Archive for Financial Independence

How to Achieve Financial Independence

Freedom to Live the Life You Dream Of

What is financial independence? The answer to this question is complex and depends upon who you are asking.

In general, financial independence means that you are able to live the life that you dream of without having to worry about finances. There are a few steps that you can take in order to move toward the state of financial independence. We will discuss them in detail below.

woman standing with her arms stretched out looking at the sky

Invest

You should take up a few investments in order to move toward realizing financial independence. There are many different ways to invest. You may invest in the stock market, an IRA, or a savings account.

Stock market investments are some of the most lucrative investments you can make. When you invest in the stock market, you are able to see financial gains throughout the entire amount of time you invest.

You should do thorough research before you invest in the stock market. This will help you to determine which stocks you want to invest your monies in.

The stock market can help you to gain finances fairly quickly as long as you know which stocks are going up. You should invest in stocks that are on the rise.

You can find information about stock trends by doing a simple Google search on that particular stock. This will pull up results like https://analystratings.net/.

An IRA is another worthwhile form of investment. You may find that you slowly save up significant amounts of money by investing in an IRA.

An IRA is essentially a retirement account that accrues value because of its interest rate. You should keep your monies in an IRA account so that you have money to work with when you retire.

Interest-accruing savings accounts are based on much the same principle as is an IRA. These types of accounts gain interest as the monies sit in the accounts.

You literally gain profits by doing nothing besides letting your monies sit in the bank. Should you let these monies sit for an extended period of time, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much money you can earn.

man holding spread out 20 dollar bills in his hand

Make a Budget

Another way to gain financial independence is to draft up a budget. This will help you to stay more aware of where your monies are going. You should have a budget for groceries, housing, transportation, and miscellaneous. You should draft this budget up carefully.

There is much thought that can be put into drafting up a budget. You may find that it is necessary to calculate your budget to the exact dollar or cent. You can find out the best quality items for the best price and include them in your budget.

You should not go over your budget every month. By staying financially organized in this way, you are sure to see monetary gains in the bank account.

Indulge

Part of your budget every month should be more for recreational indulgences. Being financially free means that every once in a while you allow yourself to enjoy something expensive just for the sake of enjoyment.

There are a number of different ways that you can indulge.

You may take yourself or your friends out for a fine dining experience. This can mean that you enjoy the finest of delicacies regardless of cost.

You may also choose to purchase a luxury grocery item that is outside of your standard budget. Examples of this include aged cheese or decadent ice cream brands.

Just like anyone else, you need to treat yourself to something special every once in a while, regardless of the cost.

Financial Freedom is Possible

It is easy to see that financial freedom is possible. It just requires diligence and best practices.

You may find it necessary to invest in investment accounts in order to maximize your earnings. It is recommended to begin investing in the stock market, as well as in IRAs and savings accounts.

You should develop a careful budget for all of your essential purchases, so as to increase the amount of money that stays in the bank account. You should indulge in something special every once in a while in order to remember that money is a means to enjoy life.

Should you practice these habits, you are sure to gain financial freedom.

Types of Personal Finance Goals to Help You Reach Freedom

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The global crisis has shifted the way we think of many things we used to take for granted. Finances are one of the top concerns during times of uncertainty.

Many people have lost their jobs due to the outbreak. They are now deeply worried about savings, expenses, bills, and the usual do’s of any person of legal age. The landscape is more worrisome for those with children and relatives, depending on their income.

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How Can You Master Your Finances?

In this article, we will teach you some key pieces of advice you should embrace in 2020. It all starts by taking one step at a time. You start small, but eventually, you will get to your personal financial goals. First, let us summarize what kind of goals you should set: personal, professional, or other. The following are some examples you can note down:

  •  Become financial free in 10 years,
  •  Save up to 30% of your income,
  •  Be able to spend holidays every year.

Of course, financial milestones vary from one person to another; you should focus on finding yours. What makes you happy may not work for someone else. Take a moment to write down some long-term personal finance goals you’d like to achieve.

man holding spread out 20 dollar bills in his hand

Top 5 Tips to Master Finances

Now that you have a big milestone in mind, you can start working towards it. You can rely on payday depot to get your goals sooner. Their short-term loans can come quite handy in times of low liquidity.

These are some powerful tips you can embrace in 2020 to excel at your personal finance goals:

  1.  Increase your savings up to 20%-30% of income,
  2.  Reduce expenses to a viable minimum,
  3.  Work on a side job or a side source of income,
  4.  Manage your money with care and attention,
  5.  Remember that money is not everything that matters.

While having a comfortable lifestyle is good for your health, you need to avoid taking it too far. You need to find a balance between money and comfort in your life. For some people, this implies working 9-to-5; for others, it may suppose traveling the world with a bag. It depends.

Think of what you’d like to focus on. Do you want to improve your professional career? Do you want to help your relatives? Do you need to spend time somewhere else to relax? Then, focus on this financial goal until you reach it.

woman standing with her arms stretched out looking at the sky

Financial Freedom is Possible

First, what does financial freedom mean? This term is commonly used online and refers to a state where you, and only you, are the owner of your money.

