Category Archives: Beauty

Auto Financing Tips

If you are looking to buy a new automobile no doubt you have already started doing your homework. Comparing vehicles and models, accessories and mileage and checking out an abundance of dealerships to see who has the best price for the exact vehicle you want to drive.

You need to do the same thing when it comes to getting financing for your new vehicle. Financing options abound, and everyone has a slightly different rate with slightly different terms. It is up to you, the consumer, to find the deal that is right for you.

The process of finding a financing option which is best for you can seem daunting but there are at least a few things you can do to make the process a lot less painful and lot more effective in the long run.

Dealer financing

In many cases the dealership will work to help you find an option that you can handle. Remember, they want to sell you a car, so it is in their best interest to help you buy it, but there is only so much they can do. The rest is usually up to you.

Start by comparing financing options available at institutions other than the one your dealer recommends. Don’t be afraid to search online, visit your bank, the neighborhood credit union or anyone who makes new auto loans. Everyone will have different interest rates, terms and options. The more options you have the better the deal you can secure for yourself.

Leasing might be better for you

You might also want to consider a leasing option rather than a straight purchase. With leasing you can often get a much lower monthly payment and also not have to worry about maintaining the car month after month because dealer provided maintenance is part of the agreement. Of course at the end of the least the car belongs to the dealer, not you, so be sure you understand how that will impact you in the long run if you decide to go with that option.

Your credit report

If you do decide to purchase you vehicle there are a few simple steps you can take to make certain you get the financing options that you need.

First, get a copy of your current credit score and credit report and start checking it for errors. It is not uncommon for credit reporting companies to use outdated or completely wrong information. It is up to you as the consumer to make certain the information in your credit report is accurate.

Every lender is going to use your credit report and credit score to determine whether or not to loan you money and what terms to offer you. Making certain this information is correct will go a long was to getting you the deal you need.

Compare lenders

Don’t just settle for the financing option offered by the dealer. Start comparing rates of as many lenders as you can. Visit your bank, local credit unions and even internet lending agencies. Collect a list of the top five deals offered then revisit them and start negotiating. Don’t be afraid to haggle for the best possible deal. Lenders, if they want your business, will be willing to fight for it and will adjust the terms of their loan to better suits your needs in order to get you to deal with them.

Don’t be late with your payments

Once you get the loan you want, make your payments on time and pay off the loan in full so you can further improve your credit and get an even better deal the next time you buy a new car.

Personal Finance Tips

Keeping your personal finance in order is not something that is an easy task. Personal finance disasters can sneak up on you. Sometimes an emergency expense can mess up your budget so badly that you have to take months to get things back in order.

To help prevent emergency expenses or other unexpected situations from blowing your personal finance out of order you need to develop something called an emergency fund. An emergency fund is basically a savings that is used only in case of emergencies.

Importance of an Emergency Fund

The idea of an emergency fund is basically to help prepare you for extreme situations such as the loss of a job. An emergency fund should ideally be something you could live off of for at least three months if you were to suddenly lose your income.

However, an emergency fund can also be something you can dip into should you have an unexpected expense. The whole point is that you have this extra money there if you should need it for something important that does not fit into the budget.

An emergency fund is not a savings account you can use to make special purchases. It is important to understand and maintain that the emergency account is only for emergency situations.

Make a Budget

To start setting up your emergency fund you need to establish a budget. This will help you to learn about your expenses and be able to set up the amount of the emergency fund.

A budget will also help you when it comes to deciding how much money to put in the fund every month. Be honest with your budget.

Find Out How Much You Need

You will want to consult your budget for how much you will need in an emergency fund. You want to make sure that the fund’s total amount would allow you to live for at least three months.

Of course you can feel free to save above that amount, but shooting for a goal of three month’s living expenses is a good place to start. Always remember, too, that when you take any money out of the account that you need to put that amount back.

When deciding you may want to consider extra expenses and if you want to include those in your emergency fund. If you fall on tough times you may end up deciding to forego extra expenses like cable television or weekly night out. Or you may still want to keep those things. Just make sure you come to an honest amount that you could really off of if you needed to.

