Are you tired of worrying about money?

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Tired of Worrying About Money, early retirement, passive, income, cash, fiancial, freedom, fiances, flow, help, 50%, paycheck to paycheck, broke, ready, for, change, 401k, investment http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/04/are-you-tired-of-worrying-about-money

When did struggling to make ends meat become the norm? Why do we never have enough money? Headlines raced across America recently about the dire situation we are faced with.

According to HomeServe USA:

  • In America 50% of people are unprepared for a financial emergency.
  • 1 in 5 (19%) Americans have nothing set aside to cover an unexpected emergency.
  • 1 in 3 (31%) Americans don’t have at least $500 set aside to cover an unexpected emergency expense.
  • In a different survey by MetLife, they found that 49% of employees are “concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being.”

(Source: MarketWatch.com)


That means 50% of people are living paycheck to paycheck in America.

For those 50%, I would like to tell you that this is not how it has to be.  In fact, I would like to tell everyone toiling away with no plans of retirement or even those who want to take the standard age 65 retirement.  That not only can you survive but can thrive! You can even retire early if you want to!

There are 4 Parts to Freedom!

There are many ways to reach financial goals and everyone has different views of what they want their lives to look like.  People who lead you to believe that the only option to success is their proven method, or by buying their product are lying! The main goal is to be better off tomorrow than you are today, try to at least do something on the list, and if you want to never worry about money again, do all of them.
 

Part 1. Lower your cost of living.

Take a hard look at your life.  Are you working for your needs or your wants?  The first step to never worrying about money again is to lower the baseline amount of how much you need.  I spent a year owning only the contents of one backpack, nothing else in the world.  It was freeing.  It was just me. I went to a country where the dollar went further, and I was thriving on less than $500 a month.  Now I am not suggesting to you to go to these extremes.  I only use it as an example of what is possible.
Don’t look at this step as a negative impact on your life, getting rid of things that hold you down only allows you to rise.  Also, if you need less to live, you need less to retire!
If you have never written out a budget to get an idea of how much is going and out and where of your bank account, Mint.com is a great place to get started, and it is free.  It also has a net wealth calculator built in.

 

Ideas:
  • Sell your car, move to a small apartment near your work that you can walk or bike to.  Not only will it save you money it has two things that will improve your life, exercise and shorter commute time!
  • If you feel you need a car, make sure it makes financial sense! Do not finance a vehicle.  Buy a cheap one, in cash.  See: How to get an amazing deal on a car!
  • Buy a home with multiple units, so your other units cover all your housing costs.  See: House Hacking: Lets You Get Your Housing For Free
  • Sell any large asset that is not making you money if at all feasibly possible. That means the huge house you are filling up with useless stuff.   That means the car worth over $10,000 is gone.  Unless your net worth is over a million, these cannot be considered reasonable.
  • Cut down any monthly expenditures you can, find a cheaper cell phone, pare down to only one entertainment source, call all your current providers and see if there is a way to lower your bill, don’t eat out as much, cut out as much frivolous spending as you can.

 

Part 2. Increase the amount of money you are earning.

 So let’s say you get through Part 1, you have reduced your cost of living substantially, and you are still struggling to keep your head above water to live let alone to invest or pay off debt.  It is time to increase your baseline income, find a better paying job.  If you get through Part 1 and you’re looking like you are going to be able to make a lot of motion with your ocean, it never hurts to get a little more and get that tide a little higher.

Further Reading:  How to get a high paying job with no debt involved!

 

Ideas: 
  • Ask for a raise.
  • Look for a new job in your same field.  Find someone who will pay you more, use that current job to leverage you into more money!
  • Get a second job.  Or, if there is a spouse at home consider them taking on a small job while the main breadwinner is home.  I  don’t advise this just for life quality, but it is an option for speed, or if the situation is dire.
  • Low earnings in your field? Switch it! Look for paid apprenticeships in construction, like plumbing and electricians.  Jobs which provide their training like Emergency Services (police officers, dispatchers, firefighters.), or drivers (Truck, School Bus, Boat.) which often train you to get your Commercial Drivers Licence (CDL) which can be a huge money maker.  See: How to get a high paying job with no debt involved!
  • Go back to school.  This can be a rough one.  First, the earning potential of the job you will get from going back to school has to be very good.  Make sure that one year of your projected salary can cover your whole debt incurred plus any lost income you could have been making during the time I took to complete it. Make sure to shadow your projected career, or find some volunteer job around it to see if it is a fit for you first.  There is nothing worse than incurring a bunch of debt only to hate what you got out of it.

