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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.

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grave-674443_640There is only one true certainty in life, and it is that one day, it must eventually come to an end. With very few exceptions, most of us have no idea when that day will arrive.

It may seem a little morbid to think about this, but actually it is important. Unfortunately in the modern world, death is not free. First, the tax man will come calling to claim his share of whatever you have left behind. There may be medical expenses to be paid. And then there are the costs of actually laying you to rest.

The cost of a funeral can involve more than just buying a memorial headstone. There are so many things that need to be covered financially, that it can be really shocking for anyone who has no experience with such things and is not properly prepared.

The most important step you can take to protect your family against the costs associated with your death is to make the proper preparations now, while you’re still alive. Obviously that is actually the only time you can do so, because when you’re not alive, it will be too late to help.

These are all good ideas to make arrangements for:

  • A will – this is a legal document, usually (and best) prepared by a solicitor, which sets out how your assets should be divided. There are two types of will, the most common one being the well-known Last Will & Testament, and the other type being a “living will”, which is applied in a situation where you are alive but no longer technically able to function as a conscious person. Both are a very good idea to have
  • Life insurance – this is insurance that pays out when you die. Life insurance can really be complicated. For one thing, many people have life insurance already, but don’t know they have it. Other times, people think they have real life insurance, when in fact they only have insurance cover that will pay off the balance of a loan, or something similar. For this, it is best to seek advice from a professional insurance consultant or broker, and find the best life insurance option for you.
  • Funeral insurance – a relatively new type of insurance with low premiums that helps to cover the full cost of a funeral, so that it’s not a burden to those you leave behind. Even the most modest funeral is sure to be expensive.
  • A trust fund – if you’ll be leaving behind a very substantial sum and you want to ensure that it is not squandered frivolously, you could consider setting up a trust fund, which allows you to specify rules and conditions about how and when money will be disbursed to the beneficiaries.

While it’s not strictly necessary to have all of these, it is sensible to have at least some plan in place, even if it is just simple funeral insurance to cover the costs of the funeral and memorial headstone.

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weather-1568687_640From looking at investment ideas and property market news to actually buying your first rental property, there’s a long process to be accomplished. This is very daunting for first-time investors, and even long-time ones. Owning a property is a tough business in itself and the field is peppered with land mines that can potentially obliterate any returns.

In this article, we’ll look at the features you should look out for when shopping for an investment property.

Beginning your search

Although a real estate agent is helpful in completing the purchase of a property, you should consider starting the search for the investment property on your own. Having an agent can bring financial constraint and unnecessary pressure to buy a property that may not suit you. The most important thing to remember is to take an unbiased approach to all the neighbourhoods and properties within your investment range.

Also, your investment range will be limited by whether you want to actively manage your property (be a landlord/landlady) or hire someone else to manage it. If you will actively manage, you shouldn’t get a property that’s very far from where you live. If you’ll get someone to manage it for you, its proximity will be a lesser issue.

Here are the things you should consider when you begin searching for the rental property.

The condition of the neighborhood. The neighbourhood’s quality will directly influence the types of tenants you will attract and how often the property will experience vacancies. If your property is located near a commercial zone, you will most likely have tenants that will stay for extended periods of time.

Applicable property taxes. Property taxes differ across regions and since you’re planning to make money from rent, you need to be aware of how much you’ll lose to taxes. High property taxes are fine if you are in an excellent neighbourhood with long-term tenants. Check the town’s assessment office to see tax information in the community.

Job market. If the location as growing employment opportunities, then it as a better chance of attracting more people, which means more tenants. Seek out newspapers or online news articles for the announcement for any major company moving in the area. This can assure that workers will flock the area looking for a place to rent.

Crime rate. No one likes to live in a community with a high crime rate. To see criminal statistics, simply go to the public library or even the police to get accurate crime statistics for various neighbourhoods, rather than asking the neighbours or the property owner who is hoping to sell the house to you.

Education institutions. Some tenants will prefer a location with a nearby school. Check out the quality of school near a property you’re looking to invest in as this can affect the value of your investment. A low school reputation can reflect your property’s poor value.

Vacancies and listings. An unusually high number of listings in a particular neighbourhood can signal a seasonal cycle or a not-so-good neighbourhood. Figure out which is it before committing to a property.

