How much could you need for retirement?

Thanks to the success of auto-enrolment schemes, growing media coverage and raised pension awareness, UK citizens now know better than to push their pension to the back of their minds.

A new quiz created by True Potential Investor is helping Brits better understand how much they could need to support themselves financially in retirement. It asks a series of questions to establish an estimate of what you could need based on the lifestyle you want to live. You can take the Saving For Retirement: How Much Will You Need? quiz on True Potential Investor’s website today.

pension

In addition to the quiz, True Potential Investor creates a quarterly Tackling The Savings Gap Consumer Savings and Debt Data report, which has produced some interesting findings over the years. The Q2 2017 report found that last year, 598,000 employers were enrolled into a workplace pension scheme. Collectively, they contributed £87.1 billion during the period. With the popularity of personal pensions continuing, it’s clear to see that Britain is certainly more aware of its pension responsibilities.

Other financial commitments could be impacting our pension contributions, the Q3 2017 report has found. During the quarter, 45% of survey respondents failed to make a pension contribution; this was most common in 45-to-54 year-olds (47%). 18-to-24 year-olds had the second largest proportion of people who failed to contribute (44%).

The above figures should be considered in relation to the report’s other findings. It found that a third of its respondents worry about money on a daily basis, while 37% admitted to lying about their debt. Perhaps then it’s not because of a lack of awareness; it may be because their financial situation simply won’t allow them to make a contribution.

Those who did contribute to a pension during Q3 2017 added an average of £203, the report found. In contrast, the average amount of debt taken on by UK consumers each month stood at £370 — significantly higher than the amount put into their personal pension accounts.

Each month in Q3 2017, Brits were guilty of spending £143 on purchases of food, clothing, alcohol, and other items that they would later regret. If this money was invested in a pension instead for the full span from age 30 to 65, it could translate into almost £320,000, according to the Q3 2017 report. Based on the fact that Brits believe they will need £23,000 annually to live comfortably in retirement, this amount would be enough to fund 13 years of retirement.

This total regretted spend works out at a daily expense of £4.70. As the above example shows, investing this amount instead could lead to a good start towards your pension pot in retirement. As such, we shouldn't underestimate the impact that small yet regular contributions can have. This underlines the importance of better financial management to allow us the capacity to add such funds to our pension pots.

How Can I Get My Small Businesses Name Out There?

In the past decade or so, there has been an explosion in the number of businesses being established. Thanks to the accessibility of the internet and advancements in technology, more of us than ever have been able to quit our day jobs and set up a company of our own which is great. However it does mean that there's serious competition in any niche you set up in, and so staying ahead and getting your name out there to the right customers is crucial. Your marketing is something that has to be up to scratch, the right people need to be hearing about your business in order for them to make purchases from you- so you can make a profit. Here are a few different methods to consider. 

marketing

Utilise Online Marketing

Having a strong online presence is essential for just about every business, in this digital age we live in. Even if you don't sell online, you still need to be visible as people will be searching for local businesses like yours. Social media marketing is arguably one of the most widely used and an effective method that modern businesses have at their disposal. Social media sites are free to set up and you can reach a huge number of potential customers. Affiliate marketing is another option, while this is one of the oldest methods of online marketing it's not something to overlook. Google Adwords is one example, if you sign up to this program your ad will be shown on lots of relevant sites, to the people who are most likely to be interested in your products. Writing a business blog is another way to market yourself online, it’s a free form of promotion and helps to build up your brand. In time, chances are you will amass a loyal following, which is great news for your business. A blog also shows you’re legitimate, reliable and proves to your customers and clients that you know your stuff in the field that your business is in. 

Invest in an App

This might not be seen as a conventional marketing method, but actually having an app created for your business is one of the best ways to get yourself out there. Since more sales are now made on mobiles and tablets than they are on laptops and computers, people are utilizing apps and making purchases on them. When a customer has your app on their phone, they’re subconsciously seeing your brand whenever they see it- even when they’re not using it. It makes it convenient for them, and an app also shows you’re a genuine company. This is something that many smaller and medium-sized business are yet to get on board with so it’s a chance for you to get ahead. In the near future, an app will be as essential to a business as a website is today. 

Don’t Overlook Older Methods

Online marketing is extremely valuable to the average business. However for some kinds of companies, 'older' methods such as billboards, flyers and posters are not only as good but preferable in some cases. Imagine you are a local bakery for example, you don't need to get your name out there worldwide since your customers will predominantly be from your immediate local area. You do still need to be visible online, so a website, social media pages and perhaps even a business blog are still worthwhile. But spending lots of money promoting your business all across the internet isn't needed, and so you can save money here. Flyering can be a useful method for local businesses, but don't just print and send thousands of flyers with no real aim. Going back to the bakery example, if a large part of your business is baking children's birthday cakes then how about leaving them around local schools and soft play areas, anywhere that parents are likely to see them. 

