How to Save Money Living Payslip to Payslip

If you struggle to make ends meet, living payslip to payslip, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, about 25 per cent of British adults have no savings. If you find yourself low on cash and are wondering what you can do to stop living payslip to payslip, have hope. A few lifestyle changes combined with savvy shopping skills can help you gradually put some more cash in your purse.

These 10 tips can help you start saving today, without the need to get a second job or even leave your flat.

Step #1 — Sell your stuff

This was the first step I took when I started to take control of my finances. Decluttering not only made me feel better, but put a lot of extra cash in my pocket at the same time. Win-win! When was the last time you took a close look at everything in your flat – in your closets, shelves, and that dreaded drawer that you never open because it’s packed to the brim with junk? You’d be surprised at what’s hiding in there, and how much it’s all worth. I used Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and eBay to sell my things. They are all free and easy to use, and you can set your own prices!

Set a goal to make an extra $150 decluttering your flat this month, and immediately add it to your bank account — every little bit adds up!

Step #2 — Take online surveys.

If you’re sitting in front of the telly mindlessly watching something, why not pull out your smartphone or laptop and take some short surveys? Whether in the form of cash, gift vouchers or free products to test, it pays to get something for nothing by simply sharing your opinion.

My favourite survey site is InboxPounds. They pay you £8 for every 30 minutes of watching videos and taking surveys, and they’ve paid out roughly £40,000,000

to date worldwide, so they know what they’re doing. And, the surveys are actually interesting!

Step #3 — Sell your smartphone pics.
You’ve got your smartphone on you anyway, so why not start making extra money by simply noticing what’s going on in the world around you. An app called Foap wants your quality photos and will split the profits with you for any picture sold. So if someone buys your pic for £10, you’ll get £5 each time it sells.

Step #4 — Have credit card balances? Shop around for lower interest rates

If you’re only paying the minimum balance when your credit card payment is due, it’s difficult to get out of debt as the interest continues to build. Try shopping around for a card with a lower interest rate and transfer your balance to that card. Some cards even offer promotional rates where you pay no interest for a specific period. So if you have £10,000 in credit card debt and are paying a 16% annual percentage rate, you could save £133 per month during the promotional period.

Step #5 — Break up with the coffee shop.

When your barista starts recognizing you by name, but you can’t even afford your coffee, it might be time to start making your coffee at home. Doing so allows you to customize your drink exactly how you want it. You may need to invest in an espresso maker first, but doing so can save you money for years to come.

Step #6 — Charged a late fee? Ask for a one-time courtesy refund.

You would be surprised as to how easy it can be to get a fee waived once you muster up the courage to simply ask. Realize that they’ll probably only do this once a year, but it’s better than losing you as a client. If you’re habitually late only because you forgot to pay, consider setting automatic payments so you don’t get charged late fees again.

Step #7 —Get paid for searching online.

Next time you need to search for something online, skip Google and instead use InboxPounds. Yes, on top of getting paid to complete surveys and watch videos, you can also get paid for searching on InboxPounds. And you’ll get a £1 Bonus just for trying it!

Step #8 — Switch car insurance companies.

Car insurance is one of those expenses that most people dread paying, simply because unless you get in a crash and really need it, there’s an intangible reward for having it. And wouldn’t you rather spend that money on a salon visit or new pair of shoes? What’s worse is that car insurance companies make most of their money by taking advantage of their loyal clients. If you don’t shop around when renewal time rolls around, they’ll likely raise your rates. The good thing is that it’s easy to compare prices online. A quick 10 minutes saved me £552 per year.

Step #9 — Get cash back for shopping.

It may seem counterintuitive to shop when you’re trying to save money, but for items you really need to buy, why not get cash back for buying them? Topcashback.co.uk offers money back for shopping both online and in-store. It’s free to join and offered worldwide. Just search for your desired retailer through their website and shop like you normally would. The retailer pays TopCashback a commission for your purchase that you can withdraw when it is available.

Step #10 — Take advantage of new checking account offers.

Lots of banks try to get new customers in the door by offering bonuses for opening new accounts, and even more for having your payslip direct deposited. Consider keeping your old account open as strictly a savings account, as long the bank doesn’t charge any fees.

Stressing about money can really take a toll on you. So before saying no to any of the above tips, simply give them a try. Put an end to debt for good and reward yourself once in a while as you make progress. After all, a massage feels much better knowing you’ve earned it!

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How to Save Money Living Payslip to Payslip

Do you find yourself having to pass on happy hour with your mates because your wallet is empty? Are you short on cash and but don’t have time for a second job? Or are you trying to finally save up for a place of your own? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, about 25 per cent of British adults have no savings. If you find yourself low on cash and are wondering what you can do to get out of the debt hole, have hope.

