Loading...

Follow Young Finances on Feedspot


Valid
or
Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook

We are just a few days before October 31st and you have yet to find a costume. More than that, because you understand the importance of saving, you are unwilling to derail your savings goal for this year by splurging on a one day event. For some, that is not the case. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Halloween Consumer Spending Survey. One of five households plan to spend more this year than last year.

Scared to open your wallet?

Don’t worry!

We have you covered. Here are 25 last minute costume ideas that are effortlessly frugal to help you stay on track with your savings this year. And just for those of us who procrastinate, they are divided into three categories; zero effort, minimal effort, and so easy you should be ashamed of yourself.

ZERO EFFORT AND COST

For the simple fact that you have decided to dress up, these costumes cannot truly be zero effort costumes. However, they will require just a bit more effort than it takes to roll over and slap your alarm snooze button in the morning. These costumes are also a frugal celebration! Each costume should cost next to nothing because if you are missing the necessary items, you can likely borrow them. Most of these items you will have around the house. If you don’t, skip the costume and try another!

1) Self Portrait

For this costume, you will need to grab a frame from your wall. Set aside the photos as well as the backing and glass front. Then, take the frame and hold it in front of your face. Voila. You are now a self portrait.

via Cosmopolitan

Recreate This Look!
Gold Portrait

2) Thug
The thug defies the conventions of the world. Remember the song ‘pants on the ground’ by American Idol contestant General Larry Platt? Yep, this costume simply requires you to wear your pants below your waist. Include a beanie and sunglasses if you want to take this look further.

Recreate This Look!
Long Sleeve

3) Horror Doll
The horror doll is inspired by __ from Halloween 2. For this costume you will need a long white night gown. Pull your hair into two pony tails and draw red or pink lips. Then use black liner for your eyes to finish the look.

via ahlois on Reddit

Recreate This Look!
Long White Night Gown

4) Hippie
The hippie costume is perfect for the person who never really grew up. Search your parent’s closet for the perfect pieces. It is likely that they have bell bottoms, a tie-dye shirt, and a headband.

via PennyChic.com

Recreate This Look!
Flyaway Top
Bell-Bottom Wide Flared Jeans
Platform Shoes
Aviator Sunglasses
Beads Necklace
Alloy Gold Plated Shaped Leaves Feather Y-Necklace

5) Nerd
Grab a few books, a pair of glasses, and suspenders if you have them. The nerd costume requires an extraordinary actor. Apply white tape to the bridge of your glasses and push them higher off your nose often. Imagine Steve Urkel. Yep, that’s you if you choose this costume.

via AquaSeventy6

Recreate This Look!
Oversized BLACK Framed Eye Glasses
Suspenders
Pink Polka Dots Tshirt

6) Website Error
For this costume, you simply need a white shirt, marker, and a snarky attitude. Draw the words, 404 costume not found, and you immediately become a website error.

via CorianderBats

Recreate This Look!
White Tshirt

7) Tom Cruise, Risky Business
The Risky Business costume requires guts and preferably warm weather. For this costume, grab a white button down t-shirt. Pair it with very short shorts that are not visible below the shirt. Include white socks and a pair of sunglasses. Now you are Tom Cruise.

Recreate This Look!
White Button Down T-shirt
Very Short Shorts
White Socks
Sunglasses

8) Thief
This costume requires a ski mask, black gloves and black attire. Include a laundry bag full of cloth and draw a dollar sign on it to complete the costume.

Recreate This Look!
Face Ski Mask
Black Gloves
Black Attire:
Black Stripe Long Sleeve
Skinny Pants
Black Shoes
White Tote Bag

9) Tourist
The tourist is always afraid that if they do not capture the moment with a camera, they will forget their travel experience! Grab a camera, preferably with a neck strap, khaki shorts, and a Hawaiian shirt. Now look up with your camera while walking. Congratulations, you are officially a tourist.

via Nellie and Phoebs

Recreate This Look!
Camera Neck Strap
Cup
Men:
Khaki Shorts
Hawaiian Shirt
Boonie Hat Summer Sun Caps
White socks
Sandal
Waist Bag
Sunglasses
Women:
Waist Bag
Sandal
White socks
Summer Beach Sun Straw Hats
Hawaiian Shirt
Khaki Pants

10) Kid in Pajamas
Grab your favorite pajamas and a teddy bear. Bonus points if your pajamas are footed. If not, pull a pair of long socks over long pajamas.

via Pop Sugar

Recreate This Look!
Pajama Set
Teddy Bear

MINIMAL EFFORT AND COST

These costumes require just a bit more effort and cost. They can be completed inexpensively, but you might have to head to your local Walmart to find the missing items.

11) Mummy
A good mummy costume can be completed with one roll of toilet paper. Start with an outfit of white clothing and begin to wrap toilet paper around different sections of your body. Complete the outfit with makeup and a distant look on your face.

via Nellie Bellie

Recreate This Look!
White Tshirt
White Pants
Toilet Paper
Mummy Make Up

12) Ceiling Fan
C-e-i-l to the i-n-g, and that’s how you spell cei-ling! Woo hoo! Go ceiling! Do you have some pom poms? Once you pick up those and shake and shimmy with a chant, you can be a ceiling fan.

via Imgur

Recreate This Look!
Black Sweater
Glasses
Pom poms

13) Cereal Killer
Almost done with that box of cereal? Good because you’re going to need it. For this costume, you simply need an empty box of cereal and a cardboard knife. Wrap the knife in gray duct tape to simulate a silver knife. Pierce the box of cereal with the knife and tape into place. Then, draw red blood on the box. You cereal killer, you.

