Ways to earn extra money and pay off your debt quicker

Everyone who has debts knows how difficult life can get when you struggle to make ends meet every single month. One of the first things people try doing to pay off debts is reducing their expenses. But the amount of money you can save this way is limited, so there’s no guarantee that this solution will be enough to help you get out of your financial troubles. If you’d rather opt for something more effective, look for ways to earn extra money.

Organise a garage sale

After years of living in one place, our houses can get really cluttered. And in reality, when you take a walk around your house, you’ll realise that you don’t really need many of the things you see there. Organising a garage sale can be a great way to earn some extra cash, and gain additional space as a result. Just look for things you no longer need and check whether they are still in good condition. House appliances, useful gadgets, clothes, and books, selling such items can help you pay off at least a part of your debt. You can also use free online ad posting sites to reach more potential buyers.

Collect scrap metal

Collecting scrap metal is another very popular way of earning extra money. You will probably be able to find at least some things you can scrap around your house, like your old fridge or metal food containers. You can also look for other things to sell, for example, many people leave their unwanted house appliances on the street for others to pick up. Some businesses also have a lot of scrap lying around but no time to deal with it. There’s a chance they’d be willing to let you take it for free, so try looking for such opportunities. And even if you can’t transport everything to a scrap yard on your own, there are companies that can help you. For example, Trans Metal offers scrap metal pick up from your own home.

Look for a part-time job

If your current salary isn’t enough to cover all of your needs, you can try looking for a better paid one. Or at least find a part-time job that will help you improve your financial situation. Especially during holiday seasons, companies may be looking for more employees. But if you’re not able to fit another job into your schedule, you can also look for other opportunities. Many people are looking for a dog walker or someone who will take care of their pets when they go for vacation, so if you’re good with animals, it may be a great way of earning extra money.

Clean houses

Cleaning a house after a renovation can be a very demanding task, that’s why many people prefer to hire someone to do it for them. For others, it’s difficult to find time for cleaning in their busy schedules and want someone to take care of the house for them. So if you’re looking for another source of income, this creates some great opportunities. Of course, at the very beginning, you’ll need to buy at least a few useful tools. Look for good window cleaning tools, effective detergents, and the best shop vac. Buying such things can be expensive, but it’s an investment that will make your job a lot easier.

Use your skills

If you feel that you’re an expert in a specific subject, you can try making money this way and become a private tutor. You can offer online or in-person math, physics, or language classes. But you need to be aware that the amount of money you can earn this way depends on your knowledge and experience. Another way to earn money is by finding freelancing job offers online. You should definitely consider this option if you’re skilled in writing, translating, or graphic design.

There are many ways to earn extra money, so you’ll definitely be able to find something that works in your situation. If you combine extra earnings with reducing your expenses, solving your financial troubles will be a lot easier, and paying off your debts won’t be a problem anymore.

How to Set Personal Financial Goals

Finances play an essential role in managing and maintaining your spending and structuring your lifestyle and living conditions. It is for this reason that you need to set goals regarding your financial security and freedom. Financial goal setting is necessary, whether conducted in the short-term or long-term. Financial goals also incorporate comprehensive strategies for tax reduction, retirement, risk management, and maintaining cash flow.

Periodic financial planning is essential in order to review your goals, update them, and review progress from the previous financial period. When setting financial goals, you should critically evaluate your financial abilities to ensure that they are realistic and achievable. Below are effective ways of financial planning;

Create a Budget

When it comes to creating a budget, the first step is identifying how much money you have access to. From that amount, deduct liabilities like debt to determine your net income. One of the crucial steps in creating a budget is finding out what you need, want, and value most, and managing your expense priorities.

To create an efficient budget system, you might want to integrate all your accounts into one and categorize them. This can also be achieved by going through your previous bills, expenses and financial statements and labeling them by categories. At this point, you should list how much you wish to spend on each category item and compare it with your allocated amount for spending. The money should be at the same level; otherwise, you should adjust your budget accordingly.

Build an Emergency Fund

Emergency funds are important in ensuring your financial stability in case of unforeseen circumstances like unemployment, and serious cash emergencies. The proper way to put together an emergency fund is by having an amount of money automatically deducted from your paycheck and having it deposited in a separate account, or by setting aside the amount during your budgeting process.

An emergency fund should be a priority item when setting financial goals. The amount for the fund should be between three to six times the amount of your living expenses; this helps guarantee cushioning during difficult economic times. Because of its nature in urgency, the fund should be easily and quickly accessible at all times.

Pay off Debt

The first step in securing a debt-free financial statement is identifying and keeping track of how much you owe. This may be in the form of credit card debt, student loans, bank loans, or other personal loans. There are different criteria and methods that can be applied to repaying your debt.

Some strategies to clearing your debt include; paying your debt, starting with the one with the highest interest. This is because costly interest rates make it difficult to achieve your financial goals. Another criterion, debt snowball, would be to pay off your debt from the lowest to highest regardless of the interest rate; this is meant to motivate you to clear the debt. Regardless of which method you prefer to utilize, the goal is to reduce your debt burden and maintain your creditworthiness.

Save for Retirement

Retirement is a critical stage that requires financial planning in advance. When developing retirement strategies, one of the important steps is to determine the cost of your living expenses during retirement. The next step involves subtracting your expected income and contributions to social security, retirement plans, and pension schemes. The value you remain with should be the deficit amount you would need for your retirement portfolio.

One strategy of planning for retirement is to apply for an employer-sponsored retirement plan, where the employer matches your contribution. Another approach is enrolling in an independent retirement arrangement and utilize tools provided by GBTI Bank and other financial institutions. Remember, when planning for retirement, you should adjust to accommodate for increased healthcare expenses.

Investments

Investing extra funds is a beneficial step towards achieving financial growth and stability. An investment can either be a short or long-term venture. Making investments can also be utilized as a tool for meeting other financial goals like retirement and maintaining emergency funds.

The key to securing a healthy investment portfolio is diversifying. You can, for instance, invest in stocks, real estate, and bonds simultaneously. For short term investments, consider investments with a debt nature like fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, and bonds, because there is less chance of losses. Earning additional income from investments fast tracks your financial growth and securing budget deficits.

When setting goals for your financial future, you should consider incorporating other aspects of your life into your financial plans. Strategies resulting from such input includes taking a life insurance plan and health and education policies.

