The Power Of Compounded Interest

The Power Of Compounded Interest

Someone once said that the greatest power in the world is the power of compounded interest. This is the interest that is put on top of the principal so that the interest then starts earning interest. Through compounding your money is able to grow much faster. If you want to become financially free then this is your greatest weapon.

Young people often put off starting a retirement account. They think that they won’t need to start until they are 30 or 40. But this may be the biggest mistake you can make. Why? Because the best time to start investing for your retirement is NOW.

Now the question is how can you make use of the power of compounded interest? You can do this by putting your money in vehicles that can give you good interest rates. One such vehicle is the stock market. You do not have to invest huge sums of money. To start investing in the stock market you only need a minimal amount. Then you can slowly add to your investment each month. If you think stock is too risky then you can play it safe and buy mutual funds instead. It has a lower interest rate but it is “safer” since there’s a fund manager who will be managing your investments. Then there are also bonds and T-bills.

There are actually many investment vehicles that you can use. It all depends on your preference and expertise. The most important thing is that you know what you are doing. Or if you don’t – find someone who does.

To maximize the power of compounded interest it is best to start early. When it comes to compounding time is your friend. The earlier you start the better. Investing at a young age gives your money more time to grow. Next, invest regularly. Make it a habit. Allot a portion of your income for your retirement fund and be disciplined enough to follow through. And of course, be patient. The power of compounding is only effective when you give it enough time to grow.

If you are not accustomed to saving and investing then this may seem difficult at first. But as long as you discipline yourself enough to follow through and make it a habit then it will get easier with time.

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

Tips on your household finance

Tips on your household finance

Like most large companies, a house is run like a business and so should be dealt with in a similar manner. The way people deal with their personal finances can often be lacklustre, though keeping track of it is of optimum importance.Unlike many businesses, which can account for their spending down to nearly he last penny, many households don’t know how much they spend on many of the things that come in and out, with many not keeping books at all.

So, what is the best way to keep a track on the finances for a home and what way should you best go about doing it?

A small investment in a notebook or cashbook can be a good start. Being able to keep a record of your outgoings and your incoming at all times makes keeping a record of house finances a lot easier. If you don’t have the discipline to remember, bring it around with you and write down the figures after shopping. If there are more than a couple of you in the house, ensure everyone has their own separate book to put money down in and budget with.

Transfer these figures into a ledger to get a better view of the whole households spending. This gives you an overall view of the household’s incomings and the household’s outgoings over a monthly basis. Include all the other things outside of the notebook in this such as bills, mortgages and other large and regular costs this allows you to project for the future.

If you are a little bit more up with computers and know how to create spreadsheet, then it is easy to keep a track of expenses through one of these. Spread sheets are faster, offer less work to do as they do the calculations for you and are also clearer than ledgers. Use a spread sheet in the same fashion as a ledger to record household spending.

Business software can also be used for household purposes and offers an even clearer view of expenditure and incomes again. This software is fit for the task and so offers an even wider range of functions than a spreadsheet. Business budgeting software can be gotten for a low price and is ideal for complete clarity.

When you do your monthly calculations it can then be very easy to see where the household is spending unnecessarily and so you can then easily make the cuts you need from this expenditure.

Keeping a clear and concise budget also means that you can set money aside for saving as well as for other things and allows you project for the future and anything nice that you wish for you and your family to have. It is simple, takes only a little time and is a good habit to get into.

Simon Grant is a writer and blogger who contributes to Fiscal Muses and has written this on behalf of Ulster Bank, a bank where you can apply for a bank account online.

The best budgeting software to help you manage your personal finances

The best budgeting software to help you manage your personal finances

When it comes to managing your finances, staying on top and staying in control are crucial. Whether you want to maintain a big money share portfolio, monitor multiple savings accounts or simply keep a close check on your grocery spends each week, keeping accurate budget reports are crucial for keeping track of how your money is performing and where it is going.
For many people, the idea of budgets and spreadsheets fill them with dread, but luckily there are now a host of online and desktop software solutions which can keep accurate records of your finances. There are many different options for personal finance tools for both PC and Mac users and the best ones can really help to take the stress out of budget control. Here are some of our favorites:

GnuCash (Windows, Mac and Linux)
For those loathe to spend money on software, GnuCash offers a powerful desktop solution, and best of all it’s completely free. It is built by volunteers as an open source project and is effective enough for use by small businesses as well as for those wanting to keep track of their personal finances. It is desktop based meaning you have access to your accounts offline and its intuitive interface allows you to keep accurate records of your stocks, bank accounts income and expenses. Built firmly on time-tested accounting principles it will help you balance the books with double-entry accounting and professional-standard reports.

