Mar 23 2015

How to Save on Everyday Expenses

By |March 23rd, 2015|General Personal Finance|1 Comment|

7da9f2d4905741a6a225f19d5e9bbb0eLooking to save money on your home necessities? Walgreens, the largest drug store chain in the United States, has a lot of discounts and promos that sometimes it can be overwhelming. It is not only a store pharmacy but it has expanded into bath and beauty products, groceries, personal care items, seasonal decor, and household essentials. If there’s something you need to know about shopping at this place, here’s a couple of things you need to know first:

Sales Cycle

Always keep an eye out for their sales cycle. It usually runs Sunday through Saturday and in addition to weekly deals, Walgreens also offer monthly deals and a Rewards Program.

Coupons

We are not going to go extreme here, don’t worry, but we will cover the basics, just enough to save you money on your purchases. Walgreens accepts the following types of coupons: Walgreen coupons, manufacturer coupons, Register Rewards and internet printable coupons.

When you go to Walgreens at the Groupon site you can see a wide variety of items to choose from. It’s best to have a list on what products you need to buy and then when you find what you’re looking for, get the coupon code or have it printed out if it’s an in-store sale. Don’t forget to include the bar code in the print out, that is very important for you to avail your discount.

If you are using several coupons at the same time, the best tip would be for you to apply the Register Rewards Program first, then followed by the coupons.

Time to re-stock those everyday items at your home? View Groupon’s wide selection of Walgreens coupon and get discounts you won’t believe!

Mar 16 2015

Force Yourself to Save

By |March 16th, 2015|Blog, Personal Finance Tips|11 Comments|

Saving money isn’t easy.

When you get that paycheck on Friday and you’re ready to hit the town and have some fun, it takes a lot of discipline (or a ridiculously huge paycheck) to be willing to save a good chunk of that money.

Some people know themselves well enough that they won’t voluntarily save money, so they come up with ways to force themselves to save. There’s no better illustration of this than my favorite Super Bowl Commercial.

“Will the owner of a white stationwagon, please go #**# yourself?” I’ve watched it a hundred times, and it still makes me LOL. (that’s “laugh out loud” in case you haven’t seen that one before)

If you aren’t happy with how much you’re saving right now, I’ve come up with a few ideas to help you force yourself to save.

Five Ways To Force Yourself to Save

1. Swear Jar
OK, I’m not talking about an actual swear jar like they have in the video (although that could work). Just take any bad habit of yours that you would like to change and turn it into a competition with yourself.

  • If you want to stop cursing, save a quarter every time you say a bad word.
  • If you want to get in shape, save $5 every day you don’t go to the gym.
  • If you want to stop eating out, match your eating out bill with savings. (if you spend $16 at Applebee’s, you have to save $16)

This will either help you save money, help you improve yourself as a person, or a little bit of both. Extra Credit: If you can get Rahm Emanuel to contribute a buck to your swear jar every time he uses profanity, you can retire at a very young age.

2. Buy a CD (Certificate of Deposit)
Maybe you do an alright job of throwing money in your savings account, but always find yourself pulling it right back out when some new overpriced toy comes out. Put your money in a Certificate of Deposit. A CD typically gives you a higher interest rate than you can get with a savings account, but you are required to keep the money in the CD for a certain period of time, or pay hefty penalties to get the money out early. Higher Interest + Save Money Longer = Win.

If you have trouble saving money there are many ways you can "force" yourself into doing it. Here are my five brilliant ideas.

3. Don’t Add More Crap to you Possessions
Let me tell you a secret; you have enough crap. Sure, you’ll probably want or need new crap somewhere down the line. That’s cool. But when you get new crap, get rid of the old crap. This works particularly well with clothing. Get a new pair of jeans? Donate an old pair to charity. New suit? Sell the old one to a second hand store. Not only will this keep your closet from overflowing, it will make you put a little more thought into whether you are willing to give up an old favorite tshirt to get a new one. Plus you can sell old clothes or write off charitable donations to save even more.

4. Save 50% of any bonus or raise
I actually stole this idea from The Hoff; pretend you are earning $30k a year and you’re making it just fine. Then you get a raise to $35k a year. Guess what? You’re cost of living didn’t increase, but your income did. Theoretically you could save 100% of your raise and maintain the same lifestyle, but that’s no fun. What’s the point of a raise if it doesn’t include a new PS3? As long as you save half or more, you have my permission to spend some or all of the rest of it on a new toy or vacation.

5. Race Your Friend
When you are racing a friend to something like $1 Million in net worth or $1,000 in the bank, you’re going to be more motivated to do it. Saving money is a lot like going to the gym; you’ll stick to it better if you and a friend hold each other accountable. And you’ll get huge deltoids. Wait, maybe that’s just the gym. The point is, it’ll be fun and you’ll find yourself being a lot more conscious of your money decisions.

Mar 15 2015

Who Needs Life Insurance?

By |March 15th, 2015|General Personal Finance|0 Comments|

One of the most common questions asked about life insurance is “who needs life insurance?” The answer is actually more complicated than you may think. There are many factors that will go into determining whether it would be a good financial move to obtain a life insurance policy. Most insurance companies have a wide variety of different life insurance policies available and using an insurance comparison website like InsureChance will allow you to view many of them at a glance. Here are some of the groups that would benefit from having a life insurance policy covering them.

Married Couples

Every married couple should have some type of life insurance policy covering them. If both parties work outside the home, the life insurance policy should be used to replace employment income so that the surviving spouse can maintain the same standard of living without financial hardship. If only one spouse works outside the home, they should definitely be covered by life insurance because the loss of their income would be devastating to their family. The spouse that stays at home should also be covered so that the costs of childcare and other expenses for things that the stay at home spouse took care of can be paid without placing the entire burden on the shoulders of the surviving spouse.

Homeowners

It is important for homeowners to have life insurance so that their home will not revert to bank ownership if they were to die before the mortgage on the home is paid off. The beneficiary of the life insurance policy can use the proceeds of the policy to pay off the rest of the mortgage and retain possession of the home. Having this type of life insurance can help keep your home in the family. Mortgage life insurance can be an option for homeowners who are denied regular life insurance for medical reasons.

Business Owners

It is also important for small business owners to purchase life insurance. A life insurance policy can ensure your company remains in business after your death and provide for your employees in the event that the unthinkable happens. The last thing that you want to do is leave several families in dire financial circumstances due to your unexpected death. Check out several different types of life insurance policies to see which ones fits the needs of your small business the best.

Mar 14 2015

How Trading Online Currency Works

By |March 14th, 2015|General Personal Finance|0 Comments|

The foreign exchange market is undoubtedly one of the most gripping and fast-paced markets in the world of finance. It also happens to be the most liquid market in the world and it is this aspect which sets it apart from other markets. In recent years, online traders across the globe have increasingly acknowledged forex as an area to be exploited thanks to its accessibility and potentially lucrative financial rewards. Investors who are involved in trading currencies will be aware that the process involves making a prediction on small movements in the global economy and buying and selling accordingly. They can then utilize up-to-the-minute exchange rate data to conduct an analysis of currencies using economic forecasts to acquire a good understanding of the currency’s real value.

Online currency trading has become immensely popular with around $5 trillion forex trading taking place across the world every day. While many people regard forex as the realm of bigger institutions such as banks, the advent of the internet has made it accessible to average individuals who have spotted its potential as a means to making financial rewards.

Prior to becoming involved in online currency trading, a trader should understand exactly how forex transactions are carried out. Online currency trading is basically trading currencies across the internet and is otherwise known as an OTC market (Over The Counter). This basically means there is no centralized location such as the NYSE from which trading activities take place. The advantage of this is that traders wishing to get involved can do so wherever in the world they are located.

Online currency trading differs from the more traditional ways of transacting financial instruments in that most trading activities are essentially ‘do-it-yourself’.  With just a computer and internet access, a trader will be able to work out what, when and how much to buy quite simply with just the click of a mouse. With speed being of the essence, a trader’s orders can then be executed immediately via an online broker’s platform.

Trading currencies always takes place in pairs and are referred to as ‘currency pairs’ with each currency having a specific abbreviation assigned to it. This can be illustrated with a popular currency pair such as USD/JPY which denotes the strength of the U.S. Dollar against that of the Japanese yen. The first currency in the pair is referred to as the ‘base’ currency whereas the second currency is referred to as the ‘quote’ currency. There is a huge range of currency pairs and experience will dictate which ones are likely to present better opportunities for profitable trading. All the major pairs have the USD either as a ‘base’ or as a ‘quote’ currency whereas the minor pairs do not include the USD. The majority of traders are involved in trading the world’s seven most liquid currency pairs including the EUR/USD and USD/JPY and 3 commodity pairs such as the USD/CAD which account for over 95% of all speculative trading. Taking into consideration the comparatively low number of trading instruments made up of only 18 currency pairs and crosses that are actively traded, the forex market is far more concentrated than the stock market.

To help traders determine potentially profitable trades, traders will find a series of special tools provided on a broker’s online trading platform. Once a trader has conducted an analysis of the forex market, transaction activities may be automated via the trading platform. It is the ease by which this can be done that has made online currency trading increase so dramatically over the other financial activities previously chosen by traders.

Online currency trading also happens to be the most popular way of trading binary options. The main reason for this is that currencies are particularly reactive to short-term movements brought about by the release of important economic data, presenting frequent trading opportunities. Many traders will, for example, be familiar with trading on data releases such as the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) which can be illustrated in the following example. News of a decrease in this index will likely negatively impact the U.S. dollar. If we assume a positive resolution to Greece’s EU debt situation, this will positively impact on the Euro so a trader could capitalize on this situation by placing a ‘CALL’ option on the EUR/USD currency pair. If the trader makes the correct decision, the trade will end ‘in-the-money’ and he will make a profit.

Overall, online currency trading is an exciting and potentially lucrative way to trade and traders wishing to set out on this path are recommended to use the services of a regulated online broker such as Banc De Binary.

Mar 13 2015

How to Effectively Escape Debt

By |March 13th, 2015|General Personal Finance|0 Comments|

4b34aa6bc8a542738c9bb93307b862acAre you drowning in debt? Or perhaps need a few suggestions regarding the most effective ways to get yourself out of debt? Part of the process may require filing bankruptcy, such as chapter 7. This will allow you to get your debt under control while you figure out how to handle your finances moving forward. Knowing what chapter 7 entails, and ways to conquer that mountain of debt, can help get you back on the right track.

What is chapter 7?

chapter 7 is a bankruptcy proceeding where a bankruptcy trustee gathers, then sells, the debtor’s nonexempt assets. Proceeds from these sales ultimately go towards paying off creditors. Investors who take the least amount of risk are often paid first, followed by unsecured creditors. Any investors involved are traditionally paid off last. The goal of chapter 7, or any type of bankruptcy, is to free oneself from debts in order to start fresh. It’s important to remember that while most people or organizations file for chapter 7, some types of debts cannot be discharged. In addition, bankruptcy discharges don’t get rid of a lien on a property.

How do I Conquer Debt?

There are many ways to conquer debt, some of which are quite simple and straightforward. In some instances you can start to reduce your debt immediately. If you’ve filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will generally receive plenty of assistance in paying off your debts. However, it’s never too late to learn vital do-it-yourself methods for getting out of debt and handling your own finances afterwards. Some helpful ways to conquer debt include:

Create a budget. Establishing a budget gives you a clear idea of what your monthly income and expenses involve, and how much you can afford to spend per month. Once you’ve written down your income and expenses, establish categories for monthly spending such as groceries, travel, health, and utilities. After completing your chart, spreadsheet, or other form of documentation, it’s time to closely examine your budget and determine areas where you can cut costs.

Pay off your biggest debts first. It may be tempting to pay off your smallest piles of debt first, but you’ll do yourself the biggest favor by paying off the most expensive debt first. This is particularly true for credit cards, where you can often sort the interest rates from highest to lowest. Start by paying off your debt on the credit card with the highest interest rate first. Once this credit card debt is gone, you can focus on paying off your lower interest cards.

Organize your debt: Organization is key to helping you determine effectively pay off your outstanding debts in the most effective manner. There are generally two approaches to take, the first of which involves listing debts in order from smaller to largest without paying any attention to interest rates. You may find it encouraging to start from the smallest numbers and work your way up. Another method is laddering, or listing your debts from highest to lowest interest rates. Using this method will enable you to save the greatest amount of money in interest over time.

If you’re searching for a fresh financial start, filing for chapter 7 can be the best solution. Taking the plunge and filing for bankruptcy can ultimately help you improve your credit score and keep possessions that matter most, such as your house and car. Aside from eliminating debts you can’t pay off, you can use this time to conquer debt and stay debt-free in the future.

Mar 11 2015

5 Investment Ideas for Retirement

By |March 11th, 2015|General Personal Finance|0 Comments|

54d658dc84aa44889a24d1ec821d75fbAs people are planning for retirement there is that inevitable fear of running out of money. Will we enjoy retirement without outliving our nest egg? Have I saved enough for this?

Sometimes it is best to keep a little extra income on the side but how can this be done? If this will be your first time investing then this is for you!

Here are five investment ideas for retirement.

Immediate Annuities

Its purpose is to produce income and that is what you need in retirement. When you know that you can get a check every month, guaranteed, is very comforting. It may not sound so appealing in numbers but at least you don’t have to worry about your money running out and you could invest the rest of your assets a bit more aggressively.

There are two types of annuities, fixed immediate annuities and variable immediate annuities. Some may offer income that’ll increase with inflation but this means that you will be receiving a lower monthly amount.

Immediate annuities can be a good solution for those that don’t have other sources of guaranteed income or for singles with long life expectancy.

Bonds

When you buy bonds, you loan money to the government, corporation or a municipality.

The borrower agrees to pay you interest for a set amount of time and when the bond matures, the principal is returned to you. This can be another source of steady retirement income. You can buy bonds for the income they produce or the guaranteed principal you will receive when they mature. Don’t buy them expecting high returns or making a gain in capital appreciation.

Rental Real Estate

Rental properties can provide a steady source of income but you should also be prepared for maintenance costs. Before you buy a rental property, you will need to calculate all the potential expenses that may arise over the time frame you think you will own the property.

Don’t go and start investing in real estate just because you want to join the bandwagon. Make sure you do your homework, read books on real estate investing, talk to experienced investors or join a real estate investment club before jumping in to the investment property business.

Gold IRAs

A Gold IRA is an individual retirement account. Gold is stored in several forms whether coins, bouillons, bars or other goods. It is a viable and profitable venture since precious metals are a stable asset in the market, despite inflations and fluctuations, it is just increasing steadily all throughout.

It doesn’t rely on overall performance of other assets and only requires very simple arithmetic calculations to see its potential and how it can grow over time.

Safe Investments

You will want to keep a portion of your retirement fund in other safe alternatives. The primary goal of a safe investment is to protect what you have rather than generate income. This could be an emergency fund and it should not be included in as an asset to produce retirement income. This is a safety net, so that you will have a back-up, should something unexpected happen in the retirement years.

If you are unsure with what to do with your money, stash it into a safe investment while you take time to think things through and make an educated decision.

Not all of these ideas may be for you, so it’s best to check out things first. A lot of people rush to put their money into an investment because they feel like their money should not be sitting in the bank and this is not exactly a wise decision.

Making thorough and well-informed investments take time. Educate yourself or ask advice from advisors. No one should pressure you into making a quick investment decision. If you feel that you are being pressured then walk away from it. That person may not have your best interest in mind.