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The Importance of Income Protection

 

In today’s tumultuous economy and unemployment rates it really makes you grateful for having a safe and secure job. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees as to how long that job will last, and how long you will be able to perform the necessary tasks. I work a simple office job, no heavy lifting or physical exertion. Yet, last year I found myself physically unable to work due to a severe illness. Fortunately my employer provided disability benefits so that I was able to receive my income while I recovered from my illness.
Income protection is an issue that can often be overlooked; people can get stuck within the mind-set that these things won’t happen to them. Whilst researching income protection policies I came across a recent advert that is part of a campaign by Australian insurance comparison site Choosi, this summed up for me the way that insurance can be overlooked.

Another issue is that sadly there are many people that work for employers who don’t offer the kind of benefits that I could receive, and that’s when having income protection insurance is especially important. This type of insurance will ensure that people who are left unable to work can still receive a portion of their income for a defined period of time. Say you pay for 6 months of coverage and then find yourself hospitalized for a similar period of time; you may be eligible to receive up to 75% of your regular pay.

While there are some basic age restrictions, and you need to have been employed for a certain period of time prior, this type of insurance provides an immense peace of mind for you and your family. I find this type of insurance necessary if you are the only member of your household that works, and if you have dependants that rely on your steady income. If you have a wife and children then income protection insurance from a site like Choosi will make ease your worries if you’re ever left unable to work and provide for them. The best part is that even the self-employed workers, or part-time workers are covered as well. I know plenty of bloggers who make their living from their online endeavours, and this type of insurance would be perfect for them.

Using Cash to Stop Overspending and Stay on Your Budget

One of the most forgotten ways to stay on budget is also the easiest; using cash for all of your purchases. It seems simple really and even a little outdated but the fact is that many people have lost sight of the actual worth of their money. With credit and debit cards so easy to get and to use the temptation to overspend can be very high, especially when a lot of credit cards give ‘cash back’ rewards for using them.

The fact is, physically handling money and having to give it to someone for your purchase is much different than swiping a credit or debit card. The problem is that with plastic you don’t see exactly what you’ve spent until the end of the month when you get your statement (unless you check every day which you certainly can do but most don’t).

So as your week goes by you spend on groceries, morning coffee, gasoline, lunch with the gang, drinks after work and maybe a night at the movies.  Doesn’t sound like much and, as you’re purchasing, doesn’t look like much either until that statement comes and your eyes pop out of your head.  Most times the amount you spent is much higher than you thought and may even have put you over the edge as far as your spending limit.

When you use cash, however, you see the effect that your purchases have on your money each and every time that you buy something.  If you start the week with $100.00 you can actually see as it goes to $92.00 and then to $81.00 and then lower and lower as the week progresses. Each time you reach for your wallet or purse you’ll be acutely aware of how much you’ve spent and how much you have left to spend.

One way to see how this can help you is to actually force yourself to do it for a week.  Use your budget (you do have a budget, yes) to determine how much you can spend and take that amount and that amount only with you for a week.

By the end of the week you should know where you stand.  If you made it to Sunday with some cash left good for you.  If not now you know what you need to do to curb your spending.

 

Tips on Sticking with Your Budget

There are times when major expenses cannot be avoided. You may want to reward yourself with a new car, go on a vacation or buy a bigger house. Your first impulse might be to take out a loan to pay for this; but, it that the wise thing to do? If you have developed the habit of monitoring how much money you make monthly and how much you spend on your expenses, you will know much you can put aside for future expenses.

At the end of the day, creating a budget and sticking to it is the best way to manage your finances. It may not be easy sticking to it but once you have developed the discipline, you will appreciate the freedom it will give you from borrowing money every time a major expense comes along.

Here are a few tips that can help to stick to your budget:

  1. Prioritize Savings – Determine how much of your take home pay you want to put into your savings account. Once you have chosen that figure, try your best to stick to it. Say it’s 30%. Once you get your pay check, take away the 30% and deposit it in your savings account. What you have left is your budget for your expenses and you must try your best to live within that.

 

  1. Use your credit card wisely – When you go out for shopping, remember that using your credit card does not give you the license to go berserk in buying. Remember that you will be billed for every purchase you make and will be charged with interest should you fail to pay on time. Using the credit card has its advantage. It saves you from carrying actual cash plus you earn rewards as you use them. A wise tip in credit card use is this – do not spend on something you don’t have money for at that moment. Do not treat it as a loan that you can pay for “in the future”. Pay your credit card bill in full and not just the minimum amount due. That way you can avoid surcharges and other interests.

