Jul 24

Making Bank The Personal Finance Lessons They Never Taught Us in School

Making Bank: The Personal Finance Lessons They Never Taught Us in School, Claudio M. Ghipsmann, 2010, ISBN 9781934454398

This book attempts to distill a subject like personal-finance into small, easy to read pieces. The author speaks as someone who learned personal-finance the hard way.

The first thing a person should do is to purchase, or free download, some sort of money management software like QuickBooks. Get in the habit of entering all of your income, and all of your expenses. After that is done, you can start printing reports, like a Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss, which will show you exactly where your money is going. Each month your expenses need to be less than your income. If that is not your situation, the sooner you start changing things, the better.

If you are thinking of getting into the investment world, have extra cash on hand, and pay off your credit cards first. Decide on your level of acceptable risk. Are you more interested in safe, conservative investments, or in high risk investments that could go through the roof, or crash and burn? There are, seemingly, 1 million places to invest, so research is needed ahead of time.

Paying off your credit cards, by itself, is a good way to put money in your pocket. Imagine a card with 20% interest, and you are carrying a $2000 balance. You are giving the credit card company $400 a year, for no reason. Pay off the card and that $400 will go in your pocket. Banks are getting rich on the everyday mistakes of their depositors. Use only your bank’s ATM, and you will save that one or two dollar fee each time. Sign up for online access to your bank account, and check it often. When

Jul 23

Finances And Stress – How Are You Feeling

Let’s face it- finances can be very stressful. The APA (American Psychological Association) reports that American worry most about the economy, their job, and having enough money set aside in savings. A job loss, car breakdown, or overall change in financial status can really have an impact on our emotions and can be the cause of many sleepless nights and stressful days due to worrying.

The good news is that stress that comes from worrying about money can actually be turned into something positive if dealt with in the right way. This is done by channeling our emotions in the right way and taking practical steps in the ways we deal with our finances. When a financial crisis arises, how you deal with it will have a huge impact on how it makes you feel and the amount of stress it causes you.

In the case of a lost job, it’s important to not get discouraged. That may sound easy but be hard for many people but the bottom line is, it’s not going to help you to be negative about your circumstances. Instead, reach out to the people in your life in an effort to get some emotional and possible financial support. Talking about your feelings will help alleviate the stress you feel and give you a more positive outlook on your situation.

Sit down and look at your budget, crunch the numbers, and figure out where you can cut monthly costs until you find a new job. Track your expenses for at least a month and decide where you need to make cuts and changes to your budget. Be honest with yourself and your family about which expenses are “wants” and which are “needs”.

If and when your car breaks down, consider your options for getting it fixed. Do you have a

Jul 22

Starting Emergency Funds – Personal Finance Basics

In my earlier post, I wrote about the importance of creating an emergency fund. Today, we’ll go through some of the quick tips I give many of my consulting clients when I teach them personal finance basics regarding starting an emergency fund. In this post I will discuss budgeting, goal setting, and automating your emergency fund.

Budgeting – The first step in creating your emergency fund is to create a well thought out budget that not just give you an idea of where you are with your finances, but lets you know how much money you’ll be allocating towards your budget. Budgeting is the most simple of lessons in personal finance basics and when you make a good one, you will discover areas you can cut back so you can put it towards your emergency fund or for different financial goals. You can look around google for many budget tools, or look at our resource link to our budget spreadsheet.

Goal Setting – Learning from other financial experts is a hobby of mine as a financial consultant. I do this to be certain I’m lending the best possible advice I can to my clients. All experts who teach personal finance basics (like how much money should be in an emergency fund), suggest 3 to six months income. I recommend a three-tiered goal setting system. Create a easy to achieve goal of $1,000. Because you’ll hit it quickly, you’ll be excited and more motivated to reach the bigger goals. The next goals are an middle range goal and finally, your big goal of 3 to 6 of net income.

