Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The ABC's Of Providing For Your Children's Education

loans for your education
However old or young your children are, the task of looking after them will always weigh heavy on you. The total cost of raising a child is increasing every year, and the most recent figure is $233,610! This is to raise your child up to the age of 17. After they hit 17, there are, arguably, even bigger costs afoot, and your child may have to lean on you a bit more to pay for a rental bond, or buy a car, or go to college. Education is a right for every single one of us, and depending on where you are in the world it can be incredibly difficult to save up the money to set them on the right path. What's the solution? It begins and ends, with you.

Having children is a financial hardship, whichever way you look at it, and from the moment you bring your baby home from the hospital, you will have to start thinking up ways to be financially savvy. Your lifestyle will be a big factor in how you save money. If you earn a decent wage but never manage to save money, look at what you can realistically cut back on. It’s easier said than done, but surely your children are more important than you, right?

A savings account is the simplest way to get the ball rolling. It’s the little and often approach to saving money. If you open up a savings account when they are a year old, they’ve got 17 years of savings to dip into when they're making the transition to college. Or if they don’t want to go to college, it’s money towards a car, mortgage, or a wedding. Just set up a small amount to come out of your account every month, and you will amass a fair amount of money ready for their next stage in life. Keep the account a closely-guarded secret, and it becomes a pleasant surprise for your child!

If you're at that point where it’s too late, and you cannot travel back in time 17 years, there's no need to panic. Luckily, if your child is that keen on going to university, they will work hard for it, and so it makes applying for scholarships a financially easier option. There are plenty of scholarship websites, and these are the most recommended ones to try. Lots of scholarship websites have detailed lists, and give you breakdowns of what is required. Some of the websites require you to register or pay a small amount, but these do give comprehensive details of what you will need to obtain the scholarship.

Of course, there are student loans available, but with each different loan comes a different set of criteria. As a parent, you can obtain a PLUS loan which comes with a higher interest and means that you are responsible for paying the money back, not your child, so the burden is on you. But if you are in a position to repay the money sooner, you can save money on your total interest. There are many things you can apply for, and you may as well try them all, but with each loan comes with a high-interest rate of repayment. So it’s worth bearing that in mind before you enter into the agreement, but it’s possible that you or your child could get turned down for the funds, in which case, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan.

Apart from saving in the long-term, the real way for you and your child to pay for their education is to get an extra job. While it may not sound ideal to get a second job on top of your full-time one, it’s not the same as it was 20 years ago, where you would need to get a janitor or bartender job. Now you can do another job from your own home. There are online surveys and actual full-time hours for admin jobs you can do. If you are stuck for cash as well as stuck for time, you can do this and get everyone in the family to contribute. It can potentially be more lucrative for your child to do this rather than to get a Saturday job because they won't need to travel to the place and get more money for arguably less work. 

Saving up for your child’s future is a massive headache, and while the best solution is just to plan ahead, there are other options should you get stuck between a rock and a (financially) hard place.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How To Teach Your Kids About Investments

investment for kids
We all want our kids to understand the value of money and to know how to invest it wisely. This may be too much to ask. Children and teens like to live for the moment and act impulsively with little thought for what will happen tomorrow let alone next month or next year.

The seeds of financial knowledge that you sow now will benefit your child in years to come. They will grow in financial confidence and be comfortable with investments. It is never too early to start their education.

Pre-school kids and investments

The financial intricacies of investments will be beyond the grasp of most toddlers but they are not too young to understand what investment means. They can learn to appreciate that an investment is something that pays out in the future. There are many different types of investment.

Show them that if they invest in learning a new skill such as hopping on one leg or skipping, the payout is being able to do it well and show off to their friends. If they invest some time in planting a seed, the payout will be a pretty flower or some tasty vegetable. This teaches them that not everything gives immediate satisfaction. Sometimes, you have to wait for the good stuff to arrive!

Elementary school kids and investments

At this age, kids can start to learn about companies. They are naturally curious and ask a lot of questions at this stage of their cognitive development. Sometimes they ask the same question over and over again just to check that they understand, or that you have not changed your mind! Try to relate companies to their everyday life. Talk about the company that made the car that you drive them around in, the soda that they like to drink or the toy that they like to play with. 

Point out brand names and logos on labels. Discuss who owns the company and explain that a lot of people all own a tiny bit. Point out that they could own a bit if they wanted to. They are old enough to grasp that a ‘bit’ of a company is called ‘stock’ and that when people buy stock in a company, they own a little piece of it.

They will also love to hear about the dangers of investing everything you have in one place. Use a hypothetical example that they will understand. Perhaps you could describe a toy company that only sold one type of toy. What if kids got fed up of that toy and started playing with other things? The company would be in trouble because it does not sell anything else. This simple tale teaches the principle of diversification in investments.

