How To Overcome A Recession

How To Overcome A Recession

Recession

A recession is a period of temporary economic decline identified by a fall in GDP. In recessions, firms produce less, some go out of business, unemployment rises, average incomes fall, stock markets make less profit, and investment falls. Basically, anything that could go wrong in terms of an economy actually does go wrong. So, knowing how to spend your money during a recession and how to protect your finances would help you survive the next recession.

You must lead a frugal lifestyle in a recession

Leading a frugal lifestyle is probably the best strategy to avoid recessions. When you become able to live off a smaller amount of money, you will save more and won’t find it difficult to change your lifestyle when a recession hits. A frugal lifestyle is not a great burden; it’s all about using your sources astutely, spending wisely. If done properly, living frugally wouldn’t affect your lifestyle as much as you think. It would only impact some minimal aspects in your life, which wouldn’t account for a great difference. For example, making use of public transportation, spending less on groceries, and downgrading your cell phone plan would save you lots of money that you don’t know they even exist.

You NEED an emergency fund in a recession

In a recession, having an emergency fund is crucial in helping you get through your normal lifestyle. Many people don’t consider emergency savings, and thus fall in the seemingly endless cycle of debt and repay. A BMO survey released 56 per cent of Canadians have less than $10,000 as emergency funds; 44 per cent have under $5,000 saved. Other people turn to credit when money is tight. Another survey conducted by the Canadian Payroll Association found that almost fifty percent of workers are living paycheque-to-paycheque. These practices tend to extend tough times, increase debt, and, therefore, force you to downsize your lifestyle. Therefore, saving an emergency fund would help you greatly when the economy is down.

Diversifying your income and investments

Diversifying both your income and investments can really help. Relying on one source of income puts your financial status in jeopardy. Imagine that you are watering your garden and you only have one source of water. What would happen if water ran out? Your plants would wilt, and eventually die. The same applies to your financial status. If your sole source of income starts to dwindle, you would find yourself incapable of meeting your financial obligations and eventually result to borrowing. Therefore, having multiple sources would help you emerge from recessions back on your feet. In addition to your income, you should make sure that your investments are spread out across various industries, assets, and markets. One great way of assuring your investments are going to be diversified is finding some of the best Canadian dividend stocks you can. Why? Because dividend stocks hold up well in a recession, due to the fact they are more established companies.

To clear everything up, preparing in advance is the most effective method to recession-proof your finances. Although recession is beyond one’s control, you have the ultimate control on how you would face it, whether by turning to debt, or by saving a healthy emergency fund, familiarizing yourself with a frugal lifestyle, and having multiple sources of revenue—I bet the latter would be better. If you’re still looking for more information on recessions, check out this great article by the balance.

Financial Statement Analysis

Financial Statement Analysis

In this short introduction, financial statement analysis will be defined and explained. It is one of the steps used in our review of a company’s potential when considering investment.

Financial Statement Analysis

Financial statement analysis is also referred to as ‘Quantitative Analysis’. It is one of the most important steps while analyzing a company from an investment perspective. Massive amounts of numbers in a financial statement analysis may bewilder or intimidate a novice investor. Financial ratio analysis enables an investor to understand these numbers in an organized fashion. Balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statements are the most important financial statements and if properly analyzed and interpreted can provide valuable insights into a company’s performance.

Financial ratios are used by both current and potential investors, creditors and financial institutions to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a business, and to justify investment in the business. Internally, managers use these ratios to monitor performance and to set specific goals, objectives, and policy initiatives. The following articles discuss some of the important financial ratios used in determining the value of investments. It also discusses the limitations of these ratios that every analyst should bear in mind before interpreting these ratios in financial statement analysis.

Financial Ratio Analysis

Financial ratio analysis is a study of ratios between various items in financial statements. It enables investors and analysts to spot trends in a business and to compare its performance with the average performance of similar businesses in the same industry. Ratios can be classified as profitability ratios, liquidity ratios, asset utilization ratios, leverage ratios and valuation ratios based on the indications they provide.

Financial Ratios Liquidity Ratios

Financial Ratios – Liquidity Ratios

When investigating whether or not an organization is a worth while, or potentially profitable investment, it is crucial to consider the following financial ratios in your research.

