START SOLVING YOUR MONEY PROBLEMS TODAY

By Joey Ortiz

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

I’m going to start this article by asking several questions.

1. Do you think that, earning more money will solve your money problems?

2. Do you think higher education will solve your money problems?

3. Do high paying jobs solve money problems?

But the real question is, What does solve money problems?

Making more money does not solve your money problems. This is due to individuals tend to find new things to buy with the new money they just received. Many times, this is bought on credit which adds monthly payments to your debts.

Higher education does not solve your money problems either. We have a lot of bright individuals with Masters and Ph.D.’s that earn a lot of money but are deeply in debt.

A higher paying job does not solve your money problems. I see it all the time.

Tell me, how many pay increases have you received in your working life? How many bonuses have you received?

Are you out of bad debt yet? Ask yourself, why?

Truth is, we already know where or on what we want to spend that money before we even receive it. The reason why too many individuals cannot get ahead of the game is that they lack the real answer to the big question, Financial Education / Financial IQ.

One thing is having higher education, high paying jobs or making a lot of money; and a whole different thing to know what to do with that money to become financially free.

In order to increase your Financial IQ, Robert T. Kiyosaki wrote a book to help us all. The book “Increase your Financial IQ – Get smarter with your money” goes in-depth to explain what real Financial education is and how you can use it to get ahead of the game.

Don’t buy luxuries until you’ve built the assets to afford them. He doesn’t agree with the mentality of living below your means. He prefers to build and acquire assets that pay for the lifestyle you want. Don’t pay for luxuries out of pocket. Pay for assets out of pocket and they will buy the luxuries that you want.

Assets come in many forms. They are things that will bring money into your pockets, whether you were working for it or not.

The most common assets are paper assets. Those come in the form of investing in stocks in the stock market. Mutual funds and bonds are also in this category.

Another type of asset is Real Estate. Whether you are flipping houses or owning rental properties (house for rent or apartment for rent).

Owning your own business. Or learning how to make money online by setting up a website, blog, etc.

And finally, the less common known assets of commodities. Include owning oil, gold, silver.

What do you do?

If you want to learn how to make money, I highly encourage you to decide which one of the previous types of assets you are more interested in. Buy a few books on the topic or take some classes. Learn the inside and out of how they work. Set yourself for success.

Instead of watching TV, learn new skills and begin managing your finances.

Useful new skills for this century are podcasting, affiliate marketing, app development, furniture making, graphic design, just to name a few.

Manage your finances by learning about taxes (“Tax-Free Wealth“) or be willing to pay up for a very well educated accountant.

Start your own business. It could be inside a building or an online business. You want a proven system, then check out Timothy Ferriss’s book (“The 4-hour workweek“). A great example of his business with tips and tricks for getting what you need for less.

Learn to invest (“The Intelligent Investor“) or know that you will be paying fees and expenses to people that are as intelligent as you or not even as much.

Review and organize your finances using money calculators, build your own or be willing to pay someone to build one for you. By the way, that someone will be me in the near future. Don’t worry, it won’t be expensive.

Don’t be afraid of using coupons to buy items at lower prices. It is a great way to save money that you can put to better use by investing it and growing your account.

Don’t throw your hard-earned money in the grave or online banking. What I mean by that is, don’t leave your money in a savings account or online bank account that pays anywhere from 0.5%-2.50%. Remember that inflation increases on average 3.5% per year. You need to make investments that pay at least 3.5% just to keep up with inflation and not lose your buying power.

There are plenty of assets that can pay you 3.5% and more. Investing is not risky. Risky is depending on one source of income (aka your job), and losing it (getting fired) and no second or third sources of income to help you mitigate the hit. Now, THAT! is risky.

Begin your Road to Wealth!

Leave your comment below. If you liked it, pay it forward. Share it on social media and help others become successful as well. Your success will be the result of two things: Knowledge and Action.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com

HOW TO MAKE DAVID OR ZIRA READ PDF BOOKS TO YOU FOR FREE!

By Joey Ortiz

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

Reading

For some reason, for many, reading is not interesting. Almost as if it were their kryptonite. However, reading is where knowledge is hidden.

That’s why they force you to read at school. For you to learn.

On second thought, I think that is why many do not like to read. They made them read so many books that were not interesting, that they lost the magic and interest in reading.

