Archive for the ‘Finance Help’ Category

Basics of Personal Finance and Budgeting

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Nick Daly said:

If you are tired of having no money, even just after you have just been paid, then it might be time for you to introduce a budget into your lifestyle. There is software that you can make use of to help you implicate this, but you will have to do some research and decide what the best personal finance software is for you to use for your situation. So what is the definition of personal finance you ask? Financial decisions as well as activities you make, including things like savings, insurance, budgeting, mortgages and just analyzing your financial situation and what you can do about it. This is where personal finance and budgeting comes to your rescue.

There are a few budget systems that you should look into, some of which include a credit card budget, shopping budget, household budget and vehicle insurance budget. Also, you have to look into making important lifestyle changes and getting your mortgage payment down. Once you have sorted out budgets for all of the above mentioned items, you need to take a close look at your lifestyle. First of all, do you have a gym membership that you pay monthly? If so, how often do you use it? If it’s less than twice a week, cancel your member and do some exercise at home if you must.

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Planning for your near future can start any time, so if you want to start saving now, it is not too late. There are programs online that offer worksheets for you to make use of when you are busy with your personal finance budgeting. These worksheets really help the situation and make the task easier, making it more enjoyable to do what you keep putting off. Even if it is a time consuming task, it is something that has to be done so whether you do it now or in a month’s time, rather get it over and done with so you can save money, live better and begin your new budgeted life.

The next thing you have to tackle would be your credit card. If you have one, which you probably do, you need to get rid of the debt on it. For the next few months, pay double your installment if possible, just to get it out the way. Once you have fully paid off the card, cut it up into small pieces and toss it, you do not need a credit card! Credit card debt is depressing, and the worst thing about it is that you are always tempted to use it because whatever you are buying you don’t have to pay for now and this is what makes a credit card so dangerous and unnecessary.

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Personal finance and budgeting isn’t that difficult to get your head around, especially if you have some help from one of the many programs available online. You will have it cracked in no time and once it is properly in place you will love the idea.

Actually I wrote a really good article you can read here about it.

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Personal Finance & Personal Investing Tips

Saturday, February 12th, 2011
James Leitz said: Once you have your personal finance house in order another area of finance, personal investing, looms as a challenge. How do you finance major goals like retirement? Personal investing is the answer, so here are some investing tips to help you avoid disaster.

Get your personal finance foundation on firm ground before rushing into personal investing in a big way. Poor credit and money management can force you into bankruptcy even if you have considerable assets. Scenario: You pay $1,000,000 for a house putting next to nothing down in 2006. The only real money you’ve saved has been in your 401k at work, which is 100% invested in stock funds and company stock. A few years later you lose your job as your employer falls upon bad times, the stock market falls like a rock, and your house is worth $700,000 if you’re lucky. Sound familiar?

If you can’t pay your bills you are technically insolvent. In the above case you go broke and end up with a lousy credit rating at the same time. The truth is that millions of Americans have invested in real estate they couldn’t afford and stocks investments they didn’t understand; and many paid dearly for their financial mistakes. Concentrate on personal finance first: your insurance needs, credit management, and a cash reserve to cover financial emergencies should be your first concern. The truth is that as long as you can stay current on your bills and you have an excellent credit rating, you’re still alive financially. Any weakness in the above personal finance areas makes you vulnerable to financial disaster.

Personal investing is the area of finance that puzzles many people, even some who are well off financially. After all, most folks work for a living and have no financial education, especially in the investment and investing arena. Stocks and bonds are not that difficult to understand, but without any financial education or background, they may as well be a foreign language. The best investment tip I can give an inexperienced or new investor is to start investing with mutual funds. These funds were designed for the investing public. They offer diversification and professional management at a reasonable cost. You can invest large or smaller amounts and have access to your money on any business day.

Now for some mutual fund investing tips. Different funds have different financial objectives, risks, and cost structures. Get your feet wet with the safest funds, money market funds. They pay interest in the form of dividends, their share price does not fluctuate, and the cost of investing is usually low. If you need some or all of your money back there is little chance of taking a loss. Once you have some money accumulated there start small in stock funds if you are younger, and bond funds if you are closer to or in retirement. Bond funds pay higher income in the form of dividends with moderate investment risk, while stock funds feature higher profit potential along with higher risk.

Mutual funds do the investment management for you. Your job is to pick the fund(s) that have the same financial objective(s) you do. The best funds in terms of the cost of investing are called no-load funds. They have no sales charges or commissions, and your total cost to invest can be less than 1% a year. If you’re ready to get into personal investing, look no further than mutual funds… the new investor’s best friend in my opinion.

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How to Use the Personal Finance More Is Less Rule

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
Personal finance is fond of rules. It’s a lot easier to coin a rule that sounds like it would work in most situations than it is to actually go through all the different financial products and explain how one would best use them depending on the situation.Not only is it difficult to write – and impossible to write exhaustively – it is also boring for the reader and that is simply inexcusable especially in the personal finance world where there is a distinct lack of the sex and drugs and rock and roll that would otherwise paper the cracks caused by bad writing.

Having said all that, though, let me now propose a personal finance rule that might just actually work: it’s called the more is less rule.

The principle says that the more you compare credit cards the less you’ll end up ultimately paying out to your credit card provider.

What’s more it says that the more you compare current accounts the less you’ll end up going into your overdraft and shelling out hundreds of pounds for the privilege.

Why does it work? For a number or reasons but, for fun, let’s just pick three.

First, looking more allows you to find the best deal. It’s as simple as that.

You’re likely to find what someone else wants to tell you is the best deal on the first go. That’s easy. People make a living from telling you that.

Look further, though, and you’ll notice that you and your finances don’t fit some perfect consumer model. You’re unique and you need something that suits you: the money you have as well as the way that you spend and save.

Second, the act of looking is important in itself. It ensures not only that you’re getting more or less the right product but that you understand what you’re getting into which is much more important.

At some point when doing this research you’ll realize why you need to borrow the money or what you really use your current account for. Most other people won’t know that.

Third, and finally, good things take time and work. Personal finances once worked out and automated needn’t take up much of your time but they should take up some.

More doesn’t have to mean a lot but it should mean some.

The more is less rule even applies when you compare savings accounts since these can come with battery of fees or offers that expire and leave you with less money in interest than you could have had.

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The Roth IRA: A Great Personal Finance Decision for Everyone

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Rachel F Paiste asked:

In a first career, but clueless as to how to invest and save for the future? Laid off, but still concerned about that nest egg? Simply looking to save beyond the 401k that is offered through your workplace? No matter what your age or financial situation you can benefit greatly from a Roth IRA.

A Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is a simple account that allows you to save for retirement. Whether you are opening the account on top of other retirement investing plans or opening it as a freelancer or unemployed adult, the program allows you to put away between 5,000 and 6,000 untaxed dollars per year. Speak to your investment advisor about what your personal maximum is and how you can meet it.

Generally, Roth IRAs consist of slow-growing mutual funds. For most middle-class Americans, the decision to put money into a Roth IRA is an easy one, but some high earners are ineligible for the plans. If you are unsure of your eligibility, speak to your retirement financial planner about the IRA as well as other possible options. If you have a good financial advisor in your neighborhood, they can help you convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA due to a glitch in the law’s wording, which can help you to maximize your retirement funds.

Recently there has been some concern about the government ending the tax-free IRAs due to the financial crisis, but at least now, the chatter seems unjustified. There are many other sources of revenue the government would tax first.

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Help in Writing a Mortgage Modification Hardship Letter

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
Just because your lender is demanding money from you, does not mean that your lender wants to see you fail. Learn to write a mortgage modification hardship letter in order to succeed in writing this very important part of your home loan modification application.Some homeowners know that a hardship letter is a required part of the modification application process but they do not understand its importance and neglect to write one. In fact, this letter is equal in importance to the application itself. The letter accelerates the application process and can even be the single deciding factor. Do not underestimate the influence of the home loan modification hardship letter. As this letter is so difficult and confusing for homeowners, I have written this mortgage modification hardship letter tutorial that will help everyone write this letter.

Do not think of this letter as a way to let your lender know how angry or dissatisfied you are with you lender. A hardship letter is meant to explain why you are having a hard time paying your monthly mortgage payments and convince the lender that you must have a loan modification. Lenders will accept a variety of reasons for troubled circumstances:

* An increase in interest rates

* A death in the family

* A failed business

* Divorce

* Illness and medical bills

* Job loss or reduced income

* A demotion

Lenders know that life is not always predictable and that things happen that cannot be controlled, but they need to know your story or they will not approve your application for a modification. However, don’t forget that lying on the application is not going to help you, only further hinder your chances for help.

If you are reading this article, you probably already know a bit about mortgage modification and have done some research. Most articles will not address the issue of your financial future, but it is very important that you consider this topic. You financial future will largely determine if your application will be granted.

Lenders do lose money when they approve a modification so they need to know that when they lower your rate, they are going to benefit in the long run. You might not have much to offer right now, but try to write about possible future opportunities that could improve your financial future. This could include a raise, a job, a business on the side, a new roommate…. There are lots of ways to show your lender you are committed to making more money in the future. Include this in your letter.

Overall, make sure your hardship letter outlines why you have defaulted on your payments, write about any circumstances that are unique to your situation and request an interest rate that will help you. Include the rational for requesting this rate and how you plan to pay your new payments. If you remember these points, you can write a convincing letter.

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