Your Money, Your Life: Episode 5 – ‘Biggest Threat to Financial Wellness’ with Ash Cash

Too much debt is the biggest threat to financial wellness. Financial motivator Ash “Cash” Exantus, co-founder and CEO of MindRight Money Management, explains why your mindset and lifestyle determines how you manage debt, and offers valuable actions you can take to get and keep it under control



The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 5 – ‘Biggest Threat to Financial Wellness’ with Ash Cash appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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UK Parliament votes to create financial obstacle to a ‘no-deal’ Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered another setback to her Brexit withdrawal deal Tuesday as members of her own Conservative Party joined opposition Labour Party MPs in favor of a vote to curb the government’s spending powers if Britain fails to secure an agreement deal on its departure from the European Union.


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“Budgetnista” Helps Create Financial Literacy Law for Kids in New Jersey

Last Thursday, acting New Jersey governor Sheila Oliver signed a new law requiring financial literacy education for New Jersey’s middle school students. New Jersey assembly woman Angela V. McKnignt and personal finance expert Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche were both key in getting the legislation passed.

According to NJ.com, the new law, (A1414) says “the lessons should provide students with knowledge to make ‘sound financial decision-making,’ with content on budgeting, savings, credit, debt, insurance, investment, and more.”

“Many young people go into adulthood knowing little about finances and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run,”  Assemblywoman McKnight said to NJSpotlight.com.

“Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path.”

On her Instagram, Aliche outlined how she came to work with Assemblywoman McKnight on the bill.

“3 years ago, HISTORY was set in motion… Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight @aswmcknight reached out to me and asked for my help with a financial literacy bill. That meeting took place at a Starucks in Dec. 2015, and yesterday after years of hard work, committee meetings, follow-ups, social media pushes, and an initial veto by our former Governor, WE HAVE A LAW! Angela is a POWERHOUSE and worked to make sure this day happened despite the many setbacks.The law takes effect during the next school year, Sept. 2019. Woot woot!”

Aliche, who most recently appeared as a guest on the BLACK ENTERPRISE personal finance podcast “Your Money Your Life,” says similar legislation is being considered in Texas and Maryland.

Currently, few states—only 17—require high school students to take a course in personal finance, yet the Council of Economic Education survey states that the country’s low level of financial knowledge exacerbated the effects of the Great Recession.

Black financial literacy is critical for African American economic well-being. For instance, nearly half (49%) of all black borrowers default on their student loans within 12 years of entering college.

-Robin White Goode contributed to this report.

The post “Budgetnista” Helps Create Financial Literacy Law for Kids in New Jersey appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Manhattan real estate closes 2018 as worst year since the financial crisis

The number of home sales in Manhattan fell 14 percent in 2018, the steepest drop since 2009, according to new data. The median price for an apartment in New York City fell below $ 1 million for the first time in three years in the fourth quarter.
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US stocks suffer worst year since 2008 financial crisis

Yes, stocks do go down sometimes. After the sugar high of 2016 and 2017 — that saw the S&P 500 gain 9.5 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively — Wall Streeters tasted more bitter than sweet in 2018 amid historic volatility. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 5.6 percent during the roller-coaster year, which saw it…
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The Financial Movement for Anyone Who’s Sick of Working 9 to 5

The typical road to retirement looks like this: Graduate college. Get a job. Get promoted. Get raises. Buy a house. Fill it with stuff. Work for at least 40 years to pay for the stuff.

Then you retire and finally have time to do all the things you’ve been dreaming of… if you have the money to do them.

For many people, this path has lost its appeal, and they’re turning toward a different one.

It’s called financial independence, or FI for short.

Financial independence is having enough wealth to live on for the rest of your life without the need for traditional employment.

That usually means you can live off your investments, but as FI gains popularity, people have included passive income, real estate, and even freelance and part-time passion projects into it.

People who pursue financial independence have decided their time is worth more than their money. And they’re willing to make sacrifices to have more of it.

In the early ’90s, friends Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin capitalized on the concept of valuing time over money. They hosted talks during which they asked people to consider how many hours of work something costs them instead of just thinking of the cost in terms of dollars. They turned those talks into the best-selling book “Your Money or Your Life.”

Over a decade later, blogger Pete Adeney, also known as Mr. Money Mustache, further popularized financial independence by equating it with early retirement. Adeney and his wife practiced extreme frugality to save 66% of their incomes as software engineers. They retired with a paid-off home when they were both 30.

