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Keep Your Eyes on Your Dollars

This is a guest post from Pauline of InvestmentZen.com I always thought the name of this site was a clever word play between Kim’s optometric career and her interest in personal finance. But the message goes further than that. You need to keep your eyes on your dollars or they will disappear before you know it! I am a bad example when it comes to tracking every penny, but once in a while, I will have that “spring cleaning” moment, where I scrutinize every line of my online banking statement to look for occurrences where my money disappeared without me noticing. Last week was one such week. I had been home, in Guatemala, for less than 10 days. Yet I noticed I had taken over $1,000 in cash out of my account. While I don’t know how much I spend exactly while I am there, $3,000 a month is far from it. Where did the money go? Well, there were a few expenses to fix my guest house after we had a hurricane damage things. There was a vet bill because a neighbor shot my dog. Yes, it was an eventful week. But after that, the rest was pretty much ...

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Change Your Finances By Thinking Like a Millionaire

Can changing the way you think really impact your finances and help you get closer to your goal of becoming a millionaire? Many people, including some financial experts, would say the answer is yes. This doesn’t mean you can simply sit around and visually will yourself into becoming a millionaire while putting in virtually no work or effort. What this instead means is that if you can change your mindset to be more like a typical millionaire, you’re more likely to not only create your financial goals but be more prepared to achieve them. Below are some simple ways to shift your thinking, and in the process, achieve a better financial life for yourself. Write Everything Down Think about all of the ideas you have during the course of a day or a week to make money. They probably pass through your mind all the time, but then just as quickly you may forget them. What’s important to realize is that if even just one of those ideas were a really good one, it could change your course completely. If you were to have a chance to meet with some of the world’s wealthiest people, you would likely see this ...

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How To Create A Realistic Wedding Budget

Planning a wedding can become quite expensive. Usually, it will cost more than you planned to spend. One way to keep costs under control is to create a budget. A wedding budget is budgeting for a big event, which is different from creating a personal budget. Since it’s an event, you don’t know how much things will cost until you shop for prices. With a personal budget, you only figure out what you want and how much you can afford to spend. Often what you want and what you can afford don’t match up. If you approach budgeting for a wedding the way you would approach a personal budget, then you usually end up paying more than you intended. Creating A Big Event Budget Here is how to set up an event budget. Decide on the type of wedding you want Brainstorm various wedding ideas. Ask other people for their ideas. Do some casual online surfing to see if you can find any more ideas. You’ll be amazed at how many ideas you’ll discover. In fact, you might feel overwhelmed. Next, go shopping to get an idea about prices. What will a wedding dress cost? What will the groom’s attire cost? What will ...

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The Financial Reality of Retirement

A great deal has been written about the problems of retirement. After working for anything up to and beyond four decades everyone deserves a comfortable retirement. As life expectancy increases that may be another couple of decades, even more. The question arises about how to finance those years of retirement. Much of what is written today focuses on the lack of provision Americans are making for retirement. There is a Social Security System paying monthly benefits from as early as 62 year old yet these benefits were never designed to fully finance retirement. They are totally inadequate for doing so and too few are saving sufficient money to live the lives they hoped for after retirement. Debt Is an Issue It is difficult for anyone to predict how much they will need to live comfortably in retirement. Although people are living longer the cost of medical care increases by the year and inevitably as people age they are likely to face more bills. One thing that everyone should avoid is going into retirement with high interest debt. The obvious example of this is the credit card. Too many Americans have balances that attract high interest at each month end. Card ...

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7 Ways to Improve Internet Security and Protect Customer Data

With hackers increasingly targeting small to medium businesses, it’s time to step up your security regime. Not only will you be able to protect your customers, but you will also win their loyalty, as online shoppers are increasingly savvy and looking for reassurance. These are the top 7 actions to take right now to improve your internet security. Stop Storing Data Do you have all of your customers’ data stored in your system? Card numbers, verification codes, expiration dates – all of these things can do serious damage if accessed by hackers. Purge old records out from your database right away and keep only the data you need for refunds. It might be convenient to store this data for a one-click checkout, but the risk is just too high.  Layer Security One firewall does not make a system secure. You need layers in place – password protected areas, two-factor authentication, security scans, and additional firewalls too. Don’t rely on just one thing, because when it fails, you will be to blame. Choose a Secure Platform When you are selling things on your own website, it can cost a lot of money to get the right encryption software and handle your ...

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