From the outside, the tech industry can look like a homogenous sector, populated either by entrepreneurial whiz kids or bearded computer ‘geeks’. However, as with most industries, once you get beneath the surface, it becomes clear that the people who inhabit the tech industry are a varied bunch, utilising different skill sets and working in sub-sectors that have little in common. One of these sub-sectors, financial technology (or fintech), is attracting a range of talent, particularly workers who, in the past, may have been attracted to investment funds, law firms, or accountancy practices.
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In addition to your traditional checking, savings, and emergency accounts, financial weblog Get Rich Slowly suggests setting up another money bucket for irregular or unexpected expenses. Sock away money in a "Freedom Account" for expenses like clothes, vacations, and car maintenance. Setting this money apart from your regular monthly bills ensures you keep a tighter rein on what you spend on irregular expenses, and it also helps you set savings goals for larger purchases. Whether or not you're already doing something along these lines, let's hear how you track and manage your irregular expenses in the comments. Use a Freedom Account to Prepare for the Unexpected
If your dreams are filled with nightmares of recession and impending economic doom, a user from the community weblog Ask MetaFilter asks the simple but pertinent question: What's the safest possible thing that I can do with my money? The folks at MetaFilter provide heaps of great suggestions while sticking to the low-to-no-risk requirement, suggesting everything from CDs and short term bond mutual funds to investing in yourself. As many folks are quick to point out, virtually any interest-bearing savings plan requires some form of risk—hence the reason for the interest. But some investments are safer than others, so let's hear your thoughts on safe investments in the comments. What's the safest possible thing that I can do with my money?
Following simple investment rules can turn into considerable riches. Men's Health explains that one of the most important things is to invest in yourself. Set your savings on automatic. Allocate some of your work compensation into an index fund, low-fee variable annuity, or a diversified mutual fund. Allocate another small sum of money into a foreign index fund. Why should you do this? If you ever want to amass a lot of liquid assets--that is, money you can spend today if you want--you need to set your savings to automatic, as well. This is an easy way to make good money without having to consistently be monitoring your financial progress. As the saying goes, "set it and forget it," and over time, you'll accumulate wealth that you hadn't previously foreseen. 10-Minute Tips to Help You Retire Rich
The Freelance Switch blog tackles a few of the most important money management practices for those just starting out in a freelance venture. Along with getting a good billing/invoice system in place and getting serious about your expense tracking, guest writer Allan Branch drops one of the most important tips to ensure your security as an independent worker:Step 4 - Don't use your personal bank accounts to make purchases for the business.Have at least one business bank account and use it exclusively. If you violate this rule you risk "piercing the corporate veil." Which means you lose your business and your house and your car and money if you got into legal hot waters.Sound advice, and it makes sense organizationally, too. For more Freelance 101, check out previous tips on pricing freelance work and the 7 Habits of Successful Freelancers. Photo by miguelb.
Accounting Basics for a Freelancer
Living frugally can be its own reward, but it's also fun to promise yourself incentives for implementing money saving practices into your life. Life improvement site Dumb Little Man reminds us that frugal does not have to equal miserable, and suggests that rewarding ourselves with little treats within the budget (of course) can have a direct effect on our continued efforts to live below our means.
Financial blog Frugal for Life has a good suggestion for when your bank account is a bit stretched—clean out your car. When you drive around in a cluttered car it weighs on you, the 'stuff' sitting in there needing some place to go. I happened to clean my car yesterday and found that when I drive now, I am more relaxed knowing that I don't have to worry about the clutter, messes, and grime.This is more of a mental boost than anything else; the simple act of cleaning puts you in a more focused frame of mind to deal with your sparse chequing account.
Financial blog The Simple Dollar has written up a few tips on how to deal with those inevitable business lunches - and how to keep costs to a minimum.
I drink a large amount of water just before leaving. Suggest carpooling.Order water as the drink (it's free).Order something inexpensive but filling.Participate strongly in the conversation - this keeps you from spending too much on the meal.What's your best budget tip for business meals? Thoughts in the comments.How To Minimize The Cost (And Maximize The Benefit) Of Eating Out For Business