Liquidity financial ratios are sometimes referred to as balance sheet ratios since most of the variables are taken from the balance sheet. Liquidity ratios measure the short-term solvency of a company. In other words, they indicate a company’s ability to meet its short-term financial obligations. These financial ratios are generally based upon the relationship between current assets and current liabilities.

Current Ratio

The current ratio is one of the most commonly used financial ratios to measure a company’s short-term financial strength. An industry where the current ratio is very valuable is the renewable resources sector. It is arrived at by following the formula shown below:

Current Ratio = Total Current Assets / Total Current Liabilities

Current assets are the assets that are expected to be converted into cash in the next operating cycle. The cash from current assets is used to pay off current liabilities, which are scheduled for payment during the next operating cycle. A company should have enough current assets to meet its current liabilities. The higher a company’s current ratio, the higher their margin of safety is since there is a possibility to lose some current assets, such as inventory write-offs or bad debts. If a company has a low current ratio, or less than 1x it indicates a potential short term liquidity crunch, and a possibility that they will not be able to meet their short term obligations.

While a generally acceptable current ratio is 2x, current assets should be twice the current liabilities, a satisfactory ratio is relative to the nature of the business. Moreover, while judging the current ratio, it is important for an analyst to look at the composition of current assets and liabilities. A company may have a very high current ratio of 3x, but if most of the current assets are locked in the form of inventory, a high current ratio may not indicate a good liquidity position. In this case, it is crucial to know the characteristics of the inventory. If the inventory consists of old product that is not selling well, the company may have to write off the inventory and the current ratio may drop significantly. However, if a large portion of their inventory consists of new products that the company is expecting to sell during the next business cycle, a high current ratio is a sign of healthy short-term liquidity position. Similarly, a high current ratio may also indicate a large amount of idle cash being accumulated and not reinvested into the business.

Quick Ratio

The quick ratio is also referred to as the ‘Acid-Text ratio’. It is considered to be one of the best financial ratios for judging a company’s ability to pay off its short-term debts and is a more difficult test for a company to pass. As mentioned above, inventories are subject to write-offs in certain cases and are therefore considered to be the least liquid component of current assets. While these financial ratios are similar to the current ratio, it excludes inventories from current assets.

Quick Ratio = (Total Current assets – Inventories) / Total Current Liabilities

By excluding inventories, the quick ratio concentrates on the most liquid assets, including cash, government securities and receivables. A higher quick ratio indicates that even if sales revenue were to disappear, the company would still be in a position to meet its current obligations with readily available assets. A quick ratio of 1x is considered acceptable, unless the majority of the quick assets are in the form of accounts receivable. In this case, the pattern of accounts receivable collection needs to be studied to find if the average collection period lags behind the schedule for paying current liabilities. The quick ratio is one of the utmost important financial ratios used to review an organization’s attractiveness when considering investment.

Filing with the SEC

Filing with the SEC

To protect investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) requires that companies file a registration statement with them before they issue public offering shares. This registration statement contains detailed information about the issuing company and its business. The Securities Exchange Commission will review the registration statement and an accompanying prospectus to ensure that they conform to certain legal requirements. Once the SEC has reviewed these documents, the issue can be cleared for sale. (The SEC will neither approve nor disapprove an issue, nor will it guarantee the accuracy of disclosures; it will only clear it for sale.)

Only when the issue has been cleared for sale (when registration has become “effective”) can the shares be priced and firm orders for them are accepted

The SEC is part of the US procedure, but the process in Canada is very similar. One snag Canadian business would like to see changed is a move to a more uniform system such as the US has deployed. Presently, provincial legislation governs securities and the premier jurisdiction is the Ontario Securities Commission (the SEC equivalent) which administers and enforces the legislation. Ontario is home to the TSX and TSX Venture markets so most IPOS go through the Ontario Securities Commission to gain approval. Thanks mainly to mining stocks and the Vancouver Exchange, British Columbia is also a very active jurisdiction.

The guideline most companies follow is to conform to SEC requirements because they may one day wish to trade on a US market, and in so doing, the stringent US filings will meet or surpass most Canadian disclosure demands.

Should I Be Scared of Stocks?

Should I Be Scared of Stocks?

Scared of Stocks

You can’t enjoy the quiet of your home? You are not sure whether you are just about to throw money away to the dogs, or equally just about to make the investment of your life? You do not see where it all goes or how the system works?

