or are planning to raise fund for an upcoming big expense, it might be a good solution to start seeking alternatives to boost your income. Some simple or out-of-the-box ways might be available to raise some additional money. These are listed below.
Start Freelance Work
Various sites online propose effective solutions for people to sell their skills by doing additional projects and raise funds. This is done either by bidding on projects or creating pages where buyers would be able to contact sellers for particular products and services. One would only need to be aware of which skills might be in demand and to tap on that.
Cover your car with advertisements
This is a new method of advertisements that allows individuals to earn up to 1000 dollars a month by just placing ads on their car. The persons selected for this would then just have to travel their normal route regularly. The selection depends on the area that the person lives in.
Become a Mystery Shopper or join a focus group
Being involved in market researches is quite lucrative. Several people can earn up to 300 dollar per focus group participation. In order to enrol, you might want to gather information from a local market research agency and they would ask you for information to assess whether you would be eligible. Mystery shopping is quite selective but people who get involved in it would need to provide their opinion on products and get paid for it.
Going on retirement is liberating. It is the moment when you would finally get to relax and forget about your work and intent with which you were focusing on your career. The following questions will help you decide how to allocate assets for your retirement distribution.
Determining your budget and expenses
Making a list of all your necessary expenditures will help you evaluate how much you would be needing from your retirement plan. Your expenses are the main influencing factor of your retirement and having a strong understanding of how they are broken down is key. If are able to determine how much you would be withdrawing for your retirement, you would be able to find out what you would be expecting from your investments.
Determining your expected rate of return
By determining the rate of return on your investment that you would be needing, you can decide what would be the amount of money to allocate in your pension plan. Factors such as risk and time would also have to be taken into consideration.
When would you be needing the money?
Determining when you would actually require the release of your funds would determine which mode of retirement investment to choose and adhere to. Adopting a long-term approach can be beneficial, especially if you are investing in relatively risk-free plans. Factors such as taxes, inflation and the market trends would also have to be considered when devising your long-term retirement investment plan.
Generally, owners of small businesses decide to finance their through the sale of their company. While this may be a good plan, business owners often do not consider the amount of money that they will receive during the sale.
Develop a retirement budget in today’s dollars
While developing your retirement budget, you could start by considering your current expenses and forecasting whether these would still exist when you would be retiring. For instance, if you have children, they would probably have grown into adulthood and become self-sufficient. Other financial aspects such as a mortgage would have been paid off. Your retirement income would also need to cater for activities that you might want to indulge in once you would be free from professional obligations.
Estimate any income you will have in retirement
In some cases, you would be eligible for a person scheme. Even though social security might be around, you might want to disregard this income in your calculations. Moreover, some people do not plan to go on full retirement. They would therefore still be receiving an income and this would reduce the amount needed from the retirement scheme.
Consider the effect of inflation
Supposing that you would be about to retire in 15 years. You might need to take into consideration the forecasted level of inflation for the forthcoming decades. Assuming that the inflation rate would be at 2.5% for the next 15 years, to gather a capital of $3.3, the retirement fund would need to be at $4.8.
Balancing the budget for an event is one of the challenges faced by planners. The cause of most money issues is generally related to initial discussion stages. The design and planning of an event should start with the financial resources at the disposal of the planner. The tips below might help you estimate the cost.
Outline Each Event Expenses
Expenses related to an event would come from various sources. Once you have all these sources listed down, you would be able to assign budgets to each one. For any event the most obvious expenses would be venue and catering. Overlooking one expense might cause a disbalance in the initial budget.
Discussion with the planner
The role of an event planner is to provide expert guidance on the coordination but also on how to balance your budget. The planner should be able to advise when your ideas are going too much over the top so that you are aware of budget restrictions. You might sometimes also have to adjust your expectations with this regards.
Build a Basic Event Budget
Once you have formed an idea of how the event will be and have an idea on the overall budget, you would have to break it down for each component. Another factor to consider is that your initial budget is only a working draft. Other expenses might come in. It is therefore important to keep a buffer, just in case. A 10% buffer is generally adequate. You will also have to include your event planner’s fees when considering your budget.
Federal student loans has experienced considerable progress in the past years. Borrowers who were struggling with their debt have been offered several options in terms of loan repayment and even loan forgiveness programs have been put into place to help them out. However, borrowers having opted for private student loans often do not have so many facilities. The tips below might help you avoid private student loan debts.
