Month : July 2011

Guest Post

Financial Tips for Women in the Midst of a Divorce

Divorce proceedings force women to become independent. Although divorce is never easy, it’s especially difficult, from a financial point of view, for those who grew accustomed to their spouse handling all, or a majority of, the household finances. Although women in the midst of a divorce are undoubtedly swamped by all sorts of important decisions that need to be made quickly, focusing some time and attention on setting themselves up for financial survival in the face of their impending singledom is well worth it. Hang in there ladies, and here’s a few things you can do to start securing yourself some peace of mind when it comes to your money:

Put your papers in order

First and foremost, gather up all financial records you can find – tax returns, credit card bills, bank account statements, mortgage information, payroll stubs, wills, trusts, insurance policies, etc. – and make photocopies of every single document. Keep your copies stored in a safe place outside the home, such as at a friend or relative’s house or in a safe deposit box to which you are the only key holder. It’s also wise to rent a P.O. box to have your mail rerouted to in order to keep any correspondence between you and your lawyers confidential. Be sure you get new insurace for you vehicle. There are a lot of places you can get cheap car insurance.

Establish your own line of credit

As soon as you can, apply for a credit card in your own name and discontinue use of any joint credit accounts. It’s imperative that you begin establishing your creditworthiness as a single woman. Having a good credit score, and being eligible to borrow money at choice rates, will be helpful when it comes to financial decisions such as buying a new home or car. Obtain a copy of your credit report to see where you stand and keep an eye on it. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report a year. Open up savings and checking accounts at a bank that is not used by your spouse and use them to house your own funds. Also, be sure to change your beneficiary to someone other than your husband on your IRA’s and insurance policies.

Set aside funds for your legal fees

This is particularly important if your spouse is the one who controls the family funds. If so, don’t rely on having access to that money when it comes to hiring lawyers to represent you during the divorce. You must be proactive by securing funds for your legal fees so that you can hire the best possible legal team to represent you.

Taking the above steps as quickly as possible will result in you feeling more in control, and thus more capable, of making well-reasoned decisions throughout all of the stress and chaos a divorce inevitably incites. Your main goal should be to pull through the proceedings with all of your assets safeguarded and a sound financial plan for your future firmly in place.

Jason Collazo is a Columbia University student whose interests include economics, personal finance, and marketing. This combination of studies helps the writer shine a unique perspective on the U.S. economy, consumer trends, and business competitiveness. He currently writes about business finance and technology for Forbes and regularly contributes to Business Insider. Aside from being a writer, Jason is also a member of Columbia’s NCAA Varsity Diving Team.

Guest Post

Loaded Lotteries

We all work hard to make a living. But every now and then you hear a feel good story about someone who walks into a newsagent, buys a ticket, scribbles some numbers down and wakes up a multimillionaire a week later. It’s not something most of us can count on but for those who stumble across the magic set of numbers and play the game for a bit of fun, an injection into the bank account is almost certainly a welcome bonus.

The biggest ever win in Australia belongs to four men who, over coffee in Melbourne, decided to buy a joint ticket for $32.70 each. They won $58 million dollars between them.

Everyone’s been asked ‘if you won the lotto, what would you spend your money on?’ Answers vary but one thing’s for sure – handling a big win like that is more of a challenge than people anticipate. If you do happen to pick those winning numbers heed these helpful tips:

  • Lie low: Don’t tell anyone until you have the money and it’s away in the bank.
  • Contact a lawyer and accountant: It may appear extreme but you need to weigh your legal options regarding keeping bank accounts and dividing the winnings. If you’re going to do anything, contact a trusted accountant or financial advisor to get advice before spending that magical cash injection.
  • Don’t jump the gun: You’ve won a large sum of money and have dollar signs in the eyes. Of course you want to celebrate and treat yourself. But if you’re savvy you’ll give yourself an initial spending spree and stash the rest away so (depending on the size of the prize) you can live on interest.
  • Keep working: You may be wealthier than you even imagined but work can keep you sane – even if it’s part time. If you didn’t love what you were doing, now’s the chance to study and change directions.
  • Gifting: It’s not an obvious thing to do, but to avoid gossip ask the recipients of those who receive gifts from you to sign confidentiality agreements that disclose the amount for five years.
  • Invest: Always diversify your investments – and buy smart. If you’re interested in property investment, look out for great options for home loans.  Even though you may have more cash than you ever dreamed of you may not have enough to buy that dream home outright and it can be helpful to use a mortgage calculator to consider just how many millions you can spend. At the same time, don’t go crazy. Remember to consider things like retirement plans and time deposits.
  • Donating: You’ve got a lot of extra cash in your back pocket so it’s worth considering a cause you feel strongly about and donating some funds.

Let’s face it. The chances of winning a large lottery prize are slim to none but if you do, you’ve got some tips that might hopefully help you along the way. The most important of all – in the interest of saving the best until last – is the age-old sage saying that money can’t buy you happiness.

This is a submitted guest post

 

Guest Post

Top 5 Expenses You Can Do Without

With the economy in a crunch, we could all use a few less expenses these days. Purchases that may seem like necessities in your life can be cut out to save hundreds of dollars each year.

  1. Water

Yes, you do need water to live. It accounts for nearly 70% of your body. But, guess what? You shouldn’t be paying any more than your water bill for this life necessity. Bottled water may seem like a safer and more convenient option, but it isn’t any better than good old tap water.

If you insist on filtering your water before drinking, a better investment is a faucet filter. Keep a durable water bottle handy when you need a thirst quencher on the go.

  1. Home Phone

With all of the social media options out there, there is no reason to have a home phone. These days, most people rely on their cell devices for all phone use, which will save a few hundred dollars a year.

  1. Gym Membership

Did you vow to lose some weight this year? Was your first step a gym membership? In the beginning you were a faithful member working out every day, but now you can’t remember the last time you went. Ditch the membership.

A run, walk, or bike ride through your neighborhood or nearby park can be just as effective, and it costs nothing. As with any workout, whether at a gym or outdoors, consistency is the key factor, not a membership.

  1. Paying for Checks and Postage

If you have a bank account, you shouldn’t have to pay for checks or regular postage. Most banks now have some form of online banking with bill pay. This service should be offered free of charge and will allow you to submit bill payments electronically. Your payments will often be processed faster and it will cost you nothing to have it sent on time.

  1. Expensive Habits, Smoking, Drinking, etc.

This one is a good idea, not only for your wallet, but for your health as well. Many self damaging habits are also very expensive over the course of a few months or years. What better time than now to stop a harming habit? Whether it’s smoking or drinking, try to reduce your consumption if you can’t go cold turkey. It could add years to your life and hundreds to your bank account.

It’s impossible to cut every expense, and sometimes things get out of hand. When they do, consider payday loans to avoid late fees.

This blog post was provided by Check ‘n Go, an ethical online payday and installment loans company. Providing installment loans for over 16 years, Check ‘n Go has always been committed to responsible lending and continually works with legislators to improve the credibility of the cash advance industry. Check ‘n Go is a one-stop shop for all check cashing and payday loan needs, located in 20 states, and online locations in an additional 6.