Buying life insurance for the first time can be overwhelming. You’ll run into a lot of terms that you may not understand at first. The good news is those terms are not very difficult to figure out once you do a little research. These tips are designed to help you create an organized approach toward investigating life insurance so that you can find the policy you need without the hassle.
Know Why You Need Life Insurance
Life insurance is a serious investment that shouldn’t be made on the spur of the moment. Don’t buy a policy just because someone says you should. Many people hear ads about life insurance so many times that they begin to feel an instinctive concern about needing life insurance. The truth is, however, not everyone needs life insurance.
The purpose of life insurance is to provide financial support for yourdependents if you are no longer around to do it yourself. If you don’t have any dependents, you probably don’t need to spend money on life insurance. If you are contributing
It has more to do with your attitude toward money.Just think of those who don’t fit the filthy-rich stereotype. People like Warren Buffett.As explained in the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, personal finance has as much to do with people’s traits as it does with money. Many millionaires, in fact, have frugal ways.Understanding how personal traits can influence your finances is an essential ingredient for building wealth.Here are 10 key traits:
Patience is one of the most important traits when it comes to saving money.This means waiting until the first wave of product hype has passed, keeping a car for an extra few years before getting another one and waiting until something you want fits into your budget instead of putting it on credit.Patience is often the difference between creating savings and being in debt. Having the patience to wait until you find a good deal is a cornerstone of good finances.
When you’re satisfied, there is no reason to spend money on nonessentials. The
You might focus on stretching every last dime, but you can sabotage yourself if you rack up costs you could easily avoid. Here are some common expenses that can add up over time:
1. Traffic tickets
When you’re in a rush, you’re likely to drive too fast or miss a “no parking” sign. Next thing you know, a police officer is writing you a $200 ticket or your car is being towed.Besides the fines you’re charged, tickets can cause your car insurance rates to rise, raising your expenses long-term. Driving fast also wastes gas and raises your accident risk.
2. Bank fees
Whether through overdraft penalties or automatic teller machine fees, banks charge customers in many ways. Avoiding these fees requires people to simply pay more attention.Leave a small cushion in your bank account to prevent overdrafts. Look for banks that offer free checking and savings accounts or better yet, ones that would pay interest on your balances. And try to avoid ATM fees by anticipating your cash needs in advance so you’re not forced to turn
1.Creat a financial calendar
If you don’t trust yourself to remember to pay your quarterly taxes or periodically pull a credit report, think about setting appointment reminders for these important money to dos in the same way that you would an annual doctor’s visit or car tune-up. A good place to start? Our ultimate financial calendar.
2. Check Your Interest Rate
Q: Which loan should you pay off first? A: The one with the highest interest rate. Q: Which savings account should you open? A: The one with the best interest rate. Q: Why does credit card debt give us such a headache? A: Blame it on the compound interest rate. Bottom line here: Paying attention to interest rates will help inform which debt or savings commitments you should focus on.
3. Track Your Net Worth
Your net worth—the difference between your assets and debt—is the big-picture number that can tell you where you stand financially. Keep an eye on it, and it can help keep you apprised of the progress you’re making toward your financial goals—or warn you if you’re backsliding.
4. Set a Budget, Period
Managing money is generally not taught in elementary school. About 17 states require students to take a personal finance course in high school, but only a handful require testing on the topic, according to the Council for Economic Education.
When it comes to money, it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes than to make your own. Follow these tips when you’re young to avoid financial hardship in life.
1. Go to college
You may want to do something that doesn’t require a college degree, such as playing professional golf. But give serious consideration to enrolling in college anyway. Yes, it’s a major investment, but if your parents are unable to help you pay for it, make it happen yourself, even if it means taking out loans. Just don’t get in over your head; try to borrow no more than the amount you expect to earn the 1st year after graduation. That way you can pay off the loans within 10 years. One way to save on costs: Go to a community college first; then transfer to a 4-year university after 2 years.
