• Taking On Wedding Debt Is a Bad Idea

    by  • August 21, 2015 • Tagged: , ,

    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 Weddings survey, the average cost of a wedding is now a whopping $31,213, not including the cost of the honeymoon. Furthermore, according to the survey, roughly  45% of couples exceed their wedding budgets in the process of getting hitched. The problem is that starting off with a wad of wedding debt is generally a bad idea, and here’s why:

    Money Problems Can Lead to Divorce

    It’s an unfortunate fact that a significant percentage of marriages end in divorce these days, and all too often, money is a major contributing factor. Money, or lack thereof, can be a huge source of stress for a newly married couple. After all, it’s hard to work on building a life together when you’re constantly pinching pennies and worrying about a nagging credit card balance. Furthermore, if the push to overspend on a wedding is really one-sided, it could lead to long-term resentment if that decision causes you financial stress down the line.

    When newly married couples get into debt, they will have to post-pone buying a house, starting a family, and other things they want to do to build a life together. Often they resort to racking up credit card debt and even taking out car title loans. “We see it happen all the time,” says a representative of Title Loans San Diego.

    Debt Can Wreck the Newlywed Stage

    For many people, the first year of marriage is a fun, carefree time. You’re getting to know each other as a married couple and aren’t necessarily ready to build a family, which means you’re free to spend time together, do fun things, and enjoy each other’s company. The problem with taking on too much wedding debt is that it can impede your ability to live it up as a couple during those first blissful 12 months. Or, to put it another way, spending too much on your wedding could mean sacrificing the ability to enjoy travel, nightlife, and other such things people tend to do before kids come into the picture.

    Wedding Debt Can Impact You Long-Term

    Taking on a load of debt to finance your dream wedding can do more than just put a damper on the newlywed phase; it can also impact your long-term financial picture as a couple. If you’re carrying a large amount of debt from your wedding, it could limit your options for getting a mortgage or car loan. Wedding debt can also impact your family building plans. If you’re saddled with debt, it could lead you to put off having children, or make affording them much more difficult.

    It’s not crazy to want a big, beautiful wedding complete with every detail you’ve always dreamed of. But it’s also important to be realistic. Yes, your wedding is an important day, but it’s also just a few hours long. Before you jump in and take on a load of debt, ask yourself whether a single afternoon of perfection is really worth years of sacrifice after the fact. Finally, remember that you always have the option to compromise. Pick the aspects of your wedding that are most important to you, spend some money on those, and go simple with the remaining details. At the end of the day, if you have the right attitude, your wedding will be the fun, fabulous affair you want it to be.

    Out With the Old, in With the Savvy; How to Renew Your Wardrobe Without Busting the Budget

    by  • July 23, 2015 • Tagged: ,

    If you’re looking at your wardrobe and realizing that last year’s summer look just isn’t cutting it this year, this is the post for you. Read below for some ways to use discount coupons at places like eBay, Nike, and JC Penney to give you a new look with money left over to go out and show it off!

    eBay – Get Ready for a Surprise

    If you haven’t been to eBay in a while, then you’re in for a surprise. eBay has become the place for cost effective clothes shopping. With so many established and up-and-coming brands and stores, buying is the perfect place to utilize discount coupons to get the brands you know at a fraction of the cost. Want to save even more? Look for stores that include free postage once you reach a set amount. If you are able to complete your look from these stores, free postage just became a night out in the new dress.

    Nike.com

    Just because it is sports focused, doesn’t mean it isn’t fashionable. In addition to great sportswear, discount coupons can land you some great deals on fashion focused sports apparel. If you have never thought about a sports store for general fashion, now is the perfect time. With so many discounts available, choosing your new wardrobe with sports fashion just became a new way to save money and look good.

    JCPenney

    Did you see something at JCPenney during your last visit to the mall, but the price was just a bit out of your reach? One of the greatest advantages to discount coupons at JC Penney is being able to buy clothes you never thought you would be able to this summer. The next time you’re out shopping, take note of what styles interest you and then check out what discounts are available to get you into those new pair of designer shoes.

