By

Lois Center-Shabazz

Until Credit Do Us Part, Money and Marriage Finances

Marriage Finances

marriage finances

Many of you spend more time selecting a ring before marriage then discussing marriage finances. Yet, how many of you have heard of a couple divorcing due to “ring problems?”

Professional marriage counselors tell us the single most common reason for divorce in this country, are problematic marriage finances. There are three to five other top divorce reasons, but money issues tops the list.

My question to you is “Do you think these problems started after marriage?” I’ll save you some trouble, “the answer is no.” We bring all of our pre-marriage baggage with us into our seemingly wonderful marriages. Included in this pre-marriage baggage is the credit report.

You say, “credit report,” what does that have to do with marrying the most wonderful person I have ever met in my whole life? The answer, “a lot!”

In your credit report lies those nasty little financial secrets we call “past and current financial problems.” If your spouse is not willing to share his or her credit report with you before you marry, look at that as an early sign of problematic marriage finances.

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Solve Money Problems With This Small Tool
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What can a credit report tell us?

  • In the case where a credit report is several pages long, this is a strong indicator that your spouse-to-be is overextended. In some cases, far too overextended.
  •  Several delinquencies listed on a credit report simply means your Mr. or Ms. Right just doesn’t bother to pay his/or her bills in a timely fashion, or ignores them altogether.
  •  Then there is the real ugly stuff, which can appear on a credit report, like previous DUI’s (that’s drunk driving offenses, for those of you who don’t know). Then there are the liens and judgments, and yes, even the nicest most attractive people can end up here.

Far too many men and woman are baffled by their “significant others” spending habits and financial problems, after they are married.


This probably happens for any number of reasons; these are just a few;

  • Some people just don’t believe someone they, “think they know” is capable of doing “nasty things” like, not paying their bills on time?
  • Some people simply don’t understand the significance of “not paying bills on time.” The significance is that the person you are about to marry may with bill paying and money in general.
  • Some people simply do not get to know their spouses well enough to get married, but in our “get-married” promoted society, some have a tendency to rush to the altar.

Most of you are on your best behavior before marriage, and others simply don’t understand the significance of credit history before they marry, therefore the thought never occurs to ask the potential spouse about financial history to establish marriage finances.

So what happens, you marry a seemingly wonderful person, discover their bad financial history after marriage, fight over it, and then divorce, sometimes after fighting over money for years.

To avoid this cycle, look at the credit report of Mr. or Ms. Wonderful before marriage. Get together, pull it out, and go over both reports. If he or she refuses, think twice about the true “wonderfulness” of your soon-to-be spouse.

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Start by Purchasing a Car The Right Way and
Learn to Save With These Great Tools
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The credit report is only one indicator of financial dysfunction with your potential spouse, others are excessive spending, over-paying, always broke or behind on bills such as child support or taxes.

marriage finances

How to Find Career Solutions if Your Job is More Stress Than a Paycheck

Learn Career Solutions

learn career solutionsIt seems that career solutions are in order if your job is more stress than a paycheck, according to statistics many Americans fit the profile. Recent reports say that half of all Americans are unhappy in their jobs. I was not surprised by this statistic. I used to work in a building where I would look out from the second story window at 5:00 p.m. and watch in amazement as people literally ran in droves to their cars, seemingly unaware of surroundings.

It is a tragedy when people spend the best years of their lives doing work they do not enjoy and dreading going to work on a daily basis. Negative feelings about work affect every area of your life, including your relationships, motivation and physical and mental health.

From my experience as a coach, people who are unhappy with their work often feel stuck. Many suffer from what I refer to as the “competency curse.” The competency curse occurs when people become very good at their work, either through years of education, or experience or both, but the problem is, they are experts at something they don’t enjoy and hence, fulfillment and satisfaction are elusive. In addition, many people become “finance dependent” attaining a level of income which they become dependent, usually by working for corporations with high salaries.