Nowadays, the goal of FI-seekers is to save enough in investments and lower their expenses to the point where they can live off passive income without the need for paid employment.

Why This Couple Is Sacrificing Now

A man and woman work out.

Shane Courtney discovered FI from Mr. Money Mustache, though at first he didn’t put his extreme practices into action.

But by October 2017, Shane had been working nights as a diesel hydraulic mechanic for over a decade, and he began to consider financial independence again.

“Only being able to see my wife on Saturday and Sunday was probably the biggest driver of trying to figure out something different,” he said.

So he looked for other stories of people pursuing FI. He found the financial independence subreddit, where people of various ages, locations, incomes and professions share the ways they’re trying to escape traditional employment.

Shane, 33 at the time, and his wife, Melissa, 32, realized that without kids they could reach FI and retire early at 50 to fulfill their dream of moving to the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.

Their first steps were deciding how much they’d need to spend in retirement and how much to save to get there.

The Courtneys make a combined income of $ 160,000, and they would like to live off of $ 45,000 to $ 50,000 per year in retirement. For their investments to produce that much growth every year accounting for inflation, they estimate they’ll need to save $ 1.25 million.

To lower their expenses, Shane and Melissa cut out most of their recurring bills aside from their mortgage, utilities and internet.

Shane had a car he loved, but it got horrible gas mileage and had dropped significantly in value. It was too expensive for Shane to justify keeping, even though as a mechanic, he’s passionate about cars.

They’re also planning ways to save after they reach financial independence. Going to the grocery store is easy now in their suburban Tampa, Florida, neighborhood, but they’re learning new skills to be more self-sufficient in North Carolina.

Melissa is taking canning classes, and Shane has learned to make sourdough bread. “It’s so much cheaper than buying bread,” he said.

And they’ll start to look at properties near Pisgah National Forest soon, in hopes of buying land and paying it off before they start building their house in five years. They plan to move into a mortgage-free home when they retire.

Reaching financial independence isn’t just about raising your income and lowering your spending. It takes a lot of grit and perseverance to do something so wildly different from your peers for such a long time.

But their vision for the future drives their day-to-day decisions. Shane sees himself riding mountain bikes around Pisgah, and Melissa dreams of being able to rescue and foster animals.

How to Save For Financial Independence

So once you’ve calculated how much you need to save and you’ve cut your expenses in order to save it, where is this money going?

The easiest and most common way is to invest it in retirement accounts. The Courtneys max out two Roth IRAs, one 401(k), contribute to a second 401(k) and max out a family HSA. They put these savings into low-cost index funds.

But there are alternatives. Chad Carson, aka Coach Carson, used creative financing to purchase duplexes and single-family homes and his own money for renovations. His portfolio generated enough passive income for him to become financially independent in his 30s.

And Michelle Schroeder-Gardner created a blog and online course that generates more than enough passive income for her to travel full time in her 20s.

And then there’s the hybrid approach, sometimes referred to as “Barista FIRE”: This is when you save enough to cover some expenses in retirement and work part time at a job you love — hence the name “Barista” — regardless of what it pays to cover the rest.

Even if they don’t need to, Shane plans to coach CrossFit and Jiu-Jitsu to supplement their income, and Melissa may earn money doing animal rescue.

The supplemental income is also helpful in times the stock market doesn’t produce as much growth as planned.

… but What if You Don’t Make Six Figures?

Sure, Shane and Melissa have great incomes. He’s been a diesel hydraulic mechanic at the same company for over 10 years, and she’s an accountant. They can afford to save a large portion of their money.

But most of us aren’t making six figures, even in two-income households.

So what options are there for the rest of us? Fortunately, investment growth isn’t the only passive income option to reach financial independence.

Passive income from an online business, royalties from creative works like art or music, rental properties or a number of other sources can provide non-employment income and lower the amount you need to reach FI.

In 2016, Jonathan Mendonsa and Brad Barrett started the Choose FI podcast. They talk about complex and intimidating financial independence topics twice a week and make those topics understandable for a broader audience.

They highlight entrepreneurs who build passive income streams to escape traditional employment, early retirees who work part-time jobs to get out of the house or supplement their income, and people who downsize homes and cars to cut their fixed expenses.

FI-seekers stack these strategies on top of one another to optimize what they have to work with.

FI is often dismissed as unattainable for average income earners. But while saving a significant portion of your income is difficult, the math shows it’s possible for more people than you might think.

