24
June
2015
mistakes-which-delay-your-financial-independence

Mistakes are very common and obvious things, especially when it comes to finance. Both youngsters and elders make costly money mistakes. And this includes dads too. There's a proverb you may know, “The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.” Most often, many of you are feeling guilty of some of your financial mistakes. However, you must understand that you have accumulated not because of anyone else’s fault but yours. Thus, you may also be aware of these mistakes which can totally change your lifestyle.

1. Having excessive credit card craze

Many people are often unaware of the proper usage of credit cards. They love to swipe a credit card for each and every purchase to meet regular needs. And this is probably most ruinous financial mistake. You should follow a realistic household budget at your initial age. Thus, you can optimize the excessive usage of your plastics. Because, don’t forget that you need to pay your each and every bill on time. If you’re unable to pay off your credit card debts in time, then you have to incur interest charges on that purchase. Remember, credit cards can be used only to meet the emergency expenses.

2. Choosing unaffordable things

As the credit card gives you the scope of using money that you do not have, you may get tempted to use your credit cards to make a purchase that you would not be able to make. Otherwise, you may often tend to forget that you will be the one who will eventually have to pay off this amount. You may draw some temporary satisfaction with the idea of possessing things that go way beyond your affordability, but this will lead you to fall into massive credit card debts.

3. Paying money for credit reviewing

You can always get free credit report to monitor if there is any wrong listing. But paying money to review the credit report twice or thrice a year will be a blunder. Because there are many websites available to check credit report for free. Moreover, if you’re not sure about the security of your credit report, then you can set a security alert on your credit report in order to stop further fraud. For this you need to pay only one time charges.

4. Borrowing money from retirement account

You shouldn’t borrow money from your retirement account. This is one of the serious mistakes which can cost you dearly on your golden age. Remember, unless there is an emergency, it’s not advisable to cashing out from your retirement account. Because you have to pay taxes on your borrowing from a retirement account.

5. Paying only the minimum on all credit card

In case you are paying just the minimum on all your credit cards, then you are making a big mistake. This habit is something that you should change. You must pay at least the minimum on all your credit card debts, but more than the minimum on at least one debt. This one card that you pay more than the minimum should ideally be the debt that has the highest interest rate. You must pay at least the double of the minimum for this debt. Thus, you can pay off the debt faster. This means that, you will be able to save a lot of money on interest.

6. Taking out cash advances on credit cards

Cash advances is a very costly thing that you frequently do with a credit card. The fees associated with cash advances are very lofty and the rate of interest is also very high. So, you must avoid this option unless or until there's an emergency.

7. Wasting all credit limits

Some credit terms will offer huge credit limits for students. But this doesn't mean that a student can burn the full credit limit. You should keep in mind that the balance of your credit is below 50%. And if you cross your credit limit, your score may get hurt.

8. Buying an unnecessarily big house

If you buy a too bigger house than you need, then you’re going to spend lots of things which may cause a big credit crunch in the future. You need to think about insurance, taxes, utility maintenance cost, homeowner's fees as well. So, when you can comfortably live in a less expensive house with your family, then it will be a blunder to spend a lot of money to buy or build a big house in a higher priced community.

Final words

Understanding the mistakes and avoiding them can help you to achieve something better. Remember, it takes a long time and effort to build a secured financial future, but, it’s quite easier to lose it. So, try to live within your means and track your every single penny you have spent every day. Try to spend less money than you earn. You may successfully achieve financial security with time.


17
June
2015
money-mistakes

This post has been shared by Amy Nickson.

Financial mistakes are very common things. There are many people who suffered a lot due to some fatal money mistakes they did in their life. Mistakes are mistakes. No matter how old are you, how rich are you, even what position you’re holding in your professional life. During my childhood I wondered, “ I’m so lucky to have a super dad in my life.” How magically he can solve each and every problems. It may be financial or other issues. But, as I grew up and in my work as a financial writer, I can easily identify some vital financial mistakes which not only you, your partner, relative, even parent shouldn’t repeat it.

