Money

Five Reasons Your Business May Need a Cash Advance

Five Reasons Your Business May Need a Cash Advance

Some businesses cringe at the idea of a cash advance, and rightly so. Interest rates can top 45 percent – leaps and bounds above traditional bank loans or equipment leases.

But there are certain times when a cash advance is a good business decision. They’re certainly not a means of keeping your business afloat, but when used sparingly, they can be an effective tool to help you grow and prosper. Sometimes, the benefits of having money now far outweigh the long-term costs of a cash advance.

1. The Bank Won’t Lend You Money

Securing a bank loan was never an easy process, but in today’s economy it can be downright impossible. Banks are hesitant to lend to young businesses or those they deem risky – particularly restaurants or retail shops.

If your finances are solid but you need a short-term infusion of capital, a cash advance can fill in the gaps. With far less stringent lending standards, a cash advance can provide the funding needed to help your business succeed.

2. You Need New Inventory – Yesterday

Products are flying off the shelves and you suddenly realize that you’ve underestimated your inventory needs. That’s a good thing, right? Well, not if you don’t have the cash to replenish the items necessary to keep your business running.

When you can’t afford to wait for a bank loan, a cash advance allows you to quickly stock up on inventory. Seasonal businesses, too, often turn to cash advances to buy new inventory during slow times. When the busy season starts, they’re easily able to repay the loan.

3. An Unexpected Bill Pops Up

Maybe you’re in the middle of the slow season when a whopping tax bill shows up at your front door. You’ll have the cash in a couple months, but you don’t have it now. A cash advance can fill in the gap here, too.

4. You Get an Offer You Can’t Refuse

Occasionally, suppliers offer a sale or liquidation special with discounts that are too good to refuse. But because you hadn’t planned on ordering new inventory, the money isn’t in the budget. If the deal is good enough, it may be worth the high interest rates that come with a cash advance.

5. You’re Looking to Grow the Business

Business loans are designed to turn borrowed cash into new revenue streams. Sometimes, you just need a quick infusion of capital to take your business to the next level.

Cash advances can be used to pump capital into that growth initiative you’ve long been considering. Maybe it’s a new marketing or advertising campaign designed to increase sales. Just be sure the initiative you choose is one that’s likely to succeed. Cash advances are not designed to be used on a gamble.

Samantha Woods is a loan expert and blogger for online financial publications.


Could Living a Long and Healthy Life Leave You Without Money in Retirement?

Could Living a Long and Healthy Life Leave You Without Money in Retirement?

retirement planWill I have a long retirement? Should I live longer than average will I have enough money to support myself in retirement? Am I saving enough for retirement? These questions are key when you’re deciding how much money to save for retirement in order to live comfortably and have enough money for your entire lifespan.

Obviously, no one knows how long their life will be, although it’s possible to make an educated guess. The most important thing about life expectancy is to save enough money before you retire so that you have enough money to support yourself for the entire time you’re retired. After all, it could be 30 or 40 years.

Retirement Plans

There are a variety of considerations when working at making a retirement plan, but life expectancy is an enormous factor. People used to think that they’d be lucky to live twenty years after retirement. Today, lots of people are living right into their nineties and some even live past 100! This higher lifespan is due to better lifestyles and advances in medicine.

Today one needs to assume that they’re going to need a lot of money when they retire. In fact, retirement can be so long that the average retiree should assume that he or she will need to live off the income from the principal in their savings account and never resort to using any of the principal.

Most of us prefer to think that we’ll live a long and healthy life, but a long time takes extra planning. Use a free retirement calculator that you can find online to help you figure out how much money you’ll need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle for the remainder of your life.

There are ways to give yourself an idea of your own life expectancy. You don’t want to use the tables that are used by life insurance firms and financial advisors that work well when used for groups of people, although you can give yourself a general idea of the life expectancy of the group to which you would belong. Individual life expectancy cannot be calculated like the life expectancy of a group and using one of these tables can get you into hot water. This is because you may live a whole lot longer than the average life expectancy of someone your age. Nobody can make an accurate prediction as to how long they’ll live.

