Browsing Tag

Money

Business/Investment

Must Read: 7 ways to break away from the paycheck to paycheck cycle

Many of us have become accustomed to living from pay check to pay check; however, there are millions of people who have broken free from the rut and you can too. Living pay check to pay check means you’re one pay check from living without electricity, gas, a home and a car. It’s a worst-case scenario that could happen if you don’t improve your financial situation. Here are 10 ways to break free and increase your income stream.

Recognising you have a problem and dealing with it: The first step to getting out of the rut is recognising you’re stuck in a cycle of your own creation. Go online and read through the experiences of individuals who were in a similar situation but turned their life around. It offers insight on what you’re doing wrong and a few ways to change.

Live below your means: Review your credit card statements, bank statements and receipts. What are you spending every month? Can you cut back on miscellaneous expenses such as eating out and partying with friends? Compare your expenses with your income; if your outgoings are more than your income then it’s time to cut back.

Don’t shop for the sake of it: When you go out with friends, it’s tempting to buy a dress or an item you didn’t plan for during an impromptu shopping trip. Shopping for fun is a costly action. The best option is to stay away if you know your friends always end up in a store when you hang out.

Stop using credit cards and get out of debt: You won’t get your finances in order until you’re out of debt. Debt eats into your monthly pay check, leaving you with little for anything else. You also need to stop using your credit card while you’re paying off your debt. Avoid taking out any loans while you’re at it.

Spend Wisely: When making purchases, try to find the best deals, keep track of all your spending with virtual financial assistants as well as using cashback sites.

Make savings automatic: Planning to save after your expenses mean you will never save. Whether you’re saving for retirement or emergency funds, the money should come first before your spending. Savings should be automatically deducted from your checking account or ask your bank to deduct the funds to your 401 (k) plan automatically.

Increase your income: Another way to cut back on expenses is to increase your income. Get a part-time job or a freelance work online. Sell off household items you don’t need. All the extra income should go towards paying off your debt and you could quit your second job when you’ve finished paying off your debt.

Conclusion

Don’t rely on regular bonuses to cover your living expenses. Instead use it to speed up your debt payment or increase your emergency fund. The emergency fund is how to get out of the cycle of living from pay check to pay check in the long-term. Set a budget that caters to your expenses, insurance premiums, loan and car payments.

Business/Investment

Saving options for retirement-living the American dream in your silver age

When you are in your twenties or even early thirties, retirement seems a world away. You sometimes have a difficult time planning your next holiday, not what you will do 30-40 years from now. Without proper preparation, your bohemian dreams of sipping cocktails on a tropical beach or seeing the world with your partner could quickly turn into spending time around your back-yard.

The options for retirement plans consist of four choices, which you can sometimes combine to get more consistent savings. The first option is a 401(k) plan which is offered by the employer. This can be supplemented with a Roth 401(k). For additional savings or if you are self-employed, you could opt-in for a traditional IRA, to which you can add a Roth IRA.

Understanding the Roth advantages

This name comes from Senator William Roth Jr. who supported the Taxpayer Relief Act in 1997. By this bill, people can choose to supplement their pension savings with a certain amount, currently up to $5500/ (or $6500 for those over 50 years old) from money that has already been taxed once. This means that once you hit the retirement age, you can get money from your Roth account without paying additional taxes on them in the future.

Roth savings are an excellent option for young people since they have no control over the tax levels in the next decades. The upper cap on the income of $118,000 for singles and $184,000 for married couples also suggests that this option is for those with average earnings, but who can plan. Deductibility of the contributions also depends on the marital status and the filing status of the applicant. AAA Credit Guide offers a detailed description of the Roth IRA including tips and tricks.

401(k) or IRA?

The first myth that needs to be debunked is that this is not a choice, you can have both. The 401(k) plan is offered by your employer and comes with the promise that they will match your contribution to the pension fund up to a certain percentage of your salary, no mere than $17,000/year. Not choosing such a plan is like leaving free money on the table.  These funds are deposited into the retirement account before taxes; you will pay those when you use them.

The IRA (Individual Retirement Agreement) is a plan that you can sign up at any broker and contributions are deductible to lower your taxable income. People who are not in a traditional employment situation can only contribute to this kind of plan.

Putting it all together

If this all seems complicated, you could check out this flowchart to help you make a better decision. The key takeaways are: if your employer offers a traditional 401(k) (pre-tax) be sure to contribute to it and eventually ask about the option to get also a Roth 401(k) (after-tax). In the case of self-employed or those who still want more security, there is always the option of an IRA, either traditional (pre-tax) or Roth, depending on the income levels.

Business/Investment

Binary Options Trading for Beginners

Binary options trading is slowly getting popular among people who want to earn more. If you’re thinking about getting in on the game, here are a few things you need to know.

Binary Options

In coding, binary means that a value is either 1 or 0. In trading, the concept isn’t that far off. You either gain or lose money based on a “yes” or “no” proposition. If the proposition is true, i.e. if the answer is “yes”, then you earn money. If it is false, i.e. if the answer is “no”, then you lose money. Based on your earnings and the initial price you pay, you can determine how much you actually gain or lose.

Binary Options Trading

To give you a clearer idea of how binary options trading works, here is an example:

The proposition is this: “Will the price of gold be higher than $1,000 at midnight?” If you believe that the price will increase, you can buy the binary option. Otherwise, you sell it.

For this example, let’s say that you buy the binary option. Let’s put your initial offer (or the price you pay to buy the binary option) at $40. If the price of gold exceeds $1,000 at midnight, you get $100 and earn $60. If the price of gold doesn’t exceed $1,000 at midnight, you earn $0 and lose $40, which is your initial offer.

