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Money Management

Identity Theft On Black Friday

Identity theft this Black Friday is a very plausible fear. With the hustle and bustle of getting the best deal the fastest can cause us to let our guard down. Check out these tips to protect your identity this Black Friday:

Tips for Holiday Shopping
[Via: IdentityHawk.com identity theft]

Money Management

Organise your finances with the help of the internet

Are you looking for a credit card that will help get your finances in check? Perhaps you want to make a balance transfer and are searching for the right deal? If so, it’s wise to look on the internet.

Here are a few reasons why:

The web is a great source of information

The internet has changed the way we interact with one another and is a great source of information. It’s improved the way we communicate, the way we shop and the way we manage money and is a valuable resource for anyone looking to switch credit card providers. For instance, if you’ve heard about a new credit card deal (but can’t recall the small print) you can go online and find out all you need and more – with just a few clicks of a button.

You can dig deeper when you have the time

Back in the day, finding the right credit card used to involve a mountain of paperwork and treks to your local bank – but this is no longer the case. Now you can browse credit card offers, finance solution, banking options and more online and can make an application when you have the time. The terms and conditions – including go-to interest rates and annual fees – should be clearly laid out for you to see, so make sure you do your homework.

The internet allows you to compare and contrast

The great thing about the internet is that it allows you to make a credit card comparison from the comfort of your own home. Certain providers have made it easier than ever to compare features including money transfers, APRs and offers and allow you to click through to sub-pages for more information. Other sites will help you compare credit cards across the whole market and will give you a factual and unbiased overview of what’s available.

You’ll unearth information you never knew

Did you know that there are football and rugby credit cards available? If not, you’ll find out more by going online. These branded cards usually have all the facilities and benefits of regular credit cards and will help you show support for your favourite team be it Manchester United or Chelsea. More often than not they have the club’s badge proudly displayed on the front and will make a great addition to your wallet.

You can benefit from online banking

Once you’ve found a credit card to suit your wants, tastes and needs, you can enjoy services such as internet banking. This will allow you to make transfers and check your statements online and will help you manage your finances efficiently. With the economy in a turbulent state, it’s important to keep an eye on your outgoings and this is where an internet banking solution can help.

Credit card applications are now faster and easier than ever, so why not see what you can find?

Money Management

8 Tips For Achieving Financial Security

Financial Security

Making money, avoiding debt and achieving financial security can be akin to a myth. You hear about it, but you’re not entirely sure that this can be done. It can be done and with relative ease too. Of course, you need to ensure that you are in a good place to make your money work for you. But, whether you have lots of debts or none at all, you can achieve financial security for the long term. You don’t have to wallow in debt, without a penny to your name. Rather, you can enjoy the benefits of living a financially healthy lifestyle.

Tip 1: Save!

Sorry for pointing out the obvious, but saving is one of the savviest things that you can do when you are trying to achieve financial security. You need to start saving as soon as possible, whether it’s a couple of pounds a week or a few hundred pounds per month, you need to have a savings account Put in little and often to ensure that you have enough to live on in the future. Having money put aside is vital and can guarantee that you get to live a comfortable lifestyle in the future. If you currently have some debt, pay this off before you start saving. After all, saving while you are in debt can be a counterproductive exercise. Take a look at different ways that you can pay off your debt; this can be in the form of a non profit debt consolidation loan, or something more informal. The choice, ultimately, is yours.

Tip 2: Include Your Savings in Your Household Budget

Compile a household budget or an income and expenditure. This can be one of the most positive ways of seeing how much of a cash surplus you have at the end of the month. One of the best things that you can do is to treat your savings as another household expense. So, if you have a surplus of £500 at the end of the month, take £100 of that and put it into savings in a separate account. Treat it like another bill and ensure that you are making the right steps into creating financial security. Once you start treating your savings plan like another household expense, you will see that you are not out of pocket. You will live within your means and ensure that you don’t overspend. See, it’s easy once you know how.

Tip 3: Tax Free Accounts

One of the best ways to make your newly formed savings pot work for you is to make sure that you have a separate bank account away from your daily living expenses. This kind of bank account should be the best kind of savings account in making your money work. Tax free ISAs are one of the best ways to watch your money grow. High interest accounts are a savvy route to take too. After all, interest is essentially free money. What could be better than that?

Tip 4: Diversify Your Savings

Putting all of your eggs into one basket is a dangerous game. You need to make sure that you are looking at diversifying your savings account so that you are making your money work for you. What is more, if you do have multiple high interest savings accounts, you can make sure that you are not stung by the bank. Putting all of your investments and savings into one place runs a high risk. You need to minimise risk so that you are financially secure. Diversification of your funds is vital at this time.

Tip 5: Make a Note of All of Your Expenses

Now is the time to be financially savvy. Make sure that you are accounting for every penny in your family living costs as well as your savings account. When it comes to saving, you may need to penny pinch. Look at ways that you can minimise your outgoings and maximise your savings. This is essential if you want to live a financially happy life. So, make a list of all of the expenses that you currently incur. This could be things like dental costs and medical insurance. Think about what you spend and cut back. You don’t have to be cutthroat and never leave the house again, but shopping around for good deals on life’s necessities is the best way to set you up for your future.

Tip 6: Budget Like a Pro

Budgeting is dull. There, we’ve said it. But, you need to make sure that you are not living beyond your means. While partying like a rock star can be fun, it’s a sure fire way of making sure that you have no money in the future. Be sensible and compile a budget, you need to make this fits in with your lifestyle and make it work for you. What is more, you need to make sure that your budget is realistic so that you don’t leave yourself with too little cash. There is a delicate balance to be achieved with budgeting. Don’t spend too much and make sure you save enough. Tinker around with your budget and see what works best for you.

Tip 7: Move Your Money Around

While you may have banked with your local bank for the last decade, loyalty means nothing when it comes to matters regarding your money. You need to make sure that you are shopping around for the best bank accounts and deals. After all, having a bank account that works for your investment is imperative. But, you don’t have to stick with the same account, you can maximise your funds by moving your money around. While this is more time-consuming than one would hope, it is a great way of making sure that you are financially sound for now and for the future.

Money Matters

When it comes to providing yourself with a solid financial plan, you need to be realistic. Making small changes to the way that you manage your financial affairs is vital at this time. You don’t have to live beyond your means, but you also don’t have to squirrel away every penny. Be savvy and make sure that you are financially secure for now and the future.

Money Management

10 Questions to Ask Before You Sign An Apartment Lease

Your home or apartment can really make a difference in your finances. If you aren’t living in the right place or if you don’t consider your finances when finding somewhere to live, you can end up destroying your budget.

Here is a list of important financial questions to ask before signing any lease.

What is the security deposit?- Security deposits can vary a lot. Ask questions if the deposit is more than 2 months rent. In many cases you can get a lower security deposit if you have a great credit score. Remember investing your money is always better than having someone hold on to it interest free for you.

What is the application fee?- When asking about application fees also ask how much they charge for a  credit check. If you must have a co-signer there may be additional fees.

Is the application fee refundable? Ask if the application fee is refundable if you decide not to move in. In many apartments it will apply to your first months rent. Always ask how the fee will be used and if it is refundable should you choose another place.

Which utilities are included? Most apartments include water and trash in the apartment fee. If not, ask what the typical monthly charges are. If you are comparing apartments based on price, be sure to remember to factor utility charge in as well.

What fees are required before move in/ move out? This question is pretty forward. Find out what fees are required before you move in and out. Is there a cleaning fee or a carpet cleaning charge? If you clean on your own can you save money?

What happens if I move before my contract ends? Always find out what the charge will be should you have to cancel your lease. In some apartments it is a month rent, plus at least a months notice. Be sure what the terms are since you can be held liable for the entire lease in some instances.

Are there extra fees for pets or animals? If you have pets, be sure to find out if they are allowed and what the pet rent is. In some cases there is an additional security deposit or cleaning charge plus a monthly pet rent.

What is your late fee? Do you have a grace period? It is always good to know what the payment terms are, when your rent is due and if you can be late should an emergency arise.

Do you have any special offers for new move ins? Always find out about new move in offers. Sometimes you can get a few months free rent, or a reduced security deposit. Sometimes signing a longer lease will get you better move in deals.

How long are your typical leases? Remember when your lease is up, rates can sometimes skyrocket. If you plan on staying somewhere a long time and the rate is good, you might want to consider a longer lease.

Print off this list and take it along when you go apartment hunting. It is always better to ask a lot and be sure than sign a lease and be sorry later.

Is there anything you would add?

 

Money Management

Saving Money on the Road

With how often we think about our financial investments and bottom line, it’s easy to forget about the investment we must make in our mental health. Nothing could be more important to the future of your life than acknowledging the role our emotional and psychological well-being plays in our decision-making process. 

You may spend 60-70 hours a week hooked up to computers, constantly checking your cell phone, trading stock quotes, reviewing Cavalry Portfolio Services, and noodling around with your companies dividends—still, the deals you make in one day pale in comparison to the deal you’re making with yourself over the long haul. Consider yoga and nutrition as an intersection of strategies that may help you to balance your economy of wealth with an economy of health….

Yoga

You’ve got to understand that your mind is its own index, trading chemicals and transmitters with itself on a 24/7 basis. Once you look at your brain from this angle, you’ll never go about your life the same way. Everything you do, every conversation you have, every decision you make is a product of your brain chemistry. If your chemistry gets out of wack—easy to do after a daily infusion of stress hormones, caffeine, adrenaline, and technology—you’ve got to put in the time to help your mind return to a state of equilibrium. A great way to do this is yoga. Yoga is a moving meditation that harnesses the power of breathing in order to center the mind and nourish the body. Keep your blood oxygenated and flowing so that your body can feed your brain and keep your thought processes stable. If you lose your mind from stress, you’ll regret not taking this more seriously.

Nutrition

Believe or not, the things we put in our body actually do affect our mind. The sugar, hormones, pesticides, saturated fat, preservatives and toxins that inundate the American diet also poison our minds, causing ADD, ED, emotional imbalances, and fatigue. If you have a stressful life, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to take control over your diet. This means eating more organic vegetables, cutting out fast food, and limited excess sugars and fats that clog your arteries. Think about it: if you die ten years sooner than you should, that’s ten years of income being buried with you too. Morbid, yes, but honest.

It’s easy to get caught up in unhealthy practices that deteriorate our physical and mental health. But let’s not make the mistake of viewing those ailments as separate from our careers and investments. Your health is an investment too, one that in the long run is dramatically more important to you and your family than numbers on a computer screen.