In this article, I’m going to describe some hazardous money mistakes that are quite popular and most parents especially fathers are oblivious of this. And for this, most of our elderly parents are suffering with their distressed financial state.

Dad’s money mistake you should avoid politely

Mistakes are quite obvious. It can take you to any place. So, don’t think you’re right in your every financial decision and your father was ignorant with this matter. Overconfidence can dig a big hole in your financial future. Remember, your father is the first person who had given you the first pocket money to spend. He was the bread earner of your family. You should respect and learn his accuracy, knowledge and most importantly his experience. So, follow your father’s every valuable and wise decision instead of some mistakes which are quite common at their time.

1. Hiding cash under the mattress

If you have enough money and you have the habit of hiding it under your mattress, you’re actually wasting the money. Money must always be kept in a bank or a financial institution so that it can grow with time and you can use in the future. It is one of the biggest blunder which our past generation have followed but you must not repeat in your life.

2. Making late payments

You need to be careful that as late payments and penalty fees can take a toll on your finances in the future. Missing your payments is a guaranteed way to destroy credit report and hurt your score. It’s better to take steps to make timely payments than falling into massive debt traps.

3. Borrowing from retirement fund

There are so many people who had committed this mistake and suffered severely in their post retired life. It’s a very easy and tempting option to borrow money from retirement account to survive, when you’ve less money in your hand. But doing this, you’re actually ruining your post retired life when you’ve no other source of money. Moreover, If you do this, not only will you remove your pre-tax money, but also you have to repay it with after-tax earnings. Though, borrowing from your 401(k) is the best way to get easy access to cash but, this is one of the biggest mistake that can destroy your financial future. So, try to stay away from this mistake.

4. Not giving the money lessons to kids

In today’s economy money plays a very significant role in everyone’s life. As I have told in introductory lines, that no matter how much bank balance you have or how much property you’ve inherited. You should have sound knowledge about finance in order to tackle it properly in your life. Otherwise, you may fall into serious financial problems. It may come to you as credit card debts, unemployment, rejection of loan, rent, insurance, mortgage application, so on. So, don’t repeat your dad’s mistake. They thought a kid should stay away from money. Because, it may make them bad, can create a stress on them. All are wrong statements. Parents, mainly father is the one, who can deliver the money related knowledge to children. Only a father can teach a child the basic financial lessons to make financially educated.

5. Closing existing lines of credit

Some vital financial lessons such as closing accounts all of a sudden or having many credit cards can affect vital impact on your financial life. So, if a father made such a vital mistake, then the kids may follow the same. You may come across stories of credit counselors or financial consultants telling you to close down your existing lines of credit to boost your credit score. But this is a myth as you must never close your credit card accounts that has balance in it. Pay down the entire balance and then send a letter to the company requesting them to close your account.

Final words

Every person have their own perception. So, no doubt your father is best in his own terms. But, It’s advisable that when you’re making some financial decisions, then you need to make the decision more carefully. Otherwise, your one single mistake can cost you badly. If you follow your father’s financial perceptions blindly you may face problems in recent economy as well. As, both of you belong to a different economy. So, be very careful when you’re investing money or obtaining loan or insurance or simply closing some of your credit card accounts. Because, mistakes are small but the outcome can be devastating.


3
June
2015
become-debt-free-in-one-income

This post has been made by KM, an ordinary girl who paid off debts by living on one income and accepting OVLG as her financial friend.

“Sometimes, I feel that it is more painful to pay off debt than giving birth to a child. The endless negotiations and the stress of carrying debt boulder on your shoulder 24*7 are too much. You can neither sleep peacefully nor can you walk stress-free. At least, in case of baby, a would-be mom gets relief after 9 months of incessant struggle. But in the later case, there is not even that option. You don’t know when you’ll finally deliver enough payments to smash debts.” - KM

Debt statistics

  • Total debt enrolled - $17680.00
  • Total debt saved - $10189.7
  • Types of debts - credit cards and medical bills

Meet KM - The girl who lived on one income to save $10189.7

I just can’t recall the exact date and time when I had a chat with Van Cliburn. It might have been through OVLG’s live chat option or on Facebook. But the reason why it is still there in my mind is because ever since I met Van, my life became better. He gave me constant support in various ways and motivated me to carry on with my struggle to pay off debts. Here’s how.

