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The Role of the Payday Loans

All people, surely, wants to get a great amount of income to meet all of their needs. It is a wish of all people. The income becomes the asset to fulfill all of the needs. However, no matter how much our income is, sometimes people often feel need more and more, for example when they get a great and unpredictable needs. Getting the payday loans will be the answer for the condition. Since people often feel frustrated being in that situation, they often get stuck on what they should do to get out of the situation.

Actually getting loans is one of the simple ideas which commonly come to peoples’ mind who experience the financial problem. However, getting the right kind of loans would not be that simple since nowadays people can easily find a lot of types of loans. The payday loans are the loans which are the types of short term loans for people who need extra money until their payday comes.

Sure, the problems of personal finance do not only happen to them with the low income or no income but also people with high income can also experience it. If we look for the simple way to get the payday loans, we can easily go to the online source which offers the reliable online loans.

Making Long Term Money Online

http://aleheads.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/money.jpgFor people already getting profit from online stints, it may still be a big question how they can set up a money-making opportunity online that lasts more than a few months. Finding a long-term job outside is a lot easier than finding one online, you don't usually find that kind of security especially if the online job you've found doesn't guarantee long-term employment.

Internet marketing is a whole new world for most of us, and getting all the information you can get from the right people is a good way to start. Without the right information, you may find yourself trapped in webs of lies and false promises, frustrated for not seeing things the right way. Most of us are determined to make it in the online industry that we give up the jobs we had outside, yet anxious that success may not be at hand like we imagined it would be.

Making a long-term profit online involves a lot of patience and hard work, as most other jobs. You have to set your priorities so that you'll know which way to go. Having a lot of options, you're most likely to choose the wrong ones if you make rash decisions and end up with the wrong ones. Finding an online stint that will ensure a long-term money-making opportunity requires a keen eye against spammers and fake entrepreneurs determined to rip you off, so keeping an open mind and open eyes would be the best thing to do first.

Drawing traffic seems like an easy task, it is, however, harder than you have imagined it to be. Traffic can keep your business running for a long time, though, and because of that, traffic has become the best idea to make long-term money online. Putting up your own business can be good for you, but working with other people in making it grow is another. The traffic you draw towards your website will help you make your business grow without worrying about how short its lifespan will be. As long as your own traffic generates new traffic, your business is good. Forget about get-rich-quick schemes.

Chances are, nothing is really in store for you, you'll get ripped off of your money, and if you do get somewhere, your career suddenly halts to a stop you did not expect. More security will be brought to you by your own business, and the traffic you've drawn towards it.
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Why It Is Hard To Sell A Judgment

http://www.psychologytoday.com/files/u759/money_stack.jpgDuring boom economic times and general upward mobility, it was not difficult to sell a judgment for cash. Only judgment debtors can repay judgments, so everything depends on the current status of the specific judgment debtors. When your judgment debtor does not have a lot of available assets or income showing, nobody will pay much. And, nobody will pay more than a penny on the dollar for broke judgment debtors. If the debtor is poor and is also old or sick, you probably could not even pay someone to take your judgment.
This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment broker, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer. The economy alone, has made judgments much more difficult to sell or recover. Even when your judgment debtor has money, if they are experts at hiding it, or moving assets where they cannot be reached by creditors; nobody will pay much cash upfront for your judgment.

Anyone that buys a judgment must recover something from it, to even break even. In boom times, people were much more willing to risk spending money; to buy a judgment and then spend more money and time trying to recover it. The economy has depressed judgment buying in three ways:

1) Like most of us, most judgment buyers are lower on funds now than they used to be. Many have been burned from buying judgments in the past, when the economy first went south. Now, buyers are very picky about which judgments they will risk money to buy. Most do not have enough liquid assets to pay (cash upfront) what might be fair for giant judgments with giant debtor assets.

2) Courts have raised their fees, and most have downsized, and some have even closed down. Most courts now place a much lower priority on judgment recovery proceedings or actions. Recovering judgments always depends on the courts.

3) Many judgment debtors are now broke, or at least more broke than they used to be. The primary ways to recover judgments are recording a lien on property, or garnishing/levying either bank accounts or wages. Without liens on property with sufficient equity, or employment income/bank accounts to garnish, judgment recovery is difficult at best.

If your judgment debtor has no available assets, it will be difficult to find anyone to attempt to recover your judgment on a contingency basis. Also, it will be almost impossible to find a judgment buyer at more than a penny on the dollar.

If your judgment debtor has assets, it is important to identify them. "He used to own lots of property and kept them in a relative's name" will not interest a judgment buyer. Three things that may interest a judgment buyer are:

1) Clearly identified assets the judgment debtor now owns, for example, property and expensive vehicles. Note that when property has a lien against it or is leased, it usually cannot be used to satisfy a judgment.

2) Clearly identified current income of the judgment debtor, for example where they work. Note that when there is a previous wage garnishment in place, it can prevent a new creditor from using that income to satisfy a judgment.

