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Category Archives: Personal Finance


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5 Movies and 3 budgeting tips that will rock this Christmas

Christmas is the best time for movies and the celebrations are not done, till you, your cousins, your friends and nearly every hooligan you know,sit down to watch the coolest of movies in the chilly night!
I will try to give in the names of new releases for this year. So anyone searching for vintage classics won’t find it here. Pardon me for that.

These are the movies to watch this Christmas:
Number 1: Murder on the Orient Express:
Nothing gets better when it comes to a mysterious night on Christmas.
And that’s exactly what Agatha Christie talks through her novels.
Director and actor Kenneth Branagh brings the showdown with his newly released work “The Murder on the Orient Express”.
I won’t talk about how the movie opens up, or how it progresses. All I can say is the movie surely gives a call to its audience, and makes it worth a second watch!
Johnny Depp played the role of Senneth Ratchett, the businessman who gets murdered on board!
Branagh plays Hercule Poirot himself, and Penelope Cruz is the melancholic missionary Pilar Estravados.
It will surely make your Christmas as the movie’s all snow, cold and dark!

Number 2: Jumanji- Welcome to the JunGLe!
We can never forget the Robin Williams starrer Jumanji, that released back in 2004. Hell that was some movie man!
But there’s nothing to worry, we have Dwayne Johnson a.k.a ROCK in this movie.
“ A Game For Those, Who Seek To Find, The Way To Leave Their World Behind!”
Can any caption give you such a good feeling? Like escape from Reality?? (Except Harry Potter I mean)!!!
So gear up fellas, it’s just going to make your day as the film gets released on December 20th!
Grab your tickets and get into action!

Number 3: DUNKIRK.
Guess two names will be enough, Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy!
Even though this released way back in the mid of 2017, on 13th July, you can still watch it this Christmas.
The show will get even better, if you can get someone along with you, who has not watched it yet!
Critics have seriously stated that this is Christopher Nolan’s best film till date and probably the best war movie ever made.
To be practical what else can we expect from the creator of such masterpieces like The Prestige, Inception, Interstellar and the Batman??
So watch it again, and suggest it to your other friends too!

Number 4: HangMan.
Al Pacino is back with the new crime thriller film, that is expected to rock the film garden this year!
Nothing ever gets bad or wrong with this Pacino guy! He is the Man, and he comes with HangMan!
The movie plot is intriguing as the murders are based on the children game Hangman!
Even though the movie seems a bit complex, but the fingers are crossed, and let’s see how Pacino’s going to play it!

Number 5: COCO.
The most highly rated animation movie of this year.
COCO has already received high critical acclaim, and as of december 11, 2017, COCO has grossed $136.8 million in the United states and Canada.
The film has been praised for its graphics and visuals, and is said to be a treat for the eye!
You seriously don’t want your kids to miss it!
The film revolves around a small girl named COCO who wants to take up music as her life, but her family is no music at all!
See what happens as a Gig is about start and dead skeletons are coming for a visit from the Land Of The Dead!

Movies are fun, and Christmas celebration is the biggest priority!
But at the end of the day we must also keep a look at our pockets, so that celebration blasts don’t burn holes in them!
Along with good movies, friends, drinks and foods you must also be able to hold your finances steady!

Here are 3 budgeting tips for Christmas:
Don’t let the moment’s magic take control over you.
People are careless about money when it comes to festivals! But you should know how much you can spend.
Set up a budget now itself.
Make a list of all the possible expenses you are about to make, including the movie tickets and all!
Now add a few more bucks on top of your budget for emergency cash and happy spending!
This is the only decent idea I can come up with!

Sell unwanted items that you haven’t used for this year.
This is a great way to add some extra cash that can definitely buy you a few cocktails at a nightclub.
Old furniture? Sell it.
Old clothes? Sell it.
Old gadgets? Sell it.
Anything old and you don’t use, sell it!
Actually make it a habit to sell unwanted items every year in Christmas, and clean your house to make room for the new!

