By

Lois Center-Shabazz

9 Great Financial Habits to Start Before You Are 30

The earlier you start great financial habits, the easier your life will become over time. It is hard to make money and stay out of debt. But, when you realize that as a debt snowball happens quickly, a change of financial habits can create a money snowball.

This happens when you understand the power of a budget pared with saving money and investing in dividend stocks and mutual funds.

There are many types of investments, but here I speak of simple investments that are low risk, low cost and low stress. Once you become more experienced with investing you can study investments that are a bit more complicated.

The major concern at this point is to start great financial habits that concentrate on budgeting and simple investments. At the core of budgeting is to also to learn and practice emergency money skills.

A Change in Financial Habits Can Go From A Debt Snowball to a Money Snowball       -Lois

1.How to Get Out of Debt, Save Money with Simple Investments and Budget

Ask your parents or grandparents and they will tell you life happens fast, really fast. Two years becomes ten years, in to twenty years and then thirty. it seems like it all happens in the blink of an eye.

So, if you concentrate, you can get out of debt now, save money, budget and invest. In ten years, twenty years and thirty you will be set financially.

Instead of compounded debt, no savings, a sideways budget and nothing invested, you will have a peaceful financial life.

Because, now you have compounded interest on savings and investing through your dividend stocks and mutual fund investments. Your budget keeps you in top notch financial shape.

These are simple investments, so they are easy to learn, easy to maintain and monitor on your own.

Budgeting, Saving Money and Simple Investments Starts With the Right Home buying Skills to Great Financial Habits

2. It is hard to make money and harder to keep it–stay cautious. That is why budgeting is essential

No matter what you do, it is hard to make money. You have to know the right field to go into, how to get into it with low cost, and how to stay in it.

This takes help and mentoring, so don’t be shy; get involved by asking experienced people in the field for help. Start with those you already know.

You have to understand how to write the right resume and research companies best for you and your career. Then you must know who to trust to show you the right way to navigate your field.

There are good people to look up to and emulate in a business, and those you should avoid. This is one quality that makes successful people successful. Approach people carefully.

3. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so stop acting like it does. It will with Simple Investments

The saddest statement I hear unsuccessful people say is, “if only I believed mentors when they told me it may not last”. In this case, my example wage-earner (a female), made a lot of money.

Because there was so much, and sometimes so fast, she thought she was set for life. She felt there would never be a worry about time or money, because it’s happening now, and it will always happen.

Then time started to creep up on the her and she realized there are no guarantees, but it was too late. Just because she once worked for a great company with a great boss, she didn’t understand things can change quickly.

Now, her next company demands more time, more energy and pays less money per hour. All she can think about is the good ole days her only thought was “money grows on trees”.

Fast forward to now, she got a rude awakening seeing that money doesn’t not grow on trees”. Her mentor told her, don’t give up, keep thinking forward, things will get better.

Great financial habits start when you buy a car the right way for saving money, budgeting and simple investments, you will have emergency money

4. No matter how much money you make you can lose it all overnight

You see the stories of the once wealthy entertainers with mansions and several Mercedes. Then, there are the athletes with beautiful houses on the beach. Entertainers and athletes are not the only ones. But also big business owners or the businessman CEO who lived lavish lifestyles, also once wealthy.

Fast forward a few years, the contracts have dried up, the business went under, and the CEO fell out of favor with the board. All of these previously successful people went from seemingly wealthy to poverty overnight.

Losing their income, their lifestyle and the home and cars that came with it. It happened to them, and it can happen to you.

Therefore, when you make good money, it is important to understand you can lose it overnight too. Live a frugal life, put money away, buy homes and cars the smart way.

Save money, and remember that a debt snowball can happen quickly, but also a low debt money snowball can happen quickly, when you save money and budget the right way.

5. Money grows in simple investments such as mutual funds and dividend stocks over time.

Understand how money works in investments to get the  best results. Mutual funds pay compounded interest and high asset stocks can pay dividends as they grow. If you add money to a mutual fund on a regular basis, called dollar cost averaging, you will make even more money.

Passbook savings accounts pay simple interest, but they have a purpose too. Some folks won’t use passbook savings account, but one good use is, they can keep money for other purposes to be used later.

Even your coin and dollar jar has a function for immediate small emergencies.

Understand How Money Works In Investments for Best Results       -Lois

6. Your emergency money can be kept safely in a passbook savings account.

It’s important to be able to borrow from yourself if you have an emergency so you won’t have to go to the bank and take out a loan. Taking out a loan for an emergency creates another emergency.

It’s even worse when you have to ask others to borrow money. Borrowed money makes for broken relationships in many cases. Borrowed money should be limited to those who are close to you and vice versa.

When the debt snowball of money borrowing starts, you can get backed into a wall with your finances. This does not have to happen if you just take a small portion of your monthly earnings and put them away for a rainy day.