Your answer is a short one. In fact, yes. There it goes, yes, you should be scared of stocks. Well, more accurately, it all depends. It is all relative. It is like gambling. You could always win, you could always lose. Here is one great article that explains why you can’t do anything about a crash, so there is no reason to worry about it.

The best-case scenario for buying stocks

The best-case scenario for investing in stocks is when you have taken a long time studying the market trends. You have a clear understanding of how the global currencies tend to shape their paths and you can also see the market analysis in retrospect.

Even though it is always a gamble, you stand a really good chance of always cashing in. You greatly increase your chances of “winning” a game when you have more facts about it.

The worst-case scenario

It is better to invest than to settle for guesses and trends you cannot ascertain. Inflation and deflation is a matter that can be decided in a matter of moments and you would make a killing or feel like killing yourself. It all depends, it is always about odds.

When you don’t understand what it is you’re doing or why you are doing it, you raise your chance of being a victim of fraud, exponentially. Fake brokers need to feed their families too, you know.

What then should you do if you’re scared of stocks?

Now that we all understand a little of what investing on stock market entails, here’s what we should do.

For believers

You should understand that not all success forex stories are true. Many are make believe stories, for if it were that easy, we would all be millionaires now, wouldn’t we?

Make sure to learn the ways of the trade. Learn to recognize changes and to make educated guesses that aren’t based on whim, but on calculated probability.

For non-believers

Just because you fall in this category does not mean that you lack faith or that you are a killjoy, it only means that you like to be very practical. That said, you could always invest in physical property. You don’t have to understand how stocks work when you have assets on the ground, or services that flow income steadily.

If you still want the chance of investing virtually on something. You have the option of more stable stores of value such as gold. Yes, you can invest in gold. It is highly unlikely that any currency can equal gold as almost all currencies were derived from gold, to represent it. Second, the inflation the world is about to see will be on a major scale and it would be in vain to invest in all the fiat currencies around.

Like the way history repeats itself, currency will prove to be merely pieces of paper when they keep losing their purchasing power, everybody will lose faith in them and drop them for gold. You can only imagine what the investors of gold would feel like at this moment.

Buying A House is a Great Investment in Yourself

Buying A House is a Great Investment in Yourself

buying a house

Over and over, you hear or read that buying a house is a great long-term investment. This is true, but more importantly, it is an investment in yourself.

When it comes to personal finances, people are infamous. We spend money like it is going out of style, grows on trees and so on. The other side of this is actually that we are renowned for saving next to nothing. In fact, one of the big concerns of economists and the government is what is going to happen when we get older and have no money to live on. This is why retirement vehicles are made so attractive by the government. They are trying to force us to save money and rightly so. Still, the statistics show most Americans do not.

Are you considering buying a house?

If you are considering buying a house, there are lots of reasons to do so. Obviously a house is a lot more complicated than something like an ETF, so time needs to be taken to ensure you are ready. Common reasons include the pride of ownership, the tax deductions that you can pick up from mortgage interest and so on. The fact property is a good long-term investment is also touted. The statistics are clear. Property appreciates over time. At the same time, you should be paying down your mortgage debt. Combined, these two actions inevitably result in your living in a property that acts as a sort of savings account.

Buying a house can be a great way to vault your retirement

As you get older, you are going to want to retire. How can you do that if you haven’t planned for it by saving money during your peak work years? The only way is to buy a house and invest in your future.

If you are considering an investment property then this is a great move that can help you to earn a large amount of money over a short amount of time. It’s a very secure investment that’s highly unlikely to drop in value, and it’s an investment that can have great practical use while you wait to sell giving you somewhere to live, a holiday home, or just generally a property

Houses are ideal investment properties as they are something that will always be in demand thanks to their highly practical locations and the surrounding industry and amenities.

You have to watch what you’re looking for when buying a house

That said though not all houses are made equal, and while any house will be a good way to make money there are some things that can help you make our investment even more successful and profitable. Here are some tips when buying houses as investment properties that can help you to make more money more quickly.

First of all, choose your location well. You want to find somewhere that is currently good value and in demand, but even more importantly you want it to be somewhere that is increasing in value. It needs to be somewhere that is going to be worth more than it is now when you come to sell it – otherwise you are just making your money back. The more that the area goes up in value and in demand, the more money you will make on your purchase.

How do you choose a property that is going to go up in value? Well, first of all, you should choose somewhere that is going to have a lot of money spent on it shortly. Areas marked for development are ideal investments. Likewise look for places that are having particular new installations in the region whether those are tourist attractions or amenities.

