Compared to some of my friends, my student loans are minuscule but nonetheless, it’s debt. And in the Personal Finance world, debt is as bad of a four-letter word as most cuss words.
Like most of us in this realm, getting rid of these debts was a main focus of mine for such a long time. It was an unhealthy obsession. I used to know exactly how much more we had left to pay. I used to know exactly how much we’ve paid in interest and I used to know that if we’d pay a little extra, exactly how much quicker we could become loan-free.
Those things were pointless.
Knowing those things isn’t fun. It isn’t going to help us get out of debt any quicker if I just knew the numbers but didn’t do anything about them. I know it was annoying to my wife because I wasn’t looking at the big picture.
It wasn’t helping anything.
All what it did was make me feel helplessly stuck and make me think that it wouldn’t be possible to enjoy life as long as we had these debts.
That’s complete and utter nonsense.
So I got to thinking recently and asked myself a couple of questions:
- Would I be any happier if I was debt-free?
- Would our quality of life improve?
- What would my wife and I even do with the money that we save?
So would I be any happier if I was debt-free? That’s a difficult question because happiness is a complex concept. I used to be very money driven. I chased promotions that I didn’t even want and I stayed in an industry that I hated for way too long because “that’s where the money was at.” Literally.
My wife hit the nail on it’s head when I was thinking about being a life insurance salesman when she said that “all that I see is the money and not what I’d have to do get it.” It was true.
I don’t think that debt was my problem. My job was.
I had this mindset that these debts were forcing me to stay at my job…that if I finally got rid of these debts once and for all, that I could finally leave my job. That’s probably why I was so obsessed with our debts in the first place.
I hated our brand new cars. I hated that I got into student loan debt to get a degree that I didn’t even want anymore.
I was full of hate and it was easy to place the blame on our debts and that’s what caused this obsession.
If you asked me if I’d be happier if I was debt-free about a year ago, I would, without hesitation, say most definitely, yes.
But if you ask me that same question today, I’m not so sure because that’s not what I’m so focused on these days.
At this point, it is what it is when it comes to our debts. They’re something that we’ve dealt with for a couple of years now so it’s just something that we go through each month. We made the decision to get new cars and get a loan for them so we’re dealing with it. They aren’t making or breaking us but it would certainly be nice to have at least one car paid off but we have other things that we need to figure out first.
I’m happier than I was a year ago with all the other major aspects of my life that these debts have taken a backseat to the more important things; mainly just enjoying life and being content with all that I have.
I didn’t want to change jobs because I didn’t want to make less money.
I didn’t want to get a dog because all I could see was the dollar signs.
I didn’t want to go on vacation because it would cost money.
What’s the point of working so hard if you can’t even enjoy it?
Back to the original question at hand….would I be happier if I was debt-free?
Yes. I would be a little happier but not as happy as I already am from no longer obsessing over debt.
Onto Question #2:
Would our quality of life improve if we were debt-free?
To a certain extent, yes. But I don’t think it would be such a drastic change. We’d still live in the same place, drive the same cars, work at the same job, and live the same lifestyle.
The only difference is that we’d be saving more.
Maybe we wouldn’t feel as guilty treating ourselves to eating out after a crazy day at work? Maybe I wouldn’t feel as bad spending so much money to go on vacation to Germany to see family so we’d go more often? Maybe life could be more spontaneous since we’d have a little more wiggle room when it came to disposable income? Maybe we’d buy a vacation home?
But if you aren’t having fun while you’re in debt, you probably won’t have much fun once you’re out of debt too. You’ll probably splurge on things you don’t really need because you “deserve” them for working so hard and depriving yourself for so long, that you’ll get right back into debt.
Last question: What would we even do with the money that we save?
Most likely, we’d save it.
When I first started my blog (nearly a year ago!) I had a page that was dedicated to my “financial commandments.” They are the rules that I try to live by and the ethos of this blog. After redesigning the website a few months ago, I realized that they had gotten lost in the shuffle.
The “commandments” were the reason I decided to create my blog and the guiding principles with which I try (and sometimes fail) to live my life. (J. from Budgets Are Sexy was also kind enough to feature the on my favorite blog ever—his own!)
A lot has changed in the 8 months since I wrote them: I paid off my debt, I
learned am learning how to be kind to myself, and I’ve made somebig life changes. But somehow, the “commandments” still ring true.
