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How Many Credit Cards is Too Many?


When it comes to your credit score, bigger, and more, is better. With the exception of how much debt you have (obviously you want that as small as possible if not gone completely), you always want bigger with your credit line. If you have more credit cards, then your credit limit rises, which means you can have that much more available credit to your name. Although more credit cards is a good thing, not being able to manage them wisely can end up being pretty devastating to your score. With all these pros and cons, how can you decide what the magic number of open and running credit cards is right for you and your situation?

Below are some factors to consider in deciding just how many active credit cards is right for you to have in your wallet at once.


Why would I want more available credit?

Credit lenders check to see that you are wise with the amount of credit you already have available and at your disposal, and you want them to see you as responsible as possible. A single credit card, for example, may give you $1000 in available credit, and if you are wise in your credit usage, you keep your usage to below 50%. That means that you only have about $500 dollars of for-the-most-part guilt free usable credit that won’t be too heavily scrutinized by credit lenders.

Now $500 dollars is not so bad in terms of guilt free credit for when you are first starting out, but as time goes by, the expenses that need to be immediately covered get taller and taller, and you may want to stretch out and use the other $500 dollars of available credit that you otherwise leave ignored and unused. Although it may seem that you are just using what it rightfully yours, if you spent $999 of an available $1000 credit limit, guess what that tells your lenders? “I like to spend as much money that isn’t mine as possible!”

Jokes aside, you don’t want to look like you abuse your credit. To avoid going over that sweet spot of 30% to no more than 50% of your credit, expand how much available credit you can use. You can do this by either appealing for a larger credit limit on you already existing credit card, or you can apply for more credit cards. For example, your already standing $1000 limit gets raised to $1500, and you add two more credit cards each offering a $500 limit, and you have $700 in expenses due. Your debt to credit ratio went from 70% of a $1000 limit, to 28% of $2500. By expanding how much credit is available to you, you dropped your ratio all the way from being in the danger zone (70%) safely into the green sweet spot (28%). Lots of numbers flying at you, we know. Just bear with us.

Your available credit works as a pool that you can constantly add to and grow, and if can realistically keep track of every available card that you add you your pool and keep accounts in balance and in check, then more cards can be a great help to you. However, the more cards you add, the more difficulty it becomes in keeping everything straight.



No one card is accepted everywhere

Keeping one single card is much easier to manage than five or six, to be sure. One single bill, one single payment, and one set of rewards to monitor and keep track of. The disadvantage of having a single card is that your limit can only get so high, and your credit service may not be accepted everywhere. Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and Discover are some of the major services, and as we’re sure you can recall from time spent out and about shopping for goods, not every location accepts the same cards.

Sadly there is no universal currency out there that is accepted by all vendors with absolutely no fees (other than cold hard cash, but who uses coins and paper anymore??), but when you are out to dinner and are rocking a cashless wallet with only an Amex, and they only accept Visa, what are you going to do? We’ve all had this nightmare at one point in time, and the only way to avoid this scenario, besides asking right up front what cards they accept every time you go outside, is to get the most common credit card services.


Don’t open cards just for the rewards

A misconception that may be reached here is that you can just keep opening accounts and rack up a whopping pool of available credit that you can dip into at any time the mood strikes you. If this sounds like a great way to live to you, know that every time you open an account, a lender checks your credit, which dings your score. To that end, if your account goes unused for too long, or is deemed to be too risky to keep open by the lender, your account will be closed which also dings your score. So before you think about applying for 40 or so new credit cards so that you can soak up all the rewards, think about your already fragile and delicate credit score and the stress that it will endure as you go about opening new accounts and closing old ones.


So how do I know how many cards I should have?

The bottom line is that there really isn’t a set number of cards that blankets everybody’s financial and credit situations. Some individuals can keep track of an endless list of pending payments and billings, and others can’t even keep track of the one credit card they already do own, and even though it is set to “Automatic Bill Pay” online, it still causes them stress. It depends on how well you can keep track of your expenses and bills.

Opening and having access to more credit cards, such as two or three, or even as high as six or seven can have its perks, but if you cannot handle the mental strain that ensues to keep track and balance all of your accounts and not miss or be late for a single payment, then keeping your card count down may be best for you. Same goes for having less cards. One single bill and one set of rewards to keep track of can be freeing and stress-less, but it does limit where you can use your card and what kind of rewards you can have at your disposal.


How many can you manage best?

These factors in mind, consider if you can handle having two to three credit cards. Having different cards opens the door to varying rewards, raises your usable credit limit and also protects you from the embarrassing but at some point inevitable “I’m sorry ma’am, but we don’t accept that kind of card here”. Only acquire what you can realistically handle, but if you do decide to get more cards, learning how to balance your accounts and remain on top of the ball is a useful skill to obtain.


So as of right now, how many cards and accounts do you think you can honestly manage and manage well?

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Do You Really Need an Emergency Fund?

You can’t prepare for all the things life will throw at you. Some days it will be car trouble that needs to be paid for, sometimes a friend or loved one is in the hospital, or you or your spouse may be getting laid off. These things, as bleak as the sound, happen. Although we cannot predict when or exactly what will come out our way, we can still plan accordingly for the times that things will go wrong. When these inevitable circumstances happen, you want to be able to still stand financially secure so that you can keep you and your family moving forward.

Here is why you should have an emergency fund, or at least an emergency fund equivalent.


The idea is to spare you from getting into debt.

The idea of having a set aside emergency fund full of money is to prevent you from scrambling to find new money come time you need it. In the case of an unexpected and very expensive event like your vehicle being totaled and you need a replacement, do you dip into your life savings for a fix? Or do you reach into your set aside emergency fund designed to take such hits like this in stride?

In a pinch, it is quite easy to procure funds of various amounts. Sometimes it’s as easy as just pulling out the plastic and swiping, or a phone call to a lender or bank for a loan. All of these options are indeed quick fixes, but will very possibly end up putting you in a heap of debt unless you have a solid way to pay your way through it.

