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Creating a Sustainable Budget in a Time of Financial Crises

Creating a Sustainable budget is defined as a budget that works to meet all of your short-term and long-term needs. It keeps you feed, clothed, gas in your car, your mortgage or rent current, whether you have a lot of money or times become lean.

To create the lasting sustainable budget you must plan, and do it early. You don’t start when you lose your job, get into a car accident or have any other time of financial crises.  Creating a sustainable budget will take care of those issues.

The money you have in good times is budgeted heavily so it will last during bad times. I see too many people who though “caution to the wind”, when it comes to spending. They think they are so special that they will never hit hard times with a job loss, contract loss, or medical emergency.

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Don’t be fooled, it happens to folks of all income levels. So, it does not matter if you are low income or uber high income you have budget your money.  You never know when the, “well will run dry” or the money will seem to evaporate due to lose of income.

So, let’s get started and create a sustainable budget now.  You will create the short-term, the long-term and the budgets for the specific things you need. 

The common sense approach to avoiding a time of financial crises during an economic downturn is to guerrilla budget when times are good as well as when times are bad.

Unfortunately, many people don’t think about budgets until finances are in trouble. Start to create your sustainable budget and continue improving it as time goes on.

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I saw a new story about a young girl, who became a high-income singer, with a contract from a major media company, then came a terrible time of financial crises with an illness. Now  her 1.2 million dollar home is being auctioned off. Where did she go wrong? Is she any different than most Americans in her position?

The answer is 1. Apparently she did not understand how to budget the money she earned, 2. She didn’t  understand the limits of the money she earned. 3. She didn’t understand that, no matter what your income emergencies happen. 4. She did not create a sustainable home buying budget based on worse case scenarios.

The answer to the second question above is, NO, she is not any different than most Americans, and did not anticipate a financial crises.

Budgeting is not taught in most high schools and colleges or graduate school. Because of that we even have PHD’s and MD’s (doctor of philosophy and medical doctors), going broke due of mismanagement of money or the lack of budgeting skills.

They don’t understand that a financial crises can happen to anyone, so creating a sustainable budget early will prevent problems. 

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In this article I will give you a few quick tips to creating a sustainable budget using my guerrilla budget method:

1. Live below your means no matter what your financial status to create a sustainable budget.

This sounds like common sense, but many who have common sense and a good income don’t,  because you feel money will make up for it.

It does not. Ask all of the broke entertainers who once made millions. The 8 cars, and the 8000 square foot house is only a distant dream.

They think about how they could have purchased 3 nice cars, and a 3000 square foot house, put money in savings, invested aggressively, and they would have been set when the entertainment contracts dried up.

Many get caught in something as simple as not paying required yearly taxes. Pay your taxes first, then pay yourself in savings and investing, then pay your other affordable bills. 

2. When you make a lot or are awarded a lot of money

When you enter into a high income or windfall pretend like it has to last you 100 years.

The is a good trick for those who don’t have a lot of self-discipline, it works because you trick your mind into believing the money does not exist, so you are forced to guerrilla budget it.

When you are distracted one day you open your savings and investment account and you realize you did something really smart. You created a sum of money you can actually live off as your business or income falls on hard times.

Home ownership the right way-is pure joy, when creating a sustainable budget works

3. Be conservative with your purchases

There is no law that says when times are good you should waste money. The problems come when you have not grown up with financial discipline; too many income earners do.

Don’t fall in the trap of, “I have to spend big to have quality products”. You don’t. You can get nice clothes, shoes, cars, homes, and education at a very affordable cost and high quality.

Some things that are very expensive, you will later find that you simply spent too much money and could have gotten the item for a fraction of the cost.

Do your homework, do lots of research and get the best item for the best price. This is a major step to creating a sustainable budget.

4. Buy a home and car with a monthly note you can afford

You do not have to max out your monthly income in “monthly bill payments”. That is that your entire paycheck goes to “monthly bill payments”.

Here are examples; Why not buy the certified pre-owned car with a monthly note of one-third of the new car? Put the remaining two-thirds in a couple of different savings and/or investment accounts.

If you lose your job, you can pull from one of those accounts to continue your payments until you get another job.

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5. Decide what you can afford based on your income and future

Start with a written budget. Your budget should include cost to run your home (maintenance-rent or mortgage), food – clothes – medicine. Also include things such as getting to work and maintaining a car, going on vacation, and to save, save, save for now and the future.

Everyone has different needs. It is imperative to identify all of your needs you have now or may have in the future. This is an analysis that will take time to figure out.

6. If you have an addiction to expensive “things” work on that problem

That is the number two problem that causes poverty with people who make a lot of money. The number one problem,  is “budgeting ignorance”.

If you have an entertainment contract that last three years, spend  like it will last three years.When you are an independent contractor on a job that will last two years, live like it is only two years.

When you are self-employed don’t fail to get proper liability insurance, health insurance and all insurance that is required by your industry. For those who are self-employed with an office space lease make sure you understand your lease by talking to a business attorney, before you sign.

The general idea here is to get cosst under control, understand that you don’t need expensive things.

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7. If you work on a contract like the singer above probably did

You have to be especially careful with spending because you will have a big tax bill at the end of every year based on your big income (quarterly after the first year).

When you are an independent contractor of any type – self-employed, contracted worker or any other; you will need to pay taxes by quarter and then year-end.

The worse thing to do is to file too many exemptions so you can have extra money in your paycheck. You promise yourself that you will pay it back, and of course that doesn’t happen. Eventually, you get into a nightmare loop of owing taxes, making payments and getting future behind.