Consider Face to Face Marketing Methods

In- person marketing methods can sometimes be overlooked, but being able to communicate with your customers and clients face to face can be extremely valuable. Not only can you explain everything and answer questions there and then, but you could demonstrate your products or services too. Setting up a stall at a business expo is one of the best ways to go about this, a marquee printed with your logo is an eye-catching way to draw in foot traffic. Instead of boring presentations, make it fun and interesting. Play games and run competitions relating to your business, get people involved. Business expos tend to be large and people will choose the stalls they look at on face value. So you will want to make it interesting and fun for them. Other kinds of face to face marketing techniques could involve having your salespeople to deliver a pitch or presentation to customers or other businesses. This is much more interactive than other methods, and people have the ability to ask questions and see your business in action for themselves. Your salespeople have the opportunity to persuade those who would otherwise be left on the fence. For many kinds of businesses, it can be a highly effective way to both promote and sell products. 

Marketing can be incredibly tricky, as it's so fast-moving. Once, only paper methods would have been available, but for businesses that sell globally, this is now obsolete. With the advancement of social media, businesses have needed to update their marketing strategy to keep up. With search engines coming out with new rules all the time about how you can and can't pay for and advertise online, you need to be in the loop. Hire a marketing professional, or outsource to a third party company. Even if you're only a small business, it's a worthy investment. If you don't know what you're doing then don't attempt it, it could be the difference between success and failure in your business. 

What methods have you tried when it comes to getting your company’s name out there? 

Creating Passive Income to Bolster Your Financial Fortunes

When you’re only focused on active income from a job, you’re missing the opportunities online. While your job pays your bills and may even allow you to save a little money too, any profits from online activities drop directly to your bottom line. Getting ahead by saving more towards your retirement or building multiple passive income streams creates a robust financial position over time. 
Here are a few benefits of creating passive income, not only active income. 

Only One Job or Multiple Passive Income Streams

People who have a job don’t think about it much because they believe there’s no choice, but having a single job can be somewhat risky. If you get laid off or worse yet, fired, all your income disappears overnight. If you ever end up losing your job, whether out of your own accord or not, you’ll find yourself visiting the job center. 

Financial freedom

When you build up multiple passive income streams, you have a greater degree of protection. Whether you’re making money through writing Kindle e-books, commissions on items sold through websites and sent out by Walmart in the US, or video training courses through Udemy.com, the more income streams you have, the safer you’ll be. 

Use Your Contact Network Better

Many companies are now doing business online. You’re bound to have some old contacts that you can look up and get back in touch with to see whether there is a service you can offer them as a side hustle. Their old email information could be out of date, so click here to check if their old email is still valid or not. 

Incrementally Greater Independence

While you may not have financial independence yet, when you own websites or provide services that throw off a comfortable stream of income, you have more independence from a job. Online income can be developed over months and years which will make it easier to make the leap to self-employment when you’re ready and the income is high enough to sustain you.

No Salary Cap = Higher Total Earnings

Our job has a salary range. When asking for a pay rise, you’ll be told where you are within the salary range and whether it’s felt that you qualify for an increase. In almost all cases, you’ll never be allowed to reach the top of the salary range because it doesn't provide an incentive to employees to keep plugging away. Unless you get a sudden promotion or become better qualified for a high position, earning more becomes close to impossible.

With passive income sources, no one is telling you that you are not permitted to earn more than the salary range. No one cares about that. They’re buying a product and you’re receiving the commission on the sale. You’re selling them a service that they need and receiving monetary value for your assistance. Your total earnings will always be higher than they would otherwise have been because there’s no longer any salary cap! 

By adding passive income streams, you get closer to financial independence because most of the additional earnings go into your pocket and not out on personal expenses. This is because your main salary pays your personal expenses. Savings tend to add up fast when you have multiple income streams and aren't relying on a single active income to survive.

How To Prevent Credit Card Fraud

Since the advent of credit cards, financial fraud has been on the rise and it could happen to anyone, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. A report by Nilson, projects credit card fraud to total $31.6 billion USD by 2020. 

Credit card fraud is more common than you think but there are many simple precautions you can take to make sure you can reduce the risk of being defrauded. 

Credit Card Fraud

Top 10 precautions to Reduce the Risk of Credit Card Fraud

Don’t discard personal documents in the trash!

If you are organizing your papers and finances and you decide to get rid of documentation that you longer need, make sure you destroy them instead of throwing them in the trash bin. When you need to discard documents that are full of personal information you should either shred them or wet them before you toss them into the bin. If you don’t destroy this documentation, anyone can get their hands on them and you’ll be at risk of credit card fraud. Protect your information both online and offline!

Your mail should be well protected

Another great way to protect your information is keeping your mail away from prying eyes! Buy a lock for your letter box or go for a P.O. Box. That way you can be sure that your mail will only go from the mailman’s hands into yours. It’s also very smart to take precautions about your mail every time you make plans to be away from home. To do this, you can put your mail on hold or ask a friend if they can collect it for you on a regular basis. 

Your mail and financial statements should be for your eyes alone

If you’re one of those people who always leave their credit card statements for later and you never actually get to read them, that’s a habit you should change. What’s more, if you have someone else who reads it for you, you should consider doing it yourself. Build the habit of reading your financial statements and your mail yourself. When it comes to financial statements you should take your time and read them very carefully in case there’s any suspicious activity. Do this with all of your bank accounts and make sure you’re aware of all of your financial information.

Don’t neglect your credit history

In order to stay on top of your credit card information you should regularly check your credit history. You can use GetCreditScore or Veda to get a free copy of your credit history online. That way you can check it carefully and you’ll be alerted if any attempts are made to apply for credit in your name. 

Be careful when it comes to online shopping

Online shopping is a huge part of our lives and we love it! Because it is such a regular and common activity you should be extremely cautious when it comes to choosing your providers. When you shop online, you’re sharing your credit card details so you have to be very careful with the stores you choose. We also recommend you to use PayPal because it provides a secure payment system and it protects your information. 

Be cautious when you use the ATM

This is something we learn from our parents long before we get our first card, and it’s one of the simplest precautions, but it never hurts to be reminded. When you’re at the ATM, be aware of people around you and make a habit of covering the keypad when you enter your PIN.

Don’t lose sight of your cards

In case you didn’t know, it is possible for people to get a hold of your information with the use of contactless NFC technology such as PayWave, Tap & Go, and PayPass if they have contact with your card. When you’re out on the street make sure that you never lose sight of your cards. If you ever happen to lose them, go report it as stolen as soon as you can and take all of the necessary precautions. 

Protect yourself

Online hacking is super common, so it’s essential that you make sure your devices are well protected. Make sure that you have security software in place in order to protect your devices from the risk of viruses, hacking, and more. Remember to keep your security software updated and avoid scam e-mails like the plague! Don’t trust any links that you can’t identify and keep away from untrustworthy sites and downloads.

Never provide your credit card details over the phone

Whenever you need to make a payment or if you want to donate to charity, it’s best to do it online and use a secure payment method. One of the common methods for credit card scammers to get your information is over the phone by means of deception, and this precaution makes it more difficult to get a hold of it. 

Don’t hesitate to report!

If you fear that you have been or are being scammed, make sure to report it as soon as you can. Let your financial institution know what’s going on and report it to the police as well. Take all of the necessary measures to make sure you get all the help you need to deal with this problem as quickly as you can. The longer you wait, the more money you will lose!

If you incorporate these precautions into your daily life, you’ll be cutting the risk of credit card fraud by half. Always make sure that you practice good safety habits when it comes to all of your personal information, but specially when you’re dealing with your financial information. 

Nowadays there are many different ways a stranger can get a hold of enough information to impersonate you and cause quite a bit your damage to your finances. That’s why you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your information as safe as can be.

How To Deal With Troubling Tenants

If you're just getting into the property business and are testing out how it feels to be a Landlord, or maybe you've done it for a while but things aren't moving as smoothly as they once did - it's important that you gain as much knowledge about the industry as possible so you aren't constantly worrying about making a mistake. One of the biggest grey areas that tend to cause Landlords a little bit of an issue, are the tenants. While paperwork may be a bore, once you get your head around it it's easy enough to tackle. Tenants, on the other hand, can be slightly more difficult because they're people - if they aren't happy, they will definitely tell you about it.

renting

Here are the most common issues, and how to deal with them.

Broken appliances

If you have mentioned in your lease contract that the property comes with appliances, then you are legally in charge of making sure they work how they should, and if they do break, you need to repair them immediately unless you state differently. For example, you can include a washing machine, but state that it is down to the tenant to look after if any problems arise. Buying a new appliance is never cheap, but one thing that will make it easier is getting everything sorted out before a renter comes in. Bear in mind that if you don't do what is required of you, the tenant has more than every right to pursue a claim against you.

Rent refusal

You may find that some of your tenants aren't paying their monthly rent, and this can be down to many different reasons. They might refuse to pay purely because they're being difficult and don't feel like paying, or it may be because they simply can't afford it right now. This is why communication is absolutely key so that you know where your tenants are at, as it really may not be their fault at all. Understanding and trying to negotiate is always better than causing an argument as this will only make everything worse. One thing that you can do is to break down the payment process so that they can have partial payments that make things easier for them without the pressure of a large sum of money every month.

Selling

There may come a time where you want to sell the property. That could be due to the people that are currently living there, or you just not wanting to own the specific property anymore. Whatever the reason, you have every right to sell and hand the place over to a new owner. If someone is still living there, as long as the buyer knows all the terms of the tenancy contract, there is no reason you can't make a deal whenever you want. Sometimes though, you may find that the tenant is being difficult or abusive, making things awfully hard to move the process along. If you're struggling to sell a home due to tenants that are causing you grief, then the flying homes website will give you all of the advice that you need if you're not sure what your next move should be.

