How Owning A Corporation Massively Adds To Your Wealth

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Becoming wealthy doesn’t come of out of nowhere. There is a lot of planning and strategizing involved and a part of that involves creating business structures such as corporations. The following contributed post is entitled, How Owning A Corporation Massively Adds To Your Wealth.

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What’s the secret of the rich?

It’s not (usually) meeting in darkened rooms and plotting how to take over the world. And it’s (usually) not exploiting people endlessly.

Instead, it’s using a legal tool called a corporation.

Corporations aren’t just nice titles that companies have. They have real legal status and can have a massive impact on the amount of tax that you wind up paying.

The Value Of Corporations

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Let’s say that you sell lifestyle coaching services online.

If you operate as a sole trader, you have to pay full income taxes – regardless of what you do with the money you receive.

However, when you own a corporation, it’s a different story. You only pay taxes on earnings net of your expenses. And there are many accepted accounting practices you can use to reduce your liabilities.

The wealthy use corporations as a kind of shield from high rates of taxation to protect themselves from income taxes and to increase the amount of money they can invest.

When a person owns a corporation, they pay a lower rate of tax on any money they make within the business. They can then plow this money into investments and draw down on their returns later, without having to pay tax on income first.

Yes – corporation owners still have to pay tax when taking dividends. But they often only do this once interest accumulates on their investments held within the company. And that means that the burden of taxation is actually a lot less than it would have been otherwise.

Corporation taxes are a big deal. Upper rate taxpayers usually pay around 50 percent of their income in various types of income taxes. But corporations only pay corporation tax rates on their earnings – usually a much more reasonable 20 percent or so.

Can you see the difference here? If you earn money outside of a corporation, your tax rate is much higher, and more of your income winds up going to the government. But when you protect your labor inside limited liability companies, you massively reduce your tax bills.

Wealth Is A Mindset

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Most workers don’t know about the benefits of corporations. And to the cynical observer, this seems deliberate. If everyone used these corporate vehicles, the state would have to find other ways to raise taxes, probably by increasing rates on companies.

But a lot of it has to do with mindset. People don’t see themselves as companies, and they don’t understand the advantage of using them for tax purposes.

In many ways, this is a reflection of mindset. A lot of individuals can’t imagine themselves as anything other than poor. And so they spend their entire lives working, instead of taking the steps necessary to improve their situation.

Acquiring a wealth mindset is all about seeing yourself in a different light.

If you’re the type of person who says things like “I’ll never earn more than X amount during my life,” then you probably have a scarcity mindset. You’re putting limits on what you can achieve.

Mostly, people who are victims of this mentality aren’t even aware they’re doing it. It’s all unconscious, but it informs the decisions they make daily.

The good news is that you can often change this inner belief to something more positive, even if you’re living in a state of literal poverty right now. It requires identifying the false beliefs that you hold and consciously disregarding them.

Once you change your mindset, the prospect of owning a company makes a lot of sense, even if you’re the only person in it.

Growth Is Also A Mindset

Owning a company also changes your mindset regarding growth too.

When you’re a sole trader, you come to believe that it’s you against the world. You’re by yourself.

But when you own a company, the psychology changes enormously. All of a sudden, you see opportunities to grow and expand, increasing your overall earnings significantly.

Remember, when you have a company, you limit your personal liabilities. Thus, you can take risks that would seem unthinkable as a sole trader. If things go wrong, your house and car are not on the line.

That’s another reason the rich absolutely love limited companies. They allow them to privatize the gains from enterprise while socializing the losses.

If a company doesn’t make money, it’s no big deal. Administrators come in and liquidate all the assets the company owns, and the entrepreneur walks away with their house, car, and private investments intact.

It seems like a crazy setup – and it is – but again, most people don’t know about it. They’re still going about their lives, believing that working for a corporation is the only option. That’s not true. Being a corporation is a much better strategy.

Think about how your attitude toward growth would change if your investments were less risky. All of a sudden, you’d start thinking of ways to expand your services and hire more people. Ultimately, you’d look for ways to make more money and get ahead of the curve.

Plot Your Own Path

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Another reason people struggle with their finances and don’t set up corporations is that they’re following the path other people have laid out for them.

Again, this is a big no-no.

