Category: Financial Planning

Paving the Road to Financial Security

financial safetyFor many people, financial security is something that always seems to be just out of reach. And while there is no doubt that it cannot be achieved overnight (unless you have a big lottery win) paving the road to financial security is something that you should be aiming for your entire life. Ultimately, it is all about getting into some good habits and making some savvy decisions. So, here a few financial points that you should consider whatever point of life you are at.

Recognize Yourself as Your Biggest Asset

Developing your skills, knowledge and experience will stand you in good stead when it comes to your financial future. You never know when you may need to call on these things that you have learned over the years. Rather than squirreling away that extra bit of money every month, you will be far better off treating yourself as an investment. So you could decide to complete a course or have some lessons in something instead.

Set Short-term Goals

Many people have long-term financial goals that they aim to achieve, but it is impossible to predict what twists and turns your life will take. Instead, you should choose some measurable and attainable short-term goals to focus your time on. As an example, you could aim to pay off your credit card debt. Make sure that you set a specific time limit on this, as you are much more likely to enjoy success if you do this rather than letting it drag on indefinitely.

Become Financially Literate

Saving money every month is obviously a good habit to get into, but it is not helping you to become financially literate. For example, have you done the necessary research that tells you that this account is giving you the best return on your investment? Are you aware of the other investment opportunities that are out there? People who keep up with the finer details of finances are much more likely to enjoy financial security in the future.

Keep an Eye on Your Lifestyle Costs

Making sure that you aren’t living beyond your means is one of the best habits you can get into during your life. The best way of doing this is by keeping a close eye on your expenses. Write out a list of your regular outgoings so you can decide whether or not there are any savings that can be made. As your living situation changes and your expenses adjust, it is important that you reassess and reapportion your expenses.

Don’t Borrow to Finance a Lifestyle

If you decide that you want to start a business, you may well find that you need to borrow some money to finance your venture. This is an example of a calculated financial risk. If you want to buy a new car, you shouldn’t be racking up credit card debt in order to do this as this will never stand you in good stead in the future. Not buying what you can’t afford is one of the most important financial lessons you can learn.

How To Pull Yourself Out Of Financial Difficulties After A Challenging Life Event

help in financeSometimes, life can throw you a challenge, and they can often lead to unprecedented emotional and financial difficulties. Therefore, whether you’ve been made redundant, extreme weather has damaged your home beyond repair, or, you’ve gone through a costly divorce; it’s vital that you get your thinking cap on and figure out what to do financially. Working out your money and where it’s going as soon as possible, will help protect you and your assets in the future. The following are some things you might need to consider, should you find yourself in financial strife.

Maintaining Your Income

During difficult life events, like divorce, it’s important that the other key areas of your lifestyle remain as intact as possible. Therefore, it’s essential that you inform your employer of any significant changes to your situation, so that they understand that you may need some time out of the office, and you won’t have to jeopardize your job. If it’s your job that you’ve lost, and you find yourself redundant, then you must financially plan immediately, and pick up any work available, while you search for your next career move.

By maintaining a steady income, and carefully considering any purchases, you’ll be able to ease the transition into any other major life changes. This will help your and your family, both financially, and emotionally in the future.

Rebuilding Your Credit

Life changes that cause financial hardship and struggles can often lead to you to paying for things with a credit card or not paying back loans and bills on time. These difficult financial situations can result in bad credit, and for you to figure out how you’re going to rebuild your life, you’ll need to seek professional help and advice. You can research into credit repair services, find out; does Lexington Law really work and discover what you’ll need to do to get yourself out of the red again.

Selling Your Assets

In order to release some equity, and get back on your feet financially, you might need to make some tough decisions in regards to your property and bigger assets. Downsizing your accommodation, or replacing your car with an affordable alternative, are decisions to make quickly so that you can save as much of your money as possible. Check out 10 tips to sell your home fast here.

Even though it might be a tough process to go through, relinquishing your expensive assets could give you the cash you need in the present, and secure a lucrative future for you and your family. Remember that nothing has to be permanent, and if you’re willing to make the sacrifices now, you’re likely to benefit in the long run.

Changing Your Lifestyle

It’s all very well ensuring that you’re still working and that you’ve downsized to affordable alternatives; however, if you continue to spend money in all the same places as before, you’ll run out of it pretty quickly. You’ll need to rethink where and how you shop, and ensure that your monthly outgoings are significantly reduced; so that if you do have spare cash, you can save it for the future.

