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Want Better Money Management Skills? Write Everything Down

top view of calculator, money, notebook and writing handIf you want to implement proper money management skills, you need to start by writing everything down.

Financial management is important if you want to improve your personal finances. It encourages you to be organized and to be in control of your monetary transactions. When you practice proper management of your money, you get to make better decisions. You are more aware of your finances and that gives you an idea about how every decision will affect your financial position.

Some people are hesitant to implement financial management because they feel like it is too much work. The truth is, it will be hard at first. After all, you may have to change a lot of habits along the way. But as you keep on practicing them, you will realize that it gets easier. You just have to start the change.

How can you improve your financial management skills

One of the reasons why you need to implement money management skills is to keep yourself from wasting money on unnecessary expenses. An article published on discussed a tip given by David Bach, a known financial adviser. The author of “Smart Couples Finish Rich” calls the money wasting habit as the “Latte Factor”. Apparently, we cannot avoid passing up on those little expenses because we are not aware of their real weight in our finances. What we do not realize is that the little things add up. He advised that to get rid of this, we need to go through a 7-day financial challenge wherein you will track your spending.

He only gave two simple steps – write down everything and to be honest about it. Bach said that by doing so, you can identify the areas that you are wasting your money on. After identifying them, you can decide how you can take your financial situation to the next level. That is how you can begin improving your money management skills.

Inspired by this method, we have come up with 6-steps that you can follow to help you get started in revolutionizing your financial habits.

  1. Spend as usual for the next 7 days. This is very important. Do not try to change your habits just yet. If you do, you might not be able to identify what is wrong with your current habits. Just be honest with what you want to spend on and do not rein in just yet. That will happen in good time – just not now.
  2. Write everything down. For the next 7 days, carry a small notebook around and write down every expense that you make. Do not leave anything out. You can also use an app on your smartphone if you do not want to carry around a notebook. Note every penny that you are spending on even if it seems embarrassing to record what you have just bought. This is where your honesty will kick in. Do not shield yourself from the reality of how you spend. This is how you can correct the wrong habits – if there are any.
  3. Analyze what you have spent on the 8th day. This is when you will be forced to face the reality of your spending behavior. Take careful note of what you spend in the morning, afternoon and evening. Tally the expenses that you think are necessary and those that are not. Separate the food costs, transportation and other expenses that you think can be categorized. Once you have done this, you can proceed to the next step.
  4. Discuss your expenses with someone. Sometimes, we are blinded by our wants that we tend to justify even the wrong expenses that we make. This is why it is beneficial to have someone else look at your expenses to tell you what they think is wrong with it. You can talk to a trusted friend or a mentor. Not only will this help identify the errors that you are trying to justify, it will also give you a sense of accountability. You will try to succeed because someone knows about what you are trying to do. You can even use your friend or mentor as your support system to help you through the difficult phase of changing your money management skills.
  5. See what expenses you can eliminate. Getting someone else’s opinion will give you an idea what you may be missing from your expenses. It should now be easy to identify the expenses that you can stop spending on – no matter how difficult it may be. Check out the total amount that you spend on the unnecessary expenses and you will realize just how much you are wasting each week. If you divide that by 4, you will have an idea how much you are wasting each month. Multiply that by 12 and you will see how big of an amount you waste each year. That should be an eye opener for you. Once you make this realization, it should be easier for you to identify the expenses that you can eliminate.
  6. Put the freed money to good use. Whatever expense you eliminate can be put into good use in your budget. As long as you can discipline yourself in your spending, you can be assured to have this amount in your pocket. You can either save the freed amount or you can use it to pay off your debts. The choice is yours. In an article published on, Jeanette Pavini, a savings expert from said that to be financially successful, you need to spend less and start saving more. She mentioned that it does not mean you will live miserably. She said that you simply have to put aside even a small amount – it will all add up.

Signs you are a great manager of your money

The road to improve your money management skills will not happen overnight. It will take some time so be patient about it. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on. After that, you need to promise yourself that you will not make the same mistake again.

While there are signs that you have bad financial management skills, there are signs that you are actually good at them. Here are the signs that you have improved your money management skills.

  • You can stick to your plans. FInancial management is all about discipline and self control. It is not enough that you can create a plan. What is more important is sticking to that plan and following it no matter what. If you can see that this is a habit that you have mastered, then you have improved as a manager of your own finances.
  • You do not feel stressed about your money. A survey done by the American Psychological Association and published on revealed that the leading cause of stress is money. It is something that plagues people regardless of how much they are earning. This stress is said to have a negative effect on the health and well-being of individuals. When you know how to manage your money wisely, you do not have to stress about your finances. Stress is something that you feel when you know that you do not have control over your finances. But since money management teaches you to be in full control of your money, then stress will not have any room in your life. Or at least, there will be less of it.
  • You educate yourself. Being a good money manager means you have to know how to take care of your money. That means updating yourself about how you can best manage your finances. You are not content on what you currently know. You are always seeking to update your methods to find out if there is more that you can do about it.
  • You make savings automatic. Another sign that you are good at money management is when you can make saving automatic. Some people think about what they can buy or enjoy today every time they put aside money. This practice makes saving painful. When you are a good money manager, you know how savings can improve your life. That makes saving a lot easier to handle.

You see, money management does not only help you get your personal finances under control. It has the power to improve your overall way of living. There is no way that you can lose financially as long as you can manage it well. Even if you make a mistake, it becomes easier to bounce back from it.

10 Signs That Your Financial Management Skills Suck!

man looking frustratedDo you want to know how to improve your finances? Well you and a millions of Americans are after the same goal. We all had our finances suffer when the Great Recession hit and it was devastating to watch everything that we have worked so hard to acquire go down the drain.

We all blamed debt for most of our financial suffering. We thought that if we did not have debts, none of us would have gone through so much stress the way we did. While this way of thinking is sound, you need to realize that it is incorrect. Despite the obvious destructive effects of debt, the obvious culprit in our suffering is our own financial management skills. Or at least, the lack of the right skills.

According to a study done by, the average income of Americans is $4,000 a month. Most of that goes to groceries, transportation, insurance, and housing expenses. Only 3% of the disposable income goes to savings and not even everyone can afford that. Low and mid income families usually cannot meet all the expenses so they are forced to pay for any deficit through their cards. The average is usually $58 a day. If you compute that, it amount to $1,740 a month – which is already 40% of the average income of Americans.

The way we spend our money, pay off deficit in our expenses and the little amount that we save is like a ticking time bomb. One glance and you know that there is something wrong with how we manage our money. It does not matter if you can earn more – if your financial management skill suck, then you will always be on the brink of a financial crisis.