Get savings auto deducted and pretend the money does not belong to you – that will make it easy.

7. Your emergency money is for your emergency, not your friends and not your family.

A big problem some people have is they don’t keep their personal business to themselves. When you don’t, you have a tendency to brag about things no one else should know about.

Be proud of yourself for your financial accomplishments, like building an emergency fund, creating a great budget and learning simple investments. But, keep it to yourself, people will not ask to borrow money they don’t know you have.

This way, you do not run the risk of not having needed emergency funds because you loaned them to someone who did not repay you.

8. Constantly Improve your knowledge, your skills, and your Income.

Grab every chance you can to increase knowledge in your field. Read books, talk to mentors, take classes offered by your employer, and attend conferences.

The more you know the more of a valuable employee or business owner, you become. As you become more valuable, you can rightfully ask for more money or create more income.

Things are constantly getting more expensive, so if you have the right employer or small business practices, your income should keep rising from year to year.

9. There are very few people you can trust, especially with your money and finance.

There is no law saying you have to trust anyone with anything you own, anything you do, or what you invest in.

Educate yourself, do lots of research and know your options, when it comes to everything. Do not put your life on autopilot and do things because they seem good or someone else does it.

Understand money and finance, as though your life depends on it, because it does.

There are very few people you can trust with your money, even professionals. You need to know what investments are available and right for you. If your company has a 401k plan, it’s a good idea to invest in it, understand it, and know your options.

If you want to start a supplemental retirement plan, understand the best investments that are right for you also. So, if you choose an investment advisor you will know what they are doing with your money.

And understand when they are on the right path for you, they don’t always work for your benefit.

Great Financial Habits to Start Before You Are 30

Great Financial Habits In Summary

Budgeting, saving money and simple investing seems easy. But, believe me if it were more people would do it, so I am here to help you. It is hard to make money and hard to keep money, some wealthy people lose all of their money overnight.

Starting with this knowledge will help you to be careful and stay safe. Instead of building a debt snowball, understand that when you do things right it is just as easy to build a money snowball.

This happens when you use budgeting, and then onto investing in dividend stocks and mutual funds skills as a way to build wealth.

Your investments should be low cost and low risk as you are learning and growing in knowledge. It is all a matter of habit, starting great financial habits early, will make creating great finances easy.

Emergency accounts seem simple so it is easy to put it off until you have an emergency and you realize you could have been prepared. Do not wait; do it now. The peace of mind you will get with an emergency fund is phenomenal. Keep learning, keep building and keep moving up the pay scale, no matter what you do.

9 Great Financial Habits to Start Before You Are 30

Personal Finances That Rock

To get personal finances that rock understand that there are many ways to achieve a given task. You only need to use one to be successful. The one that works of course.

I have used many ways in the past to create successful personal finances that rock, so I will attempt in this article to outline a few that have worked and will last.

The first thing you must understand is my definition of personal finances. In my opinion it is simply staying close to your finances. Understand everything possible detail, about every single financial decision you ever make. That begins with decisions about the smallest items to the largest.

Do personal finance research, ask people you know who have had to make those decisions. Many of them will tell you the mistakes they made so you won’t do the same.

I speak to people all the time who tell me they must consult with a salesperson about funding a retirement account. Then they ask salespersons about buying a home, which car loan to get, or if they should take out student loans.

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You should have the ability to answer the above questions yourself if you are involved in your personal finances, the right way.

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Do your research, talk to people close to you, get an idea of what is best for you, so at least you are in the ball park before you think about a purchase.

That way you will not let a sales person lead you a stray or someone else who is not qualified to tell you what to do.  You instead, will direct him or her. Here are three suggestions for developing personal finances that rock by organizing your finances and doing personal finance research.

1. PERSONAL FINANCES THAT ROCK ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

Make up your mind that it is your responsibility to get personal with your finances. There is no one out there who will cherish and adore your finances as you will. If you are having a hard time making finances personal, you can use a series of techniques to make peace with your finances.

Many of you have heard messages over the years that you can’t manage your own finances. It must be either a spouse, parent, salesperson or other person. Not true.

The More You Know, The More You Grow,Your Money               ---Lois Center-Shabazz

You can change that way of thinking by changing the way you think. Use personal  affirmations, and visualization.

Just like any other positive thing you want to bring into your life, you can bring in the ability to manage your finances. By writing positive affirmations about managing your finances and visualizing yourself managing your finances from daily to monthly – you will be successful.

2. GET YOUR FINANCES ORGANIZED

Get organized like you’ve never organized before. Don’t be afraid to guerrilla organize your finances. Set up a system for bill paying, saving money, and paying down debt.

Then set up a system for spending money on things you need first and things you want second. If you can’t afford to buy it, it may be that you can’t afford to buy it now. You may afford it down the road as you pay off bills, and save money for it.

In your record keeping system start with what you have and what you want to end up with in 2 years, 3 years and then 5 years.

