Friday, October 6, 2017

Money-Management Tips For Rainy Day Emergencies

money in rain
Are you financially prepared for an emergency? You need to be, as disaster can strike at any time. You may lose your job. Your car might unexpectedly fail. You may suddenly need medical treatment, at a hospital or at the hands of a dentist. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you can never predict a disaster, though you can plan for it, to reduce future financial woes. So, to help you when those difficult times arise, here are some of the things you can do to prepare for a financial emergency.

Keep an emergency fund

Putting your savings into a jar isn’t going to help you. The temptation to put your hand in for non-emergency situations, such as buying a takeaway, may be too strong. You need to put money somewhere you can’t touch it, such as a savings account at your local bank. This way, when you have a genuine emergency, you will have reserves at hand, that may also have built up a little bit of interest to boot. Shop around on your local high street, and find the best deal the local banks have to offer.

Get insured

While you will be keen to save money, insurance is something you shouldn't skimp out on. We recommend you look at the offers found at Health Insurance Innovations to help you pay for your medical care. Life insurance is also vital, in the sad event of the passing of the main breadwinner in your home. Homeowner’s insurance will help should you get burgled or face a threat from a natural disaster. Car insurance is a legal requirement, but there may be optional extras, such as ‘collision insurance’ which will protect you from costly repairs. You may not think you need insurance at all, but you will only pay out more money when disaster happens if you don’t have it in place.

Find a financial planner

To help you get a better handle on your finances, work with a financial planner, who will advise you on the best way to manage your money. This not only includes ways to budget and save money, but a decent advisor will also give you guidance on where to invest your money, and how to reduce your taxes. They can help you reach short and long-term goals, such as planning for retirement or going back to school. Like insurance, hiring a financial planner is one expense that can ultimately save you money, rather than losing it into a monetary black hole.

Cut living costs

The cost of living is high, and there is so much to pay for before we even get to save money or reward ourselves with the occasional treat. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune on your utility bills, when you can use a price comparison service to find a better deal. A few simple habits in your home will also reduce the amount of energy you use. Setting a budget each month will also help, letting you keep track of what you are spending, and where you can cut back. The more money you save each month, the more you have to put away for those rainy day emergencies.

Finally

Follow our advice, and when a crisis hits, you should have money to fall back on. Don’t put off making changes to another day. Disaster may strike tomorrow, so do what you can today to better manage your money. You will thank us for it later.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Small Changes For A Huge Financial Shift

finance time
When it becomes clear that you might need to try and get your finances in order, it can be hard to know where to begin. There is so much involved in the process that it can be challenging just working out the problems and their associated solutions. Fortunately, there is always something you can do, and at the end of the day the important thing is that you begin somewhere, wherever that might be. In this article, we are going to look at some of the small changes that can drastically add up to make a big difference to your finances. Many of these will be especially useful if you are struggling to come to terms with your financial situation, so let’s take a look.

Put Your Debts In Order

No matter how much debt you have, it helps hugely if you can find a way to put them in order of priority. This mens that you know which is the one that needs paying off first, which is second, and so on. If you get this right, you can then begin to pay off your debts much more quickly than if you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. To begin to prioritise your debts, you will first want to look for any that might be on the verge of causing a big problem in your daily life. If you have had bailiffs threatening to come round for a particular debt, then that is clearly the priority. Put those debts at the top of the list first.

But then what? Well, then you want to look at what debt is actually going to cost the most in the long term. This means sitting down and calculating the costs of the whole debt, including the interest, so that you can know exactly how much you will have to repay. This is often a scary moment, and it’s rarely a nice feeling to see your debts laid out like that, but it is also one of the most sensible things you can do in order to get a better understanding of the true extent of your debts. Once you have your debts in priority order like this, you can then begin to pay them off - and in a way which will be much more logical and will be a lot quicker than if you were just paying them all off basically at random.

This first change is small, but if you have any debt at all it is likely to be profound in what it can do for your financial situation. Of course, you might not have any debt at all, in which case this won't apply. Either way, once you have your debts cleared, or at least are beginning to, it is time to start thinking about saving a little money.

Change Your Savings Account

If you have had your savings account for longer than a year, you might be able to benefit from switching it over to another provider. Savings accounts generally have generous upfront interest rates, which often last for six months to a year, and after that will drop again. For something like a cash ISA, you can remove the money whenever you want - so you might as well make the most of hat and put it into a new savings account with the introductory interest rates. This is a change which s easy to do, and yet could make you hundreds in interest over the course of the year. Of course, it does depend on how much money you put into it - but it is still going to do something for you either way.

If you do decide to do this, you will want to make sure that you know exactly what savings account is currently going to be the best for you. You need to shop around, as this is not the kind of thing you can easily rush into. You might find it helpful to look online for advice on which savings accounts to use - there is a plethora of information out there, and much of it will be incredibly useful if you are keen on finding the best option. Get this right, and you might be much better off, so it is worth considering if you are in a rut and would like to make a big change in an easy way.

Ask For Help

There are many times in life when asking for help is clearly the best way to go, and yet many of us can find it extremely difficult to do. When it comes to finances, a lot of people struggle especially with asking for help, as it can be so embarrassing. However, we all need assistance from time to time, and appreciating that will help you to understand that there is no shame in asking for help. Of course, there are many different kinds of help that you might need for your money situation, and it’s good to know what they are so that you can understand what you actually need to ask for, and what you might be okay without.

One of the most common kinds of help in finance is when people need a little legal help understanding a difficult or dense situation. Money and the law are tied up together very intricately, and it can help to have a professional work it out with you. A number of pro law firms offer services in the financial area, and this can be especially useful if you are facing a difficulty, such as unpaid debts for example. This kind of help can often save your skin, so it’s worth remembering that it is there when you need it.

Besides legal help, you also have the help of friends and family. This is good to have, but it is also probably the most embarrassing situation for most people. If you are in need of actually having to borrow money, it can feel like a shame. But everyone is in this situation from time to time, and it’s worth remembering that if it happens to you too. It might just be that you need to borrow a small amount for a short period of time, which can be frustrating but is not the end of the world. Or, if things have really taken a downturn, perhaps you need to ask for quite a lot more. Either way, there should be no shame in it, and you should feel free to ask your friends and family for help - as long as you are fair about it, and pay back anything you might need to borrow.

Invest In Something

There is often this general idea that to invest successfully you need to have a lot of special knowledge or to have a certain amount of money to begin with. But if you have a basic understanding of how money works and you have a dollar to spare, you can start investing today. What’s more, it just might be one of the most sensible decisions you have ever made. Investing is a sure sign that you are starting to take money seriously, and it can be another one of those small changes which could make a big difference further down the line.

What you invest in is up to you, but if you only have a little money consider going for something relatively new. Investing in Bitcoin could be a good start, for example, or some simple binary options trading. Whatever it is, just make sure only to invest what you can afford to lose. Other than that, keep your fingers crossed - and who knows, you could be in luck.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

8 Facts About Moving Home That Might Just Help You

moving costs
Moving home is something that the majority of the world will experience at least once in their lifetime, and it’s one of the most stressful things that you can do in your lifetime. Why? All of the planning, financial woes, packing, time off work, and many other assets contribute to the levels of stress that people experience when it comes to moving home. Here are 8 facts about moving that might just help you if you decide to move.

1. If you’re moving locally, it will cost you less to hire a removal company than it will to hire a truck and some help for the day. So if you’re moving soon and not too far away, it might be worth looking into seeing how much a removal company would cost you compared to trying to do it yourself.

2. Many people think that selling their home is as simple as putting it on the market and waiting for an offer. They don’t think about fees that come from estate agents, and documents that they need to fill out and sign. This blog shows how you can increase the value of your home to make it sell faster.

3. The months of May, June, July and September are the most common months to move home, especially for those of us that live in climates that tend to get very cold during the other months of the year. Nobody wants to attempt moving home in the snow and ice.

4. Did you know, that in America the average weight of a household is 6500 pounds? This might make you think twice about what to throw away when it comes to moving. Do you really want to shift that much weight around?

5. The biggest reason for people wanting to move home, in in fact young adults wanting to move out of their parents home to become more independant. Closely followed is not liking the neighborhood or to be closer to local amenities.

6. Moving is guessed to be the third most stressful thing to do in your lifetime, behind death and divorce. Make sure that the move you’re planning is right for you and your family before putting yourselves through any stress.

7. Worried about the cost of moving? The least expensive time to move is in the winter because of how cold it is. Removal companies tend to be cheaper around this time because of wanting to keep up a flow of clients.

8. Did you know that the majority of us forget to label our boxes when we move home? It might seem like a very trivial task, but it will save you a ton of time when it comes to unpacking. Even if you simply label the box with the room it needs to be in it will make your life easier.

Take on these 8 facts before moving home and see if you can use the information to make your move that little bit easier. Remember that it’s one of the most stressful things you can do, so take your time and enjoy your new home!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Save Money In Unexpected Ways

savings hacks
Living sensibly and learning where to save yourself some cash is a skill. It can take years to truly be able to manage your finances effectively. However, there are a few ways that you can start saving up some money in unexpected ways and it will add money to your pocket without too much extra effort on your part.

Make your own food and snacks

Although eating out all the time is great; it saves you the time cooking and it’s convenient; it is also a very expensive way to live. If you struggle in the kitchen, the best way to tackle this is to stay home and begin learning some basic techniques. If you can learn how to cook pasta and rice, you have a world of opportunities opened up to you and your family food wise. To save even more money on your food shop, opt for easy one-pot recipes which you can make a batch of and use throughout the week. It will save you time on busy work nights and save you washing up loads of dishes!

Use Supermarket Coupons

Whenever you visit a supermarket and spend a certain amount of money, you will likely get a voucher to use on your next shop. Ost of the time, you may end up ignoring the offer or losing it in your purse, but using the voucher you have will help to save you money- so use it! If you get a voucher for something like beans, you could plan your meals around them. Make up a big batch of chilli for your family using the beans and saving yourself a little money along the way.

Write Down What You Spend

If you struggle to keep tabs on what money you have, you may need to start writing it down. It will make you see what you are really spending your money on and may encourage you to refrain from buying that takeaway on Friday night. This is also a great way to track your expenses alongside your bank account so that you are able to identify any unknown transactions from your account.

Utilise Offers and Cashback

Did you know that if you took the time to switch your bank account you could get a welcoming bonus of over $100? Also, you can get 1% cashback when you buy a mortgage with particular lenders- you can find out more here. Shopping around for deals is nothing to be ashamed of, and you could save yourself a tonne of money by switching your bank, energy providers and mortgage lender.

Pay With Cash

Many of us don’t take cash out and about anymore, because it is much more convenient to pay for everything on your debit or credit card instead. The only problem with this is that spending money is so much easier when you can’t see what you spend. Next time you are out and about, take cash and you’ll see how much more reluctant you are to splash the cash.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Retirement Planning 101: Where Will You Live?

finance thoughts
Speak to any financial expert about retirement, and they’ll pinpoint a few key things to consider. At the top of their list will be your real estate. Or, to be more specific, where are you going to live when you retire?

This is a question because your circumstances have dramatically changed, and this may affect where you choose to live for both personal and financial reasons. Here are some of the most popular/common ideas people have when they retire:

Downsizing

I think this is the most common route to go down when entering retirement. Downsizing involves selling your old family home and moving into a much smaller place. A smaller home means you should find it easier to maintain in your older years, and the bills could be cheaper too. Plus, you raise capital for your retirement by selling your original house and buying a cheaper one. This money can help you when you don’t have a job anymore. Some people will even downsize to an apartment instead of an actual home - the choice is yours. Along with this, there is the idea of downsizing by selling your home and moving in with one of your children. You could have a son or daughter that has extra space in their house and wants to take you in because you can help with the kids, etc. This benefits both of you as you get to downsize and keep all the money from the sale of your house, and your child gets a permanent babysitter!

Community Living

This is a very popular idea amongst retirees as it helps you in many ways. For one, you have this concept of selling your home to raise capital for your retirement. Then, you have the idea of living within a community of people similar to you. Normally, you find plenty of retirement communities in very nice and relaxing locations. Condos by the beach are popular, and there are also plenty of lake homes for sale out in the middle of nowhere for people wanting to break free from busy life. Living in a community environment means you don’t have to worry about being alone and you can make friends and interact with others. This is something that worries many people when they retire as they won’t have any work friends anymore.

Staying Put

Of course, you always have the option to stay put and not sell your home. There are plenty of retirees that choose to do this as they have the future in mind. They want their old family home to be passed down to their kids when they eventually pass away. Furthermore, if they can handle the bills and maintenance, there might not be a reason to sell it. This does depend on how well you’ve planned for your retirement and how much money you’ve got in your bank.

In summary; you can sell your home and downsize to something smaller, you can sell it and go into community living to start a new chapter in your life, or you can simply stay put. There may be other options out there too, but these are the most popular when planning where you’ll live after retiring.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

5 Financial Woes You Need Know

finance thoughts
Life is never easy financially. It takes a lot of time, work and effort to make the money you need to live a modest and comfortable lifestyle. It takes even more if you want to live a life of luxury! No matter how much money you have today though, you might be setting yourself up to face a number of financial woes in the future. Here are 5 of the most problematic financial woes you never want to face:

Interest Rate Hike

As a saver, you might be jumping up and joy for this one. However, banks rarely pass on this kind of benefit in full. But they’ll definitely pass it on to your mortgage! If you’re on a variable rate right now, be wary of any economic or political turbulence that might initiate a long-term interest rate rise. It will also affect all other kinds of lending. Always keep track of any funds or borrowing that might see changes from banking movements.

Pension Pothole

There have been so many terrible tales in the press of pension funds disappearing. More pensions than you think have seen a sizeable chunk erode from the overall pot. As you approach the age of sixty, you might be ready to think about slowing down your work life shortly. But if your pension is there, you might never see freedom from your job. Start early, and try to pay in as much as you want to come back out. Keep an eye on the fund every year, and be prepared to move it if you can find a better, more secure deal.

Credit Card Black Hole

Credit cards are essential in life these days. But it is all too easy to get into trouble with them. Clearing the entire debt each month is the only way to avoid paying interest on everything you’ve bought. Do you really want to be paying more than the ticket price for your food or clothes? Credit cards typically charge compound interest, so you’ll be paying interest on last month’s interest too. Find a better credit card deal online by checking websites like reviews.credit card against your typical usage. Use a tracker or spreadsheet, and stick to a budget.

Fraud

Identity theft, bank account thefts, and credit taken in your name can all harm you financially. It takes time and a fair bit of running around for you to clear your name on your credit rating when something like this happens. To protect yourself from fraud happening in the first place, make sure you change your account passwords regularly. Never tell anyone your details, and check your credit score each quarter. Make sure your computers and devices are running the most up to date OS and virus protection software.

Redundancy

Redundancies happen. Your response is critical here. Make sure you always have an up to date resume and three months’ salary in savings. If you hear a rumor that your company is winding down, start applying for other jobs. Take agency work while you wait for that next career move to come along. You don’t have time to waste! Take care of you and your family by avoiding these financial woes.