Financial Planning – The Key To Your Lifelong Success

Financial planning is not limited to asset allocation, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments – planning should include every aspect of your life.

Should you apply for that credit card? What type of car insurance should you buy? Should we save for our child’s college or put money in our IRA’s instead? These and many more questions are all part of financial planning.

The Larry Rule – A Little Known Financial Planning Fact

Larry Lindsey is not a famous name, even in financial circles. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is the chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration. In 1996, he was a Federal Reserve Board Governor – and he was denied for a Toys ‘R Us credit card!

To apply or not to apply, that is the planning question. Larry Lindsey, who had excellent credit and a high-income level, set out to demonstrate a flaw in credit scoring algorithms.

He simply applied for every retail store credit card he was offered, and in no time he had “too many inquiries.” Never mind the fact that he had millions in assets and nary a late payment in his 30-year credit history.

Knowing the Larry Rule is key to your financial planning. If you apply for retail store credit cards every time you are asked to do so, it will have negative effects on your credit.

You may then be asked to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage or home equity loan, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sacrificing $10,000 for a 10 percent discount at Fashion Bug is not smart planning!

Auto Insurance and Financial Planning

Most people think of insurance as a legal necessity, but in reality, it is a financial product, and that’s important to keep in mind. Don’t ever buy insurance just because it’s legally required or in order to give yourself peace of mind. Insurance must serve a financial planning purpose!

You need to have a planning strategy in mind when you purchase auto insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to pay more in premiums than you take out in claims – thus, they profit.

Your goal should to pay as little in premiums as possible in order to be adequately covered. You don’t want to have to use your auto insurance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be subsidizing the bad drivers who take out more in claims than they pay in.

In order to develop a financial planning strategy for auto insurance, it’s important that you become as educated as possible on the subject. Luckily, there are dozens of great sites on the internet that provide free information on the various types of auto insurance plans, and the particular laws of your state.

Everyone has to own some form of auto insurance, and thus it should be the cornerstone of any intelligent planning strategy.

The Financial Planning Dilemma – College vs. Retirement

American parents love their children and will do almost anything to ensure they have every possible advantage. As a result, many parents save for their children’s college instead of saving for their own retirement. This act of selflessness is usually not a good planning strategy.

In order to avoid this mistake, one must have a decent understanding of financial planning tax implications. Most college savings accounts are taxed on some level, whereas financial planning products for retirement purposes generally are not. What’s more, saving for your child’s college can prevent him or her from receiving the maximum financial aid available.

In other words, by foregoing your retirement in favor of your child’s college, you are actually subsidizing the children of less responsible parents – or smarter parents who chose to save for their own retirement, in light of these facts.

Board Games Aimed At Teenagers

While there are board games made for every age range possible, there is a special market made for games which are geared toward teenagers. Many times, these games will be themed according to different forms of media which may be popular with teenagers of the day. The teenage years can be a time during which many children are trying to find themselves and often, they will express little interest in traditional board games. However, when there are games built around something that they are interested in, they might be more inclined to play one.

The popular High School Musical franchise has given board games a number of opportunities to base games off of the idea. It has produced a game based on a “Mystery Date,” where players must race around the board, getting ready for a mystery blind date with one of the boys from High School Musical. Not only is the person of the date in question, but whether the player can even be ready for the date in time is one of the driving forces of the game. Whichever player can race around the board and complete all of their tasks in time will be the winner.

Another High School Musical game is one in which players have to prepare and be ready for the audition. Trying out for the school play was the major theme in the High School Musical movie and in this game, players can feel the same rush of emotions as the characters of the movie did, trying to perform well and land the part. These games give teenagers a chance to experience some of the fun of one of their favorite movies while still giving them the opportunity to interact with each other in a safe manner.

Other, popular action movies can also provide the chance for some fun games to be produced. Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers have both given their images to a number of games. You could find a Pirates of the Caribbean edition of Life or a Transformers edition of Risk. These games take the excitement of the movies they are based on and allow different teenagers to feel the same thrill they might have found in the theaters in the comfort of their own home. Again, they allow teenagers the chance to interact with each other in an environment which is safe and might keep them out of trouble which they may otherwise get themselves into.