Most wealthy people do not follow the advice of others. Instead, they rely on their own judgment and use it to chart a new course that nobody has tried before.

And, for the most part, that involves owning a corporation in one form or another.

Remember, corporations offer so many advantages over traditional sole trader status or partnerships. And that makes them incredibly flexible. You can, for instance, sell goods in multiple countries but only pay taxes in one. Or take out loans in your company’s name, not your own, to get the equipment you need to thrive.

So, in summary, corporations are tools that you can use to massively add to your wealth. They protect you against risk and tax while allowing you to build wealth and expand.

Can Everything Be Monetized In This Day And Age

Three focuses of my blog are Business/Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy/Money and Technology. In today’s digital world, there are multiple ways to make money besides working a nine to five job. You are literally limited by your own imagination. The following contributed post is entitled, Can Everything Be Monetized In This Day And Age.

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Today, we’re talking about monetization. In brief, this refers to taking something and making money out of it. Specifically, I want to discuss the idea that everything can be monetized in our society. If you have an idea or see something, you can basically think of a way to make money from it. Well, that’s the hypothesis – is it true?

I’m certainly in the mind that almost everything you can think of can be monetized. There are a few examples in this post that go a long way to explaining this in more detail:

The rise of the influencer

Influencer marketing is a prime example of how anything and anyone can be monetized. Nowadays, if you have a large following on social media, you can monetize your profile. People will pay you to post pictures on Instagram, you get paid to write tweets, and you can make money from YouTube videos. This is all possible because you have an audience that’s interested in everything you do.

As a result, businesses recognize your influence and are keen to capitalize on it. To them, it represents a more effective way of targeting their audiences. I guess the overall point here is that anything can be monetized if it suits the needs of businesses. Or, more accurately, if it can help a business market its products.

The growing CBD market

CBD is just one example of many things that fall into the following category. In essence, I’m speaking about monetizing things that aren’t technically legal. In the case of CBD, it’s a way of legally monetizing marijuana/cannabis. You can’t buy and sell cannabis in some states, but you most certainly can extract chemicals from the cannabis plant and sell them as CBD concoctions.

In turn, this opens the door to many other money-making opportunities. Companies will produce things like a joint case to store marijuana joints in. It’s technically legal because you’re not selling weed at all. For me, the whole CBD and cannabis industry is a great example of how things can be monetized even when the actual product itself might not be able to be sold.

Monetizing knowledge

Lastly, let’s look at the idea of monetizing knowledge. If you know a lot about something, you can make money from it. Even if it’s as simple as understanding a foreign language. Now, you can sell this ability to other people online, with relative ease.

The same goes for anything; trading knowledge, marketing knowledge, business knowledge – the list goes on. The online world has given us platforms to share our knowledge with millions of other people, at a price! It’s almost impossible to learn anything for free – you have to pay for it these days.

This whole article shows you how everything and anything can be monetized in modern society. What does all of this mean to you? Well, it shows that there are so many ways you can make money! If you put your mind to it, you can find something that you’re able to sell for money.

How To Save Money In Your Business

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. While having a solid product to sell, marketing and building partnerships are all critical aspects of business, another part is simple mathematics and making sure you’re saving money where you can. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Save Money In Your Business.

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When you manage a business, it is always best to work smarter, so you do not need to work hard. Working this way will often save you money, which will ease your budgets and increase profit margins.

Invest in used equipment.

Although it can be a nice feeling to Buy Used Industrial Equipment as they are pristine and give an exciting buzz around the office, it is better to buy used equipment. The wait times for new equipment can grind your business to a halt, with used items, they are ready and waiting for you to buy instantly as they have already been in the warehouse for safety checks. You will often save money on this option too because they are second hand, and they will still have a high-quality service to complete the job in hand. It can be worrying about buying second-hand equipment. Still, you can often inspect the items you are interested in buying beforehand to ensure it is up to your standard before investing in it.

Changes in the office.

Opting for Used office furniture can save a big chunk of your budget. It can be one of your office’s most expensive parts. Yet, you can get high-quality and comfortable furniture such as chairs that will give you and your employees support when you are sat for long periods, when you are designing your spaces, changing your lights so that they have a sensor to save on your electric bills. Even little things can save you a lot of money over time, which you will notice in your yearly paperwork, such as printing on both sides. You are saving on paper and keeping as many notices on computers to ensure you can reduce your printing and paper use—instead, email notices and documents to one another.

Social media.

Understanding social media can be overwhelming, but it can be highly useful to your business. Social media is free advertising. You can add part of your budget to it, but you can make a big difference without it. Engaging your customers online every day is the key to making your customers feel part of your business. Sharing your day to day running of the store and promoting products and sales can reach your target market in seconds. Having social media accounts that link to your website allows your customers to get to know you from all angles and reach people throughout the day. Uploading first thing in the morning followed by lunchtime and in the evening are the best times because people are scrolling down social media before work, on their lunch break, and after dinner while watching the TV in the evenings. If you are doing your research into how to use social media for your business style, it can help you massively get the word out there for free or little money rather than blowing your money on TV and radio advertisements. Take photos during the day and editing the contrast and brightness when editing to grab people’s attention rather than using filters.

Do You Really Understand Your Expenses?

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. Often we purchase things and spend our hard earned money, not know why we’re doing it. We also often don’t understand the long-term ramifications of our expenses. The following contributed post is entitled, Do You Really Understand Your Expenses?

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Understanding your expenses takes a lot more effort than most people seem to think. Sure, they know money is coming in and money is going out, but they’re not taking the time to look at the details that form this big picture. And sometimes, that’s going to be detrimental for their financial health.

And if you’re the kind of person who can be a bit blasé with your money, it might be time to sit back and work out what’s really costing you month by month. Do this before your budget breaks and your savings account looks bare – don’t worry, we’ve got some tips below to help you out.

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The Three Types

It’s said that there are three main types of expenses: recurring, non recurring, and variable. Let’s go through them:

The first type of expense are the things you absolutely have to pay for, such as monthly bills or car insurance if you’re on the road.

The second type are only periodic payments, which can include yearly or bi annual bills, and often enough we forget about these.

And finally we have the variable type – things we don’t need to spend on, but we want to, such as going to the cinema, or buying a whole bunch of new clothes, or even just food shopping.

And Without Knowing the Difference, You Won’t Save Properly

When you don’t know the difference between the three expense types above, you’ll never be able to track and/or save your expenses properly. You won’t be able to distinguish between the things you must pay and the things you only want to pay for; creating a realistic budget, and being able to stick to it, revolves around this whole concept.

Put down your income first. Then fit your recurring expenses into the picture, then the things you only need to periodically pay, and then work out what’s left for the variables. This way you’ll know where savings are manageable, and what you may be spending a little too much on from time to time.

Tracking is Important

And finally, tracking your expenses is the most important thing you can do to better understand what you’re spending on. Once you know what’s recurring, what’s variable, and what’s unnecessary, you can cut back in the right areas, and funnel a bit more money to the places that really need it.

Don’t worry, you’re never going to be alone in tracking your expenses. There are plenty of tools out there to help you; for example, Pigly.Com could help you work out how much of a mortgage you could afford, or how long it’ll take to pay off that credit card debt. Either way, make good use of calculators like this to give you some real numbers to work with.

Understanding your expenses will ensure your bank account both looks good, and feels good to use. Most of all, make sure you’re tracking what’s going out, and never spending over what’s coming in.

How To Save Money On Your Vehicle

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. A major expense for most people is their vehicle. A vehicle will cost you, but if you’re smart about it, it won’t break you. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Save Money On Your Vehicle.

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Although it seems everybody has one, having a vehicle is a luxury. Whether it is a motorcycle, a car or something bigger like a truck or trailer, these things cost money to run, not just buy. The ongoing expense of being a vehicle owner is something many people don’t expect; these unexpected bills, breakdown costs, part replacements and more can be a bit of a shock to the system. If you don’t know the tricks of the trade on how to keep your bills low, you could end up with a vehicle that costs more than it is worth. So how can you save money on your vehicle?

Here are some handy tips for keeping the bills down on your vehicle.

Image credit.

1. Before You Buy

If you are looking for a new vehicle and want to know how to keep your costs down, don’t just opt for the cheapest one on the market. There is nothing wrong with buying a used car, but it is essential that you do some research before you buy. If you just go straight away for the cheap option, you might be sold a car which is about to break down and will cost you so much more in repair costs. The best thing to do with a second hand car is to have it inspected by an impartial mechanic who can give you the honest truth about how the car will run.

