investing in real estateBuying real estate can be a risky endeavor, but if you do your research and invest wisely, it can really pay off in the long run. Buying a stable property and renting it out can give you a good source of additional income for relatively little effort, and if you’re an investor, it can help you diversify your portfolio.  Now is actually an ideal time to invest; the housing market is beginning to recover, but interest rates and housing prices are still generally low. Before you go jumping into the world of real estate investment, though, you need to look at the costs and benefits of buying a property. Here are a few things to consider.

Look for a property with a positive cash flow. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people decide to invest in an expensive property that won’t start paying off for at least 10 years (more on that in a second). You need to make sure that the income you’re earning from monthly rental is enough to cover all expenses, including the mortgage and any necessary home repairs, so that you’re ending up with a positive cash flow. Remember that if the money you put into a house was sitting in a bank, it would be earning interest—your goal with a real estate investment is to be making more than you would if that money were just sitting in the bank.
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2 Comments Mich on Sep 4th 2013

Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401K)

Term deposits are an extremely popular investment, particularly given the current economic client. For a start, they’re straightforward – you put your money in the bank, you get money back – but there are still a number of things to think about if you’re to make the right investment. When it comes to finding the best term deposit to suit you, never underestimate the importance of shopping around.

Be aware that many of the banks offer great rates to start with. That rate drops, however, after six months and you’re left with a fairly ho-hum investment in relation to competitive choice. If you ask the question before you invest, you’ll avoid any nasty surprises.

On the whole, the most popular term deposits are those with three and six-month terms. Some of the smaller financial institutions offer great deals, but term deposit rates are on the downward slide, so you might prefer a longer term deposit – for example, one or three-year terms. As long as you’re prepared to lock your money away for longer, it’s a smart way to take advantage of higher rates. The flipside of this is that interest rates can change quickly and without notice. Even if you lock in a good rate for 12 months or more, there is a risk that short-term interest rates could start to rise again in the meantime. Spreading your cash over varying term-deposit time frames can be one way to ensure you don’t lose out. Read the rest of this entry »

2 Comments Guest on Jul 16th 2013

USCurrency_Federal_ReserveWhen having plans for future you will always pay attention to your money flow and try to save. Someone begins to think about this question when creating a new family, others start to save being a teenager or only when thinking about their retirement. For this reason it is necessary to observe a few basic rules. So, let’s look at each of them in more detail and find out how and what exactly you can save.

Rule #1. Make records of what to buy

This applies to all purchases, also including very small ones (newspaper, a package of juice, ice cream). It is enough for some people to keep records for a few days to understand and adjust their spending. But it is better, of course, to do it for a month or two. The effect will be felt. At the end of each day write down the list of all your purchases and cross out the things that you do not need at the moment. At the end of the month add up all the amounts that you have spent on unnecessary purchases. You will be shocked!

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6 Comments Mich on Jun 28th 2013

insurance healthWhile the financial struggle is an everlasting battle for all of us, some seem to cope better than the others. We all have our own secret weapons in this struggle to make ends meet. And yet, as surprising as it sounds, one of the leading causes of insolvency is medical debt. For example, in Australia, millions of people lack good health insurance cover and for this reason, many of them usually end up settling huge medical bills directly from their pockets. Even though the cost of premiums from different health insurance plans is normally expensive, having at least one plan covering you and your loved ones is very important.

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1 Comment Mich on Jun 17th 2013

avoid high feesSpeeding tickets.

Late fees.

Credit card interest.

Overdraft fees.

All of these are fees that no one should pay. They result from being careless, disorganized, impulsive or distracted.

These fees you should definitely never pay and if you do, well there’s a name for those fees. Dave Ramsey coined the term, “stupid tax,” just for those types of fees. Because you may have acted less than intelligently. We’ve all paid the stupid tax once or twice, the goal is, of course, to never pay them again.

Go slower.

Think before you act.

Plan ahead and keep great records.

