BlogBrowse over 600 articles on money and productivity.
How often do you read about productivity and improving your efficiency? Since your here, I can only assume that you read about it pretty frequently, but where are you applying what your learning? Are you applying it to your job? Your side hustle? Your personal life?
What about the break room at work?
So how do you have a productive break? Well first off, no I’m not talking about cramming productivity book reading into a 5 minute break. That’s not a break, that’s just stressful. We have to remember the purpose of a break and how to make them as effective as possible. Let’s take a look at this informative, fun and well…pretty infographic (it is quite beautiful isn’t it?)…
You’ve heard how important it is to fund your own retirement.
You’ve heard that Social Security
may not won’t be there for you.
You’ve heard that you need to be investing in some type of IRA, 401k or some other retirement account that must be an acronym and may include numbers. However, you may not realize some things about those retirement accounts.
No worries! I’m here to let you know about six common retirement account misconceptions. So here they are…
It happens to everybody. We get our first jobs, we work hard, we excitedly rip into that first paycheck and, as Rachel so famously said on Friends, “Who’s FICA? Why’s he taking all my money?” Congratulations! You’ve just been introduced to taxes!
Here’s the good news: for many of you, all of the money that is taken out of your paycheck over the course of the year for federal and state taxes will be refunded to you when you file your taxes. Trust me when I tell you: this is the easiest way to do taxes. When you go into business for yourself or start freelancing, taxes get a whole lot more complicated. But that is another article for another time.
Here’s how to manage your money now so that you can lay a solid foundation for later, when you’re ready to start investing in bigger things than CDs (which we’ll talk about in a second). For now, though, baby steps (no offense).
Whether you’re a home-buyer or seller, you have to deal with a real estate agent for a safe and hassle-free transaction.
Only a few sellers prefer to purchase or sell a home without help of a real estate broker. But most of those for-sale-by-owner transactions are done between buyers and seller who are already related to or know each other. On the other hand, most home-buyers work with a real estate agent while buying a property.
Here’s how your realtor gets paid…
I wrote an article for LifeHack that got over 50k shares. Of course with that kind of popularity the naysayers will come out of the woodwork.
Some of the initial comments were things like “great article!” and “loved this!”. Then I got a “this article made me want to vomit”. I’m not totally sure, but I’m assuming she wasn’t going to vomit our of excitement for how much liked my article. And it got worse from there…
The article was about the differences between the rich and the middle class. I explained how to think like the rich if you want to be rich. That’s where the excuses came from. All kinds of excuses about how some people will never be rich and how they will always be poor no matter what they do. Excuses about the rich inheriting their money and not working for it. It was sad.
Here’s what I have to say about that – more specifically, what I have to say about excuses…
If you didn’t catch my Digit review, you can check it out here.
Digit is a simple automated way to save money that tracks your checking account and strategically pulls out money you can do without – it’s all based on the intelligence of Digit to track your spending habits. It’s also all totally free to use.
I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I must say, I’m highly impressed with the results. Here’s an update and a few more things I’ve learned about Digit…
Tax deductions can be weird in the first place, because it’s all too common for people to “stretch the truth” about what they actually used for their business and what they are just claiming to reduce their tax bill.
This goes beyond the usual meals, vehicles and tools that are often deducted and ventures into the world of deer meat, body oil and cat food.
If that sounds weird to you, well that’s only because it is, but hey, if it works go for it.
You may even get some new ideas for things to deduct from your taxes this year or next.
Here are 12 bizarre tax deductions with the explanations…
I’ve been there. Over $20,000 in consumer debt with interest rates higher than Cheech and Chong combined.
I remember seeing the offers pouring in to lower my interest rates. This one stuck out:
“0% interest rates on balance transfers for up to 15 months!”
It was a Chase Slate card. 15 months was the longest zero interest offer I could find for a balance transfer at the time. I calculated how much we needed to pay each month to pay it off in 15 months. We applied. We were approved.