Take a 25-year-old single person who earns $ 30,000 and wants to live off of $ 30,000 per year in retirement. Even if they have nothing saved for retirement, they can become financially independent at 52 if they max out a Roth IRA during their working years and earn average returns of 8.1%.

A couple in their 30s bringing home a combined income of $ 70,000 per year with $ 0 saved for retirement can become financially independent in just over 16 years under the same market conditions if they stay within a $ 40,000-per-year budget (including in retirement).

These scenarios aren’t as sexy as retiring at 30, but they show that with perseverance and focus, financial independence can be achieved at a diverse range of incomes, ages and marital statuses.

Even if pursuing financial independence doesn’t result in everyone retiring at 30 or even 50, no the movement is motivating people to open up about their finances and save a little extra every month.

And that’s never a bad thing.  

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @modernfrugality.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Here’s Where This Financial Planner Keeps Her Money (Hint: Not Big Banks)

After becoming a financial planner last year, Denisa Petricko took a closer look at her own finances.

A lump of her money sat quietly at Wells Fargo.

With a more informed eye, the 40-year-old resident, whose primary gig is as a real estate agent, started investigating what the bank did with her money.

“After looking at the breakdowns of how my money was being handled by a larger bank, I realized that I had large sums just sitting in an account accumulating interest — but not for me,” she says in an email. “It was for the banks themselves.”

Petricko met with her bank’s financial consultants to see if there was anything out there that’d help her out — earn her some interest.

The meetings led nowhere.

Then, in the summer of 2017, as she clicked through Elephant Journal, an online yoga-centric magazine (she’s also a certified yoga instructor — holy side gigs!), she stumbled upon an article about the Aspiration Account.

When she read the online checking account would collect up to 1% in interest — for her to keep — she was sold.

Why This Financial Planner Banks With Aspiration

using debit card in the city

Although the initial sell for Petricko was the interest rate, she’s come to love many other parts of Aspiration and her account, including:

  • As we mentioned in a previous Aspiration review, Aspiration is a do-good company, focusing on what’s best for not only you, but also the planet. You can even track the impact of your spending based on the retailers you frequent.
  • It allows you to choose what you pay each month — even if that’s $ 0. Additionally, there are no sneaky fees. There’s no minimum balance and no minimum monthly deposit. Plus, you can open an account with just $ 10.
  • You can travel (which Petricko does frequently for both business and pleasure) without facing insane ATM fees. In fact, ATM fees across the world are 100% refundable. Aspiration automatically reimburses you each month.
  • Aspiration has an easy-to-use app and website, making it accessible everywhere there’s cell phone or internet service.
  • It also offers investment options, including its Redwood Fund and Flagship IRA accounts — all of which Petricko has in one convenient spot.

It’s been more than a year since this financial planner trusted Aspiration with her money, and she says she has no regrets; she’s yet to have a negative experience.

In fact, Petricko would go as far as to call Aspiration’s online-only model “banking of the future.”

“The big banks are proving to be crooked,” she says. “…Aspiration gave me new hope in banking.”

With her old bank, she was lucky to earn 8 cents a month on a $ 10,000 balance. That’s because, Petricko explains, the bank was earning interest interest for themselves — from her money.

Now, Aspiration’s high-yield account slides $ 5 to $ 10 into her account each month, thanks to those interest rates.

Petricko wholeheartedly recommends Aspiration to her clients, her friends and her family.

If you’re interested in learning more about the online-only bank account, head over to Aspiration.

We may receive compensation from Aspiration for promoting the company, but we weren’t paid for this specific review. All reporting is our own.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She too banks with Aspiration and broke down why she loves it (as well as a few downsides).

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 3 – ‘Key Questions To Ask Before Working With A Financial Adviser’

How to know when you are ready to hire a financial pro and what you need to ask to find the right one for you, with guest Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, founder of the Live Richer Challenge Movement.



 

The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 3 – ‘Key Questions To Ask Before Working With A Financial Adviser’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Q&A: Smart Year End Financial Moves

With unemployment at historic lows, rising wages and consumer confidence at an 18 year high consumers are understandably in good cheer and ready to go out and spend this holiday season.

But for you, the thrill of the deal can quickly turn in to despair over the debt if you go overboard with your holiday gift giving.

Here’s how to keep your budget in check during the holiday shopping season.

What’s the best way to approach holiday shopping if we don’t want things to get out of hand?