Recreate This Look!
Cardboard Knife
Gray Duct Tape
Fake Red Blood
Long Sleeve White

14) Fork in the Road
This costume begins with black clothing. You will then need white tape and a plastic fork. Use the white tape to create lines on the road simulated by your black clothing. Then tape the plastic fork to your body. Now you have a fork in the road. You get bonus points if you constantly change the direction that you are walking all night.

via Bright Bold Beautiful

Recreate This Look!
Black Sweater
White Tape
Plastic Fork

15) Identity Thief
For this costume, you will need a package of name tags. Write a different name on each tag and tape them to your body. You now have the identity of each of those people and you are officially an identity thief.

via The Budget Diet

Recreate This Look!
Name Tags
Marker
Gray Shirt

16) Stick Figure
This costume begins with white clothing. Use black tape to outline a stick figure on your body. Create a mask using a paper plate and more black tape.

via Creative Christy

Recreate This Look!
Long Sleeve
White Pants
Black Tape
Large Paper Plate

17) Domino
This costume is best when used with friends. Start with black clothing and tape small white paper plates to your body to create the numbered domino effect. A white belt or white tape across your middle section completes the look.

via csogalvin in Instagram

Recreate This Look!
Black Tshirt
Black Pants
White Paper Plates
White Belt
White Tape

18) Grapes
A bunch of grapes is a costume that does not require a bunch of effort. Start with purple or green clothing. Purchase a bag of purple or green balloons. Fill each one then tape them to your body.

via HerCampus.com

Recreate This Look!
Long Sleeve (purple,green,red)
Balloons (purple,green,red)

19) Rosie the Riveter

Rosie is the symbol of it can be done! For this costume, you simply need a red bandana and a can do attitude. A jean top is optional but will help pull the look together.

Recreate This Look!
Red bandana
Half Sleeve Shawl Tee Shirt Crop Tie Top Denim T-shirt

20) Ninja
The ninja costume requires black clothing and red cloth or a red t-shirt. Cut the cloth into strips and tie the pieces of fabric to your wrists, ankles, and head. Take a piece of black fabric and create the covering for your eyes. You can create optional death stars with cardboard cutouts.

Recreate This Look!
Black Tshirt iWth Hood
Black Pants
Red Cloth

NO EFFORT HALLOWEEN COSTUMES

These no effort Halloween costumes are for the ultimate, last minute, spend nothing party goer. You may have to take a moment or so to explain your costume, so get ready for the puzzled faces. These costumes require so little effort, the descriptions are almost unnecessary. Nonetheless, here they are.

21) Nudist on Strike
Nudists wear nothing. You are on strike. Wear clothes.

via HelloGiggles.com

Recreate This Look!
Marker
Garter
Nudist on Strike Tshirt
Nudist on Strike Jacket

22) Facebook
Draw the word BOOK on your face.

Recreate This Look!
Marker

23) Mixed Greens
Wear green clothes that do not match. Now you are a salad.

via HerCampus.com

Recreate This Look!
Green Scarf
Green Earrings
Green Blouse
Green Panty
Green Shoes
Green Bag

24) Formal Apology
Wear a suit or tuxedo. Apologize all night.

via TopDreamer.com

Recreate This Look!
Suit or Tuxedo

25) Ghost
The ghost costume requires a white sheet and scissors. Cut out holes for your eyes. Done.

via DIY Home Decor Guide

Recreate This Look!
White Sheet
Scissors
Pumpkin Treat Bucket

Now that you have these low effort and low cost Halloween costumes, you can go back to watching your bank account grow.

Have you tried any of these costumes? Do you know a friend who has?

This post originally appeared on

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Young Finances by Latisha Styles - 9M ago

This post was created in partnership with the National Association of Realtors.

Location is everything when you’re searching for a home. Finding your dream neighborhood may seem like the easiest part, but once you factor in budget, non-negotiable home features, and proximity to the things you can’t live without, it may be less obvious where you should live.

Property Taxes

Property taxes can play a huge role in your overall cost of living. To get a sense of what your property taxes might look like in a particular county, check out this simple property tax map. Also, property taxes for specific homes are typically included in online property listings.

What to consider: How much will my property taxes be?

Safety and Crime

Before you sign on the dotted line, search sites like City-Data.com and CrimeReportsto get a sense of the safety level of a particular neighborhood. As with all homebuying decisions, determining what level of crime you feel safe with is all part of the process of choosing a neighborhood.

Your real estate agent can guide you to various resources to help you answer questions about the neighborhood, but can’t voice an opinion about it per the Fair Housing Act. The act aims to provide equal access to housing for all groups of people and to protect against discrimination.

What to consider:

  • What is the crime rate in this particular neighborhood? How about the neighborhood next door?
  • What level of crime do I feel comfortable with? 
Topography and Geography

Land geography can play a role in costs — especially if you’re overlooking a scenic vista or you’re right by the water. On the flipside, look out for flood zones or other danger-prone areas when making a decision.

What to consider: 

  • Do I need special insurance in addition to homeowners insurance?
  • Is this property in a flood zone?
Property Value

If there have been some sales recently, then you can get a better idea of the potential value of the homes in the neighborhood. Typically, homes of the same type in the same location will sell within a few thousand dollars of each other. When looking at homes, your agent will pull listings of comparable properties, or comps, to see what other similar homes sold for so you can see if the home you’re interested in is priced correctly.

Question(s) to ask:

  • What are the comps in this area?
  • What’s the projected growth rate for this area?
School Zones

School zones come to mind when thinking of location, especially if you have children (or plan to have them soon), as they tend to affect home values. If schools are important to you, evaluate the schools in your neighborhood and which homes fall into which district. Additionally, there may be community centers or parks that increase the value of the neighborhood.

What to consider:

  • What school would my child attend if we moved here?
  • Are there parks or community centers in this area?

Using these factors as a guide for finding the right neighborhood can help you evaluate what you care about and make the decision that’s right for you.

How to Choose a Neighborhood is a post from: Young Finances by LaTisha Styles

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

This post was created in partnership with the National Association of Realtors.
How do I get approved for a loan? Who will help me find the right home? Who can help me? Don’t panic! Here are the top four people you need to know when it comes to buying a home.

1. The Person Who Approves the Loan

One of the first people you’ll need to work with is a loan officer or lender. This is the person who helps you understand the ins and outs of getting a loan, as well as any requirements or conditions.