So without further ado, here they are:
1. Avoid Waste
99% of humans are wasting insanely large sums of money. Don’t be one of them
2. Only spend money on things that truly make you happy.
If it doesn’t make you happy or make you a better person, don’t even bother opening your wallet.1
3. Learn what happiness actually is
…and what it isn’t.
4. AVOID ALL FINANCIAL EXTREMES.
Never sacrifice important things like your relationships or self-care in order to get ahead financially. Instead, ignore societal norms and cut out pointless expenses. Never save money to the point of misery or spend to the point of excessive. Binging and purging is unhealthy in both eating and spending.
5. Debt is evil.
Dispose of it immediately and never take out loans again.
6. You can do anything you set your mind to
…even if it is not the norm or seems hard.
7. Saving money will make you1 happier than spending ever could.
8. Life is short and fleeting.
Financial freedom is about creating a life that allows you to focus on the things and people that truly matter. Never lose sight of those things (and people) as you work towards your goals.
Minimalism isn’t deprivation, but sometimes temporarily depriving yourself creates a path toward financial freedom. That was certainly true for me: I had six figures in debt—nearly half-a-million dollars if you include my mortgage—but today I’m debt-free. Of course, it took diligent budgeting to get there:
Cut cable TV, wrote more.
Drove less, walked more.
Cut credit cards, spent cash.
Stopped eating out, cooked meals at home.
Silenced satellite radio, meditated more.
Canceled gym membership, exercised at parks.
Lived without home Internet, used public Wi-Fi.
Sold large home, rented a smaller apartment.
Canceled magazine subscriptions, borrowed from library.
Ceased upgrading, found a détente with “outdated” tech.
Refrained from purchases, better utilized possessions.
Separated needs from wants, developed a comprehensive plan.
You see, I didn’t simply go without—I replaced expenses with alternatives, which made my momentary forfeiture feel less like a sacrifice. Interestingly, once I becamedebt-free, I was able to bring some of these indulgences back into my life, doing so deliberately, discovering which ones I could afford, which ones would add value to my life, and letting go of the rest.
How to Pick a Financial Credit Card Reader for Payment Processing
The decision to accept credit card payments is often accompanied by the selection of a suitable credit card reader to process the transactions that will result. In addition to the complexities of gateway services, you will have to make that decision due to the hardware purchases and fees that will now be part of your business. Let’s break down the factors that you should give credence to when selecting a credit card reader.
Your type of business will determine your credit card reader choice to go with. Among the choices you could settle for include mobile card readers, eCommerce payment getaways, physical point-of-sale registers, or a combination of all of them. So, a critical business evaluation is necessary before choosing a payment processor for it. Always pick a credit card reader that offer the most benefits to your firm. For instance, a business that sells merchandise at exhibitions, shows, and fairs should select a card reader that attaches to a smartphone.
Get recommendations from experienced business persons who operate in the same industry that you deal with. Ask about the credit card readers they use, the challenges they encounter, and if they can refer the payment processor to other persons. Go for the credit card reader that is most prevalent in the industry, but also ensure to find out why it is popular with a majority of the merchants.
Check the fees that come with using a particular credit card reader since they have a potential to reduce your profits to a great extent. Give importance to the transaction and monthly costs since you will incur them as long as you accept credit card payments. Costly charges per transaction may not favor your business, especially if you will be swiping credit cards numerous times in a given day or month.
When processing a payment, you are bound to encounter various challenges. It is the support service in place by a credit card reader that will ensure that you sort out such issues as fast as possible. Therefore, pick a provider that offers email and phone support that is operated by humans and not an automated system.
Do not overlook credit card reader reviews that are available online. These evaluations help best when you need an independent appraisal of the various providers featured. In addition to star ratings, you will learn how the payment processors fair when it comes to customer support, fees and pricing, and setup, and service.
Go through the payment processing contract before agreeing to its terms. Ensure you understand the processing fees and costs, procedures to follow during cancellation, and other obligations. If you fail to understand what the contract entails, seek help as you may be penalized for non-compliance with some of the key terms.
