Getting Money Wise http://www.gettingmoneywise.com Wise Personal Finance Advice Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:52:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Complete Guide to Forex Brokers’ Fees http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/the-complete-guide-to-forex-brokers-fees.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/the-complete-guide-to-forex-brokers-fees.html#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 20:25:49 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13418 Forex trading attracts a lot of investment and the industry as a whole is growing at a healthy pace. While most of the coverage on Forex trading is focused on trading tips we thought it is worthwhile to shed some light on the brokerage fees that you might have to pay while working with your ...

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Forex trading attracts a lot of investment and the industry as a whole is growing at a healthy pace. While most of the coverage on Forex trading is focused on trading tips we thought it is worthwhile to shed some light on the brokerage fees that you might have to pay while working with your preferred broker. Afterall, if you are calculating your Return On Investment (ROI), you need to factor in the forex broker fee you pay. Also, understanding the forex broker fee in detail will enable you to research and bargain better when choosing a Forex Broker.

forex broker fee 300x178 The Complete Guide to Forex Brokers’ Fees

There are three types of fees or charges that you, as an account holder, might pay to your Forex broker:

  • Spread
  • Commission
  • Overnight Financing / Carry / Swap / Rollover Fees

Like most Forex traders, you are probably completely aware of this. So when you are searching for a Forex broker, isn’t it just a case of finding the brokers that satisfy your criteria regarding security of deposit, and then comparing the various charges between the possible options?

Unfortunately, things are not as simple as they look at first. There are two factors that complicate things. Firstly, all of the above fees may change from day to day, and vary from broker to broker. Secondly, the total of all the fees and charges that you as a trader will pay to your Forex broker will be different depending upon your style of trading and the size of your account. The Forex broker that is the best option, at least regarding fees and charges, for a day trader with an account size of $1,000 may not be the best option for a position trader with an account of $30,000.

In order to explain this, we first need to look at what the three different types of fees and charges are and how they tend to vary from broker to broker.

Spreads

The spread is the difference between the price at which you can buy a currency pair, and the price at which you can sell it at a particular moment in time. When there is a spread, from the instant you open a trade you are at a disadvantage, i.e. with a small loss. Spreads may be either fixed or variable, variable spreads being more common. Variable spreads tend to fluctuate from moment to moment, so it can be hard to determine exactly how much they are, although many brokers publish accurate statistics about their average spread charged against different currency pairs.

Spreads exist for the simple reason that any bank or broker that allows a client to place a trade is in essence giving permission to the client to cash in any winning trade whenever he/she wants, at least during market hours. The Forex broker is exposing himself, at least theoretically, to an unlimited liability when a trade is opened. The spread is a fee that is levied on every trade to provide an income for the bank or broker to offset this liability. When a broker buys or sells currency from another, larger broker or bank, they will also pay a spread, but will almost certainly be sure to charge a higher spread to their clients. In this way, spreads tend to increase the further you go down the Forex food chain, with the smallest retail clients paying the highest spreads.

Commissions

Commissions are fixed fees charged per trade, either as a flat cash amount or as a kind of fixed spread. They are usually only charged by brokers who are effectively acting as trade exchanges rather than as market-makers, without exposing themselves to any liability, at least theoretically. These Forex brokers tend to be known as “ECN brokers”. They do also charge spreads, but the spreads tend to be very low. The reason why commissions exist are similar to the reason why spreads exist: because the ECN broker is in business to make a profit and the low or even non-existent spreads will not be enough to do this.

Overnight Financing / Carry / Swap / Rollover Fees

This can be a complex subject, so its principles should be explained first. When a Forex trade is made, an exchange is being made. The trader is effectively trading a certain amount of currency X for a certain amount of currency Y. The two currencies will probably not be earning exactly the same rate of interest in the market, which is determined by something called the tom/next rate which reflects the market’s expectation of how much interest should be paid by borrowers of any particular currency. Every day at 5pm New York time, the amount of interest that is owed on the currency that the trader is short of will be deducted from the amount of interest that is earned on the currency that the trader is long of. This might produce a positive sum, in which case the trader would receive a credit to their account, or a negative sum, in which case the account would be debited. The situation is further complicated by the following:

  • The tom/next rates tend to vary from day to day.
  • Some brokers do not make these rates publicly available, even to their clients, unless the clients themselves contact the broker’s customer support and ask for specific quotes.
  • An “administration charge” or “financing fee” may be added, which is effectively a charge against the client for nothing.
  • The rates are supposed to be based upon the tom/next rates of major banks, but this is not transparent and may be questionable.

The good news is that if you are using the MT4 platform, you can usually see the rates that your Forex broker will apply to any open position that you have at the next 5pm in New York, even if your broker does not publish the figures. Simply open the “Market Watch” window, right click, select “Symbols” from the drop-down menu, highlight the currency pair required, and then click the “Properties” tab in the dialog box. Then a new dialog box will open that will include the “Swap long” and “Swap short” rates. The Swap long is what will be debited or credited to you for each long lot you have open, while the Swap short concerns each short lot you have open.

