My name is Kalen and I write short, simple articles on money and productivity. I’m a finance nerd and a productivity junkie. I’ve been told I defy millennial laws by being happily married, having four children and no debt. I’m not normal and that’s good! I figured out that successful people are different. If you’re ready to take control of your money, become insanely productive and create positive habits, you’re in the right place. Use the icons directly above to learn about different topics or simply keep scrolling for the latest articles. Go ahead and get your four free books ($48 value) as my gift to you.
Anyone that works in finance will tell you the immense power of leverage. Leverage is basically taking more money than you have to boost your profits in an investment. You can have someone either lend you money or invest in your venture and have more cash working for you than you can afford by yourself.
Using leverage like this works well for relatively stable investments like real estate. Buying a house and flipping it for a profit is more clear cut for most people than investing in stocks, bonds or commodities.
And the lender of choice for most people is a bank. The mortgage industry, however, isn’t what it used to be and after the last financial crisis banks have gotten pretty risk averse when it comes to making loans out to individuals.
Your chances of getting a bank loan may be reduced by certain aspects of your career and credit history and that’s where you may have to turn to private lenders.read more
Losing your job can be an emotional time.
Whether you get laid off or decide to leave, you may not be thinking straight.
It’s good to have a plan in place, or at least know where to find a plan (hint: this article) in the event that you do leave your job.
If you follow these 10 steps, the process will go much more smoothly…read more
Vacation is a great opportunity to visit new places and spend quality time with your friends and family. There are many reasons that justify going on a vacation. Vacation refreshes your mind and soul. Vacation improves mental health, relieves stress, increases productivity, strengthens family ties and allows you to do things that you enjoy the most.
Planning vacation does not only count booking luxury hotel or selecting a destination, but also analyzing bank balance to help you decide whether or not you should travel. But what if your bank account isn’t ready. You need to take effective measures to cut down your daily expenses and save money for the vacation. Read the following creative ways.read more
It’s that time of year when love is in the air. As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, our thoughts turn to matters of the heart and questions about how to celebrate the day without breaking the bank. Lucky for you, we have some excellent ideas to make this Valentine’s Day a frugal and festive event. Cue the violins…read more
The foreign currency markets are incredibly volatile, and this means that there is a lot of opportunity for savvy traders to make a profit. However, there are also plenty of opportunities to make a significant loss too. If you want to learn forex trading, then you must understand that even the best traders can and do lose money, so you must only trade with money that you can afford to lose, and you should keep some money in reserve to allow you to trade for a few days even if you are on a losing streak.
At the moment, CFD trading is gaining popularity in some countries as it is less risky endeavor. But if you keep in mind that there are two approaches to forex trading and stay disciplined, you can make a profit. These two approaches are technical analysis and fundamental analysis. The best way to learn forex trading is to look at both of these separately, and then integrate them into a sound, logical and reasonable approach to trading.read more
They say that moving homes can be one of the most stressful experiences you will ever go through in your life – but moving can not only cause stress for the body and mind, it can also place huge strains on your bank balance (and this is after you’ve purchased your new home).
In this article, I will cover nine steps to ensure that the financial burdens of moving are lessened and your bank account can breathe a sigh of relief.read more
Any type of business, irrespective of their credit scores, can get merchant cash advances through various companies. Small business loans are loans that are provided by banks and other lenders, and guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Since there’s a government guarantee in the event of default, banks and other lenders often give out such loans that they wouldn’t have otherwise given.read more
Foreign exchange trading or Forex can be a tricky business, those who are successful use numerous resources to help them decide what to trade and when. So what lesser-known resources can you call upon in order to improve your chances of making money trading on the biggest and most fluid market in the world?read more
Americans spend billions and billions of dollars on wasted energy.
For the average American, it’s either ignorance or pure laziness that accounts for much of the waste.
Of course, it does no good to complain, we can only do our part. Here’s how…read more
Investing is a global business. Nothing happens that cannot be influenced by wider factors, from economic upheavals to overseas conflicts, political strife, and even natural disasters. Any event with the power to impact finances within a country has the potential to cause external issues, and these can have a dramatic impact on the investment markets.
