Budgeting Tips for Low-Income Families

Budgeting Tips

With the rising costs of food, housing, fuel, medicines, and household bills, it’s not surprising that many people find themselves struggling to make ends meet. Never mind buying a top of the range car, spending on a lavish holiday or having your dream kitchen fitted, for some people, just kitting the kids out with school uniform or paying the gas and electric bills can be a real cause for worry.

Low Income?

Not easy if your money going out is more than you have coming in, is it? And it is frustrating if you are not being frivolous with your spending, rather, you are just paying for the necessities and getting by. Getting to the end or even the middle of the month with no money left is hard, and especially when it happens regularly. Even more stressful and upsetting is when you have children to consider. We all want to see them well fed, clothed, warm and comfortable. And when birthdays and Christmas come around, finding the money for those extra treats can be almost impossible, with the pressure to provide and keep up with everyone else tremendous. This is where you need a plan to help you to budget and ensure that every month is not a financial worry and struggle.

Read Also: How to Use Your Assets to Create Cash

Make a Plan

Sitting down and making a plan of how you are going to manage your money each month is a good start. Write it down so that you can really visualise what you are going to do. It doesn’t matter if you put it on a screen or paper. Write down exactly what you spend and exactly what you have coming in. Keeping receipts from shops and cafes will help you to keep track more easily. It also helps to get it clearer in your mind, so that you can then actually act on it.

Debt

debt

If you have any debt, such as loans, try and get rid of those as quickly as possible so that you and free up money. Aim to set aside a set amount every month and make a target goal for when you hope to pay it off. Not easy when money is short but it really does help. Try and visualise what that extra money each month will help to pay for and this will give you the incentive needed. Once you’ve got rid of your debt, don’t get into anymore. If you can’t afford it, and it’s not vital, then do without or you’ll end up back where you were.

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Keep a Track of Your spending

Keeping a strict and precise track of your spending will really help you to know exactly where your money is going. You make think that you don’t spend a lot on non-vital things but those take out coffees or branded food products all add up. Do the children, especially teenagers, really need to wear designer labels and can you shop around in the sales to get the best bargains? Also, rethink where you shop. Some of the cheaper supermarket products are equally as good as the more expensive competitors. You may also want to think of not always buying new items. Second-hand items are always cheaper and will save you lots. Look online on the popular selling sites and don’t be shy of browsing around charity shops: You get a good deal and so does a good cause. Don’t forget to look at what you already have. Are there unwanted toys, outgrown or unloved items of clothing that you can sell on? Maybe a car boot or advertising on free sites can generate you a bit of extra cash.

Emergency Bills

People on a low income often have bad credit. This makes it impossible to obtain things like credit cards. If you have a bill to pay and no money, try a short-term loan to cover the cost or ask the family to help out. As long as you pay back a short-term loan, it won’t get you into debt.

What Help Can You Get?

Are you sure that you are getting any benefits that you are entitled to? Are your children eligible to free school meals or help with funding school visits and uniforms? Can you get help with prescription costs, dental or optician care? Go in and ask at school or your doctors, dentist, and optician for some guidance.

Remember to stay positive, have clear goals and aims. Being in control of your spending will give you more confidence. And don’t forget to allow a small treat each week or month, even if it’s only a bar of chocolate or a bunch of flowers. It will keep you going and help you to stay focused and on track.

3 Ways to Get on Top of Your Finances as a Young Adult

It’s never too early to start thinking seriously about your future. To make sure you have happy and relatively worry-free adulthood, it’s crucial to get on top of your personal finances. The kind of stress caused by financial trouble is something no one should have to go through. Getting into the habit of self-discipline and frugality will serve you for the rest of your life and will mean you’re less likely to get into debts that have the potential to spiral out of control. Here are some of the things you can do now to ensure you get on top and stay on top of your finances.

1. Get a savings account

Get a savings account.

