Devin Thorpe, founder of the Your Mark on the World Center, calls himself a champion of social good. He writes about, advocates for and advises those who are doing good. He travels extensively to share his message as a keynote speaker, emcee and trainer. As a Forbes Contributor he covers social entrepreneurship and impact investing. His books on personal finance and crowdfunding draw on his entrepreneurial finance experience as an investment banker, CFO, treasurer, and mortgage broker helping people use financial resources to do good. Previously he worked on the U.S. Senate Banking committee staff and earned an MBA at Cornell.

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6 family-friendly tips for successful entrepreneurship

Thank heaven for entrepreneurs. Unless you are one of the one-in-three who work for the government, if you have a job, you have an entrepreneur to thank. Someone back in time launched that business and created the job that feeds your family. If you’d like to be an entrepreneur, the following tips will help you succeed at launching your own business while you maintain a happy and healthy home environment.

  1. Remember it will be tough.Entrepreneurship is not for the weak. It is going to be tough. A lot tougher than you think. Really.
  2. Talk about it.Sit down with your spouse and talk about the implications of your plan. Make sure that your spouse is 100 percent behind you. It may take time, but this is the most critical step for maintaining a happy home with an entrepreneur in it. It may also be more important than you think for the success of the business. Because an entrepreneur has to invest so many hours into ramping up the business, and may not add a dime to the family wallet for months, spousal support can make or break the dream. Many entrepreneurs have said their spouses were key to their success.

This article originally appeared at FamilyHow.com.  Click here to read the rest.

How do I choose investments for my child’s college fund?

Investing for a college fund is vitally important. How you invest the money is almost as important as how much you save. A bad investment could leave you without any college savings. Consider the following guidelines to help you invest for your child’s college savings—assuming you have at least 10 years before your child will finish college.

Take only low to moderate risk. Risk-taking increases expected returns, but also increases the probability of loss. Even with 20 years until your child finishes college, there may not be enough time to recover from big losses. Keep your college fund investments conservative.

Individual stocks, even mutual funds invested in stocks, may be too risky for most people. Virtually any stock can drop in value. Mutual funds that invest in stocks can drop dramatically—as we saw in 2008 and 2009. You don’t want to have your college fund invested in stocks when the market tanks.

This article originally appeared on FamilyHow.com.  To read the entire article, click here.

A one-month spending fast: The best way to jump-start your savings

If you find yourself wishing every month that you could save just a little bit but you never seem to be able to put anything away for the future, try doing nothing for thirty days. Enlist the help of everyone in the family and for one month, go on a spending fast. Of course there are many—probably most things you do—that you can’t stop doing, but many things you can quit altogether for 30 days.

Consider going one month without any of the following:

  1. Movies. For one month, you could go without paying to see, rent, watch, view or attend a single movie. Your eyes would not fall out. Your heart would not cease to beat. You could spend exactly zero on movies for one month.
  2. Fine dining. You could easily go for a single month without eating over white linens. Most people enjoy the treat of a fine meal once in a while—some more often than others. There is nothing wrong with it, but skipping the white linen tables for a month may make quite a contribution to your savings account.

This article first appeared on FamilyHow.com; click here to read the rest of the article.

How borrowing money each month can quickly ruin your finances

It isn’t unusual for a family to come up a little short at the end of the month. How a family handles that situation may matter more than you think.

If your family comes up short by $100 every month and borrows that money on a credit card with 12% interest, the deficit in the second month will have grown to $101. The next month, the shortfall will have grown to a bit more than $102. Within a year, the shortfall will be $113. After two year years, $127 and after three years, $143. You’ll also have a new debt totaling $4,308 at the end of 36 months.

If you borrow the money on a more expensive credit card, say one with a 24% interest rate, after three years the monthly deficit will have grown to $204 per month. At the higher interest rate, your debt will have grown to $5,200.

This article first appeared at FamilyHow.com.  To read the rest of the article, click here.  A collection of my articles will soon be released as a book.

Financial tips for buying an engagement ring

Listen, I’m not the guy to ask about style, diamond quality or color. I’m just the guy to coach you on buying the engagement ring. The only thing you’ve likely purchased that will be more expensive than the ring is a car—and only if you’ve bought a nice car!

