Does Your Online Business Really Need an Office Building?

You see this happen every two decades, or so, something in business becomes obsolete, and even though the trend quite clearly shows this, it remains the elephant in the room. The need for brick and mortar office blocks and commercial real estate is becoming less and less relevant. Especially as entrepreneurs are so innovative nowadays, that working out of an actual office seems rigid, old-fashioned and quite cumbersome. E-commerce and other online businesses have shown the markets that the cost of maintaining a free-standing outweighs the benefits. The bottom line is, online businesses now have systems whereby communication, orders, negotiations, signing deals and distribution contracts can all be done through online cloud software. So what do you need to do to replace the need for an office?

business trends

Present well 

Running a web-based business is the exciting new trend from cloud-based home businesses and entrepreneurs around the world are turning to as the staple of modernity. Maybe as little as a decade ago, you need a real-world presence to be taken seriously as a business, as you couldn’t turn to investors are say that you only exist on the internet; you’d get laughed out the room. However, with a professional website design, pages and pages of information about what it is you do, your products, services, history, testimonials, and building of a reliable reputation, online businesses have now got more consumers chewing at their bandwidth than real-world businesses have people walking through their doors. Walk-in traffic numbers are abysmal to e-business click figure, mainly due to accessibility.

business ideas

Employee efficiency and contract a third-party

Online businesses don’t need as many employees as office block-based companies do because each employee is expected to get the majority of tasks done online and hold many skill sets at the same time. One employee can now perform market research by studying analytics, engage in customer feedback, devise a marketing strategy, and present it to the boss, all on their own. The beauty of modern business is that by being efficient, cutting costs and maximizing profits has never been easier. Getting orders is no problem for most, but the challenge comes in manufacturing products, storing and distributing them to consumers and shopping stores. That’s where businesses like armstrong steel corporation come in, with the sole purpose of building strong steel structures, independent startups working from home to large e-commerce corporations can do all three. As point-of-contact is done through social media or via the company website, employees can communicate orders and queries with each other on a cloud system from home or in a coffee shop. You’re able to satisfy customers’ needs with updates and change products by communicating with the third-party manufacturer. 

Legitimacy and vanity

In today’s world, you don’t need a real office to be seen as a legitimate business. Some might say that spending so much money on desks and computers for cubicles in an office is beyond the point of childish vanity when you have all of that at home. It’s important to acknowledge that the virtual office performs just as much if not more tasks than a real office can. With integrated customer service programs and the ability to communicate with staff in real-time, responding to feedback directly to consumers has never been easier. Phone calls are a thing of the past; customers want information of updates, news, company events and presentation to be done online via social media. Investors no longer need to come and see what your office looks like, they want to see the infrastructure you have online and how that translates into the real world e.g. manufacturing and distribution as aforementioned.

Tips for Choosing Insurance

One of the signs you're truly a grown-up is when you have to get insurance. It means you’re maturing, but is also means you will have a lot more financial responsibility. Choosing the right insurance can save you hundreds of dollars every year. Here are some tips to make your decision a little easier.

HOME AND CONTENTS INSURANCE

Home and contents insurance can be purchased individually or together, the latter often promising a cheaper price. In differentiating the two, imagine you pick up your house and turn it upside down. Home insurance is everything that would not move - walls, roof, windows, and so on. In insuring your home, you need to consider your income and ability to maintain your payments. Contents insurance will vary depending on the amount of coverage you need. For those with a lot of high-end items, you will need a policy designed for higher coverage.

Choosing Insurance

CAR INSURANCE

The first step in choosing car insurance is determining your needs. Everyone is different. It has taken some time, but motor-vehicle insurance companies are now offering much more flexible packages. Ask yourself:

  • Do you drive to work or school, or do you work from home?
  • Do you park in secure parking?
  • What type of neighbourhood do you live in?
  • How many miles do you normally drive?
All of these variables can go into creating your personalised car insurance package. This means you are covered for what you need, and not what you won’t use. Companies like InRoads, a prime agency of auto insurance in Ontario allow you to do all these things online, making the process easier.

HEALTH INSURANCE

Staying healthy is one of the most important things you can do. For general health maintenance or those unexpected bumps along the way, health insurance can be a blessing. Meet with your doctor to determine any pre-existing conditions, making sure to note them in your insurance application. Consider what procedures you may need in the future and include them in your package. These may include treatment for genetic predispositions to cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, among others. Perhaps you are already past child-bearing years and therefore don’t need it included, whereas hip replacement may be in your future. Take your time and remember that insurance is there for the unexpected, so consider all eventualities.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travelling is meant to be a time of fun, but that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. Getting travel insurance is a great way to protect yourself from accidents, lost baggage, injuries, and can even help you get home in the event of a war or terror incident. All packages vary, and you will need to check before buying. If you are visiting multiple locations, make sure all are covered.

INSURANCE BROKERS

Like many other legal and financial commitments, it is always recommended that you consult with a professional. An insurance broker can help you determine the amount of coverage you will need, and explain some of the trickier bits of terminology. Find someone you are comfortable with, and don’t sign any documents until you have carefully read it from cover to cover.

Careless Credit Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

Everyone needs to be concerned about his or her credit score. This impacts your ability to lend money; this could be in terms of taking out a phone on contract, or it could be in terms of taking out a mortgage. It impacts people in different ways. However, there is no denying that everyone needs to work to maintain a good rating. Below, we reveal some of the careless credit mistakes people are making today that could impact the rest of their lives.

Credit Mistakes

Failing to check your credit report – Failing to check your credit report is a mistake in itself. Your credit report is your financial history and health. You need to check it regularly to ensure that everything is in order and that your identity is safe.

