How home insurance actually helps you save money

Most of us would prefer not to think about such eventualities as the severe damage to our homes or the loss of all our cherished personal possessions. Such a prospect is an extremely unsettling one, particularly if you are one of the minority of people who has not taken out any home insurance to protect you against such a scenario. Taking steps to remedy this could not only increase your peace of mind about what lies around the corner, but actually save you money in the long run.

Unforeseen costs

 

With most households running on tightly managed budgets, it is always an unappealing idea to consider an additional outgoing. However, the most difficult costs to meet are always those which arise unexpectedly and suddenly, particularly if urgent action is a complete necessity. Any number of natural or man-made disasters have the potential to strike at any given time, and if the equivalent of a burst pipe or tree felled by lightning leaves you obliged to take urgent action, there are few of us who would have unlimited funds at our disposal to deal with the problem. Loans companies prey on such desperate cases, and charge inordinately high interest rates for repayment, meaning the monthly cost that you are initially trying to avoid could in fact end up much higher. Taking the time to look for cheap buildings insurance and paying a small amount on a monthly basis means that you are in control of your outgoings, secure in the knowledge you are protected for the future.

Personal liability

 

In today’s litigious culture of blame and compensation, people are bombarded by adverts from personal claims lawyers who want to pursue legal action following an injury on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. While it may seem that the main targets of these damages suits are companies or employers, you are also at risk of facing legal proceedings if someone is injured in your home. Anyone who has had dealings with a lawyer will know the huge cost and stress that can be involved in any case, and how much it is desirable to avoid such a process. By taking out home insurance you could receive financial assistance and advice from your provider if someone sues you following an injury in your property.

If you would like any more information on how home insurance could help you save money when faced with any unfortunate eventuality, look online at a reputable provider such as Swiftcover.

The Costly Mistake of Credit Card Overpayments

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whilst credit cards can provide a useful and sometimes even vital means of cash, they are, of course, to be used with care. Credit card debt can spiral out of control very easily if left unchecked and should be monitored very carefully to ensure that interest and fees do not accrue on a monthly basis. It is advised that people with expensive debts such as credit card debt should try to pay it off as quickly as possible and not just pay the minimum amount each month. Doing so can lead to relatively small balances taking a very long time to pay off.

Whilst overpaying is generally seen as a good idea by many analysts, it seems some lenders are reducing the amounts taken in a monthly direct debit to compensate for this. For example, if your minimum payment was at  200, but you overpaid by  50, your next monthly direct debit would be set at  150, thus negating the effect of the overpayment in the previous month. In doing so, the amount paid off your total debt would be the same as if you’d just cleared the minimum each month, with interest accruing at the same rate.

Not noticing the reduction in payments to compensate could be a very costly mistake, especially if you are attempting to clear a debt prior to the expiry of any cheap introductory rate or balance transfer.

How to avoid making this mistake

It is not always possible to clear a credit card debt at the end of every month, especially as monthly household costs seem to be spiralling and wages are standing still. Whenever possible, you should clear the absolute maximum you can afford, to keep the level of credit card debt manageable.

Paying off your credit card debt by standing order rather than direct debit will help you to retain control over the levels of payment made. Rather than paying an amount specified by your lender each month, your payment is defined by you at the bank. Whether you choose to overpay by  50,  100 or even more, as you set the level of the payment, your lender has absolutely no influence or say over what happens.

 

Other credit card pitfalls avoided

The reduction in subsequent payments following an overpayment is one of the many pitfalls associated with running a credit card. Whilst there is not space here to cover them all, here are some more ways to make the best of your cards.

If you have a 0% deal that requires only the minimum amount to be cleared from the balance each month, it is wise to keep aside funds in a savings account to use to pay off the debt as soon as the 0% period expires. This way, the credit card debt can be cleared before interest begins to accrue.

Using credit cards to purchase holiday money or money from a cash machine is to be avoided whenever possible. Cash advance fees are usually added on in transactions such as these, which are absolutely avoidable if you just use the card for regular purchases. Similarly, check any terms and conditions over use of a credit card abroad to see what the fees are.

 

 

Important Lessons to Teach Your Kids About Money

While money is an enigma for many people, it doesn’t have to be that way. With the proper education, anyone can become a financial wizard. One of the best ways to become good with finances is to learn at an early age. Even if you think of yourself as a lost cause in the financial department, it’s not too late to pass on some wisdom to your kids. Here are some important financial lessons that you should try to teach your children.