Well, if there’s one thing that I hope people ask for, and get, this Christmas, it’s discipline. All the budgeting “tips and tricks” in the world won’t help you if you can’t control yourself.

Yet, relying on willpower alone won’t be enough to get the job done. You need a system.

Here’s what I suggest:

 

  1. Build a Budget– This sounds simple, but on one likes to do this. You have to go into shopping season with a set amount that you’re committed to not outspend. When you do this, be sure to include ALL of your costs such as wrapping, shipping, travel, etc.

 

  1. Save All Year– You do realize that Christmas happens at the same time every year, right? So why do you seem so surprised when Black Friday rolls around and you haven’t set aside any money for gifts?

 

Americans are expected to spend $ 1000 on average during the holiday shopping season.  That’s $ 80/month or $ 20.00/week you should save in advance.

 3Create a Separate Account – Don’t keep your “gift” money in the same account as your “bill” money. Open a free checking account or put money onto a prepaid debit card that will only be used for your holiday shopping. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

4. Never Use Credit – Buying something on sale, but using credit to do so and paying the minimum each month totally defeats the purpose of getting the deal in the first place. Only use your credit card if you’re getting points or rewards and you’re going to pay it off in full when the bill comes.

Ok, but what if we didn’t save up much money for Christmas, what should we do then? 

In that case, it’s time to think about generating some extra cash. Luckily, since there’s so much spending going on during the holiday season, there should be lots of opportunities to do this.

For example you can:

Convert Old Gift Cards – Check your wallet for unused or partially used gift cards. Use the balance for gifts, or use a site like CardCash.com to convert those balances to cash.

Sell Your Junk! – Go through your garage and your closet to find things that still have tags or haven’t been used in a while.  Sell these things on eBay, Poshmark, etc.

Donate Items – Donate the things you can’t sell to Goodwill, etc.  You’ll get the advantage of the tax deduction, which may put extra cash in your pocket at tax time.

Ok, what if people are expecting expensive gifts?

Look, you have to take charge and set the expectations up front.

With Your Kids – This is a great time to discuss needs vs. wants and priorities with your kids.  They may not be able to get everything they want, so give them a say in what is most important to them.

With Your Family – Perhaps set up a Secret Santa gift exchange where each family member only has to buy one gift. Try secretsanta.com or Elfster to set up your exchange.

With Yourself – Buying great presents won’t make you a better friend, spouse or parent. Have a real discussion about what the most important people in your life really want, and you might find that it may not cost you anything at all.

 

Rob Wilson is the Chief Insight Officer at Wilson Insight and a frequent contributor to CNN, CBS, NBC and Fox.

For more important lessons on improving your finances, connect with Rob on Twitter @robwilsontv or at his website http://www.robwilson.tv

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11 Smart Financial Tools Made Just for Your Type A Personality

I’m a proud Type-A.

I have this innate drive to get things done — and get them done correctly and on time. I’m not happy coasting along; I want to climb that ladder, baby. If I’m running behind, I’m probably impulsively biting my nails off. I don’t think I’m competitive until I’m competing. Then it’s like some weird instinct kicks in, and I don’t know who I become.

I can be impatient with my Type-B counterparts, who are a little, well, too laid back for my taste.

OK, I kind of sound super high-strung. I promise I’m tolerable… ask my boyfriend. (Errr, well, maybe don’t.)

Although I have this innate love for to-do lists, color codes and all-things organization, some parts of my life are, well, not as tidy. Like my finances.

I can procrastinate the crap out of any financial matters. I get stressed out, so I push tasks to the side. Oh, I’ll check my retirement account… tomorrow. Oh, I’ll update my budget… never.

But don’t fret just yet. There are a number tools out there that can help us Type-A people organize our finances — without losing hours to get everything just so.

1. Check Your Financial Grade

Checking her credit score

While most of my classmates hated the day grades came out, I loved it. Luckily, most of mine were good, but I also just loved gauging my performance — knowing how I was doing and where I could work harder.

In real life, you don’t get grades. Your manager might offer feedback, but that’s about it.

What about finances? How do you know how you’re doing there?

Luckily, Credit Sesame offers free credit scores and credit report cards.

The easy-to-understand report outlines how you’re doing financially. You’ll get a big-picture view of your open accounts, your debt and any items sitting in collections. And, perhaps even better, it’ll offer actionable tips to help you improve your credit score.