The key to setting goals is planning, keeping consistency in your efforts, and updating them when necessary. Keep track of your finances using books of accounting and online tools and software. Researching the progress of your financial plans and alternative sources of income would further go a long way toward reaching financial security and freedom.

Why take up small business line of credit in Canada

What is business line of credit?

A business line of credit(LOC) is lending money to a business owner with interest as fees. LOC is a dept financing, where owner’s have to pay the money back over time. A line of credit is a revolving form of a loan, but it is different from traditional loan. It is depend from bank to bank, that line of credit will have fixed rate or variable rate of interest.

In line of credit, maximum lending money is decided before, and the owner can borrow any amount of money within its maximum limit. And, the interest will only be applicable on the borrowed money only, which is what line of credit is.  The small business line of credit with Small Business Capital is the most valuable way you can receive funding and not throway major share of your business out of your hands to run the business.

Other than business line of credit there are also other LOCs like Personal Line of Credit, Demand line of Credit etc.

Here, is Why you should take up small business line of credit?

How to get a business line of credit application?

The application processing time for a line of credit is easy but time taking. So, you can’t afford anything wrong in paper work. It is best to prepare every document work before your application get declined. 

Here, are the required document required for approval of Line of Credit application-

  1. You need a business bank account(current account)
  2. You need to submit your business licence, specially required to get business line of credit.
  3. You need to show last two years, business financial statement with self-attested by the owner.
  4. Your bank transaction history or statement  for last three months.
  5.  Your need to submit investment or deposit statement at other institute. 
  6. Government issued ID-proof, this will prove your nationality. 
  7. Income tax return statement

How does business line of credit beneficial than business loan?

In line of credit you don’t need to borrow full amount at a time. You can borrow small amount of money when you need it, and you only have to pay on the borrowed money only. It is beneficial for small business and new business, because you don’t have to borrow large amount of money at once.

Also, you don’t have to apply for multiple business loan every time. So, this saves your time from the complicated process of loan.

You can even start a business with nothing with the help of unsecured LOC. 

Where can I apply for business line of credit in Canada?

In Canada, you can go to any bank having line of credit service. It will be easiest job if you have already have account in that bank, if your don’t have one you need to open first a business bank account. These are some of the popular banks in Canada-

  1. CIBC
  2. TD Bank
  3. RBC
  4. BMO

 

Why take up small business line of credit in Canada?

Line of credit is for business man and specially for small business. Let’s see why 

  • New Option to borrow money

Line of credit is a good option for borrowing money. It is a new evolved form of loan made for benefits of business man. 

If you have line of credit approval, you can borrow any amount of money within limit without much hesitation. Just like Credit card. 

The difference with Credit Card is that Credit Card is available to all the people and the borrow limit is much less. Whereas, line of credit is for those doing business. The limit of money that can be borrowed from line of credit is much more than that of credit card. 

  • Time saver

Once, you done with the paper work and you get approval. You then don’t need to apply again and again like business loan. 

In loan, every time you borrow money you have to give proper document each time for approval. However, in line of credit it is a one time process.

You can borrow money with out wasting much time from bank with the help of line of credit. This can save you time as well as your business. 

Access to fund is much easier in line of credit.

  • Flexibility

You can borrow any amount of money, till the borrow limit any time. Line of credit provides flexibility which is a most important feature of it. 

And, you only need to pay interest on the borrowed money not on the total limit.

In loan, you need to pay for the whole amount. But in line of credit you can take limited amount and pay interest on that only.

  • Security

In business, you can’t say when there will be the need of money. It gets difficult to manage money during that time there is need. If you have line of credit, you can borrow money without hesitation of another loan or borrowing from others. 

This provides security to the business man and promotes business man to take bold decision. You can use this line of credit to grow your business.

In case of emergency, you can use this funds and solve the problem immediately. Thus, this keep a peace of mind for the business owner and its improves the living of the people. 

  • Low rate of interest

The rate of interest is not fixed for everyone, its varies from business to business. Your rate of interest depend on your credit history, your business performance and the bank you are dealing with. Rates of interest can be low as 6% or 10% depends on your business performance and your bank. 

If you can manage to get line of credit at low rates as possible, you can borrow money at very low interest. Also, you need to pay interest on the borrowed money only, so generally the interest is low if you manages to get line of credit at low rates.

The rate of interest is more for the unsecured LOCs.

  • Funding

The start-up growing up, can take the help of the fund raised from the LOCs. There are both secured and unsecured LOCs available. This will help the potential start-ups to grow if the start-up failed to arrange funding. 

However, unsecured line of credit is difficult to get approval. 

Investing Is All About Hit and Trial

China is growing speedily to be the future world power after surpassing the United States and other potential competitors. It has achieved a lot in a little time and its stock market has played a significant role in this establishment. Economic sectors in China have put in their best efforts to attain a sustainable and renowned position. These efforts include non-stop trading. The import and export of goods have helped in expanding the Chinese currency in the world. And that, in turn, has positively affected its value. People have started invested in China with the help of China funds.

Why invest?

Investing in any economy requires courage as it is not easy to risk your money or other assets. Stock-exchange is like a roller-coaster. One minute down, the next minute up. But this slight increase or decrease influences the individual investments on a larger scale and, hence, it is a risky process. Knowing all of it, people still tend to invest frequently in and out of their native stock markets. This is because if they hit bulls’ eyes, the profit is worth the risk. Also, constant investments benefit the currency you are using to buy or sell stocks in one way or another.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are the product of the contemporary egalitarian movement. It has not only simplified the processes of the stock exchange but has also made it manageable. It is a vector or a transport through which all of the investors’ assets, involved in linked investments like stocks and bonds, are piled up and collected. Mutual funds make transport feasible as the currency exchange of a specific fund is easier in the home country as well as abroad. It is easier to communicate using mutual funds and the investment is secured. These funds are, conclusively, the investors’ money and assets used to buy certain stocks. Income is generated from the stock exchange and each investor is individually benefitted.

Mutual funds are available in many types and these largely depend upon the type of investment you want to make. Eurodollar, china funds and many other such currencies help the investors to get large profit claims. All of these are controlled by a manager who deals with the buying and selling of stocks when the time is right. After you have invested, the manager awaits the right opportunity and buys a stock. This is mostly done when the rates are low. And then, as the exchange rates alter, the stocks are sold and the profit is distributed among the investors.

