• To Save Energy or Not Save Energy, That Is the Question

    by  • June 10, 2017

     

    You’re caught in the middle of a conundrum. You want to save money on your car insurance, but you also want to save the environment, and the two do not go hand in hand exclusively, as you’ve discovered. For many people, saving money is the winner in this financial/ethical face off, because they just don’t have any other choice. You would love to purchase the latest and greatest hybrid, but will your entire family even fit in it? Must you continue to drive that mammoth SUV? You can answer these questions if you take a couple of things into consideration.

     

    Considerations for the Mammoth SUV

     

    Although bad for the environment, many families drive SUVs or minivans for convenience. They have more room on the inside to accommodate mom, dad, and all the kids. They also have more room on the inside to accommodate all the stuff that, no matter where they are going, must be brought along. Throw in the family dog, and you have a vehicle packed to the brim, but at least everyone is comfortable, which makes the “Are we there yet?” questions less frequent.

     

    When it comes to saving energy, these vehicles fail miserably. They are gas-guzzlers, and science confirms that this is destroying the environment. You will spend a lot of money keeping these vehicles fuelled and on the road. In fact, when gas prices were at an all-time high in the U.S. several years ago, it cost families well over $100 to fill their tanks each time, which begs to question: Will you really save money buying an SUV over a fuel-efficient vehicle? You will in a few areas.

     

    Insurance companies love these vehicles. You will spend less on your auto insurance for your SUV or minivan because they receive higher safety ratings. This translates to cost savings for the insurance company, and as a result, most are willing to pass that cost savings on to their customers. The reason why is if you get into an accident, there is less cause for concern. You and your family will be safer in the event of a collision, and your vehicle will stand up to the incident better, too.

     

    Consideration 2: Saving the Environment

     

    This does not mean, however, that you cannot save money on your automobile insurance with hybrids. You can. In addition, you’ll save money elsewhere. Many insurance companies offer fuel-economy incentives to their customers, meaning that if you purchase a car that saves on gasoline, you’ll realize some important savings on your automobile policy. You might not need to purchase a hybrid in order to see a financial advantage on your car insurance; you might do well with an economy car, provided you don’t need too much space.

     

    If you are set on getting a hybrid, your cost savings on your automobile insurance will depend on your willingness to shop for a policy or have an agent shop for a policy for you. Some companies hike up their premiums to cover hybrids because they are more expensive to purchase and maintain and because they don’t handle collisions as well as larger vehicles do. Other companies offer incentives to buy hybrids because they are encouraging their customers to go green. In addition, you must add your gas savings into the equation to see exactly which option is more affordable for you.

     

    You can save money on your automobile insurance and go green at the same time; it just takes doing some homework on your part. Open up your spreadsheet program on your computer and do your research. Plug in vehicle costs, maintenance costs, anticipated gasoline costs, etc. Then, contact insurance agencies to see what they’ll do for you whether you purchase an SUV or a hybrid. Once you have all the numbers in, you can see, realistically, the most economical way to go.

    6 Things To Know Before Choosing To File Bankruptcy

    by  • February 13, 2017 • Tagged: 

    If you’ve come upon some hard financial times, one option that might have occurred to you is filing for bankruptcy. This is an action that many people have taken to help with their financial troubles, but unfortunately, not all of those people knew what they were getting into. Bankruptcy is complicated procedure, and it is not right for everyone. Below are a few things that you should know before making a decision that has long-lasting implications.

    What Is Bankruptcy?

    First, you should know exactly what bankruptcy is. A person files for bankruptcy when they are facing a home foreclosure, or any type of financial insolvency. Bankruptcy is the legal way to be rid of your financial troubles, but it comes with some heavy consequences. If your bankruptcy filing is approved, you will be given a set time in which you need to repay your debts, but during that time your assets will not be able to be confiscated.

    Kinds Of Bankruptcy

    There are two main types of bankruptcy filings, and you will have to choose one based on your own circumstances – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is typically chosen by lower-income people with few assets, but with a large amount of debt. In a Chapter 13 filing, you are given a reasonable repayment plan, typically between 3 and 5 years, and allows you to buy time against foreclosures. There is a lot that goes into picking between the two, and if you are unsure, consider consulting a bankruptcy lawyer.

