Category: Personal Finance

Personal Financial Management – A knowledge base

manageable financesFinancial management has to be one of the most daunting and demanding tasks that can cause an individual stress. There is simply no margin for error, and a slight misappropriation could have far reaching effects in the immediate future or sometimes later in life. Now, more than ever before, personal finances are at a greater risk thanks to the availability of easy digital spending platforms. Purchases are made easier by swiping or just by a touch of a button, and bank accounts are accessible through a myriad of services. With a few clicks a person can have thousands of dollars of credit and being destroying their financial future.

The Essence of Personal Financial Management

Basically, personal financial management entails understanding your financial situation at current state, and making plans for the future with what you have. It could also be taken to simply mean watching your spending, and saving what you can. It is important to be careful as someone can easily overextend themselves with just a couple bad moves.

The Specifics of Managing your Finances

Income and Cash Flow management

The easiest way of making the most out of your income is by putting in place a mechanism to track and understand what you get versus what you spend, and finally being able to gain capital for covering other additional concerns, as well as setting the stage for a bright future. However, what challenges most individuals is the means of tracking those finances.

Tracking your finances

Financial experts will tell you that the best way to track your finances is by keeping records of every single financial activity. It’s that simple.

Your financial trajectory will be drawn by calculating your monthly, weekly, or daily income against the amount you spend over the same period. Remember, in addition to your daily expenses and other miscellaneous expenses, other amenities such as rent, insurance, subscriptions, etc, should be included in your record. That way you’ll be in a good position to see the real picture and take the necessary steps.

By having such a detailed record, you will be able to qualify expenses in order of necessity, and somehow cut down on the ones you deem unnecessary, or those that you can do without. Luckily, today there are apps dedicated for the purposes of recording personal emoluments instead of keeping an Excel sheet (which is not a bad idea at all). When you can look at all of your expenditures at once, it makes it much easier to figure out where you are going wrong.

Financial Security and Growth Management

Insurance and investment have been listed by experts as areas of great importance. However, these are areas associated with persons who qualify, or can afford some expendable capital even after balancing their other expenses.

Insurance, for instance is listed as a basic requirement for modern living. You will need to identify a good insurance that promises to secure the well being of your family when hard times come, and no one knows when they do.

Investment on the other hand is dictated by a number of issues, like how and when to venture. It boils down to thinking strategically and taking risks, through what is projected to provide financial stability in future.

The best way to go about it is through starting off with a professional to manage your investments. It is an expensive venture, but the importance of lowering the risk outweighs the deal.

Putting up Liquid Savings

Part of the money meant for savings and growth should be accessible should an emergency arise. This could mean either maintaining a savings account with an emergency clause, or investing in a long term venture but with the ability to secure quick transactions during emergency. Ideally, it’s good enough to have enough money to live on for six months or more if a major issue arises.

Summary

The idea here is to practice individual financial discipline and to understand the different strategies of financial management, and how and when to execute them. A complete financial plan is what constitutes a stable financial future, but discipline is paramount. It takes dedication and sacrifice to attain the above, even when low or high risks are involved.

To learn more about investing and finance, check out this website.

What Is a Debt Consolidation Loan and What Are Its 7 Most Notable Advantages?

deal with debtsGrowing up, we are often told to avoid loans for the sake of maintaining good financial records (e.g., credit). We are also often taught that being financially independent is important and that we should avoid, whenever possible, borrowing money even from family and friends.

But there are situations where debt is essentially inevitable. In fact, almost 50 percent of the reason many are in debt is because of medical-related expenses which, as well all know, are not cheap and are often not avoidable. Of course, there are many other origins of debt, but nevertheless, it can be difficult to get rid of without the proper help at hand.

For the latter reason, let’s talk more about debt consolidation loans and what benefits these loans can propose if you are already in debt and need quick assistance in paying it off.

What Exactly is a Debt Consolidation Loan?

