How to Maximize Your Income by a Smart Investment?

It’s evidently obvious how money is extremely vital in the sustainment of our livelihood. For centuries, there has been a norm that in exchange for any products and services, you have to pay a certain price for it. Money has always been the single most important factor for the existence of our civilization. So, it is pretty understandable as to why everyone is so obsessed with it. Every person wants to rich, but everyone is entitled to millions of dollars of inheritance. The majority of the world population, the common men and women have to earn their living and increase their bank balance only through sound investment.

But choosing where to invest and where not to, can be an extremely difficult task for most people. However knowledgeable you are, there is always the risk of incurring losses if the investment is not handled tactfully. If you take the examples of some of the richest persons in the world, you will notice that they have achieved what they have achieved only by investing their wealth in proper areas. What contrary to any conceptions, it isn’t possible for a single individual of such magnitude to handle their wealth on their own. Behind the scenes, several professionals are responsible for making these people wealthier. These individuals are known as financial experts or planners whose service you can hire if you are looking to maximize your wealth.

Everyone has their goals in life; the things they want to achieve, but that can only be possible through sound planning. Frequently, people lose millions of dollars due to premature or hasty decisions and end up regretting the fact afterward. The market is constantly changing in every aspect which is why you will be well advised to keep yourselves updated with the latest trends. But it is also understandable that not everyone can gather such vital information. Some have the knack to research the market to know about viable options to invest their money while some don’t; they just want maximize their income in any manner.

There are numerous ways one can invest their savings but amongst all the options there are few which are genuine and, unfortunately, some are set up for fraudulent activities. Differentiating which are genuine and which are not is a skill most people do not have. For such purposes, it is necessary to hire professionals who have relevant expertise in managing finances. But in what circumstances should you seek the assistance of these professionals?

• If you are looking to take out a loan

• Investing in an insurance scheme

• Wanting to invest in stocks, shares or any other mode of investment.

• Considering facilitating an annuity.

These are some of the few examples where professional assistance is extremely helpful. If you are planning to lead an independent and tension free life after your retirement, you plan it from now. Seek some advice from experts and they will tell you how to save efficiently and maximize your life’s savings.

Get Started on the Road to Financial Stability With a Monthly Budget

What is your family’s financial plan? If you’re staring at the screen blankly right now or thinking “well, I do drop my loose change in a bowl each night and occasionally I take that to the bank… ” then it’s time to have a talk.

Every family needs a financial plan.

Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

However, the term financial plan is pretty broad. Let’s start at the beginning. In order to develop a successful financial plan, your family is going to need a budget. To get off on the right foot, try this printable budget planner.

The word “budget” makes most people cringe, but I promise it isn’t nearly as scary or intimidating as you’ve built it up to be in your mind. All a budget is is a document that tracks money coming in, money going out, and money left over. It’s as easy as that.

Now, I’ll admit, tracking this data can be a bit monotonous… it certainly isn’t going to be something you jump up and down about or fight over who gets to do it. However, it isn’t hard. Anyone can create a budget especially with the help of free tools like this printable budget planner.

Whether you use the printable budget planner or not, any budget you create should show you exactly how much money you’re bringing in each month and where/how you’re spending it. It will allow you to see gaps (when you’re spending more than you bring in) and help you pinpoint areas where you could potentially cut back.

TIP: Start with the Excel version of this printable budget planner so that you can customize it to fit your family’s needs.

How to use:

1. Insert your monthly income. If you’re salary, this will be easy. If you’re hourly or work off of commission this can be tricky. Start by taking an average of your pay per month going back a year and then update the actual amount after payday.

TIP: Be sure to include all income here such as any extra money you make from dividends or a second job.

2. List your expenses starting with the most important expenses first.

TIP: To ensure you don’t forget any expenses (ex. renter’s insurance), take a look at your bank/credit card statements for reoccurring bills.

3. Insert values into the “expected” column of the printable budget planner for each expense. Be as accurate as possible. For expenses that vary month by month (ex. electricity) take an average from previous months.

4. After you’ve added all your expenses, if there is money left over, allocate funds to debt repayment, savings plans (ex. retirement), and donation categories.

TIP: Be realistic! It is always better to be able to give more than expected than less. If you can’t meet your goals you may be discouraged from sticking to the printable budget planner.

5. Once the ending balance on the printable budget planner hits “zero”, you’ve allocated all of your money and you’re done budgeting!

Use this printable budget planner as a roadmap for your month. As income comes in and actual expenses come due (ex. bills are paid), update the printable budget planner to reflect “real” (actual) values instead of expected values.

Making Money Explained

How do you define or describe making money? It’s very common to refer to any activity where money is earned as going to make money. These expressions are used interchangeably.

In practice this is about finding ways to earn extra money or quick ways to raise some cash. This is supported by the articles offered when you do a search on this or related search phrases.

But what about how in terms of the mechanics? How does this really work as a process, as a means to obtain money? The term implies production of money or generating money in volume not a bit here or there by doing quick jobs.

Typical Thinking On Making Money

Searches on Google will result in ideas on what to do by way of providing a service or item in exchange for money.

What really stood out to my analytical gaze was all of these things involved what amounts to doing some type of work or job.

That is where I differ when I describe this process. Yes, it involves the exchange of money but not so much from doing a job. There are fundamental problems with jobs which actually involve earning money instead.

Jobs Limit Earning Potential

In the process of my research and analysis of why it is difficult to get ahead, I found that the problem was in jobs.

There is a lot of important information I can share about jobs, productivity, salary ranges, earning potential and so on, but for now just think about this one aspect: earning potential.

Any job limits earning potential to the wage salary range of that job.

One serious drawback of this is that no matter how productive you may be you cannot earn more than the fixed wage rate. Put another way, even if you manage to do three times the work typically done in an hour, you only earn the hourly wage.

That means that while you are super productive in your output you don’t get rewarded unless of course you have made an agreement with your employer to be paid for higher productivity. It is not something often done and it is an important aspect of employment that I found in my research.

To Truly Make Money There Are No Limits

Let’s return to the idea of generating money in volume instead of doing a job here and there for a limited sum of money.

If you are confined like a caged animal between wage salary ranges then you really are limited in how much money you can make.

Let me make this point as a challenge to the notion of making money in a job.

If you actually could ‘make money’ in a job then why doesn’t everyone just work and make enough money so they don’t have any more money shortage problems?

The truth is you can’t. You can never earn more than your salary range! That’s why you need to learn how to do this to afford what you want.

Which Debts Should You Pay Back First?

If there is one thing that any good personal finance analyst will tell you, it’s that isn’t never a good idea to just pay the minimum on your debts. This will cause you to pay much more in interest and extend your debt for a much longer time than you would like. But what happens if you a four or five different credit cards and you’re floundering? You know you shouldn’t just put down the minimum on every single card, but you can’t afford to put down more on every single one. Should you pay off the smallest debt first or the one with the highest interest rate first? Here are cases for both.

Paying Off the Smallest Debt First

Some finance experts recommend paying off the smallest debt first. Now this won’t save an individual as much money in the long run unless for some reason that small debt has an extraordinarily high interest rate as well. However, it could build a snowball effect. If he or she hasn’t been great with paying off debt, just getting one bill off the books can go a long way in helping an individual stay motivated to keep going with their debt payment plan.

Paying Off the Debt with Highest Interest Rate

If an individual’s primary motivation is just to save the most money possible, it might make the most sense to tackle credit cards by how much he or she has to pay in interest for each. Let’s say you’re paying 22% interest on a $1,000 credit card balance. You’ll save much more money paying this off first than focusing on a $300 balance that has a 18% balance.

In the end, the most important thing is to pick a plan that you can stick to. According to finance expert, Jeremy Marcus, individuals can do the most to improve their credit scores by getting their credit utilization under 30%. A low credit score can have serious consequences, including denied credit, rejected rental applications, and even a failure to get a job. However, it is very easy to get back on track, but you need a sound plan.

If you can’t do it on your own, it might be a good idea to speak with a personal finance adviser or debt specialist for professional advice on how you can reduce your debt. By paying off your debt, you can be well on your way to financial freedom.