Before speaking with the loan officer, however, you may want to estimate what a monthly mortgage payment may look like, which you can do with a simple mortgage calculator. Your monthly payment will include homeowners insurance, property taxes paid into an escrow account, and, if you put down less than 20%, PMI or private mortgage insurance.

Remember: The bank will provide an initial number of what it thinks you can afford based on your gross monthly income. But it’s up to you to account for your own personal budget and living expenses.

Once you’ve spoken with the lender, it’s worthwhile to get a preapproval letter, which shows how much the bank would be willing to lend you based on your full financial picture. Without this letter, most sellers won’t take you seriously and may not even accept your offer.

2. Next Up: The Person Who Finds the Home

A real estate agent is usually the first person that most people speak to during the homebuying process. Before my husband and I moved to Tennessee, we contacted an agent who specializes in out-of-state relocations. She did an excellent job of searching for properties in Memphis that met our needs and even suggested a few that we wouldn’t otherwise have considered.

When you begin your home search, you might start with an online search. While these property listing sites provide formatted data on available properties, a REALTOR® will have access to the latest information and can provide any updates or correct misinformation found online.

A REALTOR® can work on your behalf or on behalf of the seller. When you’re buying a home, it’s important to work with a buyer’s agent, whose responsibility is to you, not the seller.

You should ask the agent all the questions that are important to you — how much other homes in the area recently sold for, how long those homes were on the market, and any other questions that might help you make an informed decision.

While we were searching for a home, we really wanted to get a sense for what types of events are held in the city as well as activities around the area, all the things that the REALTOR® had a great sense for.

3. Don’t Forget: The Person Who Inspects the Home

Once you have found a home, made an offer, and signed the contract to buy, it’s time to hire a home inspector. The contract will specify how many days you have to get the inspection. The home inspector will come to check things like structural integrity, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and cooling, the condition of windows, walls, door frames, ceilings, the attic — basically anything that can be seen without going into walls.

4. The Last Stop: The Person Who Checks Ownership of the Home

The title officer or title company checks the ownership of the home to make sure there are no potential disputes with previous owners, and, ultimately, will issue title insurance for the property. This insurance protects you and the lender if there are claims or lawsuits against your ownership of the property.

Each person has a distinct role in the homebuying process and being informed about exactly what you need from them helps make the process run smoothly. The key is patience — it’s all worth it when you get the new keys to your home!

The 4 Most Important People to Know When Homebuying is a post from: Young Finances by LaTisha Styles

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

Some times you’re doing great and you found a way to turn $1 into $4 passive income.

Other times, programs shut down, Uncle Sam debo’s your money, and you question everything.

August was that kind of month.

The program that I had FINALLY figured out how to send paid traffic to sent an email at the end of the month to say that they were closing their doors to affiliates.

Yep. I was really frustrated for at least an hour while I attempted to figure out what to do next.

There’s a fine line between recommending something because you get paid for it and suddenly speaking against it because they choose not to pay you.

I started checking out other services from companies that I believe in and at first I couldn’t find anything.

Then, I found one that I had already been promoting but from a different angle.

But now I have a new dilemma. I’ve gotta figure out how to make this one work with paid traffic. The cycle begins again.

On top of that, Uncle Sam decided it was time for me to pay up again. I paid estimated taxes for this quarter and silently cried inside.

But there were other amazing things that happened this month (namely making more money). Details below.

(This post contains partner links)

We were chatting in the Actionista Mastermind group (where I hang out with my entrepreneurial friends) and talking about affiliate income.

I shared a link to a training that I did about earning affiliate income.

And then I started thinking maybe I should actually share where my passive affiliate income comes from.

I asked a few friends and they said they find income reports motivating.

So each month I will share where I earn my passive income.

Welcome to August’s Passive Income Report, where I show you how I earned extra income online in the previous month.

This is not a reporting of every dollar I earn online.

I also earn from consulting private clients, coaching clients 1:1 and in group settings, live events, courses, speaking, webinars and workshops.

But this is simply going to be a passive income report. It will include affiliate income and income from display ads.

The idea is to track and measure this so I can find ways to increase this income. My goal is to generate $4,000 per month from affiliate income.

It’s definitely possible.

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be working for myself, and earning thousands each month with my own business, I probably would have not believed you.

But that is what life is like right now.

And it all started with creating a blog and making my first dollar as an affiliate.

Psst… I’m giving away a free 24 minute training on how I got started in affiliate marketing and how you can too!
If you’d like to learn the strategies that I use to earn affiliate income, then you should grab this free video training.

Here we go!

August 2017 Passive Income Report – $1,559.08

ClickFunnels (The Underground Playbook to Growing Your Business Online) – $685.02

Wealthfront – $600

ConvertKit (Get 30 Days free with this link) – $95.70

Create and Launch a Profitable Course & Other Courses (How I Made $10,713 in 2016 with Courses) – $85

Acuity Scheduling – $5

SendOwl – $1.80

Credit Sesame (Get your free credit score here) – $4

TurboTax (Get the Ultimate Tax Guide for Young Adults) – $0

Budget Toolkit (Download this free one page budget printable) – $0

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $0

Hostgator (Start a blog and make your first $100) – $0

I’m also an affiliate for several more programs. I’ve evaluated several programs and removed myself as an affiliate for a few so those line items were removed as well.

Smaller passive income products and affiliates – $2.20

Display Ads

Google Adsense – $66.79

YouTube Adsense – $19.57 (Watch my latest videos on YouTube)

Amazon Affiliates – $0

What Changed this Month

I’ve been really evaluating what I want my next step to be. I’m the type of person that needs a challenge. After launching my group program and successfully enrolling students, it was no longer the next challenge. More students continue to enroll (which is why Uncle Sam is creeping in my bank account. )

At this point I have my coaching business as the full time income and this blog as the part time income. I’m averaging $6500 a month from all income sources which is WAY beyond what I ever thought I would earn online. To put it in perspective, my highest paying job allowed me to earn about $1500 every two weeks in take home pay and I felt like I was balling. But I couldn’t enjoy it like I wanted because I had credit card debt and I had to work 40 hours a week.

