Ownership is a horse of a different color

Man hugging a dog.
Man hugging a dog.
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

President Ronald Reagan liked to tell a joke, part of which involved a psychiatrist treating an overly optimistic child:

“Trying to dampen his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. …


The right programs stop people from walking out the door

People meeting around a table.
People meeting around a table.
Photo by Fauxels

Organizations struggle to provide the right benefits for their workers. Many leaders and managers don’t understand the basic wants and needs of rank-and-file employees, which is likely different from that of the top echelon.

Coming from different professional and personal backgrounds, companies large or small can’t rely on managers or executives to know what everyone in the organization desires.

“Your organization probably invests a lot of time, energy and money to retain top employees,” said Meghan M. Biro, analyst, brand strategist, podcaster and TalentCulture chief executive officer. “Yet, at least occasionally, you still wind up losing them to competitors.”

She wondered about how to put an end to that unproductive cycle. …


Your credit score boost could be only a utility bill away

A hand sliding a credit card through a reader.
A hand sliding a credit card through a reader.
Photo by Mark O’Flynn on Unsplash

Simply put, having good credit determines whether you’ll qualify for a loan. Depending on the interest rate of the loan you qualify for, it could mean the difference between hundreds and even thousands of dollars in savings.

Those are the facts from the global information services company Experian. “Follow the money” is a catchphrase popularized almost 50 years ago. In today’s world, a credit score could decide if you have any money to follow.

Experian brought together credit expert and personal finance blogger LaToya Irby and Rod Griffin, the company’s senior director of consumer education and advocacy, to talk about credit scores and how to improve them. …


Ultimate marketers reveal their tricks of the trade

Hand holding coffee mug next to a laptop.
Hand holding coffee mug next to a laptop.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Productivity and marketing experts abide by the 80–20 Rule. Formally known as the Pareto Principle, the notion is that 80 percent of your results come from only 20 percent of your efforts. The rule has been applied for 100 years as a guide to efficiency.

Top marketers such as Rebekah Radice, Christina Nicholson, Bershan Shaw, Ben Parr and Chelsea Krost are huge fans of 80–20, or as they like to say, “Work smarter, not harder.” The entrepreneurs gathered in Krost’s #MillennialTalk Twitter chat to say how they succeed at business without trying as hard.

Mindset is important, particularly being able to reset it when needed. …


Don’t tell all, and keep a grip on your wallet

Laptop with dollar bills in the air.
Laptop with dollar bills in the air.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Take the word of a financial maven who dabbles online: “For better or worse, social media can affect your financial health.”

A credit card expert and consumer finance analyst for U.S. News, Beverly Harzog confesses to being a recovering certified public accountant. She is also the bestselling and award-winning author of five personal finance books.

Harzog and Jennifer White, who specializes in credit education and awareness at consumer credit reporting company Experian, peered into how mixing social media and finance can be helpful and perilous.

“When you see peers driving sports cars or taking luxurious vacations, you can get a case of the ‘I wants,’” Harzog said. “You might want what they have, but you might not have the same budget. …


Remember the prime directive to pay yourself first

Holding money at an automated teller machine.
Holding money at an automated teller machine.
Photo by Nick Pampoukidis on Unsplash

Getting out of debt and saving for retirement go hand in hand. Rather than a choice of one or the other — or debt being a roadblock — both goals are compatible in a comprehensive financial plan.

Paulina Likos, investing reporter at U.S. News, said it’s not necessary to pay off debt before you invest.

“It depends on your financial situation and what your investing goals are,” she said. “If you have extra cash, you may want to keep putting it toward debt or build up your emergency fund or invest toward a retirement account.”

Likos, Lawrence D. Sprung, certified financial planner® and president of Mitlin Financial, and Dr. Barbara O’Neill, owner and chief executive officer of Money Talk, joined financial experts from consumer credit reporting company Experian to discuss the whys and hows of debt and retirement. …


Attaining a high score won’t come overnight

A hand fanning out credit cards.
A hand fanning out credit cards.
Photo by Avery Evans on Unsplash

Having lots of money means little if you have lousy credit. In fact, bad credit will increase your bills and significantly reduce the money you can save over your lifetime.

Christina Roman, consumer education and advocacy manager at consumer credit reporting company Experian, and Lawrence D. Sprung, certified financial planner® and president of Mitlin Financial, regularly come to the aid of people to get them on track with credit.

The financial experts touched on the different aspects of building good credit, which often starts with creating and sticking to a budget that best meets each person’s needs.

“Budgeting can help ensure you are able to pay all your bills in full,” Sprung said. “No late fees and no missed payments will help your credit score.” …


The best budget is the one that suits your needs

A set of lottery tickets
A set of lottery tickets
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Financial dreams come true, but without a set of lucky lottery numbers, you’ll need a budget. When fiscal times are beyond tight, setting aside funds might seem like a dream all by itself. Yet, even small amounts can compound into a secure future over time.

Creating budgets and — the hardest part — sticking to them is a challenge for even the most experienced financial gurus. Paulina Likos and Dr. Barbara O’Neill attest to that.

Likos is an investing reporter at U.S. News. O’Neill is the owner and chief executive officer at Money Talk blog. …


Create the image you want others to see

Yellow pepper atop red peppers.
Yellow pepper atop red peppers.
Photo by David Rotimi on Unsplash

Your personal brand will rise and fall depending on your character. That’s why the way you present yourself should not be taken lightly.

When you care about personal branding, you can keep control of your image. That’s especially important as potential customers look to you as a professional who knows what you’re doing.

This is a prime point of emphasis for Hanisha Lalwani, senior marketing manager in the Middle East and Africa for Michael Page. The company specializes in career and employer advice, market insights and recruitment trends.

“Your personal brand is the reputation you build through your interactions and actions both online and offline,” Lalwani said. …


Small businesses benefit from embracing Twitter

Hand holding cellphone showing Twitter.
Hand holding cellphone showing Twitter.
Photo by Freestocks on Unsplash

Twitter is a great social media equalizer. This is especially good for small businesses that often face an uphill climb to compete with the big boys on the block.

One example of the small making it big is Melinda Emerson. Renowned as the Small Biz Lady, she readily acknowledges how Twitter inadvertently led to her handle, which jump-started her online presence.

“In my case, I tried to get my name back in 2008, but another Melinda Emerson beat me to it,” she said. “So, I had to create a nickname.

“I can honestly say it is a privilege to be @SmallBizLady and regarded as America’s №1 Small Business Expert,” Emerson said. “Twitter really launched my whole career as an influencer.” …

About

Jim Katzaman - Get Debt-Free One Family at a Time

Helping Americans shave years off of debt, cut thousands of dollars in interest, increase lifestyles and save for secure #retirement. largofinancialservices.com

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