3 Arguments Against Ever Owning A Panda


3 Reasons Why Panda’s Are A Terrible Investment

Imagine that you are walking down the street, just fresh from a visit to your bank to make a deposit. Your thoughts turn toward the usual: “How can I make my money grow faster?”.

If you haven’t done all your homework in your financial literacy lessons, your state of mind could be perfectly ripe for one of the greatest con jobs of all time!

Just then a guy in a long trench coat sidles up to you, opens the left side of his trench and hands you a brochure, all the while “shushing” you with a finger in front of pursed lips.

“Are you looking for a home-run, can’t miss investment opportunity?” he asks ever so shadily. “Well…” you mutter, and he knows he has a fish on the line.

Then he starts talking about…PandasPandas??

Yes, the black and white furry balls of cuteness exhibited around the world in zoos.


Luckily, you have recently met with your financial wealth coach and have trained your ears to really hear what this huckster is saying. Through the filter of wisdom you hear the following:

“Are you looking for a million dollar investment, with almost no hope for any kind of gain? Then look no further for we have just the investment for your hard earned capital, and that is, yes, Pandas!

These majestic creatures must be worth a fortune because people all over the world visit zoos who have them. The fact that there are so few Pandas in the world means they are more valuable than GOLD!

Still not convinced these little fleabags will make you any money? We will throw in a fake neckbeard with every purchase!”

Well, you have successfully seen through the con and remember from your conversation with your coach that there are three reasons why you probably should not invest in Pandas. Let’s revisit them.

1.) Pandas simply do not hold their value!

With the hype of a new panda at the local zoo, many people flock to see these furry faced fluff balls. After the magic and awe factor of watching them chew on bamboo and make squeaky sounds, Panda’s lose their appeal because, in reality, they do not really do anything other than…Sit. All. Day. Long. Indeed, any worker who doesn’t pull their weight on a team is simply not an asset.

2.) It cost’s BIG money for zoos to rent them!

Besides the fact that they lose 50% of their value when you drive them off the lot, the upkeep of these jokers are a killer!

That’s right, many of those cutie pie panda’s you see chewing on gourmet, hard-to-find bamboo shoots while they politely poop themselves, are actually rented from the Chinese government for $1 million per year.

You cannot buy a panda at all due to a law change in 1982, and if you are lucky enough to have a leased Panda give birth, then you have to pay $600,000 per cub born in order to keep your lease. With a price tag like that, would you still Pander to China in order to get a panda?

3.) Upkeep costs will lose you money!

Pandas are expensive enough with the rental fees alone, but what hurts the prospective Panda owner more? The maintenance and upkeep of a Panda over its lifetime can cost well in excess of $20 million dollars if you add up the cost of rent, food (which consists of specialty bamboo and costs around $100,000 per year not to mention the fact that it has to be imported) and wages for the zoo staff.

As cute as these little fluff balls can be, one would be hard-pressed to spend that kind of money on a showpiece pet with no hope of return. I mean can you imagine the cleaning bill for an animal that eats 100 pounds of bamboo every day?

What You Should Do Instead

In short, a wise investor like yourself should steer clear of pandas, unless you feel like committing an international crime and poaching one, in which case we would plead ignorance and pretend not to know you. Plus, you would incriminate yourself anyway if you tried to make money off it.

It is far better to be a safe investor and stick with stocks and bonds. If you really want the joy of knowing you helped a panda, why not consider adopting?

The minimum cost of panda adoption starts at $1,000 dollars, you don’t make money off them, but the cute pictures the agency sends you will still melt all your friend’s hearts on Facebook.

If you agree, please comment below or share on Facebook!

Photos: Pixabay, Meme: FunnyBeing.com

How Can You Make Money Blogging?


Hey Veterans: Do You Want to Know How to Make Money By Blogging?

Are you a veteran who has something to say?  Do you think people will find real value from your hard-earned life lessons?  Well, if you do we can help you figure out  ways to make money online by blogging?

This site is dedicated to helping veterans gain knowledge about saving money and earning more of it, and blogging is definitely a path that some people take in order to earn a living.

What Is Blogging and How Does It Work?

bloggin apps to make money
Make money blogging? You’ve got this. Image:Pixabay

Blogging has been around since the early years of the internet. Messages boards evolved into whole sites dedicated to the thoughts of just one person. People all over the internet are bragging about how much they’re making, but not saying what it takes to make the bucks.

