Tuesday, December 26, 2017

3 Ways You Can Save While Repaying Your Debt

payment for debts
Do I save or do I pay off my debts? This is an age old question. Often people think that these options are mutually exclusive and many Americans focus solely on repaying their debt, placing less emphasis on having savings. In fact, Americans are saving less as the years go on, with an average American saving only 3.8 percent of their disposable income in 2017. If you are one of the thousands struggling with debt but wanting to save, check out these simple tips.

1. Make A Game Plan

There are different methods of repaying your debt and one method does not suit all. You can choose the debt snowball method and begin by repaying your smallest debt first. Conversely, you can focus on those debts with the highest interest charges attached to it and get rid of those first. Whatever method you choose, be sure to take the time to take into account your own personal circumstances. Once the decision has been made, it is a great idea to set up a game plan on how much you will save each month and how much you will pay off in debt. Targets are great for this and can be set annually or monthly. The ratio split between savings and debt repayment is up to you and is influenced by your savings targets and debt position. Make use of the resources available online including debt worksheets and organisation calendars. Having a visual of your target and a countdown can be extremely effective.

2. Explore Refinancing

Refinancing or consolidating your debt may sound scary but in reality can save you a lot of money in interest charges. If you’re struggling with various credit cards repayments, consider whether a payoff loan is right for you. AAA Credit Guide researches Payoff.com and the benefits it can have, one of which is that your loan is most likely to come with a lower interest rate than your current credit cards. Most credit cards can carry an interest rate of over 19 percent. With lower interest rates rates and one streamlined payment each month, you can save a good chunk of money every month.

3. Make it Automatic

Make the effort to put aside some money each month or week towards your savings and retirement. One good idea is setting up a direct debit at the end of each month when your paycheck is paid into your account. Do this once you have worked out your bills and set a budget. By automatically having this money transferred into a savings account, you won’t be tempted to spend it and before you know it, it won’t be missed. It can be any standard amount each month, even that spare $10 normally spent on coffees.

Be sure to continue contributing towards your retirement by investing a set percentage of your income towards an investment portfolio or 401 k. This is another form of saving, putting away money for when your career ends and ensuring you have a future stream of income.

With more people carrying debt, the ever arising question is how do they manage it and still achieve their goals such as owning a home outright. If you are looking to bump up your savings and get rid of your debts, budgeting tools available are your best friends. Getting the balance right between repaying debts and savings is important and depends on your own personal situation. Start out slow and build an emergency savings fund, while paying the minimum on your debts due. Do this to protect yourself in the event of income disruption or those unplanned expenses that we all know can pop up. If you still find that your income is lacking, there are many options to earn extra cash available. Small adjustments like this will surely get you on your way to being financially comfortable and debt free in no time.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Riding The Avalanche Wave Of Debt

steps to debt free
You told yourself it was temporary and you were going to figure out a way to repay your loans and avoid what you’ve seen others do. You knew the dangers of getting out too many loans because you may have seen your family and friends become buried under an avalanche of repayments. Unfortunately, perhaps you now realize you bit off more than you can chew. It can happen to anyone as even when you’re conscious of the pitfalls you can still fall in them. It's a surreal feeling that almost plays out in slow motion. Time slows down, and you suddenly come to terms with the fact that you need to change your lifestyle if you are to climb out of this hole. Not to worry however because modern climbing gear in the form of settlement schemes, and advice on cutting back and managing your finances is on hand.

A family tree-like budget

Like a family tree, your expenditures are all connected. Your food bill is connected to your electricity because you put the food in the fridge to keep it edible. Your electric bill is linked to your heating bill if you have a central heating system that’s digitally operated. The heating system uses water that’s heated and circulated around your home, and so on. Sit down are on a laptop make a table of all the expenses that you incur every month. The largest should go in their own separate group as these will be priority needs such as those mentioned. The secondary expenses will be your usual maintenance bills such as maintaining your vehicle like paying for gas and repairs, and other bills such as home repairs or clothes. The third grouping shall be luxuries that don’t really affect your life in a negative way should they be cut. With this budget laid out in front of you, figure out what you need not what you want. Begin to cut back until you see a net positive saving.

Cutting loose

Sometimes it can get too much, and you could end up losing it all if you don’t act responsibly. Even if debt consolidation is off the table, you still have options. It may be termed the nuclear decision, but when you’re being suffocated by the mountain of debt, it's only right you do try to cut loose those you owe. Go to debtsettlement.co and check out the various options you have for debt settlement programs. This style of repayment takes a lot of negotiation with and on the part of the company you decide to go with. They’ll figure out a way to come to a settlement figure that will be the lump sum amount you’ll pay to all your creditors. You will end up paying less than what you owe. However, the terms may be strict, and you may need to pay for processes such as lawyer fees and payment to the settlement company. It's definitely a way out and shortening the length of time you’re under the burden, but you need to be ready to part with the lump sum in order to do so.

Riding the avalanche wave of debt can be tricky, but it can be done. There’s always a way out for those who are prepared to change their lifestyle and ultimately bite the bullet and pay the lenders off quickly.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Preparing For The Worst To Make Things Better

file for bankruptcy
Life can be a difficult thing to balance for most people. From areas, like money, which most people struggle with, to the easier ones, like family time, which a lot of people couldn’t live without, you will have a lot going on when you really think about it. Of course, with so many plates being spun, it’s only a matter of time until one or two of them drop. The results of something like this will rest pretty much squarely on the preparation you have in place for it. To help you out with this, this post will be helping you to plan for the worst, simply to make things better.

This whole process has to start with some assessment, and you will need to work hard to figure out which parts of your life are most at risk. Your money could be absolutely fine, and your career could be booming, but, as a result, you might be neglecting those you love. Eventually, carrying on down this route would see your family torn apart. So, to avoid this, some early gifts could be a good idea, along with some extra time being dedicated to them.

