Month : August 2015

Home Ownership

Buy or rent for your first place?

The time has finally come for you to move out of your parents’ home. Instead of living under their rules, you will soon be living by yourself and making your own decisions. You will be able to come and go as you please, and you can even eat ice cream in your underwear if you want to. Although moving into your own place is exciting, it can also be very overwhelming. Finding the right place can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you don’t know if you want to buy or rent a place. It’s definitely a tough decision. Some people will tell you that renting is like throwing your money away while others will tell you that owning a house is too much responsibility. There are pros and cons of renting and buying. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Here are the advantages to renting:

Lower Costs

Renting a place will definitely be a lot cheaper than owning one. You won’t have to put any money down and you will pay less money each month. When you rent a place, you also don’t have to worry about taxes, insurance and maintenance costs. These things alone can cost you thousands of dollars each year. You can put away the money you save or use it for travel.

Less Responsibility

The great thing about renting a house or apartment is that you don’t have to do any of the maintenance yourself. This doesn’t just save you money; it also saves you time and frustration. Do you really want to mow your lawn or fix your sink on your day off? When you rent, you don’t have to. A maintenance person will do all of the annoying work for you.

More Flexibility

Renting a place means more flexibility. For example, if you find a job in another state, you can move out on short notice. You won’t be stuck trying to find someone to buy your house before you can move. There are also more rental options than homes for sale. You will spend a lot less time trying to find a one-bedroom apartment in your area than two-bedroom home.

Here are some of the advantages of owning:

More Freedom

When you own a house, you have a lot more freedom. For example, you can host a party in your home and not have to worry about the old lady upstairs complaining to your landlord about noise. You can also do a lot more to your home like painting the walls or installing a bar in your basement. Most landlords wouldn’t be too keen on you painting your walls orange or putting up a satellite dish on the roof. 

More Equity

When you go to sell your home, you can actually make more money than what you put into it if the property’s value increases. You can’t do that when you are renting. 

More Stability

There’s definitely a lot more stability when you own your home. You don’t have to worry about your landlord jacking up your rent or kicking you out for breaking one of the rules. Your payments will remain the same and you don’t have to worry about the landlord selling the property.

When deciding whether to rent or buy, make sure to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both carefully. 

About the author 

Carly Lance loves to blog about personal finances whenever she can. She also is employed as the blog and marketing manager at Personal Bankruptcy Canada, a company that deals with people going through bankruptcy in Canada.

 

Money Management

Payday Loans Help People

Payday LoansPayday loan companies are banks for poor people. They cash your checks, make money orders; you can even pay your bills there. Some of these places will help you with your taxes and even set you up with a prepaid visa card.

The downside is that all of these things cost money. But that’s the point of business, to make money. You can’t really fault them for that. They do charge a high interest rate, if you change their fees to an APR. But apparently it’s not too high, because people are using them and their business is growing.

The point of these companies is to cover you in case something happens in life and you need emergency cash loans to help you until the next paycheck. For instance, if you have a flat tire, or have to go to the doctor because you get sick. If they didn’t help these people, how would they get by that week?

They basically act like an emergency fund. Well, an emergency fund that costs you money. But it costs money to be poor, so you have to live with that.

They do a great thing that doesn’t help all of their customers, but it does help a few. What they do is help you realize that you need to change your life. They help you to think how you can get out of the lifestyle of having them call you everyday to get their money. They cause you to seek knowledge about getting your finances in order. The problem is that all of their customers don’t gain that knowledge. They prefer to think that’s the way of life and wallow in their sorrow.

The point of this post is to take the blame off of payday loan companies. It’s not their fault you choose to not become financially aware. Yea, they are seedy and pray on the weak, but if they didn’t, someone else would.

If you don’t want to use a payday loan, then set your own up. Start saving a little money each week and then when you need to borrow some money from it, charge yourself a fee. There you go, problem solved. Of course it’s not that simple, you first have to get control of your finances so that you have some money to start saving. That combination will keep you from using a payday loan company. Or you can use a charity like Modest Needs to help you out.

The point is, what people need to do is start becoming aware of their financial habits and change them for the better. If I may borrow some lyrics from the great Bon Jovi, you need to say to yourself “It’s my life, it’s now or never.” Start learning today and change your life.

So what do you think?

Business

Why Christmas is an opportunity for your business

Whatever your business sells, or whatever service it offers, you should never think that marketing over the Christmas period is a time to let marketing lapse and rest on your laurels until the New Year.  Now is the time to get in there, make yourself stand out from the crowd and be rolling in it come January. Far too many businesses think because they don’t deal in seasonal products or services it’s pointless even trying to pull together any kind of marketing strategy and instead spend an insane amount of money of boring Christmas cards printed with your company name.

Do you realise how many of these large companies get? Why should yours be the one to make the impact? In short it won’t so it’s time to step outside of the box and look at other ways in which to make Christmas a great marketing opportunity for your business, whatever you sell or offer.  Forget targeting the bosses, look towards the people who you deal with. Those who do the ordering, those who you have in your email list, these are the cogs that help keep that big wheel turning, and are the ones who are overlooked when it comes to corporate Christmas merry-go-round.

Christmas

Send Christmas Ecards

The most exciting and innovative way of sending seasonal greeting for decades, sending Christmas ecards to those aforementioned people will have more of an impact on your business come the New Year than you could ever imagine.  Imagine coming into your office or cubicle in the morning knowing you have a pile of emails sitting in your inbox waiting for attentions, You are working your way through them when suddenly you are faced with flickering candles, twinkling lights and soft flakes of snow falling onto a thick white blanket. This is the impact a Christmas ecard has. The recipient will be overjoyed and remember who it was who totally brightened up one of their most boring tasks of the day.  Whenever they are feeling stressed they can open it up and look at it time and time again, and probably won’t have even glanced at the pile of cardboards cards which are disappearing into the rubbish bins with alarming regularity.  Whose Christmas greeting are these people going to remember? Yours. And the beauty of them is that there are so many to choose from you can send a different one to everyone, with a different message. This guarantees that when they are talking about them in the coffee room your name won’t be mentioned in the same sentence as skinflint or Scrooge.

Clever Corporate Gifts

The big boss doesn’t need another bottle of cognac or malt whisky, he will be drinking this years’ supply well into the next year. As above, target those people who will actually benefit your business and not the faceless names who probably don’t even realise you exist.  Although they are much maligned and thought of as highly impersonal, when it comes to corporate gifts for people you have never met there really is nothing better than gift vouchers.  How do you know your fine wine hamper isn’t going to a recovering alcoholic, or those luxury chocolates that cost the price of a short holiday aren’t being received by somebody whose lactose intolerance? Extreme scenarios maybe but it really isn’t worth running any unnecessary risks when it comes to your corporate Christmas gift giving.  Vouchers in a seasonal gift wrap with a personal hand written message will really hit the spot. If you are dealing regularly with an entire department try and find out how many members there are  to ensure they all get one. Once again, a clever marketing ploy that will ensure you are remembered for all the right reasons and will have your order books bulging come January and February.