2. Learning Yourself

If you want to keep repair costs down on your vehicle, one way to do this is to learn a few basic repair techniques yourself. With the right tools and know-how, you can fix your car’s general wear and tear issues yourself. Most mechanics will not only charge for the repairs, but will also give a call-out charge too. Learning the ropes for yourself will help you reduce costs and also give you some handy skills you can use anywhere you go!

3. Sourcing Parts

When it comes to cost-cutting, the parts you source for your car are a big part of that. A new clutch, gear stick, set of tires or bodywork can cost a pretty penny. Plus, if your vehicle is large and you are in need of trailer parts or truck tires, the expense will be even greater. So how can you source parts that won’t cost a fortune?

Firstly, find a mechanic that you trust. Make sure they are well-reviewed online, fair and transparent about any and all costs you incur. This will help you get the best deal when your car needs to go to the garage for a fixup. Secondly, ensure the parts you source are not heavily used. Although these will be cheaper, they will wind up more expensive in the long run when they inevitably do not last as long!

Final Thoughts

Having a vehicle is a necessity for many people’s lives, but the expense of owning one can be a big issue for their bank accounts. Use this helpful guide to save money on your vehicle!

Are Passive Income Streams What They Seem?

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. An important concept for everyone to understand is that of passive income. It’s a principle that is not well understood though it is a powerful one. Passive incomes can in fact take multiple forms. The following contributed post is entitled, Are Passive Income Streams What They Seem?

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What is a passive income? A passive income is money going into your account that you don’t have to work for. Instead, the money works for you in the background of your typical life routine. At least, that’s what people expect, but is this really what a passive income is? Is there anything in life where you can earn money without doing anything, literally nothing? Short of winning the lottery, we’re not so sure and even then you have to buy the ticket. Let’s dive a little deeper into this conundrum.

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Examples Of Passive Incomes

There are numerous examples of incomes that people tend to describe as passive. For instance, you might invest in stocks. Many people often refer to this as a passive income because you buy the stock and then wait for them to hopefully rise in value. So, you’re not really doing much and still earning money. However, you can’t be completely passive here because if you are, you’ll miss out on the right time to sell.

What about the property? This is another option people suggest can be a passive income but is it really? After all, to invest in property, you need to make the purchase. You then need to decide whether you are going to let or sell. If you let, you take on all the responsibilities of a landlord and while you own it you have a lot of commitments. For instance, you’ll need to pay a rental tax. Luckily, there are companies such as https://nzrentaltax.co.nz/ that will be able to help you out here. This is one of the ways that you can keep an income passive. You can pass off the duties and responsibilities to another person or business and they will handle it for you. However, that will only be possible if your investment budget allows for this.

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Real Passive Incomes Aren’t Usually Successful

A real example of a passive income would be something like a savings account. While it’s true that you will earn additional money through interest on a savings account, it won’t be enough to make a massive difference to your earnings. It’s just a nice added bonus of choosing the right bank.

Or you could be more dramatic and suggest blogging is a passive income. But it’s not really because you need to put the time and effort into making the blog a success. If you treat a blog like a hobby rather than a business, you’re never going to earn the money that you want. You can learn more about running a successful blog on http://stuff.co.nz.

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Should You Still Search For A Passive Income?

Despite not being truly passive it is still worth looking for one of these possibilities. Essentially, what we’re talking about here is a side hustle or a secondary income that supports your primary one. You may have to put some effort in and potentially even spend money in places but experts agree everyone should have at least two incomes. It puts you in a far more secure place when dealing with future financial challenges.

Why Personal Emergency Funds Matter

“I personally recommend having a year’s worth of savings in the bank!”

Note. Like my Net Worth piece, the subject matter of this blog post is not new. It has been known for years by those who’ve learned about it in their families, learned about its concepts in business school, or have discovered it on their own. It’s a discussion from my personal perspective which I think is worth visiting. Also, while this is a ‘money’ topic, I’m discussing it from a ‘scholarly’ perspective. I’m not rendering financial advice where I’m telling readers what they should do. In the spirit of the first principle of my blog, Creating Ecosystems of Success, I’m simply introducing a concept and discussing why it’s important for the lay person; so they can make their own life choices.