Make a savings plan for each Christmas:
This is my top notch suggestion for you!
If you really want your Christmas to be a grande party every year, then plan to do savings!
Open up an account and stash away an amount each month, and see it grow.
Voila! After 12 months, you are all set for a killer bumpy ride!
I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New year!
Do watch the movies and comment your views.
Also try to budget out your Christmas the coolest way with the budgeting tips I gave.

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Save money without making any frugal plan

What you’ll think if I told you that you can save dollars without doing anything or without making any frugal plan? I guess you will be shocked or assume that I’m just kidding?

When you fall in debt, it’s hard to get rid of it. So, it’s better if you can save enough money to pay off your debts easily.

It was easy to learn about the conventional ways to save money by reading tutorials, or by following online videos, TV shows, or from Ebooks. But how about saving money without doing nothing, is there any way?

After a lot of research and discussion with my friends, I have found few ways to save dollars doing nothing or without any frugal plan. Let’s check them out guys.

  1. Quit drinking and smoking

Everybody should hate drinking and smoking. Actually it is ridiculous spending $120 on liquor or cigarettes. They actually have zero health benefits. Additionally, the cost of alcohol or cigarettes is high. There’s no meaning of converting your hard earned money into ashes.

Healthwise, both nicotine and alcohol can make you sick. Cigarettes causes lung cancer and alcohol may damage your liver.

The average cost of cigarettes are between $6 and $8. Expensive ones cost around $12.85. Recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York announced that the cost of cigarettes will be increased to $13 from $10, each pack. So, if you are a chain smoker, then your total monthly expense will be sky high. Check out the price of cigarettes state-by-state and compare the prices. It’s better just quit smoking…you know.

  1. Say “No” to drugs

Never trust a person who is into drugs; even in vacations. Drugs have dragged too many people into living hell. Drugs not only affect your health and finances, but also demolished your family life. You’ll become isolated from your family, friends, even from society.

The drug is an addiction. Stay away from people who used to have recreational drugs. Selling and buying drugs is an illegal offence. So, avoid drugs at any cost.

  1. Stop pinning

We, humans are selfish, greedy and unsatisfied in every aspect. They pine for costly things which they don’t even require. People want fast cars, want to watch latest movies, want to wear the trendiest fashion, use the latest sound system, play latest video games, etc. What we fail to understand that these are only waste of money, nothing more.

If you want to save money, then stop pining for the greatest things. You can buy a good conditioned used car, a second hand music system may also give you the same experience. You can play free online video games. You can read free eBooks. You can watch latest movies later online, totally free. It’s that easy.

  1. Avoid junk foods

Don’t forget one thing, the more you eat, the more you pay. Junk foods not only make you fatter, but also drain your savings. It is tough to ignore delicious burgers, pizzas, french fries, ice cream, cookies, and hot dogs. But you must draw a line.

Start avoiding junk foods for a month. You’ll be surprised that your body and wallet, both will become healthy..

Conclusion

Drive safely and obey traffic rules. It will help you to save a good amount on auto insurance premiums. The lower your premium, the lower will be your car maintenance cost. Accidents not only can ruin your life, but it can cause fatal damage to someone else.

The one BIG problem with your 401k

Great guest post from William Cain over at www.adultingmoney.com

With the popularity of the 401k growing across America, more people than ever are jumping on the compounding interest, employer match bandwagon. And who wouldn’t! Your employer is giving you “free money.” If you’re not currently signed up then stop reading this and sign up now! It’s one of the best retirement vehicles on the market today.

Most employers draft it from your paycheck (pay yourself first!), and you can also select a Roth option if available. Most experts recommend contributing at least 15% of your income to ensure you’ll have a comfortable and adequate retirement. But who really wants comfortable and adequate??? Not me, and definitely not my fiance’s shoe closet.

