Finance Tips

Here are some useful finance tips to get you started on the right path to your financial success.

Knowing how to secure your financial well-being is one of the most important things you’ll ever need in life. You don’t have to be a genius to do it.

You just need to know a few basics, form a plan, and be ready to stick to it. No matter how much or little money you have, the important thing is to educate yourself about your opportunities.

Investments

There is no guarantee that you’ll make money from investments you make. But if you get the facts about saving and investing and follow through with an intelligent plan, you should be able to gain financial security over the years and enjoy the benefits of managing your money.

No one is born knowing how to save or to invest. Every successful investor starts with the basics. A few people may stumble into financial security – a wealthy relative may die, or a business may take off. For most people however, the only way to attain financial security is to save and invest over a long period of time.

Time after time, people of even modest means who begin the journey reach financial security and all that it promises: buying a home, educational opportunities for their children, and a comfortable retirement. If they can do it, so can you.

Your “savings” are usually put into the safest places or products that allow you access to your money at any time such as a savings accounts. But there’s a price to pay for security and ready availability. Your money earns less interest as it works for you.

Most smart investors put enough money in a savings product to cover an emergency, like sudden unemployment. Some make sure they have up to six months of their income in savings so that they know it will absolutely be there for them when they need it.

But how “safe” is a savings account if you leave all your money there for a long time, and the interest it earns doesn’t keep up with inflation? Let’s say you save a pound when it can buy a loaf of bread. But years later when you withdraw that pound plus the interest you earned, it might only be able to buy half a loaf. That is why many people put some of their money in savings, but look to investing so they can earn more over long periods of time, say three years or longer.

You may prefer to invest your money in order to achieve a higher return compared to savings but you should be aware that when you “invest,” you have a greater chance of losing your money than when you “save.” You could lose your “principal,” which is the amount you’ve invested. That’s true even if you purchase your investments through a bank. But when you invest, you also have the opportunity to earn more money than when you save.

All investments involve taking on risk. It’s important that you go into any investment in stocks, bonds or mutual funds with a full understanding that you could lose some or all of your money in any one investment.

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The Best Personal Finance Tips I Learned

As the year comes to an end, once again people (including myself) have resolutions to make next year better than this year. The two most popular resolutions involve physical fitness and fiscal fitness. Most of us have goals to lose weight and to lower our debt (increase savings, etc.). Usually, the physical fitness aspect of our resolution means to eat less and exercise more. The course of action is simple. The key is to get started or as that famous slogan from that popular athletic apparel company says, “Just Do It”.

For our personal finance, it is a bit more different. It should not be as complicated. As I progressed through investments, real estates investments, eliminating credit debt, increasing cash flow, etc., I have (along with my wife) have practiced to the best of my ability these principles. As the samurai warrior or spartan soldier have a code of ethics (or Bushido code), it is effective to have principles that we should apply to our personal finances. Here are some:

Never listen to financial advice from someone making less than you. This may seem cruel. But, would you go to seek medical advice from a plumber? (or vice versa) Even though they may be the nicest and best plumber in the world, it would make sense to seek medical advice or treatment from a medical professional (e.g. a doctor). Why would you hinder yourself by seeking financial advice from broke folks? You do not have to avoid them. You can still (and should) do other activities such as golfing or watching movies with these folks.

Do not borrow money from anyone especially relatives. Beside purchasing a house (which it is possible to save for), you should not take out loans or use credit. Now, it is especially to remember this principle when borrowing from relatives. Unless you want to change or hurt that relationship, you should not loan nor borrow money from your dear relatives. Remember: The borrower is enslaved to the lender. Money is important but it is like fire. It can warm a house or burn a house. When borrowed or loaned to relatives, it will burn that relationship.

Use cash. Before I try to play in the credit game, I would look for lower rates (or even zero percent rates). The best rate in the long-term (or any term for that matter) is cash. Using cash has an emotional “zing” to it. You will hesitate before making any purchases. That hesitancy is known as the “voice of reason”. That is what we need in our personal finances.

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10 Personal Finance Tips That Will Change Your Perspective

Here are 10 unique financial tips that can change your perspective:

1. A car can last a lot longer than five years. It’s just a hunk of metal and plastic rolling around on four tires. If you can avoid attaching your ego to your automobile, you can save a lot of money by driving your car for several more years. Put that car payment into your retirement account instead and see what happens.

2. Know the five types of financial emergencies. Are you prepared for each of them?

Home-related issues, such as a furnace breakage or a leaking roof
Major car repairs
Funeral-related issues. Either paying for a funeral or travelling to one
Medical issues
Job loss

3. Spend five minutes on your finances each evening. A single TV commercial break can last five minutes. Review all of your financial transactions for the day. You should have four minutes to spare after you’re done. Follow up on any discrepancies.

4. Create small money goals. These should be easy to accomplish.

I’ll spend less than $75 on food this week.
I’ll save at least $25 each Friday and deposit it in my savings account.

5. Acquire renter’s insurance. It’s only a couple of dollars each month but can replace your items in case of theft or fire. Even your old computer and milk crate shelves are worth something to you.

6. Find ways to entertain yourself that are free. Much of the money you spend only serves the purpose of making you feel better. Instead of distracting yourself by purchasing things you don’t need, find some free forms of entertainment.

Books and videos from the library
Attend free concerts or listen to music at home.
Throw a Frisbee.
Play cards with friends.
Exercise.
Meditate.
Plant a garden.

7. Pay off your small debts first. You’ll build momentum this way and feel a greater sense of accomplishment. The other alternative is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. It makes more financial sense, but it’s not as satisfying. Decide for yourself.

8. Consider how much it costs to use an item one time. People often don’t like to buy an expensive mattress, but consider how many times, and how many hours, you’ll use it. Even an expensive mattress only costs a few cents each night over the lifetime of the mattress.

How much would a $75,000 Mercedes cost to drive each day? Assuming you keep the car for 5 years, that’s roughly 1800 days. You’d be lucky to sell the car for even 50% of what you paid for it. $37,500/1800 = $21/day. That doesn’t even include the cost of insurance or the interest on your monthly car payments.

9. Avoid having too much in your savings account. Unless you need the money in the very near future, there are better places to store your money. Put your money to work for you with investments. Make a list of a few and choose the one that makes sense.

10. Create a financial mantra that supports your financial goals. Use it each day.

I only buy things I need.
I bring my lunch to work.
I save 10% of my income.

A little unconventional advice can be a good thing. Open your mind to new ways of looking at old challenges. You’ll find solutions you’ve never considered.

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Home Financing Tips For Buying a House

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?

If you plan to make a job change, especially if the change involves commission or a different line of work, wait until after your new mortgage has funded, to avoid creating a potential problem.

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Personal Finance Tips on How to Manage Effectively

Personal management of finances is not always easy. In fact, many people are having a hard time taking charge over money-matters and some even end up spending more than what they earn despite having a budget plan. What can you do to manage your finances more effectively? The right strategies are essential in order to make things work. Consider the following finance tips from the experts:

Set a definite goal. What would you like to achieve within the next 3 or 6 months or year? Setting a definite goal is important in order to create a suitable plan. For example, if you currently have unpaid debts with multiple creditors, then debt repayment should be your top priority. On the other hand, if you don’t have outstanding debts to pay, perhaps you want to work on building up your savings account. Other goals to consider is saving up money to improve the house, buy a home or car, start a small business, etc. The type of financial plan you need will depend on what you want to achieve.

Be ready to give up some things. In an effort to cut down your expenses, you should be prepared to give up some things that you may want, but not really need. Self-discipline is always necessary to make a budget plan work. For instance, if you have been used to going out to the movies or partying with your friends every weekends, perhaps you may consider doing it only once or twice a month to save money. Little sacrifices will go a long way and you just have to recognize the more important things from the not so important ones.

