Tag Archives: Budgeting

How to Recover From Bankruptcy

Millions of individuals have filed for bankruptcy since its inception. This may come as a shock to many people who generally view bankruptcy as a state in which irresponsible individuals find themselves. Although bankruptcy occurs when someone is unable to pay their debts, there are a variety of circumstances and decisions which can bring about this unfortunate situation.

According to Investopedia, medical expenses, employment loss, excessive spending/misuse of credit cards, marital divorce, unforeseen financial emergencies, and more expenses than revenue are some of the most common factors which have prompted bankruptcy. In the best case scenarios, people would proactively take steps to avoid digging themselves into this hole, but the best scenario is not always the one which ends up playing out.

Thankfully, there is still hope and various ways in which people can recover and otherwise break free of the bondage that is bankruptcy.

Pinpoint Your Financial Habits Which Prompted Bankruptcy

Many great minds have stated that those who fail to learn from history and past mistakes are doomed to repeat them. This is especially applicable to financial habits and money-related decisions. As a matter of fact, U.S. News recommends people to evaluate their financial choices and pinpoint exactly what led them into bankruptcy. Someone who went bankrupt because of debts should actively seek out additional revenue streams. An individual who experienced bankruptcy due to an unforeseen emergency should be sure to habitually put aside funds in the event of unexpected expenses. Failure to prepare is, in essence, preparation for failure.

Make Payments with Cash or Debit ONLY

So many cases of bankruptcy can be traced back to people living way above their means and constantly swiping credit cards for things that they can’t afford. This type of reckless spending is extremely problematic and will certainly kill any potential for forthcoming financial gain and security. Therefore, making payments exclusively with cash or debit not only prevents excessive credit card use, but cash and debit payments furthermore motivate the individual to earn the necessary funds to cover their expenses.

Credit cards can be beneficial if the person exercises discipline and self-control. As a matter of fact, many companies have advised individuals who are recovering from bankruptcy to use credit cards. However, a person who still lacks the control to not swipe, swipe, swipe the card at every turn will probably do well to simply make cash or debit payments. After gaining some financial security and acumen, one can then look into applying for a credit card.

Relinquish Self Blame

Although taking responsibility for¬†one’s actions is paramount, so is not falling into the trap of negative self-talk. Bankruptcy is not fun, nor is it an easy state to be in; therefore, many people can eventually begin to feel perpetually discouraged. This feeling will not change bankruptcy, however, excessive self-blame does have the potential to distract from steps that the individual could take as they work to improve their financial health.

Remember…getting knocked down happens to all of us, but the decision to stay down is entirely different. There is always room for self-improvement. It all begins with you.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Advice for Immigrants

Many individuals who immigrate to various countries have experiences and journies which differ from natives. This is not to say that immigrants cannot be successful and prosperous; however, the playing field is somewhat different. Having the right information and the proper financial awareness always comes in handy. There have been countless immigrants who have been successful in their lives and endeavors after moving to new countries.

The following financial advice will furthermore ensure that more and more immigrants get to continue on the same path as those before them.

Be Open to Working Multiple Jobs

As documented by Mint Life, many people who emigrate to new countries may not be able to sufficiently meet their needs with one, singular day job. Thankfully, in this day and age, there are many options for people who are looking to diversify their income and revenue streams. In addition to working a day job, immigrants may also benefit from marketing their other skills within the freelance and gig economy. Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer are amazing and can be great for immigrants to supplement their income. Some people even become so proficient within the freelance market that they are able to quit their day jobs and work full time within the gig economy.

Do Not Spend More Money than You Actually Have

One of the most critical factors for success is economic security and prosperity; this is especially applicable to individuals who happen to be immigrants. Therefore, immigrants should proceed with extreme caution regarding credit cards or even borrowing money from institutions which will certainly expect a return on the borrowed funds (coupled with likely, subsequent interest fees).

The Luxe Strategist strongly recommends immigrants to live within their means and abstain from spending money which they do not currently have. This means that immigrants who are struggling financially should seek legal means of increasing their income and not apply for credit cards or borrow money from banks or agencies.

Always Keep a Watchful Eye Out for Opportunities

One of the greatest things about immigrating to a new country is the plethora of opportunities which come with hard work. Giving one’s best effort and getting the job done is always important; simultaneously, immigrants should also keep a watchful eye out for the opportunities which may be around them. Opportunities could manifest as a potential promotion at work, a new client within the gig economy, etc. The specific possibilities will vary for different immigrants, however, the opportunities are always out there.

A Final Word

Never underestimate the power and efficiency of hard work. There have been many immigrants who have worked their way up and created amazing lives for themselves and their families. Anything is possible with the determination to succeed combined with the will to put in the work. Moreover, immigrants will greatly benefit from working multiple jobs, living within their means, and always keeping an eye out for opportunities which may present themselves.

