Loading...

Follow DINKS Finance | A Personal Finance Blog By & Fo.. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

If you’re reader of DINKs, you’ll know that we make an effort to bring high quality personal finance information.

Along these lines, I wanted to share some key recommendations made by Eric Tyson.  Tyson is a former journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle, and has taught courses on personal finance at several universities in the bay area. Tyson’s book Personal Finance for Dummies is the best all around introduction to the topic I’ve read in years.

Tyson gives a number of personal finance tips worth considering. These are all universally applicable guidelines that are useful if you’re in debt or you’re a millionaire.

1) Don’t Procrastinate: First in Tyson’s list of personal finance tips to start right away. Don’t wait to starting putting your financial life together. This is because achieving most financial goals takes time. Savings need time accumulate, debt requires time to pay off and investments need months or years to produce returns.

2) Don’t Buy Consumer Items on Credit: This is sound advice. Most consumer goods eventually loose value over time. Either market forces oblige a decline in the value of stuff (in the case of computers) or your belongings just wear out. Either way, borrowing on credit is NOT good for your financial health. If you do, you’ll be stuck with worthless stuff AND debt. If you paid with cash, you’d just have the stuff.

3) Use Credit Card For Convenience, Not For Carrying Debt: The idea behind this is obvious, credit card companies charge a TON for using their money. Sometimes interest and fees can be upwards of two or three hundred percent annually.

I do disagree with Tyson on this point. Tyson says its okay to have a card, as long as you don’t run up debt on it. In contrast, in my view, its generally better to avoid credit cards altogether. I feel this is because the credit card industry sometimes encourages hype and sometimes assesses abusive fees. Its generally better to go with a debit card instead.

4) Live Within Your Means: According to Tyson, spending more than you earn is a ticket to the poorhouse. Conspicuous consumption usually means borrowing against your future, which isn’t something you want to do. For example it doesn’t makes sense to stretch your budget to lease a BMW, or to buy expensive clothing that you really can’t afford.

5) Save and Invest At Least 5 to 10 Percent of Your Income.  Another personal finance tip Tyson recommends is to save and invest at least 5 to 10% of your income. This is good advice. The more wealth you have put away, the better off you’ll be. Preferably, save through a retirement vehicle to reduce your taxable income and/or allow your profits to grow free of taxation. This is a solid recommendation, I’d just add that if you save more than 5-10% of your income, you’d be even better off.

Finally, if you’d like to hear more about what Tyson has to say, you should consider picking up a copy of his book, Personal Finance for Dummies. It’s loaded with good advice, and is an excellent starting point for learning the basics of personal finance. I’d go with the 2015 editions – they’re about a quarter of the price of 2019 versions.

Here are some more articles on the mechanics of personal finance worth reading:

The Pros and Cons of Mutual Funds
Building Wealth on $600 A Month
Yes, You Can Buy An Oil Well
Nine Ways To Make Extra Money
More Tips From Eric Tyson
More Personal Finance Tips From Eric Tyson

Readers, if you have any other tips, we’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below or shoot us an email.

The post Rock Solid Personal Finance Tips From Eric Tyson appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey on Consumer Finance, the median savings account for Americans contains $4,500. When looking at the survey results, you can see that younger Americans tend to have less in savings. However, their accounts grow as they age. But how do we know if $4,500 is enough? Well, unless you can make $4,500 last for 3-6 months as your emergency fund then odds are, you need to save more money.

It is a well-known fact that American’s as an aggregate have trouble saving more than they spend. But that doesn’t mean you have to fall into that bucket! Break the habit of not having enough saved by recognizing some of the biggest telltale signs of inadequate savings and using the remedy below to get ahead with your savings rate.

Sign 1: Are you living paycheck to paycheck?

Living paycheck to paycheck is dangerous. What if you lose your job? Or what if a major expense comes up? When living paycheck to paycheck, it is hard even to imagine putting any money away for savings, but it must be done to break this cycle.

Take a deep dive into your paycheck to see where every dollar is going. Understanding where your spending your money is the first step into realizing what you may be able to cut back on or live without entirely.

Sign 2: Could one unexpected expense knock out your entire savings?