3) Clearly identified possible future assets of the debtor, for example if they may soon inherit property.

The more assets your judgment debtor has, the less likely it is that you would have sued them. Also, the more likely it is that they would have already paid you. Finally, more debtor assets increase the chances that you would be able to sell your judgment; and the more money you are likely to get for it on a future payment contingency basis.

Thinking About Making a Move to the Sun?

http://isic2011.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/i-need-money2.jpgWhile it may seem incredibly appealing to pack up everything and head for a place in the sun when you retire, going through the whole process requires a fair bit more work than most people realise. Life as an expat can be a relaxing way to spend your time after all those years working and by making sure you've got a few things covered, you know there'll be no problems. Your first steps should be organising everything in your soon-to-be old home, so don't be afraid about getting in touch with people who can help.
Be prepared for some huge changes

A major decision involves your old home; what are you going to do with it? Some people may choose to sell while others decide that rental is a good idea, as it provides a regular income that you should be able to depend on - but what if something goes wrong? You'll need to organise someone responsible to look after it on your behalf who can deal with repairs and ensure that your tenants pay their rent on time, so choose wisely.

Depending on where you're moving to, it could be a good idea to get some lessons in your new home's language. Sure, you'll find that a lot of expats think that English is enough but if you're thinking about integrating into society there's no better way to do so than being able to speak like the locals do. Don't worry if you make the odd mistake; people will be happy that you're making the effort to fit in and may even offer to help you improve your skills.

Call a wealth management advisor as soon as you can

You'll find that you're making a lot of huge choices in a short space of time, so be sure to enlist the help of professionals who can help you take a lot of the pressure off. Your finances will be up in the air, so speaking to wealth management advisors is a great idea. They'll be able to talk to you about everything from how your pension will be affected to letting you know what kinds of insurance you'll need, as well as tell you what you should be budgeting for during and after your big move.

When you're looking for an advisor, make sure that your chosen specialist is experienced in global wealth management. That way you'll know that they're skilled in helping clients who are located all around the world, rather than just in the UK, and have contacts in many countries who can help out with any issues that could arise. Ask plenty of questions and be prepared for absolutely anything, but above all enjoy your new life in the sun.

Financial Planning For A Better Tomorrow

People who strive hard will certainly receive rewards. Without a doubt, everyone can reach their goals if they are determined, responsible, and intelligent. If you really want to reach your goal to achieve success, then you should know how to deal with the challenges in life. In business, you need to understand the purpose of what you are managing. You need to be familiar with the possible pros and cons of a certain undertaking that you intend to engage in. Dealing with monetary issues is a crucial task. In order to succeed, you need to have an effective financial planning. It is necessary to take the right steps so that you will not slip into the financial hellhole.

If you think that you are not expert enough when it comes to budgeting, securing your earnings, and to increasing your profits then the best thing that you should do is to hire a professional and trustworthy fiscal advisor. Certainly, no one wants to lose their valuable assets. It is important for you to know how to properly manage your wealth so that you and your family will have a brighter tomorrow. We all want to have a prosperous life; hence, we need to seek a solution that could deliver beneficial outcomes concerning financial matters.

Indeed, we are the ones who decide for our future. Although we cannot predict what will happen in the following years, we still have ways on how to be prepared for it. In terms of economic issues, you must look for ways on how to avoid the possible dilemmas that we might encounter. In case of emergencies, you will easily have something to use if you have a contingency plan. Nothing can stop you from achieving your business goals as long as you know how to manage financial issues.

It will be easy for you to increase your business' sales and profits if you have done the right monetary planning. You should practice doing a systematic approach in any tasks that you are going to do so that you will obtain a surefire and successful outcome.

By consulting an experience and committed financial planner, there's a guarantee regarding your fiscal planning. Having a good comprehension pertaining to proper wealth management will certainly place your earnings in a safe place. What's more? Another benefit that you can have is that you will be able to learn how to invest wisely.

5 Ways to Cope When You're Tired of Being Frugal

Living on a budget and trying to save money isn't always fun. Sometimes you just wish for a splurge, but you know you can't afford one. Other times you're just tired of always thinking about ways to spend less. What do you do when you're tired of being frugal?

It's not always easy. There are so many temptations to break the habit, whether it's hearing from friends and family the fun things they've been doing or what they've been buying, or the commercials you can hardly avoid on television and online. Still, there are ways to deal with it when you're tired of it all.

1. Allow small splurges.

What is it you miss most? Is there a way to get it more cheaply?

You may miss going out to see movies, for example. Movie ticket prices have gone up quite a bit, and don't always fit well into a frugal budget. If you're lucky enough to have a discount movie theater near you, however, you may be able to see movies somewhat later than others for quite a bit less. There's a theater in our area, for example, that has $2 tickets, far more affordable that what we'd pay elsewhere.

You can also think about the little treats you enjoy and set a budget for it. If you miss chocolate, for example, you may be able to get chocolate chips and put them in the freezer. Nibbling just a couple rather than having an entire candy bar can save you money so long as you have the self control to not eat too many a day.

2. Tell people what you want if they're looking for a present for you.

If you miss going out to eat, suggest gift cards to your favorite restaurant as a gift when you have a birthday or Christmas coming up. This may not feel as personal as some people would like, but if that's what you want more than whatever else someone would buy you, it's a good gift.

If there's some other splurge you want that's within the range of a gift from someone else, let them know when they want gift ideas for you. Sometimes it works out.

3. Look at free ways to get what you want.

It's amazing what you can get for free sometimes. Libraries are wonderful if you miss getting new books to read, for example. Just how wonderful depends on the libraries in your area and the selection they have in the types of books you like to read. Remember that many libraries are networked to others in your area, and you may be able to order books from other locations.

Also see if there's an active Freecycle group in your area. You can ask for things you'd like to get. I've seen people in my local group ask for things like exercise bikes and get them.

4. Review your financial goals.

You're being frugal for a reason. It can help you deal with the frustration of being frugal if you remind yourself why you're going through all that. Are you saving so that you can pay down credit cards or other debts? Think about the benefits of getting rid of those. If you're being frugal because it's the only way you can pay all your living expenses, think about how your situation would change if you weren't managing your money so carefully.

5. Take joy in meeting your financial goals.

Don't just think of being frugal as a long term goal. Think of your short term goals too. It may be to save a particular amount over a particular month or to cut a particular expense. Having goals where you can see the results is a big help in making frugality more interesting.

Make sure your goals are something you can achieve and you know how you're going to achieve them. If they aren't realistic, you'll be more frustrated than happy with the process.

The Rules Of Personal Finance

Personal finance refers to the financial decisions which an individual or a family unit is required to make in order to obtain, budget, save, and spend monetary resources over time, taking into account various financial risks and future life events.

In this article, we shall examine the basic rules of Personal Finance that will guide in making financial decisions.

Live Below Your Income

This is the most important rule of all. Any person desirous of achieving financial success must develop a culture of spending less than he earns. This can be achieved by working on either sides of income and expenditure. Either we work to increase our income or we work to reduce our expenses or both. As we work hard on either spending less or earning more, our disposable income will increase. In turn, the later will accelerate our ability to achieve our financial dreams.

Enhance Your Income

As noted above, it is important that we work hard at enhancing our income as a strategy for increasing our disposable income. As people who are working hard at achieving a financially stable life, we must have a clear strategy of improving our income in the short and the long term.

Above can be achieved through getting a better education, establishing streams of passive income, starting a side business, working hard at our current job and other related efforts. As we move from one stage in life to another, our financial obligations will increase. Therefore, it is important that we towards increasing our income in the same progression.

Live a Frugal Lifestyle

Like many other rules in Personal Finance, this rule derives from the rule of living below your income. Not that we really have much choice about living below our income but in credit driven economies, it is very easy for our personal finance to get out of control as a result of borrowings.

Living a frugal life does not mean living a miserable life. Instead, it means living within your means thereby ensuring that you are in control of your finances and not the creditors. It is a deliberate and conscious effort to live within your income with a view to creating an enabling environment for wealth accumulation. A frugal lifestyle enables us to go beyond immediate gratification to having the big picture in mind.

This habit urges us to save as much as possible without making ourselves miserable. It enables us to avoid regrettable expenditures by applying the ten seconds rule. This rule says that every time we want to make a purchase, we should spend ten seconds to ask ourselves if we really need what we are about to purchase. Very often, this simple rule will point us in the direction of spending less money.

Learning to Manage Money

Having gone through the above steps, it is very likely that you will begin to have an excess of income over expenditure. The savings so accumulated is your ticket to financial freedom. At this point, you must learn to channel the excess funds into profitable investments. Money begins to work for you and not against you. As this stage, you must also begin to know the difference between asset and liability. Invest more in assets and pay off your liabilities.

Be in Control

Personal Finance is not about being rich, it is about being free. Freedom from debt. Freedom from stress and worries. It's about being in control of your finances. And so, the final rule is be in control.

In conclusion, most people spend most of their lives earning money but rarely spend enough time planning the efficient use of same. This leads to a lot of financial regrets. The result is that at age 65, most people are flat broke.

It is therefore very important that we take the issue of Personal Finance very seriously. Our financial well-being is worth some time and effort. If we observe the above rules, it would lead to fuller and happier life.

How Do Millionaires Think?

Business philosopher Jim Rohn once wrote,

Becoming a millionaire is not that difficult, but it is not the most important thing. The most important part of becoming a millionaire is the person that you have to become to accumulate a million dollars in the first place.

This is a wonderful insight. In order to become wealthy, you must develop a completely different mindset from the average person who worries about money most of his life. You must develop a completely different character, personality, and set of habits if you are to achieve your financial goals and then hold onto the money.

