MORE than Finances

Get your finances in order, and get on with your life!

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Buy Me Something Big: Making up Your Mind When You Get a Cash Windfall

6551534889_9c8ae52997With potentially the highest housing prices and living costs in the world, many Canadians seriously struggle to afford steep mortgage and utility payments. Because of this, millions of people find it almost impossible to save any money, leaving them with a huge problem if a sudden expensive payment was due.

So, when a cash windfall comes through from something like inheritance or a tax refund, the temptation to go crazy and mindlessly spend can be overwhelming, simply because you may have never had that luxury before. But despite temptation, it’s important to get the balance right between being sensible and treating yourself. After all, regret is one of the worst feelings to experience and, if you look back and seriously regret how you spent the money, you’ll be left feeling very miserable. So, if you’ve just received a sudden cash windfall or are soon-to-be expecting one and want to ensure you make the right decisions, here are a few pointers to get you started!

Pay any outstanding debts or bills

Whilst it may be tempting to head straight to your favorite store and buy everything you like, taking care of the important stuff first is crucial. Establishing exactly how much you owe and paying it all off will not only give you a great sense of satisfaction but will likely reduce how much you would have owed as many debts gain interest the longer you leave them.

If you’re in the fortunate position of not having any debts or outstanding bills to take care of, brilliant news! But it’s always good to remember that anything can happen at any moment, so try to keep some saved just in case you end up having to take out a loan in the future.

Make lists of what you’d like to buy

Once all your debts are cleared, now is the time to start treating yourself and your family. But before rushing ahead and mindlessly spending, try making a list of everything you’d like to buy. Then, once you have your final list, identify the pros and cons of each one and establish which is most worthwhile.

If you’re choosing between an expensive vacation or luxury car like the Chrysler 300, which one is likely to benefit you the most in the long-run? Probably the car. Making decisions based on this principle is a great way to ensure you spend wisely whilst still buying what you want.

Don’t buy for the sake of it

If after clearing your debts and buying all worthwhile luxury items you still have a substantial amount of money left over, don’t just spend for the sake of it! Keep it safe in a deposit account to ensure you don’t mindlessly waste it.

Whilst receiving a sudden windfall of money is hugely exciting, it’s important not to go off the rails with it. Remaining sensible and getting the spending balance right will ensure you use your money in the most worthwhile, beneficial way possible!

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Give Yourself Some Credit: Good Ways To Use Personal Loans

Working Overtime - A Blessing Or A CurseWhat is always important to remember is that not all borrowing is bad and personal loans are a prime example of an effective and sensible form of lending that can prove to be the right option, as long as you use the money in the right way.

Here are some insights into a number of different scenarios where taking out a personal loan could be a viable and sensible option.

There is a look at how to define what a personal loan is and what you can do with the money, plus some tips on good ways to use the credit you are applying for, including how to get a better deal on your borrowing and when a loan could help improve your circumstances.

Before you apply

There are plenty of loan options available, as you will see when you visit a site like PersonalLoan.Co, but before you make any sort of application for finance it is a good idea to review what you want to borrow the money and whether borrowing money in this way is the right solution.

A personal loan can be used for just about any purpose and although lenders will often want to know what you intend to use the loan for, there are very few restrictions on what you use the money for, provided it is viewed as being borrowed for a responsible and legitimate reason.

Reducing your loan costs

A good example of when a personal loan could be a good borrowing option would be when you are taking out a loan to pay off other debts.

If you are paying off credit card debts that are attracting an annual interest rate of more than 20% and you can get a personal loan at a much lower rate of interest that allows you to clear those more expensive debts, you will be reducing your overall loan costs.

Consolidating your borrowing with one personal loan is a good strategy and will reduce your total borrowing costs.

You won’t be reducing your debt levels at that point and you have to be disciplined to ditch the credit card afterward so that you don’t build up a balance again, but debt consolidation using a personal loan can help reduce your loan costs, and it’s easier to manage just the one payment each month.

Appreciating assets

As a general rule, try to use a personal loan in circumstances where you the money is going to be used to enhance your own prospects or improve the value of something like a property.

Investing in educational expenses could open the door to a better-paid job in the future and that would be a good justification for borrowing money to gain better qualifications.

It can also be argued that if you spend money on home improvements this could increase the value of your home and this at least give yourself a chance of recouping the money you borrowed.

Always think about what you need the money for and how it will improve your situation. Taking out a personal loan for a vacation is a bad idea, for example, but borrowing to take better control of your finances overall, is just one scenario where applying for a loan could be a smart move.

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Why You Should Track Your Net Worth and 3 Free Tools to Help

CalculatorNet worth is a very simple concept. Basically, net worth combines all the assets a person maintains and subtracts all the different liabilities. Most people have a general idea about what assets they possess. They surely maintain a clear idea about what they owe. General ideas, however, are not exactly precise. Knowing a detailed breakdown of accounts, investments, and belongings worth money definitely is helpful to managing one’s finances. Knowing how much money is owed and where absolutely is essential.

Trying to figure the information out with a pen and paper is more than a bit ridiculous. This is doubly true since three very effective net worth tools are accessible online. With the right online web tools, figuring out one’s net worth becomes very easy.

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5 Personal Budget Tips For Those Who Have Poor Credit

When you have bad credit, it can feel like you’re doomed to a life of financial failure. Guess what: you aren’t! Bad credit is absolutely something from which you can recover. It might take some time and it will definitely take hard work, but it is absolutely doable. You just have to put together a budget and stick to it. Here are some tips to help you do that:

Loans

If you have bills that are past due and you need help paying them regularly, it might be helpful to take out a loan. Your bad credit might keep you from taking out a bank loan, but there are financial companies out there, like Crest Financial and others, that specialize in short term loans for people whose credit is less than stellar.

If you do decide to consult with CrestFinancial.com, make sure that you do not borrow more than you can afford. Bad credit loans tend to have very high interest rates and you don’t want to wind up paying back more than necessary.

The Envelope Method

If you aren’t used to following a budget or have a difficult time keeping track of your income and savings, using the “envelope method” can help you develop those habits. The envelope method is very simple: you create an envelope for every bill or expense listed in your budget. This includes creating envelopes for budget items like “groceries,” “fun money,” etc. Portion out your paychecks and income according to how much you’ve listed on your budget. Then pay bills directly from those envelopes. When there’s no money left in the envelope, you can’t buy anything else in that category. The easiest way to do this is with cash but there are digital apps that can help you here too.

Create Your Own Numbers

Everybody knows that they need to pay more than the minimum amount due on their bills if they want to actually pay off their debts. But how much more is enough? Even $10-$15 more is good but, if you really want to pay down your debts quickly and fix your history of bad credit, you need to offset whatever interest is charged to your accounts. Look at your monthly bill. Add together the minimum amount due, how much you’ve been charged in interest and then add another 10% onto that amount. You’ll be amazed at how much faster your debt shrinks when you use this method.

Bringing in Extra Income/Reducing Your Expenditures

It’s vital that you pay your bills on time every single month. This, more than anything else, is what will help you fix your bad credit history and raise your credit score. If you aren’t earning enough through your current job, you’ll want to find a couple of ways to bring in some extra cash while you also work hard to reduce what you spend. Driving for Uber, for example, can bring in extra money in your “spare” time and using Groupons can help reduce what you spend. There are many different approaches you can take here. Start exploring and choose the methods that work best for you and your family.

Buy Nothing

Check around your local area to see if you can find the things you need for free. You’re probably already great at shopping on Craigslist, but what about checking out your local Buy Nothing group? A quick search will turn up plenty of groups that are dedicated to helping their members get the supplies they need for as little money as possible. Take advantage of these groups so that you’ll have more money to allot toward your bills.

These are just five of the methods you can use to make creating and sticking to a budget much easier on yourself and your family. Over time, as you stick to this budget your credit score will go up and you reduce your risk of finding yourself in this same predicament in the future.

 

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To Borrow or Not to Borrow: When Does Applying for a Loan Makes Sense?

Though it would be nice to always have money to cover the unexpected events in life, it’s not that easy. There may come a time in your life when you just don’t have the money. An unexpected bill, a loss of income, or even an emergency repair could put your budget out of whack for months. Naturally, when you don’t have the funds you need, you ask for a loan. Though loans can get you over the hump, they do have to be repaid, which is why making the decision to borrow should not be taken lightly.

Borrowing funds from a lending provider can get you out of a jam when you have no other way out. However, many people end up in serious debt. They either take out more than they need, don’t repay the loan timely, or didn’t evaluate the matter to determine if they needed a loan in the first place. To prevent this from happening to you, here are circumstances in which taking out a loan is a good idea and when it’s not:

When Taking Out a Loan Makes Sense

A bill being more than expected – Instead of the average $200 for gas and electric you have to pay $300. You won’t have the money until payday, but to avoid late fees and other charges you need to pay the bill in the next day or so. In this instance, taking out a loan makes sense. It allows you to avoid the penalties that would be implied by the service provider. Also, because you’re able to repay it around your next pay cycle, you won’t accrue too much interest on the loan.

An unexpected emergency – Your car breaks down and you have no other means of transportation. You take it to the shop only to find that the repair is going to cost you $500. In this instance, taking out a loan might be your best bet. You can apply for a short term loan for $500 and pay on the balance over the next 14-30 days. This way you have about a month before you accrue too much interest but you still have your car to get where you need to be.

In this instance, it might also be beneficial to learn how to keep your car well maintained, such as these tips offered on the MaxLend Loans Twitter page. Doing so will minimize the chances of you needing a loan in the first place.

Let’s face it, there are times your bills are so costly you don’t have a cent left to your name. If you need extra cash to hold you over until your next pay, then this might suffice taking out a loan.

When Taking Out a Loan is Not Ideal

Now that you know when it is beneficial, let’s talk about instances in which taking out a loan is not a good option.

You’re in over your head – If you already have hundreds of dollars in debt, there is no reason to add a loan to the top of it. No matter how small the loan is, if you can’t afford to repay it right away, this will add to your frustration.

You can’t pay it back timely – Taking out a loan and agreeing to terms knowing that you can’t afford to repay is not ideal. The longer it takes you to repay a loan, the more of a financial burden it becomes for you.

You have other loans out – If you already have a financial obligation to another financial institution, adding another payment can cause more of a burden.

Do Your Homework

If you’ve decided that it is in your best interest to take out the loan, make sure that you do your homework. Not all loan companies are created equally and you want to do business with a reliable, reputable provider. Checking out the company website is one way to conduct research. The best information is often found on social media platforms, such as on this Max Lend LinkedIn profile. There you can review information about the company and also see how many others have used this service provider in the past.

When you need financial assistance, the most common solution would be to borrow the funds and repay them later. Though loans can be great tools for helping you when you’re in a jam, you really need to think it through before applying. Taking out a loan unnecessarily or without a proper plan of repayment in place could lead to increased debt, which is the starting point of a financial disaster. However, with a proper plan, taking out a loan could hold you over when you simply don’t have the means to do it yourself.