More Than Half of Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

More than half of Americans report that they are forced to live paycheck to paycheck. This trend has indeed been going up since March 2020, but it’s not only because of Corona. Many reported that they were even living paycheck to paycheck prior to the crisis, and about 30% say that they should have saved more in their emergency fund.

The US is not the only country where citizens are struggling financially, however. According to the Norwegian newspaper e24, four out of ten people in Oslo, Norway are spending all the money they earn each month. Kjell Amund Bergheim, CEO at Lanfordeg.no, a loan comparison service in Norway, says that this is an unhealthy trend he is seeing. Most of the customers who seek guidance from the company haven’t even heard about an emergency fund, and they usually have only a few hundred dollars in their savings account. The simple decision to save fifty dollars or so each month would make for a simple and fruitful beginning.

For a lot of Americans, the financial hardship is not so much about the decisions they make, as it is about how much it costs to fund their nutrition, housing, education, and health expenses. Declining salaries are also impacting the situation negatively. Even though the national economy was doing really well, salaries were halted in 2019. In 2020, the increase in salary is only about 1%, which is almost an all-time low. When we look at things from a longer perspective, findings show that the average salary growth has decreased by almost 10% since 2005, after inflation is accounted for.

Despite the government’s initiatives to offer help through unemployment benefits and reasonable loans, a lot of people are still spending as much as before, while others don’t have any more savings left. Almost half of the people that were surveyed reported that their emergency fund was empty and that if they’d have to deal with a $300 crisis, about 80% of them wouldn’t have the means to pay for it.

Naturally, this means that a lot of Americans have to pay for their expenses by taking up personal loans, which eventually leads to long-term debt problems for many of them. About 25% of survey respondents say that they have built up a debt larger than $12,000, one that will only keep increasing if they can’t find a lasting solution to their financial problems.

Returning To Work After A Work-Related Injury: What You Need To Know

If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you may have a long road to recovery ahead of you. And in many cases, the road to recovery is not always entirely smooth and free of hassles. While you are entitled to claim from your employers’ workers’ comp cover policy to receive compensation that will cover your medical bills, lost income, and even pain and suffering, among other damages, you may be concerned about returning to work.

Professionals who have been injured on the job face concerns about whether they can continue to perform in their career as they could before the injury. Other concerns may revolve around fair treatment from the employer, insufficient injury leave, potential loss of pay, and others. However, you have rights after experiencing a work-related injury, and a Skyview Law personal injury lawyer can help you uncover all the details. With that said, here’s what you need to know when returning to work.

When To Return To Work

More often than not, your healthcare provider will advise when you can safely return to work. However, it would be best if you made the effort of keeping your employer up to date and informed regarding your recovery progress. As soon as your doctor has given you the green light to return to work, it is best to inform your employer immediately.

In cases where an employer is not willing to provide adequate leave time to allow recovery, it is best to deal with your employer through your injury attorney. You may say the wrong thing, and this could put your career on the line. So instead, let your lawyer handle your leave. If you are working under an employment contract, your available sick leave, family emergency leave, and vacation leave can all be taken into account when granting leave for your recovery.

Dealing With Unfair Treatment

Your employer is required by law to treat you fairly, and after experiencing an accident that is the result of health and safety negligence, things may get a bit tricky. However, there are labor laws that define how an employer may and may not treat you. If you feel you are being mistreated, it is best to consult your injury lawyer to discuss further legal action against your employer. Moreover, if you are not treated fairly after returning to work, there is no better time than now to seek a new employer as things are unlikely to improve.

Feeling Restricted By Your Injury After Recovery

If the specifics of your injury have left you unable to perform at your job the way you once could, you should consult your employer about light-duty jobs that you could do until you have fully recovered. However, your employer is not required by law to agree, so your approach is essential. On the other hand, if you cannot perform your job role long-term, you should consider seeking alternative employment. Your compensation payout should cover your loss of income and inability to continue working for at least a few months.

