College tuition costs are a hot-button issue for most. After all in our recent Presidential election, one candidate planned to take on the rising cost of higher education if elected. Being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in Knoxville, TN, which is a college town, I know the extra strain saving for tuition puts on some of my clients. I’ve known them to use everything to help cover education costs; 529s, prepaid plans, UGMAs, and even Roth IRAs! In a recent conversation with one client, he blew me away with his novel idea on how he planned to pay for his child’s college education. I felt it was such a brilliant alternative to college savings plans that I needed to share it. Now his idea will not be for everyone, and it certainly isn’t a full proof plan. However, he certainly mastered the most creative way that I know of to lessen the burden and prevent his child from going into debt with student loans. The Idea This particular client told me he knew that college costs for his son were going to be about $100K for four years. He also conveyed to me that he knew he had the money to […]
One thing is true of life…expect the unexpected. That’s why any financial guru around will stress the importance of having an emergency fund. If you’re confused on what exactly an emergency fund should be used for, I can tell you it’s not for that 65” TV you’ve been eyeing at Best Buy when yours bites the dust. While that may seem like a catastrophic event to some, it’s not exactly the type of crisis that you’ll want to dip your fingers into your cash stash for. An emergency fund, also known as a rainy day fund, is the money you save for those unforeseen circumstances you run into in life. Your budget is made up of this everyday expenses like groceries, housing, cars etc. Your emergency fund is for those things you don’t anticipate in your budget. So when life happens and it will, you need to have money somewhere that you can easily access to cover those unexpected expenses. This is NOT money you tie up in an investment. You’ve got to keep it fluid and available. You don’t want to count on credit cards or debt to get you through when your car breaks down or the air […]
Why I Hired a Financial Planner One of my favorite Warren Buffet quotes is, “Lethargy, bordering on sloth should remain the cornerstone of an investment style. This year we neither bought nor sold a share of five of our six major holdings.” The second richest man in the U.S. is advising us that investing should be boring. Basically, he wants to remind us that there are two major factors to achieving success. The first is time. The other is allocation. Both of which are on your side. And considering his successes, mimicking his investing style probably isn’t a bad idea.
Free stuff. I hear you. Your thinking, “Yeah right!” While getting something for nothing these days just doesn’t happen very often, it does happen. The best part is there are freebies out there that span the free world! They run the gamut from stocks to diapers. Take a look at these and see which ones you want to pocket. Free Stock Trades Since I’m a financial guy, obviously the one I want to start with is stocks! Yep, free stock trading. No need to hire someone, you can absolutely do it yourself (although there are good reasons not to). You can use fee-free trading platforms like Loyal3 or Robinhood. All you do is open an account (both come in apps or you can use a web browser), give some required information and start trading your funds. You can invest as little as $10 on Loyal3, while Robinhood requires no minimum balance. You can also check with more-traditional online brokers to see if they’re running promotions. So get your trading shoes on and go! Free Samples Whatever you’re looking for, there’s likely a free sample somewhere. Many blogs and sites offer free samples. You can nab anything from toiletries to clothing to food, […]