Tag: Wealthy Habits

 

7 Ways to Build Wealth in 10 Minutes or Less

What would you give up so that you’d never have to worry about your finances? Pumpkin spice lattes for life? Instagram for a month? 

Many of us hate thinking of money, let alone managing it. Yet, neglecting to make your finances a priority can lead to dire circumstances down the line. 

But, guess what? Quick, no-brainer ways to build your wealth do exist. Here are seven ways you can grow your money in 10 minutes or less: 

1. Check Your Bank Balance

This seems like a no-brainer. But, if you don’t know how much you have in the bank, you run the risk of spending more than you have. 

Just doing a quick check through a banking app each morning makes a big difference. This will help you figure out how much you can reasonably spend in a given day, whether you can afford to go out with friends, or if you’ve got enough available in cash to splurge on that pair of on-sale sneakers. 

2. Create a Money To-Do List

Perhaps you keep a to-do list for your daily tasks. Why not create one for your money? I have a running to-do list of financial housekeeping that I need to tend to. This sometimes includes: figuring out my “going out” budget for the week, making sure my bills will be paid on time, or determining if I need to close an account.

Because I freelance, I also need to take care of gig economy-related tasks, such as sending invoices, balancing the books in my accounting software, and setting aside money for taxes. I make a point to check off a few items at least once a week. If I don’t make the time to do this, things will just pile up. 

I know, it seems like a major snoozefest. But you could set a date with yourself, or see if any pals would be up for a short session – either in real life or virtual. It’s nerdy fun and keeps away the boredom. 

3. Work on Your Passive Income Project

Have a killer idea for selling shirts? Or maybe you’d like to launch a digital product, such as a course or series of books? Spend 10 minutes a day on your passive income project to figure out how you can turn your idea into cash.

I’m currently working on the first of a series of books, and I try to crank out a certain number of words each day.

If you’re having trouble giving some love to a passion project, consider incentivizing yourself. For each checkpoint you pass, treat yourself to something small. And once you’ve completed the project – besides giving yourself a high-five – offer yourself something that’s meaningful and rewarding to you. 

4. Negotiate Your Bills

Negotiating for a lower monthly bill, annual fee or subscription can net big wins over time. Let’s say you nix a $90 annual fee on a credit card. If you keep that card for five years, that’s a $450 savings. Or, if you shave $10 off your Internet bill each month, that’s $120 after 12 months. 

This usually takes 30 minutes max, and at the very least, the customer service rep will check to see what she can offer you. For instance, your current cell phone plan may offer up a promo you can hop on or existing discounts that you’re unaware of. 

If you get tripped up on what exactly to say to a customer service rep, start with the following script: 

Hello. I am calling today to see what deals or promotions you might have for X. I did some research and [competitor X] is offering Y, while competitor Y is offering Z. I’ve been a loyal customer in good standing for X years. Will you be able to match it? 

5. Pay Yourself First

You may have monthly bills and debt to pay off. But what about your own financial goals? Perhaps you want to save up to buy a house or fund a sabbatical to focus on a passion project. The immediate obligations that are screaming “me first” get in the way of longer-term stuff. 

So, try paying yourself first, which means putting aside some cash toward these important, meaningful goals. 

6. Automate Your Savings

Automating your savings and bills will make your financial life easier.

And, when it comes to automating your savings, try to start small. It doesn’t have to be a ginormous amount. Can you swing one dollar a day? Or maybe $10 a week? That adds up over time. Just think: You can put that extra cash toward an emergency fund or into another savings account.  

If you’re afraid that an overcharge will slide past you, set alerts. For example, I set email and text alerts each time a bill gets paid.

7. Round Up Your Transactions

For every purchase you make on your card, you can round up the transaction to the nearest dollar. Spend $3.50 on a latte? Round it up to four dollars, and save fifty cents. If you make 30 transactions over a week, that spare change can add up quickly. 

You can do this manually at days’ end, which should take a few minutes. Or if you’re a Chime Bank member, check out the Save When You Spend feature. 

Greater Wins In Less Time

The name of the game is to try to net larger wins with your money in short chunks of time. 

Making it a priority to build your wealth, and doing a little bit each day will organically lead to more money in the bank for you. Are you ready to grow your wealth in just 10 minutes a day?

 

Wealthy Habits I Learned From Being Low-Income

I grew up relatively poor. While I never felt deprived — there was always food on the table and we took the occasional summer trip to a local water park — the fact remains: For several years, we lived in subsidized housing in a Los Angeles suburb.

I received free lunches at school, my family collected cans for change, and we shopped at day-old bakeries. I wore hand-me-downs from older, well-to-do cousins and spent summers in the stacks at the local library. We eventually moved to a middle-class neighborhood when I was 12, but much of the “poor person” mentality stayed with me well into adulthood.

While it’s still a work in progress, I had to make some mindset changes to work toward a wealth-building mentality. Here are some “poor” habits and beliefs I learned to break:

Wealth is a look

When we learn that someone makes six-figures or that he drives a fancy car, we automatically think he’s rich.

But being wealthy isn’t about dining in the finest restaurants or appearing like you have money. For example, when a relative of mine started wearing luxury brands and bought a new set of wheels, it was easy to assume that this person had fallen into money. Yet, when you pull back the hood, you might discover that appearances can be deceiving. In fact, that person may be living well above his means, and have mounting credit card and student loan debt. I’ve even heard stories about folks who buy new cars but can’t afford to keep the lights on at home.

It’s important to understand that wealth is much more than appearances. It boils down to your net worth. It’s how much money you have sitting in the bank and invested. So even if you’re shopping at thrift stores, you might be discreetly wealthy.

To get started building wealth: See where you’re at money-wise. Track your spending, and determine how much cash is coming in. From there, figure out how much is going out each month. You’ll also want to see how much debt you owe, and how much you have sitting in the bank and invested in your retirement accounts. You can use a money-saving app or money management platform to see your entire financial picture.