This isn’t to say that traditional games aren’t popular with teenagers as well. Monopoly and Clue can both provide a fun night for any number of people. Teenagers aren’t exempt from this; they only sometimes need an extra little push into feeling like they are allowed to simply enjoy a board game. There is a lot of pressure on teenagers to conform to certain ideas and peer pressure can be high. Playing board games isn’t usually one of those things that teenagers can be pressured into by their friends. However, when the game is something that all of the teenagers will enjoy, it is much easier to convince them to play the games.

Easy Card Games To Entertain

My own experience makes me feel that every child will benefit from playing card games.

It is a healthy experience for a child to play with grownups as an equal; and to play with other children without noticing difference in age.

It is good for the child’s character to get practice in losing without squawking and in winning without crowing. (Many adults could use some of this practice too!)

A young child can learn about numbers and easy arithmetic from a simple card game. A child of any age can exercise his brain by the logical thinking that is needed in the more advanced games.

Moreover, card games are fun. And this is the best of all reasons for teaching them to children.

These games are for children who are too young to think… and for grownups who would rather not think! Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the children or the grownups laugh harder!

PIG

This is a very hilarious game for children or for adults to play with children. Anybody can learn the game in two or three minutes, and one extra minute makes you an expert!

Number of Players: 3 to 13. Five or 6 make the best game.

Cards: Four of a kind for each player in the game. For example, 5 players would use 20 cards: 4 Aces, 4 Kings, 4 Queens, 4 Jacks, and 4 10′s. For 6 players you would add the four 9′s.

The Deal: Any player shuffles and deals 4 cards to each player.

Object: To get 4 of a kind in your own hand, or to be quick to notice it when somebody else gets 4 of a kind.

The Play: Each player looks at his hand to see if he was dealt 4 of a kind. If nobody has 4 of a kind, each player puts some unwanted card face down on the table and passes it to the player at his left, receiving a card at the same time from the player at his right.

Each player looks at his hand as it appears with the newly-received card. If, still, nobody has 4 of a kind, each player once again passes a card to the left and gets a new card from the right.

The play is continued in this way until some player has 4 of a kind in his hand. That player stops passing or receiving cards since he is satisfied with his hand as it is. Instead of playing on, he puts his finger to his nose.

The other players must be quick to notice this, and each of them must stop passing in order to put a finger to his nose. The last player to put a finger to his nose is the Pig.

DONKEY

This is the same game as Pig, except that when a player gets 4 of a kind he puts his hand face down on the table quietly instead of putting his finger to his nose. He still gets a card from his right and just passes that along to the left, leaving his 4 of a kind untouched on the table.

As each player sees what has happened, he likewise puts his hand down quietly. The idea is to keep up the passing and the conversation while some player plays on without realizing that the hand has really ended.

The last player to put his cards down loses the hand. This makes him a D. The next time he loses, he becomes a D-O. The third time, he becomes a D-O-N. This keeps on, until finally some player becomes a D-O-N-K-E-Y.

Loads Of Enjoyment With Online Games

The internet has become a major source of gaming content with the passage of time. Just like the games that can be installed and played on the computer, the online games also need a computer to run. The main reason why online games are now taking over the local computer games includes their wider range and easier availability. It is possible to enjoy racing games like truck games and car games to even bike games and unicycle racing games. Then there are traditional classics like card games, casino games and highly popular arcade games which give a hint of the days of gaming long gone by.

The thing that is important to know about online games is that online games are not just about playing. There are complete communities built around these games. You can find blogs and discussion forums about online games which are extremely helpful in enjoying the game to the max. In case you are stuck somewhere and need some help or if you have developed some nice trick or strategy that you want to share, these forums and blogs are just the place. Above all, you can find reviews about the games that you should play and the games that you should avoid.

Playing online games is extremely exciting and at the same time, extremely challenging. The adrenaline pumping that you can receive by playing online games can not be paralleled by anything else. There are a number of people who are involved in playing games online. You can easily find competition and you can also find allies for your games.

The best thing about online games is that you can find free online games. You have to look for them though. Most of the online gaming sites provide you a subscription model. In this case, you would get a free trial membership that would last for anywhere between a week to a month. After this, you would have to cough up money to keep on playing games online. Creating a new account would not help because you would not be able to transfer your game levels and statistics from the old user account to the new user account. The thing is that free online games are available. While they are not exactly free because they are being sponsored by advertising on the site. You would have to look for the games that are completely free and not just a ‘free trial’.

There is an endless variety of online games that you can play – from games as simple as Texas Hold’em Up Poker that allows you to gamble against other players to games like Chess where you pitch you gray cells against the power of a computer or the brains of other people. After you have finished a long and tiring day of work, online games can be the perfect way to vent your frustration and make yourself fit and free for another day at work. With online games, you can easily get fast track entertainment at almost no cost.

Five Key Principles To Real Estate Investment Riches

Real Estate Investing is the craze today with people involved in the Carlton Sheets program spending money on courses to find out how they can make money in no money down real estate investing. This article hopes to help you create some sort of mental picture of five key principles that can help you make more money with real estate today.

Principle #1- The money is made in the purchase
Real estate investing is like value investing in stocks and you want to purchase the real estate during a period of a real estate slump. The reason for this is so that you can get a huge capital appreciation when the real estate market heats up again.

Spending time doing real estate valuation is critical since if you cannot satisfy yourself on the maths that is a viable proposition, there is no way that your real estate investment would be a good one.

Principle #2- Monitor Cash flow
Real Estate investment typically have a monthly rental income which then is used to pay for mortgage instalments and other problems with the building like a roof leak. You would thus have to keep a close watch on interest rate hikes since they can potentially erode any calculated return on investment quite quickly. Once you have enough cash coming in, it is suggested that you then keep some of it in a rainy day fund in case some of the rental tenants do not renew their property and then take the rest and consider investing in another real estate investment property.

Principle #3- Leverage on other people’s time
Remember that no one can do everything, so the key is to focus on what you do best. If your strength is in negotiating deals, spend time looking for property and then get professionals and contractors to handle all the rest of the deal for you. Similarly, if you are good at decorating property, then find deals and focus on the interior design of the property. By focusing on what you do best and getting other people to do the rest of the work, you are leveraging on their time and you can then make more money from each new real estate investment that you undertake. Spend your time to build your team of advisors and employees who work for you and you will see your profits start going up. Remember that by rewarding them financially, you will get a group of dedicated people helping you make more money from your real estate investment.

Principle #4- Learn how to use leverage with a good rainy day cash balance
Did you know that many real estate investors started off with very little money to invest? Even large real estate developers like Donald Trump have learnt the power of leverage when investing in property deals. You want to leverage as much as you can so that you can control property worth many times more than what you own. Remember however to keep a rainy day fund containing a portion of the rental payments so that you can hedge yourself against a possible period where unit occupancy of your real estate investment is low. Leverage when used well can make you lots of money but if managed badly, will bankrupt you. Thus planning your cash flow and learning how to use debt is critical before you start serious real estate investment.

Principle #5- Spend time networking with real estate professionals
Do you want the latest real estate investment deals? The best way to learn of them is to break into the local real estate professional group and make friends with them. Learn some real estate investment lingo and spend time making friends with them because they are your eyes and ears on the ground and they can tell you about recent developments and changes in rental, property and infrastructure of their geographical location. Having the first player advantage is what many large real estate investors have and by spending time to network with real estate brokers, you will substantially close the gap.

In conclusion, spend time looking at these five principles and determine how they can be applied to your real estate investment and you might start seeing an increase in your real estate income.

Creating A Personal Finance Spreadsheet

One of the biggest challenges we face as adults is balancing a budget. Creating a personal finance spreadsheet can be one of

the most valuable steps you can take to tackling this challenge head on. Even if you start with a simple format and a few details you can be well on your way to financial organization which can lead to financial security in the long run.

There are different methods for creating a personal finance spreadsheet and the decision on which to choose depends greatly

on your personality in general. Many people like to keep record in a computer program like Excel. This is a wonderful way to

stay organized while making a sound personal financial spreadsheet that is professional grade quality.

The Excel program is great because it allows you to work from a clean template. You have control of the input and you can

cater your personal financial spreadsheet to your needs. Many of us have no idea how to use this program but it really takes

just a few minutes to master and the results are great.

