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Money Management

Life’s Little Surprises

While a budget can help you keep track of daily expenditures and monthly expenses, it can do little to prepare you for the many surprises that life always seems to bring. At some point, the car will break down, a job will be lost, illness will strike or some other surprise will rear its financially devastating head. Since you don’t know what surprises your life will bring, it can be hard to plan. Here are a few tips to help you prepare and handle these financial surprises when they do strike.

Get Out of Debt

Probably the most common theme on all personal finance sites is the great need to get out of debt. If you aren’t spending your monthly income on debt, you will be better able to handle unplanned and unexpected expenses. Start paying down your debts today. When trouble does come, it will be easier to borrow money if necessary if you aren’t already buried in debt. Additionally, you will have more money to save each month if you aren’t spending it on interest and fees. Make a plan and stick to it and start working on eliminating debt.

Make Sure You Have Enough Insurance

You can avoid some major financial disasters by simply having enough insurance. Make sure that your insurance policies are up to date. Also make sure that you have enough coverage. Insurance costs a little each month, but is a lot easier to pay than one huge expense down the road. If you want to protect yourself from surprises later, get health, life, car and home (or renter’s) insurance today.

Stock Up

You also need to build a reserves whenever possible. Have a little extra money in your bank account, a little extra cash in your house and some extra food in your cupboards. If you have a little more than you need now, it can help sustain you when times get tough.

Plan for the Future

Life is uncertain. However, you can plan and minimize your risks. What would you do if you were to lose your job? Do you have a backup plan? What skills could you learn now to help you in the future? If you can learn to do a job on the side or get a little more education, you may be better qualified for future positions later. Come up with a backup plan and have ideas in mind if your situation should change.

Surprises will happen; plan for them. These ideas will help you prepare for the many financial surprises that wait in your future. Remember if you don’t plan ahead, you are just asking for trouble.

What ways do you prepare for life’s little surprises?

 

Money Management

Budgeting Help – Where Did Your Money Go?

DeskEver wonder why you don’t have any money? It’s probably not because you don’t make enough. The only way to find out where your money is going is by tracking it. There’s a couple of ways to track your money, so take this budgeting help.

The most accurate way is to write it down. The only problem with that is to actually take the time to get around to writing it down. One way to solve this is to bring a small pad so you can write the purchase down right after you make it. I’ve never really been able to do this. What I do is use my debit card for most of my purchases so i can just look online and see all of my transactions. Then every other day I write down each transaction into a category like entertainment, eating out, or gas. This has been the best way for me.

Another way would be with a computer based accounting system like Quicken or online like Mint.com, they are great if you need budgeting help. One down side is that it doesn’t always categorize your spending correctly so you have to be on top of it or it could mess up your budgeting.  Also, you have to be computer literate in order to actually use it proficiently.

I prefer the writing it down method the most because it allows me to control it without having to worry about something messing up my counting. Whichever way is going to get you to start tracking your money is the best way for you. Just start, and don’t wait until the end of the month because it will feel too overwhelming and you may forget about some of your cash purchases. At the least sit down at the end of each week to go over your transactions. There’s nothing wrong with asking for budgeting help.

How do you keep track of your money? Did you find this budgeting help useful?

Money Management

Estimating the Worth of Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you have been involved in a slip and fall, a workplace or an automobile accident or any other kind of injury, and considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may well be thinking if it would really be worth the trouble and the expense. You will only be able to answer that question by figuring out the cost of the injury, not only in monetary terms but also in terms of physical and mental damage, besides any need to punish the conduct of the defendant.

Monetary damages in a personal injury case are paid to the person who is injured by those who have been established legally as having been responsible, the defendant. If the defendant is insured, then the insurer will need to pay. If the compensation cannot be mutually settled between the plaintiff, the defendant, and their lawyers, it will have to be decided by a court of law after a trial. Some of the common types of personal injury damages:

Compensatory Damages

Most often, damages arising from personal injury are termed as compensatory, which means that a sum of money is decided upon to compensate the plaintiff for the loss incurred due to the accident or injury sustained. While reimbursements for damage to property or for medical bills are straightforward, it can be quite difficult to put a dollar value to the suffering or pain or inability to perform certain things due to lingering physical limitations. Some common compensatory damage types:

Medical treatment: You can expect the damages awarded for personal injuries to include the cost of medical treatment, whenever the accident has resulted in a physical injury. The bill can be settled directly by the defendant or the insurer to the hospital or the plaintiff can be reimbursed the amount of actual medical treatment received. In case, there is any medical care that is expected in the future, then the amount is estimated and paid to the plaintiff.

Income: If due to the accident you have not been able to attend to your work and this has resulted in the loss of salary or wages, the amount that you have lost will be included in the award. In case, the injury is estimated to affect your future earnings, then the award will also include the amount of future income expected to be lost. Typically, Atlanta lawyers term this as the plaintiff’s loss of earning capacity.

Loss of property: In case, any assets belonging to the plaintiff have suffered damage due to the accident, the award is likely to include a reimbursement of the amount required to repair or replace the asset as per the fair market value of the damaged or lost property.

