According to the World Economic Forum, around 16% of Americans say they are struggling financially and some economists have warned that the U.S. is on the verge of a cost of living crisis due to rapid inflation.
As the festive season fast approaches the cost of extras such as gifts, food and drink, and travel can place a strain on many households that are already finding it difficult to meet their daily expenses.
To help you take charge of your finances, this article has outlined some helpful ways to increase your disposable income and make these uncertain times a little more manageable.
Generate an Extra Income Stream
Aside from your nine-to-five, there are many simple and enjoyable ways in which you can generate some extra income.
Whether it’s paid online surveys from the comfort of your own home or creating an online course teaching students a subject you are an expert in, such side hustles can help to boost your monthly paycheck.
You may have a talent for photography or be a skilled software developer.
No matter your area of expertise, put your skills to good use by taking advantage of some of the online learning platforms that are now available.
If you prefer something more hands-on, you can offer your services by dog-walking, babysitting, or cake-making from your own kitchen.
Declutter your closets and storage spaces to gather items you no longer want or need.
Rather than have them take up space in your home, there are many sites such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace where you can sell possessions such as clothes, jewelry, gift cards, and books helping you bolster your bank balance.
There are also many second-hand luxury sites that cater to high-end or luxury items such as watches, designer clothes, and handbags.
If you have any antiques, heirlooms, or glassware that are gathering dust it is worthwhile getting these items valued.
If they do not hold significant meaning, you can then sell these through a reputable dealer or an auction house.
Prepare Your Own Food
The cost of eating out and ordering in takeaway can easily mount up. Buying your groceries in accordance with what you will prepare for the week ahead can help you budget more wisely and also reduce the cost of food wastage.
According to a study from Penn State University, U.S. households waste nearly a third of the food they acquire, the cost of which amounts to about $1,866 per household per year.
By being more mindful of your food spending habits you are more likely to buy only what you need, cutting down on excessive and unnecessary purchases.
By following the tips outlined, you can help to boost your household’s monthly income making it a little easier to navigate these times.
As the new year approaches, many people take the opportunity to reflect on their financial goals and make resolutions for the coming year.
Whether you are looking to save more money, pay off debt, or invest in your future, there are many strategies you can use to improve your financial situation.
In this article, we’re going to go over 5 key things that will help you get your money right in 2023.
#1. Budgeting is Underrated
One of the most important things you can do to improve your finances is to create a budget.
A budget is a plan that outlines how you will spend and save your money each month.
By keeping track of your income and expenses, you can ensure that you are living within your means and making the most of your money.
One key aspect of budgeting is to track your spending.
This means keeping a record of everything you spend money on.
By paying attention to where your money is going, you can identify areas where you may be able to cut back or save more.
Or if you’re like me, identify what it is you really like spending money on, and let that be a drive to increase your income.
But more on that later.
#2. Setting Financial Goals
Another important aspect of budgeting is setting financial goals.
Whether you want to save for a down payment on a house, pay off credit card debt, or save for retirement, having specific goals in mind can help you stay motivated and focused on your financial progress.
Getting your money right in 2023 is going to require you to really narrow down on what you’re trying to accomplish financially for the new year.
It’s important to note that it is never too late to set financial goals.
However, the earlier you get serious about meeting your financial goals, the sooner you will be able to realize your potential.
As soon as you’re done writing these goals, begin creating a plan of action.
Write down what you will be tackling with sheer focus for the new year to meet these goals.
Don’t just make it a goal, create a real plan.
#3. Increase Your Income
In addition to budgeting and setting financial goals, there are many other strategies you can use to improve your finances in the new year.
One strategy is to increase your income.
This could involve asking for a raise at work, taking on additional freelance or part-time work, or starting a side hustle.
When I was working for the family business, I was still looking for ways to increase my income.
Although my income was going up every year and I had a ‘safe’ career, I wasn’t satisfied.
This could involve cutting back on unnecessary expenses, such as subscription services or other bad habits that aren’t serving you.
Finding ways to save on everyday expenses, such as by shopping around for the best deals is a great way to keep your money in check.
Anyone can be wasteful or careless with their money.
