Money

Bracing up for Another Economic Crisis: What the IMF has to Say

The International Monetary Fund has rung the warning bells once again. It has clearly declared that the political leaders hailing from different parts of the globe should brace themselves for an economic slump as World Economy is heading for big time stagnancy in the days to come. So, what exactly has led IMF to think on these lines? Let us explore.

Are we staring at another financial crisis?

To start off with, let us tell you that the IMF has actually gone on to bring a number of reasons to the fore – contributing to the impending financial crisis we are presently talking about here.

Firstly, the IMF has held the pessimistic growth projection of the UK from 2.2 percent to 1.9 percent responsible for such predictions at the present moment.  There is major uncertainty clouding the EU referendum. imagesSCAESFWEThe decision to cut down on growth projection from 2.2 to 1.9 percent is even more pessimistic than Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast of 2 percent at the budget. Surprisingly enough, the forecast came in the midst of hopes that UK is poised to grow faster than almost all the countries, excluding Spain and the US. Not to forget, the poor growth forecast has clearly been attributed to a wide number of reasons including China’s financial crisis and the exposure of the world economy to terrorism and migrant crisis.

Maurice Obstfeld, who is the economic counselor of the IMF opined that it has been too long since the global economy has been too slow. As such, it has very easily become vulnerable to negative risks. According to him if the economic growth is below stalling speed with insufficient demand to escape low growth then it only leads to deflationary equilibrium.

Saddening Projections and what we should do

Much to our plight, the institution’s evaluation made for the bleakest projection since 2009. Policy makers as such are required to devise strategies keeping the possible adverse outcomes in view. Maurice Obstfeld, however, didn’t have words of hope to offer in this respect as well. He said that the policy makers don’t have much time in their hands to prepare contingency plans to deal with possible risks in the future.

The need of the hour is to beef up reform efforts. Countries with scope for better finances should cash in on the record reduction of rates of interest and invest in infrastructural ventures and offer tax relief to the private sector research and development.


Energy Saving Tips that Keep Money in Your Pocket

According to many experts, people in the United States are on unhealthy financial paths that will make it difficult for them to retire. In fact, less than a quarter of Americans have enough money saved to live without paychecks for six months. About 50 percent don’t even have savings large enough to support themselves through three months of unemployment. Living paycheck to paycheck may not seem like a big deal until an emergency happens. When a unexpected emergency happens, though, households simply do not have enough money to pay their bills.

There are a lot of things you can do to start saving more money. Lowering your household expenses is one effective option. By lowering the amount of money that you spend on bills, you can put more in your savings account. Simply telling someone to lower their household expenses, however, isn’t very effective. They need to know what steps they can take to start saving.

In this infographic published by Griffith Energy Services, you will learn about several ways to lower your monthly bills. Something as simple as unplugging your electronics can save you up to $100 a year. Getting rid of an extra refrigerator could help you save up to $200 on electricity every year. When it comes to long-term savings, though, you can benefit from getting a an energy audit that will find inefficiencies like leaking ducts and poorly insulated rooms. You will also want to get your HVAC system inspected. It may cost a little bit now, but it will help you save money for years to come.

Note to publisher:

This is an intro text to an infographic post. You can find the infographic post here:

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How to Start a Finance Blog and Earn Money

START A BLOG 🙂

With more money comes more debt”, I thought aloud as I stared at my laptop screen way back in 2011 – skimming through a series of online finance forums. My brief (3 years) stint as the online reputation manager for the company I worked for earlier, taught me interesting nuances of finances (because I was primarily managing the digital marketing campaigns of the finance companies) — “interesting” because (a) it taught me things which I wasn’t aware of at first and (b) it taught me things differently as I had perceived them before. This was the time when I stopped seeing “money” as a staid entity entailing equally uninteresting equations like “more income= more savings” or for that matter, “more money = less debt”. No it didn’t happen that way. Those people clamoring for advice on those finance forums invariably taught me that understanding the dynamics of money is more complex than earning money itself. Back in 2011, I knew that I would be floating my own start-up soon (which I eventually did in 2012). However, thanks to my ex-colleague’s response to my aforementioned exclamation (With more money comes more debt), I thought of addressing a few misconceptions about finance through a blog. So, the birth of Finance Wand is directly attributable to that moment. He refused to believe that more money meant more debt and I started making him understand that there is actually no difference between someone earning $300,000 a year with debts worth $1 million and someone earning $30,000 a year with debts worth $100,000. I knew most of the people out there thought like he did. And, thus I started my first finance blog with the preliminary of focus on dispelling a few money myths – in my own little way.

