If you have a company and you want to reach more people across the globe, the best way to ensure textualissuccessful translation and localization of your products, services and website would be to hire professional translation services to handle the job for you.

Companies that want to save money on hiring the services of a translator or translation company usually just get a person in-house who knows the target language and use a free translation app. This approach will work for simple translations and are best suited for use internally (inside office) because the person does not have formal training and apps are unreliable for longer sentences.

You’ll end up spending more money correcting mistakes and putting out fires if you don’t let the pros handle your localization efforts. An accurate, concise translation will help your image and your product won’t look cheap. If you want to save real money on translation services, here’s how to do it:

1.     Go Pro

Getting professional translators is always better than entrusting the translation of your whole product line to an amateur with an app. Have you ever come across a website or a product that contained some cringe worthy English? That was probably the result of someone who knew some rudimentary English and was aided by Google Translate – not the best way to show your prospective clients you’re serious and mean business.

2.     Use plain English

Yes, you are paying for translation services and translators are very talented people. But try to use plain English as much as possible. Avoid using jargon and ultra technical terms. The fees for highly technical pieces are high, so simplifying your document before having it translated would end up saving you money.

Anything culture specific – idioms, sayings and phrases should be cut from the final draft. Imagine asking someone to translate “push the envelope” or “put the pedal to the metal” – it just won’t work! Don’t forget about context as well. Translators will have a hard time deciphering what you mean if you don’t follow up words and phrases with the appropriate context.

3.     Keep your Word count low

To keep your costs down even more, try to edit and trim down your content. Remember that translators charge per word, so it’s a good idea to first review your document and find ways to eliminate unnecessary words and descriptions. Ask assistance from your legal team if the document is of a legal nature to avoid leaving-out anything important.

4.     Combine your smaller jobs and ask for a volume discount

Avoid having smaller jobs translated unless absolutely necessary. If you have a lot of projects that are 300 words or less, try grouping these together and ask for a volume discount. Some companies usually have price breaks for large projects.

5.     Use Accessible formats

Make sure the documents to be translated are written in a format that can be accessed by any computer. This will ensure that as the document is being translated, it will be “mirrored” correctly. Avoid sending handwritten and scanned documents as well. If you regularly have documents translated, ask if they can do it using a CAT tool (Computer Aided Translation) that can memorize old translations so you get a discount everytime a repeat translation is done.

In a Nutshell

Saving money on translation and localization services need not be amateurish. To avoid being the laughing stock of the community, get the real deal – hiring professional translators will save you more in the long run and will give your company presence abroad the much needed zest it needs in order to reach your new clientele and make lasting connections.

No Comments Mich on Apr 23rd 2015

98x1501Financing serves many functions for those who borrow money. And though there is some flexibility in the way borrowed money is spent, certain loans are better than others – depending upon your funding needs. Mortgage lending, for example, is an integral part of home ownership, helping buyers make major real estate purchases. Equity financing, on the other hand, uses existing property to secure loans for homeowners. So while both of these loan types commonly help home owners buy houses and make improvements to their properties, they each carry unique terms and conditions.

Short term financing needs are best addressed using one of several types of loans structured for shorter repayment periods. Mortgages don’t suit borrowers needing quick cash, but personal loans, guarantor loans and payday loans are available to cover near-term needs.

Choosing the right loan for your needs takes several factors into consideration. As you prepare to borrow money, it makes sense to investigate all your options before committing to a particular form of financing.

Define Your Requirements

To secure the most appropriate financing, start with clearly defined funding goals. Buying a house? If so, a conventional mortgage is probably your best path to ownership. Conventional, long-term mortgages offer the lowest rates for this type of extended borrowing. Buying a car, on the other hand, is best served by alternative forms of financing that bridge the affordability gap for such purchases. The following concerns help define your best approach:

Amount Borrowed – Loan sums fall across a wide range of values. The amount of money you require influences your approach to borrowing, so you should have a loan value in mind as you comparison shop. When your needs are limited to a few hundred pounds, for example, payday loans fast-track your access to cash, putting small amounts of money in your hands quickly. If, on the other hand, several thousand pounds are required for a car buy, another form of personal financing will be required to cover the expense.