Once you have an idea of what might be wrong in your life, you can start to think about how you’re going to make it right, but you might need some help along the way. If your struggling with finances, for example, your bank might be able to offer some support. When things are more serious, though, getting the help of professionals like bankruptcy lawyers could save you a lot of hassle. People in positions like these tend to work very hard to help their customers and clients.

Of course, unless you spend a lot of money, no one will be able to make the changes your business needs for you. Instead, you will have to listen to what your support network is telling you, and choose to act on it based on what your heart tells you. This could be a very long process, but it will be worth it once you’re able to handle problems without breaking a step, and are feeling confident in life.

Along with the help a professional can give you, there are loads of ways to get free advice if you’re willing to do some hunting. Blogs are quickly becoming more and more popular, and are a great way to learn about the different challenges you could face in life. Along with blogs, forums can also be great, as they give you the chance to talk more directly with those around you.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into life’s little mishaps. Of course, you can never stop something going wrong in life, as these things will simply happen. But, with the right time, effort, and dedication, you should find it much easier to start working on this part of life. You’re going to have plenty of research to do along the way.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

5 Steps In The House-Buying Process You Need To Know

home buying process
Getting a property purchase right is a pretty important thing to do. It’s not like buying a pair of shoes that you can take back a week or so later when you realise the colour isn’t right or the fit isn’t working for you. A house is a lot more important than a pair of shoes, so it’s important that you get the process right.

Making the process straightforward is the best thing that you can do for your own peace of mind and stress levels, so check out the five steps that you can follow to make buying your first home simple and as uncomplicated as possible.

Sort Your Budget

Before you buy a house and before you start looking at houses that you could purchase, you need to set yourself a budget. Speak to a mortgage broker and speak to the bank about your affordability and remember that as a first-time buyer, you need to have a deposit of at least 5%, plus fees and taxes. Lenders often will offer you up to four times your current income if you are buying on your own. Not only do you need to budget for the house you are buying, but you need to ensure you can make the monthly repayments on the mortgage you get approved for. This is on top of keeping money aside for repairs and insurance.

Make An Offer

The next step in the house-buying process once you’ve found a home you love is to make an offer. By this point, you will have fallen in love with a home and made sure that you can afford the repayments. Always offer just below asking price, but not enough to make it look like you are taking advantage of the fact the house is on sale. Be aware of the condition of the property before you make that offer and always get a house inspected properly.

Conveyancing Next!

If your offer gets accepted, it’s time to instruct a solicitor to work on your behalf. They will need to carry out all the legal stuff for you to get the property into your name. You have to arrange surveys, get a valuation of the property with your mortgage lender and if possible, get an independent valuation as well. It may seem like a lot of cash to spend, but it will be worth it!

Contract Exchange

Once all the searches that are necessary have been completed, your solicitor will contact you to let you know. You will have been called with a firm offer from the lender, and you should be ready to exchange contracts at this point. This is where you will start looking at buildings and contents insurance, especially if this is a condition of your mortgage.

Completion

You’ve made it! You have crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on the biggest purchase you will ever make. Once you know your completion date, you can start booking movers to get you sorted for the big day!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Make Your IRA Work For You

IRA investments
When you are looking to make a real dent in your financial future, it makes sense to open up an IRA. The IRA is one of the most flexible and potentially lucrative accounts to park your money in, assuming you have the right access to learning about investing and all of the IRA benefits. If you have a 401K at your job, there can be advantages to that, but it can be frustrating to leave the investing and managing of the account to someone else. The Roth IRA can be another alternative, but that means you are pay taxes now and taking a chance that the rules will stay in place for when you retire.

The real bonus of an IRA account is that you can take control of your financial future. The control is with you, so the responsibility is with you. It helps to learn as much as you can about investing basics, so that you can make your IRA work to its full potential. An IRA that just sits there and is passively invested might not be your best option. You could be leaving money on the table.

Take some investing classes online and read as many investing books as you can. Find anything you can from Warren Buffett and his company, Berkshire Hathaway. He has built the most successful investment firm in the world, with patience and practical rules for investing. Read what you can by Jack Bogle, who invented the index fund and created Vanguard, perhaps the most widely used investment service in the world.

When you first learn how to trade a stock, it can be very exciting. You are researching a company, finding out about its business fundamentals and bottom line, then putting your money where your research is.

When you fund an IRA account, you can deduct those contributions from your taxes. You will have to pay when you withdraw as a retiree, but you can benefit if you expect your overall tax rate to be lower when you are in your golden years, than right now. The IRA is a great tool for high-income earners in the early phase of their career.

Just as important as learning how to invest your IRA funds, is the saving and setting aside of those funds in the first place. Learning how to budget your money now is essential to getting control of your finances. Learn how to cook for yourself, so you do not waste money at restaurants. Take a moment to look at your weekly and monthly spending and try to cut where you can. Do you really need those $5 lattes? If not, cut that expenditure out of your budget and put that money into an IRA. It might not sound like much, but it can really add up over time.

The key to being a good investor and being in great shape financially is discipline and direction. You need to set goals and figure out what you need to toin order to meet those lofty goals. That is what is required if you want to be safe and solvent in your later years. Starting an IRA now is an important part of that process.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Vital Steps For Protecting Your Family’s Future

money to insure family
When you become a parent, everything changes in a split second. Your entire world is turned upside down, and the way that you see every aspect of life is forever changed. Your child and your family become your priority, and because of this, you are willing to do everything in your power to protect them. The world is not always a nice place, and sometimes bad things happen to good people, which is why it is so vital that you take every step available to protect yours’ and your family’s future.

Bearing that in mind, below is a guide to the steps that you should take to secure your family’s future, and ensure that whatever happens, your family is left in a good place.

Take out adequate insurance

If you don’t already have adequate insurance in place, then now is the time to invest in it. The fact is that you cannot always stop bad things from happening to you and your family, but what you can do is take out adequate insurance to ensure that whatever happens, you have the financial support that you need. Whether that is taking out life insurance via TrustedChoice.com, or it is taking out health or personal injury insurance, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you get all of the adequate protection that you need. That way, no matter what happens, you can ensure that you and your family are covered, and have all the financial support needed.

