How to Control Your Household Expenses

Running a home is expensive. Whether you rent a property or have a mortgage, it is essential that you control the money coming in, just as much as you do the money going out. You need to have a complete understanding of where your money is going and what the reality is of your financial position. It’s not fun, it’s not pleasant, but it is necessary.

The average American has around $38,000 worth of personal debt (not including mortgages), which when you consider that the average wage is $44,564, you can see why sorting out your finances is a serious business. Living in denial about your financial situation is a dangerous game to play; it’s like a house of cards. Could you manage if you or your partner were unable to work through ill health, even for a month? As soon as you face up to your situation, the sooner you can improve your circumstances.

Review your finances

You need to invest your time in reviewing your finances. Begin by getting your latest bank statements, if possible, access the last three months’ worth. Doing so will enable you to calculate an average cost per month and will allow for extra expenses due to birthdays, vacations or other extraordinary costs.

Household Expenses

Create a simple excel spreadsheet and head the columns into where you've spent the money, for example, housing costs, groceries, insurance, utilities, fuel, clothing, phones,and entertainment. Don’t forget to include a column for miscellanea: things that don’t quite fall into a defined category. Populate the spreadsheet with the information from your bank statements. When you have finished, you will be able to see the total for each of the columns. If you have a partner, husband or wife, you need to repeat this process from their bank account too. If you have used three months’ worth of bank statements, divide each total of the column by three as this will give you the average spend per month.

Hopefully, what you see before you is not a great shock, although you may be surprised at where you have leaked money. Next, using the statements, identify the amount of income that you have had coming into your accounts each month.

How’s it looking?

Is your monthly income greater than the expenditure? If it is, congratulations! The difference between the two figures is what you could potentially save per month.

If your income is less than your expenditure, you are getting more into debt each month, and action needs to be taken to take positive steps to change your financial status. You also need to check and see how much outstanding debt that you have against you. Personal debt comes in many shapes and sizes, including credit cards, student loans, car finance,and mortgages, and to get your house in order, you need to tackle your debt.

Set a Budget

Now that you are clear about your income and outgoings, you will be able to see how much money should be attributed to each category of spending. Some categories such as cell phones and housing will be set each month, so they are easy to put a number on. Categories such as groceries and entertainment which are variable each month are less so, but this is where the savings can take place. When you reviewed your bank accounts, you may have identified subscriptions that can be canceled, or at least reduced. Contact utility, insurance,and cell phone providers to see if you can go on a better rate. It is incredible the discount that you can negotiate if only you ask the question!

Budget to allow you to have the necessities and accept that you are going to have to go without certain goods and products while you are on a mission to sort out your money. 

Life has a habit of throwing a curve ball, so you need to make plans for the unplanned emergencies such as your car requiring a repair, or a medical bill. These kinds of small but significant costs can be covered by a payday loan like those offered by Bonsai Finance. Although taking out a loan is not always ideal, and you may not want to do it, if you need to use your car for work, it makes economic sense to do so. 

Change your lifestyle

Enforcing a budget can be tough, so it's vital that you get all the family involved. Kids are more likely to engage with the cutbacks if they understand the whole picture. Rather than taking them for convenient,fast food when they are hungry, include them in choosing what food to make at home. They will moan, but they will soon get used to it, especially if they get to eat their choice!

Get into the habit of going grocery shopping with a list and stick to it. Avoid the aisles where you know you will be tempted by things not on your list. Buy non-branded products; there are some that have the same ingredients as the big brands but without the need for you to pay for the label. 

One of the hardest things about trying to reduce household expenses is getting over the feeling that you are being deprived of something. Not being able to go and watch the game or go out for dinner can mean that you end up resenting the whole process; however, you just need to adjust your expectations. You can still watch the game with friends, just not in a bar. Instead of going out for a meal, eat at home and go out for dessert. By making lifestyle tweaks, you’ll soon be able to see a healthier bank account.

Don’t just complete this exercise as a one-off. Periodically review your expenditure to see where more savings can be made. A visual representation such of a bar chart of the savings you have created is a great motivator to continue the good work, set yourself a target to reach and agree on something to do to celebrate, perhaps even a full meal out!

How to Protect Your Family’s Future

When we have a family to care for, planning for and protecting your assets becomes even more imperative. There are many assets you have to consider when writing a will or setting up a living trust, such as:
  • Your savings
  • Any valuable objects, jewelry or heirlooms
  • Your pension
  • Your business – if applicable 
  • Stock market investments
  • Your property
Writing a will, though, can seem like a complicated and arduous task, and before you even start writing one, you need first to decide who gets what. What’s more, there is nothing stopping your will being taken to probate, where your wishes could come undone.This is when a living trust can be greatly beneficial.