8. Remember that it takes a long time to create a  sustainable budget

-Because you have to consider cost that you normally don’t think about.
-You have to consider all timelines for payments.
-Then don’t forget things you may need in the future.
-You can get a simple short-term budget, but a long term budget is ultimately the most important.
-When you do all of the above you creat a guerrilla budget

Go here to understand creating a sustainable budget  of your dreams.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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creating a sustainable budget when times are hard

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mutual Funds For Women

Frequently asked questions about mutual funds

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mutual Funds For Women
I have given a lot of lectures about mutual funds for women. I like mutual funds because, if you do your research you can purchase low-cost and low-risk mutual funds on your own. Mutual funds are easy to understand and invest in. You can do it yourself once you have done some research. Here are five of about twenty-five of my most frequently asked questions about mutual funds by women I lectured to. After a few decades of successfully investing in mutual funds, I felt it is only fair that I share my expertise with you.

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  • ARE MY MUTUAL FUND INVESTMENTS GUARANTEED AT ALL?

Insurance is provided by the SIPC, which covers fraud. In other words, if you invest your money in company “C”, a registered investment company (registration with finra should be checked), and it is stolen by the President of Company “C”, you will be covered for up to $500,000 for each account, depending on the circumstances. Example: If a husband and wife have a joint account it is covered up to $500,000, if the each have additional retirement accounts in their separate names, the retirement accounts each are covered up to $500,000. Here is the SIPC insurance breakdown.

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  • WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF INVESTING IN A MUTUAL FUND?

With a mutual fund you will get professional management, diversification, an affordable investment, and it is liquid. This is one of the main reasons that I encourage investors to invest in mutual funds, after reading my frequently ask questions about mutual funds. It only takes a little research and study to master mutual funds, but because there is a learning curve I encourage you to master them first.

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  • WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF INVESTING IN A MUTUAL FUND?

You still have costs even when returns are negative, you don’t control the investments totally, you don’t know for sure if the price will go up after you purchase – but after research you can verify that you are getting a quality mutual fund where there is a good chance the price will rise in the future. If you invest on your own you can keep cost low and more money will go to you, but if you go with a broker, you will be required to pay brokers fees which are sometimes hidden and costly.

  •  YOU CAN EARN MONEY FROM YOUR MUTUAL FUND IN THREE WAYS

Dividend Payments — A fund may earn income in the form of dividends and interest on the securities in its portfolio. The fund then pays its shareholders nearly all of the income (minus disclosed expenses) it has earned in the form of dividends.

Capital Gains Distributions — The price of the securities a fund owns may increase. When a fund sells a security that has increased in price, the fund has a capital gain. At the end of the year, most funds distribute these capital gains (minus any capital losses) to investors. Most mutual funds pay money into your mutual fund account yearly, a few pay on a quarterly basis. This means if you pull your money from your mutual fund that pays out capital gains and dividends at years end, you will lose your profits.  So, be patient, and know your payout date.

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Compounded Returns – unlike simple interest accounts the interest on top of the dividends and capital gains will compound year after year, giving you compounded interest.

  • WHAT IS THE NAV OF MY MUTUAL FUND

Increased NAV (Net Asset Value) — If the market value of a fund’s portfolio increases (from dividends and capital gains), and after deduction of expenses and liabilities, then the value (NAV) of the fund and its shares increases. The higher NAV reflects the higher value of your investment. The more the NAV increases, the more money your investment will be worth. The NAV value can fluctuate from month to month or year to year, the important point to look at is that it has a net increase over time.

You have two choices:

Let someone else manage your money and end up with little or nothing OR learn some simple basic rules that could turn a little into a lot over time. I provide you with all the help you need in my eBook on Mutual Funds. I even give a 30-minute free clarification session after you read this article. The eBook I have written is clear and concise, after you finish it you will understand how to efficiently invest in mutual funds.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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3 Tips For Big Thing Budgeting for Groceries

3 Tips For Big Thing Budgeting for Groceries

Budgeting for groceries seems like a simple task. Make a list and buy what you need. Well, it usually doesn’t happen that way. If you are not precise about shopping, the list will be meaningless, and you will end up spending more money than you need to. Shopping the right way can save you thousands of dollars every year. Here is a short list of quick things you can do for big thing budgeting for groceries.

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YOUR SHOPPING LIST
1. Shopping with a list is important, but the list must be well thought-out. You should decide what your menu will be for the week, comparison shop for groceries by using prices online or in your weekly sales paper.
It is best to use your list to shop the isles for grocery shopping is much less expensive than the end of isles, where new products are often displayed.

Shop within the confines of a menu. Know exactly how many pieces of fruits, vegetables, meat packages, loaves of bread, box of cereal etc. Know what you will pay for each item and stay within a strict budget.

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BUY, PREPARE AND EAT IN A FEW DAYS
2. Buy and prepare only as much as you can eat within a few days. Food waste is a big reason for going over budget with your grocery bill. Clean your refrigerator at least once a month to closely monitor food use. It is even better to clean and monitor your refrigerator once a week if you have time.

Keep your refrigerator and cupboards well organized so food is used on a timely basis. Concentrate on fresh foods to prepare, not junk food or food that is already prepared. 

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SHOPPING WITH COUPONS WILL HELP
3. Coupons will help if you buy items you need. In other words, don’t use coupons to purchase items just because they are on discount. The next money saver is the sales paper and prices online. Another option is extreme couponing if you have time.

The savings comes at the cash register, when you have product for weeks, and when you sell product that is in excess. Buying in bulk also saves money on food, but you have to calculate your savings, it doesn’t always work. Shop with a calculator. 

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BE VIGILANT ABOUT SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES
Being vigilant about shopping and budgeting for groceries will make a big difference in your grocery bill. The savings can be enormous if you shop the right way.

Shop when you are calm and hopefully you are not bothered by kids sneaking expensive groceries into the cart. When you follow these simple guidelines budgeting for groceries and saving money will become easy.

