Month : January 2019


How to Invest While Still in Debt

When you’re stuck in debt, the thought of saving money and investing some of it feels more like a pipe dream than a reality. But it’s important to have some money saved to cover unexpected expenses and life changes, even when you’re in debt. Plus, you’ll want to plan for the distant future, when you don’t have any more debt and you’re facing retirement. Though it takes serious planning and a hard look at your finances, you can learn to invest and save while still paying down debt.

Craft a Budget

When you’re in debt you need a good idea of your budget. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, barely making those student loan or credit card payments, it’s time to take a second look at your budget. Your living expenses, like rent and utilities, are typically pretty similar from one month to the next. So are your debt payments, unless you look into a consolidation plan.

Check out your food and recreation budget for places to save. Do you really need cable, or can you switch to a cheaper service? For instance, Hulu won’t cost as much each month, but it’ll still give you access to your favorite shows. You may realize that you’re not budgeting as well as you thought you were, and you can free up a little cash each month to save. Even $10 makes a difference.

Earn Extra Cash

When your budget is already as trim as possible, it’s time to look at ways to earn extra cash. Many apps and online opportunities exist for turning your free time, your shopping, and even your junk mail into cash opportunities.

If you’ve got some room in your schedule, mystery shopping is a good, fun way to make some extra dollars. If not, try an app like iBotta, which will offer you rebates from many major grocery retailers on things you were already going to buy. Once you redeem a certain number of rebates, you can cash them out. Also check out InboxDollars, which pays you to take surveys and read e-mails, or Bing Rewards, where you can earn money just for using the search engine Bing.

Once you’ve earned some extra cash, you’re free to find investment opportunities that suit your risk tolerance and the amount of money you have available. Even savings accounts offer a bit of interest.

Use Your Employer’s 401(k) Option

An easy way to invest is to sign up for your employer’s 401(k) plan. Many employers will match the first few percent of your paycheck, which doubles the amount of money you’re investing each pay cycle. Check with your budget, and find room to part with between 3 and 5 percent of your paycheck each month. That’s typically the threshold for employer match programs.

When you’re not sure how to invest, 401(k)s are a good option. The financial planners who design 401(k) investments take into account when you’ll retire and invest your money accordingly. If you’re young, the investment is a bit more aggressive. If you’re older, the investment is safer. Plus, you don’t have to do anything to manage the investment.

Download Investment Apps

Image via Flickr by free pictures of money

Some apps make it easy for you to invest. For instance, Acorns links to your debit account and grabs your spare change every time you make a purchase, then invests that change into a portfolio. All you have to do to invest using your Galaxy S7 Edge from T-Mobile is download the app and keep an eye on those investments. With a fast 4G LTE network, keeping track of your Acorns account in real-time is a breeze. It’s only $1 a month while you have less than $5,000 in your account, which is far cheaper than any financial advisor.

Every time you have extra cash, it’s tempting to pay down your debts as fast as possible. Remember, though, that in order to plan for your future, you need to have some money saved and invested. It is possible to both pay down your debt and invest small amounts of money as long as you budget.

Money Management

Recovering From Holiday Personal Finance Mistakes

The holidays are over. Did you stick to your personal finance goals? Now it’s time to look at your finances and your holiday spending and evaluate how you did. Some of you will find that you were able to navigate the holidays successfully. Others will find that they used those credit cards or spent more than they should. If this is the case, now is the perfect time to start recovering from those mistakes.

Figure Out what Went Wrong and Plan for Next Year

If you did make some mistakes this year, figure out why it happened. Maybe you didn’t save enough during the year to cover your holiday expenses or maybe you bought things that you shouldn’t have. What will you change next year? Should you start saving now for the holidays? Take this opportunity to learn from your mistakes so that you can have a financially successful holiday season next year.

Create a Debt Elimination Plan

If you did use those credit cards, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you will pay them off. Look at your budget and determine how much extra money you can use towards debt repayment. While you may not want to shave $100 a month off of your entertainment budget, this might be what you have to do to fix your mistakes. Remember, moments of indulgence will result in years of repayment and sacrifice.

Think About Returns

While no one wants to think about taking back holiday items, it is possible that you could make a few post-holiday returns to remedy your situation somewhat. While you can’t return gifts you gave out, you can consider returning items that you bought for yourself or your immediate family that you can’t afford. While it might not be fun to part with that new game system, it might help you learn to think before you buy in the future. Is it really worth paying 30% interest on something that you don’t need?

Now that the holidays are over it is time to start thinking about the future. Learn from your mistakes and pick the pieces if you did make mistakes. It is never too late to turn a new leaf and start making better financial choices.