Wait a minute. Before I begin my story, let me give you a preview of my life. Only then will you understand why I’m ever so indebted to Van Cliburn (OVLG’s financial coach).

Preview of my life - A carefree girl with lots of debts

I had a rough childhood. My parents broke up when I was only 8. So I didn’t have any opportunity to get proper guidance from parents. My mom used to go for work and was hardly at home. The total family responsibility was on her shoulder. So, by the time she finished all her work, I used to be already asleep. And as far as my father is concerned, I can only say that he was one person who had only time for me when his girlfriend allowed him to visit our house.

Anyway, as I grew up, I made friends and entered into college. I loved attending college as it gave me a chance to mingle with my friends and had a gala time. I partied hard, went for vacations and shopped like a millionaire. All through my credit card which mom gifted me on the day I turned 18.

By the time I completed my graduation, my total credit card debt escalated to $10,000. I was not doing any job right then and couldn’t ask for money from mom either. She was already doing so much for me. How could I ask for even more money? But, I couldn’t afford to ignore credit card bills for a long time. My credit score was falling day by day.

Even before I could come up with a solution to the problem, my mom met with an accident. She was badly injured and couldn’t even go out for work for a month. The medical bills and other associated expenses racked up another $7680. This increased the total debt to $17680 within a few days.

The problem unfolds and a solution awaits at the door

I was trying my best to hide all the gory facts from mom. But mothers have a special power. They see even the invisible things. As she gradually became better with proper care and medication, she started asking me about the expenses. I avoided the topic for a few days but when the debt stress started taking a toll on my mental health, I told everything to mom. She was aghast especially about the credit card debt. She said,

“I shouldn’t have given you that credit card. Oh God! You couldn’t even take care of a single card properly”.

I couldn’t meet her eyes for the first few days. But mentally I was relieved since I didn’t have to play hide and seek with her anymore. I promised mom that everything would be fine soon. The only problem was I didn’t know how.

Since no one could give me a proper solution, so I finally decided to ask my question to Google. As everyone says, Google has the solution to each and every problem. And they were not wrong. Really, Google has a solution for each and every problem.

I came to know about OVLG from Google only. I called them up and explained my problem to Van Cliburn. I was not thinking anything. I was just answering his question one by one. After the session was finally over, Van comforted me and gave me 2 quick solutions to my problems.

Time to work on the solutions to ditch problems

Solution no 1: Settle your debts

The first solution was to settle my debts. Van said that it could help me to discard debts by paying much less than what we owed. He promised to negotiate with creditors once I enrolled into OVLG’s debt settlement program and completed the entire procedure.

Solution no 2: Live on one income

Van suggested me to live on one income. Since both of us were working (yes, I had taken up a job of a personal secretary by then), so he advised us to spend my income and save mom’s paycheck. It was pretty hard initially. But we managed. Initially, we tried to live on only 1.5 income. Then we gradually started saving 75% of mom’s income and using the rest to pay for the daily necessities of life. And finally, the day soon arrived when we learnt the tricks to save 100% of mom’s income. It was a proud moment for us as it helped us to save a good amount for settling debts.

Problems solved and got a fresh lease of life

Once we saved a good amount, Van negotiated with creditors and settled my debts. We saved almost $10189.7 in total and this helped us to get a fresh start. We have saved this amount in your bank account so that it can be used during emergencies.

Mom has got a better job now and I’m still continuing my old job. So, life has become slightly better now. Our next goal is to buy a home. I know it’s a little big dream but we will work hard to fulfill it. Just pray for us.

