Finance

5 Financial tips for young adults

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eharprefinance.Most young adults are clueless on how to manage their money and most often find themselves living an existence of barely managing from one paycheck to the next. Here are 5 financial tips for young adults that will leave you comfortable and prosperous.

Learn self control – It is important to learn the art of delayed gratification. Instead of buying an item on credit as soon as you want it, try saving up the money and buying something straight off. Use your credit card only for emergencies and for the special offers that they provide.

Take control of your own financial future – It is better to understand how to control your money better, than letting your family or friends dictate your financial future. Read a few books on how to make the most of your personal finances.

Know where your money goes – Budgeting is a very good way to understand where your money is being spent. Once you understand where your money is going, you will understand that making small changes can make a big difference at the end of the month.

Start an emergency fund – It is good to pay yourself first, so that you have some money saved in case of an emergency. Set aside a percentage of your earnings, which are transferred from your account automatically to a savings account every month.

Start saving for retirement now – Saving up now for your retirement, will mean that you will have a stable income once you get old and are unable to work

3 Best online Banks of 2016

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eharprefinance july 2016Online banks provide you with the ease of doing your banking with less visits to the bank. This gives you the flexibility to complete your transactions in a very short time, in the comfort of your own home. Here are the 3 best online banks that have been selected on the basis of their fees, interest rates, yields and customer service.

Ally Bank – Ally bank is one of the best online banks, mainly because they have no maintenance fees on checking, high savings and CD yields. They also offer 24/7 telephone customer service support with live online chat and a mobile app. You can also use any Allpoint ATM for free. If you use another ATM the bank will reimburse you up to $10 for any ATM surcharges.

Bank5 Connect – Bank5 Connect is known for its competitive rates, no monthly checking fees and great customer service features. Although the bank does not offer 24/7 customer service, they do provide live online chat features, a mobile app and remove check deposit. You can also use any ATM and bank surcharges up to $15 will be reimbursed.

EverBank – With attractive rates on its checking, savings and CD accounts, this is a good choice for people who have funds of $1,500 or more. With 24/7 phone customer support, no monthly maintenance fees and no ATM fees, this is good bank to consider. The bank will also reimburse all ATM fees, if you have over $5,000 or more.

7 ways to save money at Costco

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eharprefinanceCostco is a retailer that will give you the best prices and the most savings. However, save even more at Costco with the tips below;

Split bulk items with a friend – If you are living alone and have little space, it can be hard purchasing and storing in bulk. But you still can enjoy the savings at Costco, by buying in bulk with a friend and splitting the packages.

Look for Costco coupons – Check your monthly coupon book as well as your Costco mobile app for items discounted. Clipping coupons are not necessary, since the cashiers keep copies of the coupons at their registers.

Shop summer closeouts before the season is over – Stock up on summer essentials at the end of the season. For example, items like barbecues, beach chairs and camping equipment are marked down up to 50%.

Non-members can access Costco discounts – If you do not like to spend the annual Costco membership, you still can have access to the pharmacy, immunization services, eye and hearing exams and eat at the Costco food court (if it’s located outside of the store).

Buy discounted gift cards and movie tickets.- There are discounts in restaurants, movie tickets and local attractions. For example, you can get a coffee bean gift card worth $100 for $79.99.

Take your lunch break at the Costco food court.- If you have forgotten to bring your lunch a good affordable option can be found at the Costco’s food court.

5 ways to save money at Walmart

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eharprefinanceWalmart has been providing over 260 million customers with low prices daily. If you are looking to make further savings on your Walmart purchases, here are 5 strategies that will help you get the best prices.

Walmart’s price matching policy – Walmart will match any price from stores in your area. To make use of this policy, the items should be identical and be in stock at the other retailer. This method is a great way to save on perishables such as fruit, meat or other items such as paper. The store will also match prices from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com and TigerDirect.com for home goods and other items.

Online prices in store – As a policy the Walmart.com prices will be matched for in-store purchases. To get your priced reduced, pull the better price on your phone and show it to the cashier when checking out.

Saving catcher app – If your too busy to check the prices of competitors, you can use the Saving Catcher app. You just need to scan the receipt with your app and compare competitor advertised rates. If the item you purchased is cheaper elsewhere, you can be credited in Savings Catcher Reward Dollars. These can be redeemed as Walmart gift cards.

Free shipping from Walmart – To get free shipping at Walmart, spend upto or more than $50 which will incur a charge of only $4.97. To get around this fee you should have your online purchase, shipped to your local Walmart store.

Increase your Income

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eharperfinanceOne of the most common themes people talk about when asked about goals for the new year, is to earn more. Higher income is associated with more happiness, lower debts and a more stable financial future. Sadly there are no easy solutions but with a bit extra effort you can increase your income.

Ask for a raise

If you work for someone or a business, when was the last time you asked for a raise? While the chances are that you will be unsuccessful, it does not hurt to ask. Sometimes employers don’t see the value in an individual until asked to consider how much they are willing to compensate them.

Look into your field

Before you can expect more income from your workplace research your field and your position. Find out if there is room for higher earning in your chosen profession and what you can typically expect to get paid at higher positions. You might be in the wrong field in terms of income potential.

Change careers

If there really is a limit to the income potential of your current profession then a career change is needed. Sometimes changing careers might see an immediate rise in income levels. It is never too late to change careers, so even if you are later in your career don’t be afraid to explore your options.

The message here is to take stock of where you are and figure out where to go from here. Once you have that information, take action and you can definitely increase your earnings.

Creative ways to save for a vacation

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eharperfinanceMaking a yearly travel plan can be a great idea, but saving for travel can be difficult. However, a vacation, at least yearly, can really help you rest and recover, while creating a sense of excitement and adventure. Here are a few tips to help you save for your next vacation;

Open a travel account – Creating a separate bank account for travel, is a great way to save. This will give you a clear idea of how much you have saved so far and how much more you will need to save. Once you open the account and have some money saved, just remember that these savings should only be used for travel. Online access together with an ATM will be useful to transfer funds into the account and to withdraw money for tickets and accommodation.

Automatic Transfers – Your travel account should be funded monthly, therefore transfer a standard amount of money via an automatic transfer. By just transferring $14 a week, you will end up $730 by the end of the year. This is sufficient for a week long getaway.

A change jar- Your trusty change jar can accumulate a lot of money. If you just put in $1.37 a day you will be up to $500 in a year.

Budget – This means that you will have to track your expenses, including food, clothing, accommodation, utilities and any other spending done by you doing the month. This way you would have a clear idea of how much you would be able to save. You will be surprised to find out where your money is spent and where you can cut back.

How Capital and Reserve Requirements Work in Banking

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By Phin Upham

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Banks are some of the most regulated institutions in America, and much of that is done to help mitigate risk on the part of both the borrower and lender. As we saw in the 2007 financial crisis, banks who were deemed “too big to fail” presented some of the riskiest propositions. Often, as was the case after 2007, banks are required to up their capital reserves in order to help reduce that risk.

The aim of this kind of regulation is to ensure a firm is managed responsibly. When capital reserves are raised, it’s typically done to protect the bank and its customers. However, it also serves the important function of alleviating some of the burden placed by the cost of deposit insurance. Since the government is liable for that, it’s a good way to help put some distance between risk and the taxpayer who would pay for it.

Financial firms typically express these numbers as economic capital, which helps to represent the amount of risk a bank can take on to ensure that it will function under a failing system.

The most comprehensive accords used in the regulation of reserve requirements are the Basel Accords, named after the city in Switzerland where the accords were drafted. We are currently on Bazel III, which is scheduled to be phased out between now and 2019.

It’s important to note that regulation of this type has to be carefully balanced to ensure the opposite doesn’t happen. Capital regulations are meant to keep banks whole. Today, we are seeing some of those regulations contributing to the dissolution of larger companies to pave way for several smaller entities.


Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.

The 5 best money management advice for newlyweds

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Once the wedding and the honeymoon period is over, newlyweds have face living together as a couple. Some couples may follow their own way of managing their finances, which may go against your spouse’s. This can cause a lot of friction between couples, which can then lead to lies and overspending. Money management done as a couple creates a level of trust and security that can strengthen a marriage.

Start talking

Start talking about finances before you get married. talk about how much your earnings are, how much debt you have accumulated, how much you spend and what you spend on in a month.

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What are your goals

Make sure you and your spouse discuss your financial goals for the future. This involves subjects like changing your career, retirement, savings, investments and starting a family. For example if you want to purchase your own home in 5 years, let your spouse know that you would like to work towards this goal.

Bank accounts

Will you maintain your individual bank accounts or create a joint account or both?. If you opt for maintaining individual accounts, you may find that expenses cannot be easily tracked. Many successful couples work with individual and joint accounts. Usually the joint account is used for common household utilities and big ticket items that will be used by both parties.

Create an emergency fund

It’s important to have an emergency fund that can be used for unexpected expenses, for example family illness, loss of job or a home repair. Make sure you discuss how much you would like to put away and how much each individual is expected to invest relative to their income.

Senator William Roth’s IRA Plan

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By Phin Upham

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Many of the retirement plans currently put into action involve something called a Roth IRA. The Roth IRA is a unique savings vessel that gives Americans the opportunity to contribute their after-tax spending toward their retirement savings plan. This was a major change from the traditional IRA, which allowed savings, but not tax-free withdrawals.

The bottom line for many Americans is that saving is quite difficult. Most brick and mortar banks offer a paltry return on savings accounts, and taxes will cripple whatever small earnings those lower-income Americans might get through traditional means. The Roth IRA provides an important vessel with some strict limitations. Direct contributions may be withdrawn tax-free at any point in time. Rollover can also be withdrawn, provided the account owner is at least 59 ½ years of age. A Roth IRA’s assets can also be passed down to heirs. There are numerous tax advantages that come with a Roth IRA as well.

However, Roth IRA funds cannot be used as loan collateral. Eligibility for contribution also phases out after certain financial limits are met. Congress can also change the rules regarding tax-free withdrawals, which puts some of those savings accounts at significant risk depending on the state of the national deficit.

The sponsor of the bill was the late Delaware Senator William Roth, who championed the bill. Firs introduced in 1989 as the Packwood-Roth Plan, it was initially referred to as an IRA Plus. The limit of $2,000 was proposed.

Eight years later, Senator Roth championed the new bill as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.


Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or LinkedIn page.

3 Credit Card Budgeting Tips to Abide By

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Most people give you very different answers when you ask them how they use their credit cards.

Also, it’s common that a number of them will admit that they have trouble managing their accounts apart from debt.

Here are 3 credit card budgeting tips to abide by:

1: Avoid spending more than you have

Credit cards are usually a line of credit that is offered to customers. In other words, money that they do not have. Yet it is this that is the root cause of debt. So, keep the amount of the outstanding balance below your available funds. This will help you to pay it off fully and on time. This way, your credit card becomes a method of payment and nothing more. Best part: you will never incur interest and debt as a result.

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2: Check balances regularly

To make purchases, credit cards offer the best security and convenience. Given how easy it is to use a credit card, people often lose track of their spending. This is why they are shocked when the monthly statement arrives. While it was not possible to check your balance until the monthly statement came, now you should be able to do this using your online account. Smartphone apps are also provided for your to check your transactions easily too. The reason why you should check your balance is because you’ll know how much you are spending too.

3: Pay off your balance early and often

If you are already in debt, then make your payments as early as possible. This will reduce your charges because it is calculated based on your average monthly balance. Apart from this, you can also make a couple of payments every month if you wish. This will work out for you if you are receive a pay check every two weeks.