Now I face a new dilemma, if you can call it that. I have the time to think about what I truly want to do and the income to make it happen. I really have to decide what I want my daily life to look like.

I started volunteering with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO Memphis) as the PR & Marketing Chair. It’s nice to feel like I am a part of something bigger than just my LLC.

I released my latest entrepreneur focused series, Creating Coins. It covers money and mindset for entrepreneurs. You can watch the episodes by clicking here. (Subscribe to my new channel if you want more entrepreneur type vids!)

But I do know one thing. I’m really enjoying helping entrepreneurs systematize their business and gain more clients. Several clients have had five figure launches which makes me really excited to see.

What I’m Currently Engrossed In

Every now and then I go on a low information diet. This is me taking a step back and avoiding any new information that could take me off course. But then, when I’m ready, I go into binge mode and start learning everything I can about a new topic.
Right now I’m going into full information mode as I look for ways to increase the passive income I generate.

I started this affiliate bootcamp which sends a lesson each day on how to retire in 100 days as an affiliate.

What’s Next?

2016 was an amazing year for my business. In October of 2015, I made the decision to go full speed, I hired a mentor and I worked my butt off. I implemented systems, created trainings, and grew my audience (love you guys!).

I know that step was the best thing I could have done for my business.

Now I’m looking towards 2017 and planning an even bigger year.

I have a challenge in the works, a new course, more YouTube videos, and several collaborations that I’m pretty excited about. The best way to keep up to date with everything that is happening is to become an Actionista. You can do that by clicking here and getting on my private list.

Upcoming Goals
  • Earn $120,000 from my business in 2017.
  • Impact the lives of 100 entrepreneurs and help them earn more with a sustainable business.
  • Increase affiliate income to $4,000 per month
  • Grow my private Facebook community to 5,000 members
  • Grow my email list to 15,000 subscribers

What are your goals for this coming year? Does it include earning more money on the side? Or maybe you want to take your business full time?

Psst… I’m giving away a free 24 minute training on how I got started in affiliate marketing and how you can too!
If you’d like to learn the strategies that I use to earn affiliate income, then you should grab this free video training.

My August 2017 Passive Income Report – $1559.08 is a post from: Young Finances by LaTisha Styles

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

I remember exactly what I was doing when it happened. I was on my bed, in my dorm room, watching my 19 inch TV which was tuned to CNBC.

My favorite show at the time was Squawk Box and everyday I watched it for stock tips.
The day before I had just saw them mention a new stock that was on the rise. Naturally, I logged into my trading account and bought a few shares.

But today something was wrong.

The stock was down.

I thought they said this stock was moving up?

That was one of the many mistakes that I made when I first started investing.
If you’re new to investing or you want to get started, you might be scared to make mistakes and lose money.

Nobody actually wants to lose money, am I right?

If you want to start investing but you want to avoid rookie mistakes, then pay attention closely. Here are 7 top investing mistakes that every beginner makes.

 

Choosing the Wrong Investment Vehicle

I first started investing inside of a Roth IRA. That is a retirement account where you add money after it is taxed. I figured that would be the easiest way to save for retirement and invest at the same time.
While I had the right idea, the vehicle I chose wasn’t exactly the best one. I was picking individual stocks inside of my retirement account. Knowing what I know now, I would have chosen to invest in index funds instead.

An index fund is a type of fund that just follows the broad market. So if the market goes up, it goes up. And if the market goes down, it goes down. The index is such a large selection of individual stocks that you don’t have to worry about any one stock in particular ruining your retirement plans.

Now I invest in ETFs and mutual funds inside of my retirement account. Mutual funds usually require a higher dollar amount so if you are starting with just a few hundred dollars then you will want to look into ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) until you have enough to switch over to mutual funds.

Watching the Markets Too Much

As soon as I put my money in the markets, I started watching the ups and downs every day. Every little piece of news made me question my decision. I had no idea that the market moves in natural flows like the ocean.

Typically, if the market hits a new high, the very next day it will be down. The market also moves the same during earnings season as well, if you know what to look for. But then again, there are times when you might think that good news would make the markets go up, only to see that it’s dropped.

Watching the markets everyday helps you to get used to the movements, but if you try to make decisions based on what it does every day, you’ll only ruin your investment account’s growth.

Not Re-investing Dividends

My entire goal when investing was to earn extra money. I figured if I could buy enough dividend paying stocks that I could live off of the quarterly checks. Once again I had the right idea, but the way I went after that idea was not exactly the best way to do it.

I bought individual stocks and decided not to reinvest the dividends. But because I didn’t have tens of thousands invested, my dividend checks weren’t even enough to withdraw. I would have been better off reinvesting those dividends so I could allow my investing account to grow.

I finally decided to start a blog to earn extra money and that started to pay me anywhere from $100 to $200 a month; way more than I could have made from my investing account.

Don’t invest to make extra money. Invest the extra money that you make from a side hustle.

Now I reinvest all of my dividends.

Choosing Stocks Based on TV

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I used to watch Squawk Box on CNBC and invest in whatever stocks they mentioned. Then sometimes I would watch a commercial and think, “that must be a good company.” and I would buy some of their shares.

I had no idea why my stocks weren’t going up in value until I actually learned how to research a stock. And I was so ready to jump into the market I didn’t want my cash just sitting around. I wanted it to start earning for me.

But picking a stock just because you want to invest is definitely not the best way to make a good investing decision.

These days, I set aside an investing fund. I put the cash into an account with ETFs until I find a good individual stock that I want to invest in.

Withdrawing Investment Gain Early

This is another mistake that I see a lot of beginner investors make. When choosing a good stock, you want to pay attention to the 3 and 5 year projections. If you are not prepared to invest for 3 or 5 years then you are really just trading. (There’s nothing wrong with trading but there are different risks and considerations.)

The mistakes and drops smooth out over time and that is how long term investors win. Because they stay in the market and ignore all of the noise.

Check out this chart from the last few years which includes the dip from the Great Recession.

If you had started investing beforehand and left your money in the markets, you would have had all of your money back by mid-2013 and close to doubled by 2017.

