Category Archives: Money

How To Save Money During Life Changing Events

When life is changing rapidly around you, inertia may make you want to keep everything possible the same and under your control. However, not taking action now could be costly both financially and emotionally. Saving money during life changing events may be easier than you think.

 

Rightsize

 

Instead of continuing to live in a big house, now may be a good time to right-size your living arrangements. Selling the house might break your heart but keeping it could break your budget. Move into the smallest size place that can accommodate your needs and save the difference. Not only will a smaller place have a lower monthly payment but you’ll also have lower utility bills and upkeep costs. If your car has a pricy monthly payment, consider selling it and buying used with cash. You’ll eliminate a bill and your car insurance expenses may decrease as well.

 

Adjust Withholding

 

Take a close look at the withholding on your paycheck. Are you paying for a family medical plan even though you’re now single? Are your taxes being calculated as if you were married with a dependent? Head into the human resources office and adjust your federal and any other applicable withholding. You may be able to keep more of your earnings.

 

Cut Off Access

 

Assess your financial accounts and make sure that no one is running up bills in your name. You may need to remove someone from your family calling plan, take off their name as an account holder on your credit cards and remove them from having access to your health-related information.

 

Find Affordable Legal Representation

 

According to Mark A. Erickson, a child custody lawyer in San Jose, life changing events can be made easier through the support of a qualified legal representation. However, a reduction or loss of income can make it difficult to afford an attorney. Look to legal clinics, social service agencies and through your personal network to find a divorce attorney, family law specialist or child custody lawyer.

 

Choosing Battles

 

Not everything is worth fighting over. Attorneys generally bill by the hour. The more that you can come to an agreement on before hand can reduce your legal expenses. Let the spouse keep the big boat with its costly monthly upkeep. You’ll enjoy a lower cost of living and less stress.

 

Life changing events don’t always have to be negative if you approach them with a positive, can-do attitude. Taking action now can help protect you financially and prepare you for new and better opportunities ahead.

5 Factors to Consider Carefully When Choosing a New Bank

Financial services have become increasingly important as consumers need checks, credit cards, and loans to enjoy their lives. The days of keeping money under the mattress are gone; in our modern world, fining the right bank to assist with your financial needs is a must for daily living. When you create a solid relationship with a bank, you can qualify for better loans. Customer service representatives who recognize you will save you time and give you better service. Here are 5 factors to consider when choosing a new bank.

 

1. Type of Bank 

When choosing a bank, you must determine which type of bank you want. Banks can focus on mortgages, consumers, corporations, or agriculture. If you are thinking about starting a new company, then you will need to find a bank with merchant services. If you belong to a specific organization or profession, you may also qualify for membership with a credit union that can offer you valuable services tailored to your needs.  Decide what features are important to you, and look among banks that cater to those needs.

 

2. Branch Locations 

Many people prefer to physically deposit and withdraw their money. Finding a bank branch, kiosk, or ATM along your route to work and home saves you valuable time. Some bank branches are even found in grocery stores of shopping malls. Also carefully consider the distribution of branches of the bank.  While a bank may be convenient in your area, if it is a regional bank, you may not be able to access needed services while traveling. Determine if the branch locations of the potential bank truly meet your needs all around.

 

3. Account Options 

Savings, checking, and mutual funds accounts have a wide range of features and interest rates. If you have children, creating an account for them will teach them how to manage money. Sometimes, banks have special “Savers” services allowing you to automatically transfer money from checking to savings. Some even offer 401(k) plans for retirement. Decide which accounts are important to you, then determine if the bank you are considering offers sufficiently attractive options in those areas.

 

4. Attractive Interest Rates 

Banks offer a wide range of interest rates based on their size, function and marketing strategy. Selecting a bank with high interest rates paid to you for your savings accounts and low interest rates for loans, can save you a lot of money in the end. Plan ahead to establish a solid foundation for your wealth.

 

5. Financial Services and Terms 

If you travel a lot, you might want a bank with traveler’s checks. Some banks have change-making kiosks. Business owners might want to purchase coins and bills for their companies. Online banking options are also available. What is the bank’s policy for third-party checks? What are the penalties for “insufficient funds.” Consider carefully financial services and terms the bank offers.  Make sure you truly understand the fine print and are satisfied by the policies and offerings.

 

Credit and banking has always been one of the primary inputs for productivity. Now, consumers are realizing that credit is essential for maintaining a high-quality standard of life. You will want to find a bank with good customer service making you feel comfortable. This is your money and finding a good bank to help you increase your wealth is the first step. Plan carefully and find the best option for you.

 

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Can You Go Green on your Car and Still Save Money?

Go Green and Save Money

If you are concerned for the environment, you may be thinking of switching over to one of the many eco-friendly cars on the market today. With most of the leading manufacturers continually revealing new designs incorporating ultra-modern technology designed to lower fuel bills and be kinder to the environment, it seems that eco-friendly driving is the way forward. The process may seem bewildering to the uninitiated, but with a bit of research, you could soon be driving away in a car that is kind to the environment and your wallet.

Know Your Options

A hybrid car combines a petrol engine with an electric motor. This combination significantly reduces both harmful emissions and fuel costs. The engine is the main power source in a hybrid, meaning that all you are required to do is fill up with fuel. As the name suggests, an electric car is powered with electricity alone, so will need to be regularly charged at a designated charging station. A further incentive to go down the electric route is that many hybrid cars (and all electric ones) are exempt from Road Tax and also the London Congestion Charge. When weighing up the pros and cons of your green car options, your first consideration should be how you intend to use it. If you will be making long journeys, it makes sense to choose a hybrid, as they don’t need to be charged. If you are largely city based, an electric car could fit the bill perfectly as you will have access to plenty of charging stations and are unlikely to be traveling at high speeds.

Cutting Edge

At first glance, it may feel like you are paying an awful lot of money for a finished product that is constructed on a smaller scale and seems flimsier to that which you are used to. Rest assured, though, that the blueprint of the latest green vehicles, particularly electric cars, cuts out the requirement for all sorts of items associated with more traditional designs. For example, combustion engines are extremely weighty, bulky and complex. In comparison, the simple electric motor required by the electric car is far smaller and lighter. In addition, electric models are increasingly being either partly or fully manufactured from carbon reinforced plastic (CFRP) – a new material which is incredibly tough but also very light. This benefits the electric car owner in two ways: a car that weighs less will be cheaper to run and will benefit from an enhanced safety profile.

Reducing Costs

Whatever option you go for, try to follow a few basic guidelines that can reduce the way that the vehicle impacts on our environment and the cost of running it. Travel light – the greater the weight, the higher the fuel required and therefore the fuel bills. One great way to save money is to carpool for work or even for dropping the kids off at school. Avoid constant starting and stopping as this will inevitably have a knock-on effect on your fuel efficiency. If you are stationary in heavy traffic, get into the habit of killing the engine. Driving at a consistent pace, avoiding unnecessary acceleration/deceleration, is the best way to keep your fuel usage to an absolute minimum.

Three Things You Should Double Check on Your Next Paycheck

A paycheck is a vitally important document. Your paycheck is not just a list of the money you’ve earned in any given time frame. It is also verification that your employer has paid into social security on your behalf. A paycheck is also an important tax document that you can use for multiple purposes including to open a bank account, apply for a loan and even rent an apartment. Making sure the paycheck contains accurate information is something every employee should do for every paycheck they get. Several items in particular should be checked carefully.

 

All Employee Retirement Contributions are Correctly Listed

 

Retirement is an important part of one’s working life. An adequate pension or other mechanism for retirement savings needs to be part your life plan. The type of retirement plan can greatly vary from person to person and company to company. Some companies offer employees a straight pension based on factors such as seniority. Other companies offer employees the opportunity to contribute to their retirement savings via a tax protected contribution. Make sure the amount listed on your paycheck is listed correctly. If you have a matching contribution, this should also be listed as well. Some companies list this separately while others include the entire contribution in a single number.

 

Any Overtime Hours are Correctly Listed and Compensated

 

Overtime regulations can vary widely from state to state. For example, if you live in California, any hours you work over eight in any given day are considered overtime. The same is not true in other places. Ohio overtime law states that overtime is only counted weekly not daily. Any employee should double check that the number of hours are listed correctly on his paycheck. The number of hours should include any fractions of an hour as well. Keep in mind any lunch breaks you may have taken during this time frame.

 

Your Job Title is Correctly Listed

 

If you have recently gotten a promotion, you need to make sure the new job title shows up on your paycheck as soon as possible. The extra pay may be listed but the new title may take some time. Contact payroll to notify them of this fact. If necessary, have your new supervisor contact them as well.

 

Your paycheck is not just the amount of money you earn. Your paycheck is contains a tremendous amount of important information about many aspects of your finances. Make sure it accurately reflects all aspects of your job.

Four Legal Blunders That Could Cost You Money

The steps you take immediately after a motorcycle accident will be crucial to your claim for compensation. Knowing what you need to do in the event of an accident will help you avoid these costly mistakes.

