Friday, June 30, 2017

Save Your Finances From A Beating

savings from other sources
There are lots of issues in life that can leave our finances in a pretty poor state. Once your financial situation reaches a certain point, more problems can also become apparent such as debt. As you begin to slip into that red margin, it can become increasing difficult to get things back to a healthy state. So, it’s best to make sure that you protect your finances from the beginning and ensure they never take a beating. To do this, we need to look at a few of the issues that can leave our finances bruised and battered. 

Buying On Credit 

Buying on credit is always going to be dangerous because essentially, you’re spending money that you don’t have. That’s a recipe for disaster, and the odds are that you’re building up quite a large bill before you ever think of paying it off. Of course, not everyone who buys on credit ends up in financial trouble, but it does increase your chances. So, rather than buying on credit, save. If you save, you’ll be able to buy the goods you want without the worry that one day the bill will come back and bite you. Or, you can look for zero interest credit options. These possibilities do exist on the market, and you can borrow a couple thousand, paying it back with zero interest in about a year. When it comes to buying on credit, it’s not the amount you’ve spent, but the interest added on that’s the real killer.

Lengthy Legal Battles

There are lots of reasons why you might end up in court. You might be going through a divorce, or you could be claiming on damages that you have suffered due to an injury that wasn’t your fault. The average time to settle a personal injury case is difficult to pinpoint because it’s determined by a number of different factors. However, it is important that cases like this are handled as quickly as possibly. A lengthy legal battle is one of the easiest ways for your finances to take a hit, even when you are trying to win money. Don’t forget, you’re still going to have to pay your lawyer and the longer the case lasts, the more you’ll have to pay. The best way to deal with this is to either ask your lawyer how long it will take or settle on a fixed fee. That way, hopefully, you won’t have to pay more if the case drags on. 

Bad Investments

It’s easy to always see investments as a chance to grow your finances, but it can mean the opposite. If you get involved in a bad investment, it’s possible that it leaves you with nothing in your bank account. An example of this would be the stock market. You might love the idea of buying stocks and doubling your money overnight, but be careful. If you invest too much and fail to sell at the right time, you could lose a lot. That’s why you should only get involved with these types of investments if you are sure you know what you’re doing.

By handling these problems the right way, you should be able to stop your finances taking a serious hit and stay in the green.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

You Have To Spend Money To Make Money My Friend

money for friends
Whether you’re starting a new business or you’ve been in the game for years, you can often feel like you need to cut costs in any way that you can. In some circumstances, that can be a good idea. When you feel like you’re overspending or you need to increase profits, it would be understandable. But, it’s worth realizing that sometimes in business, you need to spend money in order to make it. What you do with your business finances will definitely depend on your circumstances, but you may find that you benefit from investing in ways to make yourself more money in the future.

You Can Get A Cheaper Cost

Being in business, you’ll know all about the economies of scale, and if you don’t can help you out. But, if you’re a small business or even a sole trader, you can still benefit from spending more money upfront. In order to bring your fixed costs down, try to buy in bulk or take out a longer term contract if your business can handle that. Any way that you can bring down your costs in the long run by spending more upfront it often a good investment to make.

You Can Charge A Higher Price

Another reason why you should consider investing more money upfront will come down to the costs that you can charge for your business or service. If you’re spending more money to get a better standard for your business, you can often charge more. When you’re aiming to deal with the luxury markets, you’re going to want to make sure you spend the necessary money to attract your customers. But, the money you charge for said product or service should see a good return.

You’ll Work Harder For The Rewards

When you spend more money upfront, or you’re putting a lot of investment back into your business, you’re taking a risk. And when you take a risk in business, you know that you’ve got to make it pay off. So, when you spend more, you’ll often find that you’ve got the mental drive and motivation to get the results that you’re looking for. You will be prepared to work harder to make the investment pay off.

You’ll Free Up More Time

Sometimes, you have to be able to spend more money in order to get something more valuable back - your time. If you’re working a million hours a day just to get stuff done, your brain can’t be used to grow your business. So, using something like to cut back on mail, hiring an assistant to take over your admin, or even outsourcing work is completely worthwhile. If it means you can spend your time on more valuable things, it will pay off in the long run.

You Want To Get Things Right

And finally, if you want to make sure that you’re business is running right, operating well and looking strong to customers, you will need to make an investment. When you try to cut corners, it can often show. So, instead, when you want to make sure that everything is done properly, be sure to put your money where it’s needed the most.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On the Road Again: The Best Ways To Fund Your Driving Experience

funds to drive
Nowadays, more and more people are taking to the roads. Whether for practical purposes (like getting to and from work, doing the school run and making trips to the store for groceries), social means (visiting friends and family) or further travel (road trips to discover the wider world). It makes sense. Though public transport has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years and should be used when possible, there are certain freedoms that being able to drive will afford you. For example, traveling easily out of hours, getting to and from isolated locations and traveling long distances on a smaller budget. But getting on the road is a relatively long and expensive process. Here’s a complete guide to getting on the road.

Passing Your Test

The first step towards getting on the road is passing your test. The theory component is the cheapest and (arguably) simplest part of the process. You should be able to pass this one first time, as long as you revise effectively. So learn everything you could possibly need to pass this part of your test without having to fork out for multiple attempts. The more difficult part? Your practical test. You can’t dive straight into this part of the test. You will have to have some sort of lessons first. This might be an intimate experience, with your sufficiently qualified family members or friends teaching you on private land. It could be more professional, with a professional driving instructor. The first is favorable in terms of cash flow: you are likely to spend less money learning from those you love. However, you will likely have to take more lessons on public roads before taking to the test center. A qualified driving instructor will be up to date with the rules of the road and have much more teaching experience than most other people. They will know what you will face at the test center and essential maneuvers that you will be asked to demonstrate. This will, expectedly, be more expensive. Lessons vary in price according to the instructor, location, time and number of lessons booked in advance. However, the average person will spend around $800 for their driving lessons and test. This will vary according to the individual but is the guideline amount that you should look at spending. If possible (and there’s no rush to pass your test), you should consider saving this money yourself. It is the first step of the process towards driving, so to have it paid for in full and out of mind will lessen pressure on you during an already stressful time. Try taking 10% out of each pay packet and saving it in a bank account until you have the right amount to pay in full. Paying in full will often result in you being offered discounts, reducing the overall price.