 

  1. Do away with bad habits – Smoking and drinking are not just bad habits, they are expensive ones as well. Cut them out and put your money to better use.

 

  1. Share the responsibility – If you are not the sole breadwinner, share the budgeting responsibility with others – your spouse, roommate or family members who are earning as well. If you see others being careless in their spending, chances are you would be too. If you all have your own responsibilities in keeping the budget, you would be each other’s check and balance.   

Next time you want to buy the latest gadget in the market, look into your personal financial statement and see if that expense can fit into your budget. Chances are it will if you know where to look.

Broke? Learn Personal Finance Advice That Will Help You Get Ahead!

Sadly, many people all over the world have let their personal financial situation get out of control. This is typically because they have not been properly educated on the right ways to spend and save. You do not have to worry; this article offers you sound advice to help you prevent disaster with your personal finances.

If you can, put money into an IRA. This will enhance your personal finances in the future! Interested parties could open an IRA account through brokerage firms, credit unions, banks or even through mutual fund companies. Contribute to this fund monthly and watch your retirement fund grow substantially.

If you’re in the market for a mortgage, try to increase your credit score until it meets or exceeds 740. The better your credit score, the better interest rate you will receive. If your credit score needs some help, take the time and effort to fix it. Unless you have no other choice, wait to apply for a mortgage until you have improved your credit score.

Be positive that you can truly trust the person that you are entrusting your life savings with. Make sure they have excellent references, and make sure they are open and honest with you. It is also important to be realistic about your level of experience.

Include foreign exchange trades in your investment portfolio. Instead of doing painstaking research on foreign stocks, check out no-load mutual funds, which bundle a bunch of stocks together so that you only have to research their performance as a unit.

Avoiding debt to begin with is the best advice for good personal finances. It’s usually necessary to take out a loan for big-ticket, essential items, such as a car or a house. But in day-to-day life, one should not rely on credit to get by.

Don’t try to save money by putting off needed maintenance. If you see a minor problem now and don’t fix it, it will become a major problem later. You will save yourself more in the long run when you take good care of what you have.

To make saving money as easy as possible, consider having money automatically transferred from your checking account into a savings account. It may seem painful at first, but in time, you won’t notice as much and you will love seeing your savings grow!

Try negotiating with debt collectors who ask for money. You debt was probably purchased by them for a low price. If you pay only a small percentage of what you owe, they are still making a profit. Use that information to rid yourself of debt for very little money.

Check your credit history if you find it difficult to obtain credit for a new home or other large financial transaction. There may be incorrect details reported that have reduced your score. If you find errors, send letters to the credit bureaus to have them removed.

Make arrangements with your bank for an automatic payment that will clear the balance of your credit card bill each month. Making this arrangement avoids you forgetting to ever do so.

Instead of only using card that is about to be maxed out you can use two or so credit cards. Two payments will have lower interest than one high payment. This also won’t harm your credit score much, and it could help you improve it if those cards are used wisely. 

As was clearly stated in this article, there are many people who have difficulty controlling their finances. But, you’ll never be a part of this group of people because you have information through the article written above. Be sure to use this advice to not only gain control of your finances, but to live stress free

Personal Finance Advice That Takes Only Minutes To Read, But Will Help For Years To Come

Do you desire to make life-long financial changes for the better? This is something you can do, but you must invest some research time. There is thankfully a ton of advice to been had here in this article.

Paying off any credit cards that have high interest rates should be your priority as you seek to pay down your debt. While you may personally prefer to pay all your debts at the same rate, zeroing in on those with high interest rates benefits you in the end. This is very important, since credit rates are expected to rise soon.

From every check, take out savings first. Saving the money that is “leftover” will leave you with zero savings. Knowing this money is put aside for savings, it helps you to create a budget and avoids the temptation to spend it.

Young people wanting to build up their savings can go far by understanding and taking advantage of the magic of interest compounding. Get yourself a good savings account and set aside a portion of your earnings.

Being aware of the value of one’s possessions can help prevent financial loss. When you sell a vintage item, you may gain some personal wealth.

Plan for your taxes so you can get on a better track with personal finance. Think about the investments of pre-tax income you can make through your employer. Keep some money away for medical expenses. Sign up for any employer-matching 401K programs offered at work. Wisely using your earned money makes good financial sense.

