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financial tips

A Step-by-Step Guide to Create Your Personal Finance Statement

 To get your personal finances right, you must list goals with a personal finance statement. There are many ways to create your personal finance statement.  But first, you should be familiar with, Personal Finance Literacy and Personal Finance Planning.

You can accomplish this by using the following: Personal Finance News, Personal Finance Articles, and Personal Finance Courses from investing to home buying.

Then, include the following tools on a regular basis; A Personal Finance Book, Personal Finance Spreadsheet, Personal Finance Reddit, and of course, understand Personal Finance Management.

If you can master this knowledge; your personal finances will soar. Your personal finance statement will be created after you finish all the following personal finance tips listed below.

A step by step guide to create your personal finance statement

Step #1 –
Obtaining Personal Finance Literacy

Personal finance literacy includes learning and understanding various fields of personal finance. You must have personal finance literacy to create great finances in your life. I was attending a woman’s conference once and a surprising thing happened.

A young woman saw my name tag, I was to speak on personal finance to this group of businesswomen, including her. She came up to me and said, “what – is – personal – finance”.

I am not going to lie, I was a little shocked that an educated, intelligent businesswomen would ask me this question. I politely said, “your personal finances”. I am not sure that she understood, but she said, “oh”.

I knew she would understand after I spoke at the conference. But she is not alone, many intelligent people do not understand that their personal finance literacy is at the core of their financial success or failure.

Step #2 –
Your Personal Finance Planning

Nothing great happens like magic, including personal finance planning. You must plan what you do and do what you plan.

That applies to personal finance planning, as well as anything else that brings success.

Personal finance planning does not include you turning your financial decisions over to someone else. You must know what you need and what you want to do with your personal finances first, both short and long term.

Otherwise, you may be steered in the wrong direction by others who do not understand your short-term or long-term needs, as well as most of your financial details.

Step #3 –
Use Personal Finance News

Understanding personal finance news is important because it helps to know what is trending in finance. An example, if home prices are starting to drop and you must move for a new job, it may be time to sell sooner rather than later. This will assure you will get the top value you deserve before prices drop.

Or, if finance news repeatedly talks of a recession and home prices are falling rapidly, it may not be time to buy a home. The best decision may be to wait until the foreclosures stop and the prices settle out.

An example of a local recession is if a large company closes in town and many of the workers cannot make their mortgage payment.

Personal finance news is particularly important because it helps you to stay in the know and not make major and costly financial mistakes.

Because you know the status quo of important current issues, you avoid mistakes.

Step #4 –
Read Personal Finance Articles

Studying Personal finance articles are another way to keep up with personal finance news. There are several personal finance articles that explain various topics about personal finance.

You can search and read articles on home buying, car buying, stocks, mutual funds, saving money, budgeting, and more.

Of course, there are a wide variety of personal finance articles here at MsFinancialSavvy Blog. They are added and updated on a regular basis.

Step #5 –
Take Personal Finance Courses

Taking quality Personal finance courses is a great way to learn the most important facts of personal finance and achieve personal finance literacy. There are many great personal finance courses, that will give you a wide array of knowledge.

I specialize in personal finance courses and encourage you to at least start with a home buying or car buying course to save money and buy value.

You can literally save thousands of dollars when you buy a home or car the right way. Many people complain that they have no money after buying a home or car. The reason: “They over-bought on one or both accounts”.

There is a right way and wrong way to buy a car and a home. No broker is going to tell you the right way, they are ONLY interested in the sell. The faster the better, then they are off to the next person.

This holds true with stocks, bonds, mutual funds, home buying, car buying and other investments as well.

Step #6 –
The Personal Finance Book

I started teaching personal finance with my award-winning personal finance book. I will not discuss the book now, but I will tell you that I have 8 new personal finance books. Those books are important because I do what others fail to do in a lot of personal finance books.

I tell you what most typical personal finance problems are and how to solve the problems successfully. I give you several options for example, to learn mutual funds and stocks or understand home buying and car buying with several details.

The most important detail I give you is how to save money and how to make money over time in each process.

A personal finance statement using a peraonal finance book, personal finance courses and personal finance reddit forum

Step #7 – Using a Personal Finance Spreadsheet

A personal finance spreadsheet will enable you to put hundreds of details in one place. The personal finance spreadsheet will allow you to track everything you need to grow your finances, understand your personal finances and be consistent with your finances.

You can track bill payoff, bills you need and do not need, and what to do to create an environment to make your finances soar.

You can increase your credit score, track your home buying and car buying as well as other personal finances. Your personal finance spreadsheet will allow you to see if you are failing or if you are on track for success.

You can use personal finance calculators to create your personal finance spreadsheets also.

Step #8 – Why Personal Finance Reddit?

Let us start with personal finance reddit. There are many ways to expose yourself to various types of personal finance information. One, is the variety of opinions on personal finance reddit.

Some of the users are very fluent in personal finance and some are amateurs, but the exposure will enable you to understand the core of personal finance.

Personal finance reddit is a type of personal finance news, not always accurate, but it does give you an idea of what is trending in personal finance. Before you go there start with our personal finance blog.

Finally, Personal Finance Management

In conclusion, you now see that personal finance management can be done by you and is best done by you. When you engage in personal finance articles, reading personal finance news, and finding your favorite personal finance book.

Personal finance planning is the key, and you can do it yourself when you take courses and obtain keen personal finance literacy.  You will learn to track your finances with personal finance spreadsheets.

Personal finance reddit is one of many examples of a type of forum you can use to get additional news about personal finance.

When you finish with this personal finance guide you will be able to create a short-term and long-term personal finance statement that will take you years into the future.

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A step by step personal finance guide to create a personal finance statement, by doing personal finance planning and personal finance literacy

How Minimum Wage Effects All Lives

Corporate CEOs Can Do Without Their Third Yacht and Mansion and Pay A Livable Minimum Wage

Not a day goes by that I hear something about minimum wage laws. Some lawmakers think it would be a good idea for low-income employees to have a livable wage. Some think increasing the minimum wage is not a good idea for the companies that have to pay. I feel differently.

When you do not make a livable minimum wage, life without money is almost impossible

Because of the constant arguing around the topic, I think many Americans are confused. They can’t understand why politicians would not want employees to make a livable wage with a higher minimum wage.

