Investing in Your Personal Finances

In business, we talk all the time about investing in your business.  We’re not talking about actually buying stock in your own company, although there are those that do that as well.  What we’re really talking about is investing the things that will make your business better.  For a cab company, that might mean investing in an extra cab or two.  Or replacing some of the older cabs in the fleet with newer ones.  It might be something as simple as sending an employee (or yourself) to training.  But, as much as we talk about investing in our businesses, how many of us actually invest in our own personal finances?

How to Invest in your Personal Finances

Invest in your personal FinancesInvesting in your personal finances can be something as complex as buying new investments.  But, it can also be something as simple as providing yourself with the training you need to improve your personal finances.  What part of personal finance scares you?  Is it the budgeting?  Is it the balancing?  Selling?  Buying?  Investing?  Maybe you just don’t understand how savings accounts work?  Investing doesn’t mean you need to spend money either.  All those things I just listed can be learned online for free.  It might take a bit longer because it isn’t all consolidated like it would be in a course.  You might need time sorting through sites like this one learning what the authors have to teach.  But, it can be learned.  And, when you’re done, and you understand something a bit better, you’ll have invested in your personal finance.

Earning Dividends on your Personal Finances

In the investing world, dividend paying stocks are the ones that many investors (for sure income investors) will look at first.  Why?  Because, even if the stock doesn’t gain any value, it’s still going to pay that dividend out in most cases.  The people who run the company have invested in the business to improve it enough that it can pay some of it’s revenues back to the shareholders.  You can do the same.  As you invest in your personal finances, and implement the things that you’ve learned, your finances will get better.  You’ll be working on them all the time to improve them.  As they get better, you’ll start earning dividends on your investment.  Maybe it will be in a higher rate of income. Maybe a higher rate of savings.  Or, maybe it will just be a higher rate of understanding that leads to a calmer sense of where your finances are headed.

The quicker you start investing in your personal finances, the quicker you’ll start earning those dividends.  Click on a few of those links in that list up there.  Learn about something that you don’t feel in control of.  Invest in your personal finances today.

Happy 4th Everyone!

I know some of you are probably not Americans, but for those of you who are, Happy 4th of July!  I hope it’s nice and sunny for your celebrations and the fireworks are great tonight!

Independence day is also a great day to think about your financial independence.  Take a look around you and think about the things you could be doing for yourself, and for others, if you didn’t have the debt that you have.  Think of the burden that would be lifted and the stress that would be relieved if all your bills were paid off and on time.  On this Independence Day, I encourage you to give some thought to your financial independence and how you can make it a reality.

Think You Can’t Afford the Paleo Diet? Ways to Make It More Affordable

The Paleo diet is gaining popularity, and it can be a good choice for people who have to avoid gluten whether because of a gluten intolerance or Celiac disease.

Sure, if you’re gluten free there are many great options available like gluten free pasta and breads, but those can be very pricy.  Sometimes it’s cheaper to just avoid those kinds of substitutes.

Long Term Savings from Following the Paleo Diet

If you’d like to follow a Paleo diet but think you can’t afford it, keep in mind a few things:

1.  A Paleo diet can lead to weight loss.

The savings here won’t be immediate, but over your lifetime, the savings is significant.  I began following a Paleo diet last September, and in the 9 months since, I’ve lost 75 pounds.  All of my numbers for cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar count have improved.  I know I’ve saved myself on medical expenses in upcoming years than if I hadn’t taken the weight off.

As another point, I don’t know how many hundreds of dollars I spent on Weight Watchers over my lifetime.  With a Paleo diet, I eat until I’m full, and I don’t get hungry again for several more hours.  There’s no struggle, so weight loss is easy, and I don’t have to count calories or points or pay for the latest weight loss fad.

Making the Paleo Diet more affordable2. You’ll save hundreds by not eating out.

Of course, you can eat out on the Paleo diet, but we just don’t eat out as much.  We’re easily saving at least $200 a month on meals out.  Now we go out to eat only when we’re traveling or for birthdays.

3. You won’t spend money on processed foods.

You might think chips and candy and other processed foods are cheap, but when you buy them in quantities that most Americans do, they add up quickly.

So, keep in mind these initial savings once you switch over to a Paleo diet.

How to Save Money When Buying Paleo Groceries

If you do decide to follow a Paleo diet, here are some ways you can cut costs on groceries:

1.  Buy your meat directly from the farmer.

Ideally, you’ll want to buy grass fed and pastured meat.  We buy 1/2 side of grass fed beef from my cousin’s husband.  We get ground beef, steaks, roasts, etc.  The meat averages about $5 a pound.  There are also several grass fed and pastured suppliers near us, and we stock up whenever they have meat on sale.  We have a deep freezer to keep all the meat.

2.  Subscribe to a CSA.

A CSA (community supported agriculture) allows you to buy organic produce straight from the farmer.  This year, for $850 we subscribed to one that gives us 1 and 1/9 bushel of vegetables a week for 19 weeks.  There are enough vegetables each week to feed our family of 5 copious amounts of vegetables and some extra for us to freeze and use in the winter.

3.  Grow a garden.

I like to grow things that are expensive to buy in the winter like collard greens and kale.  We blanch them and freeze them to add to soups in the winter for an extra nutritional punch.  However, grow anything you like to eat that grows well in your area.

4.  Buy produce on sale and stock up.

If you live near a farm, consider going to the farm and picking the produce yourself.  Last year we bought 50 pounds of organic blueberries.  We froze 30 pounds and made jam and jelly with the other 20 pounds.  It only cost us $130.  However, within 8 months we ran out, so this year we plan to buy about 80 pounds to last us through the year.

Likewise, Whole Foods recently had organic grapes on sale for .99 a pound.  I bought 25 pounds and froze them so we’ll have grapes and grape smoothies in the winter.

Initially, buying Paleo food can seem more expensive.  However, there are many future costs you are eliminating by eating a healthier diet.  In addition, there are ways to save, especially if you’re willing to buy in bulk and preserve your food.

If you’re following a Paleo diet, how do you save money on groceries?