1. There is a Difference Between a Need and a Want

If you teach your kids nothing else about money, teach them that there are differences between needs and wants. Many times, what they think they need is actually just a really superficial want. Do they need the latest pair of sneakers that cost $200 to look cool in front of their friends? Do they really need that pair of designer jeans instead of the ones that cost 1/10 the price? If you can help them realize the difference between what they need and what they want, they will be much better off later on.

2. Set Some Priorities

When you don’t have anything to work for, you’re probably going to be headed in all different directions. It is critical that you teach your child to have some priorities with his or her money. What do they really want to spend their money on? What isn’t that important to them?  Many people end up spending their money on things that they don’t really want to buy just because it’s convenient or because of an impulse.

If you want to make the most of the available resources, it’s important to only spend when it’s part of your priorities. Have your child sit down and come up with a list of things that are important to him or her. Then have the child create some financial goals to shoot for in the future. They don’t have to be huge goals, but they should definitely have something to work for.

3. Don’t Pay Full Price
In today’s society, no one should buy anything without doing a little bit of simple research to make sure that they’re getting the best price available. With a smartphone, you can quickly look up the price for something while you’re shopping. For example, let’s say your child wanted to take up golfing, you would then show them how to find GolfNow.com coupons when they’re interested in buying golf supplies.

Also, with coupon codes for GolfNow.com, you’ll be able to get the golf supplies you want at a much cheaper price than you would normally pay. Show your child how to look for sales and other discounts that they can take advantage of. Show them how to buy some things used, so that they don’t have to pay the higher price just because something hasn’t been used before.

4. Live By Your Word

Teach your child to live by his word when it comes to financial issues. If he promises to pay for something, he needs to do it. You should teach this by giving them a good example. For example, if you start giving him an allowance on Saturdays, make sure that you give it to him every week on Saturday. If you get in the habit of putting it off or you regularly forget about it, your child will think that it’s alright to do the same thing when they get older. With a little bit of discipline, your child will be able to develop good credit and work toward the future more effectively.

With these simple lessons, you’ll be able to help your child get off on the right foot financially.

Finances to Think About Before Starting Your Own Business

Starting  your own business has been something you have spent countless hours  planning. You know what it is you want to do, have the necessary  experience and are ready to give it a go. Running your own business can  be a great advantage to a single mother, but it can also be very hard.  Before you quit your day job, there are a few financial issues you need  to think about.

Permits, Licenses and Taxes

Many people do not realize that almost every business needs a permit  or license to have a business in their city or county. While this is not  a big expense, it is there and if you do not have the proper permission  to have a business, the fines and penalties can add up quickly. There  can be a number of different taxes you have to pay if you are in  business for yourself. If you are selling a product, remember to collect  sales tax if applicable and more importantly to send any tax collected  to the proper authority on time. You will also be subject to  self-employment tax if you are not incorporated and paying yourself. If  you have employees, there will be all kind of taxes, from withholding  taxes to unemployment taxes.

Liability Insurance

Another expense it is easy to forget about is liability insurance.  You may have insurance on your equipment and have been told about  worker’s compensation insurance, but you also need to be covered should a  client or customer get hurt on your property. If your business provides  a service in which you will be handling property that belongs to a client or will be going to a client’s home, liability insurance will cover any damage you accidentally cause to the property.

Advertising

You probably already know you will have to do advertising to get  business but do you realize just how much it costs? A simple ad in the  phone book can cost hundreds of dollars. If you are going to do the  majority of your marketing online, it is still going to cost you quite a  bit of money. Joining different groups or having subscriptions for  sites to advertise on all add up.

Utilities

Even if you are going to be operating your business out of your home  until there is a definite need for an office, you are still going to  want a separate phone for work purposes. Having the kids answer the home  phone when it is a business call is not very professional. If you have a  separate location for work, whether just an office or a type of store,  you are going to need electric and water and sewer too. These expenses  can get very pricey depending on the business.

Website Expenses

You may be able to create your own website, web design could very well  be your business. Very few people are going to start off with a server  to host the site. Web hosting does not have to be a big expense, but it  will be there, and every month. Do not forget to make sure you pay for  the domain too.

Starting your own business will be an adventure. Whether it is a fun  ride or one you can’t wait to get off of is entirely up to you. Do not  let the little things get you down and make sure you plan ahead  financially. It might be a good idea to keep your day job for a while  until you are sure your business can afford to pay you what you need to  support your family.

