Unique Bits of Financial Brilliance

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Financial wisdom is not intrinsic to the mind, its learned. Most people who are brilliant with their finances received at least some third-party guidance. Maybe they absorbed the knowledge from a parent or grandparent. Or perhaps they pursued it on their own by reading personal finance books, blogs.

Stop buying stuff you do not need! Purchases of a few hundred dollars add up quickly to thousands of dollars. On top of that, if you carry a balance on your credit card, you will pay on average 12% to 14% interest. These rates can skyrocket quickly if you are late on even one payment. In addition, you may become subject to late fees and penalties. All this to get something that isnt even used or enjoyed. No thank you! via My Super-Charged Life

Start rolling an income snowball. Most people know how theyd make money in an ideal world. The problem is that most of these ideal schemes require lots of time, planning, risk taking, etc. On the other hand, most of us have skills that we could implement tomorrow to make money independent of an employer (this could be anything from doing landscape to hiring ourselves out as a consultant). So the first step in creating an income snowball is to write a list of things you can do to make money in ascending order of difficulty and speed of implementation. via The Growing Life

Live within your means. When you spend less than you make, you are buying flexibility and freedom. You gain the ability to change jobs or move to another area of the country. You are buying the ability to say yes to the things that matter because you save on the areas that arent as important to you. via Productivity501

Debt can make you money. Its called good debt. Would you take a million dollar loan at 1% interest? I would. Id immediately put it in a few interest baring accounts that are FDIC insured (I say a few because FDIC insurance doesnt cover a whole million). At todays rates, which are historically pretty low, you can make a guaranteed 3% on that money. That means the debt naysayers would be missing out on 2% of a million dollars, $20,000 a year. via Lazy Man and Money

Money management can have many positive side effects. My husband and I both work out our finances together. Im still the budget maker and bill payer in the family, but since we make the decisions on how the money is allotted, we have to make the time to communicate, come to an agreement, and project our monthly financial plans. Were more unified in our marriage than weve ever been. via simple mom

If you dont have an emergency fund, start one now! Its better to be safe than sorry. Nobody can anticipate when the roof will have to be repaired or an appliance will need to be replaced. The idea is to try to find ways to live below your means so that you can save for retirement and other long-term goals but at the same time make it a priority to set money aside in the event an urgent need arises. via Everything Finance

Financial freedom only solves small problems. You know what really determines our happiness levels? Not money, but how optimistic we are and how often we have monogamous sex. Money cannot solve big problems, like cancer or world hunger or happiness. Money solves small problems, like, can you have a big wedding, can you go on a good trip. Small problems are what people talk about when they talk about financial freedom. via Brazen Careerist

Financial calculators are your friend. Use them! In various posts I have referenced financial calculators that I like. Im going to put them all in one post so they are easy to find for reference. As I find more, Ill add them to this list. via My Dollar Plan

There is no specific template for business success. Living a life thats not based on a template and being true to yourself may not mean paving a road in the sky like the Wright Brothers. However, if you tell everyone you want to start your own business, you will be doubted. Theyll tell you everything thats wrong with your idea and why it wont work: You have no experience. Youve never run a business before, what do you know about sales? It takes money to make money. Almost no one starting their first business knows exactly what they are doing. via Illuminated Mind

Carrying a credit card is safer than carrying cash. The maximum liability for unauthorized use of a credit card is $50 according to federal law. The Fair Credit Billing Act protects you from suffering damages due to unauthorized use of your credit card. If you report a lost or stolen card before anyone uses it, you are not responsible for any charges. If you do not report it before an unauthorized use you are liable for a maximum of $50. via The Consumerist

There are numerous ways to make money on the side. The old phrase spend less than you earn is made up of TWO factors: spending and earning. Sure you can reduce your spending by a great deal, but very few people have saved their way to wealth. They have also earned additional income and then put that money to work for them. via The Wisdom Journal

Dream big! It will motivate you to save. We know that we want to retire early, but that goal is completely intangible. If I try really hard, I can conjure up an image of me waking with a sense of freedom to simply work when the mood strikes, but that dream isnt very action-oriented. On the other hand, I can feel the wind in my hair as I dodge my husband (cackling wildly behind me) around a tree on our custom go-kart track. Now thats some good motivation to live simply and keep saving! via On Simplicity

Financial intelligence is your most lucrative financial asset. Before investing in real estate or the stock market, invest in yourself by developing your own financial intelligence. As they say, knowledge is power. via The Change Blog

Concentrate on your passions and money will follow. Making money isnt the backbone of our guiding purpose; making money is the by-product of our guiding purpose. If youre doing something you love, youre more likely to put your all into it, and that generally equates to making money. – Warren Buffett via Success Soul