Build Your Fund

Once you have decided how much you need in an emergency fund and how much you will add to it each month the only thing left to do is start saving. Make sure you choose an account that will pay you a good amount of interest and be a secure place to keep this money.

You should be able to build up an emergency account rather quickly which will help to ease your mind about what you would do in an emergency situation. You will know that you have that emergency account to help you keep your personal finance safe and stable.

Personal Finance Tips

If you pay attention to these tips like the wealth masters do, you will learn exactly how the top dogs at WMI make their millions. Believe me, it starts small.

Small tips make it possible. For instance, knowing what you need money for… what are your financial goals? Why bother with all this? Once that is clear, personal finance becomes personal and steers finance the right way.

That, after all, is what personal finance is about. Personal is ‘one’s own’ and finance is ‘a way to pay’. If one doesn’t know why one is paying for anything, obviously one will fumble with ‘one’s own way of paying for it’. So tip 1 is, know why you are learning this and why you’re spending any money.

Some of the money mistakes people make start from the late teenage years. They are probably climbing up debt through school, house, marriage, or material purchases. Wealth Masters advise you keep a tab on how much you’ve borrowed because that will affect everything about how you repay for the next 10-20 years and your income is the least at startup. The best way to handle a credit card is to not carry it with you.

The third tip is to get a free copy of your credit report every quarter to know you are clean. This will help to get an apartment, borrow money, get a cell phone, even get a job. There are many agencies that organize these reports in USA.

If you ‘don’t know where your money is going’, write down every expense every day for a month… or get a receipt for everything you spend money on. One of the wealth masters discovered he was spending $350 on taxicabs before it struck home that he needn’t be broke because of that avoidable expense.

Finally, use the ‘pegging technique’ by which you do business with businesses that are the best bang for your buck. Which is the bargain dry cleaner? Where are the appetizers free? What time is the half-off movie show? Where do you get flowers cheaper on particular days? Know these things and splurge intelligently and economically.

Those with kids are advised to start them early on spending education. Even 3 year olds can understand the concept of money and control personal finance. Get them into bargain hunting, for instance finding the best deal on spaghetti sauce – a bigger bottle or a different brand?

Personal Finance Tips

If you are looking for a way to add to your financial security for the future, there are a lot of things that you can do. One of those things would be investing in the stock market. If you have never done this before you will need to learn how to start your own investment portfolio. Just remember that whenever you deal with the stock market you are taking a risk with your money, so it’s a good idea for you to learn as much as you can before taking such a big step.

The first and foremost important thing is to educate yourself. You should read about the stocks as well as the market. You should consider taking several seminars or even take a class that teaches investing. You can also go online to a variety of different online financial websites that can provide you with a wealth of information.

You will also need to create for yourself some financial goals and an investment and stock picking strategy. You will need to take time to research different stocks by reading their annual reports, their quarterly reports and any other information there might be on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You can also look these up at various websites (Tip: Google freedgar)

Make sure that when you invest that you only invest in the stocks that you have studied and feel that you know. You might want to start by looking into the stocks of companies in your area, companies that you are somewhat familiar with and ones that you might have a little bit of confidence in.

Another thing you need to do is to make sure to check the holdings of some very successful mutual fund companies and if they appear to be doing well with certain stocks then it might be that you could do well with those same stocks.

Make sure that you try to be diversified. You want to try to stay away from investing your money in just a couple of stocks. It’s better if you have a handful that you have investments in. When you do start buying your stocks you need to try and find a discount broker to buy the stocks for you, however, if you feel confident in yourself then you might want to just do the investing yourself and you will save yourself from having to pay out any commissions.

Make sure that the stocks you buy you are going to feel comfortable holding onto for 3 to 5 years, you need to try and resist dumping your stocks the minute you see them dipping in price a few points. You need to give the stocks a chance to do something.

Another way you can invest and it’s a lot easier for you in the long run is if your company offers any 401(k) plans, retirement plans or Keogh plans consider investing in those. Here you don’t have to worry about picking the stocks yourself and there are different tax breaks that come with these types of investments.

Note: Avoid thinking that when you invest your money today that you are going to become an instant millionaire. You need to be thinking of the long term picture not the immediate picture. Besides very few people become millionaires off the stock market, if that were the case everyone would do it. You can however, if you are patient and invest wisely, make a good nest egg for later in life.

