How many of you have had an unplanned expense recently? How much was it $500? $1,000?
Unplanned expenses are anything but, unplanned. Sure, we don’t know when they will occur, but they will occur.
Being able to “plan” for those expenses will save you a lot of grief, and will probably save you money.
If you don’t have a rainy day fund, how do you pay for an unexpected expense? Your credit card?
Having an emergency fund has many benefits, and having one set up can make a big difference in your life. But how do you save for emergencies? What characteristics does an emergency fund have? And when should you use it?
What is an emergency fund?
It’s exactly how it sounds. It’s an account, usually a savings account or a money market account, that you designate for emergencies.
You set this up to “plan” for unexpected expenses. For example, you set aside money for the future in case your car breaks down or your furnace stops working.
Why do you need one?
The emergency fund is designed to save your monthly budget. Unexpected expenses can be expensive and can do significant damage to one’s monthly budget.
If you have money set aside for a rainy day and something unexpected happens, you can use the money from your emergency fund to pay for that expense. Your monthly budget isn’t affected at all.
What are the characteristics of an emergency fund?
There aren’t really many characteristics of an emergency fund. Here’s essentially what you need:
What strategies can you implement to save for an emergency?
There are many things you can do to save money for your emergency fund.
When should you use it?
You should use your emergency fund whenever you have an unexpected expense that could disrupt your monthly budget.
Here’s a small list of examples:
When shouldn’t you use it?
Your emergency fund shouldn’t be used on large once per year costs like:
Unplanned expenses can wreak a person’s monthly budget. It helps and makes a dramatic difference to have money set aside for a rainy day.
Besides the financial aspect of having an emergency fund, you also have a psychological benefit. Peace of mind knowing that you have money available if a large expense were to come into your life.
For more information about emergency funds and for our disclosures go to www.crgfinancialservices.com
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Very few of us will leave our homes in the same condition they were in when we initially purchased them. Even if we have taken care of our properties, life happens and sometimes our home experiences damage. Selling your home can be an extremely stressful experience. The whole process can be quite time-consuming and taxing. To compound this stress, you often have to deal with the worry that you won’t receive as much money as you possibly could for the sale of your property. There are things you can do to raise the selling price of your home. Here’s how to get the most money possible on the sale of your property, without having to spend a fortune.
Figure Out What the Most Glaring Issues Are
A home might have a myriad of defects, but some issues are larger than others. While the paint color in your kitchen might be a bit dated, it’s not going to stand out as glaringly as a severely damaged driveway. In this situation, it might be advisable not to worry about correcting the paint color and instead of contacting a Montreal concrete repair contractor. It’s essential that you fix the most glaring issues and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal
We might always be told that “it’s what’s inside that counts.” While this might be true, good curb appeal can make or break a home sale. Buyers aren’t going to bother with a house that’s ugly on the outside, even if the interior is absolutely beautiful. Home buyers definitely judge a book by its cover and it’s important that you’re aware of this. Do everything in your power to make your house more attractive from the outside if you want to attract buyers.
Ensure That Your Photos Are Fantastic
In the old days, most home shopping was done in-person. While it’s true that buyers still visit homes that they’re potentially interested in purchasing, a lot of decision-making is done online based on photographs of different homes for sale. A fantastic property can often be overlooked because the photos on the house’s listing are subpar. Ensure that your photos are of the utmost quality and capture your home in its best light. This might mean moving furniture around or hiring a professional photographer. Do whatever you need to do to get the best shots of your home.
If you’ve had your home on the market for quite some time and you’re not receiving any offers that you consider to be reasonable, it might be time to consider becoming a landlord and renting the property. While being a landlord can certainly be a challenge, it’s better to make a consistent income on your property than it is to take an extremely low offer that won’t help you to recoup your initial investment. After renting your home for a year, you can use the money you’ve earned to make improvements to the property and then attempt to sell it again.
Know When It’s Time to Find A New Real Estate Agent
There are plenty of great real estate agents out there, but there are also a lot of bad ones. Sometimes, a home won’t sell necessarily due to the home itself, but rather due to a subpar real estate agent who isn’t putting in the work needed to sell the home for the maximum profit possible. If you think that you have a gem on your hands but you’re not receiving any good offers, it might be time to find a different real estate agent.
Understand If You’re Asking for An Impossible Amount
Everyone thinks that their home is worth a nice chunk of change. However, sometimes homeowners simply aren’t being realistic about how much their property is worth. If you’re asking for an unreasonable amount of money for your home, all of the staging and strategizing in the world won’t get you to that offer. You want to get what your home is worth, but that’s simply not going to happen if you’re asking for too much money. Know when it’s time to back down and lower your asking price.
