Category Archives: Personal Finance

Tips for Budgeting Your Money to Achieve Financial Freedom

An eagle soars in freedom

Making wise decisions regarding your money will encourage personal financial growth and stability. A budget gives you financial freedom. It helps you identify where your money goes, which results in better financial decisions. Here’s how to get started and stick to it.

A Plan of Action

In short, a budget provides the tools for personal wealth. Using one helps you refrain from making poor decisions regarding your money. With a clear view of your debt and your income, you can achieve financial goals. You learn how to pay down your debt and keep more of your money for personal gain.

Eliminating Wasteful Spending

Most people will admit that they waste money. You may do so without noticing. Habits you develop, such as buying coffee on the way to the office or ordering meals out a few times a week, are normal occurrences. Unfortunately, they are sapping your extra cash, leaving you short financially for the things you need. You can afford to spend money on products that benefit your personal hygiene and health, like Konjac sponges and an electric toothbrush.

Reuse Instead Using Once Then Tossing Away

The good news is there are dozens of ways to spend less on the things you need. For example, you use traditional paper towels once and toss them away. Instead, consider replacing disposables with items you can reuse. Bamboo paper towels and cotton cloths are two examples that will save you money and help reduce waste in landfills and toxins in the air. Travel mugs and water filters eliminate the need for disposable cups and plastic water bottles. You get the idea.

Pay Your Bills on Time

Paying your bills on time eliminates accrued interest and late fees. It also helps you increase your credit score, a three-digit number that can work in your favor or against you. A poor credit score can cost you dearly. It can prevent you from buying a home, a car, or sending children to private schools and colleges. It can also make it harder to get into an apartment and cause you to pay a security deposit on utilities. On the other hand, a good credit score opens the door to the lowest interest rates on large purchases, saving you a ton of money over the term of the loan. It also gives you access to the best insurance companies and can make you a desirable candidate when searching for a job. 

Smart Shopping

Before making any purchase, it’s always best financially to shop around to make sure you get the best price. Food shopping costs the average family over $200.00 weekly. Comparing the weekly fliers of the local supermarkets and using coupons for the things you need can shave $20.00 or more off the bill weekly. That’s $80.00 or more a month and nearly a thousand dollars a year in savings. Shopping on certain days and after a holiday can provide a savings of 40, 50, or even 60-percent off a product’s original sticker price.

Establish Savings

Unexpected expenses will happen. However, if you have money in a savings account for these moments, they become more like non-events. Unfortunately, without savings, any small hiccup that requires money can quickly become a financial disaster. 

Allocate Funds to Several Places

When you have a budget, you set aside funds for the things you want. You can allocate money for a down payment on a home or to purchase a new car. You can also set aside money to fund your child’s education and to enjoy financial comfort in your retirement. 

Budgeting your money doesn’t mean that you live life without. In fact, it provides the opposite, financial freedom. Use a household budget to achieve these goals and enjoy a better quality of life. 

How to Determine What Job You Are Suited To

The fact that many people end up in a completely different line of business than what they initially wanted should tell you something. No one is ever born with a clear plan of what they should do in life. Our preferences, likes, dislikes, abilities, and skills form the path of reaching the perfect job for us. There are hundreds of different tests and quizzes out there that “help” you establish the perfect job for you.

However, the truth is that the job you are cut out to do is almost always different than what you had in mind for yourself. There are many factors to take into account to help in this decision-making process, and here are a few that determine what job you are most suited to.

It’s Not Always About Passion

Whether you are just starting out in your career or have worked in many positions that just didn’t feel right for you, you need to know that you are not alone. A recent study has revealed that nearly a third of Americans are stuck in jobs they don’t care about just to get by. We are often tempted to think of our passions as the perfect career choices for us; however, this isn’t always true. Following your passion doesn’t always secure you the amount of money needed to lead a comfortable and stable life; therefore, passion isn’t the only factor to consider. Instead, consider what is the right fit for you. You need to think about your personality, preferences, principles, the work environment you want to be in, and the amount of money you want to make.

Assess Your Skills

Finding a suitable career for you depends merely on what you are good at. Are you good at working with your hands or do you prefer a mind-stimulating job? Are you good at math? Do you prefer a routine and specific schedule, or do you want a more flexible position? All these questions and more should be answered until you reach the right fit for the skills you have. For example, if you have high intellectual abilities, analytical skills, and good communication, then you might begin to consider a career in investment banking, especially if you are a nimble thinker that can differentiate between good opportunities and things you should dismiss. Assessing your skills will help you greatly in determining what you can and can’t do which will narrow down your search pool.

Ask Experts

After assessing your skills, identifying your likes and dislikes, and determining what you need to excel in your career, it will be easier to limit your search to a few career choices you are contemplating. At this moment, it’s better to seek help from experts in the fields you are interested in. Ask questions about what you need to know and start eliminating what is unsuitable.

Going on a job hunt is never easy. This doesn’t only refer to the crazy maze of searching, applying, and going to interviews; deciding on whether a certain job is suitable for you, to begin with, can be safely deemed the hardest part. If you are unsure about what career path you should go for, then you need to take some time to assess all your wants and needs until you reach the right decision for you.