You want to remove, or at least limit, the risk of getting into debt as a result from an unplanned financial expense, and having a form of an emergency account is how you can do that.

Don’t rely on credit.

When surprise but necessary purchases pop up on the radar, the knee-jerk reaction is usually to whip out the plastic cards and start spreading the payments around to cover the immediate cost of whatever popped up. Credit cards can be a valid option for you if you are in a position where you know where the money you need is going to be coming in, and the credit card is just a slight payment delay.

Sometimes financial installment plans are not available, and you need some way to make a payment plan appear. Credit cards can provide that escape when you get cornered, but before you even swipe, think about and begin planning how you are going to pay back the amount as soon as you can, lest you encounter the wrath of interest.


Try to avoid loans from friends or family for quick cash.

When things start getting rough, you may want to seek financial shelter with a friend or family member. Whether it be in the form of a loan or even just a monetary gift, you should not have to get into this position if you planned enough for your future. You should already have the funds you would need to keep you and your family upright in the face of emergency, whether it be through a completely separate account marked “Emergency Fund” or just an over-stuffed savings account.

Even though going to your parents and asking for money may not incur that much of a feeling of shame inside of you (the amount of dignity we feel we lose varies per person), you should not have that be your go-to when things start getting rocky and rough.

As an adult who more than likely has a job that pays more than minimum wage, you should be able to be self-reliant and responsible enough to manage your own finances well enough to at least have a savings account serve as a form of cushion to dig yourself out of whatever life throws at you.


What does your emergency account look like?

We mentioned this before, but let us clarify: you do not need to have a completely separate “Emergency Fund”. What you do need, however, is a financial equivalent that has enough funds to keep the lights on, food on the table, and roof overhead in the event of something like a surprise medical event, car situation, or job loss.

Even if it’s not in its own separate account, you want to ensure that the money to keep life as usual is available and at your disposal somewhere within reach. To find the number that you want to have as a minimum in your account, try this:

Add up your medical bills for an average year. Whether it be just checkups and medications, or that one year where you had to have a surgery done, add up your most expensive medical year. Try to gather enough funds to match this number, and this is now your medical fund. Keep this number in mind.

Now add up your average car bills. This includes your payments on the car itself, as well as maintenance on it, including how many times you had to get replacement tires and a new transmission installed. Add all these numbers together over the course of a year, and you now have a car fund.

Now do the same for your average a year spent on your groceries. Once you have those three numbers (car fund, medical fund, and grocery fund) have enough to cover it for a full year, two years if possible, and have this be available to you as a combined “Emergency Fund”.

This fund does not necessarily have to be set aside and left untouched in savings account growing a measly 1-2% or growth, but can be moved around into other assists or invested in projects and opportunities. As long as you have access to the funds when necessary, it doesn’t matter where the money is kept. As long as you have access to that level of cash as described above, place it where you want.


You don’t need to have the money sitting in an untouched pile to have an emergency fund, you just need to be able to have that kind of money available to you so that when it comes time you do need that kind of money, you aren’t scrambling to find lenders, your credit card, or your family members for cash. Even if you can’t afford that kind of money right now, it’s a good thing to try to build towards as much as you can. It’s the exercise in responsibility that matters here. Happy saving!

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Card Comparison: Capital One® QuickSilver and Discover It® Cash Cards

Some credit cards can have a range of bonus points that can be used for flights, hotels, gift cards or the classic pay-with-points kitchen blender. Other credit cards give their rewards as cold hard cash. There is a wave of new credit cards that offer this benefit, and this article will compare two of the longest running and most popular cash-back cards: Capital One® QuickSilver and Discover It®.

 Capital One Quicksilver  Discover It

Getting Paid to Pay

Both credit cards have a cash back rewards system. As you spend money using your credit card, a certain percentage of the total spent is added to your cash back rewards balance. Upon your request or if you set up an automatic payment system, you will receive an account credit, a cheque or an electronic deposit for the money you racked up in your cash back account. The huge benefit is that this money is not tied to any certain online store or type of reward. The cash is yours to use however you like; you can buy boring but important groceries at the market, splurge on sweet new shoes online or even pay down your credit card balance with this cash.

The Capital One QuickSilver cash-back rewards system is simple: you receive 1.5% of everything you put on your card back as cash rewards. No matter what you use your card on, you will always receive 1.5% back. The Discover It card has a two-pronged rewards system. On certain, changing, categories, you can receive 5% cash back for purchases that fall within that category up to $1,500. On everything else, you receive 1% cash back.

If you are willing do your homework and track the categories, the Discover It card can reap big rewards with its 5% cash back rewards. The categories change seasonally, and currently, the 5% cash back is rewarded to purchases in restaurants and movies. The upcoming seasons will be home improvement stores and, followed by and more. Anything else will fall under the 1% reward that still provides a nice reward for your purchases. However, if you have no interest in tracking the categories or shifting your spending habits, the Capital One Quicksilver is a solid bet as you will get the slightly higher overall cash back rate.

First Time Perks

Both cards are offering first-time cardholders an appealing cash reward for your business. The Capital One Quicksilver card is currently offering $100 if you spend $500 on your card in the first three months. The Discover It card is offering to double all the cash back rewards you collect in the first 12 months of using the card. The quick math on these rewards shows that big spenders could fare well with the Discover It sign-up bonus, but a guaranteed bonus for smaller spenders (but who can still spend $500 in three months) is on the Quicksilver card. With the Quicksilver card, by putting your regular monthly spending on your credit card will get you $100 cash. However, for Discover It, you would have to spend $2,000 on the right categories at the 5% rewards level to earn $100 that can be doubled with this sign-up bonus. If you’re a big spender and follow the categories, you could earn lots with Discover It. A safer bet is Quicksilver’s $100 sign-up bonus.