Investing in Your First Vehicle

Your first vehicle will ensure that you feel all of your hard work and investment was worth every second and penny. Having your own means of transport at hand twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week makes the world your oyster. You’re no longer bound by timetables and off-peak rail fares. But it’s also a big investment. Chances are that besides your home, your vehicle will be one of the most expensive investments that you make during your entire life. Remember that your first vehicle needn’t be your ideal vehicle. There are chances that you’ll have a few bumps and cause a few scratches or dents to the exterior, as you get used to navigating the roads. So we’d recommend reducing your losses by starting out with a second hand or used vehicle. You won’t lose as much value if you do have any minor incidents. It’s much less serious to cause a scrape on a low-value car than a brand new, fresh from the showroom motor.

Subsequent Vehicles

Once you’re used to the road and have more confidence in your driving abilities, you might like to start looking at updating or upgrading your motor. Now may be the time to start looking for a new vehicle. Most of us won’t be able to afford a brand new car outright. Unless you’re extremely financially efficient and have plenty of savings put aside, chances are that you will have to borrow to be able to get the car that you truly want. This is not a negative thing. It’s positive! But you need to know the options available to you. Most people opt for one of two techniques: getting a car on finance or taking out a loan. Finance means that you will choose a vehicle from a dealership and pay them back regular, smaller amounts until you have paid for the motor outright. What’s in it for the dealer? Cars on finance usually have high interest rates, meaning they earn back more than the car is worth. If possible, check out lending information online and see what alternative loans are available to you. Borrowing cash means you can purchase the car outright from a dealership and then pay back your alternative lending source. These will often have lower interest rates, meaning you can pay back the costs in small installments, but save yourself more money as time goes on. This allows you to choose the exact car that you want, without needing to break the bank to get your hands on it.

Essential Extras

The journey doesn’t end once you’ve passed your test and have your vehicle. There are essential extra costs that you’ll need to keep on top of. These should all be considered in your general life budget. Use previously dispensable cash to cover fuel costs, road tax, and insurance. You should also try to keep some extra savings aside for use in times of need to keep you on the road, even if times are hard. We all become recipients of unexpected expenses that take us by surprise. Think of repairs to your vehicle that you don’t want to claim for on your insurance.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Can Big Spending Ever Be Justified When Times Are Tough?

huge expenses
There are times when you just want to spend some money, even if you know that you can’t really afford to. But is it ever alright to do that? Can you justify splashing the cash when you know that there are other things that it would be wiser for you to spend your money on? Well, if you ask me, there are some exception when a justification is possible. Read on to find out more.

Spending Now Often Means Saving Later

There are some purchases that can be very easily justified because they allow you to save money later. If that’s the case, then it certainly makes sense to push ahead and spend the money now. For example, if you invested in homes for sale when house prices are low, you can make money when they rise again. That’s an example of when spending as an investment makes sense.

However, there are also times when spending money can mean you save unnecessarily problems later on. For example, if your mechanic tells you that you need a new part for your car to protects its engine and make it last longer, you should probably spend that money, even if it’s a large sum. It could mean that you don’t have to spend a fortune on replacing the engine or the car later.

Sometimes, You Have to Spend to Advance in Life

There are other times when you have to spend some money to advance your life chances. This is something that shouldn’t be underestimated either. You will need to make sure that you advance your skills if you want to earn more money from your career in the future. That’s why paying to attend a course or learn a new skill could pay off later.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to invest in yourself or your future. Many parents make sure that they cover the costs of their children’s education. This allows them to go forward without a mountain of debt dragging them down. It can make sense to spend money in instances like these because quality of life is worth paying for.

You Might be Willing to Suffer Cutbacks in Other Areas

If you’re able to balance your budgets and make sure that everything adds up at the end of the month, there might not be anything at all wrong with spending a little extra money on something big and costly. You just need to make sure that you spend less on other things in other areas of live if you’re going to do that. Is that something you’re prepared for?

Balancing your money and making sure that you know when to spend money and when to tighten the purse strings again is a learning process. You pick up these skills gradually, but if you still haven’t done so, it’s time to change that. You could free yourself up and make it easier to spend money on the things you want to spend money on if you’re capable of balancing your cash in other ways.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A More Sensible Approach To Business Finances

finance for business
If you want your business to do well in the long run, then taking care of the financial side of things is likely to prove essential. So many businesses these days fail to really appreciate the importance of this, and this lack of understanding can easily lead to some of the more serious ongoing problems which businesses face. If you want to ensure your business does well in the future, you need to watch over the finances and ensure that the approach you take is a strict and sensible one. In this post, we are going to look at some of the things you will need to ensure that that is the case. Let’s have a look and see what you might need to make sure you have in your business.

A Professional In Charge

If you are serious about the business finances being well looked after, then having someone in charge of them is likely to prove essential. Of course, it goes without saying that this person needs to be as professional and dedicated as possible, as this ensures that the finances will be well looked after on the whole. You should also ensure that they are genuinely well educated in all matters financial, and the quality of their qualification should be taken into account when you are trying to fill the role. It can be an accredited online mba in accounting or a university degree - whatever it is, the main thing is that they are genuinely qualified to look after your business’ finances. This will give you plenty of faith, and ensure that your approach to your business finances is as strong as possible.

Rules & Regulations

There are a couple of main types of rules and regulations you will need to take into consideration. For a start, you of course have the laws of the land, the legal procedures which you need to follow. It is highly important that you do not deviate from these, as this is one of the quickest ways to land yourself in big trouble - and that is no good for any business in the world. You might also have your own internal rules and regulations, and this is often a good idea, as it helps to ensure that you keep yourself in check when it comes to your business finances. In some case, there will also be industry-specific rules, and you should be sure to keep a close eye on those as well. Generally, self-auditing is a safe way to ensure that your practices stay above board at all times.

