Archive for February, 2013

8 Things To Buy With Your Tax Refund That Will Make You Wealthier

Written by Sam on . Posted in Inspiration, Personal Finance. 6087 views.

Things to Buy That Will Make You WealthierAmericans love spending their money.  The high we get from buying a flat-screen tv, iPad or new pair of shoes is shocking.  This phenomenon creates a spend vs save competition not only for our paychecks, but also for the biggest single payment most Americans receive:  their tax refund.  The result is most Americans squandering their tax refund on material possessions and missing a great opportunity to create long-term wealth.

There is a trick that can prevent you from consuming your newly received funds (but still giving you that purchase high you require).  The trick is to buy something that will make you wealthier.

Here are 10 things you can “buy” that will increase your wealth.

  1. Buy your debt.  I know, I know, I tricked you…You knew this was going to be the first thing you have to do with your tax refund, sorry.  Think about this tho, by decreasing your interest expense you’re actually increasing your net earnings for the year.  “Earn” an extra 10 or 15 % this year by paying off your debt.
  2. Buy a ROTH IRA.  Opening an IRA account is more than just saving.  Under a ROTH IRA your “after-tax” tax refund grows tax free.  Once you reach age 65, you’re eligible to withdraw all funds without paying tax on the gains.  The tax benefits make this a great account for new investors to learn about investing, potentially free from tax consequences.
  3. Buy home efficiency.  Within the last five to ten years some fields have made giant leaps in efficiency.  Energy Star appliances, tank-less water heaters, insulation and solar panels are just a few household purchases that could decrease your energy costs and whose savings could actually pay for themselves.
  4. Buy a healthier you.  Wanting to join the gym or the country club, but just can’t justify it with your current budget?  Rather than blowing your refund on electronics or a vacation, prepay 6 months in advance for a membership .  Keep in mind that a healthier your is a less expensive you – investing in your health now will financially benefit you down the road.
  5. Buy more schooling.  How satisfied would you feel by using your refund to sign up for online classes or that certification class you’ve been putting off?  Investing in yourself pays great dividends (financially and mentally) and is one of the 7 Ways to Be Seen as an Expert in Your Industry.  What is a form of education you could buy this year?

The 8 Things That Must Be On Your Daily Work To Do List

Written by Sam on . Posted in Career Advice. 13131 views.

Things that must be on your to do listRegardless of the industry you’re in or the tasks you’re facing, there are several universal goals that must be on your daily to-do list.

Interestingly enough, some of these things will increase your productivity but have nothing to do with work.  Complete each one of these things on your daily work to do list and you’ll have one hell of a productive day.

  1. Start with a focused task list.  Begin each day by physically writing down what you hope to accomplish.  A visual depiction of your tasks will serve to keep you both on track and productive.  I find that literally checking things off my list allows me to put completed matters to rest and more easily start focusing on the next one.
  2. Adhere to Google’s 70/20/10 Model.  Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Google, pioneered a 70/20/10 model of managing innovation.  This model details that 70% of your time should be dedicated to core business tasks,  20% of your time should be dedicated to projects related to the core business and the remaining  10% of your time should be dedicated to projects unrelated to the core business.  Therefore, focus on your key tasks (so you don’t get fired) but also think outside your cubical toward higher aspirations and innovations.
  3. Expand your network.  Every day should consist of you starting a new relationship or deepening an existing relationship.   In “Corporate America” your network is your lifeline.  It’s your source of business, job leads and growth.   Nurture your external relationships like you nurture your internal ones.
  4. Become an Expert.  It’s critical that you make a point to learn something new each day.  Not only will experts in their industries make more money, they’re more intellectually stimulated and happier to go to work each day.  Here are some tips on How To Be Seen As An Expert In Your Industry.
  5. Make sure to laugh.  Work shouldn’t be a prison sentence.  Maintaining your sense of humor will decrease your stress levels and increase the chances that your customers/coworkers enjoy doing business with you.
  6. Keep things organized.  It’s easy for your desk to turn into a landfill of documents, fed-ex’s and clutter.  Implement an organizational structure that will minimize distractions and keep you on task.  Look around you now.  Are you organized for success?  A clean desk is a productive desk.
  7. Stay Nourished.  Avoid the 2:30 crash by staying properly nourished.  Did you have a salad or a cheeseburger for lunch today?  How do you feel now?  A healthy lunch with plenty of healthy snacks and water throughout the day will keep your brain from losing focus.  Avoid sodas, coffee and sugar!!!
  8. End your day.  I hate taking work home with me (figuratively – I guess literally as well actually).  Make it a point to end your workday by examining what you didn’t accomplish today and will therefore need to pickup tomorrow.  Once again, I prefer a physical list of matters to do the next day, thus allowing me to mentally leave work at the office.

These are the 8 must haves for my daily to-do list, what do you make a point to adhere to each day?  Feel free to share your comments and suggestions below.