An Excerpt from Bank Magic: Financial Literacy for Young People

Here is an excerpt from Bank MagicFinancial Literacy for Young People written by TaxAssurances’ owner, Kolonji Murray. The full book can be purchased on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback.

QUESTION: Why are budgets so important?

ANSWER: Budgets help to ensure that you cover all of your expenses, pay your creditors on time, and save, invest, and make money for the future. You will be surprised at just how fast money can go through your pocket without a plan for how you will spend, save, and invest it. So often, people think of budgets as being restrictive, but budgets actually give you the freedom to track how much you spend and to adjust your habits so that you can make better financial choices in the future.

QUESTION: What happens if I go over my budget?

ANSWER: it’s OK! Fortunately as a young adult, you don’t have to worry about big financial responsibilities, like a mortgage or car payment, for now. If you spent a little more than you expected, find out where you can cut back or adjust your expenses until you receive your next allowance or paycheck. Maybe you can cut out one day at your favorite pizzeria or a drink at Starbucks. Little things add up. You can also download spending apps to help you track your expenses.

For more on TaxAssurances, check out our reviews, photos and links on Google Reviews.

A Diva’s Budget

  • NEW Everyday Diva Logo PNGPutting together a budget is an extremely helpful tool for someone trying to get their financial house in order. During the process, they can find out what expenses are necessary, what expenses aren’t and what expenses they should start to incur.

Prepare the Budget with an Advisor

I recently sat down with an opera singer who is a friend of mine to go over her budget. For some time she’s had the feeling that she was making a pretty penny but didn’t have anything to show for it.

During the review we were able to determine that certain bills had to be paid. They included rent, car, power, medical insurance, student loans, retirement savings and a number of other necessary bills.

Know the Goals and Outcome of a Budget Review

Now part of the reason that she wanted to go through the exercise was to determine how she could set aside money for simple savings for a rainy day but also carve out a portion of her income for continuing her opera lessons.

With this review we also came across expenses that where secretly and subtly draining her pocket book. Namely food. This included not only the food that she bought for the home but also what she spent every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was adding up.

On top of those expenses she noticed that going out with her friends was hurting her finances. She realized that she was spending too much going to dinners, movies, and generally hanging out with her friends.

Do What the Budget Plan Recommends

Now to be fair, the review was not designed to say that she should stop doing what she was doing all together. It was however designed to let her know where the challenges where and how to fix them. Namely watching what she buys outside the home for lifestyle.

This part of the review is critical. Once we identified what needed to be done she needed to do it. This is not to say that she won’t spend a little extra here and there but she needed to follow the plan to make it work. That way she can achieve a healthy financial balance in her life.

Putting together a budget with a financial advisor can go a long way in getting ones financial house in order. They provide independent, expert eyes that can look at the finances of their clients and determine what the best use of money is and where they can make improvements.

For more on TaxAssurances, check out our reviews, photos and links on Yelp.

Parents Should Have Life Insurance

ID-10080044

Once a person becomes a parent, there is no reason for them to go without having some sort of life insurance policy in place. Improving the life of a child is a parent’s primary responsibility. With a policy, a parent can continue their legacy even if for some reason they are no longer around.

Insurance Can Be Budget Friendly

Many parents may think they can’t afford a life policy. However, there are a number of options that do make it affordable for almost any budget. There are pros and cons with each choice, but having something basic in place is much better than not having anything at all. Especially since a child’s future depends on it.

Whether it’s simply keeping a roof over their head or paying for their potential college education, parents want to make sure the future needs of their children are taken care of. Again, it’s their primary responsibility.

So what types of policies are available to a parent?

Term Life Insurance

For starters, a term policy can be set up so that it cost nothing more than a Whopper meal sandwich from Burger King for the month. This makes it much more budget friendly then a cell phone, Netflix or cable TV. Common creature comforts parents find themselves spending money on each month. Under tough financial constraints, a term policy is a great alternative.

One of the downsides to a term policy however, is the fact that it only covers a parent for a certain period of time. That’s the term.

So for instance, if a parent buys a 10 year term policy and something happens to them 11 years after they bought the policy, then their children won’t get any money. The same holds true for a 20 and 30 year term policy. The insurance in essence expires and would no longer pay benefits to the children.

Also, unlike a number of other insurance policies (namely permanent policies) it would not accumulate any cash value. Cash value that could be used for any number of plans or emergencies that may come up in the future.

Permanent Life Insurance

Term insurance can be converted into a permanent life insurance policy. Permanent life insurance policies can also be bought on their own. They are called permanent policies because they are just that, permanent. Meaning, as long as the parent pays the monthly premium, they will have insurance for the rest of their life. Something not available with term life insurance policies.

There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to a permanent policy. They fall under the following categories; universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance and whole life insurance. Each selection has benefits many parents find attractive.

Like I said before, one of the more attractive benefits of a permanent policy has to do with the fact that it accumulates a cash value along with being a pure life insurance policy. Any parent that owns a policy like this has the best of both worlds. An available cash value and life insurance.

The main shortcoming with permanent insurance is the monthly cost. Typically it’s going to be more expensive on a month to month basis than term insurance. Once more, not attractive to some budget weary parents.

Buy Insurance When You’re Young

Buying life insurance at an early age is like giving a gift to your future self. The younger you are, the less expensive the payments every month. And the payment in most cases stays the same throughout the life of the policy. Imagine if you could pay the same amount for gas at the pump that people paid 20 years ago. That’s the idea.

And if budgets aren’t constrained, it makes sense to purchase life insurance even if someone doesn’t have any children. Why should they wait until they’re older and it becomes more expensive? Also, why should they wait to develop a medical condition that might prevent them from getting any insurance at all?

So if you’re a parent, make sure you somehow work life insurance into your budget. And yes, you may need to stretch yourself a little thin. In addition, you may never use it. But you can rest assured, that if you ever do need it, it will help secure the future needs of your child.

 

For more on TaxAssurances, check out our reviews, photos and links on Google Reviews.