Eight Things You Should Really Be Budgeting For But Probably Aren’t.

No one hears the word ‘budget’ and gets excited. It’s the total opposite. People hear that they should be budgeting and immediately, they shut down, feeling defensive that they should have to stop spending on things that they want and start being responsible.

Here’s a little secret: no one wants to spend their money on the bills and the serious things, but adulthood includes budgeting and spending money on smart decisions. Of course, there’s always room to spend a little cash on yourself – life wouldn’t be exciting without that little surplus for fun things to buy.

However, if you really want to know why you don’t have as much cash as your calculator says that you should, you’ve got to start creating a budget. You don’t necessarily need one of the very many budgeting apps on the market, but you do need to consider taking out a pen and notepad and writing things down.

There is a catch, though. You could be carefully penning all the regular expenses that you have each month, but there are some things that people just don’t budget for and that can be a problem! There are all the usual things that you should be budgeting for every month and keeping track of, but then there are these eight things that you mustn’t forget to account for:

woman writing

Image Source

Home Improvements. If you’re a homeowner, you are the person in charge of repairs and replacements in your home. If the boiler breaks down, there’s no landlord to call and talk to about a replacement, it’s on you to replace it. The last thing that you need to worry about is not having enough budgeted and put by for it, so you should be putting a piece of your monthly salary to one side to account for repairs. Keeping your house in good order is going to keep your family safe. The water heaters, the boiler and the roof are all important things you should be budgeting for where repairs are concerned.

Life Insurance. Whether you are planning a family, or you already have one, you need to think about life insurance for yourselves. At any time, you could find yourself in a situation where your partner will need to collect yours or vice versa after death. Using companies like Blumenshine Law Group can help you if there are problems. It’s something you should budget for, because then you don’t have to worry about how the rest of your family will manage should something happen to you.

wedding

Wedding. It doesn’t matter whether you are planning your own wedding, or you are about to be a guest of one – or several – you need a budget. If it’s your wedding, you’re going to need to consider the costs overall of your own big day. If you are a guest, you need to think about travel, accommodation, outfits, gifts – it all adds up when you’re attending weddings for a lot of friends or family members. It’s not something to miss out on.

Pet Insurance. Your furry friends that live with you aren’t always easy to live with, particularly when they get themselves into bother or find themselves sick with a cancer. You need to be able to afford the vets bills and pet insurance so that you’re not spending every penny you have on them when the time comes. Always be ready for the regular vaccinations, food and litter expenses; these happen more than once a year.

Clothes. Believe it or not, most people don’t factor in new clothes into their regular budgets. Trends change, and whether you are thinking about work clothes or your regular outfits, they will wear out over time. Even if you hate shopping for clothes, there will be times where you will have to spend out and buy new ones. You will need to have professional clothing for work, so make sure that you are budgeting for repairs – including shoe repairs when you inevitably break a heel.

car

Car Repairs. If you have a vehicle on the road, you’re going to have car insurance, which is easy to factor into your budget. That with fuel are easy things to anticipate. However, you can’t always predict when the brake pads are going to go, or the gearbox is going to start making that crunching noise. When you put repairs into your budget, you are expecting the unexpected. Set aside some of your salary every month to cover repairs, which will help when they do crop up, because then you don’t have to scramble to find the cash.

Personal Care. How often do you realise it’s been six months since your last salon appointment? Yeah, it happens to everyone. Start putting a haircut fund into your budget; it doesn’t have to be much, but it does have to cover your own personal care when you need it. This can be anything from accessories to your hair care regime and beauty regime. Remember to take care of yourself with your own earnings – it’s surprising how many don’t!

Memberships. The gym, the local social club, annual passes; these memberships are great, and you need to consider how much you pay each month or quarter and make sure that you pop the money on your budget. They quickly add up when you put them all together but check what you’re paying for. If there are any in there that you don’t want to pay for anymore, then drop them. Think about taking them off your budget and saving the money instead for other things.

fun

Fun. Lastly, the one thing you really should factor into your budget is some fun. You need to know it’s not all about bills and payments in life. Take some of your budget just for you to go a little silly – it’ll keep you alive.

To Sum Up

Budgeting is for everyone, you just have to find out what works for you and go from there. It’s the best way to keep track of your cash and stay money smart.

 

What Resources Do You Need In Your Financial Life?

When you’re someone that’s incredibly conscious about your finances, it’s going to be important to you that you can keep on track. Whether you’re someone that is prioritizing your finances in life, or you even have a financial business that you’re working on, or you’re in a financial career, you may benefit from some key resources to help you. When you’re trying to improve your processes, you may want to be able to come up with the best financial goals or approaches to help you to do this. Maybe you want to help yourself get your personal finances in order? Or maybe you want to make your career or business life easier and more effective? Either way, take a look at some key resources that can help you here.

#1 Organizational Tools

paperwork and pc

So first of all, we have the tools that you have available to you to help you keep as organized as possible. When you’re first starting out with organizing your personal finances in particular, you’re going to want to turn to the right tools to simplify things for you. Here, spreadsheets with a great tracking system, or even budgeting apps, can really help you. So make sure that you’re looking for the tools that help you to keep your finances organized.

#2 A Driven Mindset

But sometimes, the resources you need aren’t always going to be physical tools. Sometimes, they can actually be a mindset thing. Being driven and committed can help you here. Like when you want to buy a house, if you’re going to reach your goals, you need to be dedicated in order to do this. Because if you’re someone that gives up easily, or that gets overwhelmed by things taking a long time, you won’t be able to make this happen.

#3 Specialist Software

software

So when it comes to your financial business or career more specifically, you may find that the right software will make things easier for you to manage. When you have specialist software or platforms, such as an automated trading platform, you can ensure that you’re being efficient and effective. So think about what programs in particular can benefit you here.

#4 A Vision Board

Then, you may find that a vision board is going to help you. When you’re able to see what you want, or when you can actually picture what you’re working for or working on, it’s a great motivator. Even for work, you may find that having a vision board, or just jotting down ideas before you start a project, is going to help you to organize all of the financial aspects that keep you on track.

#5 Support

financial support

Finally, you may also find that you just need some support too. Because when you’re trying to keep your financial life on track, or you’re working on a financial business, you can get yourself stressed out from time to time. Whether finances come naturally or not, things can be intense. So it’s handy to have some support. Here, you could think about the work support you need to get more done, like outsourced services or an assistant. But also, the support you need from friends or your partner so that you can switch off too.

 

So You Want To Buy A House? Here’s What You Need

If you’re someone that aims to buy a house, then you’re not alone. Because wanting to own your home is a huge and very normal part of life. But it’s also probably the biggest expense that you’re ever going to look at. Not only for the money that you put into the house in the beginning, but also the overall cost that you end up paying with your mortgage. So it’s handy to really know what it takes to make this happen. So let’s consider some of the things you need to do it.

Save For The Downpayment

downpayment

So first of all, you’re going to want to get your downpayment together. While this can vary, as you can see from the infographic below, this could be around 3.5% of the property value. So come up with a savings plan and get your money together for this.

Work On Your Credit Score

Next up, you’re then going to want to make sure that your credit score is a great as it can be. Because this is going to impact on the rate that you can get. If it’s going to take you a while to get the money together, you can work on your credit in the meantime.

Look For Lenders

money

And then, you just need to find the lender that you like. Make sure that you consider all of the loan terms that are available to you. As you will want to make sure that you can get the best rate and terms.

For more information, check out the infographic below.


Infographic Design By how to get a FHA mortgage

 

The Best Way to Invest in Yourself

Deciding how to spend (or save) your money can take some careful thought. When you’re thinking about the best ways to invest your money for the future, you probably focus on growing your savings and having valuable assets. Spending money on yourself can seem unnecessary and might even feel guilty. But investing in yourself is one of the best ways to improve your future and your finances. If you spend your money wisely, you can make yourself a more valuable employee or get the skills you need to run a business. Take a look at the advice below to find out how to invest in yourself wisely.

#1 Build on Your Education and Grow Your Skills

books in a library

Investing in your education is one of the best ways that you can spend money on yourself and your future. It doesn’t have to mean spending thousands on college, although getting a degree or diploma can be a great way to boost your income potential. There are other ways to learn and grow your skills, even without spending any money. There are plenty of online courses to help you make sure you have the most in-demand skills. For example, the Udemy Python course is one of the most popular. Learning online helps you to keep your costs down and even access free courses.

#2 Invest in Your Hobbies

a man playing golf

What do you enjoy doing? You can feel guilty about spending money on the things that you like to do in your spare time. However, there are benefits to investing in your hobbies and building skills in these areas too. You never know where a hobby can take you and how it could change your thinking. It might teach you creative problem-solving skills that you can apply at work. You might turn your hobby into a business, or perhaps it could lead to you making some valuable connections that help you in your career.

#3 Spend Money on Traveling

travelling

Another great way to invest in yourself is to spend money on traveling. Seeing the world helps to expand your horizons, can help you to learn new things, and might mean you make some useful connections too. Some people end up thinking of business ideas when they’re on their travels, finding someone who wants to employ them, or even discovering a new career path that they want to take. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on traveling, but it can benefit you in many ways.

