Category: Money

Can You Really Afford Another Large Purchase?

online buyingWe all know how great it is to treat our family and ourselves to a large purchase. Maybe you have needed a new family car for quite some time. Or perhaps you have a relative’s birthday coming up, and you want to really push the boat out and get them a gift that they will never forget. But are you totally sure that you can afford the big purchase? If you aren’t too sure, it is a much better idea to check in with your finances rather than flashing the cash without knowing how worse off it might leave you. Thankfully, it isn’t too difficult to figure out whether or not you can afford a big purchase – you just need to ask yourself these questions.

Where Is The Money Coming From?

The first thing you need to figure out is where the money for this big purchase is going to come from. Ideally, you should already have the money in a bank account. This should be an account that allows easy access to the funds and doesn’t charge you for withdrawals. If you don’t have the money just yet, you should look into getting the best credit card available. When you are looking for a credit card, you should always take note of the interest rate, as this will affect your monthly payments.

Where Can I Get The Best Price?

Lots of us now do our shopping online, and most people have their favorite sites that they always visit. Most of the time, it tends to be the likes of Amazon. But are you sure you are getting the best price on your favorite site? If you only shop at Amazon, for instance, out of habit, it could be time to start to compare prices elsewhere. By shopping around, you will be able to find some really great deals and discounts.

What Else Could I Do With This Money?

Another really important question to ask yourself, do you have an idea of how else you could use the money? For example, you might have some responsibilities that might need the money. If your rent is due, then you shouldn’t use the rent money to buy a fancy new dress. Have you also started to put some money to one side for retirement? If not, then you might be better off using the money to start a pension pot. As you can see, there are a few useful things you could use the money for, and your big purchase can wait.

What Is The Returns Policy?

These days, most shops and stores have pretty good returns policies. However, there are still a few places that make it difficult for customers to return their items. If you do make a big purchase, it should be from a store that allows a full refund within thirty days. And make sure that they aren’t just going to refund you in store credit!

So, are you really sure now is the right time to make that big purchase?

Being Self-Sufficient When Self-Employed

premium payablesAs more people are leaving their very insecure permanent jobs and going down the self-employed route, there doesn’t seem to be many financial preparations for the future anymore. And it’s hardly surprising, given the current nature of unpredictability in the market. People are setting up their own businesses, and approximately 9 out of 10 small businesses are failing because people are ill-equipped, or the financial strain is way too much for them to bear. Living a lifestyle of self-employment can be all about living day to day while working all the hours under the sun. While this isn’t the most fruitful way to live your life, how can you make the most of a delicate financial situation while working for yourself?

Assess The Real Amounts Of Outgoings

Living in a hand to mouth way means that you seldom stop and take notice of how much you’re spending. If you get a big contract, you may feel that you are in the money and spend quite lavishly, which leaves you out of pocket when you’re left wanting for work. The best way to tackle this is to establish a base level of spending and stick to that, though it’s worth doing this when you’re in a good working contract and not when you’re struggling. Look at your outgoings and cut back on what isn’t essential. Have you been to the gym in the last 6 months? No? Get rid of it. Getting a selection of credit cards is handy when you’re self-employed is handy for expenses, but not for buying everyday items. The best way to avoid temptation is to lock them away and avoid remembering the PIN number. If you have pressing payments when you’re in the middle of a contract, you could use a credit card to make the payment and then use your earnings to pay off the card. With costs like insurance, you can pay insurance premium by credit card which helps to spread out the debt over a longer period of time. It all depends on the rate of the credit card you have. It is always ideal to have a 0% card for business expenses. So if you needed to travel to another country, the card could pay for the travel insurance.

Look At What You Can Claim Back

One thing that newly self-employed people forget about is what they can claim as expenses. Depending on where you live it varies, but if you operate out of your home, you can make the most of cutting back on your energy bills if you use one of your rooms as an office. So if you have a phone set up, the internet, and of course, all your electricity usage for your business coming out of this one room, you could try and claim some money back on your bills. The rules differ, but you can always speak to an accountant to get the bearings on this situation. Self-employment is a feast or a famine, but saving money is possible in light of circumstances. Just do your research, and make the most of what you are entitled to.

The Secrets You Don’t Know About Attending College

educational loansAttending college may be part of the American dream and something that you assumed would be part of your future. The reality is that many prospective students are put off by the harsh realities of the situation. At the beginning of this decade, young people started to question the true value of a college education. The point has been debated in homes all over the country ever since.

Think about what is in it for you

It is absolutely true gaining a qualification at college will give you many opportunities that those who do not attend college miss out on. Statistics show that, in the past, college graduates can expect to earn a higher salary than other employees and they tend to get jobs where they have greater job security. It is easy to see why this is the case. Graduates have spent three or four years attaining skills that are highly valued by employers. They are able to express themselves accurately and confidently in verbal and written communications. They approach life with an analytical and critical attitude but they can also think abstractly.

These skills are not just useful when it comes to getting a job. They are extremely useful attributes in the ‘adult’ world where the graduates act as consumers, voters and members of society.

Consider the sacrifices that it takes

All of these benefits do come at a cost and the main one is financial. There are several ways of financing your college education and many students take out loans. This would be paid back, gradually, when you graduate and get a job. However, the cost of tuition is rising and there is no longer a guarantee that you will walk out of college and walk into a very highly paid job.

This is when financial problems can set in and settlement loans are a good way of getting through this difficult period before a dream job comes along.

Other students are able to access scholarships, grants, or other financial support and this eases the financial burden, especially in the post-college period.

There are some things that money cannot buy

Perhaps, when viewed at a purely financial level, there is an argument that college is not the best life choice. This is missing the point. The truth is that college provides a young person with life experiences that they would not obtain in any other way.

The freedom of not having to listen to your parents telling you what to do on a daily basis is highly attractive for most 18 and 19-year-olds. You are in charge of your own destiny. You have ultimate freedom before you enter into the confines of a relationship and parenthood where you always have to consider the needs of others.

The world of work is no picnic and comes with psychological pressures that you may not want to deal with at such a young age. College gives you space to ‘grow up’ at your own pace and become an adult in your own time.

The Ins And Outs Of Buying Your First Credit Card

your credit cardCredit cards are an ever expanding form of payment in the financial world, for both the consumer and the provider. If it is your first time buying a credit card, it can be quite overwhelming and confusing on what it all means. Here is a simplified list of what to expect from owning and using a credit card.

The Procedure of Making Payments

A credit card allows you to make instant purchases without the requirement of physical cash. Whatever provider you choose, you are set on a prearranged amount of money which you can spend on, but must pay back. This is when it gets a bit complicated, so let’s clarify. After a purchase, you have a ‘grace period’, which means you have up to 56 days to pay off the card without incurring any interest. Ensure that you never delay the payments of your bills. If you do, you can expect to have unexpected charges and penalties to pay off.

How to Keep your Financial Details Safe

We all like to feel secure when it comes to money, which is why it’s important to understand credit card safety. As soon as the card arrives in the post, sign the back of it straight away. This means that if it gets lost or stolen, you’re protected. Never give your account number to an incredible source. This includes giving any information over the phone (unless you initiated the call and talking to a bank), posting anything on social media or answering emails which ask for personal information (a bank would never do this). Check your account activity regularly for purchases which you haven’t made, either online, on the phone, or through paper statements, it’s easy and doesn’t take up a lot of time. If you feel like you’ve made a bad decision or the card looks fake, you can establish the legality of your card by using a reliable credit card validator. Finally, if you have lost any cards or feel like any fraudulent activity has occurred on your bank activity, go with your gut instinct and contact your bank or card issuer.

Features of a Credit Card

Many credit card users don’t understand all of the features which come with it. The biggest quality of a card is the credit limit which is attached. For first time consumers, a lower limit may be set by the issuer, meaning you need to watch how much you spend. Contact less payments are great for quick and efficient payments, especially when you’re in a hurry to get home for the football game. Any purchases under $100, simply tap your card against a contact less reader to make a fast purchase. You can also use a credit card for cash advances and balance transfers. Specific credit cards come with extra features such as, international travel insurance, extended warranty with best price guarantee cover and complimentary airport lounge access. Before deciding on a credit card, do your research and pick the best one which suits your needs.

Expert or not, credit cards can catch out the smartest of users. Which is why it is essential to always plan ahead and utilize the web for helpful information.

Ways to Invest in a Comfortable Future

better finance futureThe future is hard to predict, a little scary, and full of opportunities. Life is about taking calculated risks and understanding the importance of predictability, which is why many people over the world have turned to investing in their future in order to live comfortably. But what exactly does it mean to invest in your future, and how can you go about doing it?

Reducing Your Debt

There’s always the problem of student debt. It’s something that we can end up paying back over the course of our lives. If we don’t make use of our schooling, then it can make us feel like we’ve wasted a lot of time in college and university. If you’re still young enough to consider going to college or university, then take a moment to look at other options. For instance, you don’t need a degree in anything if you have ample experience and a portfolio to show off. Many employers are now shying away from degrees and have begun to look more at someone’s experience and skills than their paper degree. Avoiding student debt by simply not attending college or university is a legitimate strategy. When you consider that some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time dropped out of college, it’s easy to see how unnecessary a formal education is.

Seeking Assistance

There’s plenty of help you can get to help you invest in a comfortable future. For instance, hiring a financial adviser comes with many perks. For starters, they’re great at managing wealth and teaching you how to reinvest your savings so that they continue to grow. This is both to beat inflation and give you a great sense of satisfaction by just watching your bank balance grow. You can also seek assistance from more experienced people you know. For instance, asking an elderly relative or your parents how they saved for their retirement and questioning them about mistakes they made could reveal some helpful insight.

Building relationships

It’s difficult to get through life on your own which is why you need to have friends and family members close to you. Investing in your relationships sounds easy enough, but very few people in the world have real relationships with people that they can count on. It could be a significant other, a really close friend or even just family members who are reliable and will go the extra mile to get you out of trouble. These are the people that will help you when you turn 60 and finally retire, and they’re also the people that will help you out of mentally stressful situations.

Saving Money

And of course, we can’t forget about saving money. Whether you’re an incredibly dedicated worker or someone that only works part time, it’s important to live a frugal and healthy lifestyle that will ultimately give you all the financial security you need. Spending money on luxuries is important to maintain a happy life, but there are times when you also need to save money in order to get the most out of your future.