Do those 3 things and you’ll never pay another stupid tax again. But what about other fees? What about fees that aren’t a result of anything you did? They just seem to exist for the sole purpose of earning the company more money. Here are 5 that you should never, ever pay. Ever.
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25 Comments Jessica Streit on May 27th 2013

fresh fruit vegetablesShopping for delicious food is extremely easy given the wide array of choices available to us. Today’s grocery stores are chocked full of tasty treats, snacks, and meals. However, selecting unhealthy options is far too easy, even when we think we are buying health foods. Our full schedules and rushed lives makes it difficult to eat healthy especially when so many pre-packaged, ready-to-be-eaten meals are offered in the stores. Providing healthy food choices for your children and family takes some extra work. Reading labels, selecting only the healthiest of foods to have in your home and avoiding dinning out are some steps you can take, read on to learn even more.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Choices

At about 6 months old, babies start enjoying solid foods like fruit or vegetable purées. Introducing their taste buds to the natural flavor of fruits and vegetables is a great start on the road to good health. In vegetable-eating countries like in Thailand, babies are offered fresh vegetables to chew on while they deal with the pain from teething– with close supervision of course. Starting them early means, you won’t have any problems getting them to eat these natural foods as they grow up. As long as you continue to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to your child rather than sugary or salty snacks, he or she will happily snack on the fresh selections without any problems. Choose organic options for your produce as often as you can, but especially when you are consuming the skin – they contain the most pesticides (Find more information on this by searching for The Dirty Dozen.).

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10 Comments Jessica Streit on May 16th 2013

best-job-221x185With the recent recession and the uncertainty of today’s economy, many people will stick to a job they dislike or will apply for the first job that comes around, even if it is not the most interesting one. While being financially secure is important, being happy is certainly not less important. Here are a few tips to help find a job you truly love.

Know What You Want and Who You Are

While this may sound pretty obvious, it is still the starting point of your career seeking process. And be warned: It is not as easy as it seems! Knowing what you want and who you are is the quest of a lifetime. Let’s start on a smaller scale here, though: Ask yourself what your skills and interests are. A little trick: In order to spot your true skills and interests, just try and remember what you ended up doing in all your previous jobs, regardless of what they were. Did you naturally take on the lead? Did you naturally took care of all the accounting? Were you always in charge of organizing meetings and figure out logistics? If you look carefully at your life – even your life outside work – you’ll see a pattern. This should help you identify your true talents and your natural abilities.

And know that, often, people are not really honest about what they truly love to do, even with themselves. Try and go beyond the standards imposed by society and think outside the box. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Comments Guest on May 6th 2013

Money_TreeHoping with crossed fingers that the check you wrote doesn’t come through your account before you can make a deposit.

Driving your car until its comfortably on “E” and hoping you can get to work just one more time before you have the money to fill up.

Eating stale crackers and a 2 year old can of peas for dinner because you don’t have the money for groceries.

Do any of these situations sound like you? If you find yourself constantly waiting with bated breath for payday only to run out of money a few days later, you are bound to be feeling a great deal of stress and depression. There is hope though, you can avoid living paycheck to paycheck. Here are your best steps to avoid living paycheck to paycheck and to move forward if you are.

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27 Comments Jessica Streit on Apr 22nd 2013

spa cupcakes

Spa themed cupcakes!

Are you sick of your current job? Do you want to move on to something new?

Well I’m not here to tell you to quit your job. Sorry. I’m a bit more realistic than that. I’m going to suggest a different idea. I want you to start freelancing on the side. I want you to use your spare time to increase your income and to change your life forever. I spent far too much time chasing passive income and other random strategies.

I never really took the time to actually get down to the work. I would just follow advice on starting a million dollar business through passive income. This never worked out for me. Let’s start off with an important question… Why will freelancing on the side set you free? By testing out business ideas in your spare time you’ll be able to figure out if you have a chance of branching out on your own.

I find it to be absolutely careless advice to suggest to someone that they just quit their job and “follow their passions.” Screw that. You have bills to pay and you don’t want to end up poor. You don’t want to curse some blogger dude because they told you to quit and now you’re homeless (okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme). I have far too many friends that are convinced that you have to go all in to be successful. This is false because you just have too much to lose and you can lose out on valuable time making money and working in your field.

When you freelance on the side you’ll not only get to test out your ideas with comfort, but you’ll also be able to build up your savings/pay down your debt. This is critical because if you have debt (student loans, mortgage, or consumer debt), you still have to cover your payments. You can set yourself free by working your day job and freelancing on the side until you’re debt free and in a position to quit your job. Read the rest of this entry »

24 Comments Martin on Apr 1st 2013

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