Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Three Things To Do With Your Retirement Fund

perfect financial retirement plans
As we get older, our attitudes to a lot of things in life start to change. We might adopt a different view of, say, alcohol and going out, or we might start to take our health a little more seriously. But one thing that will also undoubtedly change is what we do with our money. Our needs change as we age and we will start to realise that our money perhaps needs to go to different places. If you have saved money throughout your life, you may have a nice little pot of savings at your disposal for your old age, and you might be entitled to claim your pension too. But knowing what to do with all this money when you are heading into old age can be a bit daunting. Here are some of the ways in which many people choose to use their money in retirement and beyond.


After working hard for all your life, you will probably agree that you deserve a bit of a treat. Perhaps you have worked in a career where you couldn't take much time off, or maybe you were a dedicated parent who couldn't bear the thought of leaving their kids for too long. Once you have retired, however, the world is quite literally your oyster. If you have some cash at your disposal, why not use it to travel with? The most common thing for people to regret in old age is that they didn't go out and see the world. So make sure you're not one of those people - book yourself onto a cruise, a round the world trip and set sail on your adventure of a lifetime!


If you're all about re-investing that hard earned cash, then property could be the right route to go down. There is no greater financial asset than a house, and when you have retired, you have a few options open to you. You can keep your current home and use a trust attorney to protect the asset for your next of kin, or you can sell up and downsize. Many people choose to leave their property to their children in their will as it sets them up for a secure financial future.


Getting back into business is probably the last thing on your mind when you've only just come out of work. But don't be so quick to shun the idea. A good way to top up your nest egg and to make sure it lasts forever is by investing in stocks and shares, or other people's businesses. Learn the basics of the stock market if that's the route you want to go down, as it can be quite a complicated process and you need to know what you are doing. Or, you can invest in a smaller business - a local startup, for example. This is another good asset to have on your repertoire and you will also know that you are doing something good by helping someone else fulfil their business dreams.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tackling Professional Paperwork

tax filing work
There are some things that we love doing such as playing with our kids, walking the dog on a lovely spring day and treating ourselves to a well-earned holiday. Then there are tasks that we prefer to put off doing such as mowing the lawn, ironing piles of laundry and sitting down at the kitchen table to fill in yearly tax returns.

Writing A Will

While we don’t like to think about how our family would cope if the worst happened writing your will doesn’t need to be a morbid task. Most adults over the age of 21 should have a basic will that indicates their final wishes such as any funeral requests, personal bequests and who they’d like to assume control over any outstanding affairs. A will can also help to snuff out any legal disputes before they’ve risen their ugly heads, as well as ensuring that your spouse, children or pets are cared for once you’re gone. Writing a will also means your family avoiding a hefty inheritance tax bill as well as being able to ease the pain of having to make difficult financial decisions at an emotional time.

Personal Injury Claim

You’re walking back to the office having made yourself a coffee when all of a sudden you feel yourself falling on the wet floor. Despite a clear ceiling leak no one’s bothered to call a builder or even put up a wet floor sign. A trip to the ER reveals second-degree burns, a broken leg and a severely sprained wrist all of which require immediate medical attention. While you may already possess health insurance, not all firms payout on workplace accidents which is why you'll often do better consulting a personal injury services specialist who’ll be able to advise if you have a claim or not. Corporations have a duty of care towards their employees, and if your injury lawyer can show evidence of negligence, then you may be entitled to a substantial amount of compensation. Your attorney can also assist with your impact statement, a letter that details how your life has changed since the accident occurred.

Filling Out Your Taxes

There’s a common saying which you may have heard that states there’s only two things you can be certain of in this life and that’s death and taxes! However, it isn’t as painful as people like to make out and if you’ve got the right information to hand it’s a relatively straightforward process. Firstly, you’ll need a pad of paper, pen and calculator to work out any sums as well as your laptop to check anything legal as well as your previous tax return. It’s also worth having your blank Form 1040 beside you to look through the sections before starting. Remember it needs to have been sent off by 15th April, unless it’s a weekend otherwise you could incur a late payment fine. To fill out the form you need to have identification i.e. Driver's license or passport to hand, your residency status and all occupants social security details, any wage statements and bank correspondence plus your bank details.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trade and Invest in Your Spare Time: Making It Work

invest to trade
While some people make a living from trading and making investments, for most, it's something that they do on the side. They use the spare time they have around other commitments, such as work and family, to grow their finances and learn how to be a better trader and investor. It takes a lot of work and skill if you want to make it full-time. If you're happy to keep your financial dabbling to when you have a few hours in the evening or at the weekends, you can still start to make yourself financially comfortable, if not for now then for the future. But it can still be complicated, and you can benefit from advice about how to trade, what to invest in, and what approach you should take.

Trading: Which Markets Should You Trade?

If you've decided you want to try your hand at being a trader in your free time, the first thing you need to do is consider the different markets available to you. There are several to look at, and some may be more suitable for casual traders than others. It's important to understand the differences between the markets, what you can buy and sell on them, and which might be best for your trading and investment goals. The most well-known market is perhaps the stock market, which allows you to buy shares of a company. People new to trading might be less familiar with the ETF market, or exchange-traded fund market. The trading on this market is similar to stocks, with the option to buy and sell quickly or hold onto assets after purchasing them.