Get organized with your budgeting by using my award-winning BUDGET PLANNER,  WITH  THE  COMPRENSIVE  FANTASTIC  FINANCES  COURSE.The easy budget planner

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7 Steps of Budget Planning to Avoid Financial Disasters

Budgeting Planning to Avoid Financial Disasters

  1. The First Step of Budget Planning to Avoid Financial Disasters 

Budget planning to avoid financial disasters starts with not buying too big with the big stuff such as cars and homes is one of the biggest reasons many cannot withstand a small business or personal financial disaster.

Many of us forget that there are affordable ways to buy homes and cars to avoid future financial disasters. What happens, is that these two items are based on way too much emotional buying. Keep your head on straight by researching before you purchase. Learn more on my instagram.

Ask questions like; Do I really need a new car? What will the warranty maintenance cost on my new car? What if I purchase the same car 3-4 years old, what would the savings be?

If you have a job, no matter how secure you think you are, that security could be in jeopardy at any time. So, purchasing a car that you can buy cash or with very low payments will be the better option.

The same holds true with a home, if it is too large, with a stressful payment, the smaller home with the lower payment, that carries less stress may be a better option.

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  1. Stay Properly Insured

The second step to budget planning to avoid financial disasters seems to be plain old common sense. But, sometimes people with a home and car let important insurances lapse due to illness or thinking they don’t have the time, they let important insurance lapse, due to simple negligence.

Stay fully insured with a car, home, health, life, and if you own a business – all applicable business insurance. A small business lawsuit should always be covered with business liability insurance, not your personal assets –  so, don’t take the chance.

  1. Don’t Waste When Times are Good and Income is High

We have had many economic downturns and upturns in the past several decades. The one regret I have heard a lot when I talk to people who make a lot of money when times are good is — “I lost my mind when I had a lot of money, and spent without regard to the reality to the future, then a financial disaster came”.

Because nothing is guaranteed, even good times, it is important to handle your money as if the money will stop anytime, that will help protect your assets.

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  1. Let Your Kids know Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

There are some parents who, despite much evidence to the contrary, feel it is important their kids need to have all the material trapping they did not have. It is not necessary, and it is not true.

Your kids will literally begin to think that money grows on trees and drops from the sky. Your kids know you love them when you give them positive time and attention, so it is not necessary to spoil them, and it may lead to a financial disaster.

You can reward them without giving them too much, some parents to the tune of going bankrupt. At this point your kids probably are not aware of potential financial disasters, but at least you can start to teach them money skills.

  1. Have a Sick Fund for Days Not Covered by Extended Illness

Most jobs have sick leave, most small businesses have no sick leave unless they create it themselves. As an employee, you may run out of sick leave if you have an extended illness. Save money in a sick fund to cover an extended illness. This is especially important for small business owners.

  1. Make Your Savings a Bill

Create a general savings fund and treat it like a bill. You are probably seeing a pattern here. Saving money as several bills is just as important as paying existing bills. It should be a part of a general budget plan for financial disasters.

  1. Don’t Borrow From Your 401k, Borrow From Your General Savings

As far as I am concerned, borrowing from a 401k is a budget planning financial disaster unless you are suffering from a fatal illness, borrowing from your 401k should not be a consideration.

You should have an automatic saving account for financial disasters that you can borrow from.

The 7 steps of budget planning to avoid financial disasters will above will get you on the way to solid financial success.

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Lois Center-Shabazz| Money Strategist | Course Delta Agency

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Big thing budgeting in 7 ways - budgeting tips

7 Tips for a Budgeting Basic Bounce

Budgeting basic bounce may be defined as follows. Ever heard the expression, “I don’t know where my money goes” another is, “I don’t have the things I need and can’t afford any of the things I want”.

If this is a problem you have, you may want to look at your budgeting basic skills. And read this budgeting advice, paying close attention to the process of creating your optimal budget, and then sticking to it.

1. Start With the Essentials

Your budgeting basic bounce should include your essentials to start with. You must have a home, food, and water, at a minimum to exist. So, those are the things you should budget for and pay off, first.
A) Rent, Food, Utilities, Car Payment (if you must have a car for work)

A Budgeting Basic Bounce Can Take Your Budget Over the Top    --Lois

If you don’t pay for insurance your car can be impounded and your home would not be replaced if it is destroyed by fire. So of course insurance is an essential budgeting basic skill. You could lose your credit rating if you don’t have car insurance and an accident is your fault.

The other person’s insurance company can charge you with the payout and lien your credit. In most, if not all states liability car insurance is the law.
B) Homeowners insurance, or Renters insurance, and Car insurance

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If you become ill, could lose your home and assets to a hospital lien? Possibly. To prevent this, you must have health insurance always as a budgeting basic bounce.

If you do not have health insurance, in most cases a hospital will treat you and charge the bill to you, with collection calls to pay up, until you satisfy your bill.
C) Health Insurance

If you have loved ones, that is children or a spouse who will need help with bill paying and life maintenance in the event of an untimely death, you should have life insurance, it can be an inexpensive policy, but it is wise to have something.
D) Life Insurance is a budgeting basic skill

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2. Make Your Hierarchy

Make a hierarchy of your most important to least important needs. Make a list of the most important to the least important budgeting basic items you pay monthly.

Try to pay the top 3-6 items, no matter what, even in the event of a financial emergency, and the bottom 3 that can be temporarily eliminated in a dire emergency.

Slay Your Finances Like Your Life Depended on It With Budgeting Basic Skills,    --Lois

3. Your Savings Please

You will have unexpected expenses from time to time, so an emergency savings may cover those expenses, it will also be your cushion for your top three monthly expenses.

Make this savings account a bill that is taken from your checking account or your check monthly so you don’t have to stress paying saving it. Even if it is only $50 per month, start saving now, it adds up. If you can afford more, put in more.

4. Filling in Gaps

Fill in gaps for your quarterly, semi-annual, and yearly items. Some of your expenses will be quarterly, some may be twice yearly, and others once a year.

