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budgetWhether you are saving for a new car, a special holiday or a new baby, you need a plan to get you there. It will likely mean sacrificing some of your monthly luxuries for a while, but most of us have corners we can cut somewhere in our budgets. If you plan ahead you can make it work and you might not even notice where you have cut back.

Step One: Take a good, long look at your monthly spending

Track your spending religiously for a month if you don’t already have a good idea of what you have going out. Once it is all on paper, you will see exactly why you don’t have any money left at the end of the month, and it will be obvious where you should be cutting back. It’s all about shifting priorities. Take a few hundred off the entertainment budget and move it over to make a credit card balance disappear. Cancel your gym membership and do home exercise videos or go for long walks instead. Remember to pay off your credit card balance each month going forward, so it doesn’t get out of control.

Step Two: Set a goal and visualize yourself reaching it

Maybe your goal is to reward yourself with a new car. You work hard, and you should be able to drive your dream car one day. The small sacrifices you are making in order to put money away for a new car will be much easier if you spend time visualizing yourself driving that Dodge Challenger down a long, winding road into the sunset. If your goal is a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy or Australia, print out some photos and put them up on your fridge where you will see them every day. Better yet, put them in your wallet to remind you why you aren’t doing any impulse spending.

Step Three: Make your money work for you

“Spend” your money ahead of time. That is, have each dollar allocated to either a regular monthly budget item, your retirement savings account, your special savings account, or bills. If all of the money is spoken for, there won’t be any lying around, tempting you to overspend. Many people find that living on a Zero-Sum Budget works wonders in helping them save for their goals.

When you are getting used to your new budget, you will have to work on your willpower. Know where you are tempted to spend in excess of your budget, and avoid those places altogether. And if you see something you really want to buy but it will mean breaking the budget you have set, ask yourself, is it worth more to me than my goal of a new car or a trip to Italy? If the answer is no, your budget is safe, your goal is in sight and that thing you thought you wanted will still be around when you have reached your savings goal.

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.

Mutual Funds That Accept Smaller Minimums A mutual fund is an SEC-registered investment company that gathers funds from numerous investors and invests the funds in stocks, bonds as well as other short-term money-market instruments. Every mutual fund share represents an investor’s proportionate ownership of the mutual funds. Mutual fund shares are typically purchased from the fund directly or through investment professionals.

One of the most difficult aspects of investing is simply starting out. Mutual funds are undoubtedly the perfect kind of investment for beginners, but a majority of them have minimum initial investment sums of $3,000 or even more.
For that reason, new investors usually have to save a lot of money in order to start investing in mutual funds.

There are lots of fund companies offering mutual funds with lower minimum initial investment sums. You might think that Vanguard Investments or Fidelity Investments have the perfect funds for starters. This may prove to be a fact, but not quite a few beginners are privileged enough to have $3,000 or higher. One great discount brokerage firm with an excellent choice of mutual funds for beginning investors is Charles Schwab. Best of all, they have a number of top quality, no-load funds with minimum first purchase amounts of $100 or much less!

Best No-Load Funds to Start Investing With Only $100

Schwab Balanced Fund (SWOBX)

Balanced funds is generally the best way for new investors to start investing since they are a diversified mix (a balance) of stocks, bonds, and cash. Put differently, a balanced fund is generally a whole portfolio in its own right. The Schwab Balanced Fund has an asset allocation of around 60% stocks, 35% bonds, and 5% cash. That makes for an average (medium-risk) blend suitable for the majority of investors. SWOBX is usually an above-average performer and has a minimum initial investment of only $100.

Schwab S&P 500 Index (SWPPX)

It’s difficult to get it wrong with an index fund with a minimum initial purchase amount of $100 along with a rock bottom expense ratio of only 0.09%, which rivals that of Vanguard funds. At 100% stocks, investors should certainly be able to hold on all through the inevitable bear markets, when stock prices can decrease by 20% or even more for a couple of months’. But the long-term (more than 10-year) returns of stock index funds are some of the competitive of all mutual fund types.