Length of Repayment Period – Settling on the best form of financing accounts for a loan’s repayment period. For fast cash, without an extensive credit check, payday loans furnish funding for a variety of purposes. These types of loans are designed to cover financial needs arising between paychecks, so they come due quickly. If your financing needs extend for months, rather than weeks, this form of financing probably doesn’t address your funding requirements.

Strength of Credit – In addition to your personal financing needs, you must consider lender requirements and eligibility standards when seeking a loan. Those with pristine credit histories have the greatest number of borrowing options, because banks, credit unions and other lenders view them as less risky. For applicants with credit irregularities or limited credit references, the number of available borrowing options begins to shrink. When credit references are tarnished or incomplete, guarantor loans provide workable solutions for borrowers. This unique lending option allows borrowers to add credit strength to their applications, by including another individual on the loan. Under the terms of guarantor loans, each party is ultimately responsible for repayment, so lender risk is reduced. Commonly, a family member or trusted associate reinforces your loan without getting involved in repayment. If you do falter, however, the guarantor furnishes a repayment safety-net for lenders to pursue.

Loans provide funding to cover personal spending needs ranging from holidays to medical expenses. Education, home improvements and major buys like cars also call for additional funding beyond cash-on-hand. To choose the best financing option for your circumstances, it is important to consider how much money you need, how much time you require repaying it, and whether or not your personal credit history qualifies for financing. Once your goals and eligibility are clear, it is easy to compare and contrast various loan options.

No Comments Mich on Apr 17th 2015

walmartThere is an old joke about a guy who has money to invest, but has no idea where to put it. The guy visits the famous wise man, asking him about what to invest in. The wise man tells him: Invest either in grains or in woods. When the guy asks why, the wise one replies: because people will eat bread while they are alive and need coffins when they die. Unfortunately we don’t have any such wise men to ask about where to put our money, but we have lists of huge companies focusing on a niche. Let’s say what their choices tell us about investing.

The company with the biggest revenue in the whole world is the Sinopec Group, a Chinese oil and gas company based in Beijing, founded in 2000. According to Wikipedia, the Sinopec Group had revenues of over $480 billion in 2013 (the 2014 information is not yet available). The company is active in the oil and gas industry, one of the most lucrative ones in the world. Besides, it is the second largest chemical producer of the world, only exceeded by the German BASF.

Nothing new here – oil and gas are always in demand. Electric cars are still at an early stage of their adoption, meaning that they will probably not become mainstream for decades at least. But it’s not only cars that consume oil and gas – the petroleum industry provides the raw material for many chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics.

The second largest company by revenue is America’s WalMart, with revenues of over $470 billion in FY 2014. The company has over 2.2 million employees (this makes it the largest private employer of the world), and a network of over 11,000 stores in 27 countries under 71 brands.

Consumer staples is another very lucrative arm of the global economy. After all, it represents the intermediary between producers and consumers – the manufacturers of anything from food and electronics to toilet paper and beauty products. The next few years might bring major changes to retail, though, with the internet offering a more personal and much more comfortable way to shop, so giants like WalMart might experience a reduction of their revenues in the decades to come.

Consumer staples and energy can be added to one’s investments via ETF. Exchange traded funds make it simple to add exposure to a particular sector of the economy without having to carry on company specific risk. Unless you have time to research, chose and keep up with a company, ETFs are the way to go.

For consumer staples, the XLP ETF is the biggest and oldest in the business. It has over $8.2 billion in assets and boasts a meager 0.15% expense ratio. The eTF is heavily weighted to large cap companies like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart.

In the energy sector, the recent downturn in the price of oil and natural gas may be viewed as an investment opportunity by investors with a long term goal. Oil or natural gas will still be part of the energy landscape in the future. According to the BP Energy outlook, fossil fuels will still account for 81% of the landscape, down only from 86% in 2012. One of the biggest energy ETFs is the  iShares S&P Global Energy ETF (NYSE: IXC) with a host of energy heavy weights like Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, TOTAL and Royal Dutch Shell amongst others.

So, as the above two examples show us, investing in energy and retail are always a good choice. Gas and plastic are two of the most important products in our everyday lives – and the second one is available to us through retail outlets of various kinds. If you decide to invest in small cap stocks, you might as well invest your funds in an entertaining game of chance and join the fun and play mobile slots at Royal Vegas. Investing in a large well diversified ETFs remain by far the safest options for the future.

No Comments Mich on Apr 13th 2015

Money_TreeInvestment is an important part of your future security. If you’re reading this, you likely already understand this. But chances are, you’ve got friends and loved ones who don’t. Most people don’t invest at all, or do so at levels that will never allow them to retire. If you know someone like this, it can be an awkward situation. You want them to be secure in the future, but we all know the experience of having a friend’s eyes glaze over when you start talking investment. It’s possible to overstep one’s bounds when attempting to get a family member hooked on investment, but there are tactful ways to make it happen. If it works, they’ll thank you one day. So make the effort; it might pay off.

  • Ask Their Permission. This is a lot better than trying to “casually” mention the importance of investment around your friend, in order to passively educate them on the matter. It’s much better to lay out all your cards on the table. In a case like this, I’d say it’s OK to brag a little bit, if you’re being honest. Tell them about where you started, and where you are now. Ask them if they’re interested in learning how to do the same. Tell them, in general terms, how normal people can become excellent investors and see if they’ll invite you to help them along. Without this permission, your effort isn’t really going to pay off.
  • Give Concrete Examples; Be a Good Teacher. Once permission has been attained, don’t waste your friend or relative’s time with a sloppy, time-consuming, confusing approach to their investment education. Instead, ask to meet over coffee for an hour in a few days (or whatever meeting space suggests itself). In the mean time, prepare a little presentation on how simple investment works. Talk about mutual funds. Talk about IRAs and 401(k)s. Talk about how to end negative cash flow. Talk about diversification and spread betting. Anticipate their questions and make sure you have good answers prepared ahead of time. Don’t insult their intelligence, but try to have an explanation ready that a 10-year-old could understand. If you speak clearly, they’ll feel excited, not intimidated, by the material.
  • Offer to Walk Them Through a Preliminary Investment. Now that they know a little bit, offer to help them put their money where their mouth is. Suggest that it is time to actually make a first investment. This may very well be an IRA. Because IRAs are easy to set up, and not even terribly time consuming, this may be a good project to share with them. An IRA is a scary set of initials for someone averse to investment jargon. By helping them get the ball rolling, you’ll be setting them up for longterm success.

These three steps may be enough to help a new investor get their feet wet. If they want, and you’re willing, you may find yourself in a position to give advice and help for a longer period of time. This can be a really wonderful relationship, by which you offer meaningful, life-changing help to someone you really care about.

No Comments Mich on Apr 12th 2015

point of sale systemThere’s no doubt that point of sale systems can help you reach your profit targets faster because of all the integrated solutions it brings to the equation. A really good system can save you money in the short and long term because of the added efficiency of operating one in your store. Sales are rung up faster, orders are taken with ease and inventory is updated in real time. The added speed that your establishment operates can net you bigger sales, a proud staff and happier customers –all because of a neat little POS system and a few computers.

But with all this efficiency and speed comes a price: POS software costs money. It doesn’t matter if you get freeware and do-it-yourself. You still have to cough up some much needed capital to get one. Remember that POS systems are an investment and not an expense, but paying for it hurts all the same. Here are three options you should consider before getting a POS system.

Option 1: Do-it-Yourself

By far the cheapest option would be to use old hardware that you currently have, like an old desktop computer or a laptop. An old dot-matrix printer could theoretically work, but getting a used receipt printer on Craigslist is not only a better option, your receipts would look better too. Do an internet search for free POS software and choose the best fit for your business. Take note that most free systems don’t have installation instructions and are no longer updated. You’re also not going to get any support, so you may want to hire an IT guy to help with the configuration. Don’t forget to scour the forums!

