Are Timeshares Worth the Investment?

If you consider it an investment = No. If you consider it simply a vacation home = Maybe/Yes.

According to The Timeshare Consumer Guide, at least 20 million households around the world own at least one timeshare. Approximately 60% of timeshare owners have a four-year college degree or higher. Their median household income is slightly more than $81,000 annually.

Data from The American Resort Development Association  and The Timeshare Authority confirm that approximately 53% of timeshare owners spend more than $10,000 on their timeshare purchase each year.

Last week, I had the esteemed pleasure of celebrating a friend’s birthday—on Halloween, mind you!—in New Orleans, Louisiana.

While on the trip, we were offered discounted tickets to attend two or more local tours if we were willing to sit through a presentation at a nearby hotel. Advertised at more than $125 per person, per tour—we could pay a mere $25 each if we were willing to exchange less than 90 minutes of our time.

A few signatures later, we were escorted to a luxury hotel with superhuman air conditioning where we waited curiously for the conference room to open up for us.

When it did, we found ourselves chaperoned and held captive in a—wait for it—timeshare sales pitch! Noooooooo! Nooooo!!!

(In hindsight, the discounted tours afterwards were the best tours of my life. If you’re visiting New Orleans, check out the Ghost Tour with Todd from Gray Line and the Swamp Tour with a very spirited fellow whose name has escaped me!).

Although I knew little about timeshare ownership prior to the presentation, I wanted to do a little more investigation now, now that I’ve gotten the hard sell.

(Full disclosure: This isn’t something I can afford right now, even if it’s worth it. For the record though, I don’t think it’s worth it.)

If you’re still on the fence about it, please don’t take my word for it. Do your own investigation, of course. Here’s a good post to start that was shared on Out of Your Rut. Make sure you check out the comments at the end of the article!

If you’re short on time, just read the infographic. 🙂

Continue reading “Are Timeshares Worth the Investment?”

How To Teach Preschoolers and Kindergartners About Money

Vocabulary. Reinforcing themes. Crafts. Math. Teachable moments.

Most money management experts and professionals recommend that we embed personal finance lessons into the imaginary games that children instinctively already play.

Throughout our day-to-day activities, we should provide opportunities for children to better understand exactly what money is and how it is used.

In “15 Ways To Teach Kids About Money,” Dave Ramsey organizes his philosophy into three primary categories.

First, he presents ways we can teach preschoolers and kindergartners about money.

Second, he outlines steps we can take to teach elementary and middle-schoolers about money.

Finally, he provides money management recommendations for teenagers.  Continue reading “How To Teach Preschoolers and Kindergartners About Money”

50 Personal Finance Books Recommended For Adults & Elementary Aged Children

What are your favorite personal finance resources?

I was inspired by a new podcast this weekend, “So Money with Farnoosh Torabi,” and it led me down a rabbit hole of Tim Ferriss’s YouTube videos, blog posts, and podcast episodes. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that, before yesterday, I hadn’t actually heard of him.

This post will be brief because I’m just gathering resources for now, but I’ll take a much, much deeper dive later on once I’ve made time to really read and evaluate them.

If, like me, you’re just getting started on your personal finance journey, these recommendations may or may not be new.

If you know of others that have changed your mind on spending, saving, and investing, I’d love to hear them.

More to come!

Continue reading “50 Personal Finance Books Recommended For Adults & Elementary Aged Children”

11 Money Management Keys That May Matter More Than Your Partner’s Income

How much does money matter in a relationship?

Relationship blogger Nora Nur is an educator, entrepreneur, and personal friend. A few months ago, she published a piece titled, “Money, How Much Does It Matter in a Relationship?”

In her post, men and women of different ages and backgrounds shared their perspectives on love, money, and relationships. They talked about the ways money impacted their dating preferences—and, later, their marriages.

Stop for a second and read it, and then come right back. You have to come right back though!

Okay, did you read it?

Great. Let’s chat for a few minutes.

We all have different values and different expectations about how much money we need to survive, thrive, and live our best life.

There’s no doubt that money matters in a relationship, even if you don’t actually care about money. The question is how much does it matter?

Does money matter more in domestic partnerships than in non-domestic unions? Does money matter more for couples who have children than for those who don’t?

It’s an important question, but it doesn’t give the full picture. (Sorry Nora!).

Here are 11 money management keys that (potentially) matter more than how much your partner makes for a living.

Continue reading “11 Money Management Keys That May Matter More Than Your Partner’s Income”

Four Ways New Entrepreneurs Can Master the Morning

Guest Post Written by Alicia McKay of No Fear LLC

Today’s perspective comes from Alicia McKay, owner of No Fear LLC, an organization that designs custom courses, offers personal coaching for teens and adults, and provides editing and publishing services.

My son often wakes up in the morning with enthusiasm and vigor. After sitting down to watch a favorite cartoon, he has his morning milk, a bit of tablet time and then he expects someone to join him.

Even at 7am, he has been awake for a little more than an hour before everyone in the house, and he is eagerly looking for his next adventure.

He has accomplished more in that one hour of alone time, before breakfast, than many toddlers will accomplish in the entire morning, before lunch.

He doesn’t know it, but he already possesses a key to successful entrepreneurship: the mastery of the morning.