Create savings for these items, pull the money out monthly to fund these irregular accounts when they come due. When the item comes up, take the money from this account, instead of from your monthly pay- check.

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5. Maintenance Savings Budget

A second emergency account should be for general maintenance. This is a big item that throws off many budgets. Instead of borrowing money for a car or home repair, borrow it from your maintenance savings budget. This saving account could also include your vacation savings.

6. Your Peace of mind

Every time you think of going off your budget, think about the peace of mind you will get from having a balanced budget, paying your major bills with ease every month, and having extra to cover unforeseen expenses.

Your strict organization is the key to a great budget, this is a general organizational plan. You will create a specific plan for your budget, allow this plan to be your guide.

7. Get Help With Your Budget, Don’t do it Blindly

Pick up your free personal finance gifts now, track your spending and plug holes in your budget for extra money toward expenses or savings. Use the simple but powerful, Budget Plan to guerrilla plan your budget with an extreme organization now.

In summary: Only you can put that budgeting basic bounce in your budget if you go from top to bottom with an analysis. Understand the essential such as rent, food, homeowners, renters insurance and health insurance. Then is you have dependents – life insurance.

Make a hierarchy of the most important to the least important budget items.
Get your savings in order and fill in the gaps for quarterly or yearly payments.

Now enjoy your peace of mind with your wonderful budgeting basic bounce and new found budgeting basic skills. If you don’t understand how to create the best budget for you, get help. 

Lois Center-Shabazz| Money Strategist | Course Delta Agency

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Big thing budgeting in 7 ways

Big Thing Budgeting in 7 Ways

How to Budget for the big things, use what I call Big Thing Budgeting.

  1. USE BIG THING BUDGETING TO GET OUT OF A MOUNTAIN DEBT: CREDIT CARDS, MEDICAL BILLS, PREDATORY LENDING

For Individuals, Couples and Small Businesses, you can get out of a mountain of debt if you focus like a laser beam on getting debt-free. It is not easy, but it is possible.

It will first require that you stop buying anything you don’t need. Get rid of the “I Got to Have it Syndrome”.

Start by keeping a log and inventory of your buying habits. Then slowly start to purge spending you don’t need to do. When you take an inventory of your buying habits, you will be surprised at the amount of unnecessary buying you do.
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Second, you must start paying off one thing at a time in a big way but pay on other bills at the same time. Start with the smaller bills, pay extra to those bills with the most you can afford, then pay a small amount extra to principle to your other bills — at the same time.

Big Thing Budgeting Shaves Thousands Off Your Budget       -Lois

You will see bills drop off one by one. Now, for the larger bills, you may have to start selling things you don’t need. From cars to yard sells, is where you can sell things you don’t need.

  1. BUDGET TO BUY A CAR

Save money for your next car while your current car is in good shape. Then, research the cost of the car you are interested in. Set a budget, then go through the internet and your local newspaper to see prices and figure out monthly payments, if you plan to finance. If you don’t plan to finance, you will see how much you need to save and for how long, to pay cash.

Consider buying a certified used car at a new car dealer or a one-year-old car from a new car rental agency. Make sure you know the new car prices and options on a new car so you can compare it to a new-used car with options.

Use Kelly blue book or kbb.com, to check for cars that are good for buying as used cars. You can also check for general pricing of new and used cars.

Ladies, don't get cheated buying a car.

  1. BUDGET TO BUY A HOME

Home buying requires doing a lot of research to discover 1. how much you can afford to pay for a home, 2. how to find a good mortgage company, bank, or credit union. The best place to start is your local credit union or bank due to the savings in fees, cost and time. 3. How to buy a quality home, and 4. How to get it properly inspected – some inspectors work for the realtors, so many won’t tell you when you the home you are interested in has major problems.

Therefore, it is best to contact tradesmen directly, like electricians, plumbers, roofers, and carpenters to get a fair assessment of possible home repairs.  Most of them will do an inspection in their specific area for a small fee.

Use at least 2 of each kind, so you can get a consensus as to what is wrong.  You can then budget for the down payment and escrow cost to purchase your next home.

Therefore, it is best to contact tradesmen directly, like electricians, plumbers, roofers, and carpenters to get a fair assessment of possible home repairs.

There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Buy Cars, Homes, and Education       -Lois

Most of them will do an inspection in their specific area for a small fee. Use at least 2 of each kind, so you can get a consensus as to what is wrong.  You can then budget for the down payment and escrow cost to purchase your next home.

Make sure you know exactly what your payment will be in regards to your loan. What will your payment be with Principle+Interest+Insurance+Taxes? You can also do mockups of an imaginary home to calculate what you should pay.

Ask friends or family what they pay for insurance and taxes for a home you are interested in. Taxes vary from state to state, you can also search your state websites. In some states, taxes go up as home values increase, but in others, the taxes stay the same.

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  1. BUDGET FOR VACATION

Don’t put your vacation on a credit card when you can save a little all year and pay cash for your vacation. It is as simple as that. Budget in transportation, food, lodging, tours, and shopping.

If you want to go on the cheap, vacation where you have family members or friends who live in or nearby vacation spot. Pay your family member to stay with them, or cover their restaurant costs and meals. Do the math, and see what works out.

  1. BUDGET FOR COLLEGE

Some people are obsessed with the “best college syndrome” due to the college propaganda machine.

If you have unlimited money, you can go where you want. But, if you must depend on financial aid, which usually includes substantial student loans, that is not an option. If there is one thing you want to keep as low as possible, is student loans.

Since there is 1. never a guarantee you will get a job in your field or keep it, 2. There is not a guarantee you will get a job that pays in accordance with your student loan 3. you can’t file bankruptcy on student loans.

Because of these items 1-3, you should keep student loans as low as humanly possible. That means avoiding high priced schools and high-priced areas to live in for college. The least expensive schools are community colleges, and state colleges and universities.

