Tuesday, November 21, 2017

You Can't Possibly Afford A Video Game Care In Real Life... Or Can You?

money for cars
This year saw the return of the Gran Turismo game series after a long, four year hiatus. Now, if you are anything like us, then your love of cars probably comes from the deep-rooted obsession you had with the first Gran Turismo game, which came out way back when the PlayStation One was fresh on the shelves. Sure, the graphics weren’t great and the unavoidable scratches made certain tracks unplayable, but that is irrelevant; this was a game that was more realistic than looking out of your bedroom.

That’s what makes this franchise so special. It’s the fact there are over a thousand real-life and licensed cars to be enjoyed. It offers the Average Joe and Johanna the chance to test drive the latest from Lamborghini and Bugatti, as well as some of the hybrid supers that have been made by the Mercedes SLS team. Essentially, Gran Turismo is your chance to leap into the cockpit of every dream car that is impossibly out of reach for almost everyone because they cost more than your kidney, lungs and brain re worth on the Black Market.

However, they aren’t all out of reach. That’s right, there is a slew of cars that offer plenty of fun that are - possibly - within the grasp of your budget when you know how to finance them, and they’re the ones we are going to focus on. So, without further ado, head onto Google, buy a slogan t-shirt that reads “I can afford a car that’s in Gran Turismo” and then pull up outside your mates house because these cars are packed full of vroom-vroom.

Subaru WRX

The Mitsubishi Evo or Subaru Impreza was a decision that divided friendships quicker than the Marmite argument but, in reality, there is no competition. The Subaru WRX just casts a spell over all those that catch a glimpse of it. It is a car that stirs up something deep inside of us, and the latest release - the fourth generation - will blow your socks off. It has taken its twenty-year pedigree and showed us what we have always loved about it. The turbocharged engine, that infamous silhouette and the handling that made this car a world rally champion so many times. However, what makes the latest release so special is the modern touches. It’s the highly sophisticated infotainment system, the luxury comforts, breathtakingly stylish cockpit and the state of the art tech. Here is the real kicker, though, there are Subaru finance schemes available to make your dream a reality. This car used to be for those that wanted to leave other cars choking on dust. But now, this car is for those that want to leave other cars in the dust while enjoying the comforts of a car that can be driven every day.

Mazda RX-7

Now this car may have stopped coming off the production line fifteen years ago, but it remains a hero that is still worth getting your hands on. It isn’t just the fact this car was a drifting-superstar in the game, it is the fact it is a crisp, clean and simple car that manages to turn heads no matter where it is driven. That shape is about as iconic as a Christmas tree, with the pop-up lights and smallish wheels only adding to its allure. In terms of which model you should get your hands on, the third generation is by far our favourite; the FD. Twin-turbocharged engine with a twin-rotor powertrain this thing packed a punch, even if it is just a 1.3L. It did 0-62 in five seconds flat and hit highs of 156 mph. That is staggering. Sure there are flaws, like the non-adjustable steering wheel and the fact it lacks a little headroom, but by using these classic car loan tips, you’ll find out this is still a glorious car that will make you smile from ear to ear.

Chrysler 300C

The statement this car made was something special, and it still has that in its arsenal. It is the chance to feel like a Mafia Don as you ride around town. Yes, this statement costs a premium. However, you get plenty of other things for your money too, starting with the performance, running through the luxury and ending at the ambience. Rear-wheel drive automatics have fallen out of favour in recent years, but the 500C is proof of what is possible. The obvious flaw - as anyone who has ever stepped inside or seen one of these up close will attest - is the build quality. Our favourite shape is the 2005 to 2011, but we can’t deny our love for the new models - especially the 2017 edition. This is our favourite to own and buying second hand is our top tip when it comes to affording one. The reason it is our fave is simple: it is still unapologetically bold, but it is also super well-equipped with modern tech, as comfortable as anything else out there and surprisingly quiet too. It is practical and it boasts a V8 option; now that is cool.

Subaru Legacy

Yeah, our first port of call has competition from within its own ranks because the Subaru Legacy is another option that cannot be ignored. It may not have the yeehaw appeal of the WRX, but it certainly a great option for a family that has to live with the muck and yuck of everyday life. What makes the 2017 model so delightful is the added style it has been given. Yes, it has been given a sporty trim both on the outside and in. The result: it deserves a second glance when you are window shopping, maybe even a third glance. What really sets this apart from its competitors, however, is its all-weather driving capabilities. Some of you are probably reading this from a geographical location where the weather is a big factor in life and having a car to meet those demands is crucial. Oh, and it has a much better fuel efficiency rating than its competitors. Now we know that is a wholly un-Gran-Turismo thing to say but, in real life, that is an important factor (probably more important than how well it drifts).

