The Biggest Mistake of the Big Spenders

In order to learn how to become well off and stay that way it’s important to learn from other people’s mistakes. Here are several examples of how some rich people are risking the status that they worked very hard to achieve:

– Based on court documents that were released recently, it was revealed that Britney Spears doesn’t save any of her $730,000+ monthly income.

– The New York Post reported that the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz managed to accumulate $715,000 in debt, although she has a $2 million a year contract with the magazine Vanity Fair.

– The wrestler turned reality TV celebrity Hulk Hogan is said to spend almost twice his monthly salary of $57,000.

– Dustin Diamond, known to many of us as Screech from the TV show “Saved by the Bell” faced home foreclosure in 2006 although he still received royalties from the show’s reruns.

РThe recent celebrities to have their own housing problems include: Ed McMahon, Evander Holyfield, Jose Cans̩co, and Aretha Franklin.

All of these famous people, and many other not-so-famous but still rich people, are facing financial troubles because they spent more money than they’ve earned. This sounds like a no-brainer, but most people just spend and spend instead of examining their full financial situation. Even rich people need a budget.

Once you save more than you spend, you will become richer if you invest your money regularly, and the sooner you start the better. Investing can involve hiring a broker, financial advisor, real estate guru, etc’ but it’s equallly important for you to learn about how investing works and not just trusting others to make you rich. More on this in a future post.

Why Being Poor Is like Being Fat (And What to Do about It)

Being broke is a lot like being fat (I’ve been both).

If you’re 50 pounds overweight, you know you have a problem. Chances are, you also have plenty of ideas about how to do better, such as exercising more, going on a diet, or reducing your stress.

Yet you don’t do anything about it. Why? Because it’s easier to go on eating, pretending you don’t have a problem and comforting yourself with the food.

You might even shy away from anything that would remind you. For instance, you might start avoiding looking at yourself in the mirror, or put your scale in the closet so you don’t have to look at it every day.

It’s not because you’re in denial, necessarily. You’re just ashamed. You know you should be doing better, but you can’t bring yourself to face the situation. You’re just too weak.

Do you recognize the thought process?

It’s exactly the same for being broke or in debt. It can cause you to spend the rest of your life going through the same old pattern, never making the kind of money you deserve to make.

The good news is you can break it. Let me show you how.

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Make 2013 the Year You Gain Control of Your Finances

Happy New Year 2013Hard to believe, but 2013 is right around the corner. If your finances are in shambles, make this the year that you tidy things up and gain control. You will find that when you have control of your finances, you feel much better, and other areas of your life improve. Whether you have a little bit of debt or more debt than you can handle, there is a plan for you.

Manageable Debt
If you have a manageable amount of debt, take steps to make your payments go farther. Call your credit card company and ask them to lower your APR. If they won’t do it, apply for a 0% interest credit card and transfer your balance to that card. The lower you can get your interest rate, the more money can go on principal.

If you owe on student loans, see if you can consolidate your loans and get a lower interest rate. Then, you will be paying just one payment a month instead of possibly several.

Finally, develop a side gig to bring in some extra money to help you put more money on your debt. The more you can pay, the faster the debt will go down.

Unmanageable Debt
If you have unmanageable debt, first accept it. Then, contact a debt relief agency. They will help you by setting you up with a repayment plan and negotiating with your creditors for lower interest rates and/or a lower payoff amount.

Debt consolidation allows you to refinance your home and take advantage of the equity in your home to pay off your other debt. You will be left with one monthly payment for your house that will likely be less than the total you were paying on all of the debts separately.

Getting out of debt may seem impossible, but it is not. By facing the reality of your situation and getting help, 2013 may be the year you gain control of your finances.

Pay Hikes and More Jobs in The UAE….

So where would you cut down on spending – food, clothes, nights out? At least there are no personal taxes to pay in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With that delightful state of affairs, not to mention the excellent salary package, too, what opportunities you have to save!

Yes, 2013 looks to be a good year for salary increases across the region. Rein in on the debt if you want to take advantage, however. Think about it as you apply for a credit card from HSBC or from one of the other banking institutions which these days seem to exert such influence across the UAE. Mind you, no matter where you live, HSBC, Barclays and all the other multinational giants are part and parcel of our daily lives because they provide us with what we need. Good personal banking.

We can decide to use the sleek online banking services which so many of us take for granted, and then go no further. We can also do the sensible thing and open a savings account. Or we can apply for a personal loan or a credit card and wrack up the personal debt. Not a problem if you can comfortably meet the monthly payments.

Unfortunately, many of us go too far. So we live with debt, sometimes for years on end. It seems, so the figures tell us, the vast majority of us built up huge personal debts during the good years. Remember them? And remember 2007 and beyond, and the near financial meltdown across the globe? We’re still paying for it all now.

Most of us have learned the lesson well and are pulling back on profligate spending. Many of us, too, have been forced to widen our horizons just to get a job with a decent salary. Thousands of Americans are living and working in the UAE, and other countries in the Gulf region, for that very reason. And loving it.

The year ahead is looking real good for them, too, in terms of salary hikes. While whole swathes of the globe are still held by the icy grip of recession and austerity, the Gulf region seems to be doing rather well.

If you missed the Mercer study findings released at the back-end of last year, it’s headline suggested there was growing confidence in the region’s economic outlook for 2013. Salaries in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia  were expected to increase by about 5-6%, with 70% of Gulf companies surveyed looking to increase head count this year. The findings formed part of Mercer’s 2012 Total Remuneration Survey (TRS).

Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, surveyed close to 500 firms across a whole raft of industries and found salaries are likely to rise by 5% in the UAE, 5.6% in Qatar and 6% in Saudi Arabia during 2013. Anticipated pay increases during this period were expected to remain above inflation rate forecasts – 1.7% in the UAE, 4% in Qatar, 4.4% in Saudi Arabia – generating real pay growth for the working population.

With aggressive recruitment strategies expected to be put in place, 60% of companies surveyed were looking to increase headcount by the end of 2012, and 70% of firms were aiming to do the same in 2013. Pay rises and more jobs in the pipeline. So where are you going to spend 2013?

Check out the TRS survey here.

4 Income Streams To Consider

Diversifying one’s income is great approach for living with less worries. For example, if a person loses their job or has a health condition not covered by health insurance, an additional income stream could surely help.

The following are several ways to diversify your income streams:

1) Dividend payments: Dividends are the additional payments given by established companies to their share holders. However, only large amounts of dividends can make the difference in income. That’s why it is important to invest as soon as possible in solid companies as part of your investment portfolio.

2) Side Business – There are various types of businesses that people can own, spanning anything from a candy vending machine to running multiple websites. The side business could run year round or be more seasonal such as landscaping. Also, a part-time job can benefit you with extra capital but also additional training and an added network of people. Some part-time jobs will also provide education and healthcare benefits. Relatedly, we previously wrote a post about making money with your hobbies.

3) Renting – For people who own extra property, collecting an ongoing rent can truly generate significant income.

4) Royalties and Patents – These are ongoing, passive payments received for a one time effort. The effort usually has to be unique.

Diversifying is not as hard as it may first sound and once you start making the extra money, you will definitely be encouraged to continue diversifying .

Why You Should Work with a Mortgage Broker

Hunting for a house is time consuming. Sure, looking at prospective houses is exciting, but after a few months, you may find that you are just tired of the search. The same is true when you hunt for a mortgage. If you are busy working full-time or raising a family, the house hunt can feel like one more thing to do.

One way you can relieve part of your stress is by working with a mortgage broker.

Depending on the country that you live in, your mortgage broker may be free. Before you agree to work with a mortgage broker, make sure to ask about mortgage broker rates.

To find a mortgage broker, you can search the Internet. You can simple Google “mortgage brokers” and your area. If you would like to do a little of your own homework before employing a mortgage broker, you can compare mortgage rates on a site. This might make you a bit more comfortable and able to trust that the mortgage broker is getting you the best rates.

Mortgage brokers take the time to comparison shop for you, finding the best mortgage rates and the best loan for your needs. The mortgage rate that you can secure can make a big difference in your monthly mortgage payment as well as how much interest you pay over the life of your loan, so it is worthwhile to hunt for the lowest rate.

In addition to doing the comparison shopping for you, a mortgage broker will also help you fill out all of your loan paperwork. He is experienced with this type of work and can make sure you don’t leave any vital information out or forget to include anything. He can also help facilitate the entire loan process.

Shopping for a home is both fun and tiring. Instead of trying to do it all yourself, rely on experts such as mortgage brokers to help you and take some of the responsibilities off your shoulders. The home buying process can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you have an expert working with you throughout the process.

Looking To Build Wealth? Get Married.

married moneySorry, single folks, but if you wish to increase your odds of building significant wealth, it looks like you’re going to need to get hitched. That is, according to stats released by the most recent Census Bureau study.

The fact of the matter is that two pay cheques really do appear to be better than one, with the net worth of the average married couple being significantly higher than that of their single counter parts. Married couples averaged a net worth of is $101,975, with single folks achieving significantly less at $23,700 for men, and $20,217 for women.

The study found that those who stay in long term marriages (unfortunately, many marriages these days are not long term) accumulate twice the wealth of those who remain single. Even when all parts were equal — meaning that the income of the single persons matched that of the married couples – the married folks still came out on top with a four percent net worth advantage.

Now married folks, if you desire to hang on to that accumulated wealth, you should do your best to avoid a divorce. Those who divorced were found by the study to have their net worth as individuals reduced to 77 percent compared to the average single folks mentioned above.

This is also why it is important for both individuals in the marriage to always be aware of the household’s financial matters and for both to come to a consensus on money-related matters.

Dirty Jobs – Good Income

The following jobs were listed by Yahoo as jobs that pay well, although you have to be willing to get your (gloved) hands dirty:

* Veterinarian — Median annual salary*: $73,621
* Oil Drill Worker — Median annual salary: $55,806
* Waste Management Engineer — Median annual salary: $67,249
* Trauma Surgeon — Median annual salary: $273,160
* Coroner — Median annual salary: $52,072
* Certified Nurse Midwife — Median annual salary: $81,015
* Podiatrist — Median annual salary: $118,665
* Gastroenterologist — Median annual salary: $239,622

The caveat for all these salaries is that you do not get paid the stated amounts right away. The median annual salaries are for people with 10-19 years of work experience in their respective field.

This brings me to believe that there are plenty of cleaner jobs that will pay you most of those salaries and then some by the end of 2 decades. Obviously if you like feet or stomachs this isn’t likely to persuade you to try another career instead.

A few additional points I had noticed:

– It was surprising to see that veterinarians do not make more. Perhaps this is so since the data is based on averages of professionals throughout the country, including rural areas.

– Most of the jobs are in the medical field. Of course part of the job also entails long hours, emotional roller coaster, and messiness.

– If after 19 years, oil drill workers and coroners make in the mid 50K, sounds like they deserve a significant raise.

– By the way, since Joe the Plumber (or his boss) was making more than 100K a year, sounds like a logical addition to the list.