I struggle with Valentine’s Day. That doesn’t mean I love my wife any less than the guy who goes all out; it’s just that my wife isn’t all that romantic and I’m not all that creative. She doesn’t like foot rubs, manicures, facials, or any of the girly stuff that many guys give as gifts. She has a major sweet tooth, but chocolate and candy get old fast. It’s really hard to find a unique idea that she will love—and that neither of us will regret because it cost too much.
“Income” and “wealth” have incorrectly become synonymous in American culture. While the two concepts often go hand in hand, using the terms interchangeably is misleading. America’s most wealthy individuals don’t necessarily draw the highest levels of income.
For example, while professional athletes, top executives, doctors, and lawyers have reputations for high salaries, their obligations can make accumulating significant wealth very difficult. Many wealthy individuals, on the other hand, have never earned an exceptionally large paycheck.
Income vs. Wealth – Different Definitions
I like to think of income as the amount of money someone receives on a regular basis, while wealth is the length of time that person (or family) could maintain their current lifestyle without receiving compensation for performing additional work.
If you’re like me, the Apple iPad has completely changed your life. It was totally worth the $500 (for the 16GB Wi-Fi; $829 if you got the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G).
But after forking over that much money, I’m a little hesitant to bling it out with expensive iPad accessories. That’s why I’ve researched ways to save money on the latest accoutrements without sacrificing quality.
To start, let’s look at the top 5 accessories you should buy, and then I’ll offer tips to get them at a lower cost.
When I was in college, every semester I received a check from the federal government for text books and living expenses (read: beer). I didn’t give much thought to how I was going to pay the student loans back until the day after graduation, when a bill for $12,000 landed in my mailbox.
In retrospect, I got off easy, as many college kids have more than $100,000 of student loans they need to repay. But whether you have a little or a lot, interest builds quickly, and it’s best to create a solid plan for paying back the debt that works with your financial situation.
If you’ve been chunking money into your retirement account for years, the last thing you want to do is watch it shrink to nothing when the stock market goes south. Just ask any 65-year-old, who is now having to work for 5, 10 or even 15 years longer than he expected thanks to the big hit his IRA took a few years ago.
Fortunately, there are now a few alternative options when it comes to investing your IRA, but like with any investment, they come with their own set of risks and rewards.
I’m not the typical iPhone user. My phone isn’t wrapped in plastic with six inches of rubber encasing it. In fact, it was going completely “naked” until just recently, when I gave in and put a minimalist bumper around it. I’ve had butter fingers lately, and I don’t want to take any chances since it costs a fortune to replace an iPhone.
With all of the new gadgets out there, and the prices only getting steeper, it’s easier than ever to end up with a pricey accident on your hands.
The earlier you begin investing, the better your payoff will be, so begin investing as soon as you can afford to do so.
An important piece of advice along these lines is to “pay yourself first, and then invest.” If you contribute, even in small amounts, to a smart savings or investment plan, you’ll see the results add up quickly.
If you’re mired in debt, do your best to get out of debt before worrying about investing. But once you’ve paid off all of your loans, start investing some of your monthly income to build for your future.
My kids love Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers. In fact, if it’s available, that’s the only snack they’ll go for. Recently, however, our house has been without Goldfish for several weeks. The reason? In my household, we do not pay full price for things if we can help it. A 6.6 oz bag of Goldfish normally costs between $1.89 and $2.25, depending on the store. But in the past, we’ve purchased Goldfish for 45 cents a bag or even free by using a coupon combined with a store sale. Therefore, we can’t stomach the thought of paying full price when another sale is just around the corner.
According to the Tower Group’s recent report, more than two-thirds of small businesses use their credit cards for various business expenses, but of those only about 40% are putting the charges on business credit cards. The other 60% are putting themselves at risk for personal liability and placing their personal assets in danger.
Business credit cards can be a great asset for your small business, but only when used correctly. When used incorrectly, business credit cards can cause many problems including a lack of business credit, tax and legal consequences, and a failure to achieve the best financial rewards for your business.
Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings may get all the glory when it comes to reliving the big Super Bowl plays of 2011, but it wouldn’t have mattered how many points the Packers put on the board if they didn’t have a strong defense as well.
In other words, a good offense can’t be successful without an effective defensive program. And the same is true for your investment strategy.
Here are the best strategies to protect yourself when it comes to the game of investing.