Having money means you’re a bad person

I grew up believing that only greedy people had money. And if you had wealth, you were inherently shrewd, extremely calculating, or a downright cheat.

It took me a long time to understand that having money didn’t automatically make you a member of the “Bad Persons Club.” At the end of the day, moola is a tool, a resource. Nothing more, nothing less. It can help you live a comfortable life and do positive things.

To start building wealth: Understand that money doesn’t change who you are. It merely amplifies your current self. If you grew up with a “poor is the noble, honest” way mentality, it may take some time for you to become a more money-minded person.

You win at the money game by cutting coupons

My mom was the type to drive to three different supermarkets to save a buck on produce. She would also carefully scour her receipts and if she found even a 10 cent discrepancy, we would drive across town so she could contest the transaction.

I adopted a lot of these frugal habits until this hit me: You can only save so much, but your earning potential is unlimited. For instance: I didn’t really start to save until I job-hopped and was earning $10,000 more a year. Because I didn’t change my lifestyle or boost any expenses, I was able to ramp up my savings faster.

These days I still enjoy hunting around for a deal, but will only do so if it’s easy (like not spending on stupid bank fees) and worthwhile. Otherwise, I’m fine spending an extra buck if it saves me time or mental energy.

To start building wealth: Focus on your earning potential. Whether it’s continuing education, expanding your client base, or working toward getting a raise at work, learn how to grow your money.

You get rich overnight

We oftentimes hear stories of that athlete or singer who got discovered and amassed wealth in a short amount of time. It’s an alluring myth, and one that continues to pervade our culture.

That belief certainly extended to my family. I grew up thinking that to be rich, you had to earn a six-figure salary, get a huge promotion, or win the lottery. But growing your money requires know-how.

To start building wealth: Start small, and start today. The earlier you begin saving and investing, the more time you have for your money to grow. For starters, you can automate your savings. Challenge yourself to saving five dollars a week, or $25 a month. The important thing is to get into the habit.

Exchanging time for money

I was also taught that you need to exchange time for money. If you’re not working 40-plus hours a week, you’re lazy. Along the same lines, to be busy means you’re making money. What’s more, I grew up thinking you should stick to your day job, where you’ll get small, incremental raises each year.

I now know that you can grow your money by finding ways to pull in passive income. This can mean creating a digital product, or earning royalties from content you create.

To start building wealth: Put on your creativity cap and think of ways you can make money in your sleep. See how you can earn more for the same amount of work.

Income is a stat, wealth is a habit

When you change your beliefs, mindset and habits, your money situation will begin to change as well.

This may be corny but it’s true: A basic understanding of what true wealth is, combined with a shift in your money mindset, will help you tap into your true financial potential. Are you ready to shed some false money beliefs and adopt positive financial habits?

 

How to Learn to Be Rich: Tips from Ramit Sethi

We hear the same rules of personal finance again and again. Save up three to six months of expenses into an emergency fund. Pay off “bad” or “high-interest debt” first. Make more money.

It’s one thing to know what your finances should look like. It’s another thing to know what steps to take to achieve your money goals.

For this knowledge, we looked to personal finance guru Ramit Sethi for golden nuggets of wisdom. When Sethi wrote his New York Times bestseller I Will Teach You to Be Rich in 2009, it was during the height of the Great Recession. The general population sorely needed a fresh look on money. Here’s some happy news: A fresh, updated edition of this book was recently released. Sethi provides an easy-to-read, relatable primer on basic money management. He also offers insight on how to grow your wealth.

We delved into the updated version to offer up five of Sethi’s top tips. Take a look.

1. Avoid bank fees like the plague

Your bank shouldn’t be putting you in the poorhouse. Instead, your bank should help you save money. But according to FDIC data, big banks collected $11.45 billion in overdraft and non-sufficient fees in 2017. The truth hurts: Most banks charge $35 per overdraft fee.

Sethi says he is “fanatical” about having a bank account that doesn’t charge fees of any kind — no monthly maintenance fees, setup fees, or overdraft fees. And I’m 100 percent with him. Like Sethi, I also avoid banks with fees. If you’re a Chime member, you too can rest assured that you won’t be charged fees of any sort.

2. Automate your money flow

Sethi talks about how important it is to set up what he calls an Automatic Money Flow. This is when you link up all your accounts, and then set up automatic transfers on certain days. You can schedule transfers for both payments and savings. And, ideally you should try to sync up your bills with the days you get paid.

For freelancers and gig economy workers, Sethi recommends saving during your flush months, and spending from your savings when you’re having a lean month.

You can think of it as water running through different systems in your “money house” to keep everything running smoothly. What’s more, this system will help you save a reserve of money and have some cash set aside for your goals. Yes, it requires some thought and setup work, but after that, all you have to do is monitor your accounts every so often, and make tweaks as needed.

3. Set up auto-savings

Throughout the book, Sethi talks about different ways you can automate your savings. For instance, you can set up an auto transfer directly from your paycheck into a 401(k) account. Or automate your investments. And of course, you’ll want to automate your savings for big money goals. If you’re a Chime member, the Save When I Get Paid feature allows you to save a percentage of every paycheck.

4. Know your why

Another takeway from Sethi’s book is not to live in a spreadsheet. In other words, don’t get too caught up in the numbers as it’s important to remember why you’re managing your money in the first place. He calls it “street-level motivation.” For example, how can your money management skills help you live a richer, more fulfilled life based on your own vision? Do you want to afford a massage every so often, or maybe take a ride share instead of the bus? Make a note of your “why.”

5. Start small

Taking small steps toward reaching your financial goals will pave the way toward major in-roads. As Sethi points out, it’s far more important to take small steps today than wade through an exhaustive litany of literature out of fear of making the wrong choice. I get it. In this day and age, we’re faced with more options than ever — from which bank is best for you to which money-saving app to use.