This is a condition most people may dream of, but only the most constant in the will can achieve. You need to stick to a method of your own to make it happen within some years.

For instance, start saving today for a course, for those holidays, or your retirement. In some years, when you have an amount of money to sit on, you will thank yourself for this decision and all the effort.

What’s more, you may be able to live from your savings if you reach the needed cash. In that case, you could also think of helping your loved ones close to you. Isn’t financial freedom wonderful? Get started today.

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Comment below and let me know about your personal finance journey!

Year End Financial Planning

income tax

As the end of the year draws near, it is a good time to make plans to wrap up your finances and look ahead to the next year. There are several things that you should do before the end of the year, and here are six of them.

Getting Tax Losses Back

income tax

If you sold a stock earlier this year for more than what you paid for it, then you will need to pay capital gains taxes on the profits. The good news is that you can use a loss from another stock to offset your gain. This will ultimately decrease the capital gains taxes you owe. For example, if you gained $3,000 from the sale of one stock but lost $3,000 elsewhere, then you do not owe any taxes on that gain.

You can use up to $3,000 from any losses to offset your income. If you earn $100,000, and you lose $3,000 from your stocks, then your total taxable income would be $97,000. If you lost more than you gained, then you can move these losses to the next year. It is important to know that you cannot claim a loss on the stock if you sell it and then purchase it again within 30 days.

Contributions to Charity 

A cash gift is one of the least advantageous ways to give to charity when it comes to tax benefits. If you want to give a stock, this is a good time to do it. However, if you cannot decide on the right charity, then you can give a stock to a donor advised fund (DAF). This allows you to get the tax deduction this year and wait until next year to decide who will receive the funds from your DAF. This can also help you organize your gifts into one location.

Contributions to 529

You can always contribute to a 529 savings account for college. This account has a few tax benefits because it allows for both growth and distributions that are free of taxes. For example, you can use the account to pay for books, tuition, and other fees without having to pay taxes on the money. 

One newer tax change allows you to take distributions from the account for private high schools and elementary schools, as well. This allows you to distribute up to $10,000 each year. You may want to consider contributing to a child?s, grandchild?s, niece?s, or nephew?s account at the end of the year.?

While you can contribute to this account at any time, there is not a tax deduction if you contribute. You should keep in mind that there are limits to what you can contribute, so it would be wise to start saving as early as possible for college tuition and other expenses.

HSA and FSA

It is usually best to plan to spend the money from your flexible savings account by the end of the year. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, you can sometimes carry over funds or have a grace period, depending on what type of FSA account that you have. It is a good idea for you to check with your employer about the specifics of your plan. 

If you cannot carry over your contributions to the next year, then you will want to plan on having your dental or other doctor visits before the end of the year. If you have prescriptions, you can consider getting these before the end of the year, as well. More expensive prescriptions, including glasses, are also considered to be eligible under FSA.

On the other hand, a health savings account (HSA) can carry over to the next year. The deadline to contribute to this account is April 15. This means you still have time to contribute to this account and count this contribution toward your taxes this year. If you are over the age of 55, then you can contribute an extra $1,000 to this account.

Retirement Plans

If you have a 401(k) at your workplace, then you can still contribute to it. If you are over the age of 50, then you can contribute an additional $6,000 per year. If you have not contributed to it recently, then the deadline is April 15. This means that you can still contribute to it and receive some reductions on your taxes this year.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

If you are over the age of 70, then you will be required to take a minimum amount of money out of your retirement account every year. This can include IRAs, SEP-IRAs, and your 401(k)s if you are not currently employed.

If you do not take out a required minimum distribution, then you will face a large penalty. This can be steep at half of the amount you were required to take out. For example, if you were required to take out $3,000 and you did not, then you will still need to take out this amount, as well as pay $1,500. If you have inherited IRAs from family members, you may need to take out some money from those, as well.

Retirement Planning

Everybody should eventually have a retirement plan in place. Approaching retirement without knowing if you will run out of money is very dangerous. There are so many good tools online these days that many people don?t even need a financial planner. For do-it-yourself types, the best retirement planning application is WealthTrace.

This retirement planning tool allows consumers to build a full, detailed retirement plan and see how various what-if scenarios will impact their overall retirement. For those who do not want to create their own plan, it is a very good idea to find a qualified financial planner to help you figure out if you are on the right track.

Closing Thoughts 

If you follow these steps at the end of the year, then you will be able to successfully wrap up things with your finances. This can help you maximize your deductions from taxes while reducing the likelihood of any losses.

Backing Improved Global Financial Literacy

Financial literacy

Wonga is actively involved in helping to promote an increased standard of financial literacy in South Africa. But although the level of financial literacy is not as high as it needs to be, there are many other countries around the world where financial literacy is even worse.