There are some colleges that are priced like state colleges and universities, but you must do your homework and compare all cost. Private colleges and universities are unreasonably high cost and they have a lot of hidden costs, which makes the total difficult to calculate.

The for-profit schools offer quick learning and high prices. Today, some of them are now calling themselves non-profit due to the unpopularity of the for-profit model.

Private colleges and universities are unreasonably high cost and they have a lot of hidden costs, which makes the total difficult to calculate.  The for-profit schools offer quick learning and high prices. Today, some of them are now calling themselves non-profit due to the unpopularity of the for-profit model.

The for-profit schools do massive advertising on television and the internet, this is your main clue. All colleges and universities have their cost listed on their websites. Make sure you find these costs and know exactly what you are getting into before you consider any college.

Your total student loan balance should not surpass your first years’ salary.  Example: If you plan to be a teacher and your first year’s income is $25,000, your student loan should be capped at $20,000. Understand the details of student loans with the eBook on student loans.

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  1. BUDGET TO PAY OFF STUDENT LOANS

There ae people all over Pinterest bragging that they paid off $60,000 of student loans in 5 years. This is possible due to re-amortization. When a loan is amortized to 20 years by your loan servicer, you can amortize it to 10 years by paying extra to principle every month.

If you have a 10-year loan, you can knock it down to 5 years. You can live tight, give up the finer things in life, and knock down those years with extra payment to principle.

You have to check your statements to make sure the extra payment is added to principle and you have to state that on your check, they will always try to put the extra to interest, even though it makes no sense. Big Thing Budgeting is essential when it comes to student loans, if not done correctly, these loans can follow you to your grave.

You have to check your statements to make sure the extra payment is added to principle and you have to state that on your check, they will always try to put the extra to interest, even though it makes no sense. Big Thing Budgeting is essential when it comes to student loans, if not done correctly, these loans can follow you to your grave. Learn more on my instagram.

  1. PREDATORY LENDING

Understand the way predatory lending works such as car title loans and payday loans. Why are many cars confiscated with a car title loan? Why do payday loan balances go from $500 To $3500?

I would have to write another article for an explanation, but a car title loan can easily double or triple if the money isn’t paid on the date due repeatedly, and a payday loan gets a rollover when the employee does not have the money to repay the loan on time.

Both problems push the balance way up over the top.  The most effective way to pay off these loans is to stay away from predatory loans. Using predatory lending is probably the direct opposite of using Big Thing Budgeting, don’t get caught in the predatory lending trap. Predatory lending also includes car title loans, unsubsidized student loans and high interest car loans.

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Home buying the right way take skill

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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Big thing budgeting in 7 ways, budgeting for a home and other things

How a Budget Can Create Financial Freedom in 5 Ways

Financial Freedom
How a budget can create financial freedom for everyone

Know Where Your Finances Are First

Since the most important aspect of financial freedom is no or low debt, I will start with debt.

There are those who are in horrific debt and they don’t know it, as high debt is a major robber baron of financial freedom – it is important to understand it’s implications. The main reason is because they don’t know what high debt is.

They have somehow gotten the wrong message about money and debt. They feel the more debt they have, the more money they have. Well, I am here to tell you that the more debt you have, is simply the more debt you have.

If you don’t have enough money to pay your debts every month, that is a sign that you have too much debt for your income. If you are making your debt payments, but it is difficult to pay your debts, you still have too much debt, and need to find ways of getting your debt down.

Low debt is one of the five major factors credit reporting agencies use to determine a high credit score. A high credit score is important because it saves you money when you get loans. The better your credit score, the lower the interest will be on your loans, in some cases, you may not get a loan at all, if your credit score is too low. One way to start down the road to financial freedom is creating a scripted budget.

Ladies for peace of mind when you buy a car you must understand the rules.

Write 5 Steps to Getting What You Need to Start a Scripted Budget

Write down the most important things you need immediately. Then, write down the things you need long term. Examples of immediate things you need may be 1. pay off student loans in 3-5 years, 2. purchasing an affordable car after paying off student loans, 3. saving for an affordable vacation after doing number 1 and 2.

Then you will concentrate on long term goals, like finding a higher paying job after you get experience or getting an apartment or home in a better neighborhood.

Write 5 Steps to Getting What You Want in a Different Scripted Budget

Write down what you want short term, but is not necessary. Then ask yourself if you really want it and what feeling you will have if you get it. Then write down a budget and stick to that budget for everything you want.

It is imperative to create and stick to a budget with your wants, since wants sometimes to become emotional and emotions create an easy window to overspend. Example of wants are 1. a new dress for you cousins wedding, 2. going out of town for the weekend by plane to a friend’s graduation etc.

Use the Top Three Steps from Your Budget Scripts to Meet Your Goals

Home ownership dream for women

Of the five steps, you write down for both needs and wants, focus on the top 3 on each list. Focus on those top steps with laser precision. Narrowing your focus to the top three and the top 1 on your list will make it easy to make your goals in your time frame.

It will also make it easier to do. Many times, people give up because they feel the task is too hard, this comes when the task feels too overwhelming, the focus will relieve you of the overwhelm feeling.

Every Month Analyze Your Steps and Decide What You Need to Change in Your Budget

Somethings you do will work well, some won’t work at all, and as you use your current list you will also find better ways of meeting your goals. Because of this, you will change your steps by rearranging them or rewriting them.

Look at this article as one of many lessons in financial freedom, the more conscious you are about your budget, the more likely you will achieve financial freedom in the future. If you feel you have financial freedom now and you don’t live within scripted steps, as recommended, it would be wise to start so you can remain financially free.