These 10 tips can help you gradually put some more cash in your wallet and start saving today, without the need to get a second job or even leave your flat.

Step #1 — Dating? Stop trying to impress with your wallet.

If you date regularly and are too old-fashioned or chivalrous to make your date pay her way, you could be spending hundreds of pounds per month on someone who isn’t worth your time. Try going out for coffee first to see if you click before committing to a dinner date. If you do find someone you like after a few dates, let her pay once in a while if she pulls out her purse and offers.

Step #2 — Take online surveys.

If you’re sitting in front of the telly mindlessly watching something, why not pull out your smartphone or laptop and take some short surveys? Whether in the form of cash, gift vouchers or free products to test, it pays to get something for nothing by simply sharing your opinion.

My favourite survey site is InboxPounds. They pay you £8 for every 30 minutes of watching videos and taking surveys, and they’ve paid out roughly £40,000,000

to date worldwide, so they know what they’re doing. And, the surveys are actually interesting!

Step #3 — Sell your smartphone pics.

You’ve likely got your smartphone on you most of the time anyway, so why not start making extra money by simply taking notice of what’s going on in the world around you. An app called Foap wants your quality photos and will split the profits with you for any picture sold. So, if someone buys your pic for £10, you’ll get £5 each time it sells.

Step #4 — Have credit card balances? Shop around for lower interest rates.

If you’re only paying the minimum balance when your credit card payment is due, it’s difficult to get out of debt as the interest continues to build. Try shopping around for a card with a lower interest rate, and transfer your balance to that card. Some cards even offer promotional rates where you pay no interest for a specific period. So if you have £10,000 in credit card debt and are paying a 16% annual percentage rate, you could save £133 per month during the promotional period.

Step #5 — Switch car insurance companies.

Car insurance is one of those expenses that most people dread paying, simply because unless you get in a crash and really need it, there’s an intangible reward for having it. And wouldn’t you rather spend that money on a salon visit or new pair of shoes? What’s worse is that car insurance companies make most of their money by taking advantage of their loyal clients. If you don’t shop around when renewal time rolls around, they’ll likely raise your rates. The good thing is that it’s easy to compare prices online. A quick 10 minutes saved me £552 per year. 

Step #6 – Be smart about happy hour.

After a long workday, a couple of pints at the pub with your mates can really take the stress of the day away. But when a couple of pints turns into a couple dozen, and you can’t remember where your money went in the morning, it’s time to get smarter about happy hour. Give yourself a limit and be disciplined about it. Head home before that one mate who never pays for a round shows up.

Step #7—Charged a late fee? Ask for a one-time courtesy refund.

You would be surprised as to how easy it can be to get a fee waived once you muster up the courage to simply ask. Realize that they’ll probably only do this once a year, but it’s better than losing you as a client. If you’re habitually late only because you forgot to pay, consider setting automatic payments so you don’t get charged late fees again.

Step #8—Get paid for searching online.

Next time you need to search for something online, skip Google and instead use InboxPounds. Yes, on top of getting paid for surveys, you can also get paid for searching on InboxPounds. And you’ll get a £1 bonus just for trying it.

Step #9—Get cash back for shopping.

It may seem counterintuitive to shop when you’re trying to save money, but for items you really need to buy, why not get cash back for buying them? Topcashback.co.uk offers money back for shopping both online and in-store. It’s free to join and offered worldwide. Just search for your desired retailer through their website and shop like you normally would. The retailer pays TopCashback a commission for your purchase, and then forwards part of it to you in the form of cash that you can withdraw however you like.

Step #10 – Take advantage of new checking account offers.

Lots of banks try to get new customers in the door by offering bonuses for opening new accounts, and even more for having your payslip direct deposited. Consider keeping your old account open as strictly a savings account, as long the bank doesn’t charge any fees, and watch the money grow.

Before saying no to any of the above tips, simply give them a try. Stressing about money can really take a toll on you, so put an end to debt for good and reward yourself once in a while as you make progress. After all, that new flat screen you’ve had your eye on for months will look so much better if you know you’ve earned it.

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Top 7 Ways to Emulate The Footsteps of a Billionaire

If you wish to become a billionaire one day, it is time to start emulating the steps of a billionaire now. Making money is merely a part of what makes an individual exceptionally wealthy.

It depends more on how you think about money, how you approach investing, and what are your ultimate goals. In the final analysis, these elements differentiate between average success and super-success.

Here are seven proven ways to emulate the footsteps of a billionaire and achieve extraordinary wealth and abundance.

  1. Bet on Innovation

Billionaires around the world are putting their money behind firms that are innovation-driven, and are transforming the way we live and do business. Today, billionaires who have been running traditional businesses for decades employ about 3 million people.

On the other hand, new and upcoming billionaires who own and run technology-driven enterprises are already employing more than 2.7 million employees worldwide, and will soon surpass the traditional segment.

