Hope for your financial life and beyond

Secret Advice For Teenagers Who Love to Spend Money

You know who you are – a teenager who loves to spend money like it’s going out of style. You spend money faster than it takes a Snapchat to disappear. Money comes into your hand one minute and flows out like water the next.

spend moneyAnd you like it that way!

If that’s you, I have some special advice today. It’s unusual, maybe even secret advice. I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard any adult say this to you before. In fact, your parents may hate me for saying this because it might go against how they have instructed you to handle money. So I’m actually running a big risk here.

But before I reveal this big secret about spending your money, you have to promise me something.

The promise I’m asking you to make is to read this entire post. You are going to love what I have to say about spending money,  but you can’t take it as stand alone advice without understanding the bigger picture. As they say, the devil is in the details. So I’m asking for five minutes of your time to help you avoid a huge potential failure when spending money.

Ready for the big, secret advice? OK, here goes…

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7 Tips on How to Handle a Teenager’s Car Accident

Calls in the middle of the night are never good. Neither is the one when you say “Hello” and your teenager is crying on the other end. Your heart immediately drops because you are scared and know they are hurting. That was my experience anyway when I got a call from my daughter after her first car accident.

car accidentShe had just left basketball practice and was traveling at the legal speed on a country road. As she came up over a small hill and cars were stacked up four deep waiting for someone to turn left. She wasn’t on her phone but admittedly was a little tired from practice. By the time she realized what was happening in front of her, it was too late to brake in time. The truck she was driving rear-ended the last car in the line. The driver of that car had her foot slip off the brake and hit the accelerator, propelling her down into the ditch. On the way, she clipped the car in front of her.

As rear-end car accidents go it wasn’t pretty. My daughter’s airbag in the truck deployed. The car she hit obviously had damage in the back end but also in the front, as it hit a telephone pole when it went to the ditch. The third car had minor bumper damage. In the end, our used truck – that we had owned for less than a month – was totaled.

Thankfully, everyone was OK. No hospital visits were needed. And the people involved were pretty nice about it. I think they could see how upset this 16-year old girl was having caused her first accident.

I hope I never have to take that call again from any of my other kids. Odds are though I will. But as the oldest child often does, she broke new ground and helped us figure out how to deal with a teenager’s car accident. So here are 7 things I learned from the incident.

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The 10 Best Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students

Memorial Day marks the official beginning of summer. For teens and college students that means one of three things. Either you are:

a) continuing school by choice (to get ahead) or out of necessity (because you failed)… summer jobs for teens

b) looking for a summer job to earn money or…

c) in for a really boring summer sleeping in and playing video games.

We all know that teens and college students love money. But we also know that some of them NEED money in a bad way. They have lots of expenses, from gas for the car, to eating out with friends, to paying for college tuition and expenses. Many times, parents are unable to fully fund (or refuse to fund) these expense categories. So teens and college students are left to support themselves. And the time to rack up the big money in a paycheck is over the summer when they are out of school.

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4 Easy Ways to Get Your Finances Back on Track

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many in a financial ruin (or at least in less-than-ideal financial circumstances). People are reeling from what the shutdown and quarantines did to the economy and to their personal wealth. It’s important, maybe now more than ever, to make sure your finances are on track to meet your future goals. 

It’s is a good thing that businesses and travel have started to open back up. People are staring to get their lives back. Life is beginning to return to pre-Covid19 normal as vaccines are rolling out. With all this taking place, it brings additional incentive to look at your finances and see if you need to make adjustments to stay on track toward your goals. There is no better time than now to get started. 

There are many factors to consider with this. That’s why so many cannot and do not manage their finances well.  It simply can be a daunting task to know where to start and how to plan things out well.

It’s not overstating it to say that for many, finances can be one of the greatest causes of stress and anxiety. However, there are some simple tasks that can help get you started. Here are just a few easy ways for you to make sure your finances are on the path to success. 

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Is Investing in Collectibles Like Valuable Baseball Cards Worth It?

Like so many young boys, my love affair with baseball cards began in Little League. Each week our coach would give us a $1 to spend at the concession stand after the game. I spent my money on a cream soda and a pack of cards (none of which would become valuable baseball cards).

valuable baseball cardsIn those early days I didn’t have a lot of money so the collection grew slowly. I amassed several hundred cards and kept them rubber-banded together in a shoebox. I shuffled through them a lot so the surfaces became dull and the edges worn.

In 1986, I scrounged up enough money to buy my very first complete set of Topps baseball cards. I bought plastic card pages in which to insert each card and a three ring binder to hold all the pages. So began a decade of collecting the full sets and the update sets each year. By the time I ended college, I had amassed about 20,000 baseball cards.

Then marriage happened and grad school and buying a home and kids and a career and more kids. Through all that, the baseball cards spent years boxed up in the back of the closet rarely seeing the light of day.

My love affair with collecting baseball cards resurfaced about 10 years later in my early 30s. Some life events reinvigorated my love of the hobby. The best part was that I had more money than when I was 8.

I decided to do something different instead of purchasing individual packs or complete sets. My focus shifted to buying individual cards, ones where I could be more certain about their projected value. This can only be done by collecting those cards that are professionally graded.

This change of strategy required me to understand what I was getting into and why I was doing it.

How Do You Define Investing in Collectibles?

The above question is tricky to answer in part because it depends on your definition of “collecting” and “investing.”