It worked for us. We went from paying interest rates of 12%, 15% and even 17% to paying no interest whatsoever. But what would have happened if we would have went over the 15 month mark? Around 23% interest would have happened.
We had to ask ourselves if we were certain we could pay off the account in time, no matter how many unexpected costs popped up, but that’s not all we had to ask. Here are four questions to ask if you’re considering a balance transfer. Two to ask the company and two to ask yourself…
Attending college is a rewarding and exciting time in a young person’s life. It’s a period marking your transition from childhood to adulthood and the obligations that come along with it. A critical area of responsibility necessary for this change is finances; you must be financially prepared for college and everything that comes after. Savings, scholarships and grants, and student loans are topics you need to become educated in.
A classic car can provide a number of priceless experiences and joys – tuning it, caring for it, repairing it, and last but not least, driving it! Whether you’ve had a classic car for decades or just recently acquired one, you are certainly familiar with its intangible values.
Monetary value, on the other hand, can be a lot harder to get a handle on.
There are so many variables that go into appraising the value of a car, it can get a little overwhelming. Knowing which steps to take in order to protect its value adds yet another layer of complexity.
Do you take advantage of your mornings? Or are you the type that likes to slip out of bed just in time to rush into work five minutes late?
You have about 25,000 mornings in your adult life. Make them count.
After you see these positive productive ways to start your day, I think you’re going to change your routine if you’re not already waking up early…
Student loan forgiveness has been a hot headline over the last year. The ever increasing mass of student loan debt continues to weigh on the hearts and minds of our college graduates. Today, 7 in 10 college seniors are graduating with student loan debt! While student loans are a necessary tool for some students, they should be used carefully by borrowers.
You may have seen the late night television ads preaching the benefits of student loan forgiveness. Despite what these television ads say, not everyone is eligible for student loan forgiveness. These ads are often being run by unethical telemarketers looking to take advantage of uneducated student loan borrowers. To qualify for student loan forgiveness you must meet certain eligibility requirements for federal programs. Don’t find yourself victim to a student loan forgiveness scams.
The following U.S. Department of Education programs can actually forgive your student loan debt:
Warren Buffett is constantly in competition for the richest person in the world #1 spot.
And he is self made. That’s probably my favorite thing about him. He made his money through investing just like almost everyone else.
The difference is that he is really good at it. Which is why Berkshire Hathaway usually maintains about a 19% annual return. If you don’t own any shares, you should consider it, but you’ll probably want to go for their BRK-B stock since BRK-A trades for well over $200,000/share.
Before we check out the 10 lessons in the graphic, there are a few things that stand out…
Time is like money – if you don’t tell it where to go, you won’t know where it went until it’s gone. And sometimes you won’t even know where it went after it’s gone.
In order for you to really maximize your hours everyday, you’ve got to know where your time goes, especially with the things you do day in and day out.
So before you start planning every minute and scheduling time for the most important things, you’ll need to figure out where your time is going right now. Start by asking yourself these questions…
In the modern age, getting rid of debt has various implications. There’s the simple idea of lowering bills, living a debt-free lifestyle or simply putting yourself in a position to save money. But there is also the on-going concern of keeping your credit score intact.
We live in a loan-oriented society and, for most of us, borrowing is critical. We need a car or can do better financially if we buy a home instead of rent sometimes. We want to start a business or pay for tuition to live better lives. These are not frivolous moments. A credit score is critical at important junctions in our lives.
You need some basic understanding of money to understand loans, but in the modern era it also pays to know a few tricks to helping your credit score that go beyond simply, “don’t make late payments, ever.” That’s obvious. But here are some less obvious methods of keeping credit scores healthy…
Runaway debt and credit debt is the new normal. It doesn’t necessarily occur because you spend beyond your means, but can happen as a result of your FICO score dropping whenever you apply for a lease on an apartment, a credit card account, or a car loan. The company that reviews your application will pay a fee to check your credit and these checks are not harmless, but can actually create a dent in your credit score.