2. Consolidate Your Financial Stress

If you’re juggling several unpaid credit card bills, or any form of debt for that matter, don’t panic. There’s an easier way to keep tabs on your outstanding balances — and even pay off your debt faster.

Try consolidating it into one manageable bill through Fiona, a financial technology company that helps match you to a personal loan that meets your needs. Consolidating your credit card debt could also help get you a lower interest rate and save you thousands while you pay it off.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

Now, breathe a sigh of relief. No more juggling approximately 293,003 bills this month. You’ve just got one!

3. Optimize Your Retirement Plan

Woman planning her finances

Got a 401(k)? You’re on the right track. Now it’s time to clean it up by making sure it’s doing exactly what you need it to.

However, tapping into that account and deciphering the information — or lack thereof — can take hours. Not to worry: There’s a robo-adviser for that. Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm, will optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

It gives you an initial 401(k) checkup for free, and you’ll get to know your account a little more intimately. Find out if you’re paying too many hidden fees, have the appropriate amount invested in stocks versus bonds, that kind of fun stuff.

After that, the tool is $ 10 a month to use to continue to monitor your retirement account. Let Blooom know your target retirement age, and it can help you get there by investing more and less aggressively.

4. Compare Yourself to Others — and Be the Best

Ah, got a competitive streak like me? Sometimes life turns into a competition. I’ve got this insane drive to be The Best. It’s hard to make it stop.

If you want to use that force for financial good, tap into Status Money, an app that allows you to anonymously compare your financial situation with your peers without asking those awkward, prying questions.

Link an account to tap into this database and you’ll be able to compare your income, debt, interest rates, credit score, spending… you name it.

By seeing how others are doing, you can see what you need to work on — or where you can sit back a little and just breathe easy.

5. Make Your Money Work as Hard as You Do

Woman holding money

Listen, you work hard for your money, so it should work just as hard for you. It shouldn’t be just sitting around. How dare it?

Make it work for you with an interest-earning bank account from Radius Bank.

The Radius Hybrid Checking account earns .85% APY on balances of at least $ 2,500 with no monthly fees or minimum balances after the initial $ 10 to open an account.

Sounds better than what you’re getting with your checking account at that big bank, right?

6. Strike a Budgeting Balance

As a Type A, it’s easy to get stuck in the details. Sometimes I’ll fixate on my pennies and dimes — versus the big-picture dollars.

But a budget can help you strike this balance. It allows you to keep track of those daily expenses in a way that’s future-thinking.

That’s where Empower comes in to help you organize and track your financial goals.

Simply link your accounts, and every time you log in, you’ll see a simple snapshot of where you stand on your monthly budget. Are you above or below the line? In one second, you’ll know whether you’re on track or need to dial things back a bit.

You can set goals, and Empower will keep you accountable.

7. Keep Overachieving — and Saving Money

Man driving his car

You’re most likely an overachiever, so of course you do your due diligence to hunt down great deals. But some bills fall to the wayside… When’s the last time you compared rates on your car insurance?

Your premium can creep up on you several times a year, if you’re not monitoring it.

The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds to help you find the best rate.

If you’re beating its top pick, you know you’ve beat the system. If not, go ahead and secure the best rate.

8. Get Rewarded for Your Ability to Hit Deadlines

Your mom probably gave you an allowance for washing the dishes and sweeping the floor when you were a kid. (You were really good at it.) Now all you get for doing it is a kitchen that’s clean for, like, 15 minutes.

As an adult, you don’t typically get rewards for doing things that are expected of you… until now.

This app kind of rules them all: MoneyLion, a free all-in-one app for managing your personal finances.

MoneyLion offers rewards to help you develop healthy financial habits and will literally pay you for logging onto the app.

You can earn points in the rewards program by paying bills on time, connecting your bank account or downloading the mobile app. You can redeem those points for gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart.

If credit cards aren’t your thing, MoneyLion is like having a rewards credit card without the temptation to overspend.

The app also connects with all your bank, credit card, student loan and other financial accounts. Based on your income and spending patterns, it offers personalized advice to help you save money, reduce your debt and improve your credit.

9. Dig Into Your Deep-Seated Clutter

Woman pulling out a sweater from her closet

Although I’m innately Type A, there are some deep, dark corners of my life that are, well, less than tidy. (Ask my boyfriend about the bomb that recently went off in my closet… Yikes.)

If you need some motivation to declutter even the darkest corners of your home, turn it into a fun side gig.

