4 Things Rich Dad, Poor Dad Can Teach You About Long-Term Money Matters (For Grads and Beyond)

Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been a decades-long best-seller for a reason. But despite recent and emerging graduates having not really heard too much about the book (especially given that the zenith of its popularity was easily over fifteen years ago), there’s still a huge load of lessons in there that help massively when it comes to money matters. Furthermore is that, given the book’s focus on long-term financial security, the lessons that spill over into today’s graduate financial world are just as pertinent as they were when Kiyosaki originally sat down to pen his smash-hit debut.

Here we take a look at four key things this book can teach you, saving you the time and expense of picking up a copy and having a read-through yourself.

Don’t Work: The Rich Don’t, Nor Should You

Fear and desire. Those are the two main feelings that stop most people from becoming wealthy. The fear of not paying bills on time or losing your savings, coupled with the desire of spending what you could save on things that won’t accrue in value. The first lesson from the book is to seek to understand these mechanisms and then hold back on letting them control you. Focus instead on things that will bring in a residual income over time, even when you don’t work.

Get to Grips with Financial Matters

Don’t bury your head in the sand and turn away from financial matters nor let yourself become intimidated by jargon and buzz-words. Seek to understand finance and educate yourself as much as you can in the ways of financial literacy.

The key terms can be picked up pretty easily, it might even be worth doing a short online course using a MOOC (free learning materials from Universities) so that you understand the nuances more broadly. Income and expenses are straightforward enough, but things might become more complicated in respect to bonds, investments, trading strategy and stocks.

To become wealthy you focus on your assets and investments and not on increasing your income.

Eyes on Your Own Business

Another key lesson to come out of Kiyosaki’s book is the notion of what he calls “Mind Your Own Business”, which is the realignment of your focus on your assets and your own finances at large. For graduates looking for more actionable advice on how to do this, the general rule of thumb is to look to keep your expenses as low as you can while building a base of solid assets (property, stocks, bonds and other investments).

The Invention of Money

Wealth creation isn’t all about focus and study, it’s also about confidence and grit too. As Rich Dad, Poor Dad points out, a lot of the limiting factors causing money concerns for people come from the notion of self-doubt. If you have faith in yourself and invest money outside of the areas that feel most comfortable to you then you stand to make larger gains. Places where relative risk is at stake are sometimes worth investigating.

3 Alternatives to Gaining a University Education

Have you applied to university but are having second thoughts?

With years of hard graft, thousands of pounds of debt and the struggle to find employment after graduation ahead of you, it’s only natural that you’re having some serious doubts.

That’s before we’ve mentioned the seemingly endless hours spent in stuffy lecture theatres and dealing with classmates who’re more annoying than a pneumatic drill outside your window at 6am.

But university isn’t the be-all and end-all.

Interestingly, more than 238,000 young folk in the UK opted out of further education in 2013, which means it’s more important than ever to know what’s on offer away from campus life.

Indeed, dropout rates at uni are as high as almost one in four, revealing the academic route clearly isn’t for everyone – but what are the alternatives and how can you get involved?

Read on to find out …

Turn Your Hand to a Trade

Traditionally, working class families would expect their son to leave school and head straight into the world of work by way of a trade. These days, however, attitudes have changed – and that’s led to a dearth of qualified tradesmen in the construction sector.

As a result, whether it’s a career as a plumber, joiner or bricklayer, or perhaps a job the electrical industry as a green deal installer, you’ll enjoy unrivalled vocational satisfaction and a decent salary to boot.

Gain a Head for Numbers

It’s natural to think that a career as an accountant would require a fancy university degree – but many accountancy firms actually offer plenty of opportunities for school leavers boasting the appropriate grades.

Although it’ll require several years of training on the job, as well as day release courses to reinforce your practical knowledge with theory, becoming a qualified Accounting Technician is the first step to becoming a Chartered Accountant – and that’s where the big bucks are.

Jump into Retail

Opting for a career in retail needn’t mean a life of toil and boredom for scant reward, as there’s plenty of scope for an ambitious and keen young buck like yourself to make their mark with some of the biggest firms in the world.

In fact, the larger retail organisations offer management training schemes, allowing you to gain on the job training while preparing you for a future role at the top. From there, the options are endless – and, who knows, we may even find you as Chief Executive of Virgin one day …

Now it’s your turn …

Do you have any advice for those looking for a career without heading off to university? Please let us know by leaving a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.

What To Do If You Don’t Have An Emergency Fund

What to do when you don't have an emergency fundHaving an emergency fund is extremely important in life, and it is something that I always highly recommend a person have.

