10 Quick Ideas To Lower Your Commuter Costs

With gas prices back on the climb again, now may be a good time to revisit ways to increase your bottom line by cutting your overall commuter costs. According to Citi’s ThankYou Premier Commuter Index released recently, workers spend about 200 hours annually at a cost of nearly $2,600 on their daily commute.   That breaks down to an average amount of $10 a day.   We often think in Atlanta we have the worst traffic in the country, but New Yorkers still rule with an average commute of 73 minutes. Here are 10 ideas to lower your commuter costs: Go Electric During The Weekdays- With state and federal credits still available for purchasing an electric car, if your range is not more than 80 to 100 miles there are great options for a fairly low cost electric car. Get Productive- What? You mean make money?  That would be a neat trick, but I mean learn some new skills.  If your average commute is an 1 hour to 1.5 hours per day,... ...

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How To Save A Down Payment For Your 1st Home

You just finished watching the latest installment of House Hunters on HGTV and begin to think to yourself, why not me?   Purchasing your first home is not only the “American Dream”, for many young Americans it signifies a real transition into financial adulthood and responsibility, by taking on potentially the largest debt you will ever carry in your entire life.  Unfortunately, many new homebuyers don’t save or strategize effectively when they buy their first home and sometimes make an impulse purchase that costs them dearly in their family finances.  Here are my six tips on how to save effectively for the purchase of a first home. Use The Loan Amortization Tool In Microsoft Excel That’s weird for a first tip Ted. No, not at all.  This FREE tool in your Microsoft excel toolkit will allow you to plug in different loan amounts, interest rates, and loan periods to see your principal and interest statements.   What you want to do with this tool is add a column for real estate taxes... ...

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Five Business Lessons From Donald Trump

Which person in the White House will Donald Trump fire first if he is elected President of The United States?    A few weeks ago, I was able to watch a piece of Donald Trump’s coming out party announcing his candidacy for President.  Whether you like Donald Trump or you don’t like Donald Trump, you have to admire his uncanny ability to be savvy about using all outlets possible to build the riches of his empire.  Trump golf course.  Trump hotels. Trump water.   It never ends.   Here are five business lessons that all business owners can learn from Donald Trump. Use The Media To Expand Your Reach I read this excerpt from www.commondreams.org about Trump’s initial speech. Already the commentators have derided his massive egotitis – he said “I” 195 times in his announcement speech, not counting the 28 times he said “my” or “mine” or the 22 mentions of “me.” But Trump revels in self-promotion and, as one commentator wrote, “plays the media like a harp.”  Trump understands from Celebrity... ...

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How Much Should I Give For A Bat Mitzvah Gift?

Most of you are probably familiar with the term “Bar Mitzvah”, but you might get invited sometime soon to a “Bat Mitzvah”.  In the Jewish religion, generally when a girl turns the age of 12 (for Orthodox and Conservative) and 13 (for Reform) there is a celebration where the girl becomes recognized as an adult (woman).  When I turned the age of 13, I had my own Bar Mitzvah, where my friends, family, and distant relatives I saw once upon a family reunion showed up to hear me belt out a poorly sung haftorah.  The Bat (the word meaning daughter) Mitzvah celebration you will attend can range from something that will happen at the home with just a few friends and family, to a lavish style wedding event at a country club. I’ve witnessed some parents spend $50,000 to $100,000 to throw a Bat Mitzvah.  Oy vey!  So, what in the world do you get the young woman on her special Bat Mitzvah day? First things first . . . A bat... ...

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You Can Fix It Yourself

It’s Saturday and I’m loathing the idea of doing the few fix it up projects at home that need to be taken care of sooner than later. Like most families, things that you don’t want to do you’ll generally outsource. That is until you realize that many of the blue collar workers who come in to fix your toilets, change a lock on a door, or even patch up a wall might be charging more than you make on an hourly basis. So, one of the trends I’m seeing amongst white collar high dollar earners is a movement of back to figuring out how to fix things themselves. Why not? According to www.searchengineland.com YouTube “How To” Videos are up 70% in views here in 2015 and have reached over 100 million hours of viewing time already. The top how-to home improvement video searches include “how to unclog a toilet,” “how to remove wallpaper” and “how to decorate your bedroom.” “Being constantly connected has trained us to expect immediacy and relevance... ...

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The Three P’s To Picking A Fund Manager

For those that have sat in a conference room building out a new strategy for your company, you know that often the team leader will discuss the three P’s: Purpose, Process, and Payoff. With well over 10,000 mutual funds in the marketplace and now a slew of actively managed exchange traded funds, picking a mutual fund manager may end up being one of the more challenging tasks for an investor in their 401(k) plan or those with a large portfolio. Is it best to pick a fund manager that is a lone ranger? Is it best to pick a fund manager that selects funds through a team approach? I have often asked investors, which is most important to win the horse race? The horse or the jockey? To be successful as an investor, I would suggest you filter them out by using the purpose, process, and payoff system. Purpose: Do you know exactly what outcome you are looking for with your investment dollars? Are you wanting to protect your principal?... ...

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4 Money Moves To Make When You Turn 40

Generation X is classically defined as people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    This means for the next five years, the last batch of Gen X’ers are going to turn 40.   If life begins at 40, then it must be certain that making smart money moves should fold into that master plan.   Whether you are woefully behind on student debt, just getting married, or you are now starting to make some serious money, here are four smart money moves to consider when you turn the age of 40. Admit Your Mistakes . . . They Are Natural Financial Mistakes- If you are spending like a drunken sailor making sure you are seeing all the best concerts and trying the fanciest restaurants, don’t beat yourself up.  If you have piled up debt or lost money on a private investment deal, there is still time.  Just be true to yourself on those mistakes so you don’t continue to make them. Personal Mistakes- Sure, you may have had a costly divorce or... ...

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