Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Desperate Times & Desperate Measures

financial injury
There are certain points in life when your personal finances can take a hard hit. During these situations, it can be quite difficult to stay afloat and ensure that you have enough money to thrive. You might find that your income is drastically limited. Or, it’s possible that there is so much money flooding out of your account that you can’t afford to pay everything you owe. In these types of situations, you might think there is no hope of recovery.

However, there are always options if you want to get back on your feet and improve the situation. Here are some of worst case scenarios and the best ways to handle them.

Redundancy

You might find that you have suffered a job loss and an event like this can be a total shock to the systems. You will recover eventually, but it can take an average of six weeks for a person to find another job. That’s a long time to be unemployed, and your pay-packet might run out long before that point. As such, you will need to think about how to keep your finances healthy and in the green. There are a few options to consider here.

You may want to think about making money while you are looking for a job. This will help fill in the gap that your loss has left and make paying the bills a little easier. You should be looking at something similar to a side hustle like working online. For instance, you can make quite a lot of money by answering surveys.

On top of this, you should make sure you’re seeking out something like job seekers allowance. Remember, the government should help people who are actively looking for work.

Injury

A severe injury can put you out of a job or limit your career options. If the injury was an accident, you might want to consider claiming on damages. Someone is always liable, particularly if the injury occurred at work or on someone else’s property. You should look into the possibilities here because by contacting a local injury attorney, you can get the money you need to survive. You should think about speaking to an injury solicitor whenever you suffer an accident. You never know if it could develop and severely alter your quality of life. Unfortunately though, if you leave a claim too late you limit your chances of being successful.

Debt

Finally, you might find yourself dealing with unmanageable levels of debt. People fall into debt for a variety of reasons from paying off medical bills to living past their means. If you find yourself facing so much debt that the amount isn’t diminishing, you should consider seeking out specialist help. For instance, you can use a debt consolidation service. Consolidating your debt makes it easier to pay off and can even limit how much you actually owe.

Alternatively, you can consider using your assets to get rid of your debt. If you own your house, put it up for sale and downsize until you can get back on your feet.

These are some of the worst financial situations imaginable. However, if you take the right steps, you will get through them.

Planning for Retirement

retirement is coming
When you’ve worked for the majority of your life, retirement can be a massive change if you’re not prepared for it. The idea of waking up one morning and having nothing to do and no-where to go may seem appealing for a while. Who doesn’t need a holiday? But, after the initial ‘holiday’ period, it can feel like you’re unwanted or unable to achieve anything. Here are some tips on how to emotionally prepare for retirement.

Take Charge

Unless you find ways of keeping yourself active and continuing to develop your skills, you could easily fall into the trap of sitting in the same place every day, doing the same things. Just because you’ve spent your life working in one career, it doesn’t mean you don’t have other things to offer. Now is the time to explore and be creative.

Don’t Hide Away

There may be an initial period where you want to just rest and the make the most of not having to get up in the morning. However, after a certain time it’s important to see people and get involved with things that you enjoy. If you do find that you’re feeling low or you’re getting anxious about going out, you may want to read some tips on battling anxiety and depression.

Start Saving

Do you know how much you’ll be entitled to when it comes to your pension? It’s always a good idea to find these things out, perhaps by using a financial advisor. You may want to start an additional savings account so you can put money away for the luxuries you may not have with your current pension pot. If you’ve been in the military you may want to look into buying back your time.

Join an Exercise Class

Joining an exercise class isn’t something you do for exercise alone. Although the exercise will improve your health and general well-being, it can also be the perfect way to meet friends. It’s something you can carry on with during your retirement if you feel fit enough, and if you don’t you’ve made friends that you can still meet up with when you have more times on your hands.

Plan Things in Advance

If you know there are going to be particular days when you have nothing to do, get things planned in advance. There are plenty of things to do that don’t cost much. Now, more than ever, there are groups for retirees that get together weekly to chat, go on trips or just tuck into some free cake.

Don’t Shy Away from Technology

Technology is advancing every day, and sadly, many retirees don’t take the opportunity to keep abreast of what’s going on. The internet can open entirely new worlds and the latest gadgets can mean you have music, contacts, books and much more at the tip of your fingers. Make sure you have the same access as everyone else, even if you have to learn something new.

With these tips, slipping into retirement should be a breeze.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Want More Money? Ask For A Pay Rise

salary increment
If you’ve been stuck on the same pay for a while, it can be a little disheartening. You’ve worked long and hard, yet despite the fact that the cost of living isn’t going up, your wages have remained flat. What’s going on?

Usually, raises don’t come along automatically. Instead, you’ve got to negotiate them, pointing out how you’re creating value and why you deserve more money in your account and the end of the month. The problem is that many people don’t ever ask the question and so their finances never improve.

The average person got a raise of just 3 percent last year. That’s about a half a percent increase in real terms (when you take into account the effect of inflation), according to the Society for Human Resource Management. As a result, it really does pay to go to your boss and ask for more money.

But how should you do it?

Make A List Of Your Accomplishments

When asking for a raise, don’t just barge into your boss’s office and demand to be paid more. Instead, create a compelling case that highlights exactly why you’re so valuable to the company. The best way to do this is to build a list of all the things you’ve achieved, putting a monetary value to each if possible. You need to show your boss that you’re worth all the extra money that you want and that you can create more revenue for the company than you’re being paid.

Leverage Other Offers

Farzam Law points out that there are often disputes between companies and workers over the number of hours worked. Usually, salaries look good on paper, but they’re often based on hopelessly optimistic working weeks. A job description might say that a job should only take up around 35 hours a week, but if you’re regularly working 45 hours, then it’s not such a good deal.

Most of the time, bosses don’t want to lose their most productive staff. As such, it’s worth pointing out to them that you’ve had a better offer from another company. Though this might feel as if you're putting your boss in an awkward position, it helps give you a strong negotiating position - if they don’t raise your wages, then you can always go to another company for more money.

Emphasize Your Soft Skills

Another great way to get a pay rise is to take on a different role, higher up in the company. Rather than getting a 5 percent rise, bagging a senior management or supervisor job can increase pay by more than 30 percent. To get into the upper echelons of a business, it’s often necessary to show off your “soft skills” - skills like leadership ability, crisis management skills and the ability to work to a tight deadline.

View Yourself As A Professional Who Sells Their Services

Once you get stuck in an employee mindset, it is difficult to escape: what you’re paid is what you’re paid. But many professionals could benefit by seeing themselves in a new way - as professionals who sell their services to companies. Self-employed people wouldn’t sell themselves short, so why should you?

Windfall Wonders

money sources
Coming into a windfall is a great thing. Money is everything in this day and age, and even those who don’t place too much value in the material world can increase the quality of their life with a decent windfall. However, some people get lost. They don’t know what to do with it. Of course one of the first instincts is to spend it, and that’s fair enough. Perhaps a few hundred here or there, but the main bulk should be kept back for something special. Perhaps it could be your retirement fund, or maybe you want to invest it to look after your finances. There are a few things you can do with it. This article can help you make the right decision, or at least present a few viable options for you to use at a later date.

Invest It

Some people may say this is the boring route. Others will likely think it the right one to take. You can invest the money into other ventures, further increasing your worth. You need money to make money, so the saying goes. You could invest the money in property. When looking for houses for sale be sure to consider their surrounding area and such like. Remember, the research is everything. If you wanted something with less hassle consider certificate of deposit or investing in gold. All the options are there for you but as a beginner investor it is probably better for you to stick to the safer routes or risk your new found capital.

Pay Off The Bills

This is a key move to make and could make your life happier and easier. Whatever is left on your mortgage may need to be paid off. Do it. It frees up a nice chunk of cash for you to use each month. It may seem like wasting the windfall, but doing this is the sensible move. All debt should be paid off before all else. If you are paying for your car on finance then the same rule applies. Get rid of it. Think of the money you could save each month. You’d clear your credit score too.

Improve The Home

This is a form of investment, yet not just a monetary investment but also an investment in your life. You can build an extension, meaning you have a bigger home with far more space. You could have nicer bedrooms, an additional living room, or maybe a conservatory. However you think about it whatever you do is improving your life while increasing the value of the home so you win on two counts. If you didn’t want anything major done you could simply revenovate. Get a new bathroom or kitchen. However you swing it it will make your home a nicer place so should certainly be considered.

Monday, April 17, 2017

How To Bounce Back After Money Troubles

money troubles
Life isn’t fair. Even if you’ve done everything you can to save money and protect yourself from any financial nightmares, unforeseen circumstances can completely drain your savings and leave you in an unstable situation. You can’t protect yourself from something you never saw coming, but there are steps you can take to help you recover from a financial setback.

Medical bills

Unexpected illnesses and injuries aren’t ideal at the best of times, but the medical bills that come after your treatment aren’t something anyone wants to deal with. If you’re a self-employed freelancer, or you work in hospitality, taking a few days off sick can set you back in shifts and leave you short of your rent for a month.

Recovering from these bills will put a strain on your finances for a while, but if you tighten your belt and employ the same steps you use to recover from debt, there’s a good chance your finances, and your health, will recover.

Unexpected job situations

Even in a time when a lot of cutbacks are being made, no one ever expects they’ll be made redundant from their job. If you’re ever given notice that you won’t have a job soon, there are some things you need to do. Clarify with your soon-to-be-former employer, how much longer you will be staying on, and if you will be paid for the time you are still an employee. Once you know how much longer you will have money coming in, spend your free time sorting out your resume and securing references. You should also take care of your finances so you have enough to pay the bills in case your job hunt takes longer than you’d like. Read this post for some money saving advice. In this case, the best way to financially recover from losing your job is to make sure you get another one lined up as quickly as possible.

Expensive home repairs

There are a lot of DIY posts out there that can advise you on how to do your own home repairs so you can avoid expensive bills from a handyman. Unfortunately, there are some jobs that only the professionals can handle, and inevitably the cost of the repair will put a serious dent in your savings. If the damage was extensive, such as water damage or a backed up sewer, check your home insurance policy to see if you’re covered for this kind of damage.

Debt

If you were hit by any of the unforeseen circumstances above, you may have chosen to take out a loan to pay for everything. While you may have solved the issue of payments, now you have an increased debt on your plate. If debt is nothing new to you, then you know you have to sit down and make a realistic repayment plan. It may also be a good idea to include a savings plan so you can build a nest egg for the next unforeseen disaster.

Beat The Rising Costs Of Driving With These Useful Tips

driving cost
Each year the cost that comes with running a car goes up, which is why more and more people are having to use public transport instead of their own cars to get around. It’s a shame that so many people are now no longer able to afford to drive just because of the rising cost of running a car. However, the good news is that although car running costs are on the rise, that doesn’t mean that owning a car is unaffordable, it’s just a case of being smart about your spending and knowing how to cut costs. To make this easier, below are some tips and suggestions to take note of.

Find ways to reduce the cost of your insurance

One of the biggest costs that most drivers face is the price of their car insurance, which is a legal requirement if you want to be out on the road. The good news is that when it comes to cutting car insurance costs, it’s actually relatively easy to do. You see, car insurance premiums show how safe a driver you are, so the safer you become on the roads, the lower the cost of your car insurance will be. One way to reduce the premium that your insurance company is charging you is to undergoing a defensive driving traffic school online course or a course that is completed in person. By completing a defensive driving course, your insurance company may reduce your premium based on the assumption that you are a safer driver.

Make car maintenance a priority

Another reason for the high costs that come with driving is because cars have a tendency to breakdown and can often need replacing, which can be costly. However, if you are willing to make car maintenance a priority, you can reduce the likelihood that your car will break down and need to undergo costly repairs or will need replacing.

Be a more efficient driver

Another way that you can reduce the costs associated with driving is to be a more efficient driver. This means driving in a way that will mean your vehicle uses less gas, and so, you have to spend less money running your car. Driving your car efficiently means always driving in the correct gear for the speed that you are traveling at. Otherwise, you will use less gas than necessary.

Take out breakdown cover

A lot of drivers report that one of the most expensive parts of running a car is dealing with a vehicle breakdown. However, that’s only true if you don’t have breakdown cover in place as if you do, then breaking down doesn’t tend to be expensive as your car can often be fixed or towed for free as part of your policy. However, if you have no breakdown cover in place, this is when things can get pricey, which is why it’s worth taking out breakdown cover, to ensure that should your vehicle breakdown, you are covered.

There you have it, the best advice for beating the rising cost of driving.