Major purchases take a lot of research, to purchase a car correctly, a home, or an education. Realize that it takes time to get your finances in order and research is necessary.

Your personal finances will not be build up in a day or a month. But, if you organize your finances and create a plan, they will be eventually build up. You will create personal finances that rock.

3. CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT PERSONAL FINANCES

Get help and follow directions, remove your old ways of thinking about your personal finances that did not work. Things that don’t work are keeping too many credit cards, charging too much on credit. Also using loans to replace loans (like loan consolidation), will keep you in debt.

Work to pay off  loans with money from savings or income or simply buying what you can’t afford.

Home buying the right way take skill, organize finances, create personal finances, do personal finance research, make personal finances that rock

Thinking that things will make you happy, when in fact the happiness with things last only a short period. This is especially true when you find you can’t afford to pay for them, major depression sets in.

Write down the advantages of getting personal with your finances. There are many

1. You save money easier
2. You will purchase what you can afford
3. You can work your way out of debt or stay out of debt
4. You can avoid getting cheated in purchases by unscrupulous salespeople 5. The peace of mind you get when your finances are in order
6. You can hedge against losses if you lose your job or the economy goes bad.
7. You can concentrate on other important things in your life that need your attention.

Summary: Now you should understand that if you want personal finances that rock there are a few things to do. You must first know the definition of personal finances. After you understand that organize your finances, then start your journey of personal finance research.

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How to Invest in Bond Funds or Bonds, Why You Should

When You Purchase a Bond or Bond Funds; What Happens

Investing in bond funds or bonds are two different entities. When you purchase a bond, you are loaning your money to a corporation or to the government.

In exchange for loaning your money, you will receive the promise of regular interest payments. The bond will also be given a maturity date.

When the bond matures, you will be given your principal investment back. This will include several years’ worth of interest on that principal.

You can use a bond to live off the interest (although, in such a case, you would need to have invested quite a bit of money).

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Alternatively,  you could reinvest the interest, or use the bond for the purpose of balancing out a stock portfolio. This would work, because bonds are generally income investments, and stocks are generally growth investments.

Individual Bonds or Bond Funds as Income Investments

Income investments give you interest, and growth (or equity-stock) investments give you capital gains investment returns, if you have chosen your investments wisely. Therefore, usually when stock prices are up, bond prices are down, and vice versa.

This is one reason stock investors add bonds or bond funds to their portfolio. As the stocks go down the bonds go up and can balance out the portfolio’s bottom line.

Understand individual bonds, bond funds and bond investing with Lois

Many people think that because bonds pay interest, they are 100% safe, because you can never lose your principal investment. This is not true!
The price of a bond (which is separate from the paid interest of a bond) can fluctuate. You can lose your principal if the price of your bond were to fluctuate to nothing (zero).

"There is an Important Difference Between Stocks and Bonds"    -Lois

This is where bond ratings come in: there are high-yield bonds, and there are high-quality bonds. You must know the difference between the two, before you start to place your money into bonds.

Bond Ratings – Some Are Called “Junk”

The higher the interest rate of a bond, the lower that bond is rated— this is known as a high yield bond. The lower a bond is rated, the higher the interest will be that is paid on that bond.

This is why some financial advisors recommend that you buy short-term bonds, so that your bond can “mature” before its price decreases.

The highest-yielding bonds are usually the lowest-rated,  high-yield bonds are called “junk bonds”. These are rated “C” by ratings services.

On the other hand, the lower the interest rate of a bond, the higher that bond is rated—this is known as a high-quality bond. High-quality bonds, which usually do not have high yields, are generally rated “A” or above by investment rating services, such as “Moodys”. There are several bond
rating services.

RATING DEFINITION’S:  S&P MOODY’S 
——————————————-
Highest quality and grade. Prime. Maximum safety.          AAA Aaa

Bonds which are judged to be of the best quality. They carry the smallest degree of investment risk. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligations is extremely strong.
————————————————————————————————-
High quality. High grade.                                                                 AA Aa

Bonds which are judged to be of high quality by all standards and only differ in small degree to the highest graded bonds. The obligor’s capacity
to meet its financial commitment on the obligations is very strong.
————————————————————————————————-
Upper medium quality and grade.                                                 A A

Bonds which possess many favorable  investment attributes and are
to be considered as upper-medium-grade obligations. They are somewhat    more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rated categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligations
is strong.                         
————————————————————————————————

If you are an individual investor who is purchasing a bond, it is usually
best to stick with a bond that has a rating of “A” or better. (see the “Summary,” at the end of this article).

BONDS DIFFER, BASED MOSTLY UPON WHO ISSUES THEM:

  • Government-issued bonds are called Treasury Bonds.
  • Corporation-issued bonds are called Corporate Bonds.
  • State- or Local-issued bonds are called Municipal Bonds, or “Muni’s,” for short; this type of bond is generally exempt from all state and
    local taxes.

