Month : February 2018

Money Management

Budget Your Wardrobe and Add to Your Savings

If your current main goal is to take control of your finances and trim your debt you already know the importance of a budget for your monthly income. The problem many encounter is with unexpected expenses. While this usually brings to mind vehicles breaking down or a sudden illness, there are other kinds of expense that pop up regularly. Holidays and birthdays are two examples, and another one is something we all need but don’t always think of as an expense: clothing. Here are some tips to help you make clothing a part of your budget and still allow your savings to grow!

First of all, break it down. Take a rough inventory of each family member’s wardrobe and figure out what they’ll need in the next three, six, and 12 month period. This isn’t an exact science, but if you have kids you can probably estimate when they’ll outgrow or wear out their shoes and clothes. Teens and clothes are a whole different world, so if you have fashionistas in the family consider setting a clothing allowance.

Second of all, don’t impulse shop. Know what you want and need and make a list, and no matter how cute that pair of shoes is pass it by if they’re not on the list. You can be flexible here, because one of the best ways to save is to find clearance items. Just don’t buy things you don’t really need.

Third, shop smart. Don’t limit yourself to the stores you always shop at; look for online deals. Most major stores and brands such as American Apparel have their own website and you can take advantage of a full line of fashions, sizes, and colors instead of being limited to store choices.

Last of all, wait before you buy. Look for deals such as an American Apparel coupon to add to your savings. If you find something you need but the price is too high consider waiting a few weeks until the website updates their clearance sale. Clothing is extremely seasonal, so it’s only a matter of time before the next round of markdaowns. Once you learn their pricing schedule you can take advantage of the lower prices.

Money Management

4 Mistakes Made With Structured Settlements

If you have been awarded a structured settlement through divorce, a lottery winning, a legal suit or as a result of some other circumstance, good for you.  Structured settlements can be a nice little source of income and even take into account the person paying them – insomuch that they don’t have to pay everything up front.  If you need the cash from a structured settlement right now however, these payments that have been set up to take place through time, probably don’t suit your current needs. That’s where structured settlements fall short.  

There are companies however that will buy your structured settlement from you for a predetermined amount of money thereby possibly relieving your financial situation.  It is vital that you research the company to whom you sell your structured settlement. Here are a few things to avoid. 

4)LEAPING BEFORE YOU LOOK

IMAGE 1  MISTAKES WITH A SETTLEMENT

 If you haven’t at some time in your life received the advice to ‘shop around’, you must have been living underneath a rock somewhere.  Surely your parents told you this and every financial advisor in the world says the same thing.  Never settle for the first offer… always, always shop around.  There are numerous companies out there willing to purchase your structured settlement.  Make sure you don’t go with the wrong one.

 3) NOT CONSIDERING A PARTIAL BUYOUT 

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If you don’t need the entire lump sum right off the bat consider having the buyout company purchase only what you need right now, leaving the rest of the structured settlement as monthly payments.  This can provide you with extra money every month, until of course the final payment amount is met, that you wouldn’t have ordinarily had.  You’re basically only taking what you need and leaving the rest.  

2) NOT SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE 

IMAGE 3  MISTAKES WITH A SETTLEMENT

Two things should be considered, at the very least, when having your structured settlement purchased.  Never do anything without a contract and don’t be rushed into anything.  Make sure that the contract is complete and applicable to your specific agreement.  Also, a company that is rushing you should set off all sorts of bells and whistles in your mental warning system. 

1) BLOWING ALL YOUR MONEY RIGHT OUT THE GATE 

IMAGE 4  MISTAKES WITH A SETTLEMENT

This is especially true if you get your lump sum all at once.  Blowing that money on something frivolous and short-lived is going to leave you with an empty pocket and possibly even more expenses than you had to begin with.  Don’t make the fatal mistake that many lottery winners have made. 

The right structured settlement purchasing company will let you know how long you will have to wait for your money.  These types of agreements usually find their way to you within 6 to 8 weeks after the agreement has been completed.  The company now takes over receipt of the structured payments, but you in return get a cash award all at one time.  

By using your favorite search engine and entering the words cash for annuity payments you should be able to find a company that can do this for you. What’s even nicer is if you can get all of the company that will find the best deal for you, since there is obviously more than one company out there involved in this type of transaction.  You want the best rates after all and the best deal.  You want a reputable company, not some fly by night Johnny-come-lately.  All of this said, remember to take care that you don’t fritter away this found money. 

Business

6 Important Barcode Scanner Features You Need to Think About

barcode scannerThere are a lot of options to pick from when trying to find the barcode scanner that best fits your business. Considering the saturation of barcodes and barcode technology in general across most commercial and industrial fields today, it’s not surprising to see so many different choices and options to dig through. Picking the device that will work best with your business might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually not that difficult to distill your prime needs and significantly narrow down your scanner options.

So, before you even think of hitting the marketplace on the hunt for scanners, you need to sit back and consider what your business could use barcodes and their scanners for. While the final decision is yours, taking these six particular features into account can drastically help you in deciding what your business needs.

Symbology

This is arguably the most important feature you think to think about. A barcode scanner’s symbology is simply a fancy term for the type of barcodes the scanner can read. There are a lot of separate barcode symbologies you can find in use today. Barcoding provides a list of well over 30 disparate code types. But wait! Before you despair of never being able to decipher all the nuances and differences between the myriad symbologies, you need to understand that all barcode types can be concentrated into two main categories (technically three according to barcoding, but stacked barcodes are not nearly as ubiquitous as the other two). Those categories are 1D and 2D. 1D codes are like the common UPC codes found on products everywhere, while 2D codes are like the QR code squares found on advertisements and the like.

