Spending Money to Make Money, on a Small ScaleMost of us are not rich, and we’re not going to get rich. But this doesn’t mean that we have to be poor, destitute, unable to pay our bills. Being broke is for the birds. But unfortunately, too many people live here as a perpetual state of being. This isn’t the way it has to be for you and me. But it takes a little risk, a little planning, a little hard work to get away from hand-to-mouth. You’ve got to have a plan and stick to it, but I promise you, it’ll be worth it. Here are some steps to get you there.

First, you’ve got to stop stop STOP wasting money. This is a big one, and it’s a lesson that most people never learn. You’ve got to start living well beneath your means, eliminating you can’t afford. One such expense is debt. Debt, itself, is expensive. That’s why you have to spend such high interest on it. You can only eliminate debt if you begin living beneath your means. This is a process that can take years, as some people have accumulated many figures of debt, often exceeding their annual income. So take a few months and work on this. Don’t get discouraged. It takes time.

This is one of our first instances of spending money to make money. Spending as much extra money as you can scrape together on debt may not feel like you’re spending money. Rather, it’s more like filling a hole. But you can’t start making money until it is much reduced or gone completely. You want to get your debt eliminated as fast as possible, especially if it’s high interest. In a situation like this, it may be worth it to take drastic action. Cashinyourannuity.com is a place where you can sell structured settlements and annuities for the purposes of eliminating debt and other profitable goals. This is exactly the kind of situation in life where selling an annuity or structured settlement would be appropriate.

Now that you’re out of debt, you’ve got to start thinking of other reasonable investments which will increase your wealth and, potentially, happiness over the long term. One of these is education. Even if you are older than the typical undergrad or grad student, it’s quite possible that additional schooling will enable you to make a lot more money in the future. A lot of people are scared of school right now, unable to take that action for fear that they’ll be loaded with student debt for the rest of their lives. But this is only the case if you get the wrong kind of degree in a field that doesn’t need you. If you have a reasonable idea of your competence and your field’s need for the skills that schooling could provide you, higher education is still worth it.

Buying a house is another example. It’s an expensive investment, but after that you’ll save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over a life of renting. Plus you’ll save most of what you pay in a mortgage in the form of equity. Equity is amazing, and it has been one of the primary wealth growth methods for people like you and me for generations. But it requires a major investment. And it’s just another example of spending money to make money. By now, this process should seem intuitive. You’ve just got to do it.

This was a guest post.

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What You Need to Know about This Summer’s Hottest DestinationThis post is written by Charlotte Higgins

Costa Rica is not your average vacation spot – it’s much more. Located in Central America, Costa Rica has something for everyone in your family, whether its beaches for the laid-back travelers or rainforests for the adventurous explorers. And the best part is, there are a variety of vacation packages available to fit your budget and interests, so your Costa Rica family vacations don’t have to ‘costa’ lot.

Here are some of the things you’ll get to look forward to while your family is preparing for the trip of a lifetime in Costa Rica.

The Climate

With a geographic location slightly north of the Equator, Costa Rica’s average temperature fluctuates between 70 and 81 F. These temperatures can vary based on location and altitude, but Costa Rica generally enjoys a tropical climate year-round.

Costa Rica receives an average of 100 inches of rain per year, and the months of May through November are considered the country’s rainy season. If your vacation is scheduled during the rainy season and you’re not a fan of wet weather, don’t despair. Certain parts of Costa Rica, such as the northern Pacific Coast, receive less rain than anywhere else in the country. Known as the Gold Coast, this part of Costa Rica is renowned for it’s sunny days and balmy average temperatures of 79 F.

The Wildlife

Costa Rica’s climate makes it an ideal home for a wide variety of animals and plants. In fact, Costa Rica contains about four percent of the species estimated to live on the globe, hundreds of which are found only in Costa Rica. That’s quite a feat for a country the size of West Virginia!

Several species of amphibians, such as tree frogs with bright red eyes and giant toads that can grow up to six inches, live in Costa Rica. There are about 120 species of snakes, 20 of which are known to be venomous. Pay attention to where you are walking and keep a respectful distance if you see one. These animals are beautifully colored, and generally don’t care to interact with humans.

Mammals in Costa Rica range from monkeys to bats to wild cats. Anteaters are common in Costa Rica, but the giant anteater, a species that can grow to be over 7 feet tall and weigh up to 90 lbs. are endangered. The jaguar, Costa Rica’s largest wild cat, is also endangered.

The rainy season is the perfect time to witness Costa Rica’s thousands of species of butterflies and moths. While these winged creatures boast beautiful colors of their own, they also help pollinate the various species of flowers that live in Costa Rica, bringing even more vibrant hues to the rainforest.

The People

Costa Rica’s climate will make you feel like you’ve found paradise. Its wide range of animals and plants will be a feast for your eyes. But what will truly make your journey to Costa Rica special is the people you’ll meet while you’re there. The country’s founders valued peace and hospitality – they wanted to establish a colony intended for raising families and enjoying the land and the opportunities it offered. Costa Ricans share their ancestors’ joy of life and want to make sure visitors feel welcome during their stay. Expect to return home with remarkable memories and unforgettable friendships.

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One of the biggest life lessons that came for most people from the financial crash a few years ago was not an abstract awakening of global finance, but a concrete awareness of their own personal finance. While for some the rapid collapse of a $639 billion financial institution like Lehman Brothers in 2008, the revelation of […]

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What Should I Do With This Structured Settlement?

February 10, 2015

The short answer is “preferably nothing”. If you have a structured settlement, or a settlement of any kind, congratulations! You won a lawsuit out of court. This means that you’ve probably had a rough go of it in the past few months. Maybe you have been out of work. Maybe you have been injured. Maybe […]

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Is Investing for Everyone?

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Once upon a time, investing was simple. You met with your broker, banker, or other investment guy who either came to you or you made an appointment in his office. Everyone wore suits, and trades were on paper. Things were bought and sold in a slow fashion, and local made sense, because the information was […]

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