Getting cash advances on your credit card – It is not advisable to get cash advances on your credit card, as you will incur exceptionally high interest rates. These rates are much higher than those applied to purchases. Plus, they come with transaction fees and there is no period of grace. This means the interest on the money begins to add up immediately. It is usually much cheaper to pay for the product or service in question directly with your credit card instead.

You think all credit is bad credit – If you have a bad credit rating, you may be hesitant to touch a credit card or a loan ever again. This is completely understandable. Unfortunately, the truth is that you are going to really struggle to repair your credit score if you don’t borrow money in some form. To repair your rating, you need to show that you are reliable and that you can make repayments. This is why loans with bad credit and monthly payments are a good idea. They are easier to be accepted for, and you can show lenders that you are reliable and can pay on time every month.

Making minimum payments – If you only make the minimum payment on your credit card every month, this can result in a bad credit score. By doing this, you probably aren’t getting anywhere closer to paying the debt off, and it signals to lenders that you are struggling to pay off the money that you owe.

Thinking ‘no debt’ means ‘good credit’ – In fact, it is quite the opposite. If you have never taken out any form of credit, be it via a loan or a credit card, you will never have a good rating. This is because lending firms do not have any data to go off. They do not know whether you are someone credible to lend to or not because you have never had to pay money back before.

You make numerous credit card applications – Finally, it can be tempting to make a whole host of credit card applications and then merely accept the best credit card that comes along. However, the number of applications has an impact on your credit rating, and it is not a good one.

New To Property Investment? Don't Make These Five Common Mistakes

Property investing really is a minefield. There’s so much more to flipping houses than buying cheap, renovating and selling for a profit. It can be unpredictable; the market has peaks and troughs, plus you never know quite what you’re going to uncover when you start ripping out walls and floors of properties. You have to be aware of things like ceiling prices, conveyancing, title deeds, mortgages and so much more.

Property Investment

Before making your first purchase, it’s important to do your research so you can go in with your eyes open. You could read a real estate investing guide, speak to other investors and seek professional advice before jumping in. That way you have enough background knowledge to be able to make the best decisions and maximize your profits, and avoid these common mistakes newbie property investors tend to make.

Mistake 1: Not Considering The Area

It’s easy to want to snap up a great house at the right price when one becomes available. However, it’s not just the house you need to think about but the entire area. The neighborhood and nearby amenities are something that all buyers will be looking for. It’s not to say you can’t make money from a property in neighborhoods that aren’t as nice, but just be aware of this when you’re renovating. It’s pointless creating a luxury home if the neighborhood doesn’t match up. 

Mistake 2. Overlooking The Outdoor Space

You could renovate a property beautifully, but if there’s no outdoor space or very small gardens you could have difficulty selling it on. If you’re renovating a family home especially this is something to be aware of. Especially if you plan on extending the original property when you’re making changes, as building outwards is going to cut into the outdoor space available. 

Mistake 3: Underestimating The Amount of Work That Needs To Be Done

Some houses might look incredibly dated and in bad condition at a glance. However skimming the walls and ceilings, repainting and replacing the bathroom and kitchen might be all that needs to be done. However other houses will require far more work. You might need to relocate bathrooms, move walls, repair structural damage and get rid of pests. If the electricity and plumbing are also bad, having these redone bumps up the cost massively. You need enough knowledge to know how much these repairs are likely to be, and how much value they’re likely to add to work out your profits. 

Mistake 4: Renovating To Your Own Tastes

People who are new to the business of flipping houses often get bogged down with certain details because it’s what they would want in a home. They might overspend in some areas to make the property look like they would want it, or focus on elements that they would personally enjoy. It’s important to remember that if you’re buying a home to sell on, it’s not you who’s going to be living there, so it needs to be approached in a different way. Things like tiles and decor should be very neutral as these will appeal to the most number of buyers even if it’s not your personal style. You need to do your research and find out what buyers in this area of this kind of property want in a home. A utility room might be a must for you, but a busy family might prefer the extra kitchen space or a downstairs bathroom instead. 

Mistake 5: Underestimating The Finishing Touches

When people are looking for properties to buy, they will want to picture themselves living there. Adding a few finishing touches can allow them to do that. You don’t want to go too crazy with personal items, but a few finishes here and there make all the difference. If you sell a lot of properties, you could even invest in a box of props for viewings that you can take with you and display when your next project is finished. A rug, some plants, a piece of art, a clock. The presentation is so important, you’re not just selling people a home, but a lifestyle. 

An End To Enormous Energy Bills

Energy bills can be a huge expense for some people. If you’re hoping to lower your bills, here are a few measures you can take without having to live too frugally.

Go green

Living more green doesn’t just save the planet, it can save you money in the long run. There are plenty of home improvements that we can make to live a more sustainable and less costly lifestyle.

Enormous Energy Bills

When it comes to saving money on gas, insulation is one of the biggest improvements we can make, causing our home to stay warm in winter and prevent us reaching for the thermostat. Popular insulation types include loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, double glazing and draft protection on doors. Switching to thick winter curtains and thick duvets in the cold months can also help. You can often save money by making such home adjustments and buying such items in the summer when they may come at a discounted rate due to less demand.

As for saving money on electricity, solar panels are the way to go if you have no plans of moving out any time soon. Installation of solar panels isn’t cheap, however you may be able to make costs up in a few years. Install enough panels and you may never have to pay an electricity bill again. Solar Panel Quoter can help you compare prices.

Switch your provider

Your energy supplier may simply be giving you a bad deal compared to other providers out there on the market. Many providers will offer discounts to new customers, which can be a great reason to keep switching every couple years. Companies such as Selectra Energy Comparison can help you find and negotiate the best deal out there. It may also be worth ringing up and threatening to leave your provider – they may offer some form of discount in order to keep you staying.