Keep it simple

Sethi’s book outlines ways to set up a money system designed to help you live a richer life defined by your values, preferences and goals. At the end of the day, once you set yourself up, you’ll spend as little time and energy thinking about your money as possible.

 

Reset Your Money Habits With a Spending Cleanse

Bad habits have a way of creeping into your life when you’re not paying attention. Maybe you have a screen addiction that you just can’t quit, or you have a habit of procrastinating that leaves you scrambling all the time.

Or maybe you have spending habits that leave your bank account in bad shape at the end of each month. Whereas fixing bad financial habits can take focus and willpower, sometimes you need to take a more extreme approach. This is where a spending cleanse comes into play.

A spending cleanse is designed to help you get a handle on your spending habits. During your spending cleanse you’ll set a period of time when you give yourself a spending limit or curb your spending altogether. It can last for any amount of time and you can decide your spending rules. For example, you might decide to stop eating out during your cleanse. Or you may decide to completely forgo all unnecessary spending. While you’re at it, you’ll become more aware of your spending habits and where you currently spend too much. As a bonus, you’ll probably save money.

If you’re ready to save extra cash and kick your bad financial habits to the curb, here are six steps to set you up for success. Take a look:

1. Decide why you want to cleanse

A spending cleanse is going to be difficult. But a great way to keep you motivated is to remind yourself why you’re doing it. Maybe you want to escape the paycheck to paycheck cycle and start building up your savings. Or, maybe you want to finally understand where your money is disappearing to each month. If you can get clear on why you want to cleanse, you can more readily stay the course.

2. Set a length of time

Next, it’s time to decide how long you want your cleanse to last. Ideally, it will last at least a few days. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try a few weeks or a full month. Choose the length and the timing that works for you. Don’t plan to start this cleanse when it’s going to be really hard to complete. You’ll want to steer clear of any obligations that you’ve already committed to like travel or attending a wedding. For example, if you’re going on a weekend trip, that’s clearly not the right time to stop spending money.

Take out your calendar, pick your start and end dates, and set yourself up for success.

3. What are you giving up?

You can choose what you want to give up during your spending cleanse. You may decide that you really want to get your eating out habit under control, so you’ll stop dining out. Maybe you want to ditch your car and taxis and ride your bike for the entire cleanse. Or, you may want to go all in and only spend money on things that you truly need, like food, transportation to work, and your bills.

Whatever you choose, set rules for yourself. If you’ve decided to only spend money on the things you truly need, make sure you define what that looks like. For example, you need to eat so spending on groceries counts as a need. But buying lunch out? You may want to skip that.

4. Spend cash only

Once you’ve set your cleanse timeline and decided what you can and can’t spend money on, you’re ready to dive in! A good tip here: Use cash. Why? Spending money is easier to do when you’re just swiping your card and studies show that people spend more when using a credit card. Because you’re trying to be more aware of your money habits, using cash will help you be even more in tune with your spending during the cleanse.

So, head to the ATM, pull out some cash, and get started.

5. Track what you spend…and what you don’t spend

Tracking your spending will help you see exactly how much you spend on things like gas, groceries, and non-essential things. You may realize that some of your small expenses really add up over time.

For example, if you’re pulling out a sandwich you’ve packed for lunch when you’d usually spend seven dollars at the deli down the street, make a note of that. If your friend asks you to meet for drinks but you suggest a hike instead, write that down. These are all instances where you could be spending money, but you’re not. Once your cleanse is over, you may find that it’s easy to stay with these alternatives rather than go back to your old ways.

6. Pay attention to how you feel

As you stop spending money, pay attention to whether you really miss the things that you’ve cut out. How do you feel about making coffee at home rather than stopping for your daily lattes? Does it make you feel good to sock away extra money towards bigger things, like a vacation, paying off debt, or funding your emergency savings?

Decide what to add back in

Congratulations! You’ve just made it through your spending cleanse. But don’t rush right back to your old habits just yet.

Now that you’re more aware of your spending habits, it’s time to determine how you can continue saving money.

Maybe you’ve kicked your coffee habit and you have no intention of going back to dropping $25 a week at Starbucks. Or, maybe taking the bus instead of an Uber really isn’t so bad. Remember: The goal of a spending cleanse is to help you make some long-term changes. So, maybe it’s time to break up with your bad financial habits for once and for all!

 

6 Habits That Could Help You Get Wealthy, According to Psychologists

Research has shown that 40% of our daily behaviors are habitual. In other words, if you control your habits, you’ll have more control of your life.

When it comes to our finances, however, it’s easier said than done: Saving money requires overcoming millions of years of evolution.

“Our human brain is not wired for good long-term financial decisions,” explains Dan Pallesen, a clinical psychologist and financial advisor who is chief of investor behavior at Keystone Wealth Partners.

“We are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain in the present,” says Pallesen.

Translation? If you want to build wealth — and stem the tide of Amazon Prime boxes arriving on your doorstep — you’ll need to combat your inner human.

Here are six psychology-based wealthy habits that work with (and around) your complex brain.

1. Determine Your “Why”

Before you can create wealth, you need to figure out why it matters to you.

Do you yearn to be debt-free so you’ll never get another collection call? Do you want to earn enough to go on a tropical vacation each year? Do you hope to retire early to spend more time with family?

“People whose financial goals align with their vision for their lives are so much more successful in achieving those goals than people who just try to build wealth for the sake of building wealth,” says Pallesen.

Before going any further, take out a piece of paper and write down your goals, dreams, and vision for the future. If you live with a partner, include that person in this exercise, too. By naming your “why” — and giving your money a positive purpose — Pallesen says you’ll be less likely to experience burnout on your path to financial prosperity.

