An Interview with Ben Casnocha, Teenage Entrepreneur

After reading the USA Today article about Ben Casnocha, I was intrigued to read about a man whom started a software company at such a young age.  I found myself reading his personal blog every day.  If you read the posts that Ben writes, you will soon find out that he is wise beyond his years, and he has a passion for knowledge and understanding the complicated issues of our society.  The most refreshing part about Ben is his humble attitude that oozes out of everything he writes.  I introduced myself to Ben through e-mail about a month ago, and recently I asked him to answer some interview questions for this website.  He was kind enough to do so.  Here is the full interview. 

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Paying Off Debt Will Increase Your Net Worth

In my opinion, personal finance is 80% about the behavior and 20% about the numbers.  However, this is one example of how looking at the numbers can cause a behavioral change.  Everyone wants to increase their net worth, and many people try to come up with a 101 get rich quick schemes to boost their net worth.  I am going to show you a 100% guaranteed method for increasing your net worth!  There is NO start-up fee, and I do not run info-mercials at 4am on sunday morning.

Calculating Net Worth:  Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth

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Five Businuesses To Start With $200

Professional Consulting

Are you an expert at something?  You may be able to start a professional consulting business by giving your expert advice.  Some examples of successful consulting firms are business, financial, computer, advertising, and tax consulting.  This is a service industry so start-up costs can be very low.  There is no inventory and if you already have a computer and basic office software, then all you need is a budget for advertising and a web presence

$100 for web domain and web hosting package

$100 for printed business cards, brochures, and direct mailers

Computer Repair

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The Entrepreneur Inside of You

The entrepreneurial spirit lives inside all of us.  You may not have found it yet, but it is there.  I am confident about this statement, because the great country of the United States was founded upon the principles of freedom, democracy, and entrepreneurship.  Most of you work for someone else, but you can still be an entrepreneur!

Answer these Questions:

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  1. Have you ever daydreamed about being your own boss?
  2. Have you ever provided a service and collected a fee for it?
  3. Have you ever held a garage sale?
  4. Have you ever sold something on Ebay?

The Millionaire Next Door

There are quite a few critcs of this book, but I think that you need to understand the overall message of this book, regardless of the validity of the research done.  Read my review of this book that was posted on my personal website. 

401k vs. Roth IRA’s

It is never too early to be thinking about retirement.  Obviously, if you start early, then the earlier you can retire and the more money you will have working for you.  There are a number of ways to save for retirement, but the two most advantageous from a tax stand point are the company sponsored 401k and the government sponsored Roth IRA.  So which is better?  It depends…

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The Credit Card Lie

Lie:  Credit cards are a good financial tool and they will help you to build prosperity.

Truth:  In the end, credit cards only make the banks rich, and they make you poor.

The credit card epidemic probably started in the 1980’s and it is has run so rampant that dogs and dead people receive credit card applications every day.  Over 4 billion credit cards were issued last year according to Nellie Mae fiinancial services.  The problem is that millions of those credit card recipients cannot afford to be using them — including college undergraduates and recent college graduates.  Here are some alarming statistics taken from a 2002 statistical pool.

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Five Steps to Effective Budgeting

The foundation of developing good financial habits as a college graduate or recent graduate is creating solid budgeting skills. Budgeting is not an art, it is a skill that is taught by practicing over and over again. You do not need a degree in finance to create and maintain a budget. Follow these simple steps to create a solid budget.

Step 1: Gather Information.

Gather together all of your bank statements, receipts, and credit card statements for a given month. Create a number of categories for living expenses such as food, gas, rent/mortgage, utilities, clothing, loan payments, etc. Based on the information you gathered, make an educated estimate for the amount that you spend in each category. Also, figure out your take home income (total monthly income minus taxes).

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