Monthly Archives: June 2018

Financial Advice for Less Well-Off Individuals

Life is different for each and every person. People have different work lives, different families, and different situations. Some people make millions per year while others make thousands. Some individuals are able to independently support themselves which other may receive assistance from friends, relatives, or even the government. Despite the stereotypes and assumptions which are usually made regarding high-income people and low-income people, the great equalizer comes in the form of benefits of financial advice.

Granted, financial recommendations for someone who earns $100,000 annually will be different from a person who earns a yearly income of $10,000. Nevertheless, the following strategies and hints are great for less fortunate individuals.

Engage in Extremely Frugal Money Management

When funds are tight, frugality is absolutely paramount. While saving money can be difficult when funds are low, there are generally certain steps which can be taken to truly get the complete bang for one’s buck. KNS Financial has some excellent tips: first and foremost is seeking out banks which do not bill monthly fees or otherwise require customers to maintain a certain amount of funds within the account. There may also be certain banks which choose not to bill low-income customers with overdraft fees.

Another excellent way to stretch money is selling items which are in reasonable shape, yet not used very frequently. Some people do this by having yard sales, listing their items on Craigslist, or pawning them at applicable shops. Upon attaining these extra funds, putting them aside is a really proactive way of getting used to saving money.

Other simple, yet effective ways of frugally handling money include, but are not limited to, buying groceries on sale, walking (or carpooling), using utilities conservatively, and unplugging devices which are not being currently. This can truly add up and save money, especially when done habitually.

Look for Relatively Inexpensive Ways to Increase Income

While saving and being frugal with current funds is a great first step, it will only do so much for low-income people. The best thing that less fortunate people can do for themselves is increase their earnings. In 2018, there are a variety of available options, even for individuals who were recently laid off, currently in between jobs, or otherwise unemployed. The gig economy is a truly innovative and lucrative tool for people to take advantage of. Those who do not have computers or laptops in their home can go to the library and use the internet to create profiles on freelancing job boards such as Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr. Other options include driving for Lyft or Uber or renting out rooms on Airbnb.

A Final Word

At the end of the day, rising above poverty ultimately entails two life changes: decreasing expenses and increasing income. Ideally, doing both of these things simultaneously is the best course of action. Not only are lowered expenses and surging income a blueprint to escaping from poverty, but it also sets less fortunate people on the track to achieving wealth. Although Rome wasn’t built in a day, it did come into being with consistency and time.

The same dynamic applies to the aforementioned steps which will eventually engender the rise from financial hardship to financial prosperity.

 

By Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Earn Income as a College Student

Nine times out of ten, most young people decide to attend college after finishing high school. While this decision can be beneficial regarding success in various occupations, earning at least one source of income during one’s time in college is always an advantageous decision.

Earning income not only grants students the ability to have their own money but moreover breeds personal responsibility. However, there are certain jobs and opportunities which are best suited for students who must prioritize university and their studies. The ultimate key to succeeding as a college student entails recognizing the best opportunities and then knowing how to make the most of them.

Take Advantage of the Gig Economy

At this point in the world of work, the gig economy is the best friend of college students seeking to earn income without losing focus on their academic studies. There are countless opportunities for financial gain within the gig economy; many options are listed on The Penny Hoarder and include (but are definitely not limited to): selling schoolbooks, driving for Lyft or Uber (assuming that the student owns a car), selling class notes, tutoring other students, setting up accounts on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer, etc.

The flexibility and variety which inherently come along with the gig economy will also be quite helpful for young people in college. Jobs can be done during free time and will not interfere with students’ academic work assuming that they properly manage their time.

Of course, different opportunities in the gig economy will be better for different people. Students may have to experience mild degrees of trial-and-error until they discover the jobs which work for them.

Pursue Job Opportunities on Campus

One of the most obvious ways for college students to earn income is by seeking out job opportunities which are already available on their campuses. The majority of colleges and universities understand the importance of young people working and engaging in productive activities during times when they are not in class; moreover, working on campus may allow college students to dedicate a percentage of their earnings towards paying off student loans.