Mint (web based)
Another option that gets a big thumbs up in the dollar saving stakes, as it’s also free to use. It’s a web-based solution which means you can use it on any machine with a decent internet browser, but also means you’ll need to have online access whenever you want to check your finances. Cloud-based systems have become a lot more secure in recent years so you shouldn’t have any concerns from that point of view, although there are many people who would still prefer the comfort of a desktop solution for their financial accounting. But if you’re happy with a cloud-based system, then Mint offers an easy-to-use and elegant option. You can access from your computer or phone and see all your balances and transactions in one place. It will also help you track investments, send you reminders when bills are due and even offers tips on how to save and get the most from your money.

Quicken (Windows, Mac)
The daddy of personal finance software from the same people behind Mint. This is the top choice in America and for good reason. It’s not cheap though and will set you back between $49.99 and $99.99 depending which version you want. But what you get is a powerful day-to-day budgeting package, with cash flow graphs, bill reminders, automatic and intuitive budget goals and quick and clear analyses of where your money is going. It can even help you plan for retirement, set up debt reduction plans and alert you to any unusual account activity.

Christopher Moriarty is a writer with a passion for personal finance. Christopher blogs about family finance issues including credit card charges and Mis-Sold PPI claims as well as other personal finance topics such as investing and mortgages

Why small businesses need a physical security deposit box?

After small businesses have shopped extensively for the most competitive, business insurance quotes one of the first purchases they should make is a physical security deposit box. In an ideal world, the smart business owner, when making their business plan, would go out and purchase a security deposit box with the same bank or credit union they received an approval for a business loan. To legally protect new business owners from tax audits or the destruction of important information, the new business owner would store their business plan and insurance premium paperwork in the security deposit box divided into organized files along with countless other legal paperwork.

While there are several online companies providing digital asset management services, basically an online form of a physical security deposit box, it makes the most sense to either acquire a box through a bank or credit union close to your business or to purchase one from a department store and other retailer. While it is necessary to keep certain files in a security deposit box for legal reasons, it is also a good idea to maintain supplemental paperwork having to do with the processes you went through to open and maintain your business. Some of these types of paperwork could be your security deposit boxes, business renters you spoke to, or other business expenses.

The reason why it is critical to save your business insurance information is that insurance is a business expense that will always be considered tax-deductible and could very well be important factor the government would consider when auditing your business. While the business plan should be stored in a security deposit box or through an online forum for longer than the statute of limitations on an insurance claim, within the state your business resides at–try to keep the records (indefinitely). With the comfort of a physical security deposit box, saving important documents like insurance policies, tax information, and business plans will not be a challenge whatsoever.

While an online forum might seem easier than having to maintain a physical security box, with a physical security box, small businesses do not have to worry about the threats of online hackers trying to find private financial and personal information pertaining to your business. It would also be wise, if you choose to purchase a security box and not have one through a bank or community credit union, to store the box outside the business’s location, this way employers cannot get to it in anyway.

How Networking Marketing Can Be Used to Fast Track Your Way to Wealth

If you follow the careers of most people about 80 % are either dead broke, depend on the state, or their parents, 19 % are financially independent and can stand on their own, while only 1% are rich enough to live life according to their own terms. In the state of today’s economy where nothing is certain one thing is for sure, there is no such thing as “job security”. Ever since we were young our parents would tell us to study hard, graduate with honors and get a good job in a huge company. But you know what no matter how big a company is when recession strikes, your job could be the one at risk. So why work for other people and make them rich when you can work for yourself and make you rich?

The reality now is that employees work their heads off six days a week for some large corporation, retire at 60 and realize that their pension is not enough. So what can you do to avoid this? Two words. Network marketing. Yes. This is an industry that has been creating millionaire after millionaire.

Here are 3 ways on how you can use networking marketing to fast-track your way to wealth.

  • Leverage. No matter how good you are or how fast you work there will always be limits. You are just one person with 24 hours a day. You might be able to do the work of 2, even 3 people but not for long. You’ll just get tired and stressed out. Why push yourself so hard when you don’t need to? The beauty of network marketing is that it give you leverage. Its system is structured in such a way so that you will be able to multiply your productivity through other people.
  • Team work. Network marketing is all about team work. This is one environment where you won’t have to step on anyone to go up. In fact if you want to succeed to have to help other people (your down lines) succeed. The system trains you to work to well with others. Here, you have to be a team player or you won’t get anywhere.
  • Passive income. In network marketing, your recruits or down lines are like seeds. Some may die but some will thrive. The more seeds you plant the greater the chance of having more thriving plants you will have. You have to take care of them and water them daily until they become strong enough to stand on their own. Once they can do this you will be able to enjoy passive income for life.

