Finance

Finance

Wise Tips for Avoiding Problems with Financing Down Payment in Real Estate

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One huge challenge when trying to purchase your own house is financing the down payment. To avoid struggling with this issue, here are some wise tips that you should pick up:

  • Make sure you have a good credit score.

Take note that credit will have a lot to do with getting a loan, whatever type it is. So, make sure that you have a good score to receive more options and even enjoy a lower amount of down payment.

  • Get your savings automated.

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Financial experts recommend that you should set aside a good portion of your paycheck to be automatically deposited into an account that is specifically reserved for buying your house. Remember that this savings account can also be used for closing, moving and buying items for your new place.

  • Compare your savings to your down payment.

This is very important when investing in real estate. You can use various resources on the internet where you can save money from matching the amount that you will save from the home purchase to the down payment that you are about to make. So, take time to check on these websites.

  • Take advantage of gift money.

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If you are a first-time homebuyer, it is most likely that you will seek help from your family to produce down payment for your new home. While this is a good solution, there are things that you should look into, such as the percentage of a mortgage that would be regarded as gift, though this would also depend on the lender. Remember that gift money should come from an immediate family member, so you need to present documentation to your lender to prove it. If you do plan to use such money, make sure to talk with your lender beforehand just to make sure you receive all the details.

By considering these tips, you will be off a good start in funding down payment in your real estate investment.

 

Building Credit – A Necessity for Every Citizen

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It may not be common for every individual to come face-to-face with credit, but it may come at some point in life nonetheless. Even those living entirely on cash basis will find it very challenging sometimes. Normally, citizens aiming to buy a home depend on credit.

Nowadays, even those who apply for a cell phone account or open a utility account simply require a credit check. That’s why it is important to start building your credit because you never know when you might need it. Here are a few tips that could enhance your understanding about this concept.

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Building Credit Fast

This is simply a way of borrowing money and eventually paying it back on the specified time. By doing this, you will be considered a reliable borrower. Otherwise, your negative attitude towards credit can show up on your credit report, thereby destroying your credit history.

Credit scores may include payment history, file age, debt utilization, credit mix, and inquiries. These factors should be able to build your credit history either up or downwards.

Ways of Building Credit

Keeping balances low – in order to gain the best credit score, it is important to note that your overall balances should not exceed the 30% of the total limit of your credit card.

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Payment history – make sure that you make your payments on time. This will ensure that your credit score will slowly but steadily go up.

Variety of credit products in your file – take note that a person with car loan, credit card and mortgage will get a good credit score compared to those with only a credit card in hand.

Age of Credit History – you will have a higher score with a long history of responsible credit use. In fact, if you have old accounts, you need not close them because they can aid you with their age.

Spruce Up Your Home With Simple Staging Tips

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When the vast majority of realtors tell you that home staging is essential for buyers to visualize their future in your home, you really have to listen. They know from experience exactly what works best. But what does it entail? Staging is the simple but effective process of cleaning, rearranging, and updating your home in small ways that can make a huge difference in perception.

Staging is all about the details, subtle things you might not consider. Furniture placement, cabinetry surfacing, and wall paint changes are some of the most obvious ways to spruce up your home, but there are many more ideas both large and small that will transform the way your home appears to potential buyers.

Whether you’re currently looking to sell your home or not, keeping this mindset is a great way to ensure that it always looks its best. When potential buyers enter your home, they see a welcoming space they can project themselves into, a clean slate where the future will be written.

Here’s a interesting infographic by Homestratosphere.com on Home Staging:

Home Staging
Home Staging

What’s NOT Cool about Your Finances This Holiday Season

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In this website, we always talk about what’s cool, what’s hot, what’s trendy, what’s in. But right now, we’ll try to talk about the opposite – and this time, it’s to help you set your finances right for the coming year. After all, when you have lesser or no money problems in 2016 – that’s perhaps the coolest thing in the world!

  1. Buying Expensive Gifts

You might think that giving someone the most expensive gift is cool. But if it means maxing your credit card or getting a loan – that’s so not cool. A gift works both ways – it makes the receiver happy and the giver happy, as well. Don’t starve or deprive yourself in order to buy someone the most expensive present there is. People who truly care about you won’t be happy to get an expensive gift knowing how much it impacts your financial life.

  1. Having Wild Parties

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The holidays are a great time for merrymaking. But when you overdo parties, that would surely hit you like an earthquake – the first time can be devastating to your current finances and your health, and the aftershocks can be just as destructive, affecting your future. Parties are cool, but not if you end up wasted and broke.

  1. Stacking Personal Debt

Again, slow down on your holiday spending spree. Sure, there’s so many reasons to go shopping, dining at expensive restaurants, traveling luxuriously, etc. But always think twice when it comes to spending money. Again, if you’re spending on credit and loan for this brief stints of enjoyments – that’s not cool.