A few months ago, I read the book, “The Miracle Morning,” by Hal Elrod. This book outlines the key to success, which is to take control of your day by mastering a good morning routine. From that book, I developed my own strategy to master my morning and take control of my entrepreneurial lifestyle. Continue reading “Four Ways New Entrepreneurs Can Master the Morning”

A Beginner’s Guide To Blogging For Fun, Not For Money

If You Want To Blog, But You Don’t Care About Making Money With It

I started blogging a little less than four years ago because I needed an outlet that would let me write and share what I had written with other people. I’d been writing poetry, essays, and short stories since I was a little girl, and I needed to feel like myself again.

Because I just wanted to write, I wasn’t the least bit concerned about marketing, advertising, followers + readers + subscribers, or even… gasp… making money.

Oh, the innocence of youth!

For those who can master SEO and affiliate marketing, there’s no doubt that blogging can be ridiculously profitable, if that’s your aim.

If you’d like to make money blogging, you’ll need to learn, do, and master these things:

  1. Know your purpose, intention (mission), and long-term blogging goals
  2. Create a self-hosted blog
  3. Choose a profitable niche
  4. Create your unique brand
  5. Learn how to create quality content, consistently
  6. Create a schedule for writing and a schedule for learning about blogging
  7. Develop a writing schedule that works– so you can write and research more efficiently
  8. Master SEO and keyword research
  9. Become part of an online community: network and build your follower base
  10. Decide when, where, and how to get help throughout your blogging journey
  11. Learn useful time-management strategies
  12. Create your budget for blogging
  13. Develop an effective social media strategy
  14. Make S.M.A.R.T. blogging goals
  15. Identify time-saving social media management tools
  16. Understand the ways bloggers make money (and replicate them for yourself)
  17. Create Ebooks and self-publish
  18. Create a podcast and/or make videos
  19. Learn the legal stuff you may need to worry about
  20. Decide what tasks you’ll assign yourself as homework daily, weekly, and monthly
  21. Know what decisions you’ll need to make as a brand new blogger

Blogging is great because it enables you….

  1. To create your own brand.
  2. To support and be supported by a unique online community of writers and artists.
  3. To learn and perfect highly marketable skills.
  4. To clarify your personal and professional goals and challenge yourself to always learn something new.
  5. To become intentional about creating passive income, and perhaps become an entrepreneur.

But these aren’t things that I knew—or even things that I cared about—before I started blogging.

If money’s not your goal, there are still plenty of reasons to blog.

If you’d like to start a blog for fun (not for money), but you’re not sure exactly how to get started, here’s what you should know, first.

Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide To Blogging For Fun, Not For Money”

What Tips Would You Recommend For Brand New Investors?

Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.

I’ve always been interested in investing, but I haven’t always had the bandwidth to learn.

In May 2017 when I was finally able to get my head above water,  I wrote down a list of questions that other brand new investors, like me, might ask.

First I made a list of all the terms I needed to research:

  • asset classes
  • dollar cost averaging
  • Class C and Class A stocks
  • P-ratios
  • short/shorting
  • short sell
  • gross margin
  • penny stocks
  • blue chip stock
  • SEC filings

Then I created a list of questions:

If you own shares of a company that offers dividends, but then you sell your shares of that stock, will you still receive dividends for the period when you owned the stock?

Where can you find a company’s income statements and balance sheets?

What’s the best strategy for selling your shares of a stock, i.e. when is it most advantageous?

Do you need special knowledge to become a day trader? Can you day trade on Robinhood, or is it best to go through a brokerage firm?

Best case scenario, what’s a realistic amount that an inexperienced investor can potentially earn in their first year of investing? Continue reading “What Tips Would You Recommend For Brand New Investors?”

What Do You Know About Trading and Investing?

What do you want to know?

What resources do you use to learn more about trading and investing?

I first wrote this post on April 12, 2017, more than a year and a half ago. I had just discovered Robinhood, had about $50 of disposable income, and was itching to get started!

I share this post again now to show my first misconceptions and early questions about stocks, trading, and investing. And, hopefully, to track my learning curve in the days to come.

In a follow up post, I hope to adequately answer my own questions.

What do you already know about trading and investing?

What do you want to learn? 

Continue reading “What Do You Know About Trading and Investing?”

What does the future hold for student loan debt?

We need to have a conversation about student loan debt.

What does the future hold for student loan debt?

In October my niece will turn 8 years old.

In February my nephew will turn 4.

Like most great aunts, I’ve been researching pros and cons of custodial accounts, investment accounts, and 529 college savings plans for them.

In 2028 when my niece is 18, it will cost $31,747 per year to attend a 4-year public (in-state) university. In four years, this will total $134,812 dollars.

In 2033 when my nephew is 18, it will cost $38,625 per year to attend a 4-year public (in-state) university. In four years, this will total $164,019 dollars.

According to Debt.org the cost of tuition at public universities has risen more than 344% since 1980. Tuition at private colleges has increased by 241% since that time.

For comparison, the costs of food and electricity have risen about 150% and gas prices have increased by 200% in the same time period.

On average, 70% of students graduating in 2017 finish college with approximately $38,000 in student loan debt.  

Continue reading “What does the future hold for student loan debt?”

5 Reasons Why You Should Create A Blog To Make Money

You should blog.

There’s no doubt that blogging can be incredibly lucrative for those who can master SEO and content marketing. There’s virtually no limit to your earning potential, revenue, and sales.

I’ve been blogging for almost four years, but I haven’t made any money.

I keep blogging anyway because the experience has been more than invaluable (and it’s still fun!).

A few weeks ago, I shared 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Blog To Make Money.

In no particular order, here are 5 Reasons Why You Should.  Continue reading “5 Reasons Why You Should Create A Blog To Make Money”