It's Time To Fight Through Your Personal Roadblocks

When you're a kid, you're told you can be anything you want in life. For most of us, that never really turns out the way you might want it to. Sure, you can be whatever you want but how many of us actually manage to do that? It's almost as if, over time, the realities of life grind you down until you're willing to settle for just about anything rather than working to get what you really want out of life. Getting the most out of your life is far from easy. In fact, there are plenty of roadblocks in your way. That being said, just because there are things in your way doesn't mean that there aren't ways around them. Here are some of the most common personal roadblocks that might prevent you from living your best life, and how to get past them.

Fight Through Your Personal Roadblocks

Finances

It's a sad fact that money really does make the world go round. As much as many of us would like things to be different, without money there's very little you can do in life. Sadly, a lot of people end up getting trapped in financial difficulties that make it incredibly difficult for them to live their lives the way they want. Things like debt can have a serious negative impact on many people's quality of life. Whether you find a loan to consolidate your debts from a site like consolidated.credit, or you start working overtime in order to bring in some extra income, there are always things that you can do to get your finances back under control. Money might not be the most important thing in your life, but it does allow you to focus on the things that really do matter to you.   

Self-confidence

Far too often people give up on what they want to do because they see the amount of work that it would take, and they just say "can't." It's time to take can't out of your vocabulary. Sure, there are things in life that are going to be a challenge, but if things were always easy then they wouldn't be worth it, would they? You need to have the confidence to look a challenge in the face and stand up to it. Not only will you often find that you're much better equipped to face a lot of challenges than you thought, but the success that you achieve by doing that is far sweeter and more satisfying than anything that might come to you easily. If something is worth having, then it's worth putting in the work for.

The truth is that if you really want to take control of your life and be happy, you've got to be willing to put in the time and effort. Life is never going to just hand out success to you because you feel as though you deserve it. If you want a certain kind of life, then you've got to be willing to go out there and earn it!

Should You Move Abroad to Save Money?

When to decide to transition abroad, you’re in for two options. The first and most common one is to move to a country which resembles your own in terms of development and culture. The second option is, of course, moving to a cheaper country with all its perks and downsides. 

Move abroad

While the latter seems like a radical choice to many, there are quite some expats who chose to settle down in a cheaper and less developed country - and they haven’t looked back since.

Here is a handful of advice and insights from those who made the move before you, making it a bit easier to finally make a decision.

You can save a ton on accommodation

First things first; living in a cheaper country than you’re used to means that paying rent and doing your weekly grocery shopping will be a lot nicer on your wallet. Those who object to moving abroad in order to save money on accommodation tend to forget that, while rentals in rural towns may cost very little, it’s extremely tough to come by an affordable apartment in the middle of the city.

It’s the kind of thing you’ll be able to afford when you live in a cheaper part of the world - and remember that the country you’re moving to will benefit greatly from having you there as well.

Another point to this is that even if you move from an undesirable rural town to a more desirable city in a less developed country, you’ll still be able to save a lot on accommodation. You won’t save as much as someone who moved from an attractive city, but still - the point stands.

You can easily cut your expenses in half

With everything you spend in a developing country, from healthcare, groceries, bills, and the takeaway you treat yourself with once in a while, you’ll be able to save about half of what you’d normally spend. Even keeping in touch with your friends and family at home becomes less expensive than meeting up for lunch once a month, as you can make use of Planet Numbers to call anywhere for next to nothing - no stable internet connection required. 

The people who question other’s decisions on moving abroad tend to either feel stuck in their own rut - or they’ve forgotten that you can actually circle the globe for a full year and still spend less than you would have, living in your current city.

It’s why so many digital nomads have quit their regular nine to five job already and found ways to make money while living abroad instead. You don’t have to settle and live in the country you were born in just because it seems to be the norm - have a read around the web, and you’ll soon realise that it’s far from it. 

Countries that are still on the rise would love to welcome you and your family as the knowledge and resources you bring with will help them to prosper. It might not be the reason you’ve decided to move, but it’s good to keep in mind in any way, while you’re enjoying the freedom and adventure of living abroad.

