Break Free of Living Paycheck to Paycheck

By Tayon Mitchell

Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck? You’re not alone? Most of us are stuck in that never-ending cycle of earning and paying bills with nothing to show for it at the end of the month. There is a way out if you’re committed to the process. It’s possible to build a financial cushion and remove most of your financial stress even if you don’t have a high-paying job.

Gain financial freedom by taking control of your finances:

1. Get excited. If you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, it’s most likely been going on for a significant amount of time. Why is it still happening? If you were highly motivated to change, it would’ve already happened! Make a list of the advantages of getting out of this cycle. Pay special attention to how you would feel.

  • You would be able to handle any financial emergencies, such as a broken furnace or the periodontist for your children.
  • You’d sleep better.
  • You could take a nice vacation.
  • What else can you think of?

2. Pay yourself first. It’s difficult to save any money if you don’t make paying yourself a priority. Consider your savings account to be a monthly bill that must be paid regardless of the circumstances. It’s not the last bill. It’s the first. No exceptions.

3. Get a handle on your spending. Everyone should have a budget. Do you? There are countless resources covering the topic of setting and sticking to a budget. Use them. In addition:

  • Make a list of all your purchases and review them at the end of each day. Every candy bar, magazine, and soft drink are included. Even if it only cost a cent, write it down.
  • Avoid making big purchases without a waiting period. The urge to spend a lot of money will often pass after a couple of days.
  • Create a decision-making process before purchasing anything you don’t need. This can be as simple as asking yourself a couple of questions: 1. Do I need this? 2. Is this helping or hurting my goal of breaking free from my paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle? Then remind yourself how great you’ll feel when your financial situation is better. 
  • Eliminate unnecessary expenses. If it doesn’t help to keep you alive or
    employed, reconsider it.

4. Earn more. There’s a limit to how much you can cut your expenses, but there’s no limit on how much you can earn. Most financial gurus only focus on the expense side of the equation, but your options are ultimately limited. If you’ve been in your current position for at least two years, apply for something more lucrative.

  • Find a way to earn some money on the side. With the popularity of the
    internet, there are ways to earn extra money without leaving home.

5. Tough it out. It’s not easy to get excited if you’re only saving $100 each month, but it’s a start. There’s a lot of inertia in your personal finances. It will take time to accumulate enough change to make a significant difference. It’s important to be pleased with your progress, no matter how small.

Most Americans are stuck in a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Even those with well-paying jobs are at risk. Just a couple of weeks without a paycheck would spell disaster. Though it seems like a long journey to break free of this cycle, it’s worth the time and effort. Not worrying about your bills or what the future may hold is a worthy goal.

Why You Might Want To Be Rich

By Tayon Mitchell

Do you wonder if you should set wealth as one of your goals? Perhaps this question deserves more reflection. Ask yourself, “Why? Why do I want Wealth?”

If any of these ideas ring true with you, consider them in your answer.

Money is a funny thing. Despite the current sentiment among many in this country against wealthy people, those who have a lot of money want even more. Many of those who speak out against it want more too. In fact, most people would like more money.

Many say that money is the cause of corruption. However, many wealthy folks live without this corruption. So, since some are corrupted and some aren’t, wouldn’t you say it’s the person themselves who makes the choices that cause this corruption rather than the money?

But there’s no arguing that having money provides many advantages in life.

There are few downsides to having a lot of money. Those that have spent time being both poor and rich claim that being rich is much better. But there’s no arguing that having money provides many advantages in life.

CONSIDER THESE PERFECTLY GOOD REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT WANT TO BE WEALTHY:

1. Rich people can have more free time, if they choose.

Think of all the time you spend doing things just to maintain your life. Cleaning the house, taking the car for an oil change, shopping for food, preparing food, paying bills, dealing with the yard, and running other errands.

  • When you have enough money, you can pay other people to do these things for you.
  • How would you spend this extra time?

2. Rich people can avoid doing many of the things they don’t enjoy doing.

Think of all the time you spend doing things just to maintain your life. Cleaning the house, taking the car for an oil change, shopping for food, preparing food, paying bills, dealing with the yard, and running other errands.

3. You can help a lot of people when you’re rich.

It’s true that you can volunteer and help others with your time, regardless of your income, but it’s nice to be able to write a check, too. You already know plenty of people that could use financial help. It would be nice to actually be able to provide it.

4. You can enjoy life more.

Let’s face it, money is a limiting factor for most of us. It’s easier to explore your interests if you have greater financial resources. You can visit Paris, buy a Steinway, afford to not work and go back to school comfortably, try a new restaurant each week, or buy a couple of horses.

5. Your future is more comfortable.

Most people are worried about their retirement. If you’re sick later in life or unable to care for yourself, you can afford to have the care you need to live at home for the rest of your life.

  • Money eliminates most your concerns about what the future may bring.

6. Money solves many challenges.

Money is great for solving many of the problems that pop up in day-to-day life. Whether you need dentures, a new transmission, a new roof, or new shoes, money is the answer.

  • Of course, money doesn’t solve all of life’s problems, but it can bring you more options and take care of many of them.

Money isn’t the answer to all of life’s challenges. You’ll find that once you have money, you have a new set of issues. But that’s just life. Name a time when you didn’t have a problem!

The advantages of wealth are considerable. It’s really about freedom. Money brings you freedom of choice and peace of mind. It also gives you the option to spend your time as you choose. What’s not to like about being wealthy?

7 Ways To Protect Yourself From Recession

Just the word, “recession,” is scary for most of us, but you can put many of your fears to rest. By adopting these seven basic principles into your life, the pain of a recession can be largely minimized.
  1. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. Living within your means every day is just another way of saying that you should never need any additional consumer debt. Once you begin creating debt in your life, more inevitably seems to follow. Gas prices may be high, but buy that gas with a credit card at 27% and you’ll see just how expensive it can be.
    • Taken to the extreme, if you have a two-income household, you may want to try to learn to live off just one income. Think of the retirement you could fund with the other income. And if one of you should lose your job, you’ll already be living on one salary.
  2. HAVE A SECOND SOURCE OF INCOME (OR A THIRD OR A FOURTH). A second income source is never a bad idea, even if you just put in a few hours here and there. Job security is practically non-existent now, and an additional source of cash flow increases your financial security.
  3. KEEP A LONG-TERM PERSPECTIVE WITH INVESTMENTS. Expect that there will be periods of time when your investments will lose money. But you only truly lose money if you sell. The economy almost always improves over time, so you’ll make back all your money and then some. In fact, a recession can be the perfect time to invest money.
    • As you get closer to retirement age, move your money into more liquid and lower risk investments. Otherwise, you may not have enough time to recover from any market downturns before you require access to that money.
  4. CONSIDER YOUR RISK TOLERANCE. All the financial gurus have tons of charts and graphs that tell you how much of your money should be invested where, based on your age. But if you aren’t sleeping well because your portfolio is down 12%, you may need to adjust your asset allocation. You should feel secure in your investments, not be in a state of panic.
    • Don’t sell while the market is significantly down, but when things improve you can move some of your assets into bonds or more stable blue-chip stocks.
  5. DIVERSIFY YOUR PORTFOLIO. Keeping your money in different investments will lower your stress and your theoretical losses. You’ll also be less likely to do something impulsive. You don’t have to get carried away; something as simple as dividing your money between your home, savings account, bonds, and stocks is sufficient.
  6. MAINTAIN A GOOD CREDIT SCORE. In a recession, qualifying for credit can be challenging enough already. If you want to purchase a house, get a new credit card, buy a new car, or in some places even rent an apartment, you need to maintain your credit scores. Pay your bills on time and keep your credit card balances as low as possible.
  7. KEEP AN EMERGENCY FUND. An emergency fund is an important part of any financial plan. There are many reasons for this. If someone loses a job, there is money available that won’t result in an investment loss if used. You never know when the unexpected may happen.
    • You never know when the unexpected may happen. What if your car needs a new transmission? Do you really want to be forced to sell some stock that will realize a 25% loss? What if you need money immediately?