Some countries carry a greater global clout than others, and it is these that have to be most closely watched by investors, irrespective of whether their concerns lie with precious metals or the foreign exchange. These international powerhouses can influence economies and markets across the world, and so they bear paying attention to.
If you’re an investor in search of advice, then here are four countries to keep an eye on…read more
No matter whether you are looking for health insurance or income protection, effective insurance planning is a must.
There are, unfortunately, so many individuals that are forking out their hard earned cash on a policy that is simply not right for them and their financial situation.
With that being said, read on to discover five of the top general insurance buying mistakes you need to avoid.read more
Home improvements are a great way to add value to your home.
At least, that’s a common belief. But are they really? And which improvements give you the best bang for your buck?
The answers to these questions are probably not the same for everyone, and may depend on your definition of value. If you’re selling your home, value may be measured in monetary terms, but if you just want to increase your comfort level, this definition may include luxury additions that add little monetary value.
Here are a few quick and easy home improvements that may or may not increase your home’s value in your eyes. We’ll let you decide:read more
Budgeting is weird, because almost every financial guru recommends doing it, and almost everyone who tries to do it struggles with it.
The truth is, there are a lot of things left unsaid when it comes to budgeting.
There’s a reason it doesn’t work…or doesn’t seem to work.
I’m going to explain how to actually budget effectively and cover some unanswered questions.read more
Have you ever considered investing internationally?
There may be more benefits than you knew.
London-based property agent, Experience Invest has provided 5 top tips for investing in property overseas.read more
The relationship between real estate agents and investors is often adversarial in nature. However, if both parties are willing to overcome their misconceptions about the other, investors and agents can provide immense value to each other. Agents help clients successfully navigate the hurdles of the buying and selling process while investors are savvy at assessing profit potential in homes. When combined, the skill set of real estate agents and investors can create a mutually beneficial—and lucrative—partnership.
If you’re an agent or investor, use these tips to facilitate a successful collaboration.read more
When you see advertising, read books and watch the latest movies, everything can seem pretty black and white.
You see headlines like “You Will Die Tomorrow if You Don’t Start Practicing This One Health Tip” – I may be exaggerating a little, but sadly, not by much.
Everyone has the right answer, don’t they?
Everyone can tell you the best diet and why the others are faulty. The same goes for exercise, and your finances.
It’s in our nature as human beings to think we’re right. Plus, article titles like the one above get a lot of clicks.
But here’s the truth about the information out there…read more
Sleep is underrated. It may not feel like that when you’re trying to climb out of bed in the morning – that’s when you really understand the value of sleep. Yet so many people wake up tired every morning and never change their routine.
That’s not you though. You’re smarter than that.
You read trendy articles about sleeping yourself to success.
We’re talking about actual sleep here. Not the other kind of “sleeping” your way to success. Get your mind out of the gutter! I’m going to explain the importance of sleep, and mostly, how to do it well.read more
If you run a business, you wear many hats. You might be in charge of everything from invoicing to marketing and financial planning. One of your tasks is writing. You need to create material for your website, blogs or articles to showcase your knowledge within your industry, and letters to potential clients. If improving your writing skills is the last thing on your mind, these online tools can offer some helpful support.read more
Have you ever heard the saying “you either win or you learn?”
Or the popular “you have to fail forward”?
I’m sure you understand the idea of using situations, good and bad, as learning experiences, but that’s easier said than done, right?
It’s easy to talk about learning in every situation, but when you’re upset, angry or disappointed, it doesn’t seem so easy.
It starts with your perspective. Here’s how to learn from everything and everyone…read more
Meditation has been around for centuries, and yet, it can still be a controversial topic.
Most of the people who recommend meditating start by saying something like “I know you think this is some sort of eastern ritual” or “you might think you have to be Buddhist to meditate”.
I admit, it does carry that connotation, or at least it used to. I’ll spare you. I’m going to assume you’re wanting to implement meditation as a self-improvement tactic, or as a way to clear your mind and increase your focus.
