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Month: December 2016

Financial Panther’s 2016 Recap: A Year Of Big Changes

Every year is a big year when you think about it, but I really did feel like 2016 was one of the bigger years in my life. The only thing is, as you get older, the years all sort of blend together. I have a vague idea of what I did in the past few years, but since I never wrote it down, I don’t exactly remember any specifics.

The great thing about blogging though is that it forces you to buckle down and think about what you did, and then write it all down in a synthesized fashion. When I start telling my crazy stories one day, hopefully, someone can look back on what I wrote and fact check me.

And hopefully, you can learn something from this recap too. I know I learn a ton just reading about what others did over the year. So come learn and be inspired! Or just come and be entertained! It’s all good to me.

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The 52 Week Money Challenge: The Easiest Way To Save $1,378 Without Even Trying

As we close out 2016, I thought I’d issue probably the easiest call to action out there – the 52 Week Money Challenge. This is by no means an advanced money concept. Still, I think it’s a good thing for anyone to do, no matter where you are in your financial journey. We all should have some money set aside for emergencies. And the 52 Week Money Challenge is an easy way to keep that emergency fund topped off each year.

I first learned about the 52 Week Money challenge a few years ago when I started getting interested in personal finance. You have to start somewhere and I was looking for ways to push myself just a little bit more. When you’ve got money coming in, it’s pretty easy to get lazy with your paycheck. Even if you think you’re saving money, a lot of it can slip through your fingers if you don’t put it to use somewhere else.

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The Solo 401k: The Side Hustler’s Bonus Retirement Account

One of the great benefits with starting up a side hustle is the ability to get paid as an independent contractor. When you consider all of the sweet benefits you get from side hustling, you have to assume that the government must want us to side hustle.

Take tax deductions, for example. The government lets you deduct expenses related to your side hustle for things you might already be doing anyway. With a little planning, someone driving for Uber in their spare time could easily offset the costs of driving that they’re already doing anyway.

Perhaps the most amazing thing that the government lets you do as a side hustler is to save money into extra retirement accounts that other people don’t have access to. Start up a side hustle and you can save some- or in some cases, almost all of your side income – into a Solo 401(k), a SEP-IRA, or a Simple IRA. Depending on how much you make and what type of retirement accounts you already have, you could potentially save thousands more per year in tax-advantaged savings.

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Qapital App Review – A Free App That Saves Your Spare Change

My goal here at the Financial Panther is to help you improve your financial life, and one easy way to do this is by taking advantage of all the new FinTech apps out there. The only problem with the world of FinTech is that there are a ton of apps. It’s sometimes hard to figure out what’s useful and what isn’t. Luckily for you, I happen to be a pretty big FinTech geek and I go through dozens of apps every year. Why wade through all the apps when I can do it for you?

About a year and half ago, I found an amazing app called Qapital. If you’re the type of person who likes apps that help you save your spare change, then this is the app for you…

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How I Invest In My Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans, Part 2: Know Your Plans

Welcome to Part 2 of an ongoing series detailing the process I went through in picking investments for my new employer sponsored retirement plans. Back in June, I switched jobs, moving from the private sector into the public sector. In addition to a huge change in salary, the job change also meant a whole new set of retirement plans and employee benefits that I had never heard about.

My hope is that this series can help those of you who are just starting a new job or have just switched jobs to learn more about the benefits that your employer probably offers . If you haven’t already, I recommend first reading Part 1: My Core Investing Philosophy, which details the key principles I follow when investing.

Part 2 of this series is pretty straightforward, but is something that is often overlooked (even by people who are good at saving). You need to ask yourself the basic question – what type of retirement plans does my employer offer?

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