Part 3.  Kick debt in the teeth.

I am not of the opinion that all debt is bad.  Would it better to have no debt, YES! But, I believe in the power of leverage.  Using student loans to leverage you into that job that makes you much more income.  Using mortgages to get you into and possibly renovate an investment property that yields cash flow after all expenses.  Getting a small business loan to grown your company and your earnings.
The key for those is the end goal must be worth it, and you must complete the task the loan allowed you to do.  You have to be getting more out of the debt then the lenders are getting out of you.
Consumer debt is typically the anti-thesis of being financially healthy.  This includes cars, credit card debt, any debts that are not currently making you more money than the interest they are charging you.  You cannot do Part 4, investing in yourself while you have consumer debt, the interest they are charging simply cancels all gains you are getting elsewhere.

 

Ideas:
  • Cut up your credit cards or make them inaccessible to yourself.  (I’ve heard of people freezing them in ice and keeping them in the freezer.)  I do not advise canceling them because it generally does not help your credit score.
  • If you keep unfreezing those cards, it is time to have none at all.
  • Don’t sign up for credit cards for the free rewards or discounts, especially if you have a track record of racking up debt.  There is a reason they do these incentive programs, they more often than not get more out of you then you will get out of them.
  • Attack your highest interest charged debts first for the most results, attack your smallest balance debts first for the most motivation to keep going.
  • Have a ton of debt, and you can’t even get a handle on the monthly payments?  Even after Part 1 and Part 2? Consider moving the debt around.  Some cards will do balance transfers and give you a flat low-interest charge up front by adding it your balance.  Only do this to debts you are sure you won’t be able to touch for the period it is held for because you are working on others.  Wait that didn’t work, not enough wiggle room to move it: have some other large asset?  Look into selling that asset to pay your debt off or getting a loan against it at a lower interest rate.  No assets? Maybe it is time to consider bankruptcy.
 

Part 4.  Invest in yourself. Diversify your earnings.

This Part is the fun one! Make sure that you are good with Part 3 though before doing things on this list unless you can manage to do them for no money or debt!  If your goal is truly not to worry about money make sure to build up a buffer in a liquid, interest accruing account like a money market fund of at least 3 to 6 months of your current expenses.  Remember the more sources of income you have, the less impactful losing one is, so diversify!

 

Ideas:
  • Start your own side business, this can be anywhere from starting a blog, to a service like consulting or tutoring.  Remember to start small and scale up with success try to grow from your earnings!
  • Make sure you are matching any employer contribution into your retirement account.  
  • Invest in the stock market.  If you like your field of employment and enjoy going to work, ramp up those retirement contributions and also invest in IRAs.  If you would rather retire early, invest in index funds and dividend stocks.
  • Get an investment property.  Investment properties can be a really strong contributor if you would like to retire early as it can quickly push you into gaining passive income.
Further Reading:

9 Tricks to Make Travel Cheap!

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I have made a lot of money mistakes when I went traveling.  I do not want to date myself but travel blogs were not as popular, and for the most part, was flying blind other than a Lonely Planet Travel Guide.  I lost thousands that could have been avoided.  So I compiled a list of my hard-earned tips and tricks, so you, would not make the same ones!

1. Go where your money goes farther!
Choose destinations where the cost of living is low. Beer in Western Europe could cost you five times a beer in Eastern Europe. Check out https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings.jsp to get an idea of how much it costs to just be in a country.

2. Travel slowly!
The longer you travel for, the cheaper it is. You get reduced rates staying places for a month or longer. The less jumping around you are doing, the less you are paying to get from one place to another. As you are there for longer, so you can take advantage of free days at museums and free festivals. Go to local parties.

 

3. Travel like you live there.
Don’t go out to eat constantly, pick up food at grocery stores and markets instead. Don’t make every day an action packed day, learn to relax. Take local public transportation instead of the tourist option.

4. Work!
Many places or business will give you room and board for work. It is easy to do, and you can even plan ahead with sites like HelpX.net, WWOOF.net, and WorkAway.info. Do not limit yourself; you can contact organizations or businesses you would like to work at and ask them directly too!

5. Cut down on fees.
Get a checking account or credit card that does not charge you extra for out or country transactions and ATM withdrawals. Or even better, find a bank which refunds any fees you may incur at a bank that is not your own. I use a Charles Schwab Investor Checking account. They have been amazing while stationary and abroad.