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Finance Tips To Avoid Business Shadow Lands http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/finance-tips-to-avoid-business-shadow-lands.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/finance-tips-to-avoid-business-shadow-lands.html#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:40:02 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13415 Staring out at the financial landscape is like viewing the Shadow Lands from The Lion King. For most businesses, entering a bank to gain finance is akin to wading through that elephant’s graveyard, complete with a howling hyena of a bank manager at the end of your journey. And those dark times for your business ...

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Staring out at the financial landscape is like viewing the Shadow Lands from The Lion King. For most businesses, entering a bank to gain finance is akin to wading through that elephant’s graveyard, complete with a howling hyena of a bank manager at the end of your journey.

And those dark times for your business can creep up on you as quickly as the successes, and finding finance to lighten your load is positively nightmarish from banks.

avoid business shadowland 300x225 Finance Tips To Avoid Business Shadow Lands

Indeed, many businesses have entirely lost confidence in their chances of getting even a small loan from any of the major banking institutions, despite the steady economic recovery of the past few years.

But where does that leave you, a struggling entrepreneur with a business tumbling nearer to the dark precipice of bankruptcy? For a start, you could try a few of these alternatives.

Put invoices to good use

Without payment, an invoice is essentially a glorified IOU, cluttering your office with the promise of money you don’t have.

If you’re a well-established business, you can put those receipts to good use via invoice discounting provided by quality finance providers. Essentially, invoice discounting companies will take those pink slips off your hands for about 80 per cent of their value, and collect the cash themselves.

It’s the perfect way for a struggling business to gain cash fast, and could prove to be the solution that keeps you afloat.

Get the government in on the job

The good ol’ government is always willing to invest in businesses they think will boost the overall economy, providing grants or loans to entrepreneurs who they believe have the mettle for success.

This method does, however, mean you might have to jump through a few hoops to satisfy the remit of the government bodies you’re trying to impress. But if you’re willing to be flexible and make some compromises, this could be the perfect way to give your company a major cash injection.

Partner up

Although it can be difficult to give control of your business to someone else, finding a partner could be the ideal way to gain an extra helping of capital.

More than this, having a peer in your business gives you an effective sounding board for ideas, meaning you don’t have to make major financial decisions on your own.

But if you want to keep the entrepreneurial reins all to yourself, find a silent partner instead. That way, you’ll have extra cash but won’t find have to wrangle with dissenting voices.

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Getting Your Money’s Worth for Your Start-Up Business http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/getting-your-moneys-worth-for-your-start-up-business.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/getting-your-moneys-worth-for-your-start-up-business.html#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:21:00 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13411 Starting a business can be quite overwhelming. There seems to be so much to do, so many startup resources needed—and sometimes it’s difficult to determine where to start. Oftentimes, aspiring entrepreneurs get caught up in minuscule details of starting a business, resulting in their failure to follow a strategic process that will efficiently move the ...

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Starting a business can be quite overwhelming. There seems to be so much to do, so many startup resources needed—and sometimes it’s difficult to determine where to start. Oftentimes, aspiring entrepreneurs get caught up in minuscule details of starting a business, resulting in their failure to follow a strategic process that will efficiently move the business forward. This slows down the overall process of gaining profit, which is the overarching goal of any kind of business venture.

Once you’ve determined the kind of business you want to start, the hardest part is actually over. This just means that you’re ready to take on the next challenges in getting your business up and running. From making key financial decisions to marketing your business wisely, this article will discuss a startup guide that will help you get your first sale as quick as possible, and keep the momentum of your business at full strength. Following these steps will also help you start your business with minimal risks.

clip image001 thumb Getting Your Moneys Worth for Your Start Up Business

Photo by Heisenberg Media via Flickr, Creative Commons

Step 1: Educate yourself on the particulars of the business

A great business owner knows the nitty-gritties of the business he or she wants to start. This means being capable of working through all the stages of production, distribution, and consumption. To be successful in this aspect, you must take advantage of all the assistance and training you can get. Be open to counseling, seek advice from successful business owners, and involve yourself in everything that has to do with the business process.

Step 2: Determine the basics

Every business, no matter how small, must have a detailed business plan. This will help you run your business smoothly, and allow you to bounce back easily when contingencies arise. Your business plan must include everything—business location, target market, competitors, pricing strategies, etc. The next steps will help you determine what else to include in your business plan. Remember, the more extensive your research is, the more you can plan ahead.

Step 3: Perform a thorough industry analysis

Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the industry, as well as the potential threats and possible opportunities. Determine direct and indirect competitors, and know the current trends each one is following. Know how you will fare against them economically and aesthetically. This will help you leverage your business into a strategic position in the market.

Step 4: Determine what type of ownership is best for you

Having a specific legal structure in mind on the onset of business planning will help you know how to operate or delegate tasks efficiently in the early stages of the business. Decide which structure your business will take on: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, or cooperative.

