How to Pay off Debt with the Snowball Method

Photo Credit: michaelshaffer via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: michaelshaffer via Compfight cc

If you’re like most Americans, you’re walking around with debt hanging around your neck. From credit cards to mortgages to student loans and car loans. Debt is ever present and can be overwhelming. Paying off debt is something that people are constantly trying to figure out how to do.

We all know how stressful debt can be. It affects our health, our relationships and peace of mind. It can also hurt our wealth building efforts.

Too much debt can destroy you credit score. (Funny, since having debt is the only way to get a credit score.) That will affect your ability to get loans. Even if you are able to get a loan, then it will affect your interest rate.

The more bad debt you have, the higher your interest rate. The higher your rate, the higher your payments. You’ll have to pay more for everything. You don’t want that, do you?

If you have bad debt racked up on consumer goods then you’re in a bad position. Consumer debt like car loans and unpaid credit card balances have to go as quickly as possible.

Time to eliminate your debt and eliminate it fast. If you’ve had problems sticking to a debt elimination program in the past then try the Snowball method.

It’s considered by many to be the best method for paying off debt. Here’s how you can do it. [Read more…]

How To Save Money: 3 Keys to Making it Easy

Photo Credit: mymoneypet via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: mymoneypet via Compfight cc

Saving money is hard work, we all know that. In an earlier post we talked about why you should save money. Hopefully you were convinced.

Now you may be wondering how you can actually save money.

It’s easier than you think.

Here are the steps to make it easy and painless to start saving money:

[Read more…]

3 Ways to Outsource Your Life Like the Wealthy

One thing that separates the wealthy from average people is having more options to choose how to use their time. It’s been said that wealth is really measured in terms of time not dollars. It means that wealth is measured by how long you can survive without working a job.

It also means being able to use less of your time doing things that you don’t want to do. Using precious time productively to achieve your goals instead of doing mindless chores. The only way to do that is if you can pay someone else to do the dirty work for you. This is the simplest form of outsourcing.

We tend to do undesirable things because they “have to be done”. A lot of times this is true but not everything has to be done by you. There’s always someone willing to do chores for money.

You may not think that you can afford to outsource your life but think again. Even though you may not be able to afford a full staff to run your household, there are some low cost ways to outsource your chores.

Here are 3 of them:

1- Drop off your laundry

This is one of my personal favorites. Who likes to spend hours sorting, washing and folding laundry? If you live in an apartment, this might mean dragging several heavy bags of dirty clothes to the nearest laundromat. Then you’ve got to fight for washers and dryers. Then you sit around waiting for the machines to finish.

Let’s not even think about the best part! Folding.

And lugging it all back home. [Read more…]

Why Save Money? 6 reasons to stack your coins

Financial stability, business success and insurance conceptAmericans are known for not having good savings habits. “Spend ’til the end” is like a national motto. If you’re someone who doesn’t save money it could be because you don’t see why you should.

There are plenty of reasons to save money starting with:

1- You save your money so that one day your money can save you

We’ve already talked about the importance of an emergency fund. There’s nothing like having cash available to make a serious problem disappear.

There may come a time when you need a large amount of money and can’t use a credit card.

Imagine that you lost your job and your rent is due. Maybe your landlord only accepts cash, checks or money orders. Having cash in the bank will prevent a lot of stress. [Read more…]

4 Ways to Invest in Yourself

In the last post, we talked about self-investment being the best form of investing. Now let’s look at 4 specific ways of doing that.

1- Take classes to increase earning ability

The future belongs to the competent. The more valuable skills you have, the more desirable you will be in the marketplace.

One of the easiest ways to improve hard skills is by signing up for classes or workshops. You can learn a new skill quickly by working with an instructor in a classroom environment.

Trying to learn on your own can be a long boring process. You have to learn by trial and error. Sometimes you won’t even realize where you’ve made mistakes.

An inexperienced instructor will give you feedback and show you what to focus on. They will show you faster ways of getting things. You may then be able to perform better than others who have more experience than you do. [Read more…]

The One Sure-Fire Investment That Gets the Best Return on Your Money

Financial stability, business success and insurance conceptWe all want to grow our finances but most of us only dream about investing “one day”. The idea of investing money can seem like such a grown-up concept that other people do.

You may think that you’re not sophisticated enough or didn’t come from the right background.

The fear of possibly losing your hard-earned money may have you paralyzed.

Then there’s the overabundance of choices. Most people think of the stock market when the word “invest” comes up but there are as many ways to invest as there are people.

Stocks and bonds.

Real estate.

Businesses.

These are all kinds of investments. There are plenty of categories and countless variations under each category.

In real estate, you can choose to invest in commercial or residential property. If you decide to rent out residential properties then you have plenty of choices. You can focus on single family homes or multiple unit buildings or you can have a tenant in your attic or…

You get the point.

Investing is a big topic but you know you should probably get involved.

With so many options available, the most important question is:

Where should i start?

The answer is simple. [Read more…]

How to Listen: Improve Your Listening Skills

Have you ever been accused of not listening? Have you ever been involved in a conversation that turned into an argument where neither party felt they were being heard? It’s time to improve your listening skills.

You may be wondering what it means to improve listening skills. Never thought of listening as a skill before? You can’t be blamed for that. People aren’t usually taught listening skills. From childhood we’ve all been told how to speak, not to listen.

Benefits of improved listening

There are very good reasons for becoming a better listener.

You’ll be involved in less arguments.

You’ll come across as a good conversationalist even if you hardly speak. People will love talking to you.

You’ll be able to empathize with people better.

You’ll sell more to clients. Better listening leads to better understanding of what customers really need and want.

You’ll be more productive. Better listening will lead to knowing upfront what truly needs to be done to get the job done right the first time.

Here are 7 ways to become a better listener:

1- Tell yourself that what the other person is about to say is important. This automatically makes you pay attention more because who wants to miss something important? [Read more…]

Warning! Saving Money on These 3 Things is Making You Broke

Budget HelpYou are saving your way to the poorhouse. Most people are doing this so it’s safe to say you’re probably doing it too. Being penny-wise and pound-foolish. Cutting corners when spending money on stuff and having it be more costly later because the item broke prematurely or was just poor quality. Trying to save money on some items is not always a good idea.

Everybody’s heard the expression: You get what you pay for. We all know what it means. When you buy the cheapest, you usually get the worst quality. Or no quality at all.

You also shouldn’t just buy the most expensive option thinking thinking that makes the most sense. The most expensive isn’t always the best quality but it’s usually better to spend a little more for stuff.

With some items the difference in quality at different price points is drastic but you may not notice it at first. Here are a few things that can nickel and dime you all the way to the poorhouse if you go cheap:  [Read more…]