Now, let’s consider selling the binary option. If you don’t believe that the price of gold will exceed $1000 at midnight, you can sell the binary option at, say, an initial bid of $37. (The initial bid is typically lower than the initial offer. In other words, you risk more money if you buy than if you sell.) When midnight comes and the price of gold doesn’t exceed $1,000, you get $100 and earn $63. On the contrary, you earn $0 and lose $37, which is your initial bid.

Binary Options Trading Tips

If you want to try your luck at binary trading, here are some binary options trading tips to help you get started:

1. Don’t put all your money in binary trading.

Binary options trading can be exciting, especially for a beginner. But with any type of trading, binary options come with risks that you should take into consideration when putting in money. After all, you don’t want to drain your savings, right? So before you start trading, decide on how much of your money you’re willing to lose just in case the worst happens. Once you start earning, you can make your “trading money pool” bigger.

2. Being wise is better than being quick.

Because binary options trading is time-sensitive, you may feel pressured to bid as soon as you can. However, it is important to stay smart about the bids you enter. Prioritize “wise trading” over “quick trading” so you have a higher chance of earning money.

3. Keep your emotions in check.

Yes, binary options trading is exciting, especially when you start winning. But don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Know when to step out of the game before you start losing big money.

Business/Investment

Plan Your Trades Wisely

Any new venture requires research and planning. Trading is no exception, but unfortunately, many people jump in unprepared so that their trades are little more than gambles. If you want to become a successful trader, you must have a trading plan. Not only will it help you understand when to place trades, it will tell you know when to exit a trade, manage your risk and help you keep emotion out of your trading. It is important to invest time into researching and developing a plan that will work for you before you begin. Trial the plan, analyze its successes and failures and modify it as necessary and you will be more likely to have success in the future.

Set Your Goals

Before you can create a trading plan, you must set your goals. Take a piece of paper and pen and write them down to make them more concrete. You need to take into account your personality and your trading style in order to be able to set realistic and workable goals. Assess your strengths and weaknesses and how they will impact your trading. Include timeframes when setting your goals so that you have daily, weekly, monthly, bi-annual and annual goals. All of this is the first step to planning your actual trades.

Plan Entry, Stop and Profit Targets

By planning when you will enter a trade and when you will exit a trade, you avoid trading by emotion. Knowing when to exit a trade is just as important as understanding the signals of when to enter the trade. Exiting in time helps you manage your bankroll and will allow you to come back to trade another day. Setting these points forces you to plan a logical strategy and helps you stick to your strategy when you are trading.

Decide on Risk:Reward Ratios

You must plan your risk:reward ratio once you have already set your entry, stop and profit targets. The higher the ratio, the more reward you will have compared to risk and therefore, the more appealing the trade will be. A ratio of around 1:1.5 would look good. As part of this, you need to work out your risk in terms of how much of your capital you can risk on any one trade or in any one day. The amount will depend on your personal risk tolerance, but is typically between 1% and 5% of your total capital.

Keep Records

Keep records of everything. Of your plans, of your analysis, of your risk levels and targets, of your trading records and of your charts. These records allow you to go back and analyze the success or failure of your trade. From this, you can sit and tweak your plan, improving it as you go.

Conclusion

The key to trading successfully is planning your trades wisely. This will be different for each person as goals and personality vary between people. However, planning, recording and modifying your plans are the key to becoming a successful trader.

Business/Investment, Real Estate, Travel

The Best Cities to Invest In Real Estate in America

If you are looking to invest in real estate, then you should consider cities which are on the upturn so that you can have the largest return on investment possible. There are some cities that are in ruin, yet millennials run to them for cheap housing. If you weigh all the data, it will be easy to see that some of these unconventional picks are worth your attention.

Bozeman, Montana

You probably didn’t expect a city from Montana to be topping a “best of list” unless it was for “Best Cities to Go to Montana State University” but there is a method to this madness. Bozeman, historically, has been a small, working class city. The local university brings in a quarter of the town’s population every year but there have been others coming to the city for the past few years. It seems that the way Montana’s tax system is structured has created a haven for startup technology companies who can’t compete in Silicon Valley. These companies are moving to Montana instead and picking off the fresh engineering students from the university. The city is becoming more affluent and many fly fishers from the northeast are starting to buy up real estate.

Detroit, Michigan

Another unconventional pick, yes, but Detroit is one of the best cities to invest in real estate in America lately. A few years ago the city was bankrupt and there are hardly any jobs. However, there are a bunch of jobs starting to open up just 30 minutes north of the city and many millennials are moving to Detroit for dirt cheap housing. Neither the native locals nor the millennials can afford to purchase real estate which is what makes Detroit a sleeper hit.

Dallas, Texas

Cost of living in Dallas is poised to become one of the highest in the nation of the course of the next few years. Advising that figure is 6.2% three-year populace development, 3.9% employment increases a year ago and 9% yearly home cost picks up. Homes in Dallas are additionally underestimated; notable midpoints compared to adjacent city’s cost of living make Dallas a sure thing.

Seattle, Washington

The weed trade has turned Seattle into the crowned jewel of the Pacific Northwest. In the past year, prices have raised 12% and there is no end in sight. Restaurants in the city are doing so well, in fact, that they have done away with tipping waitstaff and restaurateurs are now paying them an overly rate. The population of the city is booming and more companies are moving to, what could be, the hottest city in America right now.

Those are four picks that probably were not expected for most real estate hounds, but the reality of the situation is that America is bouncing back. There were so many cities which were devastated back in the 2008 recession that are starting to do very well as a result of intelligent policy making. While other cities in America fall deeper into debt, the ones cited on this list are becoming major metropolitan hotspots.