Keeping an eye on where your money is going at all times separates careless spenders from responsible spenders.
#5. Invest Your Money
Another way to improve your finances is to invest in your future.
While investing carries risks, it can also provide the potential for long-term growth and financial security.
Investing in index funds such as the S&P 500 will not only yield dividends, but your portfolio’s value may also grow substantially in the next bull market.
While investments tend to fluctuate, the greater markets tend to trend up long-term.
Never invest more than you’re willing to lose, work towards generating and increasing your income, and you’ll feel on top of the world.
#6. Build a Strong Emergency Fund
Finally, it’s important to have an emergency savings fund in case of unexpected expenses or emergencies.
This could be a savings account or other liquid investment, such as a money market fund, that you can access quickly in case of an emergency.
Having a strong emergency fund is like wearing strong armor in life.
An emergency fund will help you pivot when you’ve taken financial hits, such as losing a job, drop in business revenue, or losses in the market.
Your emergency fund should help you get on your feet if you happen to experience a financial bump in your journey.
Nothing feels greater than when you increase your income, know where your money is going, have your money working for you, and have a strong emergency fund to back you up should you take a small or big hit.
Stay Focused and Patient
As you work to improve your finances in the new year, it’s important to be patient and consistent.
Building wealth and improving your financial situation takes time, and it’s important to stay focused and dedicated to your goals.
It can also be helpful to seek the guidance of a mentor or people who are already where you want to be.
Overall, the new year is a great opportunity to take control of your finances and work towards a more secure financial future.
By setting goals, creating a budget, increasing your income, reducing your expenses, investing in your future, and building an emergency savings fund, you can take steps towards improving your financial situation and achieving your financial goals.
Holiday cooking can be a fun and enjoyable activity, but it can also be a significant financial burden if not properly planned and budgeted for.
Planning and preparing meals in advance can help you save money and reduce stress during the busy holiday season.
Here are some tips for managing your finances and incorporating affordable and delicious recipes into your holiday cooking:
How to Save Money on Holiday Meals
#1. Make a Budget
Make a budget and stick to it: Determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on holiday meals and stick to that budget. This will help you avoid overspending and ensure that you have enough money to cover all of your holiday expenses. Consider shopping sales and using coupons to save money on ingredients.
#2. Plan Ahead
Plan ahead: Make a list of all the dishes you want to prepare and create a shopping list based on the ingredients you will need. This will help you avoid impulse purchases and ensure that you have everything you need when it’s time to start cooking. Consider making some dishes in advance and freezing them so you can just defrost and reheat on the day of your event.
#3. Shop for Ingredients at Affordable Stores
Shop for ingredients at affordable stores: Consider shopping at discount stores or farmer’s markets to find affordable ingredients. These options may not have the same variety as a traditional grocery store, but they can still provide high-quality ingredients at a lower cost.
#4. Make Use of What You Already Have
Make use of what you already have: Before you start shopping for ingredients, take inventory of what you already have in your pantry and fridge. You may be able to use up some of these items in your holiday recipes, saving you money on ingredients.
#5. Consider Alternative Ingredients
Consider alternative ingredients: Instead of using expensive or hard-to-find ingredients, consider using more affordable alternatives that will still add flavor to your dishes. For example, you can use chicken broth instead of beef broth, or canned tomatoes instead of fresh.
#6. Use Less Expensive Cuts of Meat
Use less expensive cuts of meat: Rather than using expensive cuts of meat, consider using cheaper cuts that can be slow-cooked or braised. These cuts tend to be more flavorful and tender when cooked slowly, and they can be a more affordable option.
Budget-Friendly Yet Tasty Holiday Meals
Now that you have some tips for managing your finances during holiday cooking, here are a few affordable and delicious recipes to try:
Slow-Cooker Pot Roast: This recipe uses a cheaper cut of meat, such as chuck roast, and slow cooks it in a mixture of broth, red wine, and vegetables. The result is a tender and flavorful pot roast that can be served with mashed potatoes or other side dishes.
Spaghetti with Meatballs: This classic recipe is always a crowd-pleaser and it can be made with affordable ingredients such as ground beef, breadcrumbs, and canned tomatoes. Serve it with a side of garlic bread for a complete meal.
Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad: This recipe is perfect for vegetarians or for those looking for a healthier holiday option. It combines roasted vegetables, quinoa, and a homemade vinaigrette for a flavorful and satisfying dish.
Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings: This recipe uses a whole chicken, which is a more affordable option than buying individual cuts of meat. It also uses pantry staples such as canned vegetables and biscuit mix to make dumplings, making it a budget-friendly option.
By following these tips and trying out some of these recipes, you can enjoy a delicious holiday meal without breaking the bank.
We’re starting a clean slate for the new year, and our finances are not where we thought they would be.
This applies to TWO kinds of people.
Maybe you slacked off, could have tried harder, or faced a year of nonstop setbacks which affected your finances deeply.
Or perhaps you had a great year but aren’t satisfied with your results due to your ambitious characteristics.
In this article, I want to zoom out and bring into perspective what is holding us back from reaching our financial goals.
And how sometimes these financial setbacks are actually part of a big financial setup for a financial breakthrough.
Let’s get started.
What to Do If Your Income Decreased?
If your income decreased, you need to first identify why it decreased.
Did your job cut hours? Lose a job? Did your business revenue drop?
Or did you take more days off this year? Were you distracted by things that took your time away from being productive?
These are all very real scenarios that we as human beings experience in life.
The incredible thing is that no matter what you identified as being the problem, there’s an actual solution to it.
If your job cut your hours or let you go, what could you have done outside your comfort zone to fill in those hours or get back in the game?
Could you perhaps have started a side hustle or looked for a part-time?
If your business revenue dropped, identify why it dropped with full accountability.
Did demand drop? If so, what new systems can you put in place to offset any uncontrolled losses?
Or were you distracted? Which distractions took valuable time away from you?
We Failed to Step Outside Our Comfort Zone
Often times when we aren’t living the lives we hope to live, it’s because we continuously fail to step outside of our comfort zone.
Stepping outside our comfort zone, while painful and even challenging in most cases, forces us to do things differently.
It forces us to push forward when it gets tough.
And it helps us build the required discipline to excel to higher heights.
But what if you did step outside your comfort zone and you lost a lot of money?
The answer to this question has to do with risk management.
At some point in life, we will be forced to face the consequences of lacking a proper risk management system.
Whether you invested a lot of money in the stock market, real estate, in a business, or in self-developing skills, proper risk management is what will save you from going to $0.
See, whether you lost a lot of money, went to $0, or even negative doesn’t matter.
It’s what you learn from these experiences that matters.
Unfortunately, we don’t have mentors that teach us this about life and finances; it’s really all just a learning game.
Why Your Financial Setback is Actually a Financial Setup
You could have had a great financial year and still view it as a setback compared to previous years.
How we view a financial setback is completely tailored to each individual.
Someone’s setback might be someone’s dream or goal.
Perhaps your setback is setting you up to start somewhere new, or something new.
A setback isn’t the end of the world, but rather the beginning of a new one.
And if you’re able to fearlessly conquer adversity every time it shows, each setback, even as you feel you’re falling, will only be a step back in a much higher staircase than you once previously were.
You will look back and see how much you’ve grown; despite what new adversity you face today.
The only solution to move forward and to move beyond the pain, is yours to discover.
That’s right, even in today’s bear market, retail investors have big opportunity right now.
If you’re a new investor or entered the market during the bull run, chances are your portfolio is down significantly.
But don’t let your first bear market shake you off because there are numerous opportunities out there that have the potential to yield big returns.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ve more than likely capitalized on opportunities such as AMC, HYMC, Shiba Inu Coin, Terra Classic, and Bitcoin during properly and fortunately timed moments.
So, what’s new?
In this article, I’m going to go over the opportunities I see that lie ahead for retail investors.
None of the information on my blog is financial advice but rather speculative content based on current information and trends in the market.
And with that being said, let’s get started.
Not Invested in The Markets Yet?
If you or someone you know are not invested in the markets yet, the two articles below are going to walk you through, step-by-step on how to buy stocks for the very first time and how to buy cryptocurrency for the very first time, too.