  1. Spend Time on Networking

Billionaires invest a lot of time in engaging and networking with like-minded individuals and groups when it comes to doing business, investing, and working for social causes.

For instance, friendship between the world’s top two billionaires, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, has resulted in massive philanthropic endeavors but they have also supported policies that have caused 9-11, supported Obamacare which destroyed lives and put millions out of work, supported higher minimum wages laws that have devastated small businesses, and supported the same people such as Barney Frank who caused the real estate crisis.

There is two sides to this coin. But, networking effectively can be very beneficial nonetheless.

Some of the world’s most influential billionaires, including Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates have joined hands to solve the planet’s energy problems through their fund called Breakthrough Ventures. That is wonderful but under Obama, whom they supported, energy prices went up for most Americans while their taxes were also raised and their doctor was taken from them.

We need to have more than good intentions in this world and fracking has been a Godsend. Though these incredibly successful people are amazing at networking.

  1. Follow Your Heart while Investing

Among the world’s 200 leading art collectors, as many as 72 are billionaires. Billionaires also own more than 140 of the top sports franchises worldwide. This includes two-third of the NBA and over 50 percent of the English Premier League.

UBS Wealth Management’s chief of private wealth management in the US, John Matthews, says that billionaires invest in their passions, whether it is sports, arts, or other areas. In addition to produce dramatic returns on such investments, they are able to touch communities and make an impact through these pursuits.

  1. Keep Your Cool in a Volatile Market

Warren Buffett often recommends that do not get obsessed with watching market fluctuations on a daily basis. Invest in solid businesses that are in the game for the long haul, and resist the temptation to get swayed by sudden, violent, or temporary market shocks and speculative trends. And because of tax cuts which he did not support, a lot more people have money to invest.

Billionaire Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates agrees with Buffett on this point. While addressing an audience at the Harvard Kennedy School, Dalio said that you should buy when you are worried, and sell when you are confident.

Dalio suggests that the best way to invest is not to predict everyday market trends and maintain a level head despite them.

  1. Be Generous while Giving

Individuals who aspire to become billionaires are not the ones who will sit quietly when the check arrives at the table. They will happily reach for it. They do not wait for organizations in need to ask for support. They identify causes and offer generous support.

More than 160 of the world’s eminent billionaires and ultra-rich families have committed to “The Giving Pledge.” According to analysts, these super-rich people utilize their philanthropic networks to gather new ideas on wealth creation and deploying that wealth to bring positive change.

  1. Listen to Your Advisers

Billionaires do not believe that they are all-knowing. In fact, the most successful among them surround themselves with a trusted group of advisers and actively listen and discuss their plans and strategies.

Choose honest advisers who are not afraid to lose their job if they speak the truth. Pay attention to their advice because they are detached and unemotional about an investing decision that may be close to your heart or an idea you have nurtured for long.

  1. Minimize the Noise

In the age of Google, social media, and television networks, there is plenty of noise out there. New theories, forecasts, and speculations are generated each day, which can cause chaos in your mind if you are getting too involved in that noise.

Reduce the clutter from your mind, focus on few specific ideas, choose to converse with smart people who have clarity, be wary of those who are perennial naysayers or overzealous optimists, and you will be able to make better decisions every day.

 

Want to Pay Less for Your Cell Phone Plan? Here’s How

It seems like you can’t get away from having a smartphone these days. Everything you do, everything you come across, there’s an app for that. It’s our encyclopedia, email, camera, calculator, and social connection all wrapped into one. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time and we’re always on it.

And is it just me or does it seem like your cell phone bill steadily continues to get higher and higher each month? My last bill was over $125 – and that’s only for one phone line. That’s crazy considering it was only $95 a few 6 months ago when I got it!

I’ve been searching for a cheaper plan that still has everything I need for a while now and to be honest, most aren’t all that great. But, I just came across a company called SurgePhone that is offering one month free, and then only $20/month after that. And this is for an unlimited plan!

Crazy, right? Here’s what I found…

SurgePhone – How Does it work?
SurgePhone is a prepaid wireless service – you sign up and select your plan online. They send you a SIM card, you insert the SIM card into your existing device, activate and VOILA! Their service uses one of the major carriers’ wireless tower networks throughout the United States. This means you’re getting the same service as you are when paying nearly 6 times the rate with one of the major carriers. And I haven’t been able to find a negative review of the company anywhere!

They’re currently offering their  unlimited wireless service starter kit for only $2.99, no contracts, no hidden fees, no surprises. Here’s what you get:

  • SIM Card: micro & nano sizes
  • Unlimited text
  • 2GB of 4G LTE data per month
  • 25 hours of talk
  • 1st month free!

After your first free month, you pay only $20/month (originally $59!).

