Save Your Business Money With These Top Tips

If you own a business you’ll know there’s a pressure to save money as best as you can. It doesn’t just involve cutting costs, but spending more wisely to free up space for enhanced productivity which you can then use to make more cash. Each business owner goes about saving money in a different way. Cost cutting measures are utilised by all businesses out there, from the biggest you can imagine right to the small. The truth of the matter is that only you know where the money needs to be saved. Try to take advice around business finance carefully and ensure you apply it to your own business in a bespoke way.

End The Subscriptions 

There are so many subscriptions and monthly payments to focus on as a business that you may let some slip. As businesses change and adapt, payments may just get left on the wayside. It may be you’re wondering how to cancel car insurance or how to stop a certain magazine from being dropped on your door. The problem here is usually time. People run out of time and focusing on wading through your bills and subscriptions is something easily cast aside. If you can find this time and put it towards checking your bills and subscriptions there will likely be something in there that can be reduced or cancelled entirely. This is especially the case if it hasn’t been done for a few years. It may not be loads of cash, but it’s cash that can be spent elsewhere.

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Embrace Remote Working

Imagine if you didn’t have to pay office rental or mortgage fees. The huge amount of money you would save can be put elsewhere in the business. Allowing your staff to work from home has other benefits too. The flexibility gives them a happier lease of life. Time saved due to no commuting, not to mention the money too gives them time to spend with family or run errands. If you really do need a meeting, you can book a meeting room once a month and still save a lot of cash. Remote working isn’t for everyone, but it’s certainly worth thinking about if you want to save a bit more cash. Also, it hedges the risk of future incidents. The businesses who were set up for home working rode out the coronavirus pandemic better than those who did not. 

Put Your Time Where It Matters Most
As the owner your time is valuable. If you’re out there getting business, having more time means more sales. So use people to help you get there. It might be someone to look after the numbers and accounting so you can spend more time with clients. Yes, you’re spending money, but it’ll make your more in the long term. It might be that you want someone to manage your third party selling platform or help with your human resources application. There are businesses and people who can help you, and in turn your time will be better applied.

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Buy Your Dream Home for Little to No Money Down with these Government Loans

For many Americans, part of what it means to grow up is buying a home and raising a family. However, as the supply of homes continues to dwindle and the demand grows, it is much harder to buy a home. With increased prices and competition, buying your dream home is much more expensive today than it was for our parents and grandparents.

Currently, the median home price is $269,039 in the United States, which is too high for most Americans who do not have the $53,807 necessary to pay for the 20% down payment on the property. That high down payment is too much for most Americans whose median household income is $62,843.

Thankfully, three government mortgage loans can reduce or remove those initial costs that drive most potential buyers away. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) administer these home loans. However, each one of these loans has its benefits and requirements meant to target specific applicants.

FHA Home Loans

Home loans administered by the FHA are perfect for first time home buyers because they have come of the most lenient qualification requirements and some great benefits like:

  • 3.5% down payment requirement.
  • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • Lower closing costs.
  • A credit score of at least 580, although some lenders will accept even lower credit scores with a higher down payment.

These loans will even accept an applicant who has gone through some financial struggles in the past. Applicants who have a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in their record must have a two-year gap between their application date and discharge date. Chapter 13 bankruptcy recipients, on the other hand, must have court approval and a 12-month record of making payments on time.

One limitation that FHA loan borrowers have to work with is loan limits. These loan limits vary depending on the County. However, most of the United States County’s loan limits are $356,362 for a single-family home, $456,275 for a duplex, $551,500 for a triplex, and $685,400 for a fourplex.

USDA Home Loans

These home loans help lower-income families who wouldn’t qualify for a home loan otherwise to buy a home in an eligible rural community. To be eligible for this type of home loan, the applicant must be an American citizen and have a stable income either at or below the County’s low-income limit.

USDA home loans can only purchase a modest single-family home with no extra amenities and not used for any business purposes whatsoever. The house that is purchased must also be considered the applicant’s primary residence.