The Fine Print: Annual Percentage Rates

As much fun as cash in the bank can be, the rates on your card are important considerations. Both cards offer the very appealing introductory annual percentage rate (APR) of 0%. Discover It offers this nice rate for the first year of your card contract. Capital One QuickSilver, however, only offers 0% until February 2017. After the 0% period, the Discover It APR can range from 11.24% to 23.24% while the Quicksilver APR can range from 13.24% to 23.24%. To compare APRs is difficult to do effectively as it will vary depending on your credit score. However, Discover It has a slight edge in this competition with its extended 0% APR period and a lower bottom end of the APR range.

Wondering how your credit score is doing? Discover It also provides a nice addition of your FICO® credit score on your account statement and online.

Annual Fees & Balance Transfers

Both cards tie when it comes to the annual fee to use the card: $0. The card pays you to use it, but you don’t have it pay for it, which seems to be a very nice arrangement.

Both cards also tie on a 3% balance transfer fee. If you are transferring a balance to your new card, remember that Discover It offers a longer 0% interest period than Quicksilver. The 0% APR applies to transferred balances, but Quicksilver’s ends in February 2017, but Discover It’s lasts for the first 12 months.

Travel, Card Recovery, and Other Benefits

Capital One Quicksilver comes with Visa Signature® benefits which include travel upgrades and savings, discounts at certain stores both online and offline, and other perks. If your card is lost or stolen, Discover It will overnight you a new one anywhere in the United States. Quicksilver does not provide a timeline other than “quick”, but they do provide the service worldwide. Neither card charges foreign transaction fees, and both include fraudulent activity protection.

This range of benefits is quite wide and someone difficult to compare, but Capital One Quicksilver comes out on top as there’s no equivalent for the Visa Signature benefits on the Discover It card.


 Both the Capital One Quicksilver and the Discover It cards are good options for a cash back card. Overall, the winner depends on what kind of cardholder you are. If you are a keen cardholder who tracks the big percentage categories or if you are someone who will keep a balance on their card for some time, Discover It is the card for you because the categories can provide big cash back rewards and the extended 0% APR period is a relief for a new or transferred balance. If you have no interest in tracking which categories are which season, if you’re not a big spender and you won’t carry a balance on your card, Capital One Quicksilver is a great pick as it provides a consistent 1.5% cash back with a $100 sign up bonus, but its 0% APR period is not as long. Either way, these cards will start paying you once you start paying with them.


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Basics of a ROTH IRA Account

Credit Report Dispute Paperwork

Basics of a ROTH IRA Account

In the universe of goal-based financial planning, reaching the point where earning an income is no longer necessary to sustain a certain lifestyle is one of the most substantial objectives an individual can aim to achieve. To successfully reach retirement, it is necessary to set aside a portion of earnings along the way. Some individuals are able to accumulate retirement savings through an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b); others utilize supplemental retirement vehicles as a means to reach their financial objectives. One of those supplemental vehicles not tied to an employer is a ROTH IRA.

What is a ROTH?

The IRS defines a ROTH IRA as a post-tax individual retirement account that certain individuals have the opportunity to use in an effort to set aside money specifically for retirement years. A ROTH IRA differs from an employer-sponsored plan in that it is individually held and managed by the account owner. Additionally, contributions to a ROTH are not made through paycheck deferrals but rather are established as a direct withdrawal or other form of payment from an individual’s checking or savings account.

ROTH IRA accounts were originally established to offer a means to supplement retirement savings for individuals who need or otherwise want tax-free income throughout their non-working years. Gains from investment performance and interest earned on funds held within a ROTH IRA account grow each year on a tax-deferred basis, which means account holders have no need to report or pay taxes on any earnings within the account. When funds are withdrawn in part or in full during retirement, no taxes are owed on previous investment gains or the initial contributions made. Employer-sponsored plans that offer pre-tax savings are fully taxable when withdrawn in retirement, making the ROTH a smart way to create a blended tax base throughout retirement.

Why You Should Care

A ROTH IRA works as a sound solution to retirement planning needs in that it provides tax-free income – offsetting the tax burden inherent to pre-tax retirement funds accumulated throughout the years in a 401(k), 403(b) or traditional IRA account. The ability to generate tax-free income allows individuals the ability to have accumulated funds work that much harder in terms of purchasing power over the long run.

For instance, accumulating $100,000 within a ROTH IRA means that the account holder has access to the full amount without a tax liability, as long as the distribution is in line with certain guidelines. That same $100,000 accumulated within a pre-tax savings vehicle would be worth only $80,000 once distributed to an individual, assuming a tax rate of 20%. This is because any withdrawals from a pre-tax savings vehicle are treated as ordinary income in the eyes of the IRS and therefore fully taxable when money is taken out. A ROTH account is beneficial in offsetting this pre-tax burden for those who plan ahead.

ROTH Eligibility

As with most tax-benefited accounts, a ROTH IRA has some limitations in terms of eligibility. Individuals must fall under a certain threshold of total household earnings to be able to contribute to a ROTH. For individual taxpayers, that income limit begins at $117,000 and fully phases individuals out at $132,000 in total earnings. For married contributors, restrictions begin once total household earnings reach $184,000, with full ineligibility happening at $194,000.

Any contributions that are made to a ROTH once an individual has passed these earnings thresholds is penalized if it is not removed within the year the contribution was made. Worry not, though – contributions made into a ROTH IRA while earnings were lower than the income limits can stay within the account and may continue to earn interest or investment gains for as long as the account holder wishes.

ROTH Contributions

ROTH IRA accounts are powerful retirement savings vehicles for individuals who qualify to make contributions, but there is a cap on how much money can be stashed away within this type of account. First, individuals must have earned income – that is, money from business ownership, 1099 pay or a conventional employer – in order for ROTH contributions to be made.

