Be A Steady Saver

saverMany people have good intentions when it comes to saving, and may be able to stick to a strict budget for a month or two. However, it often proves difficult to be a steady saver over a long period of time – even though this is the best way of achieving your saving goals. With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to become a steady saver over the long-term.

Tips For Being A Steady Saver

Budgeting

Why do most people fail at budgeting? There are 2 main reasons:

  • Their outlook
  • Being overly aggressive

The first issue, your outlook, is why so many people fail and in many cases, don’t even set up a budget in the first place. They see a budget as a restriction, not letting them live life and spend money. In other words, they see a budget as a negative thing. In reality, though, a budget is a great thing. It helps you get to where you want to be financially. [Read more…]

How The 99% Can Make It

99%

There is a lot of talk in the news about income inequality. The rich are getting richer while everyone else is struggling to survive. I pointed this out in my post about how 80 people control half the world’s wealth. The post below isn’t meant to take a shot at the rich, but rather take insight from how they live so that we, the 99% can improve our situations. So what can we learn from them to better not only our financial lives but our overall life as well? Here are some practical steps for how the 99% can make it.

Key Steps For How The 99% Can Make It

Strive To Succeed

All too often anymore I hear people complain about how they don’t have this or that. When I ask them (or hear them being asked) what they have done to get the thing they want, many times the answer is nothing. No one makes it in the world without hard work and effort. If you want something, you have to find a way to get it. [Read more…]

These 80 People Control Half The World’s Wealth

80 people control the world's wealthYou read that right. There are 80 people who are as rich as the 3.6 billion poorest. With 7 billion people on the Earth, that means these 80 people control half of the world’s wealth. Sit back and think about that for a minute. So who are these people and how did they make their money?

The Wealth Gap Is Expanding

Before we get into talking about these 80 people, I want to dive deeper into the numbers first. The numbers I cite come from Oxfam, a global non-profit organization working to fight poverty, hunger and injustice. Along with help from Credit Suisse, they found that 80 people control half the worlds wealth and that gap is growing faster by the year.

Just look at the chart below for proof. Back in 2010, it took close to 400 billionaires to equal half the world’s wealth. We are now down to just 80 billionaires. [Read more…]

How To Save Money On Moving Expenses

save on moving expensesMoving can be a drag – all the time and energy it consumes as you organize, stack, and pack, only to do it in reverse once you reach you destination. It is an exhausting experience. However, you shouldn’t allow all that heavy lifting exhaust your wallet. Here are some ways you can save money on moving expenses.

4 Tips To Save Money On Moving Expenses

Prepare A Budget

Not everyone recognizes the value of preparing a budget, and that’s because the thought of crunching numbers is daunting. However, the time you invest in creating a moving budget is time well spent. People who do not prepare a moving budget tend to pay more, leading to debt and frustration. Don’t neglect this valuable asset. Use it as your guide when it comes to the cost of moving. [Read more…]

Biggest Money Mistakes Couples Make – And How To Avoid Them

biggest money mistakes couples makeThere is nothing tougher than handling money as a couple. You both have your own interests and incomes and must somehow straddle the line of helping to keep the family afloat while also meeting your personal interests. It’s no wonder then that money is the leading cause of divorce in the US. But even with all of the missteps you can make managing your money, there are 4 big mistakes we tend to make. In this post, I will walk you through the 4 biggest money mistakes couples make and how to overcome them so that you can live happily ever after.

4 Biggest Money Mistakes Couples Make

Not Going Over Finances Jointly

Look, I get that not everyone is a finance nerd. But this doesn’t excuse you from knowing the family finances. The common thing that happens in many relationships is that one person handles the finances 100% and the other person is clueless. They think this is OK, but it spells disaster for many reasons: [Read more…]

4 Instances Where You Should Consider Seeking Compensation

legal proceedingsBusiness is fraught with legalities of various size and importance. However, certain issues require more serious attention than others – many of these areas deal directly with compensation. To clarify – compensatory measures are taken when you feel your business has been unlawfully harmed by the actions of another party. Below we have listed four instances where you should consider seeking some form of compensation.

1. Income Loss

Businesses must be able to protect themselves against loss of income caused by a range of potential issues both internal and external. If someone or a group of someone’s is actively attempting to subvert your revenue stream – either by infringement on your intellectual property or by any other means, you will be entitled to pursue compensation. The first thing you should do is speak to legal experts who specialise in compensatory law such as Sinnamon Lawyers. From there you can work out your options. [Read more…]

An Education In Finance

investing with a small amount of moneyNobody teaches ‘money’ at school. It might be a good idea if they did. There are many businesses that exist to persuade people to part with their money. They range from banks and insurance companies to the whole of the retail sector, online and on Main Street. There is no suggestion that there is anything wrong with them but how people handle their financial affairs impacts greatly on their happiness.

There are some simple tips that will help everyone, no matter their age so that they have a good chance of avoiding trouble. Events such as the recent recession can ruin the best of plans, but those who had no plan at all were hit even harder than the majority. [Read more…]

Fast Food Workers Pay: How Much Is Enough?

fast food workers payI originally posted this back in 2013 when it became a hot topic around the country. Recently it is back in the news and so I wanted to update it and get your opinion on what is a solution to this issue.

Over the past few weeks, there has been plenty of news about fast food workers pay. Many workers across the country have marched in hopes of getting a pay raise to $15/hour. While everyone deserves to earn a living and get paid a fair wage, there are many factors at play when essentially doubling fast food workers pay. I will look at both sides of the issue, hoping to bring some clarity to this issue.

