How to Budget for Your Dream Vacation

If you have a dream vacation, then you should know that you can make that dream a reality with the basic planning and budgeting tools you probably already use in your daily life. Whatever your dream vacation is, given enough time and with a high enough motor, you can pull it off without resorting to secured loans and other borrowing options.

Get Your Household and Savings Budget in Order

Personal or household budgets are an essential money management tool, and the chances of pulling off a vacation budget are far less if you don’t already manage a household budget. If you don’t how, learn to budget. It isn’t hard. It doesn’t require advanced math skills, and while it can be a little intimidating at first, it will give you greater control and understanding over what you take in and what you send out. Better yet, this is the foundation upon which your dream vacation will be realized.

Starting Planning Early

Many people begin planning in January for vacations they’ll take that summer, and while it’s great if you have those means, it isn’t the best way to save for a dream vacation. Dream vacation suggests something bigger and better than normal. Let’s say your dream vacation will cost $5,000. If you start planning a year out, you’ll have to figure out how to save or earn about $13.70 a day. If you start planning three years out, then the amount shrinks to about $4.57.

Setting Money Aside: Reduce Spending

Whether you need $4.57 or $13.70, you need to figure out how to set that money aside. One of the most practical ways to do that is to lower your expenses so you have a greater surplus. Let’s say you give yourself $150 in spending cash each week. If you cut that down to $125, then you’ve just gained about $3.57 a day toward your goal. Little things like making your own coffee or packing your own lunch can make a huge difference over the course of a year or longer.

Setting Money Aside: Increase Income

The other way to increase your surplus is to increase your income. Perhaps a promotion in your career is still some ways off, but that’s OK since there are other ways to earn more, and you don’t necessarily have to take on a second job. Something as simple as a yard sale can add a nice junk of money toward your goal. Seasonal work is a good option too. A few hours a week during summer or the holiday season can really reduce what you need on a per-day basis to meet your goal.

How to Save Your Money

The means you choose through which to save your money can be an important factor, and your saving strategies should change based on your goals and the circumstances. Some people can save their vacation dollars in a sock drawer. Other people will spend it. If you’re a spender, consider opening a savings account at someplace other than where you bank normally. Make it a hassle to access the money, and if you’re a year or more out, there are savings accounts available that offer better rates in return for restricted access, such as not allowing or penalizing you for early withdrawal.

Stretch Your Vacation Dollars

Affording your dream vacation isn’t just about saving more money but also doing more with the money you will have. Just as you’ll look for ways to spend less at home, look for ways to spend less on your vacation. Don’t cut corners in areas that will diminish your experience, but prioritize your activities, identify aspects that matter less and find ways to spend less on those items. Traveling during the off-season, fixing your own lunches or opting for public transportation are all choices that can significantly reduce the cost of your dream vacation.

Warrior Trading Reviews

There are so many day trading websites out there that it is hard to know which ones to trust. One the biggest and most talked about is Warrior Trading. They put out a lot of materials and the day trading newbie might not know what is useful and what out there is just spam. It seems like every day some new website pops up and just want to take money from people without actually providing them any useful information before they put down their credit card. When I saw Patrick H’s review of Warrior Trading I was surprised when I looked around and found so few Warrior Trading Reviews. When I saw so few Warrior trading Reviews I was inspired to write about what I consider the 3 things Warrior Trading is doing best.

Their Chat Room

The Warrior Trading chat room is, in my opinion, the best one out there and based on the other Warrior Trading Reviews I’ve seen, most agree. It is lively, fast and there is always someone willing to answer your questions. It has a relaxed, friendly vibe but at the same time there are a lot of seasoned day traders that really know their stuff. It is not just a bunch of undisciplined, want to be day traders who spend more time chatting about current events and video games than day trading like you are bound to find in a lot of other chatrooms.

Free Information

At Warrior Trading there is a lot of great free information and free advice available before you spend a dime. It seems like every other day I try to find a great sounding article only to be bait and switched into a subscription plan. With Warrior Trading I particularly like the free educational materials. At Warrior Trading you can actually learn how to trade. That puts them heads and shoulders above most of their competition.

Day Trading Course

After the market closes for the day, the instructors at Warrior Trading open a chat room for all the students in their day trading class.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have Mentor Sessions, similar to professor office hours in college. The instructors at Warrior Trading are available to their students to answer questions and help their students get started day trading on the right foot. The streaming Vimeo videos, only available to students, are all top quality and available to view at any time for students. This tool is particularly useful when I run into an issue and can go back and watch the relevant video.

