Category Archives: Money and Banking

Geting Started Borrowing Money and Building Credit

Money

When you’re fresh out of college, you are ready to start doing big things like get your first “real” job and buy your first home. You may need to buy a car, or you may want to start your own business. But in order to do some of those things, you’re going to need financing, and as a young person, you’re likely to find the process difficult and maybe even a bit confusing. You may start having this problem even earlier, like when you try to get financing to pay for college or to buy a car.

It’s important that you know what to expect with financing. Here’s a look at some of the most common financing types to help you understand where to start and how to build your credit:

Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans like installment loans online are a common source of funding for students and other young people. Some short-term loans cause more trouble than they’re worth, such as payday loans that have excessive interest rates. Installment loans are personal cash loans that have minimal requirements. You don’t have to have any credit – you just have to have a verifiable source of income and some other documentation. You can get small amounts – up to $1,000 or more, depending on the lender – which you can use to handle emergency needs, like fixing your car or making up the difference on a semester’s tuition.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are another popular form of financing for young people since they are easily obtainable. Some providers want you to have a little credit history before they will approve you, but others provide cards with low credit limits for those with no credit. Gas cards and store credit cards are the easiest to get, and they usually have limits of just a few hundred dollars.

CreditCredit cards are also popular because they give people the freedom to buy whatever they need. However, students often overuse credit cards, so they should exercise caution with them. The high interest rates make it very hard to pay them back. Getting that first credit card can be an easy way to build credit, but if it’s misused, it can also bring down your credit.

Student Loans

Student loans used to be easier to get, but with so many defaults and the weaker economy in recent years, lenders have gotten tougher. You’ll most likely need a co-signor like a parent who has great credit to get approved for a student loan. You won’t have to pay anything on the loan while you’re in school, but six months after graduating, you could be looking at some hefty bills.

Fortunately, interest rates are typically low on student loans, but the monthly payment can be quite high if you borrowed a lot. You’ll have the ability to get on a structured repayment plan or to defer your payments if you find yourself struggling, but student loan debt can almost never be discharged. That means you’ll be on the hook for that debt until you pay it off. Borrow wisely.

Auto Financing

If you’ve used credit cards responsibly during your time in college, you may have enough of a credit history to be approved for auto financing to buy a car. Lenders will also consider your income when they review your application, so if you have a nice-paying first job and you have some credit, you have a better chance of getting approved for a moderate loan. But if you’re trying to buy a BMW on an average starting salary, you can forget about it.

Mortgage

Mortgage

Buying your first home is a momentous occasion, but you’ll have to have a lot of credit history to get approved. Mortgage lenders take a fine-tooth comb to your financial portfolio when considering your application. They will look at your job history, your credit history, your outstanding debt, and other financial issues. You must have a good history, a strong down payment, and a low debt-to-income ratio. The best thing you can do when you get out of school is start saving for your down payment and be sure to borrow responsibly.

Building your credit can be easy, but you have to take it slow. Start with small cash loans when you have an emergency, and use other credit cards and loans strategically to get what you need while building a positive payment history.

Exciting ways of making money at home

How to make money from home

Nowadays, many people are interested in starting their own home-based business and make good amount of money. Normally, a person will work two to three professions in his work life. People who leave their career behind tend to start their own business at home.

Many people who have been a part of conventional labor force are on the brink of retiring from that routine and now they have their plans open about which direction to go for in the near future. Fortunately, anyone can start a business from home and feel the adventure. Below are some good examples of home based businesses you can start on your own.

Home repair service: Many homes usually face the common problems of dripping sinks, back logged water drains, broken appliances and a variety of other problems. Many of us don’t have the time or knowledge about how to deal with these problems. If you are an expert with your hands and have a good amount of knowledge on home repair, then you can start this business of home repair services. And to get more clients, you can charge less from the professionals in your area. Your target will be on how to save more money for people. The more you save for them; you will keep getting new clients. To start with, you need to have a good set of resources and a large vehicle for transferring your equipment.

Organizational Specialist: Sometimes you will notice messes and clutter in many houses and firms. If you feel interested, then you can start your own business as an organizer. There are many books available on arranging things properly and how to keep things in place to get more free space out of it.

Collect materials about this job niche: To get started, you can practice this skill on your friends and family for a little fee, and once you get your knowledge and experience, you can sell your skills to other people. Make sure that you get some good testimonials from your friends and families whom you have helped. You can also buy and mark up prepared good, or get in touch with craftsmen, to set up closet organizers, racks, and other furnishings.

Online content creator: there are many companies who have their business online and they are always in the need of new articles and blog posts for their websites. As a content writer, you can write up articles or posts for their websites, bringing up professionalism, trust or creativeness.

Web designer: web designers are needed for website development services. If you are experienced in this industry, you can offer it as a standalone service. It is important to have a collection of all your works as a web designer so that you can show it to your clients and advertise your services.

Flea market sales: flea markets are just like a garage sale. If you enjoy garage sales, you can consider it as a business. You can market many items such as crafts or merchandise for resale. There are many marketplaces where you can sell your skills like car detailing or antique restoration.

These are just a few examples of the many home based businesses that you can easily start sitting at the comfort of your home.

How to make money through coins as an alternative investment

coin

Diversification is a core investment principal. The old saw that there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots can be applied to traders. Other than stocks, what are other effective ways of making money? Bonds, commodities, cash? These instruments do not seem to be much appetizing at the moment.

Alternative investments can be the best and worst of investments. This is the zone where an offer of a piece of Brazilian jungle, carbon credits or funky real estate can lead investors astray.

One of the best classes of alternative investment is numismatic coins. They have the following benefits:

Low correlation to other assets: Numismatic coins have kept up a 7% annual compound rate of growth for as long as you care to look back. A coin that was $100 in the past during depression is now $20000. There is no asset that is free of correlation but the main correlation for numismatics is general money supply with an underlying link with fear. During the credit crunch when people were pulling their cash from British banks, coin dealers were as busy as the vendors of safes.coin

Inflation hedge: Coins are very helpful in beating inflation. A Triple Unite from 1646 that was about $10000 to its original owner is now worth anywhere between $80000 to $150000. This is about 3% above the rate of inflation over the last 368 years. Inflation is an increasingly mysterious number. Many people believe that their grocery bills and the constant rise in price do not match the stated inflation numbers. The prices of the hard assets are always going up. This is counterbalanced by a mixture of “soft assets” deflation, questionable statistics and agricultural subsidies.

High portability: Unlike dollar bills, many are not trained to sniff out collectible coins. You can put a multimillion dollar collection in your pocket and go away. Some people believe that bullets are a great alternative investment.

A global market with auctions: Alternative investments tend to be illiquid, just like coins. You can sell the items quickly to a dealer, but the bid/offer on that isn’t too great. Coins are for the investors who are patient and an auction is a solid venue for them.

Coins have a great history of being valuable assets: Coins have a good track record of being desirable assets. They have been collected by popes and emperors, and have been a pastime of the rich for centuries. They provide a good demand in the resale market.

Numismatics is not the only collectible with good investment and diversification attributes. You will find them in the form of stamps, banknotes and many other obscure and/or fascinating genres like film posters, toys, china and other art virtue. Almost everyone has the same reasons to collect coins. If you put all your financial eggs in one investment basket, your probability of loss is concentrated. Collecting is a fine way of spreading your investment risk.

9 Ways of improving your financial situation and money-saving tips

Save money

1) Paying yourself every week : – this is perhaps one of the best way to start budgeting for yourself. You can do that on a weekly or a daily basis. Keep aside $25-$50 or any amount of your choice and put that in a safe place. This is an amount that you are trying to save from your budget and use it later. So you won’t touch this money unless or until there is some serious emergency and you are in dire need of money. This kind of saving money will also help to minimize or eliminate your impulsive spending habits. By saving $50 every week, you can actually save $200 in a month and $4800 in two years. Of course this is not including the interest, but still this is a good money-saving opportunity.

2) Minimize your shopping habits : – people who love shopping very frequently can actually save a lot of money every year if they minimize their shopping habits. Before you spend money on anything, you must ask yourself first whether you really need it or not. Many a times, people buy things that is actually not required urgently, and therefore it leads to wasteful spending. One pair of jeans, a sweater and one pair of shirts can be enough for a few months, so just buy what you absolutely need and pass on those items that aren’t necessary.

3) Use your bank’s own ATMs : – it is always recommended to withdraw money from your own bank’s ATM machines. Whenever you withdraw money from other bank’s ATMs, they will charge you a fee. This can build up to a good amount in a year, just in fees, which can be easily saved.

4) Keep an eye on your spending : – it is a good idea to track your spendings on a daily basis. Write down every single dollar you spend. This will give you a “birds-eye” view and see where your money is exactly spent on a regular basis. You can refine your spending habits seeing this list and essentially save more money from your regular expenses.

Financial planning

5) Keeping your credit card balances to the lowest : – On an average, most of the credit card companies charge 15% – %20 in interests and fees, if the outstanding balance is not paid in full every month. Therefore it is important to pay off those pesky credit card dues as soon as possible.

6) Using your debit cards regularly instead of the credit cards : – Get in the habit of using your debit card rather than using your credit cards. Debit card is linked with your checking account, so whenever you make any purchase, you are sure of having that money in your checking account. Using a credit card can be quite expensive if you are not able to pay the full amount within the due date.

7) Rolling over the 401K when you are in between jobs : – Whenever people are changing jobs, they will be in a situation whether to roll over their retirement funds or to withdraw it since it is a good substantial amount. It is always suggested not to withdraw the retirement funds because it is that money that can be used in your old age. Moreover you will have to pay fines and penalties for an early withdrawal and it will take away almost 40%-60% of your savings. This is like giving your hard earned money to a stranger for nothing.

8) Avoid getting too many credit cards : – People having multiple credit cards and if they are not able to pay the amount in full are getting charged in more interests and fees by different banks. A person having just one credit card is in a much better situation than another person who is having 5 or 6 credit cards because he is paying more money in interests and fees. It is good to have one or two credit cards because it will help you to build credit and used during emergencies, if these credit cards are managed properly.

9) Checking your credit report at regular intervals : – it is always recommended to check your credit report once in six months. In many cases, credit bureaus are reporting inaccurate negative information on consumer’s credit report. This can often hurt your credit scores. If you find any inaccurate information on your credit report, get it solved with the credit bureaus to improve your credit ratings. Many a times, people are not aware about the unsettled accounts, or accounts that are still open/active when they should be closed. Pay attention to these items when you are checking your report.

Beating the holiday season rush. Saving money in your wallet

Save money

It may be the season when the pumpkin spice lattes when the leaves are changing. The holiday shopping rush is not too far away. You may be getting ready to prepare your gifts list, there are a few tips that will give you a head start and keep your budget intact.

As per the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are expected to increase 3.9% to $602.1 billion in the month of November and December. This number is a little bit higher than the 2012 3.5% rise in sales, and the forecast is also above the 10 year average of 3.3% growth. This NRF forecast is deeply blending the confidence of the consumers, consumer credit, disposable personal income and monthly retail sales releases.

Experts believe that this season’s spending increase is nominal, and many companies are also seeing average spending on the uptick, at about $160 per person this year. The shopping season stretches for a longer duration over the next few months leading up to the holidays.Money

This is that time when you can use it to your advantage. You can start purchasing from now onwards so that you don’t have everything bundled up in November and December. It will create a big pressure in your wallet.

There are a variety of shopping deals during the holiday season. The first set of deals start rolling out in September and October on apparels. This year you can expect many good deals on apparels due to weaker back-to-school shopping period. Put your hands on the layaway programs as early as possible. Go out and buy the best toy for your child at a much cheaper price.

Once the clothing sales are over, the prices on electronic goods will start going down. This will happen sometime around Thanksgiving. You can expect the maximum savings on that particular day. You can also save a good amount of money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Many companies offer lucrative deals to entice the consumers to come off their couch and get into the store.

The final sale starts in the month of December around Christmas time. This is the time when stocking stuffers put their items on sale. You will get good deals on different accessories along with consumer electronics.

This year mobile companies will also do good business from the previous years because they will allow their customers to shop from anywhere and anytime.

Find More Money During Retirement

retirement

You’ve worked hard every day for decades, so you’re ready to relax and enjoy your retirement years. Retirement is a great time to focus on your interests and spend time with the people you love the most. However, unexpected expenses and higher costs can sometimes affect your retirement plans. If you’re looking for extra money, consider these ideas that work well during retirement.

  • Put Your Passion to Work

You’re done working full-time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in any income during retirement. In fact, you won’t even feel like you’re working at all if you put one of your interests or passions to work.

For instance, if you miss being around your grandchildren, you can earn some extra cash babysitting for local families on weekends. If your friends and family members rave about your cheesecakes, try offering some for sale during the next holiday season.

