Building up your savings isn’t easy. After all, a whopping 62% of Americans have under $1,000 in savings, found a GoBankingRates survey. And, only 14% have $10,000 or more. The author of this article suggests having $10,000 set aside in savings for major life events such as home improvement, losing a job, and or if you get into an accident. Understandably this amount seems daunting. There are nine steps to follow to build this amount: assess your spending, set reasonable goals, make a budget, track everything and pay with cash, pay yourself like a bill, open an inconvenient but high yield savings account, put any unexpected money into savings, don’t pay off that credit card debt, and reward yourself. For the sake of convenience, I encourage you to take the time to read this article, and instead I’ll share with you what I do. I follow a four step process which mirrors these steps. I’ll be glad to share it with you when you contact me. It’s important to build a budget because it will help you assess how much you’re spending, and allow you to set reasonable goals. Keep your receipts, and track it even if you have to write it down. I personally use a spreadsheet I’ve built over 5 years that helps me easily forecast where I will be up to 13 months from now. There is a process I follow where I not only pay myself like a bill and take advantage of a high yield savings account, but I also multiply my savings by turning myself into a bank. I highly recommend that whatever extra money you have you don’t spend but set aside. I did find the eighth step of not paying off the credit card interesting. The author writes: But many financial experts say that the strictly logical approach of paying off the credit card debt before saving money might backfire and that you should shoot for doing both simultaneously. Another approach is to pay off the high-interest credit card debt first and then put that minimum payment money toward your savings, said Gallegos. “When you pay off a credit card with a $50 monthly payment, increase your savings by that $50,” he said. It’s like you gave yourself a raise. The final step of rewarding yourself is essential, because you’re changing your behavior and learning that spending is easy and savings is hard. That’s why getting a reward every once in a while is important to keep you going, said R. Joseph Ritter Jr., CFP and founder of Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. If everything is going as planned, you should reward yourself every six months or so, he said. It’s challenging going from an instant gratification lifestyle to a seed time and harvest lifestyle. You’re not in this process alone, there are a few out there like you who are delaying present pleasure for a future reward. You’re letting your old self die in order to take up a new life. When you make this choice, I believe you will be blessed to become a blessing to someone else. At the end of the blog, I’ve included a YouTube link to an episode of Disney’s DuckTales in which Scrooge McDuck tells the story of how he came to America.
What would you do if your boss fired you overnight? With no more paychecks coming in, how would you pay the bills, put a roof over your head, and feed your family? I know what I would do: nothing. Because I have several bosses, including myself. When you have multiple income streams, losing one is not that big a deal. Often people will say that they can’t do more because of their full time jobs and other personal commitments, however the author suggests trying to build at least one additional stream of income. Some examples are: dividends from stocks, interest from the bank (preferably at least 1% interest), rental income from an investment property, freelance income, income from a room you rent from Airbnb or from renting your car on Turo, marketing your skills, a business you start on the side, etc. The author argues when it comes to investing you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, therefore by relying solely on employment income, you take that same risk. You open yourself up to the risk of losing everything through a lack of income diversification. If you lose your job, how will you pay for your living expenses? Having several income streams makes you much stronger in case of a layoff. The author even gives examples from her own life: rent from three tenants, renting a guest house via Airbnb, cooking for guests, trading forex, dividends, owning three personal finance sites, freelance writing, translation jobs, renting out my car and motorcycle, bank interest, and P2P lending. The author suggests that a person build passive streams of income, however the author explains that building passive income takes a lot of work and time to accomplish. However, with multiple streams of income you can slowly build your retirement fund. The author suggests spending much less than you earn and that can be done in two ways: by decreasing your expenses or increasing your income. The author gives an example of how to decrease your expenses, and I suggest you contact me to learn about how to create a budget. Instead of looking at how to decrease expenses, I’m going to use her brief example of increasing your income: But if you can find one client, willing to pay you $50 per week for a two hour lesson (what worked for me was tutoring, French classes and piano lessons. You can teach anything you are good at) or a freelance project, you have made another $200 this month. Find a couple more clients, and you are now making $500 more every month. If you’re interested in starting your own side business, then also feel free to contact me for suggestions. “Committed and persistent work pays off; get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.” Proverbs 28:20 MSG
The Internet is like an ocean, and what we as regular users see or access is just the surface. But just like the ocean, underneath the surface is a world invisible from the top. Our daily Internet-related activities like shopping online, using e-mail or Facebook, searching things on Google comprises what can be termed as the “Visible Web” or “Surface Web.” This portion of the web is usually calculated using the estimates provided by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo based on the “number of pages indexed.” According to an estimate, “the indexed web contains at least 4.56 billion pages (as of May 30, 2016).” While this number may appear huge, remember that the life below the ocean’s surface is enormous and so is the Deep Web. With the advent of the Internet, there’s become a space of human creation where both good and evil exist. There is both a physical (surface) and a spiritual (deep) world. Life is more than what we can see, and faith is having trust in what can’t be seen. The deep web is the world underneath our surface internet, and it isn’t accessible by conventional search engines. The deep web itself contains an even greater amount of information than on the surface web. The dark web is often confused with the deep web. However, to be more accurate, the dark web is the deepest part of the deep web. The Dark Web is like a subset of the Deep Web, or perhaps the deepest layer of the web ocean and includes encrypted sites, as well as marketplaces for illicit activities and products including weapons, drugs and illegal trafficking. The Dark Web reflects the “darker” side of the society, and is accessible via special software’s or browsers lsuch TOR (The Onion Router) or I2P (Invisible Internet Project), which have “masked” IP addresses, making them untraceable. It is in this place where evil does exist, and identity thieves will more than likely trade your stolen identity as a form of currency. In this digital age it is important to ensure you have proper identity theft protection. I’m not talking about credit monitoring, rather a service that monitors your e-mail address, passport, medical id number, social security number, and at the same time has the ability to restore your identity back to before your identity was stolen. If you’re interested in having this type of identity theft protection. Feel free to contact me in the contact me section. While technology is a boon, examples like the Silk Road remind us of the darker side of technology. In nutshell, it cannot be concluded that the Deep Web is all Dark; the Dark Web is a small although ugly part of the Deep Web.
Below is the link to Scrooge McDuck’s idea of Work Smarter, Not Harder
If you need agreement in prayer, or if you’re in need of a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.
“But those who want the best for me, Let them have the last word—a glad shout!— and say, over and over and over, ” GOD is great—everything works together for good for his servant.” I’ll tell the world how great and good you are, I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.”
Psalm 35:27-28 MSG