Is Farming The New Best Thing?

Is Farming The New Best Thing?

I think it’s pretty damn cool

Farming is cool

Detroit used to be a city of 2 million people. As the economy collapsed, people fled. Fewer than 900,000 remain and the population continues to decrease. The only thing that continues to rise is the jobless rate which went up as recently as November, when it was reported to be over 15%, and maybe as high as 27% in the worst downtown areas. So they have that going for them. And with the loss of jobs and people has come an increase in abandoned land. In fact, over 40 square miles of a total 139, in this sprawling metropolis is now empty.

According to an article from CNNMoney:

Nothing yet tried in Detroit even begins to address the fundamental issue of emptiness — empty factories, empty office buildings, empty houses, and above all, empty lots. Rampant arson, culminating in the annual frenzy of Devil’s Night, is partly to blame. But there has also been a lot of officially sanctioned demolition in Detroit. As white residents fled to the suburbs over the decades, houses in the decaying neighborhoods they left behind were often bulldozed.

Abandonment is an infrastructure problem, when you consider the cost of maintaining far-flung roads and sewer systems; it’s a city services problem, when you think about the inefficiencies of collecting trash and fighting crime in sparsely populated neighborhoods; and it’s a real estate problem. Houses in Detroit are selling for an average of $15,000.

Former HUD secretary and current chairman of the private equity group, CityView, Henry Cisneros believes that the idea of urban agriculture is a viable solution to Detroit’s problems. Other experts agree.

Enter John Hantz, major millionaire and resident of Detroit, who remains in the city, doing business and maintaining his home, while others of his class participate in the exodus. Hantz has formed Hantz Farms and hired Mike Score, an educator and consultant with 30 years experience in agricultural production, food system economic and community development to serve as president.

Hantz’ vision is of a technologically advanced and aesthetically pleasing design that features small (300 acre) farm pods throughout areas that are now just urban blight. Hantz is willing to commit 30 million to the project.

From Hantz Farms’ website:

Phase 1 plans utilize more than 70 acres of underutilized vacant lands and abandoned properties on Detroit’s lower east side.

Hantz Farms plans to grow natural, local, fresh and safe fruits and vegetables to help meet Michigan’s increasing demand for locally grown produce. In addition to food and trees, Hantz Farms will harvest wind energy and utilize geothermal heat and biomass fuel from recycling compost.

Hantz Farms is working directly with Michigan State University to add its expertise on agricultural and soil sciences and consulting with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a national leader in community-based food systems.

“It makes great sense to utilize the blighted and abandoned land in the city to produce fresh, nutritious food for local consumers,” said Rick Foster, vice president for programs at the Kellogg Foundation. “Urban development projects like this one not only create good food and connection to nature, but serve as an economic development anchor for others in the community.”

“Urban agriculture is an opportunity to provide an effective economic development program for the Detroit community. MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has been providing expert advice to Hantz Farms along with the MSU’s Michigan Agriculture Experiment Station and MSU Extension to develop a productive outreach and engagement program as part of the proposal,” said Jeffry D. Armstrong, Dean of the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “This is a challenging and exciting opportunity.”

Heading up Hantz Farms LLC, will be Matt Allen, a Detroit resident and advocate for Hantz’s vision.

“The combination of land consolidation, blight removal, conservation of city services and the beautification of the city itself are just some of the byproducts that will come from our commitment to urban farming,” Allen said. “We’re very excited to be able to make strides in helping to make Detroit a progressive, world-class leader in providing fresh, locally grown food that’s safe and purely Detroit.”

Urban farming is hardly a new concept and in fact is practiced with great success in many parts of the world. For example: In Shanghai, only 20% of the land administered by the city authorities is actually built on; 80% of the land, mainly in the urban perimeter, isused for crop growing, making the city region self-sufficient in vegetables and producing much of the rice, pork, chicken, duck and carp. (source “Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Cities” by Deestra and Girardet.)

More greenspace can improve the microclimate of densely populated cities, as well as lower emissions by reducing the need to truck food in from great distances as we do for most cities in the U.S. today. Food is fresher, can be farmed sustainably and the need for packaging is even diminished, since one of the main reasons for dense packaging is protection during long range deliveries.