Financial Planning with Reliable Financial Experts
Financial advisers should be updated of your financial situation and for this to happen, you should be able have an agreement on how often you meet with your adviser to discuss the changes. As changes show up, it is important to be sure that your financial adviser is willing to discuss with you and enhance your investment portfolio in response to those changes. As somebody that really needs the guidance of a financial adviser, you want your adviser to always be working with present information and have entire knowledge of your situation at any given time. It is very important convey any change that would appear to your financial adviser.
The client can ask his or her financial adviser for sample financial plan that is previously prepared for a client removing all the private information so that he or she will have an idea how they work to help their clients to reach their goals. This will also allow their client to see how they monitor and measure results, and if the results are in line with the client’s goals. It is beneficial that you are confident with the strategy that your adviser will provide you, a plan that is detailed and easy to understand.
You will need to know if your financial adviser is a qualified financial planner by checking out if the individual has taken the obligated complex course on financial planning. Being licensed in their field implies that they have a higher level of understanding than the ordinary financial advisor.
Employing a Certified Financial Planner would ensure you that your adviser has an competencies of going over the whole picture of your financial state to come up with a reliable plan to help you for your future financial choices to accomplish your financial goals.
On the other hand, a Certified Financial supply picking and that they are generally more dedicated to choosing the investments that go into your portfolio, considering the analytical side of those investments. They are an excellent option to choose to work with if you are looking for somebody to suggest certain stocks that they feel are in demand. These are the individuals who usually have considerably less frequent meetings and be more likely to pick up the phone and make a call to advise acquiring or selling a specific stock.
Lastly, a Certified Life Underwriter has more insurance knowledge than the other areas and will commonly provide more insurance solutions to help you out in reaching your goals. They are very good at offering solutions to their clients on how to preserve an estate, passing assets on to beneficiaries and they are significantly less involved with investment planning.
Prior to hiring a certified financial adviser, you must know that you are really needing an assistance and that handling your finances would require working with an expert.
Sensible Financial Guide for the Young Adults
1. Know self-control. If you are lucky enough, then there is a great chance that your parents already taught you how to control yourself. If not, then take into account that sooner or later you will need to learn the fine art of postponing gratification. And the sooner or earlier you will develop this skill, then it will be a lot easier for you to keep your finances in place. Although you can buy the things anytime you want as long as you want it by using your credit card, then it is highly advisable that you wait for the time that you have saved enough money for those things. Do you really want to pay interest more on a pair of pants rather than for a box of cereal? And if you will make it a routine to use your credit card on all the things you have purchased even if you are capable of paying them in full as the month ends, there is still a higher chance that you will end up paying them in 10 years. And if you want to keep your credit cards for now for ease or even for the rewards that you might get, then always be certain that you pay your balance in full before the bill arrives in your post, and be sure that you don’t carry a lot of cards with you that you are not able to track of.
2. Take control of your own finances in the future. If you will not learn on how to manage your money by yourself, then it is certain that a lot of people will find a couple of ways in order to mismanage the money for you. A couple of these people may do it intentional such as the unscrupulous financial planners that base everything on their commissions. While a number of them are just well-meaning, but then again, you will never have any idea on the things that they do to you.
Rather than depending on other people for advice, be sure that you take control and read a couple of basic books that talk about personal finance. And once you are equipped with the knowledge about personal finance, then be sure that you don’t let anyone caught you off guard – whether it is your family or your friends that could slow down your progress when it comes to your finances and you can start blowing them out once in a while. Make sure that you understand how the money works because this is the very first step toward saving more and more money for the future. So be sure to save very well and control your money.
Church Accounting: The Significance of Hiring Virtual Bookkeeping Services The rise of online service over the past couple of years has paved the way for bookkeeping to prove its significance in the success of many industries. In fact, church bookkeeping is now an official virtual service that you and your fellowship should consider. Whether you’re in need of someone to collect and gather all the data you have from the past financial system that the church established or you want improved organization for your current records, you can rely on virtual teams to accomplish these tasks for you. The good thing is, every operation and process will be done online, from hiring the team to explaining to them what the church wants to be accomplished. Convenience is the main factor that affects the decision of many churches to obtain virtual bookkeeping service.