Emergency Protocols

You should do everything you can to prepare your business for the worst - that way, you will be much more likely to save it from the brink, should it get to that point. To be able to do that, you need to have a number of strict emergency protocols in place - and you must ensure that everyone is well aware of what they are, and everyone has their own role in the protocol which they understand.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Flustered about Finances? Here's How You Can Regain Control Today

money worried
In a bit of a pickle with your finances? Do you have money coming out of your account all over the place, know you overspend and get charged a ton of interest? It’s time to make a change. Living in financial chaos is incredibly stressful, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how you can regain control of the situation.

Work Out Your Monthly Spend

You will never be fully in control of your money if you don’t know exactly what’s coming out each month (and when). Whether you’re in debt or not, a good step anyone can take is writing out what money they have coming in and what goes out. That way you know where you can make cutbacks, and what you have leftover which can be spent on other things, such as reducing debt quicker. This will get the balance down more quickly, and you will pay less on interest too.

Set a Budget

Once you know exactly where your money goes each month, you can start budgeting. If you’re currently spending a certain amount on groceries, for example, you could set the budget a little lower and shop smarter. Toiletries and household products could be bought in dollar stores rather than pay grocery store hiked up prices. You could buy reduced meat and vegetables and cook these into a meal for the freezer. That way it keeps fresh, and you get to reduce costs. If you currently buy coffees, lunches, and extras at work through the week, set a strict budget for these things and stick to it. Having a set amount for each area you spend on prevents overspending- and any leftover each week can be added to a savings pot.

Seek Debt Advice

If your debts are causing you significant financial worry, whatever you’re doing right now clearly isn’t working. People can feel ashamed and guilty causing them to bury their head in the sand, but these kinds of problems won’t just go away on their own. Thankfully there are charities and companies out there who can help you get out of debt, you just need to reach out and take the first step. Your interest can be frozen, your payments can be reduced, and the stress of debt can be all but eliminated. Your next step could be a debt management plan, an IVA, bankruptcy or negotiating with creditors, but either way you will feel much more on top of the situation with a clear plan.

Consider Consolidation

If your finances are a little out of control, but you don’t want to go through a debt agency, one option could be to consolidate. If you have a good credit score, this will be relatively easy, although you might struggle otherwise. Take out a loan or credit card with a big enough balance to cover all of your existing debts. Then use this to pay everything else, and very importantly, close the accounts you have paid off (otherwise you may end up spending on them again, and ending up in more debt). By doing this, instead of having multiple accounts open you just have the one repayment to make. Since some companies offer reduced interest for a set period of time, it gives you a chance to pay down as much as possible before the interest kicks in. If you’re currently paying interest on three or more separate cards or loans, this of course will save you money.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tips to Avoid Financial Problems in Business

money business issue
Running a business is obviously fraught with all kinds of risks, but one of the main ones is financial. Therefore, you need to always take steps to make sure that you are in the strongest financial position possible, and if things do happen to go wrong, you need to have a contingency plan in place so you know exactly how you are going to respond. However long you have run a business for, you never know what is just around the corner and there may be circumstances that are out of your control. Here are a few tips to avoid financial problems in business.

Build a Cash Reserve

You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket so you aren’t prepared to mitigate against any financial disasters. Though it is important to keep reinvesting in your business, you also need to build up a cash reserve, so you should try to make a habit of putting away some of your profits on a regular basis. Keep track of what you are spending and what you can afford to put away. You don’t want to find yourself hit with an unexpected bill and have no idea how you are going to pay it.

Watch Out for Debt

Many business owners borrow money, particularly when they are getting started, but you don’t want to let this get out of control. Similarly, you need to watch out for clients who get into your debt as this could potentially harm your business. You may need to consult with a debt collection lawyer if things start to get serious. Remember that debt gets marked against your name and could affect your chances of borrowing any more cash in the future if you should need to.

Minimise Investment and Spending

However you are financing your business, you want to avoid all unnecessary costs and investments. Wherever you can, you should be looking to streamline your business processes and make things more efficient. So, always keep a close eye on what you are spending in every department and look at ways you can save money. It may be through automating certain procedures or getting your services cheaper elsewhere, but it really does pay off to do your research.

Seek Financial Advice

There are plenty of experts out there who can help you out when it comes to the financial situation of your business. Consulting with an expert helps to make sure that you are fully compliant in all your tax affairs, and they can help you out with the common issue of paying too much tax. Even having a consultation and asking a few simple questions can really make all the difference. 

These are just a few of the top ways that you can avoid financial problems in your business and ensure that it continues running smoothly. Ultimately, it is all about keeping on top of things, making sure you have a backup plan and keeping your costs under control.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tips And Tricks To Climb The Property Ladder

property increase
Getting on the property ladder is a tough ask for many young people these days, however, with careful consideration, time, and dedication you can start your climb up the property ladder. However, there are many things you need to consider before you take the necessary steps to own your first property. But these things can also be helpful when it comes to your second, third or even tenth property. 

There is always one valid point to remember when it comes to properties, it will always be one of the most expensive purchases you make in your lifetime. Moving house, whether that is your first starter home, a new build development, or even a luxury mansion is never easy, and it isn’t known as one of the most stressful things to do for nothing. Not only is moving tough, but the level of paperwork and the cost can be astronomical. But, it is a dream for many to live in a property they own so hopefully these tips and trick will help you do it and climb that property ladder faster.

Consider the location

Sometimes the area you are looking for homes in can be pricey. Whereas other more developing areas can be a steal when it comes to the overall price. This is why the location of your property is very important. Searching online for real estate will give you a bigger indication of how far your finances will stretch. If you can, consider relocating to different areas. It could be the ideal time to consider a new place to live or even a different state or country if the opportunity arises.

Save up a deposit and work out what you can afford

One of the biggest minefields when it comes to property is working out what you can afford to spend. Thankfully your bank's mortgage calculator online should be able to give you an idea on the monthly payment and how much deposit would be required upfront. However, it isn't just about affordability for you on a monthly basis, it is also calculated of the amount of income you bring in each month. But if you are unsure, speak to a financial advisor who will be able to tell you what position you need to be in. This is valuable knowledge when it comes to a property search. 

When you have a mortgage overpay when you can

Once you are on the property ladder and paying out for your mortgage payment, it can be tempting to just leave it at that. But if you can, try and make overpayments on your mortgage no matter how small and insignificant you think it might be. This is a great way to become mortgage free faster, or certainly, give you more equity when the time comes to sell and move on to the next property.