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 indoor fountains and glass art.  Amy invites you to browse her delightful collection of  glass vases”.

Is Online College the Answer for Aspiring Women Business Owners?

While yes it is true that technically you don’t need a degree to become a small business owner or entrepreneur, earning a business-related degree, especially those that involve accounting, marketing, business administration or leadership, can most certainly help you acquire the skills you need to make your dream a reality—it’ll teach you how to monitor all of your finances, teach you ways to promote your business, and how to please your target audience, for example.  In fact, according to statistics women currently dominate the college world right now: for the first time in American history women passed men in the number of both bachelor and graduate degrees earned—10.6 million U.S. women have master’s degrees or higher (as opposed to 10.5 million men); and 20.1 million women have bachelor’s degrees (as opposed to 18.7 million men).

While there are plenty of more women who would love to contribute to the increasing statistics and would like to pursue a higher education in order to launch (or expand) their businesses, some unfortunately do not have the time to enroll in college due to other obligations such as raising a family or are currently preoccupied with blindly running their start-up business. Some, on the other hand, simply don’t have the funds to go to school. However, thanks to the flexibility of cost-effective online programs, they may just be able to juggle everything all at once. In fact, it seems like earning an online degree is starting to be a very popular choice among women. According to the latest statistics from The Distance Education and Training Council, approximately 4 million U.S. students enrolled in an online school or course in 2010—a good chunk of them women. Most of these women were mothers between the ages of 18 and 35. With that said, if you think online college may help you expand your career opportunities, there are a few things you need to know first.

1. How Online Degrees Differ than Traditional Degrees

One of the biggest myths about online programs is that they are easier than traditional programs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The curriculum is just as rigorous as earning a traditional degree, the format just allows you to complete assignments more or less or your own time—like during the late nights when the kids are asleep or in between lunch breaks. With that said, you’re still required to read textbooks, write notes, take exams and tune-in to lectures. The only difference is that all of your assignments, reading materials, audio clips and lectures will be posted on an online course management site.  It is your sole responsibility to make sure you check this course management site on a daily basis to make sure that you turn your assignments in on time—which is usually done via email. While your professor may not give you a heads up on assignment deadlines, he or she will still be able to give you assistance and feedback. Your classmates will be available too. Granted, the interaction is not exactly the same. The majority of communication occurs via chat rooms, email or webcam. In fact, if assigned a group project, the communication methods mentioned above will be used to complete the project. If you are the type that needs constant attention from professors and like to be surrounded by classmates, this may not be the best option for you.

2. Differences in Costs

The main difference however is the cost—online colleges come out to be relatively cheaper. While yes some online colleges may charge the same per credit as a traditional school, in the end you save more money as an online student. This is because you don’t have to waste precious gas commuting back and forth from school, you don’t have to pay extremely high rates for boarding/ rent and or meal plans, and you don’t have to pay hidden fees such as the school’s water and electricity (traditional schools charge extra tuition fees for everything, including money that goes to the school’s sports teams and health services).

3. How to Select a Reputable, Accredited Online Institution

While there are tons of reputable and legitimate online schools to choose from, there are equally as many fraudulent schools floating around on the internet. These fraudulent schools, which are sometimes referred to as “diploma mills,” will steal your money and leave you high and dry with a worthless piece of paper.  Therefore it’s important that you pay close attention to validate the legitimacy of an online institution—just because the web site looks professional, doesn’t mean that it’s a real school. And if a school promises you can earn a degree in an extremely short amount of time, proceed with caution. This is because despite what many may believe, earning an online degree takes about the same time to earn a traditional degree. So a bachelor degree should take about 4 years if enrolled as a fulltime student.

With that said, a great way to avoid diploma mills however is to look at the online school’s accrediting agency. If a school is accredited, this means that the facility has met a standard of quality education.  To verify the legitimacy of an accrediting agency a great source to look into is the U.S. Department of Education’s database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs. Another way to verify an online school’s legitimacy is to check whether it offers Federal Financial Aid to those who qualify—only legitimate schools are allowed to disburse this kind of aid.

