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4 Money Principles You Cannot Ignore

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We all want to achieve financial independence which is the final stage of having sufficient personal wealth without having to punch in the clock at work daily to afford basic amenities.

When your friends or family complain about the stress associated with their 9-5 jobs, you can’t relate as you’ve reached the stage where you can sit and watch your money grow.

However to reach this level of Zen in the personal financial sector, there are some things you should know about money and certain principles you should follow. Here are 4 money rules you cannot ignore:

You Can’t Afford Everything.

Look at that long list of things you want and look at your account balance. What can you afford to buy and what can you afford to let go of? You can afford to buy some things but definitely not everything which leaves you with the decision to choose which is more important and sensible to you.

It’s Your Money, Act Like It.

Have you ever seen questions or statements like “He/She has so much and won’t donate to so-and-so charity” or “why did you spend that amount buying a bag as opposed to giving to the church?” Learn to get rid of strange expectations society has over you and do what you want with your money.

If you listen to what society deems right, you’ll end up spending money where you really do not want to which is really a shame.

Mind the Money Gap.

People are of the notion that the more you earn, the more you save. I think that’s wrong. Most people who earn a lot more than they used to earn before, spend more than they used to spend before.

What you should be watchful of is the Money Gap. This is the space you leave between your savings and expenses. If you can increase that space as you earn more, you’re on a good way to financial freedom.

Don’t Budget.

I’m serious. Try it for a month. What you should do is, take of your savings from your income the minute you get it and do with the rest as you please for the month. Don’t touch the savings at all no matter what. At the same time, don’t stress over which brand of cereal is $2 cheaper than the other.

This article originally appeared on Piggybank.ng. Follow them on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram

Personal Finance

Productivity Hacks Infographic: Top 20 Apps That Can Maximize Your Time

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In today’s competitive and demand-driven world, there’s a constant need to stay on top of things. Between incessant emails and back-to-back meetings, phone calls and dozens of things to cross off your checklist, it’s no surprise we’re struggling to reach our productivity’s peak.

Here are 20 apps that helps you do just that.

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Personal Finance

DIY: Your 5-Step Financial Planning Guide

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If you’re starting out to plan your financial future, it can get overwhelming. While many opt for a financial advisor to take care of the entire process, you can always handle your financial planning all by yourself (it’s simple, really) if you’ve got the right tools.

For starters, here’s what you need:

1. Set Goals!

Chalk out your goals—it can be short term, like paying off your card payment bills or long term, to meet expenses like retirement and your kids’ education.

Take a step back and do a reality check. Where do you stand now? How are your cash flows? How soon can you meet your expenses? Create a timeline to achieve these targets (and ensure you meet them!)

2. Do The Math

Calculate your total assets, after deducting the debts—and budget smart. Ditch your debt to stay away from piling on more to your list of financial risks. If you’ve got way too many debts to clear and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of them, here’s a great tool that comes in handy.

3. Build An Emergency Fund

Uncertainties can be hard, more so if they have a significant financial impact—be it an illness, job loss, or even global downturns.

To evade being stranded, ensure that you’ve built an emergency fund (a good start would be to keep aside six months’ worth of expenses), along with solid insurance coverage to back you up.

4. Hire The Right Agents

Apart from the general power of attorney, also ensure you lay out a directive in case a medical emergency comes up (if you’re incapacitated—we know, it’s not the best of thoughts to ponder over). To ensure you plan right, avail the services of an accountant, a real estate planning authority, and a medical power of attorney.

5. Earn Money On Your Money

The final step is to make sure you earn returns off your money. How’d you go about this? To start with, educate yourself. Read, read and read some more—research about what stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and other financial instruments do. Understand their risks, costs and how you can work on diversifying your investment.

It’s important to invest in something you understand.

Post this, set up your accounts to meet each of your goals—through monthly contribution plans, 401(k)s, low-cost index funds, IRAs or other savings plans. If all these details get you dizzy (or overwhelmingly hard), you’re better off with a financial planner who can do the research and investment planning for you.

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Personal Finance

VIDEO: How Shaq O’Neal Blew His Very First $1M Check In One Day

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Shaquille O’Neal recounts spending $1M in under an hour, after locking in an endorsement deal just prior to being drafted by the Orlando Magic. The basketball star’s shopping spree gave way to a $150,000 Mercedez-Benz for himself, coupled with two others for his family.

What’s more, he successfully paid down all that his family owed and wanted to do “what all the homeboys do — gotta buy rings and diamonds and earrings and this and that,” he told Business Insider.

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