April 30, 2012
Starting out in a new relationship is one of the most exciting things in life. You have stars in your eyes, butterflies in your stomach, and you are so elated that you have found your lifelong soul mate. When you are in this part of the relationship, you think that nothing could ever go wrong, but unfortunately the reality is that there is a strong chance that this may not be the last relationship you will ever have. This is not to say that you should prepare for the worst, but you should definitely protect what you have worked so hard for.
Plan for the Best and Prepare for the Worst
Be an optimist with a pessimist’s plan. If you are going into a relationship with the thought that it will fail, then it probably will. The best course of action is to go into a relationship with the thought that it will succeed, but putting into place the right actions for a just in case can help you as well as your partner. You not only want to protect yourself, but you want to protect them as well. Although it is a tricky subject to cover, if the two of you can work together through it, you can most likely work through anything.
Lay it All Out on the Table
When your relationship gets to the point that it is becoming a partnership, you will need to take some serious action. Whether you are moving in together or even getting married, there are things that you will need to know about each other. In order to accomplish this task, you will need to each lay your finances out for the other to examine. You both should share your credit report, banking information, bills, assets owned, retirement and investment accounts, and anything else that has to do with assets and liabilities. If you have an open and honest relationship, this should not be an issue. By doing this, you will be transparent with each other and you will know how to proceed.
Know the Law
Having an understanding of the laws in your state when it comes to joint property is important when it comes to your relationship. You should know at what point your debts and assets become shared. In most cases this immediately happens upon marriage, so make sure that you have all of the information you need before tying the knot. In some cases there is a certain timeframe where your relationship is considered a legally binding partnership that hold the same responsibilities as a marriage. There are also some states that will allow cohabitation agreements. Make sure that you know what laws apply to you and your relationship before getting too far into it.
Relationships are not started with the plan to fail, otherwise you would have never started the relationship in the first place. Not only that, you wouldn’t hand all of your assets over to someone without first knowing what they are going to do with it and probably not without some sort of protection for you if things go wrong, so don’t do it in your relationship. Get to know all about your partner, including their financial status, so that you know the kind of road you are headed down.
Stephen Minton is a recently divorced freelance blogger for prenuptialagreements.org and suggests that couples who are considering marriage to look into first living together under a Cohab Agreement before taking the plunge.
, financial planning
, Personal Assets
April 29, 2012
Going on a summer vacation is a tradition in America, but it seems that most tourist destinations use this fact as an excuse to hike up prices. Fortunately, there are ways to save money on travel during the summer and still have a great vacation.
Flying is practically essential if you plan on leaving your immediate area. If you need to save money air fare, try a few of these tips.
1. Plan to fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Since many business travelers try to avoid these days, airlines offer discounted travel on these days.
2. Be sure to start checking air fare prices early. If you aim to book your air fare thirty to ninety days from when you and your family want to fly, you’ll be in the zone to get the lowest prices. Historically, airlines offer higher fares in the time frame before ninety days out to leave room so that they can adjust for higher fuel costs if needed. Within thirty days of travel, demand for seats is higher, causing the airline to charge more.
3. Try to fly from a major hub. In general, major international hubs like Los Angeles and Chicago offer airfares that are usually cheaper than flying from your local airport.
4. Watch out for last minute deals. Last minute deals on airfare are offered by nearly all of the major carriers, and if you live near a major hub they could save you a lot of money. For example, airlines will typically sell their last seat or two on flights to other major hubs for a fairly significant discount.The airlines assume that they would rather make some money by selling the seat rather than let it go empty. These deals are usually only offered on one or two seats at a time, so you will have to keep your travel party small to take advantage of them.
5. Be willing to stay overnight at a strange airport. In order to completely fill their planes, airlines offer great deals on “split” or overnight flights. These flights will require you to take the very last flight at night to an airport, stay the night, then leave on the first flight of the morning.
Depending on the car you drive (and the gas mileage), it might be a good idea to get a rental car. Make sure your car insurance covers car rentals before leaving the lot.
1. Use cell phone apps to find cheap gas. Gas stations that are located near the highway typically charge more than those located off the highway. Have kids figure out if driving a little further will be worth the savings.
2. Use cruise control. Most modern vehicles will be able to use fuel more efficiently in this mode. Also, setting the car speed to the speed limit will reduce your likelihood of getting a ticket.
3. Pack lightly. Every extra one hundred pounds of stuff in your car can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as one percent. Try to avoid carrying a lot of extra gear.
Lodging can be a major expense on any vacation. Follow these tips to save on hotels.
1. Consider options outside of hotels. Staying with friends and camping out are two great ways to avoid having to pay for hotels. Many campsites today come with amenities such as swimming pools and upscale bathrooms, making camping fun for everyone in a family. Other options can include renting a house or condo. While not as cheap as camping, these kind of places can be much more affordable than renting multiple rooms when traveling with a large group.
2. Travel during the week. Weekend rates for hotels are usually the highest. Try to plan your travel during the week to get better rates.
3. Look for discount codes and coupons. Booking online can save money, especially if you have a coupon code for the hotel chain or the booking website. Just type in the hotel name and “coupons code” into a search engine to find discounts.
The summer is a great time to go on vacation, and many people still have memories of the great family trips they took as kids. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts and look for deals at every place you plan to travel this summer.
Author Bio: Danielle Parker is a freelance writer and a very picky consumer. Whatever she purchases, she only wants the best. Even when purchasing car insurance, she is only interested in the top rated car insurance companies.
Tags: financial planning
, personal finance
, Saving tips
April 28, 2012
Investing in real estate has long been a way to generate wealth and passive income for investors. If you are thinking about investing in rental property, you may want to create positive cash flow from the beginning. However, another strategy, known as negative gearing, could actually work out better for you. What is negative gearing and how can it help you in your property investment pursuits?
