ARE YOU PAYING TOO MUCH? OVER AND OVER AGAIN?

It was all my fault, and I take full responsibility. I was tired. I was lazy. I was driving by a pharmacy and remembered I had just run out of my vitamins. So I impulsively stopped to grab them. The cashier rang them up and told me the total: $12.99. I thought it seemed like more than I had been paying, but I was tired and I needed them. All the way home, my tired brain kept saying, that seems really expensive for those vitamins. As soon as I got home, I looked up the prices. WHOA, it was $4 more than where I usually buy them. Well, I need the vitamins, but 50% more just seemed more than I could bear. I tried to rationalize the purchase. I can afford it. I was tired. It is OK. But that means if I keep spending an extra $4 for vitamins over the course of a year, I would spend an extra $48 on vitamins when I really could’ve gotten them cheaper. That’s what a dinner out might cost. What if I spent an extra $4 on ten other products? $48 x 10 = $480. Now, that could be a plane ticket or two. I’d rather have a trip to Maui than paying a convenience fee of $4. Back to the store I went to return the high priced vitamins. Then I went where I regularly buy them for a much lower price. It certainly cost more to right this wrong but the moral of the story is: I have my $4 back, my dinner out, my plane tickets to Maui, and I learned my lesson (maybe you did too)!

Tax Refund? What are you going to do with it?

We have some suggestions if you want to create a feeling of financial freedom.

(1) Pay debts – Use the refund to pay debts that are from consumption or non-appreciating assets like credit card debt, student loans, car loans, medical debts, etc.

(2) Fund expected and unexpected expense saving accounts – Creating these reserves to draw from when necessary can avoid you from creating debt when life events occur.

(3) Invest it – There are so many opportunities to grow your money. We generally suggest the stock market, real estate, or businesses.

(4) Create a fun fund – If you have all your debts paid off, fully funded expected and unexpected saving accounts, and you are investing consistently a percentage of your income regularly, it is time to have some fun! You can save it up for something big or use it for some special occasions.

If your refund is large, you may want to look at adjusting your withholding or your estimated tax payments.

Above all else, always consider using your refund to improve your financial situation.

Time is money

Time Money Switch Showing Hours Are More Important Than Wealth

Do you make the most of your time? Do you have some time saving tips to share? Well, please join the free monthly Financial Freedom Classroom webinar on Thursday, February 4th at 7:30pm EST where we will share some of our tips and you can contribute yours. Let’s all make more money by saving our time!

FREE Personal Finance Course – GET IT TODAY!

The opportunity to grab a copy of Suze Orman’s Personal Finance Online Course for FREE ends TODAY!  Take control of your financial life.  Here are some of the topics she covers.

  • Overcoming your Financial Obstacles
  • Be Debt-Free
  • Retirement Rules
  • Invest for Success
  • Big Ticket Items: Buying a Car or Home
  • Making Finances a Family Affair
  • The Must Have Documents & Insurance

While we haven’t had a chance to look over the course yet, we agree with most of Suze’s opinions and are sure it is a great course.  Click here to grab your copy!

Growth does not happen overnight

Image courtesy of Feelart at freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Feelart at freedigitalphotos.net

Many clients ask, “When should I start investing?”  The answer is “Immediately”!  Investing in the stock market is a marathon not a sprint.  The earlier you invest the more you will have when you need it.

It is difficult for teens to consider investing in the stock market but investing early can produce HUGE dividends.  If an 18 year old were to invest $5,000 in a mutual fund that earns an average of 8% annually and invests $100 monthly they will accumulate $1,255,081 on their 70th birthday.  Pretty great birthday present, wouldn’t you say?

If you decide to take your birthday present just 10 years earlier, you will be giving up a lot!  If you stop investing when you are 60 years old and you end up with a mere $557,146.  So when should you start investing?

Grab an investment calculator and run the numbers.  We challenge you to speak with your children about investing and how they can incorporate it into their life.  Please comment below about your experience.

Investing is for everyone

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

How do you teach your children or even yourself to be financially prepared for life?  Can you count on social security or pensions to carry you through your golden years?  Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball to see into the future, but historically speaking there have only been decreases in the amount of support from these sources.  So how do you ensure a secure financial future?  Make your money work for you by investing.

It does not matter if it is individual stocks, mutual funds, options, REITs, ETFs, IRA, ROTH, 401k, TSP, etc.  Each person should have a portion of their portfolio invested in the stock market and discover the amazing effects of compound interest.  At today’s interest rates at the bank with money markets hovering at 1%, it is an impossibility to get your money to grow.

If you aren’t investing yet, get curious, start learning about the stock market, and teach your children to ensure both your futures.  Of course, make sure you are debt free except for your home loan before you start investing.  Then learn all you can and reap the rewards!

Click like if you are currently investing in the stock market.

Lots of money can be made when you buy

Image courtesy of phanlop88 from freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of phanlop88 from freedigitalphotos.net

It sounds like an oxymoron, but you can make money when you buy real estate.  In your search for a killer deal find a realtor who has experience working with investors.  It can be difficult for a lot of realtors to work with the unemotional investor if they are used to the typical anxious seller or the buyer who falls in love with every house they see.

One of the best realtors to know is the real estate owned (REO) realtors in your target area.  These are the realtors that manage the bank owned properties.  Find them as can make a big difference in your bottom line from the moment you say “BUY”!

Anyone experience making money when you buy?  Please comment.

Where are your eggs? Asset Allocation Webinar

Just in case you missed it, here is a copy of our webinar from Thursday, January 15, 2015, “Where are your eggs?  Asset Allocation”.

Join us this coming Thursday at 7:30pm EST on January 22, 2015 for a very informative webinar entitled “Taxes; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” with our friend Kim Landry, CPA!  If you have tax questions you would like answered, please send them in to questions@financialfreedomclassroom.com and we will do our best to include them.

If you haven’t already, sign up to get an invite to the webinars on our website.  We hope you can join us!

 

Are you interested in becoming a Landlord?

Just in case you missed it, here is a copy of our webinar from Thursday, January 8, 2015, “Are you interested in becoming a Landlord?” Join us this coming Thursday at 7:30pm EST on January 15, 2015 for an exciting webinar on ASSET ALLOCATION!  Just sign up to get an invite to the webinars on our website.  We hope you can join us!