Avoid taking out loans

One of the worst things that you can do for your family is take out a loan, or multiple loans, for that matter. The fact is that getting into debt is never a good idea, as it will mean that you owe people money, which is not something that you want to have hanging over you. Of course, if it is a loan for a mortgage or it is a reputable credit card, that is different. When we say don’t take out a loan, we are referring to the bad types of loans, the high-interest loans, such as payday loans, for instance.

Put funds aside for a rainy day

If you are in a position to put money aside for a rainy day, it is a good idea to do so. By opening a savings account and paying a set amount of money into it each month - around 10 percent of your paycheck is a good amount to deposit - you can ensure that whatever life may throw at you, it doesn't matter. Be it dismissal from work, an illness leaving you unable to work, or anything else, for that matter, you have some funds to fall back on. A savings account is always a great buffer to have, and can make yours’ and your family’s life much easier in difficult times.

There you have it, a guide to everything that you need to know about the vital steps that you should take to help protect yours’ and your family’s future. The fact is that no one knows what life will throw at them, but if you are smart about it, you can prepare for almost anything.

Friday, December 15, 2017

8 Ways To Invest In Property

money property
Thinking of investing in property? Real estate is still a great place to put your money and see a return. There are multiple ways to make profit out of property, all with different risks and costs. Here are the various ways that you could get into property investment.

Become a landlord

The most common form of property investment is to become a landlord. This involves renting a property out to tenants – the rent covers the mortgage and should be enough to then make a profit on top. A buy-to-let property can be a stable investment – providing you choose the right property and attract the right tenants. Your property needs to be in good condition in order to limit the amount of maintenance required. Your tenants meanwhile should be carefully screened in order to ensure that they pay their rent on time. It’s possible to take away some of the stress by hiring a property manager, although this will cost you extra.

Own a holiday rental

Another form of investment could be to buy a property and rent it out to holidaymakers. This requires a little bit more work than a regular buy-to-let property as you need to constantly be marketing your property to attract new guests. The property needs to be in a location that attracts visitors all year round whether these are people on vacation or people travelling for business. Holiday rentals can be more profitable than buy-to-let properties when planned out carefully. It’s possible to manage a property abroad by hiring someone to greet guests, clean the property and attend to repairs. You also have the freedom to use the holiday home for your own personal use whenever you like.

Rent a property out for events

It’s possible to rent a property out for events such as weddings, parties, business functions and charity fairs. This is common with converted barns. Turning such a space into an investment requires constant marketing and maintenance. The potential for profit is huge if you can keep it booked up regularly.

Flip a property by renovating it

Flipping is a more risky strategy best reserved for more experienced property investors. It involves buying a property and then selling it afterwards for a higher price. The easiest way to up the value of a property is to renovate it. This does require putting a bit more money into the property in order to improve it – skilled flippers know how to save money on renovations that will earn the biggest rise in value. For example, a new bathroom or kitchen can hugely up the value of a property. Adding extra bedrooms by building extensions or converting a pre-existing space (such as a garage or loft) can also increase the value of a property. Those that are good at DIY may be able to handle some of the renovations themselves, whilst others may prefer to pay extra and hire skilled handymen. Repossessed properties marketed ‘as is’ are popular amongst flippers – they’re cheap to buy due to being in bad condition, but with a few tweaks can be transformed into an amazing property.

Flip a property through natural appreciation

The other method of flipping a property is even more of a gamble and relies on buying a property in an upcoming area that’s naturally rising in value. Apartments for sale in city centres can sometimes be great for this kind of investment. Some properties could take months or years to significantly rise in value – moving into these properties might be worthwhile. Properties can depreciate in value if your happen to buy in the wrong area, so a lot of research into the area is required.

Build your own home, then sell it

A self-build is usually something people do when designing their own dream home. However, it’s possible to build a property in order to then sell it for a profit. This is a lengthy process – the average house takes nine months to build. Building a house can work out cheaper than buying. The cost of hiring designers and labourers and the cost of buying necessary materials can come to less than 100k if you’re smart about it. You don’t have to pay all this upfront and can take out a self-build mortgage. The costly part is buying the necessary land to build your property on. Some people have managed to build houses for 250k (including the cost of land) and then sell them for 350k making a 100k profit. It takes a lot more patience than other investments and can be more of a gamble, but could be one of the more profitable methods.

Crowdfund a property

Many forms of property investment require you to already have a large sum of money to lay down a deposit. However, there are methods out there for those that don’t have a lot of money to invest with. One such strategy is to get involved in property crowdfunding. This involves teaming up with lots of other investors to buy a property, splitting the purchase cost. From here, the property can be rented out or flipped. The profits are shared out between all the investors. You won’t make a huge return with this type of investment, but it’s more suitable for those on a tighter budget.

Invest in property shares

Property rental companies are huge corporations that have the money to buy up lots of properties and rent them out to tenants. With property prices continuously rising, it’s thought that property rental companies will play a big part in buying buy-to-let property in the future. Some of these companies are willing to let investors buy shares. This allows you to get a slice in the profits of this company. This form of investment is probably the least hands-on along with crowdfunding – you are investing money into the company and not the properties themselves. It’s worth ensuring that the company is stable and able to maintain a profit in the future.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

How can I manage my money better?

money manage
With the cost of living rising but not all wages rising accordingly, it can be a tricky time. It can feel like there is a constant need to be spending money, but in reality, there isn’t much to spend. So if you’re struggling from paycheck to paycheck, then something's got to give. Here are some ways that you can better manage your money, so that your money doesn’t manage you.

Get Help

If you are getting yourself into major financial trouble, then first of all, you need to seek help as soon as you can. It is going to be easier to deal with certain things before they get any worse. You could look at a site like debtconsolidation.co as a way to consolidate any debt that you have, if that is the issue (which in many financial cases it will be). But it is also worth speaking to the lenders that you owe money to, to work out a different plan. Some lenders will have a scheme where you can have an interest-free break for a couple of months, so that you can get back on top of things. The most important thing is that you face up to the problems and don’t just leave bank statements or bills unopened. It can be hard, but take charge.

