Category Archive 'Personal finance'

Three Courses I Wish Existed in High School

Personal finance

Do you remember your high school days? I had some fun times. I’m not sure how I managed to get through and pass my courses because I really didn’t like any of the classes that I had to take. Before I go any further, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to bash the educational system or to say that I know it all. I just wish that the educational system had more practical courses back in high school. I wish courses existed that set us up for the rest of our lives.

What are three courses that I wish existed in high school?

Public speaking.

I suck at public speaking. I’m trying to get better.

How does that saying go? I still remember the Jerry Seinfeld joke. People are most afraid of public speaking and dying. So we’d rather be the one in the casket than the one giving the eulogy.

I haven’t read enough on this topic to assign the definitive textbook. I do believe that Never Eat Alone would be a great choice. It’s important that we learn how to interact with others. I’ve met too many selfish young folks that are clueless about this.

Leadership.

None of us know how to be leaders. All of my friends are just looking for a map or script to follow. A guideline to get things done. We aren’t taught to lead and solve problems.

The ideal textbook for this course would be Linchpin by Seth Godin. This is by far the best book on this topic. This is the call to action that young folks need to wake up and do something!

If leadership was taught in high school, more of us would be able to solve common problems and get ahead in life instead of waiting around.

Mastering money.

How do you save money? What money do you pay your bills with? Where should you put your money? How do credit cards work?

All of these questions are left unanswered upon graduating from high school. We’re all clueless. I was once visiting my brother away at college and one of his roommates wasn’t sure how a credit card works. This dude wants to become a doctor one day, but he didn’t know that you don’t pay interest on a credit card until you miss your deadline. He thought that he would start paying interest the second that he made a purchase.

We’re all left uninformed on how to save money or budget our money properly.

The best book on mastering money is I Will Teach You To Be Rich. The author covers everything from automating your savings to paying off credit card. These are the fundamentals of saving money and getting ahead.

Those are courses that I wish I had the opportunity to take. If I was in charge of putting these courses together, I would also ensure that I could choose the books as mentioned in the post. These courses would also be mandatory to passing high school. You get a pass or fail grade, so you wouldn’t have to worry about getting a poor grade if you didn’t excel at public speaking..

The Formula For Saving Money in Your 20s

Personal finance

Whenever friends or acquaintances find out that I blog about personal finance they’re usually curious to learn more. Money is one of those weird topics to discuss around friends.

How do you save money?

How do you get rich?

These sorts of questions usually come up. It’s like when you meet someone that works out. You want to know how to get huge. When you’re confused about money, it’s difficult to know where to start or what to do first. So you just ask general questions. Today I’m going to help you figure out this whole money thing.

What’s the formula for saving money in your 20s?

Increase your skills.

To make any money in this world, you need marketable skills. You have to do something that others are willing to pay for.

How do you increase your skill set?

  • Education.
  • Experience.
  • Online courses.
  • Books.
  • Private coaching.
Once you increase your skills, you can increase your income.

Pay yourself first.

Once you start making money, you need to figure out how you’re going to keep as much of it as possible. If you don’t keep any money, then you won’t have anything to show for your hard work. What’s the point of working so hard?

Paying yourself first is actually pretty easy. You go to your employer or your bank and you ask them to take off a set amount from your paycheck every single month.This money comes off your check automatically. You don’t have to do anything. You just fill out the initial forms.

How sweet is that? The money goes away and you never see it. Your goal is to figure out how to live on the rest. This is where the fun begins! You keep on saving this money without even thinking about it. When you’re ready for a big purchase, you simply have the funds available to do so.

Avoid debt like the plague.

We all know that debt is bad. Just like we all know that smoking is horrible for your health and that junk food makes you fat. Yet so many of us are in debt. Why? Because we all happen to be emotional beings.

I don’t want to preach to you. I’ll just leave it at this: do your best to avoid debt. You don’t want to be in your 30s paying off credit card debt that you racked up in your younger days.

Reward yourself.

The trick to remaining consistent with personal finance is rewarding yourself. No fun will lead to you being miserable. I don’t want you to be miserable while saving money. That will make you hate the world of personal finance.

You have to plan excursions, sneak fun into your life, and get out there. I personally try to plan every few months just to reward myself for consistent hard work. How you have fun is totally up to you. As long as you don’t borrow money for a trip, you should be good to go.

That’s the formula for saving lots of money in your 20s.

How You Can Cope With Failure

Personal finance

I couldn’t believe that after months of work and struggle, I had finally launched my first product. I was excited to help people and see the response that would come from this huge launch. I had planned everything out well in advance. The work wasn’t easy, but I knew that it would be worth it.

I wrote 6 guest articles. I was all over the net. I promoted the hell out of this eBook. Then the sales page went live. Then it happened.

I got ZERO SALES! I failed at my first product launch. It was sad. It was a complete failure.

This leads to the point of this article…

We all fail.

This isn’t news. Today I wanted to look at dealing with this failure and how you can cope with failure in your career/with any goals you set in your life.

How you can cope with failure from my own experiences…

Allow yourself to fail.

