Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Play By Your Own Rules, Not Anybody Else’s

daily money matters
When it comes to your personal finance, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is making decisions based on other people’s rules, not your own. You can’t go through life trying to follow what everyone is doing. If you assume control of your life, you’ll have a happier and more fulfilling life, and it’ll also make a big difference to your financial situation. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can begin to rethink your approach to the big matters.

Make Your Job Work For You

The world is kinda odd when you stop to think about it. People are being asked to work more extended hours than ever before, usually, in jobs they don’t enjoy, to get money for things they don’t really want to buy. Instead of assuming that you need to have 40+ hours a week, career-track job, why not think about how you really want to spend your time? If you trim your needs down to the essentials, then you may be able to work for only twenty hours a week, which would free up a lot of time for you to pursue your other interests.

New Housing Thinking

Like your job, it’s also worth rethinking about the kind of place you want to live. Everybody is after that big home with five bedrooms, but why? Larger homes are more difficult to manage and much more expensive. We strive to own one because we think we should, not because we really want to. There are other, better, more affordable options available. Take a look at mobile homes for sale, and you’ll see that the prices are much more attractive, and you won’t lose any of the comforts of a regular home, either. It’s about finding the accommodation that works for you and your budget.

Homestead Gardening

You have three necessities in life: shelter, water, and food. The latter is where much of our weekly budget goes. We think that it’s inevitable that we must go to the supermarket and pay other people to give us food. In reality, we can more in control of our food than we think we can. It’s never been easier to grow - and then eat - your own food. Take a look at how to grow vegetables and start eating food you’ve produced yourself!

Goodbye to the Joneses’

It’s important to keep in mind what motivates you. If it’s coming from somewhere inside of you, then that’s worth pursuing. If you’re doing something because you want to match your neighbors, friends, or family, then that’s not worth pursuing. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and stress if you don’t worry about keeping up with other people!

Thinking Outside The Box

Ultimately, living is about doing what you want to do. Get creative, think about what is possible, and then do that. Living any other way will only bring you problems. Once you’ve established your own rules, you’ll be in greater command of your finances and overall happiness.

Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Get Your Entrepreneurial Venture off the Ground

business money
Beginning a new business is a wondrous experience. It’s a jump into the unknown, and a chance for you to forge your own destiny and chart your own course through life.

That being said, anyone can tell you that it’s no easy process, either. Many things can and will go wrong, and seemingly golden ideas will at times have to be abandoned down the line and replaced by new ventures altogether.

There are, however, various things that can be done to ensure that your entrepreneurial venture has the best possible chance of getting off the ground.

Consider your most profitable areas of focus

In any business venture, no matter the industry or area of focus, you will find that there is a literally unlimited number of tasks that you could be spending your time on at any given moment.

There will be thousands of books, articles, webinars and courses available, all promising to give you the secret keys to making it in your industry, and each will include dozens of pieces of often disparate, or even conflicting, advice.

One of the most important skills you’ll need to acquire as an entrepreneur is to discern which are your most profitable areas of focus, and to dedicate your time to those. Is your time best spent researching MT4 and MT5 white label suppliers, or conducting an email campaign to reach out to prospects?

Focusing on a few core strategies is always a better tactic than trying to juggle hundreds at once.

Spend money where it’s needed

As the saying goes, “you have to spend money to make money”. While different entrepreneurial ventures will entail different entry costs, you should be aware that it’s all but inevitable that you’ll need to invest some money into getting off the ground.

The key is to know where that money should be spent. Certain things like web design and professional headshots, while not strictly things you have to pay for, are essential to your professional credibility and are well worth investing in, to have done properly.

Understand what these key areas are where money will need to be spent, and budget accordingly.

Avoid the temptation to spend money on frivolous activities

As the other side of the coin to the previous point, there is always the temptation for new business owners to try and throw money at their problems to make them go away as quickly as possible. Often, this results in wasted and unnecessary spending.

The fact is that a business will require a certain amount of straight-forward hard work and time, and there will always be situations where throwing money at a problem seems tempting, but will ultimately prove fruitless.

If your product is poor, you’ll need to spend time refining it, talking to focus groups, refining it again, and so on. In this case, trying to compensate for your poor sales by investigating massive amounts of money into PPC ad campaign will be utterly pointless and counterproductive.