Many newcomers to trading are interested in the Forex market, which is the largest in the world. In case you're not familiar, it's the market where currencies are traded. With the values of currencies around the world going up and down, it's possible to make some profitable combinations at the right times. There's also the options market, which can be a bit more complicated to understand. It involves buying options contracts for potential transactions on "underlying securities." Binary options work a bit like a two-way bet when you predict if the price of an asset will rise or fall. Finally, there's Contract for Difference (CFD), which combines stocks, Forex, and options.

But which market is right for someone who just wants to try out trading in their free time and see what they can do? Unfortunately, the answer isn't easy. There are several things that can affect your choice of market, including the funds you have available and the time of day you will be trading. If you don't know which market or markets to trade on, it's a good idea to seek out some expert advice.

Investing in Your Spare Time: Better Than Trading?

More people are drawn to making various investments than to faster-paced trading. There are many types of investments you can make over both the short-term and long-term. Of course, buying stocks and other assets on trading markets is a type of investment. But there's also a lot more to explore if you want to become an investor. There are physical assets to consider too, such as property or precious metals. Some investments, like property, can end up becoming full-time tasks to work on if they need a lot of management. Many investments are better to manage in your spare time. Unlike trading, your investments don't have to move so quickly. You don't need to pay attention to the market at a certain time of day. If you only have an hour or two a week, it could be enough to manage your investments.

Where to Get Advice

Trading or investing in your spare time can be complicated if you've never done it before. You might be finding it difficult to even wrap your head around how the different trading markets work. It's only something you want to do for a few hours a week, but you want to make sure it works. Fortunately, whether you want to start trading or you just want to make some investments for your retirement, there are always places and people to go to for useful advice.

You can find both free and paid advice on any trading or investment topic you can think of. If you want to start trading, the internet has plenty of US binary options brokers information, as well as info on how to find the right broker for other markets. Of course, some brokers offer advice as well as practical services. And if you want to hear from other experienced and knowledgeable people, you should also be sure to get involved with a community of traders or investors. You can get great advice, and some people even find success by copying the strategies of others.

How to Make It Easier

Trading or making investments in your spare time can sometimes be difficult. You don't want to dedicate all your free time to your finances, but maybe you feel like you need to if you want to reach your financial goals. If you want to start trading, it can be hard to do it without putting in quite a bit of effort, especially if you want to be successful. However, as mentioned before, one option is to imitate the strategies used by other successful traders. Some people will offer up tips and tricks that are supposed to make things easier that you might try out. However, there's no magic button to make trading extremely simple.

When it comes to making investments, it's easier to come up with a simple strategy. In fact, you can create an investment portfolio that you don't have to give much thought to once you have set it up. There are also services you can use to ensure your investments are managed while you get on with other things. Investing is arguably easier to do on the side, which is why so many people do it.

Whether you want to start trading, investing or both, you have to use your spare time wisely. But you don't need to give up your job to be successful.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

In Response To President Trump China Claims It Will Not Manipulate Its Currency

currency manipulation
The investment industry and the foreign exchange industry know China likes to play with the value of the yuan. President Trump calls China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation. There are reasons to believe China plays with the yuan to help the country’s export business. China denies those all the allegations related to currency manipulation, but foreign change investors know better. Trump’s new treasury secretary plans to take a more methodical approach to the currency manipulation issue, but China’s foreign minister made a point to tell the world that Trump, and the United States, must look at the exchange rate issues “fully and correctly.”

China’s economy is doing better than almost every other country in the world. India’s GDP output percentage in 2017 could better China’s GDP percentage, but according to Jim Dondero, the CEO of the Dallas investment firm Highland Capital Management, China doesn’t like to come in second. The Chinese considered themselves “grand champions” of economic development, not champions of currency manipulation. The central People’s Bank of China didn’t comment on the manipulation issue and won’t, according to Dondero. Jim believes the central bank is in over its head because of bad debts. Investors like Dondero are betting that the Chinese will be forced to devalue the yuan over the next 18 months. Many investors think the government will be forced to use capital reserves to wipe the bad debts off bank books.

The yuan fell 6.6 percent against the dollar in 2016, and that was the largest drop since 1994. There is no doubt. The Chinese economy is slowing down, and China needs more foreign investment. But investors like Dondero are concerned about the Chinese government’s attitude when it comes to foreign investments. In 2016, the Chinese forced foreign investors out of the Chinese stock market. Many investors would rather bet against China’s economic growth. All the signs indicate that China will have a tough financial road in 2017, and Dondero, and other investors, say Trump could exacerbate China’s financial and economic issues.

Chinese investors are buying gold instead of investing in the Chinese stock market, and that is a concern for investors like Dondero. But Highland Capital and other hedge funds can’t completely ignore what is happening in the world’s largest economy. The days of making big returns from Chinese assets are over for many foreign investors. The smart investors are betting China’s currency is going to lose more than 40 percent of its value over the next two years. If that happens, (China said they will make sure that does not happen) there will be a lot of smiling hedge fund investors.

