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5 Reasons You’re Broke and How to Fix It

There is a difference between being broke and being poor.

Broke is a temporary states of finances.

Poor is a mindset.

Before you go on, promise me you will never refer to yourself as poor again. Even if you feel like you are.

You may be broke, but you’re not poor.

Here is why you may be broke and how to stop it…

How to Determine the Size of a Company You Invest In

What makes a company a large cap or a small cap?

What the heck is a “blue chip” stock?

It’s important to know the difference if you’re interested in the Stock Market.

There are ways to organize all sizes of companies into different titles, though it’s not an exact science.

These titles are given for a reason. So that you can easily determine the size of different companies.

So let’s get into what the different sizes are and what it all means…

How to Improve Your Credit Score (No Matter What It Is Now)

A credit score is like your in-laws.

Some are really great. Some are not so great. And some people like to pretend they don’t exist.

Well, they do exist (your credit score that is…and probably your in-laws too) and whether you have a great credit score or a poor one, there is always room for improvement.

You can always do better.

Here are some tips for improving your credit score, no matter how good or bad it is…

How to Tell If You’re a Stock Trader or an Investor (With Checklist)

“Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.” -George Soros

“I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.” -Warren Buffett

Most of you know that I am a huge Buffett fan, and I consider myself an investor like him. (Well, maybe not like him, but an investor nevertheless.)

George Soros is more of a trader.

One is not right and the other wrong. Buffett and Soros both have billions of dollars to prove that.

But it is important to know which one you are…

6 Ways to Cut Costs on Cooling Your Home This Summer

Summer is coming soon to a home near you. In fact, it’s coming to your home…unless you live somewhere weird.

There are ways to cut cooling costs. Practical ways.

You don’t have to spend thousands to save hundreds.

Unless you want to do that. But you don’t want to do that.

That would be dumb. I don’t even know why we are still talking about it.

Since you don’t want to do that, do this…

6 Haggling Hacks for Buying a Used Car (With Personal Example)

​My wife and I headed into Oklahoma City this past weekend to look for a vehicle.

After spending the majority of the day at a certain car dealership, we ended up driving a new car home…well, new to us.

We are happy with the vehicle, and we were even happier with the price.

Long story short, they were asking almost $9,000 for a vehicle that we ended up purchasing for $2,800.

How did we do that? We used these 6 haggling hacks (I hope you can appreciate the alteration) to get the deal…

5 Simple Steps for Spring Cleaning Your Credit

Spring is in the air.

It’s beautiful out, so obviously the first thing you want to do is step outside think about your credit! Right?

Maybe not, but it’s a great time to do a quick spring cleaning.

You’re already spring cleaning “everything else”, why not clean up the thing that you buy “everything else” with. I’m joking, of course. I know you don’t buy everything with credit cards.

​Or at least, if you do, you pay them off every month…don’t you? Sure you do!​

Here are some simple and​, most importantly,​ ​​free​​ steps to cleaning up your credit…

3 Ways to Start Investing for Retirement With $100 or Less

36% of Americans save absolutely nothing for retirement.

80% of people ages 30-54 believe they will not have enough money saved for retirement when the time comes.

You know you need some sort of retirement plan, but can you afford it?

Are you a statistic? Or on your way to becoming one?

Spoiler alert: Yes, you can afford to invest in your retirement

It doesn’t take much to get started and it takes even less to keep going.

Here’s how you can invest for retirement, even if you think you can’t afford it…

To Refinance or Not to Refinance

Refinancing your home is like the government.

Sometimes it makes sense.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

And sometimes it will force you to spend a lot of money with little or no return.

Doesn’t that remind you of the government?

So, when does it make sense to refinance?

There are ways to figure that out and there are some things you need to know about refinancing…

What 1% Will Save You on Your Mortgage [Infographic]

Should you refinance your home? Is it worth it?

That depends! But should you look into it? Yes!

It’s amazing what 1% can save you over 10, 20 or 30 years.

This is a sweet infographic that breaks down exactly what 1% could mean for a refinance…

Where is Your Money Really Going When You Donate to Charities?

We see commercials and ads for charities every day.

Starving children, abused animals…you’ve seen them.

Have you ever questioned how much of your money was actually spent on helping?

And how much was spent on the charity’s employees? Or on that commercial?

You may have thought something along the lines of…

“Why didn’t they spend this money on feeding those children instead of paying for this expensive commercial?”

Let’s see what’s going on here…

Pay Off Your Home or Invest the Money? I Propose a Compromise

There are strategies for paying off your home early.

Those strategies are great and they work.

But is it worth it to pay off your home early?

With mortgage rates being so low, why not invest the extra money instead of paying off your home?

I really don’t think you have to pick. I think you can do both.

If you want to pay off your home early, this may be the best strategy for you.

Let me explain…

Bountiful Baskets Review – Save Money and Eat Healthier With This Food Co-Op

My wife recently stumbled upon a great way to save money on produce.

Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op.

This is a volunteer driven operation that allows you to get fruits, vegetables, bread and more for great prices.

There are no employees, only volunteers! So you get rock bottom prices.

Volunteers organize the food pick-up sites and more volunteers help the site organizers sort the food.