Monitor your usage

Most of us don’t have a clear idea of just how much energy we’re using. An energy monitor can be useful to have for this reason, telling you the exact amount you’re spending on gas and electric so that your bill doesn’t come as quite a shock. By seeing how much you’re using, you may also be more inclined to be more sparing with your gas and electricity. You can opt for a normal meter, a smart meter (which also sends data to your provider) or a prepaid meter (you’re only allowed to use as much energy as you pay for).

Opt for low energy appliances

Another cost-cutting measure is to only buy energy saving appliances. Sust It is a useful site for comparing the electricity usage of various devices allowing you to buy the most energy efficient. Most energy saving appliances will have an Energy Star logo to show that they’re low energy - or have the option to run in low power. Look out also for LED and halogen solutions to lighting.

Evergreen Investments That Are Always Worthwhile

Choosing the right investments is never an easy thing to do. The best things to invest in can change each year, and deciding what's going to work out for you is tough. There is always a level of risk with any investment that you make, but many people new to investing want to go for choices with lower risks. If you can almost guarantee a good investment, you can feel more confident about spending your money. While different types of investment fluctuate, there are some ways to invest your money that will almost always be good ideas. Choosing reliable investments can help to take some of the effort out of growing your money. Try some of these options to invest your money in the best places.

property investment

The Stock Market

Investing in the stock market isn't exactly risk-free, but it is an option that will always be open to you. It also offers a range of choices within the market so you can find the right things invest in for you. You can explore different levels of risk, and if you don't want to take huge risks, you can make safer choices. Your investments can both rise and fall, and watching them carefully is important. However, you can't avoid risk completely when it comes to investing, and the stock market can offer you some lower risk options if that's what you're looking for. While there might be some periods when it's not a great time to invest, the stock market is generally always worth considering.

Property

Property is one of the investments that many people make even if they don't consider themselves an investor. By buying a home, they make an investment for their future, whether they eventually sell it to downsize or live out the rest of their life in it. Apart from buying your own home, there are several ways to invest in property. While the property market can fluctuate, people always need places to live and run their businesses or stay while they're visiting somewhere.

You might consider investing in residential property, commercial property, vacation rentals, and more. Choosing the best property to invest in isn't always easy, but you can get help. A service such as Assetz property investment can simplify choosing the right property and finding tenants. You can speak to mortgage brokers to find the best financing options. You should explore all possibilities to find the best locations and types of property to invest in.

Property Development

In addition to buying, selling and renting property, developing property is also a smart choice for those that have the money. Identifying a gap in supply and demand, plus knowing the right people to help you grease the wheels, can get you far. Whether you decide to build affordable housing, student accommodation, luxury flats or even hotels, the development of property is often a good investment choice. However, like any investment, it still requires careful consideration if you want to make the right moves.

Starting a Business

Launching your own business also comes with risk, of course. Not all businesses work out, but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying to make one successful. If things don't work, you'll have some valuable lessons for whatever you choose to do next. And when a business does work out, it's certainly a worthwhile investment. It's not always a good time to start a business, but the concept of launching a new venture isn't going to go away. If you have a business idea, you might simply need to wait a while before it's a good time to turn it into reality. Weathering the different challenges of running a business can be tough, but being prepared for anything will help.

Pensions/Retirement Funds

Many people make investments in various things because they want to be prepared for their retirement. Choosing specialist retirement funds and pensions is a good idea if this is your main goal. Like any investment, there are still risks, but they can be an excellent choice to help you grow your funds for retirement. They're always going to be one type of investment worth considering, although some people would rather turn their attention to other things. It's something you can tailor to your needs, even if your income isn't regular. If you're self-employed, you can find options that might allow you to contribute different amounts, depending on what you're earning.

Personal Development

While it might not be an investment in the traditional sense, putting money into your personal development is something you can make a return on. If you invest in yourself and your education or development, you can find that it can do a lot to improve your financial circumstances. It might mean that you have debt or you need to make sacrifices in the short-term. However, in the long-term, it can mean that you increase your earning potential and put yourself in a better position financially for a more comfortable life.

FOREX Trading

If you know what you're doing, trading foreign currencies can be an excellent way to make money. You can always identify the best currencies to invest in, depending on what's coming up or down on the market. It might be riskier than some forms of investment, but it's always going to be there as an option for you to experiment with. You can find lots of help too, from various advisors so you know how to make the most of your trading.

Savings Accounts

A savings account won't always offer you high returns, but they do offer a reliable and steady investment. If you can find some high-interest accounts to consider, they can be much more appealing if the lower-interest options don't take your fancy. A savings account isn't usually particularly high-risk, so you can feel comfortable using it to invest your money and ensure your savings aren't just sitting in your bank account doing nothing.

Some investments, particularly some physical assets, can go in and out of style. But there are always some that are worth considering for their growth potential.

How To Ask For A Payrise (And Get It)

Want to get paid more but don’t want to necessarily switch job? Many of us think we should be paid more for our job, but few of us do anything about it. This is because asking for a payrise is a scary prospect – although it really shouldn’t be. Unless you really don’t get on with your boss, it’s unlikely that they’ll throw such a request back in your face. In fact, even if they refuse, it’s likely they’ll respect you more for having the courage and intuition to ask. Here are a few ways that you may be able to increase your chances of an employer saying yes.

Ask For A Payrise

Take on more responsibility

First of all you need to be able to give evidence that you’re going beyond the line of duty. This means taking on a little more responsibility. This may be hard if you’re already rushed off your feet, although staying behind extra hours might strengthen your case. If there are new employees in the office, consider volunteering to train them. You can even offer to help your boss lower their workload, although don’t try to steal too much responsibility as it could look like you’re trying to outdo them rather than work with them.

Get better qualified

Taking the time to learn some new skills or get better qualifications can help justify your reason for getting a pay rise. The likes of Training Connection have many courses available from project management to online marketing. A boss may be happy to let you go on such a course – it could save them having to train you and could also help you develop new skills that no other employee has, making you a valuable asset.  

