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Why Thinking Long Term is Hard (And Why You Should Do it Anyway)

why thinking long term is hardSave for you future.

Invest ten percent of your income.

Open up a Roth IRA.

It goes in one ear and out the other. I should know. The long term mentality has only kicked in with me over the past couple of years.

As some of my close family members near retirement age I cringe. Without any savings to fall back on retirement is going to be rough.

And this is could have been avoided if they would have thought about their futures and put in a little bit of effort at an early age.

Since this is a common scenario I wanted to dive into some reasons why people don’t think long term.

# 1 – YOLO (You Only Live Once)

“You might as well buy (fill in the blank). YOLO.”

The phrase “YOLO” tends be to thrown around a lot. But in my opinion it’s used in the wrong the context.

The phrase is right – you only live once. (Unless you believe in reincarnation, but that’s a whole other topic!) So why in the hell would you want to enter your retirement years with no money? Do you really want to be stressed out over money in your golden years?

Everyone grows older. Everyone dies. It’s a fact of life.

You only live once so don’t ruin your life by maxing out your credit cards, blowing your money, and making dumb decisions. #YOLO is not an excuse for stupidity.

# 2 – You Can’t Imagine an Older Version of Yourself

It’s really hard to imagine an older version of you. I’m almost 28 now but for some reason I feel like I should be about 18!

Imagining yourself in twenty or thirty years from now is no easy feat!

Here’s a tip. Go through old pictures of your parents/grandparents. Look at them when they were the same age as you. Sit down and talk to them while you do this. Ask them about where they lived, what they enjoyed, how they viewed life. You’re probably going to find a lot of similarities to you. My guess is this will be a huge wake up call for you and therefore make it much easier for you to envision older you.

# 3 – You Just Don’t Want To

I’ve wrote articles before stating the reason why new investors don’t get started investing is because they’re scared; but after further consideration I don’t think that’s the truth.

People don’t save or invest their money in large part simply because they just don’t want to.

They’d rather try to keep up with the joneses or find some type of fulfillment in spending. What I’ve found to be true though, is that there is more fulfillment in saving than there is in spending.

If this is the category you’ve found yourself in there’s not too much you can do. It’s all about your attitude. If you don’t want to do something nobody else is going to be able to make you do it. Period.

Here’s Why You Should Start Thinking Long Term NOW

I stated above, but it’s worth saying again. Everyone ages. Everyone dies. Those are two truths. The young life doesn’t last forever – even if you really, really try to make it stick.

What would you want for your parents in retirement? What about your kids? You shouldn’t want anything less for yourself.

And all you have to do to set yourself up is to start putting aside a little bit of money each month starting today.

You can still enjoy your life today while planning for tomorrow.

Why do you have trouble thinking long term?

How Do You Know if You Have a Solid Business Idea?

coming up with a business ideaDo you want to start a business but aren’t sure whether or not you have a good idea?

Sometimes I think I may be slightly too obsessed with businesses. I’m constantly coming up with ideas and waiting for that one idea that makes me really excited. Not only that but here lately, I’ve had several other entrepreneurs ask me to critique aspects of their businesses, which has made me even more fired up.

And I have finally found a business idea that I’m ready to move forward with.

If you’re not sure whether or not you have a viable business idea here are some questions you can ask yourself.

Is There a Market?

The first thing to consider when coming up with a business idea is the market. Who’s going to buy your product or service? How often will they buy it?

Is the market big enough for you to actually make any money?

Narrowing down to your ideal customer is important. If you’re not clear on what type of person will be interested in what you’re offering you probably need to work on your idea a little longer.

Are You too Caught Up in Originality?

A lot of people get caught up in originality. The truth is that there’s not many original ideas out there. And there’s especially not many original ideas that are going to make you money.

Some of the most profitable businesses aren’t the least bit original. And why should they be if a certain business model has proven itself to be successful?

Take selling on Amazon for example. There are thousands of people making a full time living selling basic household products online. There are many people making a full time living by freelance writing, web design, or others services. Other business owners make a living from owning shoe stores, car lots, or insurance offices.

These ideas are nothing new. What will set your business apart is not necessarily your idea but your execution.

How Much Money and Time Will Your Business Require?

Personally, I believe that businesses should be started on the side. Thousands of businesses fail every day. That’s why you need to keep your day job while growing your business.

This means the time and money you need to start your business will be a huge factor. You need an idea that you can implement alongside of your day job. And unless you were born a millionaire you need to stay on a shoestring budget.

For me, I wouldn’t start a new business that took me more than $1,000 to start and twenty hours per week to work on.

It’s best to test out your ideas and make sure they’ll be profitable before quitting your job and tying up your life savings.

