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A Guide to Personal Finances and How to Make the Most of Your Income

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What comes to mind when you think about finance or managing your finances? Is it stress, pressure and hassle? In reality, managing your expenses and making the most out of your income is not all that difficult.

Finance describes activities related to banking, credit, money, capital markets, debt and investments. It represents money management and the process of acquiring or needing funds.

Having a financially secured life is considered to be a task that only professionals can handle. It is their expertise which you think can help you sail the boat. But before seeking professional help. It is imperative to understand who you are, what you want to get and where you stand in your finances.

According to a 2019 survey, 9 out of 10 adults felt happy and satisfied when their finances were in order. These few steps can be your guide for further satisfaction.

You need to understand that nobody better than you can understand your finances. But first, take a breath. Relax. Saving your funds can seem a little daunting, but here are seven actionable tips to help you start managing your finances without much hassle.

1. Keep in Check Your Credit Report

One of the most important things is to make sure that your Equifax credit report is in place. It contains the summary of how you have handled the credit accounts and the payment history. It will make it easier for the potential lenders and creditors to use this report to decide whether to lend you credit.

Checking this report is to ensure that authentic information exists which is quite vital. It will also help you to keep track of all the credit and expenses that you have incurred making it easier to handle.

2. The 50/30/20 Budget Rule

Creating a budget will give you clarity. When you decide to manage your money, most efficiently and to keep your current cash flow in check using this rule plays a vital role. It is a simple and sustainable way to carry out things.  Ensure to divide the finances in proportions that can fulfil your needs, wants and makes you save.

Ensure that 50% of your finance is used to make payments that you won’t avoid. Essentials like rent and electricity bill. 30% of which are for your wants. Wants include non-essential expenses or the “nice to haves” without which you can live. Stash the rest 20% for your savings. Set aside that 20% to help build a smart saving plan.

3. Borrow Smart

When you want to enhance your assets or even make big-ticket purchases will involve taking out loans, but in terms of financial security, it is essential to note that you only borrow what you truly need. Your conscience must tell you how much you are liable to borrow so that you can meet your other goals.

In case you want to borrow for your business concerning it to grow. You can always opt for options that you consider to be secure as the government small business loan. Also, if you are looking to buy a car, house or education, you need to ensure that your borrowing will not affect your future endeavours.

4. Pay Off Your Debt

The next step to build financial security is to pay off all the money that you owe. It can be a financially strategic move concerning safeguarding the funds that you have. When you think from a financial point of view, the ‘avalanche’ method could make more sense. Focus on paying debt with a higher interest rate will reduce the burden of financing more money overall.

You can also choose the ‘snowball’ method where you focus on clearing the smaller debts first. Although; the overall amount might be a little more. Your motivation and sense of achievement can encourage you to pay the debts off faster.

5. Setup Your Emergency Fund

If the sub-heading rings a bell in your head as to what it is, then take a step to execute it. To secure your finances, you need to save for an emergency. It is set aside in case of any emergency like medical, loss of a job or catastrophe.

This fund will help you get back on your feet as early as possible. This will restrict you from borrowing money and burdening you to pay along with interest. To save, you can always set aside the amount at your home or even your savings account to ensure safety. Save money in a way that can cover enough of your three months of living expenses.

6. Save for Your Retirement

It might sound a dream far to conquer, but it still holds an important place in managing your personal finance. It is never too late but involves perfect planning. You need to enlist your retirement goals and also determine the period that you have to meet them.

You can always save through putting into special retirement accounts and always look for account’s, that can help with the tax benefit. Retirement plans do evolve over the years, so what is crucial is to stay updated.

7. Keep a Track

If you consider one task that is tedious in managing the income is keeping a track. It is contemplated to be easy, but it isn’t. You can always rely on budgeting apps to make the task simpler. They tend to bring all your finances under a simple dashboard.

Along with it, you can also set up financial calendars and include reminders of essential financial tasks like paying quarterly taxes or checking Equifax credit report. It takes down the burden and saves you from hassle down the road.

Conclusion

Managing your personal finance is a way to secure your future with all the amenities you wish. It is never too late to take action.

