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May 10, 2018

Money Management: 5 Tips to Make Handling Your Finances Easier

manage your financesManaging your finances can be overwhelming when you don’t make use of the right tools to address them. The amount of paperwork will make you shudder if you continue to do things the old-fashioned way.

Making use of technology can revolutionize the way you do your finances. There are services and apps available that will help you simplify payment transactions, staying on top of your savings, and monitoring your personal budget.

Here’s how you can do a better job of managing your money with the help of tech-powered solutions.

1) Register for online banking

Why spend precious time waiting to be attended to in a bank when you can complete your transactions online? Whether it’s checking the balance on your account or transferring funds, you no longer need to go to the actual bank, which saves you money and time.

The major benefit of online banking services is that you have instant access to your money. Plus, with mobile SMS banking, you don’t even have to carry around your laptop. With a few clicks on your phone, you can check payments and see if your budgeting numbers are correct.

The access alone can already help streamline your finances so that you’re always up-to-date when it comes to your money.

2) Opt for paperless

When you see a stack of paper bills inside your mailbox, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by your financial obligations. Sometimes, you tend to place them somewhere you can’t remember, which leads to late fees.

As much as possible, go paperless so that you can easily track your bills the moment they hit your email.

Without the possibility of misplacing your bills, you are less likely to forget due dates of payments. Most utilities and bills have the option for customers to go paperless.

Check if you’re able to sign up for such by taking these steps:

1. Sign in to your online account and check if you have an option to have your bills sent via email.
2. Then, follow the prompts in the email to pay the bills without any extra fuss.

During tax time, it’s a bonus that you no longer have to sort through your stack of bills to gain an idea of how much you’ve spent. You only have to log into your account to look at your statement.

3) Automate payments

If you can, set-up automated payments for accounts that stay consistent every month. So instead of going into your account and paying manually, the amount is debited automatically.

There are many banks that will allow you to have your own auto-pay rules. You can even choose to have the amount immediately sent via check or electronically to your selected service provider.

However, being on auto-pay doesn’t mean you can ignore payments; you still have to check transactions to ensure they’re paid correctly.

4) Combine or eliminate your accounts

When you have countless open accounts, several payments to make regularly, and account maintenance to fulfill, you need to “spring clean.” Streamlining accounts will tidy up your payments and transactions so that you have a simpler path to money management.

Take a look at your regular monthly bills and you may find unnecessary services. If possible, combine or eliminate accounts you don’t need. For instance, if you’re maintaining several credit cards but have one card with a tiny balance, pay it off and close the account. Doing so will leave you with one less payment to remember.

5) Perform a regular budget check

You may have a budget in place, but lining up the numbers isn’t enough to maintain order in your finances. You still have to regularly check your budget to ensure that your numbers are right. Furthermore, you should allow adjustments for any unplanned expenses.

To avoid disorganized finances, you should balance your budget on a regular basis. Make it a habit to schedule a monthly check-up on your budget by following these steps.

● Gather your bills for the month.
● Log-in to your online bank account.
● Look at your account and check if payments match bills and there are no suspicious charges.
● Discuss next month’s expenses with your partner or family.
● Make adjustments to any budgeting numbers that need it. One example is your electricity bill during the summer.
● Ensure that you’re still on track with the financial goals you’ve set.

Don’t let your finances control you. Handle your finances better by using technology and regularly tracking your budget. Remember, how you manage your finances matters as much as the math.

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April 15, 2018

Is Britain’s debt detrimental to pension performance?

dealing with debtsAs the saying goes—out of sight, out of mind. And for many, this has been the motto for their pensions. However, the launch of auto-enrolment schemes, increased media coverage and a growing awareness of retirement has shifted these attitudes.

According to the Q2 2017 edition of the Tackling The Savings Gap Consumer Savings and Debt Data report, 598,000 employers were enrolled in a workplace pension scheme. Over the 12-month period, they contributed a collective £87.1 billion. With the popularity of personal pensions continuing, it’s clear to see that Britain is certainly more aware of their pension responsibilities.

