5 Tips for Paying Off Student Loans

Student
Student

Paying off student loans, especially when the balances often total more than a year’s salary can be an intimidating task. For those who want to get better with their student loan repayment, here are 5 tips to make it happen in less time and with less pain. Get Creative Often times the most overlooked ways to pay off student loans can be the most creative. The internet is filled with inspiring stories of real students paying off their loans. Whether you start a small side business, cram roommates into your apartment, or spend your free time taking surveys online, every little bit of effort can significantly reduce the time you spend paying back the loan, and the interest you have to pay in the process. Avoid Credit Cards Many often try to get zero or low interest rate credit … [Read more...]

After Divorce: Build the Financial Future You Want

bankrupt-woman
bankrupt-woman

The divorce has been finalized. The papers are signed, the dust has settled and now you can start thinking about your future. It’s the perfect time to take stock of what you want for the next phase of your life. And as you do this, it’s also a good time to think about your financial future and make sure you’re set up for a secure, rewarding retirement. Why should you think about retirement now, when it may still be many years down the road? A financial plan may seem premature, but the sooner you set it up, the longer you’ll have to build the resources you’ll need later on. You’ll also be taking control of your financial future, maybe for the first time in years – and this can be truly empowering. That’s what one of my clients discovered when she came to me soon after her divorce. A … [Read more...]

How to Include Real Estate in Your Retirement Plan

college-student-credit-card-marketing
college-student-credit-card-marketing

If you are looking for a truly unique retirement investment plan, consider including real estate in an IRA. It’s more complicated than most other IRA types, but it also offers benefits that no other retirement plan can. Can You Legally Hold Real Estate in an IRA? The rules on the types of investments that you can hold in an IRA are surprisingly liberal. The IRS has just two investment categories that are not permitted to be held in an IRA - collectibles and life insurance. Other than that, anything goes. So the answer is, yes, you can hold real estate in an IRA. Why You Might Want to Have Real Estate in an IRA There are number of reasons why you might want to have real estate in an IRA, but topping the list is turning real estate into a completely tax-sheltered investment. By … [Read more...]

Why I Can’t I Leave My Abusive Relationship?

woman-divorce3
woman-divorce3

Have you ever wondered by some women stay in abusive relationships?  You may be thinking "I'd never stay with a physically abusive partner!  I'd leave his @$$ for sure!" Think twice about that because the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is the moment the woman tries to leave.  Once she becomes entangled with an abuser, it's hard to leave because she may fear for her life or for the lives of her children. Even worse, if the partner maintains financial control and she is without resources then that makes it even more difficult to leave. On the outside, many of us as "why does she stay?"  When Janay Palmer stood by her husband Ray Rice after he knocked her out in an elevator - I asked the same question myself.  There are myriads of reasons why women stay. During the … [Read more...]

5 Ways Mind Mapping Applications Can Help You Focus on Financial Goals

Business woman writing on screen isolated over white
Business woman writing on screen isolated over white

Mind mapping applications are excellent tools to help you focus on attainable goals in order to reach a much larger objective. As many of these online apps are free to use, you can develop an intricate budget plan giving you a visual aid to help you secure your financial future. How can you use these applications to your advantage? Breaking Down Your Goals By using mind mapping apps, you can break larger goals down into smaller units. By spending the time analyzing your objectives, you can see what you need to do in order to accomplish the much larger goal. As each aspect becomes complete, it puts you that much closer to reaching your dreams. Visual Aids of Accomplishment Never underestimate how visual aids can help you stay on task for a budget. This helps you see the … [Read more...]

Join Our Twitter Chat for Entrepreneurs with Jen Groover, Avon + Me

avon
avon

Female entrepreneurs ROCK.  And Avon is in the business of empowering women to embrace entrepreneurship giving them the financial freedom they crave.  This is my third series with Avon and I am continually amazed at the life-changing stories shared by women who utilized the opportunity to quit their job, pay off debt and/or achieve financial freedom.   I am in the business of empowering women to find their center - financially - so I feel personally invested in this campaign. I understand the need to create financial freedom, especially as a woman in today's economy.  We are mothers, sisters and wives tasked with making it happen for ourselves, financially.  I founded Girls Just Wanna Have Funds over a decade ago (wow!) and today I run two businesses.  Girls Just Wanna Have Funds and a … [Read more...]

Women’s Pay Gap: Playing Devil’s Advocate With The Income Disparity

Salary Woman
Salary Woman

Though work is usually the cause of greatest stress, not many women would go back to being housewives, as in earlier times. Regardless of the negative aspects of working outside of the home and spending long hours away from family, women feel more empowered and liberated knowing they don’t have to depend on anyone. It’s been a very long struggle for women to earn the same rights as men in many different departments: work, education, right to vote, etc. Though human rights movements have considerably improved the general situation concerning women’s rights at work, there’s still a burning question of disproportionate pay for women and men working the same amount of time and occupying the same position. Different studies show that the difference in pay for men and women has … [Read more...]

