Posts tagged: income

Financial Steps To Take Now – For Early Retirement

retirement before ageThe age of retirement for most people has risen considerably over the last few years. In reality this means that you have less chance of enjoying your retirement whilst still fit and healthy. Although people are living longer, chronic ailments, although manageable can hamper your activity levels.

What if there is a way to ensure that you could retire early enough to still have an active lifestyle? Many people have asked themselves this same question and surprisingly there are solutions out there that could make early retirement tangible, rather than remaining a distant dream.

To retire early, with enough money behind you, you need an average of 40 years of savings. This sounds impossible, but with careful financial management started early enough in life, it is doable.

In this article we will visit financial solutions that will enable you to plan for an early retirement.

Plan

Early retirement means different ages of retirement to different individuals. It is good to pinpoint an actual age, so that you can accurately predict how much you need to have saved by this point. Do you intend to totally retire at this point or are you planning on working on a part time basis? Every bit of income helps, some people choose to make money from their hobbies such as arts and crafts. Effectively if you don’t plan on working for financial gain at all in retirement you will need to save a lot more.

Work out how much you need to save each year and how much it is possible to live on once retired.

Invest

Once you have worked out how much money you need to retire early you can start to plan how you can invest your money in order to reach your goal. Investment sounds risky, but even retirement plans involve investment. It is good to educate yourself on the many forms of investments available. If trading on the stock market is really not a viable option due to risks involved you could consider investing in real estate, Fundrise is a platform which allows investing in real estate to be accessible to the general public. Your investment can be relatively low cost and fundrise fees allow you to invest for as little as $500.

Although investing in stocks and shares has the potential to be extremely lucrative, there are risks involved. Before you embark on investing your money you should take professional advice from trading experts and independent financial advisors. In addition to investing in stocks and shares there are many financial products available to invest your funds in from providers on the high street. Always take advice.

Property

Property is a great investment for the future. Capital you have in your property can help fund your early retirement by selling your home and downsizing. If you wish to invest in property for the rental market or to renovate and sell on, ensure you carefully research the location and potential pitfalls in the property, otherwise you could be potentially investing in a money pit.

Ensure that you have paid off your mortgage at the point in which you want to retire. Most mortgage lenders will let you make over payments without penalties.

By following this guide you will be well on your way to planning for an early retirement.

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Super Easy Hacks To Running Your Household And Finances Smoothly In 2018

budgeting hacksWhether you have a family to look after, just living together as a couple, or you live on your own, running a home is never easy. There just always seems to be one thing after another. Bills to pay, chores to do, maintenance and general repairs. It never stops. It’s easy to let the whole thing overwhelm you at times. Especially if you have other commitments like a job or kids to look after. So I thought it would make perfect sense at this time of year to share with you some life hacks for making running a home and your finances smoother.

Have a household budget

Household bills can be one of the things many of us can struggle with month by month. Sometimes those costs can just spiral out of control. It’s not just those regular payments we have to make. Things like house payments or energy bills. It’s those costs that we can somehow not manage to predict as much. Things like food bills, clothing allowances and general day to day living. This is where your income can get swallowed up before you even know what has hit you. One of the biggest things you can do is regularly look over your outgoings and see if you can make some changes or save yourself some money. Speaking with mortgage brokers like Altrua Mortgage could help bring one of the biggest costs a month down or even help you release some equity for other things like home improvements or vacations. Switching energy suppliers or insurance providers can also save you quite a bit. You could then put it all together into a household budget. It can be the perfect resolve for this issue. It takes a while to get everything in check, but once it’s done, you will wonder how you ever managed before. Start by making a note of how much you bring in each month. The next step is to deduct those regular payments you pay each month, especially now you may have managed to reduce them. This should then determine how much you have left for everything else. This is where you begin to budget more carefully. Allowing certain amounts for things like food, savings, clothing and everything else. This is a basic budget. You can get many resourced online of you like a sheet to work through. You can then take it one step further and make a budget for savings. Things like birthdays and Christmas gifts. A budget can stop things like money causing you a real headache each month.

A cleaning schedule could work well

Chores are never ending. It seems the moment you tidy up it needs dusting, or the floors need mopping once more. To clean your whole house or home in one go can be difficult. Which is why a cleaning schedule could be the answer to all your prayers. This is where you workout and determine certain chores that need doing each day. It will allow you to spread out the bigger jobs and keep your home in good order on a weekly and monthly basis. You can even schedule in those yearly tasks like cleaning out the garage or clearing the gutters.

Don’t be afraid to hire help

It’s so hard to ask for help sometimes. I don’t know why but it just is. But this is where you can save yourself so much time by hiring someone in to do certain things for you. It’s not an easy way out; you are paying for the privilege. But it could free up more time for you to do other things. Life is too short, and it shouldn’t be spent constantly cleaning or working through that clothes ironing pile. It won’t be easy to find someone you trust, but I’m sure you will find the the best house cleaners for you. Just think how nice it would be to take some of those daily stresses away.

It doesn’t just mean hiring help for the interior of your home; household chores extend to your garden and the maintenance side of things. So don’t worry if you want to get a gardener to come and sort your hedges out every few weeks.

Create a family organizer to keep everyone in check

An organizer for you and your family may seem like a bit of a strange one to consider as a life hack for running your household. But keeping on top of things is what makes your home dynamic work. If you have after school activities that children need to attend. Or work meetings that you need to be aware of, then a family organizer can save you many hours stressing and allows you to be in more control of the situation. Sometimes, on some days, your partner may not need to have his evening meal because he’s working late. Sometimes your kids may need to be at school earlier due to a class trip. There are many times that a family organizer for each week can keep you all in check. Each day you will know what each member of your family needs to do or where they need to be. It will make mealtimes much easier as well as work out logistics.

Keep your appliances under regular services

The worst possible thing that can happen at one time is when your appliances fail on you. This could be anything from your fridge breaking down to your boiler stopping working on the coldest day of the year. These things do happen. However, you can do things to avoid the surprise. Having appliances and pipework regularly serviced means that you are keeping an eye on these things. An engineer may be able to pre-warn you if a certain part looks a bit ropey. This gives you the heads up to budget for those repairs instead of them coming as a surprise to you. Preparation is key to running a successful household. So do all you can to be one step ahead.

Meal planning

Finally, meal planning is one of the big things you can do to make running your household stress-free. What is it about meal times that can send your whole family in a frenzy? Meal planning is just what it says it is. It means sitting down at one point in the week and planning the meals you will eat for the week ahead. This then means you only buy what you need to cook those meals, which can save you a small fortune of your food bill. Each day you and your family will know exactly where you stand. You will know who is home for food and who isn’t, which will then have determined what you will have prepared. Mealtimes can be stressful, so make them easier on yourself by preparing and planning ahead.

I hope these life hacks get your household running like a dream.

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5 Financial Resolutions For Freelancers

financial azanda for freelancersFreelancing is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to make a living. With the freedom to choose your own hours, who you work with and a bigger share of the profits – what’s not to love?

Many freelancers find themselves struggling to manage their finances, with bad habits that can be hard to break. Want to take control of your self-employed earnings? Here are five new year financial resolutions for freelancers.

1. Prove you’re a professional with a business account

A business account may seem like something that’s unnecessary unless you’re earning the big bucks, but even freelancers on a small income can benefit from having a business account. There are many reasons why you need a separate account for your side job or freelance business, but mostly it will make your life easier. Make it easier to manage your finances by being a professional with your business.

2. You will start keeping better track of invoices and payments

Your earnings can be unpredictable as a freelancer, and while the majority of your clients will pay you on time, there’s always the danger that some will be late with their payments or worse – not pay you at all. Start working out a good cash flow system that helps keep you out of trouble and allows you to manage your income and outgoings better. Get on top of when payments are due and start imposing penalties on those who don’t pay up on time.

3.You’ll manage your taxes better

The end of the financial year can be a dreaded time for freelancers, especially if your paperwork is all over the place. You can keep better track of your earnings and outgoings online. Make the most of tools that are available such as a generator for your 1099 form 2017 that can help make it easier to file your return at the end of the year. When working as a freelancer, you can never be too organized, so make it your mission to keep on track in the new year.

4. Start protecting your earnings

With freelance work, nothing is certain. One month you could have several well-paying clients under your belt and the next you could end up with none. It’s time you started planning for those quiet periods by having a good pot of savings you can dip into if the worst were to happen. There are other ways you can protect your earnings that will help you be more confident in dealing with difficult financial periods and help you to protect your future.

5. Don’t accept less than what you’re worth

When you first start out as a freelancer, it can be tempting to take on jobs that are badly paid, or not even paid at all. This kind of behavior not only hurts you but others in the industry too. You deserve to be paid the fair amount for your services, so start getting into the habit of charging what you’re worth. Always agree payment upfront to avoid any difficult conversations when it comes to billing time.

It’s good to have goals for the new year, and as a freelancer, you should always strive to be better. Give your finances the attention they deserve and start taking better charge of your earnings in 2018.

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Going From 0 to 100: Massively Improve Your Financial Situation

financial statusThere may be a time in your life that you find yourself in a real difficult financial situation. We have all been there, and while it can feel embarrassing at the time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is going to be your fate for the future. Things can change, you can change, and you can do things to improve your situation massively. Often at the time, there may feel like no way out and you are heading to bankruptcy, but in most cases, this isn’t true. There may be a solution it is just a case of knowing where to look. Which is why I wanted to share with you some of the realistic options you could consider. I hope that it provides you with some hope in what can be a very difficult and emotional time.

Have you got an asset

One of the first places to look when you are going through a difficult time is your assets. Many assets have huge potential, and we can often be to blinkered to realise what you can and can’t do. First of all, you could consider your home. While it may not be nice to potentially sell your home it could be holding the key to improving your financial situation by releasing valuable equity. Selling may seem like a long drawn out process but actually, using companies like Wren Realty could be an ideal solution. Enabling you to change your situation fast. Releasing funds could then mean you pay off your debts, get yourself straight, and allows you valuable breathing space. Of course, selling your home might not be an option, so think of the other larger assets you have. Do you own a car that you can sell? Maybe you have land you could sell from your property or renting out your drive for commuters and people surrounding for their vehicles. Once you know where to look you can start to improve your situation.

Increase your disposable income

Maybe you need to look at your outgoings a little more closely. Too often people let their bills leave their account dutifully without giving it another thought, but this can be a big mistake. There are bills that you could perhaps get cheaper, things you may no longer need but are still paying for, or simply making some changes to your habits to brings some costs down. Analyse your bank statements and look at what is costing you the most. One big expense is the food bill each week, but this is one bill completely in your control. Why not try meal planning, buying only what you need, or changing the shop you go to? Even switching from brands to supermarket brands can make a big difference to your expense. Next up, consider changing providers for things like energy. Many companies save their best rates for new customers.

Could you spare time be a money making opportunity?

Finally, you could think about making money in your spare time. Filling out surveys online, performing mystery shops and even just selling unwanted things online on platforms like eBay or Facebook groups could help to improve your income and pay of debts that are costing the most each month.

I hope that these tips help you to consider other avenues you can take to get you out of a financial struggle.

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Saving Up For Christmas

christmas moneyChristmas is only a couple of months away, and many people are already way into their Christmas shopping. But the real task is budgeting for your perfect Christmas as well as making sure you enjoy the festive season as much as possible.

Work Out What You Can Afford

Before you start planning all of your decorations, food and gifts for everyone you know, first take the time to sit down and look at what you can realistically afford. Think about it this way- Christmas is only one day a year. You don’t want to splash out on 24 hours and regret it for the next year. Be smart and think about how much expendable income you have saved for the festive season.

Stop Buying Unnecessary Presents

Sure, Christmas is a time for puzzle games and silly gifts; but if you are trying to save up and stay smart with your finances, it’s not really a great idea to buy 10 whoopee cushions for your friends. Stick to presents you know your loved ones will love.

Or, if you really hate the idea of not being able to be a bit fun- give yourself and your friends a small budget to stick to for silly presents. Maybe even arrange a secret santa

$100+ in time for Xmas

Yes, that’s right. You can bag yourself some extra cash for the festive season by simply switching bank accounts. Make the switch and get yourself a nice little bonus to go towards your festivities.

Supermarket Saving Stamps

Supermarket saving stamps schemes are used to help families save up for Christmas throughout the year to cut the bow at the end. However, if you are smart about it you could get an extra 4% bonus on your savings in time for Christmas. If you add in a large amount to the card at once, the supermarket will give you a bonus. So pay in, get your extra cash and spend on all of your winter essentials.

Christmas IOU generator

As many of you will know, during December the price of even the simplest item can sky rocket. However, in contrast the prices drop in January. So if you are trying to save up for something big such as a TV or Games Console, just wait for it. Yes, it might mean that the kids are opening an empty box (or a cheaper gift in the meantime) on Christmas Day, but it will save you a huge amount of money in the long run.

Black Friday

When you think of Black Friday, you may have visions of riots in the street and carnage at the supermarket…you wouldn’t be wrong. But you don’t have to step out into no man’s land this November to bag yourself a bargain. Instead, shop online. Sites such as Amazon run week-long events for Black Friday and chop the prices of products by anything up to 80-90%. If you are waiting for a game or DVD release, hold out for Black Friday because the likelihood is that a deal will come on for it.

Sell Your Old Stuff

Out with the old, in with the new. And money goes straight into your pocket ready for the festive season. We get a lot of things around Christmas, and often it can be difficult to move in a sea of gifts for the week afterwards. Get onto GumTree and sell some of your old things to make room for the new stuff, it’ll also mean a nice financial bonus for the festive season.

Home Or Away?

Although staying at home is the obvious choice for most of us, you don’t have to spend Christmas in your house using up all of your own electricity and water. Why not club together as a whole family and rent a lovely cottage or apartment from a site such as Meriton? It will be exciting for the whole family and means that you all club together for a great holiday and amazing memories.

Avoid Expensive Turkey

Now, of course turkey is the star of the show for your Christmas Dinner, but to be honest, you don’t need to splash out for the most expensive brand to get a good quality bird. Try swapping out your usual choice for a lower brand option, you probably won’t even notice the difference!

And there is another option… you could eat a different meat.

‘That’s sacrilege!’ you say- but it is well known that stores will hike up the price of turkey through the winter months because they know people are willing to pay for it. But actually, not everyone likes turkey, and a great alternative would be a beautiful joint of roast beef.

Consider the Risk of Gift Cards

You might think that getting someone you don’t know very well a gift card is much better than buying them a gift that they won’t like, and that can be the case. However, sometimes there can be a few risks with opting for a gift card over money.

• Big Retailers can go under. It’s happened before, and it could happen again. When a retailer declares bankruptcy, they will stop accepting gift cards as payment.

• Expiry Dates – always check that there is a good amount of time for the recipient to use the card.

Kids Don’t Care

If you have children, you’ll know that you could buy them the most expensive and elaborate toy for Christmas and they will still play with the box. Children don’t care how much you’ve spent on decorations, how many presents they have in front of them or whether you’ve bought a budget turkey. For kids, it’s the magic of Christmas and the thought of Santa visiting which makes it special.

So save up your cash for a rainy day and keep it simple. Put out a cookie and a carrot for Santa and his reindeer, read them a bedtime story and sleep safe in the knowledge that you can have a perfect family Christmas without spending all of your savings.

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