Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Drowning Financially? Here’s How To Swim

finance down
For one reason or another, you may find yourself suffering financially at some point in life. When you feel like you're sinking in finances that you can’t keep on top off, it can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t mean that you have to face them alone or accept that your situation will be the same for life. Instead, you can make a change and turn your financial life around. Whether you’re not earning enough or spending too much, the first thing you need to do is work everything out, and then you start to take action.

Know What You Spend

As soon as you realize that you’re in a bit of financial pickle, you’re going to want to do what you can to get out of it. But the first step towards making that happen is to look at your finances in terms of what you spend. You may think you know where your money goes, but you can be surprised when you look into it. So you need to look at all of your expenditure. That way, you can work out how much you spend each month in order to cut it down.

Cut Down Bills

Now that you know where your money is going, you can start to think about saving money on your monthly expenses. Firstly, you can weed out any of the unnecessary expenses that you have, like coffee or eating out too much. Then, you’re going to want to look at your monthly bills to see if you can reduce them too. From TV subscriptions to car payments, is there a way that you can reduce the amount you pay? You’re going to want to speak to each company to find out.

Reduce Debts

When you start to save money on what you’re spending each month, you could be getting yourself into less debt, especially if your monthly expenditure is now under your monthly salary. But, if you are in debt, no matter how big or small it may be, you’re going to want to start getting that down - especially if you want to save for old age anytime soon. Start by paying off debts with the highest interest rate and keep going until they are all gone - whether it take two months or two years.

Start Saving

Next up, whenever you find that you have some money to spare, you’re going to want to make sure that you can save a bit of money for a rainy day. You might even want to speak to a financial advisor at this point, just to see if you can find a savings options that suits your needs. With lower expenses and no debt, the savings world will be your oyster.

Be Conscious

However, even you do manage to get back control of your finances and start to save; you should still be very conscious of what you’re spending and what money you have. If you have struggled in the past, you could struggle again - regardless of how much money you earn in the future.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Found Your Perfect Home? Consider Your Options First

home buying process
Shopping for a new home can be a lot of fun. Not only is it exciting to be moving into what will hopefully be your dream family home, looking at different properties is half the fun. Whether you’re looking to buy your very first home, or move into your ‘forever home’, you can often feel as if you know exactly what your perfect home will look like. But do you?

It’s easy to get an idea of what your dream house looks like, but sometimes, this can stem from your background, or the styles of houses available where you grew up. In order to truly understand what your perfect home really looks like, you need to be able to consider your options first. Even if you’re looking to sell your home quickly, so you feel a lot of pressure to find a new house, take some time to look at all kinds of properties before you decide.

Colonial

Dating back to the early 1600s, the houses are some of the most common across the country. Although many different styles of colonial can be found, things like shutters and dormers can often identify a classic colonial design of house. If you’re tempted to buy colonial, here’s what to consider.

The Style

As one of the most popular styles of properties across the States, you’ve probably seen a lot of colonial houses in your lifestyle - you may even be tempted to buy one. They are easily distinguishable from other kinds of house types because of their distinct look. They’re often two or three stories and have a beautiful wooden (or sometimes brick) facade, with a fireplace. Colonial houses are formal looking and often have pretty shutters on the windows.

The Layout

If you’re looking for a home that has great proportions and is often quite symmetrical inside, then a colonial style house will appeal to you. Layout wise, expect to find a very classic interior with the living space and kitchen on the first or ground floor and the bedrooms above. Design wise, each colonial home will be unique as it’s owners, so you’re welcome to decorate as you please.

The Potential

Like many other styles of property, colonial houses can offer you the potential to extend and make it your own. You should find plenty of room to add on to the house at the back or the side. The only difficulty you may experience could be finding the right match for the facade. However, with the right contractor and a bit of research, you should be able to find the materials you need.

Cape Cod

Resembling a British country cottage, cape cod style houses are often wooden fronted and have steep roofs with large chimneys. Often quite small, you’ll find dormer windows for extra space and light. To see if this is the ideal kind of home for you, make sure to think over the below.

The Look

Cape Cod homes date back to the 1600s, but they became particularly popular styles to build in the 1930s. They’re often one story, or one and a half and are easily distinguishable with their high sweeping roofs and large chimneys. The windows are commonly multi-pane, and you’ll probably find dormers too to allow for added space in the home. They’re very sweet looking from the outside and can have that perfect cottage appearance about them.

The Space

Spacewise, cape cod homes are quite small inside. Being single story, everything is often found on one level, including living and sleeping spaces. Historically, there would be no upstairs to the houses, or they’d at least be unfinished and uninhabitable. However, since the original build, you may find that previous owners have made the upper part of the house into a living area. If not, you have the potential to do this yourself.

The Potential

Because many cape cod houses were built with space in the roof, but not living space, you do have the option to create a usable space up in the roof. Or, if a previous owner has already made a start, you can change the look and layout to something more suitable. Then, you’ve also got the option to extend to the side or back if the land permits it.

Ranch

Ranch style homes can be one of two things. First of all, you could actually look to live on a working ranch or ex-working ranch. Secondly, there are a wealth of ranch style homes, popular in suburban areas, that fit the description but are entirely residential. To help you decide, here’s what to consider.

The Design

As you’d expect, ranch style homes are modeled on traditional working ranches. The design first came about in the ‘30s, but it was the ‘50s and ‘60s that made these homes so popular. Whether you opt for an actual working ranch or a lookalike, you’ll find that these properties have ample living space and an attached garage. However, they can come in both single and two-story layouts.

The Floor Plan

The interior is often quite recognizable, and many ranch style homes can have the same look. However, when it comes to the inside, they offer a lot of personalization. They can often be quite a maze inside, which allows you to choose where you’d like your living spaces to be (and what to do with the rest). They can also be quite open-plan, giving you lots of room for potential.

