Tag Archives: finance

Save Your Way to Retirement with a Roth IRA

Retirement should be a time to really kick back and enjoy the life that you have built for yourself. There is no way to enjoy your golden years if you are relying on Social Security and the kindness of strangers. That is why you need to be able to grab a Roth IRA as early as possible so you can get your money in it and figure out how to grow it as much as possible.

The beauty of a Roth IRA is that you contribute after tax dollars, which means that you are going to save on taxes when you are ready to take withdrawals from your account. The Roth IRA represents a tax break on the back end, after you hit 59 and a half. That is when you can take withdrawals out of your Roth IRA. Before that, you might be subjected to a penalty for withdrawing funds too early.

Another great benefit is that you can take money out of your Roth IRA in an emergency, penalty-free. You want to use that as a last resort, but you can tap into your Roth IRA as soon as you need to in order to get through an emergency house repair or a large, unexpected medical bill. Keep in mind that you can only withdraw what you have put into your Roth IRA, not any money that you may have made on your contributions.

The key to maintaining an effective Roth IRA is to make enough money and put a good portion of that money away. When you are budgeting effectively, you are able to make a real contribution to your retirement savings. Having a budget that makes sense allows you to spend on your essentials and then have enough left over to make real contributions to your Roth IRA.

When you take a look at your monthly budget, there are a lot of places that you can save money to increase your savings. You can reduce your restaurant spending and cook more at home. Cooking at home is a great way to build new skills and get healthier too. When you learn how to transform ingredients into quality meals for you and your family, you will feel better and be happier. That in turn will give you more energy to go out and make more money.

Learning to do some DIY house repairs if a great way to save money on household maintenance. Plus, you are making contributions to one of your most important investments when you are improving your home. There is no way that making improvements to your home won’t pay off in the future. Painting, for example, is a simple, learnable skill, that can make your house a more valuable piece of property. And improving the value of your home has a positive effect on your overall net worth.

When you are ready to make your Roth IRA a priority in your financial life, you are ready to take the next step as a smart capitalist.

Free college tuition for everybody! 4 countries that are making this happen

 

Does this place look like somewhere where you could get free college tuition? Well ... it is, as this is Oslo University in Norway!

It is a seemingly inescapable problem for many young Americans. The work force is getting more competitive as the bulk of new jobs are being created in highly skilled fields, yet the cost of education is skyrocketing to healthcare-esque heights.

As a result of this conundrum, many feel they are in a proverbial Catch-22, having to choose between taking on crippling amounts of debt in the hope that the jobs they seek will be there for them when they get out of school, or take their chances with a high school diploma in the job market, or as an entrepreneur.

Meanwhile, across the pond, a tantalizing Third Way is materializing, as many schools in European countries are either drastically lowering or eliminating tuition fees for foreigners in a bid to attract them to their schools.

But why? In the article that follows, not only will we review each country’s free college tuition incentive programs, you’ll find out the method behind their madness…

1) Germany

With the scrapping of tuition fees in Lower Saxony this past year, every single university within Germany’s borders are now 100% free to attend, for residents AND for foreigners. What’s more, the degrees that these schools offer span most disciplines, with some programs not even requiring that you put together a formal application.

This all seems too good to be true, but in this case, it is, as the government of Germany has invested enormous amounts of money to attract English speaking foreigners to German schools so that its citizens might be exposed to native speakers of the language.

Germany also has many glaring skill shortages that it is staring in the face over the coming years, so the hope is that after foreigners complete their schooling, they will have loved their time in Deutschland so much that they will decide to pursue a career here as well. Go to school for free and get a job in an in-demand field after graduation? What is this, 1955?

2) Slovenia

Those looking to immerse themselves in a relatively obscure Central European country may want to consider spending some or all of their college career in Slovenia, as this nation offers easy access to Croatia and Italy for those seeking exciting weekend trip ideas.

In addition to only paying a paltry €30 registration fee, your meals here will also cost much less than you may be projecting, as the Slovenian government subsidizes meal plans, with the average meal costing half of what it would back in America.

While no school here tops international rankings, those looking for a piece of paper and a good time in their college years may want to consider coming to Slovenia.

3) Norway

If the fjords of Norway are beckoning you, then you’ll be happy to know that the schools here cost foreigners nothing to attend … not a single krone. Of course, the fact that Norway is one of the world’s most expensive countries, or that some schools in the Norwegian arctic are cloaked in 24 hour darkness for a portion of the winter will weigh on your decision, but there are many other positives that make this country a strong contender.