The additional research involved with finding the perfect school is always worth the extra time. Web-based schools provide students with an authentic learning experience online and also provide students with excellent web-based learning tools, such as streaming video. The hands-on approach and the availability of staff make this option superior to a conventional brick and mortar institution in a variety of ways. Many even offer graduate degrees like a Masters of Business Administration or a Master of Science in Nursing. Additional information is free, so you have nothing to lose.

4. Popular Online Degrees that are Pursued by Women

Once you’ve found a reputable college, it’s also important that you investigate the school’s programs as well. Whatever you want to pursue, you need to ensure that the school is going to be able to meet all your needs, including financial and most importantly educational. If you are not sure which online program to pursue, however, the top online degrees that are typically pursued by women who aspire to be small business owners are the following:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration—Entrepreneurship
  • Business Management
  • Operations Management

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at accredited online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics.

Teaching your Children the Importance of Money and Budgeting

Did you know that the ability to have financial independence lies in your budgeting skills? One of the wisest investments that you will ever make is to not just practicing having a budget but also teaching your children the importance of money and sharing your knowledge with them. Children are easy to teach. They learn what their parents teach them when they are young and have fresh minds. If you want to secure the future of your children, this is a very valuable lesson that you will teach them in their life. Budgeting is as important to you as it will be to them at any point in their life. So, it is crucial that you give your children the right knowledge and teach them the right skills when it comes to making financial choices.

  • Work culture: As a parent, you have the most influence over your children and they will learn from you. They see you and they learn your ways. Maintaining a good work ethic is very important in leading a stress-free life. Teach your children that hard work always pays. Give them smalls chores to do so that they develop a sense of responsibility from a tender age. They will also learn how to get a job done in time. This will help them be a better master of budgeting their finances or for that matter any aspect of their life.
  • Social skills: Teach your children some social skills. Teach them how to get along with others and live in harmony with their friends. This way you will develop their skills to manage in a competitive world and yet be at peace. This will be rather advantageous when they come in contact with other people in business as they grow up. If you notice a certain situation that may be going out of their hands, teach them how best to handle it so that they remember the lesson and learn from it.
  • Law and Rules: Talk to your children about rules and the law. Tell them how important it is to follow the law. This will teach them to be legal in whatever they do. When you abide by the law, you are within certain limits and when you have limits you also need a budget to help you stay within the limit. Let them know about taxes and how it is very important to pay them. Also tell them that sometimes you may not agree with the law but since they are laws you have to abide by them.

Finances: When you talk to your children about budgeting and money and finances, tell them the importance of all of these. Tell them where the money from the tax is being used and how that will be beneficial for them.

Rising From The Ashes

The world today is not what it once was. We have amazingly advanced technologies, medical breakthroughs, and of course, the economy just isn’t what it used to be. No longer are consumers buying and spending as much or as frequently. Instead consumers are spending much less than they ever have, which could be a result of all sorts of conflicts, including higher unemployment rates and inflation of the dollar. The fact is that consumers nowadays don’t trust the economic state we are in; an unstable economy often causes society to spend less.

While economists and history itself prove that the economy rarely stays in a steady state for too long, everyone, especially businesses, are suffering because of the decrease in consumer spending. When consumers aren’t putting money out to buy products and services, businesses in every industry feel the brunt of a poor economy. One of the worst hit industries has been the auto industry and hence, one of the worst-hit cities in America has been Detroit.

Detroit is known for Motown, rock, and automobiles amongst other things. Now, the city has become a prime location for proving just how poor today’s economic state really is. Business of all types of been affected. “Like any business, at first I saw a down turn, but because I’ve been in the area for quite some time, I’ve been able to push through,” says Dr. Joseph Serra, a Detroit area dentist.

The hope in Dr. Serra’s comments is a growing theme in the collective voice of Detroit businesses. Many of them are experiencing a seeing profits approach “normal”, pre-crash levels because consumers in Detroit and in many other big cities have slowly but surely started spending money again. “Restaurants are busier and empty retail spaces are getting tenants. In talking with people, I think they have money and they’re tired of waiting for the turn-around, so they’re starting to purchase,” said Dr. Serra.

While the economy may slowly be on the rise as consumers begin to spend more and have higher faith in local businesses within Detroit, it’s too soon to say whether or not Detroit is completely out of the woods yet. “There are things in the news, both good and bad. I suppose it all depends on which you would rather listen to. Because the Detroit area is so heavily automotive-industry based, people’s perception of the economy rises and falls with that news. Lately, we’ve had great news from that area—the big 3 auto companies (Ford, Chrysler, and GM) are hiring people, and that’s always a good sign.”

