Category: Finance Tips

10 May

Money Moves You Should Make Before You Retire

Retirement is an immense and most important step in a working individual’s life. Proper planning has to be made, and measures have to be taken to implement the plan. Changes are a part of living and therefore plans have to revised from time to time. The most important thing retirement reminds us is finance. One should be financially secure to lead a peaceful and secure life at an old age after retirement.

For a good retirement plan, start saving early and avoid spending money. Firstly put a stop to credit cards, they only increase debt and also an urge to spend money. Pay off all the mortgages and make a good budget plan and go with it. Determine the amount of health insurance and apply for it. Medical insurance is a must. Invest money in such places where you have large returns. Always save a lot of money by spending less.

15 Apr

Budgeting When You’re Broke

Why are you broke in the first place, handling money in the wrong way leads to no money in hand. Whenever money is concerned, you should always be over conscious. Money must be put to the right use. Generally it’s the students who fall into this category.  They spend money ruthlessly when they have in hand.

Unnecessary shopping, eating junk food outside always require a lot of money.  In the name of socialization, students hang out and spend money. Proper budget has to be made. Cost of living and living life style should be changed and revised from time to time. Should always accept changes and expenses have to be reduced. Prioritize bills and allocate money. Living on credit should be avoided. All unhealthy means of using money should be stopped.  All the left over money at the end of the week or month should be stored in a safe place.

1 Feb

Financial Tips That Women Should Know By Age 30

At this point in life, there is certain knowledge, women ought to know. Women have to deal with finances directly, even if they have someone to handle it for them. They need to be well prepared in advance to react when a financial crisis occurs.  They need to know how to prepare a well budget plan, once the plan is ready, the next important thing is to cling to at all circumstances.

They ought to know how to set up an emergency fund and how to claim it when required. The knowledge of reading a bank statement and the measures to complain if something goes wrong is a must. The cost of running a family, satisfying all their needs without disappointing them. How to approach a lawyer, an accountant and an insurance agent when needed. How to get the taxes done. Plan strategies to save money for retirement.

14 Jan

Spending Money to Save Money: Purchases That Pay You Back Over Time

  Sometimes it’s true that you’ve got to spend money to save money. Let’s look at some things you can buy that may seem price prohibitive at first but which will pay you back over the long term. A Smartphone Smartphones, on both the Android and iOS platforms, are expensive to buy outright and cost even more over the long term when you purchase them on a plan. However, because of the incredible amount of productivity you can get out of one, smartphones may be a great investment that will pay you back over the years. If you use your smartphone to answer emails, go online shopping or any of the other tasks that you would normally use your home computer for, then you may be prolonging the life of your other devices by using the smartphone. Additionally, depending on how you use it, a smartphone can take the place of other things that you would otherwise buy, such as a calculator, set of maps, compass, flashlight, stopwatch and other things that can be substituted by an app. A Filtered Water Bottle How much money do you spend buying bottled water? Though American tap water is safe to drink, as a culture we’ve begun purchasing bottled drinks, and water, at a fast pace. It’s not cheap. Save money by purchasing a filtered water bottle instead. You’ll get the pure taste of filtered water, save money and reduce the amount of trash you generate in throwing disposable bottles away. Smart Power Strips If your home is like most households nowadays you have a variety of gadgets that demand electricity. On any given day you need to plug in kitchen appliances, home cleaning appliances, lights, computers, hand-held devices, entertainment systems, etc. And, if you leave these plugged in when not in use — and who doesn’t? — you’re allowing them to draw electricity even when you’re not at home. A smart power strip, which allows each outlet to be turned on and off separately, will allow you the convenience of having many things plugged in at once while also allowing you to save energy and therefore money. A Coffee Machine We already mentioned that Americans spend too much on bottled water each year. But that’s not even close to the amount that we spend on coffee. In 2012, it was reported that Americans spent about $1,000 a year on their morning coffee — fully half what they spent on lunches over a year. However, brewing coffee at home doesn’t cost much at all. If you’re one of the ones who make several trips a day to a cafe for to-go cappuccinos, it makes much better sense money wise to splurge on an upmarket coffee machine and make your joe at home. A High-Efficiency Washing Machine and Refrigerator We discussed turning the electrical appliances in your home off at the outlet to save money. However, most of us never unplug our refrigerators or washing machines, for good reason. These appliances need to be plugged in, and will always draw electricity. If you invest in energy-efficient models of these appliances, you’ll save money on electricity and water usage. Depending on the rates in your area, it should be easy to see a return on these products in a few years’ of use. A GPS If you mostly use your car for familiar journeys to the store or the office, you probably already know the best and most efficient way to get from point A to point B. But, if you find yourself checking your position on a road map or on your smartphone’s map app regularly, it might help you save money to buy a GPS. Not only will GPS devices tell you the way to drive so that you spend less time trying to figure it out, but the units usually track the most efficient routes, helping you drive less miles between destinations and saving you money in wear and tear on your car and tires and money for gas. Time with Experts Another thing that is worth spending money on, with the idea of getting more money back later, is time spent seeking expert opinions. Though you can do your taxes by yourself, people usually find they get a better refund if they consult an accountant. Though you might be able to lose weight on your own, a physical trainer gets you on the right track faster. Learning new subjects, and motivating yourself to be a better, more successful person is always worth the money and will often pay you back before you expect. About the Author: Maria Johnson is a counselor and financial planner who assists disadvantaged households considering bankruptcy.  
12 Jan

