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If you’re trying to save money or stick to a budget, then the thought of buying a car can feel daunting to say the least. But a lot of us need a car, whether it is to get to work, school or to do errands and get to appointments. Not every city or town has public transportation that is convenient and easy to navigate. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to crunch the numbers and get the most value when buying a car.

Tip #1: Start by doing your homework. If you visit Cars.com, in the convenience of your own home with a cold iced tea and your feet up you can easily browse through to see what cars meet your needs. Take a look at what cars are not only within your budget but also might even be a bit outside of your budget. Don’t forget to visit their Video & Reviews section, so you can get a full view of the cars and understand what it is like to own the car. Once you have a list of cars it’s time to move on to the next step.

Tip #2: Sit down with your budget and understand what you could afford to pay for a car. Buying a car is a personal decision, so everyone is going to think something different. Some prefer to always lease a car. Others like to own a car. Some car buyers will take a look at pre-certified used cars. Others only want a new car. Decide what types of cars you prefer the most as we’ve mentioned and then see how your budget is going to work with them.

Tip #3: Plenty of people who need to buy a car realize that they need to have additional income coming in because this is an added expense over your typical month-to-month budget. Take a look around to see what type of work you could add to your schedule that you would like to do. If you are a teacher, then being a private tutor could be a great way to earn money. If you are a great DIY person, then putting together items people have bought, such as furniture is something that is convenient and also would be in great demand.

Tip #4: Think long term when you buy a car. It can be very tempting to jump at the first car you see that is in your price range, especially if you are on a tight budget. But remember that if you are buying a used car, you want to have a mechanic approve of the car before you hand anyone a check. Realize that when you buy a car, you want this to be a car that you will be driving five to ten years from now.

Tip #5: Make the most of the time you are looking for a car. While you could find something quickly, focus on your needs and be sure the car you purchase meets them!

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man-937665_640If you lose your job, it can be very difficult to know how you are going to make ends meet, especially if you have not saved enough money to pay your bills for the next few months. There are many people who do not properly budget when they are on unemployment and end up getting themselves into a financial crisis as a result. The guide below walks you through a few tips to use if you find yourself unemployed and needing to live off of a very modest budget in the near future.

Determine If You Qualify for Unemployment Benefits

There are many times when someone may qualify for unemployment benefits when they lose their job. There are specific qualifications that must be met in order for you to qualify for the benefits through.

Every state has a specific period of time that you must have worked in order to qualify for the benefits in that particular state. It can be difficult to know how to determine your base period if you have never dealt with unemployment before. Fortunately, filing for unemployment benefits is not overly difficult to do and can get you the money you need to get through the rough financial spell.

Save Money on Day to Day Expenses

When you lose your job, you need to do whatever you can to save money on your day to day expenses. Meal planning can be a great way to save money. You can cut down on the amount of food that you have to purchase and the amount of food that goes to waste through meal planning. It is not overly difficult to do. Go through your local grocery store ads and choose foods that are going to be on sale that week and then pair them together to make easy and affordable meals for the week.

Use coupons whenever possible to save money on expenses, as well. There are many digital coupons that you can download directly to your grocery store membership card, online coupons that can be printed from a computer, and even coupons that are available in the local newspaper that you can use to save money on groceries and services in the area.

Determine the Difference Between Your Needs and Your Wants

There are many people who spend money on things that are not necessities. While it may be nice to have satellite television, it is not a necessity to live. Cut back on expenses that are not necessities to save money until you get a new job. You may need to stay home more often or find free forms of entertainment to enjoy, such as going to a park, swimming at a local lake, or simply watching movies that you already own.

Contact Debtors to Negotiate Temporary Holds on Your Account

There are many debtors that are willing to work with someone when they lose their job through negotiations over the phone. Some companies will give you a temporary break from paying a monthly bill for a month or two when you lose your job if you contact them and are honest about the situation. This can be a great way to keep yourself from going deeper and deeper into debt when you lose your job.

It is important to be proactive when you are unemployed. You need to consider everything that you can do to live within your means and not make the mistake of trying to live off of credit cards or simply getting deeper into debt. If you are approved for unemployment benefits, you will receive some money each month until you are employed, but you will not be getting as much as you did when you were working. Use the money responsibly and you should be able to get through the tough financial time as smoothly as you possibly can.

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Different Ways to Make Your Money LastWhat’s going on everyone? I hope you are having a good day. These days a lot of people complain about money. Some of them are struggling. They may have underpaying jobs, or they may be horrible at budgeting. Whatever the reason is, I don’t want you to worry too much. You don’t have to always struggle. There are some ways that you can make your money last. Today, I want to go over four different ways to make your money last.