Acquisition and Sources of Real Estate Investing

Property investment is the involvement of management, purchase, rental, sale, or ownership of a property that can be used as profit. Property development is the improvement of a specific realty property as part of the strategy in the investment of real estate. This is generally considered as a real estate sub-specialty. Relative to the other investment kinds, real estate is a form of asset that has fixed liquidity.

Real estate also is also regarded to be capital intensive and is highly dependent on cash flow. These factors must be well managed and understood otherwise the investor gives himself risks. One of the primary causes for investment to fail in working with real estate happens because your investor who was reached through the real estate investing Facebook ads or any other channel, experiences a zero cashflow for a long time wherein the amount can’t be sustained, this will result to a forced reselling of the property gone into insolvency.

Acquisition and sources

Acquiring and searching for sources of real estate isn’t hard even though real estate markets in several countries aren’t that efficient or organized when compared with other having instruments of liquid investment. Individual properties are not interchangeable and are unique by themselves. This presents one big challenge to investors who wish to evaluate investments and price opportunities. This is one reason why when looking for properties wherein one can invest in, it involves competition and substantial effort among the investors to be able to purchase properties.
This will be variable with regards to the availability of knowledge. This gives a lot of opportunities for the investors to acquire properties at cheaper prices but poses an increased risk in terms of transaction. Investors of real estate usually use a number of appraisal methods to be able to figure out the value of the property before the purchase.
Sources of properties for investment include:
• Investment Property Companies
• Agents of real estate
• Market listings
• Private sales
• Public auction
• Wholesalers
As soon as a property fit for investment is found, the investor will negotiate a sale price and terms with the one selling the property, then after the business talk, the contract for sale will be executed. According to guidelines on, it is suggested that, in order to be assisted in the process of acquisition, the investors can sometimes employ attorneys or agents having the knowledge about real estate. This is due to the deal that acquire a real estate posses a lot of complexes which might lead to a very expensive deal if executed improperly.  Firms specializing in leasing, property management and investment consulting, such as may be great help, too.

During property acquisition, the investor makes an offer to buy the reserve of the investor’s right to complete their transaction upon satisfactorily negotiating with the latter. This reservation money can be refunded or not and is a sign for the investor’s willingness and seriousness to purchase the property.

The terms for the offer in investing in property include several contingencies that allow the investor sufficient time to complete diligence and acquire financing before the final purchase. Throughout the contingency period, the one investing usually reserve the right to abolish the offer with no attached penalties and accomplish refund on money deposits. Once the contingencies expired, rescinding usually requires the forfeit of cash deposits and may sometimes leave penalties as well.

That is why, to prevent such penalties, the investor must have a great deal of understanding and knowledge on the venture that he has to overcome. Legal advises from people having investing backgrounds will greatly help to lessen the risk.

Related: Birmingham, Alabama downtown real estate.

Debt Management

Facts about Debt Relief and Money Savings

Personal debt has increasingly become a serious problem in most of the developed nations during the last few years, as a result of the credit bubbles. For example, it has been projected that an average US household has a non-mortgage debt worth $19,000. With such huge debt loads, many people are finding it difficult to make the repayments and are in perpetual financial distress and crisis.

Need for Debt Relief

Ever since the economic recession in the year 2008, countless individuals in the USA have turned to national debt relief as an effective way to find solutions to their mounting debts. However, many consumers are skeptical about debt relief or debt settlement, since companies came up overnight and promised fantastic ways for paying off the debts and also, offered to slash your debts by as much as 75 per cent. But then, when consumers have no other way to get rid of the ever-increasing debts, they turn to debt relief companies as they are their last hope for survival in financially distressing times.

The debt relief companies are forced to take on more and more clients as more and more people are finding themselves in debt and with no capacity to pay the ever rising monthly bills. Debt relief companies do not only haggle over and negotiate the amount you owe to your creditor. You get a host of advantages if you hire a debt relief company.

Money Savings Due to Debt Relief: Biggest Advantage

  • Debt relief helps to lower your interest rates on the loans. Settling your debts implies you have to pay lower overall rate of interest on your debt. This ultimately helps you to save money.
  • Debt relief or settlement results in reducing the total amount you actually owe to your creditors. Unlike a credit counseling plan, debt settlement helps you to pay definitely much lower amount than the original amount you actually, owe to your creditor. This definitely implies money savings due to debt relief programs.
  • Debt relief companies come up with effective plans and concrete goals for eliminating debt. Expert debt resolution professionals educate you and create an effective plan for eliminating your debts strategically, instead of just concentrating on paying off your debt. This makes you well equipped to take wise decisions in future so that you are not in any financial problems ever again.

Steps to Try Debt Reduction on Your Own

Here are a few important DIY steps for reducing your debts. Arrange all your important financial documents and ask for copies of your credit reports. Evaluate your debts accurately. Examine your monthly budget. Add up your mortgage payment or rent and all other monthly payments such as student loan payments, childcare, insurance, groceries and utilities. Deduct all your monthly payments from your income and see how much you are left with. If the amount is very small and not adequate to pay off your monthly bills, look for ways to cut down your spending. Now formulate a plan for reducing your debts. Next step is to negotiate with your creditors and try to work toward an improvement in the terms relating to your debts. Try your level best to achieve your repayment objectives every month. If all these steps do not work, it is the time to contact the debt relief specialists.

Choose a Competent Debt Relief Company

The top debt relief companies would follow a policy of transparency with its clients. You would have complete access to all important information. They will provide economical fees, offer clear information on company websites, comprehensive customer support, and savings rate at par with competitors or sometimes slightly better. Moreover, make sure that the debt relief company is accredited by AFCC, IAPDA and BBB.

Financial Freedom

Top online financial tools

Keeping a hand on all your accounts and tracking your money moves can be a daunting task. Personal finance tools can make the job easier. Here are some of the best personal finance tools for managing your finances.

Personal finance tools should be easy to use and feature-rich, helping you to manage multiple accounts, stick to your budget, and giving you a clear picture of your financial health.


MoneySmart is a free online South African personal finance management platform that helps South Africans to manage their finances to achieve financial success by providing individuals with services, tools, education and products to increase their financial acumen. The platform encourages its users to ‘budget what you earn, save for the goals that you want, aspire to achieve, visualise your future, and invest in yourself’.

MoneySmart ‘reads’ a user’s transactions and categorises them automatically, providing an instant overview of current spending. The platform includes an online community and end-users have access to content from columnists dealing with trends, popular culture and financial empowerment.

Loan repayment calculators

Online loan repayment calculators are a great way to work out how much you can afford to pay off on your personal loans. This tool is particularly helpful when deciding the amount you can best afford to borrow. Cash loans provider discloses all their fees upfront on their slider calculator on the wonga website when you apply for a loan.


South African 6cents provides a quick and easy platform to manage personal finances. If you are looking for a user-friendly online financial tool, 6cents offers a number of features in one place.


Old Mutual’s 22seven allows you to see all your accounts and transactions in one place. You can link cheque and savings accounts, credit and store cards, investments, loans and rewards. Your transactions are automatically categorised to show you exactly how much you spend and on what. An automatically generated budget helps you spend less on what isn’t important and find more for what is.


MoneyDance is available for OS X, Windows, and Linux. It is a robust personal finance tool that supports online banking (so you can download transactions from your bank and manage your investments in the application). It can connect to hundreds of financial institutions out of the box, and you can import transactions on your own if you choose. The account register works like a balanced chequebook, and shows you where your money is going. You can also set up payment schedules for recurring transactions so you know when big transactions are about to take place, and track your investments using the investment module.

A free mobile app for iOS devices is available and the Handybank app for Android, for $7, will also connect to MoneyDance. The app is available to try for free, but after entering 100 transactions, you’ll need to pay $50 for a full license. The app is able to handle multiple types of financial transactions with ease and syncs seamlessly with banks even though it works as a desktop app, reminding you to pay bills when they’re due every month.


This is a free budgeting and personal finance tool that focuses on creating a budget that works for you. The tool analyses your finances and spits out a budget planner that’s packed with suggestions for where you can save money, trim your spending and increase your savings. It aims to make the process as easy as possible, and promises that an hour with the tool will give you a better understanding of where your money is going. You can enter your expenses manually if you want, or connect it with your bank to auto-link accounts. BudgetSimple is a webapp and completely free, but if you want mobile apps or the option to fully link your bank accounts, you’ll need a $5 per month premium account.

BudgetSimple is praised for its simplicity and its focus on creating a no-nonsense, sustainable, and sensible budget that you can live by. It’s a straightforward tool, and it does a lot of things that many other software options charge for – and the graphs and statistics do a great job of explaining where your money is going.


BudgetPulse is free online personal finance software that’s easy to use without sacrificing meaningful budget tools and financial reports. This app is also great for anyone who doesn’t want to enter financial account numbers and passwords to download transactions automatically. You can download transactions yourself from your bank and import them or enter via your keyboard. Savings goals can be made public for fundraising or giving family and friends a chance to chip in toward reaching goals.

Google Chrome Money Management Apps and Extensions

The Chrome Web Store has free and paid money management apps and extensions, which make handling financial tasks from within Chrome very convenient (We suggest checking them out here.)