Pain and suffering: If you had experienced pain and discomfort of a serious nature during and after the accident, then you can ask for a suitable compensation. Emotional distress leading to anxiety, fear, or even loss of sleep is also eligible for compensation.

Loss of enjoyment: If due to the sustained injury, you are not able to enjoy recreational activities, hobbies, and fitness workouts, you can ask for the award to include compensation for loss of enjoyment.

Loss of consortium: When the injury suffered due to the accident prevents you from enjoying a normal relationship with your spouse, including sexual relationship or companionship, then you may be eligible for appropriate compensation. Some states may also include the loss of relationship with a child in the damages.

Punitive Damages

In addition to the compensatory damages, if the circumstances of the accident point to a complete lack of care and caution on the part of the defendant, you may be eligible to be awarded punitive damages. The real objective of the award of punitive damages is to punish the defendant monetarily so that it acts as a deterrent to not only the defendant but also sets a precedent for others to keep in mind. In the past, there have been a number of cases, where punitive damage awards have been in millions of dollars due to the nature of the accident and the extent of its fallouts.

Conclusion

Since the fallouts of accidents leading to personal injuries are many, you need to carefully assess the damage that has been caused and file a lawsuit that includes the necessary compensation. Consulting a competent personal injury lawyer is the best course of action.

Author bio; Nick Wayne is among the most reputed Atlanta lawyers in the domain of personal injury cases. He has successfully led the fight against large corporations that cause damage to individuals with their careless behavior.

Money Management

Make Sure You’re Getting The Best Of Deals

Many people are in debt today, and feel like that they will never be free of it. But you can gradually work yourself out of it, by following the simple principle that you should live within your means. 

One of the best ways to keep your expenditure down is to keep on track of how much all those essentials in life are costing you. If you budget sensibly across the board, you’ll find that you spend less each month and you may one day be out of debt and even able to start putting money aside into savings. 

So, for instance, look at your food shopping. Think about how and where you shop and decide whether you need to change to a different supermarket, which offers more competitively priced goods. And cooking meals from scratch will save you money in the long run compared with buying ready-made meals to heat up when you get home. It has the added advantage of being better for your health too. 

Then there are the utilities that everyone has to have. It really does pay to shop around to make sure you are getting the best possible deal. Although it may seem like a bit of a hassle to switch providers of utilities, you may end up saving a significant amount of money over the course of a year. 

Similarly insurance rates can be lower with a different insurer. Whether you’re looking for a car or home insurance quote, or insurance for your pet, you should take the time to get at least three different quotes so you can see what deals are out there. 

And if the quotes you get are still high, look at combining buildings insurance quotes with contents insurance from the same people – this will usually result in a discount on your policy. If you have car insurance and pet insurance, it can be advantageous to put those with the same insurer too. 

There are savings to be made on every aspect of life – it just requires a little dogged research to find the best possible deals on all fronts.

Money Management

This is Why You’re Broke: 6 Mistakes People Make when Investing

Do you feel like you are always broke? Well, it’s probably because you are. Most people today make mistakes with their money, from saving to investing and everything in between. Are you making these common money mistakes?

Making Irrational, Crazy Investments

Investments

Image via Flickr by San Sharma 

Have you ever heard about someone making what sounded like a crazy investment, and having it pay off? Of course you have. These stories go around and around. Unfortunately, it’s in our nature to think that because it happened to someone else, it will happen for us, too. Deciding to throw most or all of your money in a crazy investment scheme is, well, crazy. It may pay off, but more than likely it will leave you broke.

Being Too Scared to Invest

Do you feel like, because you don’t have $20,000 sitting around, you aren’t good enough? This is a scared mentality that you need to get over. You don’t need to be rich to invest. The earlier you invest, the more you will have in the long run. Even if you only have a small amount, invest it. What do you have to lose?

Who Needs to Listen to the Experts?

Experts have that title for a reason. It’s generally fair to say that they know something about the subject they are an expert in. Consider Kenneth L. Fisher, he is the CEO of Fisher Investments, and on the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list. He has written multiple financial books that can help you invest well and save money. However, if you ignore his advice and others in the industry, you are likely to make some major mistakes.

Do You Have an Emergency Fund?

Your investments are not your emergency fund. Too many people consider their 401k or other investment money that they can tap into in the case of a financial emergency. However, it’s important to have a separate emergency fund that can cover your bills for a few months if something goes wrong. Not having a fund for emergencies is one of the biggest mistakes people make with their money.

Not Budgeting Your Money

Do you know where your money goes each month? Most people today only have a vague idea of what their bills are, and where their money goes. Keep a budget and receipts so that you know where your money goes. This can help you understand what you are doing with your money. This is crucial if you are finding yourself in a tight spot each month. Put together a budget and stick to it.

Not Taking Full Advantage of 401k Matching

If your company does 401k matching, make sure you invest as much as the company matches. This will literally double the amount that you are investing. Though this may seem like you are taking more money out of your paycheck, it is better to think of it as investing in your future.

Everyone makes mistakes. When it comes to your money, it’s important to pinpoint the problems, and fix them as quickly as possible.