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.
The costs for small business credit card processing can add up pretty quickly if you’re not careful, but there are some things you can do to try and lower those costs.
Review Your Contract
Most payment processing companies will require you to have some kind of contract filled out in order to process your new account. Usually, these contracts hold you to a period of about two years and contain language that defines your fee structure. Pay close attention to any discounts, to be sure you can meet the requirements to utilize them, and make sure your account is setup properly to take advantage of the fee structure.
If you have the option to utilize phone support during setup, do so.
Reduce Fraud Risk
Payment gateway services process transactions at a set rate, but fraudulent transactions can cost money when they are reversed. Get too many of these transactions and it may even trigger removal of your merchant account. If you become a high risk, reducing your fraud risk will eventually help to correct that status and get lower fees on transactions as well.
The best way to stop fraud? Swipe as many of your customer’s cards as possible!
If your first option is to go to a bank, then definitely shop around. Banks usually contract this processing to another company, so you’re paying extra fees to cover those costs and using a branded terminal. Why pay those extra fees if you can just go to the source yourself? Shopping around will ensure you find a contract with a good fee structure, and discounts you can actually use.
For more than 20 years, Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. has been the easiest and most affordable solution for accepting credit cards online.
Reconcile your accounts – You should make the time every month to personally review your accounts, although an accountant my handle your financials. You should do this by calculating a list of financial formulas each month and review the information against the previous months/years. This way if there are any large changes, you can look into the information in more detail.
Look at your credit report – Use online services to review your credit report to identify any fraudulent behavior.
Set up alerts – Alerts through mobile banking will give you up to date information on how your money is being spent. Apps such as Dasheroo and PowerWallet are good, to give you accurate information. These apps are also accessible through your computer.
Inform your clients of mismanagement – If you hear of any mismanagement in the industry, inform your clients by email or mail.
Back up your notices – If you have sent an email or mail notice, it is good practice to call your clients over the phone and recheck if they are aware of the notification.
Sample notifications – Save samples of notifications that can be quickly amended and sent to clients. This will save you time and avoid errors that can be made when writing fresh content.
Most young adults are clueless on how to manage their money and most often find themselves living an existence of barely managing from one paycheck to the next. Here are 5 financial tips for young adults that will leave you comfortable and prosperous.
Learn self control – It is important to learn the art of delayed gratification. Instead of buying an item on credit as soon as you want it, try saving up the money and buying something straight off. Use your credit card only for emergencies and for the special offers that they provide.
Take control of your own financial future – It is better to understand how to control your money better, than letting your family or friends dictate your financial future. Read a few books on how to make the most of your personal finances.
Know where your money goes – Budgeting is a very good way to understand where your money is being spent. Once you understand where your money is going, you will understand that making small changes can make a big difference at the end of the month.
Start an emergency fund – It is good to pay yourself first, so that you have some money saved in case of an emergency. Set aside a percentage of your earnings, which are transferred from your account automatically to a savings account every month.
Start saving for retirement now – Saving up now for your retirement, will mean that you will have a stable income once you get old and are unable to work
Online banks provide you with the ease of doing your banking with less visits to the bank. This gives you the flexibility to complete your transactions in a very short time, in the comfort of your own home. Here are the 3 best online banks that have been selected on the basis of their fees, interest rates, yields and customer service.
Ally Bank – Ally bank is one of the best online banks, mainly because they have no maintenance fees on checking, high savings and CD yields. They also offer 24/7 telephone customer service support with live online chat and a mobile app. You can also use any Allpoint ATM for free. If you use another ATM the bank will reimburse you up to $10 for any ATM surcharges.
Bank5 Connect – Bank5 Connect is known for its competitive rates, no monthly checking fees and great customer service features. Although the bank does not offer 24/7 customer service, they do provide live online chat features, a mobile app and remove check deposit. You can also use any ATM and bank surcharges up to $15 will be reimbursed.
EverBank – With attractive rates on its checking, savings and CD accounts, this is a good choice for people who have funds of $1,500 or more. With 24/7 phone customer support, no monthly maintenance fees and no ATM fees, this is good bank to consider. The bank will also reimburse all ATM fees, if you have over $5,000 or more.
The store’s slogan read “Expert service. Unbeatable price.” The best buy chain also claims that with more than 1400 stores at present that it “offers expert service at an unbeatable price more than 1.5 billion times a year.”
This is definitely true in a variety of products, specially on electronics. Here are the 5 best deals at best buy.
Televisions – Best buy is mainly an electronic retailer and therefore offers the best deals on televisions. Most deals will give you 25% off plus free shipping. For a further discount, look at buying your TV during thanksgiving or black friday. Apart from this, best buy offers a price match guarantee on local and online competitors.
Major Appliances – If your looking to purchase your next major appliance such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines, best buy will give you the lowest price. If you are unable to pay the full value up front, the store offers 18 months no interest financing for purchases over $599.
Apple Products – Best buy is a certified retailer for Apple products and the store offers greater discounts than the Apple stores.
Video Games – The store has a gamers club for the best pre order deals on new games. Most discounts range from $10- $20.
Four-Hour Flash Sale – At least once a month, best buy slash their prices on a four hour flash sale. This sale is only available for online purchases.
