Tag Archives: Finance

To charge, or not to charge; that is the question

Source: cdn.citywirecontent.co.uk

Play along with me here:

You’re a family physician, and a pretty well-to-do one at that.

A friend of yours has four children and constantly calls you whenever his or her child has a sniffle. What do you do?

A.) Politely answer their questions, time after time, day after day, phone call after phone call.


B.) Recommend they pay a visit to your office and actually consult with you professionally.

Sometimes, friends may seek professional advice from other friends — and that’s perfectly O.K. But, how do you know when they cross the line of a friendly question, to a full-fledged client?

“It’s great to be an expert in your field, and it’s flattering to be asked for your opinion or advice, but sometimes people cross the limits of personal and work-life boundaries. Just because Jonas Salk gave away the polio vaccine for free and Craig Newmark refuses to charge for Craigslist, you don’t have to be a philanthropist too,” writes Jodi Glickman, CNN Money columnist.

As altruistic as you may be, you don’t have to provide unlimited counsel to friends and family around the clock. You should be helpful when you can, but you are entitled to put meaningful limits on the pro bono advice you dish out regularly.”

An individual may feel obliged to help his or her friend just because, well, it’s a friend. Nonetheless, even though the line between professional and friendly advice may be blurry from time-to-time, there is still a line and it’s probably best to know when it has been crossed.

Read on at CNN Money.


Save a few bucks in the long winter

Source: Sears.com

Punxsutawny Phil may not have been entirely accurate, which is indicated by this fantastic spring weather we’ve been having (please note the sarcastic tone).

Nonetheless, maybe we should be prepared to save a few bucks here and there jusssst in case Phil was way off.

Freshhome.com has compiled a list of 10 wise ways to save on winter heating — and seeing as how we’re still living in a winter wonderland, this list is quite relevant.

First of all, you should probably make sure you’ve sealed off any air leaks that may allow for heat to escape. The more air that stays in, the lower your thermostat has to be.

Head over to Freshhome.com and check out a few more tips to save a penny or two on winter heating.

Diagnosing your financial health

Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com

Usually, we can tell when we’re in financial dire straights.

We’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. We’re in over our heads on our mortgage. Bill budgeting has become a hassle but a necessity. Etc. etc. etc.

But, what there may be those out there who are on the complete opposite end of that spectrum. There may be those who have a magnificently clean bill of financial health. But how do you know if you’re one of those individuals?

There are certain signs, seven of them to be exact, that Yahoo! Finance’s The Exchange have compiled to figure out whether or not your finances could be given a squeaky clean bill of health.

“We spoke with a few certified financial planners to get their thoughts on what kinds of benchmarks people can use to gauge their financial health. One caveat: It’s important to note that everyone’s situation is unique and it’s not very useful to apply a blanket rule across all age groups,” writes Lisa Scherzer, The Exchange columnist.

So, what are these benchmarks?

What kind of signs should you look for?

Well, head over to Yahoo! Finance and find out.

Know your number

Source: fairfundfoundation.org

Let’s say you’re thinking about applying for an auto loan to purchase that new car you saw in a thrilling Super Bowl commercial. Well, if this is the case, you should probably be well-aware of what your credit score is.

“Why?” you might ask.

When determining your loan rate, the organization you are going through may take a good, hard look at your credit score.

This isn’t the only number that you should be aware of, though.

Yahoo! Finance has compiled a list of five financial figures that you should probably know by heart (or at least take a peek at from time to time).

Head over and take a look at what other financial numbers you should make yourself aware of.

Find out why your bills are skyrocketing

Source: johnpetruse.net

Sometimes we accidentally forget to flick the light switch when we leave a room, or we keep our cell phone charger in the wall after we’ve charged our phones. We may just shrug it off, not thinking that this is adding too much to the electric bill — but you may be surprised.

Believe it or not, there may be quite a few little things you can do that will cause your overall expenses to drop significantly. Things like the aforementioned, who you live with, and even the brands you buy can either add or decrease how much money you shell out.

“To err is human; to make budgeting mistakes, totally human as well. Most people are not aware of the little budget traps we get caught in, because life is so busy that it’s hard to keep track of the smaller money details. But being careless can rack up higher bills,” writes Emily Co of Popsugar.