Family’s Future

The following guide is going to help you work out the basics of writing your will and setting up a living trust so that you can live the rest of your life with peace of mind.

Decide who gets what

Before you visit a solicitor, you need to outline the basics of who gets what. This means, first and foremost, deciding on the assets you have, and then assigning them to someone or an organization. When determining the beneficiaries, you may include:
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Charities
  • Your partner or spouse 
However, be sure that your wishes align with your spouse or partner’s wants before continuing.

Estimate the value of your assets 

Assets that are easier to value include your savings and your valuables. Once these have been dealt with, you will then need to tackle the harder assets: pension, business, property, and stock market investments. Lastly, you will then need to consider the sentimental items you wish for people to have. 

If the value of your estate is significant and your last wish is to avoid probate, then one of the benefits of a living trust is that it avoids a trip to the probate court. By having a living trust rather than just a will, or a will at all, your assets will be distributed as your wishes. If you require assistance with organizing your assets, you can hire the help of a professional and knowledgeable estate planning attorney

Heed extra caution with your pension

Before you list your pension as an asset, you will need to check the rules. The value of your pension depends on the scheme, and in some cases, you may not be able to include it. 

Know how you want to split your assets

If you have more than one child and an extensive number of family members, you may want to leave part of your savings, etc. to specific members. There are many types of legacy requests you can make, such as:

A pecuniary bequest 

“I leave $1,000 to my daughter.” This means you leave a fixed sum to your selected person.

A specific bequest

“I leave my vinyl collection to my son.” It means you leave a certain item, which you own, to your person of choice.

A reversionary bequest

“I leave my share of the house to my husband if he survives me. However, if he does not survive me, then it will be passed on to my son.” Instructions specifying what happens if the person you leave it to dies before you.

A residuary bequest

“I leave half my estate to my sister.” Means you leave a certain percentage of your estate to your person of choice. The amount the person receives, though, depends on the value after debts, costs, etc.

A living trust

“I leave my share of the house to my wife for the rest of her life. When she passes, however, it will be passed over to my son.” A living trust means you can dictate who gets your property, for instance, after you die, as well as who inherits it once that person also dies. If you wish your real estate to avoid court, you need to get it titled in the name of a living trust.

How to protect your beneficiaries

You may wish to safeguard your bequest, especially if you are leaving something to someone with disabilities, mental health issues or a child. Many people will set up a trust, which means what you leave can be managed by people you trust.

Once you've decided on your assets

With your assets valued and you know who gets what, it is time to contact professionals to help draw up your will or living trust. If you have a large estate, then you will want to safeguard your estate with the protection a living trust offers. The last step is, if you wish to, to discuss with your family about choices beforehand.

Do I Need Commercial Vehicle Insurance If I Use My Personal Car for Work?

The answer to the question of whether you should get commercial vehicle insurance if you’re using your personal car for work isn't as simple as it may seem. Yes, it’s true that you have personal auto insurance for your car. But then it may not be enough. 

Let’s clarify one thing first. We aren’t talking about using your personal car to get to and from your workplace. Obviously, millions of people do just that and most of them don’t need commercial vehicle insurance at all. But if we’re talking about using your personal car to help with your work, it’s a different matter entirely.

Why Your Personal Auto Insurance May Be Inadequate

What you first have to understand is that your personal auto policy comes with the understanding that you’re using your car mainly for personal reasons. You use it to drive yourself to work, to the mall and grocery, to your various entertainment spots, and to your friends’ houses. You may even use it to travel across the country. You’re still covered.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

But for the majority of personal auto policies, the automobiles driven mainly for a business are specifically excluded from coverage. So if you use your vehicle to deliver pizza for your pizzeria, then if you get into an accident you may be on your own in covering the liability.

The same goes for vehicles that are owned by a business, and not by you. If the business owns the vehicle, then insurance must be bought on behalf of the business and that will generally be dealing with commercial insurance.

Some types of vehicles may also automatically require commercial insurance because of their design. Food trucks, delivery trucks, tractors, and shuttle buses may all need commercial insurance, because they’re classified mainly as commercial vehicles.

If you want to be sure that your personal auto policy covers your car even when you use it for your business, you may want to discuss the matter first with your insurance agent. They can then clarify matters for you.

Beyond the Limits of Your Personal Auto Insurance

If your insurance agent says that you’re using your car too often for business so it needs commercial insurance, then you have no choice but to get one. But even when your personal auto policy covers the use of your car for business, you still may need additional coverage.

Let’s say that you’re just on your personal policy, and you get into an accident while you’re delivering your pizza. The personal policy will then pay for the damages to the other party’s car and for the expenses brought on by the other people’s injuries. But your personal policy will have some limits, and often they’re not enough to cover the entirety of the hospital expenses.

The other party can then sue your business so that it will be liable for the damages beyond the limits of your personal policy. You may end up bankrupting your business to pay the damages.

When Do You Need Commercial Insurance for Your Personal Vehicle?

It may be more sensible for you to obtain commercial insurance even when you already have personal insurance, if the following situations pertain to you:

  • Your business owns the vehicle. That explicitly makes your vehicle a company car, and personal policies don’t cover company cars in general. You’re basically driving around without insurance if you don’t have commercial insurance.
  • You frequently use your car for your business. That should protect your business from suits for damages when they exceed the limits of your personal policy. 
If you’re the employee, then it’s not a good idea at all for you to drive (and depreciate) your car for the business. It’s only a good idea if the company will also pay for its commercial insurance. If a car is needed for your job, then let the company provide you with a car—and the company will pay for the commercial instance for it too. 

Watch Trading Videos to Learn Currency Trading

There are many websites who update Forex trading videos. These videos contain important lessons on how you can improve your trading. When you are trading in Forex, you need to know every information to help you in making money. People focus on their professional help and they ignore the outside helps. As a result, they have many lacking in their knowledge. Reading a book and learning how to ride on a bicycle is the same thing if you only develop a strategy but never use them in the live trends. The trading videos will help you to understand the different volatilities and trends. You can also read about them on articles but these videos will give you a visual representation of the volatilities and changing of trends. You can know the trends better when you are watching the videos. This article will tell you why you need to watch the trading videos. They will help you to understand the concept, to know the changes in trends and volatilities and improve your performance.


Filter out the best resource

You will have lots of online trading tutorials but this doesn’t everything is useful. In order to become a profitable trader, you must have the intellectual skills to filter out the best resource. Those who are new might not understand the proper procedure but we will clear things out. If you are looking for YouTube video tutorials, see the comment of the normal people. People verdict reveals the quality of the content. Just by following this simple rule, you can easily eliminate the low-quality trading videos.

Does it really help?

When you learn a new thing, apply your technique in the demo accounts. Try to use it properly in your online trading platform. Once you start to understand the new strategy, demo trade the market with the new system. If you can make a consistent profit with an extreme level of ease, consider the new technique as your asset. However, if you fail to make money, and try to find the problems. Solving the problems in an existing trading strategy is a great way to become a profitable trader. So always assess your new trade setups before using them in real account.

They are better than blogs

When you watch a video, there are two benefits. You get a visual representation of what is happening on the chart and you also get to analyze the chart at the same time. It does not happen when you are reading blogs. These blogs only have some screenshots of the images of the chart and the brokers will explain the trends with their articles. It will only give you an idea of how to know these trend but you will not get the idea. The videos that are showing the trends are better and can help you to know the trends that can get volatile. If you want to use your time for your best performance, we suggest watching the videos. There are many channels online where they update the latest videos of the market sessions. You can get an idea of using the right strategy by watching their tricks.

They are free

A good thing about these videos is they are free. You don’t need to spend money to watch them. The brokers have also many videos online with helpful tips. If you need help, try to go for the video tutorials as they are better than the blogs. Most blogs need to sign up for money after giving you some free articles.

You can learn your mistakes

We do not realize our mistakes until it is shown to us. When you watch the videos, you will understand what you were doing wrong. It is hard to find them by reading blogs and articles but the videos will help you. As they show visually the mistakes of traders, you can find yours and make yourself better.

4 Best ways of borrowing money in case of an emergency – Know your options

It might happen to anyone, a sudden unpredicted yet inevitable expense can leave you cash-strapped or even worse, scrambling hard to allocate funds. Your car’s transmission might have blown off, your child may have fallen seriously ill, you may have lost your job permanently, and any of these might happen to you all of a sudden. Wouldn't you be worried about how you could fulfill your credit card and mortgage payments? If such a situation arises, where would you turn for help? Would you depend on your friends and family members? Or are there other emergency options as well? 

borrowing money

So, if you’re someone who is looking to borrow money during an emergency so that you can bridge the gap between your income and expenses, here are few options that you can take resort to. Check them out. 

#1: Family and friends are always your first option

Whenever you’re in dearth of cash and you need them immediately, your first resort will definitely be your family and friends. If you have supportive family members and few bosom friends, this is the undoubtedly the fastest and the cheapest way of borrowing money. However, you should be aware of moving carefully as money matters often damage a relationship. Since a friend doesn't charge you hefty fees and interest rates, he will offer the money sooner. Try your best to repay the funds as soon as possible. 

#2: Credit card cash advance

This is yet another fastest ways of borrowing money and at the same time it is pretty simple too. From your credit card, you are allowed to get a cash advance and the proceeds can be got from the ATM itself. Doesn't that sound great? However, something that you need to note is that a credit card cash advance is pretty costly. You will require paying something around 2-5% of the amount that you've borrowed in the form of fees, that too upfront. Then you will be subject to a rather high interest rate of 25% or more than that. 

#3: Seek help of an online lender

There are several peer-to-peer lending websites and other online lenders which can also be a good option for you when you’re in need of money. These options have a quick turnaround and you can soon find cash in your bank account within very few days. However, the interest rates that you have to pay on these might vary depending on the credit rating that you have. On the other hand, if you have good credit, this can again become a rather costly option. Whatever case you might be in, make sure you repay the loan on time. 

#4: Home equity line of credit

Did you accumulate some good amount of equity in your home? If answered yes, this could definitely be a good option. This amount will equate the amount you are allowed to borrow. The interest rates on home equity loans are reasonable since they’re secured loans. So, keep in mind that defaulting on your home equity loan may put you at the risk of losing your home. Be timely about the repayments. 

Therefore, now that you are pretty aware of the online lending options that you have during an emergency, what are you waiting for? Go through the pros and cons of the above listed options and then choose the one which fits you in the best way. 

Things to Consider Before Getting a Reverse Mortgage

You may have heard of a reverse mortgage with or without realizing it. Sometimes it is also referred to as a reveres loan, retirement loan or home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). It all depends on the lender you talk to. The HECM term is most often used by government-controlled lenders. In either case, it is important to know as much as you can about a reverse mortgage before you apply for one. So, if you are considering filling out a reverse mortgage application, here is some info to help you make a final decision.

Reverse Mortgage

The Purpose of Choosing a Reverse Mortgage

The purpose of choosing a reverse mortgage over a traditional mortgage is essentially to help you maintain financial comfort when you retire. Retirement usually involves trying to live on a low, fixed income. A reverse mortgage lender can give you a special loan if you are over age 62 that will give you another source of money during retirement. Unlike a standard mortgage, you will not have a monthly mortgage payment to make back to the lender. In fact, you may continue to receive money each month, depending on the terms you set up when you sign the mortgage agreement. 

How Reverse Mortgage Repayment Terms Work

You may be wondering what the catch of getting a reverse mortgage is. If you do not have to pay any of it back regularly, how can the reverse mortgage lender possibly benefit? Well, the answer is a reverse mortgage is a long-term way to borrow money. You will not owe the full balance back until you leave your home. Therefore, the loan may last for many years. However, it will accumulate interest throughout that time. Therefore, the lender will eventually receive a benefit. 

Calculating Your Reverse Mortgage Benefit Amount

A reverse mortgage is a home equity loan, meaning it allows you to use part of the value of your home as money you can spend. Therefore, you may think the maximum you can borrow is the total amount of your current home equity. However, the government has instituted regulations preventing the full amount from being borrowed. Therefore, a reverse mortgage calculator must be used to determine how much you are entitled to borrow. First, the total value of the home must be determined. That value may depend on the condition, size and location of the home, among other things. 

What You Must do to Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage

It is a misconception that the only requirements to get a reverse mortgage are owning a home and being 62 years old or older. You must also meet other requirements. For example, the home itself must be your main residence. It cannot be a vacation home. Also, you must pass a credit check and be capable of performing ongoing maintenance tasks, such as paying the property taxes on the home. 

Tips for Avoiding Reverse Mortgage Scams

Like most other businesses, the reverse loan industry is not immune to scams. If you want to avoid such scams, you must be careful when applying for your reverse mortgage. Speak only to reputable lenders, such as government-operated agencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a good resource. Many private lenders are also reputable, such as local banks. However, when seeking a private lender, you should speak to a representative of an institution that is well-established in the community. Ideally, you should choose an institution you have done some other form of business with successfully in the past.

Starting Life as an Active Trader

If you've long had an interest in the world of investing, then do something about it by becoming an active trader. If getting over that first hurdle is what is putting you off from doing so, then remember,all the best investors had to start somewhere!


To find out what you need to get your life as an active investor up and running, and to see what you can do to hit the ground running when you do, make sure to check out the advice below.

Consider giving options trading a go

You don’t want to dive right into the sea of investment because doing that will, more than likely, see you drown — you want to dip your toe into it instead. To do this, you must consider giving options trading a go. You should do so because this form of investment would see you bid on an obligation rather than something outright, meaning the pressure is well and truly off. There are a number of different platforms that make options trading as simple as can be, thinkorswim being one of them — when you consider the thinkorswim brokerage fees, you may find that to be the perfect options platform for you.

Study the markets religiously

The best-laid plans of active traders often go awry when they do not study the markets religiously. Be it options or outfighting trading that you partake in, and whatever it is you decide to trade, studying your markets and knowing everything there is to know about them, from every bear to every bull, is a prerequisite if you want to be a successful investor.

Regarding the bear and the bull, you should know that a bear market is one where the prices are falling, meaning selling is or is about to take place, and a bull market is one in which the prices are rising, meaning investing is or is about to take place. Confusing either of these two terms with the other will see you make mistakes in regard to what you sell and what you invest, and that could see the end of your life as an active trader even before it has really taken off.

Know how to read the risk-to-reward ratio

Every investment comes with the possibility of reward, and every investment comes with a few risks attached to it. If you want to find success as an active trader, you need to be able to weight up whether the possibility of rewards outweigh the probability of risks whenever you make an investment, this being called reading the risk-to-reward ratio. If you don’t, then, more often than not, you’ll find yourself making bad decisions and investing in things that really shouldn't be invested, especially not by a novice trader like yourself.

The life of an active trader can be an incredibly fruitful for one, but only if they get off to the best start possible in regards to it. To do that, you’re going to have to put the advice above into practice.

How to Manage Customer Reviews

You do certainly know how important reviews are for your company. They build your reputation, help your brand become popular in your industry and among your clients. Naturally, a better-known brand has better and higher chances of staying in business and receiving a steady inflow of consumers and customers. Earning credit in the market increases brand value, gaining respect in the market and earns the interest of investors more than the others. In this article, we’ll give you a brief guide to managing customer reviews. Read on:

Customer Reviews

1. Customer Service Should Be Top Notch

To earn good reviews, or even project yourself as an able businessperson, you must pay close attention to what your customers are saying and manage reviews efficiently. We would suggest that you organize a customer service team to do this job properly. Request your customers to review you, because it is unlikely that they will do it naturally. Keep a close watch on your reviews, and remember to monitor them every single day. Ensure that you respond through your company’s account to reviews, as this adds a very personal touch. Your customers expect you to be interactive and it is important that you do so, both to show your value for customers and to build or maintain your reputation.

2. Be Present on Review Sites

This could indirectly be a good way of increasing your company’s online footprint. Try to be present on as many famously known reviews sites as possible. By doing so, you can ask a customer to choose any site and place his/her review based on their choice. Select sites which have a user-friendly interface and ask specific questions. Something you must never forget is to ask them to include suggestions or opinions about the way you work. This should be the most important section in the questionnaire.

3. Work on The Reviews

We've already reminded you to pay attention to what your customers are trying to tell you. Now, we’ll add something more - you need to implement those suggestions. Make a table on an excel sheet to record each suggestion and how many times it appears in the reviews. If you find a particular repetition, you know you must implement it as soon as you can. You can also include terms like “we are already working on that” or “based on your suggestion, we have” to make the customer feel important and convey to them that their opinion matters to your firm. Try to approach customers personally to ask them for suggestions - this is another way of showing interest. In the end, if you can successfully prove that you do care about the quality of the service provided, you will almost definitely gather their trust.

4. Spread the Good Word!

When you’re done with all of the above, you can tell others how you work. Increase awareness by including your reviews in the websites of your company. Most people will read them to create an impression about your company even before they contact you regarding your services. People will also choose you from the rest based on your rating, so ensure this is done only by the most able people for the job. Meanwhile, reviews which are placed on search engine-based platforms, like Google Maps, will naturally have an effect on a related Google search. 

Your customers are definitely your first priority. Their experiences will eventually lead people to trust and approve of your company. If you have a company that is fairly new, this is certainly one of the most important things to focus upon. If you have an established unit or organization, you should ensure that your reputation does not enter the negative. With competition growing at record speed across all sectors, it necessary to stay updated to stay in business. So, reform, rethink and redo the basic things and you’ll keep getting enough promoters to keep you there on top.

How Investing Can Help You Achieve Financial Freedom

Investing your hard-earned cash doesn't always mean you have to involve an experienced (and expensive) financial planner or investment advisor. In fact, investing is a lot easier than many people think, and you don’t need tonnes of knowledge either. To start investing and start making money from it, all you need is time, discipline, and a little self-control.

Financial freedom – the ability to have few financial obligations such as loans and having enough to do what we want to do when we want to – is something which many people crave. By being smart with your money and making investments, you can soon achieve this financial freedom and embark on a better quality of life.

Achieve Financial Freedom

The trick to developing your wealth and achieving financial freedom is being smart with your money. Regularly putting money away, cutting frivolous spending and investing it in the right places are all ways you can make your money work for you.

#1: Start Saving to Get Started

If you really want to begin investing, then you have to start saving some money up. After all, you can’t invest with nothing! Saving up money takes a lot less time than you may think, however, and you can do it in small steps by putting away small amounts at a time. Even if you've never been somebody who likes saving money, you can put away as little as £20 per week and this will soon add up to well over £1,000 in a year.With £1,000, there are lots of things you can invest in!

Dripping money into savings over time is known as the “cookie jar approach” and it’s very effective. You can even do it online with your internet banking, simply set up a standing order to move as little as£10 from your main account to a savings account once per week. When you do it like this, you don’t even see the money going anywhere!

You can even increase the amounts you put into your savings over time if your income increases or you find that you have a little extra to spare when you start spending less. There are clever applications which can figure out how much you can afford to save, and they will even do it for you, too.

#2: Invest in the Right Places

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a website or asset where you can make your investments. With new websites being launched all the time, it can be very difficult to choose one and stick with it. One of the better trading websites out there is called ZuluTrade and you can read this ZuluTrade review to learn more about it. In short, ZuluTrade is a fintech company which operates a copy trading platform, enabling its users to mimic FOREX market trades made by experienced traders. Diversifying your portfolio and investing in different places is one of the best investment strategies you can use, too.

Spreading your investments so you don’t put all your money in one place significantly reduces the risk your capital is at, and it means you have a higher chance of having money invested in a market which will deliver a good ROI. The primary goal of diversification is to carefully balance risk and reward, and a diversified investment portfolio is less prone to volatility.

#3: Sit Back and Wait

Investing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time(sometimes lots of time), to get going and start making money. A lot of wannabe investors get frustrated and will pull their capital out when they don’t start seeing results straight away, however this is never a wise thing to do. You can’t plough your money into an investment opportunity and expect to see results overnight. Whilst this can happen, it is quite rare, and it is far more common to see returns after an extended period of time. 

The key to becoming a good investor is not only knowing where to put your money but being patient and waiting when you have invested it. The worst thing you can do is get frustrated because that £500 you have invested into something has not turned into £1000 in a week. Also, don’t be put off by slight losses as these can be recovered in the long-term – losses are just a part of the game.

There are plenty of options if you want to start investing and get complete financial freedom. Thanks to the internet, there are tonnes of online markets where you and anyone else can begin with as little as £10. It’s always better to start out with more, though, and saving up over time is your key to getting off to the best possible start with copy trading platforms such as ZuluTrade.

Planning for Your Future: A How-To Guide

It is often said that the best way of going through life is by being a free spirit and seeing where the winds take you. Whilst this is a nice sentiment for a movie, the truth is that many people opt for this way of thinking because confronting what they are going to do in the future is a scary thing, or at least it is if you don’t have a plan in place. If you learn some of the basics of how to plan your life to ensure success and happiness, you will be able to think about the future with a smile on your face, eager for the next step in your journey. In this handy guide, you will learn everything you need to know about getting your life on the right track for the future of your dreams.

Planning for Your Future

Planning ahead

The first thing you need to do is make sure you are not going into anything blindly while your enthusiasm and excitement are high, as this can lead to bad choices and using your money unwisely. You need to work out how to plan for your life goals in a meaningful way. For example, to create a life plan, begin by brainstorming the things you want, such as jobs and achievements, before working backward in steps to establish how you will get to this endpoint.

Sorting out the finances

The main thing about planning your future is that you make sure you have the funds to achieve what you want to do. For example, if you wanted to go to University, travel, or have a family, these goals cannot begin to be obtained unless you have the funds to back you up. Using a company such as Trust Point will give you access to tried and trusted financial planning schemes which will allow you to budget all the money you would need to start a business or buy your dream home. Taking care of your finances with the aid of professionals will ensure you are always on the right track.

A place to settle down

The final thing to think about when planning for your future is where you should base your life. Learning how to choose where you should settle down will be easier now you have a life plan. For example, if the industry you want to enter is thriving in one state, then you now know this is where you are going to have to have your roots in order to climb the ladder to success and meet like-minded people. The only thing you will need to factor into this is if you have a partner who works in an industry thriving in a different area. This doesn't mean you have to give up, but rather get creative and find a compromise that can provide a solution.

Planning for your future shouldn't have to be scary but rather an absolute joy as you can begin to see the life you have always dreamt of taking shape right before your very eyes.

