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Get Started With A Budget Plan

February 4th, 2011 at 07:00 am

Creating a Frugal Budget

Almost all of us now, are looking for ways on how to save money in any manner. A financial problem arises in every part the world. Why not give frugal lifestyle a shot?

Achieving a frugal living goal should start with a frugal budget.

Hereís how to create a frugal budget:

Sum up your total earnings

Total all the money that you make monthly, including your part time, proceeds from business and other forms of residual income.

Sum up your total expenses

Gather all your monthly bills, and list down all the expenses that you make monthly including those eat out, movie watching and hobbies that you spend money.

Subtract your expense from the earnings

This will help you find out whether you are spending way more than what you are earning. This will also determine if how much is left at the end of each month.

Budget restructuring

If you find out that you are spending more than enough, restructure your budget. Go over your expenses and see where you can cut spending.

Make money for debt payments

Now, if you have debts, find other sources of income like a part time or selling stuff online to make money and pay off your debts.

Start saving

Itís time to build a reserve for the future. If you have established a good budget and paid off your debts. Start saving money.

A frugal budget never ends; always continue to look over the budget every month to catch areas of overspending.

Cheaper Ways of Living

January 25th, 2011 at 07:05 am

Nowadays, earning money is not that easy and a lot of people are thinking or looking for ways to save money. Some try to stretch their money and some look for ways to increase their income.
As for me I tried practicing the frugal way of living. First you have to know the difference of what is needed and what is wanted. Some of us focus on
spending money
on what they want without thinking if they can still afford of getting what they need.

Here are some tips to save your hard earned money:

Buy quality things. Instead of buying those things that are of quantity and less cost, get the one with high quality that will surely last for a longer time.

Sell used stuffs, make a garage sale, and sell things that are still useful for others that you do not need. You can make profit and save up money at the same time.

For your cable subscriptions if you can lower your monthly fee by choosing and paying only for the channels that you want much better. It is important that you evaluate every bill that you pay a make sure if you really need it.

Take advantage of public parks and amenities. Instead of watching movies, you can take your family out for a picnic in your park. By this way you can have a family bonding without a cost.

Cook your own food. Stop the habit of dinning out. We all know that cooking at home is a lot cheaper than eating out. You can serve more nutritious food to your family and you can also make cooking fun by letting your kids help you with some small stuff.

Frugal living is one of the best ways to save money.
Some think that practicing this way of life is depriving you of something. For me itís the best way of living life to the fullest without worrying of about debts.

Financial Freedom

January 18th, 2011 at 08:03 am

Re-living your life to the fullest

Majority were shocked because of the sudden turmoil that the global economy had faced. Stock markets went down, businesses closed and a lot of people were laid off from their once promising jobs and to make matters worse prices of basic commodities were shooting up uncontrollably resulting to debts, bad credits and even bankruptcy. Experts say that this will continue for the next 2 years or so, many of us are looking for financial freedom in any way possible.

Here are some points that can help you grab your financial freedom.

Tighten up your belt
First thing that we need to do is to adapt to this Global crisis and we should minimize our expenses as possible. If you are used to luxuries better think twice and cut the habit of over spending.

Be Versatile
Part of adapting is learning. Given all the recession and laying-off in different companies we canít get enough security and stability in our work. The best thing to do is to explore different avenues and fields to improve our capabilities and scope of work. Let us not be confined in our borders and live curious.

Utilize your resources
Many of us loses our creativity as we have come on age which is really not a good thing, we should re-live our childhood days when we can virtually make anything possible from scraps that we have. Take that kind of creativity together with what you have to earn and save more money.

Invest WISELY
Ultimately you need a business or other sources of income to cope up with your pending expenses especially if you have a family, but will all the economic crisis is it still possible to open a new business? Of course it is, since the demand is still present and itís growing parallel to our population. Be one step ahead of the game with these points.

Know your interest
Many businesses were unsuccessful because they lack passion and devotion to it. If you want a food business then go for it and just make the necessary changes as you progress and adapt during the set up.