Individual Bonds Versus Bond Funds

Purchasing an individual bond can be an overly complex endeavor, and generally requires a large sum of money at hand. To fund even a single bond, you will often need at least $10,000 (but sometimes less).

Institutions, such as pension plans and insurance companies, will often purchase bonds. But they also have teams of people who can thoroughly analyze which bonds to buy, along with when it is best to buy—and sell—them.

Some Investors Use Bond Funds to Balance Their Portfolio     -Lois

Individuals don’t have this kind of investigative power, and it would require an individual with a lot of individual bonds. Therefore, you need a lot of money—for your individual “bond portfolio” to be considered diversified.

An alternative would be to invest in bond funds, in Treasury Bonds or Muni’s. You can invest in bond funds, which is significantly different from an individual bond.

The obvious difference is that an individual bond is just what its name implies—i.e., one bond—while a bond fund is a collection of individual bonds. Before you invest in bond funds, start a series of simple ways to save money first. 

Another big difference is that, while an individual bond will mature, a bond fund never matures. (Remember, you can cash-in on your bond when it matures and get your principal investment back).

If you invest in bond funds, it is best to look for one whose individual bonds have average, short-term maturities. As investors get older the tendency to invest in bonds more than stocks, because the fluctuation in prices tends to be lower. Disclosure: I do invest in bond funds, as well as other investments.

SUMMARY

  1. There are high-yield bonds and high-quality bonds.
  2. High-yield bonds pay higher interest rates but are not very stable; the highest yielding bonds are known as “junk bonds.”
  3. High-quality bonds pay lower interest rates but are usually more stable than high-yield bonds.
  4. Bond prices fluctuate: a low-quality, high-yield junk bond’s price could even fluctuate to zero; this would cause you to lose your principal, should you have invested in such a bond.
  5. The highest-quality bonds are rated “Aaa” and “AAA,” by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s rating services, respectively; and the lowest-quality bonds are rated “C” (junk), by the same two services
  6. To decrease your chances of landing a bond with a price that fluctuates too low, it is best to buy short-term bonds.
  7. There is big difference between individual bonds and bond funds; one important difference is that, while individual bonds mature, bond funds never mature.

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3 Ways to Invest in individual bonds or bond funds.

Money Strategy

You Can Create a Successful Money Strategy

If you create a successful money strategy, you can start wealth building. But, first you have to know what wealth building is and is not. Wealth building is not just making a great income or accumulating money or things.

Talk to all the movie stars, athletes, singers and those who have inherited millions only to find themselves living in poverty somewhere down the line. Why? For most of them they thought wealth-building was single faceted and existed only as a million dollar income.

Read More

Dream Finances

Build Your Dream Finances Now

I have talked about wealth building in another article. Now I will tell you about Dream Finances. I prefer to use the term Dream Finances, since more of you understand that term. The issue is Dream Finances versus Nightmare Finances. Dream finances include a portfolio with guerrilla budgeting, mutual funds for savings, and home buying the right way and

Dream Finances is defined by me as having the finances that allow you to sleep like a baby at night. You are living below your means, and all your financial systems are in order. Bills are easily paid, savings overflow, and investments are growing.

Dream Finances Will Allow You to Sleep Like a Baby at Night.

Read More

Understanding Money

Understanding Money is Harder Than You Think

If you are going to have enough money to live off, save and invest. You first must understand money and how it works. It is not difficult to understand money, but it does take time and attention to learn the process. You need to do a lot of reading, research, take courses, and develop an understanding of all the nuances of money.

How Does Money Work?

If you do not have much money, you may need to ask yourself, “how does money work? “How do I prioritize money issues?” It sounds so simple, just make money, and spend money the right way. But spending money the right way has proven elusive to many intelligent people.

There are those who make a lot and end up with nothing. There are those who start with little, make a lot, then end with billions. What is the difference? The latter have figured out, “how money works” by understanding money and all it entangles.

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7 Habits of Wealthy Women
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7 Habits of Wealthy Women

The 7 habits of wealthy women are not what most think. The stereotype most think, is the habits of wealthy women are full of excess and waste. But according to my experience, seeing wealthy women navigate life, they do not spend most of their life in excessive spending and waste. I see wealthy women in the media working hard; as politicians, owning their own media companies, as talk show host, and some working hard in multi-national corporations,where they have a large stake in.

7 habits of wealthy women

Those women do not spend their time walking the aisle of expensive department stores, playing bridge or having a useless tea all day-that is the stereotype. Below I have attempted to explain some of the better habits of wealth women.

These are some of the common habits of wealthy women.

1.Wealthy Women value education

They value education and they get educated, either formal or informal. That does not mean they went to Harvard or Yale, that is not necessary. Many went to cost effective, low cost schools with no or low balance student loans. With low debt there is low stress. With the low stress they can concentrate on advancing their career.