I will try to explain here why it is important for all of us to engage in the conversation around getting all Americans to enjoy a livable wage. By implementing a fair minimum wage this can happen, and how it affects personal finances and the economy.

Why Most States Minimum Wage is Not a Livable Wage

I personally do not feel that most minimum wage salaries are a livable wage, regardless of the area of the country you live in, and therefore it should be increased. My argument is outlined here.

The conversation around getting all Americans to enjoy a livable wage starts here

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the minimum wage is normally controlled by laws of the individual states. There is also a federal minimum wage law. In states where the federal minimum is higher than the state minimum, the federal wage is used.

If the state wage is higher than the federal, the state minimum is used. There are several states that base their minimum wage on the consumer price index. Those states are, AZ, CO, FL, MO, MT, NV, OH, OR, VT, and WA.

They usually adjust their minimums every January.   There are some states that don’t have a minimum, those are AL, LA, MS, SC, and TN.

Washington D.C. has the highest minimum at $15.00 an hour as of July 5, 2020. California is next with $14.00 an hour. The lowest are Alabama ($7.25 federal, no state minimum), Alaska ($10.00), Arizona ($12.00), and Arkansas ($10.00).

The ultimate car buying course for women when you make a livable minimum wage

The average appears to be around $9.50 per hour in the U.S.  If the minimum wage kept up with 1963 rates, the wage would be $23 per hour. Employees are only asking for between $9 to $15 an hour.

A recent highly publicized report stated that just eight men in the United States own more wealth than half the population. This was not the case or even close forty years ago.

At Least One State in The United States Has No Minimum Wage, and That is Sad

But, as corporations figure out how to keep more of the company earnings, employees are getting paid less and less over the years. Investors are getting paid more.

THE OBVIOUS DISADVANTAGES

There are the obvious disadvantages to earning the minimum wage or below, the first being; you will not have enough to rent a decent apartment or home. Some states make up for this with apartments they call “the projects” in the cities, or subsidized affordable rental apartments in the suburbs.

In “the projects’ apartment rent is based on income, so if your wages are low, your rent is low. The problem with this is the quality of tenant that good people are forced to surround themselves with is low.  and repairs often go undone.

Why a livable wage that includes a minimum wage too low hurts everyone.

One example of complexes that are considered “the projects” are in my city.

I have had the opportunity to speak to a few people who lived in one of these apartment complexes and they told me it is miserable.

Even with low rent, these low wage earners are usually not left with enough money to purchase or run a car or save for emergencies. Life becomes one painful emergency after another.

The next disadvantage five minimum wage workers I spoke to in my city told me is that, in order to have a semblance of a normal life they have to work two jobs.

This means their kids are left alone frequently, they are usually over-tired driving home from their second job — a road hazard, and they have little or no time to take care of their personal affairs or that of their children.

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Reporter Shaila Dewan, wrote in the New York Times, “Rent is Rising Out of Reach For The Middle Class”.  My question is if rent is too high for the middle class, where does that leave the lower middle class or the low-wage worker?

What type of future does this group of workers have, if rent continues to climb,  and low-income apartments continue to be torn down for high rise, high-income buildings; like we see in most cities around the United States?

Many of the major cities are so expensive that in order to live there you have to find a dwelling similar to a third world country. With lots of people living with you, and the building is usually in disrepair. A few years ago, a city near me had several articles in our local newspaper about a gentrification issue.

They wanted to tear down low-income “projects” near a fancy new shopping center — problem was, there were 1200 people living there and they could not figure out where to put them.

Lucky for them, the economy collapsed, and discussion was halted, at least for a few years.

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Now, the economy has improved, so I suspect the discussion is quietly taking place somewhere behind closed doors to tear down the low-income apartments and replace them with high-income dwellings.

There has been a huge apartment building boom in our 7 sister cities area. A small percentage of the apartments are set aside for low-income dwellers, so this may be a partial answer to their relocation problem. These are called “affordable income subsidies”.

The drawback to depending on low-income apartment rent is that they are limited compared to the number of renters who need them. You usually have to get on a waiting list for an available apartment – as long as a few years.

According to Zillow, the rents for middle-income wage earners are running from 35% of income in (Hattiesburg, Mississippi) to 47% of income in Los Angeles, California.

A major disadvantage of a minimum wage job is that you can’t afford an apartment in most areas of the country. Since low-income apartments are very limited (as mentioned before), and can take a few years to land at the top of a rental list.

Even when the average low wage earner does get a low-income apartment — then the issue becomes food, utilities, healthcare, transportation, and emergencies.

If the average low wage income is $15,000 per year (an average usually quoted by media sources), and you have a family of 3, your monthly take-home could be a little as $900.

Most rents are at least $1000 per month for a 2 bedroom home in an average priced city. That means you are behind before you pay rent. It will take some work to find affordable housing, and pay all other living costs.

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THE MOST EGREGIOUS DISADVANTAGES OF LOW WAGE JOBS

Low-income communities have a lower tax base for their school system,  mostly because the school system’s funding is based on local tax dollars.

So, lower-income communities suffer low taxes and low funding for schools. This means they have fewer resources than middle income or rich school districts.

The end result is that students often get a poor quality of education. This may be one of the reasons they have a higher high school dropout rate. In some communities, there is an increased crime rate since high school dropouts find it difficult to get jobs.

Another disadvantage, which seems to go unnoticed by professionals, is an ongoing depression in poor communities. It is the result of trying to live within the confines of a miserably low wage job while working long hard hours.

Many in poor communities are forced to work two jobs in order to live within their miserable low wages, this also adds significantly to depression.

Some major cities have affordable mass transit, others don’t. So, minimum wage workers are forced to purchase and maintain a car which makes life even more difficult than it would be with mass transit.

THE MINIMUM WAGE SOLUTIONS

What are the solutions?   Some politicians are in favor of new laws that would increase the minimums, others are not.

I encourage you to Google, your congressman, and senator — encourage them to vote to increase the minimum wage.

People who make a fair livable minimum wage can afford to pay rent on an apartment or small home. They can shop for necessities and food, and spend more time with their kids by avoiding the 3 job day.

Schools will have more taxable money for better schools, and higher-performing students.

Because people have more money to take care of their needs, crime will be reduced in their immediate community and those around them.

So, as you can see a livable minimum wage benefits communities the employees live in, adjacent communities, and the economy.

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

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Easy Ways to Save Money When You Are a College Student

Easy Ways to Save Money In College

Many college students, stifled with the sudden high cost of college, upon entering, have probably stopped to ask themselves, “what are some easy ways to save money as a college student”? At different times during their college years. College is all about acquiring quality education. But focusing on a degree, and the side advantages, including making new friends and enjoying the educational and social processes.

But a lack of financial “awareness” on a student’s part, can create a period of constant financial turmoil and emotional strife.

Most students entering college arrives with a dream of collegiate success. But many don’t complete their course of study due to financial hardships.

The reason for this disparity is not because few students are financially superior. But because they possess the ability to budget and save while in college.

College Can Be Both Fun and Educationally Rewarding When Done The Right Way

Earning money during college is one thing, but students can increase rainy day savings by starting a habit of focusing on easy ways to save money. Having money in your pocket feels good. And the habit of saving money gives you peace of mind and a bit of financial security.

The challenge is, of course, how to achieve the goal of saving money while in college. Well, to help college students, I’ve come up with some amazing practical ways of saving money listed below.

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

Start With Budget Preparation For Easy Ways to Save Money

Most college students shun the idea of preparing a budget but believe me this is the best way of initiating your saving process. A budget is nothing but a statement showing your estimated expenditures coupled with income.

You have the freedom to go in for minute details or prepare a superficial budget based on your needs. But I advise you to prepare a detailed budget, so that leaking cash can be easily spotted.

After preparing a full-fledged budget, let us find out the ways in which cash leaking can be avoided. The main question when preparing a budget should be, “easy ways to save money on just about everything you do and delete things you don’t need to do”.

slay your finances,learn to save money when you are a college student

Apply For Scholarships and Financial Aid

The first step to saving before and after entering your college life begins with applying for scholarships or financial aid. This kind of aid is generally given to two kinds of students- 1. meritorious and/or 2. needy, so if you belong to either of these categories, do apply for scholarships as it would help you save a lot of money which would otherwise come out of your personal budget.

Understand FAFSA (also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is crucial. You can download it from the government website used for getting private and government aid for college or fill it out online.

You can file your FAFSA application online as soon as it comes out, the sooner you apply, the better your financial aid. List every single college you may apply to, and the award will later be sent to the college of your choice.

Do everything you can to keep student loans to a minimum. The number one consideration when choosing a college is staying out of debt as much as possible, your college must be affordable to start.

Buying Old Books or Clothes

We live in a time where many college students are actively participating in various environmental savings activities. They believe in the concept of ‘renew, reuse and recycle’. You will be surprised to know that for college students, this can be a process for saving a lot of money.

Yes, buying old books and clothes not only allows you to save a lot of money which eventually adds up to a lot in savings. But also allows students to contribute to the environment, by saving resources and energy. Look for stores where used books and clothes are sold, and purchase those in good and usable condition.

Roommates in College May be a Good Bet

Saving money is not an easy task, it takes a lot of effort on the part of a student. But for a college student, there are plenty of answers to the question ‘how to save money’. Living in college dorms or apartments is costly, but if you find yourself a few roommates, you can avoid a lot of extra expense, and thus save money.

Do a careful analysis of the people you choose as roommates, make sure they are in college for the right reasons, and they pay their bills on time.

Affordable Transportation Options

College campuses are scattered over large areas. Because of this, having a vehicle becomes a necessity when you must move from one place to another on campus. Some campuses are huge with several acres. But who said that only a motorcycle or a  car can solve your problem if saving money is your target then go for a bicycle or bus.

A used bicycle is easily available from any shop near a college. So take advantage of this healthy transportation option and save on your fuel and repair expenses. Create ride share teams with other students when you must take a car, and use public transportation to get to and from school when it is available.

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A Part-Time Job

The task of saving money can be eased by taking up a part-time job on your college campus or any store nearby college where you shop. By taking a part-time job on your college premises or nearby, you can pay minor expenses such as gas or food.

If you don’t want to get a job at your college, then look for a job opening at a retail shop nearby college where you shop regularly. This would help you get things you need at a discount, which can be considerable.

 Student Discounts and Freebies

Many e-commerce websites and retail shops offer a variety of student discounts such as hair products, grooming accessories, clothes, and food items. Receiving discounts will help you save a lot of money and reduce your expenses, considerably.

But not everything is available with discounts and this is the reason why I recommend you stay on the alert to look out for freebies and giveaways, don’t be afraid to use coupons when you are in college.

 I hope you’ve got some useful and exciting answers to the question ‘how to save money in college’ that would help you make your college life more affordable.

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Money Saving Tips For Single Moms

Money-Saving Tips

Creating a List of Money-Saving Tips is Essential for Single Moms

The list will vary considerably from one person to another. The money-saving tips working for a single Mom would be different than for a student, and a working professional and entirely unique saving methods would apply for a couple.

Being a single parent is not an easy job and this job becomes even more difficult when a single mother is pressed to save money. Life is not easy for mothers especially in today’s financial climate when single Moms must play the dual role of breadwinner and homemaker, therefore a lot of introspection is in order.

Single Moms Savings Creates Peace of Mind

Personal Financial Details

A single mother needs to take care of all types of personal financial details that exist, this is the main reason why financial success is possible.

If you are a single mom and looking for techniques to save money, then you’ve come to the right place. I will present you with some of the most successful money-saving tips available for single moms.

As a single Mom, you will understand there are many money-saving tips such as getting out of the debt trap, saving money for emergencies, and decreasing household bills.

Money saving tips for single moms

Save Money on Groceries

Groceries are expensive, but it is not impossible to save money on groceries. A mother is responsible for providing her children with a balanced diet and nutritious food. But a single mom is responsible for doing all this in an affordable way.

A single mom can save a lot of money by planning family meals in advance. You can also receive bulk and coupon discounts from most grocery and retail stores.

You Can cook meals in bulk that can be used over a period of 1-2 weeks when you freeze the excess. When you do this, you save on grocery expenses and save a lot of time and energy.