#4 Invest in Financial Education

Spending money on learning how to manage your money could benefit you for a lifetime. With the skills and knowledge you need to make smart decisions about spending, saving and investing, you can secure your financial future. There are lots of ways to learn more about how to handle your finances, from taking a course to hiring a financial advisor and learning from the advice that they give you.

NB! Spending money on yourself doesn’t have to make you feel guilty. In fact, it’s one of the best things that you can do with your money.

Making Money Without Having a Job

There are many ways to make money, today, and whilst once upon a time we were dependent on a standard job, working 9-5, thanks to the internet and modern technology in addition to a shift in the way we perceive work, more and more people are working remotely and/or on a freelance basis with a preference toward side hustles, entrepreneurship and passive income over the daily grind of working a standard 9-5 job.

The remote working lifestyle has many advantages, yet one of the challenges can be coming up with ways to make money in the first place.

Here are six ways to make money without having a conventional job.

1. SET UP A BLOG

The great thing with starting a blog is that it costs very little money to get into, and in terms of the technology powering the blog most things today are as simple as “drag and drop”.  That said, just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you are going to make money – it’s all about how you leverage the blog as a platform to generate cash.

Think about it this way, the thing that makes a blog an asset are not the words written on the page or the fancy memes – it’s the visitor engagement – and this is essentially what you are selling when it comes to making money from your blog.  For instance, advertisers are not paying you because you have a blog, they are paying to be seen by your blog’s visitors.

One of the best ways to make money from a blog is to engage in something known as affiliate marketing, this is where you essentially recommend a product to your readers and in return, the person or company that gets a sale as a result of your recommendation compensates you with a referral commission.  

Sometimes this can be for less than $1 if the item you are recommending is of reasonably low value, such as a book on Amazon, whereas if you were promoting a luxury holiday or expensive event, then the commission you receive can be for several hundred dollars.  The best thing about this, is you’re not actively using up your time in order to make this money, it’s not like you are having to go out and trying to sell people on something – you’re simply making a recommendation, providing a link, and if a person clicks that link and goes on to buy the product, then you make a referral commission.

The other thing you can do, to make more money, is to create an online course that you can sell on your blog – this way, once the course is created (which might take several days or weeks) you have an asset you can leverage multiple times.  Let’s say you sell your course for $100, and each week, you sell 5 courses, minus the payment provider fee of 5% you are making 95% profit on this, which would be $475 a week – in passive income.

2. PROPERTY INVESTING

If you’re interested in retiring early, then property investing is one of the most viable ways to achieve this goal.  Whether you buy a new property in some faraway land or a do-upper just down the street, there’s vast potential to make money by investing in property; particularly if you rent it out, meaning you get rental income in the short term and capital appreciation in the long term.

The challenge, however, with property investing is that unlike setting up a blog that requires very little in the way of capital investment, properties are expensive and you kind of need money to make money – so whilst this is perhaps one of the most lucrative and stable opportunities that does lead to financial freedom for many people, it’s not necessarily accessible for everyone.

3. WORK AS A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

This is similar to having a job, yet it is a lot more flexible and autonomous as you get to set your own hours and choose who you work with.  The majority of VA’s can be found in countries such as India and the Philippines, meaning you will be competing with people that are able to charge a lot less than you may be accustomed to, as the cost of living in the local area is much less.

That said, the benefit of being local in the sense of natively speaking the language of an employer and understanding cultural references and expectations holds a lot of value, and therefore you might be able to charge a premium for your service.  

This is particularly pertinent in consideration of the fact most people looking for a VA reside in the UK, US or Australia.

4. SELL T-SHIRTS

This is a growing trend within e-commerce, and can be an incredibly easy way to make a decent income… but most important the income is generated passively as you can set up automated systems to process everything – meaning it can run on autopilot rather than requiring you to put loads of time into it each day.

How it works is that that sign up to a site such as TeeSpring which is free, then you use their simple design interface to create the design of a t-shirt, then you set a sales goal and a sales price which will determine how much the company pays you per shirt.

From here, you go out and advertise (e.g. Facebook Ads) in order to get people to buy the shirt, and presuming you reach your sales goal, the shirt will be printed and distributed by the company – who will then pay you a handsome reward as the creator.

5. GET PAID FOR YOUR EXPERTISE

If you have a high level of knowledge about a specific topic then you can charge for this expertise in the form of consultancy.  The tricky bit, of course, is finding people to pay for your knowledge and expertise – which is where platforms such as JustAnswer come in to play.

The general format for these websites is that a question will be posed to an expert, and you provide the answer.  If the person asking the question approves the answer, then the website will pay you for the answer (having taken out a cut for their fees).  In financial terms, you could be making $10 – $20 per accepted answer, which can definitely mount up, particularly if you’re expertise is in a popular subject area.

6. BE PAID TO WRITE

There are a huge number of opportunities for people that can write today, due to the explosion of content marketing and blogs many people are making a decent living working as a freelance writer.  Now, there’s a large difference between a writer in the context of an author that writes books, and the type of writing we’re talking about here, as the writing that pays tends to be purpose-driven in the sense that it could be ad copy for example, though the majority of writing gigs tend to pertain to blog articles.

The trick, if you’re looking to make a decent income from writing is to arrange a plethora of opportunities rather than rely solely on one particular revenue stream – and perhaps to mix things up a little, as writing can get a bit mundane, particularly if you’re tasked with the same genre of projects each day, therefore you could work within different niches so there’s a topical difference or perhaps do some blog writing in addition to advertising copy, just to keep things interesting.

The 7 Best Investing and Business Books Out There

So you would like to make an investment into something, but don’t know where to start.  Or perhaps you already have made one or few, but need some help to better understand the world of investing to earn better returns for yourself?

Investing and business books are a great way to solve this problem. They can help you in the way you think about business, investing, and became more and more successful. How?

Knowledge is everything! By reading some of this books, you can learn so much and after that, you can act in a way that some of the authors have written about.

So here are some of the best-investing books that I am sure will help you by reading them and after that making money. Isn’t that great?

1. “Think and grow rich” – Napoleon Hill

book cover

This book has sold more than 20 million copies and is, in fact, a mix from some wonderful thoughts from very successful men in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

It teaches you how to think, how to perceive the business world and how to make abundant wealth.

It also contains many inspirational and educational thoughts and anecdotes from a man like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and many more.

All I can say to you about this book is: you can become what you desire. You will need perseverance, hard work, and a proper mindset.
But, in the end, if you have all those things I bet you will succeed.

2. “The Millionaire next door” – Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. William D. Danko, Ph.D.

book cover

Interesting title, isn’t it? Here you can read about financial habits of some millionaires. Also, the fact that some people can look just like ordinary people, but are indeed millionaires or even billionaires.

In the past, the men of wealth were known, they had family background, wealth, power. The 21st century changed it all.

Everyone has the potential of becoming a successful and wealthy person.
This book is worth reading, because it inspires by presenting you the millionaires of today, which could very well be ordinary, not well dressed, don’t have the family backgrounds, don’t spend a lot of money on style and image etc.

Imagine that your neighbor has a millionaire living next to him and that is you. How amazing would that be?

3. “The 4-hour work week” – Timothy Ferris

ferriss book

You will enjoy reading this book – it’s funny, it’s talkative. The title tells a lot. It’s about a group of people who spent, believe it or not, only 4 a week hours to make money.

Imagine that you have so much free time to make things that you love, things that fulfill you and yet, making wealth more and more. This is the book that explains how to do it.

If you want to have so much free time, way less stress in your life and so on.
Give this wonderful book a shot, and I promise it will make it worth your time while making you laugh while reading.

4. “Rich dad, poor dad” – Robert Kiyosaki

rich dad poor dad

Are you maybe that one person that always works hard, but never earn enough? This is the right book for you. Also, if you are a young investor, I think this book is a must-read for you.

Rich dad, poor dad is a book that describes how to achieve financial independence. It counters the idea that if you go to school, get high grades and a good job you will have the good job that allows you your financial independence. This is very important because the system is set in such a way that by finishing your college you will be in so much financial depth, that it will take you a lot of time to come even close to zero.

It is a great inspirational book about the way you think for yourself as the best and how, in a different way you can have a look at both – money and business.

5. “The Intelligent Investor” – Benjamin Graham

graham's book

The best investing book ever, and I’m not the one who says it!
Written by Benjamin Graham, one of the best investors in the 20th century and mentor of Warren Buffet.

The book is driven by its 3 principles of investing:
1. Intelligent investing – where you will get the idea how to invest, where to invest, never to chase fast and crazy profits and always to pay more attention to the company history and long-term evolution.

2. Never trust Mr. Market – describes how you should focus on doing your own research on the market and not paying so much attention to the current stocks or ups and downs.

3. Always stick to a strict formula – set a fixed budget you’re going to invest every month, and then invest that into the stocks you’ve previously picked – no matter the price.

Read this book and it will lead you to your investing success.
And keep in mind Graham’s words “Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

6. “The richest man in Babylon” – George S. Clason

good book

Always work hard! This book teaches you how to separate your needs from your desires, at least in the way of expenditure. And the main idea of the book: Always save at least 10% of your income.

You have few simple rules of making money, that in my opinion will help you a lot. Appreciate the value of the money, be curious and never doubt to ask a good, close friend about advice – you will be like one of the richest men in Babylon.