Think of the Worst Possible Scenario

The worst possible scenario can help you make the decision of whether or not your business idea is a good one.

For instance, if you have to take out a second mortgage on your home and you stand to go bankrupt if your business fails, that’s a pretty big deal.

But if you start small and the worst thing that happens is you lose $500 and end up with a bruised ego is that really that bad? No. It’s not. You can earn that $500 back and your ego will heal. And best of all you’ll have learned a valuable lesson.

After taking those points into consideration do you think you have a good business idea?

Photo Credit: Stock Images

Link Love 04/18/14

Photo Credit: Jesadaphorn

Photo Credit: Jesadaphorn

It’s Friday once again! Good Friday to be exact. We’re supposed to have our hottest day of the year so far tomorrow so I’m excited to get my butt outside!

If you’re in need of some weekend reading here are some of my favorite posts from the week.

Have a good weekend and a Happy Easter!

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Securing A Trust Deed in The UK

[The following is a guest article by T. Williams]

A trust deed is advertised as a good way for someone in the UK who is carrying a large amount of unsecured debt that they are unable to fully repay to eliminate that debt for considerably less than they currently owe. A trust deed is a legally binding contract between you and your creditors that allows you to pay a portion of your debt for a specified period of time, typically 48 months, after which the rest of the unpaid debt is discharged.

However, just like any financial product, there are advantages and disadvantages to securing a trust deed to eliminate your debt.

The Advantages

The biggest benefit of securing a trust deed is the ability to satisfy your debt obligations for less than the amount that was originally required. Using a trust deed for debt elimination also makes your debt payments more affordable because you are only paying what you can actually afford to pay while still taking care of your family. When the repayment amount is calculated, your mortgage payments, car payments, and living expenses are taken into consideration. People that secure a trust deed for debt repayment are generally happy to find that interest charges and other fees are frozen once an agreement has been reached with their creditors.

The Disadvantages

When using a trust deed for debt repayment, only unsecured debts can be considered for the repayment plan. Unsecured debts include things like personal loans, credit cards, payday loans, and bank overdrafts. Secured debts, such as mortgage loans and car loans, cannot be included in the Trust Deed’s debts. People are often surprised to find that they must open up their entire financial life to complete strangers in order to take advantage of the provisions of the trust deed. For example, many trust deed Scotland providers have their applicants take a debt test to determine whether they would qualify for a trust deed under the law.

Things To Think About

If the debt test indicates that a trust deed is the best solution for you and your current financial situation, then there are some steps that you must take to ensure that everything stays on track. It is important for you to rework your budget to ensure that you can make all of the payments required for the trust deed so that you do not default and put your assets at risk. A negative mark will be placed on your credit file for accepting the trust deed agreement, remaining for 6 years, and you will not be able to obtain additional credit during the 48-month trust deed period. It is important to carefully consider all of the ramifications of obtaining a trust deed before making your decision to ensure that it is the right decision for you.

Working from Home – Some Jobs for The Stay At Home Mother

writingBeing a mother is a full time job in and of itself, without even thinking about money. Money is important, however, so the question becomes: How do I make enough money to support the family, and still be there for the children?

The answer to that question can be found in your home. There are plenty of different fields that enable the hard working mother to earn a decent buck from the comfort of her home. Here is a couple:

Writer

It does not matter where a writer works, thanks to the imminently portable nature of the finished product and the Internet. A writer can do anything from write short stories, to being a professional blogger. Often, on form of writing lends itself to another. For those afraid of working their hands off, voice dictation software is available.  I find that working for a content creation service can provide steady work.

A career in writing is one of the best moves a stay-at-home mother can make. The dedication and skill required to be successful is excellent for a resume, and helps the adventurous mother reenter the traditional work force later on.

Babysitter

Running a daycare is a great way to tackle two issues simultaneously. The first is to make sure your child is properly socialized before starting school. The second is putting your hard-earned experience in child rearing to good use.

The ability to run a successful daycare is a skill that numerous employers are looking for. You have to be able to work with bureaucracy, handle the public, and deal with work issues that can literally run away at a moment’s notice.

Artisan

Creating your own work of art is an excellent way of channeling the creative forces just begging for the opportunity to make it felt. A handmade quilt, a delightful portrait, a sculpture reminiscent of the Renaissance, anything that shows skill and dedication can be used to turn a tidy profit. By focusing on what you are good at creating, it is possible to build a loyal fan base that will bring much business to your door step!  A good place to sell your work is Etsy.

Conclusion

Working from home does not limit your ability to make a meaningful contribution to society and the family pocketbook. With the right choice, it is possible to express yourself in a manner that will make your spouse and children proud of you for years to come.

Regardless of what you choose to pick, working from home is a decision you will not regret.

Photo credit: Denise Krebs