Could our other financial commitments be holding back our personal pension savings? The Q3 2017 edition of the report suggests so. During the quarter, 45% of survey respondents failed to make a pension contribution; this was most common in 45 to 54 year-olds (47%). 18 to 24 year-olds had the second largest proportion of people who failed to contribute (44%).

Consider the above in relation to what the report also found. Findings show that a third of its respondents worry about money on a daily basis, while 37% admitted to lying about their debt. Perhaps then it’s not because of a lack of awareness; it may be because their financial situation simply won’t allow them to make a contribution.

Pension contributors added £203 on average to their pensions during Q3 2017. In contrast, the average amount of debt taken on by UK consumers each month stood at £370—significantly higher than the amount put towards their pensions.

A total of £143 per month is spent on average on purchases that are later regretted, the Q3 2017 report found. This includes purchases across food, clothes, alcohol and other items. If this money was invested in a pension instead for the full span from age 30 to 65, it could translate into almost £320,000. Based on the fact that Brits believe they will need £23,000 annually to live comfortably in retirement, this amount would be enough to fund 13 years of retirement.

This monthly spend breaks down to £4.70 per day. As the above example shows, investing this amount instead could lead to a comfortable start to your pension pot for retirement. As such, we shouldn’t underestimate the impact that small yet regular contributions can have. This underlines the importance of better financial management to allow us the capacity to add such funds to our pension pots.

To help you learn more about how much you could potentially need for retirement, True Potential Investor has created the Saving For Retirement: How Much Will You Need? quiz. By answering a series of questions, you can get an idea of the potential pension pot you’ll need—take the quiz today to find out more.

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April 14, 2018

Tips to earn money in a legitimate way

other source of earningsExploring a few passive means of earning money isn’t bad for those that don’t want to opt for a second job. It’s quite natural for you to think of a consistent source of alternative income that won’t take the juice out of you. Even when you wish to create or join a platform that won’t prove to be taxing, you may need to put in your efforts right at the very beginning.

Consider few of the straight means of earning money as shown below:

Publish your book

Writing a book often lets you achieve a good amount of every sale after it gets published. Self-publishing of books is quite common nowadays; you can do it by checking the e-book options at large. Alternatively, you may get in touch with any publishing house.

Develop smart applications

Developing any smart-phone app has immense potential of earning money when a user downloads it. These apps can fetch a good amount of money as they get more popular with the target audience. Anything that you develop may get viral in no time!

Launch any static blog

Identify your areas of interest besides checking out things that tend to draw the attention of your target audience. Make the most of your website development skills in developing a website in these areas. It’s in your best interest to choose topics that may never get dated with your audience. You may even choose to host ads on a page wherein you have content worth good quality. A piece of content that’s always in demand can actually pay you back on time.

Submit a video on YouTube

Identify a few popular topics for shooting your videos. You may explore it as an opportunity to earn more by running ads on the more popular videos. Earning in seven figures has been a dream turned reality for video submitters on YouTube.

Take a few attractive snapshots

There are a few online sites that help you to sell photos. It’s actually a good ploy for those of you that are passionate about photography. If you’re an amateur, then you may test the water with sites like Shutterstock. For each downloaded image, you’re likely to achieve a commission worth up to $75.

Create your own graphics

Graphics and illustrations are often accepted by a few photo websites. For every download, you may earn a certain amount of money.

Be an insurance agent

By selling insurance policies, you may end up earning a handsome amount with each deal closure. Even when the policies are renewed by your customers, you’ll earn an extra commission.

Achieve stock dividends

Stock investments are among all natural ways of securing a passive income. These stocks yield dividends worth great percentages more frequently.

You must remember that every legitimate way of earning money takes you through a passing phase. It’s not like how easily you earn money in the casinos nowadays.