Reducing Your Vehicle Running Costs

When you’ve put time, effort, and a whole lot of money into passing your driving test, you’re understandably going to want to take to the roads straight away. After all, you didn’t invest in the skill for nothing! But it will soon come to light that driving is a pretty expensive venture. With the combined cost of a vehicle, insurance, tax, and fuel, you can often feel like getting behind the wheel might be a little out of your means. But not to worry. There are various ways to cut the costs associated with the task at hand. Here are a couple for you to try out!

Reducing Your Vehicle Running Costs

Cutting Insurance Costs

Perhaps one of the biggest outlays for any driver (but for new or young drivers in particular) is insurance. However, insurance is an absolute must because without it you cannot legally take to the roads! So, how can you go about making your outlay in this area as minimal as possible? Well, firstly, you need to find the right policy for your needs. The best way to find the cheapest cover is to use a site such as cheapautoinsurance.co.uk. This is essentially a comparison site where you can input your personal details and find the lowest cost policy on the market. However, this isn’t the end of your journey. You can play about with different options to further reduce the cost of your policy too! First, consider black box insurance. This will mean that your insurance company fits your vehicle with a black box which monitors your driving behaviour, such as speed, times travelled, and whether you drive erratically or not. If you’re well behaved, your policy cost will go down! Another option to consider is putting another, more experienced, named driver on your policy too. While you may want your car to be solely for your own use, allowing another individual to be on your insurance policy and use the vehicle every once in a while can dramatically reduce your quote, as long as they are an experienced driver. Finally, you should consider finding a safe location to store your vehicle overnight. If you leave your car parked on the street, it’s open to damage by other individuals. This could range from criminals needlessly vandalising your vehicle to other road users bumping into it when driving past or attempting to park near to it. Leaving your car on the road will, understandably, boost your cover cost. So, if you have a driveway or garage, the cost of your policy can reduce significantly. If you don’t have access to a drive or garage, you might want to consider investing in a secure parking spot nearby!

Cutting Fuel Costs

Many of us tend to fill up our tanks at the nearest petrol station for sheer convenience. We will use the one nearest to our house, place of work, or places that we socialise in. But prices can fluctuate greatly between one area and another. So, search around for the best price. It may be offered a little out of the way, but making the journey will generally work out more than worth the savings!

These are just a couple of ways to cut costs. There are plenty more out there. Just remember to always take your time and shop around for the best deal available to you!

Putting Property At the Top Of Your Financial Priorities

It’s no secret that property and real estate can be a wise investment, and many are putting their money into residential buildings to build up extra income. Those who are savvy and make all the right moves when it comes to buying, renovating, and selling property, are able to quit their day jobs and go into real estate full time. However, it takes guts, smart decisions, and the help of those in the know to get to that stage.

Property

If you’re considering your first property investment, outside of your family home; you’ll need to be prepared to do your research, and ensure that you are familiar with what’s happening in the market today. Perhaps, you've already started out n your real estate journey and need a push to get you to the next level and build up your portfolio of work. Whether you want to buy to sell, or you’re ready to be a landlord; you’ll need to make wise choices and ensure that you’re always following your head and not your heart.

Remember that these investments are nothing to do with your style and taste, but they are a way to raise extra income and can turn into the nest egg you’ll need in the future. Therefore, you need to understand when to employ the help of experts, where to outsource certain jobs, and how to save as much time and money as possible without cutting corners. The following are some things to consider if you’re ready to make your next move in real estate, for the best return on your cash as possible.

Know Your Building

If you’re restoring or renovating period properties into houses or apartments; it’s crucial that you’re sympathetic to the design and era of the building. Buyers are often looking for original period features and will appreciate a high-spec finish in each room. Therefore, it’s worth seeking the help and services from companies like Rupert Cordle who specialise in the restoration and building of such properties, and have a proven track record of excellence. If you’re willing to invest in sought after areas and want to attract the right buyers; there’ are no cutting corners on the minor details, so seek the help you need. The same goes for a more modern, or new build; you need to research into what your audience and potential buyers are seeking from their new home. It might be open plan living for a young couple, or multiple bathrooms for families; whatever it is your target market is buying into, make it a priority in your property.

Never Forget Location

You might have renovated a house to an excellent standard, and it would be ideal for family life. However, if there are no schools nearby, or amenities or transport; you’re not going to attract any buyers or renters. Therefore, keep the location of your chosen property at the forefront of your decisions, and reconsider your budget, the size of the building, or the amount of work that needs doing to it, to invest wisely. Success in real estate all depends on your smart and timely decisions, so keep thinking about who you’re aiming for and what the market wants.