Check out Warrior Trading for yourself and then write your very own Warrior Trading Review. Have you tried Warrior Trading? What were your thoughts? We’d love to hear about your experience with them in our comments section below.

 

When do I need a federal Tax ID?

Most people think that their Social Security numbers are the most important bit of identifying information that they have. It’s easy to see why: without an SSN, you will find it difficult to do most things in the United States – many college applications even require a SSN to process. Did you know that there is an equivalent for your business? An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security Number, but for businesses. Let’s take a look at when you need to apply for a federal tax ID and how to go about doing so.

Apply For A Federal Tax ID

If you plan to open up a line of credit or a bank account for your business, then you will need to apply for a federal tax ID. That’s because you will need to supply it in order to complete many things related to your business, including filing taxes and opening up a credit card. Now, you might be a bit concerned at the thought of obtaining a California EIN number, however do not worry. The process is quite simple. All you need to do is find a service like IRS-EIN that makes the application a breeze to complete. Many of their customers even receive their EIN the same day they send in their application!

Check Tax ID Number Status

If you already have a California EIN number, then you might find yourself in a situation where you need to check tax ID number status. You can do this in a variety of ways. Calling your bank or the IRS, for example, will often yield the number. Do not forget to look at old tax returns, too, as you would have been required to provide it in order to file taxes.

Do you need to apply for a federal tax ID? Contact IRS-EIN-Tax-ID today and let them help you through the process!

 

How to Get Money with No Credit

Having bad credit or no credit can really put a damper on getting a loan. Most traditional loan companies will deny you for credit almost immediately because having no credit is like having bad credit. You’re not stuck without any options, though.

What most people with no credit or bad credit don’t know is that there are several ways for them to still get money when they need it the most. Some of these options will include a high annual percentage rate (APR), which means higher interest rates. However, as a beginner with no credit, these will be the best options available to you.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

One of the newer financing options available is peer-to-peer lending or referred to many as person-to-person lending. This allows you, the borrower, to request a loan through an individual rather than an institution. Most of the individuals post their loan amounts on a board with a list of criteria (what they want in return). Once you apply, the lender will look through all of the applications and determine which investment is better for them, selecting a winner.

While your credit score is still a determining factor in the individuals’ decision, they will be able to thoroughly scan it and make a decision on whether they believe you are a trustworthy borrower. Those with no credit have more flexibility to get loans through individuals since they may not be denied because of their lack of credit history. In addition, most of the APR rates are lower than traditional loans.

Ask a Co-Signer to Help You

One of the magic of credit and loan is that if you have no credit or bad credit, you can get a cosigner. This cosigner should be someone who has good credit and can stand a chance of passing the loan approval process. The cosigner agrees that if you don’t pay the balance, they may ask the cosigner to pay for any amount overdue. Keeping up with the payments afterward will give you an installment loan and a history of payments, giving you a massive credit boost.

Visit Your Local Credit Union

Credit Unions are institutions that are located only in your local area. Many of these businesses were opened and operated through individuals who want to help their local community. Many of these credit unions may overlook your lack of credit history and extend a loan to you based on your character and judging if you’ll repay. If you have good ties with your community or your job banks with a credit union, this will be a great opportunity to get credit cards or loans quickly.

Even with No Credit, You Have Options

Even if you have no credit, you have multiple options available to you for getting money fast. Even though you may have to deal with slightly higher APR rates with some of these versus a standard institution, these may be the only options you have available. Use these wisely and you could build up a good credit score in no time.

 

How to Reduce Your Study Costs

Are you looking for ways to get a qualification and still have enough money to survive? If so, there are many ways you can do this. Below are some of the best ways you can reduce the financial costs associated with studying.

Don’t Settle for the First Course You See

It’s vital to research the course you intend to take. Unfortunately, many students settle for the first course they think they want to do, which can be a huge mistake. Spending time finding out what your options are could result in you finding a course that has more affordable tuition fees, is closer to home and has the potential to save you money in many other ways.

Take an Online Course

The internet has changed the way millions of people learn and develop new skills. It also makes it much easier to work from any location, including your own home. This can drastically reduce the amount of money you have to spend on travel, parking, accommodation and the daily items you need to purchase if you are studying in a traditional college or university. For instance, if you decide to enroll in an online master of science in analytics course, you could complete the course without having to leave your home.

Earn While You Learn

Many students are not earning money while they are taking an MSA program online. This can eat into your savings, so you should consider working in a part-time job or become a freelancer, so that you have more money in your pocket each week.

