Sunday, June 25, 2017

Don't Let Debt Defeat Your Family

kill your debts
Debt is the last thing anyone really needs - but it’s certainly a much more sensitive problem when a family is in debt. Finances are becoming a more common worry among American families than ever, with debt being particularly (and worryingly) common among the population. While debt shouldn’t always be considered a terrible thing - there are some benefits to being in small amounts of debt when it comes to building a good credit rating, as long as you’re on top of the matter - it can become an overwhelming issue for many families.

It’s been estimated that as many as eight in every ten Americans are in debt, with the majority of these people being a parent living with children. These statistics probably won’t look any better in a few more years once more students have graduated from college with a bunch of student debt on their shoulders!

If your family is in debt, it’s important to understand that your situation may not be as dire as you imagine it to be. Again, the idea of being in debt has become such a terrifying prospect that a lot of people end up worrying too much about it. But if you know that your family is in significant debt, then you need to start taking action before that debt overwhelms you. Let’s have a quick look at the ways in which you can ease the stress of this debt on your family.

Talk to the experts

The type of professional expert in this field that you should consider talking to will depend on your specific circumstances. You may need to talk to a standard financial advisor, or, if the situation is a little more complex and involves property or divorce, you might need to enlist the help of family law services. But a lot of families won’t consider this option at all. After all, hiring such help costs money - and spending more money doesn’t seem wise when you’re in debt, right? You’ll need to consider your situation carefully and perhaps look into any free consultation you can get, but don’t dismiss this idea. Experts may have the tools and resources you need to ease the debt.


One of the main reasons that debt becomes so overwhelming for a family isn’t always how much is owed - it’s how many institutions that money is owed to. Debt consolidation brings several debts together into one debt, which can be much easier to deal with. While this doesn’t generally reduce the amount that you owe, it can help alleviate much of the stress associated with debt - which is a more important element of dealing with this situation than you might think. Research this option to see if it’s right for you.

Negotiation and settlement

The lender or merchant to whom you are in debt may be more willing to discuss options with you regarding your loan than you may think. This is why you shouldn’t assume that negotiation and, eventually, settlement of your debt is completely off the table. While there’s no guarantee that a given institution will be willing to let you settle the debt for less than you borrowed, many are willing to cut their losses if they feel your family really won’t be able to pay them back.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Find Out Whether You're Secure In the Rental Market

open for rent
With property prices so high it can be, it can be difficult to enter the property market. This leaves many renters in a predicament of insecurity when it comes to their long term home. The current generation of millennials are labelled as many as ‘generation rent’ as the property market has been pushed too high for many people to even consider putting a deposit on their own property, let alone plan for retirement. With such a high proportion of young renters and very little to protect those renters, let’s have a look at some of the risks involved in renting a property and how to avoid them.

Eviction is the biggest concern to most renters, and with a bad economy and high house prices many renters can find themselves evicted suddenly. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done about a sudden eviction, however there are strategies to deal with the stress that comes along with it. If you find yourself in a situation where the landlord wants possession of their property, it is important to remain calm. This can be difficult when the rental market is so competitive, however staying calm will allow you to assess your options. 

If you need to leave a previous rental property suddenly and have not found somewhere to stay, ask around with your friends or family and see if you can stay with someone for a couple of weeks. Once you have a temporary roof over your head you can plan your attack. Although the idea of sharing with someone can seem tedious to most people who, it can be a great alternative while you find your feet and try and find the perfect property to rent independently. If you have a family, possibly speak to the landlord and see if you can negotiate the time you move out. If you are still unhappy with the results, as a tenant you have a legal right to dispute any decisions made, as long as you do it within the designated time frame.

Another growing concern in the rental market is the security of a rental property from burglaries or damages. Many people dismiss the idea of contents insurance when they rent as they often think they won’t be eligible as a renter. However, there are services available that provide contents insurance to renters. A renters insurance quote is often free and can provide advice on how to protect their possession in the case of not only burgalaries, but also flooding and storm damage. Despite many people thinking it is not necessary, it does supply an extra layer of security and peace of mind for many when purchased.

If you do find yourself in a difficult predicament in the rental market it is best to get legal advice. Remember to stay calm and negotiate your rights. Protecting yourself from an early onset can alleviate your stress from accidental damage or robberies, meaning you can claim for the damages that have occurred. Hopefully you never find yourself in this predicament, however if you do remember these tips.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bulletproof Your Bank Balance

your bank savings
Let’s face it. The cost of living is high. Much higher for us than it was for our parents. Despite working long hours and doing our best to make shrewd choices when it comes to household purchases many of us are dangling by a thread financially.

As we dangle over the precipice we see below us a roiling sea of debt and loss. We want to avoid it at all costs but the ground into which we’re desperately digging our fingers feels like it could crumble at any moment and send us plunging into an abyss of financial uncertainty.

You need a lifeline!

Payday loans online are a perfectly acceptable short term solution but they need to be handled intelligently. You should know exactly how much you need, what your interest payments should be and exactly when you should have it paid back. For many of us, though, prevention is usually the best strategy.

Here are some easily achievable ways to bulletproof your bank balance to inoculate you against any unpleasant surprised if you should find yourself facing an unexpected financial difficulty or temporarily unable to work.

Save, save save

There’s really no substitute for a healthy savings account but with the rising cost of rent, groceries and utilities many people are finding themselves drastically reducing the amount they squirrel away for the future, or are dissuaded from saving altogether. The good news is that any saving, however small, is helpful so long as you get into the habit of doing it regularly (even if it’s just a penny jar). 

Little lifestyle changes can make a huge difference too. Quitting smoking (or at the very least cutting down) and putting what you would have spent on cigarettes into your savings account at regular intervals is a great way to watch the balance climb. That latte you get yourself from Starbucks on the way to work every morning? Why not take a thermos full of your own coffee in the morning and treat yourself to the expensive latte on Friday?

Making extra on the side… With your phone!

Thank Heaven that you live in the smartphone age because there’s a wide range of apps that can help you make substantial savings and even a little extra cash here and there with a minimal investment of time and effort. 

