Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Borrowing money is always a stressful and challenging decision. Most people don’t know a great deal about finance. And, a lot of the businesses that offer loans seem to muddy the waters when it comes to borrowing from them. But, the information you need exists. And, a lot of it can be gleaned by asking yourself some simple questions. Sometimes, it can be a good idea to borrow some money. In other circumstances, though; you may find that the results of borrowing are hard to swallow. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the considerations you should make before taking a loan.
A lot of people get loans for things that they don’t need. It’s easy to borrow simply what you can afford to; without thinking about whether or not you need to. This happens a lot with things like car financing. People will often get a car that fills their maximum budget. But, there could be an options for less than half the price, which will fill the very same needs. Along with this, you shouldn’t get a loan to afford essential items. If there is an item that you want, but don’t need it; it’s better to save up for it. Budget advice can be found in loads of places. Websites like www.familybudgeting.org.nz have loads of resources to help you out.This sort of logic with borrowing money makes it much easier for you to avoid getting loans that might cause difficulty.
Before you take a loan, it’s always best to make sure that you’re not missing any better options. It’s unlikely that you will have found the best loan straight away. So, you have to look at some different companies. Some loans will give you a long time to pay them back. And, these will usually have a smaller interest rate. Loans that need to be paid back quicker, though, will have a much higher rate of interest. You also need to think about the impact that not paying for the loan could have. Some loans will have much graver consequences than others. And, this is something that you have to be very aware of.
Next, you need to consider the future, before you get a loan. If you have had to borrow before; there’s a large chance that you will have to borrow in the future. But, instead of getting loads of small loans; it’s much better to get one larger one. Looking for loans that will suit your needs in the long-run will have hard. Websites like https://financedistrict.co.nz/loans/personal-loans-no-bad-credit-check/ have the reources and services to help you get a loan that will work into the future. A lot of companies like this can even support you when you have bad credit. So, you don’t have to worry about your past.
Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start asking more questions before you decide to take your next loan. Borrowing money is risky and complex. So, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have the right support at every stage; even if it costs you a little bit of money.
Who wouldn’t want to be a millionaire, enjoy luxuries of the rich man’s world? Well, it’s not that hard really. There is no magic bullet to do so but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The stories of most of the wealthy people offer proof as well as example in how to do it. When you start following them you will inevitably see the results. And the road to wealth will be open to you too. So have a look at the tips below and decide for yourself if you want some of that too.
1. Find your regular income source. This will help you to generate the starting capital and also will help to ensure financial stability should your money making schemes fall onto rocky ground. Sell your skills or talents as high as you can. Modern world has changed so much and so has the modern working world too: with all the flexibility and freedom provided by technology people are able to combine two and sometimes more different jobs as they like to apply their different skills and knowledge.
2. Generate profit which is basically the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in your life. This means saving where it is possible to save. Think twice before you spend anything: do you really have to or maybe there are other ways of operating without spending the money. So do you really need to spend it right now, on that exactly pair of shoes, exactly that amount? Or could you find an alternative and keep that money for yourself. That difference, which in the long term, is going to be your path to wealth. If you start thinking like this soon, it will become second nature and you will be saving money when planning a special event or going out or booking your holidays.
3. Make your money work for you. Invest wisely. Before investing your money it’s important to conduct thorough market research. Don’t forget to split your investments as putting all your eggs into one basket is a high-risk strategy. If you decide to trade stocks, don’t put your money into it straight away. Follow the trends for a few months and make notes of what choices you would have made if you were trading for real. Then see if your guesses were right.
4. Beware of debt. When borrowing, you take someone else’s money, but to pay back you will have to part with your own hard earned cash. So, if you do have any debts, make sure you pay them off first before spending anything on yourself and forget about credit cards. Get real. Stop thinking you can have something before you earned it.
5. Educate yourself about finances and money management. Start reading serious newspapers with lots of information on business and finance. Read articles on financial planning, investments and share markets. Talk to those who have already made their fortune.
Above all, remember that money is your servant and not the other way. If you want to be a millionaire - you have to start thinking and acting like one.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Everyone experiences financial issues from time to time. Unless you have a job that pays millions of pounds each year, you’re going to get into trouble at some point. However, success lies in your ability to dig yourself out of the hole. With that in mind, we’re going to offer some quick and easy advice today. While we won’t have time to go into detail, this article could serve as the starting point for further research. At the end of the day, sometimes you just need a nudge in the right direction to identify the best routes forward. Hopefully, you will achieve financial stability in less than twelve months if you follow the information on this page.