Some go to private schools, but others to a good public institution. Some of them were taught a skill by taking inexpensive classes over time. An example is learning the in’s and outs of finance to protect their money and assets.

Another example is, reaching the top level of real estate, as a broker and managing director or becoming a master in the tech world. It takes career concentration, constant learning and mentorship, and mostly hard work.

2. They research everything they do.

A wise old man once told me;

“Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see, research everything”.

There is so much false evidence being passed on as real, that the anti-wealth building process is alive and well. I call it “chasing rainbows”. Wealthy women do not engage in the useless “chasing of rainbows”.

That is, do not believe mostly what a stranger tells you, professional or not. You run the risk of getting involved with bad product or companies, until you find out you have overspent and believed in a false product. Some people go by false advertising copy, some go by the fake status of the person pushing bad products, and some only plain old believe anything.

A case in point is women who get involved with either scam phone calls or dating websites where a person pretends to be something he is not. The next thing they know after 2 or 3 years they have sent the fake person their entire life savings.

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A smart woman who becomes wealthy would not talk to the stranger in the first place. So, the scamming could not take place. She has already learned that there is a system in place for strangers to rob other strangers over the phone.

The best way to avoid this is to avoid others in the first place. Don’t even think there is something over the rainbow that is waiting to make you happy or rich. It does not exist. If the stranger were happy or rich, he would not be on the phone all day soliciting your money.

3. They save and invest like their life depends on it

Wealthy women understand the power of saving money and having money when they need to buy important items. That is, not everything is charged, if it is, it is paid for the same month. They concentrate on making interest, not paying interest.

Then, they go onto learn investing. Investing is the key, I can vouch for that myself, I have had several years of successful investing. I first learned how to understand stocks and bonds, then I went on to focus on mutual funds.

Since there are a wide variety of low cost, low risk mutual funds – it is easy to find great high value investments in mutual funds. Even if they hire investment advisors, they first learn how investments work before they trust a stranger with their money.

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4. They do not engage in predatory loan practices at the beginning or end of wealth building

They understand how to leverage with borrowed money the right way. They do not engage in predatory loans or lending. They usually use loans as a short-term vehicle to address an immediate need. Like borrowing money for a home until an investment tops out, or they save enough from their employment, business, or an inheritance comes through to pay off the home early or in cash. Cars are treated the same way.

5. They are not dependent on others for their livelihood

Women who are wealth builders do not build wealth on the backs of Dad’s or husbands. If they get money from their Dad’s or husbands it is a plus, not their main source. They work hard at a job or business and accumulate money by saving and investing on their own.

6. Whether they make their money during their lifetime or inherit it, they spend it very carefully

Wealthy women are frugal women for the most part. They work hard for their money and spend it wisely. No, they do not take first class flights unless they are doing it with frequent flyer miles. They prefer to save by going business class.

They do not buy in-season clothes; they prefer to buy discounted high value clothes. They do not like to waste time, energy, or money on purchasing things that are not extremely useful.

7. They do not boast about the money they have

The money they have accumulated through saving, investing, and working hard is their business. They understand the dangers of letting strangers know what they have. Even telling family members can be dangerous. People who have a lot of money are frequently the target of professional scammers.

A professional scammer looks normal, they talk like they are in a profession, they have business cards, brochures, fake articles about their fake business. For naive people this sometimes works, for wealthy women, they do not allow others to come to them, they seek out their own prospects and verify everything about them before getting involved. They usually do a swallow and deep background check on a person who works with a legitimate company.

Summation

In summation the habits of wealthy women suggest they are uber careful. They are not susceptible to scams and scammers. They work hard, even after they make a lot of money, and they are frugal and careful with their money.

Wealthy women make sure they know investments and savings, so they can either; invest their own money or monitor an investment advisor and the investments he or she suggest. The habits of wealthy are more positive than not.

Money quotes by Lois Center- Shabazz and

A Primer for Avoiding Financial Waste and Living on a Tight Budget

The Talk with Your Family About Avoiding Financial Waste

If you have a family, the first thing you need to do is to get them to understand how avoiding financial waste helps a tight budget. Then, discuss what it means to live on a super-tight budget.

Tell them they may not get many of the things they want, but they can get some.

A super tight budget is something that does not mean misery, it means you must be careful. This is a part of life, not bad, not good — just necessary to keep the budget moving in the right direction.

As a matter of fact, you can tell them, because cost of living is high, everyone, in every income bracket lives on a super tight budget.

The Talk with Yourself if You Are Single And Budgeting on a Tight Budget

Stop waiting for prince charming. He does not exist. Sure, you have the chance of meeting a nice guy. But you will be better served in preparing yourself to take care of yourself first.

If you happen to find a nice person you have a lot in common with, then you will be prepared for the relationship. Until then create your own super tight budget for success.

Budgeting when you are single, will make it easier to budget when you are married. A tight budget is king and always will be for a low budget. If you develop good habits now, you have a better chance of identifying a partner who does the same, before a permanent relationship.