Keep selling your old stuff

Most of us have a shelf that’s bowing under the weight of all the books, CDs, DVDs and Blu ray discs that lie unused gathering dust. Be sure to rotate them on a regular basis, be ruthless and sell off any that you have no desire to see / hear/ read again before they depreciate in value. By downloading the Decluttr app and scanning in the barcodes of your items you will instantly know how much you can expect to make from your unused clutter. They’ll even send you a box or envelope to put your stuff in and come and collect it for you, resulting in quick and easy cash for you to stash away for a rainy day.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Home Truths: Building Up Your Property For Profit

property profit
Our homes are veritable goldmines in many ways, but it’s not like we’d want to sell it right now and potentially shake up our lives. But as a way to get some extra money, selling your home has its plus points, especially if you require a quick windfall of cash. But if you are that desperate for money, you could be selling yourself short, which is why it begs the question, is it worth it to plow a lot of money into a home that you're going to sell on anyway? There are two schools of thought on the matter:

One: you could spend decades building up your home into a mini palace and sell it on, only for there to be a dip in house prices, and you are barely getting more than the asking price, which just about covers the cost of renovation.

Two: you don’t change a thing and get a decent price, but it can take a while to get there, by which time you could have done up a few houses and sold on.

The time versus money factor is the big thing to be aware of. And if you are looking to sell your home on years down the line, then you may as well make it livable for you and not think about anything else. But as houses are appearing to get smaller, the one thing you can do for future buyers is to make more space. Building an extension is the one thing that can add value to your property, but if you don’t have the finances and the planning permission ready, it can be a long time coming. But another way around this, which is cheaper and would add value to your property is to erect a steel building on the grounds of the property. Not to be confused with an outhouse or a shed, steel building suppliers like Armstrong Steel have touted the benefits of these for some time. As a way to add some value and bypass lots of red tape, this could be a solution that strikes a balance. It also cuts down on construction costs when you compare it to a new build.

Everything can add value to your home, but the key thing to think about when aiming to sell your home in the future is the taste of the average house buyer. For this, you need to think about your location, buying trends, and the style of your property. Having the right strategy will help in this instance. So if you are in an urban area, an additional steel building could be an advantage because of the lack of space in built-up places. But if you're out of the way, in a quiet area, expect more space for your money. It’s a delicate balance.

When aiming to sell your home, if you have time, then you can focus on picking the right elements to renovate. But as time goes on, you can end up putting more money into it than planned, and does this mean you'll actually make a good profit by the end of it?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Getting Out Of Debt In 6 Months

come out from debt
It’s certainly a question that begs asking, if it’s possible to get out of debt within a short period of time, and 6-months may sound completely impossible, but there are options out there, even if you have bad credit and a lot of banks won't touch you with a barge pole. Here is your four-step plan to getting out of debt. Be warned, a lot of it isn’t easy!

Have A Strategy

This is the absolute bedrock of getting out of debt in a short space of time. If you don’t have plans in place, your finances will be all out of sync, and you won't be able to plan ahead and do anything. So this is the first thing to get sorted, but the question is, what's the best way to go about it? This is down to you. You need to look at your habits and money spending, what are your main outgoings? Do you buy a lot of food? If so, then you may try to offset some of the balance by having a meal plan. Planning your meals for the week makes you get into that mindset. And if you plan ahead, you can plan for any unexpected issues that may arise. Preparation is always key to getting out of debt.

Get Advice

You may not have any clue how to get started. But there are plenty of online money forums available to give you an idea of how to proceed. It is tempting to look at online loans with monthly payments, which is feasible, but you need to make sure that you are aware of the terms of the contract. And there are companies that give loans over a short period of time like six months, and if the amount borrowed gets you out of debt, then that’s great, but you have to make sure that you aren’t digging yourself a bigger financial hole by taking out a loan. It’s a delicate balance, so read the fine print and get as much advice as possible. We’re all different in how we spend our money, rather than how much.

Look At Your Outgoings

This will be the hardest part. You may struggle to believe that you're spending so much on “essentials” every month, and so you may realize how you managed to get in so much debt. This is where you can start to make appropriate precautions, such as walking to work or to the shops, or getting into the mindset of looking for bargains rather than buying what you want. A lot of the act of spending money is much easier now with contactless payments, and it’s so convenient to buy something on the way home or on the way to work. It is these little outgoings that add up, which is something we don’t really tend to think about. If time is ticking on and you don’t think you can get out of debt quick enough, are there things you can sell? The act of getting out of debt in a short space of time is a sacrifice, and this is what you need to understand.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Handling Your Finances While You Are Unable To Work

in hand finances
There are several valid reasons that you might not be able to work. Most revolve around being too physically or mentally unwell to be able to carry out the tasks required of you sufficiently well. But when you are too unwell to work, you still need to get by and fork out the costs of everyday living. Rent, bills, food and other necessary sustenance don’t come for free after all, even to the most disadvantaged of us. So how should you cover yourself until you are back on your feet? The most important thing is to know your situation and know your rights. Don’t allow yourself to fall into debt or financial trouble. Here are a few ways to handle your finances when you are unable to work.

Injury Through No Fault of Your Own

Thousands of workers every year are unable to work due to a personal injury experienced in the workplace. These are often through no fault of their own and are the result of others’ negligence. So if you’ve hurt yourself in the workplace and are no longer able to carry out your responsibilities, you are entitled to compensation. Contact a personal injury law firm who will be able to analyse what has happened and determine whether you have a viable claim. If you do, you will receive a lump sum which should help to compensate the pain and trouble you have experienced at the hands of another’s mistakes. Making a claim also benefits other members of your workplace. The employer is more likely to keep on top of health and safety and rectify any issues which led to your injury in the first place.


If you are pregnant, you may find that you need to take time off work when you reach the later stages of your pregnancy and are less able to get about and carry out tasks that you usually find simple. You don’t want to risk your health or your baby’s health by continuing to work and straining or injuring yourself when heavily pregnant. You will also need some time to care for your newborn once you have given birth. This will let you bond with your child, get into the swing of parenthood and take care of your little one at one of the most vulnerable periods of their life. So know what kind of paid leave you are entitled to. This should be made clear when setting out your contract in the first place, so refer to this. You are entitled to a certain period of maternity leave by law. Check the legislation for your local area and ensure that you receive what you are entitled to. Paternity leave can also be paid if the father intends to be the primary carer of the child during the early phases of their life.


