Monday, 23 May 2011

Changing You Spending Habits

It is every one dream being a millionaire and retiring with a healthy bank account, but how many people can actually achieve it? So few. This is largely due to lack of discipline in building up their retirement fund and poor spending habits. While building a retirement fund requires time, you can accelerate the process by making incremental but positive changes in your spending habits. Here are seven ways that you can change your daily lifestyle for more positive results in your spending habits:

1. Have you ever noticed how much time you spend sitting in front of the television? The longer you sit, the worse it is for your blood circulation. Besides, the time you free up can be used for more useful tasks such as teaching your kids or learning a new skill.

2. If you are an avid reader, use the public library whenever possible. There is no need to buy the latest books from bookstores like Borders unless it is in a category that does not fit into a public library. The public library will usually acquire popular titles after some times. Learn to be patient.

3. If you are a smoker, start reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. Over time, you may be able to quit smoking completely. Besides saving money by not buying any more cigarettes, your health will also improve and this means a huge saving in your medical bills.

4. Use a bicycle if the destination is within 30 minutes by car. This helps promote blood circulation in your body and also reduces environmental pollution. You can also save on gasoline and parking fees.

5. Dine at home more frequently. You can experiment with different recipes and save some money at the same time. In addition, you are honing your cooking skills and this could be very useful for the home dining experience.

6. Bring your own coffee to office. Many people like to drop by a Starbucks or similar coffee outlet and end up spending a few dollars or more on a cup of coffee. You can potentially save many dollars each week just by making your own coffee at home and bringing it to your work place in a Thermos. Besides, who knows, it may taste better than the coffee from Starbucks! If you really cannot live without Starbucks coffee, consider getting a Starbucks rebate card. You can use the rebates to redeem free Starbucks coffee after you have accumulated enough points.

7. Do more walking than driving. If you can reach your destination within ten minutes by car, consider leaving the car behind and walk instead. You will save money on gasoline and parking fees. This can easily add up to a few thousand dollars a year.
These seven ways are a good start for changing unhealthy spending habits. However, you should continue to research and incorporate more healthy habits that contribute to the building of your retirement fund. By re-investing the money saved from using these tips, you will be many steps ahead of your peers and closer to your retirement goals.

Cash Advance Loans Online - The Real Truth

So you have found yourself in a bit of trouble and are looking into cash advance loans online. This may not be such a great idea as many cash advance loan companies are not completely truthful in the details of the loans that they offer.

First of all the fees associated with getting cash advance loans online can be outrageous. To begin with, you will pay unusually high interest rates with these types of loans. Either you will pay a percentage of the total amount you plan to borrow or you could be charged anywhere from $10 to $50 per hundred dollars that you are going to need. Should you need to extend your cash advance loan you will end up paying additional fees each time you do so.

The majority of people who take out a payday loan get caught in a snowball effect of sorts Basically when a loan comes due that a borrower is not equipped to pay in time they usually end up having to extend the loan and incurring more interest charges. Additionally you are likely to rack up bounced check fees at your bank if you do not have the money ready when the withdrawal happens.

Instead of getting involved with a cash advance loan you may want to consider any one of these other options. You could see if your boss would give you an advance on your pay, or you could ask a friend or family member to loan you the money. You may want to check with those you have debit with and see if there might be a way to gain a little extra time to pay your bills and also check what the late fees would be involved with this.

There are many great options that you can utilize when looking to pay some bills. Applying for cash advance loans online should be at the bottom of your list of possibilities.

Building Residual Income

What is a residual income?

Residual income is a type of income that’s lasting. It means you don’t have to work all your life to earn money, with little effort; you can sit in the comfort of your own home and earn money.

The internet is one of the fastest growing markets for different kinds of businesses. Imagine you can target customers from almost anywhere in the world. There are also a lot of payment options online. No matter what country you are from there is always an opportunity for you.
Here are some ideas you can do to generate a good paying site.

1. Create ebooks. You can get more profits if you publish it yourself. However there are certain advantages if you let publishers market your book. Publishers know a lot of sites where they can place it because they have more experience. Ebooks are easy to download, you only have to create one and anyone can download it even when you’re not there as long as they pay for it or as long as they’re subscribed. Of course there are certain rules that you have to follow like getting a ISBN number for your book.

2. Create downloadable learning tools like CD. If you are an expert on something and you would like to use your expertise to educate people then creating downloadable tools is just perfect for you. You can make a class wherein people learn through listening to your voice and you can charge them to pay for it. If customers like you, they will just keep coming back.

3. Create a blog that is supported by paid advertisements. Write anything that interests you. You can also link your blogs to other programs that offers site traffic. An example is the google adsense. It is very easy to set-up an account. It is available worldwide. They pay for every click on your blogs’ ads. Payments vary according to the type of advertisements that shows on your ads. However there are certain keywords that can attract advertisers to bid for a place in your blog. Just always bear in mind that, do not click your own ads because it is a violation. If they learn about it the adsense team will automatically terminate your account.

4. Participate in affiliate programs. Create a site that will help you campaign for your affiliates.You can visit different affiliate links and some of them don’t require membership fees.

5. Make an online magazine. You can get people to subscribe, participate in the forums and submit articles for you. You can publish it monthly, quarterly, whichever you like.

