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26
Nov

These Smartphone Apps Can Help You Save More Money

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smartphone savings 300x295 These Smartphone Apps Can Help You Save More MoneySmartphones are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people discover how useful they can be. Numerous smartphone apps have been created to help people do a wide variety of tasks, from monitoring health to monitoring bank account. There are some apps that can even help you save money when you use them regularly. Here are some great smartphone apps to use to save more money during your daily activities.

Acorns

The new Acorns app is a great way to save more money and invest at the same time. The app basically works by rounding up purchases made with a debit card to the nearest dollar and invests the difference in a mix of low-cost, exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Fees are pretty low at $1 per month, with an expense ratio of 0.25 percent-0.5 percent. The small but steady contributions allow you to take advantage of compounding growth to save for retirement, for a child’s college education, or for a future home.

Mint

Mint is a great app for budgeting, as it takes all of the tedious, time-consuming work out of making and following a budget. The app links to your bank accounts and credit card accounts and gives you a real time look at your finances every time you log into the app. You can set up a monthly budget using preset categories and the app will automatically categorize each transaction that hits your accounts so you can easily see how close you are getting to your spending limits. To save more money out of your paycheck, add a savings amount to your budget and pay that amount to your savings account every month. You may be able to set it up as a recurring transaction that is automatically paid through the online features of your bank’s webpage.

Savings Goals

The Saving Goals app is just what its name implies – an app for managing your savings goals. To use the app efficiently, you must input the amount of money it would take to reach a particular savings goal and when you intend to reach that goal. The app will calculate the amount that you will need to save weekly or monthly to reach each goal set within the predetermined timeframe. The app will also keep track of your progress for you, saving you the hassle of constantly recounting and recalculating what you need to do to reach your goals.

24
Nov

Alternative Ways to Save for Your First Home

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Saving a deposit for your first home can seem too difficult and altogether impossible, but there are some quite creative ways that can be used to accrue sufficient funds to buy a property.

1. Upskill yourself in Currency Trading

When you have the appropriate skills, knowledge and training, currency trading can be a lucrative way to generate funds and save for your first home. However, financial trading should not be approached lightly; you really need to know what you are doing if you are to enjoy success.

Therefore, it is well worth taking a course through a credible training provider, such as Knowledge to Action . Quality training will help you to learn more about the ways the currency market affects investment possibilities, the impact of time on the way that money is moved across the world, and a deeper understanding of your personal relationship with money.

2. Save immediately after you are Paid

It’s difficult to find money for saving after you have spent most (if not all) of your pay cheque, so the best advice is to save your money as soon as it is paid to you. With this money deducted, you can then budget for the remainder of the month. Be careful not to allocate too much of your salary to savings – you still need to be able to make ends meet, so start by taking 10 per cent of your pay immediately and organise an automatic transfer. It’s easiest if the money is never seen in your everyday account!

3. Consider a Cheaper Car

If you really are serious about saving, it’s not the time to buy a new car, the latest technology or most advanced gadgetry.

Not only is a car a depreciating asset, car maintenance is usually expensive. If you are part of a couple and you each have a car, consider whether you can survive with just one vehicle between you. If you can, sell one car and devote the money received to your deposit. You should also work out the total that you would have spent on maintenance and also put that towards your deposit.

It may also be wise for you to own and drive a cheaper car. If you really want to secure your first home, determine whether selling your car and buying a less expensive, second-hand car will help.

4. Rent a Room

If you have a spare room within your home, or even a granny flat or garage that is not used, consider whether you could generate some much-needed income by renting out the space. While you may appreciate the extra money that comes in, you also need to feel completely comfortable with having another person/people in or around your home.

A solution may be to rent out your drive way or parking space if you live in a particularly busy area. This can be an easy, and lucrative, way to increase your income.

5. Enjoy a Second Income

If you look around and research carefully in order to only work with reputable set-ups, a plethora of websites exist to help you earn additional cash. You may be able to earn a second income through the completion of surveys, blog writing, producing graphics or even providing a voiceover service.