One thing that’s known is that life expectancy grew dramatically in the twentieth century. Early in the century life expectancy was about fifty years. By the end of the century it was about 80 years. Due to medical advances, it seems that life expectancy grows by leaps and bounds every year. That which was fatal last year may be survivable this year.

You can take a look at a life expectancy table and factor in your family history, your lifestyle, your personality type and whatever it is you do for a living, but you’re just making an educated guess. There are no absolutes when it comes to length of life.

Your Family History Can Give You Clues

It’s common and sensible to base how long you expect to live on how long your parents and grandparents lived. If your parents and grandparents all lived into their nineties, things are looking good for you to live into your nineties, too, right? If everyone died young, don’t make assumptions. You are probably living healthier than they did and will be able to take advantage of modern medical advances to boot.

Don’t ever underestimate your own life expectancy because doing this can cause you to seriously underestimate how much money you’re going to need to support yourself in retirement. You could easily run out of money right in the middle of your retirement.

Plan As If You Know That You Will Have a Long Retirement

Unless there’s some pressing reason for you to believe that you will live no more than 20 years post retirement, you need to assume that you’ll live 40 years and plan your retirement with that idea in mind. The very worst thing that could happen is that you’ll have lots of money at the end of your life to bequeath to your children. The best thing is that you’ll have plenty of money to live comfortably in retirement without ever worrying about it running out.

If you make the assumption that you’ll live 30 or 40 years after you retire it means that you’ll have to pledge that you won’t ever touch the principal of your savings. Forty years is a very long time to support yourself in retirement. You’ll have to live off the income from the money that you’ve saved. This concept is critical to a prosperous retirement.

A short retirement means that you can safely spend a little of the principal in your savings. But a long retirement of up to 40 years means that you will have to always take advantage of no more than the income of that principal.

You’ll also need to know the best ways to invest that principal so as to work around inflation and live the life you expect to live.

Pay Your House Off

A great way for retirees to insure that they’ll have enough money to retire is to pay off their mortgage while they’re still working. This will cut down on expenditures when you retire and it will also give you a very valuable asset.

You could budget your savings to make sure that they’ll last until a certain age, but should you live past that age, you can live on your biggest asset – your mortgage free home.

Enjoy Those Golden Years!

Having a longer life expectancy means you may live a long time to enjoy all the hard work that you did during your working years. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that you have enough savings to give you enough money to last your entire life. When formulating a retirement plan assume that you’ll live a good long time and enjoy every year of your well-deserved retirement!

About the Author:

Author Jason Munroe is extremely knowledgeable about one of his favorite subjects money! Living in Nevada with his wife and children, Jason loves to surf the Internet and considers travel to be a passion. When he’s not surfing or traveling, Jason enjoys teaching about wealth building and retirement issues.


How to Keep Money in Your Pocket

How to Keep Money in Your Pocket

The economy is forcing people to pay more attention to spending. Deciding if an item is a need or a want is hard, but necessary. Nobody likes to have to choose between paying a bill or buying a collectible, it’s just a sign of the times, so to speak. Follow these plans to keep the most money you can in your pocket!

1. Plan Your Day
Taking a few minutes to plan a shopping trip can save money on gas. Decide what stores you really need to visit. If you have another appointment in the same town, try to schedule them the same day. Plan out your route to limit the amount of traveling between points.

2. Check Ads
Coupons are a major craze today. Clippers accumulate dozens of the small slips of paper each week. While it seems 50 cents off a loaf of bread seems hardly worth the effort, some stores double the value.
Gathering several coupons for multiple items can add up to great savings. There are coupons for nearly everything you buy, from food to clothing to oil changes for your car. Always keeping an eye out for sales and coupons can help you cut your retail and grocery budget by a large chunk.

3. Cook What You Have
Cooking at home is a great way to save money. Eating out is quick and convenient after a long day of
work or school, but what most people don’t realize is, that by the time they spend $20 at the drive-thru window, they could buy all the ingredients for a delicious quick homemade meal at a fraction of the price. Making dinner at home not only saves money, it gives you time with your family and is healthier!

4. Make Small Repairs ASAP
Make sure there are no water leaks around the house. Just two leaky faucets that drip once a minute
waste approximately sixty-nine gallons of water each year. Check the faucet knobs – make sure they are still turning all the way off. Sometimes the rubber washers wear out inside the knob, allowing for loose fits and letting water drip, costing you money.

5. Turn off the Lights!
Check for lights, radios and televisions left on around the house. Any plugged-in item adds an amount to your power bill each month. As with other things, the small amounts aren’t visible alone, but when kept under control, you will see the difference.

6. Impulse Buys are Evil!
While waiting for the line to move, you pick up a tabloid from the rack, see an article you want to finish and next thing, it’s in the cart. These items are placed to catch your attention at the very end of your shopping trip. Retailers know that you will have to stand in line at some point. There, the temptations begin. News about celebrities you read once and throw away. That’s costly trash. Other items are placed there to capture your attention in hopes that you will pick them up as well. To keep money in your wallet, resist the urge!

7. Simple is Key
Saving money isn’t always easy, but it can be done with careful planning, good decision making and priorities. Coupons, eating at home and avoiding impulse buys can help you keep that money in your pocket for a rainy day.


Got No Credit? Want To Build Some?

Got No Credit? Want To Build Some?

Building up your credit can take time – but what if you have no credit to begin with? How do you build credit when you are just starting out?

If you are just beginning, you’ve probably run into the problem of being denied credit because you have no credit. How are you supposed to build credit if no one will give you a chance? It’s an age-old problem. The key is to start small, remain consistent and over time, you can develop a financial profile that will make it easy to obtain credit.

For those looking to establish credit, one of the easiest ways is to obtain a secured credit card. A secured card is one that you by depositing a certain amount of money. You are then allowed to use the card up to that amount. In other words, if you get this type of card and deposit $500, your credit limit on the card is $500. As you use the card, the card issuer will report to the credit bureaus, and your usage and payment history will help you establish a credit history.

Another option is to obtain a retail store credit card. These cards are relatively easy to get, but they do charge high interest rates. Using a store card wisely for about a year can go a long way toward setting you up with good credit.

When seeking to build credit, you may be tempted to run out and apply for several different credit cards. But be warned: you should definitely take your time when applying for new lines of credit. A flurry of new credit card applications is not looked on favorably by the credit reporting bureaus, or by lenders. Prove yourself first with the one card you have to establish and build your credit before you attempt to add other lines of credit.

You should keep an eye on your outstanding balances, and refrain from reaching the maximum limit on any credit card. Credit reporting agencies look at the ratio of total available debt versus the actual outstanding debt. If you have used a large portion of your available debt, it is a definite negative on your credit report.

One of the simplest things you can do to establish good credit is to pay your bills on time. Doing so will help improve your creditworthiness in the eyes of the credit bureaus, and will make you appear more trustworthy to lenders.


Keeping Up With Gold Prices

Keeping Up With Gold Prices

With the increased number of people who are choosing to invest in gold, and the ever-fluctuating prices, it’s important for you to be able to keep up with the going rates. Whether you are an investor, someone looking to invest, or simply have an interest in gold, then you can find good ways to keep yourself updated on gold prices. Gold prices are constantly changing, yes, but there are many ways of tracking those changes and learning about them so you can use them to your greatest advantage.
In the past, it was up to the daily newspaper or economic journals to track gold changes. Firms dealing in gold had their own ways of tracking gold prices as well, and you would have to work with one of these to get their information. However, as times have progressed, it’s much easier to access this information and have it at your fingertips.
Modern Ways to Track Gold Prices
There must be hundreds of websites out there solely dedicated to the following of gold prices. Services that offer options for buying and selling gold usually keep track of the prices, both locally and worldwide. Many of these websites offer you the option to subscribe and receive regular updates whenever you need them. This can be useful if you want hour-by-hour or daily info on gold prices.An increasingly used way for tracking gold prices comes directly to your smartphone. There are more and more apps being created for people who want to keep up on their investments, and these can be a great option for you if you want to be able to check up on them whenever you feel like it. Apps and mobile websites are both great options for staying constantly informed.

Of course, if you are working with an investment agent, then he or she should be keeping you informed and making sure your investments are going well, but even so you can get the info you need yourself with only a few seconds of work. By using up to date sources of gold price knowledge, you can be sure that your money is where it should be.