Even if you have no extra money, even if you already have some debt to pay off, always, always put some aside for your future self before anyone else. If you start putting a small monthly sum into a savings account and treating this as a necessary expense, you’ll be surprised by how much you build up in a few years. Lots of young people today think of savings as an impossible luxury, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Read Also: Money Management Tips When You are Injured and Out of Work

2. Don’t bury your head in the sand when debts pile up

Entering the real world as a self-sufficient adult can be a genuinely terrifying experience. When debts start to build up, and your paychecks just aren’t covering your expenses, it can seem easier to let the bills pile up unopened and to avoid actually dealing with it. But then, the best thing to do is to set aside an afternoon, sit down, and go through everything. Remember, there are always options for dealing with debt. Don’t be afraid to speak to someone at your bank. They will be more than willing to speak to you about options you may not have thought of. Or, you may consider refinancing a current loan. If you have a student loan that’s causing you stress, several companies will give you a new loan at a much lower interest rate. At this website Elfi, you’ll find an example of a refinancer that offers some of the lowest rates in the country.

3. Think of the small things that add up

Think of the small things that add up.

Start to think carefully about each purchase. There’s almost always a cheaper option, which, while sometimes less convenient, will save you a significant amount in the long run. If you’re the type of person that buys coffee every day, make the extra time in the morning to make one at home and take it in a reusable cup. If you have the option to take a cheaper mode of public transport and you aren’t in a rush, opt for that. If you need to purchase a new outfit for an event, don’t turn your nose up at second-hand stores or websites. Start using sites like Groupon for other deals. There’s an almost infinite number of things you can do to cut down on small daily expenses.

Read Also: How to Use Your Assets to Create Cash

Choosing the Best Broker for Your Financial Investments

Best broker for financial investments

Investing a portion of the profits is a practice that many businesses now follow. It not only helps to diversify the income stream but also offers a better return than merely placing money in a bank savings account. With this in mind, it is clear to see financial investment is a route to stimulating business growth and helping to maximize profits. The good news for any business owner is the sheer range of financial markets available to invest in. From Bitcoin to shares, FX and beyond, there are many ways you can put your spare profits to good work.

Before you do though, it is important to find the best financial broker to invest with. Most businesses now use online brokers for the convenience and ease of use they offer. But what should you look for before signing up with one?

Read Online Reviews

Whatever you decide to invest in, you need to find a broker that is honest and reliable. After all, it is your own money that is at stake. One way to find a broker you can trust is to use the internet and read online reviews. This will help you to see what services brokers offer and what real-life traders who use them think of the service provided. Online reviews are also helpful for picking up on any brokers who have a history of issues or problems. This top-notch etoro review shows why, and is an illustration of what online reviews can offer.

Check Out the Customer Service

This is a useful tip as you will want excellent customer service from the broker you choose to use. Efficient customer service ensures you will always get a prompt answer to any future problems and have any issues resolved quickly. Checking out how a broker treats its customers will also enable you to find out how welcoming their support staff are and how professionally they deal with you. This is simple to check as all you have to do is phone, email or use Live Chat on the broker site to make contact. If you find you can never get an answer or the staff who do so are rude, it is best to move on.

Make Sure They Are Licensed and Safe

Although making money is the main goal of financial investments for business, staying safe online is also essential. This is the major reason that choosing your broker carefully is so important. Have a look at any you are interested in to see if they hold the licenses and regulatory authority required to allow them to operate. Having such protection and a means of getting any ongoing issues resolved if needs be is vital. You should also make sure that the website is secure and uses the latest security SSL technology to protect your data.

Do Your Research

The main takeaway is to carefully research any broker you might choose to invest with before signing up with them. Doing so will help to protect your money and also your sensitive personal data.

How to Use Your Assets to Create Cash

How to Use Your Assets to Create Cash

It takes a lot of guts and determination to get through life — and it takes a lot of money, too. During our lives, we have to work hard and save carefully to afford big purchases such as vehicles and homes. We have to put away cash for retirement while paying insurance premiums to ensure that we aren’t bankrupted by disasters and that our family isn’t left penniless when we die. And as we establish ourselves and build our wealth, we’ll be putting more and more of that wealth into things — assets — that are illiquid.

When we say something is illiquid, we mean that it is tough to cash in quickly. A house is a classic example: It’s worth quite a bit of cash, but it’s not as if you can go to the store and buy a candy bar with your house.

This can be a problem. Money, after all, is only good if you can buy something with it. And if you suddenly need a lot of cash late in your career or in your life, you may find that the money you need is all tied up in the assets you own. So what can you do? Here are a few ways to turn your assets into cash.

Take out a secured loan

secured loan

Loans create debt, but that doesn’t mean that all loans are unhealthy sources of toxic debt. Some loans can have excellent terms. The loans that are the healthiest are long-term secured loans.

A secured loan is a loan in which the borrower puts up something as collateral. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender can seize the collateral instead. That reduces risk for lenders, which encourages lower interest rates.

If you have valuable assets but little cash, you could consider taking out a loan against your home or another valuable asset. This will allow you to turn some of the value of that asset into cash. You’ll still pay interest, of course, but you can eventually pay off the loan and still keep the asset.

Get a viatical settlement

If you have been paying into a life insurance policy, then you have a nice chunk of change headed your way — that you won’t be around to enjoy. In most cases, that’s OK, because you took out the life insurance policy to help your family handle expenses when you die. But, sometimes, it becomes clear that you need that money now to keep your family financially secure. In these cases, a viatical settlement can be the right move.

So what is a viatical settlement? It’s sort of like a life insurance buyout. Essentially, a viatical settlement means selling your future life insurance payments for cash now. Naturally, you’ll pay a bit for the privilege, but this can still be a sound financial move in case you need cash quickly to keep things such as medical debts from ballooning and hurting your family’s finances in the long term.

Take out a reverse mortgage

For many of us, our most valuable asset is our home. It takes a lot of money to pay for a home, and it usually takes a mortgage loan that we pay off for years afterwards. When we finally own our home free and clear, we own a valuable asset.

Of course, we may have no intention of selling our home — in which case, our asset really isn’t doing too much for us. That’s where a reverse mortgage could help you. With a reverse mortgage, instead of paying for a home bit by bit, you’ll be getting cash regularly. Reverse mortgages are available to those 62 years and older, and the cash to repay the loan comes from the borrower’s estate (or the sale of their home) after they pass away. This allows the borrowers to create an income from their assets that will last the rest of their lives.

Getting the Best Investment Advice For Your Money

investment advice

Everyone thinks that when it comes to investing that they are a master of their own world. The truth is how much do you really know when it comes to investing? The average person will discover in their life that they don’t know nearly as much as they should and yet act like they don’t need to worry about investing as there will be plenty of time. The truth of the matter is that often times when a person decides to worry about investing, it is too late. The other half of the people shy away from unusual investments that they don’t understand. Their logic for this is the fact that if it is weird, then it must not work. One example of this is when cryptocurrency first came out many people stayed away because of the fact that they did not understand the concept. There are some things that you can do in regards to making smart decisions relating to your investments. Having a few of these tips in your corner will help you to be ready when it comes time for you to retire and enjoy the fruits of your work.

The first thing that you need to make sure that you do is to not take it personally that your knowledge of investments is limited. Most people do not understand all that they should when it comes to this subject. It is better to trust your head and take a chance than to lead with your gut and just take a wild guess as to what stocks you need to be investing in. Take classes and get informed as to help you know better what you need to do and to get you better educated when it comes to stocks and investing.

When you are picking stocks to invest, go with actual businesses and not just the stock symbol. Often times when a person goes to invest in a stock, they will make their decision based on what symbol looks the best and not actually research the company that they are investing in. When you take the time to actually research the company, you will see a lot of the things that you need to make sure to avoid when going to invest. The smart money will be on the company that the investors say has the best potential and not the one that you think will be a winner.

Don’t be tempted to go with the first thing that you run across in regards to credit card offers. This is where a good portion of people get into trouble as they will make the mistake of seeing a credit card that is being endorsed by a celebrity and think that is the best bet for them. It is not a good idea to have a lot of cards. When you use one, you will want to make sure that you pay it off as fast as you can to ensure that you are not getting deep into credit card debt. This is a lot easier of a thing to do than you might expect and can often time lead to a person getting in over their head as it seems so simple to just buy something on credit and worry about paying it off at a later date.

It is also a good idea for you to be ready for times when things may be a little dicey. You should know by now that stocks go up and down all the time and you need to be prepared for this at any given moment. The simple truth is that stocks are not very easy to predict and as such you need to make sure that you have saved back for the times when things are not that good.

Be sure that you do not overtrade, as this can lead to some issues with your stocks. It will seem like the best thing to do in terms of selling at the first sign of trouble, but the truth of the matter is that you need to avoid this as it can actually backfire on you if you do not know what you are doing.