Teach them the difference between gambling and investment. Show them that slot machines are gambling but buying stock is investing. Talk to them about probability and chance and give them a practical example using dice. Let them roll it!

Older kids and investments

Older kids can fully understand what investment is all about. They will be learning about compound interest in school and will be able to relate this to compound investment. The money you make on your initial investment is called the principal but it doesn’t end there. If you reinvest it, you can make even more money and repeat this over time for maximum returns.

Investments are a great way to teach your kid math. Take the investment "rule of 72," which you can use to calculate how many years it will take to double your money if it's earning interest or is invested in the stock market. If they are really smart they can look up how the formula is derived. Math lessons have never been so much fun!

It is important to talk to kids of both genders. There is a common misconception that boys understand complicated mathematical concepts quicker than girls but this is simply not the case.

Teen kids and investments

This is the age where kids can stop talking about investments and can actually get involved themselves. Introduce them to Fortunate Investor and let them do their own research into how to invest their own money. Then support them in making their own decisions.

Of course, they need a pot of money to start off with. Help them to find a part-time job that they can fit in around their school work. Once they get used to investing they may be able to give it up!

The knowledge and skills that they acquire will be so useful for securing their financial future.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Understanding and Overcoming Your Troubling Debts

debt trouble
Understanding the Causes of Your Debt

Understanding where your debt is coming from is the first step on your path to financial freedom. Depending on your age and life experiences, the debt could be a new, recent addition to your lifestyle or something that has been troubling you for years. Regardless of the amount of debt that you have or the amount of time that you’ve had it, getting to the root causes is necessary for you to effectively clear away owed money. So many people will find themselves in the red and won’t have anything to show for it. They will wonder how they managed to sink so financially low or meet credit limits on their cards. But it is important that you know exactly why you are struggling. So, think right back to the first money that you borrowed. This might be a student loan, it could be a bank overdraft, or it could be a credit card. Then work your way back to the present day, noting down everything that can remember borrowing money for and spending lent money on. This will give you a complete summary of every penny that you have spent that was not yours. You will then be able to highlight trends from the beginning of your debt to the present moment. If you have found yourself wondering where all of the money has gone, you will now be able to see. Chances are, you didn’t spend bulk amounts of cash on large purchases. You probably frittered the cash away on smaller, unnecessary items, such as takeaways, drinks, and taxi fares. Small amounts can easily mount up over time and may be the cause of larger amounts of debt.


Having highlighted unnecessary spending that has landed you in a sticky monetary situation, you may decide that now is the time that you finally start to budget sensibly. It is easy to ignore your actual income when seemingly endless loans and credit accounts are being offered to you. But it is so important that you live within your means. There’s no better time to start than the present! Turn the page in your notebook and write down your monthly salary. Then list all of your essential outgoings, no matter how small or seemingly irrelevant. This list should include rent, bills, food shopping, gifts for occasions, toiletries… absolutely everything. Deduct the total of the list from your salary. You should be left with a positive number. Preferably with some cash to spare. If you find that your outgoings are amounting to more than your incoming wages, it’s time to tighten up on your spending. Try opting for supermarket own brands foods, less lavish bathroom supplies and do everything within your means to save money on your bills. As long as you are in debt, luxury items are something that you cannot afford to splash out on. No matter how much you have become accustomed to them. Make the necessary cuts to make your lifestyle as cheap as possible. Then use your excess cash to start paying off some of your debts.

Keeping Up With Repayments

When you are experiencing money worries, it’s easy to try to ignore the issue. We’re all guilty of refusing to open official looking letters; stuffing them away in drawers out of sight or dumping them straight into the bin. But you can only bury your head in the sand for so long before bailiffs, and debt collectors come knocking at your door. It’s time to face the music. Open your letters, contact your lenders and make arrangements. If you find that you are struggling to make repayments, communicate this. Your lender may be able to reduce the minimum monthly charges, making repayments more affordable for you. If you ignore letters and miss payments on their due dates, you will only become more and more indebted: you will start to receive penalty fines, face late payments fees and your credit score will begin to suffer as a result of your actions (or general inaction). Some lenders will also remove benefits offered to you when you signed up for your account with them. These may include low-interest rates or interest-free balance transfer periods.

Consolidating Your Debts

If you have debts coming out of your account on different dates throughout the month for different cards, loans, and services, you could truly benefit from consolidating your debts. This essentially means that you take out one larger loan, use the lump sum of cash to clear all of your separate debts, then pay off the one large debt in manageable installments. One all-encompassing debt may seem intimidating, but you are much less likely to miss a payment when you only have one going out a month. This means you will avoid charges and can hold onto benefits such as interest-free rates for longer.

