Posts tagged: expenses

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 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.

Got A Big Payment On Your Hands? Here’s How You Can Easily Afford It

bills to payThere always comes a time when all of us could do with a little extra cash. The unexpected payout can sometimes be launched on us as a result of something beyond our control – a sudden illness or a car crash, for example. Or, it could be the case that you have something to pay off (like a vacation) and it has just dawned on you that you may not have the money together in time. Whichever situation is relevant to you, there’s no denying that having a large bill weighing on your shoulders can be extremely stressful. Your focus should, therefore, be on being as thrifty as possible to get the money together in time – but what do you do when time itself is against you? Here are a few ways you can save and make money quickly so you can afford that big payout with no questions asked.

Cut out everything you don’t need

The impending payment you need to make may be necessary to your life, or something that you can’t possible wriggle your way out of. However, if you sit back and take a good look at your finances, you may find that you notice certain things that maybe aren’t quite as necessary to your life. For example, could you still be paying a subscription fee for a magazine you don’t even read anymore? Or, perhaps you are wasting lots of money each month by overusing the heating in your home – don’t simply turn it on every morning just due to a force of habit! Cancel everything that isn’t integral to your everyday life, and isn’t something your family relies on too much. These little savings might not seem like a lot initially, but they can certainly go a long way.

See what you might be owed

You might not realize it, but you could have money hidden away in places you weren’t aware of. Read this Fairfield Funding structured settlement review for more information on structured settlements. You may be receiving your settlement in monthly payments at present, but if you urgently need money for something specific, you can apply to have the cash presented to you in a lump sum instead. Equally, if you have been particularly frugal with your household bills lately, you could be in credit with your energy companies, in which case they will owe you money.

Sell, sell, sell

Most of us have a whole hoard of clothes and items taking up space in our homes. Back in the day, we relied on garage sales and car boots to get rid of the things we no longer needed. But thanks to the internet, it has now never been easier to quickly sell your unwanted possessions online for a decent price. Teach yourself the basics of websites like eBay, Gumtree, and Shpock. Providing you can take a few good pictures of your items, and you have the time to post them quickly to your buyers, you can make a lot of easy money just by using websites like these.

Online Resources That Can Help You Swiftly Organise Your Finances

online resource to earn financeOur finances are our bread and butter, the feature of our lives that makes everything tick. With taxes, cheques, loans, credit and mortgages, the whole thing can become slightly overwhelming. So, just what can you do to help yourself help your money?

The online space is a wonderful tool with many assets. This means there are no shortage of ways to pull your money organisation together, and here are but a few of them.

1. Online and mobile banking

It’s surprising to learn that so many people still aren’t banking online. In fact, in a relatively recent survey, it was revealed that only 51 percent of adults bank online regularly. What about that other 49 percent?!

There are certain stigmas surrounding online banking, and they’re understandable. They are generally believed by the older generations, and most of them are concerned with security risks. And while it’s true that online banking is as safe as you make it, it’s far more beneficial that just using a branch.

You can send and receive payments, check statements and open new bank accounts in minutes. In fact, it takes mere minutes to open a brand new bank account from the comfort of your laptop – I can attest to that. So, if you aren’t banking online or on the go yet, consider it. It could be the solution you need to better organise your money.

2. Receive financial supplies with the click of a mouse

The rise of online shopping and giants like Amazon has made it pretty easy to find a wide range of commodities on the internet. You can now order cheques online, buy bank books and even browse for credit and bank cards, to arrive within days. It sure beats the old-fashioned method of strolling down to your local vault and requesting some documents.

Part of the solution to organised financials is saving time. Just like online banking in point number one, you don’t have to lift a finger with the online space. You can order everything you need and check your bank statement within two minutes, while watching Game of Thrones.

3. Tracking income and expenses with ease

As many self-employed contractors and business owners will attest to, tracking finances is difficult. With the latest news that could see the introduction of a quarterly tax return, it’s never been more important to watch our money.

Luckily, it’s simple to do so. A service such as Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet creator, that can tot up your daily, weekly and yearly earnings with ease. What’s more, you can access it anywhere that has an internet connection, from the airport to the library.

4. Send invoices quickly and hassle-free

Jumping back into self-employment, businesses around the world will have heard of the dreaded invoice. If you forget to send it, you don’t get paid. It can be a hard document to organise, especially if you’re owed a lot of different amounts of cash. If your business wants to make money, you’ll need to use these documents every week – but how to do so efficiently?

Well, luckily, the internet is here to help. Using an online invoicing tool you can even schedule invoices to go out on certain dates. You could even line up your invoices for the next month, or two months. Additionally, like Google Sheets, many of these systems are cloud-based, so you can update them and send from anywhere.

Hopefully these tips have helped you somewhat. Our money is our most precious commodity, so give it the attention it deserves!

5 Tips To Save Money On Home Energy Costs

Home energy costsBeing energy efficient is not only an environmentally conscious decision, it’s an economical one as well. With the cost of living continually on the rise and energy costs projected to increase throughout the years to come, watching home energy consumption is quickly becoming a high priority. If you are looking for ways to cut down on your next bill, check out these 5 top tips to save money on home energy costs.

Helpful Habits

The first step to making a significant saving on your energy bill is to change the way you use power in your home. Make it a strict household policy to turn off any lights that aren’t needed, switch off appliances after use and to check all power points are off before leaving the house. With a bit of planning, you can make a difference to your energy costs simply by being more conscientious.

Solar Savings

When it comes to cutting home energy costs, solar power is undoubtedly one of the best long term investments you can make. Thanks to recent Government rebates, many homes are now equipped with the latest in solar technology, and the results are impressive. Harnessing the natural energy of the sun slices your power bill while making a significant positive environmental change.

Energy Efficient Fittings

There are a range of small changes you can make to your home to ensure the best energy efficiency. Try equipping all of your light fittings with specially designed energy saving bulbs for brighter illumination and over half the usage of traditional bulbs. Another great way to cut energy costs is to install timer plugs which only switch on when you need them to. Simply program the set times into the switch, and it will only use energy during these specific times.

Smart Appliances

When it comes time to replace your old appliances, make sure you look for new models which display high energy efficiency ratings. Everything from your washing machine and dryer to fridge and dishwasher can all make a significant difference when they are designed to use energy sparingly and effectively. You’d be surprised just how much of a saving smart appliances can make to your long term energy costs.

Getting Out of Trouble

Sometimes despite all of your best efforts, you might find yourself hit with an exorbitant energy bill that is just too much to pay. Your first step should be to consult your energy provider to try and work through a payment plan that will allow you to make regular repayments until the amount is paid in full. However if this approach is not successful, or if you have already fallen behind in your payments, it’s time to enlist professional help.

Fox Symes debt solutions are one of the leading providers of advice and support to Australians that are struggling with debt. They will not only help you to get back on track, but they can also negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. Don’t let the stress of an unpaid energy bill turn into a seriously damaging debt problem.

With these top tips, you can be well on your way to cutting your energy costs and living a more economical and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Sharon has recently been looking for ways to get her finances under control by saving energy around the home. She also enlisted the help of Fox Symes debt solutions in order to get on top of her finances and recommends that other people looking to save money to do the same.