No one thinks they will get divorced or separated after marriage, but many do. The number one reason divorce lawyers’ site as the reason they give is financial incompatibility.

That information was there at the beginning but either, they did not get to know each other long enough or well enough to see it. Figure out how you can live on a tight budget before a serious relationship and do not get involved unless your partner does.

Trim the Fat from Your Spending Budget

Start today, trimming the fat from your budget. You are an intelligent person. There are many places where you can trim fat from your budget. It requires that you be open and honest with yourself.

Take a deep dive into your spending habits and find where you can trim the fat from your budget without starving or not having enough gas or train fare to get to work.

Look in your closet and identify clothes or shoes you have not worn for months. Look in your cupboards and identify things you have not used for years.

These are all things you could have done without, or you can sell off to make money. It will also help you to identify how to trim the fat from your budget by not overspending in the future.

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Not All Good Things Are Good for You

There are many things that seem good for you, but if you cannot afford them, they may not be. A case in point; a great car, a comfortable dress, a new apartment – if they are not comfortably affordable – they are not good for you. Analyze everything you think you may need and may make your life better. The goods may make you feel better, but you must have the money.

Remember, when you analyze things you need include all cost. For instance, car buying may include 1. Down payment, 2. Monthly payment 3. Gas cost, 4. Monthly, Quarterly and Yearly maintenance, 5. Insurance, 6. Parking.

Where many people falter is when they leave out one of these costs when the affordability analysis is done. Because of these omissions, you can end up with a product you cannot afford. You can research mostly anything on google and ask advice from family, friends, or professionals you know.

Understanding Finances Is What Makes It All Work

Understanding finances is the key and the easier it will be to improve your finances. Because engage yourself into understanding finances you can live within your means no matter what your income.

The less you make the more extreme you will have to get. I call it guerrilla budgeting. I am not saying that high income people do not have financial problems, they do.

In fact, some multi-millionaires file bankruptcy because they are not careful, live far beyond their means, and do not engage in understanding finances through study.

While other multi-millionaire’s feel they must budget everything they buy and do to stay within a comfortable spending range. Understanding finances by constantly reading, studying, and monitoring their money is the key to their success. No one has an unlimited budget for spending money.

Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear, verify

Lois Center-Shabazz

You Can Change the Way You Think About Money

Old habits die hard. Becoming efficient in living within your means with a tight budget and avoiding financial waste is not easy. But you must change the way you think about money if you are having financial difficulties.

If you have a habit of money mismanagement and financial waste it is even harder. But, with that said, there is a lot of help, a mentor can change the way you think about money. It starts with buying the car you can afford, then buying the home or condo you can afford.

And then of course understanding comprehensive financial management is the major key to change the way you think about money. There are many aspects to managing money and avoiding financial waste, even when your budget is tight.

When you analyze your current financial situation, you will find that there are many ways to save money by elimination of waste also.  Avoiding financial waste is a major key to living on a tight budget with success.

in 60 days learn to create fantastic finances

Do not Take Your Cues from Advertising Propaganda

One of the ways we get confused about buying habits is that we take our cues from the wrong places. This is where many over spenders make their mistake.

They feel they must have everything that is advertised. Advertisers sell a “feeling”, telling you this is how you will feel if you buy this product. Of course, the feeling is always, so-called, “good”.

Do not be confused, you will not feel good if you cannot afford the advertised product. In fact, you will probably feel bad. Not all advertised products are bad, many in fact are good. The problem is the amount of information you get in a 30 second ad is not enough.

Do your research if you like a product you see in an ad. Find out if the product has quality, is within your budget, and does what it says. Most of all, ask yourself if you absolutely need and can afford the product.

Before You Buy Ask Yourself; Do I need this? Do I want this? Can I afford this?  And will it last?

Lois Center-Shabazz

Finally, Put it Into Action with Help from an Expert

Get help before you need it, and your finances will be in the proper order. Everyone needs help when it comes to changing behaviors and identifying best practices for spending, saving, and budgeting, investing and wealth building.

Do not feel that you are different. The most successful budgeting folks got help before becoming successful. You can get help too, that is where I come in, contact me now and we can talk about how best you will be served. If you are anxious to get started, you can start here.

Old Habits Die Hard, Change Requires a Little Work

Lois Center-Shabazz

Buy Quality Products So Your Products Last

Do not get quality confused with cost. You do not have to spend a lot of money on products or services to get quality. But, if you do not want to replace your product or service often, you must buy quality. The more you replace products the more money you spend in the long run.

This is where products that appear inexpensive cost you more money than a good product. Your affordability index goes down over time due to wasted money. Purchasing the right way is another key to avoiding financial waste, living on a super tight budget, and understanding finances. You must change the way you think about money if you are going to financially successful.

