Month : August 2011

Announcements

Welcome to Financially Poor

Financially Poor was created to help you gain the knowledge to achieve Financial Freedom. There are 2 ways to cover your expenses, either increase your income or decrease your expenses. I’ll show you how to do each of those. You’ll learn how to cut your expenses and earn extra money. I’ll share with you the ideas I come up with and use myself to make extra money.

I was laid off in early 2011 and since then I’ve been earning my money completely online. So I won’t just be showing you how other people make money, I’ll be showing you how I make money.

It’s not easy to change your life for the better but I’m here to make it a little better to accomplish. If you ever have an idea or subject that you want me to cover, feel free to shoot me an email from the contact page. If you’re new here then be sure to check out the New Readers Area to get the best advice and information offered on Financially Poor.

Guest Post

How to save on car expenses

The following is a guest post on behalf of Cheap Car Insurance

For many households, car related expenses, especially in the event of
an older vehicle, account for a significant portion of their monthly
expenses. While many of these expenses or completely necessary to
maintain overall vehicle safety and performance, the amount that is
spent can be easily reduced by following a few simple steps.

1. Avoid Dealerships for Minor Repairs.

Incidental repairs and maintenance can easily be accomplished by
locally owned and operated repair shops. Locally owned business
generally have fewer overhead costs when compared to dealerships and
can therefore offer better prices when it comes to minor or
inconsequential repairs. Additionally, many locally owned businesses
are often willing to offer discounts to repeat customers, and may
offer coupons or other seasonal discounts.

2. Utilize Dealerships for Major Issues.

Major vehicle repairs have an increased level of difficulty and
intricacy than less severe issues. Smaller, locally owner repair shops
see vehicles of a wide range of makes, models, and years. While they
can easily diagnose and repair minor issues, larger problems often
require the specific knowledge dealership repairman have developed by
working the on the same brands of car over and over.

3. Develop Your Own Maintenance Schedule.

Manufacturer advised maintenance schedules are often designed in order
to maximize dealership profits. Most car owners are having routine
maintenance performed on their cars more frequently then is necessary
for peak efficiency. For example, regularly checking overall oil
levels and color is a more effective way of determining the need for
an oil change then simply having it done every 3,000 miles. Driving
conditions and vehicle requirements are a far better indicator of
maintenance requirements then a generic timeframe.

4. Fix Small Issues Before They Become Large Issues.

While something minor like regular tire rotation may seem trivial, it
actually helps prevent uneven wear, which can lead to uneven stress,
which can lead to a front-end misalignment etc. The longer that a
specific issue is ignored the more potential damage it can inflict on
related systems within the vehicle. Additionally, almost every item on
a car is cheaper to repair than it is to replace. A windshield may
cost as much as $500, while windshield repair is available in most
cases for as little as $100.

5. Review Insurance Rates Frequently.

Auto insurance is an extremely competitive industry. While you may
have feelings of loyalty or happiness towards a local insurance agent,
at the end of the day, it is a business relationship and you should
not feel guilty switching carriers. By examining or comparing cheaper auto insurance
rates on a annual or biannual basis you can often save hundreds of
dollars a year.

Guest Post

Who really gives the best deal on insurance for businesses?

This is a guest post by Tara Kynaston

Russian-accented rodents, moustachioed opera singers, karaoke cartoon women; we’re bombarded with advertising images urging us to check this and compare that in order to get a better deal for insurance. But how do we know we’ve really found the best deal? Last year the Office of Fair Trading published a report into price comparison websites, having reviewed their practices. They found no problem with the way they work, but respected consumer magazine Which? has highlighted ways in which such sites can be misleading, particularly the way that they collect commission from the providers of products and the fact that these sites do not necessarily cover the whole market. Direct Line being is one example of a high profile insurer who actually highlights its absence from price comparison sites as a selling point.

 

Dan Moore, a senior money researcher for Which? believes that many people who use these sites: ‘…think that all products are considered and that the results are presented on merit alone…(which) leaves them at a potential disadvantage.” According to Which?, consumers are suspicious of price comparison sites with only one in five saying they trusted sites like Moneysupermarket.com, Confused.com and Comparethemarket.com to get them the best deal.

 

Comparing the comparers

 

Comparison sites are undoubtedly convenient, but when it comes to getting public liability insurance and employers liability insurance for your business, how can you be sure you’re getting the most cost-effective quotes? Firstly it would be a good idea to visit more than one comparison site – and not just the ones with the big advertising budgets. By comparing comparison sites you can get a better idea of the variations in quote. The market of public liability insurance and employers liability insurance is quite specialised so it’s also worth checking out sites that focus more on insurance for business.

There are some extremely competitive public liability insurance UK quotes out there and searching online remains the quickest, most convenient way to sniff out the best deal. But it pays to give yourself the biggest overview you can before making a final decision, so that the competitive public liability insurance quotes you find really do provide you with the widest range of options and, eventually, the best deal for your company.

