Managing finances has become more important than ever. Costs of items such as food, a college education and travel have been increasing rapidly. Saving for retirement has become more difficult for many. If you understand and follow some basic tips about buying, saving, investing, spending wisely and managing debt, you will more easily achieve financial success Saving Habit
Saving for unexpected emergencies and retirement is one important key for financial success. Practice saving money. Pay yourself first even if it is a small amount. Set up your paycheck deductions or your bank account to contribute a set percent of your income. If you have kids, teach them the saving habit and how to manage their finances.
Everyone is competing for a share of your wallet. Persuasive advertising sometimes tempts you to buy items you may not really need. Supermarket displays entice you to buy food you didn’t intend to buy. When you see an item you didn’t plan to buy, don’t buy it immediately. Give yourself a day to think it over. After your initial impulse, without immediate buying, you may decide you don’t need the item. When grocery shopping, prepare a list first of what you really need and stick to the list. Don’t shop at a grocery store when you are hungry.
Evaluate and Budget
Controlling and understanding where you spend your money is an important task because if you aren’t in command of your finances someone else will be and the outcome may not be what you want. Analyze your expenses for a month or two to understand where your money is going. Question each category of expense and determine if the expenses are really needed. Eliminate expenditures that aren’t needed. Decide if the money you are spending can be spent more wisely. For example, look at your phone bill. If you aren’t using Internet-based phone services, switch from traditional phone services to Internet-based services. Savings can be substantial.
One primary way to secure financial security is by smart investing for the coming years. If you are young and don’t need to save for retirement, you can invest part of your money in more risky but higher-return investments.
Your financial future can become a failure if you aren’t carefully managing any debt you must incur. If you use a credit card, use it wisely and pay off your bill totally each month. If you don't, you may have to pay substantial late fees. When you sign up for a card, examine the terms closely. For example, if the card promotes a low interest rate, find out if the rate is for a limited period only and what the rate will be after that. Shop carefully for credit cards and get the best deal you can.
Paying bills on time is a good financial habit. Pay bills immediately. For recurring expenses that are the same amount each month, set up automatic deductions from your bank account. Past-due bills can hurt your credit rating.
Your credit score affects the interest rate you will pay for necessary expenses such as a mortgage. Check your credit score each year. When looking at your credit report, check it for accuracy and that it doesn’t include past-due amounts from someone else. You can get a free credit report from a Federal Trade Commission-approved site, annualcreditreport.com
Read about personal finance in magazines and recommended books. Attend a seminar about managing money. Often your local library provides such a program free.
Carolyn Gray started writing in 2009. Her work history includes line and staff management in the Finance and Controller's Department of New York Telephone and NYNEX. Gray has a Bachelor of Arts in government from Clark University and a Master of Business Administration from New York University's Stern School of Business in Management and Organization Behavior
1. Time is money; start today
The most important key to retiring rich is to start saving as early as possible. Many workers, strapped for cash or eying a major purchase, tell themselves they can make up for lost time by making higher contributions in future years. Unfortunately, money doesn’t work that way. Thanks to the power of compound interest, cash invested today has a disproportional impact on your wealth level at retirement.
To put the matter into perspective, consider two possible scenarios; both assume a retirement age of 65 and an annual compounded rate of return of 10%.
John is 40 years old and invests $20,000 a year for retirement. Charlotte is 21 years old and invests $5,000 a year for retirement. By the time each of these individuals retire, they will have invested $400,000 and $220,000 respectively. Yet, because of the power of compound interest, John would retire with half the money as Charlotte despite investing twice as much! (John would retire with $1.97 million, Charlotte with $3.26 million).
The moral of the story? Stop robbing your future to pay for today.
2. Max out the annual contribution limit on your IRA
When it comes to IRA contribution limits, Uncle Sam’s motto seems to be “use it or lose it”. Workers that haven’t made the maximum permissible contribution to their Traditional or Roth IRA by the cut-off date are flat out of luck unless they are in their mid-fifties and qualify for catch-up contributions.
3. Take full advantage of employer matching funds
Many companies will match up to fifty-percent of the contributions employees make to their 401k and other retirement accounts. If you are fortunate enough to work for such a business (and millions of Americans are), take advantage to the fullest! If you don’t, you are literally walking away from free money.