Existing Device? So I Don’t Have To Buy a New Phone?
Already have a phone you love? If you have an unlocked LTE-compatible phone already, that can be used at any major mobile carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or any other GSM carrier) – and it accepts SIM cards, then you can use it at SurgePhone! Gone are the days of paying $900 outright, or even $50/month for a new phone. Use the phone you already have and put that extra money back in your pocket!

If you don’t have an unlocked compatible phone, or you simply just want a new one, no problem – you can buy one directly from them!

Should I Make the Switch?
Well that’s up to you, but this is a great alternative to the current carriers that we see in the cell phone space right now, and a great way to save some cold hard cash. At the end of the day, SurgePhone could save you money on your cell phone bill – over $1200/year! That’s money that can go directly into your savings account.

If you’re thinking about making the switch, check out  the special $2.99 and one month free offer on the unlimited starter kit here.

Act fast! Offer expires 9/30/18.

 

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Seven Habits of Highly Effective Savers

Everyone likes to spend, but when it comes to saving, not everyone is good at it. Americans are among the world’s worst savers.

From low income to mortgages to student loans to credit card debt, factors like these never let us save enough for emergencies or even for a retirement fund.

But there’s a large number of people who cannot save because of overspending. Maybe they like fine dining a little too much, or cannot live without designer perfumes, or feel conscious about driving anything less than a brand new car (everyone wants to be like the Johnsons!). At the end of the day, they realize there’s not a penny in their savings account. Alan Harper from Two in a Half Men knows all about that!

Some people are smart at saving. It isn’t like they are blessed with superpowers (you will not see them in Deadpool 3!) – they are just careful and efficient with money. If you want to be good at saving money, try following these tips that effective savers live by.

Automate it

Taking out money manually from an account and putting it to savings can often be difficult, because you think there were better things you could do with that money. That is why smart people automate this process.

All you have to do is automate the transfer of a part of your income to a savings account. If you get cash back on your credit card/s, make sure to automatically transfer them into the savings account as well.

By automating your savings, you not only get to grow your savings at a consistent pace, but also never have to feel bad about manually moving money from one account to another.

Pick the right strategy

The right savings strategy isn’t one size fits all. Just like income and expenditure varies from one person to another, the proper way to save is also different. What works for your neighbor may not work for you.

That is why, instead of blindly following someone else’s savings strategy, try to devise a strategy that’s fit for your lifestyle and income.

This involves taking your income and expenditure into consideration and then coming up with a strategy that you will be able to stick to. You may also utilize the help of online tools to come up with the right savings strategy.

Create goals

Effective savers don’t just create strategies; they create goals. When you have a goal for saving money, it brings excitement and joy into the process. Kind of like experiencing tax cuts which all workers know is awesome!

For instance, you may want to save money for buying a new house or your child’s college fund. If you have no goal to work towards, you will quickly lose interest in saving, rendering the whole process ineffective. You don’t want to be a failure like Chicago, Baltimore, Oakland, Greece, and so on. Money does not grow on trees and wasting money on irrational ideas does not make any sense.

Prioritize goals

Creating goals isn’t enough; you must also prioritize your goals. For instance, is taking an international vacation more important that buying a house? Does saving for a retirement fund come first or does saving for your son’s college education? Prioritizing goals will help you reach your financial objectives.

Don’t be like Peter La Fleur in the first half of Dodgeball – organize yourself and focus!

Make the most of your savings

Don’t just let the money sit in the savings account. Invest it wisely to get greater returns. If you don’t know much about investments, take the safer route and invest in notes and bonds backed by the government.

You can also leave some of your money in your savings account and invest some in a trusted, reputed program for some decent monthly or yearly returns.

Slowly reduce expenses

It isn’t necessary to change all habits or reduce all expenses at once. Instead of eating out five times a week, reduce it to two times a week, eventually bringing it down to once a week. By taking it slow, it is possible to cut down on unnecessary expenses and save more.

Stick to a routine

Consistency is key when trying to get better at saving. Making lists of wants and needs, necessary and unnecessary expenses, and slowly cutting down on them is the way to start.

But it will only be effective when you stick to it. Sticking to the routine for six months, and spending freely for the rest of the year isn’t going to get you anywhere. For best results, make a routine that you can follow and stick to it. Don’t be like Norm from Cheers who had no focus in life.

Saving money doesn’t have to be a burden. By following these habits of successful savers, you too can reduce expenses and have your savings account jingling.

Why Millennials are not Buying Homes?

If you were between ages 25 and 34 and had to choose between buying an expensive vacation to a remote island such as Jejudo (or Cabo San Lucas – yes, it is not an island) and a home, what would you choose? In 2018, most people in that age bracket would choose the vacation because a house is too expensive.

And because the house is not going anywhere. There will always be other houses to buy right!?

