The Lifecycle of Love and Money

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

For this blog post, we’re going to discuss something almost everyone wants. It can bring great joy or great pain, but it can be awkward to talk about. We’re of course referring to… wait, is this post about love or money? Oh, both? Yeah, it’s both.

Money

Every couple is going to have a different financial journey, but there are some major milestones that most couples will encounter at some point. Here are some tips for when you’re dating, when you’re committed, and when you decide to tie the knot.

 

Dating

 

It’s fine to leave conversations about money until later, but if you decide you’re comfortable enough, you can open up a financial discussion as early as the first date. Who pays for dates is (somehow) still a hotly contested topic, according to the findings of a 2015 sociological study. *There’s no clear consensus regarding who should pay for what, and some people have complex feelings toward splitting the bill, so bringing up the subject can be a way to get a money chat rolling.

 

After you’ve spent some time with someone and you’re considering whether you want to be in a serious, long-term relationship with them, it’s a sensible idea to make sure you’re financially compatible first. A survey commissioned by Ally Bank found that when people were asked to name the biggest source of stress in their relationships and marriages, money was the most common answer.** Try to head off fights before they happen by checking if you and your partner have similar financial behaviors and goals. If you want to save for a vacation together while your better half wants to start investing in rare tropical fish, that could lead to an argument later.

 

Moving in Together

 

By cohabiting with your significant other, you’re taking the first major step toward building a financial life together. Now you’re relying on your partner to help pay for food and rent, which means their financial habits have a more direct impact on your wellbeing. Starting to think of your finances more as a duo while setting clear boundaries to make sure no one feels smothered can help keep both parties happy.

 

Unfortunately, the first step to co-planning your finances can be the hardest for a lot of people: divulging your financial history. That includes the accounts you have, your savings, and most importantly, your debts. One way you can ease into this is to make a budget together, which can act as a neutral conversation that puts you both on the same page. If you’re still anxious, psychological research suggests that honesty is an important part of building strong relationships,*** so sharing your financial situation with your partner may bring the two of you closer together.

 

You’ll also need to talk about how to split shared living expenses. Two main ways of doing this are to split things evenly or equitably. An even split means you and your partner divide costs 50-50. This may not really be fair if you and your significant other have vastly different incomes, but it can help both of you feel more equal since you’re paying the same amount, and it’s easy to figure out who should pay what.

 

An equitable split, though, means sharing costs according to each person’s ability to pay. This is arguably more fair than an even split, since you’re both paying an amount you can manage while still leaving money to cover personal expenses. However, it can potentially cause tension if the person paying more feels like their bigger contribution should give them a greater say in the relationship, and uses their economic advantage to push the other person around. Remember that you don’t have to commit 100% to an even or equitable split, so you and your partner can find a balance between these that works for you.

 

Marriage

 

Once you get married your partnership isn’t just recognized by your friends and family, but by the big G… that’s right, the government. The United States General Accounting Office has identified over 1,000 federal provisions in which marital status influences your legal benefits, rights, and privileges,**** and that’s not even getting into each state’s laws. If you have questions about how getting married will affect your rights (such as your property rights), the safest person to talk to is a qualified attorney.

 

Additionally, now’s the time to start thinking about how you want to organize financial accounts with your partner, if you haven’t already. In general, combining your money using joint accounts can make it easier to pay household expenses and save for mutual goals, but it also may reduce how independent you feel since you have less money to yourself. The exact method you choose is really up to what you and your partner are the most comfortable with. For example, you could keep your separate financial accounts active while opening a new joint bank account for shared expenses, adopting a “yours, mine, and ours” split. Or, you could consolidate all of your money into one person’s account and add the other person as an authorized user. It’s also still valid to keep your money completely separate.

 

At their core, all of these steps really boil down to communicating and compromising with your significant other. If you’re able to do that, you have an advantage in building a financially healthy and stable partnership.

 

This article originally appeared on Earnin and appears here at their request. 

