Six Budget Myths You Should Forget

Saving money is a hot topic. If you open a search engine and look for anything to do with ways to conserve money or something similar, you will find tons of hits on the subject. There are many methods of making your dollar stretch and hanging on until payday.

Interestingly, not many people like to discuss a very important facet of saving money – budgeting.

For most, this is just looking at their paycheck, subtracting what they plan to spend and moving on. The idea of setting a serious plan for handling finances can make a lot of people nervous and uncomfortable. In fact, there are lines of reasoning used to rationalize against it. Let’s look at six of those myths about budgets – and debunk them in the process.

1. “It will limit me.” A common myth is that working to be fiscally responsible will turn you into a self-depriving, penny pinching prude. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It will actually empower you. By helping you track your spending and helping you maintain accountability, it will help you take control of your finances.

2. “I have a good job, so it won’t matter.” The ugly truth of twenty-first century employment is that it is not guaranteed. Thanks to downsizing, outsourcing and other circumstances, jobs can vanish at a moment’s notice. It’s best to be prepared financially in case things get to that point. And even if your job is secure, life still has a way of hitting you with problems you may not be fiscally prepared to deal with.

3. “I’m not good with math.” Numbers are not fun for a lot of us, and even less so when it comes to our money. But thanks to technology, a lot of the head-scratching is taken out of financial planning. There is software available that only needs you to put in amounts and follow general instructions to help you manage your cash.

4. “I have no debts.” It can be great to not owe anybody anything, but that doesn’t mean that tracking your finances is unnecessary. Even if you do not have a negative balance for your account, not having a solid game plan for your funds can be just as bad as having an outstanding debt, if not worse.

5. “I don’t need a budget.” It’s possible that you may have a steady source of good money, and your account is looking very healthy. If so, you can still use this vital monetary resource. Its purpose is to make sure that your money is being used as efficiently as possible and to help you avoid negative spending habits.

Being responsible with your funds should not be seen as frightening, boring or unnecessary. If anything, a budget is a powerful tool that can help you achieve peace of mind and fine tune your money-handling habits. While there will still be times where you may have to adapt or use additional means to make it to your next check, handling your money properly will make your life all the easier.

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Best Jobs to Pursue in 2015

In spite of significant improvements to the unemployment rate, many people continue to find it difficult to impossible to find good-paying jobs in their area of expertise. For some, this means going back to school to get educated in a different field so they qualify for the good jobs that are available. For those heading to college or other secondary schools for the first time, preparing for a career that offers better hirability and job security is an even bigger priority than normal.

The medical industry continues to lead the way in the demand for trained professionals on every level. Although training for dentists and doctors is extensive and requires a large time and financial investment, there are many positions in nursing, dental and medical assistance, lab technician, dental hygienist and more that offer shorter training times. While the positions at the professional level have significantly larger salaries, there are many that require 2 years or less of training and still have good salaries and offer great job security.

If you have a knack for numbers, accounting might be the choice for you. This career choice offers great job security with positions in a wide range of companies where finances are managed in-house. To expand on this career choice, you can also train for bookkeeping and as an audit clerk to give you an even broader selection of jobs.

It will come as no surprise to most people that many of the top jobs for 2015 with regards to making the best salaries and offering the greatest job security are in the technology industry (check out the companies like strongvault who have made a killing on backup software). Leading the way is the position of software developer, a job that is expected to soar in demand over the next decade. As the need for any position increases, you not only have greater job security, but more flexibility in negotiating the terms of your employment.

Additional leading jobs related to technology and computer systems are computer systems analyst, information security analyst, web developer, market research analyst, and operations research analyst. As a growing number of consumers and businesses make the transition to the internet for marketing and purchasing products and services, the need for all types of computer and IT experts will grow as well.

For individuals who do not have the time or finances to invest in a professional degree before starting their career, there are many options available at community colleges, technology schools and even at local universities. When considering the industry in which you want to pursue a career, you should not only research the education and/or training requirements and current salary, but also the expected growth rate to learn the degree of job security it will offer in the future. You can prepare now for a job that will be in high demand in the near future.

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Maintaining Your Mojo: Ways To Stay Motivated Working Remotely

Wherever you are, there is a constantly growing number of people who are trading in the typical nine to five job and office for the flexibility of working at a location and time of their choosing. This offers great potential for earning a living and pursuing one’s life interests. At the same time, it can also pose a unique set of challenges for location-independent entrepreneurs.

Doing your work from a place like a coffee shop or your home demands a certain level of focus and dedication. Because of this, it can get difficult to stick with this decision for a lot of people. It can be easy to get bogged down and lose your motivation, or to lose focus and not get tasks done. Fret not – here are some ways to stay motivated when working remotely.

• Have a designated work space. While you can technically work from wherever you want, it is a good idea to have a separate area in which you do your work, especially if you work from home. While some people may have no problem working in the same space where they sleep, for most it would encourage you to be lazy. Make sure that your work area is ergonomic and user friendly, but not too comfortable.

• Limit your television time. Even if you can resist the urge to come running when your favorite show is on, having the TV on while you work will do little else other than distract you. Switch the tube off, and leave it that way until you are finished for the day. You will be surprised how wanting to watch a for just a couple of minutes can turn into losing half an hour of valuable work time.

• Keep (and stick to) a schedule. Usually people roll their eyes when told that they need to maintain a schedule, but it can be a lifesaver for two reasons. The first is that it will help you stay on task and do your work when you are supposed to. The second is that it will help you stop working when you are supposed to. Working too hard and too much is just as bad for your career as not working hard enough.

• Listen to music. It is said that music soothes the savage beast, but in this case it helps boost productivity. Music is great for helping you think and focus better, but it also helps prevent boredom. If you are bored, it is more likely that you will deviate from your projects.

• Flex your muscles. Exercise can be a big help in keeping you motivated and focused. You likely get restless and bored if you spend too much time in one spot, and this is not good if you are working remotely. By doing some sort of physical activity – something quick and simple like standing and stretching, push ups, sit ups – you will increase the flow of blood through your body, increasing your oxygen flow and sharpening your concentration.

Working remotely isn’t always going to be easy or exciting, but it will open up a lot of possibilities for you if you stick with it. Keep your motivation levels as high as possible, and it will pay off in spades.

If you’re new to working remotely and aren’t sure where to begin, start here and see what opportunities are available for you.

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Four Key Points To Remember For Getting Your Money Early

Loans and borrowing are important tenets of financial life in the twenty first century. Many people do not like admitting it, and arguments against borrowing can be heard virtually everywhere and everyday. But for an increasing number of people, it can be an economic lifesaver. This is especially true when it comes to payday lending. While it can be a valuable tool, it is also important to choose wisely in where you go and who you deal with concerning it. To that end, here are four key points to remember for getting your money early.

• Try to borrow locally. Today’s world is revolutionized by web access, making it possible to do so many things online. It can be convenient, but a lot can be said for doing it the old fashioned way – especially when it comes to security. Look for a local lending office that you can visit and deal with in person. This is a simple, yet effective measure to make sure that your personal information is as secure as possible.

• Check for licensing. Never underestimate the importance of legitimacy. There may be some areas in which payday loans are against the law, but institutions may still try to offer them in those areas. Research any potential lenders with the proper government channels in your province to ensure that they are legitimate. You don’t want legal issues on top of any financial ones you may already be dealing with.

• Always ask questions. When you speak with someone from your local lending office, never hesitate to ask about anything you feel is not clear. Make sure that they are upfront about any requirements, terms, fees, rates and how much they are willing to loan to you. Read any and all paperwork extra carefully and ask for clarification before proceeding. If you feel that your questions are not being answered satisfactorily or that you are being led on in any way, try another lender.

• Know your options. There are numerous payday lenders in operation – sometimes with even several in your town or city. Most of them usually have varying fees and terms. You’ll want to find a provider with the clearest terms that work for you and the lowest fees. Shop around and find the best option for you.

A payday loan can help you out of an unexpected bind, and there are plenty of lending institutions that are willing to offer you their assistance. While this can be a good thing, it is also something of which you should be careful about – not all lenders are created equal. By exercising care and checking your options, you’ll have an easier time getting your money early when you need to.

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