There’s nothing wrong with failing. You have to allow yourself to fail. You have to give yourself permission. The reality is that you’re going to fail and you need to be ready for this. If you’re not failing it’s because you’re not trying hard enough. When you allow yourself to fail, you won’t be as disappointed when things don’t work out the first time around.

Focus on the worst case scenario.

What’s the worst that can happen?

We often realize that the worst case scenario isn’t all that bad. So what if we fail? Do you know how many times I’ve failed? If anyone dare laugh at me, I laugh back even harder since they didn’t try.

The worst case scenario is never as bad as not trying and wondering what could have beeb.

Ditch the excuses.

Stop making excuses. What you tried just didn’t work. Don’t blame the Earth for your problems. Don’t get mad at anyone. You just need to go back to the drawing board and come back with a better plan.

Think of the positives.

There’s always a lesson to be learned from everything. What are the positives that you can take away? From my failures I usually realize what I’ve done wrong. The good news about this is that I can move on and not make the same mistake twice. There’s nothing worse than repeating your mistakes.

Failing isn’t that bad at the end of the day. It happens to all of us. The scary scenario is not trying.

What was the point of this article? It doesn’t matter what your goals are (career, starting a business, weight loss, etc.), we all fail at some point. Too often do we give up when on the verge of something amazing. I don’t want to see any of you give up. It’s not worth it.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

Is Lifestyle Inflation Okay?

Personal finance

Have you started making more money? Have you been debating upgrading your lifestyle?

Today we’re going to look at lifestyle inflation and the idea of upgrading your lifestyle once your income increases. There are two polarizing views on this idea. One strategy is to use your pay increase to push up your savings. This means that you pretend you never even received an increase in money. The other view (uncommon on personal finance blogs) is to upgrade your quality of life when your income goes up.

Is lifestyle inflation okay?

I’m going to say that it is. Most personal finance pundits suggest that you save and deprive yourself. I believe in the opposite. When you make more money, the odds are that you worked for it. You likely earned your raise or salary increase or bonus. Why not spend it on yourself? Why not reward yourself? I say that you go ahead and upgrade your life.

There are a few caveats when it  comes to lifestyle inflation. What are they?

I suggest that you start off small. Instead of buying a new car or moving into a bigger place, why not start with food? You can treat yourself more often and increase the frequency of how often you check out your favorite restaurant. There’s nothing that most of us love more than the convenience of going out for food. If you worked hard to increase your salary, there’s nothing wrong with eating better. You can eat out with your friends or form a new weekly tradition.

Next, you can cut out a redundant task from your schedule. Is there something that you’re annoyed by? We all have a task or two in our routines that we wish we could eliminate. Some of my friends have hired maids or someone to perform their lawn care. Some young folks would rather spend more time on the productive tasks while eliminating duties that don’t add much value, yet need to be performed.

The best part is that there’s no need to feel guilty about hiring someone to cut your grass, shovel your snow, or clean your apartment. You’re going to pay for this with money that you worked for. Why work so hard if you don’t seen any results or positive changes?

These two new luxuries alone will often be enough to allow you to appreciate your new raise. You’ll notice an upgrade to your lifestyle because you’ll be eating your favorite dishes more often and you’ll have cut out tasks that you don’t care for.

Have you recently increased your income? What did you do with your new-found income?

How You Can Increase Your Savings

Personal finance

Are you looking to increase your savings? Do you want to beef up how much money you have stashed away? I’m here to help with that!

What’s the quickest way to increase your savings?

Improve how much money you have coming in.

You just have to make more money. There are no shortcuts or secret formulas to accumulating money. Anyone that tells you there are, is simply trying to sell you some sort of a dream. Don’t buy it!

The best way to do this is to find a side gig that you can do on the evenings or weekends. The hidden benefit of working extra hours is that you now have less time to spend money. When you work on a Saturday evening, you’re forced to avoid the bar for a bit or random occasions. This means that you make more money and save more money.

Before you try to rip my head off, I do realize that this isn’t very fun. That’s true. I’m sorry about that. This isn’t an article about selling dreams or making you feel good. This is a wake up call. If you want to save some serious money, you need to find a new gig, and hold on to your new found cash. Once you begin to do this, you can slowly start to get ahead of the game. The more money that you save, the more addicting that it will become.

How do you deal with time management? Let’s look at how you can still survive with less free time now that you’ll be working more…

  • Cut out the crap. When you’re busy working, the little things don’t matter any more. Who cares if you miss Jersey Shore? Who cares who said what about you? You’re busy and don’t have time to waste.
  • Eat well. The trick is to eat well. This is advice that we all know, but just don’t apply. It’s much easier to grab a BigMac than it is to cook food. If you hate to cook, you can grab a couple of cans of tuna with some almonds. You can sneak in some egg whites, protein shakes, and beans. The better that you eat, the more energy that you’ll have to work hard and save up that money!
  • Let loose when you’re free. If you have a night off or time off, you deserve to let loose. You need something that keeps you sane. It helps to have something to look forward to after a stressful period of time. Plus, you’l have more money to spend on what you enjoy.

That’s how you can increase your savings. With your beefed up savings account, you can pay off that debt, finally start that business, or travel more often. You worked for it, so you owe it to yourself to enjoy the money now.