Money Moves Every Homeowner Should Be Making

Owning a home can save you a lot of time and stress, but even so, it can be an expensive venture. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help offset those costs and keep your home-owning expenses to a minimum each year. Here are a few of the best things you can do to help you keep your living costs low so you can enjoy your home to its full potential.

Pay Off Your Mortgage Principal

Paying down the principal on your home loan will help you to decrease the amount of interest you owe and increase the percentage of your monthly payment that goes towards your principal. It is worthwhile to put any extra money you can towards the principal of your home loan each month so that you can lower your monthly payment and decrease the total amount you will owe on your home. This can usually be done through your normal mortgage payment; you just want to make sure that you indicate that the extra money is going towards your principal since that will have the greatest effect.

Refinance Your Home

Refinancing your home is usually a great way to lower your payments and get more out of your loan. Interest rates are particularly good right now which makes it a good time to refinance, that said, if you have improved your credit and are making regular payments on your home loan, a refinance is often in your best interest. It is important to do your research before deciding on your home loan so you can be sure to get an interest rate that makes sense for you and will help you out. Mortgage broker reviews are a great resource for finding the best refinance lender.

Minimize Insurance Costs

Lowering your home insurance costs can be a great way to keep costs low and improve your financial situation. It is a good idea (and often required) to have insurance, but you shouldn’t pay for more than what you need. Shop around for a good insurance rate and make sure to minimize the unnecessary extras that may be tacked on to your insurance bill. It can also help to bundle insurance so that you can take advantage of the discounts your insurance company has to offer.

Taking care of your home and taking advantage of available financial breaks will help you to get more out of your home and relieve some of your financial stress. Trying these things will help to get you on the right track. 

Read this next: 3 Tips for Living a Successful Life

How Young Workers Can Handle Crazy Healthcare Costs

It’s no secret that healthcare costs in this country are rising at an exponential rate. For young people who are just entering the workforce, these costs can be a significant burden to take on so early in their lives. Here are three ways that young workers can get a handle on their healthcare costs and ease this financial burden.

The HSA Strategy

If your employer offers it, a Health Savings Account is one way to save for anticipated health expenses while also reducing your taxable income. These plans are designed for employees enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans. By setting aside a portion of your pre-tax or tax-deductible income, you will help ensure that you have the necessary money to pay for your healthcare needs while also enjoying a significant tax advantage. Long-term care costs associated with major injuries can be astronomically high, and an HSA can help you bear the impact.

Stay in Network

One of the best ways that you can save money on your healthcare costs is to choose providers who are in your insurance network. This will afford you a reduced rate on what your costs are out of pocket. You will spend more money on your medical care if you seek treatment outside of your network. Your healthcare provider will be able to provide you with a list of professionals inside your network and then you can choose one of those options. If your doctor refers you to a specialist, you need to take special care to ensure that this provider is within the network.

Choose a High Deductible Plan

A high-deductible plan will save you loads of money on your monthly premium costs. While you run the risk of facing costs down the road, a high-deductible plan makes sense for young people without preexisting health conditions. This type of plan is also good for those without children. Under the Affordable Care Act, preventive care is now free, making this an especially prudent choice if you do not have major health issues. If you only notch a few visits to the doctor each year, a high-deductible plan can make good financial sense for young workers.

Navigating the complex world of health insurance is frustrating. It’s easy to just choose the easiest and cheapest option. However, it is vital that you make informed decisions. Choose providers that will save you money and that will give you the best care possible. Doing so will benefit both your health and your wallet.

3 Kinds of Asset Protection Almost No One Has on Hand

Early in your career or as you get your business rolling, you may have a lot of value but be very short on cash. You may also be struggling under a heavy load of debt while you build your business. If something catastrophic happens, there are vehicles you can put in place to protect yourself and your loved ones against disaster.

Term Life Insurance

If you’re young and have a family or a spouse, it’s a very good idea to invest in term insurance. This insurance is playing the odds. If you die young, it will pay out quite a bit of money to those you leave behind. As you age, the benefits get smaller. Best of all, this type of insurance is much less expensive than whole life, so you can afford a large policy to cover your family while your kids are small. As your earnings increase, and you live longer, the payout decreases.