    There you have it! Suddenly your drab summer look just became updated and in style without you having to spend a fortune or sacrifice quality of products. All that’s left to do is take the money you saved and treat yourself to a night out to show off your new looks! Summer is yours!

    How to Save Money on Monthly Expenses

    by  • February 16, 2015 • Tagged: , ,

    1.      Verify You’ve Signed up for the Right Plan

    The wrong cell phone plan can eat up a lot of your income. So you want to be sure you are signed up for the right plan. Contact your carrier and check to see how many minutes you are actually using versus what you are paying for. Although unlimited calling plans are popular and becoming less expensive, you still may be paying for more than you use.

    Also, be sure to check your data plan. You can contact your carrier or check your data via your Data Manager utility on your phone. If you’re using closer to 3GB but paying for 10GB, you need to scale back. Those dollars really add up. Connect to the Wi-Fi in your home if you have it and only use your data in emergencies while you are out.

    2.      Program Your Thermostat

    Programmable thermostats can save you hundreds a year, so it’s worth purchasing one if you don’t have one installed already. According to EnergySavers.gov, you can save up to 15% each year on your bill if you turn it down 15 degrees for at least eight hours a day. You can easily do this with a programmable thermostat while you are away from home at work.

    3.      Take Advantage of Lower Interest Rates

    Credit card bills and loans are possibly a major chunk of your monthly expenses. So when you get credit card offers in the mail – don’t ignore them. Check them out to see if they offer you a no interest to low interest for balance transfers. Be sure to contact all your current lenders with lower interest rates to see if you can increase your credit line and transfer over other higher interest rate balances.

    4.      Stream Television Shows and Movies

    Finally, slash your cable bill in half or altogether. There are plenty of ways you can watch your favorite programs and movies at a discount. Just pay for your internet service, and you can stream your favorite television shows and movies from service providers such as Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video.

    Implement the above four strategies today and save hundreds this year alone. You can also find more money saving tips here.  Keep in mind when looking at your monthly expenses ask yourself if you really need that service or can it be cut to save money.

    When Should You Buy Your First Home?

    by  • November 20, 2014 • Tagged: ,

    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 below and your first home buying experience should be a breeze.

    1) Check Your Credit

    One of the first things that banks will do when offering you a loan is check your credit. If your credit is poor, they will either deny you a loan entirely or they’ll hike up your interest rate and down-payment amount to protect themselves in case you default.

    Before you even head to your bank or credit union (or HomeStart Perth for that matter), do yourself a favor and check your credit yourself. CreditKarma.com is a great place to do this since they’ll provide you with a free report from Transunion (one of the major three credit report companies) and they will tell you why your score might be low and what you can do to improve it.

    2) Save Up 20%

    If you really are serious about buying a home and making it your long-term residence, then I would suggest that you save up 20% for your down-payment. With this 20% you can basically insure that your home value will never fall below what you owe the bank and you can therefore avoid PMI payments to the bank as well!

    I understand that saving up 20% of the purchase price might take quite a long time, but this process will teach you to scrimp and save and to live within a budget, which is very important for when you own a home and have unexpected items that are in need of repair. Make a plan to sock a large amount of money away each month and save up that 20%!

    3) Find a Deal

    So during what time of the year should you buy a home? The absolute best time is when demand is low and house prices can be found for cheap. For many areas in the north, this means winter time. Nobody wants to buy a house during the holidays and they certainly don’t want to move their stuff in the snow. If you don’t mind this and would be willing to make a purchase in the winter to save a few thousand bucks, then I would certainly encourage you to.

    If you want to find even more of a deal, don’t be afraid to find a fixer-upper home. Ideally, you’d like to find a home that is appealing on the outside, but could use a few updates on the inside (ie. carpeting or flooring, vanities, etc). If you are fairly confident that you can repair or replace the rundown areas of the house, then that means you can probably do fairly inexpensively as well. By purchasing a fixer-upper, you can save yourself another 10%-20% off the fair market price.

    Are you ready to buy your first home?

    Maximize Profit on Your Business Website

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

    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 and services in both B2C and B2B transactions. A website represents your company when you close up shop for the night. It works 24/7 to sell, teach and convert visitors into customers.

    From Brick-and-Mortar to the Digital Age

    cyber monday Image via Flickr by Glory Cycles

    Two words: Cyber Monday. Each Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, online stores draw millions of visitors world-wide to their websites. On Cyber Monday in 2013, consumers spent an estimated $2.6 Billion. That is just one day out of the 365 days per year that your business website works for you. If your business is not online, your business needs to be online.

    Location, Location, Location

    Learn How to Make Your Business a Top Google Maps Result

    Image via Flickr by MintSocial

    Local search engines direct local traffic to stores in many ways. Search engines use the physical business address to provide direction and show consumers the choices they have on Google Maps. Local searches and mobile searches now outrank traditional searches. That fact translates into two things. First, the amount of local searches in your area is probably staggering. Second more shoppers look for instant access to products and services.

    Businesses do not need a fancy website to draw local search traffic. A good website uses the content that appeals to visitors of the site. The power of events like Cyber Monday occurs because stores offer special online-only discounts. That is something that some businesses use year round as part of their marketing plan.

    Use the Whole World as Your Marketing Platform

    NASA GOES-13 Full Disk view of Earth August 3, 2010

    Image via Flickr by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

    Websites are not limited to just your local area. The world-wide-web connects the world. Use each of the days in the week to run a special for customers in other countries. Encourage them to pay via sites like Ria Money Transfer, so both you and your customers minimize th fees charged by your bank and credit card companies. Keeping your prices as low as possible attracts foreign customers. That is one of the biggest attractions for Bitcoin. It transcends borders without fees. Offer your customers the same service in an easy to use online format.

    A good tip is to develop marketing strategies that focus both on local and global customers. Many businesses lose money because they focus only on local marketing. Maximize your revenues by increasing your sales territory.

    Search Engine Optimization and You

    Search-Engine-Marketing Image via Flickr by Danard Vincente

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is powerful. Don’t be afraid to invest in the services of a professional company to help you with SEO. If you choose a good company, the increase in local and global traffic will offset the service cost of optimization. Using a professional company also allows you to focus on the things that you need to do. SEO takes a lot more time when you do not understand it. This is one opportunity that justifies the cost.

    Talk to an SEO company about social media marketing, video marketing, Email marketing and the power of the Call-To-Action (CTA) as these are highly focused ways for your website to interact with online shoppers. Not every option will benefit all businesses. The huge arsenal of online marketing products offers businesses the best options for reaching as many online shoppers as possible. They can also become a time dump, so check time-spent versus results.

    The world holds over seven billion people. Websites help business owners maximize revenues by enabling globally based customers to find exactly what they want. A website is a tireless employee that also represents your business when no one else is on duty. You don’t have to pay a website or offer it benefits. Periodically they need upgrades or maintenance, but they do a ton of work for very little cost. A website is your best tool for maximizing profits.

    8 ways to monetize your website

    by  • September 29, 2014 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    The Internet is a great way to make money. In order to do this though, it is necessary to know how to monetize a website. There are all sorts of different ways to do this, but knowing the ins and outs of this process is helpful. That is why understanding the eight different ways to ... Read more →

    Budgeting for Traveling and Using a Great Rewards Credit Card to Help Along the Way

    by  • July 8, 2014 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    Learning about different cities, cultures and customs is educational and exciting! Everyone loves to visit different places, whether it is to visit friends or family or for a vacation. You may be wondering if it is possible to travel more without spending a lot of money. It is possible, with careful budgeting and using a ... Read more →

    Loan Shark Guide

    by  • July 3, 2014 • Tagged:   • Comments

    With research suggesting that the number of illegal money-lenders operating in the UK continues to soar, read our handy guide to how to spot a loan shark and what to do if you fall victim to one.  Our guide covers the definition of a loan shark, how to handle a loan shark as well as ... Read more →

    How to Cruise on a Dime

    by  • May 23, 2014 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Cruise holidays are some of the best deals out there for budget travellers. All-inclusive cruise deals mean that most food, accommodation and transportation are all nicely wrapped up into one very reasonable sum for a journey that can vary from the Caribbean to Asia. With a range of amenities that are included in the cost ... Read more →

    Best Money Tips for Single Parents

    by  • May 22, 2014  • Comments

    If you are a single parent, trying to have enough money for everyday bills is hard enough. Yet, you want your children to have an enjoyable life. Follow these money tips to save money and have enough to cover your bills without the worry. Keep an Emergency Account An emergency account is necessary for every ... Read more →

    Can You Write Your Own Will?

    by  • December 18, 2013 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    It’s a common misconception that you have to hire an attorney to write your own will. Yes, an attorney will know how to draft a will properly and they know your state’s estate laws, but there are plenty of legal websites out there that can help you draft just as good (if not better) of ... Read more →

    Getting Rid of the For Sale Sign: How to Get Approved for a Home Mortgage Loan

    by  • November 24, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    The dire straits of the economic recession are still taking their toll, especially within the struggling real estate market. There are millions of people throughout the United States who are eagerly searching for ways to qualify for a mortgage loan so that they can get the keys to their new home as soon as possible. ... Read more →

    Ways to Save Money on Sports Shoes

    by  • November 13, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    If you’re a sportsperson then taking care of your body will be essential and your shoes will be far more than a fashion statement. There are many different models of sports shoe for each sport. Some are better than others and some are cheaper than others. The trick to buying the perfect sports shoe is ... Read more →

    Vegas Baby!

    by  • October 1, 2013 • Tagged:   • Comments

    When we started our blog, we were freshly engaged, and had started to plan our wedding. Readers of our blog know that we had some expensive ideas for the wedding and not many of you agreed with our decisions. We went ahead with our own plans anyway a few years after that first post. Five ... Read more →

    INFOGRAPHIC: Be A Premier Performer at Tackling Debt

    by  • September 26, 2013 • Tagged:   • Comments

    The number of individuals living with debt in the UK is on the rise. As of July, the total amount of personal debt held by individuals was right around £1.426 trillion. This is partly the result of the global economic recession which caused a high percentage of redundancies but it’s also on a count of mismanaging ... Read more →

    We’re Buying a House…Sooner or Later

    by  • September 19, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Sadly, after almost nine years of renting an apartment and stable rent payments, we’ve decided that we need to get a bigger place to live. Our financial lives were pretty simple the past few years, even with the addition of a new family member. We’ve decided to turn our world upside-down and look for property ... Read more →

    Five Steps to Setting Up Your Online Business

    by  • September 10, 2013 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    There are several online services that allow you to sell products, whether those products are hand-crafted wares, antiques, or even baked goods. Of course, getting your online business up and running can be a little daunting, depending on how complex or competitive your industry may be. These five steps can help you achieve a no-sweat ... Read more →

    Planning a Holiday on a Budget

    by  • May 31, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Trying to plan a holiday when money is tight can be hard, especially if you’re planning a break for the whole family. There are lots of ways to save money though, so going away somewhere nice doesn’t have to break the bank. Firstly you should think about where you’d like to go. It’s almost certain ... Read more →

    How Small Savings Can Go a Long Way

    by  • May 14, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Even if I am exceptionally good at saving and budgeting money I often forget about small expenses, and whoever said “Don’t sweat the small stuff” obviously didn’t have an expensive daily coffee habit. Despite being organised and striving to be financially secure, if I look at my weekly purchases there are so many small ways ... Read more →

    Choosing the Best Gas Supplier for Your Large Business

    by  • May 8, 2013 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Organising energy providers and paying monthly bills is an arduous task for homeowners and small businesses, let alone large businesses and enterprises. Ensuring that the process of organising and paying for large business gas supply is streamlined and simple will mean that the person in charge of the utilities will have an easier time of it. As ... Read more →

    Creative Ways to Tackle Debt

    by  • March 28, 2013 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Many adults find themselves swimming in credit card debt, car debt, house debt and other types of debt. This can be very stressful and you might feel like you’re walking through every day with a gorilla on your back. Whether you’re dealing with unsecured or secured debt, eliminating it from your life will make a ... Read more →