Step 5: Enumerate a number of promotional strategies

Knowing the right marketing tools for your business is key to effective promotion. According to Search Opt Media, although it is advisable to use publicity to your advantage, advertisement efforts don’t always have to be in the form of expensive campaigns and huge kick-off events. If you’re starting out, consider putting up an interactive website where your potential customers can engage and provide feedback. Do some research on pay-per-click services and SEO. Engaging your brand in social media will also help your search engine efforts.

Related Reading: Tips On Promoting Your New Brand

clip image002 thumb Getting Your Moneys Worth for Your Start Up Business

Photo by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr, Creative Commons

Step 6: Get startup money

A lot of small businesses are initially funded through personal savings. However, not having enough money at hand doesn’t mean that you can’t start a business of your own. In fact, there is a multitude of ways you can acquire startup money. You can get money through government-backed loans, business cooperatives, lenders, and willing investors. If your business plan is backed with good research and seems highly feasible, getting outside funding would not be a problem.

Step 7: Keep all legalities covered

Now that you know the specifics of your business, you may now register your business name with your state government, sign up for insurance, get a tax identification number from the IRS, register for state and local taxes, and acquire the necessary business licenses and permits.

Related Read: Legal Steps For Your Small Business Setup

clip image003 thumb Getting Your Moneys Worth for Your Start Up Business

Photo by Garry Wilmore via Flickr, Creative Commons

When starting a business, entrepreneurs must make sure that no penny ever goes to waste. You must be careful what you invest in, and make sure that it’s always worth the money. Don’t be in a hurry. Remember, a successful startup business is the fruit of rigorous planning and extensive research. You must always follow a detailed plan.

However, you must also understand that all types of businesses entail a number of risks, and sometimes things will not go according to plan. Many factors may affect your progress. It can be certain fluctuations in the economy, local or federal regulations, and many others that are beyond your control. This is why it is very important to manage your expectations. Don’t just have a Plan B, or Plan C. If possible, exhaust all the letters of the alphabet.

Roger Gallager is a Marketing and Sales specialist. He has written a wide range of articles about money circulation, business world, real estate, security. Follow him on Twitter.

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Surprisingly Frugal House Spending Habits You Should Adapt http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/surprisingly-frugal-house-spending-habits-you-should-adapt.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/surprisingly-frugal-house-spending-habits-you-should-adapt.html#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:14:24 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13398 CFP professional and Sudden Money Institute founder Susan Bradley told Bankrate.com that “you can’t control interest rates and the stock market, but you can control a lot of the discretionary part of your lifestyle.” By making better lifestyle choices as early as possible, anyone can achieve financial success and maintain their wealth. One of the ...

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CFP professional and Sudden Money Institute founder Susan Bradley told Bankrate.com that “you can’t control interest rates and the stock market, but you can control a lot of the discretionary part of your lifestyle.” By making better lifestyle choices as early as possible, anyone can achieve financial success and maintain their wealth.

One of the important discretions financially-wise individuals should consider is how to spend frugally on home improvement decisions. While occasional splurges won’t make you poor, but frequent frivolous spending on unnecessary home items can quickly put a serious dent in your wallet. Here are some frugal house spending habits that you can adapt today to help you gain control over your household financial management.

Live in a Modest House

Billionaire Warren Buffett still lives in the home where he was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. It was purchased for $31,500 in 1958. As a famous business magnate and one of the most influential in the world according to Time Magazine, you would picture him in something more extravagant than this.

modest house 300x199 Surprisingly Frugal House Spending Habits You Should Adapt

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

 

This is a great illustration of how the wealthy is able to produce more wealth by practicing frugal living. Some people would call him a cheapskate. But what he really is someone who know how to spend wisely. If you haven’t yet, purchase a modest house and live in it.

According to the 2006 census, housing costs such as rent and mortgage payments account from 30 to 40% of the American family’s spendings every month. With frugal house buying, you can reduce the insane rent and mortgage payments, and then you can use the money to build your savings. These savings can then be invested into stocks or your retirement fund.

 Do Your Home Decor Homework

Instead of hiring a professional, look around for free resources on interior design inspirations. From magazines, the internet to home decor stores at the mall, the world is at your fingertips for decor ideas. Peruse those magazines and snap some pictures for ideas you like. Sign up for Pinterest, if you haven’t yet, and repin home decor inspirations to your board. Visit those home improvement stores and collect paint and material samples for your idea folder. This way, you don’t only save on interior designer fees, you also learn to create a personal style in home decoration.

It’s also a good idea to search classified ads for affordable home items. You can utilize CraigsList, BackPages and other similar websites to do this. You may also want to check college newspapers and apartment bulletin boards, because areas with high turnover of people moving in and out are often areas for cheap furniture, decor, and even appliances. Of course, determine your budget before making purchases. Everyone needs to set a budget to have boundaries on your wallet and your home.

