“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

– ­Nelson Mandela

That’s what I thought when my kids opened the gift they got this past Christmas.

You see, my friend gave us two puzzles as presents. A 1,000 piece monster for my 11-year-old, and a 500 piece head-scratcher for my 8-year-old. My kids opened the boxes right away, spreading all 1,500 pieces all over the house. Meanwhile, I was at the back looking like Albert Einstein because my hair started graying out immediately from the thought of having to finish the two massive dilemmas that have invaded my living room and also from me starting to pull all my hair out.

Luckily, my kids couldn’t care less about what I looked or felt like. They started plugging away, fitting each piece in willy-nilly. The approach they took was far from the most efficient, but they were making progress. It certainly beats good old dad at the back with the paralyze-in-fear approach.

Without doing anything special, my kids were reminding me about the power of getting started. It reminded me of my own journey to financial freedom. It reminded me about this very site, MoneyNing.com. When I first started on the road to be financially independent, I was far from an expert in personal finance. All I knew was that I wanted to build wealth. All I knew was that I needed to save and make more money. I didn’t know about index funds, tax-loss harvesting, or Roth conversions. It didn’t matter that nothing I was doing was efficient because I was spending less than I make. I was saving. I was making progress.
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Many of us couldn’t wait for the past year to be over. And now that a new year is finally underway, it’s time to figure out how to make it great.

One of the best ways to improve your life and your finances is to invest. And you aren’t limited to investing in order to further your finances either. You can invest your money, but you can also invest in yourself. Here are some of the best ways to invest in the new year:

1. Boost Your Retirement Account Contribution

One of the best ways to invest is to boost your retirement contribution. That’s money that will grow for you over time. It’s even better if you work for a company that offers an employer match. In those cases, you get free money to invest.

If you have room to increase your retirement account contribution, do so. This is true even if it’s just by a few dollars every paycheck because getting into the habit of improvement will help you be able to increase the contributions even more down the road.

I know of some people who are already putting in as much as they could in a Roth IRA this year because they want their money to grow tax-free for as long as it’s possibly allowed to grow. How about you? How long do you plan to wait and miss out on tax-free growth for life?
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It’s 2021 and the new year is staring at you right in the face. You probably have a few unfulfilled new year resolutions from the past year but no matter, 2020 has been crazy, long gone, and there is no better time to get things done than right now.

I was just going through the motions of working the 9 to 5 a few years ago. Though my work seemed to have exceeded all peer expectations, my career was unfulfilling. Merely showing up provided me a challenge but it really provided me with little more than the biweekly paycheck. As one of my coworkers told me at the time – “You are just wasting your time”. Coming out of graduate school, I didn’t quite know what it meant, but I knew I wanted to change.

When I first started MoneyNing, I didn’t have the slightest idea what I was going to write about, let alone the fact that it could turn into a business. It didn’t matter though, because learning about building a website and connecting with readers was exciting, challenging, and most of all, fun. By then, I was in sales and traveling across the country every week, but the lack of time (or sleep) didn’t seem to hurt my productivity. Because I was motivated to get things done, I could work anywhere, at all hours of the day.
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You wouldn’t let your teenager cruise around solo before he’s had some driving lessons, would you? It’s pretty obvious that the responsibility of driving is something that requires education, practice, and time.

But many parents are allowing their teens to take on another important responsibility without the benefit of an education. Specifically, many young people get their first credit card without any idea of how to manage the privilege. This can have disastrous results.

Rather than letting your teenager navigate the potentially treacherous waters of credit by himself, start providing him with age-appropriate lessons early on.

Here are a few reasons why you should give your kids a credit card.
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Just as you thought you had everything together financially, something unexpected happens that reminds you to keep looking for improvements.

A few weeks ago, we got a mailing from a 401k custodian claiming that they are holding Emma’s 401k that was rolled over to them years ago. My first thought was that this was some type of a scam, but then they have my wife’s name, the old employer where she worked, and other personal details. The crazy thing was that Emma hasn’t worked for a corporation other than our own company in over 10 years. In fact, the employer that supposedly transferred the money went out of business more than a decade ago too.

The other thing I thought was incredible is how they even found our address. After 10+ years, we’ve moved three different times. What kind of automated systems do they use to track the current address of their clients? None of this matters though. You don’t say no to money, especially when it’s yours. And who knows? Emma might have set aside a sizable amount years ago, or she might have luckily picked some investment that went ballistic. Thinking of either possibility got me a little excited. I logged onto their website, figured out how to create an ID, and looked at the account balance – a little under $1,000. Not incredible, but decent.

I realized then that the amount might have been quite a bit higher if we actually had that money rolled into our other investments and invested all this time. But that’s water under a bridge now. What I need to focus on is to transfer the sum out and combine the amount to the rest of our retirement assets. I haven’t done a rollover in years, but I remember there were a few gotchas, so I did a little research to refresh my memory. If you’re in the same position and need to deal with a 401K, here are a few tips to get you started on the process to transfer your old 401K.
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You’re busy – I get it.

You have a lot of stuff going on, and spending time on your finances seems like another huge responsibility to add to your already full plate.

But whenever you take a look at your wallet, you wonder where all of your money went. You haven’t looked at the details of your credit card bill in months, and you have a pile of unopened bills lying on the kitchen table.

You keep telling yourself that you’ll get around to creating a budget, but you never do it.

You want to dig yourself out of the financial mess you’ve created, but you feel like you’ve lost all control. Maybe next year, you tell yourself.

By failing to plan, you have planned to fail. You’ve gambled with your money by not telling it where to go. If this sounds like you, you can regain control by following these tips.
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