Investing

How to Invest While Still in Debt

When you’re stuck in debt, the thought of saving money and investing some of it feels more like a pipe dream than a reality. But it’s important to have some money saved to cover unexpected expenses and life changes, even when you’re in debt. Plus, you’ll want to plan for the distant future, when you don’t have any more debt and you’re facing retirement. Though it takes serious planning and a hard look at your finances, you can learn to invest and save while still paying down debt.

Craft a Budget

When you’re in debt you need a good idea of your budget. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, barely making those student loan or credit card payments, it’s time to take a second look at your budget. Your living expenses, like rent and utilities, are typically pretty similar from one month to the next. So are your debt payments, unless you look into a consolidation plan.

Check out your food and recreation budget for places to save. Do you really need cable, or can you switch to a cheaper service? For instance, Hulu won’t cost as much each month, but it’ll still give you access to your favorite shows. You may realize that you’re not budgeting as well as you thought you were, and you can free up a little cash each month to save. Even $10 makes a difference.

Earn Extra Cash

When your budget is already as trim as possible, it’s time to look at ways to earn extra cash. Many apps and online opportunities exist for turning your free time, your shopping, and even your junk mail into cash opportunities.

If you’ve got some room in your schedule, mystery shopping is a good, fun way to make some extra dollars. If not, try an app like iBotta, which will offer you rebates from many major grocery retailers on things you were already going to buy. Once you redeem a certain number of rebates, you can cash them out. Also check out InboxDollars, which pays you to take surveys and read e-mails, or Bing Rewards, where you can earn money just for using the search engine Bing.

Once you’ve earned some extra cash, you’re free to find investment opportunities that suit your risk tolerance and the amount of money you have available. Even savings accounts offer a bit of interest.

Use Your Employer’s 401(k) Option

An easy way to invest is to sign up for your employer’s 401(k) plan. Many employers will match the first few percent of your paycheck, which doubles the amount of money you’re investing each pay cycle. Check with your budget, and find room to part with between 3 and 5 percent of your paycheck each month. That’s typically the threshold for employer match programs.

Business

Deciding Which Payment Processing System is Right for You

Technology today has made making payments and electronic banking a staple in the economy. While writing cheques is still a popular method for making and accepting payments, there are a variety of options for people and businesses to make and process payments today. And in the current stage of modern banking, there are many different ways you can pay your bills without ever leaving the comforts of your computer or office.

Payment Processing Options

  • BACS – BACS is the “Bankers’ Automated Clearing Scheme” and is how customers pay bills using direct debit or direct credit. It is considered the most popular way to process payments in the UK. When you receive multiple bacs payments from many customers, using a cloud-based automated payment software will allow for a smoother method of processing direct debit and credit transactions.

    Furthermore, the system provides greater convenience for customers as the bacs payment timemeans you’ll process their payments faster, which records in their bank accounts quicker. Accepting BACS payments is one of the fastest, most efficient means of payment processing and it enables processing of many transactions within minutes. BACS also allows you to build a hierarchy in your approval processes and rules to maintain and restrict permissions.

  • Direct Debit – Direct debit is when a business has a standing contract in place to automatically withdraw funds from your bank account on a specific schedule, for example monthly or weekly. Direct debit is often used to pay bills like cell phones, and car insurance. The direct debit amount can usually be altered according to the price of the bill.
  • BACS Direct Credit – An efficient and quick way to send and receive payments. Traditionally used for salary and wage payments, direct credit has extended use to paying employees expenses, disbursing dividends, pension payments, and issuing refunds. This type of payment processing is faster and more efficient than cash or cheques.  It works great with fixed or scheduled payments and is cost effective as it reduces the need for shipping and postage items.
  • Straight Through Processing – Straight through Processing helps to mitigate the risk of human error, avoid manual rekeying of data, and reduce processing delays by automating payment processes from start to finsih. This means little to no human interaction along the way. Using STP to automate payment transactions reduces fraud risk, improves data accuracy and reliability and leaves more time for you and your staff to focus on other areas of your business.
  • Online banking – Online banking is when you set up payments to be made to billers and creditors through your own banking portal. This allows you to control when and how much is sent. Using this options means you must manually enter payment information in each time you want to send a new one or change the current schedule and amount on a payment. Typically, this is great for individuals to use but large business will find this task tedious and time consuming. This also leaves more room for fraudulent conduct and means you should rely solely on your bank statements to produce any reporting. Reporting is not automated.
  • Cheques – Cheques are still widely accepted. While banking has automated cheque writing and business are no longer hand-writing cheques, this is still the most time consuming way to send and receive payments. New features on mobile banking apps allow you to snap a picture and deposit the check without having to go to the bank.
  • Electronic Funds Transfers – Transferring funds directly from one bank account to another. This type of payment processing is often used for paying employees via direct deposit. That is setting up your bank account to send out payments to multiple other bank accounts on a schedule. Business can also use this option to pay vendors and suppliers.

What started with paper money and hand-written notes in the dawn of banking is now an almost fully automated, online, and accessible in real time all the time banking system. Processing payments the old way, via cheques and other slow methods is outdated. To fully make use of today’s automated banking world relying on the best automated process for you, whether you are an individual or a large or small business will help you save money, stay safe, and create better use of your time.

Insurance

When The Services Of A Personal Injury Lawyer Are Necessary

Sometimes life is not always fair. You will get yourself in situations where you will feel unjustly treated and you may just want to let it go. However, there are situations where the damage is more than just to your feelings. The person may cause you serious harm either due to negligent action or intentionally. In such situation, you can be sure that you will suffer broken bones, and other serious injuries.

When this happens, you may not be sure what to do. In some cases, the law does not view the actions of the other party criminal and will not pursue the matter further. There are many other situations where you may also be at a loss. The good news is that you do not need to deal with this alone.

You can seek legal services that will help you to get over the dark moment of your life. A personal injury lawyer is the best placed person to help you make legal sense of your situation and to help you set the ball rolling in order to receive the help you need. There are many situations where you can seek this service. Some of them include:

  • Auto Accidents

When involved in an accident, you may suffer from serious injuries that may hinder your work. The aftermath of the accident can see you unable to go back to the same quality of life you had before.  A personal injury lawyer will help you get the compensation that will adequately cover your needs, then and in future. You will therefore cover for medical expenses even those that come up in future. You will also have to focus on healing, as you will receive compensation for the days you will be out of work.

  • Wrongful Death Claims

Losing a loved one due to someone else’s action can be unfair to say the least. A personal injury lawyer will help you get compensation that will cover the distress, the loss of income and other losses that you may experience. The purpose of this case is however not money, but it helps to bring to account the party responsible for the death of your loved one.

  • Work Related Injuries

Getting injured at work can see you get into more problems as you are no longer able to work. A personal injury lawyer will ensure that you get the right treatment. You get adequate compensation to cater for any expenses that may arise such as medical. You will also get compensation for loss of income. You should therefore not suffer in silence but let the lawyer get you what you deserve by law to get from your employer.

Other issues that personal injury lawyers cover include premises liability, product liability claims, construction accidents, truck accidents and car wreck. Talk to a personal injury lawyer and see how you can get the help you need as you may be suffering while you can get the help you need. You will get a legal recourse for all your troubles.

 

Bio

Lisa Brown works for a legal firm dealing with various legal issues. She has written many legal related articles. She advises that, one should seek legal services, as this provides a solution to many problems one may be facing.

Frugality Videos

Quick Tip Thursday: How To Get Cheap Magazines

I just want to give you a quick tip today about buying cheap magazine subscriptions.  I love magazines since they are filled with a lot of great and up to date information.  Here are a couple of places that I go to order my magazines.  One of them is Tanga.com.  They usually have a daily special on a magazine subscription which can result in some really deep discounts.  Another site I visit is BestDealMagazines.com.  I love this site.  It is where I get the majority of my magazine subscriptions because they have $5 subscriptions which is great.  Finally, I like to go to TradePub.com.  This site is mostly trade publications but if you search  through the site you will definitely find things that you are interested in.  I am interested in the Internet and building websites so I tend to go for those.  These magazines can be filled with a lot of great information.

Places To Visit For Cheap Magazines

Tanga.com

TradePub.com

BestDealMagazines.com

 

Money Management

Stretching the Dollar

Stretching the Dollar

In an economy where it is important to keep to a strict budget, some families still find themselves barely dragging along. Getting more out of your money takes discipline and a whole lot of creativity. Using just a few or all of these tips is sure to stretch your dollar adding a little more wiggle room in a tight budget.

Couponing

It cannot be stressed enough how helpful coupons are. Almost all stores are sure to send out a monthly or even weekly newsletter that is filled with all sorts of coupons. Get more bang for your buck when you utilize all coupons available to you. Before your next visit to the grocery store, make a list of what you need, and then find as many coupons for the items on your list that you can. You will see a major decrease in your grocery store bill.

Buy in Bulk

Buy all non-perishable items in bulk. Necessities like toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrushes, canned items, etc. should all be bought in large amounts. Bulked items are usually cheaper than buying regular packaged sized items in the long run and will last your family a while.

Coin Jingle

You know all those pesky coins you have lying around on the counter, car, purse, couch, etc.? Save all unused coins in a jar. Make sure to put all those coins in the jar at the end of each day. At the end of the month put your change in a machine, like coinstar, and turn it into cash for a small fee. You can add this money to your monthly budget or put it in savings.

Good Credit

Try not to use your Credit Cards as spare cash. Only use it sparingly. How will this stretch your budget? Not using your credit card frequently will reduce the amount of money you put towards it when paying it off. This leaves you with good credit, no credit card debt, and a little extra money to keep in your wallet.

A Little Help

Especially in this economy, it is a little difficult to make ends meet every month. When that is the case it is always okay to get a little help. There are many companies, like InstaLoan.com, that provide customers with the money they need quickly. Whether it is just a small amount of money to a large amount, it is easy for a family to get the little bit of help they need to get by that month.

Know the Sales

When it comes to shopping at your favorite stores, know the sale cycles. Whether it is once a month, every other month, or once a week, make it a point to shop at those stores during their sale times. This will give you the satisfaction of being able to shop at your favorite stores without breaking the bank.

Home Cooked

Try not to go out to dinner constantly. Instead make dinner with the family. This saves money while also providing you and your family with quality time together. Also bring a lunch to work so you are not tempted to buy a lunch. Only buy what you need.

Skip the “Luxury”

People tend to want the best in everything, homes, cars, clothes, etc. Name brands mean everything in our society but these brands can sometimes be the reason for living on a budget. You do not have to live in a big luxurious home. Buy a home that is a suitable size and safe for your family. When it comes to buying a vehicle go used. They are in great shape and are significantly less money. Brand names even make a difference at the grocery store. Their off brand products are significantly less money than their brand name products and are of the same quality.

Stretching your money to give you a little more wiggle room on a budget can be difficult but after a little time these practices become a habit. Get creative when it comes to spending money.

Source Image: http://www.families.com