Choose the Right Location to Study In

If you decide to enroll in a traditional classroom-based course, the location of the college or university will determine how costly your course becomes. For most people, studying close to home has many financial benefits. However, in other situations, it may be a prudent decision to study abroad. Some countries don’t charge tuition fees and the cost of living in many foreign countries is also lower.

Start Budgeting as Soon as Possible

Many people go through college without ever worrying about how much it costs until it’s too late.  It’s never too early to create a budget and keep a close eye on your finances. If you do this from the start, you will be less dependent on other people and you won’t have to rely so much on taking out student loans and other loans.

 

Buy Course Materials and Equipment Second Hand

Many of the learning materials and equipment required for various courses are expensive to buy new. However, large numbers of previous students have probably invested in the same items in the past, so it’s worth your while finding out if you can buy the materials and equipment you need for your course second-hand.

Obtaining a new qualification opens up many more opportunities. However, while you are studying, college life can become a financial burden. Following the advice above will reduce this burden and allow you to study effectively and avoid getting into debt.

4 Ways to Focus on Paying Off Credit Card Debt Now

If you are serious about paying off credit card debt to become debt free, the first step is to get your spending under control.  Create a budget and start tracking spending, including necessary monthly payments such as a car lease and mortgage payment, and then start to dissect every purchase that is made and decide if it was needed or not.  It does take discipline and patience to stick to a budget but when successful you can find ways to pay off any credit card debt now.

Use Cash Instead of Plastic

When you have cash in hand and use it for purchases you actually get to see the money leaving your hand and going to the cashier, and may make you think longer if the purchase is necessary or not.  When you use a card you can swipe and not think twice, especially if it’s a credit card, you do not have to worry about the purchase until the next statement date, and if you always follow that mentality chances are you have charges that are adding up deal with next month; hopefully you have the funds to pay the balance.

Pay the Card with the Highest Interest Rate

The worst thing about credit card debt is paying high amounts of interest and feeling like you can never put a dent into the principle balance.  The highest the interest, the larger the burden, so if you have many accounts, pay the largest towards the highest interest until it is paid off, then move down the line to the next highest interest.

Smallest Balance First

You can feel proud when you see a credit card balance go to zero, so if you have cards with small amounts, it may be best to track your own process by paying off the small accounts first.  At least those will be out of the way and then you can focus on one account, even though it may be large, it will get better. In fact, closing out revolving and utilized credit can actually help your credit score to boot. Check out credit repair services here http://aaacreditguide.com/creditrepair-com/ for other ideas on minimizing your debt and raising your credit score.

Use a Balance Transfer

If you have many accounts or varying interest rates you may be able to take advantage of a low APR balance transfer to another account, where you can put your whole credit card debt and make large payments where everything will go to principle instead of interest.  The promo rates are typically for a year or two at the most, so do your best to pay off by the promo expiration or you will then get hit with a high interest rate on the remaining.

6 Books about Stockbroking You Should Read

Over the past ten years, bloggers have pretty much covered all aspects of stockbroking and stock trading, providing valuable information to seasoned and new traders. However, the value of information these blogs provide do not compare to what hard cover books, written by some of the brightest minds in the industry, have to offer.

Whether you are new to stockbroking or have been trading for years, you must make a point of reading these books to become more successful in the trade and to improve the profitability of every investment decision you make.

Here is a list of the top 6 books about stockbroking you should read at least once.

1. Stock Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders by Jack Schwager

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If you are a serious trader keen to learn from successful trading gurus, then the Stock Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders published in 1989 is a book you cannot afford to miss. As the title hints, this is a compilation of 30 interviews with the world’s most successful traders and covering a wide range of markets. The interviewees include Bruce Koyner, Ed Seykota, Paul Tudor Jones, Van K. Tharp, James B. Rodgers, and Michael Steinhardt. In this book, you will find a mixture of market facts and trading careers of the interviewees as well as their philosophy and the different trading systems that made them who they are.

2. Laughing at Wall Street: How I Beat the Pros at Investing by Chris Camillo

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Before he turned a $20,000 investment into $2 million in just a couple of years, author Chris Camillo was an average Joe struggling to make ends meet. However, he proved that with a simple strategy, dedication, and some capital, anyone can become a great investor even when they have no extensive financial background. This book is a humorous story written for beginners to learn how and where to pay attention and how to leverage trends and public information (he actually calls it information arbitrage) to speculate on stocks and actually win. If you are looking for an inspirational read, pick up this book and you will not be disappointed.

3. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre

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Edwin Lefèvre wrote Reminiscences of a Stock broker based on the life of one of the greatest speculators that ever lived—Jesse Livermore. The book walks the reader through the life of “the fictional” character Lawrence Livingstone who started off as a quotation boy in a stock brokerage office right out of grammar school. He then taught himself how to scalp stocks and within no time had built (and lost) multi-million dollar fortunes. This book presents amazing learning experiences every beginner and professional must know about stockbroking and how it is important to use invaluable information and modern financial systems from established companies such as CMC Markets.

4. Way of The Turtle by Curtis Faith

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Most people who are passionate about stock trading and investing often find books that are both inspiration and informative easier to understand and the concepts easier to apply. With Curtis Faith’s Way of The Turtle, you get a simply written book packing a ton of information about how two friends decided to dive into stockbroking and nurtured 23 newbies to become amazing traders in just two weeks. The story of Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt is an eye-opener for anyone who is still skeptical whether anyone can become a stock investor overnight. Curtis elaborates the steps the two friends took to turn a few hundred dollars into over $30 million in just four years and explain why the Turtle process is still applicable even in modern markets.

5. The Trading Book by Anne-Marie Baiynd

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For a prospective investor looking for the simplest yet professionally written step-by-step guide to execute the most popular stocktrading strategies, The Trading Book is the perfect way to start. Anne-Marie Baiynd is a neuroscience researcher turned momentum trader who has put a lot of effort to explain, in simple terms, how technical indicators can be used to identify trends and future directions of markets. She talks extensively about her experience with stock trading, her many failures, and how she refined her methodologies to overcome her failures. This is a must-read book for both beginners and veterans who believe that trading is mostly about identifying and taking advantage of small opportunities.

6. All About Market Timing by Leslie Masonson

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Leslie Masonson wrote this masterpiece for shell-shocked investors who may have lost faith in traditional but-and-holde stockbroking approach. The book All Bout Timing is essentially a compilation of proven simple timing techniques that investors can use to avoid losses by entering rising markets and exiting falling markets at specific times. This is one of the best guides successful investors have relied upon to make consistent profits in any market environment and avoid catastrophic losses. It is an ideal book for beginners, veterans, and those returning after giving up.

When it comes to trading, whether you deal in forex, options, stocks, or commodities, knowledge is king. These best-selling books are just a few of the most highly rated publications that you should make a point of owning and reading. It is wise to build up a library of such books because when the money starts rolling in and you need to revise your trading strategies or revise your winning strategies, you will have your own collection of the best sources of information.

 

Avoid Racking Up Credit Card Bills this Summer

Summer is the time for travel, entertainment, and the kids are now out of school and freed up to participate in more activities.  All of this adds up to big spending, not to mention gas, airline, and lodging costs are increasing to peak levels.  While summer means fun, there needs to be discipline when it comes to opening up your wallet.  With a few spending methods it could add up to a lower credit card statement by the time the summer comes to an end.

Use Cash Instead of Plastic

Using your credit card seems like play money, can add up the charges and not notice until the statement comes in the mail and sends you into shock.  A great way to curb spending habits is to use cash instead of credit.  With a set amount of cash on hand, if you stick to spending what you have you will not go over, will start to think long and hard about purchases as you hand actual money over during a transaction.  Maybe the thought of handing money over will reduce unnecessary spending and leave a little left over for important purchases.

Plan a Staycation

Instead of plunking down thousands to send your family to Disney this summer during peak travel months, plan a stay-at-home-vacation.  There are plenty of activities to do that are within driving distances, such as a zoo, beach, amusement park, and are able to save on lodging and drive home after.  Entertainment expenses are the first to be cut when money is tight, so instead of putting the annual family vacation on the chopping block, plan shorter trips and stay local.  If you are lucky enough to have family on a lake or a pool, start sucking up now.

Check Garage Sales

Items do not have to be new to be in and around your home.  Garage sales will be on the rise during the summer months as the spring cleaning sessions are over and items are piled up to try and sell to clear space, so spend a Saturday afternoon seeing if there are any hidden gems.  Go through your own basement and attic and see if there are anything you can sell, and take the profits to treat your family to a night out.  If you are not interested in selling, then take a trip the thrift store and shelves will likely be stocked with the spring donations.

If, inevitably, you find yourself in a pinch and start seeing those credit card balances rise, then there are alternative options. Credit cards can be good for rewards points, but paying interest fees can eat away at any benefit from using them. Instead, if you own your car then consider title loans. These can be especially useful if you are unable to even meet your minimum card payment each month. You don’t want to ruin your credit over a few tight months. These title loans allow you to borrow against the balance of your car.

 

Why Is Personal Finance Taught at Such a Late Age?

