Facebook Is Stealing Your Money

facebook is stealing your money

facebook is stealing your moneyFacebook is stealing your money. There I said it. The site where you go to check up on friends and family is one of the biggest reasons why you will never be financially independent. Heck, it’s the reason why you won’t even be financially comfortable. If you are a regular user on Facebook, the odds are stacked against you that you will be financially independent.

Some reading this might be taking offense. You’ll tell me that you are on Facebook all of the time and you are doing fine financially. But are you really? Do you have zero consumer debt? Do you follow a budget to keep spending in check? Do you have at least 6 months worth of living expenses in an emergency fund? Do you max out your retirement accounts each year? If you answered no to any of these questions, then you aren’t in of good financial shape as you think. [Read more…]

Las Vegas On A Budget

las vegas

las vegasI’ve never been to Las Vagas, but the Mayweather/Pacquiao boxing match on Saturday has flamed my interest in going once again. I’d love to see a boxing match there, but with tickets close to ringside going for over $100K, this is not the fight that I will be attending. In any case, this post comes from Fiona Moriarty, who knows all things Vegas and taught me some stuff about the city. I hope you enjoy!

Las Vegas is one of the top vacation destinations in the U.S. because it’s a city with the goal that everyone should have fun. Visitors arrive from all over the world to see the shows, do some serious gaming and take advantage of the low prices. Even the luxury hotels in Las Vegas offer budget prices, so you can visit the city and enjoy world-class entertainment on a small vacation budget.

Affordable Hotels

Most of the budget hotels offer excellent in-room amenities and good facilities such as swimming pools, restaurants, bars and spa treatments. The room rates are low, and they have a nominal resort fee that gives access to the fitness center and discounts on cocktails and buffet meals. It also includes high-speed Internet access and in-room local telephone calls. All of the luxury hotels and many of the budget hotels offer free attractions such as a 75,000 gallon aquarium with a three story water slide that takes you right through the middle of the shark tank. [Read more…]

What Happens After Winning The Lottery?

moneyShould you somehow manage to beat the overwhelming odds and hit the jackpot in your state lottery, you will have some major challenges ahead of you. Rather than cashing in the ticket right away, it helps to first understand the implications of being a jackpot winner.

After the initial ecstasy wears off, take the time to learn what you need to do next in order to properly manage your finances and handle the public relations so you don’t end up broke in a few short years.

Sign The Ticket

As a safety precaution, sign the ticket. This way, you have proof that the ticket is yours should you somehow manage to lose your ticket or a backstabbing relative takes it from you without your knowledge. Anyone can claim an unsigned winning ticket, so put your signature on it right away to err on the side of caution. [Read more…]

Fun Facts About Money I Bet You Didn’t Know

fun facts about money

fun facts about moneyI love money. I love the smell of it. I love the feel of it as I roll around in it a la Scrooge McDuck. OK, I don’t roll around in it. But I really do enjoy it. I love learning about it too. When FXX was running The Simpsons marathon last summer, I knew I couldn’t miss the $10 trillion dollar bill episode. It is easily my favorite.

While the story is fictional, it made me think about what are some real facts about money that would be fun to learn about. After burning the midnight oil and reading through the National Archives, I have the following money facts that I know you will enjoy.

Fun Facts About Money

One bill weighs 1 gram and 454 bills equals one pound. This means if you have $1 million in singles, it would weigh over 1 ton! A suitcase of $1 million in $100 bills weighs over 20 pounds! [Read more…]

Statistical Facts: How The Lack of Accounting Systems Can Reduce Efficiency

efficiency

efficiencyIn 2013, more than one-quarter of professionals were using accounting systems that were more than a decade old. Almost half of those have been using the same system for a minimum of 15 years. Considering the number of advancements technology has made since those days, the small business accounting software of yesteryear may be contributing to a lack of efficiency in the workplace. I am basing everything in this post on data collected by various reputable sources in order to demonstrate the importance of accounting applications.

Manual Data Entry

Approximately 80 percent of finance executives feel that their companies are hindered by low-level manual tasks. This means that not enough automation is available to complete workloads which reduces the effectiveness of employees. Through the automated processes that are available through small business accounting software, employees could spend time working on other projects instead of data entry. This includes everything from recording bank records to processing payments from clients.

Online payment methods are available through most accounting applications streamlining how the businesses accept funds. Since millions of people access the Internet regularly, the payment methods are convenient and allow individuals to pay immediately. Automatic reminders can be connected to those accounts informing a client that a bill has not been paid further reducing the workload of financial employees.

Metric Analysis

Almost half of surveyed Chief Financial Officers believe they do not have the available reports in order to make informed decisions. Decisions such as product pricing, availability, expense justification and more can influence how a business functions. Without clarity and easy to comprehend metrics, a small business could continue to spend money on frivolous costs that have no impact on future success. Proper small business accounting software can deliver that information making it easier to approach expenses with knowledge rather than speculation.

Without detailed information regarding business finances, decisions could be based on inaccurate assumptions. It could be incredibly easy for a small business to believe a specific marketing strategy is working when in fact it is not. Analytical information helps these small businesses find expenses that are not conducive to sustainable practices. Even the smallest of changes in spending each month could have a profound impact on the budget of the organization. I have witnessed how changing credit card processing platforms saved a small business money each month, which was then redirected into local marketing to help boost sales.