  1. Not Booking in Advance

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The holidays can be the busiest time of the year for travelers and travel vendors. Make sure to book tickets and hotels in advance, so you can enjoy discounted rates. You’ll also spare yourself from the trouble of not being able to travel because of limited flights and no vacancies. Paying for a plane ticket or hotel room that’s triple or quintuple the original price is never cool.

  1. Neglecting Your 401(k)

You might say you’re too young to build your retirement fund. But it’s never too early to do so. Start building your retirement savings plan, so that you can keep your cool and not worry about money even when you’re like 50 or 70 years old.

Personal Finance Plan: Choosing the Right Life Insurance Policy

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Unlike other assets, life insurance directly provides financial security to your loved ones the moment your capacity to generate income ceases either by death or disability. Life insurance does more than providing the common death and/or hospitalization benefits. It actually becomes a reliable source of liquidity for your family for whatever needs they may have – education, business, retirement or emergencies.

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How Much Do You Need?

The best way to know how much coverage your family needs is to multiply your yearly income at least five times. The greater financial needs your family has, the bigger the coverage you need.

Types of Life Insurance

There are generally two types of life insurance – term life and whole life. Term life is cheaper but has a specific active period. If you die while the policy is active, your beneficiaries get the financial support, but if you do not die and the policy expires, you and your family get nothing.

Whole life insurance nowadays is the more preferred because although it has a higher premium, it offers your flexible options for withdrawal so long as the policy matures. A portion of the funds in a whole life insurance goes to tax-deferred savings, which you can cash out when you are older or retired.

Disability insurance, usually integrated in most life insurance policies, offers greater flexibility. This provides you and your family with financial coverage when you become unable to work. The premium usually depends on how risky your job and lifestyle are.

Apparently, the more flexible the policy is and the higher coverage it provides, the better.

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How Reliable Are Your Agent and Insurer?

Do not just look into the figures provided in the sample computation sheet; make sure that the agent and the insurer have solid record. Some agents work independently and carry various policies from various companies, while others work as employees solely representing a single insurer. Only transact with duly licensed and trained agents working for a solid company.

A reliable insurance company is one with excellent history of payouts. Steer clear from a firm that does not pay claims well on a timely basis. Life insurance is meant to lift the financial burden off your family’s shoulders when you are gone, transacting with a bad insurer is adding insult to injury.

Save Money without Having to Clip Coupons

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Clipping coupons for a bit of discount is not only an age-old practice, but can also be a waste of time. This is because you could lose the savings you’re supposed to get with the amount of time it takes you to find them. So instead of stressing yourself out looking for coupons in magazines and online, why not use these methods instead.

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Keep a list whenever you’re going out for grocery shopping

Not many people realize how important it is to keep a list of your groceries. In the store, you could easily be tempted to take whatever’s on offer if you don’t have an idea what to buy. This could make your bill run up to a few hundreds if you’re not careful. But if you have a plan, you’ll check out only the aisles where the products you need are located, thus avoiding temptation.

Shop for food around a weekly menu

Again, when you have a clear idea of what you really need, you won’t get tempted to pick those that you don’t. So by making a meal plan for the whole week, you’ll only need to buy stuff for your menu. As a result, you’ll be able to save a considerable amount once you’re through with your grocery shopping.

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Divide every dish

Cook twice the serving of every recipe and save half of it in the freezer. That way, you can save time cooking as well as save gas or electricity usage.

Take advantage of apps

There are apps designed to do the clipping of coupons for you, so you can save time searching for discounts. All you need to do is present them when you shop, dine or check in at certain establishments. Also, there are applications that help you get rebates for previous purchases.

By using these tips, you’ll be able to save lots of money without exerting too much effort.

Apps to Help You Enjoy a Fabulous and Glamorous Life

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If you’re not lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lot of people struggle where their finances are concerned. But even if you have a hard time making ends meet, you can still live a fab life without spending more than necessary. All you need are apps that will help you live the life of the rich and famous.

Need a driver?

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Uber and Lyft will be more than happy to pick you up and drive you wherever you want to go. Sure you would need to pay for the fare, but you don’t need to hire a driver and pay for his salary. These apps make requesting, tracking and paying for a car service easier and more affordable. What is even better is that you can have a driver with just a few clicks on your mobile phone.

Need a personal shopper?

If you’re too busy to even squeeze in a few minutes of shopping, you can always send someone to do the chore for you. Unlike personal shoppers of the rich you can get the same level of excellent service without paying a penny. Through Fetch, you can purchase anything you want without spending a lot of time looking for it. Simply send a photo or type an item on the app and it will look for the best deals around so you can click to buy it.