The Potential

And that potential can mean that you get to create the ultimate home of your dreams. When you find a ranch for sale, make sure to look with an open eye. You should be able to spot where additions could make this style of house more profitable, or give you extra space to make it your own. Sometimes, old working ranches can need a lot of work, meaning you’ve got more room for profit.

Apartment

If you live in a city or are looking at moving to a city, then sometimes, it’s an apartment that can steal your heart the most. Often found in incredible buildings, sporting sensational views and coming with excellent facilities, life in an apartment can be top notch. To see if it’s for you, here’s what you need to know.

The Building

Apartments will normally come as a part of a large building, or sometimes just a few. So, when you’re looking at buying an apartment, you’re going to want to check out the building as well as the potential property you’ll love in. Things like the look, security and facilities may be important to you, so bear this in mind when you’re looking. Then, you’re also going to want to consider the style of apartment that’s available too.

The Layout

When it comes to the layout of an apartment, this can be as individual and varied as the building itself. Although many apartments in one block will be very similar, you can often find all kinds of layouts are available. Most apartments will be on one level, but you can also find split level apartments and even ones that come with outside space or large balconies or terraces.

The Worth

Although with most houses, there is often room to extend to the side or back and add extra room, this isn’t always the case with apartments (unless you were to buy multiple and make them into one, of course). However, you can still make money with apartments. If you’re buying in an up and coming neighborhood, or you’re buying a rundown apartment, you have the benefit of adding money to the apartment or the neighborhood increasing in value.

Townhouse

More common in urban areas, houses found in a row are often referred to as townhouses. They usually have three, sometimes two, stories and give you a lot of space - mainly because they were a way of getting a lot of homes built in smaller areas. Think a townhouse is the one? Then read on.

The Area

If you’re looking at buying a townhouse, you might want to consider the area that you’ll be moving into first. As this style of house is often connected to lots of other houses, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re happy with the neighborhood and those that live in it. You’re also going to want to make sure that you’re happy with the outside space that you have.

The Interior

Although you may be lacking for space outside of your townhouse, the interior is as versatile inside as any other house. Town homes often have two or three stories, sometimes more, so you often have plenty of room to play around with. Living spaces tend to spread on the ground and first floors, with sleeping spaces above. Decor wise, you’ll find that previous owners will have added their own taste, which you are always free to change.

The Potential

Because you can’t extend to the side, you may have to consider options for extended behind you, or even up into the roof or down into the basement if you require more space. Alternatively, if you don’t want to add any more room to a townhouse, or you can’t, you can focus on sprucing up run down decor and modernizing the home to add some profit to your purchase.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rehabilitation: Getting Back On Your Financial Feet After Prison

ideal financial steps
Millions of people in the US will end up going to prison at some point in their lives. Many of them have committed terrible crimes. However, a significant percentage of innocent individuals pass through the system each year. Getting your life back on track when you return home is often difficult. That is why we wanted to release a post that offers some excellent advice. If you were sent away for any reason, you could use the tips on this page to get back to normal. We’re going to show you the best path you need to follow to regain financial stability. So, put this advice into action as soon as possible if you find yourself in that position.

Contact your bank and creditors

Before you do anything else, you will need to contact your bank and any creditors. You need to let them know about your situation and find out how much money you have or owe. In some instances, the government might have taken your savings as they were the proceeds of crime. However, you need to understand your position before moving further. Once you know how much cash you have left, you can attempt to strike deals with your creditors. Inform them of how much you can afford to pay each month, and stick to your agreement. Hopefully, they will refrain from sending the debts to collectors. 

Get a job as soon as possible

Experts from the law offices of Leverson Budke say getting a job isn’t always easy when you leave prison. That is because you have a mark on your record, and you must inform any potential employers. Still, there are lots of ways in which you can start to earn money. For example, you could apply for unskilled roles that don’t give you many responsibilities. People running companies offering those positions shouldn’t feel too bothered about your history. You can also make use of an ex-convict work scheme. They are programs that help people in your shoes to get back into work.

Keep your living expenses low

It stands to reason that you will take a pay cut when you finally find work. With that in mind, you need to keep your outgoings as low as possible. Ask a friend or family member if you can live with them until you find your feet. If you can do that, you’ll save enough money to get somewhere else in half the time. Also, you might manage to clear your debts a little faster. Shop at discount stores, and don’t spend anything unless it’s essential. You’re going to need as much cash as possible to get yourself out of this mess. 

We hope that none of our readers ever have to go to prison. However, at least you now know how to get back on track if the worst occurs. Just make sure you take advantage of any assistance offered by the state. Probation officers will often write a reference on your behalf for any potential jobs. So, take them up on their offer.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Are You Prepared For Old Age?

old age retirements
The last thing anyone wants is to run out of money during their retirement. For that reason, we wanted to release a post that offered some tips and tricks. With a bit of luck, you will leave this page with a better idea of what you need to do to prepare for old age. If you’re under the age of forty at the moment, you still have lots of time to put this advice into action. It’s important that you leave no stone unturned if you want to live the good life during your twilight years. Considering all that, read this post carefully before it’s too late.

Creating a retirement plan 

Before you do anything else, you need to create a retirement plan. You can do that alone or pay for professional assistance. The latter option is preferable as it should mean you don’t forget anything important. There are lots of experts out there who focus their efforts on early retirement planning. So, you just need to find someone with a good track record. Read reviews online to ensure you’re not wasting your time. If previous clients were unhappy with the specialist, you can bet they’ve written something negative on the internet. Once you have your plan, it should become much easier to ensure you have enough cash.

Selling your home to raise capital

Selling your home when you retire is an excellent way to boost your capital. Of course, it means you won’t pass on the property to your kids when you die. However, you’ve worked your whole life to pay for that house. So, it makes sense that you should benefit from the fruits of your labor. With that in mind, now is the time to take a look at your home’s market value. If you think it makes sense to sell the property when you hit retirement age, you should do it without hesitation. At the end of the day, that money could pay for trips around the world. You’ll just have to rent some accommodation for your last few years on this planet.

Making smart investments

Another fantastic way to boost capital involves making smart investments. If you have some savings right now, you can get started today. Precious metals are a safe bet because they always increase in price over a long enough period. However, if you want to make the most profit, you’ll have to get involved with the stock market. Don’t stress if you have no idea how it works at the moment. There are plenty of brokers out there who can assist you in making the right decisions. Again, you just need to read reviews and testimonials to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable professional. 

Now you know how to prepare for old age, we hope you will make the best choices in the future. When all’s said and done, you’re going to feel pretty miserable if you don’t have enough money. You’ve worked your entire life, and so you deserve to enjoy yourself when you finally retire. Whatever happens, we hope you’re satisfied with the outcome of your plan.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Do You Need To Sacrifice Money For A Quick Sale? Absolutely Not

money sacrifices
So, you’re selling a property and want to get rid of it as soon as possible. This isn’t unusual because most sellers need to flog their current house before they buy another. The problem with selling quickly is that it decreases the overall value. For some reason, buyers think they can wade in and undercut you because it’s in your best interests. Selling is in your best interests, but losing money isn’t. Thankfully, there is no need to sacrifice one for the other with the following tips. Yep, you can have your cake and eat it, too. 

Start A Bidding War

Your first ports of call are companies like West Coast Cash Buyers and Cash PDX. Because they are cash rich, they will take your property off of your hands promptly. Of course, the quote might be lower than you want or need before you sign on the dotted line. The good news is that there is a host of these companies, and they all have to make money. As a result, you can pit one against the other to start a bidding war. Hopefully, that will boost the value of the property enough so as to break even or make a profit. 

Market Effectively 

To begin with, you only want people with cash to apply. Otherwise, you will have to waste time rejecting prospective buyers that never had a chance. But, just asking for cash buyers to submit an application isn’t enough. To attract the big fish, you need let them know that the asking price isn’t flexible. Sure, you will have a number in your head that you’re willing to accept, so the asking price isn’t the be all and end all. Still, you don’t want any jokers offering a fraction of the price. You want to deal with people who have a genuine interest, and advertising the fact is your best option.

Give The House A Makeover

Buyers aren’t going to file a competitive offer is the property doesn’t warrant it in the first place. The house needs to sparkle for people to take it seriously, but it won’t if it looks old and tired. Plus, you want to set a high price, yet you can’t if the property is dilapidated. A fresh coat of paint and a few interior tweaks will make the house shine once again, and attract more offers. After all, people judge a property as soon as they see it from the car windows. Oh, and don’t forget about the garden if you have one. 

Negotiate

No one will offer the asking price because that isn’t how the game works. What they will do is start low and test your resolve. If you break, they will go even lower. It’s a dog eat dog world, and you have to be ready. As a result, you need to learn how to negotiate. Real estate discussions are an art which can make or break a sale. The better you are, the more chance you have of hitting your target price.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Funding Your Wedding: Financial Tips You Need

financial wedding
Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life. And to make it such a special and memorable day, it often means paying out a small fortune. In fact, the average wedding can now cost a couple a staggering $32,641. And it’s leaving a lot of couples heading into debt as they start their married life. In fact, they often have to pay out for years to cover the costs of their big day. However, a wedding doesn’t have to mean financial crisis. In fact, here are some financial tips you need to fund your wedding.

Make a budget at the beginning

It’s so easy to lose track of your spending when it comes to your wedding. After all, the little things can soon add up. And you can start heading into debt territory if you are not watching what you are spending. In fact, a lot of people are left surprised when they actually sit down and work out how much they have paid out. Therefore, to ensure you don’t get into debt when funding your wedding, you need to have a budget in mind at the start. Work out exactly how much you are going to spend on different aspects of the wedding. For example, you might want to put $1000 away for the dress, while $700 might need to put aside for the car. Having a good idea of how much you are going to spend on each area can stop you overspending.

Time to get a personal loan

A lot of people end up getting into money trouble when it comes to planning their wedding as they don’t have the funds up front. And it can mean they have to make other financial cuts in their life to be able to pay out for the big day. But rather than getting into debt you should look into getting a personal loan. It can help you to pay for the wedding, and then you can just pay a monthly amount to pay back the loan over the years. Just make sure you don’t go too high with the amount, and go for the best interest rate possible. You can look online for the lowest interest rate personal loan to ensure you don’t get into debt. That way, you can pay off the loan without running up debts. 

Ask for help from family and friends

A wedding can be an expensive cost that a young couple just can’t afford. Therefore, one financial tip you need is you should get some help from friends and family. It’s likely that your family will want to make a financial contribution to the big day. And it can save you having to hunt down the dollars for certain aspects of the wedding. Even if they are short on money, they still might offer a family heirloom which could save you money. Your friends can also be a saving grace when it comes to wedding planning. After all, they might know suppliers who will do them favors so you can get a cheap wedding car or food for the big day!

And remember asking for money as a gift for the wedding is not unheard of these days. In fact, it can help you get back on the straight and narrow after the costs of the wedding!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Top 7 Financial Rules To Live By In Your Twenties

early financial rules
With your teen years behind you, it is easy to feel that you know it all in your early twenties. This is when being an adult really starts. This is also when you have to take charge of your own finances. The decisions that you make now will affect your financial situation for years to come so get some advice if you need to and be cautious. This is how you set up your finances for life by setting the strongest foundations in your twenties.