Try to purchase seasoned vegetables and fruit, and avoid expensive cuts of meat and off-season vegetables. As this will weigh heavy on your supermarket bills.

The Second-Hand Option!

Children are always full of demands. And in fact, I won’t be exaggerating if I say that their demands are never-ending. As a single Mom, you need to handle these demands without jeopardizing your monthly budget and savings.

You can save a lot of money by buying used toys and clothes for your kids and, and even for yourself. No one will ever know they are used after a good washing and ironing. 

Recycle for Savings

If second-hand clothes are not something you like, go in for recycling your clothes and save a lot of money on buying new ones.

There are several shops that offer second-hand products used and in good condition, and available at 70-80% of the original price. You can also sell your old clothes to consignment stores. 

Your discounts will include consignment shops, thrift shops, or Salvation Army type shops. You can see that there are many options for saving money on clothes, you can think of others.

Look out for discounts and coupons

The life of a single mother is full of struggles and difficulties but one should never feel hesitant or be shy about asking for discounts from some stores and shopping only for the lowest prices.

Take advantage of different types of shopping coupons, store loyalty, and reward cards. Make the most of your shopping experience by paying the lowest price as a rule and not an exception. Looking for discounts and coupons should be a part of your daily life. 

You can go in for kid’s clothes shopping during sales at regular stores and at deep discount retail shops when looking for money-saving tips.

Team up with other moms

There is one famous quote saying ‘Divided we fall, United we stand’,  this is an inspirational quote for all single Moms.  

Befriend single Moms in your area and form a group where you can all trade babysitting when any of the group members are in need.

Trading services has multiple benefits, not just saving money. But also don’t forget the value of fostering friendships within the group.

Organize group activities such as cooking demonstrations, excursion trips, picnics to nearby places with kids, and carpooling.

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Save on household bills

Household bills will always be with us, but unnecessary bills can be cut out. The process of saving money on household bills begins with cutting back on cell phones, cable, electricity, and water bills. Understanding how to decrease household bills is essential. 

Single moms can take advantage of the internet to compare various cellular plans and should consider discount friendly options only.

Always ask your electricity, water, or gas companies for a subsidy or discount.

Because many companies give subsidized electricity and other amenities at lower rates to people belonging to certain income groups. Take advantage of government offers for moderate-income people.

Single Mom's Helping Single Moms - ‘Divided we fall, United we stand'

The Tip Jar

For those of you who complain that you can’t save any money in an account. Start with a tip jar.  Choose any large jar in your home. Place it somewhere safe. This jar is for immediate money for emergencies.

Whenever you have an excess of change in your wallet or purse, place most of the change in your jar. In anywhere from 4-12 months, you will notice the jar filling up, depending of course on the size.

The larger the better, 1 to 1/2 feet high is good. With your tip jar, your immediate money for savings will grow in no time. 

Money For Emergencies Only

When you have an emergency you can turn in your coins to a local store coin deposit machine and get cash for something pressing.  Remember to
keep adding to your jar.

I suggest you open a bank account at a bank, a regular passbook savings account. At this point you are not concerned about interest, your goal is to accumulate money for a rainy day.

It doesn’t matter if it is $20 a month or $200 a month. Make this a bill, pay into the savings account every single month when you pay your bills, it’s even better if it is auto-deducted from your checking account or payroll check, that makes it easier. So, now your immediate money for emergencies can be taken from your tip jar or your savings account. 

Get Out of The Debt Trap

Debt is an integral part of the lives of a single parent, the trick is to keep it low. Many people know that debt is the enemy of savings, and to increase savings, one needs to get out of the debt trap as soon as possible.

I suggest you replace your big car with a small one or a big house with an apartment or a small manageable home. This is the start to get out of the debt trap.

Big assets acquired in the form of a loan only adds to your liabilities and increases the outflow of your cash by the way of down payments, loan installments, and big repair bills.

Get rid of bigger loans with huge installment payments, and high-interest rates;  and save up your monthly income for a healthy budget and securing your children’s future. You must get out of the debt trap to get finances under control. 

Summary for Money-Saving Tips For Single Moms

We know as a single mom, you know the importance of money and savings. This is the reason why you can see plenty of single moms working terribly hard from morning to evening to earn an income for their children.

There are many ways single-moms can save money and have peace of mind with finances. From ways to get out of the debt trap, creating money for emergencies, decrease household bills, to saving money on groceries and clothes. 

This is the reason why we’ve given you the best workable tips for achieving the task. Take advantage of the money-saving tips here and see your budget consistently improve over time. 

Money-saving tips for single moms from the get out of debt trap, money for emergencies, save on household bills, save money on groceries and clothes.

Creating Great Personal Finances in Marriage or a Partnership

Creating great personal finances in marriage starts way before you get married.

PERSONAL FINANCES DURING THE DATING PERIOD

You can get a snapshot of your friend’s personal finance habits by discussing your likes and dislikes while your relationship is in the early dating stage.

This is beneficial because if you see someone who has really bad habits early, you can block yourself from taking the relationship any further. Great personal finance in marriage begins way before marriage is talked about.

Relationship therapist site that one of the top three reasons for divorce is financial problems. Either one or both people in the relationship are over-spenders and don’t pay attention to debt, that is a recipe for disaster. Get out early and save yourself from a long relationship of misery.

Signs of Someone Who Mismanages Money Terrible:
1. They live a lavish lifestyle for their income,
2. They complain that they have debts they can’t pay,
3. You witness them mismanaging money when it comes to paying bills or refusal to live within a budget.
4. They asked you to pay when you go out and it’s their turn.
5. They borrow money from you while your dating
6. A huge sign is if they asked you to sign for a big purchase they can’t qualify for such as a car or motorcycle.
7. Owes money to the IRS – your check could be garnished if you file jointly and your new spouse is not paying. If one or more of these signs exist, especially number 5 or 6, it may be time to leave the relationship now.

PERSONAL FINANCES DURING THE ENGAGEMENT PERIOD

Discuss personal finances after you get engaged, this is crucial since good finances are a major aspect of good marriages. The more you know and agree on early the better your finances in the long run. The engagement period is your last chance to evaluate your future spouse before you get married.