As long as money is earned and is under the previously mentioned income limits, contributions up to $5,500 can be made to a ROTH IRA throughout the tax year. While individuals have the opportunity to have multiple ROTH IRA accounts with different banks, investment advisors or other custodians, the cumulative contribution amount cannot exceed $5,500 among all accounts. For individuals who are above the age of 50, an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 can be made each year, above the normal $5,500 limit.

Getting Money Out of a ROTH

As with employer-sponsored plans and traditional IRA accounts, contributions, gains or a combination of the two cannot be withdrawn from a ROTH IRA until the account holder reaches the age of 59 ½. Should a distribution be taken prior to that time that does not qualify as a penalty-free withdrawal, account holders may be taxed on earnings and a tax penalty of 10% may be assessed on the amount withdrawn.

However, the ROTH was established with far more flexibility than other retirement savings vehicles when it comes to penalty-free withdrawal scenarios. Account holders have the opportunity to take money from a ROTH IRA for the following situations, free of any tax or penalty:

  • Up to $10,000 withdrawn for the purpose of purchasing your first home
  • Account holder becomes permanently and totally disabled
  • Paying medical insurance premiums during unemployment
  • Paying for unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income
  • Distributions are taken for the purpose of paying higher education expenses
  • Distributions are part of a series of equal and substantial payments

While a ROTH IRA should be used primarily as a long-term savings vehicle, the opportunity to take money out of a ROTH account prior to retirement age is attractive to some savers. Money withdrawn from a ROTH IRA for these qualified distributions does not need to be repaid to the account at any time, as it would with a loan from an employer-sponsored plan.

The Verdict

A ROTH IRA account is a great way to save for the substantial goal that is retirement in a tax efficient manner, but it is important to understand the limitations. Only individuals who earn under a certain amount of income are eligible to contribute to a ROTH IRA account, and total contributions are capped at $5,500 for individuals under 50 and $6,500 for those over 50, per year. Despite these restrictions, a ROTH IRA can provide tax-free, penalty-free funding for some of life’s major expenses above and beyond retirement, including help toward a first-time home purchase, covering education costs, and offsetting unreimbursed medical expenses. As long as the limitations inherent to a ROTH IRA are understood, individuals can utilize this type of account as an alternative or a supplement to employer-sponsored plans and traditional IRA accounts during their working years.


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Review of the Debt Reminder App.

The icon for the app sits right on your phone’s app section with an attractive and unobtrusive icon. Upon startup, you are taken right to the dashboard where you can immediately see all debts that you are involved with, whether it’s money that people owe you or the other way around.

There are two main pages: the “They owe me” page, which shows other people’s debts that they have to you, and the “I owe them” page, which shows the debts that you have to other people. There is also the “settings page” which allows you to modify the color scheme of the app for free. ‘Night mode’ can be activated by either shaking the phone or by swiping upward with three fingers. I spent my time on night mode with a tan color scheme for the first few days. Later, I turned off night mode and switched the color scheme to green.

​​Debt Reminder App


To add a new debt, press the + icon at the bottom right corner of the screen. From there, you can choose from 9 different emojis as a kind of profile picture for the person (or persons – there is even an emoji for a group of people) involved in the debt that is not you. You then enter the name, the amount, and the reason for the debt (and whether or not the debt is owed to you or you owe the debt to someone else).


Simply press the green + icon at the bottom right corner of the screen to confirm the new added debt and you are done.

Once a debt has been added, there are a myriad of options to choose from. You can add a reminder or delete the debt by sliding left on it or add new debts for that same person by clicking the gray + icon beside their photo.

You can open Debt Reminder’s settings page by tapping on the two horizontal lines that are located in the top left corner of the screen. You can select from five different ‘themes’ (or colors) for  or even switch to ‘night mode’ which will invert the colors.


There are even seven different options for currency and you can have one selected for all of your debts at a time. You can pick from $, €, £, ¥, ₽, CHF, and ₹. Many countries have different names for their currency but use the same symbols, so this method helps to reach the highest number of people. This app does not deal with actual money, it is only a way for its user to log their debts on their own. It is their responsibility to mark debts off in the app as paid once they have paid them off and to create new debts when the situation arises.

Your account shows how much money you would receive if all debts were paid at that moment. I said that someone owed me $100 and that I owed someone else $20, so my account showed a net gain of $80. Once a debt has been logged in as paid, it is no longer a factor in your account’s theoretical balance because they no longer exist.

There are two main pages: the “They owe me” page, which shows other people’s debts that they have to you, and the “I owe them” page, which shows the debts that you have to other people.

If you have a lot of debts, you can search for a particular person by tapping on the magnifying glass icon and typing in their name.

Debt Reminder does provide a notification for loans that are due by setting a date for them. Find the loan in the menu and swipe left on it. There should be a “reminder” option with a calendar icon beside of it. Tap on this. Pick a date and time (the time is set in one-minute increments) and press ‘ok’. Once the time is reached, your phone should notify you in some way. I have not been able to make this work, however, so keep this in mind and be prepared to set reminders using another method if you are not able to get the reminder setting to work correctly.

Debt Reminder shows the names of people in alphabetical order whether or not they are involved in any debts on that page, so someone who owes you no money at all may still show up above someone who owes you money. This can hide them until you scroll down more. On top of that, all people named in your app will show up on both the “They owe me” and the “I owe them” pages, so there can be a myriad of people on either page who don’t belong (they will just have $0 next to their name).


Debt Reminder can be used for casual loans between friends or large loans that are paid off gradually. There isn’t an option to automatically remind you on a regular basis for recurring loans, so it is important to visit the app regularly if you have several loans, which can actually be a good thing: it encourages you to take all of your loans into perspective, not just the one that is due next.

The Verdict:

This is a great app for simple debts, but it lacks the option to set a structured method of paying off more serious loans — there are no payment reminders for ongoing loans (such as rent) or ways to pay things off in installments. The reminder setting itself may not work at all. There can be quite a few people who don’t belong on a page, since all profiles will appear on all pages (people who don’t owe you anything will still show up on the “they owe me” menu as well as the “I owe them” menu if you owe them money). Other than the downsides mentioned above, it is still a very handy app, especially when keeping track of small, informal loans from friends and family. Personalizing the app’s appearance is completely free and can be changed on a whim according to whatever mood you are in at the moment.