It’s easier to get a degree when you’re young than when
Unfortunately, personal finance has not yet become a required subject in high school or college, so you might be fairly clueless about how to manage your money when you’re out in the real world for the first time.
To help you get started, we’ll take a look at eight of the most important things to understand about money if you want to live a comfortable and prosperous life.
Learn Self Control
If you’re lucky, your parents taught you this skill when you were a kid. If not, keep in mind that the sooner you learn the fine art of delaying gratification, the sooner you’ll find it easy to keep your finances in order. Although you can effortlessly purchase an item on credit the minute you want it, it’s better to wait until you’ve actually saved up the money. Do you really want to pay interest on a pair of jeans or a box of cereal? (To learn more about credit, check out Understanding Credit Card Interest and our Debt Management feature.)
If you make a habit of putting all your purchases on credit cards, regardless of whether you can pay your bill in full at
Federal or state securities laws require brokers, investment advisers, and their firms to be licensed or registered, and to make important information public. But it’s up to you to find that information and use it to protect your investment dollars. The good news is that this information is easy to get, and one phone call or web search may save you from sending your money to a con artist, an unscrupulous financial professional, or a disreputable firm.
Before you invest or pay for any investment advice, make sure your brokers, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives have not had disciplinary problems or been in trouble with regulators or other investors. You also should check to see whether they are registered or licensed.
This is very important, because if you do business with an unregistered securities broker or a firm that later goes out of business, there may be no way for you to recover your money — even if an arbitrator or a court rules in your favor.
Brokers and Brokerage Firms
The Central Registration Depository (CRD) is a computerized database that contains information about most brokers, their representatives, and the firms they work
The most recent installment of the Finance Professor kicked off our look at how to start analyzing the financial statements of public companies. We covered where to locate a company’s financial information and reports, and what to look for once you find this data. Now we’re going to take the next step in this series of lessons and focus in on how to read a company’s income statement (or profit and loss statement, the P&L).
Mind the GAAP
Income statements will vary from company to company and industry to industry. As such, the statement might seem like one big salad of information that we must learn how to sift through to better understand a company’s operating results. However, there is one constant that always guides us in the preparation and understanding of financial statements such as the income statement. This constant is the application of generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP.GAAP is a standard that must be followed by all companies (public and private) in order to receive the unqualified independent auditor’s report that I discussed last time. We rely on the auditor’s report to confirm a company’s adherence to GAAP or alert us as to
Many people think of home insurance as a necessary evil. The truth is that it might feel like that, but only until you need it. At that point, it will feel like a savior. You’ll definitely be very glad you have home insurance when you get your financial life back.
Home insurance is meant to protect what’s very likely your biggest and most valuable asset.
You’ve worked hard for what you have. You put in much time to be able to afford your home, and you now put in much time and effort in keeping up with that home. Therefore, it only makes sense that you you need to protect it from the myriad of things that can cause it harm.
The big problem is that most people are confused when it comes to insurance in general, much less something as important (and sometimes complicated) as home insurance. There are things that you need to understand about home insurance ahead of time, before an instance occurs where you end up needing it.
So in this post, we’re going to give you…
7 Tips to Buying Home Insurance,
The basics are so simple that anyone can get the concepts down in less than a day spend less than you earn, save-and invest-the rest.Knowing what should be done and actually doing it, however, are two different things.Most people realize that spending more money than they have is a bad, bad thing. That still doesn’t keep millions of people from racking up credit-card debt.
1. Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
I knew this in my heart when I was younger. After all, who can’t hum the tune of the Beatles song Can’t Buy Me Love?But my head often countered it in real life. It took me several years of working in a large corporation making good money, but not enjoying my job, to finally get it through my head that money in itself does not make you happy, and the accumulation of money will do very little for your happiness unless you know how to use that money once you have it.The happiness comes from the opportunities money makes available so that you can do the things that you want to do. If you have no idea what these things are, no amount of money will make
The basics go well beyond being able to open up a bank account or get a job. They entail knowing how to make a wide variety of financial decisions throughout your life. Understanding and applying these financial basics to the money you earn is likely to make you wealthy. Not having a grasp of them can leave you in a perpetual financial bind. Here are the 10 essential financial basics:
1. Credit Cards
In today’s world of credit, it’s vital to understand credit card basics. Credit cards can be an asset or a liability depending on how you use them.Learning the basics of how credit cards work — and how you can use them to your advantage, while not using them when they aren’t to your advantage — is one of the most important financial lessons that you can master to ensure that your finances stay in order.
2. Compound Interest
To grasp the full potential and power of investing, you need to understand how compound interest works and what it can do over time. Save $150 a month (approx $5 a day) without compound interest, and in 30 years you’ll have $54,000.Save the
The rise in both gas and food prices has been taking a toll on people’s budgets, but it appears that things will get worse before they get better. The recent floods in the Midwest are likely to increase both gas and food prices in the coming weeks.Higher prices all around have many people looking to save money any way they can. While saving money appears to be pretty easy and straightforward on the surface, there are still a large number of people who make fundamental mistakes when they try to save money that actually hurt their finances rather than help them.These are some of the common mistakes that people make when trying to save money:
Mistake 5: Stopping Spending
One major mistake that people make is that they stop spending, since this seems to be the obvious way to save money.The problem is, if done without foresight, not spending money can mean additional expenses down the road.People should stop spending on nonessentials, but not stop spending on preventive maintenance and basic upkeep. You will save money today by skipping a check-up at the dentist, but if doing so leads to dental problems down the line that
When times are tough, most people think they should spend less and save as much as possible. That’s good advice in many situations, but there are exceptions. Here are seven of them:
1. Home improvements
A recession is a great time to do work on your home. Materials will be discounted, since demand will be low. Labor is plentiful and cheap. And if the work increases the value of the house, spending extra money to get them done when times are tough makes financial sense.
2. Your health
Your health is always important, but it is even more crucial during dour economic times. You can’t afford to miss work for an extended period without placing your job at risk. Preventive measures, even if they cost extra, are important. In addition, you need to quickly address ailments so they don’t turn into something major later on.
3. Quality food
Food tends to be one of the few budget items that can be juggled to save money here and there. The problem is that people often choose to buy poorer quality food, which isn’t as healthy. The food you eat will determine your energy
But it doesn’t take a miracle. If you are looking for some basic guidelines, just follow these 10 commandments:
10. Thou Shalt Take Action
Reading about how to improve your personal finances is a start, but it has absolutely no meaning if you don’t take the action of putting what you learn into motion. Before you can get anywhere with your personal finances, you need to begin — right now. If you are reading this article, you know that you should be taking steps to get your personal finances in order.Print out this list and place it where you will see it every day, so that you are reminded that personal finance is a priority in your life and that you will take some action each and every day to try to improve your lot. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start with getting your banking accounts in order.
9. Thou Shalt Pay Off All Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is, in most cases, the No. 1 enemy to your personal finances. It can have a huge negative effect if your credit card bills are not paid off in full every single
Learning how to invest your money is one of the most important lessons in life. You don’t need to be college educated to start investing, in fact, you don’t even need to be a high school graduate. You just need to have a basic understanding of business and have the confidence to make a plan consider it a business plan for your life. You can do it.
Why Investing Can Be Scary
For many of us, money and investments weren’t discussed at home. These subjects may even be taboo within certain households — quite possibly, in households that don’t have much money or investments.If your parents or loved-ones aren’t financially independent, they probably can’t give you good financial advice (despite their best intentions). And even if your family is well-off, there’s no guarantee that their financial advice makes sense for you. Plenty of parents encouraged their kids to buy a house during the peak of the housing bubble, because in their lifetimes, housing only went up.Having said all of this, the first investment that you make will probably be the hardest.
The Goal of Investing
Of course, everyone has different financial goals — and