For example, if your closet looks anything like mine, consider cleaning it up and creating a “for sale” pile. You can list any items on Letgo, an easy-to-use app that allows you to snap a photo and list your unneeded items to folks in your area. It’s 100% free to use and removes a lot of the hassle of selling online.

For your technology (uh, yeah, for some reason I collect old phones in my bedside table…), get free estimates from Decluttr, a site that’ll buy your old CDs, DVDs, video games and even phones.

Just download the Decluttr app and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use, you won’t pay listing or seller fees, payment is super fast and even shipping is free.

10. Tidy up Your Subscription Services

For the most part, I love subscription services. I can get whatever I need to my front door each month. Vitamins? Check. Feminine products? Check. Beauty products? Why not…

Yeah, with my Type A comes compulsion sometimes, so I can go overboard. Every now and then I like to check in and see which subscriptions I’m getting billed for each month — clean things up a bit.

Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, refund your bank fees and, yes, cancel unwanted subscriptions. The app will remind you of all those sneaky subscriptions you’ve signed up for through the years, so you can cancel what you don’t use and reclaim your monthly budget.

On average, Truebill says it helps customers save more than $ 700 a year by lowering their bills, canceling necessary subscriptions and getting refunds.

Signing up and using the service is free, though there are some paid premium services that are totally optional — but could totally be worth it.

11. Track Your Lofty Goals With Colorful Pens

Bullet journal planning

If you want to get a little more creative, set up goals and track them with a bullet journal. A bullet journal is great for the more creative Type A folks — the ones who love color-coding and drawing the straightest line possible.

You can set up a debt payoff plan, track your expenses or set up an annual savings plan. The Jihi Elephant blog has some great ideas to get you started.

In the end, embrace your Type-A tendencies. They’ll help you become financially happy and healthy.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves the feeling of crossing off items on a to-do list.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

The Penny Hoarder

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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 3 – ‘Key Questions To Ask Before Working With A Financial Adviser’

How to know when you are ready to hire a financial pro and what you need to ask to find the right one for you, with guest Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, founder of the Live Richer Challenge Movement.



 

The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 3 – ‘Key Questions To Ask Before Working With A Financial Adviser’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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If you are suffering from ‘stress brain,’ you might be making some bad financial decisions

To safeguard or drive financial portfolio gains, it's key to pay attention to how stress caused by everyday life affects our financial decision-making.
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5 Times You Need a Financial Adviser — and When the DIY Approach Is Fine

When I decided to start investing for retirement, I had no clue where to start.

I had no 401(k), individual retirement account (IRA) or health savings account (HSA). I didn’t even have one of those apps that invest your spare change. I was starting from zero.

I assumed that to start investing you had to have a financial adviser.

So I made an appointment with one who would see my husband and me for free — how sweet of him! — and we sat for hours as he went over four investment options.

I left more confused than I came in. I just wanted to give him my money. But it had to pass through so many hands before it could enter the market, and for some reason, we needed another meeting.

At that second meeting, I found out how he got paid: a 5% commission on all of my contributions. I realized that if I did this on my own, even if my returns were worse, I might come out on top with all the money I’d save without his commission.

That was the first time I realized that I didn’t need to use a professional to start investing.

When Can I Do It Without a Financial Adviser?

If you’re just starting out and you don’t have any complex situations like a large inheritance or six-figure income, you can succeed for a while on your own.

But if you’re going to DIY your investments, you’ll need to commit to learning about investing. Luckily, there’s a wealth of information on the internet.

The Penny Hoarder has a lot of articles to help you get started saving for retirement that explain things like:

If you prefer a book to a computer screen, I recommend “The Simple Path to Wealth” by JL Collins. It explains everything you need to know to get a grasp on basic investing concepts while not putting you to sleep.

As long as you continue accumulating cash in your accounts and everything is smooth sailing, that’s the time when, if you feel confident, you can go it alone.

But what are the signs it’s time to pony up for a professional?

When Do I Need a Financial Adviser?

Financial advisor Paul Ruedi poses outside in front of greenery.

I talked with three professionals in the planning industry who have fiduciary obligations — meaning they’re legally obligated to work in the best interest of clients. (I know: Why isn’t that universal yet?) They filled me in on when you really need to get professional help.

Paul Ruedi of Ruedi Wealth Management specializes in retirement planning. He thinks one of the best times to consult an adviser is before or during the transition to retirement.