Not surprisingly, the home ownership rates among millennials have hit an all-time low and keep falling. A mere decade or two ago, buying a home used to be one of the most important things on a to-do list. Young people want to do other things before they buy a home.

Most young people between 25 and 34 are not interested in buying homes. And it isn’t all about affordability. The age range of millennials is when people usually buy their first home, but home ownership in the younger population is at an all-time low in the US. Buying a house isn’t an ambition anymore. Affordable homes are available and people have jobs nowadays!

This has led the market to wonder what the possible reasons could be. Not everyone is lazy like Alan Harper in Two in a Half Men right?

Lifestyle changes

The lifestyle of young people today isn’t what they used to be in 1970. Forty years ago, a woman got married and had children or a child by age 21.

Men went straight to a job after school, and usually lived on in the same town or city they had grown up in (not always though!). Today, the scenario has completely changed. Women often wait until age 30 or later to get married, with their career being their priority. Men focus on higher education, like woman, and hunt for higher paying jobs, delaying getting married and having a family.

Children today don’t leave the nest early or when they should like they used to – they love mom’s cooking! Even if they do, they come back to live with their parents while they build their career and climb the ladder. In fact, it isn’t surprising to find 30-year-olds living at their parent’s home. Sad! But this is pretty rare.

Most millennials don’t have time for relationships either, and no partner means no urge to buy a home or settle down. As long as people live independently, the rate of home ownership will be low in the millennial age group.

Spending on experiences

Millennials don’t save for retirement and don’t invest in stocks. Buying a home is a type of investment, and millennials don’t have the time or the desire for it. Instead, they like to spend money on experiences, such as traveling and keeping up with the latest technology.

Traveling is a major fascination among millennials. Exploring the world, meeting other people, experiencing other cultures, and tasting global cuisine are some of the pleasures that younger folks seek. This is not the attitude Red had in That 70s Show!

Millennials aren’t concerned about the future much; they want to live for the moment and experience life (and some of them want us to pay for their college education! – hilarious!). Is there a new iPhone or Samsung smart phone coming out? Is there a new electric car about to hit the market? Millennials spend on experiences that they can afford, rather than buy something that requires a lot of time and planning.

Paying off loans and debts

Some millennials have a hard time paying off student loans and credit card debts but this is all changing with the new dynamic economy flourishing all around us. There is close to $1.44 trillion in outstanding student loans annually. It does not make sense to spend $100,000 on a humanities degree!

This does affect home buying for some millenials who make the wrong educational and career choices.

Renting is easier

Buying a home requires a certain level of responsibility. From realtors to loans and mortgage to taxes, there is just too much effort needed to buy a home. Renting is far easier, and the rental market has consistently performed well over the years.

It is also much easier to live a mobile life if you are a renter. Until that millennial finds that job they really like, they don’t want to be tied down to one location.

While it’s true that housing costs in the US continue to rise, there is evidence that buying a home isn’t out of reach for millennials. Not with these rising GDP rates and lower taxes!

Despite debt and that down payment, it is not affordability that keeps young people from buying a house. It is the changes in lifestyle that has brought home ownership to record low levels and led to rise in the average stay at home age for millennials. Well, and, perhaps some parents who really are not parenting, they are spoiling their child which does not help anyone in this country but this is another topic.

 

How to Save Money While Living Payslip to Payslip

What if I told you that you could completely turn your finances around and escape debt in just four simple steps… without living off noodles or getting a second job? Keep reading to see how I did it…


Just a few months ago, I was like so many—I was living payslip to payslip, worried about making rent. It’s such a shame that 62% of Britons are struggling to make ends meet and I was one of them, I was actually worse off than that.

But over the course of a week, I followed these four simple steps and now have over £1,100 in savings, and I didn’t get a second job. I instead focused a few minutes each day (never more than 30) to changing my finances. I’m not here to boast. It is my goal that by sharing my story, I can also help you break the payslip to payslip cycle.

Step #1 – Open a new bank account and make an initial deposit

Why does it have to be a new account? Because having a separate account will allow you to see your positive progress and will motivate you to keep going. Think about when you are working to lose weight; you step on the scale for the first time and see that you’ve lost 5 pounds. You get a rush of motivation to keep doing what you are doing. The same thing applies to your finances.

So open a new savings account, checking account, etc. whatever you prefer. Just make sure it’s one that is harder to withdraw from, and then make your initial deposit. What if you don’t have much to put in there? That’s okay! The amount of the initial deposit does not matter, but getting started does. This amount will grow over time as we go through the next three steps. Trust me!

Step #2 – Create an additional revenue stream of at least £35 each month

Ideally, this new income would not interrupt your daily life at all, so you don’t have to make that sacrifice. How I did it was with  InboxPounds

What is InboxPounds? InboxPounds is a site that pays you in cash to answer anonymous surveys and watch videos. This is my favourite survey site because they actually pay you in cash!

They’ve paid out roughly £40,000,000 to date worldwide, so they know what they’re doing. And, the surveys are actually interesting, and you can do them while binge watching your favourite TV show.

Step #3 — Examine your biggest bills

This part will differ for everyone, but I’ll share a couple of my problem spots to help get you started.

1. Credit Card

I like, so many of us, have a lot of credit card debt. When I finally made a payment, I ended up using it again! It was caught up in the never ending cycle.

My solution was to find a loan with a lower interest rate and use that money to pay off all of my credit cards. This allowed me to consolidate all of my debt and pay a 3.79% interest rate instead of 17.89%. The savings are unreal!

Result: I cut my interest payment by £90 per month in just 5 minutes

2. Car insurance

I know this is the last thing you want to look for, but did you know that car insurance companies make most of their money off of people that do not shop around, but continue to renew their existing policy? Think about it – Do you have a clean driving record? Has your premium increased in the last three years? They know it’s a hassle to leave, so they charge whatever premium they want! 10 minutes saved me £552 per year, how much can you save?

Result: I saved £46 per month in just 10 minutes

3. Coffee

Have you thought about how many times you stop for a cup of coffee each week? I had a daily habit of stopping at the coffee shop on my way to work. It got so bad, we eventually made it to a first name basis. That’s when I decided to start making my coffee at home. Yes, learning how to steam your own milk is challenging at first, but i’ve gotten really good at it and i’ve turned it into an art. Maybe you don’t drink coffee every day, but do you have a daily habit that you can rethink?

Result: I saved £112 per month

4. Final saving tip: Always ask them to waive the fee.

You would be shocked at how easy it is to get fees waived. No matter what it is: late fee, parking ticket, utility payment, etc. I had a £50 late fee tacked to my rent when I was paying a day late, but nicely asking them to waive, worked! Remember: the answer is always no unless you ask (nicely!).

Once you’ve analyzed your bills and find out exactly how much you are saving from these new changes, set up an automatic transfer for that amount to your new savings account to make sure this new money actually gets put away.

Step #4 – Keep it up…

If you’ve implemented all of these changes and didn’t spend the extra money in your pocket, you should have saved and earned a total of at least £1,000. £1,000 is great, but what’s better? £5,000. You’re almost there, just keep up the good work!

Conclusion:

The quicker you start on these changes, the more money you’ll save this year. I don’t know about you, but stressing about finances was taking a toll on me. I’m not rich and I’m not saying you will be from just these changes, but not living payslip to payslip has relieved my stress levels completely and changed my life… and I know it will change yours. Take the first step to get started today. You won’t regret it!

 

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Is Retirement a Fading Concept?

It has been for young people but could that change? Despite America becoming great again (low unemployment and growing GDP numbers), people in the 21st century have to keep working to provide for the needs of their own and/or their families.

The retirement age in the beginning was 60. Later, it was increased to 62. Today, even after people officially retire from their jobs, they work from home or take up a part-time gig somewhere to keep some type of money coming in. After all, even after you hit 60, your financial needs don’t disappear.

Has become a facing concept

This makes retirement a fading concept, because no one completely retires in this economy. Many people need and want to keep working and earning money. Because of the ACA law, health care costs have increased – this does not help the situation.

Regardless of the kind of job they do or can do, people who can retire want to remain productive and keep their faculties active. The ease of working online has also opened various ways of making money from home.

The origin of retirement

Back in the day (early 20th century and prior), people worked until they died. There was no retirement (unless your name was Julius Caesar, for instance!). As long as the person was alive, he or she pretty much worked. Farms were where most people worked in those days, and if they were wealthy, they managed an estate. No one sat around at home (or went to some retirement community) because they were old. If you were alive, you worked – that was the norm.

Needless to say, there was no financial plan to support the elderly. There was no concept of retirement either, you had to keep earning. As long as you had to eat, you had to keep paying for yourself and contributing. No one could be a burden on their community and that was easy to do if you did not bring home any bacon.

It was in 1881 that Otto von Bismarck, the conservative minister president of Prussia, first thought of retirement. In other words, it meant financial support from the government for the elderly. The move came about because von Bismarck faced pressure from socialists who wanted him to provide care and support for the people of his country.

These same people believe money grows on trees and never had any problem with taking money from hard workers to spread around to people who did not work that hard. Too bad they did not think of a 401K plan or an IRA!

He proposed financial support and care from the state for those that were disabled from work by age and invalidity. The move did not become official in a day. It took eight long years, but by the end of the decade the German government had a retirement system in place, to provide for citizens over the age of 70. Most people did not live until 70.

America has went down the wrong route. Retirement at age 62 when the average age is 77, for instance. The numbers don’t work. America needs to push the retirement age upward. The average age is no longer 65. The socialist FDR and his terrible New Deal (pushed America back into a depression) never thought of this but this is another topic.

The intuitive aspect here was that 70 was an age that most people never saw since the state new it could not afford to take care of thousands of people. Most people died before the age of 70 while working.

The exceptions in Germany included military pensions that were given to soldiers. From the mid 1800s, the United States also started offering pensions to firefighters, police officers, and teachers, but mostly in the big cities. By the 1920s, a number of industries in the US – such as banking, railroads, and oil – started providing workers with some form of support after they worked so many years.

Millennials and retirement

The newer generation – called the millennials – has nothing saved for retirement. It’s shocking but true that these people don’t intend to retire. A variety of factors are responsible for it. Millennials want to live for the present, rather than plan for retirement. Student loans and mortgages mean the pressure to pay off debt, which leaves less scope for savings. Also – with how much debt the government is in, no really trusts the system.

Even without loans to pay off, saving for retirement is not a priority for most millennials because there other things that come first – buying a house, traveling, raising a family. Retirement is usually so far away that no one wants to prioritize for it.

Not thinking long term

Some people just plan on continuing to work. Even though they can invest in a retirement account, they don’t, because they don’t want to look that far into the future. Too bad the makers of Meet the Parents III, Kill Bill, Thor III, and The Force Awakens did not look into the future and realize how sad their movie was about to be but this is another topic.

It is sad that the system inspires no confidence. We need social security reform. To harken back to those positive aspects that were mentioned right in the beginning….with a rising economy and more jobs available people can actually think about retirement again. Just think how good things can get when Obamacare goes away which is still restraining the economy!

6 Warning Signs of Financial Infidelity

Managing finances together is one of the biggest responsibilities that come with marriage. As uncomfortable as it is, discussing money, being open about financial goals, and saving up together are as important in a marriage as sharing chores, buying a home, and raising a family.

You might think keeping financial secrets from your spouse is no big deal, but beware, it has a name now. It’s called financial infidelity.

Yes, infidelity isn’t just sexual in nature anymore (despite that season 2 CSI Miami episode about that business that entraps men into seeing if they are sexually/physically loyal to their wife). If you hide your credit card debt from your wife or start moving your own money to a different account surreptitiously, you are committing financial infidelity and it is bad as cheating on your partner.

Now if you are married to someone like Lisa Bloom, Lois Lerner, or Lisa Page then perhaps this is warranted since anyone who makes those types of mistakes and has that type of character should not be trusted.

Accountants can help you find out if something is amiss, but there are things you can do on your own and save from that type of expense. Here are 6 warning signs that your partner is committing financial infidelity.

New accounts

If you usually know of your partner’s spending habits, credit card statements, and bank account details, then the opening of new accounts all of a sudden without your knowledge is a cause for concern.

This is typically done to move small amounts of money from the existing accounts to the new account. If you notice money is being moved away surreptitiously from the existing accounts, check if any new account has been opened. If yes, you should question your spouse.

Changes in spending habits

When you know your partner’s salary and how much money both of you jointly brings in each month, you will also be aware of exactly how much is expected from your spouse.

Changes in deposits and withdrawals should draw your attention, especially if you know nothing about it. If your spouse is honest about finances, you will usually know the reason behind the changes in the spending patterns. If you don’t know, you have every right to seek an explanation before things escalate.

You don’t want your hard earned money going down the drain on some online poker site, for instance!

Gambling

Although gambling is hard to detect, it isn’t entirely impossible. Those who gamble, do not take losses well (just watch the subpar movie Wild Card to know all about that or The Sopranos – Tony Soprano’s old high school friend, David Scatino, ruined himself as an adult when it came to gambling). To make up for losses, they keep returning to the casino in hopes of winning.

If you suspect your spouse is gambling, you can ask the casino for records to be sure of the amount that’s being spent gambling. When you notice that your spouse makes frequent withdrawals from a casino ATM, but neither wins nor loses anything, you can seek an explanation for what happened to that money.

Purchasing art and other valuable items

It is easy to track the money there is in a bank account, but not many people would notice art, antiques, and other valuables items that a person possesses.

Sudden purchases of expensive items like paintings, watches, or jewelry is an indication that the person is trying to hide assets. These items are immensely valuable, don’t have titles, and can be easily sold off. Besides, they don’t raise suspicion, and can be used to evade taxes too.

You can watch the average action movie The Accountant to see how fine art can be used as currency!

Excessive shopping

As one half of a couple, you are supposed to know what your spouse spends their money on. If you know their credit card statements, you will notice when they start shopping excessively. If your spouse has credit cards you are not aware of, it will require some extra effort to find out what is happening.

You have the right to know the reason behind the sudden excessive shopping. Reviewing each other’s credit scores once a year is a good way to make sure you aren’t hiding anything from each other.

