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The One Time to Be Thankful for Your Relationship

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Good morning Loves.  I know these types of “I’m Thankful For” posts usually come out in November around Thanksgiving, but today I would like to take a moment and just be thankful.

This past weekend BF and I rented a car for three days so we could run some errands, get some things for our apartment as well as visit a few neighborhoods that we aren’t usually able to get to.   We usually love renting cars a few times a year, but this time was a little bit different.

It’s always easy to deal with crisis in couples

Early Friday afternoon we rented a car and drove to Best Buy to get a new DVD player, a wireless mouse and a few other things.  We put the bag in the backseat of the car (it was a SUV so there was no trunk) and proceeded to the next store.

Twenty minutes when we came out the rear passenger’s window was broken in and the Best Buy bag along with all of our new purchases were missing.  We were robbed.  And that right there is the number one reason why I’m thankful for BF and for our relationship.

If I was alone I would have definitely freaked out.  When I first saw the window I froze.  I just stood there and looked around the parking lot trying to see if I saw a stranger watching us.  BF said that we should call the police and make a report.  He was very calm and cool through the whole thing -and for that I am thankful.

Relationships help keep you calm

To say the robbery put a snag in our weekend plans is an understatement.  We had to contact our credit card company to inquire about the insurance coverage, re-buy all our items from Best Buy, return to the car rental company to exchange the SUV and go to the police station to file a report.

I am glad I had BF by my side because he always knows how to make me feel better when I’m sad, how to calm me down when I’m angry and how to put some perspective on a less than perfect situation.  Sometimes going through the motions can be exhausting and it’s always easier to have someone with you.

Thankful for insurance

Our car window was broken approximately six years ago and Honda charged us $600 to repair it.  We are still waiting on the exact quote from the car rental company and on our credit card company to see if they are going to accept the insurance claim, but I am expecting the costs to be approximately the same.

Five years ago my financial situation was such a mess that an additional $600 in unexpected costs meant I wouldn’t be able to pay rent that month.  Thank goodness I grew up, got my finances in order and am now smart enough to purchase products with insurance.

When are you thankful for your relationship?

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Family, Funds and Finances: Are You a Future Financial Advisor?

money-79657_1280 Financial advisors change peoples’ lives and help them protect their assets. For that reason, they will always be in high demand. Here’s some advice and information to help you get into this lucrative industry.

Education Requirements

There aren’t generally high educational standards in the financial planning industry, which is surprising given that you will be managing other peoples’ money or advising them on the best course of action.

However, you can attend colleges like the American College to get a formal education in financial planning. If you attend a college in California online, you can reduce the costs associated with your degree.

Regardless of the route you take to get in, there is always continuing education that is required each year. Depending on the state you live in, and the licenses you hold, you must complete 15 to 40 credit hours every other year, test out on exams, and achieve a passing score to maintain your license.

Where Will You Work?

Most financial planners work for a financial firm or insurance company. But, you can also go out on your own and become an independent registered representative or insurance agent. Some financial professionals open their own financial firm and hire other financial advisors to work for them.

The Sales Component

Do you like sales? Financial planning is a sales-based job. Almost every financial professional needs to be able to sell a client either financial products or sell them on a financial plan. Sales and marketing is perhaps the most under-appreciated aspect of financial planning and many planners struggle with it.

While much of your business will initially come from referrals, you will eventually have to learn how to market.

Charging Fees vs Earning Commission

Financial advisors earn money through fees or commissions. Fees are either based on assets under management or a flat fee for services. Commissions are based on the dollar amount clients use to buy financial products from you.

There is a debate over which compensation method is more fair for consumers, with fee-only financial planners claiming commissions create a conflict of interest between consumers and advisors.

Commissioned advisors, on the other hand, argue that many middle-class families can’t afford the high fees that some advisors charge. The commissions take the place of a $500 or $1,500 planning fee.

Income Projections

Financial advisors make between $40,000 and $100,000 per year. Some make more than that but, according to the BLS, financial advisors earn a median annual income of $90,000. This median income is applies to what many in the industry call “investment advisors.”

Investment advisors manage money for clients who are usually high net worth, raking a 0.5 to 1 percent management fee each year on the total invested assets.

Financial advisors who charge a flat fee may make much less due to the fees being a one-time charge. Commissions salespeople also sometimes refer to themselves as “financial advisors,” and may make more or less than the median income listed by the BLS depending on the products they’re selling.