Start a low-investment online business
There are lots of business models you could try that don’t require substantial initial investments. You just need to have the right levels of motivation and creativity to succeed. You also need to make use of the latest technology to reduce working times and boost income. For example, loan companies use lots of financial services tech to serve their clients. In the same way, retailers use inventory and ordering software to eliminate those manual tasks. At the very least, you’ll want to use accounting tools that automatically record all your income and outgoings. That will mean you don’t have to worry about typing figures into a spreadsheet all day long. It also means there’s no reason to stress about human errors.
Consider applying to remortgage your home
If you need a substantial cash injection fast, you might examine the idea of remortgaging your home. That is only a suitable solution if you’ve paid the current mortgage for more than ten years. If that’s the case, you have a lot of equity in the property. So, applying for a new deal could mean thousands of pounds land in your bank account in a matter of days. Of course, you need to weigh all the pros and cons before opting for something like that. You will increase the repayment term, and you might even have to cover larger monthly payments. Just read the small print and get your calculator out!
Reduce your debts with an IVA
In some instances, you might discover that your debts are just too high to pay. However, that doesn’t mean you have to let them go to court. You could end up losing your home or worse. The solution is to contact companies that offer IVA services. An individual voluntary agreement will get the creditors off your back. Indeed, it is illegal for them to contact you once the deal is in place. You only have to pay what you can afford for a period of five years. Once that term is over, any additional debts get written off. So, research that option now if it seems appealing.
We hope you’ve benefited from the advice on this page, and that you now have some great ideas. The trick is not to worry too much about money and debts. While you must try to keep them at a manageable level, there are often solutions when things go too far. You just have to know how to find them and put them into practice.
If you have had any experience trying to obtain legal funding, you know how painful this road can be to go down. It can be downright impossible to get lawsuit funding, much less fast. The upfront fee itself is enough to deter someone who is in need of funding for a lawsuit.
The benefits of direct lenders
A direct lender can process your case more quickly. Sometimes your lawsuit loan can take as little as one day to approve. There are no employment checks, credit checks or income verification. Depending on the lender, you might not have to pay your lawsuit loan back if you don’t win the case.
A lawsuit loan is not the same as a normal one. One reason is that the benefits are often much more than the disadvantages. You can use case advances to cover living or medical costs. A lawsuit loan can save your life if you have suffered an injury and are unemployed. You can also use it to pay your rent or mortgage.
By getting a lawsuit loan, you don’t have to succumb to the pressure put on you by your insurance company after sustaining an injury. One never plans an injury, and it can change your life – not only financially, but also emotionally. Insurance providers know this and take advantage, pushing you to settle early for a smaller sum. A lawsuit loan can help you obtain a better settlement because it will help you cover your medical costs and costs of living. You would otherwise not have been able to do this and may have been forced to settle early as a result. A case advance can give you negotiating power against the company because your lawyer will have more time to look at the full value of your case.
If you lose the case, you might not have to repay the loan. If you win, your lawyer will pay the direct lender from your settlement proceeds.
No credit checks
Why are there no credit checks on lawsuit loans? This is because case advances are not considered loans. There is no personal liability for the loan, and the only important thing to the lender is the actual value and quality of your case.
You should be able to get quick approval if your lawyer can provide the information requested by the funder quickly. If he / she has done so and the company is taking too long to respond, you are better off looking elsewhere.
What types of cases are funded?
Cases that are funded include, but are not limited to car accidents, motorbike accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, sports injuries, premises liability, lawsuit loans involving defective medical devices, cases involving pharmaceutical and / or prescription drugs and more.
Qualifying for a lawsuit cash advance
How do you qualify for a lawsuit cash advance? This depends on the stage and quality of your case and the extent, to which your lawyer cooperates with information collection. As a rule, case managers evaluate each funding application individually, on a case by case basis.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Amazon.com has undeniably come a long way since its inception in 1994. As the seemingly unbeatable frontrunner in the virtual retail market, Amazon has just introduced another service that should enhance its appeal to consumers and further its rise in the stock market. Amazon Cash is predicted to solidify Amazon.com's stance in the global financial arena and help it break into the burgeoning markets of Mexico, India, and other emerging economies.
What is Amazon Cash?
Amazon Cash is a financial service that allows customers to add cash to their Amazon.com accounts. They mus request a barcode from Amazon.com. The barcode will then be sent to them via text, email, or through the Amazon website.
Once they receive their barcode, customers can then print it off and take it to retailers like CVS, Speedway, and Sheetz to add $15 to $500 to their Amazon.com accounts. They can then use the cash in their accounts to buy products or services from Amazon.
Amazon Cash eliminates the need for customers to use credit or debit cards or buy prepaid Amazon.com gift cards to make purchases on the website. The service is expected to be especially lucrative in countries like Mexico where fewer than 44 percent of people 18 years of age and older have bank accounts. They can load cash to their Amazon.com accounts and buy whatever they want from the company without having to have a credit card or checking or savings account.