The ways mentioned above will help you create wealth without worrying much about how the legal authorities will perceive them. Leading a stress-free life is more important than pursuing money in an illegitimate way.

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April 13, 2018

Important Tips While Budgeting For a New Home

new home budgetingYou dream of owning a great home to suit your taste and needs. However, this may have to cost you quite a lot of money. It therefore means that there will be alterations in your current spending or savings. Well, the way you will budget for a new home is dependent on several factors. It will depend on whether you are planning to own the first home, meaning you want to move from a rented house to your own home, or if you want to move from a first house to a dream home.

Whichever level you are at, there are several factors that will determine how much you budget for a new home. These factors include;

• Your earning– It could be your personal earning, or yours and that of your spouse if you plan to jointly buy a home.

• The Location of your home – Where exactly do you want to live? Some estates are more expensive than others.

• The size of your dream home- This may also include the size of the house as well as the land on which the house will sit on.

• How long you want to pay for it – If you want credit for a shorter time, then you may have to choose a cheaper home and vice versa.

After considering these factors, then it is time to come up with a real budget for your home. Remember that it is your own home, a treasure for yourself to take pride and find comfort in. Therefore, take time to budget for the best. Below are basic steps towards getting a perfect budget for your home:

1. Get informed

Be sure to visit a real estate and property development company, to get the available options in terms of different properties available in the market and their value as they have a better understanding.

2. Timing

Decide the exact day that you want to move to your new home. Do not wish for a particular time span when you want to move to the new home, say like in the next three months, but rather set a specified target date.

3. Calculate how much you can afford

Use a mortgage calculator to determine exactly how much you can afford to pay monthly.

If you are cost sharing a mortgage;

• Open a money market account or an alternative of a high-interest savings account. Ensure the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation guarantees your money.

• For every month, deposit the total money (two halves if you are two) to the savings account monthly. Deposit the money until the date for moving in is due. Spend the money to pay for your new home.

4. Reduce your spending

In order to do this, you need to be realistic by spending less than you earn. Make a plan and stick to it. For example, you may realize that you don’t need to live in that two bedroom apartment especially if you don’t have kids. Therefore moving to a one bedroom apartment may save up to around 30% of your expenses which you could channel towards home ownership.

5. Increase your earnings

While most people believe in spending less to save, I think working that extra job is a sure way of increasing your savings. Take up any money making opportunity that comes your way. You could also opt to get a second job as a side hustle to top up your main source of income.

Conclusion

To succeed in owning a new home, you may have to forego some expenses, however small they may seem. These may include your daily cup of coffee which may cost $5 but accumulates to $150 in a month.

As much as you are looking towards owning the best home, be careful so that you do not strain so much that you will have to compromise on basic needs such as food.

While owning a home may seem a hard process that requires a lot of sacrifices, at the end of the day, it is worth it, so go for it!

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April 4, 2018

How To Opt For The Right Type Of Loan For Your Small Business In Singapore

loan for your businessSingapore is one of the most competitive and most comfortable countries to do business in Asia. Starting your own business or franchise in Singapore could be easy, especially if you know what industry to enter. But before venturing into your business, make sure that you have set your finances straight. One of the ways in doing this is by opting the aid of licensed money lenders to jump-start your business’s capital. Here’s a guide on how to choose the right type of loan for your small business.

What Kind Of Business Industry Do Do You want To Enter?

Depending on the nature of the industry you want to enter, you want to choose money lenders which suits your need. Obtaining loans from money lenders are easy these days. This is especially because money lenders already have specific programs for people who want to open a particular type of business. By choosing a program targeted to your industry, money lenders have already pre-empted the needs of specific industries and how best to distribute the loan.

To attract the attention of borrowers, money lenders make favorable payment schemes and better interest rates. Always put your options in front of you and choose one which you think matches your needs. This is crucial for to meet your demands. Determine which money lenders have a program best suited to your needs and your industry. Also look at its terms and conditions and make a preliminary judgment if you are willing to stick with the state until the end. Among the initial question, you also ask yourself is if it is flexible enough to meet your needs. With these preliminary considerations in mind, starting your small business should be a breeze.