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Reflecting on my youth, both of my parents were savers and they showed that in their own unique ways. As described in my piece regarding budgeting, my Auntie Adele was quite the budgeter and she was always outspoken (and vigilant) about that. All of the pieces were there in my mental periphery, though it wouldn’t be until my adult years that I’d figure out how every piece in terms of one’s personal finances ‘fit together’ as I’ll describe later. I’ve learned that you can hear about something, but it’s not until doing it yourself that you actually understand it. This is why Rich Dad Poor Dad author, Robert Kiyosaki, frequently referenced the “Cone of Learning” in his books.

Though I intuitively knew what ‘emergency funds’ were before taking Dave Ramsey’sFinancial Peace University (FPU)“, I got a much clearer picture of what they were and why they’re important. I’ve covered many other important aspects of personal finance here on my blogging platform, but after a potential collaborator emailed me recently about linking their online resources to some of my content, I realized that I never covered emergency funds. It’s a topic that is timeless in terms of importance and is especially relevant with my recently purchasing a new car. As such, I think I’ll use that a jumping off point for this piece.

If you don’t know, I’m a YouTube content creator now and have four channels. My original Big Discussions76 channel now covers several topics, financial literacy/money being chief among them. I recently shot a video discussing my decision to acquire a vehicle after going without one for eight years. You can watch that video in the link below. If you do, please kindly give a like, share it in your network and subscribe to my channel.

I also wrote two pieces discussing why I decided to go without car ownership. In those pieces and in my YouTube video, I communicate that one of the checked boxes for rejoining the car ownership club was having a fully funded emergency fund. In FPU, Dave Ramsey describes a fully funded emergency fund as one that contains three to six months of savings based upon the critical items on your personal budget. That’s actually a little more on the liberal side. Some people, like one of my mentors, are more conservative and believe that one (or a couple) should have a year’s worth of savings in the bank! If your personal finances are highly leveraged credit-wise and you’re living paycheck to paycheck, this may all sound like a gargantuan task, but from personal experience, I can assure you that it can be done.

I can’t lie though, in that it does take a great deal of determination, grit, and delayed gratification to create a fully funded emergency fund. Spiritual folks would also say that it takes a great deal prayer. In either case, you must know what your ‘why’ is, or your motivation. That will help keep you going even when things feel lonely or even get hard. What was my motivation for creating an emergency fund? Let us go back to car ownership.

“Cars are built to breakdown,” said Mr. Cholley Gray of the former Gray’s Auto in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. In my trips back to Buffalo from Charlotte, NC, Mr. Gray performed most of the repairs on my first car, a white 1990 Subaru Legacy which was passed down from my mother to my brother, and then to me. Having been through seven long years of Buffalo winters, I inherited the car right around the time when rust started taking hold of many of its parts and wear and tear had set in. I went through numerous transaxles when I owned that car. Each was $150-$200 each time.

The biggest and probably the costliest repair was the “rack and pinion” which went out on me down in Charlotte, NC. For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of automobiles, the rack and pinion is a part of the power steering system. When the piping rusted out that fateful day, the car became extremely difficult to steer and it made what I would call a howling or a screeching sound like a saw cutting through wood. One of my professors and I investigated the systems of the car in his driveway and saw that it was literally bleeding the pink power steering fluid. It was a fixable repair, which came at a price of $850. As an undergraduate I was mortified by the price in addition to the sound the car was making. Fortunately, my father was there to send me the money, just as he was there to purchase the car for me from my brother and pay for my insurance.

My burgundy 1996 Saturn SL2, which I purchased in Ann Arbor, Michigan while in graduate school, had two costly repairs within the final six months of grad school. This led me to bow out of the car ownership club in the summer of 2012. One night near my job, one of the front wheels rusted out completely. That is the entire support stabilizing the wheel needed to be replaced. That costed $1,200 at Meineke which was my entire federal income tax return that year. Only months later, the cable attached to the manual transmission broke while I was driving. Fortunately, I wasn’t on the expressway and was able to pull off onto a side street without being harmed. That repair also came out at $1,200 which was the final straw for me. Mentally, I’d already prepared for getting rid of the car, like a loved one on life support.

Probably the most painful repair though, was around 2010 when the radiator cracked in the scorching Northern Virginia summer heat. Not only was that repair $500, but the mechanic, an Asian guy named Steve, bitched at me and jeered me about getting a new car when I picked it up. The nerve of that guy, right? After all, I paid him for his service. My girlfriend at that time pretty much agreed with him on the spot, making a bitter afternoon more bitter. At that time, I was temporarily living with her while closing on my condo unit. I planned to give her something for that month towards the rent, but because of the transmission going out, I couldn’t pay her, which she secretly held against me and sprung it on me during one of our many future arguments.

If it sounds petty for me to tell this side story about my ex, rest assured knowing that there’s a grander purpose. Sometimes in life we set out with good intentions and unexpected things happen affecting the entire mosaic. If we’re not prepared, domino effects can result making situations exponentially worse. I’m saying all of this to say that life is so much better when you have an emergency fund, a stash of money saved just in case something goes bad. It literally gives you peace of mind. Everything is just different because you’re not constantly worrying about something going wrong or breaking. When something does break, wears out, or needs to be replaced, you’re not scrambling for money or to take out loans. It’s truly a different way of living. “Murphy leaves you alone,” as Dave Ramsey jokingly says.

Having an emergency fund also allows you to potentially help those around you. Going back to the girlfriend described above, there was another instance where she needed to get new tires on her car to pass the state inspection. By the way, she was educated and had a career of her own. That said, I was still expected to take care of her in certain ways. This is a prevalent expectation and I’m not disputing it as I understand the psychology of it more now. It’s just something for some men reading this to be cognizant of. There is more I could say about it, but that’s a separate discussion.

At that time, I didn’t have a fully funded emergency fund and was unable to safely pull the $300-$400 out of my savings to pay for her new tires. I’ve often wondered if she would have been more ‘human’ to me throughout that relationship if I could have done more for her financially. Based upon what I know now, the answer is yes.

Going back to when I discussed ‘safely’ pulling the money out of my savings, let me unpack that a little bit more. A decision you must make when someone comes to you for help, or announces that they’re in distress, is whether or not you can afford to help them. Put another way, will you potentially later need the money said person is asking you for? If so, you may not be able to help them because if you do, you may be stuck asking someone else for help later on yourself, another domino effect.

The other thing is that after being both the lender and lendee, I agree wholeheartedly with Dave Ramsey in terms of loaning money. I don’t believe in loaning money anymore. If someone comes to me these days for help, I assess whether or not I have the money to give. If I can’t give the full amount, I give what I can and don’t expect anything back, as loans put a mutual strain on personal relationships. From a spiritual standpoint, Proverbs 22:7 reads, “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.” It’s something for everyone to ponder, especially with friends and relatives.

I’m going to close with two more points. The first of which is that while I discussed emergency funds in the context of automobile ownership in this piece, it reaches into many other areas. In the last five years, I’ve lost a cell phone, I’ve had to replace my refrigerator, and the toilet in my home.

I’ve also refinanced my mortgage a couple of times. While not an emergency per se, these have involved me using some of my savings to help the transactions go through. Speaking of savings and mortgages, if you can’t purchase your home outright with cash, one of the key things lenders will be looking for when deciding to qualify you for a mortgage, is your history of saving money. Likewise, the more you have saved, the better the loan terms you’ll get if you qualify. I’ll also jokingly state here that me and the ex-girlfriend discussed above got into a standoff over this point one night. My father and I had also talked about this before. I was factually right, but sometimes being right in relationships just causes more drama and resentment.

My final point involves retirements savings. Some individuals have started saving in their retirement accounts which is absolutely the right thing to do as employees. Unfortunately, when adverse events occur, some people must use credit cards, loans or raid their retirement savings because they don’t have any other ‘liquid’ cash available. Raiding your retirement savings involves a tax penalty and unplugs the money from ‘compounding’. An emergency fund thus provides a layer of protection for your retirement nest egg, and that’s an important though not widely understood reality about retirement savings.