You can also use a program like Quicken to create a personal finance spreadsheet. This kind of program comes highly

recommended for any individual who is serious about keeping track of all of his incoming and outgoing funds. The personal

finance spreadsheet that you can produce from a program like Quicken will put your accountant to shame.

Many of us love the idea of keeping strict records of our spending habits and we really like the idea of a sound budget.

However, we don’t like to work on the computer any more than we have to. If you spend all day at work at the monitor the last

thing you want to do is go home and work on a personal finance spreadsheet on your personal computer.

There are those of us who are just not likely to keep things up to date when using this kind of personal finance spreadsheet. These individuals may embrace more traditional, hands on approach to keeping a budget record up to date. There are many items available at office supply stores to meet the traditional needs as well.

One thing to remember when it comes to your personal finance spreadsheet; if you are in a partnership or a marriage it is

crucial to keep the lines of communication open. No personal finance spreadsheet will help you become clairvoyant. Good

Get Control Of Your Personal Finance With A Budget

It is fairly common knowledge that money matters can be simplified and controlled with a budget. One of the keys to personal finance management is creating and using a household budget. It is not a really hard task, but one that many people avoid. The reason is that it can often be hard to avoid overspending and having a budget really puts spending problems out there.

A budget is basically a list of expenses and income. It should include all expenses, even the seemingly little expenses like a morning coffee purchase. The budget can be made out weekly or monthly, whatever way is best for the household. For someone who gets paid once a week, a weekly budget may be best. For someone who gets paid once a month, a monthly budget would work nicely. Although, it is really a matter of personal choice as to how the budget is made out.

The income section of a budget is usually fairly simple. Most people can easily track their income. Some people choose to list their income after taxes, while others list the income before taxes and include taxes as a expense. That is strictly a matter of choice.

The expenses section is where most people have trouble. It can be hard to see our spending habits in black and white. It is really important, though, to be honest and list everything. You may find it is helpful to keep a spending log for a week. Your spending log is where you will write down every purchase you make. This can be a good way of tracking all the little expenses you incur throughout a week.

Your expenses section of your budget should also include utilities and housing expenses. If you have a car payment, include here as well. You need to include money spent on gasoline, bathroom items, food and any other thing you spend money on. You do not have to include large, one time purchases, though, as they are not a routine part of your expenses.

Once you have your income and expenses listed you need to add each up. The total of your expenses should not exceed the total of your income. If it does then you need to cut back on your expenses. You may have to stop some spending or try to find creative ways of reducing your spending.

The whole idea of a budget is to ensure that you are not spending more then you are earning. Your budget is a blueprint for how you should be spending your money. Once you have your budget made out and it is balanced you need to stick to it. Only spend as much as you have allotted in your expenses and you should find your personal finance situation becomes much easier to deal with.

How Personal Finance Works

The concept of personal finance came a long way and it began when money were exchanged for goods. People got jobs in order to make a living and they were compensated in cash. Nowadays, due to the several financial alternatives that we have at our disposal in order to achieve our financial goals, it is vital to become an expert in making the right choices.

Personal Finance management begins most of the times with handling pocket money when we are children and afterwards we gain the ability of planning and spending our finances. Personal Finance includes several different aspects such as investments for future requirements, retirement plans and others. No matter how much money you have, the important issue is how you spend them. A detailed budget will always help you keep a track of your money and not spend more than is necessary. Furthermore, it will help you calculate how much money you can save and what amount you can invest.

Personal Finance is of real help as long as you have a realistic plan when it comes to handling your money. A good management of your finances includes investing, insurance, managing risk, understanding debt and credit and knowing the value of money. Debt can be bad for your finances especially if you borrow more than you can afford to return. Unfortunately, this happens quite often because many persons don’t calculate how much they can pay on a monthly basis for their loan, taking into consideration and the other expenses.

Personal Finance management should also include expenses for housing, transportation, food, personal insurance and pensions, healthcare and entertainment. If you see that you are accumulating more and more debts and you are not able to pay your debts on a regular basis, it is probably a good idea to budget your money. However, if you feel like you aren’t able to do that, a last option would be to hire a financial planner who can help you get out of this mess.

Money Tips represent another useful idea that could help you manage your finances better and become satisfied with your style of life. Some persons need such tips more than others ad it has been proven than women often have a hard time when it comes to establishing their budget. Many women spend more than they actually earn and they become trapped in debts, but fortunately this can change.