If you are like me, you read the same paragraph several times. Again and again, because I get lost, get distracted by flies, or I just don’t understand something.

On average, it takes me a month to read a book of 250-350 pages. Some 10-15 pages per day before bedtime. Nor do I try hard to finish faster or read more pages per day. How great would it be for someone to read me the book?

The solution

Today, you can have your book of interest read to you, whenever you want, wherever you want and for free. That is great! How far society and technology have come! Is incredible.

It sounds even hostile, but it isn’t in the least. David and Zira are willing to read your book whenever and wherever you want. And for free. Because they are robots.

They are a reading system that many people do not know exists in pdf books and documents.

How it works

It does not work with pdf documents created by an image.

It works perfectly with pdf documents created by a text source (Microsoft Word or other word processing programs).

How to customize it

First, you must open the pdf book, and you will program it to your liking.

Click on Edit at the top, in the submenu, scroll down to preference.

In the box that opens (categories), click on reading.

You will see that as in the photo, you have the option to customize your reader.

Reading order: Left to right, top to bottom

Volume: adjust as required

Voice: Your two options are:

          Microsoft David Desktop (Male)

          Microsoft Zira Desktop (Female)

Pitch: adjust as needed between 1-10

Words per minute: this is how fast you want the document read. I am using 175.

Too fast can be difficult to hear and/or understand. Too slow may sound unnatural and saddle you to death. Find that sweet spot where you can have the best of both worlds; you are able to listen/understand and it keeps you awake, attentive and engaged.

Click Ok.

How to activate it

Now we move on to the part everyone wants to learn. For the less tech-savvy, we will do the step by step doing all the clicks. In the next part, I will give you the codes for those who like to use shortcuts.

Find the place where you want the reading to begin.

Click on the first word.

Now, at the top, click on View, then all the way to the bottom of the submenu, hover your mouse over Read Out Loud and click on Activate Read Out Loud.

* This is not going to start the reading, you are just activating the pdf.

Click on View again, hover the mouse over Read Out Loud, and you have two options here: 1. read this page only, 2. read to end of document.

Usually, most will choose to read until the end of the document.

Note that in the same process, View Read Out Loud – you also have the options to pause and/or resume the reading or stop reading completely.

Shortcuts

SHIFT + CONTROL + Y = ACTIVATE READ OUT LOUD

SHIFT + CONTROL + V = READ THIS PAGE ONLY

SHIFT + CONTROL + B = READ TO END OF DOCUMENT

SHIFT + CONTROL + C = PAUSE OR RESUME

SHIFT + CONTROL + E = STOP

Test drive

Some of my favorite books are:

The Millionaire Next Door (Personal growth / Finance)

The Intelligent Investor (Stocks, money, investing)

Tax-Free Wealth (Tax loopholes)

The ABCs of Real Estate Investing (Real Estate)

Before You Quit Your Job (Entrepreneurship, Financial IQ)

Retire Young Retire Rich (Money, Finances, Investing)

Conclusion

For many, this information will be of great help. Unfortunately, too many people today have no knowledge about this breakthrough, which can be exploited in our favor. I started a book 3 days ago using this method and I’m already on page 148. Pausing to summarize and everything. I will finish it in 6 days. Now, that is a breakthrough for me.

I hope it helps. Enjoy!

Begin your Road to Wealth! By reading more books in half the time.

Leave your comment below. If you liked it, pay it forward. Share it on social media and help others become successful as well. Your success will be the result of two things: Knowledge and Action.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com

LOW-COST FRANCHISES TO FUND YOUR RETIREMENT

“Quit feeling sorry for yourself, make shit happen” – Unknown.

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

Many Americans love the idea and fantasize about one day becoming their own boss. Too many of them are realizing that they don’t have enough money saved for retirement.

On that same token, they are scared of failing by starting their own business. Losing their savings and digging a deeper hole for themselves.

One way to avoid that is by buying a proven concept, rather than starting a business from scratch.

That means, buy a franchise.

The thing is, many of the well-known franchises today, come with a hefty price tag. But I will give you a few low-cost franchises that can help you achieve your goals of financial freedom.

Note: In order to get more details on these franchises, read this article on CNBC.

Since we are talking about low cost, we will begin with our highest “low cost” on this list and work our way down.