Schwab International Core Equity (SICNX)

In case you are looking to grow your portfolio to include foreign stocks, this fund is one of the top of no-load funds with a minimum initial purchase of $100. SICNX invests in large-cap stocks (large corporations) which are outside of the United States. Long-term performance ranks are high when compared with other large-cap international funds.

As you can see, there are some opportunities to invest with a smaller amount of money. If you have a little money that you can spend, it may be time. Why not get started today, go out and invest with just $100!

Are you interested in investing?

budgetWe all know a well-made budget is a building block of stable personal finances. How we go about making one is a little less obvious to most. Though it can be challenging, it’s worth the time you spend figuring out how you go about creating a budget. Once you realize you need to get on top of your day-to-day spending, there are some questions you’ll need to ask in order to make your task easier.

  1. What is your income & expenses?

When you sit down to tally up your budget, you need to know the exact numbers of your cash flow in black and white — or in some cases, red. Precision is key when you create a budget, so make sure you know how much money is coming down to the very cent. This includes your net income, as you won’t want to include your gross annual salary before taxes and other deductions are taken out of your pay. Luckily, with taxes just around the corner, this number will be easy to find.

You’ll also want to establish a detailed list of your expenses. The obvious regular costs are things like rent, utilities, groceries, insurance payments, and gas, but to get a complete understanding of your expenses, you need to go back into your accounts and review your past purchases. While you’re tallying these expenses, you’ll get a feel for those that are necessary and those frivolous, last-minute purchases that did nothing but spend your money.

  1. How can you prepare for unexpected expenses?

A successful budget is a realistic one. That includes knowing your past expenses won’t always represent your future ones. Sometimes, one-time events, repairs, purchases, and bills will come your way. These incidentals have the power to leech savings and throw your entire plan off course. If you don’t have a lot of extra cash in reserve, you may need to search out a loan for your non-recurring responsibility. When you realize you need to apply for a cash advance or line of credit, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Luckily, you can find the answers to frequently asked questions about borrowing money online quickly and easily. There are a variety of lenders and financial advisors on the Internet publishing easy-to-read information for your convenience.

  1. What are the long and short term goals of your budget?

In order for your budget to work, it needs a purpose — and one you can commit to. At its most basic level, a financial plan is supposed to help you spend less than you earn. The savings you make by shaving off unnecessary purchases can motivate you to follow your strict spending rules. For some people, the goal is simply debt reduction. For others, it’s so they have enough cash set aside for a new home, a big trip, or retirement. Others still will use a budget so they can buy fun items as the need arises, like the new Xbox Scorpio or the latest pair of PUMA creepers. When you know you’re skipping takeout so you can go on holiday, your measures of personal austerity become a lot easier to handle.

  1. How can you stay accountable?

There’s a big difference between creating a working budget and living it. Though we all wish we had an iron will that allows us to follow our plans effortlessly, we don’t always have the fortitude to say no to that night out with friends or our late-night Amazon order. But don’t worry — there are ways to bolster your resolve and stick with your budget. Let your friends and family know you’re trying to save more. They might just join in on your wallet-friendly plans, which can help you avoid making purchases by association when you meet up for drinks, dinner, or other expensive events. Your smartphone can also be a handheld helper you keep in your back pocket. There are a variety of apps available to help you make financially smart decisions. Just check out PC Mag and Business Insider’s list of mobile finance apps to see which ones you’ll stand to benefit from most.

When you take the time to answer these four questions in full before you open up Excel, you have a better chance at creating a budget that works with your situation. So get detailed numbers, establish goals, identify contingency plans, and search out assistance. These steps can get you closer to save more and spending less successfully.

student-849825_1920If you want to boost your business’ efficiency and productivity, it is essential to have the best project management tools at hand. Project management in a business means to break down projects that are long-term into several tasks and milestones which will be delegated to several individuals or a team.

