bookmark_borderManaging Monthly Budget

Set up a budget and try to follow every step of it. The budget will show you the way you spend the money and the actual amount that you may spend this month. You will be able to save more funds for something bigger and more pleasant than just a simple pair of shoes or a new car tool. Compare the expenses with your salary. Are they the same? Or do you even waste more than earn?

Check the statement of account every month before posting your payment. Mistakes may occur everywhere. And the payment bills are not an exception. That is why it is so important to check all your bills and figure out the exact sum of money you owe. It may happen that you pay for something you did not buy. If you’ve found a mistake contact your issuer at once for figuring out the issue.

Managing of your finances does take some time but it is better to check everything than to fall behind with all the bills. At least you will be calm about your credit score.

Do not miss your payments as you may get into a trouble. If you do not pay all of your bills and loans in several months the debt collection notice may arrive and it will be a real trouble.

If an unforeseen situation has occurred to you, do not wait until your debt collector or a bank employee contacts you and reminds that you have not paid back yet. Let them know about your difficulties and maybe they will give you some extra time for coping with the issues.

In such situation there is an easy way-out – payday loans online. They have become very popular among consumers as they do not require a lot of efforts and time for sending a request for a loan. You will be able to get the required funds within 24 hours just sitting with your lap-top at home.

If you have got more than one credit card, focus on every bill. You can save much money if you pay back the full balance instead of keeping a revolving one.

bookmark_borderYear-End Tax Planning

Under no circumstances do we want to be old and broke in America and if one is single and female, that is a real possibility. Fortunately, there are good retirement plan options available to those with a few thousand dollars to spare and the discipline to save. Your contributions to most retirement funds are tax-deductible and taxes are not due until it’s time to draw down on the account (usually, age 59 1/2 the youngest and age 70 1/2, the oldest).

Contributions to self or employer-funded retirement accounts are guided by your net earnings. If you net $80,000 this year, then you may contribute 25% of that amount, or $20,000, to your retirement account. If you are age 50 years or older, most plans allow you to make a “catch-up” contribution of maximum $6500 (in 2016) that can raise your total allowed retirement fund contribution (and tax deduction). The maximum amount that one can contribute in 2016 is $53,000 and $59,500 for those age 50 years or older.

The Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Account SEP IRA allows contributions of up to 25% of net earnings, for a maximum annual contribution of $53,000. Only business owners and the self-employed may participate. Employers contribute on behalf of employees (and that includes themselves, because business owners and the self-employed are both employer and employee). The percentage of employee earnings that the employer contributes must be equal for all participants in any given year and those contributions are tax-deductible. Salary deferrals and “catch up” contributions are not permitted, nor can a participant borrow from the fund.

The Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees Individual Retirement Account SIMPLE IRA is tailored for Entrepreneurs and all employers with fewer than 100 employees. Contributions, which are technically salary deferrals, are tax-deductible and are made by employees. Employers are required to make annual matching contributions to their employees’ SIMPLE IRA accounts, whether or not the employee chooses to defer salary and contribute every year. Employers can match a maximum 3 % of the employee’s salary and in certain circumstances, can limit the employer contribution to 2%.

If you anticipate growth in your business that will likely cause you to hire even one full-time employee, then consider a SIMPLE IRA, because adding employees to the plan is relatively easy. Employee contributions are limited to $12,500 annually and the “catch-up” contribution for Entrepreneurs and other business owners who are age 50 and older is $3000.

However, as an Entrepreneur and business owner, you may contribute to your SIMPLE IRA as both employer and employee. You may contribute a maximum 3% of your net earnings, maximum $12,500 this year, and add $3000 more if you are age 50 or older.

There are other retirement plans available for Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs that merit investigation, most notably the 401K plans that allow contributions of pre-tax or after-tax dollars. Speak with your accountant or financial adviser for more information.

bookmark_borderNon Conventional Loans

Without FHA insurance, your lender needs to be as certain as possible that you are going to pay the debt you are contracting for. Thanks to FHA insurance, lenders of non conventional loans can take an option on you if credit record is less than needed, or if you are young and do not have much of a credit history yet at all. You might also get away with putting down less of a down payment on a non-conventional debt because the FHA is helping in their back to protect your lender against default. You can put down as small as 3.5% on an FHA-insured loan, and VA makes sure mortgages with no money down at all. Non conventional Loans are not entirely dreamed come true for all debtors who want to buy a home. They come with some burdens as well as limitations. For an example, you can not debt a significant sum on a home; you are limited to certain caps.

If you find the perfect house listed at 3000,000 dollars, a non-conventional loan may cover only 250,000 dollars of the purchase amount. It doesn’t mean that you can not buy the property, but it can negate one of the profiles of a non-conventional mortgage. To purchase a home, you would have to make up the difference between the FHA limit and the purchase amount with more significant down payment. But with all type of facilities the needs of non conventional loan requirements are increasing. Although the FHA, as well as VA, make non-conventional mortgages available to more likely home buyers, there is something in the transaction for the lenders as well. You will typically pay more in interest on a non-conventional debt, sometimes a big deal more. A non conventional loan supports you to purchase a home when you may be not able to because of you unable to meet the conventional loan requirements, but after the long haul, you will typically pay more.

bookmark_borderInfo of Business Credit Myths

Still some business owners overlook the importance of a healthy profile and score or don’t know anything about business credit all-together. Because of this many business owners start believing the myths surrounding instead of the real facts.

One of the myths is that the credit isn’t real credit with real merchants, or creditors. The reason for this myth is that although most major merchants offer business credit, most do not promote that they offer it.

There is no reason for a company to advertise they have credit where the applicant has no personal liability. Home Depot offers a commercial account. But in almost all cases, the applicant is willing to provide their social security number when applying and is willing to take on the personal guaranty for the debt.

So it doesn’t make sense for Home Depot to then offer the applicant a card with no personal liability if the applicant is willing to sign and give their guaranty and accept the liability.

Still, Home Depot does offer business credit with no personal guaranty even though they don’t advertise it.

Many merchants are the same, they offer business credit but don’t promote that they offer it. Business credit with no personal credit check or guaranty is available through Lowes, Home Depot, Office Max, Staples, BP, Shell, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Radio Shack, and thousands of other major merchants.

Most merchants do offer business credit, even though the myth says they don’t.
Another myth about business credit is that credit limits are low and rates are very high. This myth couldn’t be further from the truth.

Credit limits on business credit accounts are notably much higher than consumer cards. A business owner can secure credit cards with $10,000 limits even after having a score for only a few months. This is impossible to accomplish with personal credit.

And with 5-10 accounts reporting on the report a business owner can qualify for multitudes of business credit cards with limits of $10,000 or higher. A business owner can build massive amounts, much faster than consumer credit.

And the interest rates and incentives are similar, if not better on corporate credit than consumer.

There has been much news recently about the record incentives that corporate credit cards are offering business owners currently. These incentives are so good that corporate credit commonly has higher limits and better terms than most consumer accounts.

Another myth is that if a company pays all its bills on time, its credit history is strong and in good standing. Unfortunately, while paying bills on time is important, your timely payments only help your credit rating when your business works with creditors who report the payments to reporting agencies.

bookmark_borderBanks and Credit Unions Differ

Banks

The main function of a bank, of course, is to hold onto your money for you. It makes its profits by investing that money or loaning it to other customers. If you open a savings account you’re basically loaning money, which you get paid back in the form of interest. As with any other business, it is expected to show a profit for its investors. In order to beat the competition, it must engage in not only advertising, but also lobbying to make sure their profit margins are not harmed by governmental regulations. They also have to perform a great deal of risk assessment in order to make sure their investments don’t hurt the bottom line.

Credit Unions

Credit unions have been around in the U.S. since 1908, when the first one was founded in Manchester, NH. They differ from banks in that when you deposit money, you’re actually buying shares of the company. Membership in credit unions is always restricted to a certain group, such as workers in a certain industry, members of the military or people who live in a certain region of the country. However, it is extremely easy to find one to join.

If you open an account, it will probably be called a “share draft” or something similar. This is because you’re not a customer, but rather, an owner. Credit unions typically are not owned by any type of corporation, nor are they run for profit. Any extra money they make are used to offer better rates on savings accounts and loans, usually resulting in advantages such as lower fees. Whatever money is left over is distributed to members through dividends.

Because credit unions tend to be smaller and more locally focused, members may find it hard to withdraw money without going to a branch. Even using an ATM in another part of town could mean paying a significant fee. In addition, there are some services that may not be available, such as online bill pay.

bookmark_borderEffective Money Management

Master your inner thoughts and spoken words

Your inner thoughts are the start of everything that you create. What you focus on expands. Negative, fear based thoughts will manifest themselves into reality if you allow them to grow in your mind. You must focus on the things that you want so that it expands and manifests in your life. Your words are also important as negative words such as “I can’t afford it” or “I will never be rich” will send out the wrong message. The universe only responds to thoughts and words of abundance. From this moment forward stop yourself the second you think or say a negative word and immediately replace it with something positive. You must believe that you can be rich and live a life of abundance. If you have the mental capacity to read this article then it is your duty to get rich so that you can help those that are less fortunate than yourself.

Create a spending plan

A spending plan specifies exactly how you will spend and save your money. I prefer not to call it budgeting as this implies constraint and scarcity of choices. A spending plan on the other hand suggests mastery and control of your finances. It is vital to track every cent that you spend. The idea is to create a list of spending priorities that is aligned to what is most important to you. There is one thing that is non-negotiable. You may not spend more than your earnings and at least 10% of your income must be saved so that you can build capital for investment. You should have a short-term plan that covers the period of a month and a long-term plan that is for a year. This is because certain expenses like home improvements may need longer planning periods. Long term home improvements can also be managed by taking out a loan and paying a fixed monthly amount that fits in with your plan.

Simplify your lifestyle

You can save and live a life with lesser stress if you just simplify. An expensive car and dining out at popular restaurants is not a necessity. Don’t drink coffee at Starbucks or spend money on fancy branded clothing. Once you are earning your desired working income then you can treat yourself to luxuries but if you are struggling to save then really think hard about your lifestyle and spending habits.

Pay off your bad debt

Credit card debt is bad if you pay just the minimum amount every month. If you have a large credit card bill then do your best to pay if off quickly.This is because the high interest will keep you in debt for many years to come and will result in you paying more than the original amount. Sometimes it is necessary to take out a loan to take care of an emergency or a home improvement project. This is not avoidable but get the best interest rate possible and pay more than the required monthly amount so that the loan is disposed off quickly.

Create a balance sheet and income statement

This might sound like a scary proposition and you may think that these financial reports are just for businesses. This is not true, every person needs these drawn up so that they know what their net worth is. A person may be earning a really good income but can still have a very low net worth. Net worth is the total of all your assets such as cash, investments, properties and cars minus your liabilities such as loans. A person can have many assets but may still be in big trouble if they can’t pay back their liabilities. The ideal situation is to have assets that you own completely and liabilities that are not more than 40% of the value of your assets.

Financial Goals

If you have no financial goals then you have nothing to aim for. There is no point in saying you want to get rich. You have to specify the exact amount and the exact date you want it. What is the ideal working income that you want? Write down the exact amount then double it to take into account taxes. What is the exact amount of money that you wish to have in your bank account in five years time? What would you like your net worth to be in five years time? Write down all these figures and look at them everyday before you go to sleep and again when you awaken in the morning. This gives your subconscious mind something to aim for and manifest into your life.

Learn to invest

The interest your money earns in banks or financial institutions will never make you rich. It is important to earn more than 20% interest every year on your money. Financial institutions will never be able to do this for an individual. It is up to each person to learn the skills to invest in the stock market and residential property market. This is a long-term commitment which requires diligent study and application. You must read the books, attend the seminars and listen to a good mentor so that you can acquire the required knowledge. Once you have the knowledge then massive action and discipline is needed to execute the investment strategies. The work is hard but it will be worth it if you can retire early and not have to worry about whether you can afford the lifestyle you want.

bookmark_borderReasons to Pay Your Bills on Time

Interest rates may go up

Some lenders include language in the contract that allows them raise your interest rates if a late payment is made. Some lenders may forgive one – or even a few – late payments, but frequent late payments can result in an increased interest. Higher interest means you pay more over the life of the account or loan. Some credit card companies will raise your interest or alter finance terms even if you miss a single payment.

Credit scores drop

Some lenders offer a short grace period of seven to 15 days. After that, they may report your account to credit bureaus as late. Usually lenders report late payments and those that are 30, 60, and 90 days past due. Late payments hurt your credit score and can impact your chances to obtain financing in the future. Late payments on your credit report may also reduce your chance for getting a good interest rate on future loans or accounts.

Internal collectors can be aggressive

Even if you pay your bills before accounts go to collections, if you make a late payment, you might have to deal with an internal collector. They can be as aggressive as collection agencies, calling you several times a day and pressuring you for payment. Sometimes, individuals make payments just to appease such collectors, but that can lead to running behind with other bills and starting the cycle over. Budgeting to pay all your bills on time prevents this from happening.

bookmark_borderPeer Loans

Borrowing money through peer lending requires that you fill out an application online. They also need soft inquiries on your credit report, but this will not have any negative impact on your credit score. After getting an approval your interest rate will be chosen, depending on amount of the loan, loan term, credit score, credit usage and history.

How it Benefits the borrowers

  • Easy Application: Applications to get a loan through peer lending is quite smooth and easy, just get access to a computer, fill out the paperwork and you may get approval within minutes. Next is to wait for your loan to be funded. It doesn’t matter what your credit score is or the risk of the business, it is just the way P2P lending companies operate.
  • Interest rate: This is the biggest benefit that gets investors drawn to peer-to-peer lending: they offer a lower interest rate, better than banks interest. Based on the term selected for each individual client, the interest rate can go as low as 7% for their best clients. Borrowers that have been approved will be offered different loan return times ranging from one, two, three or five years.
  • Fast Funding: Funding of a loan is pretty fast, it can take a week to three weeks depending on the amount of the loan. A small loan amount can be funded in less than a week. Amount of funds that can be loaned out has even risen over the time peer lending has started. A substantial amount of loans can now be borrowed to fund your investments ranging from $1000 to $300,000.
  • Higher interest return: Depending on the loan type and the term you choose for your client, return rate can be as high as 10% to 13% which is certainly very attractive.
  • Lender chooses: peer-to-peer lending provides the lender the choice of stating his conditions to the borrowers. Lenders can provide the interest rates as a function of the risk associated with the loans, other terms include the credit score, identification verification, etcetera. Lenders have the chance to select the borrowers that match the provided preferences.

Peer-to-peer lending has really proved to be of great benefit to both the lender and the borrower. Also peer lending has gained popularity in some countries over the decade. With the frowned upon conditions of the traditional lending institute, peer loans have been a bail-out fund for so many people.

bookmark_borderEasy Ways to Save

I’m not talking about the pre-planned dinner date with your significant other. Keep going on those dates. I’m talking about the fast-food lunches you squeeze into your schedule a few times a week. That’s an extra $15-$30 per week (or $780- $1560 per year) that you are spending on food you don’t even enjoy that much. Pack your lunch if you don’t have a lunch meeting for work. Not only will you save on your food expenses, but you’ll be eating healthier food. Who knows? This could also help you to earn more by being able to work more and help you save on medical expenses.

You may think that you are getting a killer deal on your home and auto insurance because it’s bundled. But that bundle you have could have you wrapped up in a couple of expensive policies without you even knowing it. It’s a good idea to get your policies quoted around every couple of years or so because the price difference could be hundreds or even over a thousand dollars! Most people don’t realize that companies increase their pricing from time to time depending on the overall loss ratio of a geographical area. Also, companies will reduce their pricing on occasion if they find that a particular area is beginning to be more profitable for them. And don’t just quote the brand name companies. The large marketing budget that the big insurance companies have does not necessarily translate into better coverages for clients. In fact, many lesser known companies can offer the same great coverage at a fraction of the cost. Ask an independent agent for a quote when shopping.

bookmark_borderMoney Forecast

Overcast mid-morning skies

Most Jamaicans are fair-weather people; the first sign of cloudy skies will cause them to cancel their outdoor plans. In the same way, before many persons venture into any income-generating idea, they want to be certain that there will be little chance of failure or else they will not proceed.

An aversion to rain when partaking in excursions is one thing, but being unwilling to try new ways to earn extra money is a very unprogressive approach for 2016. For most of us, there are few other options to cope with rising inflation or to finance our long-term savings and investment goals.

Don’t be scared of getting your feet wet in the world of entrepreneurship. You may have buried talents which can allow you to earn, or there might be opportunities right in front of you to market an in-demand product or service. Pledge to step out and sell confidently despite the uncertainties.

Heavy afternoon downpours

If you have ever tried to traverse a Jamaican road in a deluge, then you have a good idea of what the going is like for many small business owners in this country. Imagine the frustrations of getting splashed by inconsiderate motorists or being trapped in traffic snarls, and you will understand.

While I encourage everyone to try to find simple avenues for making extra money, operating a business is not for the faint of heart. You have to be prepared to slog it out through the torrents of inadequate sources of credit and inconsistent supply of customers, to make a decent living.

Despite the difficulties, owning a business can be a rewarding choice for persons who wish to serve others with their products and services and create their own destiny. If you have the fortitude to weather the rain, then commit to learning and applying the skills you need to excel in business.

Gentle evening breezes

After a humid, tempestuous day, there’s nothing more relaxing than soft, cooling winds to close out the evening. Most people hope that there will come a time when they can retire from working and finally enjoy what life has to offer without the stresses and strains of a nine-to-five job.

Unfortunately, many persons never put any provisions in place to create an income stream that will take care of them when they wish to stop working. Therefore, they are destined to battle through unpleasant financial weather for the rest of their lives, finding no peace from the storms.

To ensure that your sunset years will be enjoyable, you need to make plans to save and invest in assets that can generate enough income when you retire. This is another good reason to focus on earning more right now, so that you can adequately fund your retirement nest egg.