  • Consider Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that was specially created for seniors in their retirement years. When you sign up for this type of loan, you will receive money each month instead of having to make a mortgage payment.

Best of all, you don’t have to make any payments as long as you continue residing in that home, and your Social Security and Medicare benefits will not be affected by the money that you are receiving.

Many borrowers love the peace of mind that comes from knowing they no longer have to make mortgage payments, and this brings a significant amount of money back into your monthly budget. money

  • Reduce Expenses

Finally, you can keep more money in your pocket each month simply by reducing your expenses. You want to be able to enjoy your life, but you can likely find some budget areas to trim while still maintaining your standard of living.

Start by taking a look at your recurring monthly expenses. Maybe you can reduce your cable bill to a more basic plan or cut long distance calls from your home phone since you normally use a cell phone. When you are able to reduce your recurring expenses, you’ll enjoy the savings every month.

When you don’t have to worry as much about finances, you will be able to enjoy your retirement instead of analyzing every dollar that you spend. Financial freedom should be one of the best parts of your golden years!

Helpful tips on how to save money

If you can learn how to save money, then you will know how to spend wisely. It is an art of knowing on what you need to spend necessarily and not on what you want. Many a times, we spend a lot of money on different things that are not practical and are bought on impulse. There are some practical tips that will help you to avoid such unnecessary spending.

        1. Going for second hand items – There are some items like furniture or curtains that can always be bought second hand. As long as your personal hygiene is not in question, you can always go for used items. It will save you a lot of money.

      2. Stop doing unnecessary expenses – Many people like eating out in fancy restaurants or going to their favorite coffee shop. You can save a lot of money if you can skip going to these places. This will also enhance your culinary skills that you never thought you had.

       3. Stop going to places where you feel tempted to spend – Many people like going to the malls and see all kinds of fancy items that will tempt you to spend. Before you can realize anything, you might have purchased many items that were not at all necessary because the saleslady sounded so convincing. If you want to save money, then you need to stop going to such places where you feel tempted to spend.

      4. Finding out ways for practical entertainment – Many people like watching movies or listening to their favorite song, but that does not mean that you have to spend every time on the matinee shows or go to see a concert only to see the artist singing your favorite song. Many movie studios do free advanced screening to promote their film. You can also try to get free tickets for night shows and watch your favorite movie. And if you want to hear your favorite song, go online and download it free of cost.How-to-Save-Money

It is not at all tough to find ways of saving money. Instead of going to the store, you can try online shopping where you get good discounts and other items at a cheaper price. When you are able to buy things online, it means that you don’t have to drive and burn fuel. If you are a student or you go to work every day, then you can talk with your colleagues and arrange a carpool. This is another good way of saving money in gas and parking fees.

There are many other ways of saving money in your everyday life. No matter, how much you save, always remember that a penny saved is a penny earned.

Why Invest Your Money?

MoneyEven if you only have a few dollars to start with, you should do your best to invest your money. Investing your money allows it to grow much faster than it would by putting it in the bank. The best part is that you can invest your money wherever you want to and take it out whenever you want to.

This means that you have total control over your funds and what happens to the money that you have in the market. If you want to put your money into an index fund, you can do so and diversify your money with ease. If you want to put your money into a single stock, you can do that as well.

Investing

When you invest your money, make sure that you do so with an eye toward the long-term. Although the market will go up or down drastically each day, it will generally trend higher over a period of months or years. Therefore, you should only sell an investment if it goes below a certain price point and stays there for a certain period of time.

Flipping your money allows you to create wealth and stabilize your financial future. For those who plan on retiring someday or want an emergency fund to protect them in the event of a job loss or something else that comes up unexpectedly, having money in the market can help.

4 Reasons to Start Out Small

Novice investors are often intimidated by the idea of investing their money, whether they choose stocks, bonds, or real estate. If you want to start investing but you’re afraid of the risk, you can definitely benefit from starting out small. In fact, it’s better to begin with a small amount of money, and not just for your peace of mind.

You Won’t Lose as Much Money

Money

Money

Image via Flickr by Casey Serin

If you decide to start out by investing a small amount of capital, you aren’t going to lose more than you can safely afford. In fact, you have a better opportunity to put a cap on the amount you initially invest. Lots of newbies have actually made their fortunes with a start-up investment of just a thousand dollars. That sounds like a lot to anyone who doesn’t have much money, but that’s the thing. If you’ve decided to start investing but know you want to start small, there’s absolutely no rush. Start saving now and you won’t lose anything.