Never Admit Any Fault

Even if you believe that you may be partially responsible for the accident, do not admit to any fault or contributing factors to the event. Accident scene investigators can determine the cause of the accident. In many cases, people admit to fault when there were other factors that caused the event. With this admission, they greatly decrease their chances for receiving full and fair compensation for their injuries and losses. It is human nature to want to share in the responsibility for an accident. Avoid the temptation and let the professionals sort it out.

Failing To Request Immediate Medical Care

You should seek medical care at the scene of the accident. Even if you think it is just “aches and pains” or a “headache from the stress,” you should go to the emergency room to be evaluated. Motorcyclists often sustain head, neck and sine injuries during an accident, even a minor one. Most insurance companies will begin denying medical care for an accident as soon as 24 hours after the event. While they have a legal obligation to offer services for several days after the event, most insurers will claim that your injuries are from a new event and not the accident.

Not Hiring An Accident Attorney Right Away

You need to start protecting your right as a victim as soon as possible. Contact a motorcycle attorney and make an appointment for a case evaluation within a few days of the accident. Your attorney can determine what forms of compensation you may be entitled to under your state law.

Posting Too Much Information On Social Sites

Everything that is posted on a social site is considered public information. Anything that you post about the accident, the injuries, the recovery, or what your attorney is planning for compensation will be read by the insurance company and used against you. If you must post information about the accident or your injuries, make sure it is very vague.

Avoiding these mistakes will help your case for compensation proceed more easily. Even if any of these mistakes have been made, a good attorney will be able to still help you with your request for compensation.

 

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Quick ways to make quick bucks online

Are you looking for a few ways to supplement your income, or maybe help your family out b making a few extra bucks at home? Then rest assured, there are many ways in which you can make money online. The best part is that they are mostly easy to do and do not requirement great commitment and dedication from your side. Just a few hours every day should do it. of course, don’t expect to be swimming in it at the beginning, but if you keep at it, you could have a tidy sum in hand at the end of every month.

Here are a few ways in which you can do that.

Buy and sell domain names

This method will require a slight knowledge of keywords and Google Adwords. Using the latter, find out what keywords are in demand right now. Depending on that information, you can purchase some domain names which you think will become popular soon. Then later, you can sell those domains to companies or individuals that want it. There have been a few cases where three letter acronym based domain names have really sold big to a company with that name. For example, if you buy a domain name with the acronym dsi, and coincidentally a corporation like Debt Settlement Infobank happens to be in the market for a domain name, then you could sell it to them for a lot of money.

Audio gigs

There are lots of audio transcription opportunities available online. Many websites are now providing written transcripts for hearing impaired people. This means that there are a lot of chances for transcribers that have come up. However, don’t expect to be paid a lot of money for these jobs. On the plus side, these jobs are fairly easy and don’t require a lot of commitment. You can find many transcription jobs online.

Do you have a lot of experience using sound and editing software? If you do, then there are quite a few gigs that you can get online. These will involve you cleaning up the quality of webcasts, interviews and other audio data. These however will require some time to complete. Again, look at websites advertising freelance online jobs for leads.

Affiliate marketing

Do you have great marketing or copywriting skills? Then a job as an affiliate marketing might be just the thing for you. This involves promoting the services or products of another company on your website or blog through articles containing links. This is a great method if you have a blog or website which attracts a lot of traffic.

For example, if you become an affiliate marketer with Debt Settlement Infobank then you can either write articles promoting them, or create promotional videos on Youtube or even place banner ads on your website. The last method is usually not very effective as people tend to avoid banner ads.

Even if you don’t have a website, you can still be an affiliate marketer, like posting videos on Youtube using product links, for example.  You can do a cost-per-click advertising method as well, in case you have a website with a lot of traffic.

Using these methods, you can earn a tidy sum of money without even leaving the comfort of your own home. Most of these methods are extremely easy and convenient and can lead to quick results without having to put in too much of hard work and effort. There are many options like these including clicking on advertising and completing surveys as well.

About the author

Dean is an affiliate marketer with an established financial company. He also writes articles on financial corporations like Debt Settlement Infobank and others. In his spare time, Dean loves to watching Formula 1 races with his family. To know more click here.