Split bulk items with a friend – If you are living alone and have little space, it can be hard purchasing and storing in bulk. But you still can enjoy the savings at Costco, by buying in bulk with a friend and splitting the packages.
Look for Costco coupons – Check your monthly coupon book as well as your Costco mobile app for items discounted. Clipping coupons are not necessary, since the cashiers keep copies of the coupons at their registers.
Shop summer closeouts before the season is over – Stock up on summer essentials at the end of the season. For example, items like barbecues, beach chairs and camping equipment are marked down up to 50%.
Non-members can access Costco discounts – If you do not like to spend the annual Costco membership, you still can have access to the pharmacy, immunization services, eye and hearing exams and eat at the Costco food court (if it’s located outside of the store).
Buy discounted gift cards and movie tickets.- There are discounts in restaurants, movie tickets and local attractions. For example, you can get a coffee bean gift card worth $100 for $79.99.
Take your lunch break at the Costco food court.- If you have forgotten to bring your lunch a good affordable option can be found at the Costco’s food court.
Walmart has been providing over 260 million customers with low prices daily. If you are looking to make further savings on your Walmart purchases, here are 5 strategies that will help you get the best prices.
Walmart’s price matching policy – Walmart will match any price from stores in your area. To make use of this policy, the items should be identical and be in stock at the other retailer. This method is a great way to save on perishables such as fruit, meat or other items such as paper. The store will also match prices from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com and TigerDirect.com for home goods and other items.
Online prices in store – As a policy the Walmart.com prices will be matched for in-store purchases. To get your priced reduced, pull the better price on your phone and show it to the cashier when checking out.
Saving catcher app – If your too busy to check the prices of competitors, you can use the Saving Catcher app. You just need to scan the receipt with your app and compare competitor advertised rates. If the item you purchased is cheaper elsewhere, you can be credited in Savings Catcher Reward Dollars. These can be redeemed as Walmart gift cards.
Free shipping from Walmart – To get free shipping at Walmart, spend upto or more than $50 which will incur a charge of only $4.97. To get around this fee you should have your online purchase, shipped to your local Walmart store.
Buying your first car, can be filled with a lot of uncertainty. Investing in a car is a big responsibility and it is important you get it right the first time. Here are a few tips to help with the process.
Establish your budget – You should first know how much you can afford monthly, for your car loan. Start with looking at your cost of living, which should include food, accommodation, entertainment, fuel, car insurance etc.
Transportation needs – Figure out what your main transportation needs are and what you will need to transport. If you are using your car for travelling to uni and work on most days, you could opt for a 2 door hatchback.
Prioritize your wants – Your first time car, will not be your only car. Therefore, invest in a car that fits your needs now. Try to stay away from the expensive models with the pricey extras.
Research – Do your research on models you intend to buy. Online research is quite extensive and would give you a good idea of the pros and cons of the car you intend to buy.
Find a dealer – Locate a dealership and speak to a sales person. Find out what models are available within your price range.
Test drive – Take your car for a test drive. This is a great way to get a feel of the car and identify any features you might want added.
Price – Look at the Kelley blue book fair purchase price. This will give you an accurate idea of what you should be paying for your car in your area. You could also speak to a credit union separately or at the dealership.
One of the most common themes people talk about when asked about goals for the new year, is to earn more. Higher income is associated with more happiness, lower debts and a more stable financial future. Sadly there are no easy solutions but with a bit extra effort you can increase your income.
Ask for a raise
If you work for someone or a business, when was the last time you asked for a raise? While the chances are that you will be unsuccessful, it does not hurt to ask. Sometimes employers don’t see the value in an individual until asked to consider how much they are willing to compensate them.
Look into your field
Before you can expect more income from your workplace research your field and your position. Find out if there is room for higher earning in your chosen profession and what you can typically expect to get paid at higher positions. You might be in the wrong field in terms of income potential.
If there really is a limit to the income potential of your current profession then a career change is needed. Sometimes changing careers might see an immediate rise in income levels. It is never too late to change careers, so even if you are later in your career don’t be afraid to explore your options.
The message here is to take stock of where you are and figure out where to go from here. Once you have that information, take action and you can definitely increase your earnings.
If you’re dealing with a potentially threatening claim and are in need of a construction expert witness, here are some tips that you can use to identify, select, and ultimately choose the right one for your particular case.
Be wary of marketing claims that make outrageous promises. Vendors will attempt to lure you into purchasing their specific resources that apparently grant you inside information that others do not have based on their “unique” systems. Be sure that you do the necessary research and background check on every vendor to determine whether or not they are quality candidates for your case. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Library websites are optimal sources to uncover information on the particular subject that you are looking for. Take the time to visit your local library and search for the specific subject that the claim is based on. Search online catalogs and gather all of the necessary information such as: facts pertaining to the topic, laws and regulations, and relevant information.
There are a variety of online resources that are available to you thanks to the vast regions of the Internet. Scavenging throughout the web however is a difficult task due to the thousands of candidates that you have to click through. There are also expert witnesses from construction consulting services that have had years of experience within the construction field that you can choose from – which are ideal because of their “hands-on” practice.
Bio: Lyle Charles is a structural steel expert, seasoned executive, business coach and mediator. He also runs Lyle Charles Consulting, a construction consulting firm with over 40 years of experience.