With a little bit of effort and some conscious spending, you can save up a lot at the end of each month. The seven tips mentioned in this article will help you get your boat sailing. Come with some of your own methods as well!

Which of the abovementioned tips do you think are most relevant to you?

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Business

Starting A Tech Company? 5 Clever Ways To Afford All the Tech You Need For Your Business

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Permit fees, employee expenses, equipment, and advertising are only some of the business startup costs you should keep in mind when building your business. However, these costs may vary on an industry basis.

If you’re starting a tech company, your inventory and equipment may be the highest startup costs. You might be thinking twice about building your startup due to lack of funding, but this shouldn’t stop you.

Don’t know how to fund a tech business? We’ve got you covered. We’ll tell you everything about your options. Read on for your guide to choose the best funding to start building your tech startup today.

Can You Get Funding You Need When Starting a Tech Company?

Most technology entrepreneurs think twice about building their startup due to lack of funding. However, affording the basic startup costs is easier than you think. Today, founders can even secure funding that won’t cost them a thing.

Don’t know what we’re talking about? Here are the top 5 funding options you should consider to start a tech company.

1. Small Business Loan

Small business loans are one of the most popular funding options for companies big and small. Before applying for a loan for a small business, you should search for lenders who specialize in funding companies in your industry. Choosing a financial institution that understands your business model will allow you to secure more funding at better terms.

2. Equipment Loan

Equipment can be one of the biggest costs tech startups face. Certain lenders offer equipment loans to cover these assets. It will depend on the type of machinery you need and your company financials.

3. Small Business Grants

Small business grants are given to startups and business owners by private companies, the Federal and State government. While it may take some time to receive a grant, these funds come with no strings attached. You won’t have to repay the institution.

4. Inventory Backed Loan

So you bought the inventory to fulfill your orders, but you need to buy equipment or other supplies to produce the items. You can request an inventory backed loan to cover these additional costs.

The lender will use your inventory as collateral on the loan. Typically, financial institutions offer 75% of the inventory appraised value or 50% of its cost.

5. Account Receivable Loan

Maybe your startup idea was a hit and you don’t have enough capital to fulfill all the orders coming in. You don’t want to turn these customers away. An account receivable loan can allow you to secure the funding you need.

Lenders offer early payment of an outstanding invoice in exchange for a fee. In this loan, your invoice will be the collateral on the loan.

The Bottom Line

Starting a tech company can be the best decision you’ll ever make. It will all come down to developing the right business plan to turn your vision into reality. While lack of funding may be holding you back, there are many funding options available.

It’s vital to do your research and choose the type of funding that fits your business plan. You may consider consulting with an expert to get a clear idea of the best approach depending on your business financials.

Want to learn more ways to turn your business idea into a reality? Check out our Business section to find more insightful articles.

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Business

Tips for Investing for Your First Time

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Investing comes down to your money, your time, and your risk. When you make an investment, you have to decide which factor means the most to you. When you add more money to an investment, that means more of your time is being spent (time is money). When you’re investing for the first time, you also have to decide what kind of risks you want to take. Here are some tips for investing for your first time.

Time for Investment

It makes sense, that when you decide to invest, you will be investing for different time periods. Some of the money you will need way down the line (think retirement) and other amounts you will need sooner.

To be able to invest correctly, you really need to know what you will get out of the investments you’re making. Obviously, long term investments are going to yield you a higher return than something you only invest in for 1 or 2 years.

You may consider investing for your retirement, but you may also consider investing for your children’s education fund. There are lots of reasons people “invest.” However, now is a good time to consider all the aspects of investing and what you need to save for in the future.

No one wants to get to the end of their working years and realize they don’t have anything saved for retirement. No one wants their kids to reach adulthood and realize they have nothing saved for their kids’ college education.

Know Your Investment Boundaries

It’s safe to say that investing isn’t something that’s simple. When it comes to investing, you really need to know your investment boundaries. Those boundaries include: growth, income, and safety.

You need to have an emergency fund put in place before you can start investing. What good would it be to invest with your money if you don’t have anything put back to help your current financial situation?

Have an emergency fund of at least 3-6 months put back. This will help you actually be able to focus on your investments and not worrying about something bad happening.

Also, keep in mind that no investment is perfect. You have to know what you feel most comfortable with. Do you want to take more risks? Or do you do you want to play it safe? Always know your investment boundaries before you jump in.

Try a Little Diversification

When you’re investing for the first time, there is a lot to think about. One of the aspects of investing that you need to consider is trying a little diversification. You don’t want to put all your investment into one pocket. Try spreading things out and trying different investment opportunities.

Here are some ways you can diversify your investments

  • 401Ks
  • Bonds
  • Stocks
  • Annuities
  • Even life insurance can be considered a type of future investment

Know How to Get the Investment You Want

Most things in life, you do yourself. Right? When it comes to fixing the hole in the wall or changing the brakes on your car, you can do those things yourself. When you need to get the investment you want, there are some other factors involved. The biggest factor being experience. If you don’t know much about investing, it could come back to haunt you later in life.

You should decide now if you want to do the investing or if you want to hire someone else to do the investing. There are three options. 1) Invest yourself 2) Have someone help you 3) Pay someone else to invest for you.

Seeking professional help with investing isn’t such a bad thing. This may be the ONE area that you pay someone to help you with. Do you want to know why? The return investment could be worth every single penny!

As you can see, all 3 can be a really big risk. Which is why it will take you some time and effort to decide which option is best for you!

Different Types of Retirement Accounts

It’s safe to say that there are a lot of options when it comes to retirement accounts. In fact, there are so many, you may not even know which way to turn. Here is a quick rundown of some of the retirement options available.

  • SEP IRA – This retirement account is for those who are self-employed.
  • Rollover IRA – When you need to transfer over an existing 401K after you have left the job, consider a Rollover IRA. Of course, you’ll need to pay attention to what you’re allowed to do through your employer.
  • You can also look at a Traditional IRA or a ROTH IRA.

As you can see, it’s hard to look at one resource and understand everything you need to know about investing. Read up on investing as much as you can. Listen to podcasts, read books, and ask questions. Are you looking to learn how to invest? Check out How to Start Investing: A Basic Guide for Beginners to learn more about investing and get you on your way!

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Finance

iFOREX Focusses on Research, Education and Customer Support

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iFOREX sees its brokerage operation as a company and not just a platform. The care that goes into their customer support, research tools and education show that the company is looking to generate revenue by providing customers with a full-service broker. While there are many companies that can provide robust software, there are few that go the extra mile and provide you with a support system that will allow you to focus on trading. There news and analysis information covers several different markets. The education section is set up so you can either view videos or read about strategies and market events.

Using Their Software

iFOREX provides clients with two different platforms, a browser-based application along with a mobile app. The two applications can be used in tandem and switching from one to another is seamless. view is clean, and straightforward. The mobile app looks a lot like the web application. It provides real-time market rates and execution capabilities.

There are several brokers that will provide good software, but few brokers focus on customers service like iFOREX. The company offers remote support assistance. This allows their technical team to share your screen and troubleshoot issues you might be facing. There is nothing more frustrating than downloading a platform and receiving error messages during that process. The iFOREX concept avoids this problem by offering a web-based trading application. The company offers phone support globally including China, and India, along with Indonesia, Egypt, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.

Tools You can use for Research and Trading

IForex research is comprehensive. There is a separate section for news and analysis as well as an iForex blog. The news focuses on events that are market moving. The analysis evaluates fundamental issues as well as technical analysis concepts. The news and analysis pieces are clearly delineated.

iForex offers an economic calendar with important macroeconomic events that can affect markets. This will also include monetary policy decision as well as political events. They offer sentiment information which provides a unique look at market views.

Educational Products

iForex does a very good job of providing information that can help you learn about the markets, start to trade and evaluate risk. Their educational products are solid. The company offers several different videos on the concept that surround the capital markets. There is also information about major trading products such as CFDs and forex. Some of these focus on the nuances while others are geared to trading strategies. There is also information about technical analysis and several videos that beginning traders which can help you get started. A convenient glossary is also provided to help navigate some of the technical jargon you might hear or read when learning about the capital markets.

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