How to Get Your Business Finances in Order

As a business owner, you might have a great idea of what you want your business to do, and you probably know how you will do it, but you might not have the financial sense to get started. Many small business owners admit that they don’t have the skills they need to keep their finances in order, so here are a few tips to help you get on the right track.

business finances

Set Up a Business Account

It might seem like a straightforward thing to do, but many people that start their business, use their personal account for a while because they don’t think they need anything more. However, if your business suddenly starts to flourish, you will then have to arrange your business banking account which takes time. There are many banks that offer good deals on business banking accounts, so it is worth looking at a few until you find one that fits in with your business. Plus, when it comes to dealing with taxes, it will be easier to separate your business and personal costs.

Save Your Taxes

When taxes come around, it can be a stressful time for businesses. However, that doesn't have to be the case, because you can set up a separate tax account. With each sale you make, place the tax amount into this account and save it ready for your tax bill. You can get your tax rate from your accountant, so you know how much money to save from each sale. It means that you won’t have to find any cash when the bill arrives, and you might even earn some interest in the meantime.

Get Your Employees Pay Right

Business owners that don’t pay their workers on time will soon find them leaving for other jobs. That will not only hurt your productivity, but it will also get you a reputation as a bad employer. To help, make sure that you always have the money to pay your staff and that you ensure it is paid on the same day every month or week. There are sites that will help you create paystubs so you can keep a reliable record of your salary payments and your workers have something they can keep for their records.

Plan Ahead for Highs and Lows

Every business has its good times and bad, and how you deal with that will determine how your business does in the long term. Set yourself some spending limits that you can comfortably handle when times are not so good. You then know that you can survive these periods, so you can up the budget when times are better. After a while, you will know when your peak periods are, so you can always save a little extra for those times when sales aren't so good.

Even those who don’t have a lot of financial knowledge can quickly learn the basics. From there, you can decide if you want to get an accountant to help you, or you want to do it yourself.

12 Habits Which Help With Reaching Financial Freedom

If you have been wondering how some people achieve financial freedom and if that has been your dream for a while now, you might benefit from some of the easy, actionable tips below.

Here is our list:

1. Have a short list of goals

Long list of various goals can not only make you unfocused but it can ruin your chances of achieving any. According to recent research study, you should set a couple of measurable and specific goals that you can focus on. 

2. Define your financial freedom

Before you can even set your goals, you have to decide what a financial freedom is to you. For instance, it might be a carefree retirement or a debt-free life. This can help you in determining your goals. Financial freedom doesn't have to mean the same thing to everyone.

Financial Freedom

3. Environment affects saving habits

As with everything, your environment seriously affects your saving habits. So, if you are hanging out with people who never seriously considered saving money or being financially free, you are less likely to succeed. Tweak your environment so that it can work with you. 

4. Budget 

When you get paid, try to create a budget. Determine how much you absolutely need to spend each month or in that month specifically and set that money aside for spending. The rest can go into your savings account or for paying off more debt. 

5. Reward yourself from time to time

If you have done an outstanding job-saving money in a previous couple of months, or in the previous quarter,  there is no real harm in rewarding yourself with something that you have wanted for a while now. 

'It's recommended that you reward yourself when you can as it will boost your motivation to do even better as you go further. It can be a simple, inexpensive reward that means something to you, or a slightly more expensive one if more time has passed. 

6. Learn to reuse

Instead of constantly throwing away things, you can try to reuse and fix something. Replace paper plates or paper cups or bottles with something more durable and wash it after every use. It can help you save money.

7. Save for retirement

One of the best ways to stay financially independent is to have some savings for retirement. This way, you'll be able to enjoy your time off and spend money on things you love. 

8. Automate payments

It will be much easier for you to let go of the money and make sure that everything is paid if you automate your payments. This way, you'll never miss a deadline. 

9. Stay healthy 

Staying healthy is imperative if you want to have a great retirement. Medical bills could eat up most of your savings so you should either start planning for that or start a new, healthier regime right away. Address any health issues while you still have insurance. 

10. Combine your hobby and making money 

If you have an interesting hobby, you can easily try to monetize it on platforms like UpWork and UK Writings. These can help you earn some cash on the side and assist your independence. 

11. Understand your spending triggers 

If you are a spender, you need to understand what makes you spend the most. Maybe it's an emotional state or some issues that you have coming from your past – whatever it is, you should carefully examine your behaviour. 

12. Withdraw cash when shopping

Rather than using a credit card where you'll have no way of limiting yourself, withdraw enough cash for essentials and go shopping with that. 

Over To You

Achieving financial freedom is not an easy job and it might take you a while. Follow these tops If you want to be successful and financially free.

About the writer: Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at

4 Viable Online Career Options

In the current job climate, many people are looking to the online world to find what they are looking for in terms of career choice. Not only does the online world offer the chance to work from anywhere in the world, but it means people are more able to make their income on their own terms. There are many career options you can find online, but there are a few that stand out from the crowd that hasn't existed in previous years. While some are trusted favorites, lots of people are finding themselves stepping into near careers they may only have dreamed about. To help you find the one that’s right for you, take note of some of the most viable career online options that are only expected to grow in future years.