Dangerous Ways to Make Money Online

Whether you  are looking for a way to stay home with your children or trying to find a  way to make some extra cash, making money online can be a wonderful  thing. It can also be dangerous to your finances. Any time you are about  to embark on some type of online money making plan, make sure you know  what you are getting into before you start.

Gambling

Everyone knows, or should know, how gambling works. The house always wins. If you are playing games against other players, you may be able to  get ahead at times, but unless you are very good or very lucky, you  will not be able to make a living at it. Online bingo may seem harmless  enough, but it is also very addicting. You do not realize how much you  are spending when you just keep buying cards to play. It is only a few  dollars, how can it hurt? It all adds up. If you like to play poker or  the slots or online bingo, do it as a form of entertainment, do not try  to turn it into your livelihood.

Demos and Free Trials

You see the offers all the time, you sign up for a free trial for  something and only pay the shipping. Then, you get a bunch of other  people to take the free offer, and you get a cash prize or some big gift  you can then sell. The danger here is getting too many trials and gifts  to keep track of when you need to cancel. All these trials will  continue to ship you product, and charge your credit card, until you  cancel. Many times it takes a few months and a lot of money before you  actually get cancelled. You may have gotten six people to sign up under  you and gotten $250 for it, but you spent more than that by the time you  were able to stop the shipments.

Get Rich Quick Schemes

It is amazing how many people have a website that tells you how you can  make a lot of money every month and never have to do anything but send a  fee to them and then start up your own website. In many cases, you will  end up sending in the money to get started and then have to pay more  each month to be a part of the group, pay more money to get leads, and  then pay more money to have your own website. Once you have paid all  this money, you may get a few people who buy into it from you but in  most cases, they are going to cancel before the guarantee time is up and  you will have to send them back their money.

Surveys

There are some very good survey sites out there that will pay you for  every survey you complete. Most survey sites are not that good though.  You will spend a lot of time clicking buttons and answering questions to  receive points. These points can be spent on gifts from the site. While  they might be very nice gifts, they are not worth all the time you  spent to get them. Another trick some sites have is to not allow you to  take out your money until you reach a pretty high amount and have a  number of people you recommended reaching a specific amount too. You can  spend a lot of time and get nowhere with this type of survey payment  plan.

Receiving and Sending Money

While this is most often done through the mail, there are some people  trying to get you to do it with your PayPal account or bank account  online. Never accept money from someone looking for you to transfer it  elsewhere and keep a percentage as your pay. You will end up facing  criminal charges when the money sent to you is found to be obtained  illegally.

In general, if you want to make money online, go for it but plan on  spending a lot of time and hard work at it. It can be great to be at  home for your children when they need you, but you need to teach them  that just because you are home does not mean you can spend all your time  doing for them. If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it almost  always is, check it out with work from home forums or the BBB before  you get involved.

5 Financial Traps That Can Get You Into Trouble

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Financial difficulties span all across the board from small difficulties to major  ones that can ruin your life. There is a correlation between certain  actions that someone takes and the amount of debt they are in. It is all  too often a common thing to see older people living on social security  with extra money to spare but successful people who make a good amount  of money with nothing to spare. Once financial difficulties start, it  can be easy to keep them progressing and much harder to slow them down.  It feels like everything is piling on you and you cannot get out of the  situation you are in. There are 5 different traps that can suck you in  financially.

Leasing 

Leasing a vehicle is a major trap that people find themselves stuck in.  The problem with leasing a vehicle is that you never own any portion of  the car. You place a down payment down on the vehicle and make monthly  payments to it, however, when the lease runs up you must turn the  vehicle in and then you can lease another one. You are basically  throwing money away in this situation. It is better to purchase your  vehicle and even make payments if you have to. At least this way you are  paying towards something you will own eventually.

 

Credit and Loans

Another major financial trap that catches people is credit cards and  loans. Credit cards are a dangerous habit to form if you do not actually  have the money. A credit card allows you to make a purchase for  something without having to pay for it at that moment with the intention  that you will then pay off your balance or at least towards it. Some people become stuck and then never pay off their credit cards or become attached to them and have to continue using them. High interest rates and monthly payments will surely get you stuck.

Payday loans are good for the once or twice use but if you continue to use them you will become financially strapped. People rely on these to help them pay for something that they do not have the upfront money for. Payday loans are very easy to obtain but they carry a hefty  interest rate with them. Normally you only have a week or two to pay  them back.