Handing documents to sign

When you sign a document jointly with your spouse, it holds a lot of value. Without your signature, there are plenty of things your spouse cannot accomplish. That’s the reason why you should be suspicious when your spouse gives you something to sign without explaining what it is. Never sign something without knowing what’s in it. If your spouse refuses to offer an explanation, you should not sign it.

The only way to make sure your spouse is not hiding anything about their finances is to make a point to talk about it often. Money is the last thing people want to discuss, but the more couples talk about it, the less likely someone will be dishonest. The last thing you would want for your marriage is a divorce resulting from financial infidelity.

Ideally you should know someone’s money habits and philosophy before you are married. But even then financial honesty for the years after marriage are vital.

How Millennials Prefer to Invest Their Money

Millennials – or Generation Y, the people born between 1982 and 2002 – have money habits vastly different from the previous generation.

Several studies have found that although millennials are more planning-oriented, the things they prioritize are not what the Generation X gave importance to. While the previous generation found family planning and retirement saving more important, millennials prioritize concepts such as buying a home or cars, vacations, weddings, and higher education.

A major money trend among younger millennials – those between the age of 18 and 25 – is the lack of investment initiative they tend to be seeking or considering. They are not Peter Lynch or Steve Forbes! Hopefully they are not Colin Kaepernick either – that would not be impressive! If you think you are mistreated in America you should consider leaving this country and then you can find out what real mistreatment is.

No one is mistreated in this country, if anything, certain groups are coddled which really does not help those students (just watch the 4th season of The Wire – you cannot learn in that system – certainly when there are not any standards) out but inner city schools and those teacher unions do not care about that though this is another topic.

Weak job growth

Moreover, according to investment information website Bankrate, only one out of three millennials invest in stocks, bonds, or retirement funds. Young millennials tend to blame this one two factors: not understanding- and thus being afraid of stocks, and not having enough money for investment. That latter is true. Dodd/Frank has crushed small businesses and the ACA health care law has limited job growth and opportunities. So this is going to affect incomes of this economic group.

Young people are also more cautious than previous generations which is another reason they are not investing that much, and do not easily trust stock brokers or advisors. The fear of risk and not enough understanding of the market keep millennials away from investments. Well, Alan Greenspan and Barney Frank did not help here that much at all.

Having said that, it must also be noted that millennials tend to save more than their parents did, and have been found to be more prepared for financial emergencies. While the average millennial saves more than five percent of their income per year, some even save more than 10 percent, which is a huge improvement from Generation X and other age groups.

Being too safe

Since millennials tend to be more cautious than previous generations, they avoid risky investment options like stocks, and choose less volatile options such as cash. In other words, instead of putting their money where they can quickly lose it, they prefer to keep money in their bank accounts. Financial experts call this ‘bad news’ because millennials have the maximum retirement saving burden, and without investing in stocks and other similar options, it is hard to build up enough wealth.

But cash as a mode of investment is preferred not just by young millennials, but by most Americans too. Real estate is the second most favored investment option among millennials, while stocks feature at number three. The fear and uncertainty around stocks, especially after the Frank/Greenspan financial meltdown of 2008, has resulted in this widespread mindset.

It is also true that millennials in their 20s and 30s do not have enough money left over for investing after paying bills, loans, and other debts. A large section of millennials also prefer to spend now rather than save for the future.

Since young millennials are also more digitally inclined, they prefer information from the Internet over a financial advisor. This is not good since Facebook is known for putting out fake news, for example. In addition, this goes on to show that being able to manage their investments online is one of the key elements they look for when choosing an investment company. The second major element in choosing a company is low fees. This is a marked difference from how their parents chose an investment company, and it was definitely not by prioritizing them based on what they found out on the Net (there was no Net!).

Different outlooks

Another group of experts choose to differ. They claim, that because older generations were conservative in their spending and preferred to buy everything via a loan, they ended up spending a good part of their lives paying off debts. Millennials, on the other hand, prefer to buy whatever they want, whether they can afford it or not. This hurts their chances of qualifying for a loan. Millennials are also not really thinking long term like their parents did either.

It goes without saying that millennials are ambitious, and like to strategize their financial circumstances. Unlike the previous generations that were afraid of the future and preferred to save instead of spend, millennials usually get what they set their heart on, and are not lazy or shy to take up a second or third job to make some extra cash for something they desire (certainly when having a large family is not vital to you). Well, when full time jobs are hard to come by because of the ACA health care law and other regulations, this is only sensible.

Millennials choose to live life to the fullest by spending on ‘experiences’ rather than material possessions. This includes vacations, music festivals, good food, and the like.

It is also true that millennials have a long time ahead to grow their wealth, and with new technologies always coming to the forefront, the financial future of millennials may not be as bleak as some old school experts make it seem.