However, that is not always the case for some people, and recommending that someone have an emergency fund once they need it does not help them at all.

While now is better than never to build one, there are ways to pay off unexpected expenses in case they do come up.

Below are different ways to pay off an unexpected or a large expense when you do not have an emergency fund to help you out.

Cut your budget.

The first thing you should do is see if you can cut your budget enough in order to save up the money you need to pay off the expense that you have.

The timeframe you have to pay off the expense plays a big factor in this, as cutting your budget may take weeks or months to save up enough money for the expense that you are trying to pay for.

Work towards making side money.

If you don’t have enough time to save money from cutting your budget, or your budget is already as low as you can realistically get it, then you should look into making extra money.

You may need to get a part-time job, add hours onto your full-time job’s work schedule (try to get overtime if you are allowed it), do errands and chores for others, and more.

I’m sure there are plenty of things you can do in order to make extra money.

Get a loan.

Lastly, in the end, a loan may be needed. If your expense is due to be paid very quickly, then you may need to get a loan. Places such as Check ‘n Go can help you get over a tough part in your life, but remember to pay off your loan quickly as to avoid any unnecessary and added fees or interest charges.

The two points above (cutting your budget and working towards side money) can be used here as well, in order to pay off your loan as quickly as possible.

This is something that I highly recommend you do if you do need to take out a loan in order to pay for a large, unexpected expense.

Do you have an emergency fund? Why or why not?

 

How to Maximise Savings as a Home-owner: Preparing for a Sudden Decline in the Real Estate Market

According to financial power house nationwide, the London property market is starting to decline as part of ‘the natural process of correction’. It is a well-known fact that property prices have reached unmanageable levels in London, forcing demand to fall away and prices to tumble as a result. Given that London offers sets the trend for other regions to follow, this is likely to become a nationwide issue in the months ahead. For home and flat owners in the UK, this means that there is a pressing need to adopt a frugal approach to spending and create a financial safety net should their home lose value.

How to Change your Attitude to Money as a Home-owner

With this in mind, what practical steps can you take to change your philosophy and prioritize financial savings as a home-owners? Consider the following: –

1. Develop a Clear Understanding of your Financial Circumstances

For apartment owners who may have additional debts, a vast amount outstanding on their mortgage or negative equity, the potential housing crisis in causing considerable concern. In order to be fully prepared, however, it is important that you develop a clear understanding of your financial circumstances and adopt a proactive approach when looking to make firm future plans. While this requires a certain amount of courage, this arduous process can help you to cope with financial crisis and any issues that envelop the real estate market in Britain.

2. Become a Stickler for Detail

When it comes to making financial decisions, even the smallest details can have a considerable impact.

It is therefore your duty to adopt a more considered approach to your personal finances, and ensure that each decision is taken with a broad scope of information in mind. In terms of savings, your first step should be to evaluate the best national banks, and compare the types of account and individual interest rates that they offer. Home and apartment owners can also strive to minimize property insurance costs, by partnering with a forward thinking and flexible provider such as Internet Insurance Services Ltd and looking to combine products within a single, customized policy.

3. Adopt a Long Term Savings Outlook

Technological advancement has ensured that everyday tasks and activities can be performed quicker than ever, and while this has been largely beneficial it has also created an element of impatience among young adults. Such a short term outlook is not suited to cultivating savings, however, as it is necessary for you to consider your future while establishing a genuine motivation to retain as much of your hard earned capital as possible. This is especially true for property owners, as real estate investment represents a long-term commitment that may only deliver a return when the time comes to execute a sale. Keep this in mind at all times, and always execute decisions with your long-term future in mind.

 

Understanding the Help to Buy Scheme

In 2013 the Government introduced the Help to Buy Scheme to allow people to get a foot on the housing ladder. Following the sub prime scandal of 2008, lenders tightened up the market and prospective house buyers had to save 25% deposits if they wished to obtain a mortgage.

Why was the Help to Buy Scheme introduced

A deposit of 25% of the value of most houses is beyond the reach of the average mortgage applicant. Even if home buyers can afford the monthly mortgage repayments, they’d still find it prohibitive to raise the funds for a deposit. If you click here you’ll be able to find out more about Help to Buy, but here are a few pointers for you to bear in mind.

A scheme of two parts

The scheme is made up of two parts, the mortgage guarantee scheme where anyone applying for a mortgage will only have to find 5% of the purchase price as a deposit.

The second part of the scheme is known as the equity loan scheme and applies to newly built property. Again, borrowers will still only have to provide 5% of the house purchase price as a deposit. Anyone who is thinking of applying to the scheme should go to the Money Advice Service and carry out some basic sums to see if they can afford a mortgage, once they’ve managed to raise the essential 5% deposit.

