16 Reasons That Your Budget Sucks

If you’ve ever started a budget, you’ve most likely started with good intentions.

Sometimes your budget gets the job done, but other times, it’s a serious crash and burn that can leave you in worse shape than when you started.

Every time I’ve tried to budget in the past, I would always start with a pad and paper.

Unfortunately, by the time I got done trying to do my budget the sheet a paper looked more like a hardcore tournament of tic-tac-toe just took place.

Why? Because I HATE budgeting and even though I suck at tic-tac-toe it’s a whole lot more fun than budgeting.

#budgetingtruthbomb

As much as I hate it, I recognize that it’s a must if you have any hope of taking charge of your financial life.

Reasons That Your Budget Sucks

That’s where I got lucky. VERY lucky.
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Dollars and Cents: Should I Invest Into a TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) or a Roth IRA?

Being a Veteran, you are aware of many of the TSP options that exist for us current service members. I am currently enrolled in the Roth TSP and contributing consistently. While the TSP is great and easy to use, it doesn’t offer much in the way of detail. My question to you is – would it be beneficial to have someone manage a TSP Account much like a portfolio? Do you think I should do a Roth IRA instead? Thanks!

Resources:

With each Dollars and Cents video we want to provide some follow up links where you can get some additional information on the topic. If you are interested in learning more on how to open a Roth IRA, find a fee-only financial advisor, or look at your investments at a deeper level, here are some relevant reads:

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How a $75 Parking Ticket Almost Ruined My Life

This story is featured in my new book, Soldier of Finance, now available at all major book retailers

Dear parking ticket: I don’t like you!

I was quickly on the path to becoming a loser all because of a stupid parking ticket.

That parking ticket made me initially lose hope and give up on myself.

It’s one of the few times in my life where I can remember saying out loud, “F*** it.  I quit!“.

You’re probably wondering how a trivial parking ticket could have such a drastic impact on my life.

Let me explain…..
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Dollars and Cents: Don’t Trust the Market, Should I Invest Into a Business?

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

I have a question about my doctor friend who is in a financial fix. He is a full time cardiologist with no life. He works his butt off 7 days a week but I believe it’s not worth working so hard cos he still is confused about where to invest money so that he can work only 9-5.

He has a couple million dollars but doesn’t know what to do with this hard earned money. Well I thought buying mutual funds with his bank will be good but he wants to open a business. I don’t know.

Do you have any suggestions on how to use 1-2 million dollar by someone from the medical field. someone who has no experience with stocks and shares?? it’s too risky to buy shares. What’s the safest business ?

Resources:

With each Dollars and Cents video we want to provide some follow up links where you can get some additional information on the topic. If you are interested in learning more on how to invest a million dollars, how to diversify your investments, and how to talk to a financial advisor, here are some good reads:

  • How to Invest a Million Dollars – If I won the lottery and someone handed me a fat check for $1 million, this is exactly what I would do.
  • Best Online Stock Broker Sign Up Bonuses – Don’t be confused, your friend can get mutual funds and ETFs with these stock brokers as well. He’s going to want a diversified portfolio, and he is one of the few people that can actually enjoy some of the massive bonuses available for large accounts.
  • Reviews of Lending Club and Prosper – Peer-to-peer lending is a great way to help someone out while also earning some fantastic returns. I wouldn’t dump all of my money into P2P lending, but a significant chunk would go this way.
  • Get Out of Debt – If I had $1 million handed to me the first thing I would do would be to pay off any of my debt.
  • How to Choose the Right Financial Advisor –  There are great advisors out there and there are shady folks that will scam you out of your money. (Hi Bernie Madoff!) You need to know what to look for.
  • 7 Financial Advisors I Would Like to Punch in the Face – I don’t usually punch people, but when I do, it’s these guys.

Dollars and Cents: 401k vs. Roth IRA Showdown

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

Here’s today’s question:

I am in my early twenties and I am just starting to save for my retirement however I am only contributing to a traditional 401k with my employer although I
have been thinking about opening a Roth IRA soon as well.

My question is since taxes are more likely to increase in the future (I don’t know call me a pessimist), is there a point in owning a traditional IRA/401k besides for tax deferral/deductions?

