, just put the card back in your wallet! Painless. It’s not quite the same has handing over cold hard cash. How do you feel when you give the clerk a $100 bill? A little more impactful than a swipe? You bet it is.

Get your last credit card statement out and see what you really spend your money on. Fancy $4 coffee every day? How about that $12 lunch at work? Who has time to cook dinner? $30 of take-out Chinese food is where it’s at!

Start adding up all the extra food purchases outside of your normal grocery budget. There is a good chance you will be shockingly surprised.

In this example we assume on our way to work every morning we stop and get that fancy coffee, and for lunch we get that sub combo meal. Then, after a long week we are too tired to cook so we splurge on some dinners out. Add it all up and it gets pricy fast. We are looking at $620!

Now imagine if we can just cut this out of the budget entirely by making coffee at home and a little bit of meal prepping! We would be on our way to saving $7500 a year!

7. Grocery Bill – (Save 20%+) – Food Waste

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Take a hard look at your grocery bill… do you end up throwing out more food every week than you should? Almost 30 to 40% of the groceries we buy end up in the trash!

Do you buy more than you need? Make a shopping list! Ideally when you are not hungry. And stick to it! Try to plan in advance the meals you will make that week. Once a week meal prep! Start prepping on Sunday nights by making large batches of the foods you like, get some Tupperware, and divvy up your week for lunches and dinners! Make it easy everyday to just grab and go.

8. Electric – (Save 10%)

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Who turned off the lights?! You should… when you’re not in the room. Also, look for opportunities to switch any old incandescent bulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs. If you want to take it a step further, and if you are the primary home owner, look into other electricity suppliers in your area see what competitive rates are available.

9. Heating – (Save 15 to 20%)

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Turn down the heat! If you have a programmable thermostat you can have it adjust the temperature in your home when you are away. Potentially saving 15 to 20% in your heating bills per year! Also, regular maintenance is very important to keep your heating and HVAC systems as efficient as possible.

10. Water – (Save 20%)

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This one is self-explanatory, the less you use the less you pay. Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth, take showers vs. baths, and even better – shorter showers. Only run your dish washing machine and cloth washing machines when they are full. Install low flow faucets and shower heads. If you are on city water and sewer you pay double, what comes in goes back out and they charge you for it. For those out in the country and have a well, that water pump can be one of the largest energy hogs in your home depending on its age. Less IS Less here.

11. Cable – All the channels!… (Save 20% to 100%)

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How many channels do you watch per day? There is a good chance you’re not even watching 75% of the channels that are included in your cable package. So why are you paying for it all? Look into downsizing your cable packages to only what you watch. If you only need the local news and public broadcast channels like NBC, CBS, FOX to keep up on the weather, some shows, and maybe some major sporting events you can get a heck of a bargain here.

If you want to cut cable out all together and just stream. Go big, but be aware that major internet provides are making Internet only packages less enticing than bundling with cable. We recently switched to Philo as our “cable” replacement for the channels we actually watch, and at the time of this post it costs only $20 per month for 50+ channels!

12. Internet – More is Better?

Yes, if you are like me and lived through the dial-up era then yes more is totally worth it but in today’s day and age more is only more up to a certain point. Do you really need 300 mbps download speeds? How about 1 gbps? (1000 mbps) Do you know how fast your internet needs to be to stream 4k HD movies and TV shows? 25 mbps. So, you are paying for 12 times more bandwidth than you need. What about 1080p HD? You only need 5 mbps. So, now you’re paying for 60 times more bandwidth than you need for your favorite shows. Obviously, everyone’s household is different. Some household have multiple internet connected devices so take a hard look at what you really need. If you are big into downloading games that are dozens of gigabytes every other day maybe you need those huge bandwidth needs. If you are only watching Netflix while scrolling Facebook you could probably get by with a whole lot less.