Personal Finance Tips

The key to getting the edge on average-Joe finances and struggling with money worries is through gaining first-rate ‘financial literacy’ which reduces any over-dependency on accountants, financial advisors and so on, so that you can get control of and start to manage and direct your own personal finances. A great starting point on this journey is to know about and understand the 5 main financial needs in life as per classic financial planning.

The 5 Main Personal Finance Needs in Life

In classic financial planning there are 5 defined financial needs a typical person will have, oftentimes at pretty predictable time frames.

I find it can be a useful back of a napkin checklist to have the following 5 financial needs listed in front of you and then ask yourself what you could be doing now to ensure you are actively addressing each of these 5 financial needs:

  1. Savings i.e. the financial need to accumulate a lump sum from surplus income (typically saved from earned income) to meet some financial objective and/or build up a rainy day fund. An example of this would be you saving a down-payment for a home purchase at some stage in the near future. Another example of saving is building up an emergency fund (e.g. setting aside 6 months living expenses). You might also start saving with a view to utilizing these funds for a longer term objective such as building up a rainy day or retirement fund.
  2. Investments i.e. the financial need to invest a lump sum not required by you for a period of time, so as to earn a better return than standard saving can generate. A common example of this is investing a capital sum into bonds or stocks so as to generate a medium-to-high return. Another example of this need could be where you’ve recently retired and have received a lump sum retirement benefit and want to invest this appropriately. You’d have a financial need to invest this lump sum in the most suitable fashion possible (in a manner keeping with your age, risk profile and financial goals) so as to maximize your capital return and/or generate a future stream of (passive) income.
  3. Protection i.e. the financial need to provide financially for certain unpredictable events in life, such as ill health or death, causing the total cessation of earned income for you and/or your dependants. An example of this is when you get a mortgage, you will take out a life assurance policy (mortgage protection payment insurance) which would ensure the mortgage is paid off in full were you to die before the end of the mortgage term. In addition to simply buying life policies you can “protect” yourself by building sources of passive and portfolio income.
  4. Retirement Planning i.e. the financial need to accumulate funds to provide a replacement income (passive income and portfolio income) in retirement as you’re no longer working (either by choice or necessity) and not generating earned income.
  5. Mortgages i.e. the financial need to borrow a capital sum to fund the purchase of a property, usually an apartment (condo) or house, which will typically be used as your home.

The Typical Timeline of Your Personal Financial Needs

Your financial needs generally change as you get older. A typical timeline of changing financial needs during the course of someone’s life would be as follows:

  • Age 20- 30: Savings & Mortgages,
  • Age 30-40: Protection & Longer Term Savings
  • Age 40-50: Investment & Retirement Planning
  • Age 60: Investment

It’s important to note that this is a very general timeline. Personally, I think retirement planning should be looked at much earlier in life. With the exception of the current generation of kids (who actually will live shorter lives than those of us in our 20s, 30s and 40s now due to the growing obesity problem), people are living longer than ever before. However, less and less people are planning for and providing for their longer than ever retirement financial needs. (Why not take a look out our website and other articles on retirement planning to understand you retirement planning needs further.) I’ve heard it is said that people spend 5 times more time planning their holidays than they do their retirement! Sad but unfortunately true!

Becoming Your Own Financial Advisor

The process of personal financial planning is a process you can either undertake yourself or most likely with a financial advisor. The objective of financial planning is to achieve your financial plans and goals through the most efficient management of your available financial resources and proper use of financial products. Unfortunately, most people are not equipped to undertake financial planning themselves and they therefore over-rely on financial advisors and institutions.

A word of warning!! There are only a minority of financial advisors that truly have your best interests at heart (sorry…but it’s true). Many are merely flogging you financial products for commissions and fees. The only financial advice worth taking is paid-for financial advice and advice that is in writing. This is as close to independent financial advice that you are going to get I’m afraid. At least by paying for the service, you know the financial advisor is going to provide a service in return for payment rather than have some financial institution line his pockets with initial and trail commissions on financial products sold to you which may or may not be entirely suitable.

