Navigating Your Way Out Of 9 Emotional Finance Risks

Most of the online materials about finances teaches you how to make the best decision relying on the information you’ve got access to, whether it’s about buying your home, picking your next vehicle or even launching a new business. In fact, for a lot of readers, deciding on the best course of actions in a specific financial situation can seem extremely easy. However, more often than not, people are just people, and even with the best will in the world, it’s impossible not to let feelings interfere with a financial topic. What happens when you’re inadvertently let emotions take over and decide on your economic future? Bad things happen. Your feelings, while they matter in a lot of personal choices you need to make in your life, should never be part of your financial future. Here are the top 9 most common financial mistakes that people make when they listen to their feelings and ignore reason.

AT HOME

Your home sweet home is a place of safety and coziness. It’s the family nest where you can recharge your batteries and spend time with the ones you love without having to worry about the external world. Except that if you want this safe nest to exist, you need to plan and budget its creation cautiously, with regards to your financial situation. To build a feel good home, you need to ignore your heart!

Oops I bought over my budget

Did you know that almost half of American families have buyer’s remorse about their home? According to a Trulia survey, 44% of all American homeowners have regrets when it comes to their home, whether about the purchase of the home itself or about the process they applied to choose it. Buying a home is for most people the biggest purchase that they’ll ever make in their lives. Consequently, feeling disappointed or disenchanted about this very purchase is common. Why does it matter? Because once you’ve bought a house, you can’t easily ditch it to buy a better one. For a lot of people, once the choice is made, they will have to stick with it for a very long time. Admittedly while only 9% claim that they should have bought a smaller home, all families have to make do to face high mortgage repayments regardless of whether the house is too big or too small for their families. In short, don’t make a choice based on love at first sight — you may pay more than you can afford — or fear of running out of options — you might settle for something that isn’t right for you.  

Don’t fall off the property ladder

What if your reason for buying a house is not as a mean to provide a home for your family but as an investment strategy? Here too letting your feeling blow up your opportunities is a terrible mistake. As a general rule of the thumb, property investments are relatively stable and therefore safer than other types of investment. But that doesn’t mean that the real estate market doesn’t know fluctuations. In fact, it’s important to keep a cool mind and not let your emotions get the best of you. This starts by not holding on to your properties in the hope as they are losing value. Sell before the market value drops too much, and more importantly sell quickly.

When DIY doesn’t save you money

It’s natural to want to improve your home. But there’s a thin line between home improvements that add value and home improvements that save money. It’s crucial to understand exactly where you fit on the scale. For instance, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to decide to fix their home themselves and save a lot of money in the process. Except that you need to pay close attention to all details to make sure that you will not find yourself out of pocket by the end of your DIY project. You can choose to remodel your home, but depending on the kind of project, you might need a permit. In fact, you should always make sure to get a permit as you might be required to tear your work apart and start over if the city discovers that you’ve been adding major improvements without legal authorization. That can be a costly mistake. Additionally, you need to review your home insurance carefully because getting your best DIY tools. Some specific DIY works will not be covered by insurers and require the assistance of a qualified professional.

 

ON THE ROAD

Is there anything more invigorating than zooming in between cars to bet on time to your appointment or to embark on a road trip adventure? A lot of people enjoy driving and feel completely safe and entitled once they sit in their car. Of course, you should feel safe in your vehicle, but you shouldn’t let your everyday emotions interfere with your driving style. Letting your guard down can be an expensive error.

When being a careful driver isn’t enough

So, here you are, speeding in town, worried that you might arrive late for an important work meeting. Of course, you want to make a good impression, and therefore you’re getting more and more irritated by some of the slow drivers in front of you. Suddenly, you can’t take it anymore, and you give an abrupt acceleration to overtake, except that just at that moment another car was coming across the crossing that you were too angry to check. Car crashes happen all the time, and while not all of them are deadly, it doesn’t mean that you should continue without a car accident attorney. In fact, when your emotions temper with your driving, you need to rely on the support of legal professionals to find you the best deal.  

Drinking and driving: Sure way to lose everything

You went to a party with friends and are coming back. Yes, you’ve had a few drinks, but you can’t really do with taking an Uber to the other side of town. Besides, you need your car tomorrow. The problem is that if you get involved in an accident or if you get controlled by the police, you’re likely to get convicted of drunken driving and lose your license. It can be tricky to maintain your professional career without a car. Do you know the worst? According to the Commonwealth Court, you may not even be eligible for unemployment compensation.

AT WORK

As an entrepreneur, you need to be aware of a variety of business risks, involving investment challenges. However, more often than not, the most expensive mistakes are the ones you make when you let your emotions decide for you.

Financing your business

For anyone who wants to launch their first business, it can be tricky to find the perfect investment, especially if you’ve tried to pitch your idea to a panel of private investors and failed. Consequently, that’s why a lot of startups turn to online funding, such as crowdfunding and cryptocurrency investors. Cryptocurrency funding often seems like an easy solution as you can collect the necessary funds from all over the planet, without needing to hit a specific investment target. Except that you shouldn’t let your enthusiasm blind you: There are a lot of crypto scams! You can find fake crypto wallets, for instance, that will access your funds.

How fair is the workplace?

What happens when you’ve built your business empire, and suddenly someone claims that your workplace discriminates against a certain group of people? When you work with teams, it’s essential to rely on HM experts to keep every interaction fair. You can’t, for instance, work on the basis of your personal gender perceptions to manage your teams, their occupations, and their wages. Sounds obvious? It isn’t; even the tech giant Google is being sued for discrimination against women and pay gap discrepancies. So if Google can fall for this trap despite their open and honest culture, it’s likely to say that most businesses can.

Are your data safe?

You trust your staff; you’ve recruited each one of them personally. You know you’ve got a team you can rely on, and that’s why you want to make sure that your budget is focused on high and well-deserved wages and workplace comfort. These are great priorities. However, if you really care about your business, you should invest in the appropriate protection against cyber crimes. Don’t think it can happen to a small business? Think again: Most hackers start on the job by tackling small businesses, which are easy targets, before hitting on large corporations. With an increase in the annual number of security breaches of 27.4%, it’s not a risk you want to take.

Have you protected your ideas?

Small businesses are sometimes a little more easy-going about trademarks and copyrights. Some freelancers don’t think that their business ideas need to be protected against trademark infringement. Others are naive and don’t realize that online material doesn’t come for free. In fact, some bloggers might face an $8,000 fine for wrong use of images in their articles. The bottom line is: You may not protect your rights, but others do.

When it comes to finance-related decisions at home, on the road, and at work, your emotions need to be left out of it. Your excitement, naivety, enthusiasm, anger, greed, and much more, can push you to make costly mistakes that you will regret ever after. Sit and think, instead of feel and do!

How to Earn Extra Using Social Media

Making extra money is always a hugely appealing idea. Perhaps you have some debts you want to pay off faster or maybe you’ve got your eye on a fabulous vacation somewhere? Either way, adding to your income by working on the side is a great way to reach your financial goals faster.

Social media is one of the best routes to take. You probably already have social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that could be making you a bit extra. If you don’t, they aren’t difficult to set up anyway.

Unlike some of the 75+ ways you could earn a bit extra, social media is probably something you are already using regularly and it will take almost no effort to add into your working day. You might want to have a crack at being a social media influencer, or maybe you want to put your blog to better use with social sharing?

Here are the two easiest ways to make your social media work a bit harder:

Social influencer

People tend to prefer to buy products recommended by people they trust and this is where social influencer marketing comes in. It could be seen as the sneakiest way of advertising a product because it relies on influencers gaining people’s trust and then persuading them to buy a particular thing. However, most social influencers will only ever promote things that they themselves like and use because if they recommend bad products, they will lose their social credentials. The top 7 tips to being a social media influencer will help you to master this subtle art and start earning with your own recommendations.