Transitioning into life without a paycheck requires making a lot of complicated decisions,” Ruedi said. “On top of that, people’s investment account balances are likely the highest they have been in their lifetime, which amplifies every little movement in the stock market and can turn investing into an emotional rollercoaster.

When you’re making decisions like how to make your investments last for multiple decades, when to claim Social Security and how to best withdraw from those accounts, it’s time to get someone on board to guide you.

In some instances, you might need someone in your corner well before retirement.

Kayse Kress, a certified financial planner at Physician Wealth Services, poses outside.

Kayse Kress, a certified financial planner at Physician Wealth Services, said people often benefit from objective advice.

Even if you are a really smart person, it can be hard to keep your emotions out of your financial decisions,” Kress said. “You could benefit from working with an adviser that will provide you with objective advice and help you make more sound financial decisions.

The people who benefit most in Kress’ practice are those who are just too busy to find time to focus on creating a plan for their finances.

But a big reason people don’t find the help they need is that traditionally, it’s been difficult and expensive to work with someone.

It wasn’t too long ago that if you weren’t sitting on a pile of cash to invest, then it could be difficult to get anyone in the financial services industry to work with you,” Kress told me.

But with the rising popularity of fee-only financial planners, people can now seek out the help they need at any point in their financial journeys.

Chris Hutchins, co-founder and CEO of online financial planning service Grove poses in his office.

Chris Hutchins, co-founder and CEO of online financial planning service Grove, has seen many circumstances when having a financial planner before retirement was necessary. Some examples include:

  1. You’re not sure how to figure out if you’re saving enough or whether you’re on track for your retirement goals.
  2. You don’t know what your goals are or how much you need to be saving for them.
  3. You’ve intended to do something about your finances for a long time, and yet they’re still in the same spot.
  4. You’ve had a sudden financial windfall (inheritance, your company was acquired, etc.).
  5. The stress of trying to figure out whether you’re on track or doing the right thing with your money is too much.

No matter how young or old, or investment savvy or not you are, there’s no excuse to not plan for retirement. For some, that might mean a DIY approach. But for others, it means seeking professional help.

Thankfully, there’s a place for everyone to get what they need.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She writes a lot about retirement and gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Mizuho Financial Group H1 Profit Up 13.4%; Affirms FY18 Outlook – Quick Facts

Japanese lender Mizuho Financial Group (MFG, MZHOF.OB) on Wednesday reported that its profit attributable to owners of the parent for the six months ended September 30, 2018 increased 13.4 percent to 359.36 billion Japanese yen from 316.65 billion yen in the year-ago period. Earnings per share were 14.16 yen, up from 12.47 yen a year ago.
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Spending Rehab: 3 Steps To Avoid A Financial Hangover

In an economy like ours—driven by consumer spending and near-ubiquitous advertising designed to get you to spend, and then spend some more—even the most financially disciplined among us can fall prey to overspending. For example, most of us are especially vulnerable during the holiday shopping season, during which many of us spend more money in 30 days than we have in the previous six months combined. To avoid a financial hangover after a serious shopping binge, here’s a plan—let’s call it a spending rehab intervention—to sober up your finances and get your budget back under control.

Spending Rehab Step 1

You have to be woke—more conscious and aware—when it comes to how you are spending your money. Most of us spend money mindlessly, without really considering the impact on our financial health, or even whether we really need or want what we purchase. That’s the very definition of impulse spending.

So, to begin the spending rehab regimen, for one month you’re going to track your spending (which is a good idea to do two to three time a year even if you don’t overspend). Keep a record of every penny you spend, and what you spent it on. Also, note how you made each purchase—with cash, credit card, debit card, personal check, automated payment, whatever. You can track your spending using a pen and small notepad, or your mobile device or computer. Using an app like Spendr might also help. Do whatever works to have a complete record of your spending for one month.

Spending Rehab Step 2

This is where we test your commitment to getting your spending under control: Continue to track your spending for a second month, with one change—no using credit cards. That’s right; you have to go cash only for the entire month. Debit cards are OK, too, since you are just using plastic to spend cash. But no using credit cards or other tools to borrow money to finance expenditures for the entire month.

As with the previous month, keep a record of every penny you spend, and what you spent it on. Use a pen and pad, your mobile device, whatever works to have a complete record of your spending—without using credit cards.

—Be sure to catch Alfred Edmond Jr.’s personal finance podcast: “Your Money, Your Life” sponsored by Prudential. 