Background: Setting Up The Story

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average fast food workers pay is just under $9.00 per hour with annual earnings of roughly $12,350 per year, while working around 26 hours per week. The current movement is calling for pay increases to $15.00 per hour, better benefits, more hours and the right to unionize. (This is the third time since November 2012 that the union-backed group Fast Food Forward has organized marches.) A few points on this:

  • The reason hours are only 26 per week is because it allows the restaurants to avoid having to offer health care benefits to its workers. This is even more of an issue now with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act.
  • If fast food workers pay was to increase to $15.00 per hour and they were working 30 hours per week, their annual earnings would be $23,400 or roughly $11,000 more than they are now.
  • An $11,000 pay increase along with more hours sounds like a great thing, so why not just increase fast food workers pay and add a few hours each week? The reason is because there are many consequences to doing this.

[Read more…]

Selling Your Home At Auction: Valuable Advice Anyone Can Use

selling your home at auctionAn auction house environment can be an exciting environment and has the potential to be rewarding for those that know how the system works and when to raise their hand, but if you are new to the process, it can seem quite daunting and even a bit confusing.

If you have every asked the question and wondered whether I should consider selling my house at auction? Here is a look at some of the points and rules of the game that you should know about.

Auctions Are For Everyone

The most salient point to make about buying and selling property at auction, is that auctions are no longer the exclusive domain of ruthless property developers and wealthy investors with financial muscle.

These days, many people who are looking for a quick route to selling their home, can choose to list their property at an auction and know that there will often be healthy competition for your house when it comes under the hammer, and the price is often at least equal to the amount you would expect from a private sale.

You will find that a growing number of buyers, sellers and property investors are using auctions because they provide a well-controlled and opaque selling environment in which to buy and sell property in.

Suitability

The first aspect to consider is the suitability of your property for an auction.

It used to be that more unusual properties or renovation projects were listed at auction in order to attract cash buyers and developers, but many conventional properties are also sold through auction these days.

You will still find properties listed that need refurbishment, have been repossessed, or have been on the market for some while, but you are just as likely to see a property that attracts a lot of interest and therefore achieves at least the market value or beyond it, if there are bidders competing against each other.

Arranging The Sale

Contact your chosen auction house and arrange for them to carry out an appraisal of your property.

This will enable the auctioneers to advise if your property is suitable for listing at auction and discuss your expected sale price and reserve price, to see whether both parties agree that the figures are realistic and viable.

The reserve price is the minimum amount you are prepared to sell your property for. If this figure is not reached or exceeded at the actual auction itself, the property will be marked as unsold at the auction.

Setting a realistic reserve price gives you the chance to get a sale on the day of the auction but prevents you from seeing your house sold for a figure below what you want or need to get for it.

Marketing

As with any sales process, marketing plays a key role in getting your house sold at auction.

The auction house will create an auction catalogue which contains details and pictures of all of the properties that are being auctioned on the chosen day and they will send this out to interested parties before the event.

They will also market the event itself so that hopefully, attendance will be high for the auction event. A successful auction hinges on there being a sufficient number of buyers in the room to create competition and be able to sell as many properties as possible.

The auction house will inspect your property in the same way that an estate agent would come and do a valuation visit and use these details and images taken, to create a profile of your property in the catalogue.

Day Of The Auction

You should be ready and able to vacate your property shortly after the auction, if a sale is achieved.

The auctioneer running the event has a gavel in his hand and as soon as bidding for your property has reached a conclusion and the sale price has equalled or moved beyond the agreed reserve price, he brings down the hammer or gavel, to signify that bidding has finished and your property has been sold.

You need to be aware that at this point, you have entered into a legally binding contract and there is no opportunity to change your mind or withdraw from the transaction.

The purchaser will be required to provide the auctioneer with identification and a deposit equal to 10% of the purchase price agreed. Completion of the sale of your property will then take place about 20 working days after the auction date, when the remaining balance is paid.

Selling your home at auction can provide a level of certainty that a private sale cannot, until you exchange contracts. This makes it an attractive way of potentially getting the price you want as well as being able to sell in a specific amount of time as well.

Jordan Gilman is a landlord and property owner. She likes to keep on top of the latest real estate news. Her articles appear on many real estate websites.

What To Look For In Mutual Funds

what to look for in Mutual FundsWhen it comes to investing, mutual funds are a great option for many investors. This is because mutual funds allow you to get started investing with a small amount of money and still be diversified from the start. But where do you even start? After all, there are thousands of mutual funds to choose from. This post talks about what to look for in mutual funds. The 5 areas explored here will help you narrow the field of mutual funds down to a more reasonable amount. From there, you can check out my posts on the advantages and disadvantages of mutual funds to knock the list down even further. By the time you get done reading these 3 posts, you should be left with a handful of mutual funds to choose from.

What To Look For In Mutual Funds

With close to 10,000 mutual funds to choose from, how do you know which ones are worth investing in? I did a non-scientific survey of a few random people on the street: Other than relying on their financial advisor to tell them which funds to invest in, the majority responded that they choose which fund to invest in according to the fund’s performance.

The ironic thing with this is that every piece of literature you receive from a mutual fund company states that past performance is not an indication of future performance. The funds are telling you not to pick a fund based on this. Granted, they tell you this in an almost unreadable miniscule font at the bottom of the page. In big fonts are the past performance numbers right in the middle of the page. (Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.) Yet, past performance is how the majority of people pick their investments. The industry knows this, which is why they structure their advertisements this way. [Read more…]