Are Your Debts Your Age?

Debt has become the cross to bear almost all adults have to live with these days. Answering why would be like trying to make sense of anything Jaqen H’ghar has ever said (a little Game of Thrones reference for you there), which is nigh on impossible. At the more innocent end of the scale it has a lot to do with unexpected circumstances popping up in your life, at the more sinister end of proceedings it is to do with the lack of any formal education on money matters, and somewhere in the middle, it is to do with the cost of living.

Whatever the case, debt is something most adolescents don’t think about, getting help with paying debt down is something all middle-aged Americans have to focus on and enjoying a debt-free retirement is something more and more retirees are seeing as a pipedream.

To break this epidemic down a little more, we’re going to delve into the circumstance of each age group, something that will help you know you’re not alone and hopefully motivate you to change your fortunes, literally.

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Under The Age Of 35

The average debt for a household whereby the main breadwinner is under the age of 35 is a staggering $82,764. That is quite terrifying because most people won’t have started accumulating debt until they were eighteen, which makes that a dozen years of heavy spending. Of course, not all households that fall within this age bracket have debt, which is why this is simply an average based on those that do. It also worth pointing out that a mortgage is a big chunk of this – the average mortgage debt at this age is $143,890.

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Between 35 And 44

No surprises for guessing what happens here because, with more years to accumulate date and upsize a home, the debt increases with those that fall within this age group. In fact, the people residing in this bracket have the highest average debt of all at $153,239, with the average mortgage debt being closer to $190,000. This is a terrifying number if your debt is made up of personal loans and credit cards and not a mortgage and just one of the reasons why staying out of debt needs to be of the utmost importance to people growing up.

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Between 45 And 64

This is where the debts a household has accumulated starts to decline, which will have a lot to do with the sudden rise in average salaries at the age too. More money means less financial burden when paying off debts. For those closer to the 44 -ear marker, debts will stand at around $150,000, with this figure slipping away to $131,000 in that twenty year period as they start to focus on the kind of retirement they want to enjoy. They may well have assets that are worth a lot more than this figure or they may have a negative net worth. It i a flip of a coin at this age.

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Between 65 And 74

Most people hold the same dream: to be debt free by the time they retire. Unfortunately, though, this is becoming less and less realistic, especially for us Americans, and by unrealistic we mean carrying the burden of $108,765 with us. That is quite substantial. It is also worth pointing out that many of these secured debts are held against an average mortgage of $130,400.

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Christmas Gift Ideas For The Would-Be Interior Designer

November is here, and that means only one thing: Christmas shopping. Unless you’re one of those odd individuals, who thrives on leaving all of their Christmas shopping until the last minute the chances are that you like to be prepared. Spreading your shopping experience means that you don’t get high street fatigue and with the dawn of Internet shopping you may even be able to cut out the high street altogether.

The thought of buying presents for your nearest and dearest as you write your gift list makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s only as you take to the shops do you remember the busyness, the noise and the crowds from last year. You refuse to go through all of that again and hatch a plan. Mulled wine in one hand, mince pie in the other, you make a decision to get in there early, buy your presents in November and have a restful December gloating to your friends that your Christmas shopping is complete as they stare at you enviously.

When it comes to the gifts to buy this year, there has never been a greater choice of gadgets, homewares and toys to satisfy every family member. For the computer-mad kids, opt for online vouchers for Xbox or Playstation. For sports mad pals, buy a ticket to a game. If someone you know loves nothing more than whipping up new culinary creations, send them to a cooking class with a nationally renowned chef. If you have a would-be interior designer in your midst, take a look at these gift ideas that’ll be sure to put a smile on their face come Christmas morning.

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Vintage Lamps

Hot foot it to your local vintage emporium and take a look at the authentic mid-century lighting options. Anglepoise lamps and industrial pendant designs are on trend at the moment. Rustic aluminium and tin plated options ooze warehouse chic and can look incredible over any dining table. For those who want a unique look to their study or want to create a more subtle ambience, an anglepoise design from the 1960s will generate the ultimate mod or beatnik look. The steampunk style involves taking items with a purpose such as car horns, oil cans and clocks and upcycling them with a light fitting and an Edison bulb to give them a renewed look, ideal for those more quirky would-be interior designer acquaintances.

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Hipster

For those twenty-something relatives who adorn themselves in hipster-esque attire each day, take a look at some classic pieces of furniture. With G-Plan, Scandinavian and Ercol wooden pieces becoming ever more fashionable, you could satisfy any distinguished bearded brother or nephew with a telephone table, armchair or set of stools. If your relative has a living room with crisp white walls, a minimal finish and a feature wall complete with a geometrically designed wallpaper, dark wooden furniture will fit in effortlessly.

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Luxurious Furnishings

There is nothing better on a cold winter morning than waking up all cosy in the finest high thread count sheets enveloping you in a soft, dense cocoon of warmth. If your would-be interior designer friend has recently renovated their bedroom and is keen to source some linen for their new king size divan, why not go for the luxurious Egyptian cotton pillowcases and sheets. You could opt for a highly texturised feel, simple pure white or a floral pattern design depending on the recipient’s tastes.

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Art

Although highly subjective, purchasing a piece of art for a Christmas gift takes care and thought. If you know somebody who has a flair for all things creative and loves collecting a painting or two in their spare time, why not invest in a piece of art on their behalf. You could select a modern sculpture from a local gallery, head to the auction house to pick up a pair of 19th-century lithographs or opt for the more traditional landscapes or watercolours that you know they have a penchant for. The original artwork that you purchase as a gift will be a one-of-a-kind piece and something unique for them to discover as they unwrap their presents on Christmas morning.

Christmas is a time for giving. Priding yourself on being the ultimate gift giver means that you go out of your way to think of the recipient that you are purchasing for. For the would-be interior designer in the family, think about their likes and dislikes, their home, the styles they enjoy and the pieces of furniture that may be missing from the humble abodes, and try to fill the gaps with your gifts.

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Mastering Adulthood One Piece At A Time

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For most people, the idea of leaving school when they are young is one of the greatest things imaginable. The thought of complete freedom and a life without school is very grand, and most kids will embrace it wholeheartedly. That is, of course, until they actually get to experience it, and are exposed to the challenges it can bring. Being an adult is never easy. But, it doesn’t have to be all hard, and this post is here to help you out. It will be exploring five of the most important areas of adult life, along with the ways that you can keep them under control for yourself. So, now, being nice and responsible should come as second nature.

Finance

The very first area to consider in this is finance. Budgeting, saving, investing, and even donating to charity are all a huge part of life, and you will need to get to grips with them before you can be confident in your abilities as an adult. The best place for help in this area is usually the bank. This sort of organization will be able to give you impartial advice, while also pointing you in the right direction to help you learn. As your knowledge expands, you can begin to look elsewhere for money or debt help, using all of the sources you can get your hands on. Of course, though, there’s no shame in getting help with something like this, and an accountant is an excellent way to do it.

Work & Career

Next, it’s time to start thinking about your career. As a child, you probably had loads of big ideas about your future, and most of them will have been unrealistic. Over time, a lot of people will lose touch with these aspirations, settling in a role they don’t enjoy. To avoid this, you need to always remain on the hunt for something better in your career. Whether this is a promotion or a new job, it’s important to keep on rising, or you might find it hard to change in the future. Not a lot of people will take this area seriously. In reality, though, this will start before you even leave school.

Social Life

The success you find in your career and financial life will greatly depend on the support of those around you. No one can get through life completely on their own, and most people will want to have a good host of friends to keep them happy. There are no set rules to this part of your life. But, to make sure you don’t end up alone, you will need to make sure that you keep in touch with a good range of people. Having a couple of close friends is very common. Along with this, though, it can also be good to have some other friends on the outside of your main group.

