Tag Archives: consumer finance

Tips on creating new rewards by playing the money saving game

Saving money is just as easy as spending money when you save a little at a time. Have you ever considered making a budget and thought you had more money to save until you realized that you spend more on gas, food and extras? Spending and saving money are simple habits that we develop. The same way we get in the habit of stopping for coffee on the way to work, we can just as easily get in the habit of making coffee at home and taking time to read the newspaper before leaving the house. There are many articles written on theories and plans for budgeting money. As you consider them, you may find something that speaks to you and makes sense. However, you decide to budget and save to get ahead, doing something is better than nothing and every big goal is reached by many small steps.

Budgets and discretionary spending money

Discretionary spending is supposed to be the use of money on little things we want here and there after our primary financial needs have been met. When you write out a monthly budget of your primary financial needs, do you include money to be stashed away for savings or a rainy-day fund? If not, you might think again about calling “extra” money “discretionary” when you have no savings.

How much do you need to save for unexpected and future expenses such as retirement? It all depends on what you really need to live. The people who maintain high standards of living in luxury will require significantly more money in savings and retirement, than do those who live conservatively. One budget does not fit everyone, but there are a few guidelines, including how much money you might consider spending on your housing, for example.

Tips on budgeting and creating saving habits

In the article, How to Budget Your Money With the 50/20/30 Guideline, there are tips and examples of budgets that consider your goals and help you get ahead.

Habits and reinforcers, are they key to many smart personal savings plans. Just as we form habits of getting our coffee from our own machine or at a coffee shop on the way to work, we can form habits of stashing money away instead of spending to get a reward. When we spend money buying things and consuming we trigger the reward center in our brain. What if instead of instant rewards, we look closer into the reward of instantly increasing our power to buy something in the future?

Spend money investing in yourself. We all get bored and may want a distraction from time to time. These are the moments when we spend money doing something to entertain ourselves or take our minds of other things. Instead of running out and spending money on something you don’t need, spend the same amount on yourself by putting that money into a savings account. The next time you want to spend some money and earn a reward, take a drive to the bank and deposit some more money to your savings account. Your teller receipt will keep showing your growing balance.

Reinforcing positive spending habits and being proud of yourself

Ask yourself, would you rather have that money building in your savings or the other thing or activity you would have spent the money on? Even if you only save money every other time you want to spend money, you may choose to save more often than you spend.

As you continue finding little ways to save more money here and there you can watch your savings continue increasing, and that gives you the same reward sensation as buying or consuming something you like. Just as you can plant a garden, watch it grow and enjoy its benefits, you may feel very protective and proud of that money you were able to save.

Next, ask yourself how you can find some more money in your budget to add to your savings. By spending a little time and energy you can negotiate reduced rates for your household and utility bills – there may be easily be $100 or more you can find to save by simply reducing your monthly bills. As you continue finding more ways to cut spending and increase savings, you are reinforcing good habits and giving yourself a greater reward.

Spending and saving money are habits and after a bankruptcy, you can create some fantastic new habits that can lead you directly to financial success!

About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start.

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Khan Academy: Can it help you make more money?

Bank of America TV ads draw attention to their partnership with the Khan Academy, the non-profit educational organization on a mission to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.[i]” The Khan Academy was founded by former hedge fund analyst, Sal Khan, born and raised in Louisiana and with an impressive resume and educational background. Khan, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Google, is now being recognized as a household name since so many large companies are getting involved to fund this non-profit website offering education to anyone, anywhere, at no charge.

Khan Academy is a different kind of education website and as more people learn about it, they are sharing why they spend time on the site.

Critics of online education frequently suggest there is no substitute for traditional classroom settings with interactions among students and teachers. This site is not part of that grudge match, because Khan Academy does not pitch itself as a substitute for degreed education programs and universities, rather it is a free resource for people who want to learn specific information on their own time and pace and from wherever they access Khan Academy, such as from any computer or mobile device.

What you can learn on Khan Academy is seemingly unlimited. Right now, the site offers education resources in the form of video tutorials, lectures, problem solving exercises, social comment, and interaction chats where you can ask any question and others may offer their input. The subjects available to Khan Academy students include just about everything taught in traditional pre-college level education and beyond.

You can use some of the lessons in Khan Academy improve at work, study for a promotion or start your own business on the side.

