Jan 9 2015

The Most Expensive Number Plates in UK

By |January 9th, 2015|General Personal Finance|Comments Off|

How much would you pay for a number plate in UK? If you are looking for the really rare numbers, there is a huge possibility that you will need to spend a lot. The truth is that we are faced with so many opportunities at the moment with a lot of customization but if you are looking for license plates like F1, prices go up to thousands of pounds.
Most Expensive Number Plates
Most Expensive Number Plates is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

Dec 31 2014

Six Things About Bankruptcy Everyone Should Know

By |December 31st, 2014|General Personal Finance|Comments Off|

One of life’s truths is that the future cannot be predicted. We never know what’s coming next, and sometimes a curveball can cause drastic changes in our finances. When that happens, whether we want it or not, bankruptcy may be an option to consider. If you are considering bankruptcy, here are six things you should know before you file.

  1. You Must Pay Fees in a Bankruptcy
    Bankruptcy oftentimes can come at a big cost. More specifically, there are filing fees you must pay in order to have your bankruptcy considered in court. Effective on June 1, 2014, the federal fee for filing chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335. If you choose to hire an attorney to handle your bankruptcy, their fees will be in addition to the federal filing fee.
  2. It Stays on Your Record for Ten Years
    The relief bankruptcy can bring is immediate, but the effects of filing bankruptcy are long lasting. Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for up to ten years. This does not mean you will be unable to obtain credit during that time, but your rates and options will be much more limiting than before you filed bankruptcy.
  3. You Will Appear in Court for Your Bankruptcy
    As part of the bankruptcy process, you will have to go to court for a meeting of creditors. This is a short meeting but you must go. Once you have filed for bankruptcy, you will receive a notice in the mail telling you when the meeting will be (which is usually several weeks in advance so you have time to make arrangements).
  4. Does Not Ruin Your Chances for Credit
    While filing for bankruptcy will affect your ability to obtain credit, the door will not be completely closed. In fact, you may find that you receive more credit offers in the early part of your bankruptcy than you had before you file, mostly from creditors taking advantage of your distress situation. These offers will generally have much higher interest rates and will actually place you further in debt. This is not the help you need.
  5. Bankruptcy is a Life Event
    When you consider filing for bankruptcy, you might not be able to look very far into the future under the weight of the stress you are enduring. It is important to know now that bankruptcy is a major ordeal in someone’s life, one that you will not easily recover from mentally or emotionally. It will impact the way you think about money and credit for many years to come.
  6. Not all Debts are Erased
    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, bankruptcydoes not automatically discharge all debts. Certain debts, such as student loans, child support and specific taxes, are not able to be discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is a good idea to talk with an attorney to find out which of your specific debts will be discharged and to determine if it is worth it for you to file.

While filing for bankruptcy may seem like an easy way out, it’s not. Instead of forfeiting your credit, look for ways you can work towards getting out of debt without having to declare bankruptcy. Nonprofit debt management organizations like CreditGuard are here to help you get out of debt. They negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to consolidate and reduce your debts—making it easier for you to pay them off.

By being prepared and understanding what to expect, you’ll have a better idea of what bankruptcy is and why you should avoid filing.

Dec 22 2014

Why You Should Consider Structured Settlement Loans For Financial Relief

By |December 22nd, 2014|General Personal Finance|Comments Off|

When searching for remedies for financial problems, obtaining a structured settlement loan is often overlooked. With a structured settlement, the person receives a small amounts of money monthly or quarterly for a long period of time, often a decade or more. A structured settlement loan allows the person to obtain a considerable amount of money all at once and repay it over time with the future payments from the structured settlement. Even those with bad credit can qualify since the loan is secured by the future structured settlement payments, not by the borrower’s past repayment history.

There are a number of good reasons to take CIYA structured settlement loans against your settlement. Paying off high interest debt is the most common reason cited for obtaining these loans. Paying college costs, obtaining a down payment for a home, or purchasing investment property are other reasons typically given as the reason for seeking out structured settlement loans. Whatever the reason, if you need a significant amount of money within a short period of time, these loans are one of the easiest ways to get it. Verification that you are due the payments that you are claiming is typically all that is needed to obtain this type of loan.

It is not difficult to get a structured settlement loan if you are already receiving structured settlement payments. The best structured settlement loan companies will have representatives available online and on the phone to answer any questions you may have. These representatives will explain to you how the process works and what information you will need to provide for an accurate quote from their company. Different companies will have different terms, so review any information you receive carefully before determining which company has the best terms for your needs.

Most structured settlement loans are made on a short-term basis, often repaid back from the structured settlement payments within a couple of years of the loan being made. This limits the amount of interest charged on the loan and allows the resumption of full settlement payments to be made to the borrower after the loan has been repaid. Some people believe that this is a more responsible financial move than selling their settlement payments outright for a lump sum of cash and paying significant fees to the company purchasing their future payments.

Dec 17 2014

The Perils of Cut-Rate Insurance

By |December 17th, 2014|General Personal Finance|Comments Off|

A lot of people don’t like paying for car insurance; they see it as a monthly drain on their finances with no real return on their investment – especially since some policies can easily cost thousands of dollars a year. There are some insurance companies that offer substantial discounts on car insurance by offering what are called minimum coverage policies.

As the name suggests, minimum coverage polices offer the absolute minimum coverage that your state will allow you to have and still be legal. These minimums vary by state, with some states having substantially higher minimums than others.

The appeal of these minimum coverage policies is people can sometimes end up paying as little as half the cost of a similar policy from a different provider. The problem with these types of policies is that even at a discount they can cost you.

The Downside to Minimum Coverage Polices

The biggest problem with minimum coverage is that minimum coverage is often not enough. The average accident with injuries costs $126,000 – which includes injuries and property damage. If you have minimum coverage and your state only requires a minimum $3,000 for injuries, $2,500 for property, and a $60,000 per accident, there is no way that your minimum-coverage policy is going to cover the cost of the accident.

Another issue is that these policies tend to have very high deductibles, which could be impossible to meet. In some cases an insurance company will pay out their end of the claim and leave it to you to come up with the deductible. However, if you can’t come up with the money, then you won’t be able to get the repair. If you are in an accident with injuries, it could mean that the insurance company won’t pay out on the injury claim until you meet the deductible first.

Some of these policies also do not have adequate coverage for high-risk drivers. High risk drivers often have special needs, like needing an SR-22 document to be able to drive, and these minimum-coverage companies might not be able to provide that documentation. If they do provide high-risk coverage, chances are the cost is no less than you could find from another vendor, but with less coverage if you actually have an accident. It’s probably better to buy high risk insurance from a specialty vendor than from a discount company.

Keep in mind as well that if the insurance company is offering you such a great discount on coverage, it could be because it is cutting corners in other places, such as their systems, customer service or claims management. This means that you could encounter minor annoyances such as hinky phone systems; or major upsets, such as an incredibly cryptic and confusing claims process.

The other issue is that the company might also do everything it can to avoid paying the claim. It’s not unusual for any insurance company to avoid paying claims, but discount companies could be more likely to do so.

Alternatives to Minimum Coverage Policies

Find out what kind of discounts available from a standard insurance company. While many of these places are not as cheap as the cut-rate providers, you can often find discounts for having a clean driving record, or for bundling services like renters and homeowner’s policies with your car insurance. You might find that you can still save money by going with a standard insurance company, without having to compromise quality.

If you absolutely must go with a minimum coverage provider, make sure to do your homework:

·  Look for consumer reviews as well as ratings to see if the company has a lot of complaints. You should also check with insurance rating companies like A.M Best, and independent consumer sites like Consumer Reports.

·  Find out what other services the company may offer beyond just the minimum coverage. For example, some cut-rate insurers do not offer amenities like roadside assistance or car rental, both of which can come in handy if you have an accident.

·  Set aside some of the money you have saved on the low premiums to pay the higher deductible if you need to file a claim.

Dec 14 2014

Is Money Actually a Good Motivator?

By |December 14th, 2014|Blog|Comments Off|

At work I’m in the process of setting developmental goals for myself for the next year, I’ve started looking into some TED talks about leadership and business effectiveness. Yes, I like this stuff. Yes, that’s a little weird.

I came across a video that really shocked me. It’s called … You can watch the video here. Actually, I highly recommend you do or else the rest of this post isn’t going to make a lot of sense.

The premise of this guy’s argument is that when considering mentally challenging tasks, money is not only a bad motivator; it actually makes people perform worse than no incentive at all.

Obviously this goes against any normal person’s thought process. And no, I don’t consider Marxists “normal people”. I agree wholeheartedly that people are worse at completing the stupid task in this experiment when there is a lot of money at stake, but completing the candle task is much different from completing tasks at your job.

Let’s look at the difference between your job and the candle wax game.

Unless this is the first day of a brand new job for you, you probably have years of experience and/or education that has prepared you to be effective at your job. You’ve almost certainly made mistakes (and hopefully learned from them) and you’ve had some great successes. When you are confronted with a particularly difficult problem, you draw on your immense wealth of experience to guide you to the correct solution.

In the candle wax game, you are placed in a room and asked to complete some brain puzzling task that has no basis in practicality and, unless you’re a member of some weird riddle society, you have no training or experience to draw upon to complete the brain teaser.

This guy presents the candle wax game as proof that financial incentives don’t make people more effective at what they are doing. Heck, prestigious universities have spent lots of money doing studies to prove this very point. The sad thing is, they could have just watched the game-show network and come to the same conclusion.

Have you ever been watching Wheel of Fortune and seen a board that says something like HAPP_ BI_TH_A_ and nobody can figure it out? You’re screaming at the TV “HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU IDIOT!” but the guy says “I’d like to buy an O” and you just smack your head.

That guy can’t see the answer because he’s sitting on $9,200 and a trip to Costa Rica and it’s freaking him out. He has all this pressure and he fails at a task that he’s not trained for.

Furthermore, nobody in their right mind believes that you can just throw more money at someone to get their brain to work better. If that were the case then Bill Gates would have paid someone enough to come up with a cure for AIDS. Money doesn’t make people smarter. It never has and it never will. It can, however, make someone work harder.

At my old job they gave crappy bonuses. I mean really crappy. They were so bad that I literally never even considered “What might happen to my bonus?” when I was trying to decide whether or not to finish something today or wait for tomorrow. There was essentially no incentive to work harder, so most of the time I didn’t. It made me an unhappy employee because there was no difference in my pay whether I was working like a dog or sleeping like a dog.

At my current job my bonus is a huge part of my pay, and I’m working harder at this job than I ever worked at my last one.

In summary, this guy is going against common sense and saying that financial incentives are actually counter-productive in the business world because it makes people dumber. What he doesn’t realize is his study is limited to a single point in time and deals with a task that the person is not prepared or trained to accomplish.

In the world we all live in, financial incentive doesn’t make anyone smarter, but it can make them work a lot harder. And when you work harder, you get better at your job. You gain the experience and knowledge that will help you solve the next problem.

Luckly for us, financial incentive is now, and will always be, the only way for a company to get incredible results from their employees.

Dec 12 2014

How to Give When You Can’t Afford It

By |December 12th, 2014|Blog, Life|2 Comments|

New Year’s Day is right around the corner, which means a lot of us are going to start making resolutions. Some will decide to go to the gym, eat healthier, or maybe even get more strict with their budget.

Are you looking for a way to give this year but are on low cash? There are several ways to give back and some of the most important have nothing to do with money.

If you’re like my wife and I, we want to donate more money to charity. And when we say charity, we don’t necessarily mean non-profit organizations; we mean any organization or individual who needs help. Anyway, we would love to do more than we do today but we are on a super tight budget because we are building a house. We’ve already cut back substantially on spending and there’s not room to increase charitable donations at this time.

So should we give up? Of course not!

We don’t have money in the budget to donate, but we can make time to volunteer. We already volunteer at our church, but we are actively looking for more ways to volunteer and use our time to give back to people in our community.

You might be in the same boat as we are. You want to make a bigger difference but feel like you don’t have the funds to do it. When you don’t have money, consider giving your time.

Just like I don’t limit myself to non-profit organizations for my monetary donations, I also don’t limit my “volunteering” to those groups either. You can do a lot of good by volunteering at a soup kitchen. You can also do a lot of good by helping your friend move or spending an afternoon with your widowed grandparent.

Sometimes you feel the urge to reach out to an old friend you haven’t spoken with in a long time, but get busy and never call them. A nice phone call from a friend might have been exactly what that person needed to get through a tough day.

Can you imagine how happy you could make someone by writing them a sincere, heartfelt letter about how much they mean to you and sending it to them via good old snail mail?

A few years ago I spent a lot of time volunteering for non-profit organizations, and I found that almost all of them I worked with had more volunteers than they had volunteer work available. I also found that when an organization is getting something for free (volunteer work), they don’t value it.

I was helping renovate a daycare in a low income part of town that had flood damage. One week we put down a tile floor. The next week we were pulling up the tile floor we just put down because they decided they wanted something different. If they were paying for the labor to do all that work, you can bet they would have made the right decision the first time.

So whether it’s donating more money, volunteering for a non-profit, or just helping your niece with her homework, make it a priority from now on to just be a better person and give back any way you can.

You can also donate an old item that you no longer use, such as a boat. Many people all over the country are learning how to donate a boat because of the benefits that it provides for everyone involved. The charity receives an asset that it can sell at auction, children’s organizations receive money, and you receive a tax deduction in the amount of the boat‘s sale price.

Just because you do not have the money to make a cash donation this year does not mean that you have to completely give up on the idea of helping those less fortunate.