This is not a political blog, but politics affect every aspect of our lives whether we like it or not. a shift of power occurred yesterday with the Democrates winning the majority of the House of Representatives. It’s still possible that they could win the Senate majority as well.
There are less than two months left until Christmas, and it is less than one month until Black Friday. Many of you are familiar with Black Friday. It is the friday following Thanksgiving, and It is the busiest shopping day of the year. Retailers call it Black Friday, because some retailers begin to move out of the negative and into the positive for yearly profits.
That title makes me want to puke. I know that most readers do not want to hear me get on my soap box about why I think using credit cards are a huge financially poor choice, but you have to agree with me that it is a huge conflict of interest for a CREDIT CARD company to be teaching financial education. Gee, I wonder if they are going to teach kids to use credit carsds and use them frequently? My guess is that they will pitch them the same garbage that most adults buy into. Basically, they will teach these kids to worship the credit score. They will have them so worried about their credit score, that kids will start to worry if their school grades affect their credit score. Here are some excerpts from the Capital One website about their financial education plans.
The article from Business Week titled, “Is There a Gene For Business?” explores the debate between whether or not entrepreneurs are born that way or you can teach someone to be an entrepreneur. As you will read my blog post below, I believe that everyone born in America has the ability to be an entrepreneur. I believe we all possess the qualities of an entrepreneur somewhere inside of us. The key is finding those qualities and using them. You will see in this article that some prominent executives in the business world agree with me and others do not agree. Anyway, I think it is an interesting discussion, so check it out.
I was going through some old junk a few days ago, and I stumbled across a necklace that I made when I was in elementary school. When I was young, I would buy materials to make beaded necklaces, bracelets, and anklets. I don’t think I charged enough money for them, but when you are working with kids whom only have enough money for lunch, you’ll get what you can take. In middle school, my friends and I used to take cans from neighborhood recycling bins, crush them, and take them to the recycling center. We would get $5.00 for every so many pounds. It ended up being enough money for some baseball cards and Checker’s burgers.
Recently, you saw the statistic in the media about married couples comprising less than 50% of the family households in America. This is the first time since they started keeping track of the statistic that it dipped below 50 percent. Many households contain single-parent families, gay/lesbian partners, and unmarried couples co-habitating with mutual children. However, the main reason for the decline in marriages is not due to the rise in alternative lifestyle relationship, rather it is due to an increase in divorce over the past three decades.
For many of us, the problem with our finances boils down to a lack of extra cash. By the time the bills are paid, there is no money to save, pay down debt, or have fun. In my opinion, this is the point where many people begin the painful cycle of using debt to substitute a lack of cash flow. Society has taught all ages to use debt as a “tool” in order to maintain the life we live or upgrade the life we live. It is this simple concept that I believe is the reason why Americans are in debut up to their eyeballs.
I’m new to fairly serious investing mostly because this is the first time in my life that I have had any money to invest. I took a couple of finance classes in college, but let’s be honest, some stuff just does not stick. I started looking at my 401k more seriously the past few weeks and I started wondering why my year-to-date return was decent, yet my yield was like 0.3% or something ridiculous like that. So started educating myself on why this was so.
Before I begin, do not take me as being cynical when it comes to weddings or getting married. I am married and I had a fairly large wedding in terms of guest size and cost.
I was in Ohio this past weekend for my best friend’s wedding. The wedding was smaller, low-key, and quaint. It was actually a breath of fresh air to go to a wedding where the bride was not freaking out about the wedding favors that no one remembers after the wedding. I am sure the wedding still cost a decent chunk of change even without all of the extra frills, large number of guests, and huge reception.
This is a question that usually bugs younger people when they start their first “real” job. Most larger companies offer some kind of 401k plan, and other smaller companies will help you open an IRA. The attraction to contributing to a 401k is that some companies will match your contribution up to a certain amount. It truly is one of the only times in your life where a company will give you FREE money. The only catch is that sometimes they make you stay with that company for certain amount of time before the money is fully vested. This means that you will have to work at the company for so many years before you can keep all of the matched money. The other side to this question is that most young people could use as much of their paycheck as they can get. We do not have a lot of room to be thinking about 40 years down the road. I do not have a great answer to this question, because I believe it depends on your situation.