Conclusion

Being a part of the world’s leading economy is the ultimate goal of any investor. And to stay in the mainstream, frequent trade is necessary. China, currently, seems to have the potential needed to be the next big deal and, therefore, businessmen, stockholders, and investors are rushing towards it. Nonetheless, it is wise and safe to say that even if China has the caliber of being the best, it somehow collapses in some of the elemental economic exchange.

Will Cryptocurrencies Affect The Gambling Industry?

Cryptocurrency seems to be a buzzword these days. Many people have heard of this term in the media, but a lot of people are still not sure what a cryptocurrency actually is.

Bitcoin is still the most talked-about of them all, even though it was the very first registered cryptocurrency that dates back to 2008.  Now there are many other cryptocurrencies that have joined this recent phenomenon.

 What Is A Cryptocurrency? 

Cryptocurrency is actually a currency that is already being used to pay for goods and services online like regular cash. The difference here is that the currency has no physical form and exists only as a digital entity. These digital transactions work by using a technology called a blockchain. This is software that is present in a network of computers and it manages and records crypto transactions.

Each one is chained together in such a way, that it makes any attempt to tamper with these recordings impossible, thus preventing fraudulent activity. Therefore blockchain technology helps to keep transactions secure. Most people have heard of bitcoin but it is thought that there are more than 2200 different cryptocurrencies that are traded publicly.

The total value of all cryptocurrencies stood at around $246 billion last year. Bitcoins still proved the most popular of the digital currency and were valued at $136 billion. The popularity of this hi-tech currency can be attributed to security. As already mentioned, transactions are more secure than those involving regular cash.

Furthermore, this currency removes the power from the banks allowing a more decentralized control of people’s money and this fact has proved very popular with consumers and traders. It’s hard to tell if these cryptocurrencies are the future, as a currency needs stability to survive. Bitcoin has been anything but stable since being introduced and the value of this cryptocurrency dropped to a record low in 2018.

Some cryptocurrencies can be purchased with U.S dollars whilst others actually need to be brought using a pre-existing cryptocurrency. An app is also needed that has a wallet that can hold your currency and then you need to join a trading exchange.      

Cryptocurrencies and Gambling

The gambling industry always seems to be one step ahead of the rest. It embraces change and reinvents itself when needed.

There will always be gambling in society whether the industry copes with change or not. But the fact that it is quick to spot technological trends like the internet and apply its products to these new creations means that it is more successful than ever before. However, the huge success of online gambling has had winners and losers within the industry itself. The hands-down champion of online gambling is the slot machines.

Revenue in the UK alone was approaching the £2 billion mark from these games. Losers were betting offices and traditional over the counter betting that showed a decline. The gambling industry now has one eye on the ever-evolving cryptocurrency trend, but its response to it is cautious.

 

Should it be embraced like the internet revolution? The problem is that these currencies are far from stable right now. Bitcoin had a period of rapid growth before it tanked in 2018 and governments have stood up and noted that cryptocurrencies are no passing trend.

Therefore, they are likely to face some sort of crackdown or strict regulation that could throttle their development and popularity. However, some sectors of the gambling industry have taken the plunge and welcomed cryptocurrencies.

A major draw to online gambling is the anonymity of the entire experience and bitcoin funded casinos only enhance this further. Of course, you will by law still have to register and get fully age verified at a casino that accepts cryptocurrencies, but payments are more secure and leave no bank trace.

Therefore you will not have to include your bank and card details if you want to deposit and play at one of these establishments. This is an attractive proposition to punters and would make cryptocurrency casinos very popular with the general public across the world.

A cryptocurrency casino would have fewer overheads to pay as expenses such as payments to merchants, transaction costs and licensing fees would be drastically reduced. This could have a knock-on effect on the  ‘house edge’ that casinos have over punters. With fewer overheads to pay, cryptocurrency casinos would be able to give more back to the betting public.

Cryptocurrency casinos are in their infancy but they already offer advantages to both customers and the casino itself. The main effect on the gambling industry from a cryptocurrency perspective would be to increase security and anonymity. These two factors appeal highly to consumers and would likely increase customer numbers.

However, all slots sites, like, Wizard Slots, and other game sites like, 32red etc will need to be modernized to accept cryptocurrency payments. 

An uncertain Future

Although the early signs are positive and prove that cryptocurrencies and gambling are a partnership that would work, government regulation seems to be the main stumbling block to their progress.

Some governments are already considering banning gambling with cryptocurrencies and this trend would drastically reduce the market. Other authorities do not even consider cryptocurrency an official form of legal tender. Even though the future is uncertain due to over-regulation and instability, the gambling industry is ready to cautiously welcome cryptocurrencies.

Some online casinos already accept these as payment without any problems. Now the gambling industry must sit and wait to see whether governments and world authorities follow suit. If this currency is accepted into the mainstream then it will be embraced by all of the gambling industry even though strict regulations will be applied across the globe.

This has already commenced as the EU set up an Anti Money Laundering directive that has cryptocurrencies firmly on its hit list. For the very first time crypto service providers such as virtual-flat exchanges and wallet providers will be under the scrutiny of financial regulatory bodies. Can cryptocurrencies thrive and enhance the gambling industry’s popularity further still? Only time will tell whether the two will be allowed to form a firm partnership.

How to Manage Your Small Business’s Finances

To run a small business, you need to have a few overarching qualities and components. You must have a great idea, exceptional service, and organizational skills. 

However, none of those qualities matter if you can’t manage your finances. Even the best ideas fizzle if the underlying money management isn’t in place.

Here are some helpful pieces of advice from business owners about how to manage your small business finances.

Check Your Credit Score Frequently

 

Establishing credit as a business is paramount to scaling your business in the future. To do this, you have to know what’s happening with your credit score. 

Set aside time to check your credit score regularly. This process will allow you to see how you’re trending, and if there are any outstanding issues to deal with. If you find that you have items on your credit score to dispute, try this to get rid of them and improve your report. 

 

Implement a Money Management System

 

Create a standard procedure for how you deal with the money that comes into your business by implementing a money management system. 

This could be percentage-based, having a set percent allocated to various aspects of your business. You could use a Profit First model that ensures the business owner is always getting paid.  

One of the most sustainable starting points for implementing a money management system is the jar or envelope approach, in which separate accounts are used for the various expenses and investments within a business. This practical approach is an exceptional starting point for new business owners until they find their footing.

Create a Standard Procedure for Billing

 

Invoicing and billing your clients is the only way you’ll get money into your business; it’s one of the most important clerical tasks. However, it tends to get pushed off. A day or two here might not seem like a big deal, but when you add it up over the year, you might find a multiple week span for which you should have had cash flow.

Create set dates and times or practices for invoicing your customers. This could consist of weekly batching or dedicated time on the first day of each month. By putting procedures in place, invoicing becomes a habit, and, by default, you’ll get paid faster.

It’s also wise to set procedures for when someone defaults on their payment. Identify who will be following up, the script to follow, and what measures should be taken from there.

Use Projections and Forecasts

 

Setting projections of what might happen may seem superfluous, but it’s an effective way to plan for high and low seasons. During the first year of the business, this process can be arbitrary and hard to pin down. After that, however, historical data can provide a lot of insights about the future of your business.

For example, preparing for seasonality in your business. If you own a restaurant, your numbers might indicate that the summer and weeks leading up to the holidays are the busiest. January through March is slow. By having this information available, you’ll be able to scale your staffing and food purchases to meet demand and spend or save accordingly.

Monitor Your Expenses

 

Creeping expenses are a silent killer for small businesses. Doing your taxes at the end of the year is not the time to discover that your expenses are out of control. 

Set aside time each month to audit the money that’s going out of the company and why. Make smart cuts on your spending to increase your margins. For example, sometimes it behooves you to have feet on the ground at a satellite office or with a client. However, many meetings could be conducted via video conferencing. 

Look at your expenses and consider how you can cut back and stay frugal without becoming cheap.

Stay Organized and Prepared

 

One of the simplest yet most effective things you can do to manage your money with a small business is to stay organized. That way, when tax season rolls around, you’ll be ready to get the most out of your return.

By practicing these smart money management habits, your small business will thrive.

The Art and Science of Ecommerce StoryTelling

If you run an ecommerce business, you probably know that storytelling can help you to build more than just a business. The art of storytelling in a competitive web platform is crucial for building a strong brand. The competition is ever sizzling and you need a tactic that helps you to retain your brands’ competitive edge.

Mastering the art of storytelling enables you to connect, retain and engage customers. This way, they are inclined to keep coming back, and they become your brand ambassadors albeit passively. It’s true that the rules don’t change, since it’s all about helping potential customers to perceive you as a formidable keyword.com partner every time they want specific problems solved. When you master storytelling, not only will you develop a strong brand, but also you’re guaranteed that customers will always relish your product stories and they will remain loyal.

Be original

Storytelling around a brand isn’t easy. It’s not just using random words to advertise or appeal to a specific audience. The modern shopper is wiser and they will keep off your brand, if they think that you’re fabricating the stories you use. To be safe, consider using authentic content that a customer can relate with. Using real-life stories and how a product helped a particular customer will give credibility to everything you say. Remember, the best brands don’t hound customers with grandstanding product information. Instead, they demonstrate an understanding of customer problems and how to solve them.

Storytelling to Boosts Your E-Commerce Sales

If you want storytelling to work for you, it’s important to explain your brand and tell customers what you can offer. It’s important to have an in-depth understanding of the market needs and problems you’re trying to solve. Also, it’s advisable that your target audience understands why your brand/product is different or better than the rest. You are likely to succeed if you choose a specific demographic and focus on solving their problems instead of taking a jack-of-all-trades approach.

Leverage Real-Life Stories

To make an impact with your storytelling, consider telling potential customers exciting stories about the product or service in question. It pays to replace the product descriptions with product stories. This tells your audience/customers that you’re thinking more about their problems more than the profit you will make. A brand whose stories resonate with the audience has an easy time convincing customers to buy. Remember, success only comes when you channel your resources towards understanding who your customers are and what they want.

Storytelling Drives Brand Loyalty

As an e-commerce marketer, you have spent a lot to attract the right customer cluster. It’s true that you want them to stay on board and become repeat customers. With the right storytelling skills, you can invoke customer emotions and keep them loyal from one buying journey to the next. When you choose the right words and tactic, your customers will always be curious to find out more about your brand. They will grab every chance you offer them to be part of the brand. As long as the customer feels valued and cherished, your brand will enjoy a constant flow of revenue and referrals into the future. Remember, you have your competition to beat and you need to proactively tell your customers why you’re better than the rest.

 

 

Use Storytelling for Brand Awareness

Storytelling in e-commerce is a way of enhancing brand awareness and fostering brand advocacy. With excellent storytelling skills, you can repurpose your story to fit different mediums and locations. You need to be adept when it comes to telling a story. Don’t rely on the same old monotonous product story, since it can throw your customers off. Consider a creative way of telling the same story differently on a blog post, on your website, on a social media post or on the product description section.

To make your storytelling efforts to pay off as visualized, make sure that your audience can learn more about you and your brand. It’s advisable to simplify the process for new customers. You can use pop-ups or synchronise your story on the site navigation menu. Additionally, consider talking to your customers on a personalized level. If you want to convince them to buy repeatedly, storytelling will help you hack it.

Smart Tips to Get Out of a Car Loan Early

Loans, especially car loans, could be a huge pain in the ass for people who wish to save more. Car loans, like any other type of loans, are subject to interest rates. Luckily or unluckily for you, your interest rate is dependent on your credit score.

Automatically, this means if you are financing a car with a bad credit score, you end up with higher interest rates, compared to if you did so with a good credit score. Either way, you would be paying some interest rates whatsoever.

Unfortunately, a car loan could take you 60-72 months to pay off. That’s five to six years. By then, the interest paid might be as much as the principal loan itself! And, of course, you do not want that.

So, here are some smart tips on how to settle your car loan early enough, giving you enough time to focus on other things that demand your attention.

Why Don’t You Engage in Half-payments Fortnightly?

This would be super-helpful. There are 52 weeks in a year; if you pay half your monthly installment every two weeks, you end up paying 26 times in a year, which sums up to 13 full payments; instead of the conventional 12 full payments in a year.

So, if you had 72 months to pay up a loan, you end up fully paying the loan in 67 months, instead of 72 months. That gives you 5 full months to recover from the grip of the loan.

Never Skip Payments

Have you ever come across lenders who grant you the luxury of skipping one or two monthly payments every year? If you haven’t, well, I have.