They become part of a large group of people wearing “golden handcuffs.” The paycheck and benefits keep them chained to a job they dread. What do most of these people have in common? First, their lives are on hold until five o’clock, weekends or retirement. Second, they really are not stuck – they have choices. I call the choices, career solutions.

If you are one of the far too many people who are starting your work week with feelings of dread and resignation, here are some strategies that will help you right now to take action and move forward into a rewarding, happier career.

(1) Realize that you have choices and you’re not stuck.

Refuse to become a victim. Take control of your life and your situation. Even if you choose to stay in an unhappy job, take responsibility for the decision to stay and realize that it is your choice. There are courses and mentors who can guide you to enjoy what you do.

(2) Refuse to trade a life for a lifestyle.

Forget about the fancy house and the new car. Simplify your life. Having the freedom to choose will make you much happier than any material possession you could ever own. Some highly paid individuals find they are on the job for one reason, to live a life of luxury, they no longer enjoy. If this is you take a hard, deep look at other career solutions.

(3) Have financial reserves.

You can save more money than you’re currently saving. Write down everything on which you spend money in one month. Cut expenses again and again. You will find that you’ll spend less money when you’re happier with your life. The Easy Budget Planner is an ideal guide.

(4) If there is something you have always wanted to do, start now.

Take small steps. What are you passionate about? Do you want to own your own business, become an artist, write a novel, go back to school or start a new professional career? Whatever it is, take action steps, one at a time. If you look at the entire process, it will overwhelm you. What one thing can you do today to start your journey? Be careful not to fall into a career solution that is not satisfying, and stay out of debt.

(5) Difficulty resolving job conflict

If you are having difficulty resolving the conflict about whether to stay in a job or to leave and you need some objectivity, try this
exercise. Ask yourself the following question: “What would the wisest person on the Universe tell me to do in this situation”? Consider at least 10 facts to make an informed decision, and do lots of research. This is a very powerful tool that will give you a much broader perspective. Understand all of the benefits your company has to offer, and get the most out of your package. Learn to choose the proper retirement package.

(6) Is there something you could do to make your current work situation better?

Maybe it would be as simple as redecorating your surroundings to reflect who you are. Perhaps there are job opportunities in another department or an opportunity to take on another role in your office that better suits your interests and personality. Write down any problems you are having and take just one step this week toward positively resolving this issue. Many times small changes at work  make a big impact in job satisfaction.

Related Links:
Guiding Your Time When You Are Self-Employed
Three Investment Stops
68 Powerful Ways to Save Money

learn career solutions

How to Save Money On Groceries 5 Magnificent Ways

Save Money On Groceries

Learn how to save money on groceries in these 5 magnificent ways

Learn how to save money on groceries in these 5 magnificent ways

 

  1. Shop with a List and Stick to it

You can save lots of money on groceries. Go through your refrigerator and your cupboards. List the items you need to replace. Create a budget, then decide how much you can spend. The budget should be predetermined by your monthly take home pay. You can save money on groceries when you stick to a strict budget.

  1. Don’t Shop When Your Hungry

When you shop when you are hungry your mind plays tricks on you, so you grab high priced items you would not normally purchase. There are many prepared meals at grocery stores now, but those meals are easily and quickly prepared in your kitchen. Don’t fall for the quick, easy convenient method when shopping. Eat a meal, and then shop for meals you can easily and cheaply prepare at home.

Create a Magnificent Budget With Easy Budget Planner

  1. Coupons Are King

You can get free coupons in several places. Some grocery stores have a coupon kiosk when you enter. You can get coupons in a discarded newspaper from your neighbor or friend. And some grocery chains have their own coupons on their grocery store website.  Most grocery stores give coupons when you checkout and some have them on the back of the receipt, check everywhere, they are popping up in many new newspapers and circulars. Coupons are a powerful way to save money on groceries.