So, this was KM’s debt success story. We are extremely happy for her and wish KM all the best in life. We hope she buys her dream home soon without any further struggle. But wait a minute! What about you? Do you have any interesting story to share? Have you too kicked debt out of her life? If yes, then share it with us. It will help to inspire millions of people.


21
May
2015
memorial-day-celebrations

On this Memorial Day, veterans and fallen heroes would be honored in the nation’s capital. Here’s the itinerary of the celebration:

  1. No Memorial Day in DC is complete without mentioning the National Memorial Day Parade. Started on since 2005, the parade is largest of its kind in the U.S. is put up by the American Veterans Center in honor of those servicemen and servicewomen who put their lives on the line of duty to protect our liberty. The event is to be on Constitution Avenue, it wows audiences that are more than 250,000 strong with active duty, retired military units and marching bands, youth groups, floats and scores of veterans. This year the parade is scheduled for Monday, 25th May, and would start at 2 p.m.
  2. Arlington National Cemetery hosts a variety of events to celebrate Memorial Day. If you want to be a part of its celebrations, then head to the Memorial Amphitheater at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 26th. An official Memorial Day service will be held, sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Moreover, over a quarter million mini flags will be used to decorate the cemetery's headstones. For a better and more powerful tribute, you may head to the Tomb of the Unknowns. It is guarded by Tomb Guard Sentinels 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year. Hold on their for while and you’ll witness the impressive Changing of the Guard ceremony, which is conducted every half-hour until the cemetery closes at 7 p.m. At 4 p.m. The Women in Military Service for America Memorial, that is situated at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, will conduct a ceremony. The ceremony includes formal military honors, wreath-layings, a keynote address and the signature event of the Memorial, the scattering of rose petals, a mark of tribute to the departed soldiers.
  3. A company of hogs throng the streets of DC each Memorial Day weekend for the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally. This “ride for freedom” attracts more than 900,000 motorcycle riders from all over the country who travel to honor POWs and MIAs. Besides, the riding rally being held on Sunday, May 24th, one of the main crowd-puller each year, there are other Rolling Thunder events on the anvil, too: a candlelight vigil is scheduled to be held on Friday, May 22; apart from that, a wreath-laying ceremony will be held too at the U.S. Navy Memorial on Saturday, May 23; and lastly, on Sunday evening, you can look forward to the Rolling Thunder’s Saluting Our Troops - a concert to be held near the Vietnam War Memorial.
  4. On Memorial Day eve, the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol undergoes a sea of change and is transformed into a patriotic concert venue. A free performance is put up to pay tribute to those who have served our country, and with a part of the evening being dedicated to honor our current active service members. This event will be one out of many opportunities for you to recognize and catch a glimpse of the active servicewoman or serviceman of our nation. As far as the concert is concerned, it will be co-hosted this year by Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise and Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna. These two actors who have taken on veterans causes in recent years, and their event is featured at the National Symphony Orchestra.
  5. You can stroll the National Mall this Memorial Day which is considered a must-do. To begin with, you can honor the most famous war general in U.S. history by visiting the Washington Monument. There, you can pay your deepest respects at the National World War II Memorial, created and dedicated in 2004. The memorium is etched with 58,621 soldiers’ names, while the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was the brainchild of Maya Ying Lin, a 21 year-old architecture student at Yale in 1981. Next in your travel itinerary you can include a trek to the Lincoln Memorial to read one of the most powerful and widely-known speeches on sacrifice: the Gettysburg Address. A stone’s throw away is the Korean War Veterans Memorial that provides a unique empathetic experience with its 19 life-like, poncho-clad soldier statues.
  6. The DC War Memorial is a unique hidden gem on the National Mall. The domed structure was built in honor of the 26,000 Washington, DC residents who served during the World War I. The memorial was in a dilapidated state and was restored in 2011 thanks in part to Frank Buckles, the lone surviving American World War I veteran. The structure features Roman-style architecture with sturdy columns, and was originally dedicated in 1931 by then President Herbert Hoover. You’ll notice the almost all the 500 names that are engraved at the base of the memorial
  7. Not too far from the walls of Arlington National Cemetery, there is a permanent installation of one of the most iconic photographs of World War II: Raising the Flag on Iowa Jima. The Marine Corps War Memorial (better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial) was built as an homage to all marines who have died defending the U.S. since 1775. This scene was originally made public in 1951 and provides a sweeping view of the DC skyline.