2. Picture Your Goals

Remember posting photos in your locker of places you hoped to go, celebrities you wanted to date, and clothes you wish you owned? It turns out your high-school self was onto something: Literally picturing your goals can be extremely motivational.

So think back to the previous step, and surround yourself with visual aides that depict your goals and vision. We’re talking magazine clippings, inspirational quotes, postcards, and maybe even a Statue of Liberty snow globe that serves as a physical reminder of your dream of moving to NYC.

“It may sound gimmicky but you are actually training your brain to consider the big picture rather than focusing on the moment,” says Pallesen.

If you’d like to take a Caribbean cruise, for example, he recommends “taping a picture of a beautiful cruise ship in bright blue water on your bathroom mirror.” That, he says, “will be a continual reminder of what you are working towards.”

3. Prioritize the Future

Buying a flashy new watch. Upgrading your car when your old one still runs. Going out for lunch every single day. While these activities may feel good in the moment, they’re not doing you any favors in the long run.

Which is why psychologist Tamar Blank says that, before making any purchase, you should get in the habit of asking yourself if it aligns with your long-term goals.

“Every dollar spent should be an investment in yourself. One must make a conscious decision to prioritize long-term goals over instant gratification,” says Blank.

She calls this conscientiousness a “core characteristic” of people who build wealth.

Or, as Jennifer Thomas, a psychologist and co-author of “When Sorry Isn’t Enough,” puts it: “Wealthy families don’t go to Disney World now — short-term goal — and hope to start saving later. They live according to their long-term priorities and save a little bit all along the way.”

4. Pay Yourself First

Although consciously prioritizing long-term goals is important, this is difficult to put into action.

So, to sidestep your brain’s natural proclivity toward the present moment, experts say you should “pay yourself first.” This well-known financial concept involves automatically funneling money into your investment and savings accounts before giving yourself the chance to spend it.

Thomas suggests automatically transferring money from your checking account – each week, paycheck, or month – into your retirement and 529 plans. Wealthy families, she explains, “automate the process so it’s painless and they can’t mess it up.”

Pallesen, who supports this approach, also suggests automating when you get a raise.

“If you are suddenly making $200 more per paycheck, it is such a good practice to automatically have that $200 go into your retirement account and keep your lifestyle the same,” he says.

Otherwise, he warns, you’ll end up spending that money, and, ultimately, reverting “to the same level of satisfaction you had in your life” before what he calls “the hedonic treadmill.”

5. Name Your Savings Accounts

To make it a little easier to direct money toward your savings accounts, Pallesen suggests giving them aspirational names, like “Our Dream Beach House” or “Little Claire’s Education.”

“We are not naturally wired to save for the long run,” he says.

“Our brain loves immediate pleasure. But when you name an account, you are placing an emotional value on it and you are more likely to follow through in funding it.”

If your 529 account is named after your child, for example, Pallesen says putting money in it will feel good, because you’re “activating your feeling of love for your child through saving.”

Blank agrees. She says that thinking of who you’re supporting with your money can help you overcome your desire for instant gratification.

“Parental instincts and protective instincts are very strong, and can lead an individual to put their desires and even needs before those of others,” says Blank.

6. Create Accountability

Everything is easier with a buddy — so don’t be afraid to share your financial goals with the people around you.

“We are so much more likely to achieve our goals when we know that other people are aware of them. The thought of someone knowing whether or not you are achieving your goals is incredibly motivating,” says Pallesen.

While friends are a great start, you can consider enlisting professional help, too. Just like a personal trainer, a financial planner can provide education, motivation, and accountability for your goals. Or, if you’d prefer a free and tech-forward approach, try an app like StickK or a virtual financial coach like Charlie.

Wealthy Habits Build Wealth

Humans didn’t evolve to care about 401(k)s, compound interest and 45-year investment timelines. We evolved to care about today.

So, rather than getting upset about your lack of self-control or weak willpower, accept the fact that you’re human — and the fact that, to get rich, you’ve got to make your brain do things it doesn’t really want to do.

By sticking to the six tips offered here, you will hopefully build wealth and achieve your financial goals. Are you ready to give it a try?

 

How to Save Money on a Nurse’s Salary

Nurses perform a valuable service in hospitals, doctor’s offices, schools and other places where on-site medical care is needed.

Being a nurse often means long hours in a high stress job. In return, registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $71,730, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That sounds good, right? After all, it’s more than the median household income of $61,372.

But, there’s more to the story. Namely, 76% of nurses owe undergraduate student loans, while 69% owe graduate school loans. Among nurses who attended graduate school and used loans to finance their education, the majority owe between $40,000 and $54,999.

When you couple this student debt with other bills that go along with a nurse’s daily life, saving money can be a struggle.

So, in honor of National Nurses Day, we’ve put together a how-to guide to saving more money on a nurse’s salary. Take a look.

Set up direct deposit into a savings account

Your employer might offer direct deposit for your paycheck, which is great for convenience. But if you’re dumping all your money into your checking account, consider funneling some of that into a separate savings account each payday.

“Savings accounts are good for nurses because unexpected expenses can really obstruct financial plans,” says Sandy Griffin, a licensed practical nurse and quality assurance coordinator at Hospice of South Louisiana.

“Money set aside in a savings account can cover these expenses, plus provide for your future,” she says.

Griffin says saving money in a retirement account through your job is also a no-brainer. At the very least, you should be contributing enough to get the company match. Otherwise, you could miss out on free money. That’s a mistake 25% of workers make.

Pro tip: Setting up direct deposit into your savings account can keep you on track so you don’t spend the money right away. To determine how much to save, go over your monthly expenses to see if there’s anything you can trim down. Also, pick a set percentage or dollar amount you’d like to save regularly. It doesn’t have to be much to start. The key is to commit to saving consistently.