You’ll Learn the Ins and Outs

Starting out small has another very important benefit: knowledge. No novice goes into investing knowing everything. In fact, the attitude that you know everything there to know is detrimental and dangerous. By starting small, spending just what you’re comfortable potentially losing, you’re more invested in your investment, so to speak. You want to learn about where your money is going and why it’s growing. That’s what makes you become an expert. You’ll learn about gains and losses, predictions and estimations, and that knowledge pays off later. In time, you’ll feel more confident and you’ll take risks that pay off more.

You Grow with Your Investment Manager

No matter how much money you have to invest, you need an investment manager. Look at any Fisher Investment Forbes advice or articles and you’ll see how important it is to have someone knowledgeable in your corner. Your financial wizard will help you grow—and he or she will help your investments grow as well. A good investment manager is willing to teach you so that you can then make decisions on your own. You’ll feel more comfortable making your own investment choices, but you’ll have someone to walk you through discussions about risks and steer you away from bad decisions.

You’ll Earn More Money

By starting out small, you’ll ultimately earn more money. How does that work? Solely because you are still invested in your money, where it goes, and what it does. You won’t get cocky or arrogant, you’ll understand the difference between good and bad risks, and you’ll always remember that first investment. Your choices will naturally be smarter, you’ll think over every new investment, and you’ll make sure you’re knowledgeable about every possible stock or bond. It’s better in the long run because it pays off more in the end.

Taking time to save up capital and think hard about your investments is simply better for you. Do you prefer to take huge risks or think things over before making a new investment?

Top 5 Must-Read Money Books


Knowledge is power. If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you serious about the journey to financial freedom. Fortunately, lots of incredible books have been written by people who have walked this path, and their combined wisdom and insights can help us navigate this path. I have read hundreds of books over the last few years ranging in topic from entrepreneurship, personal finance, economics, and trading. Here I provide a list of 5 really good books that deal with the topic of money.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This book is not necessarily very advanced in its information, but does provide great insights for people just beginning on the journey to financial independence. Basically, Kiyosaki communicates the primary differences between people who accumulate liabilities and those who accumulate assets. Asset accumulation is truly the path of wealth creation. Getting that principle fixed in one’s mind is reason enough to read this book. He also talks about business specifics such as how a company can access business cash advances and other forms of credit.

The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

This is one of my all-time favorites. Ferriss was a young entrepreneur making tons of cash, but draining away his life and energy, as he slaved away 80 hours per week. After several years of this crazy lifestyle, he reached the end of his rope. He abruptly decided to cut relationship with his most problematic, time-consuming clients, automate as much of his business as possible, and travel the world. He did it, and his business started making more money than ever, increasing his net working capital. After he traveled the world for over a year, managing his company from remote locations, he came back to the States and wrote this book, which details how he did it. He also discusses how you can start your company with or without business cash advances. It’s inspiring, practical, and informative.

Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb

Now, this book is not necessarily about money, per se, but I feel that it is essential reading for anyone interested in success, specifically financial or business success. Taleb spent his life as a quantitative trader on Wall Street, and he watched countless people rise and fall, financially. In this book, he communicates his ideas of how much of a role randomness plays in our lives, and how to approach life from a risk/reward perspective. Again, this is not necessarily the most practical book, but just check the reviews on Amazon, and you will see that it’s worth reading.

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

When it comes to finding true, financial independence, writing out a very clear, detailed plan concerning how you will do this is essential. Hill’s book has been a classic for over 70 years. In it, he offers readers incredible insights into how they can formulate a plan for the accumulation of riches. Hill was charged by Andrew Carnegie in the early 20th century to interview the richest, most successful people in America in order to identify common characteristics. Hill noticed that nearly every person he interviewed had grasped hold of the power of intentional thought, planning, and other tools. In Think & Grow Rich, he communicates his findings in compelling fashion.

Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin

This book is utterly practical. Robin communicates a 9 step plan that involves taking a retrospective look at how you have managed finances in the past, how you are managing them currently, and the books ends with specific, practical advice on how to proceed and write out a plan for financial success. She also discusses how to find your net working capital each month. This book has helped inspire thousands of people to begin on their journey to financial freedom, but the beauty of this book is that it is not simply inspirational with no substance—the practical steps and guidance are extremely effective.

How to Make Money Online – Magic Trick