9 ways to budget when you have a super tight budget

Small Business Startup Tips

You can obtain a small business by taking it over from a family member or purchasing an existing business, or by creating a first time startup business.
But, in order to be successful, you must have some beginning small business startup tips. 

For the Best Business Tips Possible, Get a Free Consult 

The first time startup business is one you startup completely from scratch, no clients, no office space, no employees, no funding. But, you have enough education and experience in the field that makes you feel as though you could pull off a successful business venture in the next 3-5 years.

It takes at least that much time for a small business to grow to a decent amount of profitability. I have compiled a list of small business tips for you to get started. 

With a brand new business, you are starting up everything for the first time in order for the business to get up and running. The totally new business is by far the most rewarding, but also the most risky of business ventures.

Women and Cars Go Together, Know How to Buy Right 

The failure rate of new start up business is very high, because most people don’t know the 500 small business startup tips you should know before starting.

They go into business with a hope and a prayer instead of;  1) Knowledge of the field, 2) Knowledge of running a business, including, city, state, and federal regulations, 3) Extensive experience working in the field 4)Business accounting principles 5) Plenty of money to last before you are profitable 6) Have the ability to deal only with facts 

If you are diligent and take things slowly it could work out. But you must be patient, and willing to work concentrated long hours to get started.

Home buying the right way take skill, also use small business startup tips

Also included in a new startup venture are these small business startup tips:

Obtaining A Mentor

1. Talk to many, many people who are already in the field to get the big picture. Ask them to be completely honest when they answer your questions. Tell them you need to know all of the good and bad about the business. If you don’t know anyone in the field you may not be ready

Get the Experience First

2. Preferably, you should have worked in the field for a few years to see if it is a viable business. Your experience in your chosen field should be deep and through, no guessing games.

The amount of time and money that goes into a small business is too demanding to be a guess game. If you fail the recovery could take years, if not decades. 

Research is Essential

3. Do research, lots of research about the field. Find out if regulatory agencies are getting a lot of complaints about the type of business you are considering.

There is research everywhere now. You can do small business research at the small business website or sba.gov. Go to your trade association or professional website. 

Money quotes by Lois Center- Shabazz and

Know Quality Financing

4. Be careful about financing, if you can’t get a bank loan for the business that may be a hint that you are high risk, and may have a high rate of failure. There are many predatory places of financing.

Most of these offer high-interest loans or balloon payment loans. It is best to wait until you raise your credit score, save substantial down payment, and have a high grasp of business techniques. 

Venture Capital Funding

5. Consider venture capital funding for the business. This is very difficult, but possible. You should have a mentor who can guide you through the process. There is a complicated web of business plans and contacts within the industry that you need to access.

Non-Profit Venture

6. Consider starting out as a non-profit venture and getting a grant to run your business. Be careful, you could be jailed if you can’t account for every single penny of the money within your business.

Running a non-profit also includes first getting a 5013C. Hiring a grant writer to write grants for your non-profit business is a good idea. Writing a grant takes skill and experience. 

Get All of the Right Business Ideas You Need to Succeed 

The Right Accountant

7. You must have a close relationship with a good CPA (Accountant), and a good bank, and a good business attorney. Your knowledge of small business accounting should be through, so you can choose a competant accountant. The wrong or missing accounting could damage your business for life. 

Understand Leases

8. You must understand the different types of business leases there are, and that you could loose all of your personal property (home etc.), if you default on a business lease. Research the types of leases, they are: 1) Net, 2) Net, Net, 3) Net, Net, Net.

Many people sign Net-Net-Net leases with a 5 or 10 year commitment without knowing what it means. Business leases is an area that causes many small businesses to fail, understanding a lease is complicated. 

Obtain a good real estate attorney to advise you on the different types of leases and negotiate one you can afford as a new business. You may consider starting with a month-to-month lease if you are using your own money, instead of bank financing, and you don’t have to do leasehold improvements.

Your Bank Loan Tied to Your Lease

If you have a 5 or 10 year loan, or if you expensive leasehold improvements and you are on a month to month rental. You could be asked to leave any time.

The best way to start a small business is from home if that is
possible. Running a business from home also posses many risk.

There are also leases on business equipment. These are especially tricky, no all the ins and outs before you consider one. 

I have signed two 5-year leases with a previous business I owned, I feel this makes me fairly competant to discuss business leases.

Don’t forget to sign up for your free eCourse on Money Tips 

Small business startup tips

How To Find High Performing Mutual Funds For A High Performance Portfolio

Finding high performing mutual funds investments for a high performing portfolio is simple when you have a little research. Great mutual funds are a result of a stock market that has been going up consistently for the past few years, and is posed to continue on the current positive course. Therefore, now may be the time to research quality mutual funds.

Money quotes by Lois Center- Shabazz and

Mutual Funds

1. Definition of High Performing Mutual Funds

There are literally thousands of quality mutual funds to research, the small list below will get you started. First there are a few things you should know. Mutual funds are used for your 401k, regular savings or investing.