Study the market
At first it is better to do your business locally because you know the trending and market. Before finalizing your plan conduct surveys and analysis on what the market would need and what would they patronage and not and Why?

Strategic Location
Location is one of the most important keys in a successful business. You have to be noticeable and reachable ( If you are planning to start a business that involves personal contact) If possible try to get the history of the building and what were the previous establishments and what were the problems they faced so you can plan ahead.

Marketing
Another key element is how you market your product or services from your company name to your plastic bags it should create an impact to the consumer and later create your brand.

Things You Should Never Do with Your Credit Card

January 10th, 2011 at 08:04 am

Credit Cards No Noís

We all wanted to have credit card especially if you love shopping, dining out or youíre a gadget techie. But did you know that credit card is one of the main reasons why a lot of people are in debt? There may be many people who suggest that you get a credit card. So in case you are wondering if credit card is necessary in your life.

Credit card can be a useful tool, when used properly and with discipline. There are times that you always wanted to use credit card and get hold of the cash you have on hand.

Let me give you some reasons why you should not use your credit card?

1. Loan Payments Ė never use your card to pay out your loan. Debt should not be transferred to another debt, this will just cost you more in a way that you already have interest with your loan then youíll transfer it to your card charging you also for interest. The very simple solution here is Do Not BorrowMoney that you canít afford to pay.

2. Impulse items Ė if you are shopping, never use your card to avoid impulsive buying of things you donít actually need. Use your cash on hand and buy only what you are supposed to buy.

3. Cash Advance Ė do not do cash advance on your credit card. This comes with sky-high interest rates and service fees, making them a far too expensive way to get cash.

4. Donít lend your card - never let anyone borrow your card, otherwise you are putting your financial future on that personís hand.

5. Taxes Ė donít use your card paying taxes, no one enjoys paying it so why pay even more than necessary in extra interest and fees.

6. Donítí pay minimum amount Ė always pay the full amount of your bill to avoid additional interest. And pay on time to avoid late finance charges.

7. Living expenses - if you are on a grocery buying all your basic needs and suddenly your cash is short, never use your card. This only means that you are spending more than what you are earning. This will also put you to another financial problem. Make adjustments on your budget.

8. Donít make purchase just to earn points Ė making purchase to earn those freebies and points is very irresponsible.

With so many credit card facilities some are so eager to have their own credit card not realizing that they are just putting themselves in a hole of problem. Now, that you know all the disadvantages of using your credit card, itís time for you to get out of debt. You can live without a credit card.

Ways to Start Your Frugal Lifestyle

January 5th, 2011 at 06:09 pm

This New Year can be a good start for a more frugal lifestyle. This will allow you to spend less than you earn, and use the difference to pay off debt, save or invest.
It is important to know how much money you have in the bank and how much is your monthly expenses, so you can begin to make your decision on how to spend your money wisely
Letís try to give it a shot living a frugal lifestyle.

Buy used things Ė if you need something try to look for a used stuff in some garage sale, this could give you a lot of savings.

Eat out less Ė stop eating or dining out, you can always prepare something nutritious in your kitchen.

Buy used books or borrow from the library Ė you can buy used books from the campus if your kids needed it, thereís nothing wrong in using old books. Or if you can borrow some at the library much better.

Donít use credit card Ė it will always put you in debt if not used with discipline.

Stop impulse buying Ė most of us buy things that are not really important, they just wanted it, Stop that habit.

Go with one Car Ė if not necessary use only one car to save up in gas. Or do not use the car if you can just walk down the streets to buy something.

Get a Small House Ė go with a small house if you have small family, this will help in saving up in household expenses. Live in as small a house as you can and still be comfortable.

Bring your own lunch Ė if you can brown bag your lunch at the office do it, instead of eating out.

Use coupons - most magazines offer some discount coupons which you may use in the grocery, but remember to buy only what you need.