Michael Jordan’s daughter Jasmine debuts Air Jordan ‘Heiress’ sneakers, and they’re awesome.

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Jasmine Jordan is starting with Air Jordans, but she’s got big plans for her future (Instagram/@mickijae)

Jasmine Jordan, the daughter of Michael Jordan, may not be a basketball player, but she’s part of the Jordan empire in her own way. Jasmine currently works as the Charlotte, North Carolina brand representative for her father’s Jordan Brand, and while she’s undeniably a Jordan, she’s working to carve out her own unique place in a world that will always associate her with her famous father.

Jasmine is starting somewhere familiar: with footwear. She’s created a new shoe for the Nike Air Jordan brand, and they are pretty much everything you could want in a sneaker. They’re called the Air Jordan XI “Heiress,” a more feminine interpretation of the Air Jordan XI.

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Jasmine talked about the shoe with Lauren Porter at ESSENCE, and one thing is clear: even though Jasmine is just 24, she knows exactly what she’s doing when it comes to sneakers.
“The Ones and the Elevens have always been my favorite Jordan sneaker,” youngest child of the world famous hooper and his ex-wife, Juanita Jordan told ESSENCE. “Our design team loved the fact that the Elevens are already an iconic shoe based off of my dad’s history with it. They wanted to create a more feminine design and give consumers an extended girl’s size. With this design, people get a shoe that’s elevated luxury and a holiday season shoe that is very elegant, clean and classy.”
“The almost black velvet material with that kind of diamond shine elevated the look to make the shoe more sleek and the all black is hit,” she added.

The kicks were apparently inspired by the famous “Little Black Dress” wardrobe staple, and it shows. They’re feminine without being ultra girly, and they’ve got some sparkle without being over-the-top blingy. They’re sleek and stylish and would work for the holidays or a night out.

Jasmine also talked about the “Heiress” brand name, and how she hopes it translates into more than just a name, but also a feeling that someone gets when they wear them.

“I just want to people to understand that as corny as it may be, anybody and everybody can be an Heiress. Heiress isn’t just true to it’s actual definition. In all actuality everybody can be an heiress because it is just another form of being a boss. You can just be yourself, take control and have independence. If I’m able to let people know one thing, it’s be whoever you are because you can claim it and own it. It is not hard but you gotta work for it,” Jordan explained to ESSENCE.

The shoes are $220 and would be available for purchase on Nike’s website if they weren’t completely sold out.

Though sneakers are her current project, Jasmine has ambitions far beyond footwear. She’s got big ideas and plans for the Charlotte Hornets, which is owned by Jasmine’s dad. She hasn’t revealed what those plans are just yet, but it’s a good bet that they’ll be seriously stylish.

How to save more for retirement

Retirement is one of the most important life events many of us will experience. Retirement planning is overlooking your finances now to financially support yourself later in old age. Your employer-sponsored 401(k) plan is here to release you from the burden of over thinking about future. It helps you to enjoy financial freedom in your golden years. Employers help to increase the contribution by employees and that ultimately funds employer’s retirement years.

Following steps would make you get the most out of your 401(k) plan

Start from the start: Making a slow and steady start is an ultimate win and you wouldn’t have to hurry in your late 40s. As soon as you get a job or get employed, start funding a portion of your salary to your 401(k) plan because you are only saving for your older and weaker self. People procrastinate more and keep actually investing the portion of it later.

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Think of other ways: If you are solely relying on your employer’s decision for your retirement savings, then you are not saving a lot. It shows that a good amount is being transferred to the fund but you are losing a handful of retirement money from other ways. If you had a late start to your job, don’t go slow, enhance your contribution rate. Set your goal at 10% for contribution including the company match.

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Right Options: If you are shown a brand new car and you don’t know the how-to thing. What is the first thing you are going to see? The Manual. But this is not what you do when it comes to making your future secure. Most of the employees are least interested in discussing any contribution rate, in fact, they do not want any deduction from their salary. They do not participate in any such meeting either.

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Review fees: Companies keep changing their fee structure that includes investment management fees and administrative costs. Pay attention to fee disclosure rules and then debate over anything you find inaccurate or worth discussing. Invest in a traditional or Roth IRA outside your 401(k), this way you would be able to make the right mix.