You can purchase most high performing mutual funds from an online. Buy from brokers such as Fidelity Investments, Charles Swab, TD Ameritrade.

Or you can go directly to individual mutual fund company websites such as Vanguard Mutual Funds, T. Rowe Price, American Century, Parnassus, Permanent Portfolio and others. These are all low cost mutual funds.

Those I mentioned here happen to be among the largest companies, but there are many others to choose as research candidates. Most of the discount brokers offer free mutual fund research as well as Yahoo Finance, MSN Finance, and Google Finance all under the mutual fund channel.

Understand How to Research Mutual Funds From a Money Strategist

2. Finding High Performing Mutual Funds

To find high performing mutual funds you must look at cost of the fund, returns, tax Rate, and asset allocation are 4 of the major categories I look at when I research a mutual fund.

There are many more you will find when you read mutual fund reports listed on the financial websites, and in the prospectus.

It is imperative that you know what you are buying before you buy it. Re-Read the prospectus of the mutual fund you are interested in several times prior to purchase decisions.

All of the following mutual funds mentioned are no-load funds. The following facts are current as of March
2011, they were taken from several mutual fund rating companies.

3. Cost Or Expense Ratio of Funds

Cost is most important for  high performing mutual funds because the performance of mutual funds go up and down over time as do most investments.

The lower the cost, the more money goes to your investment. If your mutual fund goes way down, a high cost may be challenging. A reasonable cost almost goes unnoticed if the fund performs well over time.

Learn All The Details of Mutual Funds, Schedule a Discovery Session

Keep as much of your investment as possible by focusing on low cost mutual funds. If you are a beginner it is good to focus on mutual funds that are listed as low cost and low risk.

Most of these funds do not require a load or upfront cost unless you cancel the fund before 30-90 days. Each fund varies, read the individual fund prospectus.

4. Returns of Mutual Funds

High performing mutual funds have high returns and are calculated after all costs are deducted. A great one year return may be a fluke.  I like to look at the longer returns of the mutual fund. After all, an investment is the increase in value of an instrument over time.

I prefer to look at the 5 and 10 year return of mutual funds to get a broader picture. If the 1 and 3 year returns are high also, that may be the sign of a winner.

Bear in mind you must read the recent news and statistics of your mutual fund, because past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

20 smart money moves, finances are all emcompassing

5. Allocation of Mutual Fund Assets

You don’t need a lot of mutual funds if you choose quality, since a mutual fund usually consists of a diverse mix of stocks. There are different types of mutual funds. So if you choose to own some they should be of different asset allocation groups, to avoid overlapping investments.

Some of the different types of asset allocation groups are: Large Growth, Small Growth, Large Value, Short-Term Bond, Mid-Cap Value, Diversified Emerging Markets and many more.

When you go into an online investment area read about each different type of mutual fund available. If you are a beginner it may be a good idea to study the  low risk, low cost mutual funds first.

6. Taxes Paid on Mutual Fund Profits

All of the funds listed below have low turnover, and therefore low tax rates. The turnover rate is the rate at which stocks in the fund are bought and sold. If the stocks are kept long term, they will be subject to long term capital gains tax, which is amongst the lowest taxes to be paid.

7. These are current Mutual Funds with Top Standings in the Respective Categories

Portfolio 1

Parnassus Equity Income Portfolio (PRBLX)
Type: Large Blend
Risk: Below Average
Yearly Expense Fee: .99
Return To Date: 3.7%
Return 1 year: 17%
Return 3 year: 5.9%
Return 5 year: 7.3%
Return 10 year: 7.0%
www.parnassus.com

Permanent Portfolio fund (PRPFX)
Type: Conservative Allocation
Risk: Above Average
Yearly Fee:  .93
Return To Date: -.07%
Return 1 year: 20.4%
Return 3 year: 8.0%
Return 5 year: 9.5%
Return 10 year: 11.0%
www.permanentportfoliofunds.com

Yacktman Fund (YACKX)
Type: Large Blend
Risk: Average
Yearly Fee:  .93%
Return To Date: 1.7%
Return 1 year: 8.47%
Return 3 year: 12.1%
Return 5 year: 9.4%
Return 10 year: 11.82%
www.yacktman.com

These are just a few examples of high performing mutual funds, there are many. You will find the quality mutual funds when you do your research.

This is not a solicitation to buy a mutual fund. These are only mutual fund suggestions for you to research. Read the mutual fund prospectus before you consider purchasing a mutual fund. Most are available online, at each mutual funds website.

These mutual funds were given a top rating by at least 7 different mutual fund research sites.

Pick up Your Free Money Tips eCourse Now!

 

The More You Know, The More You Grow – Your Finances

MsFinancialSavvy, Lois Center-Shabazz

Lois Center-Shabazz| Money Strategist | Course Delta Agency

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