Ask your employer at the right time

Now you’re ready to finally take the leap. But wait – timing is everything! You want to have enough time with your employer without interruption and you want them to be in a good mood. Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are therefore often best avoided. Scheduling in a time may be better suited if your boss is often busy.

Be straightforward

There’s no easy way to break the question. The best thing you can do is be courteous – don’t make a demand and don’t get defensive. Other than that, be straightforward. Tell your employer you’d like to be paid more and give evidence of your extra responsibilities and qualifications. Reinforce the fact that you care about the company and want to progress so that it doesn’t feel like a threat to leave.

Give them time to reflect

After making your request, be silent and let your employer have their say. They may ask how much more you’d want to be paid or they may simply say they need to think about it. If they say the latter, give them a few days to reflect and then come back to them (at an appropriate time so that you’re not hassling them). They may well have to talk with an accountant first and see if it’s financially viable. They may also want to monitor you for a few days to justify a pay rise, so bear this in mind and be on your best behaviour.

Top 4 Financial Planning Mistakes Everyone Makes!

If you aren’t already aware, financial planning is an essential part of your life. It needs to be done to help sure up your personal finances, and guarantee you of a healthy financial future. 

Financial Planning

On the face of it, financial planning seems like a relatively easy thing to do. However, you’ll be surprised at how many common mistakes are often made. Today, we’re going to look at some of the main financial mistakes every seems to make. Hopefully, by taking a look at them, you’ll know what to do to avoid making the same mistakes!

Check them out down below:

Not Setting Clear Goals

The whole nature of financial planning revolves around one goal; to keep your finances in good shape now and in the future. However, there are loads of mini goals you should have throughout the process, and you must set them. Not only that, but you need to properly set these goals by actually writing them down and documenting them somewhere. 

The easiest analogy I can think of is to imagine you’re building a chair. If you don’t have any instructions, or a plan, written down, you’ll find it hard to build that chair properly and quickly. But, with everything written down, you have a plan to follow and stick to, meaning you get the job done quicker and better. So, get a blank word document opened up and start listing your goals. Think about how much money you want to save after a year, set yourself targets for your maximum spending per month, etc. With these goals, you have something to follow and things to aim for. As a result, it’s easier to plan your finances and see better results. 

Forgetting To Write A Will

A will is one of those things nobody likes to think about, but it is a big part of your financial life. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll remember I said in a previous post about writing wills that only half of adults do so. This is a big mistake, as your will is incredibly important with regards to financial planning. 

You see, it determines what happens to your estate and all your money when you pass away. You might think this doesn’t matter as you’re no longer alive so who cares where your money goes, right? Wrong, you should care. A big part of planning your finances revolves around what you do with it when you’re gone. You want your life's savings and all your hard work to actually amount to something and be useful rather than just given away. Plus, as mentioned on the Bannister Preston website, you want to provide your family with financial security for their future too. It’s a very important step, and you should get on the phone to your solicitor and write a will today. Even if you’re in impeccable health, you need to write a will. 

Failure To Keep Track Of Your Spending

One of the cornerstones of a good financial plan is ensuring you know how much you’re spending. Ideally, you should look at your expenditure every week/month and know exactly how much you spent and what you spent it on. Unfortunately, many people fail to do this. I think it’s a mental thing, we don’t like to see how much money we spend, and we think if we ignore it then we don’t have to feel bad about what we buy! Obviously, the problem with this is that we spend without thinking or tracking our purchases which can lead to overspending. 

So, what you need to do is keep tabs on everything you buy. An easy way to do this is to have a little notebook and jot down each purchase you make throughout the day. This is the best way of ensuring you know how you're spending your money, and how much money you’re spending. At the end of every week, you can look at your notebook and figure out maybe where you’re spending too much and where you can cut back a bit. In the long run, simply tracking your spending will help you save a lot of money. You should also always check your bank statements too. Have a look at every monthly statement and compare it to your notebook to see if there are any strange comings and goings. Again, this all helps with tracking expenditure and saving cash. 

Not Using Your Money Effectively

Perhaps the biggest financial planning mistake is that people don’t use their money effectively. They think that saving it and putting it in a savings account is a job well done. While saving is essential, sticking your savings in an account really isn’t that effective. You don’t gain much from having your money in a savings account, the value will only gradually increase over time. 

Instead, you need to use your money effectively and invest some of your savings. Don’t lump it all in an account with poor interest rates, invest it in something that grows in value over time. You’re looking at low-risk investments here, ones that won’t fluctuate dramatically every day or two. Stocks can be a good investment, as can real estate. But, there are even things called ISA’s that are investment savings accounts. To you, it’s the same as putting your money in a regular savings account as you don’t do anything personally. But, behind the scenes, someone from your bank is investing your money in various things to help it grow over time. So, you get the benefits of saving money, with the added bonus of gaining more money as time moves on. 

These four financial planning mistakes are made by pretty much everyone. Now, you can go away and ensure you don’t make them yourself. You know what to do to avoid them, and it will keep your finances in the best shape possible. As a general rule, mistakes cost money. So, the fewer mistakes you make, the less money you will lose.

Your Financial Future: How You Can Cement Success

Your financial situation will always be a tough subject to think about, yet alone discuss with your nearest. It can evoke such high emotions, especially if things aren’t looking so rosy right now. It is understandable though, after all, not all of us have full financial security, especially when there are impending issues affecting your income and finances. I thought there was no time like the present to start thinking about your financial future and cement the success we all deserve when it comes to money. 

Financial Future

Sort out your debt problems

Debt can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to your finances. You can be feeling very claustrophobic with the commitment of paying back credit cards or overdrafts, and even loans can take their toll. The problem is that you end up paying interest on each of these payments, which means the amount you are physically repaying to your debt isn’t as much as you would believe. It’s important to tackle this issue as soon as you can, and one way to do that is to consolidate your debts into one lump sum. A personal loan can be a great way to pay everything off, and then only have one payment and one payment of interest each month. This can significantly reduce your outgoings which means that you feel much more secure with your disposable income. 

Think about future investments

There is no point working towards success if you don’t start to think about your investments into the future. Otherwise, everything will always remain the same and never improve. Investments can be anything from using your savings for stocks and shares, or even property investment. This is when some financial planning could be important for you. Experts in the field will be able to look at your opportunities and advise you on the best way to invest. Making your money work harder for you than it possibly could just sitting in your current account. 

Look at your current outgoings 

Your future will not be successful if you don’t tackle your current outgoings and ensure you are paying the best possible price for everything. We may have rent or mortgages to pay, are you getting the best deal? You may have energy bills to pay out each month, have you checked your rates recently? Insurance costs, phone and broadband providers. Many times these companies that you remain loyal to will be offering cheaper prices and rates for their new customers. 

Make sure you getting the right deals for your bank account and savings

Finally, it isn’t just your bills that you need to make sure you have a good deal on. Are you getting a decent interest rate on your savings? Could your bank account be providing other benefits like cash back or better rates for your current account balance? Again these small things can enhance your income and make your money work harder for you. 

I hope these tips prove useful to ensure you are on the right path for a successful financial future.

Safe Or Dangerous? Which Approach Will You Take For Your Financial Future

Financial freedom isn’t simply about gaining security for today; it’s equally vital that you think about tomorrow. With regards to this, there are essentially two types of people in this world. The ones that play it safe, and the ones that take risks. Which are you?

Financial Future

Find out below, and if you don’t like the answer, perhaps it’s time to do something about it.

Investments 

A good wage is one thing, but retirement comes to us all. Therefore, using your savings in an effective way to boost your retirement funds should be one of the top items on the agenda. 

Generally speaking, the bank will be your safest option. However, real estate investments offer fantastic opportunities with minimal risk too. After all, the demand for housing ensures that property prices will always take a positive turn over an extended period. Besides, there’s also buy-to-let and alternative options on the market.

Risk-taking investors may wish to try their luck in the stock markets. They can certainly bring phenomenal outcomes, but it’s worth noting that you could potentially lose out

Spending

There’s nothing wrong with spending money in this life. Nevertheless, it’s important that you live within your means as irresponsible spending can result in debt. 

Regardless of your financial status, reducing the waste should be top of the agenda at all times. This can be achieved by trimming the fat on TV packages, cell phone deals, and other services. Meanwhile, embracing coupons and other money-saving ideas will pay dividends in the long run. If nothing else, it will encourage smarter habits for when you do eventually need to tighten the purse strings.

The safer person will try to get in front of their mortgage repayments too. Risk-takers will focus solely on today. In truth, the best advice is to try and find the right balance.

Family Matters

Whether you are a risk-taker or a someone that takes the safe approach doesn’t matter. We all have desires to provide our loved ones with financial security. However, as with everything else, there are different approaches.

If you want to be ultra-safe, you’ll want to write your will immediately even if you’re only in your 30s. Meanwhile, those getting married may want to think about prenuptial agreements. Avoiding this can be a little risky. Then again, making those financial preparations can kill some of the romance.

When kids are involved, you may want to save for their college funds too. The safe option is to gradually build it over the years. The risky approach is to leave it until later down the line before making bigger payments. In truth, the right answer is the one that works for you. 

Conclusion

Taking risks can bring great results in life. After all, nobody would ever experience love or create a successful business without taking a leap of faith. With regards to financial health, though, it’s imperative that those risks are calculated. 

If you want our opinion; play safe with the big decisions, and take risks with the smaller ones.

Are You Using Your Money Wisely?

Are you using your money wisely? You probably already know the answer to this question. However, you may be stuck in a cycle that you don’t feel strong enough to break. Using your money wisely is key not only so you can live a happy life, but so you can teach your kids good habits too. Read on to learn more.

Signs You’re Not Using Your Money Wisely

Not using your money wisely often means buying things you don’t need on a whim. We all have these whims, but learning to control them is important. Worse still, a sign you’re not being wise is buying with money you don’t have. Credit cards can be useful in the right situations, but not when you just want some new clothes!

Signs You Are Using Your Money Wisely

Do you know how much you have coming in and going out? Do you track your spending? Do you really think about purchases before you make them? These are all signs you’re using your money wisely. When you keep close track of everything like this, you’re unlikely to ever feel the need to take out a payday loan, or spend money you haven’t got.

Another sign you’re using your money wisely, is that you’re saving what little bits you can here and there and investing them. This is how many big investors start out before making larger investments, such as putting money into startup businesses. Doing this can seem scary, but it can help to create a better future for you and your family. Take a look at the infographic below!

Saving Money
Credit to Fortunate Investor

How to Write up Your Will in 60 Minutes

Apparently over 50% of adults have not written a will. It appears it is one of those things that we don’t really like to think about so it tends to get pushed down to the bottom of our list of priorities. However making a will is incredibly important, particularly for those of us with dependent children and families. Writing a will is not nearly as complicated as we think it is, so follow our simple steps to writing a will so that you can have peace of mind that things are all rightly in place.

Cheap Options

There are some incredibly cheap options in drawing up a will and there are even some do it yourself kits that you can buy online that will guide you through the process. Alternatively there are online services available that will allow you to create a fully, legally binding will, without the need of a solicitor, and all within 60 minutes. The only downside to using this online service is that you don’t receive any legal advice so you are a little on your own when it comes to knowing exactly what to do and the will will also not be stored for you. However for those of you that know a little about what writing a will entails this could be a very cost effective option. Make sure you read through the details in small print and do your research before hand as the last thing you would want is to not complete it properly and then need the help of a probate solicitors later on down the road.

Your Will

Online will writing services do suggest that users should only really be using their service if their will is reasonably simple. So anyone that has a more complicated situation is recommended to seek the help of a well trained professional.

Hire a Solicitor

This is the road that most people go down. As getting your will right is so important, reaching out to the specialists is definitely the recommended avenue to take. Some areas of will writing can become complicated particularly when it comes to matters such as tax and dividing funds. That said, people with a reasonable amount of savings, investments and assets may think they know what they want to do with passing on all these things however seeking legal assistance is still advisable.

A solicitor will be able to make sure that your will is drafted and signed in the correct way and they will also be able to store a copy of your will for you. So this will offer you peace of mind that it has all been done correctly, it is now safe, so you can just completely forget about it. The only real downside of a hiring a solicitor to take on the task of writing up your will is the cost. They are undoubtedly the most expensive option however the peace of mind they offer by guaranteeing that everything is done properly, is worth every penny.

The Importance Of Financial Planning When It Comes To Property Investment

Investing in property is sometimes a challenge that requires time and commitment; however, the rewards can be financial security and a home you’ll enjoy for years to come. For you to be able to move out of rented accommodation, and take those all important first steps onto the property ladder, you’ll need to prepare your finances and plan what you’re going to do carefully. The following are some area to consider when it comes to successfully buying a house or apartment.

Property Investment

Be Proactive

Houses don’t just fall into your lap; you’ll need to be aware of the market, and what’s available to you. Regularly checking out what’s up for sale, and how much it sold for, will give you a good understanding of property prices, and what you’ll be able to get for your budget. Make it your hobby to know exactly what’s happening with the property market in the area you want to move to, and the surrounding areas. Don’t be afraid to visit real estate agents to ask questions, and you can always check online in your free time, to see if anything new has popped up.

Seek Help

Now you know what’s on the market and have decided what’s within your budget; you’ll need to ensure that your finances are in order. The property market moves at a quick pace, so it’s vital that you have an excellent understanding of what money you have available, and can make an offer quickly on any potential real estate you want. Ensure that if your credit rating has been compromised in the past, you take the proper steps to rebuild it and mend any damages. If you’re unsure as to where to start; you can check out Lexington Law firm reviews to help you to understand what to do next. 

Make Decisions

There is no time for procrastination when it comes to investing in property. Refrain from making decisions that will leave you financially over-stretched; however, move as quickly as possible if you have your money in place, and you’ve set your eyes on a particular home. There will always be a lot of competition, so the sellers of the property will have the upper hand, and don’t usually wait around for you to twiddle your thumbs before making a decision. Make it a priority to give people a timely answer, without compromising what you want and need; this way the buying process will progress as smoothly as possible for both you and your sellers.  

Persevere 

Try not to become disheartened when a sale falls through, or if you’re outbid on the property of your dreams. Giving up will just mean that you’ll never end up on the property ladder, or great housing opportunities will pass you by, and end up with a more willing buyer. Prepare yourself for knock backs and disappointment, but be ready to pick yourself back up, and persevere with the process. For more tips on staying positive, take a look here. The property market waits for nobody, so remain positive, keep going, and you’ll be handed the keys to your new front door in no time.

Preventing Financial Emergencies: How To Revive Your Credit Rating

Have you ever checked your credit rating? If you haven’t, you may have no idea whether your score is high or low. Everybody has a credit rating. If your score is bad, it isn’t the end of the world, but it is advantageous to try and do something about it. If you’re keen to revive your credit rating, this guide will hopefully help you to prevent financial emergencies.

About credit ratings

Your credit rating is a numerical figure, which represents the level of risk you pose to a financial lender. If a bank or a building society agrees to lend you money, your credit score should dictate the likelihood of you being able to pay that money back. If you’ve got a high score, a lender will feel more confident about your ability to stick to the repayment agreement. If you’ve got a low rating, you may find that lenders don’t want to take that risk as they feel that there’s a chance you won’t be able to repay your debt.

Credit Rating


If you don’t already know your credit score, there are agencies you can use to find out your rating online. You have to answer some questions about your finances, and a report will be compiled based on the information the agency gathers about your accounts and your financial record. At the end, you’ll be presented with a figure. Different companies use varied rating systems, and your report will include information about your individual rating. Some agencies operate a scale from 1-5 while others will give you a score of up to 999. 

Why is my credit score low?

There are various factors, which can lead to a low credit score. The most significant issue people encounter is problems paying money back in the past. If you’ve missed payments on your rent or mortgage, for example, or you’ve taken out a loan and failed to repay it on time, this will count against you. You may also have a poor rating if your financial history is limited. You may think that you’d have a good score if you don’t have any debt, but if you’ve never borrowed money before, a lender cannot see that you’ve been able to repay a debt. If you don’t use your account on a regular basis or you don’t have many direct debit payments set up, this can count against you, even if you’re in the black.

You may also find that your credit rating is lower than it could be if you’ve applied for loans or credit cards in the past and your applications have been declined. If your account is linked to a partner and they have bad credit, this can also affect your rating. 

It’s often a good thing to borrow money when it comes to your credit rating. However, it’s not wise to borrow large sums on a regular basis. This may have the opposite effect on your credit score.  

What are the effects of a low credit score?

Your credit score plays an important role in determining whether you can borrow money. If your credit rating is sound, lenders will be much more likely to offer you chance to take out a loan or a mortgage if you plan to try and buy a house. If you try and find a loan online, and your credit rating is poor, you may find that your application is rejected. Your credit score will also affect how much money you can borrow. If you wanted to borrow a substantial amount, a bank may not feel confident agreeing to this if you don’t have a good track record. This means that you may find it difficult to get a mortgage or to apply for a credit card with a high spending limit. 