After the recent financial crisis and the expos on the entire financial system, there has never been a more important time to get skilled-up and be your own financial advisor. I’m not saying don’t have a team of financial/tax/legal experts you can turn to for advice. Do! However, I am saying, get empowered and become knowledgeable on the financial requirements you have and the strategies, tools and techniques you will need to achieve them. To become rich and create wealth beyond mere averages requires you, to at least some extent, become your own financial advisor.

Personal Finance Tips For Working

This article aims to provide a few tips regarding personal finance for working adults. In this time of recession and slow growth we all need to save enormously and curb any unnecessary expenditures. But, most importantly we need to manage our finances wisely.

1. Try to spend according to your budget and save some extra cash. Keep track of your income and expenditures. You should be able to save some cash each month and keep it aside for bad times.

2. Invest wisely and ensure that you get optimal returns for your investments. Avoid investing in one scheme or with single company. Instead spread your investments astutely amongst various schemes and companies.

3. Avoid missing your credit card or loan payments; else you may receive a bad credit rating. Do not miss the payment dates otherwise you may have to pay huge interests and find difficulty in getting further loans.

4. There is much we can do to save on our expenditures. Go green and save on expensive energy bills. Even the government is providing some tax rebates to people trying to make their homes more energy efficient. This way you can save doubly by receiving tax rebates and paying less on your energy bills.

5. Usually in tougher times people tend to invest less, but this should be avoided. Keep your investments regular whether small or big. Remember that even these small investments will pay you good returns in the long run.

6. Avoid exorbitant spending on expensive food and alcohol. These are few things that can be avoided in rough times. The more you save the better it is for you.

7. In case you need financial advice, do not hesitate in consulting. You can also do some research online to make wise investments.

These tips will certainly guide you to control your personal finances and pass through rough times easily.

Car Finance Tips That You Should Know About

Planning is the best idea to do before buying a new car especially in paying for it. One of the biggest mistakes of most car buyers is when they use the finance deal offered by the car dealer. Compared to the average interest rate on dealer’s car finance, personal loan on the market is much better. It is because the average rate on a dealer’s car finance is 3% higher. In addition, personal loans that can be found in the market are 7.4% available. To know more about car finance, here are some helpful tips that can provide you a better idea before purchasing a new car.

The first hint is to KNOW WHAT TYPE OF CAR OTHERS ARE PAYING FOR. One should search what car models are most people are buying. With this, you can gather ideas about the average price that such individuals are paying for.

Second is to LOOK OUT FOR FINANCE. Search all the companies that are offering loans, remortgaging, and credit cards. You must also know their advantages and disadvantages. After doing this, choose one of them which is the best.

Third is to GET YOUR FINANCE WELL ORGANIZED BEFORE LOOKING FOR A CAR. Prior to checking out cars, it is important to know your highest budget. The buyer is in a good situation to bargain if he already knows his maximum budget.

The fourth hint is to NEGOTIATE. Trying to negotiate the price of a car is not bad. Actually, this is one of the best things to do in purchasing a new car. If the buyer gets the price as low as the dealer goes, he can try to get a little extras like mats and GPS.

Fifth is to BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO WALK AWAY. Do not hesitate to walk away if you feel that you do not get a great deal. There are lots of companies that are offering cars so there is a big chance that you can get a good deal. Make sure that you do a good decision because you are paying a big amount of money for a new car.

The last is to KNOW THE RIGHT TIME. There are times when a car dealer is not concerned about making a huge profit and searching to achieve their bonus targets. This time only happens at the end of the month. This is the right time to look for a new car.

Three Essential Personal Finance

Personal finance is extremely important in today’s society. Whether you are looking to purchase a new home, pay for college or take a trip of a lifetime, personal finance can help you achieve these goals. While there are many ways to benefit from good money management, here are three essential personal finance tips that can truly help you achieve your goals.

Save and Invest

It is absolutely essential that you save as much money as possible and then invest it so that it can work hard for you. Saving money is vital to having a nest egg in the future for the purchases you desire. Saving requires a plan and usually lots of time. One of things that you should do once you receive your paycheck is to pay yourself first. Take a set amount of your pay check and put it away. Once you have money saved, the next step is to invest it and make it work hard for you. Over the years, you can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars off of just $30K to 50K in savings using the power of compound interest. There is no magic involved. In order to create a nest egg in 10, 20 or 30 years save money and invest it.