Some sunken costs are worth letting go of. Persisting with bad decisions due to our irrational attachment to costs that we cannot recover has become so common that you can find them just about anywhere. Big organizations and governments excel at it. A government that insists on a war so the lives already spent are not wasted comes to mind, but I digress – via Litemind

The best things are free. Money cannot buy happiness. Youve heard the saying The best things in life are free. Do you believe it? Spending time with family and friends, laughing, enjoying the antics of a pet, seeing a child smile, experiencing intimate and heart-felt moments with a loved one – these times are precious, and free. Money brings comfort, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying that comfort. But its important to spend money on the things that matter to you and let go of spending that does not add value to your life. We spend on what we need, but we forget why we are doing what were doing, and the spending becomes a habit. via Think Simple Now

There are scores of simple ways to reduce spending. Use grocery store bags to line trash cans: This may not work if you use a massive trash can but we use a small sized one for which the grocery bags are a perfect fit. This not only helps us save some money, but reduces our environmental foot print and avoids the kitchen from stinking from a huge overflowing trash can. via Dumb Little Man

Wealth comes with wealthy thinking. Ask yourself, right now, how much you think you are worth in terms of your employment. I can almost guarantee you the figure you came to was based on your current salary. Now add a 0 onto the end of the figure you came to; how does that make you feel? If you thought there is no way I am worth that, then you are a poor thinker. via Change Your Thoughts

Be careful when lending money to friends and family. Its age old advice for a reason. The problem with lending money to loved ones is this: If you lend serious cash to someone you care about, you still expect it back right? Sometimes the people we care about expect the relationship you have with them to excuse or forgive loans that you have no intention of forgetting about especially if you cant afford to. Tempers flare, words fly like knives, and those knives sever relationships. Sometimes those wounds heal, and sometimes the damage is permanent. via In My Heels

Spending less keeps you grounded to what matters most. I like being frugal, living simply, spending less than I have to because it keeps me real. It keeps me grounded. Adds humility to my life. Its like sticking my fingers in my ears and sticking my tongue out at pretentious people who think money is all that defines a person. I dont want to be flashy and flaunty and feel the need to show what I have or make to find worth in myself. If thats how I am trying to value myself, I might as well give up now, because it makes me worthless. via Remodeling This Life

Bike to work or anywhere for that matter. I bike somewhere between one and three times a week to work. Its a nine mile ride one way. Taking in the cost of gas in our area (currently $3.85/gallon), and wear and tear on the car, I estimate I save close to $4.50 each day that I ride my bike. And this does not take into account any residual health benefits that will down the road in life make the cost of any potential health care I might need lower due to being in better physical condition. Cost savings alone should make biking at least a consideration for anyone who lives within a few mile of their work location. via The Jungle of Life

Sit on purchases for at least 24 hours. When making a large purchase, its far too easy to get caught up in the emotions of having the item, which results in bad decisions. For any large purchase like a car, TV, new furniture, laptop, etc. implement a 24 hour rule. Instead of buying the item right away, go home and wait 24 hours to see how you feel about it. Chances are youll talk yourself out it, or maybe decide to purchase something a little less expensive. via Gather Little By Little

Dont fall victim to advertising tactics. Big companies try many tricks to get us to buy goods we dont really need. For example, dont be swayed by 50% sales promotions; just because it is on sale doesnt mean its good value or that you need to buy it. Dont get excited over every 3 for the price of 2; otherwise you will just start to accumulate things you are never going to use. If you feel pressured by salesman, walk out if you really want the product you can always come back. via Pick The Brain

Untargeted capital allows for a flexible lifestyle. Some people target all their saving and investing at something in particularbuying a computer, buying a new car, putting a down payment on a house, sending the kids to college. These are all worthy goals, but the sequence of them can easily eat up all your savings for virtually your entire life. I think people who do this miss out on certain large advantages that come from having some untargeted capital. Having a little capital saves you buckets of money. It also gives you a lot of flexibility in how you live your life. via Wise Bread

You have to decide what you really want. What would you like your net worth to be? When would you like to retire? How much money do you need to finance your life goals? What investments would you like to make? Are you going to create multiple streams of income? Are you going to invest in stocks and/or bonds? Are you going to invest in real estate? Are you going to hire a financial planner? Is your goal to create enough passive income so that you dont have to work another day in your life? via Abundance Blog

Discuss money openly with your partner. Money cant buy you love, but it sure can tear it apart. And while I cant claim that my wife and I are perfect when it comes to money and relationships, I can say that weve come a long way, and we rarely ever have money disagreements anymore. It wasnt always that way, and weve had our share of fights along the way, but were in a much more solid relationship these days because we learned how to talk about money, and how to align our financial goals.

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