    Requirements

    There are a few requirements that you need to meet in order to file for bankruptcy. First, your income will play a large role in determining which Chapter you are eligible to file for. In addition, it will be required that you attend a money management program, and is recommended that you meet with a credit counselor before you can file. For more on the requirements needed to file for bankruptcy, you can visit this link.

    Benefits and Drawbacks

    The biggest reason that a person would file for bankruptcy is to get their financial health back in order. Sometimes debt has accumulated to a point where you can no longer make payments, and rather than risking losing your home or other assets, you file for bankruptcy. This should be seen as a last resort measure, but it is available to you if you need it.

    However, it comes at a cost. Filing for bankruptcy will harm your credit score, and this penalty will not go away for a long time. Having a bankruptcy on your credit report will hurt your chances of getting things like a loan or mortgage down the road. Bankruptcy is a mark that can impact your credit score for up to 10 years, so it is not a decision that you should take lightly.

    What Are Your Alternatives?

    As we have said, bankruptcy should be seen as a last resort. If you can find another route to pay off your debts, without losing your assets, you should consider those before filing for bankruptcy. For example, if you owe money to several different creditors, then consider taking out a consolidation loan. With this, you combine all of your loans into one, and are given one monthly payment to make rather than several.

    You can also work directly with your loan providers and see if you can work out a deal to have lower monthly payments. Creditors are typically willing to work with people, as they would rather get their money back later, rather than have you file for bankruptcy. This article will explain some other alternatives to filing for bankruptcy, and hopefully one of them will work for you.

    How To File

    If you’ve weighed all of your options, and considered the drawbacks against the positives, and are still set on filing for bankruptcy, here’s how to do it. First, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney, as there is a lot of legal paperwork. If you want to go about it yourself, you’ll need to download the packet of information from the U.S. Courts website, and after filling them out, turn them into a bankruptcy court in your state.

    Take Your Time With The Decision

    Don’t rush into a bankruptcy filing. There is a lot that you need to know, and many alternatives out there that may be a better solution. Only file for bankruptcy after you have given it a great deal of consideration, and weighed all of your options.

    Making the Most of Your Career in Finance

    by  • February 7, 2017 • Tagged: ,

    Are you feeling stagnant in your current position? Are you looking for ways to take your finance career to the next level? The time has never been better. Millennials and their younger counterparts are poised to flood the professional sector, meaning employment opportunities will become more competitive. In order to gain a competitive edge, it’s important to strategize around the ways you can advance your career within your current position. Keep these tips in mind and put yourself on the road to success.

    Consider Your Motivations

    In order to understand how best to proceed in your career, it’s important to take time to sit back and reassess exactly what it is you want to achieve. Are you hoping to make more money? Perhaps you’re more interested in taking on a management role. Maybe you’re looking for a position that allows you to move internationally and experience a new place. Whatever your reasoning, make sure you understand exactly what it is you want before embarking on this journey.

    Get to Know Industry Peers

    Networking is important in every industry, and that’s true of the finance field. Get out there and network with industry peers to improve your relationships. This could lead to career opportunities, access to new finance resources, seminars, and events, and a better, more comprehensive view of the goings on in the industry. The more informed you are, the more capable you are. Knowing key players in your field could see you advancing more quickly than you might have otherwise, if based on just merit alone.

    Get Certified Making the Most of Your Career in Finance

    Depending on your career goals, there are a variety of certifications that might advance your career. Looking to make your way into financial planning in your own firm? Consider pursuing your CFP. Becoming a Certified Financial Planner means proving to peers and the public that you’ve met rigorous professional standards, and that you uphold important ethics and principles in your dealings with clients. In order to pursue this designation, you must complete a college level program in personal financial planning or an equivalent, along with a bachelor’s degree. You must also complete a financial plan development course registered with the CFP Board. After qualifying, you must pass the CFP exam, which is administered through a computer and contains 170 multiple choice questions. You must prove that you have 4,000 to 6,000 hours of experience in financial planning, depending on different factors, and you must also pledge to uphold the CFP’s standards of ethics and practice.

    Perhaps you’re interested in becoming a Certified Financial Analyst. The road to CFA certification is somewhat more difficult, and comes with its own requirements. You must pass certain education requirements, then sign up for the infamous CFA Exam. This test is made up of three levels that must be taken separately. Most finance professionals don’t attempt this exam until they’ve put in months upon months of study with CFA study materials, and for good reason—the pass rate is around 42 percent for the first level of the exam. You must also then put in 48 months of acceptable professional work experience, and join the CFA Institute in order to receive your designation.

    Regardless of the certification you choose, those that receive a certified title are often able to access higher salaries and better positions. Consider the certification that might work best for your situation and aspirations.

    Expand Your Responsibilities

    If you want your superiors to take notice of your hard work, consider taking on more responsibilities than those included in your job description. Taking initiative is sure to put you in front of those that may be able to help you advance. Approach other departments and ask where you might be useful. Support your colleagues in various projects and learn what you can about the different facets of your company. When your employer notices your presence in multiple departments, and you build relationships with your peers, your chances for rising in the ranks increase significantly.

    Advancing your finance career is simple with these tips. Reinvigorate your professional life and find yourself in a much better position this time next year.

    How Hiring an Accountant Can Transform Your Finances in 2017

    by  • January 11, 2017 • Tagged: 

    Benjamin Franklin once said, “…In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Never is this phrase more applicable than in the world of finance.  Whether you are a big business, small venture, or an individual, finances must be a focus.  Unless you are a certified accountant yourself, you may not know as much about the intricate details of money-making even if you are surrounded by it every day.  Consider this:  you participate in the national and global economy every day, but you may know nothing about how it works. Instead of floundering about with your finances, here are a few reasons why you should hire a trained professional to help you in 2017.

    1. Bookkeeping.  If you are a particularly busy person or a growing business, a bookkeeper can do you a great service.  This person can balance your checkbook for you and analyze credit card statements.  If this interests you, look for accountants that specialize in bookkeeping.  Although this is not an essential requirement, a growing number of accountants that take this route receive certification from QuickBooks or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

    2. Legal Advice.  A trusted accountant can give you valuable information about financial law.  If you own a company, you may want to hire an accountant to advise you on growth, so that you can confidently stride forward.  Different businesses will have a unique legal structure that, if left unchecked, will leave you dangerously vulnerable to legal issues such as lawsuits.  This is especially important if you, for example, have payment obligations to other contracts.  If you are on the fence about hiring an accountant for legal advice, remember that this invaluable information can protect you in the long run.  Not only does it prevent you from unintentionally breaking the law, but also educates you on how to avoid false claims and accusations by your workers or clients.

    3. Financial Advice.  You are still in charge of your finances, but it is the job of an accountant to help you make those decisions. You will still have to think of legalities, taxes, payroll, and credit. Professional accountants have trained for years to gain their understanding of the tax system, often achieving master’s degrees, taking supplemental CPA courses, and passing extremely difficult exams. Their level of expertise can’t be duplicated. The biggest challenge you’ll have is being completely honest with your accountant. Give him or her all of your statements and a true summary of your financial year. If you want an informed opinion, let the accountant ask you appropriate questions and be open to the answers.  They provide you with options you never considered—more tax breaks for example.  Remember that they are not liable for the decision you make, but they can provide their knowledge and expertise to guide you in the right direction.

    4. You’re Busy.  The idea is simple: you just don’t have the time.  The amount of work involved with accounting and financial organization can seem insurmountable if you don’t have proper training, but an accountant can resolve your issues quickly and efficiently.  In addition, if you have a lot of tax work on top of your business work, you may easily make mistakes that will cost you dearly in the future.  If you hire an accountant, they can save you time and money so that you may devote more time to your business as well as avoid pitfalls that can cost you dearly. An accountant is responsible for reviewing your taxes and even improving your refunds. How’s that for getting more bang out of your buck? Even a small business will become more complex over time, but you don’t need to go through it alone.

    5. Keeping You Accountable.  Sometimes, just having someone there who is an expert can be a huge relief. An accountant can keep you responsible and on task.  You can change bad financial habits you may not have even known you had and create a stronger business because of it.  Don’t be afraid to seek financial advice from an accountant—it can be the best decision you ever made for your business.

    Spread Betting is a Time-Efficient Way to Make Extra Money While Building Your Business

    by  • September 5, 2016 • Tagged: 

    Building a business is tough and time-consuming. There are lots of ways to do it, and no two businesses are just alike. But there are some common themes for almost every entrepreneur. For one, money is tight. You don’t have any extra money to spare, whether for your business or in your personal life. For another, your time is probably stretched to the limit. If you need to make extra money you certainly don’t have a lot of time to do it. Finally, your social life and free time are likely non-existent. You don’t have a lot of spare time to do stuff that you enjoy, and you probably look forward to the day when you can change that.

    Spread betting is an interesting speculative investment available through ETX Capital. We’ll show how spread betting can help you out in all three of those problems listed above.

    Spread Betting For Extra Money

    Spread betting is an interesting model that many people will not be familiar with. A spread betting platform will show the user lots of different currencies, stocks, indices, and other financial entities. Each of these options will be shown as a linear value chart, updating in real time. Buy and sell prices will be shown for each option. If a user wants to invest, all they have to do is decide whether they think the price will rise or fall in a certain window of time, as short as a few minutes or seconds. Putting some money on the line, the user waits to see what happens. If the price changes according to plan, dividends are earned in proportion to the amount the price changed. If the price doesn’t change according to plan, the user loses the initial investment. With skill, the user can make a lot of money this way, and get it very quickly.

    Spread Betting For Someone With Little Time

    There is almost no faster way to make large returns. Spread betting is perfect for someone with little time to spare. These trades can be performed on a lunch break or while at the gym, on a tablet or mobile device. You may have some long-term investments in motion, but these take a lot of time and money to grow to maturity. If you don’t have a lot of either resource to spare, spread betting might be a good option.

    Spread Betting For Fun

    Spread betting is fun and exciting. Even if you have a very little money to invest, you’ll be excited to see how your speculation turns out. Most platforms even have free-to-play trial accounts, where no real money is at risk. Try this first to see how you do.

    Spread betting isn’t for everyone, but for people willing to learn the ropes it can be one of the most time-efficient and enjoyable ways to grow your money. Tax-free in the UK, it’s a truly economical way to build your personal economy. Free to learn and try, there are really no downsides. Give it a whirl and see if you can bring this investment mode into your daily life.

    Reasons People Trade Forex

    by  • July 19, 2016 • Tagged:   • Comments

    The retail market of forex is starting to become more popular each day and this phenomenon makes us look for the answers to the following questions: “Why is forex so attractive to a lot of people? What makes them interested in trying to learn how to trade in the forex market?” We are here to ... Read more →

    3 Financial Management Tactics You Can Start Using Today

    by  • June 28, 2016 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    Financial management is about more than just balancing your checkbook and making sure you don’t spend more than you make. Let’s take a look at some of the financial management tactics you can start using today that can help you achieve your long-range goals. Before we do, let’s make an important distinction between tactics and ... Read more →

    Bad Credit Alternative Lending Solutions

    by  • May 4, 2016 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    For a large part of America’s population, times are tough and taking out the occasional loan is a must. Without a steady job or a great credit history, they may end up looking at alternative lending solutions. Payday Loans Payday loans are the most expensive short-term loans available. Offered on practically every street corner in ... Read more →

    Tax Scams You Should Look Out For

    by  • April 7, 2016 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Accountants busily working away, stressful documentation issues, and the hope for a big tax refund—yup, tax season is definitely here. The end date to file your taxes is upon us, and if you’ve waited until the last minute, you’re most likely frantically hurrying to get them done. Or perhaps you’re an early bird who had ... Read more →

    Is Owning a Rental Property Worth It?

    by  • January 13, 2016 • Tagged:   • Comments

    The buy-to-let market should be going through something of a boom. With first time buyers still finding it hard to raise the required mortgage deposit, often 25%, the housing rental sector continues to increase with almost 3.5 million people today living in private rented accommodation in the UK. But is owning a rental property worth ... Read more →

    Taking On Wedding Debt Is a Bad Idea

    by  • August 21, 2015 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Getting married can be a wonderful thing if you’ve got rich or generous parents and an unlimited budget to fulfill your wildest wedding dreams. But if you’re like most people, the cost of getting married can unfortunately detract from the happiness of what should otherwise be your special day. According to The Knot’s 2014 Real ... Read more →

    When Should You Buy Your First Home?

    by  • November 20, 2014 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Are you thinking about purchasing your very own home for the first time? Perhaps you’re sick of renting or you’d just like a permanent place to call your own. Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re certain that you’re ready to buy your first home and are doing it wisely. Follow the helpful tips ... Read more →

    Maximize Profit on Your Business Website

    by  • November 19, 2014 • Tagged: , , , ,  • Comments

    Every business needs a website. Local market searches are a driving force for businesses to increase market share locally. Organic web traffic is not just about local traffic, though that is where the bulk of online traffic generates. It is also about global traffic. Shoppers in other countries use the web to find better products ... Read more →