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bi_weekly_budgetWhether you are on salary or make an hourly wage, most of us get paid every two weeks. It’s a system that makes it easy for us to envision our finances and estimate are earnings every year. However, our bills and other expenses are not in sync with our bi weekly pay-outs, and many of us are forced to think creatively when managing our finances. Here’s how to make a bi weekly budget that works.

Have a nest egg in your checking account. We’ve all experienced that queasy feeling of checking your balance at the ATM. Sometimes you truly feel like you have no idea if you’re about to over-withdraw or if you have a few hundred dollars to your name. There’s an easy way to cure the stress. Always make sure to keep a “nest egg” or “buffer” amount of money in your account. Whatever your average weekly spending is, base the nest egg on that quantity. For example, if you usually spend around $600 a week, make sure that there’s at least a few hundred always sitting there. Tell yourself that it’s a basic minimum that must stay there — or else you’ll be punished by the banking gods. Actually, tell yourself whatever you need to make sure that amount will stay safe and secure in your account.

Magical five-week months. There are usually four months a year that are five weeks long instead of four. In 2017, those months are March, June, September, and December. Instead of expecting the two checks a month, you’ll get three. If you make $1,700 every two weeks, there will be three weeks a year that you’ll get an extra $1,700. Use those three extra pay checks as a starting point for your savings. However, don’t spend more than your regular monthly pay-out just because you’re anticipating those extra weeks. There are a lot of ways you can creatively use those “extra” paychecks for the better good of your finances.

You can:

Save up for a special vacation. If you’ve always wanted to check out the beaches of Southern Spain or go kayaking in the French Alps, now you can! It usually takes a good several months to book and plan an exciting week or two away. Use that time to strategize how exactly you plan on traveling and your price points.

Pay for major repairs and renovations. There’s no joy in having a constantly leaky sink or a heater that sounds like poltergeist when you turn it on. Use those patiently-earned savings to replace that stained carpet or broken appliance.

Grow your retirement fund. Folks of any age can contribute to a Roth IRA. The money that accumulates in a Roth is tax-free. Unlike other IRAs, there are fewer requirements and restrictions, and instead of being taxed on money deposited, you’re only taxed when you withdraw. There are other easy investment options, like a CD, mutual funds, and EFTs. Talk with a financial advisor on the best way to harvest your budget so that you’re able to live comfortably while growing your savings.

Check out more of our informative articles:

http://www.engineeryourfinances.com/2012/04/9-realistic-ways-money-unemployed/
http://www.engineeryourfinances.com/2016/09/surprising-things-sell-ebay/

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live off interest of a million dollarsIs it possible to live a comfortable life from the interest in our bank account? Most likely not. But, what if we had a million dollars in the bank? Would that generate enough interest to be considered a passive income? Maybe.

“Can I live off interest of $1 million?” is a common question asked by people on the cusp of retiring or anyone trying to get creative with their finances. The answer to this query depends on several factors – many of them having to do with a person’s lifestyle and bank policies. Here’s what to consider when trying to figure out if you can live of the interest of a million bucks.

Interest rate. Today, most savings accounts only offer an interest rate of around one percent. That’s not a lot. According to Magnify Money, the bank with the best interest rate for saving accounts this month is Synchrony Bank, and they only offer 1.05% APY. That means if you put $1 million in their savings account today, you would only make $10,500 after the first year. The second year and third years, taking inflation into account — which is usually around 2.9 percent — you would earn another $10,610.25 and then $10,721.66.

Living expenses. To live off the interest of a million dollars, you’ll need to budget. The federal poverty line for a single person is $12,060, so by only earning around $10,000 or $11,000 the first few years of your investment, you would be barely scraping by. However, if you’re hell-bent on living off your interest, then you might want to consider moving. In Fayetteville, Arkansas, the average two-bedroom apartment goes for around $543 a month. After the first year, you will be able to spend approximately $833 a month. If you rent out the second bedroom in your apartment, then that leaves you with $562 for living expenses — a very modest but manageable sum for an individual. According to CBS, food is cheap in Fayateville, and a loaf of bread will only set you back $1.25. To really minimize your spending, live in a state with low taxes. Wyoming’s average state and local sales tax is 5.42 percent and there is no state income tax. Although it might be hard to find housing in Alaska, local sales tax in the Last Frontier is only 1.78%.

