Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How to Budget for Home Remodeling

home finance
Home remodeling usually starts with a simple fantasy. You may be browsing the pages of a magazine and come across an article or picture that sparks your imagination, and before you know it, you have dreamed up an entirely new look for your home. Unfortunately that’s where the fantasy ends and reality steps in to snap you out of it.

Remodeling is not cheap. It also doesn’t happen instantaneously. Instead, it will cost a significant chunk of your money, and most likely turn your home into a construction site for a good while. But having your home covered in construction dust isn’t a bad problem to have, so to speak, since this means that you are only weeks away from enjoying your home’s new look. So, how do you get from daydream to construction? Here are a few tips for budgeting for your home remodel.

Estimate the costs

To know what you can afford to spend on your home remodel, it helps to have a rough idea of what it will cost. In order to make alterations that will give your house good resale value, it helps to estimate a budget as a percentage of your home’s current value, for example:

● Kitchen: 10-15%
● Master bathroom: 10%
● Second bathroom: 5% 
● Attic/Basement: 10-15%
● Other rooms: 1-3%
● Outside areas: 2-5%

Figure out how much you can spend

Once you know what you should spend, the next step is to find out what you can spend. If you have been saving up, that amount may be enough to cover all or part of what you want to do. If that’s not the case, you will have to apply for some kind of loan.

Request quotations

You need to find out what the job will actually cost, and therefore you need to ask the people who will actually be doing the job. You should get quotations from several contractors. Be sure to vet them properly to make sure they do good work. It will probably be best to ignore the lowest estimates, since you are almost guaranteed to pay more in the end due to overoptimistic costing.

Don’t add more things to your plan

When the job is underway, it may be tempting to think that you might as well add one or two small little changes. These changes can end up costing you a lot, and may cause a budget overrun.

Have a contingency plan

However well you plan, there’s always a chance that things will run over time or over budget. In order to provide for these unforeseen mishaps, it’s best to always add around 20% of the project cost to the budget. But if you are working with a very rigid and finite budget, you will have to adjust the budget downward by 20% in order to have a financial cushion for unforeseen expenses and cost overruns. This should effectively take care of any hidden costs you may not have been aware of when you first drew up your budget.

Apex Window Werks is a house window repair and glass replacement company. Visit their website for more details about other services they provide, service areas and a free estimation for your project.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Handling the 3 big Spenders in Life

budgeting for big dreams
Unless you are thinking big business and making major investments for tens of thousands on a weekly basis, chances are that the main big spendings in your life are going to be the same as most other people’s. No one wants a to have a budget wedding in a rundown venue with dirty drapes and a shortage of food and drinks. Everyone would prefer to have that moment remembered in their heads as a very ceremonious and special moment. Another thing no one really wants to cheap out on is a house. Getting a mortgage is something most people are going to go through at one point in their lives and when spending a large sum of money, a relatively small sum does not make that much difference. Then there is the one that is purely dependant on your personal needs and wants. a car. Nearly anyone can go and buy a car without much issue, but a lot of those people would rather get either a nice, comfortable, spacious car for the whole family. Alternatively a sleek modern sports car which is sure to turn heads. No matter which of these you are thinking of investing in first, chances are you will want to be money-wise, not letting your hard earned money go to waste for no reason. Let us look at some of the ways in which you can cut costs and not make silly typical mistakes on the 3 spenders.

The House

If you are the average joe, with a decently paying job but nothing out of the ordinary which would have you flying to Vegas every other week, you probably would like a house which does is nothing to scoff at, but it’s no villa in the Hollywood hills. Probably something cosy, relatively spacious with a good connection to the city. Even then, it will probably cost you more than a pretty penny. Now there is no need to hurry with this, presumably you will not be buying more than 1 house for yourself so let’s make this one count. Before actually laying down the cash or taking out that loan from somewhere like this personal lending site or a bank, you should be researching the trends in property prices. Be this in the city or town you live in, or somewhere else which would be a great place for your dream home. Paying attention to the prices of properties fluctuating gives you a great opportunity to buy at a moment where everything is considerably cheaper. This just opens the door to a better start from the get-go, putting you in a better position than most buyers in your situation.