Those lucky enough to make a living off the business don’t want you to know how they make money, but we do, so read on to learn how you too can get rich on your opinions.

In the quest to rid the internet of the scarcity mentality and to help you make money, below is a step by step guide to making money as a blogger.

1) You Need A Blogging Topic You Love

Now the first idea is going to be your biggest hurdle. You need to blog about something you know about (or have the passion to learn about quickly), but you also need to make sure it will be a topic you can carry on writing about for as long as it takes you to build up a fan base.

2) Find a Website Builder and CMS You Are Comfortable Using

There are several free blogging platforms on the internet but you need to find one you will be comfortable using and make sure it has the exposure you need for your target market. CMS stands for Content Management System. Some examples of blogging CMS platforms to get you started for free are the classic Blogger.com and WordPress. Both websites are user-friendly and great for beginners to the craft.

3) Advertise, Advertise, Drive Massive Traffic!

The importance of advertising and driving traffic cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to making money online by blogging. If you properly get your mindset focused on promoting your blog the right way, then you are throwing away the chance to make a fortune.

Make sure you advertise and be really active on social media.  Also, create by word of mouth by getting to know your target audience on forums and question and answer sites. Last, but not least, CREATE AWESOME CONTENT.

There really are people out there who make their living off blogging and they do it by consistently giving readers what they want.

Putting Adsense on your blog can get you started collecting money per ad click which can quickly add up depending upon your website traffic. If you had 500 people visit your site and click an ad that paid 0.03 per click that is $15 per day. Some advertisers have been reported to pay $7 per click so you can see the earning potential.


In a recent article for Inc.com, the issue of earning money online was addressed. When it came to the topic of blogging, the article was quick to note that blogging is the easiest and most sustainable way to make money online.

It offers some steps to set up a blog and reminds would be internet millionaires like yourself that so long as you blog about what you know and have yourself in the right market then you will have no problems making money off a blogging website.

Do you know a successful blogger who is doing things differently? Share it on our Facebook page.

Veterans: Can You Make Money Online Through Apps?

Make Money Through Apps

Hey veterans: Are you looking for ways to make money from home using apps?

Have you tried some apps only to be disappointed with the money making opportunities they give?

Well, read on to learn more about how you can make more money with the use of apps.

Now, there are many apps offering different prizes and money making tasks, but the problem is finding the real gems. People who get on the app money-making bandwagon are going to be secretive about them.

Also, it is pretty difficult to figure out which apps to trust. With scammers on the rise paired with the recent Equifax breach, app usage is becoming a little bit of a something to be feared.

But through all the problems and worries there are apps that can make you money in a safe and fun manner.

make money with apps
Make money through apps? Image:Pixabay

Now you might be holding your phone in your hand and trying to figure how this tiny piece of technology is going to help you make money. With apps, of course! The possibilities of money making potential are limitless and here a just a few of the ways you can make those Benjamins!

1) Drive for Uber or Lyft Apps

If you need to make some quick cash, why not be a private driver. Driving is a lucrative way to make ends meet and you can set your own hours. Now Uber is great for those out of you out there who may not be a people person.

The company has recently expanded its services from ride sharing to deliver driving for food companies and other companies who need packages delivered. There are some restrictions to being an Uber driver such as the age of the car and the ability to pass a background check.

Now what you make when working for Uber is really up to you, but the average is about $17 per hour.

2) Shopping apps to help you make money

Now shopping apps are a way to make money while you spend it! The basic principle is after you have made a purchase you scan your receipt in and reap rewards for your purchases. Sometimes you may get bonus points for certain items and after you get so many points you can redeem those points for cash.

Some of the popular shopping apps are ibotta.com, Ebates.com and shopkick.com. All of these apps have their individual terms and conditions and limitations on how much you can make.

3) Make your own app!

The best way to make revenue from an app is to make your own! There are many websites and companies out there that can help you make an app (see appmakr.com for example).

The best part with these sites is that the app can be about anything you want it to be. You could create the next Angry Birds!  Hey, you never know… Anything’s possible.

You should know that if you do not charge for your app then you will probably have to survive on advertising methods such as stopping a game midway to show an ad or have banners running in the app itself.

