How to Afford the City Lifestyle as a Millennial

by Sean Bryant on June 22, 2016

How to Afford the City Lifestyle as a Millennial
Many young, working professionals are choosing to work and live downtown in cities, rather than the suburbs. But living in a city is expensive, and as rent prices and job competition continue to rise, sticking to a budget and frugal living are the key to thriving in this preferred lifestyle.

Create a Budget

Creating a budget is the first step to frugal money management. Take advantage of your smartphone by using apps such as Mint or GoodBudget to sync all your bank accounts, investments, loan payments, IRA, 401(k) and properties all in one location. Then they’ll analyze your spending and help you create a budget that works with your income and lifestyle.

Use Public Transportation

Depending on what city you’re living in, public transportation may be more efficient than driving a car. Eliminating your vehicle will cut out car insurance, car maintenance, potential parking/traffic violations and gas costs. Instead, ride your bike, take the metro/subway or if you’re destination is out of the city, use a ride-sharing app. Using public/carpool transport instead of maintaining a personal car, could save you anywhere from $200 to $600 a month!

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5 Bicycle Maintenance Routines to Avoid Costly Repairs and Injuries

More people than ever are biking to save money on transportation. The number of bike trips in the U.S. more than doubled between 2001 and 2009, from 1.7 billion to 4 billion, according to the National Household Travel Survey. In bicycle friendly communities, bike commuting rates increased 105 percent from 2000 to 2013. In areas like Portland, as many as 7.2 percent of commuters now travel to work by bike.

If you depend on your bike to get to work, good vehicle maintenance habits are critical to avoid lost wages and the risk of injury. Here are some maintenance routines to help keep your bike in good working condition:

Preventive Routines

Preventing problems is the easiest form of maintenance. Store your bike inside to protect it from water and dirt. In addition, be aware that if you ride your bike in the rain or off-road, you need to do more work to maintain it. Cut down your maintenance needs by taking the bus instead of your bike on rainy days. If you don’t have an outdoor garage or shed to store your bike in, your best option is to get an indoor bike rack.

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Growing Without Letting Go of the Startup Culture

by Sean Bryant on May 31, 2016

Growing Without Letting Go of the Startup Culture

If you’re a fan of the hit HBO show Silicon Valley, then you may be able to identify with the lead character’s plight to keep his burgeoning business from growing out of his control. He and his close-knit team that launched the company is having a hard time letting go of the startup culture.

It’s a common dilemma for many entrepreneurs. The startup days are hard, but the feeling of camaraderie and creating something from nothing is worth it. You want your business to grow yet you don’t want it to become a sprawling machine that lacks a warm heart at the center.

Just because you’re riding the wave of success and expanding doesn’t mean you have to lose the company’s original spirit. You just have to plot out a course that keeps the startup culture alive after you’re well established.

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How Millennials Can Get Started Investing with Limited Funds

When your funds are limited, realizing that you need to cut your budget even more can hard to accept. But what if I told you shaving just $10 from your grocery budget and investing it instead could allow you to turn that $10 into $20? You’d probably want to do it, wouldn’t you?

I’m not promising you will magically end up with a 100% return on your investments by employing the practices listed below. However, I am going to show you how your money can grow, when you thought it wasn’t possible, by describing how millennials can get started investing with limited funds.

Find the Money

Take a look at what you spend your money on each month. Do you actually need to buy a pop each day from the convenience store near your job? Water is better for you and much cheaper than pop if you get it from the tap instead of buying bottled. Or perhaps you go out for lunch each day because it’s too far to go home. Try making your lunch and bringing it with you instead. You could save anywhere from $10 to $30 dollars each week simply by making lunch at home and taking it to work each day. Plus, you might be able to take leftovers and save even more money by making sure that you use up all of the food you’ve cooked. When you add the savings up from these small actions, in a month’s time you cut at least $50 from your budget. If you stop drinking pop that figure goes up even more.

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What Do You Need to Build a Better Mousetrap

by Sean Bryant on May 26, 2016

What Do You Need to Build a Better Mousetrap

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door…” 

– a modern rephrasing of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

What does the phrase build a better mousetrap mean? It means you should build and innovate if you want to be successful. It means you should create something, but maybe you shouldn’t create a mousetrap because there are currently more than 4,400 patents for new mousetraps. Mousetraps or not, the phrase truly means that innovating something is far better than innovating nothing.

From Invention Brainstorming to Invention Idea

Unless you truly have a unique and cost-worthy mousetrap, maybe focus your inventing skills on something other than a mousetrap. The idea isn’t to build a mousetrap, but rather to inspire you to create something that people have a use for; hence, why the world is beating a path to your door. The world wants what you got…Or, what you will have once you’ve fleshed out those good ideas.

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Copy Trading Increasingly Appeals to Novice Investors

May 24, 2016
Copy Trading Increasingly Appeals to Novice Investors

The number of so-called copy trading platforms continues to rise, with these startups saying they can give ordinary people the opportunity to make the sort of high returns once reserved for hedge funds and expert investors. With such online platforms, individual retail investors are able to directly copy the buying and selling patterns of proven, […]

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How To Build a Dividend Growth Portfolio for Growing Retirement Income

May 23, 2016
How To Build a Dividend Growth Portfolio for Growing Retirement Income

This is a guest contribution from Ben Reynolds at Sure Dividend. Sure Dividend uses The 8 Rules of Dividend Investing to systematically build high quality dividend growth portfolios. Sean at One Smart Dollar recently laid out 3 scary facts about social security cuts in retirement: The social security fund is expected to be depleted around […]

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