According to a new survey recently completed by Standard and Poor?s, a global financial ratings agency, countries in South Asia have the poorest level of financial understanding anywhere in the world.

Financial literacy

The results of Standard and Poor?s global financial literacy survey

The survey, entitled “Standard and Poor?s Ratings Services Global Financial Literary Service” was based on five basic questions. These questions were asked of 150,000 adults in over 140 countries across the globe. Sad to say, two thirds of the people who took the survey failed to pass the literacy test at the most basic level of financial understanding.??

According to the survey, the countries that recorded the highest levels of financial literacy were the adult populations in:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

In each of the above-mentioned countries approximately 65% or above of adult nationals were deemed to be financially literate in terms of the standards of the test. At the other end of the scale it was the countries of South Asia that had populations where financial literacy scores were lowest, where only approximately 25% or less of adult populations were found to be financially literate. The countries recording the lowest results were:

  • Cambodia
  • The Philippines
  • Vietnam

In terms of countries regarded as having emerging economies, it was the group of countries known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) which recorded results of an average of 28% of adults being financially literate across the board. At the bottom end of the scale was India with 24%, while South Africa were at the top end of the scale, showing 42%.

The cost of financial ignorance

The survey also helps to explain why it is that financial literacy is such an important skill to have, especially in developing countries. The truth of the matter is that financial ignorance bears with it significant costs. Consumers who do not understand the concept of interest tend to accrue larger debts and as a result incur higher rates of interest on loans. This same bracket of people also ends up borrowing more money and conversely, saving less.

Wonga are determined to promote improved financial awareness. The payday loans that they make available for people are great products. They help people to meet unexpected bills and help to carry them over a financial emergency, but only when borrowers fully understand their financial commitments and obligations. Borrowing money that cannot be repaid, or at best, that borrowers will struggle to repay, is folly.

Test yourself

If you?re interested in finding out how you would rate in the Global Financial Literacy test, follow this link and put yourself to the test.

It is only by improving financial literacy that we can help people to minimise debt and improve their financial health and well-being.

6 Best Twitter Accounts to Learn About Personal Finance

personal finance

Want to keep in touch with personal finance gurus on Twitter?

Twitter plays a key role in connecting industry experts with a common man who without the help of Twitter would never have a chance to chat with them. With the integration of technology with finance, the world of personal finance becomes fickle. It has become imperative to stay in touch with the latest trends in the market.

Here are the 6 best Twitter accounts to learn about Personal Finance

1. Chonce Maddox- @MyDebtEpiphany

chonce

Chonce is a personal finance expert and professional writer based in Chicago. Her Twitter profile is based on her blog mydebtepiphany.com where she shares expert knowledge on personal finance to millennials and Generation Z(notably, recent college grads and want-to-be entrepreneurs). Check out her Twitter account and blog for tips on budgeting, generating passive income, and life advice in general.

2. Financial Samurai- @financialsamura

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I have been a huge fan of @financialsamura for a long time now. It is one of the oldest and the most resourceful Twitter accounts and personal finance blogs of all time. The Twitter page @financialsamura is based on a personal finance blog financialsamurai.com by Sam Dogen. Sam is a stay-at-home-dad, a former football coach, and also writes about financial independence.

3. For Real Life Stories- @TheBillfold

Billfold

@TheBillfold may not have millions of followers on Twitter but he sure does have an interesting story to share. In 2011, Bill emailed the CEO of the Bank of America, Brian Moynihan regarding his late payment of Credit Card bill and explained to him how the unfriendly user interface of bank’s website was the cause for late payment. Two days later, Brian took action by discounting Bill’s late fee. Bill still raves about this incident even after 8 years have passed.

4. Quick and Dirty Tips- @quickdirtytips

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@quickdirtytips is a personal finance/life advice blog run by the vice president, Kathy Doyle. This Twitter page is popular for its unique content related to career, money management, nutrition, health, and other similar topics. It is not just a personal finance page. Moreover, it is one of the rare personal finance podcasts that talks on how health, relationships and daily routine affects your ability to make and manage money.

5. Ramit Sethi- @ramit

ramit

Ramit Sethi is an American entrepreneur and a writer of the bestselling book “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”. On his Twitter page @ramit tweets about the latest happenings in his life and dates for his live events. Recently, Ramit and his wife hosted a fundraiser in NYC for families separated at the border. Such events bring him closer to his readers and social media followers.

6. Dave Ramsey- @DaveRamsey

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The list “best Twitter accounts to learn about personal finance” would be incomplete without the mention of @DaveRamsey. He is the author of seven national best selling books on personal finance. Everyone knows how freely Dave interacts with his listeners on his YouTube channel The Dave Ramsey Show. To get more personalized advice you can shoot a text on his Twitter account. Dave replies to almost everyone having a decent query.

Summary

In the future, when you are browsing through the above-mentioned profiles, make sure you take notes. Every personal finance guru has something unique to offer, instead of following one profile, I want you to seek advice from several sources. By doing this, you will also prevent yourself from getting scammed or misled.