Slash your outgoings to make savings in other areas

Finally, if you can try and cut your outgoings down and increase your disposable income. Doing small things like reducing your food bill or switching an energy provider could provide you with much-needed funds to top up your savings or overpay your mortgage. 

I hope these tips help you climb the property ladder.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Don't Let An Accident Ruin Your Finances!

financially ruined
Getting in any kind of accident can be an incredibly upsetting and traumatic experience. Not only can it potentially cause a lot of physical trauma, but the emotional toll that an accident can take on you can be very significant. However, there's one thing that can often make the aftermath of an accident far worse, and it's something that a lot of people neglect to think about until it's too late: money. Sure, if you've been in some kind of accident that has put your life in danger, or even left you injured, money probably isn't the thing that you're going to be the most concerned about. However, that doesn't mean that it's not something important and that you can go without thinking about it. The last thing you want is for an accident to lead you to any kind of serious financial trouble by making you unable to work or having to pay to replace something like your car. With that in mind, here are a few simple things that you can do to prevent that from happening.

Be prepared

The very best thing that you can do in order to avoid any kind of financial difficulty is to be prepared for it. Sure, an accident may well come completely out of nowhere and leave you feeling shocked and confused, but if you've been saving your money for an emergency situation, you can at least rest assured that you're not going to get into any serious financial trouble because of it. That way you can focus on dealing with the physical and emotional ramifications of whatever you went through, rather than constantly worrying about your bank balance.

Seek out legal support

If you've been in some kind of accident, then it's worth finding out if you have any legal grounds for compensation. After all, if something happened and someone else is at fault, there's no reason why you should have to pay for it. Whether you speak to car accident compensation lawyers after a car accident or a workplace attorney because you were injured at work, there are professionals out there who specialise in being able to help you avoid falling into financial difficulty because of someone else actions. After an accident, you might not want to spend your time dealing with the legal process, but it's much better to deal with it right away rather than leaving it until you're in a dangerous financial position.

Start budgeting

Of course, sometimes you're just going to find yourself at something of a loss financially without much that you can really do about it. When this happens, you need to start thinking about managing your money carefully so that you don't end up in trouble. Cut out luxuries that you don't need and try to manage your spending as much as possible. Not only that but see if there is anything that you can do in order to reduce any regular payments like power and water bills. Being careful about how much power you're using will often save you a lot more money than you might think and is a really good habit to get into no matter what.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

5 Steps to Avoid a DUI

legal help for money
A DUI conviction can be an embarrassing and upsetting process and one that we are all well advised to avoid. Here are our top tips, on doing just that, avoiding a DUI arrest and staying safe on the roads. 

Always Eat When you Drink

Eating a large meal alongside alcohol is always a good idea to make sure that your body can absorb the alcohol that you are consuming. Obviously no one condones drinking and driving, but an average adult should be able to enjoy a couple of small drinks, spread out over an evening, when accompanied by food.

Drinking on an empty stomach tends to go straight to your head and this is because you have nothing in your stomach to be absorbing the alcohol. Even if you are just snacking whilst enjoying your drink you are making sure that there is something in your system to stop the alcohol from going straight to your head, and stop it from being more quickly absorbed into your blood.

Keep Car in Good Condition

This is a surprising one, however statistically you are more likely to get pulled over in a car that isn’t looking roadworthy. If you have a tail light out or an expired tag then of course it is expected that you will attract the attention of the police.

However even just paying minimal attention to your vehicle can make it look a little suspect to a police officer, increasing your likelihood of being pulled over, and then potentially breathalysed. Reducing the possibility of you getting pulled over, reduces the possibility of you getting breathalysed which will in turn reduce the chance that you will need to confirm if you need an attorney for your dui. So make sure you are looking after your car so that it doesn’t garner unwanted attention.

Respect Traffic Laws

Something that we should all be doing, all of the time, following the traffic laws, becomes increasingly important for those of us wanting to avoid a breathalyser test after a glass of wine with dinner. On those evenings you will want to follow these traffic laws even more closely than usual. Don’t forget to use your signal light when turning or changing lanes and always stick to the speed limit. 

Keep Paperwork in the Same Place

If you do get pulled over and spend five minutes fumbling around for your license and car registration and insurance then you are going to rouse suspicion and be more likely to participate in a sobriety test. So make sure all your documents are safely tucked away in the same place, all the time.

Stay Focused

More importantly than anything is to stay focused. A glass of wine or a beer after work can sometimes make you feel sleepy which could mean that your reactions and general energy levels are impaired. Therefore make sure that you have a quick coffee to wake you up before jumping into your car, or keep the windows open to freshen you up, or listen to some energising music.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Avoid These Financial Risks to Your Office

money risk at work
When people imagine the setting up of a new business, they imagine a lot of financial risks. But they’re often thinking about the sort of risks that come with the investment of capital into the business. The fact is that you also need to consider the increasing risks that come with the further development of your business. If you’ve advanced your business enough that you can now move from remote work in your home to an office with employees, then you’re going to have a bunch of new financial risks to worry about. Here are the common ones you need to look out for.


One of the most common financial risks for business owners looking to move to a new office? Overspending. It’s easier to do than you think. From buying a bigger office than you really need (either because you think you’ll hire more people than you realistically will, or because you really like the space) to buying more computers and other tech than you’ll actually use, the opportunities for overspending are many. Be realistic about what you need from your office. While you shouldn’t skimp so much that your work becomes affected and your employees become dissatisfied, you do need to be careful.

Theft and damage

A lot of people think about insurance as an unnecessary expense. This is certainly rife in the personal sphere, but it’s more common than you might think in the business world, too. Sure, you might make you get liability insurance to help protect you from lawsuits (more about that in a second), but what about insurance against the theft of or damage to your property? Even if you’ve invested wisely in security measures, a lack of insurance may end up coming back to bite you.

Employee lawsuits

Liability insurance is essential for most business owners; it helps cover you financially if you’re found legally liable for injury, negligence, or malpractice. Still, it’s really much wiser to help ensure such a lawsuit doesn’t actually take place. If you neglect the health and safety of your employees, then something will eventually go wrong - and you’ll have accident and injury lawyers on your back, trying to get compensation for their client - a.k.a. the employee that you wronged! Get liability insurance, but spare absolutely no expense to make sure that your employees are looked out for.

Contract errors

A business has to deal with contracts. There are employee contracts, freelancer contracts, contracts between you and other businesses, contracts between you and the customer… it can be a bit of a nightmare getting your head around it all. But get your head around those contracts you must, because not sticking to your word can result in fines and even lawsuits. (Yes, that sticky word again.) You have to make sure that these contracts (and this includes the terms of service on your website) are written in a way so as to ensure maximum clarity. You don’t want there to be leeway that allows other parties to take financial advantage of you - another risk in this area that few people seem to talk about.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Where There's A Bill, There's A Way! Completing Your Tax Return

tax return done
It’s one of the most stressful things you can do in your life, your tax return, it’s a mountain of paperwork and complicated figures, and once you have done it, you feel better than having conquered Everest without any oxygen, exhausted, great, and slightly out of breath! But what happens when you finish the return, and you discover, much to your horror, that you owe tax to the IRS, and not just that, but it’s tax you can't afford to pay? It can be somewhat stressful, especially if you're concerned about getting a criminal record! However, there are ways around the issue, which mainly consists of staying on the good side of the IRS!

Double Check Your Tax Return

This should be your first port of call because you could have added the same income twice by accident, or you forgot to make a deduction. Because, if you thought that you had qualified for a deduction, you need to be sure that you had answered the questions correctly. And if your tax return details are exactly the same as the previous tax year, it could be an issue with the IRS, and not you! In which case, call them to get some clarity on what the problem might be.

Reducing The Amount Of Penalties And Interest

If you owe a huge amount, penalties and interest can bump up that final cost even more! If you hire the help of a tax attorney who has experience with the IRS, it will make the process much less stressful! At least when you’ve got someone on your side who has years of experience in these issues, the problem can get resolved quickly and with few casualties. You can also aim to reduce your penalties by any of these:

Exceptions to underpayment – so, if you underpaid this year, but you owed less money last tax year, you don’t have to pay any penalty.

Ask them for an abatement - write a letter to the IRS. Make sure to explain your financial situation in depth and make the most what might have caused an issue in the past, such as a mitigating circumstance like a long illness, and specifically ask for “an abatement.” If your case is strong enough, they may waive the penalties. 

Pay the outstanding tax soon as possible- either filing early or being able to pay as much as possible shows that you are keen to get this issue sorted.

Ask To Pay The Balance In Installments

You can set up a payment plan through Filing Form 9465, known as the Installment Agreement Request. Setting up a payment plan will allow you some time, and if you can show you're unable to pay the full amount, the IRS must let you make the payments in three years or under, but this is if you owe $25,000 or less. Follow these ideas, and you will be sure to stay on the right side of the IRS! It can be stressful, but where there’s a bill, there’s a way!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Make Sure Your Vacation Property Includes These Benefits

holiday assets
More and more people are keen to invest in property that also offers the benefit of becoming their vacation home. This makes sense in many ways. The property provides you with accommodation when you’re away from home, and can be furnished entirely to your tastes. As a home from home, everything, including your wardrobe, is already there. This reduces your baggage handling considerably. So how do you choose the right property investment to suit your vacation needs?

Start with a destination choice. It should be somewhere you have been on many occasions before and that you intend to visit at least annually again. List the eateries, attractions, and other places you enjoy spending time while you are there. This could provide you with a rough neighborhood area that you would be willing to buy in. Geographically speaking, there are several other considerations too.

First, think outside of your own preferences. Consider what other visitors to the area enjoy doing. After all, if you’re buying a vacation property, you might be able to generate income by letting it out when it’s not in use. Now you’ve narrowed down the neighborhood, it’s time to consider the kind of property that will suit you best. Highly desirable apartments are easy to let so you might look to read this page for inspiration. Pick something that fits you as well as the kind of tenant you are looking to attract.

Now you need to consider the facilities within the apartment or house itself. If it’s in a beach area, it should cater for large groups or families rather than just couples. City centers are ideal for couple breaks so you might choose something smaller and more intimate. Consider the climate for the area you area buying in. If it’s a hot place in summer, make sure you have air con and a contractor to regularly service it.

As a vacation property, it’s important the accommodation provides those getaway extras we all look for. Is there a pool, or one in the complex? Perhaps there is a community gym in the building that you could provide access to? Outdoor dining at home is also important when you stay in a vacation property. Can you provide a good terrace area with quality dining furniture and loungers? Think about the things you enjoy when you’re away. Could you provide those facilities at your vacation property?

Most contemporary buildings include all the standard hook-ups we expect these days. High speed internet connections and TV reception should be included. Parking is also important for those that bring a vehicle to town. Look for a property with a driveway and garage parking. You should also consider extra security for your property as it may be empty for months at a time. If it’s not already installed, make sure it can be done quickly and easily when you take ownership.

Vacation properties can be good investments to generate a little income each year as well as accommodation. Check the neighborhood is desirable so you can be assured of a rise in value over time too. Happy vacations.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Avoiding Sticky Financial Situations: When To Seek Advice

bad money condition
There comes a time in life when many of us could benefit from expert help. Money is a worry for many people, but often, getting professional help at the right time can prevent sticky situations. If you’re keen to avoid difficulties and keep your finances on track, here are some scenarios when it may pay to seek advice from the experts.

Getting back into the black

If you have debts, no matter how large or small, seeing a financial adviser can be incredibly beneficial. There are some ways of getting out of the debt that are much more effective than others. You may be paying a huge amount of interest on a credit card, for example. Consider the option of shifting that balance to an interest-free card or paying off that debt and using the money you would normally pay out in interest every month to cover other bills. There are ways of restructuring your finances to get more for your money, and you may not be aware of these tricks unless you’re in the trade. If you have significant debts and you’re facing an uncertain future, it’s particularly important to seek help, as there are solutions out there.