Investing in gold is a highly recommended option, and it’s something that nearly anyone can do. If you want to make the most of your cash, and you have had it invested in gold, then be sure to stay updated and pay attention to the trends with these modern ways of getting information.


Hints and Tips on Saving Money When Investing in Home Insurance

Hints and Tips on Saving Money When Investing in Home Insurance

Most people would agree that a home is one of the most important purchases an individual will make in his or her lifetime, and for this reason it is essential that the homeowner obtain suitable insurance for the property. Saving money on home insurance is not as difficult as one may think, and the following are some tips on how this can be accomplished.

Reducing Coverage

Many house insurance policies include certain benefits that an individual may find unnecessary. These include free legal advice, or coverage for lost belongings while traveling. It is wise to read through the entire policy to discover which benefits are practical and useful, and which ones could be eliminated. By reducing coverage, one will find that his or her premiums can be significantly lowered.

Paying Annually

Although most insurance companies allow clients to pay their premiums in monthly instalments, there are some agencies that will charge interest for this option. If possible, a homeowner should make arrangements to pay his or her insurance premiums yearly, as this will be less expensive than paying month to month.

Avoid Small Amount Claims

Making numerous claims for small amounts can increase the cost of a person’s home insurance, as his or her provider may view such a client as a high risk and increase the cost of the coverage. This will also result in the homeowner losing any “no-claims” discount associated with his or her policy. While a person is certainly entitled to enter a claim for anything covered under the policy, it is wise to ask oneself if the small claim is worth possible future price increases.

Higher Deductibles

Choosing a policy with a higher deductible is also a quick and easy way to reduce the cost of insurance. Depending on the provider one uses, selecting a higher deductible can result in the homeowner saving as much as 20 per cent on his or her annual premium. While this means the homeowner must pay a higher amount towards repairs in the unfortunate event that a claim is filed, it is still one of the most popular ways of reducing the cost of property insurance.

Security Considerations

If a homeowner protects his or her property with a security alarm, sprinkler system, outdoor lighting or window locks he or she can expect a premium discount of approximately five per cent. It is wise to first call an insurance agency for recommendations before selecting a system. Additionally, smoke detectors are required in certain states, and some carriers will refuse to insure a home in which no smoke alarm is present.

Shop Around

By comparison shopping, one can usually reduce his or her premiums by a considerable amount. Although this may seem like an obvious point, statistics have shown that a high number of consumers obtain only two quotes when shopping for insurance, or simply renew their current policy without comparing its price with that of other providers. Numerous home insurance websites will compare multiple policies for those visiting the site, making the task of comparison shopping easy for anyone.


5 Unnecessary Things Most People Waste Money On

5 Unnecessary Things Most People Waste Money On

Everyday, people are buying unnecessary things, wasting their income and wondering why they can’t pay their bills. Sure, there are a lot of things you need, these are five things you don’t need but you’re probably wasting money on anyway.

Low-Fat, Foods

America is obsessed with these pseudo-health products that, if you look at the ingredients, are more likely to cause you cancer at the expense of 10-50 calories. Not only that, but this beautiful little buzzword can rack up prices far beyond the normal product’s price. Instead of spending an extra $0.50 or $1 on low-fat, just jog around for a minute and burn the 10-50 calories you would have saved.

Taking Your Car to The Dealer

Everyone expects the car dealer to know more about your car than any other repair shop. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not, but one thing is for certain. The dealership knows you think this, and they are going to raise their prices because of this reputation. If your car is under warranty, or the dealership really is the only one who can fix the car (which is so rare!), then take it to the dealership. But if you just need a regular repair, take it to the no-name repair shop. He’ll be happy for the work, and you’ll be happy with the lower price.

Bottled Water and Cups of Coffee

Both of these are so similar that they had to be put together. When you buy bottled water, 90% of the price is from the plastic; that means your $1 bottled water should really cost $0.10. Next time you want water, get a reusable bottle, canteen or something else to hold the water and get it from the tap.

Coffee is the same thing. A cup of coffee that costs about $1 to $3, or more if you go to a popular chain or order some concoction that takes a full minute to say, would cost about $0.20 to $0.30 at home. Get a thermos, fill it up, and laugh at everyone else spending away their entire check on these expensive little cups.

Precut Fruits and Vegetables

When you go to the food store, you are inevitably going to see the precut fruits and vegetables. Sure, they look better, and some of the processing work is done for you, but how much work would it have been to bite into a strawberry or cut open a melon? According to the store, it’s so much that they can charge 33% to 50% more than the laymen’s full fruits and vegetables. Just bring home the non-cut version next time, do the work, and save yourself some cash.

ATM Fees

When you would rather visit a closer ATM that isn’t connected to your bank, you have to spend $3.43 on average. Maybe that doesn’t seem like much, but multiply that by 52, and you are spending over $175 a year. Just go to the bank and keep some cash in your pocket.

Conclusion

Avoid these costs and you will have more money and be less likely to need short term credit or cashflow issues. Most of the items on this list seem a little more convenient, but when you compare your savings versus how much time it takes to cut your own veggies or make your own coffee, you will be sure to find that these convenience items just aren’t worth it. Just look at your life, and see what other things you are spending too much money on.


Black Friday Shopping Money-Saving Tips

Black Friday Shopping Money-Saving Tips

It is a well-known fact that Black Friday is one of the most awaited days by many people for a very special reason. Why? Black Friday or the day after Thanksgiving is popular and waited for with much anticipation by many people because it is considered the first day of the Christmas shopping season. During Black Friday, which will fall on November 25 this year, business establishments are preparing to offer huge discounts to the buying public. This is not only true with establishments selling products; this also includes establishments that offer services such as Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Spa’s, Beauty Shops, Hair and Nail Care Centers, Fitness Gyms, even Dental Clinics.

This makes Black Friday an ideal day to shop; the discounts are simply hard to ignore, especially for those who are really looking for a good bargain.

In order to enjoy to the fullest the best that Black Friday has to offer, here are some money-saving shopping tips which are guaranteed to ensure that shoppers will get their money’s worth and truly enjoy the bargain promised!

Tip #1 How Much Do You Intend To Spend?

How much is your shopping budget? It is very important that you determine your shopping budget and really tell yourself that you intend to stick to it.

Tip #2 Cash or Credit Card?

Do you intend to spend cash when shopping? Or maybe you are planning to use your credit card. Maybe you’re asking now which is better: cash or credit card. Well, financial experts vary in their opinions on the matter. Some experts are saying that using cash is much safer and better because you will not be tempted to spend more than what you can afford. The use of credit cards when shopping has been proven to cause a lot of people to impulse buy, On the other hand, there are also experts that believe that using credit cards when shopping is more convenient; and that as long as one pays what he or she owes on time, then the credit card is always the best option.

So long before Black Friday comes, decide if you will use cash or credit card, and know the costs of doing so.

Tip #3 Make a Shopping List

Long before Black Friday, it is essential that you prepare your shopping list. What should be in the list?

First, write down the names of the people who you plan to give gifts to. In this context, the list is invaluable as it will ensure that every person who needs to be in the list is on the list.

Second, write at least 2 or 3 gift options that you think are best for the person;

Third, for all the gift options you have written, indicate your budget allocation for each of them. This will give you an idea how much money will really you need.

Can you imagine going to a shopping mall and not having some sort of an idea what you’re looking for? I’m sure you’ll agree with me that you will surely be wasting a lot of time as you go around aimlessly looking for nothing in particular.

So remember to bring your list when you go to the Shopping Malls on Black Friday. It will guide you in your decision making, and it will help you enjoy your shopping and finish it in no time.

Siena Lombardi is a technology specialist writer for Phoenix kiosk, a Kiosk manufacturer firm in Tempe, AZ. Phoenix Kiosk offers check in kiosks and digital signage kiosks.


7 Best Coupon Sites for the Frugal Family

7 Best Coupon Sites for the Frugal Family

Online coupons have rejuvenated the coupon industry as evidenced by recent statistics that show that coupon redemption in the country increased by almost 8% in 2010, generated over $2 billion in savings for consumers.

Given the critically tough financial situations many of us are experiencing, many families have grown more appreciative of the benefits of using online coupons. This is especially true when they realize that with the wise use of coupons, an average family of four can save as much as $6,000 in a year. What could you do for your family with an extra $6k?

Coupons have been around for a long time, but the internet has drastically changed their ease, variety, and benefits. While previously concentrated on print medium, coupons have now taken on a more updated look with the birth of printable online coupons that are available for almost any major brand.

The big question has become where to go online for discounts? Finding the specific coupon website that offers the best deals can be frustrating and time consuming, which is why we’ve summed up a few of best sites to help narrow down your search.

1. Krazy Coupon Lady this extreme couponing site offers coupon choices that can help you complete your grocery and household shopping needs in an instant, from toothpastes to frozen goods, all the products that you need in your pantry will have a coupon counterpart on this coupon site.

2. Hip2Save a coupon site that promises to veer away from the age old couponing styles of your grandmother. Hip2Save was founded by three exceptional mothers who are tirelessly looking for ways to save. A good thing about this site is that it is hourly updated with new coupons for their members.

3. WeUseCoupons this coupon site is most recommended for mothers as it contains a forum site that can help members get additional insights on stretching their budget. It also offers valuable information on how you can best use your coupons to meet your family’s expenses.

4. BluWiki a little different from your typical site, bluwiki.com is composed of a social community where members can exchange ideas and log there personal journeys towards saving money. You’ll find far more information on most types of products and follow successful tips to maximize your savings on everything from Swiffer Wetjet packages to Quilted Northern toilet.

5. RetailMeNot if you are looking for national brands such as Kohl’s and Urban Outfitters, then RetailMeNot is the best site for you as it boasts of more than 10,000 online partners and has almost everything from clothing and groceries to electronics.

6.$5 Dinners this is a food and cooking site that is perfect for parents who are constantly frustrated on the rising costs of grocery items and on choosing daily menus for the family.

7.Kind Coupons aptly called Kind coupons, this site is able to combine great discount deals with philanthropy as it donates 50% of its entire profit to charitable institutions.

This short list of quality coupon sites is all you need to get started on saving money on your next purchases for the family. A little research can mean big savings over the course of a year, so dive in and start pinching pennies.

As a member of the BluWiki.com community, I have to say I’m biased as to where to visit first. If you’d like to get a peek at the community and products and deals we’ve talked about, then check out these Swiffer wetjet coupons and Quilted Northern toilet paper coupons pages. Thanks!


5 Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Budget

5 Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Budget

BudgetingWith the economy we have right now, it is important that we learn how to maximize our income. We can do this by being more careful with how we use our money. There are things that we can live without. But there are also things that we have to allocate money for. This includes food. If you are the bread winner of your family, you know that grocery shopping can be a constant drain on your resources. In order to help you with budgeting, here are five ways to stretch your grocery budget.

Plan your meals in advance. Before making that grocery list, decide first what your dishes are going to be for the week. This will save you both time and money. By planning your meals in advance you will get to buy only what you need.

Shop in Farmer’s markets. The food here is fresh and a lot cheaper compared to what can be found in supermarkets. By buying in Farmer’s markets you get to save and help the local farmers. That’s what you call hitting two birds with one stone.

Buy only what you need. Don’t buy too much food. Buy only what you and your family can consume within a week. Don’t purchase food that spoils easily or you might end up having to throw much of it away. If you want to stock up, then do so with non-perishable items such as canned goods. This way you will be able to preserve it – and save money in the process.

Don’t bring children. This may sound a bit harsh but if you really want to save money, don’t bring your children along. Kids have the tendency of getting whatever they want from the shelves. Yes, you might be able to control them to a degree but, knowing parents, you’ll find it hard to say no to all their demands. To be on the safe side, it would be best to bring adults only.

Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry. The biggest mistake you can make is to go grocery shopping when you are hungry because you might buy more than you need. If you are planning to do some shopping make sure you eat a full meal beforehand.

Amy C. is an interior decoration aficionado and online marketer.  She also likes testing and trying new home and office decorating themes.  In addition to being an interior decoration hobbyist, she enjoys designing calming solar fountains and glass art.  Amy invites you to browse her delightful collection of glass vases”


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