(Source: SpIndices.com)

However, if you were trading and removed your money at the bottom, you would have missed the upswing that came directly after in 2009.

And if you were too scared to invest again you would have missed the positive returns that came every year after that downturn.

The point is, if you’re going to start investing, get comfortable with the long term.

Forgetting to Diversify

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

That is the idea of diversification. When you diversify, you spread out your potential loss over many options. You also spread out your potential gains.

(Remember, if you really want to earn extra money, you should be looking into a side hustle. You’ll make way more than you would from investing today. Investing is the long game. A side hustle is the short game.)

I’ll make this quick and easy. One of the easiest ways to diversify is buying more than one exchange traded fund. You want your portfolio to benefit from local growth, small businesses, large businesses, growth from new explorations, overseas opportunities, etc. The most cost efficient way to do that is by buying a diversified ETF portfolio. That’s where a managed investing account like the one offered by Ally Invest comes into play.

Ally Invest will even allow you to create your own diversified ETF portfolio for only $4.95 per ETF. Check them out here. (*partner link)

Investing Too Little

When I wanted to start investing I didn’t have that much to start with. Some people have parents to start them off with an investing account, or a job that pays well enough so they can get started. I didn’t have that. What I did have was a good bit of credit card debt. And even though there are financial gurus who will say don’t invest until you’ve paid off your debt, I say that you can do both.

I budgeted out a percentage to go towards debt and a little bit to go towards investing. It’s all about creating habits no matter where you are in your financial journey.

But even with setting a percentage, I still only had a little bit to start investing.
When you get started you want to put at least $500 into an account.
Take some time to save this up if you have to because it will be a good base for you to start from.

If you really want to start investing but you’re not sure where to even start, then you should grab this free 5 day investing challenge that I created.

In 5 days I’ll show you how to find your first stock so you can start investing.
I’ll even send you my free investing guide for quick reference.
Click here to get the full guide and 5 day investing challenge now. (Click here if you’re on a mobile device.)

7 Investing Mistakes That Every Beginner Makes is a post from: Young Finances by LaTisha Styles

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

In my opinion college students are the best investors. They are constantly learning and not afraid to make mistakes. As you get a college education, you should be getting an education in building wealth. You don’t need tons of capital to start your investing journey: you just have to know how to do it.

This article will focus on the most popular option for college investors: online investing. If you are wondering how can a college student invest here are some tips to get you started.

How Can a College Student Invest Starting with Stocks?

Download the free investing guide

When you first start investing you will most likely want to start with stocks. The reason most first time investors start with stocks is that they are easy to relate to and they are widely discussed. You can start up a conversation about stocks with almost anyone and they should be able to voice at least an opinion. While some believe that there are certain best stocks for college students, I believe a general education on how to invest is important.

Establishing Your Online Investment Portfolio

According to financial experts, college investors have a significant advantage over other types of investors. They have time – lots of it. Considering the amazing powers of compound interest (i.e. a type of interest that earns additional interest), we can say that time IS money.

Experienced investors state that even a small amount of money, if invested properly, can reap huge profits in the future. That means you really have to think about building your personal investment portfolio while you are still in college.

Here are the things you have to do to jumpstart your career as an investor:

  1. If you are beginning with small capital (e.g. $25 to $50), find a broker that will accept the small account. Then, you can increase your overall capital by investing more money on a regular basis.
  1. You should calculate the total amount of money you are willing to risk. As a college investor, you have to keep in mind that investment always involves risk. Your personality and available funds are two of the most important factors that determine your “risk tolerance.”
  1. If you like to take risks, the possibility of earning large profits probably outweighs your fears of losing money. If you are risk-averse, on the other hand, you have to perform serious calculations regarding the exact amount that you are willing to risk.
  1. There are savings vehicles that guarantee profits and offer minimal risks. Here are some examples: certificate of deposits, federal savings bonds, student savings accounts approved by the FDIC, etc. Yep, I’m talking about saving accounts, CDs and other bank saving products. In general, these financial instruments provide the best protection against risks. However, they also involve the lowest potential for getting large profits. If you will invest in these instruments, your earning potential will be severely limited.
  1. If you can shoulder more risk and invest your money for a longer time period, you may try investing your capital in mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs). These funds are composed of various securities such as bonds, stocks and commodities. Mutual fund corporations collect and manage the money of other people for investment purposes. Since these corporations employ financial experts, lots of college investors opt to put their money in mutual funds or ETFs.
  1. Prior to investing your hard-earned money in these mutual funds, you have to perform your own background research. Some mutual fund companies focus on particular industries (e.g. pharmaceutical, telecommunications, banking, etc.) while others use diversified portfolios (i.e. they make investments in different industries). You should research about the past performance of the company you will be investing on and the industries they work with. Remember: The past performance can in no way guarantee future results.
How Can a College Student Invest in Stocks?

How to Start Investing Even if You Have No Money - YouTube

As a college investor, once you become familiar with how the financial market works, you can start to invest in individual bonds or stocks. You can do this through the help of online brokerage firms. Individual investments, as the name implies, require the investor to personally manage all of the securities that he/she owns.

This might sound a bit scary.

However, there are lots of tools that you can use to simplify your investment decisions.

Almost all online brokerage firms provide their clients with reliable tools to monitor their investments. These days, lots of investment companies offer free accounts and minimal balance requirements. That means you can start your personal investment portfolio today.

You may think that investing is difficult or that it is hard to get started. That is not the case. Beginning your investing journey is as easy as opening an investing account. I used to have a few accounts with different brokers because I liked them for different reasons. Now I just have a few ETFs and stocks.

For example, I can buy stocks with an Ally Invest account. But I also like them because I can invest automatically without choosing stocks; you can open an account here with no minimum. (*partner link)

Lesson 1: What is a Stock?

A stock or a share, is an ownership interest in a business. A publicly traded business will use stocks, also called equity, to raise capital. As a stockholder, you own a piece of a business. You have the right to vote on certain changes, and you should be involved in the process. Figuring out what stocks to choose is the tough part. I remember when I made my first investments. I bought stocks based on what reporters were discussing on tv. And I lost horribly. After a few years, I learned how to research stocks and invest with the markets, not against them. I was a college student investing with extra cash and I enjoyed the process.