With all of this being said, a fully funded emergency fund, while an important piece of your financial health, isn’t an ultimate layer of protection. There may be bigger adverse financial events looming and that’s what your insurances are for (health, car, homeowner, renters, etc.). That’s a separate topic all in itself, but one that everyone should also consider.

So, in summary, emergency funds are important because:

• They improve your overall peace of mind, health and quality of life just by relieving financial stress.
• They allow you to absorb and recover from negative financial events (but also remember that insurances are important).
• They protect your other savings and investments and allow you to easily navigate transactions like home purchases and refinances.
• They allow you help those around you (if you can afford to).

In closing, keep in mind that your emergency fund is not meant to be the investment of the century, just a layer of protection against life, and it acts as insurance in a way. Though it may be sitting in a savings account not making much interest, you want to be able to get to it quickly in case of an emergency (not for frivolous spending). There are savings accounts that can earn more money for you such as a money market account, but again that is not the main point of all this. The point is to protect you and your investments.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. As of now I’ve written several financial pieces on my blogging platform and many of them are listed on the bottom of the Big Word Blog Site’s home page. I’ve also published numerous shorter money and business-related pieces with guests and contributing writers. You can find those by simply searching my categories menu on the home page or by typing “money”, “finance” or “business” into the search box at the bottom of the home page. If you read something you like, please leave a comment and share in your network via email or in your preferred social media space.

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3 Ways To Avoid Bankruptcy When Starting A Small Business

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. As a new business owner, you always have to watch your costs and carefully manage debt if you’re going to use it. In general, you have to keep your operations financially healthy for as long as you can. The following contributed post is entitled, 3 Ways To Avoid Bankruptcy When Starting A Small Business.

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Staring a small business can be fulfilling, exhilarating and downright stressful at times. There are a lot of things that are involved when it comes to creating something from the ground up. One of the biggest hurdles most business owners face as they are starting up is the finances. The common known phrase it takes money to make money rings true. If you are a small business owner, you may be wondering how can you avoid small business bankruptcy when the money is tight. Well, here are some useful tips to keep in mind when it comes to capital and your small business.

Have A Plan

Planning is the ticket to a stress-free life in your journey as a small business owner. Creating a business plan with clear goals, detailed steps of execution, in-depth regulations and governing of the workflow is imperative to your company’s success. Your plan will give you the blueprint for making educated decisions about where you want your business to be located, the pricing of your product or service as well as how much it costs to run your business, and what to invest in. You also want to keep in mind that when you are asking for funding, investors are going to ask for a business plan, so it is better to have one than not.

Make Sure Your Product Or Services Are Quality

There is nothing that will bankrupt your small business faster than not providing quality products or services. You want to be sure that when you launch you are providing customers with the very best your business has to offer. Cultivate a strong and authentic brand for your product or service. If you already have existing customers, maintain great relationships with them. Put your focus on reaching your target market.

It Is Ok To Borrow But Do Not Borrow Too Much

This can be tricky. There is nothing wrong with borrowing money to get your business off the ground. The issue comes when you have found yourself borrowing too much money. Then you have found yourself in a tough situation that could lead to bankruptcy. That is why being mindful of how much you need to borrow is important. In a perfect world you may have saved up a nice chunk of money that you can invest in your business, but more than likely you will have to borrow some money.

No matter what, you want to be sure that you will get a return on your investment. Keep track of the monthly interest, how many installments you will pay and for how much and the term of your loan before you decide to sign. When going over your business finances, be sure to deduct loan payments from your profits that way you can fully understand how much the loan will cost you. Once you know how much the loan will cost you, down to the penny, you will have a better handle on paying the money back.

Take Control of Your Finances When You’re Struggling

A key focus of my blog in Financial Literacy/Money. A significant part of your personal success and quality of life is your personal financial health. Taking control of your finances is particularly important when you’re struggling. The following contributed post is entitled, Take Control of Your Finances When You’re Struggling.

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Everyone experiences money troubles of different kinds. Even when you’re financially comfortable, you can have times when you’re trying to work out how to stretch your money further. There are also times when you can feel like you’re really struggling and you don’t know how to get back on track. Your money problems are ruling your life, but you don’t know how to make them go away. You could be in a lot of debt or struggling to pay the bills, and you feel like you have no control. If you want to start getting control of your finances, have a look at these steps.