Stuff happens. It’s life. But if something happens that you aren’t prepared for, would you be able to pay for it? If you can pay for it, would it wipe out your entire savings? Let’s say, for example, you need a new transmission for your car so you can drive to work. According to Transmission Repair Cost Guide, a transmission repair can cost anywhere from $1,800 to $3,400. Would even the low end of that cost really impact your savings account? If so, it’s time to ramp up your savings rate!

The quickest way to see a major change in your savings rate is to get rid of any unnecessary expenses in your budget. Then you can put that money toward savings to help build a larger emergency fund.

Sign 3: When someone brings up money, do you instantly get anxious or stressed?

Changing the topic every time someone brings up money isn’t a long-term strategy. You need to face the facts. If something is causing you anxiety or stress, then that means you categorize it as a negative experience. Money doesn’t have to be that way. It is up to you to make the change!

When you start saving more money, you will naturally start to feel more confident and capable in any conversation around the topic. The stress and anxiety that it once caused will no longer be present.

The Remedy: Create a budget!

The three signs listed above can all be solved by doing one simple thing … creating a budget!

Budgets come in all shapes and sizes; there is no one-size-fits-all budget. Everyone has different preferences and completely different situations. However, if you have never budgeted before then, I would recommend starting with a zero-based budget to see where every single penny is going. This isn’t necessary every single month, but just the first month so you can see exactly how much money you could be saving instead of spending.

By creating a budget, you will be able to set goals for how much money you would like to save and have in your emergency fund by certain dates. Any and all unnecessary expenses will be much easier to find and eradicate from your regular monthly spending. It is also worth noting that most financial planners recommend having at least 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses saved in an emergency fund.

Once you have a budget created and stick to it, you will be able to quit living paycheck to paycheck. Watching your savings rate increase and your accounts grow will give you the peace of mind needed to conquer any unexpected expenses and the confidence to talk about money again.

Do you have a budget? If so, let us know in the comment section!

For more great reads, check out these articles!

The post The Biggest Signs that You Need to Save More Money appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Ever wonder what the majority of the wealthiest people in the world have in common? They all own real estate.

Real estate can come in all shapes and sizes (no pun intended). The strategies used vary greatly, but all that means is that you can choose one that fits your preferences and skills best.

This article outlines some of the most profitable real estate methods out there. Let’s dive in!

1. Short-Term Rental Arbitrage

This is when you rent an apartment and then list it (with the owner’s permission) on a website like Airbnb, VRBO or HomeAway.

Short-term rentals (STRs) in themselves are incredibly profitable with guests generally paying over $100 for a single night stay. Multiply that $100 by 30 days in a month, and you have a nice $3,000, which is far more than what a long-term rental would profit. Of course, that means you would have to be booked every single night; however, it’s pretty easy to see just how lucrative STRs can be. Now take homeownership costs out of the equation; the results are an easier real estate strategy for you.

2. The BRRRR Method

The Buy Rehab Rent Refinance Repeat method is a common one used by multi-millionaire real estate investors.

It works by buying a property that is in subpar conditions but in a good neighborhood with cash or equivalent, and rehabbing it to get it to look great. This includes adding bathrooms or bedrooms where possible, renting it out for an appropriate market rent price, refinancing it to pull your original cash out, and repeating by using that same cash to buy another property, rehab it, rent it, refinance and so on.

This strategy increases the velocity of your money incredibly by using the same cash to buy multiple properties. When you refinance the property, you get a mortgage that is completely covered by rent (you want a surplus of rent money, so you’re profiting). When you refinance, the bank will typically give you about 70-75% of the home market price. This part is very important. It means that you want to make sure you’re buying low enough and doing the right rehab to get the market value of the home to be at least 30% more than what you’re all in the property corn (purchase price Andy rehab costs).

When done correctly, this strategy can build your wealth incredibly fast.

3. Apartment Complex Syndications

This strategy is when one investor pools money from multiple investors to have one big lump sum to be able to buy an apartment complex.

In these deals, you can choose to be an active or passive investor. If you were active, it might mean you are investing your time by scouting deals, finalizing new contracts, or running numbers while also potentially investing your money. If you are passive, it just means you are investing your money into the deal for a return.

These sorts of deals happen between experienced investors who don’t have the capital to invest. That said, if you’re a newbie who 2nts to learn more, try networking with some experienced investors and offerings up your time to help so then, in turn, you get to learn from them.

