Personal Finance Blog by Money Ning


 

Lower Rates for First Time HomeBuyers Isn’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be

Americans have been cheering on low rates for years. This is especially true for those looking to buy a home or thinking of getting a bigger home. After all, lower rates lower the interest you pay on a mortgage and reduces the monthly burden. Plus, lower rates increase home values, and that makes just about everybody who owns a home happy. Lower rates, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Or is it? I’ve been telling people that a lower rate isn’t as big of a benefit as people looking to buy ...
Tags: Real Estate, Housing, Marketing, Mortgage


3 Hacks to Increase Your Productivity (When All You Want to Do Is Procrastinate)

There’s plenty of advice about how to use your time more wisely — everything from creating routines to planning out your day the night before. But when you’re in the trenches and you feel the siren song of Candy Crush (or your distraction of choice) calling your name, no routine or well-planned to-do list can save you from yourself. Those are the times when you need a great productivity hack to put you back on track. Do you want some help? Here are three ways you can force yourself to be more p...
Tags: Facebook, Advice, Marketing, Lifestyle, Chris Bailey, Better Yourself, Cilley, Marla Cilley, FlyLady


5 Easy Ways to Pay It Forward

Occasionally the news will feature a refreshingly positive story of someone who practiced a random act of kindness with the mindset to “pay it forward.” You’ve probably heard this phrase before. The movement developed from a book written by Catherine Ryan Hyde, which was then followed by a movie in 2000. The basic concept is that instead of paying someone back for an act of kindness, you pay it “forward” with an act of kindness to someone else — usually a stranger. In our often selfish and mate...
Tags: Motivation, Marketing, Lifestyle, Don, Better Yourself, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Easy Ways to Pay it Forward


7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Be Excited by a Bull Market

It’s never a good thing to watch stock market fluctuations like a hawk, but you are in good company this year. With coronavirus causing so much suffering and affecting so many major industries in a big way, the Federal Reserves worldwide doing what they can to combat the economic shocks, and a highly contested and competitive presidential election, there are many reasons for people to be worried about their portfolio. I too have caught myself peaking at stock prices way too many times this year...
Tags: Marketing, Lifestyle, Investing, Fed, Jerry, Money Beliefs, Bull Market


How to Tell Your Kids “No” When It Comes to Spending

One of the best ways to save money in the long term is to learn how to say “no.” Saying no to spending can help you get your priorities in order, as well as keep your finances on the right track. Some have trouble saying no to themselves, but many don’t have that issue at all. I fall into the latter category. It’s easy for me to say no to most material possessions because the comfort of seeing the money in the bank account far outweighs the benefit of seeing a shiny new toy in front of me. Stil...
Tags: Marketing, Lifestyle, Money Tips, Kids and Money


Top Ten Excuses for Not Saving

It seems that every time you turn on a talk show or news program, an economist is making dire predictions because Americans aren’t saving enough. No one plans to live out their golden years as a Wal-Mart greeter, but with a large portion of the American workforce living from paycheck to paycheck, that might be the sad reality. The truth is that pretty much everyone — no matter how low-paying your job — can put money aside for a rainy day. Have you ever heard one of these excuses coming out of y...
Tags: Saving Money, Marketing, Frugality, AARP, Wal Mart, Better Yourself


8 Free Alternatives for Stuff That Cost Most People Money

I went to get the flu shot the other day, a trip I make once a year to keep not just me but those around me safer. And oh man I felt so sluggish afterward! I got the shot in the morning and I was only half functional for pretty much the rest of the day. The nurse said it’s normal to feel tired though and not something I needed to worry about. Luckily, I’m back to 100% now and everything seems to be a-ok. This year, we changed where we got the flu shot. We found out that our county’s health agen...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Spotify, Microsoft, Marketing, Lifestyle, United States, Free Stuff, Google Docs, Harry Potter, North America, Costco, Frugality, Irs


How Much Could You Save By Downsizing Your Home?

When we built our home in 2004, we paid attention to the details we thought were important at the time. We found a floor plan we liked with the right number of bedrooms and an ample sized kitchen on a lot adjacent to a park. Unfortunately, we didn’t think a lot about how our needs would change over time. A lower level basement that had been the kids’ toy room when we first moved in now sits almost empty. That’s because the kid’s main source of entertainment is their computers (which reside in t...
Tags: Saving Money, California, Housing, Marketing, America, David, Mortgage, Travis, Money Tips


Getting a Background Check? 3 Things to Help You Land the Job

In today’s career world, where negative publicity can cause serious problems for companies, it’s difficult to get excited about hiring someone who might turn out to be a liability. Teachers whose drunken party pictures end up on Facebook, or top level executives whose nasty comment ends up being posted online, can really set an employer (and their reputation) back. Not only that, but there are some jobs, like truck driving, in which your driving record might be applicable. No trucking company ...
Tags: Google, Career, Facebook, Education, Advice, Marketing, Lifestyle, David


Emergencies Do Happen

I have sad news to share. I came back from an overseas trip to Hong Kong because my dad passed away. It was sudden (so sudden in fact that the police came and required an autopsy before they can clear the case from foul play). When I heard the news, I had to scramble to figure out how to get back there. Normally, you book the earliest flight possible and you are set. But this year is different because there’s this virus floating around called COVID-19. Hong Kong requires everyone coming from the...
Tags: Hong Kong, Marketing, United States, God, Emergency Fund, Emma, Money Stories


Thinking of Retirement? 7 Questions You Need to Ask

Retirement might seem ways away and years in the distant future. But even so, it’s one of those things in life that requires lots and lots of planning. Retirement can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years but shockingly, a third of Americans have less than $1,000 saved up. It’s easy to see that the sum won’t be enough, but many people still don’t take the time to bump up their savings. If you don’t want to end up like many Americans and instead want to live comfortably in retirement, then you have ...
Tags: Florida, Advice, Retirement, Marketing, Lifestyle, Tony Robbins, Medicare, 401k


5 Painless Ways to Pay Yourself First

We all know that we ought to be paying ourselves first — by building a healthy emergency fund, investing in our retirement accounts, and saving for important future purchases. However, it can feel like paying ourselves first will end up shortchanging our other financial obligations. How can you pay yourself first when you barely have enough money to make it to the end of each month? Luckily, saving is just like Lao Tzu’s journey of a thousand miles. They both start with a single (and, in this c...
Tags: Marketing, Budgeting, Money Management, Frugality, Lao Tzu


How Generous Are You With Money?

Recently when I treated my mom out for lunch, she mentioned how she treats money a little differently than I do. She said that she is generous to other people but frugal towards herself, while I’m frugal towards those around me and myself. Now, wait for a second here. Why would you say anything like that to a person WHILE he’s treating you to lunch? At a slightly fancy Chinese dim yum place no less? Which part of I’m buying you lunch is not generous? I’m just joking about the question though be...
Tags: Marketing, Lifestyle, Money Beliefs


How to Teach Your Child About Responsible Spending

For kids, money really does grow on trees. If you’re familiar with basic psychology, you’ve read about a child’s magical thinking stage, their advances to concrete operational thinking, and their propensity for egocentrism until age seven or eight. If you want to learn more about how children think differently than adults, you may want to read up on Jean Piaget’s research about how a child develops. His contributions to developmental psychology are used by advertisers and marketers, pediatricia...
Tags: Superman, Marketing, Santa Claus, Jean Piaget, Money Beliefs, Kids and Money


How to Successfully Manage Multiple Financial Priorities

Looking at your finances and figuring out how to manage multiple financial priorities can feel like you’re running in circles. How can you pay off debt and save for retirement? How can you pay for your child’s education and invest in your own future? It’s tough to manage all your short, medium, and long-term financial goals at once. On one hand, focusing on one thing can lead to burnout and also leave you financially vulnerable. On the other hand, spreading your finances too thin to focus on al...
Tags: Motivation, Advice, Marketing, Lifestyle, Credit Card, Money Management


7 Creative Ways to Save Money Every Month

Last we checked, money still hasn’t started growing on trees yet. Not in our yard, anyway. So we decided to experiment and see if we could find some new ways to save the same old money. Our experiments were a success. We’ve saved on nearly every one of them, and I’m thrilled to show you how we did it. Being able to save money isn’t some exclusive privilege only reserved for financial bloggers. Here’s how one of our readers, Vincent, saved recently. They are easy to replicate, so everyone can do...
Tags: Marketing, Walmart, Aldi, Fidelity, Hulu, Frugality, Vincent, Angus, Money Tips, Cash Back Credit Card, Creative Ways to Save Money Every Month


What Farm-Living Teaches Kids About Money

Farmers know how to get the most out of every dollar spent, as nothing goes to waste when you live on a farm — they even recycle manure! For many farm families, living frugally is a way of life passed down from generation to generation. Frugality is an intentional part of raising farm kids, so what can we learn from them? Here are five lessons on frugality for kids from the farm. Money Lessons for Kids from the Farm 1. Recycling is essential. Food scraps get fed to cats, dogs, cows, and other...
Tags: Asia, Marketing, Lifestyle, Frugality, Don, Bailer, Kids and Money


4 Tips To Rebuilding Your Emergency Fund

Some of us know all too well to expect the unexpected because accidents will occur sooner or later. That’s why an emergency fund is a key part of any financial plan. It’s hard to predict what curveballs life can throw your way and how much it’ll cost you financially. Who could’ve predicted that there will be a pandemic that could be so life-changing for so many? I know a few well-to-do fine dining restaurant waiters who are now struggling to make ends meet. That’s why setting aside some cash is ...
Tags: Marketing, Lifestyle, Money Management, Don, Better Yourself, Reevaluate Your Budget Reevaluate


5 Cool Technology Advances for Managing Your Money

I have my reservations with technology as it relates to money. I love how technology can help us better manage our money, but I’m also somewhat reluctant to turn too much of my financial management over to technology. That’s because too much of a hands-off approach leads to poor money management and can get you in trouble financially. Technology can also be more of a crutch than a help, especially when it doesn’t work like you thought it would. In the end, you still have to know how to manage y...
Tags: Apple, Marketing, Lifestyle, Budgeting, Money Management, Robinhood, Digit, Money Tips, Mobile Bank Apps and Security Nowadays, Better Saving Automation, Investing Platform Companies


How to Avoid Financial Infidelity

Did you know that many people not only get a Starbucks coffee once a day but multiple times each and every day? Well, color me surprised when I found out that my wife, Emma, belonged to this group for at least a few months. It’s really not a huge deal when I think about it since she is frugal in other ways and our finances can handle her small guilty pleasure. If getting their sweet tea floats her boat, then by all means. After all, money is meant to help us live more comfortably and not just t...
Tags: Amazon, Family, Marketing, Starbucks, Emma, CreditCards, Money Beliefs, Money Stories


Could Your Finances Handle a Pay Cut?

Many people are tired of the shutdown caused by COVID-19. That’s why people around me are starting to slowly return to normal life because things seem just fine for them after so many months of hearing about the devastation of the pandemic on the news. I can understand that too. After all, it’s hard to see how bad things are out there if you don’t know anyone who was diagnosed with the disease. What’s harder to dismiss is the shock this pandemic already caused the economy though. We haven’t hea...
Tags: Career, Marketing, Lifestyle, Budgeting, Debt, Bank, Money Management, Don


Should You REALLY Buy a Home Now?

Having sold a home recently, it still amazes me that people are practically stepping on top of each other to buy a home during this pandemic when no agent is allowed to host an open house. Mortgage rates are crazy low right now, but is the monthly payment the only thing you should be considering? Sure, the economic numbers aren’t as dire as what the experts feared at the onset of the shutdowns, but aren’t there too many people thinking that now is the time to buy a home? Is fear of missing out h...
Tags: Real Estate, Housing, Marketing, Investing


Do Annuities Make Good Investments? What to Consider Before Purchasing

Do annuities make good investments? How are they used for retirement income later in life? What is an annuity? An annuity is a type of retirement savings vehicle usually offered through insurance companies and, in one way or another, guarantees a steady income after you retire, whether in monthly, quarterly, or yearly pay-outs. There are various type of annuities, including: Fixed or variable Deferred or immediate Period certain Lifetime Joint/survivor While these terms can be combined to c...
Tags: Retirement, Marketing, Insurance, Investing, Aig, Annuity, 401k, SPIA


5 Basic Rules for Growing Your Wealth

It’s easy to lose sight of the simple things when it comes to finances. More often than not, we start to focus on complex strategies for growing wealth or try to get involved in the latest fad. The reality, though, is that the foundation for long-term wealth is built from the basics. That’s why it makes sense to remind ourselves what we usually believe to be obvious sometimes. Before you get too advanced, have a quick read through these five basic rules for growing your wealth over time and mak...
Tags: Advice, Marketing, Money Management, Make Money, Don, Bob Hope


Could Your Gym Membership Ruin Your Credit?

Your gym membership would probably never cross your mind as a bill that could negatively affect your credit report, but maybe you should add this monthly obligation to the list of things to stay on top of if you are thinking about getting a loan soon. While your monthly gym membership payments aren’t going to show up on a report with the three major credit bureaus, your failure to cancel your membership could, in fact, ruin your credit. This could go for other monthly services that you sign up ...
Tags: Marketing, David, Spending, Credit, Don, Emma, Money Beliefs, Money Stories


5 Questions to Ask Before You Decide to Refinance Again

Mortgage rates continue to be temptingly low. In fact, the topic of historic low rates is published from major publications every day these days. Now certainly seems like a good time as any to refinance your current mortgage, but before you make an appointment with your lender (that’s if you can get them to return your call these days), take the time to ask yourself the following questions. They will help you determine if refinancing is a good idea or a potential financial disaster. 1. Why d...
Tags: Real Estate, California, Marketing, Lifestyle, Mortgage, PMI


Are You Average? Why Do People Want To Just Be Average?

One of the things that many of us aspire to be is, surprisingly, average. We want to have the same things that those around us have. (Or at least, have the same things we think those around us have.) This is natural. We all like to feel as though we belong. However, it’s not always best to be average — especially when it comes to money. After all, do you really want to spend money on something just because someone else is? Do you really want to buy something just to maintain appearances? Avera...
Tags: Marketing, Lifestyle, David, New York Times, North America, Miranda, Money Beliefs


How Mom’s Words of Wisdom Helped Your Finance

Whether she intended to or not, your mother spent your entire childhood imparting crucial financial wisdom to you — if only you’d listened to her. Yes, sometimes she wasn’t even specifically trying to teach you how to manage money. But make no mistake. Even her words of wisdom that seemed to have nothing to do with finance were laying the groundwork for you to have a good handle on your money. Moms are that smart! Make sure you thank her if you ever heard your mother tell you one of these old s...
Tags: Advice, Marketing, Lifestyle, Warren Buffett, Mom, Better Yourself, Money Tips


Things to Keep in Mind When Stock Markets Keep Going Up

Wow! Volatility is back in a big way almost as soon as I wrote this piece. I try to write a little ahead, and I thought about not publishing this because markets are no longer going straight up. But then again, what better way to drive home the point of how stocks don’t always go up than when stocks are actually down a little? What do you think? Did you feel any different a couple of weeks ago when stock values made you feel wealthier? Here’s what I thought you should’ve been thinking about a f...
Tags: Marketing, Investing, Exxon Mobil, Tesla, Warren Buffett, Dyson, Fed, Long Term Investing


5 Reasons a Higher Tax Bracket is Good for You

I was talking with a friend about a few ways that he could start earning some more money the other day, and he said something that absolutely stopped me in my tracks: he told me that he didn’t want to earn too much money because it would bump him into the next tax bracket. He was absolutely adamant that he didn’t want to be paying more in taxes. But, in my mind, a higher tax bracket is a good thing. It’s not something to be avoided. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not quite crazy enough to go out of my ...
Tags: Marketing, Tax, United States, Irs, Make Money, Don, Sam Now