After meeting all eligibility requirements, the applicant will take advantage of some USDA home loans’ great benefits. These include:

  • $0 down payment requirement.
  • Competitive interest rates.
  • A credit score of 640.
  • Low mortgage insurance payments.

County loan limits also exist for USDA home loans, which for most counties are at $285,000 for a single-family home. Counties with a higher cost of living usually have higher loan limits.

VA Home Loans

Loans guaranteed by the VA are for Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, and eligible spouses. People who work in real estate considered these loans as the best Government guaranteed home loans available. These loans have helped more than 22 million Veterans become homeowners due to their outstanding benefits offered by VA home loans, which include:

  • No down payment requirement.
  • Lower interest rates.
  • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • No prepayment penalties.
  • No mortgage insurance premiums.

In addition to these great benefits, as of January 1st, 2020, VA loans have completely removed loan limits for first-time buyers. As a result, borrowers can now purchase a home anywhere in the country without worrying about abiding by different county limits. The only limitation is how much the borrower can afford to borrow.

VA loan limits still exist for applicants with more than one active VA loan. However, those loan limits have increased to $548,250 in 2021 for most of the country, formerly at $510,400 in 2020 and $434,350 in 2019.

Conclusion

Therefore, if you’ve ever thought about living in the United States, it might benefit you to look into all the advantages offered by Government guaranteed home loans. As a result, it is possible to buy a home in the County for little to no money paid upfront.

Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loan Centers, a brokerage specializing in VA home loans. He has been practicing real estate for 22 years. To learn more about programs available to you or apply for a VA mortgage loan, call us at (877) 432-5626.

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5 Tips for Making Your First Investment

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Investing your funds can be an effective way of increasing your capital but making your first investment can be a daunting experience. From choosing the right investment to learning more about the frameworks and protocols, there’s a lot to do before you’re ready to start parting with your cash. To get started, take a look at these top five tips for making your first investment:

1. Use Spare Funds

Although investments can be a viable way of generating income or increasing your capital, they don’t offer a guaranteed return. Due to this, it’s important to ensure that your other financial obligations and expenses are covered before you begin thinking about investing. By keeping a separate savings account and emergency fund, you can ensure that you only invest funds you can afford to lose. 

2. Get Professional Advice

Using your funds to invest is a big decision and choosing the right investment opportunity can be an even bigger decision! If you’re new to investing or you’re unsure what type of investment is right for you, it’s well worth getting professional advice. By working with an investment manager or financial advisor, for example, you can access the tailored information you need. As well as helping you get to grips with the world of investment, professional advice can also boost your confidence as you embark on your first investment. 

3. Carry Out Research

Don’t even consider investing until you’ve done your due diligence and researched the opportunity. When you see a potentially lucrative investment, it’s easy to forge ahead and focus on ‘getting in early’ to maximize your returns. However, investing in something you’re not familiar with can be a recipe for disaster. By taking the time to carry out in-depth research, you can learn everything you need to know in order to determine whether a particular opportunity is the right type of investment for you. 

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4. Consider Alternative Investments

Many new investors focus on traditional forms of investment, such as stocks and shares, ETFs, or retirement plans. Although these can represent great opportunities, there are other investments to consider. Purchasing a RippleNet token and investing in digital currency could be a fast way to increase your capital, for example. Alternatively, P2P lending could be an effective way for you to launch your investment career. With new opportunities emerging all the time, there are plenty of ways for new investors to use their funds. 

5. Manage Risk

Investments are typically seen as low risk, medium risk, or high risk. The higher the risk, the more chance there is of losing your capital but there is also the potential to generate lucrative returns. Before you get started, be sure to think carefully about your financial circumstances and choose a level of risk that you’re happy with. 

Is Investing Right for You? 

Investing is becoming increasingly popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right option for everyone. However, if you have funds available, you’re interested in the markets or you’re looking for a new and exciting way to boost your capital, making your first investment could be a great way to make your money work for you.