And this is what I’ve got to say about it: When you skip payments, you end up doing more harm than good to yourself. Not only do you lengthen the number of months you’ve got to pay, but the interest rate also gets hiked up.

The bottom line is, never skip payments. Be committed.

Make that Super-Large Payment At Least Once a Year

There would be times when you would hit that big contact that brings in lots of cash into your wallet. You might want to give out the usual monthly payment to the lender but don’t.

That’s the downside of monthly payments. It makes you lackadaisical. Why pay $200 when you’ve got an extra $300 doing nothing in your back account? Take that bold step of letting out more than was bargained for. And just then, the savings continue.

You get to save more; given that you get a lowered interest rate as well as a reduced pay-off date.

Refinance Your Loan

If you notice your monthly income is higher than you projected, why don’t you refinance your loan to increase your monthly payment? Doing so would help you secure a closer pay-off term.

Round-Up Your Payments

Imagine rounding up every single payment to the nearest $50; how quickly would you settle the loan? Faster than you think!

For instance, if you were to make a $222 payment every two weeks, round it up to the nearest fifty bucks. Do the mathematics and you get a $250 fee to settle. That gives you a $28 heads up for the next month. Do the same in subsequent months; and in the blink of an eye, you are done!

Have an Accountability Partner

Your spouse, a relative, a friend; just anyone who can help you access your commitment level; cross-checking if you are keeping your payment schedule.

This would be particularly helpful for you if you see being disciplined on your monthly spending as a difficult task. 

The Millennial’s Guide to Omaha FCU

Being the largest city in the state of Nebraska, Omaha is home to six Fortune 500 companies, the most popular of which is Berkshire Hathaway.  Billionaire Warren Buffett owns the multinational holding company.

Buffett is one of this generation’s prime influencers. When asked about rising bank fees, he suggested that customers choose the better deal from among the many financial institutions. 

Millennials follow similar words of advice from financial gurus. They understand that financial literacy is the key to achieving their personal goals. 

With Omaha recognized as the best metro area for millennials, learning more about Omaha FCU (federal credit unions) is an excellent way to start. 

Here are some reasons why it is wise for millennials to place their hard-earned money into credit unions.

Lower interest rates on loans

Since credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions, they return profits to its members by providing lower interest rates in the vehicle, home equity, and personal loans.

According to a study made by ZipRecruiter in 2018, Omaha was ranked #1 as the best city for college graduates to start their careers.

With millennials falling under the group of first-time home buyers and parents, the lower interest rates in Omaha FCU will be a big help in starting their families.

Moreover, millennials with substantial student loans discover that joining credit unions will help them save money.  Credit unions are usually the only way that they can get credit.

Higher interest rates on savings accounts

Members of credit unions enjoy higher rates on their savings. 

Millennials, who are known to hoard cash and are averse to risk, need a place for their money to get good returns while being safe from market fluctuations. They should take advantage of credit unions that offer free checking accounts.

Discounts

Omaha FCU members enjoy savings on:

  • Omaha Storm Chasers games at Werner Park
  • Adventureland in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Cell Phone plans
  • Tax software products
  • Car and home insurance 
  • Security systems
  • Theft protection
  • Car maintenance
  • Theme parks
  • Hotels
  • Preferred access tickets to events like concerts and sports
  • Movie tickets, concerts, and shows
  • Ski resorts
  • Rental cars
  • Outdoor vehicles

Community involvement

Credit unions share their commitment to support the needs of the community. 

Based on a survey done by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Nebraska’s millennials ranked as 14th  in volunteer rate.

Millennials will appreciate being part of a group that shares the same objectives of volunteerism, sponsorships, and donations.

Personalized customer service

Credit unions, with its community involvement, are sympathetic to borrowers struggling to make payments on loans.  Seeing firsthand the pains of having to live from paycheck to paycheck, they take the initiative to equip their members through free financial advice. 

Financial education

Millennials need help in preparing for retirement.  According to research done by Social Science Research Network, millennials are likely to live longer than previous generations and, therefore, will need to fund a longer retirement.  However, on a positive note, millennials are better exposed to financial education.

Most credit unions hold free seminars on financial topics.  In contrast, professional financial advisors frequently sell investment products.  Therefore, millennials would prefer getting their investment questions answered from credit unions instead.

While millennials may not have much money to invest yet, credit unions assist by creating financial strategies.

With the benefits above, credit unions are the perfect fit for millennials. They should choose a credit union that is rooted in helping the underprivileged of the community, with opportunities to volunteer in causes aligned with their values.

There are credit unions serving counties in Nebraska and Iowa with a long history of positive relationships with its members.

Applying for A Hotel Loan: A Guide

Do you have plans of starting your own hotel or growing your existing hotel? The hotel industry is one which many entrepreneurs target and this is for good reason because there is always a demand for good hotels. It can also be a business type which is enjoyable to run and allows you to connect with many different types of people. If you are looking to start a hotel or looking to grow your chain, then you will require some form of finance and a hotel loan is the best option for this. Loan default rates in this industry are consistently amongst the lowest, so you should not have too much trouble getting approved. Here is a guide to getting a hotel loan.

How to Get Funding

Often, hotel owners will struggle to qualify for the above options, which can be discouraging. Fortunately, there is a good solution by qualifying for smaller amounts from these sources so that you can combine these to cover the various costs involved in setting up a hotel business. It can be a time-consuming and complicated process but one which is made much easier with financial technology firms who can help you to get the hotel loans that are needed.

Business Plan

As with most types of business, you will need to have a detailed business plan in place which can help to guide you to success. A business plan is also an important document which can be used to get approved for a loan, so you need to make sure that you are well prepared before applying.

Market Research

You will need to carry out thorough market research which will help you to discover the current state of the industry, who your competitors are and who your target customer is. Location is the biggest factor when starting a hotel business and will determine who your target customer is.

Hotel Loan Types

There are a few different options for hotel loans, so you need to know the difference between these and identify which one is best for your business. The main types to consider include:

Traditional Bank Hotel Loans: The leading source for hotel loans, traditional banks often require borrowers to make a 20-50% down payment on a property to receive financing.

SBA Hotel Loans: The United States Small Business Administration works with lenders to guarantee finance for small businesses and often requires a smaller down payment, so this can be a good option if you qualify.

