Popular Articles

3 Ways to Boost Your Monthly Income...

If you are preparing for a special event 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...

3 factors to consider when choosing a retirement portfolio...

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...

Calculations for a Comfortable Retirement...

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...

How To Budget for an Event...

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...

Tips To Avoid Student Loan Debt...

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...

Benefits of having a long-term home mortgage...

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...

How to protect yourself against credit card hacks...

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...

Investment tips for beginners...

Investing can be an intimidating process for beginners. The following tips could be helpful to ease up the process. 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...

How to Solve Financial Shortfalls...

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...

3 tips for choosing a mortgage...

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. Compare Loans 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...

3 Ways to Break Out Of The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle...

There are a number of reasons why people might be living from paycheck. This could either be because of situations out of their control or even due to poor financial choices. No matter what, it’s hardly an enjoyable way to live because of the pressure that comes with it. Here are 3 ways to break out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle: 1: Write Down Your Expenses Sometimes the problem is not overspending but just not spending the money you already make wisely. In fact, earning more money might not be necessary to cover this perceived deficit. So, take some time out of each payday to decide how that money will be spent. Make sure you list all the upcoming bills and according to the date. A simple Post-It note should suffice. 2: Reduce Spending From Your Budget If you already have a written budget and have nothing left after your bills, then it’s time to reduce your expenses. In other words, one should be as frugal as possible. At least, this is up until your debt is gone. Even if after you’re in the green, make sure you’re careful with your spending. Look over the internet for a number of ways by which you can live frugally. 3: Look for new ways to increase your incoming cash The other way by which you can stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck is by increasing your incoming earnings. There are a number of ways by which you can do this. You can look for a second job, apply for a promotion, sell stuff on eBay or even go back to college for a better...

3 Money Lies That You Should Steer Clear Of...

  While your desire to spend a lot during your twenties is only normal, this will change by the time you get to the age of 30. Given that this is the time when you tend to earn the most, it’s also important that you begin to put away just as much. This also involves avoiding certain money lies that you might tell yourself. Here are 3 of these money lies that you should steer clear of: 1: Doesn’t Matter If I Hate My Job, As Long As It Pays Well No matter what it is, there’s no point working at a job you hate by the age of 30 and which leaves you stressed out and disappointed. Sometimes you have to look at something else which pays less in order to enjoy your life a little more. It isn’t a sacrifice even if you think it is. 2: Turning A Blind Eye Is Fine, My Finances Will Figure Themselves Out It’s bad to ignore financial red flags in your 20s when they arise. No matter what change your bank account even if you are fearful of seeing a really low number. Make sure you look at your credit report regularly. Also, take advantage of work benefits offered – the 401(k) match being on of them. If you are out of money, make sure you know it. It’s the only way you will do something about it. 3: I Should Get Married Because It Is The ‘Next’ Step Getting married at 30 is a trend these days. Yet very few people can afford to get married given the absurd costs associated with an American wedding. Doing so will result in massive debt and which in turn, will result in...

The Many Roles of a Construction Consultant...

A consultant is merely someone who has years of experience in a particular industry. Consultants aren’t just experts. In the case of construction, a consultant may perform many duties on site besides evaluating the project. For instance, during disputes, consultants may act as a construction expert witness to help tell your side of the story in layman’s terms to a jury.   Expert A consultant is firstly someone who has expertise in the field of construction. Some have many years occupying jobs at every level, others have owned and managed contracting companies, and still others have particular specialties (like steel fabrication) that fill important niches in the construction zone. That enables a consultant to fill the role of construction expert witness, project manager, turnaround supervisor and other key roles involved at every level of the construction process.   Mediator Disputes are fairly common in construction, and most require little more than a claim to resolve. Occasionally, larger disputes between personnel or vendors can cause hiccups in the plans that throw off deadlines and ultimately cost money. In these cases, mediation is the preferred method to solve disputes. Construction mediation is much faster than trial, does not require legal representation and typically leaves all parties feeling as though they got what was owed to them. Plus, you don’t risk everything on an outcome that is difficult to predict.   Manager Consultants often fill the role of managers, especially in turnaround scenarios. These key personnel sign off on plans, place orders for materials and oversee the entire schedule. Consultants are well suited to this role because their experience informs their decision making. Bio: Lyle Charles has experience mentoring leaders in the construction industry. Lyle Charles Consulting can help manage commercial or...

5 Things to Share To Save Money...

The ‘sharing economy’ is a now much-discussed topic. There are several other ways to save money apart from rides and renting residences. For this, connecting with friends, family and neighborhood groups is necessary. Once you’ve discussed how to share these items, you will save more money. Having said that, here are 5 things that you can share to save money: 1: Streaming Video Service This is another popular topic in the world of sharing economy. Streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and HBO allow you to share passwords. Netflix takes it one step further by allowing users to maintain 5 individual profiles. 2: Cell Phone Plan Major service producers such as T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T offer family sharing plans. Once you determine which plan works best for your family, the saving can be large. Up to 10 people can profit from these plans offered. 3: Amazon Prime Family members and unmarried partners can share these accounts with registered Amazon Prime users. This will help in reducing membership costs by almost half or even more. 4: Vacation Property While timeshares are popular and expensive, you can share it with others. Not only can you split the cost of the property but also set up a calendar of who uses it. A legal contract for repair costs, utilities and maintenance is advisable. 5: Club Memberships Members at Costco and Sam’s Club can bring guests which saves money on memberships. At Costco, the member will have to pay for guest purchases. Guests at Sam’s Club can make their...

CryptoCurrency: Overrated or Intriguing?...

By Phin Upham One of the most interesting concepts in the world of fintech has been crypto currency. The enigmatic currency began popping up on blogs, associated with drug deals and hit men, and it promised a method to anonymously send money. It was invented to make it harder for governments and financial bodies to track financial transactions around the world, and hasn’t had too much positive publicity up until Goldman Sachs decided to invest in it. Mt. Gox, where 850,000 bitcoins belonging to traders simply vanished, showed everyone that crypto currency has a dark side. As the company began closing down, some thought that might end crypto currency for good. After all, if the bitcoin stock exchange can’t work, how can the currency? Overrated Bitcoin is basically used to buy fake passports and drugs on the Internet. At least that’s what the media wants to say about it, but the currency has not proven to be secure and stable. Trading prices fluctuate rapidly, which sends values all over the chart, making it hard to look at historical trends or make any kind of educated guess as to where this all going. Underrated Which is why bitcoin is so undeniably fun to consider. Almost like the invisible dollar that could, bitcoin promises to make it easier to move money internationally. Yes, there is the dark side of anonymity, but the currency was always intended to have artificial limitations in order to simulate value. It’s like a game where the player is you and the health bar is your bank account. The biggest challenge right now is the “Wild West” atmosphere surrounding crypto currency, but regulation may come in the near future. About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor...

3 Habits That People With Excellent Credit Scores Have...

There are a number of things that you might be doing to damage your credit score without even knowing that it is causing your score harm. So, how does one improve their score and end their bad credit habits? It’s simple. You follow people who have excellent and do the same. Having said that, here are 3 habits that people with excellent credit scores have: #1: Payment history matters greatly Making payments later than 30 days can result in a drop of your credit score. This actually only takes one missed payment. It’s been found that people with the best credit scores tend to pay their credit card bills and loans in time. That said, even if you can only afford to pay the minimum amount, make sure you still pay it in time. #2: Credit Debt and Utilization Are Important According to the company that invented the FICO score, Fair Isaac, people with more than average credit scores tend to only use 7% of their available credit. This is in stark contrast with people who have lesser credit scores and usually max out their available credit. In fact, the faster you pay off your debt, the better your credit score gets. #3: Avoid opening or closing credit accounts suddenly People with high credit scores tend to have an average account history for 11 years or more as opposed to those with poor credit whose average account history is about 7 years. One way of shortening this is by opening a number of new accounts at a time. Alternatively, closing old and inactive account can also reduce your credit score as a result. Moreover, you won’t have any access to that available credit...