The Money Snapshot: A CPA Shares Thoughts on Her Side Gig and Saving for Retirement

Presenting our fifth “money snapshot,” this time with a CPA in Arizona! She notes: “I save approximately $ 40,000 after tax a year. This is my side-job income after tax. I try and spent half of it on meaningful purchases such as building my current house, and save the rest long term. … [My goal is to] pay off my house and afford to live on only my side-job income.”

By way of background: We got a few requests from readers to launch our own “money diary” series, so we’ve asked willing readers to fill out a form with lots of details about debt, spending, saving and more! If you’d like to fill out the form and be considered for a future personal money snapshot, please click here to submit your response! You can see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time. See others in the Personal Money Snapshot series here.

Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! — Kat

Name: AZCPA
Location: Arizona, LCOL
Age: 38 [now 39]
Occupation: CPA
Income: Salaried job: $ 155,000. Side job $ 55,000 gross, $ 46,000 net
Partner’s age: 43 (live together, intentionally not married, not having children)
Household income:
$ 220,000
Net worth: Not including partner, net worth $ 400,000
Net worth when started working: Worked part time in high school (16). Started FT at 22 after college — net worth was $ 5,000.
Living situation: Own 4/2 single-family home, mortgage $ 2,000/month.

We asked what AZCPA meant when she wrote “intentionally not married,” above, and she explained: 

I wrote that to indicate that we were stable/happy as we are, rather the necessarily seeing this as a step towards marriage, or that I’m waiting for him to propose or anything. There is a financial impact — we’d pay a ton more in taxes, and my boyfriend is likely going to do another degree; he’ll get infinitely better financial aid single. But if we were dying to get married we’d probably do so regardless. 

Debt

What does your debt picture look like?
Mortgage $ 300,000, car $ 20,000. No CC or other debt.

How much money are you spending each month to pay down debt?
$ 2,400 on mortgage and car combined

How did you pay for school?
Scholarships and one 30-hour/week job

Have you paid off any major debt?
n/a, never had non-mortgage/vehicle debt

Home debt: 
My current home is the third I’ve owned. First was at 24; built current home in 2017. This is intended as the permanent/dream home. Looked at existing homes for two years before deciding to build a semi-custom home (chose from four set floorplans in a 24-home new subdivision, but all interior finishes and many options such as bathrooms were custom). Based on income and assets, wanted to pay ~$ 350,000 for the house and planned $ 50,000 for backyard, furniture, etc. Took out a $ 300,000 30-year mortgage and paid cash for the rest. Was an optimal price point for the area and features — well above median for Tucson, but easy to sell if needed. Am inside city limits, with all city services (a huge perk in Tucson, as “rural” fire and water service are very expensive). A similar home in an equivalent area in Austin inside the city limits would be $ 750,000, or $ 1.2M in San Diego (other places I looked to live).

Savings, Investments & Retirement

How much do you save for retirement?
$ 25,000/year

How much money do you allocate to other tax-savvy investments/accounts?
When I could do an HSA, I put in the max allowed. I currently have an FSA, and I contribute ~$ 2,000 annually. No 529s, as no kids.

How much do you save outside of retirement accounts?
I save approximately $ 40,000 after tax a year. This is my side-job income after tax. I try and spent half of it on meaningful purchases such as building my current house, and save the rest long term.

Talk to us about investments.
I keep it simple, using target funds and index funds. When I bought my first Mac in 1998 I also bought $ 1,000 in Apple stock, which I still have.

Do you have an end goal for saving or are you just saving for a rainy day?
I want to pay off my house and afford to live on only my side-job income.

When did you start saving seriously? How has your savings strategy changed over the years?
I’ve always been a saver.

How much do you have in cash that’s available today?
$ 5,000

How much do you have in cash that’s available in a week?
$ 77,000

How much is in your “emergency fund,” and where do you keep it?
$ 50,000, included in above

How much do you have in retirement savings?
$ 350,000

We asked AZCPA about her impressive retirement savings and whether she’s planning to retire early: 

I honestly don’t know. I really just want enough savings to be able to be flexible and enjoy wherever life takes me. Since I’m hoping to live on my side job once the house is paid off, I’d like to front-load my retirement as much as I can now, while I have a higher income.

How much $ do you have in long-term investments and savings (CDs, index funds, stocks) that are not behind a retirement wall?
$ 50,000

If property values (home, car) are included in your net worth, how much are those worth?
home $ 400,000, car $ 24,000

AZCPA told us more about her job on the side: 

My side gig is a boutique tax practice (my main job is tax-related for a major corporation). I was in public accounting a long time and had a number of clients who desperately wanted to stay with me when I left. That was the start. Now I have part-time employees to assist me as the business grows. I was super used to working tons of hours at a CPA firm (like 100 a week), so even two jobs doesn’t feel that hard on comparison. The side gig is somewhat seasonal, so a lot of the year its only five hours or so a week.

Spending 

How much do you spend on the following categories on a monthly basis?

Groceries: $ 400
Restaurants, bars, takeout, and delivery:
$ 400
Clothing and accessories: $ 800
Transportation: $ 475
Rent/living expenses: $ 2,500
Entertainment: $ 25
Health care — premiums and other costs: $ 25/month for insurance through employer

What’s your spending range for these things? What’s your average?

Vacations – Range: $ 500–$ 8,000
Vacations – Average:
$ 4,000

Individual items of clothing – Range: $ 40–$ 300
Individual items of clothing – Average: $ 30 for tops, maybe $ 50 for pants/shoes — I buy almost exclusively on sale or Poshmark for those items. But I do own two four-figure designer bags (both purchased at half their MSRP from Poshmark), which would drive up the average dramatically!

Apartment or house – Range: $ 200,000–$ 400,000
Apartment or house – Current main residence:
$ 400,000

Car or other vehicle – Range: $ 15,000–$ 50,000
Car or other vehicle – Last purchase / current main vehicle: $ 35,000

Fill in the blank on this question: I could save _____ if I stopped ______, but I don’t because _______.
I could save $ 500/month if I stopped eating out, but I don’t because I enjoy it.

At any point in your life to date, has inheritance played a role in your money situation?  
Never 

Money Strategy

Do you have a general money strategy? 
No 

What are your favorite resources for personal finance?
Mint

What advice would you give your younger self about personal finance?
Keep saving.

Photo credit: icons via Stencil. 

The post The Money Snapshot: A CPA Shares Thoughts on Her Side Gig and Saving for Retirement appeared first on Corporette.com.

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8 of the Smartest Ways to Save Money When You Move

Moving is expensive. Whether you’re moving to a new place down the street or crossing state lines, the costs add up quickly. In the United States, the average price of move within a state is $ 2,300. If you’re heading to another state, the average is $ 4,300—and prices go up as the distance and the amount of stuff you’re moving increase. There are, however, steps you can take during this notoriously stressful process that can help you save a few bucks and ensure that your move goes smoothly.
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Japan M2 Money Stock Jumps 2.7% On Year In May

The M2 money stock in Japan was up 2.7 percent on year in May, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday – coming in at 1,029.8 trillion yen.
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MoneyGram’s loan faces performance, money laundering concerns

NEW YORK, June 7 (LPC) – Money transfer company MoneyGram
International Inc is struggling to finalize a US$ 663m loan as
its financial performance wilts under fierce competition
following a US$ 125m US government fine last November for poor
money-laundering controls, sources said.


Reuters: Company News

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[PODCAST] YOUR MONEY, YOUR LIFE: EPISODE 7 – ‘Talk Money Before Committing Financially to Love’

The Money Coach Lynnette Khalfani-Cox gets real about the important financial conversations a couple should have before they make a serious relationship commitment, such as cohabitation or marriage.

The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is 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!

Money | Black Enterprise

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The Money Snapshot: A Government Worker Shares Thoughts on Pensions, Retirement, and Rapid Income Growth

text over icons reading "A 33-Year-Old Government Worker Shares Her Money Snapshot"

Presenting our fifth money snapshot, this time with a government worker in the Northeast! She notes: “Our income has grown rapidly in the last several years — in 2011 we made $ 32,000 (together), in 2014 we made $ 135,000, and in 2018 we will make approximately $ 235,000. Because of the timing of my husband’s schooling, we were in a position of playing catch-up on our retirement accounts, specifically his accounts, but we look to grow our overall financial portfolio in the coming years.”

By way of background: We got a few requests from readers to launch our own “money diary” series, so we’ve asked willing readers to fill out a form with lots of details about debt, spending, saving and more! If you’d like to fill out the form and be considered for a future personal money snapshot, please click here to submit your response! You can see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time. See others in the Personal Money Snapshot series here.

Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! — Kat

Name: Clementine
Location: MCOL medium-sized city in the Northeast
Age: 33
Occupation: Government  
Income: $ 92,000
Family members: Husband, 37 (engineer with extensive work travel), and a 3-year-old who recently told me they are planning on being a dinosaur when they grow up.
Household income:
$ 235,000
Net worth: Outside of retirement accounts, our net worth is approximately $ 100,000. My husband has approximately $ 250,000 in retirement accounts plus a small pension account, while I have a defined benefit pension.
Net worth when started working: I started working at 14, used scholarships and worked through college and grad school, and graduated at 23 with approximately $ 25,000 in debt (not bad for no parental support!). My husband had been in the military and went to school utilizing the GI Bill, graduating at 30 with approximately $ 20,000 in debt. While he was in school, my career was in a holding pattern, but I was quickly able to build my career once he graduated and we relocated.
How much debt do you have? $ 5,000 in student loan debt that will be paid at the end of the year [2018], $ 35,000 car note with a low interest rate, $ 300,000 left on our mortgage. 
Living situation: Own — mortgage + taxes + insurance is $ 2,200/month.
How much do/did you spend for childcare and/or education? $ 1,000/month
Is there anything else we should know about you?
Our income has grown rapidly in the last several years — in 2011 we made $ 32,000 (together), in 2014 we made $ 135,000, and in 2018 we will make approximately $ 235,000. Because of the timing of my husband’s schooling, we were in a position of playing catch-up on our retirement accounts, specifically his accounts, but we look to grow our overall financial portfolio in the coming years.

Debt

What does your debt picture look like?
We are down to minimal student loans (subsidized only, we utilized the snowball method of paying off our highest interest loans first). We do not carry credit card debt as a habit, but do have a car note which we were able to get at a lower interest rate than the average return on our investments for the past few years. Our mortgage interest rate is also very low; however, it is psychologically important to my husband that we pay that off sooner rather than later.

We asked Clementine how she and her husband handle differing opinions on finances, such as the mortgage question: 

My husband and I are both very rational people — we joke that because we’re both Libras, we just talk and talk an issue until we reach balance. We also do a very good job of picking our battles and understanding the other person’s needs.

How much money are you spending each month to pay down debt?
We have prioritized student loan debt and have paid (on average) an additional $ 1,000/month for the last two years to eliminate it. Our next priority is paying off our car note; however, the interest rate is low enough where it made more sense to invest those dollars elsewhere and take out the loan.

How did you pay for school?
I didn’t go to my “dream school.” Instead, I took a five-year, full-tuition scholarship at a well regarded state school. I worked as an RA during college to get a free room and a monthly paycheck and worked summers and retail jobs to pay my car insurance and for my meal plan. That being said, I still walked away with $ 25,000 in student loan debt, largely owing to the few semesters I chose not to (or was unable to) RA.

Have you paid off any major debt?
We are so close to paying off our student loan debt I can taste it! I am so tempted to just take money from our emergency fund to pay it off.

Home debt: 
We have a fixed, 30-year mortgage that was a VA mortgage. We were offered the option of reducing our interest rate without paying any closing costs or extending our term and took that option, so our interest rate is 3.5%. We could have been approved for more, but were able to buy a home in our ideal neighborhood for what we felt was a reasonable monthly payment. We make biweekly payments, meaning that we make an extra principal payment annually. It is important to my husband that we pay off our mortgage ASAP; however, I acknowledge that from a financial standpoint it doesn’t make sense.

Have you ever done anything noteworthy to avoid or lessen debt?
We have worked and worked and worked some more. We replaced a 20-year-old car only when it began to have safety/reliability issues and choose experiences and time over material items.

Savings, Investments & Retirement

How much do you save for retirement?
Annually (outside of pensions), we aim for $ 35,000; however, the majority of our retirement accounts are pensions.

How much money do you allocate to other tax-savvy investments/accounts?
$ 1,200 annually (currently) to 529, $ 5,000 to our Dependent Care Advantage Account (for daycare).

How much do you save outside of retirement accounts?
That amount varies based on our ongoing expenses. We do not currently have significant automatic transfers going on; however, we do have a combination of money market accounts (minimum 24 hours to access funds but high rate of return) and linked savings accounts.

Talk to us about investments.
We have a financial planner as well as utilize index funds. We have chosen to diversify our investments at this time so as to not “put all our eggs in one basket.”

Do you have an end goal for saving or are you just saving for a rainy day?
Our financial goal is that if either one of us chooses to leave our jobs and be either a stay-at-home parent or take a major pay cut, that option is on the table.

Here’s what Clementine said when we asked her to elaborate on this goal:

I don’t think it’s likely; however, it’s our security blanket. My husband would be the better stay-at-home parent, and his job is also the job that is harder on our lifestyle (extensive and extended work travel). Ultimately though, he loves what he does and I’ve accepted that as my “price of admission.”

What’s the #1 thing you’re doing to save money, limit spending, or live frugally?
Both parents are still working rather than taking one parent out of the workforce.

When did you start saving seriously? How has your savings strategy changed over the years?
We started saving seriously in 2012, then paid for a wedding (taking out no debt but using those savings), then saved for a house (purchased in 2014), then had some income loss related to maternity leave in 2015, and really started to seriously rebuild our savings accounts in 2016.

Have you ever made a big money move or investment with savings in mind?
We moved our “orphaned” 401K accounts into an employer-subsidized deferred compensation plan, ensuring that we were actively managing all accounts.

How much do you have in cash that’s available today?
$ 18,000

How much do you have in cash that’s available in a week?
$ 50,000

How much is in your “emergency fund,” and where do you keep it?
$ 80,000 (included above), a combination of checking/savings/money market accounts. I did not include any accounts I would incur a penalty for withdrawing (e.g., retirement).

How much do you have in retirement savings?
I have a defined benefit pension plan plus $ 20,000 in an additional retirement account. My pension will pay me 60% of my three highest years of pay plus health benefits. My husband has a small pension (expected to pay approximately $ 1,000/month) plus currently $ 250,000 in retirement savings.

How much do you have in long-term investments and savings (CDs, index funds, stocks) that are not behind a retirement wall?
$ 68,000

If property values (home, car) are included in your net worth, how much are those worth?
Car is worth $ 10,000 more than is owed (included), home is worth approximately $ 100,000 more than is owed. Note that I may not have included that full amount in our net worth.

Spending 

How much do you spend on the following categories on a monthly basis?

Groceries: $ 600
Restaurants, bars, takeout, and delivery:
$ 240
Clothing and accessories: $ 200
Transportation: $ 900
Rent/living expenses: $ 4,000
Kid-related expenses:
$ 1,500
Entertainment: various
Health care — premiums and other costs: $ 150 in monthly premiums, $ 1,000 outside of that, but has varied drastically in prior years.

What’s your spending range for these things? What’s your average?

Vacations – Range: $ 20–$ 12,000
Vacations – Average:
$ 3,000

Individual items of clothing – Range: $ 20–$ 80
Individual items of clothing – Average: tops $ 30, pants $ 40, dresses $ 60

Apartment or house – Range: $ 400–$ 2,200
Apartment or house – Current main residence:
$ 2,200 monthly mortgage (house cost $ 355,000)

Car or other vehicle – Range: $ 0–$ 50,000
Car or other vehicle – Last purchase / current main vehicle: $ 50,000. It was a splurge but chosen for size and safety.

Fill in the blank on this question: I could save _____ if I stopped ______, but I don’t because _______.

We could save a drastically large sum of money if we cut out vacations and several items that are “luxury’ items” (e.g., house cleaner, organic food, etc.); however, I actively choose not to because I have known multiple people in my life who never spent, planning on having a fabulous retirement, and then died suddenly before they got to enjoy that retirement.

If you’re married: When was your wedding, how much did it cost (total), and how much did YOU pay? 
2012, $ 15,000, and we paid $ 14,000 of that.

Tell us about your wedding!
It was great! We focused on what mattered to us and had a fun but elegant party.

Have any large medical expenses for yourself or others played a role in your financial picture?
Yes. We lost a significant amount of income related to pregnancy-related complications and then had approximately $ 13,000 in out-of-pocket costs on top of that lost income.

Are there any other large expenses in your life, now or previously?
We own an older home on which all repairs seem to cost $ 8,000.

At any point in your life to date, has inheritance played a role in your money situation? 
I got $ 10,000 from a grandparent, which I used to pay for some living expenses during graduate school.  

Money Strategy

Do you have a general money strategy? 
Work hard. Make smart choices. Buy less stuff.

What are your favorite resources for personal finance?
NPR’s Marketplace

What advice would you give your younger self about personal finance?
Don’t stress so much about money.

Photo credit: icons via Stencil. 

The post The Money Snapshot: A Government Worker Shares Thoughts on Pensions, Retirement, and Rapid Income Growth appeared first on Corporette.com.

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50 Cent’s Estranged Son Shades Him – ‘He Owes Me Money Too’

The rapper has been the one asking for his money to be returned from a number of different people who owed him but this time around, it looks like he might be the one in debt.  50 Cent’s son, Marquise Jackson decided to troll his dad by claiming that he ‘owes me some money too’’

The father and the son have been feuding for a while and this would definitely not be the first time they call each other out on social media.

It all started with the 21-year-old posting a birthday tribute for sister Mia Jaè earlier today and in the comment section, Blue Mountain State star Page Kennedy did not leave his wishes but instead commented: ‘Yo tell yo pops to pay me my money son.’

If you expected him to defend his father or just ignore the comment you would be wrong because Marquise took this opportunity to reveal that ‘S**t he owe me some money too 🤷🏾‍♂️😂.’

Obviously, Page did not expect that to be his response either since he replied with a simple: ‘Oh.’