Much information on how to invest in the markets is outdated so I wanted to create easy guides for beginners.
Remember, one of the greatest wealth you can share with someone else is that of knowledge.
Opportunities in the Stock Market Today
During a bear market share prices tend to tumble, hence why many long-term investor’s portfolios tend to lose value.
And although we can’t entirely time the bottom, we know that at some point the stock market is at a massive fire sale.
Value investors such as you and I can pick up shares from our favorite companies at these low prices before the market reverses trend.
Economists, analysts, and entrepreneurs alike predict there is still room for another 10%-15% drop in the markets.
But for the record, these are just predictions after all.
The point here is for value investors to capitalize on this falling trend by purchasing low and holding during the next bull market.
Whether you choose to capitalize on opportunities presented in a bull market or not will ultimately be up to you.
However, capitalizing during a bull market will require value investors to buy during a bear market, not during the bull market.
After being involved in the retail community for almost three years now, there are stocks and crypto that just stand out as having big potential during the next bull run and I’m going to discuss them below.
Stocks Worth Buying During a Bear Market
None of the information provided below is financial advice, but rather speculative in nature based on market trends and current information at the time of publication.
AMC Entertainment Stock (AMC)
You’ve probably heard all the ruckus on AMC and ‘meme stocks’.
It’s true, the stock jumped from $5 per share to an all-time high of $72 per share.
AMC Entertainment stock is currently trading below $6 again due to this bear market.
What makes this stock such an interesting value investment is that it has a huge community made up of millions of people who plan to take its current price up again.
Plus, the company has beat earnings every quarter since 2021.
Investing in the largest movie theater chain in the world could prove to pay out big during the next bull market.
SPY Stock (SPY)
I’ve talked about SPY stock numerous times on my blog.
Chances are, you’ve already made a few personal finance mistakes in your life, or maybe you’ve made more than a few.
There are a few reasons for this.
Even though personal finance is something that we all have to deal with, most people learn surprisingly little about it as they are growing up.
Money is a taboo topic in many families, and it’s not uncommon for people to not have all the knowledge they need to make the best financial decisions even as adults.
Personal finance is rarely taught in schools, at least not in a way that is useful to people.
For these reasons, you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you’ve made any of the mistakes mentioned below, but you should try to educate yourself now so that you avoid them.
Not Talking About Money
You don’t have to go around telling everyone what your salary is, but if you have been brought up with the idea that it’s bad manners to talk about money, you may find yourself unable to discuss important financial matters with your partner or to teach your children about smart money management.
An inability to have this conversation is one reason that finances are a common source of conflict in relationships.
Talking about your own attitude toward money as well as that of the family that you grew up in can help you understand one another better and can clear the air so that you can teach your kids about the topic.
Overusing Credit Cards
It’s so easy to fill out those applications and get another card in the mail and so easy to slap one down for something you want or need instead of saving up for it, but it’s a big mistake if you don’t have the money to pay off the balance at the end of the month.
The reason is that credit cards nearly always have a high interest rate, and this means that you end up paying a lot more for the product or service or experience than its actual price.
Interest on credit cards can mount up, too, and you can find yourself falling behind on payments.
If there’s something you want or need and you don’t have the money for it, a much better option is to look to personal loans.
You can often apply online for these, and you will nearly always be offered a better repayment plan than you get with a credit card.
Credit cards aren’t all bad.
If you only use them for expenses that you can pay the balance on each month, they can give you cash back and other benefits.
Not Saving for Retirement
If you’ve got other financial pressures, it can be hard to see a portion of your paycheck go away into a fund you may not access for years or decades.
This can be especially hard when you are young and retirement seems a million years away, but there’s no better time to save for it.
Day trading uses one of the biggest leveraging tools out there, the stock market/derivatives market.
Here, traders will require intense discipline in order to execute their trades with profit.
Day trading is certainly not for everyone, but if making hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars per day sounds appealing, you can learn more about it here.
The incredible thing about trading the market is that traders can learn how to make money whether the stock market is booming or crashing.
This means that as long as you’re able to develop the skills necessary to become a consistently profitable trader, you will be able to pivot in a recession and actually make money while most of the economy faces turmoil.