If you use a 1D symbology, it doesn’t really matter what type of scanner you get as just about every type can read them. If you use a 2D code, however, you’ll need to find a more advanced 2D imager scanner.

Speed

While important when dealing with bulk scanning, the speed of a barcode scanner isn’t a top priority. It’s still important and should be taken into consideration when out shopping. Business Solutions states that scanners can have one of three scan engine types. These engines are responsible for the speed of scanning. There are laser, CCD, and imager scan engines. Laser engines scan the fastest but they are unable to scan 2D codes. Distance from the code can affect scan speed as well.

Size

Like speed, size is one of the less important facets to think about when picking your scanner. However, it’s important to know that scanners come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. From the small, wireless scanner eCommerce vendor Shopify sells, to the large, fixed scanners found in big retail stores, the variety can be astounding.

Ease of Use

Training takes valuable time away from your business. Until your employees are properly trained, they are a drain on your businesses resources instead of being beneficial. When looking for a barcode scanner, you should definitely think about how easy the device you’re looking at is to learn. You don’t want a device that requires a great deal of practice on. Business Solutions suggests looking for a device that is ready to go and easy to use right out of the box.

Integration Capability

Unless you’re doing an entire overhaul of your business’s systems and software, you’ll want to make sure the scanner you’re buying is capable of working with your current point of sale software and any other programs you use in running your business. Make sure you carefully review your current systems and their requirements along with the requirements for the scanner and any barcode software you’re looking to get.

Connectivity

Connectivity is definitely up there in importance, and it’s actually somewhat related to integration. Your first decision regarding connectivity is whether you want to get wireless or wired scanners. Wired scanners can connect to PCs and other devices using USB, PS2, and other cable types. While wireless scanners can come with Bluetooth or radio transmission and reception capabilities. You might want to test the devices connectivity capabilities before purchasing. One of the most important reasons to get a barcode scanner that both integrates well with your current system and can reliably connect to your other devices is for the sake of real-time updates on inventory and other important data points.

Getting barcode scanners for your business is an excellent idea for a few reasons. For one, using scanners reduces the chance for human error in inventory counting and other mundane recordkeeping tasks by astronomical proportions. For another, centralizing all your product data and sales information into a single databank via barcodes makes multiple aspects of business life much easier to handle. Depending on the POS system you use, connecting a barcode scanner to it is an excellent way to gather data about consumer purchasing trends and sales figures right away, without any need for frustrating counting and figuring.

Money Management

How I Make My Emergency Fund Grow Faster

An Emergency Fund is used to help smooth out the potholes in life. A fully funded EF has about 3-6 months of expenses saved up. I only plan to use it when something unplanned happens e.g. car breaks down, medical, job loss, etc.

When I get paid every 2 weeks I transfer $50 from my Bank of America checking account to my BOA savings account. I have it set up so that it’s easy to get to because it’s for emergencies. If something unplanned happens and I need it right away I can’t wait for 3 days to have it transferred from my ING account. I also have it set up that way because BOA has Keep the Change, so every purchase I make gets rounded up and the change gets transferred to my savings account. As a result I have the $100 a month I put in it plus all of the extra change that gets put in which makes it grow that much faster.

If you don’t use BOA or your bank doesn’t have a program like that, just set up an automatic transfer of $5 every 3 or 4 days. You won’t miss it.

How do you have your emergency fund set up?

Money Management

Can A Wealth Management Company Help With Your Finances?

Whereas investment management may be merely for the rich, wealth management companies can deliver financial freedom for people with all levels of income. For investment managers, the job is dependent on ‘strategic investment’ in stocks and shares but, for wealth managers, this is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Instead, wealth managers plan a client’s retirement, changing a client’s portfolio, financial planning and liaising with both accountants and attorneys. The job, however, does not stop there, and wealth managers will also negotiate risk and insurance requirements. So, with this in mind, should you be employing a wealth manager?

Who Will They Represent?

The principals of wealth management remain the same no matter how much money you have at your disposal and, just because your funds are limited, this doesn’t mean that you should not consider wealth management. What’s more, background also isn’t an issue, and wealth management companies such as High Street Wealth Management will help those in the academic, medical, cultural and research fields as well as anyone from the high street.

Why Can They Help?

Many are beginning to argue that now is a better time than ever to employ a wealth management company. This is especially true for people from the lower or middle classes as many of these people are not saving properly for their retirement. Understanding that this money needs to produce income during your retirement is vital, and wealth management companies can help you view your nest egg in the proper light.

Now, for so called ‘non glamorous careers’ this is particularly important. Some experts believe that jobs such as teaching provide ‘the last real pensions going’ and that they create a solid bedrock for wealth management schemes.

What Do They Do?

It is important to remember that wealth comes in many forms, and it does not necessarily involve a large lump sum of money sitting in a bank account. In fact, people with large amounts of disposable income often have rather complex financial arrangements that mean that their money is spread across a number of assets.

Essentially, a wealth management company will make these assets as efficient as possible and, by providing you with an in depth knowledge of the financial market and investment opportunities, they can maximise your returns. 

Wealth management companies aren’t for everyone, but they could help provide you with the financial freedom that you need. So, if you’re looking to maximise your earnings, it is well worth asking for a no obligation quote.