It’s hard to find a downside to reclaiming urban blight and returning the land to agricultural production. John Hantz and the city of Detroit just may be on to something big.

Achieving Your Goals in 2018

Achieving Your Goals in 2018

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. -Goethe

Yes You Can!

Everywhere you look, experts offer the same essential words of wisdom on the importance of setting goals, and key tips to achieve them. Whether you are looking to lose weight or find the best investment in Canada, you need to stay committed to your end goal.

 

Achieving your goals

Commitment is the first important step. A commitment to a goal gives life to it’s potential for success. If you putter around too much, thinking you might like to achieve something, you probably never will, but you may always wonder what would have happened it you tried. The best investments are not easy to find, so simply doing a Google search and thinking you will have the solution immediately is just giving you a false sense of hope.

Is this something you really want to do?

However, before you commit to anything, be sure and ask yourself if it’s something you want to do. People set goals for all kinds of reasons. For instance, while in school, students have goals set for them by their course of study. The students statistically more likely to succeed are those that have been raised with a love of learning and believe that the completion of the class will lead somewhere they want to go. The goal is what they choose over what is expected from them. Their success is enhanced by their enjoyment of the steps to achievement.

Choosing goals based upon the expectations of others, or perceived status, or some other intangible outcome can interfere with future success. Goals have a much better potential outcome if you enjoy the steps to achieving them. It’s important to savor the journey. In fact, enjoying the journey is the point of setting the goal in the first place.

It’s all in your head!

Many an expert has cited the phenomenon of setting your mind to something and having it then come to fruition, sometimes in ways that seem almost magical. And perhaps it is. But some of the effects of the mind can be explained by design. The reticular activating system in the brain sorts and evaluates incoming data for relevance and importance to you. This is the system that allows you to hear your name spoken across a crowded room, while you are in conversation with others.

When you set your mind to a task, the RAS will sort all incoming data that works in favor of the goal and makes sure you notice it. Thus your very own brain helps create the atmosphere for success. The RAS gives you information that moves you in the direction of your goals.

In the book “Happier” by Tal Ben-Shahar, he describes committing to a goal by, in essence, throwing your knapsack over a brick wall. Once done, you have to climb over the wall to retrieve it. By committing your stuff to the other side of the obstacle, you have committed yourself to overcoming it. And refined your focus.

Believe in yourself, but be realistic as well

Probably the most important aspect of achieving goals is your own belief in what’s possible. When I was a kid, I was told that I couldn’t sing. In fact, all of my siblings received the same declaration. Could we sing? No one will ever know. We didn’t try once we were told it was not possible. We believed the negative.

Henreitte Ann Klauser, PH.d, wrote a book on goal setting called “ Write it down, Make It Happen.” In it, she advises giving yourself permission to dream. She cites the story of Coach Lou Holtz, who, early in his career, wrote down his wildest dreams at the urging of his wife. The list included having dinner at the White House, meeting the Pope, etc. Of the 107 dreams he wrote down, Lou Holtz achieved 81.

Richard Bolles, author of “What Color is Your Parachute” wrote, “One of the saddest lines in the world is ‘Oh, come on, be realistic.’” He refers to letting others limit what’s possible for you.

Feel free to set goals that feel good to you. Dream as big as you want. Focus on the possible and what makes you happy. And let the power of positive thinking, the law of attraction, the secrets of success or whatever combination of ideas work for you, determine the outcome. If you enjoy the ride, the destination doesn’t matter as much, but you may not get on the bus at all if you don’t figure out where you want to go, and start mapping the route.

5 Tips For A Recovering Shopoholic

5 Tips For A Recovering Shopoholic

“If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.”

Recovering shopoholic

Do you love clothes? Are you tempted to collect pretty things that fit well with the neurotic enthusiasm of a hoarder like the one’s featured on that cable reality show? You aren’t alone. Women in particular seem to be blessed with the shopping bug and when you find a great look, that you feel good wearing, it’s painfully tempting to buy one in each color.

The good news is that it is possible to achieve great style, stay with the trends and wear quality clothes without overspending. It just takes a bit of planning. Here are 5 Downturn Living tips for tactical shopping without overspending:

1. Visit your money in your software budgeting program and determine a budget for clothing. You can start by figuring out what works within your income for a month. Then multiply it by three and plan a quarterly shopping excursion with a hard boundary for what you can spend (draw the line a bit before your actual limit just to be safe.)

