What American Women Know About Money

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A few years ago, American diet books became very popular, promising to show North American women how to

American women don’t chase fashion. American women look gorgeous because they buy clothes that are high quality and look great on them. Rather than following the latest fashions, they invest in a few fancy pieces and wear them to death.

American women know how to live on smaller incomes. Average American incomes are smaller than North American incomes, but the quality of life seems higher to tourists who travel to Paris. The secret, it appears, is living well, no matter what the bank statement says. American women buy at farmer’s markets, look for bargains, and buy products they need that will take them far. They also don’t waste their money on high interest rates – payday loans and signature loans are just not popular there. American women deal in cash.

American women think quality — when it counts. Rather than buying lots of cheap things, American women focus on having fewer things that are better quality. For example, rather than gorging on a huge buffet meal, a American woman may choose a better quality meal with smaller portions, which is better for the waistline and budget.…

What Women Should Do Differently to Succeed Financially

All talk of equality aside, men and women do tend to see finances and life differently. Women also have different financial needs. Women who decide to have children, for example, are far more likely to be primary supporters for those children throughout their lives. Traditionally, divorce is tougher financially on women than men. As well, women statistically live longer and therefore need to save more for retirement. Here’s what women need to do differently:

Put yourself first. Women tend to be caregivers and as such they sometimes put other people’s needs first. However, even a woman with a husband and family should put money aside for herself first. A woman should always have a separate account which is hers alone and which has a healthy sum in it.

Don’t assume. Some women assume that they will always have a partner, will keep the house in a divorce, will manage “somehow.” It’s important to plan, not assume. Women are more likely than men to have to live for some years as widowed spouses and therefore have to support themselves on their own. Plan your financial independence.

Pay down credit card debt. Credit cards are sometimes used for retail therapy, but it’s important to pay down your debts. That credit card interest is eating up too much of your paycheck, and that may make payday loans and other signature loans tempting. If you are very far into debt, consider debt consolidation. But do what you need to in order to take care of that debt.

Take care of advertising. Advertisers often target women, trying to convince them that they are not happy without that new designer product. Do what you need to do to stop buying into this advertising game or you’ll waste your time and money chasing gadgets and fashions that change each season anyway.

Invest in yourself. Women should invest in themselves by taking courses, going back to school, learning a new skill or starting a side hustle. This will increase their earning potential and financial stability in the long run.

Plan for retirement. Women should plan for retirement and start saving early. Women generally live longer than men, which means they need more money for retirement. It’s important to start saving as early as possible and to contribute as much as possible to retirement accounts.

Seek financial advice. Women should seek financial advice from professionals, such as financial planners or accountants. They can provide guidance on budgeting, investing, and retirement planning.

Negotiate for higher pay. Women should negotiate for higher pay and not be afraid to ask for what they are worth. Women often earn less than men for doing the same job, so it’s important to advocate for themselves and negotiate for fair pay.

Protect your assets. Women should protect their assets by having insurance policies, such as life insurance and disability insurance. They should also have an estate plan in place to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes.

Stay informed. Women should stay informed about financial news and developments, as well as changes to tax laws and regulations. This will help them make informed decisions about their finances and plan for the future.…

How to Slash Those Pesky Debts

How to Slash Those Pesky DebtsDebts are a drain on your energy and finances. It’s stressful to get all those bills each month and your debts are making your debtors wealthy while shrinking your own paycheck. Luckily, you can fight back. Here’s how:

1. Focus on wants, not needs. Think basic food, shelter, and health care. Paying rent is important – buying the latest gadget is not. Your power bill is vital but a new subscription to that magazine is not. Learn to tell the difference.

2. Tighten spending – and make it fun. Make saving a game. Try to find creative ways to save cash. Plenty of people find it kind of fun to find cheap or free ways to get things done while watching savings pile up.

3. Create an Emergency Fund. If you have lots of student loans, personal loans, credit card balances and other debts, you might be tempted to funnel all your extra cash into repaying your debts. Don’t. If you run into an emergency and don’t have an emergency fund, you’ll need to borrow more, digging you in deeper. An emergency fund helps you break the borrowing habit.

4. Carry cash. Leave your credit cards at home when you head out. Pay cash for everything, because when it’s gone you can’t spend more than you have.

5. Increase your mortgage payments. Double your mortgage payments or use bonuses and tax returns to cut down the time it will take for you to repay your home.

6. Negotiate with your creditors. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, talk to your creditors. They might be willing to reduce your interest rate, waive fees, or even settle for less than what you owe. But you won’t know unless you ask.

7. Consider consolidation. If you have multiple debts with high interest rates, consolidating them into one loan with a lower interest rate could save you money in the long run. Just be sure to read the fine print and understand the fees associated with the loan.