End Note

It’s worth looking at top land developers when choosing an investment property. For instance, when you buy house & land from Lendlease or other major developers, you can be sure that you’ll be buying a quality property in a good community – an investment that will attract long-term tenants and give you big returns. Best of luck!

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corvette-171422_1920Auto Insurance is not always the cheapest. Depending on your past driving history, it could be very expensive. Thankfully, my car insurance is pretty affordable. I don’t pay too much for mine right now. Over the years, I’ve done some things that helped me lower it. I believe that you can do it too. Several ways can help you save a few dollars on car insurance. Here are some tips you can follow to get cheap auto insurance.

Safety Devices

Buy safety devices for your car. If you’re planning to get that theft alarm for your vehicle, this the right time to do so. Having theft devices on your car would help lower down your insurance costs. These devices would ensure your insurance provider that you are less likely to encounter car theft incidences because you have those things installed.

Use the same provider

Use the same insurance provider for all your vehicles. If you have more than one car at home, one good way of saving on auto insurance is getting only one insurance company for all of your cars. I thought that this would be common sense, but it’s not. Having all of your cars insured but the same provider allows you to get a multi-car discount. If you can’t get a discount on all of your car insurance policies, what most providers do is give you a lower rate for your second car. You’ll be paying the same amount for your first car, but the rest of the cars you sign up with them will be priced lower. That’s still a decent deal.

Group discounts

The next thing that you can do is look into group discounts. There are insurance providers who offer discounts. If you are a member of particular groups or if you carry a certain credit card. For example, I get a discount on my auto insurance because I’m in a fraternity. Before you sign up with an insurance company, it’s best to ask if they give discounts to members of organizations or if they are affiliated with the credit unions. Some insurance agents may not inform you about those discounts, so make sure you don’t forget to ask.

Provides multi types of insurance

Look for an insurance company that offers both home and car insurance. Most providers would give you as much as a 20% discount if you get both your home and car insurance with them. Doing this wouldn’t only just save you money, it also reduces paperwork. It makes applying easier as you are getting all your assets insured with only one company.

Low-risk driver

Be a low-risk driver. Taking care of your driving record is vital if you want to save on auto insurance expenses. The more tickets you get, the higher you will pay for your car. The more tickets you get, the higher you will pay for your car insurance. Providers don’t want to cater to people who are prone to accidents as this means shelling out money because of your inability to drive safely. Keep your driving records as clean as possible, so you won’t have a hard time getting a lower appraisal for auto insurance?

Keep good credit

Keep your credit score well. Most insurance provider’s credit checks to see if you can pay for your insurance policy. If you have a good credit score, then you don’t need to worry about anything. If your credit rating is not good, you might want to look for an insurance company that does not do credit investigations, although this may cost you a higher price for your car insurance. Stick with this insurance company for a while until you’re able to improve your credit rating.

With a little bit of research, you’ll find an insurance provider that can give you a good price for auto insurance. Look around, and you’ll soon get yourself some cheap auto insurance.


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bmw-918407_1920Good morning everyone. We all need a new vehicle from time to time. Many people get their vehicles from the dealership. If you decide to go that route, it’s a chance that you probably won’t be paying cash for it. Many of us are not at that level. That means that you will need to get a loan for the car. In order, to get the most car for your monthly payment, you want to make sure that you find the best low-interest auto loans possible. The less you pay in the interest, the more car you can afford to but while still keeping your monthly payment at a reasonable level. The interest rates that will be charged on car loans will vary from day to day to day, depending on what determines but even with fluctuation there are still factors that will determine what rate you will pay.

Credit History

Credit history will play an enormous part in determining what interest rate you will have to pay. Someone with an excellent credit score may get a rate of around 5%, but someone with a poor or average score may end up paying 15% or more on their loan. That’s a big difference. That’s why we have to make sure that our credit history is good. Paying your bills on time goes a long way. Paying 15% instead of 5% can really add a lot to the overall amount that you pay for the car as well as your monthly payment. You should do whatever it takes to improve your credit score before you go shopping. Sometimes it can be something as simple as correcting some mistakes on your credit report. Other times it will just take time. You will need to reestablish good credit by paying all of your bills on time. If you tend to forget your bill due dates add them to a calendar or put the dates in your phone. You need that credit history to be good.


If you don’t have the best credit, you still may be able to get a decent car loan. You can do this by putting a nice deposit down on the car. That happens for two reasons.

The first reason is that it shows the lender that you do have assets and you are in a better financial position than you were when the problems arose on your credit.

The second reason is that it means your lender won’t be on the hook for nearly as much money so even if you do default, they won’t take much of a hit. Think of it like this: you’re trying to purchase a $25,000 car. If you don’t have any money down, the bank is on the hook for the whole $25,000. If you can put down $7000, they are only on the hook for $18,000. $18,000 is still a lot of money, but it’s less than you’d have to pay without putting anything down. If they have to repossess the car and sell it in an auction, they will have a much better chance getting their money back.

I haven’t had a car note in years. I’ve been debating on getting another car within the next six months. It’s time. I’m not sure I want to get a car loan, though. My credit is much better than it was the last time that I had one. My income is better as well, meaning that I will be able to pay it off faster.

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This article was sponsored by SelectQuote, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you heard of SelectQuote? They are a life insurance company that strives to give excellent service and help you get great insurance with the least amount of stress as possible. Life insurance is something that many of us need. It may help your loved ones after you’re gone.  I was looking for a reliable life insurance company that can be proficient enough to tackle my problems and leave me feeling relaxed with my limited budget. I am happy that I found out the about SelectQuote. Just being honest, I would label SelectQuote to be one of the best life insurance companies. They have a fantastic proficient team. The team was very reliable and easy to deal with. They provided me with large information about all their deals. I had one of the best experiences of in recent memory discussing options with their company.

SelectQuote amazed me with their proficiency and information about their term life insurance. It was very easy to get good pricing from them. I loved their way of making me satisfied with their presentation. In fact, I was little worried at first. I have never discussed a term life insurance plan with this company, but they were very keen to educate me quickly over the phone with their sharp answers. When we discussed the terms in detail, I was surprised that they really provided beneficial results which were already mentioned and agreed to be done. The associate of SelectQuote that I spoke with was completely professional. Their customer service was bar none. They discussed the several factors that go into my rate, such as my health, my lifestyle and my age.

They explained those things in a way that anyone can understand. When I decide to get term life insurance, I will be sure to check back with them. Their terms and services are affordable for just about anyone. I would highly recommend this team of professionals to you and your family. The policies were easy to understand, and their services were perfectly described, which encouraged me to consider getting insurance with them ASAP seriously. Their life insurance policies were incredible, and the representative there helped me in all the ways I needed them to. They provided me all the information of their services and the legal policies and how they will benefit my loved ones in my presence or absence and me. The rep was there to help me and to educate about the terms and services. Before I called, I compared other companies and saw that SelectQuote had great rates compared to them. Dealing with them was very easy.

Their life insurance policies for adults of all age were amazing which surprised me a little. All in all, the services and policies of SelectQuote were great and very affordable. From the margin of benefits and systematic care for everyone, anyone can quickly conclude that their objective was to take care of people and offer highly satisfying services besides just earning money from them. Even if you aren’t making the most money, I’m sure that you can afford a policy from this company. They truly have some great rates.

Nowadays getting a life insurance policy is as compulsory as earning money for your loved ones. Life insurance can be a source of relaxation and comfort for individuals who care for their loved ones. There are no guarantees in life. Things happen, so it’s always good to be prepared. So, looking at these term life insurance policies, some companies have definitely taken steps to take benefit from them. However, some companies also do assure benefits for their clients rather than for themselves. From my point of view, SelectQuote is one of these companies which secure the future of their customers with highly affordable rates and fascinating policies. They care about their customers. They have some excellent policies.

I believe that anyone will put their money in a good place by investing it in the policies of SelectQuote because other insurance companies do not provide so many benefits. If I were you, I’d choose them to be my term life insurers for the present and the future. As I stated earlier, it was also very easy to contact them as they are always there to answer questions. Because of the results I have got from SelectQuote, I will recommend them to everyone. They are down to help and are worth the money.

If you are not yet assured, you have to seriously consider SelectQuote. I’m sure you will have positive results from them as well. You can go online and see all the information from their site or you can call an agent which is always available for answers. They will help you in any aspect. I hope you get the best possible results from them and that you will appreciate your decision of investing money there for future care of your loved ones.

