Home Ownership

Six Tips To Saving Money In Every Aspect Of Your Home

Home, it’s where the heart is and it’s where you spend a lot of time. You want your home to be a relaxing and happy place where you can come home from work and put your feet up.

Instead, for a lot of people, home is where you come back from work to find bills you need to pay and messes you need to clean up. Pretty much, you come home from work to work.

While bills can be a pain, there are many things you can do in and around your home to help you save some money and some time. From organization projects to ways to cut the bills back, here are some things you may want to try in your own home to make life just a little more tolerable.

Start With Organizing Your Bills

There’s more to planning a budget than just writing down what you owe and what you have coming in. You also need to organize your bills. Sometimes you have extra bills that aren’t always on the budget plan, like that magazine subscription you just had to have.

Start off by making sure you have a place to keep your bills, and that it is someplace visible. You don’t want them to be out of sight, out of mind. On top of that, always make sure you open all of your bills.

One things that may help is to set up automatic payments, and then just keep a list of what comes out when so you make sure you don’t overdraft your account. Not only does this guarantee bills are always paid on time, it cuts down on waste in your home by going paperless.

Once your bills are all organized and you’ve done the whole budgeting thing everyone does each month, you will be able to see where you could, or should, cut down on expenses.

Cutting Down Your Monthly Expenses

Once you know what bills your have coming and compare that to your income, you can decide what things need to go and what needs to stay. Obviously everyone needs food, shelter, heat and water, but are there ways you can save on those things?

To save money on the electric bill it helps to be more energy efficient. That doesn’t just mean changing your light bulbs though. look for energy efficient appliances when it’s time to invest in new ones. Also, don’t leave things plugged in all the time if you are not using them. They’ll continue to draw energy.

Saving money on the heating bill can be as easy as keeping the heat turned down and bundling up a little bit more when it’s chilly out. You can also have your insulation checked. Good insulation helps hold heat in your home allowing you to keep the thermostat lower.

It’s a similar thing with air conditioning. Only run it when you need to, like when the sun is at it’s highest. Have windows open on cooler days instead. Keep shades closed so the sun doesn’t heat up rooms. And, of course, cook on the grill often to save from heating the stove up.

Saving On Entertainment In Home

If you have a high speed internet service, you may be able to cut out cable all together. Learn more here about some of the high speed internet services that are available. With a good service you can have Netflix and HuluPlus to watch your favorite TV shows and movies.

Look for services that don’t have any hidden costs for using too much bandwidth, which is something you’ll do using things like Netflix. But you’ll go from $30 or more for cable packages to under ten dollars a month for a streaming service.

In order to stream without watching on your laptop or home computer, you will want to invest in a WiFi ready BluRay player. But with that you can also save money on entertainment by purchasing DVDs and BluRay discs when you see a good sale, instead of spending theater prices.

It’s pretty easy to save money on bills if you just take some time to do the math. You may still have a messy house to clean when you come home from work, but at least you’ll have less bills to worry about and more time for fun with your family.

Business

Steep Challenges Every Entrepreneur Has to Face and Overcome

One effective way to beat an obstacle is to understand the obstacle. If you plan on being a successful entrepreneur, then you need to understand the possible challenges that could stand in your way

The challenges each entrepreneur faces as he/she fights to win are often unique to each entrepreneur’s circumstance. But there are certain challenges that all entrepreneurs face regardless their location, skill, or ambitions.

Since you have no choice but to eventually face said challenges, identifying and understanding these challenges from the earliest possible onset is the most effective way to overcome them. Below are some of the most common challenges.

  1. Fear

Fear can stop you from taking a necessary leap that could turn you into a success. Fearing that your next action or inaction can lead to catastrophic failure is a fear that you will face every day as an entrepreneur and one that you most constantly slay without hesitation. If you let your fear win, you will be unable to make any headway as an entrepreneur. But while you should never let fear cripple you, you should also never completely ignore it because your fear might actually be justified. Thus, rationally evaluate the cause of your fear before taking a risk.

  1. Finances

As an entrepreneur, you need money to make money. After getting the finances to get your business off the ground, your next challenge will be having the finances to keep your business alive and thriving. One key way to ensure your business always stays afloat is proper management through lean spending. Trim off the fat by avoiding unnecessary expenses, and more cash will be available for projects that actually need it.

