4 Steps to Financial Freedom

While just about everyone dreams of financial freedom, not everyone achieves it. In fact, it’s been estimated that consumer debt in the US reached an unprecedented $14 trillion in the second quarter of 2019. According to the same study, the average American household has over $8,000 in unsecured credit card debt; and it seems to be rising with each passing year. Whether you’re drowning in debt, or just want to create a stable financial future for you and your family, here are four of the most important steps to take for obtaining financial freedom.

1. Have a Plan and Set Goals

As with any pursuit, creating a plan and setting goals is a crucial piece of the puzzle, providing a roadmap to follow when you lose direction or things get tough. That being said, if you hold significant debt, planning can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Mountains of debt feel like an incredible weight, and tackling them can seem nearly impossible when you’re looking at the mountain from the bottom up.

One method that’s recommended is the snowball method. This is a simple concept at its core; you simply start with your smallest debt and work your way up from smallest to largest. Here, you’ll be able to set short-term goals to begin chipping away at smaller debts to get them out of the way. Once you’ve reduced your debt a bit, you’ll get a feeling of satisfaction and confidence that you can use to start eliminating those larger debts that you’ve been stuck under for so long.

Financial planning can be achieved by creating a plan yourself on paper or on the computer, or by using the myriad of resources available online. There are finance websites, self-help debt-relief websites and articles, and so much more. You can also explore financial freedom with T. Harv Eker, an influential motivational speaker with plenty of advice on getting out from under debt and living a financially secure lifestyle.

Having a plan is crucial to your success. Don’t jump into your finances without knowing what you’re working with, what your idea of financial freedom looks like, and what you need to do to get there; otherwise, you’ll end up lost, demoralized, and overwhelmed before you ever get started.

2. Eliminate Bad Debt

Once you’ve crafted your plan, it’s time to take a look at what kind of debt you have. There are generally two kinds: “bad debt” and “good debt”. Bad debt are things like credit cards, store lines of credit, and even car loans. This is debt that you acquire to purchase items that generally don’t retain or lose significant value over the course of time. New cars are an especially bad investment since the car begins losing value immediately after you drive it off of the lot! Credit cards are another form of bad debt, but there are two sides to this coin. Where on the one hand, credit cards can easily get out of control and start racking up serious interest charges, you can also use them responsibly to improve your credit history and score. The keyword here is responsibly. Using credit cards to purchase things you can’t afford is the best way to become buried in debt quickly.

When using credit cards, it’s best to keep your usage under about one-third of the total credit available to you. That means if you have a $1,500 credit card, you shouldn’t ever spend more than $500 of it. Not only does this look good on a credit report, but it also helps you keep the card under control. $500 is infinitely easier to pay off than $1,500! Plus, creditors like to see that you’re not maxing out cards; it just doesn’t look good from a lending standpoint.

Bad debt can act as a ball and chain around your ankles. If you leave it unaddressed, it can negatively impact your credit score and keep you chained to financial slavery for the rest of your life. Break the chains, pay down bad debts, and take back control of your financial life.

3. Create Passive Income

Passive income is the absolute key to financial freedom. What is passive income, you say? Passive income is income that accumulates while you’re not working. For instance, if you run a successful website, you’re generating income even when you’re not logged on! If you’re a landlord, you’re constantly generating passive income with your rental properties. Passive income can act as a supplement to your active income source, but the real power of passive income is that it can potentially support your entire lifestyle.

Generating passive income Requires upfront effort, sometimes for years before a real profit is made, but it’s well worth the effort. In fact, some of the top financial advisors in the world list generating passive income as the #1 way to gain financial freedom, no matter where you are in life.

4. Master Self-Discipline

In order to reduce your bad debt, reach your goals, and keep yourself from acquiring more debt, you’ll need to master the art of self-discipline. Some of the most successful people in the world are masters of this incredible skill, and it shows in their everyday lives. Discipline keeps you from making those pesky impulse purchases with your credit card or skipping the workout when you’re trying to lose weight.

Self-discipline will drive you to new financial heights as you learn to curb your spending and reduce the debt you’ve accumulated. It will require sacrifice, but anything worthwhile requires nothing less than your full effort and more than a bit of sacrifice. You may not get the new guitar you wanted this month, but your self-discipline helped you avoid an impulse buy and instead put $1,000 towards your outstanding debts. That’s the way to financial freedom. 

Creating content for your side hustle blog in the right way

Running a side hustle is a very effective way to pay off your debt faster. If you have a regular job that covers your day-to-day bills, 100% of what you earn in your new business can be used to service your debt. One side hustle that works well for a lot of people is running a blog. Something I have talked about doing, in the past.

There are plenty of free courses and YouTube videos available online, that show you how to do it. It is hard work, but, if you persist and create good-quality and informative articles, you can still make money from blogging.

Be factual and give credit to your sources

However, before I dive in and tell you more about how to create the right type of content for your blog, I want to talk about the importance of using an APA citation creator. This free tool enables you to quickly and easily tell your readers where you got the information you are sharing with them.

Doing this helps to build trust with your audience. When they see you explaining where you got your facts from, your audience knows that you have done your research. It is important for your readers to be able to see that you are a source of good quality information and that you are genuinely there to help them.

Get to know your audience

It is important to get to know your readership and create content that is relevant to them. You need to speak to your target audience as much as possible. To understand what their concerns are and what questions they have. There are lots of ways to do this. As you will see when you read this excellent article.

Use a mix of content formats

When creating your content try to do so using different forms of information. When you write an article, try to find a relevant YouTube video. Ideally, you want something that emphasises and builds on what you are saying.

If you cannot find a video that does this, consider creating one yourself. It is not hard to turn the main points of your post into PowerPoint slides, upload them to a video creator and follow the instructions.

Include photos. You can use stock photos or take a few yourself. With the help of the GIMP tool, you could even turn one or two into interesting memes. But, if you are using photos you have not taken yourself check to see if you need permission to edit or upload and use these photos.

Infographics can also be useful. They add colour and appeal to a certain type of reader.

Take your time

My last piece of advice is not to try to rush the creative process. You do need to publish regularly. But, it is better to create one good piece of content per week than it is to rush and publish 3 not very good articles.

Pay Stub Access: 3 Key Reasons Why You Should Keep Your Pay Stubs

The average annual pay for Americans was over $56,000 in 2015. In most cases, our payment and related information comes in the form of paychecks or pay stubs. The two aren’t much different and are often handed out together.

Getting a paying job is an important step towards becoming an adult, and many choose to celebrate this achievement by framing their first paycheck. However, this may not be the best idea, since pay stub access is going to be important in the future.

You may end up needing your pay stubs for a lot of different purposes. We’ll talk about some of them in the paragraphs below.

1. Verify Earnings

Chances are that your employer isn’t going to try to stiff you on your paychecks, but accidents happen. It’s not at all unheard of for someone to be exhausted after a long day and accidentally misplace a number or decimal point. Accidents can happen when you’re tired.

Whatever the cause may be, keeping your pay stubs can help correct pay issues when they come up. There are plenty of places where you can get a pay stub if your company doesn’t use them.

2. Taxes

There is a seldom-talked-about idea in political circles known as the free-filing tax system. In this system, tax forms are done by the IRS and sent to US citizens, who then correct any errors, sign the form, and mail it back. 

This system goes back at least to the 1980s. It was championed by Reagan, Obama, and now presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren

Until this system is signed into law, we still have to file our own taxes. To that end, pay stubs can help. They serve as proof of how much we make, and knowing what our income is will help us determine how much we owe in taxes and what our return will be.

3. Proof of Income

Proof of income is important for more than just taxes. You’ll need pay stub access when applying for any type of loan, and don’t think you can just avoid loans altogether. Getting any type of house or apartment will often require a mortgage loan.

You’ll also need a loan if you ever want to start your own business. In most cases, you’ll have to provide pay stubs to prove income over a period of three months. This lets the person you’re dealing with know that you have a job, and have held it for a few months at least, so you’re capable of paying back the loan.

Pay Stub Access and Why it’s Important

Pay stubs provide proof that you are employed and making money, which will make people more eager to deal with you.

You’ll need pay stub access for a lot of different things in life. We’ve mentioned some of the most important in the paragraphs above, but there are others out there. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you’re interested.

If you want more information and advice on finances and getting rid of debt please visit our site.

Unique features of the forex market

The forex market is one of the most unique markets in the world. As a result, it has gained a lot of interest from people all over the world. In Hong Kong, it is highly popular due to its relation to finance and a Hong Kong being a major hub of finance in the world.

In this article are features of the forex market that make it stand out among other markets.

Can be accessed from all over the world

The forex market runs over the internet. As such, it can be accessed by the trader from anywhere in the world. All that a trader needs is an active forex trading account loaded with trading capital and an active internet connection.

It is active 24 hours

One of the most unique features of the forex market is that it is active for 24 hours every working day. It is the only financed based market that operates for 24 hours. All other popular finance markets sleep at night and are active during work hours on the day.

This feature is enabled by the fact that it is supported bu four financial markets that are awake at different times of the day. No other market can claim to operate through different regions to be active for 24 hours every day except for weekends.

Requires a forex broker

A forex broker is a market intermediary who enables traders to access the forex market. In Hong Kong, there are particular brokers who have been in existence for close to 25 years. Brokers are also found in other finance markets. Forex brokers are unique in the fact that they offer their customers demo accounts in which they can practice and also offer leverage to trade with.

Forex brokers are legal entities that should be regulated by a government oversight body.

Highly leveraged

As previously mentioned, forex brokers provide leverage to their customers. Leverage in forex is a loan provided to the trader to ensure that they can take larger positions than their trading capital can allow them to. Leverage is provided in ratios but is determined by the broker.

This is a unique feature of the forex market as there does not exist any other brokers that offer their clients loans to trade with.

Highly liquid

The forex market is the most liquid market in the world. The forex market has the largest turnover when compared to other financial markets. This allows traders to trade in whichever currencies that they like with the confidence that their trades will be profitable.

Liquidity is made possible by the fact that the forex markets have large volumes of transactions at any one time.

High levels of transparency

The forex market is highly transparent. First there are no oversight authorities overseeing the market only the market intermediaries.

Secondly, market participants are able to access the same information regardless of your amounts of capital. In other markets, there is preferential treatment. There are some market participants who have access to more information than others at different times of the transactions taking place. This is not so in the forex market.

Significantly low trading costs

Another unique feature of the forex market, is that they have much lower trading costs. You will rarely need any money to open a trading account. In addition, forex brokers do not slice off from a traders’ profits any commissions as happens in other finance markets. As a result, forex traders are able to keep more of their money than in other markets.

You can profit on any trade

In the forex market, traders can make profits on long or short position depending on how the market moves.

Conclusion

These unique features of this market have led to a growth in its popularity. Even so, forex trading requires a thorough focus and willingness to learn and not give up even when the going gets tough.

Those who persist in forex trading end up enjoying tremendous financial success in the trade.

Learn from your experience in trading

After starting to trade in the Forex marketplace, many rookie focus on improving their strategies. Some may not have enough money to learn from the paid courses. Whereas, some struggle with the idea of improving their trading plans. Majority of the rookie traders get a wrong idea about the proper improvement of their trading strategies. As they mostly remain worried about the potential losses, they cannot concentrate on the improvement. But you must improve your strategies and edge to execute quality trades. If you can improve the trading edge, you can control the procedures and the positions of the trades.

But without understanding how to change the strategies, you cannot improve them. So, you will need valuable reference for improving your ideas. When you will learn from your experience and try to improve your strategies it will be very effective. Your experience will be very influential for changing the strategies and procedures. Thus, you can also find secured process of executing trades safely. And when you will find out a mistake, it will be easy to change them and to improve quality. This article is based on the same philosophy as learning from your experience. Try to read it carefully and also to develop the most effective plans your trades.

Improve the risk management plan

Nobody could deny the importance of money management for a business. In the Forex trading business, you will need it to use it efficiently and to secure your investment. The only difference is you use the strategies to determine a proper risk exposure whereas, conventional businesses you will prepare a cost-effective plan for the system. Still, the benefit of proper risk exposure is very crucial for the rookie traders. You must use this strategy to determine the safest risk per trade strategy. If required use the free Forex demo account for beginners to learn more about this profession.

In the beginning of your career, you may have a very poor strategy. For example, your trades may plan to execute a standard lot and to take a 1:100 leverage for each trade. But with time, the traders can improve their plans by learning from their experiences. The demo trading account would be secured for the traders to practice a secured money management plan.

Develop the analysis skills

Besides a secured risk management plan, Forex trades also requires effective market analysis. The traders need to use technical and fundamental analysis for the executions of the trades. You can use the money management strategy to make plans with risk to reward ratio. When your target is set, you can you can focus on appropriate market analysis. Using a potential price driving catalyst in conjunction with the technical analysis, you can find out the best trade setups. But, you cannot ensure a quality performance while studying the markets while you are novice.

For example, you maybe analyzing markets only with supports and resistance zones. You must improve the strategies with advanced tools like Fibonacci retracement. Indicators and common chart patterns are also very good for effective technical analysis. To improve the analysis quality, you can use multiple timeframes.

Find suitable setups for the trades

You can only execute quality trades when your mind is prepared with efficient strategies. And to find suitable trades in the markets, you will need effective skills and a strong edge. But, the traders should motivate themselves to increase patience. If they think about only the profits, big mistakes like overtrading, micromanagement and high risk exposures will be noticeable in their strategies. On the other hand, traders with a greater interest in the trade setups will use simple strategies to execute the trades.

The returns may be subtle from their positions but consistent profit can be assured from this strategy. To maintain control over the trades, the traders have to choose a better setup over the big profits. Use a demo platform to learn about the system. While you are performing in the demo platform learn to find suitable trade setups.

Seven business secrets for how to earn extra during black Friday sale

The growth of Black Friday year-on-year in e-commerce sales has been massive and 2019 is set to be an even bigger year than ever. The numbers don’t lie and there is certainly a lot of potential for the promotion of products on Black Friday. Storeowners find it’s one of the best days for selling in the year.

In this post, we take a look at how you can get a slice of the pie as people pull out their credit cards to buy on Black Friday.

Put together product bundles

When people buy on the internet, they are always looking for a bargain, especially on Black Friday, and they are often willing to make bigger purchases than normal. You can increase your value per sale by bundling products together and attracting people when they are on this shopping spree. Product bundling is perhaps the easiest way to increase the amount you earn off each visitor.

Use price hooks

Get people signing up for price alerts and do this at different levels within the market so that you can get people buying brands and product bundles at the price points that they are looking for. This makes for effective marketing and also enables you to build discount landing pages and call-to-actions that are in line with what people are in the market for.

Use social media to build anticipation

In the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, develop an emotional connection with your customers by publishing imagery that attracts them and by using positive testimonials on your social media platforms.

Make sure your site is ready for sales

Black Friday can really create a spike of traffic on your website meaning you need to make sure that the speed of your servers and the design of your site is capable of coping with this increased demand. Make sure your site is ready for the rush and that your back-ordering system is able to cope with shipping and the rush of customer enquiries that may come.

You should also be sure that your payment systems are all up and running, and properly synced with your current account so that customers do not encounter payment problems during checkout.

Make partnerships with coupon sites

Coupon sites are massively popular these days and they are also highly ranked in search engines for Black Friday deals. If you run a small or medium e-commerce store, getting on these coupon sites can create a real spike in traffic and get your name out there so that you are chosen not only on Black Friday and Cyber Monday but also become the location of choice for loyal shoppers.

Develop a referral programme

Referrals are still the best form of advertising on the net, whether that be direct referrals or people reading reviews. Get more reviews on quality websites and list them on product pages and make it easy for people to recommend your products and website by pointing towards a valuable and filled program.

Think about free delivery

The modern customer is always very conscious about how much delivery costs and offering free delivery can make the difference. Some retailers are offering free delivery as their carrot rather than heavy discounts in an attempt to play on this current trend in the e-commerce market.

Using thresholds for deliveries is also a great way to encourage people to spend more.

Wrapping up

These are just a few strategies that you can including your e-commerce strategy for the biggest retail weekend of the year. Think strategically and make sure that you understand your audience persona in order to make the most of this sales opportunity.

Savvy Spending Tips for the Upcoming Holiday Season

‘Tis the season where just about everyone goes into debt trying to put on smile on the faces of the ones they love most. Though the holiday season is a time for giving, going above and beyond what you can actually afford will have you stressed out by the New Year. If you want to buy meaningful presents for your friends and family without creating a headache for yourself, consider using these savvy holiday shopping tips below:

Create a Budget

Before ever going into a store or looking online for things to buy for the holidays, start with a budget. Determine how much you can afford to spend this holiday season. Start by making sure that all of your regular monthly expenses will be covered first. Then, look at your savings, and excess income to see what you have to work with. If your budget is much smaller than you’d like, there are short-term loans and credit card offers that you could apply for to boost your budget just a bit. Just be sure that if you’re going to go this avenue that you have the means to repay the balance in full within a few weeks to avoid late fees and other charges. 

Make a List

Once you have an idea of what you can afford to spend on holiday shopping, create a list of everyone you need to purchase gifts for. Then, divvy the budget up amongst those on your list. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be an equal amount per person as your spouse might get a more expensive gift than your boss, coworker, or best friend. However, essentially, you want to give everyone a limit or cap on the amount you’ll spend.

Think of Meaningful Gift Ideas

Everyone wants their relatives and friends to be pleased with the gifts they purchase, but spending more than you can afford on something isn’t the wisest decision. Instead, sit down and think of gifts that are meaningful while still affordable. For each person on your list above, think about their personalities or personal interests and look for gifts that match. 

For example, maybe you can’t afford that flat screen for your husband this year, but maybe you could afford a soundbar or a new comfy chair for him to watch his games in. Maybe your mother is into health and wellness and would appreciate a basket filled with tea bags, essential oils, scented candles, and bath salts.

Don’t underestimate the significance of handmade gifts either. If you’re the creative type, a present that took time and effort to make speaks wonders. You could paint pictures, crochet or knit scarves, bake cookies and brownies, put together gift baskets with a collection of small gifts in them, or even take family photos and make decorative picture frames. 

Shop Online

Aimlessly shopping around this time of year will cause you to go off the budget fairly quickly. You get caught up in all the unique things available and purchase things you likely don’t even need (but most likely can’t afford). Online shopping is a lot more convenient in that you can stick to searching for products you want and also find a ton of deals. Many stores offer online exclusive discounts and bonuses that you can take advantage of. Shopping online for the holidays also allows you to compare the prices of various competitors to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. What’s even greater is you can skip the chaos and long lines this time of year brings.

Track Your Spending

The only way to make sure you stay on budget is to figure out a method for tracking your spending. After making a purchase online or in stores, mark off on your list who you’ve already made a purchase for and how much you spent. If there is money leftover in the spending limit you had for that particular person, you can either shop for more gifts or add those funds to another person’s gift. Repeat this process until you’re done your entire list. Also, keep the receipts just in case you find better deals elsewhere before the holidays. You can easily return those items and get them for a better price and save even more money. 
The holidays bring out the best (and worst) in all of us. With so many advertisements, deals, and new things to buy, it can be easy to spend so much that you end up in debt a few weeks later. Rather than haphazardly searching for the right gifts for you and your loved ones this year, use the holiday shopping tips listed above to get things they’ll love that you won’t have to suffer for later