In addition, your credit rating will have an impact on the interest rate you’ll pay if you do borrow money. People with high scores are likely to be offered preferential rates because they pose a lower risk. 

Your credit rating doesn’t just impact your ability to borrow money. It may also prevent you from doing things you want to do. If your score is low, for example, you may find that you can’t take out a mobile phone contract or have broadband installed at home.  

Reviving your credit score

If your credit score isn’t as high as you hoped, try not to panic. There are many ways you can improve your rating. Here are some examples.

Take out a loan: if you’ve never borrowed money before, you may think that this stands you in good stead when it comes to your credit rating, but it can actually go against you. This is because you have no credit record, and this means that lenders don’t have evidence of your ability to pay money back. If you want to improve your credit score, and you’ve never borrowed money before, it may be worth taking out a small loan. Provided that you make sure you can afford the repayments, this will increase your score and show banks and lending agencies that you can be trusted. 

Check your details: sometimes, you may find that your credit rating is low as a result of mistakes on your record or fraudulent activity. Make sure your report has all the right personal details, and if there are irregularities, for example, there’s an application, which wasn’t made by you, contact the credit reference company and get any abnormalities or errors sorted out. 

Close accounts and credit cards you don’t use: if you have accounts open or credit cards that you haven’t used for a long time, shut them down. This is particularly beneficial if you have credit cards open with high limits. It’s good for your credit rating to have a credit card, but if you have a lot, this may set alarm bells ringing for the lender. 

Pay on time: if you’ve taken out a loan, you rent a house, you have a mortgage, or you have a credit card, ensure you make repayments on time. Set up a direct debit, and make sure you include these payments in your monthly budget.

Seek advice if you’re struggling: missing payments can be incredibly damaging to your credit rating, so seek advice if you’re worried that you’re not going to be able to cover your outgoings. 

Deal with debt: if you have existing debts, try and pay these off before you apply for a new credit card or try and borrow any more money. If you already have a lot of money to pay back, a mortgage provider or bank may be hesitant about approving any further applications. 

Stay put: if you move home on a regular basis, this can put lenders off. Sometimes, you can’t help moving, and you may have a job that requires you to relocate. However, if you don’t need to move, staying put can help to improve your rating. 

If you are worried about your credit score, it’s a good idea to seek advice from people with expertise in this area. Arrange to see a financial adviser. You can go through your credit report, discuss ways you can improve your rating and identify problems, which could be holding you back. You can ask questions and set out plans that will help you going forward.  

The benefits of a good credit score

If you’re and carefree, you may not be worried about your credit score, but it’s a good idea to think about the future. You may not be thinking about buying a house now, but fast forward 5 or 10 years and the decisions you make now may have a significant influence. If you’ve got bad credit, this can affect you years down the line. You may not be able to buy that first home you’ve been dreaming of for years, and your credit score may even affect your chances of landing your ideal job. If you’ve got a credit card or you’re thinking about applying for a loan, make sure you live within your means. If you can’t keep up with repayments, you may end up regretting your decisions in the future.  

A low credit score can hamper your chances when it comes to taking out a loan to buy a new car, carry out home improvements or even buy your dream home. Your credit rating is a numerical score, which pertains to the level of risk you present to a lender. If you have a bad score, this may mean that lenders don’t want to offer you the chance to borrow money. This may be disappointing, especially if you have plans, but a low score isn’t the end of the world. It is possible to improve your rating by showing lenders that you can pay money back and you do have control of your finances. If you have a poor rating, it’s a good idea to see a financial adviser and go through some ways you can boost that score. Try and avoid borrowing more money if you have debts or your score is low. It’s likely that you’ll only be able to access high-interest loans, which could plunge you further into debt.

Habits That Might Save Your Finances

We all want to know that our financial life is going to be solid forever. As it happens, though, it is rare that you can find such an ongoing promise in the world of money. If you are keen to do everything in your power to keep your finances going strong, then there are many habits and approaches which you might find useful, or even essential, to take on board. In this post, we are going to be looking at just a few examples of these kinds of habits, so that you can be sure you are on the right track. Let’s have a look at some of the best ways to keep your finances looking strong.

Save Your Finances

Know How To Find A Good Deal

The way that you spend money is hugely important when it comes to making the most of your finances. In general, it is those who are able to find a good deal who can be sure of saving more money, and therefore his is something that you might want to try and put into practice at your earliest convenience. Actually, finding a good deal is pretty much just a case of trial and error, no matter what it is that you might be purchasing. It is only really with practice that you can learn how to spot a good deal, so that is worth bearing in mind if you ever find it difficult. This is something which also applies just as much to financial products themselves. For example, if you are on the lookout for a savings account, you will benefit greatly from knowing what the best ones are like, so that you can make the most of the money you put aside to save.

Learn To Manage Your Investments

If you are able to invest, then you are probably in a fairly good position. Investments can be a real headache, however, even if you have a lot of experience in dealing with them. To make the most of your investments, you need to pay close attention to them. In order to do that effectively, it helps to learn how to manage your own funds. Private fund management is an important part of ensuring your investments remain stable, and that is worth bearing in mind when you are trying to make your finances as secure as possible.

Reel In Spending

If you are able to cut down on your spending, then you have done most of what you need to do to look after your money. This is simple, and yet it is so commonly overlooked that people entirely forget about it. In fact, knowing how to reel in your spending is going to make more difference than many other acts combined, and that’s why you should place particular emphasis on this. If you find that you frequently overspend, you might want to sit down and work out a private budget for yourself. If you can come up with a strong budget, you should be able to keep your spending down, and that will lead to a much healthier financial situation on the whole.

The Biggest Expenses Of Your 20s

You never really thought about it while you were in college, but being an adult is expensive. While you may have learnt the importance of paying your rent on time while you were living in a rented house with your college buddies, and you always knew that you’d have to worry about paying off your student debt once you graduated, nothing quite prepared you for the extent to which daily life would drain your bank balance. As a young adult in your 20s, here are the biggest expenses you can look forward to, but don’t think it gets any better in your 30s.

The Biggest Expenses Of Your 20s

Car

When you first passed your driving test, your first car was probably second hand and bought with some help from your parents. Now you and your car are a little older, but one of you can’t go on for much longer. Not you, the car. You might have an idea of what you need to spend on gas, insurance, and general maintenance, so all you need is some helping buying a new set of wheels. Most dealerships will offer a range of finance packages, to make sure that you can keep it all affordable. You can keep the monthly payments even smaller by keeping it simple; if you don’t need alloy wheels, heated seats or coloured brake pads, then don’t buy them.

House

Ever since you graduated, your circumstances might have forced you to move back into your parents’ house in order to save money for your own place. Unfortunately, years have passed and you’re starting to lose hope that you’ll ever experience the freedom of living on your own again. Don’t worry, it can still happen. The steps listed in the How to Move Out of Your Parents House | FAQ | Guide to Moving Out form the perfect basis of a plan to get you out on your own once more. Start by getting a job, setting out a budget, and go from there. 

Credit Cards

Credits cards are the easiest road to increased debt, yet they are also essential for building good credit. If you managed to figure out the best repayment plan to clear off most of your debt, then you need to take out a new secured credit card and learn how to use it responsibly. Keep your utilization rate below 10 percent, and pay back what you owe in full every month. You should also never take out more than one card because it reflects poorly on your credit report. 

Engagement rings

Back in the 1980, luxury jewelry giant De Beers started the “two months salary” rule to encourage potential customers to give their prospective wives a glimpse of the kind of future their husbands could afford. Nowaday we all have better things to spend two months salary on, like two months rent for instance. If “tradition” is too expensive, just ask your special someone what they’d like, or go based on what you can afford. The ring means more than the price tag.

Top Skills Of Estate Agents

If you have ever thought about being an estate agent, you are definitely not alone. This is an increasingly common career choice, and it might well be the best move for someone who has a real interest in property. If that sounds like you, then you might be interested to know what it takes to be an estate agent. As it happens, there are a few key skills that you will need to try and develop if you do want to pursue this career path. In this article, we are going to look at some of the top skills that the best estate agents have and need. Knowing this should put you on the right track to getting that career you really want.

Real estate

Keen Eye For Detail

Something that can really set apart the best from the rest is having a keen eye for detail. This applies to every part of the job, more so than you might assume. It obviously helps when you are taking people around homes and trying to find good details to talk about. But it helps back at the office too, whether it is carrying out the necessary legal paperwork or looking for the best home insurance leads. Any task which you might be called on to carry out will require that you are able to look at the finer detail unflinchingly, so that you can draw out what is beneficial and discard the rest. Make sure you are certain you have this essential skill before you go applying for these kinds of jobs.

Talkative

As an estate agent, one of the things you have to be best at is encouraging people to become interested in properties. This can often be surprisingly tricky, and it is no wonder that many estate agents pride themselves on being able to make a sale verbally. Being talkative is likely to really help you massively, especially when it comes to trying to sell a property. If you want to be an estate agent, you will probably find that you need to be particularly extroverted, and able to talk at great length about limited material. If you think you can do this you might well be the kind of person who can succeed in the world of real estate. This is something that cannot often be taught, and so needs to be something you distinctly feel you are able to do.

Persistent

You will no doubt find that it often takes a great deal of time to see deals through to the end, so this is why you might need to have a strong sense of persistence. As long as you are able to persist no matter what, you should find that you can make the most of whatever comes your way in the job. You never know what is going to happen, and how long a sale might take, so you need to have the energy to carry on for as long as it takes. If you think that applies to you, then you should be able to enjoy this role as much as possible.

A guide to travel cards and safe credit card use overseas

With cash now facing a slow death, the credit cards revolution is one of the technologies that are paving the way for a cashless society. The convenience and security that come with credit cards have made them very useful to millions across the world. For any person who understands its benefits and has the financial ability to get one, a credit card is a must-have. 

travel credit cards

But to get a credit card that will adequately meet your personal needs, you need to give the choosing process the seriousness it deserves. The reason is that just like all financial tools, you need to ask and answer yourself fundamental questions that will enable you to get the right card for your needs. This post will share out the factors you need to consider as you choose an effectify’s credit card for travel or any other available.

The cost of acquisition and membership

The first factor you need to consider is the cost of getting the card and how much it will cost you to keep it in your wallet per year. The reason is that different card issuers charge varying costs to get and maintain their credit cards with some charging as much as $2,500 per annum. So, you need to assess your pocket before settling for any card.

Look for the goodies 

With many companies are now issuing cards as tools for meeting different goals, they are resorting to various goodies to entice cardholders. As a smart consumer, you have to look at and compare the goodies that accompany the card you are intending to sign up for. Depending on your personal needs, tastes, and preferences, you can choose a card based on the rewards the card offers.

Look for other benefits

The second question you need to ask and answer yourself should focus on other benefits that the card offers. You should check out for the percentage that the card issuer charges for making international transactions.

Check out for welcome offers

In a world that is being more populated with many credit card issuers, all of them are dying for your money, and they are ready to do many things to get you into their fold. For instance, they will splash special offers to welcome you “home.” You can take advantage of those bonuses to meet your personal needs and preferences. However, it is smart to read in between the lines to ensure that the bonuses are not bait to entice into using up for something you will regret using in the long-term.

Factor in the interest rates

Lastly, you need to consider the amount or percentage of interest that the card company will charge you per month or annum. Looking into such a factor will show you how much you will spend on this card in the long-term.

With these facts laid bare before your eyes, you now stand higher chances of making an informed decision when choosing a credit card. The ball is now in your court to get the best value for your money.