10 reasons your money management skills will fail you

There are certain signs that will tell you if your money management skills is leading you to a disaster. You want to go through this list so you can be certain if you need to improve the way you manage your money.

Here are 10 reasons why your financial management skills put you in a compromising position.

  1. You do not have an emergency fund. Let us start with your financial security. One of the indications that you are financially secure is when you have enough money in your emergency fund. If not, then you know that you are in trouble. According to the latest Financial Security Index from, 26% of the respondents in their survey said that they do not have any emergency fund. 24% has less than 3 months covers, 17% has 3-5 months and 23% has an emergency fund that is worth 6 months and more. If you are not part of the 40% who has an emergency fund worth 3 months or more in expenses, then you need to save more to secure your finances.
  2. You fail to keep track where your money is spent. Another sign that your financial management skills are not ideal is when you do not know where your money is going. Some people blindly pay their bills and daily expenses without really checking if they are able to pay off the priority. Even if you do not end up with a deficit each month, you need to track where your money is being spent. That is how you ensure that it is funding the expenses that matter to you.
  3. You have no idea how much you owe. As scary as this may sound, there are people who have no idea how much debt they have. This is dangerous because in most cases, they realize too late that their debts have grown into an amount that they cannot afford to pay back. Do not let it reach this point and just start monitoring all your credit accounts.
  4. You have a problem differentiating a want from a need. An important skill that you need to learn in financial management, that is admittedly quite tricky, is to distinguish the want from the need. The problem is, we try to justify the wants as a need. But here’s the thing. We want a big house but all we really need is a safe and comfortable home. We want designer jeans and dresses but all we really need are decent clothes. Learn how to prefer the essentials.
  5. You cannot say no. We’ve written an article that discusses how saying no can save you from a financial crisis. There is so much truth to this that  you need to really learn how to say no. That means saying to to your friends, family and even yourself. Helping is good but make sure you are not giving them the easy way out. They have to learn from their mistakes and instead of giving them the quick relief, guide them as they go through the painful process of saying no. In the end, you are not only helping them, you are also protecting your finances from being compromised.
  6. Your expenses are bigger than your income. If your expenses are bigger than your income, then you know that your financial management skills need improvement. Try to lower your expenses by cutting back on those that are not necessary. Live within your means because any purchase in excess of your income is done through credit.
  7. You always spend using your credit cards. Now that we have mentioned credit, let us discuss credit cards. It is not bad to use them but you have to learn how to use them properly so you do not end up in debt. Make sure that when you use it, you have the cash on hand to allow you to pay for it in full at the end of the month.
  8. You only pay the minimum requirement. In connection with the last, if your credit card payments are only based on the minimum requirement, you should know that it is also a sign of bad financial management skills. This payment method will keep you in debt for a very long time. So pay more than the minimum and if you cannot do that, then stop using your credit cards for the meantime until you have paid off your balance.
  9. You compare what you have with others. Another bad habit that could lead to your financial disaster is always comparing what you have with others. Their life is not the same as yours. It may be true that you have the same position and earn the same amount of money but you financial obligations might be different. You see them sporting new cars but that may be because they already have investments in place to help them afford it. Just focus on what you need and not what your neighbors have.
  10. You are not paying attention to your credit report. Lastly, not checking on your credit report is a big mistake for a lot of people. Some have gone through life with no debt or have made wise financial decisions but since they failed to check their credit report, they did not see that they were victims of identity theft. Unknowingly, someone got your details and borrowed huge sums of money under your name. If you fail to spot that in time, you could end up paying for all of that yourself.

5 steps to improve how you manage your finances

If you are guilty of any of these signs, then it is a must that you work on your financial management skills. In case there is a need to improve your habits, here are 5 things that you can do.

  • Improve your financial literacy. First of all, you have to be able to identify the mistakes before you make them. This can only be done if you are aware of what is right and wrong. Improve your financial literacy by reading about personal finances. You can start by visiting – especially the part about managing your money.
  • Set up financial goals. Once you have educated yourself, set financial goals that will lead you towards a more prosperous financial standing. It can be as simple as growing your money up to $X amount or buying your own home.
  • Create a budget. When you have your goals, you can work on a budget that you will follow each month. This budget plan will not only help you practice financial management, it will also help you setup your finances so you can reach your financial goals.
  • Identify the habits that are sinking your finances. Obviously, you need to stop those bad spending habits in order for you to keep a tight lid on debt. Other habits that you may want to correct includes failing to check your credit report, not saving enough for retirement, etc.
  • Stop acquiring debt and pay off existing credit. Lastly, you want to make sure that any debt that you have will be paid off and you will also stop acquiring unnecessary debt. This will help maximize what limited resources you have each month.

Here is a video from HowCast that teaches how you can avoid credit card debt.

5 Conventional Ideas About Money Management You Might Want To Forget

stressed old manThere are a number of ideas about money management that you may have been taught over the years – either by your parents, a teacher or books you read. Of course, some of these are still true. For example, Ben Franklin’s old adage about, “a penny saved is a penny earned” is still true although it might be updated to something along the lines of, “$10 saved is $10 earned” as pennies just don’t seem to be as important today as they were in Ben’s days. But there are some long-time beliefs about good money management that are no longer valid because the financial landscape here in the US has changed so much.

As an example of this, the average interest-bearing checking account today offers 104% more interest income than the typical savings account. So “a penny saved is a penny earned” might better be stated, as “a penny put in a checking account is a penny earned.” In addition, there are other long-held beliefs about money that are no longer true and here are four of them.

1. Depreciation makes it better to buy a used vehicle than a new one

It has long been said that it’s better to buy a used car or truck than a new one because of depreciation. The old adage is that once you drive that vehicle off the dealer’s lot, it drops thousands of dollars in value. However, there is data shwoing that the average new car loan charges approximately 15% less interest than the average loan for a used car. Plus, this same data shows that if you plan to keep that car or truck for just three years, you’d be better of leasing. To put this another way, it’s best to begin your car shopping process with an open mind and to do a lot of comparison-shopping so that you will know exactly how to proceed.

2. It’s better to borrow from a bank

This also is no longer true. While banks used to be a prime source for vehicle loans – whether for a new or used car or truck – credit unions today are a better source. While these institutions used to limit their membership to certain people such as employees of a particular company or members of a certain union, many of them are now open to the public. They generally offer vehicle loan rates that are 40% lower than national banks. And those small local banks usually charge 30% higher rates than the national banks.