Get skilled up

Your finances will never be in order if you are nor earning anything. If you can develop a career rather than staggering from one job to another you will give your finances a fighting chance. To do this you need skills and qualifications so if you failed to get them in your teens, now is the time to start. Continuously look out for more highly paid jobs and money-making opportunities.

Set a realistic budget

Avoid running back to the bank of Mom and Dad by setting a realistic budget. If you want to make a big purchase you could save up for a few months. If it is urgent you can use visa platinum to buy it and then pay for it over the coming months. Just make sure that you know exactly how much you have to spend each month.

Control your accommodation costs

Don’t try to live beyond your means when it comes to your accommodation. These are costs that you will have to pay every month. Buying and renting property can be a minefield so get some expert advice to lead you through it. This is your biggest monthly outgoing so get it right.

Think about your reputation

Missing loan repayments in your twenties is something that you could regret in your forties because it will damage your credit rating. Just don’t do it. It can take ages to recover your credit score once it is damaged.

Call in the security

You don’t want to get scammed out of your hard-earned money by fraudsters so clean up your internet security. Change your passwords regularly and share them with no-one. Avoid using on-line banking on shared computers.

Set up a filing system

You cannot keep track of your finances if you have bank statements and bills strewn all over your home. Set up a filing system and keep your documents in date order. This makes it so much easier to find that vital piece of information when you need it.

Think to the future

Living for the moment is a great approach to life but it can leave you in financial hot water. You have no choice but to think about the future when you are in your twenties. Will you want to start a family soon? This is also a time when you need to think about how you will provide for yourself in your retirement.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How To Improve Your Family's Financial Situation

finance for families
Not everyone is financially savvy all of the time. We’ve all had months or even years that have been tough - and when that happens, what exactly do you do next? It can be both confusing and upsetting if you simply aren’t sure what your next move is. Here are some tips to help out.

Create A Budget

More than anything, it’s important to take a look at what exactly your financial situation is. Look at exactly how much money comes into your household each month, and then think about what exactly it’s being spent on. You might not think that buying Starbucks every day costs much but the truth is that it adds up a lot, so make sure that you’re completely honest about what your outgoings are. You need to ensure that those outgoings don’t exceed your incomings, and that you have a little extra money left over so that you can save it - having that extra cushion will help you in the future, because you never know what financial shocks might end up hitting you, whether it’s car repairs or a new boiler.

Talk To Your Bank

Make sure that you’ve talked to your bank about your financial situation. It may seem frightening but the truth is that they’re there to help you with your money problems and help you find a solution that suits you. Not everyone can understand everything to do with finances, but it’s important for you to know as much as possible - after all, knowledge is power, and being able to make your own financial decisions is very important. Read as much as you can, from articles about understanding infinite banking to looking up different couponing websites that you can use to keep your grocery shopping expenditure down as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who really know what they’re doing.

Make Cutbacks

It could be time to make a few cutbacks in your life. Nobody likes having to do that but the truth is that sometimes they’re very necessary in order to ensure that your life is as straightforward as possible. First of all, consider different ways to get fit - a lot of people are paying out a considerable sum of money for a gym membership that they don’t actually end up using very often, and if that’s the case with you then it’s time to talk to your gym and see if you can switch memberships or even cancel. Remember that yoga YouTube videos, hiking, and running are all absolutely free ways to stay fit. It could also be time to cut back a little when it comes to your social life - remember that you don’t always have to spend vast sums of money on food or alcohol every time you see your friends. Think about different activities that you can do instead, like going for a hike or preparing a picnic together or going to check out a free exhibition at your local museum. There are plenty of ways to have fun without breaking the bank.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

It's Time To Get Serious About Retirement

its retirement time
Your retirement might seem like an age away to you. You may think you have all the time in the world to knuckle down, stop spending on unnecessary things, and start saving for the days when you no longer can/want to work. However, it’s never too early to get serious about retirement.

How do you picture your retirement? Do you take plenty of holidays, spend your time doing fun things with loved ones? Do you treat your grandchildren? Do you continue living much the same life that you’re used to now? Picture it in your head.

Once you have an idea of your ideal retirement lifestyle, you should be able to figure out a good idea of what you need to make it reality. Your ideal retirement isn’t going to happen if you don’t start to take it seriously! 

Figuring Out How Much You Need

Figuring out how much you really need for retirement can be tricky. One point to remember is that it’s always better to have more than you think you’ll need, than less. Many people like to look at how much they are earning pre retirement, and then aim to have 70-90% of that per year during their retirement. There are things like the 403b calculator that can help you to figure it out too. Once you’ve figured out how much you need, you can move on to the next step.

Coming Up With A Savings Plan

Now you need to come up with a savings plan. Make sure you take into account anything you’ll get from your employer/the government, and go from there. There are so many ways you can save money and put it towards your retirement fund, and in most cases you’ll barely realize that things have changed. Here are some suggestions to help you:

  • Pay yourself first. Work out how much you need to live on and maybe allow a small amount for luxuries.
  • With the money you have left over, divide equally into savings accounts (it helps to have money for a rainy day too). 
  • Make sure the amount you are putting into your retirement fund will help you to reach your goal.
  • Cut back on luxuries like coffee from Starbucks - it’s much cheaper to make your own at home. You can even put it in a takeaway cup!
  • Think about the things you buy more carefully. Do you really need new clothes? Eventually things like this will fade, and you’ll wish you had more money in your savings instead.
  • Use cashback sites like Quidco whenever you make a purchase. You will make a very small percentage back on whatever it is you bought, depending on the terms. This won’t earn you much in the short term, but it can add up in the long term. Helpful if you were planning on purchasing something regardless!
  • Shop around before buying. Go for supermarket own brands over big names, as many are the same. 
You really don’t have to change your lifestyle much to enjoy an amazing retirement. Use the ideas here to get started!