6. Play the dangerous game of credit card rewards.
I’m not a huge fan of these, as I always seem to end up giving them the cost of whatever they give me right back in interest. But they can be a powerful tool if you are disciplined. My husband and I took a trip to Nicaragua on points and only incurred a few airport fees.

7. Don’t have expenses at home!
Want to travel for a long time? Drop that lease, rent or sell your home, and sell off all your stuff including your car. Travel while you have no at home expenses weighing you down. You may be homeless, but let me tell you it is freeing!

8. Pay attention to Visas!
Know the status of the country you are entering and if you have to prearrange a visa, pay for a visa upon arrival, or can enter for free. I did not anticipate needing a visa, and it ended up costing me a lot of money in changing flights around as I could not afford expedition, and it would have taken a long time regardless as I was not in my home country. For United States citizens: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html

9. Don’t be afraid of people!
Hitchhike, find a travel buddy to split costs with, stay at someone’s house for free or through CouchSurfing.com. Try to network through social media to find friends and family in the area or their friends and family. Ask people who know more about the area than you to show you around. Not only does it help with costs, but it enriches the experience. Make sure to be kind and pass it on!

Ready to be Inspired?  Check Out:  My Top 5 Favorite Travel Videos!

Know someone else who might want to know how to save money traveling? Make sure to share!

How to Create Real Passive Income!

How to create real passive income, real estate, investing, investor, cash, flow, financial freedom, retire early.http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/how-to-create-real-passive-income/

(Background of image property of 401(k) 2012)

Let me first start out saying this is not an affiliate link bank; I am not going to tell you that doing all your searches through Bing or Swagbucks, or all your shopping through iBotta is passive income. Because it is not! Those are just incentive programs, to do your shopping through them, or to actually do work for them by building their businesses. Passive Income is income that does not come from trading your time for money; it is something that is sustained even when you are taking no actions. However, that does not mean there is no work involved!!!! Let’s get this straight; there is no such thing as money without effort. The closest thing is government cheese, but you still have to jump through a ton of hoops, live a very modest life, and be reliant on someone else. Passive Income streams tend to have a lot of work up front that yield a slow stream that takes only a negligible amount of time and maintenance later.

Stock Market: Dividend Stocks, Index Funds.
The key for passive income in the stock market is only to take the interest accrued out or dividends. Dividends Stocks are single company stocks that have a good track record of growth in the value of the stock as well as give little kickbacks called dividends. The key with the stock market as a passive income is that you do not remove the money that is generating the interest or dividends. The catch for this is that it takes a significant amount of cash (Work) to make any real life changing amounts here.

Real Estate: Rentals, Owner Financing, Lending.
The best thing about this category is that it all works together to allow for a lower point of entry. The bad part is it takes a long time or a lot working with many balls in the air to switch over from the person paying mortgages payments to the person receiving the mortgage payments. There are also so many different options for investing within the Real Estate industry. The baseline rule is getting someone downstream of you in the world to pay you a consistent cash flow.

Related: 4 Ways Real Estate Investing Could be Making You Money Right Now!

How to create real passive income, real estate, investing, investor, cash, flow, financial freedom, retire early.

Businesses: Franchises, Self Startups.
These take a lot of upfront work and time; businesses vary widely from restaurants to vending machines to small-scale blogs. Your imagination and motivation is the only limitation. Entry point can be very low like a blog or require significant capital such as a franchise. For passive income, the goal has to be generating enough income that you can hire people to do all the work and still yield an income.

Creative Royalties: Inventors, Authors, Musicians.
Usually taking a great deal of upfront work and marketing before any returns are seen. These once they are created passively create income. How much income mostly varies on quality, quantity, and marketing. For this not to be a business you have to hand this off to someone else such as a record company or a publishing house.

4 Ways Real Estate Investing Could be Making You Money Right Now!

4 Ways Real Estate Could be Making You Money Right Now! Investment Properties, Rentals, Landlors, Cash Flow, Passive, Income, Appreciation, Leverage. http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/4-ways-real-estate-investing-could-be-making-you-money-right-now/

“People always need a place to live.”  This was a statement made by my real estate investment mentor.  He had been a real estate investor from the age of 20; he tried all manner of operations, land to single family homes; commercial store fronts to multi-family housing.  Slowly and steadily he weathered the economic climates, and he worked his way to an early retirement at 45.