 

Emergencies

Not saving any money for emergencies will get you into some trouble. It  always seems like when you do not have any money set aside, something  that can go wrong, will. You are left to then find a source of funding.

 

Retirement

Many times people do not think about saving money for retirement. It is  important to do so to be able to maintain your lifestyle later in life.  If you start saving at a young age, the money will add up.

 

Lifestyle

People run into trouble when they live a lifestyle and do not have the  proper funds to live that lifestyle. It is common to see people spending  more money than what they make. This type of lifestyle will get you  into a financial trap.

Financial traps are easy to get into and harder to get out of. It is  common to see people stuck in stressful, financial situations. Learning  and recognizing the habits that put you in a financial dilemma is the  start to freeing yourself from the debt that holds you down.

Financial Decisions to Stay Far From

If you’re not  careful with your financial decisions, you could quickly find yourself in debt and struggling to stay afloat. Managing the bills, paying the mortgage, and staying on top of your finances are always going to be  tedious and frustrating chores. However, if you make the right financial  decisions then you will always have enough money on hand to handle these expenses. Below, you will find financial decisions that you want stay far away from, so that you can keep your financial stability intact.

 

Payday loans

While short-term loans have become particularly popular in recent  years, they are a financial decision that you want to stay far away  from. Payday loans come with severely high interest rates and they have  very short-term repayment periods. This means that you will be expected  to pay off the payday loan within 2 to 4 weeks upon receiving the cash.  This is a very short-term timespan and it’s often difficult for  borrowers to manage.

 

Car leases

While a car lease can be much more affordable than actually  purchasing a car through financing, they are generally not recommended.  Car leases are short-term solutions to getting a reliable car, but you  will often have to purchase a car or renew your lease after your current  lease has expired. You do not own the vehicle and when you barely have  enough money to afford the car lease payments, it’s a negligent  financial decision.

 

Unmonitored credit card usage

Using credit cards responsibly is a great way to build your credit  score and improve your financial standing with the banks. However,  unmonitored credit card usage or over-usage of your credit cards could  build a considerable amount of debt and leave your finances in turmoil.  You need to be very careful with how you use your credit cards and how  much money you apply toward them at the end of the month. Paying the  minimum payment is a negligent decision as credit cards should always be  paid off in full if possible.

 

Committing to a substantial mortgage

When you go to the bank and you are given a preapproval on a  mortgage, you should never purchase a home that maxes out that mortgage  amount. Banks are often far too generous with the amount of money that  they approve. If you want to live in easy-going life, you should spend  far less than what the bank will approve you for on a mortgage. This  will make your monthly payments more affordable and you will have more  money left over in your budget to afford other expenses.

 

Risky investments

There are lots of ways that you can invest your money, but some of  them are more risky than others. For instance, Forex or currency trading  can be wildly profitable, but it has a very steep learning curve. Some  people tend to dive head into new things that they are excited about and  this often leads to debt and risky financial decisions. Try to control  your spending and do not jump into risky investments without weighing  the options that are available to you.

5 Tips to Manage Your Frugal Expenses

Your monthly  expenses such as bills, the mortgage, and other financial obligations  are always going to be present in your life. However, if you manage your  expenses frugally, it will be much easier for you to make the payments  and you will live a happier and more relaxed lifestyle. Frugally  managing your finances can be a difficult thing to maintain, especially  with the spending habits of today’s consumers. However, the five tips  that you will find below can make you much more effective at the task.

1 – Use a finance management tool

Finance management tools are designed to help you live on a budget  and organize your income and expenses. There are free tools like  Mint.com that can make it easy to see how much money you have coming  into your bank account every month and how much money you have going  out. They also categorize your expenses for you so that you can see  exactly what your spending habits are like. If you want to manage your  expenses frugally, you have to organize and understand your finances.

2 – Make spending cuts

It’s very important to actually make real spending cuts with your  budget. You cannot manage your finances frugally if you are afraid to  get rid of some of your expenses. This means eating out less,  unsubscribing from high definition television channels, or even getting  rid of your home phone if you can make do with your cell phones. Don’t  be afraid to try new things in order to make spending cuts and  reorganize your budget.

3 – Create a budget

Once you have used a finance management tool to organize and  understand your finances as well as make spending cuts, you then need to  create a budget for your monthly spending. You should now be in a  position to where you can analyze how much money you have been spending  in the past and how much money you want to spend in the future. Creating  a budget and sticking to that amount is very important to managing your  expenses frugally.

