How to Reduce Your Student Debt

Reducing your student debt while in school seems like an impossible task. This is not the case if you are smart with your money and pick up a job here or there. Being in debt until you are 40 years old is a possibility especially with high interest rates and a degree is a low paying field. The following are some ways to reduce your student debt and save money while you are in college.

If you are a great writer, then there is a need for you online. Companies pay writers to write blog posts for them on a daily basis. Getting your foot in the door isn’t very difficult as you can apply to write for a content production company. Although this might take up a lot of your time, this is time you are making money and not spending it.

Getting a job in the service industry is worth its weight in gold in college. Not only will you possibly be able to eat free, you can make quite a lot of money in a college town. Bartenders can solid amounts of money while only having to work nights. People in the service industry take care of each other so it is possible that a bartender you serve and give some free drinks will return the favor next time you are at the bar with your friends.

Coupons for clothes or new outfits can be found online in multiple locations. Groupon has daily updating coupons from stores like Lord and Taylor along with many other stores. Looking trendy does not always have to be expensive.

Taking advantage of student discounts might not seem like a cool option but having extra cash is always hip. Many restaurants have great deals for students and some student groups offer free food at their events. Although this isn’t viable to do all the time, it can make going out to eat much cheaper and you won’t have to deal with dining hall food.

As you can see there are things that will help you reduce your student debt in the long run. A few thousand dollars over the course of a few years might not seem like a lot to some, but to those with crippling student debt this is incredible. Saving doesn’t always have to be hard, smart saving can impact your life immensely.

The Right Forex Trading Strategy for Your Personality

There are thousands of trading strategies out there which can be of potential use when you’re investing in the foreign exchange markets. Despite this, not all of them are suited to all people. This is because different kinds of people operate differently under the pressure of open markets, so depending on how you handle yourself in different situations should dictate which trading strategy you adopt. Here are 3 different trading strategies for 3 different personality types.

Impatient Ian

If you like things to happen quickly, you’d probably be suited to a strategy which allows you to make decisions quickly wherever you are. Therefore, you should download a forex trading platform app to your mobile phone and start day trading using strict limits which means that you can make profits quickly without putting yourself at risk. The only downside to this strategy is that unless you trade in volatile markets, there’s little chance of making large amounts of money, though caving in and participating in volatile markets could put you in a dangerous position.

Casual Kira

Do you like to take things easy? If you do, you’re probably not suited to fast-paced day trading. Instead, you should take your time on longer trades which last up to a week, as this will allow you to evaluate the market at your own leisure and make accurate predictions about when the trend you’re riding is about to turn. With this technique, you can set your limits quite high because unless your market is prone to fundamental geopolitical or socioeconomic problems, you’re likely to be able to see when a trend is about to buck way out in advance. This strategy might give you fewer instant wins, but playing the slow and long game can be a winning strategy.

Analytical Andrew

If you have the patience of a saint and the eyes of an eagle, you might be more suited to a strategy which favors fast thinking and accurate responses. For this, apply yourself in the world of chaotic markets by participating in short currency trades which move up and down with volatility. This will force you to make snap decisions on the currency trends you are riding because they have the potential to change with very little warning. If you succeed using this strategy, however, there’s a lot of potential to win big.

What Should You Do With Your Bonds When Interest Rates Rise?

It can be difficult to know what to do with bonds when interest rates start to rise.  When interest rates rise bond prices go down.  This can cause the value of your bonds to plummet.  It can be tough to stay invested in bonds when the prices start to drop and it is especially tough to stay invested in bonds when you are not sure if staying invested is the right strategy.

One thing that can make a big difference in whether you stay invested in bonds is whether you hold actual bonds or you have your money invested in a bond fund.  If you have an actual bond you do not need to worry about the lower prices as much.  As long as you hold the bond to maturity you will get the promised price, unless something extreme – such as the bond issuer going bankrupt happens.  If you own actual bonds the only loss you would have is an opportunity cost.  The opportunity cost would be the difference between the interest rate paid on your bond and the interest you could have earned on a new bond paying higher interest.  Since bond price decrease as interest rates increase you usually won’t make any more money by selling your lower interest bond and investing in a new higher paying bond.  If the market operates efficiently you would only break even.  More likely you would lose a little money because of the transaction costs of selling the old bond and buying the new bond.

If you own a bond fund then you are more exposed to the lower bond prices due to higher interest rates.  This is because the bond fund has a new price every day that is based in part on the value of the bonds it holds.  One strategy if you have a bond fund is to sell as soon as interest rates start to rise.  It can be difficult to get the timing right on this.   I sold my bond fund earlier this year when interest rates were rising and the value of the shares of my bond fund had taken a dive.   As soon as I sold the bond fund interest rates stabilized and the bond fund is still worth about the same as it was when I sold it.  You also have to figure when to get back into the bond fund.  Since you don’t know when interest rates have stopped rising this is also difficult to determine.