That’s definitely a big turn of events that 50 owes people money since he’s been so vocal about others having debts to him and pressuring them to pay him back.

Marquise has shaded his dad before as well.

He once slammed 50  after the rapper attacked his ex and Marquise’s mom, Shaniqua Tompkins in a post.

As the woman was getting ready to have a reality TV show, her ex joked that ‘you starting to look a little thirsty you ok?’ and also ‘Child support ls over😟.’

In defense of his mom, Marquise clapped back at his dad, saying ‘And y’all wonder why I do not respect him as a man or a father? You had a good run but it is over big fella lol it has been a decade. You are 40+ you can grow up any day now.’ Yikes!

Celebrity Insider

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Rihanna Earns More Money Selling Makeup Than Records

As previously reported, luxury brand group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has announced the launch of Fenty Maison, a new fashion house from singer and make-up mogul Rihanna.

The 31-year-old singer has made history for being the first woman to create an original brand at the famed luxury group. Fenty Maison is set to be a Paris-based collection of ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories, and is expected to debut in the spring of 2019, PEOPLE reports.

“Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real C.E.O. and a terrific leader,” LVMH’s chairman Bernard Arnault said in the statement. “She naturally finds her full place within LVMH. To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty Maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the Group resources. I am proud that LVMH is leading this venture and wish it will be a great success.”

With this latest venture, many fans fear she will now not have time to serve up some new music.

Blogger SandraRose writes:

The brand follows LVMH’s previous, lucrative Fenty Beauty makeup and perfume line that outperformed expectations and grossed over $ 562 million for the luxury brand.

The Fenty Beauty makeup line accounts for a significant slice of LVMH’s perfumes and cosmetics unit, which grossed over $ 6.85 billion last year.

With that level of growth and economic clout, you can see why Rihanna has no plans to go back into the studio.

Sources say Rihanna is officially done making music. Her makeup line is simply more lucrative and less physically demanding than recording and going out on tour.

Meanwhile, according to WWD sources, the Fenty Maison launch might coincide with the release of Rihanna’s ninth studio album.

After the success of their first collaborative project Fenty Beauty in 2017, Arnault said in a statement, “Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real C.E.O. and a terrific leader.”

He added, “She naturally finds her full place within LVMH. To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty Maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the Group resources.”

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Living with your parents to save money might dim your chances of becoming a homeowner

Young adults who lived with their parents between the ages of 25 and 34 were actually less likely to become homeowners after 10 years than those who didn't.
Wealth

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The latest guessing game in the publishing world is trying to figure out the source of Jimmy Cohen’s funding to buy the troubled National Enquirer, and two smaller sister titles, the Globe and the National Examiner, from American Media for $ 100 million. “This deal does not feel like a real transaction,” said one industry veteran….
Media | New York Post

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The Money Snapshot: A 32-Year-Old Tech Support Worker Shares Thoughts on Budget Tracking

graphic of various money-related icons with text on top reading A 32-Year-Old Tech Support Worker Shares... Her Money Snapshot

Presenting our fourth “money snapshot,” this time with a tech support worker in Kansas! She notes: “Our decision to move from L.A./Orange County to Kansas City … [has] been probably the biggest factor in allowing us to improve our lifestyle and financial standing. When I told one Californian friend what I paid for my 3BR house, she literally fell over. It’s an enormous difference for the cost of living.”

By way of background: We got a few requests from readers to launch our own “money diary” series, so we’ve asked willing readers to fill out a form with lots of details about debt, spending, saving and more! If you’d like to fill out the form and be considered for a future personal money snapshot, please click here to submit your response! You can see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time. See others in the Personal Money Snapshot series here.

Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! — Kat

Name: Aerin
Location: Overland Park, KS (suburb of Kansas City)
Age: 32
Occupation: Tech support worker 
Income: $ 58,300
Partner’s age: 37, works as a technical trainer
Household income:
$ 115,000
Net worth: House is worth about $ 190K, have about $ 55K in retirement/savings. My husband also has savings accounts; don’t know his totals.
Net worth when started working: My very first job was babysitting at 14, so I didn’t have much net worth one way or another. I graduated college at 23 with about $ 11K in student loans and $ 5K in credit card debt.
Current debt: $ 1K credit card, $ 4K on car, $ 1K student loans, $ 138K balance on mortgage, $ 25K on personal loan
Living situation: Own, pay $ 1,100 mortgage

Is there anything else we should know about you?
Personal loan was to consolidate credit cards and financing for a major home repair, plus a bit of a slush fund for further home improvements. That total also includes the financing for our bed, which we got at 0% interest.

Also, my parents and I were in a commercial when I was a baby, doing one of those customer testimonial things. Commercial money is kind of insane, because you get paid every time it airs. I had to pay taxes as an infant! That money helped set up savings accounts for me and my siblings, and was the seed of what my parents later contributed toward a down payment for my house (about $ 5K by the time I cashed it in).

Debt

What does your debt picture look like?
I have some student loans, not a ton. My husband has more, but he handles that separately. I ran up some credit card debt in college due to some emergencies/large expenses that took me a while to pay off. Recently I had to carry a balance on one of my cards due to a large vacation.

How much money are you spending each month to pay down debt?
$ 100–$ 200 for credit card beyond regular use (see below), $ 70 for student loans, $ 177 for car payment, $ 1,200 for mortgage, $ 560 for personal loan.

How did you pay for school?
My school had a very generous aid package, and a commitment to ensure that any student they accepted could attend, regardless of what they could pay. For the first year and a half or so, my dad was contributing to the tune of maybe $ 6K/year. Then my sister was in a serious car accident that required two months in the ICU and several follow-up surgeries. He talked to the school and they eliminated his contribution, replacing it with grants. Student loans were a small percentage of aid to begin with, but then my senior year the school made headlines by removing loans from the package altogether. Beyond that, I had a work-study job, and worked an additional part-time job for about half my time there, which covered day-to-day expenses, travel, books, that sort of thing.

Have you paid off any major debt?
I had three separate student loans in my package. Two of them are paid off, and the third should be cleared in 2019. I also cleared a credit card by paying it down by an extra $ 100 each month. (So if the balance had been $ 1,900, then usage + interest brought it to $ 2,050, I would pay $ 250 to bring the balance down to $ 1,800.)

Home debt: 
We pay $ 100 more than the minimum. We looked at what we were paying in rent and tried to keep our mortgage payment similar. We ended up spending more than we hoped, but still less than we got approved for. Paying off the mortgage faster is a nice idea, although we plan to sell this house which would start the clock over anyway.

Have you ever done anything noteworthy to avoid or lessen debt?
The debt consolidation loan was kind of a big deal. It lowered the interest rates on some of my debt pretty substantially. And, of course, it just felt really good to zero out those other accounts. Oh, and I can’t forget our decision to move from L.A./Orange County to Kansas City. That was entirely financial — we had outgrown our one-bedroom apartment, and our options were to get a roommate, get second jobs, cut our expenses significantly, or move someplace cheaper. We opted for the last one, and it’s been probably the biggest factor in allowing us to improve our lifestyle and financial standing. When I told one Californian friend what I paid for my 3BR house, she literally fell over. It’s an enormous difference for the cost of living.

Thinking of making a move like Aerin’s but worried about leaving behind big-city life? We asked her to pass on some advice: 

It’s funny, I actually do a lot more in Kansas City than I did in L.A. — we’re members of the zoo and had season tickets for the symphony and the Broadway series for the past couple of years (although we’re not renewing either), plus we do a fair number of concerts, author events, and conventions. In L.A., we had annual passes for Disneyland and … that was about it. We have the time (thanks to a commute that’s over an hour shorter each way) and disposable income to do things we just couldn’t there. I’ve always lived in cities (well, suburbs of major metros) so I don’t think I’d do well in a legitimately small town. But I’ve found that basically if a city is large enough to support an airport, it’s likely going to have a decent selection of good restaurants and cultural offerings. I mean, Des Moines has a better Broadway series than KC does for next season! There are still some specific things I miss (returning to In-N-Out is the closest I get to a religious experience), but on the whole the trade-offs have been worth it.

The deal I made with my husband when we first talked about moving was that if we weren’t happy, we could just save aggressively for a couple of years and be better positioned to move back. It helped that we didn’t have kids, and that he was able to transfer within his company so we retained his income and our insurance for the transition. I’m open to making a big move again if the right opportunity comes up, but we’re more settled now, so the bar for that would be pretty high.

Savings, Investments & Retirement

How much do you save for retirement?
I contributed $ 3,600 this year. My company matched that, plus an additional 1% of my salary.

How much money do you allocate to other tax-savvy investments/accounts?
None. I know my husband has an FSA, though.

How much do you save outside of retirement accounts?
I have a $ 25 monthly savings transfer that I set up in college and still use. I also have a keep the change program that rounds up my purchases to the nearest dollar and moves that to savings. Beyond that, I allocate money to savings as I can when dividing up paychecks.

Do you have/use a financial adviser or planner? 
I just use the default for my retirement plan. I don’t really have enough of anything else to do any serious investing.

Do you have an end goal for saving or are you just saving for a rainy day?
Mostly I like to save for a rainy day. We also tend to save up for large purchase/projects, especially vacations.

What’s the #1 thing you’re doing to save money, limit spending, or live frugally?
I try to avoid purchasing things until I have the cash on hand to do it. I also try to price compare and find good sales. We lived paycheck to paycheck when I was growing up (we were pretty solidly middle class, but my mom kept the regular expenses extremely tight to allow for spending/safety nets in other areas) so I learned a lot of tricks and a frugal mindset that way.

We asked Aerin to share some more money-saving strategies she’s learned:

When we were kids, my mom made us divide our money into 50% savings, 20% gifts, 30% spending. So this acquainted me with splitting early on, but I kind of resented not getting to keep much of my money. So when I wanted to buy a laptop in high school, I ended up sort of skimming off myself — if I made $ 17 babysitting, I’d hand over $ 15 and squirrel away the other $ 2 in a hidden spot. I found it easier to get my head around saving up for something specific than for its own sake. That’s still largely how I operate, very goal-oriented.

The other big thing I remember is her teaching us the importance of tracking expenses. Once we were about junior-high age, she gave each of us kids an equal envelope of cash and took us back-to-school shopping for clothes and supplies, where we’d each pick out and pay for our own stuff. The trick was, we didn’t go to Walmart for supplies until very last. So if you didn’t hold back enough money to pay for a new backpack or binder, you were stuck using last year’s. Definitely a hands-on lesson! Another time she and I went on a long weekend trip to visit the campus of my first-choice college, and she put me in charge of writing down every penny we spent. Seeing how little stuff could add up was very enlightening.

How much do you have in cash that’s available today?
$ 3K in my personal account, $ 4K in joint account. My husband maintains a separate personal account; I don’t know his total.

How much do you have in cash that’s available in a week?
$ 1,200 in personal savings, $ 4K in joint savings.

How much is in your “emergency fund,” and where do you keep it?
Savings accounts as noted above. Some money in the regular accounts is allocated for specific larger expenses as needed (like medical bills or car stuff).

How much do you have in retirement savings?
$ 50K; don’t know about my husband’s.

Spending 

How much do you spend on the following categories on a monthly basis?

Groceries: $ 400
Restaurants, bars, takeout, and delivery: 
$ 300
Clothing and accessories: $ 30
Transportation: $ 200 (car payment; car is fully electric, so charging costs are minimal)
Rent/living expenses: $ 1,100
Entertainment: $ 150
Other major expenses: If I’m working on a major sewing/craft project, that can eat up a lot of cash. (I do have an Etsy shop, and it’s not something I would consider a full-on side hustle, but it usually brings in enough to pay for supplies for the next project and keeps that stuff from cluttering up the house. The downside is it means I tend to pick projects with an eye toward inventory rather than fun or challenge.) We also allocate about $ 50/month for pet expenses. 
Health care — premiums and other costs: $ 3.300/year medical, $ 130/year dental, $ 280/year vision, all for me and my husband. I probably spend about $ 1,000/year outside of coverage for things like chiropractor (not covered), co-pays, tests, that sort of thing.

What’s your spending range for these things? What’s your average?

Vacations – Range: $ 1,000–$ 8,000 
Vacations – Average:
$ 4,000

Charity – Range of Donations: $ 10–$ 200
Charity – Average Donation:
$ 30/monthly recurring donations, $ 10–20 here and there when I can

Individual items of clothing – Range: $ 5–$ 300
Individual items of clothing – Average: It hurts me to spend more than $ 20 on a single item of clothing. I do a lot of thrifting. One thing I do spend more on is coats.

Apartment or house – Current main residence: Purchased at $ 153K

Car or other vehicle – Range: $ 2,000–$ 10,000
Car or other vehicle – Last purchase / current main vehicle: $ 8,000

Any other large personal expenses? 
Lawn care $ 75/month (although we’re probably gonna get rid of that).

We asked Aerin to comment on whether she’d like to spend less (or more) on any of the categories listed: 

I’d really like to get our food costs down. We’ve been experimenting with a few different things for that, but everything at the grocery store is getting so expensive that it’s tricky. And I’m always trying to find extra money to throw at the vacation fund.

Fill in the blank on this question: I could save _____ if I stopped ______, but I don’t because _______.
I could save a decent chunk on groceries if I cut coupons and planned my meals better, but I don’t because I just don’t have the time or energy.

When was your wedding, how much did it cost (total), and how much did YOU pay? 
2010, cost $ 7K, my parents contributed about $ 4K

Tell us about your wedding: 
We cut down the guest list to literally the people in the wedding, their spouses, and any other family on the same tier. (So my husband’s uncle performed the ceremony, so we also invited the uncle’s siblings but not other aunts and uncles. He’s closer to his extended family than I am to mine, so this gave us a clear way to draw lines.) Total was about 40 people. Since my family is scattered all over, we got married in Las Vegas to make the travel easier. We booked a huge suite with a great view at Mandalay Bay, and that’s where we did the welcome dinner, rehearsal lunch, ceremony, and reception. When our caterer asked for my budget I told him $ 35/person, figuring I could go up as high as $ 50/person plus booze. He came back with a cocktail menu including beer/wine/soda for $ 35. The food was great, and that allowed us to cater the other meals plus take everyone to a breakfast buffet the next day.

We did a bunch of other stuff to cut down on expenses. My gown was $ 250 at David’s Bridal, marked down because it had been discontinued. I spent nine months making roses out of book pages. Instead of a regular cake, we did cookie cakes on a tiered display I designed and built. (That one got featured on CNN!) I spent ages scouring eBay for things like bridal party gifts (my side each got a nice leather-bound copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales), cake topper, shoes, jewelry, etc. Photographer and videographer were both friends who gave us good rates. The one place we didn’t skimp on was the rings, since we figured that was one of the few things we’d still have after the day was done. Those cost about $ 1K each.

Basically, we wanted to put our money toward showing everyone a really good time. We knew that traveling was expensive and annoying, so we wanted to make sure our guests were well cared for while they were there. The whole affair was pretty relaxed and we got to see nearly everyone outside the wedding itself, so it was pretty successful in that regard. And we did so well on the cost of the wedding that we had about $ 3K left over to pamper ourselves for a few extra days in Vegas.

Are there any other large expenses in your life, now or previously?
Buying myself a MacBook Pro in college cost about $ 3K that I didn’t have at the time, and I spent quite a while paying back that credit card debt. But I didn’t need to buy another computer for about six years after that, so I guess it worked out? Moving across the country pretty much wiped us out. We had some friends who let us live with them for a couple of months until we got on our feet, which was a huge help.

At any point in your life to date, has inheritance played a role in your money situation?  
My mom inherited some money from her parents, but we were all adults when they died so none of it has really passed to us (since there wasn’t a ton). 

How has your family provided financial support in your adult life, if any? (Or, do you provide support to them?)
My mom and stepdad gave me a car when I was in college, because I desperately needed one due to how far away my job was. When that car died and couldn’t be revived, my dad had just paid off his car so he gave it to me and bought a new one. I was extremely broke at the time and couldn’t afford car payments, so this was extremely necessary. Beyond that, I haven’t really leaned on my parents for much financially. 

I should revise the non-financial support from family: I don’t live anywhere near family, though they’ve sometimes advised from afar. Recently I had a weird power outage, and I told my mom who told my stepdad who told my stepbrother. He correctly deduced that it was an issue with the power company, which saved me from having to pay an electrician on a Sunday.

Does your family provide any non-financial support? 
I don’t live anywhere near family, though they’ve sometimes advised from afar. Recently, I had a weird power outage, and I told my mom, who told my stepdad, who told my stepbrother. He correctly deduced that it was an issue with the power company, which saved me from having to pay an electrician on a Sunday.

Money Strategy

Do you have a general money strategy?
Oh, yes: The Spreadsheet.

I started doing this after we moved to the Midwest, before I found work and money was extremely tight. It’s got a column for each category of expenses: one for each bill (mortgage, power, insurance, etc) and then columns for things like vacation, appliances/furniture, or other things I’m saving up for, like new computers or a tattoo. Each column is marked with a target amount that it needs to get paid up to. On bills, this is the high-water mark of what we’ve ever owed. So one time our power bill was $ 250 for the month, so I keep $ 250 in that fund even though it’s usually much less each month. For other categories, it’s the savings goal, either a specific cost if there is one or a general guideline.

Then I go through the checking account, and each transaction gets entered in its own row. The amount gets listed in the correct column. Paychecks get divided up accordingly, and I have another page in the spreadsheet where I can keep track of which credit card transactions came out of which column so the bill can be divided accurately.

Functionally, this means I have at least one month’s worth of expenses on hand at all times. Once a bill comes out, I then put back the money so it’s ready for next month. It also allows me to work toward long-term goals, because even if I can only allocate a couple of bucks a week I’m still at least making space for it in my plans. More importantly, it means I don’t have to do a lot of thinking about my money when I’m spending it. If I get really concerned, I can pull it up on my phone to see where I’m at, but for the most part it works as a sort of post-hoc budgeting. If I overspend on one category for this week (like when I bought a bunch of work clothes from a store that was closing because they were 80% off), I know that I can’t put as much into other funds until I’ve made up the difference, and I also should avoid spending from that fund until it’s been rebuilt.