1. United Country Real Estate

          With 443 franchises in the U.S., this franchise has a start-up cost of $15,000. Royalty fees range from $1,200 – $2,400 per month.

2. Rhea Lana’s

          With only 89 franchises in the U.S., this franchise also has a start-up cost of $15,000. Royalty fees range from 1% – 3% of gross sales.

3. Image One

          It has 103 franchises in the U.S and has a start-up cost of $15,000. Royalty fees are 10% of annual gross revenue.

4. Help-U-Sell Real Estate

          It has 102 franchises in the U.S. and has a start-up cost of $15,000. Royalty fees are 6% of gross commissions.

5. Motto Mortgage

          It has only 70 franchises in the U.S., with a start-up cost of $12,000. Royalty fees are $0 for the first 6 months, increasing to $4,500 per month after one year in business. With Real Estate heating up the way it is, the low amount of franchises and the low start-up cost makes sense for a great investment.

6. Cruise Planners

          Has 2,569 franchises in the U.S., and a start-up cost of $10,995. Royalty fees range from 1% – 3% of gross commissionable fares. Competition is a bit steep here with over 2K franchises open.

7. TSS Photography

          Has 176 franchises open in the U.S., and a start-up cost of $10,500. Royalty fees will depend on print production costs which varies by state.

8. Showhomes Home Staging

          Only 55 franchises in the U.S., and a start-up cost of $10,000. Royalty fees are 10% of annual gross revenue. Again, Real Estate is hot lately and this investment has a lot of upsides. Not too many franchises to compete, low start-up cost and a very generous royalty program.

9. Complete Weddings + Events

          Has 192 franchises in the U.S., and a start-up cost of $10,000. Royalty fees are 8% of annual gross revenue.

10. Dream Vacations

          It has over 1,200 franchises in the U.S. and the lowest start-up cost at $9,800. Royalty fees range from 1.5% – 3% of annual commissionable sales.

As you see, some of these franchises are well known with over 1K franchises up and running in the U.S. Others, are rather new which will give you an edge to really reach your financial freedom once people get to know you and trust you with minimal competition.

I prefer to receive my income from the (I) Investor quadrant but nothing wrong with being your own boss and be part of the (B) Business quadrant. Both quadrants come with great benefits from a tax perspective.

If you want to learn more about the Cash Flow Quadrants, tax benefits and much more, get your hands on this great book “Rich Dad Cashflow Quadrant” by Robert T. Kiyosaki.

For more on the (I) Investors quadrant, you can learn about:

Real Estate:         

                    Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich teach their kids about money

                    Retire Young, Retire Rich

                    The ABCs of Real Estate Investing

Stock Investing:  

                    The Intelligent Investor

                    How to make money in Stocks

Tax loopholes:

                    Tax-Free Wealth: How to build massive wealth by permanently lowering your taxes

These books have empowered me with the knowledge to set myself and my family for success in the future. The small investment I paid for this type of knowledge, has paid dividends a lot sooner than I expect. The difference is knowledge by itself, is not power. Knowledge with action is power.

Set yourself for success!

To our wealth! Leave your comment below.

Remember, it’s all about the road to wealth. If you liked it, pay it forward. Don’t forget to share it on social media and help others become successful as well. There is plenty of room for all of us. In the end, your success will only depend on you and not what others do.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com

REALITY CHECK

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

We all want to live before we die, right? That means that at some point, we have to stop trading away our time for dollars. Money is important but we need to stop working for a salary or a wage and figure out how to make money work for us!

First thing is, you need to be honest with yourself. Answer the following questions with all honesty and see where you are. Just a simple Yes or No.

1. Do you operate your household with a budget?

2. Do you know how much debt do you currently have? (Total debt)

3. Do you routinely pay your bills on time?

4. Do you have savings for an emergency? (At least $1,000)

5. Do you have a plan for tackling your debt?

6. Do you regularly charge your credit cards because you spend more than your paycheck?

7. Do you hide bills from your family?

8. Have you been turned down for credit/loans?

9. Do you prefer to buy fun things today than buying assets for the future?

10. Do you think the government and social security should provide enough to cover your expenses in retirement?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

See how you did…

If you answered ‘Yes’ to questions 1-5, that’s great! You are already taking control of your cash flow…

If you answered ‘No’ to questions 6-10, that’s also great! … You have the right mindset and probably just need a little push…

If your answers are mixed, you have some work to do…

If your answers are completely inverted, You are headed toward financial disaster. You need to re-evaluate your life big time.