For those who have become accustomed to treating their available credit balance as if it were income, this might be the toughest part of spending rehab. Brace yourself for the withdrawal pains of giving up the plastic. If you literally can’t make it through one month without using credit cards, you need emergency intervention. Make an appointment with a qualified credit counselor immediately. You can find one in your area at DebtAdvice.org.

Spending Rehab Step 3

Sit down and look at your spending choices over the two months. How did your spending differ from one month to the next? Have you been too reliant on credit cards, or using them needlessly when you could have used cash and avoided wasting money on paying interest on credit card balances? Where in your budget can you eliminate spending (or at least avoid paying interest and fees), and where can you better apply that money to more beneficial, financially healthy uses—such as paying down debt faster, increasing contributions to your retirement savings, building a stronger cash emergency fund or financing a new money-making venture?

The point of this exercise is to make you more conscious of how you spend, what you buy, and most importantly, why—so you can challenge and change your thinking and adopt a healthier financial lifestyle. To get started, you want to identify and eliminate three kinds of spending—confused spending, compensatory spending, and conspicuous spending—if you are serious about improving and maintaining your financial wellness:

Confused Spending

This is when you make purchases without giving any real consideration to what you are getting for your money—or whether you even really want or need what you are buying. Confused spending almost always results in overspending.

Are you repeatedly surprised when you bounce a check, the ATM gives you a negative balance message or your credit card is declined at a store? That likely means that you are either operating without a spending plan—also known as a budget—or you have one, and are ignoring it, and instead, you are trying to keep track of it all in your head. The result: sloppiness, disorganization—and confused spending.

Compensatory Spending

This is when you spend as a form of self-medication in order to cope with emotional pain or discomfort, such as boredom, feelings of unworthiness, sadness, or repressed anger. The problem with this so-called “retail therapy” is that when you’re done, the bad feelings return, often more intensely, requiring more spending to cope—and leading to shopping addiction.

At its worst, compensatory spending leads to a vicious cycle: You feel bad, whether sad, angry, lonely or just plain bored. You go shopping to feel better—spending money you don’t have on things you have not budgeted for. When the high of getting so-called great deals wears off, you now have shopper’s remorse and guilt, on top of the original bad feelings. What do you do? Unless there is an intervention—more compensatory spending. If this is you, get help; a good place to start is the nonprofit self-help organization Debtors Anonymous.

Conspicuous Spending

This is when you spend in order to buy social status—to try to impress others, “keep up with the Joneses,” or maybe do a little frontin’ for the ‘Gram. If you rock nothing but luxury brands but have horrible credit, this is likely you.

Your friend or neighbor has the new custom kicks or latest smartphone, so you have to have it, too—whether you can afford it or not. This tendency can be exacerbated by engaging social media, where it is easier than ever to see the latest shiny new things that seemingly everyone but you has, including tons of approval in the form of likes, favorites, and shares.

Statistics show that you’re likely racing each other to the poor house. Unfortunately, too many of us spend money we don’t have to buy things we can’t afford, to impress people we don’t know and may not even like. Stay in your lane and live according to what you can afford, not by what others have.

How do you determine affordability? By continuing to monitor your spending, being more organized, sticking to a real spending plan, and otherwise staying woke when it comes to your money. The more diligent, consistent, and conscious you are, the lower the odds that you will relapse into overspending, and the less likely you’ll need another round of spending rehab.

—Be sure to catch Alfred Edmond Jr.’s personal finance podcast: “Your Money, Your Life” sponsored by Prudential. 

 

The post Spending Rehab: 3 Steps To Avoid A Financial Hangover appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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ITG To Be Acquired By Virtu Financial; Q3 Results Beat View – Quick Facts

Investment Technology Group Inc. (ITG), an agency broker and financial technology provider, said that Virtu Financial, Inc. (VIRT) has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of ITG’s common stock for $ 30.30 per share in cash. ITG also reported third-quarter financial results that beat analysts’ estimates.
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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 1 – “Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy”

“Your Money, Your Life” is our new money podcast sponsored by Prudential. Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. hosts this special series with a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, President & CEO, Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance.

Episode 1

“Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy”

Learn how gaining freedom from debt and controlling your spending forms the foundation for your financial wellness and wealth-creation potential, with Guest DeForest B. Soaries Jr, Founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement.

Listen now:

Soundcloud:



 

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Trade tensions could trigger another global financial crisis, but investors appear complacent: IMF

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