Not to say parents escape blame for not teaching their children about the beginning stages of personal finances, which include spending wisely and contributing to savings accounts, but why was it not taught it school?  Currently less than half of the states in the US require a personal finance class to be taught in public high schools prior to graduation.  Many of us actually do not learn until we make mistakes on our own, which as long as the issue is caught right will not cause long term damage, but continuing with current behavior and you could be off track, setting you years into debt, with little to no savings.  Here are a few important pieces of being financially responsible that should be taught to everyone at an early age.

Credit Score

Like most young individuals feeling invincible, you may not realize how your credit score will affect you later in life.  When it comes time to make a home purchase, lease or buy a car, purchase insurance, or open a new credit card, your credit score is the highest factor in the decision.  Bills need to be paid on time, no exceptions, otherwise late payments can hurt your score, taking up to seven years to wipe away.  Debt balance compared to debt available also is a huge part of your score, so avoiding racking up credit cards is obviously important.

Start Saving Right Away

You may not think a few dollars at a time makes a difference, but if you avoid saving for years, you will wish you would have started young.  Once you get a “real job” after college, you should contribute to 401(k) right away, as most companies offer matching up to 3-6%, so think of all of that free money you could be leaving on the table.

Investing

Today the Jim Cramer’s of the world teach us that a 30 minute syndicated talk show is enough to educate us on the rigors of investing in the market. Investing for the future is the cornerstone of a happy and secure retirement.

Use a Budget

As you go on your own the bills will start to add up, so having an accurate budget, whether you are living with parents or own your own home, is important.  Figure out the monthly expenses, set aside minimal spending money, plan for emergencies, and make sure there is enough money left over to contribute to savings accounts.  Sure you may think there may not be enough money to go around, but you will need to cut corners somewhere, and unnecessary spending should be the first.

 

Budgeting for a Healthier Life

Investing in your health has numerous benefits – increased levels of happiness, lower stress, a longer life and ultimately a better financial situation are all reasons to take your health at least as seriously as your finances.

We all budget for the normal expenses – rent, utilities, food and savings – but there’s a lot of value to be found in optimising your budget for better health. From getting in better shape to having higher quality healthcare, there are plenty of reasons to set a personal budget for your health.

Food Budget

If you don’t track how much you spend on food every week, you may be surprised by the figures. Most families will have one major supermarket trip a week and will know roughly how much they spend, but it’s the little trips throughout the week that can really add up.

Track your spending over a couple of weeks to see what the average is, then look to see where you can make improvements to save money. While choosing healthy food can be more expensive, effective planning can actually reduce your overall grocery bill.

Planning your meals in advance, preparing a shopping list and ensuring you don’t deviate from it are great ways of sticking to your budget. Bulking up meals with cheap vegetables can save money, as can saving your leftovers and using them for lunches. There are some great tips here on reducing your food bill while keeping things healthy.

Fitness Budget

The cornerstone of the commercial gym industry is people signing up for a membership, turning up for 2 months and then continuing to pay their member fees without actually using the facilities. We’ve all been that person or know a couple of friends or family members doing this right now, and it’s a huge waste of money!

If you use your gym membership regularly by all means stick with it, but there’s usually a few ways to save money. Is there a more affordable gym in your area? Is there one closer to your home or your office which would help reduce travelling expenses? Would it be cheaper to buy a weight set and train at home?

The same applies to any sports or other fitness hobbies – always shop around to see if there’s a better deal on things like equipment or clothing. It’s easier than ever to find a good deal online, so invest the time and you’ll start to see the financial benefits.
Healthcare Budget

Budgeting for your healthcare is a lot like budgeting for anything else in your life. There will be a few regular costs like health insurance, and several one-off costs like a new pair of glasses or physical therapy.

Setting aside the right amount for these one-off expenses can be tricky, as you never know if (or when) you’ll need them and how much it will cost. The best approach is to use a ‘rainy day fund’ type approach and commit to saving a certain amount every month, ensuring you have money available if it’s needed.

When it comes to budgeting for health insurance it all depends on your existing health, your risk factors and the type of policy you want. If you can reduce your risk factors for the conditions most commonly claimed for on insurance policies, the likelihood is that you’ll be offered a more affordable premium. Quitting smoking, cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink, and eating less fatty and processed food are all simple ways to reduce your premium.

Choosing a more comprehensive policy will obviously be more expensive, but you need to weigh up the pros and cons of picking better coverage. If you have a family or are self employed, you may decide that better coverage is worth the additional investment. It’s a very personal decision, and the monthly cost isn’t always the deciding factor.

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