Media propaganda to buy products we don’t need confuses people into thinking they need them, they buy them, then they get deeply in debt. Don’t allow yourself to be defined by product propaganda, but instead use conscious scripts to achieve low debt.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Investor, and Money Strategist

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Your 7-Year-Old Child’s Budget

Your 7 year old childs budget, spoiled kids make difficult adults

If a 7-year-old has a great child’s budget, will that make him a frugal adult? It may, and it may not. But, we do have lots of evidence to suggest that spoiled children often become over spending and greedy adults. What happens at 7 could easily happen at 70, since good and bad habits grow over time, so why not start growing good habits with a child’s budget early.

Psychologist say the earlier you teach someone a skill the better chance they will perfect it overtime. That is seen in teaching skills such as music, sports and education. In my humble opinion, that also works with budgeting skills.

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Some folks can’t figure out why their kids constantly beg for everything in sight, then they look back at the fact that they did not set proper limits on spending early. They felt that a happy child was a child that had everything they wanted, until of course, the child hit their teens and then twenties, and their begging for “things” and spending money developed into out of control behavior.

Here are 3 things you can do to put your 7-year-old on the right path for life.

  1. Give him an allowance, a piggy bank and chores to begin his child’s budget

Some parents think children should not be paid for the chores they do around the house. I am of the camp that feels there is nothing wrong with giving a child an allowance for working around the house if it is in line with age and chores.

The child does their chores on a schedule, they are paid on a schedule and they are encouraged to save a portion of their allowance and budget the remainder. It teaches them early that we all must work for money, and money has a limit.

  1. Discuss value, which is the pinnacle of a child’s budget

Some products appear cheap, but they will not last after the first usage or wash. So, teach them there is a difference between expensive, cheap and value for a product. You can purchase a product that appears cheap, but has very low value because it is made with low quality materials or craftsmanship, and quickly falls apart and becomes useless.

An example is buying a computer that is very inexpensive but it only last for 3 years, versus paying slightly more, say 30% more for a computer that last for 12 years — the savings is obvious. On the other hand, you can purchase an extremely expensive car, the upkeep is extremely expensive, and the breakdowns are frequent. That car may look good and go fast, but has little value for practical use and longevity. The maintenance cost out way the looks and performance.

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  1. Teach your child about budgeting, savings and costs to round out your child’s budget

The earlier a child understands what a budget is, how to budget out the total sum of the money they receive, and how cost effects their savings, the better they will be in the future.

Sit down and decide with your child what is important for them, you can look at the internet or newspapers and find the prices of items they are interested in. Inform them that prices change from time to time, but this will give them an idea of what they must save. Allow them to set short term savings goals – a sports item like a basketball or doll, and a long-term savings goal like a more expensive game.

When you buy their more expensive items like bicycles, ATF’s, computers, and clothes, use this time to also discuss value, longevity, and cost.

Using steps 1,2, and 3 will allow your child to start early to process a functional child’s budget, so they can take budgeting into their adult life as an expert.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

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Personal Finances Should be Personal

Your Personal Finances

I was speaking at a women’s meeting about personal finances and a young woman, about 35 came up to me and ask me what are “personal finances”. I was really shocked since being there meant that she was in some way affiliated with a business she owned.

She looked me in the eye with a very serious face. I pointed to her and said “your – personal – finances”. Your finances that you take very personal. You monitor, you manage, and constantly improve your finances yourself, even if you have help. It’s crucial that you understand your own finances.

It seems like it would be common sense to understand the term personal finance. But, the definition seems to elude some of the most intelligent, and highly successful people. The proof is in the finances of many.

The workplace embezzlements of high-level employees, the bankruptcies of high-income people, the general personal finance mismanagement of people which becomes evident when they lose a job and lose all or most of their assets due to mismanagement.

I CAN SUM IT UP IN 3 WAYS:

  • RANDOM SPENDING

Take your finances serious – don’t randomly spend money. This is the most important aspect of personal finances. Some folks act as though the money they have in their checking account belongs to someone else, so they spend it until it is gone or before all bills are paid.

Then they go to the credit cards, when those run out, they go to others to borrow money and make up the difference. Then they lose relationships, which is can be more serious than wasting their money.

  • TRACKING YOUR SPENDING

Keeping track of your spending is getting very personal with your finances. Most people don’t understand how fast money goes when it is spent randomly. You can see this also when you charge on credit cards the balance escalates rapidly.

A major aspect of getting personal finance maintenance is paying cash as much as possible unless you use a credit card for points and you have the money and discipline to pay off the balance once a month. With frequent credit card use, many tend to lose track of spending, and their finances become very impersonal.

  • BUDGETING YOUR MONEY

I talk to people all the time who tell me they thought they were budgeting until they read many of my budgeting articles and the advice I give on budgeting. My program includes guerrilla budgeting.

With all the distractions, we have – advertising – expensive products – overpriced cars and high maintenance homes- getting personal with your finances means that you must create a guerrilla budget to survive no matter what your income.

Some folks think all they must do is make more money until they find out they spend more for things and get more expenses, so they are either in the same place or worse financially, as income goes up. They realize the problem is they did not get personal with their finances.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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The Reason Your Personal Finances Should Be Personal

5 Retirement Tips for your Retirement Planning Young and Old

5 Retirement Tips That Make Retirement Planning a Serious Issue

5 retirement tips for your retirement planning young and old

Retirement tips are for those who never think that retirement day will come, or don’t know the potential difficulties they face when they retire. It always seems so far away, but those who have retired tell me it came faster than they ever imagined.

Here are some actual examples of problems seniors tell me they’ve had because they didn’t take their retirement date seriously in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. Here are 5 retirement tips to include in your retirement planning.