Quit or lessen your vices -†† try quitting your evil habit of smoking, drinking or gambling. This will make a big savings.

Cancel subscriptions Ė cancel some magazine subscriptions, you donít need it anyway, you can always use the internet to search on anything you need.

Get rid of debts - start paying all your debts and avoid making another mistake.

Reduce convenient store foods - stop eating microwaveable foods and packed junk foods, this cost you more than preparing your own snack.

Frugal lifestyle could save you from a ton of debt later down the road. With the current state of the economy, it is more important to plan for your financial future. Learning how to get the best deal on everything that you buy is important.

Cutting your Expenses: The Guerilla Way

December 29th, 2010 at 03:27 pm

Want to get rid of those tons of bills you are receiving monthly?

A lot of people spend more than what they earn and end up in debt. Why become one of them if you can do something to reduce your expenses. I know itís a big challenge for people who love to go shopping and outspend their income monthly, but have you ever thought how much you could an save if you trimmed down some unnecessary expenses?
Here, let me give you some ways that can help you cut down some of your expenses while still having fun:

Internet Provider.
Try to look for a much cheaper provider, if you are using the internet just for research and documentation you donít need a super-fast connection, get an internet speed that is appropriate for your needs. It may not be a lot, but it can really help you reduce your bills.

Energy & Water.
This kind of bills are carved in stone, the only way we can reduce this is by using less, itís something hard at first but if you just pay attention to the basics you can save a lot.
Let me give you some pointers here, take a look at those lights left on, appliances that are not plugged off, say a television that is turned off but not plugged off still consumes a little bit of electricity, so make it a habit to plugged it off after using any of those appliances that you have.
Watch out for that water left running, this can really cut cost and help you revive your budget. Just observe and make a record of your previous bills and compare, try to experiment and look for better ways to revive your budget. You will see a drastic improvement and Iím pretty sure of that.

Food
Give this a try, see how long you can go just by eating the food in your house, Iíve tried this one for myself and I lasted for a month or so. It is also wise to lessen eating out of the restaurant, you will be surprise how much money you can save just by lessening your cravings for your favorite restaurants. Coupons and discounts are also valuable ways to save money on food.

Miscellaneous.
Haircuts, manicures, clothes shopping, groceries etcÖ These are the first thing you should take consideration when cutting your cost, cause these are the most typical source of overspending.
A newspaper or magazine subscription is not a necessity so you can cut it off easily. Switching brands can be a good cost cutting measure, make a switch on a much cheaper brand, but do not compromise quality, if you will just look harder there are lots you can find on.

Iím not saying that the road to cut cost is easy, actually itís going to be a rough road to get into, but itís worth all your effort.

4 Personal Finance Mentors

December 22nd, 2010 at 03:57 pm

When you choose to take control of your finance, you might find useful to have mentors, you can refer to. A mentor can be a great source of information and advice.

Choosing your mentor really depend on your personality and goals:

1) Warren Buffet
Warren Buffet is one of the most wealthy people on the planet. Buffet is a wise investor, who have made significant profits buying and selling shares.
Buffet is also an highly frugal individual, who spend his money wisely

2) Mr Burns from The Simpsons
It can be hard to consider Mr Burns as a personal finance mentor, but he can often personal finance tips. Obviously his tips can be extreme and will require interpretation.

3) Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu is not officially a personal finance mentor, but his writting have a lot of finance applications. If you read The Art of War, you will notice that many sayings are actually real source of personal finance wisdom.

4) Your Grand Parents
Older generations are often underestimated personal finance experts. Senoiors have live in different times and learnt to live on little. Listen and watching your grand parents' lifestyle can teach you a lot.

To Be Frugal 3 Steps for a Start

December 14th, 2010 at 09:14 am

Even if Christmas means that more money is spent than saved, it is in everyone's mind that the end of the Christmas season and the start of the new year, will mean savings.
Adopting a frugal lifestyle should help you to spend less and therefore save more money. Being more frugal does require a little bit of efforts and practice, but the results are worth it.