Monday, May 15, 2017

What Can You Do When The Well Runs Dry?

all about expenses
Finances are something that are often at the forefront of many people's minds. Unless you happen to be in an incredibly fortunate position, it's fairly likely that money is going to one of the major causes of fear and anxiety in your life. Of course, there are always things that you can do to make your money go further, and the internet is filled with fantastic advice on how to do just that. But what happens when that's not enough? What can you do when it seems as though you've officially reached the end of your rope and it seems as though you're totally out of options when it comes to your finances? Is it just time to give up completely? Fortunately no, but that doesn't mean that it's not still and incredibly frightening situation to find yourself in. Here are a few things that you should do if you find that the financial well has run dry.

Cut off all spending

This should be completely obvious, but the first thing that you should do is to cut off all unnecessary spending straight away. Look into everything that you're spending your money on and figure exactly what you cannot stand to go without. Of course, things like rent, food, hot water, and electricity are going to need to stay, but everything else, TV packages, streaming services and other luxuries need to go, at least for the time being. There will probably come a time when you can get them back but for now, if they're not necessary to your survival, then you can do without them.

Sell your stuff

The toughest part about running out of money is feeling as though you'll never be able to get that money back. Once you're in that pit, it feels like it's impossible to climb back out. The key is to take it one step at a time. You probably have a lot of stuff in your home that you simply don't use anymore. Why not have a clear out and make a little profit from it at the same time? You can sell everything from books, DVDs, old computers, baby clothes and toys that are no longer used at all, as well as anything else that you're not that attached to. It may not increase your finances by that much, but getting a little boost can make a lot of difference in the long run.

Seek legal help

Sometimes your financial situation becomes so dire that your only option is to seek legal counsel. Firms like Zingarelli Law are available to help you deal with the pressure that can often come with large levels of debt or the inability to keep with payments on things like your house and your car. Having a professional provide support can make the entire process much less daunting and scary, allowing you to focus on getting your life back on track.

It might be frightening to find yourself in such a difficult financial situation, but you should remember that there is always a way out. However dark it seems, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

How You Can Work On Your Budget If You Are In Financial Crisis?

working on your budget
No one wants to see his business at the verge of financial crisis. Even if you are a manager or owner of a business, financial crisis is like a terrible nightmare. In any business, there are good days and bad days and financial crisis is a natural phenomenon. According to some sources, almost every Dubai freezone company setup passes through a phase of financial crisis, once in its life time. This is a situation where managerial skills are truly verified. Financial crisis is a testing challenge and managers have to make some crucial decisions like revisiting of the budget to cut expenses. Efficient budgeting injects some fresh and managers get more space to make decisions. 

However, there are some considerations that must be noted to make it more effective. I am listing down some of these notables to get maximum results.

Crisis Resource Management:

Crisis Resource management is basically a medical term but actually,it is a set of non-technical skills required for an effective teamwork in a crisis situation. CRM improves performance and reduces errors and expenses. Organizational crisis management is a detailed series of procedures to sustain or resume normal business operations, minimize stakeholder loss, cut expenses and use learning to improve current performance. Following are some of the duties of HR Managers in financial crisis situation:

• Identify and respond to early signals of financial crises to prevent subsequent business losses. 
• Systematically plan and prepare and provide an effective crisis training to teams which includes business continuity plans.
• Assure partial or full business operations and help stakeholders to recover.
• Establish plans to keep employees engaged during business recovery. 
• Keep the Morale of teams and ensure maximum productivity. 

Cut Surplus Expenses:

Cut all the surplus expenses and be more accurate. Have a look at your wastes and try to recycle them. Its two ways advantageous, firstly this practice is environment friendly and has a positive impact on your reputation and secondly, you might be able to save a handful of money. A lot of money can be saved by taking following steps:

• Equitable use of office equipment.
• Minimize electricity and power consumption
• Move to cheaper energy sources like solar or wind energy. 
• Buy used equipment
• Negotiate low prices with your suppliers
• Use cheap sources of marketing like email marketing, social media and internet marketing.
• Move your business to free zones if provided in your country to get rid of extra taxes. Like a free zone company setup UAEhas no taxes to speak off. 
• Hire interns or have freelancers onboard. Their rates are relatively less and deliver high quality services at low cost.
• Outsourcing

Weekly Audit

There are numerous benefits of audits especially in financial crisis management. Audits can improve a company’s efficiency and profitability a lot by helping the managers to better understand their own working and financial arrangements. The management, as well as stakeholders, suppliers and financers, is also assured that the risks in the organization are well-studied and effective systems and plans are in place to handle the crisis situation properly. Audit will help in you following ways:

• Provides validity and helps to analyze and understand the company’s financial records.
• Discovers errors and Identifies major areas for improvement in your company.
• Educates business owner about the assess risks, economy, efficiency and quality.
• Uncovers fraudulent or other illegitimate activities within your company.
• It Reinforces and strengthens the internal control of managers.
• Limits legal and tax issues.

Always Have A Sustainability Plan:

In financial crisis situation, it’s very beneficial to have a sustainability plan. The most vital stakeholder in any business is a bank. Every business owner always wants the backing of a bank on its backend in financial crisis. What bank is looking in you is, are you sustainable? From the Bank’s point of view, more sustainable is more bankable. A sustainability plan is an asset for any company in hard times. A sustainability plan will ensure your stakeholders that your business will make out of this financial crisis.

Sales Enablement:

Sales Enablement is an effective tool that helps sales person to sell more effectively. The fundamental principle of sales enablement to provide Sales team the basic training and all the resources required. When your company is in financial crisis never cut the budget for sales enablement. A sales person is like the face of any business and he must look good no matter what the conditions are. In such circumstances, negotiate on quality or on quantity but never compromise on the budget for sales enablement.

In financial crisis, the best way to save money is proper budgeting. Keep all the above-mentioned points in your mind to get maximum results.