Without realizing it, you may end up paying higher interest for everything because of your lower FICO score. This may actually force you to run out of money. At this point, it’s easy to fall into some heavy debt as you scramble for survival.
So, it’s a negative cycle: inquiries on your credit card may lower your FICO scores; these then results in paying more for everything because of higher interest rates. This situation, in turn, may then lead to runaway debt.
In order to arrest this negative spiral, you first have to understand how the credit scoring system works…
I found a really interesting infographic about entrepreneurship, but it seemed sexist, so I posted an infographic about the single man’s finances. Because that makes sense.
In all seriousness, I don’t find this one to be sexist. It’s an interesting comparison between men and women’s spending habits.
Over half the adults in the United States are married, but what about the other half?
This is a look into the finances of the single man. It’s also a look into the finances of the single woman. As much as people think women are known to be shoppers (you discriminators, you!), it turns out that men actually spend more than women on almost everything.
You’ll see what I mean below…
Rich Dad, Poor Dad was one of the first books I ever read on finances.
I figured out about the book through a network marketing business I was involved with, though that didn’t really end well.
I enjoyed the book. I felt like it changed my mindset – mostly the way I thought about money and college, but a few years later, I started to notice that Robert had his fair share of naysayers. Most successful people do, so I didn’t think much of it, but then I read that he may be a fraud.
Furthermore, I learned that he may not practice what he preaches and that’s a big deal to me. If I’m going to learn from someone, I want to make sure they have achieved the results I am looking for; otherwise, I’ll go find someone who has.
That’s when I decided to do my own research. Here’s what I learned…
An exceptionally important document, there is now no doubt that a resume is a critical part of active job search.
It forms the basis of attaining a lucrative designation at imminent industries and organizations.
Due to the significance of this piece of paper, much advice has been rendered regarding the different ways to draft a crisp and succinct resume.
Numerous formats are floating around in the employment circuit ranging from traditional to modern, effectiveness of which depends on the target institution and available job profile.
“There are few uses for a smart phone that are more productive than listening to a good podcast.” -Abraham Lincoln
If you’re into podcasts, you know there are thousands to choose from.
It can be overwhelming to find the best ones. And how do know which podcasts are the best? Reviews? Ratings? Recommendations?
I’ve been listening to podcasts for years and I’ve listened to the good and the bad.
I could put together a list of the top 100, but I’ll save your time. Why subscribe to hundreds of podcasts when there are plenty of old episodes to go through?
Even if you just listen to few, you’ll be busy browsing the archives for months if not years. So here are the top 10 best podcasts on productivity for 2015…
Sure, you can set an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings each month, but with that you still have to set the transfer amount.
With Digit, you don’t even have to do that.
It’s an intelligent service that not only saves your money automatically, but it determines how much to save by how much you can afford. You literally just link your account and forget about it. Digit does all the work for you.
I had a few questions, so I set up an interview with the founder of Digit. Here’s what I figured out and how you can use Digit for automatic savings…
Do you have cable? If so, how much do you pay? It might be more than you think.
I have internet. You probably knew that. However, I don’t have cable. You may have known that too. However, my internet provider offers cable packages, as most do.
This month, I received a letter from my internet provider informing me that basic cable is now free. Yes, free. As long as you don’t want billions of channels, you can now watch cable TV for free. You can also get a home phone line for free, but does anyone really remember what that is?
Apparently, basic cable is considered a “need” in the U.S. now. That’s why they’re doing this. The government says people need the news, thus, people need basic cable. If that were the case, one would think they would only give you the news channels for free. I guess that would make too much sense. Either way, I’m sure everyone who is getting it for free is only watching the news anyways, right??? Yeah…I know.
When I got this letter, my first thought was “oh, we could hook it up and have basic cable” and then my wife and I started to calculate the real cost of cable. Beyond the monetary costs. You might be surprised…
You’ve graduated college, now your student loan forbearance or “grace period” will end soon and you don’t know how to formulate a payoff strategy.