Recovering from an injury and returning to work can be challenging. However, with the right injury lawyer, you can obtain fair compensation that will allow you to get your life back, even if you can’t perform your job role indefinitely.

How To Budget For A Home Down Payment With A Baby On The Way

Having a baby can put a strain on your finances and stress levels, and saving for a down payment can easily double that strain. It may take a lot of careful planning, penny-pinching and some adjustments to your spending habits, but it is possible to do both simultaneously. Here is our quick guide to budgeting for a baby and down payment. 

Start ASAP

You should start saving immediately for both your baby and down payment. The sooner you begin, the more cushion you will have when the baby comes. Put aside every extra dollar you have each month into the highest interest savings account you can find. 

Work Out What You Need

You should make a list of everything you need for the baby and the new house. You should include potential expenses for the baby up to one year old and any medical needs you or they might have. You should buy all your baby items in advance and shop around for the best deals. 

You should prepare for the cost of moving and settling into your new home. Have an emergency fund in case your new home has issues that need to be fixed. 

Be Realistic When House Hunting

You should be realistic about what you can afford. If you want to buy a home before having the baby, you may not have enough time to save for your dream house. Work out how much house you can afford, and factor in that one or both of you may be taking parental leave. You should look at modest starter homes to avoid overstretching your finances. 

Consider Lower Down Payment Loan Options

You should consider lower down payment loans such as FHA home loans. These loans allow you to buy a home with a down payment of 3.5% instead of the standard 20%. If you are on a tight timescale to buy a home before the baby comes, choosing a low down payment loan could help you get on the property ladder in time. 

Prepare For Lowered Income 

One or both of you may take parental leave, which can leave you with a lower monthly income. You should decide in advance how much parental leave to take and find out how much paid leave your employer or State provide. 

Cut Unnecessary Expenses

You should eliminate all unnecessary expenditure. Make a strict budget and review your monthly outgoings. Avoid spending on meals out, takeaway and days out until you have saved your goal amount. 

Don’t Rush

You should weigh up your options carefully before buying. You may have to accelerate your house buying plans due to a baby on the way, but you should still take time to look over properties carefully. Choose wisely to avoid buying a home that will cost you more in the long term. 

5 Effective Steps to Stop Your Overspending Habits

Few days after payday, do you ever ask yourself, “Where did all my money go?” Have you ever found yourself spending way too much? If this sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re overspending.

Overspending is the act of spending way too much money as you have planned in the first place. We can see how this can be a problem, especially in the long run. Thus, it creates issues such as financial difficulties, dept, and even relationship issues. Once this starts to develop, it’ll be a downward spiral from thereon.

If you notice yourself doing this, it’s time to put an end to it as soon as possible. Overspending is a form of addictive behaviour. Like every addiction, this needs to stop before you suffer even more from it.

“How can I be sure that I’m overspending?” you may still ask. Let’s go ahead and identify the signs of overspending to check if you are!

Ten Signs of Overspending

No Idea Where Your Money is Going

If you don’t have any idea where your money goes monthly, then it’s a sign of not spending it on planned purchases.

Stress About Bills

If you feel anxious when bills start to come in because you don’t know if you can for it, this may be a sign.

Declined Credit Card

Once you empty your bank account and max your credit cards, this is a clear sign that you spend too much.

Only Afford Base Payments

When you can only cover the smallest amount of payment for your credit card debt, then that’s a problem.

Unbalanced Budgets

It is a great habit to keep a budget. It would help if you had a spending plan for the current money you have. If you can’t follow it and balance due to lack of funds, this can be a sign.

Splurging Habit

If you spend money daily on things that are not necessary, then that’s a bad spending habit and a clear sign.

Unused Items

Have you seen some of your items stored in one place unused? That means you bought things just because you like them. Not that you need it.

Shopping Therapy

When you start shopping every time you want to make yourself feel better, this is a sign of addiction.

No Savings

A clear sign that you’re living beyond your means would be having a solid income but no savings at all. It indicates that you spend your extra money rather than saving them instead.

Lying 

Lying or keeping your spending habits a secret is an ample warning since you don’t even want others to know about it. If you’re hiding it, then it must be wrong.

Now that we know the common signs of overspending, we’re done with the first step, knowing if you qualify it. Were you able to relate to it? If so, then let’s look at the reasons why you could be doing it!

Understand Spending Triggers

Overspending is a behaviour that can result from various things. Specific emotional or psychological triggers can cause us to spend more. Before we can get rid of our overspending habits, we need to identify our triggers.

Understanding spending triggers will help us avoid situations that can trigger our need to shop. And once we are already aware of what it is, we can also start making better decisions.

Change in Mood

Different emotional states and moods can make us feel the need to go on a shopping spree. The most common emotions that can trigger this could be sadness, stress, and anxiety.

To make themselves feel better, people lean towards impulsive shopping. It’s what they call “retail therapy.” Try other healthy ways to cope with these feelings instead of shopping!

The Influence of the Environment 

Are you aware of environments that make you feel like you need to spend your money? Some places can make you feel obligated to pay even by being there. Cafes, shopping centres, and marketplaces are prime examples of this. What you can do is steer clear of these places to avoid the temptation of buying!

Being Pressured 

Do you feel pressured to spend more money when you’re out with your friends? Even if your friends have the purest of intentions, sometimes we want to keep up with them when spending. Our feelings of wanting to do or buy what they get can be bad for our finances. Instead, we can decline their invites or suggest plans that won’t hurt our wallets!

Your Lifestyle Towards Money

Being accustomed to a particular lifestyle can be hard to give up once you face financial problems. Once your lifestyle becomes more prominent than your budget, it’s time to quit it before it gets worse. The easiest way to counter this is budgeting with a bold discipline to yourself.

Once you identify your triggers, you can now make your first step in stopping your impulsive spendings. Now we can give you a few things you can do to stop overspending!

Track Your Spending Then Create Budget

Even the smallest amount you spend on purchases can add up to a considerable sum of money by the end of the month. The key to successful budgeting is keeping track of your expenses. It helps you become accountable and aware of where you use your money on. You’ll be able to make smart financial choices by identifying what to cut back on.

To start with, you can create a spreadsheet or a notebook to write your expenses on. Gather all your past bills, so you know how much you spend on your necessities. With that, calculate your monthly income and deduct the essentials you need. Finally, for the money you won’t be using, keep it as your savings!

Use Cash

It’s so much easier to take out your credit card to pay for any item you buy. It’s like buying an item without taking out money from your wallet. You don’t see it when they take out money from your bank account. That’s why it makes it so easy to use. Since we don’t know if the cash was reduced, we may feel like it didn’t significantly damage our bank accounts.

In comparison, using cash makes us more aware of how much we have. Since we see the physical money, we can track it as it diminishes. With actual money, all we can spend when going out is what we have in our wallets. It will help us become more careful with our financial decisions.

Learn To Limit Yourself From Using Credit Cards

Since we’re going to start to use cash, it’s better to forget about our credit card information. Once we start trying to change our ways, we can’t help but feel tempted sometimes. Try to forget that you have one, so this doesn’t become a safety net when you think of overspending.

To do this, you can leave your credit cards at home if you feel like you might use them. If you have it with you all the time and you’ve memorised the information by heart, then cancel it.

Remember that if you want to change your bad habits, you will need responsibility and self-control. By doing this, it reduces the chance of you using the card for spur-of-the-moment buying.

Set Financial Goals

Overspenders tend to live at the moment, not exactly concerned about the future. That attitude makes it harder for them to reflect on how serious this can affect them in the long run.

By setting a financial goal, it’s easier to stay motivated as you overcome your bad habits. Having them will remind you of the reason why you’re making changes and sacrifices.

You can start with short-term goals. When you start becoming more money conscious and less impulsive, then take it up a notch! Once you’ve done that, you can move on to setting long-term goals for the future. best payday loan Singapore

But what if an emergency comes when you’re still halfway to your goal? You can’t ruin what you have started. Instead, you take the  from a reliable moneylender. Lender Cash Mart offers the same product at a low-interest rate.

If you took a loan, be sure t

Reward Self

For everything you do, you also need to reward yourself for being a better spender. It’s a fact that being strict with yourself will help you save money. It is until you lose it and go on a shopping binge because you’ve been too tough on yourself.

It’s alright to give yourself a little reward once in a while. This way, it helps better in trying to stay on track with your improvements. By putting a little cash aside for the things you want, will keep you motivated and sane! Remember that every good behaviour needs a reward!

Learning how to stop overspending can be challenging. Trying to break a habit and becoming more responsible can be more complex. But all this is possible!

As everything is, it takes dedication and time to reform your spending habits. You may feel the urge to go back to it from time to time but don’t feel guilty. That’s part of the process. Once you’ve followed these steps, you will be a step closer to your goal of becoming a wiser consumer!

3 Things to Know Before Buying a Business

Everybody wants to gain financial freedom, but only a few people know that the best way to do so is to establish a business. Even fewer are willing and able to start a business from scratch, as this entails that they’re going to have to handle things like business models, marketing strategies and campaigns, products, employees, and logistics. Why go through all that when you can simply buy it from someone who’s already laid down the roots?

However, this isn’t a guarantee that you’re going to profit from the purchase. In many ways, buying a business may even be riskier than building one. Here are some things to consider in order to mitigate that risk.

Stability vs Potential Growth

Before buying a business, investors need to consider whether they want to buy a business that’s already been able to establish its reputation, or a business that’s very likely to grow substantially. Successful businesses tend to cost significantly more, but they also have stability in terms of profit and customer loyalty. Successful businesses also benefit from their brand reputation.

On the other hand, while a growing business is a significantly riskier purchase, there’s much more to gain, not just because of the much lower cost of acquisition, but also because these businesses can be potentially disruptive. The likelihood of an investor being able to improve a growing business to such a extent really boils down to the investor’s mastery and knowledge over the industry that the business operates in.

Buying Shares vs Buying Assets

Another thing to consider is whether to purchase shares or assets. This is important because it can determine your level of exposure to legal liabilities. Buying business shares effectively means that the investor becomes the new owner while the business retains its status as its own legal entity. All debts and liabilities also become the new owner’s responsibility.

On the other hand, an asset purchase means that the investors gain ownership of business assets such as vehicles, warehouses, equipment, client records, and inventory. They can then register the business as a separate legal entity under a different business name.

Overall, an asset purchase is the safer option if the business has unmanageable debts and obligations. A stock purchase is the better option if the business has a reputation that’s difficult to re establish under a different identity.

Due Diligence

Finally, it’s important to take a thorough accounting of the business you plan to buy. This entails tasks such as performing an exhaustive asset search, as well as all debts, liabilities, security history, and many more. Cybersecurity is an especially important aspect considering that when you purchase a business, you also purchase their data. Compromised data is no good in the digital world, not just because of the data leak itself, but it’s also a sign that particular business is vulnerable.

There are many other factors to consider when purchasing a business, but these are the three guiding principles that will keep you from getting lost in the complexities involved.

What Are The Costs When You Become An Uber Driver?

It seems like everybody these days has a side hustle going or is looking to find the right one for them. A very popular one is to become an Uber driver and make money in their spare time. It seems fairly easy to get started and there are a number of people that make a full time income from it.

However, there are some costs involved when you are getting started that you need to be aware of. Since it does cost money in the beginning you may be working for a bit to get to even. To keep you from getting into something without knowing the process, we put together this article to help you understand the costs.

