Many people do not effectively manage their debt but juggle multiple debts with different terms and interest rates.
The most effective way to pay off debt is to focus on the loans with the highest interest rates first. However, research shows that consumers who manage multiple debts prefer to reduce the total number of debts rather than reducing the total of their associated costs, even if they will pay more in the long run.
Some people think that gold has no intrinsic value and that gold's only worth is as a material to make jewellery. Others assert that gold is an asset with various intrinsic qualities that make it unique for investors to gather in their portfolios.
In the old days, a coin of some metal was easier to exchange than to implement a barter system. Of all the metals, gold was the logical choice.
If the modern paper-money economy were to collapse, we would fall back to gold.
That means that gold will always have value in difficult and in good times.
Most of us believe if we earned a bit more money, we'd have more free money to give. But the wealthier people get, the more expenses they accumulate, meaning there is not that much "spare" income.
The result is that we often pass the buck, thinking that the wealthier people, or our future, richer selves, will have the capacity to give.
When we think wealthier people should donate more, we are essentially looking at our own lifestyle and comparing it to their income. We think they have abundance even if they don't feel that abundance.
The point is that everybody feels constraint to give. It's about prioritizing and giving according to your own moral standards.
Creative artists, in dance, art or music are often commercialized to the hilt. Some argue that the purity of creations is tainted if the end goal is to amass many followers or to earn lots of money. Art, according to them, should just be for art’s sake.
The truth is somewhere in the middle, and one can take note of the myths about being creative, to avoid being a ‘starving artist’ for life.
In the book ‘Real Artists Don’t Starve’, the author (Jeff Goins) states that art does not have to be obscure and hidden to be beautiful.
Artists who are ‘starving’ but really good are mostly caricatures and have little do do with the real world, where they come from all kinds of income groups and backgrounds.
True artists try to shun any self-promotion, which looks sleazy to them, and because they see bad artists exploiting it. One has to understand that marketing is an important tool, and is not inherently evil.
A good piece of art needs the desired audience, which becomes the artist's responsibility.
One does not have to be sleazy to succeed. One can have class, character and produce great art, while still be able to make decent money out of the endeavour.
Money buys us time and space to create another beautiful piece of art.
One can develop healthy spending habits and avoid wasting money by using the simple 30-day rule: Whenever there is an urge to spend on something, just wait for 30 days.
One can buy whatever is required while making sure that the basics of personal financial management (budgeting and doing savings) are covered. The trick is to just wait for a month and then make an assessment of the planned purchase.
Most stores use the ‘SALE’ marketing gimmick (both online and offline) so that we can splurge our money now, instead of waiting.
The system is gamed for us to spend our money wherever we go. We need to stop wondering where our money went and start telling it where to go.
Waiting a month distances us from the planned purchase emotionally, filtering out any impulsive decisions.
Waiting for 30 days before making any purchase makes us use our discipline, foresight, planning and restraint, and would feel exactly like curbing our urge to eat junk food, which tastes great at that moment but is not a healthy option for your body in the long run.
We've all seen the "Hi, I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" commercials by Apple and the response by Microsoft, "I'm a PC."
Apple has been mocking Microsoft for years. But lately, Microsoft has fought back, for example, Microsoft's Zune ads, which bashed the iTunes model.
It is possible to make a budget work while still saving enough to retire. It starts with learning to change your habits so you can put money aside.
It is not that easy to make any sort of real, lasting change in your habits. You will have a few setbacks, and that's ok.
When it comes to money, people will do whatever they can to get hold of your money, regardless of how it will affect you.
Don't rush into any sort of decision making. Always consult a second source.
Assuming you have enough to cover the bills and aren't pulling an overdraft fee, start by automating your retirement savings. You know you need an emergency fund, so automate. Do the same with increasing your 401(k) contributions each year, or paying off your credit card debt.
Our personal finances don't exist on their own. They are connected to the economy and government laws and regulations. It all is as much part of your finances as to how you spend and save your paycheck.
Educate yourself. Call your members of Congress and let them know what you think.
We have this idea that if we just make a certain amount of money, we're going to do great. But it doesn't work like that. We find ourselves always adapting our spending and lifestyle to our income.
Be careful with your spending even if you suddenly have more than you need. Don't chase temporary pleasure with money. Continue to live below your means.
Put 10 % away from each check you receive to create a cash buffer for emergencies. Try and increase it with time.
The best way to attain financial success is not about having a budget or avoiding debt, or even choosing the right investments, but about having a system that makes automatic wealth creation possible for you while you sleep.
Investors make a lot of stupid financial decisions based on emotions and sentiments and putting money on ‘autopilot’ saves us from giving to temptation and laziness.
Will power and self-control are like a muscle that can be strengthened. The more we practice self-control, the better we become in implementing the same.
Our laziness too plays a big part in hurting our wallets, like forgetting to pay bills that incur late fees, or overspending on credit cards and paying for subscriptions that are not in use.
Automatic behaviours trigger better decisions and make the entire process seamless. One thing compliments the other, and good habits give space to other good habits.
Example: When a person is dressed up nicely, they tend to work harder.
Start by saving a certain amount every month from your paycheck (using automatic transfer), and also work towards building or completing your emergency fund.
Clear any high-interest debt you may have and also save money on your next life goal, like buying a house or a car.
Use a rewards credit card, online bill pay or automatic bank draft to put all your bills on autopilot. Be aware that using your bank account for automatic payments has some concerns like:
Your investment portfolio can be put on autopilot, making use of the Systematic Investment Plans (SIP).
You may have subscriptions on movie streaming platforms, or even the gym that you no longer go to, which is draining money from your bank account. You need to clear away any autopilot subscriptions that are vacuuming cash from your account.
This is on the higher side, with only about 20 per cent traders being consistently in the black.
This low rate of success in trading is due to many factors, knowing about which can help a trader avoid certain pitfalls.
Anything of value in life requires mental and physical efforts and involves time, energy, and resources.
Just like becoming a highly-paid doctor earning a six-figure income requires years of hard work, becoming a highly successful trader needs a decent capital, emotional strength and years of toiling.
Too much knowledge, analysis and theory can have an adverse effect, instilling doubt and uncertainty in every decision taken.
A more effective way is to pick a few trading tools that suit you and leave the rest.
Most ‘trading strategies’ that traders of all kinds keep looking for almost always backfire eventually. Even if it works for some, it may not work for us.
One needs to see what strategy is good both in the market and with one's personality to be able to get any benefit.
While the glitz and glamour of trading are attractive, if we are having poor risk management skills, and fail to calculate the risk in each trade, it can accumulate and erase your trading account in no time.
The chess game of trading requires a good defence.
Just like we cannot over-speed indefinitely in a highway with traffic, we cannot keep our winning streak in trading going on forever.
We have to put the brakes (Stop Loss) to ensure we don’t go down with the ship in a sudden plunge. Trading is about probability and it is good to know that there is always a possibility of loss in each trade.
Most traders enter the business of trading without a plan. This is the equivalent of driving a car without being sure of one’s destination.
Having a trading plan keeps you on course and helps you reach your desired destination. It allows you to filter and analyse what is working and what needs reworking.