Another strategy is to invest your money in a shorter term bond.  This leaves you less exposed to interest rate risk.   You might also consider investing in  a higher yielding bond.  These bonds are commonly known as junk bonds.  This strategy is based on the theory that the rising interest rates reflect an improving economy and thus the junk bonds are not as risky as their interest rates indicate.   Of course, with this strategy there is a risk that the interest rates don’t reflect an improving economy or the improving economy wasn’t enough to help the company that issued your bond and you end up with a bond that is worthless due to the issuer defaulting.

If you do sell your bonds you want to be sure that you are still properly diversified.   Selling all your bonds and investing the money in stocks leaves you exposed to losing a lot of money if the stock market crashes.  Whatever strategy you decide to pursue with your bonds due to rising interest rates, there will be some risk.  Make sure the risk is worth the potential reward.


Rules for Wealth Creation

Have you ever wondered why money comes so easily to some people, yet others seem to struggle for every penny they earn? The difference between the two types of people often lies in how they think about money and wealth. Here are some wealth creation rules to live by to help you become one of those who will always have more than what you need, instead of someone who never has quite enough.

Change your money mindset. How you think about money and wealth is the single most important factor that determines whether you’re wealthy or not. If you hold any wrong beliefs about money, or believe that you don’t have enough, that thinking can hold you back from ever becoming wealthy. Instead, recognize the power that your thoughts have over the money in your life and embrace it. A good book to read to help you change your mindset about money is Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. This book explains how your way of thinking can make you wealthy, or keep you from experiencing the riches you desire.

Be optimistic about wealth. Money is important in our society. Not having enough can be a very scary thought. But instead of being fearful of money, be optimistic. Visualize yourself having enough money to pay your bills and enjoying the finer things in life. What would it feel like to have a certain dollar amount in your bank account? Focus on that image and keep it foremost in your mind.

When you are optimistic about wealth instead of afraid of not having enough, you will be on the path to overcoming adversity and creating wealth.

Be willing to take risks. Realize there is some risk involved in creating wealth, but that anything worth achieving is worth the risk. Some people never experience the fulfillment they crave because they’re afraid of failing. Failure isn’t something to be feared. Instead of procrastinating and being afraid of failing, plan your actions carefully so you will be prepared no matter what happens.

Take action. Take action where your money is concerned. If you’ve been waiting for wealth to come along and find you, it’s time to start taking action to create wealth instead. If you own a business, be prepared to work harder and offer better services. Take positive steps that will help you create wealth.

Invest your money wisely.  Make your money work for you. The wealthy don’t keep their money in savings accounts. To protect the money you have and ensure it continues to grow, it should be invested in a fund that’s well-balanced between safe investments and risks. This is how the wealthy use money to create more wealth.

When you develop the right mindset toward money, take smart actions, and manage your money wisely, you will become a person who creates wealth and stop being someone who is afraid of not having enough.


Small Savings Can Add Up

Living on a budget is the key to financial freedom, but getting started can be frustrating.  When we look at our expenses and see all the bills we are paying every month, it is easy to throw your hands up in disgust.  But what about all those little expenses we incur?  You may be surprised to discover how much the little expenses add up.

It is easy to rule out cuts in small things.  A few dollars a month does not make a significant difference in the overall picture.  But a few dollars here and a few dollars there adds up to a few dollars more.  When you cut back on a lot of little things, you could end up with much more money at the end of the month.

Waste Not , Want Not

One thing we can do what is good for the budget is stop wasting so much.  This can apply to many areas of our lives.  From eating to home heating, waste equals money going down the drain unnecessarily.

Cooking for the family instead of eating takeout or eating out is a great way to save money.  But if you throw away food it reduces the benefit.  So if you have leftovers, do not let it end up in the trash.  Some dishes freeze well , and this makes for an easy dinner when you do not have time to cook.  You can also eat dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

If your home is not well insulated, you’re probably losing a lot of money on heating and cooling.  Insulation cost some money up front, but pays for itself quickly.  If you have drafts coming in around your windows and doors, weatherstripping can help maintain the temperature of your home.

Most households spend an incredible amount on electricity.  This can be avoided in part by using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs. Turn off lights, televisions, computers and other devices when you’re not using them, and open blinds to take advantage of sunlight during the day.

Do yourself a favor : Do it yourself

Every time you pay someone to do something you could do yourself, you’re spending money unnecessarily.  This applies to small things like buying coffee instead of making your own, as well as larger expenses such as home repairs.