Increase in car insurance

When calculating your expenses, don’t factor in what you are paying for insurance now. Insurance costs are highly dependent on how you use your car. Think about when you call for a quote. They always ask you if your car is used commercially and how many miles you usually drive.

The fact that Fleet insurance experts at Fleetcover found out how much it would cost to insure the cars of Netflix and the numbers are unbelievable. That should help you understand how the price of insurance is tied to how to use the car.

Uber does cover some liability for bodily injury of passengers that pays up to $1 million, but there is supplemental insurance that you will need to buy to be able to drive passengers around. Your personal insurance is not going to be enough.

How much it costs depends on the state where you live and what your current driving record is like. It ranges from $60 to up to $150 per month in most normal cases.

Wear and tear

You’re going to have an increase in maintenance when you are driving for Uber, but at least they don’t come at the beginning. You will only be adding wear and tear on the car when you are actually working so you do have money coming in.

Expect to have to rotate your tires more frequently and to have to change them more often as well. Then there are tune ups that come more frequently and filters that need to be changed.

Depending on how much you work, you could be adding tens of thousands of miles to your car which will shorten its lifespan.

Upgrades

To make more money as a driver you have to make sure that your car is looking top notch and that you offer some services to make the ride more enjoyable. If you have a nicely detailed car and offer snacks and water as a perk, then this is going to cost you some money when starting out.

Many drivers can create a regular clientele by offering these upgrades because people appreciate these extra touches. Although it costs money to provide these things, it pays for itself quickly in that people tip better and will request you as a driver.

4 Unique Ideas to Promote Your Business and Turn a Higher Profit

Most businesses rely heavily on clients or customers when it comes to their success. So, one of the main goals of a business should be to attract more potential clients. And, of course, the best way to do this, is to promote your business. Get people talking and get the word out there; the more people who know about your business, the better. With the marketing world being so competitive, there’s constant pressure to come up with new ideas. So, what do you do when you’ve done all the things you can think of – emails, pamphlets, TV advertisements? The answer is you start getting creative! We’ll be talking about some unique ideas to promote your business, which will help you turn a higher profit.

Social media

Promoting your business on social media is nothing new, but the way you go about it can be. Social media is a great way to promote your business, and it’s even more effective when you combine it with another promotional method. Ryan J. Gibbs recently used his Facebook to promote a scholarship. This is marketing on two levels. First, there’s the marketing of the business through Facebook. Secondly, there’s the marketing of the business by using a scholarship – scholarships are a great way to get more people interested in your business.

Giveaways

We’ve already established that social media places a huge role when it comes to marketing your business. The process is simple: the more followers your business has on social media, the more people are exposed to it, the more clients you get, and the more money you make. One way of getting people to follow you on social media is to host giveaways with prizes from your business. Usually, people wanting to enter the giveaway need to follow your social media accounts to be eligible. Giveaways usually lead to an upsurge in followers. This is especially a good way to get the word out there if you’re just starting a business.

Charity events and fundraisers

This may seem counterintuitive since you won’t be making money – it will be going to charity. In fact, you’ll likely be spending money, since you’ll have to arrange a venue and catering. But there’s no denying it – fundraisers are great when it comes to publicity. It doesn’t hurt that customers will probably rather support a business that supports charity than a business that doesn’t. Click here for tips on throwing a fundraising event.

Competitions

Many people confuse competitions with giveaways. While the two are similar – they both revolve around people entering something and standing a chance to win a prize – the main difference is that with giveaways, the winner is chosen at random, whereas with a competition, that isn’t so. Competitions are a great way to get people to interact with your business. They can share their favorite entries, or vote for the ones they think should win. It will also get people talking, and more people will want to know what the competition is about, meaning your business gets promoted. For example, we all know how important a logo is, so you could have a competition where people try to design a new logo for you, and the one with the most votes wins.