Confession: I Buy Clothes Off Season At Target

targetwoman
targetwoman

How many times have you agonized about updating your wardrobe but hesitant to do so because it might get too expensive?  I know I have and on many occasions Ive just opted not to do so.  Well you'll be happy to know that something that I've started doing is shopping off season at Target. My day job requires that I be dressed professionally - no jeans, tshirts etc, especially if I am in court or have meetings with other department heads.  We don't require suits but being polished and comfortable is a must.   Target gives me what I need without having to break the bank.  Good prices and decent quality.  Can you tell that I just really like Target, even though I always end up leaving with more than I intended to buy?  Why?  Because Target is the devil, plain and simple. I updated my … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Help Others While Helping Yourself

SMshopper-bullhorn
SMshopper-bullhorn

While no one wants to admit to having a “You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours” mentality, many of us do keep subtle track of whether or not what we’re up to in our relationships, career, hobbies and the like are of any benefit to us. The trouble with wanting to come out ahead in every situation, of course, is that aiming to do so can result in a life that may feel too self-serving, which few people will actually enjoy over the long haul. If you’re someone who wishes you were the type of person who gave more of your time and resources to those in need, but you feel like the cost-benefit analysis of doing so would leave you too much in the red on the receiving end, you haven’t been thinking creatively enough about charitable contributions. When it comes to helping others and helping … [Read more...]

Up to Her Eyeballs In Debt: How Cait Killed $21,000 In Debt

shopaholic
shopaholic

Bad day? What do you do?  Spend money.  If you have a great day and want to celebrate what do you do?  Spend money.   Money, like eating, results in a temporary emotional comfort.  And just like over eating, over spending can be damaging over the long term. Overspending based on emotion "Emotional spending is nearly always a mistake" says Woman's Day.  "Making money decisions based on how you’re feeling at any given moment is a financially dangerous way to live."  This is probably easier said than done because sometimes we just let our emotions get the best of us. The key to avoid overspending is to think about the long term effects it has on our lives as oppose to the momentary glory of swiping your credit card.  " The adrenaline rush lasts about as long as it takes to walk to the car. … [Read more...]

6 Money-Saving Tips for Freelancers

woman making money online
woman making money online

Working freelance has become an extremely attractive option for many. It presents many advantages, including the freedom to manage your time, the chance to earn more than what you can from a regular job, and choose the projects you work on. But with great freedom comes great responsibility—as we often hear—and freelancing also entails the need for discipline when it comes to managing your resources, such as time, and most especially, your finances. New technologies and innovation have given birth to an aggressively growing freelance market. However, freelance work still comes with a certain level of uncertainty.  For instance, you may be busy on a few projects for a few months but can’t entirely be sure what you’d have on your plate next. It’s an endless jump from one project to another … [Read more...]

Four Tips to Follow to Survive a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Financially

Beautiful woman and broken piggy bank
Beautiful woman and broken piggy bank

Even though it may not be considered as drastic or life-altering as a Chapter 7, filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is definitely a rocky stepping stone that many people have to cross each year within the United States. There is an average of more than 340,000 cases of this particular filing each year, according to US Courts, which makes it the second most common filing out of four types. The bright side of this dark cloud, however, is that there are several steps that can be taken in order for you to survive this financial storm and get your life back on track. Be Thorough When Completing the Paperwork There is a lot of paperwork that you must complete when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, regardless of how much debt you have or the specific conditions and reasoning behind your desire to … [Read more...]

Four Key Factors to Consider When Developing a Corporate Marketing Plan

Make Money Online
Make Money Online

To a prospective or existing business owner a business plan is the same as a blueprint is to an architect. Before you can build the structure of your business, you need to have a well-developed business plan to serve as a blueprint for the overall construction process. One of the most important parts of the plan has to be the marketing section, which can be improved and enhanced by focusing on four key factors. Develop a Flexible Marketing Budget One of the first things that you need to do is develop a marketing budget. Keep in mind that your marketing plan is one of the most important elements of your business overall since it will focus on all of the effective methods that will be used to maximize exposure and draw attention to your company. There is no need to etch this budget in … [Read more...]

A New Breed of Loan

paydayloans woman
paydayloans woman

We’ve all been there, counting down the days till our next payday, frantically calculating every extra dollar spent on lunch and coffee, trying to save every last penny to make it to payday. And at this time of year, the wait until you get to payday can be even longer with all of those parties to attend, holiday dresses to find, drinks to drink, presents to buy and relatives to visit. Balancing the Books So what’s a girl to do with all of these extra outgoings and no time to work extra hours or source additional income? Many turn to short term loans to tide them over.  These so-called ‘payday loans’ are regularly seen being advertised in magazines and on the television. So much so that people refer to payday loans in everyday conversation. But what are they really? Payday Loans … [Read more...]

In Defense of Working Mothers

motherhood
motherhood

One of the most difficult issues debated among women in their twenties and thirties is the ideal time to have children. There are some obvious cons with being a mother with a career, such as potential workplace prejudice, being unable to be around one’s children as much as they’d like, less flexibility in family plans, and dealing with the financial strain of hiring caregivers when you’re inaccessible. In fact, many women take a hiatus from the professional landscape after having children in order to give more attention to their growing families. However, many people in this debate fail to consider some of the very positive consequences of working throughout motherhood. While the quality time spent with one’s family cannot be measured like income and the hours of a work week, it is … [Read more...]