Many of us buy a coffee or a drink in a shop or cafe on the way to work in the morning.  This can really add up over time.  Instead, make your own coffee or buy soda in 2-liter bottles and pour some into a smaller bottle or cup to take with you.  The same applies to lunches.  Instead of jumping for fast food, grab a sandwich or something microwavable to take to work.

While not all are good in all types of repairs and maintenance, most of us can do some things for ourselves.  Maybe you could change your own oil instead of paying someone else to do it.  If the walls need painting, consider getting friends and family to help you do that instead of hiring a painter.  Things that you are able to fix yourself as opposed to having someone else repair for you can save a significant amount of money immediately.

When you add up the savings, little things can make a big difference in the budget.  So take a look at your budget and see what small expenses are lurking there.  If you can eliminate or reduce them, they could have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Positive Thinking and Money

How do you think money is the most important factor that determines whether you are rich or not. So , if you want more money in your life , it is essential to develop a positive money mindset . Of course, you can’t just think about money.  You also need to take action. Having a proper mindset though can help those actions be more successful.

However, many of us are taught to think badly of money. We say things like “money is the root of all evil” , and “money does not grow on trees . ” No wonder we have such a difficult time thinking positively about money.  You may even have been taught that the rich are greedy and as a result are subconsciously avoiding wealth and neglecting the great opportunities that have the money can provide.

As long as you hold on to negative and incorrect beliefs about money, never going to create the wealth you want or deserve .

To change your mindset money, you must first recognize that money is not good or bad in itself . It is simply a tool. In fact , the money is used more often for good than harm. Think about the wonderful charities that have been able to help people around the world when given large donations of money. Appreciate all the good that the money is used . An important part of life and is used to make positive changes in the world . The money must be sought, not avoided .

Recognize that money is abundant. When you were young , you may have been told by their parents that money does not grow on trees . If you are holding that belief now , his own way of thinking might be holding you back from attracting money. Money may not grow on trees , but there is a generous amount of it for everyone, including you. However, if you believe that money is scarce, that belief will keep away from you.

Giving money is another way you can develop a positive mindset money. Wanting to hang on every penny you have is a sign of a petty mindset and reinforces the idea that it is not enough . Give reinforces the concept of abundance.

Finally, be happy for those who are successful and have money. I often think that we are told that those who have money are greedy and are tempted to think badly of them. In fact , the opposite is usually true. The rich often accumulate their wealth by sharing what you have with others and believe in the idea of abundance.

When someone has money, not resent their success. If you have feelings of jealousy , that just keep you from achieving your own wealth and success.  Instead, be happy for them and remember that there is enough wealth for you too, and your turn will come.

By making these changes in the way we think about money, you’ll be on your way to developing a positive mindset money.  Once you start to think about money in a positive way, will be on the road to achieving your own wealth.

Motif Investing’s New Position Page

Motif Investing allows individuals to invest in great ideas focusing on real-world themes and popular investing strategies. A motif is a carefully researched and intelligently weighted portfolio of up to 30 stocks that reflect real-world trends and investment ideas. Now, Motif Investing has made it even easier for customers to understand their investments with a new Allocations tab on the Positions page. These new views will allow individuals to see various breakdowns of their stocks and ETFs into investment type, sector, and motif.

Now investors can easily see what their investment allocation is by investment type. They can also see how the stocks in their motif are allocated by sector. Also, investors can see allocation across all motifs by going to the Motif section, and then clicking on each motif to see its individual performance.

For a limited time, Motif Investing is offering up to a $150 bonus when you invest and trade. The cash bonus offer applies to new, approved Motif Investing brokerage accounts opened after 9/1/12 and funded with at least $2,000. The new funds must be posted to the account within 10 calendar days of account opening, and must remain in the account for 45 calendar days. The total bonus will be based on motif trades made within 45 calendar days of funding, as follows: 1 motif trade will receive $50; 3 motif trades will receive $75; 5 motif trades will receive $150. A motif trade is defined as a completed purchase or sale of a motif for $9.95 commission. Individual stock trades will not be considered as part of this offer. The cash bonus will be credited to the account within 30 calendar days after the end of the 45-calendar-day period.

If you would like to trade with Motif Investing or would just like more information about Motif Investing and the $150 bonus offer you can click on the affiliate ad below the post.

Financial Nightmare: Losing Your Entire 401k Plan

A 401k plan can be a very valuable asset for your future. It allows you to save more without being taxed just yet. If you don’t know what a 401k is then you should read on so you can find out more.