Taking legal action

Losing your income can have a serious impact on your future. If you’ve been injured at work or you’ve been in an accident, which wasn’t your fault, it may be possible to claim compensation. If you’ve been forced to take a long period of time off work or even give up your job, sites like can help you find out more about making a claim and finding the best personal injury lawyer. It is possible to take legal action without guidance, but the process is likely to be time-consuming, and if you’re already under a lot of stress, having experts in your corner can be hugely beneficial. You’ll have a better chance of winning your case and hopefully, securing a payout, which can give you security in the future.

Running a business

If you’re self-employed, you’ll soon find that managing your finances is very different to being employed and receiving your salary via a direct payment into your account each month. You’ll need to take control of your books, work out how much tax you need to pay and show evidence of deductible expenses. If you’re new to the world of self-employment, it’s a good idea to get some advice when you’re working out tax calculations and organizing your accounts, and pages like this may prove useful Working with an accountant will eliminate stress and hassle, save you time, and ensure you’re doing everything in the right way. 

Nobody wants to think about a time when they’re faced with debt, losing their job or worrying about the tax inspectors coming knocking at the door. The reality is that these scenarios could affect anyone. In some situations, you’ll find it much more beneficial to seek help than try and battle on independently. Getting expert advice can make life a lot less stressful and improve your chances of reaching a positive outcome.

Friday, June 16, 2017

How To Pay For Massive Medical Bills

reduce medical bills
Medical bills can be a huge burden on your finances. Especially when they’re large, and you need to pay them ASAP. What do you do when you have massive medical bills that need paying? Well, here are some thoughts on the matter you may find helpful:

Use Your Insurance

Seeing as our public healthcare is a bit of a mess right now, it may be beneficial to take out a health insurance policy. Mainly, this is because your insurance provider can help with the costs of your massive medical bills. They may cover you up to a certain amount, which provides you with a nice little safety blanket. It may transpire that your provider covers the total cost of your bill, which completely takes any stress out of your hands. But, even if they only cover a portion, it should at least lighten the load on your personal finances. A massive medical bill is turned into a smaller, more manageable, medical bill thanks to your insurance.

See If You Can Claim Compensation

There are many cases where you might end up in the hospital with a serious injury as the result of an accident. Maybe you got injured at work or ended up in a car accident? The fact is, any personal injury lawyer will tell you that you can claim compensation if you’re injured, and the cause of the injury was someone else’s fault. If this applies to your situation, you need to find a lawyer and start working on a claim. Hopefully, you can gain compensation which will cover the cost of your massive medical bill, leaving you in a much more comfortable position.

Consider A Personal Loan

Personal loans are there to help you in times of need. If you feel as though you don’t have the funds to pay your medical bill in full, you may need a loan to help cover the costs. So, head on down to your bank and speak to someone there about getting a personal loan. They’ll ask all sorts of questions and do a credit check to ensure you’re eligible for a loan. In a situation like this, when you’re getting a loan to pay for medical bills, they will usually approve it quite quickly. Then, you have more freedom to pay the loan back, as the bank lets you pay in installments while the hospital demands the same amount of money all at one time. 

Ask Friends/Family For Help

Nobody likes asking others for help, particularly when the help you need comes in the form of money. However, if you’re struggling to pay your bills and need an extra bit of cash, it might be worth asking those closest to you. Your family may be willing to help you out without needing anything in return. After all, they care for you, and this is a medical bill, so it’s important. 

Any of these ideas could help you pay for your expensive medical bills. You’ve already suffered enough being in the hospital, don’t let your finances suffer as well.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Investing In Property: Should You Stay At Home Or Go Abroad?

invest in land & property
Investing in property is one of the safest ways to save your money and make it work for you. But before you find somewhere to buy, there’s one important question to ask yourself first: do you want to invest in property in the country you live in, or go abroad? It might be an easy one to answer. For example, if you’re unlikely to leave the country, you’ll want to buy property where you live. Yet if property is extortionate in your country, then buying abroad might be the most practical solution - you shouldn’t start living in a thrifty way yourself, in order to buy investment property. 

Here’s a number of things you need to consider before investing in property.

What do you want to do with the property?

If you’re planning on buying somewhere to either sell or rent, then it’s sometimes better to buy in your own country. That way, you know what the market is like, what sort of price you can expect to get, and how the process works. Buying to sell or rent abroad can be tricky, unless you have good guidance and know the country well. If the property is for your children to live, again, you might be better off buying in an area that they’d like to live in. This might be abroad, or it might be near to a college or university that they plan on attending.

However, if you’re just buying a property to enjoy yourself, then you can go where you like. Look at the best places to buy, and where you’ll get the most for your money. You should also consider how easy it would be to sell on, and whether you’d make your money back from it. 

Will you be doing the property up?

If your goal is to find a dilapidated house and turn it around, then choosing property abroad is unlikely to be the best idea. When you’re managing a team of builders and decorators, you want to be as close by as possible. The team at Flipping Houses 101 have some ideas on how to make this a viable project. Likewise, if you buy a property in your country, you’ll have a better idea of how much materials and labour cost. If you go abroad, you’ll be relying on contractors to give you fair estimates and prices.

If you’re planning on doing the work yourself, your options are slightly better. If you’ve got the time and money to stay abroad while working on the property, then that’s fine. But if you’ll be doing it in the evenings and at weekends, then buying somewhere near to home will be best.

What lifestyle do you have at the moment?

If you’re retired or not tied down by a 9-5 office job, then you can go, more or less, where you want. However, if you’ve got family, pets or hobbies that mean you need to stay in the country, then leaving regularly to visit your property abroad might get very hard.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How Downsizing Your Home Could Lead You To A Better Life

family financial issue
Nothing in life is certain, and sometimes you form the opinion that you have bitten off more than you can chew regards to your home. Once upon a time ago, you planned that your house would be the home you raised your kids, and perhaps planned on handing in down to them as an item they would inherit after your passing. But things change because life never stays the same. Since those sentimental thoughts you may have lost your job and keeping up with payments is simply impossible without going into serious financial debt. On the other hand, you might have had a divorce and now have shared custody of the children. The house you own could be too large for just two occupants and the payments required to keep it running outweigh the benefits it brings. Regardless of the reason, you’ll need to plan how you downsize, so you get the maximum out of your property.