So let’s say you up it to 15% of your $85,000/year household income and your employer matches 5%. Nice, up to 20%! Bring on that McMansion.

We’ll also assume it returns a 7% interest rate per year on average. How are we looking 35 years from now when we have to retire???

$2,450,000.

Boom…

So we’re going to be totally “multi” millionaires and burn $100 bills to light our $200 cigars with our $300 bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.

Not so fast. Here are some things to think about.

First, the money you contributed was pre-tax, which means once you take it out the government will want to collect on it AND the profits. Stupid taxes. The amount depends on which tax bracket it puts you in when you decide to withdraw. While we don’t know the tax climate 35 years from now, let’s say 15%.

$2,450,000 x .15% = $2,085,500. Still ok right?

But wait, there’s more!

Here’s the secret retirement killer, that hits everyone just the same regardless of how smart or dumb you were with your money.

INFLATION

It’s a scary word.

Using an excellent future inflation calculator
we can guestimate how much our remaining retirement monies will be worth in today’s dollars when we retire.

In this example, accounting for a 3%/year inflation rate, in today’s dollars, it leaves us with the same spending power as $741,000…

Ouch.

At age 65 this is the same monthly purchasing power as $5,638 and at 85 it’s $3,122.

Sure, hopefully, we’ve had our house paid off, rarely get new cars, and settle down into watching TV 8 hours a day. However, some people’s expenses actually increase once they retire. They now have the time to travel, play golf or a massage every week. What about medical bills? You know they’re coming, it just depends on how big they’re going to be. The average retired couple spends approximately $250,000 during retirement just on premiums! Are you helping your grandchildren through college? Helping your adult children through, well, adulting. There are so many factors and possibilities being supported on an ever-dwindling income.

So let’s reverse engineer it. Let’s figure out the kind of life we want in retirement, the things that are important to us, that we think may be important to us, and create a buffer the unexpected.

Next, let’s find out how much is it going to take to have the life we want in 2052 using our future inflation calculator.

Lastly, using simple 401k calculator lets see how much we really need to be contributing to hit our goals.

This isn’t meant to scare anyone or show unattainable goals and savings, but rather to shed light on how our retirement could truly shape up to be. The worst thing possible is to get to retirement only to realize it’s not the life you thought you had created, and it’s better to start working on a plan now to prepare then later.

This also highlights the need for additional passive sources of income among other well thought out investment strategies.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article and I’m always open to learning about topics that are of interest to you! Please send me an email, pigeon, or hit me up on the blog in the comments section.

As always, happy adulting out there!

6 Common Financial Mistakes

Here we will take a look at some of the most common financial mistakes that the majority of people make. You might say, this doesn’t apply to me. Are you being truthful with yourself? My gut tells me you are in denial if you believe you don’t have some sort of financial problem.

1) Frivolous and Excessive Spending
Many people assume that their day to day spending is in control. What is the big deal about the $4 coffee or the $9 lunch? These are normal, right? Wrong. Small purchases add up quickly. The frivolous $15 spent per day is huge when measured on an annualized or compounded basis. $15 x 365 = $5,475. If this $15 per day was invested over 40 years at 8% interest, the balance equates to $1,592,772. Frivolous spending is debilitating. Get your act together. This is low hanging fruit. Be disciplined.

2) Never-Ending Payments
How can anyone gain considerable wealth by staying on the payment plan? Whoever invented lifelong payment plans is a genius. People assume it is natural to have 15 reoccurring payments each month. Anything subscription taking away money from me each month does not feel natural. I am sure you could eliminate half of the plans without much pain.

To name a few:

  • Netflix subscription
  • Cable TV
  • Gym membership that you use 2x per month
  • Fancy cell phone plan

3) Living on Credit Cards
For households that carry credit card debt, it costs them about $1,300 a year in interest. Today, the average household with credit card debt has balances totaling $16,748. Only 52% of credit card owners pay their credit card in full each month. Living on borrowed money will only cause heartache. I have seen too many close friends or family give away their freedom to this kind of behavior. Don’t be another statistic. You will never generate wealth by living on borrowed money.