Next Steps

If you’ve enjoyed this post you will also like Are you and your partner financially compatible?  Have you already established a joint budget with your partner? Let me know in the comments section below. Also, get in touch if you would like my help. My email address is mike@learnmoney.io

Grammarly Writing Support

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What to do if you are Made Redundant: 5 Steps

Credit Cards: How to Make Balance Transfers Work For You

What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?

Investments: Why Saving is Not Enough 

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

 

Image credit: pexels.com

References:

*https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244015613107

**https://media.ally.com/2018-06-12-Money-Causes-the-Most-Stress-for-Couples-According-to-New-Ally-Survey

*** https://www.psychology.uwo.ca/pdfs/SONA/articles/13-campbell.pdf

*****https://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04353r.pdf

How to get Started with Index Fund Investing

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Regular readers of this website will remember this post that I wrote, Investments: Why Saving is not Enough . You cannot simply save your way to financial freedom, if you are to be successful and achieve your financial goals, you will need to grow your finances exponentially. In today’s post I want to return to investment as a topic and discuss one particular type of investment namely Index Fund Investing.

What is an Index Fund?

An index fund is a type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) with a portfolio constructed to match or track the components of a financial market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) in the United States or the FTSE 100 in the United Kingdom.  

What are the Benefits of Index Fund Investing?

Lower Risk

If you were to invest directly in a company via stocks or shares your level of risk is quite high. The company’s fortunes could change for the worse and your investment could literally be worth nothing through no fault of your own. An index fund lowers your risk considerably by investing your money in the top performing companies in a particular financial market. If one company underperforms, they will drop out of the index and be replaced by another. Your investment is likely to benefit from the good performance of the best companies within the index.

Low Operating Costs

Compared to other investment vehicles, Index Funds have relatively low operating costs that manifest themselves in terms of fees for individual investors.

Investment Performance

The primary investment objective for an index fund is to match the risk and return of the market. When investing for the long term, the market will usually outperform any one single investment. This is why index fund investing is an excellent approach for retirement accounts.

How to Get Started with Index Funds

You can invest in an Index Fund via a brokerage account or directly via a mutual fund company.  If you are relatively new to investing, a visit to an independent financial adviser would be a sensible first step.

To review some of the best performing index funds click here and remember that past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

Next Steps

Are you interested in index fund investing ? Have you invested in one already?  Let me know in the comments section below. Also, get in touch if you would like my help. My email address is mike@learnmoney.io

 

Grammarly Writing Support

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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Image credit: pexels.com

What is Ethical Investing ?

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Ethical Investing

Ethical investing is an approach to investing where the investor filters potential investments according to their own values and moral principles. For example, it would be entirely understandable for someone to decide that they do not want to invest in companies that manufacture missiles or tobacco.

The earliest recorded instance of ethical investing in America was the 18th century Quakers who banned their members from spending their time or money in the slave trade. Indeed, historically religion was often a motivation for ethical investment. Today, in addition to religious motivations for ethical investing there there are also concerns for environmental issues, racial equality, gender equity and inclusion.

Do Ethical Investments Perform Well?

There is absolutely no guarantee that ethical investments will perform well over any time period or when compared to index funds. A prudent approach would be select firstly based on your values and then once you have done so assess all of these with performance based criteria. An investment portfolio comprised exclusively of ethical investments will look very different to one focused solely on maximising potential returns for an investor. In practice, ethical investing requires a lot of research, you must go deeper than the corporate brochures and mission statements to discover whether a company’s actions match their words. Unfortunately lots of companies claim to be more ethical than they really are.

If you are interested in investigating ethical investment funds in the United Kingdom, check out this resource. It’s a great starting point for building an ethical investment portfolio.  Please remember that this information does not constitute financial advice.

Next Steps

Are you interested in ethical investments? Will your next investment be an ethical one? Let me know in the comments section below. Also, get in touch if you would like my help. My email address is mike@learnmoney.io

 

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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Image credit: pexels.com

Are you Missing out on Compound Interest?

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

What is Compound Interest?

The thought of saving money is not exciting to many people, they would rather buy things with the money that comes into their hands or wallets. Compound interest makes the prospect of saving money more exciting.

Compound interest is when you earn interest on the interest that you accrued as well as the initial sum invested.

How Does it Work?

For example, if you saved £1000 at an interest rate of 5%, at the end of year 1 you would have £1050, with a compound interest account you would then earn 5% interest on £1050 by the end of year 2.

This would mean that your total going into year three would be £1102.50 instead of £1100.00 if you had earned 5% each year. Over the long term, the increases to your savings total become very significant so much so that Albert Einstein reputedly said of compound interest,

“Compound Interest is the most powerful force in the universe. Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.  He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.”

Albert Einstein

Savings Accounts & Compound Interest

Given how beneficial Compound Interest is to the individual saver, you would expect all savings accounts to offer Compound Interest to their account holders but that is not the case. There is every possibility that your savings accounts are not paying you compound interest, please check with your bank or building society. Your bank may be only paying you simple interest, which is interest paid annually on the principal sum only.

If they are not, study the example below and open a new account that will pay you compound interest from any provider you choose. Remember that to really benefit from compound interest you will need to save for the long term.

This is an example of a UK savings account that pays compound interest. International readers, you may need to do some investigative work to find comparable savings accounts in your country.

Next Steps

Hopefully this post has made you re-consider the savings accounts that you have; now is the time to open an account that will pay you compound interest. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, get in touch if you would like my help. My email address is mike@learnmoney.io

 

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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Image credit: pexels.com

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course – Review

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info. This video was first published on my YouTube channel; you can subscribe to my channel here http://bit.ly/1BuKsoM . Have you considered joining Michelle’s course? You can do so here –> http://bit.ly/2R47B0w 

Affiliate Marketing

If you have read this post, Top 3 High Paying Affiliate Programs or this one, How to Monetize Twitter with Affiliate Marketing  you’ll know that I believe that Affiliate Marketing is an open and accessible way for regular people to make side income without drastic changes to their lifestyle. The challenge with Affiliate Marketing is to create a truly systematic approach; simply spraying your affiliate links via your Social Media channels will not work, neither will just embedding your links into your website,  if you have one.

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last year, I was searching for a comprehensive course that outlined a systematic approach to Affiliate Marketing when I found the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course from Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.

Who is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner?  Michelle is now a millionaire blogger but when she started her blog, Making Sense of Cents in 2011, she did so to track her own personal finance journey.

Her primary objective was to pay off $40,000 of student loan debt. She went onto achieve that and so much more;  Michelle has moved from a position where she had a negative net worth to financial abundance and Affiliate Marketing is one of the activities that helped her make that transition.

The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is the title of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course.

Michelle now earns over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing, and she shares all of my best tips in this course.

In this course, there are 6 modules, over 30 lessons, over 20 worksheets, bonuses and an extremely helpful exclusive Facebook group. The course content answers the following questions:

  • What affiliate marketing is and how it works
  • Why affiliate marketing is great
  • The exact steps she’s taken to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
  • Picking the right affiliate products to promote
  • Increasing conversions
  • How to build trust and not lose followers
  • Required disclosures that you need to know about

I have given my comprehensive review of Michelle’s course in this video.  This video will be of interest to Affiliate Marketing practitioners, B2B marketing managers, Content Marketing professionals, Social Media Managers, business owners, and anyone interested in making money online with Affiliate Marketing. Please let me know your thoughts below when you’ve had time to watch it.

Next Steps

Would you like to earn more from Affiliate Marketing? You can join The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course here – http://bit.ly/2R47B0w Have you already started Affiliate Marketing? Let me know in the comments section below.

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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Coinbase Earn: Earn Free Cryptocurrency

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info. This video was first published on my YouTube channel; you can subscribe to my channel here http://bit.ly/1BuKsoM .

Earn While You Learn

Cryptocurrency is no longer new in investment terms but if it was a sport it would still be regarded as a minority sport played by a small percentage of the nation’s population. Established Cryptocurrency exchange and  provider of free digital wallets, Coinbase knows this and has created opportunities for new and existing cryptocurrency investors to earn while they learn.