CDs and Treasury Bonds. Although there is more freedom with a savings account, it obviously doesn’t generate enough income. Consider opening up a 30-year U.S. treasury bond. With 3.33% interest, you’ll collect $33,000 a year. However, that’s after 30 years, and in the meantime, you can’t touch the funds. Bonds don’t take into account inflation, so in 30 years that $1 million will probably only worth about $412,000, and money accrued will probably ring in at only $13,590. CDs are a slightly better bet — with an average 2.25% APY, after five years, you’ll rake in $25,000. However, interest rates can fluctuate, and they might dip over the course over five years. These are all factors to keep in mind when weighing CDs and treasury bonds.

For more of our outstanding articles, consider:

Nine realistic ways to make money when you’re unemployed
Surprising and weird stuff that sells well on ebay.

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YouTube hosts an underground of sometimes ad-hoc entertainment that has evolved into a booming industry over the last handful of years. PewDiePie, the gamer and comedian rules this market. Time and again, he has been named the world’s wealthiest YouTube star. This Swede’s charisma and high energy has attracted nearly 55 million subscribers and his channel boasts over 15 billion views. Felix Avrid Ulf Kjellberg, whose handle is meant to resemble the pew pew sound a videogame gun makes, reportedly made $15 million in 2016, a 20 percent increase from 2015. So how much does this YouTuber make? Here’s what we found:

Books. Kjellberg’s New York Times best-seller, This Book Loves You, a satire on self-help books that features jokes, illustrations, and aphorisms sold over 130,000 copies in the U.S. within ten months of its release. The 250-page advice book includes such golden nuggets such as “Don’t be yourself. Be a pizza. Everyone loves pizza.” It can now be purchased for as low as $1.99 at Barnes & Noble.

Advertisements. YouTubers make money through ad clicks, not views. According to Variety, YouTube keeps 45 percent of advertisement revenue and gives 55 percent to talent. In 2016, Kjellberg made $10 million alone in ads.

Games. How much does this YouTuber make from games? Kjellberg’s mobile games such as Tuber Simulator, which is free to download but includes in-app purchases up to $99, and Legend of the Brofist, a retro adventure game with a $4.99 price tag, also contribute this YouTuber’s fortune. Tuber Simulator offers an existential take on YouTuber culture, as the goal of the game is to increase your channel’s view count.

Commercials. In 2016, Kjellberg signed a major deal to promote Scott toilet paper. According to Forbes, Kjellberg banked $1.5 million in advertisement and brand deals last year.

Merchandise. Although the PewDiePie shop is currently “down,” the YouTuber attributes some of his earnings to product sales. On Redbubble, shirts with his logo and catch phrases start at $25. He has also sold backpacks hats, and phone cases.

Tour. Like any diligent YouTuber, Kjellberg maintains his success by performing in various cities. He’s not currently scheduled to appear anywhere in the near future, but in 2015 he made stops in major cities throughout the U.S. and U.K.

“I really think money doesn’t make you happy,” Kjellberg said in one of his videos. “I’m just as happy now as I was five years ago.” His feelings might have changed recently, since Disney cut ties with the star and YouTube cancelled the release of Scare PewDiePie’s second season after Kjellberg posted nine anti-Semitic videos. He after the videos came to light, he issued an apology on his Tumblr, saying, “I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes.” His follower count has apparently grown since the incident.

Although very few if hardly any reach Kjellberg’s level of success, if you’re able to generate a modest following on YouTube, then leveraging books, products, and branding strategies are ways to fuel a comfortable income.