Buy With Intention, Not Impulse

It’s also a good idea to search classified ads for affordable home items. You can utilize CraigsList, BackPages and other similar websites to do this. You may also want to check college newspapers and apartment bulletin boards, because areas with high turnover of people moving in and out are often areas for cheap furniture, decor, and even appliances.

buy intension bot impulse 300x199 Surprisingly Frugal House Spending Habits You Should Adapt

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

When going out to shop, create a list and bring only the amount of cash you need to make purchases. Kyle James of U.S. News also says that one of the frugal habits of the super rich is not carrying wads or a wallet packed with cash when traveling. Bankrate.com also estimates that 86% of people who spend cash on expensive cars, jewelry, and electronics are non-millionaires who are trying to act the part.

Moreover, Susan Bradley says that wealthy people are not reactionary; instead, they have a tendency to be a little more thoughtful. If you want to adapt rich people’s surprising thrifty habits, start taking the time to think before purchasing anything. This will help you avoid impulses that would result in poor financial choices.

Find Home Item Bargains

Bradley says that even the wealthy actually exploit opportunities to save money. An opportunity you need to start exploiting are places where you can find good home bargains.

The thrift stores in town are unlikely goldmines of decors, furnitures, appliances and other home items. These places can help you find inexpensive treasures to decorate with. Additionally, with today’s technology, you don’t even have to leave the house to find the best places to shop for cheap home decor and accents. You can grab great deals and skip the hassle of schlepping to the mall by visiting websites such as JCPenney, Overstock.com and One Kings Lane.

Also, make it one of your frugal house habits to always be on the lookout for yard sales in the neighborhood, as well as flea markets.

Purchase High Quality Items and Maximize Them

To help preserve money, choose high quality furniture for items that will always be needed inside the home, so you only have to buy them once. Good examples of these important furniture are the sofa set, dining table, and even the bed.

It is also very ideal for your finances to maximize your existing furniture. Consider reupholstering furniture with updated colored and styled materials. Slipcovers offer a quick and easy solution for changing out furniture for different seasons and or occasions. Refinish wood furniture or use a fresh coat of paint on headboards and mirror frames.

As a bonus tip, rearranging your furniture layout can make your house look dramatically different. Instead of buying new things, find a new focal point – like a fireplace, an outdoor view, an accent wall with a television, and move your furniture to compliment it. You may also want to consider bringing pieces from other rooms of your home. By removing some furniture you can get a more open space, and the room may function better.

Learn how to DIY

DIY home improvement can now be done by anyone, even without prior experience to carpentry, painting, etc. With the internet, you can start do-it-yourself projects that used to only be for craftspeople and those handy with power tools. Save tons of money by building and designing furniture on your own or with your family.

diy 300x200 Surprisingly Frugal House Spending Habits You Should Adapt

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Another idea is to reface cabinets, which can be expensive, instead of replacing them. Refacing will apply a veneer to the exterior of the cabinetry boxes. New doors will be applied to give your kitchen or bathroom an updated look, and cut your household management costs in the process.

Moreover, don’t forget your local home improvement store. Most stores have hands-on learning workshops that provide free lessons on home decor projects to make you look like a professional.

Managing your finances is not an easy feat. With these house spending habits, we hope you found Frugal House Spending Habits to help make more savings for bigger investments in the future.

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Easy Way to Lose Money in Stocks http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/easy-way-to-lose-money-in-stocks.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/easy-way-to-lose-money-in-stocks.html#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:29:55 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13388 We’ve all had that moment in our lives where we start to consider investing a few stocks, sinking some of our cash into the DOW Jones or the FTSE100 group for a nice little nest egg for when we retire or just to make some quick cash from selling off our new assets later.   ...

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We’ve all had that moment in our lives where we start to consider investing a few stocks, sinking some of our cash into the DOW Jones or the FTSE100 group for a nice little nest egg for when we retire or just to make some quick cash from selling off our new assets later.

lose money stock market1 300x199 Easy Way to Lose Money in Stocks

 

Although this many seem pretty straight forward, it does comes with some risks that can result in you losing the money you invested. There are a lot of easy ways for first time investors to blow through their cash on the stock market.

However don’t worry as there are a few things you can do to protect your hard earned cash when you’re taking your first step onto the stock market and once it’s actually been invested.

Thinking you can ‘get rich quickly’

First up is to remember that there is no such thing as ‘getting rich quickly’. There are 101 different books, novels and online guides that all claim they can make you super wealthy in the stock market in just “5 easy steps or less”. These of course are absolutely ridiculous claims; for starters it takes years of planning, research into company stock and micro-management of your various assets before you’ll even break your first thousand.

Believing you can ‘buy low, sell high’

Remove this idea from your vocabulary completely as it is not only cliché but its lead to a lot of first time investors losing money very fast on the stock market. This is mainly because the exact definition of what makes a stocks worth ‘high’ or ‘low’ is still a grey area which means that there’s this air of uncertainty of when exactly you should sell or buy more stocks.

A good general rule of thumb is to buy more when the market starts to appear to have an uptrend and then sell when the market seems to become dangerous e.g. when there’s a rapid and steady decline in stock value.

Buying stock when it’s in decline

It’s going down for a reason and there’s no guarantee that it will ever start to go back up in value. It’s the stock market equivalent of jumping aboard a sinking ship. Don’t try to buy stock when it’s declining

Having no limit

You should set yourself a stock price target to keep yourself from future financial loss. For example if you bought your stocks at £30 a share, set your loss at around £25 to £20, that way if they start to drop in worth you can sell them off before they drop any further. The stock market is fickle at the best of times, however it is this unreliability which makes it so appealing.

But if this sounds completely unappealing to you then perhaps it is better for you to spend the money on Bingo sites which can often be safer areas of investment. At least you’re guaranteed a return on your investment from a Bingo game, plus you don’t have to invest much since penny Bingo games are incredibly popular lately.

So in future when you consider investing in stocks, it’s probably worth considering your options first before you make any substantial investments.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Be Afraid Of Debt http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/7-reasons-why-you-should-be-afraid-of-debt.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/7-reasons-why-you-should-be-afraid-of-debt.html#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:54:15 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13375 You’ve got to admit it; the negative effects of debt to your well-being are overwhelming and tantalizing. In Molly Triffin’s article in Forbes, she narrated how a college student was trapped when her debt reached $15,000 upon graduating from school. Not being able to carefully budget your finances can cause both emotional and legal problems ...

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You’ve got to admit it; the negative effects of debt to your well-being are overwhelming and tantalizing. In Molly Triffin’s article in Forbes, she narrated how a college student was trapped when her debt reached $15,000 upon graduating from school. Not being able to carefully budget your finances can cause both emotional and legal problems in the long run.

Save yourself from the daily torment of being worried about debts. Take the reasons why you should be afraid of debt seriously before you allow severe troubles to ruin your entire life.

Debts Cause Negative Emotional Effects

A reason goes beyond saying why debt is bad for your health. Debts will cause you to feel constantly depressed and worried over what inevitably may happen in the near future.

You would constantly fear someone might turn up at your door anytime to demand you to pay up. The fear of not being able to pay for rent, and daily expenses such as food, is something that will creep all over you. You begin to become paranoid you’re engaging in unwise spending beyond the limits of normalcy. The ill feelings you get from having debts may eventually impact your physical well-being. Because of constant worrying, you may feel various undesirable bodily symptoms such as headaches, stomach and muscle aches.

High Interest Rates May Frustrate You

dont fear debt2 300x225 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Afraid Of Debt

Photo from Money Tips via Pinterest

 

Dan Kadlec revealed an alarming data, in his article in Time, disclosing that 40 million Americans feel stressed out about having debts incurred on their credit cards, house or car.

Avail of loans having low interest rates to avoid having this kind of frustration. Making a smart investment for your housing plan is the one of the keys to achieving this goal. You may not be aware of it, but condominiums are soaring high investment. There are many real estate companies that offer flexible mortgage payments with no expensive interest rates. Conduct extensive research in order to tap into these companies. Do your math properly by matching your outgoing and incoming finances to the percentage of interest rate loans that will suit your needs.

Not Saying “No” May Do You Harm

Reflect on the reasons to fear debt, so you can avoid having one. Be determined when turning down favors from others to borrow money from you. Sometimes, things get unbearable for people who don’t make efforts to look after themselves before taking care of others’ needs.

Check the balances of your finances to have a clear idea if loaning money to a friend is possible. Implement forced spending cuts with a good reason. Eventually, you’ll have a peace of mind knowing you’ve looked at the overall situation before turning down doing a favor for a friend. 

Family Needs Have To Be Prioritized

dont fear debt 300x200 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Afraid Of Debt

Photo by Debt Settlers UK via Pinterest

Starting your own family may be one of your long-term goals in life. Take things in stride, because debt can hamper the entire process of attaining this goal. Get into the bandwagon of investment trends that will suit the needs of your future family. Invest in a budget-friendly home for your kids.

Estimate the approximate amount you will need to build a future family, and don’t wait until at a later time to save. Don’t overlook doing the monthly auditing of your finances to keep track of the amount of money you spend on a daily basis. Monthly finances monitoring will also allow you to stop overspending, if you don’t realize you’re doing so, before it’s too late.

Debts Can Stain your Professional Reputation

Having debts can change how people view your reputation in the long run. Prevent this from happening by making yourself aware about the top industries to invest in.

You may want to consider investing in a landlording business once you’ve got your debts paid off. This type of investment gives you a more secured income set-up. Furthermore, investing like this helps you avoid overspending in buying stuff that does not have long-term value. You’ll feel reassured that the money you invested will pull in greater returns in your favor in the long run. Once you avoid overspending, chances are you’ll also brush off an encounter with debts.

A debt-free lifestyle allows others to put more faith and trust in you, overall, as a person.

The Need to Avoid Legal Troubles

Wise investments keep you on track on the financial capability you possess in totality. Therefore, you need to make sure you choose an investment that will suit your budget, without having to deal with overflowing debts.

Choose investments that won’t require a lot of money to avail of, if your finances are limited. Showing off more than the attributes you really do have won’t take you anywhere good. Remember, it’s always better to avoid taking your debt problems to court or other public authorities. Legal problems can make it difficult to rebuild both your personal and professional lives like how they used to be.

Value of Emergency Funds

You can’t discount the need to invest your money in a bank for emergency funds safekeeping. Having debts can impede your ability to invest a substantial amount of money in the bank. Clear your debts before they pile up so you can save for the rainy days.

You can never tell when you’ll expect a typhoon to hit your area. Additionally, medical emergencies are also things beyond your power to control from occurring.

Learning the tackiest ways to spend your money will save you from incurring debts along the way, without you even realizing it. Cut back on unnecessary expenses if the situation calls for it. Make it a habit to check how your income and expenses balance against each other to avoid having your debts pile up. You’ll be amazed at how things will turn out for the better once you’ve become completely debt-free.

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How to avoid life’s common money mishaps http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/how-to-avoid-lifes-common-money-mishaps.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/08/how-to-avoid-lifes-common-money-mishaps.html#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:22:15 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13371 With the economic crisis slowly edging away from us now, many of us are still looking for ways to be frugal and make ends meet. Today, more and more payday loan companies are trying to lure naïve spenders into inescapable traps of debt, but there are far less obvious money traps that we can all ...

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With the economic crisis slowly edging away from us now, many of us are still looking for ways to be frugal and make ends meet. Today, more and more payday loan companies are trying to lure naïve spenders into inescapable traps of debt, but there are far less obvious money traps that we can all avoid in order to keep a hold on our finances. If you’re struggling to keep your funds in order, here are a few common faux pas you should avoid.

4222474443 a5e2ebaabe How to avoid life’s common money mishaps

Common Money Mishaps

Living from payday to payday

Structuring your life around your next pay packet may seem logical, but if you’re constantly running your bank account down to zero, you leave yourself nothing ‘for a rainy day’ and moreover, will set yourself unrealistic budgetary goals each month. Mike Finley, author of Financial Happine$$, suggests saving at least 20% of your pay day money each month. He says: “It comes down to paying yourself first and immediately and then teaching yourself to live on what remains instead of spending what comes in and saving whatever’s left, which is often little to nothing.”

Instant gratification

When it comes to spending money, we all have an amazing capability of talking ourselves into things. This is deemed by experts an “instant gratification,” and can be applied to life’s tempting little situations such as buying an expensive chain-store coffee. The gratification is instant but the ensuing guilt and financial unease far outweighs the pleasure. Indeed, this can be applied to a number of situations such as gambling, but it’s important to recognize that sites like  http://www.riverbellecasino.com/ca/online-roulette are there for entertainment purposes only. While it’s forgivable to have the occasional frivolity every now and then, it’s important not to be too drawn into instant gratification.

Creating a ‘wealthy image’

Having money is all about status, and the wealthier we look, the happier we feel. This is a common psychological trap however that has not eluded today’s marketers – whether it’s tempting consumers with the latest gadget or the shiniest piece of jewelry, there is a lot to be taken from ‘looking the part.’ However, when money is in short supply, maintaining a materialistic lifestyle to serve this image will just hold you back from actually achieving it. Focus your time on enriching your life in other aspects rather than material wealth and you’ll soon find the pennies looking after themselves.

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What You Need to Know Before Filing for Bankruptcy http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/07/what-you-need-to-know-before-filing-for-bankruptcy.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/07/what-you-need-to-know-before-filing-for-bankruptcy.html#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:05:10 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13355 Millions of Americans are stuck firmly between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their personal finances. Of those, many are at a place where they start to wonder whether filing for bankruptcy is appropriate for their particular financial situation. Many people (incorrectly) assume that bankruptcy is just a means to wipe ...

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Millions of Americans are stuck firmly between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their personal finances. Of those, many are at a place where they start to wonder whether filing for bankruptcy is appropriate for their particular financial situation.

Many people (incorrectly) assume that bankruptcy is just a means to wipe all of your debt while giving you a clear slate in which to start over. While this is mostly true of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 10 and Chapter 13 may provide a better course of action and get you back on track sooner than a Chapter 7. With Chapter 10 and Chapter 13, your debts are consolidated into one monthly payment, and it’ll stop collectors as long as you maintain your payment schedule.

Bankruptcy Questions  For Attorney 300x213 What You Need to Know Before Filing for Bankruptcy

I should also mention that meeting with an attorney to go over the different types of bankruptcy and how they affect your individual financial situation, as well as your future goals, is a prudent course of action.

Before you do that, here are a few things that you may want to ask your attorney.

What type(s) of bankruptcy are you eligible for?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be off the table if you have enough monthly income to repay your debts in a Chapter 13 plan. On the flip side of that, you may not be eligible to file for Chapter 13 if your debts are too high, or if your income is too low.

Will you lose your house, car, boat, RV, or other assets?

These sorts of questions are best answered by an attorney, but the short version is: it depends. While all bankruptcy declarations are passed through federal courts, it’s up to your state to decide what sort of things are exempt from bankruptcy filings. In general, your mortgage won’t be covered, and you may lose the house if you have a lot of equity in it.

The same goes for car and vehicle loans. Once again, this is a state-by-state and situation-by-situation problem that’s best left to a discussion with a qualified attorney.

Will your credit card debt be covered?

In most cases, it will. The exceptions to this rule are if you spent extravagantly in the months prior to your bankruptcy, or if you lied on your application.

Will your 401(k), IRA, pension, or life insurance plan be affected?

Generally, they won’t. However, there are some states that don’t protect your investment accounts as well as others, and may seize all or parts of them in order collect a portion of the debt owed.

Are co-signers on your outstanding loans going to be stuck with your debt?

Under a Chapter 13 plan, co-signers are protected from having to repay your debt. On a Chapter 7 plan, they may be required to take on the debt that you don’t pay.

In addition to these questions, it’s important that you understand which debts aren’t going to be covered by your bankruptcy filing. A short list would be student loans, child support payments, and most payments owed to the IRS on earned income.

Understanding the process and the long term implications of bankruptcy leads you to better understanding the benefits as well as the drawbacks of filing. Only you can make this decision, and it’s a conversation best had with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area.

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10 Common Pitfalls in Property Investment http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/07/10-common-pitfalls-in-property-investment.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/07/10-common-pitfalls-in-property-investment.html#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:11:40 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13353 At some point in your life, investing in properties will look like a very feasible option. If that’s right now and you’ve got the dough, you should go right ahead and give it a shot. But before you do, please make sure you know what you’re getting into. Money doesn’t grow on trees so you’re ...

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At some point in your life, investing in properties will look like a very feasible option. If that’s right now and you’ve got the dough, you should go right ahead and give it a shot. But before you do, please make sure you know what you’re getting into. Money doesn’t grow on trees so you’re going to want to make sure you’re making the right investments as much as possible. There will always be risks involved in real estate investment but there are ways to protect yourself, one of which is to avoid the many pitfalls that investors like you fall prey to.

real estate1 300x200 10 Common Pitfalls in Property Investment

Some of the common pitfalls in property investment include:

Winging it

One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever do is to go into property investments without a plan. Sure, there are many things in life you can plan as you go but investing isn’t one of them. Don’t work backwards. Don’t buy a house because of a good deal only to start thinking afterwards what you would do with it. Start with a plan and then find a property that fits that plan.

Having a get-rich-quick mindset

There’s really no harm in wanting to earn some quick cash but that kind of thinking affects how you’ll go about property investments, setting you with unrealistic expectations and that’s not a good thing. The infomercials may have made it sound so easy but it’s not as easy as you think. There’s hard work to be done to make investments work and you have to be willing to do just that. This isn’t to say that property investments will always be an uphill battle but you have to understand that you won’t go anywhere with doing nothing.

Going solo

Investing in properties involves a myriad of aspects that each can only be handled effectively by a professional in that field. As such, trying to do it all on your own just won’t work. You need a team with at least a real estate agent, a home inspector, an appraiser, a lender, and a closing attorney, and you’ll need them for both your own deals and the deals you wish to arrange for other buyers. You should also consider having a maintenance team with an all-around handyman, a cleaning service, a lawn maintenance service, a plumber, a painter, a roofer, a flooring installer, an electrician, and an HVAC contractor. You just won’t have time to be an investor when you’re doing everything else. Delegating tasks will free enough room for you to focus as an investor, which will certainly increase your chances at success.

Spending too much on a property

To make profit, you have to gain more than what you spent. It is necessary to spend because you need to sow seeds to reap anything. Before you buy a property, you should already have an idea as to how much profit you will be making. Mistakes in analysis can happen though so you end up paying too much and getting so little profit. Avoid this by practicing due diligence.

Skimping on homework

Knowledge is power and this applies as well to investing. Don’t be like so many wannabes eager to invest all of their assets without asking so much as one question. Take the time to educate yourself about investing so you don’t end up endangering your financial security due to a botched investment. Read books. Attend seminars. Talk to rental property owners. A lot of the resources you can check out are available free of charge so there shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t brush up on investments first before making one yourself.

Acting too rash

It’s easy to get excited when finalizing a deal. It’s also typical for investors to move quickly through transactions but that doesn’t excuse acting too rash, like signing contracts and writing checks without having done your research. Just because a house looks pretty on the outside doesn’t automatically mean it will be just as good on the inside. Take the time to actually visit the property so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t buy property just because you think it will appreciate, but because you know it will appreciate as supported by research on the market.

Not going with the flow (of cash)

A proper cash flow is essential to holding and renting out properties because this will ensure maintenance costs are covered. You can’t just get a property manager because many usually prefer larger properties over single-family homes. There’s also the fact that property managers are commonly paid between 7% and 10% of the rent per month and that could be a huge expense. If you’re going to be shelling out that much on top of maintenance costs, you might as well just put your cash in a mutual fund. It can take up to six months before a property is leased so you have to make sure that you have enough to cover costs by at least that much. If you don’t factor that into your budget, you might end up broke before you get the property off the market.

Taking your time

While it’s not ideal to be rushing about, neither is just focusing on one deal at a time. If you’re going at that rate, you’re not running a business (yes, investing is a business). Rather, you’re just handling transactions. What you want is steady flow of prospective deals. With enough deals to go over, you’ll be able to weed out the ones that are not so lucrative to let the real gems shine through. You won’t have that opportunity to compare options if you don’t have anything to compare to begin with.

Cornering yourself

A lot of people buy property but get stuck with it because they’ve run out of ways to dispose of it, mostly only either planning to sell or rent it out. But what if the plan you chose doesn’t pan out? Always have a contingency plan for when your primary doesn’t work out so you won’t be stuck with a property on the losing end. For example, if your plan A is to sell, make renting it out plan B or at least a lease-purchase option you can present to the buyer. Now you’ve got a plan C as well. If plans A, B, and C don’t work out, you can resort to plan D: sell at below-market prices to another investor. This will not make you the profits you have hoped at first but at least this will help you cut your losses sooner.

Miscalculated estimates

Investments will always have you working with estimates but they’re a good gauge of what you stand to gain or lose. To be on the safest side, get what you’ve calculated and double the time and cost you think it would take. If it’s still projected to give you profit and yet the option to rent it out is still open, it’s leaning towards being a good deal.

Do it right the first time!
There are a lot of properties you can invest in. Homes, apartments, and condominiums are available for the taking, each one offering an opportunity for you to invest in real estate and enjoy profits. Investing in real estate is not a walk in the park but you are generally assured that whatever effort you put into it will be rewarded. There will always be risks but knowing what you’re getting into will help you navigate the maze to get to your goal. Learn from the people that have gone before you and don’t let these common pitfalls in investment get in your way of success.

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Paying off Debt is like Losing Weight: It Takes Time http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/07/paying-off-debt-is-like-losing-weight-it-takes-time.html http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/2014/07/paying-off-debt-is-like-losing-weight-it-takes-time.html#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:48:45 +0000 http://www.gettingmoneywise.com/?p=13348 Paying off your debt is a lot like losing weight. If you ever tried to diet in hopes of losing weight, and who of us never has, you already know that paying off debt is going to be a tough battle. But when you start to see the pounds shedding off, you realize that if ...

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Paying off your debt is a lot like losing weight. If you ever tried to diet in hopes of losing weight, and who of us never has, you already know that paying off debt is going to be a tough battle. But when you start to see the pounds shedding off, you realize that if you stick with it, you will succeed. Unfortunately, many individuals think that losing weight can only be done through a near starvation diet with a whole lot of suffering. That mistaken thinking carries over to paying off debt as well.

paying det losing weight 300x216 Paying off Debt is like Losing Weight: It Takes Time

Most believe that the key to getting out of debt is to develop a tight budget, stick to it, and take the extra money saved and pay it towards the debt. This is a good plan, but it leaves out the most important point, that is, changing our attitude towards debt. When it comes to losing weight, if we want to keep the weight off permanently, we have to change our attitude towards food. We might know what it takes to lose weight but if we only commit to a short term fix then we are setting ourselves up for failure. The same goes for debt.

If we view our new commitment to getting out of debt with a diet mentality, then we’ll only see the process as a series of sacrifices and self-denial. We may succeed in the short term and see our debt reduce over the short term, but we’ll never be able to maintain a debt free outlook over time. Look at it another way, how many people do you know that have been dieting for ten years? Hopefully none. That’s because dieting is a short term fix. On the other hand reducing your debt is a long term commitment.

Following are some strategies to get you started on paying off your debt and developing the long term mentality to keep you debt free.

Set realistic goals

Come up with a realistic plan for paying off your debt. For example, vow to get rid of all credit cards with the exception of one for emergencies. Then clearly state what will constitute an emergency.

Set milestones along the way and reward yourself for reaching them

If you’ve sworn off eating out, celebrate reaching a goal with a dinner out. The point is to keep yourself motivated.

Look for viable options to help you reduce debt

A number of different debt consolidation programs are available that negotiate lower interest rates and fees from creditors. Other programs are also available including debt settlement, debt negotiation, and repayment plans. Carefully consider your circumstances and look for avenues that might you reduce your debt.

Realize it’s a slow process

Paying off your debt will take years of steady effort. If you’re like most, your debt built up slowly over time to the point where it is now. Instead of looking at your debt as a whole, break it down into manageable chunks and set mini goals for paying these off.

Kick start your efforts should your motivation weaken

If your momentum looks like it’s about to grind to a halt, look for ways to boost your efforts. For example, sell something you no longer use or get creative in earning some extra money that can go against your debt.

Finally, keep your focus on becoming debt free. Look forward to the time when you no longer have debt. By focusing on the long term the short term pitfalls won’t throw you totally off course. Visualize how you will feel the day you make your last debt payment.

Paying off debt is a long term process. It takes discipline and commitment. But if you follow the strategies above you will be well on your way to succeeding.

Image courtesy of www.coachcalorie.com

Gale Newell has been in the debt collection industry for nearly 20 years, primarily in banking. She has seen more than her share of the damage debt can wreak on happiness and finances.

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