And there we have it, three manufacturers and four cars that are well worth considering in real life the next time you are thinking about an upgrade. Come on, just imagine how happy the kid inside you will be if you get to see one of these sat on your driveway each morning.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The War Against Debt Needn’t Be A Solo Mission. Help Is Available

anti debt actions
Being trapped in serious debt is horrible for anyone. Not only are financial worries the most common form of stress in modern society, but it can also leave you feeling embarrassed. Due to the latter reason, many people decide to face the burden alone. However, we all need a helping hand from time to time, and grabbing the available support can truly make all the difference.

This help can come from a whole host of different sources. The first step, though, is to make yourself aware of those possibilities. So let’s take a look at some of the best support out there.

#1. Friends & Family

Regarding the potential embarrassment, admitting an issue to loved ones can be tough. Still, the issue is far bigger in your mind than it is in real life. Furthermore, a problem shared is a problem halved. Quite simply, it’s good to open up about those troubles.

Friends and relatives may be in a position to offer financial help. If they do borrow money, it’s important that you draw up a contract. This is as usual for you as it is for them as it will prevent any confusion regarding repayment terms and other factors. 

Even if they can’t provide financial support, they can offer emotional care. Meanwhile, they may have tips from past experiences that could prove to be priceless.

#2. Debt Advisors

Facing the prospect of meeting repayments is very scary, not least when APRs are high. Aside from the financial commitments, simply managing those accounts can be a difficult challenge. But you needn’t go it alone.

Whether you were irresponsible or encountered unforeseeable situations doesn't matter. Debt relief services can help lower payments, cut needless interest, and consolidate loans. While it won’t suddenly wave a magic wand, it does make the situation less daunting in an instant.

There are other financial advisors whom may assist with government schemes that you may not have known about. Any support that can be achieved in this manner is a step in the right direction for the immediate and long-term finances.

#3. Employer

When money is leaving your account too fast, you’ll want to find ways of letting it hit your account quicker. While there are ways to earn a little extra money on the side, boosting your situation at work is always best.

In an ideal world, you’ll be in a position to ask for a raise and get it. If this isn’t possible, you could still ask for travel reimbursements or similar relief. Meanwhile, taking on overtime is clearly a great way to gain quick access to funds. This additional money can help pay pending debts.

Employers can often offer wage advances while some may offer loans to be paid back from a percentage of your salary. Companies don’t want their staff to be distracted, so it’s a favor for them as well as you.

#4. Credit Score Advisors

Your financial health isn’t just about getting from the red into the black. For lifelong stability, you’ll also need to consider other influential factors. Credit scores should undoubtedly be near the top of that list. After all, this will impact what interest rates are offered in all future deals.

Credit histories will follow you around, and you can check how yours looks with a free annual report. If the results aren’t good, finding a way to repair the damage can be difficult. There are agencies out there who can point you in the right direction, though. This can be invaluable.

Even with their support, you’ll find that it will take a long time to get a bad score looking good. Still, all progress is another step towards improved financial health. And it will reduce the threat of long-term debts too.

#5. Psychologists

It may seem a little extreme to speak to mental health experts about your money problems. Then again, it can be a great way to reduce stress and gain some clarity. More importantly, you can get help with indirect matters that may be harming your finances.

Those with gambling addictions, for example, are even more vulnerable when facing debt. Similarly, the money spent on cigarettes or shopping may be preventing you from paying debts. Either way, getting help with those problems will inevitably have a huge influence on your finances.

Aside from accelerating the process of getting back to black, it can help you build future savings for long-term stability. If that doesn’t validate your decision to seek support, what will?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Collection Investments To Benefit Your Future Nest Egg

money future
If you have a career or job and a regular income; your monthly expenditures are probably quite routine and planned so that you can pay your bills and mortgage or rent. While keeping on top of your outgoings is crucial for your financial security; there are always other ways to spend your cash which can prove to be a wise investment in the long run. Investments don’t have to be boring either; there is a lot of fun to be had for those with a great eye and a passion for collection items that will increase in value in the future.

If you have money to spare at the end of each month, and can still afford a comfortable lifestyle for you and your family; it might be worth thinking about where next to put your excess income. Investing in, and collecting physical items is a lot less intimidating than larger financial investments, and can become a hobby you have a thorough knowledge of over the years. Buying items piece by piece is also an affordable option for those who don’t have the luxury of a large deposit to pay out but still want to place their money somewhere it can grow. The following are some ideas, inspiration and tips for budding collectors who want to spend wisely for their future nest egg.

Art

Art is subjective; however, there’s no getting away from the fact it can appreciate in value over the years, especially if you have the eye to spot a new artist, early on in their career, who is heading towards success. Getting to know the art scene and having a natural interest in a certain style or genre is the best way to navigate the process and ensure that your money goes towards the right pieces. Art will provide you with interior joy and will be increasing in value in the meantime. Start small, and build up to larger pieces; check out your local auction houses, and do your research beforehand online to discover what pieces are worth so that you’ll never overspend on something as it will only defeat the point of your investment.

Precious Metals

Whether you decide to invest in gold or buy silver; precious metals can provide a reliable place to put your money. Silver coins can be a collectors dream; often affordable, decorative, and certain to increase in value further down the line. Therefore, it’s worth checking out a reputable dealer that will provide gold or silver that are IRA approved. Diversify your retirement portfolio and start saving your money in a different way, with the benefit of a beautiful collection that you and loved ones can enjoy for years to come.

Antiques

Much like art; antiques can be bought at an affordable price, and increase in value over the years. Antiques can be slightly different to art, however, as if you find a gem at a car boot sale and spend very little; you can resell immediately for a great price to another collector. Therefore, it’s about knowing the market, what’s popular at the time, and having some background knowledge of a particular style or era; usually, one that you enjoy and favour having in your home. Knowing where and when to sell will also help your collection grow your investments, and you’ll become a savvy expert in no time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Play By Your Own Rules, Not Anybody Else’s

daily money matters
When it comes to your personal finance, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is making decisions based on other people’s rules, not your own. You can’t go through life trying to follow what everyone is doing. If you assume control of your life, you’ll have a happier and more fulfilling life, and it’ll also make a big difference to your financial situation. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can begin to rethink your approach to the big matters.

Make Your Job Work For You

The world is kinda odd when you stop to think about it. People are being asked to work more extended hours than ever before, usually, in jobs they don’t enjoy, to get money for things they don’t really want to buy. Instead of assuming that you need to have 40+ hours a week, career-track job, why not think about how you really want to spend your time? If you trim your needs down to the essentials, then you may be able to work for only twenty hours a week, which would free up a lot of time for you to pursue your other interests.

New Housing Thinking

Like your job, it’s also worth rethinking about the kind of place you want to live. Everybody is after that big home with five bedrooms, but why? Larger homes are more difficult to manage and much more expensive. We strive to own one because we think we should, not because we really want to. There are other, better, more affordable options available. Take a look at mobile homes for sale, and you’ll see that the prices are much more attractive, and you won’t lose any of the comforts of a regular home, either. It’s about finding the accommodation that works for you and your budget.

Homestead Gardening

You have three necessities in life: shelter, water, and food. The latter is where much of our weekly budget goes. We think that it’s inevitable that we must go to the supermarket and pay other people to give us food. In reality, we can more in control of our food than we think we can. It’s never been easier to grow - and then eat - your own food. Take a look at how to grow vegetables and start eating food you’ve produced yourself!

Goodbye to the Joneses’

It’s important to keep in mind what motivates you. If it’s coming from somewhere inside of you, then that’s worth pursuing. If you’re doing something because you want to match your neighbors, friends, or family, then that’s not worth pursuing. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and stress if you don’t worry about keeping up with other people!

Thinking Outside The Box

Ultimately, living is about doing what you want to do. Get creative, think about what is possible, and then do that. Living any other way will only bring you problems. Once you’ve established your own rules, you’ll be in greater command of your finances and overall happiness.

Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Get Your Entrepreneurial Venture off the Ground

business money
Beginning a new business is a wondrous experience. It’s a jump into the unknown, and a chance for you to forge your own destiny and chart your own course through life.

That being said, anyone can tell you that it’s no easy process, either. Many things can and will go wrong, and seemingly golden ideas will at times have to be abandoned down the line and replaced by new ventures altogether.

There are, however, various things that can be done to ensure that your entrepreneurial venture has the best possible chance of getting off the ground.

Consider your most profitable areas of focus

In any business venture, no matter the industry or area of focus, you will find that there is a literally unlimited number of tasks that you could be spending your time on at any given moment.

There will be thousands of books, articles, webinars and courses available, all promising to give you the secret keys to making it in your industry, and each will include dozens of pieces of often disparate, or even conflicting, advice.

One of the most important skills you’ll need to acquire as an entrepreneur is to discern which are your most profitable areas of focus, and to dedicate your time to those. Is your time best spent researching MT4 and MT5 white label suppliers, or conducting an email campaign to reach out to prospects?

Focusing on a few core strategies is always a better tactic than trying to juggle hundreds at once.

Spend money where it’s needed

As the saying goes, “you have to spend money to make money”. While different entrepreneurial ventures will entail different entry costs, you should be aware that it’s all but inevitable that you’ll need to invest some money into getting off the ground.

The key is to know where that money should be spent. Certain things like web design and professional headshots, while not strictly things you have to pay for, are essential to your professional credibility and are well worth investing in, to have done properly.

Understand what these key areas are where money will need to be spent, and budget accordingly.

Avoid the temptation to spend money on frivolous activities

As the other side of the coin to the previous point, there is always the temptation for new business owners to try and throw money at their problems to make them go away as quickly as possible. Often, this results in wasted and unnecessary spending.

The fact is that a business will require a certain amount of straight-forward hard work and time, and there will always be situations where throwing money at a problem seems tempting, but will ultimately prove fruitless.

If your product is poor, you’ll need to spend time refining it, talking to focus groups, refining it again, and so on. In this case, trying to compensate for your poor sales by investigating massive amounts of money into PPC ad campaign will be utterly pointless and counterproductive.

Practice the skill of determining where a certain problem will take time, work, or a different approach, and consult with trusted people in your professional circle to share their opinions.

Resist the quick-fix temptation of trying to solve complex issues by throwing money at them.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

5 Money Wasters Businesses Need To Avoid

waste of money
Getting a business loan to manage cash and trade flows approved by a bank or lender can be a long and arduous process. There is often a long list of documents that you need to collect, compile and submit along with your application. Receiving an approval is a joyous day for any entrepreneur, regardless of the approved loan amount.

You can make the most out of your hard-earned loan by avoiding the following money wasters.

1. Bad advertising

Regardless of the type of advertising you opt for (i.e., print, TV, radio, online), you need to make sure that your brand’s message reaches your target market. Between traditional marketing methods and online advertising, the latter may be simpler and cheaper to implement, but it is still not free. Simply running an ad requires time, effort and money. 

Do your research on which publishers target your audience and learn how to run an effective online marketing campaign. Experiment with different publishers and designs. Don’t commit to any long-term contracts.

2. Large office spaces

New entrepreneurs (and even the most educated businessmen) fall into the trap of going big when first establishing their businesses. They pay excessive amounts of money to buy a building, rent a space, purchase new furnishings, equipment, signage and other space improvements. Startup companies often have limited budgets.

There is a lot to learn and not a lot of assurances as to how successful your business will turn out. Limit any unnecessary expenses.

Be scrappy. Instead of wasting your capital on a posh place and furniture, find a basic space where you can setup your business, make plans and execute your ideas. You can turn a part of your home into an office. If you do decide to rent an office space, you can save by looking for used furniture or equipment. You can find items from businesses that closed down on sites such as Craigslist. Check out garage sales if you can.

3. Wrong mobile plan

Entrepreneurs who are just starting out with their businesses don’t need an unlimited data plan. According to a study by Consumer Reports, almost half of unlimited data plan subscribers use no more than 300MB of data a month. What you can do instead is to look for the right plan that matches your normal usage. The same goes for calls and SMS messages. Telephone bills can also be reduced by using voice over IP solution.

4. No follow up

Small businesses and startups spend a lot of resources in advertising their brand, products and services to generate leads. However, all that work and effort can be for naught if there is no established follow up procedure.

Do not forget about your leads after the initial contact. At times, leads do not automatically become buyers. Constant contact and communication is needed to keep your brand in their mind and convert potential leads to sales. Devise a plan on how to track each lead. You may need to invest in a customer relationship management system to connect with your leads on a regular basis.

5. Expensive website design

Your business needs a website to tap the online market but you don’t need to spend all of your capital to get one. A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of investing too much on logos and branding when they first establish their businesses.

Start with a template if you have a limited budget. Use WordPress if you need to set up a blog. Focus your attention on finding ways to produce content, market your brand, follow up on leads and monitor your site’s data without making a massive hole in your budget.

You have worked hard on getting the capital needed to put up your business. Whether it is a bank loan, your savings or donations from family and friends, it takes time to raise money. Do not waste it on superficial aspects. Think carefully on where you plan to put your resources so you can make your business grow without the risk of going to the poorhouse while you are at it.