More Than Finances

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SR22 Insurance: What You Need To Know

A hand holding car keys and a remote control for keyless entry isolated over white.

SR22 insurance is not actually a type of insurance – it’s actually a form filed by your insurance company that tells the government that you have insurance. SR22 filings need to be made when you have been in trouble for breaking the rules of the road. Examples of when you might need to make SR22 filings include after you’ve been caught driving without insurance, driving dangerously, or driving when under the influence. You only need to worry about SR22 insurance if you have broken any traffic regulations in your motoring history.

Where can I obtain SR22 insurance?

The vast majority of insurance agencies are able to sell SR22 insurance, though many drivers opt for insurers that specialise in helping what you might deem as high-risk drivers. If you need SR22 insurance, you’re advised to insure used vehicles which don’t need a vast amount of damage coverage – unless money is no object, of course. Many drivers with recent violations opt to exchange their current vehicle for a used car in order to reduce their financial obligations. When the violations are removed from your vehicle, you can then purchase a newer car. You will only require SR22 insurance if a judge decides that you do. Some people require it after just one violation, though others are told they need it after several.

What should I do if I am already insured?

If you already have insurance, you can add SR22 to your current policy. If you don’t, you will need to file an SR22 when buying a new policy. You normally need an SR22 for around three years if you don’t commit any further violations. Many motorists remain unaware of what an SR22 is. This is largely because many motorists go through their entire lives on the road without ever needing one. The SR22 is also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) and verifies that you have insurance.

How to avoid an SR22

There are of course steps that you can take in order to avoid an SR22 in the first place. These include not drinking and driving, driving as safely as you possibly can, and avoiding driving without insurance in place. If you drive carefully and remain insured all the time, you can avoid ever needing to file an SR22. Nonetheless, options are in place if you have violated the laws of the road and need to address the issue so you can continue to drive legally.

Finding the best quote

The cheapest SR22 insurance quotes aren’t always the best, so take your time and shop around to get the right policy for you and your budget. You may wish to research a wide range of insurance providers before you make your final decision. An SR22 may be a small price to pay for being able to use the road without relying on public transport. When the SR22 expires or is cancelled, the insurance company will issue an SR26, signalling the end of the arrangement.

 

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How does a construction loan work?

If you have ever dreamed about building your own home then you’ll know that you need money! Of course, if you are already a property owner it is possible that you can raise the funds needed by selling your current home or even securing a second mortgage.

But, what if this is not enough or you don’t have a home to sell? Many people are opting to build their own tiny houses; but this is not the right solution for everyone.

The simple fact is that the level of home ownership in Australia is decreasing, because new buyers are priced out of the market.

If you want your own property then you need to find a plot and build your own home. For that you’ll need corporate finance. Specifically a construction loan.

Applying For A Construction Loan Works

The first thing to acknowledge with a construction loan is that this is not an easy option if you have poor credit. Although it is possible it is much better if you have a good credit history.

You’ll need to go through an approval process in a similar way to a traditional mortgage.

The difference is that you’ll be unable to secure the loan against an existing property; only one that is about to be built.

This means the lender is accepting a greater level of risk and you will normally have to come up with a deposit of at least 20%.

You also need to have the plans already created for your new home and its potential location. This will allow your finance company to establish if they are realistic and what the home is likely to be worth when it is finished.

Hopefully the finance company will then approve your loan.

Getting Started

Once you have approval you’ll need to find the right building plot and purchase it. Don’t forget this is part of the budget you’ve been approved so choose your land wisely.

It is possible to use a development plot already owned by a builder. This will simplify the process but may restrict what you can build.

Once you’ve got the plot you’ll need to have the house plans drawn up by an architect and submitted to planning for approval.

This can take time if you need to change a variety of details.

Dealing With The Finance

The finance company will release your funds in stages. The first part; buying the land and getting started are likely to be left to you and your deposit.

The lending firm will then create criteria regarding when they will release your funds. This is usually in stages; matching the stages of your build.

Some lenders like to pay directly to your builder; others will release the funds to you so check first. They may also want to verify that you have made the progress you say you have.

The funds are usually released in 3 stages over the course of the build; which can take between 6 and 12 months. You’ll then have a predetermined amount of tie (up to a year) to source conventional funds and repay the construction loan.

 

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8 Reasons Why You Are in Debt

Almost all people have been in debt at some point in their lives. Being in debt is not necessarily a bad thing, and many people work very hard and maintain a very strict lifestyle so that they are able to get a loan for a house or a car in the future. It is important to remember that you pay a price for being in debt. Interest is a very real expense and it can cause your debt to spiral out of control.

If you are in bad debt, in other words, debt that cannot be recovered, you may have to formulate a plan of action to get out of debt. To do so, you have to know why you are in debt so that you can take effective remedial action. Today we are going to discuss 8 reasons why you may be in debt.

The Habit of Spending

Shopping, especially with a credit card, can be habit-forming. Because your credit card enables you to spend money before you have earned it, you may find it difficult to see the real effect your spending has on your financial situation. If you like to swipe your credit card, it is a good idea to sit down and draw up a budget. Budgeting will help you get a clear view over your finances and force you to keep your spending to a minimum while you start paying back your credit card debt.

No Health Insurance

If you have a medical issue but no health insurance, you may want to consider the effect it has on your debt. Again, this comes down to budgeting. If you designate a certain amount of your income to insurance, a high medical bill won’t catch you by surprise and hike your debt.

Procrastination

Failure to deal with your debt can lead to accumulated interest and more debt. If you are trying to ignore a problem in the hope that it will disappear, you are in for a nasty surprise. Although this behavior is understandable, you should make this as easy as possible for yourself. Take one day to take a long and hard look at your finances. Draw up a budget and designate a certain amount of money that goes toward paying off your debt.

Unnecessary Expenses

Sometimes you may find that your debt keeps piling up regardless of how well you keep your spending behavior in check. Many times, this is due to more obscured expenses that you don’t think about or take into account when assessing your financial situation. These are expenses like your cable tv subscription. By replacing your cable with an online streaming service and several Kodi builds, you will be able to save a lot of money.

Unhealthy Habits

These debt-feeding habits include but are not limited to gambling and excessive drinking. In general, the demand for these products and services are inelastic. This means that people will keep paying for them regardless of increases in price. This, together with spending on tobacco products can be incredibly detrimental to your financial situation. The bigger problem here is that your motivation to keep your spending on addictive products may be lacking and before you consider your debt, you have to get over your addictions.

High-interest Loans

When you have to get a loan, it is important to shop around for the lowest interest rates. If you have a good credit score, you have some bargaining power and it is important to use it. If you don’t take interest rates seriously, it can be harmful to your personal finances in the long-run.

Low-Income Levels

If you don’t earn an income or if your salary is low, it can inevitably lead to more debt. The costs of living don’t go down to match your income. If a lacking income is the cause of your debt, it may be a good idea to consolidate your debt.

You Neglect your Finances

People that work hard all day long may not always have the time to pay attention to their debt and the causes thereof. Their spending is unmonitored and they may even start working harder just to pay off more debt. If this is you, consider doing some time management and budgeting.

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How is The Cost of Condo Insurance Calculated?

Unlike homeowners, condo dwellers don’t own the building they live in. You’re here because you live in a condo. In this case, you want to figure out which factors apply to your insurance policies and how to calculate the cost of said insurance. Although some factors figure into standard homeowner’s insurance, others don’t come into play with condo homeowner’s insurance.

Here’s how a condo premium is calculated.

Because you share your building with other structures, you’re going to need two policies: a master policy and an individual policy. This way, all parties are protected when you insure the home.

HOA and Individual Insurance

Typically, your condo or homeowner’s association (HOA) will carry a master policy to insure the building and pay for accidents that occur on outside property and common areas. HOA will cover things that are included or “built-into” the condo. This includes things like cabinetry, lighting and other fixtures, plumbing and wiring, etc. However, if your HOA has a “bare walls” policy, it’s up to you to insure everything in your home besides the walls, floor, and ceiling.

There are some instances where your HOA might not pay to repair the inside of your unit after disasters, however. They might not even replace your damaged or stolen belongings or cover any liability costs.

In this case, generally you’ll need condo insurance when there’s damage to the interior of your unit. This policy will cover your personal possessions (clothes, electronics, furniture, etc.) if they’re stolen. Additionally, this policy will pay to repair or replace these items if there’s a fire, burst pipe, etc. Some of these policies will even pay for you to stay in a hotel if you are displaced by a natural disaster. It all depends on the policy you end up choosing. Keep in mind, though, that coverage in the event of a flood is very limited.

Calculating Cost

Calculating cost of your condo insurance is going to come down to figuring out your needs. A homeowners insurance calculator will help you determine quotes of different insurance plans. Read them thoroughly and figure out what it is that you need covered. For some, this includes things like personal property coverage, dwelling coverage, or umbrella liability coverage.

Consider the Deductible

As previously mentioned, your association’s master policy will also include a deductible with your plan. This deductible is typically charged pro-rata among unit owners in the event of a claim. Make sure you know what the deductible encompasses. You don’t want to be stuck with an obligation of a hefty financial commitment, without an accident ever materializing. It’s all up to figuring out how much risk you’re able to afford.

Additional Coverage

In addition to the coverage your policies will provide you, you might want to consider adding on coverage to your plan. For instance, maybe your condo is in a commonly flooding region. Things like flooding coverage, liability coverage, and replacement coverage might be appropriate for your needs as a condo owner.

See, it’s not that bad. All you have to do now is make decisions about your needs. With this guide, you’ll be able to find the best master policy as well as find additional coverage that’ll protect you in the long run.

 

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8 Ways to Save More and Spend Less

There are many reasons to adopt a money-saving lifestyle. You may want to buy a house or go on an expensive holiday. Maybe you want to save for a comfortable retirement. Whatever the reason, cutting down on living costs, however, may seem like a daunting and challenging prospect. Luckily, this is not entirely the case. Today we will be taking a look at 8 easy ways to save more and spend less.

Grow your own food

Even if you have a small garden, this is one of the best ways to save money. Fruit and vegetables are the most significant contributors to an expensive shopping list. By eliminating these items, you can save a lot of money in the long-run. Growing your own food is also incredibly healthy and, depending on the size of your garden, can also force you to be physically active. Do an online search to find ways of growing foods in limited space.

Stop your gym membership

Unless you are a professional sports person, you can do your daily exercise routines at home. Although you may have to buy the necessary equipment, you will still save money in the long-run. If you pay for a gym membership but don’t always find the motivation to go, this is a no-brainer. You can also replace your gym time with an activity that is also physical, but also productive, for example, gardening.

Responsible Lending

If your goal is to save money and cut spending, it is essential for you to always borrow money responsibly. When you need cash, it can be easy to fall into the trap of taking the first loan that a credit provider offers you. If you have a good credit record, it is important to remember that you have some bargaining power. Shop around for the best loans at the lowest cost. Before you do, however, make sure that you actually need the loan to get by.

Reduce home entertainment costs

Satellite tv and cable subscriptions can take a considerable chunk out of your monthly income. If you have a high-speed internet connection, it may be worth your while to consider canceling these subscriptions and opt for on-demand streaming services. Not only are they much more affordable, but they offer the best in terms of contemporary entertainment and live television.

Shop at clothing exchange stores

Visiting and shopping at your local clothing exchange store may seem like a rock-bottom thing to do, but it’s really not. Clothes can become a hefty expense, especially if you are shopping for the entire family. You may be surprised at the high-end condition and quality of the clothes that you will be able to find at these outlets for next to nothing. Shopping at clothing exchange stores can go a long way in terms of saving money.

Insurance consolidation

Paying your car and household insurance separately can be unnecessarily expensive. Contact your insurance agent and ask them if you can bundle your different insurance policies. Also, if it is time for one of your insurance policies to be renewed, take some time to shop around for the best quotes. This is a once-off activity that can save you money every month without you having to actively change your routine.

Stop expensive eating

To save more money and spend less, it is important to stop buying takeaways and eating out. Although buying food that is already prepared is convenient, it can also amount to a massive monthly expense. You can, however, have the same convenience by doing some planning and making changes to your grocery shopping list. Eating at home can also be healthier. You can prepare certain recipes and freeze them. This takes all the food preparation time out of your daily routine.

Get the family on board

It is important to realize that launching a money-saving strategy on your own may be a challenge if the rest of your household is not involved. A lot of money saving activities relies on a collective effort, and if your partner or kids are not motivated to save money, chances are that you won’t be successful. It may help to get a rewards-based system in place to get everyone to work together and save money.