Posts tagged with "Financial Planning"

How to Meet Your Celebrity Crush

Is there any one celebrity that you have, well, a bit of a crush on? We all have pop culture figures that we follow through their different projects. What happens when you have the opportunity to meet your idol? Here are some ways to make that dream a reality.

Lowering Monthly Expenses

Chances are, you’ll need to pay to meet the icon of your choice. You might need tickets to a convention panel or a concert. Alternatively, celebrities might charge for one-on-one meet and greets. One way to lower your monthly expenses is to refinance your existing student loans. That’s an especially good option if you have a good credit score, or you need more pocket money now. 

You can use a student loan refinance calculator to determine what your monthly payments would be and see how you could save. Another option is to do more home cooking. Takeout and TV dinners might be easy, but they’re also pricey. That goes especially for people living in a large household. The best way to feed several people at once is by making meals with large portions. Consider investing in cookbooks and some updated kitchen cookware.

Looking Up Scheduling

The easiest way to encounter a celebrity is when they’re on a tour of some kind. Whether you want to meet a musician, actor, author, influencer, Youtuber, or someone else entirely, your best bet is to meet them at a fan gathering. Find out about any upcoming tour dates. Maybe a band is touring to promote their new album, an author is touring for a book release, or a celebrity is planning to speak at a con about their latest project. 

Whatever the case, scheduling is key. Look for the venue closest to you and book your tickets well in advance. Depending on how popular the individual or the event is, the tickets have the potential to sell out quickly. You don’t want to miss your opportunity. Or you can make a vacation out of it and travel somewhere to experience the tour. Meeting your celebrity crush would definitely make the difference between a good versus a great vacation one that’s for sure.

Pay for the Meeting

Just getting tickets to the show won’t necessarily be enough. Are the celebrities having any meet and greets before or after the event? Find out about these opportunities and make sure you have tickets to get in. Once you’ve done this, you should give some consideration to the meetup. Is there anything special you’d like them to sign? What about something you’d like to tell them? Are there any photographs allowed, and how long will you have with the person? 

In most cases, there will be a line of people following the same dream you are. The celebrity might not have a lot of time to make your acquaintance. So, it’s important to make your limited moments with them count for as much as you can. With all this consideration, you can come to the meeting fully prepared. And keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to bring anything except your enthusiasm. What’s important is that you’re getting the chance to meet someone you admire without any strings attached.

Money & Relationship illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Money Issues × Relationships

Are Money Issues Ruining Your Relationship?

Read on for 5 tips to resolve them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with families’ finances through lost jobs, squeezed budgets, increased debt, and missed payments.

Money and the decisions spouses make with it are one of the main sources of stress among couples, and sometimes money issues end relationships or cause divorce. But differences can be solved or managed if couples learn to listen to each other and work as a team to formulate a sensible plan, says financial planner Aaron Leak, the founder of ECL Private Wealth Management. 

“No matter how long you have been together, financial issues can wreak havoc on a committed relationship,” Leak says. “When couples don’t agree about spending and saving habits, it causes arguments and resentment.

“But understanding what you’re fighting about and why helps you and your partner come up with solutions. By being transparent and honest with each other about your finances, you can not only prevent arguments that strain your relationship, but you will strengthen it.”

Leak offers these tips for couples to address and resolve financial issues:

  • Understand your money styles. Think of some extreme examples of money styles in your circle. Like your friend, the foodie, who won’t touch a bottle of wine that costs less than $75. Or your sister who constantly surfs Amazon. Or your mom who washes aluminum foil, then folds and reuses it. Everyone has a money style, and it’s helpful to talk about it without any name-calling or labeling involved. Understanding your partner’s spending habits often involves a deep dive into money fears, scarcity memories and childhood traumas. Come up with a spending plan that works for both of you.
  • Decide how to divvy up the bills and save for future goals. You can both put all your earnings in a joint account and pay everything out of that. Or you can split bills down the middle and keep the rest of your own earnings for yourselves. Once you have decided how the bills get paid, you need to devise a plan for saving for your long-term goals. Remember that you need to work closely together as life changes arise – such as one of you losing a job or cutting back on hours to care for a parent. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that contingency plans are always advisable.
  • Create personal spending allowances that stay personal. Having some personal money that’s designated just for you each month can really help how you feel about your relationship. It can also help avoid relationship-ruining behavior like “financial infidelity,” when one spouse hides money or purchases from the other. The personal spending allowance gives each partner the chance to spend their money however they wish, no questions asked.
  • Face and eliminate undesirable debt. Couples should employ a strategy to pay off debt, such as paying off the higher-interest debt first or paying off the smallest loans first (the snowball method). Payments on credit cards, car loans, and student loans can devour monthly budgets, so the sooner they are paid off, the better.
  • Set a budget you can live with. One of the best ways to keep in sync with your partner financially is to have a budget as part of your overall plan. The budget includes your household bills, your personal spending allowance, your debt-paying strategy, and your monthly budget for long-term goals like retirement.

“Relationships take consistent work in order to be happy and successful, and money management is a big part of it,” Leak says. “The best way to be sure you and your spouse are staying on the same page financially is to talk honestly and without judgment.”

About Aaron Leak

Aaron Leak has 16 years of experience in the financial industry and is the founder of ECL Private Wealth Management. He holds Series 7, 6, 63 and 66 licenses as well as life, health, and property and casualty insurance licenses.