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Different Ways to Make Your Money LastWhat’s going on everyone? I hope you are having a good day. These days a lot of people complain about money. Some of them are struggling. They may have underpaying jobs, or they may be horrible at budgeting. Whatever the reason is, I don’t want you to worry too much. You don’t have to always struggle. There are some ways that you can make your money last. Today, I want to go over four different ways to make your money last.

Cook your meals

I love going out as much as the next person. Fast food is convenient, but it can be expensive.  You should take the time to cook your meals. This is such an easy thing to do, but a lot of people are just lazy. Your bank account will thank you if you start doing this. If you don’t know how to cook, you need to learn. You will get better with practice. You will be able to make meals for a fraction of what you will pay when going out. You can save money at the stores with coupons. You can get the coupons online or from the newspaper.

Use public transit

Number two on the list is to use public transit. If there is public transportation available in the city that you live in, you should consider using it. You will save money on gas and auto maintenance. Your job may even give you a discount for using the public transportation. Another way that you will save money if you use public transportation is that you won’t have to pay for auto insurance anymore if you don’t drive a vehicle. Car insurance premiums can be very expensive especially if you have a violation or an accident. Believe it or now premiums go up for no reason. That happened to me a couple of years ago. The increase wasn’t a lot, but it was an expense that I wasn’t used to.

Purchase in bulk

The next thing that you should buy are things in bulk. There are deals for certain items at stores like Sam’s or Aldi’s where you can buy them in bulk.  Sam’s is preferable as their return policy is great.   Paper towels, can food, cleaning supplies, and soap are just a few of the items that you should consider buying in bulk. When you’re buying items in bulk, you’re saving money because you’re purchasing those things only a few times a year instead of every other week.

Unplug

The final tip that I have for you today is to unplug some of your electronics when you’re not using them. I’m not talking about unplugging your fridge or stove.  I’m talking about unplugging things like your TV or laptop or other things when you’re not using them. A lot of electronics use power when they are still plugged in. I don’t even know how much money I’ve saved since I’ve been unplugging stuff. What I do know is that for 2016 my light bill averaged out at $51 per month. That is great. Many people pay over $100 each month on their power bill.

How do you make your money last?

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How You Can Become CreditworthyJust a short four years ago, my finances and credit score were horrible. Multiple bad decisions left me with a credit score that was in the 500’s. As someone who was nearing thirty years old, that was not good. I got a better job and decided it was time to get my credit in order. In January 2015, I officially started working on bettering my credit. By August of that year, my credit score had gone up by 168 points. It was unbelievable. Who knew that by making a few changes that my credit would go up? Today, I want to go over some things that you can do that will help you become creditworthy.

Better Job

As I stated earlier, I got a better job. Yu should do that as well. I had been working two part time jobs for six months. I wasn’t making enough money to do anything except for getting by. The next job was just what the doctor ordered. I was able to make more money. This was actually the highest paying job that I’ve ever had. My stress levels went down. I was able to start saving money finally. I also devised a plan on what to do with my debt.

Making more money meant that I was able to get current on every debt that I had. I had been months behind on a few of my bills. To have enough money to get current was great. For some of them, it took me a couple of months to get current because I was so far behind. I was able to get there though. I learned that 35% of your credit score is your payment history. That was more than a third of my score. If you aren’t making enough, it’s time to consider getting a better job. More income will help you.

Pay On Time

The second thing that you can do is pay your bills on time. As I stated earlier, there were times where I was late. That was one of the reasons that my score was so bad. Whatever you need to do, make sure that you pay your bills on time.

Stop Using Credit Cards

The third thing that you should do is to stop using your credit cards. I used to use my cards all the time when money was low, which was a lot back then. At one point I was using 95% of my available credit. That wasn’t smart. The credit bureaus don’t like that. You are looked at as higher risk customer. The ideal credit utilization is 30%. I was nowhere near that amount, so I stopped using my cards. If you’re in a similar situation, you should stop using yours as well.