Coinbase Earn: Earn Free Crypto

What is Coinbase Earn? Well, you are asked to watch a few videos, answer questions and in return you earn cryptocurrency that goes into your Coinbase account. It is not complicated to do or to receive the cryptocurrency.

In this video, I demonstrate the process you need to follow to earn the free cryptocurrency and explore Coinbase’s motives for creating the initiative. I hope that you find it useful.

This video will be of interest to people who are interested in earning income online and making money online generally.  It is another simple way you will be able to increase your financial assets and investments without a drastic change to your lifestyle or weekly routine.  Here’s my invite for you to join Coinbase Earn – http://bit.ly/2X44Put 

Next Steps

Would you like to earn some free crypto via Coinbase? Here’s my invite for you to join Coinbase Earn – http://bit.ly/2X44Put Have you heard of Coinbase before? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Should you Combine Pensions?

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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

 

Take This Free Financial Literacy Course Today

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Image credit: https://vdc.edu.au/

One of the goals I set for myself for this blog was to help people improve their level of financial literacy.

What is Financial Literacy?

‘Financial literacy is the confluence of financial, credit and debt management and the knowledge that is necessary to make financially responsible decisions – decisions that are integral to our everyday lives.’

Kristina Zucchi, a contributor to www.investopedia.com

With each blog post, I have intended to spread financial awareness and increase the knowledge base of my readership. The feedback I have received suggests that this has been appreciated. Thanks to all of you that took the time to feedback. Another way of spreading financial literacy is by sharing details of a free financial literacy course. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I have been searching for a free resource that I could share with my readers.  I have now found a suitable course and this course is the focus for today’s blog post.

Free Financial Literacy Course

This financial literacy course provides a good introduction to personal finance and money management. The course is supplied by Alison.com the free online learning platform set up as a For Profit Social Enterprise in 2007 by Mike Feeric. Alison.com was started in Galway, Ireland and now has over 12 million students from 195 countries. The course that I have selected has been studied by sixty nine thousand students and has a rating of 4.1 stars. The course will take approximately 6-10 hours to complete.

Click here to be taken to the course landing page.  

Continual Learning

As we continue on this journey towards financial freedom, I will share other helpful resources with you. I hope that you find this course useful. I believe that it is important for us to continue learning and improving our knowledge base.

Have you taken any financial literacy or money management courses before? Let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

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Should you Combine Your Pensions?

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Image credit: http://www.yourmoney.com/

Over the course of your career, you are likely to move jobs and contribute to more than one pension. Keeping track of all your separate pensions and monitoring the relative performance can be a difficult task; there’s also the often complicated fees and charges to be taken into consideration too. It is no wonder that many working adults in the UK do not stay on top of their retirement planning in general and pensions in particular.

Your Pensions and Performance

When you have tracked down your pension pots, write to the pension providers and if necessary advise them of your new address. I add this point in because whenever I have lost track of a pension it is because pension providers have been sending the annual statements to an old address. You must notify them when you move house. Once your details have been verified, when you call your pension provider they will be able to give you a statement balance for your pension. Repeat this step for each of your pension pots. Ideally you will have the balance from previous years too. This will enable you to calculate which is your best performing pension.

Exit Charges

Once you have worked out which is your best performing pension it would be great if you could simply move all of your pensions into the best performing pension and go on to live happily ever after. Well, unfortunately it is not that simple, whilst most pension providers will usually let you add to an existing pension pot free of charge the same cannot be said ot exiting an existing pension plan. You are likely to face exit charges for exiting the pension plan early. Give your pension provider a call to find out the full extent of the charges that you will face if you exit the pension plan.

What Should You do?

After your research and phone calls, you will have a better understanding of whether it is a good idea to combine all of your pension pots into one. I cannot give a generic recommendation in this case. Please also consider the investment funds that your pensions are invested in on your behalf. You could have set them up with different risk profiles; keeping separate pension pots could be a smart way to diversify your pensions portfolio and reduce investment risk. At some point as you are evaluating your pensions and deciding what to do it would be sensible to consult an independent financial adviser.