Set a Budget

This may seem like a simple option, but think about your finances and if you have sat down and budgeted. Most people that get into financial difficulty will not have set themselves a budget; they have no idea what they are spending or how much they should be spending. When you take charge and budget, you know where you are at. If you’re looking to save, then make sure that you budget to spend less than you earn. Put your savings in as part of your budget too.

Get Everything You’re Entitled To

If you work, pay your taxes, and still struggle, then it is completely worthwhile to check that you are getting everything that you are entitled to you. You may not qualify for full welfare, but there may be some child maintenance grants that you could get if you’re a parent, or working tax credits, if you’re working. Though these kinds of thing aren’t there to rely on all of the time, they can be a great help when you need them. So check what you are entitled to in your situation on a site like welfareinfo.org.

Look For Ways To Increase Income

If you need a little extra cash, then looking for a way to get that can help to ease your financial burden. It could be another job or something that you can do from home like writing or looking for similar freelance work. If it can ease the financial burden, then it can be completely worth doing. And who knows, maybe you could make it into something that you do full time. Even if you’re just looking to save more, then this could be worth doing and the second income could be what you put into savings.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What To Look For In A Trading Platform

trade updates
As investors, we understand the necessities of being both quick and thorough in our money choices. The best weapons you can use to continually reap the profits involve your own mental and calculative clarity. Working on yourself is important to adapt to the pressure and incredibly small windows of opportunity you are allowed to invest in either business as a whole, shares or stocks.

However. The modern world also relies on technology, meaning that staying competent and at the cutting edge of investing needs a solid piece of software to do so. The days of pink sheets and other such manual investments are still around, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice.

Using a solid trading platform such as Investormint should be filled with many virtues and utilities. We’re here to help you train your eye when choosing a platform such as this. We hope it helps.

Reliability

Your service should be reliable. You should never have to encounter downtime when a split second decision is something that matters regularly. If the platform goes down, you should be able to contact a regularly available support network. The support team should hopefully have their own twitter to respond to downtime as it occurs. It should also work well on a variety of mobile phones and other devices. Ideally, you should use it on desktop, but wider compatibility is always nice, and help you react to opportunities no matter where you are.

Speed

The speed of the UI and the general ease of navigability means plenty when you’re trying to capitalize on something only you have assessed as positive for your bank balance. It should also be quick to launch on your computer, and quick to update it’s live feed often. The program should be lightweight enough to launch on multiple devices without much loss in quality.

Trust us; you’ll notice a small lag in your trading platform more than you’ll notice a million dips in Microsoft Word, because the program has a direct live necessity, and this can affect your wallet. You’ll know when your trading platform is excellent to use. How you ask? You won’t notice any difficulty, and the the thought of the programs speed will be out of your mind almost as soon as you considered it.

Utility

You should have access to a wide variety of investment options. From the fortune 500 stocks to stocks for smaller businesses and even startup operations. Ideally, you should have a consistent profile for your trading habits. Some trading platforms also offer a trial or demo account for you to peruse and get acclimated with the software before you make your full investment in its workings.

Commission

Great services might require a decent commission. This can be worth it, especially for the best platforms available. But you shouldn’t desire this figure to be high. This will impact your long-term trading more than you think. 20% of all trades might add up to thousands of dollars over the period of the year. This is hard to give advice for, as different services will be more worth it to you. Use your best judgement, but don’t be afraid to pay a little more for the services you like.

We wish you the best of luck in all of your efforts in the trading market.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fighting Finance Fiascos When They Strike

short of money
Everybody is likely to be stricken by some sort of financial fiasco at some point in their life. So, if you do then don’t be alarmed, it isn’t just you that has been stricken with such a plight. And, don't be alarmed because you can beat your financial demons, too, but only if you are willing to fight them. For advice on when it comes to fighting them, make sure to read on.

Work on your credit score

When you have a good credit score, anything is possible in regards to your finances. But, unfortunately, when you have a bad one a lot of trouble can be caused for them, too. So, if you've got a bad credit score or if you feel yours needs just a bit more work done to it to make it better, then make sure you do do this work!

To better your credit score, make sure to stop relying on credit cards as much as you do in your spending life. You should do this because when you rely on your credit card too much you will feel as if you have money on tap, and that’s a very dangerous thing to feel and will cause your credit score to go in the wrong direction. So, make sure you are not lulled into the sense of false security that credit cards induce in regards to general spending capabilities and your credit score will benefit greatly.

Something else that you should do in order to work on your credit score is to know exactly what is happening in regards to it at all conceivable times. This means constantly checking up on it to make sure nothing untoward is happening in regards to it, and ensuring that it is in a healthy position before you make any changes to it that may impact it negatively.

Do not be afraid to ask for help

Some of the worst financial fiascos our world has ever seen could have been avoided if those that were suffering with them could have just ask for help in regards to them. So, make sure you ask for financial assistance if you are in a spot of bother with your finances, no matter what your pride is telling you to do!

Now, this means doing one of two things. One of the things that you could do is ask those around you in your life, such as your family members or friends, for financial assistance if you know they will be able to provide it. This is a good course of action to take if you do not want to have a strict deadline in place in which to pay back the money you borrowed, and you do not want added interest payments added to it either. The other thing that you could do is turn to a professional borrowing or lending company that is reputable, such as personalloan.co. This is a good course of action to take if you feel you will need more money than could be offered by the people you know in order to fight your financial fiasco.