Right now, I am in the 15% tax bracket so I am not sure if the traditional 401k is a huge advantage to me right now. Your advice is appreciated.

Resources:

With each Dollars and Cents video we want to provide some follow up links where you can get some additional information on the topic. If you are interested in learning more on opening a Roth IRA, some of the rules behind the Roth IRA, or how to open a Roth IRA here are some good reads:

Dollars and Cents: Losing My Job, What’s My Priority?

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

Here’s today’s question:

I have recently found out our plant will be closing in about 12 months. I have $18,000 in credit card debt. I already have a 401k and Profit Sharing from my previous job that also closed (over $100,000). I have left it with my previous employer because there are no admin fees.

I have about $30,000 in my 401k at my current job. My question is….should I take just $18,000 out of my 401K when we close and pay off that debt and immediately take the remaining amount and place in an IRA?

Work in our area is slim pickings but I have been looking. I have been employed since I was 16 and now just turned the horrible 40 :) I do not want to be living on unemployment and struggling to pay that debt. Bankruptcy is NOT an option. I created that debt and it is my responsibility to pay for it.

I have also want to bump up my 401k contribution…but with the upcoming event and debt, I am not sure that is a good idea. Your advice on this would be great.  Thank you for your time!


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Dollars and Cents: Can You Have a Roth 401k and Roth IRA at the Same Time?

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

Dear Jeff:

– Is it possible to have a Roth 401k and a Roth IRA at the same time? Would you recommend this?

– For young investors in their 20’s who would like to be prepared for retirement some day, what advice would you give us to start?

Thanks for taking the time to put together your website, it continues to teach me new lessons each time I read it.


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How to Double Your Money In the Stock Market (with no Risk!)

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

I ran across one of your articles via Google and wanted to inquire your thoughts on what a first time investor should do in order to maximize ROI. Hypothetically, what are the safest options for a 10,000 investment and is that enough to get a good head start in the market. Ideally, I would like to double or triple this over time.


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How to Prevent Your Sibling From Blowing Their Inheritance

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

I stumbled upon your Youtube videos after searching for a Scott Trade tutorial and you do a great job it’s all very helpful. I’m a recent Binghamton University Grad and just passed my CPA, but I’m a novice investor and have the opportunity to start now. My grandmother recently passed, and her will bequeathed my sister and I $10,000 each.

I’m looking to open a Scottrade account and take a more aggressive approach with stocks since I’m young. We aren’t telling my sister of the money though because she’ll end up spending it in an instant. What can I do with her share to mitigate risk and make sure the principal is there for her in say, 5 years, when she might be ready to use it to start a business or something.

Also, any advice for what might benefit me would be very helpful and much appreciated. Thanks so much, hope to hear from you soon.

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What’s the Difference Between a Financial Advisor/Planner Vs. Insurance Agent?

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

Recently, I was introduced to a new Financial Planner in my area. I asked all the right questions, but did not receive any of the right answers. I was becoming concerned. It turns out, the Financial Planner is not a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), let alone even registered with FINRA or the SEC. After doing some additional homework, I learned the Financial Planner is a insurance agent selling only annuities. But the Financial Planner walks, talks, introduces themself as a Financial Planner (not CFP — which can be unclear to thee uneducated client) and a full blown website talking about the merits of comprehensive financial planning . . . but really only selling Fixed and Indexed Annuities for one of the larger insurance companies. Can the agent call himself a financial planner? What’s the difference between a financial planner/advisor or life insurance agent?

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Dollars and Cents: I Got Denied For Life Insurance, What Are My Options?

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

I’ve been a good health for all of my life until a recent medical lapse. I was attempting to get a life insurance policy to protect my family and was surprised that I was declined. I visit the doctor regularly and as of now I have a clean bill of health. Do I have any other options of getting life insurance coverage if I’ve been denied?

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Dollars and Cents: Should We Cash Out Our Annuity?

It’s time for another edition of Dollar and Cents. This is where I answer one of your questions.

If you have a question, either use the contact form on the blog or use my Facebook Fanpage.

My wife and I were “sold” a joint annuity several years ago by an advisor that we’re no longer working with. We currently have a sizeable gain but we’re not very confident in the insurance company that holds the annuity. We’re considering cashing the annuity out. Does that seem like the right thing to do?

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