Get To Know Your Loan Terms First
It is really important to keep track of the terms of your private student loan. Essential information such as the person dealing with your record, contact details, the repayment status and balance of your loan would need to be constantly checked. This might be hard to keep up with especially if you have contracted different private student loans through each school year. You might want to use your credit report to get all required information to contact your lenders and update them with your address to receive regular statements.
Negotiate With Your Bank and Focus On Earning Extra Income
If you find that you are in difficulty to repay your loans, you might consider contacting your bank to explain your situation and find a solution. Generally banks will propose a win-win solution. The solution might be in terms of lower repayment for a longer period. Another solution would be find alternative ways to generate extra income. It might be by working more shifts or engaging in a side activity that would make your earn some extra money.
Long-term mortgages are those that last for 40 years or more and tend to be more expensive due to the greater risk involved in lending for a considerably longer time compared to other loans. If you are reluctant at considering a mortgage, the following reasons could help you in your decision.
- Mortgages enable you to build equity
The value of your home will rise over the years and having a mortgage does not affect that value. Instead of spending all your money on buying the property, getting a long-term mortgage will have the effect of increasing your equity while at the same time the value of your home will increase. An increase in equity can help you fund major life events such as weddings, education or retirement.
- Mortgages carry low interest rate
Mortgages have low interest rates since you would be putting your house up as a guarantee of your payment. The bank’s risk with this loan is considerably lower as you are offering something huge as collateral, therefore they are willing to reduce their interest rate.
- Mortgage interest is tax-deductible and tax-favorable
The interest that you pays on your home loans up to a certain amount is tax-deductible in the U.S. This provides savings on federal and state income taxes.
- Mortgage payment gets easier with years
Mortgage payment, especially fixed-rate mortgages become comparatively cheaper over time as your income will undoubtedly increase. Mortgage payments might seem high during the first few years but as income increase, things would start to look easier.
As per a Consumer Reports Survey carried out in 2012, 22.5% out of five thousand consumers who have received notice of a security breach have found out that they were victims of identity fraud. There are certain actions that you might take to protect yourself in case you find out that your account has been subject to a data breach.
Get a Replacement Card
If you have been informed that you are involved in a data breach, immediately demand that the company get you a new card or you would close down the account. The company should be able to meet your demand.
Daily Check Your Account Online
Finding suspicious activities and disputing them promptly is the best way to be able to solve any issue. Check your account everyday when your new card arrives for a least one month.
Freeze your credit
If you find out that you are the victim of a data breach, you can call the three main credit bureaus and request to freeze your credit report. This would ensure that nobody would have access to your report without your prior consent. In extreme cases of real breaches, you could also freeze your accounts.
Order your credit reports
As per the law, you are eligible to one free credit report each year. If you are a victim of fraud, you would probably to eligible for more regular free reports. Even if you have not been a victim yet, you might be cautious by getting reports every quarter year.
- Choosing the right investment partner
The most crucial choice when it comes to investment revolves around which brokerage company to solicit. This is an important decision as it will impact on the amount paid in fees, the type of investments that you would be proposed and the expected returns on investment that you would get. A good long-term solution is to choose a discount broker. Choosing one that would not charge high fees and charge low commissions would be ideal. Brokers that offer mutual funds or ETFs (exchange-traded funds) without charging for a commission are perfect for beginners.
- Start with basic funds
Mutual funds and ETFs are great for beginners. The advantage of these funds is that they would split your investment across several stocks. This creates a buffer for risks associated with the downfall of any given individual stock. Mutual funds and ETFs are ideal if you want to learn about investment. Some target-date mutual funds offer the advantage of automatic computation of the risk level associated with your investment as you approach the goal you had set (such as your retirement, for instance).
- Opt for safer stocks
Safer stocks can come in the form of consumer staple products such as food, clothing and medical supplies. These stocks tend to be less volatile as even when the economy is tough, people would still be looking for buy those products. These stocks have a good long-term prospects but require patience to yield their return.
If you notice a financial shortfall after calculating your expected expenses, you might have to find solutions in order to eliminate it. Several possibilities might be presented to you and you might have to adapt your solutions as per your situation. The guide below might help you come up with ideas to raise some extra funds.
Reconsider your expenditures
You might wish to go through your expenditure again and to try to eliminate anything that feels unnecessary. However, there are certain expenses that you must not drop. For instance, you might feel tempted to drop your insurance coverage, but dropping them now might be turn out to be problematic in the future. And this decision might turn out to be detrimental in the future.