It may sound ironic, but a debt consolidation loan is a loan one receives to help them manage their current debt. You may already know this, but there are other aspects of a debt consolidation loan that are important to understand.

To get down to the details, when one receives a debt consolidation loan, all of their preexisting debt from multiple accounts and payments goes into one big account. All debt is consolidated as a single payment under just one lender, making it convenient and easy for the borrower.

One can receive a debt consolidation loan from many sources including, but not excluded to: banks, credit unions, payday lenders, and more.

However, know that debt consolidation loans are not for everyone. They won’t always provide financial advantages in all scenarios. Regardless, debt consolidation loans can also be useful for many and something they do not regret getting. For that reason, let’s talk about some of the specific advantages of opting for this refinancing option.

Advantages of Debt Consolidation Loans:

1. Helps you pay off debt quicker

One of the main reasons people turn to a debt consolidation loan is because they wish to eliminate their debt as quickly as possible. People want to get rid of debt quickly for two main reasons: 1) to avoid further penalties, fees, and interest rates and 2) to eliminate the stress of having debt.

But with everything consolidated under one source, you can better focus on tackling your debt. Your monthly payment may also be smaller, meaning no more delays in paying off debt on time as you’ll better be able to keep on top of your game.

2. Makes it clearer how much debt needs to be paid off and when

When you have multiple accounts, knowing how much to pay off and when is a juggling act. If one doesn’t have everything properly organized, things can get messy quickly. This alone may be why one is drowning in debt: because they lack the structure and ability to plan ahead to keep up with bills and current debts.

But with all debts in just one account via a debt consolidation loan, you will always know the deadline and how much you still owe. This makes paying off debts significantly easier for some people.

3. Allows you to avoid higher interest rates from creditors and credit card companies

In many cases, opting for a debt consolidation loan means getting to avoid higher interest rates. In fact, interest rates are often negotiable between 0 and 11 percent with a debt consolidation loan. Yet, many credit card companies charge a whopping 20 percent interest rate, which many cannot afford.

When paying reduced interest rates with a debt consolidation loan, you can have more money in your pocket and will be on your way to better financial security.

4. May raise your credit score

Some people when they have bad credit tend to believe that it can’t get much worse yet that it can’t get much better. They feel like they are stuck in a loop. It’s understandable why some people would think this way.

But debt consolidation can potentially help you receive a better credit score, and probably much faster than you’d think. With a better credit score, there are a plethora of benefits at hand including a better chance of getting approved for a credit card and an easier time renting or buying property.

5. Helps you avoid penalties and fees

When one can’t seem to keep up on paying their debts, penalties and fees may arise as a consequence. But it doesn’t just end there. With penalties and fees comes more stress and less money in one’s pocket, and in turn, a potentially even harder time tackling future debts.

Paying off debts quicker and smoother with a debt consolidation loan can eliminate these pesky penalties and fees as monthly payments may be smaller. Plus, debt consolidation can make it easier to plan ahead exactly what you’ll need to pay by your next due date.

6. Stops unwanted collection calls

When in debt, collection calls are not uncommon as creditors turn the account over to a collection agency. Collection agencies can appear threatening at times. That said, these calls can be frightening, annoying, and stressful to receive.

But when you are paying off debt quickly through the help of a debt consolidation loan, you can in turn avoid collection calls, allowing you to regain peace.

7. Reduces financial stress

As a result of having debt paid off quickly and getting to avoid paying higher interest rates, stress related to debt and finances in general can be reduced significantly. With less stress comes a happier, calmer mind.

With less stress, one can achieve better performance at work and stronger relationships with friends and family. Having a calmer mind can also bring better health. After all, stress can practically affect every aspect of our lives, and it isn’t until stress is eliminated that we begin to feel like our true selves again.

If you are interested in seeing how you can receive a debt consolidation loan, you can find more information here.

Conclusion

For some people, managing debt can be fairly easy. However, for others, tackling debt can be a long, stressful, and seemingly impossible process that never seems to end. In the latter case, considering getting a debt consolidation loan may be a great option. While debt consolidation isn’t for everyone, it has a plethora of advantages that many can receive from it.

But before taking the next step, be sure to research the debt consolidation loan consto ensure the benefits will outweigh the potential disadvantages in your specific case.

Peer to Peer Lending Around the World

p2p leadingPeer to peer lending has become a phenomenon throughout the world in a very short time Due to the many variations of this practice throughout the world it can be confusing to people when this subject is discussed. Each country or region has its own laws, attitudes and customs in this area and they can differ significantly. So, if you are interested in peer to peer lending as a borrower or lender, or just want to study the topic some more, then read on!

What are some of the differences in meanings for the term peer to peer lending? In many countries, particularly those that are more advanced, technology plays a larger role. Lending and peer to peer investing platforms are online and bring together lenders and borrowers from all over an entire country. Investors do not know the individual whom they are lending money to and only see an online credit profile with which to make their decision. These platforms engaged in hundreds of loans each day. They also process loan applications, check credit of the borrowers and collect payments. These are large, and in some cases, publicly traded companies.

On the other hand, in some countries peer to peer lending is more local and personal. The lender will likely meet the borrower and they will develop a relationship. These relationships can ultimately result in several loans and the trust that allows a borrower to get more money if they have been faithful in their payments.

In some countries, the purpose of peer to peer loans is mostly to pay off credit cards or refinance existing debt. In other places, these loans may be more likely used to start a small business or pay unexpected medical expenses. There are also many other reasons to take these loans and more personal relationships allow the lender to assess the needs of the borrower and the likelihood that the loan will be repaid.

The laws of the land also play a big factor in how these loans, platforms and relationships work. Privacy laws may limit the types of information that a lender can know about the borrower. For example, a loan request for medical expenses may not include details about the borrowers specific medical issues. Credit reporting and bankruptcy laws also vary by country which affects the information available to lenders and may make is harder for them to assess the viability of certain loans. In areas where lender and borrower meet, the personal appeal and information provided by the borrower can go a long way in convincing the investor to make the transaction.

As the world has seen rapid adoption of this type of loan over the past ten years, the number of platforms and models has grown dramatically. Also, governments have scrambled to make laws protecting both borrower and investor. While there have been some issues, for the most part this type of lending has been highly effective for both parties and the future seems bright. Experts expect the outlook to continue to be good and growth forecasts indicate the market will continue to increase significantly.

Term and insurance and tax deductions -What you should know

insurance and taxWe all know that saving money is an art, but saving money on tax is a bigger art. Well, we all are aware of different tax rules associated with our daily life. And who doesn’t want to save money on tax? We basically evaluate all our expenses and savings and try further to save money on tax. One of the most common and highly effective tools associated with tax saving is the investment in life insurance policy. Yes, in India, life insurance is eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C. But do you really think it is simple, there are many terms and conditions associated with the same.

Tax rules you must know

1. When it comes to the tax deduction, there is a certain limit associated with the same. For all those policies which were issued on or before March 31, 2012, the maximum premium amount that will be eligible for tax deductions will be around 20% of the total sum assured. Anything in excess to this will not be liable for any deduction under Section 80C.

2. The maximum premium that is eligible for deduction for the plans that are issued on or after April 1, 2012, will get 10% of the total sum assured as the tax deduction. For example, if you invest in an insurance plan and that too which carries the sum assured of Rs 10 lakhs. Keep in mind that the annual premium which will be eligible for tax deductions would be around 1 lakh cannot be claimed for tax benefits. However, if the person is suffering from an illness that is listed under Section 80DDB or has a disability listed under Section 80U, an additional deduction in premium of around 5% is permitted. Therefore, in such cases, the maximum premium which will be eligible for deduction under Section 80C will be 15%

3. Premium amount that is paid someone else like other than children, spouse and self will not be liable for deductions.

4. In case of maturity, if an individual is fine with all the above-stated criteria, the maturity benefits stand exempted from tax. But if in the case where the annual premium exceeds the percentage limit which is mentioned above, the tax will be levied in accordance with the income tax slab

5. In case of demise of the insured person, the death benefits are not taxable.

Moreover, the good thing is that the term insurance plan which is a strong form of life insurance is not much affected with the same. And, in today’s market, there is the multiple and wide range of such plans is available in the market. Such effective plans carry a sum assured which is much higher than the annual premium. So investing in the same is not a big deal and it always comes out with a wider range of benefits.

However, it is important for you to understand that the concept can be different with single premium policies. As a part of these policies the sum assured is not high just to improve the returns. Therefore the premium amount associated with the same fall low, creating not enough percentage difference between the sum assured and the premium.

Under such policies, the sum assured will not be more than 1.5 times the premium amount. As a result single premium plans will not be liable for the tax deduction.

It is true that a life insurance plan demands a long-term commitment that may last for a couple of years. It is obvious that between the tenure policy you don’t want to discover that you made a huge mistake as your premium will not be liable for tax deductions. Then it will become quite late. Even if you want to cancel the policy then you have to pay unexpected charges.

So it is important for you to pay attention to the tax laws, study the same properly before investing in any insurance plan. Term insurance plan comparison is a great choice if you are planning to invest in the term plan. It will provide the needful financial cover to your family in your absence and will be liable for tax deductions. For making an investment in a term insurance plan, you can take help of PolicyX.com which is a great platform and assisting customers in choosing the right plan for them.

Buying a New Home Is No More a Distant Dream

money for homeEvery individual dreams of purchasing their own home. A safe place where they might want to raise a family, or look after their parents. While the rising cost of real estate often dissuades people from the task, it’s important to remember that with the help of a home loan, your dream home is no longer just a distant hope that won’t be fulfilled.

If you’re hoping to realise your ultimate dream of owning a home, let’s take a look at a few steps that will help you along your journey.

1. Get Your Priorities in Order

Before you even start looking for a house, it’s important that you understand what you’re looking for. Do you want a home that’s in the middle of the city where you work, or do you want something that’s a bit quieter and closer to your hometown? Think about whether you want a large house with a garden or park nearby, or if you’re content with a smaller home with a good view. Figure out what is most important for you to have in your home. This makes the selection process much easier.

2. Outline Your Budget

Whether you’re funding the house by yourself or applying for a loan, it’s important that you have an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on a home. Even if you do take out a loan, you’ll have to factor in the EMIs that you will have to repay into your monthly budget. For a better understanding of what you can afford every month, you can use an online home loan EMI calculator. Once you have your budget and priorities in order, you’ll be able to find a home that meets your needs.

3. Create a Shortlist

The house-hunting process is generally quite a long-drawn one. You may see several houses before you find one that you truly identify with. If you’re lucky, you may like a home the instant you walk in and see it. However, this isn’t always the case. Once you’ve seen a wide selection of houses, you should make a list of the ones that you would definitely consider buying. Then you can list out the pros and cons of each home before making your final decision.

4. Find Financing

Unless you’ve won the lottery or you’ve been saving incredibly well over the last few years, you’ll probably require a loan to cover the cost of your new home. There are a number of loan options available to you, and you will need to find one that fits your needs. Depending on your requirements, you could find a loan that offers higher financing, better interest rates, or quicker disbursals. You could also use a home loan calculator to find out the kind of EMIs you would be required to pay based on the interest rates being offered.

5. Budget for Your EMIs

Now that you’ve found your perfect home and got a loan to finance it, it’s a good idea to come up with a repayment plan. You may have to readjust your monthly budget to factor in your EMIs and curb your expenditure a little. Of course, it goes without saying that you should also ensure you put away some amount of your savings for any financial emergencies that may come your way.

With our 5 quick tips, you could soon be on your way to finding your dream home and settling down with your family. Remember, a home loan doesn’t have to be a burden, it could be the stepping stone that helps you achieve your dreams.