Saving for your first home can seem so difficult, but there are ways to increase your income and the amount you can save, often via some alternative but effective ways.

20
Nov

Improve Your Financial Management Skills With These Three Tips

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Financial Management 300x204 Improve Your Financial Management Skills With These Three TipsBeing able to manage your finances effectively is very important to your future financial security. Neglecting financial management tasks often leads to overspending, lack of saving, and the accumulation of significant amounts of debt. We like to think our brains help us make decisions by weighing all the relevant factors to make the best choice, but we are more than capable of illogical financial decision-making that costs us a lot of money when we do not plan ahead. Managing your finances effectively is not as difficult as you may think. Here are some tips for that will help you improve your financial management skills.

Designate A Set Time For Financial Management Tasks

To manage your finances effectively, you must make time to do your financial management tasks correctly. Designating a set time each week to sit down and go over any necessary financial information helps you make the tasks more routine and increases the likelihood that the tasks will be completed in a timely manner. Most weeks, you will be able to complete your financial tasks in less than an hour once you have your routine in place. Pick a time when you can quietly focus on getting your financial management tasks completed and write that time into your schedule as a weekly appointment.

Create Clear Financial Goals

Managing your finances becomes more important to you when you have concrete financial goals to reach for. Goals motivate you to save and watch your spending while providing you with a desired reward at the end of your journey. Start by setting a financial goal that you would like to reach within the next year. Then, focus on the steps that would be needed throughout the year to meet that goal. This will give you a starting point for how your finances should be allocated in your budget to meet both your monthly obligations and your financial goals.

Take The Time To Make Informed Decisions

Many people overspend unknowingly because they make financial decisions hastily or on impulse without having all of the necessary information to make an informed decision. Part of your regular financial management tasks should be to acquire information relevant to upcoming financial decisions so you can make an informed decision when the time comes. Examples of this are reviewing the prices and payment plans for various vehicles before buying a new car, comparing different retailers’ prices for an appliance that needs replacing, or obtaining insurance quotes before renewing your car insurance policy. Taking the time to do this research could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

17
Nov

Credit Myths That Can Harm Your Finances

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credit myths Credit Myths That Can Harm Your FinancesThere are a lot of myths out there regarding credit that many people believe. While some of these credit myths are relatively harmless, barely affecting you at all, some others can harm your finances significantly if you are not careful. Believing the wrong credit myths can cost you money and wreck your credit score. You should know these credit myths that can harm your finances.

Believing You Only Have A Single Credit Score

Most people are aware that they have a FICO credit score and believe that this is the score that lenders and other businesses that pull credit scores are looking at. Most people do not realize that there are multiple companies tracking their credit information and compiling credit scores on them that are then sold to the companies requesting them. Each of these companies may use slightly different formulas with your credit history information from one of the three main credit bureaus, resulting in different credit scores with different scoring companies. This makes paying for your credit score pointless, as there is no telling which credit scoring model was actually used to calculate your score.

Believing That Credit Bureaus Are Infallible

Another big mistake is believing that the credit bureaus are infallible and that any mistakes found will not be corrected. Many people do not check their credit reports because of this reason, allowing mistakes to drag down their credit score for years. Lower credit scores result in higher interest rates and fees, so people with mistakes on their credit reports pay more than they should be for credit products and insurance. It is important to go over your credit reports regularly to ensure that there are no mistakes on them that need to be corrected. You can obtain them for free once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Believing You Need To Carry A Balance For A Good Credit Score

Many people make the mistake of believing the credit myth that they must be carrying a balance on a credit card or a loan for them to have a good credit score. The truth is that you could pay off your balance entirely every month and still have a good score. This is because the balance reported to the credit bureaus is typically the balance from your last statement, not the amount remaining after you have paid the bill. Believing this myth could result in you paying a significant amount in interest payments unnecessarily, which ultimately reduces the amount that you are able to save for your future needs.