Living Trust

A will is not enough. Even if you have everything specifically stated in your will, your loved ones will probably need to go through probate. Instead, consider putting your assets into a living trust. In the event of your death, your belongings go into the trust to be dispersed to the beneficiaries in the order you determine them. First, they may go to your spouse and then to your children directly or through an executor. As your loved ones put their emotional lives back together, they won’t have to wait on the courts to plan their personal finances. Start your living trust early. Living trusts are key to estate planning and should be considered before retirement.

Disability Insurance

If you’re a small business owner or the only person in your household bringing in an income, then access to short- and long-term disability insurance payouts is critical. This insurance basically replaces at least a percentage of your income while you’re laid up. For small business owners, sole proprietors and artisans, both types of disability insurance are critically important. Whether you need to go through physical therapy after an accident or are facing involved medical treatment, this coverage can protect your family and may even help keep your business going while you mend.

Whatever you choose to do regarding how you protect your loved ones, both early in your career and at the end of your life, each of the methods listed above can limit your risk of leaving your family in the lurch. A living trust means an easy transfer after you’re gone while good insurance protection can protect your family from financial devastation.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Keep Top Employees in Your Company

Why Long-Term Goals Are Important to Your Financial Wellness

If you are struggling to keep your bank account in the black, it may be because you lack a quality long-term financial plan. While it is important to have daily, weekly and monthly budgets, the secret to true financial freedom is to have long-range aspirations. Let’s take a look at why taking the long view is important to your financial success.

Changes Mindset

In many cases, simply having a goal to strive for will help you to change your ways. For instance, if you decide that you want to save $1,000 in the next six months, it forces you to think of ways to meet that goal. One possible way to meet that goal is to save $10 a week from each paycheck as well as put your upcoming bonus into a savings account. Whatever you decide to do, it will necessarily require you to reconsider how you view and value money.

Banks Look at the Long-Term

Regulations have banks and institutions looking at qualitative factors over at least 12 months. However, both qualitative and environmental factors can come into play when a bank makes a lending decision. By creating a long-term financial plan, you can address both types of issues and decrease your risk profile.

For instance, planning to save a larger portion of your paycheck may prevent you from paying your bills late. By paying your bills on time, you will see an increase in your credit score. Ultimately, lenders will be more willing to work with those who have a good credit score and the means to pay back a loan in a timely fashion.

Financial Habits Take Time to Develop

It is easy to open a savings account or commit to paying a bill on time once or twice. However, it can be difficult to constantly put money in that savings account or pay that bill on time until the entire balance is paid off. By taking a long-term view, you give yourself enough time to develop and reinforce good habits and drop bad ones.

It is almost impossible to improve your credit score, save up for a house or pay off your debt overnight. However, it is possible to accomplish those or other goals over a period of several months or years. On the road to achieving them, you will likely develop good financial habits that stay with you for the rest of your life.

“One Up on Wall Street” by Peter Lynch Book Review – Open Your Eyes to the Opportunity Around You

Open Your Eyes to the Opportunity Around You

Warren Buffet is reportedly worth over $81,935,540,999. Part of the reason for his wealth is he is a meticulous supergenius (when it comes to business) with over half a century worth of experience at choosing companies to invest in.

But just because Warren Buffett reads the charts every single day, and works with some of the smartest business leaders in the world doesn’t mean you need that to do all that to pick a good stock.

Sure, if you want to start the next Berkshire Hathaway, you will have a lot of years of work and study left ahead of you.

But if you are tired of losing money to inflation, and/or want to watch your money grow, investing in stocks is just one method to grow your money, and you don’t need to be Warren Buffett to do it. You can’t try to be like him if you don’t invest any money in the first place, but then again, don’t even bother trying to be like Warren Buffett.

At most, study his work, but no one is ever going to call you Warren Buffett (unless you are Warren Buffett)… The reason I keep mentioning Warren Buffett is to demonstrate an outlier of what people might perceive stock investing to be. It doesn’t need to be that “far out of current reach.”

You cannot expect to be an outlier before you ever risk your first dollar. You have to at least learn some of the tactics first…

And here is where “One Up on Wall Street” by Peter Lynch comes in…

Everyone has a chance to be successful at picking and investing in stocks.

If you read the famous Benjamin Graham book “The Intelligent Investor,” you might have gotten intimidated about investing by all the charts and math, and perhaps the fact that the rates and company data is very outdated.

But Peter Lynch shares many tips and secrets on how to find stocks that are sometimes literally right in front of you. For example, the next company that could be a great investment is:

  • The company that makes your mobile device
  • The IPO on your next mobile app
  • That random hotel you stayed in when you were driving across the country…

You don’t need to be a supergenius. There is a great investment story that Peter Lynch talks about that might even make you listen to your wife or girlfriend more…

Sure, if you want to be one of the worlds richest men, you will need to do more than just read a few books about investing.

“One Up on Wall Street” is a fantastic read that can help you get started looking for those investment opportunities that are all around you.

As with all investing, yes there is a chance to lose money, and yes there is a level of uncertainty and risk. But you can reduce the risk by learning from some of the best, and Peter Lynch is one of the best.

“One Up on Wall Street” is a remarkable book even if it is the first book you ever pick up about stocks. And fortunately for those of you who get bored easily, Peter Lynch has a great way of turning his successes and failures into stories that you can apply to your life to help you get started on investing.

Everyone needs to take the first step.

You don’t need to spend 10 hours a day reading company Annual Reports, and you don’t need to research every single company out there before making a decision.

You can read “One Up on Wall Street” and start recognizing the opportunities right in front of you.

And here is the other thing that gets repeated in work by Buffett and Lynch – the idea that there is something more important than simply “choosing a stock based on what you read on a report.” That is understanding their management team…

If you have ever wondered “how do some people pick winners” in the stock market, Peter Lynch shares many of his hows. But be warned, there is some math and a few charts to study.

And after all this has been said, you will still need to do your research even after reading “One Up on Wall Street,” but at least you will have a foundation of where to start or even continue your search for your winner.

Plus Peter Lynch makes it all crisp and clear to understand.

I had to re-read a few sections multiple times, and there were a few sections I did not fully grasp personally, but overall, I think this is a fantastic book that turns something intimidating to many people into something that is more accessible.

With that, I give “One Up on Wall Street” a 5/5. It isn’t often that you get an investor like Peter Lynch who shares the methods that helped make him and his clients HUGE TREMENDOUS BOUNTIFUL TONS of money, in a way that everyone can understand. And Peter Lynch also goes over some of the other skills you need such as emotional management and rationality.

==> Purchase a copy of “One Up on Wall Street” by Peter Lynch on Amazon today and open your eyes to the opportunity around you.

Starting a Healthcare Business: 4 Things You Need to Know

The healthcare industry is one that’s in need of innovative businesses that can fix broken ways and deliver effective solutions, but it’s also one that comes with its own set of complexities; substance abuse treatment centers are an example. At times, this can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you took the first step to simplify the process of starting a healthcare business by ending up here. Here, you’ll uncover four of the most important things all healthcare entrepreneurs need to know when breaking ground within this industry.

Insurance Is a Bit Trickier

When you go to insure a healthcare startup, you’ll find the insurance regulations can be stricter than in other industries. This could mean that you’ll have to pay extra attention to the way you do business in order to ensure compliance. You should also be prepared to handle the insurance companies of your customers if your line of work involves using their insurance for your service offerings.

Marketing Needs Will Differ

Marketing in the healthcare industry has been a hotly contested topic the past couple of years. TD Marketing Solutions explains, “in the past year, there have been new regulations being passed and proposed in various states, and some of them include laws targeting digital marketing practices to new policies from advertisers such as Google and Facebook.” Substance abuse treatment centers are an example, as they’ve been a major focus of the federal government due to unethical marketing practices that were used in the past.

Since you’ll be in an industry that has a direct effect on the health of others, it’s mandatory that you’re careful when it comes to the wording and presentation of promotional materials. Below, you’ll see some of the ways you can ensure the most solid and ethical marketing approach possible:

  • Avoid making any false statements or statements that could be taken negatively.
  • Follow the rules and regulations set by the advertising platforms you use.
  • Make sure you diversify your promotions, as this allows for a backup if disaster strikes.

Healthcare Embraces Social Responsibility

Not every business can provide pro bono services to prove that they’re socially responsible. However, contributing to government research and giving back to the community in ways that are feasible will help your company. While the healthcare industry is projected to grow, companies that work to be socially responsible in the eyes of the public are always the ones that get further in the long run. 