Be savvy about shopping for nursing supplies

As a nurse, there are certain things you need. Scrubs and quality footwear, for instance, can be big out of pocket costs if your employer doesn’t offer any reimbursement.

Griffin offers some tips for saving money on these items:

  • Comparison shop to find the best prices
  • Wait for sales to buy
  • Buy in bulk as much as possible

You can also look for coupons and promo codes online through sites like RetailMeNot and Coupons.com. Using a cash rewards credit card to pay for uniforms can also save you money. The trick is to pay your balance in full to avoid interest charges.

Ben Huber, BSN, RN and co-founder of finance blog DollarSprout, says you should plan for these costs and save throughout the year.

“Employers generally won’t provide a subsidy or stipend for uniforms or other healthcare-related clothing,” Huber says.

Pro tip: If you’re going through a pair of scrubs and/or shoes every few months, “it may be wise to consider stashing away a few hundred dollars each year in a fund specifically for uniform replacement.”

Meal plan on the job (and off)

When you’re working crazy hours as a nurse, fitting in regular meal breaks isn’t always easy. Huber says it’s tempting to hit the vending machines when you get a craving, especially if you work in a high-stress environment. He has a simple solution for curbing impulse eating while you’re at work.

“Sit down for meals prior to coming on shift and pre-pack the meals you plan to eat,” Huber says.

Pro tip: You can save more money by planning out meals and snacks for the week or the month. Base your meals around what’s on sale each week at the grocery store. Shop with a list and stick to it. And consider using money-saving apps like Ibotta to earn cash back on your supermarket trips.

Consider whether grad school is worth the investment

Getting an advanced degree can mean landing a job with a higher salary, which can help you save more money. The downside is that it can mean more student loans, so you need to weigh the financial pros and cons first.

“If you’re a nurse considering an advanced degree, think about the specific ways higher education will actually pad your pockets,” Huber says.

“Aimlessly pursuing a BSN, MSN or other advanced nursing degree is the recipe for a lot of debt without the potential payday down the road to justify the expense.”

Before you make a decision on grad school, spend time researching median nursing salaries in your state. Then, consider how you’ll pay for a degree.

Pro tip: Ask if your employer offers tuition reimbursement or student loan forgiveness as this can really help.

Start a side hustle to save more money

A side hustle can boost your income, giving you more money to save. And it’s an alternative to piling up more student loan debt if you’re considering going back to school to earn an advanced nursing degree.

“Starting a business takes less discipline than nursing school,” says David Sanchez, a registered nurse who runs two side businesses. But, he says, running a side gig requires more passion, personal sacrifice and willingness to take risks.

If you’re thinking about launching a side hustle to supplement your nursing salary, first ask yourself how much time you can put into it. You may only be able to dedicate a few hours a week if you’re working long rotations.

Then, brainstorm ideas for things you can do in your spare time to make extra money. For example, if you’re a good writer you can try freelancing for medical blogs or websites. Or you might want to do something that’s not nursing-related, like dog-sitting or selling on Etsy.

Pro tip: Pick something you can make time for, something you’ll enjoy and something that will help you earn more money.

You can indeed save money on a nurse’s salary

If you’re a nurse, finding ways to save money can be challenging but it’s not impossible.

These tips can give you a good starting place to help you increase your savings. Are you ready to give saving more money a try?

 

4 ‘Rich Habits’ Millennials Should Start Developing Now

Want to be rich? Like really rich?

Rather than scheming about winning the lottery, or getting paid to invent the next Candy Crush, you might want to take a look at the things you do every single day. Why? Since your habits are the foundation for all your actions, changing them is usually more effective than hoping for a single lucky strike.

Tom Corley would know. He spent five years studying the habits of hundreds of Americans, whom he separated into two groups: the “rich,” who had annual gross incomes of more than $160,000 and net liquid assets of $3.2 million or more, and the “poor,” who earned less than $35,000 and had a maximum of $5,000 in liquid assets.

Based on his discoveries — and the striking differences between each group’s daily activities — Corley wrote a book called “Rich Habits.” Since it was published nearly a decade ago, I caught up with Corley to ask which habits were most important for millennials today. Here are the four he chose.

1. Create Blueprints for Your Life

The most important habit, says Corley, is to begin “dream setting.” (Think: goal setting, except that dreams come first.)

Here’s how to get started:

  • Create a script: Decide what you want your life to look like in five, 10, 20 years. Picture every detail, including your job, salary, partner, house, and lifestyle. Then write it all out — Corley recommends your script be at least 1,000 words.
  • Make a list: From that script, pull each specific dream into a bulleted list. For example, your bullets might be: Earn $100,000 per year, take an annual trip to Hawaii, live in a four-bedroom house on a corner lot. “Each dream is like a rung on the ladder,” says Corley. “When you reach the top… that is the moment you are living the life of your dreams.”
  • Set your goals: For each dream, list the goals that will get you there. If your dream is to live in a four-bedroom house, your goals might be to: 1) Pay off your credit card debt within the next six months, 2) Begin saving $300 per month for a down payment, 3) Improve your credit scores, and 4) Hire a trustworthy real estate agent. Ask yourself if you possess the skills and knowledge to accomplish each goal; if not, determine how you’ll acquire them.

“The components of your life’s blueprint are all of the things that make a perfect life,” Corley explains.

“Your goals are your construction team. You need to define all of the goals that will make all of your dreams become a reality.”

By dream setting early and often, you’ll understand which goals you should be pursuing — and which roadblocks may stand in your way.

2. Devote 30 Minutes a Day to Learning

When was the last time you read a book? Or took a course? If you’re like most millennials, you probably spend more time with your face in Facebook than real books.

Corley says this is a mistake. He told Kiplinger that 96% of self-made millionaires read 30 minutes each day for education, career, or self-improvement. He also found that, while 77% of poor people spent an hour or more watching TV each day, only 33% of rich people did.

“The successful see time as the most valuable asset they possess,” says Corley.

“They are continuously engaged in some constructive project to increase their skill sets, promote their business or careers, keep their minds sharp, or expand their knowledge…The wealthy invest their time; the poor spend it on wasteful activities.”

So, instead of scrolling through social media or bingeing on Netflix, pick up a book from your local library. Listen to an educational podcast on your way to work. Attend a workshop where you’ll learn skills relevant to your career. Be like the wealthy, and invest your time in educational activities that will pay off down the road.

3. Exercise Every Day

Though exercising might seem irrelevant to gaining wealth, Corley says it’s one of the most fundamental habits for millennials to develop.

Besides the obvious physical benefits of exercise, he cites a range of reasons it could help you get rich. Specifically, Corley says exercise can:

  • Improve mental function by flooding the bloodstream with oxygen.
  • Reduce stress, as well as combat its negative effects (like a weakened immune system).
  • Increase the volume of nerve tissue in the hippocampus, improving your ability to remember and learn.
  • Elevate your testosterone level — and therefore your confidence — prompting you to pursue new and challenging opportunities.
  • Boost willpower and self-control, enabling you to make good decisions and avoid bad habits that can wreck your finances and life.

To turn exercise into a habit, you’ll need to find a regimen that appeals to you. Instead of forcing yourself to run, give yourself the freedom to try a range of options, from yoga to Zumba to Crossfit to basketball. When you make an exercise habit fun, it becomes much easier to maintain.

“Rid yourself of your demons by exercising every day. You and everyone around you will be better off for it,” says Corley.

4. Experiment With New Activities

Corley recommends experimenting with a new activity or skill every six months.

Maybe you try coding. Maybe you volunteer as a tutor for homeless youth. Maybe you take piano lessons. Whatever it is, Corley promises that, “Through experimentation, you will stumble upon something that makes your heart sing — something you will want to devote the rest of your life.”

He believes we all have innate talents that set us apart from everyone else, but that you can only discover them by veering off the typical career paths. When you finally uncover your “main purpose,” as Corley calls it, he says it’ll be easier to excel at your work (and thereby reap the financial benefits that accompany excellence).

Three Mistakes Millennials Should Avoid

In addition to building rich habits, Corley says it’s important for millennials to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Multi-tasking: Do you check your email or phone every few minutes while you’re working? Corley views these constant distractions as detrimental to the success of many millennials. To stay focused (and crush the tasks on your plate) he recommends putting your phone in do-not-disturb mode and closing your email for a two-hour chunks during the workday.
  • Allowing lifestyle creep: When you start earning more, that doesn’t mean you need to spend more. Corley told Kiplinger one of the biggest mistakes people make is increasing their standard of living to match their income. “You don’t want to supersize your life just because you’re making more money,” he said. “Stuff doesn’t make you happy.”
  • Not saving enough: In lieu of spending more, strive to save more. In Corley’s study, 95% of the wealthy people saved at least 20% of their net income each year — a practice they started “long before they became rich.” (Chime’s automatic savings feature can help.)

If you’re feeling discouraged by all the rules and advice, don’t despair. The good news, according to Corley, is that “never in the history of civilization has there been so much opportunity to become rich and successful.”

By making intentional life choices and developing these basic habits, you’ll hopefully find a way to become rich — or, at the very least, to have more money. Because, even if you feel like you’re getting a late start, now is better than never.

As Corley says: “It’s only too late when you are six feet under.”

 

Women and Money: Financial Wellness Advice From Women

In March, we celebrated Women’s History Month and now that it’s April, we’re bringing awareness to Financial Literacy Month.

We wanted to celebrate both occasions by gathering the best money tips from a cross-section of women — from successful female entrepreneurs to women working in male-dominated industries

Here are 6 women who offered up their best tips on women and money, women-owned businesses and more. Take a look.

1. Sandi Knight, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for HealthMarkets

Sandi Knight knows how important protecting yourself is. As the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for HealthMarkets, an insurance marketplace, she works to help consumers get the health coverage they need.

“I think it is important that women start young in their careers understanding finances, the need for insurance and what creates wealth – and on the opposite end, debt. Insurance, especially life insurance, is critical if they have young children and even more so if they are single parents. If something were to happen to them, how would their children be taken care of?” says Knight.

Knowing the type of coverage you need in terms of life insurance, disability insurance and more can protect you from the unthinkable. While many of us don’t want to think anything will happen to us, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Mira Violet, CEO of digital agency Amethyst Design

Mira Violet is the CEO of digital agency Amethyst Design. The agency helps companies with SEO, web design and more. As a woman owned business, she is all about getting paid what you’re worth.

Many women are underpaid with the gender pay gap and it’s key to boost your pay, says Violet.

“Make sure you’re being paid fairly. Ask male co-workers in the same position and experience level what they’re being paid. Look at sites like GlassDoor to compare your income to others in your job position. The culture of not talking about our finances only serves those who seek to underpay and undervalue us,” she says.

So, it’s key to talk to your colleagues about pay. Look up salaries in your area and compare what you’re earning. At the right time, negotiate your pay so that you get paid what you deserve.

3. Deborah Sweeney, CEO at MyCorporation.com

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, a company that helps other businesses form an LLC or corporation. Her top women and money tip for female owned businesses is to know just how you will fund your business. Funding is the bloodline of any business and you want to be clear how you will get your money.

“Starting a business is not easy, especially if you don’t have the funds,” says Sweeney.

According to Sweeney, here are seven ways women can access funding:

1.   Angel investors

2.   Pitch your business idea to venture capitalists

3.   Apply for grants with the Small Business Administration

4.   Crowdfunding

5.   Donations from friends and family

6.   Open several credit cards and increase the limits on each one. (Remember, you’ll have to pay everything back, plus interest)

7.   Ask your bank for a business loan. (Most business loan applications get rejected. You’ll need to have a high credit score to increase your chances of acceptance. Also, you’ll need a detailed business loan plan. You need to give your loan provider an exact plan on how you will spend the money. Without this information, you will likely be rejected.)

4. Gemma Roberts, Chartered Accountant for a large non-profit organization

Gemma Roberts is an accountant and also founder of TheWorkLifeBlend.com, where she helps others build flexible lifestyles and businesses. The crux of getting your money right starts with seeing where your money goes, says Roberts.

“Carry out a full audit of your spending habits. Do you have any savings? If you had an unexpected expense, could you cover it? Do you have any loans or an overdraft?”

“Once you have a good understanding of your current situation, you can set yourself specific financial goals. It might be to pay off your debt, retire early or save for a house. This can seem like a lot of work, but it’s never been easier to improve your financial wellbeing. There are a variety of apps available that help you to budget, save money and set financial goals. Many of them can access your bank account and assess your spending habits.”

In order to improve your financial well-being, knowing where your money is actually going is the first step. Then you can adjust and set goals that work for you. You can even use a bank like Chime that helps you automatically save.

5. Danielle Kunkle Roberts, Co-Founder, Boomer Benefits

Danielle Kunkle Roberts is the co-founder of Boomer Benefits, an insurance agency that helps people with Medicare. She knows first-hand what it’s like to make mistakes in business. One of her top tips for female entrepreneurs is to be wise about partnering up with others.

“Don’t partner with someone you don’t know very well just because you are nervous about starting a business. I made this mistake in 2005 and it took me two years to buy out my other two partners,” saus Kunkle Roberts.

“It’s vital that you know the work ethic of anyone that you get involved with and that all parties have the same money philosophy,” she explains.

“In my scenario, I wanted to invest all the profits back into the business but my other partners wanted to take it all home every month. This left me doing the bulk of the work to generate sales while having only one-third of the profits – my own – to invest back in. Believe in yourself or partner with someone whose work ethic you are very sure about.”

It can be enticing to want to work with others but don’t use it as a crutch. Going into business with someone is like a marriage and you want to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to your business goals and financial habits.

6. Daniella Flores, senior software engineer

Daniella Flores is a senior software engineer who works on an all-male team for a credit company. As a 20-something Hispanic and creator of blog ILikeToDabble.com, she believes that when it comes to women and money, it’s all about paying yourself first.

“Pay yourself first every time you get a paycheck and by that I mean, automate transfers into savings accounts and investment accounts so you can grow your money,” says Flores.

“Make payments towards debt every two weeks instead of every month. Automate as much as you can, but always track where your money is going.”

With a Chime bank account, for example, you can automate your savings through our round-up program and also save 10 percent with every paycheck. Putting money away for yourself first is a great way to ensure your financial wellness.

Bottom line

When it comes to women and money, it’s all about advocating for what you’re worth and going after what you deserve.

If you’re a female entrepreneur, you’ll also want to make sure your business is financially healthy, too. Just remember: Financial wellness can provide the foundation you need to weather the storms both personally and in your business life.

 

Money Mindsets That Are Keeping You Poor

The word “wealthy” conjures up images of depraved oil tycoons. Morose and isolated, these rich folks had to enjoy their wealth alone. At least that’s what I believed when I was a kid.

Growing up, I was taught to share pretty much everything with my older brother. To have more than him was considered selfish. And, if you were greedy, that was even worse. I made the assumption that rich people were inherently bad.

This myth blocked me from pursuing wealth. I figured it was better to earn a modest living and be frugal than bear the stigma of being rich and lonely. It was only after doing some inner work that I got past this limiting belief. I realized that having extra scratch doesn’t mean you’re greedy, selfish or unethical. Money merely enhances who you already are. And the more you have of it, the more freedom you can enjoy. To me, it’s all about syncing up your money to your values.

Chances are, you also have your own money stories that get in the way of your financial goals.

Here are five common money misconceptions that may be blocking you from achieving wealth.

You need a ton of money to start saving

While it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a healthy sum of disposable income, it isn’t a requisite to saving money.

The most important thing is to make it a priority and to start somewhere. Do I hear a grumble? Believe you me, saving doesn’t have to be difficult. And there’s a reason why “pay yourself first” is considered a pillar of personal finance. If you’re a Chime member, the Save When You Get Paid feature helps you tuck away a percentage of each paycheck.

By prioritizing savings over spending, you’re taking your financial well-being and your goals seriously.

You need to make a certain amount to get serious about finances

Once again, this is an easy excuse to not save money. It’s far easier to brush off saving until you make, say, $120,000.

When I was making $30,000 at my first job out of college, my rent in Los Angeles ate up a third of my income. But I still wanted to save money, so I started side hustles. And even though my side hustles raked in a mere $1,000 a year, I was committed to saving. By being judicious about what I spent my money on, I managed to save $5,000 my first year on my own.

When I started earning more, I kept the same habits and avoided lifestyle creep. As a result, I was able to make greater headway on my savings goals.

Other people have it easier

As they say, compare and despair. We all know someone who gets a generous allowance from their parents, or is making a cool six-figures at a posh job.

It may seem easier for them to build their worth, but appearances can be deceiving. You don’t know what debt load they carry, or if they struggle to stay on top of their bills like everyone else.

While you’ll need to get real and be honest with your own financial situation, everyone can start small. I’m a big fan of auto-saving, and there’s a reason why it’s recommended by personal finance gurus. Auto-saving is easy and you can start small. Five bucks in a cushion account adds up to $260 a year. Double your auto-savings amount to $10 a week, and that’s $520 annually.

I’m not privileged enough to focus on net worth

This is a bunch of bull. Earning more and spending less is something we’re all capable of. While we don’t have control over greater forces—tax codes, inflation, getting laid off—we do have agency in our saving and spending decisions, and in our ability to earn more.