Two to Three Month’s Salary: There is an old convention that a ring should cost two to three month’s salary. It isn’t fair. It may not be wise. It is absurd. But, you may be feeling like you need to live up to that standard. If you are early in your career, you are likely earning around $3,500 per month, depending upon your career, that would give you a budget of $7,000 to $10,500. For your sake, I hope you didn’t just finish your cardiac residency—three months of a cardiac surgeon’s salary would get attention at Tiffany’s, for sure.

To heck with convention: While you should want your future spouse to recognize the symbol of your love for her as a sacrifice, you may want to consider whether or not some of the money you might spend on a ring could be better spent on the down payment for a new home.

Don’t Borrow: Nothing says, “I don’t really love you that much” like borrowing the money for the ring.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World available for free at Smashwords.


I wanna get rich quick: How do I do it?

The art of getting rick quick can be summarized with one word: luck. The key to getting rich quick is, in many cases, to do the opposite of what you should do if your goal is to retire at 65 or 70 with plans to golf three days each week. To get rich quick, you need to start by ignoring your family, your community and your faith and instead focus entirely on yourself. Ready?

Here are the surefire ways to get rich quick:

  1. Quit your job today.If you stay at your job, it may take the rest of your career to accumulate a million dollars—if you ever do. Start your quest for instant wealth by walking out the door. Never mind the bridges you’ll burn, you’re going to be rich, quick! Whatever you do, don’t stay at your job for the next 30 years contributing to your 401k—that surefire way to wealth will take too long.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World available for free at Smashwords.

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I just paid off my car. Should I trade it in now?

Congratulations on paying off your car. There were probably days along the way when you worried the car wouldn’t last as long as the loan on the car, but it made it! You have taken a huge financial step forward. Now what?

Follow this simple system and you’ll never have a car payment again!

  1. Keep driving the car you have now.Take care of it. You want this baby to last for years. (If you haven’t told your car lately that you love her, now might be a good time.)
  2. Keep making the car payment.What!?! Make the car payment into a savings account. Keep the money sacred for your next car.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World available for free at Smashwords.

I’m planning a vacation abroad; how do I avoid currency related problems?

Travel abroad is exciting, fun and scary. There are so many new things to worry about: language, traffic patterns and signs, delicious food, strange food and colorful money. Virtually every currency in the world, except U.S. currency, is bright and colorful. Figuring out how to use the beautiful, colorful money without overpaying in country or being charged high fees along the way takes planning.

The following are currency related issues that you should plan for when traveling abroad:

  1. Exchange rates:Exchange rates, the price of foreign currencies in terms of U.S. Dollars, will vary from one day to the next. In fact, they vary from one moment to the next, though in most retail exchange locations you won’t see changes happen throughout the day. On the internet, you can watch exchange rates fluctuate moment to moment. The rates you’ll see on the internet will always be better than the rates you can get when you are exchanging currency. There is no easy way for consumers to hedge or protect themselves against painful swings in currencies while planning for or going on an international vacation.
  2. Exchanging Money:As a general rule, you want to exchange money as seldom as possible. Do some research and careful budgeting for your cash use on the trip and exchange once at the beginning of the trip all the cash you plan to spend so you won’t have to frequent money exchange services, banks or ATMs with frequency.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the Worldavailable for free at Smashwords or for $0.99 at Amazon.

My spouse makes $85,000 per year; I make $15,000 part time: Can I afford to quit?

Here in the U.S., the tax code punishes the second income in a household in ways that few people understand. If you are earning just $15,000 per year working part time, you may be surprised to learn that you not only can afford to quit—you may not be able to afford to keep working!

If you love your job and love working, the question of whether or not to work isn’t purely financial. If, however, you hate working and only do it to help make ends meet each month, read this article carefully.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the Worldavailable for free at Smashwords or for $0.99 at Amazon.

My new job is 40 miles from my home; Should I move closer to work?

Anyone who has moved a family recently can tell you they hope never to do it again. Memories fade, however, and many do it over and over again. If you land a new job that is, say, 40 miles away, it may be tempting to move closer to work. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

  1. Rent or own?If you are renting your current residence, the cost of moving is much smaller, and the opportunity to save enough to pay for the move is much more likely. If you own your home, it could take decades to save enough in transportation costs to pay for the move.
  2. Car or train?If you will have to drive to your new job every day, the costs of the commute will add up more quickly than if you can take the bus or train most or all of the way.

This article was first published at FamilyHow.com; to read the entire article, click here.  It is also included in my latest book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the Worldavailable for free at Smashwords or for $0.99 at Amazon.

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