Review bills and find out how to save
Take a moment to review each of your bills and think about ways to reduce your expenses. You may gather around with your family to decide how you may save on groceries, clothes and other items. You might have to change some of your consumer habits.
Consider your employment
To eliminate certain financial shortfalls, you might think about working extra hours or doing a part-time activity. If your children are teens, you might encourage them to find a job to be able to earn some extra pocket money.
Start Keeping a Log
The log would help you keep track of your expenditure and find out where the money goes. It might be some expensive lunch that you tend to forget about or a habit that has become part of your routine, such as smoking. It could be useful to note these down.
Choosing the right mortgage can be a tough decision. There are many factors that ought to be taken into consideration in order to avoid any contingencies in the years to come. The tips below might be helpful.
Know what you can afford
Most financial decisions would start with this step. Knowing what you can afford is about knowing where you stand financially. You might think about going through your monthly spending to determine what is within your budget in terms of the house, insurance, mortgage and property taxes. You might also think about including monthly maintenance and utility costs. Your credit report would also have to be checked to ensure that get the lowest interest rate possible on your mortgage.
This shopping around takes time and energy, but it is unfortunately required in order to guarantee the best decision and more savings. You can consider a mortgage lender or mortgage broker. Brokers would sell you a loan from a lender. However, neither of these professionals would be finding the best loan for you. You would have to carry out the research yourself.
Understand loan prices and fees
Customers often make the mistake of accepting the first loan that they are being offered without thinking about looking around for a better deal. You might also keep in mind that lenders and brokers alike have a consideration for the profit that they would receive once you agree to the terms of a particular loan with higher interests or higher fees. Understanding and comparing prices yourself is the best way to strike a deal.
An effective manager will have to communicate with his/her accounting and finance professionals team to ensure daily business activities and projects are completed as per the plan. Here are six tips that will help a manager effectively communicate with his/her finance department.
Ask them to speak up – Ask your finance team to be more vocal and request for their feedback, questions, and concerns.
Check in often – Often remind your accounting team that you value their input and need their expertise to ensure that the business runs smoothly.
Don’t catch people off guard – Avoid waiting till an annual appraisal to give your team feedback, as this will give no time for a staff member or team to improve. Look at informally offering regular performance reviews.
Give it to them straight – Accounting professionals will value a communication style that is honest, reliable and direct.
Be specific – Accounting professionals will focus on data, so if you want them to work on something ensure that you are precise, accurate and technical. Avoid being general and request for numbers that will help you understand the situation better.
Ward off rumors – Office gossip can confuse employees and create misinformation and half truths. When you’re speaking to the finance team, request for information in numbers as this will provide a more accurate picture of a problem.
Training – Adding training programs to help employees communicate better is a good way to help departments and managers communicate more effectively.
Small businesses are often tight on budgets and therefore should include energy saving methods to reduce their utility bills. Here are seven tools and tips for small businesses to save money on energy.
Increase the efficiency of your boiler – Upgrading and cleaning your boiler will improve its efficiency. Look at removing soot, scale and fixing leaks to reduce costs at your facility.
Insulate piping and ductwork – Pipping and ductwork done properly will reduce heat losses, saving energy and costs.
Replace inefficient lighting – Look at energy efficient lighting that will reduce your energy consumption and produce less heat.
Upgrade your AC – New air conditioners will use less than 50% less electricity than those used in the 1970s. Therefore, upgrading your AC can reduce your electricity costs by at least 30%.
Reduce fan speeds – Reducing your fan speed by one notch will reduce your energy consumption by as much as 30%.
Disconnect non-essential loads – If you have appliances like coffee makers, water coolers, vending machines and registers that are not in use, it is best to switch them on when needed or sell them to reduce your energy load.
Maintain your electrical distribution system – Look at a well-maintained electrical system that will distribute, protect electrical usage and reduce electrical energy usage. You will need a qualified electrician to assess your business to rectify any issues.
A start-up’s finance team is the key to ensuring a start-up stays a float. Building a finance team from scratch can be difficult. Here are some tips that can help you get started.
When should I add finance staff? – Your finance team should be hired as soon as possible, instead of expecting key players to take on this role. Avoid failing in this area as it can have serious
What positions should I fill first? – If the organization is a forward thinking one, it is best to look at a financial analyst first. However, if someone on your team is handling this area, look at investing in someone to manage payables and receivables. You could also start by hiring a CFO and then look at an accountant to handle day-to-day tasks. Afterward look at filling middle management positions like an accounting manager or a controller.
