Thursday, April 20, 2017

Know Your Enemy And Fight Debt

fight with debt
Debt is a nightmare that we hope we can all avoid, but the truth is, not many people do. 8 out 10 Americans are in debt and if you find that shocking, you shouldn’t. Debt is actually a built in part of society and the economy. In fact, the economy probably wouldn’t function too well at all without at least a small percentage of the population living in debt. There are too many products being sold that people buy when they can’t afford them, keeping the economy in check. Then there’s the situations where you have no choice but to borrow. If you have bought a home recently, you’ll know that you had to take out a mortgage. That’s a loan under another name and does leave you with high levels of debt. Student loans are another common cause costing upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Of course, we do have to distinguish between typical debt and high levels of debt that can’t be handled. If you’re desperate to avoid a situation where you have to sell your home to escape debt, it’s important to know the causes. If you know the causes, you should be able to avoid them completely. Or, handle them if and when they arrive. So, let’s look at some of the most common causes of debt in America.

Are You Feeling Alright?

You probably won’t be next time you take a look at your medical bills. Medical bills can be incredibly expensive. Typical procedures can cost anywhere up to ten thousand dollars, and you might think that’s manageable enough. You might, if you have the cash in your account, not even bother to use your insurance coverage. But that’s probably just the cost of certain medicine. If you need a surgical procedure or a transplant, it could cost you anywhere above five hundred thousand. That’s not so manageable, is it?

It’s unsurprising then that medical bills are one of the most common causes of debt. It’s not just the cost, it’s the fact that it hits you in one massive bill. And no, those costs aren’t immune to interest. You could very easily have paid a lot more than that by the time you escape your bills.

Thankfully there is help for situations like this. First, you might have been injured due to the actions of someone else. If that’s the case, then you can get help after an injury. You can speak to an accidental injury attorney. They’ll be able to advise you on the right steps to take to get the compensation that you might desperately need.

There are also people who help with expensive medical bills. You can consolidate your debt making sure it’s easier to pay off. They might even argue against the high costs if you are unable to afford them.

Sorry, We’re Going To Have To Let You Go

It’s just one of the many sentences that strike dread in the hearts of employees. However, that sentence has clearly been used a lot because according to statistics over 94 million people are unemployed across America. That’s just above forty percent of the population, and it is staggering.

If you are unemployed, you’ll be under immense financial pressure. You’ll struggle to pay the bills, keep up with mortgage repayments and generally, keep your finances in check. Although, there is a way lessen the blow of unemployment and make it easier to find a new job. While you are employed, you should be working to boost your skills and your experience. This will make you a far more desirable candidate for employees.

As well as this, you should be searching for jobs while you are comfortable working for a company. That way, you’ll already know what’s out there and hopefully, have a few positions in mind if unemployment does rear its ugly head.

Aside from this, you may want to consider setting yourself up as an independent worker as well. As an independent worker, you will be able to open yourself to freelance possibilities. Short term contracts may not be the final solution to your problems, but they could help a great deal.

On Credit

Although debt in some ways benefits the economy, it’s clear that too many people are living past their means. There are numerous possible causes for why this is. Perhaps, the cost of living is simply too high, and people have no choice but to live on credit. This is particularly true for those individuals with disabilities who have more trouble with debt that almost anyone else.

However, there are also those people who can afford an average quality of life and want more. So they borrow, mounting up credit card debts right up until the point where they can’t borrow any more money. The problem with credit cards is that you can use them for a lot longer than you should be able to. And as usual, it’s the interest that’s the real killer. Once the interest starts building on the money you’ve used, it can quickly grow out of control. That’s why if you are using credit cards you should work to pay off any bills as quickly as possible. Don’t let them mount up as this will almost always lead to debt.

If you do need to rely on credit for expensive bills, you should look into interest-free options. This will allow you to borrow money without the threat of interest as long as you pay it back within the time limit.

Bad Loans

Alternatively, you could end up in debt because you have borrowed from the wrong source. Some lending companies are nothing more than debt traps, charging obscene levels of interest and hidden costs. While there is movement in Congress right now to limit the power of these companies they still exist. You can borrow thousands online and find thousands added onto how much you owe in just a few months.

You should always research and read the terms of a loan carefully before you commit to taking money from any lender.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How Can Millennials Make Housing More Affordable?

affordable housing
By far the biggest difference between Generation X (known as the Baby Boomers) and Generation Y (also known as millennials) is housing. Sure, there are other differences that separate them - but the housing situation is top of the list. For example, home ownership among this generation has fallen to a 30-year low and there’s no sign of a recovery anytime soon.

One of the major causes of millennials not buying homes is a stagnation in wages at the same time as rents have increased. When Gen Y has to pay high rental costs, then there’s not enough money left over to save towards a house deposit.

For some of this generation, the idea of not buying a house for much longer than the previous generation will not be an issue. House ownership roots you to one place, which isn’t ideal for a generation where over half of all 35-year-olds are working outside of their home state. Being able to move is crucial to adapting to the millennial job market, so for some, the idea of not being able to own a home is not too troublesome.

For others, however, it’s a real bane. They can be married, settled, perhaps even with children of their own - and yet they can’t afford to buy a house. Services like AirBnB have not helped, either - housing stock is being snapped up for short-term leases as they offer the best return on investment. The market for house buying has never been so competitive, especially in the big cities. San Francisco, for example, draws direct links between AirBnB and their housing shortage.

So what can you do if you’re a millennial, you want to own a home, but you find yourself priced out of the market?

1. Accept You Might Need To Buy A “Fixer Upper”

People who are buying houses for the sake of investment only don’t really want a “fixer upper”, so there’s more of them available. The likes of West Coast Cash Buyers have properties on offer for affordable prices, but they’re going to need a bit of work. So if you’ve got the time and patience for flexing your DIY skills, then this can be a route onto the housing ladder.

2. Live At Home

More and more millennials are making the decision to move back home while they save for a deposit on their home. It can be a difficult step to take - most of us embrace the freedom that comes from living under our own roof - but it can be essential way to save money on rental costs and put the money by for a deposit.

3. Look For Properties Outside Of Cities

The idea of a long commute is not something that any of us find appealing, but it can make a difference when it comes to house prices. Buying in a city is notoriously expensive. If you keep running up against prices you can’t afford, then look towards the suburbs - it might take longer to get to work, but your money will go further when it comes to property.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Last-Ditch Attempts: What You Could Try To Avoid Bankruptcy

skip bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is one of the worst things that can happen to your financial situation. It often results in you losing control of your bank accounts for a few years. The authorities will control where your money goes. They will make sure all your bills get paid, and then use any extra cash to pay your creditors. It’s a real pain, and it could stop you from launching a company in the future. With that in mind, you should try everything possible to stop bankruptcy. The suggestions on this page could help to point you in the right direction. However, at times like this, the best course of action is to leave no stone unturned.

List your home for sale

Nobody wants to sell their family home. However, you could raise lots of cash if you decide to go down that route. It doesn’t solve your financial issues, but it could assist you in avoiding bankruptcy. You just need to find enough money to pay your creditors. With a bit of luck, you would have enough capital left over to rent a house and keep a roof over your heads. It’s a dangerous step in the wrong direction, but it’s better than losing control of your bank accounts. Just contact real estate agents and ask them to perform a valuation. That will let you know how much your property is worth. You can then make an informed decision.

Sell a structured settlement

Lots of court cases end with structured settlements these days. That is because the judge knows you’re entitled to the money. However, he also knows that asking the guilty party to provide a lump sum could cause issues. So, they allow them to pay you in installments over a given period. Thankfully, you can sell that deal for cold hard cash. A Guardian Settlements,LLC structured settlement review states that the process is quick and easy. You won’t get the full value of your settlement because the buyer has to make a profit. Even so, you could get enough to cover your debts and avoid bankruptcy.

Increase your income

While it might sound obvious, increasing your income is an excellent way of getting out of debt. Maybe you could take a second job or start a business? It’s hard to focus on things like that when you’re on the brink of bankruptcy. However, you’ll need to focus if you want to weather the storm. With that in mind, spend a couple of hours making a list of potential solutions. You can then research each of them before reaching your conclusion. It’s not always possible to boost your earnings fast, but it’s something everyone should try.

If there is anything you can do to avoid bankruptcy, you need to start the ball rolling now. There deadlines once the process begins, and you need to beat them. Of course, bankruptcy isn’t the end of the world, and it happens to thousands of people. Even if the worst occurs, you can still navigate the process and start again on the other side. Still, at the end of the day, you don’t need the stress.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Property Investment With A Difference

money in property
It is one of the most popular forms of investment because it is readily accessible. You buy a property, increase its value then sell it on at a profit. It sounds easier than it actually is, yet most people can do it with patience and perseverance. If you are new to the property development game you may want to play it safe, ensuring you can make a return. Yet some of the experienced investors may want to try some new things, different types of investment that can widen their portfolio and lead to bigger returns. These investment are key, and depending on what kind you go for can end up earning you a lot more money. Here are some examples to get you started. You may have already thought of some of these, but look at the other ones and see if you can make it work for added profit. Good luck.

Turn A House Into Apartments

This is tricky, but for those with experience it is possible. The key here is to find a home that is big enough on each floor. So when you are looking at homes for sale make sure you find ones that are fairly large and either detached or semi detached. Now you have the one you need, you can implement the change. You may need planning permission, especially if it is an older building. The work will be costly. You will need to implement another heating system, electrical wiring, another bathroom and kitchen. It will cost a lot of money. However, when it comes to selling you will be selling two properties instead of one, thus maximizing your profit or rental return. It is a big project, yet one that is achievable if worked properly.

Look For Old Pubs And Bars

This is a nifty trick. Usually pubs and bars that have run out of business and sold up sell for a steal. This is because there obviously isn’t a market for that kind of business in the location meaning it sells for cheap giving another business owner an incentive. But who said it has to remain a bar? Change it into a home or a set of apartments. Again, this is widely achievable, but certain pubs have protected status so check this before going through with the purchase. The remodel will be extensive, but again the profit will far outweigh the initial outlay. Just ensure you stick to your cost lines and budget for the better chances of success.

Apartments From Scratch

This is one of the more costly investments to make but if you are looking to buy to let then this is the move you will want to make. You need to buy the land and get planning permission first, but luckily the land won’t be too big because you will essentially be building upwards, not sideways. The issue here is the initial outlay for the building. It will be hugely expensive. Just think about the materials, labour, kitchen materials, bathrooms, etc. However when you are done you will have a large amount of properties to sell or rent out, giving you a huge passive income or immediate burst of profit.

Turning Your Home Into An Investment

home investment
It’s not every day that you buy a new home. Indeed, it often takes months of hunting for the right property to serve the lifestyle your family desires. Once you’ve viewed a property you like, several more months may pass before you finally have the keys in your hand. This, in itself, is an enormous investment of time. But should your choice of property always be about the financial investment too?

Home is where the heart is, but most of us choose our homes by thinking carefully about the financial investment we’re making. The choice we make about the area is often determined by two factors. The first concern is about being safe, especially if we have a young family. The neighborhood should also be ‘up and coming’ to help ensure the value of the home exceeds the price you pay within a short amount of time.

Of course, there are plenty of areas in every state and town that will offer bargains. When you start looking for realty, you might be keen to pick the most desirable, family friendly neighborhoods available. Would you be prepared for a big move away from your workplace to make that kind of investment? Would you leave friends, family, and career opportunities behind to secure a bargain on a house? A big move could make good financial sense if the price is right, offering you monetary benefits that may just be worth it.

The property you are currently in could become an investment opportunity too. Spend some time researching other properties on your street and in your neighborhood. How are they better than yours? How are they worse? Check realtor listings to see the kind of prices properties in your area are commanding. Would yours compare to some of those properties, or is there some work to do first? Certain home improvements like extensions and conversions can put your property in a higher price band.

Desirability is what will get you those viewing appointments. This is based primarily on appearance. Is your decor up to date? A home is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it, but with no viewings, it simply won’t sell. Investing in the esthetic appeal of your property will always be worthwhile. If something needs repairing or tidying, make the time to get it looking its best. It could make a difference of thousands of dollars, and might just speed a sale along.

Property investors know exactly what to look for when they’re ready to add to their portfolio. Properties that have development potential can be highly desirable as a financial investment. However, if you intend to live there and turn the property into your home, you might choose to spend more in renovations. This will eat into your profits if you choose to sell up soon after. The additional moving costs should also be factored in.

It’s true that buying a home for your family to live in goes beyond the financial value of that investment. You’re investing your time, and potentially sacrificing much more than money when you buy it. Perhaps the best outcome of your investment is the lifetime of happy memories that will come of it.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Frugal Approach to Owning a Vehicle

vintage car buying
Many of us long to own a vehicle but dread the prices. We first need to think about a loan or financing options, then it’s on to insurance payments and maybe even road tax. What comes next? Parking fees, maintenance, repairs… the list goes on! However, there is a frugal way to approach owning a vehicle and it consists of many small steps. If you want to own a vehicle but you’re worried about the amount of money you’re paying, then a couple of these tips could perhaps change your mind and help you lower the costs of owning a car.

Look for budget cars

A budget car doesn’t mean something that just costs less. A budget car is something that is readily available as both new and pre-owned, has low repair costs, low insurance fees, low emissions which result in lower road tax, and also great fuel efficiency. All of these features add up together to become a budget car that is not only cheap to run, but also comes with a low price tag. Not every car is born even and there are some vehicles that have excellent fuel efficiency at a low price, and other cars that are even cheaper but don’t offer a good deal on everything else.

Request a loan

Loans are seen as an evil in our lives but they really aren’t that bad. Loans are designed to give us money during an emergency or a period of time when we need a little boost, and if owning a vehicle is a priority then taking out a loan is the preferred way to do it. As long as you can repay it, then you should be fine taking out a loan. Keep in mind that your credit rating will affect your chances, so you can find out how to get a car loan with bad credit before you decide to pick this option. Just remember that you eventually have to pay it back, so don’t take out a loan if you aren’t financially stable.

Lower insurance costs

There are many tricks that will enable you to lower your insurance costs. For starters, if you have a garage then clear it out and use it as a way to store your vehicle instead of keeping it parked outside. Security is a huge concern for insurance companies and the safer your car is, the less likely you are to pay extra for insurance. You can also reduce insurance costs by simply driving less. It sounds counterintuitive to drive less, but keep in mind that you’ve got a higher chance of getting into an accident if you drive for longer periods of time and insurance companies keep that in mind.

Second-hand dealerships

If all you need is a vehicle to carry you from point A to B, then there’s nothing wrong with having a cheap car that you bought from a second-hand dealership. Most pre-owned vehicles are refurbished to a working standard and also come with a lot of additional support. You can get some fantastic prices on cars that are close to being scrapped, and although they may not be the prettiest thing to look at, they definitely work.