Laws and Regulations are Constantly Evolving

This is one industry that’s continuing to refine the laws and regulations that govern it to ensure the most responsible way of doing business must be utilized. Young Upstarts recommends, “HIPPA, the Affordable Healthcare Act, the FDA…these are just some of the many regulatory bodies and reforms that you should consider. Many potential business owners just give up when considering all of these and more, saying it’s all just too much. That doesn’t have to be you.” Stay on top of blogs and news outlets to ensure you know about changes as they happen. By doing this, you’ll ensure that you don’t get surprised or find your company in non-compliance should a government audit of its practices occur.

If you keep an open mind and continuously educate yourself on industry standards, then this can be a prosperous line of business to be in.

For more information, help starting your next business, or if you’re just wanting to improve yourself, get in contact with us! We help professionals become their best selves.

7 Savvy Ways to Save Money for Your Business

As a small business, saving money is a top priority. You don’t have as much wiggle room as larger businesses may have, and you need to allocate each penny wisely. In order to save money for your business, it will benefit you to focus on employee retention, manage printing costs, get office supplies, minimize food costs, get less office space and also hire contract workers. These things will help enable any business to keep their costs to a minimum and conserve their funds for expansion and improving your product.

Employee Retention

One of the best ways to save money for a business is to focus on employee retention. Since each employee costs a considerable amount of money, it is essential to keep them with the company on a long-term basis. In order to do this, it will help to provide incentives such as bonuses as well as good working conditions. You will also want to pay each employee a fair market value salary so that they are getting the compensation that they seek. As a business, it will also help to offer them generous benefits as well as health insurance, dental insurance, a 401K plan and even vacation time.

Office Supplies

Another way to save money for your business is to be smart about the office supplies you use on a daily basis. One of the best ways to get inexpensive office supplies is to get them in bulk. By getting these items in bulk, they will last longer and give your business more time to use them. A company will also want to consider going to retailers that sell office supplies at discount prices and also take advantage of occasional sales. By taking advantage of these options, your costs of office supplies will be much less.


Along similar lines as general office supplies, printing documents and marketing materials can be quite costly, so monitor your office’s printing habits. In order to do this, you will want to conserve both toner ink and paper. Can you print double-sided documents? Can you print in “draft” mode rather than full-quality? Print out documents and promotional materials that you need, but consider switching to digital documents wherever possible. You will also want to look into discounts on printer ink and a more efficient “smart” printer.


How much do you spend on electricity, heat, and water for your office? If you’re like most, you probably just flinched. It takes a lot of these resources to keep things like computers and printers running and to keep your employees comfortable. And if your office has high ceilings or is a fairly large space, your office electric bill is probably higher than what you pay for your house’s utilities. Fortunately there are many energy-efficient ways to cut down on utility use while also being environmentally-friendly. Smart thermostats, smart lighting, solar panels, automatic shutdown sockets, and smart water management can all make a big difference in the check that you write to your utility company.

Office Space

One of the best ways to save money as a small business is not to pay for office space that you don’t use or need. Rent is expensive, so anything you can do to minimize this monthly expenditure will add up fast. Definitely consider the different kinds of rooms that you actually need for the size of your business; there’s a difference between meeting rooms and conference rooms, for instance. If you need to expand, consider outsourcing rather than hiring more employees. If you’ve had to downsize, move into a smaller office. If you have an extra conference room, consider renting it out.


Whenever a business is looking to save money, contracts are another thing to consider. With a contract, a business can have a legal promise of getting paid for service rendered as well as agreeing to work with a particular vendor. This will help with ensuring a commitment between multiple parties and ensure that payments are made on time. As well as contracts, hiring contract workers can also save money for a business. These individuals will not require a company to pay payroll taxes as well as benefits. As a result, a business will have more money available to use for other things.

Accounts Receivable

Use a form of mobile payment systems and invoicing services in order to save on overhead for chasing down the money owed to your company. Most people are constantly immersed in their phones these days and if the reminder to pay you isn’t on their phone, it rarely gets done on time. With mobile financial services, you can text your customer reminders and directly send them secure bills with their reminders. It takes 90 seconds, on average, for a person to respond to a text message which means, it becomes easier for them to pay their bill to you. This reduces the time needed to constantly call and follow up on unpaid invoices and increases the likelihood that your customer or client will pay sooner if all they have to do is click on your text message instead of going to a whole new location to make the payment.

Saving money wherever possible is smart practice in business finance as well as personal finance. There are many ways to slim down your company expenditures on regular costs such as food, office supplies, and office space. By strategically cutting costs in critical areas, any business will be in the position to make more profit without making noticeable sacrifices.

