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December 17, 2014

A look at the bigger picture – Warren Buffet’s tips on starting off a debt-free 2015

debt-free 2015According to recent reports, India’s GDP grew up by 5% in the financial year, 2012-2013, which was the lowest since the last decade. It seems that the 2008 recession still looms large on the daily lives of the Indians. While the lawmakers are there to take larger and bigger decisions about the nation’s GDP, the common man can’t do much about macro-economic indicators. As we’re about to step into 2015, we need to organize our finances and revisit, learn and imbibe some timeless personal finance lessons from the maestro Warren Buffet so that we can overcome the financial shocks that may be in store for us in 2015.

1. Review 2014 before you start: Before taking any step, start off with a review of 2014. How did you fare? What points did you miss? Which financial tasks are still pending? Where did you commit some of the biggest blunders? Were all your investments on track? By evaluating your strengths and weaknesses that you’ve portrayed in 2014, you will easily be able to deduce the steps that you need to take to improve your finances. Write down everything in points so that you don’t forget anything while planning for 2015.

2. Create a frugal budget: Budgeting is a basic but important tool. When you know what you earned and where your money went, you can be aware of your current financial situation. Often times, when your expenses are high, a large part is accounted by all those unexpected and unplanned expenses like entertainment, eating out, coffee shop bills, which are difficult to control and restrain. So, you should first know the excess outgo and then analyse the spending habits so that you can limit each expense. Live within your means and check yourself whenever you see that you’re outdoing your budget.

3. Spend wisely and live thriftily: Warren Buffet says that if you buy things that you don’t need, soon you will find yourself sell things that you need. Most of us suffer from the urge to splurge and most often we justify our expenses using the pretext of special occasions, lifestyle, family emotions and even smart decisions. Most marketing companies understand this urge and they try to exploit by giving us offers on products. Unhealthy carbonated drinks are sold with promises of adventure, youthfulness and happiness. You may also take the example of EMI options on expensive smartphone. Little do they understand that through the EMI option, people tend to pay more in the long run.

4. Save money for the financial odds: Remember that someone is sitting under the shade today as someone planted a tree long time ago. All of us are aware of the fact that saving money is important to have a better future. But it is indeed an alarming fact to observe that most of us don’t even save enough money for the emergencies. This happens due to our extremely myopic view of our personal financial condition. Today, instant gratification matters more than saving for tomorrow. In fact, saving is considered as sacrifice by most people. Follow the “pay yourself first” principle. Set aside some money for your future.

5. Plan for the long term and be patient: No matter how great are your talents and effort, there are some things that just take time. Can you ever produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant at the same time? Money is also a part of nature and it can’t grow overnight. However, we always overestimate money that we can make in a year and underestimate what we can make in 10 years. People should make money by staying invested for the long-term instead of dancing in and dancing out of the portfolios and changing them constantly. According to India’s growth, you can benefit only if you invest for long term and stop panicking for short-term fluctuations. Based on your risk appetite and financial goals, make a diversified portfolio. Pick right financial instruments recommended by your financial advisor.

6. Borrow within your limit: Remember that you can never become rich by living on borrowed money. Initially people think that borrowing is manageable and to later on repay the previous borrowings, they take out yet more loans like the debt consolidation loans. This is more like fighting-fire-with-fire approach towards debt reduction. Borrowing should never be done without an objective assessment of future cash flow and other financial needs. Have a solid plan to pay the debt back and not become its slave.

A debt-free life is indeed the best life. In spite of knowing this, there are many who hardly take the required steps to stay on the right track. If you’re not willing to spend a life immersed in debt, take into account the above mentioned financial tips by Warren Buffet.

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February 10, 2014

The advantages and disadvantages of Debt Consolidation Program

Debt problem solutionsDebt consolidation loan is a big loan by which the borrower settles the existing smaller loans. The offer is highly beneficial to the borrower. However, the program has negative factors as well. It is necessary to understand the pros and cons of the offer before you opt for a debt consolidation program. The plan is good for certain situations. By consolidating your debts, you are relieved of the stress due to the need to follow different payment schedules. Concentrating on a single payment will help in finding better ways to clear the existing debts quickly.

How does the program help to ease out your stress?

The monthly payments due to the loans get decreased when you choose a good debt consolidation program. The term of the loan is extended and so the amount that you pay is reduced significantly. It is possible to manage the debts that are beyond control. The poor credit loans with high interest rates can be cleared with the use of debt consolidation program. If an individual has various credit card dues with extremely high rates of interest, you can bring your debts under control by accessing a debt consolidation program with lower rate of interest.

With reduced monthly payments, you can make the payments comfortably and avoid penalties for late payments. Since the late payments also affect the credit report it is necessary that you make the payments on time which could be possible with lesser interest rates on loan consolidation programs. You need to take time to search for a program that comes with lower interest rates or else the purpose of the plan cannot be served. It cannot be always easy to get access to a good offer. Before you commit to a debt consolidation loan, you should understand that with extended term, you end up paying more on the loan than it is worth.

An important factor that you should understand the risk involved in the program. Mostly, the debts are consolidated with a home equity line of credit or home equity loan. Since the loan amount can be huge and there are some tax benefits, the offer might seem impressive. But defaulting on loans will result in the loss of the home. Though the credit card loans are very costly, there is no risk for the property as nothing is needed as security for the loans. But the loan consolidation is possible only with some collateral.

With a variety of loan consolidation programs, you have to shop around to find one of the best debt consolidation programs. The offers from the banks or the credit unions are highly reliable sources of debt consolidation loans and you can get good deals. Person to person no credit check payday loans lending sites and online lenders are some of the sources that can give you the offer that you need. If you are not able to decide whether you really need a debt consolidation program, you can consult your financial adviser to understand your exact needs and also to know about the offer that could help you ease out your financial situation.

