Monthly Archives: October 2013

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3 Savvy Ways Professionals Track Their Finances

In the wake of the dual banking and housing crises of 2008, many professionals found that the outsourcing of financial tracking was not the best road to take for personal financial solvency. However, many professionals simply do not have the time to track their finances 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fortunately for these busy professionals, there are new tools and techniques available to help track personal and business finances without having to monitor than at all times. This article will go through three of the savviest ways that professionals track their finances in the modern world.

1. Using online accounting programs

There are many software-based and even cloud-based accounting programs that can be used to keep up with professional finances. If you do not have the time or the wherewithal to keep up with your personal finances, send them to a crowd sourced, cloud-based accounting program that will organize them for you under the watchful eye of a server manager. You will be able to access your finances at any time in an organized fashion in order to be able to make the best decisions for your future.

2.  Automated financial tracking programs

Believe it or not, there are financial tracking programs that are software-based with enough artificial intelligence to make detailed recommendations about your finances to you. Many companies offer these programs and the distinguishing difference between them is the proprietary engine that is used to draw the artificial intelligence for the recommendations. In short, the differences are philosophical. As long as you pick an automated financial program that matches the financial philosophy that you yourself have, you should find that this kind of tracking can work quite well for you.

3.  Patronizing a bank with compulsory tracking

In order to gain back the business of many customers that they lost in the wake of the 2008 housing crisis, many banks are now offering services that were normally only found at investment banks. One of the services is compulsory tracking and recommendations as if every individual at the bank Personal financial advisor.

This seems to be the norm within banking today; therefore, simply choose a reputable bank that has the service and you will be able to take advantage of virtually free financial advisory as well as financial tracking. Many of these banks even have investing experts on hand to help you with securities trades that you might be interested in.

 

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Five Tips for Creating a Balanced Budget

Creating a balanced budget is essential for managing your finances. Unfortunately, many people do not do this. It takes planning and discipline. Your budget may also require adjustments when your circumstances and needs change. The following tips can help you accomplish this:

Know Your Income

You need to know how much money you have coming in every month. No matter how you allocate this money, you need to bring in more than you spend.

Know Your Expenses

Make a list of every monthly expense you have. Include your bills and the money you need to spend to feed yourself and your family. Figure out how much you spend each month in fuel and travel expenses. Also, make a list of any annual and semi-annual expenses. These usually include insurance and property taxes. Know what time of the year they occur.

Adjust Your Expenses

Add up all of your expenses. If they total less than your income, you’re in good shape. Think of a good use for the excess money. Do you have any debt you can pay off? Can you safely invest the money? Do you have an emergency fund? If your expenses are more than your income, you need to make some adjustments. Limit the number of times you eat out. Identify unnecessary expenses and either trim them or eliminate them. Keep doing this until your expenses are less than your income. If you cannot trim your expenses enough, you will need to increase your income. Take a second job or do freelance work if you are able to do so.

Revise Your Budget Periodically

You probably won’t make a good budget on your first attempt. You might find that you spend less than you thought on one item while more than you thought on another item. Your budget should never be set in stone. It should change as your needs and circumstances change.

Don’t Carry Credit Card Debt

You borrow money every time you use your credit card. This money has to be repaid along with interest. Credit card interest can quickly punch a hole in your budget. Pay more than the minimum payments if possible in order to pay off your cards more quickly.

Creating a budget is not easy. It takes a lot of work and many people simply don’t want to do it. Despite this, budgeting is essential. You need to know your financial health. Finally, to lower your bank fees, consider personal checks from Checks Superstore.

Several steps toward improving your personal finance

Earning money today can be a complicated and a hard thing to do. We all blame it on the failing economy of the world, but it can’t always be just that. Great minds had said that you should always start from yourself, anytime you have a problem. You should always start thinking that the problem is first with you and only when you eliminate this as a probable cause, then think about the world.

Don’t get me wrong, when I say that the problem is in you, I do not mean literally – I only mean that you haven’t exhausted all the options you have. So, when thinking about business, you really need to think. There are so many options which you can try, and you should try most of them, if not all. Only then should you say that you can’t do it. It won’t be easy, but you can rarely earn much money with ease.

What can you actually do? 

One of the possible things you can do is selling things that you own or other used things – buying and then reselling the same thing. For example, this is how most regular stores operate. Other companies produce them and then sell them to these stores, which in turn, sell them to regular customers for bigger prices.

If you are looking for some bigger cash, you may do something like buying and selling real estate. This, of course, demands some start-up cash – some bigger amounts of course. But if you can get that, when you fix up the place, you can then earn a lot more. The benefits of this are big, money-wise; the only problem is the money you need at the start.

Selling real estate is not the only thing you can do. You can rent apartments and rooms for example. If you own some that you do not need for anything else, this is an option you can consider. This won’t get you much money, but you will get some decent amounts every month, which is certainly a good thing.

 Your skills are not a small thing, they are valuable as well 

 Another interesting thing you can do is cashing-in your skills and crafts. Everyone has some kind of talent; this is a simple fact, and no matter how small or unimportant it seems to you, this really is the truth, especially when it comes to crafts; if you are good at making something, this can be a good way to earn some money because you will be able to sell those things. Hand-made goods are always an interesting thing to many people, and if you get very good at this, and you will in time, then this will prove to be a great way to earn some decent amounts.

 Investing is another thing you should consider… 

 There are many forms of investments. You can invest in a lot of things and most will prove to be good, as long as they have proven to be good for others.  But then again, you can always find something new, but this can be a great risk as well…

 Something which will never be a risk is promotion. Promoting your product or craft, or something else, has always been a safe investment. As long as you promote something that is of interest to customers. Promotion demands some money, but those are always smaller amounts, and the benefits are huge. With promotion, you will get many people interested in what you are offering, and thus, you will earn more money since you’ll have more customers.

Promoting needs promotional products, and you should think about this when you decide to do it. Promotional products can be whatever you want, but you should always look that these products are cheap, since you will need to distribute them to many people. Consider pens, bags, mugs, and things like that to be your promotional products. Put your name, your brand or whatever it is you wish to promote on them and you are set. But always look that what you put on is something pretty and catchy, all in all noticeable, because your objective is to get people interested.

As you can see, there are many ways you can put something into practice in order to earn money, and you needn’t be afraid that you will find yourself in a situation where you won’t be able to earn anything. Just use your brain and have faith in yourself – you will always find a way.

 

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Worried about your Credit Score? 4 Ways to Make it Better

When looking to increase your credit score, there are a few easy steps to take. Once you educate yourself about what makes a good credit score (or why you have a bad one), it will be easier to get on your way to working towards a respectable score. When following these four tips, one can see their credit score rise drastically.

Pay off debts

Often, a person will see their score suffer when they have old, unpaid debts that have not been resolved. The quickest way to fix this issue is to contact the creditors and ask to pay off the debt in return for a paid-in-full removal on the credit report. With this step, one can see their score risen significantly; however, when paying off old and delinquent debts, one must wait a few months to see the problem go away fully..

Avoid opening new cards or lines

When opening new credit lines, some banks fear that they person will take on more than they can handle. This is a problem that catches many by surprise. To avoid this problem, one should try to avoid opening cards while they are working on improving their score. Within a few months, a consumer should see their score rise, at minimum, a few points. Then, after fixing one’s score and profile, they can go on a spree and apply for cards.

Authorized user

Now, a person with no credit can have someone add their name to an existing credit card. When adding an authorized user, one will take some responsibility for that individual. However, the person being added will enjoy a massive jump in their credit score. That is if the person adding the user has a decent credit limit and low balance on the card. Remember, while this is a risky strategy, one can see their score rise into respectable territory quickly.

New credit

While some people have too much debt and credit, some do not have enough. To get a nice jump in a credit score, one can open a couple of credit cards or other loan accounts. This will allow a person to see a quick rise in their score even if they do not use the card or account. Remember, it is all about available credit and a consumer with more available credit will enjoy a higher credit score than his or her counterparts with little available credit.

 

With these four tips, one can see a drastic rise in their credit score. Remember, the sooner you get into good financial habits, the less you will have to worry about your credit. If you don’t know much about finances and that is why you have a bad credit score, it may be a good idea to see a financial adviser or do some research online so that you can have a clear understanding of the do’s and don’ts of money.

 

This article was written by Dixie, a freelance writer that writes for business, finance, women’s interests, and the home niches. She obtained her financial information from the professionals at the Legacy Lending Group, a financial institution that deals with fha mortgages in California. For more financial tips and ideas of how to build your credit, click here.

 

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The Four Non-Traditional Approaches to Senior Living On A Budget

Living on a budget is difficult at any age, but many seniors find it a necessity just to survive. After retirement, most find themselves faced with the challenge of adjusting living without a regular paycheck coming in every month. They are forced to live within strict budgets that allow little leeway for unexpected expenses. Possibly, for the first time in their lives, they find that they must set priorities and make some sacrifices in order to live the life they want.

Simplify Transportation

Owning a vehicle is an expense that can stretch any budget to its limit. Routine maintenance requires a major cash outlay each month. Vehicles require gasoline and all vehicle owners must have liability insurance and a driver’s license. Seniors who live in smaller communities can eliminate these expenditures by walking to their destinations. Not only will they save money, but the exercise has health benefits as well. Public transportation is an option for those living in larger communities or cities. Most transportation companies offer senior discounts and have several convenient pickup locations. Giving up vehicle ownership represents substantial monthly savings.