3. FHA loans are the best choiceStreet of residential houses

While loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) used to be the best choice for many homebuyers, this is not necessarily the case today. If you have a really good credit score and a high down payment, you’ll save more with private mortgage insurance versus an FHA loan.

4. Small businesses should have business credit cards and business checking accounts.

Just a few years ago, it made the most sense for a small business owner to get business credit cards and a business checking account. However, unlike consumer credit cards business credit cards are not protected by the CARD Act (the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009). This means that the companies that issue business credit cards can raise their rates on existing balances just about whatever they want. In addition, business checking accounts are no longer really very competitive. They may have more features but they also charge 20% higher fees than standard checking accounts and offer 84% lower interest rates on the average then consumer accounts.

5. You don’t need to teach your teens about personal finances

Teenagers didn’t used to have a lot of spendable income. Most existed on allowances or small allowances supplemented by whatever they could earn in part-time jobs. Today, however, teenagers are big-time consumers. In fact they spent nearly $91 billion just in 2011 alone. Unfortunately, very few of them are not saving for college or for any other long-term goal, nor do they understand basic financial terms. For example, in one survey more than 75% of 16- to 18-year olds said they were financially savvy but only 20% knew what a 401(k) plan was and a mere 32% understood credit card interest and fees and how they work.

Since only four states require require high school students to take a course on personal finance, this burden falls on their parents. As you might guess, this comes with its own issues, as the whole subject of personal finances tends to make kids’ eyes glaze over. Plus, many parents are uncomfortable sharing information about the family’s finances or don’t know how to effectively communicate about money in ways that their children will understand. If you’re the parent of a typical teenager you probably hear a lot of, “why can’t I have that (fill in the blank).” It can be tough to respond to this question in a way that not only stops the child’s nagging but also makes for a lesson about your money values. In fact this is much harder than just saying, “no.”

Share the reason

The best way to handle this is to try to let your teenager know your reasoning for why you won’t allow that purchase. This can go a long way towards determining their values about money even if you simply say that the item is too expensive or that all of you in the family don’t buy anything just when you want it. Your teenager might not like either of these answers but he or she will eventually begin to appreciate that you at least explain why you are making the choice that you did.

Have an allowance

Also, if you don’t give your teenager an allowance you should. This can be a very good tool for teaching money values to your kids. If you introduce the allowance as a sort of paycheck and make them responsible for purchasing things on their own as well as saving for long-term goals, this can help establish good money management fundamentals. And while you might not want to use that bedtime story to discuss Roth IRAs, you could turn some of life’s little moments into teaching opportunities. For example, the next time your teenage daughter asks for a new pair of shorts you might turn this into a short discussion of budgeting and of deferring today’s wants in order to achieve a longer-term goal such as a new pair of Uggs. This is another reason why giving a teenager an allowance makes good sense because it forces him or her to make decisions.

We know of some parents who deposit money into their child’s savings accounts every month, which the child can then access via a debit card. Most teenagers learn very quickly that when the balance in that savings account falls to zero, they’re through for the month. These parents tell us that this eliminates much of the arguments over money because when the child runs out of money he or she knows it’s because of the way they managed it. Most learn how to do a better job of managing their money after just a few months and these are lessons that can help them throughout their lives.

Don’t bail them out

Finally, if your teenager runs out of money, don’t bail him or her out. This is tough but is one of the most important lessons you can teach your children. If your teen becomes overextended on credit – despite your best efforts, you need to take a firm stand. Let him or her experience the consequences of having made bad financial decisions. It’s much better to help your child take responsibility for the $500 debt now then a $5,000 debt later in life.

3 Simple Truths To Find Financial Happiness

stack of moneyWhat does financial happiness mean?

Happiness is the key to living a full life. Everything about us is all about striving for this emotion. Our every decisions are usually influenced by the things and events that we know will make us happy. But how does this relate to our finances?

In this day and age, our finances is one of the measurements of our success. There are so many things in our life that can be affected by our current financial condition. When we have credit obligations, we want to achieve debt relief to live a happier life. When we do not have enough money to finance all our expenses, we feel stressed. Our pursuit for a higher income is all because we want to be happy with your financial situation.

Why finding happiness in your personal finances is important

Here are some of the reasons why we encourage you to seek out happiness with your money.

  • Money is a measurement of your success. Like it or not, we live in a materialistic world that is ruled by consumerism. You need to have a certain level of possessions to achieve happiness.

  • Money gives you confidence. There is something about being wealthy that makes you feel confident- especially when you know that you worked hard for it.

  • Money removes the stress from your life. A benefit of being confident is it removes the money stress. You know that you will not fall short in financing your needs and that is important in finding happiness.

  • Money helps you control your future. As a tool, your money will allow you to pursue life goals like a comfortable retirement, proper education and decent living conditions.

It is important to know that financial happiness is actually a state of mind. When you perceive money as a tool that can allow you to reach life goals, then you will know just what it takes to be happy about it. Do not let money dictate how you should be happy. Instead, use it to drive yourself towards the things that you know will make you happy. Remember that you become happy based on the parameters that you have set in your mind.

The truth is, money can buy you happiness but only at a certain extent. An ABC News article mentions that people are made happy by money but only until they are able to provide for their basic needs. But beyond that, any money that you earn will not have a significant contribution to your happiness. In the same way, AARP showed in their infographic that your income matters but it will not guarantee happiness. It is only a resource that you use but when you apply it to the wrong areas in your life, it will not breed you the happiness that you seek.

Although money is evidently not the end all and be all of your life’s happiness, you need to recognize that financial happiness is connected to it. You have to remember that you need to achieve a certain level of finances to be happy. And when you do, that is when you can use it to give your life more joy and contentment.

How to be happy with your financial situation

Being happy with your personal finances is easier than you think. Some people have all the signs of this happiness but they are unable to feel it because they are looking at the wrong things. There are certain qualities that we focus on because we think that it will bring us happiness when in fact, these are not the causes of our distress.

Here are the three truths that you need to know to feel financial happiness.

It’s not about the debt, it’s about money management.

We all look at debt in a very bad way and we have enough reason to do so. With the debt devastation that we felt during the recession, it is enough for us to want to fear this financial situation. But here’s the truth: debt is not the problem. There are people who are in debt but they are perfectly happy with their finances. You know why? Because they know how to manage it. When you realise this truth, you will not be afraid to use debt to propel your finances to greater heights.

You can have loads of debt but if you know money management, you will find happiness regardless of how much you owe. An infographic released by revealed that people who feel that they are in control are bound to be 2.5x happier. According to the infographic, this control is usually linked to having a high income, education, healthy life and absence of a major life event. The last one probably refers to a negative event in a person’s life.