 

The Best Ways You Can Save Money On Your Car

After buying a house or any other property, for most in the UK, buying a car will be the most expensive purchase you make. The initial outlay of buying your vehicle will be expensive, often running into many thousands of pounds. But what people fail to take into consideration is the cost of running a car, too. Car tax, insurance, and maintenance will all add up, and add a considerable amount to your monthly outgoings. Many people are beginning to question whether they actually need a car at all (particularly if they are living in a larger city). But if you definitely do need your car, and wish you could save a little money at the same time, here are a few hints and tips for ways to save money on the cost of running your car:

Maintain it yourself

It can be very expensive to take your car to the garage and have a mechanic look at it every time you need some work doing. Of course if you have a large job that needs undertaking, such as work on the electrics or changing the engine, then a mechanic is the best man (or woman) for the job. But for smaller jobs such as giving your car an oil change, replacing a tyre or repairing the windscreen wiper blades you’ll save a significant amount of money if you can do these jobs yourself. If you don’t know how, it’s not hard to learn! Many local colleges will offer a short course on car maintenance: this will be enough to teach you the basics of how your car works and how to complete any small and easy tasks. Even if you have the initial outlay of paying for a short course, in the long run learning these essential life skills will save you a fortune!

Shop Around For Your Car Insurance

Car insurance is expensive, no matter how long you’ve been driving for. But if you’ve only just passed your driving test you could find the cost of car insurance prohibitive to getting your own car altogether! The key to saving money on your car insurance is to shop around. Don’t just search the comparison websites: they only tend to deal with the larger insurance providers. Take the time to get quotes from independent providers too and remember that the more legwork you put in the more likely you are to save yourself some money.  If you are a new driver and you’re concerned that your car insurance premium will be high then think about the kind of car you choose to buy too: something with a smaller engine will fall into a lower insurance category, for example. Smaller cars also tend to be lighter and therefore cheaper to run, meaning you would find yourself in a win-win situation if you opted for a compact car!

Do Your Research

Unfortunately, no matter how well you look after and maintain them, all cars will break down and need new parts at some point. These can cost hundreds of pounds, depending on the parts you need. Before you buy any car, take the time to do some research into the cost of the parts that most commonly need repairing for that particular make or model. If you find that the parts for the car you are thinking of buying are very expensive, it’s probably worth considering choosing something else instead. Fords tend to be the most affordable cars to repair: if in doubt, speak to your local mechanic. They are usually very helpful and can offer plenty of great advice about the most cost-effective cars to choose.

Drive Economically

Finally, watch how you drive! If you learn to drive economically you can save money on the amount of petrol your car consumes. Keep your car as light as possible: don’t carry any extra luggage or other weight that you don’t need. The lighter your car is, the more economical it is with fuel. Check your tyres regularly: having the correct tyre pressure will not only make your car safer, it will also help you to drive more economically too. Finally, plan your route before you go anywhere. It sounds obvious, but by selecting the shortest route to your destination you won’t only be saving time you’ll be saving petrol money too!

Five Ways to Save Money with Space & Storage

Have you got hidden pockets of wealth hiding in your home? Most of us could benefit from a good clear out, a reorganisation, or rethinking our working methods. Here are some suggestions on ways you could save money by using the space you already have, and alternative available spaces, to better advantage.

 

Reduce Energy Bills

Anything you can do to reduce energy bills is good news right now. Invest in low energy, green lighting for your work or office areas to cut down on wattage used, and eliminate door and window draughts with thermal drapes and draught proofing strips. Get into the habit of switching off lights or heaters in rooms left vacant, and if you work with others consider taping up a notice to remind everyone to switch off.

 

Consolidate Working Areas

Business owners with stock to keep often struggle to find storage space at home that’s both out of the way and secure. For sellers of larger items, home storage might be a total nonstarter. Self storage units help such businesses in two ways:

A safe and secure, lockable room that’s accessible out of hours. Some will also accept deliveries on your behalf, freeing up your time and giving you more freedom of movement for other business activities.

Rent slightly larger room than you need for stock storage so you can also use it for packing purposes. You’ll save on fuel for the car or van if you don’t have to fetch stock and take it home to pack.

 

Create a Home Office

If you’re renting an office but don’t strictly need one to run your business, consider creating a home office instead. No more driving to work, and with virtual document storage environments such as cloud computing the space needed is minimal.

Ideally you’ll convert a spare room, which may involve getting rid of some existing furniture to make way for a desk and computer equipment. But selling or storing little used furniture to take advantage of business opportunities is a win/win exercise. You’ll either raise extra cash or you’ll save time and money by not paying for, or travelling to, the rented office.

 

Rent out a Room

An alternative to using a spare room as an office is to rent it out to a lodger. If you don’t want to offer a long term rental but live in a college or university area, letting to a student may do you both a favour. Either put the money made on the room towards the cost of your rented office, or towards paying off the mortgage that bit sooner.

 

Sell Unwanted Items

We all hang on to objects far past their useful life. Most of us have cupboards full of forgotten items that we no longer use. Raising extra cash and reclaiming the space for those items we do use are the dual benefits of holding a sale. For smaller items that are cheaply posted, choose online auctions. They’re easy to set up and monitor and you can set a reserve price if you’re worried things will sell too cheaply. Alternatively, or for bulkier items, hold a garage sale or use local advertising to attract local buyers.

 

These are all tried and tested methods of getting organised in home and business life so you can save money, and hopefully make a bit more too. Even if you adopt just one, you should see some improvement in your finances.

 

Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage has 76 purpose-built self storage sites across the UK.

Tips That Help You Manage Your Personal Finances Well

Managing personal finances and that too personal finance is not an easy affair. In fact many of us face problems in taking care of our personal finances in spite of making a budget. It often happens that we end up spending more than we actually intend to.  So what can you actually do so that you can manage your personal finances effectively? It is essential to make some strategies and try to stick to them to achieve the desired results. Some of the tips that will help you to manage your personal finances in an effective manner are mentioned below:

Have a pre-defined goal: When it is about managing one’s finance, it is always better to have a set of pre-defined goals. By this we mean make a list of things that you need to do in order to bring your personal finances under control. For example if you have a lot of debts, think of ways by which you can clear off your debts without hampering your current financial expenditure. And don’t forget one thing, which we often overlook, controlling one’s finance not only includes cutting down one’s expenditure but also trying out ways and means by which you can save your money. And this should be in accordance with other goals like, buying a house, a car or starting a small business and so on. The kind of financial plan you have will depend on the kind of expenditure and saving you have in mind.

Give up some things if you have to: while making your financial plan you will notice that you need to give up certain things so that you can achieve your desired savings. Try to focus on things that you can give up and something that you don’t need so that after you give up those things you don’t regret your decision for doing part time jobs. For example: if you are in the habit of partying every weekend then you can restrict those parties to two times a month so that you can save there. Little efforts go a long way in helping you achieve the desired results.

Before you make the financial plan, monitor your expenditure: the best way to make a financial plan is to monitor one’s expenditure for the next 2 months. Financial spending varies from an individual to another. And when you start to monitor your expenditure you will notice that there are many areas where you are spending unnecessarily and that if you down your expenses in those areas you will be saving a huge amount of money.

Share your plans with your family members: sharing your financial plan with your family members is a very healthy step, simply because once your family members are aware of your financial planning they can chip in too to make further savings by doing work from home. And you must share your plans with your children as it makes them aware of the value of money as well as the benefits of saving from an early age.

Avoid paying extra: There are many amongst us who pays extra money throughout the year. How? Well by not paying the electricity or telephone bills on time. As a result they are charged with penalty fees which when clubbed on an annual basis is quite a huge amount.

 

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Majority of Brits Feel Optimistic About Their Finances

Families are feeling more positive about their finances, according to a recent survey.

Markit, a financial information company, says that Brits are more upbeat when it comes to their money than any other time since 2010.

Tim Moore, a Senior Economist at Markit, said: “Households’ perceptions of financial stability are now at a level unsurpassed over the past four-and-a-half years.”

The Household Finance Index (HFI), a survey compiled by Markit Economics every month to anticipate changing consumer behaviour, has reached a record high over the past three years. It hit 40.8 in June which equalled a previous high in February 2010.

However, the findings suggest that most people think that their household finances have gone downhill and many still expect things to get worse in the year ahead. Anything below 50 means that a decline in standard of living has been detected; whilst readings above 50 indicate an improvement.

Further findings showed that when it comes to workplace activity and confidence in job security, the index fell from 53.5 in May to 52.8 in June however; it remains above 50 for the fifth consecutive month.

It is great to hear that so many families are feeling less gloomy about the economic climate and are instead optimistic about the future!

The study, which involved 1,500 people being surveyed in Britain, was carried out by Ipsos MORI.

It concurs with another report published by Vouchercodes.co.uk which revealed that three out of four dads worry about their financial situation.

The study found that more and more fathers are feeling the pressure to provide for their families but many are hiding the strain and keeping it to themselves because they don’t want to worry their partner/relatives.

One out of five dads won’t even talk about it and the biggest cause for concern is the rising price of energy bills. Nearly two in five dads confess that the increasing cost of weekly food is what makes them agonise about the finances.

According to the survey, 80% of younger fathers aged 18-24 years-old worry the most about money in comparison to 66% of dads aged 55 and over.

How are you feeling about your household finances? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you optimistic about 2013/14, or are you doubtful that the economy will turn itself round?

This article was provided by Ian Chase on behalf of Solve My Debt, the go-to-experts for debt management solutions. If you are struggling to meet your monthly repayments or have fallen into arrears, don’t delay! Get your debts under control now and visit the site for more information.

 

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