Countless people are investors in real estate, some small like me who own only seven units, some big who own apartment complexes all over the place.  Some passive who have all their properties managed by someone else, some active who play the role of the property manager.  Real Estate should be in your portfolio.  When held for long times it is steady.  When leveraged the return percentages can be very high.  When fully paid off they are an amazing constant source of income.

An investment property is one that is purchased with the intent of making money.  Your home can build net wealth, but it is not an investment property unless it is multi-unit and you are renting the other units out.

 

1.  Leveraging yourself into a fortune.

Loans are still available at historic lows in the United States, when you compare our rates to the 15% of times past our buying power is stronger than ever.  The advantages of using a loan to purchase real estate are you can take a smaller amount of money to purchase a large asset that yields more money and which puts more money in your pocket every month.  It allows the little guy to get into the game and get great returns.

See:  How to Buy a Property With No or Low Money Down!

 

Rental Investment Properties Rate of Returns Why Two Houses is better than one, the power of leverage

Click to Enlarge.

2. Tax Deductions.

There are three ways to get tax deductions on investment properties.

  • Operating Expenses, these include but are not limited to property management, water bills you pay for the property, and repair costs.
  • Interest on Loans, your loan company will send you a tax form at the end of the year, and it will be a tax deduction.
  • Depreciation (Cost Recovery), this is only for investment properties, not your personal residence, this is an incentive from the government.  This tax incentive is to help counteract the natural wear and tear your investment receives. They deem the economic life of a property to be 27.5 years; the deduction is the properties purchase value divided evenly over that time per year.

 

3. Appreciation.

Real Estate does not have a static value, it changes with the market and time, however, over time almost all real estate in the United States has gained a great deal of value. This is a wonderful thing because it means that for long-term property investment keeps up with inflation and has the potential to yield you a great deal upon sale.

Two things of note:

  • When you invest only for appreciation short term, you are moving into a different investment strategy of speculation.
  • There can be significant capital gains taxes on home sales; please seek advice from a tax specialist for more details on this.

real estate rentals property investment passive income

4. Cash Flow.

This is my personal favorite of the four ways I am making money from real estate right now.  Cash flow is the reason people call Real Estate investing a passive income, and I would personally call it a mostly passive income.  Cash flow is the money that is generated from your asset in excess of the costs.  I use a conservative estimate of half of your rent going to losses, repairs, vacancies, and costs.  Many people use this to pay off additional on the mortgage, save for another investment, or just fund their life.

 

Are you ready to buy an investment property?  Get PreQualified before you talk to a Realtor!

Smart Homes: Cutting Edge or Passing Fad?

Smart Homes: Cutting Edge or Passing Fad Amazon Echo Alexa Google Home Smart Devices http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/smart-homes-cutting-edge-or-passing-fad

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


 

First, what is a smart home? It is technology that has been integrated into your home, some of it has to be hardwired into your home while others are devices that communicate via Wi-fi. You now have the potential to control an enumerable amount of devices through movement or sounds, I have even seen some that use vibrations.

Set up your own security system? Check.
Have your entire house change mood lighting with a single phrase. Yep.
Keep an eye on an elderly family member. That too.
A personal assistant who plays music and will help you with your cooking by reading recipes or setting timers all without having to wash those chickeny hands! Yeah, even that.
Save you money by reducing your energy bill. That one is easy!
Control your home remotely? Piece of cake!

Technology has filtered its way into all aspects of our lives, and I imagine that slowly smart technology in homes will become standard. I have noticed as a Realtor, that when I encounter smart technology on a house, the buyers more often than not are excited, and it is one of the things they recall about the house after.

So where do you start?

For me, I just started my journey into changing our house into a smart home last year. Being a mom of three boys, I NEVER buy anything for myself. So when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I felt like a splurge. After watching countless Youtube videos and articles, I told my husband that I wanted a Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit, and an Amazon Echo. I chose the SmartThings Starter Kit because I like all the things you can do with security, cameras, alert you if a window is open. (Good for burglars and wayward children!) The company is also large and more prominent in the Smart Home field which while slightly more costly, is better supported than some of the smaller companies. The Echo, I chose because it seemed better established than the Google Home, who just entered the scene in 2015 and has some catching up to do program wise. The Echo has had a large impact in my life; music is so much more often playing in my home now, which means more dancing and lifted spirits.

Now, if you are more interested in lighting, I would suggest a Philips White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit to start instead.

How does it work?

First, you must get a hub, this device receives and delivers transmissions to all your other devices and allows for their control. A few of the devices such as the Nest Learning Thermostat  and the personal assistant devices, while able to integrate with the hub can operate independently if you wish.

