Savings

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Mould may look harmless, but they can damage the different parts of your home and have an adverse effect on your health once they start growing and spreading. To remove them, not only do you need to spend a lot of money, you also need to exert much effort to ensure they are gone for good. The good thing is that you can prevent them from developing. Here are cost-effective investments and solutions against the development of moulds in your property.

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There are two benefits to promptly solving problems with your house’s plumbing. First, it saves you from unnecessary costs due to wasted water. You also save yourself from having to spend for home repairs. Plumbing problems can contribute to the growth of moulds, the entry of harmful sewer gases in the home, the ruin of floors and walls, and many more household problems. When plumbing problems happen, there are many things you can do, ranging from checking the signs to calling a plumber to help you out.

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5 Important Money Practices to Teach Your Children

For many of us, the concepts we learned about saving money are at best out-dated. Investment isn’t even something the average person learns about or considers until they’re in university. Even then, it is looked at in terms of making money without any work, rather than as a vehicle to build wealth. That’s not to say that getting rich overnight doesn’t happen, but it’s rare, and not the reason one saves. It’s also not something we teach our children.

This is largely due to our educational systems, but they aren’t the only reason we grow up not understanding finances well enough to teach our own children. Rather, the world of finance changes quickly. Much like technology, what worked 20 years ago doesn’t work today, except perhaps for that old telly your parents are still using. Because of this, we aren’t usually well equipped to teach our children about finance in any meaningful sense. However, just as the foundations of mechanics and electronics haven’t changed drastically over the years, the foundations of what makes good financial management haven’t changed either.

Responsible girl putting money into piggy bank for future savingThat means you can and should get your children started off early with those financial foundation skills, by teaching them these five important steps. If you do that, they’ll be well on their way to being millionaires, which should be a goal of every parent in the UK.

1) Don’t Save Too Much Money: This is perhaps the single most important piece of financial advice you can give a child. They should learn to save enough money to meet three months of their expenses, and invest everything else. This is because, if you only teach them to save money, then what they save in most cases will barely keep pace with inflation. As reported by the Daily Mail, 8 out of 10 savings accounts reviewed aren’t keeping pace with inflation. That means the money they would save is worth less every year. Instead, teach your children to invest, as discussed in step two.

2) Make Sure Your Children Know About Investing: Historically speaking, the stock market has had an average return of 10pc. While some years have been better than others, and some have been worse, this is an historical 100-year average that is far better than any savings accounts. By teaching your children to invest money they don’t need to meet emergency expenses, they’ll be able to significantly grow their wealth, and one day become millionaires. That will then let them build wealth for their own children, and escape the financial cycles too many families in the UK find themselves trapped in these days.

3) Show Them How to Cut Costs: Children learn by example more than any other way. They see what you do, and their comfort levels are built around that structure. If you work every day, and go out every weekend with them, then they learn this as not only an acceptable behavior, but also a life goal they will likely seek to emulate. If you also constantly splurge, then they will also establish this unhealthy practice. However, by teaching them to save money on items, and to structure their purchases with a focus on that savings, you’re setting an example that will help them in everything they do. One great way to do this is in energy saving steps you can take around the home, which teaches them about savings over the lifetime of a device or purchase, accounting for the initial purchase cost, and lifetime investment value.

4) Teach Your Children to Put Their Money to Work: Too many of us are wage slaves, meaning that we work for a salary, and not a job we love. Realistically speaking, this is a simple fact of life. It’s not something you can teach your children to do differently, as even the most loved professions eventually become work to those who perform them. However, you can teach your children to look at it differently. For example, show them that they are not working for a wage, but rather working to increase the amount of money they have. By shifting their perspective to look at money as a tool that works for them, they will view their work and salary as a tool that enables them to grow wealth. By teaching them that every pence has a job, and showing them how to put each one of them to work, you’re helping them to build wealth, building a foundation for them to later also understand management principles and making sure they hold a job, even if it might not be their favourite job in the world.