Give yourself a monetary allowance so that you do not completely deprive yourself while building up your savings account. Use the budget to purchase things that you want. When you hit your budget limit for the month, you should understand that you are done with entertainment purchases until the next month’s budget begins. Your budget will remain in tact, and you’ll still be fairly happy.

You may not know it, but when you pay full price, you are paying too much. Don’t feel like you need to be loyal to specific brands, and concentrate on buying only when you have a coupon handy. As an example, if you usually purchase Tide laundry detergent, but presently have a money-saving coupon for Gain, purchase the Gain and save some money.

If you are barely surviving, it might be a good idea to get overdraft protection. Although you may have to pay a little extra each month, the fee for overdrafting could be as much as $20.

One way to save money is to cut off your cell phone. While this is not the most popular way to save money, cell phones are not a necessity. Actually, your smartphone and PDAs are a matter of convenience more than anything. Look at your plan and see if it is possible for you to cut some of the costs, at least.

In order to get the most out of the property that you own, take steps to control the cash flow in to and out of it. Keep track of your income and how much you spend so that you can see how your property is doing after every billing cycle. Be sure you have a firm property budget established to refer to as a guideline.

Set up a bank account that automatically takes a few dollars each month and saves it if you want to save quite a bit of money. This is an excellent strategy which helps you to manage your money much better each month. It is also helpful if you are saving for a big event in the future, such as a wedding or a special vacation. 

You should now have a clearer understanding about personal finance. With all the information provided by this article, you now have the necessary knowledge to manage your promising financial future. All that remains up to you is to be determined and strong willed to build a strong financial future for yourself

5 Steps to Creating a More Efficient Budget

Many people cringe when they hear that they need to make a ‘budget’. The fact is, a budget simply gives you control and, in time, may surprise you by how much you will be able to save.  It’s also imperative if you want to stay debt free, (or close to it) pay off your existing debts and grow a nice savings account. Read below to see 5 Tips for Budgeting that will help you become a budget master.

Tip 1) Write down your specific, exact earning as thoroughly as you can, even so far as side money, hobby income and overtime.  This needs to be as accurate a reflection of your true income as possible.

Tip 2) Using the same pad and pen, write a complete list of all your monthly fixed expenses. Rent, your mortgage, utilities, credit card payments, car loan, cell phone, etc.  Once you have that done divide every payment into 4 parts to know what you need to take out of each check to pay for the entire month’s bills.

Tip 3) Use a notebook and keep an exacting record or every single expense for 1 month that isn’t a monthly bill.  Even something as trivial as a cup of coffee or a candy bar.  At month’s end sit down with your list and take a look where you could save money, like buying coffee from the local convenience store instead of Starbucks or bringing lunch a few times a week instead of going out.

Tip 4) Once all of those numbers are crunched subtract your expenses from your income.  If the number you end up with is a negative number you need to go back with a sharp knife and trim more until the numbers work.  The last thing you want to do is relay on credit cards to keep you afloat, they’re only for emergencies.

Tip 5) Experts say that you should put 10% of your paycheck aside every week for savings.  If you crunched the numbers and you can’t do that you need to keep shaving off stuff until you can.

If you can handle all of these tasks and make them happen you will not only have a balanced budget but will be well on your way to building a nice nest egg for yourself.

Rental Insurance for Your Investment Property

Are you looking for an adequate investment vehicle in order to support your long-term financial goals, or perhaps retirement?  With the economy, and specifically the housing market at low, coupled with historically low interest rates, this could be the best time ever to buy a home!  Not only that, this may be the best time ever to buy an investment property as well.  The upfront monies required to buy a turn-key property are significantly lower than in years past, and while banks are acquiring the necessary capital to invest, credit is becoming increasingly more available to everyone.  I’ve actually been giving consideration to renting out my current home and purchasing a new one next year as well, so this is a hot button topic for me personally.  However, while this can be a great investment there are concerns that come along with it.  I have to worry about keeping a constant renter within the home so I can continuously receive rental income while paying two mortgages, as well as the worry of keeping the home in good shape while someone else lives there.

If you are considering buying a new rental property, already rent one out, or renting your current resident than heed this advice.  Make sure you look into rental insurance, or if in the U.K. you should look into landlord building insurance, to give yourself peace of mind.  This type of insurance will give you income protection in times when you are unable to find a renter.  They will also protect your home and the contents within the property in case they become damaged.