My financial advisor once told me, "The first millionaire is extremely difficult to acquire, but the second million is almost inevitable."

When you become the kind of person who can earn and accumulate a million dollars or more, you will also be the kind of person who can earn the second and third million as well. Even if something unfortunate happens, and you lose all your money, you could make it back again fairly quickly because you would have become the kind of person who can become a millionaire. And once you become that kind of person, you never lose the ability.

The First Habit of Millionaires

Perhaps the most easily identifiable habit of self-made millionaires is the habit of frugality. Wealthy people are careful with every penny and every dollar. They allocate their funds carefully and with great deliberation. They never buy new when they can buy used. They never buy if they can lease, and they never lease if they can rent. They never rent or lease if your can borrow. They know that, as the English saying goes, "If you take care of your pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves."

For example, most self-made millionaires do not buy new cars. They wait until a good quality car is about two years old before they buy it. Even then, they have the car thoroughly checked out by a reputable mechanic. Once they feel confident that it is an excellent buy, in good condition, they buy the car and then drive it for five or ten years before replacing it.

Most new cars drop 20 percent in value as soon as you drive them off the lot. After two years, many cars have lost 30 to 50 percent of their value. They are still in excellent condition and often still covered by factory warranties. When you buy a good-quality car, you can save many thousands of dollars, all of which can be invested and allowed to grow at compounded interest toward your ultimate goal of financial independence.

Save your Money

Self-made millionaires develop the habit of regular saving and investment from an early age. As multimillionaire W. Clement Stone once wrote, "If you cannot save money, the seeds of greatness are not in you."

George Classon, in his best seller, The Richest Man in Babylon (Signet reissue, 2002), wrote that the key to financial success is to "pay yourself first." He recommends that you save at least 10 percent of your income, off the top, before any expenditure, for the entirety of your working life.

Human beings are creatures of habit. We very quickly adapt to almost any external condition or circumstance. If you save 10 percent off the top of your paycheck and discipline yourself to live on the other 90 percent, you will soon adjust your lifestyle downward slightly so that you are quite comfortable on the lesser amount. In no time at all, living at this level becomes a habit, and you stop thinking about it.

Many people are deeply in debt, and the idea of saving 10 percent of their income, off the top of each paycheck, is too difficult for them even to consider. In this case, which is quite common, I recommend a gradual process where you begin by saving 1 percent of your income and living on the other 99 percent.

For example, if you are earning $2,000 a month, make a decision today to save $20 a month, or 67 cents per day. You can then live on the other $1,980.

Go down to the bank and open up a separate account, your "financial independence" account. Money that goes into this account flows only one way - inward. Once you put money into this savings / investment account, you never, ever take it out or spend it for any reason. It has only one purpose: to enable you to achieve financial independence as soon as possible.

Once you become comfortable living on 99 percent of your income, increase your monthly savings rate to 2 percent off the top. Within one year, you will find yourself living quite comfortably on 10 percent of your current income. Continue this process until you are saving 15 percent and then 20 percent of your income, off the top. You will not even notice the different in your standard of living because it will be so gradual. But the difference in your financial life will be absolutely extraordinary.

Financial Planning Lessons From The Olympics

"Focus, discipline, hard work, goal setting and, of course, the thrill of finally achieving your goals. These are all lessons in life." -Kristi Yamaguchi, gold medallist in figure skating in 1992

The Olympics are with us again! It's that time every four years where we stay up late (or get up early) to watch some of the best sportsmen and women compete against each other across a range of different sports.

I don't know about you, but I always seem to end up watching some obscure sports that I usually have no interest in, just because "it's the Olympics"!

As I was watching the swimming a few nights ago, I began to think about how the Olympic athletes can teach us some valuable lessons about finance.

Training and Preparation - most athletes have spent years training for their events. They didn't wake up one morning magically transformed into an Olympian. It took time. It's similar with your financial plan - changes won't instantly happen, but instead you'll begin to see gradual improvement over time. You need to be patient, but still put in the hard work.

Sacrifice - I'm glad my sons don't want to be swimmers because I'm not sure I could cope with the early morning training sessions! But every athlete has had to make sacrifices in the short term in order to excel. When it comes to money, there's no such thing as a free lunch. You need to make sacrifices in the short term in order to be better off in the longer term.

Having Clear Goals - Top athletes and sportspeople have very clear goals. Their training is structured to give them the best chance of achieving those goals. We can all learn from their example. In my experience the number one reason people don't save for their future is that they don't have any clearly defined goals to work towards. One of the most effective things you can do today is spend ten minutes writing out a list of goals you'd like to achieve.

Practicing the Right Things - Just practicing a particular sport doesn't guarantee you'll get better at it. You may be practising the wrong thing! This is why sportsmen and women all over the world seek out and learn from the best coaches. When it comes to finances, it's possible to be doing the wrong things and not know about it until it's too late. Are there better ways to save for your future? Possibly? But you won't know unless you seek out an expert.

