Personal Finance Blog by Money Ning


 

Why Being Content With Your Finances Does Not Equal Giving Up

I wrote about how contentment is the ultimate financial principle that everyone should have earlier in the year. Being content with your situation, the stuff you already own, and the career you already have are amazing skills to practice but do not confuse contentment with complacency. Being content with what you have doesn’t mean you can simply sit back and wait for life to happen to you. There’s a difference between feeling satisfied and happy with what you have and simply giving up. Stri...
Tags: Motivation, Marketing, Personal, Better Yourself, Money Beliefs


Why You Should NOT Turn Your Passion Into a Job

“Turn your passion into a job, and the money will follow.” “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” These sayings sound nice, but unfortunately, they hold little truth for most people. Turning your favorite hobby into a money-maker might seem like a good plan – but it can be a horrible mistake. Here’s why: Your Passion Fizzles When It’s Work When you’re passionate about something, it’s easy to fantasize about doing it every day and watching the money roll in. It will brin...
Tags: Career, Marketing, Lifestyle, Make Money


How to Save Money on Your Next City Vacation

Some people prefer to spend time in the great outdoors camping, hiking, and communing with nature while others find it more relaxing to stay at a 5-star hotel in the heart of a bustling city with plenty of venues and nightlife. While certain outdoor-oriented vacations can be pricey (a week-long guided tour through Yellowstone National Park, for example), most are more budget-friendly than city vacations. This doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save money while enjoying city life; it just tends t...
Tags: Marketing, US, Frugal Living, Hawaii, Starbucks, Credit Card, Continental, Budget Travel, Mastercard, Yellowstone National Park, Don, Shopping Smart, Montreal Ontario


How To Re-Build Trust After Financial Infidelity

My wife and I racked up over $109,000 of credit card debt during the first thirteen years of marriage. I place much of the blame for that on myself, as I hid the totality of our debt from her. After she had gone to bed, I spent nights applying for credit cards with low promotional interest rates and shifting balances from one account to another to reduce our payments. Whenever we ran out of money, I would use credit cards to supplement our income. She knew we had credit card debt, but she didn’...
Tags: Family, Budget, Marketing, Debt, Credit, Money Beliefs, Money Stories


Ask Yourself These Questions Before You Do-It-Yourself

The idea behind DIY is that you can save money on various projects and tasks if you take care of it on your own, without paying someone else to do it. While this can be an effective way to save a little money on everything from home improvement to yard care to car care, the reality is that sometimes it’s just not a good idea to do it on your own. Before you DIY, ask yourself the following questions: Do I Have the Right Skills? In some cases, it’s possible to learn the right DIY skills with a ...
Tags: Diy, Time, Marketing


Signs You’ve Become Too Frugal

Being frugal is generally praised. Your grandparents tell you how smart it is to be frugal. Your uncle boasts about how his refrigerator is older than you are. You read that if you save $5 each day for a year, you’ll have tens of thousands extra at the time you retire. Now, I’m really frugal so please don’t look at this post as being an attack on the lifestyle. I drive the same make/model of car I drove 10 years ago although this one is a whopping one year newer. My laptop is so old it’s embarr...
Tags: Marketing, Lifestyle, Frugal Living, Starbucks, Dunkin


Six Steps To Starting Your Own Catering Business

I’ve been working on my BBQ skills for several years now, using my friends and family as taste testers. They’re always impressed with how the food turns out and frequently tells me to start a BBQ catering business. Making great BBQ is something I enjoy doing, and I could make money doing it. Through a bit of investigation, and talking to someone that has gone through the process, I compiled the key steps I would need to follow to start my own BBQ catering business. Become A Certified Food Mana...
Tags: Minnesota, Marketing, Cfm, Make Money, LLC, Business Idea, LLC Limited Liability Company, Money Stories, Catering Equipment


How to Make a Debt Reduction Plan that Works for You

Most people who end up in debt get there for different reasons. However, once you decide that you are tired of the bondage and uncertainty that comes with owing others money, it’s time to make a debt reduction plan that works for you. As you decide how to proceed, here are some tips to keep in mind as you create your debt plan: Recognize the Issues Resulting in Your Debt Your first step is to understand why you are in debt. What are the behaviors that led you to this point? Overspending? L...
Tags: Marketing, Debt, Money Management