Practice the skill of determining where a certain problem will take time, work, or a different approach, and consult with trusted people in your professional circle to share their opinions.

Resist the quick-fix temptation of trying to solve complex issues by throwing money at them.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

5 Money Wasters Businesses Need To Avoid

waste of money
Getting a business loan to manage cash and trade flows approved by a bank or lender can be a long and arduous process. There is often a long list of documents that you need to collect, compile and submit along with your application. Receiving an approval is a joyous day for any entrepreneur, regardless of the approved loan amount.

You can make the most out of your hard-earned loan by avoiding the following money wasters.

1. Bad advertising

Regardless of the type of advertising you opt for (i.e., print, TV, radio, online), you need to make sure that your brand’s message reaches your target market. Between traditional marketing methods and online advertising, the latter may be simpler and cheaper to implement, but it is still not free. Simply running an ad requires time, effort and money. 

Do your research on which publishers target your audience and learn how to run an effective online marketing campaign. Experiment with different publishers and designs. Don’t commit to any long-term contracts.

2. Large office spaces

New entrepreneurs (and even the most educated businessmen) fall into the trap of going big when first establishing their businesses. They pay excessive amounts of money to buy a building, rent a space, purchase new furnishings, equipment, signage and other space improvements. Startup companies often have limited budgets.

There is a lot to learn and not a lot of assurances as to how successful your business will turn out. Limit any unnecessary expenses.

Be scrappy. Instead of wasting your capital on a posh place and furniture, find a basic space where you can setup your business, make plans and execute your ideas. You can turn a part of your home into an office. If you do decide to rent an office space, you can save by looking for used furniture or equipment. You can find items from businesses that closed down on sites such as Craigslist. Check out garage sales if you can.

3. Wrong mobile plan

Entrepreneurs who are just starting out with their businesses don’t need an unlimited data plan. According to a study by Consumer Reports, almost half of unlimited data plan subscribers use no more than 300MB of data a month. What you can do instead is to look for the right plan that matches your normal usage. The same goes for calls and SMS messages. Telephone bills can also be reduced by using voice over IP solution.

4. No follow up

Small businesses and startups spend a lot of resources in advertising their brand, products and services to generate leads. However, all that work and effort can be for naught if there is no established follow up procedure.

Do not forget about your leads after the initial contact. At times, leads do not automatically become buyers. Constant contact and communication is needed to keep your brand in their mind and convert potential leads to sales. Devise a plan on how to track each lead. You may need to invest in a customer relationship management system to connect with your leads on a regular basis.

5. Expensive website design

Your business needs a website to tap the online market but you don’t need to spend all of your capital to get one. A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of investing too much on logos and branding when they first establish their businesses.

Start with a template if you have a limited budget. Use WordPress if you need to set up a blog. Focus your attention on finding ways to produce content, market your brand, follow up on leads and monitor your site’s data without making a massive hole in your budget.

You have worked hard on getting the capital needed to put up your business. Whether it is a bank loan, your savings or donations from family and friends, it takes time to raise money. Do not waste it on superficial aspects. Think carefully on where you plan to put your resources so you can make your business grow without the risk of going to the poorhouse while you are at it.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Everything You Need To Know About Mortgages

detailed mortgages
Buying your first home is exciting, nerve-wracking and scary times in your life. You will be plunged in at the deep end, having to pay out for solicitor’s fees, mortgage deposits and all the extra costs. So, before you start to panic and wonder how you get started: here are the things you need to know.

Meet with an adviser before looking at homes

Although the classic way to go about this is to take a look at some estate agents, shop around for houses and then once you’ve found something you like, to apply for a mortgage. However, the better way to go about this is to contact a mortgage adviser first. If you are a first time buyer, you may already have your deposit saved up, but it is advisable to talk to someone before you start looking for your first home. It will give you an idea of the process and how much you can realistically afford. 

Pay Off Any Debt

If you have any debts currently from credit cards or other avenues, pay them off as much as you can. A mortgage is the biggest loan you will ever take out, and your mortgage lender will want to make sure that you can afford to repay the loan each month comfortably. If you have loads of debt, or payments coming out of your bank each month, the lender may be reluctant to accept your mortgage application.