Any app’s growth can be slow in the beginning, but look at Angry Birds which was worth $210 million and they started out only charging less than $1 per download. That genius idea in your head could be next to take the world by storm.

So what did you think of our ideas and do you have any money-making app suggestions? If you do then please head over to our Facebook page to share them.

Should You Use Debt To Pay Debt?


Hey Veterans: Are You Drowning In Credit Card Debt?

The scenario: You have debt, and lots of it, but you also happen to have a home that you have owned for a while.  You will probably find your dinner meals being continually interrupted by telemarketers asking you the following questions:

Do you currently have equity in your home? Are aware of the “financial power” locked in your home’s current market value?

Well, if so, be very careful! Many financial planners will tell you to that the one time it is ok to use debt to pay debt is to use a HELOC or an equity line of credit to quickly pay off high-interest credit card debt.

Our advice: There is never really a good time to use in your debt elimination plan. So normally we do not suggest it.

I’m not a fan of this plan of attack for one simple reason – if you get yourself into so much trouble that you eventually decide to declare bankruptcy, your card balance collection is not secured by your assets, while a mortgage is guaranteed by your home.  So this transfer of debt actually endangers your home!

At the very least, this means that you have attached credit card debt to your home.  Before this, the worst that credit card companies could do to you was go to court and try to get a judgment against you. However, when a debt is backed up by the value of your home – the bank has a real, legitimately painful way to get their money back.  This leverage they’d now have can force you to either stay with the loan or to give up your home.

However, it is your call, so you must figure out what will allow you to rest at night. If your credit card debt is currently manageable and you prefer to save on interest charges in the short term, an equity line of credit will allow that. If you think there is even the remote possibility that you may be forced to file bankruptcy, it may be this a tragic mistake that you vacate your home.

There are many creditors out there who really prefer to place a lien on your home to get your money or assets.

Questions you must ask yourself before pulling the trigger:

  1. Are you using your home equity as an excuse to continue your bad spending habits?  Most people do not realize that new loans that pay off old loans do not really address the bad credit spending habits that are programmed into them.
  2. Are you able to stop spending unnecessary money? If so, perhaps you can save your way out of your current situation.
  3. Do you have any investments in a 401k or other type of savings program? If so, being your own banker is one of the best things you could do.  You’d take a loan against your investment, then pay yourself interest. Combine this with new spending habits and you could be on the path to wealth instead of debt in no time.So what are you going to do? Are you going to address the root of the problem? Will you seek help for the disease? Or will you merely continue to put Bactine on the symptoms and hope for the best?   The sooner you stop with the accumulation of debt you can start planting your money tree orchard, which will bear you good fruit from your labors years from now.

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Do You Know The Difference Between Debt Consolidation, Debt Management, and Debt Settlement?

Hey Veterans: Do you know the difference between a debt consolidation, debt management, or debt settlement?

Its an annual rite of passage.  Every spring, one of my friends will look at their debt payments and ask me how to best get rid of it.

I always start with: “Well, this won’t be easy but…”

As we all know, creating debt in a capitalistic society is super easy to do.

However, when it is time to pay back the debt the lender could care less if the debt owed is a few multiples higher than the borrower’s income.

As a result, this can leave borrowers dealing with harassing creditor calls because of their inability to make the minimum payments.  When this is the case it is pretty difficult to learn how to get out of credit card debt fast and start the path to fixing your credit score (ala this cleverly written article).

Since financial education is not part of our Western educational system, the hapless borrower will usually not have any idea how to correct the situation. However, there are debt management options out there that kind of sound like the same thing, but in reality are vastly different.

Let’s take a look at three typical options that may present themselves to the borrower.

Defining Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation means that the borrower applies for yet another loan. Hopefully the new loan is made with a lower interest rate that is designed to pay off multiple debts like a home or car or unsecured debts such as credit cards.

Low-interest rate consolidation loans are commonly secured meaning they use the borrower’s assets such as a home or a car as collateral. By putting all bills into this one loan, this can reduce the borrower’s monthly payment and may just give the borrower room to breathe and also pay down their debt.

But, as we have discussed elsewhere on this site, we do not recommend new loans to bail out old loans because this does not typically solve the root of the problem, which is chronic overspending.

Of course, there are several lenders out there eager for your business, even if there you may have a less than ideal credit score.