Have you tracked down a lost pension pot recently ? Have you worked out which is the best performing pension? Let me know in the comments section below.  There is no need to write any specific amounts!

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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

Follow me on Pinterest

Investments: Why Saving is Not Enough

This post may contain affiliate links please read our disclosure for more info.

Image credit: https://www.bankrate.com/

In a few of my blog posts on this website I have reminded you of the importance of saving 20% of your income. Saving is vitally important to give yourself a platform to build towards financial freedom but saving on its own will not be enough. Let me explain, the current rates of interest offered by most financial institutions are relatively low, in most cases they are below 1.5%. This is lower than the current rate of inflation.

Saving into an account that offers this kind of interest rate will not magically produce a large lump sum or provide a regular passive income that will enable you to become financially free. Sadly even many pension funds built up during the working lives of adults in the UK will not deliver the levels of capital growth necessary. In addition to saving you will need to make investments; investments offer the chance for your money to grow significantly in the medium to long term. It is worth stating that investments usually have more risk attached to them;  there are usually greater risks and potentially greater rewards.

Investments

Below I have listed several types of investment that could potentially move you closer to financial freedom. This is not an exhaustive list so I encourage you to do your own research to discover the investment approaches that are most appropriate for you.

Property

Property is my favourite type of investment here in the UK. The purchase of  a Buy to Let property was until recently a very popular investment allowing investors to benefit from capital appreciation and rental yield. Changes in the tax relief that landlords can claim , introduced to dampen the buy to let market and create opportunities for first time buyers, are having their intended effect. It is now not as easy to set up profitable buy to lets.

For investors with less available capital, property crowdfunding is a way to join other investors and pool resources to invest in properties. Property Partner is an example of a crowdfunding property company that enables smaller investors to participate in property investment without having to buy a property outright. The returns from property crowdfunding are good and it is open to investors of all levels.

Stocks and Shares

By purchasing Shares, it is possible to invest directly in the performance of one particular company. Investors who hold shares in a number of companies refer to them as Stocks. Imagine if you had invested in Amazon or Apple in the early years, the return on your investment that you would have received would have been phenomenal. Investors can benefit from the increased stock price and dividends that the company might declare and distribute.

Unit Trusts and OEICs

Investing in one particular stock can work out well if the company does well but you could also lose all of your money if the company folds. A less risky approach is to use an investment fund to invest in a range of companies. The two most popular types of investment funds are Unit Trusts and OEICs. With a Unit Trust, you purchase units of a fund that is made up of the investments of many investors. This could be a tracker fund or an actively managed fund; a fund manager makes the investment decisions for the fund.

An OEIC is very similar to a Unit Trust except that the fund is run as a company and you purchase shares instead of units. Returns are paid through regular distributions, they could be quarterly or monthly dependent on what the fund guarantees.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Exchange Traded Funds( ETFs ) are a relatively new investment product and  are similar to Unit Trusts and OEICs in that they are open ended but the difference is that they are are listed on a Stock Exchange. They also include a wider variety of assets that Unit Trusts and OEICs.

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are easily the most volatile of all investments that I have included on this list. It is possible to both make or lose a fortune with cryptocurrency investments in the space of a few hours or days. Many professional investors including Warren Buffet do not consider cryptocurrencies a suitable investment and believe them to be little more than a gamble. However, blockchain technology which provides the platform for cryptocurrencies via its distributed ledger system, is here to stay. To read more about cryptocurrencies, read this post, Has the Cryptocurrency Bubble Burst?

If you have the stomach for it, and can afford to lose what you invest cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin could provide the significant capital growth you will need for financial freedom. Despite what some professional investors thinks cryptocurrencies have made many new billionaires and millionaires in a short space of time.

 What Should you Do?

Research the investments or investment approaches that appeal to you. Have you already made some investments? What type are they? Please let me know in the comments section below.

DSX The Professional Crypto Exchange

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Have you got the Right Money Mindset?

My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only.  This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Mike

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