Lesson 2: How to REALLY Trade Stocks

Once you’ve placed a few trades and are confident in your abilities, it’s time to put some muscle behind your trades. You can beat the stock market if you make the choice to research your trades and take the time to follow the markets carefully.

Curious to see how I invest? Click here for my Gemini Portfolio.

Lesson 2b: Technical Analysis vs. Fundamental Analysis

This is where you have to do your homework and it’s really not that hard. Fundamental analysis is looking at the story behind the price changes whereas technical analysis is looking at the previous price changes to determine a future.

4 Tips for College Students Who Want to Invest

The following tips are recommended by financial experts. You should consider these before or while investing your money in the markets.

  1. Learn as much as you can – You can acquire investing knowledge and techniques just by reading reliable investing books and articles. The pieces of information you can gain from these resources can help you become a successful investor.
  2. Eliminate high interest debts – Debts (especially those with high interest rates) should be paid off first before making any investment. Risking your money in investments while having high interest loans can greatly worsen your financial condition.
  3. Select a brokerage firm – If you really want to make investments, you have to create a brokerage account. You have two options here: online firms and traditional firms. Online brokerage firms offer easy and computerized investment systems. However, traditional firms may provide personal advice and services.
  4. Diversify your portfolio – Investing all of your funds in a single company can result in financial disaster. Consider putting your money in various industries and investment vehicles. This strategy is called “portfolio diversification.” Even if you think an investment is a “sure thing” never put all of your eggs in one basket. A diversified portfolio is recommended.
6 Fears That Prevent You From Investing

It’s hopefully no secret that investing is the way to build wealth. Stock piling your money in a savings account won’t help you become a millionaire, or even help you achieve your financial goals. Unfortunately, there are a lot of concerns and excuses that young professionals like to throw around that keep them from investing. I hope to dispel a couple of them in this post and to help motivate you to look at investing!

1) Investing is for rich people.

How do you think most of those people got rich? Not by sitting around and working their 9-5 job! It only takes a little bit of money to get into investing, and anyone can start trading stocks online!

2) I just don’t have enough money to make it worthwhile.

It’s the principle of the matter; if you can learn to make a little bit of money, you can learn to make a lot of money!

3) I just don’t have time.

Let’s face it; what young professional does? The fact is, if you don’t purposefully make time for your finances, they’ll easily slip out of control for you. It actually doesn’t take all that much time to research and invest your money, plus there are now more and more affordable services online (Ally Invest, Learnvest) for you to pay a nominal fee to have your money invested.

4) There are too many options out there to invest in.

Well, you’ve gotta start somewhere. Try picking one good mutual fund or an index fund. This is a quick way to diversify your money and lessens the risk of just picking one stock.

5) I’m afraid I’ll lose my money.

That’s a fair point. Firstly, never put more money in than you could see decline. You should always keep an emergency fund as well as a nice pile of cash in the bank before you start investing. Secondly; no risk, no reward. You have to be willing to take a risk with your money in order to get the reward of actually making money. Thirdly; start small and safe with your investing. Don’t go investing in high tech companies that you don’t even understand their business model. Although you won’t ever eliminate the risk, you can certainly learn to mitigate it.

6) I already have a retirement fund, why should I invest more money?

Firstly, good for you for having a retirement fund! Take a look at your savings account right now, how much interest is it paying? I’d be surprised if you said more than 1%. Inflation in 2013 here in the US was 1.5% last year. That means that your money essentially lost some of its value just sitting in the bank.

Although you shouldn’t go out and invest all of your money in the market, investing more than $0 would be a good start.

By investing early, you’ll hopefully be able to enjoy years of compounding interest and will see you total net worth grow!

Download the free investing guide

How did you start investing?

How Can a College Student Invest? Easy Tips is a post from: Young Finances by LaTisha Styles

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

This has been one lazy summer.

I pretty much took the entire month of July off. That meant that when it was time to publish my latest income report I was busy playing Sim City.

So I’ve decided to combine the June and July income reports in one go.

I’m excited to say that I finally figured out the paid traffic strategy I’ve been testing out for the past few months.

In July that accounted for $800 alone in one program.

I’m excited to see what happens in January because the summer months are typically not great for financial affiliate programs.

(This post contains partner links)

We were chatting in the Actionista Mastermind group (where I hang out with my entrepreneurial friends) and talking about affiliate income.

I shared a link to a training that I did about earning affiliate income.

And then I started thinking maybe I should actually share where my passive affiliate income comes from.

I asked a few friends and they said they find income reports motivating.

So each month I will share where I earn my passive income.

Welcome to June & July’s Passive Income Report, where I show you how I earned extra income online in the previous month.

This is not a reporting of every dollar I earn online.

I also earn from consulting private clients, coaching clients 1:1 and in group settings, live events, courses, speaking, webinars and workshops.

But this is simply going to be a passive income report. It will include affiliate income and income from display ads.

The idea is to track and measure this so I can find ways to increase this income. My goal is to generate $4,000 per month from affiliate income.

It’s definitely possible.

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be working for myself, and earning thousands each month with my own business, I probably would have not believed you.

But that is what life is like right now.

And it all started with creating a blog and making my first dollar as an affiliate.

Psst… I’m giving away a free 24 minute training on how I got started in affiliate marketing and how you can too!
If you’d like to learn the strategies that I use to earn affiliate income, then you should grab this free video training.

Here we go!