However, when choosing a potential lender, do careful detailed research, and double, no, triple-check the fees and terms of the consolidation loan are reasonable. Lastly, check and double-check that the company you choose has a good reputation.

So What is Debt Settlement

This method involves “getting tough” with the lending institutions by withholding payment for four months or so, then starting a negotiation process before the debt is sent to a collection agency.

When using this method, rest assured that it WILL lower a borrower’s credit score. But if you have some cash available, and choose not to go into bankruptcy, then you may be able to make this method work without help from a company.

However, if you choose to go through a company or agency for this service, it is very likely that you will pay heavy fees for the services.

The fees that come along with using a Debt Settlement Company may make it a no-win situation for both the borrower and the claimants. Just make sure to do your due diligence when choosing a company.

Debt Settlement is risky and has several drawbacks due to the varying levels of trustworthiness of the companies out there.

For example, they may take your payment and remit only a portion to the bank and keep the rest as a fee. Using this option to relieve debt burden could add more financial problems to your life rather than fix them.

So What is a Debt Management Program?

A Debt Management Program is a third party company who works with you and your lenders to create a structure that makes debt burden more manageable.

Out of the three choices, this is traditionally the most secure and dependable way to go.

Certified credit financial counselors can lend their expertise to help you create a financial budget plan that will provide a structure for digging your way out of debt based on your situation.

Not only does a good budget plan pay off the creditors but leaves enough cash flow for other family needs.

The professionals behind a good debt management program will work with the lenders to come up with a plan that works to satisfy the borrower’s debt without beating up the banker. How do they do it?

  • First, they review the debt on hand then set up a proposal.
  • Second, if the borrower agrees, the proposal gets sent to the lenders.
  • Third, the creditors take a look at the recommendations and either approves or rejects the agreement.
  • Fourth, if everything is approved, there will be a single monthly payment required to be made by the borrower to the credit counseling agency.
  • Fifth, after the Debt Management agency receives the initial payment, they will distribute the allotted amount to the creditors.

While under a Debt Management Program the benefit is that you only need to make sure you make one payment. The agency can typically request reduction to super high-interest rates as well, bringing the borrower one step closer to paying off the debt sooner.

When creditors when your back is against the wall and your debts threaten to overwhelm you, if you choose to seek outside help, the first call you make should be to a Debt Management Program.

Furthermore, make sure the agency has a good reputation, and they have been around for a long time with lots of solid customer reviews.

By choosing this option, the debt will have a chance be paid back with less stress and even allow you to bring the debt down quickly with extra cash if you are able to earn it.

Ultimately, the final decision is entirely up to the borrower to manage their debt burden.

What To Do When You Are In Debt and Unemployed

Veterans: Losing Your Job While Still Owing Credit Card Companies is BRUTAL!

Are you a veteran who has been fired from your job while owing a huge debt?

This situation can seem like someone is adding a fresh layer of salt to an open wound.  This is a situation in which a person might want to explore a guide to how to repair my credit myself.

How in the world is anyone supposed to get clear of their debt in this situation?

Well, we have some strategies that may help someone in this situation not just cope, but thrive! Read on to find out more…

Prioritizing Your Debts While Unemployed

When you’re unemployed, you may feel like you are drowning in bills and credit card debt.  Having little income makes it hard to think of options to get out of debt.

The good news is that it’s not impossible to pay off your debt while unemployed. Unemployment benefits don’t pay forever, so you should still be proactive in finding a job or in hustle mode.

grads wearing their debt amount on head
If you are in-between jobs there are several things you do that will still allow you to pay your obligations. Of course, there are many sacrifices that will have to be made.

Debt in our society will never go away as long as we are governed by capitalism. It is important to make paying off debt a priority to prevent an even bigger financial hardship in the future.

Not all credit card companies or lenders will allow you to defer or postpone payments, especially if you hadn’t arranged some type of insurance with them beforehand.

If you stop paying all together, your credit score will tank making it difficult to obtain credit in the future.

Prioritize Your Debts In A Logical Manner

Start by making a list of all of your debts and their interest rates. Call each one and see if any will allow deferment so you can postpone payments for a short period of time.

The ones that don’t, focus on paying down the credit cards with the highest interest rates first.