Create a Budget

Creating a budget is essential for anyone that has an income and expenses. Many of us are usually carefree and do not keep a record of all our purchases, however if we knew just how much we spent each year on junk or impulse purchases we would be aghast. Creating a budget is a great way to understand what we spend our income on, reduce spending on non essential items and discipline ourselves to save and invest our money for the long term. Creating a budget is extremely simple and requires only a few hours of time each month. A simple budget can literally save you thousands of dollars a year and give you true piece of mind.

Use Credit Wisely

Credit cards can be extremely convenient, but many times they are equally destructive. A credit card is not a license to spend; it is in effect a loan. Understanding how credit works and how to use it responsibly can make your life much easier. Credit cards can be a great option in certain situations, however using them properly is essential to proper money management.

Using Personal Finance Tips

Every business guru states that you should keep your personal finances separate from your business finances. And, we could not agree more.

However, separating your business life from your personal life should only be about monetary transactions. We all learn life lessons (knowledge) that not only work in our personal lives but can easily translate to our business lives as well.

Knowledge is power after all and if it can help get you get ahead in your business then it really does not matter where that knowledge originated from.

To that note, there are many personal finance tips that relate very well to managing the financial aspect of your business.

Let’s review a few of them:

1) What You Need vs. What You Want:

You may want a Lamborghini but know that it is not a good vehicle for a small, growing family – it’s not good on gas, has no room for groceries and cannot take the kids to soccer practice. It just does not make sense for you – even though you would really like to have it.

The same goes for our business. You may want that 50,000 square foot building or that $50,000 piece of equipment. But, if your business cannot use those items to generate more revenue then they cost – then those types of purchases just do not make sense for your business.

And, it is just not capital purchases either. Do your employees really need a foosball table in the break room? Or, does your business really need that $500 per month T-1 line when a simple $50 per month DLS line would work just fine.

Being in business is not about satisfying what you want but taking asset that you need and leveraging them to grow the business – by bring in more revenue then that revenue costs to get.

If you don’t need it for your core business – then don’t waste your scarce money on it!

2) Living Pay Check To Pay Check:

If you over spend in your personal life, you usually run out of money before that next pay check comes in.

What happens is as soon as you get your pay check, you immediately look for ways to spend it – most of the time for things that leave you little or nothing to show for it. Some even spend their pay before they get it in their hands. Sure you had a great time, but that money runs out and runs out quickly.

Then, about half way between pay checks, a week after your last pay period and a week before your next pay day – you have an opportunity to do something really amazing – something that would either improve your life or maybe even bring in more money for your personal use.

But, you have to decline because you have no money to take advantage of it and the opportunity will not wait for you to get your next check.

This is a great lesson for business. Far too many businesses spend their revenue before or immediately after they get it – regardless if that spending does anything to perpetuate the business.

Example: I worked with a brand new business owner who was helping doctors and other medical professionals collect payments from insurance companies. I took this business owner around to all the independent doctor offices I could find and helped him pitch his services. One of these contacts bit and gave him some business. The doctor provided him with about $10,000 worth of claims to collect on. Immediately, this business owner was able to get about 90% of those claims to pay from which he received a 10% commission.

Now, instead of taking that $900 and putting it into his business – to grow his business or setting some of it aside for new opportunities – he used those funds, for personal reasons like a new gym membership, took his friends out to dinner and purchased the latest cell phone with a very expensive plan, not for his business, but for his personal use only.

What happened is that this doctor, who was really impressed with this business owner’s ability to collect, referred him to a college friend and colleague in a town about 85 miles away. However, this business owner had to decline the new business, not because he couldn’t do it or because he was too busy, but because he did not have the cash to drive to the other town.

Not only did this mean that the business owner missed out on new business, but the referring doctor, feeling let down, did not give him any additional business after this incident.

3) More Money Will Improve Your Life:

In our personal lives, if we find ourselves short of cash, we tend to look for more money. Get a bank loan or maybe even a payday loan. While this may work temporarily, giving us more money to spend, if we don’t change what we spend our money on, very quickly we end up right back in the same situation – short of cash and a life that is not improved but maybe worse off as we still have to pay for that new money.

In business, many entrepreneurs find that their expenses outweigh their revenue – especially if revenue is slipping. But, instead of looking at the business – what it is spending its money on or why it is losing or not growing revenue – the business owner thinks that just getting more money is the only answer.

If the business owner goes out and gets a business loan or brings in new partners or outside investors yet does not fix the problems that cause the cash flow issues in the first place, not only will more money not help the business but could drive it further into its financial hole – causing more problems and maybe even resulting in the business being shut down.

4) If It Doesn’t Work, Don’t Keep Doing It:

Too many people throw good money after bad. It is OK to make mistakes. You learn from them and move on. But, if you don’t learn and continue to do the same thing, you are destined to fail again.

I have a neighbor that did not want to purchase a $1,000 riding lawn mower – he had other things to spend his money on. So, he found a used mower in the paper and paid $500 for it. Two weeks later it broke down and would cost about $200 to fix it. Instead of fixing it, he went back to the paper and purchased another used mower for $500. Again, this one broke down and he did not want to spend the money to fix it – said it was a waste. However, this time, he went to Craig’s list and found another used mower – but this one was only $400. And, boy was he happy.

But, in the end, he spent $1,400 and a lot of time instead of buying a brand new $1,000 mower. Plus, I don’t think this $400 mower is working anymore as he has not mowed his grass for months.

In business I see companies throw tons of money at their advertising but never get any additional results from it – they just think that is what they should be doing.

So, instead of finding out where their potential customers are they stick with the same old thing – throwing good money after bad.

Thus, they advertise in the same paper each month but see no new revenue for that expense.

All things in business should be measurable. If they measure up to expectation, then continue to do them. If they don’t, scrap them and try something else.

If you spend a $1,000 a month in print advertising and it is not bringing in at least $1,000 in new revenue – then why keep doing it. Try something else, like advertising online (in places your customers hang out) or on TV during a show your customers watch. Then, measure the results. If they are better then what you were doing, your business is just that much better off.

There are things in business that should be keep separate like your business bank account, business expenses, financial statements and business credit cards. This just keeps your records more easy to manage and by not co-mingling funds, can keep you out of trouble with the IRS.

Home Financing Tips For Buying

If you are thinking about buying a home, one of the first things to do is find out what price range you can afford. Getting pre-approved for home financing can determine the maximum price and loan amount that you can get, based on your credit scores, income, and down payment. A mortgage pre-approval can save time and effort in your home search, and tells others that you are ready and able to buy a home.

Here’s a Collection of Other Home Financing Tips:

Need flexibility on credit issues?

In addition to a low down payment, an FHA mortgage allows lower credit scores than conventional home financing. A bankruptcy only needs to be discharged for 2 years, and 3 years on a foreclosure.

Need payment choices for a tight budget?

Some lenders offers flexible mortgage terms with a 30 year fixed rate that gives you a payment choice each month for interest only or a fully amortized payment, which could help when money is tight.

Do you want an option for lower closing costs?

If you need to reduce your closing costs, you typically have the choice of decreasing the points by increasing the rate. Mortgage rates are priced to allow you to buy the interest rate up or down.

How long will you keep your mortgage?

If you plan to keep your mortgage for less than five years, you may be able to save money on your payments with a 5 year fixed rate plan. Also consider financing your home with zero points.

What debts are counted in your debt ratio?

Monthly debt payments are added to a mortgage to calculate a back-end debt ratio, including: credit card minimum payments, car loans, student loan, personal loan, alimony, child support, tax liens.

Are you required to have an impound account?

An impound account is money collected with the monthly loan payment to be set aside in reserve to pay property taxes and insurance. It’s usually required on mortgages with less than 20% down payment.

Buying a condo with an FHA mortgage?

A condominium project must be FHA approved in order to get an FHA loan. If the project is not approved, the FHA spot loan program is designed to provide financing for an individual unit.

What about opening new credit accounts?

Applying for a new credit card, or financing the purchase of anything, just before or during the mortgage process can drop your credit scores, and lower credit scores can cause a higher rate or worse.

Are you planning a job or career change?