Being well into a career does not mean there is no need to continue pursuing education. In fact, the most successful careers involve frequent continuing education in specific areas. Not having gone to college should and not having time do enroll in night school should not be a deterrent to people who want to learn more and get ahead at work or get a better job.

The entrepreneurship focus on the Khan Academy website is significant. Many well-known CEOs are contributors to the library of lessons and content available free on Khan Academy. See Interviews with entrepreneurs for personal lessons.

Community questions offer a forum, we hope everyone takes seriously, to ask and get answers.

A recent question posted on the Community Questions page for entrepreneurs reads, “At what point in the business is it big enough to get a professional accounting service.” One response to the question suggested the person consider setting up an internal accounting department. The first person might next do some research about hiring a part-time employee with accounting experience. If that part-time employee only works a few hours a week it could be more affordable than outsourcing those tasks.

Remember, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you can see new options to make more money and get a better job and career. Sometimes people need to change gears in life and pursue a career in a new direction. Sites like the Khan Academy can be useful springboards to new opportunities.

Joseph Wrobel and the attorneys and staff at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., work hard to help people turn their lives in the right financial direction, writing and sharing content that helps clients learn, grow and prosper.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start. To keep in touch and read about consumer finance news and stories you can Like the firm’sFacebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. onTwitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.

[i] Khan Academy website, about page.

Seven things to think about when starting a side business

The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.
The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.

Fixed wage and salary employees can control how much they spend and save. What they cannot control is their take home pay. Instead of finding new ways to stretch dollars, try new ways to make additional income. What do you have to lose? Consider whether you signed any agreements with your employer regarding doing work or conducting business outside the scope of your primary employment. If there is nothing holding you back and you have what you think is enough time to devote to secondary income, get a pen and paper or your text to speech tablet and take notes while considering a few questions a budding entrepreneur should ask when considering small business start ups.

  1. What do you love to do, so that when doing it you wouldn’t feel like you’re working? Why not make money doing something you enjoy? Think about all the things you like doing and let your imagination run. There must be someone, somewhere, who will pay for what you want to make or do.

  2. Is there something in demand that you know how to do/make that others don’t? Think of a prevalent industry where you live or work. Say you live in a college town and the delivery of food and services to students without vehicles is a big business. How can your skills and abilities improve the way people deliver, what they deliver or how students can find out about it? It may take some time for the right idea which may come to you in a dream or “Eureka!” moment.

  3. Do you have space and transportation available to manage inventory? Consider the existing resources to which you have access. Do you live on a large enough property you could raise chickens? Have you considered renting additional space to people looking for a space to park their boat? Aside from land, you might have a truck that can help local people move or pick up and deliver their furniture donations. Maybe you pick up and inventory of items on which you got a great (maybe free) deal. If you have room to store the items you can take your time selling it for income.

  4. Are your skills and abilities particularly in demand in performing a certain service? How many degreed professionals who cannot find jobs learned how to play an instrument? Could they teach other people how to play that instrument on the side? Start a social media page to sell guitar lessons and start telling your neighbors. Before long you may be the muse behind a new local garage band that could become the next big thing.

  5. How much liability are you willing to assume and what assets do you have to protect? There are several options for small business formations. If you have assets you want to protect, a corporation setup can shield you from personal liability for the business. On the other hand, if you are less concerned about asset protection in lawsuits and more concerned with saving money, you can operate a business as a sole proprietor and simply file the correct income schedule form when doing your taxes.

  6. Do you have management and human resource skills needed if you have employees? Sudden and swift business growth can create headaches for small business owners. If you cannot provide enough goods and services as requested by customers, they will go spend their money somewhere else. This might require hiring and managing employees, which includes its own challenges.

  7. How much of your work can you comfortably outsource where practical? Employee labor and liability concerns cause many small business operators to consider outsource solutions for some of the work duties. Consider a tree trimming business that can be very busy in the spring. Many small business owner operators hire contractors to manage the marketing and accounting to free up more time for serving tree trimming clients.

Even if you never start your own small business, considering responses to these survey questions puts you in a class of “thought about it” people, which is a step closer to having more money and being self sufficient. There are so many options available to people who want to earn more money as well as manage, organize and eliminate debt.

The U.S. Small Business Association also offers resources on their website. “The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.”

To learn more or, contact an attorney at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start. To keep in touch and read about consumer finance news and stories you can Like the firm’s Facebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. on Twitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney.