Let’s face it, gas prices are not going down any time soon. I am starting to think that oil companies are going to leave the prices where they are at because we have already become used to paying $2.50 to $3.00 for a gallon of gas. In the grand scheme of things, I wonder if that is truly is expensive. In Florida, I pay up to $3.50 a gallon for milk. Although, I don’t drink 14 gallons of gas per week, either.
If you are like me, then you may have started out with a very formal way of thinking when it comes to entrepreneurial ventures. The traditional school of thought is that you must have a business plan, have a substantial amount of capital, and be extremely organized and planned with your marketing plan. I thought that all of these things were essential to starting and being successful with a new business, but then I listened to Steve Pavlina’s podcast about kick starting your own business.
Last night I caught the beginning of the getting-less-funny-as-the-years-go-by Saturday Night Live, but this one I thought it was pretty funny and alarmingly true at the same time.
Today in the news, a man from Los Angeles, California named Arthur Winston retired at the age of 100. He worked in the mass transit system since 1934! I did not even know they had a transit system in 1934. In his 70 plus years of working, he had only taken one sick day. I thought this was a nice story, but what really caught my attention was when they asked him what his secret was to staying alive and kicking for so long.
Per my previous post, it is very easy for us to obsess so much over finding bargain, that it may not be worth it if you factor in the time that it took to you to search and find that perfect bargain. If you are like me, you get very excited when you do get a rock-bottom deal whether in the store or on the internet. Nowadays, it is much easier for us to find bargains on the internet, because there is less overhead to factor in the pricing equation than a traditional brick and mortar retail store. A friend of mine at worked introduced me to some great websites that aggregate many of the best deals on the internet, and they are updated daily. Many of you may already be familiar with these websites, but for the rest of you, I will post the web addresses. I love sites that bring everything together into one website to search quickly and efficiently. So check these sites out! I don’t get any sort of kick-back for you clicking on these sites, it’s my little gift to you, tonight.
Mr. Kirby from the Kirby on Finance blog gives a fresh insight to the value of being frugal. In his post, he articulates the fact that our time is just as valuable as saving a few extra bucks. The basic philosophy of too much of anything is a bad thing holds true in this case. A compulsive bargain hunter might spend too much time searching for savings that he or she may actually waste time. And as we all know, time is money in this fast-paced world. I encourage you to read his article and the rest of his blog!
Like many of us trying to make a little revenue back from the knowledge that we share on our personal financial blogs, I have a few advertising links on this page, but hopefully they are not annoying enough to deter the real meaning of this website, which is to help educate young people about personal finance.
I am fairly picky about what advertisements that I choose to share on this website. So, I thought that I would talk about each one, because I truly do think that they add value to this website.
I do not know where these young people are, but they need to be knocked over the head with a frying pan. Pension plans are a thing of the past with big corporations. I am sure there are still some companies that offer them, but they are far and few between and declining as we speak.
If you are between the ages of 18 to 34 and you are in the working world, you need to be contributing to a 401k or IRA plan. You must control your own destiny when it comes to your retirement. If you start early, you WILL retire a millionaire. 40 years of compound interest is amazing. If you only saved $300 a month for 40 years, you will have a nest egg of $1,897,224. And that is being extremely conservative with your monthly saving!
By Erik Folgate
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.
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.