Monday, July 24, 2017

What Are You Owed?

finance way
When you’re trying to balance the budget in the hopes of finding a better financial future for you and your family, there is one crucial area you may overlook. While you’re filling in your income and expenditure, seeing what you have left at the end of the month, and understanding where your money goes - this overlooked area could make a crucial difference.

What are you owed?

You might think on the surface that there’s relatively little that you’re owed. If you receive your wages every month and all seems to be in order, you might think that that’s the end of the story and you don’t need to be concerned.

The truth is, any adult is often owed money from a variety of sources at any one time. As life is busy and few of us have the spare mental energy to keep a logbook of all our outstanding monies, it’s easy - over the years - for these amounts to be forgotten. They often take time and effort we don’t feel we have to track them down. 

However, if you do have money owed to you, then you’re doing your finances no favors by continuing to overlook it. While it might not add up to enough money to solve all of your financial concerns, if you look in the right places, the amounts could add up to a chunk of change that will make a big difference. So where should you be looking?

#1 - Compensation

Compensation comes in many forms. It comes from an online store when they make an error with your order, leaving you waiting for it to be rectified. Then there is the more conventional form of compensation that comes via a car accident lawyer in the aftermath of a crash. Or it could just be a company compensating you for loss of time or not supplying an agreed service, such as your broadband not working as it should, or your phone line having excessive static on it.

It’s not petty to chase down these areas of compensation; they’re all about righting a wrong. If you have suffered through a misfortune that was due to the fault of another person, then you’re well within your rights to ensure you get what you deserve. 

#2 - Outstanding Loans

A friend asking if you can spot them $10 for dinner; your sister asking to borrow $100 which she’ll pay back on her next payday; another friend promising to pay you back the $50 for the concert tickets but never handing over the cash - they all add up. Just there there are three situations that many of us find ourselves in, totaling $160 - or at least 20 hours work if you earn the minimum wage.

Asking people for money back doesn’t need to be awkward. Do it by email, framing the problem as an embarrassed request, stressing that your own finances are really tight and anything they could offer back would be hugely appreciated. You loaned it on the expectation you would see that cash again; don’t be embarrassed about getting what rightfully belongs to you.

#3 - Work Hours

We mentioned your paycheck, but how often do you scrutinize what exactly you have been paid for? It’s worth making sure everything - including any overtime or late nights - has been paid as it should have been. If you find a discrepancy, raise it with the accounting team at your work; they should rectify it ASAP.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What are Open Ended Mutual Funds?

money funding
Mutual funds are all the rage at the moment and even many conservative investors have begun investing in Mutual Funds systematic investment plans. There is however, perpetual confusion overwhat do open-end funds, closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds mean? Open-ended funds are available in most developed countries, though terminology and operating rules vary. U.S. mutual funds, UK unit trusts and OEICs, European SICAVs, and hedge funds are all examples of open-ended funds.

While they are all essentially mutual funds, each of these fund types are structured differently. Open-end mutual fund shares are bought and sold at their net asset value, also known as NAV and this is determined by several factors, one of which is linked to the value of the fund's underlying securities. It is generally calculated at the close of every trading day.

Majority of open-ended funds are actively managed, which means that a portfolio manager decided what to buy & sell, whereas ETFs or index funds are now growing in popularity. Open ended mutual funds offer retail investors an easy and low-cost way to pool their money to purchase a diversified portfolio that reflects a particular investment objective. In contrast, closed-end funds typically have a fixed number of shares that are traded among investors on an exchange.

Similar to stocks, their share prices are determined according to supply and demand. Exchange-traded funds or ETFs also trade like stocks on an exchange. Index funds are open-end funds that attempt to replicate an index, such as the S&P 500, and therefore do not allow the manager to actively choose securities to buy.

You also don't need a large corpus to invest in open ended Mutual Funds. However, this does not meant that open-end funds are always the best option and other fund types are inferior in terms of returns. Many experts are divided on whether or not the structure of a closed-end fund works better than an open ended fund.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Could Your Next Property By Your Cash Cow?

cash cow property
Your property is fundamentally a place for you to rest your head at night and raise a family, but that’s not all it is. In fact, a property can be so much more: it can be a chance to create a place in your image, and then invite other people to come and experience your world for a short period. If you’re looking for a new property, it’s worth thinking about the other benefits it might bring beyond just a place to call home. In this day and age, the investment virtues of property are unparalleled.

Emerging Markets

We’re living in a golden age of travel, and don't let anybody tell you different. With the influx of cheap air travel, more disposable income, and great inter connectivity, more people than ever before are packing their bags and seeing the world. If you buy a property in a place that has a unique selling point for would-be tourists, then you’ll be able to open up a guest house and invite people from across the country and globe into your home. People’s lust for travel has never been as strong; could you tap into the market?