Seven Tips to Win at Online Casinos

Playing at online casinos has never been more popular, thanks to the continually increasing range of games and bonuses. And there are also some ways to increase your chances of finishing ahead, as we explain below.

One: Learn the Blackjack Numbers

Blackjack is the most popular table game and, perhaps not coincidentally, also the one with the lowest house edge, down to just 0.5% if you play your cards right. Unlike some casino games player choice is a critical factor in blackjack. And you can learn the right move to make in any scenario, provided you’ve got a couple of weeks to memorize the basic strategy numbers.

There is an obvious downside to this, which is that it’s a lot of work and those who don’t have fantastic memories might struggle with it. On the other hand, playing perfectly does mean the house edge can be as low as 0.5%, so that the slightest breeze of luck will blow you into profitability.

One quick extra tip: shun insurance. On average, it’ll leave you worse off.

Play at a Reliable Site like Bovada Casino

There are lots of different games to try in the world of online gambling, and if you like dipping your finger into many a pie then the more than 300 types of games available at Bovada Casino might be right up your street. The site is also audited for fair play as well. From RTG, Betsoft and Rival slots to table games, players can try the latest games with interesting new dynamic gameplay features and bonus games, or fly old school and enjoy classic card games that have been around for decades or even centuries. Coupling this with promos is a great way to increase your chances of finishing with profits (more on that below) and playing online is ideal whether you prefer hour long sessions or popping in for a few minutes when you’ve got a little time to kill.

Another major plus related to online casinos is on the healthcare front. It was a better world when this wasn’t a factor but it’s undeniable that playing online is safer for you than playing in person, and mobile compatibility means it’s far more convenient too.

Two: Roulette has a Low Edge but Choose Wisely

After blackjack, roulette’s the best-loved table game at online casinos, and has a huge range of bets available. You can play it risky betting on a single number or go for a safety first approach with a basic color bet. One critical thing to note is the number of zeroes. Always go for single zero roulette as, bizarre as it may sound, double zero reduces your chances of winning dramatically.

Three: The Game that has a Negative House Edge

Pretty much every game in a casino has a house edge, meaning that if everything plays out according to averages the casino ends up in profit and the player behind. Oddly, there is an exception to this. Video poker games often have very low edges and one, Deuces Wild, has a negative edge, meaning that if the player makes the right calls then they actually should finish ahead, on average.

A word of warning, though. The house edge for any game does assume the player makes the right choices and that luck is roughly average. You can make the smartest decisions and still finish behind or some daft choices and come out in profit if you have a significantly lucky (or unlucky) day. Luck will turn the way it wants to, but a comprehensive understanding of game rules and the ability to act on them on the spot is a great way, completely under your control, to maximize the chance of finishing ahead at an online casino.

Four and Five: High RTP Slots plus Free Spins Bonuses

High RTP slots can offer a pretty good shot of finishing in the black, but when they really shine is when paired up with a free spins no deposit bonus. Such promos are among the most common offered by online betting sites, with a majority having them in one form or another. You can also use a free cash bonus (worth a similar sum, perhaps around $30) and then focus on high RTP slots, or other games previously mentioned, as free spins are often tied to one specific slot which may not may not have a high RTP.

What is RTP? It stands for return to player and indicates the average result. So a 95% RTP slot would see a player get $9.50 if they gambled $10 (a $0.50 loss, of course). Around 95-96% is average for slots, with some having RTPs up to 98% or even 99%. The advantage of playing with no deposit bonuses is that even if you ‘lose’ you don’t actually lose any money, and if you win then you get real cash.

One thing to note with bonuses is that they do come with restrictions. They’re still a very good deal for players but you should always check the terms and conditions to see what’s hiding in the fine print.

Just about every promotion you’ll find will come with a wagering requirement and withdrawal cap. The latter is an upper limit on winnings, often a few hundred dollars. For these reasons it’s daft to look at jackpots because even if you ‘won’ you’d be unable to keep your prize (and it’d be damned galling to be denied a seemingly enormous payout). The wagering requirement is the total you have to bet before bonus money and related winnings can be withdrawn, usually about 30x the value of a bonus, maybe a little higher. If it’s significantly higher then that dramatically reduces a promotion’s value.

You can, of course, pair up free cash promos with other games such as blackjack and roulette, but be aware that table games often contribute much less to the wagering requirement (perhaps 50% against slots’ 100%).

Six: Stay Calm

Don’t get giddy. It can be tempting when things go well to keep going too long. When you’ve got winnings you can withdraw, shift it into your bank account. If you want to keep some playing funds that’s fine, but you only ever finish ahead once the money is out of the casino and into your bank.

Keep a tight rein on your finances. Everyone has a different budget based on disposable income, and whether you’re betting 20c a time or $200, keep within your limits. A good idea is to have a general bankroll of playing funds, and only bet a small percentage of that at once. That way, a bad night is less likely to wipe you out.

Seven: Only Play at Trusted sites

Only play at sites you can trust. There’s no shortage of great online casinos and no reason not to play only at those with reliable licensing arrangements. Most sites indicate their licensing setup at the bottom of every page, with the United Kingdom, Malta, and Gibraltar topping the list of trusted international regulators.

We hope that septet of suggestions proved informative, interesting, and useful, and that Lady Luck gives you a helping hand the next time you’re playing at an online casino.