Promote Your Blog

If you have already started a blog but no one is reading, social media is the key you need to unlock your real potential. Blogging is a fast growing industry that relies on people just like you to continue pushing out readable, informative content and it can pay really well. Using social media will give you a wider audience and, even better, the chance to attract a regular following.

Organic social is the best way to start. Create a page dedicated to posts from your blog and then invite everyone you know to like it. Post updates and links to your blog regularly as well as other interesting links you might find. You can also use paid advertising to draw in new readers and to encourage more link clicks. Make sure you optimise your ads to get the best bang for your buck.

If you are already spending time on social media, adding either of these two small projects to your lifestyle shouldn’t be too difficult. Redirecting your focus to making a bit of extra cash might feel a bit odd to start with, but there’s no reason that you shouldn’t give it a go. After all, think of the celebrities who make money just posting pictures on Instagram! You might not be famous, but you can certainly learn a thing or two from them when it comes to quick, easy cash.

5 Super Easy Effective Ways to Help Save For Retirement

This morning’s water cooler conversation started off very light hearted, as most Friday mornings do, but took a sudden dive into the scary waters surrounding retirement and savings. Being a government employee, I just assumed that my co-workers and I were all on the same path: employer funded retirement accounts, plus additional personal 403b accounts and savings… I mean, that is how I was raised – “[s]aving for retirement is an investment into your own future, no one will do that for you” still echoes in my ears. As the conversation progressed, I realized that I was the only one, at 33 years old, that had taken this path to attempt to secure a financially stable retirement. Later I received an email from a co-worker asking how I recommend they start on they own retirement savings journey, so I thought I would share my response.

The Miracle of Compound Interest

The best advice I ever received in regards to my retirement savings was to start early. The younger you start, the more ground you make with compound interest. Google it. Simply put, you earn interest on your contribution plus the previously accrued interest. Start saving at 30 years old, instead of 20 years old, and you will need to contribute 3 times as much to have the same balance at retirement age.

Employer-Based Retirement Plans – DO IT!

Currently, I work for an agency that offers a 6% contribution to my retirement account and my employer pays the required 6% employee match, on my behalf. 12% of my annual salary is a great place to start. If you are in this situation, it is also important to research additional retirement options to help supplement your retirement goals. For example, I have set up a 403b account that I put $300 a month. The best part about this is that the $300 come out of my check pre-taxed – lowering my adjusted gross income (AGI)! If you want to get crazy, let’s talk about also setting up a Roth IRA as well!

Many private organizations offer a percentage 401K match; therefore, if you pay 3% into your 401K account, then the company will match your contribution and also pay 3% into your account. Why wouldn’t you automatically put in, at the very least, the amount the company is also willing to contribute on your behave? Free money!

Make sure to contact your HR department to determine if this is something that your company offers. It is literally their business to know and to help you.

My Personal Pitfall

Every year when I receive my annual raise, I increase my 403b contribution according. This way I don’t miss the money because I didn’t build my monthly budget around it. This is a very easy way to increase your savings as you move closer to your retirement.

When I first started to contribute to my plan, I made an unrealistic monthly goal and it backfired on me because I was no meeting my monthly expenditures and it was very stressful.

I used Google to find a great retirement calculator to determine how much I could afford to contribute and increased my contribution as I could afford to do so. A staggering 40% of Americans underestimate what their financial needs will be post-retirement.

Rollovers

If you are leaving the company and get asked the big question – rollover or cash out? ALWAYS rollover. Cashing out your 401K or 403b can lead to high fees and tax implications. Do your research and talk to your tax account. I understand the incredibly tempting allure of fast cash but do not fall into that trap if you can! As my dad says “no one else is saving for you…”

Check out the Graphic below, It provides an interesting visual insight into generations and how they go about save for retirement differently.


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