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Oct 172019

How to Make Money from Your Own Garden Products

By |October 17th, 2019|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

Gardening is an amazing way to spend your spare time, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a busy parent, or just an average Joe. Not only is gardening a fantastic way to relax and unwind when you want to slow down and get away from the stresses of life, but it can also be a good strategy for those who wish to top up their income.

If you’ve got a green thumb, and you know how to use your garden space correctly, you can make some serious cash with your own garden products, not to mention help the environment. Here are just some of the ways that you can get started.

1.    Sell Plants and Flowers

Most people would prefer to start adding plants to their gardens and homes when they’ve already begun to grow. That’s because looking after an already sprouting plant is often easier than getting one to grow from scratch. If you can get your friends, loved ones, and other customers started in their own gardens, you can make some great money this way.

There are plenty of excellent options to sell, including tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. Alternatively, try taking advantage of the current trends by selling mini succulents.

2.    Sell Seeds

If you’re accumulating seeds like no-one’s business, but you’d rather be accumulating wealth, look into selling the extra seeds you have from your garden in a fun way. You could consider bundling seeds together to create seed bombs that your clients can use with their kids and other family members. Or you could make seed bags to give away at weddings.

Some gardeners even sell seed packets with custom packaging as party favors.

3.    Sell Dried or Fresh Herbs

Culinary creatives and people with an eye for delicious recipes are always looking for local ways to get the produce and herbs that they need. With that in mind, consider selling fresh sprigs of basil, mint, and rosemary to local cafes and restaurants. You can also dry your own home-grown herbs and sell them in unique combinations that are sure to impress your neighbors.

If you make your own labels and add your herbs to cute-looking jars, you could also attract the attention of people looking for quirky gifts.

4.    Sell Produce

Speaking of selling to local stores and cafes, there are sure to be a handful of retailers around you that are searching for local sources of delicious produce. If you’re good at growing fruits and vegetables, consider selling your services to the other companies in your area. Working with other entrepreneurs like yourself could make it easier to find new ways of making money.

Remember, the more companies that supply your produce, the more pressure you’re going to be under, however. Make sure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

5.    Grow your Own Cocktails

Feel like getting creative? You’d be surprised how many different kinds of alcohol you can make with things like fruits and a couple of herbs. If you have an apple tree, you’ll be able to make apple cider. On the other hand, you could create delicious artisanal sloe gin with some sloes from your garden.

Blending your own fruits and spices into an interesting drink will attract the attention of anyone in search of a trendy gift for their loved ones. You could also sell what you make at local markets and stalls this way. See if your town has a regular market that you can contribute to.

Make the Most of Your Skill

If you have a skill as versatile as gardening, then there are plenty of ways that you can use your talents to make some extra money. From making your own alcohol to crafting gifts and trinkets for your monthly farmer’s market, there’s sure to be a money-making strategy that’s right for. Don’t forget to advertise yourself with a website and consider having a social media presence, so you can start selling more of your hard work online.

Oct 162019

Can Undocumented Immigrants Open An IRA?

By |October 16th, 2019|General Personal Finance, Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

We all know or are related to someone who may be an undocumented immigrant. Whatever your political stance, the topic of undocumented immigration has long been a hot button issue. Yet, the United States has a long history of immigration tied to it founding and expansion.

What’s hard to argue is that undocumented immigration is a lever of industry that financially benefits the United States. The United States’ population is 330 million. There are over 10.5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Undocumented immigrants comprise about 7.6 million of the 160 million strong American work force. That’s almost 5% of the American workforce.

Undocumented Immigrants, Taxes, and Driver’s Licenses

While that is not a hefty number, it’s not insignificant either. Also, while many critics of undocumented immigration cite their financial drain on social services, it must be asserted that they pay taxes. While they can’t have Social Security numbers, they pay taxes via Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) and/or payroll taxes.

As per IRS statistics, over 4.3 million tax returns were filed with ITINs. In 2015, undocumented immigrants contributed almost $14 billion in federal taxes. That is not including another $12 billion paid annually via payroll tax deductions. The inclusion of undocumented immigrants to business life extends to document processing.