Clearing Large Amounts

If you don’t have much money left over from your wages after paying for your current living costs, you may be able to clear a large amount of debt in one fell swoop. It probably isn’t what you want to hear, but now might be the time to start letting go of belongings that aren’t entirely necessary and hold no sentimental value. This may be a digital camera, some of your old books or limited edition collector's items. People will pay a large one-off sums for desirable items, and this extra cash can make a significant impact on the overall amount that you owe out.

Chipping Away at Smaller Amounts

If you are experiencing debt, it is always beneficial to have some side project for money making on the go. Instead of heading home and putting the television on or scrolling through your social media feeds for hours, you could try low input business ventures. Try selling some homemade items. These could be cookies and cakes at a local fair or handmade goods online. Any extra cash should be used to chip away slowly at your debts. It may seem silly paying two or three dollars off your card at a time, but these regular, small amounts of money will help significantly.

Seeking Professional Help

If you find that you are struggling to clear your debts yourself, it may be time to seek professional help. There are so many debt relief options out there that the thought of even finding the right person for the job may feel daunting. But don’t worry, you can and will find the right help. If you have decided that it is time to reach out, read this review first. It provides a complete run through of the pros and cons of one debt relief plan. You can use it as a foundation from which you can learn how to fully analyze whether a certain branch of professional help is the right option for you.

Things to Avoid

When times are hard, endless people will go down the wrong route in an attempt to resolve their problems. But there are certain “resolutions” that tend to turn out for the worse rather than the best. People taking these routes often end up ruining relationships, forming unhealthy habits or even addictions and often end up with more debt than they started out with. These options are to be avoided at all costs.


Gambling may seem like a quick fix for all of your problems. You put a little money down and get more back in return. Plus the adrenaline rush that accompanies a big payout will leave you feeling at an all time high. What could be better? Well, not much if that’s how things played out in real life. But sadly, real life is much different to the dream that bookies will try to sell you. There is one stark problem: the odds aren’t always in your favor. You will find that you lose more often than you win and you may start to lose your winnings too. Most of us don’t know when to throw the towel in. Avoid gambling at all costs.

Lending from friends and family

Well-meaning family and friends may offer to lend you cash to tide yourself over. But you should avoid incorporating money in personal relationships at all costs. If you are unable to pay people back, tensions will rise, and relationships will suffer. You should also avoid loans that use your friends and family as a guarantor if you are unlikely to be able to make repayments. Your financial mismanagement could have terrible effects on your loved ones’ credit ratings and may even end in their home or possessions becoming repossessed.

Payday loans

Payday loans are extremely tempting as a quick fix to your debts. They are easily accessible, and many lenders now offer immediate deposits into your bank. The problem? Paying them back. These loans have excessively high-interest rates, and most people will not realistically be able to keep up with the repayments. You will end up owing a lot of money for a small amount of quick cash.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Is Your Job Offering Diminishing Financial Returns? If So, Try These Ideas

financial returns
It can be pretty depressing when you work hard and then feel like you are not getting paid enough for your efforts. Unfortunately, this is the way many people feel about their jobs. However, you can and should take action if you want things to change. That’s the only way to get to where you want to be in life. Accepting less than you’re worth doesn’t have to be how it is. Here are some ideas that you could employ if you want to earn more and do better.

Ask for a Raise if You Think You’re Worth

Sometimes, you have to face up to the fact that you only get what you ask for. If you don’t ever ask for a pay rise, you might never get one. Let’s face it; employers and bosses are never going to be falling over themselves to pay you more money. They’ll avoid having to do that for as long as they possibly can. But if you push the issue and let them know that you expect more for the work that you do, they might start to realise that you are worth more and that they need to pay you more to keep hold of you.

Start a Business on the Side and Grow It

Starting a business in your spare time is another idea to consider. You probably can’t afford to just quit your job and start a business right now. But if you start one in your spare time, you will still be able to rely on your existing income as your business grows. In the end, you might be able to make running the business your full-time job. You could choose a business course, with the help of this Learn Build Earn review, that will improve your business skills. It’ll improve your chances of making money.

Change Your Lifestyle to Match Your Income

It can be a good idea to make sure that your lifestyle and the money you spend on it always match your income. You can make yourself feel less restricted financially if you make an effort to live within your means. It’s less of a struggle than you might think. Simply analyse your spending and see where money can be saved.

Start Networking and Building New Industry Contacts

If you tried to get a raise from your boss but came up against a brick wall, you might have to start looking outside the business. If your boss is not paying you what you think you’re owed, there is nothing wrong with looking for positions and opportunities elsewhere. In fact, this is exactly what you should be doing. Start networking and building contacts in your industry. That way, you will be in the loop and aware of the latest opportunities.