Finding a Spot

Of course, not every home is fit to be a guest house. If it’s located in an area that is not of any interest to travellers, then it’ll be doomed to fail. Pick somewhere that offers something unique to people. These types of places can usually be divided into two areas: city and nature. If you have a house or apartment in a well-visited city, you’ll be in a good position to market your home to guests. The same goes for country life. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a guest house out in the country, then get more info at Ranch Marketing and start turning your dream into a reality. You’ll have people from all over the world coming to visit your beautiful home. 

Blending Passion with Business

Of course, it’s not just a simple matter of buying a property and letting the tourists do the rest. It’ll also be your home, and it’ll take a lot of hard work to make a property profitable, so you’ll need to buy a place that is inherently connected to your passion. If you’re passionate about the outdoors and all the recreational opportunities connected to it, then a ranch like we mentioned above would be suitable. If your passion is eco-friendly, progressive tourism, then finding an off-grid place to call home would be right for you!

Deciding If It’s Right

It’s not just a matter of buying a home, putting in an extra bed, and then waiting for that sweet tourist money to roll in. You’ll have to get the necessary approval from the local authorities, and also put in a lot of investment in to make sure that it’s not just able to host guests, but able to show them a great time. However, if you’re looking to buy a property and make it your world, then it’s a great option to have.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Ugly Truth About Property Investment

time for property investments
Any expensive purchase needs careful consideration of the risks, benefits, and effect it will have on your life. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you may ever make in your life. Regardless of whether you are buying it as your forever home, or as an investment, there are many aspects to consider still. The excitement of the potential investment can often delude many into forgetting some of the risks involved. 

Considering what you can afford now, not what you predict you can afford in 10 years. By ensuring you can pay the mortgage repayments each month is one of the most important aspects when considering what and where to buy. Many people overestimate their budget, or even worse still predict they will get a pay rise, when in fact, they may not. Rather than predicting you will shortly be able to afford that expensive terrace house in the middle of the city, it may be worth looking at some home and land packages that are available. It is always best to speak to a financial advisor first to see whether you're financials will still be secure in the unlikely event of an emergency. You can not predict what may happen in the future, and rather than blowing the whole budget on one deposit, it is best to see what your alternatives may be. 

Another important element to consider is if you are buying with another person, how will it affect you? Many people often share the cost of their home deposit with a loved one or a close friend, not considering any future predicaments they may encounter with that person. If you have ever experienced a breakdown in a relationship or friendship, you will understand how difficult it can get. In the case of sharing the purchase of a home, it is important both parties communicate clearly, and efficiently. It is important that all that possess ownership make executive decisions together regarding the property. If there is a breakdown in communication, it can be difficult for even the smallest of issues such as minor repairs. Unless you are 100% certain this will not happen, try and avoid buying property with another party.

As soon as you tell someone that you are considering purchasing a new home, you will come across many people who will try to offer you advice along the way. Listen to others advice, don’t necessarily take it. Although they may have experience with something such as investment, finances or even real estate, it is important to remember that you know yourself best. Someone trying to convince you to buy in a city you don't particularly like just because they feel the area will go through a property boom can be annoying. It is best to do your research and stick to your instincts. Although property growth is an important aspect of a house investment, it is always important to be happy where you live. 

It is important to find the best area for you that will still offer the best investment opportunities. Always remember to consider your budget and the risk of sharing the cost of a purchase, as well as researching your options.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Major Life Decisions: Know When To Invest And When To Avoid

time for investments
Navigating your way through life is challenging enough, so making major financial decisions will feel daunting. However, if you use your money wisely and make sure that you’re as well-informed as possible when it comes to where to invest it; the rewards can be well worth the initial time and effort. The following are some areas to consider if you’re thinking about what to do with your money, and will help you to decide on where to invest, and more importantly, where you should avoid putting your cash. 

Education

Education is often an extremely effective way to invest in your personal growth, along with your qualifications and career development. Therefore, if you’re sat on the fence when it comes to starting a new course or taking on extra training, and you’re unsure whether to spend your money or not; you need to weigh up the potential results. If you are stuck in a job that doesn’t fulfill you on any level, because you can’t pay your bills and receive no job satisfaction or development; it’s time to start thinking about retraining. Take into account your current experience and qualifications before you pay to begin something. You don’t want to have completed a college course, only to find out that you lack in the other areas needed for a particular job role.

If you’re able to start a course or degree and have researched thoroughly into how it will lead you towards a job and career that you’re happy with; it’ll be worth both your time and investment. You will have to sacrifice things as you study; you may have to downsize in your accommodation and limit your lifestyle so that you can afford to retrain and keep up with your deadlines. You might also have to continue to work to pay your rent and bills alongside regularly visiting a college; so your life will take a major impact, and it won’t be an easy road. However, once you’ve worked out your time management and you’re out the other side and working in a job that fulfills you and pays better than your previous roles, you’ll realize how smart your decision to make a change was and how much you appreciate it.

There are some career paths that allow you to train as you work. Therefore if you’re prepared to get stuck in at the very bottom of the ladder and work your way up, your investment in your new position will pay off in the long run. Bear in mind that there are ways to save the money that you are currently earning, which will give you the freedom to take some time out to study and learn in the near future; it might just be a case of a little patience and a lot of determination to get where you want to be. If you’re willing to invest in education and training, you want a career change and improvement, but you’re a little stuck on where to begin; take a look here: http://www.careershifters.org/expert-advice/how-to-change-career-when-you-have-no-idea-what-youre-doing for some advice and tips.

Property

So, you’ve investing your time and money into getting your career to where you want it, and you’re earning a regular salary or wage; now’s the time to start thinking about building up your property and any long term real estate investments you could make. Property can either break or make you financially; so, to ensure you’ve made the right investment for a comfortable life, you’ll need to do your research and make some smart decisions. Flipping homes can be a lucrative business to invest in; however, you’ll need to know the market like the back of your hand and be able to understand the processes that are involved in a profitable sale.

If you feel that you should be relocating to a new area, or have fallen on difficult financial times; property can be your money savior. You can seek help and advice on how to sell your home for the best price, and there are companies who will buy your property from you, no matter what condition it’s in. Handing over the responsibility of resale to another party could give you the income of cash that you need as soon as possible and will take the time, stress, and strains away from doing it all yourself; making it a valuable investment.

The real estate market waits for no-one, so take the chance to buy and sell when you can; but, you must ensure that you’re making informed choices and aren’t swayed by impulse. Rash decisions and choices when it comes to property will cost you a lot in the long run; however, if you’re smart about it, you’ll have set up te beginning of a comfortable life for you and your family. For more tips and ideas on real estate investment, take a look here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aj-agrawal/5-basic-tips-for-investing-in-real-estate_b_9072532.html and ensure that you’re making all the right moves in the property market.

If you are considering buying your first home; take into account the location and whether the prices are likely to rise before you plan to move on, so that you know you’re money will and assets value will increase. Avoid houses that are in declining areas, or have too much work that needs doing to them, just because they’re a quick and cheap sale; you’ll regret it in the long run and will have wasted your cash. Choose a property that will allow you and your family to grow over the next few years, and that should increase in value steadily with the rest of the market, so that you can sell with ease in the future. Know when to call in the professionals to buy your house, or to renovate for resale, so that you don’t waste any time and more of your money in trying to do it all yourself. 

Transport

You might think that transportation, or more specifically your vehicle of choice, is an unusual thing to put on a list about major life investments. However, a car will lose value the second that you drive it away from the showroom; so it’s worth making extra effort to choose one wisely and ensure that it will last for the years ahead. Unless you have plenty of cash to splash on whatever you like; you need to make a list of all the factors that your mode of transport will impact.

If you commute each day, whether it’s to work or college; work out whether it would be cost-effective to run a car, or you’d be better off investing in a long term pass for public transport. Take into account the convenience factors too; think about whether you’ll be able to park your car for free, or if you’ll have to pay for a parking spot each day, and how that compares to your public transportation option. If the convenience of driving to work each day outweighs any savings you’ll make taking the bus; then a car might be the correct choice for you. However, if running a vehicle will make a major dent in your wallet each month, and you could quarter the expense by getting on the train in the morning; reconsider visiting that car showroom this weekend and keep thinking of the money you're saving by not having one.

If you do decide that a car is a wise investment; consider secondhand and fuel-efficient options that will help you to save your hard-earned money. For some tips and ideas on what to look out for when you’re buying a vehicle, take a look here so you can make a smart choice. Taking good care of your car, and maintaining it properly, will ensure that you’ll be more likely to get a decent price for it when you decide to sell and upgrade your vehicle. Regular garage visits, washing the car inside and out, and protecting it from extreme and harsh weather conditions are a great place to start when looking after your investment.

Experiences

Vacations, traveling, and seeing what the world has to offer, will enrich your life and give you an education that no institution ever could. However, you need to ensure that you have the cash in the bank to set off, and crucially, you’ll need to prepare and plan for when you return. Short trips and vacations are the perfect way to get a taster of places that you want to spend time in, and you’ll be able to return back to work and home life with ease. Take advantage of special deals and offers on traveling across the country and overseas when they pop up, and try to have a contingency in your bank account for when these discounts pop up.

If you feel that you want to spend more time traveling and exploring new environments, then much like when you saved to retrain; you’ll need to regularly put money aside to fund a future trip. You can always work abroad, as long as you’ve sorted out the correct visas and permits; however, it’s always a wise idea to have a buffer put away. You’ll need to have a life when you return, so saving while you’re away is another way to earn some extra income, and will give you time to figure things out when you’re back in the country. As long as you work hard and make smart spending choices; there’s no reason you can’t lead an enjoyable and fruitful life and be financially comfortable too.

Monday, July 3, 2017

How Keeping A Close Eye On Your Finances Can Help Them Flourish

finance to flourish
Personal finance can be a minefield to most people. Having money is great, but it can be so hard to keep track of and even control. So, more often than not, you find yourself not doing anything - which can be the most dangerous option. When you let your finances run themselves and spend freely, you can often be doing your financial future a huge disservice. Not only is it careless, but you could also be losing out on a wealth of financial benefits.

When you can grasp a better control over your finances, they often tend to flourish. Whether you’re struggling to make ends meet or you’re doing okay, but you need better control, being able to keep a close eye on what’s happening with your money is a simple way to improve your situation. There are certain areas that you should aim to channel your time and energy into. When you do this, you may find that you’re able to not only improve your current financial standing, but also boost your money too. To figure out just how this could work for you. Take a look at the different areas to spend your time on and see if your finances can flourish.

Know The Breakdown Of Your Income

First of all, one of the most effective thing you can do during this process is to know what income you have. And that doesn’t mean just how much you get paid as your salary each month. Even if you do just have one set salary, it’s important to know what that’s made up of. Do you know what deductions you have, or even the amount of tax you pay? Without knowing these figures, how are you going to know that they’re right?

Understand Your Expenses

But lining up your income and knowing that your deductions are correct is just one side of things. You should also aim to keep a close eye on your expenses too. You may want to use some budgeting and personal finance apps to help you with this, but either way, knowing exactly where your money goes each month is an important part of both taking control of your finances and keeping them down.

Drill Down Those Bills

Now you know where you’re money is going, you’re going to want to work on bringing those bills down. You may even be surprised by some of the amounts that you’re paying, or even the things that you’re paying for. Cancel what you don’t need, reduce your fixed plan amounts and do what you can to save on those monthly expenses. By watching them like a hawk, they should always stay down.

Know Your Rates

You should also make sure that you know exactly what interest rates you’re paying (and getting) for what. When it comes to your bills and your loans or credit cards, you need to know exactly what interest rates you’re paying. Then, you can try to bring down the cost in any way that you can, or opt for pay for things outright rather than on credit. Plus, when it comes to savings, you want those rates to be as high as possible.

Check Your Entitlement

Sometimes, you may find that you’re entitled to support, credits, or refunds due to your circumstances. But the only way that you’re going to find that out is to ask. Without knowing, you’ll never find out. So, you may want to calculate earned income credit, speak to your local state department, or even look into different schemes that can help you when you’re struggling. But without the research, you’ll never know if you qualify.

Write Everything Down

If you’ve thought about setting yourself a budget, or making savings commitment, in order to make sure they stick, you’re going to want to write them down. Keeping a close eye on your finances means that you have to start being accountable for them. And writing things down helps with that. If you want to stick to your commitments, setting them in stone can help to make it happen.

Own Those Debts

When you’re in debt, you often feel like hiding away and pretending like the amounts piling up just don’t exist. But that never helps. Instead of burying your head, you need to take action. Work to bring them down and get rid of them. Sometimes, speaking to your providers can help. They can let you know of any special rates or promotions they can offer you to make your debts more cost-effective and help to get rid of them quicker.

Top Up Your Income

When you start to look deep into your financial situation, you may realize that you need to bridge a gap between your income and expenditure. But only keeping an eye out can help you to see that. So, now that you know, you may want to look into ways to boost your income. Alongside selling things, you may also want to look at the ways you can earn money online, or even start your own small business on the side.

Boost What You Have

If you’re looking closely, you may start to notice that there is one thing that you can make a bit more money on that seems to cost you the earth - your home. Sometimes, you can profit from property and free up some cash by doing up your home, selling it and moving to someplace new. But that’s not your only option. You may also want to think about renting out a room or some storage space for a bit of extra cash.

Get What you Deserve

Finally, you’re going to want to make sure that you chase after any money that is owed to you or that should rightfully be yours. Over the years, if you have ever been mis sold any financial products, you should look into claiming that money back. But if you don’t look into things, you’ll never know. Whether you want to get a refund on interest, or compensation, be sure to check what you’re entitled too. You could be surprised by the amount you’re owed.