About 13 states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia allow undocumented immigrants the ability to apply for driver’s licenses. Over nine more American states are introducing legislation to do the same this year alone.

So, if they can do these things, can illegal immigrants open a bank account? Can they open an IRA or retirement account? If you know someone who could use this information, here is what you should know.

Opening a Bank Account or IRA

For those that wonder if undocumented immigrants can apply for an IRA, the answer is yes. As an undocumented immigrant you will need documentation including but not limited to: a valid passport, foreign-issued government IDs, birth certificate, alien identification card number, and an ITIN. Required documents differ from bank to bank, but an ITIN will always be required.

Also, undocumented immigrants can open a 401(k), traditional IRA, or Roth IRA. This is only possible if your employer offers such plans. Usually, you must be 21 and have worked for an employer offering such a year or over 1,000 hours. Also, unless you plan to return to a home country within a few years, opening an IRA may be self-defeating.

For example, there is no reason for an undocumented immigrant to apply for a IRA if they will return home soon. An IRA plan is a plan that will pay off decades from now. Its also important to remember that there are financial penalties for early withdrawals under the age of 60.

Get an ITIN and Pay Taxes

To be eligible for such benefits, an undocumented immigrant must be a taxpayer and have an ITIN. You can apply for an ITIN via the W-7 form through the IRS. An ITIN must be renewed every 5 years. If you don’t use an ITIN for 3 straight years, it automatically expires. It’s important to keep in mind that ITINs don’t prove immigration nor work authorization status.

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Oct 152019

Jean Chatzky Net Worth

By |October 15th, 2019|General Personal Finance, Life|0 Comments

Scientists have said that mathematics is the language of the universe. Still, it seems that most people have yet to master it here on Earth. Take financial literacy for example. Financial literacy is the basic skill needed to manage personal finance. About two-thirds of Americans can’t answer basic finance questions.

Consider: You take out a $1000 loan at 20% interest. How much interest will you owe in a year? The answer is $200, but over two-thirds of Americans can’t answer this question. Almost 80% of financial advisers think financial illiteracy is a major unaddressed crisis.

Only 57% of Americans are financially literate. Botswana has the same level of financial literacy, a country whose economy is over 1,100% smaller comparatively. The only financial problem that is as stark as financial illiteracy is gender pay inequality.

American women make 79 cents against every dollar a man makes. Men aged 35 to 44 make about $58,000 annually. Women in the same age group make about $45,600. Besides the obvious conflict, this issue becomes untenable when you add in the problem of financial illiteracy.

Hiring a financial advisor is not always the optimal option. Financial advisors charge as much as a $2,500 fee or 2% of your financial value. Robo-advisors are only as helpful commensurate to your financial literacy. However, there is help.

Jean Chatzky is a noted finance journalist who educates the public about money. Before we evaluate Jean Chatzky’s net worth, let’s explore her career.

Jean Chatzky

Chatzky is a prominent financial journalist with over two decades of experience. She stresses that she started her working average jobs, spending more than she earned, and in debt. After working in a department store for a few months post-college, Chatzky took an editorial position at New Woman magazine and prospered into her current professional status.

Her professional mission as a journalist is to simplify yet stress the importance of personal finance and financial literacy to the general public. Chatzky is the personal finance ambassador for AARP and the finance editor for the TODAY show at NBC. She is the author of 11 bestselling books and is a staunch advocate for empowering women to take control of their finances.

She is also the founder and CEO of the digital media company Hermoney.com. Chatzky founded the company to better educate women about their personal relationships with money. The aim of the site is to strategically level the playing field for women when it comes to their own confidence about financial security, especially vis-à-vis gender pay inequality.

Books

Chatzky is the author of several books that she wrote to help people become self-educated and empowered about their personal finance. These include:

• Pay It Down!: Debt-Free on $10 a Day (2009)
• Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved (2009)
• Not Your Parents’ Money Book: Making, Saving, and Spending Your Own Money (2010)
• The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even The Toughest Times (2010)
• Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security (2012)
• Operation Money: A financial guide for military service members and families (2014)
• Age Proof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money Or Breaking A Hip (2017)
• Women With Money: The Judgment-Free Guide to Creating the Joyful, Less Stressed, Purposeful (and Yes, Rich) Life You Deserve (2019)

Jean Chatzky Net Worth

Chatzky was is 55 years old and was born in Michigan. She is married to magazine executive Eliot Kaplan and raises a family in Westchester, New York. Although not officially confirmed, Chatzky’s net worth could be between $1 million and $5 million.

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Oct 152019

Risks of Investing in Peer to Peer Lending

By |October 15th, 2019|General Personal Finance, Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

Benjamin Franklin once said that if you want to truly appreciate the value of money, try borrowing some. Today, that is easier said than done for many reasons. For one thing, after the global financial crisis of 2008, most financial institutions began severely limiting their risks with personal loans.

Almost 20 million people have personal loan debts amounting to about $140 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, almost 180 million people have major credit card debt. Americans collectively owe over $1 trillion in credit card debts. The average personal loan was for $11,000 at 33% interest.

Why the disparity in lending practices? Well, even though it is less easy to get a credit card, its relatively easier than getting a personal loan from a bank. Over 25% of people have been declined at least once for personal loan. For most people, applying for a personal loan is an arduous and self-defeating process.

The paperwork process is laborious, and it could take months to get approved. So, many people now turn to peer to peer lending, or, P2P lending. From 2013 to 2018, the P2P lending industry exploded from a few startups into a burgeoning $3.3 billion industry.

Could this be something in which you might want to invest? Peer to peer lending can be fraught with risk. Before we talk about those risks, let’s explain peer to peer lending.

Peer to Peer Lending 101

Peer to Peer lending is where individuals and businesses lend money to other individuals or businesses through a website facilitator. Such loans are usually facilitated online and can be approved or declined near instantaneously.
The advent of peer to peer lending has made the personal lending process infinitely more convenient for people who can’t get approved by banks.

Some of the better-known peer to peer lending sites include Lending Club, Funding Circle, Upstart, Peerform, Circleback Lending, LendingKarma, and Prosper, among others. Interested to invest? Peer to peer lending sites require you to register and create a profile.

Then you can look over loan applications and decide to whom you will lend to. Most peer to peer lending site charge anywhere from 5% to 36% interest based on credit histories.

The Risks

Capital drag – This is a situation where there are more borrowers than active lenders on a site. So, your money just sits. It’s not being lent out or generating interest.

Insolvency – If a site shuts down, you could be in danger of losing your investment.

Fraud – Peer to peer facilitator site malpractice can endanger funds. Such sites are supposed to segregate investor funds from operating capital in the event of insolvency. Additionally, they are supposed to employ the latest cybersecurity countermeasures to defend against cyberattacks and hacking.

Payment delinquency – If your applicant is late on payments, stops paying, becomes unemployed, or disappears, there isn’t much that you can do.

Lower Your Risk

If you are going to invest in peer to peer lending, you should safely make it worth your while. Spread out a few hundred or thousands of dollars among well-vetted applicants. Make sure the site you lend through is professional and has security funds or asset security to protect segregated investor funds.

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Oct 152019

Millionaire Next Door Formula for Wealth Acquisition

By |October 15th, 2019|General Personal Finance|0 Comments

There is an old saying about want: once you stop obsessing about wanting something, you probably get it sometime afterwards. Most people just want to be rich. It takes more than want. You must be a prodigious accumulator of wealth as opposed to being an under accumulator of wealth. There is even a formula that can help you assess your progress in accumulating wealth.

Perhaps you are asking what exactly is a prodigious accumulator of wealth? Or, an under accumulator of wealth? How can a wealth accumulation formula aid you in achieving wealth? Well, to answer all of these questions, we must first talk about the book from which these ideas sprang.

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy is a book about realistic wealth acquisition. Its authors are Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. Even though this book was originally published in 1996, it still contains relevant information. Information that the average 21st century citizen could still sorely use.