18
May
2015
be-dollarwise-on-memorial-day

Memorial Day is approaching. And the best part is, no other event will much popular in summer than this Day. Because, Memorial Day is very popular for shopping, having good foods with friends and guests and having summer fun. This is such an event when millions of people will hit the store to buy appliance, gadgets. They will even hit hotels to have good foods or have some fun. But all these fun can cost you big if you haven't yet finalise your budget and schedule the necessary expenditure for the event.

9 Ways to curb extra expenses to save dollar

You may be thinking to host a barbecue party on this Memorial Day or, a nice get together party on a good hotel, or just want to shop some items, whatever it is, you need to do a lot of pre planning. Thus, you can have fun and save some dollar as well. Here are some easy ways to save dollar on the big day.

1. Consider dollar store to shop

For throwing a party, you need some basic items like paper plates, plastic cutlery so on. And no option is best than dollar store to get those items. Yes, you can easily get all the items spending less money there. So, choosing supermarket to buy things will be your biggest blunder and can cost you big.

2. Buy in bulk

You need to buy in bulk according to the number of guest and menu. So try to buy in bulk (meat, vegetables, other necessary things). You can get big discounts on bulk items so it will be always a win win deal.

3. Find the butcher shop to buy meat

Especially for a barbecue party you need lot of meat. And you can save more money by considering a butcher shop instead of prepared packets available on supermarket. You can also get chicken breast or meat in large slabs in a butcher shop. So, no need to spend extra dollar when you can save up to 60% to avoid prepared meat.

4. Plan the menu beforehand

Don't leave all the task for last moment. It seems that, most of time, last minute rush can be a big pocket burner. If you plan the menu according to the number of guest, plan the recipe and shop accordingly, then you can always get the time to get things with right price.

5. Choose the self cooking option

There are ample of websites where you can get easy and delicious recipes. So why don’t you give yourself a chance? You may cook some delicious food and impress your guest as well. Always try to make your own salad, marinade, dressing. You have all the required ingredients (necessary herbs, olive oil, vinegar, spices, sauce, lime so on) at your home. So, don’t waste your money on costly packaged foods any more. You can even bake cookies, cupcakes, cakes of your own.

6. Try to get boxed wine

Don’t spend money on bottled wine when you can easily get boxed wine for your guests. Boxed wine is much affordable than bottled wine and can easily served.

7. Ask your guest to bring side dishes

If you’re planning a big party, then you can ask the guest to bring side dishes. Plan only the main dishes and other required things for a party.

8. Get discounts and special coupons

Special Memorial Day discounts and coupons are available these days. So, take a close look on Internet and save big on television, furniture, kitchen appliance, apparel so on! You can get even promo codes on departmental stores.

9. Don’t forget to redeem credit card rewards

Try to buy the grocery items on the same store where you shop on regular basis. Thus, you can get reward points on your credit cards. Try to redeem the credit card. So that you can get the discounts on your purchase. Make sure you use the points for cash back to your bank account. Or, try to exchange the gift card and get the one which you can use for Memorial Day shopping as well. Don’t miss the discounts on gas station too.

Final words

Lastly, make sure that you don’t spend money extravagantly. Because incurring holiday debts can hurt your credit score and will take big time to paid off. So, try to plan beforehand so when the Memorial Day weekend arrives you’ll be able to attend the events in your own joyful way without having any financial worry.


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Mistakes are very common and obvious things, especially when it comes to finance. Both youngsters and elders make costly money mistakes. And this includes dads too. There's a proverb you may know, “The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.” Most often, many of ...

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