When you practice money management, that is one way for you to maintain control over your finances. Even if you put yourself through debt, if you know how to manage your money, you can keep that debt from ruining your life and staining your financial happiness.

It’s not about earning more, it’s about personal fulfillment.

We’ve mentioned previously that having a higher income can help make you happy about your finances but you need to realize that it is not the amount. It is the control that it gives you over your money. That being said, you should know that your happiness is not entirely reliant on how much you are taking home every month. It is more on how you feel fulfilled about your work in general.

Notice how some people have so much income but they are not really content? They work day and night trying to increase their income but they still go home unhappy. That is because they are focused on the money – and not how they earned it. An article published on last March 2013, it is revealed that when you find meaning in your daily work, that makes you happy. When you know that your work has a purpose, you will feel more satisfied with your money – regardless of how much you are earning. That satisfaction breeds financial happiness.

It’s not about your net worth, it’s about security.

Lastly, we need to break free of our obsession with growing our net worth. It is true that being rich is a good achievement but it is not a prerequisite to happiness. You have to realize that we need to be secure to make happiness more of a reality in our lives.

When you are focused on increasing your net worth, you sometimes get to obsess about the wrong things. You monitor the money and you tend to tire yourself out trying to reach a higher level of personal wealth. That pursuit can be tiring. What you have to concentrate on instead is to build up your financial security. This includes building up your emergency fund and making sure that your future (e.g. retirement) is taken cared of financially.

An article published in discussed the different emotional traps that makes a lot of Americans miserable. Guess what the first trap is? Uncertainty. Being uncertain gives you a feeling of helplessness that is a contradiction with the control that fuels your financial happiness. When people are uncertain, the stress level goes up and we all know what happens when stress enters the picture.

You need to deal with this uncertainty by strengthening your financial security. That is how you increase your happiness meter.

Avoid Bankruptcy: Lessons You Can Learn From Athletes

bankrupt definitionWhile there are many hidden dangers in filing for bankruptcy, there are cases when it is necessary. We cannot say that it is not an effective debt solution. It is – but only for those who are in a real financial crisis and does not have the means to improve their situation anytime soon.

But that also does not mean you cannot avoid it. There are a lot of things that you can do to avoid bankruptcy. There are debt relief options that can serve as better solutions to your credit problems. Not only that, you can implement certain personal finance habits that will keep you from making the mistakes that will lead to bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy statistics in the US

The released the latest statistics about the bankruptcy situation in the US. Apparently, a lot of people are still filing but there are more people who are able to avoid bankruptcy. The statistics show that:

  • In 2013, the bankruptcy filings decreased 14% to 1.17 million, from 1.36 million in 2012.

  • Bankruptcy terminations also decreased from 1.38 million in 2012 down to 1.24 in 2013.

  • Pending bankruptcies are down by 4% to 1.57 in 2013 – from 1.64 in 2012.

Although the figures are obviously improving, it is still a significant amount. The Department of Justice also tracked how the bankruptcy filing rose from 110,000 in 1960s to 1.6 million in 2003. This was before the recession in 2008. According to statistics compiledby the, only one third of all filings are discharged successfully in Chapter 13.

On the same site, an article titled “Wrestling with Bankruptcy” is mentioned to reveal that the filings are now greater than double of the filings that happened during the Great Depression. This growth is comparing a year to a decade of that notorious recession.

The website also showed that the people who were unable to avoid bankruptcy blamed credit card debt (63%), mismanagement (50%), job loss/pay cuts (37%) and medical bills (28%). The most alarming part of this information is that 50% blamed mismanagement. It seems that it does not really matter how much you are earning. If you cannot manage your money well, you will really be in trouble.

A perfect example that you may want to look into are professional athletes. They earn millions of dollars every year and that does not even include their endorsements. But despite that, a lot of them are going broke.

3 reasons why professional athletes are going broke

It pays to take a look at the financial plight of our professional athletes to help you avoid bankruptcy. If we can identify why they ended up in financial ruin, then we may be able to keep ourselves from making the mistakes that they did.

It’s like winning the lottery!

One of the most prominent reason for bankruptcy, as mentioned in the statistic is mismanagement. A lot of the athletes who are famous did not come from prominent families. They were not born out of millionaire parents. In fact, a lot of them chose to drop out of a complete education to pursue a professional career in sports because they found more financial promise in playing.

So when they started earning millions of dollars, guess what they felt like? They felt like they won the lottery! And we all know how that ends out. A lot of lottery winners failed to make their money last. According to, 44% of lottery winners take only 5 years to spend their winnings.

Athletes spend most of their income on new homes, luxury cars and a very affluent way of living. Most of them who failed to avoid bankruptcy were those who did not practice smart spending. In the end, the reckless spending cut too deep into their earnings and most of it went to unnecessary expenses and a lot of junk.

Everyone becomes your friend.

While being blessed encourages us to bless others too, you need to keep it in moderation. It is okay to help family and friends but not to the point that they become dependent on what you give them. If you want to give them something, it has to be a one time gift that will help them generate continuous income for themselves.

Some athletes have said that they have had a lot of people coming to them asking for financial help. In one interview, Shaquille O’Neal mentioned how he had to steel his heart to say no to some of the requests that come his way. He had to do it to protect his and his family financial future.

Ignorance is not bliss.

Lastly, the mismanagement was brought about by professional athletes’ inability to implement proper financial habits. This is simply caused by the lack of knowledge on what to do. Remember that a lot of these athletes failed to complete their studies because they chose to pursue a professional life immediately. The chances of even the college graduates having adequate knowledge on personal financial management is also slim.

Most of them had to rely on financial managers who may be more concerned about their commission than the welfare of their clients.

If you want to make sure that you will avoid bankruptcy, you need to ensure that you will educate yourself about the right way to handle your money. This is easier than before simply because of the presence of the Internet. You can simply Google financial management articles and you can find useful information that can help you make smarter choices about your money.

3 sports principles you can use to stay away from bankruptcy

While looking at the plight of bankrupt athletes will help us avoid the same situation, there are also three principles that you can learn from the whole industry in general. These help athletes win in their sport and it can also help you triumph over your financial difficulties.

Know the game

The first principle is knowing the game. You need to understand what you are doing to be able to make smart choices about your money. Just like an athlete learns the rules and techniques to help them win the game, you need to do the same for your finances. In the end, financial problems can be avoided if you only know the consequences of your actions. And more than that, knowledge will assist you in finding a solution to your problems.