Bad Ways To Save Money

Finding new ways to save money on almost anything you buy is almost like getting a raise. Maybe it's even better. When you save twenty dollars on a coat you get to keep the whole twenty dollars. When you make twenty dollars more on your paycheck, you lose five dollars or more of it to taxes.

Finding ways to save money can go too far, though. In a recent newsletter on how to save money, one contributor suggested getting free flowers for weddings by picking up the leftover flowers at a cemetery. She didn't say how you can tell which are "leftovers."

I thought I was cheap! The following are gleaned from real suggestions on ways to save money sent in to "frugality" websites and newsletters. Some cheapskates don't seem to notice that an extra hour at work might put them further ahead than many hours of penny-pinching.

<b>Ways To Save Money - Don't Try These At Home</b>

A mother confessed that she makes her kids stuff their pockets with the free ketchup, salt and other condiment packets every time they were in a fast food restaurant. Oh, if only that were all, but no. She has the kids squeeze the contents of the packets into regular jars of ketchup and mustard too. She says she hasn't bought these condiments in years. Pride is found in strange places.

One creative penny pincher found a way to save money on car washes. He washes his entire car using the squeegee at the gas station. Hmm... I wonder if he takes the toilet paper rolls home from their rest rooms too.

Would you like a free umbrella? One man suggests getting one at the lost and found department of any large public library. You just tell them you lost a black umbrella. They will almost certainly have several, from which you can pick the best one and claim it as your own. What if they have no black umbrellas? I guess we'll have to wait for this guy to publish a "lost umbrella color frequency chart," in order to know which color to try for the next day.

Several contributors to these newsletters know how to save on their long distance phone bills. The most common suggestion is to call people long-distance when you know they won't be home, and leave a message for them. Then they pay for it when they return your call. I suppose if your timing is off, and they answer when you call, you can quickly hang up on them and try again later.

I don't recommend any of these as ways to even the most frugal person. Apart from the ethical issues with some of them, they can be lumped in along with washing and re-using plastic wrap - a time wasting frugality. On the other hand, they are fun to read, and I suppose we could view such measures as cheap entertainment as well. Perhaps you can turn off the lights to save money on electricity and tell the kids it's a game of hide-and-seek, or train your dog to beg from the neighbors so you don't have to feed him.

I wonder how many people actually pay for magazines and newsletters that tell us ways to save money? Do these magazines advise that readers go to the library to read them, or stand reading them in the aisle at the bookstore for a hour? Those are some sure ways to save money.

Bargain Finder Secrets

Want to be a bargain finder? Want to be the one that always finds the deals and has money left over? Start by learning the secrets of opportunism.

Do you know that you can eat a wider variety of fruit than your neighbor, and spend only half as much to do so? How? By buying fruit in season, when it is at the lowest price. As a bonus, it is also of the highest quality at these times. This is opportunism.

Notice that this means not always getting exactly what you want when you want it. You get more variety this way, and you spend much less, but you go with the flow. If oranges are cheap, you'll be eating oranges. If apples are in season, you'll be eating apples. Whatever the case, you'll always be finding bargains.

You never have to eat things you don't like or deny yourself pleasure. You just shop for those things that you like among those that are cheaper now. There will be other, different, great deals next week or next month. Unless you are extremely picky about what you eat, you'll almost always find delicious foods that you like on sale.

That's the premise of opportunism - that you get more by going with the flow. A true bargain finder gets more variety in the long run, and more for the money. This can be applied to many areas of life.

<b>Bargain Finder Examples</b>

When I went to Ecuador a few years ago, there were many interesting places I wanted to go. I chose Ecuador because it was a thousand dollars less to go there than to any other country. I had a fantastic time for a month for $1040 (including airfare). I also met the most wonderful woman I know there, and eventually married her, so you never know what riches you'll find when you go with the flow.

We go to the movies here in Tucson on Tuesdays, when we can get in for $2.00 each. Others are paying $8.75 a couple miles away. What are they getting by paying four times as much? They get to see the movie six weeks earlier. The movies don't change in those six weeks, by the way, and enough friends have seen them by then to let us know if they're good or not.

Opportunism means not paying more unless you are getting more. It also means making honest choices. Will you actually enjoy that movie more by seeing it now? More than you'll enjoy the FOUR movies you can see in it's place? Do you have to take that fishing trip now? If you're planning to take both a fishing trip and a gambling trip, why not do each when it's cheapest?

When William Danko and Thomas Stanley wrote "The Millionaire Next Door," they found that MOST millionaires bought used cars. They bought BMWs and Mercedes, not old Ford Pintos, but the lesson was clear: They understand opportunity. Cars often lose half of their value in the first three years, but they're not half used-up, are they? Is it worth an extra $6,000 to say you have a new car (And you will have to tell people, since it's hard to tell a three-year-old car from a new one)?

To be an opportunist doesn't mean just settling for whatever is easy and cheap to get in life. We all have our areas that are more important to us. If you really love those $15 cigars, why not buy them? On the other hand, if you really can't tell the difference between the $5 and $50 wine, why not buy the former? Opportunism is one of the keys to being a true bargain finder.