  1. Don’t Forget to Analyze Your Grocery Sales Page

Grocery sales pages come out in free newspapers and paid newspapers. Pay attention to the rotating sales of the grocery sales pages. You can alternate products you need to get everything replaced in your food pantry for the month. Grocery sales pages are another very powerful way to save money on groceries.

 

Plan Your Budget and Budget Your Plan With this Easy Budget Planner

 

  1. Stay Away from the End Isles With Special Higher Priced Items

End isles have new products, higher priced products and products that are not selling. Go down each isle, one isle at a time, then onto produce and dairy. Make sure you stick to your list and your budget. In some stores, there is an end aisle at the back, this end isle has deeply discounted out of stock or manufactured discontinued items. Many of these items are things you still use, so pay attention and save money on groceries with these deep discounts.

Related Links:
Get Out of Debt Forever
Easy Budget Planner
Learn to Budget Your Money

how to save money on groceries

10 Signs You Have Learned to Budget Your Money

You Have Learned to Budget Your Money

budget your money

1. You budget your money fiercely, whether it be monthly income, lump sum winnings, or inheritance.

For those who have a low level of financial experience, getting a windfall is more of a curse than a blessing. Ask some of the lottery winners, who recently hit the jackpot and five years later they have no money to speak of. The main problem they had was they didn’t even possess beginning money management skills. It starts with learning to establish a budget for everything within the confines of your income.

If you can learn to create a budget when your income is small, you can successfully budget your money when your income is big. It never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t understand this concept, they seem to feel it is the lack of money, not the lack of money management skills that cause most of their financial problems. Then they get a windfall and find they are out of money five years later due to mismanagement.


2. You balance your checkbook every single month, and therefore, budget your money, with your checkbook.

Balancing your checkbook gives you a lot of important information. First of all it tells you that all of the money you applied to bills has been paid, or is pending. It also tells you that the bank did not mix up your account information with another customer.

It  gives you a snapshot of how you allocated your money to your budget.  All of these things are important to balancing your checkbook, balancing your money and making sure you are on track to proper spending.


3. Your emergency fund is used for your emergencies only.

One of the most effective ways to budget your money, is to include an emergency fund in your budget planning. This means that you don’t loan your emergency fund money to anyone, including your kids. This is what happens to many folks who tell others of their fund.

Keep it secret and keep it for your emergencies. Don’t make yourself an emergency statistic by needing to borrow from others, after loaning out your rainy day fund. Borrowing for emergencies is just another way of creating unnecessary debt.


4. Your debt ratio is kept to a minimum or to zero.

Your debt ratio is low if your debts are low. The goal is to keep your debts low to avoid financial ruin when you have a catastrophic event in your life or if you need to borrow money for a home or car. The lower your debt ration the lower your interest rate on loans will be and the better your loan terms.


5. You carry only two credit cards, maximum.

Who needs mega-credit, no one. The more credit cards you carry, the higher the tendency to over spend. Credit cards are a necessary evil if you rent cars, travel and stay in hotels. Most car rental agencies and hotels will not do business with you without a credit card on file.


6. You allocate maximum dollar amounts to retirement and savings accounts.

This means you have a retirement account and a savings account. Treat them as they were a bill and its easy. If you have money auto deducted from your checking account or your payroll account, you won’t miss the money and it will appear to grow painlessly.


7. You don’t purchase major items based on gross income, but instead, base purchases on net take-home pay. (Ex. Car, home, furniture).

I have had a lot of folks tell me, “I bought this car or home based on my gross income, but now I am having trouble with payments”. The reason is that you can’t make payments from money you are not taking home.

Many companies take out employee tax, retirement, healthcare and miscellaneous items. Some finance companies base payments on gross income, this is confusing to an inexperienced buyer and creates a difficulty making payments. The best way to budget your money, is to know the money is there to budget.


8. You make extra payments (not minimum) to credit card companies monthly.

When you are billed for a credit card purchase, you are billed a minimum payment to stay in good standing with the company. This payment could stretch out to a balance of 20 years with added interest.