Before buying, check out the house thoroughly. Make sure to pay attention to everything, don't fall for the usual tricks of the estate agent where they “only have time during the day”. Make sure to thoroughly explore the house during the day, and the night. See if the sun really does rise in front of your bedroom window, see if the house isn't dark and gloomy but well lit and spacious during the day. At night, see if nothing suddenly looks considerably worse. Do the ceilings not feel strangely low? Does the paint used for the walls not look discoloured when it is dark? If so, it may lead to extra fees from your side, repainting everything usually not only takes time but also drills a hole in your pocket due to the sheer amount of paint needed to cover everything. Calculate the real cost of buying the house, all the fees that come with the house might as well just be added onto the price tag in the first place. Carefully look over the walls, for any cracks, deformations or weird “bumps” which are often caused by moisture and damp air in the house. Damp spots on walls, in corners and wherever else are usually a big concern as they tend to house mould. Removing mould in itself is a huge order and cannot really be done through regular home means, needing the involvement of a third party and paid professionals. And yes, it is most definitely worth getting rid of mould, not only does it look unsightly, it also poses a plethora of health risks to you, your partner and potential future children. If you want to read more about things to keep in mind when buying a house, look no further than this comprehensive guide.

The start of the beginning of your new life

As aforementioned, no one wants to have a shoddy two-bit wedding where you are too ashamed of the venue to even invite guests to it. Another thing no one wants is to put all their life savings into the wedding alone. There are some smart ways to cut costs on a wedding without necessarily needing to lower its overall quality. When booking a venue, make sure to look how much the prices differ out of season. Hiring a venue is almost always considerably cheaper outside of summer, booking in advance also helps to lower the price-tag quite a bit. If you want to go through with hiring a photographer for the occasion, then consider hiring them only for crucial moments of rather than the whole day. Think about what you need and don't need from the leftovers, if you have an overabundant amount of tablecloths which you will probably never use afterwards, sell them online. Got some questionable presents which you know have literally no use and will just clutter up the house? Get rid of those too. This not only frees up space in your new house, but allows you to make back a decent chunk of the money with not much effort. Once again there are many other ways of going about this, there are some more listed here if you want to keep investigating.

Family transport or car of your dreams?

Cars are a common enough commodity in the world that there is almost an overabundance of chances to save on them. If you know where to look that is. There are lots of choices when it comes to savings accounts for cars, or loans and just about anything you can think of. Websites like Money Saving Experts, Money Supermarket or Which?, are a great starting point for seeing how much money you’re going to have to work with, or how much you are willing to get a loan for. This allows you to start looking within a more specific price range rather than at the overwhelming amount of cars on the market. Go for a car that fits your needs, are you after a car that is good for city use? Does it have to be very fuel efficient or Eco-friendly? Cars with better fuel consumption obviously save you more money in the long run and also tend to last longer. Petrol cars are also usually cheaper than diesel ones, much like manual cars being cheaper than automatic ones. The running trend being able to buy for cheaper during specific times carries over from the housing and wedding scenario. Try to avoid weekends near the start of the month as they are usually packed to the brim with people who just got paid and want to finally make the jump. Sellers often take advantage of that and bump up the prices a bit knowing it’s easier to convince very excited people to buy rather than calm and composed ones.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Home Zone: How Will You Buy Yours?

real estate home
Buying a home is one of the largest parts of life for a lot of people. Throughout your younger years, this goal will have been driven into you at school, home, and even in your earliest jobs. Of course, though, none of this really prepares you for the day you have to start choosing a home for yourself, and all of the other little bits which go along with it. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the different kinds of mortgage you can get to purchase a new home. With this in mind, it should be a lot easier to get started properly on your own house.

Buy-To-Let

To begin, it’s time to think about a type of loan which is designed for those not looking to live in their new house, but rather those who want someone else to live in it. With a buy-to-let mortgage, you don’t have to worry about weird laws or other issues getting in the way of your plans. Instead, everything will be handled for you, and you just need to find a tenant to fill the space. Of course, this isn’t the right product for everyone, though.

First-Time Buyers

If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be buying a house to rent it out, and you won’t need all of the protection which comes with a buy-to-let option. But, there’s still something for you out there. First-time buyer mortgages are designed to start off very small, enabling you to make repayments on a budget. As your family, career, and finances grow, so will the mortgage, slowly costing more until it’s paid off. This is perfect when you’re first starting out in life.

Government Schemes

In some cases, even a first-time buyer mortgage won’t be quite enough, and you’ll need to find an option which takes a bit more of the pressure off. For young families or those with disabilities, your government can often help you here. House-share schemes enable buyers to get their hands on a home for a fraction of its normal cost. You’ll never own the whole place. But, it will still serve as a much better idea than renting someone else’s place.