Selling your home can be stressful, especially in a competitive real estate market. However, if you follow these tips, you can get what your property is truly worth.
Being in your 20s is a wild ride. For one, you’re too old to still be dependent on your parents, but also too young to face the pressures and figure everything out. But the pressures of adulting demand that you figure it all out on your own. Then you reach your late 20s, and you’re expected to have mastered it all.
But what is all this adulting about anyway?
Well for one, it’s building that discipline needed to focus on the most important tasks at hand. It’s realizing that, you only really need to do things one at a time. But of course, the pressures and surge of hormones in our youth lead us to succumb to all kinds of distractions and it all gets tangled up into the blackhole of existential crisis.
So, in line with being focused and disregarding all the nonsense, I present to you the way you can manage your budget like an adult. If you’re still in your early 20s, well, awesome. Enjoy all the fun, confusion, and take all the lessons you can get. But, as tita as this may sound, it’s best that you learn all these values now, so you can get ahead of everyone in ‘adulting’. You’ll surely thank yourself later.
Consolidate All Your Monthly Bills
How much are you really paying every month? This should be your top priority, and not your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) — on parties, scenes, and events. There’s no better feeling than the peace of mind that comes with being able to pay your bills on time. And with this practice comes the fulfilment of being financially independent, too.
If you’re still short on your monthly income and have a credit card, you’re lucky to have something to help you out on those Petsa de Peligro days. But learn to use your credit card wisely so you don’t get caught up in debt. Another solution for this is to look for side job opportunities on the internet, so you get to earn more money. Maybe even in US dollars, too, as most freelance contractors from the likes of Upwork are from the USA.
Setting Both Long and Short-Term Savings Goal
You’ll often hear this at job interviews. What are your goals five, ten years from now? And the right answer should be to see yourself climbing the corporate ladder in that company, to let them know you’re not going anywhere. That thought can change, sure, but the question is still important. What is all this hard work for without a goal, right?
Entry-level salaried employees should never set their goals merely based in their income.
Set bigger, realistic goals and a specific timeline. Do you want to own a house before you’re 30? That’s possible. Set bigger goals and your paycheck will follow. This is because you’ll program your mind to work double to get to that goal.
Entrepreneurs and financial advisers will have you know, letting loads of money sit idly in your bank would be a waste. If you have enough money saved up in the bank, find the right investment venture for you.
Invest in something you’re interested in, e.g. Stock Trading, or maybe a business you can start, with partners or by yourself. You can even opt for a personal loan to get that jumpstart if you already have a solid business plan.
Find ways to earn extra income
Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be cool if you just kept living on a tight budget. If you’re the spaghetti head type who can’t be bothered to set a budget, then grow your money instead. If you have a skill you can monetize — web design, graphic design, writing, or being a consultant in your field of expertise, you get it — make money out of it.
Your 20s is about laying a solid foundation for your future. There will be a lot of distractions. But you wouldn’t want to get too caught up in those that you forget about your own well-being and future.
Did you look for the finest payday lender when making use of for a quick cash advance? Do you even know what to look for? Many people will apply with the primary firm they discover and then proceed to make use of the identical company for repeat loans. The typical brief-time period mortgage consumer will take out 5-8 loans all year long. If the direct lender doesn’t supply one of the best rates, the interest fees will make paying off the loan that rather more expensive. Unlike banks and credit score unions that fluctuate their curiosity rates depending on a person’s credit rating, the payday mortgage lender has one set charge for all customers. There isn’t a credit score test, so even a credit challenged applicant has an opportunity to obtain a short-term loan. The high curiosity charge is often welcomed when emergency cash takes precedence. Applicants in a hurry don’t usually think about finding a better price for the mortgage, they are simply comfortable that they discovered one.
In just some quick weeks the borrower must provide you with the cash to repay the mortgage plus charges. If not, the loan is extended and more fees might be due in just one other few weeks. If this identical applicant shopped for a lender with higher charges, there won’t be as a lot to pay back. The financial savings is critical especially if the loan is rolled over for an additional time period. If you may discover a lender that expenses less than 25%, you might be saving much more and after some time you may catch yourself that you are thinking like a billionaire because you are managing your debts like a pro! For these borrowers who repeat loans throughout the year, the money saved by finding a better payday mortgage curiosity charge is a big quantity. It may doable even counteract in opposition to their need for a fast money advance and keep them from taking out so many in the course of the 12 months. Supporting your own emergency costs is probably the most value environment-friendly method to handle your expenses. If the interest is so expensive, how do these loans assist?