One can only have high hopes that the city’s slogan, especially today, will continue to stand true: “Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus,” which means “”We hope for better things; It shall rise from the ashes.”

Jonathan Fashbaugh writes for Off-Topic Media. Dr. Joseph Serra’s dental office is located in Novi, Michigan.

Small Businesses Begin to Borrow Again

There is some good economic news to come out since the global financial crisis. According to recent research by DBM Consultants, there has been growth in Australian small businesses borrowing from the big four banks.The research of 19,000 Australian businesses found that since November 2010, for companies with a turnover of $5 million or less, 20% more of these businesses were planning to increase their debt than reduce it. For businesses with under $200,000 in turnover, approximate a third more of businesses were likely to increase debt. The research predicts that over the next year, businesses will continue to borrow.This could be a golden opportunity to finance smaller business to broaden your client base. As their vendor financer, you could act as the middleman and find the best loan for your client, rather than let the small businesses go straight to the big banks.

When beginning a business, capital is needed. Many do not have the means to purchase their own equipment or technology. Another way to expand your financing business is to finance resources including office equipment and IT systems. What are the benefits of leasing equipment through financing?

1) Helps Prevent Equipment Dumping – For most businesses, after some time, they want to update their furniture and technology or move to another premises. The question is what to do with all the old stock? Dumping is a major problem in Australian landfills. Recycling is the most environmentally friendly solution but is a timely and costly process. If your company leases furniture, you could eliminate the troubles for your client to remove the old furniture by renting the most up to date technology too.

2) Provides Your Client with Easy Consultation – By being a vendor and equipment financer, you make it easier for your client to only have to speak with you regarding both their wealth and resource capital. This will save your client a lot of time and money, which will benefit them.

3) Makes Your Company Stand Out – By providing equipment finance as well as vendor finance, you can have an advantage over other plain vendor financers in the industry. Also, small businesses might not go straight to the banks for a loan if your financing company offers both vendor office equipment finance.

As small businesses continue to borrow, this is a great time to expand your client base to these businesses and really think about offering equipment and technology financing to enhance your company services.

Succeeding Financially With Your New Business

Succeeding Financially With Your New Business

You have probably heard of a business which began with very little resources and struggled on by for a while until the recent recession, in which they sunk causing job losses internally and throughout suppliers and customers. One such case is Woolworths an entertainments business and high street brand (though not a small business by any means, they had large premises in nearly every city and major town across the United Kingdom), there business was constantly in debt, rolling it from one month to the next for a long time. When the banks purse strings tightened the position of Woolworths was obvious and it ceased trading. They supplied several other companies like Zavvi (previously Virgin Mega Stores) which also ended up being dragged into oblivion.

From the outset, being frugal with your finances is probably one of the best possible practices a business on the road to success should heed, after all a lot of businesses don’t always stop and actually consider what debts they have, their exposure to debts and how much all the credit is actually costing them.

Start out small

Remain frugal, lots of successful businesses begin in basements or garages – take a look at Microsoft and Apple, they’re not doing too bad now are they? Expand when you can afford to and choose wisely according to your budget and not desires to have a flash location or keep up with your competitor. If you need to meet clients, this could be done at agreed locations, rather than in your basement or garage. Countless successful customer facing businesses adopt this approach when starting out.

Look after personal resources

Personal assets are at risk if you are a trading as a sole trader, so its worth bearing this in mind when it comes to your home, vehicle and other assets. Should your business get into trouble then these are all at risk! It is worth having a gander at business liability insurance and moving towards a LLC or other business formation in order to reduce the risk to your personal assets.

Plan your finances

Part of any business plan includes your costs associated with operating a business including things like utilities and rental of premises amongst others. It is always a bit of a shock when you actually ascertain the cost of doing business.

Pay taxes on time

If there is one person you pay on time, it is the Inland Revenue. They account for more bankruptcies than any single business or individual. If you miss deadlines, they will probably fine you or worse.

Clients and suppliers on the other hand, you can arrange favourable terms for payments which fit in nicely with when you in turn are paid. But ensure you stick to agreements to avoid messing their cash flow up!

Isaac writes on behalf of several Cornwall based businesses including Winter Rule who are a Chartered Accountant, one of the South West’s largest independent accountants, based in Truro, Cornwall. With Winter Rule you get a first class service and fresh ideas at an economical cost. For an Accountantcy in Truro or Cornwall tax advice visit Winter Rule.

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