Key Accounting Mistakes to Avoid When Looking to Start Your Very First Business

The risks associated with starting a business are monumental, but if things go your way, you can end up becoming another success story and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs. One of the main reasons most businesses fail is that they are unable to manage their finances effectively, leading to poor ROI. In order to ensure success, you need to make well-grounded financial decisions and take calculated risks when investing in different aspects of your business. Take a look at a few accounting mistakes you should avoid while starting your first business.

starting a business

1.Mixing Up Your Personal and Business Accounts

It’s common for people to advise that you should keep your personal and professional life separate while working for an organization. The same applies to your personal and business accounts while running your startup. If you keep them separate, you’ll be able to evaluate how much your business is actually making. You have to keep track of your financial records to find out how much you have exactly invested, and the ROI your business is generating. If you don’t, you’ll soon realize your personal funds have mixed up and disappeared without any recorded transaction. If you are too busy to keep track of your finances, hire a professional bookkeeper or accountant to help manage the accounting side of your business.

2.Falling in a Debt Trap

If you don’t have enough money to start a business, you can turn to a local bank for a business loan. Even though it will help you bridge the financial gap, you’ll have a large debt on your plate to deal with and that can potentially create a lot of problems for your business. If you fail to pay back the loan, it will affect your reputation in the market, and clients and partners may not want to work with you. In the worst scenario, it may lead you to file bankruptcy. It’s better to be patient and gather enough savings before starting a business, so that you don’t have to take loans putting extra pressure on your shoulders.  

3.Not Saving Up for Emergencies

It’s always advised to keep backup cash for emergencies. A business journey is full of surprises – you never know what’s coming for you. With a constantly fluctuating economy, you can’t expect to make enough sales all year round to generate sufficient revenue to cover your expenses. It is likely that you may need extra money to pay the bills and keep your business afloat. It is advisable to take a portion of your profits and transfer it into retained earnings. That way, you will always have extra cash to settle your expenses during hard times without having to borrow money from others.  

4.Setting Nearly Impossible Goals

Most people set unrealistic goals like becoming a multi-millionaire within a few months. Setting objectives is a good tactic to stay focused and measure success, but they shouldn’t be nearly impossible to accomplish. Start your business by setting SMART goals, like 15% rise in profit in the second year, 500 customers within six months, or purchase a new truck for your business within a year. Set milestones that can be achieved. 

5.Not Chasing Payments

Never stop chasing your payments, or you’ll run out of cash to fuel your business operations. Many businesses have crashed due to lack of cash in hand, even though they showed reasonable profits on the books. Cash flow is one of the key factors to survive in the market. Don’t go easy on your debtors –contact them from time to time and prompt them about the deadline to pay off the credit balance.

6.Making Large Purchases

While starting a new business, you may be tempted to invest in the latest technology and design your office in the best possible manner. However, did you calculate the opportunity cost of purchasing all the new equipment? You could save a lot of money if opt for used equipment instead. Remember, a successful entrepreneur utilizes their funds and available resources to squeeze out the maximum benefits, instead of wasting on unnecessary things.

Starting your own business is filled with high risks, and no one can guarantee you success. However, the above-mentioned tips can help you avoid some of the more common mistakes that could cost you a fortune if not taken into consideration. 

About the writer: Steven McMeechan is a strategic marketing and communications specialist with over twenty years’ experience in senior marketing management roles across a range of industries including Information Technology and Financial Services. He works for Capstone Financial Planning and lives in Melbourne Australia.

Financial Clean Ups For Your Company

One thing can lead to another, and before you know it your company is in need of a big financial clean up. Financial problems are the main downfall of any business that falls. Take Carillion as an example. Millions of pounds worth of debt being left pretty much unhandled, this eventually led to the downfall of a multi-million pound company going into administration, thousands of jobs lost, and a good company that will most likely never surface again. So, if such a big company like this can fall to the ground, how easy is it going to be for a smaller company like yours to do the exact same? The answer is very easy if you’re not keeping your finances in order. So, we’ve got some financial clean up ideas that your business might be begging for you to do. Have a read on to find out more.

small business

Shareholders

You’ll most likely have one or two shareholders in the beginning. Someone who has invested money into your company, with the hope of having a decent enough share from it to make their money back. As your company grows and grows, you’ll have more shareholders purchasing shares of your company. It’ll likely be other business owners, or the general public that might just be interested in using their money wisely on some shareholder investments. But, the one thing some companies forget to do is re sell the shares in their company once one shareholder moves on. They’re likely to move on if they want to invest their money elsewhere, or they may have passed away etc. Removing a shareholder from your company isn’t hard to do, but it’s something that is essential if you want to keep the running of your company nice and smooth. Shareholders are a type of investment into your business. They’re a little bit of extra cash that you can have to keep your ship afloat. Having that one small gap when one shareholder moves on can be all you need for your business to start wobbling a little. Advertise and find a new shareholder pretty much as soon as the other one leaves.