Work On Your Credit Habits

Once you are in your new home, you will be forking out every month for your mortgage payments, bills and broadband. These costs are large, and you need to get into the habit of putting money aside for them every month to save you going into your overdraft. 

Refinance Student Loans

If you have a hefty student loan to pay off, you may want to come to an arrangement to stretch out the loan over a longer period of time to reduce monthly payments. 

Work History

A huge thing that mortgage lenders will look at when you are purchasing a home is that you have stable income. Many lenders will want at least 2 years work history to prove that you are in a stable job and the situation isn’t likely to change anytime soon. 

Record Everything

You’ll need to get handy with your filing skills, because you will need your tax returns, bank statements and other important documents when you are applying for the mortgage as evidence of your income and address.

Stay Away From Credit

Before you go out and buy loads of new furniture for your home using credit, keep in mind that you haven’t yet paid your first monthly fee. Wait until you’ve paid the money off and see where you are up to financially before splashing the cash.

Talk To Several Lenders

Different mortgage lenders will offer you different loans. Even if you have the same percentage to put towards a mortgage, or are looking into more high value mortgages, every lender will offer something different. Before you dive in with the first lender you speak to: don’t be afraid to shop around for a better deal.

Shop For Closing Agents

The fees you will pay for closing can vary widely. With document preparation, legal fees and insurance; you could find that your final payment can vary dramatically depending on who you go with. Ask your estate agent and mortgage lender for advice on where to look and who will offer the best price for the services. You can also ask family or friends and see what they recommend.

Think About the Extra Costs

Apart from your deposit and money for interest, there are a lot of other fees you need to be prepared for. Solicitors will charge for the service of exchanging your contract, you’ll need to fork out for stamp duty on the land you purchase, and you’ll want to get a survey done on the property before you move in to check that it is suitable for purchase. 


If you are self-employed, you may find it a little more difficult to apply for a mortgage because you will have to prove that the source of income you have is stable and will not change. It can take two years of being self-employed or running a business to be able to be accepted for a mortgage, so be wary of this if the issue ever arises. It may mean that you have to wait a little longer before buying a house.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Paper Money: The Documents You Need To Protect Your Income

paper currency
Most people, when they think about protecting their income tend to focus avoiding fraudsters — or learning how to identify them before it’s too late — and designing a budget plan that can help them to manage their expenses. While these are essential factors of income management, they may not be sufficient when it comes to protecting your access to a regular income. When it comes to building your strategy to get rich, you need to put on your finance expert cap on. But if you’re looking at ways to guarantee that your income is safe, all you need is to have the right document. Who thought that paper would be the core of money matters?

#1. You’re allowed to work here

Let’s start with the most basic ways to get access to any type of work income, which is your actual right to work in the country. In most cases your passport should be a proof of your citizenship. But for immigrant workers, they may need to show evidence of a resident card or their registration receipt card, for instance. But you can also establish your identity and your eligibility for work with other documents, such as a driver license, or a school ID card combined with a Social Security card or an official employment authorization document. 

#2. You’re insured for the time you can’t work

But what happens if you have the right to work, and you might have even worked, but you find yourself in a situation where you can’t go back to work for an extended period of time. An income insurance, if you’ve taken one, is designed to replace your income if you’ve been injured and can’t go back to work. But if your injury has left you unable to work, you might even have access to long term disability coverage options. However, the replacement of your income requires medical evidence that you are in a situation where your work has been made impossible. 

#3. You’ve got a 401(k) plan

You’d be surprised to know that a lot of people have not planned effectively towards retirement. As a result, most Baby Boomers in the age of retiring today can only expect to withdraw about $7,100 per year from their 401(k) account without worrying about running out of money. But in fact, over half of the Boomers generation has not saved anything for their retirement years. You can get an estimate of how much your Social Security income will be by creating an account at ssa.gov. Additionally, you can increase your contribution to your 401(k) plan or contribute to an IRA to invest in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. The bottom line is that you need at least one of these.

#4. Can you prove it’s your business idea?

If you’re an entrepreneur at the head of your own business, the best way to protect your income is to register your brand trademarks. Trademark infringements can drive customers away from you. Unfortunately, without registering your brand, you can’t protect it from being stolen or copied.

The world of income is entirely ruled by your ability to show that you own the right document, from employment rights to trademark protection. Without paper evidence, your income can collapse dramatically.