Are You Using Your Credit Cards in the Right Way?

Credit cards pose a risk to you if you are not using them in the right kind of way. It’s not enough to just carry on spending as you ordinarily would without a card. They are specific financial tools, and you have to use them in the right way. To learn more about credit cards and how you should be using yours, read on now.

use credit cards wisely

Never Max it Out

The one golden rule of using credit cards is that you should aim to never max it out. When this happens, you run the risk of going over your credit limit. On top of that, your credit score will certainly be damaged, and lenders never look at that favourably. All in all, all of the good things about using a credit card could eventually be destroyed if you manage to max it out, so it’s just not worth it.

Select the Right Card For You

Choosing the card that’s right for you is not easy. After all, there are a lot of them out there, and it’s important to make sure that you know your options. Sites like reviews.creditcard can help you to make your choice. Read as many reviews as you can and look at all of the details before deciding which of the options is the right one for you and your specific financial situation right now.

Self-Discipline is Essential

Staying in control of your credit card usage is always going to be important. If you can’t even stay in control of yourself, how are you going to keep your finances balanced properly? Know when you’re at your limit and how far is too far for you. You need to be able to pay off your credit card debt at the end of the month because there are plenty of problems that will arise if you don’t do that. Having self-discipline will make your life so much easier.

Know the Latest Fraud Techniques

There are so many ways in which fraudsters can target you. And being aware of the dangers out there can help you to stay safe. With the rise in contactless payment methods, your card is at greater risk than ever before. People could scam your pocket with the right machine and get payment from you without you knowing. This is one of the many techniques on the rise right now, and you need to be alert to them all. Learn about the contactless fraud problems at moneysavingexpert.com/news/

Track Your Activity Online

These days, most banks have apps and online banking options that customers like you can make use of. The same applies to your credit cards. You should be sure to track your activity correctly online. If you can manage to do that, you will be able to ensure that you’re able to see what’s happening with your credit card and how it’s being used and charged. This can help you to spot any problems and take necessary action.

Using your credit cards in a safe and sensible way is vital if you want your finances to be healthy going forward.

The Dos And Don'ts Of Setting Up Your First Home

Moving out can be a confusing time for anyone. You’ve recently graduated, and now you’ve got to find somewhere to live to begin the life that you have been working so hard to build towards. Unfortunately, there are problems that can arise when you have found somewhere to live, and in this article are going to be some handy tips on how you can avoid disaster when setting up your first home.

Your First Home

Deposit

As if you haven’t forked out enough already for college, you will now have to think about saving for a deposit for a property. Whether you choose to rent or buy, it’s a large amount of money to be expected to immediately have.

Do
  • Ask friends and family if they can help towards the initial deposit on the property that you want.
  • Head to your local council to see if they can help house you somewhere within the area that you’re working. Bear in mind that housing associations can take a long time to house you due to high demand. They can however, help towards paying a deposit for a rented property.
Don’t
  • Lend from payday sharks, as this can land you in a lot of debt if you’re unable to pay it back, and let’s face it, being a newly graduated student normally means you have no money
  • Place a deposit on a property that you can’t afford. Make sure you work out all of your finances beforehand and make sure you’ve got enough spare to live comfortably.
Furnishing Your New Home

It’s likely that you’ve been using the furniture you had at your parent’s house, or furniture that the campus provides when you go to university, so you will need to begin thinking about buying your own furniture for your new home. The best way of doing this, is to buy the essentials first like a bed and a sofa for the living room and then over time buy the other things that you want in your home as you can afford it.

Do
  • Buy a bed that’s going to last you. Going for a second hand bed and mattress won’t last you long and is often uncomfortable. Head over to John Ryan by Design for more information on buying new and how you could afford to do so.
  • Unlike buying a bed, when you buy a sofa you have a bit more freedom to cut corners with the cost because it’s likely that when you want to decorate your home, you will want to get a matching sofa. Buying second hand sofas is really easy in this day and age with sources like eBay and Facebook selling groups constantly updating. You will probably be able to find a second hand sofa in your area for a decent price.
  • Ask family and friends for any furniture that they don’t want to be donated to your new home. You will find that many people are more than willing to help out as much as possible.
  • Head over to chain superstores like Argos to buy yourself your kitchen essentials. They will often to a whole set for a very reasonable price.
Don’t
  • Go for furniture on finance. Even though it seems like an easy route to go down, it can land you in a lot of debt which consequently, can ruin your credit score for the future when you decide to make larger purchases like a car or a home. You will also end up spending much more money than if you simply saved and bought the item directly.
  • Don’t let yourself rush into completing your home. It’s understandable that you may not have many belongings because you have recently graduated. Take your time and save your bank account.
Bills

The idea of having your own place often seems glamorous to people wanting to move out from their parent’s house. This is, until they are hit with the responsibility of paying their own bills and budgeting to make sure everything is paid. Many people don’t realise how many things you have to pay for when you have your own place, and that’s not including rent or a mortgage. Before you even consider moving out, speak to some trusted family members, or go to citizens advice to get yourself clued up on what to expect. You can also begin budgeting so you have more of an idea on what kind of property you can afford, as previously mentioned.

Do
  • Once you’ve moved in, phone your utility bill providers and talk them into giving you the best deal. They will often ask you what kind of service you can afford. Always make it seem like you don’t have much money, and they will give you the best deal around. This is because they want to guarantee they will be paid every month.
  • Set up direct debits. Once you have chosen the provider that you will be using, setup a direct debit with them so that you don’t forget to pay by accident. Not paying can quickly mount up debt and you may find yourself unable to pay with notices coming through your letterbox.
  • Make sure you’re using the minimum electric, gas, and water. This will ensure that your bills stay low and it will be fair on the environment.
Don’t
  • Load yourself up with unnecessary bills like gym memberships and magazine subscriptions. They might not seem like much out of your budget but for now, stick to the essentials only.
  • Complicate things. When it comes to choosing an internet provider (which may be essential for some people,) make sure you’re going for a bog standard deal. Keep it simple.
Following the three ideas in this article will allow you to set yourself up in your first home comfortably. Once you’re established in your new home and you’ve begun to save money, you can then think about adding all of the luxuries that you’ve dreamed of. Enjoy your new home!

The True Cost Of Taking Out A Student Loan

So you're a student trying to pay your way through schooling. This can be very expensive, especially if you're having to do everything by yourself. Some of you may be lucky enough to get a scholarship, or have a very supportive family who are willing to help pay your way through school. Or maybe you managed to build up your own savings account early on in life.

Student Loan

Regardless of your situation, it's still going to cost you, and the easy option when things get tricky is to take out a loan.

While many people do this, it's very important to know exactly what you're getting into before you commit.

Here's what you need to know.

Interest rates can be ridiculously high

Interest rates are never that appealing to begin with, but they tend to be much higher with student loans than any other. This is all down to the age group, the same way car insurance for new, young drivers is double - sometimes even triple the amount than what it would be for a middle-aged person.

A lot of federal student loans now have fixed rates, which is good because you'll have a basic idea of how much you'll be paying every month. Having said that, the annual percentage can still end up changing every year, so it's important to keep your eyes open for that. A two percent difference doesn't sound like an awful lot, but that can amount to thousands of dollars as the years add up.

They don’t just disappear

While certain types of debt can be dealt with if you file for bankruptcy, student loans cannot be managed this way which means regardless of your financial situation, the problem won't go until you have paid everything back.

This is because the law is very vague regarding student loans, so even if you try and take the problem to a higher power, you're essentially just leaving the decision based on the court. On very rare cases you may get lucky, but nine times out of ten you'll be left having to scrape pennies out of your piggy bank until you've paid everything off. To avoid this from happening, you can enlist the help of companies like debtsettlement.co who aide you by assessing your situation and giving you a final loan that will pay off all of your existing ones.