Thinking that net worth is for a privileged few is getting in your way. If I was able to build my savings making very little, so can you.

To figure out your net worth, tally up your debt. This includes student loans, credit card debt, and car loans. Next, add up your assets—money you have sitting in savings, retirement accounts, savings apps, and so forth. Then, subtract your debts from your assets to determine your net worth.

It might be an unpleasant endeavor to find you have negative net worth. But it’s only in taking an honest look that you can work toward being in the green.

I’m an artist and will always be poor

Just because you have creative pursuits doesn’t mean you will always be stuck in the poor house. By fusing your vision and talents with entrepreneurism, you can make a decent living.

From freelancer marketplaces to online platforms, there are tons of resources to help you build your own business. Granted, being a self-employed creative or artist does come with its own host of challenges. For one, you’ll likely have to deal with variable income. Because your cash flow can change month to month, it’s tough to stay on top of bills and save for anything.

Chime can help. With its Get Paid Early feature, you can get direct deposits up to two days early. In turn, this can help you pay your bills on time.

Bust those myths today

Busting harmful money mindsets can help you earn more, save more, and land you in positive net worth territory. Just remember: Building your net worth may be a slow and steady climb. So, stay the course and over time, you’ll move closer to your financial goals.

 

5 Money Management Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

In our digital age, podcasts are the continuation school for busy grown-ups. They’re snack-sized audible lessons packed with digestible information.

What better way to learn about the world and satiate your curiosities? Consume them during your morning commute, your lunch break, or listen to them while doing household chores.

For those wanting to level up on their money management skills, an easy way to go about it is to check out a podcast. Want to know what are all the money nerds listening to these days? Here’s a roundup of our favorite shows about the mighty dollar.

Harsh Truth

Art and money is rarely talked about. For artists or creative freelancers such as myself, you may want to learn the ins and outs of art as a business. The Harsh Truth podcast, co-hosted by artists Gondek and Frankzilla, does just that. How do successful creatives make a living and what money struggles do they face? What changes are taking place at the intersection of culture and commerce? Plus, there are also some amazing stories on how guest artists developed their craft and unique styles.

What it teaches you about money: Most artists aren’t trust fund babies. And contrary to popular belief, they don’t hate money. In fact, they want more of it, and don’t typically struggle with the fears of being a sellout. It turns out that most artists think hard about how to make a dollar and run their own businesses. Making money is an important sign of career validation. An artist’s journey is tough and they run the risk of getting ripped off, both in terms of money and intellectual property.

HerMoney

Sorry, boys. But Jean Chatzy’s HerMoney is one for the ladies. Featured topics and guests run the gamut from how to earn more to money and relationships to overcoming your fears about investing. Chatzy taps into her powers of being a personal finance celebrity and has some big-deal guests come on her show, notably Jen Sincero, Daniel Pink, and David Bach.

What it teaches you about money: Achieving financial wellness requires looking at the big picture, such as earning more, learning how to negotiate, and mastering your money mindset. It also means you’ll need to focus on the nitty-gritty, like the importance of auto-saving for your goals and keeping tabs on your account balances with a bank app. There’s so much to get your head around. It requires an open mind, focus, and commitment.

Bad With Money

Those who live, eat, and breathe money get a bad rap about living in an echo chamber. As nearly half of Americans struggle to save $400 for an emergency, the “I am going to retire at 30” and “I have half a million saved for retirement” leads to many an eyeroll.

That’s why voices like Gaby Dunn are so important. Her podcast Bad With Money views money from a feminist and queer perspective, and chats about finances for those who suck at money. By offering a platform for different voices to share their qualms and struggles with money, Dunn’s show helps you you face your money woes and improve your relationship with it.

What it teaches you about money: Many people are bad with money. Don’t be fooled by the swarm of personal finance blogs and tales of success. More people are drowning in debt than touting positive net worths. There are more underemployed folks than those earning six-figure incomes. That being said, there’s room to better your situation.

But avoiding thinking about the topic altogether won’t help. By being honest with where you’re currently at, you can take the steps to form positive habits and learn how to make improvements.

Afford Anything

I’ve long been a fan of Paula Pant and her motto: “You can afford anything, just not everything.” Pant’s podcast Afford Anything is an extension of this truism, and she explores topics that run the gamut from strategies for saving for retirement to how to live a meaning life.

As Pant is well-known for escaping her day job and achieving financial independence through rental properties, you can find a handful of episodes on FI/RE (financial independence, retire early) and house hacking. But beyond how-tos, Pant also delves into quandaries people might face: How to give to charity while achieving financial independence, and how to be happy with less.

What it teaches you about money: As someone who is financially independent, Pant offers a unique perspective on what money represents. What happens after you’ve worked hard, and were clever enough to aggressively save so you can retire early? For Pant, it’s not having fancy things, or slaving away at an office job. It’s about spending time with your loved ones, and doing what you enjoy, whether it’s traveling, spending time in nature, or reading a good book. How you spend your resources, particularly your time and money, defines how you spend your life.

Beyond the Dollar  

As the name implies, Beyond the Dollar takes a deep dive at the emotional aspects of money. How does debt affect mental health? And can one create a money-life manifesto? Entering its fourth season, I’m eager to check out new episodes as Sarah Li Cain is flying solo – sans former co-host Garrett Philbin – as the host of this thought-provoking, soul-digging show.

What it teaches you about money: Financial wellness just isn’t about information, numbers and math. There’s an emotional, even a spiritual component with money. Li Cain’s show helps you understand the role your emotions and mindset play in to your decisions, and what might be getting in the way of reaching your goals.

Learn More, Improve Your Money Situation

There’s no shortage of ways to consume information, and these podcasts make it easy to learn more about money.

In turn, you can form positive habits, change harmful money mindsets, and educate yourself on how to save for your goals and build wealth. Dig in!

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