15 Ways to Improve Your Finance

There is nothing as important as to take control of your financial situation and activities. If you do not take control of the financial situation, soon your financial situation will be so bad and you will not like it. There are so many ideas of what taking control of one’s financial situation may imply. The most important thing however is for you to ensure that you take a step, however small it may be.

Small Moves May be Proceeded with Big Changes

It is important for you to understand that you don’t have to entirely transform your financial situation for a significant improvement to be witnessed. There are so numerous small changes that one can make which may make your financial situation to snowball into enormous impacts over time to your advantage.

Just remember that you are the only one with the key to fix your financial situation thus having a better financial future. Below are fifteen methods one can employ to improve their financial situations.

1. Begin Using a Budget

There are many people who consider budgets to be factors that are limiting their freedom. If you want to have a better financial freedom in the future, ensure that you have a well detailed budget. No impulse buying should be encouraged. In short, tracking ones spending and living within a budget allows one to get used to a lifestyle that is within their budget.

2. Slash your Expenses and Spending

The perfect time to figure out why you have been spending more than you need to be spending is at the end of the year. Dig into you your bank statements and check to find out where the spending was unnecessarily low. How much do you spend on entertainment, groceries, transport etc and what is it that you can do to reduce such expenses. Make a budget that cuts all those extra costs and live within the budget.

3. Pay Yourself First

After you start saving, you will have money starting to pile up. The most appropriate thing is to pay you first by bumping up one’s retirement contributions or to transfer some certain amount of money to a savings account. You can as well do both.

4. Completely Dump Debt

List all the debts you owe others and prioritize them according to highest interest rate or size of the balance. After you have had a budget and started realizing much savings, start paying your debts from the highest prioritized moving downwards till you clear all the debts. In short, crate an actionable plan and get out of debt.

5. Get Right with Retirement

In case you have been borrowing money from your work sponsored retirement plan account, you are headed for trouble at retirement. At your savings rate, will you achieve your retirement goal? Discuss this with a financial planner and make appropriate steps to track your investments.

6. Contribution Beyond the Company Match is Paramount

If you fail to contribute the required amount in to your retirement plan account as per the company’s full match, experts will tell you that you have lost tens of thousands of money over your lifetime. Don’t waste this free money. Take full advantage of it.

7. Open some Health Savings Account

If you have a HDHP (High-deductible health insurance) plan, it is prudent that you save money for future health service expenses in the tax advantaged HSA (health savings account).

8. Shop for Health Insurance Coverage

If you have health insurance coverage, you will save a great deal of money when you fall sick. This is because the insurance company will take either partial of full responsibility depending with the terms of your insurance cover.

9. Begin Planning for College

Don’t wait until a year or some months to college time before you can save for your kid’s college. Do research to know about some of the college fee accounts such as the tuition prepayment plans as well as 529 plans.

10. Begin an Emergency Fund

There may be times of trouble when you need to take care of emergencies. Experts do advice that savings for such emergencies need to be enough to cater for six month expenses. You may lose your job, have economic issues in your business, fall sick, experience a car breakdown etc. with this fund; you won’t be in a crisis. You will also not have to go into your major savings accounts to solve the problem.

11. Begin a Fun Fund

Just the same way you have started an emergency fund as well as other funds for specific purposes, ensure that you have a fun fund. It is from this fund, and not from other savings, that you will be able to buy leisure goods and activities.

12. Ensure that You are Insured

Your insurance needs will definitely be changing and fluctuating throughout your lifetime. Ensure that you are properly and appropriately insured against all the eventualities that may surround you.

13. Shop Around for Virtually Everything

It is important that you shop around to getter service providers who offer better pricing as well as better plans on virtually every bill that are negotiable. These include household internet plans; cell phone plans satellite television packages among others. Don’t just buy anywhere.

14. Always Check your Free Annual Credit Report

Cyber crimes and identity thefts have been on the increase. This makes it important for you to frequently confirm that fraudulent activities haven’t been carried out using your credit cards and other identifications. Other than the Free Annual Credit Report, you can also regularly track your credit reports from sites such as CreditSesame and CreditKarma among others.

15. Begin a Side Hustle

In most cases, it is quite difficult to get along with the income you get from your fulltime job. Start a side hustle to supplement on this. You can make good use of your skills, start a small business or any entrepreneurship activities. If you are serious, you may end up earning more from the side hustle than from your regular fulltime job.

Six Things You Should Do About Your Money

Money doesn’t just happen. You work hard to earn it and get the best from it. But if you’re not a good expense manager and too much of it slips through your fingers like dry sand, today is the day to think about things differently to change the rest of your life for the better.

1. Perk up your pension. The pension climate is changing so much that many financial advisers don’t talk about pensions anymore; they talk about ‘retirement income’. Do you know how much you’ll have? With auto-enrolment putting people into company schemes up and down the UK, this is probably a good time to look into just what your pension pot will be worth to you when you get to retirement age. The government’s Money Advice Service has a really useful online calculator allowing you to get an idea of how much you might have when you retire. If you’ve done the calculation and find there’s not as much as you thought there might be, now’s the time to pay more in. The sooner you start, the larger your pension pot will be. Talking to an independent financial adviser can be invaluable.

2. Keep saving. Living ‘hand to mouth’ with your money is fine – until something unexpected happens, like needing a new central heating boiler, a big bill on the car, or a sudden hike in season ticket prices for your commute. Putting a little bit away each month will cushion the blow when it comes (and it surely will eventually), but before then, you’ll reach the point where you have sufficient funds for a holiday without spending it all. The equivalent of a month or two’s salary is a good cushion to aim for.

3. Divide and conquer. If you’re not a good money manager, and find you’ve overlooked a standing order the suddenly dips your bank account into the red, consider setting up a second bank account. Get paid into the first account. Add up all the monthly bills that go straight out from the bank, and leave enough to pay them all in that account. Include a little extra for the cushion we talked about. Transfer the rest into the second account. That’s what you have to spend for the month, so you’ll have a better idea of what you can – and can’t – afford later on, to stop you having too much month left at the end of your money. Sure, there might be lean times towards the end, but you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your bill are all paid, so you’re not going to get into arrears. Setting up the arrangement could hardly be easier. The bank will help, and you can make the transfer on a standing order so you never need to think about it again.

4. Fight the impulse. So much is bought on impulse today. The thrill of the chase and the adrenaline rush of the purchase may seem less appealing if you decide later that you don’t really want, or worse still, can’t afford, your latest purchase. Never fear! If you still have the receipt, you can probably take back the expensive shoes and put the money towards the electricity bill instead. Who needs a pair of Kurt Geiger shoes anyway?

5. Count the pennies. If you’ve done what we suggest in tips 4 and 5, you can build on that success by using money management apps on your smartphone to track the spending of funds in your second account. Simply key in the value of everything you buy and assign it to a category, then the clever app will do the money management for you by adding it all up. You can even photograph receipts or do voice recordings to record your spending. Expense management was never so easy! And what’s more, seeing what you spend will let you see if there are better (or more enjoyable) ways of spending your money.

6. Make a will. This might be a tough one to talk about, but it could save your family a fortune in the long run. For example, if you’re half of a couple living together and one of you dies without having made a Will, the other may have no claim on funds you’ve saved together. A Will is the only way to issue instructions about where you want your money to go. And it’s not just about money; you may have things of great sentimental, or even financial, value that you want to go to specific people.

How to Choose the Right Bank For A Fixed Deposit Investment

A fixed deposit is a great option to save a part of your funds. It provides a steady interest stream and can be a lot safer than equity investments or mutual funds. However, when choosing the financial institution in which to make the deposit, carefully consider some important factors.

Choosing the Right Bank or Organisation

You can safely open an FD account with any PSU or large private sector bank. You can also open an FD account. Many corporates also invite fixed deposits at attractive interest rates, to raise funds for operations.

However, don’t decide where to invest based solely on the rate of interest offered on your deposit. It is one of the important considerations, but there are other details you need to look at.

Security

Public and private sector banks operate under the control and supervision of the Reserve Bank of India. They have to comply with the rules and regulations of the RBI, and cannot default on payments.

However, if you opt for a corporate FD, they’re not regulated by the RBI, and you undertake a substantial amount of risk. Corporate FD might offer higher interest rates, but the safety of your money depends on the company’s financial stability.

Fees and Charges

If you decide to close an FD before the maturity period, your bank may levy a penalty of up to 1% interest on the amount. That is if the bank offers 7% interest on your deposit, and you withdraw the amount before time, you will only realise 6% interest on the deposit up to the date of withdrawal.

Interest Earnings and Tax

If the total interest you earn on your FD is above Rs.10,000 per annum, it will be taxed. Calculate the tax you have to pay on the interest earnings and subtract it from the total annual interest earned to see if the FD is a worthwhile investment.

Compounded Interest

If you have other sources of income, choose to reinvest your interest on the FD, to earn more. The next interest calculation will be on your principal along with the interest from the previous FD. Use a fixed deposit interest calculator facility to arrive at terms that fit your needs

Tax Exemption

Fixed deposits of up to Rs.1 lakh are exempted from taxation under Section 80C. However, the deposit term has to be for 5 years and you cannot withdraw the money before term. Consider the drawbacks of this and invest only if you are looking for ways to save on income tax.

Corporate Fixed Deposits

Corporate fixed deposit schemes are created to enable the company to raise funds at a lower rate of interest. To attract investors, the corporates offer high-interest rates. However, carefully consider the company in which you invest your money. Many companies take this route when banks and lending institutions reject them.

However, not all corporate FDs are dubious. Credit rating agencies like CRISIL review these companies and provide ratings to serve as a guide to potential investors. Choose a company that has, at least, an AA rating or above.

When you are looking for a financial organisation to open an FD, consider all the above points before you make a decision. It is a safe investment option, but your investment may not yield high returns. For that, you may need to augment your fixed deposits with investments in other schemes like SIPs and mutual funds.

Buying and Selling Mortgage Notes

It might be common nowadays to see a sign that reads “mortgage notes for sale,” but since this is about money and business, things could get tricky. Here is a guide meant to help each individual in choosing the right mortgage note and how to wisely purchase notes for sale.

A mortgage note is proof that there was a debt made for a piece of land or property. When a person puts his property for mortgage, it’s like saying that if he is unable to pay, then the property will be the one to repay the fee or cost that the debtor was unable to pay for. Some people sell their mortgaged land or property and are called mortgage notes.

First, contact a mortgage broker. They can be found online, in newspaper ads, or in the local phone directory. It might also be helpful to ask friends and colleagues for referral as trust is already built in. The mortgage broker’s job is somewhat like a matchmaker as his role is to find which note best suits the client.

It is good practice to carefully go through the mortgage note with the broker. Since it will come with some terms, it is best to ask the broker what they mean and how to go about the investment. The broker is supposed to discuss the investment opportunities and the rate of interest as a return on the investment. It would also be helpful to contact the bank or firm which processed the note for better understanding and practical advice.

When buying a mortgage note, a promissory note is required. This formalizes the agreement and makes it bound to legal terms, which is safer since the former owner will have to pay the new lender (the one buying the note) a certain amount of money. The promissory note should also include all the terms and agreements that are written on the note.

When buying these kind of notes, a third and unbiased party is usually involved and that person is in charge of creating an escrow account. A note broker or real estate broker is someone who is authorized to create an escrow account and manage the funds of the mortgage note.

Once bought, the buyer must deposit the funds into the escrow account and the person that’s managing the account will be responsible for the disbursement of the money to the one who sold it.

The new owner of the mortgage note should then receive monthly payments as he now owns the property. Again, the money should be paid to the escrow account and in the same way, the manager of the account will be the one to disburse the funds.

Tips to Get Started As a Private Money Lender

When one is fortunate enough to have capital or money to lend to the people who need it, they best thing that they can do it is to offer it those who have the need and the ideas to use the capital in an innovative and productive manner. This would embark the lender on a journey of private money lending. There is a great demand in the borrowers market for those who may be able to offer private money lending and those who have the capital at their disposal for the use of those who are brimming with ideas and innovations, but are not able to put them into action due to the lack of funds and there are times when these ideas do not get due recognition and encouragement from banks or money lending institutions. In such cases, private money lenders and borrowers are able to find their win-win situation.

While private money lending may be a lucrative alternative, it is essential to make sure that a few points are checked before embarking on the journey to money lending. One of the most important points is to ensure that the trade of private lending is understood in a proper fashion. If the lenders start giving out funds with the hope for getting returns, without having the knowledge of safe lending, the entire exercise may lead them to bad debts and losses. A thorough research on the type of lending and the knowledge of gauging the right candidates for lending is a must. It is also beneficial to a great extent to know other like-minded people. With research about the kind of people who get into private lending it becomes simpler to understand their way of thinking and it also helps in understanding how the field can be tackled with expertise. Finally it is important to know the details and the strong points of investments. Not only does it help in investing in the right idea, it also ensures in knowing how effective the borrowers idea of investment may be.

When Finance companies or Financial Solutions companies are asked for an opinion, they would suggest that the private lending should be done with the help of an expert medium. This implies that when a known and knowledgeable team is involved in the field of finance and lending, the private lender and company may be able to make secure and profitable investments.

5 Amazing Money Management Lessons From Your Favourite TV Shows

Is Jon Snow really dead? Will Sheldon and Amy get back together? If these are the questions that keep you awake at night, you probably are a sucker for TV shows. You might be tired of your parents or your friends constantly asking you to ‘Grow Up’ and ‘Stop Wasting Time’ watching these shows. You can gladly tell these people that they are wrong as you are not wasting your time watching TV shows. Instead, you are going through a learning experience by watching episode after episode of these shows.

Your favourite TV shows not only make you laugh or teach you how to cook best quality Meth, but they can also help you to learn important life lessons and understand how you can manage your money better.

Here are 5 amazing money management lessons from your favourite TV shows:

1. Pay all your debts (Game of thrones) – If there is anything that you can learn from the Lannisters, it is that you should always clear all your debts. Although their moral compass may not be pointed at the right direction, they surely know how to be the ideal borrowers as they always pay off their debts. So, if you have credit card bills, home loan payments or any other pending debts, you should pay them off in full and be debt-free. You may not get to claim the ‘Iron Throne’ but you can surely avoid being chased by debt collectors.

2. Get a good health insurance plan (Breaking Bad) – If you are diagnosed with a life threatening disease like Cancer, you should have a comprehensive health insurance plan that can help you take care of your medical expenses. Walter White has taught us that if we don’t have the right health insurance plan, we might have to try drastic measures to earn more money and pay for our treatment in case we are faced with a severe disease. Remember, becoming a Drug Lord is not really a viable option for everyone.

3. Never forget to save money (Friends) – Joey starts earning a lot of money after getting a part in the TV show ‘Days of our Lives’. But he does not save any of that money and instead spends most of it on getting a lavish apartment, a weird statue of a dog and other such excesses. When he loses his part in the show he can no longer afford such luxury and has to move back in with Chandler due to being broke. Thus, the moral of the story is that you should always save some money for a rainy day. Like Chandler, your friends might also try to help you out but life is not a Sitcom and you might not always be as lucky as Joey.

4. Don’t misuse your credit cards (How I Met Your Mother) – If you cannot afford to pay your credit card bills, do not go on a shopping spree with your credit card. You can try putting your bills in your ‘Box of Shame’ like Lily but that is not going to help. As adorable as she might be, she sure doesn’t know how to manage her credit card expenses and always ends up spending more than she should. You should try to avoid overspending with your credit card as it can get you in to a quagmire of financial troubles.

5. Do not hide extra cash at home (The Big Bang Theory) – Dr Sheldon Cooper is a brilliant man with an IQ that is higher than that of Professor Stephen Hawking but despite that he doesn’t know how to manage his money. He hides his extra cash in not-so-secret places in his apartment and that is never a good idea. If you have some extra money like Sheldon does, you can invest the same in a recurring deposit or a fixed deposit account and earn interest in the process. Hiding extra cash under your mattress or in a snake can is never really a good solution.