Finance

Finance

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Tips to Get Out of Financial Stress

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When it comes to finances, most people get stressed whether in a personal or business aspect, particularly these days where expenses are expected to double from Christmas shopping to gift-giving. Moreover, online shopping sales are everywhere and it is tempting to get the latest iPhone you have been waiting for or the laptop you need for your home office.

If you feel money matters are stressing you out, here are some suggestions to address this issue:

  1. Analyze the situation.

Suddenly waking up in the middle of the night or not being able to sleep because you are afraid you might not be able to pay your bills if your business fails is a sign of anxiety and this can be stressful. In reality, fear eats on the feeling of uncertainty. To address this problem, it is important to realize that uncertainty is the culprit. Write down the reasons you are stressed about money, say, you are worried about how you can pay the phone bill. Next, ask yourself why you think you won’t be able to. By answering the question, you can now think of ways to keep this from happening.

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  1. Engage in activities that cost less or cost nothing.

If you have been used to eating out with friends on weekends or going to the movies twice a month, try to think of other activities you can do that will not require you to spend much. These can be hiking or going to the park, having dinner at home with friends or watching DVD at home or watching movies from the internet. There are ways to enjoy life for free.

  1. Make use of apps.

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You download applications for free that can help you organize your finances. These apps can provide you with financial and budgeting tools like monitoring your expenses. Take advantage of internet technology and you can find tons of apps you can use.

 

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.

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.

An Insight Into Australian Financial Services

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Worldwide, there are so many different types of financing institutions that have made it possible to complete a number of tasks. Whether funding a project overseas or sending money to relatives, financing institutions around the world have made transferring money convenient and simple. The best part of today’s financial industry is you can literally begin a business with a great idea, an internet connection, and a device.

Like the rest of the world, Australia’s financial industry has found ways to bring an amalgam of financial services to its residents. In this current economy, Australians can fund private ventures or choose to purchase property. They can save through traditional means or open global funds that will mature and generate income for retirement or other projects. The financial landscape in the country is such that there are so many possibilities available to both consumers and businesses.

Keep reading for more information related to the Australian financial industry.

Traditional Banks

The banking industry has grown up, and in doing so, has created savvy, sophisticated consumers who are increasingly becoming aware of how to make their money make money. Traditional banks are of the old-time brick-and-mortar types that offer consumers a variety of financial services beyond just passbook savings accounts and check writing services to offering business accounts with all of the accessories that go with opening and managing a business. Many institutions include services related to home and car loans, credit cards, debit cards, and term deposit accounts.

In addition to traditional banks, credit unions are beginning to make up a good portion of the financial landscape. Credit unions operate a little differently in that you might see certain services while others offer very limited services. All credit unions have checking and savings accounts, which are typically tied together.

Depending on the size of the institution, you might see credit unions offering the types of investments seen in regular institutions. The benefit of going with a credit union is that checking and savings can be opened and maintained free of charge, as opposed to banks that typically charge a monthly fee for not maintaining a certain balance. Furthermore, their interest rates tend to be a little bit lower than your standard brick-and-mortar institutions.

Online Banking Institutions

While traditional banks and credit unions do offer online banking, a whole crop of financial institutions are offering Australian residents quick and easy solutions to a number of their issues. For one, online lenders make it possible for people to finance cars, homes, boats, and other vehicles through a streamlined, more efficient process. In addition, these same institutions can make it possible to take out personal loans and travel loans as well. While the interest rates on car loans typically tend to be less than through the dealership, the other loan types vary depending on the lender. In essence, these financing institutions have reduced the hassle and the complications that go along with applying for a loan today.

Investment Houses

Australia is still home to an amalgam of investment houses that provide consumers with a range of products. In addition to retirement and term deposit funds, these financial institutions offer consumers products that will allow them to open brokerage accounts and make deposits toward funding some goal, whether it is paying for a home or a child’s education. These funds usually come with assistance from a financial advisor who can counsel on strategies for reaching goals.

Financial Products For The Financially Fit Australia

The field of products available to consumers in this country has made understanding financial matters accessible. Consumers can access funds through a variety of sources outside of traditional banks while also accessing funding through online institutions. More importantly, the amalgam of choices that consumers have related to investment savings has provided everyday consumers with a platform for success.

Paying Off Your Real Estate Mortgage Early

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It should be very simple to pay off mortgages early if you can afford it. If you should do so, you can follow a few tips on how to clear your mortgage as early as possible.

Simply pay more if you are paying monthly interest and principal, you can divide them by 12. Add that to the monthly payment, which makes it 13 payments annually. Just inform the mortgage-servicing firm before making extra payments for that matter though.

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Refinance using a mortgage with shorter-termit is possible for you can pay a 30-year mortgage in just 15 years. So, instead of having 4.5% fixed interest rate for your mortgage, you can refinance using a 15-year loan at a lower 4% rate.

Make extra mortgage payments yearlyyou can do this by making 13 payments in a year. Do this by saving up throughout the year and make extra payments. You can also take advantage of extra checks that you receive to pay off the mortgage.

Throw extra money at your mortgageif you have money via unexpected sources, you should funnel some of that or the entire amount to your mortgage. For instance, if you make lump-sum payments, then you can pay off a couple years and 4 months earlier.

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Paying off mortgage early can have positive and negative effects, nonetheless. The positive being the ability to cut the interest rate on the mortgage. However, the downside is that it can be difficult to predict the payoff date for mortgage. Thus, if you throw in too much, you wouldn’t have enough money for other needs.

If you are going to pay off early, make sure that you seek help from your financial adviser. Thus, you will be able to refinance or manage your mortgage at a more favorable rate.