Enjoy the Moment - I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to compete in an Olympic event. But from what I've seen on TV and read, it's an amazing experience. Many athletes say that it's a bit of a blur, and you need to make a conscious effort to acknowledge where you are and to enjoy the experience. Our lives are like this. We can get so busy and focussed on doing things that we forget to enjoy the moment. It's got nothing to do with money - it's all about being present and enjoying your life for what it is, not what you want it to be.

"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." - Will Smith

Achieve Your Personal Best - Why would you bother swimming 100m if you can't do it as fast as Michael Phelps? Because for 99% of swimmers, beating Michael Phelps isn't the goal. The goal is to be the best swimmer they can be, based on their bodies, fitness and level of training.

This is especially true when it comes to money. We need to stop measuring ourselves against other people, and start doing the best that we can with the resources we have.

We're all at different stages of life and everyone has a unique financial story to tell. The key is to manage what you have to the best of your ability. In order to do this you may need to invest a bit of time into learning more about your options and you may even need to make some small sacrifices today so that you don't need to make big sacrifices later.

The End Game - Making A Difference

When you're 90 years old and look back on your life, you'll probably want to feel like you've made a difference.

I'm sure there are things in life that you want to experience and achieve, both for your own benefit and the benefit of others. I'm sure you want to have that feeling long after you're gone from this earth, that bits of you live on in the form of knowledge or experiences or memories that are passed on to others.

Do You Know How to Play the Numbers Game?

When it comes to the financial world, the ideal is to succeed. But sometimes navigating your way through the financial world can be like walking on a tightrope, with a very thin line between failure and success. And like walking along the tightrope, your chances of success are affected by the levels of risk involved in every stage of the game. But what does risk really mean in the world of personal finance, and how easy is it to understand?

In terms of investments, the way that risk is presented often affects the way it is perceived. For example, when preparing financial plans, I look at the client's chances of success (i.e., dying with an estate worth X amount). If the chances of success are low, I look at factors that the client can control in order to increase his chances (i.e., increasing savings, decreasing spending, retiring later, etc.). If the plan shows high chances of success, I look at the factors that could be changed in order to improve the person's current lifestyle without harming anticipated future success.

What is a "high" or "low" chance of success? Unfortunately, there is no magic number. People's judgments about risk are subjective. One 50-year-old might be satisfied with hearing that he has an 80% chance of success, while another person might not sleep well at night until his odds of success have increased.

Which is riskier?

If I tell someone that he has an 80% chance of meeting his retirement goals, it may sound pretty encouraging. In fact, clients are frequently happy to continue with that status quo. However, in "real" terms, 80% translates to one in five people in similar situations where the clients outlive their money. I certainly wouldn't want to be that one!

People may not be enthusiastic about receiving 5% returns when inflation is 3%. But the same investor may be happy to get a 7% return when inflation is 5%. While both are receiving the same 2% real return, the second scenario seems like a better deal because the numbers are higher.

Don't let numbers lie

Don't be lured into a false sense of complacency just because a statistical simulation gives you X% chance of success in your financial plan. Think about the number that you feel you need to achieve in terms of odds of success. Before you accept a percentage of chance of success, ask yourself if this grade is really appropriate in your particular case. Remember - even if the market fluctuates, you play a large part in determining your financial success.

How to Encourage Your Kids to Save Money

Encouraging kids to save money is an important thing parents should consider in their parenting plan. Although, it is not easy to make your kids learn all the money saving techniques, you can at least teach them few basic things that can make them disciplined money savers. The earlier you start, the better off they will be in saving and managing their finances.

Money management from young age is very important Unfortunately, money management is not taught in schools and colleges. As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your kids about how to manage money, how to save it and how to spend it. Start teaching money management skills when your child reaches 5 or 6 years.

Majority of kids grow up without having knowledge on money management, saving and investing. Hence, these kids when they become adults start buying unnecessary stuff and become financially unstable- they are more like to get into debt. So, it is necessary that your child's upbringing is done in the right manner, giving right knowledge about money.

Let your kid start saving in piggy bank Start teaching your kid to save money in piggy bank when he is 3-4 years old. This is one of the easiest ways to teach kids about saving money. Give small amount of money regularly to your kid and make him save regularly. This inculcates the habit of saving money. Also, kids enjoy saving money in their own piggy banks.

Set goals Teach your child to set goals for saving. For instance, if your child wants to buy a video game, toy or a bicycle, you ask him to save money that he gets from you/your spouse or any other family member and buy it on his own.

Reward kids with non-monetary things Consider rewarding your kid for saving money. Much like shopping stores that offer coupons and prizes, you can offer prizes to your child. For instance, if your child doesn't spend his saved amount for certain amount of time, offer him a small reward or treat. Praise him so that he is motivated to save money in future too.

Teach the importance As your kids are growing into teenagers, teach them about the value of money. It is necessary for them to know the importance of saving and spending money wisely. Later, tell them the reason behind parents going to work. They have to understand that you have to pay money for food, school fees, monthly bills, etc. Take your child with you while you are going to shop for groceries, pay for monthly bills, etc. Let them know that you have prepared budget for expenses and you will spend within that limit.

Saving money needs discipline and motivation. Being able to save money is an important life skill, which the parents should compulsorily teach their kids. Money management cannot be learned in a day or two. It is a lifelong process. You need to guide your kids on money matters till they are mature enough to take their own decisions.

Financial Advice For The Spending Addicts

Everyone has those moments when you casually stroll around a mall, then all of a sudden, you stop in your tracks, things around you blur, and the world slowly swirls to focus on the big red sign in front of your favourite store: SALE. Everything with a percent-off tag suddenly looks so irresistible and you cannot just let them fall into other people's hands. These are times when we lose control of our spending. It may seem harmless, but feeling this way at every visit to the mall puts your income at risk and can prevent you from reaching more important financial goals. You need a few financial advice to control your spending to save your money from going down the drain.

The first thing you need to do is to set priorities. Make a list of the things you need and make sure to spend money on them first before other things. If you plan on going to the grocery store, for example, bringing with you a shopping list and sticking to it saves time and money but not putting unnecessary items in your cart. Asking yourself questions like "Can I afford this?", "Do I need this?", or "Have I checked if it's cheaper somewhere else?" can also stop you from buying on impulse.

Next is to spend within your means. One way to do this is by patronising the use of cash over credit cards. Only bring with you the approximate amount of cash you need and leave your credit cards at home. In this case, no matter how tempted you are to buy something beyond your budget, you have no choice but to walk away. Think of credit cards as your "debt cards" because you are spending the bank's money every time you swipe. Make sure your debts are a low as possible so you can pay for them fully on time. Every month you fail to pay makes the value of your debt higher.

The third tip is to make a budget diary. This can help identify the trends in your spending and monitor your total expenses. Have a daily limit on the maximum amount you can spend. If you go beyond it, review your purchases and check where you might have bought something you didn't really need.

Constantly spending more than what you earn can lead you to a financial storm. Before you know it, you no longer have savings for your financial goals and all of what you earn goes to paying your debts. If you reach this point, you can always seek the assistance of a financial adviser to pull you out of crisis.

Is Living in Your House Eating You Alive?

Have you ever wondered whether you are spending too much money on your home?

As any homeowner will tell you, running a household involves many bills, such as mortgage or rent and utilities. And of course, there is regular maintenance and repairs, even if not significant, but just for the simple wear and tear caused by day-to-day living. Taking this into account, is owning your home a viable financial proposition or too much for you right now?

To answer this question, you first of all need to find out what the definitions are of "too much" or "sufficient." Traditionally, the rule of thumb as to how much one should spend on a house has always been three and a half times your annual income, with monthly mortgage payments of around 25% of your monthly net salary. However, treat this generality with caution since it relates to the average guy on the street and not to any one individual. For instance, if you think that your job may be at risk or your car is on the fritz, now may not be the ideal time to commit to monthly mortgage payments based on your current salary. Take a look at your own individual situation before you decide.

Another important point to keep in mind is the difference between a new property's price and the total cost of acquisition. The total cost of acquisition includes the cost of the property, lawyer fees, renovations, moving costs, and miscellaneous expenses such as curtains and new towel rods in the bathroom. The hidden costs can really add up, so they should be part of your total housing budget. Don't forget to factor these into any decision you may make.

Once you know what you can afford to spend, consider buying a less expensive property. After all, since the future is always unknown, it may not be wise to overextend yourself financially.

Keep an eye on your current housing costs. If it's difficult to meet your current obligation, it may be impossible (and unwise) to commit to a larger monthly mortgage. Consider your lifestyle: is your family (and by extension monthly budget) growing? Are you planning an expensive vacation? Are wedding bells - and bills - ringing for your children? Make sure that your future financial obligations and goals won't conflict with the property's purchase, since your house needs to fit into your overall financial plan.

Buying a house may be a solid way of building equity over the long term, but before you make the investment, assess whether you can afford it.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for investment advice that takes into account each individual's special position and needs. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services. He is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. He offers securities through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, NFA and SIFMA. Accounts carried by National Financial Services LLC. Member NYSE/SIPC, a Fidelity Investments company.

The Impending Retirement Crisis in America

Ah, the good old days; the days when one was rewarded with a comfortable retirement after working long years in a solid company with a generous defined benefit pension plan. Back then it was called it was called the "three legged stool". One's retirement earnings were made up of the 1) company pension, 2) social security and the 3) private funds the retiree was able to squirrel away on his own. Most retirees leaned heavily on pension and social security as primary income sources.

Then, along came that new benefit called 401(k) that was intended to supplement earnings from the retiree's regular pension benefit. All was good, for awhile. Employers then decided that the cost of maintaining two pension plans (defined benefit and defined contribution) was burdensome and unnecessary. Particularly burdensome was the defined benefit plan which was heavily regulated, required significant administrative support, and was costly due to plan funding, actuarial analysis, investment analysis, and PBGC premiums. Of course, we all know what happened after that. Defined benefit pension plans dried up like there was no tomorrow and 401(k) plans became the single primary company retirement funding vehicle for many U.S. employees.

In 1998, 52% of Americans over age 60 received income from a defined benefit pension. By 2010 that figure had fallen to 43%. The decline in the private sector has gone from 38% in 1979 to 15% in 2010 and these numbers will continue to fall; all the while companies are designating 401(k) plans as their pension plan of choice. Notably, a recent study showed that poverty rates were nine times greater in 2010 in households without defined benefit pension income.

Now it has become the personal responsibility of employees, not the employer, to ensure that the necessary funds are in place to fund a quality retirement. Some have taken this responsibility seriously and saved a great deal through their tax-deferred plans and put themselves in a good position to face retirement's financial challenges. Some have not, and many do not today. The Employee Benefit Research Institute reports that 60% of households have a total value of savings and investments less than $25,000, excluding the value of their homes.

The reasons for poor retirement preparation having 401(k) as a primary investment vehicle are many, but certainly insufficient funding, unsteady markets, and unsophisticated investment skills play into the problem. Above all, it appears that people fail to understand how much it costs to live in retirement, and/or lack the discipline to save as much as needed in order to meet their retirement financial requirements. Allianz reports that "transition boomers", those aged 55 to 65, are starting late with their retirement income planning. A recent Allianz survey reported that 43% of people will not focus on retirement income strategies until they are less than five years from retirement. The same report shows that 16% will not begin to focus on retirement income strategies until six months to a year prior to retirement.

Certainly, we're now at the point where serious questions are being asked about the overall preparedness of Americans to move into retirement. Articles abound about the need to work longer and save more in order to fund a comfortable retirement. Many of those that are unwilling to pay the price of later employment and added savings can expect a retirement fraught with financial shortfalls; potentially turning one's retirement dream into a retirement nightmare.

The projected shortfall in retirement funding is compounded by the erosion of home equity; a source of funding that many retirees have seen as a potential income source in the past. And while social security appears to be in no immediate danger, the threat to this benefit cannot be ignored and certainly future changes will not work to better the lot of retirees.

A real danger does exist, however, where Medicare is concerned. This is an expensive benefit and one that, in the minds of many, needs to be amended to save taxpayer money. Unfortunately, this could work to the detriment of future retirees. The Congressional Budget Office has said that most elderly people would pay more for health care with the current Paul Ryan proposal for a Medicare voucher system. With medical expenses in retirement estimated at $240,000 for a 65 year old couple retiring in 2012, according to Fidelity Investments, any takeaways in Medicare benefits will simply add to the retiree's financial burden.

Working longer may not be a reasonable option for future retirees either, because working longer doesn't always come down to personal choice. Many senior employees find themselves caught up in workforce reductions, and finding a new job in the latter part of one's career can oftentimes be challenging, if not impossible. Health problems may also prevent senior personnel from continuing to work and build retirement assets.

The fact is we have a growing problem on our hands. The move away from a defined benefit pension plan to a defined contribution 401(k) plan has changed the retirement landscape in a lot of ways. With the burden now primarily on employees to save for retirement, we know that not enough is being done to adequately fund retirement accounts. According to recent data from the National Retirement Risk Index, the percentage of households that will not be ready for retirement at age 65 has nearly doubled to 50%. This is up from 30% in 1989. And in a recent poll coming out of a senior advocacy group, half of the baby boomers responding indicated they never expect to retire.

Those that choose to drop out of the system before adequate retirement funding is in place, face the burden of an underfunded and unfulfilling retirement; one in which they may become their children's liability and/or taxpayer liability.

Some see the escalating shortfall in retirement funding leading to a retirement crisis in America. I concur.

Author, Mike Miller, writing for Reuters, summarizes the problem this way, "Today's seniors are more affluent than the general population. But the generations that follow them, starting with baby boomers, will not be as fortunate. The decline of pensions, the erosion of Social Security and the housing crash all are pointing toward a new crisis of poverty among lower-class and middle-class seniors in the years ahead."

Financial Planning Advice For The Numerically-Challenged

Stock brokers, tycoons, and accountants only comprise a tiny fraction of the world's population. These people are the lucky few who were born with a special relationship with digits and who have no trouble in handling their day-to-day finances. For the bigger portion of the planet who scratches their heads when faced with numbers, managing cash flow becomes a heavier chore. It only becomes easier with the right financial planning advice.

Financial transactions like basic insurance, savings, loans, and credit card bills are things we can do by ourselves. These things are simple and easy to deal with. However, there comes a point where different kinds of taxes, investments, mortgages, insurances, and pensions get confusing to the point of making us feel suffocated. This is where we look up to experts to regain control and avoid making the wrong decisions. Seeking the help of financial planners are not just for big-shot companies and millionaire movie stars. It is wise to approach these people for more complex money management issues, since they are well-versed in this field and have access to other finance hubs where they can negotiate the best deals on your behalf.

Choosing the right financial planner starts with only one thing to consider: professional integrity. You'll need a person you can trust and someone you can be comfortable with. Factors such as compensation are secondary. Remember, once you hire a planner, you give that person access to your financial status and allow them to lead you to your goals. They can either make or break your financial future.

The first thing financial advisers will do is assess your current financial profile, from your assets to your liabilities. After seeing this, they can give you an unbiased picture of your monetary strengths and weaknesses, and tell you whether or not you are on the right track towards your financial goals. From there, your planners will turn into your partners. They will formulate a financial game plan with you.

They will then work with you in competing goals such as your child's education, mortgages, taxes, investments, loans or insurance. You will be guided on how to properly allocate money in all of these. In making investments, your financial planner will help you manage your decisions in a way that keeps taxes to a minimum and more of your money invested. With their help, you will become more confident that your hard work will not go to waste, and that you will be properly guided in reaching your financial goals.

A Financial Advisor Can Secure Your Dreams

Ever since kindergarten, we have already been taught to dream big. We would take out our crayons and draw our future houses with a family, a car, and a pet dog named Rosie. Sometimes, we would even play dress up in the international costume of the places we want to visit in the future. As adults, we come to a realisation that in order to get hold of these, we need to work hard for it. Working hard and managing money to meet these goals, however, can get tricky at some point. This is why having a financial advisor can be beneficial in securing finances, and in turn, getting to our dreams. Here are a few tips in finding the right one for you.

Find someone you can trust. Be careful because it is easy for any person to say they are financial planners. Stick with the professionals with designations and educational backgrounds recognised by the state. It is safer to get references from friends and relatives to have an overview of the planner's capabilities. Also, check their certificates and do research whether their qualifications are legitimate. Hiring someone without checking his or her credentials is risky. They may not know what they are doing and put your money in the wrong investments that can deplete your savings or bury you with high fees. You do not want to entrust your future in the wrong hands.

The next thing to consider is what kind of financial advisor suits you according to your needs. Not all of them offer comprehensive advice from taxes to loans. There are types of planners that only focus on estate planning or on retirement. Find out which area of your finances you need help on and what you expect from the advisor. Also beware of those who are actually insurance salesmen tied to companies that offer advice just to benefit their businesses and increase sales.

When it comes to compensation, financial planners can be paid in three ways- flat fees, commission, or assets. Payment through flat fees is where you pay per visit or per hour. In commission, every time you purchase investments, a part of the total amount you pay will be deducted and that portion goes to your advisor. A fee based on assets are where planners charge you annually based on a percentage of profit you gained from the investment advice they have provided. Talk to your planner about this before sealing the deal.

Building Strong Money Management Skills

Having excellent money management skills can make or break a person's future in both the long and the short run. Developing money management skills at any point in your life, whether young or old, can help you not only avoid bankruptcy, but live a healthy, thriving financial life.

Money management covers a variety of areas. Budgeting, saving, spending, and investing are just a few of the different areas where good practices can make a world of difference in your life as you see your neighbors or co-workers face the possibility of bankruptcy.


In a sense, budgeting skills are the crux of money management skills. A good budget allocates every portion of your finances, helping you achieve your financial goals with clearly established methods. With a fixed income and fixed expenditures, there's no reason for your saving and spending habits to ever differentiate from your budget. Of course, it's not a perfect world and so this will not be the case every month. As income fluctuates and emergency expenses occur, no one can expect you to hold to a budget with the utmost religiosity. However, creating a budget now can help you avoid bankruptcy in the future.

After you have created a reasonable budget, set aside enough money to cover three to six months of your budgeting needs in case you are unable to work or lose your job. Having this money set aside can give you a secure safety net, not to mention peace of mind.


Determine how much money you want to save, whether it's in an employer-sponsored 401(k), Roth IRA, government bond, or low interest savings account with your bank. Diversifying your savings between a mixture of these might be advantageous for you. Consider your goals and the opportunities available to you, make a savings plan, and stick with it. Having savings can be a wonderful stronghold against bankruptcy.


When it comes to spending, anyone with developed money management skills will tell you: stick to your budget or go for under budget figures. All sides agree, our country is in a spending crisis on both personal and governmental levels. Take responsibility for your spending, keep your credit to a minimum, and stick to the budget!


After you have budgeted, saved, and spent (within reason), you can start thinking about investing your money wisely. The number one rule in money management when it comes to investing is to never invest money you can't afford to lose. Diversifying your investments is also paramount. With a diversified portfolio of conservative to moderate risk investments you can make your money work for you.

Money management skills take time and practice. If at first you don't succeed, don't be discouraged. Stay on track and try again! Proper money management will help you avoid bankruptcy and enjoy your financial future.