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Is it Hard to Earn a Million Dollars?

Pretty much anybody who has ever earned a paycheck has wondered what it would be like to eventually earn a million dollars. Accumulating wealth, regardless of the amount, is a difficult task to do in the face of rising expenses and an ever growing inflation of the cost of living.

Although this dream of eventually attaining a million dollars may be lofty, it is not by any means impossible to attain. Below is a breakdown of some of the habits that you will need to adopt if you hope to make that dream of earning your first one million dollars a reality.




Make and hold as many connections as possible

Before you set out on this journey to wealth, you need to get your head straight. Although you will be the one who receives that ticket to the millionaire’s club in the end, you cannot by any means earn it by yourself. It is the people around you that will launch you into wealth and prosperity, and that happens by you getting in the habit of helping them reach their own success.

You create the relationships that will lead to opportunities for you to expand your wealth. By working in tandem with others, you create relationships that are designed to help each other. “You scratch my back and I scratch yours” is the mindset to get the ball rolling, and maybe will lead to a business deal, or a discounted price on a necessary purchase for you to expand your business—regardless of what the relationship will yield, your being a people person is a trait that will be hugely beneficial on your journey to earning a million dollars.

NOTE: Be careful if you are creating relationships just for the sake of their perks. If you create an image for yourself as a “user”, then you will actually shut down your chances of seeking future help from your relationships when the time comes. Be genuine as you go about creating connections and relationships.


Put the product before the profit

Regardless of how you plan on earning the before mentioned million dollars, you need to take your eyes off of the money. Focus on the quality of the work you are putting out that will eventually earn you a million dollars instead of just shooting out work just for pay checks.

It is the quality of your work that will launch you that much faster into money. If you are good at something, and we mean good at something, then the money and opportunities will come naturally. For those who are focused on the cash and only the cash, then the path to that payout will be a lot harder because when you aren’t focused on the quality of the work you are exchanging for payments, it shows.


Never stop growing

The money you earn from the work that you do should be turned around and used to make your work that much better. Use the earnings of your work to better yourself in what you do in providing further education for yourself in your field or better tools that will help you create even better work than before. You can never be too prepared in your field and in what you do, so be constantly on the lookout for ways that you can better yourself using the money that you have earned from your past work.


Put an end to frivolous spending

On the more logistical side of money management, to earn a million dollars you will need to learn how to be wise in how you go about your expenses, and that starts with ceasing to spend frivolously. By cutting back on unnecessary expenses, you build up your accounts that much faster and shorten the amount of time it will take you to earn a million dollars. It sounds like common sense to just “Stop buying so much of what you don’t need”, but you would be surprised as to how often you really buy things unnecessarily. Get in the habit of buying what you need and not much else.


Save for the long term

When it comes to saving money, it doesn’t get more adult than putting your money into a retirement account as soon as you can. The longer it’s in there and the more you add to it, the bigger the payout will be come time to retire. Talk to your boss or employer to discuss retirement plans as soon as you can, considering your current job offers such benefits (most do).

Besides retirement accounts, if you have any disposable amounts of cash laying around and are looking for a way to turn it around for a considerable profit with little work, consider placing it in a compound account. These kinds of accounts are set up by banks that require you to leave your money with them for set periods of untouchable time and the longer you leave it with them, the more it grows! For many people, the thought of not being able to touch the money no matter what is too much, and leads them to shy away from this option. It looks risky, but this is a great option to easily rake in extra money with very little effort on your part.


Diversify your income streams

To rake in more cash, diversify your streams of income. For those working one full time job, you can still make a million dollars as is, but it can happen that much faster if you have money trickling in from multiple sources as compared to just one stream. Consider investing in real estate by buying an apartment building and renting out the spaces, or if you have time that allows and the skill set to follow, consider picking up a second job moonlighting as a freelancer.

If you do not have the current opportunities to make that happen, then negotiate with your current employer about receiving a raise. Before you enter salary negotiations, be sure that you can back up what you are asking for with an appropriately leveled skillset. As we mentioned earlier, continue furthering yourself in what you do: keep learning new skills and continue to add new tools to your arsenal to make you that much more unignorable in your field. If you do these things, then you have very good chances of walking out of the salary renegotiations with a smile on your face.


Earning a million dollars does not have to be just a dream. In fact, it is a lot more attainable than you think. By endlessly applying yourself and continuing to make yourself unignorable in your chosen field, you can earn a million dollars for yourself, and a lot sooner than you might have earlier anticipated.

Be aware that earning a million dollars is certainly not something that happens overnight. It will take time, and that time can stretch anywhere from a few years to a few decades. The important thing to remember as you go about earning your first million dollars is that regardless of which methods you employ, you need to be patient. Rome was not built in a day.

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How Much Money Do I Need to Save for Retirement?

How Much Money Do I Need to Save for Retirement?

You worked hard to get where you are now, am I right? You graduated high school, spent years in college, started your career, and now you’re comfortable with your life. You spend most of your days working throughout the year, and you’ll be doing the same thing until you’re around 65. You should be proud of how hard you worked to get where you are now. You should be so proud, that you make sure you’re all set for retirement, that way you won’t ever have to work another day in your life. Of course, we all wonder how much money we should save up for retirement. I mean, you make anywhere between $30,000 to over $100,000 a year, so how are you going to live off of nothing for 25 more years (roughly) after you retire? Let’s talk about this.

Now, when you think of retirement, you need to ask yourself a few questions. How long do you think you’ll live? How comfortable do you want to be afterwards? What will your living costs be? Will your savings produce enough cash? These are all great questions that I’ll try my best to answer for you.


The first question we asked was how long do you think you’ll live? This sounds a little harsh, but it is something you need to think about. Now days on average, it says either one or both partners will live to see 95. That’s a whole 20 years of freedom if you retire at the age of 65. Your retirement is going to need to last until then. Even if you’re in bad shape and don’t think you’ll live to be that old, at least assume. Save up enough money to last you until you’re 100, that way you’ll be prepared and you won’t be hurting for money.


The next question on the list was, how comfortable do you want to live? This is actually a major question you should put into play. It’s been said for people to aim for at least $1 million to $1.5 million, or to save 10 to 12 times your current income you have now. Everybody is different, of course. If you’re spending $50,000 a year for 30 years after you retire, you would need around $1.5 million to hold you long enough. Of course, everybody is different, yes, but who doesn’t like some extra money in their pocket? Now for my mother, she wants to retire and travel the world. That’s actually a realistic dream to have. Most people work so hard for their money, that after they’re done working, maybe they want to go on 150 cruises before they die. You have an open schedule, so why not? You’ve spent your whole life cooped up in the same job living at the same house. It’s normal to maybe want to see England or France, or maybe even Canada. I would LOVE to see every country out there! Wouldn’t you?

So if you’re planning on traveling the world after you retire, put that into the equation. Let’s say you go on one cruise a year and travel to a different country once a year also. Let’s say in total, the average cost for a cruise came out to be $3500 for two people. If you do one cruise a year for 30 years, that would be $105,000 total. Let’s say a trip to a different country is around $10,000 for two people. If you do that once a year, that’ll come out to a total of $300,000! So, a trip to a different country and a cruise once a year will be $405,000 for 30 years. If you saved up $1.5 million, that’s already a third of your savings. Most people actually might be able to live comfortably this way, but would you? That’s something you would need to start thinking about and preparing yourself for.


Another question we had earlier was, will your savings produce enough cash? According to Morningstar, a Chicago-based investment research firm, in order for a retiree to produce at least $40,000 a year during retirement, they would need about $1.18 million in their savings to support 30 full years of retirement. This was calculated using 6% revenues and 2.5% inflation. This is something to definitely think about!


Some people start to panic after retirement because they fear they haven’t saved enough money to last the rest of their lives. If this is the case, then you should try to cut back on a few things. Try paying off your house and car before you retire. You really don’t need any extra bills taking money from your pockets. Instead of owning two vehicles, try sharing only one between you and your spouse. If you aren’t looking forward to seeing the whole world, then maybe cut back on vacation expenses. Or if you do want to travel the world, then try budgeting when you buy tickets. Instead of first class on the plane, choose a coach seat. Wait until tickets are cheap. Or sign up for a point system with your bank. A lot of banks now days have a point system that adds up all your travel points and you’ll eventually earn enough for a free plane ticket or cruise or hotel.


Like I said earlier, retirement can be a scary thing. We get so comfortable in our environments that we aren’t ready for change. You get use to the pattern you form with your life. Wake up, eat, go the work, come home, eat, go to bed. We get so use to our patterns and every day routines that when it comes time for change, we aren’t ready. If you aren’t prepared for change, then yes, it is a scary thing. The most important thing you need to do is be prepared. Start preparing yourself when you’re young. My mother actually always gets onto me about saving up for retirement. I laugh her off because I’m so young. Why would I need to save for retirement when I’m still in my 20’s? I still have around 40 years left! Time flies by, and we all find that so easy to forget. Start saving for your retirement today, that way you’ll be more than prepared for it when it comes time!

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When is the Best Time to Sell a House?

There comes a time in our lives where we decide to pack up and move away. It’s totally natural, right? Maybe you own a house by yourself, and you’re finally making the decision to move in with your soon-to-be husband. Maybe you live somewhere with a cold climate and you’re aching for warmth. Or maybe you recently experienced a tragedy in your household and you’re forced to pack up and move. We’ve all been there, and if we haven’t, then we someday will. Everybody moves households at least once in their life; it’s going to happen. The biggest question you have when selling your home is probably ‘when is the best time to sell my house?”. Am I right? Well, I’m about to explain to you when exactly you should decide to sell.





The best time to sell your home is definitely in the spring time, which would be between March and April. I mean, why not? Have you seen how beautiful it gets outside during those 2 months? The flowers start to burst out in full bloom, the grass reverts to its natural healthy green, the trees become full of life again, and your in-ground pool is a beautiful bright blue again! Out of the whole year, spring is the most beautiful! Buyers usually shop around during these months, and then close the deal around June.

Think about it; in the winter, your home looks so gloomy and bland, while in the spring, your home looks so alive and bursting with color! Which would you rather buy; a dark, gloomy house or a nice, warm beautiful home? Aside from spring bringing natural beauty to your home, it also brings in longer days. This means that buyers have more time to shop throughout the day.

The weather is also a huge factor of selling a home. Why on Earth would you want to go around shopping for a house when it’s 27 degrees and snowing? Exactly; you would much rather be shopping when it’s a cozy 80 degrees, am I right? Spring is just all-around, a better season to sell your home.



Another reason you would prefer to sell your home in the spring time is because the sale prices are bigger. You know how a regular market lowers the price with the more inventories they have? Well, it’s the complete opposite with the housing market. The more homes that are up for sale, the higher your price can be. Think about it. You’re competing with your neighborhood homes. There’s usually at least one home on each street that gets put up for sale during the spring time. With more buyers circling the homes, you’re able to raise your price and still get a good buyer. There’s more of a demand for homes in the spring because of the start of a new school year for children.



In the spring time, your home has better value, as well. Now, when buyers come around, they value each house they’re interested in. What this does is it shows buyers what the past comparable houses sold for in your neighborhood. Let’s say the most recent home they see was a home that was sold in the winter for a low price. That can hurt your valuation. I would recommend waiting until at least one or two other homes go up to sale in your neighborhood before putting yours up on the market. This way, they’ll have more recent homes to compare yours to.