Project management tools are not only for large corporations or big-time organizations. Small business entrepreneurs can also enjoy these tools and features for free or there are others that come with a small subscription fee. At some point in the business, you will need to incorporate these tools that will best meet your needs. Here’s what type of project management tools you will need for your business to prosper:

  1. A tool for easy planning. The planning process does take time and you will need to line out all the important steps you will need to tackle in your business. Find a tool that can provide you the ability to establish the hierarchy or level of importance of the tasks that you will need to accomplish for an effective completion. This can make things easier for your staff to work on. This type of tool is a huge time saver since the leader will know the most important steps to do first and to whom they will assign the tasks to.
  1. A tool for task assignment. Each project will consist of several tasks that you or your entire team will need to complete. To write notes about what each of your team member is doing will be quite impossible and this is where a project management tool for task assignments can be useful. You can assign and monitor all the important tasks to your staff and see how they are performing. In this way, you can achieve exceptional results that will benefit the business.
  1. A tool that can support invoicing, billing and tracking. Majority of projects do have a high number of billing and invoicing in a month and you can easily lose track. It is also important to keep track and collect data from your staff so that you will know their pace which can make planning future projects a whole lot easier. With professional services automation saas, you can ensure organization that can allow you to make more precise time estimation of the tasks that needs to be taken care of that can drive your business to success.
  1. A tool that can collaborate your work environment. It is not enough that you just simply assign tasks to your employees and expect them to be carried out flawlessly without any type of internal discussion. It is essential to communicate regarding project details both with remote employees and with a large workforce in multiple locations. Storing notes and documents to be able to facilitate for an efficient completion is also important to meet the business’ needs.

These are just some of the type of project management tools that you will need to rely on in your business. When you do utilize the latest technology and take advantage of those that are currently available in the market, you can maximize the performance of your staff, that can lead to productivity improvement with higher profit.

Do you use any project management tools in your small business? Share your experience!

Saving Money on Food While UnemployedIf you are currently struggling when it comes to looking for a job, you might not have the most money to spend right now. Your money will likely be going to necessities. One thing that everyone needs is food. Food can be one of your biggest monthly expenses. If you’re not careful, that cost could easily balloon to several hundreds of dollars each month. If you’re working, that wouldn’t be as big of a problem as it would if you’re not working. With a little bit of planning and sacrifice, you can cut this expense down to under $200 a month.

Buy cheap food

If you are unemployed, you shouldn’t be splurging on groceries at Publix or Kroger’s. You should have a strategy and start off with cheap food that will fill you up. Ramen noodles are one of those types of foods. A lot of people used to eat ramen noodles during their college years. I’ve eaten them a few times. They were not my favorite, but they did save money. You can get a box of ramen noodles pretty cheap. They will fill you up pretty fast. Also, you can spice up your noodles by adding different ingredients to them. Spices, meat, and mushrooms are just a few things that you can add to your noodles.

Other staple foods are bagels and sandwiches like peanut butter & jelly and tuna.

Stop eating out

The next tip to save money is to stop eating out. For many people that is easier said than done. Eating out is a guilty pleasure for some, but if you are unemployed, you have to stop doing that. There are a few reasons why you should do this.

The first reason is that the food is expensive. You can prepare a meal at home for $5 to $7. AT a restaurant, many meals will cost you $10 – $20.

Another thing that you must consider is tipping. Most people tip between 15 – 20% when they go to restaurants. That money can add up, especially if you go out multiple times each week. If you’re unemployed, you simply don’t have the money to do that. Practice some discipline and eat at home. This doesn’t have to be permanent. You are only doing this until you get another job.

Save money on groceries

The best way to save money on groceries is to start saving and using coupons. Coupons can drastically reduce your grocery bill. You can get coupons by searching for them online, by signing up for your favorite grocery store rewards program and also by getting the Sunday newspaper. Your Sunday paper will have a section full of coupons. The sooner that you start saving, the better. You can expect to save as much as 10% to 30% on your groceries by collecting those coupons.

Snacks

The next tip is to purchase some cheap snacks. Popcorns, crackers, and chips are great candidates. Those items will help you avoid the late night trips to the fast food spots. In the past, I made several trips to fast food restaurants. I spent a lot of cash. I could have avoided that by having snacks.