The ability to pay off student loans before graduating from university truly comes in handy; student loans have a way of insidiously piling up. Interest added on top of the aforementioned loans can make matters worst and be financially devastating. Virtually everyone is familiar with the horror stories which chronicle the years (or sometimes decades) which pass before people finally pay back what they owe to the government.

Look Into a Paid Internship

One of the upsides of attending college comes in the form of exposure to internships. Even though these opportunities generally last for relatively short time periods, paid internships are great for earning income and learning information in various fields. Furthermore, taking up an internship can (and often does) lead to additional business openings and even a successful career in the future.

Many college students wind up making invaluable connections and coming across inspirational mentors during their internships.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

Financial Advice for Senior Citizens

As people get older in age, they may believe that their acquired money habits will continue to serve them well. While decades of proper financial choices certainly have their merits, there are still particular strategies which senior citizens can benefit from.

Senior citizens will inevitably witness changes in their lifestyles, circumstances, and other factors; this is natural and to be expected. Therefore, proper preparation, acute awareness, and adherence to the forthcoming advice will prove helpful.

Manage Money Conservatively

According to U.S. News, one of the best financial habits for senior citizens is handling their money frugally. Since older adults have lived longer (and likely had exposure to more experiences), chances are that they’ve also accumulated more capital than their younger counterparts. However, with higher amounts of funds comes a greater need for protection.

Many older people may feel compelled to help those who are struggling, especially if they happen to be friends or relatives. While generosity can be great, moderation is paramount. Constantly dishing out funds or always paying someone’s way can backfire. Furthermore, older adults should be careful about loaning out money. Some experts recommend only loaning out funds which one can afford to lose; this is because many people who borrow money are not in the best financial state. Therefore, they may not be able to pay back the borrowed capital in a desirable amount of time…if ever.

It is absolutely imperative for senior citizens to wisely and conservatively manage their money. It will immensely pay off for them.

Shield Yourself from Fraud and Money Scams

Countless research has affirmed that scammers, grifters, and other dishonest individuals view older people as easier targets. This is partially attributed to the fact that these individuals may not be as savvy with technology. There are countless ways in which con artists attempt to steal money; being prepared and guarded is gravely paramount and always an effective safety precaution. Even older people who are never targeted will feel better by simply knowing that they’re covered.

U.S. News advised senior citizens to put certain alerts on their bank accounts, block certain phone numbers, and ensure that credit cards and debit cards are programmed with particular safety features.

Maintain Exceptional Mental Health

As people age chronologically, their bodies follow suit. Consequently, with natural aging comes an increased susceptibility to certain mental ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and the like. However, there are certain steps which can actively combat the likelihood of mental ailments among senior citizens. Regular physical activities, human interactions, and getting out of the house can work wonders.

Believe it or not, the state of one’s mental health greatly impacts their ability to make sound judgment calls, especially when finances are involved. There also exists a documented link between mental fitness and higher amounts of capital. Senior citizens who currently own stock shares, bonds, or otherwise invest in various entities will be particularly in need of exceptional mental capabilities.

A Final Word

Conservatively managing money, having safeguards against fraud, and maintaining exceptional mental health are excellent first steps for senior citizens as they strive to protect and manage the capital which they have earned over the course of their lives. However, some older people may also benefit from contracting the services of a business manager or financial advisor.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Advice for College Graduates

Graduating from college can be one of the most exciting milestones in any young person’s life. Hard work truly does pay off and depending upon one’s chosen occupation, college can open up many doors. However, an awareness of certain financial strategies can particularly come in handy for college graduates.

While the aforementioned graduates may have worked part-time jobs during their years of academia, there are still some critical points which they are unaware of, which is to be expected. Moreover, it’s worth noting that the game completely changes once students leave college and enter the real world.

This is why understanding and heeding the following tidbits of financial advice will prove to be extremely advantageous.