  1. Success

Success is the ultimate goal of every entrepreneur but success itself can eventually turn into an obstacle. This is apparent when initial success blinds an entrepreneur and he/she is unable to grow beyond that point. Success can also become a challenge by being overwhelming. When an entrepreneur is unprepared for the level of success they’ve attained, it can lead to them having trouble finding a steady work/life balance and this will ultimately affect productivity and further growth. Fortunately, there are recommended productivity resources available that can help effectively manage and balance your affairs.

  1. Ever changing world

Change is constant and it has been the cause of the downfall of many entrepreneurs. Change can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, but as an entrepreneur, you have to be flexible and proactive enough to respond to change by taking advantage of any opportunity it presents. Rather than view change as a risk, thriving entrepreneurs see it as an opportunity to conquer new horizons.

These four challenges are capable of either making or breaking an entrepreneur. If you don’t want to be broken by these challenges at any point in your career, you have to understand your business and have clearly defined business goals. Your business goals will help you effectively strategize and discover new and efficient ways to overcome the above challenges with fully satisfying results.

Money Management

4 Easy Ways to Freshen Up Your Finances

financesEvery so often, you need to go over your finances with the proverbial fine-tooth comb and find places where you can make small adjustments. Everyone’s budget changes over time in response to evolving demands and life events. Simple budget adjustments are prudent and beneficial, resulting in increased money for your savings as well as for spending. Freshening up your finances can be done several times a year and can become part of your overall budget management habits. The following are four ways to start on the path toward increased prosperity.

Sweat the Small Stuff

The smaller “incidental” types of spending you do on a regular basis may have more of an impact than you realize. Small, frequent purchases can add up and take a bite out of your budget. Such purchases can have you scratching your head, thinking “How did I ever spend that much?” Luckily, this area of spending is easy to adjust. First, you must keep track of your incidental spending. Every time you go to the convenience store and spend seven dollars on gum, coffee and a soda, jot it down in a small notebook or use a budget-tracking smartphone app. Seven dollars a day is nearly 200 dollars a month. When you eliminate this kind of unnecessary spending, you will free up some extra cash you can use to invest or put into savings. Another strategy is to budget a specific dollar amount per month to spend on incidentals and not exceed that spending limit. In months, you will have saved so much money!

Donate Your Unused Vehicles

Many people have an older or unused vehicle on their property. Donating a car to charity can bring a nice financial reward in the form of a tax write-off and so can donating a boat. Don’t allow your vehicles to take up space in your garage or yard if you are not planning on using them anytime soon. When you donate to a charity, you can feel good about your assets benefiting those in need. When you decide to donate a vehicle or boat, follow the step-by-step instructions and keep a paper trail of the documents involved for tax purpose.

Tend to Your “Rainy Day” Fund

The old adage of “saving for a rainy day” is still good advice. Saving for an unexpected expense such as a medical bill, a vehicle repair or an emergency trip can ease your mind. Your rainy day fund should also include enough money to cover basic bills for at least two months, in the case you or someone in your household loses their source of income. A good way to start a strong rainy day fund is to set aside a given amount in your monthly budget. Even if you don’t have much extra income to allocate, just 50 dollars a month can build your emergency money collection. Everyone knows “rainy days” do come, especially when you least expect it.

Consider Refinancing Your Home

If you are a homeowner, the process of refinancing may be a wise choice for you. Refinancing is the process of adjusting your debt by adjusting the terms of your loan. The adjustments are based on trends in the economy and other established factors. By refinancing your house, you can possibly save hundreds a month, depending on the specifics of your loan and the housing market in your geographic location. Hire an advisor to help you with the process of refinancing. You can often meet for a free consultation before deciding whether or not to go for it.

Positive saving and spending habits create a sense of financial freedom. When you invest time in reviewing your budget regularly, you can find the areas that quickly benefit from small adjustments. A series of small adjustments over time is what it takes to fine-tune your finances, giving you greater confidence and control over your money. Some families hire a financial expert to assist with this, but most people can successfully bring about change on their own. You may wish to purchase a basic guide to personal finances or read financial advice blogs for further information. 

About the Author: Jolene Michaelson is a personal finance expert and a freelance writer. 