Excessive Spreadsheet Usage

More than 60 percent of surveyed CFOs are using more than 25 spreadsheets for financial data and information. These are set up in an intricate web of inter-document calculations and links. While this method may work for keeping track of data, it can come with many complications and failures such as:

  • Keeping files organized and together
  • Causing problems by in all forms by accidentally deleting one
  • Taking more time to analyze available data
  • The need to understand formulations in spreadsheet software
  • Making it more difficult to share without sending all files to an individual
  • Making it easier to lose certain metrics needed for developing strategies
  • Relying more on manual data entry

An automated, single-interfaced solution wouldn’t have any of the above complications. The process is more streamlined and able to adapt without extensive programming, saving or elaborate field entries as seen in spreadsheets. All of those files can be condensed into one easy to use application.

Invoicing Capabilities

Without automated small business accounting software, such as the ones from Sage.com, invoicing can take considerably longer. The fifth biggest challenge for businesses without accounting applications is the excessive time that is wasted developing invoices for clients. With the right software, these can be done in less than a few minutes and immediately available online. This means that employees are spending more time preparing an invoice instead of turning attention to more important tasks.

Proven Efficiency

Of businesses that utilize Cloud-based accounting applications, 92 percent of them are completely satisfied with the results. This is an astonishing number demonstrating how the vast majority find quality in the use of online small business accounting software. Through my personal experiences, I would have to agree to the efficiency of these apps especially when it comes to filing yearly tax reports. Instead of certain small businesses taking weeks to prepare forms, it can all be done in less than an hour as the information is already stored in the small business accounting software ready to be used.

How To Save $100,000

Money-Conversation-for-Couples

moneyIf you’ve ever read Pete Briger’s bio, you may be wondering how you can win at the financial game, too. Here’s how to make the necessary changes so that you can save your first $100,000. Sacrifices now can mean big savings for the future.

5 Tips To Saving $100,000

Reduce Your Debt

It’s tempting to buy a new car, get a huge home, or treat yourself to a brand new home theater system. However, if you have to use credit to get any of those things, it could take you years to pay off both the loan and the interest. Your first step to saving money should be reducing your debt. Take stock of your loans and figure out how long it will take you to pay them down. Talk to your creditors, too, to find out if you can get a lower interest rate. If you absolutely need to take out a loan, make sure to shop around until you find one with a low interest rate. [Read more…]

The State of Savings In The United States

Americans Saving Rate

us savings rateBankrate came out with an updated study on the amount of money Americans are savings. The good news is that there are some Americans that are doing well with saving their money. The bad news is that way too many of us are still lacking in the money saving department. How do you overcome this is you are in the non-saving category? I will walk you through some of my tricks that help me to save. Hopefully, you can use them to your advantage as well.

Saving 15% Of Your Income

The study found that middle-class earners were the best at saving 15% or more of their income. Here is a chart that breaks down the percentage of people in a given income range who save 15% or more of their income:

Americans Saving Rate

The findings shouldn’t be surprising, based on the numbers. First off, the difference in saving rates could simply be related to math. For example, if someone is that saving 10% of a $50,000 salary is saving $5,000 a year while someone saving 10% of their $125,000 salary is saving $12,500 a year. The wealthy can get away with saving a smaller percentage of their income simply because of the size of their income. [Read more…]

My Personal Capital Review: Is This The Answer For Investors?

personal capital

personal capitalI’m sure by now many of you have heard of Personal Capital. If you haven’t, then good news, you are about to learn everything you ever wanted to know about them! But before we jump in and start talking in-depth about Personal Capital and why it is so great, I need to explain to you why I am even writing about them in the first place.

Searching For Answers

I’ll admit it, I’m a finance nerd. Anything related to the stock market gets my attention immediately. When I was living with my best friend, we would watch Fox News Channel on Saturday mornings because of all of the investment shows from 10am – 12pm. In fact, we called them our Saturday Morning Cartoons.

Ever since I started investing, I wanted to track my investments. I wanted to monitor my returns and see graphs and charts showing everything imaginable. Just ask my wife and she will tell you that for our net worth statement, I have at least 3 graphs and charts showing different information. I can’t help it. It’s my drug of choice.

Back in the day, I used Microsoft Money for my budgeting and to track my investments. It was nice for what it did, but then Microsoft decided to kill it off. For years, I aimlessly wandered, looking for something to help me track my investments. Everything I came across focused on budgeting and not investments. Sure, with Mint you can add your investments, but you can’t track them in-depth. I was about to give up hope. Then Personal Capital came into my life. [Read more…]

History of Cyber Warfare Infographic

I’m an electronics and tech geek. This shouldn’t surprise too many readers since electronics were one of the ways I got myself into credit card troubles about 15 years ago. I was sucked into the news stories about hackers and Sony Pictures movie The Interview last year. The whole story was amazing and even more so was the success of the film even though it was only released in digital platforms (basically straight to DVD).

Most times when you hear of a movie going straight to DVD, it is one to pass on. It’s the 3rd sequel to a decent first movie, but the main character has been replaced by some no-name actor or someone way past their prime. But in the case of The Interview, not so much. It will be interesting to see if movie studios push more films this way. Of course, they will have to build up the hype for the film, finding something sort of advertising that goes viral. [Read more…]