Doing those three things that I discussed above will help you become more creditworthy. You just have to have a little discipline. I know that anybody can do those things. I was horrible with money a few short years ago. Now, I’m not. Don’t let your past be an excuse. Decide that you want a better score and make it happen.

What is your excuse?

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What is Debt Consolidation?A lot of us are in debt. Many people feel helpless when it comes to the debt they have. If you’re flooded in debt, one option that you might have heard about is debt consolidation. There are pros and cons to using a debt consolidation program. In this post, I will be going over how debt consolidation works.

Debt Consolidation 101

Basically, debt consolidation works like this. Let’s say you have four different debts. They total up to $1400 a month in payments. You simply can’t afford the payments anymore.

Instead of going into bankruptcy or going into default, you decided to go to a debt consolidation company. The debt consolidation company will go to your lenders and negotiate a deal to pay off all your loans for you. Typically they will get you a deal for between 25% to 75% off.  That’s a heck of a deal.

The debt consolidation company will pay off the loan; then you will owe them the money instead of your lenders. Instead of having to make four payments, you only need to make one now. Your monthly payment is much lower than your previous monthly loan payment amount.

They need to make money too

Remember, debt consolidation companies, even if they are a non-profit company, need to make money as well. Some companies will structure their program in a way that you will end up paying more at the end of the day. For example, they can lower your $1400 payment down to $900 a month while extending your loan terms by 24th months. This is something that you must consider if you are thinking about going the debt consolidation route.

Your monthly payment may be less, but in terms of the full loan, you may end up paying a couple of thousand dollars more. For the debt consolidation company, it’s a trade off. They need to make money, but if you can’t afford the higher monthly payments, then a smaller monthly payment, with a higher overall payment might be the lesser of two evils. Consider all of your options befoe you make that decision.

How does it affect your credit?

This is the million dollar question. Does debt consolidation affect your credit? Settling a debt is not as good for your credit as paying it off in full. It is better than ignoring it or not paying it off at all.

How it affects your credit depends in part on how delinquent you were before the consolidation. It also depends on if the creditor charged off the debt to a collection agency. If that has happened, the charge-off will appear on your credit report even if the consolidation company reaches a settlement with the collection agency. Timing is everything.

Working with a debt consolidation company does not lower your credit. Getting your debt charged off, settling for a lower amount than you owed and being delinquent on your debt can negatively affect your credit report. Is that something that you want?

Debt consolidation isn’t for everyone. If you are struggling and or near bankruptcy, it may be the option for you.

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Your financial health depends on the spending decisions you make. Unfortunately, a majority of the decisions people usually make are mistakes that only lead to financial instability and regret. Here are the top six most common financial mistakes you should avoid.

Living on Borrowed Money

Bad credits loans are common in the US. They are common because people find it normal to use credit cards to buy everything they want without establishing a robust repayment plan. Their credit rating begins to drop as they continue to default on the loans. In the end, they resort to bad credit loans to enable them offset their balances.

You can live without credit cards if you simply take some time and plan your finances. Track where your money goes and change those habits that are making you to use credit cards. Create a household budget and stick to it. Stop carrying your credit cards wherever you go and save in an emergency fund to eliminate the option of using a credit card for unexpected expenses.

Paying Your Debts with Savings

Some people use their long-term savings to pay off debts. They even go to an extent of withdrawing money from their emergency and retirement savings accounts to pay off debts. Withdrawing money from these accounts is easy, but it is very difficult to replace the amount you have removed. Do not touch your savings. Instead, look for alternative means of paying debts. Assess your situation thoroughly and come up with a strategy on how you want to pay the debts. Analyze your resources and determine how much you can cut from your spending to add to the monthly payments.

Failing to Build an Emergency Fund

Almost 34 percent of Americans do not have a savings account. Such individuals risk huge financial burdens following an emergency like a sudden illness, accident or home repair. Those who have an experience with unforeseen expenses can tell you how joyful they were for having an emergency savings account. You need to have a savings account that is worth at least three months of your salary. This amount should cover up to three months of your expenses in case you lose a job. You first have to calculate your living expenses in order to come up with a suitable amount to save every month.

