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BUSINESS EXPENSIVE: Certain startups are money killers

What person doesn't dream of being their own boss, owning their own business, and no longer having to answer to anyone but themselves?

All of that sounds incredibly enticing but starting your own business isn't an endeavor that needs plenty of planning and nearly flawless execution.
First and foremost, you have to choose a business that is more investment than risk, which translates into watching your money grow.

That's often easier said than done, and you probably would be wise to piece together certain criteria to follow that would suggest you're making a wise decision by nixing the nine to five job for a business you can call your own.

Make sure your business is something you know at least a little bit about, and that you're absolutely committed to its success. Far too often, would be business owners rush into an investment without anything more than angst and anger toward their 40 hour per week job as their motivation.

You have to choose something that drives you or that you're passionate about, and investing your own money helps the cause immensely. You'd be more apt to push a little harder and sell a little more if you know your own money is at stake.

Then again, there are certain businesses that just scream money pit.
Take opening a restaurant. This is the tailor made swing and a miss for most, given the nature of the business. Far too many self-dubbed “good cooks” think they're ready to run their own restaurant, but forget that flourishing in the business takes everything from financial acumen, proper business training, expertise in marketing, wage analysis and being able to financial undertake the cost of equipment.

Sure sounds like being a “good cook” might not be quite enough to put you in the black right away.

Food cost and knowing how to price it out and portion it correctly also plays a major role in the difference between losing your life savings and turning thousands of dollars into a potential fortune. Most persons who have a decent amount stashed away prefer to skip the desks, chairs and employees in favor of a business that can be done from home or something that might require nothing more than a computer or camera, like starting your own store on eBay. Let's say you love jewelry or clothing; why not begin establishing inventory through buying at auctions or flea markets and amass enough to start selling.

A simple snap of a camera from your smart phone and the eBay app, and you're in business, literally.

That sure sounds a lot neater, nicer and cleaner than serving food and gobbling up a lot of headaches, debt and adding a failed business to your financial repertoire.

YOUNG CUNNING: You're never too young to start saving money

One of the great money debates typically centers on age, more specifically when saving money becomes a high priority.

While no one expects you to save every penny starting with your first allowance, it probably wouldn't be wise to wait until you're 55 to start that retirement fund.

Somewhere between the age of 5 and 60 is a happy medium when it comes to saving money and piecing together the kind of financial portfolio you can tout.
So when exactly should you start?

Probably the turning point for most is when they reach their 20s, a time period where you may be embarking on your first real job after college and starting to settle into an existence that goes beyond buying toys as a child and hitting the books en route to your degree.

Far too often, the 20 something man or woman figures they have more than a few years to start thinking about retirement or saving for the future and when talk turns to a 401K from your employer or setting aside some savings, you tune it out.

Truthfully, that age is the exact time period when you should start, if nothing else and at the bare minimum, saving at least a hundred bucks from each paycheck. Think of it this way: as you get older, you'll most likely gain responsibility, whether that's a spouse, house or kids.

Before life lands squarely on your shoulders, you should start saving extra income while you have it. That's not to suggest that someone in their 20s shouldn't enjoy themselves, especially if they're working full time and making decent money.

Between buying clothes, going to concerts or just handing out with friends, that age group isn't tailored to take every last penny and put it in the bank. The flip side to that, however, is spending wildly and without reason, just because you're in the midst of enjoying your first few paychecks and have no real bills to worry about at the moment.

But that lack of overhead should equate to the proverbial light bulb going off in your head that now is the time to strike and save the most. Heading into your 30s and just getting older in general probably won't be quite as nerve racking or stressful if you've planned accordingly.

And a lot of that foresight starts during a time period when you're not really thinking about saving money. Those who spend their younger days at least pondering how to spend and save their money correctly are years ahead of the financial curve.

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