4. Mobile Home Parks

Buying a mobile home park actually means you are buying the land that the mobile homes sit on, not the actual homes. The beauty of this? You don’t actually have to upkeep the home like you would with a normal multi-family or apartment complex. Instead, you have to upkeep the land plus any common area so there might be.

Mobile home parks are also often to be one of the best recession proof investments because it’s very costly for the tenants to move out (they have to pay to move their home, remove any hookups to water and electric and pay to get into another park). They are also relatively cheap for the tenants to live there.

Finding a loan for a mobile home park may be harder than a multi-family, but it isn’t possible. There are plenty of ways to get creative with funding these deals.

5. Wholesaling

This strategy is when you, the wholesaler, find deals and sells them instead of putting them on the market. The wholesaler earns money when’s they get a deal from the seller at a low price and sell it to an investor at a higher price.

Some wholesalers have a huge network of investors who know they are wholesalers so if they want to find a deal or sell a property, they go to them.

Other wholesalers work to find deals by scouring the streets and finding owners who may be interested in selling.

Regardless, this method can snowball profits fast if you are churning deals. It’s a low barrier to entry as well since you really only need to invest your time and energy, no capital.

Final Thoughts

Real estate has been proven to be one of the strongest income-producing investments by the millionaires who partake. If you are looking to get started in real estate,  be sure to do your research and choose your investment strategy wisely. The strategies listed above are great options for those looking to get the most out of their time and money.

The post 5 Most Profitable Real Estate Strategies appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Embarking upon a new relationship is a wonderful time in life—emotions are running high and you have ton of optimism about the future you will build together. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your love by discussing mundane things like who brings home the bacon. But when you are getting together issues related to money are inevitably going to come up. Whether you are a same sex couple or not, or just cohabitating, you might consider discussing your finances together.

Getting Together Finance Questions

1. Will you keep your finances separate and contribute only a specific amount to a joint checking account to pay for mutual household expenses?
2. If you establish a joint household account, will you contribute an equal amount or an amount proportionate to each person’s earnings?
3. Will you keep your retirement accounts separate at work but comingle mutual savings or investment accounts for things like a home or child’s education?
4. Will you maintain separate accounts for assets acquired before marriage? (Hint: if you never change title to an account acquired before marriage and do not add it during marriage, its less likely to be considered a marital asset).
5. Will you share your investment strategies so that your future investment plans are well balanced?
6. How would these agreements change if you had children, or a parental health crisis, and one of you had to take a temporary but unpaid leave of absence from work?
7. In the case of a second or third marriage, are you in agreement about how previous child support and spousal maintenance payments will be made? Are you willing to create an estate plan that provides for children of a previous marriage?

Take disagreements seriously and attempt to resolve them now. As sure as the sun rises in the morning, your disagreements aren’t going to go away after you’ve been together for a while. Also, be prepared for some frustration and potentially long protracted negotiation. Even couples who strongly agree on finances and family questions can have very different perceptions about the significance and value of money. It can sometimes take a long time and an extensive series of negotiations to resolve these issues.

What about a pre-nuptual agreement?

A lot of people seem to feel that prenups take the romance out of marriage – well this may happen eventually in any event – so it makes sense to plan ahead. Often when a marriage or relationship starts to unravel, agreements arrived at in advance can help mitigate some of the worse possible outcomes.
Also, prenups are good for removing the concerns that couples may have about getting married. For example, I had a friend who was interested in marrying a woman who was irresponsible with her money. My friend’s family figured this out pretty quickly while they were dating, and wouldn’t support the marriage unless his wife to be signed a pre-nup. They ended up signing and divorcing a few weeks later, which just goes to show you that a pre-nuptul agreement can help remove people’s concerns about getting married, even if the marriage may not be a good idea.

But, we digress…to get back on the topic. Each party in the prenuputal agreements should be represented separately by competent legal council when you are getting the process the agreement drawn up. Also you and your partner should reveal your true financial picture to set an open and honest tone to the negotiations to prevent later problems. A lot of people believe that what people don’t know doesn’t hurt them, but the reality is being dishonest or withholding information sets a poor tone for future negotiations and can lead to long term trust issues. In addition to raising issues of trust, failure to fully disclose your assets might be legal grounds for having the pre-nup voided in court.

Prenups are highly flexible. Prenup agreements usually specify property to be divided. They can also set terms under which the couples assets will be divided and the financial terms under which the parties agree to live during the marriage. They do have some limitations; pre-nuputal agreements don’t usually cover agreements about children and they are almost always constrained by State and Federal laws.

Finally, prenups should not be power plays where one partner seeks to dominate or exert his or her will over the other. A properly negotiated prenuputal agreement should be in the best interests of both parties. So, no matter what your circumstances, it is not unromantic to ask for one.

For more on this check out:

Bankrate.com’s series on prenup basics

Holiday’s, Prenups and personal goals

Prenups, better safe than sorry

What to discuss before you get married

Prenup basics

The post Getting Together, Getting Hitched, Prenups and More appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you’re looking to sell your home, you might be struggling with determining the right asking price. When you do finally figure out what price point you should be starting at, you might not always be happy with the result. Increasing the value of your home doesn’t have to necessarily be complicated or terribly expensive. Use these tips to quickly and easily increase your home’s resale value without having to change too much about your home.

First Impressions

The exterior and landscaping of a home can have a surprising impact on your home’s overall value, mainly because these are both specifically responsible for your home’s curb appeal. In a recent landscaping survey, research found that 63% of respondents reported being willing to pay more for an apartment or house if it was located in an area with good green spaces. Likewise, fixing up your home’s siding with a more expensive-looking material can help increase the perceived value of your home.

Color Theory

Think a can of paint can’t increase your home’s value? Think again. The color of certain rooms can impact how much people think they’re worth and are willing to pay, even if they plan on repainting a room. You might not even necessarily need to repaint your whole house; just a few key rooms can help. Zillow’s 2017 Paint Colors Analysis found that homes with blue bathrooms sold for $5,400 more than expected. If you’re looking to put a little more time and money into upgrading your home, fully remodeling a bathroom can give a return on investment of 70%.

Setting The Stage

On average, households in the United States have 300,000 things in them. However, people looking to buy a home don’t want to shop for a home while attempting to ignore all your belongings. Make sure you stage your home properly and keep your own personal belongings well-organized if you can’t relocate them while showing the house. This will help people envision themselves living in the space.

Repairs And Appliances

Do you have a particular appliance in your home that you’ve been waiting to replace, or a leaky faucet that you’ve been putting off fixing because it wasn’t worth the hassle? Now’s the time to fix it, if you want to improve your home’s resale value. The less work people will have to do when moving into your home, the more they’ll be willing to pay for it.

Picture Perfect

If you’re posting your home listing online, be careful which pictures you share of your home. Have them taken by a professional with a high-quality camera, and keep all your rooms as well lit as possible. This will significantly increase the amount of attention your home gets, as well as giving you the best chance for a higher offer.

Increasing your home’s resale value doesn’t necessarily have to be a lot of hard work. Making a few simple changes, even in just how you’re showing off your home to potential buyers, can ultimately increase what people are willing to pay for it. How will you use these tips to increase what your home is worth on the real estate market?

The post 5 Tips To Increase Your Home’s Resale Value appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Came across an old reference to this when doing some stock research. I love how some trading wisdom is timeless.

12 commandments – from Carret (1930) Art of speculation.

1) Never hold fewer than 10 different stocks over 5 fields of business
2) At least once every 6 months, reappraise every stock you own
3) Keep at least half your portfolio in dividend paying stocks
4) Consider dividend yield the least important factor in analyzing any stock
5) Be quick to take losses and reluctant to take profits
6) Never put more than 24% of your portfolio into securities about which detailed information is not readily and regularly available.
7) Avoid inside information as you would the plague
8) Seek facts diligently, advice never
9) Ignore mechanical formulas
10) When stocks are high, interest rates rising and business prosperous, at least half a portfolio should be placed in short term bonds
11) Borrow money sparing, and only when stocks are low, interest rates are low and falling and business depressed
12) Set aside a moderate proportion of available funds for the purchase of long term options on stocks in promising companies when available.

The post Trading Wisdom From the 1930s appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Side hustles are becoming more prevalent in society than ever before. There are side hustles for just about every type of person and new ones are being created every single day. Most people equate side hustling with being a solopreneur or working by yourself. However, that’s just not true. There are plenty of side hustles for couples — you just have to choose the right side hustles!

Side Hustles for Couples

If you are side hustling alone that means more time not spent with your spouse which can seriously put a damper on any relationship. If you’re away all day for your 9-5 job and then have to work by yourself on your side hustle, things might spiral south fast.

The absolute best part of side hustling together is that you inherently get to spend more time together. Sure, it’s not a candlelit dinner or a walk on the beach, but time spent together is time well spent.

Just about any side hustle can be done as a couple but some just are naturally easier with two people than others.  Here is a list of the top five side hustles you can do as a couple!

Etsy Shop

Do you and your spouse like crafts or have a special knack for making something unique? Have you ever thought about monetizing that hobby? In this guide, the author outlines how she turned $0.30 into $5,000 in just four months. That is an incredibly profitable side hustle. Of course, this may be difficult to start if you both don’t love crafts already. That said, there are thousands of shops on Etsy selling everything under the sun.

From Budgeting PDF templates to handmade soap, no hobby is too niche to try to sell on Etsy. Both you and your spouse can each have specific responsibilities for your Etsy shop. Maybe one person is more tech savvy so they can handle uploading and marketing the products while the other person focuses on creating the item.

Real Estate

Real Estate is a side hustle that pretty quickly can turn into your main hustle. If you feel like getting inspired by a couple who did just that, check out the BiggerPockets Business Podcast where J and Carol Scott talk about their house flipping business and interview others who have had success in their own endeavors.

The beauty of real estate is that there are so many different ways to invest. From wholesaling to Airbnb arbitrage, there is bound to be a way that sparks both you and your spouse’s interest. If one of you is more people-oriented, maybe they can be the deal finder and negotiator while if the other is more technical oriented, they could run the numbers to make sure you are proceeding with the best deals only.

If you decide to get into flipping, both spouses can be putting in the extra hours of painting, remodeling, and staging to get the final product to where it needs to be.

Regardless of the method, real estate investing is a great way to get all hands on deck and spend your extra side hustling hours together!

Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage means reselling an item for more than you purchased it for. This can even be done with something found in a dumpster, no seriously, Financial Panther tells you exactly how he made over $1,000 through his trash treasures in this article. This has the best margins of any business out there. No startup cost, just find something, clean it up and take a picture of it to hopefully sell it. If you would rather avoid a dumpster, there are still plenty of ways to acquire highly desired items for cheap. Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to approach a garage sale in the following video where he states that he himself (despite being a multi-millionaire) still likes to do this side hustle for fun.

HOW TO MAKE AN EXTRA $100 THIS WEEKEND | DailyVee 093 - YouTube

One person can be the finder and one person can stage the photo. Or both of you can try to find items together and then work together to take the most visually appealing picture to get the item to sell.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let side hustling take up all your free time alone. Start a side business that allows you and your spouse to work together and utilize both sets of strengths to maximize profit potential. The three side hustles listed above are great ways to start spending more time with your spouse and also make some extra cash! Give one of these side hustles a shot and let us know how it went in the comment section!

Read More:

The post 3 Side Hustles You Can Do as a Couple appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Most people reading this know a thing or two about the veracity of student loan debt. Today, Americans owe more than $1.3 trillion in student loans, which puts serious drag on the economy. Still, we’ve all trudged along, paying those monthly payments that seem unending. The Class of 2019 will feel the sting of student debt more than their parents did, say, 20 years ago. And not only is college getting more expensive with each passing year, but young people are also attending college in record numbers. Fortunately, there’s plenty of debt to go around.

Morehouse University Students Receive A Surprise Jubilee

One very lucky graduating class received a big break during their recent commencement speech. As most cathedrals and churches have a cruciform ground plan, university commencements have particular traditions that remain cemented in the collegiate graduation process. One of them is the rewarding of an honorary doctorate degree to a person the institution finds inspiring.

Robert F. Smith was receiving an honorary doctorate from Morehouse University and dropped some very welcome news on the 396 members of the 2019 graduating class. Smith, founder of investment firm Vista Equity Partners, is the richest black person in the United States. Worth approximately $5 billion, he gave the new graduates — and his fellow classmates, honorary though they may be — a very real gift.

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we’re going to put a little fuel in your bus. Now, I know my class will make sure they pay this forward,” Smith said. “I want my class to look at these (alumni) — these beautiful Morehouse brothers — and let’s make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward because we are enough to take care of our own community. We are enough to ensure we have all the opportunities of the American dream.”

A complete surprise to Morehouse University officials, Smith vowed to pay off the total student debt of every single new graduate of the 2019 class.

Americans donate more than 14.3 million tons of textiles to help clothe people in less fortunate places around the world. Sometimes we forget about our own financially encumbered students. The official tally of Smith’s total donation has not yet been definitively calculated, but you can imagine that it’s a substantial amount.

The New York Times reports that in 2017, the average amount of academic loan debt per student was $28,650. Multiply that by 396 students and there’s a loose estimate of a cumulative $11.34 million.

With June around the corner, as ice cream rises to its most popular time, there are 396 students who have received a treat that’s leagues sweeter. There’s nothing better than kicking off your first post-grad summer with having the entirety of your student debt wiped out. We’re jealous while writing this, yet the gesture is inspiring. Smith became part of something called the Giving Pledge in 2017. Championed by billionaires like Warren Buffet and Melinda and Bill Gates, the Giving Pledge is an effort to get wealthy Americans to donate half of their fortunes to charity.

“When you have to service debt, the choices about what you can go do in the world are constrained,” said Morehouse University’s President David Thomas. “(Smith’s gift) gives them the liberty to follow their dreams, their passions.”

How much he’ll end up donating will likely be overshadowed by the amount of gratitude the students have for the gift that will help them start their post-grad lives without the weight of student debt. At the ceremony, upon the announcement, the new grads started chanting MVP! in response to the news.

Talking to a CBS News correspondent, Morehouse President David Thomas — who had no idea what was about to happen — summed it up succinctly:

“People were stunned. If you look at any other film footage, you will see the students turning to each other. What did he say? Did he say what I think he said? This will allow them to pursue their dreams…As opposed to serving the debt.”

An iconic and heartwarming act of charity, it still remains a mere blip in the vastness of student debt.

The Cold, Hard Truth About Student Loans In The United States

Student loan debt has reached record levels because more students are attending college than ever before. That also means that the relative value of a college degree is falling, even as the cost of education keeps rising.

Here are some disturbing facts about student loans:

  • Four in 10 U.S. twenty-somethings have outstanding student loans
  • 23% of post-grad students owe $100,000 or more
  • According to Pew Research, people with student loans are more pessimistic about the value of their expensive degree(s)
  • College is now a luxury commodity. Even adjusted for inflation, 65% of college students will pay more for their education than students did 20 years ago.

Undergrads aren’t the only ones struggling with record-breaking student loan payments. Understandably, the more college you attend, the more debt you have to pay back. That means graduate students, physicians, and lawyers in training have a lifetime of debt to look forward to.

Today, there are more than 1.3 million lawyers practicing in the United States, and according to a recent report from The Balance, the cost of law school has “more than doubled in little over a decade”. After graduating from law school, a lawyer will become the proud owner of “between $100,0000 – $200,000 worth of debt” — and there’s no guarantee they will even pass the bar exam.

The Morehouse University Class of 2019 may not need to worry about their student loans, but the rest of us do. Hopefully, Smith inspires more generous millionaires to pay it forward, and soon.

The post Billionaire Covers Student Loans Of Morehouse University Class Of 2019 appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Having just made it through another tax filing season, the last thing you want to hear right now is more talk on investments and returns. However, thinking about your tax filing strategies now can ensure that you owe the government less (or that they even pay you) in the future. So if you want to save on your 2019 taxes, then the time to start planning is right now.

Perhaps to the surprise of many people, there is more to successfully filing your taxes than just getting them in before the dreaded April 15 deadline. While meeting this deadline will save you from paying a failure-to-file penalty that can equal about 5% of the total amount of taxes due, you can only see significant savings if you start planning well before April of next year. Discover what you can do now so that you will see major savings and hefty checks this time next year.

Have less taxable income

While you probably don’t want to make less income overall — and that’s certainly not what we recommend for financial success – there are ways to not have all of your income subject to taxation. The simplest and most popular way to reduce your taxable income is to have a portion of your paycheck directed to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

A 401(k) is one of the more common plans. Any wages you defer to a 401(k) don’t count towards that year’s taxable income, potentially putting you in a lower tax bracket. You will also be building a comfortable fund for your future self as you near 63, the average of retirement. If you don’t have access to a 401(k), contributing to a traditional IRA can also help you lower your adjusted gross income.

Know your deductions

One of the key parts of tackling tax season is taking advantage of all of the deductions available to you. When you miss even the smallest deduction you may end up paying more than you need to. Common deductions for individual taxpayers include major medical bills, mortgage interest and local property taxes, student loan debt interest, and charitable donations.

There are also many business-related deductions available to freelancers or individuals who work from home. These deductions can range from the cost of your home office space and supplies to food and entertainment expenses. Even contributing to the growing food delivery market, which is projected to see a 79% increase by 2022, for a work-related need could potentially count as a deduction. Remember to add these up throughout the year and you may be able to supersede the standard deduction for your filing status and see more savings.

Check in with your CPA more often

If the relationship between you and your tax accountant is like that of many across the country, you probably keep communication to a minimum until its time to tackle those tax returns. By simply checking in with your CPA before tax time comes, you may be able to make money-saving adjustments before its too late. Your accountant can run mid-year and end-of-year tax projections with information such as the amount of income you’ve earned so far and your business and investment accounts.

With this tax estimate, your accountant can then advise you on any helpful adjustments. It may be that you will owe the government less or nothing at all by simply withholding more from your paychecks or adding to the retirement accounts mentioned earlier. Even if your CPA is unable to find ways to improve your tax outlook for next year, you’ll be able to see your tax bill in advance and on paper. As printed material is generally more engaging for people over digital material, which is often skimmed in just 15 seconds, you won’t be caught by surprise when your return rolls around next April.

As much as we may want to think of taxes as something that we only have to worry about once a year, that mindset can cause you to give the government more than you need to. With some careful planning and simple adjustments, you could see a major adjustment from last year’s taxes to next.

The post How You Can Start Strategizing Now To Save On Your 2019 Taxes appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

With summer just around the corner, many people will be heading to their local pool for the first swim of the season. Others, however, will be skipping the trip, instead making use of the pool they’ve added to their backyard. If you love swimming and want to enjoy this pastime on a regular basis, you might be considering adding a pool to your own home, but is it worth the investment? What does a pool add or take away from your home? Here are just a few of the pros and cons to consider before you take the plunge and install your home’s very own pool.

Personal Health

One of the top benefits of owning your own personal pool is the health benefits it can provide. Swimming can be an effective form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise, making it an excellent choice for those suffering from joint pain. In all US states, 1 in 25 working-age adults face limitations they attribute to arthritis, but swimming provides a pain-free option for exercise.

Additionally, swimming targets different muscle groups than many other forms of exercise, due to the unique effect that an effectively lower-gravity environment can have. The human body has more than 650 muscles, and many of them don’t get as much use as they should; swimming can help strengthen these muscles. Installing a pool in your own back yard means not having to go to the local gym to access this type of exercise regularly. And since only one in three children is physically active every day, having a pool can provide health benefits to the entire family.

Entertainment

If you find yourself entertaining guests frequently, a pool can be a great addition to your home. Guests will greatly appreciate this way to relax at the end of a long day, and a pool can be a great location in your home for a get-together. Come spring and summer, your home will be the talk of the neighborhood, so if you already invite plenty of guests over, get ready for even more once you add your pool.

Home Value And Finances

With all the practical benefits of pools, what about the financial elements of having your own pool? In this case, the decision isn’t quite as clear-cut, but still holds more positives than negatives for homeowners. Pools do cost a considerable amount to install, but can cost even more still when you consider the maintenance costs for owning a pool. Between filters, pool covers, and chemicals to maintain the pH balance of the pool, the regular lifetime expenses associated with pool ownership can add up. That being said, a swimming pool can boost your home’s value by up to 7% when it comes time to sell your home again, meaning it will ultimately help pay for itself in the end. Additionally, because you won’t be spending money on pool trips elsewhere, you’ll be saving money that way as well.

Installing a pool can be a bit expensive, but for many homeowners, it’s well worth the investment. Would you ever install a pool in your backyard? Why or why not?

The post Is A Pool Really Worth The Investment? appeared first on Dual Income No Kids.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview