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    Smart steps to start off with your financial plan

    Monday, June 17th, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Smart steps to start off with your financial plan – Follow the plan till you reach your goal

    In good times or bad, through thick or through thin, all those people who are successful at setting goals and attaining them are the ones who’ve created a financial plan and followed it. Indeed, if you want to gain financial security, having a well-built plan is the only way in which you can achieve it. Financial plans are well-written, organized strategies for accomplishing all your financial goals and maintaining your financial health. Irrespective of whether you hire a financial planner, it is solely your responsibility to develop and contemplate your financial plan that will be centered on your desires and objectives. Not following a financial plan is the biggest reason for the large number of debtors in the nation who are rushing to the debt consolidation programs and the debt counseling agencies for help. If you’re confused about the steps that you need to take to prepare your financial plan, here are some steps that you may consider.

    • Discover where your pennies are going: The most important step to take is to develop a budget after detailing where your money goes. Get yourself a notebook and carry it wherever you go so that you can maintain the smallest details of where your pennies are going. At the end of the week, spend an hour perusing your notes and categorizing them. How much did you spend on transportation, how much on food, clothing, entertainment, healthcare, mortgage, rent and utilities? It’s important for you to carry on this for at least 3-4 months so that you exactly know where your pennies go every month.

    • Set realistic financial goals: Once you’re done with this, you should then ask yourself where you would want to be 20 years from now. Answer it more specifically like you want to pay off your mortgage and have an investment portfolio of $50,000. Be extremely realistic while setting goals and be specific about them. As you want to succeed, you should start off with attainable goals.

    • Keep a constant watch on your credit rating: It is impossible to get anywhere these days without a good credit score. As you’re entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from the 3 credit reporting agencies, you should check your score once a year with each of the agencies. You may also get a copy of the reports once a year in annualcreditreport.com. Ensure that there are no discrepancies between the credit reports and the records and even if there are errors, take immediate action to dispute them and boost your credit score.

    Beat the unexpected odds by getting insured: Do you have a family of your own? If answered no, get yourself coverage on disability insurance to protect your power of earning. And if you have a family and you’re blessed with lots of loved ones, you might want life insurance policy, health insurance policy and homeowner’s insurance policy. Irrespective of your present financial situation, insure yourself against the unexpected odds and avoid blowing a hole in your wallet.


    Written by Guest Author: Michelle Blackmore

    Mastering Email Filters

    Thursday, September 15th, 2011 at 6:12 AM

    We all email. But we don’t all use email filters. Let’s see how filters may make your digital life much easier.

    What is a Filter
    A filter is a set procedure or action that happens when a trigger occurs. In this case emails will be our triggers. Some email clients call these rules (outlook) while other call them filters (gmail). They do the same thing in most cases.

    Why you Should use Filters
    They will save you time and help you organize your inbox. It can also help reduce spam if that is a problem.

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    Not worth your time? Are you sure?

    Friday, July 15th, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    As an aspiring do it yourself-er I tend to hear a few common responses when sharing new projects or ideas with friends and family. One such phrase comes in many forms but usually sounds like:

    • That’s not worth my time
    • You are losing money if you factor in your time
    • Time is money

    So let’s explore this notion of your time and its value. Think of time in two categories, working and non-working time.

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    Racking Up the Rewards

    Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Rewards points are certainly not new. Nearly every major credit card, bank or airline has their own form of currency called miles, rewards, points or something else. Companies “reward” you to build customer loyalty and return business for simply using their company’s credit card or purchasing their company’s product.  However, with some forethought and a few minor changes in your habits, you can convert your rewards points into cash.

    Spend a Dollar to Save a Penny
    Let’s be clear here. Spending a dollar to make a fraction of a dollar isn’t usually a good strategy. However, if you already must purchase a product why not benefit a little from it.

    We do our best to maximize our rewards and usually end up with about $1000 a year in cash.  We put this bonus in our replacement fund which we use each year for trips and vacations.  Not a bad starting point.

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    Sunday, December 12th, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Who doesn’t want life to be simpler? I certainly do. Simplification means something different to everyone. But in today’s busy society, simplification is a challenge we all face. Let’s work on reducing and eliminating things we don’t enjoy and making room for things we do.

    Discretionary Dollar Banking (All Posts)

    Inbox: Defined

    Sunday, December 12th, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    You most likey use an inbox (physical, digital etc).  So here are some tips on getting the most from your inboxes.

    What an Inbox is not:

    A storage spot – Your inbox is not a storage spot. It’s not called a Stay-box. It’s not meant to store things for any longer than absolutely necessary. If you have items in your inbox that are older than a few days, either you are really behind, or you are using your inbox as storage. Shame on you!

    A contact database – Your inbox isn’t meant to keep track of all your contacts. Use an address book for this. If you find yourself keeping messages in your inbox because you don’t want to loose someone’s email or phone number, don’t. Save it in an actual contact database and archive the message.

    A to do list – Nope, your inbox isn’t a to do list either. There are better ways to make a to do list from your inbox items which we will touch on later. Read how to get your inbox to empty….coming soon.

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    Paperless: Reducing the Stream

    Sunday, September 26th, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    1. Paperless: Reducing the Stream
    2. Paperless: Getting Started
    3. Paperless: Managing the Digital Files
    4. Paperless: Organizing/Backup/Sync
    5. Paperless: Other Creative Ideas

    Benefits of Paperless

    • More Secure – Files are secured and can be remotely wiped if a machine is compromised. If our house, car and office burnt to the ground, we’d have full versioned copies of all our files.
    • Less Money – Bottom line paper gets expensive to buy, print on, and store. Also if you need less square footage to store your file cabinets, you can lease a smaller office.
    • Quicker Access – If you want a file the traditional way this means you need to get up, and locate where it is in a file drawer, folder etc. In a paperless office, I (or employees with access) can do a quick search and view all files. Windows Vista and up have a built-in search that makes this a breeze.
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    The Case For Paperless

    Saturday, June 26th, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    Paper litters nearly every aspect of our life. Not only is paper a nuisance, but for every piece of paper you decide to keep, you have to organize, store and manage it. What a waste of time and resources.

    Is your desk covered with neat (or messy) stacks of paper? Do you find it frustrating to find documents in a file cabinet? Tired of having stacks of mail and paper clutter your life? Are you interested in simplifying your life and spending more time doing the things you love?

    Here are just a few reasons to work towards eliminating the endless stream of paper.

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    Borrow or Buy?

    Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    Why do we buy? Do we buy because we need to use or do we buy because we want to have?

    This simple question not always has a simple answer.

    Are you spending extra time and money purchasing things you could be borrowing instead? Here are a few things to consider before you hit the store next time.

    Benefits of Borrowing:

    Test Drive Products for Free
    Would you dream of buying a car without a test drive? I know I wouldn’t. A major benefit of borrowing is that you get to try before you buy. And if you do end up needing to purchase this item (perhaps rarer than you may think), you will be informed with hands on experiences on what features you like or don’t like.

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    Warren Wisdom | Buffett’s Biography

    Friday, January 1st, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    Short Synopsis
    This book is about Warren Buffett’s life as an investor and citizen. It details his large deals with background and insight. The book’s focus is mainly on his road to wealth but also gives good insight on Buffett’s character and personal relations.

    Purchase on Amazon: Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

    After reading this well written book I feel to I have a good idea of Warren Buffett’s investment strategy and character. Here are the main points I gleaned from the 400+ pages.

    Develop Creative Ways of Generating Income
    As a boy Warren developed many small business ideas and ventures. These ventures were essential to allow Warren to save up his bankroll. In 1945 (at age 15) Warren was making $175 per month (about $2,100 in 2009 dollars). Some of his ideas/jobs included:

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