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dollar-1362243_1280Whether you’re a veteran financial planner or just fresh out of college and you’d like to start up a financial advisory business, starting one involves a lot of hard work and planning. Those that fail in the business are those that fail to plan and think through all aspects of the business.

It is possible to establish this type of business and explore the tips you’ll need to know in order to make your dream a reality and arm yourself with these business success essentials.

  1. There is a lot of demand on the financial advisory services. The 2008 financial crisis has made the job market a competitive place and one of the few careers that’s estimating growth and relevance is of a financial advisor. The recent generation of financial products and services will allow to meet the needs of clients in ways that have not been anticipated several years ago.
  2. Costs should be considered. Starting a financial advisory business contains a lot of the same start up costs of any other type of business. Licensing, training costs, technology, advertising, rent and possibly an earnest deposit with a broker-dealer are just some of the costs you will encounter to make this business thriving.
  3. Risks and liabilities. Starting any type of business entails certain amount of risks. There is a possibility that the business will generate insufficient revenue to survive, as well as risks from liabilities and other responsibilities. All financial advisors need insurance.
  4. The type of business model and services you will offer. Determining what kind of financial practitioner you will provide your clients as well as your method of compensation is an extremely important decision. The type of business model you decide to employ may possibly determine which type of license you should obtain.
  5. Know your clients. Financial advisors that have a niche market has an advantage to those who don’t, and in a more competitive environment, these niches can be a vital source for a new business.
  6. Don’t do everything yourself. Financial advisors who are thinking of starting their own business should be aware of the enormity of the task ahead of them. Even if you’d prefer to be hands on and make sure that all will go smoothly, it might be better finding someone established to work with.
  7. The rewards. Successful planners enjoy high compensation as well as recognition in the community. However the best reward of all is the sense of accomplishment in helping out a client achieve peace of mind and resolving a complex financial issue.

Starting a private financial planning business involves a significant amount of work and risk, however those that desire to venture into this business should not let fear hold them back. To gain more lessons to be able to endure the financial advisory business, it’s important to learn business success essentials to be better prepared to make informed decisions regarding this business and learn from the second largest registered advisory firm. Many private and even corporate practitioners will tell you that financial planning is the best business in the world.

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camaro-339169_1280A few weeks ago I discussed four places that you find a used car. Another place that you can get a used car from is the auto auction. There are several things that you can do to make sure that you get a working car. Below are five tips that you can use when getting a car from the auction.

Be prepared

The first thing that you should do is to be prepared. You should know what kind of car that you want to buy. You should find out what similar models of the car are going for on the private market. Also, check the cars value. The last thing that you want to do is overpay for it. Kelly Blue book is one of the best resources for using when it comes to researching a used car. You can enter the mileage, location, as well as other options and Kelly Blue book, will give you a price that you can expect to pay at a dealership.

Inspect the car vehicle

The next thing that you should do is to inspect the vehicle. Like most auctions, you can check the vehicle before you make a bid on it. Look at the car carefully. Examine the mileage and the paint job. If you’re like me and don’t know that much about cars, bring a mechanic with you. I’m lucky to have a dependable mechanic that has been able to fix issues that I’ve had with my vehicles over the years. Having a mechanic come to the auction with you is a great move.  They are trained to see issues that the average Joe will overlook, especially problems with engines. You mechanic will be able to see if something has leaked in the engine or if one of the hoses has too much wear and tear. I know for a fact, I wouldn’t know what to look for. Having a mechanic with you could be the difference in purchasing a good car or a lemon.

Check the VIN

The next thing on the list is to check the VIN. A VIN is a car’s vehicle identification. It serves as the cars fingerprint. It is the vehicles unique identifier. No two cars have the same VIN. You will want to check the places where the VIN appears on the car such as the door and the windshield. If the numbers are different, the car may have been in a wreck and rebuilt. You should steer clear away from these types of vehicles. They could have numerous issues. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars trying to get it fixed. If that’s the case you might as well go to the dealership and get something new.


Bidding is one of the best parts of car auctions. It can also be very nerve-wracking if you let it be. It’s good to go to a few auctions before you participate so that you can match the bidders. You can see how they act and what their actions may be.

You can get carried away during the bidding process if you’re not careful. You should have a set amount that you want to spend. Don’t go over it. Know what you are willing to spend in advance. If you are outbid, be prepared to walk away. There will be other auctions and other cars.

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