They’ll hold you back

Over fifty percent of students all confessed that they are still choosing to live at home with their parents because they don't have the finical freedom to be able to move out, meaning you could end up finding yourself stuck at home for another two or more years because of your existing student debt. Not only that, but your future in general may have to take a back seat, because you may not be able to afford what you'd originally hoped for. This could be anything from getting married, starting a family, and taking an early retirement. Even though these things may seem miles and miles away, it's important to think about what you want, because being stuck in debt for years on end can really affect those dreams and ambitions. Look at how to save up for your future on time.com.

Financial Wizardry - Conjuring More Money In The Business

When it comes to improving the cash flow of the business and how much money it has to invest back in, a lot of the tactics you’ll have recommended are to do with expanding or marketing. However, those also cost money and sometimes you’re not in a position to do that. When that’s the case, it’s all about knowing how to move the numbers.

Conjuring More Money In The Business

Financing

We’re not going to suggest that financing is free money. However, every business owner should know how to handle credit responsibly. A loan is one of the most reliable ways to get some extra financing when you need a cash injection in the short-term, but if you’ve been denied for the loan, there are still other options out there. Credit cards, angel investors, and even crowdfunding can help you straighten out cash flow. Most small businesses are going to have slow periods where they need to rely on financing. Just make sure you have a debt management strategy at the ready to deal with it in advance.

Flexible payments

You might be able to get more money from your customers if you would just get out of the way, as well. Nowadays, most customers don’t rely solely on cash, and online, they use a variety of different methods to pay. Plastic is one of the most common, and it’s worth looking at sites like creditcardprocessing.xyz to see which processing services can help you serve the most customers with the most reasonable fees. There are a variety of different payment platforms you can incorporate in the business, so do your research.

Fixing the flow

The problem might not be that you’re not getting enough money, but that you’re not getting it soon enough. This is a problem faced most often by businesses that rely on invoices and have to wait for customers to pay. By simplifying the process and sending invoices immediately from your end, you’re likely to see more prompt responses. However, you might also have to stimulate their end of the deal, either by including short payment terms in your agreement or by sending polite, but professional reminders of due invoices. Invoice financing is another kind of credit to consider, as well, if you do find yourself dealing with late payments often.

Finding price increases

You can always start charging more for the products and services you offer. Customers will naturally prick their ears when they hear of a price increase. So, as thebalance.com suggests, you have to be ready to justify that increase. Customers are willing to pay more, studies find, for better support, communication, and investments that they can see the benefit of. Being competitive can help you attract customers, but if you’re constantly undercharging, your business will eventually become unsustainable.

A little financial wizardry is a simple solution to immediately start seeing more money in the business. The techniques above all come with their own costs, so you need to do a little work to see if the gain will justify the cost, of course. 

How To Make Like A Tree And Branch Out Your Investments

If there is one thing every investor should know, it’s diversification. According to investopedia.com, the benefits are wide-ranging. From adding a layer of security to spreading the wealth, diversification is an investor’s best friend. However, it isn’t as easy as clicking your fingers and making it happen. For it to work, the person in charge needs to understand the process. With that in mind, below are tricks to branching out a portfolio. 

Investment tree

Find The Capital 

It’s impossible to invest in something if you don’t have the cash. Sadly, there is no such thing as a money tree or gold at the end of the rainbow. So, your first task is to find the capital that you will use to branch out your portfolio. If you are struggling for ideas, a home equity loan is a good place to start. With homeequitylineof.credit, it’s not difficult to find an affordable deal. Then, you can use the value of your current home to fund the venture. Barring that, there is a second mortgage, a bank loan, or a family loan. 

Keep It In-House

Anyone who follows Warren Buffett will know that he preaches investing in things in which you have knowledge. Some people say it’s possible to spend without knowing about the industry, but it’s a huge risk. Regarding diversification, this seems like a bit of a contradiction. However, just because you are looking to branch out doesn’t mean you need to make a stupid investment. Forbes.com believes this is a significant error. It is more than possible to diversify and stick to your knowledge areas at the same time. Real estate is a prime example. Rental properties are different to traditional houses, while you can also buy an apartment or even land. 

