Monthly Archives: April 2013

Earn some extra cash by hiring your property out as a film location

canstockphoto11979587If you’re looking to earn a little bit of extra cash and have run out of ideas you might just be sitting in the best money maker of them all: your house. There’s quite a bit of money to be earned in renting your property out as a film location, but it may take a while before you get any interest in your property. In this blog we’ll cover how you can turn your property into a TV star, earn some cash and a few things to consider.

Before doing anything you should probably de-clutter the house and give it a good clean before taking a stack of photos to send off. A director isn’t going to choose a property littered with different items. They’re going to want a blank canvas on which they can create their own atmosphere for the filming process. You don’t have to throw anything out, just hide it away before you make the next step.

Once you have given the house a clean you’re going to want to find some suitable film location agencies and get your property on one of their books. You should thoroughly research any potential agents as some will differ on services. Some may ask for a larger percentage of any commission you make than others or some may only take homes in certain areas. The things you should be looking for when you’re searching for a location agent are:

  • They work towards marketing your property as if it were their own
  • Correctly value and market your home
  • Be in regular contact you with regards to the progress of your home being marketed
  • Arrange and conduct viewings
  • Negotiate the best price possible

These are the sorts of attributes you should look for in the agents. It might be a good idea to speak to their current clients and see how they have worked for them. They’ll be able to give you an honest review and inform you whether they’re worth your time.

Once your home has been chosen the production company may want to make a few alterations to the aesthetics of your home to make it more fitting for their purpose. This can be both a good and a bad thing. If you have been waiting for a while to give your living room a new paint job, the production company re-working your walls may be a good thing, but if you love your pink carpets and they swap it out for wooden flooring, it may be a bad thing. Before letting anyone film in your home make sure that you are both clear on what can be altered and what can’t. In most cases if the production team do make alterations to your home they will change it back to how it was before, but again, make sure that this is laid clear in your first meeting.

The money you can earn depends on different variables. Things like the size of your property, the length of stay of the production company, the location of the home, it’s ‘uniqueness’ will all alter how much you can earn. Your agent should be able to figure out the correct value of your home and give you an honest evaluation.

Remember that you may be waiting a long time before anyone picks up on your property and chooses to use it. Turning your home into a film set is a great way to earn a bit of money and it’s always fun to watch your friends’ faces when they see your kitchen on TV!

 

Finance Carn. for Young Adults at WILDaboutFinance

Prevent Credit Card Electronic Theft

The rise of online commerce has improved our lives in a number of ways. Today, you have the choice to use your credit card to order millions of types of products from online stores. Sites like Amazon.com and Ebay.com are doing billions of dollars worth of business every year, and still growing at a very impressive rate. However, buying products online using your credit card exposes your card to a number of risks. There are many online criminals who dedicate their time to stealing credit card numbers online, and then using the stolen numbers surreptitiously at a later date. For your security, we have collected the following tips, which should secure your credit card, and prevent electronic credit card theft.

Ensure Website Security

The most common way in which credit cards are used online is through a website, which is accessed using a web browser. Whenever you use a site to pay for services or products using your credit card, you are at risk of being scammed in a number of ways. One technique used by scammers is to sniff out the network packet data from your browser to the site, and then read your credit card number and other details from that packet data.  You can avoid falling prey to this technique by making sure that you only use sites that work using the https version of the Internet protocol. Sites whose names start with https:// use the secure version of the http protocol, compared to http:// for ordinary unsecured sites. You should also make sure that the website uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology, combined with other secure protocols, to complete the transaction. Most online payment gateways employ a certificate of security from one of the many security firms such as McAfee.

Use One Time Cards

Almost every credit card issuer or bank allows their customers to create virtual credit cards for temporary use. You can create such cards for a fee, or for free, depending on the issuer. Even if there is a fee to create such cards, it is usually less than $5 per temporary card.

In effect, a one-time card works just like an ordinary card. The difference is that you can yourself set a credit limit for this card, which makes sure that even if this card number is stolen, you are safeguarded from abuse – the thieves or scammers will only be able to use the limit that you have set for your card, which can be pretty low.