If the applicant is going through bank costs for NSF and/or overdraft fees or taking a look at potential late fees and then attainable penalties from them, a short-time period mortgage paid off quickly does help. Besides potentially saving money by using an emergency mortgage, these borrowers can even assist to save lots of potential detrimental stories onto their credit score history. If you may keep your creditor from raising your interest rate, you can be saving lots of cash over the long-run. Some creditors have penalty charges which can run increased than you payday direct lender’s rate. Excessive curiosity on a revolving account with a hefty stability is damaging to any finances. It makes good financial sense to shop around for one of the best payday loan lender charges. As a substitute of making use of for the primary lender you discover, make a list of 5 totally different lenders and name them. The extra questions you ask about their phrases and conditions the higher informed you will be when it’s time to use for the mortgage. You want additional cash fast and a payday loan will assist money matters so take a couple of moments to seek out one of the best direct payday lenders to work with.
Due to the absence of hard and fast earnings, senior residents may not be probably the most popular group of consumers. Nonetheless, a constant inflow of social safety income and other retirement perks show to be credible documentation for buying an auto loan. A very good credit rating is usually an energy is not just establishing goodwill but in addition to negotiating a decrease interest rate total. Once a senior citizen applies for an auto mortgage, they may discover that a creaseless credit score historical past and growing retirement accounts are usually not ample. As a rule, lenders look for purchasers with a steady revenue. That is to keep up the equilibrium between the debt owed to the lender and income earned by the senior citizen. Thus, disclosing income records becomes essential in acquiring an auto loan. With multiple incomes that are wholesome, getting approval for an auto loan turns into simple. As in some other loan, variable and fixed rates are the parameters on which the curiosity rate of an auto loan is based. When in comparison with other loans, considered one of the major advantages of automobile financing with a hard and fast rate APR or Annual Share Price shall be that the quantity will probably be fixed all through the term of the mortgage. This ensures that you may be shielded from any fluctuations in the interest fee. Subsequently, the uniform repayment together with the mounted APR induces extra confidence in opting for an auto loan than another type of loans. Furthermore, in your retirement years, it seems greatest to go for low risk mounted price loans. So if you are curbing your need to buy your dream automotive or simply holding again, when it truly is a necessity, making use of for auto loans seems to be the ideal transfer.
How are you planning to generate income in retirement?
The first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people will be Social Security. That’s OK, but most people will need to have more than that if they want to retire comfortably (and there are those who are concerned that at least some of those benefits may not be there for future retirees when the time comes). Other people might be looking forward to pension income, though that’s less common than it used to be.
It’s useful to step back and take stock of the various potential sources of retirement income. Certain sources have more to recommend them, and certain asset class combinations will work better for some folks than others due to the assets’ risk profile, tax characteristics, and other qualities.
A recent Bloomberg story quotes a chief investment officer at Credit Suisse saying that treasury yields at 3.5% would pull people out of stocks and into fixed income. As we’re writing this, the 10-year Treasury yield is on the rise and the highest it has been since 2011 at nearly 3.1%.
Nobody knows for sure which way treasury rates are going, but those rates are worth paying attention to, for a few reasons. First, higher interest rates almost surely would lead to poor performance for bellwether retirement equity investments, such as those in the utility and telecom sectors. (More on this in a bit.) Second, a risk-free interest rate would be tough to ignore at some level as a source of income in retirement. We would probably put that level at around 4% (after all, why get a bond paying less than 4% when you can buy stocks that pay more than that and have been boosting the payout annually for 20 or 30 years?), but that will vary by individual circumstance and risk tolerance.
Not that treasuries are the only way to get interest income, of course. The best proxy for junk bonds, the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), yields 4.7%. The investment-grade version (the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) is around 4%.
We mentioned utilities and telecoms earlier. These kinds of firms are generally big dividend payers. As such, when interest rates rise, their stocks often sell off, as suddenly there are other, less volatile sources of income–bonds–that compete with those dividends.
Now, if you are able to make ends meet on dividends alone (or close to it), the volatility may not matter. Stocks can bounce up and down and all around, but the dividends will keep coming (and even growing) regardless. In fact, when stocks are down, it could be time to consider adding to those holdings, assuming the companies’ businesses are still sound.
You may not be able to get to a place where dividends are your main source of income. But counting on dividends for some portion of retirement income makes sense for a lot of retirees. The year-in-year-out nature of the payments (for a lot of companies), the potential for growth in those payments, the potential for capital gains on the shares, and, not least, the taxes (which are 0% on qualified dividends for a lot of people) all add up to a compelling income source.