It’s a fair amount of work to sit down and log everything once every couple of weeks, but I absolutely love that I can buy fun, silly things on impulse without having to worry about whether this will mean I can’t pay a utility bill. It was a long road to go from being overdrawn in that account to having this sort of cushion, and The Spreadsheet absolutely helped me get there.

(After submitting her Money Snapshot, Aerin sent us this update: “I dug up the link to The Spreadsheet! Way old, but still works. I uploaded mine into Google Drive so it’s accessible from multiple devices — one version for my personal account and one for joint.”) 

Time vs. money — do you spend money to save time (e.g., cleaning service)? Do you donate your time instead of money? What else does this phrase mean to you?
There are definitely times when I do that, especially with home repairs when the DIY route usually ends up being more expensive as well as more time-consuming. I worked a retail job part-time for a while, but I realized that the bit of extra money wasn’t nearly worth the time, energy, and stress of it. My time is a non-renewable resource, and pushing myself beyond the limits of my energy had a much higher cost. I donate money over time, though, for much the same reason. I just don’t have the bandwidth to give extra time beyond my current commitments, but I can at least provide some support to the people who can.

Anything else to add? 
When my husband and I moved in together, our system was basically that he’d pay for everything, and I’d write him a check once a month for my half. It worked, more or less. Now, we have a joint account that we both pay into, which we use for shared household bills and anything that is used by both of us. However, we’ve still maintained our separate personal accounts as well, and I think it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. See, if there’s only one account, things become a zero-sum game: If he springs for some nice clothes, I might not be able to get the video game I was eyeing, because it’s all coming from the same pot. But with separate accounts, you don’t have one person held responsible for the expenses the other person incurred independently. We’ve been together for 10 years and we’ve never once argued about money. We talk about it a lot, and it’s been a source of stress when it’s not there or when we get thrown a curveball, but there’s just not the resentment about each other’s choices and priorities.

So that’s probably my biggest piece of advice to people getting serious with a partner: Keep a personal checking and savings account, even if you combine nearly everything else.

Photo credit: icons via Stencil. 

The post The Money Snapshot: A 32-Year-Old Tech Support Worker Shares Thoughts on Budget Tracking appeared first on Corporette.com.

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The Good News About Money This Week

WHAT DID WE LEARN LAST WEEK THAT’S A POSITIVE ON THE ECONOMIC FRONT?

According to the Commerce Department, the U.S.gross domestic product rose at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year. This is an impressive number, considering many economists and analysts have been concerned about the possibility of a recession in the past few months.

REMIND US WHAT GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT IS, AND WHY IT IS AN IMPORTANT THING TO MEASURE?

Gross domestic product, or GDP, the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. Put simply, it measures the entire output of the country’s economy, and it is how we gauge economic growth or contraction. When looking at GDP growth, any growth rate above 3% annually is a good number for developed economies like the US or the EU.

WERE WE EXPECTING TO SEE SUCH POSITIVE GROWTH?

Most analysts did not expect such a great number this quarter. Just recently, the Atlanta Federal Reserve had projected Q1 GDP growth would be just .1%, and for good reason! They may be distant memories now, but in the first quarter, we had an extended partial government shutdown, a spell of crippling cold weather due to the polar vortex, and a worrisome February jobs report. All of these followed on significant stock market jitters at the close of 2018. Taken together, these seemed to foreshadow an economic slowdown.

SO WHAT IS DRIVING GDP GROWTH?

Trade was a big factor. In the first three months of this year, the value of goods we imported fell as a result of concerns about tariffs on goods from China and other countries. At the same time, the US exported more goods and services. This provided a boost for American manufacturers, as did greater inventory investment, which is essentially companies buying goods and services to produce their own products.

Solid consumer spending and state and local government spending on projects like roads also contributed to the strong GDP growth in the first quarter. Finally, the Federal Reserve’s decision to shelve its plans for continued interest rate hikes this year helped boost investors and corporate sector confidence.

ARE THERE WARNING SIGNS FOR THE MONTHS AHEAD?

The housing market continued to be a drag on the larger economy last quarter. Trade and inventory spending in a given quarter can distort the longer-term trends in the economy. That may be true here, as the trade landscape is very uncertain at the moment and quarters with high inventory spending are often followed by quarters with lower spending. Rising oil prices could also hit consumers and businesses alike. Finally, wage growth and consumer confidence will weigh heavily on whether consumer spending continues to be strong.

WHAT DOES THIS NEWS MEAN FOR EVERYDAY PEOPLE?

Between this strong GDP number on Friday and the outstanding corporate earnings reports from last week, anyone who owns stock has benefited. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ hit new highs, and the Dow flirted with another record close. Overall, a strong economy should continue to keep unemployment low, which in turn should fuel higher wage growth for workers. Let’s hope the good news continues.


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Investing is a great way to grow your money, but the fear of not knowing enough about the market and losing money tends to scare people off. But life management expert Suzy Welch says you don't need to be an expert to win big.
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Democrats Keep Rejecting Corporate PAC Money. But Is It Just for Show?

From former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, who is making a bid for the U.S. Senate, to presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, the refrain du jour among 2020 Democratic presidential candidates seems to be a pledge to swear off donations from corporate political action committees (PACs). It’s a good sound bite to drop on the campaign trail: rejecting corporate and special interest money. But does it really matter on paper?

Steven Billet, who oversees a master’s program in legislative affairs at George Washington University, says candidates who refuse corporate PAC money are basically “giving the sleeves out of their vest.”

“They are giving up nothing because they wouldn’t have gotten much corporate PAC money,” Billet tells Fortune.

A corporate PAC, a type of PAC that raises money in the name of a company, can contribute up to $ 5,000 to a candidate’s campaign per election. To put this in perspective, an individual donor can donate up to $ 2,800 of personal money, and a couple can give up to $ 5,600. So, if a candidate refuses $ 5,000 from a corporate PAC, they could potentially get the same amount from a private donor.

“Corporate PAC contributions are not a big piece of the pie for major candidates,” says Andrew Mayersohn, a researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics. “There just aren’t enough corporate PACs out there to fund much of an eight-figure senate campaign, let alone a presidential campaign.”

And, according to Mayersohn, corporate PACs specifically “aren’t particularly ideological,” so they tend to give money to incumbents, rather than candidates in open primaries.

“Most corporate PACs don’t make direct contributions to presidential candidates,” he says, “especially when there’s a primary where you don’t know what the outcome will be.”

And even when corporate PACs do give money to a candidate, the sum pales in comparison to other contributions. In the 2016 presidential election, for example, Hillary Clinton raised around $ 250,000 from corporate PACs–constituting less than 0.5% of the total money she raised, data analyst Brendan Glavin told Marketplace. That number was even smaller for then-candidate Donald Trump: $ 26,000 or 0.01% of his total fundraising.

Finding the Loopholes

While corporate PACs might not donate money to a specific candidate who doesn’t want them, they can still donate to a political party. A candidate like Warren could reject the corporate and special interest money, but that doesn’t mean the Democratic Party as a whole will do the same. Money that comes through the party could end up being used to support an individual candidate or to sponsor political events.

But perhaps the easiest workaround is that people who work for corporations can donate on an individual basis, money that many candidates gladly continue to accept. In some cases, candidates may even seek out money from a company’s executives on an individual basis.

Michael Williams, founder of the public policy and communications consulting firm The Williams Group, calls it a “sick irony” that candidates will turn away lobbyist or corporate PAC money, while continuing to accept money from executives at the same companies.

“What’s the difference? If you won’t take a particular bank’s money, but you’ll take the bank executive’s money?” Williams tells Fortune. “Are you really materially changing anything?”

Williams says doing so only perpetuates the myth that money influences policy. If a candidate is completely opposed to an industry, he says, those corporations won’t give them money because they don’t expect money to change a candidate’s position.

“I don’t know anyone who was a ‘no’ on something until they got a contribution and then became a ‘yes,’” he says.

And these private donations tend to add up much more quickly than those from a corporate PAC. Unlike individual contribution limits, which have grown over time, corporate PACs continue to face the $ 5,000 per candidate donation limit–a figure that hasn’t changed since 1974. As such, the total contributions from individuals have skyrocketed as compared to those from PACs.

According to 2017-18 data from OpenSecrets, corporate PAC donations to Democrats totaled $ 149,426,431, while business donations from individuals to Democrats totaled $ 920,808,050–more than six times the total given by PACs.

FEC data for the 2016 presidential election shows that corporate PAC donations to Democratic presidential candidates totaled $ 942,116, and independent expenditures for non-political committees totaled $ 4,582,471.

But not everyone feels rejecting corporate PAC money is misguided. At the very least, the move could be an effective branding strategy.

Brad Smith, a former FEC commissioner and the current chairman of the Institute for Free Speech, a nonprofit that advocates for loosening campaign-finance regulations, calls swearing off corporate PAC money “not meaningless, but a calculation,” and says the advantage of doing so could outweigh the loss of PAC money.

“It might even get them a net increase in contributions if it persuades more individuals to give,” Smith tells Fortune.

What about super PACs?

While not all of the Democratic candidates are aligned in this respect, many of the expected frontrunners–including Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren–have disavowed super PACs. But this is tricky in practice.

Super PACs have only been around since 2010, but unlike other PACs, they can accept unlimited contributions from any non-foreign source and can spend unlimited amounts to influence an election–meaning that their potential power is also limitless.

Yet super PACs are intended to operate independently from a candidate: they are legally prohibited from contributing directly to a candidate or party, meaning that their funds are usually used to run ads for or against particular candidates and issues. As a result, a candidate can say that they don’t support a super PAC operating on their behalf, but in practice, there isn’t all that much they can do to stop it.

“Any candidate who swears he won’t accept super PAC money is either ignorant, or assumes the listener is ignorant,” says Smith. “A candidate cannot ‘refuse’ super PAC support. He can publicly ask a super PAC not to spend in his race, but the super PAC can choose to ignore the plea and spend whatever it wants.”

Such a claim, therefore, amounts to “grandstanding,” he says.

In addition to swearing off super PACs, some candidates–like Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren–have sworn off PAC money entirely, meaning they won’t accept money from labor or ideological PACs, either. Gabbard, O’Rourke, and Warren are also joined by Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar in a pledge to refuse money from lobbyists.

But the pledge that might matter more than the others, according to Mayersohn, is Warren’s. Going a step further than the rest of the crowd, Warren told supporters in a February email that she would not attend high-dollar fundraisers, dinners, or cocktail receptions with donors, in order to provide “equal access.”

Looks like 2020 might become the small dollar donation election, after all.

Fortune

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How Much Money Do Porn Stars Actually Make?

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Ask a porn star about sex and you’ll be inundated with every dirty detail—unless you ask how much it pays. That’s when the conversation becomes awkward. When discussing pay rates, XXX performers are just like everyone else, and equally as private. Earnings are often over-exaggerated (the few performers willing to speak about rates inevitably claim to be on the higher end of the scale).

Twenty-six-year-old Ariana Marie recalls how little she knew about the pay structure when she first entered the industry, and how heavily she relied on her agent. Marie’s starting rate for a boy/girl scene was $ 1200, which is the higher end of today’s standard range. However, her booking agent’s 40% commission was not. Most XXX agents take a 10-20% commission, but a new performer wouldn’t automatically know that. “Anytime I was on set I started asking other girls, ‘How much does your agent take?’ They’d say 10 or 15% and then I started asking, ‘Well, why does mine take 40?’”

Marie’s next agent seemed a little better—at first. His cut was standard but it wasn’t long before they were haggling over her rates, which he called “too high.” Apparently, that agent was offering buddy deals. “The agent was friends with some of the companies and he’d lower my rate for them,” says Marie. “His excuse was, ‘You’ll work more,’ but I was already working a lot.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Loughlin, Husband, Others Hit With Money Laundering Charge

BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors added money laundering to the list of accusations against actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and 14 other parents Tuesday in the college admissions bribery case, signaling an escalation against parents who are fighting the allegations instead of pleading guilty.

Loughlin, the star of TV’s “Full House,” and Giannulli are among 33 prominent parents accused of participating in a scheme that involved rigging college entrance exams and bribing coaches at top universities.

They were arrested last month on a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. An indictment brought Tuesday adds a charge of money laundering conspiracy against the couple and the 14 other parents.

Other parents indicted on the new charge Tuesday include Michelle Janavs, whose family developed the microwave snack line Hot Pockets before selling their company, and William McGlashan, who co-founded an investment fund with U2’s Bono in 2017.

McGlashan’s attorney John Hueston said Tuesday the case against him “is deeply flawed.”

“We look forward to presenting his side of the story,” Hueston said.

Messages seeking comment were left with representatives for Loughlin, Giannulli and Janavs.

Amy and Gregory Colburn, a California couple accused of paying $ 25,000 to cheat on their son’s SAT, were indicted last month on money laundering and mail fraud conspiracy charges.

The parents in the sweeping case, the largest such scheme ever prosecuted by the Justice Department, are accused of paying an admissions consultant, Rick Singer, to cheat on their children’s college entrance exams and get their children admitted as athletic recruits at schools including Georgetown and Yale.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $ 500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of them played the sport.

They appeared in Boston federal court briefly last week and were not asked to enter a plea.

The new charges come a day after “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman, 12 other parents and a coach agreed to plead guilty .

Huffman, the 56-year-old Emmy-winner who stared in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” was accused of paying $ 15,000 disguised as a charitable donation to have a proctor correct the answers on her daughter’s SAT. She and the 12 other parents agreed Monday to plead guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Prosecutors say they will seek a prison sentence that’s on the low end of between four and 10 months for Huffman.

In her first public comments since her arrest, Huffman took responsibility for her actions and said she would accept the consequences.

“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty,” she said after her plea deal was announced.

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4.5.19 Americans are borrowing money to pay for healthcare costs; Clark Stinks

Americans eschew certain healthcare procedures to cut costs and are often borrowing from others to pay for healthcare needs; Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here.

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The Money Snapshot: A 33-Year-Old Management Consultant Shares Thoughts on Three Mortgages & Her Aggressive Savings Strategy

 

Today we’re proud to present our third “money snapshot,” this time with C, a management consultant on the West Coast! She notes: “I paid off my student loans extremely aggressively — all were paid off within two years of graduating. Although I had a job that paid well right out of college (I started at $ 60K), I tried to live frugally where reasonably possible in order to prioritize paying these off.”

By way of background: we got a few requests from readers to launch our own “money diary” series, so we’ve asked willing readers to fill out a form with lots of details about debt, spending, saving and more!  If you’d like to fill out the form and be considered for a future personal money snapshot, please click here if you’d like to see the form and/or submit responses! You can also see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time. See others in the Personal Money Snapshot series here.

Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! — Kat

Name: C
Location: HCOL suburb on the West Coast
Age: 33 
Occupation: Management consultant
Income: $ 180K/year base, $ 10K–$ 40K bonus
Net worth: About $ 900,000
Net worth when started working: Negative $ 52K (student loans) at age 22 
Current debt: Three mortgages (home, rental property, and vacation home) totaling $ 830K
Living situation: Own a house and pay $ 2,000/month in mortgage.

Debt

What does your debt picture look like?
My only debt right now is mortgage debt, across three homes (primary, vacation, investment property), totaling $ 830K. I have pretty good mortgage rates (3.5%, 3.75%, and 4.5%, all 30-year fixed), so I am paying the regular monthly payments. While I made an extra lump sum payment on my primary home with a bonus a few years ago, I now just put those bonuses into savings/investments so that I could pay the mortgages off later if I needed to.

How much money are you spending each month to pay down debt?
$ 5,400 in monthly mortgage payments, though $ 3,500 is paid by tenants

How did you pay for school?
I paid off my student loans extremely aggressively — all were paid off within two years of graduating. Although I had a job that paid well right out of college (I started at $ 60K), I tried to live frugally where reasonably possible in order to prioritize paying these off. I am very uncomfortable having debt, so it was important to me to not have my student loans hanging over my head.

What advice would you share with readers about buying and maintaining a rental property?
Find someone you trust that you can call for repairs! I don’t have a property manager per se, but I do have a handyman who lives right by the property to whom I sole source all repairs. If he can’t do it, he will call around and find someone who can, then charge a one-off commission (which is well worth it). It’s amazing peace of mind to know that if there is an issue, my tenants can call me or call him directly in an emergency. Also, if you are looking to buy a rental property, remember that you don’t need to like it personally, so try to avoid any upgrades that make it to your taste, and stick with something more generic.

Savings, Investments & Retirement

How much do you save for retirement?
I max out my 401K ($ 2,100/month). I used to max out my Roth IRA before I became ineligible for that. I still do a “backdoor Roth” where I put it into a traditional IRA and then immediately convert it, so that the earnings will be tax free.

How much money do you allocate to other tax-savvy investments/accounts?
I max out my HSA at $ 260/month… I figure even if it stays in there now without me using it, it will be good to have when I’m older and more prone to health issues. I have had two health issues that depleted my HSA significantly, over 10 years, so I figure it’s a great emergency fund — especially since I’m on a high-deductible plan.

How much do you save outside of retirement accounts?
I also save $ 4,500/month post tax in a combo of index funds and a managed portfolio. I prefer to manually transfer the funds when my paycheck comes in, which forces me to check out my financial situation every two weeks and see how I’m doing. I transfer the money from my paycheck bank account to another “transaction” bank account, then I have automatic transfers for my investments set up to take the money a week after my paycheck hits. I feel like that’s the best of both worlds — keeps it simple but also forces me to continuously evaluate and reassess. And if I’m short on funds, I could always stop a transfer.

Do you have/use a financial adviser or planner? 
I started using a financial adviser last year, who manages a portfolio for me that complies with my company’s guidelines around what I can/can’t invest in. (Working in consulting, there are a lot of restrictions around investing in clients.) I felt pressured to start using an adviser by my company, but I do wonder if it’s worth the fees (1%) or if I’d be better off with it all in index funds. I put $ 2,000/month into that portfolio for my adviser to invest as he sees fit, and then I put $ 2,500/month into the Schwab Total Market Stock Index fund. I feel very uninformed/inexperienced when it comes to investing, but I haven’t prioritized learning about it.