At first, it is difficult to change your bad habits. You bet it is. But your life can dramatically change for the better and it all depends on you. See how you spend your time and that will give you an idea where your life is headed.

I come to figure out in my 30’s, that I do like to read. As a young person, I thought I didn’t like to read. Actually, I figured out that when it comes to making my money grow faster and faster, I can’t stop reading once I start.

Everyone is money-oriented. Some to spend, some to accumulate. The difference is financial knowledge and literacy. The ones that read about money and apply it in real life, get ahead of the game. The ones that not, live through struggle their whole life.

I will make several recommendations of books that I have read and have been illuminated by new knowledge that when I started putting it all together, my life started to change for good. There is no stopping now.

Note: Although it was not the first book I read, it is highly recommended you start with Twelve Pillars for a solid foundation…. but getting back to the article…

The first book I read was:

#1. How to make money in stocks by William J O’Neil – in short, he follows and shows how to use the CAN SLIM formula (yes, it’s an acronym), uses both a few fundamentals and a little bit of technical analysis. He doesn’t use a get rich quick scheme. Slow and steady wins the race.

#2. How to make money in stocks complete investing system: your ultimate guide to winning in good times and bad. Also by O’Neil.

#3. The intelligent investor by Benjamin Graham – he teaches you to keep emotions under control and invest like an intelligent individual. No high IQ needed, or inside information or luck. You can’t ignore that some of his disciples have shown the possibilities when you put it all together. Like who you said? Nothing more than Warren Buffett who says this is the best book in investing ever written by far. Mr. Buffett is currently the 3rd richest person in the world with over $80 billion dollars.

#4. The millionaire next door – opened my eyes to the possibility that anyone with any type of income sources can get to where they want if they so desire. No high income is needed because everything comes down to your spending and savings habits. It shows you a simple formula to measure your wealth! Now, you will instantly know if you are ahead of the game or not. Are you a PAW, AAW or UAW?

#5. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki – has expanded my knowledge to immense proportions. In summary, Robert’s real dad (poor dad) and his best friend’s dad (rich dad), shaped his life with the way they see money and investing. You don’t need big degrees or high incomes to be rich. You just need financial literacy about money and how the rich make money work for them and not the other way around.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m telling you, if you start with these 5 books, you will be way ahead of 80% of individuals I know because no one wants to read. If you feel like one of those too, let me show you a trick; read 10 pages every night before you jump into bed. For example, the millionaire next door is 270 pgs, at 10 pgs per night you will finish it in 27 days. Just under a month, you will have new knowledge that if applied, you can start your own road to wealth.

Knowledge is power, only if put into action. You can know it all, but if you don’t start, it just goes to waste. Don’t be one of those 10 years from now saying, only if it would have started earlier.

I’m glad I didn’t wait that long but still would have loved to have all this knowledge when in college. My life would have been even better than what it is right now, which is not bad at all. I mean, I just doubled my wealth in 2 years and 8 months.

Don’t be left behind. Jump on the bandwagon and give me company on this journey in the road to wealth.

#BONUS#: We spoke about habits earlier. If you want to pick up good habits, you might want to check “The 7 habits of highly effective people“.

To our wealth! Leave your comment below.

Remember, it’s all about the road to wealth. If you liked it, pay it forward. Don’t forget to share it on social media and help others become successful as well. There is plenty of room for all of us. In the end, your success will only depend on you and not what others do.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com

YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM YOU WILL EVER NEED

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Honesty above all. Please read our disclosure policy here.
Photo by maitree rimthong on Pexels.com

Let’s learn how to take control of our financial freedom today. Use the exact same blueprint I used for my financial freedom.

WHAT IS THE BEST MONEY MAKING APPROACH?

There are thousands’ of money making models out there, so I guess you are here to see which of them is the best fit for you. If you need someone with a financial background, like a B.A. in Accounting, you get one here, for free. I’ve been trying different approaches at growing my money in order to not depend solely on my job; especially after retirement.