Ethereum Accounted for 96% DeFi Transactions in Q3 2020

Ethereum Accounted for 96% DeFi Transactions in Q3 2020 as ETH Miner Fees Double Bitcoin’s

According to the research data analyzed and published by StockApps.com, Ethereum’s transaction volume soared to $119.5 billion in Q3 2020. In comparison to the $10.2 billion volume posted in Q2 2020, that was a 1,200% increase.

Based on Coinmetrics’ data, Ethereum fees shot up during the same period, eclipsing Bitcoin’s fees for the first time on August 13, 2020. As of September 2020, ETH fees stood at $276 million, nearly double Bitcoin’s $146 million.

Ethereum Miners Made $113 Million from Fees in August, 38x Increase from April

The surge in transaction volume and fees on the Ethereum blockchain was linked to the recent Decentralized Finance (DeFi) hype. DApp Radar reveals that during the period, DeFi apps accounted for 99% of all transactions on the network.

The total DApp transaction volumes on all platforms in Q3 2020 reached $125 billion. There was an increase of $113 billion quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Most of the activities took place on Ethereum, TRON and EOS. From the total value created, Ethereum accounted for 96%. With 1,956 apps, it was the top DApp blockchain during the period.

Coinmetrics’ data reveals that Ethereum transaction fees surged from $21.98 million on June 1, 2020 to $77.77 million on July 31, 2020. In August, Ethereum miners made $113 million from transaction fees according to Glassnode. That marked a 38x increase from the $3 million recorded in April and a 1.8x increase from the January 2018 all-time high. In September, miners for the first time earned more from fees ($172M) than they did from block rewards ($150M).

According to Glassnode, Ethereum miners made a record on September 1, earning $500,000 in one hour. Daily earnings on that day doubled to $16.5 million from $8.1 million the previous day. On September 2, they made a new record with the average hourly revenue surging to $800,000. They broke this record on September 17, reaching $938,000.

The full story, statistics and information can be found here.

Vaughn Lowery, Alejandra Villagra, illustration, 360 MAGAZINE

Covid-19 Finance Tips

Financial Tips For When You’re Newly Unemployed Or Business Is Slow

Over 3 million people in the U.S. have recently filed unemployment claims as a result of the severe economic impact of the coronavirus.

Some of those suddenly jobless have limited financial resources besides unemployment benefits. Others are fortunate to have emergency savings or investment vehicles they can draw from such as a 401(k). Then there are those who are still working, but feeling the effects of business slowing down.

“Overall, the pandemic has put many people in a weakened financial condition that they didn’t expect,” says Steve Kruman, a financial planner and investment advisor at Bryce Wealth Management. “And there are some lessons in there that could better protect them and their loved ones going forward.”

Kruman has tips to help people weather the financial storm and learn how to plan differently for the future:

Be careful with the 401(k). “When sources of funds are limited, people should withdraw only the amount they need from their 401(k),” Kruman says. “You want to look for other sources that would be accessible without taking on the major tax hit of raiding the 401(k). Home equity loans are great, and they are at rates much lower than the tax rates of the 401(k). Also, cash value life insurance policies are good sources to borrow from as well. For those who lost their job but have adequate reserves, it’s advisable to roll their 401(k) money over to an IRA at the earliest possible opportunity. Employer-sponsored plans have several drawbacks, including limited investment options. By rolling to an IRA, you can select from a much wider investment universe.”

Don’t panic in the stock market. ”Don’t sell now,” Kruman says. “People who are being induced into panic are selling, and somebody else is buying those shares for when prices recover. The stock market always has fluctuations. It comes down to risk tolerance. You have to be prepared for volatility and be diversified.”

Don’t rely on group life insurance anymore. Many people have the majority of their life insurance through their job. But when you lose the job, you lose the life insurance. “You have to replace it with new life insurance at an older age, which means a higher premium, and with possibly negative health changes, again upping the premium,” Kruman says. “It’s vital to have a well worked-out plan of personal life insurance, which means not tied to a job.”

Find an independent financial advisor. “An independent advisor doesn’t have a company telling them what to invest clients’ money in,” says Kruman. “A client’s best interest should always be the number one priority for an advisor, and it’s easier to maintain that focus by being independent of any parent company’s fee goals or investment selection limitations.”

Consider making a Roth conversion now. When you move money from a tax-deferred retirement account into a Roth account, the money is taxed at that time. “But by making that conversion, you are putting yourself in a position to get tax-free income for life if you comply with two requirements,” Kruman says. Those requirements: be at least age 59 ½ and don’t take any gains out of the Roth for five years. Most financial professionals expect taxes to go up sometime in the future. One reason is that the recent economic stimulus will need to be paid for at some point. Another reason is that the tax cuts passed in 2017 will expire at the end of 2025 for personal rates. “So paying the taxes now at a lower rate when you make the Roth conversion is the better bet for the long run,” he says.

“Now is a tough time for many,” Kruman says, “but it is time that can be used wisely to consider the things you can differently to protect yourself and your family financially from the next period of economic uncertainty.”

About Steve Kruman
Steve Kruman is a financial planner, investment advisor and insurance agent at Bryce Wealth Management. He’s also a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, focusing on estate planning. Kruman is a Life & Qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Round Table, the only industry organization for people who are ethical top performers.