Consider: the average American aged 35 to 44 makes about $50,000, or about $976 weekly. The average price of a home is about $235,000. Most homeowners pay over $1,000 a month for their mortgage payments. That’s over $12,000 annually for mortgage payments, and that’s not counting other bills.

Over 25% of Americans worry about their personal finances all of the time. About 70% are optimistic that their financial situation will improve within a year. Such a statement says a lot about the current state of finances for many Americans.

Many Americans feel like they can’t get ahead financially in life. This could be for reasons within and out of their control. One reason is that most people have severely misguided ideas about what it takes to become and stay rich.

The Millionaire Next Door

To better understand Stanley and Danko’s wealth accumulation formula, also known as the millionaire next door formula, let’s first explain the basic premise of their book. The Millionaire Next Door is based on a 20-year study of the behaviors and mindsets of over 1,000 millionaires.

Stanley and Danko interviewed over 1,000 millionaires to understand how the mind of a millionaire ticks. The basic premise of the book is that people like you and me, average people with average finances, have no idea how wealthy people realistically live their lives.

This partly due to misguided fantasies about wealth and the mental invasiveness of pop culture stereotypes. When we think of rich people, we think of movie stars, rock stars, celebrities, and lottery winners. Such wealthy people flout their status at every opportunity, unlike most millionaires.

The 7 Factors of Wealth Acquisition

According to Stanley and Danko, the millionaire next door has seven factors they follow to build wealth. The average millionaire lives way below their means. They spend a lot of time strategizing how to build wealth. To a millionaire, financial independence is always the priority over flaunting status.

They were never financially supported by parents as adults and won’t do so for their own kids. Millionaires do business in strategically relevant markets. And, they possess the right skills for their chosen profession. Most millionaires are dentists, restaurant owners, laundromat owners, auto body shop owners, and so on.

That is why the book is titled, The Millionaire Next Door. The average millionaire is worth anywhere between $1 million and $5 million, with $3 million being the median amount. You may walk past a millionaire everyday and not know it.

Stanley and Danko’s Wealth Accumulation Formula

A PAW takes every opportunity to build wealth, save money, and think about the future. They never mistake income with wealth and live below their means as much as possible. PAWs have investments, bank accounts, properties, and most importantly, they budget.

A PAW has a weekly, monthly, and annual budget for their finances. PAWs keep to these budgets, stay apprised of income coming in, debts going out, and adjust accordingly. UAWs never think about their financial futures and always mistake income with wealth.

A UAW spends money like its water. They usually have high debt-to-income ratios, meaning that usually owe more money than they earn every month. UAWs usually don’t have bank accounts, savings, investments, property, and never consider their financial future.

So, what exactly is a wealth accumulation formula.? Also known as a wealth index, this is a formula that helps you understand if you are a PAW or UAW. Well, you simply take your age, multiply it by your pretax annual income, and then divide it by ten. That’s it.

A PAW has a net worth that is at least twice their formula index, or more. Likewise, a UAW has a net worth that is ½ of their index, or less. Some critics say that since the millionaire next door formula was completed in 1996, and formulated with the incomes of middle-aged millionaires, it may not be congruent in modern times.

If anything, Stanley and Danko’s wealth formula can at least tell you how far you have to go to achieve wealth. Although again, some critics of the formula have noted that it might be better suited for middle aged people.
After all, a 20-year old would have to earn over $50,000 annually and be worth well over $100,000 to be considered an average accumulator of wealth under this formula.

Most Americans aged 20 to 24 barely make $27,000. Americans aged 35 to 64 only make $50,000 on the average.

Take Charge of Your Wealth Ambitions

This book has more sound financial advice for you beyond this time-tested wealth formula. For example, in the second chapter titled, “Frugal Frugal Frugal,” Stanley and Danko poses questions to the reader to help them self-assess the efficiency of their wealth acquisition ambitions.

For example, do plan, execute, and follow a budget? Do you keep exacting records of all family expenditures? How often do you ever set or realistically plan out goals for yourself, like buying a house or starting a business? Do you ever spend time contemplating the future of your personal finances?