I sincerely believe that if you start a blog with a meaningful purpose (rather than only looking to earn from it), it becomes easier for you to earn. If you’re about to start a blog anytime soon and are looking forward to earn money from the same, then going through these points will possibly be of help!

Why exactly do you want to start a blog?

Don’t say you want to earn money. Your readers will not really be visiting your blog to help you earn money! They will come here to seek answers to the innumerable finance queries they have, to “listen” to variant finance stories and to treat them as learning tools to step up their own fiscal literacy, to see if there are others having similar financial problems as they are having or not and to seek possible avenues of improving their own financial behavior. You blog, at least, can act as the starting point for them (when it comes to viewing their financial woes as something addressable and not as a dead end). I started my blog because I wanted to address a few common financial myths. I was sure that they would help readers—irrespective of whether they are in deep financial trouble or not. They would help them realign their financial goals. For instance, there were quite a few readers who found it extremely difficult to prioritize their debts. This stands as a common problem despite the availability of so many articles out there. I personally would ask you to pay off as follows:

  • Mortgage
  • Property Taxes
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Secured debts
  • Federal Income Taxes Federal Student Loans
  • Medical Bills
  • Unsecured debts (starting from the highest to lowest interest ones)

Remember you’re not the messiah

Not even money is the messiah! Yes it does provide security to a certain extent but it does not really go on to ensure an eternal blanket of certainty. The more money you have, the more anxious you’re about saving it! We are not really asking you to undermine your speculative skills (when it comes to trends in World Economy) but make sure you are open to learning. Don’t end up sounding like an invincible finance guru ready to blurt out finance tips and tricks in your blogs. The advice is to be more human. I had read an article where this writer had said that a blogger is like someone sitting at the other end of the table chatting with his reader. I will say that this conversation can be about anything but one-sided preaching. Tell your reader that you’re still learning to mend your fiscal ways but would like to share your learning experience with him. Don’t end up sounding “infallible”. Your readers don’t want that.

Can you really earn money with your blogs?

Yes, you can! However, profiting from a blog is an elaborate proposition. In order to attract advertisers you have to attract readers first. Advertisers are very selective with their dollars. They know which blog is driving 2,000 visitors and which one is driving more than 5,000 visitors within the same time frame. Keep the aforementioned points in view in order to bring more readers.

Get Yourself a Reliable Hosting Service

It is important for you to get yourself a hosting service after you have decided your domain name. My personal experience with Bluehost has been quite fulfilling. The easy-to-use interface helps you to do a number of things at the same time:

  • Completion of domain registration and hosting in one single step
  • The facility to add WordPress blog Installation
  • Add easy-to-install forums
  • Secure support from features like FTP, e-mail accounts and automatic backups

Offered below is the step-by-step procedure to complete the entire hosting process with Bluehost.

  • Visit the Bluehost page through the affiliate link at Financewand.com and click on the Blue Button.

    Get Started Now

1-Homepage

  • Bluhost offers you the chance to register with a new domain name or transfer an existing one:

3-Domain Registration

  • Provide with all your account information here:

4-Contact Info

 

  • Scroll down the packages section. The 36 months package makes for the cheapest one. However, you should not really forget that Bluehost charges the entire (36 months) payment upfront. Since you’re prepaying for the hosting services, you will get a lot of advantages including the money-back guarantee.

5-Choose Plan

  • Then comes the billing info part, where you enter the required billing details. Confirm that you are agreeing with the service terms and then click “next”.

6-Billing Info

  • Your Bluehost account has officially been created. Now you should concentrate on creating a password and log in to the “hosting” section. Bluehost greets you with a “welcome” message after you have logged in. And once you’re in the dashboard, you would require installing WordPress:

7-cPanel

  • Once you’re in WordPress click “Install/Start”.

8-WordPress

 

  • Select the domain you want to install.

9-Install WP

  • Carry on by providing these details and click “Install Now”

10-WP Login

11-Installation

  • After the installation of WordPress, you will receive an e-mail from the Mojo Marketplace. Save the e-mail as it contains your website URL, WordPress Login URL, and WordPress Login username

16

  • Click Admin URL which will direct you to
  • This particular notification center will help you retrieve your password:
  • Here are your WordPress Account details. Do not forget to save it somewhere

intall

And, you’re home!

Reach me at Jonny @ financewand . com

Click here to get Started.


You can’t fix your friend’s life by lending him money!

Yes that itself should be reason enough for you not to lend your friend money, when he asks for it but we know how difficult it is to say “no” to the friend who is asking for money because he is in debts or is required to buy something on an urgent basis.

There is no dearth of valid reasons why you can refuse him money – (a) you may not necessarily have the money at the first place (b) even if you have the money you won’t possibly want to give birth to a potential pathological borrower by not refusing him the money. Whatever the reasons may be, it is rather difficult not to “help” your friend out during emergencies. Here are a few ways following which you can truly help out your friend asking for money.

“You” are the one whom you need to convince first

Convince yourself you are right. If refusing the money to fund your needs seems too “selfish” a proposition to start with, then let us tell you that there are several other well-meaning friends/relatives who have already done the same. For some inspiration you can refer to the letter that Ayn Rand had sent to her niece, probably on being asked to fund a dress: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/ayn_rand_worst_aunt. Don’t really be flustered by the headline. Irrespective of what it says, I believe Ayn had actually substantiated her points quite logically.More_money

How to deal with “such” requests

If your friend knows that you have extra money kept aside then make sure that you are telling him or her that you might need the money very soon if not today itself.

Instead, you can help your friend explore other options rather than the immediate option which he has opted for (i.e. asking for money from others). Following are a few

  • You can help him research the affordable debt options that he can avail. You can go on to co-sign the loan as well
  • You can ask him to sell off something which he doesn’t need at this point of time
  • You can gift him the thing he wants (if you can afford to do that) instead of paying the money for the same
  • You can review his finance management skills to find out where he is falling short

In short, you need not feel compelled to help your friend even at the cost of disrupting your own finances. You might as well have been asked by a relative or friend for money yet. However, who knows whether you won’t be asked tomorrow or not? You are the manager of your own finances. And, being proactive remains a significant part of your learning curve (as far as your personal finance management plans are concerned). The more proactive you are with your investments the better adept you are at handling your finances. So learn these tricks in advance. Make sure you are “well-equipped” to handle possible requests with aplomb. The tips offered here, will hopefully offer you the required help. Good luck!

Considering the difficulties already mentioned here, we will never want you to be asked thus. J


Auto Title Loans – 3 Most Popular FAQs of Dummies

Auto_Loan-512Auto title loans are the easiest ways of borrowing money where the lender lends money by using vehicle title as collateral, without even checking credit score of the borrower. Whether you need $100, $1,000, or $10,000 you can get the required cash (to sail through the temporary hard pressed times) in minutes. Car title loans or auto title loans (to say in general terms as these loans can be acquired by putting motorcycle title as collateral as well) are subjected to different regulations in different states of the USA. So, before borrowing such a loan, you must check out all the important information associated with it.

Here are 3 frequently asked questions along with their answers:

FAQ #1: What is a Title Loan basically?

Car or motorcycle title loans are called title loans in short. It is a kind of secured loan where the lender keeps title of the borrower’s vehicle to give loan to the latter. Until and unless the loan amount is repaid in full along with the interest rate, automobile’s vehicle title is temporarily surrendered to the lender. If the borrower fails to repay the loan amount, title loan lender has the right of repossessing the automobile, selling it, and recovering outstanding debt.

Title loans are short term in nature and can be acquired in just minutes. If the loan amount is $100-$500 you can acquire it in minutes. Title loans generally come with high rate of interest, say 35 per cent APR or sometimes even more. The lenders say that the high default risk (because these loans are drawn mainly by people who are already in financial problems) leaves them with no other option but to charge higher interest rates.

FAQ #2: What is the Process involved in Title Loan Lending?

Title loans can be obtained either from store fronts or online. The borrower has to show valid identifications such as driver’s license, income proof, mail proof of residency, lien free car title proof, car registration, car insurance proof, and others. One form involves following of Kelley Blue Book that shows vehicle’s resale value. In many cases, half of car’s resale value is offered by the lender.

Auto title lender doesn’t check credit history or credit score of the borrower. However, he checks vehicle condition and value of the vehicle on which the secured loan is drawn. There are some title loan lenders who also verify whether the borrower has a regular income source or is employed. If there is any financing or lien on the automobile on which you are going to take loan, the lender will not offer you the loan. There is no fixed rate but range anything from 30 per cent to more than 100 per cent APR.

FAQ #3: What are the Auto Title Loan Laws in California?

A very common query among consumers is – how title loans work in San Diego, California? California law doesn’t have many regulations to limit interest charged by lenders in the state. However, auto title loan amount within $2,500 can’t have over 30 per cent interest rate. There is no limit on interest rate charged on loans above $2,500.


