4 Ways to Save on Valentine’s Day

February 14th, a day of love that comes around once a year.  It’s a time to celebrate the love of your life, or in your life, but the celebration of that person can sometimes get quite expensive.  There’s flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, dinner, gifts, etc.  Add them all up and a random Wednesday can easily turn into a $250 event.  Listed below are 4 ways to save on Valentine’s Day.

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4 Ways to Save on Valentine’s Day

Go To Dinner A Day Other Than Valentine’s Day

Many couples prefer to go out to eat for Valentine’s Day, but most of your nicer restaurants tend to have set menus that often carry a high price tag.  Try celebrating at your favorite restaurant the day before or after.  You can usually order from the regular menu and avoid the preset and inflated Valentine’s menu.  Valentine’s Day this year happens to fall on Ash Wednesday.  Many couples will decide to celebrate the day after due to the start of Lent.

Bring Your Own Bottle of Wine to Dinner

A cheap bottle of wine at a nice restaurant will easily be anywhere from $28 to $35.  See if you can bring your own bottle and pay a corkage fee instead.  Corkage fees tend to be much cheaper than purchasing a bottle from the restaurant, and you can bring the bottle that will go perfectly with your meal.  A nicer $80 bottle at the restaurant will typically sell at a local store for half that.  So in essence, you can drink an $80 bottle with your meal for $40 + corkage fee (~$10).

Send Flowers Differently

Waiting until the last minute to order flowers can be a costly mistake.  Local and national flower company’s often raise the price of delivery the closer it gets to the date you want it to deliver.  They also charge additional money to get them not only delivered on Valentine’s Day, but early during the day.  Instead, opt to have the flowers delivered to the office of a loved one a day early.  By doing that, the flowers can be present for the entirety of Valentine’s Day and you will avoid additional charges.

Order Gifts Ahead of Time

As like any other holiday, planning can be the key to saving money.  Ordering gifts early can help you not only save on shipping but also gives you time to find the best deal.  Some companies will offer free two day shipping just before major holidays, but often times won’t accept other promotional codes.  Additional charges on shipping can also add to your Valentine’s cost.  For example, a friend recently had to pay an extra $9 for two day shipping where it could have been for free had he planned a week earlier.

Conclusion

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or not, the holiday is one that many people love, or dread, each year.  If you are celebrating, then I hope you are able to use these 4 ways to save on Valentine’s day to put a little extra money in your pocket at the end of it.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

 

Kawhi Leonard’s Net Worth

When it comes to great NBA teams, the San Antonio Spurs are often included in that list.  The Spurs are consistently among the top teams in the Western Conference year in and year out.  They have made 20 straight playoff appearances and have won five NBA Championships during that time.  A great part of their success is their head coach, Gregg Popovich, but top players have helped contribute throughout the years.  One of the top players on their current team is Kawhi Leonard.  Prior to this season, Leonard had led the Spurs in scoring the past three seasons; however, injuries have plagued the star this year.  The 26 year old should be able to return before the end of the season.  If he does, the Spurs have another great shot of going deep in the playoffs.  Kawhi Leonard’s net worth currently sits at $20 million.

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Spurs’ Star Kawhi Leonard

A first round selection in the 2011 NBA draft, Leonard has spent the entirety of his career in a Spurs uniform after being drafted by the Pacers.  Currently in his seventh NBA season, Kawhi has been steadily improving his stats each and every year.  Last season he averaged a career high 25.5 points per game.  Because of his stellar play, Kawhi is more than deserving of his current NBA contract which is worth over $94 million for five years.  This massive contract has helped give rise to Kawhi Leonard’s net worth.  Currently in year three of five for his contract, Leonard’s contract includes a fifth year player option worth over $21 million for the season.  Chances are he will decline this fifth year option.  What this will allow him to do is instead is to be able to sign an even larger and potentially longer contract.  If Kawhi does decide to play out the remaining two years of his contract after this season, we can expect Kawhi’s net worth to double to $40 million.

It tends to be very easy to assess a player’s offensive ability; however, Leonard is known for his defensive prowess as well.  He has received the Defensive Player of the Year award twice and has been named to the NBA All-Defensive team four times in his short career.  He also helped lead San Antonio to an NBA Championship during the 2013-2014 NBA season and was named the Finals MVP for his performance.

The 2017-2018 season has been a rough one for Leonard thus far.  He has only played in a total of nine games and will miss many more.  He is expected to return to play before the end of the season due to a thigh injury he has been battling.  The Spurs currently sit in third place in the NBA West and should be able to make their 21st straight playoff appearance.  Fortunately, it appears that Kawhi will be able to join them and try to lead them to another NBA Championship.

Tax Efficiency Currency Spread Betting

When you start any sideline or freelance business, one of the most important issues to deal with is handling your income and paying your taxes. The differences are varied from country to country in how to pay your taxes and what income is even subject to being taxed. It pays to educate yourself about the best ways to shelter what income you can from the taxman, legally, of course. That knowledge and skill set may be the most valuable you acquire as you explore ways to trade online.

Spread betting is indeed free from capital gains tax in the United Kingdom. The trading practice is illegal in the United States, because regulators consider the practice to be as close to gambling as possible. Spread betting got its start in the sports gambling world, but it quickly migrated over to the financial markets, where intrepid speculators can guess on the price change of a particular financial instrument.

Let’s say that you want to speculate that the price of a mining stock index is going to rise from $1000 to $1400 by the close of trading. You can find a spread betting exchange and bet $100 per point that it moves.

When you get involved in spread betting it is important to note that this is a leveraged method of working in the markets. That means that you can only put down a portion of your position into an account in order to take that position on a bet. That could mean that you only risk $50 and make $500 but it could also mean that you risk losing $500 when you bet $50. The losses can exceed the bet.

Not only is spread betting free for cap gains taxes in the UK, you do not have to pay stamp duty or commotions on your winnings. That makes the idea of spread betting tantalizing. You can bank more of your profits from the practice than you could trading on other types of financial instruments. If you are in any way proficient at spread betting, you can benefit from the tax break and make a killing compared to other forms of financial investing.

It pays to understand how exactly spread betting works as well. The bid is what an investor or traders might offer to buy a security and the ask is what the market maker or broker is setting as the price. The difference between those two prices is the spread. Supply and demand. It harkens back to freshman year economics. When investors are super interested in a stock or product, the spread gets tighter and tighter. With computers algorithms getting better and better at matching buyers and sellers the spread is moving constantly. Being able to predict the movement can be a very lucrative skill to have.

While risk management in regular trading is such an important and complex topic, the same is true for spread betting. You want to be sure that you know how much money you have out there at any one time, so you can keep track of your orders and bets. Taking control of your risk profile is vital.

Day traders tend to be very good at predicting the movement of spreads, because they spend all day staring at screens and trying to determine where the bid tick is going. Watching it day after day can give an intuitive feeling to traders and investors that are always paying attention to the markets. So getting into spread betting can be an effective way to diversify your income stream, with the added benefit of avoiding capital gains taxes. Spread betters in the United Kingdom can be sitting pretty, if they are good at the game.

Super Bowl Party on a Budget

We have officially arrived at Super Bowl week.  The game, which is on Sunday, February 4th, features the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.  Super Bowl LII is sure to be an exciting affair.  The two teams previously met in Super Bowl XXXIX back in 2005 where the Patriots were victorious.  With all the hype surrounding the Super Bowl, there are bound to be numerous parties all over to celebrate the big game.  Some will go to their local bar to watch it, some will go to house parties to watch it, and others will be hosting a party to view it.  So if you are in a hosting position, what’s the best way to go about it?  Below are three ways to host a Super Bowl party on a budget.

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Super Bowl LII

Alcoholic Beverages/Drinks

A Super Bowl party on a budget isn’t complete without drinks, more specifically, beer.  While purchasing beer for the entire party might be a little costly, there are some ways around it.  A 24 pack of Bud Light or Coors Light should be sufficient for the party as long as you encourage your party guests to bring their own beverages of choice.  Bud Light and Coors Light scream SUPER BOWL, especially with Budweiser’s ties to past Super Bowl commercials.  You can also go spend about $8 or so on a number of two liter sodas.  Ultimately you should be able to purchase a plentiful amount of beer and sodas for your party for around $30.

Food and Snacks

Chips and salsa are a staple of any Super Bowl party as well, but won’t be sufficient to feed all of your guests.  That’s why you should encourage your guests to bring a small dish.  If most bring a small dish, then you will have more than enough food to supply all hungry appetites.  As a host, you yourself should cook a dish or provide some ample amount of food like pizza.  Many national pizza chains run specials around the big game.  Just make sure you order ahead of time and try to carryout beforehand if possible.  All in all you can purchase about three medium sized pizzas and chips and salsa for around $25.

Cups, Plates, Etc.

You are more than welcomed to use your fine china, but disposable cups and plates are the easiest way to go when it comes to hosting a Super Bowl party on a budget.  You can buy all of the necessary items, cups, plates, and utensils for around $10 for the whole party.  The best part is that when it comes to cleaning up after the big game all you have to do is toss everything in the trash.

Final Thoughts

Hosting a Super Bowl party is a time honored tradition, almost as important as the game itself.  Whether your team is playing or not, these simple tips above can ensure that you and your guests have a wonderful time watching the game, the commercials and all that comes with Super Bowl Sunday.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

Nick Foles Net Worth

The Philadelphia Eagles are heading to the Super Bowl.  Although they have been led all year by quarterback Carson Wentz, Nick Foles has been able to fill in and navigate the team through the playoffs.  When Wentz went down with a torn ACL, many didn’t give the Eagles much of a chance.  In fact, the Eagles are going to be an underdog in all three of their playoff games.  Regardless of the outcome at the Super Bowl, Nick Foles has proven his worth not only as a backup put as a potential starting QB in the league for next season.  Finishing up his seventh year in the league, Nick Foles net worth sits at $6 million.

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Eagles QB Nick Foles

Drafted by the Eagles 88th overall in the 2012 NFL draft, Foles has spent his NFL career with a total of three teams.  He spent the first three seasons of his professional career in Philadelphia before being traded to the Rams in a quarterback exchange.  He signed a two year contract with the Rams valued at over $24 million, but he never lived up to the hype they had hoped for.  He was eventually released and signed with Kansas City.  After a one year stint with the Chiefs, Foles found himself on the free agent market and got a call from his old team.  Philadelphia had just used their top pick to draft franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, so many were convinced that Foles would fit nicely into a backup role.  His most recent deal with the Eagles would net him an additional $11 million in earnings over the next two seasons.

Nick Foles career earnings in the NFL have now reached almost $20 million.  Nick Foles net worth can be attributed to these earnings which we can predict should be flowing in for years to come.  The rate of those earnings are the biggest question mark though.  Foles postseason success has many wondering if he could land with a different NFL team next season.  His experience and proven leadership could be an asset to many other organizations.  If Foles is able to convince the Eagles to trade him (he still has one year remaining on his contract), then he could demand upwards of $20 million a year in salary.

Regardless of what happens this offseason with Nick Foles one thing is for sure, he is now leading the Eagles into the biggest game of his career.  A Super Bowl victory against the Patriots for a backup QB is a monumental milestone.  I’m sure Nick is focused on the game instead of his future earnings, but if Nick Foles does get traded he could sign a big contract which could greatly increase Nick Foles net worth.  We will have to see what happens, but as they say in Philly, “Fly Eagles Fly”.

Drew Brees Net Worth

The 2017-2018 NFL season came to an abrupt end this past weekend for the New Orleans Saints.  They appeared to be well on their way to a victory and play in the NFC Championship game until the Minnesota Vikings scored a touchdown on the last play of the game.  The Saints were led by stellar quarterback play in the second half from their leader Drew Brees.  Brees just finished up his 17th season in the NFL.  The majority of his career has been spent in New Orleans.  The completion of this past season has made Drew Brees a free agent, but many expect for the Saints QB to return.  Due to his successful NFL career, Drew Brees net worth sits at $80 million.

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Drew Brees

Drafted in the early second round of the 2001 NFL draft, Brees spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers.  The Chargers selected Brees after a successful college campaign he had at Purdue.  A three year starter, Brees threw for 90 touchdowns and nearly 12,000 yards during his college career.  Upon being drafted in 2001, Drew Brees signed his first NFL contract which was for four years and worth $3.6 million.  Solid play eventually led him to reach a deal with the Saints after his fifth year in the league.  This deal and subsequent deals would eventually lead to the rise of Drew Brees net worth.

Brees has had a very successful NFL career to say the least.  He led the Saints to their first Super Bowl in franchise history in Super Bowl XLIV and was named the MVP.  He is an 11-time pro bowl selection to go along with a plethora of other awards from the league including the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award in 2006.  He is currently third in all-time passing yards with over 70,000.  He will most likely gain the lead if he is able to play at least one more season which he plans to do.  His 488 passing touchdowns tie him for third all time.

Because of his on the field success, the majority of Drew Brees net worth comes from his NFL earnings, which are nearing $200 million.  If he hopes to eclipse the $200 million mark for net earnings he will have to ink a deal this offseason.  Brees is currently an NFL free agent, but many expect him to resign with the Saints sometime in the near future.

