bookmark_borderAbout Simple Money Matters

We live in times and society where the pressures to buy and to show off the things we have bought (materialism) is enormous. Our inability to afford these things or put money aside for them has pushed us to the direction of buying on credit (getting things now and paying for them over time thereafter). Credit can, if approached with caution and discipline, greatly improve the quality of our lives. It can afford us things that we need now that we do not have cash to buy, for example, we may not afford to buy houses cash but may take a mortgage bond and pay affordable instalments over time, or take out a hire purchase for a car personal or business use. Credit can however become addictive resulting in impulsive buying habits (buying things that you do not need because you can afford them through credit limit). The fact that you can afford something does not necessarily mean that you can have it. If credit is not applied responsibly, it can have tremendous destructive consequences.

We live in a consumer society where people are judged by what they have, rather than who they are. This has developed a culture in which community members compete against each other regarding material possessions. This consumerism behaviour drives people to wear expensive label materials, expensive cars, and expensive houses with top of the notch furniture and equipment leaving them with very little or nothing to save. There is absolutely nothing wrong with acquiring these things if you can afford them. There is definitely everything wrong in acquiring these things at the expense of the provision for your children’s education and your retirement savings. While we may need credit and debt at some point in our lives, it should not be a way of life.

We need to plan now for the things we’ll need in the future. The starting point will be to understand the difference between needs and wants. Needs may be things that you may not live without or things that you must have or do, for example, provision for your children’s education, owning a house, life insurance, food, clothing, provision for your retirement, and transport for your business. Wants may be things that you desire to have and can live without, for example, label clothes, expensive furniture, expensive cell phones, luxury houses, etc. You need to take care of your needs first before looking at wants. Depending on credit is living on borrowed money which is a very expensive option. Try to save money for the things you may need that are not needed urgently or buy them on laybye. When you buy something on credit, you are actually borrowing someone else’s money. Borrowing money costs money. Do not overspend your income and do not over commit yourself with credit purchases. Whenever you are thinking about borrowing money, or buying something on credit, ask them to tell you how much you will be paying in total – including all the interest, administration charges, fees and any assurance premiums. Find ways of reducing your hire purchase debt by for example, paying a bigger deposit than required by the credit lender. The most effective helpful way is to look for ways of making extra money. This should be something that will not require much of your time and should not cost you an arm and a leg.

Financial institutions and credit providers make most of their profits from the interest they charge on the money they lend, for example, if the repo rate (the interest rate at which the Reserve/Federal Bank lends money to the financial institutions) is 5.5% and the prime rate (the interest rate at which banks lend money to customers) is 9% and the bank or furniture store charges you 17% interest, that institution is making 11.5% (3.5% + 8%) profit from you. This excludes the mark-up that the furniture/clothing store has already factored in the selling price of the merchandise. So, you are paying even more. This is not about paying less or more, it is about whether you can afford to repay without sacrificing your immediate needs.

Finding a balance between savings for the future and committing to debt has a lot to do with our need for security and harmony. No one likes to feel exposed and at risk, so we must make sure that we have some money saved for emergencies and irregular expenses. Committing to debt is spending our future income (money we have not earned as yet) now and this puts us in a disadvantaged position. Some people have committed themselves to so much debt that all their monthly income is spent as soon as they receive it. The only way to prevent this from happening is by using a budget and strictly following it.

There is a simple rule in life that many of us choose to ignore regarding future financial wellbeing. We have to sacrifice some things today so that we may live better tomorrow. The truth is that if we spend all our income today, we’ll have nothing left for tomorrow and this will force us to work extra hard just to survive. If we force ourselves to save some of our income today, we’ll have something tomorrow to enable us to relax and enjoy life. Putting money aside on a monthly basis for future benefits requires commitment and discipline. Try to save at least 10% of your income every month and see what difference it will make to your financial situation. However you cannot save what you do not have. Once money has been accumulated then strategies for saving and investing it can be sought. Getting your saved money to grow and work for you requires financial literacy and skills to navigate the maize field of investment options.

bookmark_borderCredit Cards in Singapore

  • POSB Everyday Card – It is a card that has been designed to offer people in meeting their everyday shopping needs and comes with various deals, promotions and discounts for grocery shopping, taxi booking, paying utility bills etc. The offers the users with cash rebates for all of their transactions and helps them to save a lot of money in the process. People aged 21 and above can apply for this card and they will not have to pay a lot of annual fee for using the services offered with it.
  • Citibank Rewards – It is the ideal card for those who want to enjoy a comprehensive rewards program and earn a decent amount of reward points every time they use their card for any transaction. The best about this card is that, it will offer the cardholders with discounts at some of the most popular stores in Reebonz, Luxola etc. The reward points accumulated can be redeemed for discount vouchers, gifts and lucrative deals from popular shopping outlets in Singapore and abroad.
  • UOB One Card – Being one of the top banks in Singapore, United Overseas Bank (UOB) offers multiple credit cards that are very popular with Singaporeans. UOB One Card is one such popular credit card available to eligible customers in residing in the island. It offers higher cash rebates and allows the cardholders to save money every time they use the card for shopping, travelling, dining and all other transactions. It can offer the customers with good discounts at more than 800 merchant outlets in Singapore.
  • OCBC 365 Credit Card – It is one of the most popular products offered by the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) in Singapore. With an annual fee under S$200, it can be ideal for those who are looking for a card that offers numerous beneficial features but does not come with a very high annual fee. However, they will need to have a high annual income to apply for this card. They will enjoy great deals and discounts when they use this card to pay for fuel, groceries, dining etc.
  • HSBC Revolution – Arguably, it is the best card for earning reward points in Singapore. Every time the cardholders spend a dollar with this card for different types of transactions, they will earn minimum 1 reward point. They can even earn higher reward points when they use this card to pay for dining and entertainment related expenses. It also comes with fuel benefits and will help the customers to save money every time they use it to pay for their fuel expenses.

bookmark_borderTypes of Small Business Startup Loans

The Small Business Administration or SBA does not provide money to the small business owners and it only acts as the guarantor who develops important guidelines for these funds that are actually provided by banks, microlending agencies, lenders and community development organizations. 7 (A) is a popular kind of fund that is offered by SBA and it is mainly used for capital investment, debt refinancing purpose and other procedures. It is vital to remember that they are able to apply for almost two million dollars and its term varies between seven to twenty five years. In fact, 504 is often used to purchase as well as improve fixed assets whose capital varies between one to four million dollars. Under it, the Small Business Administration backs up only forty percent of the total amount while the small business owners need to pay the remaining ten percent of the total amount. Microloans are offered by the SBA in order to offer thirty five thousand dollars as capital for maximum number of six years in order to cover up a huge amount of money for the purchase of equipment, inventory, supplies, devices, fixtures and so on. The SBA also offers disaster loans to them at low rates of interest. They are often used in order to repair or even replace different items such as real estate, devices, equipment, inventory and other properties that have been destroyed in a massive disaster by all possible means.

Image result for Small Business  Loans

The small businesses can be qualified for different types of equipment loans as well as the leases from diverse private lenders. They are designed with Digital signature to contribute to their own growth and development and they are widely used by them who wish to purchase costly equipment in order to acquire certain benefits such as tax benefits, asset ownership and so on. In maximum cases, they are provided to those who are widely associated with food, mining, healthcare, retail, construction and other relevant industries. If you obtain them, there is possibility that you have to make payment on a monthly basis and that you do not have to pay the entire amount at one time.

If you are able to find out Digital signature online friends or relatives who have a certain amount of money in their hands, it is advisable that you should take up this opportunity as quickly as possible. If you are in urgent need of money and if you cannot avail any other option, it is advisable that you should avail them without any kind of delay. If you do so there is possibility that you do not have to pay any interest and that you also do not have to undergo the problems of the bank agreement at any point of time.

bookmark_borderMoney Changes Hands

There several different ways how money can be and can become an object. One scenario is if you needed funds back had a lack thereof, then that creates financial challenges. The second scenario is, if you have the funds available and you have access to it; to do want you want to do without hesitation of wondering where the funds would come from. Another scenario is if you have hired someone for certain services and have not compensated them according to the agreed amount for their labors, but you have withheld their wages, then this is fraud. James gives and ample warning to the rich who use these negative business transactions. James 5:1-6. We are to become wise stewards of all God has entrusted to us.

There is nothing wrong with having more than enough in material wealth. However, if the use of your financial status are not benefiting the need others, then as someone who has more than enough, you have missed the mark, because it is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35. Back in the early 70’s the American pop group the O’Jays had a smash hit record titled “For the Love of Money.” “It will keep on changing up your mind,” were some of the lyrics to this particular song. Don’t let money change or fool you; it do what it does, come and go.

bookmark_borderAvoid Credit Card Fraud

  • Do not disclose your credit card info – You should never disclose your card number, security code, expiry date and other details of your card to anyone. These details can be used to make fraudulent transactions and so you need to make sure that no one has access to them. Even if you get calls from people claiming to work for your bank, do not disclose your card info to them.
  • Keep your card safe – It is very important that you keep your cards safe and away from the reach of other people. Place your cards in a bag or wallet close to your body so that it cannot be easily snatched away. If you use a purse, make sure that it is properly zipped so that the cards do not fall off from your purse. Also, instead of carrying all your debit and credit cards with you all the time only carry those that you need.
  • Be cautious when using your card online – When you use your card to shop online, be careful and make sure that you only use it on websites that are legitimate and offer SSL encryption security for online payments. If the site does not provide adequate security, your card information can be stolen and the same can be used for identity theft or for making fraudulent transactions with your card.
  • Keep a track of your account – Opt for mobile and email alerts to keep a track of your credit card account all the time. In case of any unauthorized usage of your card you can report it to the bank immediately. You can also access your account online through electronic banking and make sure that you are aware of all the transactions made with your card.
  • Keep your PIN safe – When you swipe your card at merchant outlets to make payments, you will need to provide a 4 or 6 digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) to authorize the transaction. Make sure that you do not share your PIN with anyone or write it on any piece of paper as it can be stolen and misused.

bookmark_borderDiagnose Your Financial Health

Checking your financial health is not limited to balancing your check book or monitoring your monthly pay slip. It is not even about paying your debts and seeing to it that you have extra money on hand to pay for any eventualities. Here are the ways to check if your financial position is in good condition:

  • Check your credit score. This is one of the utmost priorities because having a good credit rating makes you a reliable borrower and your credit opportunities is wide. The chances of being rejected with loan application also becomes low.
  • Check your savings. The amount of money you save must mean something. For example, can your rely on it for daily expenses and other expenditures if you no longer have a job? For how long? Can I withdraw a portion and invest it somewhere else without making you financially insecure? There are situations when interest on savings are really low that it is pointless to save. These are some of the questions that you need to ask about your savings.
  • Check your investment. Let us presume that many of your investments are for the long term. However, you need to determine if you can easily convert it to cash as soon as possible. If so, by how much? Also, you need to check your investments and see if you can sell some in order to prevent huge losses if some of your stocks are affected by current economic conditions.
  • Check your credit availability. What are your sources of credit if you encounter emergency situations? Indeed, it is quite ironic that sources of credit are one of the indicators of financial health. Financial management teach us that in some cases, it is more financially rewarding to take out a loan instead of divesting assets to generate cash. For example, why unload your stocks if it is earning 30 percent per annum on dividends when you only need several hundreds and there might be some friends who are generous enough to lend you the money interest free?

 

bookmark_borderMoney Matters

Money should be multiplied – Whenever you get access to cash, think of a genuine and legal way to multiply what you have before you spend it on yourself. More is better as it gives you leverage and it multiplies your ability to make a difference. When I just started working in 1995, I thought that all the money I received was just for spending hence I could not wait for payday to buy music and spend on partying and having fun. I was very surprised to see friends beginning to buy assets such as cars etc and I still reverenced having a huge collection of CDs. Today I am a changed man. I know that I did Math in school in order to use it hence the term MULTIPLY excites me when it comes to money.

Money must work for you – There comes a time when you get money to do some work while you sleep. With time you need to reverse roles with money. Let it work for you instead of you working for money. If you had a $1000 and you deliberately invest it in a lucrative product, shares or other investment portfolios, that money will have doubled in 6 months if not trebled. Learn to set aside surplus not under your pillow but in some investment house somewhere. Have many streams of income coming your way. One thing I realized during the economic turmoil which we faced in Zimbabwe for 10 years and the world over in the recent past is that you need something that generates hard cash daily. It may not be your core business but it helps to cast your net wide. While you specialize in your area of study, diversification helps you immensely

Money in itself is not the sum total of wealth – Money will make you rich and not necessarily wealthy. Riches fly away but wealth is more than money. When you invest in buildings and other immovable legacy elements, you are growing your wealth portfolio.

It is easy to lose money – Money is lost in many ways. If you keep having to replace the same asset because of damage or loss then you are losing money, when your time is wasted, realize that your money is being wasted too. Its easy to be rich today and a pauper tomorrow if you do not exercise wisdom on money matters.

You get money to the level of your responsibility and readiness to manage it – Money that comes to someone without enough wisdom to use it will soon fly away, money becomes a source of danger when it comes to a juvenile who has no clue what this power tool can do. I have watched lotto winners move from millionaire to zero status because they were not ready to receive such amounts and lacked wisdom in spending. I realized that as I grew in my level of responsibility, taking care of the needs of my family, brothers and sisters, I seemed to increase in my financial capacity. Watch people who focus on themselves; their financial capacity is stunted.

Plan your money just as you plan your life – No matter how much money you have, a clear spending plan and reporting exercise is necessary. A simple budget and recording of expenditure will help you realize where your money is going. It removes the surprise factor where “suddenly” you realize you actually no longer have the money you used to claim you have. Money sometimes seems to “disappear” from your wallet but it is all because you have poor management skills as an individual. You must be able to account for every cent that you spend. Failure to do so will make you an enemy of your own greatness.

Make decisions with the knowledge that each one affects your bank balance – It does not matte the color, size or nature of decision you make each day, it either adds to your money or takes away. One man taught me that Every decision has a financial consequence. Think about that each time you decide. As long as you are alive, you will always have to make decisions. Daily you are either making a decision that will take money away from you or increasing the money available to you.

Never Borrow money to finance an expenditure – I can agree with you if you say to me you borrowed in order to finance an order you had received. You borrowed to buy a house or some other asset that can generate revenue. People who borrow lots of money to spend on their stomachs lack vision. Why eat a sumptuous meal out of borrowed finances knowing that you are simply meeting an endless temporary pleasure. Most people approach banks for financing and wonder why their applications are not approved. Check your reason for entering into debt and count the cost. If you are borrowing so that your money will multiply and create a better bank balance for you then you are on the pathway to success. You definitely need money to make money – Most ideas need financing. I do know however that there are many who have managed to start businesses without money. You see, the pro-VISION always follows VISION just as CREAM follows DREAMS. You have to have vision first and money will pursue it passionately.

bookmark_borderPrepare for First Meeting With Financial Planner

Organize Your Records

Your first step is making a list of all your assets, debts, and otherwise getting a comprehensive breakdown of your current financial standing. Most advisers will want to see tax returns, pay stubs, pension statements, investment and fund statements, and even your informal monthly budgets. If you can, try to have the past three years worth of records on hand before going to the meeting.

Decide What You Need

With your financial history in mind, you need to determine whether what you most need is financial planning, investment management, or both. Financial planning involves someone helping you create and execute a financial plan for your future, including IRAs and other tax strategies, as well as long-term investments to prepare you for retirement.

Investment Management on the other hand, takes a more aggressive approach to building wealth. If you are not interested in managing your own investments to aggressively build wealth, some people have had success using an investment manager to create a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and funds to grow your money so you have a bigger nest egg when you do retire.

Understand How Advisers are Paid

An important consideration when searching for a private banker is to fully understand how they are compensated, and in particular be on the lookout for any potential conflicts of interest they may have when managing your money. Some are paid by an hourly fee, or a flat price for services or a subscription.

Others receive a percentage of the assets they manage, or a percentage of the interest gained on the client’s account during a term. Still others receive commissions from companies selling financial products and mutual funds that may not be in their clients best interests. Know that you are getting a fair deal.

At The Meeting

When you go into the meeting do so with an open-minded and patient attitude. Be realistic in your expectations and do not expect answers to your problems to appear instantaneously. Also, listen to your instincts and initial feelings about the person you are dealing with. Do they seem straightforward and trustworthy? Or, in the worst cases, do they bully you into investments that you are not comfortable with? Be aware of anyone who promises the world.

bookmark_borderReasons You Put Off Credit Repair

  • You don’t know where to start.
    If you’ve never examined your credit, you may not even know how to start to repair credit scores. Look online for credit tips to find out what you owe and how to start debt management.
  • You don’t know what to do about erroneous debts.
    Looked at your credit report and found that you don’t know what some of the entries are for? As many as 42 million people have errors on their credit reports.
  • You think you don’t have the time.
    Credit repair can be a time-consuming activity. But, with the help of quality credit repair companies, you can outsource some of the leg work while reaping the benefits of a better credit score.
  • You are embarrassed.
    Many of us have had debt management issues due to youthful disregard for financial responsibilities or getting in over our heads with credit card debt. But, your bad credit won’t go away unless you confront the issue head on.
  • You don’t want a significant other to know.
    There aren’t any hard figures on how many people are hiding debt from a husband or wife, but, the issue is common. By confronting your debt and working to repair your credit, you can build a better relationship and better possibilities for your shared future.
  • You feel alone.
    Few people talk about their debt issues, so, you may feel like you are the only one who has struggled with bad credit. Caring credit repair companies can help you through your struggle and help you overcome any feelings of isolation, while giving you credit tips and the tools to build a better financial future.

bookmark_borderDrop in Small Business Hiring

Small business hiring dropped in September. If you want to know want’s going on in the market and find secure and cheap alternative business loans, this article is right for you.

Small Business Hiring &Alternative Business Loans

Up to now, small businesses tracked by ADP, a payroll company, report to have added on average some 28.600 jobs on a monthly basis. In 2018, that figure was 52.000. In August, that number was 66.000.

In September, U.S. companies increased the number of jobs by 135.000, according to a private survey by ADP. In comparison, the monthly average in 2018 was 225. 000. Mining and manufacturing were particularly weak. With the former having cut 3.000 jobs and manufacturing having added only 2.000 jobs.

In fact, September registered a drop not only in small business hiring but also in job creation at companies of all sizes.

Overall, employers say the difficulty of finding qualified employees creates problems for hiring. However, this year’s drop-in hiring is accompanied by economic uncertainties and the influence caused by tariffs on the companies in the U.S.

Are you a small business owner in the U.S? If you need access to capital for your growth, turn to a reputable alternative online lender that can easily approve you for business funding. In fact, this is the fastest access to business financing such as alternative business loans at the cheapest rates.

Small Business Employment

Big companies having more than 500 employees are adding 67.000 jobs, according to ADP. Smaller ones having fewer than 50 employees have added just 30.000. As for mid-sized companies, they’ve added 39.000.

By the way, big players in the tech field, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, have made promises to cut their carbon emissions. The reason is that employees are proactive in this regard. Besides, these companies are under pressure coming from the outside. However, they aren’t slashing their business connectedness to the oil and gas industry.

Microsoft, and other major tech companies have been working on striking profitable partnerships with ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and not only. They’re providing services related to cloud computing and AI.

To sum up, there’s a decrease in small business hiring. Mining and manufacturing have shown poorest results.

Author Bio: Michael Hollis is a Detroit native who now lives in Los Angeles. He is an account executive who has helped hundreds of business owners with their alternative business loans solutions. He’s experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientificating… But his favorite job is the one he’s now doing full time — providing business funding for hard working business owners across the country.