This is when you get deep into habits that could make or break a good marriage. One of those habits is spending. This is your last chance to identify your chances of getting great personal finances in marriage that will be lasting.

Don’t use this period to brag about your ring or only think about the type of dress or tuxedo you want. But, focus more on the fact that this is your last chance to get to know each other on a deeper level.

Ask a lot of questions of each other before you are married, obtain and share your credit reports with each other, work to get both credit reports in good shape before you get married.

Pay off any excessive debt either of you may have, pay off bills that may hinder a good relationship, sell off things you don’t need, and could be used to pay off debts. Understand how personal finances (budgeting-spending-investing), now, will affect your relationship later.

If one or both of you has bad finances or bad financial habits now, you may not be a good fit for marriage to anyone soon. It’s ok to get out now, even though the rings and dress have been purchased. It is far cheaper than a divorce.

PERSONAL FINANCES IN MARRIAGE

After you are married, maintain good finances together to help maintain a good marriage and a good family life. As stated before, marriage counselors state financial problems as the main source of marital problems and eventually divorce.

Maintain good finances to help maintain marital bliss and a financially stable life together.  Secure finances, that includes a financially secure home life, includes the frequent discussion of and analyzing.

You are now responsible for the finances of one another. One with poor finances could affect the purchase of a home or car. One with poor finances could put the family into an unnecessary bankruptcy. If you lose one spouse to death the other is responsible for paying off their debts, if the debts are listed only in the deceased name.

Some debts are transferable through estates, some are not. As a married couple, there are benefits to purchasing a home or car together, keep finances strong together so these purchases will be possible.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate scenario of marrying someone who is a terrible money manager, that can be fixed if the person is willing to admit it and work with you to change. Start with my free personal finance worksheets available on this website.

Here are some helpful tools you can use now! All free for my readers

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
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How to create great personal finances in marriage or partnership for life

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20 Smart Money Moves in 2020 For Long Term Financial Growth

20 smart money moves in 2020 for financial growth

What are smart money moves?

A smart money move is a tried and true method for creating financial growth and prosperity after education, research, deep thought, mentorship, and experience has guaranteed they will work. Here are some smart money moves for you to begin with, I will discuss:

  • Short term smart money moves you can start now.
  • Long term smart money moves that will permanently change you
  • Understanding the types of smart money moves that will save your financial life

successful home buying secrets for women

What are the three types of smart money moves that will benefit you?

1A. Short term smart money moves you can start now

It starts with a guerrilla budget. Judging from the way many of you spend money, I can see that you are not close to any budget, much less a guerrilla budget. A guerrilla budget, as defined by me is “your budget on steroids”. You become the master of your money, not advertising, not spoiled kids, not friends who have financial emergencies, not things you don’t need.

It is you, your tracking your spending and getting rid of everything that is not necessary. Sure, after you get your debt and bills under control you can budget in a few things you enjoy, but first you will start with paying your necessary bills with ease, getting your debts low, and creating a system to have emergency money for your emergencies only.

Learn to say the word no. If you can’t afford it, it should not be a part of your spending process. Your short-term financial goals for the new year should include the following.

  1. Create a budget planner

You know how much money you take home; you know where you are spending on things you can’t afford, so this is where you start.

  1. Track everything you spend

Sometimes you spend money that we are not aware of because we don’t pay attention to what we are spending on. Create a budget for everything you spend money on.

Budgeting, It's what you do with what you make

Maybe you can’t afford a necessary item this month, but if you pay off another item, or save enough money for a new item you need, you can get it in 3 months. Whatever you do, don’t keep charging for things you don’t have money or income for.

  1. Plan what you need

Write a plan for daily needs, weekly needs, monthly and for the year. Do you plan to return to school in three years? You need a plan for that. The plan should include an affordable public school where student loans are kept to a minimum and the education is an absolute must for your field.

Many people gain access to good paying jobs, without college, by working their way up in a company getting experience as they go. Many jobs will pay for you to take courses to gain knowledge and some will pay for a college degree.

  1. Plan what you want

Do you really know what you want? Don’t just take a stab in the dark, know what you want based on experience, knowledge, and research. Many folks get useless education or degrees because they did not research the field and understand “exactly” what is involved.

Occupations change over time, what was in demand 20 years ago, may have no demand now. But some people are still getting into fields with student loans and years of study, only to find out they made a huge mistake and there is no demand in that field.

5. Delete what you can do without, and may not want

Make a list of the things you have or are doing. Then make a second list of the things you can do without. From cable tv to going back to school. What is necessary right now? What can I do to make my life more affordable? What can I eliminate to help get out of debt? These are the questions you need to put at the top of your list.

What are long term smart money moves?

Ladies, it takes skills to purchase a home and non-owner occupied rental property

2A. Long term smart money moves

If you will ever have enough money, you must learn sane savings techniques, these techniques have been created by me for you. Your long-term financial goals should start with money all over the place. Sounds crazy, but it is possible, no matter what your income. There are many ways with these smart money moves.

  1. Start with the dollar and coin jar, save regularly here

Get two simple jars, at least a foot high. Every week empty a handful of coins in your coin jar, place at least a few dollars in your dollar jar, between $2 and $10 dollars. This money will accumulate until the jars are full. Don’t use any of the money until the jars are full.

When they are full, you can use them for inexpensive, minor emergencies. But they need to always be half full. When it gets full, take out the coins, redeem them at the store where there is a coin exchange, take the money from the coins and take half the dollars to the bank.

They will be placed in your passbook savings accounts. The remaining dollars will be used for your small emergencies or expenses.

  1. Don’t be afraid of a basic passbook savings account for emergencies. Yes, I said passbook savings account. This is your first great savings account. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking, “I am not getting much in the way of interest”.

The interest is not the important issue at this point. The issue is accumulation of funds for short term emergencies’ and long-term smart money moves. This is where we accumulate.

Your short-term smart money moves will be born in your passbook savings account. Everything sprouts from here. Try to put at least $50 to $200 a month in your passbook savings account.

  1. Use your overage in your basic account every six months to fund a higher interest account as you accumulate money in your passbook savings account, it will be added to pay off bills, purchase short term more expensive emergencies or add to a higher interest savings account.