Do you have an end goal for saving or are you just saving for a rainy day?
I’d like to retire early (mid-40s) and am well on track to do so. But if I decide to have a family, I know that timeline would be pushed back significantly.

What’s the #1 thing you’re doing to save money, limit spending, or live frugally?
I think I am generally pretty frugal, though I’m motivated by knowing I CAN buy anything I want thanks to my otherwise-frugality. I’ve made a few big impulse buys over the years (my vacation home wasn’t supposed to happen for a while longer, but I found this house and fell in love with it). It feels SOOOOO good to know that I never have to worry about money, which is the opposite of how I grew up. No matter how much my salary increases, I plan to always live well below my means and try to avoid keeping up with the Joneses.

Do a lot of your financial decisions today stem from the money situation your family had growing up?
Yes — it’s really important to me to pay my bills on time (which my parents weren’t financially able to do), and it also makes me feel amazing to be able to buy things without having to worry about bouncing checks or overdrawn credit cards, which were common in my childhood.

When did you start saving seriously? How has your savings strategy changed over the years?
The day I graduated college! It’s always been a high priority for me to be financially comfortable and not in debt.

Do you have an estate plan in place?  
None — I probably should. However, as a single, I don’t really know who I’d want my estate to go to. Probably my parents, and they will get it by default anyway.

How much do you have in cash that’s available today?
$ 20? Ha. I don’t keep actual physical cash.

How much do you have in cash that’s available in a week?
$ 8,000 — currently very depleted from the down payment on my vacation home. I would like this to be $ 20K. This is my emergency fund, and I keep it in a savings account.

How much do you have in retirement savings?
$ 201K

How much do you have in long-term investments and savings that are not behind a retirement wall?
$ 142K

If property values are included in your net worth, how much are those worth?
Home: $ 338K equity
Rental property: $ 82K equity
Vacation home: $ 125K equity
Car: fully paid off and worth about $ 15K

Looking back, did you ever expect to own three properties at 33? In general, say, 10 years ago, did you expect to be where you are now financially?
DEFINITELY not. I feel like all of my real estate purchases were accidental — the investment property was a short sale that came across my lap when I had a bunch of cash in savings and hadn’t really figured out investing. My primary home was of course planned, but the vacation home was something I didn’t expect. I thought vacation homes were only for richer/more established people and was pleasantly surprised when I happened across the property and found I could make the numbers work. I feel incredibly lucky to be where I am today financially; I honestly never really expected much more than being able to make ends meet and am proud to be well ahead of that.

Spending 

How much do you spend on the following categories on a monthly basis?

Groceries: $ 120 
Restaurants, bars, takeout, and delivery: 
$ 500
Clothing and accessories: $ 200
Transportation: $ 20/week on gas, $ 100/month on car registration/insurance
Rent/living expenses: $ 2,000 mortgage payment  
Entertainment: $ 30/month for a local concert series I like. I rarely buy books (yay for libraries!) or go to the movies.
Health care — premiums and other costs: $ 80/month for a high deductible plan ($ 3,500 deductible). I probably spend about $ 500/year from my FSA for various things (medicine, co-pays, contact lenses).

What’s your spending range for these things? What’s your average?

Vacations – Average: Low — I tend to take a lot of three-day weekends, using hotel points and frequent flyer miles, so they still often fit in my regular weekly budget of ~$ 400/week.

Charity – Average Donation: $ 20 to any friend asking for money for their pet charities, and then I go to a decent number of events ($ 150 for a ticket, another $ 100–$ 500 on auction items/general donation).

Individual items of clothing – Range: $ 10–$ 100 
Individual items of clothing – Average: I have inexpensive taste — I really like Old Navy for trendy stuff because I don’t care if it lasts that long anyway, and for classic pieces that I do want to last, I tend to buy from Banana Republic and Lands’ End. I like shopping brands online that I can easily return in stores rather than having to mail them back, and I tend to buy a LOT to try at home, and then return a lot. I almost always wait till things are on sale to buy, and will often put things into my cart that I like, then come back to it weeks later when I see they’re doing 50% off everything (or whatever). I’d say I typically pay around $ 30–$ 50 for a work dress, $ 10–$ 20 for a shirt / sweater, $ 20 for jeans, and $ 20 for shoes. For black-tie events, I’ll find gowns for $ 80–$ 150; there are a lot in this price range from basic department stores (e.g., Macy’s). I like seeing the pieces featured on Corporette, but most of them are much more expensive than what I’d consider buying.

Apartment or house – Current main residence: $ 2,000/month

Car or other vehicle – Last purchase / current main vehicle: Bought a new SUV for $ 25K that is five years old and that I plan to drive several more years.

Fill in the blank on this question: I could save _____ if I stopped ______, but I don’t because _______.
I could save $ 1,000 a month if I got a roommate for my gigantic house that I live in alone, but I don’t because I really value having my own place. I love my neighborhood, but it doesn’t have any 2-bedroom houses, which would have more than sufficed! I did look at a few townhomes that would have been a great size, but the value wasn’t nearly as high compared to paying just a little bit more for twice the room.

How much did your car cost?
$ 25K. In hindsight, I wish I had bought a used car rather than new.

How much did your home cost?
$ 470K

If you have vacation homes, timeshares, or income properties, how much did those cost?  
(1) I bought a townhouse five years ago for $ 130K; it’s now worth $ 180K. I rent this out for $ 1,500/month, which more than covers the $ 1,000/month mortgage. (2) Last year, I bought a vacation home for $ 525K; the mortgage is $ 2,400/month. I partially rent it out for $ 2,000/month, which allows me to still enjoy it part time without having to pay the full burden of the mortgage. I eventually plan to stop renting it out.

How has your family provided financial support in your adult life, if any? (Or, do you provide support to them?)
When I graduated college, I went home and lived with my parents for three months until moving to start my first job. I worked at a restaurant to cover spending money, but they paid my cell phone bill and I didn’t pay rent/utilities. I’ve made loans to a few family members of $ 5K–$ 20K; some have been paid back and some haven’t. I don’t like loaning money to people so I only make loans that I am comfortable losing entirely.

Money Strategy

Do you have a general money strategy?
I keep a spreadsheet of all my accounts, and a general budget, though the only categories I “budget” for out of my paycheck are mortgage, utilities, internet, savings, and the rest in a generic “spending money” category. I don’t budget separately for food because I could easily make dinner for $ 5 from the grocery store or buy a meal for $ 150 at a restaurant, so I think of food as a form of entertainment and want it included in that generic “spending money” category. I budget $ 1,500 month for “spending money,” and when I pay my credit card bill (which I do in full each month), I see how it compares to that budget. If it’s over, I keep it in mind and try to tighten my belt a little bit the next month. But I like the freedom of not having to worry about individual purchases, and just looking at it in aggregate. I’ve used this strategy since I graduated college, though back then my budget was $ 800/month ($ 200/week).

Time vs. money — do you spend money to save time (e.g., cleaning service)? Do you donate your time instead of money? What else does this phrase mean to you?
I volunteer about 20 hours/month and generally try to give back this way instead of financially. Writing a check doesn’t really mean much to me, but I get a huge psychological benefit out of spending time volunteering — for me, that decision is much more about the psychology than it is about saving money. However, I definitely tend to spend time to save money. I don’t hire a cleaning service, and do it myself — it’s really not that hard if I block off an hour a week and keep up with it regularly. I try to save whatever I can on things that don’t matter to me (e.g., store brand groceries vs. name brand) so that I don’t have to worry about spending money on the things I want to indulge in (a great meal at a fancy restaurant).

What are your favorite resources for personal finance?
Blogs: The Simple Dollar, Mr. Money Mustache. Both of those are often much more frugal than I’m comfortable with, but I get some good ideas from there. And, it helps to normalize extreme frugality for me, which makes me feel comfortable with how frugal I am. 

Photo credit: icons via Stencil.

Wow – huge thanks to C for sharing her life with us!

The post The Money Snapshot: A 33-Year-Old Management Consultant Shares Thoughts on Three Mortgages & Her Aggressive Savings Strategy appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Don’t Let Just Anyone Handle Your Money: Use Caution When Choosing a Financial Adviser

African Americans may do well to check out a financial adviser’s credentials thoroughly before hiring one to manage their investments. New data shows what you need to know before choosing a financial adviser.

Some 48% of Americans mistakenly believe all financial advisers are required by law to always act in their clients’ best interest, a new survey by digital wealth manager Personal Capital shows. The finding comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission this month settled charges against 79 investment advisers who must return over $ 125 million to clients tied to mutual fund sales, with a large chunk of the money going to retail investors, DI Media reports.

The Personal Capital 2019 Financial Trust Report further disclosed that 65% of investors who work with a financial adviser incorrectly believe that financial advisers only make recommendations that are in a client’s best interest, a rise from 46% in 2017.

A startling discovery was that just 44% of Americans know the fee amounts they pay on all their investment accounts. And 20% do not know how their adviser is paid. Personal Capital claims hidden fees can add up to more than an eye-popping $ 400,000 in an investor’s lifetime.

This report stemmed from a CARAVAN survey by Engine among a sample of 2,007 adults—1,004 men and 1,003 women—18 years of age and older. The online interviews were conducted in December 2018 and entailed responses from 202 African Americans.

Though 30% surveyed think a financial adviser is likely to take advantage of a consumer, 97% trust that their own financial adviser will act in their best interests.

A Lack of Awareness When Choosing a Financial Adviser

Accentuating the lack of awareness pertaining to advisers’ legal obligations to clients, 18% were unable to identify if their adviser is a broker/dealer or a fiduciary. The 26% who indicated their advisers are broker/dealers should reconsider if they are receiving unbiased financial advice, Personal Capital says.

Questioned about who they would trust their money with, 28% said a registered investment adviser, 21% a big bank/brokerage firm, 14% a local advisory company, 8% an online platform. Thirty-three of the respondents said none of the above.

On the loyalty front, millennials surprisingly were the most devoted with 80% declaring they would follow an adviser to a new firm. Seventy percent of Gen Xers and 66% of baby boomers felt that way. Respondents reflected on the usefulness of technology in financial services and cybersecurity concerns.

The overall findings come after years of public debate among regulatory bodies over the fate of the fiduciary rule focused on arguing the definition of “best interest,” which Personal Capital claims may be contributing to the increased public confusion.

“While we hope all financial services professionals and firms are working with Americans’ best interests in mind regardless of fiduciary designations, this simply isn’t the case,” said Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital. “When it comes to wealth management, anything less than advice that meets the fiduciary standard simply isn’t acceptable. Investors deserve more.”

How to Find a Reputable Adviser

Responding to the Personal Capital report, Kevin Mayeux, CEO of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, said, “Broker-dealers and their registered representatives provide affordable, trustworthy financial services and products to clients at all income levels, from the wealthy to those with more modest means.” The NAIFA is the nation’s largest membership association of insurance and financial professionals.

Mayeux added,  “Fiduciary regulations, such as one imposed by the U.S. Department of Labor before it was struck down by a federal court, can create burdensome and costly requirements that make it difficult or impossible for advisers to provide individualized, human-on-human advice and services to middle- and lower-income consumers. Many registered investment advisers charge fees and require account minimums of $ 200,000 to $ 1 million or more while relegating people who cannot maintain those balances or afford those fees to one-size-fits-all computerized models or call-centers.”

“The truth is, insurance and financial advisers are highly-trained and licensed professionals. They are governed by state and federal securities laws, and every securities transaction they complete with a client is subject to compliance reviews by their broker-dealers and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.”

Mayeux pointed out NAIFA members agree to abide by a code of ethics that includes a promise to promote their clients’ interests. He says the vast majority of these advisers build and maintain enduring relationships with clients that often last decades and would not be possible if the advisers were not looking out for the best interests of their clients.

“Nonetheless, NAIFA supports an ongoing effort by the Securities and Exchange Commission that would further require advisers to serve in the best interests of their clients and is working with the SEC to ensure that the final rule benefits consumers of all income levels and allows them to continue to receive needed services and advice.”

A “Staunch Advocate”

Geoffrey Brown, CEO of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, said the findings from Personal Capital’s 2019 Financial Trust Report are not surprising. He said because of efforts to mislead and confuse the public by non-fiduciary financial services professionals, consumers often don’t have the clarity needed to evaluate the relationship they have with their chosen professional.

He added this leads to a lack of understanding about the true cost of the engagement and the duties owed to the client under the law. Since its inception, Brown claims NAPFA has been a staunch advocate for fiduciary principles, something he maintains is the most transparent way of serving the public. The NAPFA calls itself the country’s leading professional association of fee-only financial advisers.

“In today’s marketplace, it’s virtually impossible to distinguish a salesperson from an adviser, or between those advisers who are legally obligated to provide advice under a fiduciary standard versus those who are not. When working with an adviser or salesperson, consumers need to be clear about the nature of the relationship,” Brown says.

 

The post Don’t Let Just Anyone Handle Your Money: Use Caution When Choosing a Financial Adviser appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Learn how to make easy money on Amazon — and cash in on Jeff Bezos’ empire

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Amazon isn’t just the place you buy toilet paper and dog treats when you’re too lazy to go to the store. For many, Amazon is responsible for their livelihoods, and it could for you too one day. 

From the Amazon affiliate program to selling private-label products, there’s more than one path to Amazon-made success.

If your interest is piqued, here are three ways to do it:

1. Become an Amazon affiliate

One of the most painless ways to earn money on Amazon is by becoming an affiliate. In a nutshell, an affiliate is someone who serves as an ambassador for certain products. Your job is to get people to buy items through content marketing or a separate e-commerce store, and once someone makes a purchase, you earn a commission. Read more…

More about Amazon, Small Business, Online Learning, Mashable Shopping, and Shopping Stackcommerce


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More than free money: How long-shot 2020 candidate Andrew Yang would reshape the US economy

Long-shot Democratic candidate Andrew Yang has proposed a $ 1,000 monthly stipend to Americans 18 and older, but he's looking to tackle other issues.
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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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3.15.19 Well-known money advice guru ran ponzi scheme; Clark Stinks

Former “Money answer man” Jonathan Goodman was running a ponzi scheme and massively profiting from his shady relationships; Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here.

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10 “Free” Things That Cost You Money in the Long Run

Life is expensive. Between the mortgage, insurance, car payments, and unexpected repairs, homeowners have a lot of money going out. It’s understandable, then, that many are tempted to take advantage of freebies when they’re offered. But be wary: There’s a price to pay for everything—even the free stuff. Before you accept freebies, understand what you’re actually getting. Goods and services that you don’t have to pay for may not be up to standard or may come with sneaky fine print, or they may just cause more problems. So, while you might save money in the short term, in the long run you could live to regret your frugal choices. Avoid these 10 “free” things that are likely to end up costing you money.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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You’re more likely to win money if this is your star sign

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Do you believe in star signs? Whether you trust in what your horoscope says or not, you might want to read this…

It turns out that the luckiest star sign is Aries. According to research by Buzzbingo.com, those born between March 21st and April 19th are more likely to hit the jackpot. Aries are the most likely to win big (more than £1000), with 520 big winners per 10,000 winners, with Sagittarus coming in close second. However, it’s bad news if you’re a Capricorn, as they came last in the table. Those with a Leo and Aquarius star sign didn’t do too well, either Sorry.

Here’s the full list so that you can see where you fall in line with your star sign. It’s based on the most winners per 10,000 winners.

Aries – 520

Sagittarius – 519

Cancer – 510

Taurus – 510

Virgo – 498

Scorpio – 496

Libra – 477

Gemini – 476

Pisces – 471

Leo – 467

Aquarius – 462

Capricorn – 456

The study shows that Virgos came out on top when it comes to overall winners, with 11,186 people taking home cash wins. This is the full breakdown…

Credit: Buzzbingo

So all in all – great news if you’re an Aries!

Sagittarius and Cancer, we’d say you can cash in on the luck, too.

Might be worth heading to the bingo this weekend…

The post You’re more likely to win money if this is your star sign appeared first on Marie Claire.

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How to Automate Your Savings to Amortize Big Expenses and Save Money

how to automate savings

I realized the other day that while I’d mentioned how I amortize big expenses through automatic saving, that I’ve never done an explicit post on it, so I thought it might be a good discussion. Ladies, what are your best tips on how to automate your savings? How much each month do you send to automatic savings (versus automatic investments)? Do you save for specific big expenses (like bills you know are coming), breaking them into smaller chunks each month, or are you just saving for a future nebulous expense like a downpayment or wedding? If you’ve got big debts (like student loan debt), how do you decide when to save vs when to pay down debt?

Pictured above: WHOA, Nordstrom has several magic wallets (affiliate link).

I have automated a ton of my savings, mostly to amortize big expenses — in fact most of our monthly income is immediately sent to automatic savings or automatic investments, which means that it can feel a little tight if our credit card bill is too high or the blog income (which varies widely) is too low. You can set this up in a lot of different accounts, but personally I’ve used Ally for the past five or six years. (This is not a sponsored post!) I like Ally because I find it very easy to 1) set up new accounts with beneficiaries and so forth, 2) in Ally you can label the accounts silly things like “Griffin Fun Money,” 3) they offer a pretty good savings rate, 4) Ally integrates seamlessly with my main bank for business and personal use, Chase, and 5) the separate little Ally accounts all sync with Mint — and I’ve set it up so Mint knows the account labels, so it isn’t at all confusing.

Each month we automatically save money into these accounts in Ally:

  • Insurance fun – My husband and I both have a fair amount of term life insurance, and the renewal comes at the same time every year, so that can be a pretty big chunk of money — so I added up all of the insurance payments we make through the year, divided by 12, and put that amount into a separate savings account once a month — and then when the insurance renewals come there’s no stress because the money is already set aside.
  • Vacation money – We don’t take a huge number of vacations but we have a set amount going each month to a separate vacation fund — we’re more likely to use it for a quick weekend trip, but I like not stressing about how much a hotel/plane flight costs — and when the amount gets too big in the account it’s a good incentive for us to actually plan a trip and go somewhere fun
  • Kids’ expenses/lessons – At various points through the kids’ lives we’ve had what felt like big, predictable expenses for the kids, so I’ve broken them down like I have for the insurance payments (totalling them up then dividing by 12); if the vacation fund gets too big I might also start diverting money every other month to the kids expense bucket.
  • Griffin Fun Money – After our post on “when to dip into your emergency fund” I realized I needed to change my system a bit, so now we have a monthly amount going into “fun money,” designed to cover those bigger expenses that come along rarely, like buying a new piece of furniture. 
  • Emergency funds – Our emergency funds are fully stocked right now (I have one for business and one for the family), but if we needed to restock things we would put them here.
  • Other big expenses – If you know you’re saving for a downpayment, a car, or some other house-related project like a kitchen renovation, I would definitely set up a savings account to break it into smaller chunks ahead of time.