What Impact Will Amazon Cash Have on Amazon.com Stock?
Amazon Cash is predicted to further the appeal of Amazon.com and give it a head start in making monetary services available in countries that have been under served by other worldwide banking and financial businesses. It also is expected to increase the value of Amazon.com stock (AMZN) to new heights. In fact, Barclay's recently reported that Amazon could become one of the world's first trillion dollar companies.
Before it reaches that value, however, it could be the ideal investment opportunity for people who want to add Amazon.com stock to their portfolios. They may find it in their best interests to contact financial advisers and capital management experts like James Dondero to buy stock now before it reaches a level that makes it even more valuable and lucrative to investors.
It may reach that point sooner rather than later given the recent trends of Amazon.com stock. In the last year alone, it rose 46 percent. The introduction of Amazon Cash should speed up its rise in the market and become one of the hottest stocks in recent history.
About James Dondero
James Dondero is the CEO and co-founder of Highland Capital Management, L.P., America's largest manager of collaterized loan obligations per dollar amount. Based in Dallas, Texas, Dondero also serves as both the chairman of the board and the CEO of HCM Acquisition Company. His previous experience in the financial industry includes working for American Express and Protected Life. He began his career in finance in 1984.
He is also a graduate of the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce from which he earned dual degrees in finance and accounting. He volunteers extensively throughout the Dallas area for numerous organizations and charities like the Perot Museum of Natural Sciences and SMU's Tower Scholars Program.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Personal loans have become the go to choice for short-term liquidity and you can get these short-term unsecured loans sanctioned in less than a week to meet any ‘personal’ expenses like travelling abroad for a vacation, enrolling your child for coaching classes, renovating your home or even paying your credit card bill!
1. You Can Apply for Personal Loans from Multiple Lenders
While it is possible to apply for a personal loan from multiple lenders, it is certainly not advisable. All lenders will look into your previous loan history and current applications under approval. If you have already availed a personal loan before that is still outstanding, the lender may reject your personal loan application or take a longer processing time.
2. A Bad Credit Score Means you can’t get a Personal Loan
Your credit rating does affect your eligibility for a personal loan but past history of having paid a loan and other significant sources of income will definitely factor in while determining your loan approval. Some lenders can issue loans up to a certain limit based on their discretion. Once you repay the personal loan within stipulated period you can improve your credit score.
3. It is near impossible to get approvals
This could not be further from the truth. A personal loan is hassle-free to avail, and most applications can get approved within 24 – 48 hours with fairly minimal documentation.
4. Only Big Banks Provide Personal Loans
Again, this is a common misconception and some banks do not even provide personal loans. However, several NBFCs do provide them and have approval criteria that are not as strict as banks. As NBFCs specialize in providing loans, they have speedy application procedures.
5. You can’t pay credit card bills with a personal loan
Credit card bills accumulate fast with compounding interest rates between 36 – 48%. Hence, a personal loan borrowed at a lower interest to pay the outstanding amount on the credit card. You can also avail ‘balance transfer’ of your credit, which is treated as a personal loan against a credit card.
you could be wasting money.
Stress is key. We need to focus on getting rid of it or dealing with it. For some reason, people don't think stress hurts - in fact; many people believe they thrive under pressure. While this may be true, it isn't always the case. The negative effects of stress simply aren't worth short term success. Stress can remove mental barriers, making it easier than ever to lose control and blow your top. Stress can also help you get ill; it leads to heart disease and strokes. It can ruin your relationships with friends and family, it can make you unproductive and unhealthy, and it can ravage your body. Stress also opens the gates to your body. It lowers your immune system and will ensure that you become more open to illness. The demands of stress overworks the human body, and usually, stress comes at a time when the human body needs to be at it's best. Stress is a problem that can lead to hospital time and a loss of a job. It simply isn't worth dealing with, so find the time to relax and get rid of stress. Otherwise you could pay in more ways than one.
Relax in the right way - try to do some yoga, or chill out. Don't binge on bad foods. While you don't need to cut meat out your diet, eating healthy foods can keep your gums and teeth in working order and ensure your digestive system isn't suffering. Healthier food is usually cheaper in the long run anyway. Pay your body back by eating good food to fuel it, or you could be paying a lot of money simply to unclog yourself. Fitness is also a good idea - it gets rid of stress and keeps you fit! Amazing.
Looking after yourself? It also means sticking up for yourself. If you've been hurt by someone, or work - getting in touch with personal injury lawyers can save the day. If you're dealing with too much stress, you might have to say no to some of your workload, especially if it is beyond your remit. Life is too short to give 100% at all times, especially if that 100% is killing you. It isn’t worth it at all.