5) Explain Credit: There are both good and bad aspects of credit. By explaining these to your children, you’ll be showing them what they can do to better their lives with credit. At the same time, you’ll be protecting them from the worst elements of credit, and teaching them to save for purchases, rather than deplete their wealth by making large buys with credit that they shouldn’t. Perhaps more importantly, you will also be teaching them the exceptions to this rule. The most notable being a home or a car purchase – especially if the interest rate they might pay is less than an investment portfolio return. For example, a child without a firm understanding of credit might spend invested cash on a £20,000 car. They would think that they were saving money by not paying interest, when in fact a 7pc interest loan over five years would translate to a 3pc loss on their average 10pc investment return. Over five years, that’s a loss of more than £3,000.

Providing a sound financial education to your children is not easy, in part because you need to educate yourself first. Only then can you teach them to behave in a fiscally responsible manner, and put their money to work, rather than working for their money. However, it’s a positive life change for you, and a lesson that will cross generations, enabling your grandchildren to retire with huge investment portfolios.


Saving on Energy Bills during Winter: It’s all about being Judicious

Apart from the climatic extremities, winter brings along a host of other concerns. And, one of those major concerns is the rising electricity bill. Needless to mention, we dread this time. The energy bills seem to skyrocket practically without any rhyme or reason. However, being a little judicious in this regard would actually help you cut off your bills a little. Browse through the post in order to secure a few handy tips to save on bills during winter.

shutterstock_223147579Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable Thermostats are considered to be a great way to save up substantially as it allows you to work all day long without requiring the heat to run. Users can program the thermostat to maintain 60 instead of 70 — so that they are left with the right amount of heat when they come back home— not in excess nonetheless comfortable. There is simply no reason to invest extra heat.

Steer clear of fireplaces

Experts advise against using a fireplace as the primary source of heat. Sealing off a fireplace is even better than using the fireplace as the supplemental source of heat. It is important to ensure that the cold air is not leaking in from outside. In case of natural gas fireplaces, make sure you are switching off the pilot light.

Try and get new bulb

Getting new bulbs can help you reduce your electricity bills. The environment friendly ones can be of significant help in this regard. So try to invest in them instead of in the cheaper ones. The former ones last longer, use up lesser electricity and prove more economical in the long run than the latter.

Try to lower water heater to around 120-125 degrees

There are several water heaters which are automatically set at 140 degrees. Needless to mention, if the temperature is set at around 120 degrees then the correspondent amount of fuel required for heating the water will also reduce.

Sealing off duct work makes for a potent way of saving energy

Besides sealing off fireplaces, seal off ducts as well. It is hailed as the best way to conserve energy. The intersections and joints of the ductworks should be sealed with silicone caulk in order to prevent the leakage of hot air in to the crawl space or attic. The gaps might even end up drawing in cold air in to the rooms! So it’s important take measures accordingly.


How to Save Buying Household Items

The first time I checked this website I realized it talks about understanding your own money. At least that was its motto. I thought to myself what could that mean. It was not too hard to find an answer. This website is about understanding your money and its buying power and how you can use it to make the most of it whether you buy a new car or you invest in a new bustling company that needs people who believe in its ideas and values.

I also realized that people do not only come to these websites to talk about investments in stock markets and so on (I previously believed it was the only reason). Apparently it regards all financial transactions, as I mentioned before, starting from investing to businesses and ending with buying some appliances below the market price. I will talk about the latter. It is always nice and lovely when you can buy something below the market price. For example, you want to get a brand new laptop, but it just costs too much. What can you do to change that? The answer, my friend, is simple. You need to go to an online store that sells such items and also go online to find coupons that will reduce the price drastically.

aiffcs5wqlh5yozwrgrdIn this case I would recommend using Sears coupon codes because it saves a significant amount of time and also money because it is much easier to find a Sears coupon online that suits your needs than any other store. You can also enjoy good service of this store and ‘shop till you drop’ because it has a lot more to offer than any other online store. To be honest, there is no need to review the items that are available at the store because there are so many. And with new Sears coupons you can save incredibly. Ok, I will give you one example. Let us suppose you are shopping for a new laptop. The one you really want costs 700$, that is 150$ above your budget. You go online and find Sears promo code for electronics, get one which gives you 20% off electronics over 300$ dollars, hence you save around 140$, your laptop now costs 560$. Still a bit too expensive you say? Well, get another Sears coupon code for free shipping no matter your location and you save further 10$. Now you can afford the laptop of your dreams; just imagine how jealous all your co-workers will be on Monday morning when you show up at work with such a beauty.

All in all, when it comes to finances, all of us want to understand our money and its buying power and want to exceed the limits with as little as possible. Whether you want to invest in some stocks at the market or you want to buy something nice that you need online, you always want to save as much as possible. You can always come to this website for advice how to make the most with the money you have, therefore, when you need to shop online, just use Sears coupons, because they will help you realize your money the best.


How To Save More Money And Boost Your Finances

The year is 2014 and the financial climate of the world is only getting worse. More and more jobs are being cut and employers paying less and wanting more time and work from employees. The cost of living seems to be soaring and with a paycheck that doesn’t increase, many people wonder, how can they save more money or at least cut down on their expenses. Not to worry, this article will outline some of the easiest ways you can instantly save some money and improve your financial situation.

The first thing you can do is refinance your home. You may be doubtful of doing this; however, this can give you huge savings on your current mortgage in the long run. Sure you will pay more on the monthly for a period, however, in the long run, you will save thousands of dollars.

The next method to save money is to cut your grocery bills and food expenses. The first step is to reduce how many times you eat out and drastically cut this to the bare minimum. Instead of wasting hundreds of dollars in restaurants or bars, buy all your food at the grocery and market. You can save even more money at the grocery if you collect coupons and use these to purchase essential items in bulk and save hundreds. The television show, “ Extreme Couponing”  will show you exactly how little you can spend i.e. less than $20 at the grocery but get a basket full of groceries. Also, there are usually days that you can get discounted fresh produce from the market – usually the day before they get new stock and you will get fruits and vegetables for less than half of their original cost.

The third tip to drastically cut your monthly costs is to disconnect your telephone service. This msaving_money_tipsay seem shocking at first, but I promise, you don’t need it! Once you have a good internet connection, you can use a device such as the “ Magic Jack” to make calls through your internet. Alternatively, you can use Skype or free calling services such as Viber to keep in contact with friends and family.

Another way to save money is to donate your stuff – clothes and household items to an IRS charity. These IRS affiliated charities allow you to donate your belongings in exchange for a reduction on your yearly taxes. However, be sure to keep a note of all the items you donate and their cost so you can attach them when you are doing your taxes for the year.

The last method that will help you to save more money is to cut up your credit cards! Okay, well maybe you won’t be able to cut all of them since modern living requires the use of credit cards, however, you don’t need to have more than 1 or 2. By drastically reducing your use of credit cards, you will reduce your debt and stop spending money you don’t have! Alternatively, you can use a debit card for online transactions and get rid of credit cards altogether.

On ending, you will save thousands of dollars by following the above tips and guidelines. By taking charge of your monthly and yearly finances, you will be taking charge of your life!

Albin Poulsen is a third year PhD student in the Dept. of Business and Economics at University of Southern Denmark. In his spare time, he runs a blog, where he talks about finances, debts, loans and about the economy in general.


Crunching the Numbers Overseas: Why Study Abroad For A Finance Career

One of the terrific things about choosing to study is that you have so many options to pick from. That includes options in the field of finance. Whether you’re studying an undergraduate degree in Economics, or a Master of Science in Accounting, studying abroad can be a valuable experience for your future career in finance.

Sign up for an adventure

Studying abroad can be the experience of a lifetime, and you’ll learn new things about the world and yourself. It’s a brave and intrepid decision to make, and employers will look upon this favorably: to them, a candidate who has studied abroad will have a well-rounded view of the world, a wider range of experiences, and a stronger mental attitude than a competing candidate who has never left their home town.

Learn more

By studying outside of your home country, your knowledge base will become wider and deeper. You’ll be able to contrast the lessons you are taught in your new university with the familiar facts you’ve learnt while you’ve been at home. You’ll learn where your own country sits in comparison to the rest of the world, and this awareness of context will make you a stronger and wiser person. Employers will recognize this, so not only will you be a better candidate, you’ll also be better at the job you eventually get in the finance industry.

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Save money

Every potential finance employee knows the value of money, and people who study abroad are no exception. If you choose a country with cheaper study costs, like Germany or France, or a country with cheaper cost of living, then you’ll actually save money on your studies compared with what you would spend staying at home.

Be the ideal candidate

In this world’s global economy, finance in particular requires its employees to be citizens of the world, not just their home country. What better way to prepare for this than living abroad for a short period of time and totally immersing yourself in a new culture, language and education system?

Develop new skills

Not only could you learn a new language, but you’ll also gain independence and self-confidence from your experience, along with problem solving skills and leadership qualities which are all ideal for a career in the finance industry.

Studying abroad will enhance your career prospects, as well as providing you with a unique once in a lifetime studying experience you’ll have for the rest of your life.

Image by SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations, used under Creative Commons license.


Are You Going To Work Beyond The Age Of 60 Because You Want To?

More than one in five retirees continues to work even when they have gone well beyond the age of 60. A good number of these retirees will not be in this condition if they didn’t get stuck on a poorly-paying annuity plan. According to a recent survey (by Retirement Assured), life is definitely not slowing down for a lot of people over the age of 60 as more than a million retirees are currently doing what they can to boost their retirement income. The most common way through which this is achieved is by starting a business or pursuing a dream job. The study showed us that 18% of these individuals are working beyond 60 years of age because they cannot afford to rely solely on income due them from their retirement savings.  The study further showed that 43% of people who are aged 60 and above have to watch their spending each day, doing a great deal of budgeting in the process while another 19% of individuals are still working deep into their later years.

Many of the retirees who are working today or set up a business for themselves later in life do so because they found an opportunity and had to embrace it and others are doing something they have always wanted to do all their life. However, the study shows us that over 18% of the retirees have to work because they need the income. One in five of this group even find themselves with more problems than they ever had during their more active life. Of course it is great seeing the number of retiree owned businesses blossoming well be it travel, dog walking or consultancy but it is important for people who are working at an age when they should be enjoying their years of hard work to be sure that they are doing it for the right reasons.  The purpose of retirement gets defeated when you have to work deep into those retirement years because you do not have any other choice.  This explains why individuals who are nearing retirement must make sure that they have secured the best possible type of retirement income they have built up over their working life.

One of the ways through which retirees set up retirement income for themselves after retirement is to purchase an annuity contract. Purchasing this contract is definitely one of the most important decisions you will ever make in life and so you need to ensure that you have considered all options possible for your individual situation.  In getting an annuity deal, factors like where you live, your state of health and the age of your partner can impact the amount you will end up receiving. Buying an annuity is far from other such financial contracts (car insurance of mortgage). This is  because these other commitments allow you change your mind if you get things wrong but annuity contracts cannot be altered once they kick in, showing you the importance of ensuring that you get things right at the first time of asking.

Here are four steps to getting a good annuity deal:

Talk to an annuity specialist 

This is the first step you need to take even in the presence of the growing number of DIY schemes that help individuals make annuity decisions. If you can easily and comfortably make decisions that you won’t regret later on then of course you can avoid making out time to see an annuity expert. But then again, how many individuals have this sort of knowledge? A good number of people are put off from consulting annuity specialists due to the fees they may have to pay. However, this isn’t a good reason to take a massive gamble on an annuity purchase. You may lose more than that nominal fee in the long run and again, do you know that the supposed DIY sites get a commission from the annuity company you end up with? Specialists like Annuity Rater are experts in the annuity field and are worth the initial investment instead of gambling on a DIY policy. Expertise in this field is advised so you can make the best decision possible.

Have a look at the annuity options available to you closely

Before you settle for an annuity plan, you need to be sure you are fully aware of the pros and cons of each type of annuity. This will help you know which ones apply to you more than the others and also reduces the chances of making a mistake. With proper weighing of the pros and cons, the only other problem you should be worried about is choosing options that are ill advised. This is where an adviser will also be of immense help. It is very easy to mistake certain options as very good only to find out much later that it reduces the possibility of you getting value for money before you pass on.

Don’t keep away your health issues

Hiding your health issues can rob you of as much as 50% more income in some cases.  Annuities are not like life insurance so you don’t have to hide your health conditions. Again, even the smallest ailment can increase your retirement income so do not wave off any condition. Smoking, obesity and deep snoring are all common conditions that can earn you reasonable increments in annuity income.