Investments

Once you’ve got to the point where you’re bringing in enough money to pay your employees, sell your products or services, and have enough to give yourself a generous monthly salary, you should start thinking about investment ideas. All businesses invest when they get to the point where they feel they can, and for good reason. Investments is one of the easiest ways to bring in an extra income for your business. This extra income is often enough to keep your business stable, or the return could be high enough for you to invest back into your own business to improve it for the better. There’s so many different investment ideas that you can choose from, one of the main that businesses seem to chose is other businesses or industries. For example, the oil and gas industry is one that a lot of businesses have invested a lot of money into. However, investing in a small business might be a better option as you can suggest the return you’d like to have from the investment. With bigger companies in industries such as oil and gas, the price is usually controlled by them.

Taxes

Taxes are something that a lot of businesses fail to manage. If you do it wrong, you can have massive fines and implications for the business. One tax that so many companies get wrong is business tax. It’s one big bill at the end of the year that can often hit a lot of small businesses in the face like a brick wall. The more your company makes, the more tax you’re going to have to pay. So, the best way to do this is to save all year round for it. Don’t just wait until the last minute, and always have an accountant on hand to help you through the process. There’s so many different rules to follow, if you get them wrong it can put your business in a sticky situation.

Debts

Debts are something that nearly all businesses have. When you first start off your company you’ll need a business loan no doubt to start your company. There’s nothing wrong with taking one out, but making sure you clear it down should be your number one priority. There will be minimum payments, and there will be interest charges if you miss those payments. The sooner you get it gone, the sooner you can use the money to invest back into your company.

Protecting Property By Addressing Repairs Immediately

Owning a home presents its own set of challenges. Many people on the outside might think that all you have to do is pay the mortgage in order to avoid any problems. After all, it is your own home, so you do not have to deal with the rules of a landlord or another party. 

With this freedom comes a great deal of responsibility. When one lives in an apartment, he or she can rely on the landlord for a variety of things. If there is an electrical problem or some sort of a pest infestation, it will be on the landlord to take care of it. However, when it is your own home, you are the one who has to take care of the problem or else it will just persist indefinitely.


It is important that you are able to pay for repairs. If it’s something major, such as broken plumbing or a leaky roof during storm season, fill out a payroll advance application for a loan to cover the cost if no other option exists. This enables you to take care of the repair as soon as possible rather than putting off the problem. If you let home improvement projects sit and do not take care of them, the issues will likely just get worse over time. In some cases, letting the problem go could actually cause severe damage to your home that may not even be repairable.

For example, if you have a minor mold problem, it is a good idea to take care of it right away so that the mold does not spread. When a mold problem is minor, it may take a few thousand dollars to fix, which may seem like too much for some people. However, when they let it go, the mold can spread all throughout the house. At this point, the amount of money required to remediate the mold could be absolutely exorbitant and more than you can afford. 

Paying for home repairs is something that should be done in the early stages of any problem so that the problem does not become worse and eventually get out of control. In terms of the home itself, you should be focused on protecting your investment, as this is more important than the attempts to save money in the short term by not addressing home repairs right away.

Your home is likely your most valuable asset, which is why you should make protecting your investment a high priority. It is important that you are able to pay for repairs as soon as you see that they need to be made. Keep investment property routinely inspected to proactively address problems before they get worse. If you do not have funds stashed away for this purpose and cannot immediately afford to make the repairs, then what you should do is save up money as quickly as possible and then pay for the repairs as soon as you are able to do so. Or, as mentioned earlier, take out a loan to cover the repair.

You do not want to put it off and then end up having to pay much more money when you finally end up making the repair. Also, by then, the problem could have gotten so out of control that you may not be able to fix the damages properly and end up having to resign yourself to the fact that your home is permanently damaged; this can happen if the foundation of the home is destroyed by the problem when it could have been fixed at an early stage, for example. It is important to have your priorities in order when owning a home.

What You Need To Know About The Stock Market

The stock market is a confusing place for many people, which is why a lot of us who have ever thought about investing have stopped in our tracks after seeing the complicated nature of this business first hand.

Stock Market

In the stock market you are able to buy small shares of companies from all over the world. For example if you see something like vht healthcare etf, you will be able to click and see the value of buying a stock in real time. You have to time when you buy a stock because the value will fluctuate throughout the year or if the circumstances of a business change. Here is all you need to know about investing in the stock market.

Buy Low, Sell High

the first and most important rule of the stock market is to buy the stock when the value is low, and sell when the value is high to make a profit for yourself. Sounds simple,right? The key to buying at the right time is to keep an eye on the trends of the company and also look in the news for anything which might affect the value in the future. For example, the stock value of Nintendo shot up to record heights on the first week the game Pokemon go was released. If you could have bought the stock prior to it being released you could sell during this time and make a great profit. It also works the other way around too. If you had a stock in a company like united airlines, you will know that once the scandal went viral, your stock value is going to decrease. The key is to sell quickly before you make a massive loss. 