Tax Deferred Retirement Fund

What is known as a 401k is officially termed as a tax deferred retirement plan. The fancy alpha numeric code comes from the law that authorized the creation of retirement plans like that. From the name, you could guess that the benefits of this type of retirement plan are in connection with the taxes that it is charged with. In a 401k plan the money that you contribute is not taxed right away. That means any portion of your income that you contribute to the plan will not get taxed just yet. When the time comes when you would be using the plan then that is when it would be charged with taxes, hence the term deferred. The existing tax rates would then be used at that time.

The money that is accumulated on the fund is then invested. Usually it is placed on the stock market. By investing it, your money can earn income, though you cannot use it just yet, you know that you would have something saved up for your retirement. Check out the Suncorp superannuation calculator for help planning for your future.

Is it Possible to Lose Your Entire 401k?

Some people are concerned with their 401k. They are worried that they might lose it in its entirety. It would be such a shame to lose a huge part of your savings, money that you have worked for, so quickly. The truth is that it is really possible for you to see your entire 401k vaporized.

Keep in mind that the money in your retirement plan is not just sitting in some vault where it is kept until you retire. That’s not how it works. The money is used for investments and the most common financial product where it is placed are stocks. Like other forms of investment, there is risk in the stock market. Some stocks are riskier than others but in the end, all stocks have the potential of going bust.

So if the money in your plan was invested in stocks that lost value, then you could really lose all of your money. That’s a highly unlikely scenario but it is possible and it can happen. What is likelier is that you can lose a good portion of your money when it is invested in shares that go down in value. You can lose a good portion of your retirement savings within a few minutes of trading.

Diversifying Investments

The best way to prevent that from happening is to diversify your investments. This means that your portfolio should include both low risk stocks that can provide poor returns and those that can provide high returns but are high risk as well.

These are just some things that you ought to know when it comes to your 401k. It is your duty and responsibility to be aware.

Savers ‘Being Let Down’ by Customer Service

One quarter of respondents to a recent survey who had made a complaint about their savings account over the last 12 months still feel like their worries were not resolved to a satisfactory degree. According to Which? members taking part in an investigation into savings account complaints, it presents a real worry – particularly given that one in five UK customers have had problems over the past year.

While savings accounts are becoming more diverse and open to different demographics in the UK – such as junior ISAs with household-centric companies like Family Investments – older people are struggling with their account holders, with certain banks topping the table for examples of discourse.

Santander headed up the chart for the highest proportion of customers that experienced problems during the last 12 months. In fact, 29 per cent of the bank’s customers had difficulty with this provider over this period. Barclays followed in second place with 22 per cent of savings customers experiencing problems during the last year.

While poor customer service was the most common problem that Which? recorded, mistakes on statements were also a major issue – the second most often-quoted complaint. Other sticking points were also regularly mentioned; many respondents were annoyed about their inability to see the interest rate in their online account, while others were angered at the difficulty in getting through to a human on the phone to answer a question.

However, other banks performed quite well. First Direct and Nationwide were the least likely to have customers encountering problems with their savings account, with only 12 per cent of consumers registering complaints.

While certain positive trends did emerge, they weren’t without a caveat of some sort. For example, while six in ten of the most recent savings accounts complaints were resolved to the satisfaction of those making them, one quarter of complaints had to be made more than once before there was some form of resolution.

Meanwhile, 33 per cent of people told Which? they didn’t think a problem was serious enough to make a complaint; 19 per cent were more put off by the expensive phone numbers that banks offer for complaint calls.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said of the findings: “There’s a lot to complain about in banking over the last few years and to win back our trust they must sort out their complaints handling. When things go wrong it is critical that banks act swiftly and fairly to deal with the problem, identify what caused it and make sure it’s not repeated.”


IRS New Simplified Home Office Deduction

The tax season has ended for most people. The returns have been spent, and the individuals have gone back to their lives. they may be earning enough for the next year, or they may simply be oblivious to the entire process.  A taxpayer who works out of his home office may want to have the process of making a home office deduction made easier.  If he missed the opportunity this year, he can use the simplified home office deduction.

If someone has not taken the simplified home office deduction yet, he may want to take a few minutes and learn what it is.  It is a simple idea. Someone who conducts business out of his home needs to find any way to save money he can. this deduction is a great way for someone who works at home to get additional money back on his tax return. Something that is more likely to happen is that the person will get his tax debt reduced. The Internal Revenue Service cannot do much about the overly complicated tax code, but politicians can give people breaks. This simple tax write-off is one of the many breaks a person can take.

If someone does not know what he needs to do to take it, he can ask his tax adviser.  These professionals can help someone avoid the pitfalls that are found in this area of law, but they are not necessary for most people. Most websites can calculate the deduction, as long as they know the amount of home office space that is used.  If someone has made it this far and has not realized that this is for people who have a home office. The average American factory worker cannot take it, unless he lives in the same factory in which he works.