I suggest that, instead of paying the minimum payment due, you make that payment and then make an extra payment to principle to pay off the balance as quickly as possible.

9. You use your credit card only when necessary, and pay off the bill monthly, or as soon as humanely possible.

Don’t use credit cards for the sake of buying and accumulating “stuff” such as clothes, shoes and jewelry you don’t need. If you do, you will see your balance balloon out of control like you never imagined.

The balances grow exponentially when you are not “carefully” monitoring your purchases and if you don’t budget your money by paying off balances due.


10.You make sure that you are adequately insured in every category.

Many young people I talk to have gotten into trouble because they did not understand the devastation they could face without car insurance and health insurance, only to name a few. A minimum of liability car insurance that protects the other driver is required in most states, and health insurance is the law, you can get coverage at healthcare.gov.

You can be billed for hundreds of thousands of dollars for a hospital stay if you are not insured. Due to the governments Affordable Care Act, most Americans can afford to be insured through The healthcare marketplace.

Related Links:
Get Started With an Easy Budget Planner and Get Rid of Budgeting Confusion

Free Book Excerpt on Getting Out of Debt
Live Rich Save Money! Get Out of Debt Forever in 17 Amazing Ways

Free Book Excerpt on Saving Money
Excerpt from the book, “Live Rich Save Money! 68 Powerful Ways to Save Now and Forever”
by Dr. Lois Center-Shabazz.

5 Sure Ways to Avoid Financial Aid Mistakes Funding College

5 Sure Ways to Avoid Financial Aid Mistakes
Avoid financial aid mistakes

Your Scholarship Search

Understanding financial aid and all it should offer you can keep your student loans low. When you apply for financial aid and you are low or middle income, you may qualify for a financial aid package. That package usually includes loans, the more expensive the school, they larger your loans will be in your package.

The best defense against high debt is high grades in high school or college. Either can lead to college scholarships. Your scholarship search should be extreme and early in high school. Search and apply as if your life depended on it. Ask family members to help, show them your grades, discuss your plans.

Many scholarships go unfunded simply because there are no applicants. Study and understand everything about financial aid at the federal financial aid website, FAFSA, that is where you can avoid financial aid mistakes the most.

Get This Amazing Update on Student Loans

 

And mostly, apply early, and place every single college you remotely think you are interested in on your application.

When you apply online, which is best, the college you choose will be the college your award is forwarded to.

Study and understand everything about financial aid at the federal financial aid website, FAFSA, that is where it all starts. And mostly, apply early, and place every single college you remotely think you are interested in on your application.

When you apply online, which is best, the college you choose will be the college your award is forwarded to.

Download This Free Student Loans Book Excerpt

Don’t Go to College Blind

Avoid financial aid mistakes by reading your college catalog online, understand all your college offers, this you should find information about financial aid at your given institution. Your registrar’s and financial aid office will have more. Understand what courses you must take to graduate with that degree in four years.

If you are not sure what you want to do, you should have some ideas since you are going to college. Choose at least three fields you are interested in and have good job prospects, make sure you get the general education courses to major in each of those three fields. No matter what, major in one field by the beginning of your third year so you can graduate in four years, get a job, and start paying down debt right away.

Don’t linger with indecision, and don’t allow yourself to get loan defaults, and later a lifetime of bad credit. Your credit rating is one of the most important assets you have for getting low-interest rates later and your ability to rent an apartment, buy a car, or buy a home.

There are many ways you can go to college debt-free if you concentrate on affordable colleges, Pell Grants, scholarships, understanding financial aid packages, living at home, working, and relatives helping, should keep you with low or no debt.


Should You Refinance Student Loans to Make Payments Affordable?

Some students will not have an option except to refinance student loans because the payments are way too large for their income. If you can pay on student loans as soon as they are due, make your payments plus an additional to principle balance, so the loans are paid off quickly.