Money Tips are important and they can help us overcome a difficult financial situation. It is believed that money represents power, love or control and that our beliefs about money and relationships influence the way we manage our finances. Money Tips can be very helpful for people who are in a difficult financial situation and here is a list of the most important tips: don’t rely on others for your financial security, set goals and stick to them, don’t use money when you feel bad, spend less than you earn, build an emergency fund and learn from your money mistakes.

Money Tips will help you understand that your financial security and comfort depends on your attitudes regarding money and your willingness to take action in order to change your financial situation. Do not wait for miracles if you want things to start changing and no matter how hard it is, stick to the goals you set at the very beginning.

Electronic Editions Of Board Games

Many of the classic board games are easily adapted so that they can be played in a number of ways. Computer games are so advanced these days that pretty much anything can be played on one. Video games as well can have the option of allowing players to find classic games on these systems. One of the greatest things about these electronic editions of classic board games is that it can allow multiplayer options without needing those players to actually be present. Through networking and the Internet, anyone can play games with people from all around the world.

Monopoly, Clue, and Risk are three of the biggest board games which have found life through computer games and the Internet. All of these games can be found with electronic editions that will allow you to connect with other players over the Internet and play a highly competitive game with people that you may have never even met. They all have options as well which allow you to play against the computer, meaning that you do not need any other people to actually be present in order to enjoy the board game.

This can be a great feature for killing some time in an enjoyable way. Traditionally, the only way to play any of those games was with a group of people and since that can often be harder to organize than one would immediately think, the option to play against some computer opponents can allow you to enjoy the fun of Monopoly, Risk, or Clue at any time that you wish.

Those aren’t the only three games available with computer play, though. Chess was one of the earliest games adapted to the computer and any number of editions of chess can be found for a player. Chess against the computer can actually be one of the hardest games available, as well as one of the most addictive. Playing against a computer has actually been one of the features of many different chess tournaments, trying to figure out once and for all how well the computer chess systems were written. (It actually turns out that most of the best players in the world can beat some of the hardest computer systems for while the computers can calculate every possibility in the world, they are not so good at handling the random aspects of a game and planning for a change of tactics.)

Networking with others on the Internet to play these board games can actually be a great way to make some new friends as well. Playing a great game with someone can raise a lot of camaraderie between people and when you are looking for a good game in the future, you might be able to find it again with the person you played in the past. After finding a good opponent with them and playing a number of games, you may find that you actually have more in common than just a love of games. In this way, electronic board games can actually benefit you in more ways than just one!

Financial Planning Software

When it comes to planning your financial well-being, it might be helpful to use one of the many tools available today. Some of these tools include financial planning software. Depending on the type of software you purchase, it could help you in a variety of different areas, such as planning for your retirement or keeping track of your personal and business dealings. Many of the financial planning software that is available today can do all of this and so much more.

There are several different types of financial planning software available on the market today, that you will have no problems in finding one. However, whichever type you choose, you should ensure that it performs exactly as you need it to, in your financial planning venture. For example, some software can help you in managing and calculating your 401k, estimate the costs of college or savings, keep track of your stock portfolio, or analyze the goals of your IRA.

Some other features include keeping track of your profit and loss in regards to your business, balancing your checking account or multiple accounts; maintain a organized list of your customers, contacts, or even employees. There are so many features that come with various financial planning software that it is imperative that you research the software to ensure it can offer you exactly what you need.

The prices vary greatly depending on the financial planning software you purchase. For example, the latest version of Microsoft Money Home and Business, which is perfect for home-based business owners, personal finances, or businesses that employ less than five people, runs for a cost of around $60.00.

The financial planning software that is the most popular and used by many is Quicken. The home and business version of Quicken, gives you power to categorize expenses both personal and business, in efforts to help you when it comes to taxes and reports. Quicken helps you in finding all the deductions you can claim and simplifies the process of preparing your taxes, as well as helping you in managing your flow of cash in an effective manner. This program runs at a cost of about $80.00.

Of course, the choice is yours and you should only make the decision after conducting research on the different financial planning software, determining what your needs are, comparing prices, and comparing support of the company. Make sure when you make any type of investment that you only do so after gaining knowledge and the best information.