China planning to curb Internet finances

The growing Chinese Internet finance industry has been imposed with strict regulations by the Chinese authorities in line with the alleged fraud in the industry over the recent years. The online peer to peer (P2P) industry in China has over 3800 operators, of which above 1200 such firms are allegedly involved in illicit dealings with customers. Some of these firms have been known to be whisking away with the investors money while many have closed down as per reports by Wangdaizhijia, known to be a source of industry data. The worth of the Chinese Internet finance industry is about 133.1 billion yuan ($21 billion).

Several basic guidelines were issued by the Chinese regulators to the Internet finance industry in what is known to be a 6000 word long document. The guideline specifically seeks to categorize the running models in the Internet finance industry and issuing customized regulations for the models. The industry regulators must take care of this and try to classify several models running in the industry as per the regulations by the Government. In return this will create a clearer picture for the Government and help them get a better hold of the Internet finance firms.

The industry has been categorized into six factors of operations namely Equity crowd funding, Internet loans, Internet insurance, Internet trust and consumer finance, Internet payment and Internet sale of funds. The operation guidelines have made it clear that separate regulatory institutions must be assigned to different categories which would help the authorities to have a better grip on the operations of the industry. As reports suggest, The Peoples Bank of China has been assigned to keep a tab on the mode of payments done online, while the online selling of funds, equity crowd funding will be supervised by China Securities Regulatory Commission and thus help curb illegal trade. Internet security, self regulation of industry has been taken care of in the regulations while confusion still persists about the role of participants in the Internet finance market. All these can be seen as a welcome change as the industry is known to have been involved in a network of illegal trade and negotiations.


Saving Money and Going Green Go Hand-in-Hand

money_savingThe main goal for most businesses is to turn a profit. However, in a world that is increasingly aware of environmental issues, many businesses are taking measures to reduce the negative impact their company has on the environment. It is a mistaken belief that going green can cost more money for your business. In fact, saving money and going green go hand in hand.

Reducing Electricity Usage

Electricity is often one of the biggest overheads faced by a business, but cutting back on the amount of electricity used is relatively easy. One of the biggest uses of electricity in businesses is lighting. Turning off lights when you are not using a room is really easy and is a habit that should be encouraged amongst all staff. Another way to cut the cost of lighting is to use energy saving lightbulbs. The initial outlay for these is more than regular bulbs, but you will soon reap the rewards of using them. They can last for several years before they need replacing and significantly reduce the amount of energy used to light your premises. A further tip for cutting back on electricity use is to turn off all the equipment and appliances each day as soon as they are not in use. You can make it the responsibility of the last person to leave the premises each night to make sure that everything is turned off.

Using Recycled Products

Using recycled products is a great way of both going green and saving money. Recycled paper is fantastic for everyday use, and usually costs significantly less than paper that has not been recycled. You can also make efforts to recycle paper yourself by shredding unwanted documents and sending the waste for recycling.

Similarly, instead of buying brand new ink cartridges every time they need replacing, consider using remanufactured Lexmark ink cartridges. Not only is this a step towards operating an environmentally friendly business, it can also save you between 40 and 50 per cent on the cost of replacing ink cartridges. Buying HP Laserjet p1102 Printer Ink from Original Cartridge Manufacturers and remembering to recycle your used cartridges will ensure no waste is created by your business. There are also many items of stationery that are made from recycled materials, such as recycled plastics, and it is worth considering only buying these if they are a cost-effective option for your business.

Cutting Down on Gas Use

If you use gas for heating your premises, this will impact on the carbon footprint of your business. If you are not careful, it can also make a big dent in your business overheads. Reducing the amount of gas you use to heat your premises has the double benefits of saving you money and lowering the detrimental impact your business is having on the environment. Luckily, cutting down on gas usage is really simple.

Your premises do not need to be heated twenty-four hours a day, so set your boiler’s timer settings so that you can limit heating to set times of the day. If you must have the heating on constantly, then turn the thermostat down. Even a few degrees can make a significant difference. Furthermore, you should take steps to prevent heat loss from your building. Close all the doors and windows, get the premises insulated and consider using draft excluders around the doors. Saving energy in this way can have a dramatic impact on the amount your business will pay in bills each month.

Any business that wishes to conduct themselves in an ethical manner should take steps to reduce the negative impact their daily activities has on the environment. The added advantage of taking steps towards being green is that you can dramatically reduce many of your costs, including electricity, gas and office equipment. Not only will your profits increase as a result of cutting costs, you can also inform clients that you are an ethical and green business and this can be a deciding factor for many clients when choosing a business to work with.