Family

Friends are going to be the only people you need to give time to in your life. Along with this, most people will also want to spend a lot of time with their family, though this can be hard when you’re starting out in life. When you’re very busy, days can become weeks since you last spoke to someone you care about. In most cases, this won’t diminish your relationship, but it could leave one side of the party feeling bad about it. To avoid this, you should work hard to keep a regular routine in place with your loved ones. Not only will this keep you in contact, but it could also help you to keep a stronger bond.

Health & Mind

Finally, it’s time to think about yourself for a little bit, with your physical and mental health as your key concern. A lot of people ignore these parts of their life when they are first starting out in the world. Keeping fit and happy can seem unimportant when you’re starting an exciting career or your own business. Of course, though, it’s not worth making yourself unhealthy for your job. Instead, you should be aiming to balance these parts of your life, making them work together. This might be hard, but achieving it will make life quite a lot easier.

When you’re first getting started in life, the important things will often be put aside for your other interests. Of course, though, you can leave things like this until later on, as they have to be carefully managed throughout your life. Thankfully, you’re not alone in this challenges, and there are loads of people out there to help you.

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A Millennial’s Guide To Mastering The Art Of Investing

Just because you’re twenty-something doesn’t mean you don’t have your financial head firmly screwed on. Now that you have a secure career, a good monthly salary and you have managed to pay off your lingering student debt, you may find yourself with disposable income every month. At the moment you are squirreling this extra cash into your savings. However, there’s a niggling voice telling you that this money could be better invested elsewhere to enable you to see more lucrative returns on your excess cash. You’re not wrong. Take a look at this helpful guide to point you in the right investment direction.

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Your Mortgage

It may not sound like an investment but if you’re lucky enough to own your own home, making overpayments on your mortgage means that you’ll end up paying it off a lot quicker. While you may not see lucrative returns as such, you may find that you are mortgage free and own your home outright two, five or maybe even ten years earlier than you expected. This is a massive asset that you can claim much quicker leaving you with even more disposable income to invest at a later date.

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Real Estate

The old adage is that bricks and mortar is the safest investment. If you’re after a long-term investment that isn’t super high risk, real estate is a viable option. You could choose to purchase a property in an up and coming urban area with your client focus being young professionals and long-term leasing. However, you could also take a look at the world of vacation lets. Companies like Chinquapin real estate can guide you through the process of purchasing a property in an established area that already attracts holidaymakers. The maintenance costs may be greater, and you’ll need a greater emphasis on marketing your property, but get it right, and you could have near maximum occupancy every year and secure a much greater rental yield than with a more traditional long-term lease. Just ensure that your income from the rent exceeds your mortgage repayments so you won’t be out of pocket.

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Forex

If you’ve always fancied yourself as financially astute and keep up with the nuances of the investment world, you may want to try your hand at a bit of Forex trading. By trading in currencies you are embarking on a more high-risk investment, but naturally, the rewards can be more lucrative. Predicting how foreign currencies will fluctuate takes practice which is why you should set up a free dummy account and ‘pretend’ you are trading with monopoly-esque money. This way you can master the art of trading before you commit to investing your hard-earned cash.

Being young and affluent means that you’re in an incredibly fortunate position. The fact that you’re reading this post shows just how keen you are to invest your money wisely. Follow this advice, and you could find that your money, invested astutely, could go a lot further than you think.

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The Art Of Selling On Trend

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In the past, business owners would usually have to decide what they wanted to sell or do long before they ever got started. Having a physical store restricted people to a company which would change as little as possible, making the most out of signage and other purchases which had to be made. Of course, though, nowadays, this sort of issue doesn’t exist, as the Internet makes it a lot easier for a company to adapt. To help you out with this, this post will be showing you how to start selling on trend.

Researching: The biggest part of this job will be the research you do at the very beginning. Thankfully, you don’t have to predict the future, as other people will notice trends long before you have to. Instead, you just have to know where to look to find the next big thing. Websites like eBay have their own trending pages which can be followed. Along with this, though, websites like Instagram and Pinterest can be great for finding the most popular items at any given time.