What You Should Know About Bookkeeping This Year
Short Course on Businesses – What You Need To Know
Church accounting is one of the complicated tasks that many staff members find hard to manage. When you decide to hire virtual church bookkeeping services, you will be able to accomplish other church-related duties instead of spend most of your time keeping the church’s finances on track. While church finances are very important, other duties such as visiting the elderly and reaching out to the youth. You can leave the bookkeeping tasks to a reliable virtual team while you focus on other church-related matters. When you obtain virtual church bookkeeping services, you will spare yourself a lot of time in training people to handle the congregation’s finances. The best virtual bookkeepers went through a lot of training and have had ample experience in the field. So how will you know you’re consulting with a reputable team of experts? First and foremost, they should present you with certifications and other necessary documents to prove that they are exactly the people you want to work with. Next, ask about the team’s experience, how long they’ve been in the industry, and how they handled previous projects similar to yours. Top church bookkeeping providers will confidently and honestly answer your questions. It is generally accepted that the most important factor that should affect your decision in picking a virtual team is reputation. Remember that you should never trust just anybody with your church’s financial accounts. This is why you should make sure that the people you’re hiring have a good reputation in the religious community. Last but not least, your virtual church accounting provider should give you complete assurance that your financial records will not be at risk of hacking and other Internet-related crimes. The reason why some people fear online transactions is due to privacy issues. However, when you have a reliable church bookkeeping team handling your accounting tasks, you can rest assured that the congregation’s financial privacy is always protected. Church finances are never easy to handle but when you leave the task for top virtual bookkeepers to handle, the church members will be able to enjoy time with in worship and service without worrying about the finance-related matters.
The Importance Of Finance And Investing
One of the biggest topics that one can discuss includes finance an investment concerns. It’s a fact that most investors out there don’t have a lot of money at the beginning. This is why they have to make sure that they will be able to know certain ways to make the most of their budget. This is the reason why there are certain things that needs to be learned first before you start your own investment. When it comes to this issue, this article will be able to provide you the tips that you need with a little help from this article.
First thing that you have to do is to choose a time frame
You should know that certain investments out there like buying annuities or bond involve certain commitments. A long term plan is needed when using investment principals. In every month, a small amount of money will be given to the person. Of course, the principal is something that can’t be withdrawn at any time. The result of this would be the fact that this fund can’t be accessed even it it’s urgently needed.
Having that in mind, one should know that they will be able to sell some of their investments anytime they want. You have to know that gold and stocks are some of the investments that can be sold at will including the ones that are made with Forex. Of course, if you’re going to be an investor, you will need to consider certain things first. You have to decide carefully what kind of investment you’ll be getting based on your current financial means.
Considering the risk factor is also important
You have to keep in mind that getting any kind of investment has its own risks. Value stocks and small cap investments is becoming quite the trend when it comes to the recent investment preference. Of course, some consider it as a safe bet. Having that in mind, there are also other kinds of stocks that are risky to have since their prices can be volatile.
Of course, you have to keep in mind that when it comes to the world of finance and business, risky investment tends to get you more money quickly. Of course, that also means that the risk of such investment would be losing it if you don’t make the right calls. This is the reason why professional investors tend to have other investments that doesn’t have a lot of risk on them. Of course, low risk investments will not be able to provide quick money, but it’s helpful if you want to have a steady income. Of course, it’s possible that such investments will still be lost, but the chances for that aren’t high enough for you to be so worried.
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A Closer Look at Binary Options Binary options, as their name suggests, have two different potential outcomes. Binary options are actually contracts that allow buyers to purchase an underlying asset at a predetermined price. The underlying asset is generally a security of some kind, including stocks, currencies and commodities of all kinds. In binary options trading, the predetermined price of the underlying asset is known as the strike price. In binary options trading, you can make your decision on whether to buy the underlying asset at the agreed upon price by studying the performance of that security for that day, week or month. When an investor thinks that the price for the security will be higher at the end of trading for that day, they can put a call options on it, or if they think it will be lower, the trader can place a put option on it to ensure that they maximize profits. In this way, binary options trading is one of the most flexible forms of trading. Binary options are among the most commonly used investment tools in the financial markets today. Binary options allow traders to maximize the profits that they make from their ordinary investing. Because binary options trading allows investors to deal in the most liquid securities, it is a way to really increase the amount of profit you make from your investments. But it is important for new investors to remember that high profits can expose an investor to high risk.