Outdoor lovers will have their hands full with activities such as skiing, hiking and Northern Lights viewing, while those that are serious about their academics will love the small class sizes, professor approachability and lightening fast internet access in even the most far flung of communities.

4) Sweden

Like its Nordic neighbor to the west, Sweden also offers college programs to foreigners that are highly attractive. Unlike Norway though, Sweden’s programs do charge tuition fees for those seeking a bachelors or masters degree.

Sweden makes an exception for those seeking a PhD, waiving tuition fees for those seeking the highest attainable academic honor. The workforce of the world is getting more competitive with each passing year, with even master’s degree owners beginning to feel the heat.

For members of this crowd, this program may be the opportunity to finally break apart from the pack, all while experiencing life in a foreign country in the process.

 

How to Save Money For Traveling!

By focusing on how to save money for traveling, you can join these guys in Europe, or wherever you endeavor to go!

By focusing on how to save money for traveling, you can join these guys in Europe, or wherever you endeavor to go!

With graduation looming at the end of your upcoming senior year, you have big plans. Instead of strolling off the stage with your diploma and marching straight into a cubicle, you’re going to hit the road on a multi-month (maybe multi-year?) trek of exploration and discovery around the world. You want to do this while you are young and physically able to climb mountains, crawl through ruins, discover obscure mysterious islands and endure rough and tumble night buses, and for this, we applaud you.

Far too many people wait until retirement when their health has failed them, leaving them unable to fulfill all the dreams that they had put off for countless decades. One reality of travel that is constant, no matter how slim your budget, is that you need to have sufficient money to travel for any length of time.

Economy class fares cost the same for all of us, so in this final year of school, you need to acquire the eye of the tiger when it comes to saving cash from whatever job you have (if you don’t, start looking).

The following five tips will show you how to save money for traveling in no time, allowing you to get to the fun part of travel: planning out all your amazing adventures!

1) Stop eating out

Bear in mind that this doesn’t mean to stop eating: we all need adequate nutrition to survive. What this tip does prescribe is this: no more lunches at Chipotle, midnight pizza runs, or hungover breakfasts at your local sports bar. Look up some beginner recipes and start making food for yourself. Start off simple, then branch out to more complex meals. Soon, you will be eating better than ever, while spending considerably less dough than you were before. Talk about a win-win proposition!

2) Wave goodbye to your cable company

With abundant free entertainment on Youtube, Vimeo and Reddit, and cost-effective options on Netflix, Hulu and iTunes, why are you still shoveling your cash into your cable company’s furnace for the sake of a few measly channels? Endure the 30 minute phone call you’ve been dreading and cut the cord tomorrow, and watch as all that wasted capital begins piling up in your account instead of padding the wallet of some greedy CEO.

3) Cut back on drinking (and when you must, do it at home)

While going dry would have a dramatically positive effect on your finances, we realize that the college experience is often drenched in booze. So instead of cutting out the alcohol altogether, go out once per week maximum instead of the multiple nights per week that you are doing now. If you normally go out once per week, then take alternating weekends off from the bottle. Band together with potential travel companions and find fun, non-alcoholic things to do on those days to make adherence easier for everybody.

On weeks when you do drink, opt to stay home and avoid the expense of cover charges, marked-up alcohol prices and expensive cab fares.  Instead, have your friends over to your house, and host the party there instead!

4) Seek out freelance work

With all that free time between classes (trust us, you’ll be looking back at this surplus time fondly when you enter the real world), you likely have time to find a second job, or failing that, a freelance gig on the side. Got a way with words? Become a freelance writer. Skilled in the art of editing/manipulating photos? Flog your Photoshop wizardry to the people of the internet in return for monetary compensation. $200 here, $600 there … it all adds up fast.

5) With a month left to go, sell everything that won’t fit in your backpack

With your plane tickets booked and your preliminary plans getting you excited, one last thing you can do to top off the pile of gold in your vault is to sell off all your stuff. Furniture, trinkets, gadgets, kitchen ware … anything that doesn’t fit in your backpack, or will have a practical use on the road – GONE. Sentimental items should be boxed and stored at your parent’s house or at the home of a trusted friend, but all that other stuff? Liquidate it into sweet, sweet spending cash!

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