Taking your destiny into your own hands is essential if you want to advance in your career. That’s the only way to get to where you need to be going forward, so make the most of the ideas above.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Steps Worth Taking Towards Financial Confidence

money confidence
When it comes to your money, it can seem like there’s a constant stream of outgoings. There’s always bills to pay, things that need fixing, and unexpected life events that can be a costly dent in your finances, and make it difficult to gain cash security. However, there are always steps you can take throughout life, that will help to ensure that you’re happy and confident when it comes to your bank balance.

Invest Wisely

Whether it’s a home or a car, the larger purchases in life can be a route to financial security when you’ve considered your decision and invested wisely. When it comes to real estate, the best thing you can do is look at the building and the location to see if your investment will pay off in the years ahead. Ask yourself if your property has the potential to rise in value in a competitive market. Secondly; ensure your monthly repayments are affordable for your income. It’s all very well having the house of your dreams; however, if you’re left struggling to pay your bills at the end of each month, it will quickly turn into a financial nightmare.

When it comes to buying a car, or any large purchase for your everyday life; bear in mind the regular expenses you will need to pay to run and maintain the item. Work out what it will cost to run, and add in a contingency for potential breakdowns and services before you make any large purchases. If money looks like it might be too tight, reconsider you buying choices. For tips on buying your first home, take a look here:

Call In The Professionals

Investing and putting your money into the right places can be baffling for those who are not a financial expert, so don’t shy away from asking for help and advice from somebody who knows what they’re talking about. Long term financial plans can seem daunting, so it’s worth checking out financial professionals like who can help steer you and your money in the right direction. 

The word retirement might sound scary, especially if you’ve only just settled into your career; however, these eventualities are exactly the sort of things that an expert can assist you with. Once you’ve made contact with a financial company, and got the ball rolling, you’ll feel confident that your money is heading to all the correct places, which should give your financial peace of mind.

Save Save Save!

Saving your money might sound like an obvious choice; however, putting extra time and thought into saving your cash where you can, will pay off in the long run. Setting yourself monthly savings targets, and yearly goals will help towards paying for life’s pleasures, like vacations and home improvements. By making the process of saving a challenge; you’ll keep trying to better your last result, which will have a snowball effect on your earnings.

Knowing you’ve been wise with your income, and having enough money in the pot when you need it, will ensure you’ll gain financial confidence and assurance, which will lead to a happier, stress-free life.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Common (And Costly) Home Buying Myths, Debunked

home buying factors
It wasn’t so long ago that buying a home was a sure-fire way to make a lot of money. But when the housing bubble burst and led to thousands of foreclosures all over the country, things changed dramatically, Yes, house prices are rising again in many areas overall, but the reality is that buying a home isn’t the risk-free addition to your life it might have been a decade or so ago. With this in mind, here are some home buying myths that could end up costing you money - read on to find out more.

It’s always cheaper to buy than to rent

First of all, don’t assume that by buying a house you will pay less than you do on the rental market. Specifically, this applies to hugely popular areas where the cost of renting is often dwarfed by the cost of a mortgage loan. As a rough guide, if a possible house on the market costs 15x or more than the price of renting one over an entire year, it’s cheaper to rent. A typical example is Manhattan, where renting a home is around 24x less than the cost of buying one.

It’s always a great investment

As the financial crisis of 2008 taught everyone, while buying a home is often thought of as a good investment, it can be a lot riskier than most people imagine. Don’t forget, houses lost a third of their value in that particular crisis, and there is every chance of something similar happening again. And even if your home increases in value, there are still a lot of costs to consider. Expensive roof repairs, heating replacements, possibly foundational issues - they can all cost a fortune and result in you losing money when the time comes to sell.

Realtors are unnecessary

While it’s true that you don’t need help or advice from real estate agents, if you go down this route you will miss out on a lot of experienced help when you are looking for houses for sale. Realtors understand the local markets and have inside knowledge of the best places to buy. And, while some might have picked up a bad reputation over recent years, there are still plenty of real estate agents out there who offer fantastic services and can give you a price advantage in a competitive buying environment.

Location is critical

Sure, location is important. But the reality of living in an area with high-quality schooling, excellent facilities, and low rates of crime is that you will rarely get a good deal. You are far better off talking to a realtor about an up-and-coming area to find a location that has a potential for growth. The returns you will get from looking to the future will far exceed those you get by buying in a trendy or established area.

Fixer uppers deliver profit

Finally, another dangerous myth is that if you buy the worst home in the best neighborhood, a little bit of work can help you reap huge profits. But homes in bad condition can often come with incredible problems that will end up costing you a fortune to fix. Ultimately, you could end up paying even more than you would pay for a home that is already in a great condition - in the exact same location.

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.


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 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.


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.


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. 


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.