Practice self-control and discipline

Sports is all about self control and discipline. Before a big game, athletes spend months training and following a healthy regimen to ensure success. You need to get your spending under control too if you want to keep yourself from the mistakes that will lead to your financial demise. Practice control by making a “to-buy” list before a shopping errand. You can also discipline yourself by sticking to paying in cash than credit cards.

Always have a plan

The final principle that you need to learn is to always have a plan. An athlete’s training is very organized and under a strict plan. From their diet to their schedules – all of these are meant to keep them from failing. Your finances will need a lot of plans too. You can start with a budget plan that will ensure that all your priority expenses are paid for. A spending plan is also helpful in keeping you from buying things that you do not need. Other plans for your financial goals will also prove to be helpful. For instance, your retirement plan will ensure that you will have enough money when you retire. All of your goals will have a better chance at being met if you take time to plan it.

To avoid bankruptcy, you really need to be always on the lookout. Make sure that you will not put yourself in a financially compromising position that will force you to declare to the world that you failed in your finances.

Here is a video from National Debt Relief that hopes to enlighten you about whether or not you should file for bankruptcy.

Learn All About Personal Finances From … A Board Game?

monopolymanYou’ve probably played Monopoly®, either as a kid or with your children. It’s been a popular board game for more than 110 years. Elizabeth Maggie is credited for having created the game in 1904. However, it was probably in existence as early as 1902.

A little known fact about Monopoly

One of the interesting facts about Monopoly is that every street on its board actually exists (or did exist) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We say “or did exist” because a few of them have been swallowed up by hotel casinos. One enterprising person created a video consisting of photographs of all the remaining Monopoly streets in Atlantic City.

Learn personal finance from a board game?

You’ve probably never thought of it this way but you can actually learn a lot about personal finances from this game.

First, there is a banker/auctioneer. He or she handles the money and doles it out just as do bankers in real life. The banker handles auctions, again just as a bank would in real life. The banker holds title deeds, pays out salaries and bonuses, sells houses and hotels to the players and when required loans money on mortgages. He or she collects all fines, taxes, loans and interest. In other words, the banker is very powerful just as bankers are in real life.

It’s the same objective

Second, the object of the game is the same as what most people want in life, which is to become wealthy. And the way you do it is by making smart investments. What Monopoly teaches is that it’s important to buy the right properties and in everyday life it’s important to make good investments. Another lesson to be learned from Monopoly is that it’s best to diversify or to buy properties that have different values. You shouldn’t buy only the most expensive Monopoly properties such as Boardwalk or Park Place as this would limit your ability to collect rents and ultimately to buy houses and hotels. In real life, you shouldn’t invest only in high-yield bonds or a few mutual funds as this could limit your ability to have a variety of different investments to protect yourself from economic down turns.

Luck  plays a part in both

While it may not be good to admit this, luck plays a part in Monopoly and in out lives. The dice determine where your piece lands on the board, which governs the properties you can buy. And luck plays a certain part in our lives. People who are born to wealthy parents stand a better chance of being successful than people who are born in poverty. There is even a certain amount of luck involved in when you were born. People who came of age in what’s called the “post war economy” of 1945-1970 found it much easier to get jobs and start their careers because our economy was expanding and there were fewer people competing for jobs.

“Smarts” are important

In Monopoly it’s important to play “smart.” The game’s primary objective is to get monopolies or to own all the properties in a set (all properties of the same color). When you play Monopoly you have a finite amount of money. You have to make good decisions as to which properties to buy and which to pass on. For example, if you were to land on an inexpensive property such as St. Charles Place you need to decide whether it would be a good investment or you should wait and hope to land on a better one like Marvin Gardens or New York. In real life, you’re often faced with the same type of decisions. For example, if you decide to invest in real estate, should you buy a cheap property and hope to do a “fix and flip” or wait until you can afford something better where you could get a higher return on your investment.

Spend your money wiselystack of cash

In Monopoly if you go on a buying spree early in the game, you may quickly learn that this could be a big problem later on if you land on a property you need for a Monopoly but don’t have the money to buy it. The lesson to be learned here is to keep a cash reserve to tide you over in the event of an emergency or if you suddenly discover a great investment opportunity.

Random elements

What happens in Monopoly if you land on Community Chest or Chance? It will be a random thing that can be either something good or something bad – just like life is full of random events. If it’s bad, it’s probably going to cost you money. The lesson this teaches is that again, it’s important to have an emergency fund in the event something bad happens to you. In Monopoly if you run out of money you’re out of the game. Running out of money in real life won’t necessarily kick you out of the “game of life,” but could force you into bankruptcy, which would have very bad financial consequences.

Spending your salary

In Monopoly every time you are fortunate enough to pass Go, you earn a salary of $200. You then get to decide how you will spend the money. You could use it to buy a house or you might decide to save it. In Monopoly you will soon learn it’s not good to squander your salary on cheap properties or by putting houses on properties that don’t generate much rent. After you’ve played the game several times, you will know how to better manage your money. The same can be true in real life as it nay take you a few years and some hard knocks to learn to be a good money manager

That dreaded income tax

If you land on the Monopoly square labeled Income Tax, you can either estimate your tax at $200 or pay 10% of your total worth. And you must make that choice before you add up your total worth. Of course, today the idea of paying $200 in income taxes is pretty laughable. But if you don’t have enough cash to pay the $200 or 10% of your total worth, you may be forced out of the game. The lesson here is to remember that when April rolls around you may be required to pay income taxes and if you don’t have the cash available, you could end up in big trouble. In fact, the IRS might put lien on your house or garnish your salary.

Half their value

If you get in dire straits in Monopoly, you can sell your houses and hotels back to the banker but at just 50% of their value. You can also mortgage properties but again for far less than what you paid for them. The lesson to be learned here is to never sell your home or an investment property under emergency conditions, as you’re likely to get much less than it’s worth.

The perils of bankruptcyman with a lot of worries

If you reach a point where you cannot pay the bank or another player what you owe, you are bankrupt. In the event you owe another player, you must turn over all your properties of value to that person and leave the game. If you own hotels or houses, you must give them to the bank. In return for this you will get 50% of their value in cash that you must turn over to that other player. In the event that you owe the bank, you must turn over all of your assets to the banker who will immediately sell everything by auction except for buildings. As you can see, if you become bankrupt in Monopoly, you will be finished. While it’s not quite as bad in real life, a bankruptcy will have some very serious consequences on your finances. For example, it will stay in your credit reports for at least seven years. It will also stay in your public record for the rest of your life. In a worst-case scenario you could miss out on a great job 10 years from now when your prospective employer see that you had a bankruptcy and decides to not hire you for this reason. In addition, a bankruptcy will make it very difficult for you to get new credit for two to three years and when you are able to get credit it will cost you money because it will have a very high interest rate.