You can control your hub through your computer, smartphone, or through a personal assistant device like Amazon Echo, or Google Home.

How a smart home is set up.

Click to Enlarge!

 

What are the downsides?

Where ever technology goes there is always someone ready to exploit it, will this make your home vulnerable to hacking? There have already been some reports of abuse.

This is a rapidly developing technology, and it can be costly, and wildly variable. There are so many products out there it could take you weeks of research to learn everything.

Conclusions?

Setting up a program with your hub so you can holler at your personal assistant to turn off the lights or turn on the tv, while having echoes of a starship captain commanding his ship, in reality, is spending quite a bit of money and time to set everything up. If you want your Smart Home technology to perform useful tasks, you will have to buy several other devices after the starter kit. Our decision? We just ordered our Nest 2 Outdoor and 1 Indoor Camera Bundle.

 

What you need to know before you buy a home!

What you need to know before you buy a home, financial freedom, money, real estate, Tucson, AZ http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/what-you-need-to-know-before-you-buy-a-home/

Here is the honest truth about renting versus buying.  The popular line is you are just throwing your money away renting when you could be paying yourself! Right? I know all the investing books I read seemed to tout that line.  It, however, is so much more complicated than that.  So here it is the nitty gritty, no slanted views, pros and cons to owning versus renting.

Renting:

Pros:

You have more freedom.  Leases can somewhat limit this, but you are not tied down.  You don’t have to be in a good seller’s market to leave quickly.  If you get a new job and the commute is far, just move.  Want to take a three-month sabbatical traveling?  Just plan it between moves for no at home costs.

-Simplicity.  You get to pay one lump sum for many housing needs. Maintenance? That isn’t you.  Property Tax? Included! Sometimes even your utilities are included.  Does something need a repair? Just call! No stress for you, one less thing to think about.

-Amenities.  If you are renting an apartment, you get access to many luxuries through communal space.  Pools, Gyms, Lounges, and more. Houses with those amenities can increase price drastically.

-Low upfront costs. An application fee, a security deposit. These can be very small compared to the upfront fees of purchasing a house.

Related:  How to Buy a Property With No or Low Money Down!

 

Cons:

-You have no control.  A landlord can choose not to renew their lease with you, and you will have to find someplace new.

-Your rent will increase.  Your rent should keep pace with market conditions and likely will go up unless the property is in disrepair.

-Does not build net wealth. You are building someone else’s net wealth not your own.

moving boxes financial freedom minimalism real estate renting vs buying

Buying

Pros:

-You have control. While HOAs (Homeowners associations) if you are in one, lenders, and the government has some say on your property it is relatively minimal.  You can change things in your home.  No one can kick you out unless you are seriously delinquent and do not catch up in time.

-The mortgage does not increase. When you buy your house, if you chose a fixed rate mortgage, your mortgage payment is set at the market values when you purchased your home.  This means that your debt will become less significant as inflation increases.  Property taxes and Insurance which are lumped into your payment, however, can and will increase.

-You build net wealth.  Yes, you can build net wealth in your home, but you will also be giving a lot of other entities a cut. There is money lost to fees of buying and selling, and of course, the interest which is front loaded into those first years.  It takes a long time! The longer you hold the home the better.  I would suggest not buying a home, if you do not plan 100% on owning it for the next five years, even then you are gambling on the market to have been stable or good to be able to get out without financial harm so try to plan for ten years.

-You get options. You could rent out your home and make money.  In a tough spot (While generally not advised it is better than credit cards if done correctly.) you can take out equity from your home.  Paid off your home? You could Seller Finance out to get a nice high predictable rate of return that is secured by a property you know better than the buyer.

 

Cons:

-If you are not careful, it can end up a financial trap.  If markets dip as they have done before home value can go down and you could end up stuck in your house for a very long time.  My methods of protections are never buying a home that if rented the price fetched would not cover the mortgage, insurances, and taxes and still leave some wiggle room.

-You cannot control everything.  A methadone clinic could move in close to your house.  A large employer could go belly up.  Your neighbor could let their house go to pot.  All of these can tank the value and your ability to sell your home.  Bye, bye equity.

-It can be an expensive hassle.  Insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs.  These are all things you have to plan for and come out of your pocket.  Unseen, non-mortgage costs can sneak up on you in a house. Doubling your electricity bill, all those tools and stuff you end up buying, that urgent repair that comes up and costs three thousand dollars.