Pay off Student Loans ASAP

One of the most important steps for college graduates is paying off their student loans as soon as possible, as affirmed by Fidelity. While some grants and scholarships do provide full rides to university, most college students end up taking out loans. After graduating from college, the now former students are expected to pay back their loans. Moreover, there are usually interest rates which are added on top of remaining, unpaid loans after a certain period of time.

Virtually everyone has heard the nightmares of individuals who have taken decades (or a lifetime) to finally pay off their loans. Despite the necessity of loans (for most people) to attend college, they are still a form of debt and should be taken care of. College graduates can tackle their loans by getting part-time jobs, freelancing, or otherwise earning income to return the previously borrowed capital. Failure to do this can subsequently breed longterm and undesirable consequences.

Start Building an Emergency Fund

USA Today recommends that new college graduates immediately begin putting money into a savings fund. Between 5% and 10% of one’s regular payments are generally the advised amounts; not only does this built positive financial habits, but establishing a healthy emergency fund moreover ensures that one will have their bases covered in the event of unforeseen occurrences. It is better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. Proactive, preventive maintenance is always wiser than reactive damage control.

Do What You Love

Virtually everyone wants to do well in life and make money. However, a huge part of success is being passionate about one’s career or occupation. Now, there are some individuals who maintain that passion is overrated, but they’re wrong. Genuine passion is often a motivating factor; it’s the source which drives people to work hard, overcome obstacles, and keep pushing forward during times where others would have given up.

Sometimes, unearthing one’s passion can take awhile. Many people take certain classes for fun or try new hobbies. One of the best ways for college graduates to tap into their passions and interests are to consider acitivities they would partake in, even without being paid. While everyone has to make a living, the foregoing consideration can be quite eye-opening. Nine times out of ten, our passions are our callings. Once they have been recognized and identified, the process of building a career can commence.

 

By Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Advice for Teenagers

Financial freedom, financial security, and financial prowess are feats which some people spend decades working to achieve. Like most things in life, the earlier one begins to practice, the better off they will be. In the case of financial independence, teenagers who learn advantageous skills prior to adulthood are more likely to succeed than their unaware counterparts who have to learn via various mistakes.

Financial missteps can be quite costly; recovery can sometimes take anywhere from months to years to decades. This is why having helpful information and knowledge in one’s arsenal at a young age almost always serves people well and helps them to avoid falling into some of the most common financial pitfalls.

Open a Checking and Savings Account

One of the best ways for teenagers to become acclimated with money, finances, and managing funds is by opening a checking account and savings account; this can be done at a local bank or credit union, as cited by Midwestone. Not only will this help young people familiarize themselves with building up money in these accounts, but they will also have to exercise discipline. Avoiding overdraft fees, making ongoing deposits, learning how to use an ATM, putting money aside in a savings account (and leaving it there!) are skills which every teenager can benefit from. These are critical skills which young people will have to master and implement once they enter adulthood. The earlier they start, the better off they will be when it’s time to enter the real world.

Differentiate Between Needs and Wants

Everyone has needs and wants; this is applicable regardless of whether one is a teenager, full fledged adult, or senior citizen. However, the ability to differentiate between needs and wants is absolutely paramount to financial success. Rent, utilities, groceries, phone bills, etc are some of the things which fall into the category of needs. Eating out, shopping, going to the movies, traveling, etc are wants. Now, there is nothing wrong with having wants and desired experiences. They are a part of life; one of the greatest feelings in the world is being able to comfortably do as one pleases without having to stress over funds.

Nevertheless, there much always be a clear mental distinction between needs and wants. Moreover, teenagers should understand that they have the obligation to make sure their needs are covered and taken care of first and foremost. Once these matters are settled, they can then move on to addressing their wants.

Take the Process in Stride

At the end of the day, there are countless tips for teenagers who are seeking financial advice. However, similarly to opening a checking account/savings account and differientiating between wants and needs, taking the process in stride is also of great importance. Being as prepared as possible is great, but some things take time. Very few individuals will start off their adult life with a complete awareness of how to effectively manage money and make the best financial decisions. Nevertheless, following the steps mentioned throughout this piece will certainly prove to be beneficial.

Authored by: Gabrielle Seunagal