I learned that the average millionaire has 7 to 8 sources of income. Following on their footsteps, I have become financially free. What I mean by free is, my passive income is making me an amount of money which surpasses my expenses.

DO YOU NEED A BACHELORS IN FINANCE TO DO THIS?

Now remember, it was not done in a month or two. It took some work, sacrifices, discipline and time. It takes money to make money, right?

HOW DID I DO IT?

1. Automate your savings and grow them at the same time

First thing I did was opening a savings account that will help me grow my money over time. It has an easy set up and it is one of those set it and forget it type of models. Just let it compound over the years.

It has several features:

A. Saves your money automatically by rounding up your debit/credit card to the next dollar. When it hits $5, it transfers it out from your checking account into the app account. Then the next feature takes place…

B. The money that you just saved will automatically be invested in the stock market. You can choose if you want to be more heavily invested in stocks, bonds or a mix of both. This step needs to be done only once. It will automatically do it for you after first time set up. Also receive dividends from the stocks you hold.

C. Found money feature lets you buy at your favorite brands and stores through the app and they will give you cash back or reinvest into your account.

Get your ACORNS account.

2. Easy source of income with Real Estate

Then I saved $500 to open an account where I can get some exposition to Real Estate. The reason why I prefer to do it digitally is because I became a landlord without the hassle.

For this type of investment I have a longer time horizon, meaning years. I’m planning on getting money out after I retire, not before. And since Real Estate takes it’s time to develop, I will take my time to let it panned out.

The $500 will get you in with the Starter Portfolio where you can split your money between two portfolios. In order to start using all the features available you need to save $1,000 to reach the next level called Core. By all means you can start here if you have the money available.

After reaching Core level you choose between 3 investment plans…

Supplemental Income

  • Aim to earn returns via quarterly dividends, with less appreciation.
  • Invest in an income-oriented real estate private equity strategy
  • Portfolio allocated primarily to debt real estate assets

Balanced Investing

  • Aim to earn returns via a blend of dividends and appreciation
  • Invest in a balanced mix of income and growth strategies
  • Portfolio allocated across both debt and equity real estate assets

Long Term Growth

  • Aim to earn returns via appreciation in share value, with fewer dividends
  • Invest in a growth-oriented real estate private equity strategy
  • Portfolio allocated more towardequity real estate assets

If you want to get into Real Estate, FUNDRISE is your way to go.

3. Be the Bank

Just as Real Estate has stood the test of time, so have Loans. With this advance in technology now you can become the bank, lend $25 per loan and get paid.

The downside here is you need money to open this account. If you want just the basic stuff you need $1,000 to be exact; although they recommend you begin with $2,500 in order to mitigate risk of losing. If you want to get free notes with full features and $75 bonus, then you need to save $5,000.

Now to the good part. They claim historical returns over the long term is 3%-8% but as you can see on the picture below, I’m currently at 11.55%. If you open an account shoot me an email and I will show you a few tricks to weed out bad investments. Free of charge of course.

LENDINGCLUB is your pass to play the Bank, but with real money, getting paid for real; not Monopoly money.

Note: Currently only residents of the following States may invest in LENDINGCLUB notes: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, or WY.

4. Build a wealth mindset

Ever dreamed of becoming a trader and making money on the markets? Today is your lucky day because you can open your account, and receive a free stock like Sprint, Apple, Microsoft or many others.

The simplest way you can do this is by buying dividend paying stocks. I suggest you take a look at this list.

Great Dividend Stocks include stocks with both consistent multi-year dividend growth and steady price appreciation.

Dividend Achievers are stocks that trade on the NYSE  or NASDAQ and have increased its annual dividend for at least 10 years or more.

Dividend Aristocrats, are stocks that have increased its annual dividend for 25 years or more.

Dividend Kings are stocks that have increased its annual dividend for 50 years or more.

You can buy some of this stocks and know that price will increase over time but almost surely your dividend will increase yearly. Giving you bigger payouts.

Get your ROBINHOOD account today.

5. Extra Income

The following accounts I don’t use to build wealth but to get some extra cash every month. They are similar but offer many options when it comes to receiving your money.

SWAGBUCKS will pay you for giving your opinion on surveys, watching videos, and a wide variety of other ways.

INBOXDOLLARS will also pay you for giving your opinion on surveys, watching videos, and many other ways.

LUCKTASTIC is the modern way to play Lottery by scratching digital tickets. You can win cash, gift cards or tokens.

6. Fix your credit score

If you want to become wealthy, one way you need to get started is by improving your credit score. Credit Sesame will give you tips by email to help you get where you need to be.

7. Save, get cash back and much more…

Ease on your pocket by getting the best you can in Car insurance. Gabi will compare your current insurance and will find you if any other Insurance Company is offering the same insurance at a lower price.

Get offers, save and get cash back in your groceries. It is a great way to stay in budget and keep your fridge full. Ibotta will give you this and much more. Give it a try.

Paribus is a program that will scan your emails and get you cash back when the item you bought drops in price. It also gets you compensated when your shipment is late. Don’t delete your emails anymore and rip the benefits of this program.

MY RATING SYSTEM

I give ratings to my investments from 0 to 10. Main variables are:

* Ease of set up

* Ability to make money

* Consistency

* Price

* Special features

ACORNS 9/10 (only downside is if the market sells off, although we know it will be temporarily, everything else is great)

FUNDRISE 9/10 (it is a slow investment, need patience but it’s totally worth it)

LENDINGCLUB 9/10 (only hurdle is the amount of money to get started, once you get over that hurdle you will not stop smiling)

ROBINHOOD 8/10 (super simple platform, need more features if you plan to day trade)

SWAGBUCKS 7/10 (need time for surveys, you can let videos run in the background)

INBOXDOLLARS 7/10 (need time for surveys, you can let videos run in the background)

LUCKTASTIC 6/10 (at least for me the cash prices have been low, although I read about others making $100, maybe I’m not lucky enough, lol)

CREDIT SESAME 10/10 (everything you need to improve your credit score you can find here)

GABI 10/10 (super easy to do and save me over $900 for the year by switching to the new insurance company)

IBOTTA 9/10 (easy to use and offers many options)

PARIBUS 10/10 (easy set up and you have to do nothing but wait)

CONCLUSIONS

Hopefully, you’ve already put an eye on a money making technique that you liked. If you are still unsure, start from the simplest techniques and move up. I recommend you open an account for each type of approach. They are uncorrelated and that will help you grow faster when the cycle comes around. Like the Chinese saying goes “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today”. Today is your day to plant your tree.

Hope it helps! Leave your comment below.

Remember, it’s all about the road to wealth. If you liked it, pay it forward. Don’t forget to share it in social media and help others become successful as well. There is plenty of room for all of us. In the end, your success will only depend on you and not what others do.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com

HOW TO BUILD AN EASY, S.M.A.R.T. BUDGET

“Don’t underestimate the power of consistency and desire” – Unknown.

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Honesty above all. Please read our disclosure policy here.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My friends! We have a simple goal here, and the goal is to become rich, not just look rich. So, how do we get there? Well, you have to put your money to work for you. In order to do that, you need to ensure that every single cent that you receive as income has a job to do.

But Joey, what does that mean? It means that you have to prepare a plan, follow that plan and tweak it as necessary. If you still don’t understand or don’t know how to budget, don’t be ashamed. You are not alone!

What I learned from wealthy friends is, they know how much they will make, they know how much has to go towards paying the bills. They also know how much they want to save and invest. Finally, they know how much they will have for fun. Yes, when you prepare your budget, ensure to account for some fun and entertainment too.

Let’s begin with the basics. Before we draw our map, we need to understand what we are doing. We will definitely not learn this on Instagram or Twitter. You have several options. If you know Excel, you can do this a lot quicker than most since the formulas will help you automate the results. If you are not tech-savvy, then you can write it on paper and will probably need a calculator to plug in the numbers and results.

What is a S.M.A.R.T. budget? It is an easy acronym that helps you remember what is important when you are planning and preparing your budget.

Specific – you need to be specific with your financial goal and know what do you want to do with your money. That includes the short term (buying something now) and long term (plans for retirement).

Measurable – as you go, you want to see your progress. That is how you will know if you need to step it up or just keep going with the flow. It will also help you see if you overspent or underspent and where.

Achievable – In order for your budget to be successful, it needs to be achievable. If necessary, you can examine your budget at the end of the month to compare your projected numbers against your actual numbers. Make adjustments as you go and if necessary.

Realistic – you need to be honest. For example, you plan to spend $20 eating out at your favorite restaurants but you know you like to order Dominos, take friends or family to Burger King and pay for them, and end up at the Chinese buffet to end the week. Know your tendencies and patterns.

Time-oriented – In order to achieve your financial goals and meet your timeline, you need to break down the big goals into small steps that will gradually take you to where you want to be.

Now that you have a better understanding of what a SMART budget is, know that making your budget is just the first step. You need to keep planning. Discipline and perseverance will help you sustain it and improve it.

Few tricks to making a budget that works are:

* Ensure every penny of your income has a job to do. If you don’t account for every cent you make and don’t give it a job before you even receive it, that penny will find a place to land and most likely will not be where you want.

* Do not charge your credit cards more than you can afford. A big problem is that many of us use our credit cards when we already used up all of our cash. But we are wrong. The right way to use a credit card is having the funds available in your account. That way it won’t hurt you when it’s time to pay off your card. A rule you can use is the rule of 7. When you are tempted to buy something, wait 7 days. Then ask yourself again if you still want it. More than likely you won’t.

* Review your budget several times for adjustments. You want to have this budget ready before you get paid. Do not wait until you start paying your bills, or your money will have control over you instead of the other way around. It is essential that you sit down, review your budget and make adjustments. Stay on top of your game. The great MLB hitters are the ones that prepare for the pitcher they will face. They don’t wait until the pitcher is on the mount to ask for a scouting report.

* Know how much money you have at all times. Staying with the MLB analogy, life is great at throwing us curve balls. We need to know what we have in order to prepare for the unexpected things that happen every month.

* Always track your spending. Your rent, car loan, and some other bills rarely change. We know we won’t overspend there. But dining out, buying groceries, buying on vending machines at school or work can throw us off. By the way, get cashback and great offers in groceries with Ibotta. Just register for free and see how much you will save each month.

Without further ado, let’s see how a budget should look like. At the beginning of the month, we use projected numbers but at the end of the month we use actual numbers to know what adjustments are needed.

Let’s begin with:

Projected income:

All of your income, paycheck, wages or whatever and add any extra income you make, like answering surveys online, washing cars, paint houses, cut grass, etc.

Projected Housing expenses:

Mortgage / Rent, Phone, Electricity, Gas, Water and sewer, cable/internet, waste removal, maintenance or repairs, supplies, other

Projected Loans:

Personal loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.

Projected transportation expenses:

Vehicle payment, insurance, gas, maintenance, other.

Projected savings:

Savings will vary by individual needs. You can use a percentage of your income. If you choose that option, then do this step first before anything. Another option is to use a specific amount. Option three is taking an amount from what is left after paying all bills.

Projected entertainment:

Movies, concerts, sporting events, other.

Projected balance:

This is what you projected as your income and subtract all the expenses and savings. Ensure this number is positive. This is the amount that you will have left for your personal use or whatever you decide to spend it on.

Tools used to aid with budgeting:

Acorns – automated savings, investing and cashback rewards, rolled into one. Just $1 monthly fee. (full report)

Credit Sesame – raise your credit score and follow their tips. You will be able to get lower rates in future loans, hence pay less and save money. (full report)

Fundrise – easiest way to save and grow your money while becoming a landlord without the hassle. The best part is you can start with only $500. (full report)

Gabi – is a service that will help you find the lowest price you can find for your car insurance. I saved $936 when I switched. And it took me no more than 10 minutes. (full report)

Ibotta – Save on groceries, get offers and rewards every week. Bonuses and cashback. (full report)

Inboxdollars – watch videos, answer surveys, search the web, get paid, transfer to your paypal account. I use it for extra income (full report)

Lucktastic – extra income, scratch digital lottery tickets, join different contests to win free groceries, free gas, or cash. (full report)

Swagbucks – extra income, get paid to watch videos, search the web, answer surveys and much, much more. (full report)

LendingClub – is my number one (#1) choice to save, and grow your money substantially. But, it is restricted to the United States and some states can’t invest either. Cross your fingers your state is in and not out. Also, you will need some money saved to begin. In order to get all the bonuses, you need to begin with $5,000. If you don’t want the bonuses, it is recommended you begin with half of that. (full report)

Paribus – will verify your emails, keep track of the price you paid for items and get your money back when the item’s price drops. Also, can get you compensated when your shipment is late. Everything while you sleep or go about your day. (full report)

Robinhood – my number one platform for trading. Commission-free and simple. Plus get a free stock like Amazon or Coca Cola when you sign up. (full report)

S’more – easy extra income, download to your phone, get paid every morning when you unlock your phone. Get extra points when you watch videos or complete surveys. Redeem prices. (full report)

Sweatcoin – more extra income, download to your phone, get paid to walk outside your house or building. The idea is to give incentives to individuals while helping them to get or stay in shape. (full report)

Truebill – save on monthly bills and stop overpaying for them too. This app will search for refunds and it will also negotiate on your behalf to get better deals. (full report)

Wish.com – Is my favorite site to buy items coming from China, cutting the middle man out of the picture. Cheaper than eBay, Amazon, Walmart, you name it. Use code: PJXXZYH (full report)

I will leave you with a picture so you know what it needs to look like. At the beginning of the month is going to be projected, but ensure that you keep track of your numbers throughout the month and do it again at the end of the month with your actual numbers. That is how you know, what type of adjustments you have to make. Also, modify it as necessary. Everyone’s circumstances are different.

I hope it helps! Leave your comment below.

Remember, it’s all about the road to wealth. If you liked it, pay it forward. Don’t forget to share it on social media and help others become successful as well. There is plenty of room for all of us. In the end, your success will only depend on you and not what others do.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com

EASIEST WAY TO SAVE AND INVEST AT THE SAME TIME

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Honesty above all. Please read our disclosure policy here.

I will teach you something today, that they don’t teach at school. Everyone has the power to not just save money, but also make that money work for yourself, instead of you working for money.

Just like Warren Buffet (net worth in the billions) said: “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep. You will work until you die”

If that sounds like something you would like to do, then you should consider opening an investment account through ACORNS.

ACORNS is an app that automatically rounds up your credit or debit card purchases to the nearest dollar, then invests your spare change.

How do you earn with ACORNS?

  • Market gains
  • Dividends
  • Found money (Earn cash-back when you buy online on your favorite store)

No need to start big. You can start small, with only $5 and set the “ROUND-UP” feature in order to stack up your change. Meaning if you spend $10.25 at the store, .75 cents get dropped into your Acorns account.

You decide between 5 different portfolios, ranging from very conservative to very aggressive, and you are set. Because after all, who has time to sit in front of a computer all day to try to pinpoint which direction the market is going to move on a given day. The app does all the investing for you.

The automatic savings stack up faster than you’d think. The sooner you start, the more money you could potentially make. For example, I opened my account on 7 JAN 2018. I was able to save at a rate that let me stash $479 for the year. (Yes, I put my money where my mouth is and got the first-hand experience)

At that rate, I could save close to $1,000 in about 2 years from spare change without even sweating it; and that does not account for your gains, which average interest-earning is around 7%.

While your account is worth less than $5,000, The app charges you a $1 fee each month. A lot better than your bank fees right now. Just for signing up, you get a $5 BONUS. If you invite 3 friends by the end of the month, Acorns will invest $100 in your account.

Oh, did I mentioned that your stock portfolios invest in dividend-paying stocks?

I love dividends, and when you invest in a dividend-paying stock, you are acquiring a portion of a company and they are giving you a portion of their profits. Who knew!

Then we move to the found money feature.

You get free money deposited into your account simply for shopping with your favorite brands through the Acorns app at NO extra charge to you.

Just to name a few: Adidas, AdvanceAutoParts, Ebay, GNC, Uber, Lyft, Forever 21, Sam’s Club, Groupon and hundreds more.

There are a lot more cool features, but I suggest you download ACORNS for yourself and see what it can do for you. This is the easiest and smarter way to invest and grow your money. And you thought everything was restricted to the few and wealthy elite.

Can you say passive income! ACORNS has developed an incredible, easy to use platform. As they say, every oak tree started as a simple oak. Grow your oak!

Begin your Road to Wealth!

Remember, it’s all about the road to wealth. If you liked it, pay it forward. Share it on social media and help others become successful as well. There is plenty of room for all of us. In the end, your success will only depend on you and not what others do.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com