A simpler life is better

While living in a house, you probably got accustomed to filling every empty space with artwork, ornaments, lamps, books and other items. Car boot sales and market stalls with quirky gifts might have been seen as a craving or addiction. But when you move into a smaller space, your nature of accumulating things you don’t need, but put a hole in your pocket, will subside for a trimmed down lifestyle. It’s very easy to come to a point where the stuff you own, actually ends up owning you. Modern apartments already come with designer decor, and some of the most widely acclaimed apartment theme styles like these, kill off the need for objects that only act as a filler or hassle. The features of home apartments are akin to any home on the market, with the option of multiple bedrooms and toilets, as well as spacious bath and showrooms. For relaxation, they offer you the chance to dip your toes in the pool or enjoy a barbecue out on the terrace balcony.

Make it child-friendly

Mapping out the logistics of your new home is going to keep you busy, but don’t forget the affect of moving will have on your children. Try and make moving sound like a superhero mission or an adventure only for the brave. Picking up your entire lives and moving will be stressful but kids are very resilient, more so than adults some say. The exciting prospect of meeting a new community and making new friends is something you should instill and encourage in your children to help them adapt and accept their new surroundings. The on-site playground and swimming pool will keep them busy, but nothing replaces their need to be involved with the other children. You could throw a party for guests when you arrive at your apartment and purposefully, plan a kid’s party with hats, candy, toys, and gifts for them to take home with. This would begin the makings of new friendships and help your kids in forming bonds with similarly aged children. 

Less work and more personal time

When you own a home, it’s downright physically strenuous labor to clean it. Many homeowners spend the entire weekend, just tidying up their garden or mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and pressure hosing their driveway. In an apartment, those chores are long gone. The fewer chores you have, the more time you have for yourself and the family. It’s better to spend time exploring the city, going to theme parks, having picnics at the park and taking the dog for a walk than washing windows, skirting boards and mopping the kitchen.

Monday, June 5, 2017

5 Steps For Keeping Your Finances Under Control

control your finances
Financial matters aren’t something that people run to think about. Only a handful of people can look at their bank balance and be satisfied; the rest of us are teetering on the edge between, ‘ok, that’s fine,’ and ‘oh dear, how did this happen?’ The key to having your finances under control is to remove the guesswork, to know how much is coming and going, and to be proactive with any matters that might be troublesome further on down the line.

Live within Your Means

We know, it’s easier said than done, but it really is important that you live within your means. If you have a £20,000 a year job, you can’t live a £30,000 a year lifestyle. It doesn’t that mean that your life has to be boring by any stretch; you just need to think about the purchases you’re making. Is there a cheaper alternative, with which you get the same experience without the heavy price tag? It’s all about letting the impulse part of your brain disappear. You can’t always afford that expensive meal out on the town, no matter how much fun it would be!

Track Your Expenditures

You’ve got bills, bills, bills, and while it’s tempting to bury your head in the sand and just let the money depart from your bank account, it’s not the smartest idea. You need to know exactly how much money you’re spending; without that information, you can’t hope to have a grasp on your finances. You might have higher monthly outgoings than you first realized. If so, time to look at changing or canceling some bills.

Make Sure You Only Get What You’re Entitled To

Everyone likes the idea of extra money turning up in their account, but think about it: how does this happen? It’s rare that you’re going to be given extra payments that you’re not entitled to. It’ll be nice at the time but might cause headaches later on. Take the case of certain veterans in America, who received extra payments, and now they have to use the VA debt management center from to pay it back. It can also happen in matters relating to tax, government benefits, and so on. The financial truth will always catch up with you eventually!

Checking the Credit Report

Yes, we can think of few things you’d rather do less than taking a look at your credit report. But it’s a necessary evil: there might be things on there that shouldn’t be, for example, and you’ll only be able to get them removed if you take a look. In any case, it’ll give you a direction of where you should be focusing your finances moving forward. 

Confront Everything

In the end, the key to having a healthy financial life is for there to be no surprises. If you’re on top of everything, then there’s nothing that can trip you up and cause you financial difficulties. So don’t be afraid: tackle it head on, and you’ll be on the right path.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Stepping Stones To Security: Things To Do Now To Improve Your Financial Future

future budgeting
If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, you may not be thinking as far ahead as the next five or ten years, let alone planning for retirement. There’s probably no need to have rigorous saving plans in place for when you give up work, but it’s always beneficial to look to the future when it comes to your finances. Even if you’re young and carefree, there are lots of things you can do now to improve your financial future.

Learn to budget

You may assume that budgeting is for world leaders and treasurers, but it can actually be incredibly beneficial for everyone. It’s very easy to lose track of what you’ve spent over the course of a week or a month, and this can lead you to think that you’ve got more money than you actually have. Budgeting is a simple means of noting down what you spend. It can help to prevent overspending and enable you to save more. You can use traditional techniques or go for something more modern like a spreadsheet or a budgeting app. Once you’ve done your budget for the month, don’t forget to adjust it as you go, so that it’s always accurate.

Improve your credit rating

Everybody has a credit rating. Your rating, also known as a credit score, is a number, which is used to assess the level of risk you present to a lender. If you have a high score, you’ll be more likely to be able to borrow money, and you may also benefit from lower rates. You can often take advantage of lower interest rates on car loans with good credit, for example. If your score is low, this makes it harder to borrow money. Even if you are offered a loan or a mortgage, the interest rates are likely to be higher. If you don’t know your credit score, you can find it out online. If your rating is low, don’t panic. You can improve it by using your account more frequently, paying off loans and credit cards and making sure you don’t miss any rent or mortgage payments. 

Put money aside

You may think that you don’t need savings at the moment, but life has a habit of throwing us curveballs, and it’s always useful to have a nest-egg. Would you able to manage if you had to take a long time off work or you lost your job out of the blue? Even if you don’t have to break into your emergency fund, you could use the money to buy a house, pay for renovations, car repairs or luxury items like holidays. 

When you’re young, it can seem like the days when you need substantial savings pots are far away, but time flies. Weeks turn into months and before you know it, years have gone by, and you still haven’t put anything in that pension pot or set up that direct debit to your savings account. By all means, have fun, but try and plan ahead too.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Which areas of the UK are best at saving for their retirement?