Our family got by at 60 mbps for a number of years, including online console video gaming, Netflix streaming, and all of the Facebook scrolling on multiple devices at the same time with no issue, for a grand total of $50 per month.

13. Cell Phone – Unlimited Unlimited!… (Save 70%)

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Ah the cell phone, there is a lot to be saved here. If you are okay with not having the latest and greatest bleeding edge hardware in the newest iPhone or Galaxy phone that come with a *gulp* $1000 price tag there are a boat load of lower cost alternatives that can do about 80-90% of what the top-of-the-line phones do. Take a hard look into what you use your cellphone for. Instead of spending $1000, lower your budget to $300 or less, and don’t put it on a payment plan. Buy it out right. If you are okay with refurbished units you can get last year’s top-of-the-line models for a fraction of the price! Be sure to get an “un-locked” model so you can switch carriers with no issue. When you purchase your unlocked phone outright you get to decide who gets your business.

We purchased a refurbished Galaxy S8+ a few months back for around $300, now comparing that to the $850+ that a new one will bring and you can’t tell the difference between the two it’s a no brainer to keep that other $550 in our pocket.

Now on to cell phone plans and carriers…

With the number of red, blue, yellow, and pink commercials that are blasted out every day you know the business model is competitive. The more competitive it is the better it is for you!

We recommend looking into prepaid options which give you the greatest flexibility to move to carriers that offer the best service and cost for your dollars. Check your coverage areas and understand how much mobile data you use monthly. There is a good chance you don’t need that unlimited data plan. A quick google search reveals the average person only uses 1.5 to 2Gbs per month! You can save a fortune by only paying for the data you need!

14. Netflix Subscription (Online Video Subscriptions) – (Savings 100%)

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If you are really hurting to balance the budgets than you may need to cut the luxuries, your online video subscriptions may need to fall on the chopping block. If you have favorite series that get released once a year look into the release schedule and maybe sign up for that month only to binge!

15. Gym Membership – (Savings 100%)

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Your health is your most important asset! Without good health everything else seems a little less enjoyable. But that doesn’t mean you should overpay for that gym membership, or even worse feel guilted to continue paying for a membership you aren’t even using! It is said that over 50% of gym memberships go unused every year so unless you are making the effort to use them, then drop them!

STEP 5 – Reevaluate

Alright, so we took a hard look at our expenses in this example and really tightened our financial belts. So how did we make out?

Monthly Bills Revised

Now that’s more like it! Reduced our monthly expenses by almost $950! We are back in the green with enough money left over to start working on that student loan debt, and/or building an emergency fund.

Try this exercise for yourself and let us know how you made out!

What are your tips for cutting the fat? Let us know!

So what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email via our Contact Page.

If you liked what you’ve read please be sure hit the “like” button and share! If you want to receive the latest articles please be sure to subscribe.

So you want to save $1000…

You’re here reading this because you want to save $1000. Let me just start with telling you that I’ve been there — I distinctly remember the day I went and cashed in a few bonds I had because I had nothing to my name and wanted a little something for a down payment on a car. It was there, sitting in a car dealership, that I had that “AHA” moment (it was actually more of a ‘AHH’ I’m panicking moment, but nonetheless) and I sat there mulling things over – “how am I going to pay for something when I really need it? What happens when something really goes wrong? Are my kidneys even good enough to be worth something on the black market?”

Once I settled down from that, I made a plan — here’s a few real steps that I took (and that you can also take) that led me to save my first $1000 without having a six figure income or my parents paying my way.

  1. Make a high yield savings account

This is the quickest, most simple way I have ever made my money work for me. It doesn’t matter if you have $25 or $25,000, everyone can and should have a high yield savings account.

Many online banks are offering competitive rates somewhere around 1.85% interest with no minimum balance required. That’s right, all you have to do is put your money in there, and it makes you 1.85% annually. Just for reference – as of today, many brick and mortar banks have interest rates somewhere around 0.03%. If you have $1000 dollars in your high yield savings, you’ll see a return of around $18.50 per year vs. $0.30 CENTS for the entire year at a typical brick and mortar bank.