Cook your meals

I love going out as much as the next person. Fast food is convenient, but it can be expensive.  You should take the time to cook your meals. This is such an easy thing to do, but a lot of people are just lazy. Your bank account will thank you if you start doing this. If you don’t know how to cook, you need to learn. You will get better with practice. You will be able to make meals for a fraction of what you will pay when going out. You can save money at the stores with coupons. You can get the coupons online or from the newspaper.

Use public transit

Number two on the list is to use public transit. If there is public transportation available in the city that you live in, you should consider using it. You will save money on gas and auto maintenance. Your job may even give you a discount for using the public transportation. Another way that you will save money if you use public transportation is that you won’t have to pay for auto insurance anymore if you don’t drive a vehicle. Car insurance premiums can be very expensive especially if you have a violation or an accident. Believe it or now premiums go up for no reason. That happened to me a couple of years ago. The increase wasn’t a lot, but it was an expense that I wasn’t used to.

Purchase in bulk

The next thing that you should buy are things in bulk. There are deals for certain items at stores like Sam’s or Aldi’s where you can buy them in bulk.  Sam’s is preferable as their return policy is great.   Paper towels, can food, cleaning supplies, and soap are just a few of the items that you should consider buying in bulk. When you’re buying items in bulk, you’re saving money because you’re purchasing those things only a few times a year instead of every other week.

Unplug

The final tip that I have for you today is to unplug some of your electronics when you’re not using them. I’m not talking about unplugging your fridge or stove.  I’m talking about unplugging things like your TV or laptop or other things when you’re not using them. A lot of electronics use power when they are still plugged in. I don’t even know how much money I’ve saved since I’ve been unplugging stuff. What I do know is that for 2016 my light bill averaged out at $51 per month. That is great. Many people pay over $100 each month on their power bill.

How do you make your money last?

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file8391306993784Political turmoil and economic uncertainty continue to dominate the news cycle. Companies are starting to feel the pinch as the world settles into another financially difficult year. If you are fortunate enough to receive a bonus at some stage think extra carefully about this decision: Save it or spend it?

Our short term wants and needs often get in the way of our dreams and long-term goals, particularly when it concerns our finances. We are all too easily swayed into spending frivolously, which could affect our long-term financial goals.

Consider using any bonus (or at the very least part of it) to start a new investment or make additional contributions to your existing investment(s). Choose smaller gifts and indulgences for loved ones over expensive items. Consider your financial goals when making strategic choices so that you are able to enjoy the lifestyle you want now and in the future.

Let’s look at a few excellent reasons to invest, at the very least, a portion of your bonus:

The money you invest creates money

Investing allows your money to have the time to grow and compound. Compound interest makes your money work for you. Over time compounding will dramatically increase the value of your investment, so that more of your total investment comes from growth and less will come from contributions. Your financial advisor can assist you with this, for example he can let you know which unit trusts are well priced and advise on which to buy.

Buffer against the impact of inflation

Inflation erodes the buying power of your money over the long term. In fact it is probably a greater risk than market volatility, which is usually a short-term phenomenon.

Consumables and many possessions (such as vehicles) tend to lose value over time and do not protect against inflation. Cost of living is an important issue and must be considered when planning your future.

You will have more options

Building up your investment buffers against unforeseen elements and gives you more options. Spending your bonus forfeits those options.

No buyer’s remorse

The choice between spending and saving pits our future needs against our current wants. Impulsive spending often leads to regret. Carefully consider why you wanted the item in the first place. You will soon realize that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

It’s a step in the direction of financial security

For many people retirement is something in the distant future. This separation from your eventual reality makes it easier to justify impulsive spending. Using your bonus responsibly is a step towards security. Each step becomes easier and very soon you will be able to see the benefits.

Do not be tempted by short-term delights and face those long-term decisions head on. Your patience will pay off.

Carefully research all the options available to you and choose one that suits your long-term goals. Consider your return objectives, the risks and your time horizon when making your decisions. If it all becomes a bit overwhelming then consider consulting an independent financial advisor.

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budgetWhether you are saving for a new car, a special holiday or a new baby, you need a plan to get you there. It will likely mean sacrificing some of your monthly luxuries for a while, but most of us have corners we can cut somewhere in our budgets. If you plan ahead you can make it work and you might not even notice where you have cut back.

Step One: Take a good, long look at your monthly spending

Track your spending religiously for a month if you don’t already have a good idea of what you have going out. Once it is all on paper, you will see exactly why you don’t have any money left at the end of the month, and it will be obvious where you should be cutting back. It’s all about shifting priorities. Take a few hundred off the entertainment budget and move it over to make a credit card balance disappear. Cancel your gym membership and do home exercise videos or go for long walks instead. Remember to pay off your credit card balance each month going forward, so it doesn’t get out of control.

Step Two: Set a goal and visualize yourself reaching it

Maybe your goal is to reward yourself with a new car. You work hard, and you should be able to drive your dream car one day. The small sacrifices you are making in order to put money away for a new car will be much easier if you spend time visualizing yourself driving that Dodge Challenger down a long, winding road into the sunset. If your goal is a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy or Australia, print out some photos and put them up on your fridge where you will see them every day. Better yet, put them in your wallet to remind you why you aren’t doing any impulse spending.

Step Three: Make your money work for you

“Spend” your money ahead of time. That is, have each dollar allocated to either a regular monthly budget item, your retirement savings account, your special savings account, or bills. If all of the money is spoken for, there won’t be any lying around, tempting you to overspend. Many people find that living on a Zero-Sum Budget works wonders in helping them save for their goals.

When you are getting used to your new budget, you will have to work on your willpower. Know where you are tempted to spend in excess of your budget, and avoid those places altogether. And if you see something you really want to buy but it will mean breaking the budget you have set, ask yourself, is it worth more to me than my goal of a new car or a trip to Italy? If the answer is no, your budget is safe, your goal is in sight and that thing you thought you wanted will still be around when you have reached your savings goal.

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How Much Interest Does 1 Million Dollars Earn Per YearEarning money is never an easy task. If you want to know the sum that you can make from 1 million dollars per year, you can’t exactly provide the digit amount. It depends on a number of factors. These factors include the interest rate.
If you don’t have any knowledge of the economy and market conditions and where you invest, it is better to hire the CFA (Certified Financial Planner) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) who will provide you good advice regarding your money.

What are the economic conditions? Whether there is instability? Inflation rates? Loan rate? And a lot more. You need to know each factor first to estimate the interest you can earn. If the interest rates are higher, it is better as it can result in earning a significant amount of money in the long periods of time.

A million dollars is a great amount of money, and one can get various amounts of interest per year by investing it in different sectors. But this much amount of Defining the exact amount, however, is not possible as the number varies relying upon the kind of investment that you do other than the factors mentioned above. There are various options and ways in which you can invest the million dollars.

US Treasury Bonds

The first way where you can invest million dollars is through US Treasury bonds. The present rate for a 30 year US Treasury security is 3.08% so you would gain roughly $30,800 from the one million dollars every year. That’s a good investment. Depending on the country you live in and the current rate, you can speculate the amount you can earn.

Savings account

If you decided to put the 1 million dollar saving account, it is not a good choice of investment as you could expect to earn only one thousand dollars each year which is a very little amount.

Stock Market

Putting your money on the stock market can offer good returns for individuals needing to invest one million dollars, yet they are far riskier than any of alternate securities. But higher risk, higher returns. The risk can be reduced by investing your money in various companies that have been there for a long time and earn stable profits.

One good advantage of investing in more than one company increases your portfolio, in case you lose money from one company, you can earn from the other. This diversification reduces risk to a great extent.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are another option, and it is less risky, but at the same time, the rate of interest is also lower. The interest rate for stocks also varies. It truly relies on upon your investment strategy and market conditions.

This interest rate fluctuates. For instance, if you have invested one million toward the start of 2003, you would have earned an arrival of 3.54% per year. That would equal with $1,326,817.31 per year. If you invested the same amount at the start of 2007, you’d have an annualized return of – 2.48%, which means you will lose an average of $18,906.27 a year.

Get Corporate Bonds

Corporate bonds are another investment choice for 1 million dollars. The return on these government bonds are low, and you can lose money depending on the inflation rates. But in 2017, inflation rates are expected to rise. So instead of investing in government bonds, you can invest in high credit companies as they pay higher yields with limited risk.

Real Estate

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is an organization that owns and manages the properties like buildings, shopping plazas, and offices. This sector usually gives a high return, and so there are many advantages of investing in this sector. Real estate is a tangible asset, so inflation is a hedge against inflation. Investors hold an asset that appreciates in value and at the same time get profits.

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Mutual Funds That Accept Smaller Minimums A mutual fund is an SEC-registered investment company that gathers funds from numerous investors and invests the funds in stocks, bonds as well as other short-term money-market instruments. Every mutual fund share represents an investor’s proportionate ownership of the mutual funds. Mutual fund shares are typically purchased from the fund directly or through investment professionals.

One of the most difficult aspects of investing is simply starting out. Mutual funds are undoubtedly the perfect kind of investment for beginners, but a majority of them have minimum initial investment sums of $3,000 or even more.
For that reason, new investors usually have to save a lot of money in order to start investing in mutual funds.

There are lots of fund companies offering mutual funds with lower minimum initial investment sums. You might think that Vanguard Investments or Fidelity Investments have the perfect funds for starters. This may prove to be a fact, but not quite a few beginners are privileged enough to have $3,000 or higher. One great discount brokerage firm with an excellent choice of mutual funds for beginning investors is Charles Schwab. Best of all, they have a number of top quality, no-load funds with minimum first purchase amounts of $100 or much less!

Best No-Load Funds to Start Investing With Only $100

Schwab Balanced Fund (SWOBX)

Balanced funds is generally the best way for new investors to start investing since they are a diversified mix (a balance) of stocks, bonds, and cash. Put differently, a balanced fund is generally a whole portfolio in its own right. The Schwab Balanced Fund has an asset allocation of around 60% stocks, 35% bonds, and 5% cash. That makes for an average (medium-risk) blend suitable for the majority of investors. SWOBX is usually an above-average performer and has a minimum initial investment of only $100.

Schwab S&P 500 Index (SWPPX)

It’s difficult to get it wrong with an index fund with a minimum initial purchase amount of $100 along with a rock bottom expense ratio of only 0.09%, which rivals that of Vanguard funds. At 100% stocks, investors should certainly be able to hold on all through the inevitable bear markets, when stock prices can decrease by 20% or even more for a couple of months’. But the long-term (more than 10-year) returns of stock index funds are some of the competitive of all mutual fund types.

Schwab International Core Equity (SICNX)

In case you are looking to grow your portfolio to include foreign stocks, this fund is one of the top of no-load funds with a minimum initial purchase of $100. SICNX invests in large-cap stocks (large corporations) which are outside of the United States. Long-term performance ranks are high when compared with other large-cap international funds.

As you can see, there are some opportunities to invest with a smaller amount of money. If you have a little money that you can spend, it may be time. Why not get started today, go out and invest with just $100!

Are you interested in investing?

budgetWe all know a well-made budget is a building block of stable personal finances. How we go about making one is a little less obvious to most. Though it can be challenging, it’s worth the time you spend figuring out how you go about creating a budget. Once you realize you need to get on top of your day-to-day spending, there are some questions you’ll need to ask in order to make your task easier.

  1. What is your income & expenses?

When you sit down to tally up your budget, you need to know the exact numbers of your cash flow in black and white — or in some cases, red. Precision is key when you create a budget, so make sure you know how much money is coming down to the very cent. This includes your net income, as you won’t want to include your gross annual salary before taxes and other deductions are taken out of your pay. Luckily, with taxes just around the corner, this number will be easy to find.

You’ll also want to establish a detailed list of your expenses. The obvious regular costs are things like rent, utilities, groceries, insurance payments, and gas, but to get a complete understanding of your expenses, you need to go back into your accounts and review your past purchases. While you’re tallying these expenses, you’ll get a feel for those that are necessary and those frivolous, last-minute purchases that did nothing but spend your money.

  1. How can you prepare for unexpected expenses?

A successful budget is a realistic one. That includes knowing your past expenses won’t always represent your future ones. Sometimes, one-time events, repairs, purchases, and bills will come your way. These incidentals have the power to leech savings and throw your entire plan off course. If you don’t have a lot of extra cash in reserve, you may need to search out a loan for your non-recurring responsibility. When you realize you need to apply for a cash advance or line of credit, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Luckily, you can find the answers to frequently asked questions about borrowing money online quickly and easily. There are a variety of lenders and financial advisors on the Internet publishing easy-to-read information for your convenience.

  1. What are the long and short term goals of your budget?

In order for your budget to work, it needs a purpose — and one you can commit to. At its most basic level, a financial plan is supposed to help you spend less than you earn. The savings you make by shaving off unnecessary purchases can motivate you to follow your strict spending rules. For some people, the goal is simply debt reduction. For others, it’s so they have enough cash set aside for a new home, a big trip, or retirement. Others still will use a budget so they can buy fun items as the need arises, like the new Xbox Scorpio or the latest pair of PUMA creepers. When you know you’re skipping takeout so you can go on holiday, your measures of personal austerity become a lot easier to handle.

  1. How can you stay accountable?

There’s a big difference between creating a working budget and living it. Though we all wish we had an iron will that allows us to follow our plans effortlessly, we don’t always have the fortitude to say no to that night out with friends or our late-night Amazon order. But don’t worry — there are ways to bolster your resolve and stick with your budget. Let your friends and family know you’re trying to save more. They might just join in on your wallet-friendly plans, which can help you avoid making purchases by association when you meet up for drinks, dinner, or other expensive events. Your smartphone can also be a handheld helper you keep in your back pocket. There are a variety of apps available to help you make financially smart decisions. Just check out PC Mag and Business Insider’s list of mobile finance apps to see which ones you’ll stand to benefit from most.

When you take the time to answer these four questions in full before you open up Excel, you have a better chance at creating a budget that works with your situation. So get detailed numbers, establish goals, identify contingency plans, and search out assistance. These steps can get you closer to save more and spending less successfully.