  2. Use your passbook account to fund your needs

Write down your immediate short-term money moves as they relate to your needs. An example would be to pay off a $400 credit card balance when I accumulate $600 in my passbook savings account. 

  1. Use your dollar and coin jar to fund your immediate wants

The dollar and coin jar are for super short-term smart money moves as well as to fund your passbook savings account. A super short-term money move would be to fix the cracked screen on my cell phone or hire a gardener to weed and trim your over-grown yard.

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3A. Understanding the types of smart money moves that will save your financial life

If you don’t understand the smart money moves of big thing buying you can ruin your finances for a long time, buying cars, homes, and an education.

I talk to people all the time who tell me they wish they would have put more thought into purchasing a car, going back to school or even buying a home. There is never a rush.

Making the wrong decisions when it comes to major items can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars you could have saved. Remember, you have many choices, and there is never a need to rush. Do your research, do your homework – identify all your options.

  1. Make “paying off” a car or credit card a goal

I talked to a young girl just a few months ago. She wanted to get her finances in order. I told her you have first start with critical thinking, not allowing advertisers to tell you how to purchase. They recommend high-profit items that benefit their pockets, not yours.

I told her the example of refinancing a car. She, said “STOP”, I already made that mistake. She said she saw an ad to refinance her car for a lower interest rate, she did and then her sister pointed out to her, “do you realize that you just added two years to your car note?”.

She told her, after looking at her paperwork that the two years she had left on her car loan was now four years with her new loan, adding an additional two years. She would have been better off paying a slightly higher interest rate she had and paying off the car in the two years she had remaining.

That was not a smart money move and shows how it happens when you allow propaganda advertising to influence you.

  1. Use the monthly budget you have from a payoff to save money

When you pay off a bill, you now have extra money, use at least half of that money to place in passbook savings. The other half will be used to put on other bills.

  1. Do research on a new car if you need it

New cars are expensive especially when you add the first-year warranty service and the cost of general maintenance and vehicle registration. So, look hard for an affordable new car or consider a CPO, or certified pre-owned car. These are cars that you purchase on the used side of a new car lot, they are less than 5 years old, have about a 150-point check and you get a warranty.

Free printables for small business and personal use at MsFinancialSavvy; Daily Action Form, Budgeting Form, and Savings Form

  1. Buying a home is still possible in some states with a middle income, start your research

Homes are getting extremely expensive in the larger more populace states such as California, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. as well as others. But there are many states especially in the south and mid-west where you can buy affordable homes if you are middle income. But I caution you to do your research, do your homework first.

  1. Set a budget for the home you can afford

The most important thing you can do before you think about purchasing a first home or even a second or third, is to set a budget. That budget is based on what you can afford after your down payment, after you have paid off bills, and after you have sold things you don’t need, an example would be a car with a large car payment, may be something you could get rid of.

16. Start a savings account for a home you can afford

After you establish your affordability index, you can now start to save for your new home. I have discussed the many ways to save money above, so you have many ideas. You will need to save for the down payment, the escrow costs, and any repairs that may be needed.

17. Choosing a college; there are no guarantees, research is paramount

Going to college in the United States is tricky these days. The number one goal should be to keep you and your parents out of debt. There are affordable public colleges, consider those first. Private colleges have a lot of hidden cost. For-profit colleges, (that is those that advertise on television constantly and are located online only, or in a strip mall or office building – usually no real college campus, they have quick classes), the cost is high, and the jobs are few. Some employers will not hire from for-profit colleges. 

18. Focus on finding an affordable not-for profit college, preferably brick and mortar There are many affordable non-profit public colleges. Do your research be through, keep student loans at no or low, very low.

20 smart money moves, finances are all emcompassing

19. Find great careers that don’t require college

There are many careers that don’t require college and some online course that are very cheap, but have great careers connected to them.

20. Research community college degrees that pay well, computer science, registered nursing, dental hygiene, at a community college you can get a certificate or an associate degree. From that degree you can get a great starting job, depending on the course matter or you can transfer to a 4-year college if your state permits.

The following demonstration shows you that smart money moves can and will put you on tract to great financial growth when you pay attention to the details.

How to Go to College Without School Loans, Debt-Free College Should Be Your Goal Part 2

Debt-Free College Can Happen When You Understand The Various Options You Have

Going to college without student loans should be your goal, stay debt-free

Getting a debt-free college education begins with a deep understanding of the different types of colleges and universities. There are many different types of colleges you can attend, and it is important that you know the difference between them. Not all colleges and universities are good for all people.

You must know which is best for you, both financially and academically. I will start with a brief explanation of junior colleges, (also called community colleges), and end with for-profit colleges.

Junior Colleges Your Best Value for Debt-Free College:

If you want to get a certificate or a 2-year AA (Associates of Arts) degree in something that has high job value, the community college is a best value. If you are poor, low income or a struggling single parent you may be able to attend with a Pell Grant, avoiding loans. If you do have to get loans they may be minimal.

Do your research, and work out your best solution. You must keep yourself motivated if you attend a community college. Some find it difficult to focus since you are no longer in high school, but also you don’t have the attention of a four-year college.

You can also later transfer to a four-year college to complete a bachelors’ degree if you decide to get it sometime in the future. Transfers are allowed at most four-year colleges.

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State Colleges and Universities:

Your absolute best value for colleges and universities, under junior colleges, are your state colleges and universities. These colleges and universities have the lowest cost of tuition and fees for a four-year degree for most colleges. The books and room and board, as with all colleges and universities are extra.

If you live at home or with a relative a state college or university can be a real value and leave you with little or no loans. Most employers in local towns gives preference to their local state college and university students for employment, since they usually know the quality of those schools.

For poor and lower middle class students many can go to their local four-year college with a Pell Grant and part-time job, leaving them with no school loans if they live at home. This is huge. Most HBCUs are priced similar to state colleges, a few are priced as expensive private colleges or universities, so remember to do your research.

Studends don't get that masters degree too soon, go to college without student loans

Private Colleges and Universities:

This includes famous and not-so-famous colleges and universities. Some of the colleges that fall into this category are expensive Christian schools, some are ivy league schools and some are small little known colleges and universities. They all have one thing in common, and that is enormous costs.