Sourcing Goods: Once you have an idea of what you’d like to sell you can start to think about where you’re going to get it from. There are loads of wholesale retailers out there, and you can buy pretty much anything you’d like in bulk. In the case of e cigarettes, for example, websites like E Liquid UK have loads of options for you to choose from. With the amount you can make from products like this, your bulk purchase will often be very good value. Of course, though, you should always do some number crunching to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

Making The Right Listings: With your products in hand, you’ll be ready to start the process of putting them on the web. As your business will be adapting with the times, it won’t be worth building a website, as it will have to change too much. Instead, websites like eBay enable you to sell without a dedicated site behind you. This will always cost a little bit of money. But, unlike other platforms, eBay always has a huge population of active customers.

Into The Future: Finally, it’s time to think about the future of your company. As time moves on, the trends you’ve bought into might drop off in popularity, and it will be time to move onto something a little bit different. At this point, you can start the whole cycle again, using the first attempt to teach you as much as possible. The old products which you’re no longer going to be selling can be reduced in price and sold as soon as possible to make room for the new.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your online business. Not a lot of people realize how easy it can be to appeal to customers. But, by simply providing something they like, you can start to make a huge amount of money.

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The Children Are The Future So Set Them Up For It

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Do you believe that the children are the future, just like in that Whitney Houston song? If so, you will certainly want to set up your own kids for a bright and prosperous future.

Things aren’t all that easy right now for the younger generations. The cost of living and rent are both extortionately high, and this makes it super difficult for teenagers and twenty-somethings to save up for a deposit to buy their first house. Not only that, though, but the job market is also extremely competitive, and getting a decent job with a good wage has never been harder.

Things might not be so good for the younger generations these days but, thankfully, there is plenty that parents can do to help their children build a better future. Ready to get to work for your kids? Here are some things you should do.

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Encourage A Good Education

There is nothing more important than a good education. It really is the perfect base for a successful life and career. So, as you can probably tell, it is necessary to encourage your children to always view their education as a totally positive thing and to put as much effort into it as possible. There are a few things you can do to enforce this way of thinking. Firstly, create a peaceful space in your home where they can carry out their homework and studies. That way, they won’t be distracted and try to procrastinate! You should also read with your children while they are young as this can get them into reading. After putting in plenty of hard work and effort into their studies and school life, your kids should be able to graduate from high school and college with some really rather respectable grades.

Invest In Good Health Care

It’s also important that you ensure your child’s health and fitness. One of the best ways to do this is to save up enough money so that you can invest in some top-quality health insurance for you and all your family. If you go to gomedigap.com, you can see what a full insurance policy should offer you. At the very least, your insurance policy should cover any hospital stays, medical attention, and treatments. There are also some extras you might want to look for in a policy, such as travel insurance cover and a wider variety of treatments.

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Explain The Benefits Of Healthy Living

There are lots of bad habits that are very easy to slip into. These include things like not exercising and unhealthy eating. Sure, it’s easier not to exercise than it is to go out for a run every other day, but it really is beneficial to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. And it’s important that your children understand this too so that they can prevent a wide range of potential illnesses and health conditions. Make sure that you regularly cook healthy homemade meals for them during childhood and they will get into the habit of cooking themselves as they get older. It’s also necessary to ensure that exercise and activeness are part of their regular routine as well so that it becomes the norm.

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Start A Nest Egg

I’ve already mentioned that life for younger generations is now a lot more difficult financially speaking. For this reason, lots of parents are putting some money aside for their children from a very early age. In fact, some parents set up a bank account in their child’s name as soon as he or she is born. They then pay in a small amount on a weekly or monthly basis. You don’t have to put too much money into this account – just $20 a month should do. You will be amazed how much you can save for your child by the time they turn eighteen if you save just $20 a month! They will then have a nice little nest egg to put towards their college tuition or their first deposit for a house. If you are interested in setting up a bank account for your kids, you can see some of the best at moneysavingexpert.com.

Teach Them Confidence

Confidence can take people very far indeed. Do you think that your children are a bit on the shy side? If so, it could be worth trying to instill some extra confidence into their personalities. One of the best ways to teach them some extra confidence is to speak to them as if they were adults. As long as you aren’t patronizing them, then you should find that their confidence comes on leaps and bounds. Praising their work and everything they do should also help them build on their confidence and can teach them how to trust themselves. Encouraging them to develop a sense of adventure can also boost their own self-confidence.

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Celebrate Failure

Of course, there will be some times when your child’s projects and work efforts don’t always go to plan. For example, they might not do quite as well on an assignment than what they had hoped. But they shouldn’t dwell on these failures too much. In fact, our failures are part of what makes us who we are, and they are something to celebrate. Whenever we fail at something, it gives us a chance to learn from our mistakes and improve on these next time. There are lots of hugely successful business people out there who have failed many times before finally achieving big successes. So, you need to teach your kids who to take a leaf out of their book. After all, it’s just like what the old adage says: whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

There are lots of ways you can ensure that all of your kids are set up for a great future and, hopefully, this blog post has given you some great ideas and inspiration of what you can do to help. Got any more useful ideas that could come in handy? Let me know; I’d love to hear them!

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5 Free Spots to Visit in Orlando

When you think Orlando, pricey theme parks are typically the first thing that comes to mind. There is no denying that the theme parks here are second to none, which is why over 20 million visitors travel here each year. Yet, many don’t realize that Orlando is also home to some wonderful attractions that don’t come with hefty admission fees. In fact, there are excellent spots to visit in the City Beautiful that are absolutely free.

If you are looking for some budget friendly entertainment or just something different than that your typical stops in Orlando, check out our top five free spots to check out during your next vacation.

CityArts

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Not every family can afford multiple days at a theme park, which is why it’s great to add a few cost-effective venues to your itinerary. CityArts in downtown Orlando offers 20,000 square feet of art from all over the world. This art gallery welcomes visitors admission free, Tuesday through Saturday. Check out their website for dedicated events such as live performances and entertainment that are sure to wow everyone in your group.

Orlando Brewing

The craft beer connoisseur may love our next suggestion. Orlando Brewing is a local favorite that offers a large variety of organic beers. While tasting the beers may not be free, you are welcome to tour the brewery for no cost, Monday through Saturday. The tour is a fun way to see the beer making process from start to finish. This brewery is family friendly, offering games and live music on the weekends.

Disney Springs

Typically, Disney and the word free do not go together. However, Disney Springs is the exception, offering many fun free things to do. While there are a plethora of restaurants and stores to spend money at, there are also some great options that won’t cost you a cent. The World of Disney store is a must see when visiting this location. Disney Springs is also home to many festivals and events that occur throughout the year. If you have children in your group, make sure you stop at the Lego Imagination Center, which houses a playground and Lego building stations for kids to play for free.

Fort Wilderness Resort

Fort Wilderness Resort is a camper’s paradise with cozy cabins and camping sites. Yet, many don’t realize that you do not need to stay in a cabin to enjoy some of the outdoorsy fun this site offers. Each night, weather permitting, feel free to stop by and enjoy classic movies under that stars on their big screen. Bring friends and family along to sit around the fire, make smores and sing songs with other Disney lovers. Fort Wilderness is the ideal sport to enjoy a lowkey budget friendly night outdoors.

Lake Eola Park

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Since Orlando is known for its beautiful weather, we couldn’t leave Lake Eola Park off of our list. This gorgeous area is ideal location for nature lovers. Beautiful trees and birds are plentiful around the lake which is a favorite for joggers. It also is home to a farmer’s market on Sundays and many other events throughout the year including two synchronized fountain light shows held each night.

They say sometimes the best things are free and this rings true for several spots in the Orlando area. Whether you are planning to stay in Orlando resorts or with friends and family in the area, you can keep a little extra cash in your pocket by heading to these spots on your days off from the theme parks.

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