The biggest downsides to this type of account – you can expect that it will take a few days to have your money transferred since this is an online only bank, so have some money readily accessible for the day to day in your checking account.

  1. Don’t touch your savings account

I know this may seem obvious, but we’re saying it anyway – only touch your savings when it’s either for an emergency or something you’ve been saving for. Easier said than done, but with learning to budget with what you have readily accessible, you won’t need to touch your savings account, which leads us to the next point…

  1. What you can’t see, you can’t spend

Set up automatic deduction with your employer. Just get it done – go right into work tomorrow and set it up. Not having the money in your hands and just setting up that $25 dollars a pay check to automatically go into your high yield savings account is going to change the way you save money. If you don’t see it you don’t miss it, if you don’t miss it you don’t spend it. I know for some that are living paycheck to paycheck this may seem impossible, but once you’ve adjusted to this deduction, you’ll be thanking yourself because you’ll have a nice little nest egg to show for it.

  1. Save your tax return

I cannot stress this enough – do not, I repeat, DO NOT, make plans for your tax return money ahead of when you get it. Plan to save it. Just pretend it doesn’t exist and put it in your savings account. I can’t believe how many people I see who don’t have anything set aside, but have a weekend worth of partying planned for their income tax return. This will be your quickest way to saving $1000.

  1. When you put in the extra time – save the extra money

If you’re putting the OT or you’ve got your side hustle making you some extra money – save it. Take the extra and put that right in your savings account; it’s a surefire way to make sure that extra cash is going to good use for your future.

  1. Cut the coffee

I know – we can’t function either without that chemically induced happiness, but forming that habit of making it at home and taking it on the go will save you loads of money. Lets take an example: let’s say you spend $2.00 on a coffee 3 days a week, $6 x 52 weeks = $312 per year. That combined with your tax return and guess what? You just saved $1000.

  1. Pay in cash

Something I recently added into my lifestyle that has made a huge change in the way I spend money is taking out a certain amount in cash and allotting that to anything extra I want to buy for the week. So lets say you take out $100 dollars per week in cash, use that cash to pay for all your “fun” spending for the week (i.e. coffee, lunch date, shopping at the mall, etc). You’ll be shocked how much more you pay attention to it when you aren’t just swiping that plastic.

  1. Cut down the credit card

Speaking of plastic – put down the credit card. It’s so easy for credit card spending to get out of control in a hurry. If you’re spending more on your credit card in a month than you can pay off, then you should try going a few months without the credit card so you can gauge how much you really have available to spend per month. It will also give you an opportunity to pay down some of the credit card debt without adding anything to it.

  1. Cut the cord

Get rid of cable. We love our TV shows but with streaming platforms so readily available in the forms of things such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Primevideo, etc. there’s really no need to keep spending those hefty cable bills. Heck, some of the streaming services are even offering cable packages for somewhere around $35 a month so you can really have the best of all worlds.

  1. Bag it – don’t buy it

Make your own lunch for work. At one point or another I was spending $10 a day on food from my job’s cafeteria. At $10 a day x 52 weeks in a year = $2600 a year spent on lunches. Now I make my own and it costs approximately $3.00 a day for lunch, saving me about $1820 a year. Well, that’s a quick way to save $1000. The same logic can apply to going out to eat for any meal of the day — when you’re trying to save money, make meals at home.

With any new goal you are trying to achieve, you have to start somewhere. You can take some or all of these pieces and work them into your life in some capacity, but at the end of the day the key to saving money is changing the way you are currently doing things. Plant the seed — it starts small but with time and dedication you’ll watch your money grow.

What are some things that you guys have done to successfully save your first $1000?

So what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email via our Contact Page.

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Simple Interest

To jump start our journey to financial literacy we need to establish an understanding of the basic terms that are frequently use. This is will be an on-going series called “The Financial Essentials”.