You may want to plan ahead. Many people do this by creating a savings account for a rainy day. This is essential if you are self-employed, as you won’t receive sick pay. Put a small amount of your wages aside into a savings account that you can dip into if you find yourself unable to work for short periods of time.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

GST Return – How to file it properly

all about GST
GST is going to be live soon and all traders, manufacturers, service providers are worrying about the invoicing, accounting changes. GST is a big reform and will require to change the way of working and managing the business. 

The most horrifying provision in GST is the number of GST returns a person has to file. A registered person has to file 12 monthly returns and also an annual return. Besides this the monthly return has 3 statements having different due dates. A person under composition return has to file quarterly return and an annual return.

The three statements in a monthly return are

1. Details of outward supplies
2. Details of Inward supplies
3. The return statement

Details of Outwards Supplies

This is the statement which contains details of all the sales made by the person. Due date for filing this statement is 10th of the next month. Details are to be provided in following manner:

1. Invoice wise details of sales made to registered persons whether intra state sales or interstate sales.

2. State wise details of sales made to unregistered person in inter state sales. Although consolidated information is to be furnished.

3. For intra state sales made to unregistered persons and general public, consolidated details are to be given. The sales is to be bifurcated according to different GST rates applicable.

4. Invoice wise details of inter-State supplies with invoice value more than two and a half lakh rupees made to unregistered persons

The form for filing details of outward supplies is GSTR-1. The details filed by a registered person in this form is make available to recipient person in Form GSTR-2A. Then the recipient person can modify, delete or add the details. Such changes will again make available to the seller in form GSTR-1A. If the seller accepts such changes then his GSTR-1 will amend accordingly.

Details of Inward Supplies

This is a statement containing details of all purchases made by a registered person. Due date for fling this statement is 15th day from the end of the month. 

The information from the details of outward supplies is made available to respective registered persons from the 11th day from the end of month in Form GSTR-2A. If the recipient founds the details to be correct, then he has to just accept the details. If there is some mistake or an addition or deletion is required then he can do in such statement. Such changes are then made available to seller as discussed earlier.

This form is a major change in manner of filing indirect tax return. In current regime of taxation, every person has to file his sales and purchase statement and matching of sales and purchases is made thereafter. But in GST if the seller has not filed details of sales and also not accepted changes, then the purchase can not claim input tax credit at that point.

The return statement

This is the statement for filing the main return part and to be filed in Form GSTR-3. Due date for fling this statement is 20th of the succeeding month. 

Part A of GSTR-3 will contain information furnished through returns in Form GSTR-1, GSTR-2, electronic cash ledger, electronic credit ledger and details based on other liabilities of preceding tax periods.

Liability of tax, interest, penalty or any other amount payable is to be paid by debiting the electronic cash ledger or electronic credit ledger and these details is to be included in Part B of Form GSTR-3.

Pre requisites for filing return

GST return can not be filed unless you make payment of all dues other than which are pending in the appellate tribunal or court. Also GST return for a month/quarter can be filed only after filing of all previous month/quarter’s return. For eg: You can file return for month of August 2017 only after filing of return of July 2017.

Annual Return

The registered persons are also required to file an annual return in form GSTR-9. For persons registered under composition scheme the form for annual return is form GSTR-9A. Person who are required to get their accounts audited under GST are required to file a copy of audited accounts and a reconciliation statement along with annual return.

Late fees for delay in Filing GST return

Late fee of Rs. 100 per day is liable to be paid if any monthly/quarterly return is not submitted within due date. Maximum penalty would be of Rs. 5,000.

In case of Annual return penalty is payable at Rs. 100 per day. Maximum penalty in such case is 0.25% of the turnover in the state or union territory.

Revision of GST Return

If the taxable person finds any omission or incorrect particulars he can rectify it in the month/quarter’s return in which such error is noticed. The rectification can not be done in following cases

1.Error is found as a result of scrutiny, audit, inspection or enforcement activity by the tax authorities.

2.After any of the following dates

(a) due date of return of month of September or quarter July to September of following year
(b) actual date of furnishing annual return of relevant year

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Great Ways To Help You Deal With Unexpected Driving Costs

extra driving costs
As drivers already know, there are many costs involved when it comes to owning a car. From fuel costs to breakdown charges, your bank balance is going to suffer. Should you rely on your car on a daily basis, not being able to drive for a few days because you can’t afford the upkeep is going to make your life difficult.

To avoid unexpected costs, here are a few tips that might help you now and in the future.

Buy a roadworthy vehicle

Not many of us can afford a brand new car, so going second-hand may be the way to go. However, you need to make sure the car is safe to drive before purchasing it, and you should check for any underlying issues. If you don’t feel able to make those checks yourself, or you aren’t sure of the right questions to ask the seller, bring along somebody who can. A trusted friend or a qualified motor technician will be able to advise you if the car is an advisable buy or a potential deathtrap.

Perform regular maintenance

You should get your car serviced at least once a year to offset any potential problems down the line. However, there are ways you can maintain your car without having a lot of technical experience. For example, you should check your tyre pressure on a regular basis to avoid the possibility of a blowout on the road. Make sure you top up your oil to the required level to keep your engine running smoothly. Check your lights and replace the bulbs when they die. These small jobs don’t take long and will alleviate the possibility of an accident and further expenses.

Many people take a class in car maintenance, so despite the added costs to you, having a little knowhow in taking care of your vehicle will save you money, avoiding the need to hire an expensive mechanic with all their added (and confusing) charges.

Protect your vehicle

You need to take out insurance to legally be able to drive. However, you should shop around and find a better deal if you are currently paying a lot on your premium. Don’t be faithful to the same company every year, as they are only interested in your money and not your friendship. When it comes time to renew, compare their new prices with other companies and make the switch if it suits your motoring needs, as well as your wallet.