Option 2: Pay for a Subscription

This is, in my opinion, the best option you can take. Many companies offer a free trial on point of sale systems for small business and you should take them up on it. If they provide the hardware, even better, so you can test drive their system to its full potential. Paying for a monthly subscription means that you’re going to have support when and where you need it. Plus, you’re going to get help with installation and configuration. The best part of getting a subscription based POS is that all your data is safe and secure in the cloud. You can access this information wherever you are in the world! Lastly, the subscription costs are manageable, with an average staring fee of $70 for a small store. You just add what you need (additional staff, locations, reporting) and you can cancel anytime. The hardware used in most cloud based POS systems are iPads and iPhones, which (sadly) do not come with the package.

Option 3: Pay a License fee upfront (onetime payment)

This is the most expensive option if we base it on fees paid up front. You pay a onetime license fee for the software and hardware, which can range anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 or more. Some companies sell their software for $250 – $500, which you can then install and use on any compatible computer-based POS setup you have. If I were to choose this option, I would get the whole package, hardware and software, to avoid any compatibility issues and configuration headaches. The good thing about these legacy systems is that they’ve been around a long time and are a proven workhorse, so spending all that extra cash on a system like this would only hurt initially, but should pay for itself in due time.

Conclusion

You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to invest in a good POS system for your business, but you still have to pay something. Take the time to do your own research and testing. Try them all out. If you have time, download free POS software and do a test run. See if it will work for you. Also, you can always take companies up on their free trial offers. The choice between legacy and cloud based POS systems is entirely on you, so choose wisely because in the end, you get what you pay for.

Comments Off on Consider these Options when choosing a POS System Mich on Mar 30th 2015

300px-1000oz.silver.bullion.bar_.top_As mentioned in a few of my older posts, diversification has always been the key to success of any financial portfolio. It’s important to diversify because several sectors in the global economy will move asynchronously in cycles experiencing downsides. Gold and silver both do not move along with other investments, making them the perfect assets for diversification.

Silver is considered as “poor man’s gold,” so private investors who don’t have a lot can turn to it when the economy is bad. Right now, gold costs around $1,200 per ounce, while silver is merely at $16 per ounce. Silver, along with gold, is considered legal tender so it can be used to trade for products and services in many countries around the world.

Unlike fiat money, silver has many other purposes apart from a currency. It has always been used in the construction of buildings, electronics, medicine, and solar panels. It is because of silver’s intrinsic value that the metal will always have a demand somewhere in the world. In 2013, India boosted its reserves significantly. The country reported a total of 6,125 tons of silver, which was a 190% increase over what it consumed in 2012.

Silver’s demand by the private sector has also increased in recent years. In 2013, silver coins enjoyed all-time highs, with Silver Eagle sales increasing more than 25%, and Silver Maple Leaves by around 55%. The trend continued last year when Silver Eagle coin sales in the first few days of May matched nearly half the sales for the entire month of May 2013.

In 2011, silver prices peaked at around $46 an ounce. This was partly influenced by the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) program, which aggressively bought bonds and printed more money into the system. When there are huge changes imposed by Central Banks that could negatively impact the economy, investors get alarmed and turn to precious metals. At the start of 2015, The European Central Bank has announced its very own QE so gold and silver prices would probably be more volatile than before in the coming months.

Comments Off on Quick Facts About Investing in Silver Mich on Feb 23rd 2015

condo appartmentsFor first time home buyers, this age old question has probably reared its head one time or another. Single detached family home or high rise condo? This question slammed right into me (literally) when I was walking down the street looking at a condo for sale in downtown Montreal with a buddy of mine. The “for sale” sign hit me in the forehead because I was animatedly talking to another friend on the phone and wasn’t paying attention. Folks, don’t talk on the phone when walking downtown!

Many people are at odds whether to go rent or buy a condo versus renting or buying a house. Having experienced condo life in the central business district and living in a large home in the suburbs, I can tell you the advantages and disadvantages of each firsthand.