Lets start Simply… with Simple Interest

Simple Interest – is a relatively “simple” formula that allows you to calculate how much interest applies to a principle balance, such as a car loan or a savings account. It is a good way to estimate how much interest is paid or earned on a particular balance in a given period of time. The formula is as follows:

Simple Interest = Interest Rate X Principal Balance

Please note though simple interest does not take into consideration the effects of compounding interest, which will be covered in a follow on post.

Being able to calculate simple interest transfers quickly into real life. You opened that savings account down at the local bank or a CD account at an online-only bank. Maybe you opened a new credit card or took the plunge on a new car. Being able to calculate simple interest gives you a quick back of the napkin estimate of how much extra your cash is earning or how much extra your payment or loan is going to cost. It also allows you to compare the earning potential between multiple investment options quickly.

For example your local bank may be advertising a savings account as yielding a 1% annual percentage rate (APR) or interest rate. You have $1000 you would like to put away to start an emergency fund, how much simple interest would your $1000 earn in one year, with no compounding effects?

(0.01)(Interest Rate) X $1000 (Principle)= $10 (Simple Interest)

But your bank is also offering a Certificate of Deposit (CD) with a yield of 2.5% with a 1 year maturity term. Using your $1000 from before…

(0.025)(Interest Rate) X $1000 (Principle) = $25 (Simple Interest)

Quickly you are able to measure the income potential for your money. Each of the above two options do have their own circumstances that impact the interest rates offered though. Both a savings account and certificate of deposit are very safe methods of storing your money, but the accessibility to that money is where these options defer. A savings account can be accessed daily, where as a CD usually has long maturity dates that limit access to your money until after the maturity date. This difference in accessibility impacts the rate of return your money earns. We will go into additional detail on savings accounts vs CD’s in future “Financial Essentials” posts!

Our next Financial Essentials will cover the magic of “Compounding Interest”

Disclaimer: I am not a financial adviser. These blogs are for educational purposes only. Investing of any kind involves risk. While it is possible to minimize risk, your investments are solely your responsibility. It is imperative that you conduct your own research. I am merely sharing my opinion with no guarantee of gains or losses on investments.

So what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email via our Contact Page.

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To Debt or Not to Debt

Let’s talk about something that almost everyone has in common:

Debt.

Be it credit cards, auto loans, student loans, personal loans, or a home mortgage there is a good chance you are on the hook for one of these.

Let’s face it, our world runs on debt.

The United States, for example, holds the title of most indebted country in the world with a national debt of around 22 trillion dollars. TRILLION, with a T. Can you even fathom a trillion? A thousand billion, a hundred thousand million. You get the picture.

That works out to almost 180,000 dollars per citizen…man, woman, and child. That is just what the government alone owes.

If we look at how much us common folk are on the hook for it’s just as scary. We owe almost 15.5 trillion dollars in home mortgages, 1 trillion dollars in credit card debt, 1.3 trillion dollars in auto loan debt, and over 1.5 trillion in student loans! More than credit cards and auto loans combined!

So, what do all these MASSIVE numbers boil down to?

Well there is a good chance the Joneses in your neighborhood with that shiny new F-150 in the driveway of that 4-bedroom McMansion are in debt up to their eye balls, living paycheck to paycheck while trying to pay off their student loans they took out 20 years ago.

Why is everyone striving for this life style? Why is everyone striving to absolutely bury themselves in debt just to maintain an image?

I’ll tell you why…

Debt is easy and delayed gratification is hard.

Just sign on the dotted line and only 24 easy monthly payments of $25 gets you the latest shiny iPhone.

Just sign on the dotted line and only 72 easy monthly payments of $700 can get you that new Silverado.

Easy.

“Save $700 per month for 6 years. Are you insane? That is going to take forever.”

You want that shiny new car NOW! Not in 6 years! You earned it. Right?

