Everyone wants to be rich, but not everyone is good at it.
You, on the other hand, have had your whole life to practice being rich, without the distraction of developing any skills or working for a living. You make coasting through life look easy! Still, there are some pitfalls to being born with everything you'll ever need, especially when interacting with those less fortunate. So from failson to failson, here are some tips and tricks to living your best life in the shade of your parents' money-tree.
Befriend Some Poors
She doesn't know she wants to be your friend yet
It's important to stay grounded. If you only ever hang out with Trey and Ashlynn at the polo club, you'll lose touch with the commoners. That's not you. You're the kind of Richie Rich that lives your truth and stays humble, so it's important that you look at poor people as a tool for learning. You can find some poors studying at a public university, or even behind the counter of your favorite coffee shop. Some barista's actually make what's known as "tipped wage," which, in New York, means they make $10/hour plus tips. Here's a tip, that means they're poor! They might resist your advances at first, but you let them know that they're just as good as you, in their own way. Tell them some stories about Milan, or the crew team—oh my god, crew team stories are the best!
Ask About Your Poor Friends’ Finances
You never had to learn about money... you just always knew
How are you going to learn if you don't ask questions? If they talk about their job, ask them how much they make. If they invite you to their apartment, look around for a few seconds, then take a guess at how much they pay in rent. Make sure it's a super low-ball guess, so you don't offend them. If they mention how much something cost—anything—be sure to ask if that's a lot of money for them. You might be surprised! You can even use these questions to help them improve their finances. If they're stressing about scraping together enough for their bills this month, say "Don't you have savings?" In order to retire by 65—30 years too late if you ask me—millennials should be putting about half their paychecks into savings, but chances are that your poor friends aren't doing that. This will nudge them in the right direction.
Split the Bill Evenly
Going out to dinner with your working class friends? Suggest the kind of place they probably haven't been before. Per Se? Say no more. They'll probably be a little uncomfortable and try to order something cheap, but you can set expectations by giving their "braised chicken breast" a little raised eyebrow, then ordering whatever comes with the most shaved truffle. When the bill comes, show your friends you see them as your equal by splitting it down the middle.
Treat Your Luxury Goods Like Shit
Oh, that old hunk of junk?
A lot of poor people think that the natively wealthy are all obsessed with status symbols and designer goods. Show them how superficial you think that stuff is by throwing your Louis bag on the floor like a sack of potatoes the moment you walk inside. If you take your poor friends to a rooftop bar with a pool, jump in with your Gucci loafers still on. Suggest a game of "streetball" at a public park, where they don't even charge you to play, and show up in your Balenciaga t-shirt to get your sweat on.
Talk About How Stressful Your Vacations Are
This shot seriously took like 20 takes, you guys
At this point, you pretty much get their whole deal. Their full-time job is stressing them out when they're at their part-time job, and their health insurance won't cover the yoga retreat in Iceland that you keep suggesting—blah blah blah. Show them that the grass isn't always greener just because it's treated with mink-scat fertilizer. You have your own sources of stress, and they'll feel better about their problems if you explain to them how much you had to work to "find yourself" on your trip to Peru—the llamas kept trying to eat your hair when you were posing for pictures, and that porter who carried your bags up the mountain could barely even speak proper Castellano (also, those guys only make like $30/day, so what are your poor friends even complaining about). See? Your life is hard too! Honestly, if your new friends don't get that, maybe they don't deserve you.
In fact, f*ck this whole thing. You don't need poor friends.
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As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.