2. Spend the time between the actual buying, to do your shopping. Research the latest looks, pick a few pieces to enhance your wardrobe and figure out who carries them. If you are buying on line, it can be fun to go on a “try it on” trip to make sure you know what will look good. Just make sure you curb the urge to enjoy instant gratification. Getting a grip on our impulses is a major step on the road to buying responsibly.

3. Research resources for the items you choose. Look for sites that offer free shipping: like here, and comparison shop for the best prices and search for the items you want by brand and type: like here.

4. You should try to find stores outside your home state to avoid sales tax. This is one of the great advantages to online shopping.

  1. 5. If you just don’t get any satisfaction out of shopping online, at least make sure you visit non-boutique retail stores late on Tuesdays. Rumor has it that this is when stores are most likely to make their mark downs for the week, so you will have the advantage of the greatest selection of on sale items.

Good Luck! And remember, staying within a budget takes a lot of the stress out of your life and makes the things you do buy more satisfying and fun.

My New BFF – Tracking Your Money With Mint

Keepin’ it where I can see it…

“ALERT! ALERT! YOU HAVE EXCEEDED YOUR BUDGET FOR PASTRY! PUT IT DOWN! SLOWLY PLACE YOUR WALLET BACK IN YOUR HANDBAG! NOW STEP AWAY FROM THE STORE… EASY NOW….that’s it…good job.

Sound a bit extreme? Maybe. But for some of us, it’s the little things that break our bank each month. One tiny thing leads to another and before you know it, whammo, you haven’t saved a dime. It’s been a year and half since I began my journey to conscious spending and budgeting, and there have been vast improvements. Unfortunately, it’s a bit like developing a healthy lifestyle as opposed to just dieting.

managing your money with mint

It always starts with the diet, right? You begin to count calories in the darndest places and that alone will improve your weight, but it doesn’t make you stronger, so in addition to watching what you eat, you start to exercise. Maybe at first you just start walking every night after dinner.  And as each new habit takes hold, and you feel a bit of success, you find yourself wanting more and one day you wake up trying to remember what life was like before your first Iron Man win.

This is what the financial journey has been like for me. First, I gave up credit cards. Then I tried to watch my money every day. I looked around for financial software and since I am running a MAC, there were some limitations. I tried Quicken Online, but for some reason, shortly after I joined they fired my credit union. I’m still trying to work out whether this was somehow my fault. Then, I shopped financial software. I started out using Quicken, but Intuit hasn’t updated it in a very long time. They kept threatening to release a newer version, but I think everyone is still waiting. Personally, I am done with their empty flirting. I have moved on.

I was using Moneydance for a while, but have been consistently frustrated with limited features and even though it helped me improve my financial situation…I never fell in love.

But now…giggle…blush…I have a new crush. Over the last ten days I have slowly been setting up a Mint account. Yes I know Intuit bought them, but that’s okay, I don’t care. I think it’s wonderful anyway. And here’s why:

  1. It’s a simple set up and they ask for very little personal info in the process
  2. It tracks my accounts in one step each morning, but it is read only. You can’t move money with Mint.
  3. The budgeting software is easy and automatically sets up email alerts such as: “exceeded budget for clothes” I got this one yesterday and was eternally grateful (and a little ashamed).
  4. It automatically compares your spending with the U.S average in each category. I am not sure why I think this is cool, but I do.
  5. It gave me such a clear view of my financial picture that I immediately saw where I could cut back, lowering my expenditures over $500.00 the first month.
  6. I can check it with my phone.

I guess what I really love the most is the feature that allows me to roll over my budget for certain items each month and see what I haven’t spent, which will  help  create some room for error in other areas or keep that money available for things that come up every 6 or 7 weeks (like hair and horse shoes.) I can see my monthly average earnings in a glance and keep my budgeted items well below that mark. My budget includes the money going to my emergency fund each month, also.

You may say that other programs offer all of the same features, but the difference here is that this was easy for me and I have tried other programs. So, for whatever reason, Mint has made this easier for my particular personal financial handicaps and that’s all it takes to make me happy.

The bottom line here is: I like it and feel encouraged about keeping my financial resolve as a result. I encourage others to shop around the various programs available and figure out which one works best for them. I am keeping Mint.

*Disclaimer: I wrote this because I sincerely like this product. I am not in any way affiliated with Mint. Good Luck!