Sometimes when the housing market is so busy, you’ll experience a bidding war. This is a huge plus for you as a seller! You’ll have multiple offers being made on your home. The more offers, the higher the price goes up. So if you go in selling your home for $400,000, you might possibly walk away with $450,000; more or less. When this happens, you’re a little less likely to have repair requests from the buyer.

Then you have buyers with cash. They’re a bit more aggressive when it comes to buying homes. You might experience a buyer shoving a huge wad of cash your way!



Now, when selling a home during spring time, sellers have the options of being a little more on the picky side. They have more buyers walking in and out of their homes. Wouldn’t it be sad to see your beautiful home being sold to the neighborhood thugs? Within two years, your beautiful home might not be so beautiful anymore. Wouldn’t you rather sell your house to someone you can trust? Yes! You’ll be able to pick the newlyweds as your home buyer over the typical gangsters, am I right?

With that being said, buyers also have the choice to be picky. There are more homes out there to choose from! Maybe your home has an outdated kitchen, whereas the home one block down the road might have a brand new one! They do have options, just like you as a seller does as well. Buyers just aren’t under pressure to buy a home during the spring time. They’re in no hurry, usually. They still have all summer before their children get back into school. Am I right, my friends?

Out of all the reasons I’ve listed above, you can probably agree with me that spring time is, of course, the best time to sell your home. Let me tell you about selling your home during the winter time.



Okay my friends, during the winter time, your home is less likely to sell for several different reasons.

One of the reasons would be because there’s obviously less attraction to the home; like how I mentioned earlier. You’re home just looks so gloomy in the winter time. The grass is dead, yellow and crunchy, right? I mean, think about the spring time, where you can walk around your yard barefoot in the fluffy, green grass.  In the winter, the grass is hard to walk on; it hurts your feet.

All your trees are bare and brown. Yes, I know trees are naturally brown, but they’re most beautiful when they have a full head of green leaves, am I right? There are no blooming flowers greeting you at the front door, just weeds. The pool in the backyard is green and covered.

If you’re in dire need of selling your home in the winter, I would advise you to post pictures of your home in the spring time on your listing. This way, the buyers get a good idea of what your home looks like during the spring time. Another thing you should do is to keep your drive way and sidewalks cleaned up. Clear them of any sticks, dead grass or debris. This will help bring some attention to buyers.



Another problem you might face during the winter is a frugal buyer. You don’t have much competition around the neighborhood, so your home might be the only one within 5 miles that’s up for sale. That doesn’t mean the buyer is going to buy the first home they see. They’ll probably be harsher on home repairs and lower prices for the home. If you want to sell your home quickly, you’ll need to be more willing to work with the buyer. Something you can do to help you get a good deal for the house, would be to raise your price. If you want to sell your home for $400,000, I would recommend putting it up for about $475,000. This way, when the buyer comes to you asking for a lower price, you’ll still be getting some of that money you originally wanted.

There might be a reason for selling your home during the winter time. Maybe you experienced a death in the family, or you’ve been laid off. You want to sell your home fast. During the winter, you’ll find the buyers are more eager to buy a home quickly. Just like you, the buyer most likely experienced a tragedy. Maybe they’re been relocated, or just stuck in a situation that forces them to move. You both need to work together and compromise for a better deal.


Now you have a pretty good idea of when the best time to sell your house is, am I right? You should definitely aim for a spring sale, but of course, we all get stuck in positions that force us to sell at the wrong times.

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You love to shop until you drop, am I right? If I’m wrong, well, just pretend you do. Let’s say you’re tired of carrying around that huge, heavy purse of yours. I mean, you still need the strength to carry around all of those shopping bags!

You’ve recently discovered there is a way to pay for all of your purchases without using a wallet; your smart phone! Thank the high Heavens for that, am I right? You no longer need to carry around your purse or wallet; just your phone! How much better can life get? Let me stop you there and ask: Have you ever stopped and wondered how safe mobile payments are? We put so much trust into these little screens with our credit card information. You never actually stop to wonder how safe it really is.

We have hackers who hack into our personal computers every day. What’s so different about a smart phone? They would just need to break through a small firewall and steal every bit of information you have! Let’s admit it; we have just about all of our information on our smart phones. Let’s use Google Play as an example. You have a game you’re absolutely addicted to, and you can’t help but to spend money on it! Your credit card information is already saved to Google; all you need to do is type in your password. Think about it. Are mobile payments really as safe as they make them to be? Read on, my friends.



In all of the countries combined, the United States carries more than half of the credit card frauds! Credit card frauds are no joke! I’m sure each and every one of you has had some sort of credit card fraud happen to you at least once! I know I have.

Get this. It was recorded back in 2012 that $500 million was spent through mobile wallet apps! That’s more than you thought, am I right? It’s already been predicted that by 2017, that sum will boost up to $35 billion! How do you feel about that? That’s how much trust we put into our mobile devices.

There’s an app called Venmo that was recently started up from PayPal. You’re able to send money to your friends and family via email, just like most wallet apps. It was recently confirmed that Venmo processes hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions each month, and that Venmo recently had to apologize to customers because they were complaining about nothing being done about fraudulent activity. It’s been said that Venmo can take about two full days to get back to their customers who are complaining about fraud. That might not be so bad, except they have a strict policy that costumers only have 48 hours to file a complaint about fraud before they lose their liability protection. How crazy is that?



There are some things you should probably take into account. I know we’re talking about mobile payments here, but let’s take a break and talk about the actual phone. How vulnerable are you to fraud? Say you’re waiting for a flight to Las Angeles; and you’re waiting patiently. You get hungry after hours of waiting, so you decide to get a snack. There’s a store directly across from where you were sitting, so you leave all of your belongings. You’ll only take a second, right? Someone runs up to grab your phone; and they take off. There you go; this complete stranger now has access to all the information in your phone.