“Bah! Who has $1000 on hand? That’s just crazy! All my friends have the new iPhone. I deserve to treat myself”

Our inability to wait and save for the things we want or realize there are things we want we really cannot afford is our downfall.

The credit system is setup to get you into that debt cycle and keep you there. You get a grade that literally tells these companies how much you love debt. A good credit score is something you “need” to get the things you want. You get a score on how good you are with debt just to take out more debt. Do you see how crazy this sounds?

Have you ever really thought about the loan terms you take on for your phone? Car? Education? Or home? I mean like really think about it. Why is it a 2, 5, 15, 30-year loan? You spend more money and the lenders MAKE more money.

Why does your phone provider offer financing your new phone for 24 months? Is it because in 2 years most folks are getting the itch to get that shiny new thing?

Why do most auto loans fall within the 5-7-year mark? Is it really to make your monthly payments smaller? Or is because in 5-7 years most people are looking for a new ride.

You are literally on a payment plan that once you finish you are ready to trade it in, throw it out, and get right back on the debt hamster wheel. It’s like they figured out the human psychology to keep folks in the game of debt!

So now that you are starting to see how debt runs our world what can we do to break the cycle? How can YOU get off that hamster wheel?

So what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email via our Contact Page.

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The Rebellion Begins!

I am a millennial. A millennial that had real debt, real bills, and had to find real solutions. The news will tell you how illiterate we are with money. We’re lazy, can’t buy a house, can’t buy a car, can’t get a job, are saddled with debt, we can’t do a heck of a lot right…but we love avocado toast?

I am here to tell you that you can prove your parents wrong. You can rise above and have the best house on the block, running circles around your neighbors on financial literacy, and having the sense of financial security that everybody is searching for.

If you can’t see where this is going already, my goal here — to be blunt — is to teach others how to be smarter with money by sharing my thoughts on finance, business, and investment. To change your mindset and to be different!

I want to help expand your horizons by going through all the in’s and out’s of the financial lingo — 401k’s? ETF’s? P/E Ratio’s? CD Ladders? APR? Good Debt, Bad Debt? Financial independence? What do these really mean?

I want to spark that flame in your mind, I want to give you that hunger for knowledge today to make sure your future self — 5, 10, 20, 30 years down the line — is left self smiling back at you.

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.— Warren Buffett

Since earning my first paycheck at eight bucks an hour from a part-time job washing dishes, I’ve been absorbed with expanding my understanding of business and investment. How can I make my money go further? How can I make it work harder for me? How can I grow my income potential?

The first step to any of the above is education.

abc books chalk chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Education is thrown at you from day one in the form of abc’s and 123’s, but something that is rarely taught to you throughout your K-12 journey is how to handle money and finances.

Your teachers always told you if you want a good job you need to go to college, but they never told you how to pay for it. They never told you how to handle the potentially crushing debt that a college degree may bring. Fixed interest rates? Variable Interest Rates? Does your degree of choice hold any value at all to an employer? How does the Federal Reserve’s fund rate affect you?

Your teachers never told you how to file your taxes, they never told you how a mortgage works, and you never heard about a credit score, but you learned about Shakespeare and how to calculate the sides of a triangle. When it came to how income tax works or how to invest in the stock market (along with various other financials) you were on your own.

Your parents probably didn’t teach you any of the above either, but don’t blame them for your average $36,000 of student loan debt. No one taught them either.

Follow along with me on this journey to becoming financially savvy. This site won’t be about getting rich quick or getting advice from a well-off millennial whose parents paid for their college, rent, cell phone bill, and car payment. This blog will be from a millennial who started off with real bills, negative net worth, working 6-7 days a week while going to school, who has a hunger for knowledge and success. Hopefully, together, we can change the image of our generation.

So what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email via our Contact Page.

If you liked what you’ve read please be sure hit the “like” button and share! If you want to receive the latest articles please be sure to subscribe.