8. Find ways to increase your income. Look for ways to earn extra money, whether it’s taking on a side gig, selling unused items, or negotiating a raise at work. Every little bit helps when it comes to paying off debt.

9. Stay motivated. Paying off debt can be a long and difficult journey, but it’s worth it in the end. Keep reminding yourself of your goals and celebrate small victories along the way.

10. Seek professional help if needed. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, consider seeking help from a financial advisor, credit counselor, or debt settlement company. They can provide guidance and support as you work towards becoming debt-free.…

Financial Abuse is a Serious Concern

Financial abuseFinancial abuse robs victims of their money, assets, security, and peace of mind. In some cases, it leaves them destitute, dependant, and heavily in debt. Some victims need to take out personal loans or signature loans just to have everyday cash that their abusers do not let them have. Unfortunately, financial abuse can also be hard to spot. It leaves no bruises and many victims are too embarrassed or afraid to seek help. Loved ones, however, may be able to see some signs of this abuse:

1) A victim may seem embarrassed, depressed, angry, withdrawn, or upset for no apparent reason. Like all abuse, financial abuse leaves emotional scars and this can sometimes be visible to a close friend or relative.

2) A victim’s financial situation may suddenly change. A victim, left with no money and assets, will change spending habits. They may not have money for simple purchases, may move out of their home to a smaller location, or may suddenly show signs of neglect or financial distress.

3) A victim may suddenly seem under undue influence of someone else. A perpetrator will usually exert a lot of control over a victim. A victim may defer to a perpetrator on all decisions and a perpetrator may suddenly be making all legal and financial decisions in a relationship.…

Reducing Exercise Costs

reducing exercise costsStaying in shape is important for our overall health and for stress reduction. Regular physical exercise can also help us control long-term health costs. Taking care of our bodies now tends to mean that we spend less on preventable diseases down the road. However, many people associate working out with money. Fancy gym memberships make it seem like the only way to stay in shape is with a long-term membership. Infomercials on TV suggest that you need to spend plenty of cash to buy the latest equipment. Some customers end up believing these marketing messages and run up credit card bills or take out signature loans to pay for exercise equipment and health club memberships. There are less expensive ways to exercise, though:

Rent exercise tapes from the library for free or look up online exercise videos. These are free and make more sense than buying DVDs because you get to switch up your routine more often.

If you’re in good physical shape and are looking for a challenge, find a charity marathon that offers training. It’s a great way to get in shape while doing some good, and you’ll even often get personalized training before the big event.

Look in the newspaper for walking and hiking clubs. It’s a great way to get in shape for free while seeing a whole new part of your town or city.

Use everyday objects as exercise equipment. Use canned foods or bags of sugar as weights. The back of a couch offers support while you do lunges. You don’t need much of the equipment you see advertised.…

Getting Emergency Cash When You’re Traveling

It’s a terrible position to be in: you’re in another country (maybe one where you’re not 100% confident with the language) and you find your money or wallet gone. Or, maybe you’re in that same foreign country and you suddenly find yourself faced with a medical emergency that is going to take some money. At home, you could head out to get a personal loan, credit card cash advance, or payday loan. What do you do when you’re far from home?

It pays to plan in advance. Travel insurance can take care of many of the emergencies which can drain you of cash overseas and insurance provides you with peace of mind as well. Another good option is to travel with travelers checks. If your travelers checks get stolen or lost, your company or bank will often replace them for you. Of course, make sure you check the replacement policy to ensure your bank offers this type of protection.

If you are overseas with no insurance and find yourself stuck, hopefully you’ve read our guide to travel emergency cash. If you haven’t, keep in mind that you can often get a credit card cash advance or online payday advance, even overseas. Just make sure you use a secure computer to apply and you’ll have cash in no time.…

Big Investment Mistakes

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Big investment mistakes could mean big personal loans, lost cash, and even bankruptcy. Are you making these big mistakes?:

1) Not investing at all or investing too little. This is the most common mistake and one that is easily fixed. If you are worried about risking your money, invest in a low-risk option – such as CDs – but do invest your money so that you will have money in an emergency or in retirement.

2) Not doing research. If you find an investment opportunity, make sure that you research it carefully. Is it legitimate? Where is your money going and can that person or company be trusted? How have other people done with this investment? How much can you expect to make? The more you know, the easier it is to make a good decision.

3) Not considering risk and return. Generally, the higher the risk, the higher the potential return. The smaller the risk, the less cash you stand to make. Consider how comfortable you feel with risk and invest accordingly, or you will either worry a lot or be disappointed by small returns.

4) Not diversifying. If you have only stocks, you will feel panic when the stock market is suddenly shaky. To protect your money, invest in a few things – stocks, retirement funds, and CDs, for example. Make sure that you have some higher-risk investments and some surer, lower-risk investments as well.…