Photo source: http://www.123rf.com/photo_14332543_smiling-young-couple-deployment-of-money-for-bills-at-home.html

Do What You Want

What Is Your Passion?

In order to do what you want, we need to actually find out what it is that you want to do.

So think deep down what it is that drives you. What is it that you want to do in life?

Just take a moment and write down what you think about the most.

For a long time I got sidetracked with things I wanted to be instead of what I wanted to do. Let me explain that and it might help you.

When I was younger I always wanted to be a lawyer because I loved the thought of arguing why my client is innocent. I loved finding ways around rules and such just so that I could prove I was right.

Then I came to the realization that Lawyers have to read a bunch of boring stuff, so I threw that idea out.

Then I wanted to be an accountant because I was getting good with money….and they pretty good money. But then I realized that it’s pretty boring work….and once again they have to read a lot of boring stuff.

So after that idea was thrown out I was at lunch with a friend and he asked me,

What are you passionate about?

What do you want to do in life?

No one ever seriously asked me that before. It took me back and I thought for a moment and said “I want to help people get their finances together because I know how much life sucks when you’re living paycheck to paycheck.”

Fast forward to today and I’ve started this site to help people get their finances together so that they can have the life they want.

I even changed the direction I’m going in once I realized that people can have the life they want even if they aren’t financially fit.

So try thinking back to a problem you overcame and see if you would like to help other people get past that problem. Your passion will change through time but the general framework will always be there.

Just sit down for 30 minutes to an hour and write out your answers to the questions

What is your passion?

What do you want to do in life?

Try to get rid of all of the distractions so that you can put all of your focus into your answers.

Please do this exercise so that you can help me realize my passion of helping people.

Remember to Live Your Passion,

 

Insurance

The Quick Facts of the Different Types of Life Insurance

Life insurance is not a very fun thing to think about. When you think about life insurance and what it actually means, you are paying for a policy that will pay out money in the event that you die. It is sort of a morbid concept when you think about it. The key takeaway though is that a life insurance policy can make it easier for you to rest easy, knowing that your family will be well taken care of in the event that something terrible actually happens to you.

So do you need life insurance? Whether or not you need life insurance most likely depends on your personal situation. If you have no dependents, you most likely do not need life insurance. If, however, you are someone who has a family with a wife or husband, children, and so on, you may seriously want to consider it. Here are some tips on the types of life insurance available.

  1. The first type of life insurance that we will talk about is known as term life insurance. Term life insurance is basically a death benefit that has no cash value. If you have term life insurance, you will end up with payments being made out to your dependents on your behalf in the event that you pass away during the effective period of the policy. Term life insurance and the proceeds associated with it only come into play at the time of your death.
  2. Whole life insurance is a bit different from term life insurance. The big difference here is that with whole life insurance, it is more of a traditional life insurance policy. Over the entire life of the whole life insurance policy, you will pay a flat premium, which will be effective until your death. Once you pay the premium amount on the policy, you will pay into the policy and build up a cash value. When you actually pass away, there will be both a death benefit as well as a cash value benefit that will be paid out. Whole life insurance can be more expensive, but it can also mean your dependents are in a more comfortable position.
  3. Variable life insurance is different from the others and is also the life insurance policy that comes with it the highest costs out of all of the different types of policies. With a variable life insurance policy, you are paying in money in the form of your premium that builds up a cash reserve. With this cash reserve, you basically invest money that will either build up and grow at a percentage rate of return over time, or decrease depending on the performance of the investments. This can be risky, as you can lose money on the policy just as fast as you actually take in money.
  4. A universal life insurance policy is always a good option as it is a mix between term life and whole life. The administrative fees that go along with this type of policy are higher than the others. The real benefit here is through the flexibility that comes with it, as you can vary the amount of your payment that goes to your premium and to your actual cash buildup.
  5. When thinking about which policy to buy, you need to consider your situation, your health, and what you want your dependents to get out of the policy in the end.
  6. When thinking about the costs of a life insurance policy, if you are a healthy 30 year-old man, a life insurance policy will cost around $300 or so per year for term life insurance.
  7. Life insurance can be a very intelligent investment to save money in the event that you cannot care for your family.

Life insurance policies are very powerful tools that can be used in intelligent manners to help those that it protects and benefits.

Author Bio: This article was written by Larry Smith of Obares.com an informational website that provides great articles on loans and real estate.