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How to Look Rich When Leading a Paycheck-to-Paycheck Lifestyle

The economy is crashing with lightning speed, and your bills are overwhelming with shut-off notices every few days. You juggle the finances as fast as you can to keep everything running smoothly. You live paycheck to paycheck while trying to keep up with the Joneses, and little do you know it probably means they are about to file for bankruptcy!

But do not fret for there are ways to appear in a class of your own, living the life of the rich and silent with a few well placed stories and good front. Like putting lipstick on a pig, you are going to look a lot better than you truly are! No one will realize the trouble you have at night when you try to fall asleep. The bills will fly through the air mocking you only in your dreams while neighbors and friends will envy your smart investments.

Your home, your car and your appearance will appearance will mask the poverty under the cushions and the car the barely keeps going. They will never know how close you are to becoming homeless because you carry yourself with confidence, a winners smile and the greatest fantasy of all time. You are a credit to all who walk the line of defeat against the odds and just keep walking no matter what.

Your fa├žade help you to face each new money crisis and as you watch your savings very slowly grow until one day you can finally move to easy street. But first you present fantasy of wealth, happiness and good taste in the face of financial ruin. Never show the stress and never admit failure!

  1. If you drive an older car and it’s paid off you have already won half the battle! How? No car payment and for the little extra you can change it’s appearance and history. No matter what kind of car you drive make sure you have a decent paint job on it and a high polish. Invest in some nice hub caps to make it a beautiful “vintage” auto.

Brag to everyone you just love the year and make of your car and it was a great find at the right time. If you appear to love the car for it’s year, make and model and it’s well cared for you are creating a history for it and yourself without anyone knowing you couldn’t afford a new car if it fell out of the sky! Adorn the inside with nice seat covers and hand made pillows to match . Shine every part you can. What a beauty it will be as your neighbors envy your good taste.

  1. Get a good hair cut. A good current style and a little hair gel goes a long way in convincing someone you only settle for the very best. Can’t afford to color your hair? You will let everyone know you believe in the wonderful and natural “you”! No amount of money or riches can make you better than you already are!
  2. Learn to sew! Make most of your own clothes with a touch here and there for a change in the pattern. Your story is you never buy off the rack unless it is very special or an emergency. YOUR clothes are all custom made by a new designer that will one day rule the walks of high end modeling. It’s your secret and you just cannot give the name for now. After all you will own the original designs of a future king or queen.
  3. Your home needs to be very well cared for even if it is a basic lawn front yard. Use a few well placed decorations, a rock collection and a few solar lights for effect. Make sure the outside front of the house has a nice paint job and good trim. Your story is this is just your little investment until you decide where you want to build your “dream” home. Keep it simple and keep it trimmed.
  4. Make your decoration simple and few. This is the least expensive way to decorate and looks the most elegant. Buy a few nice pieces of glass from retail outlet stores at a low price, but make sure you always relay they were purchased at full price. Add a few plants, candles and mirrors, family pictures in nice frames you can get at thrift stores and resale shops. Always decorate in groupings.
  5. If your furniture is on the older side this is where learning to sew will come in really handy. A couch cushion can have stuffing or foam added to it for extra firmness. Cover all your basic pieces with good, matching cloth. Sew it to custom fit each piece and add several large, overstuffed matching pillows in the same color and a few complimentary colors.

While at the machine make decorations for your home with small amounts of finer cloth such as small pillows and stuffed animals. Place on various pieces of furniture. Even lampshades can be made to match the rest of the room for that designer touch. Very chic, very modern and very cost worthy to those living a on a non-exsistent budget.

  1. Eat cheap when dining with just the family. But when you serve company and need to keep up appearances buy chicken and inexpensive white wine to cook it in. Serve with very little fresh vegetables and an unusual bread you can get from any deli or bakery section of your grocery store. Serve any left over wine from an inexpensive decanter you pick up at an under price store or thrift shop. For desert serve slices of frozen pound cake with strawberries and a good coffee. The effect is to look rich without spending a lot of money.
  2. Now you must be wondering how to serve such fine fare on your plain everyday dishes. You can’t afford a set of good china, but you can buy pieces of good china cheaply at thrift stores. The trick is to make sure every piece is different and tell your guest you planned it that way. It makes a beautiful setting on china most people will never eat off of again anywhere in there simple lives! Make sure your table is covered with a light weight table cloth and one single flower in the center. The vase can be from a dollar store or an empty, but well labeled perfume bottle you have found on your search through antique shops.
  3. Do not be afraid to go to consignment shops and look for labels or good quality items for much less money than new. It is good for appearances and for the budget. If you like jewelry choose costume pieces from an earlier era. Make sure they are clean because it is another one of your collections you are willing to share the beauty of with the common people. Following these simple suggestions will make you feel rich and prepare you for the day you are in a class of wealth like no other.
  4. If you work a job that cannot be disguised from others then you are only working in the position because you are a silent partner in the corporation and this is your way of making sure your investment is safe and know what makes the employee’s and customer’s happy. You must stay connected with the classes that spend the money for maximum profit and future improvements. Sounds good doesn’t it!