June | July 2017 Passive Income Report – $1,763.49 | $1,776.43

ClickFunnels (The Underground Playbook to Growing Your Business Online) – $766.80 | $772.35

Wealthfront – $150 | $800

Create and Launch a Profitable Course & Other Courses (How I Made $10,713 in 2016 with Courses) – $119 | $17

ConvertKit (Get 30 Days free with this link) – $113.10 | 104.40

Acuity Scheduling – $5 | $5

SendOwl – $1.80 | $1.80

31 Days to Build Your Online Platform – $93 | $0

TurboTax (Get the Ultimate Tax Guide for Young Adults) – $0 | $0

Credit Sesame (Get your free credit score here) – $0 | $0

Betterment – $0 | $0

Budget Toolkit (Download this free one page budget printable) – $9 | $0

Genesis Theme – $0 | $0

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $0 | $0

Hostgator (Start a blog and make your first $100) – $0 | $0

Pinterest Strategy Guide (How I Made $22,000 per Month on Pinterest) – $0 | $0

Smaller passive income products and affiliates – $442.83 | $0

Display Ads

Google Adsense – $47.70 | $57.27

YouTube Adsense – $16.15 | $18.61 (Watch my latest videos on YouTube)

Amazon Affiliates – $5.91 | $0

I’m also an affiliate for several more programs. I’m in the process of evaluating the programs that I have now and plan to remove myself as an affiliate for a few.

What Changed this Summer

What changed this summer.

After the mental rollercoaster of launching my group coaching program You’ve Got Clients and hosting 12 students over 6 weeks, I needed a mental break. I spent the majority of July playing Sim City and I put most everything else on auto pilot. The students have been getting amazing results. One reached her first five figure launch, another booked 2 paying clients over the phone with payments in full.

It feels really good to be able to use the skills that I learned to help other entrepreneurs.

I hired a new assistant and we are in the process of transferring new tasks.

I’ve finally figured out what Facebook ads I want to run on the Young Finances page. So far these ads have been bringing in consistent sales for one program in particular. My next step is to make this work for at least 2 additional programs. I’m in the process of testing the next one now.

I hired a mentor to help me in this area and many of his students are reaching $1k days running viral ads. We’re still in the process of getting started but I’m excited to see how this goes. I am still focused on reaching my $4k passive income goal from this income stream.

I released my latest entrepreneur focused series, Creating Coins. It covers money and mindset for entrepreneurs. You can watch the episodes by clicking here. (Subscribe to my new channel if you want more entrepreneur type vids!)

What I’m Currently Engrossed In

Every now and then I go on a low information diet. This is me taking a step back and avoiding any new information that could take me off course. But then, when I’m ready, I go into binge mode and start learning everything I can about a new topic.
Right now I’m getting back into implementation, my husband is helping me redo my messaging so it’s in line with my exact audience. And that means that I am not creating as much content for marketing purposes.

Fortunately, I have systems that bring clients to me so I don’t always have to be on the hunt.

But I’m also looking for ways to ramp up my affiliate income with the marketing programs I’m a member of. I started this affiliate bootcamp which sends a lesson each day on how to retire in 100 days as an affiliate.

What’s Next?

2016 was an amazing year for my business. In October of 2015, I made the decision to go full speed, I hired a mentor and I worked my butt off. I implemented systems, created trainings, and grew my audience (love you guys!).

I know that step was the best thing I could have done for my business.

Now I’m looking towards 2017 and planning an even bigger year.

I have a challenge in the works, a new course, more YouTube videos, and several collaborations that I’m pretty excited about. The best way to keep up to date with everything that is happening is to become an Actionista. You can do that by clicking here and getting on my private list.

Upcoming Goals
  • Earn $120,000 from my business in 2017.
  • Impact the lives of 100 entrepreneurs and help them earn more with a sustainable business.
  • Increase affiliate income to $4,000 per month
  • Grow my private Facebook community to 5,000 members
  • Grow my email list to 15,000 subscribers

What are your goals for this coming year? Does it include earning more money on the side? Or maybe you want to take your business full time?

Psst… I’m giving away a free 24 minute training on how I got started in affiliate marketing and how you can too!
If you’d like to learn the strategies that I use to earn affiliate income, then you should grab this free video training.

My June & July 2017 Passive Income Report – $3,539.92 is a post from: Young Finances by LaTisha Styles

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

A credit score is just a number.

But the reality is, it’s a number that is used to rank you at various points in your life.

When you turn 18 and become eligible to begin managing credit, that number will begin to fluctuate.

Hopefully you will have good money management skills and your credit score will go up and never go down, but hey, life happens.

If you want to check your credit score and see what it is there’s a free way for you to do that.

How to Check Your Credit Score 1) Get A Free Credit Report

Your credit report is similar to a report card in school.

On your credit report you will see your lines of open credit, how long they’ve been open, the credit limit and how they are currently being paid.

You will also be able to see if they’ve ever been paid late i.e. past 30 days. The credit report used to be kept behind closed doors and you had to pay each time you wanted to see what was on your report.

There is a service at annualcreditreport.com that will allow you to see your credit report once a year from all three credit bureaus for free.

(Be sure to use their navigation and not your browser’s back and forward button, or the system may think you’ve seen one or all reports and you might not be able to see them all. This I learned from experience.)

Once you look at your credit report, you might be curious to know what your or credit score is.

Annualcreditreport.com does not give you your credit score and often one of the three credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian or Equifax will offer you access to your score for a fee.

But there’s a nice way to get that for free also.

2) Get Your Free Credit Score

You can get your free credit score from a service called Credit Sesame.

Credit Sesame is a trusted partner and they are one of the companies on my list of go-to resources for this very reason. Credit Sesame will give you your free credit score each month.

They allow you to see how your credit score compares to your peers and they suggest ways for you to build and/or repair your credit.

I used Credit Sesame recently when I was shopping for an apartment. I wanted to check my credit score and my credit report to make sure there were no negatives on it.

It’s good to check your score and your credit report before shopping for a mortgage, a job, or of course, credit.

Credit Sesame uses the same security measures as banks and other financial websites so you know that your information is safe.

They offer this as a free service and they make money if and when you decide to use one of the services that they’ve recommended.

You might be wondering “How does the Credit Sesame credit score compare to a paid service?” I actually had that same question.

So I decided to pay a dollar for a free trial with one of the big three credit bureaus. I checked my credit score and it was with in 1 to 2 points difference from the Credit Sesame score.

That’s close enough for me.

So keep up with your credit score and check out the free service from Credit Sesame. Have you checked your score lately?