Monitor your spending for the next 2 months. Creating a suitable budget plan is a challenge in itself because financial situations and capabilities vary from one person to another. You might need to observe your own spending habits for the next month or two. Be sure to write down all your expenses, from big purchases down to the smallest cents. Making a list of your expenditures is the best way to see where your money goes. You might be surprised to discover later on that many items on your list are not really that important in your life, but eating up a large portion of your earnings. Based on your list, you will be able to make some adjustments and changes where needed.

Collaborate with your family members. If you are living with your family, it’s important to discuss your budgeting plan with everyone, especially with your children, so that everyone can do his/her own share to make the plan a success. Talking money-matters with the family is healthy because the children will be able to see the importance of following a budget plan and the why it’s important to save money.

Eliminate extra fees from your bills. If you can avoid the interest rate charges from your credit cards as well as late penalty fees on all your bills, you will be able to save a significant amount of money in a year. You can eliminate unnecessary fees by paying your monthly credit card balance in full and paying all your creditors on or before your due date. This might sound like an obvious strategy but many consumers are prone to paying late fees and interest rates which is a complete waste of money.

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Home Finance Tip – Pay Yourself

This weeks home finance tip deals with saving. For more than 25% of Americans, a savings account is non-existent in their lives. Although saving for a rainy day isn’t something we like to do, it is one of the most essential financial activities to safeguard our future.

Financial advisors differ on how much money we need in our emergency funds but they seem to agree on a 6 to 10 month range. How do you calculate that? First you have to know how much you spend each month. You will always estimate low so get your bank and credit card statements out and add it all up. Take that number and multiply it by 8 months (or somewhere in that 6 to 10 range) and that’s your goal. Once you’re there, keep it in a savings account. It can’t be tied up in a CD and you can’t risk losing it in the stock market. (By the way, I strongly suggest that you add disability insurance to your monthly expenses. It’s cheap and if you became sick or hurt, the monthly bills will be out of your mind)

Now that we know how much you should save, you brain might be in overdrive thinking about how you will fund your savings account. It’s going to take discipline but here’s a fun way that will put some big money in your savings account over time. You can think of it as my Chick-fil-a method. I love Chick fil a in part because the food is good (hey chick fil a, are you reading?) but also because they give out coupons all the time. I would have gone to Chick Fil a and paid full price without the coupon but with it, I saved $4. That $4 goes in to my savings account. Because I put everything on my credit card and pay it off at the end of the month, I get rewards points. I always buy $50 gift certificates with those points. Guess where that $50 goes? Let’s take it a little further. Rather than going to Chick Fil a and getting a chicken sandwich and waffle fries and a diet coke for $9, I go to the grocery store and pick up a pack of chicken breasts and a couple of potatoes and drink water. First, I’m saving calories but I also saved $5 by not eating out. I ironed my own shirt rather than taking it to the dry cleaner, $2. So let’s see; in this article alone I saved $70 and have a sizeable amount for my savings account.

Keep a 1 week journal and see what you can do to pay yourself. It’s fun, it’s a challenge, and you will feel better about getting closer to your financial goal. We are not in an economy where we can count on having a job tomorrow. Economists predict that 1 out of every 10 working Americans will not be working before this recession is over. Don’t forget about this week’s home finance tip. If you need it, you will be grateful that you have it.

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Free Beneficial Finance Tips

Handling your finances well during these times is of utmost importance. People are having a difficult time making ends meet with the rising cost of goods and the rising interest rates on home loans and auto loans- the fact that a lot of companies, and financial giants at that, are either closing down or cutting down on manpower. Much uncertainty hangs in the air in today’s economic scene giving rise to the need for beneficial finance advice not only for big investors but right down to ordinary folk trying to survive the daily grind. It would seem like hiring a personal financial advisor to help you make odds and ends of your current situation would be expensive and could cut your available financial resources even further down. Beneficial finance tips could be had for free.

There are experts who are all too willing to dole out advice online for free. It would be up to you, however, how to apply these beneficial finance tips to your particular financial situation. There are even sites that have downloadable worksheets that you can accomplish on your own to help you evaluate your current situation and then make out your very own financial plan. If you are to successfully weather out this financial storm, you have to have a financial plan that you should stick to and be faithful to. Free beneficial finance tips are nothing if you do not use it to draw up a financial plan to put your present and future finances in order. Some of these beneficial finance tips could be a challenge to follow especially if you have very little cash to work with. Just remember that even a little bit of money stashed away for the future will help you a great deal.

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Swimming Pool Financing Tips and Advices – How to Easily Acquire One

When you want to acquire the best financing for pools, you should first remember some indispensable financing tips for pools. First that you must do is that you look for a lending company that offers its customers financing plans and finance rates which are but beneficial to them.

Of course, it is necessary that people only interact with loan companies having good solid years of finance experience, particularly focused on swimming pools. Also, one of the best known swimming pool financing tips is be careful with your moves and simply engage in a lender that gives approval of your loan application with in a short period time. This is for the construction process to occur as what was planned.

Another signification factor for consideration is the reality that different factors are involved with your personal financing plan. Your desired loan be based on such plan for you to ensure everything will work perfectly according to your own finance needs. You must also remember too about other factors such as possible breaks in taxes connected with existing loan or financing options. To cite an example, much of the interests on pools are possibly tax deductible.

Therefore, another one of the most significant swimming pool financing tips is doing one’s home work in a diligent manner. You must perform ample research on any loan that you might want to obtain. You have to study and research all offered quotes and as well as other pertinent information like such as swimming pool financing rates. If you have any query, you must never hesitate in asking your lender particularly on matters which are not clear. This certainly helps in you or any other prospective borrower to go through finance and repayment responsibilities as convenient as possible.

You just follow such financing tips to the letter and you will find out that obtaining loans for pool is easy, not like you thought it is difficult. You can simply look forward to fully enjoying the cool splashes of pool waters in the future.

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The Unintended Consequences of Globalism

Globalism might be good for the world economy as a whole, but does not necessarily mean it has been good for the American worker. Whether intentional or unintended, the American worker has suffered through the philosophy of free trade. Do not miss quote me, Globalism has a lot of positives. Now more than ever the people of earth are connected through the internet and can communicate information faster than any other time in history. People are exposed to different cultures and ideas, and the free flow of information is exponentially evolving our society. “Free trade” plays a big part in globalism, which is why there has been a “backlash” from non-college educated workers in wealthy countries in direct response to the effects of free trade policies. When wealthy counties openly trade with developing countries it can overvalue the wealthy countries currency, which in turn makes imports cheaper while exports become more expensive. However, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the real culprit is not the valuation of the dollar and the increasing trade deficit. (Bivens, Economic Policy Institute)

The USA has increasingly shifted its economy from manufacturing to services like banking and investing. It is cheaper to import products of manufacturing from a country that has extremely cheap labor than it is to employ American workers in the United States. This in turn means there now is a premium on college educated Americans who are filling job openings within the service industry. On the other side of the coin, manufacturing jobs are leaving the country and lowering wages of workers without a college degree. This fact coupled with increasing technology that replaces workers and a trade policy that out prices “expensive” American workers is leading to decreased wages. As the US trades more with developing countries as a percentage of GDP, the wages of unskilled workers continue to decrease. (Slaughter and Swagle, International Monetary Fund)