It takes more than want to achieve financial security. You need goals and a plan. Also, you must develop the mindset of a millionaire. Live well below your means. Treasure the prospect of achieving financial security. Be acutely aware of the state of your finances and how to improve them.

A serious point that Stanley and Danko make in their book is that anyone can be rich. It’s the misconceptions of how wealth is attained that usually stops most people. Most people believe that wealthy people are lucky, or that society prevents average people from acquiring more.

According to recent research, income inequality in the United States, and in the greater world, has returned to levels not seen since the Great Depression. It is hard to get ahead in life for most people. But the choice to become wealthy can only be determined by you if you plan for it realistically.

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Oct 112019

What are the Best Ways to Boost Your Travel Budget?

By |October 11th, 2019|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

Everyone wants to travel around and see the beauty this world has to offer and to have a break from the stress of everyday life. But in order to get away from the stress, you need to take more stress of saving money. Travelling is not cheap and it certainly does not come without hard work. With the ever growing bills, saving money to travel and then enjoy the things there without money being a hindrance in your experience can be a tough task but we will make it easy for you. Here are some best ways which you can use to boost your travel budget.

Create a goal

First and foremost step is to create a goal and then working hard to achieve it. This is a psychological thing. We humans work better if we have a clear goal in front of us. Make travelling a priority and save money every week or month even when you can’t because of other expenses. Make this a habit.

Separate travel account

Keep your savings account separate from your travel one. This way your travel money won’t be spent on your other expenses. Start by adding a certain amount to your account when you get paid. Make a jar at home and add any change you get after shopping in it. You will be surprised how much these will help you in the end.

Get another job

Nothing good comes without hardship. It may sound like daunting task but the best way to save money is to increase your income. There are variety of ways to do that. Doing two jobs at once can be a bit challenging but try other methods such as freelancing, talk to your boss for a raise, teach children, sell anything which you are not using anymore including property, clothes, gadgets etc. It will really boost your travel fund.

Reward programs

Did you know that you can get travel rewards through your credit card? Yes its true. Spending the right amount at the right thing can earn you rewards such as cheap flights and hotels, discounts on local travelling and shopping and much more. You have to earn rewards by purchasing and keeping a good record of payments.

Track your spending

Keeping a track will make you understand where your money actually goes, on which things you spend most of your income. In this way, you will have a data of your expenses and then you can cut out the extra things or spend less on things which occur more on your list. It will also help you focus on your goal and will give you an insight of your spending habits.

Travel out of season

This trick will save you hundreds of dollars. Don’t think of travelling during the summer vacations because most people travel at that of the year and so the prices of hotels, air tickets etc. gets high. Search the best dates to travel to your destination and then travel before or after those dates. As there aren’t many people travelling during those dates, hotels and airlines reduce their prices to attract as much customers as they can. You can easily find amazing deals at Elkins Hotels during season.

Reduce expenses

It goes without saying that in order to boost your travel budget you have to cut your expenses. You may have to adopt certain habits that you are not used to such as prepare your meal at home, buy from local markets instead of brands, cut down the expenses of alcohol, cigarettes and such things.

Money management skill

Like any other skill, money management also comes from practice and consistency. You cannot acquire it, you have to learn it and practice it. You will get better at it with time. This skill will make a huge difference in your life. It is just not good for boosting your travel funds but also it is highly beneficial in your other life experiences.

Talk to locals

There is no perfect way of knowing the place where you are going to travel than talking to the locals. It has loads of benefits such as

  • See if they will give you a room in their house
  • They know all the local places and where to get inexpensive or even free things.
  • Eat where they eat
  • Travel via local transports
  • Plus point is that you will get to know their traditions and cultures up close.

Conclusion

It does not matter where you want to travel and how costly it may be, all that matters is your will and commitment towards achieving your goal. Hard work and sacrifice will take you places. The more you will travel; the more you will get to realize how much you can stretch your money. We know that sticking to a budget is hard but the end result will be worth it.

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