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Can Finance Be The Basis For A Successful Business?

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There are a lot of countries around the world that have taken a step back from producing products in recent decades. With nations like China managing to get a firm grip on the manufacturing market, it can be difficult for other places to make enough to justify this difficult industry. Of course, though, this leaves options like finance as the only alternatives for new business owners, but is it possible to make a successful business in this field?

Brokers

Finance brokers have offered an essential service for a very long time, acting as a middle ground between lenders and those who need to get their hands on money. In a role like this, you will work hard to ensure that your clients get great financial services while getting to take a slice of the money that is made from them. This option is great for those with an existing financial background.

Investment

While it may sound a little scary, investments can also be a very good way to make money in the modern world. Originating in Australia, Swyftx is a crypto platform that makes it easy to make money from this sort of investment, and options like this can be found across the web. Businesses like this can be risky to run, but they will give you a lot of freedom and the chance to work for yourself as a result.

Lending

In the past, only banks and other large companies were able to offer loans to other people on an official level. Nowadays, though, this has changed, with peer-to-peer loans being a popular option for those who would like to avoid going through big banks. There are a lot of websites around the web that make it possible to get involved with options like this, though it could be worth looking for ways to maximize your profits if you want to build a business out of it.

Advice & Support

People will always need help with their money, and those who are able to offer this can find great success in the world of finance. Blogs are a good example of this, though you could also consider the idea of writing an eBook, releasing a podcast, or even designing a service that will enable people to pay for your advice.

Predictions

Finally, as the last idea to consider, it’s time to think about the predictions that can be made in the financial world. There is a lot of risks tied up with money, and it can be incredibly easy to make mistakes that will result in heavy losses when investments go wrong. As a result of this, people and businesses will often spend a small fortune to get help with these predictions from someone who has had success in the past.

Making the most out of money is hard, especially when you are running a business that revolves around it, but this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to find success. As time goes on, you will only get better at managing money and finding your route in the world of finance.

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Be Smart about Your next Car Purchase with this Ultimate Guide

New cars in this day and age tend to have much better safety features and they also come with way more tech gizmos as well.  That being said, a lot of people make mistakes when they buy a new car. They go into too much debt and they also struggle to come out of the other side better off. If you want to find out more then carry on reading.

Get Preapproved

The best advice you can get is to get a preapproved loan before you go to the dealership. If you have a preapproved loan from your bank or your credit union then this will help you out far more than you realise. You may even find that you are able to save money on the deal you are getting from your dealer and that you are able to pay down your car faster too. Another bonus of doing this is that the salesperson won’t be able to talk you into taking out extra features on the car you have chosen because your loan will be pre-approved and you won’t be able to go over this amount. If you aren’t sure if you need a new car then remember that you can easily source diesel truck parts online if you need to get your existing car repaired.

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Keep it Simple

If you are purchasing a car at a dealership then you have to make sure that you focus on a single thing at a time. Don’t tell the salesperson too much, remember that you’re playing a game. If you’re playing poker, you don’t show everyone that you have a pair of queens, do you? At the dealership, you need to start out with the price of the vehicle you plan to buy.  The dealership will want to know if you plan on trading in your existing car. If you can, don’t tell them this. You are going up against pros so the more you can keep things in your favour, the better. You need to negotiate the best deal possible and then offer to trade in your car. If you do this, then you may find that you are able to come out with even more money knocked off your purchase, so keep that in mind.

Don’t Buy Add-Ons

If you have bought a car then you will probably know how this works. You have probably been at the dealership for a number of hours and you’re probably tired by the end of it. Your dealer will probably offer you a ton of extras at the end, whether it is an extended warranty, paint protection plan, tyre protection plan or even gap insurance. Dealers tend to make a small fortune on this kind of stuff, and usually it will be very overpriced. Most people have no idea how to get a fair price here, so you need to say no to all of it. If you do, then you will probably come to the conclusion you don’t need it anyway.