Real Estate Investment Trusts/Investment Pools: Having a hotel REIT as a partner can bring many perks as they will have business-savvy which could help you to succeed, but usually they will seek to acquire an equity ownership position.

Starting a hotel business can be rewarding and lucrative, but you need to make sure that you have the financing that you need for the property and the various costs involved in setting up. Hotel loans are the best way to do this, and hopefully, this guide will help you to get the funding that you need to get started.

Do all mutual funds qualify for tax benefits under Section 80C?

It is a really common question among the millennials as to whether all mutual funds qualify for tax benefits under Section 80C or not. Mutual funds seem to be a growing trend among the people as an investment option. Mutual funds offer excellent opportunities for the people who are looking forward to creating a good amount of wealth and generate a considerable bank balance for their future.

However, before you make your online demat account it is important for you to know about some information. The first and foremost of them is the fact that – not every investment you make in equities is not going to qualify for tax deduction under 80C. Yes, there are only a selected few stocks which can come under the tax deduction scheme.

Which stocks come under Section 80C?

For all the investors who are looking forward to investing in mutual funds for tax exemption, must know that only ELSS or Equity Linked Savings Scheme do qualify for the tax deduction under Section 80C. Investors can officially claim a deduction up to an amount of Rs.1.5 lakhs under the same section of the Income Tax Act of 1961.

For those of you who are not aware of ELSSs, these are equity mutual fund schemes that can be invested in the stock market. These funds come with a lock-in period of three years which is mandatory. Even though these are much riskier options for investment, they can give you much higher returns when we compare them to other investment schemes like Public Provident Fund, the National Saving Certificate, etc. Many of the stocks under the ELSS category have given over 18.45% returns in the past 5 years which is far more superior than other plans.

All the stocks which are listed under ELSS funds are eligible for a tax-deduction. Other than that, no other mutual funds will be tax deductible. So, you need to make sure to make you invest only on those funds which are eligible under Section 80C. We have discussed a few of them in the next segment.

Mutual funds which qualify for tax benefits

Here are some of the best mutual funds which are listed under the ELSS category and are eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C –

  • Motilal Oswal Long Term Equity Fund
  • Kotak Tax Saver
  • Canara Robeco Equity Tax Saver Fund
  • DSP Tax Saver Fund
  • Aditya Birla Sun Life Tax Relief 96
  • Axis Long Term Equity Fund
  • Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund

Most of these mutual funds have promised a return of above 10% and went up to 17% as well. Make sure to read more about them before you invest your hard-earned money on them. The mutual fund dividend of these stocks are also promising and helps to accumulate wealth.

How to Take Control of Your Finances

Finances may often feel like a never-ending game of control, in which you feel as though when you’ve finally got ahold of your money, something happens to make it yet more difficult again.

Having a firm handle on your finances doesn’t have to be stressful. Simple steps can help you to feel more confident with your financial situation.

Begin Saving as Soon as You Can

If you’ve wanted to save more substantially, then start today. Even if it’s just saving the loose change in your wallet or transferring a dollar or two into a new savings account. The only way to get serious about saving is to start.

You should consider:

  • Comparing the best savings accounts for your circumstances and opening one up as soon as possible.
  • Having a place to save or store any change from your wallet instead of spending, like a money tin or piggy bank (ideally something you need to break to get into)
  • Decide on a minimum amount you want to save each month – then anything extra is a bonus

Don’t Save Every Penny

Choosing to save as much as possible is, of course, a respectable one – and the more you save. Naturally, the better situation your finances will be in. However, if you pay your bills and outgoings and lump every spare penny into your savings, you will eventually grow frustrated.

While saving is important, so is rewarding yourself and separating your savings cash with your available spends. Be sure to treat yourself, whether it’s a shopping trip, upgrading your possessions when needed or playing LottoGo every once in a while to unwind.

Work Out Your Priorities

There’s nothing wrong with living in the moment and living for the now. If you work hard, then you want to spend some of that hard-earned cash to optimize your lifestyle. However, taking the time to sit down and think about your goals and priorities means you can decide better where to put your money.

What are your short-term goals? Are you hoping to buy or rent a new home in the next few years? Perhaps you want to clear off your debts by a certain age or are looking for a new car. Once you know what’s more important to achieve in a certain space of time, your saving and spending habits can be better placed around that.

You’re more likely to save if you know what you’re saving for.

Keep on Top of Your Outgoings

Some people are barely aware of what is coming out of their bank account each month. It’s so easy to spend and subscribe these days, that you may be paying for more than you realize, whether it’s a forgotten gym membership or a subscription you thought you had cancelled.

Being aware of your outgoings is essential for taking control of your finances. If you don’t already use internet banking, you should because you can get a visual list of all your outgoings and expected bills. You can also keep a notebook regarding bills and payments so you know exactly how much should be coming out every month.

This also helps if you want to analyze your outgoings and see if anything can be cancelled, and therefore money saved.

What You Need to Know About Starting a Business in 2020

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Starting a business is no easy feat and any successful entrepreneur will tell you that. But with the right tools and resources (and some good old fashioned hard work), it’s absolutely doable. If you’re tired of the 9 to 5 grind and you’re looking to shake things up for the New Year, here are five things you should know about starting a business in 2020.

1. You’ll Need a Plan 

Don’t try to start a business without a plan because you’ll be wandering aimlessly. With a plan, you’ll know exactly what your next steps are and you can always update your plan as your business grows. A business plan can help you reach your goals more effectively and you won’t be wondering how you’re doing as time passes. So write down your goals for your business. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? What steps can you take to ensure you reach those goals in that time span? Make sure your goals are measurable and attainable. Don’t be too unrealistic, but also, don’t sell yourself short.

2. You’ll Have Good Days and Bad Days 

What no one really talks about when it comes to starting a business is that you’ll have good days and bad days. No matter what you do, you just can’t escape it. It’s just like life. Not everything is going to be rainbows and sunshine, but the important thing to remember is that you have to keep pushing forward and trust that better days are on their way. 

3. Taking Advantage of Digital Platforms is Essential

If you’re going to run a successful business, these days, it’s important that you take advantage of digital platforms so you can build brand awareness and increase sales. If your business isn’t online, it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist. These days, people are shopping online more than they’re shopping in stores, which means you need a strong online presence and digital platforms can help you get there. 