Doing Trades The Right Way
Though it is true that binary options allow you to increase the amount of profit from your investing, binary options can also carry some risk. What this means is that you should take the time to do some essential research before you commit any of your hard earned money to binary options trading. The best way to learn about making money with binary options is to discuss your plans with a binary option broker in your local area. Another way to find useful information about binary options is to search the Internet for reviews of binary options and the other trading resources that you will find that will help you in your binary options trading.
Questions About Markets You Must Know the Answers To
If you are interested in learning more about how binary options work, the first thing you should do is get in touch with a binary options broker. The easiest way to find a brokerage firm in your area that deals in binary options. When you take a moment to visit the website of a binary options brokerage firm, you will be able to find out important information about binary options as well as binary options software and other resources that can really help you a lot. The best way to begin is to simply search the Internet for binary options software or simply look online for information about binary options.
How You Can Benefit from Life Insurance These days, people invest on life insurance to make their lives more secure. New policies have been introduced in this day and age and you need to make sure you are well aware of them. You have to research more on the concepts which still confuse you. Funding policies are also covered by these concepts so it’s best to never ignore them at all. This is how you can fully take advantage of the policy as well. Even though the person has died, he would still be able to provide financial support to his family in the form of insurance. There are policies which have also been customized in this day and age. Goals would be achieved a lot more efficiently once this is accomplished. There are so many advantages to gain with this kind of insurance. The right kind of policy will surely make them more secure in the end. People want to leave this world knowing that they are still able to help their families in more ways than one. Getting the right proceeds would the key to awesome benefits as well. The death of a person will be a little bit more tolerable when his family can take advantage of his insurance. Life can still offer so many wonderful things even though a person seems to be dying. You can still provide the ideal finances to your family even during these harsh times. Your difficult life would be made much easier with the right amount of funds. In this day and age, families definitely need these forms of benefits. Finances wouldn’t be something you have to worry about when you take advantage of this incredible insurance policy. The family would be able to benefit in so many ways and not just the person who has been paying for the insurance. Your loved ones are well taken care of all thanks to you and your insurance.
Smart Tips For Uncovering Options
Here are some of the amazing benefits a holder of the policy would be able to have:
Smart Tips For Finding Options
Positive financial support even with the demise of the holder. There would be full payment of the assisted living facility as an advanced living benefit. There would be an aid provided for the things the holder will find difficult to do. The terminal illness the holder is going through would be properly combated using the funds from the insurance. There would be no need to worry about life support service in the least. Get a life insurance and ensure your family the best possible future they can have.
Business and Finance: Understanding Merchant Cash Advance
Merchant cash advance is also known as “credit card receivable funding”, and in the past it was formerly structured as a lump-sum payment provided by credit card or debit card companies to a business,with an agreed future percentage. The term is now commonly used in funding small businesses which is characterized by short payment terms, generally under twenty-four months, with small regular payments, which is more beneficial to business owners when compared to large monthly payments and longer payment terms with traditional bank loans. A merchant cash advance is fast, easy-to-manage and efficient form of funding small businesses, and it is usually based on the business credit sales. Merchant cash advance main criterion for approval is having a predictable credit card sales volume, and the term is used to describe purchases of short-term business loans and future credit card sales receivables.
Merchant cash advance companies gain a certain percentage of the business daily credit card income, which is done directly from the payment processor, clearing and settling the credit card payment until the obligation has been paid off. Merchant cash advance companies offer different terms, but it usually depends credit card sales volume provided, and the more steady it is, the better terms you’ll get. Usually, it will only take three to fourteen days upon completion of the application process for your merchant cash advanced to be issued, which is really fast, then you can spend the proceeds on whatever you think is good for your business. It is really beneficial to small-time business sellers, creating a great opportunity for business sellers to grow and expand without undergoing the complex process of traditional bank loan approval. Merchant cash advance is used by retail business sellers that does not qualify for regular bank loans.
The different payment options are split withholding, lock box and ACH withholding. The most preferred method chosen by many retailers is split withholding, because it provides a seamless collection of funds, wherein the credit card processor automatically splits the credit card sales between the finance company and the business with the agreed percentage. The least preferred method is the lock box, also known as “trust bank account withholding”, wherein the credit card sales are deposited into a specific bank account which is controlled by a finance company, and the agreed business portion is forwarded to the business via EFT, ACH or wire transfer. In ACH withholding, the finance company directly deduct the portion from the business’s checking account via ACH in ACH withholding, and if it is structured as a loan, the finance company just debit a fixed amount from the daily sales regardless of the sales.