Brenda Cagara is a part of the business consultant team in Dubai. Her work is to assist the formation of companies and help setting up business firms. Other services she takes a part in are visa processing, trade license, trade mark, bank account opening, product registration and local sponsors. Along with this, she vigilantly manages to pursue her writing career. Since the past five years, she has been writing on different niches. The top ones are finance, business and taxation.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mistakes to avoid when getting a used car

finance for cars
Ajay was in a hurry to buy a used car. He had recently got his driver’s license and could not wait to start driving his own car. In his hurry, he ended up buying a car whose engine was not very powerful. He had to get rid of the car within a year’s time. Apart from being ad is appointment, this was a huge financial loss as well.

People make some common mistakes when buying a used car. Read this article to know more, and learn how to avoid these mistakes.

1. Not preparing a budget:

The used-car market is vast and offers endless options. This makes it important to have a budget in place when shopping for a used car. Without a budget, you may be tempted to buy a higher-priced vehicle that is not suited for your needs.This can later put a massive strain on your finances. A budget will help you find the right vehicle that meets your financial and personal requirements. 

Related: Have women become more open to car loans?

2. Not inspecting the car:

This is one step that you simply cannot afford to skip. Are you buying the car from a trusted relative or from a dealer? Either way, ensure you inspect the car carefully. Check the engine, brakes, body, tyres, and the interiors. Make sure the car looks good. It should also be in a drivable condition. If you buy the car in a hurry, without inspecting it completely, you could end up with a poor and unusable model.

3. Not checking for past legal issues: 

Check the legal background of the car; are there any previous legal issues related to the vehicle? This is a simple test, but it is extremely important. Suppose the car was in an accident? Or it could even be a stolen car. As the new owner, you will be held responsible.Find out all the details associated with the registration plate. Buy the car only if the previous owners are clear of legal issues. 

4. Choosing a wrong loan or EMI: 

Most people use loans to finance their used car purchase. However, before applying for the loan and signing the papers, find out everything about the loan. Make sure you search for ideal interest rates and understand the repayment scheme. The deal does not end once you get the car keys. Remember, you have to repay the loan, so choose an affordable EMI option. Defaulting on the loan could severely affect your future finances. So, make sure you can repay the loan without letting it affect your daily living costs.

5. Not negotiating: 

Try to negotiate the price of the vehicle before buying it. Do not feel embarrassed about this, or you could miss out on some big savings. If there are any parts that need changing or have not been well maintained, you can use this to leverage negotiations.You should be successful in most cases.

Related: 5 Ways the used car loan industry is making it easier to own a car

To sum it up

You must be careful when buying a used car. Do not attempt to buy the first car you see. Take time to find a used car that suits all your needs. Inspect and compare all the cars you see until you find the best option for you. Keep these tips in mind to find a great used car.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Playing With Fire: Tips You Should Know If You’re A First Time Credit Card Buyer

1st time card users
Owning a credit card is not all fun and games. If you haven’t got the hefty amount of cash to begin with, they are great for making long-term payments on that new car or couch, especially if you take up an interest-free introductory offer. Good for your credit score too, that is if you keep up with the payments. However, if you let your mind slip from your card and forget to make payments on time, you can incur a series of problems. These are the tips you need to know to avoid the pitfalls of owning a credit card.

What does the information on the card mean?

As we all know, credit card jargon is confusing, to say the least. Using an online credit card validator will help to decipher and explain any information which confuses you. If you suspect your credit card is invalid, using a validator will also make any issues known to you. 

Keep on top of your credit score

If you fail to make payments on time and miss the monthly deadline on your statement, it means incurring a late charge, resulting in your credit score getting damaged. If this continues, your credit score gradually worsens. A bad credit score may not sound like anything to worry over, but it has a detrimental affect on any future credit applications, especially buying your first house.

Missed payments will bring unexpected charges 

It is imperative that you keep up with any payments on your card to avoid burdensome interest charges. Make a to-do list or set a reminder on your phone so that you don’t forget. Paying your bills earlier is the smartest option and also increases your credit score, so figuratively, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Be aware of identity theft

If you are unaware of what exactly ‘identity theft’ means, it is when a criminal steals your identity to apply for credit and use it for transactions. Then, they leave you a gruesome bill to pay for it all. To prevent this, make sure any old letters and bank statements are shredded instead of just been thrown into the rubbish bag. Also, be extremely careful about who you share your details with. For a full guide on this matter, here are the easiest ways to protect your credit card. This stems from never sharing your card information on social media to blanking the signature.

High interest for first-time buyers

For first-time borrowers, credit card issuers may increase the interest rates. Alongside this they also lower your credit limit which means you have a capped amount to spend. If you exceed this limit, as well as missing any payments, you could incur some nasty penalties for doing so. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of and keep an eye on high interest and low credit limits.

After reading these tips, you will at least take more precautionary measures with your credit card and avoid any mishaps in the future.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How To Never Pay Full Price For Property

property price
It's little secret that property is one of the most expensive assets around. Whether you choose to rent or buy, it certainly doesn't come cheap - and deposits and mortgage payments alike can easily eat into your monthly budget, leaving little room for maneuver. It is for this reason that saving money on the asking price, or the monthly cost can be hugely beneficial to your personal finances. Of course, the issue with many estate agents and landlords alike is that they are used to people haggling, and a lot of them stand pretty firm. Haggling can be intimidating, and not all of us enjoy it or are good at it. However, there are certain tricks of the trade that can enable you to slash your asking price, or get a better deal on your rental demands.