Save on Groceries

A healthy diet is important for seniors. Eating nutritious meals helps prevent illness and disease and contributes to a healthier lifestyle. Shopping for grocery bargains requires planning, but can result in lower grocery bills. Buying some items in bulk saves the added expense of per item cost. Clip coupons from newspapers for added savings.

Stick to the Basics

Get rid of unnecessary expenses such as magazine subscriptions or cable television. These luxury items can be eliminated. Instead of buying magazines and books, visit the local library and check these out free. Some libraries also have videos and audio books to rent for a small fee. Most communities have free network television that offers many programming choices.

Evaluate Housing Needs

Those with high health care costs or are unable to care for themselves may have to evaluate what is more fiscally responsible when it comes to their housing. Finding a senior community that offers assistance while eliminating the original home ownership costs.

Living within one’s means can be a daunting task, but with careful analysis of personal finances, it is attainable. Planning and ingenuity will help seniors can live the good life even on a budget. Watching expenditures and planning for the unexpected help make the golden years more enjoyable.

Tips For How To Manage Your Medical Bills

It is usually very simple to keep track of some bills associated with certain payments, such as electricity and water bills in your living expenses. For instance, it means that you owe your electric energy provider $50 when you receive an electricity bill for $50. Unfortunately, this is not the case with medical bill, especially when it comes to the task of disputing claims, keeping track of bills and requesting approval for certain costly medical procedures or drugs. This can be attributed to the fact that it can take you countless hours or even days before you get your insurance summaries.
As much as it can be hard to keep track of all the bills and other papers that begin flowing into your home after diagnosis of a chronic illness like cancer, keeping careful records of your medical bills not only helps you manage your finances better, but also lower your stress levels by making your insurance claims somewhat easier. This means that you’ve to track your medical expenses carefully by keeping your records in a well-organized manner in order to avoid paying more than you should because of billing errors. Here are some useful tips for how to manage your medical bills.

 

Tip #1: Be organized

This is perhaps one of the best tricks for how to overcome the confusion brought about by copious medical bills. It involves taking simple steps to keep paper or electronic versions of your bills and statements in order. For instance, you should learn to keep a calendar of your medical appointments and based on the respective health care service received during each appointment.
Also, if you have medical bill for more than one member of your family, try to ensure that you keep a separate file for each. Basically, a very rudimentary filing system is all you need. For medical bills with insurance statement, pair them together and include any payment receipts and updated statements about those bills. Typically, you’ll be amazed at the financial difference a little organization makes.
Tip #2: Create and update a list of your medical bills
This is pretty simple since it involves the creation of a list of your medical bills as soon as soon as they begin to trickle in. Nowadays, you can accomplish this task electronically using spreadsheets with headings like date, type of service, billed amount, allowable amount, amount the insurance provider pays, your payment, amount owed and any other relevant notes. However, it is imperative to ensure that each bill is up to date with each payment you make.
Tip #3: Review your medical bills
It is paramount to mention that there are some aspects about your medical bills that you should read carefully. For example, you should ensure that certain aspects like the date, name of the insurance provider as well as the type of care are correct on both documents. Also, check the amount your insurer says you owe in order to understand how much of the bill you need to pay.
Actually, this way you’ll be able to identify issues that you barely understand concerning your medical bills and address them in the earliest time possible. If you still cannot decipher some of the charges on your health care bill, ask the medical-records department for a copy of your doctors’ orders and the nursing notes or you can even contact your insurance provider.
Tip #4: Find and fix errors
Mistakes can happen during billing of the services offered by your health care provider, and hence before you pay anything, consider going through your billing paperwork more carefully. Inconsistencies such as wrong insurer’s group number or name, duplicate orders, unbundled fees, in-accurate operating room times, up selling and up coding can end up costing you more than you would expect. However, if can’t understand some billing details, you can review your medical bill with the hospital’s billing office via the phone.
These tips will surely help you manage your medical bills more efficiently, considering the fact that it can take a long time before you will get your insurance summaries. This will allow you to pay your medical bills on time such that your credit rating isn’t compromised. Nevertheless, if you can’t pay your bill in full, ask to arrange a payment plan with your health care provider, as long as you agree to make small regular payments.
Author bio:
Brenda Panin is a blogger from Australia, very passionate when it comes to personal finance and marketing. Recently, Brenda has been interested in insurance so she spent some time researching iSelect. She enjoys seeing her readers getting useful information from her articles.
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