Keep your spouse in the loop, once they see you’re making headway, they may become motivated to help you keep up the good work.

Plan to Live Frugally As Possible

If you go minimalist and learn to survive on just the basic necessities, you can use any extra money you come across to pay down more debt. Start clipping coupons for groceries and minimize your use of gas and electricity.

If you continue to do so, over time you will start to make a habit of saving instead of spending money.

Get into the mindset to get out of the habit of using credit cards if at all possible. If you don’t have the money in your checking account for that thing you want but clearly don’t need, don’t buy it.

If you want to go on short vacation, save for it instead of putting it on a credit card.

Consider a Debt Consolidation Loan

A debt consolidation loan allows you to pay off your debts with a new loan and new terms.  However, we generally do not recommend exchanging debt for debt because the real problem is usually not addressed.

This just allows one to paper over the fact that they have no control over their spending.

However, if you get fired, all bets are off and it’s all hands on deck to keep the ship from sinking!

In particular, this route may be a good idea if you have credit cards with extremely high interest rates. The higher the interest rate, the more pressure it will put on you to pay off the debt.

A debt consolidation loan may get you a lower interest rate to save you money over time.

High interest rates also lead to high minimum payments. If you are unemployed, this can make it difficult to keep up. If you are overwhelmed because you have too many bills, debt consolidation will help you out with that.

All of your bills are reduced to one, making it easier to make your payments again. If you go through a debt consolidation company, they will give you a loan equal to the total amount of debt you owe.

You will then make your monthly payment directly to the consolidation company. If they can offer you a low interest rate, this could be a good option for you.

WARNING: There are some risks involved when going through a debt consolidation company. Your repayment plan may be much longer causing you to pay more interest over the life of the loan. If you make a late or missed payment, you could face high penalties and your interest rate could go up. It is also likely that you will completely tank your credit score immediately.

So is debt consolidation a good idea? Generally, we feel the answer is no. However, with all of the information out there to consider, you should do your research and speak with a professional.

Everyone has a different financial situation and this may or may not be the best route for you.

A professional can guide you through the process and better explain how it will work for your financial situation.

What Happens After Paying Off All Your Debts

Paying off debt while unemployed can be extremely difficult. However, it will teach you a lot of lessons along the way. Drowning in debt can lead to depression, illness and a multitude of health problems.

Once you have paid off most or all of your debts, your life will change. You will have the freedom you hadn’t experienced in a while and will now have the ability to pursue what you want with freedom.

Less monthly bills require less income therefore, you may be able to take some more time off or find a less stressful job. If you do go back to your regular job, you can use the extra monthly income to save for luxury’s and vacations.

Continue to Be Credit Card Responsible

Once you are out of debt, you can continue to use your credit cards responsibly. Using a credit card and paying it off in full before the next month will positively impact your credit score.

Start with one or two low interest cards and use them for gas or groceries. It is important to remember to pay the balance in full before the next billing cycle.

Ready To Own Your Own Private Jet?


Hey Veterans: What Is Fractional Ownership And Is It Worth It?

Some veteran friends of mine who live in the DC area dream of owning a luxury home in a destination they never thought they could afford in the past.  But they are rightly skeptical when sales letters come in the mail promising the world for a small piece of their savings from their blogging income. Oh, wait…maybe that’s just me.

But seriously, have you ever been victimized by those crazy timeshare presentations that promise killer freebies like cruises as payment for your time where they then proceed to berate, belittle and talk down to you if you choose not to buy their “awesome ‘n cheap condo”? These are just some the pitfalls of the timeshare sales machine.

Now timeshares are for the most part simply not worth it for investment purposes. They should really be thought of as pre-purchased vacations, and not investments.

All of my friends who have purchased timeshare condos under pressure would love to go back in time and warn their younger selves not to do it.

However, there is another similar type of investment known as fractional ownership. Are these worth it when compared to the typical timeshare scenario?

Dear, did we buy the boat or the condo? Image – Pixabay

Fractional investments are similar in concept to a timeshare but in this situation you actually, literally, own a piece of the property as opposed to having the right to use it at some point during the year.

If you are still a beginning investor you may want to consult your financial advisor before taking the plunge on one of these. But if you are curious, read on!