Don’t Go Overboard

When your portfolio springs to mind, is it difficult to remember every investment? If the answer is yes, you have branched too far. To diversify means to spread the wealth across a range of topics or an industry. It doesn’t mean put money into as many projects as you can afford. This means you run the risk of mismanaging the entire portfolio because there are too many variables. Rather than complicate the issue, try and keep it as simple as possible. There might not be a number to follow, but four or five investments is plenty. 

Maintain The Balance

Time.com has coined the phrase di-worse-ifying to explain an unbalanced portfolio. As a human being, there will be a temptation to invest in new ventures. However, as a rule, the portfolio doesn’t need touching once it’s well-balanced. Say you have 50% in bonds, 40% in big company stocks, and 10% in small, it should stay that way. Yes, the companies might change over time, especially if you see a “sure thing.” But, the balance of big and small shares and bonds need to compliment one another. 

Trees make it look easy, but branching out isn’t impossible. As long as you are savvy and follow these instructions, it should work out fine.

A Beginner's Guide To Day Trading (Make Money From Daily Investments!)

What makes investments great is the many paths you can go down. There are strategies for long-term investments, and then there are strategies for short-term ones. Day trading very much fits into that second category as it involves buying and selling assets very quickly. It’s something you do every day, and there’s a lot of money to be made if you do things right. 

trading chart

For any beginners out there looking to start day trading, this guide is the perfect place for you. You’ll find some essential advice to help you on your trading journey. 

Set A Budget

One thing you should avoid is risking all your money on your trades. Instead, you need to set a budget aside to spend on the assets you’ll be buying. Deposit a set amount of money in your trading account, and that’s what you’ll use for various trades. The general rule of thumb is to never spend more than 2% of your account balance on a single trade. This helps you lower the risk of losing all the money you deposited. 

Pick A Market That Works For Daily Trades

The whole concept of day trading is to make trades that last for a day at the most. As such, you’re looking for markets where prices can fluctuate quite a bit. Some stocks and shares are like this, as are some currency pairs in the forex market. Digital currencies, such as bitcoin, shouldn’t be overlooked either. As this bitcoin to USD chart shows, the price can change quite a bit during the day, so there’s money to be made. You should avoid trades in markets that are very steady and stable with no changes in price for days, weeks, or months. These are pointless for a day trader. 

Become A Morning Person

You won’t have a great deal of success if you start trading in the middle of the day. Some markets are 24 hours, while others open in the morning. You need to become a morning person and wake up early to begin trading. Otherwise, you could miss out on so many great deals and opportunities by not being up early enough. 

Spend A Week Or Two Learning

It’s not advised that you jump into day trading right away. Put your money to one side and start learning instead. Spend a week or two just watching the market you’ve chosen. See if you can spot patterns and learn the right way to do things. You may find that there are peak times where certain assets drop to a low price and other times where they appreciate and can be sold. If anything, this time will get you used to the feel of the trading platform and help you get into the rhythm of being up early and trading all day. 

Take this advice onboard if you want to start day trading. It’s a good way of making money through short-term investments. Start off small, and work your way up. When you start seeing success, hire a broker so you can make even more investments and make even more money.

Stop Creditor Calls: An Easy-To-Follow Guide

When you are having financial problems, the phone doesn’t stop ringing. Sadly, it’s for nothing but bad reasons; you’re being plagued by an endless number of calls from creditors, all demanding their money.

Stop Creditor Calls

One creditor is bad enough, but if you’re receiving calls from multiple companies, then it can quickly feel overwhelming. You might even be tempted to change your number to avoid the calls, but this doesn’t deal with the underlying problem. If you truly want to stop creditor calls for good, then here is a simple guide to help you along the way.

Step One: Answer The Calls

There is no point pretending the calls you’re experiencing don’t exist: answer them. Inform the person on the other end of the phone that you are taking the matter in hand, and the company will hear from you within seven days. Ask for no more calls in the meantime. If they do call during that period, simply say you have already explained the matter, and hang up. 

Step Two: Put A Plan In Place To Cope With Debts

There is a reason that you have got creditors hassling, and that’s because you’re struggling with your finances. If you really want to put a stop to these calls, then you need to examine your options for managing your debts. Read through debtconsolidation.co to see if debt consolidation might be an option for you, or enter into a debt management plan. You need to take action, or creditors are going to continue to harangue you. 

Step Three: Inform Your Creditors Of Your Plans (In Writing) 

Write to every company you have a debt with, whether they are the ones who have been calling you or not. So contact any providers of your credit cards, bank loans, store accounts -- anything where you have a balance owing, even if the account is currently well managed. 

Step Four: Ask Your Creditors To Stop Calling Unless You Default On Your Plan

As part of the above letter, request in writing that they stop calling you, provided you are going through with the plan as promised. This should work; if not, they are being unreasonable, and you are within your rights to consider a complaint. 

Step Five: Stick To The Plan

If you want to stop the calls for good, then you’re going to need to stick to the plan you have agreed and make any payments that are due. To ensure you don’t forget, you can set up direct debits so you don’t fall behind and become subjected to calls again. 

There’s no doubt that sticking to a plan you have put in place can be difficult. Willpower is the only reasonable answer; it’s worth having a read of psychologytoday.com to see how you can give your willpower a boost.

By completing the steps in this plan, you can return to a world where your phone ringing is a sign of excitement at a friend getting in contact. Reclaim your phone, deal with your debts, and put the stress and worry over the endless calls behind you. 

Apps You Need For Running A Business

Everyone has a mobile phone, no matter how little they use one. You can spend a substantial amount of time on it anyway, for both business and leisure purposes. However, you can get far more use of it that’s practical and productive if you download the right apps to it. Got your own small business or want to found a start up? You probably want to get all the help you can.

Apps You Need For Running A Business

This is a broad definition list to help you get started in managing your company better, and may even give you ideas for your own development. Check out some of these app ideas to look into for help in running it. 

Apps Concerning Money Matters

If you’re struggling with getting to grips with a finance system, well you’re guaranteed to find an app for that. Computers have better logistical skills that follow a code in a few seconds than human brains, and thus can effectively take care of tracking for you with a little input. 

Being able to access bank accounts straight from your phone was a great invention, but is only one facet of controlling your money on your time. Being able to see and service your loans is an entirely different thing. You can find loans with mobile capability on sites such as cashloans.co, and from there find which schemes the lenders are a part of. 

Similarly, if you’re looking for help in balancing the books, there’s plenty of apps for that too. If you’re selling off services and need invoices to be billed and filed, try something like FreshBooks.com

Keeping You Communicating Easier

Whether simple messaging is your thing, or you’d rather have video calling and conferencing on the regular, there’s plenty of apps to download that can help with keeping all employees in contact. When it comes to keeping internal communications up to scratch, using your phones or computers for their intended purposes mean they really come into their own. 

Sometimes a phone call just won’t cut it, and traditional services already have plenty of users on their servers and maintenance problems, so newer technology, surprisingly, can often be more reliable. 

Helping You Adhere To Deadlines

If you’re someone who gets distracted easily, or just has trouble keeping to a deadline, then having an app that keeps you on track is essential. This can be through simple goal and alarm setting, or by blocking access to other apps on your phone and blacklisting sites on your browser.

If you’re not into using business apps on your phone, quite a lot of them have desktop equivalents that can be easily downloaded and perform the same tasks. Using something like Cold Turkey means you’ll have complete customisation over your day’s work. Breaks will become breaks again, rather than routine. 

Look around the app store on Google and iOS for anything that looks interesting enough to help you. Sought through reviews and patch notes for the best considered apps amongst your peers, and get downloading.

Do You Need A Credit Card? Answer These 3 Questions!

Credit cards are like the 45th President of the United States in that they certainly divide opinion. You’ve got one side that claims they’re a surefire way to lose money and end up in debt, with the other side claiming they’re a useful financial tool. 

Credit Card

Truthfully, it all depends on how you use your credit card. Use it responsibly, and you’ll be fine. But, does everyone need one? No, you don’t. Different people in different situations will certainly benefit from a credit card. To figure out if you should get one, answer these questions:

Are You Planning On Making Big Purchases?

