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Are You Spending Your Money On The Important Things?

Money is one funny, but very important commodity. Today, you spend it on what you do not need and tomorrow, you sell what you need. Being a medium of exchange, money is an essential component of your life. In order to ensure you spend it well, no matter the amount, you must seek knowledge on how to spend your money in the right way and on the right things. This article is a head start in helping you understand how to achieve that.

Finding a balance
It is all about how much money you earn and your expenses. There should be a balance. You cannot spend more than you earn unless you get other sources of money such as loans, which at times will strain you financially. Therefore, your expenses should never exceed your income. Your income is all the money you acquire after all deductions such as taxes.

When listing your monthly expenses ensure you cover all of them, nothing should be left out. For example, the money you spend in maintaining your car, buying food and entertaining friends is also an expense. Are you having a thought that entertainment costs are not an expense? You are wrong; include them on your list. The next thing to do is to come up with a budget, after you have known your income and your expenses. Embark on finding out what expenses can be done away with or reduced. For instance you can decide to have a kitchen garden to cut on the cost you incur at the grocery. Remember every cent counts, you may not identify it at the beginning but in the course of the month notice a change.

Your appliances could be costing you more than you know
If you are keen enough you will notice that some of the appliances you are using are costing you more money. For instance, installing energy efficient windows will reduce energy bills. Purchase a water heater that saves on energy. Make it a habit to have a plumber check your water pipes when you notice a problem such as leakage. Use your dishwasher when you have a lot to clean.

Invest in updated, new equipment that consume lesser energy than old appliances. You will save a lot of money. Unplug everything that is not being used.

The four seasons in a year come with disadvantages. For example when it is too cold you need to heat your house and when it is hot you need to cool it. This means you have to invest in insulation and improving your roof. Such an investment is expensive but worth it.

Life is easier when you manage your money well by reducing cost where possible, renovating to reduce maintenance costs and working out a budget. This will ensure you achieve balance and never spend more than your income.

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Reviewing Credit Ratings And Preparing To Build A Home

bridge loan

Consumers identify several challenges when buying a home. With new construction, they have the opportunity to choose their own floor plan. This allows them to select what they want exactly in the first place. However, for some consumers, this could mean compromises based on the total price of the home. Local lenders can help these consumers evaluate the right construction loan to meet their requirements.

Preparing to Build A New Home

The first obstacle most consumers face when building a home is their credit rating. The credit rating defines what construction loans are available to the consumer. They also help assign an interest rate for the mortgage. Unfortunately, some consumers may face higher than average interest rates if their credit score is low. In preparation for building a new home, the consumer must take steps to increase their credit rating. This will help them find a more affordable opportunities when building a house.

Evaluating Credit Scores and Down Payment Requirements

After an increase in their credit rating, the consumer may have more mortgage loans and construction loans available to them. This could include conventional or FHA programs. With their lender, they can evaluate the down payment requirements for each mortgage loan. This could help them acquire the funding their need to cover these requirements when they choose a new home construction loan.

Assessing the Total Cost of the House and the Lot

When financing a new construction loan, the mortgage lender begins with the lot. The home buyer chooses a lot from available options. The lender provides financing for this lot. Consumers do not have a choice to keep the two mortgages separate for the lot and the home in which they build. The lender will need to pay this land off and incorporate the balance into the first mortgage. However, they must understand that the total value of the property is based on the location of the lot and the floor plan they choose for their home.

Would Remodeling Present More Affordable Opportunities

The consumers also has the option to choose remodeling loans. If they prefer an existing property, they could acquire financing to modify the design. This allows them to achieve their dream home without the excess cost in some cases.

Consumers who are ready to buy a home should consider the cost of a new home loan or home improvement loans. A comparison of these opportunities determines what is most affordable for the consumer. Equally, these options present the buyer with the opportunity to acquire a newer home that meets their requirements. Buyers who are ready to buy should contact a lender now.

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Why young investors avoid the stock market

By: Ellen Roseman

Bridget Eastgaard has an MBA in finance from University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. She runs a company, Money After Graduation, that tries to help people manage money in their 20s and 30s.

As a young investor, she struggled to find resources designed for people in her generation. All the books seemed overly technical or geared to investors in their 50s and 60s.

So she created the Master Class Money investment program, which she sells for $379 (U.S.) at her site. Her goal is to demystify the stock market.

Eastgaard, who just turned 30, wants to use her experience and finance skills to help those in her age group succeed in making their money grow.

Why focus on millennials?

Young people who came of age during the financial crash of 2008 are intimidated by the stock market, she explains. They don’t know where to begin, so they watch their hard-earned dollars sit in savings accounts, earning little or no interest.

She manages her own portfolio in the same style she teaches the course, holding mostly funds that keep up with stock market indexes and carefully selected shares of dividend-paying companies.

“I am not a frequent trader. I find watching the markets stressful and seeing a stock go down in price can put me in a bad mood, even if I don’t take any action and patiently wait it out. Knowing better doesn’t really spare me the emotional response to market volatility,” she told me.

Eastgaard’s course — which has 60 hours’ worth of materials — has a nice mix of text, quizzes and lessons learned from experience. It’s more personal and easier to follow than the Canadian Securities Course for Investors ($495), sold by the Canadian Securities Institute.

“The biggest challenge is getting out of my MBA mindset,” she says. “Originally, I had sections in there about how to hedge your portfolio with options, such as covered calls. But this was way too complex for a new investor.

“As students go through it and give me feedback, I tweak things to make it better. I’m probably going to go back and convert some sections to video. People have told me they like having video. It’s less overwhelming than a big wall of text.”

Vancouver-based Voleo Inc. also wants to attract young investors. It has an app (still in beta form) that lets you create an investment club, compete against other teams and get real-time insights about how you doing compared to your peers.

“Voleo has done extensive research on millennials and their views over several years,” says CEO Thomas Beattie. “There is a lack of trust (arguably well deserved) around the investment industry.

“For the next generation, it’s about transparency, trust and convenience. By using gamification, we promote financial literacy and build a vibrant community. Beyond saving on commissions, there is a clear advantage to combining knowledge.”

AGF, one of Canada’s large mutual fund managers, recently released a survey called The Great Divide, which looked at differences in investing behaviour based on age and gender.

People in their 20s and 30s tend to focus on living expenses and paying off short-term debt, the survey found. Those who save for the future are more likely to have a tax-free savings account than a registered retirement savings plan.

Why do they buy specific investments? There was a significant generational difference.

“Recommended by my financial adviser” was the main reason given by people over age 50 for picking investments. “Easy to understand” was the main reason in the 18-to-34 age group, which also showed a preference for “affordable cost” and “recommended by others.”

When doing research before investing, younger people checked websites, blogs and online posts. Unlike older people, they trusted advice and recommendations from friends, family and colleagues more than from a financial adviser.

AGF CEO Blake Goldring, who has three daughters aged 19 to 24, says saving for retirement is a low priority in this age group. Saving to own a house or condo is the typical response.

Ellen’s advice

Younger investors gather information through their social networks and use mobile devices to track their personal finances. Savings accounts can’t fund their future needs, but they are reluctant to invest in the stock market.

To attract them, companies should adopt plain language and reduce fees and conflicts of interest. This is better than a traditional approach of paternalism, obfuscation and lack of transparency.

Source Article
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How To Find The Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Deals From Top Companies

It does not matter whether you want a homeowners insurance policy for your condo, or for your house, if you neglect comparing different insurance policy deals you will end up paying way more than you should!

Simply put: insurance prices differ drastically from one insurance company to another. So, if you care about getting a cheap home insurance policy you must compare insurance quotes.

Decrease Your Insurance Cost By Comparing Quotes

Opening a good insurance deal comparison website on your browser is the most convenient and quickest way to compare insurance quotes. A good comparison website shows you multiple attractive deals from various reputed providers.

Basically, you need to fill in a simple questionnaire with information regarding your house and your requirements - like the location of your property and your expected deductible amount, and then submit your form.

After your information quickly reaches a handful of different A-list insurance companies, you are provided with personalized quotes.

Having obtained multiple quotes, you can review everything and pick the best deal based on your needs.

Other Tips To Decrease Your Insurance Expense

Apart from performing comparison, you can use a number of other strategies to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance.

You can enhance the amount of deductible for the purpose. Doing so can lower your insurance premium by as high as 35 percent. In some cases, the decrease may reach 40 percent! Another advantage of having a higher deductable is that it forces you to not submit claims for petty reasons, and hence, maintain your policy for many years to come by avoiding sudden termination.

Also, it is a good idea to get as many different kinds of discounts as you can get. You can obtain multiple-policy discount by taking your policy from the same company which covers your car. You can also get security discount by making your house more secure, by installing bolt locks, alarm systems, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, window locks, and other such features. Plus, almost every insurance provider is ready to provide discount to non-smokers.

Another good discount is senior citizen discount, given to anybody retired, or equal to or above 55 years of age. Some insurers even give you discount for paying annual premiums, instead of quarterly or monthly.

Note that your insurer may not let you know about all the different discounts you can get. So, it is a good idea to ask your agent.

In Summary

To summarize, by comparing different homeowners insurance deals, you increase your chance of getting a policy that is reliable, but also cheap. If you do not take 20 minutes to compare quotes, you may end up paying hundreds or dollars more every year than you need to.

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