Interesting Debt Quotes That Teaches You A Lot About Money Management

stack of cashQuotes from famous and successful people have a motivating effect that no financial management theory can provide. Debt quotes, specifically, teach us a lot about credit from people who know what they are talking about simply because they have been there themselves. This is probably why a lot of people research quotes and post them somewhere visible to help them get through tough times.

Learning about personal finance management is both easy and hard. There are two phases in your quest to learn how to manage your money wisely. The first involves the theories that will help you understand the principles behind proper financial management. This is usually the easy part. You just have to possess an open mind to accept what the theories are teaching you.

The second part is hard. It is the application of the theories that you just learned. This is where a lot of people struggle the most. You may have the best education about personal finance but if you fail to make the connection and apply it properly, then all will be lost. The reason why people find it hard to connect it because they cannot relate to its effectiveness. They feel that the theories are difficult to apply and they oftentimes lose the determination that it takes to completely solve their financial troubles.

This is where, personal finance or specifically debt quotes come into play. By hearing actual people say what they think or feel is the solution to debt or other financial situation, the principles and theories become more relatable and thus more sensible to apply.

Satirical quotes about debt

Earl Wilson, a columnist and author divided the American population into three types of consumers. He said, “Today, there are three kinds of people: the haves, the have-nots, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-haves.” It simply indicates that if your possessions are all purchased on credit and you have not yet paid them off, you are not really as affluent as you think you are.

Of all the personal finance quotes that can be found on the web, this article will be focusing on debt quotes. There is no financial issue that is more prominent today than debt. If you want to cure compulsive buying habits, the underlying reason for that is to avoid debt. If you want to save more, the reason is to build up your emergency fund so you get to prepare for unexpected expenses that would have put you in debt. In the end, proper financial habits are meant not just to make your life convenient, it is also meant to keep you out of debt.

Since curing financial habits is tough, we have compiled some satirical debt quotes that might help you realize just how silly being in debt really is. Sometimes, we need to poke fun at ourselves to make us realize that in most cases, taking on credit is not the best course to take to satisfy our financial needs. The irony and sarcasm will hopefully bring some light to your otherwise desperate situation.

Mad Magazine: The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.

Did you know that the American Dream is now referred to as the American Debt? Sad to say, the world perceives us as a nation that cannot reach their goals with our own resources. We always have to borrow money to afford certain transactions. Do we really want that type of reputation?

Bob Hope: A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.

This really explains the requirements of lenders perfectly. When you apply for a loan, one of the things that lenders will be looking for is your ability to pay it back – with interest. If you think about it, you will end up spending more on the purchase because of the interest. You get the same product – only with debt, you get to possess it earlier. But in truth, you can afford the purchase – you just have to wait until you have saved up enough money for it.

Doug Larson: People are living longer than ever before, a phenomenon undoubtedly made unnecessary by the 30-year mortgage.

Although this is meant to be funny, it is poking fun at the plight of baby boomers. Based on a study released by Securian back in April 2013 titled “Retirement time bomb: Mortgage debt,” 67% of pre-retirees are expecting to carry debt over in retirement. 59% of pre-retirees are sure that they will carry mortgage debt. This is the reason why a lot of them are postponing retirement and some even choosing to work until they drop.

These debt quotes should give you an idea about the credit situation in the country. The amount is still high but the good news is, people seem to be wising up with their credit. For instance, credit card debt is declining and so is the mortgage loans. However, student loans and auto loans are growing and their growth is enough to increase the overall consumer credit of Americans.

Credit quotes from Benjamin Franklin

Let us explore three insightful debt quotes from Benjamin Franklin – one of the Founding Fathers of our country. It should give you a fresh new insight on what it means to be in debt and possibly, the motivation to help you get out of it.

Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it. This simply implies that debt, for all intents and purposes, really enslaves you. The fact that it limits your finances and binds your budget is enough proof that it can own you. When you buy unnecessary things, you are not owning them, you are being owned by the credit that you used to purchase them.

Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt. Literally, it is hard to agree because if your kids are hungry, it is difficult to forego debt if it is the only way to feed them. However, Benjamin Franklin probably refers to extreme cutbacks on your spending when he made this statement. It is more acceptable to just live frugally and minimally if that means you get to be debt free.

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor. This is a great debt quote that will help you avoid extravagance. If you think about it, contentment will keep you from trying to have what your neighbors have. It allows you to focus only on what you really need – and not what society expects you to possess. Even if you have a lot of money, if you are not content, you will always aim to have more – and that spending lifestyle can really ruin your finances.

Financial planning to help cure debt

If you are really burdened with so much debt, we strongly advise that you try to put some order into your financial life. This can only be done if you come up with a financial plan that will help you organize your money. The released a study about the Financial Planning Profiles of American Households in 2013 and it showed that consumers are divided into 4 categories:

  • Comprehensive planners. They make up 19% of the group of respondents. These are the households that go beyond the budget and plan for savings and insurance too.

  • Basic planners. This is the biggest percentage with 38%. It reveals that most Americans have the basic financial goals for retirement and college education but it is not as comprehensive as the first group. Some claim to have a budget in mind but it is not really written down.

  • Limited planners. This comprises 33% of the group. This includes consumers who have only a budget or saving goal. Usually, it is not both.

  • Non-planners. Surprisingly, after everything that we went through financially, there are still 10% who do not have any plan at all. They still live the same way – keeping their finances disorganized.

This statistic is a wake up call for most of us. Regardless of what theories you learn, the application is very important in your quest to fix your finances. You may read all the debt quotes available out there but if you fail to implement your learnings, it will be for nothing. And we all know that you cannot implement if you do not have a plan. So you better start working on your financial plans while it is not yet too late for you.

Here is a video from National Debt Relief about how to get out of debt.

Men Are Better With Money Than Women – Or Are They?

If you ever read the book, “Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” you know there are some significant differences between men and women. But did you know this also holds true when it comes to men and women and money? There are some very substantial differences between the way men and women think about money, how they see money and how they spend money. And this isn’t just our opinion either. There has been a substantial amount of research done that supports these differences. Some are commonsense differences like it doesn’t take much research to determine that women spend more money on clothes then men and that man tend to eat more. But there are other differences that are not quite so obvious.

Men and women handle money differently

It can’t be argued that men and women are different in many ways. And one of them is how they think about money.