Guest Post

After the Storm: Nerves Replace Relief

Those who defend the government’s proclamation that the Great Recession ended in June of 2008, now must stop and ask themselves if we are headed towards another recession right on its heels. In a recent Reuter’s column former Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers, said beautifully of the American economy, “the odds of the economy going back into recession are at least one in three if nothing new is done to raise demand and spur growth.”

 

It seems all the hoopla over the debt ceiling debate did little more for political posturing than it did for our own economy. The S&P 500 saw a steep decline of more than 2.5% on Tuesday Aug. 2, wiping out its entire 2011 gains. Raising the debt ceiling was portrayed to be not only a miracle drug for what ails the American economy, but imperative to holding the European economy from slipping over its edge. It seems to have accomplished neither, rendering the miracle drug nothing more than some snake oil in a can.

 

China’s economy is slowing and Japan is still stalled in recession, due to the aftermath of last March’s earthquake. Spain and Italy are moving incrementally closer to recession in Europe and the success of Greece’s bailout has been nebulous, at best. It may be true that misery loves its company, but it seems as if the whole world is going into recession.

 

Consumer confidence is down and along with it, consumer spending. Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales probably said it best when he stated that the U.S. market is “tougher than a cheap steak.” While the Department of Labor did release some good news today stating that the unemployment rate dropped to 9.1%, down from 9.2%, most Americans are not impressed. Like the markets’ nervous peaks and valleys, so read the unemployment reports; what seems like one step up today will most likely take two steps back tomorrow.

 

While consumers tend to naturally panic at all these bleak economic forecasts, the corporations are not far behind in this destructive cycle. Banks have announced plans for a crushing 50,000 job cuts to be phased in over the coming years; in fact, according to foxbusiness.com, the number of planned layoffs in the private sector are at a 16 month high. News like this keeps even those consumers with little to worry about in terms of joblessness holding their purses a tighter, you know, just in case. It almost

seems as if consumers and corporations are perpetually yelling “boo!” at each other and running away to hide somewhere. There are those, though, who realize that opportunity exists even in the poorest of situations and take whatever little of said opportunity is available.

 

Prospective homeowners for instance, may never see again a time when not only are the prices on new homes so inexpensive, but that the mortgage rates are so incredibly low also. If someone feels secure in the continuation of their income, now is a great time to start looking for a home. Ditto for credit applicants: with banks fighting over your money, many are offering low interest rate loans as well as

low interest rate credit cards. Think of it as a sale on credit. Of course, this is only for those who don’t fear total economic collapse and unemployment. There may not be too many people left with that confidence.

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

Debt Management for British Holidaymakers

Debt Management Plans could be required for many Brits this year who are lucky enough to be going away on holiday.

New research from M&S Money found that almost a third (32 per cent) of holidaymakers believe they’ll spend more money while they are abroad this year.

Despite the economic climate, the data suggests an average of £365 extra will be spent for every holidaymaker. The analysis also found that 32 per cent of holidaymakers believe the additional expense is due to rising inflation pushing up the cost of living.

However, despite rising prices, many holidaymakers are taking extra care to keep their holiday budgets in check, with 42 per cent believing they will spend the same as last year and 17 per cent actually planning to spend less.

Those who are planning to spend less on their holiday believe they will cut their spending by an average of £326. However for half of travellers spending less, it simply comes down to having less disposable income due to increased costs elsewhere in the home.

When it comes to where the majority of holiday spending money is going, 44 per cent of holidaymakers believe they will spend the most money on eating out, although one in ten (12 per cent) are planning on spending on day excursions, such as fishing trips or a diving experience.

Should holidaymakers find their annual holiday has tipped them further into debt an effective form of debt consolidation could be found with a Debt Management Plan (DMP).

Suitable for people with at least £3,000 of debt – debt management will consolidate payments into one lower monthly payment. The plan is usually an informal arrangement between the debtor and their creditors to allow them to invite manageable structure to their relationship by reducing the debtors monthly outgoings so they only pay what they can realistically afford, based on their income and expenditure.

The amount that a debtor will asked to repay is around half of your existing monthly payments however this will depend on individual circumstances of the debtor. To consolidate debt in this way will reduce your monthly payments making your daily life more financial comfortable however you will make payments for longer and the overall amount that you repay will be greater than if you kept up with your original payments.

A debt management plan is only suitable for unsecured debt such as spend on holidays built up on an overdraft, unsecured loans and credit cards. It can be set up on your own by contacting your creditors directly or by contacting a reputable debt advice agency who will manage the process on your behalf.

When debtors are in a situation where they’re owed over £12,000, then an IVA would be the more appropriate of debt solutions.

This is a guest post by Tara Kynaston