Nothing Is Set In Stone

Remember that you can’t simply judge a company by its cover and assume that someone like Disney will always be a safe bet to invest in, because you never know what is about to happen with a company. And something catastrophic could occur which completely destroys the company. Make sure you always stay aware of trends and also don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Divide your money between a few different investments to lessen the blow if one of them goes down. 

Think Long Term

Investing in the long term can be a brilliant way to make some extra money for the family and can even provide you with a good enough stand alone wage to keep you afloat. Before you go and put all of the money you have on a company like Apple the week before they release a new phone: remember that you want to be in this for the long haul. Sure, put some of the money here, but also spread your money in other places and wait them out for changes. You will soon get the hang of seeing the signs when it is the right time to sell up and move on to the next one, must trust your instincts.

Obtaining a quick loan has its own advantages – How you will be at an edge

For all employed individuals, short term lending can be one of the best borrowing options, especially for those who require borrowing a small amount of money in order to ward off some instant financial emergency. Those who have poor credit history often use quick loans as the process of application is not only simple but also quick and it happens within few minutes. In case your bank is open to accepting faster payments, the money will become available within few hours. However, quick loans won’t be a good solution in case you’re already drowning in a sea of debt. Don’t make the mistake of using quick loan proceeds to pay off other loans. In cases of debt issues, it is better to seek help of a financial expert.

quick loan

Quick loans assist you during emergency

In case you’re wondering about quick loans and you wish to ask ‘how do they work?’ here’s help for you. For any unforeseen emergency like a sudden breakdown of your car or your washing machine, when you need immediate cash but you’re not able to fund your repair, you can turn to quick loans. Whenever you’re paid during the end of the month, you’re supposed to repay your quick loan on time to avoid any debt issues. Here’s how a quick loan can benefit you. 

Application process is easy and fast

One of the many benefits of quick loans is its speedy application process. Both online and offline, you will find quick loans available and it is also possible to apply with several lenders through a loan partnering service. The basic criteria for receiving this loan is that you need to be living in the country, you should be earning a minimum amount of $500 in a month, you should have a working debit account and you should own an email address and a mobile phone which are being used currently. Once the loan is accepted, the lender will give you additional checks before he releases the funds. Read the loan terms and agree to the terms and conditions of the loan.

Payment reaches within hours and loan is approved in minutes

If you are able to meet all sorts of criteria and in case everything runs smoothly and you pass the affordability checks, the approval will take few minutes. Once you provide the details of the bank account where you would want to receive the funds, you will immediate receive the proceeds of the loan within an hour.

You’ll get the loan despite having poor credit

Even though you may have a poor credit score and a tarnished credit history, you will still be able to obtain a quick loan. They are nothing but short term loans which are tailored to meet the needs of people with poor credit. The interest rate that you pay might change or become high but the charges will all be capped as per federal norms. 

Hence, if you’re going through some kind of emergency and you’re desperately looking for funds, you can take resort to the quick loans and reap the above listed benefits.

Residential Property Inspection Checklist

If you’re thinking about investing in property, you’ll want to make sure you do your homework as there are many common mistakes to be made as a property investor.  That said, you don’t need to be a plumber, builder, surveyor or architect to determine whether a property is solid; you just need to put in the effort, the time, and know what to look out for.

Property Inspection

This checklist offers some food for thought when looking into residential property investment; but the key point is to narrow down your options and then dig deep into a few shortlisted properties where you do as much research into the neighbourhood, and the property itself, as possible in order to avoid unexpected headaches down the road.

1. DRAINS & SEWERS

Clogged drains are one of the most common issues plumbers are called out to resolve, as they are simply caused by built up oils, material like toilet paper, loose hair and so on.  Whilst common, and seemingly simple, clogged drains can lead to serious leaks.  To test a drain, turn on the water and let it flow for a few minutes.  It should drain instantly and consistently.  You should then look under the sink for signs of water damage, mould, and visible leaks.

You may wish to invest in a sewer inspection whereby specialist plumbers will come with a sewer camera to inspect the main sewer line.  The reason for this is that if the line is partially blocked it will not resolve itself - remedial action will be required and if the Line were to collapse due to deterioration this would require a major repair or replacement at significant cost.

Drains clog for a reason and they do not fix themselves; this camera inspection is highly recommended, as if you know the condition of the sewer line prior to purchase you have the certainty of knowing all is well or the insight to negotiate a more informed price.  In short, a quick camera inspection of the sewer line could make you aware of a hidden and potentially costly issue prior to purchase that would otherwise go unnoticed.

2. WATER HEATERS

The water heater that will heat your home and provide hot water should last around ten years.  Consider the location of the tank, in that if it were to leak would it ruin your carpet or wooden floor?  Could it cause drywall damage?  If it is in a location where damage is likely to occur should there be a leak you'll need to consider what preventative measures you can take.

The majority of water heaters are placed in areas that are out of sight.  However, less thought can be given to what damage they could cause if they were to leak.  Unfortunately, leaks are only noticed because of visual evidence of water damage (such as water coming through the ceiling).