Previous startup experience needed? – Your candidates don’t necessarily have to have previous start-up experience, but they should be able to fill a role that will involve a lot of multi-tasking.
Contract or permanent staff? – The choice of selecting contract or permanent staff will depend on the market and the specific skills you are after. A combination of both is advisable to ensure you get the right resources you require. Start off by hiring for your immediate needs and then look at what areas need improvement.
Warren Buffett is one of the richest people in the world, and he has been an inspiration to many. Here are some wise words that will help anyone in business.
- “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago” – The lesson here is to look at the future and see what methods of investing, saving or spending can help you lead a more comfortable life or one that achieves your goals or dreams.
- “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for ten years” – Invest in businesses that are stable but look at holding your investment for the long-term. As your investment matures, keep an eye on it to ensure that it is still valuable and your original reasons to buy still apply.
- “Price is what you pay; value is what you get” – The price you pay for something and the value you receive from it are quite different. Therefore, it is important to buy stock that you believe is more valuable than the share price in the market
“Cash … is to business as oxygen is to an individual: never thought about when it is present, the only thing in mind when it is absent” – This lesson is an important one, Buffett understands the importance of keeping an “Emergency fund.” Your emergency fund will help you face financial challenges with ease and eventually when you come out of it; your business will be stronger.
Summary: Global money transfers are relied on more than ever in today’s economy. Here’s how it’s done.
One of the most pivotal components of today’s modern economy is the global money transfer system. As large-scaled businesses are continue to shift their focus on cutting costs by outsourcing work to contractors overseas, there’s a substantial increase in the amount of global transfers.
The Utilization of Online Wallets
One unique way of transferring money online is through the use of an online wallet. For some individuals, the wallet is either a checking or savings accounts. This allows the consumer to maintain a fair currency exchange rate when spending around the globe – essentially when one works with any merchant service that will accept credit cards online. Also, for businesses that send their employees to various countries, it’s also a significant factor in cutting costs.
Bitcoin: The Currency of the Future
Bitcoin is considered the most popular forms of crypto currencies. Furthermore, it’s also being utilized across the globe as we speak. With a complex algorithm system, money is safely transferred from country to country without duplication concerns. This is done similar to that of a merchant credit card processing system, but varies in the amount of keys that are assigned to each transaction. Already, the economy is witnessing a substantial increase in digital currency, and it’s only the beginning. It may become a universally accepted means of money transfer, but only time will tell.
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Starting a new business can be difficult and involve many financial mistakes. Here are six financial tips for entrepreneurs launching a startup.
Manage your cash flow – It is important that new startups are aware of where their money is coming in from and going. Manage your cash flow by hiring an experienced accountant or by taking a few courses in accounting basics to understand your financial position.
Monitor spending – Understanding how your business is spending its money is important as it will give you a good idea about how to manage your business and maintain growth.
Limit your fixed expenses in the beginning – Avoid investing in an elaborate office and furnishings and instead concentrate on how you can grow your business and generate revenue.
Remain optimistic but prepare for the worst – Business environments are ever changing, therefore stay alert and prepare for the worst. Make sure that your business has grown before you decide to quit your current job and eliminate your main source of income.
Reserves – It is important that you have personal and business reserves that you can tap into when bad situations arise. Remember that as an entrepreneur, you have to take control of your retirement fund to ensure that you have something to fall back on when you are unable to work anymore.
Every minute has monetary value – Small businesses revolve around the owner and therefore your time is very valuable. Schedule your daily activities to ensure that you have sufficient time to look into all aspects of your business.
Summary: Passive income has become a popular market for those that want to earn money without putting forth much effort.
Passive income can be defined as money that flows in on a regular basis without requiring a substantial amount of effort to be put in. Now, the idea behind this is to make an initial investment and allow everything to fall into place. Afterwards, there’s minimal maintenance involved and one reaps the benefits. That being said, not all passive income opportunities are beneficial for you. For investors, you’ll want to build a solid portfolio, which means understanding which passive investing strategies are worth pursuing.
Real Estate Investments
The real estate market, despite its ups and downs, remains to be a preferred choice for investors that want long-term returns. Investing in rental property can provide a solid source of regular income that comes in on a monthly basis. On the other hand, the investor has to put a 20% down payment to purchase the property, but that may not be an option for those that aren’t saving regularly. Once the tenants are installed, there’s little to do but wait for the rent checks to start flowing in.
The P2P industry is barely a decade old, and the market has grown substantially within that time frame. Investors that want to help other while adding passive income to their portfolio tend to look to P2P lending for a golden opportunity.