At the same time, of course, remember to place a monthly payment in your savings account for a rainy day. The best student loans, as I have said, are government subsidized loans since you don’t have to pay interest while you are in school.

The best refinancing options are also government refinancing programs. If you refinance with private companies, you could lose the loan benefits you get with government programs. One such benefit is loan deferral if you return to school, a hidden higher interest rate can be found in private loans or tax benefits of interest deductions in government loans.


If You Pay Off Your Student Loans Early

If you pay off your student loans early or on time you will have a peace of mind you never thought attainable. That is how I and many of my friends felt when our student loans were paid off. When I graduated from dental school and my student loans became due before I got a job, I felt I would be in this debt box forever.

Knowing I had a large student loan balance every month when I made my payments, it always gave me a sinking feeling. When I graduated there

When I graduated from graduate school there were no government loan repayment programs and my financial aid was only student loans. The Income Based Repayment Plans and the non-profit service plans, were recently put in place by the Obama Administration.

I knew if I did not make my loan payments, even when I had no job, the loans could balloon out of control if I got sick or experienced long-term unemployment. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to get out of this box of miserable student loan debt.

Avoiding Financial Aid Mistakes Requires Research

I finally came up with the solutions that I am sharing with you in this article on student loans and my previous two articles. The solutions start way before you start college, but it is never too late to figure out how to pay off student loans and maintain your credit rating. It begins with understanding financial aid for college and all options that surround it.

—Related Links—
College Without Student Loans

Debt-Free College For All

Pay Off Student Loans

Sell Your Home Tax-Free

Tax-Free Savings

sell your home tax-free

You may be able to sell your home tax-free. This is a tax saving Americans rarely discuss when they are complaining about tax rates. The tax-free benefit that comes with the sale of a home is one of the major benefits of home ownership. The interest deduction is another benefit that occurs while occupying the home.

Most earned income is taxable, but the income you earn from the sale of your home may not be. Therefore, you will not have to pay taxes on the equity from the sale of your home if you meet certain IRS requirements.

In most states, if you sell your home with a real estate broker you will have to pay fees to the real estate company for the sale as well as other costs.

Other cost includes sellers escrow cost and repairs to the home as required by law or requested by the buyers.

Many of your cost are tax deductible, which means you will get some of the money back when you file your taxes.

To get homeowners tax breaks when you sell your home pay attention to the requirements for a tax-free home sale

If you qualify, you can exclude part or all of the gain from the sale of your home. To get the exclusion, the tax law requires that you use the home as your main home, and own it for 2 out of  5 years prior to the date of sale.

There are exceptions to this rule if you are military, handicapped, or have been in the peace corps. Read IRS publication 523 for the specific rules.

There is a limit to the financial exclusions when you buy a home. You can only get up to $250,000 tax-free if you are single and a $500,000 tax-free gain if you are married. In most cases, you can exclude the gain on the sale of your home every two years. If you
sell your home at a loss, it is not tax deductible.

If your home sale is not taxable you may not need to report the sale to the IRS, if all or part of the sale is taxable you will need to report the sale.

Some of you may have used the first time home buyers credit to buy your home, if so, this is an exception and certain rules will apply to your sale.

These rules are current as of August 2016, verify if there are new rules in place when you sell your home after this date, by going to IRS.gov.

There are many advantages to selling your home tax-free up to the exclusions.

1. You get to keep some or all of your profits from equity up to the $250,000 for singles or $500,000 for married couples.
2. You can have a large down payment for your next home or use it for retirement income.
3. When you sell, you can use part of the money to pay off bills, fund an education or start a savings account.
4. You don’t have to purchase your next home immediately; you have time to evaluate all of your options for a new home.
5. If you live in your previous rental home 2 of the 5 prior years, you can sell your home tax-free now that it is not be considered a rental home.

