Tag: Just For Fun

 

10 Quotes to Remember if You Want to Achieve Financial Freedom

Do you ever dream of spending your days doing what you want? Do you visualize spending your money how you please, without stress or worry?

Indeed, achieving financial freedom is a dream for many of us, but getting there can seem out of reach. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

If your goal is to achieve financial independence, you’ve got to start taking steps to achieve your goal – right now. Here are 10 quotes to inspire you. Take a look:

1. “Rich people believe ‘I create my life.’ Poor people believe ‘Life happens to me.’” — T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth

Financial freedom starts with having the right mindset to pursue wealth and all of your audacious goals. This quote reminds us that people who are rich have an active role in designing their dream life. They’re not passive players in the game of life or building wealth.

2. “Your assets are your employees. Invest more on those performing well. Let the non performers go.” ― Manoj Arora, From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom

Let your money work as hard as you do. Your assets include your hard-earned dough and you’ll want to invest that money in a place with high returns, like index funds. Don’t store all your cash in a savings account or in other assets that ultimately don’t serve your goal of financial freedom. Imagine you are the CEO of your money — your assets are your employees. Who should be fired? And who should be promoted?

3. “Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for.” ― Vicki Robin, Your Money or Your Life

Have you ever been at work and just wished you were at home with your kids or on the beach somewhere? The process of working and making money is something we trade for our life energy — energy that we want to use elsewhere. When we save money and pursue financial freedom, we can have some of our life energy back and choose to live life as we want, not as we have to.

4. “The secret to wealth is simple: Find a way to do more for others than anyone else does. Become more valuable. Do more. Give more. Be more. Serve more.” ― Tony Robbins, Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Pursuing financial freedom means breaking the status quo. You can no longer live in the ‘average’ but you have to go beyond. This quote reminds us that to build wealth and be successful we must give, serve, and be a cut above everyone else.

5. “Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.” — Margaret Bonnano

Money is an important part of financial freedom. But it’s simply a vehicle to pursue living your best life. You can always make more money but you can’t make more time. Knowing this distinction can help you build wealth in a way that frees up your time so you can be truly wealthy.

6. “To get rich, you have to be making money while you’re asleep.”  — David Bailey

I hate to break it to you but if you limit your money-earning abilities to eight hours a day, you’re not going to find financial freedom. In order to build wealth, you must make money when you’re sleeping. This means earning interest on your savings in a high-yield savings account. This means investing in retirement vehicles and the stock market. This means finding new passive income streams. The bottom line: figure out how to earn money ‘round the clock.

7. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” — Warren Buffett

There’s some level of risk with almost everything we do, especially when it comes to the stock market and your money. You might be afraid to invest because it’s risky. But, if you understand how the stock market works, you will have more confidence to pursue financial freedom.

8. “A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.” — Suze Orman

The ‘what ifs’ of life can plague your mind. What if I get sick? What if I lose my job? It can be paralyzing. Financial freedom offers the ultimate antidote to life’s worries: peace of mind.

9. “Financial freedom is freedom from fear.” — Robert Kiyosaki

Have you ever felt stifled or stuck because you were fearful? You were scared to quit your job because of money. You were afraid to move because you weren’t sure about the opportunities you’d have in a new place. Fear can consume us and keep us stagnant. Financial freedom helps alleviate those fears so we can pursue action.

10. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” —Seneca

When we think of people that are wealthy, we may think of people with nice houses and fancy cars. But that’s not necessarily what truly wealthy people look like. In fact, if we keep wanting more and more, we will be stuck in a limitless cycle that keeps us poor. But if we take an inventory of what we already have — and stay grateful — we can enjoy what we have and build a wealthy life around what is truly important.

 

Couples on FIRE: 3 Tips from 3 Millennial Couples on How to Achieve Early Retirement When Dating

Financial independence, or the ability to retire early and work when you want, is the latest craze in the finance world. But here’s the truth: if your partner isn’t on board with saving large percentages of your salary, then it’s nearly impossible to achieve this goal.