3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Pay Your Child’s Student Loans

College has become something of a Catch-22 for students. It’s impossible to secure even a mediocre job without a college degree, but the constantly spiraling costs of education make it nearly impossible to pay for that necessary degree. For parents of students, it can be tempting to try to help out – by cosigning a loan, taking out a Parent PLUS loan, or even paying off a child’s individual student loan. However, as reasonable as it may be to want to help your child fulfill their academic poten...
Tags: Marketing, Budgeting, Social Security, Student Loans, Money Management, Don, Kids and Money


Getting Married? 5 Reasons to Keep Separate Bank Accounts

Even though my wife and I otherwise fall into fairly traditional roles when it comes to our finances – I’m the breadwinner while she mainly takes care of our family’s daily needs – we always had separate checking accounts. What we do is that I send her a fixed amount at the beginning of each month and she uses the money as she pleases. If she spends too much one month, then she’ll have to be more frugal the next. If she saved a bit, then she can splurge a bit more. I take care of the family fin...
Tags: Family, Marriage, Marketing, Money Management


Have You Considered the True Cost of Minimalism?

Minimalism has a lot in common with frugality. The goal of both philosophies is to reduce waste so you can live and consume with intention. Frugal minimalists can happily incorporate ideas from each school of thought to create the lovely home and life they want while saving money. However, there are places where minimalism parts ways with frugality — which can sometimes mean costly mistakes. Have you fallen victim to any of these three hidden costs to minimalism? 1. Getting Rid of Something...
Tags: Apple, Marketing, Lifestyle, Frugality, Murphy, Better Yourself, Money Beliefs


Is There Such a Thing as Good Debt?

Conventional wisdom states that borrowing money for education or a home is “good” debt. Unlike using a credit card or borrowing to buy a car, schooling and your home are things that stand the test of time. No one can take your education away from you. It’s unlikely that a cargo truck will clip your home and “total” it. Theoretically, both education and a home will appreciate in value. However, we know all too well that we can’t take that value appreciation for granted. Who would have predicted ...
Tags: Marketing, Debt


How to Save Money on Childcare

Both of my kids are at a full-day camp this week and the house is soooo empty and quiet! They went out since 8 in the morning and won’t be back until 5 pm today. Thinking back, the kids haven’t been away while we were home for that many hours since my oldest was a full-day preschool. After all, I work at home, and paying for after-school care seems wasteful. And let me tell you. In at least six years, I haven’t had this much time in my life. I had time to enjoy my lunch without interruptions. ...
Tags: Hong Kong, Family, Marketing, Frugal Living, Biden, Irs, Bay Area, Southern California, Don, Kids and Money, Shopping Smart


What to Do With a Windfall

It’s a problem everyone would like to have: you inherit a nice chunk of change from your favorite great-aunt, you receive a signing bonus for joining a new company, or you do really well on your NCAA brackets one March, and you find yourself staring down a big decision. What do you do with this newfound wealth? A windfall can mean different things to different people. For some, an unanticipated $500 can seem like manna from heaven, while to others it would take a check with five zeros on it to ...
Tags: Family, Marketing, Investing, David, Ncaa, Money Management, Emily, FDIC, Employee Benefit Research Institute, Save for Retirement According


How Much Do You REALLY Need In Your Emergency Fund?

Emergency funds are necessary. We all need to be prepared for those unplanned rainy days. Therefore, it’s not a question of whether or not we need an emergency fund, but how much of an emergency fund we really need. When speaking with others about their emergency funds, I’ve encountered funds anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. There’s really no magical number. Everyone’s situation is different and hence, the optimal size of an emergency fund will vary from pers...
Tags: Marketing, Investing, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Money Management, Don, Reevaluate Your Budget Reevaluate


Do You Read Financial Advice But Never Act on Them?

