Sunday, February 28, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
It seems as though there are more and more specialized credit card offers these days. That by itself can be a source of confusion. Conducting a credit card comparison before you decide is absolutely vital. It helps out in that it helps you choose which offers are best suited for you.
The whole purpose of this article is to offer helpful information. First of all, you need to understand what the terms and conditions are. All too often the vital details are hidden in the fine print.
Knowing what the APR is is critical. APR is merely an abbreviation for annual percentage rate. It is the interest rate that is charged for balances carried from one billing cycle to the next. For anyone that carries a balance then low rates offers are a great place to start.
Then you want to take a look at the fees. Fees that we are familiar with include the annual fee, balance transfer fees, late fees and cash advance fees. There are others to consider of course, so be sure that you familiarize yourself with them all.
The grace period is another important aspect of a credit card. The grace period is simply the number of days that you have to pay off your bill in full before interest charges begin. Grace periods generally last between 25 to 30 days.
The credit limit is also an important detail that must be considered. The credit limits will vary greatly from one offer to another. Oftentimes small business credit cards will have higher limits than personal consumer cards.
There are of course other details to consider but the ones mentioned here are crucial and must be understood. It should also be pointed out that a rewards credit card often is accompanied with higher fees. When doing a credit card comparison this is just one of the many things that you must take into account.
Monday, February 22, 2010
We have been examining the three tenets of money success - managing, multiplying and maintaining your money. After making smart use of the money you already have and making determined efforts to earn more, the final key is making plans to preserve your wealth for your lifetime and beyond.
Here are the four essential steps to maintaining your money:
Protect Your Money From Risks
Risk is the uncertainty of an event occurring that could have a negative impact on the achievement of your financial objectives. In order to preserve the money you have made, you need to plan strategies to counteract these harmful occurrences.
Investing risk is the possibility that the returns on your investment may be less than expected. The reality is that a great investing opportunity is like a double-edged sword - it can bring massive gain or cause you to lose big. To protect yourself against investing risks, consider:
- the consequences: what would happen to you if the negative event occurred?
- the probability: how likely is it that the negative event will occur?
- your objectives: how will the investing risks affect your goals?
It’s best to seek professional advice to help you decide if the returns are worth the risks.
Personal risk is the possibility that you won’t be able to carry on with your investment plans. These risks include the loss of your ability to earn and early death. Building up an emergency fund with three to six months’ living expenses is your first defence against personal risk. It is also crucial to get life and health insurance to protect you and your family.
Plan For Retirement
When you are young, strong and seemingly invincible, it’s very hard for you to think about the time when you don’t want to, or can’t work for money any more. Sadly, I have seen that a major reason for loss of wealth is that people retire and outlive the money that they have acquired.
It is vital to start planning early for your retirement. Get help from an advisor to calculate how much money you will need to last throughout retirement. Then make a plan to save consistently by using salary deductions, and try to contribute the maximum to your pension plan. With time on your side, you can create a comfortable nest egg.
However, even if you have delayed planning for this life change, don’t give up hope. Doing a retirement spending projection will let you know the extent of your shortfall. This will allow you to make appropriate plans to continue earning in your golden years to make ends meet.
Plan For Your Passing
It is financially smart to make plans while you are alive, to transfer your money and assets when you die. Estate planning is not only for the wealthy, but for everyone with dependents or any type of property.
If you don’t plan for your passing, your survivors may find it hard to get money to pay funeral expenses, your outstanding bills, and estate taxes and fees on your property. Smart preparation for your inevitable demise can also help to preserve your wealth from excessive charges.
You can reduce the hassle and time it can take to pass on your property by writing a will, using joint accounts at the bank, buying property as joint tenants, and taking out life insurance with a named beneficiary. Make sure that you think carefully about who you want to carry out your wishes, and get proper advice from insurance, legal and financial experts.
Achieve True Freedom
There is more to financial success than just the accumulation of wealth; your mentality about money is also important. Isn’t it sad to see people who may have significant monetary assets but who are fearful, stingy, and generally not enjoying their good fortune? What’s the point of having money if it doesn’t enrich your life and that of others?
To truly achieve financial freedom you must be aware that money is abundant; there is no shortage of wealth. However, if you hold on tightly to your money, you actually believe that money is scarce. Scarcity thinking will only keep you poor in mind and spirit, so try to increase abundance in your life by giving time and money to worthy causes.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
First, you must decide what kind of vacation you want to take. If you want to go skiing in the Alps, then start by taking some skiing lessons to prepare for that. You are working for your goal of a vacation in the Alps by giving yourself a bit of what you have to look forward to. This is true for any major vacation that you want to take. For example, if you want to go to Paris, then start by learning French. This helps you stay focused on your goal and can be very cost effective.
Secondly, start to save money each paycheck towards your vacation goal. Setup a savings account with a title of your vacation dream. For example, name the account CRUISE and each paycheck deposit money into that account. Each time you make a deposit or check the balance on the account you will be reminded what you're saving that money for and thus be more inclined to leave it alone.
Third, do not use credit for your vacation. By doing this your taking a splurge that technically you can't afford and could cause you more financial problems. These financial problems may taint your vacation and then instead of having great memories from a great vacation, you have a bad taste in your mouth. "I should not have taken that vacation, look where we are today" is often a cry from someone who did not properly prepare.
Fourth, save money today for your dream vacation. For example, if you have a plan on going out with friends to Dinner and a Movie you can save money and still have the same type of experience. By the time you hire a babysitter, go to dinner and then a movie, you could easily spend $100 - $200. But if your family and your friend family get together, you can save quite a bit. Start by hiring a common babysitter at one home for both families. Then at the other home, prepare a dinner party. Cook a nice dinner together and spend the evening watching a movie from your DVD collection (or rent one from the local video store). Instead of spending $100-$200 dollars, you will probably only spend around $50 total. The memories could be better and thus the experience stronger with your friends. Once you have saved the money. Take what you normally would have spent and put it into your "CRUISE" account.
Fifth, decide what is important to you. Changing your vacation plans or preparing for emergencies is not uncommon. But I know many families that do both every month. They have been putting money into their "nest-egg" account so they have saved for any emergency. Currently, they have 6 months worth of living expenses in the account. This means that they could live on the money in the savings account for 6 months without any additional income. They are also saving for a vacation (actually more than one) because they want to have some special memories with their children. They are putting money away (a little more than the other) for a trip to Disneyworld. Their children are very young and would not remember the trip now, but when the kids are between 8-12 years old, they want to take that trip so the kids can remember everything. They are also saving for a trip to Australia. Since that trip is planned with just the husband and wife, they are putting a smaller amount away for that trip. They figure that if they can save enough to take the kids before they leave home, great, but if not they have saved the money so that they can enjoy the trip with the kids, they will do share the experience.
This does not mean that they are not doing anything between those plans, it means that they have those two major goals in mind. Each year they take a family vacation and do so by taking a cost effective vacation. This year may be camping, next year a trip to see family, it just all depends on what the needs of the family are at the time. So preparing a vacation can not only be fun but a good learning experience for your family.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
First, picking a good topic for blogging can be a tough ordeal. Many people want to blog about their hobbies, but if the niche is too small, generating traffic can be difficult. It is important to find a topic which will draw in a good crowd, but it must also be a topic about which you are willing to write. A blog that lacks passion or insight will not retain visitors and will not give them the incentive to use the banner ads on the site, or click through on your affiliate product. This is the primary way most blogs generate revenue, so if the ads or sales fail, the blog may not make any money. Becoming an expert at your particular niche is key.
So how do you go about making the best of your blog? While most people who are considering blogging for money are already web savvy, it is important to be up to date with the latest internet publishing software and websites. An out of date blog, or one which does not take advantage of new methods for increasing traffic, may struggle against technically superior blogs. Blogs today take advantage of things such as RSS feeds and podcasts. By utilizing the latest technologies a blog can keep up with the rest and really stand out. Wordpress blogs are especially regraded for their use of ease and plethora of features.
One thing anyone who wants to blog for money needs to remember is that regular visitors will lose interest if the blog is not updated frequently. Updating the blog every day can result in a very high turnover for certain blogs, but may be too much for others. A blog about a rapidly changing medium, business for example, can thrive on daily updates. However, a blog about a hobby such as snowboarding, may be better served by information-rich weekly updates. A blog which is unnecessarily updated may come off as spam to some readers. Despite this, a blog with appropriate and well-written updates will keep readers coming back for more time and time again. Making sure the updates are on a schedule, rather than random, can also keep readers coming back.
Blogging for money does not have to be hard. Do not let the lack of success from others steer you away. Those who are unprepared or not serious about blogging for money will make room for those who want to turn real profit. By doing your research and approaching the blogosphere with a professional attitude, it is very possible to supplement an existing income or replace it all together. Make money blogging today with these 3 easy tips!