Looking after your body is super easy if you put your mind to it. Take life easy and look after yourself. One of the biggest wastes of money that you can bring into your life is the money used to fix issues with medication and medical bills. These issues can be avoided by taking good care of your body and interests. Save money the best way, by looking after yourself.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
If you want to have more money left in your wallet at the end of the month than you do right now, while following all the usual financial advice will certainly help, there are many other little life hacks that you can put into place, which will fatten up your wallet and give you more disposable income to save, invest or even occasionally splurge!
Here are some of the simplest ways you can hack your way to a fatter wallet:
Is your cell phone bill always astronomically expensive, not because you talk and text a lot, but because you use a lot of data when you’re out and about? A little app called Onavo can help you with that. Onvavo will run in the background of your smartphone or tablet, where it works to reduce the amount of data everything else on your phone uses. Because it compresses the amount of data used, you can make huge savings and cut your cell bill right down.
Buy Discount Gift Cards
If there are stores that you use for regular purchases, and they offer gift cards, it is always worth checking out gift card resale websites like CardCash, where you can purchase unwanted gift cards for less. Although many of the discounts are modest, you can sometimes pick up gift cards for a third of their value, which means you can buy three times as many goods as you could with cash!
Invest in Real Estate
If you have enough money in the bank to put together a deposit, it might be worth checking out the real estate market because you can make much more money buying and renting a home than you’d ever get in interest from the bank, but bear in mind that being a landlord does come with responsibilities.
Invest in the Stock Market
If you are confident in your abilities, or you have access to a good financial advisor, using any spare cash, you have to invest in the stock market could easily fatten your wallet. Of course, it is not without its risks, so think carefully before you buy any stock.
Whether it’s switching out traditional light bulbs for LEDs, installing solar panels or just plain using less electricity, living a greener lifestyle will eventually lead to a fatter wallet, even if you have to make a few investments upfront.
Stop Paying Vampire Charges
Related to green living, vampire charges are something you can easily avoid. These are the charges you pay to the utility companies for appliances that you have left on even when you’re not using them. Even appliances like your coffee machine will zap power when they're plugged in and unused, so get into the habit of switching off the plug whenever you’re done with something – it could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Turn Down the Heat
Sick of paying huge heating bills? Turn down your thermostat just a degree, and you’ll cut your bill by as much as 3 percent without noticing much difference in your comfort levels.
What are your best life hacks that help you to maintain a fatter wallet and a bigger bank balance at the end of the month?
Preparing for retirement is an issue that we need to think about, no matter what our age. Aside from the emotional aspects of no longer going to work all day, there are plenty of financial. Whether you decide to go to college or go straight into building a career, saving for after you finish work is essential. You need to be aware that while the money you make is providing for your current lifestyle, it also needs to provide for you later lifestyle also. Here are some ways to get the best out of your retirement plan.
Remember to look at the 401(k) benefits as part of your job offer
The primary first point is that when you get offered a job, to look at the 401(k) plan as well as other benefits. It can be easy to get lured into what sounds like a lucrative offer with an attractive salary and good healthcare, but bear in mind there is more to the overall package than that. Employers are increasingly upping their benefits plans to stay competitive in the job market and to attract the best employees. For example, your employer may offer to match your contribution up to a certain percentage; this will vary from company to company.
Once you have secured a job with a good plan - take it out!
Once you have secured a job with a good plan - take it out! A point that may resonate with the employees in their 20s and 30s - retirement is a long way off! Retirement age is increasing; you have plenty of time to take out a 401(k) and get financially secure. Right? Right?! No. It is never too early to start planning for your future. It may seem like a long way off when you are 25, but there are a lot of expenses to think about when you are older. As stated, a lot of companies are increasing their healthcare benefits and retirement plans for current employees, but conversely, you will struggle to find a business that includes post-retirement healthcare. You can expect costs of over $245,000 for premiums that come with Medicare, even with Medigap insurance. Also, there is the added benefit of decreasing your state and federal taxes when participating in a plan.
Check the in-depth features
You will probably only get the basic overview of the 401(k) functions before starting at a company. Once you start and commit to the plan, you will get a better idea of what in entails. It’s important to know the basics, so you are aware of what you are dealing with. There has been a lot of legislation, some of it recent, to help safeguard you as an employee when participating in a retirement plan. In light of this legislation, your employer is likely to have consulted a third party, an example being the Carnegie Team, to ensure they do not fall foul of the law. This gives an added layer of protection to you when you sign up.
Overall, it is essential to make sure you have a fund for when you no longer have a steady income. Alongside your retirement plan, you could consider ways to have an emergency fund also, to help on a rainy day.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
There’s no doubt that paying for the mistakes of others can be depressing. It’s bad enough to hear statistics about how we all pay more in insurance to cover those who don’t have insurance - but when the situation hits closer to home (literally), it’s even more difficult to take.
When we buy a home, there is always an element of risk involved in the process. You can have surveys done and consult experts as much as you desire, but there is always the chance that something will be missed. Homeowners can come to face a bizarre litany of problems, all of which cost time and money to put right.
If you get burned by this enough, it can begin to feel like it’s just not worth buying houses off other people. You’re too liable for their stupid mistakes, to the point where it’s going to cost you more than you will make back when you come to sell. A home might be the place we live, laugh, and love, but at its heart, it’s a financial commitment. If you keep making a commitment and then realize someone else’s failings have made your life harder - should you keep trying?
Option 1: Move Into New Build Houses
Pros: As the descriptor suggests, they’re a new build - so you not going to have to deal with some DIY-wannabe installing dodgy wiring or breaking the building codes. The house is a fresh start for you to put your stamp on. Houses also have a tendency to rise in value, so whatever you pay is almost certainly going to be less than what you come to sell for.
Cons: Don’t assume that the building will be faultless - professional builders are just as capable of making ridiculous mistakes as DIY enthusiasts. The one benefit you will have if you experience issues is that, if it is the fault of the initial builders, it will probably be in your contract that they have to fix it. It’ll be a lot of fuss, but it shouldn’t cost you much to do.
Option 2: Build Your Own
Pros: If you’re not only tired of the DIY mistakes of others but just entirely fed up of living with a house layout that you wouldn’t choose yourself - why not see if you can do better? Building your own house is the stuff of dreams, so this is a real chance to do things exactly as you want to do them. With the likes of Glenvill Homes and other experts in the field to guide you on your way, you can create your vision from scratch.
Cons: Just because it’s your vision doesn’t mean it will be everyone’s vision, so keep that in mind. When it comes to sell, you might have to make some alterations - but then again, the same is true of any home!
Option 3: Renting
Pros: The building and everything that goes into maintaining it is nothing to do with you - you’re just the tenant. If you’re tired of the problems and money loss that home ownership puts you at risk of, this could be an attractive proposition.
Cons: The money that you spend on rent is essentially lost - you’re not going to get anything at the end of it. In fact, you’re paying off someone else’s mortgage. Whether or not that’s worth it for a more hassle-free life is a decision for you to make.
At least once in everybody’s lives, they will find themselves in some sort of financial difficulty. This can be from not having enough money in a store to buy the thing that you’ve been coveting for ages, or becoming bankrupt due to not managing your money well. Regardless of what it is, there has always been a time when we could’ve done stuff differently in order to get the most from our finances.
Get Yourself Covered
When the worst comes to the worst in terms of finance, it’s always good to know that you’ve got a safety net of some sort. Getting the right insurance cover for whatever you’re doing, no matter how small or how insignificant you may think it is, is definitely a step in the right direction. There are places online such as this website which can give you advice on the types of lawyers that you need for different situations should they ever arise. Thankfully, provided you take out the right policy and are paying the right amount of premium, legal cover is usually included in any insurance plan that you go for. Choose wisely and it’ll treat you right should the time ever arise.
Pay On Time
The one way to avoid any financial crisis is by paying what you owe - when you need to pay it. The longer that you leave an outstanding balance, the more likely that fines are going to be added on top or surcharges which make it harder to pay back in the long run. Getting in touch with debt agencies or asking for a payment plan of some sorts is a way to get around it, but prevention of it happening at all is the best way. Just pay up.
Don’t Live A Champagne Lifestyle
Don’t buy what you can’t afford. You can’t live a champagne lifestyle on a beer income, as the saying goes. The problem with items nowadays is that they’re so accessible to get, and so is the credit that we need to help us get them. We are always offered deals with hidden charges, so it’s important to look through the terms and conditions of any contracts that you are going to get yourself so you know exactly what you’ll be paying back and how often. Or more simple still - buy something when you know that you have the money outright to cover it all.
Learn When To Say No … And When To Say Yes
If you know that you can’t afford to go out with friends but do so anyway, putting yourself into further financial difficulty, you need to learn when to say no. People nowadays have a strong sense of FOMO (fear of missing out), but it’s something that needs to be put to one side in these circumstances. However, saying yes to certain opportunities like extra shifts and overtime are things that need to be snapped up, especially if you know that doing so will give you chance in the future to be able to indulge in the things that you have been missing out on.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Investors are always looking for ways to improve. And, it makes sense to try and be better. When it comes to investing money, the most successful people get the healthiest returns. It’s that simple. However, it is never as simple in practice as it is in theory. Millions of wannabe investors have found that out the hard way and lost their head in the process. What they should have been doing instead is searching for their soul. These are the ways meditation can lead to a booming project.