Related Links:
Create Your Home Buying or Selling Budget Here
Understand How Money Works on a Global Scale
Save Money The Right Way

 

sell your home tax-free

Protect Yourself From Investment Fraud

12 Ways to Protect Yourself From Investment Fraud

Protect Yourself From Investment Fraud For Now and in The Future!

Some of you are active investors, want to be active investors in various investment vehicles and some of you will be indirectly affected by stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other investments. Those investments could come to you via your 401k plan, an inheritance or other means. My point is anyone could be exposed to the financial markets intentionally or unintentionally. Because of this, you need to know how to protect yourself form investment fraud.

The Enron company (stock symbol – ene) “stock” scandal has been widely reported in the news in October 2001. The company stock went from $83 to .25 cents in just one year. According to the widely televised news reports one possible reason was accounting improprieties.

The most widely speculated impropriety was over-reporting of earnings by some officers. While downright false accounting reports by major companies are rare, and difficult to detect, you need to protect yourself from these types of scandals. We ask the following questions and attempt to answer them here. How do these scandals occur? Who is most vulnerable to stock scandals? How can investors protect themselves from this and other types of stock scandals?

Although most investment firms and products are ethical and legal, investment schemes and frauds do exist within the securities industry. Con artists are quick to pick up on the newest hot investment prospects and the latest technology trends and use them as a basis for fraudulent investment schemes. Bernie Madoff of Madoff Investments is probably one of the most famous investment fraud schemes.

Many of those schemes are very enticing and very difficult to spot. Almost all of them depend on trusting investors willing to believe the con artist’s claim without question. It may be difficult to identify fraudulent schemes, but there are some red flags you can pay attention to and avoid becoming a victim. Here are some pointers.

  • Deal only with firms and individuals you have researched and trust.
  • Be skeptical of any investment opportunity that comes about as a result of an unsolicited telephone call, Internet offering or even a television advertisement if the product cannot be easily researched. Never invest without doing some research about the opportunity. The Federal Communications Commission regulates telephone solicitations and automated calls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Provisions of that act require a person making calls to identify themselves and the name of the entity on whose behalf the call is being made.

They must also give you the telephone number where the person or entity may be contacted. Other provisions require the entity to place your name on its no call list upon a written request and prohibit unsolicited calls between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Obtain additional information by contacting the Federal Communications commission, www.fcc.gov or 1919 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20554,
phone- 1 (888) 225-5322. Verify that your broker is certified and/or licensed through the CFP board or Finra. The Certified Financial
planner is not necessary, just good, but being registered or licensed is the law.

  • Beware of glowing promises of high returns. Ask yourself why the promoter is so eager to share this opportunity with you, and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t invest in a product you don’t understand, do your reserch, do lots of reading. There are many online investment portals where you can learn basic investing.
  • Carefully analyze promotions offering high returns by investing in the latest technology developments. The promise of high returns is a red flag for investment fraud.
  • Resist the temptation to invest “right now” because “tomorrow will be too late.” Don’t be surprised if they follow that line by “We will have someone there within the hour to deliver the prospectus and pick up your check.” Another line is, “I will have my supervisor call you and explain everything”.
  • Never believe a salesperson when he says, “You don’t have to read the prospectus or contract. That’s just for the lawyers.”
  • Do not give  out your social security number, credit card or bank account information to people who solicit you.
  • Look for audited financial statements and review them carefully. Be leery of the absence of audited financial statements and scrutinize unaudited financial statements carefully because an expert third party has not attested to their accuracy. Question any financial statement projections to see if the expenses and profits appear reasonable.
  • Take notes of your conversations with your broker-dealer agent or investment advisor representative. Include the dates and times.
  • Always..always..always….read and understand the legally required offering documents; ask questions and insist on reasonable answers. Seek advice from a knowledgeable friend or consult with your financial advisor, and invest only after you have satisfied yourself that the risk in this particular investment agrees with your financial objectives. You can read the recent news on a stock, research here for stocks, and here for mutual funds, Fidelity Investments is a major firm that has a large, easy to use research section.
  • Save all records of transactions and correspondence. Never part with original documents.
  • When considering equity securities prices below five dollars per share or unit and a market value of $250 million,  these are penny stocks or microcap stocks. The risk of buying these stocks are extremely high. Be sure you receive, read and understand the lawfully required consumer protection information prior to conducting any business, read here to understand why microcap or penny stocks are, in many cases fradulent stocks.
  • Slick promoters know how to make investment fraud sound legitimate and inspire your confidence. That is why they succeed so often. If you feel you have been victimized, report the matter to your state corporation commission, division of securities and retail franchising. On the national level you can contact the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or the National Association of Securities Dealers, inc. (NASD), via the websites. You might also want to contact an attorney to determine your rights or file an arbitration claim. Your prompt complaint may keep others from being defrauded and increase your chance of getting your money back.