Enormous costs that will leave you with school loans of $40,000 to $200,000. This is a near tragedy for poor or middle income students, these loans could take 30 years to repay. No college graduate should be braced with that much of a load on their backs for so long.

These schools have enormous hidden costs, so it is imperative that you research costs at the schools’ website, otherwise you could be left with severe sticker shock after you start. You can get a good job if you go to an inexpensive school, as well as an expensive school, so why not protect yourself, your finances, and your future, with a low-cost college or university.

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For- Profit Schools, Colleges, and Universities:

In for-profit colleges, the learning is usually quick, the courses are short, and the costs are high. How do you know if a school is for-profit? They do a lot of advertising on TV, they are usually located in a strip mall, business park,  office building or online only – they don’t normally use college campuses. When you research for-profit schools the graduation rates are usually very low and the student loan pay-back is also very low.

They offer short, quick programs and degrees. You may have to do a lot of research to find them listed as for-profit online. Some of them claim to be non-profit, but they are not. Many of them give college degrees in a little as 1-2 years, or certificate programs in as short as 6-8 months. Some employers don’t recognize degrees from for-profit colleges. Since for-profit colleges have been accused of and found guilty of numerous problems against students, some are now calling themselves non-profit. But, they are still for-profit with another name. Most are located in office type buildings, or store fronts, they offer quick classes and very poor financial aid packages, with education that is not always recognized by employers.

Get Debt-Free College by Knowing Your Options, Go Here

The biggest problem with these schools are that most of them include loans for even the poorest students, the courses are often times quick, they offer a lot of certificate programs that require the passage of an exam to get your certificate.

Many kids don’t pass the exam because the courses are so quick, so they don’t get their certificate, and now they have loans with no ability to get work. This is usually the most difficult way to get debt-free college.

The government has recently cracked down on for-profit schools since the default rate on exams, including board exams is high. One for-profit nursing school had a pass rate on board exams of zero. None of the students passed the nursing board exam, but they all had loans they could not repay.

One type of for-profit school that was closely scrutinized was found to brace students with near $80,000 in school loans, this was the Corinthian Colleges.

After petitions and media attention, the government forgave all their student loans with forgiveness, this is rare. The problem was that students could not get jobs after attending. The employers told them they did not recognize the school as adequate for job placement.

The students were told they would have no problem getting jobs when they enrolled. Itt technical Institution was recently shut down due to its predatory methods against its students.

It is a part of the government crackdown on predatory for-profit schools. You can search google for a list of for-profit schools that have been closed by the government. Understand the current student loan debt crises to keep your student loans at 0 or very low.

Financial aid packages in for-profit colleges almost always includes loans, and for many who can’t get jobs, it is not possible to pay the loans back. These loans can leave students with a lifetime of poor credit.

Your best bet for debt-free college:

The best way to get debt-free college is 1. Go to a junior (community) college on a Pell grant, work part-time, and live at home. 2. Go to a state college or university with Pell grant, work part-time, get a relative to help, and live at home. 3. Go to a state college or university with the help of a relative or on a full scholarship. 4. If you decide to go to an expensive private college or university, go with the help of a relative or a guaranteed full scholarship or fellowship for graduate school.

Understand that cost is the most important factor when it comes to choosing an education with debt-free college. It is absolutely essential that you know all cost and academic programs of your chosen school, by reading their online catalog. A last reminder, that if you do not pay off student loans you have signed for,  and you get behind, the government will catch up with you, and garnish your check.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
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How To Go To College Without Student Loans, Get Debt-Free College Part 1

 You Can’t File Bankruptcy on Student Loans, Understand College Without Student Loans, and Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Loans.

How To Go To College Without Student Loans, Get Debt-Free College Part 1

There are many reasons you should strive to go to college without student loans, one is the crushing pain of debt, another is that you are not allowed to file bankruptcy on student loans due to hardship.

If you start a business with any amount of money and your business fails, you can file a business bankruptcy on your loan balance due and later start over with replenished credit. If you buy a home and fail, you can short sell your home or let it go into foreclosure and you can later buy another home, once your credit clears.

This is not the case with student loans, politicians have rigged the system, so no matter what, you have to pay. You only have a short grace period after you graduate, but your grace period, if you don’t have a job, you still have to pay. If you don’t have a relative who is willing to step up and make the payments until you get a job, your life can be ruined forever with bad credit.

subsidized vs. unsubsidized student loans

The unpaid school loan balance grows exponentially due to collection agency cost and interest on interest overdue charges. The balance can double every 3-4 years until one day you open a letter and find you owe $100,000 on an original $5000.00 student loan. It has happened to many and it does not have to happen to you or anyone else.

Recent New Programs to Save College Students Credit

The new programs the Obama Administration created for college students with student loans has made payback easier, but you must apply for them, and even though your payments are decreased to an affordable rate until you find a decent job, you must still make your payments. There is no hardship benefit for most.

The program is called the income-based repayment program. There are others as well. This program is mostly for government subsidized loans, but there are programs for private or unsubsidized loans, but they are more difficult to get them to help you. If you delay regular student loan payments with an income based repayment plan, the delay in paying interest can raise your balance two to three times the original loan balance. So, it is recommended that you do EVERYTHING in your powers to make your reglalar payments.  The situation is direr for unsubsidized loans; these lenders can be brutal.

It is better to find an actual loan forgiveness program. There are different types of programs listed at Consumer  


They charge interest while in school,
and you don’t get the benefits that come with government subsidized loans. Subsidized loans don’t charge interest while you are in school and therefore cost much less than unsubsidized loans, sometimes as much as half.

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I Went to College with Almost no School Loans

I went to graduate school with a horrible amount of school loans so I know the difference. I had unsubsidized and subsidized, it seemed to take forever to pay off my unsubsidized loans. In college, I had one very small subsidized loan that took only a couple of years to pay off. I figured out why my unsubsidized loans took so long to pay off, but by then it was too late, I just suffered and eventually, they were paid. It took me a total of 12 years to
pay off my loans, it would have been sooner if I figured out the game they were playing with interest and time.

When it comes to graduate school, most of the financial aid is student loans, and some the predatory unsubsidized loans. Focus on scholarships or fellowships if you plan to go to graduate school.

