One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time is start a dividend portfolio. I like the idea of building a dividend portfolio that can (eventually) provide me with a revenue stream and increase my income diversity.

However, one of the challenges to dividend investing is the fact that dividends build up slowly. You only receive a few cents per share, so it can be discouraging if you start out with a small amount of shares.

During the past year, though, I’ve been part of an investing challenge. Along with several other bloggers, I’m seeing what I can do with $1,000. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to get a start on my dividend investing portfolio — so my entire $1,000 went into dividend paying investments. [ continue reading... ]

Have you ever spent hours working on your finances and spending plan, only to come up short month after month?

Following a budget isn’t as simple as it seems; if it were, everyone would have one and live within their means. The key to developing a workable spending plan is identifying and eliminating the loopholes that are hindering you.

Here are some minor mistakes that may be destroying your budget:

6 Common Budget Mistakes

1. You don’t list goals

When starting out, it’s extremely difficult to stay on track if you have nothing to look forward to. There’s no logic to conforming to a spending plan without any real objectives. Following a spending plan without working towards any financial goals is the equivalent of taking a slew of college courses without intending to actually graduate. Get out a piece of paper and write down your financial goals — stat. [ continue reading... ]

Last week, I talked about cutting down on kids costs by simplifying kids parties and wardrobes.

Today, I’m going to share three more ways to simplify. It won’t be easy, but I’ve found that the more I simplified areas in my life (from the kitchen to my daughter’s bedroom), the more time and money I had. Not only that, but that feeling of being weighed down started to melt away.

3 More Ways to Cut Down on Kids Costs

1. Baby supplies & gear

You can always identify the home of a new parent because it looks like Babies”R”Us threw up all over the living room. When my daughter was an infant, I remember feeling overwhelmed and buried by all the baby stuff we had. Family members urged me to buy this or that, or told me to hang on to items for the next baby. [ continue reading... ]

Whether or not you realize it, what you do on a daily basis forms the core of who you are and how successful you are in life.

Recently, I read an article listing the routines of top CEOs, world leaders, stars, and other notable figures. What I found interesting was the fact that no two routines were exactly alike.

That being said, there were a few key habits shared by many of the world’s most successful people — habits that anyone can adopt.

So, though you’ll have to discover what a successful routine looks like for you, you can start implementing these habits of success today. [ continue reading... ]

We’re in the market for some new patio furniture, so we thought now was the right time to go shopping. After all, it’s the end of the summer season, and retailers are looking to get rid of their inventory before the fall. A major furniture company was even advertising 50 percent off all outdoor furniture.

We went to several major retailers, including Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, and the aforementioned furniture store — but we came home empty handed. Each store had very little to choose from, and what they did have was cheaply made, unattractive, or damaged.

“I guess that’s what we should’ve expected,” I told my wife. “This is all the stuff that’s been sitting here all summer that nobody wanted.”

Why Pre-Season Sales Might Be Better

On our way home, I thought out loud, telling my wife why it’d be better to wait until spring to buy new patio furniture anyway: [ continue reading... ]

Have you ever had the “more” mindset? You know, where it doesn’t matter what you’re doing or what you have — you always want more? Maybe you want to earn more money, have a nicer house, or buy a better car.

I used to be the same way.

I’d set financial goals, hit them, and then immediately set other, bigger goals. I was never satisfied. I felt like I deserved better. I wanted more.

After a year of struggling to keep my head above water, I had a mental shift. Things were tough for my two kids and me; we were on our own, living on a poverty wage. But I avoided debt, built up some savings, and made it work.

It was a year full of hard work and sacrifices. And during that year, I started practicing gratitude. It was the only way I could stay positive.

Being thankful for what I have started to become a daily routine, one which has stuck with me. And since then, my entire relationship with money has changed.

Here’s how being grateful has made me a better manager of money: [ continue reading... ]