So, just remember that financial fiascos can be fought, and just remember to take heed of the advice above when it comes to fighting them.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Solid Grounding! Picking Home Insurance Policies

insure your home
There are times in life when you have to start being more sensible with your purchases. As we get older and accrue more possessions, there are some things we need to have in place to protect them, such as the legally binding ones like car insurance, or life insurance, but when you finally step onto the property ladder, picking the right homeowners policy can be an overwhelming task. But picking the right policy to protect your biggest asset is all about understanding some of the basics, as well as a little bit of research…

The Figures

The first thing you need to do is to find out the replacement cost of your home. The right policy for you would cover the cost of rebuilding your home if something devastating was to happen to it, like a fire. But insurance companies have ways and means of calculating replacement costs. So, to make the transition easier, you need to find out the replacement value of your home fixings, as well as appliances and personal property. Insurance companies go on a like-for-like basis when replacing items, so if you have a special home item or unique flooring that is hard to replicate, these will be taken into account, but some items may be limited in coverage. This is why you need to protect your valuables that are difficult to replace, but also look at the companies that provide appropriate policies.

Choosing The Provider

It's always worth looking at insurance companies that have a strong foothold, rather than one that provides a cheap policy. It's always worth looking at the financial strength rating of specific companies, and that way it helps you to eliminate the weaker companies. And the way they are rated is on a grading system, for example, if you look at the Youi rating, it has a financial strength rating of B ++, which is ranked as “good”. But if cost is an overriding factor, you will benefit from getting quotes from different insurance companies, and see which is best with regards to the replacement costs. In addition to this, there are other aspects to look at, such as the replacement of your personal property, liability costs, as well as if they are able to support you adequately in the event of a major disaster, such as housing you somewhere else.

Other Factors

In picking a suitable insurance policy, it's not just about the big details, but the little ones matter also. For example, the customer service, are they rated well in terms of how they deal with the public? You also should have a look at the length of time it takes for your chosen company to deal with the claim. If something terrible was to happen, and you find yourself living out of a suitcase, you want the claim to be resolved as soon as possible. And if you end up calling an insurance company out of hours, is there anything they can do to help you in the interim? If you have an insurance company that works between the hours of 9 and 5, and a disaster strikes at 2 in the morning, are they going to be any help to you? The line may divert to an out of hours service, but these out of hours providers can hire contractors, but at a cost.

Picking the right insurance policy doesn't have to be a task, but as long as you know your basics, you can set yourself up for a more comprehensive coverage.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

How The Credit Crunch Affected Us

crunching finance
Back in 2007, no business on the planet fared well up against the recession; more commonly known as the Credit Crunch. 10 years on, there’s a lot we’ve learned from the experience of living through it and after it. A credit crunch is a tricky time for anyone, but they mostly impact business owners and those whose personal finances rely on it, especially when you’re playing on the small degree. Before a credit crunch tries to roll around in the Western world once again, and they can vary due to the amount of variable inflation on the market, here’s what the previous one taught us to look out for.

How it Changed Credit Cards

Credit scores tend to vary a lot when the credit just isn’t there for people to borrow! That means credit scoring has changed a lot since the previous recession, and the world got a little more complicated because of it. Score generators now take into account the behaviour of consumers and the economic climate at the same time, and how your habits fare against it.

If you run a business, a credit crunch targets that first. However, that means your personal living costs are going to skyrocket at the same time; it’s all a cycle of cause and effect. First of all, if you have two separate credit card accounts for these two purposes, keep an eye out for a little credit card consolidation to tide either one of them over in times of trouble. People tend to panic and bulk buy when the future is uncertain in this way, so it’s easier than you’d think to make the money back.

How it Changed Family Dynamics

No one was unaffected by the lack of money that was around during the credit crunch, and most of all it meant that families tended to stick together. Staying afloat was all about money, so divorce rates dropped when it came to preserving a family’s health. Whilst the real estate market dropped as a result of this, it meant people could pool their resources.

Stamp duty was astronomical at this point, but there was a great boom on the renovation front. People got better and better at the DIY side of things and many houses had extensions in their lofts and back gardens. Everyone was looking for a little more room, and standing on your own two feet was often impossible.

Community was strong during this time, and sticking together happened outside of families as well. People often tended to use each other’s cars and take more public transport; this was a lot more affordable than buying own or new cars. Less and less mileage affected the roads and thus the fuel consumption rate dropped. That’s a win for the environment!

The credit crunch had a lot of cons, but on the other hand these sometimes generated their own pros. Seeing the positive side of negative things is essential to finding opportunities to making and saving more and more money!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Three Ways To Make Your Life Easier As A Business Owner

money for business
If you’ve ever owned a business or currently own one, you will know that time and effort are as precious a resource as money, so it’s important to conserve as much as you can wherever you can. There is a lot of work that needs to be done when you’re a business owner, and if you want to have any time to yourself, it makes sense to do whatever you can to make your life a little easier. Here are some ways to do this.

Get Some Help

The obvious way to make your life a little easier is to get some help. There are a few options that you have when it comes to help for your business. Firstly, you could visit some online forums or business Facebook groups and find yourself a mentor; This mentor could then help you out with any business-related problems that may crop up, and keep you motivated to reach your business goals. You could also hire employees, which could help you out massively. An accountant, for example, could deal with all of your business finances, including more complicated things like your tax. They could even find ways to make your business run more cost efficiently, which is great if you’re not making much profit each month. You could employ other people to deal with sales, which will free up time so that you can focus solely on running the business.

Have Separate Accounts

When you are the sole owner of a business, it can be easy to think of any money going into and out of your business as yours. However, this could be a big mistake and could put a strain on your finances and your business. Instead, it makes much more sense to have separate accounts for your business and yourself, so that you don’t mix up your personal money with your business money and don’t spend more than you actually have. The same rule applies for your credit card; You should get yourself a business credit card, rather than use your personal one for business so that you know where all of your money is going.

Use Online Templates

The web is filled with useful information and tools that can help make the day to day running of your business a whole lot easier. One of the most helpful things are templates, such as for work contracts and pay slips. Lots of small business owners avoid writing contracts of employment purely because it’s a lot of work, but a template would make the process a lot easier. The same can be said for free check stub template printables. Both of these things benefit you and your employees, and online templates can make creating them incredibly simple.

