Start Saving Early with College Savings, And Use Index Funds to Save Mommy & Daddy Time

People always say it’s never too early to start saving for college. That has never been truer.
Not only has student debt in the United States climbed to a record $1.4 trillion, but college prices continue to soar way faster than inflation and wage growth. From January 2006 to July 2016, the Consumer Price Index for college tuition and fees increased 63 percent, with consumer prices for college textbooks jumping 88 percent and housing at school (excluding board) rising 51 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, inflation has hovered mostly below 3 percent in the past decade while wage growth averaged only 6.29 percent growth from 1960 to 2017.
All of this means parents ought to start saving for college as early as possible, maybe even before their kids are born. The earlier they start, the more time their money has to grow and take advantage of the power of compounding.
Compounding happens when you reinvest your returns and those returns earn more returns and so on. Because investments can increase in value over time – and the longer the time, the greater the value – it’s important to start early to maximize the benefits of compounding.
For example, you begin investing $200 per month at the age of 25 in a tax-deferred retirement plan earning 9 percent, and your friend starts investing in the same plan at 45, but invests $400 per month. At age 65, you will both have invested a total of $96,000, but your investment would have grown to $884,000, while your friend’s investment would be worth only $268,000. This is because of your 20 extra years of compounding.
However, even with compounding interest on a savings account, savings accounts aren’t likely to keep pace fast enough with skyrocketing college costs. Instead, families should look to stocks for a better return. On average, the S&P 500 index returns 7 percent per year, adjusted for inflation, over the long-term. That compares to an annual percentage yield of 1 percent or less over the past decade for savings accounts.
The S&P 500 index is a basket of stocks aiming to reflect the overall return characteristics of the general stock market. Stocks in the S&P 500 index are chosen based on market capitalization, industry and liquidity.
But parents, already busy with work and kids, probably don’t have a lot of time to research and pick stocks for their educational savings portfolio. And even if they did, studies have shown it’s extremely difficult to choose a portfolio of stocks that consistently beats the S&P 500 index. Even if you hand your money to a professional money manager, most of them would also fail at this.
In the five years ending in 2015, 84 percent of large-cap funds generated a return less than the S&P 500. In the 10-year period ending in 2015, 82 percent of large-cap funds failed to beat the index. S&P Dow Jones’ 15th annual scorecard showed that over 15 years, 92 percent of large-cap, 95 percent of mid-cap and 93 percent of small-cap fund managers underperformed their benchmark.
Fortunately, there’s an easier way. It’s called low-cost index funds. An index fund is a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) constructed to match or track a specific market index, such as the S&P 500 index. These are passively managed funds, as opposed to actively managed by a fund manager who buys and sell stocks based on research. Index fund costs, expressed as expense ratios, are much lower than in actively managed funds because they don’t require a research team or as many commission fees from moving into and out of stocks.
“When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Street-ers charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients,” said Warren Buffett, legendary investor and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, in his most recent annual report to stockholders. “Both large and small investors should stick with low-cost index funds.”
Since there are so many types of market indexes out there, families don’t have to worry about diversity in their portfolio. If you believe technology outperform retail stocks, there are plenty of technology funds from which to choose and different ways you can allocate money to ensure broad diversification. You can even go more granular and choose a technology fund focused on a certain area within technology, e.g. software, Internet or semiconductors.
You also can set your account to reinvest any distributions automatically to take advantage of compounding and link your bank account to deposit money into the fund each month.
Investment possibilities are endless, and probably easier than you thought.

Guest Post written by Monica Taylor, Guest Author and soon to be blogger.

Creating a Home Office That’s Inviting, Cozy and Organized Too

Although many would say that switching homes can be a rather exhausting and stressful thing to do, I loved every step of it when it was my turn. Sure it was exhausting and it took a great deal of my time to transport all the furniture elements and clothes from my old home to the new one, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way. It was my home and my story that I took care of transferring for many more happy chapters to continue, and I’m glad I took things into my own hands.

One of the most important things to determine while moving is which things you plan to bring with you into your new home and which items you’d like to replace. It was time for me to decide whether I would continue using my old office furniture elements, or if I would make a dream come true – a brand new home office. You’ve guessed right.

I love my job and creating a home office that will help me feel my best and boost my productivity was a real challenge that I looked forward to accomplishing. This time I was not settling for anything less than extraordinary modern office furniture. So, I did my best to create the home office of my dreams: bright, elegant, contemporary and functional with a dose of a personal touch so that I feel more like myself in my work space.

