Posts tagged: financial advice

How To Be Frugal Without Being Cheap

couponNobody likes to spend more money than they need to on things, and saving money where you can is always a wise move. However, there is a difference between being frugal and being cheap. When you are frugal, you watch your pennies and make wise, thoughtful financial decisions. When you are cheap, you skimp in order to save money, but you may sacrifice quality or even your reputation for the sake of saving money. Frugal people recognize the value in an item and may find a way to save money on it, such as by using coupons or promo codes to buy smartphones or other items. Here are some tips to help you avoid being cheap while still saving money on your purchases.

Plan and Save

Frugal people are those who make thoughtful, informed buying decisions. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary that you think ahead and plan for your purchase. You want to research the different product options well ahead of time and avoid buying impulsively. More than that, you want to save money to make large purchases. When planning for purchases, keep an eye on your budget. Always pay attention to how a purchase will affect your budget and your bottom line. If you are comfortable with the affect that a purchase will have, have saved money for it and have comparison shopped to find the best deal, you can make your purchase with confidence.

Consider Older Models

For many types of products, new models are introduced on a regular basis that have more bells and whistles than predecessors. The older models may have slightly less functionality, but they may be entirely functional for your needs. More than that, once new models are available, the older models are often available at a discounted price. A great example of this is cell phones. New models seem to come out on a yearly basis, if not more often. The new models may have slight benefits, such as a slightly longer battery life or better image quality in the on-board camera. However, in many cases, the older model may be $100 or more less than the new model. Which one is really the better deal? If you decide that you must have the latest model, consider waiting a few weeks to buy a gently used model when someone else who snatched it up initially has become disenchanted with it.

Watch and Wait

Even after you have planned for your purchase, saved money for the purchase and comparison shopped between older and newer models, take one additional step. Almost everything will go on sale at some point. In some cases, discounts are available via holiday sales or end of season sales. In other cases, you can find coupons and promo codes that can help you to save money on your purchase. There is rarely ever a reason to pay full price for an item, and you can save a lot of money over the course of time when you adopt the philosophy of never paying full price for anything.

Learning how to be a smart, frugal shopper can help you to save a considerable amount of money. By following these tips, you can save money on purchases without developing a reputation for being cheap.

How Do I Know Which Loan To Choose?

equity-rate_how-to-choose-the-best-home-equity-loans_1-3When selecting the right loan for your situation, it’s necessary to look at a range of different factors; these range from the types of loans that are generally available, through to the importance of understanding interest rates and your how much your credit score determines what you can borrow. It’s also important to think about what the loan is for, and what options there are if you have bad credit.

Types of Loans

Loans can be divided into several broad categories, which include secured and unsecured loans. A secured loan is generally taken out against something valuable that you own, whether that be a piece of property, a car, or jewellery. The lender can choose to repossess an asset or sell it in order to pay off the loan. Secured loans do produce low interest rates and longer contract terms than unsecured loans, but with a higher risk of losing valuable assets.

Unsecured loans, then, represent forms of credit that don’t use assets, but are instead valued through their rates of interest – this might include a personal loan from a bank, a credit card, or an emergency or payday loan – these loans are worth considering if you need money quickly, and if you can take out a loan off the back of a positive credit score.

Interest Rates and Your Credit Score

How much you can stand to borrow and repay on a loan will depend on interest rates and your credit score. The base rate of interest is set by the Bank of England in the UK, and is currently at 0.5 per cent – most lenders will charge above this for loans, although mortgages can be taken out to match the base rate. In terms of an average loan, you can might pay 5.2 per cent on a £3,000 payment, with 1 year to repay – this 5.2 per cent interest will mean you repay around £230 a month to cover the loan.

Credit card interest rates are also variable, and can go from very low introductory offers to about 18.9 per cent and higher in interest charges per year. Payday loans, which are easy to apply for, but come with the understanding that you make a full repayment with interest at the end of a month, can charge up to 1400 per cent in interest for their quick lending.

The kind of interest rate you have to pay will primarily depend on your credit score, which is worked out through your past borrowing history, as well as through your employment and address history. A negative credit score can result from defaulting on loans, and from consistent periods of time away from work; this can make it difficult to get credit, and can mean that you have to work to rebuild your score with credit agencies such as Equifax, Callcredit, and Experian.

What the Loan is For

Whatever loan you need, remember to consider how much risk you’re willing to enter into – what is the purpose of the loan, and can you realistically expect to make repayments with interest within a given contract? Also, think about what kind of collateral, or assets, that you can afford to gamble with. If you do have bad credit, it’s similarly worth considering approaches that lower your personal risk – getting a loan with a guarantor can be useful, as they agree to make payments on your behalf if you are having problems. Borrowing against the equity in your home can also represent a calculated risk if you need to raise a significant amount of money in a short period of time.

Debt Management Plans – First Step To Recovery

Recovery from Debt problemsFalling into debt is a stressful situation for anyone. Due to unforeseen circumstances it can sometimes be an inevitable consequence that we have to come up with an effective debt management plan to combat these perilous financial pitfalls before the situation worsens.

Seeking Help

While we can do our share to cut down on our expenditure, it is not always enough and you should not be afraid to seek outside help should the strain of debt become too much. Seeking expert financial advice from professionals can help to alleviate the strain in ways you had not previously considered.

Planning the Future

Preparing a debt management plan is an essential step on the path to financial recovery and can demonstrate a significant willingness to address your finances for the better, which can go a long way when dealing with your creditors. The peace of mind which comes with the knowledge that you on the way to financial recovery is priceless and can heavily relieve the stress that goes with the heavy burden of repayment obligations.

Every Debt is Different

Each person’s financial situation requires its own personal plan, there is no use seeking generic advice when it may not suit your individual needs. Working with a professional to devise a debt management plan will take into consideration all of your needs and nuances in a way which was previously inaccessible. Putting this plan into action is your responsibility however and can take significant work and effort to ensure that payments are being met. Debt is a serious, crippling threat to anyone’s lifestyle, and one which must be cut out and eliminated as quickly and efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, a debt management plan may mean an increase in your repayment periods, but it is a necessary action when making repayments manageable. There is no point having a shorter repayment period if you are unable to meet these deadlines, which could lead to serious complications down the line.

My Name is – and I have a Problem

Admitting that you might need professional advice to solve your monetary woes is an important first step, with many people choosing to be stubborn to their own detriment. Formulating an effective debt management plan may not have been something you had previously considered, but it is highly unlikely you wanted to be in such a perilous financial situation in the first place.

A non-lending solution from a professional debt management advice agency can be the turning point on your road to getting bank statements back into the black and out of the grisly red. Taking the solo route of attempting to circumvent the road to recovery without professional help can be extremely risky and ultimately damaging to your credit rating.

As the debt management agency will contact your creditors, it can take a major load off your back, as their negotiations will be conducted on your behalf. Of course, the decision is ultimately yours and all avenues should be explored to find the best way for you to resolve your monetary issues – there is no need to feel pressured into agreeing a deal you are not comfortable with. Comfort with a debt management plan is paramount to its success, so be sure to find an agency and a plan that is perfect for you. It is your money and ultimately, your future livelihood you are trusting them with, so be sure to consider all options before committing to anything.

Get them Working for You

Debt can be devastating, so correctly managing your repayments is extremely vital. Having a debt management agency on your side can be advantageous when dealing with creditors, with many choosing a debt management plan in order to receive the additional support and security a specialised debt management company can offer.

Getting your life back on track without the daily worry (and hassle) which debt brings about is an obvious plus point, the sooner your finances are under manageable control the sooner the anxiety will pass. Nobody wants to be in debt, but with the correct management, it is possible to make the transition into a positive bank balance a smooth and painless one. Signing up for the correct debt management plan for your circumstances is but the first foray into a debt-free lifestyle, but once you are out of it, you will never want to look back.

Clint Hazard is a writer whom believes strongly in planning when it comes to your finances. Before committing to a debt management plan, remember to consider all possible options and whether the deal is right for you.

You May Not Need Home Insurance; Apartment Owners Should Always Get Renters Insurance

A lot of people tend to think the only reason to have insurance at their current residence would be if they own a home. However, insurance is a very important thing to have when you are renting an apartment, as well. This type of insurance is not only going to cover your valuables but will also cover you if there are injuries within your home, whether they be to you or someone who is visiting.

Do I Need Renters Insurance?

It is common for renters to ask questions such as, ‘Why should I get renters insurance, I don’t have anything worth protecting?’ You may say that now but at the end of the day, there is always something worth protecting, even if all you have are the clothes on your back. When you know you’re covered, you’ll be able to go to sleep at night and leave for work each day, reassured by that fact that your most important items, no matter what they may be, are safe; and so are you.

So, What Exactly Does Renters Insurance Protect Me From?

A lot of people simply don’t understand what they need to be protected from, so they tend to avoid getting renters insurance or put it on the back burner, as if it’s something that can wait until a later date. The sad (yet realistic) truth is; life doesn’t wait around for us. Sometimes bad things happen and it’s better to be prepared for them than to have them appear out of nowhere.

While you may not realize this, most apartment complexes do not have coverage that extends to their leasers. They most likely will have a basic form of coverage; protecting their property but not necessarily anything or anyone that you have inside your building at any given time. This is why it’s always a good idea to read the fine print and ask for proof of what type of coverage they have before signing any paperwork and moving in.

Helping You Pay for Unexpected Expenses

Added Assets, Income/Expenses, for a Full Financial Statement

Renters insurance can help pay for the expenses that come along with a break in; such as replacing that laptop or television that was stolen (or broken) by an attempted thief. If there is some form of natural disaster and your home is no longer habitable, renters insurance is commonly going to pay for any living expenses over the short term. Many complexes are actually going to require you to have some form of renters insurance, and will typically even suggest a company to go with to help you get the ball rolling. Choosing a policy ASAP is important because every day that passes without coverage could potentially lead to tragedy.

Renters Insurance Isn’t Just About You

Another really good reason to consider purchasing insurance, even if your landlord does not require you to do so is because it will cover you if anyone is injured while spending time inside your apartment. While the last thing we want to imagine is someone we care about suing us for being hurt, this is actually a fairly common occurrence, especially if said person does not have any other way to pay for their medical bills, surgeries and other reasons for doctor visits.

Features and Benefits May Vary

It can be very easy to select the first plan you find as a way to avoid ‘wasting time’, but it is imperative that you take your time and really think through the whole process. There are many features that you may not even realize are available until you begin researching your local options and figure out what exactly you’re going for.

Some companies will actually replace your items that are lost or damaged (as long as the event is covered within the guidelines of your policy). What about those items that you store in your car, bringing with you to and from work? Those can also be covered from damage or loss; as well as injuries that are outside of your residence (much of the time, this is not going to cover car accidents). If you’re able to, consider grouping all of your insurance policies (life, renters, and maybe even your car insurance); putting them in a bundle because this can save you a pretty penny each month.

Discounts aren’t always advertised, so don’t be shy about doing a bit of digging to see if there are any hidden deals you can find for yourself. Ask around, too, because oftentimes family members or friends will already be aware of companies that have special offers that may apply directly to your situation.

George Smith-Davies is a journalist cum blogger and is well aware of insurance related problems. He says that you must always find out more information about the insurance company you want to deal with. To know more about content insurance, you can connect with him on Google+.

The Role Of A Solicitor

Law & rulesIf you are thinking about starting a career and becoming a solicitor, you should first ask yourself what does a solicitor actually do. Many people will jump into a role without actually having a full understanding of what it is. If you already have an interest in solicitors and a slight idea what they do, you should read on to get a clearer idea. Once you have a clear idea of the role of a solicitor, you may be ready to decide whether you actually want to go into this type of career.

Your Role as a Solicitor

Your role as solicitor will be to protect your client’s rights. You will have a client come to you with a problem; you will then have to offer your client some legal advice. Depending on the situation and the problem, you client may choose or have to go to court, if this is the case then you as your clients lawyer will have to present their case to the judge.

Legal Services

A solicitor can offer you a range of legal services. If you want to specialise in particular sector of law, it is important that you are trained to do so otherwise you may be a solicitor that has to work on broad terms. Here is a list of the different legal services solicitors can offer:

  • Employment Lawyer : An employment lawyer will protect the rights of both the employer and the employee.
  • Personal Injury Lawyer : A personal injury lawyer will present your case if you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence.
  • Legal Aid Lawyer : If you have any legal issues, you will need to hire legal aid lawyer.
  • Family Lawyer : A family lawyer will look after issues within the family, such as divorce.
  • Wills and Probates Lawyer : If there is a death in your immediate family, you may need to hire a wills lawyer to sort out any finances.
  • Immigration Lawyer : An immigration lawyer will present your case if you believe you have the rights to stay in a country.

If a particular sector of this law interests you, you should do a bit more research into it. It is essential that you do plenty of research so that you can decide what the best role is for you.

How to Train To Become a Solicitor

Once you have decided what you actually want to do, it is now time to get your qualifications. Gaining a qualification to become a solicitor can be quite difficult; this is because there is so much competition to be a solicitor. The quickest way to get your qualification is to go through university. To make things a little easier when you finish university, you should try and obtain as much work experience as possible.

Choosing a Law Firm

Once you have your qualification you will then have to choose a law firm you would like to work for. If you are still not sure what part of law you would like to specialise in, you will be better off choosing a law firm that offers a variety of different services.

Laura is a family lawyer from Brighton, she loves to share advice and tips with others. She works for www.lynnepassmore.com that specialises in family law.