James Dondero has been the catalyst for the rapid growth of Highland Capital Management. Dondero co-founded the investment firm in 1993. Dondero started his career in the investment industry in 1984 after graduating from the University of Virginia. Dondero went to work for Morgan Guaranty and then American Express after graduation. Jim spent four years with American Express, but in 1989 he was named chief investment officer of a subsidiary of Protective Life. Jim is the Chairman of the Board of Cornerstone Healthcare, NexBank, NexPoint and CCS Medical. He is also a member of the board of MGM Studios. Jim is active in several nonprofits in the Dallas area, through the Highland Capital Foundation.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

4 Basic Personal Finance Facts People Constantly Get Wrong

financial facts
Very often, the so-called “universal truths” that people believe about personal finance are completely wrong. Myths circulate, grow, and persist because people have the facts wrong and don’t bother finding out the real truth.

Here are four facts that people always seem to get wrong. Inaccurate assumptions get repeated year after year and are even passed down through the generations. It’s time to put a stop to the nonsense, right now.

1. You Don’t Have to Be Worried About Moving Into a Higher Tax Bracket

“Be careful- that’ll put you into a higher tax bracket!”. There’s a particularly annoying and persistent myth out there and it has to do with what happens when you earn more income, thereby pushing you into a higher tax bracket.

It’s true: we have what’s called a progressive tax system, where higher incomes are taxed at higher rates. But what most people don’t get is that not all of your income is taxed at the same rate. Only the portion of your income that puts you into a higher bracket is taxed at the higher rate. The rest is taxed as it always was, in the lower brackets.

2. Individual Investors Rarely Clean Up on the Stock Market

In general, a do-it-yourself approach to life’s tasks can save you a lot of money and turn you into a very resourceful person. Usually, all it takes is a little know-how and a lot of energy.

However, one area where this philosophy doesn’t apply is investing in stocks. When it comes to the stock market, a little bit of knowledge is actually worse than no knowledge at all. That’s because people with no knowledge of the stock market will either consult a financial advisor or they’ll invest in no-brainer low-cost index mutual funds.

But the person with just a little knowledge is in danger of thinking he or she can DIY it with stocks and get rich. Not usually the case. There’s a reason why financial professionals have to complete training courses in trading and/or get certified to do their jobs. This is not easy stuff and the little guy who goes in with just a little knowledge can make a lot of bad decisions.

3. Getting as Huge Income Tax Refund is NOT Reason to Celebrate

Every year at tax time, people get excited about their tax refunds. The bigger the better, they think, and even go onto social media to brag about how excited they are and how much they’re getting back.

But they shouldn’t be excited. Rather, they should be embarrassed for not understanding what a tax refund really is. It’s really just your own money that you’ve allowed the U.S. Department of Treasury to hold onto. Meanwhile, you may be struggling to make ends meet. Call it what it is: a loan to the federal government… a tax-free loan!

This misconception about tax refunds is so rampant that retailers have noticed. Starting around February, they start aiming their marketing campaigns at these misguided taxpayers, hoping they’ll spend their “windfalls” in their stores. Don’t fall for this one and have your withholding adjusted so not too much is taken out next year.

4. You Need to Start Saving When You’re in Your 20’s

No joke- the power of compounded interest makes such a difference that the money you sock away in your 20’s can bring more value than money saved at any other time in your life.

In your 20’s, you have so many investment years ahead of you that even just a tiny bit invested during that decade can make a huge difference by the time you’re 65.

Finally, the key to mastering personal finance is learning the facts and avoiding hearsay. Learning the four facts you’ve just read about is a great way to start making your own smart decisions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Where Should You Invest Your Money In 2017?

investment strategies
Investing is always going to be a gamble, although some investment plans are certainly less risky than others. Many previous investments previously thought to be relatively stable, have been going out of fashion. As more and more people turn green, less are investing in oil, and recent political unpredictability has caused foreign currency to become a risky strategy. Here are some of the options that seem to be least risky in 2017.


Property prices are still heading steadily upwards by and large. If you’ve got enough money to lay down a deposit, buying and renting is still a fairly safe option. You’re guaranteed more security if you rent through an agency, although you may have to pay added fees. There are many agencies that can provide all services from buying, selling and renting such as Bridgebury Real Estate that may be worth looking at to get an idea of budgeting costs. Generally it’s always safe to have a couple grand spare just in case you have to deal with maintenance costs or cover unpaid rent. Always research the area to get an idea of appreciation value and consider whether you can increase this further with renovations.

Digital Security

Digital security is constantly being redeveloped and improved to counter constantly new hacking methods and viruses. This makes it a very lucrative investment strategy. Cloud-based security programmes are becoming a particularly popular choice, as hacks on small businesses are becoming more common and companies are hence looking for more secure security software. Sites such as AT Investments can provide more information for those interested.

Social Media

Facebook stocks have seen a steady incline in value. With no real competitors and worldwide internet use growing, investing in this medium seems like a stable route for years to come. Investing in social media startups is a very risky strategy so you’re best sticking with the giants.

Green technology

Renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar power are already starting to see a healthy return. Whilst the cost of setting up wind farms and solar farms is high, they require little maintenance afterwards. More and more people are turning to these sources and so the demand to build more is increasing. Minimum investments are usually around ten grand. Those with an interest in sustainable energy should definitely consider this strategy.


Whilst the value of gold constantly fluctuates, it always returns to a steady incline, making it the go-to-choice for safe investors. There are various ways to invest in gold from gold bars to ancient jewellery. It can be bought and sold via investment brokers, or from bullion dealers.

Investing may require doing your homework first in order to get the best deal and the buying process can be quite complex so bear this in mind.

Monday, February 20, 2017

How To Maximise Your Chances Of Getting A Mortgage

looking for mortgages
With property prices continuously rising, mortgage companies are constantly upping the requirements. Getting a mortgage is becoming increasingly harder, however there are ways to improve one’s chances of being accepted.

Save up as big a deposit as possible

Whilst there are some companies that only ask for small deposits of less than 5%, most of these mortgage schemes come with massive amounts of interest. Generally the bigger the deposit you lay down, the more likely you are of getting a decent mortgage. Be patient and keep saving – ideally until you can afford 30 - 40%. Schemes such as Help to Buy ISAs and the soon-to-be-introduced Lifetime ISA could make this saving process easier.

Pay off other debts

Mortgage lenders will take into account how much you already owe. If you’re already paying car loans, student loans, personal loans and other debts, you may find yourself being continuously turned down. Aim to try and pay off these debts first. A debt consolidation loan might be useful for putting all these debts in one place.

Take measures to lower your credit score

A bad credit score can damage your chances of getting any loan. Paying off debts is the easiest way to fix your score, but there are other ways to improve it too such as taking out a credit score building card. Getting on the electoral register can also help to strengthen your credit score, as can making sure all your cards and statements are under the same name and address (it may be best to get rid of any credit cards or accounts that you no longer use).

Shop around

Don’t settle for the first mortgage you can afford. Shopping around could save you thousands, plus you may be able to find companies more catered to your individual circumstances – for example, mortgages for commercial properties or self-build mortgages. There are lots of comparison sites that can help you to choose the right mortgage for you. Alternatively, you can pay for a broker such as BrokerCo to find the best deal for you. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages so bear this in mind.

Prepare all your documents

Mortgage lenders will need all kinds of documents from you to use as evidence including an up-to-date passport and a driving license containing your current address. You may have to include payslips for the last three months, as well as P60s from the last two years. Any other forms of income such as child benefits will also need to be proved with some form of documentation. A recent letter from a bank or utility company that proves your address may also be required. Gathering all of this can take some time, especially if a driving license or passport needs to be renewed, so allow yourself time before applying to a mortgage. If you’ve recently been moving address frequently, you may need to find somewhere to stay put for a while so that you can gather evidence of a permanent address.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Cure For Poor Credit

work on your card score
Our credit rating has a massive effect on our lives, and when yours isn’t looking too great it can make you feel pretty helpless. However, once your credit has taken a dive, there are various things you can do to dig yourself out of this rut. It may seem difficult right now, but once you’ve built enough momentum, repairing bad credit becomes so much easier. Here are some smart moves you can start with…

Get New Credit

If bad habits have robbed you of all your credit cards, you’ll need to start off by getting a new one. After going through a spell of bad credit, a lot of people swear off cards, thinking that a new one will only get them in deeper and deeper trouble. However, it’s not as simple as that. Using a card in a smart way will allow you to establish a more attractive payment history, and will put you back on the right track. Just don’t submit too many applications when you apply for new credit. This will affect your score, and make it harder to get approved. You should also try to avoid subprime cards. These tend to have extremely high interest rates and fees, making credit unaffordable in the future.

Pay Everything on Time

When your credit has taken a blow, repairing it is largely a matter of dropping your bad habits and establish new, better ones. You probably know that bad credit doesn’t totally bar you from taking out loans and other things, with flexible financial products such as this: https://www.directlendingsolutions.com/personalloans.htm . However, if you end up falling behind on your payments, it can drag your rating down further, even if that payment isn’t regularly listed on your report. Go through your regular expenses, and make sure you’re avoiding any kind of delinquencies, even on little things like library fines and your kids’ school lunches. An increasing amount of businesses are hiring collection agencies to chase up unpaid debts. If any of your accounts end up being handled by a debt collector, it will stay on your report for years, and undo any of the progress you’ve made so far.

Replace the Bad with the Good

Repairing and maintaining your credit is just like anything: the more experience you get with it, the better you’ll become. The final step towards a better credit rating is putting your good financial habits into practice, and sticking to them religiously. Your credit rating won’t show any kind of improvement until you demonstrate to creditors that you have what it takes to build a better score. This means moving forward with a clear idea of what you can comfortably afford, and never missing a single mark on your calendar. As you work on rebuilding your credit, try to avoid taking on any more credit cards. This will only overcomplicate things, making it harder to keep track of your balances and payments, and increasing the risk for behaviors that will hurt your credit score. Sticking to just one or two accounts should be fine to begin with. You can read more at http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cash Crises And How To Handle Them

short of money
Everyone, regardless of their age or their income, should be taking a proactive approach to their personal finances. Having a stable source of capital and avoiding big financial pitfalls will save you a lot of stress, not to mention a lot of money! One part of this is knowing how to handle some of life’s big financial emergencies. While no one wants to get caught in one of these, here are some common crises you should know how to handle…

Job Loss

Job loss can represent a massive blow to your finances, and be even more detrimental to your mood. For a lot of people, this is going to be their main source of income, and you may have to make some major lifestyle changes simply to keep a roof over your head. While being out of work can be a massive strain to your mood, it’s important to work through this, and be proactive in solving the problem. If you’re being made redundant, figure out how far your redundancy pay will stretch, and draft a well-thought-out plan for making your available capital go further. The day you know you’re going to lose your job, take some time to polish your resume, network with people who can help, and make yourself known to employers. You can find some great resume tips here: http://vogue.com/article/resume-tips.

Surprise Medical Expenses

When you, or one of your dependants, has a serious and unexpected health problem, you’ll need some way of covering the following medical expenses. If you have to break into your emergency savings or other personal resources to cover this, it can cripple you financially. However, there are various alternatives you can leverage to deal with medical costs. Before you set aside a penny for your outstanding medical bill, check if your health insurance can cover all or part of the expenses. If you or someone in your family was injured due to the fault of another party, it may be worth contacting a legal professional such as this one: http://washingtoninjury.com/marysville/ . Whatever the situation, you should always try to negotiate your medical bills. There’s a lot more wiggling room here than a lot of people think, and going in for negotiation could save you a lot of money.

Vehicle Problems

Like most people, your car is probably a very important tool in your day-to-day life. When something goes wrong under the hood, it can mean you’ll need some costly repairs, and will also make it harder to simply get to work in the mornings! Once again, you should start by turning to your insurance. Your car insurer will usually be able to provide coverage for breakdowns and accidents. As a preventative measure, you should avoid putting off any kind of mechanical issue you come across in your car. With a lot of common problems, the longer you leave it, the worse it gets, and the more expensive it will ultimately be to fix. Find a local mechanic who you can trust to give fair pricing, and you should have little to worry about.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Simple Steps For Stabler Finances

financial aspects
Bad financial management is one of the biggest sources of stress in countless people’s lives. When you have a loose grip on your money, it can strain your time, your disposable income and most of all your nerves! If money issues are constantly creeping up on you and causing you stress, here are some simple ways to regain control.

Have Emergency Savings

Although no one wants to have to tap into an emergency cash reserve, life isn’t a bed of roses, and when chance pulls a fast one, having this cash cushion to fall back on can be exceedingly useful. If you were put out of work tomorrow, or your washing machine decided to flood your house, would you be able to cover the gap in your finances quickly and easily? If the answer is no, then it’s time to start an emergency fund and have a plan for building it. Most financial advisors say that you should have enough to cover your living expenses for at least three months stashed away in a separate account.

Start Investing Now!

I know, this may not sound like the simplest way to help your cash flow. However, investing is now more accessible than it’s ever been before, and getting an early start can pay off massively in the future. The sooner you start, the more time you’ll have to watch your investments grow, the more flexibility you’ll have for taking risks, and the more you’ll learn about any given market. Do a little research, and gauge how easy it would be to learn how to do binary options trading or get a good handle on another accessible form of investing. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find!

Dodge “Laziness Tax”

You may not know it, but we’re all being taxed for our laziness. You could be paying significantly less for things such as car insurance, electricity, internet service and so on simply by shopping around for longer. Even calling up your current supplier and telling them you’re not happy with the deal you’re receiving can be enough for them to offer you something much cheaper. These companies know that the bulk of their customers won’t bother pushing for a better deal, so if you’re in that small demographic who drives a hard bargain, you can bank some incredible savings. Aside from that, using comparison sites when you’re sourcing something new can make a big difference.

Ditch Your Cards

If you have a store card, credit card and backup credit card, you’re in big trouble. Firstly, you’re opening yourself up to a lot of fees and charges. Second, you’ll have easy access to a lot of credit which you may not necessarily need. Unless you’ve got airtight self-discipline, this can easily lead to snowballing debt. Take a good look at the cards you currently own, try to rationalize each one, and then cancel the ones you really don’t need. This simple change can do a lot to keep your head above water in the future.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

In A Financial Pickle? Don't Panic!

need fast money
Every so often we all find ourselves in a less than ideal financial situation. Maybe you’ve had to be out of work for a while, maybe the pipes have burst and you need a plumber to come and fix them, there really is no limit to the number of things that can go wrong and cause you to end up with less money than you planned. The problem is that life doesn’t just stop because of that. Bills still need to be paid and you still need to buy food, clothes and every other necessity. Well don’t panic! There are plenty of things that you can do to get yourself out of this financial trouble. Don’t worry if you’re life is already busy enough, these are all the kinds of things that you can do around even the most packed schedule.

Sell your stuff

Let's be totally honest, we all have plenty of stuff that we simply don't use cluttering up our homes. Whether it's a wardrobe full of clothes that you don't wear or an attic filled with boxes of knick-knacks that you'll never find a place for, you definitely have at least a few things knocking around that you can afford to part with. Sites like eBay are a brilliant way to clear out your home and make some fast cash while doing it.

Take out a loan

If you need a slightly larger sum all at once then why not consider taking out a personal loan. A lot of the times people assume that they simply don't have a high enough credit score to do that, but there are some companies who offer bad credit personal loans to just about anyone. Just make sure that you're in a position to actually pay back the installments and keep an eye on the interest rate. You don't want to end up paying back double what you originally borrowed.

Do some odd jobs

There are plenty of great apps that you can download onto your phone right now that allow you to take on odd jobs and gigs in the very short term. This means that you have the chance to pick and choose exactly what you want to do and you don't get tied into anything long term, which is extremely useful if you're only stopping somewhere for a little while and will be moving on soon.

Sell your plasma

Plasma donation is very similar to giving blood. An amount of your blood is removed via a syringe, the plasma is then separated from the red blood cells, and your blood is returned to your body with a sterile solution that helps it create new plasma. The whole procedure takes a couple of hours at most for a first visit, even less on subsequent occasions, and you can make some seriously quick cash. The amount that you get paid varies from place to place so it's a good idea to contact wherever you can donate plasma in your area to find out how much they will pay.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Top Secrets to Minimize Increase in Premium Due to New Drivers

new drivers outstanding premium
So, your kid is old enough to drive already. However, whenever he gets behind the wheel, a surge of panic always seems to arise. What should you do? You need to show the kid you have full confidence in him, but you do not want to be all worried when the payment time comes around.

When a teenager comes onto a policy, car insurance providers automatically increase the premium. It is their default action, for the same reason you get all tensed up when your teenage kid starts driving. Surprisingly, they increase the rates to as much as 60 percent. What should you do lessen the additional cost?

Here are some secrets you can use to minimize increase in premium:

First, compare car insurance quotes online. A very basic thing to do and yet, it is significantly effective. Not all car insurance companies will charge as much when a teen driver is involved.

Look for particular ones that do not raise the value or offer very minimal increase. Take your time. You need to be patient when doing this. If you need to make things fast, try looking for quote comparison sites.

Second, add the teen driver to your policy. This will help them attain the same benefits and discounts that you get. If you opt for individual coverage, it may boost their independency level but it will surely bore a hole in your pocket.

Third, gets the teen driver extra training to hone their driving skills. The kid needs to pass a driving test before being allowed to have a license. Additional classes aim to simply show the provider that the kid is willing to be cautious and conscientious when driving, the best to take is the defensive driving course.

Fourth, make sure you provide you provider a heads up regarding the circumstance change. Whatever happens, make sure that you keep the provider posted. If the car is not used often, chances are it will not affect the policy offers.

Fifth, a good student is a good driver. If your kid is very skilled individual when it comes to academics, then good for you! Many auto insurance providers correlate good grades with the ability of the teen driver to drive.

Good grades mean a responsible and mature individual. Be proud of your kid’s accomplishments. It is always a great pay-off and it can save you money.

Last but not the least; make sure that you pick the right car for your kid. The kind of car being driven by the teenager plays a crucial role in the premium increase. The auto insurance providers opt for safe and reliable cars, instead of the sporty ones with fast acceleration.

These simple tips will surely help alleviate some of your worries as a parent of a teen driver. Do not forget them. Start early and try to meet the requirements ahead of time. Compare car insurance quotes now before your kids reach the driving age!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cash Control: Securing Your Finances For The Future And Beyond

secure your finances for future
What's stressing you out? Weight, work, family issues?

If you are like most people, it could be money problems. There are no shortage of reasons why money can cause stress to our lives. We can struggle to find jobs, struggle to pay our bills, our property may have lost value, and it might be too expensive to afford petrol. This stress can be controlled, though, and we needn't freak out. While you can't completely eliminate stress, you can get your finances in order, so there is one less thing for you to worry about! Managing your finances and coping with stress can improve your outlook. Can you now see the link between your health and finance?

If your financial health is in a poor state, no amount of stress or worry will change that. Grab control, focus and push ahead.

The first key aspect of getting on top of your money is to assess your financial situation. Calculate your levels of debt and build a clear picture of your income and expenses. Spend less than you earn to build an excess that can be used to pay off your debt, or saved up if you have no debts. This is a good rule to keep no matter how much you are earning. Track your spending as a well. A budget is the perfect indicator of your financial health and can show you exactly where you are going wrong with your cash. A budget can show you what you are spending highly on and thus help you cut down on overspending. If you grow your excess between income and spend, you can start thinking about setting up a direct debit savings plan that will transplant 5% of your monthly salary into your savings account. This creates a great foundation for your future and can allow you to invest.

The other side of this is being in relative financial health, but not being really in control of your cash. It's never too early to plan your estate for the future with estate planning attorneys, and it could give you a clear picture of exactly what you need to do. If you want to invest, seek advice before you pledge money to causes and make sure you know what you are getting into. Having money can be as stressful as not having it.

If you are running into issues with debt, it's likely that a bank loan, a payday loan or a credit card is involved. We have trouble with lending as a species, and when given the tools, we can rack up the debt with ease. The interest rates on many loans can be truly unforgiving and quite the trap. This debt can be a huge cause of stress and a massive block to improving your financial health. Make sure you pay off more than the minimum payment on these kinds of debt to escape from them as soon as possible. If you have a credit card, pay the monthly balance off as soon as possible.

Whatever your situation, keep in control of your cash and secure your finances for the future.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Financial Help After Being Made Disabled: What To Do

physical & financial disabled
It can be a difficult time if you have gone through a traumatic incident that has left you unable to cope, either mentally or physically. If, for example, you have had a car accident that has left you without the use of a limb can be a stressful change in life, one that you and your loved ones will have to get used to. And it will be a change in your day to day activities; you may have to give up your job as you are unable to do that type of work anymore. It can feel like a big part of your livelihood has been taken away, and you may struggle to make bill payments. Getting financial help when you are in any form of debt is a stressful process, but if you have been made disabled, there are benefits you can claim, and there is help for you.

In America, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is managed by the Social Security Administration and is for people that are unable to be employed due to a physical disability. If you are unable to work, the SSDI is what you would apply for first. It can be given on a temporary or permanent basis, and this is dependent on your disability. It can be a long process to file for disability, so you shouldn’t waste time in getting your application sent off. You could apply for the SSDI and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at the same time. The difference is that SSI is means tested.

Sometimes, it can be a stressful process trying to obtain any form of benefit. If you have any difficulty in trying to obtain disability benefit, there are law firms, such as LaPorte Law Firm, that have the experience in that sector and can help to make the process as stress free as possible. You are always better approaching a lawyer that has a track record in dealing with those types of cases as opposed to one who specializes in a different type of law. The difference in cost can vary, a lawyer less experienced in that field may charge less, but this can mean the difference between quality over quantity.

When applying for any disability benefit, you may be subject to a lot of examination and questioning. To make it an easier process, and a less stressful one, make sure you keep a copy of your paperwork for reference just in case it gets lost. The importance of providing as much information as possible, such as medical records, and examination results, will help to make your application as speedy as possible.

If you get denied on the initial claim, you can file it again to be reconsidered. Make sure that you do it immediately, and within the 60 days of the denial date as well as 5 extra days to allow for postage. If circumstances have changed in your condition since then, such as new treatment dates, these must be included in the new paperwork.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Handling The Finances Of A Loved One After Their Death

will for family
Suffering a bereavement of a loved one is bad enough. Handling the affairs of someone after they have passed on can be additional stress that you don’t need. There can be months of liaising with the banks and dealing with the authorities on top of the stress you are going through. There is the matter of dealing with the probate. If you are named in a will as an executor of their estate, you may need to apply for probate. This is a legal document which gives you the authority to share out the estate in accordance with what the will stipulates. But what if there is no will? What is the process then? It is quite a surprise how many people don’t leave a will, which not only causes problems in accessing the estate, but also a number of rifts it may cause among family members. Handling any financial affairs of your closest family members, or distant relatives who didn’t have anyone close to them can feel like a stress that you don’t need. But it is a necessary action that needs to be taken so they can be given the send-off they deserve, but also the process can be dealt with as little bumps and obstacles as possible.

When A Loved One Dies…

The process after a relative passes away, of course, begins with the funeral. The costs of the funeral usually will come from the deceased. If they have suffered a terminal disease, they may have already paid for the funeral already. If this is not the case, the funeral costs come from the estate, if the deceased has enough money in it. Otherwise, a relative or friend would pay for it and reclaim the costs from the estate, but that is if there is enough money in the estate. If you are looking to pay for the funeral, you should check with the estate to see you can recover the money afterward. If you or anyone is unable to make any payment towards the funeral, the local hospital or council can arrange for one, but this is usually a cremation, and you are unable to choose the date of the service, it also tends to be a short service. This should be a very last option if there are no funds to cover the funeral, so if you can afford to cover the costs or most of the costs of the service, it is a much better approach for everyone.

Other options available to you include asking the bank to see if they would allow the deceased’s remaining funds in the account to cover the funeral. But, upon a person’s death, the bank would freeze the account. The option, in that case, would be to either contact the executor or administrator of the estate; this is dependent on a will being present. If there is no will, you could speak to the bank to see if they will release the money. Some banks can do this, but you will need to have a copy of the death certificate and an invoice from the funeral home that would have your name on it. In these circumstances, you must make sure that you have proof of ID. It can be very tempting to access the money direct from the bank account if you have the information, but you could run into a whole mess of legal problems, so you are best doing it by the book. The only exception to the rule is when there is a joint account.

After The Funeral…

Once the funeral has been and gone or depending on when the funeral is, the financial affairs of the deceased needs to be sorted. By informing the authorities of the person’s death, such as the utility companies (gas, water, electric, etc.), you can get the accounts closed down and if they were owed money back or underpaid on their bills. If they did not pay enough on their bills, the money in the estate would go to cover the bills. If the estate does not have enough money to cover the bills, the two options are either to check if the deceased had an insurance policy that would pay out on the result of their death, such as a payment protection policy. The other option is that the relatives are liable. In the instance that there was a joint account held by the deceased, the other holder of the account is liable.