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The Process of Selling Structured Settlements
Most people often find themselves in a financial fix whereby they require money as a result of unexpected expenses. Most people therefore turn to selling most of their belongings or other things in order to satisfy their financial needs. Our focus will be on selling of structured settlements which is done by those people who are in dire need of cash for satisfying their unexpected expenses. Depending on the amount of money one wants to acquire, they can either choose to sell some of their structured settlement annuity or all of it. Settling of medical bills, tuition fees as well as getting money to start up a business are some of the reasons why people sell their structured settlements.
The main aim of a structured settlement is to offer scheduled payment which acts as a form of compensation for a victim of personal injury. This way, a steady flow of income is created for the plaintiffs in order for them to get on with their lives. Learning on how to sell your structured settlements is very important so that you can get the best offers from factoring companies. The first thing that one should do is to determine if the selling the structured settlement would be the best outcome in order to finance your situation. Once you do so, you can then start getting offers from potential clients.
It is important for one to gather every piece of information during the selling process of their structured settlements. Some of the most crucial information you need includes the name of the insurance company, date of payments and amount of payments to be made. In doing so, one is able to acquire the necessary structured agreements from court settlements, make the right calculations as well as receive the benefits letter and the insurance contracts from the carrier. A list of all the payments that one has received and their respective dates are contained in the benefits letter they get.
There are two ways for one to find factoring companies which are willing to buy your payments. One can either choose to look for TV advertisements that are featured on most channels or go online and search for companies. One can be able to get a list of all factoring companies that are out there by going online. For factoring companies, using TV ads to get clients selling their payments tends to be more costly than using the internet. One can also get plenty of offers for their settlement from various companies within a short time.
After one gets a good offer, they are sent an initial application as well as a list of required documents. The factoring company might also conduct a background check on their client in order to ensure they have no outstanding liens that might restrict them from selling their payments.
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The Most Effective Credit Card Reader for Your Firm
Technical development is definitely making the lives of individuals simpler. Since the very beginning of scientific researches, the key strategy was to improve the lives of men and women of the global community. With ton new adjustments in the industry of business transactions and repayment management, the vendors have come to a point where they can handle their finances virtually routinely. Credit card payment transactions have remarkably affected the universe of payment transactions programs.
There are huge improvements in the field of credit card reader devices. USB credit card readers are the newest improvement within this segment. These convenient, small, useful equipment allow a business to accept credit card payments in a stress free way. These inexpensive devices are ideal for those businesses which have a well-developed payment management program and run many of monetary dealings each single day.
As small businesses, you’ve possibly established the mind that you simply can’t handle a wireless or mobile credit card reader for your organization. Should you be considering buying a wireless credit card terminal, you must proceed and discover the prices in the regional or global merchants. The price range differs within a wide variety from $65 to $700. Thus, you are able to undoubtedly do it. Although you will possibly not have the ability to buy the unique types at the very start, you surely can purchase what you can afford.
Using these mobile credit card readers, payment processing and management of transactions is becoming easier than ever. You are able to receive payments anyplace within your network. Furthermore, you can as well process the transaction later on. That’s the reason why these payment processing alternatives become popular daily. You will uncover diverse wireless gadgets that are regarded as card readers. A credit card reader can use diverse approaches and manage payments.
You are able to connect a credit card reader with your mobile phone so as to convert that device right into a card swipe. This can be quicker than any other wireless transaction payment options. The last choices are dedicated transaction processing options generally referred to as wireless terminal techniques. This can be a typical credit card reader having the wireless functionality. Consequently, you have numerous alternatives to pick from. You ought to first determine your needs then employ a company for processing your organization dealings in an automatic method.
A mobile credit card reader is small enough so you may take your appliance anywhere you want. The mobility and simple to use alternatives have made this newest equipment in to the industry top. These card readers are definitely the very best alternatives for seeking payment in remote places just like a trade fair, or in an open area where you don’t have access to network. What you need to accept or send payments with this specific card really is a functioning USB port.
Swiping credit cards gas grown to be much easier with the new credit card reader developments. You will be efficient, quick and trustworthy with the newest payment techniques today.
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