By definition, at retirement, full-time employment income stops, and it’s probably time to start spending down on all that money you saved over the years. That’s hard for a lot of people to get their heads around. After all, it means making a complete 180-degree turn to what you have been doing for probably decades.
So that’s worth thinking about in advance and preparing for. If seeing that balance dwindle each year is a concern, you might want to start conservatively on how much you plan to take out each year. It used to be a 4% drawdown rate was considered safe for most traditional retirees, but that’s no longer conventional wisdom. You might run some scenarios that target something closer to 2% or 3% and see if that allows you to sleep at night.
As with so much in retirement planning, though, much will depend on individual circumstances and sources of income. Someone with a solid pension and low living costs will probably need to take less out of their principal than others.
Rebalancing your portfolio isn’t controversial, though reasonable people can disagree about how often it should be done. Rebalancing refers to the simple concept that, over time, a portfolio of investments will have winners and losers, and the initial (presumably target) asset allocation–this much in growth stocks, that much in short-term bonds, and so on–will get out of whack. So, periodically, a portfolio needs to be put back into whack.
What’s not mentioned as often is that it’s possible to think of rebalancing as a source of income as well. Retirees could keep the piece that is a long-term gain and use it for living expenses, and still rebalance to the optimal asset allocation.
The obvious problem here is that markets don’t just go up; they go down too, sometimes for quite a while. So there’s an unpredictability to this source of income that makes it too undependable to be a core source of income for a retiree. But it is a source, and one that’s sometimes overlooked.
In the end, which sources you depend on for retirement income will come down to risk tolerance, personal preference, luck (at least a little bit helps), and how diligent you have been about saving through your working years. Knowing what those potential sources are and planning on how you might use them will take some of the surprises out of the process, and help make retirement go more smoothly.
Your first concern after an auto accident in which you or a loved were injured must be for the safety and immediate medical care of whoever was injured. But as soon as convenient, the very next thing you should be doing is contacting a well seasoned car accident lawyer.
It’s not hard to find a personal injury lawyer Houston, but be sure you’re entrusting your financial future (which may depend on your claim) to a firm that has a long, local track record of winning maximum compensation for its clients.
With over 17,000 people seriously injured in car accidents in Texas in 2016, and 3,773 in-state auto accident fatalities, you can’t just assume “it won’t happen to me.” You need a financial survival plan laid out ahead of time.
If you are injured and rushed off to a hospital from the scene of the accident, you can’t be expected to take down names and driver’s license numbers and the like. But a loved one should act quickly, if you can’t, to gather all relevant information and evidence.
Call the police to report the accident if they weren’t seen at the scene. And contact them to get a copy of the police report too, if there is one.
Obtain the name, contact information, license plate and driver’s license number, and other critical information on the other driver. You will also need to find out who provides his/her auto insurance at some point in order to call them to file a claim. You will also need to talk to your own insurer about the accident as well.
Getting a chance to talk with any witnesses at the accident scene is also crucial. As is working to reconstruct the accident based on any physical evidence. A lawyer is often helpful in this step.
Be tight-lipped about the accident. If you admit or imply an admission of guilty at the scene of the accident or later on to the other driver, the other driver’s insurer, your own insurer, or someone else, it could shrink or totally defeat your claim.
Be wary of giving an insurance company a statement without first consulting an experienced injury lawyer. Do be cooperative with police, and do show courtesy and politeness to all, but don’t give away extra information to those who might twist it and use it against you later.
If an insurer calls you and makes you a settlement offer, don’t immediately accept (or reject) it. A good injury lawyer will know whether or not it’s a fair offer. And he/she can help ensure you get the best quality medical treatment, full compensation for all property damage, and a reasonable non-economic settlement for pain and suffering.
Also realize that some injuries, like whiplash, don’t always show up right after the accident – it could take weeks before the true effects of the accident on you and the associated costs are known. So that’s another good reason not to quickly agree to an early settlement offer.
Finally, be sure to track your medical expenses meticulously from day one. You need to keep a detailed account of all treatments/prescribed medications. And you need a file full of all bills and doctor’s notes to serve as proof later on.
Keep a diary that can be used to help calculate non-economic damages. Write down how the injury has affected your daily life. And gather pay stubs, tax returns, and other evidence to show how much income you’ve lost due to the injury.
Be careful to methodically gather evidence and take actions to protect your right to full compensation as early as possible, and it will greatly increase your chances of receiving a maximized instead of minimized settlement.