Retirement tips #1 – Medicare + 20%

Medicare pays 80% of most of the senior medical cost. Because of this, senior citizens are required to take out a Medicare Supplement policy. The supplement pays the extra 20%. Some seniors planned so poorly that they can’t afford or pay for the Medicare supplement. Because they have no supplement insurance, they are required to pay the 20% each time they go to the doctor, have surgery, chemotherapy or any other medical treatment. If they have a home, the home will be attached to pay for their medical balances, usually if they sell it or pass away. If they don’t have an insurance supplement or pay the 20%, some medical facilities will not treat them. There are two types of medicare: Regular Medicare (government sponsored) and Medicare Advantage (private coverage). Regular medicare typically pre-authorizes and pays promptly. Medicare advantage includes
many “extras” to “induce” seniors to sign up, but does not authorize major
treatment in many cases, and does not follow through with the extras. Doctors I talk to recommend seniors sign up for regular medicare.

Retirement tips #2 – Social Security as a Supplement

Many employees, both young and old, can pay into a 401k plan but opt-out of it, because either they, 1. Don’t understand what it is, 2. Don’t get matched by their employer, or 3. Feel they have plenty of time to worry about it later. The fact is there are numerous articles to explain 401k plans, the match is a nice side benefit—but you still get a tax benefit when you contribute without a match. The amount of a monthly social security retirement check is small compared to your working retirement income. Because of this, social security is meant to be a supplement to your retirement, so think hard about creating your main retirement now. The earlier you start, the easier it is, and the less you need to put into your account, monthly.

women love cars. So, buy them the right way.

Retirement tips #3 – 401k Protection

A popular retirement supplemental plan is the 401k, but you must protect it. Once you start to fund a 401k protect it with all your might. The protections include; 1. Leaving it alone for retirement – this means no borrowing. This is a provision that should not be allowed in a 401k plan since it is meant for retirement. Everything should be done to avoid borrowing from your 401k, including careful planning early in your career. Here are some protection ideas. Make yourself several “would if” scenarios and fulfill those scenarios early.

The examples are — “what if I lose my job”, “what if I need a large home repair”, “what if I want to go on a nice vacation”, “what if I have difficulty paying my mortgage”. All those issues can be addressed by 1. Creating savings accounts, 2. Cutting your living expenses now, 3. Make all major purchases affordable. You can come up with more solutions. The point is to come up with solutions to problems that don’t exist yet, so you never need to borrow against your 401k plan later.

Another protection is to keep your 401k balance to yourself. Scam artist prey on older people and sometimes younger people who have large 401k balances, because they know you can take that money out of your account anytime. A large lump sum withdrawal will trigger a large tax bill if you take it out at once. But, that is no concern of any sales person (many of whom are fake), when it comes to your 401k. You should be the only one who knows the balance. It’s not a good idea to share your balance with strangers.

The popular show, American Greed profiled the case of two ladies, not very old, but managed to retire with large 401k type accounts. One had $600,000 and one had $1 million. Both told friends, who told a fake investment person, who contacted them, talked them into investing with him, and he stole all their money. Their primary problem was that they should never have met with or believed in a stranger who claimed to be investing in the music production business with high returns.

The only thing they got was a huge bill from the IRS since they took the money out within a short period. The man went to prison, but they did not get their money back. Friends, family, and strangers have no right to the information in your 401k or 403b plan. Some elderly people have had their 401k stolen from them by their own relatives, including greedy children.

Retirement tips #4 – 403b Protections

The 403b is like the 401k, usually for non-profits. Fund the accounts, make sure you understand where to keep the money when you retire, you will have a few options. But, mostly understand that your balance is your personal business, and you must pay taxes on the amount you take out. The purpose of your 401k or 403b is to supplement a pension or other retirement plan.

Retirement tip #5 – Tax Shelter Annuity Movement

Many school districts offer tax shelter annuities as supplemental retirement accounts. After retirement, they are offered the right to roll over into an annuity outside their job. Be careful, make sure the costs aren’t prohibitive.  Also, you can only take out a little at a time, otherwise taxes would be too high. Again, your tax shelter annuity balance is your business, no one else’s. Look at online investment banks such as fidelity.com, troweprice.com, schwab.com or others – call and discuss low cost annuities to roll over your annuity. You can also discuss other low risk options. Take your time and don’t allow anyone to pressure you.

This is only the beginning, but if you take these retirement tips serious, and include them in your retirement planning, you will be on the road to retirement bliss. Understand the limits of social security when you plan your retirement.


Lois Center-Shabazz 

Personal Finance:  Author | Blogger | Course Creator | Money Strategist

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Get a Quality Home or Mortgage With Big Thing Buying Skills

Home or Mortgage; Buying an Affordable Low Maintenance Home and Get a Quality Mortgage

YOUR BUDGET

The first thing you have to ask is, “How much house can we afford” The payments include P+I+T+I (principle+interest+taxes+insurance). Most of your payment will be principle and interest, taxes vary according to state, and insurance is not a very big cost.

But, you can figure it out with most online calculators. You have to know how to calculate P+I+T+I to get a quality home or mortgage.

You should be stable in your job or with your business before you decide to take the leap to sign on with a mortgage.  

Most banks want you to be on your job or in your business for a solid two years. Set up a file system for steps 1-8, don’t rush and do your research.

Home buying the right way take skill

Step 1

MORTGAGE COST

Below is a typical cost analysis of a home or mortgage with average tax state, always find out how much typical insurance and taxes are in your state before you decide your budget.

Choose a home price you think you can qualify for based on total payment. You will keep adjusting home price until you can find one that is close to your budget. Use my mortgage amortization calculator at LiveRichCalculators.

Say your home or mortgage costs are as follow:
$300,000  price of home
at, 4% interest
30 year
Taxes=6000/yr
Insurance=500/yr
Monthly Payment and Interest=1,432.5
Monthly Taxes and Insurance=541.67
Total Payment=$1,973.92

skills to manage money are essential, learn budgeting

Step 2

DOWN PAYMENT AND ESCROW COST

Find out what a typical down payment is at your credit union, bank, or mortgage company. Now, make sure you have the savings or start a savings account with the down payment and escrow cost.