Equity Loans

The easiest way to understand the equity loan scheme is to go onto the UK government website and have a look at some of their eligibility examples. The equity loan is targeted to help the construction industry as well as buyers, as it’s been designed to help those who want to buy this type of home. If approved, you’ll be able to call upon the government for a 20% loan towards the property price, but this loan is only free of interest for 5 years. There is a £600,000 cap on the house price, which is great, if you live outside London. These loans must be paid back after 25 years.

Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

This aspect of the Help to Buy scheme covers older properties as well as new builds. It’s important to remember that the guarantee covers your lender, so if your personal circumstances should change during the life of the loan, you can’t expect any additional help from the government. The £600,000 house price cap also applies.

In order to apply for the scheme you’ll have to apply for a mortgage in the normal way and then you’ll have to inform any prospective lender that you wish to take advantage of the scheme.

Read the small print

In theory and in practice, the Help to Buy Scheme will help those who could never dream of saving 25% of the purchase price as a deposit. You must remember that when you sell your home you will have to repay the loan. If you have an equity loan, you will be liable for interest of 1.75% per annum as well as an additional 1% a year.

The mortgage guarantee scheme is only applicable for repayment mortgages. In other words, if you can prove that you are solvent and command a regular income, you may be eligible for the Help to Buy Scheme.

 

Mortgage Advice For Newbies

If you have never bought a home before, then you may have several questions about the home buying process. It can be a scary process if you don’t know what’s going on, and there are so many things that you may be confused about.

Here is my advice for mortgage newbies.

Mortgage Advice For NewbiesGet pre-approved for a certain amount before you start looking at homes.

Have you received your pre-approval letter yet? You should get this before you start looking for a home.

You don’t want to spend days, weeks, months looking for the perfect home only to find that it is not within your budget because you can’t get pre-approved for an expensive home.

Stick to your budget.

Do you know what your budget for your home will be? No, the pre-approved amount does not have to be your budget number.

Usually you are approved for a much higher number, so you always want to create a more realistic budget for yourself so that you do not go house poor. If you are wondering more about this, then you may want to contact a company like First Mortgage to help you out.

Know what you want.

It can be easy to start looking at homes and falling in love with several different things. However, you should try to make a list of what you are looking for in a home before you actually start looking at them.

Do you want a three bedroom home? How many bathrooms do you want? Are you looking for a backyard or do you want a high-rise building to live in? Will you have a dog living with you? How big of a kitchen do you desire?

There are so many questions to ask yourself. Knowing what you want can help you narrow down your options.

Always get a home inspection.

I have heard a few horror stories where new homeowners skip the home inspection so that they can save a few hundred dollars. This is a huge mistake!

You are probably already taking on the largest investment in your life, shouldn’t you protect it and see if anything is wrong with it? You never know if you may find out that your home has many problems. A good home inspection can potentially save you thousands and thousands of dollars.

What advice do you have for someone in the home-buying process?

 

How To Manage Your Money Better In 2014

The new year brings with it a sense of renewal and energy, as people right across America return to working life after the holidays. Among the most common resolutions for the twelve months ahead will be managing money more effectively.

So many ordinary people nationwide are seizing control of their finances, with a view to better structuring their income and outgoings to deliver a more prosperous 2014. Managing your money more effectively in 2014 can leave you with more disposable income, less debt, and an all-round stronger financial position. But what tips should you follow to keep your finances in check this year?

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The first thing you should do ahead of trying to manage your money in 2014 is to think about your current circumstances. Many people don’t have a written budget, instead choosing to run their finances mentally.

As Mark Weinberger CEO, or any other business leader would testify, this is a recipe for disaster. If this sounds like you, you are already missing out on the potential to tighten things up, and you need to quickly adjust your approach in order to cut out wasteful expenditure and feel better off immediately. Write down all of your essential expenditure, and work out how much disposable income you have left for other things. The more tightly you control your spending in this way, the more opportunities you will discover for savings to be made.

If you hold credit card debt, you can take advantage of the turn in the year to secure better terms on that debt. Many credit card providers offer 0% balance transfers, particularly at the start of the year, for borrowers looking for a better deal on their current credit.

Rather than paying the current hefty double-digit interest rate on your credit card, shifting your balance to a promotional rate card can help save you money. This means more money in your pocket, or clear daylight for you to start paying down the capital. Either is a tremendous advantage, particularly for those with large credit card borrowings, and this can be used to achieve better financial results through the new year.

