WHAT COULD YOU DO IF YOU WON THE $1.6 BILLION MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT?

The drawing for the largest jackpot prize ever was held last night.  One lucky ticket was sold in the great state of South Carolina.  Assuming the winning ticket wasn’t part of an office pool, the winner will walk away with over a $900 million check if they decide to take the cash payout.

Image result for what could you do if you won the lottery

 

 

Many of us had quick dreams of what we would do if we had one.  Buy an expensive car, donate to charity, move to paradise.  These were a few of the things that ran through the minds of the individuals who played.  However, those dreams were abruptly ended this morning when the tickets were checked.

YOU COULD GO ABOUT THINGS AS NORMAL

If someone wins the lottery the first thing many of them say they’ll do is quit their job.  While this sounds good on paper it could bring about additional life stresses.  For example, you’ll have to worry about getting healthcare coverage and the structure of your day might fall apart.

Psychologists have said it is important to keep things as normal as possible after a big win like this.  Immediate changes could bring about results you hadn’t planned on.

YOU COULD PURSUE A PASSION

If you are miserable at your current job, you can always have the opportunity to quit.  Like I said previously, don’t make any rash decisions when it comes to this, but it does present you with an option to pursue your passion.

After winning almost a billion dollars you in essence can put the worry of money on the back burner.  If you enjoy painting, be a painter.  If you enjoy volunteering, make that your life’s goal.  The point is now you have the chance to pursue a life where money isn’t a byproduct.

YOU COULD GO ON A SPENDING SPREE

We’ve all heard the stories about people going broke after winning the lottery.  Most of the time those stories center around individuals who win a million or ten million in winnings.  With over $900 million in winnings, you shouldn’t have to worry about such an event.

You now have the chance to build that dream house you’ve always wanted and drive luxury cars.  You can travel to exotic places for weeks or months at a time.

CONCLUSION

The possibility for the things you could do if you won the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot are endless.  You could do any of the three things above, or a combination of all of them.  Now back to reality.

You didn’t win the Mega Millions.  You still have bills to pay.  You still have to go to work.  Life is the same as it was yesterday.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  I woke up this morning no different than yesterday.  I continue to budget on a daily basis, save for retirement, and enjoy all of the blessings I currently have in my life.  You should too.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

If reading this blog post makes you want to try your hand at blogging, we have good news for you; you can do exactly that on Saving Advice. Just click here to get started.

Buy Once Cry Once Mentality in Budgeting

Most believe that the purpose of budgeting is to make sure you have your finances in order.  You take what you make and from that you monitor what you spend.  Many try to find out how to reduce their expenses by as much as possible.  Is that the best way?

WHAT IS THE BUY ONCE CRY ONCE MENTALITY

Buy once cry once simply means valuing quality over price.  It means that you can purchase something one time, and it will last forever or for a very long time.  I understand the importance of cutting corners here and there to save a buck, I used to be that type of person, but the buy once cry once mentality is now ingrained in me.

For example, instead of buying a cheap winter jacket for $20 with a no name brand, look at purchasing something from a quality brand.  Yes, it might cost five times as much, but chances are it will easily last you five times longer and you’ll be happier with it in the end.

Image result for buy once cry once mentality in budgeting

Another example would be buying an expensive cooler.  Many high end coolers have recently flooded the market, but the appeal in them comes from their longevity.  You buy one of these coolers once (cry because of the high price) and you never have to purchase another cooler again.

BUY ONCE CRY ONCE MENTALITY IN BUDGETING

So now that we have wrapped our heads around the buy once cry once mentality, how does it fit into budgeting?

If you go prescribe to this mantra, then you know your budget is going to take quite a hit.  After all, paying for quality is nothing new.  In terms of budgeting, plan on this expense being a once a year expenditure.  For example, if you are buying a new winter coat, allot yourself extra money around the November/December time frame in your budget to accommodate the extra expense.

Think of it this way, a one time expense for a quality item can easily turn out to be more affordable over time then having to budget to purchase that particular item, of lesser quality, on a yearly basis.

CONCLUSION

Shifting your mind to purchasing something based on quality over price can reap many financial benefits in the future for oneself.  The buy once cry once mentality in budgeting may be hard to grasp at first, but once you do I can assure you that you’ll ultimately be satisfied.  By creating a free monthly budget, you too can be on your way to financial independence.  

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

If reading this blog post makes you want to try your hand at blogging, we have good news for you; you can do exactly that on Saving Advice. Just click here to get started.

