Here’s where you need to be putting your money.

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All was fine this morning until I got the dreaded email:

That’s been the fifth email I’ve received from my bank telling me the interest rate on my savings account is decreasing.

Remember the good ‘ole days when high-yield savings accounts had interest rates over 2.00%? Because I sure do.

Now, the APY on my account is a measly 0.80%. If banks keep lowering the interest rates, what’s the point in keeping my money there in the first place?

More importantly: why are they doing this?

If interest rates are only getting lower, it might be time to look for new places to put my money to work. Even though I’m still making a little, it’s never enough. …


Not all stocks are the same

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When I first started investing, I had no clue what I was doing.

Which stock should I pick?

More importantly, which type of stock should I pick?

It can be quite confusing when it comes to picking stocks, especially for retail investors like us.

I’m not a stock market pro, but I can definitely tell you about the differences between the types of stocks you’re buying.

Stock type basics

Stocks are individual shares of a company. The goal of buying a stock is to get a return on your money, and there are several different objectives for each stock.

Companies have different strategies for how they want to expand, so the way shares are issues varies between them. …


Dealing with the ups and downs in life

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The past two days have been bad. Not fun at all.

I’m in a funk, you could say.

I don’t know if I’m only speaking for myself, but one little thing can turn your day upside down. You don’t intend for it to ruin your day — sometimes it just happens. I found the worst way to deal with a bad day is to force a good day to happen. Sometimes, it’s just not there.

I can’t necessarily give you the advice to “wake up and smell the roses” because I’m terrible at it. We all know going for a walk and breathing fresh air can make your day better. How can I give you advice I cannot follow myself? …


Here’s what I should have done instead

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I lost my scholarship two years ago, and I needed to pull out $5,000 in student loans to cover next semester’s tuition.

I wouldn’t need it for another six months, so I figured I’d put it in the stock market and earn a little money. Nothing could go wrong, right?

But when tuition came due, the market wasn’t looking so good. I had to withdraw the money and take the loss. I couldn’t wait for the market to go back up.

In the end, I lost about $300. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was a decent amount for a college kid with barely any savings. …


Create goals you can achieve

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Is making money a goal? Think about it.

How much money? For what? When do you reach the goal? What happens after?

“Making money” is not a goal because it’s open-ended and too broad.

Money is the tool you use to reach your goals.

Making money can be an objective, but if that’s all we feel like we’re working towards, that’s not very exciting. Why are you making money? We all have our aspirations, but we need goals and action plans to get there.

There are three things a financial goal needs to be:

  1. Specific
  2. Realistic
  3. Actionable

1. Get specific

When making a financial goal, you need to get down to specifics. Without being specific about what you want, it’s hard to keep track of your progress. …


How I became a smarter investor

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Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

When you first start investing, it can be easy to skip over the fundamentals. We jump right into the market without knowing what we’re doing.

But if you’re putting your money at risk, you want to be able to make informed decisions.

There are several things I wish I would have known before I started investing. Understanding these different aspects of investing has made me a smarter investor, and I have more confidence in where I’m putting my money.

1. Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)

Dividend reinvestment plans automatically reinvest the dividends back into the stock or ETF. …


You don’t have to go all out

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The holidays are always a fun time, but it can be easy to overspend.

Last year I spent way too much money, and it could have all been avoided if I was more prepared.

During the holidays, we always think we need to go all out and impress everyone. Whether we’re buying too many decorations, too many gifts, or not shopping for deals, we can still stay within our budgets.

1. Buy supplies at the dollar store

Christmas shopping is unreasonably expensive — especially for cards. Who decided it was reasonable to charge $6 for a card?

Spending $100 on Christmas supplies isn’t necessary, and the stuff at the dollar store is just as good. No one cares if your card is fancy, and it’ll probably be thrown out anyway. …


I can finally focus on something else

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I’ve seen some negativity about Medium's changes, so I thought I’d give my two cents on the issue.

I want to provide a different point of view — a positive one.

Many changes have gone underway the past few weeks, but the most notable changes I wanted to discuss are:

  • No longer showing status on stories
  • Not showing topics
  • Not sending emails when stories are distributed

While these changes were unwanted at first, I’ve started seeing the benefit.

I don’t have to wait

After a story gets published, usually we’re used to seeing a message telling us to “hang tight.” …


It was probably junk anyway

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Got a little too excited on Prime Day?

I don’t blame you. There were some great deals.

“Deals.”

Whenever there are big sales promotions, it can be easy to overspend on stuff you may or may not be able to afford. You think you’re getting a deal, but there’s always a catch.

Why is Prime Day bad?

Creates unneeded urgency

Amazon will show a countdown, how many items already sold, how long a product will remain on sale and the limited number of items in stock.

Seeing the numbers and countdowns makes you think you need to buy the item right away. This aspect of Prime Day is most troublesome. …


Budgets don’t have to be so restricting

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I’ll admit it — I hate budgeting.

I want to spend my money on what I want.

And trying to keep track of every single cent is a headache.

But even though I hate budgeting, I still have to manage my money somehow. I need to find a new way of budgeting that works for me. I wanted to be able to spend without having to obsess over my spending.

The new way I budget is a lot easier for me to handle, and I don’t get stressed out as quickly. I save all the money I need to, and then I spend the rest.

About

Ryan Fulton

Just a college kid trying to make it. IT nerd. I like talking about life, personal finance, and mental health. Say hi! -> ryan@ryanfulton.co

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