4. Don’t cash out of your retirement when you change jobs.
If you are anything like the average American worker, the odds are fairly substantial you are going to change jobs at some point during your career. When this occurs, the most foolish thing you could possibly do is to cash out of your retirement plan. Instead, roll over the proceeds into an IRA or your new employer’s 401k plan. In addition to avoiding the significant tax penalties, you will be able to keep your money working for you tax-free. Given enough time (you already saw the power a few decades can have on seemingly small amounts of money), this literally could mean the difference between vacationing in Tahiti and having to take a job at the Golden Arches to supplement your income
5. Avoid IRA withdrawal fees
There are numerous ways to withdrawal money from your retirement account in the event of an emergency. Before you even think about doing so, make absolutely certain that you have done everything required to qualify - otherwise, you will get a very unpleasant and expensive wake up call when you are hit with possibly thousands of dollars in fees and penalties.
6. Expand the Pie
Don't just cut expenses - find a way to make more money! By taking on side work or turning a hobby into a business enterprise, you can create additional streams of income to help fund your retirement. In many cases, this is an excellent alternative to cutting costs because it allows you to maintain your current standard of living while providing for your future.
Although many sectors have been experiencing financial turbulence, ecommerce businesses have been doing quite well in the past few years. According to Forrester Research, the ecommerce industry is expected to continue growing at a rate of 60% by 2015, to total $279 billion in value.
However, investing in ecommerce can be somewhat confusing for individual investors. Ecommerce stocks don't constitute a sector of their own, but are instead spread across other industries such as retail, travel, and entertainment.This leaves investors with a variety of options. In addition to starting up your own ecommerce business using free POS software, it's possible to pick and choose individual stocks that look promising or invest in managed mutual funds.
By mixing stocks from a wide range of different industries, you can protect your portfolio from sudden dips in specific sectors. Choosing to invest in ecommerce businesses with an eye towards the future can be a good long-term investment. Large retail or entertainment businesses such as Amazon.com and Netflix are some of the most popular choices for ecommerce investors, while online travel businesses like Hotels.com and Expedia have also done quite well.
The key to choosing the best ecommerce stocks is to research how the business has embraced changing trends in online retailing. Some of the top trends to take note of include whether or not the business has made the move into mobile marketing and sales, and the user-friendliness of their website. Businesses that combine professional platforms like a Shopify online payment gateway with high-quality products will generate more sales.You'll also want to research their growth patterns and forecasts for the future, as well as take a wider look at the industry that they are part of. As with any stock purchase, research is vital when investing in ecommerce stocks.
Another option for investors is to take a look at ecommerce mutual funds. These are professionally managed by experts in the finance industry, who have a strong working knowledge of investment data and trends. Although investing in individual stocks has the benefit of allowing you to back your favourite companies and exercise a high level of control over your portfolio, it also carries a certain degree of risk.
One of the main benefits of choosing to invest in mutual funds is that they involve less risk. Not only is the fund professionally managed, but because a variety of ecommerce stocks are included in the fund, the overall value won't be dragged down too far should one of the companies start to fall. Because your money is combined with the money of other mutual fund investors, the manager has greater buying power which can yield discounts and access to more exclusive ecommerce stocks. This will help you earn potentially larger rewards.
There are certainly pros and cons to investing in both ecommerce stocks and mutual funds. To succeed with either type of investment, you'll need to follow ecommerce trends closely and spend some time on research.
Buying a house with no money down is possible for many people, and there are a number of options that can help you manage this. Real estate investing has become very popular, and many individuals purchase homes each year. With a zero down payment the rate paid will be higher, but if you have excellent credit then this is not a problem as far as approval is concerned. A land contract may also be arranged between the buyer and seller, and this method of buying a house with no money down may be possible regardless of your credit rating or credit history.
There are many methods and steps to buying a house, and some lenders advertise loans with no down payment required. If a seller is motivated and there is an existing mortgage then it may be possible to assume the mortgage, without the need for additional financing. This method of buying a house with no money down may require lender approval, and this may not always be an option for some home seekers. It is possible to take out a loan against your retirement account, and using 401k to buy a house outright is common. This will allow you to pay the entire purchase price, instead of making a down payment and then having a monthly mortgage payment.
If you have poor credit then the 30 year fixed mortgage rates my be outrageous, if you even qualify for this loan type. Your only option may be buying a house with no money down using alternative methods instead. The best thing to do is to evaluate all of the options that are available, and then choose which of them are the best in your specific circumstances and situation. If the best home mortgage lenders will not offer a loan with no down payment, do not despair, there are other ways to achieve home ownership.