Budgeting Tips for Different Income Brackets

 Needs and financial goals for every individual are unique and different in their own way. A person living alone has different financial needs and another person living with a family of four will have different needs, and there are chances where both the individuals would be earning the same amount of income.

Financial needs are dependent on the income bracket. When the income level is too low, managing every penny is very important. People in the middle income bracket, will build assets. These people should talk to, there lenders and reduce the interest rates if necessary, at the same time they should start saving for future and also make retirement plans. Next, we have higher income bracket people who are trying to maximize their retirement savings. We need to focus on the goals that are important and plan life accordingly.

2 Oct

6 Tips for Hiring an Accountant

  There are a dizzying number of accountants out there, so how do you know which one is right for you? You can't take chances with your finances. You need to get it right the first time. Here are just six tips for finding an experienced and trustworthy accountant. 1. Know Your Needs Why are you looking for financial services in the first place? Do you just need seasonal help with your taxes, or are you hoping for a long-term partner to guide you as your business evolves? Be honest about your expectations to find the best accountant for you. 2. Look For The Acronyms Public accountants (PAs) are the lowest rung on the accountant ladder, and certified public accountants (CPAs) are the highest. Depending on your state, you might also run into licensed public accountants (LPAs) and registered accounting practitioners (RAPs). Never hire an accountant without these qualifications. Always ask for proof of accreditation before signing on the dotted line. 3. Get A Referral Instead of blindly scouring the Yellow Pages, ask your friends, family and business acquaintances if they have any recommendations for an accountant. This will ensure both their integrity and their trustworthiness. Some financial professionals report up to 90 percent of their business coming from word-of-mouth. 4. Ensure Their Availability If this is your first business, you'll probably have a lot of questions for your accountant. Make sure that you choose one with 24/7 availability or flexible office hours for clients. There's no use in hiring a financial advisor who's never around when you need them. 5. Ask About Prices While most accountants charge by the hour, some will offer a flat fee or charge you only by the services you require. Others will tack on extra fees for things like phone calls or working lunches. Before you officially hire an accountant, sit down with them and hammer out the details of their cost. 6. Consider A Firm If you have a large business with a lot of paperwork, a single accountant may not be enough for you. You might enjoy better service at a full-blown accounting firm like the kind run by Michael J. Yuda. They can manage your accounts, file your taxes and advise you on investments on a much larger scale than an individual person. When it comes to money matters, only the best will do. Use these six tips to find an accountant that you can trust.  
5 Sep

Thinking About Going Back to School? How an Online MBA Can Help You to earn more

   Going back to school is something that many people have considered, especially as the job market gets tougher and tougher each year. If you’re part of the growing group that thinks going back to school might benefit them, you may be wondering what you should go back to school for and what your target degree should be. While the answer is definitely up to your personal goals, going back to school to get an MBA can really help you in your working life for a variety of reasons, even if you’re just going to go back to school to get a degree online.

Keep reading to learn more about how an online MBA degree could greatly benefit you.

Earn More

One of the biggest reasons people go back to school is that they aren’t earning enough money. By getting a higher degree, you will be able to demand more money for the time you spend working. However, there are differences in how much advanced degree holders make.

One reason you should be considering going back to school for your MBA is that people who have an MBA tend to make considerable more than their counterparts who simply have undergraduate degrees or advanced degrees in business administration or other fields. Holding an MBA is kind of like your free pass to earn more money.

More Respect at Work

If you don’t plan on looking for a new job but feel like you’ve been passed up for promotions, getting an MBA degree can help you to move forward in your work, even if you stay with the same company. You’ll also get more respect from your co-workers and bosses who may value your ideas more and let you have more input.

New Career Options

If you’ve found yourself working in a business that simply no longer seems profitable because of advancements in technology, or if you’re simply working in a dying industry in the United States, getting another job if your company goes under isn’t always an option. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself in case something goes wrong.