Brees is married to his college sweetheart and the couple has four kids together.  Brees and his wife are very involved with the New Orleans community and in 2003 they established the Brees Dream Foundation.  The foundation does a number of charitable acts including support for cancer patients and also helping with rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

 

Draymond Green’s Net Worth

We are almost halfway through the 2017-2018 NBA season and the best record belongs to the Golden State Warriors.  While this doesn’t come as a surprise to most, the Warriors and their All-Star roster of players have continued their stellar play that led them to the 2017 NBA Championship.  One of the player’s who is key to the team’s success is their starting power forward Draymond Green.  At 6′ 7″ and 230 pounds, Green is a physical player who has recorded over 80 double doubles in his five and a half year career.  A two time NBA All-Star, Draymond Green’s net worth tops out a t $17 million.

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The 27 year old NBA star was born and raised in Michigan.  He led his high school to back to back state championships before accepting a scholarship offer to play college basketball at Michigan State.  While at Michigan State, Green developed into the team’s best player, averaging a double double in his senior season.  The Golden State Warriors used the 35th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft to select Green as a member of their squad.  His second round selection came with a three year deal valued at $2.65 million.

In his third season with the Warriors, Green emerged as a full time starter for the team.  It was in this third season that he averaged nearly 12 points and seven rebounds per game helping lead Golden State to the 2015 NBA Championship.  Recognizing his emerging talent, the Warriors and Green agreed upon a five year contract extension worth $82 million.  It is this most recent contract that has allowed Draymond Green’s net worth to increase over the past two years.

From our analysis, Draymond is more than worthy of his large contract he signed back in 2015.  Since signing the contract, Green has been named an All-Star in 2016 and 2017.  In addition to this, he has also made the NBA All-Defensive First Team the past three seasons.  Green is a two time NBA Champion who also is a gold medal recipient while he played in the 2016 Olympics representing the United States.  Green is currently in year three of his five year extension with the Warriors.  He is scheduled to make an additional $36 million over the final two years of his contract.  This additional salary should have the potential of nearly doubling Draymond Green’s net worth.  With the skyrocketing values on NBA contracts, if Draymond keeps up with his high level of play, he could be handsomely rewarded the next time a contract comes around.

From a personal perspective, Green is known to live a fairly modest life.  He lives in an apartment outside of San Francisco and has donated more than $3 million to his alma mater.  He is also the father of two kids, one boy and one girl.

3 Easy Post New Year’s Financial Resolutions

A new year signals a new start for many people.  Whether it is with your health, your relationships, or your finances, it is as good a time as any for a re-birthing.  When it comes to one’s finances, there are some relatively easy New Year’s financial resolutions you can do to exit 2018 in a better financial position than when you started.  Listed below are 3 easy post New Year’s financial resolutions you can make.

Financial Resolution 1: Build an Emergency Fund

It is estimated that roughly one out of every three American adults has no money stashed away in an emergency fund.  This often means that they will have to take on high-interest credit card debt in order to pay for an unexpected expense.  No matter your age, any amount of money in an emergency fund will be of benefit.  Focus on saving $100 a month into an emergency fund.  By the end of 2018, you will have $1200 stashed away for those unexpected expenses.

Financial Resolution 2: Create a Budget

Earning money is important, but also of high importance is tracking your spending.  I love the following example:

A teacher making $40,000 in annual post-tax salary, but spending $35,000 of it, has more savings at the end of the year than a doctor earning $120,000 in post-tax salary but spending $130,000.

The point of this example is that if you can make a lot, but if you spend a lot you will never get rich.  Budgeting allows you to monitor you income while also keeping track of your expenses.  We offer a free monthly budget on our website to help you get this resolution underway.

Financial Resolution 3: Open an IRA

Recent tax reform has lessened the financial burden of taxes on many individuals and families, but another way to reduce taxes while funding retirement is through an IRA.  Traditional and Roth IRA’s are both good options to help save for those late years in life.  I prefer a Roth IRA; you put in after-tax money now, and it grows tax-free and has tax-free withdrawals.  Most people qualify for IRA’s, and the best part is that they are easy to open.  Many IRA’s can be started with as little as $100.

Not everyone is a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but that is part of the reason why people make them.  They have goals they want to achieve.  Those goals may be monetary, personal or health, either way they hope to be in a better place at the end of the year than they were at the beginning.  If you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution, it isn’t too late.  We aren’t even a week into the new year.  I challenge you to try at least one of these 3 easy post New Year’s financial resolutions and make your finances great again.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

Dez Bryant’s Net Worth

As the NFL regular season comes to an end some teams are busy fighting for a playoff spot; however, one team that isn’t in the playoff hunt is the Dallas Cowboys.  After showing much promise during the 2016 season, the Cowboys took a step back in 2017.  Their top receiver, Dez Bryant, has also taken a few steps back in recent years.  Slowed down by injuries, Bryant hasn’t recorded a 1,000 yard season receiving since the 2014 season.  Despite his struggles in recent years on the field, Dez’s bank account probably isn’t suffering too much.  Dez Bryant’s net worth is $20 million.

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Dez Bryant’s Net Worth

A first round draft pick during the 2010 NFL draft, Bryant got off to a hot start in his professional career.  His rookie season included over 500 yards receiving and six touchdowns.  He continued to develop as an NFL threat and posted nine touchdowns and nearly 1000 yards during his second season with the Cowboys.  Over the 2012 to 2014 NFL seasons Dez Bryant solidified himself as one of the top receivers in the league.  He posted at least 1200 yards receiving and twelve touchdowns each season during those three years.  It was these dominating numbers that justified the Cowboys extending a $70 million contract over five years to the big wideout.

Although small compared to today’s professional sports standards, Dez’s first contract with the Cowboys was worth $11.8 million over five years.  This initial contract included a signing bonus of nearly $2 million.  Had Dez not had the success he showed during the first five seasons of his NFL career, then Dez Bryant’s net worth wouldn’t be anywhere near the $20 million mark it is today.  The Cowboys did decide to reward Dez for his on the field efforts during the 2015 offseason.  They extended him a $70 million contract where the total guaranteed amount was $45 million and a signing bonus of $20 million; almost double of his entire first contract.

Injuries have plagued the superstar in recent years since signing the big contract.  In the past 3 seasons, Bryant has failed to post a single 1000 yard or ten touchdown season.  Bryant is expected to earn a salary of $12.5 million per year over the next two years of his contract.  It will be interesting to see where the Cowboys will go with their franchise receiver.

The majority of Dez Bryan’ts net worth comes from his NFL salary, although he does have a few endorsement deals that do add to it.  Before making it big as an NFL superstar, Bryant was born and grew up in Texas.  An incredible athlete in high school, Bryant was a top football recruit who eventually landed a scholarship to play at Oklahoma State.  His college football career ended abruptly after it was shown he failed to disclose to the NCAA contact he had with Deion Sanders.  Regardless of his ineligibility, it was clear Bryant was a star as he posted fantastic numbers during his sophomore campaign.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Net Worth

Maybe you’ve heard of him, maybe you haven’t, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is the next big thing in the National Basketball Association (NBA).  His name is hard to spell and even harder to pronounce, but he has emerged on the scene as the next big star in the league.  A 23 year old from Greece, his 6’11” stature has made him a point scoring, rebound pulling machine.  Currently playing in his fifth NBA season for the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis is averaging nearly 30 points and 11 rebounds per game thus far in the 2017-2018 season.  This past offseason the Bucks signed the rising star to a four year contract worth $100 million.  This new contract has given rise to Giannis Antetokounmpo net worth which currently sits at $6 million.

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Photo courtesy of SI.com

Giannis was the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.  Although it took a few years to cultivate his talent, the Bucks knew what they were doing.  In 2017, Giannis was named an All-Star along with being awarded the NBA Most Improved Player award.  This season, Giannis is on pace to post career highs in points per game, rebounds per game, field goal percentage, along with free throw percentage.

Antetokounmpo was born and grew up in Greece to parents who immigrated from Nigeria.  After initially starting his professional basketball career in Greece, Giannis declared for the NBA draft in 2013.  Upon being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, he signed a two year deal worth $3.67 million.  As he continued to develop as a player, the Bucks continued to exercise their club option until the time came where they offered him the rookie extension.  His rookie extension would be worth $100 million over four years.  Giannis Antetokounmpo net worth isn’t an astonishing amount at this point in his career due to the fact that he is only in year one of his newly signed contract.  He is set to earn just over $22 million this season, an amount that will increase to over $27 million during year four of the contract.

We expect Giannis Antetokounmpo net worth to significantly increase over the coming years.  In fact, Giannis’ net worth could be as much as $30 to $40 million by the time he finishes up his current contract.  Nicknamed the “Greek Freak”, many NBA analysts expect his play to only further develop as he continues to improve upon his game.  In 2021, when his contract is up, he could easily be on schedule for a massive payday, something similar to Steph Curry’s $200 million dollar contract.

Giannis has become one of the fastest growing stars in the NBA, being compared to the likes of LeBron James.  NBA fans are very excited to see what the future holds for this potential future Hall of Famer.