4. There’s No Set Path

You might think starting a business is a straightforward path to success, but that’s simply not true because success looks different for everyone. And success happens differently for everyone. If you’re the kind of person who needs guidance, however, it can help to find a mentor that you can reach out to for questions and concerns you have about running your business. It’s typical to meet with or call your mentor at least once a week, and they can be especially useful when times are tough. So look for a mentor that can help you through those uncertain times and give you words of encouragement during the not-so-tough times.

5. Work-Life Balance Isn’t Always Easy

Balancing your time between work and your home life isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish. A lot of entrepreneurs spend more hours working in the first few years of starting their business than they do working at a regular full-time job. That’s not always the case, but nonetheless, you should still be prepared to put in more hours working on your business. It might be hard in the first few months or years, but it’s definitely something to consider before starting your business.

Getting Started

If your 2020 New Year’s resolution is to earn some supplemental income, companies like Amway can help you get there. If you haven’t heard about it, you’re probably wondering, “What is Amway?” Amway is a global direct sales company that uses Independent Business Owners to sell health, beauty, and home care products. Check out the ways it can help you reach your goals in 2020 and beyond.

Now that you know exactly what it takes to start a business in 2020, you can begin formulating a plan to get you where you want to go. Deciding what kind of business you want to start and writing down your plans and intentions can help you get started.

What to Consider When Taking Out Payday Loans Canada

When a person comes up financially short for whatever reason, one solution that can help them temporarily get out of that rough spot is payday loans. As the name suggests, a payday loan is a short-term loan that expects you to pay back what you owe to the lender on your next payday.

Ideally, this means that a part of your next paycheck must already be allotted onto paying back your loan, or else you’ll suffer the consequences of high interest rates.

While this sounds like a scary thought, you don’t have to let payday loans get the best of you. It’s still a quick solution to your current monetary problems. You simply need to have a game plan so you can free yourself from the burden of debts before it fully traps you.

Payday Loan Application: Things to Keep in Mind

Payday loan companies are businesses that operate on the notion that borrowers are in desperate need of cash. Hence, they will bank on this desperation to charge fees and high interests.

Fortunately, the government has already begun regulating these fees to minimize financial burdens on the part of borrowers. However, it’s worth noting that payday loans should still be among your last resorts to solve your financial woes.

If, after weighing your choices, you’ve decided that applying for payday loans in Canada is your best option right now, here are some things that you should remember to ensure that it will not  cause more trouble than what it’s worth:

1. You Must Pay on Schedule

Payday loan lenders may be able to give you money as you need it, but they charge very high interest rates if you don’t pay on time.

If you’re always unable to pay your dues, you’re just putting yourself into an endless debt cycle. By the time you’re done paying, you’ll see that you actually ended up paying more than double the amount you owed in the first place.

Hence, to avoid any more financial problems, make sure that you’ll be able to pay back your payday loans on schedule. If you can’t, at least make an effort to clear them out in the soonest possible time.

2. You Must Review the Lender’s Conditions

While lenders grant a payday loan even to those who have bad credit, make sure that you’ve read all of their conditions before proceeding with your application. Here are some things to take note of:

  • The repayment’s due date

  • The total fees that you must pay to get the loan

  • The total amount needed to loan at least $500

  • The total amount you need to pay if you can’t pay on time

  • Your different options for paying back

  • Documents for your proof of income or bank account

Being aware of these things can help quicken the transaction process. It will also help you better prepare on your payback plans, especially if you can’t finish the payment all at once. Your lender must issue a written agreement that states the loan’s total costs and its due date.

3. You Must Know the Lender’s Limitations

One of the main reasons why many people get deeper into debt is because they get into deals that are actually scams. Since they desperately need the money, they completely fail to do a background check on the lender that they’re doing transactions with.

To ensure that you’re only dealing with legitimate companies, here’s a short list of what lenders aren’t supposed to do:

  • They can’t charge you beyond $15 for every $100 worth of loans.

  • They can’t loan you beyond 50% of your monthly paycheck.

  • They can’t ask you for any collaterals.

  • They can’t ask you to name a guarantor.

  • They can’t approve another loan unless you’re done paying your first loan.

If a lender breaks any of these rules, don’t transact with them at all costs. Also, make sure that they’re accredited by the government so you know their operation is legal.

4. You Must Not Get Too Reliant on Payday Loans

Although payday loans can provide you with instant cash, the real, long-term solution for your financial issues is to start working on your financial independence. This ensures that you never even have to consider having to apply for payday loans.

Conclusion: Get Your Payday Loan Only from a Reputable Company

Payday loans can be a financial trap because of their high interest fees. However, if that’s the only option you have right now, make sure that you only borrow from a reputable company that is licensed by the government. Doing transactions with legitimate lenders saves you from further financial woes.

What Is A Corporate Trustee?

Protecting your wealth and growing your assets can be a bit challenging. Because of this, if you want to build or protect your wealth, people put it into a trust. Whether you’re a corporation or individual, a trust is very helpful in doing this.

A trust is a legal arrangement between a trustee and an entity, wherein the trustee will manage assets for a certain entity or beneficiary. This trust will help you avoid unnecessary legal fees, lower down your taxes, and protect your assets while you’re still alive.

 

What Is A Trustee?

 

With a trust, you need to name someone to supervise or manage the trust in your stead. The trustee is what you call the legal entity who’ll own the assets and manage the trust, which is called a trustee.

There are two kinds of trustees – an individual trustee and a corporate trustee. An individual trustee is an individual who is a trustee over the trust. It can be a successor, someone you trust, or even your lawyer. As a rule, the individual who creates the trust cannot assign themself as the trustee. It needs to be another individual.

While you can assign any individual to be a trustee, a corporate trustee will be the best decision, given their experience and expertise.

 

What’s A Corporate Trustee?

 

So, what is a corporate trustee? A corporate trustee is someone who’ll act on behalf of its investors by managing the assets and security of the trust. 

The primary responsibility of a corporate trustee is to prudently manage the financial security of the entity involved. This means that a corporate trustee will manage your assets to increase your investment returns and help you reach your financial goals.

 

How To Choose A Corporate Trustee?

 

Since the corporate trustee will have many financial responsibilities, you need to choose the right trustee. This can make a big difference in how things will go. Take note that appointing a corporate trustee is not required, but this will make you more efficient and save you a lot of effort, time, and money. 