The Desk as a Focal Point
As I was shooting for the stars, the first thing I did was make a list of some of the most reputable online and brick-and-mortar stores in my town. I visited a few websites and stores to find my perfect piece of furniture – my everyday work companion – a desk. And since my idea was to create a cosy yet sophisticated office, my first choice was undoubtedly white coloured modern office furniture. Sleek and contemporary, I found the perfect combination of durability, design and function – all in a wooden piece in the form of a white desk. It features clean lines, sleek track metal legs and a large floating top work station which provides plenty of room for all my office needs. It also comes with a couple of drawers which are my ally to getting things done in a more organised manner. It’s a life saviour during hectic working days.

The Importance of the Chair
After choosing a desk that will make it easier for me to work for hours on end, it wasn’t that hard to choose the office chair. Do not get me wrong, it was easy in terms of colour and overall design, as nothing goes so perfectly well with a dazzling white office desk than a stunningly white, ultra-modern chair. From all that I had read about office ergonomics thus far, I gathered that the office chair should provide great lumbar support, with adjustable back support, arm rests and height. So, I made sure I followed all these rules for the sake of my long term health, my mood and my productivity. And there it was – the perfect addition to my small slice of paradise, the ideal complement to my modern office furniture set – a gorgeously white office chair with 2 inch thick seat cushions upholstered in a high-quality Italian leather. It features a wide seat which provides extra comfort, removable arms as well as an adjustable gas-lift seat height. A real treat to the eye.

Light It Up
Since most of us are more productive during daytime while there is ample natural light, it would be a shame not to use all the daylight you could get in your home office in favour of your productivity. What I did in mine was left all the windows without any curtains whatsoever. This way, there’s more light coming into the room, making it brighter, which in turn is more inspiring and makes it harder to fall into the trap of that middle-of-the-day sleep craving. Of course, I strategically placed my computer desk in a position so that there is no glare to affect my eyesight while working. Moreover, I installed white light bulbs as these are known to set a better working atmosphere rather than yellow lights which give a more laid-back ambiance. Yellow lighting is nice, but then again, you have work to do in that room. Leave the sweet pleasures of falling in your comfort zone for the bedroom.

Details Matter
The thing about details is that they are not just details – they make the design. For the ultimate cosy feel, it would be a great idea to add a fluffy rug on the ground so that it adds a comfy touch to the room. To add up to the sleek design of my office I chose a greyish rug which paired well with the all-white set of modern office furniture. It also matched perfectly well with the cushions on the corner sofa and the rest of the office accessories in the room. The perfect contemporary colour blend.

Last but not least, in order to break the white-grey monotony, to give the room a colourful stylish boost as well as to give myself the motivational boost that I so much need from time to time, I created an art wall. I put nothing but the most creative and positive mindset building quotes and photos on it, which help me get through tough days. Motivation is a crucial ingredient for optimum success in any field. Practice it daily.

Braces Options For Kids

Disclosure: This is a paid post on behalf of Schulhof of NJ.

If your child needs braces, you’ll be glad to hear that he has more and better options than the “train track” braces you may have sported as a child. It’s not just that there are invisible and near-invisible braces available; the general stigma of braces has mostly faded away. Not only are braces more attractive and easier to wear now, but also they’re becoming almost cool. Tooth-colored ceramic braces have replaced the glaring look of traditional metal braces. Clear plastic aligners are available that can be removed during meals. The most advanced option isn’t even visible: hidden braces such as Incognito Invisible Braces are bonded to the back of the teeth, rather than the front, and cannot be seen at all under normal circumstances.

Traditional braces have the advantage of being more modestly priced than most other alternatives, and celebrities with grills have made the “metal mouth” look almost popular. Your child can choose brightly colored bands and fun brackets shaped like stars or footballs. But traditional braces still have some drawbacks, and if you compare traditional vs. Incognito Hidden Braces, they become clear. At this sensitive time of life, a child whose braces are completely unseen has an easier time socially than one with a mouth full of braces. Unseen braces may also give your child the confidence to participate more fully in class and extracurricular activities than he might with conspicuous traditional braces.

If your child’s dental issues are mild, you may have heard about clear plastic aligners that he can wear during the day. These aligners are much less noticeable than traditional or even ceramic braces, though they are shiny plastic and still reflect light. But keep in mind that they must be taken out during meals, and children are notoriously forgetful, especially of appliances they might prefer to “lose.” They must also be worn at least 22 hours a day to have the best effect. For these reasons, Invisalign may not be the best option for children and young teens. A better alternative for mild dental issues might be Incognito Lite. Incognito Lite Braces are a smaller version of Incognito Hidden Braces. They are bonded to the backs of the six most visible front teeth, and like all other braces, cannot be removed except by a dentist. Treatment time with Incognito Lite can be as little as six months.

Incognito and Incognito Lite Hidden Braces can be more of a financial investment than most of the other options, but they also provide the most benefits. Aside from the advantage of complete privacy, they also deliver a more precise and individually tailored result, because unlike traditional braces, they are custom-fitted to your child’s teeth. This customized treatment moves the teeth more efficiently than the other alternatives and often results in a shorter overall treatment time.

There are more alternatives now than ever before when it comes to braces for kids. When you make that decision, consider giving your child the most advanced braces option possible: Incognito or Incognito Lite Hidden Braces.

Finding The Best Price For Your Diamonds

This is a sponsored post.

Unknown-1

When I really need cash, I sell some of my jewelry. The truth is I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and it just sits in a box. Unless it has a lot of sentimental value, there is no reason for me to store it. So why not just sell it and get a good amount of money for it.

With my rings and other jewelry my problem is I never know how much the diamonds are worth.www.diamondvaluation.com has helped me find out a good price for my diamonds and they can even sell them through the site. You can sell from anywhere worldwide.

What I love about this site is they offer better prices than most traditional outlets, and you never have to leave your house. everything is done online, and there is no need to leave the house.

On the site all you have to do is enter all your information about your diamond ring, jewelry, or loose diamonds. Then a rep will call you and verify. It’s that easy, you will get top dollar for your jewelry.

Have you ever sold your diamonds? Or even just wanted to know how much they are worth?

Top Three Reasons To Invest In A New Ice Machine Before Summer Arrives

Guest post by Beth W

If your business serves up hundreds of cold drinks per day, you need a reliable and productive ice machine. Investing in a new appliance before the summer season begins will help you prepare for the rush of thirsty visitors looking for their favorite drinks with fresh, clean ice to keep them cool.

1. Handling Demand

The worst thing that could happen on a hot summer day would be an icemaker malfunction at your moment of peak demand. Small or older appliances often struggle to keep producing ice at a fast pace when demand spikes. A large and powerful icemaker from Culinary Depot will keep drinks moving out as soon as your workers can fill the cups. When the heat waves come, you don’t want to be using appliances that are obsolete and about to fail. Make sure to purchase a unit that will handle the amount of customers your business serves.

2. Easy To Clean

It is crucial to disinfect and clean the ice maker on a regular basis to prevent bacterial colonies from settling in and making guests ill. Many older models are full of nooks and crannies that make thorough cleaning a pain. You need to look for a new model that is designed for quick disinfection so your employees can spend less time cleaning and more time serving customers. Models with convenient bottom drains can speed up rinsing while ensuring no disinfectant or cleaning product remains in the tank to contaminate the ice.

3. Higher Efficiency
Spend less on your business expenses by investing in a quality icemaker that can produce pounds of ice per hour without using a lot of electricity. Extra insulation will keep ice frozen and ready to use while softening the noise that older commercial appliances usually produce during operation.

Bright Now Dental

Disclosure: This is a compensated Guest Post

Guest post by Kramar J

 

Bright Now Dental is rapidly becoming the dental practice of choice in Tacoma and surrounding areas of Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Port Orchard, Midland, Arletta, Summit and Warren. Much of that growth is due to the competency and reputation of the outstanding staff of dentists the practice has has in place. These well trained and fully certified dentists and specialty doctors, led by Dr. Thien Nguyen, offer expert care in a variety of dental specialties including:
General dentistry
Oral Surgery
Maxillofacial Surgery
Periodontics
Endodontics
Orthodontics

Patients can count on Bright Now Dental for complete family dental care that starts with cleaning and common fillings and extending through extractions, braces, implants, crowns and more, as well as a full compliment of cosmetic procedures. To facilitate your care, the dental office accepts most major dental insurance plans including Met Life, Delta PPO and Aetna PPO. The practice also offers a plan referred to as the ConfiDent Plan which will grant discounts of up to 30% off. The goal is to provide dental care for anyone in need with flexible and affordable payment plans.

To encourage new patients, Bright Now Dental offers a special savings program for new patients. This offer provides cleaning, exams, digital x-rays and therapeutic rinses for only $29. For convenience, Bright Now Dental is open six days a week and offers evening and Saturday appointments.

New patients are urged to fill out the information form found on the website. This is a great way to save precious time for both yourself and the dentist. It allows the dentist get to work sooner on improving your smile.

The office is located at:at 4545 S. Union Avenue, Suite 100, Tacoma, WA 98409. Call 1-888-274-4486 for an appointment. Refer to the website: http://www.brightnow.com.

Finding The Right Projector For Your Need

AcerX1240

 

I can remember using the projector slides in high school for a project I was doing on animals. Now projectors have improved so much, and are easier to use. Projectors can shoe movies in 3D now, and you can even show a full business proposal through a projector.

I love going to movies in the park where, you can lay under the stars and watch a movie shown by projector on a white sheet. It’s so cool!

For the past two weeks, I have been watching my husband practice and work on his thesis paper. He said he was considering doing his presentation through a projector. So I started looking into different projectors online.

I found a site that carries Business projectors in all sizes, for any kind of project. It’s amazing how many different styles there are. They have projectors for small meeting rooms to large lecture halls. We are considering just a small one. I just love how easy they are to use for anything, just plug in a USB and you have everything you need. You can also use them through WLAN (wireless local area network).

If we do end up getting one, I will definitely be using it for blogging projects 🙂

Have you ever used a projector for a business project or just to screen a movie?

 

Disclosure: This is a compensated post.

Sometimes You Just Need To Bash

Disclosure: This is a compensated post.

lifemates-complaints

Marriage can be tough and it takes a lot of work. Every couple has there ups and downs. but you learn to work through it.

There is even that moment when you feel like you have no one to talk to, or that no one understands.  That’s where Lifematescomplaints.com comes in.

Lifematescomplaints.com is designed to decrease the number of failed marriages in Canada by giving both partners a chance to express their feelings and complaints with out the other life mate knowing.

It’s a site where you can let your feelings be heard and you can let it out, in other words  bashing your spouse.   It can help save your marriage! Instead of holding it in and later blowing up at your life mate, you can write your problems down and share, then work it out. Kind of like therapy online.

The complaints are available to view online, and by reading most of them they are typical complaints. He won’t do the dishes, she spends all my money etc.

I actually think it’s great, you never want to get in to to much personal detail about certain things in your marriage, but a good way to communicate without having a blowup fight.

Check out Lifemates Complaints and see if it will work for you.

Sell Your Diamonds In NYC

Disclosure: This is a compensated post.

293026_273514886082500_1755923586_n

WP Diamond Offers The Best Possible Prices When You Sell Diamonds. 
Sell from anywhere within the US, UK or Spain.

We Buy Diamonds of Any Size, Shape or Grade, Even Broken or In Poor Condition. Certified And Non-Certified. Sell Diamond Ring, Sell Engagement Ring, Sell Diamond Jewelry, Sell Loose Diamonds.

Everyone gets in a bind every now and then, when it comes to money. I have found in my toughest moments I have sold my jewelry to help my family. Gold is very high right now and so are the value of diamonds.

One of the best places to sell Diamonds in my area is in New York City. WP Diamonds will but your engagement rings, pendants, loose diamonds and more. The best thing about this company, you don’t even have to be in New York.

Just fill out the information online, you’ll get valuation through phone or email, Ship your jewelry to WP Diamonds, they’ll make a offer and you get cash in your account.

They are getting great reviews online and even have a minimum purchase of $500, so you know you’ll get a good amount.

Next time you need cash, sell Diamonds in New York.

Mom’s A Big Help

Disclosure: This is a compensated post. Thanks for the guest post by Jo Levy

 

My mom has got to be the best mother in the world. I know everyone says that but my mom knows Kris and I have been trying to save up money for a true honeymoon since we never got one after the wedding and she’s been helping in every way possible. The other day she sent me a check in the mail – apparently she put some of her old handbags on Ebay and made some quick cash. She also emailed me a link forhttp://www.electriccompaniestexas.net/txu-energy-texas/ where she said she’d gone to research her utilities and ended up saving lots of money each month. I can’t believe mom’s offered to watch the dog and our daughter once we make enough to go on our vacation, either. We’d already factored in the $300 the kennel was going to cost so that’s a huge help in getting to our goal. I really want to make sure mom’s always taken care of since dad died – she lives in that big house all alone and I know she doesn’t have any extra money laying around, either. I try to be cognizant of the fact that she’s got medications to pay for and she eats cheap food just to make sure she’s got enough but I sure do hear the call of the waves down in Cancun. That’s where my husband and I want to go if we can ever save enough as we’ve heard such great stories about it from some of our friends. We even found an all-inclusive resort I think we can afford, but we’ll have to catch it on special. We’ll probably have to go n hurricane season because it’s cheaper and just risk a storm but you know, I guess being holed up in a fancy hotel with room service isn’t the worst way to spend a rainy vacation, anyway! The only hurdle once we save the cash is getting my husband the time off work but I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Scroll To Top