Broaden your search 

If your approach to house hunting is going on your local property website and picking the first three houses you see, it's pretty unlikely that you're going to find a good deal! The property market is incredibly saturated, and you are likely to only really see the top offers and the fanciest houses at the top of these searches. But in reality, if you scratch below the surface, there are a whole host of other cheaper properties just waiting to be viewed. Consider looking exclusively for apartments with move in specials, as this way you could even end up getting the first few month's rent for free. Or, look on websites like Craigslist and Gumtree for people selling property/renting out their home. Obviously, you need to be mindful of scammers when using such websites, so familiarize yourself with the warning signs first before you make any inquiries. 

Ask for money off for discrepancies

Whether you are renting or buying the property, carry out a very close inspection of it during your viewing. The house shouldn't be on the market if it has anything wrong with it - but if some stones have been left unturned, you could end up haggling your way to a discount. If, for example, you turn up to the viewing and the oven is broken, or the paint is peeling, you should not be expected to foot the bill for this yourself once you've moved in. Instead, bargain with the owner or landlord about knocking some money off the price for you for the inconvenience. If they are a legitimate seller, they should be fine with this, as it is standard protocol. 

Look for last minute sales

If someone needs a property off their hands quickly, a smaller offer is more likely to be accepted. Haggling isn't typically as common when it comes to rentals, but it can still be done - and if the property has been on the market for a long time, it's fairly likely that the landlord will consider dropping the price. Be coy and polite about it, and who knows: your negotiating skills could end up saving you hundreds of dollars per month.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Find The Path Through The Property Maze

right path for property
Investing in property is a fantastic business venture or a brilliant way to make some money on the side of your main income. But it certainly isn’t easy, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying through their teeth. When you invest in property, you need to take into account some of the bigger bills you’ll have to pay as well as the problems that you can run into. However, there is a path through the maze of property investments, and these are the steps you’ll need to take to find it. 

Let Or Sell?

Your first decision should be whether you are buying to let out the property or sell it on for an honest profit. If you’re letting a property, you need to look at investing in a building or house that is already in good working order. You don’t want to spend a fortune fixing it up before you ever get tenants inside it. Unless of course, you find a building that has tremendous potential on the market.

The alternative would be to think about buying a property to sell, probably no more than three months after the original purchase. Three months is enough time to get a property fixed up and ready for the market without incurring any major costs of owning the building. In this case, you’ll be looking for a building that needs to be fixed up but should be on the market at a low enough price to make it profitable. 

Getting The Capital

Do you have the money in your account to invest in property? You’ll need a sizeable amount for the deposit, and on top of that, you will need extra cash for maintenance work, regardless of whether you’re buying or letting. 

If you don’t have the cash, you will probably need to look into obtaining a portfolio loan. When you take out a loan like this, you must understand the interest rate and how much you’ll be expected to pay over the next few years. Always work on the basis of the worst case scenario as this will ensure you have extra cash to handle any issues with the property. 

Finding The Right Investment 

If you’re looking to invest in property, you will need to explore different areas of the real estate market. When you’re looking at real estate, you shouldn’t tie yourself down to a specific region. Explore various possibilities until you find one that you think has potential. If in doubt, make sure you speak to a property broker. They will be able to point you in the right direction and guarantee you don’t make an expensive mistake.

Target The Market

The last step is taken after you purchase your property. You need to find your target audience, whether they are renters or buyers. This is all about getting the right representation for the property and working with the correct agency. When choosing an agency, make sure they have had success selling similar properties to the one that you have chosen. Do this, and you should have no issue finding the right target market for your investment.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

This Is How Bad Credit Can Affect Your Life

bad credit debts
Your credit score is one of those things you need to start thinking about as an adult. You've never had to think about it before because it didn't mean anything to you. But when you have to start living independently, it can affect more than you might know. Your credit score and history are looked at by a lot of different people who want to know whether you can be trusted. If it's bad, it could mean you end up paying more for things or being turned down for things other people have access to. Here are some of the ways a bad credit score can affect your life and what you can do about it.

Difficulty Borrowing Money

One of the main ways that having an unhealthy credit score that can affect you is that it's difficult to borrow money. If you want a loan for any reason, a bad credit score is going to make it more difficult to find one. As well as making moves to improve your credit score, there are some things you can do. There are short term loans for poor credit, which can be useful if you want to borrow smaller amounts of money. Some credit cards are also designed for people with poor credit. You'll also often find it's hard to get financing for purchases, from mortgages to car financing and even cell phones. Saving up is sometimes a way to get around this, but improving your credit score is better.

Higher Interest Rates When You Borrow

When you are able to borrow money, you can find that you have to pay higher interest rates. This isn't too big of a deal if you're borrowing money for only a short period, as there isn't time for the loan to accrue a lot of interest. But many credit cards for bad credit scores and long-term loans can mean you end up paying a lot more than other people might. Before seeking a loan for a large amount of money, it could be best to build your credit score with other, small amounts.

Effects on Your Home and Job

You might not realize it, but having a bad credit score can even affect where you can live and where you can work. Of course, it can make a difference to how easy it is to get a mortgage. But even if you want to rent a home, a landlord or property company can check your credit score. If they don't like what they see, they might turn you down. When you do have somewhere to live, you might have to pay security deposits on utilities. And if you ever want to work in some financial sectors, you could have a tough time finding a job if employers think that you're bad with money. Working on your credit score and keeping it healthy is the best way to avoid these kinds of problems. Show that you can pay bills on time and manage your debt to raise your score.

A bad credit score can have a huge impact on your life but it's not irreversible. There are steps you can take to fix it, and moves you can make in the meantime.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sage Words For Vets Wanting To Start Up

finance for start ups
You would have thought that following a career in the military, veterans would have little interest in becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own businesses. But according to the statistics, this is exactly what is happening. The data reveal that veterans are around 45 percent more likely to get involved in starting a business than people with no military service record.

The reasons for this are many, but some of this might have to do with the fearlessness of people who have served. Once you’ve been in the military and seen armed conflict, setting up and running a business seems like a small problem.