How Much Money Do You Need And Where Will You Use Them?

After determining the industry you want to enter, you need to ask yourself how much do you need? The loan you obtain from the money lender depends on the amount of capital required to start your business. You also have to look at your current pool of money and how much more do you need. A guide to figuring out how much you need is to make a preliminary list of all the things you need for your capital expenditures.

Capital expenditures could include the following: the cost of purchase of your land, the construction of your place of business, obtaining a business permit and its necessary taxes, procuring the materials for your inventory and these are only among the things you should identify from the very start.

This is important because you do not want to understate the amount of money you need to start your business and lack funds later on. This may lead to delays in starting your business. Moreover, lacking funds in the middle of starting your business means you have to obtain the new loan from money lenders.

This means providing them with additional requirements and collateral. In case you have an excess of the money you borrowed, make sure to be frugal and invest or use the money for other expenditures. Never use it for your expense.

Will You Be Able To Pay The Money Lender?

One of the most critical question to ask yourself is will you be able to pay your money lender? What this question asks is not for the immediacy of you paying but of your ability to pay. Your ability to pay is often of the primary considerations of money lenders to determine if your loan is granted. If it shows that you have defaulted on your previous loans or if you have insufficient proofs to give the money lender of your ability to pay, this may result in your loans’ denial.

Money lenders usually provide reasonable and flexible payment schemes and programs. Choosing the right payment plan helps you with your ability to pay, and this is one of the things people overlook doing. One of the things borrowers have to be mindful of is that loan payments can be made in an installment manner or on a one-time payment basis.

Choosing the installment method distributes the expense into smaller costs and within shorter months. This is easy to do as long as the borrower always keeps a portion of its revenue for their loan payment. A one-time payment basis is often hard for some borrowers to comply with because they think of the aggregate amount of the loan and how hard to achieve the overall amount.

One of the best solutions for this is to imagine that your investment is on an installment basis. Thus, make sure also to keep a portion of your revenue every month.

Do You Have Enough Collateral For The Loan?

Before you can obtain a loan, one of the requirements money lenders asks for is collateral. This collateral serves as the guarantee to money lenders that the loan will be paid. Insurances can be in the form of property or equipment which would be levied if you do not pay your mortgage. With this in mind, you have to make sure you have enough features to present as collateral. This also serves as evidence of your ability to pay. Also take note that depending on the loan you obtained, some require more significant insurance while some do not require one at all.

Always make sure that the collateral you give to money lenders are yours. One of the most significant problems money lenders face is that some of the guarantees they receive are often not owned by the borrowers. Instead, it is owned by someone else who is not a borrower. This causes headaches to money lenders because then they have no guarantee of the loan being paid. More importantly, be responsible when it comes to providing information about the thing being used as collateral.

Only Choose Licensed Money Lender

The one and most important thing that you should remember when obtaining loans are always to get it from licensed money lenders. The government usually certifies some companies or individuals authorized to grant loans to ensure safety between the borrower and money lender. The requirement of government approval is necessary because it makes sure the business is legitimate and transactions will be provided.

Never make the mistake of approaching anyone who is not sanctioned to lend out money. If you do, your interest, as well as your businesses’, will not be guaranteed. With the world today, our safety is no longer guaranteed. There are some however who make the mistake of obtaining loans from unauthorized money lenders.

Some of the effects of borrowing from illegal money lenders could be the interruption of starting your business, your business not pushing through at all for the inability of funds and one of the most important things to be wear about is high-interest schemes.

Conclusion

Do not hesitate to take leaps of faith in starting your own small business in Singapore. Following the guide above, always keep in mind to only choose licensed money lenders to ensure the safety of your companies success. Still be alert of potential scandalous money lenders in doing your business.

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