Related Links:
Understand basic investing with this award-winning eBook
Understand that you need a basic plan before you start investing

7 Things New College Graduates Should Do Now

College Graduates
7 things new college graduates should do, job search, student loans, resume

Find Out What a Successful Resume Should Look Like for a New College Graduate

New college graduates have a challenge, but the challenge gets easy when you understand the most important thing you can do is is to create an outstanding resume displaying all of your best attributes. Some of you will have full-time job experience, some volunteer experience, others intern experience, and some part-time job experience.

Ask friends who have graduated and were hired with a new graduate resume if you can see their resume for ideas. Make sure they have similar experiences and job interest.

Get your resume professionally written, or study professional resumes online. Make sure you have multiple reviews of your resume by professional friends and family, and ask if they would consider hiring you based on
your resume. Be painfully honest, everything you have done is transparent.


Successful College Graduates Look Jobs in Multiple Places

Start with your university job placement center, follow up that search with online job portals. Then talk to your friends who have graduated and work at places you are interested in. The friend connection can be great, since they usually know the most important people in the company who hire new graduates.

Of course, another is the family connection. Some family members may have a business where they can hire you, even if it is temporary.


Find Out When School Loan Repayment Starts

It is absolutely necessary to know when your first school loan payment is due, understand your school loan payment grace period. If you don’t think you will have a job by the time your school loan payments come due, you need to look into the income based repayment plans.

The income based plans (IBRPLAN) are based on 10% of your income going to monthly payments. The government gives you a few years to start regular payments after you start your job with regular income, but you must apply for it, through the IBRP.


Find Out if You Are Interested in Non-Profits

If your regular school loan payments will take you well past a repayment period of 10 years, you may consider working for a non-profit. The government allows you to stop your loan payments at 10 years if A) you never miss a payment, and  B) you work for a non-profit

Take a look at my eBook: Live Rich Save Money! From Student Loans to Car Maintenance in 9 Wonderful Ways


If You Don’t Immediately Get a Job in Your Field, Take Something but Keep Interviewing and Researching

If you don’t get a job in your designated field, consider taking something that pays income until you get a job in your field. Working shows potential employers that you do have a work ethic. It will also supply money for job searches, interviews, and the purchase of proper interview clothes.

Some of you will have parents who can fund the essentials, but others will not. But, most important, it looks good that you are doing something until you get a professional job.


Don’t Get Depressed, Eat Right and Exercise

Don’t get depressed. Some of you will be hired quickly, but for others it will take some time. But, what’s important, is that you keep looking, no matter what.

Talk to parents and friends about research tools. Spend time with family and friends having fun so you don’t get depressed. Hearing the word, “no” repeatedly, will be difficult, so be prepared, and keep moving toward your goals.


Research Every Single Company or Organization You Plan to Apply for and Dress Right

Apply with employers that you have a lot in common with, look for the skills you have in their job descriptions. Example: If you are an art major, don’t apply for a computer science job, you are wasting your time and that of the company.

A friend of mine is a manager who interviews new recruits, and says a lot of people do just that. Lots of resumes and applications get reviewed and tossed because they have no qualifications for the job. So, focus on jobs in your field so you don’t waste your time or the company’s.