With that said, here are some things you need to consider when choosing a corporate trustee.

 

1.    Reputation

 

You need to check out the reputation of the corporate trustee. To do this, you can ask for recommendations from people you know. You should also do some research on what the corporate trustee is known for. 

Look for reviews online to see if you can trust this entity. A good track record, such as Trust Point, is also something you should investigate. Moreover, you should also check out who owns the entity.

 

2.    Background

 

You need to check out the background of your corporate trustee. Doing this entails checking the history and people that the corporate trustee has worked with. 

As a tip, make sure that you try to get all the news articles or reviews that are related to the corporate trustee. This will be very helpful when you try to vet a corporate trustee.

 

3.    Experience

 

The next thing you should do is see if they have a wide range of experiences. By having a lot of experience, the corporate trustee will be able to assist you with a multitude of problems. 

The more they have experienced, the more solutions they can provide for you. Thus, in order to receive reliable service, you need a corporate trustee with much experience.

 

4.    Resources

 

Another important factor that’ll add value to your corporate trustee is the network and resources that your corporate trustee can reach. Resources and networks are very important when it comes to trusts. One of the reasons why you need a corporate trustee is also to get more resources.

So, you need to get one that knows many people and resources available to your reach. 

 

5.    Attitude

 

Although results are very important, also consider the attitude and approach of a corporate trustee. The corporate trustee will be working hand in hand with you, so you need someone that is open to suggestions, consultative, and flexible. 

Innovation is an important trait that your corporate trustee needs because the world is fast-moving and ever changing.

 

Conclusion

 

Knowing what a corporate trustee will help you evaluate whether or not you need one. If you do need one, consider the traits and factors above when choosing a corporate trustee. 

Choosing the right one will dictate how your trust will perform. That is why it’s very important that you go into detail and research when you are deciding on one.

What Is Flutter?

As the first apps built with Flutter started to appear in Google Play and the App Store, the mobile development community witnessed a brand new approach to creating high-level user interfaces of cross-platform applications. 2019 can be declared the year of Flutter (well, unofficially) because the talks about it have only been getting intense since its first stable release in December 2018. Besides, the recent end-of-the-year update of the framework gave the community even more innovative features to discuss and discover. If you want to know what Flutter is and how it has matured within a year, keep reading this article.

What Makes Flutter Special

Flutter is a mobile UI framework created by Google for building convenient UIs of natively compiled applications. As entrepreneurs start investing in this toolset more actively, more software development companies begin to search for Flutter developers and adopt this technology. 

Initially introduced as a toolkit for running only Android apps, Flutter became a cost-friendly solution for creating apps that cover iOS and Android platforms at the same time. Google developers are currently on their way to making it an all-in-one application framework by focusing on multiplatform development. However, before getting started with the most distinctive features and brand new changes in Flutter, there’s a short history to discover:       

  • October 2011 – the release of Dart – Flutter’s core programming language;
  • April 2015 – the first announcement of Sky – Flutter’s antecedent;
  • May 2017 – the release of Flutter’s alpha version;
  • September 2018 – the release of Flutter’s beta version;
  • December 2018 – the first stable version of Flutter comes out;
  • December 2019 – Flutter is declared the first UI platform for ambient computing.

In December 2019, the Flutter Interact event gathered thousands of mobile developers to introduce the fifth release of the framework. The latest improvements provide the community with a full picture of what Flutter is now and what it will be. Currently, mobile developers highlight the following distinctive features of this UI platform: 

  • Google Support;
  • Dart Instead of JavaScript;
  • Widget-Based UI Design;
  • Multiplatform Development;
  • Ambient Computing. 

Google Support

Despite the young age of this technology, developers, and entrepreneurs around the world trust it because the fact that Google created it is a guarantee of the high quality. The Google team works along with Flutter contributors who help this technology to evolve. As for the latest version, around 5,500 issues about the framework were solved, and approximately 6,000 pull requests accepted to improve user experience and make the development process faster. The integration of numerous Google services, including in-app payments and YouTube, as well as the improvements to the plugin ecosystem and testing tools were a top priority for the Google team in the new release. 

Dart Instead of JavaScript

Software engineering experts often compare Flutter with various cross-platform technologies such as Ionic, React Native, and NativeScript. Although they all have the same purpose as Flutter – developing apps to run on iOS and Android simultaneously, they are based on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The Flutter developers use the Dart programming language supported by Google and optimized for client-side programming. The recent update of the framework provided the developer community with syntax improvements and the ability to code for the web.

Widget-Based UI Design

Flutter doesn’t use any native components, so programmers don’t have to find ways to set communication between native UI elements and the main code to make the app work smoothly. Flutter relies on its widget-based library with Material Design support and a built-in graphics engine for building user interfaces. A recently added Hot UI feature lets developers preview and interact with interfaces that they are working on during coding. It’s a time-saving solution because developers don’t need to use any mobile devices or emulators to visualize and test the design.  

Multiplatform Development

Google has gone further than iOS and Android app development. The new 1.12 version of Flutter covers a full range of platforms besides iOS and Android, such as Mac, Windows, Linux, Google Fuchsia, and the Web platform. However, to make a web application work in various browsers, Dart code must be compiled to JavaScript. Multiplatform development encourages coders to experiment with UI design across platforms and making consistent visualization that works equally good for mobile, desktop, and web apps. 

Ambient Computing 

Google declared Flutter the first UI platform for ambient computing, which is one of the most significant changes to this technology in 2019. Ambient computing means portability of the framework that provides developers with the ability to build apps anywhere and whenever they want. A programmer can start coding right from their smartphone, tablet, watch, laptop, computer, or any other device that has Internet access. The software development world has never seen anything like that before. The Google developers named it the new transition from device-centric to app-centric development. 

Final Words

Mobile development experts predict that 2020 will be a fruitful year for Flutter. Although React Native is still the king among cross-platform development solutions, the rapid growth of Flutter has all the potential to outpace it, if not in 2020, then presumably in a couple of years. Although Dart is a new language to be mastered by mobile coders, many specialists mention its fast learning curve that makes Dart adoption by companies easier. There are negative predictions about Flutter as well. Specialists see the biggest risk for this UI platform in case Google stop the support of Flutter, as they did with some of their experimental solutions in the past, for instance, Hangouts, Google Translator Toolkit, and others.