Clears The Mind
Investing isn’t a simple procedure. There is so much remember and a hell of a lot to consider before pulling the trigger. During the process, the lines can get blurred because of the all the info and emotions. When this happens, investors tend to take irrational and illogical risks. What they should be doing is looking to clear their head. Once you have less to think about, there is a much better that you will make the right decision. Investing is about perspective, and you don’t have it if you are analysing every small detail.
The entire point of meditation is to focus on a journey that is bigger than anything else. In life, it’s so simple to only think about you and how you feel. It’s called having an ego, and every investor has one. Some have egos which are hard to handle and get in the way, and others have ones that are easier to maintain. For obvious reasons, you want the low maintenance kind. Without an ego, an investor can make decisions like hiring a property management team. Even though they are pros with years of experience, people find it tempting to go it alone. An investment is a team game, so the more the merrier.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but your ambition can get in the way of your goals. Investors and entrepreneurs often want to take on the world, which is admirable. But, taking on the world is a process. And, as Lao Tzu says, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. The trick isn’t let your aspirations run wild – it’s to curb them. Once you have them under control, you will benefit from a greater sense of focus. Investors that have the powers of concentration can see things which the average Joe will miss.
Lots of investment myths exist, but one thing is true: it’s stressful. Whether you own property or stocks, there will always be ups and downs. When the emotions get too much, it can seem like the world is about to fall from the sky. For the most part, that is your emotions getting the better of your brain. In reality, you know that the situation isn’t beyond repair, but you can’t see the forest for the trees. Meditation de-stresses the body and the mind and keeps emotions in check.
Calling all investors – it’s time to start meditating.
There was a time not so long ago when selling a house was simply a matter of finding the best real estate agent in your area, explaining what your priorities were and then letting them get on with their job. At the very most you may have baked some flapjacks ready for the open house day, added a few bunches of freshly cut flowers and removed any family pictures. But not anymore because these days it takes a lot more than that to attract a buyer to your home.
These days more and more sellers are taking this to new heights and using creativity, innovation, flair, and uniqueness to sell their homes, and they might be right. You see, markets are saturated with information and options, and that means you need to stand out from the crowd, you need to do all you can to encourage a purchase.
That is why we have come up with a list of unusual methods to help you sell your house, should the traditional approach be failing you.
Make Your Home A Raffle Prize
Yeah, this is becoming increasingly popular because it opens up the doors to much more than demographic it is intended for. Let’s say you live in a three bedroom house the outskirts of somewhere with good schools in the area. Traditional methods would mean selling this to young families that have jobs in the area. But selling it as a raffle prize would see a far wider range of potential buyers fall into the fold. Just about anyone could take a chance on your home. A house in exchange for a couple of bucks, why not? Just make sure your state allows home lotteries, which many don’t.
Swap It Like A Pokemon Card
Yeah, there are websites out there that help sellers connect with other sellers and come up with a deal where they essentially swap their homes, and it is legally binding. This could be perfect for you. Perhaps you are selling because you have got a job elsewhere, or you want to retire by the sea or move closer to the family. Perhaps you have just been looking at homes for sale in a certain area but not sure you can afford it. Well, in any one of these cases, why not try swapping your place on Pad4Pad or any one of the other sites that allow for this.
Make Yourself At Home
When you buy a house you can pretty much guarantee it is going to be the biggest expenditure of their life, and that means they will want to get the decision right. So why not let them sleep on the decision. Literally, sleep on it. Like sleep in your house. Let them move in for a long weekend so that they can get a feel for exactly what it is like to live there. Let them have a trial run, meet the neighbors, wander down to the shop, have a bath, sit out in the garden; everything that a homeowner would do.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
We see things happen to other people or read about them, but many of us assume that many of life’s major financial headaches will never strike us. But that’s the way everyone thinks, and these things do happen to some people nonetheless. That’s why you should be prepared for some of the things that could go wrong for you. Here are four financial headaches that no one ever expects to have to deal with. Put a plan in place for how you would deal with them today.
Coping with an Unexpected Job Loss
Losing your job is always traumatic and difficult. However, it’s something that many people have to deal with. And when the economy is in bad shape, there is often a mass problem with unemployment. It’s difficult to prepare for something like this because there is not much you can do to prevent it. If the company you work for simply isn’t making enough money, cuts to jobs are going to be likely, and that’s something that you will just have to deal with and accept. However, diversifying your range of skills and finding ways to make yourself more employable can help you get back on your feet fast after a job loss.