Sara Curry has enjoyed a successful career in financial services.She likes to be able to share her insights and experiences online. You can find articles written by her on a number of relevant websites.

How to find a job after graduation

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Are you a recent grad?  If you walked across the stage to get your diploma and shake hands with the hierarchy of your school  you may be ready to start the next phase of your life.  I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in 2005 and when I close my eyes I can remember that day as clear as if it was yesterday.

Find a mentor for guidance

I was thankful that I had a full time job at graduation, but that’s only because I worked full time during my four years of college.  Why is all this coming up?  I was recently asked to mentor a soon-to-be-college-grad on how to transition from the world of books and classrooms to the workforce.

To be honest my transition from school to full time work was kind of a relief.  After graduation I only had to work full time, I no longer had to also attend classes, do homework and fit time for group work into my busy schedule.  To say graduating freed up a lot of my time and for that I was thankful.  If we’re being totally honest with each other I actually missed school and went back to pursue a second degree a year after graduation.

Work part time during school

So what’s my advice for recent grads?  Well my number one piece of advice is to gain valuable work experience throughout your four years of college, not just in the last semester before graduation.  I’m not suggesting that everyone work full time while studying because I know how hard it was on me.

My grades would have definitely been a lot better if I had the liberty to dedicate 100% of my time to my studies instead of focusing on work.  However part time work can help gain valuable skills that employers look for after graduation.

Check with the student union for part time gigs on campus, check with local student hangouts in the area such as cafes and store.  You may even want to ask your parents if there’s the possibility for part time student positions at their workplace.

Take a non paying gig

During college you may not be looking for a job for the pay check.  If your main goal is to gain valuable work experience then think about non paying gigs such as an internship.  Sometimes departments and teachers are looking for part time aides and assistants, but they don’t have the budget to pay.

Working during college – whether it’s paid or not – can help you gain experience such as accountability, responsibility, multi-tasking and team work skills.  These are all things that potential employers will look for in potential employees.

One mistake students always make is trying to find work in their field of study and that may help.  However employers only look for experience in seasoned employees.  Potential employers look for general sills in entry level employees because you’ll be able to learn everything else on the job.

What’s your career advice for recent grads?

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Would you buy a new car?

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I did.  In 2007 I bought a new car and swore it was the biggest financial mistake I ever made.  I sold it three years later and now five years after that BF and I are thinking of getting another new car.  So here’s my question, do you have a car and if so did you buy it new or used?

There are several advantages of buying a new car such as the warranty on parts and service as well as the peace of mind that comes with something new – and of course there’s the new car smell.  I will never forget the day I picked up my car from the dealership and sat in it for the first time.  I was 27 years old and felt like a true adult for the first time in my life.

Buying a new car is a big girl purchase

Buying a new car was the biggest purchase I’ve ever made and I was more than happy to parade it around in front of my family and friends whenever I could.  My parents didn’t really seem to care too much, but to me buying a car was a really big deal.

A new car comes with new financial obligations that I definitely wasn’t ready for.  The car payment alone was $500, then I was paying $125 in parking, $50 every two weeks in gas and $100 a month for car insurance. Overnight BF and I suddenly had a newfound $775 in monthly expenses that we definitely couldn’t afford.

A new car costs a lot of money

I would love to tell you that it was all worth it because our brand new Honda Civic was just that awesome, but unfortunately the cost wasn’t worth the benefit for us.  Since we lived in the city and both worked less than 30 minutes away on foot we always walked to work.  Of course it would be easier to drive, but I refused to pay $125 for parking in our apartment building and another $250 per month for parking at the office.

We really only used the car on weekends to run errands, get groceries and for weekend road trips.  We sold it three years later with less than 30,000 kilometers on it.  I was sad to see it go, but I love saving the extra money every month.

The case for buying a used car

A lot of people who have bought both new and used cars say that they will never buy used again.  For some people the inflated cost just isn’t worth it.  I like the idea of having something new, but then again having something that’s only a couple years old and saving thousands of dollars is O.K. too.

It took a long time for our Honda to become fuel efficient.  The dealership says that this usually only happens after 10,000 kilometers.  It took us over a year to reach that point on the speedometer and until that point it seemed like our car was drinking gas.  Now remember this was back in 2008-2009 when gas prices were very high.  Buying a used car means this is already worked out.

So what would you do?  Buy a new or used car? Photo from Pixabay