It’s hard to believe when I actually think about how long the site’s been around but MoneyNing.com has been dishing out financial advice for almost 14 years now. In a few short weeks, that’s 168 months of savings for those who followed us from the beginning. You know, try to live below your means, build an emergency fund to weather possible storms, and invest the rest. I know some of the advice seems pretty obvious sometimes. I mean, who doesn’t know that cutting out your cable and joining a se...
Tags: Verizon, Marketing, Lifestyle, Netflix, Sprint, Emma, Ting, Money Beliefs, Shopping Smart, AT T Ting, Heck You


4 Action Steps to Make Your Dream of Retiring Early a Reality

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average retirement age in the U.S. was 67.2 in 2020. That’s up from 65 for men and 63 for women in 2016. What’s interesting is that a recent T. Rowe Price survey found that 43% of millennials expect to retire by 55. This is much higher than Gen Xers at 35% and 17% for baby boomers. Is it because young Americans don’t fully understand the financial realities of retirement compared to their middle age counterparts?...
Tags: Advice, Retirement, Marketing, Personal, Start, Don, Gen Xers, T Rowe Price, Money Stories, Build An Emergency Fund Life


Should You Finance an Engagement Ring?

You’ve finally decided that she’s “the one,” and you’re ready to pop the question. There’s only one problem: you don’t have enough cash to buy the engagement ring. You’re in a bind. Should you finance an expensive ring that she’ll love, save money and postpone your engagement, or buy a smaller ring that you can afford? There are pros and cons to all three of these options. Let’s take a look. Finance a Ring Sometimes love makes us do crazy things. And, since the average price of an engagement ...
Tags: Marketing, Lifestyle, Budgeting, Debt, Aj, Shane Co


12 Non-Extreme Ways to Save Money on Groceries

When it comes to grocery shopping, it seems like there are only two camps: the extreme couponing types who devote hours upon hours to cut their grocery bill to the absolute bone, and those who just want to get in and out of the grocery store quickly, never mind the savings. Count me in the latter group. Although I’m generally pretty frugal, grocery stores send out so many coupons with varying expiration dates that it just seems like an organizing nightmare. For frugal shoppers who don’t have ti...
Tags: Marketing, Lifestyle, Costco, Frugality, Shopping Smart, Amy Dacyczyn, Dacyczyn


How to Successfully Handle Being a Female Breadwinner

For most of my life, my mother has been the sole breadwinner in our household. My dad has health issues and stopped working when I was a teenager. Seeing my mom work hard and pay for everything on her own was simultaneously inspiring and frustrating. I admired her hard work and her ability to bring home the bacon, but I had often wondered if this what she signed up for? The baby boomer generation grew up with shifting gender and career dynamics. Women were getting out of the kitchen and into th...
Tags: Motivation, Marketing, Lifestyle, Make Money, Don, Prince Charming, Money Beliefs, Farnoosh Torabi


The One Way to Never Fall Into Debt Again

Debt is literally a four letter word; it just also happens to mean you owe money. Many Americans have a dream they’ll never realize: living without debt. Yet, the dream is possible for nearly everyone – just be prepared for the sea change of behavior required to make it happen. If you are unprepared, your ship will never make it to the safe harbor of paradise, and you will crash upon the jagged rocks of financial ruin. Follow these simple steps to make your dreams of a safe financial future come...
Tags: Marketing, Debt, Medicare, Irs, Jones, United Way, Nolo, Credit Counseling


How to Convince Yourself to Give Up Income and Retire

David, I have a dilemma that may sound ridiculous but hear me out. I’m in my early 50s and want to retire for what feels like forever now but I can’t for the life of me calm my anxiety to leave so much money on the table by forgoing employment. I have $4 million dollars saved up and spend about $80,000 a year. I’m sure you know by the numbers already but every retirement calculator tells me that I have enough to quit for good, but I just can’t quite pull the trigger. Every time I am this close ...
Tags: Retirement, Marketing, David, Money Beliefs, Craniopharyngiomas


Worried About Reaching Your Money Goals? Just Set One

One of the problems I have with goal setting is that I often set too many goals. Indeed, I’ll make a whole list of goals I want to accomplish – only to have most of them fall to the wayside. That’s the problem with setting too many goals. Many of us can’t do that many things at once. Instead of setting a whole bunch of money goals, consider whittling it down to just one. You are likely to be more effective overall if you concentrate your efforts on one thing at a time. What is Most Important t...
Tags: Budget, Retirement, Marketing, Ira, Money Management, Don, ROTH IRA, Better Yourself, Money Tips