7. “Secrets of the Millionaire mind” – T. Harv Eker

cover of a book

In only 2 and a half years, Eker moved from nothing to a millionaire.
In this book, the author tells you how to identify and revise your money blueprint in order to increase your income greatly and accumulate wealth.

Everything you know about money, in general, has been thought to you since your existence. It has been programmed in your brain and psych and in this book you are thought the 3 key money blueprint programming sources as well as how to reprogram it in order for you to make a great financial success.

You should really read this book, it will turn your world around. It will change your mindset in a way that you wouldn’t imagine and will make you a lot of money.

In the end, I would like to wish you the very best in whatever you do. And never forget: knowledge + hard work + positive thoughts = success for sure.

Invest Yourself to $100,000 in 7 Steps

Who doesn’t want to reach a $100,000 in their investment portfolio.  Me and Alex managed to reach 100K within 2.5 years, although it is still quite far from our goal of retiring early, for which we need $800,000.

Despite that, 100K is still a very good milestone. If you can reach that, you’ll be sure to reach whatever you desire. The hardest part is the beginning. You can start small but remember every dollar and every cent counts towards that achievable first $100,000.

There has always been economic uncertainty which have put our financial security at risk but that should not stop you from getting closer to your financial goals.

You can move forward to your goal through careful planning and budgeting. Keeping your personal financial situation problem free also helps.

We can keep your personal finance in pace with your financial goals by predicting the unpredictable like unwanted price rises or unexpected bills and keeping them under strict control. So that getting towards that first $100,000 becomes easy and the next one easier and the next one easiest.

7 Steps Towards $100,000

1. Have the right attitude

a cup

Now that you have made up your mind set to save $100,000 every small step of financial sacrifice counts. You should achieve that by avoiding excess luxury and taking that hard way home like availing public transport rather than leasing out or out rightly buying that expensive car. You have made up your mind to achieve a long term financial goal, so you should put every effort big and small towards achieving it, for that keeping the right attitude always helps.

2. Stick to your financial goals

paperwork and pc

It is always hard to give up something presently for a distant future. The temptations to break your financial goals towards that first $100,000 will be great. So, you need to stay motivated for the long run. This means you should create small achievable financial goals like weekly savings target to achieve the monthly ones and the yearly ones. That steady savings will add up to quite a good amount. You can also invest in money market deposits or treasury bills for the short term to save up towards that goal of $100,000.

3.Reduce your taxable income

It is very likely that you are employed in some way or the other and in that case you should go for such a scheme that reduces your taxable income. You can sign up for a 401(K) savings plan. Since these are tax free, you reduce your taxable income. You can also sign up for an IRA or an Individual Retirement Account which also reduces your taxable income and saves money.

4.Clear all expensive debts

budgeting

Clearing or reducing your debts is an essential step towards achieving your dream because you are on a long term savings plan. In case of credit card debt, you should try to get rid of it as soon as possible or start reducing your interest rate burden. You should also need to avoid the additional temptations of buying unessential items like a second television or a double door refrigerator.

5.Maintain a budget

You should always maintain a budget, to see where your hard earned money is going. It is also important to do so because you need to create a plan on how much to save daily, weekly, monthly and yearly towards your $100,000 savings goal. You can achieve this by focusing on meeting the essential requirements of everyday life and cutting down on those costly habits like liquor or extra shopping. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy yourself now and then but those occasions should be countable and within your means and budgets. Whatever you do you cannot over spend and not maintain a budget if you like to see that $100,000 in your bank.

6.Increase your streams of income

money

Taking up a second or third job always helps if you are young, healthy and strong. Even if you are not so, you should always look towards finding new sources of generating income. For example if you are a professional accountant by day, you can start teaching accounting to students for a couple of hours during the evening. You can also learn a new skill that will increase your likelihood of a second job. The extra you make will help you get to that goal of saving $100,000 more quickly.

7.Cut down on your expenditures

a woman with shopping bags

You need to cut down your costs and it is achievable if you are motivated and willing to take that hard road. You can always buy your groceries at a cheaper price if you buy in bulk for the whole month. You can cut down on unnecessary costs like gym membership if you can walk or cycle to work back and forth every day. You can save on home expenditure by buying recycled products. You can choose to have home cooked meals rather than visiting expensive places to eat alone or without any occasion.

You should always remember that no matter what you do to cut down expenditure, there always will be some reason in your head or some temptations to miss that weekly savings goal. In that case you should remember that week’s add up to months and months to years. So your every little sacrifice counts towards that goal of saving $100,000.

If you think you will be living a frugal life because of that, you are certainly wrong. What will happen is you will live a more healthy and prosperous life because you will be cutting down on unhealthy habits to save and you will be happy in the long run as you feel better because of your successful decisions.

This does not mean you will not face setbacks like missing a savings deadline or incurring unexpected costs but if you can jump right back and make that extra effort to save more, you will be the winner at the end of the day.

To Summarize..

Saving money is always a good habit and the sooner one gets to it is the better in the long term, although you will face new challenges and uncertain economic conditions and personal financial drawbacks. But what is most important is not to lose that motivation towards achieving that goal of $100,000 in savings.

How Much Does it Actually Cost to Own a Car?

Owning a car has become almost a necessity in the modern world. Especially when you live outside of major cities.

Cars have become such a common part of our lives, that families often have more than one per household. In a normal family, one parent may be working, another doing the school run and two cars are necessary.

Whilst the convenience of owning a car is undeniable, the true cost of owning a car might surprise you.

Costs associated with owning a car

in the salon of an audi

The initial cost of purchasing a car is high by itself. Once the car is purchased, the first thing to consider is car insurance. It’s important to get this organised as soon as you purchase the car. Accidents have been known on the way out of the car dealership.

Then there is the cost of taxing your car. This needs to be done quickly too, which means spending a lot of money in a short span of time. Obviously, you need to have a licence, it may sound obvious, but it has to be paid for.

So, you’ve got the car, it’s taxed and insured. Now you need to run it. Petrol or diesel has increased over the last decades, but it’s an essential cost of running a car. The car then needs to be serviced regularly and washed, and all this can add up. Cars get burst tyres and broken windscreen wipers.

All these costs add up and you will need to have your car in a roadworthy condition to stay safe and to ensure you can get an MOT certificate. If you leave problems to escalate, they can end up costing much more in the long-term than if you had fixed them sooner.

If you have multiple cars in your household these costs can escalate. A larger car will be more expensive to run, as in general they consume more fuel. Different brands of cars can be more expensive if they have powerful engines, or the parts are pricey and have to be imported.

How to minimise your expenditure

The initial outlay for a new car can be hefty. One option is to buy a second-hand car, as brand new cars depreciate in value dramatically. However, if you don’t have the capital to purchase a car outright, one option is to use personal finance.

You can take out a loan from a car financing company and pay the car off in instalments. Bear in mind, that although this is a more practical option to owning a car and having it quickly, you will end up paying far more ultimately due to interest charges. So, if you are considering personal finance, do some research and see what the best deal is.

Insurance should also be carefully researched too. Use a car insurance comparison site to find the best deal for your circumstances. If you are a high-risk driver, there are specialist sites that can accommodate those needs.

youngsters in a car

If you need insurance for a younger person who is a high risk according to many insurance firms, shop around, and consider adding them to a family insurance policy as this might reduce total costs.

Many supermarkets offer cheaper fuel, so it is worth shopping around until you find a garage that does the best deals on fuel. This can reduce costs significantly, especially if the car does a lot of mileage.

If you are in an area which is served by public transport, it is worth considering taking some of your trips using public transport. These costs can be significantly less than the cost of owning a car. In other words, if you don’t have to drive, don’t. it will save you money in the long run.

Also, when you are driving, be conscious of how much fuel you are consuming. Rapid acceleration and deceleration uses more fuel. If you can maintain a steady speed and make use of higher gears on a manual model, you can save money on fuel costs. Also, you can wash the car yourself rather than pay to have it cleaned by a valet. Get the children involved, they can earn their pocket money with a weekly car wash.

Other options

traffic

There is also the option of car share or car pool schemes. Many websites exist which put people together who are leaving and ending up in the same place. Take advantage of these schemes if you can, it helps save costs and improve the environment. This can be particularly easy if you have children who live nearby and go to the same school as your children, or if your co-workers live in your area.

If you want to be extra environmentally friendly, you can consider an electric car or a dual fuel car. There are subsidies available in some areas as an incentive to buy these cars. More and more places have recharging points, so it can be a practical way of maintaining a car, and the maintenance costs are much less. As the environment is such a major issue for many people, these cars may become more common as time goes on and there will be more charging points available.

So, there are massive costs associated with the luxury of owning a car. Add into that the cost of parking your car and it really adds up. Hopefully, there won’t be too many parking tickets or fines, but they need to be budgeted for when they arise.

old car

Cars also depreciate in value quite fast unless they are collectors’ items or high-performance cars in good condition. So, don’t bank on being able to sell your car for what you bought it for, or even close to that figure. There are guides, such as the Blue Book which can keep you up to speed with what price you can hope to get for a car of the model and age of your car.

In fact, for the year 2017, it was estimated that if you drove your car for 15,000 it would cost an American $8,469 per year to run a car. That’s over $700 a month. When you see it in black and white like that, the bus and train seem a lot more appealing.

Financial Tips for People That are Broke

This is a guest post by Mike Piper from the Oblivious Investor.  Mike packs a wealth of knowledge so I am sure you’ll enjoy his article. 

Nobody anticipates being financially broke at any point in life. Unfortunately, our financial habits might lead us into this situation without our knowledge. This can be disastrous on many levels: it could lead to serious debt problems, loss of housing, debt collections, and even filing for bankruptcy.

However, running into financial problems is not the end of life. There is room for one to do a lifestyle appraisal and financial audit regarding their expenditure, savings and above all budgeting.

This article is a run-through about the do’s and don’ts of budgeting when you’re in a bad place financially.

Do a lifestyle audit

1. Revisit your entertainment habits

musicians playing

If you are already broke then it means that you can’t continue living the way you used to. It is imperative that you let go some costly habits. Entertainment is one of those.

This may mean cutting back on habitual drinking with buddies, going out for movies, going for ball games, etc. It is utterly impossible to start a budgeting program while financially broke and continue to spend money on entertainment.

You may limit entertainment to those things that don’t cost you anything, for example watching a game with friends or family at home.

2. Cut back on all your expenses

For a successful budgeting journey, you have to get to the point of running through your expenditure habits. Does your budget reflect on things that you really need at the moment? If it doesn’t then strike out the expenditures that you can do without.

3. Seek ways of reducing your utility bills

numbers and a calculator

Monitor your utility bills and seek ways of reducing them. For instance, if you feel that you can cut back on the frequency of doing laundry, please do. If you can be switching off lights when you leave the room, please do.

4. Cut back on travel

Some people who love doing road trips do not realize how much of a toll it puts on gas expenditure. Even if you end up budgeting on travel, most road trips, for example, end up incurring a higher cost on gas than budgeted. Therefore, cut back on road trips or any form of travel you are currently involved in.

5. Pay attention your credit limit

Be honest with your credit habits. Monitor your credit balance and observe payment due dates. In a matter of fact, if you are in the habit of journaling begin to write on the side of a weekly or monthly sheet payment due dates. Improvise ways of getting alert notifications on due dates.

6. Prioritize your life goals

It is of utter importance to learn how to prioritize on life goals. Most big budget allocations are usually directed to where priorities are high. If you prioritize automobile, then most of your budgeting goes to acquiring cars that you don’t need. However, goals such as an education, or anything that might secure you a better job or job promotion should be prioritized by your budget.

7. Eat at home

dinner table with candles

It is understandable that eating outside is convenient, but at the same time it can be costly. To avoid spending more unnecessarily on restaurant food, learn to budget for groceries. Begin to cook and eat at home. It saves money in the long term.

Increase your income

1. Try to work smart not just hard

a woman at her desk

As people like to say, on’t work too hard,’ they are partly right. If you want to help your budgeting habit you work smart not just hard. For example, get a job that pays better to keep up with life’s demands. If one job can’t, then get a second job that is less tiring and leaves you room to rest. That way, you can keep up with important bills and develop a structured budgeting system. Without a stable income, it is hard to sustain a stable budget.

2. Look at your budget in light of income

When penning down a budget, look for ways that you could increase your income to cover for some aspect of the budget. It is no point trying to budget for items that leave you asking yourself, nd how I am going to pay for that?’

3. Track down paydays

Some people receive paychecks bi-weekly while others weekly. Keep track of paydays in a month to enable you to know when to take care of bills. At times when money comes in, it is tempting to spend on items that you hadn’t budgeted on.

Improve Your Credit habits

1. Avoid late fee payments

credit card

Since budgeting does go hand in hand with payment of bills, you cannot afford to make late fee payments. Late fee payments come with a late fee payment penalty. This penalty could range from $25 – $35 charges. These charges will definitely dent your budget significantly. This is because charges are a minus to your budget, they don’t add any value to your finances.

2. Make at least minimum payment per month

Add credit card minimum payment on your budget. It counts! Paying minimum balance on your credit card is better than not making any payment at all. Making that payment helps to reduce the bill each time you do. Let it be reflected on your monthly budget.

3. Make it a goal to clear your credit card bills

Whether financially broke or not, you do not anticipate to live on credit forever. There has to be a time when you will be credit-free! Rather, let your budgeting anticipate a release from credit bills. Pursue financial freedom no matter how long it will take. Eventually you will pay off your credit card bills and open a new page of your financial life.

Conclusions..

If you are going through a financial difficulty and are in low waters, realize that you can still keep a budget. A budget will help you order your life in crises so that you do not crush and sink financially.

Therefore, do a lifestyle audit and minimize on expenditures that you don’t need. Look for ways of increasing your income earnings. Watch your credit habits and project on being debt free someday. Lastly, save if you can, if not, it’s still okay. Be real to yourself!

The Financial Behaviors That Keep Us Poor

Our paycheck defines whether we’re rich or poor, right? In reality, true wealth comes less from a pay check and more from your behaviors.

Each financial decision you make or habit you sustain has an impact on your finances, and you’ll be surprised to discover all the financial behaviors that are keeping you poor.

#1 Spending More Than You Earn

a woman with shopping bags

One in five Americans spend more money than they earn. Are you one of them? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by bills and rent, but the extra spending usually comes from spur of the moment purchases, like fast food, when you decide what you want now is more important than your future financial stability.

#2 Not Building a Savings Account

When you get your paycheck you more than likely start right away on the bills and expenses. However, by paying yourself each month, simply 10% of your income, you can build up a sizeable nest egg in no time that will give you peace of mind for a rainy day.

#3 Being Too Generous

We all want to treat our friends and family every once in a while to make us look good. However, if you’re constantly paying for dinner or buying the next round, that debt is going to catch up to you. If you’re really in a pinch, allow others to pitch in instead of spending money you don’t have.

#4 Using Credit Cards Like Cash

a woman with a credit card

Credit is not free money. The average American has over $15,000 in credit card debt, and that’s just the average. By changing your mindset about credit cards and thinking of them more as a debit card that needs to be repaid, you can avoid racking up a total.

#5 Overdrawing From Your Account

The easiest and fastest way to lose money is through unnecessary fees. Over drafting is an automatic $35 fee of hard earned money. Always be aware of your account balance and never try to take out more money than you have.

#6 Not Planning Ahead

Most of us are on top of our monthly expenses. That’s what our monthly paychecks are for. However, other expenses come quarterly or annually that we need to be prepared for. By putting a little money away each month you won’t be caught surprised and empty handed when the payments are due.

#7 Ignoring Debts

When you’re broke, sometimes it’s nice just to curl up under a blanket and hide from those big red numbers. Unfortunately, all debt accumulates interest, and all interest is simply money down the drain. Ignoring debts doesn’t make them go away, it allows a bad situation to get worse.

#8 You Have No Emergency Fund

emergency fund

Emergencies happen, and they always come at the most inopportune moments. Put a few dollars away each month until you have a solid $1,000 set aside specifically for emergencies or unexpected expenses.

#9 Spending Too Much on Housing

Maybe it’s time to consider moving to a smaller place. To be financially responsible, you shouldn’t be spending more than a third of your paycheck on housing. If you’re spending more than that, you’re only setting yourself up for failure

#10 Not Making Adjustments

Maybe you have a routine where you buy donuts every Saturday, or you make large car payments because you’ve always had a nice car. However, when things aren’t working out financially it will take adjustments, such as getting a smaller car, going without donuts, or buying cheaper brands at the grocery store.

#11 You Don’t Budget

If you don’t know exactly where your money is going then you’re losing it. By creating a budget you can track your expenses and move any excess money to the areas of your finances that need it most, like debt.

#12 You Believe Wants are Needs

clothes hanging in a shop

Wants are not needs. Needs are food, clothing, and shelter. Wants are fast
food, high-end brands, and a big house. You can want those cupcakes all you want, but you don’t need them. If you can’t differentiate between wants and needs, you’re losing more money than you know.

#13 Lack of Money Management Skills

If you don’t know how to manage your money, you’re destined to spend more than you should. Research classes, workshops, or websites that will teach you skills and knowledge to manage your money in ways you’ve never considered before.

#14 You Settled for a Job

a man working

How many times have you complained about your paycheck? Have you ever asked for a raise? Have you ever looked for a different job, or considered getting training or education in a different field of work? Don’t get stuck unable to make ends meet. Try to increase your income any way you can.

#15 You Want to Get Rich Quick

Not going to happen. People waste thousands of dollars on Get Rich Quick schemes and they never come out on top. The key to wealth is a wise use of time, so stop throwing your hard earned money at sketchy opportunities.

#16 You Want It All

picture of a big house

People want everything too soon. However, once you’ve left your parents and are out on your own, you can’t realistically afford a nice car, a house, or expensive holidays in Hawaii. By saving your paychecks for large purchases one at a time, you’ll be able to achieve your goals in a more practical and financially responsible way.

#17 Not Investing Properly

Buying a fancy house or boat is not investing. Properly investing means putting your money toward yourself in things like your career, education, or savings. All of these will benefit you in the future.

#18 You’re Unwilling to Sacrifice

If you can’t sacrifice, you’ll never get on top of your finances. Going without or “making do” are essential to getting yourself financial security and to a point where you can afford more luxury in life.

..To Summarize

Feeling a little guilty? It’s not too late to make some changes. They say the best time to start something was a year ago, and the next best time is now. By living more responsibly and following some of these steps, you can be sure to have a more secure financial future.