Automating – An important step in the budget is to figure out how much money each month will go towards your emergency fund. Let’s pretend you can afford a monthly budget of

Jul 21

Creating A Personal Finance Spreadsheet

One of the biggest challenges we face as adults is balancing a budget. Creating a personal finance spreadsheet can be one of the most valuable steps you can take to tackling this challenge head on. Even if you start with a simple format and a few details you can be well on your way to financial organization which can lead to financial security in the long run.
There are different methods for creating a personal finance spreadsheet and the decision on which to choose depends greatly on your personality in general. Many people like to keep record in a computer program like Excel. This is a wonderful way to stay organized while making a sound personal financial spreadsheet that is professional grade quality.
The Excel program is great because it allows you to work from a clean template. You have control of the input and you can cater your personal financial spreadsheet to your needs. Many of us have no idea how to use this program but it really takes just a few minutes to master and the results are great.
You can also use a program like Quicken to create a personal finance spreadsheet. This kind of program comes highly recommended for any individual who is serious about keeping track of all of his incoming and outgoing funds. The personal finance spreadsheet that you can produce from a program like Quicken will put your accountant to shame.
Many of us love the idea of keeping strict records of our spending habits and we really like the idea of a sound budget. However, we dont like to work on the computer any more than we have to. If you spend all day at work at the monitor the last thing you want to do is go

Jul 20

Why Apply for a Credit Card Consolidation Loan

If you own a lot of credit cards, then you have probably experienced times when, for one reason or another, you have struggled to make a payment, let alone make the minimum payment.

Now, your reasons for this may be many; you were changing jobs so you had to wait for your probationary period to end before your first payday, or, as is becoming more the case nowadays, you have had your working hours cut and are currently working a shortened week at work or, your overtime that you depend upon is no longer available.

It’s irrespective, whatever the reason there are certain steps you can take to ensure this problem is a thing of the past and doesn’t give you the potential problem of black marks against your credit history.

The best and most used method, especially if you have a lot of credit cards, is to apply for a credit card consolidation loan. This loan will not only get all your credit cards switched onto a single loan repayment at a lower rate, it will also simplify the payment of your credit card bills, especially if you dispose of your cards altogether, which I’m not suggesting, as they are very useful items to have sometimes, should you get into a sticky financial corner and when used correctly.

Although a credit card consolidation loan is targeting your credit cards as such, they can be used to consolidate all of your debt into one manageable loan. Before you consider looking into a Credit Card Consolidation Loan though, you should consider looking into ways of eliminating your debt altogether.

Sure it’s not something you can do overnight, unless you pick the winning lottery numbers that is, but it is something you can achieve in as little

Jul 20

Abn Amro Prepaid Credit Cards

There are various kinds of credit cards available in the market at present. Prepaid credit cards are getting more and more popular now days. However, many people do not have any knowledge about prepaid credit cards. A prepaid credit card is allotted to a customer by a bank when he deposits a certain amount of money in his prepaid credit card account. An individual can use this card at all the place where he can use a normal credit card. However, in case of these cards, one cannot spend more money than he has in his credit card account.

It means that these cards have no risk of spending more than what you have. These cards work on the same principle, on which debit cards works. As you can spend only that much money which is deposited in to your account, there is nothing like interest charges associated with these cards. There are a number of banks available in the markets, which are offering such cards to their customers.

ABN AMRO bank is famous for offering various types of credit cards to a large number of customers. It offers credit cards to its customers according to their requirements and profile. ABN AMRO credit cards can be used at a large number of places. The prepaid credit cards offered by this bank are used by various people. These cards offer a lot of benefits to the customers. For instance, parents can give these cards to their children. Most of the parents hesitate to give regular credit cards to their children because they may spend a lot of amount through them. The procedure for getting an ABN AMRO prepaid credit card is very simple. You just need to contact your nearby branch of ABN AMRO Bank and after the completion of

Jul 19

The Market Is Nervous – Are You Nervous

Okay, so 2014 stock market has gotten off to a shaky start. There have been several down cycles – one after another. Memories of the market melt-down of 2008 are surfacing. It’s funny how the painful memories are so much stronger than the pleasant memories.

But let’s recall a few of those memories – painful and pleasant. The downward slide was scary – not knowing where the bottom was. It took nerves of steel to stay the course.

As a financial advisor, I told my clients, you can get out of the market if you want. You can sit on the side lines in cash – just let me know when you are ready to get back in. And remember this, market recovery comes in spurts. It isn’t a straight ride up. It is jerky and erratic. But you have to be in the market to benefit when it is on the upswing.

You can follow the indexes like the Dow Jones or the S & P 500 over several decades. You will see that each decade had at least one major decline of 15% or more. While the markets fluctuated after the declines, the declines were often followed by meaningful recoveries. (There is no guarantee this will be repeated.)

So all this statistics is head knowledge. It can calm your nerves to an extent. Experiencing a few of the market swings helps carry you the distance.