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Involve experts: If life is getting enough complicated and you don’t see it figured out by yourself, call for help! Help from the retirement advisers or experts. A 25-year-old person who have a lot of time to set retirement fund targets and goals but a 55-year-old would need to consult an adviser to get unmanaged things done like paying off mortgages, pension saving etc.

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Did you know these 7 things are taxable?

You need to be aware of that any money that is coming to you is taxable and it is surprisingly said by tax attorney Sam Brotman in San Diego. According to him everything you receive in form of money, IRS has right to tax it even the $10 you pick up from somewhere. He also mentioned that though these little money are taxable, people usually don’t declare them and hence tax Is not deducted from them. IRS would have to use more enforcement measures but that would cost the department more than the tax they would collect.

Here are the money items that you would be surprised to know are taxable

Employee Awards: There is some bad news for those of the best employees last year. The employee awards you receive for being a talented and extra ordinary employee are all taxable. Though gifts and achievement awards like gold, silver that are under $400, evade tax.

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Lawsuit Money: Winning a case is not a hundred percent good news while you may have to lose some money as tax. So all the settlement money awarded to you by court fall in taxable finance though tax accountability on that money is quite hard.

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Gambling Reward: Chicago’s tax attorney confirms the money won as lottery, gambling or betting is considered as income and so it is taxable. He also said that your gambling losses would be deducted against winnings.

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Alimony: It might be relieving to get money from your ex-spouse, but again that is taxable. There is relaxation in property or child support payments.

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Renting a room: According to IRS, if you are renting a room for more than 15 days, you are making it taxable so be careful while you rent any room on Airbnb next time. Keep your trip short.

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Found Money: Remember the $10 we discussed in the very beginning, that amount is taxable and its called treasure trove tax. Suppose you found an envelope of money, or any such thing in the car you brought you are taxed for that amount.

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Settlements: Just like money you get in a lawsuit or legal settlement, anything like that received as a settlement payment by gym, bank etc. for charging you extra is also taxable.

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Volunteering and how it can save you money

Volunteering is an amazing way to raise donation while help you save money. Isn’t it quite wonderful? It has some hidden benefits for both you and underprivileged. While keeping other resolutions in mind, add this to your list and see the wonders. Below you would find why you should actually donate your time.

Workout outside the gym: Volunteering could demand physical fitness or indulging in any such activities like shoveling snow, keeping rocks off the road or helping in home construction. You can have to burn calories without going to the gym. So skip gym and make lives better.

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To have good health: Research suggests that people who are into volunteering have lower rates of depression, anxiety and mortality. Their body functions better and they are more likely to stay fit in long run. It is highly recommended to older people as it keeps them busy positively and improves their health.

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Easy Networking: Going to events, parties or get together for the sake of specializing can cost you a lot. The good news is you can actually save what you are spending as paying for tickets, beverages and membership fees each month. By working toward a common cause you can actually make some real friends and meet people of your kind with paying anything.

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More Employment Opportunities: Future clients would value your efforts and experience in volunteering which would be added to resume. They appreciate people who go extra mile and gain experience in such welfare services so it’s a bonus added to your CV that could get you nearer to your dream job.

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More Travel at less cost: Traveling takes away large part of your savings and you cannot deny how much you like traveling. There’s some whole organization that helps volunteers get some space on board in exchange of the work they do for them.

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5 Amazing Tips for boosting your Credit Score In 2018

If you have a good credit score, you are more likely to get good terms regarding mortgages, car loans and credit cards. In short they get lesser interest rates, fees and more sign up bonuses. Make 2018 your year to shoot up your credit score and save money.

Though it wouldn’t be easy and all at once, but at least it can be done. You can control your credit score with just few ways that we are sharing.

Fix any errors:  Your first move towards boosting credit score would be finding any error in your credit score report. Get a free copy of your report and look for any suspicious entry like accounts you fail to recognize, any kind of payment you think you never made or any open account that was supposed to be closed. Hold an investigation in any such cases.