Though Globalism has a net increase in GDP and employment for countries involved, most of the gains from free trade is disproportionately received by the top 1% of Americans. Policies that protect corporations and their interest at the expense of the American worker exacerbate the problem. Trade policies like NAFTA and others have little protections for workers and heavily favor the multinational corporations that seek to benefit from free trade. This only adds fuel to income inequality, which for poor countries can increase economic growth while having a negative effect on rich countries. Rich countries are also at higher risk of financial crisis when they have high levels of income inequality. (Malinen, Huffington Post)

Globalism and free trade are linked very close together, which is why there is a stigma attributed to the word. There has been growing resentment within the US and other wealthy nations of globalism as a whole. They do not just condemn free trade, but openly blame minorities and marginalized groups for their decrease in wages and “eroding” their cultural dominance that they claim dominion over. This is a deadly cycle, as income inequality only feeds this type of behavior. In a country that is not adequately educating its people, more of the workers within its country will become more ignorant. With free trade putting a premium on college educated workers and decreasing wages of unskilled labor, we are now almost at a tipping point, socially and economically.

Globalism has many unintended consequences that inadvertently caused huge social and economic problems within the US. The problems that globalism is causing is not a hard fix. Reducing the income inequality will eradicate more of the negative effects of globalism. Universal Education, Universal healthcare, and a rewrite of our tax code are just a few ways to reduce income inequality. All of these possibilities are well within our means. We have to take care of these problems swiftly, before globalism becomes an integral part of our own decline. (Mason, Post-Gazette)

Bivens, Josh. “Using Standard Models to Benchmark the Costs of Globalization for American Workers without a College Degree.” Economic Policy Institute. N.p., 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Malinen, Tuomas. “The Economic Consequences of Income Inequality.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Mason, Bob. “Single-payer Health Care Would Help to Treat Three Separate Threats.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. N.p., 26 Oct. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Slaughter, Matthew, and Phillip Swagel. “Economic Issues 11–Does Globalization Lower Wages and Export Jobs?” International Monetary Fund. Imf.org, Sept. 1997. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

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Global Trends in the Cosmetic Industry

Cosmetic dyes and colours: Explained

Cosmetic colours are also known as cosmetic lakes. These colours are produced by taking the help of absorption of dyes that are water-soluble onto a substrate. It makes the colour insoluble in water. Cosmetic lake colours are made by making use of unique technology. The technology helps in attaining extremely fine particles. These particles help in achieving shade consistency. In comparison water soluble colours, cosmetic lakes are much more stable & safe. They also generate vivacious and brighter colours. It has been seen that cosmetic pigments and lakes are more suitable for food products that contain fats and oils. They are also suitable for those products that do not contain enough moisture for dissolving colours.

Cosmetic dyes, on the other hand are used for making cosmetic colours & products. These dyes are widely used by the cosmetic manufacturing industries and businesses all over the world. They are primarily used for manufacturing hair dyes, lipsticks, nail polishes, shampoo as well as other personal care products. It has been seen that generally water soluble & food dyes are very easy and safe to use. These dyes are mostly used for a wide variety of applications. They include cleaning chemicals, soaps, medicine, cosmetic products etc.

Know which ones are safe for use

Be it the use of any type of cosmetic dyes or cosmetic colorants safety of use is a primary consideration. Cosmetic colours and cosmetic dyes often make use of a wide range of synthetic colours. These are often referred to as FD&C colours. They are mainly extracted through coal tar and are basically a by-product of petroleum. Research shows that some particular coal tar based dyes lead to different types of cancer. This is why the FDA regulates them. They also determine the arsenic or lead amount they contain. Thus there are many restrictions in the use of such colours.

Some global trends in Cosmetic dyes and cosmetic colours

Worldwide it is seen that North America, followed by Europe, has the largest market for colour cosmetics. This is due to innovations in colour cosmetics. Other factors also include high consumer disposable income and frequent new product launches in colour cosmetic market in the region. However Asia too is expected to show high growth rate in the colour cosmetics market in next few years. This is on account of the increasing consumer incomes and rising in awareness about personal care products in the region.

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