Need a bookkeeper?

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You may not have accumulated a huge amount of wealth, but you probably have more paper receipts then dead leaves on your front yard. Since organizing your receipts help in creating a budget and monitoring your savings and spending, you should have a bookkeeper to help you out. Simply download Level Money from the web and get bookkeeping services in an instant.

Sneak Peek into the Year-End Spending Habits of Millionaires

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What would you buy if money were not a problem? The latest Benz or a castle estate? Well, here’s a peek into what millionaires have been busy buying last Christmas and how much they spent.

CNBC Millionaire Survey reveals that 50 percent of today’s millionaires spent $1,000 for the holidays, 30 percent spent at least $2,500. The Survey goes on to say that 75 percent of today’s millionaires spent the same amount as the past year’s Christmas, and only 15 percent spent less in 2013, and the remaining 10 percent increased their holiday spending.

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The Survey adds that millionaires weren’t buying much material things last Christmas. In fact, they invested more on family and experiences by spending more for gift cards, events and travel.

If you look at the report, you’ll observe that millionaires were quite frugal in that most of them spent a meager budget and chose not to increase their spending in Christmas 2014. And it might come as a surprise considering that these affluent individuals have all the money to buy so many or so much.

Middle-income earners and those earning lesser should take this report as a guide in managing personal finances. Christmas may offer lots of cash bonuses and rewards, but it’s never frugal to spend so much on fleeting things.

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Spend time and money with your family and friends, and create memorable moments together. You don’t have to spend a lot on Christmas. Even millionaires aren’t spending millions on Christmas, just a few thousand bucks. If you are earning only a few thousands, then spend just a few hundreds. But make sure that the money you spent leaves a memorable trail for your loved ones.

When the holidays end, you’ll have plenty of moments to cherish and you’ll still have plenty of money for whatever financial plans you may have. It’s ridiculous for people to spend everything they’ve got during the holidays – feast and party all they can, and then suffer considerably at the onset of the New Year. Be like today’s millionaires.

Making it through January

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January can be a drag. All the emotional investment – not to mention the expense – that you’ve pumped into Christmas and New Year holidays can make the period through to the spring time feel like an uphill struggle. It’s invariably dark and miserable outside and everyone is tucked up indoors, counting their pennies and wondering whether all that Xmas excess was really worth the while. Obviously, it’s time for a new hobby; something to while away the long, dark hours of those miserable winter evenings.

Old favourites will inevitably score highly. Hitting the gym is the classic expression of a desire to start the New Year as you mean to go on. We’ve nothing against it; a healthy body is a healthy mind and all that. But as a New Year resolution it’s such a cliché that it’s almost doomed from the start. The other half of the cliché, of course, is that by the end of February your gym gear will be stuck in the bottom of the laundry and you’ll have forgotten all about your good intentions. If you’re doing something because you feel you have to – which is the way it usually works post-Christmas – then your motivation will fade faster than you can say ‘healthy eating’. It’s just the way it is.

What you need is something that has the capacity to get more interesting and more rewarding the more of it you do. No one has ever said that about a rowing machine.

If you already enjoy the buzz that goes with the occasional bet, check out the possibilities that spread betting can bring you. Spread betting is betting for grown-ups in that you really do need to do your homework to get it right. If you’re looking for a new way to take your mind off the January blues, getting to grips with the highly sophisticated range of products that leading providers offer can be guaranteed to focus your attention. Tradefair deliver a sophisticated range of spread betting options that extends to financial markets as well as sporting events. As a way to forget about the world outside, you couldn’t ask for a more immersive environment.

Fresh Start
Fresh Start

The great thing about starting out at somewhere like Tradefair is that they allow you to set up a dummy account as a way to learn exactly what is involved. You don’t have to part with a penny – which is no bad thing at this time of the year – but in the process you can build up the expertise and the strategies you’ll need once you start to play for real. You can access it either via a trading screen on your laptop or PC or via a smartphone app. Either way, it is the perfect introduction to a whole new realm of betting. It’s like having a whole new toy to play with, but one that keeps growing the more you learn.

The thing about spread betting is that is requires a degree of insight as to how the mechanics of the bet work as well as a serious attention to the variables involved in what you are actually betting on. It is about as far away as a punt on the Grand National as you could ask for. In the process of working your way to a perfect understanding of your chosen field you will, undoubtedly, add to your stock of knowledge about it. Whether that is sports-related or something more commercially oriented like Foreign Exchange or stock-market trading, an entry into the world of spread betting can be an eye-opening education.

Given all those New Year resolutions – to be a better person, to be fitter and healthier, to be more disciplined and more dedicated – learning about spread betting is just the sort of educational self-improvement that might just help you make it through January.