Going Through Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy occurs when you simply can’t pay back the debts you owe to creditors. It can be a messy and complicated process to go through, but it’s often the last resort that many people find themselves facing. It can help some people to get back on their feet and put things right once and for all. So, it’s not always a terrible option. But you should definitely take steps to ensure that it doesn’t get to that stage in the first place. Borrowing sustainably and carefully can help to ensure that your debt obligations never become too much for you to handle.
Paying Bail Bonds
Not many people envisage themselves needing to pay bail to get themselves out of prison. No one wants to have to do that, but life’s unpredictable, and all kinds of people find themselves in unexpected situations. There are plenty of companies, such as Acme Bail Bonds, that you can go to when you need bail bonds to get out of prison. It’s important to understand how this process works in case you ever do find yourself in that kind of situation and in need of support and help.
Dealing with a Messy Divorce
Messy divorcing can often be expensive to handle. You might end up with a worse deal that you had anticipated, and that can cost you money for a long time to come. It can turn into a real financial headache for you if you’re not careful. That’s why you should try to make the divorce proceedings as easy and straightforward as possible. If you let them get heated, messy and scrappy, you might not come out of it in as good shape as you would have hoped. Of course, no one imagines they will get divorced, but these things do happen.
Life can be a pain sometimes. Whether it’s accidents that could’ve been avoided, natural disasters that were unavoidable, or industry shifts that have caused damage to your job security, life can be unpredictable. However, it can also be good to us as well. Perhaps you have a stroke of luck that propels you into a new career path, or maybe you get lucky and manage to catch the last train home on a busy evening.
Whatever happens, life is what we make of it. For all the horrible things that affect our lives, we also get an equal amount of positive things. As such, we need to make the most of each situation in order to live a comfortable life. So be it misfortune or fortune, here are a couple of secrets that will help you live a comfortable and stress-free life.
Save money, but within reason
We’ve all heard about opening a savings account and storing all of our money inside. In fact, we may even think about investing our money in something like stocks and shares, businesses or even another house. While these are definitely good options, it’s always good to have a plan when you save money.
For instance, perhaps you want to save up enough money for an emergency fund. Emergency funds are useful because if you ever lose your job, have a period of no work, or simply need an injection of cash to repair your home, then an emergency fund will get you out of a sticky situation. Set a limit to how much you want to save for your fund, and then once you reach it, you can stop putting money into it and you can invest your money into something else. You might also have plans to save for a house. Use an online mortgage calculator and work out how much you need to pay for the initial deposit, and once you reach that amount, you can start to put your plan into action and take out a mortgage on a house.
If you don’t set a goal for your spending, then you’ll just save money for no reason. Money needs to be spent in order to make use of it. There’s no use saving for a goal that is far into the future. Many people worry too much about their retirement fund when they’re still in their 30s, and while it’s an admirable goal to think about the future, it’s also rather foolish. Instead of worrying about money you can spend in 30 to 40 years time, worry about spending money on things that are in the present.
In short, remember to spend money on things that will improve your life in the present and don’t think too far into the future. Set yourself a budget and contribute monthly payments towards savings goals such as an emergency fund or a future mortgage.
Learn the value of everything around you
No, this doesn’t mean to attach a price tag to everything you own. What this actually means is to find the monetary value in everything you do. For instance, consider the implications of a night out. You’ll need to pay for travel fees, you have to pay for drinks and food, and you might even spend money on accommodation if you’re far away from home. This all adds up in the end and it takes some time to recuperate those costs, but you need to decide for yourself if it’s worth the money to visit your friends and have a fun night out with them. Knowing this, you have alternatives. For instance, you could have a night in with your friends instead of going out. You might not meet new people, but you’ll still have fun, it’s cheaper, and it opens up more simple pleasures such as playing a board game or watching a film.
It’s also worth noting that you can learn the value of your misfortunes too. For instance, if you have an accident, you need to consider the costs of medical fees, how much money you lose (if any) for being off work, and how much money it will cost to live with an injury. If you’re having trouble with these costs, then it’s recommended you get a lawyer and make a personal injury claim. The trick to dealing with misfortune is to find a way to turn it into a positive, and in most cases, this means making a claim.
You should also try and learn the value of the items you’ve bought. People often get carried away because they buy far too many items and leave them to rot, but you’d be surprised at how much money you can get for a device which is only a year old, even if it’s been heavily used. For instance, if you upgrade your computer or phone on a regular basis, don’t keep around your parts for spares and instead, sell them to someone else on Gumtree or eBay. Take good care of your items so they retain a good sale value, and always declutter your home by getting rid of unneeded items. It’s a fantastic way to make a bit of extra money and ultimately pay less for your favourite stuff.