There will be good days and bad days. Never give up. Always keep pushing forward. When there’s a will, there’s a way.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Advice for Wealthy People

Wealth (officially defined as the abundance of valuable resources) can be earned and/or inherited. However, regardless of how one manages to secure wealth, if they neglect proper management and maintenance, the money is unlikely to last for very long. There are countless horror stories of people running through large sums of money in relatively brief time periods because they misused their resources and failed to maintain healthy income streams.

An art to money exists; there’s an art to earning wealth and an art to maintaining wealth. The implementation of various financial strategies moreover ensures that the production of valuable resources overpowers the consumption of valuable resources. This, in and of itself, is paramount knowledge for individuals who wish to maintain the wealth they’ve inherited or worked hard for.

Invest, Invest, Invest

According to Investopedia, some of the best investment options for wealthy people include stocks, bonds, and commercial real estate. Generally, stock market investments are considered to be riskier, due to the somewhat 50/50 odds of gaining or losing money. However, there are different strategies which people have to predict certain trends in the stock market and the wisdom in certain investments. Bonds are somewhat similar to stocks, but like the former, with the proper judgment calls, this form of investing can be quite lucrative and beneficial.

Commerical real estate investments come with many options. For instance, by purchasing various blocks of homes, the investor can then rent out rooms or apartments. Over time, the income from tenants will more than pay for the original price of the blocks. This is also a form of passive income, which is also critical for building and maintaining wealth.

Maintain Multiple Streams of Income

Hanson McClain affirms the importance of multiple income streams. By maintaining multiple streams of revenue, wealth is not only preserved, but also increased. No matter how much money someone has, there are still certain guaranteed expenses, such as the cost of living, bills, etc. Truly wealthy individuals have enough money to stop working and still live comfortably; yet, in a somewhat converse paradox, people with the foregoing levels of wealth usually continue working, or at the very least, they have passive streams of income which allow them to continue making money without trading time for profit.

Put Aside (at Least) 20% of Your Earnings

CNBC advises wealthy people to put aside at least 20% of earnings. Saving is always an excellent financial habit, regardless of one’s economic status, yet it is truly critical for wealthy people. Having an increasing amount of funds put aside in the event of emergencies or other unforeseen occurrences is always important.

Saving money furthermore promotes discipline and helps to counteract the temptation to spend, spend, spend. Remember: as one’s net worth, assets, opportunities, and bank accounts flourish, their savings should be following suit. Many wealthy people also have money in multiple places: savings accounts, on-hand cash in safe boxes, etc.

Nine times out of ten, having money stashed and saved in more than one location is advisable.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Advice for Married People

While many people are often given advice on how to manage their sole finances, the game somewhat changes after marriage. This change is not bad, but simply a reality of life. Therefore, learning how to manage, protect, and grow funds with one’s spouse can be invaluable. Every marriage is different and no two couples are exactly alike; nevertheless, the awareness and application of the forthcoming advice will certainly engender fruitful and properly managed finances.

Handle Money Both Separately and Together

When two people are married, the most common questions regarding money often pertain to bank accounts in one way or another. Chances are that both individuals maintained their own personal checkings and savings accounts prior to the marriage. After getting married, couples often wonder whether or not they should create a joint account or continue working with their current personal accounts. The correct and proper decision just so happens to be all of the above.

Marriage is a partnership. However, within said partnership, it is still important for both parties to feel as though they have an identity outside of one another. The Balance affirms that married couples should have a joint, shared account and then their own personal accounts. More often than not, the joint account can be used for expenses which both individuals in the marriage will incur. Examples of the previously mentioned expenses include (but are not limited to) rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, etc. The personal accounts which both spouses had outside of their marriage can now be used for individual expenses, such as going to the movies, dining out, shopping, etc.

Ensure that Both Parties are on the Same Page

Arguments over money are some of the leading causes of divorce and failures within marriages. In many instances, this problem can be counteracted prior to its inception; this happens via communication and ensuring that both spouses are on the same page regarding financial matters. Discussing financial goals, investments, accounts, and potential forthcoming purchases is extremely important in a marriage. Both parties should be absolutely clear on where money is going, how much money is leaving accounts, and how much money is coming in.

Moreover, both spouses should be comfortable with money and the associated feelings. Different individuals have different perceptions regarding monetary capital. Therefore, seeking out the services of a financial advisor may be a good idea if spouses are unable to come to similar terms regarding money, its management, or other associated issues.

Steer Clear of Debt

Maintaining joint and separate accounts whilst being on the same page regarding finances is all well and good. However, the benefits of the foregoing advice can quickly be counteracted if spouses fail to steer clear of debt. As the ultimate foe of financial prosperity, debt can wreak serious havoc on bank accounts and marriages.

This is why both spouses have the obligation to live within their means and be honest with one another and themselves. Sometimes, putting aside money and then paying for something in cash is a lot wiser than charging it to credit and then being unable to foot the bill when it comes due.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

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