A professional plumber should be able to determine the age and whether it's safely working. You also need to consider the size of the water heater and ensure it's suitable for your needs.  The investment required to obtain an efficient water heater is significant; so if the boiler does need to be replaced you may want to work this into your negotiations.

3. TOILETS

You will want to check around the base of each toilet, as whilst the leak often appears insignificant, overtime the water will have started to damage the floor.  Perhaps, the seller has used sealant, being unaware of the gravity of this problem and making matters worse.  You'll therefore want to check for additional sealant and water around the base of the toilet.  Look for warping and discolouration.  Check to see if the floor feels squidgy or soft around the base.  It movement is apparent (i.e. if it rocks from side to side) then there's a strong change water damage has occurred.

If a toilet is constantly running it could mean the chain or flapper needs to be replaced whilst some could say it's a sign of a ghost being in the property.  One thing is for sure, which is that a toilet not draining properly will lead to leaks.  A leaking toilet will eventually rot through the floor - meaning, you have the potential to literally fall down the toilet.

4. DAMP

You can normally smell damp as soon as you enter a property, but this tends to be when things have advanced significantly - meaning just because the property doesn’t smell damp or musty, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t suffering from damp.  

You’ll want to scrutinise the ceilings, windows and walls - looking for any damp staining or discolouration, particularly on the ceiling, which could indicate previous leaks.  Are there any signs of damp or mould on the walls (including inside covered areas such as walk-in wardrobes).  Are the timber frames showing any signs of rot?

5. LIFE ESSENTIALS

Consider things such as whether your phone works in the property.  This one is often overlooked to the lament of new homeowners everywhere.  Do you have full reception or do you need to go in the garden and stand on one leg in order to be able to make a phone call?  How about the speed of the internet?  These little life essentials are becoming increasingly important in today’s world - and shouldn’t be overlooked.  

How is the garden?  Is it suitable for hosting outdoor parties and having friends over, or is it small and unsightly?  Again, these little things are important particularly when you consider the fact you’re turning your purchasing a home rather than just a house.

6. THE VIEW

A beautiful view is a nice to have, but more essentially, you want to be checking for strange structures or signs of heavy construction within the area - for what could be a nice view today, could in a few years, end up very different.  

7. THE SOUND

How does the property sound?  Can you hear the neighbours arguing?  Is there a busy road that will keep you awake at night… or a cockerel that’s sure to wake you up at the crack of dawn each morning?

8.  STAY NEARBY

Spend a night or two at a nearby hotel or an AirBnB in order to get a feel for the area; go to the local gym, peruse the shops, eat at the local takeaway - what’s the attitude and atmosphere of the location.  How does it get after dark?  How busy and congested are the roads in rush hour?

What Not To Do When Building Your Own Home

Do you consider yourself an expert in the real estate department? Probably not, without a degree associated with developing property. That means when you’re building your own home, there’s a lot you’re going to have to cope with. It’s a learning curve for most people; you’re not always going to have the money available to build an entire house after all! And yet, that doesn’t mean you should get conned out of anything you bought and paid for, and it shouldn’t just be the experts who know what mistakes not to make. With that in mind, here’s some of the most important things you shouldn’t forget to do if you’re building a house. 

Factor Everything with a Cost

If you’re building a house, you’re not only going to have to pay for the structure to be built alone. If you want more than a very basic model, you’re going to have to fork out extra to upgrade your facilities, and that’s going to come with a hefty price tag. So before you pay for any work to be done, make sure you factor in everything you want to install in your new house with a price. 

Building Your Own Home

Don’t be taken in on appearances alone. Always ask if something is considered an upgrade and will come at an extra price. Common areas to find these matters is in the kitchen and bathroom, where most of a builder’s money can be made. A lot of upgrades are things you don’t actually need, and you can always install later when you’ve built your savings backup. 

Find a Contractor with Good Reviews

Reviews are everything in the business world, and it’s no different when it comes to hiring someone you’re trusting to build a house with a stable structure and foundation. Do background checks and get references from the people they’ve worked for; a review they hand over themselves might not be quite so truthful. Similarly, don’t get led into a trap because of the allure of a lower price!

Going on from the above point, research what the base of your house and any upgrades will cost, and see if the prices match. Contractors don’t tend to immediately point these out after all. You can also put some steps in place to make sure the contractor completes the work you’re having done completely. Surety Bonds are there for your protection, and the reputation of the builder you’ve hired, so make sure you’ve signed an agreement over this for the protection of your money and the home you’re looking to live in one day. 

Do Some Work Yourself

This is just a quick point. When it comes to the finishing touches on your house, you can usually polish them off yourself. Something like painting the walls is easy enough, and if your profits are running thin it’d be a good idea to finish up with the contractors. 

Building your own home is not undertaken lightly, so always make sure you know what actually needs doing.