Running a business requires a lot of work and dedication, but it can be easy to get in over your head. Being a business owner was never going to be simple, but it doesn’t have to be such a struggle either, so follow the tips above to make your life somewhat easier.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

I Wish I Knew That Before Taking out My First Credit Card...

card for credit
If you are thinking about taking out your first credit card, it is important to do plenty of research beforehand and make sure you know the terms and conditions of your credit agreement. Having a credit card is vital for your credit rating, but it is even more important to use your card correctly. Read on to discover some of the things that most people wish they knew before getting their first credit card.

Making numerous credit card applications can have a negative impact on your credit rating –

A lot of people are tempted to make numerous credit card applications, so they can then see what they get accepted for, and choose the best one. This is not advised, as it will hurt your credit rating. Credit card searches and applications show on your credit report, and it can give the impression that you are a high risk. They will show on your report for six months. This is why you should use one of the comparison tools to find out how likely you are to be accepted, and then choose a card with over a 50 per cent change of acceptance.

There are great promotional offers available on credit cards –

You don’t want to miss out on the best deals. You can find out about the different offers and the best cards for you at best.creditcard. There are some cards that will give you 0 per cent interest on balance transfers or purchases for up to 36 months, sometimes even longer. There are then cards that give you cash back, travel points, and other rewards. Think about what you need most, and choose the right offer for you.

Missing a payment hits you with a double whammy –

A lot of people don’t realise just how bad missing a payment on their credit card can be. First of all, you are going to be subject to interest added to your account. Secondly, you will have to pay a late payment fee. In fact, you could say it is a triple whammy, because the missed payment will show up on your credit report, and it will stay there for years. This will cause significant damage to your rating. The best thing to do is set up a direct debit so you can avoid this from happening.

Closing your credit card isn’t always the best move –

When getting your first credit card, you will likely have a small selection to choose from. After a while, this gets bigger, and you may want to choose a different card because they have better offers. It seems sensible to close your first card, however, this can harm your credit rating. This is because it reduces the average age of your credit accounts.

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for your first credit card. There is a lot that needs to be taken into account when getting a credit card for the first time, and it can feel like a bit of a whirlwind. But so long as you are careful, and you use it responsibly, you should have nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

10 Interesting Facts About the Great Australian Gold Rush

raw golds
When we consider the rich history of Australia, the subject remains incomplete without the mention of the gold rushes that took the country by storm in the nineteenth century. The people who worked and lived on the gold fields – commonly known as the “diggers” – hold a special place in the national folklore that we Aussies are immensely proud of.

Gold trade has always been popular in the country. However, when people buy or sell gold from and to a Melbourne gold bullion dealer, they don’t really make an effort to find out how the gold got there. From the initial discovery of gold that triggered a gold frenzy across the nation to the availability of gold bullions at dealership stores across the country, there are several facts that should be known by all of us.

1. The first official discovery of gold in Australia was made by Edward Hargraves in 1851. There were other discoveries made before that, but none of them won the approval of the Governor of New South Wales.

2. The discovery by Hargraves was made in a waterhole near Bathhurst, which was later named Ophir by Hargraves himself. During the hunt, he was accompanied by three other men – William Tom, James Tom, and John Lister – who decided to surrender the reward for discovery in full to Hargraves.

3. The gold discoveries made before Hargraves were rejected by Governor Gipps owing to the fear of having gold mines dominated by convicts who would rush to them as soon as they heard about it. This could have led to serious chaos in the country.

4. The first ever discovery of gold in Australia was back in 1823. Then again, geologist William Clarke discovered particles of gold in Blue Mountains in 1840.

5. In 1869, diggers Richard Oates and John Deason unearthed the Welcome Stranger – a gold nugget that weighed 2268 ounces – the largest ever found!

6. The Welcome Stranger was extracted from Moliagul. This place is famous for all the large gold nuggets found here. It is located close to Dunolly.

7. Back then, Bendigo and Ballarat were the most productive gold fields, attracting most of the crowd. Even today, they are renowned worldwide for the gold they produce. These fields were rich, but never produced nuggets as big as those found in Moliagul. People still try their luck at digging there in an attempt to make a fortune.

8. William Campbell was the first person to find gold in Clunes, Victoria. However, he waited to claim his findings till a reward was set for it. Campbell was awarded 200 pounds in 1851 once his discovery was confirmed.

9. Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie qualify as the two largest goldmines of Australia. Located closed to each other, these sites produced more gold than any other site in the country.

10. Most of Australia’s gold yield is concentrated in Western Australia, with the region contributing almost 70% of the total gold yield of the country.

Have more interesting facts about the Australian gold rush to share? Let us know about them!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Marriage on the cards? These financial tips will help

marriage finances
The run-up to your marriage can be a frenzied, hectic affair. Money matters take precedence when it comes to finalising the wedding location, the caterer, the guest list and so on. However, money matters of another ilk fall through the cracks during such tumble-dry phase. It is very easy to forget, amid the hullabaloo, the importance of understanding each other’s life goals and financial habits. After all, you would be sharing most of the daily activities together for the rest of your life. So, before you walk down the aisle, here are some financial investment tips for beginners.

Know each other’s money habits

Effective communication is the key to any successful marriage. Yet, more than often, most couples hesitate to discuss money matters. However, it is best that you and your spouse understand each other’s money habits, past and current debts, investments and savings. Assess your financial health and share it with your better half. If you find it awkward, begin with small talks. Make it a casual discussion. Get into the details as you begin to get comfortable with each other.

Take some decisions for the future

After the wedding, you and your partner would take combined decisions for all things under the sun. Start with deciding on how the both of you would manage your monthly finances. Think whether it would be better to have a joint account. It is also important to divide your monthly expenses. Also, thinkhow to take care of investments and savings.This would enable you to run your house effectively.

Update your records

Never underestimate the importance and urgency of updated documents. Updating your marital status and/or new name in your PAN card, Aadhaar card, passport, bank accounts, insurance and investments should be top-priority on your post-marriage to-do list.