By going back to school and getting an MBA, you’ll be able to enter different fields where you can actually find work. After all, an individual with an MBA is highly valuable in any company that’s trying to make a profit – which is pretty much every one of them!

15 Jan

What is Payment Protection Insurance? (PPI)

 

Payment protection insurance is a form of insurance that is usually issued to individuals in a situation where it is perceived that there may be a need to cover payments, should an unforeseen circumstance befall an individual rendering the individual in a position whereby they cannot make the repayments on a given financial agreement.

Payment protection insurance is actually being claimed back by the general British public at a faster rate than any financial product that has been sold in the past 10 years. PPI claims are so prolific at the present moment that the banks are having to set aside billions of pounds to make up for the money owed.Making a compensation claim at grass roots level is also very simple, but it is good advice to get any claims in early because there are a certain amount of claims that are queued because of the backlog and sheer volume of queries.

The UK ppi epidemic is the reaction of the aggressive sales techniques of the previous 10 years by the financial institutions of the united kingdom, they are currently in a particularly contentious position because they are now having to refund all their profits with interest and thus from a business perspective, it has been a very strange move for them.

It is also possible to claim bank charges back, but ppi claims are worth a lot more to the consumer and so it is recommended to make any compensation claims for payment protection insurance a high priority.

 
1 Oct

When Your CPA Isn’t Enough: 5 Times You Need to Hire a Tax Attorney

  For most people, say the word “taxes” and the first thing that comes to mind is waiting for their refund after meeting with their accountant to file a return. The accountant fills out some forms, performs some calculations, and it’s done — and not thought of again until the next year.

However, there are some situations where a certified public accountant (CPA) or other tax professional doesn’t have the knowledge or experience to handle everything needing to be done. In those cases, an attorney who specializes in taxes and tax law is imperative to avoid hefty fines, penalties and other problems.

Some of the more common reasons people hire tax attorneys include:

You’re Starting a New Company

Starting a new company requires attending to a number of details, not the least of which is determining how to structure your business for tax purposes. For example, choosing to operate as a sole proprietor versus a limited liability corporation can have major implications for how you file taxes, your overall tax burden and your financial liability should things go awry. While a CPA can help you manage your books for the structure you’ve chosen, a tax attorney ensures you choose the correct structure in the first place and navigate the paperwork required for that designation.

You Have a Dispute With the IRS

Once you’ve filed and paid your taxes, receiving any communication from the IRS can be nerve-wracking. And when the IRS thinks you owe more money than you do or questions something on your return, you feel a bit like David versus Goliath. While you might think it’s easier to give the agency what they are asking for so they will go away, if they have incorrect information (and you can prove it) it’s in your best interests to dispute their claims. You do not want to go it alone, though. When you’re fighting the IRS, it’s best to have a qualified tax attorney who can communicate with the IRS and use the full force of the law on your behalf.

You’ve Committed Fraud — Either Knowingly or By Accident

Mistakes happen — we’re only human. But making a mistake on your taxes, whether it’s a simple mathematical error or more serious violation, can land you in hot water and bring with it hefty penalties and even prison time. If you realize you’ve committed fraud, your first step is to contact a tax attorney who can help you determine the best course of action and work with the IRS to keep the penalties as palatable as possible. While no tax attorney can promise you won’t face any consequences as a result of your actions, with a professional’s help the consequences won’t be as dire.

You Conduct Business Internationally

Navigating the international business arena is tricky before you bring taxes into it. Tax law relating to businesses that operate in multiple countries or for businesses that sell products and services overseas is complex. Unless your CPA is versed in international tax law and issues, you could face a large bill from the IRS — or worse. A tax attorney with experience in international business (like graduating from an online graduate tax program that offers an international specialization) can ensure your returns are correct and your international affairs are handled properly.

You’re Handling Estate Issues

When you’re the executor of a state, you have certain legal responsibilities, not the least of which is to determine how much tax — if any — is owed on the estate and whether the estate needs to go into probate. Since most people are not familiar with the laws and intricacies of making these determinations, a tax attorney is vital to ensuring everything is handled legally and the necessary taxes are paid.

There are other times when a tax attorney can be beneficial, such as when you owe a significant amount of money to the IRS  — over $10,000 — and need to negotiate a settlement, or when you receive a notice from the IRS you do not understand. If you’re in doubt, contact an attorney to discuss your situation and determine what you need to do.

 About the Author: Elaine Morris is a Boston-based tax attorney. She blogs about tax law and tax-related issues, particularly those related to small-business owners, for a major legal site.