With online job portals, college graduates can access a wide variety of jobs, they can research the company they apply for in a google search.

Releated Link 1: School Loans eBook

Related Link 2: Job Interview Tips

Releated Link 3: Easy Budget Planner

Building Wealth While Investing in the Stock Market

 Building Wealth While Investing in the Stock Market

Building wealth investing in the stock market

You can build wealth while investing in the stock market, but you better know how.


For many new or beginner investors, I speak to, building wealth while investing in the stock market appears to be a mystery. Even though there are many different types of stocks, only a few seem to be aware of this fact. I typically get the same response when I question them, and that is, aren’t all stocks high risk? The answer, of course, is no, but proving that to them, has at times been difficult.

A few years ago a personal finance magazine profiled people who died and left a sizable amount of money behind in stocks. That wasn’t so unusual considering the large increases many retirement accounts saw in the previous stock market booms. What was unusual was, each of the individuals who died with tremendous amounts of money started with very small accounts.

Their stories were as follows. One woman died and left twenty-two million dollars in stocks. She started investing forty years prior , with just five-thousand dollars. For most of her life, she lived modestly in an apartment, and when she died she left the money to her favorite charity, which was her lifetime goal.

The next person was a gentleman profiled on the nightly news. He died and left a thirty-six million dollar stock investment account. When his neighbor was interviewed about the money he left her,(almost three-hundred thousand dollars), she was asked if she knew how much money he had when he died. She said she had no idea, and she didn’t think he did either since he visited her regularly to watch cable TV.

It turned out that he did not have cable TV in his home. The authorities felt, considering his circumstances when he died, that he did not understand the value of his investments which were mainly in stocks. He did not leave a will for the remaining amount of invested money, and he lived modestly.

The next story was also on network news, it was about a woman who died and left two-hundred million dollars in an investment account. She inherited a stock market account from both her mom and dad, several years prior to that, and held them in the accounts.

The television reporter interviewed her neighbor in her low-income modest neighborhood, where the investor died with weeds growing around her tiny quaint home. She stated in the interview she had no idea her neighbor had any money at all.

Well, the moral of the story is not that you will get rich in the stock market. But, “time is a virtue with stocks and investing.” Starting with a modest amount of money, you can end up with a substantial amount of money over time. If you add to that amount of money monthly, you can increase your investment even more. This is called dollar cost averaging.

Holding onto your stock investments long-term is what is meant by, guess what? long-term investing. To invest in stocks you must do a lot of research and study. There are low-risk dividend paying stocks you can start with, but you must first understand what that means by studying.

Use our Retirement Calculator to estimate how much you will need to save monthly so you can retire with an adequate monthly income.

Don’t forget to ask for your social security statement every few years. It will show you the small amount you will get from social security when you retire. It will also show if you accept your social security retirement too early, you will substantially reduce your lifetime monthly payout. You can get a social security statement from www.ssa.gov, or call your local office.

For most Americans, you will notice that the amount you will get for social security retirement will not be enough to live a dignified life. You must have a supplemental income.

Because you cannot depend on Social Security, the government wants you to treat it as a supplement to your retirement. In most cases it will not be enough to live off for 15, 20, or 30 years. Most Americans cannot live on the social security payments they receive now.

Recent media reports have shown that elderly women are returning to the workforce, because well, guess what? Not enough retirement money. Many are divorced or widowed and never felt they would have to worry about divorce, widowhood or money in their old age.

Don’t get caught in this trap! Plan for your financial future now. Study the information in MsFinancialSavvy.com, return to our website daily to use my ebooks  and articles on investing, budgeting, and savings.

Start with my Easy Budget Planner to get your finances where they should be. Don’t be afraid of the stock market or other investments long term to supplement your retirement, but do your homework.

Related Link 1: Stock Research Tips
Related Link 2: Reading a Stock Annual Report

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