The probate process can be a complex one when there is a will, and there are people named in the will as the executor of the estate. In the event that there is no will, the probate process becomes a much longer and drawn out affair. In this instance, you will need to go down the legal route and speak to a lawyer. You also need to apply for a document that will make you the administrator of the estate. The way the administrator is determined is based on a set order of priority and is usually who is the closest in terms of relation. The order of priority is usually this:
  1. Married or civil partner of the deceased.
  2. Child of the deceased.
  3. Grandchild of the deceased.
  4. Parent of the deceased.
  5. Sibling of the deceased.
  6. Nephew or niece of the deceased.
  7. Another relative of the deceased.
Unfortunately, a person who is an unmarried partner or same-sex partner who hasn’t been named in the will is unable to act as an administrator. If the deceased has left a will, it will ultimately make the whole probate process much easier, but this can still take a long time, depending on the size of the estate. The larger the estate, it usually means there are more legal hoops to jump through.

The will itself will be subject to scrutiny from all angles. Sometimes there may be an issue with the will, or it may be contested by others for various reasons. This is, unfortunately, a common occurrence, and the best approach is, to prevent any more delays, to seek legal advice on the matter. There are firms, such as Brooks, Leboeuf, Bennett, Foster, & Gwartney P.A that specialize in helping to either draft wills or to seek a speedy resolution to the issue. By seeking legal advice, it can add more fuel to the fire, but when there is a contesting in the will, the best way is to get the problem resolved with as little fuss as possible. This can be heartbreaking for people involved, because of the fact that it is something else adding to the stress, but if it isn’t dealt with early on, it can take years to get sorted.

As the will should clearly set out the fine details of the estate, this will make for an easier process in terms of the sharing of the estate and the probate process. Depending on the details of the will and the amount of estate that needs to be shared out, this will affect the amount of time it takes. If you are looking to get probate for a relative’s estate, it can take months and then another year on top to finalize the administration. If the will is very clear in who gets the finances, for example, if it all goes to charity, the whole process can be over in a matter of weeks. On the other hand, the process can take years. It can be frustrating, especially if you are feeling pressured to get the estate issues sorted as soon as possible, but the best advice is to take your time and make sure you understand every aspect of being an executor or administrator of the estate.

What can you learn from this? The bottom line of the matter is; if you haven’t already created a will, then this is something that you really need to think about. By creating a will that marks out what your estate is and how it is to be shared out, in terms that are clear and to the point, it will avoid the major headaches that it can cause your loved ones. If you are currently in a relationship but are not married, this can cause issues for your partner if you were to pass away and wish them to take over the estate. When an estate of a deceased person comes into question, there are many issues that need to be addressed, and it can be a myriad of information. There can be arguments over aspects of the will that are unclear, so by making your will easy to understand and knowing exactly what you have that makes up your estate, from shares you had 30 years ago, to your home, you need to be as clear as water in each aspect. So, if you haven’t set out a will giving clear details as to who receives what, and making sure that it is free from errors and ambiguities, it is now time to make sure that is done.

Monday, February 6, 2017

4 Advantages of Manufactured Housing

housing market status
Did you know that over 17 million Americans live in manufactured homes? This could mean motor homes, prefabricated housing or even a mobile home. Either way, a lot of Americans choose to live in manufactured housing, but why?

In fact, what does manufactured housing even mean and what does it imply? In most parts of the United States, manufactured housing is called a mobile home. It usually refers to a home that is built entirely in a factory and then delivered to prospective clients. Now that’s out of the way, let’s explore some of the reasons why manufactured housing is such a big draw to so many Americans.

1. It’s very cheap

If you look at mobile homes for sale, you’ll realise that they can start at a ridiculously low price of $23,000. Compared to the median price of a house in the United States (which is $188,900), you could buy roughly eight mobile homes for the price of a single “standard” house. That is an incredible value that cannot be ignored. $23,000 is just the base price of a simple studio-like apartment mobile home, but it doesn’t cost much more to upgrade to a larger mobile home. Since the cost of the home is so low, you can afford to upgrade the mobile home with several improvements and furnish it with top-end furniture.

2. Modability

Many manufactured houses are modular, meaning that you can install “modules” or remove them at will and customise your mobile home. This means you can add multiple bedrooms, bathrooms and customise the layout without much trouble. Since the building process is so flexible, you can save a lot of money in the building process and you’ll have total control over what you want. Of course, you’ll have to pay extra for a custom-built mobile home, but it will still be a lot cheaper than buying a normal home.

3. Energy Efficiency

Manufactured houses have a major advantage over traditional homes in the energy efficiency department. Builders take a lot of care when they install appliances into a mobile home and they make sure to use energy efficient parts in everything from the cooking stove to the heating and cooling systems. Windows are also very solid to prevent cold air from seeping in, and overall a mobile home has been delicately crafted to ensure that it lasts for a long time and isn’t a disposable home that you can throw away in the future.

4. Extended Warranty

New mobile homes are subject to a very appealing warranty scheme. If you think about the times when you needed something repaired and it took forever to get a repairman to come and fix a light bulb or a plumber to repair a leaky pipe, then you’ll probably want to avoid using those services ever again. With a mobile home, there are many extended warranty plans that will cover not just the home itself, but the appliances and inner workings of your home, meaning that repairs are swift, cheap and easy to perform.