January 11, 2018

When Does a Hybrid Begin to Save You Money?

Like many young professionals, I recently found myself in the market for a new Toyota Camry. While deciding which model to choose I was hit with quite the moral dilemma, do I take into account my carbon footprint and buy a hybrid or do I try to put some money away for my fraternity reunion in Panama City next spring and purchase the less expensive gas version. To make matters worst I had recently seen Al Gore’s new movie An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power and was made painfully aware of our societies ever deteriorating environmental situation. However, ice-cold beachfront Corona’s in Panama City was enough to force even the strongest willed environmentalist to swallow their pride and go with the gas version. To make a long story short, I decided to do a cash benefit analysis to decide which model I would purchase. While doing this analysis, I had to take into account several variables:   The first phase of my cost benefit analysis involved the difference in price between the two models. There was a substantial difference in price between the regular Toyota Camry and the Toyota Camry Hybrid. To provide you with the specifics a 2018 Toyota Camry starts at $24,000, while the 2018 Camry Hybrid comes off the lot at $27,800. Given this substantial difference in price I was initially tempted to go with the regular Toyota Camry. However, there were still several other variables I had to take into account, those being the price of gas, mileage and number of miles I planned on driving the car for.   The second phase of my cost benefit analysis involved how many miles I planned on driving the car for. Putting myself in the shoes of the average suburban American who often commutes 50 miles to work […]
November 6, 2017

The Key to Paying Off Your Student Loans in Five Years or Less

Coming out of college and entering the real world can be a very scary time. Not only do you have to find a job but you also have to find a job that will cover all your expenses for rent, groceries, nights out on the town and most importantly your student loans. Student loans on average take up about 30% of your monthly salary. The companies don’t even really give you too much of a grace period before they are breathing down your necks wanting that first payment. And depending on how much you had to take, your entire paycheck could be equivalent to the amount you have to pay back. Although it all looks doom and gloom, there are many ways to get ahead of your loans and to pay it off before your five-year reunion. Look at the big picture: Do you have more than one loan? If so, which loan is the smallest? You want to go after this one first and pay it off as quickly as possible. Can you consolidate any of your loans into one loan? Can you get a lower interest rate? Once you see where all the moving parts are it will be easier for you to create an overall goal… Create a goal and stick to it: Make a goal for each loan you have. This goal must be realistic; you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Make a plan that fits your lifestyle and leaves you not eating ramen on a weekly basis. Set a time line of when you want each loan or loan to be paid off by. You want to pay it off in 6 months? Okay how much does that come to on a monthly basis… Set an amount: Each loan will […]
November 6, 2017

Give Your Best Every Time

We say- each and every day, all days start on their own. My father being an avid golfer used to tell me “Son, you are only as good as the day you tee it up. Past performances are nice, but what have you got for me today.”  My brothers and I used to think that was a bit harsh, yet it had a solid element of truth to it. Godin adds: “After you’ve done your best work, and its still not enough… after you’ve written the best memo/blog post/novel/screenplay you can possibly imagine writing… after you’ve contributed your pithiest insight or gone on your best blind date…and it still hasn’t worked…You really have no choice,  but to do it again. To do your best work again, as impossible and unfair as that seems. It compounds over time. Best work followed by best work followed by more best work, is far more useful and generous, than merely doing your best work once and insisting we understand you.” Now understand, that you might not be at your best, each and every day (that’s impossible). To TRY, is what’s most important. And that is also, how improvement happens. A beginning jogger starts out running 10 minute miles and quickly improves to 9.5 then 9,8,7. At some point she levels off, and can’t always beat the previous days efforts. Just some days are better, and some are worse than others. The key though– is to always TRY to give it your best.
November 6, 2017

Look to Mom for Financial Advice

As we honor mothers this weekend, take time to get some advice from mom.  First, women are better savers…according to Fidelity women save 8.3% of their salary while men save 7.9%.  That little difference can add up to thousands and thousands of dollars over time.  Second, according to a recent Betterment study, women signed onto their accounts 45% less frequently and changed their allocations 20% less often than men.  Keep on saving every chance you can and keep it simple, sage advice from the women in your life.
November 6, 2017

Millennial’s Banking Habits Could Spell Trouble for Big Name Banks

Now-a-days, everything is getting simpler as competition pushes people to come up with the latest and greatest solutions to today’s problems. The rush for the next big idea is sweeping the banking industry as companies like Venmo and Square are becoming household names, as they’re observed taking over millennial’s phones and monetary transactions. Apple and Google have even come up with their own payment methods, making external money management virtually obsolete. Apple pay makes buying simpler by confirming a purchase at a compatible register with a simply double click of the home button on your iPhone. This simplistic one-touch confirmation is what is sweeping to banking industry. With Venmo, it is now as easy to pay your debts as it is to send a text message. All you need to do is find the person who you owe on the app, write the amount you owe them, or they owe you, and send it for them to confirm. Just like that the debt is paid for. The only thing required to use this technology is to simply plug in your credit/debit card information and/or hook the system up to your bank account and you’re golden. But with all of this information out there, isn’t it sort of dangerous? That may be one reason why the new technological trend isn’t picking up too much steam with the older generations. The 2015 Makovsky Wall Street Study, under the section covering millennial’s habits, said that 49% of millennial consumers would consider using financial services options from companies such as Google and Apple, whereas only 16% of older consumers would consider doing the same. Is there true safety in the mobile/web based platforms, or are we looking at a volcano waiting to erupt? We’ve been on to this mobile banking system for a few years […]
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