Let’s say this doesn’t happen. You’re still sitting down in your chair at the airport, and you’re enjoying the free WiFi. You’re using a public network that most likely has no firewall protection. It’ll be super easy for hackers to catch all the information in your phone, simply by hacking in through the same network. Now, every password or username and email that’s being typed; they’re recording it. Boom, they have access to all your personal information, credit cards included.

Another example would be that you use all these different wallet apps, and you play all these different games you pay for. They’re all made from different companies with different types of software. You’re basically setting yourself up for fraud since each of these apps can have their own potential vulnerabilities! Just remember how vulnerable your cell phone is, and be extra careful with your information.



My advice to you would be to keep track of your transactions. My mother has taught me to check my bank account every day. She checks hers at least three or four times throughout her day. I know what you’re thinking; she’s a little crazy. I usually think the same thing; however, she’s usually right on top of fraud the second it happens. You can never be too careful. Most banks actually have their own apps, so it would only take seconds to check your balance and make sure everything is right where you left it. I recommend only checking your bank when you’re either at home, or through your data. I never check my bank account while I’m connected to someone else’s WiFi that isn’t my own, and neither should you. Mobile Data is extremely safe, so you’re able to put all of your trust into it, especially main carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. You never hear about mobile data being hacked, but you hear about public WiFi hacking users on a daily basis. So really, the main thing you really need to worry about while making mobile payments is the network you’re on.



There are quite a few steps you can take when making mobile payments. You already know some of them; like using a trustworthy network and watching your bank statements. Let’s talk about a few other steps you should take to avoid fraud.

Try sticking with the popular sites and apps! Would you trust shopping on a website called “”? Um, I would hope not; but you probably trust the main sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and PayPal? Yes, of course you trust them! Maybe not always what’s being sold; but you trust them with your online wallet, right?

Here’s another tip; try reading reviews and ratings before downloading a new app. There are usually great reviews being written each and every day! If that app only has two and a half stars, look into why the ratings are so low. If everyone is saying they’ve been scammed and had their money stolen; don’t download the app. I feel like not many people actually think about searching reviews for tips on scammers. They just look at the app description and download! When it comes to your wallet, you should always be as cautious as you can.

So, to answer our original question; mobile payments are safe; only to an extent. If you’re cautious and use your head to make smart choices, then you won’t have to worry too much about how safe your mobile payments really are.

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Is Bitcoin a Real Currency?

For the last five years, bitcoin has been in the news—with widely varying reports. Bitcoin is essentially a new type of currency that was initially created and introduced by an anonymous person, one using an alias of Satoshi Nakamoto. The anonymity of the developer only adds to the mystery of the currency, as many have tried to understand how it works and whether or not it is even a real thing.

Anonymity at All Times

For those using bitcoin, purchases can be made anonymously, or that is what is intended. Critics would argue that nothing that takes place over the internet is truly anonymous, but this is at least the intention of using bitcoin. When making a purchase with bitcoin, you do not need to provide your name or any other identifying information. International transactions are simple, as bitcoin is a global currency, one that does not rely in any way on exchange rates. This means that you are less likely to ever pay any international transaction fees, something that is attractive to those doing business on a global scale. The transactions are recorded in a public log, but there is never any identifying information other than the wallet number of the owner of the bitcoin or the recipient. Wallet numbers are difficult, but not necessarily impossible for experts, to trace.

Critics will also point out that because of the anonymous nature of bitcoin, it can more easily be used for illicit activity, such as buying drugs or conducting other illegal business online. With no monitoring, and because it is so difficult to trace purchases made with bitcoin, this concern may be a reality.

No Banks as Middlemen

When you use credit cards or debit cards to make a transaction, the banks serve as a sort of “middle man” in the transaction. This is usually why you are charged transaction fees for certain purchases or types of purchases. When you use bitcoin, the purchase is transacted directly between the two parties, whether it is an exchange between two individuals or an individual and a business. The bitcoin is merely exchanged between accounts directly, with no time needed for transactions to clear. When one person has a balance in their bitcoin account, it can be used to exchange for goods and services with anyone else having a bitcoin account.

Merchants are slowly but surely warming to the idea of bitcoin transactions, because there are no fees involved. Instead of paying a 3% fee, or even more, merchants keep all of that money. In many cases, this savings can be passed down to the consumers.

Are They Real?

Bitcoins are not little coins that you can hold and feel. It is a type of currency that exists only in an online “wallet” which is your account. You can only use them to complete transactions with others who are using the same currency system, as those without an online wallet will be unable to use bitcoin at all. Because bitcoins only exist in a virtual world, they are not insured at all by the FDIC. Should your account be hacked or you lose your computer or lose access to your online account, you are at risk for losing all of your bitcoin. The reality is, servers can be hacked or viruses could eliminate your online wallet. You could also accidentally delete them yourself, and be unable to recover your bitcoin under these types of circumstances.

How Can I Acquire Some?

There are several ways that you can acquire bitcoin currency and begin an account. There are some online sources for using other types of currency (USD, CAD, or any other country’s currency) to purchase bitcoin and start an account. A few of the most popular places to purchase bitcoin are and CoinMkt. Other ways of acquiring bitcoin include certain mining tasks, like completing complicated puzzles and being rewarded. You might even be playing certain online games that allow you to acquire “points” that can be used in a rewards marketplace. This is a version of bitcoin that you are acquiring, even though you may not intentionally be trying to build up a bitcoin account.

Some people are trying to build up bitcoin accounts to see how they can use this currency to make purchases, others may be purchasing bitcoin as a form of investment, since the future of bitcoin is unknown but it could be something that rises significantly in value, particularly since many of the world’s currencies are fluctuating wildly.

Caution is Warranted!

As with any financial transaction, you need to be very careful about who you are dealing with. Never send money or wire money to someone who you cannot verify in some way. Bitcoin is a real currency, but, since it is not regulated by any government or agency, there is plenty of room for fraud and you need to protect yourself adequately.