One of the ways that women think differently is that for them money is about a lifestyle; while for us guys it’s more about winning and losing. This is a key difference.

Women want to know what to expect. They will monitor their investment returns and need to know how they can achieve their goals. On the other hand, men tend to take a more casual approach and shoot from the hip. In fact, women tend to become better at managing money once they have the necessary financial tools in hand.

As a general rule men feel more confident towards their finances and their money at the rate of 58% versus 44% for women. This could account for the fact that 28% of men who responded to a survey reported they always negotiated their salaries compared to only 19% of women.
Again this won’t come as much of a surprise but men also spend more of their money on electronics and technology at the rate of 54% to 23% for women. On the other hand, women spend more on travel – 43% compared to 33% of men.

Personal finance topics

In terms of topics about personal finances that appeal to men, a survey found they were more interested in investing (83%) and entrepreneurship (54%) while women’s preferred topics had to do with savings (79%) and living frugally (67%).

Lack of financial savvy

A retirement survey done recently by ING Direct and DailyWorth found that 78% of women don’t think they have the necessary financial savvy and are still learning to plan their retirements. In addition, one third of married women admit that they give the power for their retirement planning to their spouse or significant other. This same survey discovered that 49% of all women wish they knew more about the basics of investing such as picking the right funds or stocks and risk management. In addition, 37% of them said that they didn’t have enough time, were put off by complicated Wall Street jargon and had trouble with everyday expenses that stopped them from being savvy investors.

Men and women see money differently

There are a number of ways that men and women see money differently and here are 11 of them.

  • Men are encouraged to learn how to invest and make money grow while women are socialized to save money “just in case” something happens.
  • As a rule, women buy what they want while men buy what they need
  • While men tend to use money to keep score, women use it to take care of others
  • Men use money to prepare for the future while women use it to create a lifestyle right now
  • Men take investment risks but women are cautious about investing money
  • Women spend money on people they care about and on relationships. Men spend money on themselves
  • Men ask for what they want while women ask for what they believe they deserve
  • Men view money objectively; women view it in terms of relationships
  • Men learn how to be savvy investors while women expect other people to know more than they do
  • Women tend to gravitate towards helping professions such as teaching, which doesn’t pay very well, while men look for higher-paying jobs
  • If women have a financial hardship they want to be fair. When men have financial problems they advocate for themselves.

How men and women handle money

Studies have shown that men and women handle money much differently from one another. While this is not always the case, it is true that both sexes’ spending habits relate closely to their financial plans for the future and their lifestyles. Here are five of those major differences.

The need to eat versus the need to wear

In the same world where men spend money to eat, women spend it on clothes. In fact, many women engage in what’s called “retail therapy.” A survey recently done by eBates and TNS Global found that 64% of women agree that their mood is lightened when they shop with the emphasis on cosmetics and clothing. Conversely, men tend to focus their shopping on food, movies, music and electronics.

Being well-dressed vs. alcohol

As you might guess, alcohol is a staple of male spending. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported this. Its report suggested that a single male of drinking age will spend an average of $507 a year on alcohol. In comparison a woman will typically spend $216. On the other hand, women spent an average of $524 annually to look and feel good as opposed to $194 for men.

Giving more

The Center on Philanthropy reported in 2010 that women donated money at a much higher rate to charitable causes, than contributions made by men. Specifically, women-led households that had incomes above $100,000 annually donated almost twice as much to charities as households that were led by men.

Money and special occasions

This probably won’t come as any surprise but Valentine’s Day seems to be the big spending occasion for men. According to reports, 64% of males hand over big bucks for flowers and candy. In fact, they spend an average of $175.61, which is nearly twice the $88.78 that women spend.

From sales to retirement to being broke

Men save 28.8% more money towards their retirements than women. This is especially true in 401(k) s and it’s about the same for IRAs and other investments where men maintain balances that are 72% higher. On the other hand, women take 40% longer to make a purchase and are more likely to comparison shop for better prices than men. Interestingly enough, men either go broke or have the potential to go broke when there are no women around.

Men and women spend money differently

How do men and women spend money? Given all of this, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that men and women spend money differently. As noted above, women give more to charity and men spend more on booze. Single ladies spend more to look right and men spend the most on Valentine’s Day. As noted above, men tend to save more for retirement. Men spend a bit more on nightlife while women are more patient for online deals. And this may surprise you but women may be better at paying back loans.

Here’s an infographic that illustrates the differences.

How Men & Women Spend Money DIfferently

Who’s the best at handling money?

Historically men have been better at handling money in many cases because they did all the handling. But things are different these days. Today, women are about half of the US workforce and control 50% of the wealth. They’re getting better about handling money and many of them do even better than men. So men may be better at it today but the gap is definitely narrowing.

How To Win The Super Bowl Of Retirement Saving

Elderly coupleWhen you envision your retirement what do you see? Do you see yourself living in a house near a beach somewhere? Is it spending more time with your grandchildren? Maybe it’s a lot of golf or sharpening your photography skills. But here’s the not-so-good news. You might not be able to retire at all unless you attack retirement as if you were playing in the Super Bowl.

You need to set a goal

Every NFL teams’ goal is to win the Super Bowl. Similarly, when it comes to saving for retirement your only goal should be to save enough to live comfortably. How much will that be? Many experts say that your retirement income should equal 80% of your preretirement income. For example, if you earned $60,000 the year before you retired, you should have enough saved to generate $48,000 a year. Of course, that’s an ideal. You may not be able to do quite this good but it’s important to have a plan and a goal and to keep working to achieve it

Keep moving forward

You don’t win the Super Bowl all at once. You win it a few yards at a time with the objective of always moving the chains forward. The same is true of saving for retirement. You need to make sure that you’re putting money away every month even if it’s not in big chunks.

It takes more than just a good quarterback

Winning the Super Bowl requires more than just a good quarterback. It takes an entire team. The same is true of planning for retirement. This is true even if you’re a do-it-yourself investor. In this case, your team could be comprised of some very surprising players such as the IRS. This is because the tax code offers benefits through various retirement accounts including 401(k)s, 401(b)s and IRAs. You should then add low-cost mutual fund companies to this, free investment tracking tools and retirement calculators – to assemble a very good team at very little cost.

There is a definite time constraint

Super Bowl football games last just 60 minutes – assuming there’s no overtime. And your retirement planning should be just as finite. Do you want to retire at age 55 or 65 or do you plan on working a bit later? The important thing is to have a timeline so that you can track your progress and know what you have to do to win the retirement game.