4 – Do not spend irrationally

Part of the problem with today’s consumers is that they spend  irrationally. Even though they do not make much money, they feel  obligated to lease a car, buy a house and have all of the amenities that  their friends and family members have. What they don’t realize, is that  this type of spending is reckless and that is why a lot of their  friends and family members will one day find themselves in debt.  Controlling your spending habits and saving money rather than spending  it is a very important step to the process. Try to avoid reckless  spending and stay away from poor financial choices such as payday loans.

5 – Seek cheap thrills

Everyone needs to get entertainment somehow but if you spend a lot of  money in order to entertain yourself, you are quickly going to find  yourself struggling with debt. Try to seek cheap thrills instead of  going for the more luxurious, outgoing types of options. Making yourself  happier with some of the cheaper options in life is going to protect  your budget and stabilize your finances.

Earning Extra Money With Your Old Jewelry

There are many opportunities for you to make extra money, some of which may be hiding right under your nose. As an example, many people are now selling jewelry to make some extra money, although it is not going to be something that is available for the long-term (Source: Sell Diamonds to Diamond Buyers). If you sell diamonds, for example, you can expect to make a considerable amount of money if you sell them in the right location. You also need to consider the possibility of whether you are going to make more if you sell diamond ring components separately or if you are going to sell them as a single unit. In most cases, it is going to take some footwork on your part to determine which is going to be the best financial decision for you.

You can also use this information to learn about selling jewelry to learn how to buy an engagement ring. You are likely to learn that there are four C’s that need to be considered when making your purchase. They are cut, clarity, carat, and color. It is likely that you are not going to be able to afford a diamond that is flawless, so you may need to cut some corners somewhere to make it possible. The most important thing for you to consider is the cut and the clarity comes in as a close second. If the color is off to a certain extent, you will be able to save some money without sacrificing quality in most cases. The same is also true if the caret is very close to being a whole number but is slightly under, as that makes a difference in the price that you pay.

Need Cash Fast? Try Lenddo

We live in uncertain times.  Whether there’s a fire-breathing dragon or a huge hospital bill waiting for you round the bend, you’ll never know.  If you’ve got large sums of money sitting in the bank, then maybe that won’t be much of a problem.  But for us who rely heavily on our paychecks, saving enough money for emergencies or a nice house in the woods continues to be a struggle.  That’s when long or short term loans come to save the day.

Getting a loan isn’t all that easy, though.  Anyone who’s ever had to apply for a loan before can attest to the painstaking hassle one must go through just to sort out those loan requirements.  But now, quick loans are made possible, thanks to Lenddo.

Lenddo is not some fly-by-night company.  It’s an online platform which seeks to help the middle class gain access to local financial services by tapping into their online social connections to vouch for their character and credibility.  So, they’ll grant you that debt consolidation loan as long as your Facebook friends don’t slander your name.

How does it work?  The process is quite simple.

  1. Go to www.lenddo.com.ph and create and account with them.
  2. Link your Lenddo account to your online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.)
  3. Without the need for bribery, invite your family and friends to join your trusted network.
Here’s a screenshot of my account:

All you really need to do to get Lenddo to give you that loan is to build trusted connections with at least 3 people, and earn a minimum “400” Lenddo score.    You get the required score by simply linking to your other social networks.  It’s that easy.

As for the trusted connections, they must also have at least a Lenddo score of 400 before you can apply for a loan.

You’re allowed to borrow from P5,000 up to P43,000.  The interest rate will depend on your Lenddo score and terms range.  The higher your Lenddo score is, the easier it is to get your loan approved.  If you manage to meet their easy peasy requirement, you can get your loan approved in as fast as one business day!

What I like about Lenddo is that their website shows a loan calculator which helps give you an idea of how much your monthly payments will be.   Of course, I love their easy loan application process.  Imagine, there’s no need for physical collateral!  All you need are your online connections to back you up.

To make things even sweeter, Lenddo uses an electronic payments system.  They deposit the funds straight to your bank account.  Without breaking up a sweat, you’ll have that loan sitting in the palm of your hand.

A friend in need, is a friend indeed, they say.  If it’s a housing loan or one of those student loans you need, now’s the perfect time to put those Facebook and Twitter friends to use.

Here’s are some testimonials from happy Lenddo patrons: