Wednesday, 8 January 2014

10 Quick Tips To Save Money

Money, according to a classical definition, is what money does. And truth, as they say, is like a rubber band. Stretch it and it can do wonders. So if we can really make money in order to do whatever we want, there is nothing like that. To provide 10 quick tips to save money is almost like a first-aid approach to a very intricate problem perhaps faced by almost each of us. It is important to know how to manage money efficiently to ensure bulky savings. Whether to save some part of what we have to spend or whether to spend at all on a service or commodity should be the first question to be answered. Firstly in case of large investments, the first step for a prospective buyer is to identify and correlate the valuable item or service with need or desire. It is better to test its utility first, for example, by borrowing it for a fixed time period. If you are satisfied and convinced about its necessity and think that you really need that, you may buy it. But to save money, you as a wise consumer must find the best seller in terms of comparative pricing, quality & market reputation. For lower priced items, one has to shop for the lowest prices, also keeping an eye on the quality aspect. For example, if you take the instance of buying clothes, the best purchase is off-season discount sale, wherein you can get good clothes at cheap rates. For financial investments, like the stock market, follow the golden rule of buying volatile stocks when the price of an item is down & sell it when it is at a high. The profit thus earned can be invested in the equity market for steady items. Today's Internet has provided the best opportunities to shop vigorously for the best price before you actually drop the money. Especially for insurance, loan facilities and financial management, one is spoilt for choices. Proper analysis of rates and amortization goes a long way in saving even hundreds of dollars in a year. Change of plan in case of services like telephone, insurance, etc. can save you costly dollars provided you simply have the knowledge about the best existing plan. Making a monthly budget for buying the essential items and regulating the number of luxury items can yield considerable savings. Expensive weekends and extravagant outings should be replaced by reasonable excursion for wholesale entertainment. Proper food planning and food habits result in better living, both financially and mentally. Stay healthy and you can save on medical bills. Having a proper food plan also prevents food from being wasted. Paying the bills within due dates provides invaluable savings, because, in this case, as you have to pay, it is better to pay in time to avoid penalty. If you are an employer, you should encourage flexible job responsibilities for your task force, making each one compatible with the work within a department. This will help in cutting down employees cost and help complete a task within time, even if someone is absent. There are obviously several other ways to save money and lead a frugal life without tension. It is always told that money saved is money earned. Just keep it in mind and stay happy.

How The Credit Crunch Will Affect People With Debt Problems

By now it's a good bet that we've all heard about the global credit crunch to some extent, even if we've just glanced away in boredom when a story about it came onto the television news bulletins. This reaction is perfectly understandable - after all, who outside the rarefied world of high finance really cares about or understands such concepts as Structured Investment Vehicles and other obscurities? And who cares if banks are taking quite a financial hit, given their huge profit levels over the last decade or so? The unfortunate reality is that the credit crunch will affect most of us in ways experts have not yet agreed on, but one large group of people are going to see the impact sooner rather than later: that is, people with significant personal debts. How will these millions of indebted consumers be affected? If we can take one positive, it's merely that as banks tighten their belts it's going to be come more and more difficult to get deeper into debt, which may prevent severe problems occurring in the future for people whose debts are substantial but not yet dangerously high. Seeing this as a real benefit though is maybe clutching at straws, as in almost every other respect the outlook is negative. Despite recent cuts in base interest rates, as central banks try to stimulate economic activity with cheaper credit, not all banks are passing these rate cuts on to the consumer. Indeed, many people on flexible rate borrowing are likely to see their interest rates hiked as banks try to recover the missing profits they're faced with. This will make it harder to meet monthly repayments, and will increase the length of time it takes to clear a debt if you stick to the same payment schedule. With worries about their exposures to bad debt growing, banks are also less likely to take a kindly view of people experiencing problems, and are in many cases going to be a lot less flexible than in recent years. They may try to recover what debt they can by whatever means they can, rather than coming to an agreement over a new repayment plan. There are also the issues of economic downturn loading to lower incomes, and falling house prices meaning secured lending is a lot more risky for both borrower and lender, and so more difficult to arrange. It's going to be harder to get secured finance, especially in cases of poor credit ratings or high loan to value levels, and this will have an impact on debt consolidation: it may not now be possible to borrow enough cash at a low enough rate to make consolidation work well. All this sounds plenty worrying for people struggling with debt, but that doesn't mean you should ignore it and hope the high flying financiers will work a miracle and solve the problems, as this is looking more and more unlikely. If you're experiencing debt problems now, it's an extremely sensible idea to immediately look at ways of solving them through consolidation or other means. Otherwise, you may well find that it's too late once the banks uncover the true extent of the mess that's been created.

4 Ways To Be Debt Free Without Bankruptcy

It can be frighteningly easy to get into debt, as many millions of people have found to their cost over the last few years. Easy access to cheap credit over the last decade or so, along with a generational shift in attitudes to borrowing, has left huge numbers of people struggling to get by and keep their debt repayments on track. Of course, the unhappy fact is that for some people their debt problems are simply too pressing and no solution can be realistically found, and for these unfortunate people bankruptcy is often the only option. However, there are ways to get debt free without resorting to such drastic action, although none of them are quick or easy, no matter what the abundance of advertisements may insist. The most common method of dealing with debts is to take out a consolidation loan. The basic strategy is to take out enough cheap credit to pay off your existing more expensive debts, leaving you to concentrate on repaying this single new debt, for which you should be having to pay less each month than the total of your previous repayments. Obviously, this is not a quick route to being debt free, especially if your loan was taken out over a long term, but it's a popular way to relieve the pressure of unaffordable debts. So long as you stick to the repayments, and avoid racking up additional debt, you will (eventually) clear your debt. A more proactive way of clearing your debts is to use the snowball method, where you determine to make the minimum repayments on all your debts each month, with any extra cash left over being concentrated on repaying just one of your debts. Once this single debt is cleared, you transfer your previous minimum repayment on it to the next debt in the line, as well as keeping up the repayments you've been making all along. Once this debt is cleared, you transfer the entire repayment onto the next one, and so on down the line. The beauty of this method is that your total monthly debt payments will stay the same, but the power of your repayments will grow and grow as your debt gets smaller, and you also have the encouragement of seeing your debts get cleared one by one. A more drastic move is to enter into a debt management program. This is basically an admission that you can't cope with your debts, and a plea for negotiation with your creditors. You should be able to come to some sort of arrangement to spread your debts over a longer term, reduce the interest rate you're being charged, or otherwise ease the burden by restructuring your finances. You can either take this process on yourself, or consult a debt charity or debt management agency who will handle it for you. The final option is known as an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement, which is actually a form of insolvency. It is in some ways similar to a debt management program in that you negotiate a new repayment deal with your creditors, but the crucial difference is that your new agreement is legally binding and must be signed off by a judge. Under an IVA, you don't necessarily have to clear all of your debt, but so long as you stick to the agreement you've made in court, any remaining debt will be written off after the five year term of the IVA. Although this is one of the fastest methods of becoming debt free, it's not a trivial course to take and will impact on your financial future from many, many years, not least through the near destruction of your credit rating.

An Introduction To Offset Banking

If you've been searching for a new bank account or mortgage, you're quite likely to have come across the term offset banking. It's a relatively recent development in the financial world, and has the potential to save certain groups of people large amounts of money. While the concept of offsetting can be used in a wide variety of financial situations, the most common scenario is combining a mortgage or home loan with a current account, and savings account. Sometimes, a credit card and/or a personal loan is added to the mix as well. This is all well and good, but what does offsetting actually mean? Traditionally, we took out a mortgage to cover the purchase of our home. We also had a current account to handle our day to day finances, and if we were financially prudent we'd also have some sort of savings facility to put money aside for a rainy day. In offset banking, these various kinds of account are all rolled into one. Each month, when your salary is paid into the account, it is applied to your mortgage balance, temporarily making it smaller. A smaller mortgage balance means more of your monthly repayments go towards repaying the debt itself, and less towards the interest charged on it. Similarly, any savings you have also go towards reducing your mortgage balance, which will either decrease your monthly repayment or reducing the effective term of the loan. The crucial thing to bear in mind is that your salary and savings are still instantly available for you to use as and when you see fit. There is no lock-in period - all that happens is that if you remove money from your account, your mortgage balance rises again. One way of viewing an offset account is as a huge overdraft that you need to clear over the period of your mortgage term. But how does this help? Historically, your mortgage would cost you a higher rate of interest than a savings account would pay. Even with today's high direct savings rates, this is still generally the case. Instead of earning a lower rate of interest on your savings, you're instead avoiding paying a higher rate on your mortgage. This is clearly going to see you come out ahead in the end, even before taking into account that you'll avoid having to pay tax on savings earnings, which makes the deal seem even sweeter. As an additional benefit, your monthly mortgage repayments are usually not set in stone - you can vary them as circumstances allow, paying more or less depending on how much spare cash you have each month. Your only commitment is to clear the balance by the end of the term (usually before your retirement date). But are there any drawbacks? The main one is that as offset accounts are so flexible, you'll pay a little extra in terms of the base mortgage rate compared to, for example, a five year fixed rate deal. If you take full advantage of the offsetting benefits though, this difference is easily overcome. The second drawback is that the flexibility requires discipline if you're to keep your repayments on track. Ideally, you should only use the flexible payments feature to make overpayments, and keep any underpayments to an absolute minimum. So is offsetting for you? If you need some flexibility in your repayments, for example if your income varies dramatically from month to month, then it's an option worth considering. Similarly, if you often have large amounts of surplus funds, for example if you are self employed and need to put money aside to pay your yearly tax bills, then you could find that your money works much harder for you in an offset account than in a traditional savings account.

Filing Bankruptcy Online: For A Smoother Bankruptcy Process

Now days, with the wide availability of bankruptcy form processing services on Internet, filing bankruptcy online has now become easier and the good part of the story is that the process is very easy and time saving. If you understand the legal requirements associated with filing bankruptcy and you know what are the forms that you need to fill and submit in this regard, you do not even require hiring a bankruptcy attorney to help you with the procedure of filing bankruptcy. Ways To File Bankruptcy In fact, there are plenty of ways you can use to file court petition for bankruptcy. For example, if you can hire bankruptcy lawyers to do the job for you or you can avail the various online bankruptcy services available on Internet, or if you are a legal expert and you know the ins and outs of the various bankruptcy laws, you may choose to go for personal filing. How Much Does Filing Bankruptcy Online Cost? Depending upon the type of filing process you have chosen, the costs will vary. For example, filing bankruptcy online for chapter 7 bankruptcy and chapter 13 may cost you somewhere around two hundred dollars or less, depending upon the type of bankruptcy you are filing for. If your bankruptcy case is a bit complicated and you know that you are not capable enough to defend your bankruptcy claims yourself successfully, it is always recommended to avail the valuable services of an expert bankruptcy attorney. They will never let you down. These days, even the bankruptcy lawyers choose to go for filing bankruptcy online, as it makes the process much easier and most importantly, it saves a lot of time both for the debtor and the bankruptcy attorney, but of course, it costs a little more. Advantages Of Filing Bankruptcy Online If you do not want to hire a bankruptcy attorney, it will be wiser for you to take advantage of the various online bankruptcy services. They are known as online bankruptcy form processors. They will help you in several ways. For example, when you submit your specific bankruptcy case to them along with all the relevant information, they will suggest you the right type of bankruptcy that you should claim for and they will provide you the right bankruptcy forms to fill. Once you submit those forms, they will review all the information you provided with the forms. If some information is missing, the online bankruptcy forms processor will inform you regarding the same and will ask you to submit the missing information.

Get Winning Health Insurance Leads

An ideal situation for an insurance agent would be when he has a constant supply of winning health insurance leads at his disposal. Is it possible to have such a situation in real life? It is certainly possible provided the agent is ready to put in some effort to find good sources to get his leads. As far as health insurance is concerned there is a big advantage for agents - group insurance plans help them to achieve greater profits. Even if they get one winning group insurance lead they can land a bulky deal. There are many ways in which an agent can get hold of high quality insurance leads. Referral leads can be said to the best among them. In this method, an insurance agent's existing customer who is happy with the service he gets talks about the agent to his friends and neighbours. The good word about the agent spreads and he soon has people looking to do business with him rather than the other way round. So every agent would do well to invest time in keeping his customers happy by serving them well - giving them cost effective deals, getting them all possible discounts and helping them get their insurance quickly when they do make claims. Another way to generate health insurance leads is by calling on small firms either over phone or directly to explain about the various group insurance plans that could benefit the entire employee set. Even if the employees have individual insurance the low cost advantages of group insurance can be explained to win deals. Usually small business firms do not offer insurance to their employees and so they can be leads that can be easily worked. The most happening method is buying of health insurance leads. This has become especially true in the booming online scenario where people typically jump in to search for insurance plans to suit their needs. There are a number of lead delivery services that can provide agents with insurance leads on a regular basis. Agents can opt for companies that give them exclusive leads which means one lead is given only to a single agent. There are also shared leads that typically cost lesser in which one lead is given to multiple agents. For shared leads to be effective the maximum number of agents who get a given lead should not exceed 7 or 8. Agents should also make sure that they get a consistent volume of insurance leads periodically. Of course there is no point in the volumes alone being high; in fact smaller volumes with higher quality are any day better. Getting the insurance leads on time is another crucial aspect - the older a lead becomes the colder it turns that is the probability of working the lead into a winning deal is reduced to a large extent. When an agent keeps his eyes open to the above criteria he can easily see the pros and cons of a service. He can then choose a service that gives him the best health insurance leads day after day.

Auto Insurance Leads - Gather Them With Care

Would you want a barrage of auto insurance leads that hardly work or would you go for a lesser number in which all or at least most of them become deal winners? The latter quite obviously would be your answer. Insurance agents have the tough task of sorting auto insurance leads they can get hold of to pick winners. Gathering auto insurance leads with care can save a lot of time for agents because they will already have high probability prospects on their hands. So how do you find a lead delivery service that delivers the goods? Is there a formula that you can use? Well there are some criteria you can use to judge for yourself about the lead quality. Talking to agents who are already doing very well in the business might give you a few suggestions to begin on. Of course not all agents are large hearted enough to part with the names of good auto insurance leads delivery sources they know. Some agents might blame a good service because of their own incompetence. If you can manage to sift through all these hurdles you will probably have a hand full of services you could check out. Don't be afraid to pose questions and doubts to them. Ask to see sample auto insurance leads to verify what sort of lead details they provide. Can they give you free leads for a small time period which you can use to decide their effectiveness? This will help you determine if the leads are relevant to your line of insurance and to your location of operation. You could find out how they generate their auto insurance leads list. Do they use organic searches, affiliate programs or paid searches? Ask how they handle false leads that they generate and sell because such leads are a given when buying auto insurance leads in bulk. Do they have a procedure to discredit them quickly and ensure that you are not charged for such leads? Figure out the maximum number of agents to whom a lead is given in case of shared auto insurance leads. It is found that in general only if this number is 8 or less you have a fair chance of winning a deal with such a lead. Also ask how and when your auto insurance leads will be delivered - can you get them as emails or as text messages or as direct posts into your quote platform itself? Are they delivered on a real time basis so that you can work them when they are hot? Understand discount possibilities and other facilities the lead delivery company might have on offer. When you buy in bulk you can rightfully expect a hefty discount. Free training on insurance marketing techniques could be an added attraction especially for novices in the area. Lead prices are of course an important deciding factor; doing it in the light of lead quality would be the best way to decide though. Obviously you would be ready to pay more for better profitability that come from high quality auto insurance leads.