Breakdown cover

While insurance is compulsory, breakdown cover isn’t, but it is still a worthwhile investment. You never know when your car might break down, so you don’t want to be left stranded in the middle of nowhere. Having cover in place will give you peace of mind and reduce the cost of repairs. So while you may resent the monthly expense when everything's going fine, you never know when disaster might strike. 

Legal cover

We all make mistakes, and there will be a time when you are involved in a road accident. This may be through no fault of your own, so you will want to reclaim any compensation owed for damages to you and your vehicle. Unfortunately, you may be the cause of the accident, and you are liable for any court costs if the third party takes legal action against you. In any case, you need a good attorney to help you, so consider a firm such as Priale & Racine who will fight your corner. Being involved in an accident is stressful enough without the expensive implications, so the right legal cover will alleviate many of your anxieties.

Fuel costs

Don’t rely on your regular gas station for your fuel, but shop around for anywhere with a cheaper option. Obviously, you don’t want to drive miles out of your way for only a small saving, so use your common sense.

One of the best ways to save money is to not use your car at all. When driving around town, you are wasting more fuel by stopping at regular intervals for traffic lights and pedestrians. You might want to do your bank balance a favor, and your health, by leaving the car at home once in awhile and taking a walk if you only need to travel a short distance. It may be that public transport is also a less expensive option when making the daily commute to work, so do a little research and save yourself some money.

Buy a new car

We have already advocated the benefits of a second-hand car, but despite the initial outlay, a new car may be the better option. With advances in technology, many new cars are more fuel efficient and will cost less to tax because of low carbon emissions. They will also come with a lengthy warranty, so any unexpected repair costs can be covered if the fault is with the manufacturer.

You don’t need to pay for the car in one go, as there are finance deals available. Of course, you need to factor the cost of interest into the equation, so find an affordable option that suits you. Buying a used car is cheaper in the short-term but there is a higher risk of things going wrong, and you may need to replace your car sooner than you like. A new model, despite the higher price tag, should keep you going for a long time to come.

Be a better driver

Quite simply, the way you drive can determine how much money you need to pay out in the future. Being a safe driver is going to alleviate the risk of accidents. This means taking care on the road, not driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and avoiding unnecessary distractions such as your smartphone.

The way you handle your car is also important. You waste fuel through hard braking and rapid acceleration. Take it easy on sharp corners, avoiding the urge to skid, no matter how much of a daredevil you are. Your tyres and your handbrake will thank you for your care.

Friday, June 16, 2017

How To Responsibly Plan And Write Your Last Will And Testament

attorney helps for wills
No one wants to think about his or her death, but we all know that it’s going to happen one day.You would be so lucky, to die of natural causes after a long fulfilled life surrounded by parents, but that possibility is essentially out of our hands. You may die at the hands of another such as a car crash, so you can't afford to not think about your own death and start preparing. If you want to be protected and also take care of loved ones once you’re gone, you must start thinking of writing your will. It’s a way for you to sort out your end-of-life financial requirements and gifts, so what you have, is distributed to those who you cared for the most. Avoid common will writing mistakes and make sure your possessions and money are correctly handled after the funeral ceremony is over.

The process

There are many things you need to consider when forming a watertight estate plan. It’s a good idea to sit down with a legal expert such as a probate litigation attorney so you can avoid any estate dispute from happening. Every state has different rules and what makes a will legally binding with regards to who can write and legitimize it. It’s important you use the legal papers of the property you intend to pass one, you must know the legal authority over it, detailed in the paperwork such as the owner, date bought, what land it’s on, what the estimated price is and who much of it can be taxed, etc. Respect the local government, and inform them of your intentions before writing the will so that any surprises can be dealt with, with the help of the attorney. 

Include your services

Most of your large assets such as a home, bank account, cars, real estate, businesses will automatically need to have their transition to someone else’s ownership, automatically involve the bank and insurance companies. Savings accounts and life insurance policies have a beneficiary attached to them so as long as your assets are assigned to the people whom you wish to inherit them, your obligations won’t have been broken upon your departure. Consider establishing a trust, where your sentimental belongings fall into state inheritance laws, so the tax burden is less on your loved ones. These preventative measures are put in place so that they prevent fighting among family members about what you intended as it leaves nothing up to interpretation.


It’s a good idea to have backup witnessed in case those attending the finalizing of the will may die suddenly or move abroad where they’re unable to attend the reading. You’ll need to think about who is going to be there when you sign the will and make it official. The people that know your will’s contents must be in agreement that your testament must be carried out to the letter, after your death. Trust plays a huge part in this process because you will be putting a burden on them, to go through with legal issues and staying true to any heirs.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Breaking The Bank: Unexpected Events That Could Derail Any Company

bank breaking
As a business owner, you have to make predictions to ensure you always have enough money in your accounts. At the start of each year, you’ll have to work out how much you think you will have to spend. That could include staffing costs, marketing, and growth. However, there are lots of unexpected events that could hurt your operation. Indeed, the situations discussed in this article could derail your company and ruin your ambitions. For that reason, it’s essential that you research these issues. Only then can you ensure that you keep enough cash aside. Hopefully, these occurrences will never happen to your company. Still, they are relatively common in the business world. 

Employment disputes

You never know when you will make a mistake during the employment process. Writers from The Wall Street Journal know that all too well. You might end up hiring someone who doesn’t go the extra mile for your company. If that happens, the individual could cause many problems. Maybe they turn up late for work every single day? Regardless of the issue, you will try to fire the worker as soon as possible. However, employees have rights today, and so you need to follow official procedures. If you don’t do that, the person might decide to take you to court. The legal fees you would encounter could become astronomical. 

Injuries in your workplace

It’s important that all company bosses work hard to promote adequate health and safety standards. Still, that doesn’t guarantee an accident will never occur. So, you need to ensure you always have some emergency funds stashed away. Experts from L+G's personal injury division say business owners often end up paying thousands of dollars in compensation. That happens when they didn’t give the worker enough warnings or they dismissed them unfairly. With that in mind, it’s wise to consult lawyers ahead of time. They are in the best position to offer advice about employment issues of that nature. At the end of the day, you just need to make sure you act within the law.

Legal disputes with other brands

Other company bosses might try to take your firm to court for a variety of different reasons. For example, maybe they think you’ve infringed on one of their patents. Perhaps you’ve used a logo or trademark that belongs to another brand? Either way, you will find yourself in court considerably more often when your venture becomes successful. While you shouldn't stress about it too much right now, you still need to take precautions. Ensure you always have a few thousand dollars hidden away somewhere. You should also build relationships with professional legal teams in advance. That way, they will swing into action fast. 

Now you know about the three most common unexpected events, you should find yourself in a better position. Indeed, after reading this article, those instances shouldn’t seem quite as surprising. The solution is just to ensure you never spend your entire budget. You also need to create an emergency fund for the worst situations. However, you can always ask for payment plans or borrow cash from the bank if you’re stuck. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Effective Ways To Save Money During Financial Hardship

time of money hardship
For many people, daily living is a struggle because of low income, or outstanding debts that become overwhelming. While it is true to say money can’t buy us happiness, without having sufficient funds in our bank account to live functionally, we can become miserable.

If you are living on a tight budget, here are a few ways you can manage your money to alleviate future problems. 


The first step in managing your money is to work out what you are spending each month. Make a budget plan with the aid of your bank statements and receipts. There could be ways to cut down on your spending, so find out where you could save money. For example, are there any magazine or television subscriptions making a dent in your bank account? When living on a small income, it is important to cut down on anything that isn’t necessary to your daily living.

Manage your debts

You should always avoid getting into debt if you know you can’t afford to pay back the money owed, be it to a bank or a credit card company. However, either due to a moment of monetary madness or a change in circumstance, we can all be susceptible to debt. If you are struggling to pay back what you owe, you need to contact your loan provider and explain the situation rather than ignore the fact. You should also consider amalgamating multiple debts into one monthly payment, so look for a company who will offer you a low or zero interest solution into paying your debt off faster. Getting into debt can negatively affect your credit score, so for help in these matters, read Lexington Law reviews to find ways to repair your bad credit. 

Debt can be a nightmare, but you shouldn’t let it overwhelm you if you are struggling to put food on the table and pay your monthly bills. Go online to find help, and speak to specific financial aid services.

Find better deals

You should always look online for better deals when it comes to paying your energy bills and insurance costs. There is a tendency among people to blindly remain loyal to the company that has been charging them for years, but you don’t need to be faithful to them. Use price comparison sites to find better rates. You don’t have to pay more money for your electricity if you can find a cheaper service, so do yourself a favor and make the switch.

Be energy-efficient

We can make effective cuts to our energy bills by making a few changes around the home. For example, change your light bulbs and purchase energy-efficient ones. They cost more than the traditional kind, but they are guaranteed to last a lot longer, as well as cutting down your electricity costs. You should also switch off any appliance you are not using and unplug devices when they are fully charged. A few small changes around your house can lead to significant savings in your bank balance, so make it a habit to cut down on energy where you can.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Financially Shielded: Cover Yourself For The Worst With These Important Insurance Tips

life & family protection
As we go through our lives, we often try and focus on what will help us achieve our dreams, what will be healthy for our family as a whole, and what will keep our lives interesting. This is hard enough first to identify and second to carry out, so it can be hard to look beyond this set of criteria that’s there to help your happiness.

It just doesn’t feel good to believe that you could, at any time, experience an issue that might take you out of work for a while, or drain your saved finances in some other way. Luckily, this problem has for the most part been considered by people who are experts in personal finance, and they usually espouse the same tips to help you with these circumstances.

It’s not always easy to place your earnings in areas that will, in an ideal scenario, never need to be used. However, life is unpredictable enough without you compounding that fact further by being ill-prepared. Being responsible for yourself is one consideration, and you need to cover yourself adequately in that case too. If you have a family, you need to take care of these personal finance planning contingencies.

In a word: Insurance, insurance, insurance, and to add one more important word: compensation.

But what are they, and how can they help you?

Here are a few examples.


Insurance comes in many forms. It’s likely you’ve heard of it. Paying a flat rate to an insurance firm will help secure you if the worst goes wrong and if your health or property is harmed. In some cases, the incident in question might affect both, and if that’s the case, it’s up to you to make sure you have adequate cover. It’s important to understand the difference between insurance and the means of gaining compensation.

Sometimes they are not entirely linked as you’d imagine, and you might need to litigate for compensation. As a preface, it’s important to contact a reputable personal injury lawyer like Robins Cloud who can educate you on where this line falls and how you can calculate your compensation. Not everything is fixed by financial reward, but it can surely soften the blow when you’ve been involved in an unfortunate situation.

Here are some more forms of insurance that you might enjoy looking into:


Travel insurance is necessary if you’re taking a vacation or journey long miles to and from your work. Usually, travel insurance for a holiday will be arranged by your holiday booking firm, but you can go elsewhere to find better and more competitive packages if needs be. These will usually take into consideration the entire length and breadth of your flight, including travel luggage insurance, holiday confirmation insurance, and insurance against personal harm during your flight or journey. Having this for your financial peace of mind is important. If something goes wrong or the airline loses something that is vital to you, you will be duly compensated. Usually, the travel insurance packages are the most competitive insurance package you can find out of the categories in this article, so it’s worth checking out almost every single time you make a journey of some import.


Car insurance isn’t just recommended; it’s mostly a legal requirement dependent on what country you live in. You can be sure that if you live in the modern world replete with well-maintained roads and highways, you should be paying insurance premiums to keep yourself roadworthy. This helps if you have a crash and need to cover the excess, but it can also help if you break down on the side of the road and need help getting to your destination. There is simply no way to opt out of getting car insurance.

There are ways to mitigate the cost, however, such as keeping a healthy and stable driving record. Unfortunately, as a new, young driver, it’s likely that your insurance premium is the highest that you will face in your life. You can reduce this somewhat by being placed on your parent's insurance plans just as you get roadworthy and used to your automotive freedoms. The best insurance you can also add to this package, free of charge, is a disciplined, sensible and confident approach to driving safely on the road.