What is a Good Credit Score?

When it comes to a credit score, size does matter. Lenders judge you by how high your credit score is. If you are looking to borrow money to buy a house, purchase a vehicle or an engagement ring, you will need a good credit score. 

Why You Need Good Credit

If you want to keep your expenses low by qualifying for cheaper car insurance then you need “good credit”. But what determines a good credit score versus a bad credit score? Most people are reluctant to divulge that information. So let’s look at a few stats to help you determine if you have good credit.

Who Determines Your Credit Score?

“Who died and made you king?!”

I find the entire credit scoring process to be a bit biased. When investing, money managers will constantly tell you, “past performance is no indication of future results.” The entire FICO scoring model uses old information to predict the likelihood that you will repay.

The idea behind this Fair Issac scoring model is that history tends to repeat itself. If you pay on time consistently, you are expected to continue paying on time. If you have a habit of being late, you are expected to continue that habit. As someone who has a habit of winning like Rocky Balboa and changing my personal habits to become successful, I don’t see this model as all that fair, Isaac.

But nonetheless, that is what we have to work with.

Are You the Average American?

Your FICO score is determined by a several factors.

  • Length of Credit History
  • Payment History
  • Credit Limit to Balance Ratio
  • Types of Credit Used
  • Frequency of New Credit Received

Based on data collected by Credit Karma, the average American has a credit score in the range of 600-700. The average American has a mortgage that they pay monthly, credit card debt that they typically pay on time and a utilization ratio of about 30% on those credit cards that they carry from month to month. But you and I know that the goal is to be above average. After all, average people don’t have assets like Kim Kardashian.

What Makes an Above Average American?

The above average American has a FICO score in the range of 700-850. They have little to no consumer debt, at least on paper. They typically pay their credit balance in full each month right before the statement is issued so that they have a zero balance reported to the credit bureau.

They make use of cash back or travel reward cards to get the benefits of using credit without the fees that come with carrying a balance.

What is your credit score? Have you taken the time to check it? There are three services that I use to stay on top of my credit score. I check up on changes to my credit report monthly for free with CreditSesame.com. Click here to check your credit score right now.

How to Get Your Free Credit Score is a post from: Young Finances by LaTisha Styles

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

This post was created in partnership with the National Association of Realtors.

Thinking of draining your bank account to buy a home? There are more expenses likely to arise after purchasing a home. A recent report by Home Advisor shows that homeowners spend an average of $10,182 per year on repairs and maintenance. That number includes both minor repairs like replacing a shower head; and major repairs like the average cost of $7,000 to replace a roof. Unless you purchase a brand new home, repairs are highly likely and they have an expected timeline. For example, according to Energy.gov, storage water heaters only last 10-15 years and a central air unit lasts about 15-20 years. However, even if you purchase a new home, a regular maintenance schedule can help delay larger repairs.

Unexpected and Expected Expenses

With this in mind, within the first few months of moving in, it is possible that you will have to spend on expected or unexpected repairs or maintenance. Therefore, it is important to have funds in your bank account to cover these expenses.

No emergency funds? Some states have programs that provide grants for emergency repair. For example, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency has an Emergency Repair Program. However, in order to qualify, the homeowner must be older than the age of 60 or disabled. So a program like this may not be a fit for you.

Another option, if you don’t have funds on hand is to use your credit cards.

However, using unsecured debt, like a credit card, to cover repairs for a property linked to secured debt, a mortgage, is not advisable. This is primarily because credit cards often come with higher interest rates than a home equity line of credit,

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is another option, but it is additional debt that can take months to pay off.

You should not only expect these home repair and regular maintenance expenses, but plan for them as well. That means setting aside a home repair savings fund.

A Bank Account Strategy to Cover Expected Expenses

Instead of draining your bank account to purchase a home, create a strategy to cover the mortgage as well as those expected repairs and maintenance.

When purchasing a new home, a good rule of thumb is to put aside around 4% of the purchase price set aside as a home repair fund.

For a mortgage of $100,000, that would equal $4,000 in the bank.

If you purchase a newer home, those funds can be earmarked for regular maintenance.

If you plan to purchase a home that is a bit older, ask about the expected life span for the roof, a/c unit, and the water heater. These are 3 of the costliest repairs.

Then, take the expected cost to replace each and divide that number by the number of years of useful life remaining.

For example, a roof with 4 years of expected life remaining divided into the average cost of $7,000 would mean an annual savings of $1,750. Divided by 12 months in the year, that would equal a set aside of $145.83 per month.

How Much Home Can I Really Afford?

In order to buy a home without draining your bank account, it is important to factor in not only the purchase price of the home, but also consider the those expenses that come with owning a property.

Start with your monthly expenses and debt. Then look at your income so you can calculate your debt to income (DTI) ratio.

Lenders typically look for a DTI under 43%. To calculate this number, add all of your bills including utilities, debt payments, and current rent, etc. Then, to factor in your expected home expenses, add 4% of the expected home price to your current monthly expenses and divide that number by your monthly gross income.

Here’s an example.

Monthly expenses = $3,500

4% of 150,000 home = $500 per month

Total monthly expenses = $4,000

If your monthly gross income is 120,000

Take 120,000 * 43% = 51,600

Then, divided by 12 months = $4,300 per month

If your monthly gross income is 100,000

Take 100,000 * 43% = 43,000

Then, divided by 12 months = $3,583 per month

To purchase a home worth $150,000 and still have a home maintenance and repair fund, your total monthly expenses including your mortgage should not exceed $4,000.

In the second example, a home of $150,000 could potentially cause financial stress.

Think ahead to factor in expected home repairs and expenses before purchasing your home. While you may think that you can avoid setting funds aside when purchasing a new home, there is still suggested maintenance that would require funds.

And if you purchase an older home, determine what repairs or expenses are likely to occur. Either way, a good rule of thumb is to put aside 4% of the home’s value in case of emergencies or expected repairs.

How to Buy a Home without Draining Your Bank Account is a post from: Young Finances by LaTisha Styles

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • 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