Any debt you do have should be paid down as quickly as possible, in order to give your finances a better chance in 2014. Start with the most expensive first, and pay as much of your disposable income as you can afford to reduce this amount.

This will reduce the overall interest costs you pay, while reducing your monthly repayment burden into the future. This will enable you to start planning more effectively for the new year and beyond, with a more robust personal balance sheet than before.

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Managing your money effectively is a staple of maximising your earnings potential. For as long as there are gaps in the management of your finances, you stand to miss out on the optimum balance of your income and expenditure, leaving you with less money than you deserve.

Instead, by deploying these strategies within your current financial set up, it can be possible for you to manage your expenditure better, while ensuring you get the full advantage from the income you receive.

Exploring the pros and cons of selling your structured settlements off

Selling your structured settlement can be a very tricky affair since it entails a lot of permutations and combinations. You need to be absolutely certain regarding the timing as well the party to whom you are selling your settlements to. Often there were cases where people were literally robbed off their settlements because they fell in the hands of wrong company. Therefore, you would need to make yourself fully aware of all the pros and cons which are associated in selling your structured settlements off. There can be a number of reasons for selling your structured settlements; however you should decide whether or not the decision to sell is right for you.

The Pros

You can greatly benefit if you can sell your structured payment in a lump sum. The following are some of the situations listed below which will give you an overview of the process.

If there is an emergency and you simply cannot wait to receive segmented payments over a period of time, then the option of lump sum payment will suit you to the core.

If you want to buy your dream house and you know beforehand that you would require a lot of money then you should go with the option of lump sum payment. There are times when you might have discussed your financial situation with an advisor and both of you found that investing in lump sum will return will bigger dividends rather than dividing it over several months. Whenever you feel that there is a chance for you to get good returns then you should consult with your financial advisor and take action accordingly.

If you are aged and you feel that you are just too old to enjoy the benefits of your structured settlements, you can very easily secure your family so that they can reap its benefits after you pass away.

The Cons

Just like the number of pros associated in selling your structured settlements, there are also a number of cons involved, so one need to be very careful in selling their structured settlements. When you sell your structured settlements, one thing is certain and that is you will receive less money than you actually would if you have kept it to yourself.

If you are a person who is not very good in managing large amounts of money, then selling your settlements might not be a good option for you.

If you have an addiction for gambling, drugs or alcohol, then selling your structured settlement can be a very risky affair.

So, whenever you feel the need of selling your structured settlements, don’t just rush through it, do a lot of research from your own end and also take the help of a financial advisor so that you are completely sure about what to expect after you sell those settlements. The above mentioned steps will greatly help you in gauging your financial situation and take the necessary steps.

Smart Christmas shopping

People go mad when it comes to Christmas – panic buying gifts nobody wants and spending too much money. Christmas is supposed to be a lovely, festive occasions and not a strain on your finances. This year, save money and give great gifts with our smart money-saving ideas.

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Tips When in Las Vegas

Vegas is a lot of fun. I have gone a few times with my friends, and I’m preparing for my next trip there in a few months. Surprisingly, Las Vegas is a pretty frugal city if you want it to be. There many ways to go to Vegas and not blow your budget. In fact, last time we went, we saved so much money that we were just laughing about it the whole time.

Try the sandwich trick.

Do you want a view of the Strip from your hotel room? Sometimes you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars over the length of your stay to get that awesome view. Sometimes you can just go to the check in desk and slip a $20 bill between your license and your credit card. The worst thing that can happen is that the person says no and returns your $20. I have heard of this working for many people. Winning at the sandwich trick can feel just as great as winning at www.888.com/roulette.

Book last minute.

If you wait to book your Las Vegas trip at the last second, you have the possibility of saving a lot of cash. Sometimes airfare is significantly cheaper to Vegas, and there are almost always cheap hotel rooms there.

Find promoters.

There are club and bar promoters all over. They need people to go to THEIR club, and most likely can give a lot of good deals. We are always able to get free tables, free drinks, free entry and so on.

Pre-game in your hotel room.

If you do have to pay for drinks, then try to pre-game in your room beforehand. Drinks on the Strip can be something such as $18 for a very small drink, and at that price your fun night just turned super expensive.

When you travel matters.

Weekdays are least expensive. There are also less people, and honestly, I love Las Vegas during the week. It is much more enjoyable to me.

Also, July and August when Las Vegas is scorching hot can be a good time to travel, as you can find many cheap deals on flights and hotel rooms. December is also cheap because it can get cold in Las Vegas in the winter months.

How do you try to save money when in Las Vegas?