So let me explain a little more about what Bountiful Baskets is…

How to Choose Specific Index Funds for Retirement Based on Your Age

​When you hear about investing for retirement, you usually hear about mutual funds.

More specifically index funds. Especially if you have been reading my articles.

It’s not just me.

Index funds are widely held as one of the best investments for retirement.

Especially if you want the easy way out.

Even Warren Buffett recommends index funds for the average investor.

That’s all good and well, but there are 1000s of index funds, which ones should you invest in?

Good question and here is the answer…

MoneyMiniRoundup: The Best in Finances for April, 2014

Welcome to my 2nd link roundup.

This month I have been searching for the best and my favorite articles on finances.

There are 10 great articles here.

Take time to read through these articles.

You can learn a lot from them, but also be sure to check out the rest of the site when you read an article.

These are all great blogs…

Everything You Need to Know Before You Start Paying Off Your Home Early (Part 2)

Today is the 2nd and final part in this series.

If you missed part 1, you can read it here.

One of the discussions that came up in part 1 was about investing instead of paying off your home early.

It’s a common perspective that you shouldn’t pay off your mortgage early, but you should invest the money instead.

It makes sense, because mortgage rates are low right now and you can probably earn more by investing than you can save by paying off your home early, but there is actually a way to take advantage of both!

It’s not always about having the highest return, sometimes it’s simply about being totally 100% debt-free…which is an amazing feeling.

Soon I’ll be publishing an article on how to get the best of both worlds, but for today, here is part 2 of what you should know before you start paying off your mortgage…

Everything You Need to Know Before You Start Paying Off Your Home Early (Part 1)

“I’m in debt. I am a true American.” -Balki Bartokomous

It’s true. Just about every person in American (and much of the world) is in debt.

We are so used to it that we even consider ourselves to be debt-free when we still have a mortgage.

You know how it goes…

“Yeah, I’m debt-free…well, except for my house.”

If you have a mortgage you are not debt-free.

But you can be…

There is a lot to know before you start paying off your home early…

What Causes the Price of a Stock to Rise or Fall?

Have you ever consistently watched the price of a stock?

You probably noticed that the price changed everyday.

It may have went up one day, down the next and back up the following day.

That’s typical for any stock.

But what causes a stock price to change so often?

It’s simple, all kinds of things…

What is a 529?

Do you save for your children’s education?

Or do you plan to start?

If you think it’s important to help your child with college expenses, you are in luck, because you have some options.

One of the most common ways to save for education is through a 529 plan.

A 529 is like an IRA for education.

Let’s see how a 529 can help you…

Should You Buy or Rent Your Home? Part 2: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Welcome to part 2 as we are asking the question:

Should you buy or rent your home?

In part 1, we covered the usual home buying story.

We also covered what do to when the answer is obvious and some of what to do when the answer is not obvious.

Let’s dive deeper into what to do when the answer is not obvious.

We are going a little further into the actual pros and cons of each side and taking a closer look at the buying vs. renting debate.

Let’s see what makes the most sense for you…

Should You Buy or Rent Your Home? Part 1: Isn’t the Answer Obvious?

Should you rent or buy your home?

A common, yet complex question.

If only the answer was as simple as choosing one of the two.

We’re not that lucky.

In fact, if anyone tells you that one is always better than the other, just smile and nod.

And then stop taking advice from them…

College Education: Is the Debt Worth It? [Infographic]

I just published an awesome guest post, which was an inspiring story about working full-time while paying for college.

I think it’s only appropriate that I follow it up with an awesome infographic about the debt of college.

If you are considering college, you will most likely incur some degree (no pun intended) of debt.

This is the question we face: Is the degree worth the debt?

It’s a black and white answer. The answer is yes.

Well…sometimes it’s yes…other times it may be no.

Did I say black and white? What I meant was…

How I Successfully Juggled Full-Time Work and Grad School

Higher education is a goal for many, but not everyone can afford to cut back on work hours to make it happen.

Even the hefty price tag of a degree these days is enough to deter people from chasing after their dreams.

I was an average 20-something year old who desperately wanted a graduate degree, but faced the same challenges with finding the time and finances to make it happen.

Here is how I successfully juggled working a demanding full-time job while completing a full-time MBA program in exactly two years…

Retirement 101: When and How to Start Contributing to Your Retirement

“The goal of retirement is to live off your assets-not on them”
-Frank Eberhart

Rule No.1 of living off your assets: You must have assets.

You may plan to retire. You may not.

Either way, it’s a good idea to have a plan for wealth building. You may need it.

So, when do you start planning for it? And how do you do it?

MoneyMiniRoundup: The Best in Finances for March, 2014

This is my first finance link roundup.

What is a finance link roundup, you say?

It’s simply a collection of the best in finances around the web.

Articles, stories, news, etc.

Here’s what I have for you this month…

5 Priceless Investing Lessons From 6 Influential Billionaires

In 1982, when Forbes began ranking the richest people in the world, the qualification to be listed was only $75 million.

At that time, there were 13 billionaires on the list.

Today there are over 1,400 billionaires around the world.

From the stock market to businesses to commodities, they are all involved in some form of investing.

Here are some investing lessons we can learn from them…