Here’s a list of things you can fractionally own:

  • Luxury Real Estate (but not as a Timeshare)
  • Apartments
  • Jet Planes
  • Yachts
  • Luxury Handbags (Wow!)
  • Helicopters
  • Kids (ok – not so much)

The main theme of this type of ownership model is that a group of people come together to buy something they all want, but don’t want to pay full price for.  A company is usually set up to handle the transaction, management, and maintenance of the asset.

Now, while a fractional ownership of an airplane may sound appealing, there are a few things to consider before buying a fractional property. Let’s look at the pros and cons.


  • Pro: You own a piece of a property that might be extremely valuable that you wouldn’t otherwise get to own.
  • Con: With joint ownership sometimes being anonymous, you may not know who else owns the property.

Maintenance and taxes

  • Pro: The cost of upkeep and other bills are split between multiple parties.
  • Con: There may be instances where the property management company cannot mitigate the costs or may have trouble getting all parties to pay their share of the bills.
Image: Pixabay

Use of the property

  • Pro: You have a beautiful asset to enjoy when you want kick up your heels and live large.
  • Con: With multiple owners, you may run into conflicts over the dates that you want to use the property. To avoid issues like this, having a clear contract or even making the effort to get to know the other owners can help avoid conflicts over usage rights.

Buying a living space overseas?

  • Pro: You can save on hotels if purchasing an apartment or home.
  • Con: You actually may not be able to truly own a piece of the property due to foreign purchasing rights for the country in question. Be smart and consult a lawyer before making a purchase overseas.

Cash purchase required

  • Pro: If you have the cash on hand, then you can easily take part in purchasing a fractional ownership of a property.
  • Con: Most institutions are reluctant to loan money out to buy a fractional portion as they will have severely limited rights of repossession if you default. So if you want the property that badly, consider buying it with family and split the costs with people you know and trust.

Time to Sell?

  • Pro: Fractional properties are attractive investments and there is great demand for them, especially in the warmer parts of the world.
  • Con: Even with a great market it may be hard to sell your share quickly since the new owner will often need cash on hand to complete the purchase or there may be limitations in your agreement with regards to the resale of the shares. If you want to offload the property, consider offering your share to another one of the co-owners before you put it out on the open market.

So Are You In Or What?

With all of the above in mind, if you have the liquid cash available and have visions of far-off beaches, private jets, or $20,000 handbags, then it might make sense for you to take the plunge and look into fractional ownership.

Going in on buying a property with your family could provide enjoyment for years to come.  If you know anyone who has purchased a luxury item fractionally, feel free to tell us all about it on our Facebook page.

Getting out of credit card debt while living on minimum wage

how to budget and pay off debt

Hey Veterans: Annihilating Debt While Making Minimum Wage Is HARD

Debt in our society today acts as an anchor, tying you down to past mistakes that won’t let you move on into the future, threatening to overwhelm everything you’ve worked hard for in life.

Even though it may have began with something as small as a three-day vacation or a fun gadget from your local electronics shop, debt has a way of creeping up on you after its to late to deal with it.

Not only will it sneak up on you, but debt has a creepy, snow ball effect causing what was once a small, manageable problem, into a large seemingly impossible monstrosity to tackle.

Yes, credit card debt can be a deep hole but it is not one you are incapable of escaping. Although it may take a little bit of time depending on how long you’ve allowed your snowball to roll downhill, it is not out of your hands to be able to reverse the momentum.

No matter how fast its barreling out of control your credit card debt can be reduced with some small, easy steps to help you begin taking control of your life even if you happen to be working a minimum wage job.

maya rudolph student debt gif

Step 1: Create a budget and stick to it

Although it has been said by many and heeded by few, developing a clear, concise budget will truly help you be able to start making payments on your credit card debt. By creating a budget you will be able to see all the details of when, how, and why your spending your money.

This gives you the opportunity and insight to make educated decisions on where you can save money and also cut down on spending cost. Budgets help you see where those dollars are going that seem to be disappearing like socks in the dryer.

lost socks unite!

Step 2: Find a roommate, housemate, or temporary tenant

Generally, when evaluating your budget your going to find that a large chunk of your money goes to rent, mortgage, and/or property maintenance. To help save money and attack your credit card debt viciously, it may be time to go on the hunt for a reliable, trustworthy roommate.