Going on the offense means learning new skills and getting out of your comfort zone to be successful at something outside your 9-5.
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Let’s dive right into it.
Compounding starts with reinvesting
The list below is made up of cash dividend paying stocks, companies with enough cash at hand which allows them to pay cash dividends to its investors every quarter.
The key here is to ensure that you opt in to ‘reinvest’ these cash dividends back into the asset so that your number of shares automatically compound every quarter.
On some occasions, the default setting is set to ‘cash’ instead of ‘reinvest’, which means your broker account will receive the cash dividend as a form of payment and settle in your funds like a deposit.
When you’ve built a strong retirement portfolio and you’re ready to claim the fruit of your labor many years from now, then you’ll want to begin taking that big cash.
But in the meantime, we’re focusing on setting ourselves up for that chapter in our lives so make sure you opt in to ‘reinvest’ that cash dividend.
Over time, you will see your number of shares grow fractionally and then eventually turn into whole numbers.
This process will continue repeating as you continue to fund your cash dividend stock portfolio.
Which Stocks Can Take Care of You Forever?
Building wealth is a constant journey of increasing your income and investing in assets that can take care of you forever.
If you would like me to publish more content on how to increase your income let me know in the comments section at the end of the article.
Granted that you have the capability to invest now during this bear market, here is a list of cash dividend paying stocks that can take care of you forever.
GPC has paid $3.42 per share but is currently paying investors during this bear market $0.90 per share.
Genuine Parts Company is an American service organization engaged in the distribution of automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products and electrical/electronic materials.
#3. VNQ (Real Estate REIT)
Dividend Yield: 3.53%
VNQ has paid $2.86 per share but is currently paying investors approximately $0.56 per share in today’s bear market.
VNQ is Vanguard’s real estate ETF which invests in stocks issued by real estate investment trusts (REITs), companies that purchase office buildings, hotels, and other real property.
#4. OMF (One Main Holdings, Inc.)
Dividend Yield: 7.96%
OMF currently pays investors $0.95 per share but has paid them as much as $6.80 per share during the bull market.
OneMain Holdings, Inc. is an American financial services holding company that provides loan products, offers credit cards, and other personal loans.
#5. T (AT&T)
Dividend Yield: 9.71%
AT&T is currently paying shareholders $0.28 per share but has paid investors $1.60 in the past.
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications holding company offering internet and cellular services.
#6. NRZ (Real Estate REIT)
Dividend Yield: 9.85%
NRZ stock is currently paying investors $0.25 per share but has paid $1 per share before.
New Residential is a publicly traded mortgage real estate investment trust with a diversified portfolio and a strong track record of performance.
#7. EMR (Emerson Electric Co.)
Dividend Yield: 2.45%
EMR pays shareholders $0.51 per share but has paid investors $2.05 per share prior to today’s bear market.
Emerson Electric Co. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Fortune 500 company manufactures products and provides engineering services for industrial, commercial, and consumer markets.
#8. ESGV (ETF)
Dividend Yield: 1.26%
ESGV currently pays shareholders $0.20 but has paid investors $0.88 per share in the past.
ESGV tracks the performance of large-, mid-, and small-capitalization stocks.
The ETF specifically excludes stocks of certain companies related to the following: adult entertainment, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, gambling, chemical and biological weapons, cluster munitions, anti-personnel landmines, nuclear weapons, conventional military weapons, civilian firearms, nuclear power, and coal, oil, or gas.
Investing in other stocks that aren’t paying cash dividends could be a great way to raise capital fast.
One example is Tesla, AMC, GameStop, etc.
Retail investors who were able to jump on these stocks early were able to capitalize on massive price fluctuations.
The key here is to get in early, otherwise you may end up holding substantially large losses.
If you’re going to invest in individual companies, make sure you’ve done your due diligence and cash out when in profit.
Send this list to someone you know!
Share this list of the best dividend stocks to buy right now with someone you know who is invested in the market.
I personally hold these stocks in my stock portfolio and figured I’d share with my readers which dividend stocks I recommend checking out.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this list – do you hold any?
Leave your thoughts below!