If you find a buyer who is anxious to sell and they have a lot of equity in their home sometimes you can negotiate that they pay your buyer’s escrow cost.

For the example above the downpayment is:
5%=$15,000
A 1% escrow cost = $3000

Step 3

MAINTENANCE COST

Allow a monthly saving account for maintenance cost, most homes have maintenance repairs from time to time.

Old homes usually have a higher maintenance cost than newer homes, unless all electrical, plumbing and other major items replaced. The important aspect of a good home is a good inspection, preferably by tradesmen.

I prefer hiring an actual plumber, electrician, and carpenter to inspect your new home instead of one single home inspector. Some of those home inspectors only take a 6 month home inspection course.

The tradesmen work in the field every day for years. You should also do your own inspection with a moisture meter and electrical meter to see if there are any glaring defects.

If you place a marble on the floor does it roll or stay put, if it rolls you could have a damaged foundation. That is extremely expensive to repair. If you know the repairs you may be able to add those into your mortgage and fix after your move in.

Step 4

CREDIT REPORT

Get a copy of your credit report before you start to look for a home. Read it carefully. Some people are shocked at the mistakes that get on their credit report. Make sure you document the mistakes on your credit report and challenge them with Experian credit bureau.

Experian will usually send the corrections to the other bureaus. When all corrections are in place, get another copy of your credit report, and credit score. Getting an affordable, quality home or mortgage starts with a good credit report and high credit score.

Step 5

PAY OFF BILLS

You know what your bills are, and you know if they are excessive. You will need to find room in your budget for a mortgage. You don’t want a mortgage that increases your current bills per month too much.

Like you don’t want to get from $500 per month of rent to $1900 per month for a mortgage unless you have been saving at least $2500 per month so that savings will go into your mortgage.

You should also still have room for a savings account or two after you get a mortgage. You will need savings for home maintenance, car maintenance, and general emergencies. Pay off as many bills as possible before you start a mortgage.

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Step 6

SAVE FOR A DOWN PAYMENT AND CLOSING COST

Down payments are ranging anywhere from 5% to 10% down. The more you put down, of course, the lower your monthly payment will be. Then, there are buyers closing cost you must pay also. This is usually a surprise to new home buyers.

Closing cost is typically 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price. So, for a $300,000 home, the closing cost would be about $9,000.

Step 7

MORTGAGE RESEARCH

Before you decide to use a financial institute, do your research. If you have a credit union or local bank you do business with and you have good credit, it is usually relatively easy to get a loan at one of those places and you will save on additional cost that is charged by mortgage companies.

If you can’t get financing from your credit union or bank, research the best mortgage companies in your area. You can also ask friends and family who they had good luck with.

Before your visit anyone for a mortgage. Research mortgages, make absolutely sure you understand what a quality mortgage is. Know what the current rates are for a 15 year or 30-year mortgage.

Don’t allow anyone to give you a low-quality mortgage, if they think you have not done your research, some will try to give you a low-quality mortgage, even if you qualify for a high-quality mortgage.

If you qualify for a  low-interest high quality conventional low-interest rate 30-year mortgage, make sure you get one. The industry is full of nice, dishonest people, protect yourself.

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Step 8

MORTGAGE RATES AND QUALITY

Call your local credit union or bank to get current rates on quality mortgages.

Use my mortgage calculators at LiveRichCalculators.

Use the department of housing website to read about various types of Mortgage Issues.

This is most of the information you need to purchase a quality home or mortgage if it is your first home or your second or third.

Get all the facts  to buy a quality affordable home with low maintenance.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
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Summary

Remember that buying a home is a serious process. You should take your time and be very methodical.

Some places have home prices that are outrageous – in that case, you may have to drive a long distance to get to work, by living in an affordable area further from your center of town.

Some towns have affordable housing compared to income. Take your time it may take anywhere from 6 months to 5 years to go through the process I list above.  Article Updated 2019

How to get a quality home or mortgage with big thing buying skills

Teach Your Teen to Budget, It Is Possible

Teach your teen to budget, it' possible.

Is it possible to teach your teen to budget? For some parents or guardians, the answer may be no. But, for others it is possible. If you have not spoiled your cute sweet little toddler into a mean selfish teenager, it is possible. Even if you have engaged in the “spoiled rotten” theory, you can still teach your teen to budget, but it will take considerably more work.

Here Are Three Tips to Teach Your Teen to Budget

START EARLY TO DEVELOP A STRONG CONNECTION

  1. The earlier you develop a strong emotional connection to your teen, the easier it will be to teach your teen to budget. Kids don’t need to be spoiled with things, to be happy. Things don’t make kids happy; but instead activities, hugs from parents, and talking to understand their concerns and helping them solve problems on a regular basis have proven to be major issues for happiness.

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT THINGS

  1. For some strange reason, some parents think that if they give their teens all the material things they did not have, it will trigger massive happiness. If you had all of those “things” you would have seen that the lack of things was not the reason for your unhappiness when you are a teen. But instead, it is mostly the things that you cannot see that builds happiness.

TRY TO THINK LIKE A TEEN

  1. The only way you can find out how teens think, is to talk to many different teens. Teens want direction and clarification when it comes to making decisions. Teens also want to feel like they are important. What makes them feel important is first and foremost when parents appear that they care about them. The best way to make that clear is by telling them, you care about them and you love them. The second way is to guide them in what they do, and the third way is to make sure they are busy with activities where they make progress doing things they love like music, art or sports. The accomplishments make them feel important.

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Once you create the strong connection to your teen, it will allow you to create a strong connection to teach your teen to budget, by connecting the reason why they should budget along with you now and in the future.

It starts with saving money and why, then onto saving money and purchasing with a budget, to buy that which is affordable. Then, the reason a budget is necessary now and for life.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

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