Life insurance is only consideration you should take into account when you have dependents, or a relatively decent estate to pass down the family. Put in other words, you should get life insurance when someone in your family has financial difficulty to contend with as a result of your death, as they’ll already be struggling through the emotional pain. It can also help protect your family in cases of wrongful death in a medical setting, or work negligence. It’s probably the least appealing prospect to consider in this list, but it’s arguably one of the most important if you have people dependent on you.


A traditional method of insurance is job insurance. This can be defined in many ways. To use an example, imagine you’re a great piano player, and you’re regularly invited to concerts around the world to recreate masterpiece classical sonatas. Your hands, ability to hear and rational faculties can be defined in a somewhat clinical sense as ‘tools’ that keep you active and happy in your career.

They help you win your income and keep you busy. If you lose one of these abilities through whatever horrific or tragic means that can unexpectedly befall anyone, it’s likely that you’ll have to deeply reframe what creative or productive input you have in the world. It’s a tragedy that because of this, you’ll lose your job and never be able to apply your talents again. Making this worse, it’s likely that your income will dry up as a result of this. If you do find yourself in a financial crisis, consider checking out our artilcle that will help you, step-by-step figure out your best method of recuperating This will Career insurance also protects against these unimaginable eventualities and can help you with a nest-egg financial reward to assist you through the coming challenging years, on top of what a great personal injury lawyer could do for you.

It’s important to be prepared in this world. While none of the items on this list are pleasant to think about, they must be considered. While personal injury lawyers are excellent and can help you out of a tight spot, especially when facing some form of injustice, it’s important to compound their valiant efforts with a great insurance package. Be sure to consider these, and you can rest easy in the knowledge that you’ve done everything you can to shield yourself financially.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Easy Ways You Can Slash Fuel Costs While Driving

cost on cars
Owning a car is expensive, but the ability to be able to get around easily generally makes it worth the cost. However, even if you’ve found a fantastic deal on a car and shopped around for the cheapest car insurance, you still have fuel costs to consider. You might think the money you spend on fuel is avoidable, but actually, there are things you can do to reduce what you’re paying dramatically. Here are a few ways to go about it. 

Ditch The Unnecessary Weight

Maybe you have a big selection of tools in the trunk which you use for work? Once you’re done for the day, removing them rather than leaving them in the car or van and driving round will save you money on fuel. If you have a roof box or roof rack, take this down when you’re not using it. Not only will it contribute weight, but the wind resistance will also slow the car forcing it to work harder and use more fuel.

Avoid Rush Hour

Sitting in traffic with the engine running is bad for your health, bad for the environment and bad for your wallet too. For some people, it might be unavoidable, but if you can, try and stay off the roads during the busiest times. Perhaps you could walk to a coffee shop after work and spend an hour answering emails and tackling general ‘life admin’ before driving home. Your journey will be much faster, smoother and you’ll save money.

Stay Topped Up

Thousands of cars break down every day simply because they have run out of fuel. Stopping off at the gas station can be an annoying inconvenience, but you will save yourself a lot of hassle. Thankfully there are companies out there such as New Era Fuels who will deliver emergency and out of hours fuel if you get stuck, but prevention is better than cure. You’ll save yourself the cost of calling someone out in the first place if you plan your journeys and don’t let fuel drop below a certain amount. A quarter of a tank is a good baseline.

Combine Shorter Trips Into One

Once your car has been parked for a while, and the engine has gone cold, it will use more fuel than usual while it warms back up again. You can avoid this from happening by running your errands in one go rather than spreading them out through the day. Lots of shorter journeys are actually worse for fuel consumption, so if you need to pop out, you could even consider walking shorter trips. Great for extra exercise and you’ll cut down fuel bills too.

Drive Economically

Finally, the way you drive can impact the amount of fuel you’re using on the average journey. Accelerate and brake smoothly, don’t rev the car or hold it on the clutch when you’re stopped. Stopping with the brake is far more economical. Sometimes overtaking and speeding up is unavoidable, but doing so to overtake one car or get one place ahead is pointless and will cost you additional fuel.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Seven Hidden Costs Of Selling Your Home

sell your home
So, you’ve decided to make a massive upheaval to your life: you’re going to move house. While it’s an exciting time, it’s also an incredibly expensive one. And this doesn’t just refer to buying the new property or filling it with new furniture! There’s quite a few things you need to be aware of during the buying process - as everything from putting your home on the market, to arriving in your new property will have associated costs. 

1. Estate agent fees

If you’ve decided to sell your home through an estate agent, you’ll need to be prepared for the associated costs. Many agents will try to ‘trick’ you with new costs popping up at every stage of the process: instead of buying one service, you’ll often be paying ad-hoc costs for different things. However, there are companies, like Hungry Agents, who can help you save money - rather than make you spend more. So, it’s vitally important that you do in-depth research before signing up with an agent. Yes, you want one with good success rates - but you also want one who’s going to respect you, and not charge you the earth. 

2. Conveyancing

You also need to consider the costs and time frame of hiring someone in the legal profession to manage the legal side of selling. Many property specialist firms will have ‘bundle’ offers, where they’ll do everything you need for one set fee. However, it can be quite expensive, so don’t forget to allocate some of your budget for this. This article has some great, relevant advice for how to choose a conveyancer

3. Staging your home

Sometimes your agent won’t deal with this part of the selling process, so if they don’t, you need to be prepared to do it yourself. And even if they are handling it, putting your own touch on your home will always be a good idea. Take a critical look at your house, and be ruthless: is your interior decoration truly selling your home’s best features? Is your furniture subtle enough to show the rooms off? If not, it might be time to redecorate. However, if your budget is on the tighter side and a complete revamp is off the cards, just make your house is tidy, smells nice, and there’s no obvious damage anywhere! This post has some good hints and tips about preparing your home for viewings.

4. Paying a cleaner

Unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money on cleaning products and a lot of time on the actual cleaner, it’s often cheaper and easier to hire a professional cleaning company. That way you know that the house is getting a deep clean, and you won’t have to worry about any complaints. Cleaning companies will often do your carpets too - which is a must before moving. Read this post to help you decide whether you should clean your home yourself, or hire a professional.

5. Redecorating costs

If your house has been on the market for a while, it might be time to freshen it up. You’ll need to weigh the costs against each other: the cost of redecorating, vs the cost of having it on the market longer and possibly not being able to buy when you want. This might be as simple as a fresh lick of paint for the walls - or it might mean installing a new kitchen and putting down new flooring. If your furniture is looking a bit worse for wear and you don’t want to replace it before moving, then invest in neat throws. Here are some tips to help you redecorate on a budget.

6. Hiring removal vans

Once you’ve sold your home, you need to think about the next part: moving all of your belongings. Again, you need to decide whether you want to do it yourself, or hire professionals. Doing it yourself can be cheaper, but you still need to buy all the packaging equipment, pack everything up, hire a van or truck, and then drive it to your new home. Professionals will often do everything: from packing and wrapping, to driving and unpacking. 

7. Making your new home liveable

You might be lucky and walk straight into a property that’s well decorated with good appliances, and a nice kitchen and bathroom. However, a lot of the time, you won’t be this fortunate. So, make sure your budget has an allowance for emergency repairs and redecoration at your new home. You might also want to consider things like curtains: if your old ones don’t fit, will you have enough left over to nip out and buy new ones? Try to do a recce of your new house as close to the moving date as possible, so you can see what you might need to do on arrival.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Working Your Way Out of Major Debt in the Most Stress Free Way Possible

come out of major debts
At some point in our adult lives, the majority of us will experience debt of some sort or another. It's not surprising. You need to take credit out to improve your credit rate in the first place. However, it is so easy to misuse credit cards that some of us end up racking up debts that we begin to find it difficult to clear. Interest rates keep us stuck in a cycle of seemingly never ending repayments and late payments fees only serve to plunge us further into the red. So what should you do if you find yourself struggling to meet repayments and you start receiving debt recovery notices and letters through the post? Here are a few ways to cope and work your way out of debt in the most stress-free way possible.

Face Your Problems

The longer you ignore your problems, the more debt you will accrue and the more stressed you will be. Avoid falling into this vicious cycle at all costs. We understand it is easy to just bury your head in the sand when you face serious problems in your life. But the moment you start to face your problems is the moment that you can start being productive and resolving issues. So, start opening your letters. Check your balances. It is daunting but it is the only way to deal with things because your debts won’t just go away if you ignore them for long enough.

Know Your Debt

Once you have started opening your mail and facing your debts, you can start to work out exactly how much you owe and to which sources. This is the first step towards making the right decisions to clear your debts in the most effective and timely manner. Now is the time to start making a plan. This may sound excessive, but it’s the best way to make repayments and save yourself the most cash when it comes to interest rates. Work out which of your debts have the highest interest rates and prioritize paying these off first. 


Once you know the set amount that you owe and whether you can afford the repayments, you can come to a sensible and logical conclusion in regards to bankruptcy. This may be the last resort, but personal bankruptcy will be the best option for some who will owe more than they can realistically afford to repay at any point. Contact a professional for advice before filing a bankruptcy claim. This is a big decision and should be supervised from the outset.

Contact Your Lenders

If you decide against bankruptcy, you will have a clear mind and a sense of confidence in the process of repaying lenders. If you see that the repayments on all of your debts exceed your outgoings, don’t hesitate to contact your lenders. Most will be surprisingly helpful and understanding. You may be able to arrange lower repayment rates. This might come at the cost of having to pay a little more back over a longer period, but at least you will not be fined, and your credit rating won’t be damaged any further.

Friday, June 9, 2017

How To Keep Your Head While Dealing With A Financial Crisis

your financial burden
When you finally realize that you need to make some major changes to your spending and saving habits, it’s not the best feeling in the world. Suddenly, you’re seeing all the little missteps and bad decisions that led up to your financial disaster, and feeling the weight of all that stress bearing down on you. That wave of worries and stress factors you’re feeling isn’t the easiest thing to take in your stride, but in many cases, getting yourself out of a money rut depends on how well you’re able to deal with the stress of it all. If you’re staring down the barrel of a personal financial disaster, here’s a guide to keeping your head…

Quit Wasting Time

It’s pretty common for people to respond to stress and adversity by burying their head in the sand. Fearing for your financial security feels horrible, and if you ignore the money worries bearing down on you, that feeling disappears for a while. Yes, you may be getting a bit of satisfaction by wasting time and energy on procrastination. However, doing this can often make the problem much worse when you have to face it again. As hard as it may feel, stop procrastinating. Knuckle down and concentrate on the task at hand. If it’s truly overwhelming to you, get some rest so that you can get stuck into the problem with more focus later. We’ll go into more advice for doing this later...

Cut Yourself Off from Easy Spending

Until you have your personal finances completely under control, you may find it hard to understand where all your money is going. When your checking account seems to be hemorrhaging money from too many points to count, it can be extremely stressful and scary. One of the best responses to this issue is pinning down the most obvious leaks in your personal finances, and plugging them up. The most effective way of doing this, especially if you’re finding it hard to be disciplined with your money, is to cut yourself off from any tools you can use for easy, spur-of-the-moment spending. If you’re always reaching for the plastic when you know you shouldn’t, take your credit cards out of your wallet and put them somewhere out of sight. If you’re making one-click purchases on online stores way too much, delete your card numbers from those accounts. If you’ve found yourself in a full-blown disaster, you probably won’t be able to completely stop all the leaks, but there’ll certainly be at least some ways to slow them down.

Create a Plan

Once you’ve got your head in the game, and cut yourself off from as many avenues of easy spending as possible, the next thing you need to do is create a plan that will get you out of your rut. Perhaps you’re crumbling under the weight of your debt, and want to look into consolidation services. You can read more here about what these companies can offer you. Perhaps you’ve got some hefty and unexpected medical bills that you need to cover, or your retirement is catching up with you much faster than you’d planned for. You can read more about retirement planning here. Whatever your main issue is, you’re not going to get out of it without a plan in place, and the best way to start creating one is doing a lot of research on the problem. This will help you pin down your practical options for dealing with it, and the best way for you to space this out over time. The internet is bursting with advice for debt reduction, retirement, sudden job loss, and pretty much every other financial problem you can think of. Of course, everyone’s going to talk like they’re the expert, and it’s up to you to filter out all the good advice from the bad.

Take Some Tangible Action

You may have just come up with the best financial recovery plan every written, but it isn’t going to mean anything without action. Without that first bit of tangible action, your plan is only going to exist as an idea, completely void of substance. Aside from this, taking a tangible step in the right direction can be a massive stress reliever for people who are going crazy from the stress of their financial difficulties! If you’ve got a massive debt hanging over your head, one great tangible step could be selling some of your stuff on Craigslist, and putting your proceeds towards your outstanding debts. If retirement is approaching faster than you’d like, take the tangible step of getting on a retirement plan. Take a look at the plan you just created, figure out one tangible bit of action that you can make, and then do it. After that, you simply move onto the next step, and the next and the next. You’re not going to make all your money worries disappear overnight, but getting the wheels in motion is what repairing your finances is all about.

Talk It Out

Even when you’ve taken a step back and made a thorough assessment of your situation, all the different stress factors and payment deadlines can still cause a massive mental strain. This, in turn, will make it so much harder to get yourself back on track to financial stability. One of the best ways to get around this is talking to someone you trust; voicing your thoughts about the financial problems you’re facing, and your thoughts on how you can solve it, step by step. Obviously, you may not have anyone you’re comfortable discussing the ins and outs of your personal finances with. If this is the case, then the next effective way of “talking things out” is simply keeping a journal of your thoughts. Whenever you’re struggling with some obstacle in your plans, get a notebook out and try to brainstorm through it. Write down each thought you have about the issue, even those that contradict each other, followed by your logical responses, and then try to organize them into a tangible plan for moving forward. Even if you find yourself in the same position you started in, talking it out, in one way or another, can be another great way to take some of the stress out of the situation.

Never Hide Anything from your Partner

Don’t let financial problems strain your relationship. Money issues can stir up marital troubles faster than you’d imagine, and sadly, there have been countless otherwise healthy marriages that have ended all because of a dispute over shared finances. Obviously, you don’t want your relationship to be thrown on this particular pile, and the best way to avoid relationship problems tied up with money is through absolute honesty. Don’t hide anything, that means anything from your partner. If you make a mistake that’s going to impact your shared finances, put your cards on the table. Your partner will reciprocate with their end of the household’s finances, and you’ll avoid all kinds of high-stress situations that can drag out your money issues much longer than necessary. While we’re on the subject, if your partner spends over budget, or makes some kind of honest mistake, try not to get angry about it. Money is important, but not important enough to let it come between you and the ones you love.

Live Well

Paying closer attention to your health and lifestyle choices is one of the most effective ways you can deal with any kind of stress, whether it stems from money or anything else. Instead of getting your fill of unhealthy convenience foods, start planning your meals and packing them with all the nutrients you need. This will not only make you feel much better about your situation, but could also help you save money that you’d otherwise spend on eating out and quick junk-food stops! Track what you’re saving, and make a point to divert that leftover cash to your most pressing financial problems. On top of this, you should be making a point to get a decent amount of exercise every day, and aiming to sleep at least seven hours, if not the recommended eight. Because this isn’t the most practical tip in the world, a lot of people tend to wave it away when they’re trying to get out of a financial rut. However, we urge you to take it on board just as much as all the other advice. Nutrition has a major impact on the way the brain functions, and when you’re facing a personal finance disaster, you need every bit of energy for logical processing you can get.

Finding yourself in the midst of a personal financial disaster can be a horrible experience, but if you don’t take a proactive approach to it, the challenges you’re facing can quickly become completely overwhelming. Take this advice on board, and use it to formulate a roadmap out of your situation. No matter what your money issues are, this guide will help you fight through the stress and tackle those issues head on.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Go Big Or Go Home? The Life Of A Landlord

financial landlord
With everybody trying to find their own way to conserve finances and limit spending where they can, naturally people start to think about supplementing their income in a way that doesn’t require taking on a second job. So the prospect of buying real estate and renting out to tenants sounds like a grand idea on the surface. If you have an existing property going spare, then why not make some extra money every month, but is it that simple?

Let’s look at the facts. Being a landlord means having tenants rent your property, so you need a good property and good tenants, and both are very hard to come by. Buying a property to “fix up” to rent to people means a front-loaded investment of renovation materials, and then taking the time to fix it up. If time is of the essence, then this isn’t a luxury you can afford. When it comes to tenants if you advertise on a site where anyone and everyone can apply for the tenancy, finding the caliber of tenant will be hard going. And if you get cheap and cheerful tenants to go with your cheap and cheerful property, will they be as reliable as you think, or will it be a difficult ride for you? So if you go for the higher caliber of a tenant, the background and credit checks can take a chunk out of your spending.

Interest rates are another issue. If interest rates fall, it is usually cheaper to buy a property than it is to rent. So, if you have a property done up for the purposes of renting, are you in a better position to sell it and make a chunk of money rather than renting it out? If you need to sell your home quickly, this may be a very useful thing to keep an eye on. Look at the Doug Hopkins blog for a breakdown of selling your home quickly. Selling your house with the right target market in mind can be a way to make a quick buck, and if the interest rates are low, what's to stop you getting rid of your property and making out like a bandit?

So, if you are aiming to take a leap into landlord territory, based on your finances, you could make some money by taking one of the following approaches:

Duplex – you live in half the property and rent the other half out. It has its good and bad points, personally and professionally, as you would be effectively living with your tenants.

A long-term holding buying a property for a bargain and let the tenants pay the mortgage off. The profit tends to be slim in these types of properties.

Basic accommodation where you don’t furnish it, and the property is sub-par. Expect a rough ride when it comes to maintenance.

A massive investment buying loads of properties and making them up to a high standard. This is a big lifestyle choice.

Being a landlord can be lucrative, but ask yourself if you have the time and the inclination to see it through!