There seems to be a common trend among young adults (ages 20-30) that have an interest in investing, but very few follow through with those ambitions. Baby boomers are now reaching the age of retirement and taking their nest eggs out of the market. Pulling out of the market makes sense for those that are reaching an older age, but the issue with today’s investment environment is that younger people are simply not heading into the market for a variety of reasons.
It is vital for both the financial world and for people’s personal finances to become more aware and utilize investment opportunities. There are many common reasons that young people find investing to be unattractive or beyond their grasp, along with many simple mistakes those that choose to invest often make. But overall, it is necessary for young adults to grasp the importance of investing, no matter what age or financial bracket they fit in.
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This past week, my husband and I drove over 700 miles to Upper Michigan to visit family for Thanksgiving. This required us to cross through Canada (specifically from Niagara Falls to Sarnia), which turned out to be a very interesting and educational experience.
Here are a few valuable lessons we learned from our brief visits to the Great White North:
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In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few things I’m thankful for this year. (Feel free to share your own list in the comments section below!)
This year, I am thankful for:
A husband who loves me unconditionally. I know I can always count on him to love and support me when I need him.
A job that keeps us afloat during difficult times. Yes, there are days when I’m so frustrated I just want to walk out the door and never come back… but I am still so fortunate have a steady job that keeps food on the table and a roof over our heads. It’s more than a lot of people can say these days.
Good health. In light of our current situation (no health insurance) and our upcoming situation (insurance with an extremely high deductible), I feel very fortunate that I have no chronic ailments and rarely need to see the doctor. Knock on wood.
My crazy Italian family. I know they’ll always have my back. Looking forward to seeing everyone at Christmas time!
A beautiful, affordable home that allows us to feel safe and comfortable even when money is tight. I know home ownership isn’t for everyone, but this really was the best purchase we ever made.
What are you thankful for this year?
Assuming nothing changes in the next few weeks, this will be a very difficult Christmas for my husband and me.
While there is certainly much more to the holiday season than stuffing your face and buying everyone gifts, it’s definitely a tough time of year to be short on cash. After all, the National Retail Federation estimates that the average American will spend $737.95 on holiday gifts, decor, greeting cards, and more this year. (Yikes!)
Meanwhile, according to the latest Federal Reserve estimates, the average American household currently has over $7,000 in outstanding credit card debt – an amount that will almost certainly increase between now and Christmas. If that isn’t a depressing statistic, I don’t know what is.
Not interested in going into debt this holiday season? Here are a few ways to save more and spend less between now and the end of the year:
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Next week, we will receive our final CSA share, so I thought this would probably be a good time to put together a full review of our experience this year. But first, here are a few photos of the shares we have received over the past few weeks:
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Life after college can be both an exciting and scary time for many graduates. It means the end of saving for that spring break trip and the beginning of saving for a home. It also means the end of taking out student loans and the beginning of paying them back.
The post-grad life is when the reality of student loans begins to hit many students and find themselves thousands of dollars in debt and with a slow recovering job market, often they find themselves unemployed as well. Law school students have it just as bad; even though lawyers are still one of the highest paid professionals, a lack of demand in the job market and an abundance of law graduates makes it difficult for former students to get their foot in the door to a stable job.
Although education can be a costly investment, it can have some great benefits as degree holders still earn significantly more than those without a college degree. To get a better sense of just how much a law degree can cost (and how to more easily afford the payments), check out this infographic by CedarEd Lending:
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According to a recent Gallup poll, 58% of Americans believe that the “ideal age” for a woman to have her first child is 25 or younger. And medical experts generally agree, citing your late teens and early twenties as the age at which you are most likely to conceive a healthy child.
If you’re like me, on the upper end of the 20-something age bracket yet still childless, these statistics might seem a bit alarming. Even more so if you’re still attending college and/or living with your parents.
But before you throw your birth control out the window and start trying to have a baby before it’s “too late,” be sure to consider the following:
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Over the past few years, I’ve had many conversations with friends and family, read many different articles, and participated in many online debates regarding whether it’s better to rent or buy a house.
While both sides are often able to make some great arguments in support of their position, there are a handful of myths going around that drive me crazy. Some are half-truths, while others are flat-out lies that just won’t go away; no matter how many times they’re refuted by homeowners, financial planners, and real estate professionals.
So as a public service to any of my readers who are currently renting but thinking about buying a house, here are 5 myths about buying vs. renting that need to die now:
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Anyone who knows my husband and me reasonably well knows that we LOVE good food. It might just be our favorite thing in the world. So it’s no surprise that food is one of the largest items in our monthly budget.
While we’ve made an honest effort to reduce spending by cooking at home more often, we still enjoy dining out from time to time. And that’s okay! We just have to be frugal about it.
Here are a few ways to save money while dining out:
Choose lunch over dinner.
In general, lunch portions are smaller and less expensive than dinner portions. Going out to lunch instead of dinner can therefore significantly reduce the cost of both the food and gratuity.
Skip the drinks.
Drinks are ridiculously overpriced at most restaurants – especially those with alcohol in them. Water, on the other hand, is completely free!
Skip the appetizers.
At most restaurants, the entrees are large enough that an appetizer is unnecessary. If you really want something in addition to your entree, instead of ordering a full appetizer, consider adding soup or salad.
Use a coupon or gift card.
Between daily deal sites, printable coupons, weekly coupon clipper magazines, and those $20 Entertainment books that everyone and their brother has bought from a school fundraiser… it’s easier than ever to find coupons for your favorite local restaurant. So use them!
Take advantage of bulk discounts (where possible).
I’ve found this to be particularly helpful at places like Buffalo Wild Wings and Quaker Steak & Lube. You’re much better off getting one big order of wings for the table to share than ordering individual portions. Same goes for Italian restaurants with family-style menu options.
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The Manhattan Institute released a report today detailing the average change in health insurance premiums on the individual market in each state as a result of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). And the results are pretty startling.
In 41 states and the District of Columbia, health insurance premiums will increase for 2014. The five states with the greatest increases in premium costs are Nevada (+179%), New Mexico (+142%), Arkansas (+138%), North Carolina (+136%), and Vermont (+117%).
Conversely, eight states will see reductions in premium costs ranging from 3% (Indiana) to 40% (New York). Not surprisingly, the most heavily regulated states are generally coming out as “winners” due to the individual mandate, while residents of other states will be forced to pay more for plans that comply with the new federal regulations.
Granted, federal subsidies (in the form of an advance tax credit) will help reduce the cost for many individuals and families below 400% of the federal poverty level. Yet even within the “winning” states, not everyone is happy with their new options. For example, New York recently announced that it would be discontinuing Healthy New York, a state program that already provided low-cost insurance options to individuals who earned too much for Medicaid but too little to afford the full cost of private insurance. The assumption was that these individuals would be able to find comparable subsidized coverage through the new state exchange, but in reality, this may or may not be the case for everyone.
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