Condos – Living the good life

What’s great about condos is its proximity to everything in the city. Condos are usually situated at the heart of it all, and the parks, transport hubs, bus stops, shops, restaurants and maybe even your office would only be a 10-15 minute walk from where you live.  For young professionals, this is the most ideal location because they can save money and time on transportation costs and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

Some condos have hotel-like amenities like a gym, a pool and even tennis courts. There are also the common areas where the community can hang out, like the roof deck. Condos are also more secure because you’re going to be living in close proximity with a lot of other people. There’s strength in numbers. Most condos also have guards and doormen, and some have buzzers at the main entrance and if the owner of the house isn’t there, no one will buzz you in.

Condo Cons

If you value your privacy and you hate living in close proximity to other people, then condo living isn’t for you. Shared walls mean you’ll be sharing noises and smells with your closest neighbors, and not everyone can cook. Condos have strict rules and regulations regarding pets, noise levels and even kids. You also can’t construct anything in your condo, or use a hammer without the consent of the home owners association. And there’s always going to be a monthly association fee for the upkeep of the condo, like trimming the grass, paint, etc. Lastly, there’s the space issue. There’s very little of it, and if you have a lot of stuff, you may end up having to rent extra storage space outside.

Houses – Everyone’s Dream

Ask anyone about their lifelong dreams or goals and owning their dream home is right on top of the list, maybe after a Ferrari or a trip around the world. Kidding aside though, owning your own house means that you’ll have your own castle where you’ll be king or queen. You’ll have lots of space, a yard, a garage, maybe even an outdoor shed for storage. You’ll have your privacy, and the only cooking odors you’ll smell are your own. You can build or extend your home, paint it a different color every month or add diamonds to it. You can pretty much do whatever you want without asking permission from anyone. No association dues and no neighbors breathing down your neck.

House Cons

The biggest challenge a homeowner has is upkeep. Maintaining a house is hard work. You have to clean the gutters, mow the lawn, make sure your trash is safe and secure from stray cats and other animals, repaint it every few years, tend to the plants and trees if you have any (trim them) and do some minor repairs when something breaks. You can either DIY all of this or hire someone else. Then there are heat, gas, plumbing and electrical problems that you have to call a professional for. You also have to make sure that your house is safe and secure. Even the best neighborhoods seem to get burglarized these days. Having a house can be pretty expensive.

Conclusion

If you’re still undecided whether to live in a house or a condo, weigh your options first. Make a list of all your priorities and what you want out of your home: space, freedom and privacy or convenience, amenities and location. Whatever it is you choose, be sure that you don’t rush in and study all your options first.

Comments Off on House VS Condo: The Debate Continues Mich on Feb 20th 2015

mortgage payment stressFor most people, a home is the biggest single purchase that they will ever make. When you are in the early days of home ownership, and you are simply excited to have your name on the deed, paying the mortgage each month doesn’t feel like a burden. In fact, it can almost be exciting knowing that you are building equity and your own personal net worth.

After a few years, though, the euphoria of finally being a homeowner wears off, and as you write the monthly check to the mortgage company, you start to feel that you’ll never be done. If you are nearing retirement age, that feeling might even be stronger. You start thinking that it would be nice to have that debt taken care of before you bid adieu to your career and move in to your next phase of life. After all, without the monthly mortgage payment, you don’t need as much cash to retire on — and you might even be able to retire sooner.

If that line of thinking sounds familiar, stop right where you are. When it comes to your mortgage, your emotions could lead you to make a poor financial decision, one that will put your long-term financial security in danger.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

The short answer to that question is yes, you should always plan to pay off your mortgage. The real question is when? Financial advisors report that one of the most common questions that they hear from clients nearing retirement relates to whether or not they should pay off their homes before they retire.

The answer to that that question isn’t always simple. Many people believe that paying off what they owe will give them a sense of relief and security, knowing that their home is paid and they will have a place to live and less debt. However, “feeling better” isn’t always a good reason to pay that particular debt.

