balancing money
I recently attended a young professionals networking event with a professional development presentation on money management. This was a great presentation (as a money nerd, and someone who makes a living writing about it, I was riveted), and it brought up an important consideration:

How much time do you make for your financial plan?

The presenter, Eric Hess, pointed out that most people spend more time researching their next TV purchase than they do planning their finances. When you think about this, it suddenly doesn’t seem so odd that many of us have a hard time managing our money.

It’s never a bad time to step back and think about what you want from life and what you will do with your money to get there. Here’s what you should do.
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“Today is the only important day. There are 86,400 seconds in a day, and how you use those are critical.”

As someone who’s training to run a marathon next June, I’m constantly bookmarking inspirational quotes and videos I find online. The above quote is from a video collage posted by a fitness Facebook page, that is six minutes of pure motivation.

My interpretation of this quote is that today is the only day you have control over. Today should command your full attention and requires all of your effort and energy.

Yesterday is done and gone. You cannot change what you did yesterday, whether it was good choices or bad ones that you made. If you did well, then use it as momentum to help you do well again today. If you made poor choices, use them as motivation to make today different.

This is especially important for financial choices and spending habits.
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I’m a sucker for tradition. Actually, I am a fan of nostalgia – things that make you warm and gooey and bring you back to the days of your youth. When it comes to issues of personal finance, however, nothing I was taught (even the more “traditional” lessons) really panned out for me. While I’m a big believer in balancing the budget, following the law, and doing your share, I won’t teach my kids money lessons that are popular simply because they are old. Here are a few examples of lessons that are still being handed down from generation to generation – but that really needs to stop.
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Lifestyle of the rich

What do you think of when you hear the word “rich”?

Yachts? Evening gowns? Travel?

That’s true to an extent, but not all rich people live that way. For this argument, we’ll define “rich” as having an excess of money, and “lavish” as obscenely using moolah like those in Hollywood.

Those who are rich, especially the self-made rich, are a different breed than most people. They do things differently. They live differently. They think differently. These differences get them where they are.

Without these actions (or inheritance from your great uncle Earl), you’ll simply stay a reader, passive without action.

Let’s read and incorporate:
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The job interview process can be a nerve-wracking experience, even for the most perfectly-suited candidate. And the more you want a job the harder it can be to avoid letting nerves get the best of you.

The problem is that interviewing for a job necessarily puts you in a position of low power. You are dependent upon the interviewer for the position, and feeling that powerlessness can make you incredibly uneasy.

But it is possible to psych yourself up so you no longer feel out of control. Here are three scientifically proven methods for making yourself feel calm, confident, and in control during a job interview.
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debt collectorsHave you ever found yourself in this scenario?

A third-party debt collector calls and alerts you to a bill that’s been handed over to them. You might already be aware of the bill’s delinquency, or it might be news to you. Perhaps it’s:

  • A bill, however small, that was forgotten or missed and it’s now been sent to collections.
  • A one-time expense like a trip to the hospital that wasn’t covered by your insurance. The amount is enormous and it overwhelmed your budget so much that you are just unable to pay it off.

These situations aren’t always a sign of poor financial management, as they happen to the frugal and financially responsible too. There are two extreme responses to this situation: people who fight debt collectors tooth and nail regardless of whether they owe the money, and people who cave to manipulative collection tactics and end up in even worse financial straits. The keys to dealing with legitimate debt collection lie between these two, though.
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