Anticipate post-marriage expenses

Are you planning to stay in a rented house or your own house? Do you need to setup a fully-functional house? Would you be looking at buying a new apartment? What will be the change in premium to get your spouse added to your insurance policy? Would it be easier to commute by public transport from your new home? Or do you need a personal vehicle? Do you need a motor loan? Having some idea of post-marriage expenses can allow you to plan your finances accordingly.

Be emergency-ready

Having a contingency fund is not the only way to be ready for an emergency. With a partner adding to your life, your contingency fund should increase. Besides, it is important that you have some short-term easy-to-liquidate investments like fixed deposit, corporate deposits, bonds etc. After your wedding, it is the life of two that you need to protect and secure.

Invest wisely

As you begin a new life together, your responsibilities will increase as well. To fulfil these responsibilities, you would need sufficient funds at the right time. Mere savings will not help you build enough wealth to meet your goals. Hence, you must also invest according to your goals. It could be buying a car/house in three years, your child’s education and retirement. A planned investment portfolio, with the right mix of equity and debt, can help meet all your future goals as a couple.

Planning makes everything easy

A well-laid financial plan serves as a road map for your future. Make sure you both devote enough time before and after marriage to make and review your plan. If something doesn’t seem going the right way, change the route. Sometimes, a detour may seem time-consuming but is a better way of reaching your goal.

Use these tips to get into the skin of the new role you are about to take up. A happily ever after is not a myth, but it involves efforts, communication and some strategic thinking from both partners.If you aren’t well-versed in the world of finance, it is best to start with mutual funds. There are fund managers who can help invest your money in the right places.

Monday, December 4, 2017

What Type of Loan is Right for Your Needs?

in need of loan
At one point or another, most people will find themselves in need of more money than they currently have in their bank account. No matter how good you are at budgeting and saving your money, there are simply some times when you’ll likely need financial help of some form. Most people find themselves in this situation when they’re making a very large purchase, such as a home or a new car. You may also need outside funding when you’re paying for university for yourself or for a dependent, when you’re moving cities, or when you have unexpected medical costs.

In all of these situations, people typically take out loans. However, there are a wide variety of loan types that you could take out — so how do you decide which is right for your financial situation? Take a look at the some of the most common loan types to help you figure out which one fits your circumstances.

Student loans

As the name implies, student loans are used to fund educational expenses. Student loans can be taken out by college students themselves or by family members in order to pay for the college student. Loans can be either federal or private, although federally funded student loans typically have lower interest rates.

Student loans don’t have to be paid back until after the student has graduated from college. Many student loans have a grace period, to allow the student to find a job and establish themselves before they have to start paying their loans back. Often, this grace period is six months long, although the specific grace period depends on the specific loan. Many student loans also do not begin accruing interest until the student has graduated, making it more feasible to pay off the loans in a timely manner.

Mortgages

Mortgages are a type of loan specific to real estate, and used to allow the borrower to purchase a new home. Most people choose to make a downpayment on their home, and then acquire a mortgage to fund the remainder of the cost of the home. Mortgages are very long-term loans. Borrowers often take mortgages out for 30 years or even longer, which as a result means that mortgages have a low interest rate in comparison to other loan types. Like other loan types, mortgages can be paid off earlier, which saves the borrower on interest that would have been accrued otherwise.

Keep in mind that your home is linked directly to your home, which means that the lender likely has permission to seize the property if you fail to pay your mortgage payments.

Car loans

Car loans are similar to mortgages, in that they’re used to fund a specific large purchase, in this case a new vehicle. Car loans are also linked directly to your vehicle — just like mortgages — so once again your vehicle may be seized by the lender if you don’t make your payments.

Personal loans

Unlike the other loan types listed above, personal loans aren’t earmarked for specific purposes. Instead, they can be used for just about anything, such as medical bills, moving costs, or even vacation. This makes personal loans the most versatile of the loan types, and can be used to cover your financial needs that don’t fit into any other single category. To learn more about personal loans, and how you can apply for one, click here, and you’ll be well on your way to getting the financial support that you need.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Importance of Knowing Your Rights and Access to Personal Damages

claim for injury
It’s a well-known fact that the law practiced within Australia is one that is treated with the utmost importance in order to keep the rates of crime exceptionally low and in order to make it a comfortable and safe environment for the multicultural population of the continent. Yet, a lot of people don’t have much of an idea about the legal rights given to them by the Australian government.

Of course, there’s no question about the fact that one should always be certain of their legal rights regardless of what their country or city of residence is. There have been several instances in which the injured was unaware of their right which was the reason they never filed for a personal injury claim despite the odds being in their favour.

It is highly important to seek law advice, at the very least, when you’re involved in a serious injury – especially one that causes you great damages or losses. The personal injury law in Australia is rather simple and one that will get you your rights, if in the court of law, it is proven that you did not have direct fault in the accident in question or that the accident was entirely the fault of the opposing party.

Personal Injury Law in Australia

Personal injuries are not only detrimental to one due to their health, but they also cause one great discomfort in day-to-day life. The restriction and pain inflicted as the result of an injury is enough for the injured to take the matter to court. Upon winning the case, the injured receives huge compensation for the damage and pain that they had to bear.

Such cases are commonly handled by personal injury lawyers and unless the case is too complicated, you don’t need to worry about not acquiring access to the personal damages induced upon you. You must always remember that the access to personal damages is your legal right and there’s nothing that can stand in your way when it comes to that which is legally yours.

Compensation for Damages

Once it is proven in the court of law that the injured had no part in the accident that took place, their injuries are assessed and medical reports – if any ¬– are also taken into consideration. Once the damages are assessed, both parties agree to a set amount which the injured receives as compensation for their damages. In case the accident took place in your workplace, there are different workers compensation laws for the purpose as well.