Here’s how Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) works. You save enough money to never have to work again. This can be done through a variety of tactics, like passive income or investments. But most people pursuing financial independence tend to have a few things in common: high savings rates, automated finances and optimized earnings.

Financial independence doesn’t happen overnight. For most people, it’s a process that takes years. That’s why it’s important for FIRE millennials to find a frugal money match. Take a look at 3 tips from 3 red hot millennial couples who are dating while handling FIRE.

#1: Know your individual financial goals

Here’s the deal—it’s hard to find your perfect money match if you’re unclear about your own money goals. This is especially true for people who are pursuing FIRE. The concept of early retirement is becoming more well-known, but it’s not the norm, and that’s why it’s important to clearly define and articulate your own money goals.

Years before 27-year-old Gwen Merz met her boyfriend Erik Tozier, she started working towards financial independence. For Merz, it was about personal freedom.

“Financial independence allows me to make decisions I wouldn’t otherwise have the luxury to make. I saved for five years and accumulated $200,000. That money allowed me to quit my job and move to Minneapolis to live with my boyfriend, and also allowed me to take a chance at becoming an entrepreneur,” says Merz.

For Stephanie Kibler, a 31-year-old living in Fairfax, Virginia, pursuing financial independence began as a way to become “rich” in the traditional sense—fancy cars, expensive clothes and big houses. Now, it means much more than that.

“The more I learned about money and financial independence, the more I realized that what I wanted was not so much the stuff that I thought rich people had. I wanted the freedom to buy things that brought value to my life without using debt to do it,” says Kibler.

“It’s not necessarily about buying anything fancy or expensive for me, but knowing that I can buy things that I want or need without relying on an employer or my next paycheck to supply that purchasing power,” she says.

#2: Be honest about your dating deal-breakers

Pursuing financial independence and early retirement is not for the faint of heart. It requires that both partners work together to make short-term sacrifices. Sometimes this means cutting expenses and earning more through additional hours at work. Because of this, most people who pursue financial independence have some sort of dating deal-breaker when it comes to a partner’s money habits.

“A large amount of consumer debt was a deal breaker,” says Merz.

“If they lived beyond their means and had a lot of debt from over-consumption, that would signal to me that we weren’t going to be compatible. I was prepared to deal with student loan debt as that’s at least necessary in some situations. I also looked at their attitude toward debt. If it was normal to have debt and they weren’t inspired to pay it down quickly, I knew we wouldn’t be compatible,” Merz says.

For some millennials pursuing FIRE, similar money beliefs are key when it comes to a romantic partner.

“If my girlfriend were a big spender, it would have made our relationship much more difficult,” says Cody Berman, a 22-year-old in Massachusetts.

“Given my inherent frugality, we would have surely ended up arguing about a purchase or spending decision,” says Berman.

For Kibler, it took personal experience to figure out her financial deal breaker before she met her husband, Grant Kibler.

“I once dated a guy who very literally didn’t believe that he would live to retirement age. He didn’t see the point in saving for retirement, but more importantly he was generally reckless with things like credit cards and health insurance…It ultimately did not make sense to date someone who couldn’t picture himself growing old—someone who believed that I would outlive him by several decades and wasn’t making financial plans for that.”

#3: Be comfortable growing together, not apart

When it comes to maintaining a successful long-term relationship, it’s crucial that you and your partner grow together. For couples pursuing FIRE, this often means growing jointly-held investments and savings. It also may mean growing together in terms of lifestyle dreams and goals.

Even if you and your partner begin the relationship with different money interests, it’s still important to find common ground.

“At first, I was a full-blown finance nerd. I am all about the numbers and could look at spreadsheets all day,” says Berman.

“My girlfriend, however, couldn’t care less about the math, tax hacks, or technical side of financial independence. She eventually got on board when she realized we could live a life of absolute freedom. She could pursue her dream projects and we could travel the world,” he says.

If you’re in a happy relationship, but your partner is reluctant to seek financial independence, Berman says that it’s important to “figure out what your partner wants and use that ‘want’ to pitch the FIRE lifestyle.”

Another way to ensure that you and your partner are growing together instead of apart is to plan finance dates. For Kibler and her husband, money dates are monthly occurrences where they discuss finances to help keep them on the same page.

“We sit down once a month at the kitchen table with my laptop. I show him our numbers, and we discuss what we’re going to do with our savings for the month,” says Kibler.

“We have a lot of little conversations about money throughout the month, but we don’t worry about it too much because the course is usually set during those monthly meetings. The little conversations throughout the month are course corrections, like piloting a plane, to keep us on the flight path we agreed to already.”

Bottom line

Pursuing FIRE requires a lot of dedication and planning, but for these couples, working together towards a shared goal of financial independence has made all the difference. Whether you’re single, married, dating or somewhere in between, talking about money with your other half is always a wise idea.

 

What Rappers Get Wrong About Money

Livin’ large, cavorting around town in fancy cars, and spending the Benjamins on hot chicks and flashy rags. Do rappers in general give the wrong message about moola? You bet.

Granted, these songs stem from personal experience, creative expression, and an individual perspective. And there are plenty of rap songs that give a nuanced look at money and what it represents to the artists. That being said, rappers oftentimes do give the wrong message on how wealth is built. They also tend to exude unrealistic money habits (note: cool money management apps are not included.)

Here are some songs that reveal what rappers get wrong about money, as well as some #truthbombs. Warning: song lyrics may be explicit.

“Money Bag” by Cardi B

What It Says About Money: To appear like a wealthy “money bag,” one must be driving Bentleys, Maybachs and Ferraris. To be blingy is to be wealthy.

#MoneyTruthBomb: Sure, you may look like a million bucks, but the truth is: you could be swimming in deep debt. And, depending on your values and life goals, true wealth is expressed differently. For some, this means having the option to take some time off work to see the world. Others may decide to live out of an RV. There are times when wealth simply means enjoying financial freedom, and not having to stress out about money.

At the end of the day, money is a tool – nothing more, nothing less. Like modest types like Warren Buffet and Dave Grohl, some real-deal money bags prefer not to flaunt it.

“1st of tha Month” by Bone Thugs and Harmony


What It Says About Money:  Now that you got paid, you should blow it on dope, booze, and other vices.

#MoneyTruthBomb: Waiting on your paycheck sucks. Whether it’s the first of the month or the 15th, we’ve all been there. You shouldn’t have to wait to get paid to treat yoself. In fact, if you’re a Chime bank member and set up direct deposit, you can get paid up to two days early.

To boot, spending it all on your vices is just plain irresponsible. A smarter way to spend on those guilty pleasures is to save for them. This way you won’t feel like you’re missing out on life too much while also keeping an eye toward the future.

“It’s All About the Benjamins” by Puff Daddy


What It Says About Money: We should aim to have massive wealth so we can achieve big baller status and flaunt our wealth. Wads of cash are to be spent on flashy rides, swimming in hot women, and donning five-carat diamond rings.

#MoneyTruthBomb: Blowing your cash and living entirely in the here and now will only lead to destitution. Before you know it, you’ll be in the poorhouse.

I consider this a half-truth. In my humble opinion, money is – in many ways – everything. It affects our physical and emotional well-being in profound ways. If kept unchecked, money woes can create stress and prevent you from living life to its fullest.

There’s nothing wrong with being money-hungry. By all means you should focus on building your wealth. But, it’s best not to blow it. Instead, practice a bit of prudence. While you should certainly enjoy life, you should save for the future, too.

“I Get Money” by 50 Cent


What It Says About Money: If you have a lot of money, you should try to spend all of it on the high life.

#MoneyTruthBomb: Instead of blowing your hard-earned money to appear rich, you’ll want to spend it in line with your values. You should also set some aside some cash for emergencies, and prioritize your other saving goals such as retirement, a house and your kids’ college fund.

“$ave Dat Money” by Lil Dicky


What It Says About Money: I thought I’d end things on a positive note and include a rap song that revealed a money truth. Granted, this is a tongue-in-cheek rap song that goes against the mainstream, but it makes a point to preach good money habits. Yes, save that money, don’t charge on credit and buy off-brand at Walgreens. Build your savings as soon as you can, and purchase your flights for travel well ahead of time.

#MoneyTruthBomb: Chances are that true wealth isn’t going to come from an unexpected windfall of cash or inheritance. If you want to enjoy high net worth, “slow and steady” wins the race. It’s those everyday habits that will help you build that stash of cash.

Keep It Real By Focusing on Developing Solid Habits

These rap songs may spread unrealistic ideas about financial habits and how to make money, but this doesn’t mean you have to live your life this way. Instead, try focusing on the nuts and bolts of financial wellness, such as understanding spending triggers and automating your savings. This will set you on the right path to a financially fit you.

 

How to Tell If Your Tinder Date Is Bad With Money

Confession: I’m attracted to men who know how to manage money. That’s right. My top priority is not a disarming smile or strong arms or even a robust income (although all those things sure do help). I want a man who has a personal budget in place and a few frugal hacks up his sleeve.

With that being said, it comes as no surprise that I’ve actively sought out frugal-minded romantic partners in the past. One of my boyfriends and I would even half-jokingly compete to see who was the savviest spender. Another one liked to carry around a steel water canteen so he didn’t have to spend money on the expensive bottled stuff. And, as a single woman, I occasionally linger around the clearance section of a grocery store to scope out any potential romantic partners.

So, when I’m on a date, I look for early telltale signs of whether a potential partner has his money situation under control or out of control. In my experience, here are 5 red flags that your Tinder date is bad with money. Keep in mind that these signs apply to men and women:

They live beyond their means.

FYI: I’ve never faulted anyone for running into a rough patch or experiencing lean times. But if someone is just plain irresponsible with money or spending beyond their means, well, that’s another story.

Figuring out if someone spends too much is a bit tricky. You can’t really tell if your date is bad with his money just because they have expensive hobbies, live in lavish digs, or wear designer clothes. There’s actually a good chance that, depending on the particular situation, they could afford these things and have a good handle on their expenses. On the other hand, if they are juggling two full-time jobs, and go on pricey weekend shopping binges after payday, this should sound the alarms.

They outright tell you they’re bad with money.

This might be something I run into more because I write about money for a living and openly express that I love budgeting and saving. And, because I broach the topic of money management (hopefully in a casual, non-intrusive way) on the first date or so, the guy sitting across from me might respond with the following: “Yea, I’m all about that and here’s what I do.” Or, “that’s something I really could use some help with.” He might also abruptly change the subject.

I feel that if someone says they are bad with money, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should run the other way. In fact, I think it’s a good sign when someone admits that they can use some help with managing finances. However, keep in mind that there may be some tough #realtalk about money to be had down the line.

They suggest a pricey place to dine, then can’t afford to pay for it.

Okay, this hasn’t happened to me personally, but I’ve heard stories about dates sneakily handing over the check to the other person as soon as the waiter turns around. Pretty tacky. If your date suggests a fancy place to dine and when the check arrives there’s an awkward silence and a reluctance to pay for it, they might not be able to afford it. Either that or they’re just plain stingy, which can be a whole different problem.

They aren’t cost conscious.

If your date doesn’t really pay attention to how much things cost, this can give you clues about their lifestyle. In my book, this just tells me that they don’t really know where their money is going. Also, if they tend to get sticker shock when paying for things on a date, this can mean they aren’t investing much time to comparison shop or research how much things cost.

They’ve never heard of popular budgeting apps.

Forgive me if this comes off as being judgy, but I feel that if a person wants to handle finances better, they should be familiar with at least some budgeting apps. And, if they don’t know what a budgeting app is, they either live under a rock or just don’t care about what’s going on with their money.

Spotting the signs now can spare you problems later

To be fair, there’s only so much you can size up about someone’s spending habits from a handful of selfies and a couple dates. It’s only when you start to seriously date someone that you begin to see the truth about how they manage their money. On the flipside, you can definitely keep an eye out for clues on the first few dates. Are you ready to look out for red flags in your early stages of courtship?

 

How to Budget for Love

I don’t care what hardcore romantics say. You can put a price on love. In fact, with more single people than ever in the U.S., singles are throwing down some serious dough in search of a soulmate — or just a suitable partner.

Let’s look at some numbers, shall we? For starters, dating services alone make up a $3 billion dollar industry. And according to a Match.com survey, the average single person in the U.S. spent $1,596 on dating in 2016.

As it may take you months —  or even years —  to find love, you may want to sock away some funds for dating. Take a look at 4 cost centers to factor into your “love” budget:

1. Dating Site Subscriptions

While there is no shortage of free dating apps — Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish for starters — you might consider signing up for a paid dating site. Those who pay for a dating service tend to be more serious about finding a partner, after all. Prices vary depending on the dating service and subscription you choose. Popular dating site eHarmony, for example, charges $39.95 a month for a three-month subscription. But, if you opt for a six-month subscription, it’s $29.95 a month, which works out to $180 for half a year.

If you have more cash than time to find love, you can link up with one of those elite matchmaking services, such as Kelleher International. These services, which oftentimes include coaching too, can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 (yes, count those zeros) a year.

2. Dates

Whether you grab drinks at a bar, partake in fancy dinners, or buy tickets to see one of your favorite bands, dates add up quickly. Unsurprisingly, according to the Match.com survey, men spent $1,855 a year on average, compared to $1,423 spent by women on dating. This includes everything from dating subscriptions, new outfits, entrance fees to clubs, and beautifying oneself.

While you can go splitsies, there will still be times when you’ll want to treat your date. And let’s not forget those expensive “let’s kiss and makeup” reconciliation steak dinners out (they do happen).

3. Weekend Getaways

When you’re dating, don’t forget about those impromptu weekend trips. While it depends on what you and your partners want to do, it’s safe to budget $1,000 a year or more on trips with your boo — based on my personal experiences. And, if you are in a long-distance relationship, you’ll need to factor in travel expenses to spend quality time with your significant other.

When I was dating more actively, my partners and I would go on trips at least several times a year. This easily added up to at least a thousand bucks a year in travel, which included long weekend getaways up the California Coast, friends’ weddings, or a short summer stay in other parts of the country. 

4. Special Occasions

According to the National Retail Federation, a person can spend about $136.47 on Valentine’s Day. So, it’s not surprising that you might want to budget for getaways and gifts for occasions like birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries.

Depending on your relationship dynamic, spending money on special occasions can be negotiable. One of my exes and I actually moved our anniversary celebration date so that it wouldn’t bump against a month that was super crowded with birthdays or major money-burning holidays like Christmas. This way we could allocate ample time and money to celebrate our anniversary.

Save for Love to Alleviate Stress

If you’re actively dating or plan to start the process soon, you can start to save up for these expenses by adding a bit of padding to your discretionary spending each month, or, better yet, start earmarking money into a dating fund. The search for romance is rarely easy, and expenses can quickly balloon. However, setting aside some funds for dating will alleviate some of the stress that comes with romantic courtship.

 

The Best Budget For You, Based on Your Personality Type

There are so many different options out there when it comes to budgeting your money. It can be overwhelming.

But, before you go crazy trying out each budgeting method, there’s one way that could save you time: Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment and learn how you can manage your money based on your personality type.

You may have heard of Myers-Brigg, the popular personality test primarily used in HR circles to see how employees manage their time, solve problems, make decisions and handle stress. It basically helps employers determine what makes an individual tick so that they can craft the best working environment for that person. One of my favorite things about this personality assessment is that there are no right or wrong answers. Instead, the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator offers up insights that can be applied to all areas of your life, including managing your finances.

The first step, of course, is to take the assessment. Then, armed with your results, you can delve into how to better budget based on your Myers-Briggs personality type. Read on to learn more about the various personality types and see where you fit in.

SENTINELS

ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ESFJ

Sentinels are generally viewed as hard-working and precise individuals. They thrive on having things organized and operating “according to plan.” Not surprisingly, when it comes to handling finances, Sentinels are typically seen as the responsible ones who tend to view money in a practical way. My personality fits into this category, but being a Sentinel doesn’t make me perfect. In fact, because I’m a Sentinel, I have found it challenging to deal with unexpected life events that might throw a wrench into my carefully calculated budget numbers.

Financial Recommendation: Make zero-based budgeting your BFF.

The zero-based budget is a great solution for the Sentinel personality type because it ensures that each and every dollar has a purpose which aligns with your priorities. It also helps to remove spending guilt by assigning your dollars to different sub-categories before they are spent.

When I used a zero-based budget, I found money in my budget every month to allocate toward specific goals such as building an emergency fund. One of the ways we built up our emergency fund quickly was by going on week-long spending fasts where we only spent on essentials like paying the mortgage and utilities. And let’s just say that this year, when Murphy visited twice in the form of home repairs and dental work, this Sentinel was prepared!

EXPLORERS

ISTP, ISFP, ESTP, ESFP

My husband fits into the Explorer category. He’s very resourceful and can think quick on his feet whenever there’s a problem that needs urgent attention. When it comes to spending money, he lives for the experience and loves being spontaneous. He works hard and feels he should have the freedom to enjoy his favorite hobbies and discover new ones.

Financial Recommendation: 50-30-20 budgeting for the win.

Using the 50-30-20 rule is likely be a good fit if you’re an Explorer because there are just three basic categories that tell you how much you can spend. Here’s the breakdown of this budgeting method:

  • 50% of your income should go to needs, AKA your “four walls” — rent, utilities, transportation, food.
  • 20% of your income should go to your money goals like saving, investing or crushing debt.
  • 30% of your income should go toward flexible spending.

You can always rearrange these percentages to make it work for you. In other words, if you’re an Explorer, you can find a cheaper place to live so that you spend less of your income on rent and more on fun things like travel. The key to being successful with this budgeting method is to be consistent and stay within the allocated percentages. This way, you know that you’re covering your expenses, saving money for the future and of course budgeting in some cash to have fun.

ANALYSTS

INTJ, INTP, ENTJ, ENTP

Analysts are strategic thinkers who thrive in technical fields and love finding innovative ways to solve problems. These personality types are typically pretty independent, imaginative, bold, and strong-willed. Analysts tend to get caught up looking at the big picture view and sometimes “analysis paralysis” may inhibit their ability to use a traditional budget.

Financial Recommendation: Embrace the reverse budget.

The reverse budget fits perfectly with this personality type because it allows you to play up your strengths and focus on big-picture goals to determine your spending priorities. Your first goal should be to pay yourself first before you do anything else. Trust me, if you try to save at the end of the month after you’ve paid bills and spent money on things like clothes, movies and eating out, there won’t be anything left to save. To get going, check out programs like Chime’s “Save When You Get Paid” feature. Once you sign up online, you can automatically direct 10% of every paycheck into your savings account when you get paid.

Now that you’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to put your monthly expenses on autopay. This way, you don’t have to worry about things like remembering due dates and incurring those late fees that eat away at your bank balance. After you’ve handled these, the rest of your budget can be allocated to treating yourself! It’s as simple as that!

DIPLOMATS

INFJ, INFP, ENFF, ENFP

Diplomats are idealists who are not typically motivated by money. If you fit into this group, it also means that you are typically warm and empathetic. You are someone who often makes decisions based on principles. You care a lot about the greater good and want to ensure that everyone gets along. You also love being altruistic and this can sometimes result in living and giving beyond your means.

Financial Recommendation: Go old school with cash envelopes.

Technically speaking, using cash envelopes isn’t really a budgeting technique but it is an excellent tool to stay on track with your spending. Cash envelopes can be especially helpful for Diplomats who tend to dislike working with numbers or complex spreadsheets. You can even consider a hybrid approach here. Start with automating your savings and bill payments, then place your remaining funds into cash envelopes for spending on groceries, eating out and of course, charitable giving.

Isn’t it great to know that there’s a budgeting style for every personality type? Now you can easily figure out the technique that works best for you and start making the best decisions to secure your financial future today!

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