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More credit cards, more score: Getting new credit card would help you increase your credit score in such a mathematical tricky way for an instance you have $1500 in your credit card with the maximum limit of $3000, your utilization rate would be 50%. However, if you add another credit card of same limit your utilization would become 25%. Feel the trick? But you need to be careful in this to avoid unbalance.

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Large and frequent payments: Make large and multiple payments in a month that would enhance the score because each time you pay it takes a snapshot of your balance and the score gets down while lower balances gets your score up so making larger payments in more frequent shifts would risen credit score.

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Become Authorized user: Parents often make their child an authorized user so they can draw and cash money. This technique is found good for account holders, any payment done by authorized user makes their payment increase and so the credit score.

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Keep Balance and Simplicity: In order to keep your score maintained you need to balance everything, just make sure you keep an eye on all your stuff. To sum up, we can say if you are going to pay bills on time for a long time, keep balances low without applying for new credit, you are ultimately going to achieve greater score.

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Let these points resonate in your mind and make you act upon them, 2016 would be your year!

8 Simple Ways to Reach Your Money Goals

2016 is here with all the new blessings; it’s time to gear up for new you and reach your money goals.

Even if you have to pay off debt, buy new home, these expert financial tips would make you one step ahead in moving towards financial targets.

Write down your finances: Do simple accounting for your current assets and liabilities and make a chart to draw your savings to monthly. This way you would have clear idea of your spending and earnings and you can allocate specific amount to savings.

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Set Big Goals: Do not be afraid to dream big or follow them just because you think you are not capable of doing them. While you set your eyes on your goal, invest in both time and efforts and see what wonders it does. Do not stop believing in yourself.

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Take Small Steps: You cannot eat entire meal all at once or you’ll choke yourself. Similarly, there’s so magic wand or magic carpet to fly you to your dream goal, baby steps toward the monster goal is what confirms consistency and surety.

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Share with friends: Friends are supportive angels sent direct from heaven that share with you each and everything. Sharing your goals with pals would give extra amount of encouragement and amazing ideas that could helpful in long run. So open up about your dreams to your buddies and see what happen.

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Announce your goals: By sharing your goals on social media would give you more motivation and sense of responsibility to achieve them. Doing so will also hold you more accountable.

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Leave Bad habits: If you think eating out is more fun and skipping home food is okay then you need to realize you are wasting a lot of money you can actually save. Leave behind such habits and strive to be a better person.

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Seek Advice from Someone who’s traveled this journey: The best advice you can receive is from someone who has already accomplished what your seeking to do. Most people who have achieved success in have no problem sharing how they got there. Welcome their advice so you do not have to make the same mistakes.

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Money Diet: New Way To Save Money

Going on a money diet does not need a specific time of the year or any other condition, except for the summers as they come with a lot of spending moments e.g going on a vacation, shopping for weddings and beach trips. Money diet is very different to ‘food diet’, since it is about gaining money and not losing it.

There are some really easy successful money diet tips for you to try:

Eat healthy, eat on budget:

By food shopping, strictly stick to groceries. Eat at home. Avoid pizza delivery, meal takeaways and hotel meals. In case, you find candy man or ice cream vans, look away to crush the craving.

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Skip Shopping gigs:

While only window shopping, ladies are often caught buying scarves, headbands and accessories and such frequent little shopping gigs actually cost more than mega shopping.

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Part-time working:

Work part time for few hours to gain extra money and show consistency. Join a toy store costumed as a spider man or become a host for an Italian restaurant.

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Recycle at home:

Utilize free time at home and peek inside those used/unused stuff in backyard, go-down, old cupboards for some scrap and invest in some really cool DIY skills to create masterpieces that would both save you money and time for shopping outside. You can even do grocery shopping at home, consume some space in lawn and go green with home farm. While money dieting don’t go way too far to skip basic necessities like soaps and shampoos. These are the things of primary importance.

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Visit Library:

If you are a keen reader, go on read entire library and cut the cost of buying books. You can not only explore the world of books but enjoy some real free entertainment and get this amazing chance of socializing on budget.

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Try this crazy method called money diet and save dollars. You can thank me later 🙂