Just to be super clear and distinguish this discussion from the one we had a while ago on automatic investing: if I think I’ll need the money within three years, I put the money in savings rather than investments like index funds. I’ve never been big on CDs, but Ally recently offered some good rates for 12-month CDs so I will admit to having some of our “emergency fund” money in CDs rather than savings accounts — but with Ally saving accounts offering 2.20% right now that’s hard to beat. (When I looked at bank rates on Mint recently there were a number of different banks offering that kind of savings right now, so definitely shop around if your emergency fund or other cash is earning less than that.)

Readers, how about you — have you automated your savings, whether for specific expenses or a nebulous future expense that’s different than your emergency fund? How much are you putting away each month for savings (vs. automated investments like your 401K)?

 

The post How to Automate Your Savings to Amortize Big Expenses and Save Money appeared first on Corporette.com.

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The Money Snapshot: A Chemist in New Jersey Shares Thoughts on Student Loans, Mortgages, & More!

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Presenting our second “money snapshot,” this time with a 29-year-old chemist in New Jersey! She notes: “We paid off our cars and my student loan debt, and now we are saving for a house.”   

By way of background: we got a few requests from readers to launch our own “money diary” series, so we asked willing readers to fill out a form with lots of details about debt, spending, saving and more!  If you’d like to fill out the form and be considered for a future personal money snapshot, please click here if you’d like to see the form and/or submit responses! You can also see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time. See others in the Personal Money Snapshot series here.

Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! — Kat

Name: J
Location: Collingswood, NJ
Age: 29
Occupation: Chemist
Income: $ 85,000
Household income: $ 176,000
Partner’s age: 30
Household net worth:
not sure
Net worth when started working: Nothing except $ 55,000 in student loan debt (age 22)
Current debt: $ 0
Living situation: Currently renting; rent is $ 1,525/month

Debt

How much money are you spending each month to pay down debt?
$ 3,000 credit card bill — covers almost all expenses except rent

How did you pay for school?
Grants and loans

Have you paid off any major debt? 
Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to pay off student loans so quickly ($ 54k in 7 years) if I didn’t have a partner covering all our daily expenses. 

What is your living situation?
We are renting — we rented for five years before we aggressively started saving for a house. In 18 months we had enough for a mortgage that we felt comfortable with, but we’re still hesitant to buy because property taxes in our area are so high and we aren’t 100% sure we want to (can?) commit to this area.

Savings, Investments & Retirement

How much do you save for retirement?
15% or more of my salary in 401k, and I have a rollover IRA that I haven’t touched. Both are more risk-balanced since I’m under 30.

How much money do you allocate to other tax-savvy investments/accounts like HSAs, 529s, FSAs, and others?
From 2011–2018, I put $ 10 a month into my HSA to focus on student loans. In 2019, I’ll contribute almost the maximum.

How much do you save outside of retirement accounts?
My partner pays for day-to-day expenses, and most of my salary (minus Target trips and a few monthly expenses like Audible) goes to a savings account.

Do you have/use a financial adviser or planner? Do you have a favorite index fund where you stick everything? Are you doing a bond ladder or other asset allocation strategy (like value funds or target retirement funds)?
No, but I think we should use a financial adviser soon. After Christmas [2018], I want to buy index fund.

Do you have an end goal for saving (e.g., early retirement or job change) or are you just saving for a rainy day?
House, Travel, and Apocalyptic life events. Early retirement would be great, but I haven’t thought about how to do that.

What’s the #1 thing you’re doing to save money, limit spending, or live frugally?
Automatic transfers help. Also, this sounds terrible, but having almost all our expenses on one credit card keeps me accountable. I’m far less likely to impulse spend if I know my partner is checking the credit card every week. My personal credit cards don’t have travel rewards, so I only want to use the joint CC and use the points to travel abroad. So my impulse spending is limited, and when I do spend, it’s at least going to be rewarded with crepes in Paris or something.

When did you start saving seriously? How has your savings strategy changed over the years?
I started saving seriously at the age of 26, and even more aggressively at 28.

How much do you have in cash that’s available today?
$ 2,000

How much do you have in cash that’s available in a week, such as with an online savings account?
$ 70,000

Spending 

How much do you spend on the following categories on a monthly basis?

Groceries: $ 300
Restaurants, bars, takeout, and delivery:
$ 150
Clothing and accessories: $ 150
Transportation: $ 160
Rent/living expenses: $ 1,525 (rent)

What’s your spending range for these things? What’s your average?

Vacations – Range: $ 0$ 5,000
Vacation – Average: $ 2,500

Individual items of clothing – Range: $ 5–$ 75
Individual items of clothing – Average: $ 40

Apartment or house – Range: $ 900–$ 1,600/month
Apartment or house – Current main residence: $ 1,525/month

Car or other vehicle – Range: $ 0$ 400/month
Car or other vehicle – Last purchase / current main vehicle: $ 400/month

Fill in the blank on this question: I could save _____ if I stopped ______, but I don’t because _______.
I could save $ 150/month if I moved closer to work, but I don’t because the state I work in is undesirable in so many ways.

When was your wedding and how much did it cost? 
Everything including honeymoon cost about $ 30,000. My parents covered about half. We spent a lot of money on the venue, food, and photographer. We bought our own alcohol (tax-free Delaware), hired the least experienced but still awesome DJ, and I got all the table flowers from Produce Junction and Trader Joe’s. 

If you own, how much did your car cost?
$ 22,000  

Money Strategy

Do you have a general money strategy?
Save as much as possible, and between my partner and I, try to live on one income and save the rest.

What advice would you give your younger self about personal finance?
Get a roommate after college. Don’t buy a new car.

Photo credit: icons via Stencil. 

Psst: We’ve talked about automatizing saving and automatic investing, as well as how to decide whether to pay down debt or save

 

The post The Money Snapshot: A Chemist in New Jersey Shares Thoughts on Student Loans, Mortgages, & More! appeared first on Corporette.com.

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The best eyeliners money can buy in pencil, liquid and gel form

These bad boys are an absolute essential for a cat eye or smokey eye

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Few beauty products hold cult status in the same way as the best eyeliners. From Brigitte Bardot to Audrey Hepburn, just about every beauty muse from recent history wore eyeliner as part of their signature look.

It’s a make-up bag staple all over the world and, combined with the best mascara and best eyeshadow palettes, is essential in creating red carpet-worthy eye make-up looks.

Keep scrolling to shop our edit of the best liquid, pencil, gel and pen choices below.

Best drugstore eyeliner

Bourjois Couture Waterproof Clubbing Eyeliner, £3.74 Fabled

best eyeliner

Considering this eyeliner comes in under four quid, it’s a total steal for how good it is. The colour is a true, inky black stays put. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to go clubbing to wear it.)

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Best eyeliner pencil

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Smokey Pencil, £17, Amazon

best eyeliners pencil Elizabeth Arden Smokey Pencil

The super soft, powder formula and built-in smudger makes Elizabeth Arden’s pencils super easy to apply and blend out for the ultimate evening eye. Call it smokey eye in pencil form, if you will.

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Best waterproof eyeliner

NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner, £19, Fabled

best eyeliners NARS

Described as ‘budge proof’, NARS’ Long Wear liner is exactly that. Each of the pencils is richly pigmented for a true colour pay off that lasts a whole working day or night out (none of this watery, transparent business). If you’re fed up of reapplying eyeliner to your waterline a few times a day, this one is for you.

Buy now

Best eyeliner pen

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, £14.50, Fabled

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Smudge proof, sweat proof, heck, we’d go as far as to say that Stila’s waterproof liner is actually life proof, and without a doubt one of the best liquid eyeliner formulas ever made. Inky, dense black and with a super sharp felt tip,you’ll find no smudging or printing on to your upper lids here.

Buy now

Best gel eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, £19.50, Fabled

best eyeliners Bobbi Brown Gel

Fun fact: Bobbi Brown first decided to create a gel liner when she had none to hand ahead of a photo shoot; instead, she applied waterproof mascara using a cotton bud without the fuzzy head. It did not budge one bit, and so the Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner was born. Today it’s still one of the brand’s best sellers with a velvety finish, and is available in all sorts of shades as well as classic black.

Buy now

Want to shop even more of the best eyeliners? We’ve charted five more hero buys below.

Happy smokey eye-ing.

The post The best eyeliners money can buy in pencil, liquid and gel form appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Tales from the Wallet: How Much Money Do You Need to Be Happy?

How much money do you need to be happy?

Here’s a random question that is always a fun discussion: how much money do you think you need to be happy? Do you agree that there may be an “optimal” income for happiness in that your problems increase if you make more? (We haven’t talked about how we all define “rich” for quite a while…)

I’ve always heard $ 75,000 is the “optimal” number, but according to a recent(ish) story in Fast Company the amount is now $ 105,000 for Americans, and beyond that, “there’s a point at which more money has decreasing returns in terms of our emotional well-being and life satisfaction.”

How Much Money Do You Need to Be Happy - Tales from the Wallet

Pictured above (affiliate link).

It’s an interesting point, and readers I’d love to hear from you — if you’ve made different salaries, did you notice increasing stress or happiness as the numbers moved up or down? To what degree “does money buy happiness” for you, either in terms of enabling hobbies or lifestyle habits (like eating out often) or in terms of enabling outsourcing (so, for example, someone else scrubs your toilets). To what extent does “mo money mo problems” ring true to you — either in terms of increased expectations or stress at work, keeping up with the Joneses or other issues? 

Stock photo via Stencil.

The latest studies say that the "optimal salary" for Americans is $  105K, with the theory being that more money = more problems. We asked our professional women readers: how much money do YOU need to be happy? Readers with household incomes of anywhere from $  67K to HHI of $  400K chimed in...

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Why this year’s Oscars campaigns spent the ‘most money’ ever

With the Oscars ceremony one week away, voting closes Tuesday — but who will win Best Picture is still anyone’s guess. “Green Book” has been honored by the Golden Globes (for Best Musical or Comedy) and the Producers Guild of America. “Roma” received nods from the Directors Guild of America, the New York Film Critics’…
Entertainment | New York Post

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A money manager is urging investors to shift their portfolios out of stocks amid the rally

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Bag Over Bae: Study Says Consumers Favor Money Over Love

Valentine’s Day, depending on who you ask, is a day filled with Instagramable moments of bae goals, or a time to totally go the anti-beau route and focus on self-love. You can’t get through February 14th without seeing an oversaturation of all things related to love.

However, a recent Merill Edge report reflects that for many people, money trumps love with 56% preferring a partner who provides financial security over grandiose love (44%). Respondents also favor a partner who is career-focused (63%) over socially conscious (37%), frugal (55%) over philanthropic (45%), and a saver (83%) over a big spender (17%).

“Americans are saving money at record rates, and yet we’re seeing people of all ages look to their current and prospective partners to secure their financial futures. Economic uncertainty and a lack of financial planning seem to be creating this burgeoning trend of dependence on others for financial security,” Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking & Merrill Edge, said in a statement. “We believe that it’s crucial to have a financial plan at every life stage in order to achieve financial goals and stay on the right path to financial success.”

Though many are attracted to a go-getter who is all about getting that coin, things can get a little sticky when it comes to the oh-so-inevitable “money talk” with bae. The report found the majority of respondents admitted they “rarely talk about their debt (60%),” salary (57%), and investments (55%) with their partner.

Respondents in the study also ranked almost all major relationship milestones ahead of discussing their finances, including meeting the family, being intimate, traveling together, and discussing politics.

According to Merrill Edge, the nationwide survey is delivered semi‑annually and “takes an in‑depth look at the financial concerns and priorities of “mass affluent Americans—U.S. households with investable assets ranging from $ 50,000 to $ 250,000.” Respondents in the study included those aged 18-40 (Gen Z and millennials) with investable assets between $ 50,000 and $ 250,000 or aged 18-40 who have investable assets between $ 20,000 and $ 50,000 with an annual income of at least $ 50,000.

If money is a major factor in a choosing a love or spouse, experts recommend getting over the awkward silence and procrastination and asking key questions about debt, money morality, and financial plans for the future—including retirement—early. Having open and honest conversations about money with someone of serious romantic interest—especially as millennial households are earning more money at their age than generations before—can help those in the dating pool avoid a lot of heartbreak and relationship woes down the road.

Merrill Edge Report: Fall 2018 infographic

 

The post Bag Over Bae: Study Says Consumers Favor Money Over Love appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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How To Mix Love And Money

VALENTINE’S DAY IS THURSDAY AND TODAY WE ARE TALKING LOVE AND MONEY. 

While millions of people are making plans for Thursday, a much smaller number is thinking about the role finances play in their relationship. And while talking about money isn’t exactly romantic, it is a mistake to ignore the role it can play in relationships. Money is among the top reasons couples fight, and it may even prevent you from finding someone in the first place!

WITH THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR LOVE, FINANCIAL HEALTH CAN BE A BIG FACTOR, RIGHT?

If you are trying to find Mr. or Ms. Right, your credit score might matter a lot more than you think. Since the financial crisis, numerous surveys have found that financial factors have taken on greater importance when it comes to attractiveness. Take debt: a recent survey from Finder.com found debt is a key consideration.

Nearly three-quarters of American adults (72%) said they would reconsider a romantic relationship because of the other person’s debt. Respondents said credit card debt was the biggest concern, with 56% citing that as a red flag, followed by student loan debt (52%), and payday loan debt (49%) following close behind.

This is not to say that if you have some student loan debt you are destined to be single, but it is a good reminder that healthy financial habits have benefits that go beyond money. So, check your credit report for errors. Pay your bills on time. Put a premium on living within your means and paying down outstanding debt. Start saving for retirement. This will put your finances and perhaps your dating life on a  more secure financial footing!

WHAT IF WE ALREADY HAVE SOMEONE WE ARE SWEET ON? HOW DO YOU START OUT A RELATIONSHIP ON THE RIGHT FOOT WHEN IT COMES TO MONEY?

Honesty and transparency are imperative when it comes to finances. A recent CreditCards.com survey found 19 percent of people in live-in relationships were hiding a bank or credit card account from their partner. That’s about 29 million Americans! Considering trust is the single most important predictor of the success of a relationship, that means 1 in 5 people in this situation is putting their relationship at risk. This is not the route that you want to take.

Instead, it is best to get it all out in the open, rather than waiting until late in the game. Now I am not saying that you break out your credit history on the second date, but you do want to discuss your respective financial practices and backgrounds as your relationship gets more serious. If you have outstanding debts or past mistakes, share them with your partner. These factors will have an outsized impact on what you can achieve together, whether that is buying a house, raising children or traveling the world. Being honest and open about your finances will ensure there are no surprises later, and it will mean you and your sweetheart are more likely to stay together!

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE WHO ARE READY TO TIE THE KNOT?

For those of you out there who are ready to get hitched, you want to develop a joint financial plan before the big day.  This means taking the time to define your mutual money goals and outline your shared financial commitments. Both of you should be equals when it comes to your finances. Each person should be involved in money management, understand what decisions are being made, what your cash flow looks like, and the status of any financial accounts.

You should develop a joint budget and determine how each person will contribute to living expenses and other joint costs ahead of time. None of this is to say your finances have to be totally merged – in fact, it is important for each party to maintain a financial identity of their own – but you want to be on the same page when it comes to your shared money goals.

The other thing you must do before you tie the knot is to get everything in writing! We have all heard the stories: two people madly in love and convinced nothing will ever come between them, so they throw caution to the wind. Then something does happen, and money issues come to the fore.

While it may not be fun, or even feel optimistic, putting your financial agreements in writing is very important. Whether it is a prenuptial agreement which clearly specifies your respective assets or a living trust or will that determine what happens to your money in the event of a tragedy, you should handle this before you sign your wedding certificate.

ANY OTHER FINANCIAL TIPS FOR COUPLES?

Always remember to keep an open financial dialogue. Plan for hardship periods, especially if your family depends on two incomes. And work together to save for your future.


HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

 

 

 

 

 

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Grammys Decoded: The Money Behind Winning a Grammy

Many have wondered if artists get paid for performing at the Grammys or if they take home extra cash after winning an award. Black Enterprise did a little digging  to find the answers.

Turns out that the Beyonces and Rihannas of the world who cash in millions for their world tours don’t get paid a cent when they grace the esteemed ceremony. They don’t get a check for winning either; but we’re sure those golden trophies could auction off for a hefty dollar amount should they ever need the funds.

The live event is far from a loss though. Forbes reports that performers and producers see a “‘Grammy Bounce’ of at least 55% in concert ticket sales and producer fees during the year following a Grammy win.” David Banner told the source that his producer fee jumped from $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 after his work on Lil Wayne’s single “Lollipop.”

Co-producer Jim Jonsin, who also worked with Beyonce, told DailyFinance.com that the rewards were “life-changing.” “If I really wanted to, I could charge a good 20% to 30% more. I didn’t raise my prices, though,” he said of his Grammy win. Before winning a Grammy, producers on average charge $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 per track. If you’re fortunate enough to snag an award, though, Jonsin says that the starting figure is in the $ 75,000 area and super-producers like Timbaland and Pharrell can demand twice that.

Thanks to the high-profile night, stars benefit in mainstream visibility and in their pockets too. After winning his first Grammy, “Bruno Mars’ average nightly gross swelled from $ 130,000 to $ 202,000 (+55%).” Esperanza Spalding went from $ 20,000 to $ 32,000 (+60%) and Taylor Swift jumped from $ 125,000 to $ 600,000 (+380%).