I found my clients with more investment experience were calmer than ones who had only experienced the thriving 1990’s and limited recession of 2001-2003. Ones who survived the depression or the recession of the 1980’s had nerves of steel. The same response was coming from the money professionals. A young money manager said she was glad for the dinosaurs in their company who calmed the waters with their

Jul 18

Some Ideas on How to Choose Personal Finance Software

Users of personal finance software find them very helpful. There are a number of software out there. Some programs are better than other, simple and advanced, downloadable and web-based. Obviously, you want the best one, a software that will make your life easier.

What you need is to find the program that does everything you want it to do. Before buying any software, you need to check out very carefully the software and read the customer reviews. In this article we’ll review some of the popular personal finance software and their features.

When using personal finance software you should think very carefully how safe your data is. If you choose the downloadable program, you have to use an external backup system (USB memory key) to keep your data because there’s always the possibility that your hard drive can crash. Always use a unique password!

GNUCASH software is one of free option in personal finance software. This program designed for personal budgeting, small business and accounting. The small businesses features allow you keeping track of your projects and your customers. You can import data from other programs like Microsoft Money and Quicken into GnuCash. While this program has many useful features and has the advantage of being free, it may not be the best for you if you’re looking for something simple that you can use right out of the box. So think twice about it because it requires you a bit of time to learn it.

YNAB (You Need A Budget) is a popular program that works with a variety of platforms you might have including Windows, Mac, Linux. Specifically designed support resources for this program include tutorials with live classes to teach the newbie all about budgeting from start. It’s made to help you get

Jul 18

Green Dot Credit Card – Review

The Green Dot card is a prepaid credit card. Commonly used by individuals without a bank account.

Card holders receive free direct deposit; this can save you money on expensive check cashing fees. It is accepted at millions of locations world wide.

There is a monthly maintenance fee of $4.95 however if you deposit $750 or more monthly this fee is waived. There is no credit check or bank account required for approval.

It is accepted over the phone and online. Your cash can be accessed at 900,000 ATM locations in 120 different countries.

Frequent criticisms of this card are; the number of fees and poor customer service. It carries a reload fee of $4.95 when a MoneyPak is used to deposit funds.

These are purchased at retail locations such as; CVS, Walgreens, The Pantry, and more. You will also have to pay a $2.50 ATM fee and a $9.95 activation fee.

The Columbus Bank and Trust Company issues the card and it comes as a Visa or MasterCard.

They do offer an upgrade to Premier Membership; the advantage is you will receive priority customer service. This upgrade costs an extra $20.

Upon completion of your application you will be mailed a card in 7 – 10 business days. You can also purchase this card at many retail locations.

It is commonly used by parents to teach children financial responsibility. Additionally it is a convenient method of providing financial assistance to students that are away at school.

Should your card be lost of stolen your money is protected, creating a much safer alternative to carrying cash.

Using this will give you an easy method of staying within your budget and track your spending. It can also be used to

Jul 15

Economical No Bank Account Assistance In The Uk

A century along with a half later, it appears not a lot possess changed. With its strong in-the-ground presence in many various ex-colonial territories inside Asia plus Africa, as well as its wealthy history of cross-cultural moral flexibility, HSBC keeps a rather different global footprint than many other Too Big to Fail banks like Wells Fargo or lender of America. whilst the American financial behemoths mainly gorged themselves about the harmful residential-mortgage trade that caused the 2008 monetary bubble, HSBC took a slightly different path, turning itself into the destination financial for domestic plus global scoundrels of every possible persuasion.

Client of Harris will see their unique account escapades plus account balance explanation like checking, savings plus money exchange by accessing to their accounts also at their own house or company. Moreover, HB customer will view the duplicate of void checks for the past 60 days. these people will furthermore view bond and credit balance, move money between Harris Bank plus different bank accounts, pay bills and perform more banking activities. As a consumer, you can download your own account transaction into all cash administration software so you might check all of the in and outgoing of your own cash.

Enjoy tips on bank account number and BankAccountPRO, or alternatively Icici Bank Nri Account to let you make wise conclusions.

Economical No Bank Account Assistance In The UK

For availing the benefits of on-line financial one must have access to the Internet. For this purpose, he must own a desktop, computer or PDA device, and an Internet connection. This result in limits the use of internet banking , because frequently it’s virtually impossible to have an online connection, to serve the trigger. One would furthermore face difficulty if the Internet connectivity breaks down during an ongoing transaction, or when anyone

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