Make a Plan for Your Debts

Most people have some kind of debt, whether they’re paying off a phone, have a credit card or have a mortgage. Some debt is good debt, but there’s also plenty of bad debt, and it can weigh on you heavily. Making a plan to pay off your debts should be a priority if you’re having financial problems. You might need to look into tax relief options if you’re struggling to pay off a tax bill or consider debt consolidation if you have a number of debts. Look at different strategies for paying off debts too. You might pay off the cheapest or the most expensive first.

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Create a Budget

Everyone who wants to get their money under control needs to start budgeting. When you set a budget to stick to, it helps you to control your spending. The first thing that you need to do is take a look at what you’re currently spending. Work out how much your fixed expenses are, then come up with a reasonable budget for more variable expenses, such as groceries and clothes. Once you have a budget, you can track your spending, and you’ll be more conscious of whether you’re sticking to your budget.

Review Your Spending

After creating a budget, you might be able to start saving some money by lowering both your fixed and variable expenses. For example, review your bills to discover whether you could save any money. Find any subscriptions or services that you no longer need or that are wasting your money. Do you really need cable TV? Do you use that Netflix subscription? Getting rid of unnecessary spending can help you pay off debts faster, save more or have more money to spend on things that you want or need.

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Go Cash Only

If you feel like you need to reconnect with your money, consider using cash only to pay for things. You can set up automatic payments for bills, but when you do things like go grocery shopping, withdraw a set amount of money for the month so that you know exactly how much you have left. Stop using your credit card and even debit card for a while, and slowly start to use them again if you feel comfortable.

You can take back control of your finances. Start taking a close look at any debts, your spending and how you could save money.

The Raw Truth: Making Big Bucks From Startups Takes Time

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Whether you’re the business owner or the investor, a lot of money can be made from start companies also known as “startups”. The truth however is that these ventures in all likelihood won’t started generating significant cashflow early on. The following contributed post is entitled, The Raw Truth: Making Big Bucks From Startups Takes Time.

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A few companies start generating profit immediately. But almost always, the most financially rewarding enterprises make practically nothing for the first five years of operation. There’s a long ramp between setting up the firm and actually getting a return for all that hard work.

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Take Square, for instance, a company heavily involved in payment systems. The firm, operated by Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame, was lambasted by investors in 2013 for failing to make any money. That year it lost nearly $100 million after taxes and depreciation, and many thought it would fail. Furthermore, the company had already been operational for four years, meaning that such losses were even more difficult to bear. Investors wanted to see a return, but they weren’t getting it.

Just a couple of years later, though, all the doom and gloom disappeared. The company turned things around. And now, it is part of practically every investor’s stock portfolio. You can’t afford to leave it out.

What happened? Essentially, Square spent the first five years of its existence looking for long-term profit opportunities. It didn’t try to satisfy investors by the quarter. Instead, it made decisions that were costly but would set it up for market dominance in the future. These bold decisions then attracted more investors who kept the enterprise afloat until it started making money.

It’s not the only example, either.

Amazon

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994. The company increased its sales to around $150 million by 1997 and over a billion in 1999. Unfortunately, it wasn’t making any money over this period. In 2000, the company borrowed billions from investors but had less than $350 million in cash on hand at one point.

It took the firm until 2003 to turn a profit, but it was a weak result. Many people believed that Amazon would never make any serious money.

Bezos, however, had a plan. He decided to invest all additional revenue into the firm to develop its technologies and systems. Eventually, it became the market leader, able to do things other eCommerce brands couldn’t. Ultimately, it came to dominate the market, even managing to beat out rivals like eBay.

Tesla Motors

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Something similar is happening with Tesla motors. The company began in 2003 and yet it didn’t manage to turn its first profit until 2013. After that, it continued to make losses, only making serious money towards the tail end of 2019. That’s a long time to wait!

According to fintech industry experts, something similar is happening in their sector. The InsurTech Accelerator, for instance, provides security for firms with a long ramp. The hope is that the sector will see success stories similar to those of Amazon and Tesla.

Making big bucks, therefore, takes a long time. When you reinvest profits in a firm, you’re essentially compounding your advantage (as you might with a stock portfolio). The longer you leave it to take money out of the company, the more it’ll eventually make (so long as you make smart business decisions).