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Print Your Own Money Legally

money We had never thought about this until we read the story about Crissy Thompson. Printing coupons is like printing money. Only you won’t go to jail!

During tough times, when nearly everyone is looking for ways to save money, clipping coupons can make a bigg difference. But many people don’t use coupons.

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Why don’t we use coupons more?

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I Need Money! Should I Cut Back on My Retirement Plan Contributions?

graph_barThe phrase “perfect storm” has been used more recently than when the movie was out! Here in the United States, we’re being hit with rising costs, falling home prices, volatile stock prices, the subcrime (oops, make that subprime) mortgage crisis, and talk of a possible recession.

Recently, we discussed why cashing out a 401(k) is one of the worst things to do in response to these tough times.

Today, we want to discuss cutting back on contributions to a retirement plan. Two to three months ago, the word was that people weren’t reducing the investments they make for their golden years.

Even now, the overwhelming majority of people aren’t making any changes. However, there is evidence that more people are considering (or are) cutting back.

It’s certainly understandable – insurance, groceries, gas, taxes all keep going up. Investing less in a 401(k) is a way to put more dollars into a paycheck now.

3 reasons not to cut back on your 401(k)

#1 – Contributions are made with pre-tax dollars – Assume you’ve been contributing $1,000 a year to your 401(k). You stop making contributions so one would think that would mean $1,000 more in your paychecks over the course of the year. But you have to account for taxes – if you’re in the 30% tax bracket, you’ll owe $300 in taxes on this $1,000. So you’ll only net $700 by stopping your contributions.

#2 – Money accumulates tax-deferred
– With your retirement plan, money is compounding on money on top of more money. And since you don’t pay any taxes on it until you take it out, all of your money keeps working for you, rather than paying a part of it every year in taxes (and therefore having less money to accumulate on top of).

#3 – Employer match – Employers match as much as 100%, up to some limit. So say, for example, you contribute 3% of your salary and your employer matches that. It’s like found money … your employer is guaranteeing you a 100% return on your initial investment.

Now granted, this is part of your overall compensation. However, we often look at our tax refunds as found money, when it is just a return of an overpayment. This is truly found money – the employer is giving you money as long as you invest up to the maximum. It’s your choice.

Cutting back could cost you $53,551

Consider a fictional 30-year old woman who has been investing 3% of her $50,000 salary, with her employer matching it 100%. Money is tight, so she decides that she will stop investing for three years. This $125 invested for just three years, and then left alone until she retired (at age 62) would have grown to $53,551, if she earned just 6% on her money.

So if she invested just 3% of her salary for the next 3 years, it would grow to 108% of her salary when she retires.

A small amount of money now makes a huge difference in the long term. So at least try to keep investing as much as your employer matches because you get a huge boost in your portfolio by hitting that target.

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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I Want to Start a Home-Based Business. How Do I Make Sure It's Legitimate?

With tough times, people are looking for ways to either save a little or make a little more money. We’ve been getting more questions about part-time and/or home-based business opportunities. Specifically, we’re being asked how to tell if they’re legitimate.

One of the first things to look at is what they’re promising you. Specifically …

Do they make earnings claims?

george "Many offers will tout how much you can make. Legitimate operators will do one of two things: they won’t make any claim at all, or … they will tell you both the number and percentage of people who actually earn what they’re claiming. In my experience, they’re more likely to not make any claim at all."

Some real world examples

marylynn "I did a search for “home based business opportunities.” I saw six on my screen without scrolling down. Of those six, five made an earnings claim. I saw claims like “$250 thousand or more at home”, “$500 to $8,000 per month”, and $30 to $150 thousand in 12 months”. Then I looked at the most regulated business opportunities – franchises. I typed in “franchise opportunities”. One out of the four franchise opportunities made an earnings claim and it was also one of the home-based business opportunities!"

biz_ad

We’re not saying that being a franchise automatically makes it a legitimate opportunity. Nor are we saying that just because it’s not a franchise means it’s a scam. But from these examples, you do see differences in behaviors of companies that are more regulated and those that are not.

Do they stand behind their own claims?

marylynn "I went to the site of one of the home-based business opportunities. This was the one that claimed you could make $250 thousand. I scrolled way, way, down to the bottom of the page and clicked on the tiny, little link that said 'Earnings Disclaimer'."

george "Mary-Lynn printed it out. It was in ALL CAPS. Unlike the small font used for the Earnings Disclaimer, this was in 13.5 point type. They’re covering their you-know-what."

Here are some highlights …

“ANY EARNINGS OR INCOME STATEMENTS,  OR EARNINGS OR INCOME EXAMPLES, ARE ONLY ESTIMATES OF WHAT WE THINK YOU COULD EARN.”

“ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OR REPRESENTATIONS, AS TO INCOME EARNINGS … ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS AVERAGE EARNINGS. TESTIMONIALS ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE.”

And our favorite part …

“WE DO NOT GUARANTEE OR IMPLY THAT YOU WILL … GET RICH, THAT YOU WILL DO AS WELL, OR MAKE ANY MONEY AT ALL. THERE IS NO ASSURANCE YOU'LL DO AS WELL.  IF YOU RELY UPON OUR FIGURES; YOU MUST ACCEPT THE RISK OF NOT DOING AS WELL.”

So they make a claim and then they disclaim their claim!
When you see this, exclaim your skepticism!

We’re NOT (sorry, we got used to seeing ALL CAPS) saying this particular example is a scam, but you would definitely want more information before proceeding.

The thing about earnings claims, at least here in the U.S., is they are required by law to disclose both the number of people and the percentage of people who are earning any amount they quote you.

So don’t be afraid to ask for documented proof of any claim. Then check out our article that describes your next steps are when investigating a business opportunity.

 

Related posts

Success Snake Oil – Know When You’re Getting Scammed

Freedom Or Security – Which Do You Choose?  

(Image from eggheadmarketing.com)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

I Want to Start a Home-Based Business. How Do I Make Sure It’s Legitimate?

With tough times, people are looking for ways to either save a little or make a little more money. We’ve been getting more questions about part-time and/or home-based business opportunities. Specifically, we’re being asked how to tell if they’re legitimate.

One of the first things to look at is what they’re promising you. Specifically …

Do they make earnings claims?

george "Many offers will tout how much you can make. Legitimate operators will do one of two things: they won’t make any claim at all, or … they will tell you both the number and percentage of people who actually earn what they’re claiming. In my experience, they’re more likely to not make any claim at all."

Some real world examples

marylynn "I did a search for “home based business opportunities.” I saw six on my screen without scrolling down. Of those six, five made an earnings claim. I saw claims like “$250 thousand or more at home”, “$500 to $8,000 per month”, and $30 to $150 thousand in 12 months”. Then I looked at the most regulated business opportunities – franchises. I typed in “franchise opportunities”. One out of the four franchise opportunities made an earnings claim and it was also one of the home-based business opportunities!"

biz_ad

We’re not saying that being a franchise automatically makes it a legitimate opportunity. Nor are we saying that just because it’s not a franchise means it’s a scam. But from these examples, you do see differences in behaviors of companies that are more regulated and those that are not.

Do they stand behind their own claims?

marylynn "I went to the site of one of the home-based business opportunities. This was the one that claimed you could make $250 thousand. I scrolled way, way, down to the bottom of the page and clicked on the tiny, little link that said 'Earnings Disclaimer'."

george "Mary-Lynn printed it out. It was in ALL CAPS. Unlike the small font used for the Earnings Disclaimer, this was in 13.5 point type. They’re covering their you-know-what."

Here are some highlights …

“ANY EARNINGS OR INCOME STATEMENTS,  OR EARNINGS OR INCOME EXAMPLES, ARE ONLY ESTIMATES OF WHAT WE THINK YOU COULD EARN.”

“ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OR REPRESENTATIONS, AS TO INCOME EARNINGS … ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS AVERAGE EARNINGS. TESTIMONIALS ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE.”

And our favorite part …

“WE DO NOT GUARANTEE OR IMPLY THAT YOU WILL … GET RICH, THAT YOU WILL DO AS WELL, OR MAKE ANY MONEY AT ALL. THERE IS NO ASSURANCE YOU'LL DO AS WELL.  IF YOU RELY UPON OUR FIGURES; YOU MUST ACCEPT THE RISK OF NOT DOING AS WELL.”

So they make a claim and then they disclaim their claim!
When you see this, exclaim your skepticism!

We’re NOT (sorry, we got used to seeing ALL CAPS) saying this particular example is a scam, but you would definitely want more information before proceeding.

The thing about earnings claims, at least here in the U.S., is they are required by law to disclose both the number of people and the percentage of people who are earning any amount they quote you.

So don’t be afraid to ask for documented proof of any claim. Then check out our article that describes your next steps are when investigating a business opportunity.

 

Related posts

Success Snake Oil – Know When You’re Getting Scammed

Freedom Or Security – Which Do You Choose?  

(Image from eggheadmarketing.com)

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