And because it would be so tasteless for Hollywood to send its multi-millionaire guests home empty handed, celebrities leave the occasion with a gift bag worth more than some people’s salaries. As The Toronto Sun reports, “Gifts include Tiffany cat collars, Gibson guitars, trips to deserted islands, cashmere sweaters, teeth whitening products, jewelry, sunglasses and designer leather bags.” The very generous goodies in 2010 reportedly came to about $ 50,000 in value.

So, no, the consensus is that music’s superstars don’t walk away with a physical check in tow. The association to the Grammys, however, does fatten their wallets long after the special airs.

In Case You Missed It: 

 

 

-Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since its original publish date of January 29, 2018. 


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The post Grammys Decoded: The Money Behind Winning a Grammy appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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‘I love sex. I like to make money’: What sex workers really want

Foxxy Angel has been a sex worker in the Netherlands for 15 years and still loves what she does. However, though the profession is legal, sex workers across the country are fighting for change, matching a global sentiment for the job to recognized as just that: a job.


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How criminals use Uber and Airbnb to launder money stolen from your credit card

Cybercriminals are mixing old school and new school methods of money laundering, including innovative methods for mixing ill-gotten cryptocurrencies with legitimate cash and recruiting Airbnb hosts and Uber drivers via the dark web.
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Tales from the Wallet: How to Save Money on Food

how to save money on food when you work long hours

There was an interesting threadjack the other day about how much people spend on groceries, and I thought it might make an interesting discussion for its own post. How DO you save money on food when you work long hours and don’t have a ton of time for meal prep and other things? When you’re cutting back do you cut back on restaurants, food deliveries, groceries and more? Do you do this for a period of time (no eating out for a month!) or do you try to do it for the long haul? (Side note: how do you track purchases so you can quantify what you’re spending on food?) (For those of you who DO do a lot of weekend meal prep and bring your own lunches, share your best tips!) 

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

how to save money on food when you work long hours(Pictured above: lovely J.Crew wallet, now 50% off! It’s available in three colors and is $ 64.)

Psst: we’ve talked specifically about how to save money on lunch in the past.

For my $ .02, I’ve never been great about tracking grocery spending — too much of our stuff comes from mixed-category stores like Amazon, CVS and more to be flagged easily by Mint. I also tend to swing wildly from overstocking the cabinets (aka “buying whatever I want”) one month to “realizing I’ve bought too much and now we must eat it” the next month, so one month’s spending may be $ 1000+ and another month may be $ 200. (But we DO save money when I buy grocery items because they’re on sale rather than “we need it right now,” so… I’m not sure what the answer is.)

In my very first job, I was on such a strict budget that I often realized I had $ 5 left at the end of the month — so I would end up bringing things like a raw potato and a slice of American cheese with me to microwave at lunch. I also perfected the art of making sandwiches with grocery store meat and cheese from home but with slightly-less-fresh bagels from the deli. A lot of these habits stuck with me even when I was a lawyer — I kept a 6-can mini-fridge (affiliate link) in my office so I could have yogurts, Diet Cokes, deli meat and cheese on hand… and I knew more than a few lawyers who kept a jumbo jar of peanut butter along with some crackers to “eat something quickly” if they really had no time to eat.  (Also great if you need to avoid getting hangry at work!)

In terms of restaurants and other food spending, that is generally easier for me to track and curb — after all, it’s easy to avoid the fanciest restaurants when you’re making plans, and you can even make intelligent decisions when looking at the menu, like getting the $ 16 pasta dish (and taking some home for later if it’s too many calories for you at that moment) versus getting the $ 34 fish dish and not having any leftovers.

How about you, readers — how do you save money on food? Do you feel like it’s harder to save money on food if you’re working long hours, or easier? After all, you may not be buying many groceries for your home fridge — but you may feel like you’re spending a ton on lunches or convenience foods.

The post Tales from the Wallet: How to Save Money on Food appeared first on Corporette.com.

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YOUR MONEY, YOUR LIFE: EPISODE 6 – “Ways To Finance Your Emergency Fund”

Establishing and maintaining a cash emergency fund, with an amount equal to six months up to a year’s worth your annual living expenses, is a foundational principle of financial wellness. Author, speaker, and financial coach Tarra “Madam Money” Jackson answers the question of where to get the money to finance your emergency fund



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 6 – “Ways To Finance Your Emergency Fund” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Personal Money Snapshot: An Administrator in Public Higher Education and Former Lawyer Shares Her Money Snapshot!

 

Eeek – we are thrilled to present our very first personal money snapshot! By way of background: we got a few requests from readers to launch our own “money diary” series, so we asked willing readers to fill out a form with lots of details about debt, spending, saving and more!  If you’d like to fill out the form and be considered for a future personal money snapshot, please click here if you’d like to see the form and/or submit responses! You can also see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time.

Today’s snapshot features reader P, who notes: “I have worked almost exclusively in public administration or higher education, so not a high roller here! Husband had a job loss early in career (about five years ago) that screwed us up.”

Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! — Kat

Name: P
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Age: 32
Occupation: lawyer –> public higher ed administrator
Income: $ 83,000
Household income: $ 165,000
Partner’s age: 34 (husband)
Household net worth:
 About $ 100,000
Net worth when started working: $ 26,000 (age 24)
Current debt: $ 15,000 credit card debt, $ 2,000 student loans
Living situation: Currently renting; rent is $ 1,400/month. (I do not contribute to rent.)

Debt

What does your debt picture look like?
Aggressively paying down $ 15,000 in consumer debt (credit card) accrued due to a job loss, a period of underemployment after a relocation to a much lower cost of living area (from D.C. to Chapel Hill), and shopping like an idiot. I have about $ 2,000 left on my student loans, which was only $ 10,000 to start.

How much money are you spending each month to pay down debt?
$ 2,000

How did you pay for school?
I made educational choices that left me with as little debt as possible (full scholarships to both undergrad and law school, albeit to lower ranked, less challenging institutions than I could have succeeded in). I always had two jobs during school (except for during 1L). Parents generously paid my rent and let me drive a family car.

What is your living situation?
We rent because we moved here with very little in savings and have lower-paying jobs. We sold our home to move to D.C., which subsequently ate our money ($ 2,500/month in rent for a 1-bedroom in Maryland), and now we rent for both money reasons and for flexibility reasons. We are planning to purchase again in 2019, thankfully, as we build savings and have a better grasp on what we want from our home.

Have you ever done anything noteworthy to avoid or lessen debt?
We had to cash out a small retirement account when my husband lost his job in 2013. We used it as a stopgap for some major things, but ultimately he re-invested about $ 4,000 of that.

Savings, Investments & Retirement

How much do you save for retirement?
I invest about 15–20% of my gross pay each month (target date retirement funds), with some of that as an employer match. Higher ed has its minimal benefits for things like matching!

How much do you have in retirement savings?
$ 70,000 (just mine)

How much do you save outside of retirement accounts?
We fund an emergency account for about $ 400/month, a down payment account at about $ 1000–$ 1500/month, and a vacation fund at $ 100/month. Buying a house is first priority, and a not-sucky retirement is the other. We are childfree and find that impacts some of our decisions with relationship to both the house and retirement.

What’s the #1 thing you’re doing to save money, limit spending, or live frugally?
We just don’t buy a lot of stuff, clothes, disposable things. We’re relatively minimal with our “stuff” consumption. And we bring lunches!

How much do you have in cash that’s available today?
Twenty bucks? Idk, I’m a millennial.

How much do you have in cash that’s available in a week, such as with an online savings account?
$ 20,000, all of my banking is online, no brick and mortar (includes $ 7,000 emergency fund).

Spending 

How much do you spend on the following categories on a monthly basis?

Groceries: $ 600
Restaurants, bars, takeout, and delivery:
$ 400
Clothing and accessories: Less than $ 100
Transportation: Household spends about $ 330 (gas plus car payments, two cars)
Rent/living expenses: $ 1,400
Entertainment: $ 25, Hulu and Netflix only
Health care: $ 50/month each for two individual plans; no kids

What’s your spending range for these things? What’s your average?

Vacations – Range: $ 50–$ 7,000
Vacation – Average: $ 2,500

Individual items of clothing – Range: $ 10–70
Individual items of clothing – Average: $ 40

Apartment or house – Range: $ 1,000–$ 2,600
Apartment or house – Current main residence: $ 1,400 (rent)

Car or other vehicle – Range: $ 8,000–$ 10,000, always buy used, hate cars
Car or other vehicle – Last purchase / current main vehicle: $ 10,000, used vehicle

When was your wedding and how much did it cost? 
2010, $ 30,000 total (parents paid), $ 250 for my wedding ring, about $ 300 for bridesmaids’ gifts, $ 250 for husband’s gift. Was married at 24 to my high school sweetheart (still am!). Tradition in my family is parents pay; it is “their party in our honor,” and the guest list was big (175+) due to very large families. Did not get married in a church. Married by judge I interned for, on lawn of beach club in New England. No honeymoon, as we had just started jobs.

Are there any other large expenses in your life, now or previously?
Husband doesn’t do the taxes anymore… didn’t know how to calculate “income” for IRS purposes so we had a $ 6,000 tax bill one year. Ugh.

Money Strategy

Do you have a general money strategy?
Make as much as you can while still having a life and being happy; spend it on the experiences and food you really want.

Stock photo credit: Deposit Photos / Dualshock

 

The post Personal Money Snapshot: An Administrator in Public Higher Education and Former Lawyer Shares Her Money Snapshot! appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Money Management Matters for Black Millennials

Money management is a multilayered concept, that if applied correctly, can start anyone on the road to financial freedom. The topic of wealth in the black community has become the center of discussion, especially among black millennials. Between Jay-Z’s “4:44” to the blockbuster film Black Panther, and more history-making pop cultural accomplishments from black creatives; our mentality has changed in recent years.

A more futuristic view of the black existence is taking shape. We’re breaking free from the perception of a powerless existence that hindered our forward progression for generations. A perception carved into our psyche over years of beatings, killings, segregation, drug epidemics, impoverishment, and imprisonment. All mechanisms of oppression made possible by a system built to keep us running in place.

Welcome to a new day.

We now have a generation more educated and entrepreneurial than the parents who raised us with the fearlessness of the great grandparents who fought for the rights we enjoy today. Eighty-nine percent of African Americans ages 25–34 completed high school, compared to 77% of African Americans ages 55 and older. Twenty-one percent of African Americans ages 25–34 have an associate’s college degree or higher, versus 17% of those who are 55 and older. Our buying power is at $ 1.2 trillion, and we have a bad habit of investing that money in everything but ourselves.

African Americans make up 14% of the U.S. population, but have outsized influence over spending on items. These items include $ 810 million on bottled water (15% of overall spending) and $ 587 million on refrigerated drinks (17% of overall spending). Luxury, non-essential products such as women’s fragrances ($ 151 million of a $ 679 million industry total), watches and timepieces ($ 60 million of $ 385 million in overall spending). Meanwhile, the racial wealth gap in America continues to widen.

What’s apparent is that our spending habits don’t match our declining financial state as a people. We’re spending more money than we’re retaining, and it’s a poor person’s mentality. The road to generational wealth is a marathon, not a sprint. The starting point of that marathon is an act of discipline called budgeting. If we want generational wealth to become a standard instead of a fantasy, we must start respecting every dollar from a young age.

More often than not, advice from a professional weighs more than the opinion of someone who just wants you to do better. I spoke with the founder of Melanin Money, George Acheampong, a financial planner and investment adviser who knows the ins and outs of making your money work for you.

For BLACK ENTERPRISE, he broke down the intricacies of budgeting for young, black America in a Q&A: 

BE: Many people think they don’t need to start budgeting until they’ve got a certain amount of money coming in. What are some more common misconceptions about budgeting?

George Acheampong: Most people think budgeting is about preventing you from doing what you want to do, quite the opposite. The purpose of budgeting is telling your money where you want it to go, so you don’t have to wonder where it went. Which actually gives you more foresight on how to plan out the things you want to do.

For college students, what are some recurring expenses that most students don’t give second thought to?

Ideally, there shouldn’t be many. Cell phone, car insurance, which in some cases your parents might still be taking care of, and a couple of subscriptions like Netflix or apple music, but if you have a friend who’s the real MVP, you may be able to use their account for the love. Food will probably be your biggest expense, so you want to closely monitor what you are spending because those $ 5 meals here and there can add up quick.

Are there standard budgeting practices that young adults should begin incorporating now, that they’ll need for life?

I wouldn’t say that there is a one-size fits all approach because everyone will have different goals and needs, but there are some basic fundamentals that will always be true. it’s important to lay the foundation of spending what’s left AFTER saving. If you get a pay check, what you see is not what you get. Treat your savings like taxes, have that money come out before any money is spent. Ideally, have it automatically go a savings account so you don’t even have to think about it. Anywhere between 10-20% ideally, more if you are able to.

As prices continue to go up for goods and services, pay rates usually take a while to increase. How can young adults save substantially while still having money to spend freely?

For most college students they have not yet accumulated a lot of bills. Do not start acquiring more debt by getting the nice car or the expensive apartment. Stay humble, stack your money. A lot of young adults have aspirations to start a business or pursue a dream, you know what makes it harder to do so? Having too many bills. I know you think your big time and want the nice apartment, car or clothes, but while you are in the building phases the best thing you can do is keep your expenses low. Have the roommate or two, keep the old beater car or use ride share services to keep cost low.  Low expenses = more savings.

Can you recommend any apps or tools that can help with budgeting?

Yeah, I used Mint.com when I first got out of college, it’s still the leading free budgeting tool.

Using personal experience, what’s the biggest piece of advise you have for young adults who are just starting to see their first income without any major responsibilities to consider?

I hate to beat a dead horse, but the best thing you can do is to continue to live as modest as possible. Our natural instinct is if we start making more, to start spending more. Resist that urge. Save as much as possible because there will come a time when you do have to spend more, or you can’t have that roommate. So while you can, take advantage of it and stack as much as possible. That extra money will give you options and choices. If you find yourself in a job you really hate, you can quit if you have enough money in the bank. If you have a dream you want to pursue full-time, you can do that with money in the bank. You can’t do that when you are living paycheck to paycheck.


Steve KingThe ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.

 

 

Black Enterprise Contributors Network

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The President would have to adopt a fundamental change of approach if he is to wring money from Congress for his border wall

It’s as if President Donald Trump’s humiliation over the government shutdown and his failed push to honor his core campaign promise never happened.


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College Is For Suckas? You’ll Never Guess How Much Money Amber Rose Makes Off Instagram

amber rose talks personal finance

Source: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Getty

The government shutdown had plenty of people considering new career paths with Uber and other creative ways to get by without a regular direct deposit occurring. One person that was clearly unaffected by Trump’s massive temper tantrum is Instagram favorite Amber Rose. The 35-year-old who was once Kanye West’s muse before he drank the Kardashian Kool-Aide recently sat down with Van Lathan as a guest on his podcast “The Red Pill.” Rose who is also affectionately known as “MUVA” shared with Lathan that thanks to Instagram she’s booked and busy and her bank account has no worries.

So how much money does MUVA make in a year? The blonde beauty shared that endorsements for flat tummy teas and popular clothing company, FashionNova as well as other collaborations bring in about a cool $ 2 million per year.

“Probably like $ 2 million a year, just off Instagram.”

While she isn’t exactly living check to check, she did point out that the payout was modest for a social media influencer:

“There’s girls that make more than $ 2 million a year, I make $ 2 million on Instagram a year.”

Like many of us, Lathan took a moment to highlight the millennial student loan-debt struggle sarcastically noting how some went to “college and bought into that bullsh*t, and Amber’s making $ 2 million off Instagram. Wow!” It’s also reported that Rose pocketed $ 4 million from an emoji app she launched in 2014. But MUVA maintains that while she’s been blessed in many ways, ultimately, she feels like the money moves are a result of her being a good person more than anything else:

“I feel like I made it this far by being a really good person.”

“I’m good to everyone I’m around. I treat everyone the same whether it’s a waitress or a driver or anybody. I take care of my team. I’m just a cool, down-home Philly chick.”

As much as I’m inspired by this tale of God’s favor for the fortuitous, I must say that I know plenty of “nice” women who treat those around them with respect that are still playing musical bills every month with their paychecks trying to see how they’re going to pay car insurance AND tuition for their kids. Are we really going to sit here and act like money falls from the sky simply because you acknowledged your Uber driver? Furthermore, as much as I applaud Amber Rose taking making the most out a few minutes of fame (I wouldn’t know who she was had it not been for Kanye), I would really appreciate it if many of these celebs were a little bit more honest about the connections that got them this far in the first place, but I digress.

You can watch Amber Rose discuss coins and congeniality, her thoughts on R. Kelly and her humble beginnings below at around the 1:20:00 mark:

MadameNoire

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Gofundme: About a third of money raised on site has been for medical expenses

The company is playing a larger role in health care than they ever anticipated.
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House Democrats to propose $1 billion for border security without money for wall

House Democrats are pushing forward with legislation to beef up security at the borders without funding for the wall demanded by President Donald Trump, a move bound to intensify the standoff over a partial government shutdown heading into its fifth week.


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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.

Money | Black Enterprise

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The work bonus that is way more important than money

Studies reveal that above a certain amount of money — $ 105,000 in the US, says Gallup — more income doesn't create more happiness. What does have a significant effect on well-being is free time. The good news: More companies are offering flex time.
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Kate Wright slams troll who criticised posh holiday with Rio’s kids and says ‘money can’t bring back loved ones and heal grief’

KATE Wright has hit back at a cruel troll who criticised her swanky holiday with husband Rio Ferdinand’s three children.

The former Towie star won praise from fans as she defended the family trip on Rio’s Instagram page.

Rio was criticised after posting this holiday photo

The 38-year-old football pro posted a photo of the group enjoying a fancy meal at 5.8 Undersea restaurant in the Maldives – an all-glass eating establishment in the middle of the ocean.

He captioned the snap: “Lunch in the sea. What a place with the family. I was dribbling at this point.”

The picture racked up tens of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments – but some trolls couldn’t resist leaving snarky remarks.