If your situation doesn’t allow for anymore permanent roommates you can always look into renting out spaces of your house for temporary periods of time. Think about renting out your unused shed in the backyard to the local garage band for a few hours a week or listing a room or space for a weekend a few times a month on a travelers hosting site.

Get creative! Using the space you’re already paying for to gain extra money can assist in cutting huge cost and annihilating your debt quicker then you would have ever expected.

Step 3: Look into part time, flexible money making options you can do using your cell phone

In the modern world of technology we find there to be multiple new ways of earning a little extra money on the side. Understandably, most people don’t have the capability or time to juggle a part time job on the side of their regular full time job.

However, now there are multiple applications you can get on your phone that allow you to pick up part time work at your schedule’s capacity. Think in terms of offering transportation services with your car, delivering food from restaurants, or picking up handy-work and yard jobs for the elderly.

There are many simple, easy to use phone apps that can help you earn a little extra.  You can then use this extra income to put towards your credit card payments. Even if its just a little, raising your regular payments will help improve your credit score in the long run and speed up the tedious process of paying it back.

Step 4: Evaluate what you have and decide on what you do not need

Many people have a stock-pile of random objects and things around their house that may be semi-valuable but hold no use to them anymore. It is not uncommon to find that a lot of these items themselves were bought on credit.

Of course, they continue eating away at your credit score while gathering dust in your basement or under your child’s bed. Spend a weekend going the minimalist route and begin rummaging through your things and deciding what all you really need and what of value could be sold for a bit of extra cash.

Furniture, electronics, kitchenware and all sorts of other goodies you may find around the house are perfect materials for yard sales and online sales. There are a multitude of online platforms, websites, and applications that allow you to sell just about any item you can find.

Don’t hesitate to get creative either, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There are plenty of things of no use to you that someone across the country may be searching for on the web as you read this!

FINALLY – Stay focused!

All-in-all climbing out of debt even with a minimum wage job all boils down to determination, diligence, and motivation. It will not be easy pay debt without changing yourself.  You will get many financial bumps and bruises on the way.

However, the important thing is to stay strong and focus on your goal of conquering your debt and becoming free. It is not an over night process but if one stays diligent they can conqueror their credit card debt with their minimum wage job in no time.

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5 Reasons You Need Life Insurance


5 Reasons You Need Life Insurance

Hey Veterans! I have some less than good news for you.  I hope you are in a seated position.  Are you comfortable? Ok, I guess I’ll just start…

There is no way around it. Sorry, friend, but death is eventually going to come knocking for all of us. While most never want to think about the day their number is up and prefer to think that they will be blogging forever, others take a more practical approach to the situation.

Although unpleasant, life insurance is profoundly important and can be more helpful than you realize when the time comes to go out to pasture like Ol’ Yeller.

Let’s discuss the top 5 reasons why veterans (and civilians too!) need to buy and maintain appropriate life insurance policies.

1.) Young families need protection

Being a parent is scary, but what is even scarier is the prospect of leaving your children without a parent while they are still young. Today, many families (including mine) are choosing to have a stay-at-home parent for various reasons both social and economic.

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Oftentimes, the parent who stays home will find it harder to re-enter the workforce due to a lack of practicing skills or falling behind in the industry with which they worked. Life insurance can provide the security net needed, as the spouse carves out a new life as a single parent.

2.) A Funeral Costs a Fortune

Let’s face it, funerals are not cheap. And few families want to go the route of cremation (which might still run you $3,700). The average run of the mill funeral costs around $8,000-$10,000 and the funeral business in the United States alone accounts for $20.4 Billion dollars per year.

Don’t leave your loved ones with the burden of trying to figure out how they can avoid putting you in a freezer until they can scrounge up the cash to properly bury your remains. What’s more, there is no government help, unless you can find a way to bury someone on the $250 some states social security offices offer.

3.) Life insurance can be a savings policy

Cash-value life insurance, such as whole life and universal life can be cashed in or sold if you no longer need a policy or need access to some quick cash. Many people use this as a safety net for retirement as opposed to going into debt and getting a reverse mortgage.

4.) You’re Gonna Leave Your Debt To Who?

Debt is an awful thing to have, and it is not something you want to leave your family with. The average amount of debt left by a dead person is on average $62,000. So rather than stressing your spouse or family out regarding the mortgage that’s left to be paid, why not buy a policy and make sure your will is absolutely clear about how the money is to be distributed.