Personal Finance for Young Professionals

Investing to improve your personal finance can be a particularly tricky situation and there are different roads to achieve this common goal. It is entirely dependent on you to decide how you want to save your money, but we will surely lead you to get the best routes!

Investment market is the best way to save some money as well as discover some returns. Many young professionals think of the present only and fritter away money in chase of happiness now. However, what they forget that the infinite future lays ahead when they would also need to meet other commitments in life. Therefore, it is always wise to plan for your future now and here.

Story of Dave Ramsay

You must plan for your financial stability unusually early in life. In fact, you must think about it as soon as you are out of the hallowed portal of college! You can darned well see the example of Dave Ramsay who became the youngest brokers to enter the Graduate Realtors institute in Tennessee.

Nevertheless, with the Tax reform Act initiated in 1986, Dave’s financial support began to falter. Dealing in notes led him to bankruptcy. He was not left with any finance in hand, but he was not running low in spirits. He analysed his awkward plight and put his book out called Financial Peace to assist young Americans towards financial security. Dave Ramsay has been instrumental in preaching the tit-bits of financial investing via television and radio.

In a dilemma- mutual fund or 401k plan

Most young professionals are in a dilemma as to where and how to achieve financial security. Most people will encourage them for stock and mutual funds, but before that, he must line up his salary and budget. He must organize the budget such that it is not particularly tough but is still not extremely flexible. Employers will also provide you with 401k plan, which cpuld be a compelling choice because your employer will give you the idea that will fit your availability of funds, but yet again, you must know where your money is being invested. Do not use 401K plan in the emergencies, as it would cost you penalty taxes.

Mutual funds are exceptionally strong options for people who want to invest further on. For example, a young professional can invest in small rise with calculated risks or high growth with many risks. There is the multi-sector, short-term corporate and so on investment category.

Use the credit card judiciously

Many young professionals overused the credit cards and quickly caught up themselves in the dire financial situations. Use credit card with a responsible approach and do not be trapped in the marketing gimmicks of shopkeepers.

Attain information about investing

Try to understand the distinctive schemes yourself and keep your eyes and ears open to different financial schemes to save the hefty fees of the financial adviser or broker.

Some Myths on Personal Finance

The best way to increase your financial stability is by doing a thorough evaluation of your savings and spending. This way you will be able to find out how you may save on your existing earning so that you may have better funding in your account. Here, are some of the common myths that you get to learn along with the rational basis or even lack of it in them.

Myth 1# Investing in stocks and mutual funds is truly necessary

Most people will inform you to invest in stocks and mutual funds. However, if you have to invest do so after appropriate assessment of your financial position. Every other person may feel a different way to invest, and there is no reason why one must only invest in mutual funds or stocks. One can make steady interests from saving accounts also by maintaining a stable balance.

Myth 2# Investing in property is better than taking on lees

Another popular myth that is passed on from one to another is that it is better buying a property instead of renting one. Often there are many cases where it is more advantageous to buy a house, but in case you are not particularly keen on your credit do not try to buy a house. The equated monthly instalments will be substantially higher than what you may actually spend on renting the same property. Again, you may obtain interests if you had invested the same amount in your account in some other place.

Myth 3# Closing credit card accounts will save money

Closing credit card accounts is yet another factor that you may do, but think about stuff like paying off the dues in regular intervals instead of in one shot. You can choose not to use your credit card instead of closing your credit card account. Moreover, you can use the card in emergency and this way you will learn to use the credit card judiciously.  

Myth 4# You cannot get a loan if you have poor credit or debit details

This is an absolute myth, and there is actually no rational reasoning in it. There are loans that are specifically made for people with poor scores. Many people take personal loans to reduce the burden of finance. This helps the person to remove personal debts and pay against only one loan.

Myth 5: I am too young or too old for retire plans

Most people ignore their retirement plans because they think they are too young, but youth is the best time to take a retirement policy.

This is the time to take action now, and if needed you can take the help of your financial adviser.

Why Prices Go Up – Inflation Explained


As prices rise slightly year after year, most of us take little notice – it’s not until you look back and remember how much you paid for your milk, your newspaper or even your home, compared to the prices now, that you realize just how much prices have crept up.

This creeping is called inflation and is actually far more orchestrated and deliberate than you may realize since it’s something you don’t notice until long after it has happened. Inflation occurs in every country in the world and understanding how and why it happens can help you find ways to minimize its effects on your life.
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