Use Virtual Keyboards

Virtual keyboard refers to keyboards that are laid out on a webpage, and are used by clicking the appropriate number or letter. When entering your credit card information, you should use a virtual keyboard even when you are using your own computer. This will save your credit card information from viruses and malware which work by catching every keystroke you type on your keyboard. However, if you are sure that you don’t have any virus, then you may use your own keyboard. When you are on a public phone, you are advised to not even use the virtual keyboard. By extension, you should not use your credit card on any online site when you are on an unsecured public computer.

The aforementioned techniques will definitely help prevent credit card electronic theft, but the best way to save yourself from any credit card scam or liabilities is to regularly check your credit card bill for irregularities and mistakes on the part of sellers or the credit card company. This will also save you in cases where you make a mistake by paying a larger sum than required for a service. Electronic theft is a serious concern, and you should take all steps to not fall prey to this modern financial scam.

 

Carnival of Financial Planning at Dividend Monk
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at Making Sense of Cents
Yakezie Carnival at The Frugal Toad
Carnival of MoneyPros at Money Pros

How to Know Your Tax Benefits:

A tax benefit refers to a number of economic bonuses. It consists of “tax-reduction”, “tax deferring” and “tax free” investments. This benefit offer “retirement schemes” and also provides “incentive savings”. The myriad bonds like “mutual”, “state”, as well as “municipal” are offered by tax benefits. Tax benefit allows deduction on “tax returns” and aims to reduce the burden of the tax payers.

It supports other commercial activities enjoyed by the tax payers and has become an easy and amiable economic investment for them. The tax payer’s tax liability seems to be adjusted with the tax benefits. Tax benefit is also known as “energy tax credit”. People are benefited by tax benefits, because it allows a reduction in taxing as well as gives way for other activities for a person. “Life Insurances”, being a part of the tax benefit, helps people in many ways. It gives way to “Medical Insurances”, “Education Insurances”, “Retirement Schemes”, “Marriage Insurances” and provides plenty of other schemes.

These life insurance schemes help in saving money, reduce tax liabilities and ensures a person doesn’t become stressful about tax payments. Tax benefit offers a large field of benefits. Starting from “Children’s Benefit”, “Council Tax Benefit”, “Disability Living Allowance”, “House Benefit”, “Passport Benefit”, “Incapacity Benefit” and so forth. Passport benefits come along with tax benefit. It allows a person to enjoy his leisure and travel as well as be stress-free from tax payments.

Tax benefits have proven to be beneficial to the retired people because it helps them save up for their future and allows them to live a normal and tension free life. Tax benefits allow pension schemes and also take into account other commercial entities of the customer. Tax benefits help in deduction of taxes from organizations like any public organizations or even a religious organization.

Charities have deducing schemes for two and half months of a fiscal year. The fiscal policy includes all the tax beneficial investments for a fiscal year. The Union Budget had included the nature and types of tax benefit to satisfy tax-payers. The popularity of tax benefit has helped people in a large number of ways. The Union Budget had included “deduction of tax in exemption limits”, “separate deduction for pensions” and similar other schemes. It is a simple concept of calculation. The “marriage penalty” is based upon the tax payment of married couples as two individuals. The Legislature has tried to eradicate this marriage penalty from the taxing codes. Tax benefit allows a person to take his or her time and pay the loans before the deadline date and prevent their properties being ceased. Everything is planned out for the tax payers’ benefit and an easy, comfortable way for people to benefit from each and every activity of their life.

Tax benefit helps in restoration of its clients’ satisfaction and draws out schemes and plans for every step he takes in his phases of life. With all the complications involved in tax payments, the tax benefits have made it simpler for the tax payers.

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Source
: http://www.digitalliberty.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/shutterstock_77384059.download.jpg

 

Carnival of Retirement at Brick By Brick Investing
Carnival of MoneyPros at Thirty Six Months
Yakezie Carnival at Growing Money Smart
Finance Carn. for Young Adults at Fat Guy,Skinny Wallet

Being Cheap without being a Cheapskate

canstockphoto3465724While many people want to know of ways to save money for some the passion becomes an obsession. Some may view this as a good thing while others view it negatively. You see there can be a fine line between being cheap and being a cheapskate. A Cheapskate is defined by someone who is very stingy, a miser or someone who could be spending more given their financial situation but chooses to hoard their money instead and in the process live off next to nothing. There are cases where multimillionaires have packed away their money but lived in poverty. I ask, what is the point here? Sure saving money is good if you are in the situation where you should but most do not want to be viewed as a cheapskate.