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October 30, 2012

How to manage your debt wisely

Look around, what do you see? I see a lot of people struggling with their finances. Did you know the fact that an average  family’s income is lower than it was a decade ago? How is that to you? Doesn’t it seem at least a little unfair? It surely does to me. Unfortunately none of us have heard that prices got also lower. So how do people manage to survive these days? Most of them are really bad at money management. And you are absolutely right, it leads them to having a debt. Some even have up 10 debts same time. Is there anything possible to do with your debt? Go on reading and you may find some good solutions for you:

1. First of all, try to keep a track of your debts. Put everything on list to have a better visibility on what you are at right now.

2. Be realistic about your monthly budget. Always know how much you can afford to spend during next 30 days. This will help you to have a better understanding of your everyday expenses.

3. Your credit payments. Do not stick with minimum. I know that they say that it is better to make small payments then not making it all. This is true of course. But your goal is to forget your debt as a nightmare, that is why consider making even more cuts in your budget in order to increase your payments.

4. Limit yourself in spending. Pay with cash. You cannot pay with cash= You cannot buy this thing.
5. Have only 1 credit card. In case you have more, lock them somewhere or at least use the one that has the lowest interest rate.

6. Work on emergency funds. Learn to prioritize emergency cases.

7. This is the part where you will have to say good bye to your outdoors activities for a while. Eat in, invite your friends to watch movies at home, spend more time with your family. Do not imprison yourself, just try to be more rational with your entertainment. Do not turn to fast cash online only because all of your close friends are going to some interesting trip and you also feel like can’t miss this event. It’s not worth it.

8. Never give up saving. No matter how hard it is, keep on saving. Set a goal, have a rough plan and do not stop.

There are plenty of ways to help you either to avoid having a debt or maybe guide you through difficult financial times. It can get really tough sometimes; just remember that no one but you can help yourself. Be wise with your money and believe me, life will reward you!

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June 29, 2012

Insolvency and Breaking The Debt Taboo

Not so long ago, ‘debt’ would have been a dirty word for many people. The financial crisis in Britain presently has led to people speaking about it candidly. Many will use an IVA to help extricate themselves from debt.

Debt has long been regarded as a taboo subject and people were decidedly reticent to talk about it. The current financial climate, however, has led to record numbers experiencing debt problems of one form or another. As a result of this, it is no longer considered controversial to discuss our debt problems with our friends and family. Debt management can be a particularly difficult due to spiralling living costs but many are beginning to see an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) as a viable means of tackling financial arrears. Debt management in the UK is becoming increasingly difficult and the Citizen Advice Bureau views the current situation as ‘worrying’. Many in debt will use an individual voluntary arrangement with licensed insolvency practitioners to tackle their debt arrears.

Why are We in Debt?

There are a number of contributory factors to the current financial crisis that grips the nation. From the credit crunch to spiralling living cost, all are having a profound impact upon consumer’s finances and financial experts predict that insolvencies will hit record levels. One of the primary reasons that debt management is proving so tricky for many consumers across the UK is spiralling living costs. Energy bills, cost of food, petrol prices and all sorts of price hikes are hitting consumers in the wallet and those threatened with insolvency or bankruptcy are turning to an individual voluntary arrangement to help them out of their financial hole. Teresa Perchard of the Citizen Advice Bureau stated, “These latest figures paint a worrying picture, suggesting a significant number of households are struggling to meet their most basic living costs.”

IVA – A problem shared

Part of the problem with debt is the loneliness that is associated with it but many are finding that the increasingly accepting attitude surrounding debt is making it easier to get their finances back on track. Many financial experts believe that, when it comes to debt management, an IVA is an excellent means of tackling debt problems head on. An IVA is a legally binding contract between creditors and those in debt and it allows them to pay back their outstanding arrears at a level that is financially feasible for them. Research conducted by Alliance & Leicester found that people are now more likely to talk about debt issues than they are about sport or celebrities.

IVA – Growing debt concerns

The primary reason that people are seemingly more amenable to discussing debt is the fact that money matters and financial concerns are on the mind of the majority of consumers in the UK. Ewan Edwards of Alliance & Leicester states, “Our survey reveals money matters have a firm place at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment.” With insolvency set to reach record levels, many consumers who are swamped in debt are looking for a financial solution to appease their creditors and increasing numbers are opting for an IVA in order to do this.

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March 28, 2012

How to Escape Debt – Individual Voluntary Arrangements

Debt is a widespread problem today which is affecting businesses and individuals alike. When a person or organisation is in the mire of insolvency escape can seem impossible, but there are ways out, including individual voluntary arrangements or IVA.

Troubled times

It doesn’t take a financial wizard to see that the economies of numerous countries are struggling at the moment. The UK, the US and many European countries are in dire straits and this economic difficulty is filtering through societies, affecting many people inhabiting these nations. In such troubled times it is easy to fall into debt or greater debt, but thankfully there are ways to get back to solvency.

Potential ways to escape debt

There are a number of options open to people struggling with debt. At the most dramatic end of the scale there is bankruptcy, which will wipe out debts but also mean that someone can’t borrow money for years afterwards. Another option that dramatically reduces debt without the future limitations of bankruptcy is an IVA.

IVAs – what you need to know

An IVA is a formal repayment proposal to creditors, with which a debtor attempts to agree to repay reduced sums. A creditor is likely to agree to an IVA as they will often receive more money back than if the debtor becomes bankrupt.

IVAs were initially designed to provide relief to businesses that fall into spiralling debt, but as consumer debt is increasing today more and more individuals are proposing IVAs. There are subsequently a large number of firms offering IVA services, but it pays to do some research here to find the most suitable company on the market.

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