15 Year Mortgage Pros

A little over five years ago I made a financial mistake that I’m not proud of.  I purchased my first home.  No the purchasing of the home isn’t the financial mistake, the mistake was going with a 30 year mortgage instead of a 15 year one.  Many times throughout the year I often wonder why I didn’t even consider a 15 year mortgage.  Don’t make the same mistake.  If you have the financial ability to do a 15 year mortgage then by all means go for it.  I will discuss a few of the 15 year mortgage pros and why I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again.

Image result for 15 year mortgage pros

15 Year Mortgage Pros #1

The easiest difference to distinguish between a 15 year and a 30 year mortgage is the interest rate.  15 year mortgages have a significantly lower rate than their counterparts.  The shorter the amount of months a company has to lend you money, the more likely they are to recoop their costs.  A 15 year mortgage tends to have an interest rate of 0.5% to 0.75% lower than that of a 30 year.  Although that might not seem like a significant number, it will ultimately equal many thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the loan.

15 Year Mortgage Pros #2

Simply put, you build equity faster.  Because you are having to pay the full amount of the loan in half the time, your monthly payment will be more; however, that also means you will become the full owner of your home in a shorter period of time.  Many people, myself included, choose a 30 year mortgage because the payments are less on a monthly basis.  Had I chosen a 15 year mortgage, my payment wouldn’t have been much more a month and I’d own the home outright in half the time.

15 Year Mortgage Pros #3

The final pro is that you have the opportunity to eliminate your largest monthly expense.  This is especially important as one approaches retirement.  People sometimes talk themselves out of a shorter mortgage because the higher monthly payments mean they have to forgo savings for other things such as retirement.  Can you imagine owning a house free and clear in retirement and not having the stress or monthly expense of a mortgage payment?  Plus you can also free up more capital if you decide one day to do a reverse mortgage.

Conclusion

The majority of housing loans issued are in the form of 30 year mortgages.  This has been the case for a while.  I messed up when I bought my first home, but I can assure you I won’t make the same mistake for my next.  A 15 year mortgage is ideal for individuals or couples who have stable jobs, and are good at budgeting their monthly expenses.  The opportunity to save money on paid interest and build equity fast will be too much for me to pass up again.  That is why the 15 year mortgage pros strongly outweigh any cons.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

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.

Image result for 5 ways to save on valentine's day
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

 

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.

Image result for super bowl party on a budget
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

Mike Tomlin Net Worth

Mike Tomlin is the head football coach in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  At 45 years old, Tomlin has been the head coach of the Steelers since 2007.  He took control of the team before his 35th birthday, and has led the team to major successes throughout his tenure.  In 2017, Tomlin will be entering his 11th season as the team’s head coach.  During his previous ten seasons, he has compiled an astonishing 103-57 regular season record.  Because of his success, he recently signed a brand new contract extension that will keep him coaching in the Steel City through 2020.  Mike Tomlin net worth is estimated to be $22 million.

Image result for mike tomlin
Mike Tomlin Coaching the Steelers

Mike Tomlin was born in Virginia, and his dad had a short stint as a professional football player.  Tomlin graduated high school in 1990 and went on to play wide receiver at the College of William and Mary.  As many in the coaching profession do, Tomlin worked his way up the coaching ladder.  He coached wide receivers and defensive backs in college for a number of years before making the jump to the National Football League and joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization as their defensive backs coach.  Tomlin was part of the staff that helped lead the Buccaneers to the 2003 Super Bowl win.   Mike continued to climb through the coaching ranks and became the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2006 season before being named the head coach of the Steelers beginning in 2007.  Since he took over the Steelers in 2007, he has led the team to five division titles, two AFC championships, and a Super Bowl win.  In 2008, he was named the NFL Coach of the Year after leading the Steelers to their sixth championship in Super Bowl XLIII.

Success on the football field has led to Mike Tomlin net worth being in excess of $20 million.  His teams have made the playoffs in seven of his ten seasons as head coach.  His current NFL salary is projected to be around $7 million a year.  This salary is one of the highest among NFL head coaches.  Mike Tomlin’s net worth can be attributed to his high salary that has now spanned for over a decade.  Due to his continued high performance on the field along with his recent contract extension, we can expect his net worth to continue to increase in the future.  At only 45 years old, Mike has many years and possibly decades of coaching remaining.  Even if for some reason things turn south in the Steel City, Tomlin can most likely find another coaching gig in the National Football League.

Mike has been married to his wife Kiya for over 20 years.  The couple has three kids together and resides in a suburb of Pittsburgh.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Net Worth

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is an American professional racing driver on the NASCAR circuit.  Born in Memphis, TN, Ricky was raised and grew up just south in Olive Branch, Mississippi.  Stenhouse began racing at the age of six, and has grown his passion into a full-time job.  At just 29 years old, Ricky has been able to acquire a significant amount of wealth for someone who will turn 30 later this year.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. net worth currently sits at $20 million.

Image result for ricky stenhouse jr

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. net worth has grown rapidly over the past few years.  In 2017 alone, Stenhouse has already racked up two wins at some of the biggest tracks on the circuit.  Thus far through the year, he has won the 2017 GEICO 500 at Talladega Motor Speedway and the 2017 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.  A member of Roush Fenway Racing, Ricky currently drives the number 17 Fastenal car for the team.  Although he has seen quite the success through the 2017 season, Stenhouse has racked up the awards for a while now.  In 2010, he won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year award.  He followed that award up with the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year award.  In both 2011 and 2012, he was the NASCAR Nationwide Series champion.

The majority of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. net worth comes from his earnings on the race track.  With the solid finishes he has posted throughout the season, his earnings are estimated to be between $3 to $5 million a year for his on the track earnings.  In 2016, the top paid drivers earned anywhere between $10 to $20 million for the year between on track earnings and endorsements.  Before this season, Ricky wasn’t as well known as he is now.  His two wins at Talladega and Daytona have helped make him a household name.  His relationship with fellow NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick, doesn’t hurt as well from a publicity standpoint.  With his two wins thus far this season, Ricky’s on track earnings should be the highest of his career.  Couple that with the many endorsements that will come along, and his earnings for 2017 could exceed eight figures.  We can expect Ricky Stenhouse Jr. net worth to likely increase to about $25 million by this time next year.  It is also expected that his net worth will continue to increase with racing success.  Big names in racing such as Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have a net worth that easily exceeds $100 million.  Granted, both are ending or have ended their racing careers and have had many years to build such wealth.

Ricky is fairly young for a racer on the NASCAR circuit.  At just 29 years of age, he has many more years of competitive racing ahead of him.  Some say he definitely has the potential to be among racing’s elites and with that comes a much higher net worth for Ricky.

Nick Murray: Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth

I got my first “real” job at the age of 23 and could not wait to begin investing.  I knew that if I was going to achieve wealth I had to start young and with my parent’s financial advisor.  Turned out I was wrong.  I only had thousands of dollars to invest, and my FA had clients who had hundreds of thousands, even millions.  I paid fees to the FA, still to this day I’m not sure what they were, that were at least 1%.  I took the advice of my advisor believing they were the “expert”.  Eventually I learned they weren’t.

A friend of mine introduced me to a book that forever changed my life and investment philosophy.  That book was Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth, Revised Edition.  In the past four years since being introduced to this book, I have read it many times, bought copies for friends and family, and seen my net worth increase dramatically.  I have the confidence to say that this book alone will allow me to achieve millionaire status before I reach the age of 40.  I am also confident in the fact that this book will help me achieve wealth that I never once dreamed I would have been able to.  I will dive into the three most important aspects I gathered from the book and how they will benefit my wealth creation.

1. INVEST IN STOCKS, NOT BONDS

Most advisors will tell you that you need an appropriate mix of stocks and bonds, especially the older you get.  Why do they tell you this?  Bonds have a lower volatility than stocks, but that lower volatility also means lower returns.  Nick Murray states in his book, “You should be an owner not a loaner”.  A good FA will allow you not to freak out and sell when the market turns south.  By owning stocks and not bonds, you ensure the highest possible return on your portfolio.  After all, the S&P 500 has returned an average of over 10% per year for over the past century.

2. GET A GOOD FINANCIAL ADVISOR, OR CONVINCE YOURSELF NOT TO SELL

Nick’s reasoning for a financial advisor is that he or she will make sure you won’t sell equities when times get rough.  He uses the following example in his book:

“Warren Buffet’s net worth declined over six billion dollars between July 17 and August 31, 1998.  His net worth decreased by six billion in 45 days, but how much did he lose?  The answer is zero.”

Times got tough during those 45 days for equities, but since Warren didn’t sell he didn’t lose.  The natural tendency of people is to sell when the market heads lower and buy when the market goes up.  If you can wrap your head around this philosophy that markets will go down and up, but keep in mind the long-term investing horizon, I say there is no reason for an FA.

3. INVEST CONSTANTLY AND FOR THE LONG TERM

Stocks may not return 10% in the short run, but the best predictor of the future is the past, and over the long-run they should return about 10%.  Invest with a long-term horizon and invest on a constant basis.  Investing on a constant basis means every week, paycheck or month, add to your investments and let compound interest work its magic.

Finally if you get a chance I definetly reccomend that you pick up a copy of Murray’s book. Its available on Amazon for around $20 bucks. Thats a lot, but its definetly worth the investment. Click here to get it.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

FIRECalc Review

20 years ago, if you were interested in planning your retirement you had to sit down with a financial professional. Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, meeting with someone with such financial experience was commonplace and expected. Fast forward to today and now people planning for retirement have a plethora of options to choose from. You can sit at your desk and pick stocks, you can set up an online investment profile, you can open a retirement account in as little as five minutes! With the ease of picking a retirement plan simplified, you can also simplify the math through several apps and online calculators. This FIRECalc review will show you that you, the investor, now have access to almost all of the tools that were once reserved for professional money managers.

What is FIRECalc?

FIRECalc is a new type of retirement calculator that factors in historical volatility into one’s retirement projection. Many used to think of retirement projections as the following: I have a $1,000,000 portfolio which I draw 4% from on an annualized basis, therefore I have $40,000 I am withdrawing. Unfortunately, retirement projections like this don’t always pan out. Think of the most recent financial disaster where many portfolios were slashed in half. What FIRECalc does is allow you to see all of the possible outcomes of your portfolio, whether it’s a market rally or another collapse.

The Benefits of FIRECalc:

FIRECalc can let you see a projected path of possibilities for retirement. The picture below uses the following example: Bob has a portfolio balance of $1,000,000. He needs to withdraw $50,000 a year for 30 years in retirement. The lines below indicate the vast array of possibilities that his money will last through all 30 years. With the red line signifying “Zero” you can see that the majority of lines end above. This means that based on historical factors, Bob more than likely will have enough funds to cover his spending requirement in his retired years.

What Else Can FIRECalc Do?

The premise that FIRECalc was built on was in dealing with historical market averages. FIRECalc uses this basis and expands it to many other calculator offerings. Around a third of all Americans rely on social security as their main source of income in retirement. Will your social security payments be enough for your retirement? FIRECalc will let you know what your chances of success are. Other calculators they have include ones for people who are looking to set up a future retirement, various spending models, along with a portfolio allocation model.

Conclusion:

I hope this FIRECalc review shows you the many benefits the site can offer. While it is not entirely user friendly (it looks very simple and plain), it does provide you with something all other retirement calculators lack. Most retirement calculators assume a specific return every year during the duration of your investment horizon. FIRECalc is different in that it presents you all of the possibilities. Markets can go up by 20% in a year, and they can also go down over 30%. There are many fluctuations to take into account and that is exactly what FIRECalc does.

Marc Gasol Net Worth

Marc Gasol Net Worth
Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol is a professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies.  Gasol, 32, hails from Barcelona, Spain and is the younger brother of fellow NBA player Pau Gasol.  Marc moved to the United States during his teenage years while his brother played for the Memphis Grizzlies.  He was selected #48 overall in the 2007 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and was traded in a deal that included his brother Pau that sent him to Memphis where he has spent the entirety of his NBA career.  Marc is finishing up his 9th full season in the NBA where he has proven himself as a legitimate force and an All Star caliber player.  In the summer of 2015, Gasol signed a big contract that has paved the way to his high net worth.

Marc Gasol’s net worth currently sits at $40 million.  In July of 2015, Gasol signed an extension with the Memphis Grizzlies that was worth $113 million for five years.  After the conclusion of this season, Marc would have completed two out of the five years on his contract.  His career began with his initial contract with the Grizzlies that was three years for just shy of $10 million.  After averaging double-digit points per game in all of his first three seasons, he was awarded a contract extension for four years worth $57.5 million.  To date, Marc Gasol’s on the court earnings in the NBA have totaled more than $100 million.  These earnings along with a few endorsements have helped create Marc Gasol’s net worth.  Back in 2015, when Memphis signed Gasol to his extension paying him more than $22 million a year on average, many thought the price was quite steep.  However, Gasol has used his big pay day as motivation.  Gasol was named an All Star for the 2017 season and has also posted a career high 19.5 points per game during the 2017 campaign.  The remaining three years on his contract will pay him more than $72 million, all of which is guaranteed.

When he is not playing in the NBA, Marc is busy helping his home country of Spain win basketball games.  He has played with the Spanish national team for many years.  Additionally, he was a part of Spain’s 2008 and 2012 silver medals in Beijing and London.

Even with Marc Gasol’s net worth well into the tens of millions, he still finds time to give back to the community.  Both he and his brother Pau founded the Gasol Foundation in 2013.  The mission of the foundation is to help end childhood obesity.  The non-profit currently serves many locations in the brothers home country of Spain along with the United States.  Marc Gasol is married to his wife Cristina and between them they have a daughter.  They spend most of their time in Memphis where the family has a house.

You may also want to check these out:
Making money through Paribus
Yes, You Can Get a Free Trial of Yummy Blue Apron Food
Get A Free Budget Template