What holds you back from investing? Is it stocks? Do they scare you to death? If they do, I really don’t blame you. All the “ifs” in the beginning can be overwhelming! Which ones do I pick? Where will I find the right stock metrics and information to tell me? Why do they keep bouncing around in price? How long until I have a heart-attack? Would you prefer a way to “stick your toe in the water” and not have to deal with such wild fluctuations? If so, then let me introduce you to the world of mutual funds. “What are mutual funds” you ask? Well, for starters, they are where I started when I first invested – long before I ever bought my first shares of individual stock. But even today, after everything else I’ve learned, … [Read more...] about What are Mutual Funds and How Do I Invest in Them?
Going Back to School on a Budget as an Adult
Going back to school isn't just for the little ones. It can be a time for grown-ups to get anxiety too. And not just over the work they'll have to do. If you've noticed the job market is saturated with candidates that have bachelor's degrees, you've possibly considered getting a graduate degree to give yourself an edge. But balancing family expenses is hard enough without adding tuition and books. Plus don't forget all those hours invested in working on projects and studying. You might even convince yourself that paying for a graduate degree and keeping your family afloat is nearly impossible. But remember - you're not the first adult who's gone back to school while working, parenting, etc. If you're in this boat, here are a … [Read more...] about Going Back to School on a Budget as an Adult
What Size Mortgage Can I Afford and How Can I Figure That Out?
How big is “too big” when you’re thinking price tag on a new house? That’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind when they first go new-home shopping: What size mortgage can I afford? It’s a prudent thing to ask and sensible when it comes to your finances. Part of the whole Great Recession in 2009 was an issue with home buyers taking on far too high of a mortgage value than they could afford. (That and getting themselves into mortgage products that were probably not the most ideal for their situation). So to avoid another house buying implosion, a smart consumer will first take a look at their financial situation in the mirror and see what makes the most sense for their situation. Here’s a few tips to help you decide how much … [Read more...] about What Size Mortgage Can I Afford and How Can I Figure That Out?
14 Easy Ways How to Cut Power Bill Expenses During the Winter
The winter-time can be a very challenging time for most people. It’s cold. It’s dark. And it’s hard to travel. Unfortunately all of those things can make people want to stay indoors during that time. And that can lead to a big increase in your energy bill. All of the sudden you’re dealing with drafty windows, more hot water treatment, and a whole more electricity usage than you ever would have during the Summer-time. Luckily there are lots of effective ways how to cut power bill costs that are easy to do. All it just takes a little bit of planning and a few basic things to remember. Helpful Ways How to Cut Power Bill Costs: Lower the thermostat. Each degree that you turn down your thermostat will result in 5% … [Read more...] about 14 Easy Ways How to Cut Power Bill Expenses During the Winter
The Pros and Cons of Brokers When You Try to Sell Your Annuities
Somethings your investments just don't work out like you planned, and you might decide it's time to sell your annuities. But selling a structured settlement can be a tough task, especially because of the mandatory court approval requirements, and the involvement of other stakeholders such as claim adjusters, attorneys, and of course, buyers. In addition to all this, you also have to decide whether you want to opt for the services of a broker. So how do you know if using a broker is the right decision? Pros of having a broker help you out to sell your annuities: Accurate representation of technical information about your settlements so that there are no last minute shockers – There is a lot about your structured settlement … [Read more...] about The Pros and Cons of Brokers When You Try to Sell Your Annuities
Make Sure You Know What You’re Getting Into Before Starting a New Career
Sometimes it happens. We think we know what we want to be when we grow up, and we make every honest effort to get there and fit that role. But then reality sets in. The job isn’t quite as glamorous as we thought it would be. The hours aren’t great. The pay or advancement opportunities aren’t really there. And all around everyone seems pretty miserable or complacent. Is this how you really want to spend the next 30 years of your life? Surviving? Fortunately starting a new career isn’t really as tough as some people think it is. In my career I’ve seen engineers leave to become doctors, project mangers become financial advisers, and some people make the move to the greatest profession of all – entrepreneur! But nonetheless … [Read more...] about Make Sure You Know What You’re Getting Into Before Starting a New Career
New Car vs Used Car – Which One is the Better Buy?
Whether you’re looking at buying your first car or replacing a previous vehicle, there’s one decision you need to make right away: new car vs used car? That one decision will determine, to a large degree, where and how you shop for your vehicle. New Car vs Used Car Factors to Consider: While the financial factor of this decision isn’t the only thing to consider, it is a significant factor. Here are some of the basic financial assumptions involved in buying a car: A new car will cost more than a used car. The sticker price on two comparable vehicles, one new and one used, will vary significantly. A new car loses as much as 40% of its value in the first three years (about 15% of that in the first year), and you can expect to … [Read more...] about New Car vs Used Car – Which One is the Better Buy?
How to Do Apartment Decorating on a Budget
Moving out on your own can be one of the biggest and most exciting times of your life! If it’s your first apartment, you get the thrill of finally being on your own and becoming an adult. But like most adult things, you’ll quickly realize that there are costs involved – big costs! Rent, food, utilities, parking, etc. And because your income is probably limited and held to a strict budget, the last thing on your mind is probably how you’ll furnish it. However, there is no need to worry. Plenty of college kids and young adults have long figured out how to do apartment decorating on a budget and they’ve been able to pull it off with some great success. So here are a few ways that you can do the same without having to put yourself … [Read more...] about How to Do Apartment Decorating on a Budget