Negative gearing is a process in which you borrow money to buy an investment property. Once you borrow the money and purchase a property, the cost of the interest on the loan and other related fees then exceed what you make from the rental income on the property. When you realize a loss on an investment property, you can then use that loss to offset other money that you have made from other endeavors. This gives you a realized loss that you can take advantage of when it comes time to file your taxes.
The advantage of using negative gearing is that it reduces your taxable income for the year. If you make good money from some other source, you may have to pay a lot of money in taxes. By using negative gearing, you can reduce your taxable income, and reduce your taxes for the year. This makes it a lot easier to handle your tax bill than it would be otherwise.
Another benefit of using this type of system is that the government and the rental income from the property essentially helps pay for the property. With the combination of the rent and the tax savings that you receive from this type of investment, you get the equity from the investment paid down. After a certain amount of time, the equity built up so that you can access it through a loan or by selling the property. If you hold onto the property for the long-term, the property could eventually be paid off and then you’re left with a tangible asset that you can use at any point. You could then keep renting the property out and collecting passive income or you could sell it to generate a lump sum of money. Regardless of what you do, you’ll be in a good position financially because of the tax savings and rent that you have been receiving all this time.
Although negative gearing can be an advantageous way to invest in property, you have to be careful when getting involved. You have to make sure that the numbers are just right to make it work. If you borrow too much money to buy a property and the mortgage payment is too high, your strategy may be difficult to keep up with.
For anyone considering buying a new house and land Perth based LWP Property Group can help. They have a great range of affordable housing options at their beautiful display villages in Perth.
Tags: Finance Tips
, Investment Advice
, Investment Property
, personal finance
April 27, 2012
The world is an unpredictable place and even the most careful person can happen upon unforeseen events that can turn their existence upside down. That is why it is increasingly important for homeowners to purchase home insurance and for anyone with a family to look after to consider purchasing life insurance.
Taking out these two policies will provide peace of mind and more importantly, will make things so much easier to deal with in case of an unexpected, unfortunate incident.
Home insurance policies — which can also be known as hazard insurance or homeowners insurance — are property insurance that cover private residences. These policies typically cover the physical structure of the house as well as personal belongings inside the house, and liability. Since all of this is covered under one policy, the homeowner pays just a single premium. Home insurance and life insurance policies have some similar history.
Home insurance is a relatively new type of insurance in the United States, where the first official policy was available in 1950 — shortly after World War II and the subsequent boom in middle class home ownership. Home insurance was available in Great Britain before that year, and was available in other forms in parts of the United States, but it was not known as home insurance and did not do quite the same thing.
While home and life insurance both give peace of mind, life insurance has been providing that relief for far longer, as it has been available in varying forms for centuries. Life insurance is currently available in two forms: term — or temporary — insurance, and permanent insurance. There are also policies available that cover just accidental death and do not cover such things as suicide or health problems, and are typically sold for a much lower premium because of this fact.
Why choose insurance?
Any homeowner who does not get home insurance is playing a very risky game — one where the consequence for losing can be the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Anyone who owns a home should have a home insurance policy. Life insurance is a bit more tricky, but it still makes sense to have some sort of policy so that in case of death, loved ones are taken care of and the cost of a funeral is covered.
Both of these policies provide something priceless: the ability to go to sleep at night with less worries and more security.
Robert Seitzinger is a copywriter for Majestic Eagle Insurance, one of the finest home and life insurance providers in the Pacific Northwest.
Tags: financial planning
, Home Insurance
, Insurance Advice
, personal finance
April 26, 2012
You want to choose a college that has classes that can work around your busy work schedule, but you don’t know where to go. If you want flexibility in completing assignments, your best bet is to choose to enroll in an online accredited college. Have you always wanted to go back to school and finish your degree or start a new degree, but didn’t think you were eligible for financial aid?
Why Choose an Accredited Online College?
Choosing to apply to an accredited online college gives you the flexibility you need to balance your work and personal life with your schoolwork. Online colleges give you set due dates every week that you need to complete your assignments by, so when you have spare time at night or during the day, you can sit down and complete your homework.
Also, choosing to apply at an accredited college opens the doors for the types of financial aid you are eligible for. You need to make sure the online college is nationally accredited so employers and the Board of Education recognize your accomplishments.
If you are choosing to complete your secondary education by enrolling in an online business school, you need to ask your financial aid department if you are eligible for scholarships. Scholarships do not need to be repaid, and they help to cut down the amount of tuition you need to pay.
Another option you can choose is to see if you are eligible for any Federal or private grants that will help pay for some or all of your college tuition. First-time students that never went to college or attended college but never graduated are usually eligible for Federal Pell Grants. Federal and private grants do not have to be repaid either.
Federal Student Loans
If you already have a degree from an accredited college, and you want to go back to school to switch careers, you could be eligible for Federal student loans. People who already graduated are not eligible for scholarships or grants, and their only options are Federal and private student loans, or to pay tuition out of their own pockets.
Private Student Loans
Private student loans should be a last resort when you are considering on going back to college. The reason for this is because private student loans have higher interest rates, strict repayment agreements and don’t have the range of deferment and forbearance options that Federal student loans have.
Talk to your financial aid officer in determining your financial aid eligibility. To qualify for Federal financial aid, you’ll have to fill out an application provided by the financial aid officer. From there, they will see how much aid you qualify for, and the types of Federal aid you can receive.
Now that you have become educated on financial aid, you might find the need to learn more about enrolling in an online business school. This guest post was written by Stephanie.
, college Bills
, Financial Aid
, Paying for college