Should You Borrow Or Earn Yourself Out Of A Financial Crisis?

crisis in financeIt is not unusual for family finances to take a tumble and for everyone in the family to get concerned about how you are going to get through it. Many things can trigger a very sudden financial crisis. In many cases, it is a business failure. Many new businesses fail and they can take all of the money that you have invested in the ventures with them. On other occasions, it is a gradual decline and you have been throwing good money after bad for years. Perhaps you even saw the crisis coming but chose to ignore it.

At other times, it is a job loss that triggers the crisis. Most families can survive a redundancy or a job loss of one wage earner if there is another wage earner that can support the family for a few months. However, if there is only one wage earner, a job loss can throw the whole family into financial turmoil.

For many families, it can be an unexpected expenditure or an accident or ill health that triggers a financial crisis. Perhaps you had a car accident or an accident at work and you can no longer earn the money that you used to. If the accident was not your fault, you may be able to start a personal injury claim and it is worth looking into that. You may even be able to get an interim payment of compensation to help you get by. Sometimes it is a big purchase that tips the family finances over the edge and it can be hard to get them back on track.

There are only two ways to get yourself out of a financial crisis. You either need to borrow or earn your way to financial security. Here are a few ideas to help you decide which is best for you.

Keep your outgoings to a minimum

You need to get a clear picture of how much you have to earn or borrow to get by each month before you can put a plan together. There will have to be some cutbacks in your family budget in the short-term. It is important that everyone participates in the savings so sit the whole family down and explain to them that you need to tighten your belts for a few months.

Start by listing everything that you pay out for each month. It is useful if you have your bank statement in front of you when you do this. List the large outgoings first. These are usually the items that you can’t avoid paying out and include the mortgage or rent, car loan and utility bills. You even have to list the minor items such as children’s activities and the takeout coffee you have every morning.

Try to work out which ones you can do without. Try to negotiate a rent or mortgage reduction for just a few months and agree to make up the shortfall once your finances improve.

Luxuries will have to go! Eating and drinking costs a lot and is a luxury that you can do without for a month or so. Try a takeout instead or save even more money by making your own. Healthy, home-prepared meals take a while to make but save you a lot of money and do you good!

Borrow what you need to get by

There will be occasions where you need to get hold of money fast and you will not be able to wait to earn yourself out of trouble. Quick loans give you the cash that you need when you need it. Everything is done online and there are hardly any forms to fill in so the process is much quicker and streamline. There is a credit check involved and there is a huge variety of lending options so you can always find the loan that is just right for your circumstances.

If you have fallen behind on your mortgage repayments, the last thing you should do is ignore the letters demanding money. It is important that you contact the company quickly and sort out a repayment schedule that is manageable.

Borrowing what you need can give you peace of mind and free up your time to get on with what is important which is finding another permanent source of income.

Find a new source of income

Obviously, your ultimate aim is to find another permanent job or to get another business up and running but this can take time. Dig out your CV and give it an overhaul. Refresh your personal statement and update your qualifications. Then start sending it out to potential employers.

In the meantime, it may be possible for you to take on a part-time job to help out with bills. There are always retail jobs and positions in catering and hospitality available. Could you do some babysitting in the evenings or sell some things to raise some cash?

Whilst you are finding it hard to manage financially, you must check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to. Check out with your local authorities or go online to find out more. There may also be welfare organizations that can help you.

If you have a spare room in your home, it may be possible for you to take in a lodger. The rent will help towards the cost of the mortgage and they will chip in for the household expenses such as gas and electricity.

You could also look into earning some money from home. Many people make good money working from their bedrooms! You just need an internet connection and a laptop and PC. You could work as a website tester, an administrative assistant or even as a freelance writer. There are literally thousands of jobs available through sites like Guru.

You do the jobs in your own time and so you will always be available to attend that important interview to get your new full-time job.

How Much Should Your Home Down Payment Be?

financial quakeWhen you’re buying a home one of the biggest considerations is your down payment. Depending on the loan you are getting, you may have a specific requirement for how much you want to put down. That’s the minimum for that loan, though, and doesn’t mean you can’t put down a larger amount. But should you? That’s a choice only you can make. Before you decide on what level of down payment you want to consider, take a good look at your finances and be sure that any down payment amount you choose won’t leave you in financial peril.

Putting 20% Down

Among your down payment options is choosing to put 20% of the purchase price down on the purchase of your home. This option is often chosen because it generally avoids the requirement for you to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). However, not everyone has this level of down payment, and there are times when it pays to keep money where it is and not pull it from savings or other investments to use it for a down payment. In some instances, you could actually lose money by trying to avoid PMI with 20% down.

5% and 10% Down Loans

For people who don’t have a 20% down payment or don’t want to put that much money down on their home, 5% or 10% as a down payment is relatively common. Most people with good credit will qualify for these types of loans through various banks and credit unions, along with other types of lenders. Paying PMI will be required as a part of these types of mortgages, but in a number of cases, this PMI amount will not be high. With a low PMI and the ability to leave money in the bank or in investments, this can be a chosen option for many buyers.

FHA and the 3.5% Down Requirement

When people choose a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, the minimum amount they can put down with good credit and solid income is generally 3.5%. In some cases, an FHA loan may require them to put down more than that, such as 5%. The money they put down can be from their own funds, or it can be a gift from someone else, but it cannot be from a loan. There will be PMI required because of the small down payment, but this can allow people who do not have a lot of money to purchase a home so they no longer have to rent.

No Money Down Loans, Like USDA and VA

In some cases, the Veteran’s Administration and the USDA offer loans where a person doesn’t have to put any money down. There are specific requirements for these loans, and the seller of the home may be asked to pay closing costs in the transaction. Additionally, good credit is generally required, and for USDA loans, there may be specific areas in which the property has to be located. This can be a hindrance for someone looking for property under these types of loans, but the lack of a down payment can also make them attractive to some buyers.

Putting a Larger Amount Down on Your Home

Another option is to put much more than 20% down on a home. Some people do this on investment properties, but there are also people who choose this option for their primary home. They may do this to reduce the size of their mortgage payment, get a mortgage with a shorter term, or otherwise get more favorable offerings from their lender. They may also have money available to them that they aren’t investing, so they want to use it in a way they feel is wise. Paying more down can be an option for people with higher levels of income or savings.

No matter which option you choose for a down payment, it’s often best to consider a variety of options. Then you can make the right decision based on your specific needs and situation. There is no right or wrong choice when making a down payment on a home, because everyone has different circumstances. The ‘right’ down payment choice is the one you’ve thought about, understand, and that works for you.

How To Retire The Right Way

how to retireRetiring is something that all of us look forward to. You’ve been working all of your life, and now it’s time to sit back and enjoy everything you have earned. It’s about being financially independent. You no longer need to work in order to live.

Sounds lovely, but how do we retire the right way?

Get social

Have a think about who your friends are. Are they all work colleagues? – If the answer’s yes, then you may need to become a social butterfly again and expand your network. Explained by http://old-nurse.blogspot.co.uk

Unfortunately, even if you have some great work pals, it starts becoming an effort to see each other, and one day you may realize that you’ve drifted apart so much that there is no point trying to reach out. – You want to avoid this at all costs, as this is how depression can kick in. So instead, get making new friends even before you leave your job, that way you can start building new relationships with others before it feels too late.

Think towards the future

Make a list of goals that you would like to achieve now that you have the time to. Just because you’re retiring doesn’t mean that your life is over… It’s only just beginning its next chapter.

So get planning. If you need help, there are companies like http://brettpittsenbargar.com/ that can assist you with the financial side of things.

In the meantime time, start thinking of ideas to add to your bucket list!

Stimulate your brain

Now you’ve finished working; it can be very easy to fall into the trap of sitting on the sofa all day watching tv, never seeing the light of day. – But this isn’t good if it becomes your daily routine. So keep your mind active; get out of the house and join a group, or learn something new. It’s so important to keep yourself stimulated; otherwise, you will just end up wasting your life away in front of the television.

Talk to your partner

Expect things to change in the dynamic of your relationship. Now you’re at home all day, it can be hard to figure out the new routine, and this is where problems can start forming.

There needs to be an understanding between the two of you as to what is left to come. If you don’t talk openly about this, you may just find yourself turning into a roommate, as a pose to their life partner.

Having said that, it’s not all bad! This is the time where you can both make the most of your lives together. You can travel around without having to keep watch of the calendar. Nothing is left to hold you back. … Besides the odd Grandchild or two…

So don’t look at it as retiring, as that makes it seem like everything is coming to an end – and it’s not – it’s only just beginning. So see it as more of a transition towards your future.

This is your time now to enjoy riding that big wave, after working so hard to stay afloat.