If the day never comes and your dreams are in a small neighborhood of a small but fine home, then at least you will have lived the fantasy just for the fun of it. So many of us do not live a life of luxury, but sometimes just a few fine items or the appearance of good taste gets us through the day and to the next paycheck. If you feel truly poor just remember you are not alone.

The next time one of your neighbors look like they are able to afford the very best while you try to figure out how to keep the power on, remember they may have read this article. Have fun, appear rich, enjoy the fantasy, but always be nice to those less fortunate. Because they may one day be nice to you when you need a shoulder to cry on or a hug to face the rest of the day.

How to Deal with Financial Stress in Your Life

Every month you tell yourself things will get better, but after a certain amount of time has passed you realize it may not. If your family or you are experiencing a downturn in your financial picture, it may time to decide to make some serious changes. Studies have showed that in the last recession of the 90’s a huge majority of those that got laid off, did not recover financially to what they made. By being proactive you may save yourself a serious financial crisis down the road.

Should You Stay or Go: If you have found yourself trying to find a job in the area you live in with little to no success, it may be time to relocate. Many families are finding themselves leaving cities they grew up in because jobs in their fields are just not readily available. Do some research regarding where the hot spots are right now for your type of employment. You may just have to move to keep a roof over your head.

Sell The House: We may be in the worst housing recession this country has ever seen, but there are still people buying homes everyday. You may have purchased your home based on how well you were doing in the past years, but now as the decrease or lack of income may be playing a role, selling that house may be a smart move. Many people try to hold onto their home hoping things will be ok. But there has to be a point agreed upon by all parties, that if things do not improve selling the home and renting something cheaper may be a good idea. Check out the surrounding area you live in for rentals and their rates. If you have a family, keeping your children in the same school district may be your goal. Minimizing the expense of maintaining a residence can help stretch the income even more. Remember, in the future you can always purchase a home again.

Discuss the Finances: Hiding the finances from the family is the worst thing you can do. By discussing it and letting everyone know that it is group effort, things much less stressful in the house. This is a time to teach your children a valuable lesson about the real world. Life is all about ups and downs.

Look at Cost Cutting: Major corporations do it everyday and even have whole departments devoted to reducing costs and expenses. The same should go for your household. Do the kids really need all those channels on cable? Can you do without the land line at home? Can cellphone costs be cut? How about combining trips with the car for errands or places the kids want to go? Less buying out lunch and more bagging? Let teens get a part time job for their extra money. They are less likely to spend it on impulse items when they know its money they earned. Forget the housekeeper and let everyone pitch in. Make a list of all the items you spend money on each month and cut it down. Try using online coupon websites for savings.

Seek Counseling: For some people, who examine their finances, they may find that trouble is a lot closer to their door than they realize. Counseling about your finances may be a good decision. A counselor may decide that you are too deep into a financial position to be able to pull out. They may recommend credit counseling to try and consolidate your bills or even bankruptcy in a worse case scenario.

Examine your financial situation immediately, so you can make clearer decisions without the emotional turmoil than can happen as things get worse. Attacking it as a unit makes the decisions that have to be made much easier on all those involved. Your not facing this alone, as many other people around you, even some you know are dealing with it. Starting on this today, can prevent heartache and stress for tomorrow.

 

How to Evaluate Mortgage Reduction

If you have a mortgage you may want to consider a mortgage reduction plan. When you pay off your principal balance faster you will save yourself money in finance charges. The longer your loan term is the more money you pay in finance charges. A mortgage reduction plan can help you achieve your financial goals and objectives.

When you add additional principal payments to your mortgage you are able to pay it down faster, which increase the amount of equity in your home. Equity if determined by taking the value of your home and subtracting the outstanding balance. If your home is valued at $100,000 and your balance is $65,000 you have $35,000 of equity. Any additional principal payments should be sent to your mortgage company with written instruction, to your mortgage lender, explaining how the funds should be applied.

The price of your home can be reduced substantially if the economy is facing a recession, but adding additional payments to your loan can help counter the effects of having the value of your home reduced. When you get ready to sell your home the extra payments will help you realize more of a profit as the balance is lowered.

An amortization schedule or table will let you know exactly how much more money should be added to your standard payment if you want your mortgage paid off by a particular year. You can change up the amounts of money added to your payment to see how much time is cut from your term. A new amortization schedule can be run every time an extra payment is made to see how much time has been cut from the original mortgage loan. You also get a run down on the amount of money you save with finance charges.

Once your mortgage is paid off you have a number of things the extra money can be used for such as investments, credit card debt, home improvements, or even tuition. Having a home that is paid in full can go a long way towards helping you achieve your financial goals and objectives. If you need to borrow additional money you can even use your home, which is free and clear for that purpose.

There are a number of companies that will do a free mortgage reduction analysis which allows you to see how much is needed to get your home paid off on a particular date. Using an amortization schedule and mortgage calculator can give you the mechanisms needed to perform this task yourself.