The bottom line is that one who has to suffer as a consequence to something that wasn’t even their fault, they have every legal right to take the other party to court and receive compensation for the damages that they have had to bear. In Australia, there are absolutely no exceptions when it comes to the law so don’t be afraid to find out about your own rights.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

How Can You Save Tax with Mutual Funds?

mutual investments
Investing in mutual funds results in the higher availability of capital, which is vital for the success of businesses. Therefore, the government provides various incentives when you invest in Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS). Under section 80C of the Income Tax (IT) Act, you are allowed to claim deductions from your taxable income on these investments.

Before discussing the tax benefits that are available on ELSS investments, let us understand these plans.

Equity-linked savings schemes (ELSS)

So, what are ELSS funds? They are a type of equity diversified fund where you enjoy both capital appreciation and tax benefits. While an investment in ELSS funds does not guarantee returns, the best-performing funds have earned huge returns over the long term. Fixed income tax saving investments like Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Fixed Deposit (FD) are unable to provide such effective earnings.

You may invest in an ELSS either as a lump sum or as a systematic investment plan (SIP). An SIP enables cost averaging and prevents from investing during market highs. However, you must remember that each SIP installment is considered as a new investment. This is crucial when you calculate your tax liability at the time of redemption.

Tax benefits of investing in mutual funds

• ELSS are also known as tax saving mutual funds. This is because you can claim deductions from your taxable income on your investment as well as earn tax-free returns. Under section 80C of the Income Tax Act,you may claim up to INR 1.5 lakh per annum as a deduction from your gross income during the financial year.

• ELSS funds’ investments are principally in diversified equities and thus the returns are closely tied to the performance of the markets. This is a type of mutual fund with a lock-in period of three years from the date of investment. In case you start an SIP in an ELSS, then each of your investments will be locked in for three years from the respective investment date. The returns on the investment made in ELSS funds are also tax exempted after the completion of the three-year lock-in period.

ELSS funds, the best option for tax saving

• As compared to other tax saving instruments such as PPF, which has a lock-in of 15 years, National Savings Certificate (NSC)and FDs; the lock-in period in ELSS is lower.

• Since ELSS is an investment in equity markets, staying invested in the same over a long term earns better returns as compared to other fixed-income instruments.

Things to avoid when investing in ELSS

1. Starting tax planning late and making hasty decisions

The detail working of mutual funds is complex and requires a lot of research on past performance, fund managers, and investment approach. There are several mutual fund schemes available in the market, ranging from high-earning funds to high-security funds. Give yourself sufficient time to analyze the options and complete tax planning because you cannot exit your investment for at least three years in case of an inaccurate choice.

2. Relying on short-term performance and returns

When analyzing past performance, look at a minimum period of five years. Furthermore, while returns are important, it is not the only deciding factor. You must determine if the fund philosophy matches your goals. Take the time to understand all the different factors before making your decision.

3. Investing only for tax savings

ELSS plans offer several tax advantages but these are still equity-oriented funds. Therefore, investing in these plans is risky though rewarding. You must consider the risk and return profile and not focus only on the tax benefits while making an investment decision.

4. Redeeming your holdings after the lock-in period

ELSS investments have a minimum lock-in period of three years. You must not immediately redeem your holdings at the end of this time. If the fund performance continues to be healthy, it is better to remain invested. It is recommended you have an investment horizon of five to seven years at the time of investing to maximize your returns.

5. Switching between funds every three years

You must never switch from one ELSS plan to another at the end of three years as a habit. This is often done when the other fund performs better than your plan. Before making the switch, analyze the reasons for the performance. If the fund continues to under perform even in a positive market, you may consider switching.

ELSS has several benefits. It not only offers better returns but provides tax benefits. However, accumulating too many investments in the product is cumbersome and makes portfolio management difficult in the longer period. It may result in over-diversification and monitoring becomes difficult. Gain a balance to maximize tax benefits while ensuring your portfolio is easy to manage and monitor.

Friday, December 1, 2017

5 Ways To Save on New Teen Drivers Car Insurance

insurance for drivers
Insuring a new driver can be a huge expense for parents and families, especially because you don’t have any leverage to prove that your teen is a good and safe driver. We know that you’re doing everything in your power to give your teen the tools to drive safely, so here are some ways that you can cut costs on insuring your new driver.

1. Have your teen take an accredited driving course

There are many courses that you can choose to enroll your teen in to make sure that your insurance premium for your teen stays low. Make sure that you are signing your child up for an accredited course. Not only is this kind of driving course extremely beneficial because it will help your teen learn the basics of driving, it could save you a lot in car insurance costs over a three year period.

2. Insure your teen as an occasional driver

When you’re purchasing insurance for your teen, bundling car insurance policies or including your teen as an occasional driver could save you a lot on your car insurance. If you are planning on getting your teen a car once they get their license, make sure that you check the make and model for insurance and deductible costs.

3. Put restrictions on when your teen can drive

Driving in the winter, or driving at night are opportunities for accidents, regardless of your car insurance coverage. For the first few weeks, don’t allow your new driver to drive at night or in extremely poor weather conditions like rain or snow. Having a good driving track record is super important when a driver is new, and even the smallest accident could have your insurance premiums shooting through the roof.

4. Research insurance rates for make, model, and year of your car

If you’re thinking about getting your new driver a brand new car as a gift for receiving their license, be sure to do your research. If the make or model of the car you are choosing to insure is expensive, your premium will go up, and so will your deductible. Take a look at which cars are cheapest to insure, but are also safe to drive. It may be worthwhile to go for function over style when it comes to your teens first car.

5. Try usage based car insurance

One of the main reasons why new drivers car insurance rates are so high is because new drivers don’t have any sort of driving record. Insurance companies have to rely heavily on risk statistics to determine what to charge for your car insurance. Usage based car insurance monitors your driving habits over a trial period, and your insurance premium is adjusted accordingly. This is a great motivator for your young driver to drive safely, and you could save up to 25% on your car insurance depending on what car insurance provider you use.

Driving for the first time is a new and exciting experience! With the right tools, your teen will hit the road with the confidence and knowledge to stay safe, and you’ll have the best available car insurance for your unique situation.