Think Long Term
With less time and more things to do, it is often difficult to take the time to think about the long term impact of your purchase, however a little bit of thinking can help you save money. When you buy something, it is important to consider the long term costs of owning the item. Although you do not have to pay for these extra costs at purchase, you will have to do it through the life cycle of the product. For example the initial cost of a car is the car itself, but you will then have to buy insurance, petrol and pay for possible parts and repairs. The sum of these costs will put pressure on your budget, so it is important to consider them at the start.

Budget for Your Peace of Mind
When it comes to changing your spending habts, a budget will be your best friend. A well-made budget will help you to have all the information you need before making a purchase. Whether you are wondering if you have enough money to buy a plasma screen tv or whether you can afford to change your car, a budget will help you to answer these questions. To be useful, your budget will need to be realistic and take into account all costs. At the start, you won't need fancy budgeting sofware, a spread sheet will be enough.

Take it Easy
Changing your spending habits can be hard. If you are changing all your habits at the same time, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed. Big life changes are sources of stress, so it is probably better to start with small changes than can be managed easily. Adopting a progressive approach will ensure a smooth transition. On regular basis, you can review your changes, measure your results and add new challenges

Protect Your Credit Card Against Fraud

November 22nd, 2010 at 03:03 pm

Credit Card fraud is more and more common especially at this time of the year. One of the most common misconception is that credit card fraud only takes place online. While it is easier to hack your credit card details online, scammers are also operating at ATMs. Even if credit cards have more security features, it remains important to apply the following tips to protect your credit card.

1) Keep Safe or Destroy your Credit Card Statements
It is relatively easy to generate credit card numbers, however scammers prefer to find you credit card details. One of the most common tactic is to look into rubbish bins to find financial papers, so make sure you either keep your credit card statement safe or make sure you destroy them properly.

2) Hide the KeyPad When You Type your PIN

Over the last 5 months, scammers have used more advanced strategies. Video cameras were set up and pointed to the ATMs to record PIN numbers while people were withdrawing money.
When they managed to capture PIN numbers, scammers followed people to robe their credit cards and withdraw money.
One of the best way to protect yourself from such situations is to hide the keypad when you type your PIN code.

3)Do not send Credit Card Details via Email
One of the most common way of stealing credit card details is through email. When someone sends his credit cards details via email, some hackers can either access his email server and record all the information or hack his email account and have access to all his information.
Obviously not sending your credit card details via email is the best way to avoid such issues.

4) Look for Alternatives
Although credit cards offer plenty of advantages including credit card rewards, insurance, etc..., there are plenty of alternatives to credit card payment. For example Paypal is a very secure payment system, which offer guaranteed security when you pay online. Whenever you can, BPAY or Bank Transfer are also valid options.
At the end of the day, credit card are not compulsory and you can live without.

5 Tips to Compare Savings Accounts

November 17th, 2009 at 08:30 am

Comparing savings accounts can be time consuming. First of all you need to do some extensive reasearch to find the right information, then you need to learn what are the most important factors in making your decision.
To make this task easier, we have compiled a list of 5 tips, which should help maximising your savings.

1: Make sure you check the end date of the interest rate as a high interest rate could be just a promotional rate, which expires in a few months time, or an introductory rate for the first few months of a new account.

2: Compare any conditions attached to the interest rate. As you may be required to make a minimum deposit to be rewarded with the interest rate offered.

3: Make sure there are no minimum or maximum account balance fees.

4: Make sure the financial institution does not charge you to open an online-based high interest savings account.
You should also look to avoid any transaction fees for deposits,withdrawals and any fees when you go to withdraw your final savings amount.

5: Insure optimum access to your savings account. Make sure you can open, activate and access all of your account details online? If not online, does your savings account have an all-hours customer service centre on hand to help when you need them?

Hopefully these tips should help you save time and money!

For more information, check our savings accounts comparison table