There are fewer barriers to enter this market as opposed to other types of investments. Some P2P platforms will allow investors to fund loans with as little as $25. The road to success with P2P however, lies with diversification. Remember, you’re funding individuals that you don’t know. You’ll have to rely on their credit score and other information that’s made available to you. If they end up defaulting on their loan, your initial investment will be lost. This is why investors will strategize and invest in multiple loans to minimize their losses.
Bio: An entrepreneur by trade, Omar Amanat is a successful investor that has seen his fair share in the technology and finance industry.
Entrepreneurs invest in real estate because they know that the return on investment in much higher in real estate than investing their money in the bank. However, there are few tips that entrepreneurs should keep in mind when investing in real estate.
Plan your financial goals – Before investing in real estate, it is best to analyze what you expect from your investment. When conducting your analysis, look at the time you are willing to hold your asset in comparison to the return you will receive.
Don’t only look at learning – Learn the basics about real estate investments and then compare them with the goals you want to achieve. If you have any specific areas you need clarification, look at searching for this information online or delve into a book or a seminar.
Look at plenty of properties – Look at as many properties as you can and consider areas beyond your personal preferences. More options will provide you with a wide range of choice which will make for positive
Avoid postponing your investment program – Avoid waiting for that perfect deal as it may not happen. Perfect deals rarely exist. Instead look at if your investment meets your goals.
Do a thorough financial analysis – Once your analysis is complete, look at these details as guidelines to determine your price and your terms.
Avoid buying a property that the seller is not motivated to sell – If a seller is not motivated to sell their property, the chances are that the price of the property will not suit your financial goals.
Small budgets are something businesses have to get used to when hiring new employees. Here are some tips to get the most for your money.
Know when to outsource – Outsourcing a position is a great way to reduce risks that come with a new hire. If an outsourced employee is not doing their job, you can simply tell them that you don’t require their services.
Use small to your advantage – Small businesses provide new hires with the ability to make changes that can be implemented. Make sure you highlight this fact when interviewing potential candidates.
Offer competitive non-salary benefits – Although employees are maybe willing to join a company for a smaller salary, you will have to offer them other benefits to keep them interested. For example, offering childcare services, transportation reimbursement, flexible schedules, the opportunity to work from home, are non-salary benefits that will keep employees happy.
Clearly set expectations – When the salary is low, it is best to discuss this at the early stage of the interview. The interviewer should then build on the other benefits the job offers.
Leverage existing employees – Ask employees to refer friends and acquaintances, so that they can market your company from the very beginning. This referral means that your employees will be more likely to introduce potential hires that are a great fit for the organization regarding culture and work ethics.
The future of online credit card processing lies with companies that are diving head first into the market for mobile payments. The more mobile devices are deployed with applications built for sharing payment data, the better the integration of this technology. Consumers need to know it’s safe to use a cell phone to make payments, and more retailers are beginning to accept these alternative payment forms as a result. This was a major step forward in supporting freelancers worldwide, and will no doubt be the first in many to come.
Mobile Offers Convenience
With smartphone adoption rates trending upward, almost everyone has the ability to move money from wherever they are. What’s changed is that more retail outlets are beginning to accept mobile payments from customers on the go, which means they are no longer tied to the debit card or cash. These new merchant accounts protect a customer’s identity and payment information. Making everything safer. Mobile devices are usually protected by a password, and are often secured by the person carrying them. So, rates of physical theft are low and there are multiple security measures one can take to protect their device.
Mobile payments also allow a lot of tracking on the merchant’s end, which is a good thing for consumers. It’s possible to allow customized coupons that apply specifically to what a consumer actually buys, rather than forcing him or her to buy outside of habit. It may be possible to “remind” customers of deals at the payment processor, where the customer would be most receptive to loyalty offers and coupons. There are exclusive deals you can offer through mobile that encourage customer loyalty as well.
Imagine you’re in line at a terminal, when your phone buzzes. Upon opening, you discover that the item you’re about to buy has a coupon for 20% off the store’s asking price. You can scan this coupon from your phone, without remembering where you might have left it, and you’ll be able to claim your offer seamlessly from the terminal.
Ultimately, it will come down to experimentation but mobile payments are finally beginning to see increased adoption rates. Companies will be looking for ways to harness this new technology, so that merchants can deliver tailored solutions to customers looking for a great deal. Consumers will love taking advantage of the new methods to save money and earn loyalty rewards bonuses.
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