For The Self-Employed

For some people, money won’t be the issue, and you might have more than you need to get your hands on a good mortgage. But, if you’re self-employed, you have a couple of issues to address, first. Banks will often base the loans they give on an applicant’s current financial standing, including the money you earn. Without a normal job, though, it can be very hard to prove this. Instead, the right options from companies like https://altrua.ca/ won’t put your through this. It will just be a matter of giving them a little bit of your history.

Buying a new home is a very big part of life. For a lot of people, this will mark their transition from childhood to adulthood, and is the start of a new life. Of course, though, you have to do loads of research before delving into an area like mortgages, and you may even want to get some professional help.

Cozy And Bespoke Affordable Home Options For Retirement

retirement options
Going out to a certain part of the world when you’re booking a holiday is the joy of what relaxation is all about. You simply want to shed away all your fears and the troubles that life routinely plants at your feet, and just run away. Whats gathering steam these days are the holiday homes, especially around coastal parts of the world. No more so than in Europe because Greece, Spain and Italy are the kings of the Mediterranean. As such this craze had gone wild and many more people want the chance to live in a luxury home. However even if you’re staying just for a short while, the prices are always going to be up in the higher echelon of the bracket. So what could possibly be the more affordable alternatives to a personal retirement home, that would be perhaps more permanent as well? When you’re retiring, there are in fact quite a few options that can feel as if they are hidden gems.

Coastal cottage

Many coastal communities were born out of the industrial revolution. This was the time where seaports were the main way by which trade could leave and enter the country. As such small, warm and cosy cottages were built as a result, for families that had fathers and husbands that worked down at the docks and ports. A great alternative to a holiday mansion would be a far more affordable but just as enjoyable. The key when you’re retiring is to actually spend money on other things, that are not involved with your home. Such as holidays and cruises, food and travelling. No one really wants to be stuck at home, no matter how welcoming and comfortable it is. This is why a cheap and cheerful cottage by the coast is a brilliant option.

Custom built

The only way for retirees to design a home totally to their liking for a truly bespoke living space, and still have it be affordable is to look into mobile homes. The ability to choose which rooms are going to go where, and completely decide the interior design of your home, even before you get it delivered, can be what many choosy people want. It's also a bungalow so as you get older and the joints start to wear out, rather than putting in an expensive stair lift, the toilets and bedrooms will never be too far out of reach. As the prices for a full home are in the tens of thousands, it's perhaps one of the most affordable options which won’t take a giant chunk out of your savings. On the inside, it's just like a regular home, with proper high-quality building standards adhered to giving the home a rock-steady feel.

Choosing a home that is affordable and still providing enough space to make life in retirement enjoyable, is often a decision so many people leave too late. Living in a big house where perhaps you raised children, can seem too large and hollow as you grow older. Suddenly these two options will start to look refreshing and cosy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Why Aren't You Rich Yet?

money rich
Whether you’re a business owner or simply somebody who is attempting to build personal wealth, you might be wondering why you’re not taking papery baths in tubs full of the green stuff yet. There are a few reasons this could be, which we will discuss in this post. Perhaps your mindset isn’t in the right place, or you’re making some fatal mistake that you don’t realize just yet. 

Read on if you want to know why you aren’t rich yet:

Your Mindset And Attitude Don’t Match Up

If you want to be rich, your attitude and mindset really need to match up with that. Would a rich person walk around talking about how rubbish their financial state is, and how badly they are struggling? No, they wouldn’t. This doesn’t mean you should ignore what’s really going on. It simply means you need to stop wallowing in it. Talking about it and really sinking into that depressing ‘broke’ feeling will only make things worse. 

Change your attitude to that of a ‘can-do’ and you’ll get far more done, helping you to overcome the obstacles in your way to getting rich. There are all kinds of books that back this up, such as Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and Rich Dad Poor Dad.

You’re Wasting Time

Perhaps you’re wasting time in some way. You know what you’re good at, so you should be doing that. If you’re wasting time struggling through your accounts, then hire somebody else to do it. Not only will you be able to spend more time doing what you’re good at, you’ll minimize mistakes first time round. Not to mention, mistakes can be seriously costly. If you don’t want to hire a person, there are even programs that can do these things for you, such as accounts receivable software. When you automate and outsource these processes, you will spend more money initially, but in the long run you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.

You’re Wasting Money 

Perhaps you’re wasting money. If you don’t have a budget, it’s almost certain you’re wasting money. If you're not working on where you can cut costs, you’re wasting money. Take a long hard look at where your money is going and figure out where you can cut back. The key to becoming rich is building wealth. You only build wealth by spending less and being sensible with your cash, not by spending as much as possible on fancy cars and gadgets. You may look rich to others this way, but you’ll be spending a whole lot of money on something that doesn’t actually serve you any more than a regular car!

You’re Not Diversifying 

One thing many wealthy people will tell you, is that you need to diversify. Make cash through different streams and you will eventually build wealth. If you can find ways to make cash while you sleep, that’s even better. What can you invest in? How can you make passive income? Attempt to diversify as much as possible!

Becoming rich takes time, but if you use these tips, you’ll get there!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Is It Finally Time To Dip Your Toe Into The Waters Of Cryptocurrency Trading?

special currency trade
Whether you’re an experienced investor or someone who has a passing interest, you will have heard about cryptocurrencies. The word itself is unfamiliar. Still, the concept of digital and non-centralized currencies like Bitcoin and Etherum is one you’ll understand. At least on a basic level.

Most investors have at least considered Forex trading at one stage or another. However, the cryptocurrency arena is one that you may look at with hesitation. Still, given the amount of hype that surrounds should have grabbed your attention. But the real question is whether you should get involved.

Let’s take a closer look.

A Digital World But Very Real Profits 

The most important question to ask before choosing an investment is always the same: will I make money? In truth, the answer should have a telling impact on your final decision. 

There are no guarantees in this world, but this Bitcoin calc highlights how quickly your assets can grow. Over the course of five years, the digital currency has seen minor investments grow into huge assets. While the market is open to volatility, as was shown in 2013 and 2015, the decentralized element offers more security than a lot of currencies. After all, political issues and outside influencers can often cause major problems for real-world money. 

Bitcoin is the big cryptocurrency. Sadly, many feel that the best opportunities have passed due to the fact it is approaching the 21 million limit. Still, Ripple, Litecoin and alternative solutions are available. 

Some investors have lost money via those digital platforms. Nonetheless, the success ratio is far greater than a lot of other environments, not least for inexperienced investors. As the history of Bitcoin shows, there is a very serious possibility of earning significant profits.

No Limit In Sight

While individual cryptocurrencies have limits in place, new ones will continue to grow. Despite being a relatively new phenomenon, there are now hundreds of options on the market. As more and more enter the market, there is a danger that the supply will eventually overtake the demand. If this occurs, it could hit the whole industry. Hard. 

Whether you believe the concept is in a bubble or not, you must accept the threat. Even if some cryptocurrencies survive, it’s unlikely that many will follow the trajectory that Bitcoin did. You may have read about investors that forget about their cryptocurrencies and returned years later to see huge profits. In the current market, though, a more active standpoint is essential.

This situation regarding new currencies entering the market is only likely to grow until it reaches the inevitable wall. While you haven’t missed the boat just yet, it could soon be ready to depart. 

The Final Word

There is no denying the fact that investing in cryptocurrencies comes with a degree of risk, but so do all investments. Frankly, given the potential riches on offer, it’s impossible to ignore the selling points of this environment.

Further research will be required to find the best solution for your individual needs and circumstances. Get it right, though, and cryptocurrency could be the best investment you’ll ever make.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Money-Management Tips For Rainy Day Emergencies

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

Keep an emergency fund

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

Get insured

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

Find a financial planner

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

Cut living costs

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

Finally

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

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Small Changes For A Huge Financial Shift

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

Put Your Debts In Order

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

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

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

Change Your Savings Account

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

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

Ask For Help

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

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

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

Invest In Something

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

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

8 Facts About Moving Home That Might Just Help You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Save Money In Unexpected Ways

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

Make your own food and snacks

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

Use Supermarket Coupons

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

Write Down What You Spend

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

Utilise Offers and Cashback

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

Pay With Cash

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

Monday, October 2, 2017

Retirement Planning 101: Where Will You Live?

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

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

Downsizing

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

Community Living

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

Staying Put

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

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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

5 Financial Woes You Need Know

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

Interest Rate Hike

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

Pension Pothole

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

Credit Card Black Hole

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

Fraud

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

Redundancy

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