Actionable Tips for a Healthier Financial Future

Photo Credit:

If you struggle with money, the thought of your financial future may be daunting. How can you build better finances for tomorrow when you’re cash-strapped today? The fact is that even small actions now can make a big difference later. Plus, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be on track to getting where you want to be money-wise. 561Levon-Finance provides actionable tips on finance and investing. Read on for some pointers.

Create a budget

A comprehensive budget is at the heart of any savvy personal finance plan. To make your own, start by tallying up all of your income and expenses. You can then see where you can cut costs. This also allows you to set priorities regarding where to divert your extra cash—for example, to pay off debts, to save, or to invest. After you’ve made your budget, stick to it with the help of expense tracking apps like Expensify or Wally.

Pay off your debts

From student loans to a mortgage, you may have multiple debts. So, which one should you pay off first? Equifax describes some approaches to debt. For example, you might start by paying the highest interest debt first. Another option is to use a snowball plan, focusing on paying the smallest balance of your debts each period. Once the one debt is paid, you can then take the money you were putting towards it and roll it into another debt payment.

Get a handle on your credit

Your credit rating helps to determine your eligibility for future loans, from home loans to car loans and more. You want to maintain a strong credit score, just in case you need to take out a line of credit. You can get a free credit report once per year to check your score and see how you’re doing. This also lets you identify errors in your credit report and dispute them.

Start investing your money

By investing, you allow your money to grow over time. There are many ways to invest, from bonds to mutual funds and stocks. Exactly where you should put your money depends on your goals. CNBC explains that investing goals are usually classified as immediate term, short term, medium term, and long term. For example, when investing for retirement, it’s advisable to put at least 90% into stocks. If you’re new to investing, seek professional help.

Consider real estate investments

Real estate is another savvy option for investing and a great way to diversify your portfolio. RedFin explains common options like investing in rental properties, fixing and flipping properties, or setting up real estate investment trusts. Examine the pros and cons of each option and consider where your interests lie before going ahead.

Set aside an emergency fund

While it’s smart to invest your money wisely, you should always keep a small emergency fund on hand. The Balance recommends keeping at least three to six months of living expenses on hand. This way, if unexpected costs arise, you can tap into your fund instead of turning to credit, which will saddle you with the added expense of interest.

Educate yourself about financial matters

Financial markets are constantly evolving and it’s important to keep up with changes over time. Cryptocurrencies are a great example of how innovation can impact the markets and influence investing. Stay up-to-date on the latest finance information by reading the news, following relevant blogs, and listening to podcasts. The more info you have, the better.

Starting to think about your financial future can be daunting, especially if you’re currently saddled with a lot of debt or bad credit. However, this is the first step in building a brighter financial future for yourself—and well worth it.

By: Carla Lopez of

For more content on investing and smart finances, visit the 561Levon-Finance blog.


Things to do before investing

Friends, family, and readers always ask me that question. What do I need to do to start investing?
The answers to this question will be a little unparallel.

The same way stocks grows in value and pay nice dividend is the same way a business can also go bankrupt or cease paying dividends. When I mentioned to look for business with value and business that has been around for century doesn’t always guarantee that you are 100% safe from volatility. Look what happen to GE. I believe you should approach the market with caution and be vigilant. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In investment the terms you need to know is “diversify”.

It’s important to informed yourself, I’m not talking about the daily news. The daily news can impact things also but that should be the least thing you need to worry about because the market have a funny way of responding to daily activities. Do research about the business you want to invest in. Your hard earnings should be investing in valueable assets.

You don’t have to do it alone if you don’t want to there is a lot of Investment manager out there. Most of them have that saying “we do better when you do better”. It’s a way of telling you that they want you to make money so in return they can make their own profit. If you are not comfortable doing that you can also pick stocks base on valueable research.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the younger you are more aggressive you might be while someone that’s over 50 will want to be very conservative.

The next step is you must have the money to invest. It’s unwise to invest money that you will soon need. When the time comes the market might not be favorable to sale in your portfolio.
So make sure you have some kind of emergency fund which can cover all your bills for about 90 days. Lesson one in the Investment industry is to never ever borrow money to invest because in this game there is never guarantee. Also keep in unlike the banks the money you Invest are not FDIC insured! So words to the wise, make your investments count and invest wisely.

Finance, saving

Investment terms and their definition

Just like in every profession there are terms and conditions that an individual have to understand prior to making a decision. Some terms might be easier to understand  while  others  might take longer. Before making any decisions mean you’ll need some sort of understanding before understanding the full benefits of them. If you just getting into investing it’s important for you to review, research, and ask alot of questions. While in the process you might find yourselves understanding some of the aspects of investing but not all of it and that is perfectly okay because the world wasn’t made in one day.

Start the process small and steady. Let’s start with my favorite, all my investments is base on Dividend. Dividend is a distribution by a corporation. When the company makes a profits or a surplus a proportion of that is divided with the shareholders. Owning shares in a corporation really makes you part owner of that business. When they do well you get rewarded some company will go the extra mile just like Costco did these year distribute extra money because of a surplus. Dividends can be paid once, as a special use of them, or they can be paid more regularly, such as monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

Portfolio is a collection of financial Investments
It can be stocks, cash,bond commodity and real estate, Arts and ETF (extend traded funds).
If you are talking to people who are using that term your circle is good. I’m always curious to see what’s in other people portfolio.

Asset / allocation: An asset is a resource or property having a monetary/economic value possessed by an individual or entity, which is capable to generate some future economic benefit. No matter how aggressive you are it’s always good to diversify your portfolio holding by allocating them to do so you divide them by classes to limit risk because some asset perform opposite to each other. For example we have technologies, pharmaceuticals, consumer staples and utilities just to name a few.

Don’t ever think of your car as an asset
It’s a liability it devalue daily and cost to maintain.
Bear market: is a market that is falling. A bear market has a downward trend, and someone who believes the market is headed for a drop
Represent by a red color and a bear.

Bull market: a bull market is a condition of a financial market in which price are rising or expected to rise usually represent by the color green and a bull.

Capital gain (or loss): is the difference between what you bought an investment for and what you sell if for. If you buy 100 shares of a stock at $10 a share (spending $1,000) and sell your shares later for $25 a share ($2,500), you have a capital gain of $1,500. A loss occurs when you sell for less than you paid. So, if you sell this stock for $5 instead ($500), you have a capital loss of $500).

Blue chip: You might hear reporters and others refer to “blue-chip stocks.” Blue chips are companies that have a long history of good earnings, good balance sheets, and even regularly increasing dividends. These are solid companies that may not be exciting, but they are likely to provide reasonable returns over time.

Those are just a few of the market terminologies
No need to learn them by heart. You can just look them up whenever but they are very important.

What is risk tolerance?
Is your ability to psychologically endure the potential of losing money on an investment.
All investment carry some type of risk while some can be riskier.

What are the best stock a bigginner investor should buy? That question do not have a straight forward answer as not all investors have the same goals nor same risk tolerance.

How do I become a successful investor?
Start with a plan, diversify, stick with your plan regardless of volatility. Focus on generating after tax returns.