What generally indicates if someone is being too cheap is society and ones friends. If a bunch of friends are in the £20,000 a year category but one of the friends makes twice this amount with no other financial obligations yet does not spend like his/her friends in the £20,000 a year group, they would be in a prime spot to be called a cheapskate. But lets look at this situation deeper. What if the 40G a year group spent every last dime they earned and often on frivolous pursuits. Where as the 40G person was saving money for retirement and investments. While this person may still be considered a cheapskate by their friends, others would claim they where financially smart.

While it is good to put money away for the future, I also am a believer that money not spent is in a sense worthless. Being a true cheapskate is a sickness in my view. I know of a doctor who makes a very good salary but will cheap out in every area of life. He still is using a computer from 16 years ago and spends hours clips coupons. Yet this in and of itself is not a bad practice, but it is who is doing it that makes this person a cheapskate. I think the practice also depends on what is being neglected in an attempt to save money.

I believe life is a balance of many things including work, play, rest, and a list of others. Generally if someone occupies their time very heavily in one area and not the others, their life becomes misaligned and their health in some way suffers. It is important to view this in light of ones finances too. Saving money is good, using coupons is good, trying to get a deal is good, but just don’t let these things overpower you. Don’t be afraid if occasionally you did not save a penny on something. You can’t win them all. Be balanced in your finances and don’t be afraid to spend some money as long as you are not burdened by debt and other financial obligations.

 

Yakezie Carnival at Thirtysixmonths.com
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Carnival of MoneyPros at Making Sense of Cents

Is Investing like Gambling?

There is a lot that is common between investing and gambling. For one, both are unpredictable, especially when taken one turn at a time. When you are gambling through poker or some other card game, you never know what kind of card you will be dealt in your next turn. Similarly, while investing in stock market and other such assets, you never know where the prices will move the next day. Secondly, both involve money in one form or another, and therefore impact us where it can either hurt us, or help us a lot. So, it is reasonable to think that investing is like gambling. However, there are some differences between the two that should be analyzed before we say how similar they are.

The Risks of Investing and how to Reduce them

Like gambling, investing involves a number of risks. Stocks and other assets such as real estate have to follow the prices that are adjudged by the free market, which can move in either direction. Then there is unpredictability about the kind of asset you have chosen to invest in. Stocks will move differently than real estate. There is also the risk involved with choosing the actual stock, which may behave differently than the broader stock market. All these risks combine to make sure that investing inherently comes with a lot of risk.

However, by careful planning and selection, you can definitely reduce your risk. In fact, by planning well, you can actually reduce your risk to almost zero. One way to reduce your risk is diversification. Your portfolio should be diversified across asset classes, and types of assets. You should invest in stocks, real estate, bonds, precious metals and other types of assets all at the same time. Studies have shown that a diversified portfolio can take very extreme shocks in the value and still give good results because the shocks are to just one type of investment, and not to the complete portfolio.

Be a Long Term Investor

One strategy that can completely reduce your risk to almost zero is being a long term investor. By long term we mean investing for at least 15-20 years, and without taking your money out. Over such a period of time, almost every asset has been shown to give positive results. Even in the case of the Great Depression, stocks had recovered in just a few years time, especially when you take the dividend yields into account. Even the worse possible analysis of the Great Depression tells us that the Dow Jones had recovered in 25 years time, which is not bad for a period that encompassed a depression as well as a World War. Therefore, even if you had invested in the UK stock market at the height of the Great Depression, which was a global depression, even then you would have come out as a winner in two and a half decade time.

Overall, we find that there are definitely risks associated with being an investor, but by diversification and by investing for the long term, you can definitely reduce the risks a lot. Therefore, we can safely say that investing is not really like gambling. With gambling, you cannot take steps to escape the random nature of events, but with investing, you can take steps that increase your odds of better results.

 

Yakezie Carnival at Family Money Values