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The Easy and Hard Parts to Becoming a Millionaire by Age 65

Would you feel financially secure if you became a millionaire? I’d say most people would. A million dollar net worth provides the cushion you’d need to weather almost any financial storm. Becoming a millionaire should set your financial worries at ease.

becoming a millionaireThat doesn’t mean though, that when you reach that milestone, you can live recklessly and spend money on whatever you want. Do that and you might find yourself broke before you know it.

Nor does it necessarily mean you can stop working. A millionaire at 75 can sit back and enjoy the fruit of their labor. A millionaire at 35 still has many more years of life expenses in front of them that one million dollars may not cover entirely.

Becoming a millionaire is both easy and hard. That may seem contradictory. How can something be both easy and hard? As you can see from the following graphs, the contradictory nature of that statement can best be viewed through three variables:

time, income and choices.

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How Long Do Common Household Items Last?

Did you have an appliance or other household items that need repairing? We have had several big household items hit our budget over the years. The washer-dryer combo, a new refrigerator and a new stove have all needed to be replaced over the years. And who could forget the really big one – the new heating and cooling units that brought in a new air conditioning and furnace. Wow – those were really expensive!

All in all, having lived in three homes over the course of our marriage, my wife and I have had to replace the following list of items:

3 new air conditioning units, 2 new furnaces, 2 new refrigerators, a new stove, a new dishwasher, a new microwave, a new garbage disposal, 2 new water heaters, a new dryer, 2 new washing machines (bad luck here), 5 new vacuums (we buy the cheaper ones), 4 new televisions, 2 new garage doors (main and basement), 3 new lawnmowers and countless other electronic devices (computers, iDevices, clocks, etc.)

In case you didn’t know, this is the reality of owning a home. All these items will break at some point. When that occurs, you will either have to a) do without or b) replace them. So it may be helpful before you purchase to know how long these items will last.

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“I’m Rich!” – How to Handle a Lump Sum Payment of Money

I’m sure you’ve daydreamed at some point about how life would change if a large lump sum payment of money came your way. Say like a million dollars? We’ve all played this game and fantasized about all the good we could do for ourselves and others with that much money.

lump sum paymentBut let’s be completely honest. For most people, this will not happen. The better likelihood of a person becoming rich is that it will take many years of hard work accompanied by traditional saving and investing. That’s the more likely path to wealth and the financial freedom that comes with it.

However, people’s lives can change quickly because they receive a lump sum payment of money worth six or seven figures. How could this happen? Well, there are more ways than you might think. So, Ill detail a few ways here that are not get-rich-quick schemes. Then we will look at what you should do if ever faced with this situation.

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How to Resolve the What Career Should I Have Dilemma

Have you ever asked the question, What career should I have?  If so, you know the answer isn’t that obvious. Coming to a decision about what career bests fits you can be quite a dilemma, no matter if you are right out of high school or in your mid-30s looking for a career change.

what career should i haveIt sure was a challenge for me.

After I graduated high school, everyone wanted to know what I was going to study in college. I didn’t know. So I just told everyone I’d be taking my general education requirements first and decide on a degree track later. Seemed like the wise thing to do instead of getting into a major I didn’t like and then needing to make a change to something else.

In the end, I chose psychology and counseling as a course of study. I didn’t know where that would ultimately take me later in life. All I knew at the time was that it matched up with my personality, my ability to listen and my desire to help people.

My chosen field of study didn’t lead me to a counseling career per se. After grad school, I ended up in education, first as a teacher and then as a principal at a small private school. While I wasn’t counseling in the strictness definition of the word, my education did prepare me in a lot of ways for things you face when dealing with families and kids. But was it the right choice?

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Personal Finance Items You Must Evaluate Once a Year

When was the last time you took inventory of your personal finances? It’s so easy to get things set in place and then just ignore them. Who really wants to continually review all the facets of personal finance anyway? It takes so much time.

personal financeWell, here is the thing – the pace of life is fast. Because of that, it’s easy to let things slip by. When it comes to money, you may be missing out on opportunities to improve on the things you have in place and save money in the process.

And the more you save, the more you can invest and consequently, grow your wealth.

Furthermore, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take as much time as you think to do a thorough review. It will be worth it compared to the consequences that might come should you miss something important.

The idea of taking inventory of your financial life is not new. King Solomon in the Bible was the wisest man who ever lived.  In the book of Proverbs he wrote this:

“Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.” (Prov. 27:23-24)

So, we cannot assume just because something was once a good deal, a smart investment or a solid financial goal that it will continue to be so. Our life circumstances change.  So we should be on the cutting edge of awareness about these matters.

With that being said, here are the five key areas of personal finance that my wife and I review at least once a year.

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Count the Cost: The Secret Step for Success at Anything (Luke 14:28)

count the costWould you like to have success at anything you do? Of course would. So would I. Nobody sets out with the intention to fail. However, many times we do fail and it’s often because we refused to count the cost ahead of time.

What do I mean by count the cost? Does that have something to do with money? Well, maybe but not necessarily.

Put simply, when you count the cost, you plan ahead. You take inventory of everything that needs to happen before you pursue a goal.

Now, you may not know every little detail that needs to be achieved in the process. But you can at least get a sense of all the big rocks that need to be accomplished in order for your endeavor to be successful.

This concept isn’t a new one. The term “count the cost” actually has its origins in the Bible. And Jesus used it with his disciples to prove a very important point about thinking and planning ahead.

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