You can’t control everything

Coaches whose teams reach the Super Bowl might want to control every aspect of the game but they know it’s not possible. The quarterback could fumble at a crucial moment, the star running back could be injured or a wide receiver could fail to make a critical catch. The same is true of saving for retirement. There are some things that just can’t be controlled. You can’t control inflation, the stock market or the tax code. The important thing is to control the things that you can control. For example, you can control how much you save, how long you work and how you allocate your assets. In other words, you need to accept those things you cannot change but do your best to change the things you can.

It’s not easy but it’s simple

When it comes right down to it football is not complicated. It’s blocking, tackling, throwing and catching. But, of course, that doesn’t make it easy. The same is true of saving for retirement. All you have to do is save 15% of your income then invest it in low-cost index funds and presto! You can retire at age 65. While that sounds simple, it’s not so easy. Just as a Super Bowl football team practices constantly, you need to practice consistently to spend less than you make, invest the difference and ride out any decreases in the market. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Consistency wins

We might all remember that 60-yard pass that resulted in a touchdown in the game’s first quarter. But whether it’s the Super Bowl or saving for retirement, it’s consistency that wins the game. This means consistency in spending modestly and making regular contributions to your retirement accounts. Consistency is the key to having a comfortable retirement in your golden years as it is to winning football games.

You need both a good offense and a good defense

Football teams don’t get to the Super Bowl unless they have both a good offense and defense. The same is true of saving for retirement. You should invest aggressively when you can but then play defense – and invest more conservatively – when times get tough.

Don’t be afraid to call an audiblebudgeting money to conquer debt

Quarterbacks often call audibles when they get to the line of scrimmage and see what the other team’s defense is doing. You need to be just as flexible. Interest rates, inflation and rates of return can be very volatile. Be sure to watch what’s happening and make adjustments accordingly.

It’s not over until it’s over

The Super Bowl isn’t over until it’s over. Teams have actually come from behind and won in the last few seconds. If you’re in your 40s or 50s and behind in your retirement savings or haven’t even started, don’t despair. You will have some hard work ahead just as would a football team that’s three points down with one minute left to play. But it’s still possible to have a decent retirement. The key is to start right now even if you can invest only a small amount of money.

If you have a problem saving money

It can take a fair amount of self-discipline to put money away every month. If you have a problem with this, there are things you could do. For example, you could have an automatic withdrawal made from every paycheck with the money then deposited into a savings or brokerage account. This can make saving easier because it’s totally passive – you don’t have to do anything. If you would like additional tips on saving money consistently, here’s a helpful video.

10 Books That Could Turn You Into A Wizard Of Money Management

Man fanning money next to earIs you’re typical your parents probably didn’t teach you much about personal finances. And the odds are neither your middle school nor your high school had classes in personal finances. We’ve always thought it was strange that schools have classes with titles such as “Dreams of Flight” but none titled “Smart Money Management 101.”

Again, if you’re typical, you’ve probably sort of stumbled around and learned some things about personal finances through trial and error. But you may still be in the dark when it comes to terms like the time value of money or loan to value ratio. You may also be totally adrift when it comes to investing and how to grow your money and become financially independent. Fortunately, there are 10 books that could teach you everything you need to know to become a true wizard of money management. They are:

1. Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

If you’ve ever heard Dave’s radio show, you know that he’s all about using common sense, avoiding purchasing anything on credit, paying cash for everything possible, getting yourself out of debt and building an emergency fund. This book is not full of lightweight promises and feel-good anecdotes but instead offers solid basic advice for every man and every woman. It includes information about using the snowball strategy for paying off debt, which Dave is credited for having invented. This has received some criticism but his methods work. In fact, if you’re having a problem with debt, there’s probably no better a `starting place than this book.

2. How To Get Out Of Debt, Stay Out Of That, And Live Prosperously – Jerrold Mundis

This book is built around the principles of Debtors Anonymous. If you’re not familiar with it, DA is a 12-step program that was created in 1971 to help those who were having a problem with compulsive debt. You won’t find purely theoretical information here from some Wall Street financial whiz kid. It contains real stories and real tips from real people. The book is 20 years old but the information it contains is timeless.

If you’re struggling with debt, here’s a video that offers several strategies for dealing with it.

3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

This book makes the point that a person who dropped out of the eighth grade but spends less than he earns is smarter than a college professor who is unable to make ends meet. Furthermore, the book goes on to say that working for a steady paycheck can get you started as a good money manager but your best investment of time and money is to buy a business or property.

4. The Millionaire Fast Lane – MJ Demarco

This author preaches that it’s a fool’s game to work hard, save 10% your income and retire at 65. He believes this because financial markets are just too volatile and you’d be using a walker by the time you actually had enough money to retire. He feels that a better policy is to utilize the unpredictability of the financial markets to make money quickly and enjoy it now.

5. Your Money Or Your Life – Vicki Robins

This book centers on the idea that if you live more frugally this will increase – rather than decrease – your quality of life. The author cites numerous examples of what you should not do such as the practice of working in a job that generates less income than what you pay for child care and “time-saving” trips to McDonald’s.

6. The Millionaire Next Door –Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

These two authors did research into US households that had a net worth of $1 million or more. They identify most of us as “Under Accumulators of Wealth” (UAW) – or people who have a low net wealth compared to their income. The book also includes advice like taking skimpy vacations to help you achieve a higher net worth compared to your income.

7. The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous & Broke – Suze Orman

Instead of providing information for people who are about to retire, this book is designed to help younger people navigate the basics of the financial world such as coping with huge student loans and a job market that is nearly as dismal for young people as the Great Depression was for everyone.

8. Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind – T. Harv Eker5 Money Principles from (Part 1)

This author believes that if you’re poor it’s because you think like a poor person. Conversely, if you’re rich it’s because you think rich. Eker also believes that people who are poor basically program their children to be poor by giving them a worldview that makes it impossible for them to accumulate wealth. However, don’t worry. According to this book if you start thinking like a tycoon you can be one, too.

9. Think And Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

This book dates back to the 1930s when the author interviewed a number of millionaires and philanthropists, including the steel tycoon, Andrew Carnegie. As a result, this book is a perennial best seller of self-development that encourages the notion that “greed is good” – so long as you are willing to share your wealth.

10. The Richest Man In Babylon – George Clason

This book is built around psuedo biblical parables about attaining wealth. It has inspired investors since the early1920s. Like many of the personal finance books that followed this one, The Richest Man In Babylon stresses saving rather than spending. It also maintains that charitable giving is just as important as getting rich so long as you don’t permit the people you help to become dependent on you.

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