Not Writing a Budget

Only 33 percent of adult Americans prepare and follow household budgets. This is quite unfortunate because budgeting is a stepping stone towards financial well-being. A proper budget monitors how you spend and ensures you don’t deviate from your financial plan. It helps you focus on things that are important like getting out of debt, saving for a car or starting your own business. A budget will also save you a lot of money and stop you from worrying about your finances.

To make a budget, you need to first assess your financial situation. Break down your expenses over the past few months and categorize them into needs and wants. Evaluate your spending on each category and find ways to reduce them, beginning with the wants.

Ignoring Insurance

Life is full of unexpected events. These events can happen to anyone, regardless of their financial might or age. You want to make sure you are financially armed for them by buying an insurance policy. You can go for a homeowner’s, liability or health insurance.

Failing to Invest

Having the thought of working your entire life and living from one paycheck to another is enough to compel you to invest. You need to let your assets make money for you. Do not keep your money in the back of your pocket without placing it somewhere to multiply. There are many ways to invest in the US. You can open a small business or invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Make sure you consult with an adviser to know the potential risks and challenges of each investment option. Investing is quite essential in getting you to where you want to be in life.

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How Much Interest Does 1 Million Dollars Earn Per YearEarning money is never an easy task. If you want to know the sum that you can make from 1 million dollars per year, you can’t exactly provide the digit amount. It depends on a number of factors. These factors include the interest rate.
If you don’t have any knowledge of the economy and market conditions and where you invest, it is better to hire the CFA (Certified Financial Planner) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) who will provide you good advice regarding your money.

What are the economic conditions? Whether there is instability? Inflation rates? Loan rate? And a lot more. You need to know each factor first to estimate the interest you can earn. If the interest rates are higher, it is better as it can result in earning a significant amount of money in the long periods of time.

A million dollars is a great amount of money, and one can get various amounts of interest per year by investing it in different sectors. But this much amount of Defining the exact amount, however, is not possible as the number varies relying upon the kind of investment that you do other than the factors mentioned above. There are various options and ways in which you can invest the million dollars.

US Treasury Bonds

The first way where you can invest million dollars is through US Treasury bonds. The present rate for a 30 year US Treasury security is 3.08% so you would gain roughly $30,800 from the one million dollars every year. That’s a good investment. Depending on the country you live in and the current rate, you can speculate the amount you can earn.

Savings account

If you decided to put the 1 million dollar saving account, it is not a good choice of investment as you could expect to earn only one thousand dollars each year which is a very little amount.

Stock Market

Putting your money on the stock market can offer good returns for individuals needing to invest one million dollars, yet they are far riskier than any of alternate securities. But higher risk, higher returns. The risk can be reduced by investing your money in various companies that have been there for a long time and earn stable profits.

One good advantage of investing in more than one company increases your portfolio, in case you lose money from one company, you can earn from the other. This diversification reduces risk to a great extent.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are another option, and it is less risky, but at the same time, the rate of interest is also lower. The interest rate for stocks also varies. It truly relies on upon your investment strategy and market conditions.

This interest rate fluctuates. For instance, if you have invested one million toward the start of 2003, you would have earned an arrival of 3.54% per year. That would equal with $1,326,817.31 per year. If you invested the same amount at the start of 2007, you’d have an annualized return of – 2.48%, which means you will lose an average of $18,906.27 a year.

Get Corporate Bonds

Corporate bonds are another investment choice for 1 million dollars. The return on these government bonds are low, and you can lose money depending on the inflation rates. But in 2017, inflation rates are expected to rise. So instead of investing in government bonds, you can invest in high credit companies as they pay higher yields with limited risk.

Real Estate

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is an organization that owns and manages the properties like buildings, shopping plazas, and offices. This sector usually gives a high return, and so there are many advantages of investing in this sector. Real estate is a tangible asset, so inflation is a hedge against inflation. Investors hold an asset that appreciates in value and at the same time get profits.

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