That being said, here’s a guide to meditation for the average person who wants more clarity and a clear mind…read more
We could all read more to improve our lives.
It seems like, no matter how many books we want to read, we always feel like we don’t read enough.
Sure, we may get lost in fiction books, and that’s great (I’ve actually been reading a lot more fiction lately), but as far as reading books on the areas of our life that we want to improve, we’re often lacking.
Here’s the thing, reading more may not be the answer. There’s a better way, that actually works…read more
Welcome to 2016!
I purposely waited until today to publish this to show how unimportant any specific date is. I’m not completely against setting a resolution at the beginning of the year, as long as you don’t get expect the changing of years to be some sort of miraculous time of new beginnings.
January 1st really is just another day.
I get it, new year, new you. And that’s great, but too often we set lofty resolutions, and then get completely discouraged when we don’t perfectly act out our new goals. Then, a month after the resolution is set, it’s abandoned. But it shouldn’t be like that.
We all fail. All the time. And that’s great.read more
Traveling for business or pleasure can mean a lot of wasted time, especially if you are flying. There is waiting for the plane, being on the plane, waiting for luggage and then spending time at the hotel after the whole ordeal.
That “wasted time” is actually very valuable, and you can make yourself more productive with these tips. That way, when you get back to work, you won’t find yourself way behind.read more
Fighting procrastination is not only important for your studies.
You are going to be distracted throughout your life.
Marketing companies spend their working week finding new ways to distract you.
Here are a few productivity apps that will help you right now in the moment, and they will help you get into the habit of fighting procrastination.read more
“Dominate your day before breakfast” may sound intimidating, but it’s really not.
That’s been Jeff Sanders’ motto for his podcast, and now for his book.
The idea is that you can accomplish a lot with little effort, if you change a few habits.
I’ve been listening to Jeff’s show, The 5AM Miracle podcast, for a few years now. It made my top podcasts list and it continues to be one of the only podcasts that I listen to every time a new episode is available.
Jeff finally (I’ve been waiting!) put his expertise into words and released a book…an extremely awesome, useful, direct, practical and applicable book, if I do say so myself…and I do.
Here’s some insight into his book, The 5AM Miracle…read more
According to Professor Robert Mooradian of Northeastern University,
millions of Americans are dealing with the emotionally and physically taxing consequences of debt every year. We all want to make our financial goals, like getting out of debt, a reality, but few ever make it without changing their everyday habits.
Before we get into the list of habits that will change your financial goals and eventually your life, we need to get two basic concepts down:read more
I love apps. I don’t use 100, I just use a few that work really well.
I always try to consolidate. If I can find one app to do the work of two, I’m sold.
This infographic shows 20 of the best apps out there…read more
If you’ve read some books on goal setting, you’ve probably read that only 3% of the population have written goals.
That statistic is often followed by something like “it doesn’t matter if this is true or not, the point is very few people write down their goals.” There is a need for that justification.
This “3%” comes from a study at Yale University in 1953.
The story goes, a Yale University class set goals. 3% of the class wrote them down, while the other 97% didn’t. Twenty years later, the researchers checked in on the classmates to find that the 3% with written goals had more wealth than the other 97% combined.
What an interesting study…the only issue is that it never actually happened.read more
You budget your money because it’s important to keep track of it.
You know the importance of tracking. You’ve seen how a dollar here and there can really add up.
What about your most important asset? Your time. It’s not replaceable like money. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
Do you know where your time is going as well as you know where your money is going? You’re about to.
Here’s how to budget your time like you budget your money…read more
Email can steal more time than almost anything else.
When you’re going through email, you’re on someone else’s agenda. You’re responding to their needs.
Sure, you wouldn’t be doing it if you didn’t get something out of it, but most of the emails you send are answers to other people’s questions, and responses to their needs. Even if you’re sending a decline, that still takes time.
I’ve written about email hacks before. I shared some important tips, so let’s do a quick summary and then get into three more tips that I’ve developed to stay in control of my inbox…read more