Shop around extensively

Shopping around is what helps you ensure that you are getting the best possible deal from your annuity provider. There have been instances where individuals got over 25% increments in income by looking elsewhere for annuity contracts under the same conditions. Shopping around is a hassle for the average individual though so working with an annuity expert is still the best way to go.

By painstakingly following the above steps, you can be sure that you will never have to go back to working in your 60s unless you are really happy doing it and it is not just for the money alone.

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James Richings is a 26 year old writer from the UK. He enjoys writing about a range of subjects that interest him and has published works on a vairety of topics. To find out more about the author, please follow his twitter here.


How to start saving for your child’s college education

Saving money for one’s financial future is not always an easy task. When it comes to putting away funds for children to go to college, it is important to know that options are available to ensure that they have the best chances to succeed.

Knowing the right tools can be vital, as making mistakes can end up costing families dearly. According to Bankrate.com, not keeping in mind that some savings accounts have taxes attached when reaching a certain point can really hurt more than help.

“In the federal formula that determines how much financial aid a student receives, there are asset protections for money in a parent’s name that are not there for money in a student’s name,” said Robert Helgeson, director of financial aid for Valparaiso University in Indiana, according to the news source. “If a parent has $100,000 in assets, the government is going to expect them to contribute $6,000 of it to education. If a student has $100,000 in assets, the government will expect $20,000.”

Financial_plannerMultiple options available

Instead of using a plain savings account, it may be a good idea to check out the 529 college plan. The news source explained that these accounts work similarly to retirement plans, and they accrue funds without being taxed. Depending on the type, the plan may invest aggressively at an early age before leveling out as the child ages.

Though 529 accounts are set up to pay for college, parents may not want to cease contributions at the point of acceptance into school, U.S. News and World Report showed. This is due to these tools being useful for those who want to continue to put money toward their child’s education and not be hit with tax penalties while they are in school.

Using an IRA also is a possibility. According to BabyCenter, these options are not just for retirement, and they will help lower taxes, with some contributions being tax deductible. It is important to keep in mind that using this as a part of a personal finance plan will have taxes deducted once money is withdrawn.

Looking toward a number of options may be the best way to tailor a financial strategy that gets a child through college as painlessly as possible.

 

 

 


How to Save Money When Buying a House

If you’re a first time buyer, a property will usually be the most significant purchase you have ever made. Those looking to buy homes should be aware of all the costs involved and make detailed budgeting plans to avoid unforeseen financial pitfalls. There are ways that you can save money when buying a new home, and below are listed a few of the basics.

Get Clued Up on the Costs

Buying a house isn’t just about the deposit and the mortgage payments. You should also be prepared to pay your lender an arrangement fee of typically £1,000. Your lender may also expect you to pay a valuation fee that covers checking the property exists and offers sufficient security for the loan in question. If the property is more than £125,000, you will have to pay a percentage of the price in Stamp Duty. Many buyers will pay to have surveys done on properties that they are interested in, even if the sale falls through. Surveys usually cost between £400 and £700 and it’s important to budget for two or three.

Choose an Online Estate Agent

You can save money when buying a house by choosing an online estate agent. Many agents including the House Network will provide you with a one-stop service that cuts out many fees charged by traditional estate agents. If you’re going to go with an online estate agent, make sure you ask all the relevant questions about the kind of sales they can offer you and compare a number of quotes before you make your decision.Closing Steps, How Closing Costs Affect You

Moving Day and Home Repairs

Look for the cheapest and most reliable moving company, or enlist the help of friends and neighbours to move heavy items of furniture and rent a van independently. It’s best to go with a removal firm that comes with plenty of good recommendations. Many first time buyers find that when they arrive at their new home, there are plenty of DIY tasks that need to be completed. If you’re on a tight budget and haven’t got the cash to spend on an extensive remodel, look online for DIY tutorials and attempt all minor fixing-up tasks yourself. Remember that you only need to call in a tradesman when it’s absolutely necessary, for example with electrical and plumbing work.

Save on Conveyancing Costs

Don’t automatically use the conveyancing firm that is attached to your estate agents, but use the price they charge as a benchmark. It’s important to shop around for quotes and use price comparison tools online to determine which conveyancing service is most suitable. The firm doesn’t need to be in your local area, but it does have to be accredited by a regulatory body.


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