Online Career


Since before the birth of the internet, freelancing has been a great option for aspiring writers. However, with the emergence of many job searching platforms and online tools, you can find freelancing gigs in anything from software development to graphic design. If you want to work on your own schedule and you hold a true passion for what you’d like to freelance in, this is arguably the best line of work you can go down. From creating your online portfolio to finding regular clients, everything you need is at the touch of a button.

Financial trading

Trading stocks were once something reserved for those in big financial firms. These days, more people have been taking the plunge to become a trader, where they can make more money than they thought possible. To become one, you need to have a sharp eye and the best trading software to ensure you see the biggest profits. The TastyWorks platform is fast becoming the most user-friendly for traders. When you are starting out and navigating the market, it is recommended that you keep your day job until you can see yourself bringing in a sustainable income.

Online seller

In recent years, online shopping has seen such a boost that it has taken over traditional retailers as where people choose to buy what they need. From home tech to clothing, there are hundreds, even thousands, of online sellers profiting more each year. The best way to start is by selling repurposed goods on sites like eBay, but there are also many more sellers selling handmade and vintage goods on marketplaces like Etsy. You could even take the plunge and set up your own online store, where you can make products, advertise them from the comfort of your laptop and get them to your buyers in the space of a few days.

Social media influencer 

As social media booms, so do the chances of making a career out of your own profile. This is an industry which has truly gone from zero to the top in the space of two years, and it is expected to grow. Becoming a social media influencer means creating video blogs and posting picture reviews of clothes, beauty products, health products and much more. In return for advertising a product or service, you can get a hefty cut of whatever the retailer makes directly from your posts.

5 Tips for First Time Budgeters

If you’re looking to take control of your finances, one of the best ways is to visualize where your money is going to, and coming from. Once you know where your money is all going to, you can then start to control your spending in specific areas, or amp up your debt payments.

How do you get this snapshot? By creating a budget.

It might not be the most entertaining thing to do, but trust me, it will be one of the easiest ways to get a handle on your spending. Don’t expect your first budget to be the perfect one though. It’s likely you will change it up to adjust to your life.

Here are a few tips to help you start your first budget.

You Will Blow Your Budget, It’s Okay

You can’t expect to always end the month under budget in every category, at least not at the start. Life happens – an unexpected expense will occur that will throw your budget into chaos (even if you prepare for it). Something will pop up that will cause you to spend a little bit more money than you planned for, and it’s okay.


When it comes to budgeting, it’s all about the long-term. You cannot expect to be the master of your finances after one month of budgeting. So, if you overspend one month, learn from it and keep moving forward.

Don’t Give Up

Budgeting is a tedious task that can seem like the end of the world some days. When that feeling happens, keep pushing through it. It may be easy at the start to throw in the towel and forget about your budget. Doing that, though, you won’t learn anything, and it will be a lot harder to take control of your finances. Keep your head up and work at it for a few months to really get the feel of budgeting.

Learn From Others

Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your budget. Whether it be from a friend, financial advisor, or financial bloggers, there is tons of support available to get you going with your budget. All of them likely have been in your shoes and can give you the advice to succeed.

Don’t Overthink It

It might seem like you need to add a category into your budget for every type of spending, but in reality, it will make it harder to track. Don’t overthink a budget – keep it simple.

When it comes to your fixed spending (those that stay the same, or you know you will spend money on every month), you can divide those into more categories. However, the spending that can vary from month to month, create a Miscellaneous or Everything Else category. That way, you still get a snapshot of where your money is going to while not overthinking the budget.

Be Thorough

With that said, you still need to be thorough with your budget. Just because you shouldn't overthink your budget doesn't mean you can be lazy with it. A lazy budget likely isn't an accurate one.

Being thorough means having a tracking system in place that works for you. Maybe you like the old school way of writing everything down or prefer an app on your phone. Whatever it is, have something to track your budget with and stick to it.

You also need to update your budget regularly. When you spend money, save the receipt and put it right into your budget. Don’t let your receipts build up to the point that you don’t remember what category each expense goes under. Stay on top of regularly updating your budget to keep it as accurate as possible.

Use these tips to help you through your first budget. Take advantage of the budgeting mistakes people share so you can avoid them. Your budget will be your best friend and worst enemy all at the same time. But, remember what it is there for – to get you out of debt and in control of your finances.

About the writer: Jeremy Biberdorf is the owner & founder of the popular investing blog  Check out his site for latest investing news and tips