Another way to save money in your business is to take advantage of free resources. Check out Chance + Confidence’s free business stuff here!


Got Student Loans???

By: Joshua Krafchick CRPC®

Originally posted on The Millennial Slacker’s Guide

This article republished with permission from original author.

I have recently received a lot of questions in regards to student loans and what are the best strategies in order to pay them in the most efficient way possible. Well for those who have questions…. here we go.

Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Loans

The key difference to realize here is SUBsidized loans are loans that you do not have to start paying interest on until you graduate college. In order to qualify, you must be a ½ time student and be in a financial situation where a loan will help you with the burdens of college expenses.

Unsubsidized, are just the opposite. You do not have to qualify, the interest of the loan starts adding up immediately, and unlike a subsidized loan, there is no 6-month grace period for you start paying after graduating.

Get it?

Student Loan Interest Deduction

If you have student loans, the current amount of interest that you can deduct is $2,500. The easiest way to figure out how much of your loan is tax deductible is to do the following:

  1. Take $2,500
  2. Divide it by your average interest rate
  3. This gives you the amount of your loan that is going to provide you the highest tax deduction benefit


You have $50,000 in student loans, with an average interest rate of 7%.

$2,500 divided by 7% (.07) is approximately $35,714.

What this means is that the difference of $14,286 is not providing you any sort of tax benefit if you qualify for the tax deduction.

Which loans do I pay off first?

The amount of your loan that does not provide you any tax benefit, considering the highest interest rate, should be the loans you prioritize first.

From there, as you make your monthly payments, you will see that your total loan balance decreasing, you are maximizing your tax deduction, and pin-pointing the loans that are working against you.

Loan Repayment Financing

The goal here would to be lower the amount of interest you pay on your student loans. However, beware if you speak to someone who says they can lower your payment, your interest rate, but increase your term.

The reason why is that despite you saving “money” on your payment each month, in reality you are just paying more interest than if you just kept your normal payments.

Always consult with someone that you know who is knowledgeable in the subject before making a big decision such as refinancing your student loans.

Income Based Refinancing

Be very careful when it comes to refinancing your student loans that are “income” based. The reason why is if you expect to be receiving raises or promotions in the future, this can negatively affect you in the long-run.

A friend of mine refinanced based off of their income, which was around $35,000. After working at their company for a few years, they received a promotion, a raise, and that ended up hurting them because of income based refinancing.

Now, they are stuck in a payment that is actually larger than it was originally, which is not a benefit, but added baggage onto their financial picture.

If you are someone who’s income is not going to be fluctuating over the first 10 years of their career, then maybe income based refinancing makes sense. Just be cognizant that sometimes, it pays just to keep things the way they are.

Loan Repayment vs. Investing

This is a tricky question and it all depends on two details:

  1. What is the interest rate you are paying on your student loans?
  2. How much risk do you need to take in order to make more interest than your student loans?

According to Investopedia, “Approximately 10% is the average return for the S&P 500 since its inception back in 1928.  Adjusted for inflation the “real return” is more like 7%.  Also, worth noting that nearly half of the gains from the S&P 500 resulted from dividends. “

What this means is, if you are to invest your money, you need to invest in a way where the amount of “return” that you earn is more than what you are paying for your student debt.

Before you begin investing your extra money, it is very important to set a goal to have 3-6 months of your yearly income in liquid cash. I had an event last year on my home that was an unexpected expense. By having extra money for me to use, I was able to pay it without having to worry what account to take from.

When your interest rate is higher than 7%, historically, you can expect to obtain similar returns if you were to invest in an index such as the S&P 500.


Congratulations! You are now on track to becoming financially independent!

If you enjoyed this article, please share with your friends, and I will continue to post more help on various subjects that are important.

If you have any questions or suggestions for more articles, please contact me directly.

Warm Regards,

Joshua D. Krafchick CRPC®

Financial Advisor

4776 Hodges Blvd. Suite 203

Jacksonville, FL 32224

Office:   (904) 517-5413 

Mobile: (407) 637-6276

Fax:        (904) 517- 5415

Examples are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. The rates of return do not represent any actual investment and cannot be guaranteed. Any investment involves potential loss of principal.”

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Cambridge and RFW Wealth Advisors are not affiliated.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.

Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. These are the opinions of Joshua Krafchick and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.