Baby Boomers, the American generation born between 1946 – 1964, are retiring. In fact, a lot of Baby Boomers retire every day; however, research has found that, as a group, they are not very well prepared for their retirement. They don’t have the funds they need to lead peaceful, happy and content lives once they retire. Forget about the luxuries, many finance experts believe that Baby Boomers will be forced to give up on items such as roomy houses, newer cars and other things which they have grown accustomed to. Sadly, many Boomers will survive with just the basic amenities.
Here’s an infographic that lays out the facts on Baby Boomer retirement.
Where Did Baby Boomers Go Wrong?
This is one of the most interesting analysis of what actually went wrong for Baby Boomers and why they cannot enjoy a financially stress-free retirement.
They Did Not Invest Wisely
Experts believe that perhaps the most common factor that put Baby Boomers in this dire situation is that they failed to make wise investments. They either believed friends or invested without carrying out apt research. Baby Boomers needed the right portfolio allocation, but instead many of them either did not invest much at all or invested in the wrong entities.
Secondly, Baby Boomers did not fully plan for their retirement. While Baby Boomers spent a lot on their kids’ education and supporting relatives, they failed to take the essential step of planning their retirement. The retirement funds which are highly popular these days were not very common one or two decades ago. The lack of awareness and availability impacted the Baby Boomer’s preparation for retirement.
Lastly, the other major hurdle Baby Boomers face is having to make monthly mortgage and home equity loan payments. The factors all add up and result in a large percentage of Baby Boomers not being able to use their pensions and superannuation funds to support their living post retiring.
What Can Baby Boomers Do Now to Find Money for Retirement?
Undeniably, Baby Boomers don’t have much time to make more money for retirement. , But, even now, this generation of people can improve their current situation. All they need is the right advice and an accurate evaluation of their current situation. This will allow them to understand where they stand and how they can improve their position. Baby Boomers need to make research-backed decisions which can help their financial situation without creating any further financial losses.
If you are also a Baby Boomer who is going to retire soon, it’s highly important that you prepare yourself well for that moment when you leave the workplace. There are a few new companies like Mason Finance offering the right set of advice to baby boomers that will enable them to strengthen their financial position as much as possible in retirement.
How long are you going to live? Figuring out your life expectancy is arguably the first step in creating a successful retirement plan–and also arguably the toughest number to figure out. [Read more…]
Getting into debt is much easier than getting out of debt, especially as it continues to build up with what seems like no end in sight. You aren’t destined to be in debt forever. Be proactive and take these easy steps to get yourself out from under the mountain of debt once and for all.
Take some time to sit down and organize your debt. If it gets too bad, you might not even open your bills to look at the balance due, or glance at and pay the minimum. You can’t create a plan without first knowing exactly how much and who you owe. Create a list of all your debts and their balances to get a full picture of what you need to conquer to get out of debt.
All debt is not created equal. Some debt, such as your mortgage, is paid before credit cards if you’ve fallen behind. Examine the interest rate on your debts. Some people prefer to pay off debts with the highest interest rate first, while others find that it’s more effective for them to pay the account with the lowest balance and then work on those with higher balances. It saves money to pay the debts with the highest interest rates off first, but some people like to focus on smaller goals and celebrate victories as they pay off their accounts.
Know exactly how much money is coming in and how much you need to pay out. Create a list of everything including your housing, utilities, food, gas, clothing, phone, and anything else you have to pay. See where you can cut down, such as eating out less, combining trips to cut down on fuel usage, or eliminating your paid television subscription in favor of free channels over an antenna. Every extra dollar you can cut from something else can go towards reducing debt.
Avoid falling victim to a credit counseling or repair service. They cost money and do exactly what you can do on your own for free. There is no quick fix to getting rid of debt. It might be tempting, but avoid payday loans as an option. You’ll get money quick, but at an astronomical interest rate and they’re very risky. Payday loans put you at risk for losing a large sum of income if something happens and you’re unable to pay back what you borrowed. It only adds to your debt. You might want to consider a title loan. Try looking into Florence title loans for a less risky solution.
As you pay your debts off, put the amount of the payment on the debt you paid off towards your next highest debt. If you paid off a credit card with a payment of $75/month, take that $75 and put it on another credit card or account to pay those off faster. Continue to follow this method until you pay down on your debt. Take any unexpected income, such as bonuses or overtime, and apply that to your debt too. You’ll save money as you pay your debts off sooner because you won’t incur interest on the balance.
Stop ignoring your bills and take charge to get yourself out of debt. Create a plan, adjust it as needed, and discipline yourself to follow the plan to get and stay out of debt.