How to Manage Health Care Costs In Retirement

We all know that health care costs continue to skyrocket, but how many of us consider what those rising costs will mean for retirement? Gone are the days when retirement meant a lifelong pension and health care. Even some current retirees who were promised these things are having the rug pulled out from under them when their former employers find that they can no longer afford to insure them. So when it comes to your health care in retirement, it pays to plan ahead and not count on your employe...
Tags: Retirement, Marketing, Social Security, Health Insurance, Medicare, HSA, Medicare Part D, Shopping Smart, Medicare Advantage Part C, Towers Perrin, Medicare Basically


10 Ways to Eliminate Student Loans (Beyond Paying Them Off)

There’s a traditional approach to getting rid of student loans: you pay them off. Depending on the type of degree you got, that can mean a sizable chunk of your income going to student loans for years to come. Repayment isn’t the only way to eliminate student loans, however. There are other options that offer alternatives. Each program offers different options in terms of how much of your loans it will pay back, and repayment from certain programs is only available for specific types of loans. ...
Tags: Maryland, Marketing, America, Debt, Vista, Student Loans, Perkins, Joshua, Peace Corps, Stafford, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, U S National Institute of Health, American Federation of Teachers Peace Corps, Air Force Army Navy Marines, AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers in Service


5 Ways to Spend Less Money by Avoiding Temptation

There are two basic schools of thought when it comes to personal finance: spend less or earn more. Spending less sounds simple enough, but it can be a tough adjustment for anyone who’s used to a certain lifestyle or has set behavioral patterns. Not only that, but the temptation to spend is everywhere you look. If you are trying to spend less but having a difficult time changing your habits, here are 5 ways to avoid spending temptations. 1. Unsubscribe From Shopping Lists We live in the dig...
Tags: Marketing, Budgeting, Debt, Money Management, Better Yourself


Defi vs Cefi – How to Earn Income with Cryptocurrencies

As you know, I started investing in cryptocurrencies earlier this year. What I haven’t told you was that one of the big reasons why I warmed up to the assets is because of the developments in decentralized finance (Defi). For those who don’t know, the traditional way of finance is called centralized finance (Cefi) because there’s always an institution you interact with when you borrow or deposit money. For instance, you can bank at Wells Fargo or get a mortgage through Bank of America. Either w...
Tags: Marketing, US, Investing, Bitcoin, Crypto, Fidelity, Ethereum, Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, USDC, Défi, CEFI, AAVE, Federal Reserve and Treasury, BlockFi, Bank of America Either


5 Creative and Fun Ways to Reach Your Financial Goals

Regularly setting financial goals, and mapping out a plan to reach those goals, is a practice that can transform your life. The problem is, while it’s fun to think of big goals and imagine your dream life, it can be hard to find the motivation to take action. And actually sticking with the plan once you’ve created it is even more of a hurdle. So how do you stay motivated to reach big goals when you struggle to keep going? What if you can’t find the inspiration to take the first step? If you hav...
Tags: Motivation, Marketing, Personal, Don, Better Yourself, Money Beliefs, Vision Board, Daily Journal Writing


9 Better Ways to Use Your Tax Refund Instead of Spending It

Hopefully, you’ve completed and sent off your tax return by now. While some of us may owe Uncle Sam money, others are getting a nice hefty refund check. According to the IRS, the average tax refund is $2,893. This is quite a large chunk of money. Add to that all the stimulus checks you’ve received lately and there could be quite a bit of cash lying around at your disposal. So what’s the best way to handle this lump sum of cash? While you might be tempted to go off on a shopping spree, hold on t...
Tags: Advice, Marketing, Budgeting, Debt, Tax, Sam, Irs, Better Ways


Is Scalping an Ethical Way to Make Extra Money?

There was a time not too long ago when I would tell you that buying a product when it was low in stock and reselling it for a higher price is a good way to make some extra cash. I still remember back in the day when I saw people lining up for iPhones overnight and then reselling them. In fact, people were even selling their spot in the line to newcomers who were shocked by the long lines when they got to the store. I just thought it was good honest work. You were willing to camp out in the line...
Tags: Hong Kong, Marketing, Nike, Lego, Sony, Reddit, Stubhub, Make Money, Business Idea, Money Beliefs