Never fall behind on your credit card payments. Always pay your balance in full. The U.S.News and World Report explains that 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. Another 30% is based on amounts owed. Don’t ruin your life by having an unpaid credit card balance. There’s a reason why credit card companies offer huge promotions for new card holders. They count on you carrying high balances. It just means more revenue for the credit card companies.

4) Buying a New Car
New cars depreciate very quickly. Payment plans are debilitating. Don’t get more than what you need. The economic, older car will still get you to your destination. What is the purpose of a vehicle? To get you to the destination. Nothing more, nothing less. So why get the big, expensive SUV with all of the bells and whistles? You are not impressing anyone. The seat is not that much more comfortable. If you can’t pay for the car with cash, you probably can’t afford it. Being able to afford the payment is not the same thing as being able to afford the car.

I feel bad for people when they buy a new car. They post a picture on Facebook and everyone “Likes” their new purchase and congratulates them. Why congratulate someone for signing up for another payment plan? Please, don’t encourage the wrong behavior. Instead, I wish more people would recognize payment plans as a form of bondage. Payment plans are miserable. Payment plans are not your friend. They take all your money each month and charge you interest. Doesn’t sound very friendly to me.

5) Spending Too Much on Your House
Housing is the number one expense for most households. Owning a big, fancy house just means a big, fancy payment plan. Mrs. H and I have chosen to live in a modest condo that is completely paid off. It feels wonderful to not be on the payment plan. We could sell our four paid off condos and purchase a very nice house. Instead, we choose to live in a condo and generate rental income on the other 3 condos. There is always an opportunity cost. People justify buying a huge house as an investment. Over the long run, owning a house appreciates at the same rate as inflation. Instead, I consider a house a liability. It takes money away from your monthly income. Anything that negatively impacts your income is a liability in my book. Minimize your liabilities.

Never refinance your house. Refinancing and taking cash out is a bad strategy. This will reduce your net worth and increase your monthly payments. Also, it will cost thousands of dollars in interest and fees.

6) Living Paycheck to Paycheck
This is a miserable way to live. Just think about it, constantly living in fear of not being able to pay your bills. Always one paycheck from being evicted from your home is a terrible way to live. If you believe it is impossible to save money, you are in denial. There are ways. Get creative. Make sacrifices. Avoid eating out. Stop buying the $0.99 soda on your way home from work. This all adds up.

Here is irony: when you get a 20% raise, you still somehow find yourself living paycheck to paycheck. Living paycheck to paycheck is less dependent on your income and more dependent on your choices. There are many low-income earners that are never living paycheck to paycheck. In contrast, there are many high-income earners constantly on the brink of financial ruin. Don’t make excuses. Life is expensive. It always has been and always will be. Just change the way you choose to live.

Bottom Line
You might say that your scenario is unique and there is no way to get out of the rut you are in. I would say that it is possible to get out of your imaginary long term out. Imagine you and I could have a personal conversation. Within 5 minutes we could come up with 5 relatively simple strategies that could be implemented immediately. You can change your circumstances but you must first Believe it is possible. The work every day to make your dream a reality. Life isn’t meant to be dictated by uncontrolled finances. Money is a tool to gain freedom, not lose freedom.

Contributed by Mr. Hammocker

B012PS - WK25 - What you should do and what you don't while having a debt-management services part 2

What you should do and what you don’t while having a debt-management services 2

What you should do and what you don’t while having a debt-management services 2

 

Hi folks… Hope you are enjoying my posts, this is the continuation of the last post. If there is any modification required, regarding my information or my writing, please don’t hesitate to post your suggestions.

Now it is the perfect time to show what you must prevent while looking for a debt management.

Don’ts :

  • Avoid selecting a profit based debt-management company - There are several agencies which will guide the consumers about debt management process. They may offer you budgeting guidance and promise you for saving a huge amount from your dues. They will assure you to negotiate with the lenders to get lower interest rates and monthly installments. It is best to search for an agency which is a non-profitable firm and help you instead asking for more money. Consult your credit counselor whether  he is getting any commission for making the deal with the debt management company. If he does, search for a new one.
  • Don’t trust before judging – You can stop your debts easily by stop paying at the charge- off point in your credit-card bills. Creditors may get agree to give you a good discount while settling your debts.. Non-profit debt-management agencies don’t offer this kind of deals. Nevermind, you can  find different debt-settlement companies which will negotiate with you with such deals, absolutely free. They will also ensure the best possible settlement option is available to you, and you’ll be out of your debts as soon as possible.
  • Do not sign any document before reading  – Don’t sign legal documents without verifying it fully. Your lender or creditor may have added an extra point which might not be as beneficial for you. It might affect on your financial life badly. Hidden clauses in it may put you in a deep financial hardships which can not be revert back. So, it is better to keep your eyes open all the time.
  • Don’t disclose financial information during a call – Your creditor may call you, all of a sudden regarding medical bill, credit card dues or a mortgage installments. If you are ready to deal with your creditor, you must not be stressed by the call. The creditor has no rights to know your banking details or request you for automatic payment.
  • Don’t rush for mistakes – Each…and every time make payments on scheduled dates. Don’t hesitate to pay in advances, keep records of your payments. List up the dates for payment and always try to make payments before time.

 

 

B011PS - WK25 - What you should do and what you don't while having a debt-management service part 1

What you should do and what you don’t while having a debt-management services 1

What you should do and what you don’t while having a debt-management services 1

 

Hi there..!! How are you guys? Are you enjoying my posts here, plz plz tell me anytime. Just comment your questions, suggestion as soon as possible…I will be waiting for your feedback.

Your current debt burden can anytime rise up, without any intimation. It can be happened because of your unnatural financial behaviors. However, there are few ace debt-management professionals who can save you from severe debt problems. But unfortunately, at present there are some people also who will try to con you in the name of debt-management. If you check the federal records, you’ll find more or less 255 cases where several poor people were the victims of fraud by these debt-relief providers. The FTC along with the state enforcement revealed a data about those debt management companies, abusing people who are already knee deep in debts.

So, let’s check all the Do’s and Don’ts you should have keep in mind while opting a debt-management service :

Do’s :

  • Make upfront payment – The lenders will be thinking about at least 50% from you as up front of your total loan. But never mind, you can negotiate with that totally. You can find many lenders who will initiate the negotiation process only after having a good amount as an advance payment from your end.
  • Face an attorney – Many creditors have hired representatives for managing their debt related issues. So, it may be possible that you’ll also have to face an attorney hired by your lenders or creditors, who will negotiate with you regarding debts on behalf of the credito. But don’t worry, unless your debt amount reaches sky-high, normally you don’t have to encounter a lawyer frequently.
  • Pay your credit through money order – You are revealing your financial identity with your creditors every time you pay or make adjustments on the payment structure. The creditor can get your financial details & other bank related information from your payment details. But there is something fishy that you are not noticing. If you are getting sued, it will be easy to grab your funds through the details the creditor has. So, make sure you use other payment ways like  money order to pay your debts in future.
  • Demand “fully paid” certificate – Creditors will generally agrees for settlement regarding your debts if they get something special. That means, if you afford a big amount, you might get a discount easily from the payments they owe to you. However,You should keep in mind that whenever your debts are paid in full, it should be enlisted in your credit score. Check whether it is added in the report as paid completely.  Ask your creditor to take initiative  and make required changes if your debts are still remaining as “Debt still active” status.
  • Defend yourself through a lawyer – If your negotiations got failed , or if the creditors fails to keep their bargain, lawsuits can be filed. So, you must also prepare an attorney to present your side in the court.

To be continued……