Co has compiled a list of 13 things that are causing your bills to skyrocket. Read on and find out how to lower your monthly expenses.

Source: popsugar.com

What is an annuity?

Source: bankersannuitybrokerage.com

It may be easy to find financial matters a bit daunting when you may not have the clearest understanding of financial terms and what they encompass.

Take annuities for example.

“An annuity is a contract with an insurance company that is funded by the purchaser and designed to generate an income stream in retirement. It is a flexible financial vehicle that can help protect against the risk of living a long time because it provides an option for a lifetime income,” according to an article on the Krinos Group website.

Sometimes one may be encouraged to outsource all of their financial matters to third-party firms, advisors, etc. While it may be important to seek financial advice from such outlets, having a basic understanding of key financial terms and what you can gain from each one respectively is significant.

Take a look at this article on annuities on our website and brush up on your financial terminology and understanding.

Avoid these 10 budget myths

Source: lewisborogov.com

You sit down at your kitchen table with your spouse to go over your bills. You discover that money going out is quickly overwhelming the money coming in.

It may be time to go on a budget.

Some people may look at the above sentence and roll their eyes, shrug it off, and say, “I don’t need to go on budget — my finances are fine.” Unfortunately, denying the need to budget is one of the 10 budget myths, according to Investopedia.

“Even though budgeting is a wonderful tool for managing your finances, many people think it’s not for them. The logic they use, however, is often flawed. Below is a list of 10 budget myths that stop people from saving as much as they could – and should,” Investopedia writes.

To read on about the 10 budget myths, please follow the link listed above. For more investing or budget-related information, visit Investopedia.com.

SOURCE: Investopedia

Always have a Plan B

SOURCE: 2012 Field Guide, National Underwriter

SOURCE: 2012 Field Guide, National Underwriter

If you, or your spouse, were to experience a long-term disability (lasting 90 days or more), would you be able to shoulder the financial burden?

This is a fairly significant question to ask yourself, and ultimately prepare a response to. Sometimes we would rather not think of the possibility of getting injured, but, believe it or not, a 50-year-old has about a 36% chance of experiencing a long-term disability before age 65, according to the National Underwriter 2012 Field Guide.

Of course, there is disability insurance and things of the like that assist in these particular types of matters, but the percentage of income that it can replace is ultimately up to the policy.

Head over to the Krinos Group website and check out our “Having a Backup Plan” newsletter to learn what you can do to prepare for an unforeseen event like this.

Cut costs in 2013

Source: Blog.Score.net

We are nearly two months into the new year, and that means that we are all beginning to settle into the day-in, day-out life of 2013.

Daily routine may not vary much from year-to-year, but the way we look at, and handle our personal finances definitely relies on more than our personal lives. We have to examine the state of the economy, what’s going on in politics, rate of inflation, etc.

This means that we are constantly on the search for ways to cut corners and potentially save a bit of cash where we can.

Fox 4 News out of Kansas City has provided us with a list of 25 Personal Finance Tips for 2013. Click below to see how you may be able to cut a few costs this year.


How much does it cost to be a superhero?

Source: H&R Block

Source: H&R Block

When you were younger, did you ever don a cape and buzz about the house pretending to be your favorite superhero?

Me too.

Most of us have had dreams and aspirations of growing up to be Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, or [insert favorite superhero here]. But, what we don’t realize is that it’s not all beating up bad guys and getting the glory. The are certain fiscal responsibilities that go along with that costume.

Let’s examine two of today’s most popular superheros: Batman and Spider-Man.

When we were younger, we may not have realized that some of the expenditures of leading two lives may prove to be mighty costly; well, maybe more-so for Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man), than Wayne.

Did you know that the first series of Spider-Man films grossed $2,496,145,679 worldwide? Yea, that’s a pretty big haul. Now, do you know how long it would take Peter Parker to earn that amount of money? About 49,923 years.

Now, when you examine the total haul of the latest Batman franchise, you would find that it hauled in $2,649,224,759 worldwide. So, how long would it take Bruce Wayne to earn that money back? About 19 years.

So, not all superheros are created equal — at least fiscally. Thankfully, H&R Block has provided us with an infographic to better compare the economics of these two “super powers.” Take a look and see if you still want to don the costume.