The data from the US Census says that veterans ran more than 2.4 million businesses in 2007 and those companies contributed more than $1.2 trillion to the economy - about 10 percent of total output at the time.

With Trump in the White House, there’s arguably never been a better time for veterans to set up their own businesses. He’s both pro business and pro vet.

So if you’re a vet, how should you approach starting a business?

Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses

As a veteran, you have strengths and weaknesses. If you’re on disability for veterans, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to set up a business that relies on brute strength: at least not immediately. Also, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to set up a “knowledge” business, especially if you’ve been out of education for a long time.

As a result, successful vet business owners usually outsource many of the tasks that they themselves can’t do. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to business development is essential. Often hiring the right people, or getting experts from elsewhere to do the job, is crucial if you want to produce a product that people will buy.

Find Out What People Lack

The job of veteran entrepreneurs, just like other people who run businesses, is to find out what it is that people are lacking and create a product to solve the problem. The product can be essentially anything, so long as it is something folks are missing from their lives. Even something as simple as inventing a pushcart so that people can transport their luggage across the airport terminal lobby can have a significant impact and be a sustainable business model.

Seek Out Veteran Financing

In the US there are a number of plans for veterans to start their own businesses and get back into the regular economy. For instance, microloan programs will often fund veteran startups with cash loans of up to $35,000. Even if you’re credit rating isn’t perfect, you’re often still able to find people willing to borrow at credit unions and community banks.

It turns out that veterans have a unique potential to start up their own businesses and make a lot of money. They have a very specific take on the world and their experience in armed conflict has taught them lessons which are valuable in the world of entrepreneurship.

Friday, May 5, 2017

What To Do (And Not Do) If You're Made Redundant

financial issues
A survey conducted in 2015 found that the US workforce is pretty sure about their job security: of those asked, 87% said that it was not too likely or not at all likely that they would lose their job in the next year. This is good, and it is sign that the economy is continuing to improve. The current unemployment rate is 4.4% which is remarkable and is a consequence of the great work of the Obama administration. However, the possibility of being made redundant is always there. While it may seem unnecessarily pessimistic to start planning for redundancy, in the event that it does happen, it is better to be prepared. Besides, few people anticipated the financial crisis of 2008 which led to the unemployment rate to rise to a startling 10% in October of 2009. While, to a degree, you have to be able to deal with the as yet unknown circumstances in which you will find yourself, there are effective ways of dealing with it and ineffective ways. Here are a few tips about what to do if you ever find yourself in that situation: 

The first thing that you should do is carefully assess your position. Was your termination fair? While severance pay is not mandated by law in the United States, many employers do offer it. There is little that you can do if you do not get what you’d hoped for. However, one thing that is guaranteed by law is the procedure that employers have to go through when deciding on who to make redundant. If you think that you have been targeted for a reason besides just a financial consideration, you can sue your former employee or take them to a tribunal. This is obviously quite a risky thing to do as you are staking the legal costs on your winning. In the event that the case is decided against you, you will have wasted both time and money.

If you accept the situation and simply recognize that you have to deal with the new paradigm, you may be thinking about how you will go about supporting yourself. If you have mortgage payments that are too great to meet, you can talk to your bank and explain to them your circumstances. They may be able to work out more lenient arrangements with you. You may want to sell house fast, but this could easily be an overreaction, and depending on the state of the market, you may not be able to sell it for its true worth. A wiser option would be to rent out a room or two and wait for the market to improve again. 

However, your biggest priority should be to find a new job. This is a lot easier said than done. There will be many other people trying to bounce back too. If you do not find something right away, you could try volunteering. This will keep you occupied and allow you to stay in a working mindset. It will also demonstrate the sort of initiative that appeals to prospective employers.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pedaling Out Of Your Old Debt Cycles

clear old debts
The task of clearing debt from a year ago is incredibly difficult, trying to clear debt that is potentially decades old may weigh heavy on your mind much more than you think! Looking at issues in the round, having any sort of debt hanging over your head is stressful. But if you have hit a point in life where your credit score needs to be good, say if you're buying a house, then you need to develop some smart ideas to get yourself looking good on paper, and that old debt is the first thing to examine.

A lot of people think that clearing the immediate debt is the best way to keep on top of their finances, but it’s merely keeping the wolf from the door. Tackling the oldest debt should be a priority because the interest you're potentially paying on the debt is a hefty package. The first thing to do is to do some transferring of debt like credit cards onto a zero percent package. This will reduce your outgoings, and you can start to focus on clearing the debt properly. You should also look at what debt you owed over the years. A student loan is thousands of dollars you don’t have at any one point. So look at the student debt forgiveness program. There are many flexible options to help you repay your student loan, but bear in mind that this is for federal student loans.

If you have taken a good look at what it is you owe to every credit card company, bank, or student loan organization, then the next step is to consolidate your debt into manageable packages. For example, there are many debt consolidation companies that can help in these circumstances. There are two purposes to doing this; firstly it reduces the amount of interest you would pay on numerous credit cards or bank overdrafts. Secondly, it helps with your perspective of the debt. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the amount, it compartmentalizes it into a neater package which, believe it or not, actually helps with your mindset.

The next step is simply to address your spending habits, which can be a minefield. But the simplest step is to look at your big bills first, and then work your way down to the smaller ones. So, examine your gas or electricity bills and see if you can get cheaper ones, and work your way down to your shopping habits. Go through your bank statement and see if you can spot any patterns in your spending, especially ones borne out of habit. One shop-bought coffee on the way to your office may seem insignificant, but each coffee adds up. You can apply this to every little habit until you have got rid of the pointless spends. A last resort is declaring bankruptcy, which may sound like admitting defeat, but it can give you a clean slate with your debts and help you get out of the debt cycle. Options are out there for you to examine your finances, so be sure to use them.