Posts tagged: financial planning

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.

Student Loans, Saving, And You

loan burden for studentsUniversity is the obvious choice if you want to go into further education. It’s a chilled out place where you can learn the skills needed to succeed in later life. Plus, it also teaches you how to be an adult, when you’re not drinking and partying of course. Unfortunately, college isn’t always one big picnic. Getting there in the first place can be tricky because the costs are so high. And, if you want to be accepted, you will need to stump up the cash. It might seem retro, but saving can be the difference between a college education and an early foray into adult life.

Here are tips that can help you save enough to go to university.

Start Early

Being a kid is great because you have no responsibility. You can do whatever you like and let the adults deal with the pressures of life. Although it’s enjoyable way to go through your teenage years, it also has its flaws. The reason for this is that it pushes you to rely on other people. Of course, your parents want to help you go to college. But, the circumstances might dictate a different course of action. If you’re ready to take some responsibility, you can start saving as early as possible to prepare financially for university. So, put aside any money that comes your way for a rainy day.

Ask Your Parents

Even if you start saving early on, you’re still a kid. And, your parents have an obligation to help you achieve your dreams. That’s why there is nothing wrong with asking them to contribute to your savings. It might not be enough to stop you from securing a loan, but every little helps. The less you have to pay back once you graduate, the more money you can keep for yourself. Don’t badger them into putting money away every week because there is no need. Just tell them that you want to go to college and it would be nice if they could contribute. They’ll get the message.

Get The Right Loan

No matter how much you save, you might need a loan to help with your tuition. Obviously, you’d rather not have one, but needs must. Before you pick any old loan, make sure you think about the different variables. Some loans, for instance, have a grace period which makes them more attractive to lower income earners. Others are liable for a department of education loan forgiveness scheme that writes off some of the debt. These are features which a student like you can use to your advantage. But, it’s only possible if you think about it beforehand.

Get A Job

Without any revenue, you won’t be able to save in the first place. Sorry to say it, but you’re going to need a job. It won’t be nice, and it won’t be pretty, but it will serve a purpose. A weekend job is enough to make a dent in the savings department, especially if it’s over a few years. Plus, you need to concentrate on your studies to get into university.

You can’t do that if you’re always at work!

Your Perfect Real Estate Investment Has Land-ed

ideal investments in real estateThere comes a time in every single person’s life where the penny drops and they realise that it could be time to invest in real estate. However, most people have a warped sense of what that actually means and so they start thinking about how they can afford to, the complexities around doing so, the trials and tribulations, the effort and the work involved.

But investing in real estate doesn’t have to mean buying a structure. It doesn’t have to mean investing in an apartment, flat, house, condo, commercial property or residential space, and it doesn’t have to mean fixing up somewhere. You see, real estate does include land, you know. Yeah.

So many people overlook vacant land as an investment, though, which is foolish if you ask us, and here is why:

You Buy It. That’s All.

When you invest in a structure, you have to think about renovation works and replacing stuff, which you never have to do with vacant land. You buy the land and you have the land. You don’t need to have a knowledge of construction or anything, just an idea of whether the land could be suitable for building on. Simple.

It’s So Cheap

Vacant land is so cheap compared to other types of real estate. You could buy a decent chunk of land with the cash that is in your savings right now, probably, and if not, all you have to do is compare personal loans and take the one that you like the look of. That’s it, then. There are no other outlays. No structure to pay for, no mortgage to battle, taxes are teeny-tiny, and so is insurance, if you want to have insurance.

No Hassle Whatsoever

The thing with investing in vacant land is, well, it’s vacant. That means there are no tenants you have to chase up because their rent is late. You don’t need to pay an agent any maintenance fees or get a gardener or a plumber or anything. No. Vacant land is the least demanding real estate investment you can possibly make. Period.

Prices Can Only Increase

Your options with vacant land are endless. Either you can hang on to it and live safe in the knowledge that no one is making any more land, which means your little piece of the earth is only going to become more in demand and demand is good. You could start using it for business purposes, in which there are only a few things to consider. You could even seek out some planning permission and watch as the value skyrockets, and we mean skyrockets, and that’s without even having to put a nail in anything. Whatever you fancy, you can do.

Earn An Income

The thing with vacant land is, you always have options on how to generate money. Think about it. You could turn it into a campsite, you could rent out some of it to a telephone company to erect a mast or a farmer who wants some grazing grounds. Maybe there is an energy company sniffing around. If it’s wind power, then you can go online and see exactly how much wind your land gets. If it’s solar, then you’re an option so long as you aren’t covered by a giant canopy. Money, money, money.

Financial Downsides and Potential Issues of Owning a Pet

financially downGetting a dog, or any other animal, to become a loved member of the household is a big step that many families decide to take at some point in their lives. Dogs and cats and other little domestic animals can offer a lot of love and warmth to a home, which is why so many welcome pets into their loving arms. With anything, there are both pros and cons to pet owning, and one of the biggest things that concern a family when it comes to the decision of welcoming a pet is the financial impact it will have.

Dogs are one of the most common pets that are seen in modern households. They’ve been man’s best friend through the ages. A dog can offer additional security and protection, as well a fierce friend that will last a lifetime… in dog years.

However, they also can get expensive. Some dogs, like purebreds, can be hundreds of dollars, and that is just the initial price of your pet that doesn’t include all of the supplies and equipment you’ll need to care for them for the years to come.

Regular and emergency vet visits. Dogs should be seen by a vet often and stay up to date on their immunizations and treatments to avoid getting medical problems. Sometimes these things can still happen, so you’ll have to also plan for the possibility of extra medical bills for your pet.

Special care equipment and furniture. Large dogs and older ones will need special beds that can get expensive. Walking gear can vary depending on the size and strength of your pet, and if they have existing medical conditions, they may need certain food that can get expensive. Planning for these things can help you decide a budget.

Potential injuries and prevention. Your dog may get hurt or may end up hurting others. This is rare, and some legal funding companies will offer a dog bite loan to help you stay on top of things financially while you’re working through the repercussions financially for a dog bite.

Many people have allergies to pet fur. Making sure that everyone has medicine and makes an appointment for allergy testing can get expensive depending on how many people are in your home.

Destroyed or damaged furniture and items. Dogs, especially puppies, are playful and energetic. They’ll get bored and lonely when you aren’t home. In the early months before your dog is fully trained, you may have to deal with damages to the things in your home. This can also go for cats.

Moving can get a little pricey if you have to bring the pets. Paying for transportation for a pet can get expensive depending on the size and weight and type of your pet. Some can get in the car with you, but you’ll have to make more frequent stops.