Kate, 27, hit back at one user who’d posted a negative now-deleted comment on the snap.

Kate defended her husband and his family
Getty Images – Getty

She wrote: “Money doesn’t make looking after three children that have lost their mum easier.

“Yes we can have nice holidays but money can’t bring back loved ones and heal grief.

“Looking after children and caring for them comes from the heart, not from the bank.”

Kate was inundated with praise for the way that she had handled the troll, with one writing: “What a moving response. Now that’s wisdom.”

The group have been enjoying a Christmas holidays in the Maldives

Another added: “Well said, Kate. Some people will always be jealous and money-orientated.

“I’m sure most people would swap money for loved ones.”

A third wrote: “Well said… You have made those kids happy, be proud of what you both have achieved.

“Such a hard time for anyone who has lost their mum or dad.”

Kate and Rio got engaged two months ago
Instagram

Since arriving at the private resort in the Maldives, Kate has posted several photos to document her holiday with  Rio and his three children.

Kate admitted that she was “feeling blessed” as she shared a video of the family on a boat surrounded by dolphins, and Rio has shared several snaps and videos too.

To mark their Christmas holiday, the sportsman shared a cute photo of Kate and his children posing in Santa hats against a backdrop of blue sky, the crystal clear ocean and pure white sand on Thursday.

He captioned the snap: “Bit delayed on the Christmas post, been offline for a few days! loads of Love from us (the nutters)”.


In October, Rio and Kate got engaged after two years of dating – three years after his late wife Rebecca Ellison’s death.

Rio asked Kate to be his wife as his three children, Lorenz, nine-year-old Tate, and Tia, seven, watched during a family holiday – with Rio later admitting that the children had been involved in his proposal plan.

The star’s late wife passed away following a battle with breast cancer in 2015 – but gave her blessing for her husband to marry again.


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[VIDEO] The Top 3 Millennials’ Money Mistakes

From early 401(k) plan withdrawals to not actively investing in stocks because that is for “old white people,studies show Millennials rank near or at the bottom when it comes to financial savvy. Here are the top three Millennials’ money mistakes:

Millennials Money Mistake 1: Being All For The ‘Gram

Keeping up with the Joneses (or even the Kardashians) for the sake of Instagram can keep you in a world wind of purchases and outings you cannot afford. The continued pictures of you dining out, vacationing on a credit card, and costly “lituations”is an expensive lifestyle when you add it all up.

Yes, you can have fun, especially when you’re young. However, you’re not only losing valuable time, but if you find yourself spending more than you can afford, you will end up robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Just do the math—by time you have added up the cost of that lifestyle for even one year, you could have created your own “bank” by purchasing a new financial solution that offers a cash value via Index Funds. That way, you could vacation or even purchase a new car without putting your checking account and credit cards in the negative.

In this video, financial expert and advisor Robinne Alexander breaks down the other top two financial mistakes Millennials make.



 

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Money | Black Enterprise

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LeBron James’ No Good, Very Bad Week: From ‘The Shop’ to ‘Jewish Money’

Harry How/Getty

He’s reigned as the King of Basketball for the better part of a decade, a hardwood maestro possessed of the highest on-court IQ ever. But his off-court accomplishments—creating a public school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, presiding over a large foundation that raises millions for charity, financing a wing of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, speaking out in support of Black Lives Matter, to name a few—are even more impressive. If all that weren’t enough, he’s a devoted family man married to his high schools sweetheart whose parenting clips go viral. LeBron James is the best ambassador the NBA has ever had, which makes his past week all the more disappointing.

The trouble began on Friday, with the latest edition of his HBO talk show The Shop.

While LeBron’s “slave mentality” comments about NFL owners grabbed all the headlines—even if he was pretty spot-on—the more troubling portion of the episode came later, when the musical artists Mary J. Blige and Nas were welcomed onto the program.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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White House: Trump would accept less money for border wall

The White House said it presented an offer to Democrats over the weekend.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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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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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 4 – ‘Creating A Budget That Works For You’

Learn why having a spending plan—also known as a budget—is key to financial wellness and enables you to confidently set and achieve your goals, with guest Angela Yee, host of The Breakfast Club and host and creator of the ‘Lip Service’ podcast.



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 4 – ‘Creating A Budget That Works For You’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Report: Millennials Managing Money Better Than You May Assume

When it comes to handling money, millennials often get a bad rap on such matters as saving and long-term financial planning. But the latest Better Money Habits Millennial Report by financial services giant Bank of America opposes some of the notions.

In reality, the report swears millennials are just as good, or better than other generations when it comes to managing money. That means they are getting their finances in shape. Millennials—ages 23 to 37—are more likely to set savings goals with most of the generation meeting them. The bulk of millennials feel just as financially secure as other age groups, including Generation X and baby boomers.

Yet there are some obstacles, too. Roughly 1 in 4 millennials worry often about money. And intriguingly, 75% of them report their generation overspends compared to other generations. Plus, 73% of millennials say their age group spends too much on unnecessary indulgences.

Some findings from the report include:

  • Regardless of stereotypes on millennials’ money habits, they are doing better than what others and themselves believe. Sixty-three percent are saving versus 64% for Gen X and 75% for baby boomers. Some 57% of millennials have a savings goal versus 42% each for Gen Xers and baby boomers.
  • The younger group has made great progress stashing money. Forty-seven percent of millennials now have more than $ 15,000 saved, up from 33% in 2015. Sixteen percent of millennials have $ 100,000 or more in savings, up from 8% three years ago.
  • Falling short on savings and careers are top financial stressors for millennials. However, when it comes to putting money away, millennials cite saving for emergency funds (64%), retirement (49%) and buying a house (33%) as top priorities.
  • Millennials are not afraid to ask for more money. Some 80% of millennials who asked for a raise in the past two years got one. Millennials are bigger advocates on asking for raises than GenXers and baby boomers.

Other topics included in the report ranged from how millennials feel about career changes to finances being a  top source of tension in millennial households. For instance, almost 1 in 5 millennials don’t know how much their spouse/partner makes.

Bank of America paid for a survey of 1,500 respondents, ages 18-71 years old, to examine their views on personal financial matters. Millennials in the report were defined as ages 23-37, with younger millennials ages 23-27 and older millennials ages 28-37.

Andrew Plepler, Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America, commented on millennial financial habits in the report.

“Millennials deserve more credit—both from themselves and from others—for their mindfulness when it comes to money and their lives. They have room and, importantly, time to reduce the stress they report having around money.”

The post Report: Millennials Managing Money Better Than You May Assume appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Source: Trump attended 2015 hush money meeting

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Personal Money Snapshot: Corporette Edition

personal money snapshot

I know everyone (including me) loves to read those money diaries on sites like Refinery29, and I’ve been meaning to create a “personal money snapshot” series to feature readers who are willing to share a summary of their financial situation. We now have a Google form (similar to the form we have for the CorporetteMoms Week in the Life of a Working Mom posts), and I would love to a) open it up for participants, b) get your feedback (too long?), and c) note that everything is possible for change. (The nice thing about Google forms is that we can edit questions, which is not always the case with surveys and things.) Click here if you’d like to see the form and/or submit responses! You can also see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time.

Notes on the Personal Money Snapshot Form:

1. The reason we ask for your email address: It would be much, much better if we could have your email address so that Kate or I could ask follow-up questions for clarity — sometimes not everything is obvious from an outside perspective. THAT SAID, there are a lot of personal questions on the form, so I understand if you don’t want to share your address. I can’t quite figure out how to make that question optional, though, so just put something obviously fake and we’ll deal. (If you DO trust us with your email address, thank you very much! We will keep your info safe pursuant to the Corporette Privacy Policy — and I promise to never ever hit you up for a loan if you’re loaded.)

2. The general nature of the questions (and why it looks longer than it is): I’ve been observing reader comments and discussions on money for a long time, and I think the usual “what I spend in a week” summary isn’t necessarily illuminating or educational. That’s why the questions on the form are pretty wide-ranging — and it may seem long when you first look at it, but that’s because I’m not expecting EVERYONE to have something to say in EVERY category. (I’m assuming readers will have a lot to say in one or two of the sections and less in others.)

I also believe that people have “quadrants of knowledge” when it comes to personal finance. Maybe you know everything about country club fees, which markets are awesome for second homes, and which ostrich bag is REALLY worth the $ 10,000. That’s awesome, and we want to hear from you! We also want to hear from people who are in six figures of debt, flirting with bankruptcy, and/or living paycheck to paycheck (yes, even if you have a high income and are living paycheck to paycheck). We also want to hear from the FIRE people who are putting away $ 100K of their $ 120K income, and people who had their lives wildly shifted (for good or bad) by something like inheritance (hopefully good) or crazy medical bills (probably bad). 

3. Big Picture questions: There are a few questions I want everyone to answer because I think they generally inform the reading of responses. One question asks specifically what your net worth was when you started working since I think there’s a huge difference in what your personal finance journey looks like if your net worth at 25 or whatever is -$ 260,000 (in debt) vs. $ 5,000 vs. $ 150,000. Another question asks, “Is there anything else we should know about you from a “Big Picture” perspective up front, for context, as it relates to your net worth, expenses, or debt?” I included that to delve into situations that we wouldn’t know to ask about but certainly affect your money situation, e.g., “had to be life-flighted to the hospital and had $ 100K in medical bills,” or “private schools are not optional for my family because I don’t believe my kids will get a fair shake in public school” or “all of our home-related finances are super high because my in-laws live with us and we pay for everything.” 

Like I said, it’s pretty wide ranging and hopefully not TOO… asky. If there are specific questions that are offensive to people or otherwise problematic, I’d love to know which ones in particular. If people think there need to be specific questions added to any part of it, we’d love to hear those too.

Here’s a quick question for discussion today, though: what are your favorite resources to learn about money? What’s your favorite podcast, book, blog, or other resource?

Psst: here’s our last discussion on the best personal finance books for beginners, as well as my “money roadmap,” or what my own personal finance journey has looked like. 

The post Personal Money Snapshot: Corporette Edition appeared first on Corporette.com.

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12.4.18 Gifting 529 money; Tesla self-driving fiasco; Subprime auto loans

A way to gift 529 money is here!; Falling asleep while drunk in a Tesla? Yep, it happened; Subprime auto loans are on the rise. That’s not good.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

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

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

‘It’s a Good Check.’ ‘Real Housewife’ Kandi Burruss Is Still Making Money Off ‘No Scrubs’ and Now Has Her Own Sex Toy Business

Kandi Burruss is so much more than a housewife — she’s a bona fide businesswoman.

Sure, she’s in her 10th season as cast member on the ever-dramatic Bravo show Real Housewives of Atlanta. But she’s also a Grammy winner who co-wrote the TLC girl power anthem “No Scrubs.” She runs a sex toy company, a boutique and a unisex children’s lifestyle brand. She has 5.8 million Instagram followers. Last year, she went on a reunion tour with her band, Xscape; earlier this year, she performed in Chicago on Broadway. In the past two months alone, she opened a new location of her Southern restaurant Old Lady Gang, dropped a single called “Ready for This” — complete with a parental advisory sticker — and hosted a dungeon party.

“What’s the point of having this huge platform if you are not benefiting off of it?” she says about her multifaceted empire.

Burruss sat down with MONEY on a recent trip to New York City. She talked about her childhood spending habits, the royalties she’s earning from Ed Sheeran and why she’s determined to have a better financial strategy than most entertainers.

How did you think about money when you were growing up?

I was a saver as a kid. That was my thing — I always wanted to make sure I had something [stashed away], you know?

My mom used to drive me to the neighborhoods with big fancy houses and stuff. We’d ride around all the time and dream — like, “Oh, one day we’re going to have a house like that.” It’s really crazy to me now that I can afford any of those houses.

Did you make a big purchase with your first paycheck?

[Xscape] signed our first record deal when I was 16. I only got a few thousand dollars, but my mom was like, ‘OK, we’ll put this with my money’ and we purchased the house across the street from where we lived. That was my first investment — with my mom.

After that, I just really wanted to save. As soon as we had our first hit record and we started doing shows, all my other group members went and bought Benzes and different things. But I wanted to see a certain amount of money in my bank account. I remember I was like, “I will not spend a dollar until I can see $ 100,000 in my account.”

[Then] I finally purchased a car. I put some money down on it so that I could establish credit.

What kind of car was it?

It was a BMW 325i. It was blue, and I had painted all my trimming to match. I wanted it to look like the M class, even though it wasn’t. So I just painted it and got the rims that matched it. You couldn’t tell the difference.

You’ve said before that you once got a great money tip from LL Cool J. What was it?

When I was 19, I put a downpayment on my first home [after moving out]. Shortly after that, our group went on tour with LL Cool J. He gave us advice: Always have at least one house and one car that you own. He was like, “Every time you get a check, put a little bit down on the principal. It doesn’t matter how much — put something. Because then it will cut years off the loan.”

I never really thought about it before then. When I got back home, I looked at my payment statement. I [saw] all the money that went toward interest, and only a little bit every month was going toward the notes. I was like, “OK, he’s onto something.”

When you’re in the entertainment business, it’s very unpredictable. You could be hot right now, and for the next 10 years a person could be making millions of dollars, right? So they start basing their life off of what they’re making at that moment.

But a lot of people are getting 30-year mortgages, 15-year mortgages. Fifteen years from now, you may not be poppin’ like that no more. In 30 years, you definitely will not. How often are people hot for that long? If you don’t set yourself up, you will just find yourself in a position of a lot of other entertainers we see: going bankrupt, losing their homes, not being able to afford their lifestyle. If you set yourself up in the beginning, later on down the line you’ll be better off.

And now you have several diverse income streams.

It was intentional. I wanted to have businesses outside of music that were still poppin’.

I had a friend who had clothing stores that were successful, so I kept bugging her about partnering up to do TAGS [Boutique]. Before that, I managed other artists. Later on, [for] Bedroom Kandi… I partnered up with a company that had a toy that could vibrate to music. I was like, “I do music, and I want adult products — heeey!” Now it’s a whole line. We’ve moved into bath and body products and makeup.

How do you leverage Real Housewives of Atlanta to make money?

When you’re first starting on reality TV, they’re not really trying to pay you much. I was like, “It’s not like I need them to be popular. I’ve already been on TV and in music before.” I didn’t think it was going to do anything for my career. I did it on a fluke.

I gained a lot of fans that year, but my thoughts were [that] the money has to match my popularity. I had to make it bigger than the show.

So I was like, “OK, every year when they see me on the show, they will see me accomplish something.” It’s my timeline. If I speak anything on that show and say it’s something I want to do, it is a rule of thumb for me and my team — it has to happen. I am going to be a person of my word. You know how you joke about a lot of reality stars — they’re always talking about something and you never see the product? I won’t be that girl. I don’t get a kick out of just arguing with people all day. That doesn’t do me any good. You have to find other ways to make it make sense for you.

Are you still getting a lot of money from “No Scrubs”?

Uh, yeah. Ed Sheeran used “No Scrubs” in his song [“Shape of You”], so we now are co-writers on his song. Because you can’t just use somebody’s song — it doesn’t work like that. So basically he uses our song, we got a percentage of his. It ended up getting awards; it was huge. It was like the most streamed song. There are some nice royalties.

Besides that, I constantly get royalties off my old songs. “No Scrubs,” [Destiny’s Child’s] “Bills, Bills, Bills” — people still play them a lot in movies, television, and I get license fees. It’s a good check every year.

You recently threw a star-studded dungeon party with tickets starting at $ 35, and it sold out in four days. Are there more coming?

We plan on taking it on tour. Right now we are researching venues and cities. Hopefully we can do that in early 2019.

[Also,] we’re going to get another restaurant, which is not going to be just Old Lady Gang, it’s going to be different. I haven’t told anybody.

Are you passing any money lessons onto your kids?

I need to do a better job of passing it on, because my daughter is spending way too much money right now. Before she was driving, Uber was connected to my credit card; UberEATS was connected to my credit card. She was randomly ordering stuff everyday. I put a little bit of money in her account, and one day she was down to a dollar. I was like, “Girl, you can’t do that.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.


Entertainment – TIME

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11.23.18 Moving to make more money; Everything you need to know about PMI

Relocating can have a major impact on your salary; Feel like you are throwing away money every month on PMI? Clark gives you all the details about PMI and avenues to get rid of it so you can keep that money in your pocket.

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NBA Player Terry Rozier Sued By Costume Company for Making Money Off ‘Scream’ Ghost Face Mask

(Terry Rozier Instagram)

Boston Celtics player Terry Rozier allegedly made a pretty large amount of cash from selling his own merchandise using the iconic mask from the movie, Scream.

But the creators of the mask believe they got ripped off, and now they reportedly want their cut. Rozier, who goes by the nickname, “Scary Terry,” has been selling shirts and sweatshirts featuring his slogan combined with the infamous mask from the 1996 thriller.

The Blast reports, Fun World costume company claims they are the original designer of the “Ghost Face Mask,” and officially licensed it for use in the slasher film and other movies.

The company reportedly says the Celtics player is using their design and copyright without permission, claiming he has, “adopted the Ghost Face Mask design as his own mascot and paired the design with his alter ego “Scary Terry,” The Blast reports.

Fun World accuses Rozier of ripping off their work and making a profit, and are reportedly suing for unspecified damages plus $ 150,000 per infringement.

[ione_media_gallery id=”2982″ overlay=”true”]

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Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework

For many Americans—black or white—car insurance is typically a big expense in any budget. A recent survey released by Consumer Reports revealed that only one in four car insurance policyholders searched for a better deal in the previous year. The survey also showed that service outweighed cost when policyholders were asked to offer views on what they looked for the most from their insurer.

Insure.com, an independent consumer insurance website, recently ranked the best auto insurance companies across the country, with USAA, American Family, and Allstate respectively seizing the top three spots. The website’s findings were based on a survey of 3,160 current customers.

In assessing their car insurance company, a preponderance of consumers talked about how the business treated them and how reactive the insurer was in answering questions on coverage or claims. Consumers also commented on various aspects of coverage, including discounts, apps or roadside service. Price was cited, but it wasn’t the main factor for why drivers favored or did not favor their insurer.

Insure.com also reported insurers with the most market share nationally were ranked based on ratings from the policyholders evaluated in multiple categories. Those categories included the value for the price, customer service, claims satisfaction, usefulness, and how easy it is to use the insurer’s website and mobile apps. Another bracket was if consumers would recommend the insurer to a friend. The website does a yearly analysis to compile the ranking, which includes details on how companies ranked overall and other information.

Additionally, motorists should do their homework before choosing an auto insurance company. There are several options beyond the price that drivers should consider than just finding the best bargain.

How To Choose The Best Car Insurance

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping around for car insurance, based on a report published by Black Enterprise in 2015.

  • Before you begin comparison shopping, find out your state’s minimum insurance requirements and make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets.

 

  • Keep premiums low by choosing collision coverage with a high deductible and plan to pay routine repair costs out-of-pocket.

 

  • Be sure to comparison shop. Visit insurancepanda and Insurance.com to complete an application form for comparison quotes from several insurance companies.

 

  • There are three kinds of insurers: Direct sellers such as GEICO and Progressive that sell coverage directly to you, large national brands such as Allstate and State Farm, and independent insurance agents that offer various insurance options from many different companies. Direct sellers favor drivers with impeccable driving records so you may have trouble qualifying for coverage if you have a history of accidents or moving violations. National brands are helpful for drivers with spotty records and their rates are usually competitive. Independent agents have great inroads to help get you better coverage at better rates than what you’d find on your own.

 

  • Ask about all available discounts. There is almost always a way to save money. You may get a discount if your car has antilock brakes, if you don’t drive your car often, or if you take a defensive driving class. Request a list of all possible discounts to see if you qualify.

 

  • Skip towing insurance. It’s better to take that extra money and join an auto club such as AAA instead. In addition to towing, you’ll have roadside assistance when you need it.

 

  • Bundle if you can. More insurance companies are offering substantial savings—up to 20%—when you protect all your property with one insurer. Multiple-policy discounts can apply to combinations of home, auto, life, and even motorcycle insurance.

 

The post Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Trump says ‘good time’ for a government shutdown if no money for border wall

President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House Saturday that this would be a “good time” for a government shutdown if he doesn’t get funding from Congress for his border wall.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework

For many Americans—black or white—car insurance is typically a big expense in any budget. A recent survey released by Consumer Reports revealed that only one in four car insurance policyholders searched for a better deal in the previous year. The survey also showed that service outweighed cost when policyholders were asked to offer views on what they looked for the most from their insurer.

Insure.com, an independent consumer insurance website, recently ranked the best auto insurance companies across the country, with USAA, American Family, and Allstate respectively seizing the top three spots. The website’s findings were based on a survey of 3,160 current customers.

In assessing their car insurance company, a preponderance of consumers talked about how the business treated them and how reactive the insurer was in answering questions on coverage or claims. Consumers also commented on various aspects of coverage, including discounts, apps or roadside service. Price was cited, but it wasn’t the main factor for why drivers favored or did not favor their insurer.

Insure.com also reported insurers with the most market share nationally were ranked based on ratings from the policyholders evaluated in multiple categories. Those categories included the value for the price, customer service, claims satisfaction, usefulness, and how easy it is to use the insurer’s website and mobile apps. Another bracket was if consumers would recommend the insurer to a friend. The website does a yearly analysis to compile the ranking, which includes details on how companies ranked overall and other information.

Additionally, motorists should do their homework before choosing an auto insurance company. There are several options beyond the price that drivers should consider than just finding the best bargain.

How To Choose The Best Car Insurance

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping around for car insurance, based on a report published by Black Enterprise in 2015.

  • Before you begin comparison shopping, find out your state’s minimum insurance requirements and make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets.

 

  • Keep premiums low by choosing collision coverage with a high deductible and plan to pay routine repair costs out-of-pocket.

 

  • Be sure to comparison shop. Visit insurancepanda and Insurance.com to complete an application form for comparison quotes from several insurance companies.

 

  • There are three kinds of insurers: Direct sellers such as GEICO and Progressive that sell coverage directly to you, large national brands such as Allstate and State Farm, and independent insurance agents that offer various insurance options from many different companies. Direct sellers favor drivers with impeccable driving records so you may have trouble qualifying for coverage if you have a history of accidents or moving violations. National brands are helpful for drivers with spotty records and their rates are usually competitive. Independent agents have great inroads to help get you better coverage at better rates than what you’d find on your own.

 

  • Ask about all available discounts. There is almost always a way to save money. You may get a discount if your car has antilock brakes, if you don’t drive your car often, or if you take a defensive driving class. Request a list of all possible discounts to see if you qualify.

 

  • Skip towing insurance. It’s better to take that extra money and join an auto club such as AAA instead. In addition to towing, you’ll have roadside assistance when you need it.

 

  • Bundle if you can. More insurance companies are offering substantial savings—up to 20%—when you protect all your property with one insurer. Multiple-policy discounts can apply to combinations of home, auto, life, and even motorcycle insurance.

 

The post Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Congress returns to familiar threat: Trump’s demand for wall money or shutdown

Democrats are emboldened by the midterm elections, as their expected House majority continues to grow to a dozen seats or more. That has them ready to resist the president.
Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Tales from the Wallet: What Was Your Best Money Decision This Year?

best money decision this yearWhat was your best money decision this year — and what was your worst? We’ve nearing the end of the year so I thought it might be a fun discussion, especially since there’s still time to make a great money decision or correct a bad one. Bonus question: what’s your biggest financial goal for 2019?

Psst: here’s our old advice on end of year financial steps if you’re wondering what you can do — as well as how to set financial goals for the year

For my $ .02…

Probably my best money decision has been my focus this year on automated savings and investments — I got a lot buttoned down, and feel good about that. I still use Ally for most short-term savings (the ones I want to keep in cash or CDs), but saw one comment yesterday that concerned me about Ally, so I’d love to hear what other banks you guys are using! Almost all of my long-term savings and investments are with Schwab and Vanguard, and short-short term (basically checking) is through Chase.

My worst money decision is just how loosey-goosey I’ve let my spending become. I tend to stress shop (and stress eat, and stress drink) and I really need to reign it in! It’s also kind of hard to keep track of how much I’ve actually spent because I return a ton of what I buy. I’m pondering setting up a gift card or something with a set amount of cash and using that for all online spending next year — has anyone done that? (Edited to add: I just bought myself a $ 500 gift card at Nordstrom to test it out since Nordstrom probably represents 80% of my shopping — I’ll report back on how that works out.)

My goal for 2019: The biggest money decision I’ll make in 2019 will probably be made this month, as I choose our health insurance for next year, so my goal for 2019 is to choose intelligently! I haaaaate health insurance with a fiery passion. (Here are some of our previous open enrollment tips…)

How about you guys — what was your best money decision of 2018? Worst money decision of 2018? Any early goals for 2019?

Stock photo credit: Stencil.

 

The post Tales from the Wallet: What Was Your Best Money Decision This Year? appeared first on Corporette.com.

Corporette.com

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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 2 – “Does a Good Salary Mean You’re Financially Secure?”

Episode 2

“Does A Good Salary Mean You’re Financially Secure?”

Learn why your feelings and relationship with money are bigger determinants of your sense of financial security than the numbers on your pay check, with guest Jacquette M. Timmons, President & CEO, Sterling Investment Management.



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 2 – “Does a Good Salary Mean You’re Financially Secure?” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

5 ‘Women and Money’ Lessons From Suze Orman at The Apollo

Suze Orman has sustained an enduring career as a speaker, author and pioneer in financial leadership. Orman appeared at the world-famous Apollo theater to discuss the topic ‘Women and Money,’ which is also the title of her relaunched New York Times bestselling book first published in 2007.

The sold out event was a predecessor for the exclusive premier on Oprah Winfrey’s television network, OWN. Orman has partnered with OWN to launch a financial show on the same topic: woman and money.

Orman’s ‘TED Talk’ style discussion touched on topics that included credit budgeting and retirement. While she answered specific questions from the audience, there were five important lessons to take away from her session:

The Five Women and Money Lessons from Suze Orman at the Apollo 

Power Attracts Money

Orman describes the law of attraction when it relates to money and power. Think about your network and social circles; many times we are attracted to people of power, and most times those who hold power are considered to have money. When you are in a position of power, society places you on a pedestal; opening doors to new opportunities which may lead to further financial gains. Orman says “being powerless repels money.”  If we put this in perspective, think about how many times the person who gives off the presence of not having money, loses out on opportunities. “When you are powerless, no one wants to be around you,” she says.

Money Will Teach You About Yourself

There’s that old saying ‘money is the root of all evil.” Some people believe money is everything while others have learned it is not everything. Orman wants everyone to know “money is not more important than life.” While the world revolves around money, some people will put their life on the line for more cash. Think about your purchases; are you buying things of high value that you can’t afford? Are you saving? The financial decisions you make from purchases to savings says a lot about you in regards to money

Debt Makes You Powerless

When you are in debt, you may feel as though you are sinking, Orman says. Having debt doesn’t allow you “financial freedom.” If we take this principle and break it down, the lack of money you have can make you miserable. Think about how many times you were unhappy when your finances weren’t right. Orman says “When you have debt, you don’t have a financial voice”. This applies to those whose debt payments force them to live paycheck to paycheck. While debt may make you powerless, Orman wants you to know “The debt you have, does not define you”.

Who Will Teach Your Children About Money?

Orman asks, if you are not financially literate, how can you as a parent speak and teach money lessons to your children?

Lastly, Orman Advises: “Your Money Will Never Define You, You Define Your Money”

Suze Orman at The Apollo: Women and Money premiers on OWN on Monday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

The post 5 ‘Women and Money’ Lessons From Suze Orman at The Apollo appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Black Enterprise Unveils New Money Podcast, “Your Money, Your Life”

Kicking off this month is a new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life 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 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!

Podcast Page: https://www.blackenterprise.com/yourmoneyyourlife/

Go straight to: EPISODE 1

 

 

The post Black Enterprise Unveils New Money Podcast, “Your Money, Your Life” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Black Enterprise Unveils New Money Podcast, “Your Money, Your Life”

Kicking off this month is a new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life 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 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!

Podcast Page: https://www.blackenterprise.com/yourmoneyyourlife/

Go straight to: EPISODE 1

 

 

The post Black Enterprise Unveils New Money Podcast, “Your Money, Your Life” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

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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.

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The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 1 – “Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Mueller accuses opponents of offering women money to make ‘false claims’ about him

"When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation," spokesman Peter Carr says.
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Why relationships — not money — are the key to improving schools

Strong relationships between teachers, parents and students at schools has more impact on improving student learning than does financial support, new research shows. The study found that social capital had a three- to five-times larger effect than financial capital on reading and math scores in Michigan schools.
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Clever ways to save money on traveling

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Sure, many of us have dreams of seeing the world. Who doesn’t? But we’re not made of money, and it seems as though our wings are yet to sprout; we need a way to see the world that won’t cost us a small fortune. Thankfully, there are clever ways to save money on traveling that will open up the doors of opportunity to so much more of the globe than we ever believed.

Think of the time

One of the biggest reasons vacation prices will rise is all thanks to those bundles of joy people like to drag around with them – or kids as they are usually called. If you want to go traveling but don’t want to pay a fortune for the privilege, then it’s best to avoid any kind of school break. Airlines and hotels love to ramp up the prices when they know families will be flooding abroad. Not only will you avoid any extra and unnecessary charges, but you’ll also get to enjoy a more peaceful vacation and still have the chance to soak up the beautiful weather in the out-of-season months.

Book at the right time

As well as heading abroad at the right time, it’s just as important to book your tickets when the time is right. Statistics have shown that booking your flights at the weekend could save you as much as 19% on the final fare. No one knows why, but many think it’s because travel agents are typically open in the week meaning they get plenty of business workers. These are usually the ones willing to pay the extra cost for a slice of luxury – or put it all on the company’s card instead. Either one works.

Go it alone

No, we don’t mean ditch your entire family and head of on a solo adventure. Although, that would be one way to avoid paying for the extra tickets. Using travel agents can be one way to book a vacation, but it might not always be the cheapest. Looking for your own flights through price comparison websites is one way to get the best deals on your airfare. Plus, a lot of times hotels will offer up the cheapest rooms if you call them directly or head to their website. Sometimes the extra work is all worth the effort.

Follow the locals

Of course, local residents won’t necessarily want to pay through the nose for everyday things. Watching where they all head to eat is a good start to saving money while traveling as you won’t be spending any extra tourist charges in popular restaurants. Have you thought about how you will get around once you are at your destination? Hiring a vehicle might give you a little more freedom, but public transport is usually the cheapest way to explore new lands. There could be deals on tickets, and you’ll save on any parking fees.

Don’t overdo the texts

How will anyone know if you’ve gone on vacation if you don’t flood their phone with texts and phone calls about your adventures? Although it might be tempting to call home at every opportunity, all those messages could soon add up to a whopping bill at the end. Rather than waste your money, take advantage of any free wifi dotted around and use an app to message instead. There are many free apps that mean you can send all the pictures and videos you like whenever you’re connected to the internet.

Jetting off on vacation doesn’t have to cost a bomb, and neither does enjoying your time while you’re there. Thankfully, these clever ways to save money on traveling will free up more budget for all those souvenirs, and maybe even the next adventure or two.

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The post Clever ways to save money on traveling appeared first on Worldation.

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Bristol Palin: Dakota Told Me to Use ’Mommy’s Money’ for Divorce

Bristol Palin's Ex Dakota Tells Her to Get 'Money From Mommy' for Divorce
Sarah Palin and Dakota. MTV

A break up, a reunion of exes and another arrest. The Monday, October 22, episode of Teen Mom OG was filled with drama. Here’s a breakdown:

Bristol Palin was still livid after Dakota Meyer had moved her stuff out of her bedroom – mostly because she didn’t want her son, Tripp, to see it. Luckily, he was in Los Angeles with Bristol and her mother while on Dancing With the Stars: Juniors. In a candid moment with Sarah Palin, Bristol told her that Dakota called her, asked for his wedding ring back, then said, “You better get your mommy’s money because I’m gonna fight you tooth and nail until the girls are 18.”

Before heading back to Austin, Bristol reunited with ex Levi Johnston and his wife Sunny, as they were taking Tripp back to Alaska while Bristol got things situated in her home. She quickly FaceTimed with Dakota, and told him to remind his lawyer that she needed her home equity check so that she could get a new place.

While he told her he was looking forward to seeing her, after he hung up he told producers, “She’s an obnoxious smart ass.”

Bristol Palin's Ex Dakota Tells Her to Get 'Money From Mommy' for Divorce
Cheyenne and Cory. MTV

Splitsville

Speaking of exes, Cheyenne Floyd and her boyfriend, Zach, broke up after she spent the day with Cory Wharton, their daughter and her family. While she did invite Zach for the day out, she urged him to go see his dad, which he found to be red flag. When he tried to come over after they got back from the day out and was drunk, they got into a fight and she packed his things.

When Cheyenne later told Cory that they split and that she hadn’t seen him since their fight,he answered, “When can I move in?”

Bristol Palin's Ex Dakota Tells Her to Get 'Money From Mommy' for Divorce
Taylor and Maci MTV

Another Arrest

During Maci Bookout’s birthday weekend, she got an alert that her ex, Ryan Edwards, had been arrested again for violating his parole. Her biggest worry, however, was how to tell Bentley, the 9-year-old son she shares with Ryan.

Bentley was scheduled to spend the weekend with Ryan’s parents, Jen and Larry Edwards, so she informed him of the arrest before he went to their house. While there, Larry revealed that Bentley asked where his dad was and he was honest with him.

“I told him, ‘The most important thing is that your daddy’s clean.’ And he started crying. He gave me a big hug,” Larry said. “I said, ‘Buddy, he’s going to be OK. He’s got us, and he’s going to be fine.’”

At the end of the episode, Maci said that she didn’t believe Ryan was sober. “Everyone’s sitting around knowing there’s a problem and no one’s doing s—t about it,” she said.

Teen Mom OG airs on MTV Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.

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She Spent $16m In Harrods. Now She Must Explain Where The Money Came From

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Harrods, the iconic London department store, burnished its questionable credentials as the go-to destination of the global kleptocracy this week after it emerged that the wife of a wealthy, jailed Azerbaijani criminal spent more than £16m ($ 22m) in the London store over a 10-year period.

Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, the wife of a former state banker in Azerbaijan, is the target of the UK’s first Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO), a new piece of anti-money-laundering legislation that compels its subjects to provide a “clear account” of how they purchased British assets.

Hajiyeva is the wife of Jahangir Hajiyev, 57, the former chairman of the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan. In 2016 he was sentenced to 15 years in jail for defrauding the bank out of up to 5bn manat ($ 2.9bn).

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Trump claims he has ‘no financial interests in Saudi Arabia’ — but he makes lots of money from it

President Donald Trump's new tweet denying a financial stake in Saudi Arabia comes amid a growing furor over suspicions that the country's rulers ordered the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
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Saudi Arabia’s big money PR effort in the US is under scrutiny after journalist’s disappearance

Under Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has spent heavily to promote a reformist image. The country has quietly built an army of consultants in Washington to ensure that the kingdom's goals are not blocked in U.S. corridors of power.
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Start earning (and saving) money with these online finance courses

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If the extent of your knowledge of investing and finance was buying Beanie Babies back in the ’90s, don’t worry. These five online courses can teach you everything from how to buy and sell cryptocurrency to how to keep your checkbook balanced. 

Best of all is that each and every course is on sale. Check ’em out below:

1The Complete Cryptocurrency Course — $ 9.99

The Complete Cryptocurrency Course includes over 20 hours of insight and instruction from Chris Haroun, an award-winning MBA professor, and former Goldman Sachs employee. Even if you have zero experience with cryptocurrency or finance, by the end of this course, you’ll know all the essentials about mining, investing, and exchanging cryptocurrencies. Learn how to identify promising investment potential in a new cryptocurrency, and what the hell blockchain is and how it works. You’ll also learn about the different types of cryptocurrency wallets and the pros and cons of each, and how to read charts and identify when it’s time to buy or sell your cryptobucks. Read more…

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