As you can see, there are several ways to save money on food while you’re unemployed. They may take a little bit of planning and discipline, but anyone can do them.

Just as you do, there are many other people who have been given some thought on how they are able to cut their expenses and save some cash. A quick online search will provide you with plenty of money saving tips, but here we have provided you with 5 factors you need to consider.

  1. Shop Online

You can save a ton of money by shopping online, and for more reasons than you may initially consider. For example, if you want to do your grocery shopping online it can stop you picking up all of those impulse buys that you could otherwise live without. Consider this, how many times do you buy unneeded items simply because they are right there in front of you. It might seem like you are buying at a discount, but spending something will always cost you more money than not spending anything. A great online shopping site is Coupon Sherpa, you can find plenty of great deals online. The same can be said for Groupon as well.

  1. Join a Cashback Shopping website

Another method of saving money is by taking your online shopping a step further and using a cashback site. There are a lot more of these sites popping up these days because retailers often incentivize them to seller their products and services. The cashback site will then take their profits from the retailer and essentially pass you back a portion of it. A pretty simple and effective method for online shoppers.

  1. Stop Going to the Car Wash

When the spring and summer months hit it’s amazing how many people flock to the local car washes. Some will opt to hit the coin vending washes rather than the more expensive drive through washes. However, you should wash your car the old fashioned way, with a hose, bucket of water, and a sponge! Simple tasks that you can do around the house for free should always be optimized for saving money.

  1. Pack a Lunch

Spending money to buy lunch everyday is much easier, and quicker, than packing your own…but it certainly is much more costly as well. Spending time is much cheaper than spending money. Sure, you have to buy the stuff at the grocery store and wake up an extra 10 minutes earlier in the morning to pack the lunch, but in the long run your finances will thank you for it.

  1. Shop Around for your Insurance Needs

The internet makes shopping so much easier, and that includes shopping for and saving money on your insurance needs. It doesn’t matter if you need life, health, or car insurance. Simply go online and input some superficial data, and within 10 minutes you can have a dozen insurance companies competing for your business.

 

grave-674443_640There is only one true certainty in life, and it is that one day, it must eventually come to an end. With very few exceptions, most of us have no idea when that day will arrive.

It may seem a little morbid to think about this, but actually it is important. Unfortunately in the modern world, death is not free. First, the tax man will come calling to claim his share of whatever you have left behind. There may be medical expenses to be paid. And then there are the costs of actually laying you to rest.

The cost of a funeral can involve more than just buying a memorial headstone. There are so many things that need to be covered financially, that it can be really shocking for anyone who has no experience with such things and is not properly prepared.

The most important step you can take to protect your family against the costs associated with your death is to make the proper preparations now, while you’re still alive. Obviously that is actually the only time you can do so, because when you’re not alive, it will be too late to help.

These are all good ideas to make arrangements for:

  • A will – this is a legal document, usually (and best) prepared by a solicitor, which sets out how your assets should be divided. There are two types of will, the most common one being the well-known Last Will & Testament, and the other type being a “living will”, which is applied in a situation where you are alive but no longer technically able to function as a conscious person. Both are a very good idea to have
  • Life insurance – this is insurance that pays out when you die. Life insurance can really be complicated. For one thing, many people have life insurance already, but don’t know they have it. Other times, people think they have real life insurance, when in fact they only have insurance cover that will pay off the balance of a loan, or something similar. For this, it is best to seek advice from a professional insurance consultant or broker, and find the best life insurance option for you.
  • Funeral insurance – a relatively new type of insurance with low premiums that helps to cover the full cost of a funeral, so that it’s not a burden to those you leave behind. Even the most modest funeral is sure to be expensive.
  • A trust fund – if you’ll be leaving behind a very substantial sum and you want to ensure that it is not squandered frivolously, you could consider setting up a trust fund, which allows you to specify rules and conditions about how and when money will be disbursed to the beneficiaries.

While it’s not strictly necessary to have all of these, it is sensible to have at least some plan in place, even if it is just simple funeral insurance to cover the costs of the funeral and memorial headstone.