For those who don’t know where to start, below are 4 tried-and-true strategies to help jump-start your loan payoff…
When my wife and I first figured out we would be making the 20+ hour drive from the mid-west to the Amish country of Lancaster County, we decided that this was going to be our most productive road trip ever.
We knew that the more things we could do along the way, the more productive the trip would be and the easier it would be for us to make the drive, especially the trek that seems like a million miles across Tennessee and Virginia.
I’m writing this article right now as my wife is driving us down the road and helping me brainstorm ideas for new articles…
Dollar stores are interesting because they make their money by charging a dollar for everything.
So that means things that are typically $2 or $3 are only a dollar at the dollar store. That also means some things that are typically 50 cents are also a dollar at the dollar store.
Then there are stores like Dollar General, which isn’t really a dollar store at all, if you’re going off the “everything’s a dollar” idea. I suppose Dollar General just means everything is generally…close to a dollar, which is more accurate, but still a little shady if you ask me.
I want to be clear that this list is talking about dollar stores where everything is actually…*drum roll please*…a dollar. Dollar stores can save you money, but if you use them for all your shopping, you may be wasting some money. Also, it’s worth noting that some dollar stores accept coupons and that can be quite lucrative, so check into that with your local stores.
Here are 15 things you should generally buy from the dollar store and some ways to save even more money…
A couple weeks ago I wrote about the most important element of your productivity.
I talked about how energy is the foundation of your productivity. Without energy, you’re not going to do much at all.
Exercise is a big part of that. But a bigger piece of the energy puzzle is your diet.
How are your eating habits? Do they promote energy or diminish it?
If you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle and start eating better, I’ve got good news! It doesn’t have to be difficult and torturous. It’s actually quite simple. If you take it slowly.
Here are 5 ways to gradually adopt healthy eating habits over time…
I’m sure you know you should always read your insurance polices carefully.
Insurance companies like to make you think they are offering more coverage than they are. They also like to distract you from reading the fine print.
In fact, some insurance companies can completely drop your coverage just because you use it.
That’s right, in certain states, insurance companies are allowed to drop you if you file a certain amount of claims within a certain time period. In several streets, you only have to make two claims before they can decide that you’re not worth it and drop you.
Those are all great reasons to watch your insurance company like a hawk, but we’re actually not here today to talk about insurance companies. Yes, be aware of all of those things, but there’s something else you need to be aware of and pay attention to: your health insurance.
Yes you need to check your coverage and read the fine print, but who you really have to watch is not the actual insurance company, it’s the places that take your insurance…
When the calendar turns to a new year, it’s time to start thinking about doing your taxes.
Many people procrastinate on this process, waiting until close to the April 15th deadline to get going. There are many reasons why it’s a bad idea to wait to file.
The smart people get going as soon as possible, and they reap the rewards of early filing.
If you’re wondering whether you should get ahead of the crowd on your taxes, here are some pitfalls of procrastinating and a few reasons why it pays to get the ball rolling right away…
I just released the top 75 books on personal finance and it was insanely popular.
Now it’s time for the “best of the best” productivity list. Yes, that’s a total of 150 books I’m recommending. I hope your to-read list is growing! I’m here to help with that.
I’ve been reading on productivity for years. Just like with personal finance, I’ve read some amazing books and some…not so amazing books.
I’ve decided to leave the not-so-amazing books out off the list. You’re welcome.
These books are not just the best books I have ever read on productivity; they are books that have changed my outlook (for the better) and helped me to achieve things I never would have believed I could do. Prepare to seriously become more productive…
There I was. 21 years old. $24,000 in debt.
I thought it was normal. I thought everyone had car payments. I thought debt was the only way of life. The American way.
I also couldn’t sleep at night, because I was so stressed. I had no plan for an emergency, other than to go into more credit card debt.
That’s when I got angry. A good motivating, driving anger. An anger that ultimately lead me and my family out of debt.
I realized that debt was controlling our life. And I wanted to be in control. So, I started reading…