 


How to save money on your holidays

Now in the midst of the festive period, the majority of families are settling down for Christmas at home. In contrast, a growing number of families are looking to spend the festive period abroad, as they aim to capture some winter sun and enjoy a unique holiday experience. Interestingly, consumers also use the winter period to research and book trips for the following summer, in a bid to save money and take the stress out of planning international trips. Either way, Christmas is a busy time for sun-seekers and those in search of overseas trips.

3 Ways in which you can save money on your Holiday

While the ways in which you can save money on your holiday depend largely on the nature of your trip and destination, we have identified three ways to save money at every stage of the experience. For example: –

  1. Access flash sales to save money on Holiday essentials

If you are familiar with flash mobs, you will know how brands use spontaneous and interactive marketing tools to promote their products (or services). We have also seen a similar concept impact on the world of sales recently, through which brands collaborate to offer goods at hugely discounted prices for a limited period only. These deals are usually shared online, where discount vendors such as LivingSocial, EveryDayOffers and Groupon collate the best offers and publish these on a first come, first served basis. This can be an excellent way to save money on holiday essentials!holiday4

  1. Book your Flights and Hotel with Strategic timing

Timing is everything, especially in the race to save money as a consumer. As a holiday-goer, flights and accommodation will usually represent the highest costs, and booking these at strategic times can help you to save money. Once you have picked a destination and estimated date of travel, research exactly when you can expect flights to be released as this is usually when they can be sourced for less. In terms of hotel rooms, either book six months in advance or between two to four weeks prior to leaving, while it is also important that you identify resources such as LastMinute.com as they list secret hotels and the best real-time deals.

  1. Consider specialist breakdown coverage for road trips

While road-trips can be exceptionally fun and are a great way to see the world, they also bring huge logistical and financial challenges. Insurance requirements change from country to country, for example, meaning that a simple breakdown overseas can trigger huge costs and scupper your holiday before it has even begun. It is therefore that you invest in relevant and comprehensive breakdown coverage that protects your overseas, with service providers such as Start Rescue offering an in-depth European policy to its customers.

Image credit: http://www.moneycrashers.com/create-holiday-budget/


Are you over-spending this holiday?

The “stock” advice for the upcoming holidays is not to overspend. Everyone knows that. You know that. The financial experts know that. And people who overspend know that as well. Now, the question is- with item prices skyrocketing everyday how do you ensure that you’re not blowing your budget on the smallest of items? Here are a few tips to check your holiday spending in 2015.

How to check your spending this holiday?

Let us start off by saying that you necessarily don’t have to turn to an Economics book in order to dig out essential financial tips. Look around and you can actually recognize avenues of saving from even the smallest of items. For instance, why cough up $100 for gift bags? Rack your cupboards and drawers in order to find old gift bags. Recycle gift bags and ribbons instead of purchasing new ones. Here are a few other tips to save up more in the upcoming holidays.shutterstock_223147579

Stop depending on your credit cards

You are stacking most of your expenses on your credit cards simply because you don’t have the money to buy these items. Not a prudent move. Let start off the New Year on a really different note. Why not assure yourself some peace of mind this holiday? How about ditching those credit card bills? In fact, studies have shown that buyers spend much more when they are buying with credit cards than what they do when they are not using these cards.

Take your time

Don’t be in a rush to get your hands on everything that you come across in a flash sale. Herd mentality remains one of the major reasons why people end up buying much more than they had intended to do initially. And, you necessarily don’t have to be accompanied by your friends in order to “succumb to over-buying”. You can just see people around you jumping on stuff and you can jolly well follow suit as well. It happens even when you are buying online. Checking out deals after a hectic day at work- when you’re all exhausted does not make you immune from imprudence as well. The key is to wait and watch your deals properly and then buy—doesn’t matter if you’re shopping offline or online.

Make a list of people who you need to buy gifts for

Yes, you cannot really keep hopping (in your mind) from one friend to another relative in the shop. “Oh! I have taken a gift for Martha but what will her half sister think if I don’t gift her anything?” What if you have already spent a huge amount of money on Martha’s gift? Lack of planning often gives way to more spending. It is very important to ensure that you are actually making a list of the people for whom you want to buy gifts. It helps you spend your money evenly or at least prioritize. Take time to make this list. Don’t rush through it.

Do watch out for deals and discounts and invest proper time in comparing these deals. However, do not be too late in reaching a decision.


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