5.) Taxes Don’t Care About Your Demise…

Even in death, Uncle Sam still, wants you…Death or Estate Taxes account for very little of the IRS’s revenue, but if you are over the exemption amount then you have to pay around 40% of your estate to your Uncle. Not to mention the fact that if you have any taxes owing or business taxes, then the IRS will still want to collect on those too. They want their cut whether you are dead or not.

Just Buy It!

In the long run, life insurance is the best investment you can make for you and your loved ones. It is affordable, reliable and there usually aren’t any physicals in order to qualify for term life insurance.

What’s more, it is important to remember that you can always start off with a small amount (say…just enough to bury you) then alter the policy as your life changes and your family grows.

Do you know someone who left a big burden because they didn’t have proper insurance? If so, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Out of Debt and Feeling Free: What To Do Now?

properly boozed and debt free gif

Hey Veterans: Let’s celebrate! Your new outstanding credit card balance is $0.00!

You did it! You cracked the code.  Exited the Matrix. Killed the monster. Somehow, against all odds, you figured out how to get out of debt fast on your own, just like in this article.

The credit card is paid off and now you have bucket loads of disposable income. But what, if anything should you do with your new found wealth? It can be tempting to rack the debt back on up, but you know you don’t need that new flat screen.

What To Do First

First order of business is to cut that card up, but do not close the account, that way your credit score will be able to build itself back up, after all, there may be a time in your life when you need to access credit.

What’s more, if you are not already a homeowner then you need to keep your credit score at an acceptable level in order to secure a mortgage. So with all that in mind, here are some tips to help you manage those extra bucks and enjoy your financial freedom!

Open a savings account.

A savings account was the credit card of the last generation and now that you are debt free, why not pretend you don’t have the money free and just save it, that way you will have the capital you need for your next purchase or emergency. Remember that small amounts will grow if left in the savings account long enough, $1 a week is still saving!

Invest it!

CD’s, stock or bonds are a good way to see a return on your money and a wise investment for the future. What’s more, they typically offer higher rates of return versus saving accounts. Cryptocurrency is also a big thing right now. It is basically internet money and there are a lot of calls for it to be traded nowadays.

Open up an educational/college fund

College, as we all know, is a money pit, so why not make the most of it now and start saving for the kid’s education. If you are on a low income then you may want to look into a 529 Plan education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution which helps you save for educational costs.

Start a family trust fund

You don’t have to live at Downton Abbey to have a little financial security. In fact, many families of modest means set aside funds for their children to help them start their adult lives. You don’t have to save huge amounts $5 a week for 21 years is a little over $5,000 and that is not counting any interest gained.

Save for retirement

If you believe what the statisticians are saying then when you make it to retirement, Social Security will be depleted. Go out and get the best plan you can and be aggressive with the investment. The average minimum monthly credit card bill payment is $300 think if you saved that once a month for 30 years then you would have $108,000! Make an appointment to see a retirement planner and research the different retirement saving options available to you online.

Consider a charitable donation

Now that you are no longer feeling the pinch and the stress of those card payments, why not share some of that happiness with others and make a donation to a charity of your choice. If you want, you could also stay local and perhaps sponsor a child to play sports or make a donation to your local school’s art department. If you are a kind person who cares about kids, why not pay for a couple of children’s lunches for the year and fill a hungry tummy!

Go on a vacation!

You just go out of debt so why not celebrate with a trip. You have earned it and you really knuckled down to get that debt cleared. Many cruises are less than $500 these days, so you could easily take a little trip with that extra cash!

Buy into a small business

Now you may be thinking, ‘that’s crazy, how can I invest in a business with less than $500?” The truth is that there are many franchises and businesses that look for small or group investors to start up or give their businesses a cash injection. There are trade shows throughout the country that offers franchise shares and other such offers. But, be careful to watch out for scams and never do business like this online for the scammers are getting craftier and the internet is a hot bed for rip off artists waiting to take what’s yours.

Work on your other debts (if you have them)

Presuming you have other debts now would be the time to pay those down. If you can make a lump sum, many companies may be willing to negotiate a payoff amount that is less than what you owe. Large cash payments are attractive to these companies as it means they can clear the debt quicker than they hoped for initially.

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