As you have probably heard, mortgage debt is often referred to as “good debt.” While you may owe money on your home, as you pay down the mortgage, you gain equity as you pay it off — and it appreciates in value, unlike the “bad debt” like credit cards, which don’t. That’s why most advisors recommend that clients at all phases of life focus on paying down bad debt before tackling the good debt. When considering whether to pay off your home, you need to consider a few other factors:

How much do you have saved for retirement? Most advisors recommend that you should have at least double the value of your home saved for retirement. So, if your home is worth $200,000, you should have at least $400,000 saved to carry you through your retirement years before you consider paying off the mortgage.

What is the real interest rate you’re paying? Bad debt should be tackled first because it’s usually a higher interest rate than your mortgage. However, if you are eligible to deduct mortgage interest on your paying down the mortgagetaxes, your actual interest rate could be lower. If you only have a few years left on your mortgage, it might be better to keep funding a retirement account that earns a much higher interest rate, and just let the mortgage note mature.

Get Ahead Without Sacrificing Retirement

In short, if paying off your mortgage comes at the expense of your retirement account, or paying down other debt, then don’t do it. However, there are ways to pay the debt sooner that won’t affect your savings, and will provide that sense of relief sooner:

  • Prepay your mortgage. Making just one extra payment per year over the life of the loan can reduce the loan life by at least five years. Try paying one half of your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks; by the end of the year, you will have made one extra payment.
  • Refinance to a shorter term. If you have more than 15 years left on your mortgage, refinancing to a 15-year, or less, mortgage can get it paid off sooner, as long as you can make the larger payments.
  • Use investments to pay your mortgage. If possible, try using a portion of your portfolio to make an investment that will bring in enough earnings to cover your mortgage payment for you. By putting your money to work for you, you can focus on paying down other debts or increasing savings.

The most important point to remember is to avoid letting your emotions get the best of you. If you focus on your end goal and make smart, well-informed decisions, you can retire with money in the bank and no more debt.

2 Comments Mich on Dec 22nd 2014

couple shoppingCertain purchases in life are inevitable. Without food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities, life gets rather unpleasant rather quickly. However, just because we need certain items and services doesn’t mean we have to overspend on them. And when we overspend on needs and also overspend on wants, one’s financial picture starts looking a bit bleak.

Consumer behaviour experts are often quick to point out that everyone has an emotional relationship with money, and the driving forces behind our spending patterns are often emotional and psychological issues that may not be immediately apparent. Essentially, our financial decisions are rarely based on rational, practical thoughts, but are often more strongly determined by emotions and desires that generally tend to be in conflict with the more rational part of our brains.

While it’s completely normal to spend money to fulfill emotional needs, it’s not always good for your bank account. When you spend more money than you should, or even money you don’t have to fill an emotional need, it often leads to debt. Even if you can support your spending habits, overspending takes away your leverage for investing more for your future. That’s why it’s important to identify some of the leading emotional causes of overspending.

Why We Buy

Again, many purchases are necessities. However, when we buy “for fun,” or even evaluate our options when purchasing items we need, decisions are often driven by several factors:

  1. Low Self-Esteem. One of the most common reasons for living beyond one’s means is low self-esteem. Someone who doesn’t have a high opinion of themselves is more likely to try to buy his or her way to success; they think that by having the nicest car or the most expensive watch, others will be impressed and want to be around them. Having nice things provides confidence, at least in the short term, but it often becomes a vicious cycle of constantly trying to keep up, and thus spending more.
  2. Depression. Depression can often lead to overspending; after all, where do you think the concept of “retail therapy” came from? Hitting the mall after a stressful day or when you feel sad can help boost endorphins, especially when you “treat yourself” because you “deserve it.” Occasionally this probably won’t hurt your finances too much, but making a habit of emotional shopping can be devastating.
  3. Instant Gratification. We live in an instant gratification society, and the concept of waiting, for anything, is becoming a foreign one. We want what we want, and we want it NOW. The problem is that by immediately fulfilling our wants, we act on impulse — when often, it’s better to let that initial wave of desire pass right on by.
  4. Boredom. Overspending is often an effect of being constantly connected. Between computers, smartphones, and tablets, we can shop anywhere, any time. Combined with the need for instant gratification, boredom often leads to late night purchases and “What was I thinking?” deliveries.

Preventing Overspending

prevent overspendingUnderstanding the underlying psychological factors that lead you to spend more money than you intended — or to live beyond your means — is only part of the battle. To really get your finances back on track, you need to put that knowledge to use and identify your spending triggers, and develop strategies to curb the desire to buy.

Some of the most effective ways to prevent spending include:

  • Institute a “waiting period” for all purchases. Make it a personal policy to wait 24 hours before making any unplanned purchases.
  • Compare the cost of an item to how many hours you must work to pay for it. For example, if you earn $30 per hour, and want to buy a $300 pair of shoes, it will take you 10 hours of work to pay for them. Are they really worth more than a day’s work?
  • Close online loopholes. When a website offers the option to turn on “one click” purchasing, or save credit card information in our account, decline. Not only will you prevent impulse buys that don’t even requiring entering any information, you protect your valuable data from being exposed in any potential data breaches.
  • Prepare other activities. When you get the urge to shop, be prepared to redirect those feelings to something more constructive. Get some exercise, call a friend, read a book, work on a hobby — basically, anything that you do that increases endorphins can give you the same “high” as shopping, without the ugly credit card bills.

Spending money that you don’t really have can be devastating to your financial health — which in turn can lead to more depression and anxiety. Take the time to look at your spending patterns and motivations, and make changes to help stop emotional spending and get back in control of your finances.

Comments Off on Understanding Why You Buy Can Prevent Overspending Mich on Dec 20th 2014

USCurrency_Federal_ReserveEven when you have bad credit, there are ways to obtain the funds that you need. For most of these options you do need a steady job and a valid checking account. The interest rates on these types of loans are typically higher due to the increased risk the lender is taking to extend the loan to you. Even with infractions on your credit report it is possible to get a loan.

Bad Credit Loan

Some lenders offer loans with those that have bad credit.  Keep in mind that you will likely need some type of collateral whether it is a home or vehicle, and a co-signer. Finding a co-signer may be difficult since that person would be responsible for making the installment payments if you defaulted.

With bad credit loans, the interest rates are far higher, some as much as 24-percent. This is a hefty amount to have to pay in addition to the loaned funds for making mistakes with previous creditors.

Payday Advance

With a stable job and a valid checking account you may qualify for a payday advance. These loans are based solely on the amount that you make. The lender can only give you what you can feasibly afford to pay back.

With this type of loan you must repay the amount lent plus all of the interest and fees upon your next payday. There is only one payment. Being late on this payment can result in the check you left with the lender being deposited into your account. It can also lead to additional fees and even a lawsuit against you.

Auto Title Loan

An auto title loan is another option for those with bad credit. This is an installment loan type of situation but again, has high interest rates. When you visit a facility your vehicle is appraised. An offer is given to you as far as how much can be lent based upon that appraised value.

With this type of loan you must surrender your title to the lender until the loan is paid in full. The title must be free and clear. The vehicle must be paid off. If you fail to make your payments, the loan company does have the right to repossess the vehicle and sell it at an auction or privately in an attempt to recover the lost funds.

Pawn Shop

If you have items of value in your home such as gold jewelry, electronics, power tools or music equipment you may be able to visit the local pawn shop. When you pawn something it is a loan based upon what the pawn broker can get out of the item if you do not repay the loan. This will be roughly half of its current retail value.

Pawn shops do buy items as well, in which case you are likely to get a little more for the item because the pawn broker can immediately sell the item after it clears stolen property listings. In this article you can find some extra tips about pawn stores here.

Sell Items via Yard Sale or Online Posting

Most areas have for sale groups on social media and most consumers have access to Craigslist. These two platforms are ideal when you have an item to sell and need to do so quickly to obtain funds. In order to get the price you really want in this situation, start the price a little high and list it as “or best offer”.

These options are available to those with bad credit. There are stipulations and restrictions when it comes to obtaining loans, however, when you are desperate and have no other option; you find a way to sacrifice other things to make the payments.

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