Beware of Seven Year Car Loans

A third of loans that are given out tend to be over 7 years. This is a very dangerous trend because you will be paying way more interest and you may also find that it is harder to pay everything down.

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Why Your Business Needs A Rainy Day Fund

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Every business can benefit from setting aside money into a rainy day fund. In the event of a disaster, such money could help to pay for any reparations. This could include paying off a lawsuit, covering employees wages during a period of closure, replacing broken machinery or making repairs to your premises. 

The following post explains in more detail why you need a rainy day fund – and how you can go about setting one up. 

You can’t always plan for disasters

Preventative measures can be taken against some disasters. For instance, investing in security measures could help to reduce the risk of getting burgled or being the victim of a cyberattack. Alternatively, it may be a wise idea to invest in flood defences if you have an office based in a high risk flood zone. 

Unfortunately, you cannot plan for all disasters. Just take the pandemic as an example – before 2020, few businesses would have ever predicted such an event. Those that had a rainy day fund set aside have been able to use this to keep their business alive. For businesses that didn’t have savings set aside, it’s been much harder to deal with the closures and restrictions.

In essence, a rainy day fund is a useful form of financial backup for those hard-to-predict disasters. If a surprise storm hits and you need to pay for storm restoration, it’s unlikely you’re going to have storm insurance if you don’t live in a high risk area. A rainy day fund could be a more flexible option – serving as an all-purpose form of self-insurance that you can dip into if necessary.

Saving is a better option than borrowing

When disaster strikes, some businesses simply take out a loan. However, saving up a rainy day fund has many benefits over borrowing money:

  • A rainy day fund is cheaper. You won’t have to pay interest (in fact, you can earn interest by putting your money into a savings account).
  • You don’t have to worry about finding a lender that will approve you. If you have a low credit score, savings are a much better option.
  • When using savings, you don’t have to owe anyone. This means not having to pay back the money in installments. 

How to set up a rainy day fund

Ideally you want to put your rainy day fund into a high interest savings account. This should be an account that you can still access urgently when necessary. To prevent you dipping into this money for other purposes, you may want to look into savings accounts with withdrawal penalties. You can compare business savings accounts online to find the best interest rates.

Building up a rainy day fund takes patience. Put as much money into it initially as you can and then try to contribute money on a monthly basis to build it. You should try to keep a minimum of $500 in this account so that you’ve always got some money to fall back on when disaster strikes.

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Need Windows 10 But Can’t Afford It?

There is no shame in money being tight, but when you need your laptop to work from home and your Windows has crashed out on you, there’s nothing worse than being stuck on a budget. You need to work from home right now more than ever and having a slow operating system is just not ideal. You want to be able to upgrade your windows, but what are you supposed to do?

Most laptops and desktops come with Windows built right in, and the price for that operating system is likely factored into what you paid for the laptop in the first place. So, if you pay for a cheap laptop, you’re going to get a slower, cheaper operating system. Right now, you need to be able to upgrade to Windows 10 so that you can get work done and stop being frustrated by the slowness of your current system. So, let’s take a look at how you can get Windows 10 without breaking into your overdraft!

Man Sitting While Using Laptop

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  • Run It, But Don’t Activate It! Okay, so it’s not the most honest way to do it, but did you know that you can run Windows and not activate it? It won’t shut off after a month like the notifications promise you that it will, either. The system will keep nagging you about activation, and you can’t personalize your screen the same way. However, it feels worth it to be able to use the system temporarily until you can afford to activate it properly.
  • Go Back In Time. If you can, go back in time to upgrade your system from an older Windows version. When you run Windows as an update on your computer, you can upgrade it for free. So, pop back onto that old laptop and it should stop talking to you about your expired promotion. You can run Windows update on your older laptop, and then use the Update Assistant to run the update properly.
  • Go Back To School. If you’re already a student, great. If you have an alumni account, you could log in and use that. Windows 10 Education is not much different from Windows 10 Enterprise. If you’re a student, you can access it for free and all you need to do is prove it!
  • A Cheaper Key. This one isn’t free, but it’s much cheaper than buying a whole new Windows 10 disc box. You can buy OEM keys for Windows 10 at a lot of places, and companies like ComputerGarage can help you to find the right way about it. Upgrading your system is easier than ever, and you don’t have to be out of pocket to do it.

Try out these methods today, and you’ll be able to get your upgrade you need. Budget should not be a factor if you’re trying to work from home. If you can’t use any of the methods above, contact your IT team at work. They should be able to provide you with a workplace laptop for a while until you can upgrade properly.

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College Is Expensive: Here’s How To Talk To Your Teenager About It

Every single teenager with aspirations to do great things have college in their plan. Most of the time, conversations about college don’t happen until the end of the junior year, but when it comes to college, teenagers need to know about the cost involved. Your teenager has to be well versed in what it costs to go to college before they start filling out those applications, so that they can apply for the appropriate schools in your budget.

There is a lot that goes into going to college. Parents and teenagers need to have open conversations about college prep high school online, the costs of the applications, how many schools are on the radar and more. Open conversation will encourage good communication about costs, what you can afford and whether they want to get a job to pay for their own expenses. If your teenager knows the kind of education you can afford for them, you’re going to have a much better time of it when it comes to their college prep. They will be able to apply for colleges that they are aware that you can afford, and you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing that they are happy with what you can manage.

Two Men Studying Together

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If you have an ambitious and excited teenager talking to you about college, then you need to think about broaching the conversation of college funds as early as possible. If they want Ivy League or international schools, you need to be able to talk them through their current college fund and what assistance can be open to them to make up the funds. IF you cannot afford a high-fee school, don’t over promise them what they can do. 

You can broach the subject of savings goals even before high school, as you can get it into their minds as early as possible what their options could be. Encourage your teenager to take a summer job to add to their expenses fund. Talking about costs and savings will show them that you want to work with them to save and prepare for their fees and their general living costs. It’s a commitment to work together on their education!

Savings, spending and debt should be a regular and ongoing conversation. There doesn’t need to eb a face to face meeting and it doesnt need to be formal every single time. This should be a discussion not a dictator and you should think about colleges together. If your teenager has some preferences, work on how you can achieve those preferences.

You can open plenty of different college fund accounts to get your child to college. You can look at potential scholarships, but don’t rely on them if you can help it! Every dollar you save together is less than you have to borrow to pay your way through education. Save in your name not your teenager, as that can be taxed at a high rate.

It can cause stress to save up for college, especially if your teenager has high hopes. However, the more you work together, the better you’ll be at getting there!

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Earning Money from Residential Property During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis sent the real estate industry into a whiplash. While pundits can always make predictions on what can potentially happen during an economic downturn, no one could have pinned down exactly what would happen to real estate investors and their properties due to a pandemic-related recession. If you’re one of those investors and find yourself having a hard time looking for buyers or tenants, here are some ways you can turn yourresidential property into a money-making venture-especially if you worked hard and invested in its aesthetics.

But first, you should consider hiring a team of real estate agents and specialists who boast of a dynamic property marketing strategy and know exactly how to showcase your real estate asset in the best possible light during this pandemic. Make sure they have expertise in the area and know the ins and outs of digital technology, so they can market and eventually rent out or sell your property at the best price. Here are some ideas to market your property or some business ideas you can play around to earn money from it while you’re waiting for buyers.

Pop-up cafe or coffee shop

If you have a passion for coffee and pastries, consider turning your residential property into a small cafe or coffee shop where people can enjoy their coffee and/or food. The beauty of a residential property, especially if it’s on the smaller side, is that you would be abiding by state restrictions on the number of people who can gather in a small space. If you have a garden, you can also turn it into the main dining area so that customers can have their coffee outdoors, where chances of infection are much lower.

Studio

If your residential property allows for natural light and is clean and spacious, you can turn it into a studio where media professionals can do photo or video shoots. Professional photographers and videographers are always on the lookout for beautiful locations where they can do their projects or build their portfolio, so consider turning your space into a studio where marketing teams can hold their shoots.

Small event venue

Another option for a beautifully-designed residential property is turning it into a venue for small events. With gathering restrictions still in place in many states, small events like micro-weddings and birthday parties have been all the rage. If your residential property has a stunning backyard or designed in a way that allows for a romantic aesthetic and styling, consider marketing it as a potential venue for special events that are smaller in scale.

Bed and breakfast

If the property has several rooms and you want to maximize income possibility, consider marketing it as a bed and breakfast. Services like Airbnb have had to pivot in major ways to make sure that guests and hosts alike remain safe and healthy during the public health crisis. If you take every safety precaution possible, you can also turn your residential property into a bed and breakfast.

Storage space

The storage space industry has always been considered largely recession-resistant. The COVID-19 crisis didn’t necessarily change this since the pandemic has brought on many 4Ds: deaths, divorces, displacements, and disasters. There will always be a huge demand for more storage spaces because there will always be many people who need to find secure locations for their belongings while they figure out their next steps. During the pandemic, CNBC reported that more than a thousand universities and colleges had closed their doors to curb infections, affecting about 14 million college students. Students who needed to find new locations for their possessions while considering their options and storage spaces can be a godsend for them.

Market gardener

Regardless of where you live, you can turn your residential property into a place where you can grow your own produce that you can then sell. These include vegetables, fruits, and even flowers. If your residential property is in acreage, the possibilities are endless. While this would take a lot of investment and effort on your part, it can also help you save money in the long run if it paves the way for self-sustainability.

Endless Possibilities

The COVID-19 pandemic should not preclude you from earning money from your real estate investments. With some creativity, imagination, and the help of real estate experts, you might be able to turn the situation of your real estate investment around if you adjust to society’s current demands.

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What To Do When You Think You Can’t Invest

Money is something we all have a big problem with, but for some of us, there are some clearer red flag issues we have to deal with. And for the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on the crowd that wants to learn how to invest, in order to boost their bank account, but believe there are many obstacles in their way to doing so. 

But now’s your chance to learn a little more about the investing world, and your part in it. Because even when you have scant savings, you can turn to investments to make some more money. And here’s how: 

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Get Online

The first thing to do, when you feel trapped in your investment chances, is to get online. The internet has revolutionised the way the money world works, and in particular, it’s changed how you get to invest, and how you get to work with a broker. 

With the online portal to make good use of, minimum balances that you would need in the past are simply that – a thing of the past! You don’t need to deposit upwards of a thousand or even a hundred thousand to get trading anymore. This is simply because there’s better, more flexible communication, and a lot more benefits to reap via this new medium. 

Look for Alternate Account Types

Just because one trading account isn’t right doesn’t mean they’re all bad. There are plenty of alternate trading accounts out there, and finding the right one for you just takes a little bit of digging. 

For example, if your religious beliefs stop you from being able to earn or pay interest on the values you’re trading, there are some great Islamic forex broker services for you to rely on. Similarly, you may not know about  a ‘margin account’, which is where you borrow money to buy stocks and shares. However, stock falling below the ‘maintenance amount’ could force you to sell off early. Really, all you need to do is a bit of research here! 

Invest with Pennies

And finally, as we touched on above, you really can invest with just pennies. Some brokers out there allow you to open an account with a simple single cent, and build from there. This would net you about 0.001% of a company, but you would still own a little bit of that company, and watch as your money increases in value through it.

Indeed, some brokers are going to ask for more than a single cent, but if you can also afford round about $5, you’re also going to be in luck. Simply put, as long as the cash is in the bank, and you’re not struggling to pay for anything in your day to day life, you won’t need to worry about the amount you’ll have to raise to start investing. 

If there ever comes a moment when you’re not sure about your investment chances, all you need to do is look it up!

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