Pensions are a hot topic in the media at the moment but who is saving the most towards their pension pots each month? With this handy infographic below, from personal pension provider: True Potential, you can find out more. 

personal pension provider

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Living the Thrifty Life: Squeezing Every Penny

money squeeze
Most people try to save money in a few different ways. Some people, however, want to take saving more seriously than others. If you're trying to save as much as possible, whether it's for a specific purpose or just because, there are so many different ways you can make extra savings every day. Even saving small amounts in lots of ways can mean that the money adds up to bigger savings. Some people might see some of the methods you can use to save as being a little too extreme. However, if you're determined to make some great savings, it's worth sacrificing a few things to reach your goals.

Know How Much You're Spending

If you want to live a thriftier lifestyle, you need to be aware of how much you spend. Some people aren't even sure of how much they spend on food each week or their other regular expenses. It's essential to be familiar with what different things cost you, whether it's necessities such as bills or things you buy yourself as a treat. By taking a good look at where your money goes, you can identify the things that are draining your account. You might not realize how much you spend on chocolate or how much difference it makes to turn your thermostat up a little.

Ditch Your Brand Loyalty

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they shop is to go for the same brands again and again. It's easy to get attached to a brand when you try it and have a good experience. You might try another brand or even something off-brand, but you're sure it's not as good. Sometimes, that might be true. A more expensive brand might last longer or taste better. However, there are many times when that's not the case. Try out some different brands to see if you can really see any difference, and maybe even get someone to help you out with a blind test. Sometimes, seeing a particular label or price makes us believe something is better, even when it's not. Another thing to remember is that things don't always need to be the best. Does it matter if a cheaper pack of cookies has fewer chocolate chips?

Make Purchases Go Further

When you do make purchases, you should try to make them go as far as possible. Measuring things out carefully is one way you can do this with products you use more than once. This could work for foods like pasta, rice or cheese, as well as for household products like laundry detergent or toiletries such as shampoo. Some things are easy to measure out using various containers and measuring devices. For example, laundry detergents tend to come with a cup or scoop for measuring. It's also worth considering how much you really need to use. How much pasta does each person really need to eat? What can you use to bulk it out that's cheaper?

Other things might not be so easy to measure. Controlling how much shampoo you use in the shower can be tough. You might have to use some discipline and get used to judging how much you use by eye. Or you can consider putting things in different containers. For example, using a pump bottle could help you limit how much shampoo you use.

Look for the Discounts

Being able to spot a good deal on something is a particular skill that not everyone possesses. Some people have a keen eye for savings and always have one eye looking for the latest discounts. When you want to make savings on your purchases, you can look for a few different types of offer. The first is simply something that has been marked down in the store. It might have a certain amount off, be a 2-for-1 offer, or maybe a multiples offer at a lower price.

You can also look for coupons and discount codes. You used to have to look through newspapers and other publications to find them. But now you can use sites like to find the online. You might also get coupons through direct mail or perhaps as inserts in magazines or leaflets. Or you can pick them up in some stores too. Another type of coupon deal you can find online is the sort of thing you find on sites like Coupon. This gets you activities and products at lower prices.

Recognize That a Special Offer Isn't Always a Saving

It's important to remember that just because something is discounted, or appears to be, it doesn't mean that buying it is a great saving. For one thing, if you're buying something you didn't already intend to buy, it's not a saving. You're spending more than you meant to, even if the product costs less than usual. It's not a saving if you're buying something you don't need.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not everything that says it's discounted was ever genuinely the original price in the first place. You might be able to find it at that price, but it doesn't mean the retailer expects people to pay that amount. Take sites like Groupon where you might find something like a discounted piece of jewelry. See if you can find that exact piece of jewelry elsewhere by doing a reverse image search. How much does it cost on other sites? Take a good look at what it is you're buying and compare it to similar products. Is the original price really representative of its worth? Or is it really a much cheaper product?

Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses

Another great reason to be familiar with your expenses is so that you can cut out things that aren't necessary. You should take a good look at what you spend and think about what you need and what you can get rid of. Some of these costs are pretty easy to cut out. For example, maybe you have a subscription to a snack box company that sends you snacks every week. They might be tasty and convenient, but you can choose and buy your own snacks for a lot less. Maybe you eat out a bit more often than you should, or you're paying for insurance you don't need.

Do Things At Home for Less

When you want to save money, doing things yourself is one of the best ways to do it. It also gives you something to do, which is great if you're trying to avoid spending money. Cooking and making food is one thing that's nearly always cheaper to do at home, especially if you have the resources to buy and make things in bulk. Whether you like a good coffee or a delicious pizza, making your own can give you something that's better quality and cheaper than buying something pre-made or eating out. You can easily find good recipes on and other sites. There are other things you could apply this to, as well. If you're brave enough to try cutting your own hair, it could cost you only a small amount for a decent pair of scissors that will last, instead of having to pay for an expensive salon experience.

Research Every Purchase

You can waste a lot of money by jumping into a purchase without considering it properly and looking at all your options. For example, perhaps you've decided you want to book a family vacation. Booking your travel and accommodation together seems like the best idea, but what if it's cheaper to book them separately? You can make some huge savings if you're willing to go to a bit more effort. Before you buy something, search online or look in other stores in person to see if you can find more affordable options. Find resources where you can get advice on making savings and find out how other people have saved on the same purchases.

Use a Savings Account

If you're saving your money, don't let it just sit in your normal bank account. It's worth using a bank account, so you can make sure your savings are collecting interest as you put them away. A savings account is a financial product, so before you open one, you should make sure you compare what's available to you. Some might have better interest rates or different rules about how you can use them. Some accounts have limits on how much you can withdraw or terms concerning when and how you can withdraw money.

Save Your Change

It might give you flashbacks to your childhood, but putting your change away can be a surprisingly good way to save. Get a piggy bank, or just use any old container, to save your smaller coins and maybe notes too. It can help you avoid spending it on things you don't need, like coffee or candy. Small amounts of cash can quickly add up. You could take the money you save to the bank or use it to treat yourself.

If you make an effort, you can get your money to go further. Lifting the thrifty life is worth it if you're trying to afford something big.