 I Was Lied to About the Cost of my Private University Graduate School Up Front

It is extremely important to research each and every school you consider attending before you apply. I attended a state university for undergraduate school and had no problems with loans. I only had to take out a tiny loan, which I paid back quickly after graduation. I researched every school I considered attending graduate school.

The one problem I had with the graduate school I actually attended was that I did not include current students in my research. I was given an estimate of the cost of attendance for four years by the student affairs office. It turned out the actual cost was double what I was told, and that was after I lived like a pauper in graduate school.

At one point I planned to leave because the costs were getting out of control, but after a lot of introspection, I decided I was half way there so I should finish.  I don’t recommend you go to a private school unless you have a full scholarship, full fellowship, rich parents or family members who can pay for your college.

If you are poor or middle class your financial aid package will be lop-sided with huge loans, and in some cases bad unsubsidized loans. You have to ask yourself; Do I want to spend the rest of my life paying on school loans? It could very well happen if you attend a school too expensive for your budget.

Understand Student Loans and College Cost with This eBook

Do Your Research Before You Apply to Colleges That Interest You

Every college and university catalog is currently, online. If you have a computer at home, you are all set. If you do not you can go to your local library and use the computer there. Here is what you do. First of all, look at the cost, many of the more expensive colleges have their cost hidden, so don’t give up, it’s there. Search total cost to attend college X (substitute the name of each in the X field).

You should find a grid. In that grid, it will explain all of the costs for four years, down to the paperclip. I have looked, and it is the norm, I did not find a single college or university without the four-year cost of college grid. The private schools will display outrageously expensive costs, some of them I looked at a cost between 200.000-300,000 for four years.

Those costs are definitely for rich kids or the lucky few who get guaranteed scholarships. It makes no sense at all to go to a school like that with a financial aid package that includes school loans.

Your loan bill at that school could definitely scar you for life.  You will have either a lifetime of loan payments or have a good chance of a lifetime of loan default if you become ill, disabled, or can’t find a job that pays enough to make the payments – there are no guarantees. Coming Soon, Part 2 of this article.

As of 2017 we now have a new administration. They have not said what they will do with student loan fulfillment problem, but have hinted toward doing nothing, and taking down the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau website. Because of this, the student loan crises could hit epic proportions if students continue to have more debt than they can pay with low job opportunities including, no job or low paying jobs.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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9 Great Ways to Understand Mutual Funds

How to Understand Mutual Funds

9 Great Ways to Understand Mutual Funds

Understand mutual funds by beginning with the definition of a mutual fund, and then going on to understand the different types of mutual funds.

A mutual fund is a company that pools money from many investors and invests the money in securities such as stocks, bonds, and short-term debt.

The combined holdings of the mutual fund are known as its portfolio. Investors buy shares in mutual funds. Each share represents an investor’s part
ownership in the fund and the income it generates.

What Are Mutual Funds Used For?

Mutual funds are investments that are generally long-term investments that are used for general savings, retirement savings, and college fund savings.

Mutual funds are purchased because they are professionally managed, diversified investments, an affordable investment, and liquid.

Some have up front fees to purchase and or sell called loads. Some have no-loads, but all have yearly management fees from as low as .2 to 8%.

I prefer fees less than 1% with no-loads. There are good mutual funds that fall into all categories.

Mutual funds make money when dividends are paid, usually every 3 months to every 12 months. Capital gains are usually every 12 months. Mutual funds also make money when the NAV value of the fund increases. The NAV is the Net Asset Value of the mutual fund, similar to the price of a single share of stock.
There are many types of mutual funds within these nine types of mutual funds. Here are the 9 different major types of mutual funds. The risks of mutual fund investing runs the gamut of very low to very high and many levels in between within one type of fund. Do your research thoroughly before investing in order to understand mutual funds.

I have invested in mutual funds for at least 30 years now, and they have served me well.

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The 9 Different Types of Mutual Funds:

1. Allocation
Risk: Low to Medium

Allocation funds are a combination of stock and fixed income securities and are subject to the risks involved in each of these security types. Stock markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. In general, the bond market
is volatile and fixed income securities that carry the interest rate, inflation, price volatility and other risks.

2. Alternative
Risk: From Low Risk to High

The fund may invest in securities that may have a leveraging effect (such as derivative and forward-settling securities) which may increase market exposure, magnify investment risks, and cause losses to be realized more quickly.

3. Commodities
Risk: High

The commodities industry can be significantly affected by commodity prices, world events, import controls, worldwide competition, government regulations, and economic conditions.

4. International Equity
Risk: Medium to High

Foreign markets can be more volatile than U.S. markets due to increased risks of adverse issuer, political, market, or economic developments, all of which are magnified in emerging markets. These risks are particularly significant for funds that focus on a single country or region.

Make absolutely sure your budget is in order before you begin to understand mutual funds and start investing.

5. Money Market Mutual Funds
Risk: Very Low

A money market mutual fund is a type of fixed income mutual fund that invests in debt securities characterized by their short maturities and minimal credit risk. You could lose money by investing in a money market fund. An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Before investing always read a money market fund’s prospectus for policies specific to that fund.

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6. Municipal Bond Mutual Funds
Risk: Very Low to Low

The municipal market can be affected by adverse tax, legislative or political changes and the financial condition of the issuers of municipal securities. Interest rate increases can cause the price of a municipal bond to decrease.

7. Sector Equity Mutual Funds
Risk: Medium to High

Stock markets, especially foreign markets, are volatile and can decline significantly in response to adverse issuer, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. Sector funds can be more volatile because of their narrow concentration in a specific industry.

8. Taxable Bond Mutual Funds
Risk: Very Low to Medium

In general, the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk, liquidity risk, call risk, and credit and default risks. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

9. U.S. Equity Stock Mutual Funds
Risk: Low to Medium

Stock markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. Investing in stock involves risks, including the loss of principal.

You will understand mutual funds when you begin with understanding the different types of mutual funds.

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

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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.

Free printables for small business and personal use at MsFinancialSavvy; Daily Action Form, Budgeting Form, and Savings Form

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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Car buying for women and girls.

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

Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here

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The Reason Your Personal Finances Should Be Personal