Don’t let other people influence your financial situation
Something that a lot of people miss out on is benefits and welfare payments. For instance, you might get help because you’re unemployed or because you are having trouble paying rent. While these welfare payments don’t exist everywhere, many people miss out on them because they refuse to be labelled someone who lives off welfare. It’s this kind of stubbornness that can seriously reduce your quality of life. In general, you should always be trying to look for all the benefits you can and ignore what other people say about your situation. Those payments are there to help you for a reason, so why not take it?
Another place where people can save money is to buy second-hand or refurbished goods. The latest technology is always breaking because of hardware issues, which is why many companies specialise in refurbishing old units in order to get more use out of them. A Macbook Pro refurbished could be up to 20% cheaper, and it still performs just as well if not better than a new Macbook. This is because a refurbished computer will have its internals replaced with new parts and all the problems will be worked out and remedied. This makes it much more stable and reliable. However, stubbornness and peer pressure usually prevent you from taking the plunge and buying refurbished. In general, don’t let other people affect how you feel about your purchases, decide for yourself if something is worth it and be frugal when possible.
Live within your means
There are a couple of rules to living a financially comfortable life, and that involves setting yourself a limit and not going over it. Whether you’re rich or on a low income, you have to live within your means. The best way to do this is to set up a budget so that you know how much money you’re spending. You can use some software such as a budgeting app to help you do this, but the best way to get started with budgeting is to simply look at how much money is coming in. Write this number down and then subtract your living costs, such as your rent, utility bill payments and groceries. Whatever money you have left over is counted as your disposable income, and you’ll be able to save it or spend it however you feel like.
However, if that amount is in the negative, then you’re probably overestimating some of your living costs. For starters, check out your grocery list and see if you can make any cuts there. You might be buying food that is far too expensive to eat on a regular basis, or maybe you’re eating out too often and should cut down. Perhaps you’re spending a lot on your electricity bill because you leave your lights and computers on 24/7, or maybe you’re powering an expensive home cinema setup despite being on a low income.
It’s not the most pleasant feeling, but you need to understand what your costs of living are and how you can cut down. There are many people who spend a lot of money but always have no money before their next paycheck because they live beyond their means. If you’re one of these people, then you’ll just have to accept that you need to cut down on expenses and live more frugally. If you don’t, you could end up in serious debt. Neglecting your financial responsibilities is a path that is hard to recover from, so focus on improving your situation as quickly as possible.
To summarise, living a financially comfortable life is done by being truthful with your spending. Don’t lie to yourself about what you can and can’t afford, don’t save money needlessly, and always value the possessions you have and understand how money flows in and out your of life under different situations.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
If you’re in your 30s, there’s a good chance that your personal finances are a bit of a mixed bag. On the upside, you’ve probably got a well-paying job, and you’re earning more money than when you were in your twenties. But on the downside, you’ve got a bunch of financial commitments you didn’t have back then, like a mortgage and children.
Sometimes it can feel as if you are stuck in an endless cycle of work and bills, never able to break free and live the life that you want. The trick to getting to where you want to go is to play the long game. Now that you’re out of your twenties and have a bit more financial capital, it’s time to set up your 40s and 50s to be the best decades of your life. Here are some money moves to make now that’ll pay off big time later on.
Buy Into Stocks
Millennials are naturally skeptical of buying stocks. After all, they were the generation who lived through the financial crisis. Many millennials were just leaving school or college when the crisis struck and saw not only how it eviscerated the job market, but how it destroyed stock market wealth too.
But even though stocks are risky, they’re also the best way to get a return on your money. According to a report published in Time magazine, the average return on bonds is a lousy 4 percent per year - still better than what you’d get in a savings account, but now by much. By contrast, the average return on stocks was 10.8 percent since 1926, proving that if you’re willing to play the long game, the returns are good. A return of 10 percent is very good. Of course, investing in stocks can be tricky, and so it’s worth talking to a professional about whether or not you should.
Sweat The Small Stuff
While it might seem that taking out a credit card and the odd payday loan is convenient, according to DebtConsolidationUSA.com, this can quickly land you in financial trouble. When people get into debt, they often try to take on their biggest debts with the highest rates of interest first and leave the smaller debts to fester. But according to two Northwestern University professors, this is the wrong way around. They found that people who dealt with their smaller debts first had more success in clearing their debt than those who tried to tackle the bigger debts.
Make Yourself Accountable
For years, researchers have wondered whether buddying up with other people to clear debts helps make them more accountable. Now researchers from Chile, Harvard and Columbia have found that people with debt buddies clear more of their debt and save more than those without. Thus, adding a bit of social pressure to your financial planning might be a good thing.
Don’t Cash Out