Credit cards are very useful for people that make a lot of big purchases or purchase important things. I’m talking about washing machines, TV’s, ovens, fridges, and other expensive household items. You could even throw a new car into the mix here too. A credit card helps you pay for these things while also protecting your purchase. If something were to go wrong, you’re protected because you used your credit card and you can be refunded or get a replacement. So, if you’re moving house or in a stage in your life where you have to buy lots of expensive things, a credit card is good for you. 

Do You Travel A Lot?

People who travel can benefit a lot from getting a credit card. If you’re constantly hopping on planes and staying in hotels, it’s well worth applying for a card today. Why? Well, as you can see on the best.creditcard website, a lot of cards come with travel perks. You can collect points to redeem and spend on airfares or hotels. Your credit card can end up saving you a lot of money if you’re constantly using it while traveling loads. 

Not only that, but it also helps you when you travel abroad. As well as the travel rewards, some cards allow you to make foreign payments without any transaction fees. This means you can take cashless trips and not worry about whether or not you’ve brought enough foreign cash. If you’re abroad a lot, this will be very useful. 

Do You Need To Improve Your Credit Score?

There are many times in life where your credit score will be reviewed by someone. This normally happens when you’re spending a lot of money or signing up for a contract. If your credit score is too poor, you may be prevented from buying what you want to buy. As such, you need to build it up. You can see on the nerdwallet website that your credit card can be used to build credit. If you make lots of purchases and pay your bill in full every month, your credit score will gradually improve. You’ll show you’re a trustworthy borrower and it will reflect in your new score. 

Answer yes to any of these questions, and you will find a credit card is very valuable to you. Answer no, and you probably don’t need one just yet - simple!

Why Investment from China Is Encouraging for The US Economy

Foreign trade and investment are vital to keeping American businesses thriving, and if you are in business yourself, you will know how important overseas markets can be. In recent times, China has become a very important partner for imports and for supplying goods to US businesses for retail. However, the relationship is beginning to be more of a two-way street as China is providing more investment in America, as well as becoming a key consumer for American goods.

Promoting the US to Chinese Investors

Wealthy investors who want to start businesses in America have been encouraged to invest in the USA and create jobs for communities here by a special immigration program called the EB5 visa. A recent EB5 extension (find out more about from Hirson Immigration) has seen this scheme extended until the end of 2017. 

Why Investment from China Is Encouraging for The US Economy

The scheme works by offering an investor and their family a two-year green card if they invest $500,000 or more and create a minimum of ten new jobs. While the visa only lasts for two years, it also sets investors on a path to citizenship if they qualify for this later, so it is an appealing prospect for investors who would like to run businesses long term in the US. While the scheme is open to people from lots of countries, by far the biggest uptake has been from Chinese investors.

The Growth of the Chinese Middle Class

As well as bringing money into our economy through investment and job creation, the growing middle class in China is also becoming a significant market for a lot of American businesses. The middle class in China has grown rapidly as the nation has moved away from traditional communism, and now there is a market of around 300 million people who fall into this category. They have significant disposable income and, according to Jack Ma of Alibaba, the biggest online retail platform in China, a taste for US products, which they feel are high quality and luxurious. 

Alibaba and US SMEs

With this audience in mind, Jack Ma has been working with President Trump to create connections that allow US businesses, mostly smaller 'mom and pop' type producers and retailers, to sell to Chinese customers via his platform. This creates a lot of opportunities and facilitates marketing and selling to people in China who are interested in buying things from US companies. Ma has also pledged to create one million jobs in the USA, something which President Trump found very appealing although some analysts believe this claim may have been overblown. Ma is one of the richest people in China and has been fostering a good working relationship with the president. He certainly has the potential to be a useful ally in creating more opportunities for American business owners to enter the Chinese market.

The burgeoning middle class in China and their interest in investing in America could have very positive long-term effects on our economy and businesses.

