For college aged people and twentysomethings, eating out is the bane of our financial existence. I know for a fact that eating out is a weakness to my generation’s pockets. We love to go out and socialize. We’re also just too lazy to cook. My wife and I are very guilty of going out to grab something to eat even when we have plenty of food at home to cook. Eating out can be extremely expensive if you do all of the things that restaurants want you to do. However, I propose that eating out does not have to be as costly as it may seem. Here are five tips to help you save money while eating out:
By Erik Folgate
When it is all said and done, there are only two kinds of investments — long-term and short-term.
Long-term investments should be money that you are not going to touch for more than 5 years. This category involves retirement planning and overall wealth building. This money does not need to be as liquid as short-term investments, meaning you can put the money in real estate or a start-up business.
Short-term investments should be money that you need to be more accessible and readily available for you to use at short-term notice. Short-term investments should be savings for things that are less than 5 years down the road. This might include saving for a car, a down payment on a house, car/house maintenance, or other high dollar personal items.
Many of you are coming out of college and diving into “the real world”. I was anxious to see just how real this “real world” was when everyone older than me talked about it like some kind of far off never-never land. Anyway, it’s real and it’s rough. Getting your first real, well-paying job is a huge adjustment. I sat through 4 hours of a benefits meeting, and I was LOST. Once they start talking about 401k contributions, health/life insurance, and short-term disability, your head will be spinning.
USA Today reported that in the month of January the average household spent $575.00 OVER their budget. This means that they spent way more money than they had coming in. Not only is America increasingly spending more money, they are saving less. Spending is only healthy for an economy when they are saving money at the same time. The article revealed that many economists are not worried about the spending deficit. I think they are idiots. Just because they are economists does not mean that they don’t go out and buy a 50″ plasma television on the 29% Best Buy credit card. When the average household is spending hundreds of dollars over budget every month, that worries me.
- BusinessWeek says that total household debt in the US was more than 100% of our disposable annual income last year. Now that is scary.
- The total consumer debt is at 1.7 trillion dollars. (You can visualize a trillion dollars as a stack of $1000 bills placed one on top of the other, flat side on top of flat side, reaching 67 miles high.)
- The personal credit card debt carried by the average American is $8,562 and the total interest paid in 2001 was $50 billion…. an average of $1000 in interest per consumer. The average consumer caries 8 cards and 20% of cards are maxed out.
By Erik Folgate
Take a quick survey…
1. Do you know how much money is in your bank account right now?
2. Do you and your spouse share a checking account?
3. Do you consult your spouse before buying something for more than $50?
If you answered “No” to all of these questions, then you need marriage counseling. It is as simple as that. A marriage constitutes becoming one cohesive unit, and when two people do not share and consult with each other over the finances, things get ugly. The number one cause of divorce in North America is money problems. The problem is not having enough of it, it’s how to handle it.
This morning, Good Morning America ran an interesting segment about the ferociousness of the young Indian generations (35 and under) that are passionate towards education and entrepreneurship. It is now common for young Indians to be well versed in English, technology, and business practices. With these three skills combined, it poses a great threat to young Americans whom they will be competing with for jobs in the near future.
Kirby On Finance writes a great article about the advantages of low-cost mutual funds versus high-cost funds. It is always good to see the numbers sometimes. Plus, this just furthers my belief that mutual funds are the BEST investment tool for the average joe investor.
By Erik Folgate
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.
With millions of Americans taking on debt that they cannot handle, numerous non-profit debt consolidation and credit counseling companies have popped up all across the country. Many people think that consolidating debt is a magical way to reduce payments and interest rates, but it comes with implications. You need to know the truth about debt consolidation before you make the decision to hand over your finances to a stranger
Relieving, not Curing
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
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
By Erik Folgate
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:
- Have you ever daydreamed about being your own boss?
- Have you ever provided a service and collected a fee for it?
- Have you ever held a garage sale?
- Have you ever sold something on Ebay?
This blog is geared primarily toward twentysomethings, so my insurance recommendations will be answered based on the assumption that you are a college student, recent graduate, or similar young adult.
The reason that I am so passionate about being financially wise about money is not so that I can hold onto all of it until the day that I die. Someone who does that is foolish. A wise, sensible person will do three things with money according to Dave Ramsey, “Save it, Have Fun with it, and Give it”.
We have no problems at ALL having fun with money, we have a decent problem with saving money, but we have a HUGE problem with giving money. And this is not because people are greedy. In fact, most people are not greedy. The problem is that they do not set themselves up to be in a position to give.