Why You Should Always Avoid Employing a Jack of All Trades

We are all familiar with the old phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none”. Essentially, it is used to refer to someone who can perform a wide variety of tasks, but will never show any degree of skill or competency in any of them. Their work is passable, but not what you should be looking for as a business owner. Jacks of all trades tend to be alluring for small business owners, as they claim to be able to carry out a whole host of job positions, while allowing the business owner to save on employing multiple members of staff. But this is often where many businesses go wrong. You need to remember that the quality of your staff’s work is what is key for your business’ success. Your staffs’ presence and output forge the public’s perception of your services and products. So you need to ensure that every role is filled with someone who is competent, confident and will excel in their position. Here are a few ways to ensure that you only employ individuals who are true masters of their trade.

Avoid Employing a Jack of All Trades

Payroll

Payroll is a massively important task, as it ensures that all of your employees are paid on time and are consequently content with their position. An effective payroll service guarantees that they know how much they are being paid and when their money will be deposited into their account. This allows them to organise their direct debits, other payments and social lives around their pay dates and reduces frustration when their bills bounce or they have to cancel plans because they haven’t been paid on time. Finding a reliable, qualified member of staff to carry out the payroll process is to use payroll recruitment consultants. These individuals will put you in touch with some of the best available workers in the field.

Call Centre

If your brand runs a call centre or has a number for customers to contact with queries about your products or services, you need to ensure that the individuals who answer the phone are polite, respectful and have an expansive working knowledge of your company and all that it entails. Customers don’t want to be left waiting on the line while they find answers to simple questions. Choose individuals with a good memory and an ability to recall specific pieces of information quickly and precisely. You also need these individuals to be well spoken with good verbal communication skills. This will ensure that customers feel comfortable talking to them and can understand everything that they’re saying.

By employing the right members of staff, your brand will appear professional and competent to the public. This will encourage them to feel confident enough in your company to invest their hard earned cash in whatever it may be that you’re selling. So be extremely thorough with your staff selection process. From high paid position right down to the lower paid positions.

Sell Your Property Fast

If you need to sell a property fast, you might find the process to be a frustrating one. It isn’t always easy to sell a house for a reasonable price when you’re in a hurry, which often leaves you with the dilemma or whether to sell for less and access the funds you need or hold out in the hopes that the right buyer who’s willing to pay what you think your property is worth, will come along sometime soon. But it doesn’t have to be that way! It is possible to sell your property fast without majorly losing out. Here are some tips to do just that:

Sell ‘As Is’

If you’re asking yourself “Can I sell my house as is?” the good news is, yes you can. Whether you’ve bought a property with the intention of flipping for a profit, but your circumstances have changed, or  you simply don’t have the time, funds or inclination to improve your property to make it more attractive, there are companies out there who will buy your property in whatever condition it’s currently in. Obviously, you won’t get full market value for the place, but if you choose the company wisely, you’ll get a fair price for your property.

Selling a property

Improve Your Property’s Curb Appeal

If you do have a little time to spare, simply improving property’s exterior appeal could really help it to sell fast. You see, the outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see and if it looks unkempt and in need of maintenance, many buyers won’t even bother to come inside and take a look.

Improving curb appeal can be as simple as power washing the walls, doing a little painting or tidying the garden up, so it can be done quickly on a budget, and it will get you results.

Write a Really Great Ad

Writing a really good real estate listing will, at the very least, get more people through the door, where hopefully they will be convinced to buy your property. You can find out how to do this by taking a look at https://www.rubyhome.com/home-selling/how-to-write-effective-real-estate-ads/.. Having a good realtor help you with this will also help.

Depersonalize the Place

If the property you’re selling happens to be your home, getting rid of all your personal artefacts, so that the property looks like more of a blank canvas can be very effective at persuading interested parties to buy, because they are more easily able to see the potential of the space and work out how they can put their own stamp on it.

Depersonalize the Place

Use Competitive Pricing

If you really do want your property to sell as fast as humanly possible, it never hurts to price it competitively in relation to other similar properties in the neighborhood. Even pricing it just 5 percent lower than other properties will make it look more attractive in the eyes of buyers, which could be enough for your realtor to close the sale.

Selling a property quickly isn’t always easy, but with the above tips, a good realtor and a` steely determination, it is far from an impossible task.